signed a non-importation agreement, in order to retaliate on the British merchants and manufacturers. The mob inclined to rougher measures; colonial New York was always a turbulent little town, thanks especially to the large number of seafaring folk among its inhabitants. The sailors had an especial antipathy to the soldiers of the garrison, and rows between them were frequent; with more reason, they hated the press-gangs of the British frigates, and often interfered to save their victims, with the result of producing actual riots, wherein bludgeons and cutlasses were freely used. This known turbulence of the townsfolk alarmed both the acting governor, Colden,a loyal, obstinate, narrow-minded manand the commander of the troops in garrison, General Gage. As the time for putting the Stamp Act in force drew near, the governor took refuge in the fort on the south end of Manhattan Island, which was ostentatiously put in good condition, while the troops were made ready for instant action. It was hoped that these open preparations would awe the city; but they produced only irritation.
The act was to go into effect on November 1, and the ship carrying the stamps hove in sight on October 23. A couple of war vessels escorted it to a safe anchorage under the guns of the fort, while the flags on the shipping in the harbor were halfmasted as a sign of grief and defiance, and a huge