Act; there was a great barbecue on the occasion,an ox being roasted whole on the common,while hogsheads of punch and ale were broached, bonfires were lit, and amid the booming of cannon and pealing of bells a flag was hoisted with the inscription, The King, Pitt, and Liberty,the colonists being enthusiastically devoted to their two great parliamentary champions, Pitt and Burke.
The liberty pole was an eyesore to the soldiers in the fort, and its destruction or attempted destruction became one of their standing pastimes. Several times they succeeded, usually when they sallied out at night; and then the liberty pole was chopped down or burnt up. The townsfolk, headed by the Sons of Liberty, always gathered to the rescue. If too late to save the pole, they put up another one, and stood guard over it; if in time to attempt a rescue, a bloody riot followed. In the latter part of January, 1770, parties of soldiers and townsfolk fought a series of pitched battles in the streets, the riot lasting for two days. It began by a successful surprise on the part of the soldiers, who cut down the pole early one morning. The townsfolk held an indignation meeting and denounced vengeance on the soldiers, who retaliated by posting derisive placards on the walls of the fort and public buildings. A series of skirmishes ensued in which heads were broken, and