men cut and stabbed,the soldiers being usually overcome by numbers, all of the working-men and every sailor in town swarming out to assail the redcoats. Some of the hardest fighting occurred when a troop of soldiers attacked a number of sailors, who were rescued by some of the Liberty Boys who had been playing ball on the Common. Several persons were badly injured, and in one scuffle a sailor was thrust through with a bayonet, and slain; after which his comrades, armed with bludgeons, drubbed the soldiers into their barracks. The upshot was that the townsfolk were victorious, and the liberty pole was not again molested.
This was the first bloodshed in the struggle which culminated in the Revolution. It occurred six weeks before the so-called Boston Massacre,an incident of the same kind, in which, however, the Americans were much less clearly in the right than they were in the New York case. Even in New York the soldiers had doubtless been sorely provoked by the taunts and jeers of the townsmen; but there was absolutely no justification for their cutting down the liberty pole, and the New Yorkers were perfectly right in refusing to submit tamely to such an outrage.
The chief fault seems to have lain with the garrison officers, who should have kept their men under restraint, or else have taken immediate