Impressment riots in Boston, November 16, 1747
Riots erupt in the streets of Boston after the Royal Navy impressed, or kidnapped, forty-six men, intending to force them to serve aboard British ships in the long war against France. While impressment was common in other parts of the world, until this night both tradition and the law had protected the men of Massachusetts. The riots will last three days. The city will be paralyzed, and colonists will take several British naval officers hostage. Governor William Shirley will arrange a trade of the impressed men for the hostages. But the seeds of discontent have taken root.