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This shirt highlights the sacrifices of patriots during the beginning of the American Revolution. The Liberty Tree is red, symbolizing the blood of tyrants and patriots alike. "Liberty or Death" was their guiding light.
In 1765, a crowd gathered under a large Elm Tree in Boston to protest the English Crown's Stamp Act. This was the first public show of defiance against the Crown, beginning the resistance that ultimately led to the American Revolution. This tree became known as the Liberty Tree, and was a central gathering place for patriot protestors of the Crown.
The Liberty Tree stood as a symbol of the American fight against the Crown, and was held in high regard amongst patriots. During the Liberty Riot of 1768, patriots seized a British Customs Commissioner's boat from the harbor and dragged it to the Liberty Tree, where it was burned. Later, a funeral procession for victims of the Boston Massacre traversed by the Liberty Tree, and both Patriot and Crown loyalist used the Liberty Tree as location to often make their political points known.
In August of 1775, during the Siege of Boston, A group of British Soldiers, including Crown Loyalist Nathaniel Coffin Jr. cut down the Liberty Tree. A group of American Patriots achieved revenge upon Coffin Jr. during the Raid on Charlottetown in November 1775.
Earlier in the year, on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry's words at the Virginia Convention would later become a remarkable moment in history. In a treasonous act against the Crown, Henry railed against the King, yelling, "Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
Today, the spot where the Liberty Tree once stood is marked by a plaque at the corner of Essex Street and Washington Street in the City of Boston, Massachusetts.