The Sons of Liberty Bowl, a cherished symbol of the struggle for independence, was commissioned of Paul Revere by members of the secret organization in 1768. Taichung Metro Map It honored an act of defiance by the Massachusetts legislature against the Townshend Acts.
(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Bridgeman Art Library) One of the first widely known acts carried out by the Sons of Liberty took place on August 14, 1765, when Andrew Oliver, a stamp distributor, was hung in effigy on the liberty tree in Boston. The rowdy mob later ransacked the structure that was being built as the stamp office and forced Oliver to publicly resign his position as a stamp official.
Less than two weeks later, on August 26, the mob spent an entire night demolishing Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s home. The Sons of Liberty became so intimidating burning effigies, destroying property, and threatening lives that they were able to force the resignation of all stamp agents in the colonies before the act ever took effect. Local officials were unwilling to respond to these violent mob actions for fear of their lives.
As resistance to the Stamp Act mounted, correspondence and coordination of defiant actions took place throughout the colonies. Beyond simple violence directed toward British leaders and institutions in the colonies, the Sons of Liberty took it upon themselves to coerce Country merchants and ordinary citizens to comply with nonimportation and nonconsumption agreements. Their efforts, especially in enforcing economic sanctions against the British, led many English merchants to join the clamor for the repeal of the Stamp Act.