Within months of his arrival as the new Royal Governor, General Gage seized the arsenal of weapons the people of Massachusetts had accumulated in Charlestown. As tensions mounted between the Crown and the colonies, the First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia between September 5 and October 26, 1774.
Members of the new Congress prayed for wisdom. Days later the delegates declared their opposition to the Coercive (Intolerable) Acts, stating they are "not to be obeyed." By October 14th, representatives had passed a Declaration and Resolves which included these famous words:
...to these grievous acts and measures,
Americans cannot submit...
With the Crown unwilling to compromise, and the colonies desiring independence, war seemed inevitable. By February 1, 1775, John Hancock and Joseph Warren began preparations for a state of war between the colony of Massachusetts and the Crown. Within a week, Parliament declared Massachusetts in a state of rebellion. By the next month, Patrick Henry (from Virginia) had delivered his impassioned speech:
Give me liberty or give me death!
Death, in fact, was waiting for ten patriots in the town of Lexington, Massachusetts as "The Horse America" took the first steps to "throw his master."