In 1775, the British North American authorities decided to isolate "the troubles" to Massachusetts upon hearing the news that the Second Continental Congress had overlooked the Virginian George Washington and instead appointed John Hancock of Braintree as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.
Milch CowDue to his unsavoury role in the Liberty Affair, the British authorities stigmatized Hancock as the "King of the Colonial Smugglers". This was unfortunate because as the wealthiest man in the Colony, he had been personally recommended by his early political mentor Samuel Adams who saw that Hancock could bankroll the formation of the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston.
Warrants were now issued throughout the Royal Colony, stipulating that should colonials lay down their arms, they would receive a royal pardon - with the exception of the ring-leaders, Adams and his so-called "milch cow" Hancock.
When this failed, the British proceeded with a variant of a plan devised by Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson which would turn Boston into a police state. Incredibly, a series of letters which had advocated this supression of colonial liberty had fallen into patriot hands. But against his better judgement, Adams had unwisely agreed to the wishes of Benjamin Franklin that Hutchinon's letters remain private...