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Colonial War Reporter Presses for Revolution

In this video, war reporter Sebastian Junger tells the tale of Isaiah Thomas, who published the first eyewitness account of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

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Today, the First Amendment protects the press from government censorship and interference. Colonial publishers had no such protection, and risked jail and worse for attacking the crown. Yet in 1770, Isaiah Thomas dared to do so when he launched The Massachusetts Spy and published articles advocating revolution from British tyranny. The British quartered troops outside his house and forced Thomas to flee. However, they couldn’t prevent his sensational account of the first battles of the Revolutionary War from fanning anti-British fervor.

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