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[Blog] The Early Americas: Boston

The city of Boston has a rich and long history since the early colonial period as featured in Assassin’s Creed III. The game brought a brand new setting and a lot of new locations to the series and went to an unexplored region for that time. Cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia were still small and closer to towns than the cities with millions of inhabitants as we know today. The city of Boston Massachusetts, will be the focus for today.


The period

The early days of Massachusetts weren’t that different from the other regions of the America’s. The state is named after the Massachusett Tribe, who were the native inhabitants before the colonists from mainly England arrived. The region is called New England, as most inhabitants were citizens of the British Empire. The first colony of Massachusetts was Plymouth and founded in 1620. The colonists arrived on the famous ship the Mayflower. The Colonists accidentally brought western diseases with them, to which they were immune. This resulted in the deaths of 90% of the native population.

In 1692 the infamous town of Salem, the town of witches, experienced one of the largest witch trials in the world. Other towns in the surrounding areas also participated in the witch trials and this is one of the reasons why Halloween is so popular in those areas.

Boston was once of the largest cities in the continent, and is currently the capital of Massachusetts
Boston was once of the largest cities in the continent, and is currently the capital of Massachusetts


The first parts of the city of Boston were founded back in 1630, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established. The Town of Charlestown was founded during this period. Boston’s peninsula was given the name Trimountaine, derived from the three prominent hills. Today only one hill is still standing, as the other two have been leveled to make place for the modern times.
The city is currently the capital of the state Massachusetts and was since the early days the center of movement for independence from the British Empire. Boston was one of the first colonies which got the rights as a self-governing entity. The colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were merged into one in the year 1691.

Boston was part of one of the opening phases of the American Revolution. During the Siege of Boston, the battle of Bunker Hill took place. In 1776 the city of Boston was under the control of the United States of America and was never retaken. This was one of the first major defeats for the British Empire during the American Revolution.

Connor participated in the Boston Tea Party in the franchise of Assassin's Creed
Connor participated in the Boston Tea Party in the franchise of Assassin’s Creed

The Boston Tea Party

Most of the colonists of the city had long and bad relations with the British Empire and their Monarchy. A rebellion, which was the first sign of an upcoming civil war, started already way back in 1680. After protests in 1763 against the new tax attempts, which were at the height of 1 penny per gallon of Molasses import. Yes, a tax of a penny per gallon led to a deadly and long war.

It wasn’t long before the merchants revolted and started more and more violent acts against British soldiers. These violent acts eventually led to an accidental discharge of a musket and the result was the Boston Massacre in 1770. During this event, the British Army shot and killed multiple civilians. In Assassin’s Creed III, Connor and Achilles traveled to Boston and witnessed the Massacre. While Connor was successful in stopping a Templar from firing a shot, he couldn’t stop the event from happening. Charles Lee was able to shoot from another rooftop. This triggered the British soldiers to fire in the crowd, resulting in the Massacre.

In 1773 the Boston Tea Party escalated the already high tensions between the British Crown and the Sons of Liberty. Connor helped Adams and William Molineux in the dumping of the tea crates in the Boston harbor during the Boston Tea Party. The British Empire reacted with heavy punishments in 1774 and taking away rights and freedom of the citizens of Massachusetts. This was one of the main facilitators of the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

Boston was once of the largest cities in the continent, and is currently the capital of Massachusetts
Boston was once of the largest cities in the continent, and is currently the capital of Massachusetts

Events in Assassin’s Creed III

In search for a Precursor site, the Templar Haytham Kenway arrived in Boston in 1754. Here he eventually met a native woman whom he had a son with: Ratonhnhaké:ton. This was the first time we saw Boston in the Assassin’s Creed series. The events in Boston were a part of a lot of missions in the game. The protagonist Connor helped in the Boston Tea Party and even witnessed the Boston Massacre back in 1770.

During the first stages of the American Revolution, Connor helped defending the towns from the British Army in the battle of Lexington and Concord. The British were led by John Pitcairn. During the battle of Bunker Hill outside of Charlestown, a town just north of the city, Connor assassinated John Pitcairn in his encampment.

The next blog in this series will tell about Philadelphia and what impact that location had on the franchise will. The city of Philadelphia has a rich history and is featured in Assassin’s Creed III.