PHILOSOPHY AND TACTICS
The Sons of Liberty were responsible for many acts of mob violence. They typically tarred and feathered tax collectors. Contrary to popular conceptions and British propaganda, being tarred and feathered did not kill anyone. A tax collector would be roused out of his home, painted with warm tar, and then covered with chicken feathers. The stamp agent was not stripped of his clothing and the tar was never hot enough to burn his skin. However, he was covered with chicken feathers, which, unlike duck or goose down, are scratchy and uncomfortable. The tax collector was then placed on a wooden rail and carried out of town. As he was carried, the Sons of Liberty and other townspeople would shout abuse at him. The process was frightening and humiliating. The taxman would be left with bruises, scratches, ruined clothes, as well as emotional trauma.
The Sons of Liberty never deliberately
killed anyone. They sought to scare tax collectors into quitting their job.