From 1769-1776 Boston was the flashpoint for events leading up to the American Revolution. On February 22, 1770, a crowd gathered around the house and shop of a Tory sympathizer and customs agent, Ebenezer Richardson. When they started pelting the house with snowballs and debris, Richardson shot his gun into the crowd, hitting 12-year-old Christopher Snyder (or Christian Seider) in the stomach. Snyder died that night and was buried at Granary after a large funeral procession orchestrated by Samuel Adams. Black poetess, Phillis Wheatley (Sign #7), wrote an elegy entitled "On the death of Mr. Seider Murder'd by Richardson." Eleven days later on March 5, 1770, British troops shot and killed five demonstrators in what was dubbed "The Boston Massacre." The victims were Crispus Attucks, an African-American seaman; James Caldwell, also a seaman; Patrick Carr, who worked for a breeches-maker; Samuel Gray; and Samuel Maverick, an apprentice ivory-turner. The funeral march to Granary Burying Ground was said to have been witnessed by 10,000 to 12,000 people. Snyder and the "Boston Massacre" victims are buried together in Tomb 204.
On the evening of December 16, 1773, about 50 "Sons of Liberty" snuck onto three ships anchored at Griffen's Wharf and emptied over 300 crates of tea into Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act of 1773. While the identities of those at the "Tea Party" were kept secret, after the American Revolution many came forward, including Joseph Shed (d. 1812) who is buried in Tomb 69 and Matthew Loring (1751-1829) who is buried in Tomb 75.
Samuel Adams (1722-1803), patriot, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Massachusetts governor, graduated from Harvard in 1736. His father was Deacon Samuel Adams, a Boston brewer and merchant. Adams inherited the family business but was a poor businessman, spending all his resources on his real interest, politics. Described by those opposed to him as "the greatest incendiary in the Empire" and by his supporters as "father of the Revolution," Adams founded the Sons of Liberty and, with John Hancock and James Otis, led the anti-taxation protests in Boston. He held many town positions, established the Committee of Correspondence in 1762, and represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress. In 1788 he was a Massachusetts representative to Congress, served as lieutenant governor from 1789-1793, and became governor when John Hancock died in 1793. His is buried with his first wife, Elizabeth Checkley, in her family tomb (Tomb 68).
Tomb 74 contains the remains of Capt. Edward Blake (d. 1815) and his son Lt. Edward Blake Jr. (c. 1771-1817), both of whom served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Tomb 73 belongs to Joshua Blanchard (1693-1748), master mason and bricklayer. Blanchard laid the brick walls for the original Faneuil Hall designed by John Smibert, as well as the brickwork for the Old South Meeting House.
Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), Tomb 88, is one of three signers of the Declaration of Independence buried at Granary. Paine was born a few blocks away on School Street and graduated from Harvard College in 1749. He was one of the prosecuting attorneys in the Boston Massacre trial in 1770, described as "a rough, sometimes overbearing opponent, the perennial legal rival of John Adams." In 1774 Paine was chosen as one of the five Massachusetts delegates to the Continental Congress. Robert Treat Paine was Massachusetts' first attorney general and served as a judge of the Massachusetts Supreme Court from 1790-1804.