Sons of Liberty (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - Independence - full transcript

As Sam Adams and John Hancock barely manage to escape, the superior British Royal Army massacres the rest of colonial militia at the famed Battle of Lexington. The two forces clash again at Concord, forcing the British to retreat back to Boston. While both sides prepare for an inevitable war, Sam and Hancock work with Ben Franklin to desperately convince the rest of the colonial representatives in Congress to support their cause--independence. When General Thomas Gage learns of his wife Margaret's affair with Sam's friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, Gage launches a full-out assault on the colonists at Bunker Hill. Sam uses the news of the battle to persuade the rest of the colonies to vote for independence. As British warships fire on Manhattan, The Revolutionary War begins, but the rebels will now face their enemy not as individual colonies, but as a single, united country.

Previously on Sons of Liberty...

Taking your ship, you Loyalist bastard.

All of this violence and unrest,

it is bad for business.

It's all money for you.
Isn't that what this is about?

You can't force us to drink your junk tea

when it's at the bottom of the harbor.

Is nothing to be done to
quash this insurrection?

General Gage.

Your service as governor has concluded.

General Gage is a cancer.

He brings with him only
suffering and death.

Ahh! No!

Is this how you treat
loyal British citizens?

Not British. They're colonists.

And all of you will be
treated however I see fit

until you learn to submit to your king.

Well, I cannot leave a lady stranded.

Let me take you home.

The British oppression in
Boston is constant and unending.

Boston has brought this
outrage upon itself.

These men are not going
to give you an army.

And what would you have us do?

I suggest that you make one.

Mr. Adams, whatever you need, I'm in.

James Barrett.

Revere says you're a
man who can be trusted.

Me and Paul go way back.

Word around Boston is that
Gage is coming for you.

You'll be shot dead in the streets.

A damn martyr... is that what you want?

I want justice.

I know what you and your friends are doing,

and I want to be a part of it.

You actually witnessed
Samuel Adams and John Hancock.

Good. I want to see them both hanged.

Get saddled.

Gage's troops are on the
march for Adams and Hancock.

We're gonna get there first.

We have to stay, and we have to fight.

Those men out there are giving their lives

- to protect us... to protect me.
- Sam. Sam!

If you die, this whole thing dies with you.

I'll warn them in Concord.

The Redcoats are coming!

Disperse now.

Not another inch of
this field will you take.

Prepare to fire.

Let them fire first.




[gunshots, men shouting]

Second ranks.

Fall out.


[gunshots, men shouting]




Shoot him. Quick, shoot him!


There he is.




[both groaning]


It's all right.



You hurt?

I'll survive.


Thank you.

I'm gonna head for Concord.

Get him and get to safety.


Look after yourself.


Adams and Hancock have escaped.

We've searched everywhere.

They knew we were coming.

Someone talked.

Shall we return to Boston, sir?

[men groaning]

We will carry out our orders.

Prepare the troops to march to Concord.


[coughing, groaning]

Bring me that one.


Where is Sam Adams?

Answer me.


Who warned Adams we were coming?

[wheezing, spitting]

Answer me.



Kill him.


To Concord!

[man shouting marching orders]

[dramatic orchestral music]

♪ ♪

[cannon explodes]

♪ ♪


Who are you?

What are you doing on my land?

I'm William Dawes.

I'm a friend of Paul Revere's.

The British are on their way
with a full regiment of men.

Whatever you got in that barn,

all of Massachusetts knows you've got it.

Are you able to hide it?

Could need to wake some people up.

Let's move it, men.

Come on, wrap those muskets.

Faster, faster!

Back, back, back.

Let's go.


Where's the weapons?


Let's hope so.

20 men back that way,

back to the other side of the house.

The rest of you, follow me.

Regiment, halt!

[horse chuffs]

Forward, march.

Captain James Barrett.

Been a long time since
anyone called me "Captain."


Major John Pitcairn,

His Majesty's British Marines.

Always a pleasure to meet
a fellow military man.

At least, I've heard that.

Clear the tree line!

[man relaying orders]

You fought against the
savages, did you not?


Against 'em, and with 'em,

but those were different times.

Well, I suppose the thrill of war

has a way of distorting time.

I never found war

to be much of a thrill.

Well, I suppose war has a way
of distorting judgment as well.

I just finished planting my bean crop,

so I'm afraid I don't have
much to offer your men.


Some milk, a few chickens.

Welcome to it.

How about gunpowder?


Well, muskets, loading rods,

maybe even a cannon?


What the hell would I do with a cannon?

One of your old war comrades

was sighted around these parts.

I'm sure you remember Paul Revere.

I haven't seen Paul Revere in ages.

We know that your farm is
being used to store weapons.

Now, if you save us the
trouble of searching for them,

I will personally see to it
that you are not punished.

In fact, you'll be rewarded.

Now, if, however, we are
forced to search your farm,

and we do so much as find

a single horn of gunpowder...

Very well, then.

Tear the place apart.

Search everywhere!

[man shouting orders]

Search everywhere!

[man shouting orders]


Barn is clear.

House is clear.



Well, we found something.


Memento from the thrill of war.


is hardly treason.

Now, leave me to tend to my farm.

It's in great need of repair.


Wait for it.


Well, nostalgia is what's
going to get you killed.



Fall back on me!



Fall back to the bridge!

Retrieve the colors!

[men shouting indistinctly]

[horse whinnying]

Fall back to the bridge!

Your prize.

Let's dig up the weapons.

Time to take back our city.

[all cheering]


Dismount when reporting
to your commanding officer.

Yes, sir.

What is this?

Their men fought viciously.

Like savages, sir.

Where are they?

Marching close behind.

They may already be outside the city.

Where are Adams, Hancock,
the rebel munitions?

I don't know, sir.

You have no excuse for your failure?

Sir, the rebels knew we were coming.

My men performed a thorough
search of a property.

The munitions were gone,

and they had enough time
to prepare an assault.

I alone gave the order to march, major.

You and your officers were the
only men who knew the objective.

Please do not question
my officers' loyalty, sir.

Treason against the crown is
a crime punishable by hanging.

We are servants of the king.

You have my word that not one of us

has spoken against his majesty.

I'll swear to it.

Examine your ranks from the highest officer

to the lowliest sentry.

No gambling houses, no
brothels, no taverns.

Every British soldier
will be either on report

or confined to the barracks.

Yes, sir.

Make yourself presentable
before your report to my office.

Perhaps then you could
explain where your colors are.



You scared me.

Your doctor, Dr. Warren.

You've seen a lot of him.

You wouldn't happen to know whom
he was friendly with, would you?

Samuel Adams.

John Hancock.

Has your doctor ever mentioned
either of those names?


I wouldn't know anything about that.

I hardly knew the man.

I know it was you.

What have you done?

Their blood is on your hands.




When was the last time you ate something?

Is it true about you and Gage's wife?

You've always looked out for me.

But this time I'm telling you...

be careful.

I need a word.

You here about Kelly?


I'm sorry.

We'll have our revenge soon enough.

They've called for a
second continental congress.

They demand an explanation from you.

They want it right now?

Yes, now.

In case they hadn't noticed,

we're in the middle of a fight here.

That's what they're afraid of.

What's the point?

So I can watch them write
another love letter to the king?

Gage's troops will be back.

More men, more firepower.

He's right.

They'll join the British.

They'll proclaim sides

and they'll join the British against us.

No, he's right.

He's right.

I've been around rich men my whole life,

and they will not lose.

They will not lose their fortunes.

Anything but their fortunes.

They will always take the side of power.

Now, gentlemen,

the crown, Gage, the empire...

they will stop at nothing
to make these men turn.

And they will turn.

If they'd have offered it to me,

I would've taken it.

Warren and I will stay here.

We'll hold the line.


But you're coming with us.

Draft a letter to Lord North.

Tell him Parliament must authorize

a greater British presence
here in the colonies.

If they can send 5,000
soldiers, demand 10,000.

If they can send 10,000, demand 20,000.

This is a war.

It's time you all started
treating it as such.

General Clinton,

secure the city.

I want every exit sealed.

Yes, sir.

Your men are to shoot anyone
trying to leave Boston.

I don't care if they're
in full British uniform.

No one is above suspicion.



[indistinct chatter]


I see no soldiers in the
streets of Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania is not at war.

New York is not at war.

Boston is at war.

None of this would've
happened if it wasn't for him.

It's true.

If it wasn't for Sam Adams
and his thuggish friends,

we wouldn't be in this position.

We would be living our lives,


and British.

You, sir,

have escalated this situation.

You and your band of rebels.

You weren't there.

None of you!

None of you have seen

what has been happening in Boston.

Good men have lost their lives,

and you are sitting here and arguing

and look for someone to blame.

Well, here I am!

I am here.

I'm here to work with you.

I am here to work with
you towards a solution.

To a problem you created.

[all jeering]

This is not a good situation.

We need these men.

I know someone that can help.

So this is where greatness resides.

I am honestly amazed he's still alive.

Now, I mean, delightful.

It was delightful.

Your usual fee, and...


A little extra.


I'll see you next Thursday.


What are you doing in my house?

We had an appointment, Dr. Franklin.

My name is John Adams.

That's Mr. John Hancock,

my cousin Samuel Adams.

We're the congressional
delegates from Boston, sir.


Well, as long as you're not
here to ransack the place.

Come on in.

We have Boston surrounded.

Gage and his men still control the city,

but now that we've cut off Charlestown,

they can't hold off much longer.

But they'll be coming for us.

What's the status of the militia?

We're growing every day.

But these men are untrained.
They're unorganized.

Can we withstand a
full-out British attack?

A few charges, maybe.

But a full-scale attack?

So you want to operate your businesses

without someone else taking it over...


And live in your own houses

without the fear of someone taking it.

Absolutely, yes.

You want the, uh,

the right...

to not be at the whim of a king.


Well, gentlemen,

I've been in England
for more than a decade,

and I can assure you
that you're not gonna get

any of those rights or freedoms from them.

You're not talking about
defending your rights

as Englishmen.

You're talking about a new country.

A country?


All the colonies united.

A new nation.

It's the only way it's gonna work.

Is that really what you want?

- Well, I suppose...
- Yes.

Well, that, uh,

that's an absolutely batshit crazy idea.

It's exactly what I want too.


Let's see if we can sell
this idea to anyone else.

Mr. Jefferson, hope we
can count on your support.

Consider me a friend to the cause.

That was easy.

Oh, I talked to him earlier.

He was with us from the beginning.

Now let's get to work.


It is a bold proposition, gentlemen.

I grant you that.

But, my good men, I stand before you

as a man who has taken the leap

and as a man who, as a consequence,

is reaping the benefits.

It's South Carolina I have to think about.

Well, we are dependent on
Britain to buy our cotton.

You know that I'm very
close to French, right?

What if I was able to make
those markets available to you?

What if I were able to assure you

that any saltpeter

procured for any continental militia

would come solely from your colony?

Tell me what some of your concerns may be.

Perhaps I can find a way to alleviate them.

I think I have Button
Gwinnett from Georgia.

Now, all he needs is an assurance

that we won't meddle with his land grants.

It's not gonna work.

It will.

It takes time.

Time is the one thing that we don't have.

Gage still has Boston.

We're talking about
purchasing more saltpeter

from Rhode Island.

Mr. Adams, you're missing the point.

We need to appeal to their motivations.

And they're all different.

You're talking about starting a country.

What kind of country would that be?

Mr. Adams, you have a lot to learn,

and I suggest you learn it quickly.

If 12 years standing in front of Parliament

has taught me anything,

it's that politics is a chess match.

You must think five moves ahead.

And what happens five
moves from where we are now?

We take their king.


Tomorrow we break this stalemate.

You are Britain's best.

We shall not be outsmarted
by these traitorous colonists.

With respect, sir, we're
outnumbered and surrounded.

They may be colonists, but they
still know how to fire a gun.

I don't want your excuses.

I want the scalp of every
colonial savage in those hills.

There might be one way,
but it will be costly:

we attack them across the
river here at Bunker Hill.

If we can overtake them
and secure the high ground

around Charlestown...

Sir, the loss of life
would be catastrophic.

The losses will be significant,

but reinforcements are on their
way from London as we speak.

The one thing we can
afford to lose is soldiers.

We can't afford to lose Boston.

Significant, sir.

That's how you describe
thousands of lives at stake...


I beg your pardon, sir, it's just...


We attack tomorrow at first light.

Ready the troops.

What we march to do today,

we do for King and Country.

soldiers: For King and Country!

I need your hearts,

your souls.

Many of us will die today.

And we will die with honor.

soldiers: For King and Country!

For King and Country!

Huzzah! Huzzah!

To Bunker Hill!

[shouting orders]

Forward, march!

[bell dinging]

Looks like they're gonna
come through Charlestown.

We need to fortify Bunker Hill.

Let's move.

Mr. Revere.

Found some friends of mine.

Thought you might want some help.

Welcome, gentlemen.

We can use every hand we can get.

You heard the man. Go on
inside and get some axes.

That's the last of it.

What do you mean, that's the last?

That's all we got.

Gage is one his way here
with five men-of-war ships

and 3,000 men, at least.

We don't have the ammunition.

We're gonna get one,
maybe two shots at most.

"I shall not want.

"He maketh me lie down in green pastures.

"He leadeth me beside the still waters.

"He restores my soul.

"He leadeth me in the path of righteousness

for his name's sake."

I know you're afraid.

There's no shame in fear.

Any man with something lose fears death.

Dear God...

Here they come.

Send word to the camp, now.

Hold the high ground.
They don't get this bunker.

Ready your weapons!

Move it out!

Hand me that rifle.

[man shouting orders]






Rapid fire.

Rapid fire!

[cannon blasts]

Back to the redoubt!

Get back!

Back to the redoubt!

[men screaming]

You'll be okay.

Hang tight. I'll be back.

Let's get back in the fight!

Start the advance.

Ready, up!

[men chant together]

Conserve your ammunition!

Fire only on my command.

Start the advance!


[men chanting]

Hold your fire.




Wait for my order.



[men screaming]


Fall back!

[men shouting]

They're retreating!


We've got 'em where we want. Cannons!

[cannon blasts]

Halt the retreat.

Halt the retreat!

Start the second advance.

Yes, sir.


Lead them yourself.

For the glory of the marines,


[men screaming]

We're running out of ammo!

Conserve your ammunition!

Salem, aim for the officers.

Yes, sir.


[men groaning, screaming]

[man screams]






[clears throat]

I warned you our losses would be severe.

Be patient, General. You
will have your victory.

[men screaming]

Fall back!

Warren, We have to get out of here!


Warren, we got to go. We've
got to get out of here.


Dragoons with me!


[men screaming, groaning]

[men groaning]




Mutilate the body.


Is it him?


He is dead.

No! No!

[grunting, gasping]



I killed him myself.


The coward died trying to run away.

Pack for England.

You're on the next ship out of the harbor.

My wife is sick.

Restrain her if she attempts to leave.

Yes, sir.



No one is asking you
to abandon hostilities.

We're not blind to the
plight of New England.

Then why do you insist
on being so unhelpful?

Our forefathers thrived on
a sacred union with England.

I, for one, am not prepared
to destroy that bond.

Not while war is still avoidable.


You are aware you're not the only delegate

for Pennsylvania, right?

I am.

I still have to follow my conscience.

And I'm not.

There will be no peace.

We've just received news from Boston.

Hundreds of our militia
men were slaughtered

by General Gage and his troops,

along with our friend, Dr. Joseph Warren.

These were all brave and true patriots.

We should observe a moment of silence.


We have observed enough silence.

- We need action.
- Mr. Washington...

General Gage is a ruthless, brutal tyrant

who will stop at nothing.

I will ride to Boston.

I will take care of him myself.

Are there any objections?

Good day, gentlemen.


Assemble our reserve forces.

I want a full-scale attack

as soon as our soldiers are walking again.

Sir, our victory at Bunker Hill

has had little consequence.

We've lost hundreds of men.

We have suffered losses, yes,

but 100 of ours means far
less than 100 of theirs.

We attack again before they
can replenish their numbers.

But, sir, the reinforcements from London

should be here shortly.

Let's bide our time.

Tell me, what did we fight that battle for?

We have them on the run.

We must push forward at all costs.


What are you doing?

I'm going somewhere that I can be useful.

You can be useful here.

Nothing's happening here.

We've been at this for weeks.

No, your cousin, Mr. Franklin, me...

we have been at it.

You have been no help at all.

Can you deny it?

Have you done anything
to convince these men?

These men...

these men are all terrified.

They're all just in it for themselves.

They all want something.

Yes, they do,

but you do not.

I didn't understand at first, but now I do.

All you want is for things
to be fair for everyone.

If you leave, everyone else will leave.

You have to stay and convince them.

You have convinced me!

A man with everything to lose.

Look at me.

Look at me.

I am broke.


this is all I have left.

You're the only one with no agenda.

You're the only one who can make these men

hear the truth.

Good luck.

So we don't even have a
third of the house yet?


What about South Carolina?

I have no idea what
South Carolina is gonna do

at this point.

Well, unless it's unanimous,
it does us no good.

General Gage will pick
us off colony by colony.

All right.

But enough of the bullshit.

Let's try this my way.

Glad you're back.

[bell dinging]

[men shouting]

Mr. Revere.

George Washington.

I am very happy to meet you.

I regret I was unable to arrive sooner.

That's a lot of men.

Gathered every militia
from here to Philadelphia.

They're good men.

They're prepared to
fight for their freedom.

We could use the help.

Gage is most likely
preparing for a final charge

to break through whatever fortifications

you might have left.

So we must be ready.

George Washington?

Yes, sir.

How many soldiers does he have?

Oh, at least 6,000.

We need to get out of this city.

It'll be a fight.

They have Boston surrounded,
and we've lost too many men.

Reinforcements from
London are on their way.

No, send a messenger to George Washington.

Tell him I want to speak with him.

Yes, sir.

We need unity, one voice.

Any holdouts to the cause

undermine our argument completely.

I'm sorry, Mr. Adams, but
that's just a bridge too far.

I understand your trepidation,

but a vote from you...

That's treason.

Is there something funny, Mr. Adams?

You still think you have a choice,

do you, Mr. Rutledge?

They will take your possessions.

They will rip you from your home.

And they'll kill you.

Sure as I'm standing here right now.

I would think about it, if I were you.

Leave us.

It's all right.



I see you've finally found an
army, if you can call it that,

willing to promote you to General.

They honor me with that title, yes.

It's not the first time you
and I have stood by a fire

in these godforsaken wilds.

There is something oddly
comforting about that.

I was already a seasoned officer

when General Braddock dragged me here

along with 4,000 of his troops.

We were to save a colonial commander

who failed to defend our borders here.

I'm sure you remember.

Fort Necessity.

That was it.

Our position was lost to the French,

and yet, Braddock appointed
that same Colonial Commander...


as his personal

I have to say,

my fellow officers and
I were greatly surprised.

Nonetheless, I was honored
to lead the advance attack.

Braddock and you,

his ambitious errand boy,
were to hold the rear guard...

a chaotic mess of ill-trained pig farmers

who dissolved into hysteria

at the first sounds of battle.

You allowed the enemy to flank us

and forced us into a devastating retreat.

Over 1,000 British casualties,

including General Braddock himself,

whom you had personally
sworn to serve and protect.

That was a long time ago.

I've often wondered, General Washington,

what it was like as Braddock
lay dying in your arms.

What must he have said to you?

He said...

"We shall better know how
to deal with them next time."

And here we are.

You would do well to remember

that I continued fighting
alongside the British army

with those pig farmers.

But they learned.

Point of fact,

you are here now because of them.

Yes, the irony is not lost.


I expect you will be asking me

to allow you and your men to leave Boston.

Yes, very good.

And you'll give us free passage.

Why would I do that?

Well, if you don't,

I'll burn Boston to the ground.

There are a great many homes in this city.

Homes filled with the
families of your soldiers.

So be it.

You never did get that commission

with the British army you so coveted.


Thank God.

It's a shame.

It's a mistake.

We'll have the city within the week.

Why give them free passage now?

We lost Bunker Hill
because of their numbers,

not their passion.

Why give them any further
victory that would harm ours?

Boston blackened by fire
just as Charlestown was

would be a blow to morale.

And we have a long war to fight.

We agreed to let them leave unmolested.

They will not leave unfollowed.

So that we will

"better know how to deal
with them next time."

[indistinct chatter]

That's George Read, from Delaware.

Scare him.

Mr. Read...

[indistinct chatter]

Mr. Franklin.



At some point this is
all gonna come to a vote.

Somebody needs to preside over it.

It should be you.

You want me to preside over congress?

But what about Sam?

Did you know I grew up in Boston?

Yes, sir. I was aware of that.

Your uncle was a...

well, quite an impressive man...

at least in some ways...

to some people.

That he was.

You see, here's the thing, John:

I know where you come from.

And I know now where you've ended up.

You're the right man for the job.

- _
- [crowd shouting jeers]


[fireworks exploding]

They think it's over.

So we have most of the room.

Just a few holdouts.

Yes, we're close.

Very close.

It's time to write it down.

A document,

a declaration of our independence.

The writer should be someone
from outside the Boston circle.

A Southerner.

They're the ones holding us back.

Someone young, someone likeable.

Exact opposite of you.


I have someone in mind.

Mr. Jefferson.

Mr. Adams.

We have a task for you.

Good day to you, sir.

Good day.

Seems the British
warships are heading South.

How many ships?

At least 60.

So London sent reinforcements.

He's trying to finish this now.

Head to Philadelphia, Mr. Revere.

We must warn them.

Ready the men at once.

We'll march at dawn.

I don't know how you do things in Georgia,

but in Boston, that's not very funny.


If you gentlemen would excuse
me just for two minutes.

One moment, Nathaniel. I'll be back.

What are you doing here?

Four beers, please.

Gage's full fleet is
approaching the harbor.

There's no longer any doubt.

They're gonna attack New York.

How long?

Couple days, at most.

Are they joining the cause?

Most of them.

Well, we're out of time.

Whatever's gonna happen here
needs to happen right now.

Why don't you come say hello?

Gentlemen, apologies.

Got you a fresh drink there.

I want to introduce you to
a very close friend of mine,

Mr. Paul Revere.

He brings news from
General George Washington.

How do you do?

He's fresh down from Boston.

[indistinct chatter]

That is a fine suit,

Mr. Adams.

We have a full house.

You just need to tell them the truth.

Are you ready?

It's now or never.

[indistinct chatter]

I know what most of you think of me,

that I'm a thug,

a smuggler,


That I started all of this,

asked for it,

a drunk who never did
anything with his life

and has caused all this
trouble for everybody.

Well, I'm here today

to tell you...

That you're right.

I am.

I am all of those things, and more.

But in the eyes of the crown,

I'm nothing.

In the eyes of the crown,

you are nothing.

You're just colonists.

Who do you want to be?

I mean, the answer actually
isn't even important.

It's the idea that we even have the right

to ask the question,

"Who do we want to be?"

We don't need a birthright.

We don't need a family crest.

And we certainly don't need
the king's damn permission.

What we need is a fair and equal chance.

The freedom to live our
lives the way that we see fit,

and the confidence that that freedom

cannot be taken away from us.


that is our God-given right.

And I for one am willing to fight for it.

Willing to die for it.







New Hampshire.






North Carolina.

This is going to happen.

How do you want to be remembered?

I will be remembered
however history sees fit.

South Carolina.



You do whatever you're gonna do.

I abstain.

Pennsylvania votes aye.




The resolution for
independence is hereby passed.

[applause, indistinct chatter]

Your father would be proud.

Thank you.


Here. You've earned this.

Sure you wrote it big enough?

Hmm, yes.

Ol' King George should be able to see that.


When in the course of human events

it becomes necessary for
one people to dissolve

the political bands which have
connected them with another,

a decent respect requires
that they declare the causes

which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their creator

with certain unalienable rights,

and among these,

life, liberty,

and the pursuit of happiness.

To secure these rights,

governments are instituted among men,

deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed.

And whenever any form of government

becomes destructive of these ends,

it is the right of the people
to alter or to abolish it

and to establish new government.

We, therefore,

the representatives of the
United States of America,

do, and with the authority
of the good people

of these colonies,

solemnly publish and declare

that these united colonies are,

and of right ought to be,

free and independent states;

That they are absolved of all allegiance

to the British crown

and that all political
connection between them

and the state of Great Britain

is and ought to be totally dissolved.

In the support of this declaration,

with a firm reliance on the
protection of divine providence,

we mutually pledge to each other our lives,

our fortune, and our sacred honor!

[cheers and applause]


[cannon blasts]

[explosions, men shouting]