Pennsylvania · Political

Continental soldiers begin an armed protest against Congress after not receiving wages for their military services

June 20, 1783
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Approximately 400 continental soldiers protest Congress, demanding payment for their services during the American Revolutionary War

The soldiers had assembled the day before, growing in number from 80 to 400. On June 20, they blocked the doors to the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall) and secured some of the areas used to store weapons. Muskets were aimed at the building and many of the soldiers displayed signs of being under the influence of alcohol, reportedly provided to them by local sympathetic tavern owners.

Congress sent Alexander Hamilton, who had served as a soldier during the war as well, to talk to the angry troops. He convinced them to allow the politicians time to figure out a way to pay the soldiers. Congress asked Pennsylvania’s militia for protection against the federal troops, which was denied. Instead, George Washington sent 1,500 troops to quell the mutiny and on June 26 the unit surrendered.

The mutiny was the first step in the relocation of the nation’s capitol from Pennsylvania to its current home in Washington DC.

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