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When word of the United States’ Declaration of Independence reached New York City, a mob formed and tore down a statue of England’s King George III (the statue had been erected prior to the Revolutionary War by grateful colonists… a re-creation of that statue is now on display in a New York City park located just behind the famous “Bull” on Wall Street).

On July 9th, 1776 – after the Declaration of Independence was read to the Continental soldiers stationed there – a group of American soldiers and sailors slipped down under cover of night and tore it down.

Although the statue looked golden, it was made mostly of lead… and was melted down into approximately 42,000 musket balls for use by the rebel army. Many of the British soldiers shot during the war were, in fact, shot… by King George.

In a letter to Continental Army Gen. Horatio Gates, future postmaster general Ebenezer Hazard writes:

“The King of England’s arms have been burned in Philadelphia and his statue here [in New York] has been pulled down to make musket balls… so that his troops will probably have melted Majesty fired at them.”