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The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC.In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city.Boston's proximity to the ocean made it a lively port, and the city primarily engaged in shipping and fishing during its colonial days.However, Boston stagnated in the decades prior to the Revolution.Howe reconsidered his invasion, and decided to withdraw.British troops evacuated Boston on March 17, which solidified the revolutionaries' control of the city.A network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region facilitated shipment of goods and led to a proliferation of mills and factories.Later, a dense network of railroads furthered the region's industry and commerce.
It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation.
When the British government passed the Stamp Act in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of Andrew Oliver, the official tasked with enforcing the Act, and Thomas Hutchinson, then the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.