When British soldiers marched to Concord on April 19, 1775, what were they searching for? As far back as September 1774, royal governor Gen. Thomas Gage and the Massachusetts resistance movement had begun to seize all the cannon they could. The resulting "arms race” included a massive militia uprising, raids on shore batteries, thefts from armories under redcoat guard, spies and counterspies, and an armed takeover of a harbor fort—all before the traditional start of the Revolutionary War. This lecture explores how Massachusetts' political conflict with the Crown turned military, and why both sides kept this history secret J. L. Bell is the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War. He shares his work and other Revolutionary news through daily updates on his website, Boston1775.net. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Revolution and assistant editor of the Colonial Comics series published by Fulcrum Books.