Boston Massacre Essay

This essay has a total of 1809 words and 7 pages.

Boston Massacre





In my report I will be discussing the Boston Massacre. I will be looking at the
Boston Massacre from three different perspectives. These perspectives are the Boston
colonists and Samuel Adams, Tom Hutchinson, Lieutenant Governor and Acting
Governor in 1770, and Captain Preston and his troops. I will also hold some depositions
from people who were actually close or at the massacre. I will be show the differences
on how all three felt about the situation.
Due to great burden from the different acts that brought many unwanted taxes
from the British government, the minds of the Boston citizens were greatly irritated.
Some individuals were so irritated that they were abusive in their language towards the
military. The colonists felt like they were in a prison. Everywhere they turned they saw
guards. These guards would frequently question and harass people just passing by.
Parents were even getting worried for their daughters, because the soldiers would make
sexual remarks towards them. Many red-coats were in search of different off-duty jobs,
which meant they would be taking away jobs from the Boston laborers. Many times
when the soldiers left their barracks and were walking about the town, carried large
clubs, for the purpose of assaulting the people.
Many would say that the colonists had every right to be mad and irritated. But
what about the soldiers. They were just taking commands from the country that they are
defending and fighting for. To them they were just doing the right thing. But we all
know that they went to extremes by the frequent wounding of persons by their bayonets
and cutlasses, and the numerous instances of bad behavior in the soldiery. This also led
the colonists to figure out the England did not send those troops over for their well-being,
but were there just for the benefit of England. But once again, they were only taking
orders from England.
Early on the evening of March 5, 1770, a crowd of laborers began throwing hard
packed snowballs at soldiers guarding the Customs House. Goaded beyond endurance
the sentries acted against express orders and fired on the crowd, killing four and
wounding eight, one of whom dies a few days later.1 Here are the names of the people
who were wounded or killed.
Mr. Samuel Gray, killed on the spot by a ball entering his head.
Crispus Attucks, a mulatto, killed on the spot, by two balls entering his breast.
Mr. James Caldwell, killed on the spot, by two balls entering his back.
Mr. Samuel Maverick, a 17 year old, mortally wounded, he died the next morning.
Mr. Patrick Carr mortally wounded; he died the 14th instant.
Chris Monk and John Clark, youths about 17, dangerously wounded. Apprehended
they would die.
Mr. Edward Payne, merchant, standing at his door, wounded.
Messrs. John Green, Robert Paterson, and David Parker; all dangerously wounded.2
There were depositions in this affair which mention that several guns were fired
at the same time from the Custom House:
Benjamin Frizell, on the evening if the 5th of March, having taken his station
near the west corner of the Custom House in King St., before and at the time of the
soldiers firing their guns, declares that the first discharge was only of one gun, the next
of two guns, upon which he the deponent thinks he saw a man stumble. The third
discharge was of three guns, upon which he saw two men fall. Immediately afterward
five guns were discharged from the balcony, or the chamber window on the balcony. 3
Gillam Bass, being on King St. at the same time declares that the posted
themselves between the Custom house door and the west corner of it. In a few minutes
started to fire upon the people. 2 or 3 were really high which he believes must of came
from the balcony windows. 4
A few more men also declared the same thing. The most important factor there is
that they all testified that the y saw some of the shots coming from the higher balcony
windows. This proves that those soldiers were at no danger, but still took it upon
themselves to shoot at the citizens who were not harming them in any way.
The morning after the massacre, a town meeting was held; at which attended a
very great number of freeholders and inhabitants of the town. It was now time for the
town to speak up. They were deeply impressed and affected by the tragedy of the
preceding night, and were unanimously of opinion, it was incompatible with their safety
that the troops should remain any longer in the town. In consequence thereof they chose
a committee of fifteen gentlemen to wait upon his Honor the Lieutenant-Governor on
Council, to request of him to issue his orders for the immediate removal of the troops.
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