Boston Massacre1 Essay

This essay has a total of 938 words and 5 pages.

Boston Massacre1



John Hancock stated “Let this sad tale of death never be told without a tear; let not the
heaving bosom cease to burn with a manly indignation at the barbarous story . . .” during
his oration of the massacre on 5 March 1774. The “Boston Massacre” as it was called, was
really not a massacre in the sense that a lot of people were slaughtered, it was a
massacre in the sense that British government’s authority was not to be tolerated. During
the next eighteen months, tensions between the Colonists and the British would increase.

On a cold morning in February 1770, eleven-year old Christopher Seider was one of several
hundred adults and youths surrounding the house of ebenezer Richardson. Richardson was a
known Tory informer for the British customs commissioners. Mob demonstrations protesting
the Townshend Acts were common, some spontaneous and some organized. At Richardson’s
house the crowd was becoming unruly and started breaking windows and one stone thrown hit
Richardson’s wife. Richardson grabbed an unloaded musket and shoved it through one of the
broken windows. Seeing the musket just seemed to add fuel to the fire and the crowd
knocked down the front door. Richardson loaded and fired into the mob fatally wounding
Seider who died that evening.

Four days after Sieder’s funeral, a British soldier named Thomas Walker of the 29th
Regiment inquired about a job at John Gray’s Ropewalk. It was common for a British
soldier to moonlight while off duty to supplement their incomes. Ropemaker William Green
told Walker “to go clean the outhouse”. In response to the insult, a fistfight broke
out between Walker and Green . Walker was beaten very badly and when he had the chance
ran and enlisted some of his British peers into the fight. The fray was renewed and the
soldiers were bested again. The only advantaged to either side gained from the
altercation was a few aches and pains.

On Monday 5 March 1770, Private Hugh White of the 29th Regiment was on guard duty at the
sentry box on King Street near the Custom House. Being that the King’s taxes and gold
were secured at the Custom House made this sentry duty all the more high risk to the
British. Captain Goldfinch, an officer of the 29th Regiment, was being taunted by several
citizens for not paying his bills to local merchants. Private White recovering from the
skirmish the previous night was not going to let the hooligans bother Captain Goldfinch.
In response to the insults, Private White butt-stroked a teenager by the name of Edward
Garrick. Over fifty townspeople started to gather and challenge both White and Goldfinch
to fight. As the crowd began to get larger, the British soldiers realized that the
situation was about to explode.

Captain Thomas Preston’s account of the massacre is the only official report on the events of the fifth of March 1770.
Captain Preston, Officer of the Guard, heard that a crowd had formed in front of the
Custom Hose and that the guards were hollering for help. According to his account of the
incident Preston stated “That he immediately rushed to the Custom House and formed his men
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