Boston Massacre, the event that lead to the American Revolution, was a
significant event in the United States history. British soldier’s behaviors
were brought into the light, showing the mistreatment they were giving to the
colonist. They were taxing them and intruding in their homes for shelter and
food. Through this unfortunate event, it caused a lot of controversy and also an
article was published by the Gazette on March 12, 1770.1
The Boston Gazette describes a
Patriots memory of the Boston Massacre. The article started with a few soldiers
who were being rebellious around the streets causing commotions and hurting
Boston citizens. Then:
“a few minutes after nine o’clock
four youths, named Edward Archbald, William Merchant,
Francis Archbald, and John Leech, jun., came down Cornhill together, … the two former were passing the narrow alley
… in which was a solider brandishing a broad sword
of an uncommon size against the wall, out of which he struck fire plentifully”
this continued, the solider stuck Archbald with his sword on his arm. Coming to
Archbalds defense was his friend and attack him with a short stick. Because of
these actions it caused other citizens to come together, outnumbering the
British soldiers. Before the colonist
arrived, the article mentions that one of the soldiers, “ran to the barrack and
brought with him two soldiers,” and both were armed. This is the one of the
first actions that took place where it seems it could have been a premeditated
massacre of unarmed innocents.
This leads up to what seems to be a,
“fight between a snowball-throwing crowd of Bostonians and British troops
that escalated into an armed confrontation and left five Bostonians dead.”2
Now as small and less intense it may have been seemed by reading that, the
process was crazy as it happened. This was a moment where the colonist were
uniting to defend one another. So as thirty to forty men began to approach and
stand their ground, Captain Preston came with his party of men and armed. The
way the colonist attack was by throwing snowball and the Capitan began to push
and yelling “fire”, resulting in more snowballs to be thrown. The captain’s
frustration began to grow and yelled to his men, “damn you, fire be the consequence
what it will,” causing one soldier to shoot and as one started others continue.
Though it may have seemed a bit
exaggerated on how everything occurred but it does not change the negative
thoughts that are being seen towards the British troop because of their
actions. All of the active shooters, the eight men and their captain, go
through a trial in Massachusetts and the man that defended them was John Adams.
As Adams was able to get, “seven were not guilty, while two were convicted of manslaughter,”
but that was not going to just slide right by. A man named Paul Revere, a
member of the Boston Sons of Liberty, a silversmith and a engraver, stirred the
pot creating an image showing how the British men firing into an unarmed crowd.
The print was obviously inaccurate because it showed no sign of the snow and
the colonists throwing the snowballs at the troops.
Foner, Eric. Give me liberty!: an American history. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2014.
“The Boston Gazette,
and Country Journal. Monday, March 12, 1770.” The Boston Gazette,
12 Mar. 1770,
Boston Gazette, and Country Journal. Monday, March 12, 1770.” The
Boston Gazette, 12 Mar. 1770,
Foner, Give me liberty!: an American history, 4th ed., vol. 1 (New
York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2014), 185-186.