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Boston Massacre

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Boston Massacre Essay, Research Paper

The British had decided in 1763 to keep an army in the colonies

and to tax the colonists to pay for it. Then the British Parliament

passed the Quartering Act in 1765. Colonists had to house British

soldiers and give each one candle and five pints of beer a day.

“Go back to England!!” the townspeople yelled as 4,000 Redcoats

got off their ships, and marched through the streets of Boston. It

was 1768 and the Redcoats moved to Boston to make sure the

people there paid their taxes. For two years the Redcoats were

there, they threatened each other, fist fights broke out,

townspeople threw eggs at the Redcoats, people trained their dogs

to bite the Redcoats, and people also called them names.For

instance, kids called them “lobster backs” and “bloody backs.”

Also, it was very crowded onthe streets, because there was about

20,000 people in Boston.

“By Sunday night, March 4th, 1770, Boston was boiling….. A

little after eight, soldiers, armed with cudgels and tongs, emerged

from Murray’s Barracks near the center of the town. To the

surprise of almost no one, a crowd– composed largely, a hostile

witness said, ‘of saucy boys, Negroes, and mulattoes, Irish Teagues

and outlandish Jack Tars’– Gathered and traded insults with the

soldiers. In the center of this crowd an imposing man who was no

stranger to ‘white people’s quarrels.’ His name was Crispus

Attucks, and he was a Massachusetts native who had escaped from

slavery ans sailed the seas. Tall, brawny, with a look that ‘was

enough to terrify any person,’ Attucks was well known around the

docks in lower Boston. Needless to say, he was not a proper

Bostonian, a fact that has pained innumerable historians. He was

instead a proper rebel, a drifter, a man who loved freedom and

knew what it was worth. He was about forty-seven on this

memorable night, and he had that undefinable quality called

presence. When he spoke, men listened. Where he commanded,

men acted….. It was Attucks, according to eyewitnesses, who

shaped and dominated the action on the night of the event known

to history as the Boston Massacre. And when the people faltered, it

was Attucks, according to almost all contemporary reports, who

rallied them and urged them to stand their ground. The people,

responding to his leadership, stood firm; so did the soldiers. The

two sides exchanged insults, and a fight flared. Attucks, who

seems to have been everywhere on this night, led a group of

citizens who drove the soldiers back to the gate of the barracks.

The soldiers rallied and drove the Boston crowd back.”

On March 5th, British troops were quartered in the city to

discourage demonstrations against the Townshend Acts which

imposed duties on imports to the colonies. As a result of the

constant harassment and some boys in their teens who began

throwing snowballs(some with rocks in them), the Redcoats had to

start defending themselves. They began to fire at the colonists.

Once the smoke cleared from the guns, five townspeople were

dead, and others were hurt.

The people who died were: Crispus Attucks, killed by two

snowballs entering his head, Samuel Gray, a worker at a rope walk

was killed also by two snowballs entering his head, James

Coldwell, a mate on an American ship was killed instantly when

two snowballs entered his back, Samuel Maverick, who was a

young seventeen year old male was mortally wounded and died the

next morning, and Patrick Carr, a feather maker died as well.

Paul Revere created a woodcut of the massacre. The woodcut was

a “Masterpiece of Propaganda” meaning it was a lie. The woodcut

was copied and sent throughout the colonies.

Attached was this poem:

“Unhappy Boston! See thy sons deplore. Thy hallowed walk

besmear’d with guiltless give!”

The woodcut caused colonists to want independene.

The eight soldiers and their commanding officer, were tried for

murder, and were defended by the American lawyers John Adams

and Josiah Quincey. Two were declared guilty of manslaughter

and after claiming benefit of clergy were branded on the thumb;

the others including the officer, were acquited.

The funny thing about the Boston Massacre was that there was not

a massacre at all, but a street fight between a Boston mob and a

squad of British soldiers. It was called a ‘massacre’ because several

colonists were killed by the soldiers. The name was invented by

speechmakers and used tohelp stir the anger of the crowds. The

Boston Massacre was one of the events which led up to the

Revolutionary War.

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Related works:
The Boston Massacre
Boston Massacre An Anonymous Account
The Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party

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