Boston Massacre • Important view points to consider: • British • Colonists • Paul Revere • John Bufford • John Adams
March 5, 1770—Townshend Acts are repealed • Troops guarded the Boston Customs House • Mob harasses the troops: throwing rocks, ice balls, sea shells—Dared them to fire • Captain Preston & other Patriot leaders tried to persuade the mob to go home • First shot accidently went off, killing Crispus Attucks
6 in all died from injuries sustained from the riot • 3 died instantly: ropemakerSamuel Gray, mariner James Caldwell, and CrispusAttucks • Samuel Maverick, an apprentice ivory turner of seventeen,was struck by a ricocheting musket ball at the back of the crowd, and died a few hours later, in the early morning of the next day. • An Irish immigrant, Patrick Carr, died two weeks later. • Christopher Monk, another apprentice, was crippled and eventually died in 1780.
Massacre or Self - Defense?
The Trial • John Adams—lawyer, Patriot, Founding Father • Believed in the right of a fair trial • Defended the British soldier, despite popular opinion • Argued the troops acted in self-defense • Jury found 6 not guilty & 2 guilty of manslaughter (causing death w/o meaning to)
It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever. John Adams