Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770 between a “patriot” mob throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks, and a squad of British soldiers.

The presence of British troops in the city of Boston was increasingly unwelcome. The riot began when about 50 citizens attacked a British sentinel. A British officer, Captain Thomas Preston, called in additional soldiers who fired into the mob, killing 3 colonists on the spot (a black sailor Crispus Attucks, a rope maker Samuel Gray, and a mariner named James Caldwell), and wounding 8 others, two of whom died later.

A town meeting was called demanding the removal of the British and the trial of Captain Preston and his men for murder. At the trial, John Adams and Josiah Quincy II defended the British, leading to their acquittal and release. Samuel Quincy and Robert Treat Paine were the attorneys for the prosecution. Later, two of the British soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter.

The Boston Massacre was a key event leading to the Revolutionary War. It led directly to the Royal Governor evacuating the occupying army from the town of Boston. It would soon bring the revolution to armed rebellion throughout the colonies.

Source: Boston Massacre
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