It was on this day in history that the famous "Bloody Massacre" or "Boston Massacre" occurred. The Boston Massacre happened on March 5, 1770. It was a street fight between a mob of patriots that threw sticks, stones and snowballs at a group of British soldiers. The soldiers responded violently by shooting and killing multiple people in the mob.
Soldiers Fired into the Crowd
The massacre took place at a time when the people of Boston were growing increasingly weary of British troops, which had occupied the city since 1768. On March 5, 1770, a group of approximately 50 citizens decided that enough was enough and attacked a British soldier. Captain Thomas Preston from the British troops ordered more soldiers to help, but these soldiers were also attacked. The soldiers began firing their weapons into the crowd of people, and three citizens were killed as a result.
Among the fatally wounded victims, three died immediately. They were: Crispus Attucks, a black sailor; Samuel Gray, a ropemaker; and James Caldwell, a mariner. Another eight people were wounded in the incident. Two of those injured, Patrick Carr and Samuel Maverick, later died of their injuries.
Massacre Sparked Outrage Among the Citizenry
The deaths sparked outrage among colonists, and speech-writers went into action to craft speeches that served to further unite and enrage the people. The people of Boston held a meeting to demand that Captain Thomas Preston and the other soldiers be tried for murder, and to demand that the British troops leave the city. Josiah Quincy II and John Adams represented the British troops in their defense and secured the release and acquittal of most of them. However, the prosecution succeeded in finding two of the British soldiers guilty on manslaughter charges.
The Boston Massacre was a small but pivotal moment of resistance in the years prior to the American Revolutionary War. As a result of the massacre, the Royal Governor evacuated occupying British troops from Boston. Soon the colonies would erupt in full-blown armed rebellion, which eventually led to America's independence from the crown.
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