Presentation on theme: "Boston Massacre A matter of perspective. Part One: Artwork Analysis Look at the following images and determine what events took place during the Boston."— Presentation transcript:
The Boston Gazette and Country Journal, March 12, 1770 Thirty or forty persons, mostly lads, being by this means gathered in King Street, Capt. Preston with a party of men with charged bayonets, came from the main guard to the commissioner's house, the soldiers pushing their bayonets, crying, make way! They took place by the custom house and, continuing to push to drive the people off pricked some in several places, on which they were clamorous and, it is said, threw snow balls. On this, the Captain commanded them to fire; and more snow balls coming, he again said, damn you, fire, be the consequence what it will! One soldier then fired, and a townsman with a cudgel struck him over the hands with such force that he dropped his firelock; and, rushing forward, aimed a blow at the Captain's head which grazed his hat and fell pretty heavy upon his arm. However, the soldiers continued the fire successively till seven or eight or, as some say, eleven guns were discharged. By this fatal maneuver three men were laid dead on the spot and two more struggling for life; but what showed a degree of cruelty unknown to British troops, at least since the house of Hanover has directed their operation, was an attempt to fire upon or push with their bayonets the persons who undertook to remove the slain and wounded!
Captain Thomas Preston Captain Thomas Preston of the 29th Regiment was, according to his commanding officer, Lt. Col. Carr, "as cool and distinct as any officer of his rank in the service." On the moonlit night of March 5, 1770, Preston was officer of the day. When a guard alerted Preston of a potentially life-threatening situation, Preston began pacing in front of the Main Guard, considering his not-very-good options. He paced for thirty minutes before yelling to his troops, "Turn out, damn your bloods, turn out!" Preston, in his redcoat with lace hat and drawn sword, followed his soldiers to the scene of the trouble. Although one witness had Preston barking orders such as "Support your arms! Prime and load!" along the way, this testimony was disputed by others. After making their way, Preston and his men found the crowd began pressing in on them. Preston ordered the soldiers to line up in a semi-circle facing the taunting, snowball-throwing crowd. Preston stood behind them. Then someone--Private Montgomery as it turned out--yelled "Fire!" and the massacre began. (Later, several witnesses would falsely identify Preston as having given the "Fire!" order.) With soldiers reloading and nearly ready to began another round of fire, Preston shouted, "Stop firing! Do not fire!"
Sometime after midnight, Preston was arrested and brought to the Town House where he was interrogated for an hour about the shooting by two justices. At three o'clock in the morning, he was sent to the jail where he would remain for the next seven months. Preston's trial, in which he was ably defended by John Adams, took place from October 24 to 30 in Boston. Although no transcript of his trial testimony survives, in his deposition Preston stated that he believed on the night of March 5 that the crowd would have murdered the soldiers had he not ordered troops to his rescue.
So What Really Happened? The colonial and British have different perspectives on this event? BOTH are BIASED (meaning they reflect only their side) Can either side be completely accurate? How can we determine what really happened?
Part Three: Video Analysis Watch the following video clip and reflect on the questions below: 1.Were the British soldiers justified at firing at the colonists? 2.Why were Paul Revere and Ben Franklin influential in this event? 3.If you were living in a different colony such as Virginia or Delaware, how would you feel about this event? The Boston Massacre: America the Story of Us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iloGkp5f_Hk&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iloGkp5f_Hk&feature=related
Part Four: Evaluate Do you think the title “Boston Massacre” accurately describes this event? Why or why not?