Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre. The is an essay which looks at the Boston Massacre from the perspective of John Adams. He wrote in his journal of the event, "Never in more misery my whole life."

From the site:

The Boston Massacre was the act of British soldiers firing into a mob of Boston citizens. When the smoke had cleared, five citizens of the mob were dead, including Crispus Attucks. The captain of the troops was Thomas Preston. After the troops had stop firing, Captain Preston noticed a Boston citizen walking directly up to soldiers. The citizen, Benjamin Burdick told Captain Preston, "I want to see some faces that I may swear to another day." Captain Preston, realizing that there would soon be a trial, answered, "Perhaps, sir, you may."

The next morning John Adams was in his law office in Boston. The anti-British fever in Boston was rampant. Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty were already calling the event the Boston Massacre. Paul Revere turned out an engraving that depicted Captain Preston ordering the troops to fire at point blank range on a defenseless crowd. To help calmed the mobs, Governor Hutchinson ordered that the soldiers arrested and promised the crowds that a trial would be held. That afternoon in Faneuil Hall a meeting of the Sons of Liberty demanded that all British must be removed from Boston.

James Forrest, a successful merchant and staunch Tory, brought a message to Adams. With tears streaming down his cheeks, Forrest explained that the message was from Captain Thomas Preston. Captain Preston was in jail and needed legal council. Forrest had spoke to several other lawyers and none of them would take the case. Captain Preston asked if Adams would take the case. Adams and another young lawyer, Josiah Quincy accepted Captain Preston request.

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