|Depiction of the Boston Massacre|
The Boston Massacre was a riot that began when a group of 50 citizens gathered outside of the State house on the night of March 5, 1770 to protest the large presence of British soldiers in the city. The soldiers had been sent to Boston to protect customs commissioners as they enforced the recent, and highly unpopular, Townshend acts, which placed an import tax on goods such as tea, glass, paper and other products from England.
The massacre began when the group started to hassle the lone sentry, Private White, standing on guard outside of the State house. When a citizen named Edward Garrick insulted the soldier's commanding officer, White left his sentry box and hit Garrick in the face with his rifle, enraging the crowd even further. As the crowd swelled, Captain Thomas Preston arrived with 13 more soldiers to reinforce Private White but could not control crowd or persuade them to leave.
|Obituary for massacre victim Patrick Carr|
Within a few hours of the massacre, Captain Preston and the soldiers were jailed. Knowing the danger they faced, Captain Preston prepared his account of the events, which was published in a London newspaper called the Public Advertiser the following month and then republished in newspapers throughout Boston:
|Grave of Boston Massacre victims|
Tension between British soldiers and colonists settled in Boston after the trails, at least temporarily. Samuel Adams successfully campaigned to turn March 5 into a day of mourning marked with commemorative speeches each year, which continued until 1784. In 1887, a marker dedicated to the victims of the massacre was placed on the exact spot where Crispus Attucks fell. Due to construction and urban renewal projects, the Boston Massacre marker was moved many times over the years but still remains in the general area where the massacre occurred.
|Captain Preston's published account of the massacre|
The Freedom Trail: The Boston Massacre
The Massachusetts Historical Society: The Boston Massacre
U.S. History: The Boston Massacre