The British had decided in 1763 to keep an army in the coloniesand to tax the colonists to pay for it. Then the British Parliamentpassed the Quartering Act in 1765.
Colonists had to house Britishsoldiers and give each one candle and five pints of beer a day. Go back to England!! the townspeople yelled as 4,000 Redcoatsgot off their ships, and marched through the streets of Boston. Itwas 1768 and the Redcoats moved to Boston to make sure thepeople there paid their taxes. For two years the Redcoats werethere, they threatened each other, fist fights broke out,townspeople threw eggs at the Redcoats, people trained their dogsto bite the Redcoats, and people also called them names.Order now
Forinstance, kids called them lobster backs and bloody backs. Also, it was very crowded onthe streets, because there was about20,000 people in Boston. By Sunday night, March 4th, 1770, Boston was boiling. . .
. . Alittle after eight, soldiers, armed with cudgels and tongs, emergedfrom Murray’s Barracks near the center of the town. To thesurprise of almost no one, a crowd– composed largely, a hostilewitness said, ‘of saucy boys, Negroes, and mulattoes, Irish Teaguesand outlandish Jack Tars’– Gathered and traded insults with thesoldiers. In the center of this crowd an imposing man who was nostranger to ‘white people’s quarrels. ‘ His name was CrispusAttucks, and he was a Massachusetts native who had escaped fromslavery ans sailed the seas.
Tall, brawny, with a look that ‘wasenough to terrify any person,’ Attucks was well known around thedocks in lower Boston. Needless to say, he was not a properBostonian, a fact that has pained innumerable historians. He wasinstead a proper rebel, a drifter, a man who loved freedom andknew what it was worth. He was about forty-seven on thismemorable night, and he had that undefinable quality calledpresence.
When he spoke, men listened. Where he commanded,men acted. . . .
. It was Attucks, according to eyewitnesses, whoshaped and dominated the action on the night of the event knownto history as the Boston Massacre. And when the people faltered, itwas Attucks, according to almost all contemporary reports, whorallied them and urged them to stand their ground. The people,responding to his leadership, stood firm; so did the soldiers. Thetwo sides exchanged insults, and a fight flared.
Attucks, whoseems to have been everywhere on this night, led a group ofcitizens who drove the soldiers back to the gate of the barracks. The soldiers rallied and drove the Boston crowd back. On March 5th, British troops were quartered in the city todiscourage demonstrations against the Townshend Acts whichimposed duties on imports to the colonies. As a result of theconstant harassment and some boys in their teens who beganthrowing snowballs(some with rocks in them), the Redcoats had tostart defending themselves.
They began to fire at the colonists. Once the smoke cleared from the guns, five townspeople weredead, and others were hurt. The people who died were: Crispus Attucks, killed by twosnowballs entering his head, Samuel Gray, a worker at a rope walkwas killed also by two snowballs entering his head, JamesColdwell, a mate on an American ship was killed instantly whentwo snowballs entered his back, Samuel Maverick, who was ayoung seventeen year old male was mortally wounded and died thenext morning, and Patrick Carr, a feather maker died as well. Paul Revere created a woodcut of the massacre. The woodcut wasa Masterpiece of Propaganda meaning it was a lie. The woodcutwas copied and sent throughout the colonies.
Attached was this poem:Unhappy Boston! See thy sons deplore. Thy hallowed walkbesmear’d with guiltless give!The woodcut caused colonists to want independene. The eight soldiers and their commanding officer, were tried formurder, and were defended by the American lawyers John Adamsand Josiah Quincey. Two were declared guilty of manslaughterand after claiming benefit of clergy were branded on the thumb;the others including the officer, were acquited.
The funny thing about the Boston Massacre was that there was nota massacre at all, but a street fight between a Boston mob and asquad of British soldiers. It was called a ‘massacre’ because severalcolonists were killed by the soldiers. The name was invented byspeechmakers and used tohelp stir the anger of the crowds. TheBoston Massacre was one of the events which led up to theRevolutionary War. History Essays