The Boston Massacre took place on a Monday evening of March 5, 1770 around eight or nine o’clock. Several of the accounts say that snowballs were thrown at the soldiers so it is safe to assume that there was a decent amount of snow on the ground. However, based on weather patterns over the last 60 years, it is unlikely that snow was actually falling while the massacre took place. The testimony of Daniel Calef decreases the unlikelihood of snowfall that night because he talks of seeing the captain’s face clearly with the help of the moonlight. If it were snowing, there would have been clouds blocking light from the moon and visibility in general would have been reduced.
Given that Thomas Preston, (being a Captain), had probably had the most experience in combat situations, one can assume that he was the least frazzled by the conflict that took place and was the most likely person to give an accurate account of the events. Other people with less battle experience would have probably been very scared and much more affected mentally by the stressful circumstances. Their testimonies might be considered less reliable than Preston’s.
Tensions had been rising between the men from Britain and the colonists, and this “Massacre” was not the first outbreak of these tensions, there had been many small encounters prior. This particular event began with the beating of two soldiers by the colonists, which led to bells being rung to bring in colonist support from surrounding areas. The commanding British officer then sent in 12 men to prevent the people from plundering the king’s chest. Upon arrival, the twelve men made their way through the crowd to defend the door and were pelleted with snowballs and other things and beaten with clubs after they positioned themselves with their backs to the wall. All the while they were being taunted by the colonists who dared them to fire, which in today’s terms would sound something like this, “I dare you, I DOUBLE dare you to...
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