Primary Sources of Boston Massacre

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The Boston Massacre- March, 5, 1770
Part One:
Document| Author| Date| Purpose| Biases|
The Legal Papers of John Adams, No. 64, Rex v Wemms| John Adams| 1755-1784| To record what he heard and saw during the trial and how he defended for the British soldiers.| Despite the fact that most eyewitnesses’ testimonies denounced Captain Thomas Pretson ordering his men to fire upon the citizens, he believed these people were biased and words aren’t 100% reliable. | Anonymous account of the Boston Massacre March 5 1770| Unknown| Unknown| To briefly explain what caused the people to rise up against the soldiers and how reluctant the citizens were.| He did not feel that the patriots were any faulty of the soldiers’ fire. He felt unfairly treated and thought the soldiers pushed way too far by abusing the locals with their power.| The Account of The Boston Massacre| The Boston Gazette and Country Journal| March 12, 1770| Reporting what happened on the day of massacre on the newspaper for locals to read.| The article described the scenario as a massacre due to the anger of some upset British troops who felt being insulted. It obviously accused Captain Preston.| The Bloody Massacre (Photo)| Paul Revere| 1770| His painting depicted what happened on the day of March 5th 1770.| He exaggerated the scenario by painting the soldiers in cruelty that aimed into the innocent helpless unarmed white men. Truth is, the main victims in the massacre were black and they were throwing snowballs at the soldiers. He wanted to make it look as angry as it could be to make the audience think it as a deliberate murder. | Captain Thomas Preston’s Account of the Boston Massacre| Captain Thomas Preston| October 24, 1770| To explain about what he perceived on March 5th and to swear he never intended for anyone to get hurt nor did he order the troops to fire.| He believed the townspeople were all mad and tried to bring up a riot to prevent themselves from being punished for insulting the troops. Although he did think the firing was a terrible thing the troops done, he thought it could have been necessary in order to guard the King’s vessel efficiently.| The Deposition of Theodore Bliss| Theodore Bliss| Unknown| To be a witness defending Captain Preston, affirming that he did not order the men to fire.| He was at the sight because of the fire alarm. What he described as may have heard or seen may not be of words in favor of any side but he could have been so busy analyzing the situation or looking for the possible fire that struck the alarm and missed out when Captain Preston gave orders. He could have been too nervous to remember everything that happened that day.| Part 2:

It’s a well-known event. Everyone knows why it happened, who were involved, and where and when it happened, but does everyone know how it happened? The truth has sunk to the deepest point in the sea and remains as a mystery in history of the United States of America. What really caused the townspeople’s temper to explode that lead to the Boston Massacre? Different people from different aspects varied in their description of the event.

An anonymous victim of the Boston Massacre wrote about what harsh environment the citizens were living in prior the event and what happened that day. Typical high school history textbook mentions the high tax rate of all the products during the late 1700s, which has been explained as the reason why the citizens rise against the British government. However, although he did write about how the Stamp Act upset them and about the violation of Magna-Carta for the Commission to send troops over, something happened during one day of March that really boosted their anger level. He talked about a boxing match that the soldiers commanded the workers of Mr. Gray’s ropewalk to participate in. One soldier was defeated by Mr. Gray’s worker and went back to recruit his army friends to come back and challenge. He also included Samuel...
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