Captain Thomas Preston’s Account of the Boston Massacre
The excerpt from Captain Thomas Preston’s account of the Boston Massacre explains the events that occurred on March 13, 1770 were out his control, while leading to the deaths and injuries of many. He states, “I am, though perfectly innocent” in which he did not instruct his army to fire at the riot.
“IT IS [A] MATTER OF TOO GREAT NOTORIETY TO NEED ANY PROOFS THAT THE arrival of his Majesty’s troops in Boston was extremely obnoxious to its inhabitants.” One can clearly see that the colonists were upset at Britain and furious at the fact that they were sending more soldiers to Boston. One of the justices who was familiar with the people stated, “the soldiers must now take care of themselves, nor trust too much to their arms, for they were but a handful; that the inhabitants carried weapons concealed under their clothes and would destroy them in a moment, if they pleased.” This meant that the colonists were now arming themselves and the British soldiers must be cautious in what they do. Preston hearing these things was knowledgeable and knew that any little spark within the colonist would cause a massive explosion.
There was a mob of about a hundred people outside of the Custom House, where the king’s money is stored. Preston took all measures to make sure that the riot was cleared up as quickly and peacefully as possible. “So far was I from intending the death of any person that I suffered the troops to go to the spot where the unhappy affair took place without any loading in their pieces; not did I ever give orders for loading them.” In this statement Preston’s intentions are not to harm anyone, but rather to take the high road. The mod kept on increasing in numbers and calling out, “Come on you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire if you dare, G-d damn you, fire and be damned, we know you dare not.” This goes to show that the colonist are very angry and are looking to start a...
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