Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770. In the incidence five civilians were killed by the British Soldiers. This event is also called “Incident on King Street” by the British. It raised a lot of tension among the thirteen colonies of America and gave rise to American Revolutionary War.
Townshend Acts – Boston Massacre
Townshend Acts were series of laws passed by the British Government in the beginning of 1767. The main aim of this law was to accumulate money so that salary to judges and governor could be payed. The Massachusetts House of Representatives began a campaign against the Townshend Acts by sending a petition to King George III. There was enormous amount of discontent against the British Government. The colonists were trying their best to oust the law.
The Event of Boston Massacre
John Goldfinch was the British officer who was given charge to protect Custom House on King Street in Boston. A colonist Edward Garrick insulted the officer. Officer ignored his insult and warned him to be more respectful. Later on Garrick also insulted a British officer Private Hugh White. White struck Garrick on the side of the head with his musket. Later many colonists came there to support Garrick and a huge crowd of colonist accumulated.
The colonist started teasing British soldiers taunting them by yelling, “Fire”, and by throwing snow balls and other small objects at them. There was a pause of uncertain length (eyewitness estimates ranged from several seconds to two minutes), after which the soldiers fired into the crowd.
Causalities – Boston Massacre
Three people were killed instantly rope-maker Samuel Gray, mariner James Caldwell, and a mixed-race runaway slave turned sailor named Crispus Attucks. Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr died later due to harsh wounds
Trial – Boston Massacre
The trial of the event started on November 27, 1770. Initially eight British soldiers were convicted of the crime. Lawyer Adams told the jury that the soldiers were endangered by the mob. Jury was convinced by Adam’s argument and acquitted six of the soldiers. Two of the soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter because there was overwhelming evidence that they fired directly into the crowd. The convicted soldiers were granted reduced sentences.
Impact – Boston Massacre
John Adams wrote that the “Foundation of American Independence was Laid” on March 5, 1770 Boston.
Boston massacre was milestone in American Revolution. It led to rise of colonial sentiment against King George III and British Parliamentary Authority.