Boston Massacre Original Documents.docx - Document A Thomas...

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Document A: Thomas Preston On Monday Night about Eight o'Clock two Soldiers were attacked and beat. But the Party of the Towns-People in order to carry Matters to the utmost Length, broke into two Meeting-Houses and rang the Alarm Bells, which I supposed was for Fire as usual, but was soon undeceived. About Nine some of the Guard came to and informed me, the Town Inhabitants were assembling to attack the Troops, and that the Bells were ringing as the Signal for that Purpose and not for Fire, and the Beacon intended to be fired to bring in the distant People of the Country. This, as I was Captain of the Day, occasioned my repairing immediately to the Main-Guard. In my Way there I saw the People in great Commotion, and heard them use the most cruel and horrid Threats against the Troops. In a few Minutes after I reached the Guard, about an hundred People passed it and went towards the Custom-House where the King's Money is lodged. They immediately surrounded the Sentinel posted there, and with Clubs and other weapons threatened to execute their Vengeance on him. I was soon informed by a Townsman their Intention was to carry off the Soldier from his Post and probably murder him. On which I desired him to return for further Intelligence, and he soon came back and assured me he heard the Mob declare they would murder him. This I feared might be a Prelude to their plundering the King's Chest. I immediately sent a non-commissioned Officer and twelve Men to protect both the Sentinel and the King's Money, and very soon followed myself to prevent (if possible) all Disorder; fearing lest the Officer and Soldiery, by the Insults and Provocations of the Rioters, should be thrown off their Guard and commit some rash Act. They soon rushed through the People, and by charging their Bayonets in half Circle, kept them at a little distance. Nay, 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; nor did I ever give Orders for loading them. This

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