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Anonymous account of the Boston Massacre March 5 1770 THE HORRID MASSACRE IN BOSTON, PERPETRATED IN THE EVENING OF THE FIFTH DAY OF MARCH, 1770, BY SOLDIERS OF THE TWENTY-NINTH REGIMENT WHICH WITH THE FOURTEENTH REGIMENT WERE THEN QUARTERED THERE; WITH SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE STATE OF THINGS PRIOR TO THAT CATASTROPHE It may be a proper introduction to this narrative, briefy to represent the state o± things ±or some time previous to the said Massacre; and this seems necessary in order to the ±orming a just idea o± the causes o± it. At the end o± the late [French and Indian] war, in which this province bore so distinguished a part, a happy union subsisted between Great Britain and the colonies. This was un±ortunately interrupted by the Stamp Act; but it was in some measure restored by the repeal o± it. It was again interrupted by other acts o± parliament ±or taxing America; and by the appointment o± a Board o± Commissioners, in pursuance o± an act, which by the ±ace o± it was made ±or the relie± and encouragement o± commerce, but which in its operation, it was apprehended, would have, and it has in ±act had, a contrary e²ect. By the said act the said Commissioners were "to be resident in some convenient part of his Majesty's dominions in America." This must be understood to be in some part convenient ±or the whole. But it does not appear that, in ³xing the place o± their residence, the convenience o± the whole was at all consulted, ±or Boston, being very ±ar ±rom the centre o± the colonies, could not be the place most convenient ±or the whole. Judging by the act, it may seem this town was intended to be ±avored, by the Commissioners being appointed to reside here; and that the consequence o± that residence would be the relie± and encouragement o± commerce; but the reverse has been the constant and uni±orm e²ect o± it; so that the commerce o± the town, ±rom the embarrassments in which it has been lately involved, is greatly reduced. The residence o± the Commissioners here has been detrimental, not only to the commerce, but to the political interests o± the town and province; and not only so, but we can trace ±rom it the causes o± the late horrid massacre. Soon a±ter their arrival here in November, 1767, instead o± con³ning themselves to the proper business o± their o´ce, they became partizans o± Governor Bernard in his political schemes; and had the weakness and temerity to in±ringe upon one o± the most essential rights o± the house o± commons o± this province-that o± giving their votes with ±reedom, and not being accountable there±or but to their constituents. One o± the members o± that house, Capt. Timothy Folgier, having voted in some a²air contrary to the mind o± the said Commissioners, was ±or so doing dismissed ±rom the o´ce he held under them. These proceedings o± theirs, the di´culty o± access to them on o´ce-business, and a supercilious behavior, rendered them disgust±ul to people in general, who in consequence thereo± treated them with neglect. This probably stimulated them to resent it; and to make their resentment ±elt, they and their coadjutor, Governor Bernard, made such representations to his Majesty's ministers as they thought best
calculated to bring the displeasure of the nation upon the town and province; and in order that those representations might have the more weight, they are said to have contrived and executed plans for exciting disturbances and tumults, which otherwise would probably never have existed; and, when excited, to have transmitted to the ministry the most exaggerated accounts of them. Unfortunately for us, they have been too successful in their said representations, which, in conjunction with Governor Bernard's, have occasioned his Majesty's faithful subjects of this town and province to be treated as enemies and rebels, by an invasion of the town by sea and land; to which the approaches were made with all the circumspection usual where a vigorous opposition is expected. While the town was surrounded by a considerable number of his Majesty's ships of war, two regiments landed and took possession of it; and to support these, two other regiments arrived some time after from Ireland; one of which landed at Castle Island, and the other in the town. Thus were we, in aggravation of our other embarrassments, embarrassed with troops, forced upon us contrary to our inclination-contrary to the spirit of Magna Charta -contrary to the very letter of the Bill of Rights, in which it is declared, that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with the consent of parliament, is against law, and without the desire of the civil magistrates, to aid whom was the pretence for sending the troops hither; who were quartered in the town in direct violation of an act of parliament for quartering troops in America; and all this in consequence of the representations of the said Commissioners and the said Governor, as appears by their memorials and letters lately published. As they were the procuring cause of troops being sent hither, they must therefore be the remote and a blameable cause of all the disturbances and bloodshed that have taken place in consequence of that measure. We shall next attend to the conduct of the troops, and to some circumstances relative to them. Governor Bernard without consulting the Council, having given up the State House to the troops at their landing, they took possession of the chambers, where the representatives of the province and the courts of law held their meetings; and (except the council-chamber) of all other parts of that house; in which they continued a considerable time, to the great annoyance of those courts while they sat, and of the merchants and gentlemen of the town, who had always made the lower Foor of it their exchange. They [the merchants] had a right so to do, as the property of it was in the town; but they were deprived of that right by mere power. The said Governor soon after, by every stratagem and by every method but a forcibly entry, endeavored to get possession of the manufactory-house, to make a barrack of it for the troops; and for that purpose caused it to be besieged by the troops, and the people in it to be used very cruelly;
Captain Preston's account of the Boston Massacre March 5 1770 There also is an anonymous account of the Boston Massacre, which takes a rather diFerent point of view 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. They have ever used all means in their power to weaken the regiments, and to bring them into contempt by promoting and aiding desertions, and with impunity, even where there has been the clearest evidence of the fact, and by grossly and falsely propagating untruths concerning them. On the arrival of the 64th and 65th their ardour seemingly began to abate; it being too expensive to buy oF so many, and attempts of that kind rendered too dangerous from the numbers And has ever since their departure been breaking out with greater violence after their embarkation. One of their justices, most thoroughly acquainted with the people and their intentions, on the trial of a man of the 14th Regiment, openly and publicly in the hearing of great numbers of people and from the seat of justice, declared "that 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, considering the malicious temper of the people, was an alarming circumstance to the soldiery. Since which several disputes have happened between the townspeople and the soldiers of both regiments, the former being encouraged thereto by the countenance of even some of the magistrates, and by the protection of all the party against government. In general such disputes have been kept too secret from the o±- cers. On the 2d instant two of the 29th going through one Gray's ropewalk, the rope-makers insultingly asked them if they would empty a vault. This unfortunately had the desired eFect by provoking the soldiers, and from words they went to blows. Both parties suFered in this aFtay, and ²nally the soldiers retired to their quarters. The o±cers, on the ²rst knowledge of this transaction, took every precaution in their power to prevent any ill consequence. Notwithstanding which, single quarrels could not be prevented, the inhabitants constantly provoking and abusing the soldiery. The insolence as well as utter hatred of the inhabitants to the troops increased daily, insomuch that Monday and Tuesday, the 5th and 6th instant, were privately agreed on for a general engagement, in consequence of which several of the militia came from the country armed to join their friends, menacing to destroy any who should oppose them. This plan has since been discovered. On Monday night about 8 o'clock two soldiers were attacked and beat. But the party of the townspeople in order to carry matters to the utmost length, broke into two meeting houses and rang the alarm bells, which I supposed was for ²re as usual, but was soon undeceived. About 9 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 ²re, and the beacon intended to be ²red 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 100 people passed it and went towards the custom house where the king's money is lodged. They immediately surrounded the sentry 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 oF 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 mobb 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 o±cer and 12 men to protect both the sentry and the king's money, and very soon followed myself to prevent, if possible, all disorder, fearing lest the o±cer and soldiers, by the insults and provocations of the rioters, should be thrown oF their guard and commit some rash act. They soon rushed through the people, and by charging their bayonets in half-circles, kept them at a little distance. Nay, so far was I from intending the death of any person that I suFered the troops to go to the spot where the unhappy aFair took place without any loading in their pieces; nor did I ever give orders for loading them. This remiss conduct in me perhaps merits censure; yet it is evidence, resulting from the nature of things, which is the best and surest that can be oFered, that my intention was not to act oFensively, but the contrary part, and that not without compulsion. The mob still increased and were more outrageous, striking their clubs or bludgeons one against another, and calling out, come on you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, ²re if you dare, G-d damn you, ²re and be damned, we know you dare not, and much more such language was used. At this time I was between the soldiers and the mob, parleying with, and endeavouring all in my power to persuade them to retire peaceably, but to no purpose. They advanced to the points of the bayonets, struck some of them and even the muzzles of the pieces, and seemed to be endeavouring to close with the soldiers. On which some well behaved persons asked me if the guns were charged. I replied yes. They then asked me if I intended to order the men to ²re. I answered no, by no means, observing to them that I was advanced before the muzzles of the men's pieces, and must fall a sacri²ce if they ²red; that the soldiers were upon the half cock and charged bayonets, and my giving the word ²re under those circumstances would prove me to be no o±cer. While I was thus speaking, one of the soldiers having received a severe blow with a stick, stepped a little on one side and instantly ²red, on which turning to and asking him why he ²red without orders, I was struck with a club on my arm, which for some time deprived me of the use of it, which blow had it been placed on my head, most probably would have destroyed me. On this a general attack was made on the men by a great number of heavy clubs and snowballs being thrown at them, by which all our lives were in imminent danger, some persons at the same time from behind calling out, damn your bloods- why don't you ²re. Instantly three or four of the soldiers ²red, one after another, and directly after three more in the same confusion and hurry. The mob then ran away, except three unhappy men who instantly expired, in which number was Mr. Gray at whose rope-walk the prior quarrels took place; one more is since dead, three others are dangerously, and four slightly wounded. The whole of this melancholy aFair was transacted in almost 20 minutes. On my asking the soldiers why they ²red without orders, they said they heard the word ²re and supposed it came from me. This might be the case as many of the mob called out ²re, ²re, but I
HIUS 221 D ISCUSSION B OARD F ORUM G RADING R UBRIC Criteria Levels of Achievement Excellent Good Fair Deficient Points Earned Editorial – Content and Analysis 15 to 15 points Editorial addresses a specific point of view clearly and with understanding. Shows understanding of material and provides analytical insight to the topic. 12 to 14 points Editorial addresses a point of view but shows some lack of conviction or understanding. Analysis may be lacking some support or insight. 8 to 11 points Editorial addresses the topic but examines both points of view of the question. Analysis is superficial or lacks understanding. 0 to 7 points Editorial is a report, not an analysis of the event. There is no position evident and no analysis of the topic. Editorial – Sources 10 to 10 points Uses all pertinent course materials to support ideas. Contains no more than 2 short quotations. Sources cited correctly. 8 to 9 points Uses all course materials to support ideas. Contains 2–3 short quotations. Contains 1 long quotation. Sources are cited with minor errors in style. 6 to 7 points Uses some course materials to support ideas but omits important sources. Contains 3–4 short quotations. Contains 2 long quotations. Attempts citation but contains significant errors. 0 to 5 points Uses no clear materials. Contains more than 4 short quotations. Contains more than 2 long quotations. No attempt at citation. Page 1 of 4
HIUS 221 Criteria Levels of Achievement Excellent Good Fair Deficient Points Earned Editorial – Grammar, Organization, and Style 10 to 10 points Editorial reflects standards of grammar, mechanics, and style with no errors. Paragraphs are organized and structured with a clear topic sentence and supporting sentences. Transitional wording is present. 8 to 9 points Editorial reflects standards of grammar, mechanics, and style with no more than 2 errors. Paragraphs are organized and structured with only minor errors. 6 to 7 points Editorial reflects basic understanding of grammar, mechanics, and style with 3–5 errors. Significant issues with paragraph structure. 0 to 5 points Editorial contains more than 5 errors in grammar, mechanics, style, and spelling. Organization and structure detract from message of writing. Editorial – Length 9 to 10 points Editorial contains 400–500 words. 7 to 8 points Editorial contains at least 375 words and no more than 525 words. 5 to 6 points Editorial contains at least 350 words and no more than 550 words. 0 to 4 points Editorial contains less than 325 words or more than 575 words. Page 2 of 4
HIUS 221 D ISCUSSION B OARD F ORUM I NSTRUCTIONS Statement of Purpose or “Why Am I Doing This?” One of the goals of the discussion boards is to encourage student community learning, and to help you gain valuable experience with analyzing evidence and presenting sound arguments based on you read and know. To this end, your Discussion Board Forum assignments will require you to examine events from a variety of perspectives and construct an argument that supports a specific point of view based on the supplied prompt. Participation: To support the stated goals, you must participate in both modules/weeks of the Discussion Board Forum (the “Editorial” and the “Letters to the Editor”) to receive full credit. You must also submit all work on time. Response to the Prompt – “Editorial” (First Submission) You must select 1 topic from the applicable “Discussion Board Topic Selection” document (located in the Assignment Instructions folder). Read the information associated with that topic provided in the appropriate Reading & Study folder in Blackboard. Submit your 400–500-word response to the prompt to the Discussion Board Forum in the form of a newspaper editorial article. Your “Editorial” must address 1 point of view presented in the forum for the topic you choose. Use the materials you read to write, assuming you are living in the time in which the event occurred and are writing to a contemporary audience who wants the news and your point of view on it. Your work must be clearly supported by your readings and biblical principles. You must take a definite position on the question asked. Your “Editorial” must be submitted directly as a reply to the appropriate thread. Do not attach your “Editorial” as a Microsoft Word document or PDF file. Appropriate citations must be made using parenthetical references in proper and current Turabian format (these must be complete citations including page numbers when applicable). First person is allowed. Replies – “Letters to the Editor” (Second Submission) Replies must be considered as “Letters to the Editor,” assuming you are the reader of this newspaper and want to respond to what you have read. Substantive replies of 150–250 words are required. Comments such as “You have a good point,” “I like what you said,” or “I agree (or disagree) with you” are not adequate replies. “Letters to the Editor” must show some analytical thought and encourage more dialogue. Ask questions, give a different point of view, bring up another aspect of the topic your classmates did not cover, and so on. At least 5 “Letters to the Editor” are required, 3 in response to classmates’ editorials, and 2 in response to classmates’ responses to editorials (to either the student’s own editorial, or to the editorials of their classmates). Page 1 of 2
HIUS 221 Keep in mind that not everyone has the same opinions, ideas, or backgrounds. Differing opinions are welcome, but must always be stated in a respectful and professional manner. Personal attacks, profanity, or insulting behavior will not be tolerated. Behavior of this type will result in a ban from the Discussion Board Forum and a loss of all points for the Discussion Board Forum assignments. It will also be reported to Student Affairs as a violation of the Honor Code. Assessment: The grading rubric clearly indicates how your work will be graded in terms of point value. Review it carefully to ensure you earn maximum potential points for your efforts. Submit your Discussion Board Forum – Editorial by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 3. Submit your Discussion Board Forum – Letters to the Editor by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 4. Page 2 of 2
HIUS 221 D ISCUSSION B OARD F ORUM T OPIC S ELECTION 1. The Trial of Anne Hutchinson – Heretical Teacher or Guardian of Religious Liberty? 2. Bacon’s Rebellion – A Justified Action or Personal Power Grab? 3. The Stamp Act – Justified or Too Much to Ask? 4. The Boston Massacre – A Massacre or a Terrible Tragedy? 5. The Boston Tea Party – Destruction of Private Property or Justified Act of Defiance? 6. The American War for Independence – Treason or Justified Rebellion?
Boston Gazette and Country Journal, March 12, 1770. On the evening of Monday, being the fifth current, several soldiers of the 29th Regiment were seen parading the streets with their drawn cutlasses and bayonets, abusing and wounding numbers of the inhabitants. A few minutes after nine o'clock four youths, named Edward Archbald, William Merchant, Francis Archbald, and John Leech, jun., came down Cornhill together, and separating at Doctor Loring's corner, the two former were passing the narrow alley leading to Murray's barrack in which was a soldier brandishing a broad sword of an uncommon size against the walls, out of which he struck fire plentifully. A person of mean countenance armed with a large cudgel bore him company. Edward Archbald admonished Mr. Merchant to take care of the sword, on which the soldier turned round and struck Archbald on the arm, then pushed at Merchant and pierced through his clothes inside the arm close to the armpit and grazed the skin. Merchant then struck the soldier with a short stick he had; and the other person ran to the barrack and brought with him two soldiers, one armed with a pair of tongs, the other with a shovel. He with the tongs pursued Archbald back through the alley, collared and laid him over the head with the tongs. The noise brought people together; and John Hicks, a young lad, coming up, knocked the soldier down but let him get up again; and more lads gathering, drove them back to the barrack where the boys stood some time as it were to keep them in. In less than a minute ten or twelve of them came out with drawn cutlasses, clubs, and bayonets and set upon the unarmed boys and young folk who stood them a little while but, finding the inequality of their equipment, dispersed. On hearing the noise, one Samuel Atwood came up to see what was the matter; and entering the alley from dock square, heard the latter part of the combat; and when the boys had dispersed he met the ten or twelve soldiers aforesaid rushing down the alley towards the square and asked them if they intended to murder people? They answered Yes, by G-d, root and branch! With that one of them struck Mr. Atwood with a club which was repeated by another; and being unarmed, he turned to go off and received a wound on the left shoulder which reached the bone and gave him much pain. Retreating a few steps, Mr. Atwood met two officers and said, gentlemen, what is the matter? They answered, you'll see by and by. Immediately after, those heroes appeared in the square, asking where were the boogers? where were the cowards? But notwithstanding their fierceness to naked men, one of them advanced towards a youth who had a split of a raw stave in his hand and said, damn them, here is one of them. But the young man seeing a person near him with a drawn sword and good cane ready to support him, held up his stave in defiance; and they quietly passed by him up the little alley by Mr. Silsby's to King Street where they attacked single and unarmed persons till they raised much clamour, and then turned down Cornhill Street, insulting all they met in like manner and pursuing
some to their very doors. Thirty or forty persons, mostly lads, being by this means gathered in King Street, Capt. Preston with a party of men with charged bayonets, came from the main guard to the commissioner's house, the soldiers pushing their bayonets, crying, make way! They took place by the custom house and, continuing to push to drive the people off, pricked some in several places, on which they were clamorous and, it is said, threw snow balls. On this, the Captain commanded them to fire; and more snow balls coming, he again said, damn you, fire, be the consequence what it will! One soldier then fired, and a townsman with a cudgel struck him over the hands with such force that he dropped his firelock; and, rushing forward, aimed a blow at the Captain's head which grazed his hat and fell pretty heavy upon his arm. However, the soldiers continued the fire successively till seven or eight or, as some say, eleven guns were discharged.
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