The Boston Massacre Essay

Submitted By butler15
Words: 730
Pages: 3

March 5th, 1770, one of the most unthinkable events happened. It was a tragedy that should never have to be relived, filled with bloodshed and horror. It was called the Boston Massacre. Although many believe it to be true, the massacre was not the royal official's fault! The colonists brought this onto themselves. They taunted the out-numbered soldiers to the point where self-defense was the only option, and yelled so loud they couldn't possibly have heard their captain's orders. The screams of over sixty drunk, furious colonists filled the air. Recent tests done by scientists and historians, have proven that it would have been impossible for the soldiers to hear their captain's (Thomas Preston) order to fire. The only probable explanation for the shooting would be that the colonists had been yelling "fire" and the soldiers thought that it had been Preston giving them the command to fire. There have been several accounts of colonists later stating that they had been calling to the officials things like; "Damn you, fire!" and "Fire already lobster-backs!" These testimonies alone prove that the officials could have easily mistaken the colonists' hollers for Captain Preston's orders. Out-numbered more than sixty to eight, the British had no other choice than self-defense. The angry colonists were armed with ice chunks, snowballs and sticks. The action that started the riot took place when Hugh White, a sentry in front of the Custom House, started talking with a wig-maker's apprentice, Edward Garrick, who was demanding payment from a British officer. The conversation escalated into violence. It is not argued that within minutes an unruly crowd of young men surrounded White and began hurling insults such as "Bloody lobster back!" at him. As the crowd grew and he began being pelted with pieces of ice, White hurried to the Custom House, banged on the door and shouted, "Turn out, Main Guard!" The eight soldiers in the main guard commanded by Captain Preston marched to the Custom House in an attempt to save Hugh White. After making their way to White, the soldiers found themselves being surrounded by the mob. Soon after the eight-man guard came to White's aid, a round of snowballs, ice chunks, and coal rained down on the British soldiers. With all of the intense anger filling the air, the British officials had no choice but to act in self-defense. Some call Crispus Attucks (also known as Michael Johnson), a forty-seven year-old mulatto, a "hero" and a "patriot"--"the first martyr of the American Revolution." Others, such as John Adams, lawyer for the British soldiers, saw Attucks as the rabble-rousing villain whose "mad behavior" was responsible for the carnage of March 5, 1770. Attucks was known as a hard man and a drifter. He hated the British officials in Boston. As a part-time laborer, he