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 Boston Massacre Victims

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Boston Massacre Victims

  • Birth unknown
  • Death 5 Mar 1770
  • Burial Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 1499

Burial site for the Victims of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770. The five men killed in the incident were Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr. At the end of the Seven Years War (known in America as the French and Indian War) between England and France, the British government enacts a series of taxes to pay for the costs of winning the war. These taxes are extremely unpopular in the colonies, and in the British colony of Massachusetts, resistance to the taxes takes the form of public protest and angry confrontations with tax collectors. In 1768, Governor Thomas Hutchinson, fearful of public unrest, asks for and is sent 4,000 troops, to maintain order. Due to lack of barracks, the soldiers are often quartered in the homes of Boston citizens. A colonial resistance group, the Sons of Liberty, forms to oppose the occupation, fueling British fears of a potential rebellion. During the winter of 1769-1770, groups of citizens harass the soldiers at every opportunity, pelting them with snowballs, and engaging off duty soldiers in fistfights. On March 5, 1770, a sentry with the 29th Regiment of Foot, Private Hugh White, was guarding the Boston Custom House, when a group of men began to pelt him with snowballs. The incident quickly escalated into a confrontation with the angry citizens threatening the soldier with sticks and rocks, and he, in turn, called for the guard force stationed nearby. Captain Thomas Preston, commander of the guard, came to the sentry's aid with a squad of soldiers. The crowd continued to close in on the soldiers, cursing them and taunting the soldiers to shoot them. Losing control, the soldiers then fired into the mob, killing three persons initially, and wounding eight others, two of whom died later. Captain Preston and his men were charged with murder, and defended by local lawyer John Adams (a patriot who later becomes President of the US), most are acquitted when it is shown that Preston did not order his troops to fire into the crowd, and had tried to control them. Two of the soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter, and dismissed from the Army. The Sons of Liberty use the incident as propaganda to further incite people against British rule, by falsely telling the story that the British soldiers deliberately attacked a peaceful, unarmed people, massacring them. This incident is one of the first major events that led to the American Revolution.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1499
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Boston Massacre Victims (unknown–5 Mar 1770), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1499, citing Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .