Primary Sources of Boston Massacre

2239 Words Mar 29th, 2013 9 Pages
The Boston Massacre- March, 5, 1770
Part One: Document | Author | Date | Purpose | Biases | The Legal Papers of John Adams, No. 64, Rex v Wemms | John Adams | 1755-1784 | To record what he heard and saw during the trial and how he defended for the British soldiers. | Despite the fact that most eyewitnesses’ testimonies denounced Captain Thomas Pretson ordering his men to fire upon the citizens, he believed these people were biased and words aren’t 100% reliable. | Anonymous account of the Boston Massacre March 5 1770 | Unknown | Unknown | To briefly explain what caused the people to rise up against the soldiers and how reluctant the citizens were. | He did not feel that the patriots were any faulty of the soldiers’ fire. He felt
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This article has tons of information about what happened that day. It is a very useful source because his words and feelings were common with his neighbors who were angry at the troops too. Through his voice, one can hear the cries and complaints of the townspeople of Boston. However, this is only one side of the story and putting all the faults on the British troops for firing doesn’t seem very convincing. Captain Thomas Preston, the commander of the soldiers who fired their muskets at the townspeople, talked about the different side of the story. He was aware that the residents and the soldiers didn’t get along but he said he never thought of using violence to solve the conflict. He declared that when his troops walked by Gray’s ropewalk on March 2nd, the rope-makers made fun of the soldiers and insulted them. After a moment of verbal fight (argument), they went into a nonverbal fight (action). Although the soldiers went back to their units afterwards, he said the inhabitants become arrogant and have been continuously abusing the soldiers. He explains that he was informed that the townspeople were up in front of the city hall beating up the troops. He went up trying to pacify the crowd but didn’t succeed. He said he kept shouting to the troops to hold their fire and had never intended to hurt anyone and he did not want to take account for what may happen. It’s convincing that he was
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