Essay on The Boston Massacre: Who's to Blame

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On the evening of March 5, 1770, with a foot of snow on the ground, groups of Bostonians gathered around the Custom House on King Street. Some had buckets of water, after responding to a fire alarm. Others had clubs to defend themselves or perhaps to threaten the despised “lobsterbacks.” Private Hugh White was, in fact, being threatened by several wigmakers’ apprentices (Aron 24). When Captain Thomas Preston heard of Private White’s situation, he came with seven other soldiers to help. Words escalated into snowballs and stones, and the soldiers began to fight back with the butts of their guns. The crowd of Bostonians was growing and now numbered about 100 (24). Then, a huge chunk of ice came flying in from the mob and knocked…show more content…
The third and most obvious reason the British are to blame for the massacre is that the British soldiers fired into the crowd. When Hugh Montgomery was knocked down by a chunk of ice, he stood up and fired into the crowd (Aron 24). The other soldiers soon fired as well. The gunfire killed five people. Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, and James Caldwell died at the scene. Samuel Maverick died a few hours later, while Patrick Carr survived for nine days before dying of his wounds (Olson). Samuel Gray was killed by a single ball entering his head, Crispus Attucks was killed by two balls entering his chest, and James Caldwell was killed by two balls entering his back (“Boston”). Benjamin Frizell, who was standing near the west corner of the Custom House before and at the time of the gun discharges, declared that the first discharge was of only one gun, the second discharge was of two guns, the third discharge was of three guns, immediately followed by the fourth and final discharge of five guns (“Boston”). He also declared that of the final discharge, two were from soldiers on the ground on Preston’s right side, but three discharges came from the balcony, or the chamber window, as the flashes appeared on the left side of Preston, and higher than the flashes of the other two discharges. This information shows that at least three soldiers were on the balcony and carefully took aim and

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