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. At last they all went off, excepting about a hundred. But the subsequent trial decided that Preston could not have ordered to fire, as he was standing in front of the guns, between his men and the crowd of protesters. I went the South side, saw an officer leading out 8 or 10 Men. I dont know if they hit 'em.
The presence of British troops in the city of Boston was increasingly unwelcome. As soon as he had fired he said Damn you fire. I have no personal relationship with Preston, although I feel that his character is good. He fell on his face. I saw no uneasiness with the Centinel. Many people close to him did not hear him give the order to fire despite his order to load the muskets. Benjamin Burdick, the citizen who took a hard look at the soldiers for this trial, admitted that he had carried a sword that evening.
After the troops had stop firing, Captain Preston noticed a Boston citizen walking directly up to soldiers. I immediately sent a non-commissioned officer 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 officer and soldiers, by the insults and provocations of the rioters, should be thrown off their guard and commit some rash act. He retired to the steps and loaded. Does the blame rest with the crowd of Bostonians who hurled insults, snowballs, oyster shells, and other objects at the soldiers, or does the blame rest with an overreacting military that violated laws of the colony that prohibited firing at civilians? James Forrest, a successful merchant and staunch Tory, brought a message to Adams. On which some well-behaved persons asked me if the guns were charged. After the firing the Captain came before the Soldiers and put up their Guns with his arm and said stop firing, dont fire no more or dont fire again. The Soldier who got knocked fired his gun directly as soon as he stood back up.
A Party then came down from the Guard House. Then they asked me if I was going to order my men to fire. 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. I look'd a little to the right and saw a Man drop. He was not an officer.
Just before I heard a Stick, which I took to be upon a Gun. I think they hit 'em. He answered I did it to save my Men. Captain Preston had his doubts that a fair trial was possible. They were literally daring us to shoot at them. Thinking they had been given the order to fire, the other soldiers also discharged their weapons into the crowd, leaving five civilians on the ground, mortally wounded.
Notwithstanding which, single quarrels could not be prevented, the inhabitants constantly provoking and abusing the soldiery. I tossed my Stick in his face. 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 fire. The Officer had a Wig on. That so from a settled rancour against the officers and troops in general, the suddenness of my trial after the affair while the people's minds are all greatly inflamed, I am, though perfectly innocent, under most unhappy circumstances, having nothing in reason to expect but the loss of life in a very ignominous manner, without the interposition of his Majesty's royal goodness. As soon as I stepped closer, he hit me! Two years prior in 1768, two regiments of British regulars were quartered in Boston to assist in instilling British rule on Boston1. In conclusion, the writer of this paper believes that Captain Thomas Preston is in fact innocent in what he his saying.
At the conclusion of the trial, Captain Preston and six of the eight soldiers were acquitted, with the remaining two soldiers found guilty of manslaughter. People said Damn 'em they durst not fire don't be afraid. I said to the sentry Capt. I heard the drums signaling the soldiers to arm themselves. The stamp act gave more colonists the idea. In his diary, John Adams, noted that Captain Preston had not taken the time to thank his lawyers personally. I looked him in the face.
Captain Thomas Preston, a British grenadier, shifted his feet nervously and felt the sweat rising to his brow. A defense lawyer to the last, Adams negotiated the sentences of Montgomery and Kilroy using and ancient precedent of English law. More colonists then arrived on the scene. Pearson, 98 After such a tax, the British imposed another, harsher tax on the colonists. Preston was out and commanded 'em. But now the jury was set and the true drama was beginning.
Angry but largely non-violent clashes between the soldiers and the colonists had become commonplace. He finished by telling the jury that this was a case of self-defense: I will enlarge no more on the evidence, but submit it to you. But the passions of the people remained strong. The British soldiers had been stationed in Boston since 1768, and the people of Boston did not like this one bit. After the motivation has provided a basic understanding of the events of the Boston Massacre, inform the students that for the rest of the class they are going to be history detectives and decide what they think really happened in the Boston Massacre.