You’ve heard of the Boston Massacre, right? From fifth grade history, or sixth grade….wait, maybe it was fourth grade. Anyway, do you remember it? A “massacre” of colonists by the British because they were protesting the presence of the British in the city. I had to look that up, because I didn’t remember why the British massacred the poor colonists.
Well, in reality, the “Boston Riot,” so-called by the British, was a street brawl between a small British garrison and a mob of colonists that numbered three to four hundred! The British soldiers were feeling a little threatened, what with the snowballs, rocks, and sticks being thrown at them. The riot began when about 50 or so of the Bostonian’s attacked a British sentinel. Captain Thomas Preston, a British officer called, for reinforcements and brought in additional soldiers who were also attacked by the mob. At this point, the soldiers, feeling more threatened by the minute, fired into the crowd.
Three men where killed where they stood; Cripus Attucks, a black sailor, Samuel Grey, a ropemaker, and another sailor by the name of James Caldwell. Two others, Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr, died later from wounds. All five forever immortalized by history. Eight others were wounded.
Okay people, massacre? The dictionary defines massacre as “the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder.” Don’t think so here. All these years, in my mind, in history books, from teachers, I believed that the British had indiscriminately killed innocent men, women and children in Boston on March 5, 1770. Just because. By the thousands. Over Taxation Without Representation. Sparking the Revolutionary War. I should also note, that when the British troops arrived in Boston in 1768, nobody cared a lick, or so it seemed. There was no open revolt.
After the shootings of five people, out of the hundreds that had attacked the soldiers, a town meeting was called asking for the British to be withdrawn and Captain Preston and his men to be tried for murder. Guess who defended them? John Adams and Josiah Quincy II. That first name ought to ring a bell. Later President of the United States.
I’m probably the only one who didn’t know the truth about the Boston Massacre, but just in case there’s someone else out there that didn’t know, that happens to read this, a riot it was, a massacre it wasn’t. WTF