Myths of the Boston Massacre
Starting from the name itself, this landmark event of the American Revolution proved to be a magnet for popular myths and misconceptions.
It was not called the “The Boston Massacre” until many years after it occurred in 1773. The first popular name popularized by Paul Revere was The Bloody Massacre in King Street. In the early 1800's it was also called the State Street Massacre.
In many history books the dramatic shooting is described as the spark that ignited the Revolutionary War. Perhaps one of the reasons is the loss of human lives. In reality there were several other historic milestones although less dramatic, that moved Boston towards the revolution. Townshend Acts, Stamp Act and Boston Tea Party were some of them.
One of the most interesting myths is that the scuffle on King’s street started from the accusations thrown at one of the British officers that he did not pay the wigmaker’s bill. This makes an interesting story and many of us may speculate that perhaps the most famous protest would not have occurred if the bill had been paid on time. But on the contrary to the popular myth, the British officer Captain John Goldfinch in fact settled his bill the day earlier.