Boston Massacre Historical Society


Recent Articles

The Unknown Diagram made by Paul Revere

Paul Revere made not one but two depictions of the Boston Massacre. The first one was perhaps the most recognized symbol of the American Revolution. It was published under the long name “The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street, Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Regiment”. It is believed that the image was originally created by a different artist Henry Pelham. Pelham then gave the drawing to Revere who was a skilled silversmith and engraver to reproduce it by printing from the engraving.
The second virtually unknown depiction of the Boston Massacre created by Paul Revere himself was a schematic diagram made in pen and ink on paper. It did not have the drama of Pelham’s image, but historically was more accurate. It was even submitted as evidence in the Boston Massacre trials. This diagram was created to show the position of the British regulars and the Boston citizens killed during the incident.

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Private Hugh Montgomery was the First Man to Fire

Private Hugh Montgomery was the first British soldier to fire in the Boston Massacre. He was also identified by many witnesses in the trial as the man who killed Crispus Attucks. As if this were not enough, it is also believed that it was Montgomery not Captain Preston who yelled “Damn you, fire!” to the troops.

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James Basset – Incompetent Lieutenant who was not Charged

James Basset was the second officer of the main guard under the command of Captain Thomas Preston. Despite of his Lieutenant rank, Captain Preston chose not to rely on him when sending his grenadiers to help private White. This later worked out to his advantage.

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John Goldfinch and the Consequences of an Unpaid Bill

One of the most known facts about the Boston Massacre 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.

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Private Hugh White – The Sentry at the Customs House

Little is known about Hugh White, one of the British solders who participated in the Boston Massacre. But in the chain of events that lead to the famous milestone of the American history it could have been up to Private White to avoid the disaster.

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Patrick Carr – One Who Did Not Blame the Soldiers

Patrick Carr deserves a special place among the victims of the Boston Massacre. He was the last, 5th victim of the Boston Massacre. Mortally wounded, he died nine days later on March 14th. During these days he managed to talk about what happened on King street that night. And not in the way patriots like Samuel Adams expected him to.

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Samuel Maverick – Accidental Victim

Samuel Maverick was seventeen years old when he was killed in the Boston Massacre, the same age as another victim, James Caldwell. Unlike the mob that came that night to King Street to provoke a fight, Maverick happened to be in front of the Customs House almost accidentally.

Maverick was described as a promising youth of seventeen years of age, son of widow Maverick, and an apprentice to Mr. Isaac Greenwood, joiner (carpenter) in Boston.

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Captain Preston’s Unknown Biography

Captain Thomas Preston was the key figure in the fatal incident known as the Boston Massacre and the subsequent trials. In fact Preston’s name is one of the most mentioned in the historic texts, second perhaps only to Crispus Attucks who became a well known American hero. But unlike Attucks whose biographies can be found in abundance, we know practically next to nothing about Preston. The only hard facts that we know are the details of the Massacre itself that were well documented due to the scrutiny they received in the trial.

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How Townshend Acts Lead to the Increased British Military Presence in Boston

The Boston Massacre was at least party the result of the tensions caused by the British military presence in Boston. The reinforcements were sent by the Parliament to back the Britain’s latest attempt to raise the tax burden on American colonies. The tax policy in question was called the Townshend Acts of 1767. In summary the Acts were to impose more taxes on common products imported into the colonies, such as paper, glass and of course tea.

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Christopher Monk, the Sixth Victim

When it comes to accounting for the number of death that occurred as the result of the Boston Massacre, almost every historic source states that there were only 5 victims. This representation may not be fair to one person named Christopher Monk who should be rightfully considered the sixth victim of the Massacre.

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Paul Revere's Engraving


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