Boston Massacre Historical Society


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.

From the five most commonly listed victims, the three unfortunates souls died on the spot. They were Crisppus Attucks, Samuel Gray and James Caldwell. The two others died shortly thereafter. They were Samuel Maverick who died the next morning and Patrick Carr who died two weeks later.

The next person to die from the wounds was Christopher Monk, a shipwright’s apprentice who was only 17 years of age at the time when the incident occurred. The fact that Christophor did not die shortly after the shooting for some reason prompted historians to exclude him from the list of victims. In fact he died almost exactly 10 years after he was wounded, passing away on April 20, 1780.

The main argument for including Christopher Monk as the victim is that his injury was extremely severe that it without doubd caused his disability and early death. According to the account in Boston Gazette, the bullet wounded him by entering just above his groin and coming out of the hip on the opposite side. The citizens of Boston believed that his days were numbered. To prove the point, Henry Pelham engraving of the Boston Massacre, that later became the prototype for the more famous versions by Paul Revere listed Mr. Monk as being “mortally wounded”.

Even during the hardships of difficult economic situation caused by the Bitains’ taxation of American colonies, Bostonians did not abandon the victim and year after year collected substantial amounts donations to support Monk’s through his disability.

Should the modern generations at least recognize that Christopher Monk was the sixth victim of the Boston Massacre?



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