Boston Massacre Historical Society


Seider/Richardson event – a prelude to the Boston Massacre

In his Classical Liberalism blog, Kenneth R.Gregg describes a separate fatal incident that occurred just few days before the Boston Massacre. Interestingly enough there were some similarities in the way both confrontations unfolded.

The Seider/Richardson events could not have given Samuel Adams a better tool for kicking the revolutionary propaganda campaign into a higher gear. It was a cold dreary winter day when Christopher Seider was murdered. Christopher Seider along with a dozen other school boys were among an angry mob in front of a building throwing rocks at the shop of a Loyalist merchant. Ebenezer Richardson, a rather unsavory Loyalist who had worked as a confidential informant to the Attorney General and Customs and friend of Lilly came along, and tried to defend the merchant but was hit in the head with a rock. Ebenezer went back to his house for his musket. From there he climbed up a two story building and aiming his musket into the mob began to fire at random. In doing that Ebenezer shot Christopher Seider. Christopher Seider died with two bullets inserted in him, one right above the heart and the other in the eye at approximately 9pm that evening. After Christopher was shot the angry mob dragged Ebenezer to jail. Christopher Seider's body was taken to Faneuil Hall.

A funeral procession of five thousand Bostonians took place four days later (February 26, 1770) for Christopher Seider. His casket, inscribed with "innocence itself is not safe", was carried from Faneuil Hall, past the Town House where the governor and council met, down to the liberty tree, and to the Granary Burying Ground. His body was laid to rest there. People left flowers as a tribute. Sam Adams called Christopher "the first martyr to American liberty". As for Ebenezer Richardson the judge found him “not guilty”, but was later tortured by local Patriots.

Christopher Seider's death united the citizens of Boston against the British. Within a few days, the British regiments were being constantly pelleted with snowballs filled with rocks, then home-made spears, then clubs. The agitation was constant, and increasing until there was no doubt of the mob's intention. Finally, The Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770 when the rioters charged the infantry line and engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

You can read the original article here.



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