The Boston Massacre of 1770

This paper describes events leading up to the clash between the people of Boston & English soldiers, the massacre and its ramifications.

On the fifth of March, 1770, the people of Boston were close to open armed clashes with the King’s authorities and soldiers. The seeds of revolution were not only planted but – were ready for the harvest. The night of the fifth, at 9 p.m. – a snowy, moon-lit night an angry and excited mob precipitated an encounter with sentries at the Boston Customs House. In the erratic gunfire that followed, five Bostonians were killed. The dignity of the courts, the vindication of the sentries by lawyers Josiah Quincy and John Adams, first restored order and eventually gained legal acquittal for the sentries from the Massachusetts Courts. But, by the time that accomplished, the fires of the first ‘Battle of the Revolution’ had spread far beyond Boston, to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

In Boston, the principal sower of seeds was Samuel Adams.