The Boston Massacre, known as the Incident on King Street by the British, was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers shot and killed people while under attack by a mob. The incident was heavily publicized by leading Patriots, such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, to encourage rebellion against the British authorities. British troops had been stationed in Boston, capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, since 1768 in order to protect and support crown-appointed colonial officials attempting to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation. Amid ongoing tense relations between the population and the soldiers, a mob formed around a British sentry, who was subjected to verbal abuse and harassment. He was eventually supported by eight additional soldiers, who were subjected to verbal threats and repeatedly hit by clubs, stones and snowballs. They fired into the crowd, without orders, instantly killing three people and wounding others. Two more people died later of wounds sustained in the incident.
The crowd eventually dispersed after Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson promised an inquiry, but reformed the next day, prompting the withdrawal of the troops to Castle Island. Eight soldiers, one officer, and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder. Defended by lawyer and future American president John Adams, six of the soldiers were acquitted, while the other two were convicted of manslaughter and given reduced sentences. The men found guilty of manslaughter were sentenced to branding on their hand. Depictions, reports, and propaganda about the event, notably the colored engraving produced by Paul Revere (shown at top-right), further heightened tensions throughout the Thirteen Colonies. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Boston Massacre Site by using our Boston trip itinerary planning site.
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Boston Massacre Site reviews
It's just a large plaque on the ground commemorating the site of the Boston Massacre. Go see it just for the historical aspect.
It's just a large plaque on the ground commemorating the site of the Boston Massacre. Go see it just for the historical aspect. more »
Really just a plaque on the ground celebrating the site. History still, and it was worth stopping by. It’s very close to several other historical areas as well.
Really just a plaque on the ground celebrating the site. History still, and it was worth stopping by. It’s very close to several other historical areas as well. more »
I did the Freedom tour. I enjoyed listening to the history from our guide. I would recommend going on the tour however, do the tour on your own
We all learnt about the Boston massacre which was one of the triggers towards the American Revolution. I am glad I had the opportunity to visit this place now in my 50's. It's a circle cobblestone marker on the ground in front of the Old State House. An important stop on the Freedom Trail and nice photo op.
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