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Boston Massacre Trial. Essay

1832 words - 7 pages

This trial is being held in defense of Captain Thomas Preston, who is being charged with the murder of five colonial Englishmen and assault regarding the order to fire weapons. John Adams, with the help of Josiah Quincy, will represent the defendant, and Samuel Quincy, along with Robert Treat Paine, will represent the prosecution. In this case of British Soldiers versus American colonists, Captain Preston pleads not guilty.By 1770, there were approximately 600 redcoat soldiers of the British army residing in Boston. They were cursed upon by native Bostonians and called "lobsters" in reference to their bright red uniforms. The people of Boston believed that the soldiers were sent to take away their freedom. Samuel Adams was even caught saying that he feared the soldiers would try to massacre Boston's population of 16,000.On March 2, 1770, Thomas Walker, a British soldier had the day off and was scouting the area for work. To the contrary of what most people believe, British soldiers are not paid well, and they seek extra work when time allows. He ventured over to John Gray's ropewalk and John Gray asked him if he wanted work to which Thomas replied: "yes". John Gray then shouted back at him to go clean out his outhouse, and this caused and uproar by the surrounding colonists. Walker angrily told him to do it himself. Tensions were extremely high and several rope makers and Walker began to fight. Fortunately, Walker was able to break free and run for help from his fellow soldiers until they were all driven out.Like the incident that occurred at the ropewalk, on March 5, 1770, by King Street, another quarrel began between a British soldier and a young worker. The boy started making false accusations against Captain Goldfinch and stating that he didn't pay his master for dressing his hair, and therefore he was a thief. More boys joined in, and Captain Goldfinch, by now fed up, told them that he was an officer and gentlemen who always paid his debts. The boy shouted back that there were no gentlemen in the 29th regiment.This then led to chaos and townspeople gathered. They cursed Goldfinch and taunted him. Colonists started throwing large chunks of ice and other random objects at Private White and Captain Goldfinch. Some of the townspeople thought there was a fire since the church bells were ringing, but once they found out the truth, they wanted revenge on the soldiers. One man was heard saying "Dammit, I am glad of it! I will knock some of them soldiers on the head!" Another was heard saying he "had a sword to chop off a soldier's head."Captain Thomas Preston then arrived with seven soldiers thinking there was a riot. They carried their muskets with them but they were not loaded and they remained on their shoulders although their bayonets were fixed. Preston then attempted to march the men back to the guard station but the crowd would not hear of it. Preston then ordered his men to form into a semi-circle fearing the jeering of the immense crowd....

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