Land of the Brave

Boston Massacre Facts

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Facts about the Boston Massacre Facts
The following facts about the Boston Massacre provide interesting information, an overview and description of this famous event in American History.

Fact 1
The Boston Massacre took place on the evening of March 5, 1770

Fact 2
The location of the incident was in front of the Customs House on King Street

Fact 3
The heavy military presence in the town that lead to the incident was the result of British enforcement of the Townshend Acts of 1767

Fact 4
The British soldiers (redcoats) had arrived in Boston on September 28, 1768

Fact 5
There were 4,000 British troops and about 20,000 residents at the time of the incident.

Fact 6
Two famous men led the different factions. Thomas Hutchinson was the royal governor and Samuel Adams was a patriot and the man of the people

Fact 7
The day before the incident on March 4, 1770 dozens of Bostonians had clashed with British troops at John Gray's Ropewalk in the Fort Hill district

Fact 8
Private Matthew Kilroy had argued with Samuel Gray at Gray's Ropewalks. Private Kilroy would later be convicted of manslaughter of Samuel Gray

Fact 9
On the snowy evening of March 5, 1770 a British soldier called Hugh White became involved in a confrontation with some citizens. Hugh White struck a young boy called Edward Garrick with the butt of his rifle for insulting a British officer called Captain Goldfinch

Fact 10
Private White called for assistance which was answered by Captain Thomas Preston and 8 British soldiers.

Fact 11
A redcoat called Private Montgomery was hit in the face by a stick and fired into the crowd killing a black man called Crispus Attucks

Fact 12
Other shots were fired. Private Kilroy shot and killed a man called Samuel Gray

Fact 13
Altogether 5 civilians were killed. Their names were Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, Patrick Carr, Samuel Maverick and James Caldwell

Fact 14
Six other civilians were wounded during the incident

Fact 15
The soldiers involved were arrested - all pleaded not guilty

Fact 16
The victims were hailed as heroes and buried together in the Granary Burying Ground

Fact 17
12,000 Bostonians joined the funeral procession that made symbolic trip to the Liberty Tree

Fact 18
The Governor William Hutchison instigated an investigation and reported his findings to London

Fact 19
A town meeting held at Faneuil Hall appointed their own committee to investigate the incident. Samuel Adams was the chairman of the committee who insisted that the British troops left the town.

Fact 20
The British troops left the town and stayed at Castle William which was an old fort in Boston Harbor.

Fact 21
The term 'Boston Massacre' was coined by Samuel Adams

Fact 22
John Adams, the cousin of Samuel Adams who would become the second American President, was appointed to defend the Soldiers at the trial together with Josiah Quincy Jr.

Fact 23
The prosecutors were Robert Treat Paine and Samuel Quincy

Fact 24
Captain Thomas Preston and eight of his men were brought to trial on November 27, 1770.

Fact 25
The 8 British soldiers accused of murder were tried separately from their officer Captain Preston.

Fact 26
The names of the 8 soldiers were Corporal William Wemms, Private Hugh Montgomery, Private James Hartigan, Private William McCauley, Private Hugh White, Private Matthew Kilroy, Private William Warren and Private John Carroll.

Fact 27
Captain Thomas Preston was found not guilty and returned to England on December 2, 1770. He awarded 200 in compensation for the troubles he had endured during the incident

Fact 28
Two of the troops, Kilroy and Montgomery, were found guilty of manslaughter.

Fact 29
9 days after their trial, on December 14, 1770, they returned to court for sentencing - which should have been the mandatory death penalty.

Fact 30
They both entered a claim, and were granted, the 'benefit of clergy' to avoid the death sentence. They were released but were first branded on their thumb with the letter "M" for manslaughter.

Fact 31
Samuel Adams and Paul Revere used the incident as political propaganda to stir the patriots in the other colonies

Fact 32
The incident was followed by the Tea Act in 1773 followed by the Boston Tea Party in 1774.

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Updated 2018-01-01

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