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Boston Massacre


In Paul Revere’s famous engraving of the Boston Massacre — executed just days after the March 5, 1770 incident occurred and distributed widely throughout the colonies — British soldiers are seen shooting unarmed civilians, killing five and wounding six. But did the Boston Massacre happen the way Revere depicted it? Why were British troops in Boston in the first place? What led to the fatal confrontation between soldiers and civilians? What happened to the soldiers who fired upon the civilians? Students will learn the answers to all of these questions when they explore this unique set of historical documents: handbill urging citizens of Boston to boycott an importer of British goods; illustrations depicting the incident, including Paul Revere’s engraving; inflammatory broadsides; loyalist account of the event; and trial excerpts representing both the British and the American versions of the event. Historian: Richard Pandich. The contents of this Jackdaw feature:

Support Materials

  • Illustrated Broadsheet Essay
  • Timeline
  • Critical Thinking Questions
  • Recommended Reading List

Historical Documents

  • Handbill urging the citizens of Boston to not buy goods from loyalist William Jackson, January 1770
  • Paul Revere engraving: “The Bloody Massacre Perpetuated in King Street Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Reg,” March 1770
  • Broadside: “On the Death of Five young Men who was Murthered, March 5th, 1770. By the 29th Regiment,” 1770
  • Broadside: “An Account of a late Military Massacre at Boston, or the Consequences of Quartering Troops in a populous Town,” March 12, 1770
  • A loyalist account of the event, 1770
  • Deposition of Captain Thomas Preston, March 12, 1770
  • Excerpts of the soldiers’ trial, October 24-30, 1770

Illustrations: Other views of the Boston Massacre

Price: $36.50



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