The Fair Trial
The Boston Massacre
The Boston Massacre: March 5, 1770
"The Boston Massacre * is a part, not only of our national history, but of our national mythology.
Here the star is John Adams. We know that
purely from a sense of duty, at great risk to his own popularity lawyer
Adams took the impossible case and somehow convinced an implacably hostile
jury to acquit his client.
In Boston, a secret group calling itself
the Loyal Nine began * to plan active opposition to the Stamp Act. *
[T]he value of Boston's mobbish tradition lay in the immediate availability
of a corps of husky, willing bully-boys. Their object was simple: Compel
repeal of the Stamp Act by putting those who were to * enforce it in
fear of their lives.
The evening of March 5 * began quietly.
Thomas Preston was captain of the day. Private White had been posted
in the little sentry box. * Garrick *one of the * young apprentices
* arrived. If Garrick's purpose was to taunt White, he succeeded. White
swung his musket striking the side of Garrick's head. The ruckus attracted
* attention. When a church bell rang the alarm, Bostonians hurried en
masse to the site. * The crowd was so large, so angry and so well armed
that no one could fairly expect the sight of the handful of red coats
* to frighten it into order. 'Take out six or seven of the men and *
go down to the assistance of the sentry', Preston said. The relief party
fell out, corporal William Wemms and six privates * When Preston arrived
* he ordered the sentry to fall in. Then Preston tried to march the
party back * The crowd pressed around. Preston stood * in front of the
soldiers, shouting at the crowd. * Up and down the line, men dared the
red coats to fire. A club arched through the moonlight catching Montgomery
* his musket dropped to the ice. Rising to his feet, in agony, rage,
frustration and fear, 'Damn you, fire!' he roared, and pulled the trigger.
* The pause after the first shot quickly ended * Kilroy raised his weapon.
Another shot. The mob advanced, more guns fired. "