fascinating facts from the HistoryWiz archives
British soldiers responsible for
the "Boston Massacre"
famous (and inaccurate) engraving of Paul Revere depicting the "massacre"
knows that in the tension preceding the American War for Independence,
British soldiers fired on Colonists in Boston. This episode, of
course, is known as the "Boston Massacre." What is less
well known, however is the aftermath.
the Boston Massacre, the British Captain Preston and eight soldiers
were jailed and tried for murder. They were defended by John
Adams (who later became the second President of the United States)
and all but two were acquitted on grounds of self defense. Those
two were convicted of Manslaughter, but claimed benefit of clergy
(the chance to make penance instead of being executed). To insure
that they never could use benefit of clergy again they were
both branded on the thumbs. America hoped to show that even
these hated British soldiers could receive a fair trial, and
a just punishment.
reading - David
McCullough's pulitzer prize
winning biography of John Adams sheds light on this and other
aspects of the American Revolution. Available online at Amazon.com
more information on the Boston Massacre, visit our American
Revolution Exhibit or The