The Boston Massacre: Guilty Or Murder?

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On March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd on King’s Street in Boston. Five people died and the soldiers were charged with murder. The events of the Boston Massacre made the colonies hunger for independence even stronger, however I believe that the soldiers are not guilty of committing murder. I will prove through historical accounts and eyewitness testimony that the British Soldiers are indeed not guilty of murder, but were acting purely out of self-defense.

William Sawyer, a Boston citizen, gave this account of the incident during the trial, “The people kept huzzaing. Damn’ em. Daring’ em to fire. Threw snow balls. I think they hit ‘em. As soon as the snowballs were thrown, and a club, a soldier fired. I heard the club strike upon the Gun and the corner man next the
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This was the first gun. As soon as he had fired he said “Damn you, fire”. I am so sure that I thought it was he that spoke. That next gun fired and so they fired through pretty quick.” According to John Adams HBO Mini Series, Captain Preston said during the trial that he was standing in front of the soldiers ordering them not to fire, but when one of his soldiers got hit in the head with a club he stood back up and fired into the crowd. After that, the rest of the soldiers fired. Due to the fact that a club was thrown from the crowd at a guard proves that the gun was fired out of self-defense. Daniel Cornwall, another Boston citizen who saw the events of the Boston Massacre, said this in his testimony, “Captain Preston was within two yards of me and before the men and nearest to the right and facing the Street. I was looking at him. Did not hear any order. He faced me. I think I should have heard him. I directly heard a voice say “Damn you, why do you fire? Don’t fire”. I thought it was the Captain’s then. I now
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