Why Did Adams Decide To The Boston Massacre

915 Words4 Pages
On March 5, 1770 a street fight occurred between a mob of Boston citizens and British soldiers. The soldiers were increasingly unwelcome in Boston so the citizens threw snowballs, stones, and sticks at the group of soldiers who had been stationed here- the soldiers retaliated. The citizens were very outnumbered and the fight resulted in five deaths and six injuries from Boston. Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty named this event the Boston Massacre. The morning after, John Adams was sitting in his law office when Paul Revere revealed an engraving that showed Thomas Preston (captain of the British soldiers) ordering troops to fire at point blank range on the citizens. At this point, the anti-British fever in Boston was rampant. To calm the…show more content…
The answer to this question is not exactly known. Of course he knew that taking the case would be dangerous, and should his reputation be tarnished by an angry mob, his ambitions and economic future would be threatened. On the other hand, Adams didn’t think it would have been morally right to not give Preston a fair trial. Because of how great the tensions were over this conflict between Adams’ political and personal beliefs, he wrote in his diary that he was “never in more misery in my whole life.” However, John’s duty to the law was so strong that he later wrote that, “It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.” So when Preston’s trial started in October of 1770, Adams argued that Preston had not given the order to fire and that his soldiers were provoked by the crowd. Eventually, the jury acquitted Preston on the basis of “reasonable doubt”- this was the first time a judge had ever used this term.

John Adams played an important part in these trials and ultimately made the decisions that were the best for his people. It was important the Adams decided to send the British back to their country to help disconnect the two relationships. The Boston Massacre was significant on a few levels. First of all, it further aggravated the relationship between the British and the colonists and helped to increase the growing calls for separation. The colonists became more and more bitter as the news of the Boston Massacre spread, helping enhance its’ importance in the steps leading toward the American
Open Document