Boston Massacre- Analysis of Accounts essays

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Boston Massacre- Analysis of Accounts essays

Little is known about the events of March fifth, 1770 at the front of the Boston Commons House.The end results and a few accounts give an overview of what occurred, but the details of this tragic day are uncertain.All that is confidently known is that a British sentry struck an offensive boy leading to a gathering of protesting Bostonians.The sentry called for reinforcements and the situation escalated to the point that a soldier fired a single shot, soon followed by the shots of his fellows.Five Bostonians died, six were wounded, and the officer and his soldiers got off with minor punishments.Though little is known for certain, through a study of the testimonies of Captain Preston and witnesses for the prosecution and defense, the events of the Boston Massacre can be reconstructed.
Preston's testimony begins with the gathering mob, as that was when he arrived on the scene.He claims that the mob was taunting, threatening, and assaulting the soldiers with sticks and snowballs.He also claims that he did not give the order to fire, and reports that his soldiers heard the crowd yelling "fire" and mistook that as an order from him.All of this is corroborated in testimony for both the defense and prosecution.However, other portions of his testimony are not supported.He reports that the mob "advanced to the points of the bayonets," and made a "general attack" upon the soldiers with clubs and snowballs.
Though some of the prosecution's witness's testimony is likely false, truths may be obtained as well.Hinkley, Wyatt, and Burdick all admit that snowballs and at least one stick were thrown at the soldiers from a distance before thefirst shot was fired, while only Fosdick denies it.Because of this it is reasonable to assume that Fosdick was either lying or in an unsuitable position to give accurate testimony.Hinkley, Cunningham, and Bliss all report that they did no…