Examining the evidence about the boston massacre



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EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE ABOUT

THE BOSTON MASSACRE

March 5th, 1770

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AGENT NAME: _____________________________________ PERIOD:_____________



Case File: Examine the evidence in the following order

1. Read Documents 1 and 2 – underline facts in each

2. Review the evidence located on the website given to you by your teacher. When you think you have enough evidence, you may attempt to solve the case as directed on the website. This will be completed in class on ____________________________ in Computer Lab ___________.

3. Analyze the visual historical record for the Boston Massacre and complete the analysis for Documents 3, 4 and 5

4. Complete the mission review questions (Document 6)


Document 1: Background Information
As you read, underline facts in the case.
Why Boston?

British troops were sent to Boston in 1768 to help officials enforce the Townshend Acts. The Townshend Acts were very unpopular because they allowed Parliament to tax the colonists directly and Boston quickly became the center of colonial resistance against British rule. The Townshend Acts were so unpopular in Boston that customs officials requested naval and military assistance to stop colonial unrest. On June 10, 1768, customs officials seized the Liberty, a ship owned by leading Boston merchant, John Hancock, on the charge of smuggling. Bostonians reacted with riots! General Thomas Gage, Commander-in-Chief in North America, was told to send “such Force as You shall think necessary to Boston” and thousands of redcoats (British soldiers) were sent to Boston. Tension between British soldiers and colonists in Boston increased markedly.


The massacre

On the night of March 5, 1770 British soldiers killed five men in Boston. A mob of men and boys were taunting Private Hugh White, a sentry standing guard at the city’s Customs House. The Custom’s House was where taxes and duties were collected and paid. The mob grew in size and continued to taunt the sentry until Private White left his sentry box and retreated to the Custom House stairs. Other soldiers, with fixed bayonets, were dispatched to White’s aide. As the soldiers moved forward to the sentry box, the angry crowd pressed around them. When they reached this point the soldiers loaded their muskets and joined Private White at the Custom House stairs. As the crowd, estimated at 300 to 400, gathered about them, they formed a semicircular perimeter in their defense.


A club wielded by Richard Holmes, a local tavern keeper, struck Private Hugh Montgomery. When he recovered to his feet, he fired his musket, later admitting to one of his defense attorneys that he had yelled, “Damn you, fire!” However, it is presumed that Captain Preston would not have told the soldiers to fire, as he was standing in front of the guns, between his men and the crowd. The soldiers fired into the crowd, hitting eleven men. Three were killed immediately and two died later of wounds.
To keep the peace, the next day royal authorities agreed to remove all troops from the center of town. On March 27 the soldiers, Captain Preston and four men who were in the Customs House and alleged to have fired shots, were indicted for murder. John Adams served as the defense attorney due what he called his “sense of duty”. The trial was delayed for months but the soldiers were eventually acquitted.

DOCUMENT 2: Special Agent Case Files

As you read, underline facts in the case.

page1vb.jpg

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YOU MAY NOW ENTER THE BOSTON MASSACRE FILES WEBSITE! MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THE EVIDENCE SO YOU CAN SOLVE THE CASE!

http://bostonhistory.org/sub/bostonmassacre/

THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE FOR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSES ABOUT THE BOSTON MASSACRE! YOU DO NOT NEED TO ACCESS THE GAME TO COMPLETE THE WORK.

Background Reading for Documents 3-5

Underline facts in this reading before completing documents 3-5

page3vb.jpg

DOCUMENT 3: Paul Revere engraving

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A print engraved and sold by Paul Revere within three weeks of the massacre.

It was entitled: "The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street", 1770.

1. Details I find remarkable or interesting are: _________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. From these DETAILS, I can infer that: ______________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENT 4: J. Bufford engraving

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/revolution/boston_massacre.jpg

A print engraved by J. Bufford, based on the drawing by William L. Champey, 1856.

1. Details I find remarkable or interesting are: _________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. From these DETAILS, I can infer that: ______________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENT 5: Alonzo Chappel engraving

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/revolution/boston_massacre2.jpg

Engraving based on a painting by Alonzo Chappell, 1868.

1. Details I find remarkable or interesting are: _________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. From these DETAILS, I can infer that: ______________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENT 6: Mission Review

Use your research and case solving ability to answer the following questions. Make sure you answer in complete sentences and refer to the evidence in the case file.

  1. Do the images of the Boston Massacre (Documents 3,4 5) tell the same story? Compare and contrast the images. Make sure you discuss how they are similar AND different.



  1. Which document is the most reliable? Make sure you give reasons for your response.



  1. Was the Boston Massacre a massacre? Why or why not?



  1. When did the Boston Massacre take place?



  1. The jury that was assembled for the Boston Massacre trials did not have a single Bostonian member. Why would this be so?



  1. List the names of the 5 men who died at, or as a result of, the Boston Massacre.


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