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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


Docno: ADMS-05-03-02-0001-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1770-11-28

Adams' Minutes of Crown Evidence, Continued1

28 November 1770

James Brewer. To the best of my Remembrance I saw Kilroy. I came up r[oyal] exchange Lane, and saw the Sentry with his Bayonett breast high, and a Number of Boys 20 or more round him. He was on the steps of the C[ustom] H[ouse]. I spoke to the Sentry, and said to him, no Body would hurt him. The Boys were talking together, but doing nothing. I saw the Party come down. I spoke to C[aptain] P[reston] and said to him every Body was about dispersing. He said He hoped they were, and presently left me, and went in among them. Kit. Monk was there. I turnd round to speak to Kit Monk, and they fired and K. faltered. Kilroy struck me upon the Arm with his Bayonet as they came round before they were formed. The Firing began upon the Right, I thought it the Man quite upon the right. Kilroy struck at me. Saw no Blows, nothing thrown. Monk had a Catstick2in his Hand. Heard no Names called, no Threats, no shouts, no Cheers, till the firing. Saw the Molatto Man, but did not see him strike. Saw Dr. Young3at the Bottom of r[oyal] Exchange Lane with a sword in his Hand. He said the Soldiers had been making a Rumpus, but were gone to their Barracks. I said it was best for Us to go home and Dr. Young said so too.4
{ 113 } { 114 }
Saml. Emmons. I dont know any of the Prisoners. Nor anything.5
James Bailey. Saw Carrol and Montgomery, and White there the sentry. I was standing with the sentry upon the Custom House Steps, when the Party came down. I saw 20 or 30 Boys, Lads about 14 or 15 years of Age, about him. I asked the sentry what was the Matter? The Boys were heaving Pieces of Ice at him large and hard enough to hurt a Man, as big as your fist. He said he did not know what was the Matter but he was afraid, if the Boys did not disperse, there would be some• { 115 } thing by and by. I dont know whether any Ice hit him. Did not hear him knock at the door or call for assistance. When the Party came down, Carrol came and put his Bayonet up to my Breast, and the sentry told him not to hurt me. I went and stood leaning over the Post, between the Corner and the Post. Montgomery fired the first Gun. He was the next Man to me close to me, at the right. Cant Say whether the 1st. Gun killed or hurt any one. I Stoopd down to look under the Smoke and the others went off. ½ a Minute between 1st. and 2d. Gun. Montgomery was knockd down and his Musquet fell out of his Hand by a Clubb or stick of Wood by one of the Inhabitants and as soon as he got up he fired his Gun, I think Carrol fired next. The Clubb was not thrown but I saw him struck with it. He fell down himself and the Gun fell out of his Hand. The Person that struck was a tall, stout man. There was 50 or 60 People near. Montgomery fired, about where the Molatto fell. It was pointing towards the Place where we saw Attucks lie. It was not the Mollato that struck Montgomery. But the Blow was very violent. I heard 3 Cheers given two Minutes before the Firing. Carrol stood the 3 d. from the right. The People were shouting. Saw the Mollatto at the Head of 25 or 30 sailors with Clubbs some of em. Molatto had a large Cord wood stick. It was 7 or 8 Minutes before the firing that I saw them in Cornhill. They held their Sticks up huzzaing and whistling. I Saw a Number of Soldiers at Murrays Barracks and officers driving of em in. The Man that struck Montgomery down stood at the right of the right Hand Grenadier. The Blow was before the firing. Was at the Rope walks fryday or Saturday before. The soldiers had large Clubbs. Carroll was there.6
{ 116 }
Richard Palmes. I know Montgomery, and saw him there. Heard Bells ring, after 9. In Kings Street saw the sentry, at the Custom House. Went to Murrays Barracks, and saw 7 or 8 soldiers with their Guns &c. { 117 } Spoke to the officers &c. Saw Hickling, and Spear. I said I'd go and try to make Peace. Found C[aptain] P[reston] and 7 or 8 Soldiers. Went up to C. P. and saw Bliss, who said why dont you fire God d—n you fire. I askd him &c.
{ 118 }
I saw a Piece of Ice or Snow strike Montgomerys Gun. It struck the Grenadier, and made a Noise. He fell back whether he stepped back or sallied back I cant tell, and fired his Gun. Then I heard the Word fire. In 6 or 8 seconds, the soldier next to Captn. Prestin, fired. 7 or 8 Guns I believe were fired in the whole. Montgomery pushed at me. I struck, &c. Another was coming at me with his Bayonett and I ran.
I am sure Montgomery was not knocked down before he fired. He did not fall. Did not see any Blow given or any Thing sent but the Blow I gave myself and the Piece of Ice which hit Montgomery. Montgomery could not have been knockd down and I not have seen it before the firing, for he stood close to Captn. Preston. I struck Montgomery and knockd him down just as the last Gun was fired.7
{ 119 }
John Danbrook. Knows the 2 farthest Men, Hartigan and Carrol. Saw em there. I saw Montgomery there and saw him fire. Saw no Blow given or stick or any thing thrown at him. Montgomery stood at the { 120 } right of C.P. I saw a little stick fly over their Heads, but did not perceive that it hit. A Piece of a rattan or some such thing. I saw two fall as he fired, before I heard any other Gun. One fell just vs. my left Elbow, and the other about 3 foot from me about 10 or 15 foot from the Soldier. In a range with me, one was the Molatto. I believe it was with the first Gun that they were. They were 5 foot a sunder. It was not a Minute, after the Molatto fell that the other Man fell. I cant say, I heard another Gun, before I Saw the 2d Man down. I did not hear Attucks say any Thing. He stood leaning over a long Stick he had. I came through Dock Square. About 20 or 30 Persons, dressd in Sailers Cloaths. They cryd We'l go up this Way by the Town House. The Bells rung at this Time. Most of em had Clubbs. I did not see them in K's Street that I know of. I heard no Noise, no hazzaing, and Saw nothing thrown. I Saw the 20 or 30 first by the dock Square Pump. { 121 } The Clubbs were Cordwood sticks broke up as thick as one's Wrist.8
{ 122 }
Jed. Bass. I came up r[oyal] Exchange Lane, and saw Montgomery. Saw him push his Bayonet at a Man, I drew back about 5 foot and saw his Gun go off. He was the right Hand Man. Saw a stick [knocked?] to knock up his Gun, by whom I cant say. It knocked the Gun up 5 or 6 Inches. I think I saw him fall down after he fired, but am sure he did not before. I was placed so that I must have seen it. His Gun fell out of his Hand. What occasiond it dont know. The People were round him 7 or 8 foot off. I was 5 or 6 foot within the Lane. 6 Guns fired I think. I could not see all the Soldiers where I stood. I could see but 2 soldiers. I came thro r[oyal] exchange Lane. Saw a Number there. They were talking there of going Home. I heard 2 Cheers before the firing. The People in D[ock] Square were dressed some in Sailors Habits, some in Surtouts &c. Some had sticks. They said there was no fire, but that the soldiers had been out.9
{ 123 }
Thos, Wilkinson. Knew Montgomery. He lived close by me. No other. ¼ after 9 heard Dr. Coopers Bell ring. Saw the Engine. Ran to Mr. Bagnalls. Many People coming, with Baggs and Bucketts. I saw a Number of soldiers 10 or 12 by Boylstones alley, with swords and Bayonetts, pressing up towards the People. I went back and stopped at the Main guard. The soldiers appeard to me to be challenging the People, but I did not Stop one Minute to see any Stroke. The People at the Chamber Windows cryd for G—d Sake dont go there, if you love { 124 } your Life. When I went to the head of the main Guard, you could not see Man nor Boy nor Child in Kings Street. Dr. Chanceys Bell began to ring. I was not low enough down to see the sentry at the Custom House. In a very short Time I saw 40 or 50 People in Kings street. C. P. came down, to the Guard, and cryd d—n you turn out. They did. He went down with them at their right, 8 of them, I think, 2 files. I went with them as far as Mr. Waldoe's shop. I thought they were going to relieve Guard. C. P. stood at the right of em. In 4 minutes I heard the Word given fire, d—n your Bloods fire. They fired, regularly one after the other, like the Clock striking. I saw the flash of every Gun seperately. Firing began at the right, but dont remember seeing Montgomery after I got down there. The Circle coverd ½ r[oyal] exchange Lane. 7 Guns fired. One flashed. I was 2 yards from 'em. I stood there all the Time they were there, saw no Ice nor Snow Balls thrown. The People did not press on. I would have departed if I had seen any Pressing, or snow Balls or Blows. 2 or 3 Huzzas, before the Party marched down but none after. Not 12 minutes from the Parties going down, firing, and all.10
{ 125 } { 126 }
Josiah Simpson. Curious.11 Knows Warren, and Hartigan and White and Wemms and saw 'em there. At Faneuil Hall, I Saw a Number of Gentlemen. Asked what was the matter. They answerd me that 2 young Men had been abused by the Soldiers, and that the Soldiers were returned to the Barracks. The Bells ringing I ran up r[oyal] exchange Lane. At the Head of the Lane, no Person there but a Soldier, the sentry. The People coming up cryd heres <a> the soldier and huzza'd. The soldier at those Words immediately [repaired?] from the W. Corner of C. H. to the Door. Gave 3 loud and remarkable Strokes with the brass Knocker. 4 or 5. or 6 People or such a matter as that. Somebody came to the door and spoke to him. He turnd and loaded his Gun, and knockd it loud on the Stone Steps. I Saw the Soldiers with an officer coming. They Said nothing to the Sentry. Nor threw any Thing. The officer cryed Shoulder. 7 Soldiers. I take it. He C. P. orderd em to handle Arms, Ease Arms, Support Arms, and prime and load, and I am as certain of it, as I am of my own Existence. He stood behind the soldiers within the Circle next the C. H. C. P. behind em when they came down. The Soldiers on a run. I went up to the officer and said for G. Sake dont fire on these People. He was behind the soldiers then. I was before em at the Edge of the Gutter. I went then to the People and said for G–d Sake Gentlemen dont trouble these Men they are on duty. They said they would not, nor would be drove off by them. I then withdrew to the other Side of the Way and saw a Man a going to throw a Clubb. I begd him not to and he did not. I was then just by Wardells [Warden's] shop. I saw then one Clubb thrown in to the soldiers, I heard the Word present, I stoopd down and a little Time ensued, and then I heard d—n you fire. I believe the { 127 } Clubb hit one of the Soldiers Guns. I heard it strike. The Person that threw it stood about 10 foot from me, 10 Yards from the Soldiers. 2 Guns first. 3 Guns more were discharged, which killed Attucks and Gray, then 2 more which killed Caldwell who stood near me. The other Gun struck about 5 Inches over my back. I saw Attucks and Gray fall and heard them too. 3 or 4 seconds between the 2 and the 3 Guns. The last Gun wounded Patterson in the Arm, his Blood Sprinkled on my Waiscoat. 8 Guns I judged. The Stick was thrown 1 or 2 seconds before the 1st Gun. The Stick was a Cordwood Stick, a White birch. An inch thick. I heard Murder cryd between the 2 and the 3 Guns. By the Voice, I thought it was Maverick. The People made considerable Noise but no huzzaing, no bloody back.12
{ 128 }
Nathl. Fosdick. Did not know any of em that night. I was pushed behind by a Bayonet. They d—d my Blood and bid me stand out of the Way. I said I would not. They parted 3 went of one side of me and 6 of the other. I heard the Word fire, and the right Hand Man fired. { 129 } I then run in towards them and they pushed me with their Bayonetts and wounded me in the Breast shewing the scar.13 I had a Small Stick in my hand as big as my finger. Two different Bayonetts run into my Arm, I can shew the scar now. The Bayonet that struck me in the Breast, I put it aside, and the Gun went under my Arm, I never Struck, only as I put away the Gun. There had been no Blows struck that I saw and I could see the most of the soldiers. I knew nothing of the Cause of their firing. I Saw the Grenadier fall after he had fired.14
{ 130 }
Saml. Hemmenway. Sheriffs Coachman. Knows Kilroy. About a Week or fortnight before, I heard Kilroy Say at Mr. Apthorps that he never would miss an opportunity of firing upon the Inhabitants. He had wanted Such an Opportunity ever since he had been in the Country. He repeated the Words several Times. Mrs. Buker Mr. Apthorps House keeper was there and nobody else but the Negro Boy. I told him, he was a very great fool for saying so. He said he never would miss an opportunity.15
{ 131 }
Joseph Hilyer. Knows none. At the North [End] heard the Bells at the Mill bridge,16 heard it was a Rumpus between the Soldiers and Inhabitants. At the Conduit, Saw People who said I could not go up Cornhill, without Danger of Life, and they seemed to me to be there from fear to go not from a Design to do Mischief. I went up Kings Street. Saw the sentry and 20 or 30 People. Boys at Diversion, not so many as often seen there. He levell'd his Gun and waved it, in a Way that had a Tendency to exasperate a People. The People after the Party passed thro them came out to the Middle of the Street.
The People collected at the Head of r[oyal] exchange Lane. The soldiers with charged Bayonets at their Hips, as I passed the last Man upon the left, the Gun was fired on the right. The last Man upon the left but one, fired the last Gun at a Boy that ran down the middle of the street, but did not hit the Boy. I saw no Molestation, nothing that could produce any firing, and could not believe they had shot any Body. A little Boy, at Mr. Hicklings told me People were kill'd. I went { 132 } up to see, and I heard a Cocking of one Gun, and it ran thro the whole. An officer stepped forward and said dont fire upon the Inhabitants. They cocked without any orders. The soldier at the left did fire. Moon and snow made it light as day. The Head of the Lane was stopped up, by People.17
{ 133 }
Nick. Ferriter. I have seen Killroy and Warren at the Ropewalks in the Affray, the Fryday before. Never heard them threaten. They had Clubbs and Cutlaces.
Fryday [2 March] Mr. John Gray askd me to go to his Walk to make some Ropes. A soldier came down cursing and damning and Swearing, he would have satisfaction. By God he would have Satisfaction of me. He struck me. I <tript> knockd up his Heels and his Cloaths opend and discoverd a naked Cutlass under his Coat. He went away and brought about a Dozen more, Warren with them and another. We went up with Clubbs and they made Blows at our People and we at them and drove them away, and after that the whole Barracks came and Kilroy and Warren was with them and we had a Battle with them, and drove 'em off.
That night, 5 March, I heard the Bells ring, and in Quaker Lane I met Saml. Gray, and S. Gray said he would go home if there was no fire. He had no stick and was as calm as a Clock.18
{ 134 }
Benja. Burdick. I went up to one that I take to be the bald man but cant swear to any. I askd him if he intended to fire. Yes by the eternal God. I had a Cutlass or high Land broad sword in my Hand. Soldiers after the affray of the Ropewalks, came about my House, and I beat one of em off. They dogged a young Man that lived with me, and had been active in the Ropewalks. At first I had a Stick, and my Wife, told me to take this the Broadsword. I struck at the soldier19who pushed at me, and had I struck 2 or 3 Inches further, I should have { 135 } left a March that I could have sworn to. This was before the firing. I struck the Cock of the Gun. The Man I struck was the 4th. Man from the Corner, about the Middle. I saw but one Thing thrown that was a short stick, about 2 or 3 foot long. I heard a rattling. I took it they knocked their Guns together. They were continually pushing at People, and it was pretty slippery. I went afterwards to take up the dead, and they began to present and cock their Guns. The officer came before and knocked up the Guns, and said dont fire any more. Cant ascertain the Number of Guns, believe 5 or 6. I saw no Blows struck by others, for I had not time, to see before I drew my own sword.20
{ 136 }
Robert Williams. In Dock Square, it was said there had been an affray. Some went to the north, some one Way, some another. I went to K[ing] Street. People there. Some huzzaing, whistling, some leaning over their sticks. Somebody said dont press upon the Guard. I repeated the Words. The People seemed to be pressing as I was to get among the thickest of them. I heard a flash of a Gun. It made a Noise like a Pistal, a small Report. Another Gun went off, at the right a Man fell. The 3d Gun was fired. I saw the flash and heard the Report on my Knees. The People were running away, and the Guns seemed to move after the People. I saw People jumping upon the Backs of others trying to get in as I had been. Saw <no> some snow Balls, no sticks. I cautiond them not to press, upon the Soldiers least they should press the People upon the Points of the Bayonetts. They were within two foot. I was not there above a Minute. Saw no Blows.21
{ 137 }
Bartholomew Kneeland. I lived at Mrs. Toreys by the Town Pump. About a ¼ after 9 the Bells ringing, I went to the Door and saw a Number of soldiers. One came up to me, d—n you what do you do there. He put his Bayonet at my Breast and put it there sometime.22
{ 138 }
Mr. Thayer. A terrible swearing. Cutlaces and Clubbs were going. 7 soldiers came from the Town House without any Coats. Like wild Creatures. Damn them where are they cutt them to Pieces, a little after 9. I cant say who they were. The People below cryed fire. Soon before. I took it for a signal for the soldiers to come to help the others. The Cry of fire was by Justice Quincys.23
Mr. Nathl. Appleton. A little after 9. It was said at my Door the soldiers and Inhabitants were fighting. A Party of Soldiers came down from the Southward, 10 or 12, short Cloths on-white arms. I stood. I saw the Course of the Soldiers began to bend towards Us, and when they got about half a rod off they lifted up their Weapons. I retreated. They rushed on with uplifted Weapons and I thought myself in danger, if I did not retreat.24
{ 139 }
John Appleton.25 About 9 o clock, I was sent of an Errand, in K[ing] street, I was going home. At Jenkins ally about 20 soldiers. One came to me with his Cutlass. I cryd soldier Spare my Life. No damn you. We'l kill you all, and struck me upon the shoulder. I dodged or he would have Struck me on the Head.26
Coll. Thos. Marshall. No Body at Dock Square, no Body in Kings street at 9. K. Street never clearer. I some time after heard a distant Cry of Murder. A Party from the Main Guard came out, and damn em where are they? By Jesus let em come. I went in and came out again, and another Party came out of Quaker Lane. I saw their Arms glitter, and heard much such Expressions as before.27
1. Adams Massacre Minutes, MHiMS 2, continued (see note 18 above), followed without break in substance by Adams Massacre Minutes, MBMS (see note 141 below). See Descriptive List of Sources and Documents.
2. Catstick: a stick or bat used in tip-cat, a game in which a short piece of wood tapering at both ends is struck or “tipped” at one end with a stick so as to spring up, and then knocked to a distance by the same player. OED.
3. Dr. Thomas Young (1731–1777), a radical leader. See Edes, “Memoir of Dr. Thomas Young,” II Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns. 2–54 (1910).
4. Wemms Trial 20–24:
James Brewer, Block-maker, sworn.
Q. Please to look upon the prisoners, do you know any of them?
A. I think I remember this man (pointing to Killroy).
Q. Was you in King-street the fifth of March last?
A. Yes, in the evening.
Q. Please to inform the Court and Jury what you saw there?
A. I came up Royal-exchange-lane, and as I got to the head of it, I saw the Sentry on the steps of the Custom-house, with his bayonet breast high, with a number of boys round him: I called to him, and said, I did not think any body was going to do him harm. I saw Capt. Preston and some soldiers come down.
Q. Which of the prisoners was the Sentry?
A. I cannot tell, I was not so nigh him as to know his face.
Q. How many boys were there round him? [] A. I think about twenty.
Q. How old were these boys?
A. About fourteen or fifteen years old, perhaps some of them older, I saw no men there except one, who came up Royal-exchange lane with me, thinking it was fire. He went back again.
Q. What did you take to be the reason that the Sentry charged his bayonet?
A. I could not tell what the reason was; there was no body troubling him. I was at the corner of Royal exchange lane, and a young man went up to the Sentry and spoke to him; what he said I do not know.
Q. Was you there in the time of the firing?
A. Yes, I went towards the Sentry-box, where I saw Capt. Preston. I said to him, Sir, I hope you are not going to fire, for everybody is going to their own homes. He said I hope they are. I saw no more of him. He immediately went in amongst the soldiers.
Q. What number of soldiers were there?
A. I think seven or eight, I did not count them.
Q. Did Capt. Preston lead or follow them down?
A. I think he was upon the right of them. As they came down they had their guns charged breast high. I saw Christopher Monk, who was wounded that night, I turned to speak to him, and directly they fired, and he seemed to faulter. I said are you wounded, he said yes. I replied, I do not think it, for I then apprehended they fired only powder.
Q. Was it the first gun that you thought wounded Monk?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any of these prisoners there?
A. I think I saw Killroy, and that he was the man who struck me with his bayonet, when they came down, before they formed.
Q. Did any body near you do any violence to him? []A. No, I saw none.
Q. Had you seen Monk that evening before? []A. No, nor the day before.
Q. How near were you to the soldiers when they fired?
A. I was about ten or fifteen feet from them, I stood in the street just above Royal-exchange-lane, about six or seven feet from the gutter.
Q. Could you see the whole party?
A. Yes, they stood in a circle, or half moon.
Q. Did you take notice of the distance betwixt the first and second gun?
A. No.
Q. Was your back to them, when the first gun was fired?
A. No, my face was to them.
Q. Where did the firing begin?
A. Towards the corner of Royal-exchange lane, I think it was the man quite on the right.
Q. Did you know him? []A. No.
Q. Did the man that struck you do it on purpose, or accidentally, do you think?
A. I think he did it on purpose, I apprehended it so; I was standing by the gutter, and he was before me.
Q. Said he any thing to you?
A. No, nor I to him: he came to form, and I was closer than I wished I was, and he struck me.
Q. How came you to speak to the Sentry, and tell him not to be afraid?
A. Because he was swinging his gun in that manner.
Q. Did you come up Royal exchange-lane?
A. Yes. I saw Doctor Young there, and several others coming up to know where the fire was; Doctor Young said it was not fire, but that the soldiers had made a rumpus, but were gone to their barracks again. Then said I let every man go to his own home.
Q. Did you see any thing thrown at the soldiers? []A. No.
Q. Did you hear any body call them names? []A. No.
Q. Did you hear any threatning speeches?
A. No; except that the people cryed fire! fire!–the word fire, was in every body's mouth.
Q. Just before the firing, when Killroy struck you, was there any thing thrown at the soldiers then? []A. I saw nothing.
Q. Was there a number of people betwixt you and the soldiers?
A. Not many.
Q. Did you see Palmes talking with Capt. Preston?
A. No; I saw the molatto fellow there, and saw him fall.
Q. Did you see a party of people like sailors, coming down from Jackson's corner, with sticks? []A. No, I saw none.
Q. Where did you first see the molatto?
A. He was just before me by the gutter.
Q. Did you see any people coming from Quaker-lane with sticks?
A. I saw several inhabitants coming through that lane, but I saw no slicks.
Q. Were there any coming up Royal Exchange lane?
A. Yes, numbers, but I saw no sticks.
Q. When you first saw the molatto, did you hear him say any thing to the soldiers, or strike at them? []A. No.
Q. Had he a stick or club?
A. I did not take notice.
Q. Did you hear any huzzas or cheers as they are called?
A. I heard a clamour of the people, but I heard no cheers.
Q. Did you hear them call the soldiers any names?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear any body say, kill them, damn them knock them over?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear the whistling about the streets at that time?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any person strike with a club at the soldiers or any of them?
A. No.
Q. Did you see them attempt to strike their guns?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear the rattling of the guns as though a stick had struck upon them?
A. No. I heard the people around call fire.
Q. Did you take that to be the cry of fire, or bidding the soldiers fire?
A. I cannot tell now what I thought then.
Q. How many guns did you hear fired?
A. I think seven.
Q. Did the word fire proceed from the people or from the soldiers?
A. From the people.
Q. Was there a greater noise than usual, when the bells rang for fire?
A. I did not think there was so much. When I saw Dr. Young, he had a sword in his hand. When I came to King-street it was as quiet as I ever saw it in my life.
Q. Was the sword naked or not?
A. I cannot remember.
Q. What sort of a sword was it?
A. I do not remember.
Q. What did Young say to you?
A. He said it was the best way for every body to go home.
Q. Did any body huzza for King street?
A. No. I said, every man home, and the word went round.
Q. Did not Dr. Young say the soldiers were beat to their barracks?
A. No; He said they had made a rumpus, and were gone to their barracks.
Q. Do you know if Dr. Young went into King-street?
A. I cannot tell, I left him in the lane.
5. This witness' testimony does not appear in the Wemms Trial, nor in Paine Massacre Notes, although the latter contains Emmons' name, crossed out.
6. Wemms Trial 24–28:
James Bailey, sailor, sworn.
Q. Did you see any of the prisoners in King-street on the evening of the 5th of March last? []A. Yes.
Q. Which of them?
A. Carrol and Montgomery, and White who was the Sentry there.
Q. Did you see any of the rest?
A. No, I do not remember to have seen any of the rest.
Q. Was you there before the party came down? []A. Yes.
Q. In what part of the street?
A. I was standing along with the Sentry, on the Custom-house steps; I saw a number of boys round the Sentry.
Q. What number?
A. Twenty or thirty.
Q. Were they all boys?
A. Yes, none older than seventeen or eighteen years old.
Q. Did any thing pass between you and the Sentry?
A. Yes, When I first went up to him, I said, what is the matter? He said he did not know. The boys were throwing pieces of ice at him, and after I went to him, they threw no more; I stood with him five or six minutes.
Q. Did you see the pieces of ice thrown?
A. Yes.
Q. What sort of pieces, were they small or were they big enough to hurt a man?
A. Yes, hard and large enough to hurt any man; as big as ones fist.
Q. Did he complain any thing about it?
A. He said very little to me, only that he was afraid, if the boys did not disperse, there would be something very soon, he did not mention what.
Q. Did he tell them to disperse? []A. No, he did not say a word to them.
Q. Did you see any of the pieces of ice hit him?
A. There was nothing thrown after I went to him; if any thing was thrown, it was before.
Q. How came you to go to him?
A. I went up to him because I knew him, and to see what was the matter.
Q. Did you hear him knock at the door? []A. No.
Q. Did he call for any assistance? []A. I did not hear him.
Q. Was you there at the time of firing; please to recollect the circumstances?
A. When the soldiers came down, Carrol came up to me and clapt his bayonet to my breast, and White said do not hurt him.
Q. Was that before the soldiers had formed?
A. Yes; immediately on their first coming down. I stood betwixt the corner of the Custom house and the post there, with my arm a top of the post.
Q. Did you hear the first gun fired?
A. Yes.
Q. From what quarter?
A. From the right.
Q. Do you know the man that fired that gun.
A. It was Montgomery, he was the very next person to me, close to me. When White told him not to hurt me, he took his hand and pushed me right behind him.
Q. Did that first shot kill or wound any person?
A. I do not know.
Q. What space of time was it betwixt the first and second gun?
A. Half a minute, or less.
Q. Did you see any ice or snow thrown betwixt the first and second gun?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear any thing said?
A. There was a noise among the inhabitants, but I cannot say what they said.
Q. Did you see any thing thrown before the firing?
A. Yes; Montgomery was knocked down with a stick, and his gun flew out of his hand, and when he recovered himself he discharged his gun.
Q. Do you know where he stood at that time?
A. He was the very corner man, on the right, close to me.
Q. Who stood next him?
A. I do not know, but the man that stood the third from the right was Carrol, and I believe he was the next that fired.
Q. Did you observe any body strike Montgomery, or was a club thrown?
A. The stroke came from a stick or club that was in somebody's hand, and the blow struck his gun and his arm.
Q. Was he knocked down, or did the gun only fly out of his hand?
A. He fell I am sure.
Q. What with the blow on his arm?
A. His gun flew out of his hand, and as he stooped to take it up he fell himself; the blow struck his arm and might hit his body, for any thing I know.
Q. Did you see the person that struck him; was he a tall man?
A. He was a stout man.
Q. Was any number of people standing near the man that struck his gun?
A. Yes, a whole crowd, fifty or sixty.
Q. When he took up his gun and fired, which way did he present?
A. Towards Stone's tavern, I imagine he presented towards the Molatto.
Q. How far distant was he from Montgomery when he fell?
A. About fifteen feet.
Q. Did you see any of the rest of the persons fall?
A. No. When Montgomery fired, I stooped down, and when the smoke was gone, I saw three lying dead.
Q. Was the blow Montgomery received, upon the oath you have taken, violent?
A. Yes, very violent.
Q. When you came to the Custom-house, and saw the boys throwing ice, where did they stand?
A. In the middle of King-street.
Q. Were they thrown as hard, as they could throw them?
A. I believe they threw them as hard as they could.
Q. Was there at that time a good deal of ice in K street?
A. Yes, considerable broken ice.
Q. Before the firing, after the party came down, did you see any snow-balls, sticks, or ice, thrown at the party? []A. No.
Q. Did you hear any thing said to the party?
A. I heard nothing in particular said to them. I heard the cry of fire.
Q. Did you hear any threats?
A. No, none at all.
Q. Do you remember your examination before the Justices?
A. Yes. [This refers, apparently, to the commitment examination, and not to a deposition taken later. Bailey's is not one of the ninety-six depositions appended to the Narrative.]
Q. Do you remember your saying they were throwing sticks and cakes of ice, in the mob way?
A. No, not at the soldiers.
Q. Did you hear any cheers?
A. Yes, I heard two or three cheers.
Q. What time?
A. About two minutes before they fired.
Q. Did you hear anything said to this purpose, knock them over! kill them! kill them?
A. No, I did not.
Q. What did the people seem to be doing?
A. They stood front of them, and were shouting; but I saw no violence done, but to that one man.
Q. What did the people do immediately on the firing of the first gun?
A. I could not see because of the smoak.
Q. Did Montgomery say any thing upon the firing of his gun?
A. Not a word: nor any of the soldiers.
Q. Did you see a number of persons coming up Royal-exchange-lane, with sticks?
A. No, I saw a number going up Cornhill, and the Molatto fellow headed them.
Q. Was this before the guard came down or after?
A. It was before the guard came down.
Q. How many might there be of that party?
A. Betwixt twenty and thirty: they appeared to be sailors; some had sticks, some had none. The Molatto fellow, had a large cord-wood stick.
Q. Did they come down King-street afterwards?
A. I did not see them come down. I did not see the Molatto afterwards, till I saw him dead.
Q. Which way was the Molatto with his party going, when you saw them?
A. Right towards the Town-pump.
Q. Which way did you go into King-street?
A. I went up Royal-exchange-lane.
Q. How long before the firing, was it, you saw them in Cornhill?
A. Six, seven, or eight minutes, I believe.
Q. Were the bells ringing then? []A. Yes.
Q. What did the party with the Molatto do or say?
A. They were huzzaing, whistling and carrying their sticks upright over their heads.
Q. What number of sticks, do you suppose might be in the whole?
A. Seven or eight I suppose; some of them whistling, some huzzaing and making a noise.
Q. Did you know their design?
A. I did not: when they went up Cornhill, I went up Royal-exchange-lane.
Q. Did you see any soldiers about that time in the street?
A. Yes, I saw a number at Murray's barracks, and some officers driving them in.
7. Wemms Trial 28–30:
Richard Palmes, Merchant, sworn.
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners?
A. I know Montgomery, I saw him in King-street with the party on the evening of the 5th of March last. I was with some gentlemen in company, I heard the bells ring after 9 o'clock; I went into King-street, and I saw the Sentry at the Custom-house door as usual, and no body with him; when I came to the Town-house, I was told the soldiers were abusing the inhabitants; I asked where, and was told at Murray's barracks. I went down there, and saw four or five soldiers, with their guns and bayonets; I told the officer who stood by, I was surprised they suffered the soldiers to be out at that time of night; an officer said, do you pretend to teach us our duty Sir, I said no, only to remind you of it: You see, says he, the soldiers are in their barracks, why do not you go home. I saw Mr. Hickling, he was my neighbour, he said he was going home, we came up as far as the post office, where he left me; then I saw Mr. Spear, he said he was going to his brother David's; when I got to the Town pump, I heard a noise, and was told there was a rumpus at the Custom house; I said, I will go down and make peace, he said, you had better not go. I left Mr. Spear, and went down, and saw Capt. Preston at the head of seven or eight soldiers, with their guns, and bayonets fixed; I went to Capt. Preston, and saw Mr. Theodore Bliss talking with him, who said to Capt. Preston, “Why do you not fire,” “God damn you fire.” I stept betwixt them and asked Capt. Preston if the soldiers were loaded, he said yes, with powder and ball: I said, I hope Sir you are not going to fire upon the inhabitants, he said by no means: That instant I saw a piece of ice strike Montgomery's gun, whether it sallied him back, or he stept one foot back, I do not know, but he recovered himself, and fired immediately. I thought he stept back and fired, he was the next man to Capt. Preston, the only soldier that was betwixt the Captain and the Custom house. When he fired, I heard the word fire, who gave it I do not know. Six or eight seconds after that, another soldier on the Captain's right fired, and then the rest one after the other, pretty quick; there was an interval of two or three seconds, between the last gun but one, and the last.
Q. How many guns were fired?
A. I do not know certain, seven or eight I believe, I did not count them. Before the last gun was fired, Montgomery made a push at me with his bayonet, I had a stick in my hand, as I generally walk with one, I struck him, and hit his left arm, and knocked his gun down; before he recovered I aimed another stroke at the nearest to me, and hit Capt. Preston, I then turned and saw Montgomery pushing at me again, and would have pushed me through, but I threw my stick in his face, and the third time he ran after me to push at me again, but fell down, and I had an opportunity to run down Royal-exchange-lane.
Q. Did you take notice of the situation of the soldiers?
A. I saw the form they were in, they were formed in a half circle.
Q. Which way did Montgomery front? []A. He fronted the watch house.
Q. Did you stand in a range with the watch house and the corner of the Custom-house?
A. Yes.
Q. Are you certain that Montgomery was struck and sallied back before he fired?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you know whether it was with a piece of ice or a club?
A. No.
Q. Do you know whether it hit his body, or his gun, or both?
A. It struck both, I suppose.
Q. Did you see any other violence offered, except that which struck Montgomery, and the blows you aimed and gave?
A. No, no other.
Q. Are you sure Montgomery did not fall, just before he discharged his gun?
A. Yes.
Q. Upon the firing the first gun, did the people seem to retire?
A. Yes, they all began to run, and when the rest were firing they were a running.
Q. Did you see any of the deceased fall?
A. No, I did not, but afterwards I saw Gray and Attucks lying.
Q. Did you see all the rest of the soldiers discharge their pieces?
A. I saw the smoke, and it appeared to me at that time they all fired.
Q. When the last gun was fired, where were the people?
A. They were running promiscuously about every where.
Court. Call James Bailey again.
Q. Have you heard Mr. Palmes' testimony?
A. Yes.
Q. Are you satisfied, notwithstanding what Mr. Palmes says, that Montgomery was knocked down by a blow given him, immediately before he fired?
A. Yes, I am.
Q. Did you see any of the prisoners at the Rope walks in the affray there, a few days before the 5th March?
A. Yes, I saw Carrol one of the prisoners, there with other soldiers in that affray.
In March 1771, Palmes published his own version of his testimony, Boston Gazette, 25 March 1771, p. 2, col. 1–2:
Court. Do you know any one of the prisoners at the bar?
A. I know Montgomery: I saw him with the party in King-street the 5th of March.
Q. Please to relate what you saw of him.
A. I then repeated the same as I did at the trial of Captain Preston.
Q. In what manner were the soldiers situated?
A. They were in a circular form.
Q. Which Way did Montgomery front?
A. He fronted the Watch-House.
Q. Did you stand in a range with the Watch-House, and corner of the custom-house?
A. In a range from Montgomery's left, with the Watch-house.
Q. Are you sure Montgomery was struck and sallied back before he fired?
A. I tho't he stept back when it hit him.
Q. Do you know whether it was a piece of ice, or a club?
A. It was something resembling ice.
Q. Do you know whether it hit his body, or his gun, or both?
A. I think it struck both.
Q. Did you see any other violence offered, except to Montgomery, and the blows that you gave?
A. I saw no other.
Q. Are you sure Montgomery did not fall just before he fired?
A. Yes, I am sure of it.
Q. Upon firing the first gun, did the people seem to retire?
A. Yes, they appeared to me to run, promiscuously, from the first gun's being fired to the last.
Q. Did you see any of the deceased fall?
A. I did not; my back was towards them; at that time I ran into royal-exchange lane; and as I turned, I saw Gray and Attucks lying on the snow.
Q. Did you see all the rest of the soldiers discharge their pieces?
A. I saw the smoke, and at that time it appeared to me they all fired.
Court. Call James Bailey.
Bailey's testimony is exactly as set out in the Wemms Trial except that Palmes or the Gazette printers omitted the final question and answer. Palmes added this comment: “I imagine this evidence was bro't to invalidate my declaration in court; but I assure the world upon the oath I then took, that Montgomery did not fall until he attempted to run his bayonet thro' my body; which was about the time the last gun went off.”
8. Wemms Trial 30–32:
John Danbrooke, sworn.
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners?
A. Yes, the two furthest men, Hartegan and Carrol.
Q. Did you see them in King-street the 5th of March?
A. Yes.
Q. What time did you come into King-street?
A. About a quarter after nine, after the party were come down.
Q. Were these two men of the party?
A. Yes.
Q. Was you there at the time of the firing?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you see any of the party discharge their muskets?
A. Yes, Montgomery.
Q. Did you know him before?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any body strike him with a stick, or a stick thrown at him?
A. No.
Q. Whereabouts did you stand?
A. About ten or twelve feet from Capt. Preston, I saw a little stick fly over their heads, but I did not perceive it struck any of them.
Q. How large was it?
A. I took it to be a piece of a rattan.
Q. Did you see any thing at all hit the soldiers?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Was you looking at Montgomery when he discharged his piece?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you see any body fall upon his firing?
A. Yes, I saw two fall, one fell at my elbow, another about three feet from me. I did not hear the sound of another gun, before they both fell.
Q. Were they standing before Montgomery?
A. Yes, about twelve or fifteen feet from him, and about five feet apart, one was the Molatto, the other I did not know.
Q. Do you think one gun killed both these men?
A. Yes, for I heard no other gun when they fell.
Q. Are you certain the other person was killed?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you hear any other gun before that man fell?
A. No.
Q. Did the Molatto say any thing before the gun went off?
A. I heard him say nothing. The Molatto was leaning over a long stick he had, resting his breast upon it.
Q. Was you in Dock square before the firing?
A. Yes.
Q. How many people did you see there?
A. I saw about twenty or thirty gathered up by the Town pump in the market, some with clubs; they went up Cornhill, most of them drest in sailors cloaths.
Q. Did you then know where they were going?
A. They said let us go up to the Town-house. The bells were ringing at that time.
Q. Had they in general clubs?
A. The biggest part of them had clubs.
Q. Did you see any of them afterwards in King-street?
A. No, not that I knew.
Q. Did you see a tall man at the head of them?
A. No, I took notice of none in particular.
Q. Did you hear a huzzaing before the firing, or see any thing thrown except that stick you mentioned?
A. No.
Q. Had these persons when they were in Dock square, any clubs?
A. About half of them had sticks; there were between twenty and thirty of them.
Q. Did they hold them up over their heads?
A. Some did, and some did not.
Q. Did you see any body with a sword, at the bottom of Royal-exchange-lane?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did you see any soldiers there, about that time?
A. No.
Q. What do you mean by clubs?
A. They were cord wood sticks broken up.
Q. Did any of them appear to be large?
A. They were about as thick as one's wrist.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Jno. Danbrook. Saw Hartigan, Montgomery and Carroll there, of the party. About ¼ past 9 when he came down. Stood about 10 or 12 feet from Montgomery. Saw no stick strike him. A little one flew over there heads took to be a little piece of Rattan. Looking at Montgomery when he fired, upon his firing 2 Men fell did not hear the second gun, one Attacks, one fell near to his left hand and another about 3 foot from him. He stooped to see if the Mollatto was dead. Then turned round and saw the other man fall, about a minute between the 1st and 2d gun. Knew neither of Them, nothing past before the firing that he saw but the boys making a [Noise]: Attacks leaning on his Stick.
9. Wemms Trial 32–34:
Jedediah Bass, sworn.
I came up Royal-exchange-lane, and the first I saw was Montgomery, I saw him pushing his bayonet.
Q. Did you know Montgomery then?
A. Yes: I drew back about five feet, and I saw his gun go off.
Q. Where did Montgomery stand?
A. At the corner of Royal-exchange-lane, the right hand man of the party.
Q. Who did he push at?
A. I cannot tell.
Q. How long after that before his gun went off?
A. About a minute.
Q. Had any thing happened betwixt that and the firing?
A. I saw a stick knock up his gun.
Q. Do you know who it was knocked it up?
A. No.
Q. How near did you stand to him?
A. About five feet off, within Royal-exchange-lane.
Q. Did that stick knock up his gun before he fired?
A. Yes.
Q. Did he bring it down before he fired?
A. He brought it down to the place where it was before; and then he fired.
Q. Was you looking at him all the time before he fired?
A. Yes.
Q. Are you certain, he did not fall before he fired?
A. Yes.
Q. Are you sure, if he had fallen, you must have seen him?
A. Yes, from my situation I think I must have seen him.
Q. What sort of a stick was it his gun was knocked up with?
A. It looked like a walking stick.
Q. Did you see him fall after he fired?
A. Yes.
Q. What occasioned his fall? []A. I cannot tell.
Q. Did you see any body strike him, or at him?
A. No.
Q. Did his gun fall out of his hand?
A. I think it did.
Q. Are you sure that was before, or after his firing?
A. After his firing.
Q. How near were the people to him at the time of his firing?
A. Seven or eight feet off.
Q. Did you see any other of the prisoners there that night?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Did you stay till all the guns were fired?
A. Yes.
Q. How many were fired?
A. Six, I think, but I did not count them.
Q. At the place where you stood, could you see all the soldiers?
A. No, only two, they stood in a circular form.
Q. After the first gun was fired, did not the people begin to run down the lane? []A. Yes.
Q. Did you hear any words spoke by the party of soldiers or any of them?
A. No.
Q. How long did you continue there?
A. About five minutes, not longer: untill all the guns were fired.
Q. Did you come from Dock square up to King-street?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you see any people there?
A. I saw about twenty.
Q. What were they doing?
A. They were talking about going home.
Q. Were the bells ringing?
A. Yes.
Q. Did they mention any thing why the bells were ringing?
A. They said first it was fire, and then that the soldiers were out.
Q. Did you hear any cheers given in King street?
A. I think I did before they fired.
Q. How many?
A. Two I think.
Q. Who gave them?
A. The town's people.
Q. How long before the firing?
A. About two minutes before the firing.
Q. How were the people drest in Dock square?
A. Some in sailors cloths, some in surtouts.
Q. Had they sticks?
A. Some had, some had not.
Q. Did you hear them mention their going to the Town-house?
A. No.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Jed. Bass. Coming up R. Ex. Lane when he got into K.S. he saw Montgomery who pushed his Bayonet at a Man. He drew back about 5 feet and in a Minute he fired. A walking Stick knocked up his Gun, he bro't it to a level and then fired. Is certain that Montgomery did not fall before he fired, must have seen him if it had been so. He fell after he fired. The people about 7 or 8 feet from the party. 6 Guns he thinks fired but did not count 'em. The People began to run down the Lane after the first Gun. The People in Dock Square said, lets go home there's no fire the Soldiers have been fighting &c. Some had Sticks and some none. Some one Way and some another. Heard 3 Chears about 2 Minutes before the firing began.
10. Wemms Trial 34–37:
Thomas Wilkinson, sworn.
Q. Do you know either of the prisoners?
A. Yes, I know Montgomery, he used to live close by my house; I know none of the rest. I was at home the whole evening, the Old-south bell rung for nine as usual; about a quarter after, I heard Mr. Cooper's bell ring, I went out and I saw the Old south Engine haulled out. I ran down as far as the town-pump, there seemed to be a considerable body of people, and some with buckets. The people out of the chamber windows, said, do not go down there, you will be killed. I saw ten or twelve soldiers with naked cutlasses by Boylston's alley. I saw them with their cutlasses and bayonets drawing up towards the people. I went back and stopped at the Main-Guard.
Q. Were there a number of the town's people there at that time?
A. Yes, and many with buckets in their hands.
Q. Were they contending with any body?
A. No they were standing in the street.
Q. What were the soldiers doing?
A. They were brandishing their swords and sallying up to the people, but I did not tarry there one minute.
Q. What number of people were there?
A. Thirty or forty.
Q. Had the persons the soldiers came up to, any thing in their hands?
A. No they had nothing but buckets. I took it they were brandishing their swords at the people, but I saw them strike no body. I went to the Main Guard, I saw the Sentries before the Guard house, walking as usual. I staid on purpose to see some body come back from Boylston's alley, to know if any were wounded. People were coming down from the South-end, crying where is the fire? Where is the fire? I said there is no fire, but the soldiers fighting. At that time, in King street, I do not think you could see a man, child, or boy passing. I stood there at the Main-Guard about four minutes. The Old Brick bell began to ring, and the people seemed to come along fast, with buckets and bags.
Q. Did Mr. Cooper's bell ring before? A. Yes, a good while.
Q. Could you see the Sentry at the Custom-House where you stood?
A. No, I staid there about five minutes, and in a very short time I looked down king-street, and saw thirty or forty people in King-street; Capt. Preston came down to the Main-Guard, as it were from behind the Brick meeting, and said turn out, damn your bloods, turn out: A party of soldiers turned out, Montgomery was amongst them; I was going to Montgomery, to ask what they were going to do? They drew up in two files, I think there were eight men, Capt. Preston drew his sword, and marched down with them, and I went down as far as Mr. Waldo's shop with them, I thought they were going to relieve guard. After that, I went up by the Main-guard again, having left the soldiers on their march down from Waldo's shop, and passed round the Town House, came down the north side of it, and went down King-Street, and got within two yards of the right of them; I saw Capt. Preston standing at the right of the circle, I staid there about four minutes, when I heard the word given, fire! There was none fired then. Then I heard damn your bloods, fire! Instantly one gun went off, I saw the flash of every gun as they went off, one after another, like the clock striking.
Q. Where did the firing begin?
A. It began at the right.
Q. Did you see Montgomery after he got down there?
A. No.
Q. Where did you stand when the guns were fired?
A. I stood about two yards to the right, in Royal-exchange-lane, and towards the back of the soldiers; I am positive the firing began at the right and went on to the left. I counted the guns.
Q. How many were fired?
A. Seven fired, and one flashed.
Q. Was there a longer distance betwixt the first and second gun, than betwixt the rest? A. No more than the rest, I think.
Q. Did you see any man fall?
A. I did not. There was a large opening at the centre, but on the right and left wings the croud was close and thick.
Q. Could you see all the soldiers?
A. No, I could not, there were many people between me and the soldiers.
Q. Did you see the person who held the gun that flashed?
A. Yes, but I did not know him.
Q. Whereabouts was he standing?
A. I believe, by the flash, he was the third or fourth man from the right.
Q. Did you see any thing thrown at any of them before the firing?
A. No, I stood all the time they were there, and saw nothing thrown at all.
Q. Did you see any body knocked down?
A. No.
Q. You saw no ice nor snow balls?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did the people round you seem to be pressing on so as to injure the soldiers?
A. No; had I seen any thing thrown, I would have gone away.
Q. Did you see any blows given by any body, before or after the firing?
A. No. I did not.
Q. Do you know Mr. Palmes?
A. No, I saw a man talking with the officer?
Q. Do you know Mr. Bliss?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear any huzzaing?
A. Yes, before the party marched down, there were two or three huzzas, but afterwards none at all.
Q. How many people do you imagine were there?
A. Sixty or seventy.
Q. From the time they went from the Main-Guard, till the firing, how long was it? A. It was not more than ten or twelve minutes.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Thos. Wilkinson. Knows Mont[gomery] lives next to him, had often been to get fire &c. Bells rang for 9 as usual. Afterwards Mr. Cooper's. Put on his Surtout and went out to see where the fire was. Got as far as the Town pump by Bagnal's. The people cried out don't go there you'l be kill'd. Saw the Soldiers with drawn Cutlasses at Boylstone's Alley, sallying out brandishing their Swords, saw none of the people contending with 'em. About 30 or 40 coming thick with Buckets &c. Appeared to him as if the Soldiers were challenging the people. Went to the Main-guard, stood there to <see> hear if any Body had been wounded. At that Time no body in K.S. Old brick-bell began to ring. Dr. Cooper's rung some time before. Stood there 5 Minutes or so Capt. Prest. came and said damn you turn out. A party of 8 came. Prest. drew his Sword and marched on the Right of 'em; about 30 or 40 people in the Street. Went as far as Waldo's Shop and went up to the Main-guard but did not stop, went round the North of the Town-house. The party formed in a Circle at the C.H. Stood about 4 minutes heard the Word fire. They did not fire, then heard the Word repeated, upon which the Guns went off like the striking of the Clock. Fire began at the Right. 2 yds. from 'em. Saw the Flash of Each Gun, 7 went off, one flushed. He not scared, imagining it was only powder. Thinks it was the 3d or 4th Man from the Right that flushed. Saw no Blows given nor Snow-balls, Ice, nor Oyster Shells thrown, nor pressing in of the people, had he, he should have retir'd. Heard 2 or 3 Chears before the party went down, but none afterwards. (NB. This he says very emphatically!)
11. Inserted in the MS above the line, this word may possibly be a comment by JA rather than part of Simpson's testimony.
12. Wemms Trial 37–40:
Josiah Simpson, Joiner, sworn.
Q. Do you know either of the prisoners?
A. Yes, White.
Q. Do you know either of the rest?
A. Yes Wemms.
Q. Do you know any other?
A. Yes, Warren and Hartegan, I saw them there that night under arms. On Monday evening 5th of March, I was at work near Hancock's wharff, hearing a bell ring it caused me to leave the shop to make inquiry what the matter was; I heard the soldiers had rose on the inhabitants, and I got as far as Fanuiel Hall. I saw several gentlemen, I asked them what the matter was, they answered me, that, two young men had been abused by the soldiers, but that they had returned to their barracks. The bells still ringing made me proceed up Royal-exchange-lane with a number of other persons: I out run them and came to the head of the lane, there being no person there but a soldier who was the Sentry, the other Inhabitants coming up, they cryed out there is a soldier and huzza'd. The soldier immediately repaired to the Custom house door, he was at the west corner of the house before; there, with a large brass knocker, gave three loud and remarkable strokes.
Q. What number of persons were there came up immediately after you?
A. Five or six. Somebody came to the door and opened it, and spoke to the Sentry, and then shut the door again.
Q. What was said to him?
A. I did not hear. The soldier then turned about and loaded his gun, and knocked it twice very loud on the steps; then he went to the west corner of the house where he had been before, the people gathered round him; I went with him, and I cast my eye up King-street, and saw an officer and seven men, they came to the west corner of the Custom-house.
Q. Was any thing done to molest them then?
A. No, nothing at all. The officer then cryed shoulder.
Q. Do you know who that officer was?
A. I have seen him in the Court.
Q. How many soldiers were with him?
A. Seven.
Q. How did they stand then?
A. They stood in a circle. The officer then said, handle your arms, ease your arms, secure your arms, support your arms, ease your arms, prime and load.
Q. Are you certain he said all that?
A. I am as certain, as I am of my own existence.
Q. Where did Capt. Preston stand then?
A. He stood a little behind the soldiers towards the Custom-house. There were about fifteen or twenty inhabitants in the street, when the party came down.
Q. Were the soldiers formed before they loaded?
A. They were not really formed: they were in a kind of a circle, after they had loaded they formed more into a circle than they were before.
Q. Did you know Capt. Preston before that?
A. I did not.
Q. Was you there when the guns fired?
A. I went up to the officer, and said for God's sake do not fire on these people: he made me no answer at all.
Q. Where was he then?
A. He was standing behind the soldiers.
Q. Was you behind the soldiers?
A. No, a little before them, at the edge of the gutter.
Q. Did you see any person with him?
A. No, none at all. I pushed through betwixt two of the men, and spoke to him that way, he had on a red coat, and laced hat. I saw no more of him. I went to some of the inhabitants, and said, do not trouble these men, they are on duty. Some said we will neither trouble them, nor be drove off by them.
Q. Did you hear any orders given for firing?
A. I heard damn you fire: it seemed to me as it came from the Sentry-box where I left the Captain. I was then by Vernon the barber's shop; I had passed across the street. I saw a man going to throw a club, I begged of him not to do it, for I said if he did, the soldiers would certainly fire: he said, he would not, and did not. I then saw a white club thrown at some distance from me towards the soldier's; immediately I heard the word present, I stooped down, a little space of time ensued, I heard damn you fire: two guns were discharged then as I judged.
Q. Did that club hit any body?
A. I believe it hit one of the soldiers guns, I heard it strike.
Q. Was that before the firing, or after?
A. Before the firing.
Q. How near to the soldiers was the person that threw the club?
A. About ten yards off. Three or four more guns were then discharged, which killed Attucks and Gray, I heard and saw them fall; then two more were discharged, one of them killed Mr. Caldwell, who was about ten feet distance from me, the other struck about five inches over my back.
Q. What space of time was there betwixt the second gun and the third?
A. I took it to be about two or three seconds. Another gun was then fired, which wounded Mr. Patterson in the arm.
Q. How long after the club was thrown, was it, before the first gun was fired?
A. Not above one or two seconds.
Q. What sort of a stick was it that was thrown?
A. I took it to be a white birch cord-wood stick, an inch thick.
Q. What sort of a man, for heighth, was he that threw it?
A. He might be about five feet and an half.
Q. How do you know what number of guns were fired together?
A. I judged by the report: I saw the flashes.
Q. Did you see any of the persons that were killed, that evening before they were killed?
A. No.
Q. Upon the oath you have taken, did that man throw the stick with considerable violence, or not?
A. He threw it considerable hard, he threw it over hand.
Q. Were any people standing betwixt the soldiers and the man that threw that stick?
A. Yes, some, but not many.
Q. Did the people make a great deal of noise and huzzaing?
A. Yes, considerable.
Q. Did you hear them say to the soldiers, bloody backs, come on you bloody backs?
A. No. I heard no such thing, but when the two first guns were discharged, some one cryed murder, and by the voice I think it was Maverick. These guns killed nobody, unless Maverick was then shot.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Josiah Simpson. Knows White and Wemmes, Warren and Hartigan all there. On that Evening at worked at Mr. Hancock's Wharff, saw a Number of Gentlemen at Fanuiel Hall. They said 2 young Men had been abused by the Soldiers but they had retired to their Barracks. The Bells still ringing I went up R. Ex. L. and out run those who were with Me. Nobody in the Street but the Sentry; Some said here's a Soldier, about 5 or 6 people. The Sentry at once repaired to the C[ustom] H[ouse] steps, there with the Brass knocker at the Door. Somebody opened the Door and spoke to the Sentry, but he did not hear what was said. The Door was shut and the S[entry] immediately loaded his Gun, knocking it hard on the Steps. The party came down. No Disturbance, or molestation of the S. between the S. loading and the party's coming down, neither by Words nor Blows. The officer when They got down said Shoulder. 7 Soldiers. Capt. Prest. gave several Words of Command. Handle, Arms; Ease, Arms. Secure, Arms; prime and Load &c. Is as certain of this as of his own Existance. Went up to Capt. Prest. said for God's Sake don't fire upon These people. Prest. behind the Soldiers when he spoke to him thro' Wemmes and another, upon receiving no answer he turning to the people said for God's Sake don't trouble these Soldiers they are upon Duty. They said we won't be drove off by Them. He then retreated to Warden's Shop, see a man going to thro' a Club, desired him not to, and he did not. Then he saw a Club about 10 Yds. from them thrown among the Soldiers, believes it hit one of the Soldiers Guns, hearing it strike. Immediately heard the Word present. Then heard 2 guns fired, killed Nobody that he saw. Then 3 which killed Attucks and Gray. Then 2 one of which kill'd Caldwell, one Ball about 5 Inches over his <Head> Back; about 3 Seconds between the 2 first and the 3. Then another Gun which wounded Patterson in the Arm. A white Cordwood Stick that was flung. The people made a Noise, but no huzzing, did not hear the Cry of Bloody-backs, &c.
13. Apparently the witness here displayed the scar.
14. Wemms Trial 40–41:
Nathaniel Fosdick, Hatter, sworn.
Q. Did you see any of the prisoners the 5th March?
A. Not so as to know them again. That evening, at the cry of fire, I came out of my house, and saw the people running down town, and I followed them; when I got by the Town-house, I saw some going down King-street, I went down also: At the Guard house, I saw a number of the soldiers running; I asked where was the fire, no body answered me. I went down to the middle of King-street, and while I stood there, was pushed from behind me with a bayonet. I turned round and saw a party of soldiers coming down, I asked one the reason of his pushing at me? he damn'd my blood, and bid me stand out of their way, I said I would not, I was doing no harm to any man, and would not stand aside for any one, they passed me some on one side, some on the other. Then came to the Sentry-box, faced round and formed a circle. I spoke to some of the inhabitants to speak to Preston, to know what the matter was; some body spoke to him, but what was said, I do not know. I saw Preston fall in betwixt the fourth and fifth man, the word was given fire! immediately the right hand man fired; after that I pushed in towards them, and they run a bayonet at me and wounded me in my arm.
Q. Who was it struck you?
A. The second man, the first gun was then fired, the second was not; the guns went off pretty quick.
Q. Was it the same soldier that struck you, pushed you in the arm?
A. No. I was pushed twice in the arm by two different bayonets; I knocked off one of them with my stick, with the other I was wounded in my breast, the wound an inch long, through a double breasted jacket.
Q. Was no blows given before the guns were fired?
A. No, not where I stood, and I saw two thirds of the soldiers.
Q. What was the occasion of your rushing in upon them after the first gun was fired?
A. All my end was to know who they were.
Q. Did you wonder what was the occasion of their firing?
A. Yes, I did not know what their intention was.
Q. Did you see any insults offered the soldiers?
A. No, none at all, I saw the right hand grenadier fall.
Q. Was it before or after he had fired?
A. It was after. He fell on his backside.
Q. Did you see any of the people that were killed?
A. Yes, I saw the Molatto, and crossed to Quaker lane and there stepped over two more.
Q. Where did the Molatto man lay?
A. By the gutter on the south side of it.
Q. Did you see any of them before they were killed?
A. Not as I know of.
Q. What do you think was the occasion of the grenadier's falling?
A. It was occasioned by his pushing at somebody that went in at Royal exchange-lane.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Nat. Fosdick. Pushing behind him with Bayonets, damn your Bloods stand out of the Way. After the first Gun was fired the Second man as he thinks, push'd his Bayonet at and wounded him in the Breast. Two different men before This pierced him in the arm to the Bone. He rushed in upon 'em after the first gun in Order to know who they were. Did not know what the occasion of their coming down. The right hand Grenadier fell after firing, occasioned by his pushing at a person who went down R. Ex. L.
15. Wemms Trial 41–42:
Samuel Hemmingway, sworn.
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners?
A. Yes, several, there is Killroy I know particularly well.
Q Did you ever hear Killroy make use of any threatning expressions, against the inhabitants of this town?
A. Yes, one evening I heard him say, he never would miss an opportunity, when he had one, to fire on the inhabitants, and that he had wanted to have an opportunity ever since he landed.
Q. How long was that before the 5th March?
A. A week or fortnight, I cannot say which.
Q. Did you ever hear any of the rest threaten any thing?
A. No.
Q. Who was present when this conversation passed?
A. Mrs. Bouker, Mr. Apthorp's house-keeper.
Q. Was any body else present?
A. Only the Negroe boy.
Q. What gave occasion for this?
A. He and I were talking about the town's people and the soldiers.
Q. Did he say it with any resentment?
A. No otherways than he would not miss an opportunity.
Q. Do you remember what conversation immediately preceded that?
A. No.
Q. Was he in anger?
A. No.
Q. Was Killroy in liquor or not?
A. No.
Q. Had there any angry words passed betwixt him and you at that time?
A. No, none at all.
Q. Was it in jocular talk?
A. I do not know. I said he was a fool for talking so.—he said he did not care.
Q. Had Killroy said that evening, that he had been at the rope-walks?
A. No, he said nothing about the rope-walks.
Q. Was this conversation before or after the affray at the rope-walks?
A. I cannot say.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Saml. Hemenvay. Knows Kilroy well, was with him at Mr. John Apthorp's about a week before heard him say, he would never miss an Oppo[rtunity] when he had One to fire upon the Inhabitants of the Town, he had wanted it ever since he came in to the Town. K[ilroy] not in Liquor at that Time. Not in Anger. I told him <I> He was a great Fool for his pains, He <I> said I don't Care, I don't miss an Oppo[rtunity] for all that.
16. That is, the witness was at the Mill Bridge when he heard the bells.
17. Wemms Trial 42–44:
Joseph Hiller, sworn.
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners?
A. I do not.
Q. Was you in King-street at the time of the firing on the evening of the 5th March?
A. Yes.
Q. What did you observe?
A. I came there about fifteen minutes before the soldiers came, I staid there till they came down, and remained there till the firing was over.
Q. Narrate what happened in relation to the Sentry.
A. I was at the North-end of the town when the bells rung, when I came to the middle of the town, I was told there was no fire; but a rumpus betwixt the soldiers and the inhabitants. I passed on, the bells still kept ringing, I came to Dock square, and was informed much to the same purpose; there were some persons there, who told me it was dangerous to go up; they seemed to be like people that were afraid to pass, because of the danger, others were going up; I went up, when I got past the ally, the street was very clear of people, I hardly saw any body. I came to the Town house, and saw a few lads, but no great number, I have often seen more collected for their diversion.
Q. How many people were there?
A. From twenty to thirty. I saw the Sentry upon the steps of the Custom house door, but I heard him say nothing, but he had his gun waving as if it was to defend himself, or to exasperate the people. I thought to speak to him, but I thought he might insult me, and therefore I declined; I went in order to go away, and met the party coming down; that made me stop, because when they got to the Custom house, there was a noise something like what they call cheers, and the people went more to the middle of the street; after the soldiers had passed through them, I went down again, as I passed before them, there was very few people there, I passed without the people, and inclined more to the Custom house, the greatest part of the soldiers were full to my view, the people that were there, were collected in a body at the end of Royal exchange lane, they did not go so high as Mr. Stone's house.
Q. Where did you stand?
A. I was walking right before them. They had their guns rested on their hips; when I passed the last man on the left, the first gun was fired from the right; as I judged, the time might be twenty seconds before the first gun was fired from the time they formed, in a short space there was another, and then very soon another, and then there was a short space of time again, before the last guns were fired. A little boy run along and cryed, fire! fire! fire! as people generally do when there is fire, a soldier pointed his gun to him and fired, but did not hit him, he was the last but one on the left.
Q. Did the people appear to be passing off after the first gun?
A. I did not mind the first gun, I thought it was only powder to scare them; but when the next was fired, they were a scattering. After the firing ceased, a little boy came and told us some persons were killed. I saw them lye in the street, but I did not imagine it was any body killed, but that they had been scared and run away, and left their great coat's behind them: I saw nothing like an attack that could produce any such consequences: I went to look at the Malatto man, and heard a noise like the cocking of firelocks, but an officer passed before them, and said, do not fire on the inhabitants. The street was in a manner clear, it was as hush as at twelve o'clock at night, the noise of the cocking seemed to come from the right, and passed on to the left.
Q. How many guns were fired?
A. Six was the least, and one missed fire.
Q. Did the last man on the left fire, or not?
A. He did not fire, his gun seemed to miss fire, and he brought it down in a priming posture, and a man like an officer stepped up to him and spoke to him.
Q. Did you see them load betwixt the firing and this noise you speak of, like the cocking of firelocks?
A. I did not see them load, for I did not leave my station.
Q. How many soldiers were there?
A. Six or eight.
Q. Did you see any blows given, or any thing thrown?
A. No, and I was there the whole time.
Q. Did you see Palmes there, or Bliss?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any body strike the soldiers guns?
A. No.
Q. Did you hear any huzzaing, when the soldiers came down?
A. There seemed to be a huzza, but when I went down and passed them they were very still, only talking together, but I heard nothing they said: the shouting was first when they went down, and it was not two minutes till they fired.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Joseph Heyler. There about 15 Minutes before the party came down. Upon the Bells run up from the North End, was told it was not worth while to go, twas not worth while to go, twas no fire, but the Soldiers assaulting the Inhabitants. A Number of people by the pump in Dock Square, who seemed afraid to go up. However he went up. Saw the S[entry] with charged Bayonet about 20 or 30 Boys about him. Seen often many more there on such a bright Night. The People after the party came down seemed to collect into a Body into R. Ex. L. As he past the last man, heard a Gun from the Right, about 20 seconds after the first before the 2d Gun fired. About the same Space between the last and last but One. A little Boy run across the Street crying fire, the last Man but One followed with his Gun as the Boy ran. Nothing past to induce him to apprehend Danger, no molestation, had the Soldiers pointed at him he should not have tho't himself in Danger, as there was Nothing that he observed to lead to it. Thinks there were 6 Guns fired. Saw no Snow-Balls, Ice or any Things thrown, if there had been any Thing of This Sort extradinary he must have seen it it being bright Starlight. When the Soldiers came down a sort of Shouting, This but a short Time before The first Gun.
18. Wemms Trial 44–45:
Nicholas Ferreter, Rope-maker, sworn.
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners?
A. Yes, I know Warren and Killroy.
Q. Did you ever see them at the rope-walks?
A. Yes, they were both at the rope-walks.
Q. How long was that before the 5th of March?
A. On the Friday before.
Q. Did you ever hear them make use of any expressions of mischief towards the inhabitants?
A. No. On Friday Mr. John Gray told me to go to his rope-walk to make some cables; I went and worked till about twelve, and then I saw a soldier coming down the outside rope-walk, swearing, and saying he would have satisfaction. Before this there was one of our hands while I was coiling a cable, said to a soldier do you want work, yes, says the soldier I do faith; well said he to the soldier, go clean my little-house, he damned us and made a blow at, and struck me, when I knocked up his heels, his coat flew open and out dropt a naked cutlass, which I took up and carried off with me. He went away, and came back with a dozen soldiers with him: the people that were attacked called to us for help. When they called to us, we came up; then we had several knocks amongst us, at last they went off. They all got armed with clubs, and in the afternoon they were coming again, but Mr. John Gray stopped them.
Q. When they came the second time, was Killroy with them?
A. Yes.
Q. What did they do the second time?
A. We had a battle, and they went to their barracks. On the 5th of March I went to Quaker Lane, and met Samuel Gray; I said where are you going, he said to the fire. I went into King-street, and saw nobody there, the Sentry was walking as usual. We agreed to go home. I went towards home, and stopped at the bottom of Long-lane, and while I was talking there, I heard guns go off. I went to King-street, and was told several were killed, I then went home. Samuel Gray, when I saw him that night, was quite calm, and had no stick.
Samuel Quincy Massacre Minutes, MHi:
Nicholas Ferriter. Knows Kilroy and Warren. 'Saw em at the Rope Walks the Friday before. They all had Cutlasses and Clubs. Mr. Jno. Gray ask'd him to go to his Rope Walks and make a Cable. Saw a soldier come out Side the Rope Walks. Who said damn your Bloods I'll have some Satisfaction. Dar'd him out and I went out and he struck me and I trip'd up his Heels, a naked Cutlass was discovered under his Coat. Then he went away, and bro't about a Doz. Warren among them. They had a Battle and drove 'em off. Then in about ¾ of an Hour came about 30 and had another Battle.
When the Bells rang went to know where the fire was, met Sam. Gray, ask'd him where he was going, he said to the Fire. They went into K.S.
19. At this point MHiMS 2 of the Adams Massacre Minutes ends (at the foot of p. 10 of the original). The remainder of Doc. IV is from Adams Massacre Minutes MBMS. There is no break in substance between these two now separated MSS. See Descriptive List of Sources and Documents.
20. Wemms Trial 45–47:
Benjamin Burdick, Barber, sworn.
Q. Did you see any of these prisoners in King street the night of the 5th of March?
A. Not that I can swear to as they are dressed. I can recollect something of their faces, but cannot swear to them. When I came to King-street, I went immediately up to one of the soldiers, which I take to be that man who is bald on the head, (pointing to Montgomery). I asked him if any of the soldiers were loaded, he said yes. I asked him if they were going to fire, he said yes, by the eternal God, and pushed at me with his bayonet, which I put by with what was in my hand.
Q. What was it?
A. A Highland broad sword.
Q. What occasion had you to carry it.
A. A young man that boarded with me, and was at the Rope-Walks, told me several of them had a spite at him, and that he believed he was in danger. I had seen two soldiers about my house, I saw one of them hearkening at the window, I saw him again near the house, and asked him what he was after; he said he was pumping ship: Was it not you, says I, that was hearkening at my window last night? what if it was, he said, I told him to march off, and he damned me, and I beat him till he had enough of it, and he then went off. The reason of carrying the sword, was, they spyed the young man in the lane, and dogg'd him, for he had been very active in the affray at the Rope-walks, and they said they would some time or other have satisfaction, and I looked upon myself to be liable to be insulted likewise. When alarmed by the cry of fire, and I had got below the house, my wife called after me, and said it is not fire, it is an affray in King-street, if you are going take this, so I took it, and run down, and I asked the soldier what I just now told you. I knocked the bayonet with what I had in my hand, another pushed at me, I struck his gun; my face was now towards the soldiers. I heard the first gun go off, and then the second gun went off. As I was looking to see if any body was killed, I saw the tall man standing in a line with me. I saw him fall.
Q. Whereabouts was you when you hit the gun?
A. Nigh the gutter, about the middle of the party.
Q. How long had the bells been ringing before you came from home?
A. I thought it was 9 o'clock, and did not think any thing else, till somebody cryed fire.
Q. Did you strike before the firing?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you strike as hard as you could?
A. Yes, and hit the lock of his gun, and if I had struck a little lower, I should have left a mark that I could have swore to.
Q. Was the sword in your hand drawn?
A. I drew it when the soldier pushed at me, and struck at him as I have mentioned.
Q. Which gun went off first?
A. I took it to be the right hand man.
Q. Where did that soldier you struck at stand?
A. I believe the fourth or fifth man from the corner of Exchange-lane.
Q. How many soldiers were there?
A. I did not count them, it appeared to me there were six or eight.
Q. The man that said he would fire by the eternal God, where did he stand?
A. He was about the middle.
Q. Was you there when the first gun was fired?
A. Yes.
Q. What was the immediate occasion of that?
A. I do not know, I had only walked over from Quaker-lane till I came to the soldiers, that was all the time I had.
Q. Did you see any thing extraordinary, to induce them to fire that gun?
A. Nothing, but a short stick was thrown, which seemed to go clear over all their heads. I heard a clattering of their guns, but what was the occasion of it I do not know.
Q. Might not their iron ramrods occasion it?
A. No, I suppose they knocked one gun against another in taking their places. When the Molatto man was dead, I went up, and met Dr. Gardner and Mr. Brindley. I asked them to come and see the Molatto, and as we stooped to take up the man, the soldiers presented their arms again, as if they had been going to fire, Capt. Preston came, pushed up their guns, and said stop firing, do not fire. I went to them to see if I could know their faces again; Capt. Preston looked out betwixt two of them, and spoke to me, which took off my attention from them.
Q. From where was that stick thrown?
A. From Royal-exchange-lane, and it flew over their head almost as high as the sign.
Q. What did you take to be the occasion of the soldiers answer to you?
A. I do not know, without he was affronted at my asking the question of him.
Q. Did you see any body strike the soldiers before you struck with the sword?
A. No, I had not time.
Q. What distance of time was there betwixt the first and second gun?
A. A very short space, I cannot say exactly.
21. Wemms Trial 47–49:
Robert Williams, sworn.
Coming from Corn-hill I went down to Dock-square, I saw a number of people together; I heard there had been an affray by Murray's Barrack. Somebody said you had better all go home; some went to the North end, some up Royal-exchange-lane, I came up to Corn-hill: when I got to the Town-pump, I heard the Main-Guard had drawn a party off and gone to the Custom-house, I run down the north side of the Town-house, and saw a number of people, twenty or thirty, collected. I tryed to press into the midst of them to know what they were about; I could not get in; I therefore stepped over the gutter, and saw the soldiers seven or eight of them, by the Sentry box. Some of the people were leaning on their sticks, some standing with their hands in their bosoms, and some were whistling. Numbers were crouding to get in as I was. I had my eye on the right hand man. Somebody said, do not press on the soldiers, I repeated the same words, do not press on the soldiers: when I said that, I saw something like a flash at my left, and heard the report of a gun, and the people opened from right to left; but I could not see where the gun was fired from; it made a noise like a pistol, and I imagined it was nothing but powder. As the people crouded to the lane, it took the view of the right hand soldiers from me, but I had a view of the left. I heard another gun go off, and saw a man fall.
Q. Where was the man when he fell?
A. He was about a foot over the south side of the gutter.
Q. Was he nearer to the right than to the left of the soldier?
A. They fired in a triangular manner.
Q. How near did they stand together.
A. The width of a man asunder. I dropped on my knees, and saw the third gun go off, and then I saw a man who seemed to come upon his heel, and wind round a little and then fall on his back. The people were moving off, and the guns seemed to move as the people run. The fourth gun went off quickly after.
Q. Was the second gun fired from the first right hand man?
A. The flash seemed to come from the second man from the right.
Q. Did the huzzaing encrease, and a general pressing in upon the first gun being fired?
A. No.
Q. Was there many sticks?
A. I saw but a few.
Q. Was there any sticks thrown?
A. No. I saw two or three snow balls, which seemed to come from a distance.
Q. Did the people stand close in with the soldiers bayonets?
A. No, they appeared to be two feet from the bayonets.
Q. Did you hear a noise like striking on the barrels of the guns.
A. I did not.
Q. Did you hear a cry of the people, kill them, knock them over?
A. No, I was not there above a minute, I saw no blows given by any body; just before the firing there was a huzzaing and whistling.
Bartholomew Kneeland, Merchant, sworn.
Q. Where did you live the 5th March?
A. At my sister's Mrs. Torrey's, by the Town pump. I heard the bells ring after nine, and went to the front door, I was followed by my sister and two others of the family; I stood there about five minutes, and saw a number of soldiers, about ten or a dozen, come towards the pump, they seemed to make a noise, one of them got nearly opposite to me, and hollowed, damn you, what do you do there? I made him no answer, he came up to me and pointed his naked bayonet at my breast, and held it there some time, and told me to get in, I told him to go along; he went towards the Post-office.
Q. Do you know what regiment he belonged to?
A. To the Twenty-ninth.
Q. Did he bid you get in when he asked you what you did there?
A. Yes. In a little while I heard a volley of small arms, which I took to be in King-street.
23. Wemms Trial 49–50:
Nathaniel Thayer, Sealer of Wood, sworn.
On the evening of the 5th March I heard a very great noise, my wife said you had better go to the door and see what the matter is; I went, and saw about twenty people I believe, coming through Boylston's alley, there was a terrible swearing, and they had clubs and swords and one thing and another; there came seven soldiers from the Main-Guard without any coats on, driving along, swearing, cursing and damning like wild creatures, saying where are they? Cut them to pieces, slay them all. They came up to my door, I shut my door and went in, they went round the back lane to King-street:–this was after nine, before any guns were fired.
Q. Do you know if any of these prisoners were there?
A. No, I cannot fix on any man.
Q. Had they any of them pouches on?
A. I cannot say for the pouches; but they had no coats. Those people below at the alley, cried fire! which I took to be a watch-word.
Q. Were those you saw before, soldiers or town's people?
A. They came from the Barracks, and they were both soldiers and town's people.
Q. How long were they there?
A. Not two minutes, they went down towards the Market, and came up to King-street by the back-lane.
24. Wemms Trial 50–51:
Nathaniel Appleton, Merchant, sworn.
On the evening of the 5th March, a little after nine, I was sitting in my house, I heard a considerable noise in the street, I listened a little, and found it continued, I went to the door, I found the chief of the noise was at the bottom of the street, I enquired the reason, I was told the soldiers and inhabitants were fighting; I waited at the door a minute or two, people were running down in two's and three's at a time, at length the noise subsided, and seemed to be down by Dock-square; I heard the bells ring and heard the cry of fire, I asked where it was? I was answered there was none, but the inhabitants and soldiers fighting. Deacon Marsh came out, and there came a party of soldiers from the southward, ten or twelve I think, they had short cloths I think, I saw some white slieves amongst them with bayonets in their hands, but I apprehended no danger from them; I stood on the step of the door, they appeared to be pushing right down the street, when they got a few rods from the door, their course began to bend towards us, still I apprehended nothing but that they were coming to walk on the side of the way, then they lifted up their weapons, and I began to apprehend danger, they said something, I do not know what it was, but I went in as fast as I could, and shut the door immediately. They were within half a foot of it, had it been open a second longer they would have had the command of the door, but I was too quick for them and bolted my door, went up chamber, looked out of my window, and saw people flying here and there like pidgeons, and the soldiers running about like mad men in a fury, till they got to the bottom of the street.
25. “12 years old.” Paine Massacre Notes.
John Appleton, a young Lad son to Nathaniel Appleton, sworn.
About nine I was sent on an errand into King street, I had my little brother with me, I heard a noise, I run out of the shop where I was, to see what was the matter, I went into the middle of the street, and saw some talking to the Sentry, I thought they were going to quarrel and came away. Coming by Jenkins's alley my little brother with me, there came out about twenty soldiers with cutlasses in their hands, my brother fell and they run past him, and were going to kill me, I said soldiers spare my life, one of them said no damn you, we will kill you all; he lifted his cutlass and struck at my head, but I dodged and got the blow on my shoulder.
Q. Was the cutlass drawn?
A. I believe it was not, for it ratled on my shoulder as if it had been sheathed.
27. Wemms Trial 51–52:
Lieut. Col. Thomas Marshall, Taylor, sworn.
I was at Col. Jackson's a few minutes after nine of the 5th of March. When I came out into Dock square, the square was entirely quiet. I saw no persons in the whole square. I came up Royal-exchange lane, I saw nobody there. I saw the Sentry at the head of it in peace and quietness, nobody troubling him: I never saw King street more quiet in my life. I went into my house, where was a kinsman of mine; I asked him how he did, and while I was speaking the young man in the shop knocked for me, I went into the shop, and in a half a minute, I heard the cry of murder once or twice, there is mischief said I, at a distance, so there is said he; I opened the front door to see, I saw nobody. I heard a sad noise, which seemed to come from Rowe's barracks. I stopped a little space, and the first I saw enter King-street, was a party from the Main Guard, ten or twelve came rushing out violently, I saw their arms glitter by the moon light, hallowing damn them where are they, by Jesus let them come. Some of them turned into Pudding-lane, and some went by the Town-house steps; I went in and told my family to keep themselves easy, for there was no disturbance near the house. I went to the door again, and saw a party about the head of Quaker-lane, and they used much the same expressions as the aforesaid party, and hallowed fire. They passed over the way, and the shade of the moon light hindered me to see if they went down Royal-exchange-lane or went up towards the Town-house. Something strikes my mind, I am not positive now, but I think it was that night, there were a few boys round the Sentry. I went and said, boys you have no business with the Sentry, go off, and they went off. I have often seen boys with the Sentry, and heard words often. The bells were then ringing, and the people began to collect as they do at the cry of fire, and I began to think it was fire. I had a mind to get my staff and go out, but I had a reluctance, because I had been warned not to go out that night: but while the people were collecting, I came to the door, and saw them gathering thick from all quarters, forty, fifty or sixty. When the party came down, I thought it was no more than I had seen every day, I thought they had come to relieve the Sentry, they seemed to be in a posture of defence, and came through the people. I saw no opposition. When they came up, they passed out of the moon light into the dark, so that I could not see them, but I wondered to find them tarry so long. I heard a gun go off, I thought it was an accident, but in a little time another gun went off, and a third and fourth, pretty quick, and then the fifth. There seemed to be a small stop in their firing, I than [i.e. then] had no concern, but before the smoke was well away, I saw the people dead on the ground. I saw no opposition when they were drawn up, the people were not near them; what opposition might be at the lane I could not perceive, because the box covered that from my view.
Q. Are you certain that the soldiers came from the Main-Guard?
A. Yes, I am certain of it.
Q. You say the party that fired, come from the Main-Guard, but the first
party of ten or twelve, did they come out from the Main-Guard?
A. Yes.
Q. How were they dressed?
A. I could not see their dress, but I saw their arms glitter.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/