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A Fair Account of the Late Unhappy Disturbance at Boston in New England

A Fair Account of the Late Unhappy Disturbance at Boston in New England

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Tories Strike First
In the days following 5 March, Lieutenant Colonel William Dalrymple orders his officers to collect depositions from individuals who had witnessed the events in King Street. To instill calm, British soldiers are moved from their barracks in town to Castle William, three miles out in Boston Harbor. The customs commissioners, fearing for their safety, flee Boston. On 16 March, Commissioner John Robinson sets sail for London, carrying with him a packet of military depositions. The thirty-one testimonies, which reach England before those collected by patriots, are eventually published in London, prefaced by a narrative of the event. Not surprisingly, the narrative refutes testimony published in the patriots' pamphlet, A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre.

Questions to Consider

1. According to the narrative published in this pamphlet, what specific incident sparked the confrontation on 5 March?

2. The authors claim that no shots could have been fired from the Customs House on the night of 5 March. What is their evidence?

Further Exploration

3. Compare the narrative of this pamphlet with the narrative published in the patriot pamphlet, A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre. What is the same in each narrative? What is different?