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Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre

Further Resources

The Adams Papers

The Adamses were thoroughly entwined in the events leading to the Revolutionary War, including the Boston Massacre. John Adams wrote extensively about the event and its precursors in his diary and autobiography. He also represented the British soldiers during the trial, during which he took copious notes.

The Adams Papers Digital Edition is a digital resource that encompasses all content of the previously printed volumes of the Adams Papers documentary edition.

Volume 3 of the Legal Papers of John Adams contains the entirety of his notes on the Boston Massacre trial.

Visit the Adams Family Resources page for more information on MHS Adams Family materials.

Online Features

Perspectives on the Boston Massacre

Learn in-depth about the Boston Massacre by exploring letters, diary entries, illustrations, and court documents written from various points of view. 

Coming of the American Revolution: The Boston Massacre

Read an overview of the event in the context of other precursors to the Revolutionary War and explore related documents.

Publications and posts

Kantrowitz, Stephen. "A Place for "Colored Patriots": Crispus Attucks among the Abolitionists, 1842—1863." Massachusetts Historical Review 11 (2009): 96-117.

York, Neil Longley. "Rival Truths, Political Accommodation, and the Boston "Massacre"." Massachusetts Historical Review 11 (2009): 57-95.

Mathews, Amanda. "John Adams on the Case: Untangling Myths of the Massacre." The Beehive, Massachusetts Historical Society. March 5, 2013. 

Haertsch, Emilie. "A Fair Trial for the Boston Massacre Soldiers." The Beehive, Massachusetts Historical Society. May 8, 2013.


  • The Robert Treat Paine papers, 1659-1915 - This collection consists of the papers of Robert Treat Paine, Massachusetts lawyer, politician, member of the First Continental Congress (1774), signer of the Declaration of Independence, and justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  • The Quincy Family papers, 1639-1930 - This collection consists of correspondence, diaries, journals, genealogical records, commonplace-books, notes on sermons, lectures, debates, essays, drawings, scrapbooks, clippings, and other papers of the Quincy family.
  • The Warren-Adams papers, 1767-1822 - This microfilm edition consists primarily of correspondence between John Adams, Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, James Warren, and Mercy Otis Warren written before, during, and after the Revolutionary War.

Classroom Resources

Lesson group: Era of the American Revolution 

Student activity/teacher's guide: Abigail's War 

Curriculum: Adams Family Legacy of Justice 

Watch for additional Boston Massacre workshops and educational content relating to this year's National History Day theme, Breaking Barriers in History, coming soon! Read more about the theme here.