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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 3


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

Author: UNKNOWN
DateRange: 1770-09-07 - 1770-11-27

Arraignment, Impaneling, Crown's Opening and Evidence1

7 September, 27 November 1770
On Saturday [i.e. Tuesday], the 27th November, 1770, the Court being met, the prisoners were brought into Court and set to the bar, when the Court proceeded thus. . . .
Clerk. How sayest thou, William Wemms, art thou guilty of the felony and murder whereof thou standest indicted, or not guilty?
{ 99 }
William Wemms. Not guilty.
Clerk. How wilt thou be tried?
William Wemms. By God and my country.
Clerk. God send thee a good deliverance. . . .2
The Jury were then called over and appeared.
Clerk. You the prisoners at the bar, these good men, which were last called and do now appear, are those who are to pass between our sovereign Lord the King and you, upon the trial of your several lives; if therefore you will challenge them, or any of them, you must challenge them as they are called to be sworn, before they are sworn, and you shall be heard.
The prisoners being asked whether they would agree in their challenges, consented that William Wemms should make challenges for them all.3
Samuel Williams,   Roxbury,   challenged for cause.  
Joseph Curtis,   ditto,   challenged for cause.  
Nathaniel Davis,   ditto,   sworn.  
Joseph Mayo,   ditto,   sworn.  
Abraham Wheeler,   Dorchester,   sworn.  
Edward Pierce,   ditto,   sworn.  
William Glover,   ditto,   challenged peremtorily.  
Isaiah Thayer,   Braintree,   sworn.  
Samuel Bass, jun.   ditto,   challenged peremtorily.  
James Faxen,   ditto,   challenged peremtorily.  
{ 100 }
Benjamin Fisher,   Dedham,   sworn.  
John Morse,   ditto,   challenged peremtorily.  
James White,   Medway,   challenged peremtorily.  
Nehemiah Davis,   Brookline,   challenged peremtorily.  
Samuel Davenport,   Milton,   sworn.  
Joseph Houghton,   Milton,   sworn.  
James Richardson,   Medfield,   challenged peremtorily.  
John Billings,   Stoughton,   challenged peremtorily.  
Joseph Richards,   ditto,   challenged for cause.  
Consider Atherton,   ditto,   sworn.  
Abner Turner,   Walpole,   challenged peremtorily.  
John Brown,   Boston,   challenged for cause.  
Joseph Barrell,   ditto,   challenged for cause.  
Silas Aitkins,   ditto,   challenged for cause.  
Harbottle Dorr,   ditto,   challenged for cause.  
The Clerk having gone thro' the pannel, and there being a deficiency of Jurors, the Sheriff, by order of the court, returned the following talesmen.
Samuel Sheppard,     challenged peremtorily.  
John Goldsbury,     challenged for cause.  
Samuel Peck,     challenged for cause.  
William Gouge,     challenged for cause.  
Joseph Turrel,     challenged for cause.  
Jacob Cushing, jun.   Hingham,   sworn.  
Josiah Lane,   ditto,   sworn.  
Jonathan Burr,   ditto,   sworn.  
N.B. The three last being illegally returned, as Jurors, were rejected by the Court, and returned by the Sheriff as talesmen.
Clerk. Cryer count these.4
Joseph Mayo, Forem.   }   Roxbury.   Samuel Davenport,   }   Milton.  
Nathaniel Davis,   Joseph Houghton,  
Abraham Wheeler,   }   Dorchester.   Consider Atherton,     Stoughton.  
Edward Pierce,   Jacob Cushing, jun.   }   Hingham.  
Isaiah Thayer,     Braintree.   Josiah Lane,  
Benjamin Fisher,     Dedham.   Jonathan Burr,  
{ [facing 100] } { [facing 101] } { 101 }
Cryer. Gentlemen are ye all sworn.5
Clerk. Prisoners hold up your hands. Gentlemen of the Jury look upon the prisoners, and hearken to the charge. (The Clerk then read the several indictments against them as before set forth.) Upon each and every of these several indictments, the prisoners at the bar have been arraigned, and upon their arraignment have pleaded not guilty, and for trial have put themselves upon God and their country, which country you are; your charge therefore is, to enquire whether they or either of them be guilty of the felony and murder whereof they stand indicted, or not guilty. If they or either of them are guilty, you are to say so; if they or either of them are not guilty, you are to say so and no more. Good men and true, stand together and hearken to your evidence.
Council for the Crown.
Robert Treat Paine, Esq;
Samuel Quincy, Esq;
Council for the Prisoners.
John Adams, Esq;
and Mr. Sampson Salter
Mr. Josiah Quincy,
Blowers.6
Samuel Quincy, Esq: addressing himself to the Court and Jury, opened the cause nearly in the following words:
May it please your Honours, and you Gentlemen of the Jury.
The prisoners at the bar, are that party of soldiers belonging to his Majesty's 29th regiment, who in the evening of the 5th of March last, were induced from some cause or other to fire on the inhabitants of this town, in King-street.
They are charged in five distinct indictments, with the wilful premeditated murder of five different persons mentioned in the respective bills; to each of these indictments, they have severally pleaded, not guilty; and by that plea have thrown upon the crown the burthen of proving the fact alledged against them: It is my province therefore to give you evidence in support of this charge, and yours, gentlemen of the jury, to determine whether they are guilty, or not.
The cause is solemn and important; no less than whether eight of your fellow subjects shall live or die! A cause grounded on the most { 102 } melancholy event that has yet taken place on the continent of America, and perhaps of the greatest expectation of any that has yet come before a tribunal of civil justice, in this part of the British dominions.
I am aware how difficult, in cases of this sort, it ever is, and more especially so in these times, and in this trial, to preserve the mind perfectly indifferent; but I remember, we are bound, not only by the natural obligations towards God and man, but also by an oath, to examine into the evidence of fact without partiality or prejudice; I need not therefore caution you of your duty in this respect: It is upon that evidence and the law resulting from it, you gentlemen are, in the language of your oath, to give a verdict; and I will venture, before hand, to pronounce that verdict righteous, if it is founded in these principles as the rule of your judgment.
It has become my duty, it shall therefore be my endeavor, to acquit myself in the course of this trial with decency and candour; reflecting that however interesting the question may be, the object of our enquiry is simply that of truth, and that this enquiry is to be conducted by the wisdom of the laws and constitution.
In support of this accusation against the prisoners at the bar, it is incumbent on the crown, to ascertain the following things; viz. The identity of the persons charged; the fact of killing; and the circumstances attending and aggravating that fact.
To this end, I shall immediately produce to you such evidence, from the testimony of credible witnesses, as may be sufficient to sustain the several indictments, and when I have gone through the examination, make such remarks upon it, as may be most concise and pertinent to the present issue.
The following witnesses were then sworn and examined in their order.
Jonathan Williams Austin, clerk to John Adams, Esq; sworn.
Q. Do you know either of the prisoners at the bar?
A. I do.
Q. Which of them?
A. McCauley. I knew the man before, but did not know his name; I was afterwards told it was McCauley. On the evening of the 5th of March last, I heard the bells ring, and went into King-street.
Q. How many people do you imagine might be there when you got into King-street.
A. There might be twenty or thirty I believe. I saw the Sentry at the Custom House door swinging his gun and bayonet; there were a { 103 } parcel of men and boys round him. I desired them to come away, and not molest the Sentry; Some of them came off and went to the middle of the street; I then left them and went up towards the Main-Guard. Immediately a party came down, I walked by the side of them till I came to the Sentry box at the Custom House. McCauley then got to the right of the Sentry-box; he was then loading his piece.
Q. How near was you to McCauley at that time?
A. I was about four feet off: McCauley said “Damn you, stand off,” and pushed his bayonet at me: I did so: Immediately I heard the report of a gun.
Q. How near did McCauley stand to the corner?
A. He came round the Sentry-box, and stood close to it on the right.
Q. When the party came down, were there many people there?
A. I cannot really say, I think about fifty or sixty.
Q. What did they say to the people as they came down?
A. I did not hear them say any thing.
Q. Did you hear any orders given?
A. I did not, either to load or fire.
Q. Did you hear the Sentry cry out for help to the Main-Guard?
A. No; I was not there half a minute.
Q. Whereabouts did you stand?
A. I stood inside the gutter, close by the box.
Q. Whereabouts did the Sentry box stand?
A. Three or four feet from the corner of the Custom-House.
Q. How many guns did you hear?
A. Five or six, I cannot swear to any particular number.
Q. Did you look round after you heard the guns fired? []A. Yes.
Q. Did you see McCauley then? []A. Yes.
Q. Was he loading again?
A. I think he was; it so lies in my mind; (I cannot absolutely swear it.)
Q. Do you know whether any soldiers stood on the right of McCauley?
A. I took so particular notice of McCauley, that I minded no other object.
Ebenezer Bridgham, Merchant, sworn.
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners at the bar?
A. I particularly saw that tall man, (pointing to Warren, one of the prisoners.) Next day after the firing in K. street, I saw more of them whom I cannot particularly swear to now.
{ 104 }
Q. Did you see the soldiers before the justices on examination?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you then observe you had seen any of them the night before in King street?
A. I was well persuaded next day in my own mind, that I saw that tall one; but a few days after, I saw another man belonging to the same regiment, so very like him, that I doubt whither I am not mistaken with regard to him.
Q. Were there any other of the party you knew? []A. I am well satisfied I saw the Corporal7 there.
Q. Did you see White there? []A. I do not remember.
Q. What was the situation of the Corporal?
A. He was the corner man at the left of the party.
Q. Did you see either of the persons, you think you know, discharge their guns?
A. Yes; the man I take to be the tall man, discharged his piece as it was upon a level.
Q. Did you see the Corporal discharge his gun? []A. I did not.
Q. Where did you stand? []A. I was behind them in the circle.
Q. What part of the circle did the tall man stand in?
A. He stood next but one to the Corporal. The tall man whoever he was, was the man I saw discharge his piece.
Q. Was any thing thrown at the soldiers?
A. Yes, there were many things thrown, what they were I cannot say.
Q. How did the Soldiers stand?
A. They stood with their pieces before them to defend themselves; and as soon as they had placed themselves, a party, about twelve in number, with sticks in their hands, who stood in the middle of the street, gave three cheers, and immediately surrounded the soldiers, and struck upon their guns with their sticks, and passed along the front of the soldiers, towards Royal-exchange-lane, striking the soldiers guns as they passed; numbers were continually coming down the street.
Q. Did you see any person take hold of any of the guns or bayonets of any of the party? []A. I do not remember I did.
Q. Did you hear any particular words from this party of twelve?
A. I heard no particular words, there was such a noise I could not distinguish any words.
Q. Did they load their guns before the people surrounded them, or after? []A. They were loading at the time.
{ 105 }
Q. How near did they go to the soldiers?
A. Very near them, almost close to their guns.
Q. Were the people who struck the guns, there at the firing?
A. I cannot say whether they had gone away or not.
Q. Did you apprehend the soldiers in danger, from any thing you saw? []A. I did not, indeed.
Q. Where did you stand at the firing?
A. I kept my place. At the time of the firing of the first gun, I heard a clattering noise on the right like one gun striking against another, and immediately the first gun was fired from the right.
Q. At the time of firing that gun was any assault made on the person that fired? []A. I did not see the person that fired.
Q.. You said, you saw several blows struck upon the guns, I should like you would make it more plain.
A. I saw the people near me on the left, strike the soldiers guns, daring them to fire, and called them cowardly rascals, for bringing arms against naked men; bid them lay aside their guns, and they were their men.
Q. Did you see any person fall? []A. Yes, I saw Gray fall.
Q. Where was that? []A. He fell in the middle of the street.
Q. Was the place where he fell nearly opposite to the tall man you talk of?
A. No; the gun that killed him, must have been nearer to the center. When the soldiers on the left fired, there were fewer people in the street.
Q. Did you see a molatto among those persons who surrounded the soldiers? []A. I did not observe.
Q. Did they seem to be sailors or town's men?
A. They were dressed some of them in the habits of sailors.
Q. Did you hear any bell ring? []A. Yes.
Q. What bell?
A. I believe all the bells in town were ringing, I heard the Old South first.
Q. Did the clattering or blows on the guns to the right, immediately before the first gun went off, appear very violent?
A. Yes, very violent.
Q. Where was the second gun fired from?
A. I took it to be the person next to him who fired the first, or very near him.
Q. Betwixt the first and second gun, did you see any assault given to the soldiers? []A. No.
{ 106 }
Q. When the firing came along to the left, were there many people in the street? []A. There were very few people then in the street.
Q. What place did those few stand in? []A. Right over the way.
Q. Was you looking at the person who fired the last gun?
A. Yes, I saw him aim at a lad that was running down the middle of the street, and kept the motion of his gun after him a considerable time, and then fired.
Q. Did the lad fall?
A. He did not, I kept my eye on him a considerable time.
Q. This soldier was towards the left you say, was he quite to the left? []A. Not quite, but towards it.
Q. Was the lad among the party that struck at the soldiers?
A. He was passing the street, I cannot say where he came from.
Q. After the firing of the first gun did the people disperse?
A. They drew away down Royal exchange-lane, but others were coming continually down the street; but when the first person was killed, they seemed all to draw off.
Q. Did the people that came down the street, endeavour to join the party that was striking the soldiers, or did they come because of the ringing of the bells?
A. I believe they came because the bells were ringing, for they came from all parts of the town, and did not appear to me to join in the assault.
Q. How many guns were fired? []A. I believe seven.
Q. How many soldiers were of the party?
A. I did not count them, but I believe twelve.
James Dodge, sworn.
Q. Do you know either of the prisoners?
A. Yes, I know Warren, and saw him with the party in King-street on the evening of the 5th of March last.
Q. Do you know any of the rest?
A. I know them all by sight, but that is the only person I can swear to.
Q. The night of the firing, did you see the Corporal there?
A. Not so as to know him; but Warren I can swear to.
Q. Did you see him discharge his piece?
A. No; I went away when the first gun fired.
Q. Where did the person stand, who fired the first gun?
A. He stood towards the left of the party.
Q. Whereabout did you stand yourself?
{ 107 }
A. Opposite the soldiers, by Mr. Warden's shop the barber.
Q. Did you see any body fall?
A. I saw none fall. I went off when the first gun was fired, and came back again and heard there were three men killed.
Q. Do you mean the first gun was fired from your left, or from the left of the party?
A. From the left of the party; there were two stood to the left of Warren.
Q. What appeared to be the conduct of the soldiers before the firing?
A. When I got there, they were swinging there guns backward and forward, and several among the people, said, fire, damn you fire; but I think it was Capt. Preston that gave the word to fire.
Q. How many people were there?
A. I took them to be about fifty.
Q. What had they in their hands?
A. They had nothing in their hands.
Q. Did you see any ice or snow-balls thrown at the soldiers?
A. I saw several snow balls and pieces of ice thrown, and heard a rattling against the barrels of their guns, whether it was sticks, or what, I do not know.
Q. Where did the snow-balls seem to come from?
A. From the people right before the party.
Q. Did the snow balls seem to be thrown in anger?
A. I do not know; I saw the soldiers pushing at the people before any snow balls were thrown.
Q. Were the people pressing on?
A. They were very near, within reach of their bayonets.
Q. Did you see any oyster-shells thrown? []A. No.
Q. Was the snow trodden down, or melted away by the Custom-House?[]A. No, the street was all covered like a cake.
1. Wemms Trial 5–15. For the indictment, see Rex v. Preston, Doc. I.
2. The pleas of the other defendants, being identical, Wemms Trial 6–7, are omitted. The arraignment actually took place 7 September. Lynde, Diary 198.
3.
“Kilroy and Hartigan remanded, on account of the absence of Joseph Brown a Witness against them. Court agreed that the Province Law respecting Challenges should take place, and that the Prisoners may challenge with Cause and have the Jurors examined [on said] Law. Afterwards before the Cause opened, it appearing there was no probability of said Jos. Brown returning into the Province Kilroy and Hartigan were set at the Bar again and agreed to the Challenges made by the other Prisoners and consented to the Jury sworn, who were sworn over again.” Paine Massacre Notes.
The statute referred to is probably “An Act for the Better Regulating the Choice of Petit Jurors,” 29 March 1760, 4 A&R 318, 319, directing the justices of the courts
“upon motion from either party in any cause . . . to put any juror to answer upon oath (whether returned as afore said or as talisman) whether he . . . hath directly or indirectly given his opinion, or is sensible of any prejudice, in the cause. And if it shall then appear to said court that such juror does not stand indifferent in said cause, he shall be set a side from the trial of that cause, and another appointed in his stead.” Extended 20 March 1767, id. at 920, and 15 Nov. 1770, 5 A&R 86.
As to peremptory challenges, Blackstone says that the statute 22 Hen. 8, c. 14 (1530), limits them to twenty in felony trials. 4 Blackstone, Commentaries *348. No Province statute has been found.
4. “[W]hen a jury are all sworn, the officer bids the crier number them, for which the word in law-french is 'countez;' but we now hear it pronounced in very good English, 'count these.'” 4 Blackstone, Commentaries *334 note.
5. The petit jurors' oath: “You shall well and truly try and true deliverance make between our sovereign lord . . . the king . . ., and the prisoners at the bar, whom you shall have in charge according to the evidence. So help you God.” “An Act for the Establishing of Forms of Oaths,” 25 Nov. 1692, 1 A&R 78, 79.
6. Josiah Quincy, like Blowers, was not a barrister, each man having been admitted only as an attorney in the Superior Court of Judicature in Aug. 1768. Min. Bk. 79. Blowers was called as a barrister in Sept. 1772, ibid., but Quincy deliberately never took “the Long Robe.” Quincy, Reports 317.
7. Wemms.

Docno: ADMS-05-03-02-0001-0004-0002

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1770-11-27

Adams' Minutes of Crown Evidence1

27 November 1770
[James Dodge . . .]seemed to come from close before them, i.e. [ . . . ]I took it, the snow was flung on Purpose. I took [it, the?] soldiers { 108 } pushed, to keep the Inhabitants off. Saw no Oyster Shells thrown, and believe there were none. A Cake of Ice covered the Pavement there, and cov[ere]d up all the shells.
Samuel Clark. Saw White, before the Affray. He stood Sentry. He spoke to me, and asked me how we all did? I said pretty well. No body at all with the sentinel then.2
Edward Gambett Langford. Met 20 or 25 Boys and young Men, by the Centry Box. They said the sentry had knocked a Boy down. White is the Centry. I spoke to him, and bid him not be afraid. Saw Kilroy there that night. The Boys were swearing and cursing at him, but I saw no thing thrown. Centry got up to the Door and tryed to open it, but could not and then, he call'd out, what he Said I dont know. He levelld his Piece, but I told him not to be afraid. Then he took his Gun down. The young Shavers there said he had knocked a Boy down. At the Party, S. Gray came to me, took me by the shoulder and said what is here to pay? I said I dont know but I believe Something or other would come of it, by and by. S. Gray was just by me, when the 1st Gun went off. I stood so near that they might have reached me, and they did. A Bayonet went thro my Cloaths. I heard the Word Fire, twice, once G–d d—n you fire. About 40 or 50 People in the Streets, but others coming from Quaker Lane and Royal Exchange Lane. I had a Stick. I tho't 7 or 8 Soldiers. Dont know who fired the 1st Gun. I stood about ½ Way between the Centry Box and R[oyal] Exchange Lane. I saw Kilroy fire, and Saml. Gray fell and struck my left foot. I knew him before, very well, and know it was he. [ . . . ] there was 2 or 3 at Kilroys right. With red [coa]ts, but cant say whether armed or not. I said God d—n you, dont fire, or damn you dont, and he fired at once. Gray stood still by me. Kilroys Gun went off and S. Gray fell, and I heard no Gun by his at that time. Gray spoke to nobody but me, that I heard. He had no Weapen, was naked. Threw no snow Ball, or any Thing. Grays Hands were in his Bosom. I was looking Kilroy right in the Face. I heard the Ratling of Guns, but saw nothing flung. I took it Kilroys { 109 } Gun kill'd Gray. Did not see that Kilroy aimed at Gray any more than me. He designed to kill both of us I suppose.3
{ 110 }
Francis Archibald Jnr. I Saw Kilroy, that Night, go from the main { 111 } Guard to the Centry. I took it there were 6 besides the Corporal, in the Party. Dont recollect any other. Wa4
1. Adams Massacre Minutes, MHiMS 2. This MS, as it survives, begins with the minute of the last part of James Dodge's testimony. See Description of Sources and Documents.
Samuel Clark, Sworn.
Q. Did you see any of the prisoners in King-street on the 5th March?
A. Yes, before the affray happened.
Q. Which of them was it?
A. It was White. He was standing Sentry at the Custom-house: he spoke to me, and asked me how we all did at home. I immediately went home. Soon after I heard the bells ring, and went into King-street. When I came there, the soldiers were drawn up by the Main Guard.
Q. Was you there at the time of the firing?
A. I was not.
Q. When you spoke to the Sentry, was there any body with him?
A. No, he was walking backwards and forwards by himself.
3. Wemms Trial 16–19:
Edward G. Langford, Sworn.
I am one of the Town Watch.
Q. Was you in King-street that evening the 5th March?
A. Yes. The bells began to ring, and the people cryed fire: I run with the rest, and went into King-street; I asked where the fire was; I was told there was no fire, but that the soldiers at Murray's barracks had got out, and had been fighting with the inhabitants, but that they had drove them back again. I went to the barracks, and found the affair was over there. I came back, and just as I got to the Town pump, I saw twenty or five and twenty boys going into King-street. I went into King-street myself, and saw several boys and young men about the Sentry box at the Custom-house. I asked them what was the matter. They said the Sentry had knocked down a boy. They crowded in over the gutter; I told them to let the Sentry alone. He went up the steps of the Custom-house, and knocked at the door, but could not get in. I told him not to be afraid, they were only boys, and would not hurt him.
Q. Do you know the Sentry?
A. Yes.
Q. Is he among the prisoners?
A. Yes, that's he. (Pointing to White.)
Q. Do you know any of the rest?
A. Yes, that man. (Pointing to Killroy). The boys were swearing and speaking bad words, but they threw nothing.
Q. Were they pressing on him?
A. They were as far as the gutter, and he went up the steps and called out, but what he said I do not remember.
Q. Did he call loud?
A. Yes, pretty loud.
Q. To whom did he call?
A. I do not know; when he went up the steps he levelled his piece with his bayonet fixed. As I was talking with the Sentry, and telling him not to be afraid, the soldiers came down, and when they came, I drew back from the Sentry towards Royal-exchange lane, and there I stood. I did not see them load, but somebody said, are you loaded; and Samuel Gray, who was shot that night, came and struck me on the shoulder, and said, Langford, what's here to pay.
Q. What said you to Gray then?
A. I said I did not know what was to pay, but I believed something would come of it by and bye. He made no reply. Immediately a gun went off. I was within reach of their guns and bayonets; one of them thrust at me with his bayonet, and run it through my jacket and great coat.
Q. Where was you then?
A. Within three or four feet of the gutter, on the outside.
Q. Who asked, are you loaded?
A. I do not know whether it was the soldiers or inhabitants.
Q. Did you hear the word given to load?
A. I heard the question asked, whether they were loaded? but I heard no orders to load. Somebody then said, are you all ready: I then heard the word given to fire, twice distinctly.
Q. How many people were there before the soldiers at that time?
A. About forty or fifty, but there were numbers in the lane.
Q. Were they nigh the soldiers?
A. They were not in the inside of the gutter.
Q. Had any of the inhabitants sticks or clubs?
A. I do not know. I had one myself, because I was going to the watch, for I belong to the watch.
Q. How many soldiers were there?
A. I did not count the number of them, about seven or eight I think.
Q. Who was it fired the first gun?
A. I do not know.
Q. Where about did he stand that fired?
A. He stood on my right, as I stood facing them: I stood about half way betwixt the box and Royal-exchange lane. I looked this man (pointing to Killroy) in the face, and bid him not fire; but he immediately fired, and Samuel Gray fell at my feet. Killroy thrust his bayonet immediately through my coat and jacket; I ran towards the watch-house, and stood there.
Q. Where did Killroy stand?
A. He stood on the right of the party.
Q. Was he the right hand man?
A. I cannot tell: I believe there were two or three on his right, but I do not know.
Q. You spoke to him you say before he fired, what did you say to him?
A. I said either damn you, or God damn you do not fire, and immediately he fired.
Q. What in particular made you say do not fire?
A. Hearing the other guns go off.
Q. How many guns went off before he fired?
A. Two: but I saw nobody fall. Gray fell close to me. I was standing leaning on my stick.
Q. Did Gray say any thing to Killroy before he fired?
A. He spoke to nobody but me.
Q. Did he throw any snow balls?
A. No, nor he had no weapon in his hand; he was as naked as I am now.
Q. Did you see any thing thrown?
A. No, I saw nothing at all thrown of any kind.
Q. Was you talking with Gray at the time the gun went off?
A. I did not speak with him at that instant, but I had been talking with him several minutes before that.
Q. Was you so near Gray, that if he had thrown any thing you must have seen it?
A. Yes, his hands were in his bosom, and, immediately after Killroy's firing, he fell.
Q. Did you hear any other gun at that time?
A. None, till I had got near to the watch-house.
Q. How near were the people standing to the soldiers, at the time that gun shot Gray?
A. They were standing near the gutter.
Q. Did you see any thing hit the soldiers?
A. No, I saw nothing thrown. I heard the rattling of their guns, and took it to be one gun against another. This rattling was at the time Killroy fired, and at my right, I had a fair view of them; I saw nobody strike a blow nor offer a blow.
Q. Have you any doubt in your own mind, that it was that gun of Killroy's that killed Gray?
A. No manner of doubt; it must have been it, for there was no other gun discharged at that time.
Q. Did you know the Indian that was killed?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any body press on the soldiers with a large cord wood stick?
A. No.
Q. After Gray fell, did he (Killroy) thrust at him with his bayonet?
A. No, it was at me he pushed.
Q. Did Gray say any thing to Killroy, or Killroy to him?
A. No, not to my knowledge, and I stood close by him.
Q. Did you perceive Killroy take aim at Gray?
A. I did not: he was as liable to kill me as him.
4. MS breaks off thus.
Wemms Trial 19–20:
Francis Archibald, Clerk to Mr. Price, sworn.
Q. Did you see any of the prisoners in King-street, that evening of the 5th March?
A. Yes, I saw Killroy go down with the party towards the Sentry.
Q. How many of them?
A. I took them to be six, besides the Corporal.
Q. Did you see any of the rest there that you knew?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any of them fire?
A. No, I was not near them; I went to Stone's door.
Q. Did you see any snow balls or sticks thrown?
A. No.
Q. Was you looking at the party and the people by them before the firing?
A. Yes. There was a noise amongst them; I was not near enough to hear what was said, but I saw nothing thrown.
Q. Where was you when the party came down?
A. Near the middle of the street.
Q. Did you observe the party to divide themselves?
A. No; the corporal walked in front of them, as he always does at a relief.
Q. Do you know who rung the bell at the Brick meeting house?
A. No.
Q. Did you see any body get in at the windows of the Brick meeting house.
A. No. In Cornhill somebody said ring the bell, but who it was I do not know.
Q. Which bell rung first?
A. The Old Brick, I believe.
Q. Did you see what passed betwixt the soldiers and others at the barracks?
A. About ten minutes after nine, I saw a soldier, and a mean looking fellow with him, with a cutlass in his hand; they came up to me: somebody said, put up your cutlass, it is not right to carry it at this time of night. He said, damn you ye Yankie bougers, what's your business: he came up to another that was with me, and struck him. We beat him back, when seven or eight soldiers came out of the barracks, with tongs and other weapons; one aimed a blow at a young fellow, John Hicks, who knocked the soldier down. As he attempted to rise, I struck him down again, and broke his wrist, as I heard afterwards. I went to King-Street, and when the guns were all fired, I saw several persons dead.
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, 2016.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/