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Database: The Boston Massacre

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Massacre on King Street.

Doubtless our readers know that on the evening of Monday last, a squadron of soldiers formed before the Custom House fired into a crowd of citizens, killing four and wounding many. Our readers will expect a circumstancial account of the tragic affair; but we hope they will excuse our being particularly cautious as we should be, had we not seen that the town was intending an enquiry and full representation thereof. However, some few facts appear to be established.

Following upon an altercation between some lads of the town and a single posted guard at the Custom House, an increasing number of citizens came to that place with heat shouted down the guard. In like manner, a large group of citizens gathered in King Street. Capt. Thomas Preston perceived from the Main Guard House his soldier in distress and left the Main Guard with a party of men with charged bayonets. The soldiers came, pushing their bayonets, crying, make way! They took place by the Custom House and, continuing to push to drive people off pricked some in several places, on which they were clamorous and, it is said, threw snow balls and, perhaps, portions of ice. The crowd taunting the soldiers, shouting "Fire! You dare not fire!" On this, and more snowballs coming, someone cried out, "Damn you, fire!" One soldier then fired, and a townsman with a cudgel struck him over the hands with such force that he dropped his firelock, and, rushing forward, aimed a blow at the Captain's head which grazed his hat and fell pretty heavy upon his arm. However, the soldierscontinued the fire successivelytill seven or eight or, as some say, eleven guns were discharged.

By this fatal manoeuvre three men were laid dead on the spot and two more struggling for life; but what showeda degree of cruelty unknown to British troops, at least since the house of Hanover had directed their operation, was an attempt to fire upon or push with their bayonets the persons who undertook to remove the slain and wounded!

The dead are -

Mr. Samuel Gray, killed on the spot, the ball entering his head and beating off large portion of his skull.

A mulatto man named Crispus Attucks, also killed instantly, two balls entering his breast, one of them in special goring the right lobe of the lungs and a great part of the liver most horribly.

Mr. James Caldwell, mate of Capt. Morton's vessel, in like manner killed by two balls entering his back.

Mr. Samuel Maverick, a promising youth of seventeen years of age, son of the widow Maverick, and an apprentice to Mr. Greenwood, ivory-turner; a ball went through his belly and was cut out at his back. He died the next morning.

Mr. Patrick Carr, about thirty years of age, who worked with Mr. Field, leather breeches-maker in Queen Street, wounded, a ball entered near his hip and went out at his side. Apprehended he will die.

And several others requiring surgery, suffering loss of blood, shattered bones and lodged musket-balls.

Governor Hutchinson has exerted himself in an effort to quell the town. He has ordered the arrest of said Captain Preston as well as the soldiers involved until such time as an investigation and general ordening of the facts can be made.

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