Boston Massacre Trials (1770)

"The Part I took in Defence of Cptn. Preston and the Soldiers, procured me Anxiety, and Obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested Actions of my whole Life, and one of the best Pieces of Service I ever rendered my Country. Judgment of Death against those Soldiers would have been as foul a Stain upon this Country as the Executions of the Quakers or Witches, anciently. As the Evidence was, the Verdict of the Jury was exactly right." --John Adams

Although it has been over two centuries since the moonlit March night in 1770 when British soldiers killed five Bostonians on King Street, people still debate responsibility for the Boston Massacre. Does the blame rest with the crowd of Bostonians who hurled insults, snowballs, oyster shells, and other objects at the soldiers, or does the blame rest with an overreacting military that violated laws of the colony that prohibited firing at civilians? Whatever side one takes in the debate, all can agree that the Boston Massacre stands as a significant landmark on the road to the American Revolution....