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SST 309/310

Shreiner, Fall 2016

Teaching With Text: The Boston Massacre

Your Name(s): Meg Treiber


Length of lesson: 90 Minutes, can be broken into two parts
Title of lesson: The Boston Massacre: Who Caused it?
Overview: This lesson is designed to spark an interest in the facts. Who said what,
when was it recorded, why might they say one thing when another happened?
Students may be used to memorizing dates, names and vocab in history lessons. Day
one is meant to bring a real life example of bias. Day two is applying those ideas of
bias to the Boston Massacre. Students will be analyzing both paintings and written
accounts to get a better idea of what happened on this day. This lesson revolves
around the idea that not all of history is recorded, not all recordings actually
happened, and that sometimes we will never really know all of the details.
Objectives:
D1.5.3-5. Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting
questions, taking into consideration the different opinions people have about how to answer the
questions.
D2.His.9.3-5. Summarize how different kinds of historical sources are used to explain events in the
past.
D2.His.10.3-5. Compare information provided by different historical sources about the past.
D2.His.11.3-5. Infer the intended audience and purpose of a historical source from information within
the source itself.
D2.His.12.3-5. Generate questions about multiple historical sources and their relationships to particular
historical events and developments. D2.His.12.6-8. Use questions generated about multiple historical
sources to identify further areas of inquiry and additional sources. D2.His.12.9-12. Use questions
generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.
D2.His.13.3-5. Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin,
intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a
particular topic.
I can describe the causes and effects of the Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party, the
Intolerable Acts, and the Boston Massacre. (5-U3.1.2)
Anticipated student conceptions or challenges to understanding:
The language used in historical texts can be challenging on its own. When asked
what a writers reason behind giving certain facts and leaving others out, students
simply might not be able to identify basic things included or excluded. It will be easier
to state what is in photos than what is not in them. They will need guidance to decide
what kind of bias exists and how we can decide if an account is valid or useful.
Materials/Evidence/Sources:
National Archives Photo Analysis Worksheet
National Archives Written Document Worksheet
Red Coat Defense photos and written documents, print for half of the students

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Patriot Defense photos and written documents, printed for half of the students
All written documents and photos on a power point to show during group share
Assessment:
Assessment will be informal for this lesson. It will focus on participation in discussion,
willingness to explore the idea of who is at fault for starting the Boston Massacre,
cooperating with group members to understand their photo document and share out
with the class.
The Written Document Worksheet will also be collected. Students should fully fill out
this document for at least one written source. This expectation is the same for the
Photo Analysis Worksheet.
Instructional Sequence:

Day one/Part I:
Step 1 (5-10 minutes)
Send a small group of students (2-4) to the office, or on an errand to another teachers classroom. Give
the destination a heads up so they can stall this group of kids.
In the meantime, stage a strange event. This could be having a parent volunteer come in, yell
something silly, spin in a circle and walk out. Or it could be a quiet event. Someone walks in, opens a
window, moves an object
Once the stage event occurs, have the remaining students in the classroom write down their version of
what happened. Do not give guidance about how much detail to include. Do not remind them of what
happened.
Step Two (10 minutes)
Then, when the students return from their errand, have the students that witnessed the event give their
notecards to the errand runners. Have those that did the errand try to make sense of what happened.
The conclusion of the activity is that some students will have missed part of the stage event. Some
might not know who the person was. Some might have described the persons clothes, some might not.
Some might mention time.
Have a class discussion about what this means for any historical account. If this staged event was put
in a history textbook, how would an outsider truly know which account was most accurate?
Make a list with your class about details that are needed to make sure we know something is accurate.
Examples might include
1. When was the account written?
2. Who wrote it?
3. Did they have bias?

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Part 2 can be a transition from step two or it can be done the following day.
Part Two/Day II:
Step 1 (10 minutes)
Teacher: We have been covering the reasons that some of the colonists desired to be free from Great
Britain. We learned about representation, and taxes. So how do this kinds of events lead up to a war?
Students might reply someone gets mad enough to declare war. Someone hurts another
Ask if anyone knows what the Boston Massacre was. What do they know? If they dont know, what
would they guess?
http://www.schooltube.com/video/d59b79cf2097f4bcd78b/The-Boston-Massacre
Show this clip, presenting the historical event the students are investigating. Who started this?
Step 2 (20 minutes)
Divide the class into two groups. One will analyze the documents that are geared towards posing the
Red Coats at fault for the Boston Massacre. The other group will analyze documents that give more
potential to the colonists being at fault.
The two halves of the class should then further be divided up into small groups of 3 or 4 students. This
will make discussion easier.
Hand out the written document analysis worksheet from the national archives as well as the photo
analysis document.
Give each student a copy of the written accounts and photos that belong with their side.
Have each group work together, using the analysis documents, to find evidence for their defense.
Guiding questions can be How are the colonists portrayed? How are the British soldiers portrayed?
According to this document/photo, who is at fault in this Massacre? How do you know?
Students should record evidence of who is at fault for the Boston Massacre, making sure to note where
the evidence comes from so they can reference it during group share.
Not all documents need to be analyzed by each small group, but each document and photo should be
mentioned during group share. After about 20-30 minutes of small group work, have each side of the
class gather and create a final list. Give them 10 minutes to discuss good examples together.
Step Three (15 minutes)
The groups should now be ready to share with the other side of the class.
This should not be a debate, but should have multiple arguments from multiple sources to show that
either the Red Coats or the Patriots are at fault for the Boston Massacre. Remind your students that this
is based on the evidence given and that they do not need to know who caused the event in order to
participate.
As each group reports out, take notes on the board. Put a check mark next to facts that are similar for
both sides.

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Step Four (5 minutes)


Debrief of the group share.
Can we agree as a class upon what actually happened during the Boston Massacre? (No!)
What seems to be certainly true and why? Reference chart, pointing out facts that have been repeated.
What might be true? Point out facts that seem reasonable, but have less repetition.
What do you think is certainly untrue and why?
The conclusion of this activity is that some of the documents will have similarities that could argue
either side is at fault, for example the throwing of the snowballs. Some details have been deliberately
omitted by some. Others didnt have any details to begin with, etc.
Just as the strange event that occurred earlier in this lesson, the Boston Massacre has been recorded but
to what extent of truth and what extent of full story we are not sure.
Show them the video clip that explains what is thought to have happened at the Boston Massacre.
http://www.schooltube.com/video/56f826b0eb9f4a40bbba/Overview%20of%20Events%20leading
%20to%20Boston%20Massacre
Conclude class again by talking about the idea of bias, and history never being a complete puzzle. We
have more and more pieces of the puzzle from modern day events because of technology, but even then
we do not have eyes and ears and mind readers all over the world. Some things we simply will never
know the full story about. This is why it is important to analyze not only the information given to us,
but also to interpret who gave the information and if there are any possibilities that their information is
not fully true on its own

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Patriot Defense

http://www.teachushistory.org/files/imagecache/screen/resources/bostonmassacrebychampney.jpg

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http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/image-files/boston-massacre-by-jose-perez.jpg

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http://www.constitution.org/primarysources/boston.html
BostonGazetteandCountryJournal,March12,1770.
OntheeveningofMonday,beingthefifthcurrent,severalsoldiersofthe29thRegimentwere
seenparadingthestreetswiththeirdrawncutlassesandbayonets,abusingandwounding
numbersoftheinhabitants.
Afewminutesafternineo'clockfouryouths,namedEdwardArchbald,WilliamMerchant,
FrancisArchbald,andJohnLeech,jun.,camedownCornhilltogether,andseparatingat
DoctorLoring'scorner,thetwoformerwerepassingthenarrowalleyleadingtoMurray's
barrackinwhichwasasoldierbrandishingabroadswordofanuncommonsizeagainstthe
walls,outofwhichhestruckfireplentifully.Apersonofmeancountenancearmedwitha
largecudgelborehimcompany.EdwardArchbaldadmonishedMr.Merchanttotakecareof
thesword,onwhichthesoldierturnedroundandstruckArchbaldonthearm,thenpushedat
Merchantandpiercedthroughhisclothesinsidethearmclosetothearmpitandgrazedthe
skin.Merchantthenstruckthesoldierwithashortstickhehad;andtheotherpersonranto
thebarrackandbroughtwithhimtwosoldiers,onearmedwithapairoftongs,theotherwith
ashovel.HewiththetongspursuedArchbaldbackthroughthealley,collaredandlaidhim
overtheheadwiththetongs.Thenoisebroughtpeopletogether;andJohnHicks,ayoung
lad,comingup,knockedthesoldierdownbutlethimgetupagain;andmoreladsgathering,
drovethembacktothebarrackwheretheboysstoodsometimeasitweretokeepthemin.
Inlessthanaminutetenortwelveofthemcameoutwithdrawncutlasses,clubs,and
bayonetsandsetupontheunarmedboysandyoungfolkwhostoodthemalittlewhilebut,
findingtheinequalityoftheirequipment,dispersed.Onhearingthenoise,oneSamuel
Atwoodcameuptoseewhatwasthematter;andenteringthealleyfromdocksquare,heard
thelatterpartofthecombat;andwhentheboyshaddispersedhemetthetenortwelve
soldiersaforesaidrushingdownthealleytowardsthesquareandaskedthemiftheyintended
tomurderpeople?TheyansweredYes,byGd,rootandbranch!Withthatoneofthemstruck
Mr.Atwoodwithaclubwhichwasrepeatedbyanother;andbeingunarmed,heturnedtogo
offandreceivedawoundontheleftshoulderwhichreachedtheboneandgavehimmuch
pain.Retreatingafewsteps,Mr.Atwoodmettwoofficersandsaid,gentlemen,whatisthe
matter?Theyanswered,you'llseebyandby.Immediatelyafter,thoseheroesappearedin
thesquare,askingwhereweretheboogers?wherewerethecowards?Butnotwithstanding
theirfiercenesstonakedmen,oneofthemadvancedtowardsayouthwhohadasplitofa
rawstaveinhishandandsaid,damnthem,hereisoneofthem.Buttheyoungmanseeinga
personnearhimwithadrawnswordandgoodcanereadytosupporthim,helduphisstave
indefiance;andtheyquietlypassedbyhimupthelittlealleybyMr.Silsby'stoKingStreet
wheretheyattackedsingleandunarmedpersonstilltheyraisedmuchclamour,andthen
turneddownCornhillStreet,insultingalltheymetinlikemannerandpursuingsometotheir
verydoors.Thirtyorfortypersons,mostlylads,beingbythismeansgatheredinKingStreet,
Capt.Prestonwithapartyofmenwithchargedbayonets,camefromthemainguardtothe
commissioner'shouse,thesoldierspushingtheirbayonets,crying,makeway!Theytook
placebythecustomhouseand,continuingtopushtodrivethepeopleoff,prickedsomein
severalplaces,onwhichtheywereclamorousand,itissaid,threwsnowballs.Onthis,the

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Captaincommandedthemtofire;andmoresnowballscoming,heagainsaid,damnyou,
fire,betheconsequencewhatitwill!Onesoldierthenfired,andatownsmanwithacudgel
struckhimoverthehandswithsuchforcethathedroppedhisfirelock;and,rushingforward,
aimedablowattheCaptain'sheadwhichgrazedhishatandfellprettyheavyuponhisarm.
However,thesoldierscontinuedthefiresuccessivelytillsevenoreightor,assomesay,
elevengunsweredischarged.

The Soldiers Trial: October 24 to 30, 1770


Testimony of Samuel Hemmingway for the Crown
Q. Do you know any of the prisoners?
A. Yes, several, there is Killroy I know particularly well.
Q. Did you ever hear Killroy make use of any threatening expressions,
against the inhabitants of this town?
A. Yes, one evening I heard him say, he would never miss an
opportunity, when he had one, to fire on the inhabitants, and that he had
wanted to have an opportunity ever since he landed.
Q. How long was that before the 5th March"
A. A week or fortnight...

Testimony of Dr. John Jeffries for the Defense


"I, John Wilme, of lawful age, testify that about ten days before the late
massacre, Christopher Rumbly of the 14th regiment, was at my house...
[and]...did talk very much against the town, and said if there should be
any interruption, that the grenadier's company was to march up King
street...and that he had been in many a battle; and that he did not know
but he might be soon in one here; and that if he was, he would level his
piece so as not to miss; and said that the blood would soon run in the
streets of Boston...."

From the deposition of John Wilme


"I, Jeffrey Richardson, of lawful age, testify and say, that on Friday, the
second instant, about 11 o'clock, A.M., eight or ten soldiers of the 29th
regiment, armed with clubs, came to Mr. John Gray's ropewalks

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[ropemaking shop], and challenged all the ropemakers to come out and
fight them... ."

Deposition of Theodore Bliss

At home. I heard the Bells for fire.t:3 Went out. Came to the Town House. The People told me
there was going to be a Rumpus with the Soldiers. Went to the Custom house. Saw Capt. Preston
there with the Soldiers. Asked him if they were loaded. He said yes. If with Ball. He said nothing.
I saw the People throw Snow Balls at the Soldiers and saw a Stick about 3 feet long strike a
Soldier upon the right. He sallied and then fired. A little time a second. Then the otherl s l fast
after one another.
One or two Snow balls hit the Soldier, the stick struck, before firing. I know not whether he sallied
on account of the Stick or step'd back to make ready. I did not hear any Order given by the Capt.
to fire. I stood so near him I think I must have heard him if he had given an order to fire before
the first firing. I never knew Capt. Preston before. I can't say whether he had a Surtout on, he
was dressed in red. I know him to be the Man I took to be the Officer.
The Man that fired first stood next to the Exchange lane. I saw none of the People press upon the
Soldiers before the first Gun fired. I did after. I aimed a blow at him myself but did not strike him.
I am sure the Captain stood before the Men when the first Gun was fired. I had no apprehension
the Capt. did give order to fire when the first Gun was fired. I thought, after the first Gun, the
Capt. did order the Men to fire but do not certainly know. I heard the word fire several times but
know not whether it came from the Captain, the Soldiers or People. Two of the People struck at
the Soldiers after the first Gun. I dont know if they hit 'em. There were about 100 people in the
Street. The muzzles of the Guns were behind him. After the first Gun the Captain went quite to
the left and I to the right.

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Red Coat Defense


https://aos.iacpublishinglabs.com/question/aq/1400px-788px/bostonmassacre_5d2af3a321871528.jpg?domain=cx.aos.ask.com

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https://streetsofsalem.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/boston-massacre-17731.jpg

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http://paintingandframe.com/uploadpic/others/big/boston_massacre_1770.jpg

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LondonChronicleArticle

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"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,
toward Royal-Exchange-lane, striking the soldiers' guns as they
passed...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...."
From the testimony of Ebenezer Bridgham

Excerpt From Argument of Josiah Quincy for the


Defense
"'You lobster,' 'You Bloody back,' 'You coward' and 'You dastard,' are but
some of the expressions proved.--What words more galling? What more
cutting and provoking to a soldier? To be reminded of the colour of his
garb, by which he was distinguished from the rest of his fellow citizens;
to be compared to the most despicable animal that crawls upon the
earth, was touching indeed a tender point....A soldier and a
coward!...Gentlemen of the jury, for heaven's sake, let us put ourselves
in the same situation! Would you not spurn at that spiritless institution of
society, which tells you to be a subject at the expense of your manhood?
"The expressions from one party were--'Stand off--stand off!' 'I am upon
my station'--'if they molest me upon my post, I will fire.'--'By God I will
fire!'--'Keep off!' These were words likely to produce reflexion and
procure peace."

Captain Thomas Prestons Account of the Boston Massacre


On Monday night about 8 o'clock two soldiers were attacked and beat. But the party of the
townspeople in order to carry matters to the utmost length, broke into two meeting houses and
rang the alarm bells, which I supposed was for fire as usual, but was soon undeceived. About 9
some of the guard came to and informed me the town inhabitants were assembling to attack the
troops, and that the bells were ringing as the signal for that purpose and not for fire, and the
beacon intended to be fired to bring in the distant people of the country. This, as I was captain of

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the day, occasioned my repairing immediately to the main guard. In my way there I saw the
people in great commotion, and heard them use the most cruel and horrid threats against the
troops. In a few minutes after I reached the guard, about 100 people passed it and went towards
the custom house where the king's money is lodged. They immediately surrounded the sentry
posted there, and with clubs and other weapons threatened to execute their vengeance on him. I
was soon informed by a townsman their intention was to carry off the soldier from his post and
probably murder him. On which I desired him to return for further intelligence, and he soon came
back and assured me he heard the mobb declare they would murder him. This I feared might be a
prelude to their plundering the king's chest. I immediately sent a non-commissioned officer and
12 men to protect both the sentry and the king's money, and very soon followed myself to
prevent, if possible, all disorder, fearing lest the officer and soldiers, by the insults and
provocations of the rioters, should be thrown off their guard and commit some rash act.

Deposition of Theodore Bliss

At home. I heard the Bells for fire.t:3 Went out. Came to the Town House. The People told me
there was going to be a Rumpus with the Soldiers. Went to the Custom house. Saw Capt. Preston
there with the Soldiers. Asked him if they were loaded. He said yes. If with Ball. He said nothing.
I saw the People throw Snow Balls at the Soldiers and saw a Stick about 3 feet long strike a
Soldier upon the right. He sallied and then fired. A little time a second. Then the otherl s l fast
after one another.
One or two Snow balls hit the Soldier, the stick struck, before firing. I know not whether he sallied
on account of the Stick or step'd back to make ready. I did not hear any Order given by the Capt.
to fire. I stood so near him I think I must have heard him if he had given an order to fire before
the first firing. I never knew Capt. Preston before. I can't say whether he had a Surtout on, he
was dressed in red. I know him to be the Man I took to be the Officer.
The Man that fired first stood next to the Exchange lane. I saw none of the People press upon the
Soldiers before the first Gun fired. I did after. I aimed a blow at him myself but did not strike him.
I am sure the Captain stood before the Men when the first Gun was fired. I had no apprehension
the Capt. did give order to fire when the first Gun was fired. I thought, after the first Gun, the
Capt. did order the Men to fire but do not certainly know. I heard the word fire several times but
know not whether it came from the Captain, the Soldiers or People. Two of the People struck at
the Soldiers after the first Gun. I dont know if they hit 'em. There were about 100 people in the
Street. The muzzles of the Guns were behind him. After the first Gun the Captain went quite to
the left and I to the right.

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