Perspectives on the Boston Massacre

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Join us at the Massachusetts Historical Society, July 7-9, 2015

On the evening of March 5, 1770, a confrontation between British soldiers and a boisterous crowd in front of the Custom House on King Street in Boston turned deadly. Five men were killed and nine soldiers were tried for their murder. Why and how did this confrontation come to pass? In the days after the event, the men who lost their lives became martyrs for the Patriot cause, and propagandists labeled the event a “massacre.” Using letters, depositions, newspapers, and engravings, we will explore how participants, onlookers, residents, authorities, and outsiders made meaning of the “massacre” and its aftermath. Participants will have an opportunity to view original documents and artifacts from MHS collections, and take a walking tour of downtown Boston and the Old State House Museum. Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs.


Program Highlights

  • Tour the Old State House and other sites associated with the Boston Massacre with Dr. Robert Allison, Professor of History at Suffolk University.
  • View original documents and artifacts of the pre-Revolutionary era from the Society’s collections.
  • Discuss with historians the various perspectives on the Massacre, the role of propaganda in the conflict, and public memory of the event. 
  • Meet J.L Bell, author of the blog Boston1775, and discuss ways to continue exploring the Massacre after the conclusion of the workshop!

This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.