Analysis of Account Narrations about Boston Massacre

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On a scale of ten, the patriotic version of the Boston massacre would level on a strong eight. It is believable because it not only has a lot of depositions, but also it has been narrated from totally different angles and still adds up. As narrated, it has a lot of witnesses who give an almost exact version of the happenings, differences occurring on the time and place of the witness. However, all witness accounts give the same storyline. Also, the preceding factors that occurred before the massacre seemed to sync together into a reasonable cause leaving out any doubts that the inhabitants could have been on the wrong side. There is precision in the venues, number of assailants and most importantly, cause of the fracas. When compared to scenarios in the 21st century, the reason of the turbulence is relatable.

The soldiers felt their honor had been wounded when they lost to the inhabitants repeatedly even after having back up and arms. Had the inhabitants retaliated in the first place, there would not have been the need of the soldiers to prove themselves. The soldiers had planned the attack for a considerable amount of time, which can be proved from some of the depositions. Some of the witnesses did say that there had been a prior warning to bloodshed and violence on a certain day at a specific time of the night. According to the committee that waited upon his honor, the only way such a scenario could be avoided in the future would be the total removal of the troops from the town.

This means that it would have been practically impossible for the troops and the inhabitants to co-exist in the same town if the soldiers were bent on acting superior and proud. From the witnesses accounts of the affair, the soldiers would not have acted on their own accord had they not been commanded to by their sergeants. From this point of view, there could have been a lot more damage had more sergeants been participants in this massacre. In one account, the witness is grateful that the aligned soldiers were restrained from firing. The military watch that was imposed on Boston after the massacre was according to the law, and the safest intervention his honor could have placed to appease the council members. In comparison to the second account, the inhabitants were on the wrong for making fun of the soldiers and initiating a physical brawl.

According to this account and the evidence submitted to its defense, the rope walkers, Greene and Nicholas were the culprits who cuddled up the bad blood between the inhabitants and the soldiers. Again, in the second account, the soldiers get into another fray with a different rope maker, Mr. McNeil, which they ardently lose altogether. This serves to heighten the animosity between the two groups. It would only be natural that the soldiers would want a chance to avenge themselves and also prove themselves, even though to no one in particular. However, the town people also have managed to use their superiority in numbers to their advantage. Both accounts give a steadfast description on the happenings prior and during the unhappy incident.

However, the visual depictions lack a lot of necessary detail and seem to just dwell on a specific event. They lack in visual detail that one will be looking for when one has read both narrations of the incident. For instance, the soldiers did not fire at that range. Instead they were situated up in the custom house. The soldiers that were on the street used the bayonets and cut glasses to hurt the inhabitants who happened to be on the same street as they were. One can tell from the illustrations that the incident did happen at night, as told by both account narrations.

The town inhabitants were in greater numbers than the soldiers. In accordance to the second narration, the inhabitants had taken advantage of their large numbers to try and entirely destroy the army or to just drive them out of town altogether. From both depictions, the town people were in greater numbers than the soldiers, with the number going well over three hundred, dividing into groups of a hundred. Also, one can deduce that either team had ulterior motives. The town people planned to rid themselves of the troops under a false pretense of a quarrel that had been renewed.

According to the second account, this might have been the plan of the entire group of the town’s people. On the other hand, the soldiers wanted to seek revenge on the town people for the humiliation earlier at the ropes walk. With the sudden disappearance of a sergeant of the 14th, animosities were ceiling high with immature speculation by the troops that he had been murdered by the rope makers. The custom house is an important part of the illustration as it was the main object of the people’s fury. Well before the hour of extremity, they had gathered before it throwing snowballs and pieces of ice at the sentry.

The custom house is also important as it was the place that the soldiers had stationed themselves. From both accounts, the firing had come from the west side of the custom house. Even though Colonel Preston did ask the people in a humane way to be quiet and disperse, the town people persisted, their provocations going beyond the soldiers limits. The first shots were fired when one of the town people threw a piece of ice so violently that it made one of the soldiers to the right stagger backward.

Simultaneously, both the soldier that had been struck and the one next to him fired at the crowd without any command from Captain Preston. If I had been an average colonist who happened to read through these documents, I could have been impelled to stay loyal to the crown. From the second narration of the unhappy event, it is apparent that even though the soldiers did play a part in irritating the town people, the massacre was an unpreventable occasion of the night of March 5th.

This is because the town people had pre-arranged to entirely kick out the troops or completely ruin them under the pretense of being aggravated in an earlier power struggle. Therefore, they were bent on going in a long way to accomplish their mission, including physically attacking the soldiers. The soldiers did not mean harm to the town people, even though they had prematurely concluded that their missing sergeant had been killed by the rope makers. Even though they had gone as far as ransacking Mr. Gray’s rope walk, it had not insured into any form of violence.

However, the people had premeditated on the thought of ridding themselves of the soldiers and from the second account, at whatever means. This is why Captain Preston was not able to pacify the steaming mob below the custom house. Some of the town’s people had begun throwing snowballs and pieces of ice at the soldiers, and in one instance managed to violently hit one of the soldiers. This was the first time the soldiers fired without command, but as seen, it was after severe provocation. The angry mob below continued to shout obscenities at the soldiers and at the passersby who gave the impression of being sympathizers of the troops. If anything, the town people were the provocative ones all along. In any case, if the soldiers had wanted to harm any of the town people, or had the intent of it, they could have done so at any time or place they wished to, not caring about their sergeants or commands.

However, from the narration of the second account, the shootings only started after the soldiers had been provoked to their limit, both verbally and physically. Then again, the soldiers are said to have been standing at the custom door, therefore to a hasty observation, the flashes of their guns might have been seen to be coming from the custom house itself. The soldiers were only doing their job, and squabbles between the people and the troops could not be avoided. However, if the people had wanted to get rid of the soldiers from their town, there could have been better ways that did not involve bloodshed or death of so many innocent people. Maybe if they had called for the military watch through the courts first, all of the fighting would have been avoided.

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Analysis of Account Narrations about Boston Massacre. (2021, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/analysis-of-account-narrations-about-boston-massacre/

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