Boston Massacre 1770

American Revolution

The Massacre was the 1770, pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the anger against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Acts. The troops, constantly tormented by irresponsible gangs, finally on Mar. 5, 1770, the troops fired into a rioting crowd killing three on the spot, two of wounds later. The British captain, Thomas Preston, and his men were tried for murder, with Robert Treat Paine as prosecutor, John Adams and Josiah Quincy as lawyers for the defense. Preston and six of his men were acquitted; two others were found guilty of manslaughter, punished, and discharged from the army.