Patriots were protesting the occupation of their city by British troops sent there
to enforce the payment of a tax levied on the colony by a British Parliament which
had no US representation.
troops fixed their bayonets and stood guard outside the Customs House. The colonist
started to throw snowballs and other objects and the troops opened fire. Five
Patriots were killed - Crispus Attucks, Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick,
and James Caldwell.
British soldiers were put on trial. Patriots John Adams and Josiah Quincy agreed
to defend the soldiers. When the trial ended in December 1770, two British soldiers
were found guilty of manslaughter and had their thumbs branded with an "M"
for murder as punishment.
incident was named the Boston Massacre by a Patriot group campaigning against
the British imposed Stamp Act. It was used as a call to arms by Patriots for the
removal of the British ands some claim the five casualties were the first deaths
of the American Revolutionary War.