The Boston Massacre is one those events… known by many, understood by few. It stands part of the American mythology, our Revolutionary martyrs gunned down by the wicked standing army of our British oppressors. One great patriot, Paul Revere, helped perpetuate the myths surrounding the event by producing the most recognizable image of March 5, 1770,
Another great patriot, John Adams… had a strikingly different view of the same event. Adams, who defended the soldiers at their murder trial, had this to say;
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence….a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes, and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs , they had the legal right to fight back, and so were innocent. If they were provoked but not endangered, he argued, they were at most guilty of manslaughter.”
Adams believed in law and order… despite inflamed passions of the day. He realized that there was a proper path to justice, rioting in the street was not the American way.