Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 24, February 18

The presence of British troops, who had occupied Boston since 1768 in an effort to put down resistance to the King's policy of taxation without representation, had been a source of continuing tension between the American colonists and the British.  Things came to a head on the snowy evening of March 5, 1770 when a small group of Bostonians gathered to taunt a British sentry.

As the crowd grew into a mob of hundreds, several soldiers under the command of Captain Thomas Preston came to the assistance of the soldier. Rocks and snowballs were thrown, and eventually the soldiers opened fire.

When it was over, three colonists were dead.  The crowd was incensed.  No lawyer would defend the soldiers, no one but a young outspoken lawyer who had, perhaps, more passion than sense.

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