The Boston Massacre
What began March 5, 1770, as a fracas between a few angry Boston men and one British sentry ended with five men dead or dying in the icy street corner of King Street and Shrimton’s Lane. Captain Thomas Preston did not order the eight British soldiers under his command to fire into the hostile crowd. The nervous soldiers claimed to be confused by shouts of ‘Why do you not fire?’ coming from all sides. Versions of the event, such as this engraving by Paul Revere, rapidly circulated through the colonies, bolstering public support for the Patriot cause.

Engraving: Library of Congress