The Boston Massacre - Crispus Attucks

Mauricio Tellez

The "Boston Massacre" occurred on March 5, 1770. A squad of British soldiers. come to support a sentry who was being pressed by a heckling, snowballing crowd, let loose a volley of shots. Three persons were killed immediately and two died later of their wounds, among the victims was Crispus Attucks, a man of black or Indian parentage. Many historian believe that Crispus Attucks was the same man who in 1750 was advertised as a runaway slave from Framingham, Ma. A stranger to Boston, he was leading a march against the Townshend Acts when the killing occurred. Paul Revere who was one of the great patriots of his time, sketched a drawing about the massacre which took place, as well as John Pufford who also drew about the killing. Through research we can conclude that Paul Reveres and John Pufford were both important factors in capturing what really happened in "The Boston Massacre" and that Crispus Attucks was the first black to fall in the American Revolution.

The drawing of The Boston Massacre by Paul Revere is not a piece of art but, it is a historical documentation of the event that happened on March 5, 1770. In Paul Reveres Boston Massacre there are two groups of people in a town square. On the left side you can observe that there are people getting shot and dead bodies laying on the ground. On the right side you can see British soldiers shooting the rebels. In the Background you see a bell tower that bears a clock that seems to read 3:50 p.m. There is a church in the distance that seems to be a witness of the execution taking place. On the right, behind the British soldiers there is a sign that read "Butcheks Hall." There is a total count of eight British soldiers. The way that the soldiers are standing creates a implied line, the hats and the boots of the soldiers are in a straight line that leads to the smoke coming out of rifles. On the opposite side of the soldiers you can clearly see two dead bodies and one man falling down about to met his final resting place.

The Boston Massacre by Paul Revere has a lot of meaning. First of all it mean that this man has the courage to speak out and doesn't care what happens to him even though it was a time of ension in between the Colonies and the British. A terrible catastrophe happened and he put the events down on paper through a drawing. He didn't even care if the British soldiers took him away, he was out to prove a point and that point was that the British were nothing but murderers and tyrants. This drawing is a reminder to all Americans that their "Independence" did not come at a free price, but it came by the blood and sweat of brave men like Paul Revere that stood up and spoke about what was really going on. People like Paul Revere didn't let themselves be intimidated by the British and they place their lives on the line to expose the truth about the conniving British.

The drawing of the Boston Massacre has an Instrumental value upon society as well as a mean of serving the State. The soul intention is for social purpose. This drawing did not benefit Paul Revere, no it served the colonist in a way that it let them know what the British are really all about. The colonist were out protesting the Townshend Acts. The Townshend Acts were implemented by the British to indirectly tax the Colonies. During the protest the British were supposedly startled and shot upon the oncoming crowd. One shot lead to a chain reaction of shots and that lead to deaths unnecessary deaths. Paul Revere used this painting as a social means to outrage the British and make the colonist aware of the cruel nature of the British government.

Unlike Paul Revere, John Pufford took more time in making a composition about the event that took place on March 5. His drawing is also considered a historical document because, it is a living testimony of the Massacre on King Street. What this drawing shows is the there are British soldiers in the middle of a town square with many buildings around them. There are British soldiers to the left and to the right. They are surround the protesting crowed. You can clearly see a British soldier in the middle of the drawing, he is pointing the bayonet at the throat of a black man.

This picture has a lot of meaning within itself. First of all because, it captures a historical event taking place. It also means that the British were racist because, you can clearly see that the Bntish soldier is aiming his bayonet at the throat of a black man.

This drawing has social uses within an instrumental value. John Pufford was stating that the British were only murderers but they were also racist. In the drawing one can clearly see that the soldier is deliberately stabbing the black man in the throat with a bayonet. It also shows clearly that this man was the first black man to fall in the American Revolutionary war.

Crispus Attucks was the first man to fall in the American Revolution. Crispus Attucks is identified as the first person killed in the name of freedom during what has come to be known as the Boston Massacre. Many people believe that he was the same man who in 1750 was advertised as a runaway slave. It is said that he ran away from his master to become a seamen. There is no proof that says that it isn't true as well as there is no proof that say that it is. He was a stranger to Boston, he was leading a march against the Townshend Act's when the massacre occurred. Many people speculate why was he the first to fall. Was he the first to die because he was black or because he gave the British soldiers a reason to fire upon him. It is said that the night before the massacre was faced with a confrontation with a British soldier and that he was very upset because of it. Then the next day he released his anger upon the other soldier by beating one of them with a wooden club. So they were forced to gun him down. On the other hand there is the possibility that he was the first to die because he was black. Man - the Bntish soldiers were scared upon seeing a black man leading a protest that they just felt that the only thing to do was to shoot him down. No one really knows why he was the first to die, maybe it was just an accident or was it. Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, Samuel Gray and Patrick Carr also died in the so called "Incident" which became known as the Boston Massacre.

The Boston Gazette and the Country Journal were running the story all along there newspaper. They explained in great detail about what happened in that terrible incident. The Gazette said this, "The body of the slain Crispus Attucks lay in state in Fanueil Hall until, along with three other victims of the Boston Massacre, he was entombed in a common sepulcher as thousands bared their heads at the cemetery." This certainly affected all the Bostonians, and they felt that it was necessary for them to pay their respects to the men who died needlessly in that terrible manslaughter.

In conclusion the Boston Massacre is well documented by two historical documents. It was recorded by two men, the courageous Paul Revere, who was better remembered for his "Midnight ride" and John Pufford, This two men risked their necks so that the colonist could see that the British were a bunch of murdering tyrants who did not care one bit about the safety and the life of the colonies. Crispus Attucks was and is recognized as the first black, the first American,  to die at the beginning of the American Revolution. No one is for certain why he was the first to die. Was it because of his color or because of vengeance. People don't know for sure but they have their theories about the subject. If it weren't for Paul Revere unselfish act of courage in the way that he opposed the British government by printing out a drawing of the occurrences that bloody day, historians would not be able to really get a feeling of what happened. Unfortunately, that day is remembered because of the blood bath, and because of some courageous men that risked their lives to fight for their rights, like Crispus Attucks. He is the true definition of a hero.

Unfortunately being a hero ended his life.


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Boston Massacre by Paul Revere
Broadside illustration of The Boston Massacre by Paul Revere.



















Boston Massacre by John Pufford
John Pufford's
version of The Boston Massacre