Reactions and Responses
In the days and weeks following the events of 5 March 1770, Boston residents wrote diary entries and letters trying to make sense of what exactly had happened that evening on King Street. It didn't take long for more public responses to also appear, in London as well as in Boston, in the form of poetry, calls for a quicker response by the court system and published testimonies from eye-witnesses.
…firing on the Inhabitants in King Street, killing 6. and wounding 5 others…Samuel P. Savage diary, 1 unnumbered page, 24-28 February 1770, and summary ...
…the Inhabitants are greatly enraged and not without Reason-John Rowe diary 7, 5-6 March 1770, pages 1073, 1076-1077
…the noise of the Bells the Bustle of the Town the Beating of Drums & the Reports of killed and wounded…Letter from Andrew Oliver, Jr. to Benjamin Lynde, 6-7 March 1770
…let it never be forgot…Samuel P. Savage diary, 2 unnumbered pages, 1-10 March 1770 and published almanac ...
…Our Common Enemy's (You know who they are) have Availd themselves of our Neglect…Letter from William Molineux to Robert Treat Paine, 9 March 1770
O [that] God could appear for us in this Dark day…David Hall diary 2, 11-25 March 1770
…this is quite new to have the Superior Court directed by persons void of any legal authority…Letter from Gregory Townsend to Jonathan Townsend, 15 March 1770
Spreading the Word
…they have planned, and are executing a Scheme of misrepresentation…Letter from James Bowdoin, Samuel Pemberton and Joseph Warren to Dennys de Berdt, ...
I beg the Favour of you to make some Inquiry into the origin and Occasion of it; and that it may be done with as much Caution and Secrecy as possibleLetter from Thomas Gage to Thomas Hutchinson, 30 April 1770
I will take every Precaution which is in my PowerLetter from Thomas Hutchinson to James Murray, 20 June 1770
the removal of the troops was in the Slowest order, insomuch that eleven days were spent in Carrying the two Regiments to Castle IslandLetter (copy) from a Committee of Boston selectmen to Benjamin Franklin, 13 ...
Thus were we, in aggravation of our other embarrassments, embarrassed with troops, forced upon usA Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston...
vid [see] Landing of Troops, &cDorr's annotation within his copy of A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre..." was purchased and annotated by the Boston merchant Harbottle Dorr, Jr. In addition to this and the above resources Dorr collected and annotated many newspapers from 1770 with coverage of the Boston Massacre and its unfolding aftermath.
it was become unsafe for an officer or soldier to walk the streetsA Fair Account of the Late Unhappy Disturbance at Boston in New England
When a people have lost all confidence in government, it is vain to expect a cordial obedience to it.Additional Observations to a Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre
the Blood of our Fellow Citizens running like Water thro' King-Street…– Article from pages 2-3 of The Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal, Number 779, 12 March 1770
Poetry as Propaganda
Then the Captain commanded them to fire away, / And one of the Soldiers obey'd as they say.A Verse Occasioned by the late horrid Massacre in King-Street
If bloody men intrudes upon our land, / Where shall we go ? or wither shall we stand ?A Poem, in Memory of the (never to be forgotten) Fifth of March, 1770
But now at Length your Trials they draw near --On the Trial of the Inhuman Murderers, Of the 5th of March, 1770
Harbottle Dorr's newspaper collection contains one of the first reported accounts to appear after the Massacre, in the 12 March 1770 Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal (see pages 3 and 4 of the display.) Dorr affixed a copy of a small woodcut of the Massacre scene made by Paul Revere to the first page of that newspaper. The 19 March 1770 issue of the Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal continues reportage of the incident.