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Account of the Boston Massacre Primary Source Questions

March 12, 1770
Newspaper reporting on the Boston Massacre
Library of Congress

Read the Account of the Boston Massacre in its entirety here.


  1. Do you think this account was written by an American colonist or a British soldier? What makes you think so?
  2. Does the author think that the British soldiers intended to start a squabble with the townspeople?
  3. Who does the author of this account seem to think instigated the fight between the British soldiers and the group of four boys?
  4. Once both sides had gathered on King Street, what actions prompted the British commander to order the soldiers to fire?
  5. Were any British soldiers killed in the Boston Massacre?
  6. What did the American Council Committee call on the British Lt. Governor to do?
  7. The author of the account writes that more tragedy could have resulted in the aftermath of the massacre, but certain actions in the days following the massacre prevented further bloodshed. What were these actions?