In Our Neighborhood

Boston Massacre Site

Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston massacre
Boston Massacre

Boston, March 1770. Relations are tense between townsfolk and British soldiers sent in 1768 to enforce unpopular laws.

On the evening of March 5th, local gangs begin taunting and throwing snowballs at a soldier guarding the Customs House. He sends for help.

Old State House, Boston, decorated for reading the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2011
Old State House

More soldiers arrive, more colonists as well. More objects are thrown. Then church bells begin to peel. In 1770 Boston that usually meant something was burning. Chances are someone shouted “fire!” Whether it was a colonist sounding the alarm or a British officer, we’ll never know. But the outcome we do: five dead colonists.

Grave marker for victims of the Boston Massacre, Granery Burying Ground, Boston
Victims’ Grave

Paul Revere’s engraving (top) shows the incident occurring outside a building that then was home to the royal courts and council. After independence it became our first State House.

The Declaration of Independence was read to the public from the building’s balcony on July 18, 1776. Since then, it has been read from that balcony every year on July 4th.

The Old State House is at the intersection of State and Congress Streets. The five colonists who were killed are buried in the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street.

Map showing location of Granery Buring Ground, Boston
Tremont Street
Map showing location of Old State House at State and Congress Streets, Boston
State and Congress

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