Today’s Keyhole to History takes us back to the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, where Crispus Attucks was one of the first casualties of the cause for independence. Crispus Attucks was a runaway slave of African American and Native American descent. He became a sailor and ropemaker in Boston and on the evening of March 5, 1770, was one of the group of men that taunted a group of British soldiers. After something was thrown at the soldiers, they retaliated and shot the group of colonists, resulting in the death of five men, including Attucks. This became known among colonists as the Boston Massacre and was one of the many events that helped propel the colonists into war with the British. Attucks became known as a martyr for the cause of American liberty.
Today’s Keyhole to History October 1770 the trial begins for Capt. Thomas Preston, a British officer in command of soldiers during the Boston Massacre. John Adams a local lawyer and future American President represented the soldiers believing that all men were entitled to a fair trial and equal justice. Though unpopular, Adams’ actions put the law above his personal beliefs. The jury announced the verdict nine months later and found Capt. Preston not guilty of ordering soldiers to fire into the crowd. All but two soldiers were released due to “reasonable doubt.”
Today’s Keyhole to History May 16, 1771, the Battle of Alamance begins in Alamance County between North Carolina farmers calling themselves Regulators and the Royal Governor William Tyron’s colonial militia. The Regulator Movement’s earlier attempts to protest taxation, expensive land, and government corruption through the formation of associations and written petitions failed to achieve a response from the royal government, and tensions came to a head. While Regulators outnumbered the militia, the militia brought a battle plan to the field under trained officers and well-armed soldiers, resulting in the Regulator’s defeat. Governor Tyron offered to pardon Regulators who swore allegiance to the Crown, yet many continued the fight for freedom.