The Boston Massacre

Engraved, printed and sold by Paul Revere Jr. American
After Henry Pelham American

Not on view

The Bostonian silversmith-engraver Revere made this print in response to a violent confrontation between local residents and British troops on March 5, 1770. With two thousand soldiers billeted in the city to enforce the collection of taxes on imported goods such as tea, tensions grew and skirmishes became commonplace. On the night in question, Americans threw stones and ice balls at a lone guard stationed outside the Custom House. Reinforcements were called, a tense standoff ensued, and rifles eventually fired. Crispus Attucks, a multiracial dockworker shown here in the foreground, was among the five fallen Americans. Issued on March 26, Revere’s image casts the British as instigators and callous executioners. Often copied and widely distributed, it helped push the colony toward revolution.

The Boston Massacre, Engraved, printed and sold by Paul Revere Jr. (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1734–1818 Boston, Massachusetts), Hand-colored engraving and etching

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