Friday, August 29, 2014

The Boston Massacre: Is American history doomed to repeat itself?

Verne Strickland August 30, 2014

Most of us have heard about The Boston Massacre. This is a brief account from an excellent historical source.

But does anyone else see in this "incident" a flashpoint which seems destined to be repeated in America today?

All of the elements for this are present and in place in 2014. 

I, for one, bristle at how, instead of moving forward, we find ourselves -- free and proud Americans, inching back in time to an era in which we are vulnerable to "government" powers that pay us no heed, and move as bullies to bring us to heel.

Is open, armed rebellion our only option to put a stop to this?

After the Massacre, Five Dead Three Wounded
                      The Boston Massacre
In the mid 1700’s opposition to     taxation without representation brought the colonies to the point of open resistance. 

On March 5, 1770 a boy, pointing to a British officer walking along the street, called out that he was too mean to pay his barber for cutting his hair. A sentinel standing near the Customs House overheard the insult and knocked the boy down with the butt of his musket. The boy yelled for help which quickly attracted a crowd to the spot. An alarm bell was rung and the excitement spread. The boy pointed out the soldier who had struck him, and the crowd began pelting the soldier with snowballs and lumps of ice. The soldier raised his musket but the weapon misfired. The crowd rushed at him and he ran to the Customs House nearby.
Captain Preston, the officer of the day, sent out eight soldiers with unloaded muskets with ball cartridges. As the detachment approached, the citizens hurled snow and ice at them, shouting insults. The soldiers, seeing that a fight was imminent, began loading their guns. Capt. Preston begged the mob to refrain but his appeal was in vain.
Crispus Attucks, a Nantucket Indian sailor, aimed a blow at Preston’s head with his club. The club missed its target, instead striking a soldier’s musket which fell to the ground. Both Attucks and the soldier wrestled violently for the musket. The soldier twisted the weapon from the hands of Attucks and shot him dead. At that point a half-dozen soldiers fired their guns into the crowd.
As the frightened mob scattered, eight men were on the ground, while three others were slightly hurt. Three were dead. Of the five remaining, two were mortally wounded.
News of the tragedy spread like wild fire from one end of Boston to the other. Alarm bells were ringing, drums beating, and men swarmed to the scene. Capt. Preston and eight soldiers were arrested, and the next day were charged with murder. That autumn the accused stood trial before a court in Boston. Capt. Preston and six of the soldiers were declared not guilty. The others were convicted of manslaughter, branded with a hot iron on the hand in open court, and discharged.

Verne Strickland: The punishment did not fit the crime. Revenge seemed inevitable. And, in time, it came, changing the course of our Nation forever.