Boston Massacre memorial plague Boston Common

Introduction

In this lesson you will look at 5 primary source documents in order to determine what happened on March 5th 1770 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Revere Boston Massacre engraving thumbnailImage 1 Chappel Boston Massacre lithograph Image 2

The first depiction of the Boston Massacre was produced from an engraving by Paul Revere.  The second depiction of the Boston Massacre was created by Alonzo Chappel.

You will pair up with a classmate to examine two images of the Boston Massacre.  Together you will answer the questions listed below.  You will then share your answers with the class.

  1. Describe the main differences between the two pictures.
  2. What could be the reason(s) for these two very different pictures?
  3. As historians, what other sources could we examine to help us get a clearer picture of what may have happened March 5th 1770?
  4. Do you believe the image depicts a massacre? Why?