This trial is being held in defense of Captain Thomas Preston, who is being charged with the murder of five colonial Englishmen and assault regarding the order to fire weapons. John Adams, with the help of Josiah Quincy, will represent the defendant, and Samuel Quincy, along with Robert Treat Paine, will represent the prosecution. In this case of British Soldiers versus American colonists, Captain Preston pleads not guilty.
By 1770, there were approximately 600 redcoat soldiers of the British army residing in Boston. They were cursed upon by native Bostonians and called "lobsters" in reference to their bright red uniforms. The people of Boston believed that the soldiers were sent to take away their freedom. Samuel Adams was even caught saying that he feared the soldiers would try to massacre Boston's population of 16,000.
On March 2, 1770, Thomas Walker, a British soldier had the day off and was scouting the area for work.
To the contrary of what most people believe, British soldiers are not paid well, and they seek extra work when time allows. He ventured over to John Gray's ropewalk and John Gray asked him if he wanted work to which Thomas replied: "yes". John Gray then shouted back at him to go clean out his outhouse, and this caused and uproar by the surrounding colonists. Walker angrily told him to do it himself. Tensions were extremely high and several rope makers and Walker began to fight. Fortunately, Walker was able to break free and run for help from his fellow soldiers until they were all driven out.
Like the incident that occurred at the ropewalk, on March 5, 1770, by King Street, another quarrel began between a British soldier and a young worker. The boy started making false accusations against Captain Goldfinch and stating that...