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Blood in Boston: The “Massacre” and the story of a famously inaccurate picture.

March 7, 2015

Does characterising the British in this way to auger revulsion and ferment rebellion sound familiar? Oh yeah it’s the way all terrorists and insurgents work. Al Qaeda has obviously read their history books too.

boston massacre by revere header

Two hundred and forty-five years ago today, on March 5, 1770, an armed altercation occurred in front of the Old State House in Boston in which five Massachusetts colonists were killed by British troops. If you’re American, you’ve probably heard this incident referred to as the “Boston Massacre,” and know that it has something to do with the American Revolution. You may even have seen the most famous image of the incident, which was drawn by Paul Revere, later of “Midnight Ride” fame, printed in a history book. This engraving is reproduced in miniature at the end of this article (click for a larger/high-resolution version), and the source of the header image above which depicts the lurid details of cold-blooded British troops callously pumping bullets into innocent Bostonians because, well, the British are the bad guys.

The real story of the “Massacre” is extraordinarily complicated, and some details are still…

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