Boston Massacre Site


Directly in front of the Old State House, encircled by cobblestones, a bronze plaque marks the spot where the first blood was shed for the American independence movement. On March 5, 1770, an angry mob of colonists swarmed the British soldiers guarding the State House, hurling snowballs, rocks and insults. Thus provoked, the soldiers fired into the crowd and killed five townspeople, including Crispus Attucks, a former slave. The incident sparked enormous anti-British sentiment.

Paul Revere helped fan the flames by widely disseminating an engraving that depicted the scene as an unmitigated slaughter. Interestingly, John Adams and Josiah Quincy – both of whom opposed the heavy-handed authoritarian British rule – defended the accused soldiers in court, and seven of the nine were acquitted.

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Nearby Boston attractions

1. Old State House

0.01 MILES

Dating from 1713, the Old State House is Boston’s oldest surviving public building, where the Massachusetts Assembly used to debate the issues of the day…

2. Old Corner Bookstore


In the 19th century, this historic house was leased to a bookseller, Carter & Hendlee. This was the first of nine bookstores and publishing companies that…

3. Faneuil Hall


‘Those who cannot bear free speech had best go home,’ said Wendell Phillips. ‘Faneuil Hall is no place for slavish hearts.’ Indeed, this public meeting…

4. Steaming Kettle

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The steaming kettle on Sears Crescent has been a Boston landmark since 1873, when it was hung over the door of the Oriental Tea Co at 57 Court St. The…

5. Old South Meeting House

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‘No tax on tea!’ That was the decision on December 16, 1773, when 5000 angry colonists gathered here to protest British taxes, leading to the Boston Tea…

6. Old City Hall

0.14 MILES

This monumental French Second Empire building occupies a historic spot. Out front, a plaque commemorates the site of the country's first public school,…

7. King's Chapel & Burying Ground

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Puritan Bostonians were not pleased when the original Anglican church was erected on this site in 1688. The granite chapel standing today – built in 1754 …

8. City Hall Plaza

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City Hall Plaza is a cold, windy, 56-acre concrete plaza, surrounded by government office buildings. Occupying the site of the former Scollay Sq, the…