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The next day, Captain' Preston and his party were arrested and committed to prison. The citizens met and appointed a committee to demand the immediate removal of the troops from the town. At this meeting, Samuel Adams, an inflexible patriot, was distinguished for his decision and boldness. After some hesitation, on the part of the commanding officer, they were sent to Castle William, and were accompanied by several officers of the customs who dreaded the indignation of the people.
Three days afterwards, the funeral of the deceased took place. It was conducted with great pomp and unusual ceremonies, expressive of the public feeling. The shops were closed. The bells of Boston, Roxbury, and Charlestown were tolled. Four processions, moving from different parts of the town, met at the fatal spot, and proceeded thence towards the place of interment. This united procession comprised an immense number of people on foot and in carriages, all displaying the deepest grief and indignation. The bodies were deposited together in the same vault.
When the passions of the people had in some degree subsided, Captain Preston and his soldiers were brought to trial. They were defended by John Adams, and Josiah Quincy, two able lawyers and distinguished leaders of the popular party. For nearly six weeks the court were employed in examining witnesses, and in listening to the arguments of counsel. Captain Preston, not having ordered his men to fire, was acquitted by
Of the soldiers, six were also acquitted, there being no positive testimony that they fired upon the people; and two were acquitted of murder, as great provocation was offered, but found guilty of manslaughter.-A result evincing the integrity of the jury and the magnanimity and uprightness of the counsel for the accused.
While these events were occurring in the colonies, an attempt supported by the prime minister, was made in England, to repeal all the laws for raising a revenue in America. The parliament, with a mixture of timidity and obstinacy, characteristic of the councils of the nation at that period relinquished all the duties but that on tea, and this they unwisely retained to assert and display their supremacy over the colonies.
This partial repeal produced no change in the sentiments of the people. By rendering the contest more clearly a contest of principle, it sanctified their conduct in their own view and ennobled it in that of the world. The non-importation agreements, however, were made to correspond with the altered law. Tea only was to be excluded from the country; and this article of luxury was banished from the tables of all who were friendly to American rights.
The years 1771 and 1772 were not distinguished by any important event. The southern colonies, more agricultural than commercial, suffered but little from the operation of the laws of trade, and having mostly popular governors, continued tranquil. In Massachusetts, various causes contributed to increase the discontent which previously existed. Governor Hutchinson, having adjourned the general court to Salem, refused, notwithstanding reiterated remonstrances. to permit them to return to Boston. He withdrew thể provincial troops from the castle and supplied their place with regulars, as the British troops were then called. He declined receiving his salary from the colonial treasury, stating that his majesty had assigned to him, and also to the judges, permanent and honourable salaries, to be paid in Great Britain. These measures were highly unpopular, and especially the last, which released those officers from all dependence on the people.
To ascertain the sentiments of the inhabitants ; to enlighten the remotest parts of the province by diffusing intelligence, and distributing political essays; and to produce concert in measures,
Of the soldiers, six were also quitted, there being no positive testimony they fired upon the people; and two were acq of murder, as great provocation was offere found guilty of manslaughter.-A result e the integrity of the jury and the magnanin uprightness of the counsel for the accuseci
While these events were occurring in nies, an attempt supported by the primi was made in England, to repeal all 4 raising a revenue in America. The with a mixture of timidity and obsti teristic of the councils of the nation relinquished all the duties but 1 this they unwisely retained to a their supremacy over the coloni
This partial repeal produced sentiments of the people. B test more clearly a contest of their conduct in their own v that of the world. The ments, however, were n the altered law. Teac from the country; and banished from the table to American rights.
to all the towns in eral court, in several
published, animadhe misrepresentations letters, thus increasing discovery and perusal
the East India company,
America, accumulated in by any importante
England. Encouraged by mire agentina
resolved to export it on their appointed consignees in the
the colonies. Those in Phiquil. In Massachuse
duced, by the disapprobation buted to the
citizens, to decline their appointv-York, spirited handbills were
acing with ruin every person who standing the
verned in vending tea, and requiring
their peril, not to conduct ships, that article, into the harbour. Inti
these proceedings, the captains of the were fuer
bound to those ports, returned with salary from
coes to England. ston, inflammatory handbills were also ud, and meetings held; but the consignees, mostly relatives of the governor, and relying
is support, refused to decline their appointmelets. Their refusal enraged the citizens, and
community became agitated by the operation highly excited passions. Meetings were more quently held. The committees of corresponde were every where active. The people of country exhorted their brethren in Boston to