New Page #28!
On March 5th, 1770, a fight broke out on the icy streets of Boston and British soldiers fired into a mob of civilians, killing five people. At the time it was known simply as “The Massacre.” Today we call it the Boston Massacre. Every year after, an Oration was given to commemorate the event. Joseph Warren had given the second one in 1772 and in 1775 was chosen again– the only orator to give the speech twice in the event’s 13 year history. (After the Americans won Independence in 1783, they stopped the tradition.)
In 1775, for the first time since the Boston Massacre, the British Army was back in town. Tensions were high on both sides. Rumors spread that there were plans to assassinate Sam Adams or Dr. Warren if things got out of hand.
Thousands turned up at the Old South Meeting House to hear the Oration. It was standing room only, and the crowds were out the door. One little spark would set off the powder keg of tension that Boston had become. British Officers stood in the front of the room to keep the peace, convinced that another mob riot was about to be incited by Dr. Warren’s speech. Sam Adams kindly showed the officers to their seats, offering them some hospitality and tried to keep the unruly crowd in check.
It’s no wonder Bea’s parents were reluctant to let her go! And it’s no wonder Aunt Mary tried to talk Joseph out of it.
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