Tensions had been rising in Boston since the British soldiers first arrived in 1768. Fist fights between soldiers and colonists were a common sight in the streets.
On March 5 ,1770 the city was ready to explode. When angry colonists surrounded Hugh White and his fellow soldiers, they panicked. The soldiers fired into the crowd killing 5 people. This event became known as the Boston Massacre. A massacre is a killing of many people who cannot defend themselves.
The British soldiers were put on trial for murder in Boston. They were defended in court by John Adams, who was a patriot and cousin of Samuel Adams. Still he felt the soldiers deserved a free trial. The court ruled that the soldiers were not guilty of murder.