1875

Front Page Image

This image was created by Paul Revere.

This image printed in the Bunker Hill Centennial is yet another pro-Revolutionary illustration. Because the print is black and white, the crescent moon in the top left hand corner signifies that the Boston Massacre took place after it got dark. The ground and the rooftops of the buildings are also white, indicating that there was snow on the ground when the event happened. The viewer’s attention is instantly drawn to the cloud of smoke in the middle from the firing muskets because the white cloud stands in sharp contrast to the mostly dark print.

It is apparent that there are two distinct sides even though there is a crowd of people. The men on the right which represent the British soldiers are standing in an orderly, straight line with their left feet forward. Some are standing with bayonets and others are shooting at the other side of people, which represent the colonists. There is a man behind the line of soldiers, probably Captain Thomas Preston, who is raising his sword in the air. Such a gesture was used to instruct soldiers to fire.

Unlike the orderly soldiers, the colonists on the left are all in disarray. While one is raising a sharp object and another looks ready to throw a chunk of snow, the majority of people in the crowd appear to be unarmed and defenseless. Additionally, it is evident that some are wounded or dead. One man is staggering back, clutching his chest; another is laying limp in the arms of the man behind him. Finally, the man in the foreground is supposed to be Crispus Attucks who died on the spot when the soldiers fired into the crowd. His body is sprawled out directly in front of the British, but they are paying no attention.