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4. He himself owned it to Hutchinson when he said ‘I did it to save

Chap. XLIII.} 1770. March
my men.’

5. Afterwards he was obliged to confess he said Fire, yet pretending March that he preceded the word by Don't; but first, this is not the word an officer would give to men whose guns were levelled, and whom he wished to prevent firing. Second, there was time between the first gun and the last to have stopped the procedure, which he did not do.

6. Hutchinson in his first report, does not clear him of the order to fire.

7. Gage does not clear him of the order.

8. His counsel, a determined royalist, was convinced he gave the order. ‘I am afraid poor Preston has but little chance. Mr. Auchmuty who is his counsel, tells me the evidence is very strong to prove, the firing upon the inhabitants was by his order, and he doubts whether the assault would be an excuse for it.’ Hutchinson to Sir Francis Bernard, 30 March, 1770. Considering the relations of the parties this is most significant language. The opposite views were the hypothesis for the trial.

9. As Auchmuty before the trial believed that Preston gave the order, so Josiah Quincy, Jr. has left on record his opinion that the verdict of the jury was an unjust one. Callisthenes, in Boston Gazette, 28 Sept. 1772; 912, 3, 1; and again, Edward Sexby, 12 Oct. 1772; Boston Gazette, 914, 1, 2. But this is not so decisive as the opinion, at the time, of Auchmuty and Hutchinson.

10. The monstrously false insinuations in the ‘Case of Captain Preston.’ If Preston had given no orders, the offensive falsehoods would have been superfluous.

III. Were the soldiers pelted and struck while on duty before firing? The necessities of the defence naturally exaggerated the provocation, and the statements respecting it are contradictory. When were boys together after a newly fallen snow without throwing snowballs? A little discrimination as to the character of the witnesses and the effect of the testimony on those best able to judge, will show whether the soldiers were endangered.

1. Auchmuty's opinion of the insufficiency of the assault to justify the soldiers has already been cited.

2. Hutchinson, whose testimony as given at the time, is of the highest importance, writes of the firing:—

‘I think, admitting every thing in favor of it, that the action was too hasty, though the great provocation may be some excuse.’ Hutchinson to Sir Francis Bernard, 12 March, 1770. ‘How far the affronts and the abuse offered by the inhabitants may avail to excuse this action, is uncertain.’ Hutchinson to Lord Hillsborough, 12 March, 1770.

3. Rev. Dr. Cooper's opinion is worthy of great attention. ‘Soldiers &c. fired without the least reason to justify so desperate a step.’ Dr. S. Cooper to Gov. Pownall, 26 March, 1770.

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