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Friday, March 5, 2010

Irish Sailor Patrick Carr one of the five victims of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770

"Captain Thomas Preston of the 29th British regiment ordered his men to present arms to keep the crowd at bay, but the taunting continued...The troops fired into the crowd.

"Thirty-one year old Patrick Carr, an Irish sailor who had come out of a house on Court Street and was moving toward the ruckus with fellow sailor Charles Connor, was the last man to be shot.  The British soldiers escaped back to their barracks and the crowd dispersed to a local tavern in absolute shock and anger about the turn of affairs.  Captain Preston was arrested and jailed at three o'clock on Tuesday morning.

"As the trial of Preston and his men loomed, an Irish dimension emerged.  Local newspapers like the Boston Gazette suggested that many of the soldiers the British sent to Boston were Irish Catholics...The Providence Gazette suggested that Pope's Day should take place on the anniversary of the Boston Massacre so as to include Preston and the others in the effigy burning."

Excerpts from Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past by Michael P. Quinlin, published by Globe Pequot Press (2004).