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The Papers of Francis Bernard
Governor of Colonial Massachusetts, 1760–1769
Francis Bernard
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British Regulars marched into Boston at midday on Saturday 1 October 1768. For weeks there had been rumors that the landing would be resisted. But by four in the afternoon the two regiments were parading on the Common without incident. The troops were there to deter rioters, cow radicals, and support the civil government. There was no revolt to crush. No one expected war in 1769, but it was no longer unthinkable to Bostonians living alongside British soldiers or to British politicians discussing the allegedly treasonable activities of Bostonians. Their differences hinged on what Francis Bernard had been telling the British government.

his fifth volume of the Bernard Papers examines the evidence and debates as they unfolded in Boston and London. The stakes could scarcely have been higher in peacetime. When the British recalled Bernard with honor, the troops remained: the Boston Massacre was his legacy.

Distributed for the Colonial Society of Massachusetts

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