Thursday, October 17, 2013

Who Drew the Boston Massacre?

I like to point out to my students that history is not really as neat as it appears in history textbooks.  For example I am reading Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Ben's sister).  Halfway into the book it mentions Henry Pelham, stepbrother of John Singleton Copley, who painted the scene of the Boston Massacre BEFORE Paul Revere painted his (below).  The difference is that Revere was a much better businessman and put an ad in a Boston paper and sold lots of copies of his version which was a close copy of Pelham's.  So we remember the copier and not the originator.  For that matter, as many of  you know, three riders rode on the night of Paul Revere (Prescott and Dawes) and only Revere was unable to elude capture by the regulars (which is the word they yelled when they said "the British regulars were coming"). Here is the entire story. 

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