The Boston Massacre: An Intimate History


Dr. Serena Zabin of Carleton University offers this lecture about the famous 1770 massacre of Americans by British troops.

Date & Time:

Monday, April 3, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Free and Open to the Public


McNeely Hall, Room 100

Dr. Serena Zabin

Dr. Serena Zabin

The Boston Massacre of 1770 is widely considered to be one of the catalysts of the American Revolution; English troops stationed in colonial Boston fired upon and killed five American colonists, an event that galvanized the American public to rally to the Patriot cause.

In this lecture, Dr. Serena Zabin of Carleton College will present "The Boston Massacre: An Intimate History," which examines the social and familial circumstances surrounding the event, offering insight into of the direct causes of the Revolutionary War.

Dr. Zabin will tell the story of ordinary families in an extraordinary moment on the eve of the American Revolution. When British troops were ordered into Boston in 1768, British politicians hoped that their presence would intimidate Bostonians and quell the fires of resistance. Instead, soldiers put down roots, intermarried with native Bostonians, and became full-fledged members of the Boston community. In 1770, after British soldiers shot and killed a small number of unarmed civilians, a firestorm of controversy erupted. Yet the conflict that erupted was not only political; it was also personal, severing familial ties and disrupting community relationships. The Boston Massacre became a clash not of strangers but of neighbors who knew each other all too well.

Zabin is a historian of early America and the early modern Atlantic world. She has involved a number of students in her research on Boston, especially in the creation of an interactive digital map of revolutionary Boston. The work for her book has been supported by numerous outside fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice) and the American Council of Learned Societies. Both this project and her previous work on New York grew out of her first-year seminar entitled “Trials in Early America.” Professor Zabin’s first monograph, Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in British New York, and its related volume for the classroom, The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741, use a suspected slave conspiracy in New York City to show the ways that commerce undermined the simple divisions of black and white or enslaved and free that are often associated with early America.

Box lunches for this event will be available beginning at 11:45am.

This lecture is sponsored by the American Culture & Difference program, the Luann Dummer Center for Women, and the departments of Political Science, Justice and Peace Studies, and History.

Parking (available for $1.50/hour before 4pm)

Anderson Parking Facility--located at the corner of Cretin Ave. and Grand Ave.

Morrison Parking Ramp--located beneath Morrison Residence Hall, visitors parking in the Morrison ramp should enter campus at the intersection of Selby Ave. and Finn St. Follow the drive aisle south , under the skyway, toward the stadium. Take a hard right at the end of the drive aisle. The visitor ramp entrance is the eastern entrance beneath the residence hall.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.