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HIST 1302 Primary Source Analysis Worksheet

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Primary Source Analysis Worksheet
What type of primary source is this? What special considerations should we keep
in mind when analyzing and interpreting this type of primary source? In other
words, how is this type of primary source different or unique from other types of
primary sources?
This primary source is an engraving, which is a print created on a hard surface.
Since engravings are carvings that get colored with ink, it makes it look different
from a painting or a photograph. Engravings can create special details and
textures that paintings and photographs can’t really do. When interpreting a
source like this we need to keep in mind that engravings take not only a
talented person, but as well as time. So, we can infer from an engraving source
that this wasnt create or taken account of and sent out on the exact day and
time that this event happened (unlike photographs).
In your own words, thoroughly describe the source. If this is a visual source,
describe what you see; if this is a written source, explain what it says. You should
refrain from analyzing the source here, but instead strive to describe it faithfully
on its own terms.
In this source we see soldiers who are dressed in red and are in a line firing
their rifles at a group of towns people. In the back of the line of soldiers, there is
a commander who is holding up a sword. The setting is nighttime because there
is a moon in the left corner of the engraving, and on the right corner of the
engraving there is some blue colors in the sky. Along with the setting there is a
cathedral in the background and there are what looks like businesses and
maybe a townhall in the center of the background of this engraving. One of the
buildings is even labeled Butchers Hall. There is smoke from the firing of the guns
and there are dead townspeople on the ground laying in a pool of blood. There
is also a dog in the front center of this engraving. The group of townspeople are
unarmed and have expressions of helplessness. A few of the townspeople are
holding up a fellow townsman who seems to have been shot. There are more
townspeople depicted in this engraving compared to soldiers. According to the
Paul Revere Heritage Project, On the bottom of the engraving, there is a poem
written by P.R. [Paul Revere] full of the outrage about the killing. One of the lines
reads Like fierce barbarians grinning o'er their prey. Approve the carnage and
enjoy the day.’” The Paul Revere Heritage Project continues on saying that P.R.
also honored the names of the dead and wounded listing them just below the
poem: Mesr's Sam'l Gray, Sam'l Maverick, James Caldwell Crispus Attucks, &
Patr. Carr Killed Six wounded; two of them (Christ'r Monk & John Clark) mortally.
At the top of the engraving, it states, The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in Kings
Street in Boston.

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When was it created?
This primary source was created on March 5, 1770 and is available in The Library
of Congress (Brinkley 98).
Who created it?
The creator of this engraving is Paul Revere, however according to the Paul
Revere Heritage Project it is a well known fact that P.R. did not create the
drawing himself. He was a skillful engraver but not an artist and therefore used
the image created by a young artist Henry Pelham to make his engraving. So,
although Paul Revere put his name on the engraving and wrote the poem, he
was no artist by any means and copied Pelhams work to send out an engraving
and use it as a propaganda piece towards promoting the idea of
independence in the colonies (Paul Revere Heritage Project).
Speculate on the creator’s biases. How might the creator’s background, or the
historical context in which he or she created the source, have shaped it?
During this time there were a lot of things the British government was doing to
the colonies that were unfair and unjust. One example is the creation of the
Townshend Duties which was taxing goods like lead, paint, paper, and tea. This
caused angry colonists and a boycott on buying British goods. Because the
British implanted yet another way to take the colonists money, it made them
angry that they were getting taxed on what seemed like everything. In fact,
before news got around to the colonies that the Townshend Duties had been
repealed, the Boston Massacre had occurred (Brinkley 97). Another thing
occurring during this time was the Declaratory Act. This act stated that
parliament had control and authority over the colonies in all cases
whatsoever (Brinkley 96). Since the Stamp Act had just been repealed it
caused for not only celebration but distraction within the colonies, that no one
really noticed that parliament just created the Declaratory Act which gives
dangerous power to the British government over decisions being made in the
colonies. So, with the creation of the Townshend Duties and the Declaratory Act,
it causes for the colonists to have a bias towards getting rid of the British
government and declaring independence. Both acts being placed by
parliament seemed like another stab towards the colonists to try and put them
in their place and to have them pay for the debt of the French Indian War.
Either way, the bias of we have to get rid of the British because they’re doing
awful things to us could be a reason for the Boston Massacre and later the
creation of the engraving of this event made by Paul Revere.

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Primary Source Analysis Worksheet What type of primary source is this? What special considerations should we keep in mind when analyzing and interpreting this type of primary source? In other words, how is this type of primary source different or unique from other types of primary sources? This primary source is an engraving, which is a print created on a hard surface. Since engravings are carvings that get colored with ink, it makes it look different from a painting or a photograph. Engravings can create special details and textures that paintings and photographs can’t really do. When interpreting a source like this we need to keep in mind that engravings take not only a talented person, but as well as time. So, we can infer from an engraving source that this wasn’t create or taken account of and sent out on the exact day and time that this event happened (unlike photographs). In your own words, thoroughly describe the source. If this is a visual source, describe what you see; if this is a written source, explain what it says. You should refrain from analyzing the source here, but instead strive to describe it faithfully on its own terms. In this source we see soldiers who are ...
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