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     Thomas Jefferson was indeed a lawyer, but his practice was in Virginia, not Massachusetts. Samuel Adams became involved in politics, but he was not a lawyer. Paul Revere did a number of things for the Patriot Cause in its infancy at Boston, but he was not a lawyer. Parson Weems, likewise, was not a lawyer; he was an author who invented a few of the 'tall tales' about George Washington's early life. John Adams got his degree in law at Harvard in 1755 and set up his own practice in Boston in 1758. Adams' co-council, Josiah Quincy, also graduated from Harvard, gaining his law degree in 1763. He then studied under one of Boston's most prominent lawyers, Oxenbridge Thacher and took over his practice in 1765 upon the death of Thacher.

The eight British soldiers under Captain Thomas Preston who were arrested for starting and participating in the Boston Massacre were prosecuted by Josiah's older brother, Samuel Quincy and Robert Treat Paine. John Adams and Josiah Quincy gained rulings of acquittal for six of the British soldiers. The other two, a Private Hugh Montgomery and a Private Thomas Killroy received rulings of guilty of manslaughter. Montgomery received the charge of manslaughter primarily because he fired the first shot, igniting the massacre. Killroy was charged with manslaughter because he had expressed his hatred for the colonials and had claimed that if he ever got the chance he would kill as many townspeople as possible.

"The Bloody Massacre" by Paul Revere
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

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