Christopher Seider

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Christopher Seider (or Snider) (1758—1770) was a British colonist killed in the political strife that became the American Revolutionary War. He was 11 years old when he was shot and killed by loyalist Ebenezer Richardson[1] in Boston on February 22, 1770,[2][3] his funeral became a major political event, with his death heightening tensions that erupted into the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770.

Life[edit]

The Bloody Massacre, Paul Revere's engraving of The Boston Massacre of March 1770. At background right, the Customs House has been renamed "Butcher's Hall" and a gun can be seen firing from a window, an oblique reference to the death of Seider

Seider was born in 1758, the son of poor German immigrants. On February 22, 1770, he joined a crowd outside the house of Ebenezer Richardson in the North End. Richardson was a customs service employee who had tried to disperse a protest in front of the shop of Loyalist Theophilus Lillie; the crowd threw stones which broke Richardson's windows and struck his wife. Richardson fired a gun into the crowd, wounding Seider in the arm and the chest; the boy died that evening. Samuel Adams arranged for the funeral, which was attended by more than 2,000 people, he was buried in Granary Burying Ground; the victims of the Boston Massacre are buried near him.

Seider's killing and large public funeral fueled public outrage which reached a peak in the Boston Massacre 11 days later. Richardson was convicted of murder that spring, but then received a royal pardon and a new job within the customs service on the grounds that he had acted in self-defense; this became a major American grievance against the British government.

In popular culture[edit]

Seider's death, his funeral, and the subsequent Boston Massacre are featured in the 2015 television miniseries Sons of Liberty and season 2 of the 2016 television docuseries Legends & Lies: The Patriots.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christopher Seider: The First Casualty in the American Revolutionary Cause". New England Historical Society. 2015-07-31. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  2. ^ J.L. Bell (2006). "Christopher Seider: shooting victim". Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Alex R. Goldfeld (2009). The North End: A Brief History of Boston's Oldest Neighborhood. Charleston, SC: History Press.
  4. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5784268/

External links[edit]