A young Boston artist, Henry Pelham , half-brother of the celebrated portrait painter John Singleton Copley , depicted the event. Silversmith and engraver Paul Revere closely copied Pelham's image, and is often credited as its originator. In order to further public outrage, the engraving contained several inflammatory details. Captain Preston is shown ordering his men to fire, and a musket is seen shooting out of the window of the customs office, which is labeled "Butcher's Hall."  Artist Christian Remick hand-colored some prints.  Some copies of the print show a man with two chest wounds and a somewhat darker face, matching descriptions of Attucks; others show no victim as a person of color. The image was published in the Boston Gazette , circulating widely, and became an effective piece of anti-British propaganda. The image of bright red "lobster backs" and wounded men with red blood was hung in farmhouses across New England. 
The tensions that led to the Boston Massacre were the product of the occupation of Boston by Redcoats in 1768. Redcoats were sent to Boston to quell riots in the wake of the Townsend Duties and to protect customs officials. With 2,000 soldiers occupying a town with a population of about 16,000, friction was inevitable. This would occasionally produce fist fights and angry confrontations. The violent clash on March 5, 1770 began when Private White, on guard at the Customs house on King Street (now State Street) struck young Edward Garrick in the face with the butt of his musket for insulting White's commanding officer. White soon found himself surrounded by an angry mob of Bostonians that hurled taunts and snowballs at him.
The jury acquitted six of the soldiers: William Wemms, William M’Cauley, Hugh White, William Warren, John Carrol and James Hartegan. The other two soldiers, Hugh Montgomery and Matthew Killroy, were found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, therefore escaping the death penalty. Both men invoked the “benefit of the clergy” allowing them to avoid a long imprisonment. They had their thumbs branded with the letter “M”, leaving a permanent mark so that they would not receive a lenient treatment in the future.