- He provided a deposition for Boston’s official report on the event, titled A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre.
- A polished version of Palmes’s inquest testimony, written in the week after the shootings, appeared in A Fair Account of the Late Unhappy Disturbance at Boston, printed in London in response to the Short Narrative. Palmes’s original text was broken up into sentences with standardized punctuation, but only one small detail was added.
- Palmes was a (probably reluctant) defense witness at Capt. Thomas Preston’s trial.
- He was a prosecution witness in the soldiers’ trial.
- an anonymous account of the trial that Gov. Thomas Hutchinson procured and sent to London, now stored in the British National Archives. Slightly different transcriptions, apparently from different copies, appear in the third volume of The Legal Papers of John Adams and in Neil L. York’s The Boston Massacre: A History with Documents.
- notes from special prosecutor Robert Treat Paine, also published in the Adams Legal Papers.
- Palmes’s own statement of what he’d said about hearing an order to fire, as published in the 25 Mar 1771 Boston Gazette and reprinted in York’s book.
As for the soldiers’s trial, the situation is even more complicated. Palmes’s testimony survives in four forms:
- brief notes from the same report to London mentioned above.
- trial notes from defense attorney John Adams.
- the transcript of the proceedings by shorthand expert John Hodgson, published by John Fleeming.
- Palmes’s own version, published in the 25 Mar 1771 Boston Gazette, with specific complaints about Hodgson’s accuracy.
TOMORROW: The points Palmes wanted to emphasize.