The origin of the document is the sworn testimony of Thomas Fessenden, a colonial onlooker, to the Justices of the Peace in Middlesex County. The purpose of the document was to establish who fired the first shot. One value to the document would be that the person was sworn under oath when he made his testimony, so he was aware of the serious consequences of lying about the events. Another would be that he was very specific in all of the details. A limitation to the document would be that he is a colonist so you can infer that he is not a fan of the British and might want to make them look bad. Another limitation is that the man wasn’t actually a part of the scene and might have had a skewed vantage point. OPVL #2
The origin of the document is the official report of Major Pitcairn, commander of the advanced British party that first entered Lexington Green, to General Gage, his commander in Boston. The purpose of the document was to have a report of the event from a primary source. A value to this document is that the author is a primary source and actually at the event. Another value would be that he was very specific in the recollection of the events. A limitation to this document is that the author is British and reporting to his commander meaning that he could have a lot to lose if he did something wrong, so the chances that he left something out is greater. Another limitation is that he is clearly putting emphasis when he repeatedly states that he did not give orders to fire. This shows that he might be trying to persuade you that he did nothing wrong.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document