Sample Responses

How reliable is Captain Thomas Preston's testimony? Can we trust the source of information? Should we believe what it reveals about the past? Why/why not?

As an officer in the British army, Captain Preston had some authority in his testimony. He was expected to tell the truth in a deposition. He was an eyewitness to the events and because the testimony was taken only a few days after the shooting, his memory was probably very good. His testimony seems very clear with little exaggeration or obvious bias. However, because he was the one on trial, he had an incentive to hide his responsibility so he will not face punishment. Due to this main fact, his testimony is suspect and should not be considered reliable without corroboration.