Friday, September 24, 2010

A Color Blind Revolution

The following piece is totally plagiarized, mostly from Wikipedia which plagiarized various Colonial source documents.)

Crispus Attucks, a Free Black American, was the first American martyr in an event prior to the Revolutionary War itself. The son of a native African and a Native American of the Natick tribe, Attucks ran away from his slave owner and became a sailor and whaler. He learned to read and write and to understand the basic principles of different types of government.

Attucks attended meetings with other patriots to discuss taxes levied by Britain, and wrote a letter of protest to Governor Thomas Hutchinson, the Tory governor of Massachusetts. On March 5, 1770, at Dock Square in Boston, Attucks was with a group of men who were defying the British Red Coats. He was the first man to die in the ensuing skirmish, later called the Boston Massacre.

As the first to die for the American cause, he was buried with honor, and a monument on the Boston Common was erected to immortalize his sacrifice.


Salem Poor, a Free Black-American, married, and twenty-eight years old, enlisted in a Massachusetts militia company commanded by Benjamin Ames. Poor was also engaged at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

He has been described as having been among the most prominent and meritorious characters at the battle of Bunker's Hill. Indeed, the historical painting of that scene, by Col. Trumbull, an eyewitness, done in 1785, gives Peter Salem , with other black patriots, a conspicuous place.

That he distinguished himself is certain; six months after the battle, fourteen Massachusetts officers, all of whom had taken part in the battle, petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to reward Salem Poor as follows.

"To the Honorable General Court of the Massachusetts Bay: The subscribers beg leave to report to your Honorable House (which we do in justice to the character of so brave a man), that, under our own observation, we declare that a negro man, called Salem Poor, of Col. Frye's regiment, Capt. Ames' company, in the late battle at Charlestown, behaved like an experienced officer, as well as an excellent soldier. To set forth particulars of his conduct would be tedious. We would beg leave to say, in the person of this said negro, centres a brave and gallant soldier. The reward due to so great and distinguished a character, we submit to the Congress."
Cambridge, Dec. 5, 1755.

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