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Black History Boston: The hero of the Boston Massacre, Crispus Attucks

Today, we celebrate the life of Crispus Attucks, the hero of the Boston Massacre.

Crispus Attucks was born around 1723 in Framingham, Massachusetts. In 1750, Crispus was believed to be a runaway that a slave master had put out an advertisement for to return to Framingham. However, he managed to escape slavery, spending the next two decades on trading ships and whaling vessels. 

Crispus Attucks Flyer

Tensions escalated in Boston as British Control tightened. As a seaman, he was constantly in fear of the threat of being forced into the British Navy. In other areas, British soldiers regularly took part-time work away from colonists. 

On March 5, 1770, tensions reached its peak. After an altercation between colonists and British soldier Private Hugh White, more than 50 people surrounded Private White, led by Crispus Attucks. They taunted the private. 

As more soldiers arrived to back him up, including the captain, they began loading their muskets and pointing them at a crowd that was now between 200 and 300 colonists. Snowballs and small objects, and taunts were continually thrown at the soldiers until one disheveled soldier commanded them to fire. The captain had given no orders to fire. Among the first to die was the leader, Crispus.  He served as the first death of the American Revolution. Due to his courage and leadership, this was the first step towards the American Revolution, which saw the creation of the United States as we know it today. 

Let’s not forget Crispus’s bravery in the face of adversity and how this one act changed the course of history.

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