Historical records matching Crispus Attucks
About Crispus Attucks
Crispus Attucks (c. 1723 – March 5, 1770) was a black man in the American Revolutionary War, was the first person shot to death by British redcoats during the Boston Massacre, in Boston, Massachusetts. He has been named as the first martyr of the American Revolutionary War.
Little is known for certain about Crispus Attucks beyond that he, along with Samuel Gray and James Caldwell, died "on the spot" during the incident. Two major sources of eyewitness testimony about the Boston Massacre, both published in 1770, did not refer to Attucks as a "Negro," or "black" man; it appeared that Bostonians accepted him as mixed race. Historians disagree on whether Crispus Attucks was a free man or an escaped slave; but agree that he was of Wampanoag and African descent.
While the extent of his participation is unclear, Attucks became an icon of the anti-slavery movement and was held up as an example of the first black hero of the American Revolution. The other victims of the attack were Samuel Gray and James Caldwell who, like Attucks, died immediately during the attack; Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr died from their wounds afterward. In the early nineteenth century, as the Abolitionist movement gained momentum in Boston, supporters lauded Attucks as a black American who played a heroic role in the history of the United States  Because Attucks had Wampanoag ancestors, his story also holds special significance for many Native Americans.
Crispus Attucks was born in Boston and became notable as the first casualty of the Boston Massacre; he has become an icon of the American Revolution in the U.S. Since it has been documented that up to 5,000 African Americans partipated in the Revolutionary War, Attucks was one of many African Americans known to have been killed in conflict during the war. Contemporary accounts portrayed him as mixed race. The first was a report commissioned by the town of Boston, "A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre," which contained over one hundred depositions from locals about what they saw on March 5, 1770. The second source, The Trial of William Wemms, referred to Attucks more than a dozen times as a "mulatto" or "molatto," and once as an "Indian", another as a "tall man," and yet another as a "stout," or muscular man. Attucks in all likelihood had both Wampanoag and African ancestry. ( Wikipedia ).