Sunday, March 05, 2006

Who was Crispus Attucks?

On this day in history,Crispus Attucks joins the ancestors after becoming the first of five persons killed in the Boston Massacre. Historians have called him the first martyr of the American Revolution.

Crispus Attucks was born in 1723. His father, Prince, lived in Africa but was shipped to New England to become a slave. There he married a Natick Indian of North America named Nancy. His sister, Phebe, was born shortly after. He was born two years later. He had a younger brother who died young.

He grew up a slave. He worked with his father on the farmwhile his mother and sister did housework. They were treated with kindness and respect by their master. He began to desire his freedom and became a problem, so his master sold him. Although his new owner allowed more freedom, he wanted to work on ships. At the age of 27 he went on a business trip to Boston where he secretly applied for a job as a whaler. He knew that this trip would not be returning to Boston soon, so his master would not be able to find him.

In the fall of 1769 Attucks, now 46, returned to Boston. King George III was trying to rule the colonies and this was making the colonists upset. To take control of the situation King George sent British officers over to enforce the laws. The particular situation between Parliment and the colonies' leaders added a lot of tension between the British troops and the townspeople. Attucks left to go on another voyage and returned February of 1770. At this time a British soldier had shot a boy while being taunted by a group of townspeople. Attucks walked onto a platform in front of a large crowd and spoke briefly but effectivly about striking back against the British. His speech prompted colonists to fight for their freedom.

On March 5, 1770, the townspeople heard fire bells ringing and as they walked out into the street they saw Attucks leading a small group. He said it was a signal calling the townspeople to the town square to solve the problem with the British. Attucks gathered a large group of colonists and challenged the British troops to fight without their guns. Suddenly, someone yelled fire and a British soldier shot and killed Attucks.

At the end of the shooting, four other people had been shot: Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick, and Patrick Carr. At the memorial service many speeches were given about the bravery of Crispus Attucks. The fact that he was not treated equally and still had the courage to fight for his country became one of the greatest inspirations for the colonists. This incident has been named the Boston Massacre.

From the website Father Ryan

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