Crispus Attucks was a runaway slave that became a sailor, working on a whaling crew that sailed out of Boston harbor. While in harbor he often worked in Boston as a ropemaker. Attucks was identified as a direct descendant of John Attucks. Who was executed for treason in 1676 during the King Philip War?
In 1770 during what is now known as the Boston Massacre, Crispus Attucks, a runaway slave, became the first casualty of the American Revolution. When he was shot and killed in what we now know as the Boston Massacre. Crispus Attucks was credited as the leader and instigator of the event, the debate has raged over his true role in the event. His approximate age was 47 at the time of his death.
Some say he was used to helping improve the case for the soldiers who fired the fatal shots. During their trial, John Adams, serving as a lawyer for the crown, reviled the “mad behavior” of Attucks. “Whose very looks was enough to terrify any person.” In Adams’ closing argument, Attucks was depicted as a menace with “hardiness enough to fall in upon them, and with one hand took hold of a bayonet.
Crispus Attucks occupation
That following Monday night, tensions reached a fever pitch. When a soldier entered a pub to look for work, and instead found a group of angry seamen. That evening a group of about thirty people later described by John Adams in his defense of the soldiers as “a motley rabble of saucy boys. Negroes and mulattoes Seven British troops came to the soldier’s rescue.
Crispus Attucks Killed
Attucks was the first of five men killed when they opened fire. The victims of the “Boston Massacre,” became instant martyrs and symbols of liberty. Attucks was buried in the Park Street cemetery along with the other honored dead despite laws and customs regulating the burial of blacks segregated from whites.
A “Crispus Attucks Day” was inaugurated by black abolitionists in 1858 and in 1888. The Crispus Attucks Monument was erected on the Boston Common in spite of the opposition of Massachusetts. Historical Society and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Which still regarded Attucks as a villain.