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Crispus Attucks

American revolutionary patriot
Born: c. 1723
Birthplace: Boston

Of mixed African and American Indian ancestry, Attucks was the slave of William Brown of Framingham, Mass. Attucks escaped around 1750 to work on whaling ships. On March 5, 1770, Boston patriot Samuel Adams convinced sailors and dockworkers to protest the presence of British troops. Attucks was a leader of the 50 men in the protest, shouting “Don't be afraid,” as they advanced on the British. The soldiers fired on the protestors, killing Attucks and four others in what became known as the Boston Massacre. The bodies of the dead lay in state at Faneuil Hall for three days before receiving a public funeral attended by 10,000 people. Although the soldiers were acquitted of the shootings on the grounds that the seamen were inciting a riot, Attucks and the others became heroes.

Died: 1770

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