By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
Crispus Attucks was born in Massachusetts in 1723. He was of Black and Native American ancestry. Some reports say Attucks ran away from his slave master William Brown at the age of 27, other reports say he was a freeman.
Either way, at the age of 27 he would join a boat crew and would be a seaman for the next 20 years.
On the night of March 5, 1770 because of immense-tension between the British and the colonists in Boston, the British government installed soldiers to reestablish order.
Some historians say that a British soldier was guarding a Customs House when a young boy insulted him, and then was soon injured by the soldier.
As the boy loudly cried out in the streets in pain, Attucks and other colonists began to investigate the incident.
Soon after Attucks and others went to the Customs House, Attucks confronted the British soldier who was guarding the Customs House, and harsh words were exchanged between Attucks and the British soldier. Some of the colonists began to throw snowballs at the British soldiers, some say Attucks then began wielding a large stick and yelled:
“Don’t be Afraid. Knock ’em over, they dare not fire.”
This would be the first battle cry in the revolution to come.
The British soldiers responding in fear and panic, wildly shot in the growing crowd, killing Attucks, his associate Samuel Gray, nine other men would be shot in the melee, 3 of them would die.
The British soldiers would soon extinguish the fury of the crowd, but the news of the massacre would spread like a wildfire. Thousands of people would go to the funeral of Attucks. Seven British soldiers would be charged with murder, but none would be convicted.
The revolt that Attucks led would become known as the Boston massacre, and many credit it as being one of the main events the sparked the American revolution.
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