Crispus Attucks was born in 1723. His birth date
cannot be determined because he grew up as a slave. His father, Prince, was
African and shipped to New England to become the slave of Colonel Buckminster in
Framingham, Massachusetts. There, he married Nancy, a Natick Indian of North
America. Crispus' siblings include Phebe, his sister who was older than him by
about two years and "Little Brother," his unnamed baby brother who
died when Crispus was seven due to a fever.
Until about the age of sixteen, Crispus had lived in a cottage with his family
owned by their master, Colonel Buckminster. As a child to young adult, Crispus
and Prince would do farm work and field work. Phebe and Nancy would do cleaning
in the Buckminster house. Crispus and Phebe and never gone to school because
they were slaves. Although Colonel Buckminster owned many slaves and indentured
servants, he treated them with kindness and respect.
As Attucks gets older, he develops the desire for freedom. He becomes a problem
for Colonel Buckminster because he frequently wanders from his duties and hardly
pays attention. At about the age of sixteen, he's sold to Deacon William Brown
also of Framingham, Massachusetts. His duties include buying and selling cattle,
working in the Deacon's chandler shop, and traveling widely to look for
business. What he truly wanted to do for a living is to work on boats, something
he realizes isn't realistic without having freedom. Attucks, at the age of
twenty-seven, goes on a business trip to Boston, Massachusetts. There, he
secretly applies for a job as a whaler. He chose a ship that he knew wouldn't
return to Boston in the near future in case Deacon Brown searches for him. Every
so often, Attuck's ship would land in ports not too far from Framingham. Then,
he would sneak out at night to visit his family.
In the fall of 1769, Attucks returned to Boston at the
age of forty-six. It has been twenty years since he had run away and Deacon
Brown had long given up the search for his trusted slave. By then, King George
the Third had tried to rule over the colonies without their permission. This
made colonists complain about their mother country, England, especially in
Massachusetts, so King George sent British officer over to enforce the laws.
Because of the arguments between Parliament and Colonist leaders, the anger and
rage affected the British troops and townspeople. They would taunt the soldiers
as they walked by them. Even children would call them names and throw rocks at
them. Soon after, Attucks left to go on a whaling voyage and returned on the
February of 1770. By then, a soldier who was taunted by a group of people shot
into the crowd and killed a boy. Attucks soon realized that these colonists,
like he twenty year earlier, longed for freedom. He had made small conversations
in crowds before about how the people had felt about this situation. Every
person felt that they hated it and wanted a change. Out of inspiration and the
hope of freedom, Attucks walked up onto a mounted platform in front of a large
crowd. He spoke briefly but effectively about striking back against the British.
He emphasized on sticking together and building courage to rebel. As powerful as
Britain may be, they have no right to tax the colonies three thousand miles away
and without their opinion. This speech had triggered colonists to fight for
On March 5, 1770, fire bells rang loudly at midmorning
in Boston. Everyone came running out of his or her houses looking for a fire. As
a small group led by Attucks passed, he explained that there was no fire. The
bells were signal calling patriots to gather with them in the Town Square to
solve the problem of the British. Attucks felt that too many people were getting
hurt as a result of British troops violating the rights of the colonists. At the
Town Square, Attucks left for the fishing docks and returned with fifty to sixty
people who were mostly sailors. Unaffected, British Captain Preston and his
eight troops make no move. Attucks broke the silence by challenging the British
to put down their guns and fight the colonists. Just then, someone shouted
"Fire!" A soldier named Montgomery shot and killed Attucks.
When the shooting was over, four other people had died; Samuel Gray, James
Caldwell, Samuel Maverick, and Patrick Carr. The bodies of Attucks and Caldwell
were brought to Fanueil Hall since they were strangers to the town, and the
bodies of Maverick and Gray were brought back to their homes. The four men were
then buried in the Middle Burying Ground, one of the city's oldest cemeteries.
Later, many people came to Dock Square to hear a memorial service. Many speeches
were given about the bravery of Crispus Attucks and how even as a person who was
not treated equally had the courage to fight for his country. This incident that
showed how loyal someone can be to his country and became one of the greatest
inspirations for patriots and colonists alike is called the Boston Massacre.
American Journey: Attucks, Crispus
... Attucks, Crispus (1723?-1770). Crispus Attucks was a leader of the patriot
that British troops fired upon in the so-called "Boston Massacre" of
1770. The ...
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