Black Killed in Boston Massacre
On March 5, 1770, Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave, died with four other Americans in the Boston Massacre.
Most historians believe the Crispus Attucks descended from a union of an intermarriage between a Native American and an African slave. It is thought he was a slave belonging to Deacon William Brown. In 1750 Brown placed an advertisement offering a reward for the return of Attucks. Attucks was a sailor and whaler and spent much of his life at sea or working the docks.
In that early evening of March 5, 1770, a British sentry was guarding the customs house on King Street (what is today "State Street" in downtown Boston.) Colonists began to taunt the sentry. Soon a crowd grew. With the crowd growing, the Officer of the Day, Captain Thomas Preston, ordered seven or eight soldiers under his command to support the sentry. Preston soon followed. By the time the additional troops arrived, the crowd had grown to between 300 and 400 hundred men. The ever-growing crowd continued to taunt the British soldiers whose muskets were loaded. The crowd then began pelting the sentries with snowballs. Colonists knocked one of the soldiers down. As the soldier got up, he fired his musket and then yelled, "Damm you, fire." There was a pause, and then the British soldiers fired on the colonists. Attucks was the first to fall after two bullets hit him in the chest. Attucks was one of five men to die that day