Land of the Brave

Crispus Attucks

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Short Biography about Crispus Attucks

Crispus Attucks was one of the 5 civilians killed by British troops during the Boston Massacre which occurred in 1770. 

He was an African-American  and is often referred to as the first martyr of the American Revolution.

Facts about Crispus Attucks
All that is definitely known about Attucks is that he was the first to fall during the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. The following facts about Crispus Attucks are believed to be accurate but cannot be fully substantiated as records of slaves during the period were extremely vague.

The following fact file has been compiled from various sources and provides interesting facts and an overview and description of the life and times and his involvement in the American Revolutionary War.

Fact 1: Crispus Attucks was born c. 1723. There is a theory that he went by another name, Michael Johnson.

Fact 2: His father was born in Africa. His name was Prince Yonger and he was brought to America as a slave.

Fact 3: The name of his mother was Nancy Attucks, a Wampanoag Native Indian who came from from the island of Nantucket. The word "attuck" in the Natick language means deer.

Fact 4: Crispus Attucks had a sister called Phoebe

Fact 5: The owner of his father was Colonel Buckminster and Crispus was raised on his large farm

Fact 6: He was then sold to Deacon William Brown of Framingham. Crispus Attucks escaped from his new master and absconded to become a seaman and whaler

Fact 7: An advertisement placed in the Boston Gazette on October 2, 1750 referred to Crispus Attucks as a runaway slave belonging to William Brown of Framingham

Fact 8: In the advertisement Crispus Attucks was described as "a mulatto Fellow, about 27 years of age, named Crispus, 6 Feet and 2 inches high, short curl'd hair, his Knees near together than common..."

Fact 9: Whaling played an important role in New England and whaling was a common activity along the East Coast. Boston, in the colony of Massachusetts, was the most important port of the colonies.

Fact 10: Boston was the home of many patriots and it is probable that Crispus Attucks had great sympathy with the movement. British troops had been stationed in Boston since 1768 following events prompted by the Townshend Acts of 1767 and the troops were resented by the workers in Boston, like Crispus Attucks.

Fact 11: Workers and sailors frequently clashed with British soldiers quartered in Boston.

Fact 12: The day before the Boston Massacre incident on March 4, 1770 some seamen and ropemakers had clashed with British troops at John Gray's Ropewalk in the Fort Hill district of Boston.

Fact 13: The Boston Massacre incident occurred on the evening of March 5, 1770. A crowd taunting a soldier in front of the Customs House on King Street in Boston became out of hand and he called for help.

Fact 14: Captain Thomas Preston and 8 soldiers answered the call. The crowd grew to over 200 people and started to throw snowballs, ice, coal and oyster shells at the British troops. A soldier named Private Montgomery was hit in the face by a stick and the soldiers fired their muskets into the crowd.

Fact 15: Crispus Attucks was the first man to be shot and fell dead with several bullets lodged in his chest and head.

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