American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- Attucks, Crispus 1723?-1770. American patriot who was among the five persons killed in the Boston Massacre.
“Many query, "Why call themselves 'Massasoit Guards?' why not 'Attucks' Guards, 'after one of their own race, and the first martyr of American Independence, on the 5th of March, 1770?”
“One of them, a former slave named Crispus Attucks, who had been quaffing drinks at the Royal Exchange, is widely thought to have been the one who clobbered the hapless British soldier.”
“Textbooks like to make Attucks and the mob on King Street into allies of the Founding Fathers, and indeed, their actions led not only to the removal of the troops from Boston but also to increased militancy against the British that most historians agree was the beginning of the American Revolution.”
“Â Three Americans died instantly, including Crispus Attucks, a mixed race sailor who is considered to be the first American casualty of the Revolutionary War.”
“In fact, one of the first to die in the cause that became the American Revolution was an escaped black slave named Crispus Attucks, one of five American protesters shot by British soldiers in the Colonial Era Boston Massacre.”
“Two major sources of eyewitness testimony about the Boston Massacre, both published in 1770, did not refer to Attucks as a "Negro," or "black" man.”
“Little is known for certain about Attucks beyond his death in the conflict.”
“The second source, "The Trial of William Wemms," referred to Attucks more than a dozen times as a “mulatto” or “molatto,” and once as an “Indian,” another as a “tall man,” and yet another as a “stout,” or muscular man.”
“While 19th-century anti-slavery advocates later focused on Attucks' African heritage, Bostonians in 1770 considered him mixed-race.”
“Crispus Attucks wrote on September 19, 2007 3: 18 PM:”
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