Tag Archives: DWDAM

An Ordinary Man

On March 5, 1770 the streets in Boston were boiling. For a number of years British soldiers had been occupying the city to enforce the Parliamentary taxes that tweaked just about every citizen in the colonies.  On this night a group of young men took to taunting a British soldier standing guard in front of the Custom house on King Street. The crowd grew with other British soldiers standing in line with their comrade. Eventually verbal assaults turned to rocks and ice and other projectiles being hurled at the soldiers, the crowd yelling for the men to fire their muskets the entire time. Suddenly the soldiers did with no orders actually being given. Immediately three colonists were dead, several wounded and the events of what would eventually be called The Boston Massacre gave succor to the nascent rebellion against Great Britain.

One of the colonists killed outright was Crispus Attucks. Attucks was mixed race, African and Native American and may have been either a runaway slave or a freedman, that question has support on all sides. He was a sailor who apparently was in port after his ship had arrived from the Bahamas. Little is known about him and some of what is known has been changed and mutated over time. He holds a special place in the story of the American Revolution being one of the first colonial casualties of the conflict. History remembers him for being the first African-American (his father was from Africa, his mother a Native American, Crispus himself was born in Massachusetts) as well as the first Native American to give their life to the cause.

The teapot in the picture belonged to Crispus Attucks. A small personal item that should hopefully serve to show that no matter what history tells you about the man he was just that, a man. Albeit a man who ended up on the wrong side of a musket and helped advance the cause. The cause of the American Revolution.