Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Attucks, Crispus

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ATTUCKS, Crispus, a mulatto, or half-breed Indian, killed 5 March, 1770, in what is known as the Boston massacre. He was a resident of Framingham. On the day of the massacre he was prominent in a crowd of people who were jeering at the soldiers and annoying them in every possible way. Finally Preston, the captain of the day, ordered his men to fire, and Attucks was the first to fall. Preston and six of his men were tried and acquitted by a Boston jury. John Adams, who defended them, charged Attacks with having “undertaken to be the hero of the night,” and with having precipitated a conflict by his “mad behavior.” He is praised by others for his courage, and is said to have been leaning quietly on a stick at the moment he was killed. He was about fifty years of age at the time of the affair. His body, together with those of the other victims, was borne in great pomp through the streets of Boston, and all were deposited in one common vault. All the shops were closed, and the bells of the city and neighboring towns were tolled. See Bancroft's “History of the United States,” and also an article on Attucks in the “American Historical Record” for 1872.