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Peter Salem
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Patriot
    (circa 1750-August 16, 1816)
    Born in Framingham, Massachusetts
    Soldier, Former Slave
    Enlisted in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War (1775)
    Participated in the Battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Stony Point
    Honorably discharged after serving four years and eight months (December 31, 1779)
    Little is known about his personal life.
    He was given the name 'Salem' because it was his first master's hometown.
    Some historians argue that he has been confused with Salem Poor (another black slave who served in the Revolution).
    He was identified for years as a figure in John Trumbull's famous painting 'Death of General John Warren,' apparently standing behind General Warren.
    Historians have since challenged this identification, claiming that the figure isn't Salem at all, merely General Warren's slave.
    Google searches for his image tend to turn up pictures of the other Revolutionary War school-book token. (No official portraits of him are known to exist.)
    He died in a poorhouse.
    He is overshadowed by Crispus Attucks.
    He was dubbed 'the soldier of the Revolution.'
    He is referenced in several episodes of 'Good Times.'
    He figured prominently in the History Channel's 'Sons of Liberty' miniseries.
    He found success as a cane weaver following his military service.
    He enlisted in the Continental Army either in hopes of gaining his freedom or shortly after attaining it.
    He played a decisive role in the Battle of Bunker Hill, fatally wounding Major John Pitcairn with his last shot.
    He was not identified as the man who shot Pitcairn, however, until shortly before his death.
    It took close to 70 years after his death for a monument to be erected in his hometown in his honor.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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