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Making Slavery HistoryAbolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts$
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Margot Minardi

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379372.001.0001

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Heroes and Paupers

Heroes and Paupers

(p.43) 2 Heroes and Paupers
Making Slavery History

Margot Minardi

Oxford University Press

With a focus on early representations of the Boston Massacre and the Battle of Bunker Hill, this chapter argues that the individuals publicly honored as heroes of the Revolutionary War in the period up to the War of 1812 were primarily those with recognized political, social, and cultural authority: elite white men. Early accounts of these pivotal Revolutionary events noted the presence, but not generally the political agency, of people of color. This chapter develops this argument by exploring the commemoration (or lack thereof) of the Revolutionary contributions of Crispus Attucks and black military veterans, including Primus Hall, Peter Salem, Salem Poor, and Edom London. The sources include both visual culture and print culture, including an analysis of John Trumbull's painting of Bunker Hill.

Keywords:   Boston Massacre, Battle of Bunker Hill, Revolutionary War, veterans, commemoration, Crispus Attucks, Primus Hall, John Trumbull, visual culture, print culture

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