Salem Poor was a war hero. He was patriot of the American Revolutionary war.
Poor was born into slavery in the year of 1747 in Massachusetts. In 1769, he bought his freedom. He was married in 1771 to a free black woman, and had a son named Jonas.
Poor enlisted in the army in 1775. Blacks weren’t welcomed as soldiers, but black men risked their lives willingly, in hope of freedom from slavery.
Poor became well known in a battle that took place on June 16, 1775. Poor was enlisted with Captain James Frye. Frye and his men, including Poor, marched from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Charleston, Massachusetts, and settled there at the top of the hill.
The British were aware, and there were casualties. Poor shot and killed a Lieutenant. He was credited for the killings of other soldiers as well.
More than a 1,000 black fighters lost their lives at the battle of Bunker Hill. The fighters wanted to prove their loyalty. George Washington was still against black men enlisting and volunteering.
The British offered freedom to slaves who would fight for England. Blacks were welcomed as soldiers under Washington’s command.
In 1775, Poor was recognized for his heroism by minutemen officers and a colonel, who petitioned that Poor behaved like an experienced officer, and an excellent soldier.
Poor re-enlisted several times before he was discharged in 1780. He was married three more times throughout his lifetime. He was also jailed in 1799 for a small period of time, for “breach of peace”.
Salem died in 1802.