Little Known Black History Fact: Peter Salem

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After the American Revolutionary War and after he was freed, Peter Salem married Katy Benson and built a cabin where he worked as a cane weaver. He died in a house for the poor in 1816. He was buried in the Old Burying Ground in his hometown. The town of Framingham erected a gravestone monument in his memory in 1882.

Salem’s triumph for the colonists on Bunker Hill is captured in the historic painting by artist John Trumbull, entitled the Battle of Bunker Hill. The painting is now a U.S. postage stamp that captures Salem behind Major Pitcairn.

In 1909, Peter Salem’s home in Leicester was named a historical monument with the help of the Daughters of the American Revolution. There is a stone erected at the home that reads “Here lived Peter Salem, a Negro soldier of the Revolution”.

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