In his famous but falsified engraving of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere tried to render the “motley rabble” respectable by leaving black faces out of the crowd and putting in entirely too many gentlemen. (Linebaugh et al. 2000, 233)

Sailors and slaves, once necessary parts of the revolutionary coalition, were thus read out of the settlement at revolution’s end.  Of the five workingmen killed in the Boston Massacre of 1770, John Adams had written, “The blood of the martyrs, right or wrong, proved to be the seed of the congregation.”  Yet had Crispus Attucks – slave, sailor and mob leader – survived the fire of British muskets, he would not have been allowed to join the congregation, or new nation, he had helped to create.”  (Linebaugh et al. 2000, 240.)

Linebaugh, Peter and Marcus Rediker.  (2000).  The many headed-hydra: Sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden history of the revolutionary Atlantic. Boston: Beacon Press.

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