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First Name: Peter

Last Name: Salem

Birthplace: Framingham, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 1750

Date of Death: 16 August 1816

Rank: Private

Years Served:
Peter Salem

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Peter Salem
Private, Continental Army

Peter Salem was born a slave in 1750 in Framingham, MA.

Salem was later freed by his owner in order to fight in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War and joined Edgell's Minuteman Company. On 17 June 1775, Salem fought at Bunker Hill where he is remembered for shooting British Major John Pitcairn through the head, killing him as he was rallying the British troops. Soon afterward, soldiers of the New England Army raised money to reward Salem for his bravery and the hero was presented to General George Washington as the man who killed Pitcairn. He remained in the Army for several years, long enough to fight in the bloody Battles of Concord, Saratoga and Stony Point. Salem was one of about 500 African-Americans who served in the Revolutionary War.

After the war, Salem settled in Leicester, MA, and built a cabin. There he spent the rest of his life barely earning a living weaving cane seats for chairs.

Death and Burial

Peter Salem died on 16 August 1816 in the Framingham Poorhouse and was buried in an unmarked grave at the Old Burying Ground in Framingham. In 1882, the city of Framingham erected a monument in his honor.

Death: Peter Salem died on 16 August 1816 in Framingham, MA. He is buried at the Church Hill Cemetery in Framingham, MA.

Honoree ID: 3038   Created by: MHOH




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