Peter Salem

  • The American Revolution
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

An African-American Slave born in Massachusetts Colony in 1750, Peter Salem was one of the very few ''Freemen'' who served in The American Continental Army during The American Revolution. Although still a slave in 1775, His Master (was had received a Commission as Major in The American Army), freed Peter. He then joined The 6th Massachusetts Regiment (formed from a local Militia). His claim to Military ''fame'' was that it was Peter Salem who delivered the fatal musket shot at The Battle of Bunker Hill (1775) that killed British Major John Pitcarin.


Peter would go one to fight in several more major engagements of The War – including fighting at The Battle of Saratoga (1777) which gave the Americans their first major victory with the surrender of British General John Burgoyne and His Army. His Service Contract up in 1780, Peter retired on a small Pension and brought a Cabin. Married, He would live His life as a Cane Weaver. He died in 1816 at 66 years of age. In 1882, The Residents of Salem, Massachusetts (where Peter was laid to rest), raised the then massive sum of $150.00 (USD) to erect a special Monument to Peter's service.