Monday, March 5, 2018

"No matter what they were going to do to me, I was going to survive”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"When colonists in Framingham awoke to riders on horseback yelling to ready the militia in the early hours of April 19, 1775, many thought it was a call to quell another slave revolt somewhere in Natick. 
Once the men realized it was a call to start marching toward Lexington to fight the Redcoats, many went back home and bolted the doors in horror of the coming war. At least that is story told by Josiah Temple, author of the 1887 book “The history of Framingham.” 
The Framingham men who did march the 17 miles to battle would later be acclaimed for their prowess at Lexington and Concord. That includes a former slave Peter Salem, who would later become famous for his bravery during the battle at Bunker Hill. 
Nevertheless, enslaved Africans in a place like Natick is a foreign thought to many native New Englanders. And it’s not generally part of the history passed down through generations. In truth, however, Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery. 
In November, the Daily News published a Veterans Day story about Charles Paine, a former slave and forgotten Revolutionary War veteran from Franklin, who was publicly recognized for his service for the first time. Paine’s name was omitted from the Revolutionary War Memorial at the town common. His story begged the question about the history of slavery locally and across the state and New England. It seems it is a history overshadowed by the more flattering - but equally important - local-roots abolitionist movement."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The article on Charles Paine can be found online

INTERACTIVE: A timeline of slavery in Massachusetts
INTERACTIVE: A timeline of slavery in Massachusetts
Additional research by Susan Eliot referenced in this article

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