Poor, Salem

Poor, Salem (1747-1780) African-American Soldier: Born in Andover. Massachusetts, Poor, a married freeman, joined the militia at the age of 28. He fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was the subject of a petition written by fourteen officers and submitted to the Massachusetts legislature in December 1775. The petition recommended that Poor be given a monetary reward for having "behaved like an experienced officer as well as an excellent soldier." The state took no action on his behalf, however, and Poor continued in his service to his country, having fought at Charlestown as well as Bunker Hill, and later fighting at Valley Forge and White Plains as part of the Continental Army. The rest of Poor's life is shrouded in obscurity.