into a bloody war, resulting in the freedom of four million slaves.
Pennsylvania was first to pass a free public school law, giving
to the negro child an equal chance with the white child in ac-
quiring an education. It was here the first negro church organi-
zation was started, the first high school, the first negro Sunday
School, and the first printing plant.
Patriotic Service of Colored Men
The negro always has responded to the call of his country
when his services were needed in time of war. From the Revolu-
tionary War down through the War of 1812, the War with
Mexico, the Civil War and the Spanish War history has noted
the heroic achievements of negro regiments and negro soldiers.
Among the fearless men who met the British in the vicinity
of Lexington was the negro, Peter Salem, who added to his
laurels at Bunker Hill by shooting the officer who commanded
this expedition and at whose word of command the blood at
Lexington and Concord was shed.
He had been a slave and upon joining the army he became a
free man and fought like a free man, faithfully and fearlessly in
defense of human rights. He served seven years in various com-
panics and was buried at Framingham, where his memory is
honored and cherished.
In April, 1882, that town made an appropriation of $150 to
erect a memorial over his grave in the old burial-ground at
Framingham Center; a fine granite stone with this inscription:
A SOLDIER OF THE REVOLUTION
Died August 16, 1816
t CONCORD-BUNKER HILL-SARATOGA
Erected by the town, 1882.
All through the Revolution and since then down to the pres-
ent time the instances of negro heroism are too numerous for me
to go into the details of on this occasion.
"Though poor, despised, unlettered,
The bondsmen, now set free,
With limbs and minds unfettered
Good soldiers were to be;