Birth:  1735

Death: 1815

Historical Role/Pertinence: Commander of the Bucks of America, an acclaimed all-black militia group in Massachusetts.  

Colonel Samuel Middleton is most famously known for leading the Bucks of America and protecting merchant property of African-Americans in Boston. While the unit was not officially documented in military reports, it was recognized by John Hancock, the governor of Massachusetts at the time, around the end of the Revolutionary War. Middleton has been celebrated since for his successful work with the Bucks of America.

Colonel Middleton was a leader who helped build and sustain the early Black activism institutions in the city of Boston. He was among the first Black Americans to move to and buy land on the North Slope of Beacon Hill. Middleton’s home on Pinckney Street exists there to this day and is the oldest extant home in the neighborhood. Middleton was a co-founder of the Boston African Benevolent Society, a charitable organization that assisted African-American orphans and widows. By the end of his life, Colonel Middleton was well-known not just due to his military experience but also for the positive work he did to uplift the community.

Associated Exhibits

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Works Cited

Belfanti, Sebastian. “Colonel George Middleton.” The West End Museum. Accessed November 2023. https://thewestendmuseum.org/history/era/west-boston/colonel-george-middleton/.

“Bucks of America Flag.” Massachusetts Historical Society. Accessed November 2023. https://www.masshist.org/database/788?ft=Revolutionary-Era%20Art%20and%20Artifacts&from=/features/revolutionary-era/artifacts&noalt=1&pid=38.

“George Middleton House.” National Park Service. 7 January  2023.https://www.nps.gov/boaf/learn/historyculture/george-middleton house.htm#:~:text=In%201796%2C%20Middleton%20and%20others,11%2C%201781%20at%20Trinity%20Church.

Selig, Robert A. “The Revolution’s Black Soldiers.” American Revolution. Accessed November 2023. https://www.americanrevolution.org/blk.php.