Salem Poor, born around 1750, was a Black patriot of the Revolutionary War. He was a free person of color living in Andover, Massachusetts.
Poor enlisted under Captain Benjamin Ames in Colonel Fryes’ regiment and fought at Bunker Hill. He is credited for shooting down British Lieutenant Colonel James Abercrombie. He was cited by 14 officers, including Colonel William Prescott, with heroism and petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts for him to be rewarded for his distinguished character with the following statement:
The Reward due to so great and Distinguished a Character. The Subscribers beg leave to Report to your Honorable. House (Which We do in justice to the Character of so Brave a man) that under Our Own observation, we declare that A Negro Man Called Salem Poor of Col. Fryes Regiment, Capt. Ames. Company in the late Battle of Charleston, behaved like an Experienced Officer, as Well as an Excellent Soldier, to Set forth Particulars of his Conduct would be Tedious, We Would Only beg leave to say in the Person of this Negro Centers a Brave & gallant Soldier.
Poor died in 1802. In 1975, Poor was honored with a stamp in the “Contributors to the Cause” series commemorating the United States Bicentennial.