Commemorative issue Contributors to the Cause - American Bicentennial
Poor was an African American who joined the Colonial militia forces under Capt. Benjamin Ames. Poor was credited with killing British Lt. Col. William Prescott at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Thirteen American officers wrote on his behalf to the General Court of Massachusetts that Poor be rewarded. No record exists stating that Poor received any award of commendation. On November 12, 1775, Gen. George Washington issued orders prohibiting African Americans from enlisting or re-enlisting in the military. Washington rescinded the order after learning that Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, proclaimed that any African American who was willing to serve under the British flag would be set free.