Bill Richmond Lives!

By Robert Ecksel on October 25, 2018
Bill Richmond Lives!
Bill Richmond took the name of the town on Staten Island where he grew up as a slave.

He began bare-knuckle fighting at age 40, but continued into his mid-50s, winning 17 contests and losing twice…

For better or worse, for better and worse, the failing New York Times is the paper of record, and that record will likely stand for many years if the paper challenges expectations.

In an October 25 article titled “200 Years On, U.K. Hunts for Grave of Man Called World’s 1st Black Sports Star,” the writer Stephen Castle spotlights Bill Richmond, one of boxing’s pioneers and “the world’s first black sporting superstar.” A former slave born in 1763 on Staten Island, he left America at the age of 15 to find fame and fortune by fighting in Great Britain.

Richmond’s story is full of the kind of period detail one savors, like being a guest at the coronation of George VI, like teaching Lord Byron to box. But his story doesn’t end there.

Bill Richmond is in the news again because of a high-speed rail project that has prompted the renovation of Euston Station in London.

A team of 160 archaeologists led by Mike Court are searching through 45,000 remains buried beneath the station, looking for, among other things, the remains of Bill Richmond. London’s damp clay soil has preserved skeletonized remains and some wooden coffins. “Some of the coffins that we are finding look like they were put into the ground last week — really, really amazing,” said Mr. Court. Fifteen hundred remains have been recovered so far.

But Bill Richmond’s are not among them.

The full New York Times article can be read here:

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