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African Americans in the American Revolution

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African Americans in the American Revolution HIS 265 Slavery & the Revolution Egalitarian rhetoric of republicanism clearly at odds with slavery Over 18,000 slaves (5 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: African Americans in the American Revolution


1
African Americans in the American Revolution
  • HIS 265

2
Slavery the Revolution
  • Egalitarian rhetoric of republicanism clearly at
    odds with slavery
  • Over 18,000 slaves (5 of the black population)
    escaped to British lines or ran away during the
    war
  • Both sides used slaves as soldiers
  • Lord Dunmore (1775) Gen. Henry Clinton (1779)
    offered freedom to slaves who enlisted in British
    army
  • Several states allowed slaves to serve in place
    of masters
  • New York offered freedom to slaves who served 3
    years in army ( compensated owners)

3
Black Units in the Continental Army
  • R.I. legislature passed bill in 1778 authorizing
    recruitment of blacks
  • Offered freedom regular pay
  • Owners compensated based on value
  • 1st Rhode Island saw action at Battle of Rhode
    Island (Aug. 1778) Yorktown (Oct. 1781)
  • Mass. organized Bucks of America under Samuel
    Middleton
  • 2nd Company 4th Conn. Regiment formed in Oct.
    1780
  • Most blacks served in integrated units

Col.Christopher Greene
4
Washington Crossing the Delaware
5
Emancipation in the North
  • Northern states began to phase out slavery ¾
    free by 1810 all by 1840
  • Penn. (1780), N.Y. (1799), Conn. N.J. (1804)
    provided for gradual abolition almost all free
    by 1840
  • Mass. Supreme Court ruled slavery violated state
    constitution in 1781
  • Slavery barred from Northwest Territory (1787)

6
Emancipation in New York
  • New York Manumission Society founded in 1785 by
    Hamilton, Jay Burr
  • Est. African Free School in 1787
  • Lobbied newspapers not to run slave ads
  • Offered free legal counsel to blacks suing for
    freedom
  • 1785 attempt to abolish slavery failed due to
    controversy over voting rights issue
  • 1799 law provided for gradual abolition
  • Children born after July 4, 1799 would be free at
    25 for women, 28 for men
  • Slaves already born remained servants for life
  • 1817 law promised freedom to all slaves born
    before 1799 on July 4, 1827
  • Some owners sold slaves south before law took
    effect

7
Abolition in Massachusetts
  • Mass. State Constitution (1780) declared all men
    are born free equal with the right of
    enjoying and defending their lives liberties
  • Courts ruled in Mum Bett (1781) Quock Walker
    (1781-83) cases that slavery was therefore
    abolished

Mum Bett
8
Manumission in the South
  • Wave of manumission followed Revolution
  • Over 10 of blacks in Upper South free by 1810
  • George Washington freed slaves in his will, but
    only after death of wife

George Washington William Lee
9
Compromises on Slavery in the Constitution
  • Art. 1, Sec. 2 3/5 of slaves counted toward
    representation taxation
  • Art. 1, Sec. 9 Congress couldnt ban slave trade
    for 20 years
  • Art. 4, Sec. 2 Fugitive Slave Clause required
    capture return of escaped slaves
  • Northwest Ordinance (1787) banned slavery in
    Northwest Territory, but allowed it in Southwest
    Territory
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