A Paradox of Patriots: Freedom and Slavery on the 4th of July

5 thoughts on “A Paradox of Patriots: Freedom and Slavery on the 4th of July”

  1. James Forten — perhaps an ancestor of Charlotte Forten, of Civil War fame? And I’ve heard of Elizabeth Freeman, and General Carelton, though not of Colonel Tye *makes notes*
    And, as usual, thank you for the ‘furtjer readings’!

  2. Colonel Tye–as much if not more a “hero” than Attucks, freeing many slaves in his raids on rebelling colonist slave-holder plantations. I’ve always wondered tho what his feelings were as he rode past loyal slave-holders plantations on the way to raiding rebelling colonists slave holders.

    My understanding of the role of Blacks in the american war of independence, and please correct me if I am wrong:
    Washington never matched Dunmore/British offer of freedom to slaves who joined the loyalist forces. He did eventually agree to allow free blacks to join the continental army–but not slaves. Any slaves who fought on side of colonists were at the initiative of the individual colonies/states, such as the rhode island regiment.

    1. I’m sure the existence of a runaway slave fighting for the British against slave owning rebels, while knowing the British were the most powerful brokers in the slave trade, was inherently “complicated.” But this story was one of complications for people in bondage. And agreed, I know of nothing equivalent among the Patriots like Lord Dunmore’s proclamation. This would explain in part the limited number of blacks, particularly slaves, among the patriots. Thanks for reading!

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