Rewriting Possibility: 77%
Some African Americans joined the Loyalist because they were promised freedom by the British but of course that would not be determined until the actual end result of the war. Although the British were heavily circuiting enslaved African Americans, the Patriots were not as eager to allow African Americans to fight On their side. However, it was not until later into the war when George Washington finally decided to allow free blacks to enlist on the Patriots side because they feared that there would be a rebellion from the slaves. While most people viewed the American Revolution as the war for the colonies to gain independence from the British, but African Americans viewed it as the opportunity to obtain their freedom as well. African Americans made their greatest bid for freedom by fighting on either side of he field in the American Revolution. Early in the Revolution, blacks fought on the Loyalist side and it was not until later in the Revolution when African Americans were allowed to fight on Patriots side and that was only because they were desperately seeking help.
But for African Americans it wasn’t about fighting to help either side win, it was more about fighting to achieve the freedom then been long seeking. 2 And with that the British made the first move and told all slaves that they would grant them freedom if they fought on their side. Many American rebel leaders were slave owners. The British Vernon of Virginia, Lord Denture made a simple strategy a strategy that he believed that would hit them where it most hurt. In November 1 775, he issued a proclamation promising freedom to any slave of a rebel who could make it to the British lines. The response was greater than they could have imagined; as many as 30 000 slaves escaped to British lines; knowing that the slaves would do anything to hear the word “freedom”, many slaves jumped on board without hesitation and joined the side of British. In addition, Slaves deserted their horrified owners by the tens of thousands. One, who used his aster’s last name, was Henry Washington; another renamed himself British Freedom. But the state of Virginia did not take this to well.
Down below is Virginians Response to Denture’s Proclamation in the Pennsylvania Gazette: Lord Denture’s cruel policy begins at length to be discovered by the blacks, who have lately deserted from him to a considerTABLE number. When his Lordship first Went down to Norfolk he gave great encouragement to unwary Negroes, but, such was his baseness, some of them, it is confidently said, he sent to the West Indies, where these unfortunate creatures were disposed of o defray his Lordship’s expenses; and others, such as he took any dislike to, he delivered up to their masters, to be punished.
Since the troops under Cool. Woodward’s command began their march, Lord Denture issued a proclamation inviting the slaves of rebels, as he pleased to say, to repair to his standard. A considerTABLE number at first went to him, but upon their masters taking the oath of allegiance, they were immediately told they must return. Some runaways, however, remained, but these were kept constantly employed in digging entrenchments in wet ground, till at length the severity f their labor forced many of them to fly.
Those that were left behind have made several attempts to get off, but such is the barbarous policy of this cruel man, he keeps these unhappy creatures not only against their will, but intends to place them in the front of the battle, to prevent their flying, in case of an engagement, which, from their utter ignorance of firearms, he knows they will do. 4 Virginia basically felt that Lord Denture was making a mockery of slaves, which is why the issued this response to his proclamation.
Furthermore, the response from African American to Denture’s reclamation shows that all the slaves Were hoping to get out Of this is the opportunity to gain freedom and they would do anything to achieve that, even including changing their names. Although the British had an exceeded amount of African Americans fighting on their side, the Patriots decided to take a similar approach and allowed slaves to enlist on their side. Throughout the start of the American Revolution, the use of African Americans was highly avoided by Congress and General Washington.
The believed that armed slaves would lead to a revolt by the African Americans. But General Washington allowed the enlistment of free blacks with “prior military experience” in January 1776, and extended the enlistment terms to all free blacks in January 1 777 in order to help fill the depleted ranks of the Continental Army. 5 Also, because the States constantly failed to meet their quotas of manpower for the army, Congress authorized the enlistment of all blacks, free and slave, in 1777. 6 It has been estimated that at least 5,000 black soldiers fought on the patriot side during the Revolutionary War. But the exact number will never be certified because no one really kept track of how such men were involved in the war. Furthermore, allowing the African Americans to fight on their turned out to be good idea by the Patriots; as they fought side by side with their white counterparts at the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. 8 The soldiers that fought alongside with General Washington and the Patriots at the battles of Lexington and Concord was known as the “Black Minutemen”. The picture below is of the African Americans that served on the Patriots side.
These were about 1 ,700 African American and American Indian men that were identified as being among nearly 68,000 soldiers in Massachusetts applied to the army during the Revolution . 9 These men fought at the Battle of Lexington and Concord side by side. This showed the loyalty that African Americans had possessed, which everyone failed to see when they were first brought over to this country. It allowed people to see that there people just like everyone else, and this played a significant role for African Americans slowly gaining there freedom.
One African American in particular was praised highly by his fellow American soldiers; even George Washington praised him for his soldierly act. He goes by the name of Peter Salem; he was a famous Massachusetts Minutemen. After the battles of Lexington and Concord, American troops from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island assembled at Boston to confront the 5,000 British troops stationed there. 10 The automated American forces engaged the British outside the city. The Americans were winning the conflict until they began running out of ammunition. 1 With the Americans near defeat, British commander Major John Patrician (who had earlier led the British forces against the Americans at Lexington) mounted the hill and shouted, “The day is ours! ” whereupon Salem promptly shot him, sending the British troops into infusion and allowing the Americans to escape safely. 12 Peter Salem was honored before General Washington for his soldierly act. 1 3 With this heroic act, Salem made a strong case on granting African Americans freedom and he proved that he would to do anything to achieve that.