Black Soldiers During The Continental Navy Essay

Black Soldiers During The Continental Navy Essay

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It is important to not that countless blacks served in the Continental Navy. The Navy accepted both free and enslaved blacks from the start of the Revolution. Blacks were often experienced on ships because of their work on merchant ships and by serving the British. A large portion of slaves who escaped to the British during the war served on ships.
Blacks served in many capacities such as carpenters, and other simple duties. Most blacks were used to cover jobs and allow whites to be available for combat. Even though the British quickly allowed blacks to become a part of the army, it was still a very divided and segregated system and the use of black soldiers was limited. Black soldiers in the British army were put in positions of body servants and other domestic or subservient roles. It was common thought at the time that blacks had a higher tolerance for heat so they were assigned the heaviest of labor assignments when the weather was deemed uncomfortable for the white soldiers. It has even been recorded that some soldiers did not follow the rules and had black soldiers as their servants during the war. This further pushes home the point that black loyalists were no more concerned with the freedom than the southern colonists. They saw blacks through the lens of what they could offer them and how they could profit.
It has been said that the British did not prioritize the basic needs of the runaway slaves or free black troops. They were not provided clothing, medicine, medical treatment, or enough food. Black troops were more likely to die from disease than white troops. Small pox was a big issue among the black living quarters. Their designated spaces were overcrowded and disease spread with ease. Hundreds of blacks died from sm...


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...owever, the Assembly passed a bill condemning owners who contrary to principles of justice and to their own solemn promise kept in bondage those blacks who had served as their substitutes during the war.
In the years preceding the war loyalist and patriot colonist did everything they could to suppress slave aggression and at the beginning of the war Americans and the British were unsure of their safety when arming blacks. Both sides quickly got over this fear and blacks contributed to both sides of the war effort. However, both sides allowed and recruited blacks to the war effort in order to win the war, not to give blacks the freedom they deserved or to make any drastic change in their ways of life. The Revolutionary War did however give blacks their own chance to talk about their desires for change and freedom using the same words of their masters and oppressors.

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