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The Negro in the American Revolution

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Throughout American history, African Americans have had to decide whether they belonged in the United States or if they should go elsewhere. Slavery no doubtfully had a great impact upon their decisions. However, despite their troubles African Americans made a grand contribution and a great impact on both armed forces of the Colonies and British. "The American Negro was a participant as well as a symbol."; (Quarles 7) African Americans were active on and off the battlefield, they personified the goal freedom, the reason for the war being fought by the Colonies and British. The African Americans were stuck in the middle of a war between white people. Their loyalty was not to one side or another, but to a principle, the principle of liberty. Benjamin Quarles' book, The Negro in the American Revolution, is very detailed in explaining the importance of the African American in the pre America days, he shows the steps African Americans took in order to insure better lives for generations to come.

;America's first war, its war for independence from Great Britain was a great accomplishment. This achievement could have been performed if not for the black soldiers in the armies. The first American to shed blood in the revolution that freed America from British rule was Crispus Attucks. Attucks along with four white men was killed in the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. Even though Attucks was a fugitive slave running from his master, he was still willing to fight against England along with other whites and give the ultimate sacrifice, his life, for freedom. This was not the only incident of Blacks giving it all during the War for Independence.

From the first battles of Concord and Lexington in 1775, African American soldiers took up arms against Great Britain. Of the many African Americans who fought in those battles, the most famous are Peter Salem, Cato Stedman, Cuff Whittemore, Cato Wood, Prince Estabrook, Caesar Ferrit, Samuel Craft, Lemuel Haynes, and Pomp Blackman. One of the most distinguished heroes at the Battle of Bunker Hill was Peter Salem who fired the shot that killed Major John Pictcarirn of the Royal Marines. But Peter Salem was not the only African American hero during the Revolutionary War.

Another African American, Salem Poor, also made a hero of himself at Bunker Hill. Several office...

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Between 1775 to 1781 there were not any battles without black participants. Black soldiers fought for the colonies at Lexington, Concord, Ticonderoga, White Plains, Benington, Brandywine, Saratoga, Savannah, and Yorktown. There were two blacks, Prince Whipple and Oliver Cromwell, with Washington when he crossed the Delaware River on Christmas day in 1776. Some won recognition and a place in the history of the War of Independence by their outstanding service, although most have remained anonymous. Despite the huge contribution to the war, and among the thousands of dead blacks few had gained their freedom. They did not die in vain for they did gain a huge step towards Liberty for all blacks in America. The Negro in the American Revolution by Benjamin Quarles depicted in detail the struggle for Blacks searching for their right to Liberty. If the Negro race had never rendered their services we might not be living in such a nation that values Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness above oppression, and tyranny. .

Works Cited

Quarles, Benjamin. The Negro in the American Revolution. The University of North Carolina Press; November 25, 1996
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