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African Americans in the American Revolution

1775-1781

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
The American War of Independence. Approximately 450,000 enslaved Africans comprise 20% of the population of the colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence.

1775

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
On Nov. 7, Lord Dunmore, British Governor of Virginia declares all slaves free who come to the defense of the British Crown against the Patriot forces. Dunmore eventually organizes the first regiment of black soldiers to fight under the British flag.

1776

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
A passage in the Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson at the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, condemned the slave trade.  The controversial passage is removed from the Declaration due to pressure from the southern colonies.

1776

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
Approximately 100,000 enslaved people flee their masters during the Revolution.

1778

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
Boston businessman Paul Cuffe and his brother, John, refuse to pay taxes, claiming as blacks not allowed to vote they suffer taxation without representation.

1778

Timeline Type: 
AA
Timeline Era: 
1701-1800
Timeline Entry Description: 
The 1st Rhode Island Regiment comprised of enslaved and free black men is formed. It is the first and only all-black military unit to fight on the Patriot side in the American Revolution
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