Black Patriots and Loyalists

Author: Alan Gilbert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226293076
Format: PDF, Kindle
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We commonly think of the American Revolution as simply the war for independence from British colonial rule. But, of course, that independence actually applied to only a portion of the American population—African Americans would still be bound in slavery for nearly another century. In Black Patriots and Loyalists, Alan Gilbert asks us to rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. There were actually two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality. Drawing upon recently discovered archival material, Gilbert traces the intense imperial and patriot rivalry over recruitment and emancipation that led both sides to depend on blacks. As well, he presents persuasive evidence that slavery could have been abolished during the Revolution itself if either side had fully pursued the military advantage of freeing slaves and pressing them into combat—as when Washington formed the all-black and Native American First Rhode Island Regimen and Lord Dunmore freed slaves and indentured servants to fight for the British. Gilbert's extensive research reveals that free blacks on both sides played a crucial and underappreciated role in the actual fighting. Black Patriots and Loyalists contends that the struggle for emancipation was not only basic to the Revolution itself, but was a rousing force that would inspire freedom movements like the abolition societies of the North and the black loyalist pilgrimages for freedom in places such as Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. In this thought-provoking history, Gilbert illuminates how the fight for abolition and equality—not just for the independence of the few but for the freedom and self-government of the many—has been central to the American story from its inception.

Black Patriots and Loyalists

Author: Alan Gilbert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226293092
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
We commonly think of the American Revolution as simply the war for independence from British colonial rule. But, of course, that independence actually applied to only a portion of the American population—African Americans would still be bound in slavery for nearly another century. Alan Gilbert asks us to rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, many black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. Further, a movement led by sailors—both black and white—pushed strongly for emancipation on the American side. There were actually two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality. Gilbert presents persuasive evidence that slavery could have been abolished during the Revolution itself if either side had fully pursued the military advantage of freeing slaves and pressing them into combat, and his extensive research also reveals that free blacks on both sides played a crucial and underappreciated role in the actual fighting. Black Patriots and Loyalists contends that the struggle for emancipation was not only basic to the Revolution itself, but was a rousing force that would inspire freedom movements like the abolition societies of the North and the black loyalist pilgrimages for freedom in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone.

Forgotten Patriots

Author: Edwin G. Burrows
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786727047
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Between 1775 and 1783, some 200,000 Americans took up arms against the British Crown. Just over 6,800 of those men died in battle. About 25,000 became prisoners of war, most of them confined in New York City under conditions so atrocious that they perished by the thousands. Evidence suggests that at least 17,500 Americans may have died in these prisons—more than twice the number to die on the battlefield. It was in New York, not Boston or Philadelphia, where most Americans gave their lives for the cause of independence. New York City became the jailhouse of the American Revolution because it was the principal base of the Crown's military operations. Beginning with the bumper crop of American captives taken during the 1776 invasion of New York, captured Americans were stuffed into a hastily assembled collection of public buildings, sugar houses, and prison ships. The prisoners were shockingly overcrowded and chronically underfed—those who escaped alive told of comrades so hungry they ate their own clothes and shoes. Despite the extraordinary number of lives lost, Forgotten Patriots is the first-ever account of what took place in these hell-holes. The result is a unique perspective on the Revolutionary War as well as a sobering commentary on how Americans have remembered our struggle for independence—and how much we have forgotten.

Democratic Individuality

Author: Alan Gilbert
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521387095
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This ambitious and sweeping book presents a powerful argument against moral relativism and in favor of the objectivity of a theory of democratic individuality. Unlike much recent work in this field, the book does not simply adumbrate such a view. Rather, it develops the parallels between various versions of scientific and moral realism, and then reinterprets the history and internal logic of democratic theory, maintaining, for example, that the abolition of slavery represents genuine moral progress. The book also recasts the clashes between Marxist and Weberian, radical and liberal sociologies in the light of these moral claims, and sketches the institutions of a radical democracy.

The Black Loyalists

Author: James W. St. G. Walker
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1487516967
Format: PDF, ePub
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There is a Canadian myth about the Loyalists who left the United States after the American Revolution for Canada. The myth says they were white, upper-class citizens devoted to British ideals, transplanting the best of colonial American society to British North America. In reality, more than 10 per cent of the Loyalists who came to the Maritime provinces were black and had been slaves. The Black Loyalists tells the story of one such group who came to Nova Scotia, but didn't stay. James Walker documents their experience in Canada, following them across the Atlantic as they became part of a unique colonial experiment in Sierra Leone.

Liberty s Exiles

Author: Maya Jasanoff
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1400075475
Format: PDF, ePub
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A global history of the post-Revolutionary War exodus of 60,000 Americans loyal to the British Empire to such regions as Canada, India and Sierra Leone traces the experiences of specific individuals while challenging popular conceptions about the founding of the United States. Reprint.

Death Or Liberty

Author: Douglas R. Egerton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199782253
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Death or Liberty, Douglas R. Egerton offers a sweeping chronicle of African American history stretching from Britain's 1763 victory in the Seven Years' War to the election of slaveholder Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800. While American slavery is usually identified with antebellum cotton plantations, Egerton shows that on the eve of the Revolution it encompassed everything from wading in the South Carolina rice fields to carting goods around Manhattan to serving the households of Boston's elite. More important, he recaptures the drama of slaves, freed blacks, and white reformers fighting to make the young nation fulfill its republican slogans. Although this struggle often unfolded in the corridors of power, Egerton pays special attention to what black Americans did for themselves in these decades, and his narrative brims with compelling portraits of forgotten African American activists and rebels, who battled huge odds and succeeded in finding liberty--if never equality--only in northern states. Egerton concludes that despite the real possibility of peaceful, if gradual, emancipation, the Founders ultimately lacked the courage to end slavery.

Standing in Their Own Light

Author: Judith L. Van Buskirk
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806158891
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The Revolutionary War encompassed at least two struggles: one for freedom from British rule, and another, quieter but no less significant fight for the liberty of African Americans, thousands of whom fought in the Continental Army. Because these veterans left few letters or diaries, their story has remained largely untold, and the significance of their service largely unappreciated. Standing in Their Own Light restores these African American patriots to their rightful place in the historical struggle for independence and the end of racial oppression. Revolutionary era African Americans began their lives in a world that hardly questioned slavery; they finished their days in a world that increasingly contested the existence of the institution. Judith L. Van Buskirk traces this shift to the wartime experiences of African Americans. Mining firsthand sources that include black veterans’ pension files, Van Buskirk examines how the struggle for independence moved from the battlefield to the courthouse—and how personal conflicts contributed to the larger struggle against slavery and legal inequality. Black veterans claimed an American identity based on their willing sacrifice on behalf of American independence. And abolitionists, citing the contributions of black soldiers, adopted the tactics and rhetoric of revolution, personal autonomy, and freedom. Van Buskirk deftly places her findings in the changing context of the time. She notes the varied conditions of slavery before the war, the different degrees of racial integration across the Continental Army, and the war’s divergent effects on both northern and southern states. Her efforts retrieve black patriots’ experiences from historical obscurity and reveal their importance in the fight for equal rights—even though it would take another war to end slavery in the United States.