27 Feb 2017

African Americans in the Revolutionary War, Park Day, Vincennes Battle Anniversary, and More!

African Americans in the Revolutionary War, Park Day, Vincennes Battle Anniversary, and More!

On March 5, 1770, British regulars killed five American colonists: an infamous event now known as the Boston Massacre. One of the victims, a man named Crispus Attucks, is often considered the first African-American to die in the American Revolution. From the opening engagements at Lexington and Concord to the climactic siege of Yorktown, African-Americans would continue to play a significant role in the war. Though historians debate whether more African-Americans served the British or the Americans, it is clear that the driving force behind participation was the promise of freedom or a better life.

Though free blacks were initially kept out of the Continental Army, Congress soon permitted their enlistment. Prior to the formation of segregated units, African-Americans served side-by-side with white Patriots. Perhaps the most famous mixed-race fighting unit was the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, the ranks of which included 88 slaves who were guaranteed freedom at the end of their service.

However, the incentive of freedom was not unique to slaves fighting for the Revolutionary cause. In November 1775, Virginia’s British Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, issued a proclamation that he would free any slave who left his master to serve alongside British forces. Within a month, 300 slaves had joined what Dunmore dubbed his “Ethiopian Regiment.”

Most northern states abolished slavery soon after the war, but black Americans still couldn't serve officially in the military. Nevertheless, we remember the sacrifice and service of those that fought in the War for Independence and work today to preserve the history of these American soldiers.

African Americans at the Battle of Princeton

On January 3, 1777, thousands of American soldiers marched across the frozen ground at Princeton. This force included untold numbers of African-American men some free, and some fighting to attain freedom through self-emancipation who shared the patriotic fervor of their fellow soldiers.

Park Day 2017

Mark you calendar for April 1, 2017! Park Day is our annual hands-on preservation event to help battlefields and other historic sites take on maintenance projects large and small. Activities are chosen by each participating site and can range from raking leaves and hauling trash to painting signs and trail buildings.

Battle of Vincennes Battle Anniversary

The Battle of Vincennes, or Siege of Fort Sackville, was a small but significant action that took place in modern Indiana. After a daring wintertime march, a small American force pushed the British to surrender the fort. The capture of Fort Sackville, renamed Patrick Henry, helped secure the frontier for the Americans.

The Battle of Brooklyn In4

We’re continually making new additions to our Campaign 1776 In4 series. In this video, Jeff Richmond explains the pivotal Battle of Brooklyn (or the Battle of Long Island), which took place just weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

10 Historical Sites in Princeton, NJ

Untapped Cities shares 10 historical sites to see on a visit to Princeton. From Revolutionary War history, to the haunts of Albert Einstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and African-American Broadway star Paul Robeson, there's plenty to explore.

Save the Battlefield at Princeton

Thanks to the support of concerned citizens and members like you, we have reached an agreement to preserve a critical portion of the Princeton battlefield, where George Washington personally charged to victory. With your help, we can save perhaps the most important piece of hallowed ground this organization has EVER tried to protect!


American Battlefield Trust

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