African Americans



Download 21.52 Kb.
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size21.52 Kb.
Roles of African Americans and Women During the War for Independence
African Americans
White men were concerned about the loyalties of enslaved African Americans during the war for Independence.

  • The population in the colonies in 1775 was about 2.5 million of that about 500,000 were of African descent.

As news of the revolution spread to blacks, many began to escape. A 1775 Dorchester County committee reported “the insolence of the Negroes in this county has come to such a height, that we are under a necessity of disarming them…the malicious and imprudent speeches of some among the lower classes of whites have induced them to believe that their freedom depended on the success of the King’s troops.”


The initial policy of the Continental Army was to exclude blacks from the army, despite the fact that they had fought side-by-side with their white counterparts at the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill.
However, in November 1775 Royal Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, made a declaration “…and I do hereby further declare all indented [sic] servants, Negroes, or others, (appertaining to Rebels,) free, that are able and willing to bear arms, they joining His Majesty's Troops,…

  • Dunmore sought to disrupt the American cause by promising freedom to any slaves owned by Patriot masters who would join the Loyalist forces (runaway slaves belonging to Loyalists were returned to their masters).

  • Within a month of this proclamation 300 black men had joined Dunmore’s Ethiopian regiment.

  • These servants and slaves were used as spies, soldiers and sailors and granted freedom in return.

  • In response, Whigs increased slave patrols.

  • Blacks still joined the British giving them knowledge of the Chesapeake, serving as river pilots, and foraging for food at plantations at night.

  • In the end the British Army was a great instrument in the emancipation of African Americans, freeing tens of thousands of blacks, most made their way to Canada or the West Indies.

As a result of the announcement by Lord Dunmore, General Washington reversed the original policy of not allowing Blacks to serve in the military and Congress approved. (Washington was one of the largest, slave holders in Virginia.)



  • Those African Americans, who supported the Revolution, were not necessarily welcomed.

  • Slaves and free blacks who wanted to serve in the military were often excluded; whites were unwilling to exchange freedom for military service.

  • By 1777, this began to change as the need for soldiers grew.

  • Some masters sent their slaves as a substitute for themselves.

Black soldiers or sailors were present at most of the major battles from Lexington to Yorktown; some were on the Loyalist side.


Two states, South Carolina and Georgia, held out completely against the policy of African Americans in the military.
Massachusetts organized two all black companies and Rhode Island had one company.
It is estimated that 5,000 African Americans served in the Continental Army, state militias, or at sea.

  • Some slaves were granted freedom at the end of their service, but many were not.

  • Some masters who had promised freedom to substitutes broke their promises after the war.



Women
Women had many roles.

They took part in the war effort by operating farms and businesses during the absence of husbands.

They defended their homes and families from marauding enemy soldiers, supplied food, and clothing for troops, and joined the army.
As many as several hundred put on uniforms to become soldiers.

Most women participated by joining the ranks of the “Women of the Army”, Washington’s term. About 20,000 women over the course of the war served on both sides as

nurses, They were considered regular members of the army who

cooks, drew rations, and were subject to military discipline.

laundresses (*Poor women who cooked and cleaned were considered no

and water carriers better than prostitutes…speaks to class issues.)


Some women saw action in battle, particularly women in artillery crews who carried water to swab out the cannon after each firing.

  • “Molly Pitcher” evolved from women like Mary Hayes of Carlisle, PA, who took the place of fallen soldiers.

Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, asked her husband to “remember the ladies”. She did not go public wit her request. What does this suggest about the role of women?


What is “republican motherhood”, “daughters of liberty”? What other civilization espoused the concept?
Women were not supposed to participate in the revolution (actively) and their contributions were only given a nod. Why?


  • Men who participated in the war had won the right to participate in government/society. Women did not because men were those who had won the right on the battlefield.




  • Women instead were given the role of raising their children, especially boys, to be virtuous citizens of the republic.


At the end of lecture go to handout Lesson IX: Abigail Adams on the Constitutional Rights of Women



African Americans
White men were concerned about the loyalties of enslaved African Americans during the war for Independence.

  • The population in the colonies in 1775 was about 2.5 million of that about 500,000 were of African descent.

The initial policy of the Continental Army was to exclude blacks from the army



  • Even though they had fought side-by-side with their white counterparts at the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill.

In November 1775, Royal Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, declared that all indentured servants, Negroes or others who were able and willing to bear arms could join His Majesty’s troops…and gain freedom



  • Within a month of this proclamation 300 black men had joined Dunmore’s Ethiopian regiment.

  • Were used as spies, soldiers and sailors and granted freedom in return.

  • In response, Whigs increased slave patrols.

  • Blacks still joined the British giving them knowledge of the Chesapeake, serving as river pilots, and foraging for food at plantations at night.

  • In the end, the British Army freed tens of thousands of blacks

1

As a result of the announcement by Lord Dunmore, General Washington reversed the original policy of not allowing Blacks to serve in the military and Congress approved.




  • Those African Americans, who supported the Revolution, were not necessarily welcomed.

  • Slaves and free blacks who wanted to serve in the military were often excluded; whites were unwilling to exchange freedom for military service.

  • By 1777, this began to change as the need for soldiers grew.

  • Some masters sent their slaves as a substitute for themselves.

Black soldiers or sailors were present at most of the major battles from Lexington to Yorktown; some were on the Loyalist side.


South Carolina and Georgia did not allow African Americans in the military.
Massachusetts organized two all black companies and Rhode Island had one company.
It is estimated that 5,000 African Americans served in the Continental Army, state militias, or at sea.

  • Some slaves were granted freedom at the end of their service, but many were not.

  • Some masters who had promised freedom to substitutes broke their promises after the war.

Women
Women took part in the war effort by operating farms and businesses during the absence of husbands.

As many as several hundred put on uniforms to become soldiers.



  • Deborah Sampson of MA, enlisted under the name of Robert Shurtleff. She fought in battles and was only discovered when she received a wound; she collected an army pension after the war.

  • Other women performed unofficial, short-term service as spies.

Most women participated by joining the ranks of the “Women of the Army”.



  • About 20,000 women over the course of the war served on both sides as

nurses, They were considered regular

cooks, members of the army who

laundresses drew rations, and were subject to

and water carriers military discipline

3

Some women saw action in battle, particularly women in artillery crews who carried water to swab out the cannon after each firing.



  • “Molly Pitcher”

Men who participated in the war had won the right to participate in government/society. Women did not because men were those who had won the right on the battlefield.


Women instead were given the role of raising their children, especially boys, to be virtuous citizens of the republic.


4


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page