PATRIOTS OF COLOR ~ REVOLUTIONARY WAR

PATRIOTS OF COLOR ~ REVOLUTIONARY WAR

TOPIC

African Americans - free, slave, and ex-slave - fought side by side with white colonists seeking independence from British domination. GEORGE WASHINGTON, as Commander of the Continental Army, forbade the enlistment of Blacks - free, slave, or ex-slave - during the early stages of the war. He later learned that the Royal Governor of Virginia, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, was enlisting slaves and indentured servants into the British army with the promise of "freedom to all slaves who would join the King's army." Dunmore's tactic of lifting the ban on Blacks enlisting in the British army led George Washington to change his mind, and, therefore, Blacks later joined the CONTINENTAL ARMED FORCES.

SALEM POORE

    POORE, SALEM

    (1747-1780)

    African-American Soldier:

    Born in Andover. Massachusetts, Poor, a married freeman, joined the militia at the age of 28. He fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was the subject of a petition written by fourteen officers and submitted to the Massachusetts legislature in December 1775. The petition recommended that Poor be given a monetary reward for having "behaved like an experienced officer as well as an excellent soldier." The state took no action on his behalf, however, and Poor continued in his service to his country, having fought at Charlestown as well as Bunker Hill, and later fighting at Valley Forge and White Plains as part of the Continental Army. The rest of Poor's life is shrouded in obscurity.


    Additional Info
    Owner:
    bgill -Contributions private
    Created:
    5/3/2007
    Modified:
    11/16/2011
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