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Our Story
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In the early 1770's the American colonies were filled with rebellion and conflict. Families divided on political lines, Patriots against Tories, son against father. Armed rebels spoke passionately about liberty and natural human rights while holding blacks and Indians as perpetual slaves for no reason other than their colour. Those slaves whose desire for liberty was strongest fought for their freedom against those who spoke of it most loudly.

Those who supported the British became known to history as Loyalists, and their many black supporters as the Black Loyalists. This is the story of their service in the American Revolution.


Black slavery was an accepted fact of life in the America of the 1770's, holding at least 300 000 Africans in perpetual bondage. Patriots and Tories alike feared to question it's logic, although some courageous people from both sides realized its inequity and sought to end it.


As heated words turned into armed conflict, blacks sought their liberty on both sides of the conflict.

Lord Dunmore's Proclamation

Surrounded by enemies and desperate for troops, the Governor of Virginia made a fateful and historic proclamation.

Escape from Bondage

Slaves risked everything for the promise of freedom; their very lives and families. Not all of them succeeded.

The Royal Ethiopian Regiment

The first black fighting unit of the revolution met with early success and tragic setbacks.

The Philipsburg Proclamation

Lord Dunmore's innovation was made general policy and expanded into a tool of economic warfare.

Black Soldiers

Black Loyalists served as guerillas, guides, and labourers on the front lines of the British Army.

Our Storygo backgo upgo to next Slavery
Image Credit: Jack Smith Reproduced with his kind permission.
A Black Cavalryman

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