One of the most fascinating tales concerning the American Revolution, and Loyalists in particular, is the role of African Americans.
Blacks were represented in all geographic areas of America and were a part of everyday life, whether as free people or slaves. Our site covers both the military and civilian aspects of the Black Loyalist experience.
There was but one Provincial regiment in which their service was permitted, that of course being the Black Pioneers. Sir William HOWE banned Black and Mulatto soldiers in any Provincial regiment under his command, ordering the discharge of any who had previously enlisted.
Sadly, we will never know how many men this affected, as their names have been lost to history. Undeterred, many Blacks found their way to freedom within the British lines and still managed to support themselves in a variety of useful functions.
Some found jobs within the various Civil Branches of the Army and Ordnance, while others acted as guides, spies, musicians and sailors. Still others found their way into the different Refugee and Associator corps, where they were able to bear arms alongside white Loyalists.
Throughout the site you will find reference to these Loyalists whose story is only now starting to be known and told. We hope to help you follow their experiences, their successes and their failures, through to the end of the war and beyond.
Proposed Corps, 1779
Memorial of Ricketts, et al, n.d.
Discharge of Lymus, Slave of Paul Hamilton, 1780
Runaway Notice, 1780
Dalling's Plan to Attack Nicaragua, 1780
Dalling's Plan to Settle Nicaragua, 1780
Furnishing Slaves for Fort Cornwallis, 1781
Fort Cornwallis Prisoners, n.d.
Certification that Thomas Williams & Family are Free Negroes, 1781
The Pilot, Trap, 1781
Documents Re David George, a Free Negro, 1779, 1780, 1781
Certification that Ned & Family are Free Negroes, 1779 & 1782
Documents Re the Michael Thomas Family, 1780 & 1782
Beheading of Harry, 1782
Permission for John Williams to go to Nova Scotia, 1783
Decision on the Claim of Samuel Burke of South Carolina, 1783
Memorial of William Hanscomb of South Carolina, 1783
Memorial of March Kingston of South Carolina, 1784
Petition of Scipio Handley of South Carolina, 1784
Petition of Thomas Johnson of South Carolina, 1786
Liberty for James, Rose's Child, n.d.
Petition of Peter Anderson of Virginia, n.d.
Losses of James Franklin of Virginia(?), n.d.
Memorial of Benjamin Whitecuff of New York, n.d.
Simon Munro's Negroes Killed & Taken, n.d.
Nomination of Thomas Peters as Attorney, n.d.
Petition of Shadrack Furman/Firman/Ferman of Virginia, 1787
Petition of Thomas Peters for Land, 1790
For additional materials related to Black Loyalists, please see:
Regimental History: Black Pioneers
Regimental History: Ethiopian Regiment
Regimental History: Jamaica Rangers
Regimental History: Mosquito Shore Volunteers
Civil Branches: Commissary General's Department
Civil Branches: Quarter Master General's Department
Civil Branches: Royal Artillery Regiment
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The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies
For information please contact Todd Braisted
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