General History/independence


When da war for independance, the american revolution began, what was the policy of the leadership on the use of african american troops. did their policy differ according to whether a person was enslaved or a free african american.

Hi Jonathan,

When General Washington first took charge of the Continental Army surrounding Boston, one of his first orders was to remove the free blacks who were fighting with the army.  After New England soldiers objected, he relented and allowed the soldiers to remain.  Many free blacks served in the army throughout the war.  However, they mostly served in militias in the early part of the war.  It was not until 1777 that the Continental Army allows black enlistment.

Slaves could join only with their owner's permission.  Many white officers had slaves with them who acted as personal servants.  Some owners allows slaves to work as laborers helping the army when it was in the area, but did not want their slaves leaving with the army or learning how to use a gun.  Blacks who joined the army and served their enlistment were granted their freedom at the end of their service.

The British army offered freedom to slaves who escaped from their white masters and worked with the British army to help suppress the rebellion.  Many slaves joined the British Army, serving in militia units under British control.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

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Michael Troy


My specialties are 17th through 19th Century history, especially in the Americas and Europe. I also have a fair knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman History, and some knowledge of Medieval European history. My expertise is focuses on Military and political history, but I`ll take a crack at anything.


I have been a guest lecturer at George Washington University. Mostly, I have just read hundreds of books about world history.


J.D. Univ. of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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