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Arming SlavesFrom Classical Times to the Modern Age$
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Christopher Leslie Brown and Philip D. Morgan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300109009

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300109009.001.0001

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Arming Slaves in the American Revolution

Arming Slaves in the American Revolution

(p.180) Arming Slaves in the American Revolution
Arming Slaves

Philip D. Morgan

Andrew Jackson O'shaughnessy

Yale University Press

The American Revolution brought about major innovations in the military use of slaves in the Atlantic. While slaves definitely played a key role in the Revolutionary War in North America, the significance of the war for the arming of slaves has been overshadowed by the tendency to treat the thirteen mainland colonies in isolation. In reality, the war had more profound consequences for the arming of slaves in the British Caribbean than anywhere else in the Americas. This chapter examines the arming of slaves during the American Revolution, with an emphasis on developments in the Caribbean and North America. It also looks at the employment of African Americans to serve on the patriot side during the war and Britain's manumission of slaves. It argues that the use of armed slaves exposed the contradictions within slavery.

Keywords:   slaves, American Revolution, North America, Caribbean, African Americans, Britain, manumission, armed slaves, slavery

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