One of the most interesting aspects of the American Revolution is the role played by African Americans in the fight for independence. Both free Blacks and those that were enslaved were key elements in manning state militias and Continental Army units, as well as serving on the high seas in the Navy and on privately armed ships. Indeed, their service to New Hampshire, as well as the other New England colonies, was crucial in a conflict that lasted nearly seven years. Prohibited by existing laws from serving in military units and largely considered “undesirable elements” by southern patriots and even many in New England, how is it that these Black soldiers came to fight for the cause of liberty, even when their own personal liberty was not guaranteed? Glenn Knoblock examines the history of Black soldiers’ service during the war, including how and why they enlisted, their interaction with white soldiers, service on the battlefields, how they were perceived by the enemy and the officers under whom they served, and their treatment after the war.
Due to today’s heat, the lecture has been moved to the back patio behind the Ladd-Gilman house.
Free! With special thanks to the New Hampshire Humanities Council