H105, American History I

Lecture 11:  Independence and War — Dilemmas of Choosing Sides

I.  Oaths of allegiance — from boycotts to war
II.  White Americans choosing sides — competing notions of “freedom”
III.  Black Americans choosing sides — the “contagion” of liberty?

1765-1783 Contests for Allegiance
1765-1775 boycotts
1774 The Bostonians Paying the Excise-Man, or Tarring and Feathering
1775 Governor Dunmore, proclamation, Norfolk, Virginia
1775-1776 escalation in Tory laws — from reconciliation to treason
1775-1783 war

1775-1776 Formation of a “White” Continental Army
July 1775 new Continental Army commander George Washington banned “Negroes” from army
January 1776 Continental Congress banned recruiting of or volunteering by any blacks, slave or free, into Continental Army

1778-1787 Contests for Enslaved Black Allegiance
1778 RI legislature created first Black Regiment; idea spread throughout war-weary New England (where least slaves and where greatest war fatigue)
1780 British army invaded South Carolina; used slaves as noncombatant laborers (no emancipation; segregation)
1782 British army invaded Virginia; 30,000 slaves ran away
1783 British army evacuated with 20,000 slaves (most sold into slavery in West Indies; some transported and freed in Nova Scotia, Canada)
1787 Britain began to transport blacks from Canada and Britain to Sierra Leone, Africa, as “humanitarian” mission