Updated Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Probably the most lasting lesson of democratic education is democracy, and all that it means in relationship to personal freedoms. As a black American I can testify that much that I was taught did not, and does not exist. However, the democratic form of government established in republics remains the most humane form of human order. Any criticisms delivered within the contents of these Internet pages are with an understanding that "for the people and by the people" is true freedom. Patriots like Thomas Jefferson
were true visionaries that held a common belief in the rights of men. However, what must also be recognized are those signers of the Declaration of Independence that found no issue with their insistence upon maintaining a deplorable slavery system that assured no freedom for millions. In addition, and maybe even more responsible for the racism that permeates the United States today, are those then, and now, who may not agree with what is being done, but take no stand for what they believe. "If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything," is more than good advice; it's the way of life.
The American Revolution may have been fought for slavery over freedom. Great Britain, in 1772, had outlawed slavery declaring it illegal and having no standing in the Common Law of England. For those colonial plantation owners that was a disturbing signal from a far away King.
It has been well documented that several paragraphs were omitted from the finished Declaration of Independence. Paragraphs written by Thomas Jefferson that called for an end to slavery were taken out at the insistence of southern plantation owners. The dream of freedom would be restricted to those who deemed themselves worthy of freedom. Despite this major flaw in thinking many black men, most of them slaves, fought on the side of the rebels during that eight year conflict. Ironically it was those slaves that ran off their plantations to join the British forces that won their freedom while those slaves that fought for the revolution were returned to the slave quarters of their plantations.
Take the story of Reverend George, the black pastor of Silver Bluff Baptist Church of South Carolina. The good Reverend led his entire congregation behind British lines where the men took up arms, and their families breathed their first breath of freedom. After the war those blacks that fought with the British were re-settled into lands in Nova Scotia, Jamaica, and England.
What U.S. history text frequently omit are those black heroes that fought so valiantly for the cause of freedom. James Forten, Peter Salem (who was credited with wounding the British commander at the Battle of Breed's Hill), Prince Whipple (who crossed the Delaware River with General George Washington), Oliver Cromwell, Prince Estabrook, Pomp Blackman, Cato Woods, Cuff Whitemore, Salem Poor, and hundreds of other black men who took up arms in defense of freedom that was later denied to them.
One early American that saw value in arming blacks was, a then twenty-two year old, Alexander Hamilton as indicated in this letter he penned.
Head-quarters, March 14th, 1779
Colonel Laurens, who will have the honour of delivering you this letter, is on his way to South Carolina, on a project which I think, in the present situation of affairs there, is a very good one, and deserves every kind of support and encouragement. This is to raise two, three, or four battalions of Negroes, with the assistance of the government of that State, by contributions from the owners, in proportion to the number they possess. If you should think proper to enter upon this subject with him, he will give you a detail of his plan. He wishes to have it recommended by Congress to the State; and, as an inducement, that they would engage to take those battalions into continental pay.It appears to me that an expedient of this kind, in the present state of southern affairs, is the most rational that can be adopted, and promises very important advantages. Indeed, I hardly see how a sufficient force can be collected in that quarter without it; and the enemys operations there are growing infinitely serious and formidable. I have not the least doubt that the Negroes will make very excellent soldiers with proper management; and I will venture to pronounce that they cannot be put into better hands than those of Mr. Laurens.
I hear it frequently objected to the scheme of embodying Negroes, that they are too stupid to make soldiers. This is so far from appearing to me a valid objection, that I think their want of cultivation (for their natural faculties are probably as good as ours), joined to that habit of subordination, which they acquire from a life of servitude, will make them sooner become soldiers than our white inhabitants. Let officers be men of sense and sentiment, and the nearer the soldiers approach to machines, perhaps the better.I foresee that this project will have to combat the opposition from prejudice and self-interest. The contempt we have been taught to entertain for the blacks, makes us fancy many things that are founded neither in reason nor experience; and an unwillingness to part with property of so valuable a kind, will furnish a thousand arguments to show the impracticability, or pernicious tendency, of a scheme which requires such a sacrifice. But it should be considered, that if we do not make use of them in this way, the enemy probably will; and that the best way to counteract the temptations that they will hold out, will be to offer them ourselves. An essential part of the plan is to give them their freedom with their muskets. This will secure their fidelity, animate their courage, and, I believe, will have a good influence upon those who remain, by opening a door to their emancipation. This circumstance, I confess, has no small weight in inducing me to wish the success of the project; for the dictates of humanity and true policy equally interest me in favour of this unfortunate class of men. With the truest respect and esteem,
I am, sir your most obedient servant,
Alex. HamiltonSource: Articles from Bibliobase edited by Michael A. Bellesiles. Copyright © 1998 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.
The British, however, were more progressive in their thinking. In November 1775 Lord Dunmore, the British colonial governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation that all slaves belonging to rebels would be received into the British forces and freed for their services. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped from Southern plantations, and many fought for the British. Tye, "a Negro who [bore] the title of colonel" led one interracial guerilla band in New Jersey. In the South, such bands, called banditti, burned and looted plantations, stole horses, and liberated slaves, some of whom became British soldiers.
Receipts like this one for Juba Freeman, as well as Revolutionary War muster rolls, pay and service records, and pension applications and awards demonstrate the active participation of African Americans in the American independence movement. Most African American servicemen in the Continental Army did not serve in segregated units. They usually fought alongside the whites in their communities. African names, pension record information and testimonies in other documents sometimes indicate the race of the soldiers.
Ironically, after the war, many runaways that fought with England gained their freedom; although they had to be relocated to British controlled territories, but many slaves that fought for the revolution were returned to slavery after freedom was won for their masters. Oh you can bet good money that Americans don't like to discuss slavery.
Think. What impact could knowing of these men of genuine good will, and others, could have on the lives of young school age children seeking role models that they can identify with. Yes, there are the contributions of Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Paul Revere, but why not also tell the stories of those men of color that fought and served so valiantly?
Pompey Lamb, a black man, spied on the British garrison before the Battle of Stony Point. The intelligence he provided gave the rebels a decided edge over their enemy. Another black man, James Armstead, who was first hired by the English, actually was a rebel spy. Saul Matthews, a slave, provided diagrams of fortifications employed by the British holding Portsmouth, Virginia.
The Midnight D.J. presents black history, United States history, and glimpses into the history of black Americans. The Midnight D.J believes that a better understanding of African-American history can open up a better understanding of the racism that plagues life in the United States of America. Professionally the Midnight D.J. works with Internet models, photo models, actors, and marketing professionals in the development and promotion of promotional websites. The commentary presented on this website are the opinions and the result of research conducted by The Midnight D.J. Here is presented the black view, and black perspective of ,current events, historical events, and historical people. American blacks, by and large, do not have a healthy enough attitude about themselves to demand equality and nothing less. Our contemporary history reflects the absence of economic and political strength required for equality in a democracy. Slavery was abolished well over a hundred years ago, however many blacks remain in chains. They accept the unacceptable; do business with those that do no business with them; still step back when white folks are coming through, and send representatives to various seats of government that do not work toward the good of the black community. And The Midnight D.J. brings Free Eye-candy, Free Pictures of Internet Models, Free Photos of photo models. Free links to all types of websites. The Eye candy is provided by some of the hottest Internet Models in cyberspace. Some are erotic pics, but the purpose of this website is not to provide erotic pictures, but to provide some insight into black history as it relates to United States history. In fact, both are the same and intertwined. There is also vintage photography, pictures of historical figures. The old pictures tell an old story that must come to an end. Although there are photos of ,black erotic models, The Midnight D.J. would rather you read the commentaries, and then visit the various Internet models official websites to view the free eye-candy they provide.