horrible Jersey prison-ship.
All the vessels in the American
service at that period were partly manned by blacks.
The old citizens of Philadelphia
to this day remember the fact that, when the troops of the North
marched through the city, one or more colored companies were attached to nearly all the regiments.
, in the speech before quoted, states that the free colored soldiers entered the ranks with the whites.
The time of those who were slaves was purchased of their masters, and they were induced to enter the service in consequence of a law of Congress by which, on condition of their serving in the ranks during the war, they were made freemen.
This hope of liberty inspired them with courage to oppose their breasts to the Hessian bayonet at Red Bank, and enabled them to endure with fortitude the cold and famine of Valley Forge
The anecdote of the slave of General Sullivan
, of New Hampshire
, is well known.
When his master told him that they were on the point of starting for the army, to fight for liberty, he shrewdly suggested that it would be a great satisfaction to know that he was indeed going to fight for his
Struck with the reasonableness and justice of this suggestion, General Sullivan
at once gave him his freedom.
The late Tristam Burgess
, of Rhode Island
, in a speech in Congress, first month, 1828, said: ‘At the commencement of the Revolutionary War
, Rhode Island
had a number of slaves.
A regiment of them were enlisted into the Continental
service, and no braver men met the enemy in battle; but ’