Part 1: 1450-1750
<---Part 2: 1750-1805
Part 3: 1791-1831
Part 4: 1831-1865

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"A List of the Names of Provincials..."

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A List of the Names of Provincials...

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Despite initial resistance to their participation, black soldiers fought for the patriot cause in every major battle of the Revolutionary War, including the military engagement that began it on April 19, 1775 -- the battles of Lexington and Concord.

Prince Easterbrooks (also referred to as Estabrook) served in nearly every major campaign of the war. An undated broadside identifying him as " a Negro Man" lists Easterbrooks among the wounded from Lexington "in the late Engagement with His Majesty's Troops at Concord, &c." Easterbrooks had enlisted in the company of Captain John Parker, the first to engage the British at Lexington.

Peter Salem, whose Framingham masters had freed him so that he could enlist, was also among the dozen or more black men, slave and free, who fought that day. Salem and Cuff Whitemore later gained fame and commendation for their parts in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Lemuel Haynes, a free black man who would later become a renowned minister, did not join the battle against the British until late in April; nevertheless, he wrote a poem about the battle at Lexington.

Image Credit: Courtesy Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston

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Related Entries:
Free black Patriots
Lemuel Haynes

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