African-American Revolutionaries

Forgotten SoldierAfrican Americans played an extensive, if sometimes forgotten, role in the War for American Independence. Many were active participants; some won their freedom and others were victims, but throughout the struggle, blacks refused to be mere bystanders and gave their loyalty to the side that seemed to offer the best prospect for freedom.

In “The Forgotten Soldier” special exhibition at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can discover the personal stories of enslaved and free African Americans on both sides, and learn about their contributions toward establishing a new independent nation.

Here you can learn more about individuals of color who made courageous personal choices during the Revolutionary period.


African Americans and the American Revolution

Prince Hall – Free African American Soldier and Mason

Jehu Grant – Runaway Slave Who Attempted to Take Freedom Into His Own Hands

Boston King – Escaped Slavery By Running Away to the British

James Forten – Free African American Captured by the British

Mum Bett – How Slavery Ended in Massachusetts

James Lafayette – Spy for George Washington and Lafayette at Yorktown

The Long Way Home: The Fate of Slaves at the End of the War of Freedom