GLC06132: The colored patriots of the American Revolution, with sketches of several distinguished colored persons: to which is added a brief survey of the condition and prospects of colored Americans, 1855: Page #11
Original title: GLC06132_00011.jpg
In the month of July, 1847, the eloquent Bard of Freedom, JOHN. G. WHITTIER, contributed to the National Era a statement of facts relative to the Military Services of Colored Americans in the Revolution of 1776, and the War of 1812. Being a member of the Society of Friends, he disclaimed any eulogy upon the shedding of blood, even in the cause of acknowledged justice, but, says he, "when we see a whole nation doing honor to the memories of class of its defenders, to the total neglect of another class, who had the misfortunate to be of darker complexion, we cannot forego the satisfaction of inviting notice to certain historical facts, which, for the last half century, have been quietly elbowed side, as no more deserving of a place in patriotic recollection, than the descendants of the men, to whom the facts in question relate, have to a place in a Fourth of July procession, [in the nation's estimation.] Of the services and sufferings of the Colored Soldiers of the Revolution, no attempt has, to our knowledge, been made to preserve a record. They have no historian. With here all there an exception, they have all passed away, and only some faint traditions linger among their descendants. Yet enough is known to show that the free colored men of the United States bore their full proportion of the sacrifices and trials of the Revolutionary War."
In my attempt, then, to rescue from oblivion the name and fame of those who, though "tinged with the hated stain," yet had warm hearts and active hands in the "times that tried men's souls," I will first gratefully tender him my thanks for the service his compilation has afford me, and my acknowledgements also to other individuals who have kindly contributed facts for this work. Imperfect as those pages may prove, to prepare even these, journeys have been made to confer with the living, and even pilgrimages to grave-yards, to save all that may still be gleaned from their fast disappearing records.
There is now an institution of learning in the State of New York, Central College,) where the chair of Professorship in Belles Lettres