The Revolution's Black Soldiers

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John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, in April 1772 expressed his conviction to Lord Dartmouth, Bntish secretary of state for the colonies, that “in case of a War” the slaves, “attached by no tye to their Master or to the Country” would “join the first that would encourage them to revenge themselves by which means a Conquest of this Country would inevitably be effected in a very short time.” Dunmore’s fears were shared by many white Virginians, though none expected that three years later Dunmore himself would attempt “a Conquest of this Country” with the help of African-American slaves.

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