"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 1776

July 4th, 1776
"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

- - - - Declaration of Independence

"The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.  But killing one tryant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few and the many."

- - - - John Adams (1787)

"I am resolved to vest the Congress with no more power than is absolutely necessary, and to use a familiar expression, to keep the staff in our own hands; for I am confident if surrendered into the hands of others a most pernicious use will be made of it."

- - - - Edward Rutedge (1776)

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground:  That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Consititution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people."  To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

- - - - Thomas Jefferson (1791)

The American Revolution was nearly perfect . . . nearly

The words "all men are created equal" always rang hollow in a nation that allowed slavery.

One of the untold stories of the Revolution is that of the Blacks loyal to the King.  The issue of slavery would fester and rip apart the new Republic.

Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment was the name given to a British colonial military unit organized during the American Revolution by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, and last Royal Governor of Virginia. Composed of slaves who had escaped from Patriot masters, it was led by British officers and sergeants. Black Loyalists also served in guerrilla units such as the elite Black Brigade, as well as together with British troops and white Loyalist militia recruited in the colonies.

In 1775, John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, Royal Governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation offering freedom to all slaves of Patriots who were willing to join him under arms against the rebels in the American Revolutionary War. Five hundred Virginia slaves promptly abandoned their Patriot masters and joined Dunmore's ranks. The governor formed them into the Ethiopian Regiment, also known as Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment.

Loyalist Ethiopian Regiment Revolutionary War re-enactors.
During the war, tens of thousands of slaves escaped, having a substantial economic effect on the American South. An estimated 25,000 slaves escaped in South Carolina; 30,000 in Virginia, and one-quarter of the almost total slave population in Georgia. Slaves also escaped in New England and New York, often joining the British forces occupying New York for freedom. While thousands went to the British lines for freedom (and the British evacuated nearly 4,000 Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia and other colonies after the war), others took advantage of the wartime confusion to migrate to other areas of the colonies.

The Ethiopian Regiment perhaps saw action for the first time at the Battle of Kemp's Landing in November 1775. The Earl of Dunmore defeated the rebellious colonial militia. Two of its colonels were captured. One colonel was taken by one of his former slaves. The black regiment in British service was a symbol of hope for Americans of African descent. That blacks were trained to bear arms and kill was a revolutionary idea at the time, especially as they were with one of the world's best armies.

This image was created for National Geographic on the history of the Black Loyalists
who fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War, the British promised
enslaved people their freedom if they ran away from their masters to fight on the
side of the British Army.

No comments: