AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Black Americans in the Revolutionary War
PILGRIM HALL MUSEUM
Cato Howe (1750-1824)
Petition to the Massachusetts legislature in 1780
Many Black Americans fought in the Revolution, on both sides, to win their personal freedom. Several wealthy merchants and gentlemen in the Plymouth area kept one or two slaves as house servants. With enlistment quotas for each town, some men found it easier to arrange for a slave to go in their place. Some states, like Rhode Island, automatically freed slaves when they passed muster. Massachusetts, in 1780, became the first state to outlaw slavery altogether.