“Working the Imperial Archive: The Book of Negroes, Slavery, and the American Revolution”
Friday, April 7
2:30 – 4:00 PM
Sakamaki Hall A-201, History Department Seminar Room
At the end of the American Revolution, British military forces evacuated New York City and took thousands of African American refugees with them. Some of these refugees were slaves who belonged to British slaveholders, some were free men and women who had supported the British, and some had fled enslavement and their American masters during the chaos created by the war. This exodus generated fierce conflict between the Americans and the British as they tried to negotiate a fragile peace. It also produced a document of great importance and interest: the Book of Negroes. This talk explores the issues of slavery and freedom, of personality and property that led to the creation of this remarkable document, and shows how central the debate about slavery was to the last phase of the revolutionary war.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons