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NOTE.

In the reading of the following paper before the Massachusetts Historical Society, many of the documents now printed were necessarily omitted, or but briefly alluded to. In order to make room for these without unduly increasing the size of this pamphlet, some of the remarks in the original paper have been left out. Though the special object of this research was to ascertain the views of the Founders of our Republic, it has been thought pertinent, in relation to the employment of negroes as soldiers, to present also some evidence of the opinions and practice of contemporary British officers in America. Many appropriate documents, equally illustrative of the whole subject, have been passed by; but it is believed that what are given will suffice to show impartially the general state of public sentiment at the time when our Government was established.

G. L.

BOSTON, October, 1862.

CONTENT S.

PRELIMINARY REMARKS

1-3

I.

OPINIONS OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE REPUBLIC RESPECTING NEGROES AS SLAVES AND AS CITIZENS.

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Mr. Edward Everett's strictures on the views of Mr. Jefferson

Davis . .

15-18

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN 1776

19-32

Contemporary opinion on slavery, as shown from the history of the Declaration of Independence, 19-28.

Mr. Jefferson, 21-24. Mr. Adams, 24. Lord Mahon's error as to the Southern Colonies, proved by Mr. Force from the history of the Continental Association of 1774, 25-28.

Doctrine of the Declaration of Independence re-affirmed in the Constitutions, and acted upon in the Courts, of several of the States before the adoption of the Federal Constitution, 28–32. b

THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION IN 1778.

33-34

Free negroes regarded in them as citizens, 33. - Representation

by New Jersey to Congress on the subject, 34.

THE FEDERAL CONVENTION AND THE CONSTITUTION.

35-78

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The practical importance of this branch of the subject at the

present time, 113, 114.

In Massachusetts, in the earlier stages of the Revolution, negroes

appear as acting with white citizens against the British, 114, 132. -

The Boston Massacre" and Crispus Attucks, 115–118. · Peter

Salem fights at the battle of Bunker Hill, and is commemorated by

the artist, the historian, and the orator, 118-121.- Petition of Colo-

nel Prescott and other officers to the General Court of Massachusetts

for a reward to another "negro man," Salem Poor, as a brave and

gallant soldier," who "behaved like an experienced officer" at Bun-

ker Hill, 121, 122.- Major Lawrence commands "a company, whose

rank and file are all negroes," and who "fight with the most deter-

mined bravery,” 122–124. Free negroes, and sometimes slaves,

took their place in the ranks with white men; afterwards, slaves must

be manumitted before becoming soldiers, 124, 125.

Opinion of the Rev. Dr. Hopkins in 1776, on the employment of

negroes as soldiers, 125, 126.

South Carolina, in 1775, enrols slaves in her militia as "pioneers

and laborers," 126. — Belief, in South Carolina and Georgia, that the

negroes would join the British regular troops, 128.- General Gates

forbids the recruiting of negroes, 129.- Southern delegates to Con-

gress move in vain the discharge of negroes from the army, 129, 130.

- The Committee of Conference determine to reject them in the new

enlistment, 130. Washington afterwards decides to license the en-

listment of the free negroes who had served faithfully, 131. — His

decision approved by Congress, 131.- General Thomas's praise of

the negro soldiers in the Massachusetts regiments, 132.

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