Posts in African American Revolutionary War History

Uncovering One Of America’s Oldest Black Churches In Williamsburg

January 9th, 2021 Posted by African American Revolutionary War History, Black History, Local History No Comment yet

Colonial Williamsburg, the country’s most famous living-history museum, is dedicated to preserving the Virginia town in its 18th-century form and “feeding the human spirit by sharing America’s enduring story.” At the start of the Revolutionary War, Black residents made up more than half the colonial capital’s population, but for decades their stories were missing from the museum’s narrative: how they lived, how they worked, how they worshipped. In fact, Williamsburg is home to one of the oldest Christian congregations established by Black people in the United States, one that traces its founding back to 1776. For more than 50 years, however, the original site of the First Baptist Church has been buried under a parking lot, with only a small metal plaque to acknowledge the location’s historical significance. african amercian history and the revolutionary war

In recent years, that’s finally begun to change. Museums, schools, and historians are working to broaden the focus of American history so that it doesn’t just center on white stories. The Virginia Board of Education approved a series of new requirements integrating Black history into its schools’ curriculums. And in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, communities across the country debated whether the scores of monuments dedicated to slave owners and the Confederacy should be left standing.

Perhaps the biggest milestone in this shift was the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. To mark the occasion, President Obama rang the Williamsburg First Baptist Church’s Freedom Bell, which had been cast in 1886 to mark its 100-year anniversary. Ever since that ceremony, fellow members of First Baptist Church have been working to preserve more of its past, collecting artifacts and working with descendants of the original congregation to piece it together. “We need, to have people share our history.”

Williamsburg Walking Tours has been the premier tour group to talk about Black History throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg. Trish’s expertise in Black history, and her research on the lives of dozens of Black citizens and slaves goes back to before the signing of the constitution. Book or reserve your Black History tour now!

African American History Revolutionary

From Slave To Revolutionary War Officer

January 26th, 2020 Posted by African American Revolutionary War History, revolutionary war No Comment yet

So much of African American history is unknown or forgotten. One place where this is prevalent is in American Revolutionary War history. The contributions of African American soldiers date back to the earliest days of this nation. One such historical figure emerges out of Lord Dunsmore’s Ethiopian regiment. That figure was an escaped slave from New Jersey named Titus. This man would join up with Lord Dunsmore. In time, he would come to be known as Colonel Tye.

Meet Colonel Tye: African American Revolutionary War Officer

Colonel Tye would go on to become a capable soldier of the Revolutionary War. Those on the battlefield would know him by his use of unconventional and aggressive tactics. By modern terms Tye used these guerrilla style strategies to wage war against the Colonial Patriots. Tye would command hundreds of soldiers on raids that freed slaves, captured supplies, and inflicted casualties against the rebellion by the thirteen colonies.

revolutionary war african american history tour

He Was Promoted To The Rank Of Captain Of The Ethiopian Regiment And Commander Of The Black Brigade

Colonel Tye used his knowledge of the American countryside and his commando style abilities to damage the progress of the Colonial Army against the British. This made him a formidable tactician for the loyalists. His actual rank was that of captain, and he served under Lord Dunmore. Tye also worked with the Queen’s Rangers, another guerilla style loyalist band, to keep military pressure on the Colonial Army.

Freeing Slaves During The Revolutionary War

Colonel Tye commandeered loyalists to free other slaves on the American continent. In addition to raids against Colonial positions and troops, Tye used his bravado and position as a military officer to help the enslaved who also were in a different type of fight for freedom. Regardless of the outcome of the war,  Tye’s contributions helped free the disenfranchised, making him a true American hero.

African amerian history tour in williamsburgTye’s Injury

Tye sustained an injury on an attack in 1780. He would contract lockjaw from the laceration. This eventually cost him his life.

 

 


Sources

Brenton, Felix. “Colonel Tye (1753-1780) •.” •, 29 May 2019, www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/people-african-american-history/colonel-tye-1753-1780/.