thumbnail of Africans in America; 102; Revolution; Interview with Betty Wood, Professor of History, Oxford University. 2 of 2
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
state politically socially economically indie musician century let's listen to fifty seventeen sixty economically the american colonies were off tremendous value to the us or the british both governmentally as well as to private mercantile in manufacturing interests but the colonies which were the greatest economic value to england when not the mainland american colonies but we're the sugar colonies and this would be of decisive importance as the imperial crisis began to develop during the seventies sixties and seventies seventies i think it but it didn't in the various cell at various levels certainly by seventeen hundred the english were the increasingly active in the international slave
trade in that of course was important for those merchants who are involved in the trade financially it was to be a very very important i mention all of england's north atlantic and caribbean trading activities but generally speaking i think that the english through the first half of the eighteenth century and whatnot a particular concern in an ideological way we have the slave trade or slavery in out of the north american colleges as it does it's a nineteen sixties he is our show
in fact during the first half of the eighteenth century many in england who were aware of the importance of sydney the economic importance to england of the international slave trade and of the wealth that was generated by the use of enslaved workers in the plantation colonies both the caribbean and the north american mainland but i think that during the first half of the eighteenth century slavery per se cupp did not generate an enormous amount of interest in england in the sense that i didn't think we could we can discern the beginnings of an anti slavery movement of critiques of racial slavery in england itself onto middle years of the eighteenth century in terms of going back to the seventies sixties after the virginia they were
angry as deeply into a community and democrats desire to ask the american shows well be but the cost of a lot from the english question you all expelling fronts from the new world from the north american mainland and praises country doubling the size of its territory and paul had intelligent and immensely costly oh and at the end of the poems and sixty three the national debt and english national debt was massive english politicians did not wish for very understandable reasons to raise taxes more than they had to hump looking across the atlantic they saw what they believed to be thriving economies they saw what they believed to be likely taxed people and those two those two factors the wealth of
the colonies and the lightness of that taxation us up to persuade successive english own governments and christmas trees that not only could the colonists afford to our beer this financial burden but that is a matter of principle but they should contribute to a war which had secured their future from francis when i know i have well for the colonists well what the colonists reacted it away which of course ultimately challenge the right of britain to impose such taxes without a degree of representation in the english parliament which i am and what i think it's a price many
english people given the fact that the majority of english people had no representation whatsoever in poland actually that's the toy and supports that didn't necessarily inclined them to looks and physically only clinton wants to what many english people did not themselves have and the ravens period and many references to the relationship a cause and child relationship i think it was that but nasa focus back to the beginnings of english or colonization to the very nature of the relationship between england and the colonial components of it growing and pomp and a central theme of that relationship from the english perspective was walnut which saw england itself as being the i think that the center of all of the wheel
of england's own interests and of course by that england's public interest england's place in the old world is of paramount importance to the point that if necessary colonial interests must always be subservient to the dominant interest of england itself and this evolved into the idea of a dependent relationship was between parent and child the notion that the individual colonies were ultimately dependent upon britain of course the young the constitutional depend dependence the political societies all the colonies on oh their existence to the charges that were given at various points by the by the english and english crown so this idea of dependence on both the superiority the great wisdom among all of england all english civilization and the extent to which
the colony the child was dependent upon the parent for civilization for training for goats and then some and as tensions increase between the colonists on the ground that's another metaphor they start seeing which is that of the master and slave to discredit legitimate columnist crown center for charity care oh well i think that they've wanted to add a word analysis of patrick's literature from the seventies sixties and seventies seventies one of the words that would come up in northern ireland and many others would be the word slave or slavery but that the british crown british ministry is trying to enslave us to deprive us of all of our freedom as
english subjects and i certainly have the irony that wasn't lost on the part of some english people and cause one novelist has already lost on the part of some colonists that it seemed rather hypocritical to say the least that one could talk about one's political statement at a time when roughly twenty percent of the colonial population the mainland was held in actually slavery and perhaps the most famous coleman tso to from samuel johnson who announces said that we have the largest us from the ministry from the drivers of slaves so certainly the relationship was was there for all to see you could you know a place
well he hopes also the case in any sort of real tragedy by the early seventies seventies various strands of the faux religious economic opportunity for rowe combining to produce an increasingly politicized anti slavery movement in england and it was as an outcome of this politicized movement but the somerset case was what was heard by the english high court's granville sharp one of the a leadership minister slavery was instrumental in this particular case that the case had to do with what lessons the mid sixteenth century had to be in a very very difficult legal question in england itself watch crute up slavery could chattel slavery
exist on to the common law of england at various points between the middle of the sixteenth century in the middle of the eighteenth century english tourists arrive but rather different assessments as to whether or not slavery could exist in england so increasingly though her thank you the somerset case certainly i think raised all sorts of apprehensions among about slave owners out in the caribbean in the american south it was a case that didn't actually directly challenge the property rights and slaves they were claiming within their own political societies but it certainly did preclude of the bringing of any of their slaves to britain itself and
that any english court should arrive at such a decision it didn't perhaps begin to start alarm bells ringing in the plantation colonies that the next step might well be to act to intervene in the end that the iron but the next step might well be to iowa to threaten the property rights being claimed by slave owners themselves with in their own political societies and what was the last thing you want to be and there was several reactions to the somerset case of course the abortion anti slavery movement in england itself saw this as a great triumph of course it didn't signal the end of slavery it didn't signal the ending of the english involvement in the african slave trade but it's certainly did offer some degree of hope for the future that these think that it
might be possible to achieve these things as far as enslaved people themselves in the in the colonies what we're concerned hired a hundred such heat hounded these people hear about so the sec case did they hear about the sunset case well one can surmise that some of them didnt care about this through this through the owners through undiscovered discussions are unconcerned discussions between whites on this particular subject that was also quite clear that by the seventeen sixties recent incident is that enslaved people you were not reliant did not believe themselves to be reliant on judicial decisions taken in england as a means of securing their own he didn't understand
the scriptures by seventies seventy four seventy and seventy four if i think city after the boston tea party it was very very difficult indeed to see any possibility of political reconciliation between the communists and the end the british already price of nineteen seventy four and the tree men in the colonies and so are concerned with the likely implications of forcing a land for in north america the problem was as the us many militiamen sort hire you put one race and only keep an army in the field for what in many ways was a simple or more that could not possibly last few years i wore that helps even if the british wanted it would mean a standing standing calmly and i think in this context it's very important to remember that a man in england had interests elsewhere in the world
so it did one withdraw troops from the caribbean or from india and we can those parts of the party in an attempt to subjugate the opening and columnist well by seventeen seventy four general gage he was one of the first to consider the possibility of using enslaved people as a little treat resource not necessarily as combat troops but i believe that turkish generals weren't entirely convinced that if i gave an enslaved person to go on that they would point it at christie's enemies they might well argues that don't have other means but that general gage was one who thought that it might be possible to use and slave people behind the lines in various menial tasks which of course within iran europeans to actually fight war and this was the it was the idea that was implemented by more done more to last for governor of virginia in
and sit and seventy and seventy five and essentially i think this was a declaration that was promulgated for essentially practical literally means because it had implications over and above the purely neutral increases well thank you well or didn't last proclamation stated quite specifically that any slaves and to get a sense of who reached british lines would be given their freedom and they would be owned
and they would fight for free before the british and the implication was that if they supported the boar then they would propose a secured a permanent a permanent freedom well of the house i would've done was proclamation spread like wildfire in virginia among the enslaved population even though donald said quite specifically that only teens enslaved people owned by patrick's would be freed and that of course did not stop in some people people on from loyalists owners are taking flight and and reaching british british lines among virginia is white population this decision this declaration of don was i think was one of the factors that kept many conservative and mortar at the junior plunges into the patrick cortes how could go british behave in this way in effect confiscation of their privacy by offering freedom honk with the british actually to
ferment racial insurrection in order to impose their will if you like in order to enslave what that unions the population is and i think dan was proclamation raised the specter of slave rebellion not nearly in virginia but elsewhere in british america the notion that the key here it seems insane people was a concrete awful or freedom in exchange for risking life and limb on behalf of all the british and whether or not the british would ever have given that freedom at the end of the war i think was something that remained to be remain to be seen at a little bit later on in the walk up moore don
moore explained that of course these young african american men would not be given their freedom once in the british army in the british army and suggested that he was actually doing slave owners of flavor out by removing than me potential rebels offer a movie from the slave communities but in the first instance the proclamation i think reflected are no treatments a city but the implications of that all the proclamation i think still have to be worked out as the as the war progressed mr cosby's lead the judge economists reacted to demos proclamation with a proclamation of their own to their slaves which pointed out that the most
proclamation applies only to the slaves of patrick byrne knows that this proclamation applied to men but that enslaved men would have to make a choice between their families and leaving those families and fighting for the british they also provided a rather posh a reminder that the penalty for insurrection was death i was close capital punishment you know more practical sense though perhaps the virginian that economists reacted in a way that dan moore hoped that they would the idea is that if obviously people were running away to join the british were beginning to be militarily actor john moore reckoned that the colonists would keep as many of them on the show up at home they can choose to guard against slave insurrection thereby of course are diminishing the number of patrick soldiers who could take the field against the british army and to some degree out that
policy did succeed the policy in practice they lead in the case of a lot of people you go in the hundreds not reached on walls blinds after the proclamation and the plays with it in a tree service were recruited into what became known as lord browne was ethiopian regiment and that regiment participated in some of the early battles of the portland in virginia by the spring of seventy and seventy six the region it was decimated by smallpox and it in the british retreat from virginia in that in that year the remnants of donald's ethiopian richmond connect with him but dumb or would resurface later on in in the war in georgia and south carolina
and took up the same proposition that enslaved people might be useful allies of the british to the race conscious of georgia he's a lawyer and without their sympathies were with the crumbled with the patriots every slave owner in virginia have reason to be concerned by more tunnels proclamation because although his proclamation mentioned only those slaves going to tickled patrick owners it was quite clear to most slave owners that they are slaves would totally ignore such a limitation that they too would run away seek their freedom beyond by done more and this is part of the british war effort and the the notion that the
british would word indeed resorting to watch the colonists that an economist lead to beep racial insurrection racial warfare congress in effect confiscating they're probably also was to be pivotal moments in the definition of a kenyan decisions for american independence and then how degrading realize that this was really a slice and you didn't realize that they need sound but the british politicians and generals did appreciate this point but elsewhere in the parisian park service is wrong then the question again we're talking about what how the nation got
to realize that it had the english both the tree and political compromise the significance of all don was a proclamation both the positive and in some sense is the negative implications of the proclamation on the positive side the undaunted miller true significance of the use of i am a black troops on the more negative side of the political implications of such a decision and there's political implications were the great concerns all loyalists planters was their property sacred and what a british politician's ensure that their slaves wouldn't be owned as part of the bridge in the british caribbean also enormous concerns that the number of the implications of the use of black troops the idea again of confiscating property of actually putting guns into the hands of slaves
and we asked this question again as the un as unsafe people in virginia reached a british warrants they weren't the men were along if they were occasional tree service were recruited into what became known as low down guantanamo's ethiopian regiment they were armed they were given little training they also participated in some of the battles will skirmishes in virginia in the late seventeenth century five and early seventy and seventy six in the spring of seventy and seventy six the original was devastated by a smallpox epidemic but the survivors are evacuated of the colony of virginia with the remainder of the bridge forces under your dumb oh i'm going to have no or the declaration of independence as significant
period want to i don't want to speculate the british reaction to such a defining moment well by this time of course all these have been in the field for several months and in some ways the declaration of independence was merely station in what was already happening only on the battlefield but the bridge bridge politicians the british crown had already shown that it was totally opposed to the possibility of losing its american colonies and cups more especially its caribbean colonies and would take whatever steps were necessary in order to secure to retain those colonies to the point all along but using what ever know what she means that would be necessary to do that even to the point of fusing enslaved people to come and to fight too so bleep the british interest but there were watching people in britain who when they come right of the declaration of
independence thought that this was a statement by these the colonists but if they secured their political independence the proposition that all men are created free and equal this meant that one of them first acts of an independent american government would be to bring about an ending to racial slavery and from that perspective that reading of the declaration of independence in court find a great flavor on the part of those who've committed to the anti sleep we posed a simple principle is we'll skip why did enslaved and free african americans
participate in the war for american independence did they have any choice in international and yes many enslaved and free african americans did have a choice it was not simply a case of the war paulson them by their involvement and certainly their ministry involvement i think reflected their own to soften the passaic that i saw the freedom not necessarily it is sought to secure all the freedom to political freedom of their owners or to secure the political domination all the american colonies by the by the british and in this sense i think that a lot the participation of enslaved people and free african americans in the war for independence was a direct statement old but the ways in which they believed they could best secured their own leadership and their own freedom
that and for african americans that was the top priority that own freedom by seventeen of seventy five seventy and seventy six i think it was already clear the political discussions at the congressional level the legal trade discussions of the patrick miller true leadership i think it was already clear but whatever the outcome off the actual war for independence should the coolest the americans actually win that war then it was by no means certain in fact was highly unlikely that any government established in the aftermath of war in the national government would as we would on the willing or would be politically people as a national political act to declare an end to racial slavery
outgoing or how is it why is it that your tone is whether your town race relations well i think the point i'd come in that will be the mass of defeat at yorktown the fact that militarily and in other ways britain had interests elsewhere in the world and not least in the caribbean i think the timing of all of yorktown the french involvement in the war that britain was concerned to preserve as much as britain coach all its american empire and above all i think britain was concerned to preserve its sugar audience so what do we want lost when it lost its american colonies says it was a very very interesting question at the end of the war i think
that there were many in england who believed that the trading in commercial links that had been so strong so important spot before the wall could be restored finney fairly quickly that's pretty ugly americans wouldn't be able to secure our manufactured goods the luxury goods and so on so forth they record as cheaply offered any other european parties they could from britain that the american manufacturing economy simply couldn't make those goods and especially the luxury goods that defined civilization and and and and civility so usually think we're quite optimistic that trading licks would be restored but some point out we have with america and in that sense the there was perhaps not so much optimism at the end of the war because of that the very end of the war the question that confronted english generals an english politician to engage people's well how did we lose this war how did
the militia in much of britain r luce to colby lewis to the opportunity to the outset of the colonists that fairly quickly on and off to the war the restoration of relations we have the newly independent states became an increasingly hoy british portion of instances you're saying they understood the american culture at established brands perception of the american mind is that again it's been great
i hoped and to some degree anticipation that after people for independence that there would come a time in the not too distant future when the trading and commercial links would be restored at the end of the of the war for independence for police struggling after the ending of the board and adds there are those in britain who hoped anticipated possibly assumed that there would come a point in the not too distant future when the commercial trading thinks would be restored the trading things that have been so important both britain and the colonies before seventeen seventy six that the colonists would still fall colors would still wish to purchase luxury goods from bread and butter normally lock shreve manufactured goods they would be unable to secure from other
european powers as cheaply as they could from britain and that they are manufacturing economy simply couldn't make those commodities as cheaply as they can be imported from britain itself trade green british response to the americans wolf independence was one of shock crowded we lose the wall a hard hat we let this happen to us but boy the middle of the seventeen eighties the british are perhaps taking from their perspective woods seemed to be a rather more rational view of the owner of the new nation the new american nation and its inhabitants and poets all of that i think in tales the assumption that they it in terms of
their store aisle this civility that americans would still choose to be dependent upon him for civilization english star certainly in the material culture thank you last week at the end of the war i think many in britain were great for greatly relieved of that firstly but england itself not being invaded by friends in spain during the revolutionary war which at one point not highly possible i think that the english at the end of the american board for dependence were also grateful that they retained what economically were the most valuable american positions namely the sugar islands a lot of feet of the caribbean the fact that as a punitive action against
the mainland the form of course the english chose to close the west indies to any trading links with the newly independent united states was to be profoundly important for the future and not least for the future of slavery and the slave trade in the west indies itself i'm going back when the evacuation begins the world or what is the kurdish refugees says c hitchens but we can look at virtually every major seaport on the north american mainland from new york to savannah the evacuation of the british forces not simply the british army but also to those who've chosen to remain loyal to the british cause who found themselves rightly or wrongly gil fuel innocent being
forced into exile complicate the portraits this evacuation had enormous implications for enslaved people loyalist slave owners did not i see any reason to free their slaves for slaves who perhaps haven't run away from them hadn't secured freedom by the clintons during the war for independence in the case of southern slave owners loyalists this often meant that evacuation from a savanna from charleston entailed in evacuation to jamaica to barbados to one of the sugar arms that remained in british hands and for the enslaved people concerned this meant the continuance of the enslavement but now in sugar plantations rather than on rice talking to go on the plantations further north in that evacuations on from purdue york from the deal if you're out sometimes
entailed odd enslaved people are heading to other parts of the british and talk about candidate once the border was the boundary between canada and the united states had been finalized are in some cases perhaps movement's power to go to west africa to withstand so the image is often off all three fourth independence sees a tremendous movement all of free african americans and enslaved african americans within the north atlantic and caribbean it didn't need to go to be issues with a british you know what do i see a future if you were an enslaved person or free african americans believing that the british from the northern port at the end of the war or your future would be
a very uncertain when your future might depend where you eventually settled in canada that's in west africa in britain itself and it was perhaps played no means clear chew now that evacuees standing on a boat in your car in philadelphia what exactly light at the end of the of the voyage they were of course on ideas fact fiction about the character of british society fact fiction about canada fact fiction about west africa but in some ways perhaps of many evacuees the fugitive waves of them was perhaps as uncertain as that which awaited european migrants as they were poised to emigrate from the old world to the americans with that etienne the war and they're focusing their
attention to their own domestic economies try and stabilize the cost of war how does the slave trade slavery figure and we should mention the complete american newly independent american states for certain of those states and persia goes without saying for the southern states enormous numbers obviously people had secured freedom as a result or in some cases that freedom was going to prove temporary others had been taken over to act with a british reports of savannah charleston the americans who negotiated these terms with britain were concerned with the loss of what they described as this property and we're concerned to secure compensation for this lost property which perhaps led jefferson and others to greatly inflate the number of enslaved people who had actually lived with a british security freedom but for the
southern states the imperative of the particles was to restore their plantations to get back into the north atlantic economy to grow their tobacco to grow the rice the indigo and to sell and to that purpose you needed these parties continue to believe you needed enslaved workers and on suddenly there was something of a difference between the halls of the chip tuttle the chesapeake and the carolina and georgia no country already buy before the war independence the enslaved population of virginia and maryland was reproducing sufficiently to mete out the labor cons of tobacco planters that wasn't true in georgia and south carolina georgia and south carolina still depended upon the african slave trade and even before the war for independence it finally ended just before the history hid inside
savannah and charleston merchants with were desperate to reopen the slave trade which they which they did further north there was less interest in the slave trade press of peoples and cultures did not need that trade in the pace of the british slave trade off to the war for independence the boat show the islands of jamaica's kits barbados bowden continued to prove a very very important market hour four slave traders the slave populations of those islands mainly because of the of the gruesome were involved with sugar production had never those populations never reproduce themselves there was a dependence on the slave trade what concerned the west indian planters waltz harking back to the somerset place harking back to mcdonnell's proclamation
harking back to the decision at all the post war british government to exclude the americans from trade with the west indies if the british government could act in a way that was so detrimental to the interests of the west indian planters they might come a time when the anti slavery the anti slavery movement in england might persuade parliament to actually close the african slave trade and that's exactly what happened so what you're doing george r and south carolina panthers at the wars and were determined to get there
rice the indigo plantations up and running and the cement restocking replenishing the slave workforce is and even before the war had ended up at and merchants in total sense of them were to monitoring the about as many africans as possible be brought today two states in other words they would amounting to reopening all the african slave trade further north there was less interest in reopening the african slave trade principally because in the toilet water regions of virginia and maryland areas in which the enslaved population had long been reproducing itself that was simply not the need for extra flavor so there was no sort of like leave
during the revolutionary era in the case of georgia and south carolina slavery and racial slavery as an economic system as a means of racial control as a means of social control emerged if anything stronger from the war for independence than it entered that war there was never any don't any question that slavery would be brought an end as a matter of public policy but are the georgia and south carolina further north in virginia and maryland in north carolina especially perhaps in virginia maryland they were through the revolutionary era discourses on slavery on the slave trade on the morality it's slavery but in the chesapeake as in the lower south for various reasons the governing classes there were both on people and only willing to bring an ending but an ending to the
institution slavery to slavery with in their pantries for essentially practical reasons they were far more sympathetic infinitely more sympathetic than the parts of georgia and south carolina to bring about an ending to the african slave trade and i i can't help being struck by the irony of activists that slavery is stronger at the end is when the rail service is the hope or more for american independence as conceived by the patriots supporters to stop themselves patriots was a war for their freedom than independence they are autonomy to resist as they depicted that they are oppression then enslaved by the british suddenly the bill withers patrick's who are going to start the
inconsistency the hypocrisy over rhetoric which have mounted as an adviser as the natural right freedom liberty independence whilst annoying it out to twenty percent of their population suddenly there was embarrassment on the part of some patriots at this inconsistency but at no point did the patch or it's considered the war but they were fighting against the british to be a war but that would secure the freedom of enslaved africans that was never the purpose of patrick put aside leave all the war for american independence the war for american independence was a war for the independence of european americans not for african americans in this fop is the war for independence was an african american war for independence then it was a war that was waged by african americans themselves
gratitude hi there at that time why lie well because many in britain have believed that the board had to the success of this successful or so it seemed to me both the british and the colonists had been forged and had been won and the consequence would be enormously advantageous to the to the coasts in terms of the expansion of the economies of their domestic economies and it seemed only right and proper a lot of the power to the british citizen bridge ministries that the colonists should contribute toward the
people bought the flourishing of this war now what's one of the things that the colonists found it very difficult to understand was well if we have had this glorious victory over the french and we have contributed to this is good english people to the women of this war why do we need a continuing the troop presence in north america those who didn't have the who's going to do we have to not to fight in the future what i think the columnists couldn't appreciate was that although intel and the defeated ronson in the seventies wall but that did not mean an end to european rivalries that you lend money in england are believed that there would come a time when france and possibly france and spain would our individual together unite to attack by the britain or the most valuable component of the british empire and that britain had to be prepared for that eventuality this was something that the colonists found very
difficult to comprehend and the patient and i want to go into the idea of these colonists who see themselves as an englishman what we see themselves as americans and you couldn't anticipate well in the seventies and even seventies and you thought thumb and george washington was little known outside his native virginia and i suppose it's only later that george washington becomes a household name on that site repeat of us have a question from george washington part of the process of colonization from the early seventeenth century onwards had to do with the definition of an identity what was your political identity your cultural
identity when she had left the old world and settled in the new did you remain english even though that you hadn't been born in in england and this resolution of the search for an identity was to be a central theme in american history and one of the maine articulations of identity was an identity that was framed in terms of the english connection the notion that although we may have crossed the atlantic over we may have been born in the colonies we are part of an english patient just as much as if we lived in an english town or an english country we are english we have we speak the english language we have english institutions our governmental arrangements are english culture dish arrangements up english with protestants we all english this is
our identity this is where else but loyalty political loyalty lies in the old world in england itself in some ways the english in england were quite prepared to let the colonists develop this notion of themselves as gingrich with all that it entailed analyst important things it entailed was this notion of equality with the english about home in england and it was the country of that illusion between the end of the seven years' war and seventeen city for seventeen seventy five that was so shocking to the theater the colonists that before a century over century they'd been defining themselves as english as equal to english people the tone and were being told in no uncertain terms you are not equal you are inferior you are dependent that came as a great shock in the seventies sixties and seventy the seventies but at the same time the
colonists as trade route between and within the different colonies with the growth of travel with a chorus of the newspaper industry more and more contacts were made between the different parts of the british american and talk and increasingly i think people began to not perhaps self consciously but became aware of other colonies off other co author of the colonists gannon to think of themselves as americans as being part of a sudden at the geographic unit known as america that didn't mean that in seventeen fifteen or seventeen sixty columnists felt themselves part of an embryonic political nation that was just waiting to the stars and i'm going to be born it was more perhaps on it's a sensible all a very old for instance but nonetheless own of feeling that they were caught off
it's booming and when the communists or some cleaning leaders got together in seventeen sixty five to talk about the sentiment stands for congress very few of them had actually met one another before very few columnists had a reputation that extended beyond their political societies their own political power colonial boundaries even seventeen seventy three seventy and seventy four very few people live action outside virginia had ever heard of george washington and to close the one of the reasons why george washington the tame the commander in chief of the continental army as was simply because he was a virginian was from virginia that there were many
in new england who consider themselves equally as a pole is competent to i tend to act as commander in chief but washington was selected principally as a way of securing virginian support for the war for independence this ceremony this ad it had shot that play into a harness that's changing the columnists the notion that report you know an idea of a parent child the relationship between the colonists and england itself had been i think in some ways the present were not necessarily articulated a search since the beginnings of colonization but by the seventeen sixties the colonists and certainly early colonists who enjoyed an enormous amount of
autonomy you if in many ways the government themselves within their boundaries grew increasingly resentful at what metropolitan english and tension in what they consider to be their political worlds and in a sense one could say that these elite commando politicians were children were regarded as children who are no longer wish to be children who wish to proceed to adulthood to the equality at the board i think that's what it for the city for the colonists as the imperial crisis began to develop of dissent in sixty three they were faced with increasingly are important questions increasingly important
choices the un system which in some way is dependent upon how they reported their relationship not only with one another but also with the old world in general and with england in chick and in some ways with the parent child metaphor of the most a slave metaphor was bomb anyway e o of articulation some of those choices some of those some of those decisions that had to be i had to be made the real turning point their team in place the response to the population from the african and columnist but really to try to use it as a marketing
and things should be importance all the malls proclamation understanding sister in many ways to malls proclamation was a turning point in relations with in the city with in virginia and more broadly within the plantation rubber plantation colonies of the south it's a turning point i think between enslaved people on there owners and a turning point in the relationship between the owners because owners are more mystical patrick and three and the british for enslaved along the enslaved population of virginia and whether they belong to patrick a loyalist owners the most proclamations offered the prospect of freedom okla pretty even though the price attached to that the cheat was that old felicia give to its beer and poems for britain during
the war for them patchett owners patchett slave owners the the mall's proclamation walls of the most of raise the most appalling specter of racial insurrection oh so black soldiers who'd be being owned by britain taking up arms against their former masters is part of the british war effort it also tutu patrick punches reflected an assault on them writes this property owners of the fact that by offering freedom the british were in effect depriving them of their and slave property not the coast done more bleak there was any known had any moral religious objections to the institution of slavery he needed soldiers he needed to when the when the wall for loyalists and bearing in mind that tom was proclamation did was not intended to apply to the slave people of a clinton
loyalist known as the prospect of their sleeves ignoring me and the prohibition on themselves from from running away the fact again that the ipad and the british were tampering or preach be tampering with property rights and slaven as it had enjoyed by slave owners race and very very difficult questions for loyalists that those slave owners who were up and wish to remain loyal to britain during the bubble dan most proclamation then raised a whole series of questions in the minds of patrick and loyalist and slave owners alike but for enslaved people have raised a different possibilities it raised the distinct possibility of freedom and i want to go into here this goes on you're talking about a chance to not only play and here's a section people at home
one aspect of all of the tunnels proclamation the the ministry implications of the proclamation i think are fairly obvious but quite clearly what's done more expected other than enslaved people flocking to his lines being recruited into the pre show me being owned and uniforms he also expected there would be other implications of this proclamation namely a third of that virginia plunges would be so concerned by black this black mobility by enslaved people in effect taking their lives into their own hands running away trying to seek out the the british forces the the loss of control potential control that john moore's proclamation suggested was it was encouraging truly a moment of virginia counters how did they respond to it well the proclamation of the moon but informing their slaves that this this
proclamation that point and then they would have to abandon their families if they took it up reminding them of the penalties for insurrection because after all walked on more was i was intending was an armed insurrection or enslaved people so we called this issue the proclamation reminding aren't enslaved people and enslaved people really didn't need any reminder of the of the gruesome penalties for assault with a merger with the attempted murder of a white person for armed insurrection visiting seen him virginia had been seen off to the stone originally been seen in new york on a couple of occasions the most gruesome jeffs for rebels enslaved people in virginia willing to run that risk in order to reach done was monster to seize the opportunity to secure their own freedom even if that freedom meant forcing four
week the british the british at that point were offering something that their owners that patrick coaches were not offering and that was the prospect of freedom it's bold response of enslaved people in virginia to done more sport commission tells us an enormous amount about their own concept of freedom three are the links to which they were prepared to go in order to secure their freedom their willingness to fight for that freedom to make enormous sacrifices for their freedom what does the malls for commission tell us more generally a part of the attitudes and get with the racial attitudes of their virginia slave owners with seems to me that the white virginian response to load bundles
proclamation that tells us and known certain non out that virginia slave owners and you will the yearning of their slaves for freedom that they could see and sleek people literally leaving the porters trying on and forty cents well i think i would say what we didn't want that unions wanted the genius lay the us alone from don was proclamation what's hollow if it's forty eight demos proclamation and responsive and sway people to their proclamation reshape redefine what they accuse all race the views of slavery in many ways i think at that stage and seventies ninety five early seventies seventy six
demos proclamation and the response of the enslaved people to it perhaps didn't tell virginia plant has anything about their sleep people anything more than they knew already about this people albeit things that some of them cups which hired which to mosque but what's done his proclamation did too i think was to confirm this prop knowledge of african americans not as passive beings not as passive pieces of property but as men and women as children who would do everything they could to secure their own freedom independents and this was worked on moore's proclamation seemed to be both so the response of green homes across responded not that not simply with their own proclamation they
responded by it's true the response of launches was to try and move for many enslaved people as far away from british lines as they possibly could to make it that much more difficult for bush wants to be referred to be reached very harsh reprisals on any enslaved people who were caught trying to escape to professionalize it was so it was there they're very responsive that did exactly what john moore had hoped it would do in the sense that the markets didn't hope that the pigeons would execute their slaves to solve but what did pope was that the junior partners that the virginia militia would be so concerned at the
Africans in America
Episode Number
Raw Footage
Interview with Betty Wood, Professor of History, Oxford University. 2 of 2
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-4t6f18t909).
Betty Wood is interviewed about blacks fighting in the American Revolution, blacks leaving the US with the British, Dunmore's Proclamation and the fear of slave rebellion, controlling slaves after Dunmore's Proclamation, the significance of Dunmore's Proclamation.
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, slavery, abolition, Civil War
(c) 1998-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Release Agent: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: Wood_Betty_02_merged_SALES_ASP_h264.mp4 (unknown)
Duration: 1:10:11
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Africans in America; 102; Revolution; Interview with Betty Wood, Professor of History, Oxford University. 2 of 2,” 1998-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2020,
MLA: “Africans in America; 102; Revolution; Interview with Betty Wood, Professor of History, Oxford University. 2 of 2.” 1998-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2020. <>.
APA: Africans in America; 102; Revolution; Interview with Betty Wood, Professor of History, Oxford University. 2 of 2. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from