Continental Army Dbq

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When he took command of the Continental Army in 1775, Washington barred the further recruitment of soldiers of African descent, despite the fact that they had fought side by side with their counterparts of European descent at the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. The Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, thus sought to take advantage of Washington’s declaration by promising freedom to any slaves owned by Patriot masters who would join his Loyalist forces, (Runaway slaves belonging to Loyalists were excluded from his offer). Almost immediately after Dunmore’s issuing of the proclamation in November 1775, men of African descent had joined his Ethiopian regiment. Most estimates put the eventual total number of those who managed to join at no more than 800, but his proclamation inspired thousands of runaways to follow behind the British army throughout the war.

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