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Many black Americans fought for the British and ended up in Nova Scotia

21 Jun
Nemets is correct: https://novascotia.ca/museum/blackloyalists/who.htm

The British shrewdly offered blacks who deserted the ‘patriot’ cause freedom in British North America, and many took the offer, largely ending up in Nova Scotia.

Not all, of course; others joined the Patriot cause and fought for America’s freedom.

History is always far more complicated and messy than ideologues of any stripe might wish it to be.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on June 21, 2021 in America, Canada, race

 

21 responses to “Many black Americans fought for the British and ended up in Nova Scotia

  1. fuzziewuzziebear

    June 21, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    I keep thinking of George Washington, reporting to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to take command of the Continental Army in 1775. His eyes had to come out on stems. One quarter of his men were freemen of color. The proportion got even higher at Valley Forge. It went to one third. I guess the “sunshine soldiers” were white.
    The part about Loyalists blacks going to Nova Scotia at the end of it is news to me. Most of those had to be from the South where they were offered to be made free as a condition of enlistment.

     
    • electricangel

      June 21, 2021 at 11:19 pm

      There’s a good book about it. A lot of them left to found Freetown in Sierra Leone.

       
      • Will S.

        June 21, 2021 at 11:49 pm

        That’s right.

        Sierra Leone is kinda like the British equivalent of Liberia, except less so.

         
    • electricangel

      June 21, 2021 at 11:20 pm

      Nova Scotia is cold and bad for blacks in winter with low sunlight.

       
      • fuzziewuzziebear

        June 21, 2021 at 11:30 pm

        There is a terrible story about building the Interstate and how black people were displaced. There aren’t many in Minnesota, but the Interstate designers managed to displace them there too. It is my guess that this had more to do with property costs than race.

         
      • Will S.

        June 22, 2021 at 12:01 am

        And yet, there still remain many there, to this day; there’s a black cultural centre (museum) near Dartmouth, across from Halifax; my parents and I visited it many years ago, toured it and bought some books, learned a lot.

        Nova Scotia has Acadian French, blacks, Mikm’aq Indians, and of course, Scots.

        Very actually diverse province, that.

         
      • electricangel

        June 22, 2021 at 7:56 am

        It wasn’t property costs so much as inability to defend political interests because they weren’t organized. Read The Slaughter of Cities for the details on Detroit. Basically it was a war between whites with blacks employed as mercenaries. The white Republican Protestant mayors in the 1950s elected to knock down Black Bottom to clear “slums,” but they never built enough housing to replace what was torn down. That forced blacks to move into lower-priced white ethnic neighborhoods where Catholic Democrats lived, setting off neighborhood change that eventually destroyed the city.

        Except for the modernist neighborhood built over the ruins of the black neighborhood: that’s still apparently nice today, with Mies van der Rohe townhouses.

        Detroit had the highest per-capita income of any US major city in 1960.

         
    • Will S.

      June 21, 2021 at 11:47 pm

      Well, the ones who went to Nova Scotia had fought for the British.

      Just like white Americans, some black Americans were Loyalists, others were Patriots. 🙂

       
      • electricangel

        June 22, 2021 at 7:46 am

        You mean, some were Patriots, and some were Rebels. I Don’t agree that rebels become patriots by winning. I’ve long wondered if we wouldn’t have been better off. I would take George III and his 3% tax rate back easily.

         
      • Will S.

        June 22, 2021 at 7:53 am

        Oh, as a Canadian, I do call the ‘Patriots’ rebels, because they were.

        I was just being polite to my American friends. 😉

         
  2. feeriker

    June 21, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    It would appear that the Loyalists, no matter what their skin color, were the farsighted ones, whether or not they realized it at the time. If the Patriot Rebels could have realized what would become, two and a half centuries later, of the country they were fighting to establish, one wonders how many of them would have continued to fight and risk the ultimate sacrifice.

     
    • fuzziewuzziebear

      June 21, 2021 at 11:32 pm

      feeriker,
      Every time I had to work a Fourth of July, I had to dismiss those thoughts from my head.

       
    • Will S.

      June 21, 2021 at 11:48 pm

      Well, feeriker, we’re even more pozzed than you are down there, up here in Canada, so at the end of the day, I think we’re all fucked. 😉

       
      • feeriker

        June 22, 2021 at 12:14 am

        “at the end of the day … we’re all fucked.” 😉

        ATEOTDWAF: The epitaph for western civilization?

         
      • Will S.

        June 22, 2021 at 12:17 am

        Most fitting, I reckon. 😉

         
      • Will S.

        June 22, 2021 at 12:19 am

        “Everybody’s fucked and they don’t even know.
        Everybody’s fucked and they don’t even know.”

         
    • jorgen b

      June 22, 2021 at 11:57 am

      “It would appear that the Loyalists, no matter what their skin color, were the farsighted ones, whether or not they realized it at the time.”

      Because Britain is not a mess and the Anglican Church is not gay. Oh wait.

       
  3. Hun

    June 22, 2021 at 5:58 am

    Estimates of the numbers who served the British during the war vary from 25,000 to 50,000

    The odds that this is a lie are overwhelming. It wouldn’t surprise me if the real numbers were 100 or more times lower.

    Or give it a few more years and it will “turn out” that both armies were 100% black and then whites came and stole everything.

     
    • Will S.

      June 22, 2021 at 7:19 am

      It does seem strange that as many as that serve, but only a few thousand end up in Nova Scotia…

       
  4. red

    June 22, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    As I recall, the biggest difference in recruiting between Loyalists and Patriots was, Patriots, “If you come, you’ll be freed!” White, black, American Indian, all slaves signed up. Loyalists: “Fight for us or bloody rot in hell after we hang you.” The Brits had a time keeping mercs and conscripts in uniform.
    After the Wyoming Valley massacre and Battle of Walnut Mtn, a lot of American Indians left in disgust, and took white and black friends with them. That’s where so many German- and Irish surnames came from in the North, and Irish in the South among American Indians. Three of my grandparents each had one or more German ancestors. niio, hawa!

     

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