Born a slave, Romeo Smith of Windham, Maine, entered the Continental Army with the promise of freedom in exchange for military service. He served in the 7th Massachusetts for three years and was supposedly manumitted. Yet in January 1784, the threat of being reclaimed as a slave surfaced and Romeo sought the assistance of General Henry Knox. The document featured here is Knox’s retained draft certifying Smith’s freedom.
- ›› Keywords : Slavery
Throughout American history, enslaved people have resisted bondage in a variety of ways: some escaped, rebelled, or sabotaged work tools or work product. They also resisted in more subtle ways, refusing privately to use names given to them by slave holders and maintaining their identity by keeping track of family members. Music, folk tales, and other African cultural forms also became weapons of resistance. Take a look at the next digital exhibition in Gilder Lehrman’s Black History Month initiative,...
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