Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Books

Unless otherwise indicated, all OI books are published and distributed by The University of North Carolina Press.


The Negro in the American Revolution

Benjamin Quarles


Paper: 978-0-8078-4603-2 ($28.95)

Copyright 1961
University of North Carolina Press

Description

Originally published in 1961, this classic work remains the most comprehensive history of the many and important roles played by African Americans during the American Revolution. With this book, Benjamin Quarles added a new dimension to the military history of the Revolution and addressed for the first time the diplomatic repercussions created by the British evacuation of African Americans at the close of the war. The compelling narrative brings the Revolution to life by portraying those tumultuous years as experienced by Americans at all levels of society.

In an introduction, Gary B. Nash traces the evolution of scholarship on African Americans in the American Revolution from its early roots with William C. Nell to this groundbreaking study. Quarles's work not only reshaped our thinking about the black revolutionary experience but also invigorated the study of black history as we know it today.

Thad W. Tate, in a foreword, pays tribute to the importance of this work and explains its continuing relevance.


About the Author

Benjamin Quarles was professor of history at Morgan State University in Baltimore. His many authored or edited books include The Negro in the Civil War and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.


Reviews

The Negro in the American Revolution underscores the fact that Professor Quarles is one of the most able historians currently writing about the Negro in the American past.

--Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography


Exhaustive and painstaking research went into the making of this monograph. . . . [Professor Quarles’s] synthesis is characterized throughout by restrained judgment and a high degree of objectivity.

--The Annals


One of the major virtues of Quarles’s book is that it does not confine itself merely to [its] principal theme of Negroes as revolutionaries, but deals also with the Negroes who served with the British (mostly as laborers and a few as spies) and with those who were ‘carried off’ at the end of the war. . . .

--New England Quarterly


One of the major virtues of Quarles's book is that it does not confine itself merely to [its] principal theme of Negroes as revolutionaries, but deals also with the Negroes who served with the British (mostly as laborers and a few as spies) and with those who were 'carried off' at the end of the war.

--New England Quarterly


Quarles sheds some light on a shadowy and esoteric corner of the history of the Revolution. . . . He has done impressive and thorough research.

--American Historical Review