Suggested Readings


Suggested readings to supplement the discussion
“Slavery and the American Revolution: A Historical Dialogue”
(a “1619 Project” event organized by the New York Times on March 6, 2020)


The Omohundro Institute has made a selection of its published historical scholarship, from the 1950s through the 2010s, available through these open links.


1958.   Benjamin Quarles, “Lord Dunmore as Liberator,” William and Mary Quarterly (October 1958).

1961.   Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution, Chapter 3, “The Negro and the Rights of Man.”

1980.   F. Nwabueze Okoye, “Chattel Slavery as the Nightmare of the American Revolutionaries,” William and Mary Quarterly (January 1980).           

1999.  Woody Holton. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia, Chapter 5, “Free Virginians versus Slaves and Governor Dunmore.” 

2005.  Cassandra Pybus, “Jefferson’s Faulty Math: The Question of Slave Defections During the Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly (April 2005).

2006.  Christopher Leslie Brown, Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism, Chapter 4, “British Concepts of Emancipation in the Age of the American Revolution.”

2007.  Manisha Sinha, “To ‘cast just obliquy’ on Oppressors: Black Radicalism in the Age of Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly (January 2007).

2007.  Michael A. McDonnell, The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia, Chapter 13, “Defeat.”

2011. Economics and American Independence William and Mary Quarterly (October 2011). Entire forum (see below).

The forum consists of:

2014.   Wim Klooster, “Slave Revolts, Royal Justice, and a Ubiquitous Rumor in the Age of Revolutions,” William and Mary Quarterly (July 2014).

2016.  Robert G. Parkinson, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution, Chapter 2, “‘Britain Has Found Means to Unite Us’: 1775.”

2017.  “Writing To and From the Revolution: A Joint Issue with the Journal of the Early Republic,” William and Mary Quarterly (October 2017). Entire issue (see below).

The series consists of: