A Black Loyalist was an inhabitant of British America of African descent who joined British colonial forces during the American Revolutionary War. Many had been enslaved and decided to join the British in return for promises of freedom.
Some 3,000 Black Loyalists were evacuated from New York to Nova Scotia; they were individually listed in the Book of Negroes as the British gave them certificates of freedom and arranged for transport. The original of the Book of Negroes and an authenticated transcript are now online. Some of the United Empire Loyalists who migrated to Nova Scotia brought enslaved African Americans with them, a total of 2500 people. These African Americans were not regarded as Loyalists, since they had no choice in their fates.
Some Black Loyalists were evacuated to London. They were included in the population of the Black Poor. With government assistance, 4,000 blacks were transported from London for resettlement to the colony of Sierra Leone in 1787. Five years later, another 1,192 Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia also chose to migrate to Sierra Leone. They became known in Sierra Leone as the Nova Scotian settlers and were part of creating a new nation and government. The modern-day Sierra Leone Creole people (Krios) are their descendants. The American leader Thomas Jefferson referred to the Black Loyalists as "the fugitives from these States."
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... The saga of the Black Loyalists inspired Lawrence Hill's 2007 novel The Book of Negroes (published as Someone Knows My Name in the United States) ...
Famous quotes containing the words loyalist and/or black:
“In the genuine hope that this peace will be permanent, we take the opportunity to pay homage to all our fighters, commandos and volunteers who have paid the supreme sacrifice. They did not die in vain. The union is safe.”
—Combined Loyalist Military Command. New York Times, p. A12 (October 14, 1994)
“O black and unknown bards of long ago, How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?”
—James Weldon Johnson (18711938)