The 1778 act creating the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, also known as the “Black Regiment,” was passed to address the shortage of men fighting for the Continental Army in the American Revolution. The Act, which promised freedom and pensions for enslaved men who enlisted if they fought and survived the war, was repealed by the General Assembly three months later. The Rhode Island First distinguished themselves in major battles for American independence and then fought for their rights promised by the state of Rhode Island. In this lesson, students will explore ideas and perspectives about liberty and freedom from an African heritage perspective in the Revolutionary period.

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