Fighting for Liberty
For people like the Dodges, the language they spoke, their culture, even the imported goods in their homes tied them to Great Britain. But in the 1770s, rising resentment against British policies led many colonists to think about rights—to life, liberty, and property—in new ways. In 1775 Abraham Dodge decided to risk his life and fortune in a war for independence; at age 34, he fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and served as an officer in the newly formed Continental Army.
The American Revolution brought new opportunities for enslaved people as well as white colonists. Chance would have known enslaved and free black men who fought for a variety of reasons: forced by their owners to serve as substitute soldiers, hoping for the promise of freedom, or spurred by the same ideals as white patriots.