RS#41 What was the AfricanAmerican perspective? "I am here a prisoner for the liberties of my country; I never, NEVER, shall prove a traitor to her interests." At age 15, James Forten, a free black, served in the American navy during the Revolutionary War on the privateer Royal Louis. The ship was captured by the British in 1781 and Forten was sent to the English prison ship Jersey. There, Forten made friends with the ship captainвЂ™s son in a game of marbles. Usually captured African-American sailors would be sent down to the West Indies where they would be forced back into slavery. Instead his fortunate new friendship enabled Forten to be treated as a regular prisoner of war. In fact, Captain Beasley even offered to send Forten back to England with his son to receive an education there. Forten refused, stating: "I am here a prisoner for the liberties of my country; I never, NEVER, shall prove a traitor to her interests." The war for independence ended while Forten was still aboard the Jersey, so all American prisoners of war were released. Forten became a leading citizen of Philadelphia as a successful business man and abolitionist. Strategies Historians Use to Analyze Historical Documents п‚— п‚— п‚— п‚— п‚— п‚— Identify the type of document п‚— Identify the author and any relevant information about the author Identify the date and historical context Identify the audience Identify the purpose for writing Look for clues in the text that help to identify the authorвЂ™s perspectives п‚— Word choice п‚— Tone п‚— Facts and opinions п‚— Inferences Connect the text back to the title "I am here a prisoner for the liberties of my country; I never, NEVER, shall prove a traitor to her interests." вЂў Why did James Forten say this? вЂў Evaluate FortenвЂ™s decision not to go to Britain to get an education with the captainвЂ™s son. вЂў What does this quote tell you about the AfricanAmerican perspective in answering our essential question? вЂў Do you think that all African Americans felt this way? Today, we will examine two more sources in order to better understand how all African Americans felt about the colonistsвЂ™ decision to revolt African American Documents You will think and work as a historian on your own. You will be given one of two different documents to closely read and analyze. You will need to use your historian strategies to analyze these documents. You will have time to analyze and complete your Historical Document Log on your own. Remember to include specific information from the text and a concluding statement. Then you will share with another classmate who has analyzed another primary source document. Then we will all discuss what weвЂ™ve learned about the African-American perspective. п‚— Strategies Historians Use to Analyze Historical Documents Identify the type of document Identify the author and any relevant information about the author Identify the date and historical context Identify the audience Identify the purpose for writing Look for clues in the text that help to identify the authorвЂ™s perspectives п‚— Word choice п‚— Tone п‚— Facts and opinions п‚— Inferences Connect the text back to the title п‚— п‚— п‚— п‚— п‚— п‚— You should be in a group with a #1 and #2 student. вЂў Take turns. вЂў Speak clearly. вЂў Listen carefully. вЂў Ask questions. Prime and Prince think that the colonies should revolt against Great Britain because the cause of liberty is a noble cause. They admire the Patriots for fighting for their liberty. They are fighting for a similar cause in their petition. They wish to gain their freedom from the detestable practice and sin of slavery. In reality both houses rejected the petition. It is chipping away at the institution of slavery though little by little. This petition was written in Connecticut and they abolished slavery in 1848 before the start of the Civil War. Even one petition by a slave can get people thinking about doing the right thing. Lord Dunmore wrote this proclamation to convince colonists to join the British army. He tells all men that are able to carry a weapon to join. He offers freedom to any slave or indentured servant that joins. Lord Dunmore proclaims that anyone that does not support the British in this revolution is committing treason and is a traitor to their country, Great Britain. Lord Dunmore does not agree with the colonistsвЂ™ revolt. Many slaveholders were upset because their slaves were running away to join the Loyalist army. George Washington and the Second Continental Congress were hesitant to offer the same deal to African Americans to fight for his army because of this but eventually needed for more soldiers. Washington and Congress conceded and allowed African Americans to join in exchange for freedom too. Lord Dunmore doesnвЂ™t want the colonists to revolt, whereas Prince and Prime do want the colonists to revolt. They both have different motives for their decisions, but are furthering their own causes. Lord Dunmore is willing to free the slaves so they can fight in his army and prevent the colonists from breaking away. Prince and Prime want the slaves freed to have better lives. They relate this quest for freedom to the coloniesвЂ™ quest for liberty from Great Britain. Wrap Up Discussion What was the AfricanAmerican perspective? Tomorrow, we will have a debate!