Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

General Assembly. State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantation [with seal]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06066 Author/Creator: Place Written: Providence Type: Pamphlets Date: 1782/01 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Printed by John Carter. Stab-stitched. Contains act freeing Quaco, a former slave, as reward for providing information about Newport after it had been seized by the British (pp. 4-5). We know of four African-American Spies, one for the British in New York, and the other three for the Americans: James Lafayette Armistead (who operated near Cornwallis in 1781), Peck (who operated in the Hudson River Valley in 1781) and Quaco. Quaco is believed to have been the first African-American spy during the Revolution. The pamphlet also has documentation for payment to two African-American privates, Jehu Pomp and Solomon Caesar, serving under Lt. Col. Jeremiah Olney. With state seal affixed to cover. Alden 923, Evans 17691, Moebs (Black Soldiers) pp. 237 (Caesar), 252 (Pomp), 258 (Whitcuff); 275, 277, 284 and 286 (Armistead), 278 (Peck) and 280 (Quaco).

People: Quaco
Bradford, William, 1729-1808

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, Military History, Slavery, African American History, Manumission, Emancipation, Global History and Civics, Foreign Affairs, Spying, African American Troops, Continental Army

Sub Era: The War for Independence