Inside the Vault: Black Patriots of the American Revolution

Originally broadcast on October 29, 2020, this session of Inside the Vault: Highlights from the Gilder Lehrman Collection explores unique documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection that record the service of Black soldiers in the Continental Army and reveal their postwar experiences. Joining us for this discussion are panelists Mandel Holland, a history teacher from Woodlands Middle High School in Hartsdale, NY, and Meecah from Hamilton. We use documents to investigate the lives and military service of Cuffee Saunders, Quaco, Romeo Smith, and Peter Kiteredge and discussed the challenges of researching the lives of these men. 

Click here to download the slides from the presentation.

    Classroom-ready resources for the documents presented

    Use the timestamps below to jump to the documents you want to view:

    • Certification of Romeo Smith’s status as a freeman: 8:13–20:32
    • Oath certifying Cuffee Saunders’s purchase to freedom: 20:32–27:52
    • Peter Kiteredge to the selectmen of Medfield: 27:52–37:10
    • Rhode Island General Assembly’s act freeing Quaco, a formerly enslaved man: 37:10–46:22