Hamilton, a founder of the New York Manumission Society, writes to John Jay, a co-founder of the Society and then-president of the Continental Congress, arguing that slaves should be allowed to fight for the American cause in the War for Independence, earning their “freedom with their muskets.” Eventually, some 5,000 blacks served as soldiers in the war.

March 14, 1779

Dear Sir:

Colonel Laurens, who will have the honor of delivering you this letter, is on his way to South Carolina, Read more