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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876
                         [ 14 ]
tractive and indispensable elements; it is to impoverish it
by the withdrawal of some of its most wealthy and endur-
ing facts.  In short, the negro is an integral part of revo-
lutionary history.
    One of the first men who gave up their lives in the
battle of Lexington was a colored man. Major Pitcairn,
the very incarnation of British hostilities, who led the
charge on the redoubts at Bunker Hill, was killed by a ne-
gro named Salem. Bancroft says, concerning the colored
soldiers at Bunker Hill:
    "Nor should history forget to record that, as in the
army at Cambridge, so also in this gallant band the free
negroes of the colonies had their representatives; for the
right of free negroes to bear arms in the public defense
was, at that day, as little disputed in New England as their
other rights. They took their place, not in a separate
corps, but in the ranks with the white men; and their
names may be read on the pension-rolls of the country,
side by side with those of other soldiers of the Revolu-
tion." This is the verdict of our great American historian.
    In the battle of Red Bank and in the battle of R.
I., negro soldiers bore a glorious part.  Major-General
Prescott, of British fame, was captured on the 9th of July,
1777, by a negro soldier named Prince. On the 14th of
May, 1781, Colonel Green, of the American army was sur-
prised and killed by the British near Point's Bridge, N. Y.
His colored soldiers were cut to pieces in defending him,
and would not retreat under any circumstances.  The his-
torian Arnold says of this colored regiment:
    "A third time the enemy, with desperate courage and
increased strength, attempted to assail the redoubt, and
would have carried it but for the timely aid of two Conti-
nental battalions, dispatched by Sullivan to support his
almost exhausted troops. It was in repelling these furious


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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876



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