African Americans in the Revolutionary War
Courtesy of New York Public Library, Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs; Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.
Lemuel Haynes was abandoned by his parents before he was six moths old and indentured as a young child to David Rose, a deacon at the Middle Granville Congregational Church in Connecticut. After experiencing a powerful religious conversion as a young man, he devoted himself to the theology and Bible study that prepared him for his later career in the ministry. Haynes signed up as a Minuteman after completing his indenture in 1774 and joined the Continental Army in 1776, fighting in the siege of Boston and with Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys at Fort Ticonderoga before being discharged due to a serious bout of typhus. A patriot throughout his life, after the war Haynes wrote a poetic ballad entitled "The Battle of Lexington" and also authored "Liberty Further Extended," a tract that blended Revolutionary political rhetoric and Calvinist theology to condemn slavery as a sin.