Blacks serving in the army were allowed to stay, but new enlistments were forbidden. Though the Declaration of Independence declared that "all men were created equal," many blacks soon saw more opportunity on the British side. The British governor of Virginia promised immediate freedom and wages to any slave who would join the Kings army...
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Hundreds flocked to the standard of the governor, Lord Dunmore, but he was denied a base on the land by the American forces and many of the blacks who joined him died of smallpox on overcrowded ships. The loyalty of blacks was a serious issue for the American leaders because blacks made up one-fifth of the two million people in the colonies...