Soldiers in Uniform
This watercolor from the American War of Independence is by Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger (1762-1851), a French artist who himself fought in the war as a sub-lieutenant in a French regiment and who kept an illustrated journal of his experiences in the war. The watercolor, which appears in the journal, shows the variety of soldiers fighting for American independence, depicting, from left to right, a black soldier of the First Rhode Island Regiment, a New England militiaman, a frontier rifleman, and a French officer. An estimated 5,000 African-American soldiers fought in the Revolutionary War. Although most black soldiers from New England fought in integrated regiments, the First Rhode Island was an exception - it was made up of 197 black men commanded by white officers. Nevertheless, it was considered an elite unit, and saw action at the Battle of Rhode Island and the Siege of Yorktown.
Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger, Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository.
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
North America--Rhode Island
"Soldiers in Uniform", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed February 17, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2442