Feb 14, 2023

Contributions of Black, Indigenous Soldiers Detailed in New Collection at Museum of the American Revolution

Nearly 200 historic documents are being digitally archived for public use. Several are on display as part of the Black founders exhibit, including a discharge paper signed by George Washington.

The Museum of the American Revolution is working to digitize nearly 200 rare documents that detail the names of Black and Native American soldiers who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. 

The Patriots of Color archive will be fully digitized and made available online at no cost to the public thanks to a partnership with the genealogy website Ancestry, museum officials said Friday. The Old City museum acquired the documents in 2022 from a private collection, following contributions from several donors.

The Patriots of Color archive contains original muster rolls, pay vouchers, enlistment papers, discharge forms and other documents assembled from auctions, rare manuscript dealers and other collectors over the past two decades. Once digitized, the public will be able to learn more about the lives of hundreds of veterans of color and understand their relationship to the American Revolution. 

“At least 5,000 men of color fought in the Continental Army, but their stories aren’t as known as they should be,” said R. Scott Stephenson, president and CEO of the museum. “This archive allows us to explore the extraordinary lives of men who helped to secure independence, yet who have not received the recognition they deserve as American Founders. 

You can read a lot more in an article by Maggie Mancini published in the  PhillyVoice web site at:

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