During Black History Month, the N.C. Museum of History and the Sons of the American Revolution will present the program Return to Tradition highlighting a lesser-known fact about the American Revolution: significant numbers of people of color fought for the Patriots during the war.
This free program on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon in Raleigh features keynote speaker Brig. Gen. James Gorham, the first African American general in the N.C. Army National Guard. His talk will focus on these soldiers who served in integrated troops during the war for independence.
“Though nearly lost to history, these Patriots of color served as equals in the typical regiment of Continental soldiers,” said Earl Ijames, Curator at the N.C. Museum of History.
First African American in North Carolina Will Be Inducted Into SAR
Another program highlight will center on Raleigh resident Chaz Moore, whose enslaved ancestor, Tobias “Toby” Gilmore, fought for the Patriots in the American Revolution. During a brief installation ceremony, Moore will be the first African American in North Carolina inducted into the Sons of the American Revolution. He is a firefighter with the Raleigh Fire Department.
Moore’s ancestor was born in coastal West Africa as Shibodee Turrey Wurry. At age 16, around 1758, this son of a chieftain was kidnapped by slave traders and sent to Rhode Island aboard the slave ship Dove. He was purchased by Capt. John Gilmore of Massachusetts and became known as Tobias Gilmore. He enlisted in the Continental Army and fought in several major battles.
Learn more about this lesser-known, yet important, part of our nation’s history during Return to Tradition on Feb. 25 at the Museum of History.