The War of 1812, also known as the Anglo-American War, took place in a region between Washington and much of New England between American and British forces. Like many wars during slavery times, there was rumored tales of participation from African Americans fighting alongside the clashes. In upstate New York, a researcher is turning his focus on one man who may have been one of the first to be involved in the epic battle.
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In the tiny village of Sackets Harbor, a free Black man and farmer named Julius Terry (also shown as Torry) was said to have joined the war efforts as a volunteer, according to curator Matthew Mac Vittie of the Onondaga Historical Association. Vittie says his research shows that 375 Black men served at the Sackets Harbor battlefield, which served as a base for American forces during the war. It appears that Terry was the only free man among the throng.
“The only record known to exist of a free Black man serving at Sackets Harbor is that of Julius Terry,” offered Vittie.
Records showed that Terry owned an impressive 100 acres of land, which also housed a few animals. A historical society, Daughters of 1812, is also looking to place a marker upon Terry’s grave by way of the Veterans Administration.
To learn more about African Americans during the American Revolution, check out this video: