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Exeter’s Black Revolutionary War Veterans

by Barbara Rimkunas

This "Historically Speaking" column was published in the Exeter News-Letter on Friday, January 19, 2018.

In 2002, the National Park Service published a study entitled, “Patriots of Color: African Americans and Native Americans at Battle road and Bunker Hill” prepared by George Quintal Jr. The comprehensive work sifts through muster and pension records and went as far as to follow-up the dry data with local input from places like the Exeter Historical Society. Our director of collections at that time was Nancy Merrill, who was happy to share information regarding Jude Hall, a former slave who served throughout the war in exchange for freedom. As she looked for local information on Hall, Nancy began compiling information on the African American population of Exeter in the post-Revolutionary years and was astonished to discover that quite a few Black war veterans had settled in town. Exeter, in earlier times, was more racially diverse than it is today. It sh…

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