Working on the principal that enslaved African Americans were not just a faceless, nameless, undifferentiated mass, but individuals with complex life experiences, this site seeks to provide as much biographical data as can be found for the individual people who ran away to join the British during the American Revolution and were evacuated as free people in 1783.
The project emerged from the research of Cassandra Pybus for her book Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty .
Created by Cassandra Pybus, Kit Candlin and Robin Petterd and funded as a pilot project in 2009 by the Australian Research Council.
Update: 2010. This year saw the team ironing out some of the teething problems. These included a reapraisal of some of the connections made between family groups or owners and further connections being made on the basis of religion. There are major findings as to the movement of Quakers and their slaves which at this time are also being entered into the site. Further additions are being made as people who are connected to the Norfolk contingent are also added. Plans are also being drawn up to add all the individuals from surrounding districts such as Princess Anne County, Nansemond, the Isle of Wight and Elizabeth City. Added to this will be the addition of the slaves of prominent individuals such as George Washington, George Wythe and Robert Pleasance.
This year has also been a period of adding more background pages and the enhancement and editing of existing ones.