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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Camden in Kershaw County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

African Americans Choose Sides

 
 
African Americans Choose Sides Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, October 11, 2009
1. African Americans Choose Sides Marker
Inscription. At the start of the Revolution, South Carolina's slaves numbered over 100,000, compared to 70,000 white inhabitants. Most slaves labored on coastal plantations-only 6,000 lived in the backcountry. Slaves in the Camden area helped to build and fortify the town's powder magazine in 1780. Later, when the British occupied the town, slaves constructed an elaborate network of defenses.

Many slaves hoped that the British would give them their freedom, and risked harsh retribution from rebel masters by assisting the King's army as spies, wagon drivers, and by gathering provisions. During the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill, the British armed African Americans to help defend Camden.

Some slaves remained with their American masters. After the British forced Sarah Kershaw from her home in 1780, her slaves took great risks to provide her family with food.

"You will order one hundred able Negroes, furnished with spades to be collected from the plantations in your neighbourhood, and send them to Camden."
Lord Cornwallis
 
Location. 34° 13.973′ N, 80° 36.207′ W. Marker is in Camden, South Carolina, in Kershaw County. Marker is on State Road (State Highway 28-703). Click for map. Marker is located in the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Park. Marker is in this post office area: Camden SC 29020, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Overview image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, October 2, 2011
2. Overview
On the right hand side in the background can be seen the remnants of a sugar cane mill.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. British Commanders (within shouting distance of this marker); American Commanders (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Powder Magazine (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Loyalists (about 300 feet away); War in the Backcountry (about 300 feet away); The British Evacuation (about 500 feet away); Citizen - Soldiers (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Camden.
 
Categories. African AmericansSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary
 
Picture on the marker image. Click for full size.
3. Picture on the marker
African American Infantrymen, Courtesy of Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Sugar Cane Mill image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, October 2, 2011
4. Sugar Cane Mill
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 799 times since then and 16 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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