The Negroes

“I have not the least doubt that the Negroes will make very excellent soldiers, with proper management…. I foresee that this project will have to combat much opposition from prejudice and self-interest. The contempt we have been taught to enterta for the black makes us fancy many things that are founded neither in reason nor experience, and an unwillingness to part with property of so valuable kind will furnish a thousand arguments to show the impracticability or pernicious tendency of a scheme which requires such a sacrifice. But should be considered that if we do not make use of them in this way, the enemy probably will. An essential part of the plan is to give them their freedom with their muskets.” Alexander Hamilton, “A Proposal to Arm and Then Free the Negroes, 1779


1. This excerpt suggests that Hamilton saw the conflict with Great Britain as also a conflict among colonists over (A) whether to trust reason or experience more

(B) whether colonists had adequate skills to manage soldiers

(C) the views of plantation owners about the enemy

(D) the views of White Americans toward enslaved Black Americans


2. The excerpt supports the claim that the use of Black troops during the Revolutionary War was likely motivated by which of the following?

(A) Awareness that the French were using Black soldiers in their army

(B) Fear that the British would recruit African Americans

(C) Concern that state militias were short of troops

(D) Belief that the Declaration of Independence called for equality