Warren researchers want slave soldiers honored

Six African American men from Warren served in Revolutionary War, but their names were never added to town honor roll

By Ted Hayes
Posted 8/15/19

Warren historians hope to correct a centuries-old oversight by having the names of eight men, six of whom were slaves who lived here in the late 18th century, added to the Warren Veterans’ …

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Warren researchers want slave soldiers honored

Six African American men from Warren served in Revolutionary War, but their names were never added to town honor roll

Posted

Warren historians hope to correct a centuries-old oversight by having the names of eight men, six of whom were slaves who lived here in the late 18th century, added to the Warren Veterans’ Honor Roll.

Historians Pat Mues and Sarah Weed were expected to appear before the Warren Town Council Tuesday to ask members to approve $5,000 to $6,000 worth of updates to the Revolutionary War portion of the honor roll. Starting three years ago, the two began researching the history of slavery in Warren in the late 19th and early 19th century and uncovered evidence that six slaves here served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War. None of their names appear on the honor roll, Ms. Mues wrote to the council.

She said it’s time that the men — Hampton Barton, Prince Child, Caesar Cole, Warren Mason, Bristol Miller and Bristol Luther — are included. Two other Caucasian men, Eserck Sisson and William Cranston, were also left off the honor roll, their research found.

When the names are added, “the plaque will accurately reflect” the town’s true Revolutionary War history, Ms. Mues wrote.

The researchers found the names while doing research for the Warren Middle Passage Project, which was part of a statewide effort to quantify and detail towns’ involvement in the slave trade.

All told, they found records that confirmed that dozens of slaves lived in Warren during the years when the trade flourished.

Several of them served in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, serving as privates and one, Cesar Cole, as paymaster. Four of the African American men died during the war, Ms. Mues said.

She said prior to Tuesday’s meeting that she was hopeful the council would set aside the funds.

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