Negro Comrades of the Crown

African Americans and the British Empire Fight the U.S. Before Emancipation

365 pages

July, 2013

ISBN: 9781479876396



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Gerald Horne is Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, and has published three dozen books including, The Counter-Revolution of 1776:  Slave Resistance and the Origins of the USA and Race War!  White Supremacy and the Japanese Attack on the British Empire.  

All books by Gerald Horne

While it is well known that more Africans fought on behalf of the British than with the successful patriots of the American Revolution, Gerald Horne reveals in his latest work of historical recovery that after 1776, Africans and African-Americans continued to collaborate with Great Britain against the United States in battles big and small until the Civil War.

Many African Americans viewed Britain, an early advocate of abolitionism and emancipator of its own slaves, as a powerful ally in their resistance to slavery in the Americas. This allegiance was far-reaching, from the Caribbean to outposts in North America to Canada. In turn, the British welcomed and actively recruited both fugitive and free African Americans, arming them and employing them in military engagements throughout the Atlantic World, as the British sought to maintain a foothold in the Americas following the Revolution.

In this path-breaking book, Horne rewrites the history of slave resistance by placing it for the first time in the context of military and diplomatic wrangling between Britain and the United States. Painstakingly researched and full of revelations, Negro Comrades of the Crown is among the first book-length studies to highlight the Atlantic origins of the Civil War, and the active role played by African Americans within these external factors that led to it. 


  • "Now that the old feudal order is experiencing a resurgence with the assistance of wealth, a corporate media and official historians, Gerald Horne, one of our most original historians, reminds us of the alliance of Africans, Europeans and Native Americans that fought against its antecedent anachronism. In this brilliant, stunning book, Horne shows us how the issue of slavery still intrudes upon our national discussions."

    —Ishmael Reed, John D. MacArthur Fellow

  • "Highly recommended."

    —J.R. Wendland, CHOICE

  • "Horne’s work provides readers with a new framework to imagine diplomatic relationships between world powers in the nineteenth century, something especially important as historians begin to blend racial, cultural, and social history with diplomatic history in an effort to globalize American history... Horne’s meticulously researched monograph will provoke thought and discussion on the relationship between the peculiar institution and diplomacy in this important and growing field of study."

    H-Net Reviews

  • "Gerald Horne's book is a tribute to the international struggle of Africans for human dignity. It also reveals the unstated fears and unearths the historical justification in the souls of white folks—recognizing the institutional silence that this book aims to pierce."

    Black Agenda Report

  • "Although not the easiest read, Horne's book is a valuable contribution on a subject of profound interest and significance." 

    Journal of American History

  • "Gerald Horne’s Negro Comrades of the Crown is a major addition to this scholarship, principally because of its author’s vast erudition. Horne is a remarkable researcher and goes deeper than anyone before into the minutiae of Anglo–American diplomatic relations on this vexed topic."

    Journal of the Early Republic