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The Death of Major Peirson (detail)
A Black soldier is shown fighting for the British during the American Revolution.
The British began the long journey to freedom in North America when they offered Black slaves in the American colonies liberty in return for military service against rebels. The soldier depicted in this painting was a member of the Ethiopian Regiment, formed in 1775. Survivors from the regiment came to settle in Nova Scotia after the war.
John Singleton Copley