Thomas Jeremiah might be free, Christian, and a slave owner, but according to Henry Laurens, one 'of his Colour' could never be an Englishman, and, for Laurens, the America being born as a separate nation must be a white man’s country.
Thomas Jeremiah was probably the wealthiest free Black man in the British North American colonies in 1775. Some of his wealth was in enslaved people. He was also hanged by American patriots in Charleston, allegedly for trying to foment a slave insurrection on behalf of the British. The story of Thomas Jeremiah gives us a window into the dramatic entanglements of race, slavery, and liberty in the era of the American founding.