E pluribus unum – which translates to “out of many, one” – has been a motto of the United States since the earliest days of the Republic. But in practice, the history of the country has often overlooked the participation of certain groups, including the vital contributions of people of color and women to the War of Independence and the founding of the United States.
The E Pluribus Unum Educational Initiative, an ongoing effort by the DAR, will focus on members of underrepresented groups who supported the cause of the American Revolution. As part of the DAR’s mission to preserve the past and encourage people to learn more about the nation’s history, the Initiative will support new scholarship, create educational programming, and develop new research tools that complement work being done by other organizations, with the goal of enriching our understanding of the different people behind the effort of the colonies to win independence, and recognizing those who have been left out of the historical narrative.
Remembrance of Noble Actions: African Americans and Native Americans in the Revolutionary War expands and updates the gallery exhibition Forgotten Patriots mounted by the DAR Museum in 2002. Documents, artwork, and artifacts come together to illuminate contributions by two instrumental groups in the founding of the United States.
As part of the E Pluribus Unum Educational Initiative, biographical essays of little-known Patriots of Color have been composed in an effort to spotlight the diverse experiences of these individuals who contributed to the American Revolution.
As one of the first components of the initiative, DAR has launched a new database within DAR’s Genealogy Research System (GRS) called Patriots of Color, devoted specifically to the service of patriots of a wide variety of backgrounds (African American, African, Native American, mixed ancestry) in the Revolutionary War. The database builds upon research that began in the Forgotten Patriots book. We are hoping that this database of names along with the listing of sources may prove useful to researchers searching for ancestors of color, and in establishing more of these extraordinary individuals as DAR recognized Patriots.
See a listing of DAR and external resources to learn more about underrepresented Patriots.