navigation bar Houghton Mifflin Social Studies United States History: Early Years
Biographies Unit Biographies

Prince Whipple ?–1783
Revolutionary War Soldier

In 1779, twenty enslaved Africans sent a petition to the New Hampshire legislature. A petition is a written request from a number of people. In the petition, they asked for their freedom. One of the signers was Prince Whipple.

Prince Whipple had been born in Africa. When he was ten, he was brought to America and sold into slavery. His slaveholder was a New Hampshire merchant named William Whipple.

William Whipple was an important Patriot leader in the Revolution. He attended the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. He was also a general in the New Hampshire militia. He took Prince Whipple with him onto the field of battle. Prince Whipple fought bravely for the Patriot side. In return, William Whipple freed Prince Whipple during the war.

Prince Whipple did not want freedom only for himself. He wanted the government to apply the principles of freedom to everyone. So he signed the petition with other enslaved Africans in 1779. In the 1790s, New Hampshire ended slavery.

Comprehension Check

In what way did Prince Whipple gain his freedom?

Critical Thinking

What effect did the petition have on enslaved Africans?