Sunday was Independence Day here in the United States. When a federal holiday falls on the weekend, the offices of Certification Magazine are typically closed either on the preceding Friday or the following Monday. So, well, here we are. Or rather, you know, here we aren’t. We’re enjoying a day off.
Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. This event energized and crystallized American resistance to British rule — which had already erupted into war on April 18, 1775 — and stands as a famous turning point in the history of the United States.
We’ll return to our regular schedule of operations on Tuesday. Until then, why not enjoy this Independence Day-themed quiz, courtesy of our friends at GoCertify? The subject of this year’s quiz is Austin Dabney, who grew up enslaved in Georgia, but fought in the American Revolutionary War and ended up a free man.
1) Who were Austin Dabney’s parents?
2) How did Austin Dabney become a soldier fighting for the Colonial Army against the British?
3) How old was Austin Dabney when he joined the fighting in the American Revolutionary War?
4) What was Austin Dabney’s assignment in the colonial militia?
5) What was the extent of Austin Dabney’s military service?
6) When was Austin Dabney wounded in battle?
7) How did Austin Dabney escape the field of battle after being injured?
8) What was the amount of Austin Dabney’s pension from the state of Georgia (later taken on by the federal government)?
9) How did Austin Dabney become a free citizen of the United States?
10) In addition to his pension, what compensation did the state of Georgia grant to Austin Dabney in recognition of his military service?
1) While there is no official record of Dabney’s parentage (or of his birth), it is generally believed that he was the illegitimate son of his enslaver, Richard Aycock, and an unknown female slave (most likely also enslaved by Aycock).
2) At the time that the Georgia colonial militia was called to duty, Dabney was sent to join the fighting in place of Aycock, who preferred to avoid military service.
3) It’s believed that Dabney was born around 1765, which would have made him 13 or 14 years old at the commencement of his military service.
4) Dabney was an artilleryman under the command of Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke.
5) Acclaimed educator and author Booker T. Washington wrote in The Story of the Negro that Dabney “proved himself a good solider and took part in many a skirmish with British and Tories, in which he acted a conspicuous part.”
6) On Feb. 14, 1779, Dabney took the field at the Battle of Kettle Creek, an engagement between Georgians fighting for the Colonial cause and Georgians who were British sympathizers. He was shot in the thigh during the fighting and suffered a severe leg fracture that hobbled him for the rest of his life.
7) Dabney was carried from the field of battle by fellow soldier Giles Harris, who took the youngster to his home and there restored him to health. Dabney and Harries became lifelong friends, and Dabney later paid for Harris’s son, William, to attend Franklin College.
8) For his war service, Dabney received an annual income of $60, beginning in 1789, which was increased to $96 in 1816.
9) Following the death of Aycock, an act of the Georgia state legislature formally emancipated Dabney on Aug. 14, 1786. The state paid Aycock’s estate the sum of 70 pounds.
10) Dabney received a title to a large amount of land (50 acres according to some sources, and 250 acres according to others) from the state of Georgia, becoming the only black solider to be granted land by Georgia officials for his service during the war.