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Chapter 5

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Bracing for War

As New Yorkers braced for war, delegates from the colonies assembled to draft a formal Declaration of Independence. Samuel Townsend, with his seat in the New York Congress, was among the loudest voices in favor of separation from the king, even though his opinions were not popular on Loyalist-heavy Long Island. Jupiter Hammon, an enslaved poet and America’s first published Black author, was also probably well aware of the conflict that was fast approaching.