The African American Anti-Slavery
from the Stono Rebellion
through the Seminole Wars

Y. N. Kly
ISBN: 0-932863-50-7  188 pages 30 illustrations


    The Invisible War attempts to redress a fundamental misconception lodged in the
    heart of American historiography: the notion that there was no significant collective
    resistance to or struggle against slavery by captured Africans who had been forcibly
    immigrated to the United States from the mother continent.  Such a lacuna may
    stem from the extent to which then-contemporary records sought to disguise the
    true nature of what are presently called the Seminole Wars––as just another set of
    Indian wars, rather than a struggle of African resistance to slavery, conducted in
    alliance with Indian resistance to ongoing colonial encroachment.

    While academic and public understanding celebrate the heroes of the   
    Underground Railroad for facilitating the movement of Africans towards freedom in
    the north, there is virtual silence surrounding the more logical, more sizeable, and
    more politically significant movement of self-liberated Africans southward to free
    territories in what is now Georgia and Florida.  From these southern territories,
    communities of free Africans were to wage a constant struggle against the slavery-
    based colonies to the north.  Both by force of arms and by example, they
    represented an ongoing threat to the existence of Anglo-Carolinian-institutionalized
    slavery. In witness whereof,  a scant 40 years after the termination of the Third
    Seminole War,  African fighters would ally with the northern armies during the Civil
    War in order to finally bring the enslavement system to an end.

    While any government at war might censor and reinterpret conflicts  in order to quell
    public fears and solicit support, why has subsequent American scholarship failed to
    challenge the records, emphases and  interpretations of the so-called Seminole
    Wars?  Why hasn’t it replaced the old “master-slave” lexicon governing ethnic
    relations––which reflected Anglo-Carolinian efforts during the enslavement period  
    to codify and legalize the institutions of slavery––with more objective contemporary

    This book challenges contemporary scholars to free the history of African Americans
    from the lexicon of enslavement, and to set the record of their struggle straight


    Dr. Y. N. Kly (1935-2011) was Professor Emeritus, School
    of Human Justice, University of Regina, Canada, and a
    former consultant to government and a wide range of ethnic
    groups on minority issues.  Author of five books and
    numerous articles, he won the Gustavus Myers
    Outstanding Book Award in 1990 for International Law and
    the Black Minority in the US, and in 1995 for A Popular
    Guide to Minority Rights. He founded and chaired The
    International Human Rights Association of American
    Minorities (IHRAAM) an international NGO in consultative
    status at the UN.  He held a Ph.D. in political science,
    specializing in international law, from University Laval.  He
    was born and raised in South Carolina.


Table of Illustrations

Y. N. Kly  

Chapter One:
“‘Twas a Negro Who Taught Them”:
A New Look at African Labour in
Early South Carolina
Peter H. Wood

Chapter Two
The Gullah War: 1739-1858
Y. N. Kly

Chapter Three:
Born Muslim, Forced Christian:  
Oral History from Gullah-Geechee
Elder Cornelia Bailey
interviewed by Carlie Towne
Chapter Four:
Gullah-Geechee Question & Answer
based on research by
J. Vernon Cromartie

Chapter Five:
Captured African Prisoners of War

Chapter Six:
Seminole, Gullah Ties Traced
Herb Frazier  


ABRAHAM, Leader of the
2nd and 3rd Seminole Wars
JOHN HORSE, Leader of the
2nd and 3rd Seminole Wars.
“Burning of the town Pilak-li-ka-ha by
Gen. Eustis.” “Pilak-li-ka-ha was also
known as “Abraham’s town,” having
served as his home and headquarters
since the 1820s
Y. N. Kly Collection
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