While many free black men from the British colonies that secured independence also fought on behalf of the colonial patriots, George Washington's official policy which rejected black military service with few exceptions until late in the war deprived the colonies of manpower. The British saw the potential of black military service and the power of turning American slaves against their masters. As a result, the majority of men of African descent who fought in the war were enslaved men who fought on behalf of the British in return for the promise of freedom.
Despite the assistance of Haitians of African descent, and after several years of supporting Haitian rebels who sought independence from France in the 1790s, the United States actively suppressed the independence movement in the early 1800s. For example, while Haitians fought for independence from France, Thomas Jefferson supported French efforts to regain control of their former colony. After France abandoned their efforts to reconquer their former colony, the United States isolated the republic of Haiti by barring trade with the small republic. The United States did not offer diplomatic recognition to Haiti until 1862.