Usually the loyalists were most numerous where the

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Usually the Loyalists were most numerous where the Anglican church was strongest; a notable exception was Virginia, where the debt-burdened Anglican aristocrats flocked 8. The king’s followers were in aristocratic New York City, Charleston and Pennsylvania and New Jersey (Pennsylvania farmers didn’t feed Washington’s troops in winter) 9. Loyalists were least numerous in New England, where self- government was especially strong and mercantilism was especially weak; rebels were most numerous where Presbyterian and Congregationalism flourished, notably in New England 9. The Loyalist Exodus
1. Before the Declaration of Independence in 1776, persecution of the Loyalists was relatively mild yet they were subjected to some brutality, including tarring and feathering 2. After the Declaration of Independence, which sharply separated Loyalists from Patriots, harsher methods prevailed; the rebels naturally desired a united front 1. Putting loyalty to the colonies first, they regarded their opponents as traitors 2. Loyalists were roughly handled, hundreds were imprisoned, and a few hanged 3. But there was no reign of terror comparable to that which later bloodied both France and Russia during their revolutions (the leading Loyalists fled to British lines) 4. About eighty thousand loyal supporters of George III were driven out or fled, but several hundred thousand or so of the mild Loyalists were permitted to stay; the estates of many of the fugitives were confiscated and sold (financed the war) 5. Some fifty thousand Loyalist volunteers at one time or another bore arms for the British; they also helped the king’s cause by serving as spies, by inciting the Indians, and by keeping Patriot soldiers at home to protect their families; ardent Loyalists had their hearts in their cause and a major blunder of the British was not to make full use 10. General Washington at Bay 1. With Boston evacuated in March 1776, the British concentrated on New York as a base of operations, which was a splendid seaport, centrally located, where the king could count on cooperation from the numerous Loyalists which called New York home 1. An awe-inspiring British fleet appeared off New York in July 1776; it consisted of some five hundred ships and thirty-five thousand men—the largest armed force yet 2. General Washington, dangerously outnumbered, could muster only eighteen thousand ill-trained troops with which to meet the crack army of the invader
3. Disaster befell the Americans in the summer and fall of 1776; outgeneraled and out-maneuvered, they were routed at the Battle of Long Island, where panic seized the raw recruits—but the narrowest of margins, Washington escaped to Manhattan Island 4. Retreating northward, he crossed the Hudson River to New Jersey and finally reached the Delaware River with the British close at his heels; the Patriot cause was at low ebb when the rebel remnants fled across the river after collected all available boats 2. The wonder is that Washington’s adversary, General William

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