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3.4: Loyalists during the Revolution

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Loyalist Letter - Anonymous

Source: The following letter was written by an anonymous Loyalist under the pseudonym ‘Rusticus’. Printed in a Pennsylvania newspaper, it lists all the advantages of being British.

Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser, 2 January 1775


My Friends and Countrymen, ....

[T]his once desert and howling wilderness has been converted into a flourishing and populous country.... But, has this not been owing to the manner in which the colonies have been treated from the beginning? Is it not from the readiness which Great Britain has ever shewn to encourage our industry and protect us from foreign injuries, that we have attained this growth? If so, surely some returns of gratitude, such as becomes a free and liberal people, are justly due for favors received....

....The peace and security we have already enjoyed under her [Great Britain’s] protection, before the mistaken system of taxation took place, must make us look back with regret to those happy days whose loss we mourn, and which every rational man must consider as the golden age of America....

Let us then, my friends and countrymen, patiently avoid all inflammatory publications that, and such as are disrespectful to our most gracious Sovereign, still looking forward with an anxious hope to a happy termination of our present disputes, and a cordial reconciliation with our mother country...

Loyalist Letter – Charles Inglis

Source: The following letter was written by Reverend Charles Inglis, an Anglican minister. He was trying to sway colonists not to follow the Patriot leaders who were leading Americans into war.

New-York Gazette; and the Weekly Mercury, 19 September 1774


Brethren, Friends and Fellow Subjects,

In case these people [in Massachusetts] should persist in the same steps and spirit, and the other colonies should be so infatuated as to join them which must necessarily terminate in an open rupture with Great-Britain, let us calmly consider how we are prepared for such a contest. I shall not knowingly exaggerate a single circumstance, but represent things as they really are.

The naval power of Great-Britain is undoubtedly at this day the greatest in the world.... Have we a fleet to look this formidable power in the face, and defend our coasts? no—not one ship. The inevitable consequence then must be, that all our sea-port towns will be taken, and all our trade and commerce destroyed, at the very first shock. As many troops as government pleases may be poured in: and all hopes of foreign succor, even we had any, entirely cut off. Have we disciplined troops to encounter those veterans that are now in America, or that may be sent hereafter?—Not a single regiment. We must leave our farms, our shops and trades, and begin to learn the art of war at the very same we are called to practice it, and our ALL is at stake....

If we turn our eyes west to that vast tract of country which skirts our back settlements, and where some promise themselves a sanctuary, the case will not be much mended. The Quebec bill cuts off that refuge. By that bill, which I highly disapprove in all respects... the province of Canada extends south as far as Carolina, and surrounds all our colonies from thence to Nova Scotia.... Every man in Canada is a soldier, and may be commanded on any service, or at any time when government pleases. To that may be added the Indians, whose warriors in Canada and the Six Nations amount at least to FIVE THOUSAND, and who are equally at the beck of government. In the case of a civil war, all these Canadians and Indians would infallibly be let loose on our back-settlements, to scalp, ravage and lay everything waste with fire and sword; so that we should be hemmed in on all sides....

Shall we, then, notwithstanding the clearest light and conviction, madly pursue violent measures that would plunge our country into all the horrors of a civil war? Shall we desperately risk our lives, liberties, and property in so unequal a contest, and wantonly drench this happy country with the blood of its inhabitants, when our liberties and property may be effectually secured by prudent, pacific measures?—Forbid it humanity! Forbid it loyalty, reason, and common sense!


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