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3.4: Loyalists during the Revolution

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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 January 2, 1775

My Friends and Countrymen,

This howling wilderness has been converted into a flourishing and populous country. But, is this not due to the way in which the colonies have been treated from the beginning? Isn’t our growth a result of Great Britain’s willingness to encourage our industry and protect us from foreign countries? If so, surely some degree of gratitude, such as becomes a free and liberal people, would be appropriate.

The peace and security we have already enjoyed under 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, be patient and avoid all inflammatory publications that are disrespectful to our most gracious Sovereign. Let us look forward to a happy termination of our present disputes, and a cordial reconciliation with our mother country.

Rusticus

Vocabulary

Flourishing
rapidly growing
Rational
reasonable
Inflammatory
arousing violent feelings
Cordial
warm and friendly
Reconciliation
existing in harmony

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 September 19, 1774

To the Inhabitants of North America:

Brethren, Friends and Fellow Subjects,

In case these people in Massachusetts succeed in convincing other colonies to break from Great Britain, let us calmly consider how prepared we are for such a war. I will not exaggerate, but represent things as they really are.

The naval power of Great Britain is the greatest in the world. Do we have a fleet to look this power in the face and defend our coasts? No—not one ship. The inevitable consequence then must be, that all our seaport towns will be taken and all our trade and commerce destroyed. Have we disciplined troops to encounter those British soldiers that are now in America, or that may be sent here?—Not a single regiment. We will need to leave our farms, our shops, our trades and begin to learn the art of war at the very same time we are called to practice it. And EVERYTHING will be at stake.

If we turn our eyes west to our back-country the situation is no better. Every man in Canada is a soldier, and may be commanded whenever government pleases. Then, add the Indians, whose warriors in Canada and the Six Nations amount to at least FIVE THOUSAND. In the case of our civil war with Britain, all these Canadians and Indians would be let loose on our back-settlements, to scalp, ravage and lay everything to waste.

Shall we, then, madly pursue violent measures that will plunge our country into all the horrors of a civil war? Shall we desperately risk our lives, liberties and property and recklessly drench this happy country with the blood of its inhabitants? --Forbid it humanity! Forbid it loyalty, reason and common sense!

A New York Freeholder (landowner)

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