Unnatural Rebellion: Loyalists in New York City during the Revolution

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University of Virginia Press, May 29, 2011 - History - 320 pages
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Thousands of British American mainland colonists rejected the War for American Independence. Shunning rebel violence as unnecessary, unlawful, and unnatural, they emphasized the natural ties of blood, kinship, language, and religion that united the colonies to Britain. They hoped that British military strength would crush the minority rebellion and free the colonies to renegotiate their return to the empire.

Of course the loyalists were too American to be of one mind. This is a story of how a cross-section of colonists flocked to the British headquarters of New York City to support their ideal of reunion. Despised by the rebels as enemies or as British appendages, New York’s refugees hoped to partner with the British to restore peaceful government in the colonies. The British confounded their expectations by instituting martial law in the city and marginalizing loyalist leaders. Still, the loyal Americans did not surrender their vision but creatively adapted their rhetoric and accommodated military governance to protect their long-standing bond with the mother country. They never imagined that allegiance to Britain would mean a permanent exile from their homes.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Britons in New York City
7
Rebel Usurpation 17741776
29
New Yorkers Welcome the British
51
Loyalist Resilience
80
Loyalist Clamor
108
A Mix of Refugees and Rules
136
Loyalist Divisions
160
Loyalists Unprotected
188
Loyalist Patriotism Exceeds Loyalist Power
223
Notes
227
Bibliography
271
Index
293
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Ruma Chopra is Assistant Professor in the History Department at San Jose State University.

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