Most histories of the American Revolution focus on those who became “patriots,” or revolutionaries. The standard narrative tracks their activism from the mid-1760s until the Battles of Lexington and Concord. This story, however, misunderstands and omits the importance of those who became loyalists in the American Revolution. Many, if not most, future loyalists opposed the British Parliament’s reorientation of the British Empire—just like those who became patriots. This talk will focus on a group of New Yorkers who became loyalists and document their paths to the American Revolution. In doing so, it will challenge traditional understandings of not only loyalists but also the coming of the American Revolution, the origins of American political practice, and the history of New York City.
Christopher F. Minty is an editor at the Center for Digital Editing the University of Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Stirling.
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