Loyalists

Research by Josh Jolly and Todd Whitley

  1. Letter from W.M. Cage to David Fanning, July 29, 1781

This letter was written by W.M. Cage to David Fanning on July 29, 1781 in Cumberland County, North Carolina. This document describes a battle that became a peace negotiation. However, this peace negotiation did not go fully as planned and the defeated party joined up with reinforcements. Not only is this letter an interesting read, but it also allows a glimpse into the mindset and priorities within the Loyalist militia.

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To see compete letter, click here

2. North Carolina Ordinances of Convention

This document represents the first steps North Carolina took as a free state to create an organized independent government. Within the various laws and records contained in the document is mention of how loyalists should be treated. According to these Ordinances, loyalists should be stripped of all rights and treated as traitors.

To view complete document, click here.

3. Journal of a Lady of Quality

Janet Schaw, the author of this document, was born in Lauriston Scotland around the year 1731. Schaw spent many years travelling through the West Indies, North Carolina, and Portugal. This document is a compilation of the journal entries and letters she wrote during her travels. This document is not only interesting, but also allows an unique look into the state of North Carolina during the Revolutionary War.

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To read the complete account, click here.

4. Poem: The Pausing American Loyalist, 1776

This document is actually a poem that was printed in the Middlesex Journal in 1776. Poetry is well known as an excellent conveyor of emotion, and this poem is no exception. Within the words of this document is the worries of one who has loyalist sentiments. Described in this work is the torturous mistreatment that loyalists were subject to if they didn’t take an oath of allegiance to the patriot cause. The author of this document focuses on the the all important question of whether it is better to abandon one’s personal beliefs and remain safe or to be true to one’s self,  and not take the oath– accepting the tortures of being loyal to the Crown of England. This document is important because it does an excellent job of explaining why Britain did not receive the support they they were expecting from the loyalist populace– support that they needed to win the conflict.

To read the full poem, click here.

5. Narrative of Colonel David Fanning

Colonel David Fanning was a loyalist leader who terrorized central North Carolina with the help of his self-made militia. After the war ended, Fanning was exiled from North Carolina without chance of pardon. Fanning left North Carolina and after some travel settled down in Nova Scotia– where he died. Around this time Fanning wrote his narratives explaining his experiences in Revolutionary North Carolina.

To view the complete document, click here.

6. Petition of Anne Hooper, et al concerning the wives and children of Loyalists

This is a very interesting document that was created after the Revolutionary War ended when North Carolina leadership was taking steps to further purge loyalists from the state via exiling them . The authors of this work were a group of women who desperately wanted a pardon for them and their families. Surprisingly, these women claim that they are loyal to North Carolina, and never agreed with their husbands’ loyalist sympathies. Above all, this document shows that the loyalists and their families were discriminated against even after the war ended.

To view the complete document, click here.

7. Letter from Joseph Hughes to the North Carolina Committee of Safety, 1776

Joseph Hughes was a loyalist taken prisoner at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. In his letter to the North Carolina Council of Safety, he requests a transfer from the jail in Charlotte to one in Salisbury so he can be near his family. The council granted his request. His letter gives a first hand account of being a prisoner of war during the Revolution.

To view the document, click here.

 

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