more accurate perception of what a war would do to the city's mercantile interests. It did little good to dwell on the past, however; what was done, was done. "Liberty" had been sacrificed to "ambition and rebellion," and the "Garden of Eden" had been transformed into "a field of blood." For the loyalists, consolation lay in the thought that they had resisted this "public ruin" to the best of their ability. Indeed, tory consciences could be clear because they had not been "accessary to the ruin of [their] country." 33
If those Newporters demanding independence could have foreseen the future in 1776, would they have been so eager to sever the bonds of empire? Perhaps not. But as it was, their actions and commitment to the cause surely encouraged the faint-hearted and brought other Americans more swiftly to a decision for independence than might otherwise have been the case.
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Publication information: Book title: A Dependent People:Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era. Contributors: Elaine Forman Crane - Author. Publisher: Fordham University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 166.
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