Tory Insurgents: The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays

Tory Insurgents: The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays

Tory Insurgents: The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays

Tory Insurgents: The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays

Synopsis

Building on the work of his 1989 book The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays, accomplished historian Robert M. Calhoon returns to the subject of internal strife in the American Revolution with Tory Insurgents. This volume collects revised, updated versions of eighteen groundbreaking articles, essays, and chapters published since 1965, and also features one essay original to this volume. In a model of scholarly collaboration, coauthors Calhoon, Timothy M. Barnes, and Robert Scott Davis are joined in select pieces by Donald C. Lord, Janice Potter, and Robert M. Weir.Among the topics broached by this noted group of historians are the diverse political ideals represented in the Loyalist stance; the coherence of the Loyalist press; the loyalism of garrison towns, the Floridas, and the Western frontier; Carolina loyalism as viewed by Irish-born patriots Aedanus and Thomas Burke; and the postwar reintegration of Loyalists and the disaffected. Included as well is a chapter and epilogue from Calhoon's seminal--but long out-of-print--1973 study The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760-1781. This updated collection will serve as an unrivaled point of entrance into Loyalist research for scholars and students of the American Revolution.

Excerpt

In 1989 The Loyalist Perception and Other Essays reprinted eleven previously published articles and essays. I had coauthored four of its chapters, one each with Timothy M. Barnes, Donald C. Lord, Janice Potter (now Potter-MacKinnon), and Robert M. Weir. These collaborative chapters reappear in this expanded volume, which has become still more collaborative. Barnes and I here collaborate on another chapter, one of the longest in the book and published here for the first time. Over the past quarter century, Robert S. Davis has emerged as the preeminent historian of loyalism in frontier Georgia and South Carolina, and he contributes two chapters extensively revised especially for this volume. With the assistance of Barnes and Davis, my 1991 essay on Carolina loyalism as viewed by the Irish-born patriots Aedanus and Thomas Burke is reprinted here with a new concluding section, as is a chapter and the epilogue from my long out-of-print The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760–1781 (1973).

The new material and new authorship of this edition strengthens our conviction that ideas leading toward action and finally maturing into settled patterns of practice remain the configuration of loyalist scholarship. Thus part 1, “Ideas,” introduces an array of pre-Revolutionary loyalists and one loyalist-leaning neutralist. Chapters 2 through 6 portray William Smith, the visionary yet closeted theorist of a different kind of empire than the one he sensed was threatened with revolutionary disruption in 1776; Thomas Hutchinson, who waged a tenacious and intelligent struggle to exile the Massachusetts Assembly and Council from Boston until legislative leaders and the British government could appreciate the value of disciplined colonies governed by disciplined imperial institutions; Egerton Leigh, the sexual adventurer and vice admiralty judge in South Carolina who provoked his kinsman Henry Laurens to take the moral and ethical measure of imperial officialdom; Joseph Galloway, the architect of a reform empire superficially like William Smith’s but rooted in quite different insecurities from those troubling the New York councillor; and, finally, Robert Beverley, the Virginia planter who styled himself in 1775 “as sorrowful spectator of these tumultuous times.” Here we add, as an appendix, the long letter containing that self-portrait.

Introducing these biographical chapters is the title essay of the original col lection, “The Loyalist Perception,” positing patterns of principle, accommodation, and doctrine as a framework of pre-Revolutionary loyalism. the opening chapter contains new material on the place of the loyalists in the political structure of the Mother Country. These new passages argue that principled loyalism was nourished by association with the talented if myopic upper levels of the British . . .

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