The Loyalists in the American Revolution

By Claude Halstead Van Tyne | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII.
UNDER THE STANDARD OF THE KING.

THE lack of initiative in the Loyalists has been suggested as one of the reasons why they failed in the political contest with the Whigs. Again, when they might have been a tremendous force in the military contest, they waited for proper commissions from the king. The very conservatism, which made them the opponents of the Whigs, rendered their opposition weak and ineffectual. Before the British gained control of New York, there had been sporadic efforts to enlist and arm the Tories, but the Whig activity in organizing their own forces had so far outstripped these weak attempts that they came to nothing. When too late to be effective, there began a period when active military men obtained commissions and went about organizing companies of exiled or outlawed Tories to become a part of the British army. A regiment composed of Scotch refugees and old soldiers, raised by Allan McLean and Guy Johnson in New York,1 in the spring of 1775, was hurried out of the colonies into Canada.

____________________
1
Flick, "Loyalism in New York", p. 101.

-165-

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