18 November 2010

Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War (Thomas B. Allen)

The American Revolution was not simply a battle between colonists and British. As Thomas B. Allen reminds us, it was also a savage and often deeply personal civil war, in which conflicting visions of America pitted neighbour against neighbour and Patriot against Tory on the battlefield, the village green, and even in church. In this outstanding and vital history, Allen tells the complete story of these other Americans, tracing their lives and experiences throughout the revolutionary period. New York City and Philadelphia were Tory strongholds through much of the war, and at times in the Carolinas and Georgia there were more trained and armed Tories than Redcoats. The Revolution also produced one of the greatest—and least known—migrations in Western history. More than 80,000 Tories left America, most of them relocating to Canada. John Adams once said that he feared there would never be a good history of the American Revolution because so many documents had left the country with the Tories. Based on documents in archives from Nova Scotia to London, Tories adds a fresh perspective to our knowledge of the Revolution and sheds an important new light on the little-known figures whose lives were forever changed when they remained faithful to their mother country.


Reggie Darling said...

Ah, Cod -- thank you for reminding us that what has been presented as black and white is actually many shades of grey. A lesson one must learn again and again. Such upheaval as you reference must have left many in ruins, with said ashes the price that was, in some cases, bitterly paid so we today benefit immeasurably from the glories of the rising from thence of the Phoenix of the New Republic. Tortured early morning grammar, I know, but you get my gist. Reggie

Main Line Sportsman said...

This was favoraby reviewed in WJ on Wed. and it was something I wanted to read right away.

BaronVonServers said...

Ah, why , even here when the subject is Tories in the Rebellion, does it seem no one remembers that the Floridas (East and West) fought for the Crown (and held their own against the Rebels, though West Florida suffered the worst of it against Spain)???

There were 16 Colonies, not 14, and both the Northern one and the two most southern ones remained Loyal! Those lower two were 'traded away' but to Spain, not the US!