The Loyalists were colonial Americans who supported the British empire and opposed independence during the long revolutionary war. When the American Revolution ended in a peace treaty that was too feeble to protect them against persecution in the newly independent United States, tens of thousands fl ed to a new life in exile.
In 1783 many of them sailed northward from the New York City area to the St. John River valley in the future Canadian province of New Brunswick. This volume makes available for the fi rst time the source materials documenting this vast migration. Most records were discovered at the National Archives of the United Kingdom.
In this book you can follow thousands of loyal American refugees at one or more critical points in their journey of exile:
on registering their names at New York to take part in the exodus
on boarding a ship for the voyage northward
on drawing provisions from the army commissariat at St. John Harbour after arrival
as recipients of town lots in the future city of Saint John
as participants in the political turmoil that overtook the American Loyalists in exile
This rich resource will be treasured by both family historians and those interested in New Brunswick's colourful past.
DAVID BELL is a graduate in history and law from Queen's University, the University of New Brunswick, and Harvard University. He has written extensively on Maritime history, including the award-winning book Early Loyalist Saint John and Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick. He is professor of law at the University of New Brunswick, and lives in Jackson Falls, New Brunswick.