Susan Abadessa

Document Type



Summer 1976


Syracuse University Special Collections, American Revolution, American Loyalists, Tories, Sons of Liberty, Jonathan Boucher




American Studies


Two hundred years after the American Revolution, the conflict is still being represented for the most part as a war between the people of the united colonies and the government of England. The Colonists who were slow to join the revolutionary cause are still regarded by many as traitors. Whether principle or personal gain led so many to remain loyal to England makes no more difference today than it did then. The English patriots among the colonists paid a hard price for their loyalty to the wrong side.

A collection of diaries and letters of the period has been given to the Syracuse University Libraries by Dr. and Mrs. Lyman J. Spire. Many of them, written by American Loyalists, describe their feelings about the revolution and their treatment at the hands of the American revolutionaries. As the conflict began, there were those who dared to raise their voices against the political fervor for independence. For their opinions and actions some, like Judge John Chandler of Worcester, Massachusetts, were deprived of their native land, their family life, their official prominence, the use of their fortunes, and the tranquility of their old age.


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