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i See Nothing but the Horrors of a Civil War v.7

i See Nothing but the Horrors of a Civil War v.7

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Published by Alex Cain
Updated History (2/13) of McAlpin's Corps of American Volunteers. (Minor changes made to the work.)
Updated History (2/13) of McAlpin's Corps of American Volunteers. (Minor changes made to the work.)

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Published by: Alex Cain on Feb 10, 2013
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10/11/2013

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“I SEE NOTHING BUT THE HORRORS OF A CIVIL WAR”:
A
HISTORY OF MCALPIN’S CORPS OF AMERICAN VOLUNTEERS
 (1776
 – 
1783)~~~Alexander R. Cain~~~
 
I.
 
“The Purest Principles of Loyalty”: Why Loyalists Remained Faithful
On the eve of the American Revolution, many colonists who
ultimately became “Tories”
were not distinguishable from their neighbors who embraced independence. Many Loyalistswere respected members of their towns; often well-educated Harvard graduates who worked asmerchants, doctors, lawyers, distillers or ministers. Individuals such as Sir John Johnston,Richard Saltonstall, Jonathan Swell and Admiralty Judge Samuel Curwen, who would later enlistin the loyalist cause, were seen prior to the American Revolution as leading and influentialmembers their respective colonies. Yet as lines were drawn and sides chosen, those whoremained loyal to the Crown were treated as villains and traitors.Despite popular belief most loyalists did not support the crown out of blind loyalty or amisguided sense of patriotism. Instead, most chose to remain loyal due to a variety of personal,societal and religious principles. For some, religious teachings demanded loyalty to the Crown.For others, economic opportunity guided fealty to King George. For more than a few, culturalbeliefs dictated support of the British government. Yet regardless of their respectivemotivations, the American loyalists
found themselves quickly at odds with their “patriot”
counterparts.One guiding principle which influenced Tories to remain loyal to the Crown wasreligious beliefs. Regardless of religious affiliation, many loyalists followed interpretations of the bible and religious teachings that required solemn allegiance to the Crown. For Anglicans,many ministers firmly believed they were bound by oath to be loyal to the king. The ReverendBenjamin Pickman insisted
he had to remain loyal out of the “
purest Principles of Loyalty to my
late Sovereign”.
1
Fellow minister John Amory refused to support take the American cause
1
Benjamin Pickman to his wife, 20 February, 1783.
 
 because: “
I could not with a quiet conscience...take an Oath that I would bear Arms against theKing of Great Britain to whom
I had already sworn Allegiance.”
2
 Likewise, not all Congregationalists supported the revolutionary rhetoric that wasfrequently espoused from the pulpit in New England. Isaac Smith justified his loyalty to thecrown upon religious principles. He argued his position at Harvard and his profession asCongregational minister forbade him to be disobedient to his king or Parliament, because they
obliged him to “liberal enquiry.”
3
 Sandemanians, a pacifist sect of Congregationalists, believed that the bible commandedabsolute loyalty to the Crown. Samuel Pike, a prominent Sandemanian, personified this belief when he declared in 1766 that every Christian must be a loyal subject to civil authority, even if that ruler was tyrannical. In turn, many Sandemanians became outspoken critics of the Americancause and quickly became embroiled in the political crisis of the 1760s and early 1770s. TheSandemanians were the first to brand the Sons of Liberty and other political organizations astraitors to the Crown. Sandemanian minister Colburn Barrell declared that the Boston Massacrewas the direct result of treasonous Congregationalist ministers who defied the laws of the land.Roman Catholics, often seen as the scourge of the British Empire, quickly foundthemselves being forced to side with the Crown. Following the aftermath of the French andIndian Wars, many Catholic priests who resided in the upper regions of New York Colonyopenly welcomed black slaves and local Mohawks into their parishes and churches. With thepassage of the Quebec Act of 1774, the practice of the Catholic faith was no longer subject torestrictions in certain regions of North America. The concept of Roman Catholics openlypracticing their religious beliefs in New York 
, let alone with slaves and “savages”,
deeply
2
John Amory to James Lovell, Providence, February 12, 1778.
3
Isaac Smith Jr. to Mary Smith Cranch, Cambridge, October 20, 1774.

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