What is A Loyalist



Loyalists (capitalized L as considered a title) were North American colonists who remained loyal subjects of the British crown during the American Revolutionary War. They were often referred to as Tories , "Royalists or King's Men". Later after the war those Loyalists that did not want to remain in the new USA and settled in what would become Canada were given the hereditary title of United Empire Loyalists. Their colonial opponents, who supported the Revolution, were called Rebels, Patriots or Whigs, but generally just thought of themselves as free Americans. From the Patriot's perspective, the Loyalists were traitors who would not support the rebel's cause and collaborated with what they thought was an oppressive British government. Whereas from the Loyalist perspective, they were the honorable ones who stood by the Empire and the Crown and considered the American rebels as the traitors to the mother country


What actually happened to the Loyalists somewhat spoils the image of a 'righteous cause', so American historians have tended to imply that only 15-20% of the thirteen colonies white adult male population were Loyalists. One obvious problem with this is that John Adams (someone not inclined to exaggerate), made several statements estimating Loyalists numbers as one-third of the population.
To reconcile this difference, claims are made that he was taken out of context and was not referring to the sentiments of the colonists, however they never convincingly qualify this.
Conversely there is plenty of evidence to suggest that at least initially loyalist numbers were even higher, possibly as high as 40% and if Blacks & Native Americans are included the figure would be nearer 65%

The greatest number of the Loyalists were to be found in the present state of New York, where it's capital having been forcibly taken over by the rebels in 1775, was re-taken by the British in September, 1776, to become a refuge for persecuted Loyalists until it's evacuation in 1783. They were also the majority in Pennsylvania and in the southern colonies of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Elsewhere they were a large minority of the population but least numerous in New England & Virginia.

Loyalists were generally associated with Anglicanism whereas the Patriots were more associated with a loose form of Presbyterianism and non-Christian non-judgmental sects e.g. Deist.
Loyalists were considered better-educated than the average Patriot, hence relatively wealthier; but loyalty was not only the preserve of the wealthy as many Loyalists were of humble means, particularly away from centers of population e.g. New York's Mohawk Valley and between the coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the western frontier.

During the war, about 50 military units were made up of Loyalists, many of whom had their lands or property seized. It is estimated that there were actually from 30,000 - 35,000, at one time or other, enrolled in regularly organized corps, but rebel tactics of attacking their homes deterred others joining, particularly in the southern colonies. Apart from those Loyalist families who took refuge in New York City and Long Island, others re-established pro-British colonial governments in Georgia and Florida.

In rebel controlled areas Loyalists were subject to confiscation of property, tar and feathering or even being murdered. They could be arrested and fined for being loyal to the British, many were blackmailed, whipped, abused, threatened, and attacked by mobs of revolutionaries. So to be identified as a Loyalist was dangerous, meaning true numbers of Loyalists is not known, but an estimated 30,000 were either forced or decided to leave the thirteen colonies during the war and a further 70,000 left with the British troops when they evacuated held territory, in total about 5% of the population.
At the end of the American Revolutionary War and the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the treatment of Loyalists did not improve so those wanting to evacuate were resettled in other colonies of the British Empire, most notably in the future Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, that received in total some 38,000 Loyalist refugees. Also the Canadian Eastern Townships and Upper Canada in modern-day Ontario, received altogether some 12,000 refugees.
Others who left the thirteen colonies, 8.000 went to Britain, while particularly Southern Loyalists, went to Caribbean islands, notably the Bahamas, that received 9,600, and Bermuda, Jamaica, Martinique, Dominica and St Lucia receiving approx 2,500 in total

Many Native Americans also left the 13 colonies for Canada. The descendents of one such group of Iroquois, led by Joseph Brant Thayendenegea, settled at Six Nations of the Grand River, the largest First Nations Reserve in Canada. A group of Black Loyalists settled in Nova Scotia but would frequently undercut local labor rates and became unpopular with competing whites, so took up an offer to emigrated again to Sierra Leone.
Loyalists were forced to abandon substantial amounts of property, and restoration of, or compensation for this lost property was a major issue during the negotiation of the Jay Treaty in 1795. But after agreeing to settle claims the United States reneged on it's commitments, so more than two centuries later, some of the descendants of Loyalists still assert claim to their ancestors' property.




Washington wrote of ambitious plan to conquer Canada

The U.S. auction house Sotheby's is set to sell a faded and fragile letter written 235 years ago by George Washington in which the newly appointed commander of the American revolutionary army passionately outlines his strategy for conquering Canada.

Signed on Sept. 14, 1775, by the future founding president of the United States, the letter was dispatched to the rebel colonies' northern general Benedict Arnold -- infamous for later betraying the revolution, but at the time in charge of the planned capture of Quebec and of persuading Canadian citizens to reject British authority and join the rebel cause.

The three-page letter -- held until now in a $15-million collection of historic documents amassed by the late U.S. newspaper publisher and antiquarian James Copley -- is expected to sell for up to $300,000 at an April 14 sale in New York.

"During the early foment of revolution, American patriots often looked at Canada as the key to independence. Dreams of a 'fourteenth colony' fired the imaginations of politicians and military men alike," Sotheby's states in its description of the yellowed letter. "The Continental Congress had authorized an invasion of Canada even before George Washington was appointed as Commander of the Continental Army on 3 July, 1775. He gave the northern venture the highest priority, and appointed to lead it the daring and dashing Benedict Arnold."

In his official marching orders to Arnold, received by the general as he headed north toward Canada through the Massachusetts backwoods, Washington instructs with upper-case import: "Upon your Conduct & Courage ... the Safety and Welfare of the whole Continent may depend."

Arnold would lead his army of 1,200 men northward nearly 600 kilometres in 45 days to the St. Lawrence River, ominously arriving at the outskirts of Quebec City as winter was setting in. The American march through the northeast U.S. wilderness and along wild waterways "is still counted as one of the great achievements of 18th-century warfare," the auction house notes.

"You are intrusted with a Command of the utmost Consequence to the Interest & Liberties of America," Washington writes. "Consider yourselves as marching not through an Enemies Country, but that of our Friends and Brethren, for such Inhabitants of Canada & the Indian Nations have approved themselves in this unhappy Contest between Great Britain & America."

The generous treatment of Canadian civilians by the invading Americans was key to Washington's plan to convince Britain's northernmost colonists to join the revolution.

Washington instructs Arnold, in fact, to inflict a swift death sentence on any American soldier who mistreats the Canadians being targeted for recruitment to rebellion.

Instill fear of punishment for "every Attempt to Plunder or insult any of the Inhabitants of Canada," Washington orders Arnold. "Should any American Soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian in his Person or Property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary Punishment as the Enormity of the Crime may require. Should it extend to Death itself, it will not be disproportionate to its Guilt at such a Time and in such a Cause."

Washington further demands that Arnold and his men display sensitivity toward the Catholic faith practised widely in Quebec, despite its natural offence to the devoutly Protestant soldiers from the south.

"Avoid all Disrespect or Contempt of the Religion of the Country and its Ceremonies -- Prudence, Policy and true Christian Spirit will lead us to look with Compassion upon their Errors without insulting them," Washington states. "While we are Contending for our own Liberty, we should be very cautious of violating the Rights of Conscience in others; ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the Hearts of Men ..."

Above all, he commands Arnold, do nothing to "turn the Hearts of our Brethren in Canada against us" and strive to "convert those favourable Dispositions they have shewn into a lasting Union and Affection."

In the end, Arnold's efforts to bring Quebec into the revolutionary fold fizzled due to sickness that decimated his troops and deep wariness among the Canadian population toward the southern rebellion.

While he led an ineffectual siege at Quebec through the winter of 1776 and then briefly commanded a captured Montreal, British and Canadian troops soon drove the Americans out of Canada.

By 1779, angry at having been passed over for promotions and a target of contempt within the American army, Arnold began sharing secrets about U.S. troop numbers and movements with the British.

He eventually joined the British side and was living in Saint John, N.B., when Washington became the first president of the United States in 1789.






We sadly announce the passing of a very dedicated Loyalist Fanjoy and Bonnell Loyalist.

We are sorry to hear of the passing of Harold Fanjoy, a Loyalist cousin of this editor. I can recall the first time we met back in 1985 when Harold came to see me talk in Saint John, New Brunswick on my first book, “Thunder Over New England, Benjamin Bonnell, The Loyalist.” His Loyalist Fanjoy ancestor married Eleanor Bonnell, Loyalist Benjamin Bonnell’s daughter. The following is his obituary. I pass on my condolences and prayers to his entire family.


Harold Newton Fanjoy [1Nov 1939 - 26 April 2008] was the son of the late I. Newton and Muriel G. (Seely) Fanjoy.  Harold had a passion for genealogy, being a past president of Saint John Branch NBGS Inc.  He was the MLA for Kings Centre from 1974 to 1987, served as Minister of Supply and Services and Chairman of the Treasury Board/Board of Management. He was a past master of the St. Martins Lodge #30 F&AM , founding leader of the 61st BP Guild of the Boy Scouts of Canada, member of the Westfield Golf and Country Club, St. Luke’s Anglican Church and the Saint John Y’s Men Club.  Interment was in Fernhill Cemetery.


Loyalists were colonist loyal to King George III during the American Revolution (1775-1783). These Americans numbered over 100,000 at the end of the war (1783). The need to leave the United States was an urgent one because the Patriot Rebels confiscated their lands and property. Many faced death. Much of these refugees settled in Canada, but others went to Sierra Leone, Bermuda, Bahamas and England. Many snuck back into the States. Today, there are millions of descendants of the Loyalists living in the United States and all the above-mentioned locations including Australia and New Zealand.


When researching these very brave people, you will understand why they made the decisions they made. Today, Canada and the United States are very closely related in history, heritage, and destiny. After finding my loyalist, Benjamin Bonnell and Sarah Jones and John Day, I found much material of other loyalists, and that is why I decided to publish and research for others, The hunt is hard because the loyalists left their homes and became refugee's fleeing to New York City and other areas before settling in their new countries. Records are scattered, but the challenge is fun. I hope my site helps others and I can always be contacted for help or opinions.


Loyalist Chimney's


This question always comes up and I thought I would post an answer to help you all with the question of why is there some chimney's with a black band marking and others are white? Here is one explanation found in the Boston Globe Online.



Email: Bunnellloyalist@aol.com  


 "In Revolutionary times, the band served one more purpose. It created the opportunity for a black-and-white chimney. The chimney was painted white and the band black. This was called a Tory chimney, and it was a secret sign that Loyalists occupied the house. If the band was proportioned correctly, the black-and-white chimney had a certain class to it. It was good looking, and kept those massive chimneys in perspective."






An auction house is selling a letter from the future founding president of the United States in which he outlined his plans for the colonies' neighbours, writes Randy Boswell.


By Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service March 26, 2010




Compiled by Paul J. Bunnell, FACG, UE © 2004


Born 14 Jan. 1741, Norwich, Connecticut, died c. 11 Aug 1801, London, Middlesex, England, buried at Saint Mary’s Battersea Church, London, England. Located in crypt in basement. Some sources say that he was buried in his “Patriot Military Uniform.” He was heavily in debt from business loses resulting in lost ships at sea. Son of Benedict Arnold (d. 1761) and Hannah Waterman King (d. 1759).


Military: 1774, became Captain in Connecticut militia; 1775 commissioned colonel in Patriot forces; 10 May 1775, he and Ethan Allen captured Fort Ticonderoga, NY; Major General (Patriot Rebel Army); 1775 led 1100 soldiers to Quebec, severely wounded, promoted to Brig. General. He tried to collect expenses from Mass. Committee of Safety but they did not pay him; Lost battle of Valcour Island, 13 Oct. 1776, defeated at Lake Champlain after dealing a large setback in British defenses; Feb. 1777, passed over for promotion by Congress; George Washington talked Arnold out of quitting the army; May 1777 promoted to Major General after defeating British raid in Connecticut; The following is an account from an engagement at Ridgefield, Connecticut in April 1777, “The citizen-soldiers started to break and run. In desperation, America's Hannibal [Arnold] brandished his sword and rode back and forth, trying to form a rear guard to protect his fleeing column. Suddenly Arnold's horse collapsed. Having been hit by nine musket balls, the tortured animal, thrashing in death throes, had his rider pinned to the ground. An enemy soldier climbing off the ledge, rushed forward with bayoneted musket in hand. Supposedly he shouted, "Surrender! You are my prisoner!"

"Not yet," was Arnold's alleged reply as he deftly retrieved a pistol from his saddle holster, took aim, and leveled his adversary with one shot.

Freeing himself from the flailing horse, Arnold hobbled off toward a nearby swamp, with enemy musket balls flying all around him. His hairbreadth escape was a testament to what England's Annual Register of 1777 called his "usual intrepidity." A British officer on the scene conceded only that Arnold, like Wooster before him, had "opposed us with more obstinacy than skill," a statement of begrudging respect.”

 Oct. 1777 credited with helping Gen. Horatio Gates, restored military seniority; 1778, took command of Philadelphia; 1778, Congress tried to court-martial for abusing position, cleared but reprimanded by Washington; 1779, upset over ingratitude and injustice and started talking to British; 29 Dec. 1779, court-martialed again but cleared 6 of 8 charges, found guilty of illegal issue of passes, using government wagons to transport personal goods; 21-22 Sept. 1780, in command of West Point, NY, passed plans to Capture fort and Washington to Major John Andre, escaped to NYC when failed, 25 Sept. 1780, 1781 changed sides, became Brig. General of American Legion, Loyalist; 6 Sept. 1781, attacked and burning of Ft. Griswold and New London, Connecticut; 1782, warmly received by King George III in England. 1797, granted 13,400 acres in New Brunswick, Canada. Benedict Arnold was probably the best leader on the battlefield that the Patriot Rebels had, especially during the first 3 years; nearly capturing Canada; delivering a deadly blow to the British at Lake Champlain; forced the British to surrender at Saratoga in 1777, etc. After changing sides in 1780, he nearly brought an end to the war by the failed attempt to delivery West Point, and General George Washington to the British.  Later he convinced the British Command in New York how valuable the American Loyalists were and carried on his victorious track record for King George III, but there were already too many British mistakes made that caused their defeat in 1783.


Business: Educated in England, but had to return due to a family illness. Opened book and drug store in New Haven, Ct. c. 1762. By 1774 became one of the wealthiest men in New Haven. Shipping and trading in Connecticut, and later (before1788) in Saint John and Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, trading with the West Indies. (source: NBRG, letters between Arnold and Major Coffin). 11 July 1788 his store in Saint John was destroyed by fire, collecting partial of 5000 pounds in insurance money under suspicion. In 1791, Arnold left for England with his family, shortly after he was hung and burned in effigy. In 1792 he took part in duel with Hon. James Hartland, Earle of Lauderdale. On 4 Jan. 1839, the last of the Arnold real estate was sold off in New Brunswick, Canada.

He married: 27 or 22  Feb. 1767, #1 wife, Margaret (Peggy) Mansfield, born 1745, Connecticut, died 19 June 1775.

He married: 8 April 1779 to #2 wife, Peggy Shipen/Shippen, died 24 Aug 1804, London, England, buried Saint Mary’s Battersea Church, London, England. Daughter of Judge Edward Shippen, Attorney General of Pennsylvania.


Children: From first wife:
1. Benedict VI, born 14 Feb.1768 New Haven, Connecticut, died 1795 at Iron Shore, Jamaica. (in 1786 father entered partnership with him)

2. Richard, born 22 Aug.1769, New Haven, Connecticut, died 9 Dec.1847, Sarnia, Lambton, Canada West.

3: Henry, born 19 Sept.1772 New Haven, Connecticut, died 8 Dec.1826 New York, New York. (he escaped narrowly father’s store fire)
4: Robert (?)

Children: From second wife:

  1. Edward Shippen, 1782-1813
    2: James Robertson, 1783-1852, Lieut. General, became a Royal Engineer.
  2. George, b. 5 Sept. 1787 or (1784), Saint John, NB, Canada, d. 1828, (Lieut. Colonel)
  3. William Fitch, 1786-?
  4. Sophia, 1788-?
  5.  Hannah (Miss) d. 1803/4 at Montague, Upper Canada (25 Jan 1804)
  6. John Gage, born after 1784 out of wedlock mother while Peggy was visiting relatives in Philadelphia (taken care of in Arnold’s will)


theamericanrevolution.org/people/barnold.asp (children)

Claudie Barnett, “Beginnings” 2003

Timelines, Benedict Arnold, (Martin, James Kirby)

Paul J. Bunnell, FACG, UE records

Website, acorn-online,com/Arnold (2004)

Some stats from http://www.ishipress.com/pafg32.htm#2702, Family Tree of Thomas Jefferson and Other Famous Americans.


May 18: Loyalist Day in New Brunswick


The Significance Of May 18 As Loyalist Day In New Brunswick

In March 1968, the New Brunswick Department of Education announced that 18 May, Loyalist Day, was to be observed as a public school holiday in the Schools of the District of Saint John.[1] This was the result of a request by Mrs. Muriel Teed, president of the New Brunswick Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. The regulation remained in effect until 1997[2] when the Department decided that school holidays should be province wide. No sector would be given the privilege of a holiday when others were not included.

Mrs. Teed’s daughter, Muriel Young, another branch president, in 1982 asked the government to recognize 18 May as Loyalist Day for the Province of New Brunswick.[3] The following proclamation is the result:


WHEREAS, on May 18th, 1783, men and women who had maintained their allegiance to the Crown during the American War of Independence began to arrive and to settle in large numbers in what is now New Brunswick;

AND WHEREAS, the constancy, fortitude, tenacity of purpose and sacrificial sense of public duty exemplified by those Loyalists and their descendants have been interwoven for ever in the very fabric of this province that they loved;

AND WHEREAS, May18th has been popularly known as Loyalist Day for many years and has been celebrated for close to two centuries;

NOW THEREFORE, I, the Lieutenant-Governor, acting by and with the advice of the Executive Council, do proclaim the 18th day of May of each year as Loyalist Day and invite all the people of New Brunswick to participate in the festivities.

            This proclamation is given under my hand and the

            Great Seal of the Province at Saint John on May 18, 1983


Fernand G. Dubé, Q.C.
Minister of Justice
G.F.G. Stanley

According to tradition, the Loyalists landed in what became Saint John on 18 May 1783. At that time, the community had a total of 420 souls, including 205 Royal Fencible Americans and their families stationed at Fort Howe.[4] The historian, J.W. Lawrence, stated that the City of Saint John was incorporated on the second anniversary of the landing of the first Loyalists, 18 May 1785,[5] making it the oldest incorporated city in Canada. On 27 April, about 50 ships bound for Halifax, Shelburne, Annapolis and Saint John, set sail from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Ten of these were headed for Saint John of which The Union arrived first, on the 10 May. The other eight began to come in two days later. Unloading of about 2,150 refugees, disbanding Provincial troops and their dependents with their possessions took about a month. A total of about 10,000 landed in that year.[6] It has been suggested that disembarking began on the 18th, coinciding with the time in which Loyalist Day is celebrated.

The New Brunswick Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association believes that it is important to mark the coming of the Loyalists to New Brunswick and the 18th May is a suitable time to celebrate the event.

Frances Morrisey UE
New Brunswick Branch UELAC - 2007


1. Eric L. Teed to Hon. W.W. Meldrum, 1 April 1968

2. Saint John Times Globe, May 1999.

3. Ibid, 11 Dec 1982.

4. D.G. Bell, Early Loyalist Saint John, Fredericton: New Ireland (1983), p.36.

5. J.W. Lawrence, Foot Prints, Saint John, McMillan (1883), p.8.

6. D.G. Bell, Early Loyalist Saint John, Fredericton: New Ireland (1983) p.18-21.