The American Loyalists
Lorenzo Sabine (1803-77) worked as a trader, in customs and for the Treasury Department before he was elected to the United States Congress in 1852. This work, published in 1847, is a series of biographical sketches (some very short, others extensive) of the American Loyalists - those men and women who took the British side during the American Revolution. The alphabetically arranged biographies are preceded by an essay in which Sabine describes the background to the War of Independence, examining geographical and economic as well as political factors. He argues that the documentary evidence from the period demonstrates that the arguments in favour of independence at the time were practical, and not simply the ideologically driven desire for 'liberty' which the founding myth of the United States had since proclaimed. The work is a fascinating reminder that large numbers of Americans stayed loyal to the Crown in 1776.