Loyalist Experience and Aftermath in Revolutionary Philadelphia

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Category: Humanities

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Casemate

ISBN: 9781955041102

RRP: $75.00


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New narratives on the lived experience of the Revolutionary War through five case studies exploring the spectrum of loyalist experiences in Revolutionary Philadelphia. The city of Philadelphia was occupied for nine months by the British during the American Revolution, and had a large loyalist population. The newly independent Pennsylvania legislature passed a series of laws early in the revolution which identified, condemned, and confiscated all property from loyalists in the state. Each loyalist, however, experienced different fates and persecution under the law and in the community. For example, some loyalists fled the city of Philadelphia and never returned, such as the Rankin and Allen families. They left their houses, material possessions and lives behind to start over in the British Empire. Loyalist Matthias Aspden lost everything and spent twenty years following the revolution attempting to return to his beloved city of Philadelphia, but he never succeeded. Others, like Samuel and Rebecca Shoemaker, attempted to subvert the law, maintain ownership of their property by way of their daughters, and did in fact reintegrate at the conclusion of the war. The Fergusons represent another story where Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson seized her husband’s absence as a moment for independence and sought sole ownership of their property. Through five stories and chapters, the richness of the loyalist experience in Philadelphia will be revealed, adding new narratives to the history of the American Revolution. AUTHOR: Kimberly Nath is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She holds a PhD in American History from the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on loyalism, property confiscation, and loyalist reintegration in the Revolutionary War period. Publications include Loyalism, Citizenship, American Identity: The Shoemaker Family in The American Revolution Reborn, eds. Michael Zuckerman and Patrick Spero (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) and Left Behind: Loyalist Women in Philadelphia during the American Revolution in Women in the American Revolution: Gender, Politics, and the Domestic World, ed. Barbara Oberg (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019). 10 b/w illustrations

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