Guide to Sources for Research into Military History

The Loyalists in the American Revolution

Canada and the American Revolution, 1774-1783 : Gustave Lanctôt (Toronto : Clarke Irwin, 1967)

Provides a comprehensive account of the American forays into Canada during the Revolutionary War.  From the foreword: "Rather than an interpretative synthesis of the period, this study seeks to present a documentary and chronological narrative of events with their accompaniment of opposing complexes and collective psychological reactions."

 

Canada Invaded, 1775-1776 : George F. G. Stanley (Toronto : Samuel Stevens Hakkert, 1977)

The history of the invasion of Canada in 1775 -76 and the siege of Quebec. Illustrated with maps and contemporary prints, foot-noted, listings of officers in British regiments and Canadian militia participating This book provides a thorough overview, with a greater emphasis on the military side.

 

Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World : Maya Jasonoff (New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011)

Examines the last days of the Loyalists’ struggle and their even greater struggles during the Loyalist diaspora throughout the world.  From the dust jacket: "Through painstaking archival research and vivid storytelling, [...] historian Maya Jasanoff re-creates the journeys of ordinary individuals whose lives were overturned by extraordinary events."

 

The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution : Alan Taylor (New York : Knopf, 2006)

Describes the bitter warfare between Loyalists and Patriots chiefly in colonial New York. The Divided Ground treats Indians as vital players and not just as victimized pawns in the post-Revolutionary struggles to establish borders and grab property. This work is geographically centred around the Niagara region, and examines in great detail a number of specifice incidents and the people involveld.

 

King’s Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario : Mary Beacock Fryer (Toronto : Dundurn Press, 1980)

Fleshes out this struggle from the Loyalist perspective, examining specific Loyalist regiments and their Six Nation allies and the various battles in which they were engaged. The author gives perspective to the Royal Highland Emigrants (later the 84th foot), the King's Royal Regiment,, Butler's Rangers, the Loyal Rangers, and to the somewhat smaller and less documented King's Rangers.

 

The King's Royal Regiment of New York : Brigadier-General Ernest Cruikshank (Toronto : Ontario Historical Society, 1931)

Volume XXVII of the Ontario Historical Society Papers and Records includes an article by Ernest Cruikshank, in which he examines the role played by this Loyalist Regiment in the Northern theatre.

 

The Story of Butler's Rangers and the Settlement of Niagara : Brigadier-General Ernest Cruikshank (Welland : Lundy's Lane Historical Society, 1893)

From the preface: "Many [...] descendants of the brave men who formed Butler’s Rangers are now living in Ontario and other British Provinces. I hold that they have no reason to be ashamed of ancestors who were eminently distinguished by the none too common virtues of inalterable loyalty, unfailing courage, and unconquerable endurance, and who sacrificed everything for the cause which they had embraced. To them [...] I feel that no apology is necessary in presenting a narrative which will not be found unduly eulogistic. It has been my aim to make a fair statement of the facts by sifting the evidence on both sides. It may be said that these were [...] revengeful men, but it should be remembered that they lived in a stormy time, in a [...] revengeful world. Their story has never yet been told from a sympathetic, or even a fair-minded, point of view."

 

Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War : Thomas B. Allen (New York : Harper, 2010)

Gives a lively, fast-paced account of the Loyalists and their military endeavours during the Revolutionary War. This is a history of the Americans who chose to side with the British in the American Revolution that sheds important new light on the little-known figures whose lives were forever changed because they remained faithful to their mother country.

 

 

 

 



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