Loyalist Propaganda

  This newspaper excerpt from a 1779 edition of the New York Gazette concerns the loss of Stony Point where a company of LAR soldiers was captured. It is signed “Candidus” and chances are good that it was penned by loyalist author James "Candidus" Chalmers. In addition to the similarity in grammar, there are references to ancient military history, something Chalmers did many times in Plain Truth, a loyalist literary response to Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," written three years earlier.

  Chalmers, of course, was in New York City at the time and had the correct military knowledge of the British army. He may have been anxious to spread the word of "Candidus" (perhaps in the hope that his commanders would realize how brilliant a thinker he was). Regardless of who wrote it, it's a good example of loyalist editorials of the time.

"July 20.-- We have just seen a rebel newspaper which contains a very curious article relative to the late attack on Stony Point. The article is written in that turgid style, and in that little spirit of triumph, which distinguish almost all the rebel publications, on the acquisition of any trifling advantage; and is at once a just sample of the eloquence and temper of the rebels . . .

". . . Our writer goes on to extol the 'humanity of the rebels' and contrasts it with the 'savage barbarity of burning unguarded towns, deflowering defenceless women, &c.' As far as truth will permit, I am willing to believe, for the honour of America, that the rebels on this occasion relaxed in their usual barbarity. As it is the first instance, it should be recorded, though it would have lost nothing had it been expressed in less exaggerated terms.

"The rebels have hitherto been infamous for their wanton cruelties. Their brutal treatment of Governor Franklin, and many other persons of distinction whom I could mention, -- their barbarity to loyalists in general, and at this present hour -- hanging men for acting according to the dictates of conscience -- whipping men almost to death because they will not take up arms - - publicly whipping even women, whose husbands would not join the militia -- their confiscations, fines, and imprisonments; these things which they daily and indubitably practice, very ill agree with the character of humanity so lavishly bestowed on them by this writer. Nothing but a long, very long series of conduct the reverse of this can wipe off the infamy which they hereby incurred.

"The charge of 'deflowering defenceless women' is one of those deliberate, malicious falsehoods which are circulated by the rebels, purely to incense the inhabitants against the British troops. As to burning 'unguarded towns,' this writer should know that the King's troops burn no houses except public magazines, and those from which they are fired at, or otherwise annoyed. This was lately the case at Fairfield and Norwalk, the towns to which, I suppose, the author alludes; and when houses are thus converted into citadels, it is justifiable to burn them by the rules of war among all civilized nations.

"New Haven was in the possession of the King's troops, yet they did not burn it. The reason was, they were not fired at from the houses during their approach to, or retreat from, the town. Some of the inhabitants, however, did what would have justified the British troops in consigning it to the flames. Sentries placed to guard particular houses have been fired at from those very same houses, and killed. An officer of distinction took a prisoner who was on horseback, and had a gun; the prisoner apparently submitted, but watching for an opportunity, he discharged his gun at the officer, and wounded him. The wounded officer was carried into an adjoining house to have his wound dressed; the owner of the house seemed to be kind and attentive to the officer; the latter, in gratitude for his attention, ordered the soldiery, on his departure, to be particularly careful of the house, that no injuries should be offered to it. Yet, no sooner was the officer gone, and at the distance of fifty yards, than this very man discharged a loaded musket at him. These are samples of rebel humanity, which sweetly harmonize with our writer's sentiments.

"This writer, and all others of his stamp, should remember that the colonies are now in a state of revolt and rebellion against their rightful sovereign. The British legislation is unalterably determined to bring them back to their allegiance. The most generous overtures have been made to them -- a redress of grievances, an exemption from taxes, and a free trade, have been offered. These liberal terms would indubitably make America the happiest, freest, and most flourishing country in the world. But the American Congress have madly and insolently rejected these terms. The Congress, therefore, and their partisans, are justly chargeable, before God and the world, with all the calamities which America now suffers, and with all those other and greater calamities which it will probably hereafter suffer in the course of this unnatural contest."

"Candidus" in the New York Gazette, August 16, 1779.

Anti-Loyalist Propaganda

(aka: Non-Objective, Unbalanced History Lessons)

Anti-Loyalist Propaganda   They lost the war and, consequently, didn't have the advantage of writing the history books. They became the favorite catch-all for everything allegedly evil about the losing side. While millions of Canadians look to their loyalist ancestors with pride, that pride takes a bruising everytime an American picks up the tory-bashing foe hammer. The easy target of tories has continued into this century. No better example than the boys' comic book on the left. The tories, once again, are the true enemy, even more so than the British. (from 1923). And, please, don't even get started with that movie, "The Patriot."



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The Loyal American Regiment