Political Cartoon: “Poor Old England endeavoring to reclaim his wicked American children”
Here is an example of the experiences faced by Loyalists living in the colonies. This letter describes the hardship faced by an entire family in Tryon County NY who remained loyal to the crown.RETRANSCRIPTION D’UNE LETTRE DE WILLIAM KENNEDY AU COLONEL ABRAHAM CYLER
Mountriall yr 6th November 1782
Those few lines are to let you know that I am very glad that you or so good a Kings subject should be put in head of the Loyalists whom some are fellow sufferers & some not. It is a thing now at present to be looked into who is loyal & who not and what they have suffered for their loyalty and what not. For my part I heard of your coming to this town by my not being acquainted with you in person made me not go to see you though. I was well acquainted with what you suffered for your loyalty.....and as for my part when you come to enquire into my character you will find that I have suffered my part from the beginning of the war for when you were confined in Albany and elsewhere I was confined in Johnstown so long that I had one pound and fifteen shillings to pay for the water I used. I got out after a while and In sometime after there where a party of Indians went from here to sacondagy comanded by Capt. Flaton who is now here. The rebels made an atempt to prove that I aided assisted & provisioned them. I was obliged to fly from my house the 5th June and kept myself secreted till the last Tuesday in 7ber when by the advice of my best friends I stood Tryall of my life in Johnstown where they had not sufficient prooff against me. I got clear. The year following there was a party of Indians broke out at Mayfield where they killed one Dunam & his son. The rebels aledged against me that I was the cause of it and that the said Indians come from Sr John Johnson to me with leters and to cary news or leters back from me how the country stood affected upon which there were beter than two hundred rebels come to bury the dead and took me prisoner and after to setle their minds they hung me up till they thought I was dead and then they cut me down and my wife being there she brought me back to my house on her back which was beter than a half a mile. In about a month after when they found I was alive and likely to get well they came and tore all the house to pieces and robed me of all the cloathes that was in the house which among the the rest they had thirteen lining shelts (sheets?). So next morning my wife and six small children were naked except what they lay in then I had a good many head of chatle and they warned me from my farm 7 miles where I remained under suspition & a bad character with them till they took & tryed one Harmonious Flock a Low Dutch man who is here now setler in Sr. Johnn Regt. & I for Life at the house of Margret Wemple at the Mohawk River where we were cleared of the fact yet very much suspected then. I remained so untill last October that is thirteen months ago when some Evill minded person who wanted to cary favour with the rebels informed them that I had sent upwards of a hundred men to Canada for the use of Sr John Johnson and likewise had leters backward & forward and that I was so crafty in it, it could not be proved against me yet the same person will doubtless appear as Loyalist upon which Colonell Merinus Willet sent a Gaurd and took me prisoner to fort plain or Conajohary where he erected a galows to hung me he could not get sufficient evidence against me though still he kept me prisoner the mean while Major Ross and Capt. Butler broke out with a party and burned severall houses at Warinsbush and fought the Rebels at Johnstown After they retracted I was sent prisoner to Albany where I remained prisner for near five months in Company of Mr Shepherd Bllor Chambers Swain and several others where we were not to get one penyworth of subsistance at the Country’s cost. Then Doctor Stringer & frind a Fisher & their other Confederates sent word up where I lived that I certainly would be hangd. Upon which Warins Bush peopel to make up for their loss took my chatles horses sadle bridle cloathing houshowld stuff and even my wife and childrens shirts shoes and stockings. Afterwards inspight of Stringer & his club Judge Morris got out Shepherd Bloor and I at one day and when I got out I entended to take the law of them for my efects but they soon put and end to that. They come with 48 men and warned me and several others at a Quarter of an hours warning to quit the Country upon which my wife was oblidged to leave her house with her six children and she bearfootd with her youngest child on her back when the snow was upwards of two foot deep.....and they would not allow her to take a loaf of bread out of the house You may very well judge Sr that I could not have much money neighther had I cloathes yet I was oblidged to find enough to fetch me and my wife and six children into Mountriall at my owen expenses I realy did expect and so did every gentleman and every poor man that was a good Subject between Canderhook & the German Flats that if ever It would be my turn to come to Canada I would surely be well dealt by. Yet I canot say that I receved a peny favour yet from ever a man in America and as I have no trade nor no money to begin with this is a hard place to live in I canot but be very thankfull to both Major Jesop & Mr Ducoine for their kindness to me yet the Bigest Rebel comes out of the country is beter used than the best subject you but enquire of Mr Stuarts Revce and of Mr Sanders Cambell and in short of all others that is called Loyalists wheather all and more that I write conserning Sufrence is not true which after due consideration I hope you will assist me in Justice what Lyes in yr power as I am Sr. Yr. most Humble and most obedt. Servant. Wm. Kennedy.