British Supporters of the American Revolution, 1775-1783

November 2004
11 black and white illustrations
198 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843830115
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

British Supporters of the American Revolution, 1775-1783

The Role of the `Middling-Level' Activists

Sheldon S. Cohen

out of stock

America's Declaration of Independence, while endeavouring to justify a break with Great Britain, simultaneously proclaimed that the colonists had not been `wanting in attention to our British brethren', but that they had `been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity'. This overstatement has since been modified in comprehensive histories of the American Revolution. Gradually a more balanced portrait of British attitudes towards the conflict has emerged. In particular, studies of pro-American Britons have exemplified this fact by concentrating on only a small upper-class minority.

In contrast, this work focuses on five unrenowned men of Britain's `middling orders'. These individuals actively endeavoured to aid the American cause. Their efforts, often unlawful, brought them into contact with Benjamin Franklin, for whom they befriended rebel seamen confined in British gaols. Their stories - rendered here - open up new areas for study of the American War on this middling segment of Britain's social structure.

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Keywords: Modern History


An appealing and deeply human effort that expands our understanding of the complicated ways in which the American revolution touched the lives of individuals throughout the British world. PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE OF HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY
This warm-hearted account of five unsung heroes is based squarely on careful archival research and adds important details to our growing knowledge of the activities of British pro-Americans. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW
This is a welcome addition to the growing literature on British attitudes towards the American Revolution. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY
An original and important scholarly contribution to the study of the American Revolution. THE HISTORIAN

Author Bio

SHELDON S. COHEN is Professor of History at Loyola University, Chicago