The Loyalists

Sir John Johnson; King's Royal Regiment of New York. The Tory's day of judgement. Engraving by E. Tisdale in John Trumbull, M'Fingal, 1795. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Washington, D.C. Tarleton, Banastre. Painting (full length) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, ca. 1782.

Loyalists or "Tories" were American colonists who remained loyal to the British monarch during and after the American Revolution. It is estimated that 20 percent of the population in the American colonies were Loyalists and they were heavily concentrated in British controlled cities such as Philadelphia (1777), New York City (1776-83), Savannah (1778-83), and Charleston, SC (1780-82). Approximately 50,000 Loyalist soldiers served and participated in many engagements during the war. With the close of the American Revolution, most Loyalists fled to Canada and Britain. Uniforms and clothing were supplied by the British government and varied by unit, though some regiments purchased their own through private contractors. Several Loyalist regiments issued buttons, badges, and belt plates that were designed with the names of their units.

"I heartily wish every Tory was extirpated from America; they are continually, by secret means, undermining and injuring our cause". - Abigail Adams, Letter to John Adams, March 2, 1776