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Fort George National Historic Site of Canada


Ethnic Makeup of the Loyalists

The loyal colonial troops (called Provincials in the British Army) and their Loyalist Native Allies, most of whom had lived in the northern 13 colonies before the war, were German, Scottish, Irish or English (direct, 1st or 2 nd generation immigrants). Amongst the Native allies were the Six Nations, including Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida and Tuscarora and their allied nations, the Delaware, Nanticokes, Tutelos and some Moravian converts. The support of the Natives was critical to British success in developing the new province and defending it. The Indian Department requested thousands of presents to be given to Native allies to maintain their support. The Natives were courted by both sides. [ see original document number 4 - Indian Council In Niagara ] The Western Outposts were held to maintain ties with Indian Nations that did not recognise the new political divisions created by the Treaty of Paris. Regardless of their political affiliation during the American Revolution (British or U.S.) some Indian nations refused to move from their ancestral homelands so many posts were maintained to keep trade and alliances with those nations (Oswego- Oneidas, Fort Niagara - Tuscaroras, Detroit- Western Tribes).

Some slaves (who were promised freedom for military service) and freemen served in the British Army and settled in the integrated Loyalist communities until the Emancipation Act when black communities settled in Nova Scotia and south western Ontario. Following the Emancipation Act of 1793 both freemen and slaves began to come north gradually in a route that later became the Underground Railroad.

Land Acquisition

In the previous 200 years, the French and British Governments had purchased or negotiated for small parcels of land from various tribes. As the demand for land for the Loyalists grew, the British negotiated for more. In Niagara, land plots were negotiated by Lieutenant Colonel John Butler whose troops (Butler's Rangers) settled the area.[ see original documents 5 and 6. -purchase of Niagara from the Alongkians ] York (Toronto) was purchased in 1787, by Deputy Surveyor General John Collins in conjunction with the superintendent & Inspector General for Indian Affairs Brigadier General Sir John Johnson, and was not settled until 1793.

Simcoe Map of Upper Canada 1803
Simcoe Map of Upper Canada 1803
© Archives of Ontario / C 279-0-0-0-34; AO 492