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Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

Loyalists

About the Materials used to create this piece

This is not designed to be a definitive work on the War of 1812 but rather the synthesis of information in an easy to understand format. A number of sources were referred to from The Capital Years Niagara on the Lake 1792-1796 ", George Stanley's The War of 1812 - Land Operations, Ernest Cruikshank's The Battle of Fort George Edward Lossing's 1812 ", Wesley Turner's, War of 1812-the War that Both Sides Won, Bob Malcomson's Lords of the Lakes, and Carl Benn's The Iroquois in the War of 1812 ". Suffice to say that no two versions wholeheartedly agree with each other and as a result this package is a survey of some of what these authors have to say. As an example, each section has a time line, and a synopsis of major events compiled from several texts with the intent that this package is to create a good foundation (especially for those with little background on the subject). What is presented in this document is not all or everything that happened during the period covered, but rather as many easy tie-ins and basic information as is needed to understand the War of 1812.

The Loyalists

This information is designed to give a general understanding of the years leading up to the War of 1812 from an Upper Canadian standpoint. The War of 1812's origins are embedded in the Loyalist years 1776 - 1811 and much of the bitterness of the War of 1812 was a result of the treatment Loyalists received during the American revolution. To understand the conflict, the years before provide interesting clues as to why the War progressed as it did. For our purposes at Fort George much of the detailed information focuses on the Niagara region.

Vocabulary

Loyalist (Tory) - those who actively sought to keep the 13 colonies under British rule and governance.

Rebel (Patriot) - those inhabitants of the 13 colonies who rebelled against British rule and sought to form their own republic and government. (From a Canadian or British standpoint not a patriot.)

Western Outposts - those areas of the current U.S. (Mackinac, Detroit and Fort Niagara, Oswego, Oswegatchie (modern Ogdensburg), Carlton Island) that were British held and Loyalists settled until 1796 when the British relinquished them to the Americans as required by Jay's Treaty (1794).