Loyalists, the women and men who chose to stay loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, have been the subject of a resurgence of scholarly interest over the past decade. Many of the Loyalists moved to Canada as the U.S. Revolutionary War came to a close and a few others moved to England.
Previously dismissed as the losers in the conflict, scholars have turned their attention to those who separated themselves from their friends and neighbors and gave up their land and possessions when they chose to leave the new United States at the end of the American Revolution. The story of that difficult decision recorded in the Loyalist Claims Commission is one that has been largely overlooked since the end of the war.
The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William & Mary has awarded Benjamin Bankhurst, assistant professor of history at Shepherd University, and Kyle Roberts, associate professor of public history and new media and director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities at Loyola University Chicago, with a $5,000 Lapidus Digital Collections Fellowship for “The Maryland Loyalist Project.” The project is a collaboration between Bankhurst and Roberts, aiming to make the letters and petitions of British loyalists who fled the American Revolution housed in the British National Archives available in a digital archive.
You can read the full story in an article in the (Martinsburg, WV) Journal at: bit.ly/2XZSkB4.