During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress, and some state governments (on their own initiative), issued privateering licenses, authorizing "legal piracy", to merchant captains in an effort to take prizes from the British Navy and Tory (Loyalist) privateers. This was done due to the relatively small number of commissioned American naval vessels and the pressing need for prisoner exchange. About 55,000 American seamen served aboard the privateers. They quickly sold their prizes, dividing their profits with the financier (persons or company) and the state (colony).

Cape Breton Island

Cape BretonCape Breton, Nova ScotiaC'''ape Breton Island
A number of United Empire Loyalists emigrated to the Canadian colonies, including Cape Breton. David Mathews, the former Mayor of New York City during the American Revolution, emigrated with his family to Cape Breton in 1783. He succeeded Macarmick as head of the colony and served from 1795 to 1798. From 1799 to 1807, the military commandant was John Despard, brother of Edward. An order forbidding the granting of land in Cape Breton, issued in 1763, was removed in 1784. The mineral rights to the island were given over to the Duke of York by an order-in-council.

Liverpool, Nova Scotia

LiverpoolTown of LiverpoolTownship of Liverpool
The town grew following the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) with the arrival of American colonial refugees known as Loyalists. During the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812, Liverpool financed and manned many privateer vessels which primarily targeted French vessels in the West Indies and American shipping off the Nova Scotia and New England coasts. The port was notable for such privateer vessels as the brig Rover and the schooner Liverpool Packet, mariners such as Joseph Barss, and ships' chandlers and merchants such as Enos Collins and Simeon Perkins.

Province of New York

New Yorkcolony of New Yorkcolonial New York
Loyalist refugees flooded into the city raising its population to 33,000. Prison ships in Wallabout Bay held a large proportion of American soldiers and sailors being held prisoner by the British, and was where more Americans died than in all of the battles of the war, combined. The British retained control of New York City until Evacuation Day in November 1783, which was commemorated long afterward. The governor of New York was royally appointed. The governor selected his Executive Council which served as the upper house. The governor and king had veto power over the assembly's bills. However, all bills were effective until royal disapproval had occurred which could take up to a year.

Prince Edward Island

PEPEISt. John's Island
During and after the American Revolutionary War, from 1776 to 1783, the colony's efforts to attract exiled Loyalist refugees from the rebellious American colonies met with some success. Walter Patterson's brother, John Patterson, one of the original grantees of land on the island, was a temporarily exiled Loyalist and led efforts to persuade others to come. The 1787 dismissal of Governor Patterson and his recall to London in 1789 dampened his brother's efforts, leading John to focus on his interests in the United States (one of John's sons, Commodore Daniel Patterson, became a noted United States Navy hero, and Daniel's son Rear Admiral Thomas H. Patterson also had a distinguished career).

78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot

78th Highlanders78th Regiment of Foot78th Foot
The 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot was a Highland Infantry Regiment of the Line, raised in 1793. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders to form the Seaforth Highlanders in 1881.

Machias, Maine

Machias is a town in and the county seat of Washington County in downeast Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 2,221. It is home to the University of Maine at Machias and Machias Valley Airport, a small public airport owned by the town. The word Machias roughly translates in Passamaquoddy as "bad little falls", a reference to the Machias River. Machias is best known as the site of the first naval battle of the American Revolution.

Castine, Maine

CastineMajabigwaduceNautilus Island and the Majabagaduce peninsula
At the end of the Revolutionary War, many American Loyalists in the area migrated eastward to the Canadian Maritimes, some towing their houses behind their boats. Subsequently, known as United Empire Loyalists, they crossed the newly established international boundary line of the St. Croix River and established St. Andrews, one of the oldest towns in New Brunswick. In addition, many soldiers of the 74th chose to be disbanded in St. Andrews (last muster May 24, 1784), and took up land grants there along with the Loyalists, rather than return to Britain.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint JohnSt. JohnSaint John, NB
Loyalist House. New Brunswick Black History Society. New Brunswick Museum. Old No. 2 Engine House Museum. Saint John Jewish Historical Museum. Saint John Floral Museum. Saint John Police Museum. Carleton Martello Tower. Chipman Hill. Fort Charnisay (also sometimes called Fort Menagoueche). Fort Howe. Fort La Tour. Imperial Theatre. Loyalist House. Number 2 Mechanics' Volunteer Company Engine House. Partridge Island Quarantine Station. Prince William Streetscape. Saint John City Market. Saint John County Courthouse. St. John's Anglican Stone Church. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Saint John Sea Dogs. The National Basketball League of Canada's Saint John Riptide.

The Maritimes

Maritime provincesMaritimeMaritimes
The most significant impact from this war was the settling of large numbers of Loyalist refugees in the region (34,000 to the 17,000 settlers already there), especially in Shelburne and Parrtown (Saint John). Following the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Loyalist settlers in what would become New Brunswick persuaded British administrators to split the Colony of Nova Scotia to create the new colony of New Brunswick in 1784. At the same time, another part of the Colony of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, was split off to become the Colony of Cape Breton Island. The Colony of St. John's Island was renamed to Prince Edward Island on November 29, 1798.

Lake Champlain

ChamplainlakeLake Champlain Campaign
Benedict Arnold shared the command with Allen, and in early May 1775, they captured Fort Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and the southern Loyalist settlement of Skenesborough. As a result of Allen’s offensive attack on the Champlain Valley in 1775, the American forces controlled the Lake Champlain waterway. The Continental Army realized the strategic advantage of controlling Lake Champlain, as it leads directly to the heart of Quebec. Immediately after taking Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the Americans began planning an attack on British Canada. The American siege of Quebec was a two-pronged assault and occurred throughout the winter of 1775–1776.


SorelSorel, QuebecSorel-Tracy, Quebec
The purchase was eventually made in 1781 and Sorel became a clearing house for the steady stream of Loyalist refugees from the south. A certain number of them settled in Sorel, forming the nucleus of the English population. Another addition was Sorel being selected as one of the stations for "Military Invalids", or “Outside Chelsea Pensioners" as they were also called. These old soldiers and their dependents, numbering several hundreds, were sent to Sorel under the medical care of Dr. Christopher Carter. The earliest efforts for the propagation of the Protestant religion in Canada were made in Sorel.

Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War

southern theatersouthern strategySouthern Campaign
The seizure by Loyalists of a shipment of gunpowder and ammunition intended for the Cherokee caused an escalation in tensions that led to the First Siege of Ninety Six in western South Carolina late November. Patriot recruiting was by then outstripping that of the Loyalists, and a major campaign (called the Snow Campaign due to unusually heavy snowfall) involving as many as 5,000 Patriots led by Colonel Richard Richardson succeeded in capturing or driving away most of the Loyalist leadership. Loyalists fled, either to East Florida or to the Cherokee lands. A faction of the Cherokee, known as the Chickamauga, rose up in support of the British and Loyalists in 1776.

Thomas Gage

General GageGageGeneral Thomas Gage
He supported the efforts of Loyalists to recover losses incurred when they were forced to leave the colonies, notably confirming the activities of Benjamin Church to further his widow's claims for compensation. He received visitors at Portland Place and at Firle, including Frederick Haldimand and Thomas Hutchinson. His health began to decline early in the 1780s. Gage died at Portland Place on 2 April 1787, and was buried in the family plot at Firle. His wife survived him by almost 37 years. His son Henry inherited the family title upon the death of Gage's brother William, and became one of the wealthiest men in England.

Black Nova Scotians

Black Nova ScotianAfrican Nova ScotianBlack
The community was the largest settlement of Black Loyalists and was the largest free settlement of Africans in North America in the 18th century. The community was named after British Brigadier General Samuel Birch, an official who assisted in the evacuation of Black Loyalists from New York. (Also named after the general was a much smaller settlement of Black Loyalists in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia called Birchtown. ) The two other significant Black Loyalist communities established in Nova Scotia were Brindley town (present-day Jordantown) and Tracadie. Birchtown was located near the larger town of Shelburne, with a majority white population.

Kingston, Ontario

KingstonKingston, Upper CanadaBarriefield
These requirements were considered ideal to settle the Loyalists. Many Loyalist refugees had at first settled on Carleton Island, and operated businesses there. When the Island was ceded to the United States after the Revolutionary War, these Loyalists, along with their businesses, relocated to Cataraqui. Notable Loyalists who settled in the Cataraqui area include Molly Brant (the sister of Six Nations leader Joseph Brant); businessman and political figure Richard Cartwright; John Stuart, a clergyman, missionary and educator who arrived in 1785; and militia captain Johan Jost Herkimer.

Battle of Sullivan's Island

defense of CharlestonattackFirst Siege of Charleston
He met with the royal governors of North and South Carolina, Josiah Martin and William Campbell, and learned that the recruited Scottish Loyalists had been defeated at Moore's Creek Bridge two weeks earlier. Clinton also received pleas for assistance from the royal governor of Georgia, James Wright, who had been arrested, and then escaped to a navy ship. Parker's fleet had an extremely difficult crossing. Battered by storms and high seas, the first ships of the fleet did not arrive at Cape Fear until April 18, and Cornwallis did not arrive until May 3.

Action of 21 July 1781

a naval engagementNaval battle of Louisbourganother off present-day Sydney
[[Military history of Nova Scotia#American Revolution|]]. American Revolution. Franco-American alliance. Military history of Nova Scotia.

Jonathan Eddy

. * Military history of Nova Scotia * Index to Royal Fencible Americans History Parks Canada "The History of Fort Beausejour" 1995. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, N.S. Exhibit: The History of H.M.S. Vulture. This book also contains Eddy's report of January 1777 as well as additional documents and reports. Clarke, Ernest; The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776; McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal & Kingston, 1995. ISBN: 0-7735-1867-3. History of Penobscot, Maine.

Amherst, Nova Scotia

AmherstTownship of AmherstTown of Amherst
These settlers were joined by United Empire Loyalists (Loyalists who fled the American colonies during the American Revolution). A mill was built on the current townsite, and the residents moved there to be closer to work. During the 19th century, Amherst became an important regional centre for shipbuilding and other services to outlying communities. An indication of the town's importance in Canadian history is seen with its four Fathers of Confederation: Edward B. Chandler, Robert B. Dickey, Jonathan McCully, and Sir Charles Tupper.

Military history of Canada

Canadian military historyCanadian militiaCanada's military history
To guard against such attacks, the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants) was garrisoned at forts around Atlantic Canada. Fort Edward (Nova Scotia) in Windsor became the headquarters to prevent a possible American land assault on Halifax from the Bay of Fundy. There was an American attack on Nova Scotia by land, the Battle of Fort Cumberland followed by the Siege of Saint John (1777). During the war, American privateers captured 225 vessels either leaving or arriving at Nova Scotia ports. In 1781, for example, as a result of the Franco-American alliance against Great Britain, there was a naval engagement with a French fleet at Sydney, Nova Scotia, near Spanish River, Cape Breton.

Gaspé, Quebec

GaspéGaspeTown of Gaspé
And in 1784, they were joined by many Loyalist settlers. From then on, Gaspé became an important commercial fishing centre, especially of cod. In 1804, its post office opened. In 1833 in Gaspé County there were only ten farmers, all in the Gaspé Bay area (of whom seven were also involved in the fishery), four whalers in Gaspé Bay, five shipbuilders (one a Jersey firm), one blacksmith, two lumber merchants, five shipowners (all of which were Jerseymen), eighteen fish merchants (of whom all but five were Jerseymen) and thirty-two major fishing establishments (of which sixteen were Jersey owned). Gaspé was incorporated as a village municipality in 1855.