Before and After: Loyalism, Virginia, and The American Revolution

For my final Clio I project, I chose to clear up a few questions I had from my MA thesis.  My thesis examined loyalists in Virginia during the American Revolution, specifically in the Williamsburg area.  After more research at the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library in Colonial Williamsburg, I gathered information on many of Virginia’s loyalists who submitted claims to the Loyalist Claims Commission after the war.  It was through these records that I was able to locate where in Virginia these Tories lived before the war began and where the were living when they submitted their final loyalist claim (between 1776-1789).

Via searches on Wikipedia, I gathered  the coordinates for 241 loyalists of the known 446.  The reasons why my numbers turned out lower than I anticipated was because many of these records are still scattered among other collections that I have yet to gain access to.  Additionally, many loyalists who took up arms with British regiments submitted their claims to the British War Office and not the Audit Office, which is where the most consolidated group of loyalist Claims records exist in surrounding archives.  However, while a nice chunk of these records have yet to be examined, the records that I have gained access to create an interesting image of Virginia and where its loyalist population existed throughout the war.

Network Analysis, Before and After the Rev

Network Analysis, Before and After the Rev

After collecting 482 coordinates (home before and after the Revolution), I uploaded my findings into Palladio.  What I discovered may not be “too” exciting for those who do not study loyalists, but to me these maps are priceless.  From counties that no longer exist, to understanding Virginia as a region during the Revolution, having the ability to actually see where these people lived before the war was eye opening.  As someone who is not native to Virginia, having a list of loyalists from Princess Anne County tells me nothing on a long listed Excel sheet.  Fortunately, mapping these coordinates shows me where on the map loyalists lived and it is much easier to digest when I can see dots explode from the eastern coast, to the middle counties, to the back country.

Virginia
This map also confirms and complicates some assumptions made about Virginia’s loyalists.  First, it is easy to see (as Adele Haste has argued) that a the largest population of loyalists lived around Norfolk and the Eastern Shore.  This population of merchant Scots still had a strong allegiance to the King and could not justify a war for separation with Great Britain. However, what this map complicates is the steady number of loyalists who begin popping up westward and trickling into the Virginia back country.  Historians have argued that loyalist populations barely existed beyond Norfolk.  This map shows steady populations in Williamsburg, around Richmond, and along the Maryland boarder.  After additional research for my dissertation, it will be interesting to see where these populations expand after I’ve examined Virginia’s loyalists who joined the British Army, where a lot of my records show recruitment of central Virginia as Cornwallis’s army headed towards Yorktown at the end of the war.

Another interesting assessment made by this map is the small dot in Pennsylvania.  Three of my loyalists claimed that they lived in “Fort Pitt, Virginia” which was contested territory before and during the Revolution between Virginia and Pennsylvania.  This little example of Virginia exceptionalism doesn’t argue much, but it is none-the-less an interesting lens into Virginian pride.

Tonight we dine in Virginia! (or Pennsylvania...it's what evs)

Tonight we dine in Virginia! (or Pennsylvania…it’s what evs)

Additionally, when examining the post-war residences of Virginia’s Tories, it is easy to see that the largest population of refugees made England their new home.  While London appears to be where loyalists flocked, it is important to note that London was the location of the Loyalist Claims Commission and many of these claims were handed into the office in person, under the assumption that a face-to-face interview would yield better profits from the Audit Office.  It is very likely that a lot of these London-ers were actually from surrounding provinces or other areas in England.

After the war world

GB

Arguments have also been made that a large population of Southern loyalists relocated to the Bahamas, what would eventually become the states of Mississippi and Louisiana, and Canada.  This map does show some migration to these areas, but not nearly to the extent that has been posed in other works.  However, Canada is still up for grabs and will most likely tell a different tale once I’ve collected information from military loyalists.  It is known that Simcoe brought many of his Queen’s Ranger with him to Canada after the war, and many of those who fought for the crown took post in British Forts existing in Canada.  My hypothesis is that the Canadian map, especially around Nova Scotia will become far more populated that it looks at the moment.

North America After War

Below (due to crazy embedding codes that still will not activate unless they are the bottom of the blog–Digital Historian in Progress, Oy Vey…), are more graphs from RAW that show these migrations. However, it is also important to note that there were a few issues when using RAW. For instance, when you examine the graphs at the bottom of the blog you will notice that some locations are listed twice (e.g. Nova Scotia and Norfolk). No matter how many times I fixed or re-entered my data, RAW would refuse to combine all the Norfolks as one, leaving a few random “Norfolk”s in the graph.

The biggest problems I faced with this project were almost exclusively with Palladio.  Since Palladio is not yet complete, there are no embedding codes available.  Instead of having an interactive map where people can look closer at my data, I have screen shots!  It’s not exactly perfect, but for a research project that is also still in progress, it will do for now.  However, outside of embed codes and screen shots, my data was also difficult to upload into the program.  After putting my coordinates into Palladio, every line had an error.  I could not figure out exactly what was wrong with my data since it was setup exactly the way it was supposed to appear according to tutorials.  However, after talking with a friend in class who was also doing a Palladio project, we realized that the colons in my headers were messing up every single line.  Instead of putting “Coordinates: ” at the top of a field, we erased to colon and voila! Every one of my lines could then be read by Palladio.  How one tiny little character like a colon could mess up an entire spreadsheet worth of data is completely beyond me, but it did! Additionally, it would have been nice to have the option to overlay a colonial era map to understand locations even more. The more visuals, the better!

With the colon = Angry Palladio

With the colon = Angry Palladio

Without colon = happy Palladio!

Without the colon = Happy Palladio!

In the end, I am very pleased with my final project and the information I have gained from it.  While I’m happy that I still have a few years before I am in the dissertation process, my graphs and maps show reveal that I have a nice start into understanding Virginia’s loyalists.  Now if I could just get a hold of all those war records…

Virginia 1VirginiaAccomack County, Virginia 4Accomack County, VirginiaAlexandria, Virgnia 2Alexandria, VirgniaAmherst County, Virginia 3Amherst County, VirginiaAugusta County, Virginia 1Augusta County, VirginiaBedford County, Virginia 1Bedford County, VirginiaBlandford, Virginia 1Blandford, VirginiaBoadways, Appomatock River, VA 1Boadways, Appomatock River, VABotetourt, Virginia 1Botetourt, VirginiaBuckingham, Goochland County, Virginia 1Buckingham, Goochland County, VirginiaCabin Point, Virginia 1Cabin Point, VirginiaCarter’s Run, Ferquere Co., VA 1Carter’s Run, Ferquere Co., VACharles City, Virginia 1Charles City, VirginiaCharles County, VA 2Charles County, VACharlotte County Virginia 1Charlotte County VirginiaDumfries, Virginia 2Dumfries, VirginiaEastern Shore, Northampton Co, Virginia 1Eastern Shore, Northampton Co, VirginiaFairfax County, Virginia 2Fairfax County, VirginiaFincastle County, Virginia 1Fincastle County, VirginiaFort Pitt, VA 2Fort Pitt, VAFredericksburg, Virginia 4Fredericksburg, VirginiaFredericksburg, Virginia 1Fredericksburg, VirginiaGloucester, Virginia 5Gloucester, VirginiaGoshen, Orange County, Virginia 1Goshen, Orange County, VirginiaGosport, Virginia 3Gosport, VirginiaHampton, Virginia 5Hampton, VirginiaHancock Town, Virginia 1Hancock Town, VirginiaHanover Town, King William County, Virginia 1Hanover Town, King William County, VirginiaHanover, Virginia 3Hanover, VirginiaHog Island, Virginia 1Hog Island, VirginiaIsle of Wight County, Virginia 1Isle of Wight County, VirginiaJames City, Virginia 1James City, VirginiaJames River, Virginia 2James River, VirginiaKemp’s Landing, Princess Ann Co, Virginia 3Kemp’s Landing, Princess Ann Co, VirginiaKingston, Gloucester Co, Virginia 4Kingston, Gloucester Co, VirginiaLower James River, Virginia 2Lower James River, VirginiaNansemond County, Virginia 4Nansemond County, VirginiaNansemond, Virginia 1Nansemond, VirginiaNewport, I.O.W, Co, Virginia 1Newport, I.O.W, Co, VirginiaNorfolk Virginia 1Norfolk VirginiaNorfolk, Virginia 68Norfolk, VirginiaNorthampton County, Virginia 1Northampton County, VirginiaNorthumberland County, Virginia 1Northumberland County, VirginiaPamemky River, Virginia 1Pamemky River, VirginiaPeter, VA 1Peter, VAPetersburg, Virginia 3Petersburg, VirginiaPort Royal, Caroline County, Virginia 1Port Royal, Caroline County, VirginiaPortsmouth, Virginia 14Portsmouth, VirginiaPortsmouth, Virginia 1Portsmouth, VirginiaPrince William County, Virginia 1Prince William County, VirginiaPrincess Anne County, Virginia 5Princess Anne County, VirginiaRappahannock River, Virginia 2Rappahannock River, VirginiaRichmond County, Virginia 1Richmond County, VirginiaRichmond, Virginia 1Richmond, VirginiaRockingham County, Virginia 1Rockingham County, VirginiaSmithfield, I.O.W. Co, VA 2Smithfield, I.O.W. Co, VASouth Farnham, Essex Co, Virginia 1South Farnham, Essex Co, VirginiaSpotsylvania County, Virginia 1Spotsylvania County, VirginiaSuffolk, VA 2Suffolk, VATappahannock, Virginia 1Tappahannock, VirginiaUrbana, Virginia 3Urbana, VirginiaVirginia 17VirginiaVirginia 4VirginiaWest Augusta County, Virginia 1West Augusta County, VirginiaWestover, Virginia 1Westover, VirginiaWilliamsburg, Virginia 29Williamsburg, VirginiaYorktown, Virginia 1Yorktown, VirginiaAnnan, Scotland 1Annan, ScotlandAnnapolis, Nova Scotia 1Annapolis, Nova ScotiaAry, Scotland 1Ary, ScotlandAuchinbreck 1AuchinbreckBarbados 1BarbadosBourough Westmorland 2Bourough WestmorlandBristol, England 1Bristol, EnglandCastletown, Ireland 1Castletown, IrelandCataroqui, Ontario 1Cataroqui, OntarioChatham, Kent 1Chatham, KentChelsea, England 1Chelsea, EnglandDigby, England 1Digby, EnglandEast Florida 1East FloridaEltham, Kent 1Eltham, KentEngland 11EnglandFredericton, New Brunswick 1Fredericton, New BrunswickGlasgow, Scotland 7Glasgow, ScotlandGreenock, Scotland 2Greenock, ScotlandGreenwich, England 1Greenwich, EnglandHalifax, Nova Scotia 5Halifax, Nova ScotiaIndia 2IndiaJamaica 1JamaicaJersey, England 1Jersey, EnglandKent 1KentLambeth, England 1Lambeth, EnglandLeicester,England 1Leicester,EnglandLiverpool 1LiverpoolLiverpool, England 3Liverpool, EnglandLondon, Egland 1London, EglandLondon, England 131London, EnglandLouth, Lincolnshire 1Louth, LincolnshireLowestoft, Suffolk 1Lowestoft, SuffolkMiddlesex, England 3Middlesex, EnglandNew Brunswick 2New BrunswickNew Providence, Bahamas 1New Providence, BahamasNew York 5New YorkNova Scotia 2Nova ScotiaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania 1Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPortsmouth Harbour 1Portsmouth HarbourScotland 2ScotlandShelburne, Nova Scotia 16Shelburne, Nova ScotiaSoho, Middlesex 1Soho, MiddlesexSouth Hampton, England 2South Hampton, EnglandSpitalfields, England 1Spitalfields, EnglandStaten Island, New York 1Staten Island, New YorkStranraer, Scotland 1Stranraer, ScotlandSurrey, England 3Surrey, EnglandTrym, Gloucestershire 1Trym, GloucestershireVirginia 3VirginiaWestminister, England 2Westminister, EnglandWhitehaven 1WhitehavenWhitehaven, England 1Whitehaven, EnglandWigtown, Scotland 2Wigtown, ScotlandWilliamsburg, Virginia 1Williamsburg, Virginia

Virginia 1VirginiaAccomack County, Virginia 4Accomack County, VirginiaAlexandria, Virgnia 2Alexandria, VirgniaAmherst County, Virginia 3Amherst County, VirginiaAugusta County, Virginia 1Augusta County, VirginiaBedford County, Virginia 1Bedford County, VirginiaBlandford, Virginia 1Blandford, VirginiaBoadways, Appomatock River, VA 1Boadways, Appomatock River, VABotetourt, Virginia 1Botetourt, VirginiaBuckingham, Goochland County, Virginia 1Buckingham, Goochland County, VirginiaCabin Point, Virginia 1Cabin Point, VirginiaCarter’s Run, Ferquere Co., VA 1Carter’s Run, Ferquere Co., VACharles City, Virginia 1Charles City, VirginiaCharles County, VA 2Charles County, VACharlotte County Virginia 1Charlotte County VirginiaDumfries, Virginia 2Dumfries, VirginiaEastern Shore, Northampton Co, Virginia 1Eastern Shore, Northampton Co, VirginiaFairfax County, Virginia 2Fairfax County, VirginiaFincastle County, Virginia 1Fincastle County, VirginiaFort Pitt, VA 2Fort Pitt, VAFredericksburg, Virginia 4Fredericksburg, VirginiaFredericksburg, Virginia 1Fredericksburg, VirginiaGloucester, Virginia 5Gloucester, VirginiaGoshen, Orange County, Virginia 1Goshen, Orange County, VirginiaGosport, Virginia 3Gosport, VirginiaHampton, Virginia 5Hampton, VirginiaHancock Town, Virginia 1Hancock Town, VirginiaHanover Town, King William County, Virginia 1Hanover Town, King William County, VirginiaHanover, Virginia 3Hanover, VirginiaHog Island, Virginia 1Hog Island, VirginiaIsle of Wight County, Virginia 1Isle of Wight County, VirginiaJames City, Virginia 1James City, VirginiaJames River, Virginia 2James River, VirginiaKemp’s Landing, Princess Ann Co, Virginia 3Kemp’s Landing, Princess Ann Co, VirginiaKingston, Gloucester Co, Virginia 4Kingston, Gloucester Co, VirginiaLower James River, Virginia 2Lower James River, VirginiaNansemond County, Virginia 4Nansemond County, VirginiaNansemond, Virginia 1Nansemond, VirginiaNewport, I.O.W, Co, Virginia 1Newport, I.O.W, Co, VirginiaNorfolk Virginia 1Norfolk VirginiaNorfolk, Virginia 68Norfolk, VirginiaNorthampton County, Virginia 1Northampton County, VirginiaNorthumberland County, Virginia 1Northumberland County, VirginiaPamemky River, Virginia 1Pamemky River, VirginiaPeter, VA 1Peter, VAPetersburg, Virginia 3Petersburg, VirginiaPort Royal, Caroline County, Virginia 1Port Royal, Caroline County, VirginiaPortsmouth, Virginia 14Portsmouth, VirginiaPortsmouth, Virginia 1Portsmouth, VirginiaPrince William County, Virginia 1Prince William County, VirginiaPrincess Anne County, Virginia 5Princess Anne County, VirginiaRappahannock River, Virginia 2Rappahannock River, VirginiaRichmond County, Virginia 1Richmond County, VirginiaRichmond, Virginia 1Richmond, VirginiaRockingham County, Virginia 1Rockingham County, VirginiaSmithfield, I.O.W. Co, VA 2Smithfield, I.O.W. Co, VASouth Farnham, Essex Co, Virginia 1South Farnham, Essex Co, VirginiaSpotsylvania County, Virginia 1Spotsylvania County, VirginiaSuffolk, VA 2Suffolk, VATappahannock, Virginia 1Tappahannock, VirginiaUrbana, Virginia 3Urbana, VirginiaVirginia 17VirginiaVirginia 4VirginiaWest Augusta County, Virginia 1West Augusta County, VirginiaWestover, Virginia 1Westover, VirginiaWilliamsburg, Virginia 29Williamsburg, VirginiaYorktown, Virginia 1Yorktown, VirginiaAnnan, Scotland 1Annan, ScotlandAnnapolis, Nova Scotia 1Annapolis, Nova ScotiaAry, Scotland 1Ary, ScotlandAuchinbreck 1AuchinbreckBarbados 1BarbadosBourough Westmorland 2Bourough WestmorlandBristol, England 1Bristol, EnglandCastletown, Ireland 1Castletown, IrelandCataroqui, Ontario 1Cataroqui, OntarioChatham, Kent 1Chatham, KentChelsea, England 1Chelsea, EnglandDigby, England 1Digby, EnglandEast Florida 1East FloridaEltham, Kent 1Eltham, KentEngland 11EnglandFredericton, New Brunswick 1Fredericton, New BrunswickGlasgow, Scotland 7Glasgow, ScotlandGreenock, Scotland 2Greenock, ScotlandGreenwich, England 1Greenwich, EnglandHalifax, Nova Scotia 5Halifax, Nova ScotiaIndia 2IndiaJamaica 1JamaicaJersey, England 1Jersey, EnglandKent 1KentLambeth, England 1Lambeth, EnglandLeicester,England 1Leicester,EnglandLiverpool 1LiverpoolLiverpool, England 3Liverpool, EnglandLondon, Egland 1London, EglandLondon, England 131London, EnglandLouth, Lincolnshire 1Louth, LincolnshireLowestoft, Suffolk 1Lowestoft, SuffolkMiddlesex, England 3Middlesex, EnglandNew Brunswick 2New BrunswickNew Providence, Bahamas 1New Providence, BahamasNew York 5New YorkNova Scotia 2Nova ScotiaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania 1Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPortsmouth Harbour 1Portsmouth HarbourScotland 2ScotlandShelburne, Nova Scotia 16Shelburne, Nova ScotiaSoho, Middlesex 1Soho, MiddlesexSouth Hampton, England 2South Hampton, EnglandSpitalfields, England 1Spitalfields, EnglandStaten Island, New York 1Staten Island, New YorkStranraer, Scotland 1Stranraer, ScotlandSurrey, England 3Surrey, EnglandTrym, Gloucestershire 1Trym, GloucestershireVirginia 3VirginiaWestminister, England 2Westminister, EnglandWhitehaven 1WhitehavenWhitehaven, England 1Whitehaven, EnglandWigtown, Scotland 2Wigtown, ScotlandWilliamsburg, Virginia 1Williamsburg, Virginia

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