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Appeal to the Tories

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

A writer in New York offers the following appeal to the loyal inhabitants of America:

My honest countrymen:—I presume you have, for the most part, read such articles of a treaty between France and the Congress, as the latter have been pleased to publish; and I doubt not you have read them with that virtuous indignation which must burn in every loyal breast. The declaration delivered by the French ambassador to our court, fully evinces the duplicity of conduct which has ever characterized that nation, and which our unhappy and deluded countrymen have, for four long years, invariably pursued. We are now arrived at a period of time which we before could not have thought in the power of fate to bring about. We have lived to see the offspring of Britain leagued in solemn alliance with her most inveterate foe. I blush while I think of it. I blush that the soil from whence I sprung should have given birth to such unnatural feuds, and that the sons of America should hold out the hand of friendship to ambitious France, while they are plunging their swords into their parent’s breast.

In this situation, we, her true-born children, enjoy the heartfelt satisfaction of having uniformly opposed, as far as was in our power, the rise and progress of rebellious folly; and our sufferings display our virtue. The Congress have again rejected the mild and equitable terms of peace held out to them by Parliament, and have resolved to proceed in the footsteps of blood, and the ruin of us all. It now becomes our duty to exert ourselves with an intrepidity of soul that will in the end pull down their high-blown pride. Britain is prepared to meet her enemies; her fleets are numerous—her armies disciplined, and bravely determined for the conflict. We, the friends to her government, are many in every province; we have tasted the sweets of it, and felt the pangs inflicted by usurpers. We must now lend a more helping hand than ever. You, who still groan under their tyranny, I am certain will not be backward. I have experienced your distresses, and I feel for you. Your counsels and assistance, however, as far as circumstances will admit, must not be wanting. To you who are driven from your once happy habitations by cruel persecution, little argument is necessary to urge you to every exertion. Forced from your families, your connections, and your property, you have here found a peaceful asylum. The soldiers of your King afford you that protection which was denied you by your inexorable neighbors. The calamity which has fallen upon you is very great, but the noble conviction of having acted an honest part, is far greater. You withstood the torrent with manly fortitude, till, overpowered by its force, you have been obliged to fly before it. Your loyalty is acknowledged, and your perseverance will insure success.

My fellow-citizens claim their share of merit. You saw, at the first, rebellion rearing its head, and you endeavored to lop it off. You stood firm in opposition to the measures pursued by the Congress, while every other city upon the continent was agreeing to their resolves. But unsupported at that time, you were obliged to yield. The imprisonment and captivity of your persons—the destruction of your dwellings and your effects, and the long train, of evils consequent upon them, conspire to raise in your breasts a justifiable revenge. Our King, our country, and constitutional government, are the causes which impel all of us to action, and every lover of them will lend his aid in their support. Let rebels seek unnatural alliance with perfidious Frenchmen! We boast a natural one with the brave, the generous Britons, founded upon the ties of consanguinity, and a reciprocity of language, of manners, and of religion!

I will not point out to you the dismal consequences which would ensue to themselves, as well as to us, should these blindfolded people obtain the independency they wish for, because I have not an idea of their establishing it. Every one who is acquainted with our strength, and their weakness, must know they cannot. Let not the war be protracted. Every day it continues, injures our country. It is not sufficient that we stand prepared to repel an attack, it is necessary that we should assist in some other way. A subscription for a bounty to be added to what is now allowed to recruits, would induce many more to enlist than do at present; and such, subscription, I am certain, would be very considerable, in this and the other places which are possessed by the King’s troops.

Nothing further need be urged; your generosity has been experienced upon other occasions, and certainly will on this. On this your safety, perhaps your very existence, depends, for you must look to Heaven—to the magnanimity of Britain, and to your own public spirit, for a return of that peace, security, and happiness you once enjoyed above every other people on earth.1


1 “A Citizen,” in Rivington’s Gazette, June 6.