Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Years of research inevitably leads to the desire to graciously thank all of the people and institutions that make extended projects such as archive-intensive books possible. And just like the Loyalists I study, sincere apologies are often in order.
I would like to thank my fellow faculty at both James Madison University and the University of South Carolina Aiken for their collegiality. The Inter-library Loan departments at both institutions were also valuable all along the way. Reference staffers at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, the South Caroliniana Library, and the South Carolina Historical...

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A Note on Terms

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pp. xi-xii

Throughout this work I use the term Loyalist in preference to Tory to refer to people who were associated with the British cause during the American Revolution. I maintain the use of the word Tory in quotations to render the strong hatreds of the time intact. I further use Loyalist even though many of the people I talk about were probably not motivated by ideology at all. On the other side, unlike many recent historians, I have chosen to use Patriot to refer to those who supported the cause of American independence during the war. Many recent writers have used Whig instead so as to avoid suggesting that Loyalists were not themselves patriotic. While I agree that many Loyalists were brave, patriotic people, I have maintained the older use of Patriot in the service of clearly delineating the differences between the two sides without unduly emphasizing any specific political ideology such as the Whig cause might suggest. In fact strongly ideological South Carolinians were rare....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-11

Elite and ordinary, enslaved and free—when civil war came to South Carolina in the American Revolution, no one was spared. The elite Ball family of low-country South Carolina was split by the Revolution. While one Ball brother fought in the Patriot militia from 1775 on, his brother Elias Ball (of Comingtee) and cousin Elias Ball (of Wambaw) ultimately ended up espousing Loyalism. (The family began to call family members by the name of the plantations they owned so as to clearly separate so many relatives proudly carrying the same name.) Prominent Patriot leader Henry Laurens had married a Ball sister, keeping his side of the family firmly ensconced in the Patriot cause. Yet most of the family, like many others around them, instead became Loyalists out of...

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One The American Revolution: South Carolina’s First Civil War

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pp. 12-34

Patriot Thomas Robertson was using a tree for cover during the Battle of Kings Mountain when a Loyalist neighbor spied him and called out his name. Robertson instantly responded to the well-known voice from his childhood, whose familiarity overcame his careful, guarded soldier instincts. That familiarity pierced into his subconscious memory, leading him to the foolhardy step of poking his head out from behind his shelter. In that instant his Loyalist neighbor shot at him. Luckily for Robertson, the shot missed him. He used the opportunity to pay his former Loyalist neighbor back by killing him—and of course bragging about it to later generations. The Loyalist soldier, whose voice was so familiar as to pierce the consciousness of a hardened soldier, lay on the ground cursing the Patriot neighbor who had delivered the fatal blow....

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Two 1782: The New State Government Confronts Its Loyalists

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pp. 35-61

John Lewis Gervais, a member of the lowcountry elite, bitterly worried about his still-unknown losses from the war in the months before and after he joined other legislators to decide the question of Loyalist punishment. He was especially frustrated because British sequestration of estates during the war meant he had not laid eyes on his own property in years. Instead he relied on reports from friends as their wives and family members spread news (as well as rumors) about the state of such vital resources. He was worried that his entire estate had been singled out for destruction, because the Loyalists “have a great Spleen against me particularly”: “Horses, Cattle & Stock of all Sorts they have either destroyed or carried off from the plantation, in a Word they have...

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Three Hope for Reconciliation: How Loyalists Built Their Case for Reintegration

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pp. 62-96

The vast majority of white Loyalists dodged a bullet in 1782. Despite the intense anger of those who had suffered for the Revolutionary cause, the legislators had found it within themselves to be merciful and generous in crafting Loyalist punishment. While the total package of laws had the potential to punish thousands, in fact fewer than three hundred people found themselves subject to official legal notice. Any Loyalist not named in the confiscation or amercement acts would be subject only to the loss of their property and citizenship if the people in their own local community were unwilling to forgive the past and allow them to return to a peaceful life together. From the moment the ink began drying on the official announcements of the Confiscation Act in...

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Four Uneasy Neighbors to Trusted Friends: How Loyalists and Their Allies Built Reconciliation

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pp. 97-139

In the summer of 1783, Stephen Mazyck wrote to his anxious young nephew Peter Porcher, who was studying in England at the time. Porcher was understandably concerned because his father, like so many other South Carolinians, had elected to embrace publicly the Loyalist cause after the British invaded in order to preserve his property and had been branded a traitor and stripped of that property by the 1782 Confiscation Act. Porcher was no doubt worried about both his father and his own chances without the inheritance he was undoubtedly counting on, and his anxiety was palpable. But his uncle was able to reassure him that the situation was really much better than it seemed on the surface. He bluntly told young Porcher that his father “was fully determined to stay in this Country not withstanding his Estate was confiscated.” Philip...

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Five (Mis)Remembering the Founding Moment: We Are All Patriots Now

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pp. 140-168

To this day South Carolinians excel at deliberately forgetting inconvenient memories of the reality of their first civil war—the American Revolution. Tradition-minded women in South Carolina’s capital city who want to burnish their own white upper-middle class bona fides can join the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. That chapter is named in honor of Ann Pamela Cunningham, an antebellum South Carolinian who founded the Mount Vernon Ladies Association to save George Washington’s home from both the “polluted shades” of northern tourists who seemingly failed to understand true southern virtue and an increasingly industrialized and diverse America that some elite Americans found threateningly far away from Revolutionary-era virtue. At first glance this assertion of southern nationalism...

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Epilogue: A Walk through Historic Charleston

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pp. 169-174

Tourists in Charleston today often stroll down Archdale Street past the pale pink Victorian confection known as the Mills House Hotel. Perhaps they are looking for the award-wining she-crab soup around the corner at 82 Queen. But as they wander on, they amble by a late eighteenth-century home tastefully painted gray with muted blue hurricane shutters protecting the historic windows. The Philip Porcher house, once a statement that the Porcher family had truly arrived in the cosmopolitan transatlantic elite, is now a bed and breakfast for tourists who want to step back in time and experience a world they imagine as somehow both more elegant and more simple than theirs....

Notes

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pp. 175-190

Bibliography

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pp. 191-212

Index

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pp. 213-223