The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

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British Supporters
British Supporters of the American Revolution
The Role of 'Middling Level' Activists

by Sheldon S. Cohen
Published by Boydell Press
February 2004

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  • Description from Boydell Press:
    America's Declaration of Independence, while endeavouring to justify a break with Great Britain, simultaneously proclaimed that the colonists had not been `wanting in attention to our British brethren', but that they had `been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity'. This overstatement has since been modified in comprehensive histories of the American Revolution. Gradually a more balanced portrait of British attitudes towards the conflict has emerged. In particular, studies of pro-American Britons have exemplified this fact by concentrating on only a small upper-class minority.

    In contrast, this work focuses on five unrenowned men of Britain's `middling orders'. These individuals actively endeavoured to aid the American cause. Their efforts, often unlawful, brought them into contact with Benjamin Franklin, for whom they befriended rebel seamen confined in British gaols. Their stories - rendered here - open up new areas for study of the American War on this middling segment of Britain's social structure.

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