Prince Edward Island Loyalists

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The Abegweit Branch is the local branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada on Prince Edward Island. The Abegweit Branch, has existed for many years, meeting 4 times annually, and is looking for new members to carry on the traditions of the association, and to help us remember our UEL ancestors.

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History[edit | edit source]

Loyalists were American colonists who stayed loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War, often referred to as Tories, Royalists, or King's Men at the time. When their cause was defeated, about 15 percent of the Loyalists (65,000–70,000 people) fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or to British North America (now Canada). The southern Loyalists moved mostly to Florida, which had remained loyal to the Crown, and to British Caribbean possessions. Northern Loyalists largely migrated to Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. They called themselves United Empire Loyalists. Most were compensated with Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures. Historian Maya Jasanoff calculates about 2,000 went to Prince Edward Island.[1]

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. Governor Patterson dismissal in 1787, and his recall to London in 1789 dampened his brother's efforts, leading John to focus on his interests in the United States. Edmund Fanning, also a Loyalist exiled by the Revolution, took over as the second governor, serving until 1804. His tenure was more successful than Patterson's.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Loyalist (American Revolution)", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loyalist_(American_Revolution), accessed 2 November 2020.
  2. "Prince Edward Island", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Edward_Island#British_colony, accessed 2 November 2020.