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Loyalist Exiles (1784-1799)

The Revolutionary War & Bay of Quinte Settlement

In 1775, discontent in Great Britain's New England colony turned to open rebellion. Loyalists who chose to remain faithful to the Crown, were drawn from about twenty percent of the population. Loyalists supported the British Regulars in an effort to end the rebellion through active service in provincial military units. Military units made up of able bodied men, husbands, and young boys, served in the King's Royal Regiment of New York, Jessup's Loyal Rangers, the King's Rangers, and Butler's Rangers. The Mohawks, under the leadership of Joseph Brant, also supported the British cause.

Efforts to end the rebellion ultimately failed, resulting in the creation of the United States. Thousands of Loyalist refugees were left to find new homes. Beginning in 1783, at the expense of the British Government, Loyalist families left many of their possessions and evacuated to British North America, some via the port at New York, and others trekking overland to the old Province of Quebec.

Several disbanded military regiments settled throughout the Bay of Quinte area. The Loyal Rangers were granted land in Ernestown Township, while the Second Battalion King's Royal Regiment of New York and the King's Rangers were settled in Fredericksburgh. The Royal Highland Emigrants and former German mercenaries located in Marysburgh and His Majesty's Loyal Mohawks in Tyendinaga. Adolphustown, the landing site for many Loyalists, was designated to two companies of civilian refugees known as Associated Loyalists.

The resettled Loyalists were faced with the daunting tasks of clearing the land, planting crops and building homes in an unfamiliar wilderness.

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