Saint John Globe - 1883-12-06

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A Loyalist’s Descendant on the Loyalist
(C. E. Knapp’s New York Letter in the Moncton Transcript)
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Well, the Centennial that opens here to-day is the last of those connected with the American revolution, of which there have been so many on each side of the lines. We had ours in New Brunswick, one in May and the other in October, and the later, I presume, will be our last. There was nothing that I know of in the expatriations of our ancestors, refugees or loyalists, worthy of a place in future history. I am the grandson of a loyalist who enlisted in the King’s army at the first call, who faced the music and only laid down his arms after the last shot was fired. He came to New Brunswick and had the moral courage to do two things, refuse to accept any recompense for the property he lost in this State of New York, and tell his descendants that his fellow loyalists and himself took the side of the King because they believed the fanatic rebels would be conquered in a few months if not in a few weeks, and that the loyalists would reap rich rewards when the rebellion was stamped out. It sounds nice, I know, in holiday speeches to compare the refugees who run away without fighting and the loyalists who left because their incensed countrymen would not allow them to stay to the Trojans, Pilgrims and Puritans, but time will wear off he pinchbeck of the history made by such speeches, and it will be admitted that the refugees were cowards, whose descendants now refuse to own them, and the loyalists were brave men, who fought with place, power and wealth, and life the dog in the fable, lost the substance deceived by the shadow. “I speak no treason and I wear no mask.” Our loyalist ancestry were neither gods nor demigods, but men “of life passions with ourselves,” only that and nothing more.