Loyalists (TORIES) American Loyalists, or "Tories" as their opponents called them, opposed the Revolution, and many took up arms against the rebels. What motivated the Loyalists? Most educated Americans, whether Loyalist or Revolutionary, accepted John Lockes theory of natural rights and limited government. Thus, the Loyalists criticized such British actions as the Stamp Act and the Coercive Acts. Loyalists wanted to pursue peaceful forms of protest because they believed that violence would give rise to mob rule or tyranny. They also believed that independence would mean the loss of economic benefits derived from membership in the British mercantile system.
Patriots Patriots (also known as American Whigs, Revolutionaries, Congress-Men or Rebels) was the name the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies, who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution, called themselves. Americans rejected taxes not imposed by their own legislatures. "No taxation without representation!" was their slogan—referring to the lack of representation in the British parliament.
Elijah ClarkeAmong the few heroes of theRevolutionary War from Georgia, ElijahClarke was the leader at the Battle ofKettle Creek.Clarkes name appears on a petition insupport of the kings government in1774. However, he subsequently joinedthe rebels and, as a militia captain
Elijah Clarke All of Georgia and most of South Carolina fell to the British in 1780. Elijah Clarke and thirty men passed through the Native American lands to continue the fight in the Carolinas. As a partisan, Clarke led frontier guerrillas in inflicting a heavy toll against the British and American Loyalists
Elijah Clarke After the war Clarke served in the state assembly from 1781 to 1790, on the commission of confiscated estates, and in the state constitutional convention of 1789. However, Clarke grew impatient with the failures of the national and state government to bring peace to the frontier and took matters into his own hands. He tried to form an independent republic, known today as the Trans-Oconee Republic, by seizing Creek lands on the Oconee frontier.
Austin Dabney Austin Dabney was a slave who became a private in the Georgia militia and fought against the British during the Revolutionary War (1775-83). He was the only African American to be granted land by the state of Georgia in recognition of his bravery and service during the Revolution and one of the few to receive a federal military pension.
Austin Dabney Born in Wake County, North Carolina, in the 1760s, Austin Dabney moved with his master, Richard Aycock, to Wilkes County, Georgia, in the late 1770s. In order to avoid military service himself, Aycock sent Dabney to join the Georgia militia as a substitute. Serving as an artilleryman under Elijah Clarke, Dabney is believed to have been the only black soldier to participate in the Battle of Kettle Creek He was severely wounded in the thigh during the fighting, and Giles Harris, a white soldier, took Dabney to his home to care for the wound. Dabney remembered Harriss kindness and worked for the Harris family for the rest of his life.
Nancy HartGeorgias most acclaimed female participant during theRevolutionary War (1775-83) was Nancy Hart. A devoutpatriot, Hart gained notoriety during the revolution for herdetermined efforts to rid the area of Tories, English soldiers,and British sympathizers. Her single-handed efforts againstTories and Indians in the Broad River frontier, as well as hercovert activities as a patriot spy, have become the stuff ofmyth, legend, and local folklore.
Georgia’s signers of theDeclaration of Independence
Button Gwinnett Button Gwinnett was one of three Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence. He served in Georgias colonial legislature, in the Second Continental Congress, and as president of Georgias Revolutionary Council of Safety. In Philadelphia, Gwinnett served on a number of committees and supported separation from England. He voted for independence in July, signed the Declaration of Independence in August (along with other Georgians George Walton and Lyman Hall), and soon afterward returned to Georgia, where he became embroiled in political controversy.
Button Gwinnett Gwinnett proposed a military foray into British East Florida, a defensive measure that he argued would secure Georgias southern border. McIntosh and his brother George (who had opposed Gwinnetts election as president and subsequently had been arrested for treason) condemned the scheme as politically motivated. McIntosh was furious. He publicly denounced Gwinnett in the harshest terms, and Gwinnett challenged him to a duel. Though each man shot the other, only Gwinnetts wound proved fatal. He died on May 19, 1777, and was buried in Savannahs Colonial Park Cemetery, though the exact location of his grave is unknown. Gwinnett County was named for him when it was established in 1818.
Lyman Hall Lyman Hall was one of three Georgians to sign the Declaration of Independence. He served as a representative to the Continental Congress and as governor of Georgia (1783-84). An active and early leader in the Revolutionary movement, he was elected to represent St. Johns Parish in the Second Continental Congress in 1775. He participated in debates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that year but did not vote, as he did not represent the entire colony. A year later, as an official representative of Georgia, Hall signed the Declaration
Lyman Hall InJanuary 1783 he was elected governor. During his administration he had to deal with a number of difficult issues, including confiscated estates, frontier problems with Loyalists and Indians, and a bankrupt and depleted treasury. One highlight, however, was the role he played in helping to establish the University of Georgia in 1785.
George Walton George Walton was one of three Georgians to sign the Declaration of Independence. He served in numerous capacities for the state of Georgia after the American Revolution. By the eve of the American Revolution he was one of the most successful lawyers in Georgia. Active in Georgias Revolutionary government, he was elected to the Provincial Congress and then became president of the Council of Safety in 1775. In 1776 he served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, where on July 4 he signed the Declaration
George Walton Returning to Savannah, Walton was captured during the 1778 British assault on the city, led by Archibald Campbell. After his exchange he returned to Georgia and was elected governor in 1779, having switched allegiances from the conservative to the radical faction. He served for two controversial months before reelection to Congress.
Battle Of Kettle CreekKettle Creek flows into the Little River near the Tyronecommunity in Wilkes County. It likely takes its namefrom a local fish trap, called a kittle.The most important event to occur at Kettle Creek,however, took place on Sunday, February 14, 1779. Onthat morning 600 American supporters of the Britishcause, popularly known as Loyalists or Tories,encamped atop a hill in a bend of the creek.
Battle of Kettle Creek The Battle of Kettle Creek provided the rebel cause with a victory, however small, in the midst of a string of much larger defeats. The British had expected thousands of loyal southerners to rally to their flag and restore the whole South to the king. After Kettle Creek, British leaders should have realized that practical Loyalist military support in the South, if it ever existed, had disappeared.
Siege of Savannah Governor Sir James Wright returned to Georgia on July 14, 1779, and announced the restoration of Georgia to the crown, with the privilege of exemption from taxation. Thus Georgia became the first, and ultimately the only one, of the thirteen states in rebellion to be restored to royal allegiance. Governor Wright had hardly settled to his duties when on September 3, 1779, a French fleet of twenty-five ships appeared unexpectedly off the Georgia coast.
Siege of Savannah Count Charles Henri dEstaing intended to oblige George Washington by stopping off on his way back to France to recapture Savannah. He disembarked his army of 4,000-5,000 men at Beaulieu on the Vernon River and proceeded to besiege Savannah.