Incivility in a Civil War

Loyalists, Tories, and Neutrals

The Other Revolutionaries
Stefan Bielinski

After more than a decade as the city and county clerk, Stephen De Lancey grimaced as he answered the door for Matthew Visscher and some other young zealots who had come to cart away his room full of official records on orders of the Albany Committee of Safety. A day earlier on June 18, 1776, he was one of six local men the committee had ordered to Connecticut for confinement. The thirty-eight-year-old son of New York's most prominent Huguenot family, this third-generation American had as strong a stake in the current events as anyone in the Albany community. A year earlier he had been elected and indeed had served as a member of the Albany committee of correspondence. But as resistance escalated into rebellion, De Lancey recoiled from the action and instead gravitated to the company of known Tories. In May, he had refused to sign the Association. Then he was accused of passing intelligence to the British through Sir John Johnson in the Mohawk Valley. After the June 4 incident at Cartwright's tavern, he was arrested and confined. Before the end of summer, he was part of the Tory cavalcade sent to Hartford. Freed and paroled at the end of the year, he fled to New York and accepted a commission in a New Jersey loyalist regiment. Captured and again imprisoned, he was exchanged, returned to New York, and finally left for Nova Scotia in 1783. Joined by his family, Stephen De Lancey was one of the hundreds of New York loyalists who never returned.1

John Stevenson was born in Albany -- the eldest son of the marriage of a garrison soldier-turned-merchant and the daughter of an Albany sheriff. By 1770, he had taken charge of the family's frontier trade that sent the Stevenson sons deep into the Indian country. At age thirty-five, he married young Magdalena Douw, whose father, mayor Volkert P. Douw, had worked closely with Stevenson's father -- the city treasurer. During the 1770s, John Stevenson continued to import metalware, opened a land office, and sought preferment from a royal government of which he inherently felt himself a part. These feelings were well-known. In 1766, his Albany neighbors forced this obvious anglophile to swear that he would not accept an appointment as stamp tax collector. But ten years later, he had settled down on upper State Street where he was building a grand new home across from St. Peter's Church. However, his ascendancy was nipped when under pressure by the Albany committee of safety, he declared that he was a subject of the King of Great Britain. John Stevenson was an American loyalist. Banished to Boston, he managed to return and to hedge his position - using the Douw family to buffer potentially harsh treatment at the hands of the revolutionaries. Although he was one of those ordered out of New York State in 1783, John Stevenson did not leave and was able to re-establish himself in Albany after the war. Manufacturer and investor, he was a principal in the creation of the new Albany. Without an urgent need to oppose the revolutionaries, this Albany native was able to survive the struggle and to prosper afterward.

Like many recently arrived Scots, Harry Munro's preference for the crown was never in doubt. Coming to America as chaplain of a Highlander regiment during the Seven Years War, by 1766 he had taken Anglican orders and was a missionary at Philipsburgh Manor when he took as his third wife Eva, the sister of lawyer John Jay. In 1768, he moved to Albany to become rector of St. Peter's Anglican Church and to serve as a missionary along the New York frontier. Over the next few years, Munro watched his Albany church become a gathering point for the community's British-ancestry population and also for those who identified with English ways. As tension with the British mounted, parish life at St. Peter's deteriorated and Munro spent more time at the Indian chapel at Caughnawaga. In 1775, he was serving as chaplain of the Tory jail in Albany. By 1776 he was a prisoner there. In August, Munro's application for a pass to go to the Jerseys and Philadelphia was denied as he was told that passes were for friends "to the Cause and Right of America" and that Munro did not qualify. Languishing in confinement, Munro finally escaped to the British. In 1778, he sailed for England and died in Scotland in 1801.

Because of a number of historical and logistical factors, the number of actual loyalist in Albany was small - fewer than fifty people and only a few percent of the community's householders. These were the obvious Tories. But they were not the only people alienated from the revolutionary cause. Non support came in many shades ranging from outright opposition to private reservation. Although most of Albany's overt loyalists might have preferred to ride out the conflict without getting involved, the revolutionaries sought to remove them from their positions of power and prominence and also to use their property and assets to further the American cause. Unlike the historical silence of most would-be neutrals, their toryism was well documented in the records of revolutionary organizations and in their post-war claims for compensation. Due to the relentless efforts of the Albany committee and of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies, those who might pose a threat to the crusade for American liberties were identified, isolated, and then removed. Early on, the Albany committee began what became a comprehensive program of "neutralizing" the so-called disaffected. It required those whose loyalty might be questioned to swear to series of associations, oaths, and tests designed to polarize the community into two camps - the so-called friends and enemies of liberty; required bonds and paroles for those who might pose a threat; confined and removed the most overt loyalists -- meaning actual incarceration in the Tory jail, relocation to New England, imprisonment in Kingston, or banishment to the British lines; and finally legitimized the use of their property in the struggle against the British. In Albany, this sometimes meant harsh treatment of kin and long-time neighbors as well as dealing with less endearing Tory newcomers. At the same time, not all loyalists were treated equally. A personalized examination of how the Albany revolutionaries dealt with those who would not support the crusade for American liberties helps illustrate the complexity and delicacy of the problem.


With the beginning of resistance activities during the winter of 1774-75, the committee of correspondence quickly found that a number of Albany people did not approve. In a face-to-face community whose lifeblood was interaction and where most people dealt with each other on a regular basis, contrary feelings were not easily concealed. Because city people often disagreed with their associates and kinsmen in the normal course of business, many of the so-called disaffected made little effort initially to mask their disinterest in opposing the royal government. After all, Albany people had spent the past hundred years adjusting to the sometimes-alien ways of the British. By the 1770s, most of them had accepted royal government and British trade and commerce as parameters of their lives. But after Lexington and Concord, the larger historical processes of the birth and development of a revolutionary movement in America began to take on consequences for non-supporters at the local level. As these individuals were identified as disaffected, the committee began tracking their activities. By mid-1775, most of those with Tory leanings were well known. Many of those people were vital members of the community - and their activities were monitored. Over the next two years, the committee followed by further distinguishing them, isolating them from the rest of the population, and then had them removed from the community entirely.

The Albany committee's initial task was simplified by the attrition of premonition. Even before the outbreak of hostilities in 1775, some city people understood that as conditions continued to deteriorate, their positions in the community might become untenable. Sensing a growing anti-British mood in the community, those who could left on their own. Most of these people were relatively recent arrivals - attracted to Albany by business opportunities since the end of the Seven Years War. Those without family ties and with access to frontier land moved out to where they might be less circumspect. Recent English émigré John Tunnicliff took his family and followers to the Unadilla Valley where they began a farming enterprise called "Butternuts." John Macomb, his son-in-law Francis Pfister, John Munro, and xxx retreated to their farms near Hoosic. George Wray founded a settlement at Fort Ann. Edward and Ebenezer Jessup joined another brother in starting a number of lumbering camps on the upper Hudson. Charles Folliet was able to lease land at Schaghticoke. Simon Johnson Myer moved down to rural Dutchess County. Merchant William Kane sought to spend more time in the Indian country. Others with stronger community ties like Henry Cuyler and the Van Schaacks moved out of the city and sought to avoid the issues.

Another group of pro-British newcomers moved or moved back to soon-to-be occupied New York City. Scottish brothers Alexander and James Robertson had published the first issue of the Albany Gazette in 1771. The Gazette provided Albany with a London perspective on current events and elevated chiefly British newcomers to the center of a regional commercial dialogue. However, the upriver region was not yet ready to support its own newspaper and the weekly tabloid lasted less than a year. But the Robertsons stayed on in Albany executing printing orders including an edition of the city's Laws and Ordinances. In 1773, they also joined with John Trumbull in a newspaper and printing venture out of Norwich, Connecticut. By 1775, the Robertsons were known as British sympathizers but were able to continue printing out of their Barracks Street shop - even turning out handbills and for the Albany Committee of Correspondence. One of the items they produced was a broadside of a Continental Congress resolve entitled "The Tory Act" which called on American patriots to treat these "well-meaning but uninformed people . . . with kindness and attention." Early in 1777, they were investigated by the committee regarding the printing of loyalist handbills. Although no evidence was found against them, neither brother would swear to his innocence and their situation in Albany continued to deteoriate. The more mobile James went into hiding and finally escaped to New York City. His older and invalided brother was not so fortunate. Alexander Robertson was imprisoned in the Tory jail where his servant was abused by the jailer, and finally sent to Kingston where he nearly died when the jail was burned by the British in October 1777. Through the efforts of his brother, Alexander Robertson was exchanged. Reunited in British-occupied New York, the Roberstons published the Royal American Gazette until they left for Nova Scotia at the end of the war.

Other major cities. (Benson, Hays, and Solomon) or to Montreal (Felix Graham) where the climate was less partisan. Thomas Barry? Staats Dyckman.

Still others vanished into the abyss created by a people in motion during a time of confusion. Without a war, these Tories might have been the architects of Albany's emergence from its colonial stage. Because of it, they had become casualties.

The most obvious of the remaining non-supporters were those who held position or property by virtue of their attachment to the royal government. Atop that list was Mayor Abraham C. Cuyler. This Albany native maintained his family's advantaged position by using his inheritance to import ironware and dry goods and to buy wilderness land. Alderman, militia captain, Reformed church member, his prominent Pearl Street house and Greenbush country home made him among the most visible Albany people. Plugged into the Anglo-American commercial network and connected to Sir William Johnson in the militia and judiciary, he was able to participate in a number of royal land patents. This great-grandson of a New Amsterdam tailor who moved to Albany after the heyday of the fur trade was one of many sons of New Netherland who had prospered under the British system.

However, Abraham C. Cuyler was one of only a few descendants of Albany's early settlers who sided with the British in the revolutionary struggle. His forebears had come to the community after its establishment and worked overtime to find advantage in a sagging fur trade. Unlike the Schuylers, Ten Broecks, and Wendells, the Cuylers had not accumulated great estates during the seventeenth century. Having few assets to protect from royal incursions, Abraham C. Cuyler and his brothers in particular found more advantage in following the British opportunity network and in working with the royal government. Such support had tangible rewards. Elevated to the mayoralty by Governor Tryon in 1770, twenty-eight year old Abraham C. Cuyler was the third family member anointed with what soon would become a dubious honor. Replacement of the charter government by a committee of correspondence and safety in 1775 undermined his position and this last royalist mayor was careful not to question committee actions. However, when the municipal government lapsed in March 1776, Cuyler did not follow the other city fathers onto the extra-legal Albany committee or into the Provincial Congress. He had sided with the British. By May, he had been identified as disaffected and implicated in a Tory ring. In June, he was at Cartwright's toasting the king's birthday. Consequently, he was arrested, his property sequestered, and he was imprisoned in Connecticut and then at Fishkill. He escaped to the British but made several trips to Albany to see his family. By the end of 1777, Janet Glen and their children had joined him in New York. Deprived of his property and condemned to death under the Act of Attainder in 1779, a destitute Cuyler sailed to England to seek relief. Granted an annuity, he returned to New York. After the peace treaty, he attempted to come home. This American Tory soon learned there was no place for him in the new Albany. Even though many of his kinsmen were prominent revolutionaries, he was unable to reclaim his Albany property. Shunned by the new and old people of his birthplace, Abraham C. Cuyler took his family to upper Canada, founded the town of Yorkfield, where he died in 1810.

Mayor Cuyler's three older brothers also stood out from most prominent traditional Albany families and also from the other Albany Cuylers. Before the war, Philip C. Cuyler relocated to his wife's hometown of Newport, Rhode Island where he became a prominent Tory. Hendrick married the daughter of JHL xxxx. And Cornelis married Ann Grant and followed her father's regiment back to England xxxxxxx.

Other members of Albany's pre-war establishment could not shake their identification with the British. Like Mayor Cuyler, they held positions by virtue of British appointments. Clerk Stephen De Lancey, Sheriff Henry Ten Eyck, Justice of the Peace John Munro, and postmaster Henry Van Schaack, and his successor, John Monier.

Middle-aged Monier married Thomas Sharp's daughter in 1763. By 1769, this recently arrived French-ancestry opportunist had been appointed to replace Henry Van Schaack as postmaster at Albany. Using his position to carve out a conductive role in colonial commerce - serving William Johnson and other frontier developers, Monier prospered and was able to acquire wilderness land on his own behalf. However, the war ruined all of his enterprises. In 1776, he confessed to being a "King's officer," was clapped in the Tory jail, and sent to Hartford. A year later, he had returned to Albany but refusing the oath of allegiance, he was ordered to the fleet prison in Kingston. Pleading that he was ill, he was allowed to convalesce in Schenectady and then removed to New York. By 1783, he was lobbying Canadian Governor Carleton for permission to take his family to England or Canada - claiming that he had suffered irreparable losses and that he had served the king faithfully for twenty-four years. An overt royalist who claimed to have served the British commissary from 1778 to 1782, Monier managed to survive the struggle and even to return to Albany - although no longer was he postmaster. He opened a lumberyard on his Lion Street property, which he found had not been confiscated. After his death a decade later, his widow was forced on to the city poor roll.

After the Seven Years War, importer John Munro let his new Market Street home to Wilhelmus Mancius and turned to developing his Hoosic valley farmlands. A visible supporter of the royal government, he had been a justice of the peace in eastern New York since the 1760s and had sought the sheriff's office in 1771. After that, he sailed to Scotland to secure importable commodities and to recruit settlers. Returning to America, this former soldier found his children growing up in a country no longer following a British settlement agenda. He was quickly identified as disaffected and was suspected of having accepted a commission in the King's army - a charge he vigorously denied. Finding no incriminating evidence among his Albany and Hoosic papers, the Albany committee moved cautiously by placing him on parole. By the following summer, he had broken parole, was imprisoned in the Tory jail, and then sent to Connecticut. After being returned to Albany, Munro and his family were sent to the British in New York where he declared that he had indeed been commissioned a captain in the King's Royal Regiment of New York. Sending Cornelia Brouwer and their children to protect the Hoosic property from vandals, John Munro joined the British army in Canada and led the raid on Ballston in October 1780. After the war, he returned to Hoosic but later relocated to Ontario where he died in 1800.

OTHER OLD ALBANY NATIVES: NN: Van Allen, Staats, Van Dyck, Henry Cuyler ANGLO: Hogan,

THOSE WHO STAYED/TOOK THE HEAT: (several married local girls) Monier, Dole, Robert Hoaksley came to America after the Seven Years War. By 1772, he was advertising his North End liquor store, distillery, ashery, and lumberyard in the Robertsons' newspaper. By that time, he had acquired a land in the Schoharie Valley and also owned the sloop Albany. In 1775, this emerging entrepreneur was elected to the committee of correspondence for Rensselaerswyck. But in June 1776, he was accused of providing information to the British, required to sign a new association, and then to post a large bond. That winter, he fled to Canada and his sloop and lumber were confiscated. Stripped of its rigging and sails, the Albany was used as a prison ship. With his family still at Albany, in 1777 Hoaksley joined John Burgoyne's invasion force serving as waggonmaster. Captured at Saratoga, he eventually joined his family in New York and finally returned to England.

Robert Hoaksley was one of several Albany loyalists who made their living from the carrying trade. The more recently arrived sloopers were identified early by the Albany committee sd potential security risks. With the outbreak of hostilities, the revolutionaries were faced with the dilemma of needing their services while fearing that their mobility and questionable loyalty might lead them to conduct business in violation of wartime trade restrictions. After the occupation of New York in the summer of 1776, they might also conduit strategic information and refugees south to the British. Europe-born Hoaksley, James Dole, William Gamble, and John Roff were suspected of such activities.

Roff had been a cornerstone of North End Albany's German-speaking community since the early 1760s. In 1775, this trader-shipper was carrying soldiers and supplies down the Hudson on orders of the Albany committee. A year later, he was denounced for wartime profiteering - sailing his own and other merchants' contraband cargoes to New York. After some difficulty, he was apprehended and sent to the Tory jail. Upon repenting his sins, Roff was reinstated as a "Friend to his Country." Late in 1777, his smallpox-ridden family was banished to the countryside where he was enrolled in the Rensselaerswyck militia. Although later fined for depreciating Continental currency, Roff caused no more trouble and posted good-behavior bonds for several local Germans. By war's end, the Roff clan had settled into a tanning enterprise along Foxes Creek.

Also suspected of disloyalty were Albany natives John Fryer, William Pemberton, xxx, and John Van Allen. Like Fryer, Pemberton was the son of a one-time garrison soldier and had been a major river carrier since the 1750s. Although his patronage came from Sir William Johnson and pro-British commercial interests in New York City, William Pemberton continued to make headway in upriver Albany -- purchasing a home and raising a family, signing the Sons of Liberty constitution in 1766, being appointed Albany jailer, and in 1775 receiving an unprecedented city lease contract for all three Albany docks. With the outbreak of hostilities, he continued to serve the Albany committee as jailer, provided firewood and custodial services, and was elected an officer in the city militia. Promoted to captain of the Albany Grenadier Company in January 1776, Pemberton surprised his neighbors by refusing to sign the required loyalty oath. A few months later, the jailer became a prisoner -- after turning the keys over to Samuel Stevenson, his former deputy. Pemberton's situation continued to deteriorate as he was condemned for harboring supplies intended for the British. He was banished to Connecticut, his Albany property sequestered, and his sloop -- now commanded by brother-in-law Nicholas Druly, was used to transport Tory prisoners. Paroled by Governor Trumbull late in the year, the Albany committee spoiled his repatriation -- confining him in the jail and sending him in irons to the fleet prison in Kingston. A year later, he was allowed to return home after espousing new faith in New York State. But in 1780, Captain Pemberton was implicated in a Tory escape ring and banished from his native city. His son, Jeremiah -- a Heldeberg farmer, also was arrested by the committee, carried dispatches for Burgoyne in 1777. Fleeing confinement, he became an ensign in Jessup's Loyal Americans and finally led the Pemberton family to exile in Nova Scotia.

Skipper John Van Allen was a fourth generation American and the son of a legendary Hudson River slooper. The partner of brother Barent and brother-in-law importer Abraham Lyle, Van Allen had prospered in pre-war commerce and trade. Understandably upset by British trade restrictions during the 1760s, he had signed the Sons of Liberty constitution in 1766. But unlike most of Albany's New Netherland-ancestry businessmen, over the next decade this bachelor constantly stood back from resistance activities and consequently found himself denounced as disaffected to the cause of America. Refusing to sign the Association, he was beached and confined to his house. Two years later, he was banished to New England and did not return until the end of the war. The severity of his punishment was mediated by Barent Van Allen, another bachelor who lived with John and their sister widow Janet Lyle in a Southside home. A sometime skipper himself, Barent had been the Albany-based administrator of their business. But he was a supporter of the crusade for American liberties -- serving as an officer in the city watch, conducting business with the committee, and continuing to sail after posting a bond.

Once the definitely disaffected skippers were removed from the river, the revolutionaries still had reason to monitor Albany's otherwise patriotic sailors fearing that they might violate trade restrictions for their own purposes. Barent Van Allen, Harmen Pruyn, xxx, and xxx were among the Albany skippers who were permitted to sail after posting hefty bonds.

Because they were among the most visible and most often-overheard members of the community, some of Albany's favorite tavern and innkeepers found themselves suspected of anti-American sentiments or pro-British activities. Their troubles began with the fact that most of them were perceived as outsiders. During the 1740s, frontier trader Richard Cartwright married the daughter of Albany's English schoolmaster and settled down to raise a family. By the end of the colonial wars, he had become a prominent wine merchant and contractor -- supplementing his business by operating what had become Albany's most popular tavern. Cartwright's "King's Arms" at the corner of Green and Beaver Streets offered food and drink, lodging, a mail drop, other services, and was a particular favorite of English-speaking neighbors, British soldiers, and provincial officials. Richard Cartwright was a pillar of Albany's large southside Anglo-friendly enclave. St. Peter's member, friend of William Johnson, and master of Albany's first masonic lodge, this London-born opportunist also would be among the first to be identified with British interests. But by 1775, Richard Cartwright had been America for almost forty years. He had succeeded by accommodating the diverse peoples of the region and by not alienating those who now were becoming revolutionaries. Indeed, the initial meetings of the Albany committee were held at his landmark inn. Earned stature kept him from trouble until he refused to sign an oath of allegience in May 1777. Threatened with removal, he finally acquiesced. Good behavior was rewarded with a pass for his son to emigrate to Canada in October. However, the following Spring, Cartwright again refused to sign the oath. This time his former neighbors and patrons ransacked his house. A month later, more militant Albany revolutionaries celebrated the King's birthday by beating him and destroying his belongings. That summer, he was ordered out of Albany and took his wife and their remaining almost grown children to Canada where he died in 1794. Fleeing Albany in 1777, eighteen-year-old Richard Cartwright, Jr. balanced the sadness of leaving loving parents and friends with a riddance of a place where "discord reigned . . . and anarchy had long prevailed." He made his way to Niagara where he married the daughter of a New Rochelle loyalist and was reunited with his sister -- the wife of a British soldier. The King's Arms in Albany was passed to surveyor/trader Archibald Campbell who used it more as a mercantile house. Cartwright's post-war petition for compensation revealed a more calculating side of his character when he claimed that his sole reason for remaining in Albany after the onset of trouble was to assist the friends of government and to provide information to the British. He claimed compensation for over 800 pounds used to sustain prisoners, send intelligence, help a condemned Walter Butler to escape from the Tory jail, and for personal damages he had suffered. Although John Johnson and others substantiated his assertions, these activities were unknown to the Albany committee that had permitted him to sell some of his effects before leaving for Canada.

Richard Cartwright was not the only Albany innkeeper suspected of disloyalty. Newcomer James Furnival opened a tavern above Pearl Street in the second ward where he entertained masonic brothers and boarders from nearby widow Regal's. Settling into the Albany community, in August 1778, Furnival and his wife Mary leased five lots on the Schenectady road. In November, he was accepted as bailsman for a British prisoner. But by the end of the year, this tavernkeeper had been charged with offering bounties for enlisting in the British army. He was denounced, arrested, and then paroled after posting a large bond on his own behalf. The Furnivals soon left Albany and his property reverted to the city corporation. OTHER TORY TAVERNKEEPERS.

Because their prosperity depended on their prominence, the city's Tory merchants could be obvious targets for anti-British measures. By the outbreak of the war, William Kane had settled in Albany. This middle-aged Scottish trader had married Elizabeth Dox of Watervliet and had developed an extensive client list in Albany, Schenectady, and in the West. Initially he was able to continue in business. Early in 1776, the Albany committee was persuaded by his request to continue trading in the Indian country. But a year later, he had been identified as suspicious and dangerous. Refusing to sing the oath of allegience, he was arrested and ordered to the fleet prison in Kingston. Again, he was able to convince the committee that he posed no threat and was allowed to remain in Albany -- although he soon relocated to his wife's family homesetad in Renssealerswyck where he continued his local trade.

GENERAL RANK AND FILE PEOPLE: After the skippers, tavernkeepers, and merchants -- whose business depended on accommodating differing political sentiments, and the young who might demonstrate patriotism through military service, some middle-aged rank-and-file city people were less obviously partisan. Nominal disaffection reached deeply into the mainstream city population as several dozen city people were called before the committee of correspondence or the commissioners on conspiracies to swear their loyalty. Non natives were the least well understood and were watched closely. Onetime soldier John Mc Kinsey had been been in the community since the end of the last war. He was one of a group of Scots who kept boarders and did odd jobs out of their leased place along the Schenectady road west of the core city. Suspected of toryism in 1776, Mc Kinsey was arrested, escaped from jail, was apprehended again, and finally released after swearing allegiance to the United States. He left Albany and his property was confiscated and sold.

Completing the list of local Tories was a mixed group of Albany natives. Richard Cartwright, Jr. was one of a number of young men who had become vocal opponents of the crusade for American liberties. Benjamin B. Hilton also was a son of a "Cheapside" innkeeper and his English-ancestry wife. Coming of age during the early 1770s, none of the sons were able to maintain "Hilton's" after the death of their father in 1774. Clerking for local lawyers, Benjamin pursued a legal career, and lived with his mother and siblings. That initiative took him to Schenectady where in May 1775 he was commissioned a lieutenant in a company of local workers to be sent to Fort Ticonderoga. Claiming neutrality, Hilton refused the appointment -- marking him for closer scrutiny by both the Albany and Schenectady committees. By early 1776, the patriots had intercepted a letter he had written to the royalist sheriff of Tryon County repudiating the American cause and containing misinformation planted by the revolutionaries. Confronted by the committee, young Hilton refused to sign the association. He was arrested, jailed, threatened with deportation, and finally placed on parole. However, he persisted in consorting with enemies of American liberties. After toasting the King's health and passing a tense summer at home, in November Benjamin Hilton broke parole and fled to the British lines. Peter Sharp (7015).


In the dead of winter in February 1783, thirty-one local people were named in the last proscriptive list drawn by the Albany County board of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies. Those individuals represented a final group who had refused to take the oath of allegiance, were judged to be of a neutral or equivocal character, and as a consequence were ordered banished to the enemy. The list included Albany residents Richard Cartwright, Dr. Henry Van Dyck, merchants James Dole, and John Stevenson. Except for tavernkeeper Cartwright who years earlier had taken his family to exile in upper Canada, these prominent Albanians were spared the ordeal of banishment. In these cases, the victorious Americans were unable to sustain animosity toward their kinsmen and neighbors who had refused to join in the crusade for American liberties. In fact, a large number of non supporters of the Revolution were able to re-establish themselves in the post-war community where they were joined by many others who had been outright opponents of the recently concluded War for Independence. (Monier, Banyar)

However, the make-up of the new Albany was seriously altered by the issue of allegiance to the war and political revolution. Many pre-war residents were no longer in Albany because of it. Some left on their own. Others were forced out. And others were forcibly removed. These included old-line families - many of which lost members to Revolution-related xxx. Some were like Abraham C. Cuyler, xxx, and xxx who felt compelled to strike off in entirely new directions. Others like the Van Schaacks, xxx, and xxx moved away from Albany - driven by xxx or xxx. Others like the Cartwrights, Stephen De Lancey, William Pemberton, Benjamin Hilton, Jr, and xxx severed deepening roots in the community and relocated. British-identified newcomers (Hoaksley, Gamble, xxx)

REMAINING NON SUPPORTERS: William Hogan Henry (C.?) Cuyler Henry Van Schaack - Peter too! Henry Beasley Staats Dyckman Thomas Lottridge - ferryman Jacob A. Lansing William Shepherd other Stevenson brothers (Charles, James) Thomas Swords poss NA John Van Allen - Ab Van Allen Henry Staats Henry Van Dyck Ahasaures Wendell - Henry Ten Eyck (sheriff) - Gysbert Fonda (3782) Gysbert G. Marselis - Harmen Pruyn - skipper

The Other Revolutionaries table of contents


This chapter is a half-done draft that has been added to the monograph in the service of further (but not final) accounting for if not explanation of the plight of a section of early Albany society and also in the hope that it's semi-public existence might induce the author to finish it!

These notes are in a state of flux as we are unsure about how far to go this this supplementary device.

1. CC, 17, 246, 402-6, 445, 457-60, 510, 1076. Grandson of Lieutenant Governors James De Lancey and Cadwallader Colden, Stephen De Lancey 1738-1809 (7805) benefitted from his close connection to New York's court party. He was a partner in a number of frontier land patents and had been named city recorder by Governor Tryon - historically placing him in line to become the next mayor of Albany. The royal governor's appointment of outsiders to city offices had annoyed Albany leaders since the beginning of municipal government in 1686. In turn, the city fathers often gave these insurgents a difficult time. De Lancey proved to be no friend of Albany interests as he was more inclined to prefer New York City and Sir William Johnson over his Albany neighbors. When he sought to practice law in 1767, he was forced to purchase the freedom of the city -- a legal requirement that was only selectively enforced. Charges against him appear in American Archives (4th series) 6:1073, in which he was royally denounced by the Albany committee. See also NYCD 8:480.

John Stevenson 1735-1810 (2244). Magdalena Douw Stevenson 1750-1817 (2152). James Stevenson 1697-1769 (3901).

Harry Munro c.1730-1801 (1033).

The Bicentennial of the American Revolution inspired and brought together an impressive collection of works on loyalists. Until then, analytical discussion of the non supporters in New York still relied heavily on Alexander C. Flick's Loyalism in New York During the American Revolution (New York, 1901). For a chronicle of loyalist literature to that time, see New York in the American Revolution: A Bibliography, compiled by Milton M. Klein (Albany, 1974), 72-76. Since then, a number of biographies (States Dyckman, Henry Ruiter) of individual loyalists and a two more general works, Leopold Launitz-Schurer, Jr., Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries: The Making of a Revolution in New York, 1765-1776 (New York, 1980) and Philip Ranlet, The New York Loyalists (Knoxville, TN, 1986), the most comprehensive recent treatment. However, the complex story of Albany's loyalists and Tories has yet to be told.

Settling on the western edge of the New York frontier, John Tunnicliff (1638) and John Tunnicliff, Jr. (1700) were suspected of royalist activities. While enroute to Albany to answer complaints against them, their settlement was destroyed by British and Indian raiders in 1778, CDDC, 212-76, 533, 539; CP :475, 5:415-18. Both Macomb (1059) and Pfister (1467) were suspected of recruiting for the British. Pfister joined Burgoyne's army and was killed at Bennington in 1777. Macomb was twice jailed in Albany but eventually escaped to Canada. He died in Detroit in 1796 but his son, Alexander, became a prominent land speculator after the war. In August 1775, John Munro (1526) was identified as a "captain in the King's service" - a charge he refuted by lying to the committee. English-born Wray (6945) spent some of the war in New York City. By 1780, he had abandoned Catharina Ten Broeck (17) and lived out his life in Washington County. Ebenezer Jessup (1051) raised and commanded a company of loyalist rangers and was condemned in the Act of Attainder. Edward (1132) served in his brother's regiment. Still not having decided whether to stay or go, as late as December 1775 they were deeded Albany pasture land. Both Jessup families fled and the brothers died in exile. Although Charles Folliet (8065) later was jailed for refusing to sign the Association and a family member was named in the Act of Attainder, perhaps his marriage to Mary Bloodgood (4834) saved him from more trouble. After the war, he received a land bounty right. Myer's (1523) family was patronized by the Rhinebeck branch of the Ten Broeck family. William Kane (2529). By 1773, Henry Cuyler (534) was building the "Vlie House" across the river. Compromised by the stamp tax incident of 1766, postmaster Henry Van Schaack (4036) returned to his native Kinderhook where his pro-British sympathies would be less of a problem. Joined by his brother - jurist Peter Van Schaack, the Van Schaacks were elected and served as conciliatory members of the Kinderhook committee of correspondence. But because they refused to sign the test, both suffered confinement and removal. However, their friendship with a number of prominent revolutionaries enabled them to return home and reestablish their careers after the war. See Memoirs of the Life of Henry Van Schaack and The Life of Peter Van Schaack LL.D, by their nephew Henry Cruger Van Schaack (various places and dates).

Alexander Robertson (1495); James Robertson (481). In 1784, they resumed publication of the Royal American Gazette in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Crippled and detioriating, Alexander died later that year and James returned to Edinburgh, Scotland where he died in 1816. Their story is told by Denis P. Brennan, "Open to All Parties: Alexander and James Robertson, Albany Printers, 1771-1777,) The Hudson Valley Regional Review (March 1993), 25-39. CC, 672-73, 787, 792. JPC 2:469. CP 2:524-25, 528, 547.

Pro British who left before war.

Abraham C. Cuyler (359). Charges against him were sent to authorities in Hartford, American Archives (4th series) 6:1072-73.

Monier (1636). Mary Sharp (7026) married Monier at age twenty-six. Probably childless, she died in Albany in 1802.

John Munro 1728-1800 (1526) was compensated for service in the King's Royal Regiment. Cornelia Brouwer Munro (467) died in Ontario in 1815.

Hoaksley (8472). Dole's (7874) marriage to Staats Van Santvoort's daughter Anna (6713) helped offset a negative association with Hoaksley's business in New York City. Dole (8149). As late as March 1777, former Johnson client Gamble (8227) was permitted to sail to Fishkill to petition for permission to join the British in New York, JPC 2:419. Lutheran Roff (1026) died in 1800 - patriarch of a large Albany family.

William Pemberton (420); Sarah Druly Pemberton (475); Nicholas Druly (7890). Jeremiah Pemberton (1496). Samuel Stevenson (505).

Pieter Van Allen 1702-49 (5632) also was the son of a skipper. John Van Allen 1734-98 (5623) had been an assistant alderman, city property holder and one of the activist advocates for the building of the city docks. Barent Van Allen 1738-99 (5605) was rewarded with a bounty right for service to the American cause. Ironically, Barent not John was the pre-war client of Sir William Johnson - often an indicator of loyalist leanings. Their sister was Janet Van Allen Lyle (5620).

The marriage of Cartwright (6508) and Hannah Beasley 1726-1795 (6509) produced eight children who had grown to adulthood by the onset of trouble. Although somewhat exaggerated, his compensation claim (PRO AO 13/11/C1) provides depth to his ordeal. Hannah's brother, Anglican churchwarden and shoemaker Henry Beasley (7286) -- a former watch member and collector of taxes, stayed behind tending the masonic lodge and collecting a postwar land bounty right. However, his son, Richard Beasley 1761-1842 (7292), joined the British commissary, later became a Canadian miller and trader, and was elected to the Ontario provincial assembly. Richard Cartwright, Jr. (6517); Elizabeth Cartwright Robisson (6513).

James Furnival (8149) found his belongings heavily taxed after his exposure as a British agent. Charlotte Roff Regal (1501).

William Kane 1732-1805 (2529) left an extensive account book which chronicles his business throughout this period, NYSL (copy at CAP office). Elizabeth Dox (551).

.ohn Mc Kinsey (aka Mc Kenzie, Mc Kinney, Mc Kinstry) (464).

Richard Cartwright, Jr. (6517); Benjamin B. Hilton (1876) married the daughter of a Hempstead, Long Island loyalist in 1779. In 1781, his name appeared on a list of enemies of the state. But this nephew of revolutionary stalwart John Price returned to Albany after the war.

"Return of the Persons banished at Albany," 8 February 1783, printed in CHM 2:364; see also CP 3:604-5. Richard Cartwright 1720-94 (6508); Van Dyck (832)


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