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Did American Loyalists Aid the British in the War of 1812

11/27/2014 • Ask Mr. History

Dear Sir:

This is not the first time I have asked you a question, I asked a question on Americans and the Philippine resistance which you answered, and I would like to thank you for that. Now I have a second question if that is allowed. Recently I have taken an interest in the Napoleonic Wars and the war of 1812. The question I have is were there any “underground” loyalists during the war of 1812—as in Loyalist stay behinds or stragglers who did not flee to Canada or other parts of the empire after Americans won independence from Britain? If so, did any of these Loyalists (if they existed) in the United States assist or join British forces?

Thank You

—Brandon

? ? ?

Dear Brandon,

As far as I know, all the Loyalists had been killed or run out of the country decades before the War of 1812. A few who had taken refuge in Canada may have fought in the war, but most Revolutionary War veterans were too old to be effective—such was certainly the case on the American side, with the poor performances of Brig. Gen. William Hull in 1812 and Maj. Gens. Wade Hampton and James Wilkinson in 1813.

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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