Tuesday, 14 February 2012 10:17
This is an extract from the introduction to Chapter 10 of the historical novel ‘Bahama Saga’ by Peter Barratt published by Authorhouse in 2002.
At first there was little sympathy in North America for open revolt and, apart from royalist France, little encouragement from abroad either. But in the end the revolutionaries had their way and a radical but noble political experiment was begun. Many people in the American colonies who had been in government, the professions and agriculture (particularly the larger landowners) found themselves on the losing side after the Revolutionary War. They were branded by the victorious side as traitors and forced to leave the new republic for an uncertain future in Britain, Canada or the Caribbean.
Chapter 10 - Red, White and True Blue (1770-1800)
A Loyalist is someone who has his heart in England and his body
in America and whose neck should be stretched.
- Contemporary Rebel witticism
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Bahamas was to get caught up in a web of events which had their beginnings in the British colonies of the middle Atlantic Seaboard. These colonies decided at first to defy, then later to revolt, against the Mother Country. The event has been recorded with much extravagant and patriotic prose by the successful rebels but there was another poignant facet to the story which was played out in part in the small island colony of the Bahamas.
This account follows the fortunes of Doctor Benjamin Church, a New England Loyalist, who risked his life for the Crown but whose patriotic actions were uncovered by Massachusetts 'rebels' who forced him into exile.
In this story in ‘Bahama Saga’ he eventually makes his way to the Bahamas.
© Peter Barratt
Island Notes is contributed weekly by Peter Barratt, an architect/town planner formerly in charge of the development of Freeport, and author of a number of books including FREEPORT NOTEBOOK and GRAND BAHAMA. His books are available in Grand Bahama at Oasis drug store, the Rand Nature Centre, Bahamian Tings and the Garden of the Groves shops. In Nassau you can find his works at most bookshops on the island.
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