Cover image for Jonathan Sewall; odyssey of an American loyalist.
Jonathan Sewall; odyssey of an American loyalist.
Berkin, Carol.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, 1974.
Physical Description:
xi, 200 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Originally presented as the author's thesis, Columbia University.
Subject Term:
Format :


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E278.S48 B47 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E278.S48 B47 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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This study of Jonathan Sewall, an aristocratic Boston Loyalist, tells the compelling story of the passions and paradoxes of a country in the throes of the Revolution. Born into a bankrupt branch of a prominent Massachusetts family in 1728, Sewall was educated at Harvard and, after a brief stint teaching school, went into law. He developed a friendship with John Adams that survived the Revolutionary War personally but not politically. He thrived in his chosen profession taking up the art of the publicist in the service of his King. He wrote pamphlets, open letters, and newspapers columns under the pseudonyms of "Philanthrop" and "Philalethes." Sewell sought to avoid confrontation with his revolutionary friends and while remaining independent in his appointed posts, but was trapped in the political hierarch of colonial Massachusetts. Unnerved by the Boston Massacre, Sewall retired to the country in order to avoid prosecuting the British soldiers involved. When the Revolution began in earnest, Sewall took refuge in England, confident that a quick British victory would return him to Massachusetts. The last twenty years of his life were a sustained tragedy of being snubbed by the English, exhausted finances and declining physical and mental health.

Table of Contents

I The Legacy of Six Generations: Jonathan Sewall, 1728-1757p. 1
II The Life of the Provincial Lawyer, 1757-1767p. 10
III The Rewards of Loyalty, 1763-1768p. 24
IV Conflicting Loyalties, New Demands: The Struggle with the Government, 1768-1769p. 45
V Conflicting Loyalties, New Demands: The Struggle with the Community, 1768-1769p. 68
VI A Retreat from Conflict, 1770p. 77
VII In Defense of the Status Quo, 1768-1772p. 87
VIII Loyalty--Not Independence, 1774p. 94
IX The Causes and Cure of Popular Madness, 1775p. 106
X Waiting, London, 1775-1778p. 116
XI More Waiting, Bristol, 1778-1783p. 125
XII The Causes and Cure of Personal Madness, 1785-1787p. 133
XIII Permanent Retreat, 1787-1796p. 144
XIV Conclusion: A Man At Odds with His Timesp. 154
Notesp. 163
Bibliographyp. 183
Indexp. 197