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With the final words of the Declaration of Independence, the signatories famously pledged to one another their lives, their fortunes, and their “sacred Honor.” But what about those who made the opposite choice? By looking through the analytical lens of honor culture, Dishonored Americans offers an innovative assessment of the experience of Americans who made the fateful decision to remain loyal to the British Crown during and after the Revolution.
Loyalists, as Timothy Compeau explains, suffered a “political death” at the hands of American Patriots. A term drawn from eighteenth-century sources, ‘political death’ encompassed the legal punishments and ritualized dishonors Patriots used to defeat Loyalist public figures and discredit their counter-revolutionary vision for America. By highlighting this dynamic, Compeau makes a significant intervention in the long-standing debate over the social and cultural factors that motivated colonial Americans to choose sides in the conflict, narrating in compelling detail the severe consequences for once-respected gentlemen who were stripped of their rights, privileges, and power in Revolutionary America.
Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0813950465
About Timothy Compeau:
Timothy is an assistant professor of history at Huron University College in London, Ontario, Canada. I research the British Empire in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries with a current focus on honor culture and loyalism in the Age of Revolutions. My book Dishonored Americans: The Political Death of Loyalists in Revolutionary America will be published Fall 2023 by the University of Virginia Press. I am the project director of Loyalist Migrations in partnership with the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada.
I am fascinated by public perceptions and uses of the past and I teach several courses on public history and memory. I was the co-editor of Seeing the Past with Computers: Experiments with Augmented Reality and Computer Vision for History (University of Michigan Press, 2019).
I can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow me on Twitter @TimCompeau.