THE SOUTHERN REVOLUTIONARY WAR FRONTIER:
THE LETTERS THOMAS TAYLOR, A
by Robert S. Davis
Senior Professor of History
Wallace State College
PO Box 687
Hanceville AL 35077-0687
The author acknowledges the help provided in this project
by Susan J. Motyka of the American Antiquarian Society; Rickie Brunner of the Alabama Department of
Archives and History; and the late Heard Robertson of Augusta, Georgia. This article began as a project
at the National Institute for Documentary Editing. A much earlier draft of this piece was published
as "A Georgia Loyalist's Perspective on the American
Revolution: The Letters of Dr. Thomas Taylor, 1776-1782," Georgia
Historical Quarterly 81 (Spring 1997): 118-38.
Of the thirteen colonies that revolted from Great Britain
Georgia had the highest percentage of Loyalists or supporters of the British cause among its population.
Subsidized by the British government, dependent upon the colonial administration for protection from an Indian
war, and served by one of the most popular of the colonial governors, Georgians had difficulty sympathizing
with a revolution. Even as late as 1774, many later Georgia leaders in the revolt joined hundreds of their
neighbors in signing petitions supporting the royal government and governor.
Because Georgia had a significant Loyalist population and
because the British army restored the colonial civil government in 1778-1779, Georgia had some body
literature by the Loyalists, the American supporters of the British government. These materials include
the printed memoirs of small farmer William Lee and of the upper class Elizabeth Lichtenstein
 the records of the restored colonial government; the
petitions to the royal governor; the claims filed by the Loyalists with the British government; and the
newspaper The Royal Georgia Gazette. However, Georgia did join
the war on the side of the rebels. The winners of the revolution preserved their own history almost
exclusively. They not only promoted their own, very biased and selective, history of the American
Revolution but made anything of the Loyalist animus.
Until now, no bibliography of the literature of the King's
Georgia supporters included the writings of Dr. Thomas Taylor. His surviving letters tell a very
opinionated but perceptive history of the revolution in loyalist Georgia from the view of a sympathetic
newcomer. Despite the setbacks suffered by the royal cause, he remained to bear witness to the end of the
How he came to Georgia and the means by which his letters
survive make for a curious tale. In September 1775, Scottish sea captain William Manson organized a
settlement of British indentured servants for a plantation he planned for the newly opened Ceded Lands of
Georgia. The servants largely came from Newcastle upon Tyne, the home of his friend and insurance broker
Henry Taylor. The latter likely persuaded Manson to take along twenty-two year old Dr. Thomas Taylor, his
relative (?) and a then resident of nearby Sunderland. The father of Thomas, also named Thomas, had died
only months before in a drowning at sea. Listing himself as a surgeon on the passenger list, Thomas later
claimed the then more prestigious title of physician.
 If this same Thomas Taylor attended the nearby
University of Edinburgh, in 1773-1774, however, he actually had less than one year of formal medical studies.
Baptized on November 26, 1752, Dr. Thomas Taylor was likely born in Alnwick, north of Newcastle, the son of
flax dresser and small wares dealer Thomas Taylor and his wife Isabel Bowmaker.
“Doctor” Taylor lived in the golden age of letter writing, when the postal system had evolved into a
communication system so efficient and reliable that men like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson could
carry on extensive correspondence for many years simply for pleasure and the exchange of ideas, even when
war cut off much of the communications between Great Britain and America.
Dr. Thomas Taylor's surviving letters are no literary masterpieces. He did, however, write lengthy
letters about his Georgia experiences to such leading English intellectuals as Reverend (later Bishop)
Thomas Percy, Reverend John Wesley, and George Berkeley, Jr.
 J. Morrison, presumably John Morrison, loaned the letters
he received from Taylor for publication in the Newcastle
Courant. His two surviving original letters may have been entrusted to someone at two different times
but never reached Taylor’s intended recepients. Many years later, the letters likely went on the
autograph market, explaining why no other original Taylor letters have so far turned up.
The Taylor letters located so far and reproduced below do
tell a story of politics, war, and high adventure in a new land. When Manson left Georgia in 1774, the
prosperous, stable, and loyal colony had recently acquired the Ceded Lands, some one and one half million
acres of land on its northwestern frontier with the neighboring Indians. When he and Taylor arrived in
December 1775, however, the rebels held the colony in firm control, with the royal governor under arrest.
The colony briefly withstood Indian attacks in the territory and soon after a British fleet attempted at
cannon point to force the rebelling province to sell rice for the King's troops in Boston.
Manson, to Taylor's displeasure, sought cooperation with the new
rebel authorities. While settling his affairs in the colony's capitol of Savannah, he sent Taylor with
the first of the servants to the Ceded Lands. The doctor and his party suffered from an unusual southern
snow storm in reaching the frontier near the Quaker settlement of Wrightsborough. However, he wrote
favorably of the land and of the loyalty of the Georgians, although he found the success of the rebels in
crushing opposition on the South Carolina frontier alarming.
 An indentured servant from a nearby settlement witnessed
the overwhelming power those same frontiersmen marshaled in neighboring South Carolina for the rebel
The Americans are Smart Industrous hardy people &
nothing. our people is only Like the New Negros that
comes out of the ships at first whin whin they
amongst them. I am Just returned from the Back
[of South Carolina] where I seed Eight Thousand men
arms all with Riffeld Barrill guns which they can
the Bigness of a Dollar Between Two & three Hundreds
yards Distance. the Little Boys not Bigger than
self has all thir guns & marches with thir Fathers
all thir Cry is Liberty or Death. Dear Godfather
all my Country people not to come here for the
Americans will Kill them Like Dear in the Woods &
will never see them. they can lie on thir Backs &
& fire & every time they Draw sight at any thing
are sure to Kill or Creple & they run in the
The British fleet seized some of Georgia's rice ships but
afterwards left the colony largely unmolested. Georgia joined the other rebelling colonies in declaring
independence in 1776; organized a state government in February 1777; and waged war with neighboring
British East Florida. Manson attempted to keep his settlement alive although his indentured servants,
some claiming mistreatment, abandoned him, as eventually did his wife and his brother. Even William
Manson finally gave up and moved to Augusta, Georgia, following local Indian attacks in the summer of
1777. Dr. Taylor left him in late September and reached British occupied Philadelphia, where he arrived
prior to November 9. By January 1778, Taylor's signature appeared as a witness in Manson's Georgia deeds.
By the following autumn, however, Taylor arrived in British occupied New York City, where he tried to
find passage back to England.
When a British invasion force from New York arrived at
Savannah in December 1778, Taylor came with them. The red coats invaded Georgia to establish a base from
which to begin the conquest and restoration to the Crown of all of the former colonies south of Maryland.
The Newcastle Courant published Taylor's glowing account of
the British capture of Savannah and the successful defense of the town from the combined armies of the
United States and France in September-October 1779. The doctor omitted, however, any mention of how the
military of the South Carolina rebels, with their Georgia allies, kept the King's forces and the King's
supporters largely confined to the protection of the British army in Savannah. Georgia's refugee rebel
state government at Augusta ordered Taylor arrested "he being a person, whose going at large, was
dangerous to the safety of the State."
Within a year, however, following the fall of Charleston
and the British military successes in South Carolina, Georgia received the distinction of becoming the
only American state ever conquered by a foreign power and reduced to colony status, complete with a
restored colonial governor and militia. The Georgia Loyalists even mimicked the rebels by forming their
own version of the rebel minutemen, an ancestor of today's United Empire Loyalists.
Taylor remained in Georgia to see the King's fortunes fall as they
had risen. By the summer of 1781, roving gangs of rebels and bandits, from Georgia, South Carolina, and
even today's Tennessee, controlled the countryside. The frontier Loyalists not put to death or forced to
flee to areas occupied by the British army or the Indians, found themselves besieged in Augusta at the
old stockade called Fort Grierson and the major new fortification named Fort Cornwallis. Taylor served as
surgeon for the Georgia Loyalists Provincial Battalion and also for the local loyalist militia at Fort
Grierson. When the latter fell to a rebel attack, Taylor and a few members of the garrison successfully
ran a gauntlet of bullets to Fort Cornwallis, only to have to surrender there with the garrison on June
5, 1781. A vengeful rebel killed Colonel James Grierson, the Loyalist militia commander, while a prisoner
of war. Taylor and the other Loyalists reached the British garrison at Savannah under armed
In the besieged Loyalist capitol of Georgia, Taylor married
Bellamy Johnston, daughter of prominent Georgia Loyalist Dr. Andrew Johnston and niece of James Johnston,
publisher of The Royal Georgia Gazette. Taylor thus became
related by marriage to later Loyalist memoirs writer Elizabeth Lichtenstein Johnston but also to rebel
Governor John Houstoun. Savannah surrendered to the rebels in June 1782. Dr. Thomas Taylor, with his wife
and in-laws, evacuated with the other Georgia Loyalists to neighboring British East
Before that province passed to Spain in 1783-1785, Taylor
and his new family removed to Jamaica, where he pursued his claim for losses against the British
government, became a small planter, and raised his two sons. His wife died there on December 16, 1788. On
December 8, 1791, the State of Georgia removed him from the state's banishment and confiscation acts. He
maintained at least some personal contacts there, although the doctor remained a resident of Rio Bueno,
Jamaica until his death late in 1802.
Letters of Dr. Thomas Taylor relating to his experiences in
Georgia appear below, with the salutations and closings omitted. Although spelling and capitalization
remain as in the letters, modern equivalents substitute for obsolete eighteenth century
[TO MR. MORRISON OF BIRTLEY WHITE HOUSE FROM SAVANNAH,
DECEMBER 16, 1775]
Since our arrival our people have got a notion that the
Provincials are ready to receive them with open arms, which makes them very unruly.
 Things all over America are now in the utmost confusion,
the people are mad or worse than mad. Indeed in this province two out of three are friends to government,
but as there is neither ships nor troops to protect them, they know it is in vain to oppose the current,
as the Carolina people are all in arms. The Governor here, as well as in the other provinces, is a mere
cypher; every thing is transacted by the Committee, composed of Barbers, Taylors, Cordwainers, &c.
whose insolence and pertness would raise any Englishman's indignation, for the better sort endeavor to
keep their own necks out of the halter, and make use of these fellows only as cats paws. I would not,
however, have you write your mind too freely to me about politics, as I know not who may intercept the
letter. Mr. Manson
 has been at Savannah, and with some difficulty got leave
from the [governing rebel] Committee to go up with his people, without being obliged to sign the
 (on account of his being a Quaker; as most others are
compelled to do.[)] A son of Jonas Brown, of Whitby, who last year settled upon the lands adjoining to
where we are going, being a warm stickler for Government, got several thousands in the Back Country
brought over to that interest; but about a month ago, a mob of about an hundred dissolute fellows
surrounded his house, with intention to tar and feather him; upon which he came out armed, and while he
was reasoning the case with them at the door, he was knocked down with the butt-end of a musquet, then
laid like a calf across a horse, and tied to a tree while yet insensible, and tarred and feathered. In a
few days he recovered, and found his way to Lord William Campbell,
 at Charles-Town, who recommended him to the Governors of
Georgia and Florida. He is now at Savannah, but is ordered by their High Mightiness to leave the Province in ten days.
 As to news from Boston, we have nothing farther than that
Gen. Gage's army is still blocked up there, and the people all along the coast are daily leaving the Sea
Port towns, for fear of the ships of war.
 The Congress at Philadelphia have put an entire stop to
importation and exportation from this day forward; but this is like the viper gnawing the
[TO J. MORRISON, BIRTLEY WHITE-HOUSE FROM WRIGHTSBOROUGH, 3
You will have heard ere this, that this province has
acceded to the resolutions of the Congress; but it was owing to the threats of the Carolina men that they
did it at all.
The bulk of the people hereabouts are friends to
Government, they grumble mightily at the exorbitant price of European commodities, and begin to see
thro' the Patriotism of the Merchants, who as soon as they got
in large stocks of goods consented to the Non-Importation, that they might get their own price for
The liberty men (so called) are in general most profoundly
ignorant of the merits of their cause. I find it very difficult to persuade many here, but what there are
as many liberty men in arms in England as in America.
A gentleman lately arrived from Pennsylvania assures me
that the common people there make no doubt of being assisted by the Dutch; for so they are taught to
believe by their superiors.
The newspapers here even improve upon your's in England, in
retailing the vilest lies about the King and Ministry.--Since my coming to this place, I have seen some
red-hot patriotic paragraphs, taken from the Newcastle Journal,
 inserted neat as imported in the American papers.
The committee men in this district are mightily cooled of
late in their zeal. As their last sitting only 5 of the 13 could be got to act.
Two days ago three Gentlemen called upon me, by way of
enquiring news from Old England; I soon found two of them were committee men, and I believe they left me
some what sicker of their cause than when they came.--One of them asked me, whether I thought, if [the British] Government got the better, they would take
any notice of the committee men? I answered, the most active amongst them might possibly smart for it. He
told me the Congress intended, unless matters were made up by March next, to declare their trade free to
any other European power. I told him that would little avail, while the Britain remained mistress of the
The frontier Indians are at present very quiet, only a few
stragglers of them are frequently pilfering horses; but their nation does not approve of such
[TO MR. MORRISON FROM GEORGIA, JANUARY 7,
The provincial Congress of South Carolina having laid an
heavy tax upon the people, to defray the expense of their military preparations, two Gentlemen in the
back parts of the province, named Fletcher and Cunningham raised a body of men, about 1200, to defend
their property. The liberty-men, in number 5000, immediately attacked and after some skirmishes dispersed
them, taking about 150 of them prisoners. This happened about 10 days ago. The prisoners they used with
great cruelty. The rest dare not return to their habitations; so the country all around is pillaged and
[TO REVEREND DOCTOR THOMAS PERCY FROM WRIGHTSBOROUGH,
JANUARY 13, 1776]
The very great obligations which I lie under to your
kindness renders me desirous of making all the Return in my Power, that of acknowledging
After a tedious Passage of near fourteen Weeks we arrived
at Savannah Decr. 12th. having lost only four Children in the Small Pox, out of ten who were infected
altho' at one Time during the Passage upwards of half our People were down in a Fever.
As we brought no Goods for Sale the Committee at Savannah
made no Objection to our Landing. After staying there a few Days I came forward with about half our
people (between forty & fifty). The Distance hither is about 160 miles. We were eight Nights upon the
Road, five of which we encamped out, part of the Time in Rain, Frost & Snow. The Country for ye.
first hundred Miles is a mere sandy Plain with frequent Swamps all covered with the long leaved Pine. As
you approach this Settlement the Land is much richer & diversified with Hills & Dales. The
Country too is more populous most of the Settlers having arriv'd within this eight years from the back
Parts of Pensylvania & Virginia. The Land here bears pretty good Wheat, Rice, Oats, Pease, Indian
Corn, Indigo, Cotton &c. Peaches are pretty plentifull but no other Sort of Fruit, merely (I believe)
for Want of Culture.
 The Woods here abouts consist of short leav'd Pine, Oak
Altho' this Province has acceded to the Resolutions of the
Congress yet the Majority of the People are Friends to Government. Indeed they are all amazingly
ignorant of the true State of Affairs few will believe but there are as many Liberty Men in Arms in
England as in America & they are mostly persuaded, the Dutch mean to assist them. Not one in fifty
has ever heard of Lord North's concilitory Motion, but they are taught to believe that ye Ministry have
vow'd Death & Destruction to the whole Continent. . . .
 I beg my Respects when opportunity offers to my good friend
P.S. We have just heard that Canada is reduc'd & the
Governor taken prisoner.
 Four of our People were debauch'd into the Provincial
Service at Savannah, but upon Application to the Council of Safety, they have promis'd that the officer
shall be disgraced & the Men restor'd, they being all indentured Servants.
[TO J. MORRISON FROM WRIGHTSBOROUGH, MARCH 22,
Since my last letter which I wrote to you from
 the country has been under almost perpetual alarms; several
ships of war have been occasionally at Savannah wanting provisions but which the congress refused to
supply them with for money; they accordingly took what came in their way upon the islands, near the mouth
of the river but have not yet attempted any violence upon the town. About a month ago the
 (who had been made a prisoner to his own house by order of
congress, some time before) withdrew on board one of the king's ships where he still
Soon after he withdrew an armed tender was sent up the
north channel of the river (which forms an island about 4 miles long opposite the town) to reconnoitre;
upon her making a feint of landing a skirmish ensued in which a gentleman's house was battered down and
two or three men wounded. All the women, children and valuable effects are removed from Savannah which is
filled with armed men, who live there in the true Liberty Stile, breaking into stores and knocking in
the heads of the rum punches etc.
[TO ? FROM SAVANNAH JANUARY 18, 1779]
I had the pleasure of writing to you by the September
packet from New York, and was sorry to hear of her being taken but it was of little consequence. I was
then in low spirits, seeing the inactive state of the army, and considering America forever lost to Great
Britain. Now I see some prospect of their being once more united, provided they follow up the blow--But
to proceed to the sudden change of government in this province: On the 29th ult. the King's troops landed
at Brewton's Plantation, two miles from this town, and began their march, which was ridiculously opposed
by a body of continentals and militia of bout 800; they marched without being fired upon, till they came
into the open field or the Trustee Gardens. Here the militia received the fire and gave way, the
Continentals fled with precepitation, a general run ensued, 83 fell and 390 were taken
 who commanded, ordered his regulars to cross Savannah
river, and such of the militia as would follow; the same orders were sent to Augusta for the Continental
troops to evacuate that place, and the whole province left to the King's troops, Sunbury excepted.
General Prevost with his army, marching from East Florida, invested the fort there, which surrendered
the 9th inst. with a large quantity of artillery, and 282 prisoners.
 The King's army are posted here, at Ebenezer, 25 miles from
hence, Abercorn 14, Mount Pleasent 50, and Hudson's Mills 70 and I should suppose by this time, they are
in possession of Augusta; so that in less than three weeks the province is reduced.
 The people have flocked to the different British posts,
have freely taken the oaths of allegiance, and many have joined the King's army, Thomas
 with 100 horsemen, Henry Sharp
 with some 200 horse and foot, and many others. The army is
just in motion for a general movement into Carolina; and I cannot doubt, but that Charles
 will be subdued in a few weeks, as great numbers of the
back country are ready to join.
[TO ? FROM SAVANNAH, October 22, 1779]
AFTER so complete a blockade as we have had here there six
weeks past, and with such a formidable fleet and army as we have been surrounded with, you will wonder to
hear that Count d'Estaing
 has been obliged to raise the siege and taken his leave of
us: He went on board his boat a few days since, and all his shattered army followed him, from Col.
 and neighbourhood. An eight and twenty gun French frigate
is however still in sight of the town, a little below Brownton's Plantation,
 with two Carolina galleys, and several small vessels, that
seem to be employed in watering the fleet. Ten frigates are at Tybee
 and the grand fleet, consisting of 23 or 24 sail of the
line, are in the offing; and if the wind that now prevails continues any time, they may remain longer
upon the coast than they would wish.
I must refer you to the account that will be published by
authority, for the minute particulars of this very important and very extraordinary siege.
 I will only say, that the General
 was summoned by Count d'Estaing only to surrender to the arms of the King of France the 16th of September. They broke ground the 24th, and
the 4th instant opened their bomb batteries in full force upon the town, which, with great guns, 12, 18
and 24 pounders, they kept almost incessantly upon us til Saturday the 9th instant, when they began their
attack upon our lines; the Count himself at the head of 3000 French, and a like number of continentals
and militia. The attack was apparently general, round the whole lines; but the grand force was at the
place called the Spring,
 at the end of the Common, on the high ground leading the
Western Road; it was our weak side; the redoubt in that quarter was assigned to the Carolina
 and they were most fortunately well assisted by a Captain
Taws, a brave man, with 25 of his company, who had the same redoubt assigned to them that morning. This
assistance, together with Captain Wickham
 at the head of the grenadiers, (who had great merit on this
occasion) Col. Hamilton at the head of the North Carolinians,
 and Col. Moore
 with part of the militia and some others, that no doubt be
all properly taken notice of in the Gazette account, had the whole brunt of the French grenadiers,
&c. &c. upon them. The affair lasted about two hours, when the enemy gave way, leaving behind
them such a number of dead and wounded, some in the ditches of the redoubt, and many upon the redoubt
itself, that, since the affair of Bunker's Hill, there has not been such slaughter in any one engagement
in America, since the first of this unhappy rebellion.
Count d'Estaing was himself wounded in two places; and it is confidently
said, and owned by their own officers, that their loss was not less than 2500 killed and wounded. This
account is just brought in by poor Mr Robert Bailie,
 who with some others, was taken prisoner at the Orphan
 in his way to St. John's River,
 on the first arrival of the French troops, and has been
detained by them ever since. The Americans confess they have lost 52 officers, but how many men is hard
to say. They made but a short stay after the morning of the 9th; and there is hardly one of them it is
said, now on this side Savannah River. The French under the command of Count Dillan
 kept in their lines, amusing us with the parade, as if they
meditated a new attack; but in reality to gathering to withdraw their artillery and embark their
Your friend Captain Moncrieffe
 has got, I may say, immortal honor on this occasion. There
were not above 8 or 10 guns mounted on the day of the summons on all the lines; and, in a few days, he
had not less than 80 or 90, great and small, borrowed from the shipping. The French officers have
complimented him highly upon his activity; they say his batteries rose upon them from day to day like
I have told you of the loss of the enemy at the attack of
our lines: but you will scarcely believe, that our loss altogether hardly comes up to 40 or 42 killed and
wounded. Poor Taws fell in defense of the redoubt under his charge;
 and my old and very worthy friend Capt.
 fell the day before in his redoubt, by a cannon-shot, while
he was talking with a friend: Poor fellow, he is very much lamented by every one.
Some few people of the town were killed with the
cannon-shot; but none of any note. The houses are much damaged: but, as we keep the ground, every other
loss will soon be forgot. 10,000 men they will tell you (with the present lines and spirit of the troops)
would make very little impression on them.
[TO REVEREND JOHN WESLEY FROM SAVANNAH FEBRUARY 28,
I receiv'd yours of June last from the Isle of Man only a
few Days ago. I am not quite certain weather I have wrote to you since my unfortunate journey up the
Country last Summer the particulars of which I will therefore recapitulate.
About the beginning of April last soon after the affair of
Guildford which was generally believ'd to have settled the Peace of the back Country)
 I set off for Augusta, having previously sent off by Water an
assortment of Medicines which I had just receiv'd & which cost me near f80 in London. Before I reach'd
Augusta I was inform'd that a Party of Rebels had a few Days before crossed the River & were spreading
 around however I happily arriv'd in Safety. Col.
 who commanded had detached a considerable part of his force to
escort several large Boats then on their Way from Savannah. The arrival of wh. he waited before he thought it
prudent to move [?] out. In the mean Time the Rebel party moving thro the Country without molestation
increas'd from 100 to 300 & then took post between him & the Boats so as to prevent a Junction.
Things were in this Situation when Gen: Green having oblig'd Lt. Rawdon to retreat to Monks Corner &
captured all the small Forts on the Congaree & Santee Rivers
 found himself at Liberty to detach Col. Lee towards Augusta who
arriving about the End of May immediately took possession of the small Post at Silver Bluff about 14 Miles
down the River where the Boats had been detain'd upwards of a fortnight. He there found a most seasonable
Supply for the Rebel Army consisting of the very Articles they were in the utmost want of, viz, Arms,
Ammunition, Rum, Salt, Saddles, Blankets, Medicines &c.
 Had Col. Brown had proper Information of the state of things in
Carolina he would certainly have destroy'd the Boats & brought up the small Escort to Augusta, which
could have been done with great Ease by a Night march but there appears to have been an unhappy deficiscy in
this Respect. Col. Lee immediately after this Success appear'd in Force at Augusta & having oblig'd Col:
 who commanded the loyal Militia to evacuate his Post about half
a Mile from Col. Brown's, he laid close Siege to that of the latter named Fort Cornwallis.
 In the abrupt retreat of Col. Grierson (in which we lost 16 men
kill'd several wounded & about 40 Prisoners) I had a very narrow Escape indeed, for which I trust I shall
always feel a proper sense of gratitude to my Master. After a close siege of 14 Days Col Brown was oblig'd to
surrender on the 5th of June. The whole Garrison were to be sent Prisoners on parole to Savannah, but the
very next Day at Noon Col. Grierson was basely murdered in the very midst of the rebel Troops: a sham Pursuit
was made for a few Minutes after the Murderer but he was permitted to escape.
 Col Lee indeed & his officers express'd abhorrence of the
Fact but to my certain knowledge he refus'd to prevent it, for that very Morning I went to see that gallant
unfortunate Man [Col. Grierson] & upon my carrying him a drink of Water some of the miscreants about
bestow'd on us both the bitter Curses; he told me that his Life was threatened & if not remov'd from the
Place where he then was he was certain the Threat would be executed he therefore begg'd me to represent the
matter thro' Col: Brown to Col: Lee which I did but in vain. It would transcend Belief were I to recount the
Murders committed by these Wretches upon the unhappy Tories [or Loyalists] all over the Country. The Patriots
at home may exclaim & with some Justice on the Impropriety of employing Indians, but their Cruelties ["at
least" is crossed out] in this Part of the Continent have been exceeded in Number at least four told by those
of the Rebels. Putting a Man to Death in cold Blood is very prettily nicknamed giving a Georgia
It were needless for me to mention the Desaster of York
 & subsequent Evacuation of Willmington [Wilmington, NC]
whereby many hundred Families of active Loyalists have been brought to utter ruin. Our situation in these two
Provinces is truely humiliating. Gen. Leslie
 with an army superior in Numbers is confined to Charles Town
Neck & James-Island. & here in Georgia Col. Clark
 with 1000 regular Troops & 500 or 600 refugee Militia
besides Inhabitants & Indians & Seamen is blocked up by Gen. Wayne
 with about 300 Men partly Militia. So great is our Terror that
we dont keep a Bridge standing within a mile of the Town that tho' the planting Season is at Hand there is no
prospect of any except upon a few Islands near the Town. The Country People unless something is done soon
(must to avoid perishing) return & throw themselves upon the mercy of the Rebels. Indeed we may truely
say "The Glory is departed." I weep to think of our Situation.
Perhaps they may yet be sensible at Home of the Importance of
the southern Colonies which Experience has shown may be effectually kept with half the force that lies idle
at New-York. Above all we want active indeftigable commanders that "have the Honor of the Country & the
good of the Service" at heart, such as Lord Cornwallis notwithstanding his misfortune (for I cannot think it
was his Fault) or particularly Ld. Rawdon
 the most promising officer that has been in this Country. But I
am so carried away by public affairs as almost to forget private. about three Months ago I was married to one
to whom I had been engaged for some time past,
 one who I doubt not will prove a Helpmate for me. I am
therefore more deeply interested in the Fate of this Country. May the Almighty soon disperse the Cloud that
at present looms over us & restore Peace once more in Zion! But that I fear is not yet near. A good old
Quaker up the Country used often to say to me there can be no Peace before these People are humbled &
truely less appearance of Religion cannot well be in any Country professing Christianity.
 This article expands upon “A Georgia Loyalist's
Perspective on the American Revolution: The Letters of Dr. Thomas Taylor, 1776-1782," Georgia Historical Quarterly 81 (spring 1997):
Kenneth Coleman, The American Revolution in Georgia
1763-1789 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1958), 3-4, 39, 43, 276-77; and Heard Robertson,
Loyalism in Revolutionary Georgia (Atlanta: Georgia
Bicentennial Commission, 1978), 19. This paper is an expansion of "A Georgia Loyalist's
Perspective on the American Revolution: The Letters of Dr. Thomas Taylor, 1776-1782," Georgia
Historical Quarterly 81 (1997): 118-38.
 Richard N. Blanco, comp.,
The American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Encyclopedia (New
York: Garland Publishing, 1993), 830-31, 918.
 Many of Georgia's Loyalist families
remained in the state or returned after the Revolution. However, to have ancestors who fought for the King
became a scandal that sometimes resulted in duels. See for example Kate Haynes Fort, Memoirs of the Fort and Fannin Families (Chattanooga: MacGowan &
Cooke, 1903), 17; and Jonathan Dean Sarris, "'Hellish Deeds. . . in a Christian Land': Southern Mountain
Communities at War, 1861-1865," (Ph. D. diss., University of Georgia, 1998), 34. As late as 1950, Edith
Duncan Johnston wrote a history of her prominent Houstoun and Johnston ancestors, The Houstouns of Georgia, without any mention of their loyalism. Until
their memoirs were recently reprinted, Loyalists William Lee and Elizabeth Lichtenstein Johnston had no
biographical information at the Georgia Archives, Morrow.
Robert S. Davis, Quaker Records in Georgia:
Wrightsborough 1772-1793 Friendsborough 1776-1777 (Augusta: Augusta Genealogical Society, 1986), 175,
177-78; list of William Manson's passengers and servants, Treasury Series T47/10, fos. 153-55, National
Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew; Thomas Taylor to John Wesley, October 21, 1774, Arminian Magazine 10 (April 1787): 215-16; Matriculation Books,
1774-1775, University of Edinburgh. No record has turned up connecting Dr. Thomas Taylor to Henry Taylor or either to Simon Taylor of Jamaica,
the famously wealthy sugar planter. All three of those men, however, had dealings with Scottish sea captain
William Mansion. Vincent Brown, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power
in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Cambridge, Ma., 2008), 21-22; Davis, Quaker Records in Georgia, 194-95. Henry Taylor left a memoir
The Principal Events in the Life of Henry Taylor of North
Shields (London: T. Appleby,
 International Genealogical Index,
British Isles, Genealogical Society of Utah, accessed through the website Familysearch.org; will of Thomas
Taylor, 1803, Public Record Office of Jamaica; Geoff Nicolson to author, 30 October 1995. A Thomas Taylor
of Alnwick, likely Dr. Thomas Taylor’s father, wrote to Lord Dartmouth, Secretary for the Colonies,
requesting a position. An associate of George Whitefield and John Welsey of the Great Awakening, he also
served at sea as an unpaid volunteer in putting down the Highland Rebellion of 1745; had sailed to the East
Indies and China with Henry Fletcher, a director of the East India Company; and did a one year tour of New
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. He urged the Secretary to consider wine and other exotic
commodities for places like the New York backcountry and for encouraging American manufactures. This
ThomasTaylor mentioned also fathering eleven boys, seven of who still lived as did his aged parents. Taylor
to William Legge Dartmouth, Auguist 21, 1772, Dartmouth Manuscripts, microfilm, David Library, Washington
 A search of the papers of these men,
located through Her Majesty's Commission on Historical Manuscripts, failed to identify additional letters
of Thomas Taylor. His connections with such important men may have been through his uncle James Bowmaker, a
close friend of Reverend John Wesley. His uncle (?) William
may have also associated with the Bishop Thomas Percy. Geoff Nicholson to author, May 30, 1997. Thomas
Percy came to visit Alnwick through his relationship with Hugh Percy, the Duke of Northumberland, see
Bertram H. Davis, Thomas Percy: a Scholar-Cleric in the Age of
Johnson (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989) , 30 n. 30, 142-43.
 Edward J. Cashin and Heard Robertson,
Augusta and the American Revolution: Events in the Georgia Back
Country 1773-1783 (Augusta: Richmond County Historical Society, 1975), 3-4, 11; Coleman, The American Revolution in Georgia, 69-70; and Newcastle Courant (Newcastle upon Tyne), hereafter cited as NC, 9
September 1775, p. 3, c. 4, 28 October 1775, p. 3, c. 1, 17 February 1776, p. 4, c.
 Davis, Quaker Records in Georgia, 181.
Harvey to Thomas Baikia, 30 December 1775, D2/385, Orkney County Library, Kirkwall,
 Ibid., 181-82,
184, 186; NC, 25 January 1777, p. 2, c. 1, p. 4, c. 3; Thomas Taylor to Mrs. Manson, 9 November 1777,
D2/9/15, Orkney County Library, Kirkwall, Scotland; and deeds, 6-7 January 1778, William Manson
Collection, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscripts Library, University of Georgia. Taylor's signature may
have been forged to the deeds. He may have actually stayed with the British forces when they
retreated from Philadelphia to New York. Manson later led a very controversial career in Georgia,
Jamaica, and Scotland. Davis, Quaker Records in Georgia,
187-96; and R. P. Fereday, The Orkney Balfours 1747-99
(Oxford: Tempus Repartvm, 1990), 107, 120-28, 219-20.
 Allen D. Candler,
comp., The Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia,
3 vols., (Atlanta: Franklin-Turner Company, 1908) 2: 183.
Loyalism in Revolutionary Georgia, 10-12; and "Georgia
Loyalists," The Sunny South (Atlanta), 28 October 1899, p.
8, c. 3-4.
 Cashin and
Robertson, Augusta and the American Revolution, 54-9; and
Murtie June Clark, Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the
Revolutionary War, 3 vols., (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1981), 1:
 Royal Georgia Gazette (Savannah), 13 December 1781, p. 1, c. 2;
Loyalist claim of Thomas Taylor, Audit Office Papers 13/87/246-50 and East Florida Claims Commission,
Treasury T77/17/5, National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew; Clark, Loyalists, 3: 385; and Edith Duncan Johnston, The Houstouns of Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press,
1950), 163; Thomas Taylor to John Wesley, November 1, 1782 and June 8, 1783, Arminian Magazine 13 (November 1790): 610-11 and 14 (May 1791):
 Candler, The Revolutionary Records, 3: 623-24; William Henry Siebert,
Loyalists in East Florida, 2 vols. (Deland, FL: Florida
Historical Society, 1929) 2: 362; Taylor to Bryan Edwards, 8 June 1791, Bryan Edwards Papers, C107,
Public Record Office of Jamaica; undated oath of allegiance, "Georgia Declaration of Independence" file, Keith Read Collection, Hargrett Rare Books and
Manuscripts Library; and will of Thomas Taylor, 1803, Public Record Office of
 NC, 24 January
1776, p. 4, c. 1-2. An abbreviated version of this article, reprinted from another British newspaper,
appears in Margaret Wheeler Willard, Letters of the American
Revolution 1774-1776 (1925; rep. ed., Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1968),
 Taylor means that
the Georgians encouraged Manson's indentured servants to abandon their contracts with
 William Manson (b.
27 May 1744, d. 24 January 1808), Orkney Island sea captain whose colonizing venture with indentured
servants brought Taylor to Georgia. Davis, Quaker Records in
Georgia, 175, 196.
became the last colony to comply with the Continental Association, an agreement of the First
Continental Congress to bar British imports, on 6 July 1775. Coleman, The American Revolution in Georgia, 49-50,
 Lord William
Campbell (d. 1778) was the newly appointed royal governor of South Carolina. Edward J. Cashin,
The King's Ranger: Thomas Brown and the American Revolution on
the Southern Frontier (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989), 235.
 Taylor refers to
rebel actions against Thomas Brown (b. 1750, d. 1825), later commander of the Loyalist King's
Carolina Rangers Battalion. Ibid.,
 The siege of the
British army under General Thomas Gates at Boston, Massachusetts, 19 April 1775-17 March 1776.
Blanco, The American Revolution,
 The editor of the
Newcastle Courant added at the end of the letter: "From
the above letter and other authentic accounts it appears, that so soon as the King's standard can be
set up in America, by a sufficient force to afford protection to the many well dissposed friends to
government, there will be a speedy end to this unnatural war without sheding of
 NC, 10 August
1776, p. 4, c. 3. A newspaper clipping of this article is now enclosed in Thomas Taylor to Thomas
Percy, 13 January 1776, Miscellaneous Collection, William L. Clements Library, University of
 The Newcastle Journal, another Newcastle upon Tyne newspaper, opposed
the war, in contrast to the Loyalist Newcastle Courant.
(See for example footnote 23 above.) Their opposition views are well illustrated in the articles from
Georgia that they published concerning the Battle of the Riceboats, supplied by persons connected
with the Manson venture. See Robert S. Davis, "Georgia Joins the Revolution: British Views of the
Battle of the Riceboats," Proceedings and Papers of the
Georgia Association of Historians 4 (1983): 111-12.
 The Georgia rebels
initially divided the colony into districts, each with a political committee and a military company.
Robert S. Davis, Jr., "The Invisible Soldiers: The Georgia Militia and the Siege of Savannah,"
Journal 25 (1991): 32.
 NC, 17 August
1776, p. 4, c. 3.
 A counter
revolution by 1,500 to 2,000 frontier Loyalists in South Carolina in November-December 1775,
organized by Thomas Fletcher and Robert Cunningham, was defeated and most of the leaders arrested in
what came to be known as the "Snow Campaign." Robert Stansbury Lambert, The Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution (Columbia:
University of South Carolina Press, 1987), 44-9.
 Taylor to Percy,
13 January 1776, Miscellaneous Collection, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. The
Walter R. Benjamin Company offered this letter for sale in 1933 and 1935. Helen Cripe and Diane
Campbell, American Manuscripts, 1763-1815: An Index to
Documents Described in Auction Records and Dealer's Catalogs (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources,
1977), 49, 70. No record survives on how it came to the Benjamin Company or to the Clements Library.
The Reverend Doctor Thomas Percy (b. 13 April 1729, d. 30 September 1811) served as Bishop of
Dromore. George Smith, Dictionary of National Biography,
22 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1882-1952) 15: 882-84.
 For similar
accounts of the Georgia back country see William Mylne, Travels in the Colonies in 1773-1775 Described in the Letters of
William Mylne, ed. Ted Ruddock (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993); and Robert S. Davis,
Jr., "Letters From St. Paul Parish," Richmond County
History 10 (1978): 19-35.
 Three paragraphs
of this letter are omitted here because they are duplicated in the previous
 Presumably Taylor
refers to Anglican Bishop and philosopher Dr. George Berkeley (b. 1733, d. 1795). Hugh James Rose,
New General Biographical Dictionary, 12 vols. (London:
Fellowes, 1846) 4: 130.
 Actually the
American invasion of Canada in 1775-1776 proved to be a victory for the British despite the temporary
occupation of Montreal by the Americans. Blanco, The American
 Shortly after
Manson's arrival in Savannah, six of his indentured servants were enlisted into the South Carolina
rebel forces by a Captain John Spencer. These same men later attacked a house where Manson stayed.
The Georgia Council of Safety did order the four men not recaptured in the unsuccessful storming of
the house to be returned to Manson. Davis, Quaker Records in
. NC, 17 August
1776, p. 3, c. 4.
 The village of
Wrightsborough, Georgia, in what is today McDuffie County, was founded by Quakers in 1769-1770. It
stood near the Friendsborough settlement established by William Manson in 1776. Davis, Quaker Records in Georgia, 6, 157-58, 177.
 Georgia's royal
governor, Sir James Wright (b. 1716, d. 1785), and his Council had been placed under house arrest by
the Georgia Council of Safety upon the arrival of British warships in January 1776. They escaped to
the fleet on 12 February. Coleman, The American Revolution in
 Taylor refers to
what has come to be called the Battle of the Rice Boats. On 2 March 1776, a British expeditionary
force from Boston seized ships laden with rice from Savannah harbor. Georgia's Council of Safety had refused to allow them to buy the
provisions. Harvey H. Jackson, "The Battle of the Riceboats: Georgia Joins the American Revolution,"
Quarterly 58 (1974): 229-43.
 NC, 6 March 1779,
p. 4, c. 4.
 Taylor here
describes the capture of Savannah, Georgia on 29 December 1778 by a British expeditionary force under
Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell. "Brewton's Plantation" was John Giradeau's plantation at
Brewton's Hill. The Trustees' Garden had been the site of Georgia's first agricultural experiment
station, when the colony was founded, but at that moment the site was occupied by an American fort.
Alexander A. Lawrence, "General Robert Howe and the British Capture of Savannah in 1778," Georgia Historical
Quarterly 36 (1952): 308.
 Major General
Robert Howe (b. 1732, d. 1786) commanded the rebel troops at Savannah. Blanco, The American Revolution,
 Major General
Augustin Prevost (b. 1723, d. 1786) commanded the British forces in East Florida that captured
Sunbury, Georgia and then linked up with Campbell's forces in Savannah. Davis, "The Invisible
 British and
Loyalist troops under Campbell did occupy Augusta from 31 January to 14 February 1779. For more on
this campaign and the places Taylor mentioned see John Wilson, Encounters on a March Through Georgia in 1779: The Maps and Memorandums
of John Wilson, Engineer, 71st Highlander Regiment, ed. Robert S. Davis, (Sylvania: Partridge
Pond Press, 1986).
 Fleming served as
a major in the Georgia Loyalist militia from 29 January 1779 to 11 July 1782. After the Revolution,
he moved to East Florida, where he died. Gregory Palmer, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution
(Westport, CT: Meckler Press, 1984), 280.
 Henry Sharp of
Burke County, Georgia, as a major in the Georgia Loyalist militia, fell in battle on 31 March 1779,
fighting the various units of South Carolina rebel militia sent to suppress the Georgia Loyalists in
the wake of the British invasion of 1778-1779. Robert S. Davis, Georgians in the Revolution: At Kettle Creek (Wilkes Co.) and Burke
County (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1986), 108-10.
The British under Prevost did make an unsuccessful attempt to
capture Charles Town, today's Charleston, South Carolina, in April-June 1779.
 NC, 24 December
1779, p. 4, c. 2-3.
 Charles Henri
Theodat, Comte d'Estaing (b. 1729, d. 1794) commanded a French fleet and army that, in conjunction
with the American army under Major General Benjamin Lincoln, unsuccessfully tried to capture Savannah from the British in
September-October 1779. Blanco, The American Revolution,
 Bonaventure, the
home of Loyalist John Mulryne, was pillaged by the French troops despite the presence of Mulryne's
wife. Alexander A. Lawrence, Storm Over Savannah: The Story of
the Count d'Estaing and the Siege of the Town in 1779 (Athens: University of Georgia Press,
1979), 124; and Benjamin Kennedy, ed., Muskets, Cannon Balls, & Bombs: Nine Narratives of the Siege of
Savannah in 1779 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), 116.
 The previously
mentioned John Giradeau plantation at Brewton's Hill.
 Tybee Island,
between Savannah and the ocean.
 For the official
British and other accounts of the Siege of Savannah, see Kennedy, Muskets, Cannon Balls, & Bombs.
 Taylor refers here
to the combined French and American attack upon the Loyalist troops defending the Spring Hill
redoubt, where the Central of Georgia Railroad shops now stand. Lawrence, Storm Over Savannah, 91.
 The brunt of the
unsuccessful French and American attack upon British occupied Savannah fell to fortifications
defended by Carolina and Georgia Loyalists, Americans fighting for the King. Ibid., 92.
 Lieutenant Thomas
Tawes, although a lieutenant in the 71st Highlanders Regiment, commanded Carolina Loyalists at
Savannah. Ibid., 92.
 Captain Wickham of
the 2nd Battalion of the 60th Grenadiers, is credited, with the previously mentioned Lt. Tawes, with
saving the Spring Hill redoubt and Savannah from capture by the French. Lawrence, Storm Over Savannah, 104.
 John Hamilton (d.
1817) commanded the Royal North Carolina Regiment of Loyalists. Blanco, The American Revolution, 730.
 John Moore (b.
1753, d. 1781?) commanded what remained of the North Carolina Volunteers Battalion of Loyalist
provincials. Ibid., 1096.
 Robert Baillie (d.
1783) had previously served on the Governor's Council in colonial Georgia and would serve as an
officer in the provincials. Palmer, Biographical Sketches of
 Bethsada, the
orphanage established by Reverend George Whitfield, at that time served as the residence of George
Baillie. Lawrence, Storm Over Savannah,
 Near present-day
 Arthur, Count
Dillon (d. 1794), commanded a regiment under d'Estaing. Lawrence, Storm Over Savannah, 17, 128-29.
 James Moncrief (b.
1744, d. 1793), although a captain of the British
Engineers, was related to several of the rebel leaders by blood or marriage. Ibid., 43, 149; and Blanco, The American Revolution, 1079. Curiously, despite the major role
played in the Battle of the Rice Boats and the 1779 British defense of Savannah, Colonel John
Maitland (d. 1779) did not receive any mention in Taylor's account of either.
 Lieutenant Tawes
died leading his Loyalists in repelling the French and American attack on the Spring Hill redoubt, 9
October 1779, after having killed three of the attackers. Lawrence, Storm Over Savannah, 105.
 Captain John
Simpson of Major Wright's Georgia Loyalist Provincial Battalion died from grape shot while walking
along the redoubt that his unit defended. Charles C. Jones, ed., The Siege of Savannah in 1779: As Described in Two Contemporaneous
Journals of French Officers in the Fleet of Count D'Estaing (Albany, NY: Joel Munsell, 1874),
 Taylor to John
Wesley, 28 February 1782, Shelburne Papers, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.
William L. Clements bought the Shelburne Papers in England in 1928. No cover letter from John Wesley
(b. 17 June 1703, d. 2 March 1791), the founder of Methodism, exists in this collection. Wesley
published three other letters, 1774-1783, from Taylor, cited elsewhere, in his journal the Arminian Magazine but not this one; see W. Stephen Gunter, “An
Annotated Content Index The Arminian Magazine Vols. 1-20
(1778-1797)” online http://divinity.duke.edu/sites/default/files/documents/cswt/Arminian_Magazine_vols_1-20.pdf
 Actually the
Pyrrhic British "victory" at the Battle of Guilford Court House, North Carolina on 15 March 1781
resulted in Lord Cornwallis' red coats evacuating North Carolina and the American army under General
Nathanael Greene invading South Carolina. Blanco, The American
 The Royal Georgia Gazette reported that 200 to 250 rebels crossed the
Savannah River into Georgia in April 1781. Cashin and Robertson, Augusta and the American
 The previously
mentioned Thomas Brown (b. 1750, d. 1825), by this time, commanded the King's Carolina Rangers
Battalion, the Loyalist garrison of Augusta. Ibid.,
 In the spring of
1781, American General Nathanael Greene's army forced a general evacuation of the southern back
country by the British army under General Francis, Lord Rawdon. Cashin and Robertson, Augusta and the American
 Lieutenant Colonel
Henry Lee (b. 1756, d. 1818) led the attack upon the Loyalist outpost of Fort Galphin, at Silver
Bluff, South Carolina, on 21 May 1781, after a seventy five mile march in three days. Ibid., 56.
 Merchant planter
James Grierson (d. 1781), the son of Thomas Grierson of Larbrech, Dumfries, Scotland, commanded the
Loyalist militia at Augusta from his fortified home, known as Fort Grierson. Blanco, The American Revolution, 704-5; Colonial Conveyance Book CC
(1774-1784), pp. 958-59, microfilm reel 40/23, Georgia Archives, Morrow; Steven J.
Rauch, “Devoted to the King’s Service: Loyalist James Grierson of Augusta, Georgia,” Augusta Richmond County History 45 (Fall 2014):
 Fort Cornwallis
built by Thomas Brown over the former site of Fort Augusta and over the St Paul Church burial
ground. Rauch, “Devoted to the King’s Service,” 16,
 Georgia militiaman
James Alexander has been credited with the murder of Grierson although he was never held accountable
for the killing. Blanco, The American Revolution, 704-5.
Micajah Brooks claimed to have witnessed Grierson "shot in a balcony by James Alexander, a whig
[rebel] in disguise" and added that, after the surrender of Fort Cornwallis, the rebels "slaughtered"
the Loyalists "without mercy." Micajah Brooks interview in Historical Magazine of October 1859 in Frontier Wars Papers, Series
UU, p. 222, Lyman C. Draper Collection, State Historical Society of
 For more on the
Georgia Parole, see Davis, "The Invisible Soldiers," 66, n. 104.
 Lord Charles
Cornwallis surrendered his British army at Yorktown, Virginia on 19 October 1781. Blanco, The American Revolution, 1817.
 Lieutenant General
Alexander Leslie (b. 1731, d. 1794) commanded the British forces in the South. Ibid., 919.
 Lieutenant Colonel
Allured Clarke (b. 1745, d. 1832) commanded the British forces at Savannah. Cashin, The King's Ranger, 236.
 Brigadier General
Anthony Wayne (b. 1745, d. 1796) commanded the American army in Georgia. Blanco, The American Revolution, 1761.
 Francis, Lord
Rawdon (b. 1754, d. 1826), commanded the British forces in the South until ill health forced his
removal in the summer of 1781. Cashin, The King's Ranger,
 Taylor married
Bellamy Johnston on 6 December 1781. Johnston family Bible records in the possession of Katherine
Thoromon, Clarksville, Georgia.