- "I expect the version of the story you've heard goes something like this: "The Loyalists were traitors who betrayed their fellow Americans to the British." That's a nice little fiction, since from a Loyalist perspective the opposite was true: the colonies were founded and owned by Britain. The Colonists were therefore British citizens, thus the rebels trying to disobey the king were the real traitors here."
- ―Shaun Hastings' database entry on the Loyalists, 2012.[src]
Loyalists, also known as Tories, Royalists or King's Men, were the faction of citizens in the Thirteen Colonies of North America who had sided with the British Crown during the American Revolution, and the subsequent war. It is estimated that as many as one in five colonists were Loyalists. Loyalists in Patriot communities were frequently dragged from their homes, beaten, burned with candles, or tarred and feathered.
Loyalists also included members of the Iroquois League, who felt King George III respected their borders. The Kanien'kehá:ka village of Kanatahséton joined the British after Charles Lee manipulated Kanen'tó:kon into believing that Ratonhnhaké:ton had betrayed them by siding with the Patriots. Loyalists also included former slaves like George Davidson, who were recruited by Lord Dunmore following promises of freedom.