York, ME
Old York Museum Center
Soup Series 2019, Lecture 1
Wed, January 16, 2019 at 6:00PM (Eastern)
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“They Do They Know not what”: The Agony of Jonathan Sayward on the Eve of Revolution
Danny Bottino

American “patriots” and “founding fathers” are popularly viewed as the pre-eminent resistors of unjust tyranny and oppression during the Revolutionary period. But what about those colonists who maintained their loyalty to the British Crown? Rather than being tyrannized by a foreign government on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, they were subject to oppression by their own American countrymen, friends, and even neighbors. One such loyalist, Jonathan Sayward (1713–1797) of York, Maine, remained in his hometown (rather than fleeing), and attempted to shape the “Spirit of 1776” in the lead up to Lexington and Concord, and the ultimate split from Great Britain. In his effort to maintain political moderation Sayward failed, often in quite tragic circumstances. Scholar and PhD candidate, Danny Bottino, examines how Sayward’s personal agony sheds light on a type of loyalist resistance that did in fact have a critical—albeit subtle—effect on the political choices of the founding fathers, both during the Revolution and in the aftermath of victory.

Soup provided by Sentry Hill at York Harbor, with bread from When Pigs Fly.
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