Thursday, December 20, 2007

Choosing Sides

From The Road to Guilford Courthouse, by John Buchanan, ©1997, John Wiley & Sons, page 124:

    "The origin of the settlers played a key role in choosing sides. Generally, the native born as well as foreign born who had been in America long enough to have migrated down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania became Rebels. Recent arrivals from Ulster and other areas of North Britain tended to become King's Friends. This certainly indicates that the Scotch Irish and their cultural allies who had spent some decades in Back Country America were well along the road to their personal vision of liberty, which did not translate into an orderly imperial society. Independence was their goal, and it was unencumbered by economic motives.
    But as in all causes different degrees of fervor could be found. There were, claimed [Revolutionary soldier] James Collins, three kinds of patriots: 'those who were determined to fight it out to the last let the consequences be what it might ... those who would fight a little when the wind was favorable but so soon as it shifted to an unfavorable point would draw back and give up all for lost ... those who were favorable for the cause, provided it prospered and they could enjoy the benefit but would not risk one hair of their heads to attain it.'"