Hey William Livingston, Why Don’t You Tell Us What You REALLY Think About Tories?

livingston

William Livingston

William Livingston, the revolutionary-era governor of New Jersey, was not a big fan of Tories running-around in his state and stirring up trouble.  Today I read his October 5, 1777 letter to George Washington in which the governor tells the General what he thinks about these pro-British inhabitants of New Jersey.

I really pity your Excellency’s Situation with respect to the Tories.  In my small Department, I have infinite Trouble with them.  A Tory is an incorrigible Animal: And nothing but the Extinction of Life, will extinguish  his Malevolence against Liberty.

Ouch.

2 thoughts on “Hey William Livingston, Why Don’t You Tell Us What You REALLY Think About Tories?

  1. “The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase ‘God, King, and Country’. Tories generally advocate[d] monarchism, and were historically of a high church Anglican religious heritage, [and were] opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction.” – Wikipedia

    This seems consistent with my understanding of “Tory” during the American colonial period. Interesting aside, Pat Buchanan once said, on the Mclaughlin Group, that he would be happy with a king as long as it was a benevolent Christian king. At least I think he said Christian but it might have been Catholic.

    Perhaps we should just go back to “Whig” and “Tory” and stop tossing around the less definitive liberal and conservative. Long live the Revolution!

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    • During what Kipling’s poem called “The American Rebellion”, “Tory” usually meant a Loyalist, someone who was opposed to the rebellion and loyal to the British Crown. After independence, a lot of them moved north to become Canadians.

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