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Howe, Richard Howe, Earl, 1726-1799Howe, William Howe, Viscount, 1729-1814
Petition of 547 loyalists from New York City, November 28, 1776
Also known as the "Loyalist declaration of dependence", this was the second petition addressed to the Royal Commissioners Richard and William Howe from loyalists seeking special protection under British occupation. Their first petition, for the suspension of martial law, went unanswered; in this second, insisting that they had risked their lives and fortunes opposing "the most unnatural, unprovoked rebellion, that ever disgraced the annals of time", the loyalists sought only "some level of distinction" from the "inhabitants in general". Little improved for the loyalists, however, and they suffered additionally from the demoralizing effects of inflation, wartime profiteering, street violence, and general dirt and stench.
"547 signatures appear on the parchment, a copy of which was sent to London; other signatures, 157 of which have survived, in a loose sheet or sheets of paper, were appended to the memorial. Two fragments of these paper sheets remain"-- Vail, R.W.G. "The loyalist declaration of dependence of November 28, 1776," New-York Historical Society Quarterly 31, no. 2 (April 1947), p. 70.
New-York Historical Society
Mss Collection - Y-1776 November [Large]
American loyalists--New York (State)--New YorkNew York (N.Y.)--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
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