Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 7

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Page 7

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
Transcription SOUTH-CAROLINA IN THE REVOLUTION. 7
ted the poor privilege of showing that his offences were such
as would even justify this equivocal distinction.
Considered, however, without regard to the benevolent
maxim which interposes for the protection of the dead, we
are constrained to say, that the present work was unnecessary
on other grounds. The American Loyalists, except as a class,
really left no memorials which merit the attention of the his-
torian. They, certainly,- were not so much in advance,--any
of them,--as respects political science, social morals, and the rights of the race, as were the mouvement party ; or they
were too keenly sensible to selfish interests to allow their real
opinions sufficient weight in determining their policy. We
are necessarily compelled, in any estimate which we may think
proper to make of their intellectual merits, to subject them to the tests of those lights and standards which we DOW possess,
rather than of those which were common to the period of
- their performances. We assume that there is no living Amer-
ican who would be willing to return to the condition of a Bri-
tish subject. If then, according to present standards and con-
victions, the loyalists of the American revolution, did not claim
so highly for the race, or see with a vision so prophetic, as
their opponents, in what consisted its rights and its prospects
or anticipate the grand issues of the struggle to which they
were hostile ;--it is clear that their rank, in intellectual mat-
ters, will not bear comparison with the latter. Either this,
or, seeing quite as correctly, they were yet the victims to in-
ferior considerations, the recognition of which, if it tended to
elevate their intellectual claims, could do so only at the ex-
pense of their principles and hearts. Many of the loyalists
were hirelings_ of the British Government. These, in most
cases, sustained government measures. The most distinguish
ed among them, were born on British soil. They had no
sympathy with the native population of America, and per-