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St. John River: Starting Over

Loyalists seek refuge from revolution

More on the St. John River:
St. John River:
The Good and the Bountiful

Cargo of Misery:
Disease and death stalk desperate newcomers

Company Town:
Boss Gibson's Marysville

Natural delicacy of the river valley

Fir Trade:
Forests are vital to New Brunswick's economy

Fries to Go:
Fast food for the world

Home Children:
Tragic chapter in our immigration history

Big Noise:
Foghorn is invented for Partridge Island

Return Flight:
Bald eagles recover old nesting sites

The Sand and the Fury:
The complex ecology of the Fundy tides

Starting Over:
Loyalists seek refuge from revolution

Vive la République !:
The unique cultural mélange of Madawaska

Inhabitants of the former Thirteen Colonies on the eastern seaboard of United States, who left their homes to come to Canada at the end of the American Revolution, were known as United Empire Loyalists.

Loyalists came to Canada from every class, race, occupation, religion, and geographical area. They supported British colonial rule for reasons ranging from loyalty to the monarchy to fear of what life in post-revolutionary society would be like in the United States.

During the Revolution, the so-called "Tories" (British sympathizers) suffered at the hands of the revolutionaries. Many had their property confiscated. Some were coated with hot tar and feathers. Others were banished, imprisoned, or murdered.

At the end of the Revolution, many of the surviving Loyalists did not want to remain in the newly-created United States. They became political refugees, looking for new homes. The majority sought new settlement in the other British colonies throughout North America.

About 50,000 Loyalists emigrated to British North America. Halifax, Saint John and the Saint John River valley were the favoured locations. New Brunswick was established in 1784 as a separate British colony.

The preparations of supplies for the Loyalists' arrival were very poor, and most Loyalists suffered a great deal in the early years of rebuilding their lives

Kings Landing was established in the early 1960s to illustrate the Loyalist experience in their new homes. About 40 kilometres from Fredericton, it includes more than 70 restored buildings, including homes, carpenters' shops, a store, a school, a blacksmith's forge, and the largest water-wheel driven sawmill in Canada.

Kings Landing is a living portrait of daily life on the Saint John River from the Loyalist era to late Victorian times. Costumed students assuming the roles of the Loyalist settlers show that there were no idle hands in an early rural settlement. Cooking over an open hearth, spinning flax, and churning butter were essential daily chores to maintain life in those times.

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