previous next

[139] of the American Revolution may perhaps be included in our enumeration of loyalist writings. From 1762 to 1775 Boucher was rector of parishes in Maryland and Virginia, finding time, however, to take an active part in colonial politics. The volume referred to, dedicated to Washington and prefaced by an extended introduction, consists of thirteen sermons preached to his American congregations, and forms as a whole the best presentation of the loyalist cause as embraced and championed by an Anglican minister. For his boldness, however, his parishioners drove him into exile, in common with many another clergyman who held similar views.

Mention should also be made here of the poems of Philip Freneau and John Trumbull, although the fuller discussion of their literary significance belongs elsewhere in this work.1 The first of Freneau's poems of the Revolution, On the Conqueror of America shut up in Boston and General Gage's Soliloquy, were published in the summer of 1775, while the siege of Boston was in progress. Trumbull, whose muse had already responded to some of the earlier incidents of the war, published the first canto of McFingal in January, 1776. Grounded, as were the writings of both of these authors, in a clear, popular understanding of the points at issue, and foreshadowing, in Freneau's case, the ultimate attainment of independence, the satirical humour of the poems confirmed the faithful and strengthened the wavering quite as effectively as state papers or pamphlet treatises.

The great influence of Benjamin Franklin, covering the entire period of the revolutionary struggle, was exerted chiefly through the customary channels of diplomacy, and in a voluminous correspondence with friends and public men on both sides of the Atlantic; and his contemporary publications, comparatively few in number, carried weight because of their directness and sturdy common sense, and of the fame of their writer as a scientist or as the author of Poor Richard's Almanac or as the skilful champion of the colonial cause in England, rather than because of their literary merit or their substantive contribution to the American argument. The report of his Examination2 before the House of Commons (1766), while the repeal of the Stamp Act was under discussion, showed a statesmanlike

1 Book I, Chap. IX.

2 Writings, ed. Smyth, IV, 412-448.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Philip Freneau (3)
John Trumbull (2)
Washington (1)
Albert Henry Smyth (1)
Gage (1)
Benjamin Franklin (1)
Jonathan Boucher (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1775 AD (2)
January, 1776 AD (1)
1766 AD (1)
1762 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: