customs and other officials, there were one hundred and two; of clergymen, eighteen; of merchants and other persons who resided in Boston
, two hundred and thirteen; of farmers, mechanics and traders, three hundred and eighty-two.’
Most of these found new homes in Halifax
; some few went to England
or to colonies belonging to Great Britain
, but all had to commence life anew, exiled from their native land, and many of them stripped of the greater part of their property.
now found time to formulate laws against the loyalists.
says ‘In Massachusetts
a very perfect piece of machinery was at once invented for weeding out the Tories.
The selectmen of each town were to “warn a meeting” of the inhabitants.
Some person firmly attached to the American
cause was to be chosen by ballot.
The person thus elected was charged with the duty of laying before the courts evidence to prove the inimical character of any inhabitant whom the freeholders charged with favoring the British
The Selectmen were to make a list of men who had shown Tory sympathies since the Battle of Lexington
Any one present at the meeting might suggest a name to the moderator or chairman.
This name was added to the list if a majority of those present so voted.
The completed list was given to two or more justices of the peace who issued warrants for the arrest of the proscribed persons.’
The first test law of Massachusetts
, dated May I, 1776, was among the earliest passed by any of the colonies; it was general in its application, affecting all males over sixteen.
It obliged people to swear that the war was just and necessary on the part of the colonies, that they would not aid the British
in any way, but would use their best power and ability to defend the American
The refusal to subscribe to this oath made the offender subject to trial by jury as an enemy to his country and if found guilty he could neither hold office nor vote.
If he were a minister, schoolmaster, or a governor of Harvard college he was to lose his salary.