To what extent did the mass amount loyalists from America moving to the Maritimes have an impact on the British winning the war of 1812?

Journal of Charlotte Secord

April 8, 1782

We have to flee, the Americans are executing all of the loyalists. Mother says we are going North where England is still in power. We will be safest there, there is no where we can go here anymore. The Americans are attacking us Loyalists. There are over 30,000 of us fleeing, the revolution has cost us our home.

September 15, 1784

We have just arrived at our new home, we are in a land they call Nova Scotia. We have also been given a new names, we are now the United Empire Loyalists, informally we are called the “King’s Loyal Americans”. Those of us who ran from the Americans aren’t the only ones who are here, there are also many black slaves here seeking refuge. There have been so many battles between the Americans and the Loyalists, father says he may have to join the army so we can keep this land. I don’t want to run away again.

June 24, 1812

America has officially declared war on Great Britain. James Madison had signed the declaration six days ago, I just received the news. For the past 32 years there have been constant battles between us and the Americans. Sadly we are going to be the most impacted, America is trying to take over our land and claim it as their own. We are in the most danger because we do not know when or where the Americans will strike next. I remember as a little girl I was called traitor by other Americans for staying loyal to England, we could be targeted for that. Most of, what is now Upper Canada, has mostly been settled by us United Empire Loyalists.

June 11, 1813

I have just received word that my father has been wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Luckily my mother, Laura Secord, had warned the British army of the upcoming attack. Mother’s warning lead to the capturing of 600 American soldiers. The Americans thought it would be easy to take our land, President Thomas Jefferson even said that the conquest of Canada was “a matter of marching”. What he doesn’t know is a lot of us United Empire Loyalists served as fencibles, in the Provincial Marine, as provincial regulars, or with the sedentary militia. With the defence we have for Canada, I can see this war being a victory for us Loyalists.

August 2, 1815

What a joyous day it is, the war is over. The United States of America and Britain have signed The Treaty of Peace. By terms of the treaty, all conquered territory is to be returned. The thought of us being finally free is like a dream, the Americans can’t control us anymore. Moving here and working for this freedom was hard but I now see what we have done for our country. There were many soldiers lost in battle, but there would have been a lot more if it wasn’t for our help. We had many loyalists fight in the battles, including my father. My mother was a spy on the inside and I followed in her footsteps. My days as being a spy for Canada were quite enjoyable but they came with many risks, I am glad to not have to worry getting caught. I can able to live freely now. I truly believe that the loyalists, like myself, that moved to Canada, had a huge impact on the outcome of this war. I hope we get some credit in the history books, I think we deserve it.


Charlotte Secord

Historical Significance

I think this is a important and significant question to ask about the past because in a lot of the main sources that we were given about the war of 1812 told a lot about how the British and how the Canadians who were already there helped in the war, but when talking about the American Loyalists all that was mentioned was that they moved to Upper Canada and that’s it. We don’t have any evidence if Charlotte Secord was a spy, but her mother did provide the British armies with information from the Americans, and her father did fight in the war. Since there was so many Loyalists coming up to live in Canada I thought they would have some impact on the war. Many of the Loyalists that came up from America had war knowledge with them but no one seemed to mention that when talking about the main people who fought in the war.

Cause and Consequence

My researched events happen the way they happened because when the Americans drove the Loyalists out, they didn’t know how much war knowledge was going with them, and the consequence was the Americans losing. A number of American Loyalists served as a soldier in one way or another, the Americans disregarded that though and sent them all away. The Americans pretty much gave Canada an army to protect themselves with, and army of about 30,000 too. Their disregard for the fact that many Loyalists having war knowledge lead to them losing the war.

Ethical Judgement

I believe that what happened was right and fair by the values and standards of the time because there was nothing that went against God. Yes the murdering and the stealing, but to them since everyone was doing it, it was fine. What I do think that could have been unfair and wrong with their values at the time, was using the women as spies. How a women does her job as a spy, is she uses men’s lust to her advantage. She will give them false hope of love and get them to tell her private information. That I could see as being unfair by the values and standards at the time. If this were to happen today, I don’t think it would unfair and wrong against any values today. Really it isn’t an if situation, it is happening, we are sending soldiers to go help fight the war against ISIS. What we are doing is helping to people who need it, by sending in people who know what they are doing against the situation at hand.

Social Studies Inquiry Processes

The conclusion I can reach about my question based on the information I conducted is even though they weren’t mentioned much in the textbooks, or videos we received as sources, the American Loyalist immigrants had a huge impact on the outcome of the war of 1812. Not only did they fight in the war, they fought with their minds as well, using past knowledge and trickery to move forward and win the war. The American Loyalists worked just as hard as the Canadians did for their land, maybe even harder. The American Loyalists provided knowledgeable soldiers and spies which helped win Canada the war.