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Tens of thousands of Americans opposed the Revolution. They called themselves Loyalists; the Patriots (the men and women who fought for revolution against England) called them Tories.

The Revolution is usually portrayed as a conflict between the Patriots and the British. But there is another narrative: the bloody fighting between Americans, a civil war whose savagery shocked even battle-hardened Redcoats and Hessians. As debate and protests evolved into war, mudslinging and rhetorical arguments between Rebels and Tories evolved into tar-and-feathering, house-burning, and lynching.

When Brigadier General Nathanael Greene took command of the Continental Army of the South in 1781, he wrote to Colonel Alexander Hamilton: “The division among the people is much greater than I imagined and the Whigs and Tories persecute each other, with little less than savage fury. There is nothing but murders and devastation in every quarter."

There was also collaboration. When we remember the heroic suffering of George Washington’s army at Valley Forge, we forget that only twenty miles away the British soldiers occupying Philadelphia were well housed and well fed because Tories and Tory sympathizers were sustaining them. "I am amazed,” wrote George Washington to a staff officer, “at the report you make of the quantity of provisions that goes daily into Philadelphia …."