A history of the Georgia Loyalists and the Plantation Period in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Kozy, Charlene
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Middle Tennessee State University
This study traces the attitudes and behavior of adherents to the British Crown in the colony of Georgia during the Revolutionary War and their experience in exile. The study is important for the unique story it tells which begins in Georgia with the war fought between Whigs and Loyalists and ends with the Loyalists' resettlement on Grand Caicos. Further, the work is especially important as a documentary record because printed documents relating to the Loyalists who settled Grand Caicos are almost non-existent.
The search for primary sources began with the few historians who have published documentary works concerning Loyalists: Lorenzo Sabine, Wilbur H. Wright, and Hugh Edward Egerton. The "Old Series" (1790-1850) of the Bahama Registry, purchased on microfilm from the Bahamian government in Nassau, includes land grants issued under George III, estate appraisals, conveyances, and wills. The Public Library in New York and the Public Archives in Ottawa hold manuscripts of the Commissioners of Claims' Reports made following the Revolutionary War for the British government. The manuscripts of Lydia Parrish, on deposit in the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida, yielded valuable primary material. In addition, the author personally inspected plantation ruins on Grand Caicos to correlate documented data with topography, land marks, and other geographical features.
This study found that there was a concerted effort on the part of a group of like-minded men, from similar backgrounds, tied together by common goals, to recreate a way of life which they had been forced to abandon in North America. These men are catalogued variously by origin, family, occupation, and property loss in North America. They were wealthy, predominantly high-ranking officers in the armies of the King, who had been active politically in North America and later in the Bahamas. They were, in fact, successful in building a plantation society on Grand Caicos. While the Plantation Period lasted only three decades, this study effectively adds another step to the historical process of identifying the Loyalists in exile.