Loyalist Clergymen

“The American Revolution displaced many Loyalist clergymen. These men of the cloth would not forsake the king, in consequence of which many were turned out of doors and stripped of their congregations by the new authorities. While most Provincial units had chaplains on the rolls, many of them did not serve with their corps, seeing the appointment as only a sort of means of subsistence. This memorial from the Rev. Edward Jenkins eventually led to his being appointed chaplain to the South Carolina Royalists, after formerly serving the same role to the Georgia Loyalists.

‘To His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, Knight of the Bath, General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in North America &ca

The Memorial of Edward Jenkins Clerk

Humbly Sheweth

That your Memorialist having preferred the Dictates of his Conscience to every other Motive, and refused to comply with the new and oppressive laws of this Province was compelled to leave his Family, Property and the Emolument of his Profession and to seek Refuge in the Island of New Providence.

On being informed of the Reduction of Georgia by his Majesty’s Forces your Memorialist immediately embarked for that Province, and arrived in February 1779, and has for twelve Months duly & labouriously discharged the offices of his Profession for ye Garrison of Savanna, as may be certified by all the officers of that Army, without any other consideration than having recd Rations for three Months as Chaplain to the Georgia Loyalists, which appointment His Excellency General Leslie was pleased to set aside, as that Corps had not still its compliment of Men.

Your Memorialist humbly hopes that your Excellency will think favourably of the above circumstances and he is in Duty bound will ever pray [illeg]’

Edwd Jenkins

South Carolina

Camp on James Island

13th March 1780’

Source: University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 88, item 37.”

It was not seen as seemly to admit these people as persons of conscience. Dr Samuel Stearns, late of Paxton, Mass. Bay Colony & Providence Plantations being an example, whose medicinal work, research, and authorship both scientific and travel, being a prime example. He was even imprisoned in Mass AFTER the treaty for payments due during his confinement by the SOL during the late engagement. Stearns was acquainted with and interviewed for his seminal work, “An American Herbal”, the likes of Dr’s B. Rush of Philadelphia, and Dr’s Bartram, Sr & Jr. (lately returned of his exploits in Spanish Florida having traversed that region by foot and canoe from New Smyrna Plantations, through Micanopy, as far south as the Beresford Plantation (now DeLand, FL… where I live.) Stearns’ grave was uncovered from abandonment in 1871, when construction cleared an area of Wapole for a foundation and a forgotten cemetery was discovered. His grave was noted…. then destroyed. We did not celebrate the lives of Loyalists Colonials in the Year of Our Lord 1871!