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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter I. Introduction

No more inspiring subject can engage the pen of any writer than the theme of loyalty. Fidelity to the constitution, laws and institutions of one’s native land has been honored in every country and in every age. From infancy we have been told of the brave men of our race, and yet the tale, ever told, is ever new. The hero stories that thrilled us in our childhood have still the power to make the heart beat quickly and the current of feeling sweep over us, rich and strong. Socialists and revolutionists may affect to scorn it, but they cannot blot out the inherent glory contained in the word patriot.

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”

To die for one’s native land is assuredly sweet and seemly, and yet there is a truer and a nobler loyalty than this. It is that of preserving inviolate one’s faith to the established government, when all around is sedition, anarchy and revolution. When to be loyal means to fight, not against the stranger and the foreigner, but against those of the same language, the same country, the same state, and, it may be, the same family as one’s self—when loyalty means fratricidal war, the breaking up of home, the severing of the dearest heart cords, the loss of everything except honor—

“Oh! who shall say what heroes feel,
When all but life and honor’s lost?”

Such was the loyalty of these who plunged unshaken, unterrified and unseduced into a conflict unutterably bitter, which was destined to last for seven long years, and finally to sever them from their native land. During the war of the revolution, and in the blind revenge exacted by the victorious side, their property was confiscated, their families ostracised and exposed to insult, outrage and spoliation, their lives were in danger, and often ruthlessly declared forfeit, to satisfy malicious hatred and suspicion. Their zeal for the unity of the empire gave them the title of United Empire Loyalists, and these were the men who, at the close of the war, sought a refuge and a home on British soil, among the northern forests, and laid deep the foundations of the institutions, the freedom, the loyalty, and the prosperity of our land.

“Dear were the homes where they were born,
Where slept their honored dead;
And rich and wide, on every side
Their fruitful acres spread;
But dearer to their faithful hearts
Than home, and gold, and lands,
Were Britain’s laws, and Britain’s crown,
And Britain’s flag of high renown,
And grip of British hands.”

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