Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX. - The Claim of the American Loyalists
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APPENDIX. - Joseph Galloway, The Claim of the American Loyalists 
The Claim of the American Loyalists reviewed and maintained upon incontrovertible Principles of Law and Justice (London: G. and T. Wilkie, 1788).
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THE Commissioner on the part of Great Britain did propose a restitution of the confiscated property; but the answer made by the American Commissioners was, that they had no power from the several States to restore it; and, if they had, they must insist upon compensation for the desolation and damages committed by the British forces, on the towns, private houses, and properties of the American citizens, contrary to the rules of war, an account of which had been taken by order of Congress. Upon this it was agreed, that no actual stipulation should be made for such restitution; but that it should be left to the pleasure of the States, either to keep the property confiscated as a satisfaction for such desolation and waste, or to restore it: that, however, Congress should recommend to the States to make the restoration; and upon this the peace was made, and the restitution left to the pleasure of the States.
Upon this ground, when the States took into consideration the resolve of Congress recommending the restitution, they refused to make it. The State of New York resolved, that there could be “no reason for restoring property which had been confiscated or forfeited, as no compensation had been offered on the part of Great Britain for the damages sustained by the States, and their citizens, from the desolation aforesaid.” And all the other States have acted upon the same principles. From which it is evident, that the confiscated property of the Loyalists was both implicitly and expressly given up to the States as a compensation for the irregular desolation with which they charged the British army; and as the Minister who made the peace has candidly declared, that “he had no alternative,” but to submit the restitution to the mere recommendation of the Congress, it follows that it was also given up as the price and purchase of the peace.
To support these truths, we here insert the resolutions of the State of New York:
“Resolved, That it appears to this Legislature, that in the progress of the late war, the adherents to the King of Great Britain, instead of being restrained to fair and mitigated hostilities, which are only permitted by the laws of nations, have cruelly massacred, without regard to age or sex, many of our citizens, and wantonly desolated and laid waste a great part of this State by burning, not only single houses, and other buildings, but even whole towns and villages, and in enterprises which had nothing but vengeance for their object.
“And that, in consequence of such unwarrantable operations, great numbers of the citizens of this State have, from affluent circumstances, been reduced to poverty and distress.
“Resolved, That it appears to this Legislature, that divers of the inhabitants of this State, have continued to adhere to the King of Great Britain, after these States were declared free and independent, and persevered in aiding the said King, his fleets, and armies, to subjugate the United States to bondage.
“Resolved, That as on the one hand, the rules of justice do not require, so on the other, the public tranquillity will not permit, that such adherents who have been attainted, should be restored to the rights of citizens.
“And that there can be no reason for restoring property which has been confiscated or forfeited, the more especially, as no compensation is offered on the part of the said King, and his adherents, for the damages sustained by this State and its citizens, from the desolation aforesaid.”
The amount of the sum claimed by the United States, for the damages done by the British forces, far surpassed that now claimed by the Loyalists. And as Great Britain must have paid for those damages, or have continued the war, had she not given up the property confiscated; it is evident, that she has disposed of it for more than an adequate consideration, and is a considerable gainer by the bargain.