offers solace and a promise of compensation for her exiled American-born Loyalists. (Reception of the American Loyalists by Great Britain in the Year 1783. Engraving by H. Moses after
American colonists who remained loyal to the
Crown during the
American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called
Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the
Patriots, those who supported the revolution and called them "persons inimical to the liberties of America".
 Prominent Loyalists repeatedly assured the British government that many thousands of loyalists would spring to arms and fight for the crown. The British government acted in expectation of that, especially in the southern campaigns in 1780-81. In practice, the number of loyalists in military service was far lower than expected. Across the colonies, Patriots watched suspected Loyalists very closely, and would not tolerate any organized Loyalist opposition. Many outspoken or militarily active loyalists were forced to flee, especially to their stronghold of New York City.
William Franklin, the royal governor of New Jersey and son of Patriot leader
Benjamin Franklin after his release from a Patriot prison in 1778, became the leader of the Loyalists. He worked to build Loyalist military units to fight in the war, but the number of volunteers was much fewer than London expected.
When their cause was defeated, about 15% of the Loyalists (65,000–70,000 people) fled to other parts of the
British Empire, to Britain itself, or to
British North America (now Canada). The southern colonists moved mostly to Florida, which had remained loyal to the Crown, and to British Caribbean possessions, often bringing along their slaves. Northern Loyalists largely migrated to
New Brunswick, and
Nova Scotia. They called themselves
United Empire Loyalists. Most were compensated with Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures. Exiled Loyalists received £3 million or about 37% of their losses from the British government. Loyalists who stayed in the U.S. were generally able to retain their property and become American citizens.
Historians have estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the 2 million whites in the colonies in 1775 were Loyalists, or about 300,000-400,000 men, women and children.