PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
CROSSROADS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION STUDY AREA AND RELATED HISTORY
New Jersey representatives to the Continental Congress voted for the Declaration of Independence on July 2,1776.The New Jersey Provincial Congress had removed William Franklin from office as Royal Governor and voted 53-3 for independence from Great Britain in June. War came to New Jersey in November 1776 when General George Washington ordered abandonment of Fort Lee on the Hudson and retreated to the Delaware River, crossing into Pennsylvania from just north of Trenton. These were "the times that tried men's souls" wrote Thomas Paine and defeat appeared imminent for the American cause. Washington re-crossed the river on Christmas night, however, and during the next ten days won two battles at Trenton and, personally rallying his retreating troops in the field, forced the British from Princeton. He then marched to Morristown for the first of two winter encampments there.
In 1777,Washington and his army left New Jersey to undertake the unsuccessful defense against British occupation of Philadelphia and wintered at Valley Forge. Across the river in New Jersey, the action continued at Red Bank with the defense of the Delaware and the interruption of ships attempting to supply the British. After the British abandoned Philadelphia in 1778,Washington marched to New Jersey and fought the retreating British regulars at Monmouth Court House in the largest land artillery battle of the war. He spent a second winter encamped at Morristown. After Monmouth, the main British forces embarked from New York City for South Carolina, but action continued in New Jersey at the Battle of Springfield and in lesser engagements, raids and skirmishes throughout the state. In 1781,Washington merged his army with French forces under General Rochambeau to complete the long march to final victory at Yorktown, Virginia. In total, Washington and many elements of the Continental Army spent close to half of the American Revolution within New Jersey's borders. General Washington executed a strategy in New Jersey that prolonged the war by capitalizing on the attributes of the state's topography, transportation routes and cultural geography. Collectively, the events that occurred within the Crossroads of the American Revolution study area had a major impact on the ultimate British defeat and the subsequent history of the United States.
The themes and the multitude of remaining American Revolution resources related to them provide outstanding opportunities for promoting public understanding and appreciation of the critical role that New Jersey played in the American Revolution.
THE AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT
The State of New Jersey has recognized the importance of the American Revolution on the state and its inhabitants. Washington's Crossing State Park, the Old Barracks at Trenton, Princeton Battlefield State Park and Monmouth Battlefield State Park are among the most visited state-owned sites of the American Revolution. Numerous other sites and resources have been recognized through public, private or institutional ownership. Despite these and other recent preservation success stories, there are many resources and historic landscapes that have not been fully recognized and remain vulnerable to development or destruction.
The State of New Jersey Green Acre Program is in the process of acquiring additional properties related to the American Revolution to further enhance and protect the network of historic resources. Local governments and private organizations in New Jersey protect many of the important cultural resources that if linked in a coordinated manner would contribute to the public's understanding of the larger story of Crossroads of the American Revolution.
State and local jurisdictions and non-profit organizations in New Jersey have also preserved significant amounts of acreage for open space and recreation within the study area and continue to do so through the state financed Garden State Trust, local tax dedications and private efforts. Combined, these initiatives provide outstanding opportunities for conservation and recreation in the region.
RESULTS OF THE SPECIAL RESOURCE STUDY The study also concludes that Crossroads of the American Revolution does not meet suitability criteria as a unit of the national park system because similar resources are already adequately represented within the system or are protected by other jurisdictions. The region did not meet feasibility criteria because of the encroachment of urbanization, the scale of the area and non-contiguity of it resources, and the amount of protection already provided by the state for a number of its most important resources. There is no need, therefore, for NPS management. MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVES RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA FEASIBILITY STUDY Two national heritage area boundary alternatives are presented in this report. They differ in size and in the number of resources contained within the respective boundaries. National Heritage Area Blue Boundary includes the smallest number of resources capable of providing a representative visitor experience for all the themes and for protecting the most essential resources related to the themes. National Heritage Area Red Boundary is the preferred alternative and provides the most complete visitor experience by recognizing and protecting a greater number of theme-related resources. It offers increased opportunities to preserve natural and cultural resources and to provide for superior prospects for interpretation and recreation. The red boundary alternative also requires the engagement of a larger contingent of public and private partners and is likely to result in significant leveraging of funds provided by the federal government. Public support for a potential heritage area was evaluated by analyzing public comments collected at workshops and received by mail and from meetings with interested parties. Additional opportunities for comment and further indications of commitments will be provided during the public comment period for this report. Based on the information developed and analyzed during this study, Crossroads of the American Revolution meets all ten criteria to be eligible for designation as a National Heritage Area. A local management entity, Crossroads of the American Revolution Association, Inc., has been identified to undertake the purposes and activities of the recommended national heritage area.
The study also concludes that Crossroads of the American Revolution does not meet suitability criteria as a unit of the national park system because similar resources are already adequately represented within the system or are protected by other jurisdictions. The region did not meet feasibility criteria because of the encroachment of urbanization, the scale of the area and non-contiguity of it resources, and the amount of protection already provided by the state for a number of its most important resources. There is no need, therefore, for NPS management.
RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA FEASIBILITY STUDY
Two national heritage area boundary alternatives are presented in this report. They differ in size and in the number of resources contained within the respective boundaries. National Heritage Area Blue Boundary includes the smallest number of resources capable of providing a representative visitor experience for all the themes and for protecting the most essential resources related to the themes. National Heritage Area Red Boundary is the preferred alternative and provides the most complete visitor experience by recognizing and protecting a greater number of theme-related resources. It offers increased opportunities to preserve natural and cultural resources and to provide for superior prospects for interpretation and recreation. The red boundary alternative also requires the engagement of a larger contingent of public and private partners and is likely to result in significant leveraging of funds provided by the federal government.
Public support for a potential heritage area was evaluated by analyzing public comments collected at workshops and received by mail and from meetings with interested parties. Additional opportunities for comment and further indications of commitments will be provided during the public comment period for this report.
Based on the information developed and analyzed during this study, Crossroads of the American Revolution meets all ten criteria to be eligible for designation as a National Heritage Area. A local management entity, Crossroads of the American Revolution Association, Inc., has been identified to undertake the purposes and activities of the recommended national heritage area.
On Patriots, Refugees and the Right of Return
When the War of Independence began, it quickly assumed the nature of a civil war. Those opposing the declaration of statehood fought alongside the organized armies of their kinsmen that invaded the territory of the infant state from all directions. The fighting was bloody, and the opponents of independence used terrorism against the population defending statehood. The country was partitioned between the areas of the new state and the territories remaining under the rule of the foreign invaders. As the fighting dragged on, the opponents of independence began a mass exodus. In most cases, they left because they feared the consequences of staying on as a political minority or because they simply opposed on principle the new political entity. In some cases, they refused to live as a religious minority under the rule of those practicing an alien religion. In some cases, they were expelled forcibly. They fled across the frontiers, moving their families to live in the areas controlled by the armies of their political kin. From there, some joined the invading forces and launched cross-border raids. When the fighting ceased, most of the refugees who had fled from the new State were refused permission to return.
The above paragraph does not describe the Palestinians. The events described did not transpire in 1947-49, but rather in 1775-1781. The refugees in question were not Arabs, but Tory "Loyalists" who supported the British against the American revolutionists seeking independence. During the War of Independence, large numbers of Loyalist refugees fled the new country. Estimates of the numbers vary, but perhaps 100,000 refugees left or were expelled, a very significant number given the sparse population of the 13 colonies. While there are many differences, there are also many similarities between the plight of the Palestinians and that of the Tory refugees during the first years of American Independence. The advocates of Palestinian rights are in fact clearly in the same political bed with King George's allies who fought against American democracy and independence.
Like all wars of independence, both the Israeli and American wars were in fact civil wars. In both cases, religious sectarianism played an important role in defining the opposing forces, although for Americans taxation was even more important. (Israelis suffered under abominable taxation only after Independence.) Among the causes of the American revolution was the attempt to establish the Anglican Church, or Church of England, as the official bishopric of the colonies. Anglicans were the largest ethnic group opposing independence, as were Palestinian Moslems, although in both cases other religious/ethnic groups were also represented in the anti-Independence movement.
Those fearing the possibility of being forced to live as minorities under the tyrannical religious supremacy of the Anglicans and Moslems, respectively, formed the forces fighting for Independence. The Anglicans and Moslems hoped to establish themselves with the armed support of their co-religionists across the borders. New England was the center of patriotism to a large extent because of the mistrust of the Anglican church by the Puritan and Congregationalist majorities there. The later incorporation of separation of church and state in the Constitution was largely motivated by the memory of Anglican would-be establishmentarianism. Among the leaders of the Tory cause were many Anglican parsons, perhaps the most prominent being one Samuel Seabury, the Grand Mufti of the Loyalists.
In both wars of independence, the anti-independence forces were a divided and heterogeneous population, and for this reason lost the war. In the American colonies, the Tories included not only Anglicans, but other groups who feared for their future living under the rule of the local political majority, including Indians, Scots, Dutch, and Negroes. Tory sympathy was based on ethnic, commercial, and religious considerations. Where Loyalist sentiment was strong enough, namely in Canada, the war produced partition like in Mandatory Palestine, with territories remaining cut off from the newly independent state.
When Independence was declared, the populations of the opposing forces were about even in both wars. In Palestine, there were about 3/4 million people on each side. The exact distribution of pro- and anti- Independence forces in the American colonies is not known, but the estimate by John Adams is probably as good a guess as any, namely, one third patriot, one third Loyalist, and one third neutral. The number of colonists fighting actively alongside regular British forces is estimated at about half the number fighting under Washington.
When fighting broke out, civilians were often the first victims in both wars. The Tories formed terrorist units and plundered and raided the territories under patriot control. The southwestern frontier areas of the colonies, like the southwestern border of Mandate Palestine, were scenes of particularly bloody terrorism. In South Carolina the Tory leader Major William Cunningham, known as "Bloody Bill", was the Ahmed Jabril of the struggle, conducting massacres of patriot civilians. Tory and anti-Tory mob violence became common. The historian Thomas Jones documents many cases of Tories burning Patriot homes, but claims the patriots seldom did the same. Terrorist raids were particularly common along the New England coast and up the Delaware. General Sir Henry Clinton organized many guerrilla raids upon patriot territory. Loyalists also launched assassination plots, including an attempt to murder George Washington in New York in 1776. Among the terrorists participating in that plot was the Mayor of New York City.
There were Loyalist insurrections against the patriots in every colony. Tory military activity was particularly severe in the Chesapeake, on Long Island, in Delaware, Maryland and along the Virginia coast. As violence escalated and spread, the forces of the revolution took countermeasures. Tories were tarred and feathered. Indiscriminate expulsions sometimes took place. Tory areas were sometimes placed under martial rule, with all civil rights, habeas corpus, and due process suspended. Queens County, New York, a Loyalist stronghold, was put under military administration by Continental troops, and the entire population was prohibited from travel without special documents. General Wooster engaged in wholesale incarceration and expulsion of New York Tories. The Continental Congress called for disarming all Loyalists and locking up the "dangerous ones" without trial. New York Loyalists were exiled to Connecticut and other places, and sometimes used in forced labor.
Loyalists were sometimes kidnapped and held hostage. In some colonies, expressing opposition to the Revolution was grounds for imprisonment. In some colonies, Loyalists were excluded from practicing law and from some other professions. Tories were frequently stripped of all property rights, and had their lands confiscated. In colony after colony, Acts of Banishment forced masses of Loyalists to leave their homes and emigrate. The most common destiny was the Canadian maritimes, with others going to the British West Indies, to England, and to Australia.
In both the Israeli and American Wars of Independence, anti-independence refugees fled the country in order to live in areas under the control of their political allies. Many who opposed independence nevertheless stayed put. After the wars ended, these people generally found the Devil was not as bad as they had feared, and they were permitted to live as tolerated political minorities, with their civil rights protected and restored. This was in spite of the fact that many refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new states, sometimes for decades.
The colonies/states that had banished Loyalists refused to allow them to return, even after a peace treaty was signed. In most cases, property was never returned. There was fear that returning Tories could act as a sort of fifth column, particularly if the British took it into their heads to attempt another invasion. (Such an invasion took place in 1812.) The newly independent country, like Israel, initially resolved many of its strategic problems through an alliance with France.
The Tory refugees were regarded by all as the problem of Britain. The American patriots allowed small numbers to return. Others attempted to return illegally and were killed. But most languished across the partition lines in eastern British Canada, mainly in what would become Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The refugees would never be granted the "right to return." It should not be forgotten that the American statesman known to all schoolchildren in the United States as a larger than life cultural icon, Benjamin Franklin, was the fiercest opponent of any compensation at all for the Tory refugees.
At this point, the similarity between the Palestinian refugees and the Tory Loyalists breaks down. The British, unlike the Arabs, did a great deal to settle their refugees, rather than force them into festering camps, and allotted $20 million for their resettlement. The Tory refugees quickly became a non-problem, and never played any subsequent role in British-American relations.
Nevertheless, an interesting historic thought experiment might be to imagine what would have occurred had the British done things the Arab way. Tory refugees would have been converted into terrorist cadres and trained by British commandos. They would begin a ceaseless wave of incursions and invasions of the independent states, mainly from bases along the Canadian frontier. The British, Hessians and their allies would begin a global diplomatic campaign for self-determination for the Loyalist Americans. They would set up an American Liberation Organization (ALO) that would hijack whalers and merchant marines, and assassinate diplomats of the United States. Benedict Arnold would be chosen the Chairman and exiled President, and would write the Tory National Charter, incorporating parts of the Stamp Act, under the nom de guerre of Abu Albion. The British would organize underground terrorist cells among the Loyalist population that had not fled. They would declare an Anglican jihad. Britain and her empire would boycott the new country commercially and pressure others to do the same. She would assert that the national rights of the Loyalist people were inalienable and eternal, no matter how many years had passed since the refugees fled. Britain would accumulate arms in astronomical quantities, awaiting the day of reckoning. International pressure would be exerted on the United States to give up much of its territory and to internationalize Philadelphia.
For over forty years the position of the American State Department and many American politicians has been that Israel should grant the Palestinian refugees the "right to return," that Israel is liable for the suffering of the refugees and should be responsible for their resettlement. The State Department also thinks the refugees should be represented at Middle East peace talks. The State Department is sympathetic to calls for recognizing the rights of the refugees to self-determination and political expression. The State Department is exhibiting Loyalist Tory sympathies. A large portrait of Benedict Arnold should grace the office of every "Arabist" in Foggy Bottom.
Dr. Plaut is senior lecturer in economics and business at the University of Haifa and and member of the Editorial Board at B'tzedek.