Loyalist/Tory Quotes in Chains
“You feel beholden to Lockton?”
“He’s going to feed you and your sister, give you a place to sleep. He can order you sold, beat, or hung, if the mood takes him. That could make a person feel a kind of loyalty.”
I stopped, considering this. “Someday I’ll find that lawyer and Miss Mary’s will and that’ll free us. Until then, we need to eat, work, and stay together. So yes, I guess I’m loyal to Lockton.”
The words tasted bitter. Being loyal to the one who owned me gave me prickly thoughts, like burrs trapped in my shift, pressing into my skin with every step.
“They won’t say anything in front of me.”
“You are a small black girl, Country,” he said bitterly. “You are a slave, not a person. They’ll say things in front of you they won’t say in front of the white servants. ’Cause you don’t count to them. It happens all the time to me.”
“Listen to me good. Them that feeds us”—she pointed upstairs—“they’re Loyalists, Tories. That means we’re Tories too, understand?”
“Yes, ma’am.” I nodded. “But…” I hesitated, not sure if I was allowed to ask questions. “Master Lockton claimed he was a Patriot on the docks.”
[…] “He was faking to protect his skin. Some folks switch back and forth. One day they’re for the king, the next, it’s all ‘liberty and freedom, huzzah!’ A tribe of Mr. Facing-Both-Ways, that’s what you’ll find in New York.”
A second man, this one with neatly trimmed hair, leaned on his shovel. “Dunmore freed the Virginia slaves so the crops would go unharvested and ruin the planters. The British care not for us, they care only for victory. Some Patriots own slaves, yes, but you must listen to their words: ‘all men, created equal.’ The words come first. They’ll pull the deeds and the justice behind them.”
“Please, ma’am,” I tried again. “How did you know?”
Her gaze returned to the logs in the hearth. “Take care how you go, Isabel. Many people think it is a fine and Christian thing to help the prisoners. I do not think my niece is one of them.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I whispered.
“You named him after the King?” Hannah asked.
“Perhaps,” Sarah said cheerfully. “We never figured the colonists would hold on this long. My man was saying the other night that mebbe the King should stop the war. Mebbe the babe and us might stay here, not sail home. ‘Plenty of room here,’ he said.” She kissed the baby’s nose. “A name like George is a good one on either side of the ocean.”