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The Snider Family - Descendants of Martin Snider Sr. (1748 or 1753-1828) United Empire Loyalist
Family History - Conflict in the New Land   

Family History

Conflict in the New Land

It is inappropriate here to re-examine the political unrest that preceded the War of 1776; known by American citizens as the War of Independence and by Loyalists as the American Revolutionary War. There are many excellent books which describe all facets of the conflict. Enough to state that many underlying pressures and much political maneuvering produced a climate not unlike that of a civil war.

This was particularly true in Pennsylvania, with its immigrant mix of Scotch-Irish and German ethnic origins, and a denominational brew of Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Presbyterian and Quaker congregations. Opinions varied dramatically and disagreement between those who supported independence from the British Crown and those who did not, caused much strife.

As tensions escalated, violence erupted in both camps. Property of Loyalists was confiscated; some British sympathizers were tarred and feathered or placed in dirty, dilapidated jails. Others were executed for treason.

Sadly, records also indicate that some British troops in New Jersey engaged in plundering the Whig population, looting houses of their silver plate, jewellery and other household possessions. Valuable stolen furniture sometimes adorned British field headquarters, and there were reports of rape and killing by British and Hessian troops during the winter of 1776-77.

Increasing numbers of Loyalists fled across the Delaware River to New Jersey, which the British had invaded in the autumn of 1776.

Writer J. Fraser commented in his book, Skulking for the King,

". . . The British looked upon their adversaries as rebellious Britons, not as soldiers of the new state of America. And the rebels regarded loyalists under arms simply as Americans who had turned traitor to their homeland. The predicament of the defeated loyalists prompted the rebels to taunt: "‘Tis an honour to serve the bravest of nations/And be left to be hanged in their capitulations . . . ."

It was within this complicated and heart-breaking milieu that our ancestors found themselves, only a generation after leaving their troubled European homeland.

Who Were These Schneiders? (Family History continued)


Patricia Snider Armstrong © July 2000
Last modified: Wed Nov 19 09:46:45 2014
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