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Chronological Reasoning and Causation

The Loyalist Perspective in New York State

  1. Load Johnson Hall and barn, Johnstown, N.Y. in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Letter from Abraham C. Cuyler to Captain John Wood, 1773 in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load Letter to the Albany Committee, 1777 in Main Image Viewer
  4. Load Letter to the Albany Committee, 1777 in Main Image Viewer
  5. Load Letter to the Albany Committee, 1777 in Main Image Viewer
  6. Load Letter to the Albany Committee, 1777 in Main Image Viewer
  7. Load Copies of accounts audited by the New York State Auditor General, Book A in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Students can complete the activity on Consider the Source or by using these worksheets:

Historical Background: At the start of the American Revolution War Sir John Johnson and his followers took up the cause for the Loyalists side. Johnson and his Loyalist neighbors supported the British cause during the Mohawk Valley in New York. Catching wind of this, the Continental Army sought to disarm Johnson and the loyalists. Johnson ultimately decided to flee with his family and supporters to Canada. 

Compelling Question: Why did a portion of New Yorkers stay loyal to the crown? How were loyalists impacted by this decision? 

Staging the Question: As a class, review the terms “Loyalist” and “Patriot”. 

Standards/Skills: (Social Studies Framework Key Idea and Conceptual Understanding, Social Studies Practices, NextGen Literacy, CTS Thinking Skills)

Method of Delivery: 

Direct Instruction: 

  1. Review the historical background with students 

Guided Practice:

  1. Model image analysis for document 1

    1. Have the image on the board for students to view 

    2. Brainstorm on the board what students notice in the image 

    3. Complete the document analysis questions as a class in the graphic organizer 

Independent Practice: 

  1.     Complete the graphic organizer for all the documents 

  2.      Complete the letter writing summative task 

    1. Students should make sure to: 

-Include a date which aligns with the content of your letter 

-Use at least 3 pieces of evidence from the documents to support your response 

-Explain who you are (a landowner, farmer, etc.) based on the historical context we discussed 

-Explain and defend your position for why you are loyal to the crown 

-Argue why others should remain loyal to the British 

-Evaluate how Patriots treated Loyalists 

Closure: (Sharing/Reflection): 

  1. Letter share 

    1. Have students share their favorite lines or ideas in their letter 

Summative Performance Task: (Assessment of Student Learning)

Students need to complete the letter writing from the perspective of a loyalist.