Jonathan Odell: The Loyalist Poet of the American Revolution
by Cynthia Dubin Edelberg
Duke University Press, 1987
eISBN: 978-0-8223-7765-8 | Paper: 978-0-8223-0716-7
Library of Congress Classification PR9199.2.O35Z64 1987
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.3

Jonathan Odell's live and writings give us insight into the American Revolution by revealing Loyalist ideology—the ambitious few have led the gullible multitude to slaughter—and he rails against the British military for fighting a war of containment aimed at bringing the rebel leadership to negotiation. This policy effectually trapped the Loyalists between the British army, which ignored them, and the rebels, who despised them.
One of the best-educated of the colonialists, Odell, a physician turned Anglican minister and then writer, lived the gamut of experience: powerful friends sustained him and the British commanders-in-chief Sir William Howe, Henry Clinton, and Sir Guy Carleton employed him; nevertheless, during the war he was a lonely exile ("Tory hunters" forced him from his home in 1775), and, at the end of the war, when his hope for reconciliation between the Loyalists and the Americans came to nothing, he reluctantly emigrated to Canada.
Here is a voice, all but silenced for over two hundred years, that must now be heard if we are to better understand the American Revolution.
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