Meet The Loyalist Soldier from the American Revolution

by  The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life (Canada)

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Many people see the American Revolution as a conflict between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. What is often overlooked is the fact that this conflict was also a civil war between fellow colonists, which pitted neighbour against neighbour, and split families apart. The Loyalists, who chose to remain loyal to their king, are estimated to have been between 20-33% of the population. Many Loyalists took up arms to defend their ideals, but many tried to stay out of the fighting, or were intimidated by mobs.

Loyalists are often thought to have been only the most recently immigrated British elites, but loyalism cut through class and ethnic divisions, and even included William Franklin, Governor of New Jersey and son of Benjamin Franklin. For this session, students and teachers will interview Jacob Sipes, a real Loyalist soldier. Jacob Sipes was born on the frontier of New York and was living in Pennsylvania when the war started. He served in the famous Loyalist regiment, Butler's Rangers, and was resettled as a pioneer farmer in Upper Canada after the war. He is reenacted in first-person by one of his descendants.

The Loyalist is prepared to discuss:
-the reasons for staying loyal to the crown, and the choices faced by Loyalists
-becoming a Loyalist soldier in the British Army, and the experiences of Loyalists during the revolution
-The Peace Treaty, and the resettlement of the Loyalists in Canada
-the 30,000 "Late Loyalists" who left the United States for Canada after 1783, including Black Loyalists and Native Loyalists
-unresolved conflicts of the American revolution, and the hostile situation leading up to the War of 1812

The Loyalist will also have on hand various artifacts, including a British musket and farm tools. If desired by the teacher, the presenter may also teach the students a simple period dance, with live fiddle music.

Comments from teachers:

"It was very beneficial to hear how the British Loyalists felt during the American Revolution. Our textbooks are very one-sided and therefore tint the historical facts of the Revolutionary War. It was an eye opener to discuss the Revolutionary War with someone whose viewpoint was very different from what we, in the states, are used to hearing."

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About This Program


By Request: $150.00
By Request Premium: $125.00


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult LearnersPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

no minimum

Maximum participants:

There is no maximum, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 40 students.

Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

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For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We are willing to make every effort possible to re-schedule when necessary, but sessions canceled with less than 24 hours notice will be billed in full, unless there are severe circumstances, such as illness, weather, and school closure.

About This Provider

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The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life (Canada)

Sheffield, Ontario

The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life preserves, studies, and teaches broad elements of rural heritage, with a specific focus on the history of the village of Sheffield, Ontario, and a wider focus on the medieval European background of North American rural culture.

Marty Pullin

Program Details


1. The presentation begins with the Loyalist introducing himself and briefly outlining his experiences during the American Revolution.
2. Students and teachers are invited to interview the Loyalist, asking any questions they wish.
3. If desired by the teacher, the presenter will teach the students a period dance, and will then play live music on the fiddle for them while they dance.
4. The remaining time is for final questions.


The participant will:
-interview a character from the past
-investigate loyalism during the American Revolution
-participate in a traditional dance
-observe the technology used by pioneer farmers
-develop a deeper understanding of the American Revolution

Standards Alignment

National Standards


-Understands the causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in forging the revolutionary movement, and the reasons for the American victory
-Understands the impact of the American Revolution on politics, economy, and society
-Understands the institutions and practices of government created during the Revolution and how they were revised between 1787 and 1815 to create the foundation of the American political system based on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights

State Standards

Canada - Ontario
History: Grade 7 – British North America

Students examine where and why colonists settled in British North America after the fall of
New France, focusing on the American Revolution as a catalyst for the migration of the
Loyalists, the Iroquois, and others. They also examine the causes, events, and results of the
War of 1812, including its influence on Canadian-American relations. Students use inquiry/
research and communication skills to explore how personalities and events shaped the new
British colonies.

– explain the historical impact of key events
on the settlement of British North America
(e.g., the Treaty of Paris, the Quebec
Act, the American Revolution);
– describe the different groups of people
(e.g., Black Loyalists, slaves, indentured
servants, Iroquois allied nations, Maritime
Loyalists) who took part in the Loyalists’
migration and identify their areas of
– outline the reasons for the early settlement
of English Canada (e.g., as an outcome of
the American Revolution);
– explain key characteristics of life in English
Canada from a variety of perspectives
(e.g., family life, economic and social life,
the growth and development of early institutions,
transportation, relationships with
First Nation peoples and French settlers)