Walsh, Gregory Francis. “Splintered Loyalties”, Boston College, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:101845.
Abstract: Splintered Loyalties: The Revolutionary War in Essex County, New Jersey By Gregory Francis Walsh Dissertation Director: Professor Alan Rogers "Splintered Loyalties" is a study of the people of Essex County, New Jersey and their experiences during the American Revolution. It is a careful analysis of their struggle to understand sweeping political change and their efforts to act in their community's best interest. This dissertation explores the momentous impact the Continental Congress's decision to declare independence had on Essex residents and stresses that both the British and American governments continued to fight for the hearts and minds of the people of Essex well after 1776. Relying on Essex County's military, economic, and judicial records and the public and private writings of ordinary people and their leaders, this project illustrates the waxing and waning of popular support for America's war effort between 1775 and 1783. Popular memory of the Revolution often divides the wartime population into distinct Patriot and Loyalist camps. This dissertation,however, argues that such a dichotomy recognizes neither the complexity of Patriots' and Loyalists' relationships with their wartime enemies nor the varying levels of commitment that Essex Patriots demonstrated in the war to establish a new republic.