Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Divided Loyalties

Divided Loyalties

How the American Revolution Came to New York

Richard M. Ketchum

Henry Holt and Co.



Before the Civil War splintered the young country, there was another conflict that divided friends and family--the Revolutionary War

Prior to the French and Indian War, the British government had taken little interest in their expanding American empire. Years of neglect had allowed America's fledgling democracy to gain power, but by 1760 America had become the biggest and fastest-growing part of the British economy, and the mother country required tribute.

When the Revolution came to New York City, it tore apart a community that was already riven by deep-seated family, political, religious, and economic antagonisms. Focusing on a number of individuals, Divided Loyalties describes their response to increasingly drastic actions taken in London by a succession of the king's ministers, which finally forced people to take sides and decide whether they would continue their loyalty to Great Britain and the king, or cast their lot with the American insurgents.

Using fascinating detail to draw us into history's narrative, Richard M. Ketchum explains why New Yorkers with similar life experiences--even members of the same family--chose different sides when the war erupted.


Praise for Divided Loyalties

“An exemplary work of popular history.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Ketchum is a vivid storyteller. He weaves a complex but forceful narrative web from many diaries and memoirs . . . a dynamic story.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Magnificent . . . Ketchum's lively narrative offers readers insights into the tension, fear, patriotism and loyalty that marked the beginnings of the American Revolution.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Richard M. Ketchum

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Richard M. Ketchum (1922-2012) graduated from Yale University and commanded a subchaser in the South Atlantic during World War II. As director of book publishing at American Heritage Publishing Company for twenty years, he edited many of that firm's volumes, including The American Heritage Book of the Revolution and The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War, which received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Ketchum was the cofounder and editor of Blair & Ketchum's Country Journal, a monthly magazine about rural life. He and his wife lived on a sheep farm in Vermont. He is the author of the Revolutionary War classics Decisive Day and The Winter Soldiers.

Richard M. Ketchum

Richard M. Ketchum