Contingent and Continuum: Simeon Perkins and “Loyalist” Nova Scotia, 1773- 1785
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Nova Scotia remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. The majority of the population had close ties with New England, which raises the question of why Nova Scotia adopted this position during the conflict. This thesis explores this question through the lens of Simeon Perkins, a Connecticut- born merchant who lived in Nova Scotia. Perkins has been viewed as a conventional Loyalist, but a close examination of his diary reveals that his loyalism differed in important respects from the traditional perspective of Loyalists. This thesis explores different aspects of loyalty in Nova Scotia, and it argues that Perkins’ loyalty was both contingent and evolved significantly over the course of the American Revolution. The transformative nature of this experience within Nova Scotia is discussed in relation to patterns within Perkins’s trade and commerce.