Kieran O'Keefe, George Washington University
Society of the Cincinnati Fellow
Kieran’s dissertation examines Loyalists from New York’s Hudson River Valley during and after the American Revolutionary War. It looks at the effects of violence on Loyalist identity and society. As a longitudinal study ranging from the 1760s until well after the war, it contends that revolutionary violence fundamentally and permanently reshaped society and social relations. Violence was not sporadic and sensational but constant and definitive for individual communities. It tells an inclusive history of loyalism and violence, joining the experiences of white Loyalists with African Americans and Indian tribes who sided with Great Britain. The dissertation also explores the global diaspora of the Hudson Valley Loyalists, tracing their experiences around the world, to see how Loyalists from an individual region grappled with the destruction and dispersal of their communities. It additionally compares the fate of Loyalists who went into exile to those who remained in New York and reintegrated into republican society.