Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Common CauseCreating Race and Nation in the American Revolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert G. Parkinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626635

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626635.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 January 2019

Merciless Savages, Domestic Insurrectionists, and Foreign Mercenaries

Merciless Savages, Domestic Insurrectionists, and Foreign Mercenaries


(p.185) Chapter 3 Merciless Savages, Domestic Insurrectionists, and Foreign Mercenaries
The Common Cause

Robert G. Parkinson

University of North Carolina Press

Instead of viewing the path to independence as only about Paine's Common Sense and Jefferson's Declaration, this chapter shows the importance of stories about loyalist unrest in North Carolina and threats of the British hiring thousands of German mercenary soldiers in the first half of 1776. Patriot political and communication leaders propagated stories of British hiring proxies--Indians, slaves, Hessians--to bind together the American colonies. These stories merged with and deepened Paine's arguments about independence and republican government to forward the movement for the colonies to become separate states. In fact, the confirmation of rumors that the crown had hired ten thousand German mercenaries was the final straw that produced debates and votes for independence in colonial assemblies. The list of twenty-seven grievances in the Declaration against the king climaxes with these accusations of hiring proxies, or rather "merciless savages," "domestic insurrectionists," and "foreign mercenaries." The concept of who was not part of the "we" in "we hold these truths to be self-evident" started with the founding itself.

Keywords:   Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, Common Sense, German mercenaries, Hessians, Thomas Paine

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .