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Farmington Loyalists

Not all town residents rallied to the cause of the Revolution. A few dared to take a stand as Loyalists, or Tories. As Christopher Bickford wrote in Farmington in Connecticut, the Tories included some political conservatives opposed to rebellion against the crown, a few Episcopalians attached to the Church of England, and the rare opportunist who thought he was backing the winning side.

One self-declared Tory, Mathias Leaming, was “excommunicated” in a town vote and had his land confiscated. His gravestone in the “Memento Mori” cemetery reads, ” In Memory of Mr. Mathias Leaming Who hars got beyond the reach of Parcecuchion. The Life of man is Vanity.”

Leaming’s gravestone faces west, the opposite direction of the others in the rows nearby. He asked his brother to bury him with “his feet to the west, so that when the last trumpet sounded he should rise and shine, facing opposite from his persecutors.”

The number of Tories in Farmington was small, however, compared to that in towns such as New Haven and Stamford, and particularly in strongholds of Loyalism such as Redding and Newtown.

  1776  /  Revolutionary War  /  Last Updated January 11, 2014 by Sean Galvin  /