From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens

The DePeyster Family of New York

By Valerie H. McKito

Subjects: New York/regional, American History
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438458106, 260 pages, November 2015

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Table of contents

Introduction: The Disappearance of the Loyalists
1. The DePeyster Tradition
2. Canadian Exile
3. Sibling Relations
4. Building a Fortune
5. Preparing the Next Generation
6. Continuing the Tradition
A. DePeyster Genealogy 1
B. DePeyster Genealogy 2
C. DePeyster Genealogy 3
D. DePeyster Genealogy 4
E. DePeyster Genealogy 5

Challenges the traditional perception that Loyalists were ostracized as traitors to the United States, after the American Revolution.


The DePeyster family of New York was one of the first families of New Amsterdam, ranking among the wealthiest of New York during the early days of the American Republic. The DePeysters were also unapologetic Loyalists, serving in the King's forces during the American Revolution. After the war, the four sons left the United States for Canada and Great Britain. Ten years later, one son, Frederick DePeyster, returned to New York, embraced his Loyalist past, and utilized his British connections to become a prominent and successful merchant. The DePeysters went on to become true Patriots, zealously supporting US interests in the War of 1812. This book examines the forces at work in the lives of the DePeyster family and the decisions they made to navigate their way from loyal subjects of the British crown to loyal citizens of the United States. How this transformation occurred challenges many of the preconceived ideas we hold both about the Revolution and the formation of the American identity in the years following the war.

Valerie H. McKito is an independent scholar. She lives in Lubbock, Texas.


"This is a book that can be appreciated by professional historians and history buffs alike, and is a successful merging of genealogy and academic inquiry. McKito's work will hopefully inspire others to look at loyalist attempts to reintegrate into the United States, and her methodology can serve as a base for other historians to explore areas outside of new York City. " — Hudson River Valley Review

"From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens recasts the image of the Loyalist into a more sympathetic mold. These people were not one-dimensional ideologues, but human beings, with all the concerns, cares, and hopes of other Americans. McKito has crafted a persuasive study of Loyalists in the aftermath of the tumultuous Revolutionary War, looking at the DePeyster family of New York to understand how many Loyalists returned from exile and successfully reconciled themselves with the young American republic. " — Joshua M. Smith, author of Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783–1820

"From Loyalists to Loyal Citizens is an intriguing look at exiled Loyalist Frederick DePeyster and his family and how easily they reentered the society and business world of republican New York. Both former Loyalists and Patriots quickly returned to the goal of making money. The account of life in Canada is especially good. " — Philip Ranlet, author of The New York Loyalists: Second Edition