the large Tory and neutral elements, the revolutionary party was unquestionably in the lead among the people, and contained the most daring spirits and the loftiest minds of the colony. There is much to admire in the resolute devotion which many tens of thousands of Loyalists showed to the king, whose cause they made their own; and there is much to condemn in the excesses committed by a portion of the popular party. Nevertheless, as in the great English civil war of the preceding century, the party of liberty was the party of right. The purest and ablest New Yorkers were to be found in the ranks of the revolutionists; for keen-eyed and right-thinking men saw that on the main issue justice was with the colonists. The young men of ardent, generous temper, such as Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and Gouverneur Morris, found it impossible to side with the foreign party. They were Americans, freemen, conscious that they deserved to stand on a level with the best of any land; and they could not cast in their lot with the party which held as a cardinal point of its creed the doctrine of their inferiority.
The mass of quiet, good, respectable people, of conservative instincts and rather dull feelings, might rest content with being treated as inferiors, if on the whole they were treated well; might submit to being always patronized and often bullied, if only they were protected; might feel