Edward B. Welch


In this piece, Welch tells the story of another Newport Loyalist, Joseph Wanton, Jr., who adopted the Loyalist side because of a firm business judgement. He believed that rebellion would be an economic disaster and that it would cause Rhode Island to lose the charter which gave it so much more freedom than other colonies. He also saw that England, with its powerful Navy, was militarily much stronger than the colonies and that negotiation and conciliation rather than revolution were the prudent choices for Rhode Island. Wanton was a successful merchant from a distinguished political family, but his downfall came when the conflict with England intensified.