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Vol. 49 No. 1 (2020)

“Gilded Misery”: The Robie Women in Loyalist Exile and Repatriation, 1775–1790

September 24, 2020


Forced to flee Marblehead, Massachusetts, in late April 1775, Thomas Robie, his wife Mary Bradstreet Robie, and their four children were among the earliest Loyalist refugees to land in Nova Scotia. The arrival of thousands more Loyalists in 1783 brought widespread hardship to the region, but the collective suffering also provided Mary Bradstreet Robie and her two daughters the opportunity to contribute to the Loyalist community and assert their will within the family. This study of the Robie family demonstrates that Loyalist women were not simply domestic figures of support nor were they resigned to exile as passive followers of husbands and fathers.