Our Events


270th Anniversary Event: Sophie Jones and Christopher F. Minty, Loyalists and the American Revolution in New York City

Friday, March 8, 2024 - 12:00 PM | Livestream (online only) | open to the public | $10 per person | registration required

2024 marks the Library's 270th anniversary. Up to the Revolutionary War, the Library occupied a room in City Hall, and our early readers included both revolutionaries and loyalists. In this unique event, two leading scholars of the Loyalist movement in New York City discuss their work and revise our understanding of the coming of the American Revolution.

A recording will be available to registrants immediately following the live event.

Dr. Christopher F. Minty is managing editor at the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD from the School of History and Politics at the University of Stirling, Scotland. He has been awarded research fellowships from the British Library, the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library at Colonial Williamsburg, the New York State Archives, and Harvard University, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Dr. Minty is the author of Unfriendly to Liberty: Loyalist Networks and the Coming of the American Revolution in New York City. Through detailed analyses of those who became loyalists, Minty argues that would-be loyalists came together long before Lexington and Concord to form an organized, politically motivated, and inclusive political group. These men, elite and nonelite, championed an inclusive political economy that advanced the public good, and they strongly protested Parliament's reorientation of the British Empire. For New York loyalists, it was local politics, factions, institutions, and behaviors that governed their political activities in the build up to the American Revolution. Political and social disputes coming out of the Seven Years' War, more than republican radicalization in the 1770s, forged the united force that would make New York City a center of loyalism throughout the American Revolution.

Dr. Sophie Jones is a Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Liverpool, and has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the ‘Libraries, Reading Communities and Cultural Formation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic’ project since it began in October 2019. Sophie received her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2018 and previously held a PDRA position at Keele University. An historian of the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, she has published on a range of topics including loyalism, early-modern merchant families, eighteenth-century subscription libraries, and early-modern literacy. Her research has been funded by the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, the New York State Archives, the British and European Associations for American Studies, and the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. Sophie is primarily interested in the socio-cultural development of the North American colonies, and her first monograph project considers how local socio-cultural contexts shaped political identities in New York during the American Revolution.

This event is generously sponsored by Polymath Educational Services - providing personalized support for teens with learning differences.