Daniel Leonard – Loyalist


Daniel Leonard (18 May 1740 – 27 June 1829) was a lawyer from colonial Massachusetts and a Loyalist in the American Revolution.

Born in Norton, Massachusetts, Leonard was a member of a prominent family who made their fortune from their iron works in Taunton, Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard College, Leonard began to practice law in Taunton.

During the Revolutionary crisis, the British Parliament passed the Massachusetts Government Act, which, among other things, abolished elections for the Massachusetts Governor’s Council and instead called for the councilors to be appointed by the royal governor. Leonard accepted an appointment by Governor Thomas Hutchinson to this new royal-controlled Council. Massachusetts Patriots were outraged, and attacked Leonard’s house. He fled to British-occupied Boston for safety.

In 1774 and 1775, Leonard wrote a book in support of royal government under the name “Massachusettensis”, which were answered by John Adams writing as “Novanglus”. During the War of Independence, Leonard left with the British when they evacuated Boston in 1776. His property, like that of other Loyalists, was confiscated.

Exiled from Massachusetts, he served as Chief Justice of Bermuda from 1782 to 1806. His 1829 death in London was possibly a suicide.


Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Leonard