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"UE": The Mark of Honour


Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester

General Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester
Library and Archives Canada, C-002833

After the initial flurry of settling the United Empire Loyalists on their new lands, Lord Dorchester, Governor of British North America, decided to honour those who had lost virtually everything they owned.

On November 9, 1789, in Council at Quebec City, he gave particular recognition to the “First Loyalists”. The Dorchester Resolution, approved by Council,

  1. defined the UE Loyalists as those who had adhered to the Unity of Empire and joined the Royal Standard in America [publicly showed support for the British]
  2. put a Mark of Honour upon the Families of the UE Loyalists
  3. approved the granting by the Land Boards of 200 acres of land to the sons and daughters of the UE Loyalists.

Accompanying the resolution to be laid before King George III in London was the following:

“N.B. Those Loyalists who have adhered to the Unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal Standard (in America) before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783, and all their children and their descendants by either sex, are to be distinguished by the following Capitals, affixed to their names: UE – Alluding to their principle The Unity of the Empire”.

In the covering letter, Lord Dorchester explained: “Care had been taken to reward the spirit of loyalty and industry, to extend and transmit it to future generations.” Today, descendants of those “First Loyalists” are entitled to use these initials.

For further information, visit “Who Qualifies as a Loyalist?” at the UELAC website.