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Nicholas Cresswell was twenty-four years old when he left his birthplace of Edale, England to sail for Virginia, believing that "a person with a small fortune may live much better and make greater improvements in America than he can possibly do in England." From the time he left, sailing from Liverpool in 1774, until the time he returned, he kept a diary detailing his experiences in pre-Revolutionary America. As a loyal subject to King George, Cresswell found himself often unhappy in America, detailing the turmoil and abuses often suffered by Loyalists in the colonies. Confining his travel mainly to the mid-Atlantic region, Cresswell not only had occasion to attend a slave gathering and observe what went on there, but also traded amongst many of the native tribes, including the Lenape, Tuscarora, Ottawa and Shawnee. Despite his ambivalence about returning to England, (toward the end of the book he moans, "I wish to be at home and yet dread the thought of returning to my native Country a Beggar " (P. 251)), life in the colonies becomes too much for this loyal subject and Cresswell's journal ends in 1777 with his return to England.
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