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With Nothing But Our Courage: The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald is the third historical fiction book in the Dear Canada series. The book was written by Karleen Bradford; her first for the series. It was published in March 2002 and was followed by Footsteps in the Snow by Carol Matas.


"For my husband, Jim, with many thanks for all his support.
I would like to thank Gavin K. Watt, B.A. Sc., C.M.H., Editor; The King's Royal Regiment of New York; Robert Stacey, Arts Associates, Toronto, Ontario; and the staff at the National Archives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Book description[]

"October 7th, 1783
They came for Father this morning. A loud, rowdy bunch of so-called Patriots with cockades in their hats, all puffed up with righteousness and their own importance. We knew most of them. They were our neighbours. People we used to call friends. They pulled Father out of the house and dragged him down the path. They just dragged him! And then...
This is the part I cannot write. But I must.
They lifted my dear father up and sat him on a mule — backwards! They paraded him through town that way, shouting vile oaths that I cannot repeat even to this journal. Then they brought him back and threw him down in the dust.
"Here's a pass for you, Tory," one of them shouted, tossing a piece of paper after him. "Use it and be out of here by morning. All of you. We don't want filthy Tories in this town!

"Le 7 octobre 1783
Ils sont venus chercher papa, ce matin. Toute une bande de ces prétendus « patriotes », bruyants et agités, avec une cocarde attachée à leur chapeau, se donnant des airs de vertu et d'importance. Nous les connaissons presque tous : des voisins, des gens que nous avons toujours considérés comme des amis. Le papa de Lizzie Crane faisait partie du groupe. Et Ned Bolton aussi. Sa femme et maman se connaissent depuis toujours! Ils se sont emparés de papa et l'ont traîné dans la poussière. Traîné! Et la...
Je n'arrive pas à écrire la suite. Mais il le faut!
Ils ont soulevé mon cher papa et l'ont assis à l'envers sur un mulet! lis lui ont ensuite attaché les mains au pommeau et ont fouetté l'animal pour le faire avancer. Ils ont ainsi parade papa partout dans la ville, en lui criant des injures si grossières que je n'ose pas les répéter, même par écrit. Mon propre papa! II va en mourir de honte!
Puis ils l'ont ramené à la maison et l'ont jeté par terre. « Voici un laissez-passer, sale Loyaliste, lui ont-ils crié en lui lançant un bout de papier. Prenez-le et disparaissez avant demain matin. Tous! Nous ne voulons plus de sales Loyalistes dans notre ville! »



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of With Nothing But Our Courage characters


Main article: Karleen Bradford



  • Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice (2002) - commended[4]
  • Resource Links, Best of the Year (2002) - commended[4]


"Thanks to Barbara Hehner for her careful checking of the manuscript and Dr. Jane Errington for sharing her historical expertise."


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail from Robert Herdman's 1864 painting Evening Thoughts. The background is photograph of the Loyalist flag taken by Andrea Casault.[5][6]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]