The Loyalist


In the family Bible it was written that “Michael Eisan married for the third time at the age of 101 and died of his excesses at the age of 103.” That was enough to convince me to write about this man who was my four times great-grandfather, and so began years of research and writing culminating in my historical novel The Loyalist.

The novel is told from two points of view. The first is Michael Eisan who takes 30-year-old Sarah Lawrence as a wife. An old man now, Michael remembers his experiences in South Carolina during the American Revolution. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, Michael chooses the losing side and fights in a Loyalist militia in this bitter civil war. Among other skirmishes, he fights at the Battle of King’s Mountain and the Siege of Ninety Six.

The second point of view is Sarah Lawrence, a widow who marries the old man, for the sake of her young son. In spite of her apprehensions, she finds herself falling in love with the centenarian. Embarrassed by this, she tries to find out all she can about his youth, but Michael remains secretive of his past. Sarah is resented by his many children, especially his oldest daughters, Janet McCarthy and Lizzie Eisan. This animosity comes to a head when Michael suffers a stroke and Sarah nurses him back to health in spite of his advanced age.

The historical incidents that are described in The Loyalist really took place, and my ancestor Michael Eisan, over the course of his long life (c. 1730- 1833), took part in them. However, he did not pass this story down to the next generations. I initially discovered much of it, including the quotation from the family Bible, on the Eisan family website, but my further research has revealed many more details about his amazing life.




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