Active 1689-1784
Country  Great Britain,  United States
Allegiance  Great Britain,  United States
Branch colonial militia, independent volunteers, military association, refugees, partisans, (auxiliary troops)
Type infantry, dragoons (mounted infantry), artillery
Size company-regiment

Maryland Protestant Revolution (1649-1692)

King George's War (1744-1748)

French and Indian War (1754-1763)

American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

Associators were members of 17th and 18th century, volunteer, military associations, in the British American Thirteen Colonies and British Colony of Canada, more commonly known as, Maryland Protestant, Pennsylvania, and American Patriot and British Loyalist, colonial militias. There were other names, used to describe associators, such as "Associations", "Refugees", and "Volunteers", and "Partisans". The term, "Non-Associators", applied to American colonists, who refused to support and sign "military association" charters, were not affiliated with associators, or would choose instead, to pay a fine and suffer possible retaliation.

Maryland Protestant Associators

Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Associators

During King George's War, Benjamin Franklin, in 1747, wrote and published the pamphlet, Plain Truth, calling for a voluntary association to defend Philadelphia. This was in line with his earlier formation of volunteer fire-companies. This organization was formed and approved by the Council and the officers would be commissioned by the Council President.[1] The 111th Infantry Regiment (United States) traces their lineage to these Pennsylvania Associators. In 1755 these groups were re-established in response to Braddock's Defeat.[2]

Associators in American Revolutionary War

American Patriot Associators

State of Pennsylvania

In 1776, Pennsylvania, Patriot, volunteer, military groups, in the tradition of earlier, colonial, associator militias, used the name the Pennsylvania Associators and in 1777, were renamed the Pennsylvania State Militia.

British Loyalist Associators

Many, Loyalist irregulars, who fought with the British, in the American Revolutionary War, were "associators". These units were sometimes commissioned, by the commander in chief, but could also, be commissioned by the commander of a garrison or a royal colonial governor. They received no pay, and often no uniforms; they were usually issued provisions, but relied on labor or looting to earn money. Loyalist Associators often served in mixed-race units, composed of whites, escaped slaves, and even American Indians.

Perhaps, one of, the most famous, Loyalist associators was Colonel Tye, a former slave and leader of the infamous, "Black Brigade"; the first known, black officer, in North American military history.

Province of Georgia

Province of Massachusetts

Province of Maryland

Province of New Jersey

Province of New York

Province of Rhode Island

Other Loyalist Associators

Notable Associators


  1. Newland, Samuel J. The Pennsylvania Militia:Defending the Commonwealth and the nation, 1669-1870 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs (2002)pp36-45
  2. The Pennsylvania magazine of history and biography, Volume 26. Retrieved Feb 27, 2010.

External links

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