Not all British soldiers went home after the American Revolution. Many chose to stay in the new United States. William Dorrell was one of the thousands of captured British soldiers of General John Burgoyne's army that had met with disaster at the battle of Saratoga in New York in 1777. Dorrell settled in
Massachusetts and started a religious group known as the Dorrelites in 1786. Among other beliefs, the Dorrelites did not kill animals for food or clothing. This early 19th century cavalry sword was found in Dorrell's house in Leyden, Massachusetts, after he died in 1846. The knuckle guard is broken off, and oddly, the leather covering has been removed. Perhaps William Dorrell found that the leather went against his beliefs.