When the American Revolutionary War ended in 1783, people who supported the British Crown in the Thirteen Colonies fled in droves. As an incentive to resettle in Canada, King George III of the United Kingdom gave each person a parcel of land. Approximately 35,000 to 40,000 arrived in Nova Scotia and the new colony of New Brunswick. In 1783, 14,000 of them decided to live in Saint John. The immigrants were called United Empire Loyalists or Loyalists for short. This cemetery was established during their initial year. The Old Loyalist Burial Ground operated for 65 years. Loyalist Day is celebrated annually in Saint John on May 18. This marks the anniversary of their first landing in 1783.