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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2016 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2016-22: May 29, 2016

Articles

Conference 2016

The 2016 UELAC Conference in Summerside PEI will be hosted by the Branches of the Atlantic Region: Abegweit, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on July 7-10.

Information about the conference, including the registration form, is now available read here.

A Favour of the Queen

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Sixty years after the first loyalist refugees came to the mouth of the St. John River, an unmarried New Brunswick woman sent a petition to Queen Victoria. Desperate for the resources to keep herself alive, Mary Morehouse based her request for an allowance from the British government upon the fact that her father had been a loyalist.

The Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists had heard its last claims for compensation in May of 1788. By that time, 2,291 of the 5,656 loyalists who had come before the commission had received £3,0033,091 for their losses. And yet, 55 years after the last compensations had been doled out, Mary Morehouse hoped that a grateful sovereign would give her a pension.

Mary was born in the parish of Queensbury, an area about halfway between Fredericton and Woodstock on the St. John River. Her father had been a loyalist soldier who as a teenager had fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Born in April of 1784, Mary was the first child and only daughter of Daniel and Jane (Gill) Morehouse; all the couple's other children were boys. Although Mary included the fact that she had brothers in her petition to the crown, she failed to mention that there were six of them: Henry, George, Frederick, John, Charles and William.

Mary also neglected to tell her beloved sovereign that she jointly inherited the family mill. Her father had also willed the Morehouse home to her and her unmarried brothers. This failure to report all of the facts is interesting for in all other points of her petition, Mary is quite a stickler for details. But before we look at what she told the crown, let's take a moment to review the story of the loyal Morehouses.

Thanks to a letter written by Mary's brother George in the mid-1860s, we know some of the wartime experiences of their father, Daniel Morehouse. Connecticut patriots tried to force young Morehouse -- while still a university student-- to serve in the local militia. Although his uncle paid the ten pound fine to allow Daniel to continue his studies at King's College, within three months' time the patriots once again tried to impress Morehouse into the militia. When he refused, they seized his horse, saddle and bridle to cover the fine for failure to serve.

Angry and frustrated, Daniel Morehouse set off for New York City with a friend and tried to get a commission in the Queen's Rangers. In the end, he had to enlist as a regular soldier. Morehouse was a sergeant in the regiment for many years before being made the Quarter Master for a company of dragoons. He fought under Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. Few loyalists could claim to have the double distinction of fighting for their king victoriously at the Battle of Bunker Hill and in defeat at the Battle of Yorktown.

In April 1783, Daniel Morehouse married Jane Gill in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Their daughter Mary considered this so important that she included the Morehouses' marriage certificate with her petition to the crown. Whether it swayed the royal civil service will never be known. The newlywed Morehouses came to the colony in the fall fleet of 1783 with the Queens American Rangers. Family lore remembered the date of arrival as being October 18th.

This October Fleet was comprised of eight vessels carrying eleven militia companies. Married only six months and expecting their first child, Daniel and Jane Morehouse would have been passengers on either the Mercury, the Nancy, the Mary, the Neptune, the Jason, the Alexander, the Sally or the John & Jane. Their evacuation fleet would be the last to deliver refugees to the St. John River from New York City. Little Mary Morehouse was born the following spring.

After settling in New Brunswick, Daniel Morehouse built a gristmill and served his community as a magistrate. In her 1843 petition, Mary failed to mention her father's status in Queensbury. Instead, she referred to his seven years of military service, the halfpay that he received as a former quartermaster, and the land that he received on the St. John River. There was no compensation paid out for his war time losses, and because his wife predeceased him by six years, she received no widow's pension from the government. Mary was fifty-one years old when her father died in 1835 at 77 years of age.

In his will, Daniel Morehouse gave his children some parting words of advice. "I recommend to my heirs that they sell and dispose of all the property I have left them as soon as they can dispose of it without making too great a sacrifice and remove to some other country where their labour may yield them a better return."

Since Morehouse had been a member of the Queen's American Rangers, it is likely that the "country" to which he was referring was Upper Canada and not the United States. While serving as the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, his former commander, Sir John Graves Simcoe, had made grants available to any loyalists who would journey west. Many New Brunswick loyalists had already taken Simcoe up on his offer. It may be that Morehouse regretted not pulling up stakes to join fellow loyalists in the new colony.

Despite inheriting an interest in the family mill and home --and despite the fact that she had six brothers to support her-- Mary felt destitute eight years after her father's death. She told the crown that she "being unmarried, is... dependent on her brothers for support and maintenance." Her age, she felt, precluded her from "much exertion in supporting herself". She concluded by humbly praying that Her Majesty would grant her an allowance "in consideration of her father's service and loyalty to your gracious majesty's predecessors".

There is no record of how Buckingham Palace responded to the pleas of a 59 year-old daughter of a loyalist but it seems highly unlikely that she was granted an allowance. Eleven years after Mary wrote to Queen Victoria, The New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser carried this notice: "Died 25th April {1854}, at her residence {in} Queensbury, York County, Miss Mary Morehouse, age 70".

The "residence" in which Mary died was a farm house that her father had built in 1820. Described as a "typical loyalist house" having a "summer kitchen with a large fireplace for cooking", the Morehouse home is now part of Kings Landing Historic Settlement. As you tour the house on your next visit to New Brunswick, try to imagine a plucky older woman walking about its rooms -- a woman who dared to ask a favour of the queen.


To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

B.C. Heritage Fairs, Vancouver

BC Heritage Fairs are well represented again in 2016 by students from Vancouver School District. (Read, with photos, here.)

In support of this history program, UELAC Vancouver Branch has just completed its 5th year of adjudication at the BC Heritage Fairs in the Schools of Vancouver.

For the past three months adjudicating has been going on at individual schools within the district. The winners of each school then proceeded to the Vancouver Regional Fair.

On Wednesday 18 May, members of the Vancouver Branch adjudicated again at the BC Regional Heritage Fair to choose their Award Winners for 2016.

Certificates of Excellence will be presented to the Top 5 Winners this year at the individual student's School Closing Ceremonies.

These top 5 winners will be invited with their families to present their Heritage and/or History projects at the September Vancouver Branch Meeting. We look forward to seeing their presentations.

...Carl Stymiest, UE, Chairperson, BC Heritage Fairs

Borealia: Early Canadian Environmental History (Where is it at?)

The entry last week set the stage for a series of posts and a concluding forum on early Canadian environmental history. Here they are:

  • Jamaican Maroons in Nova Scotia: The politics of climate and race. by Anya Zilberstein. Not long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau handed winter coats to Syrian refugees arriving in Toronto this past December, reports about the immigrants' problems began appearing in the press. This incident reminded me of a much earlier episode in Canadian history when a political leader welcomed people unwanted in other countries. In that case, the severity of northern winters became the focus of transatlantic controversy over whether or not black emigrants from the Caribbean could survive in the North.
  • The Environmental and Cultural History of the St. John River by Jason Hall.  Rivers have been foundational to the development of historical thinking since the Greek philosopher Heraclitus coined the expression "no man can cross the same river twice," 2,500 years ago. Many scholars have subsequently encouraged students to "think like rivers" to recognize the inherently transient nature of the world. My dissertation, River of Three Peoples: An Environmental and Cultural History of the Wəlastəkw / Rivière St. Jean / St. John River, c. 1550 to 1850, used the largest river in the Maritimes and New England as an organizing device to consider a host of diverse topics within a single cohesive project that revealed patterns and continuities in human history, as well as changes within the physical river system, which are not always evident in narrower chronologies. It also helped me bridge established scholarly divisions among Indigenous, Acadian, and British histories. What follows is a summary of some of the study's principal findings.
  • Who was the King of the Beasts in New France? by Colin M. Coates.  Some species are better to "think" with than others. When Europeans came to North America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they encountered some new species, and they certainly recognized different distributions of species they knew already. In published accounts, they described the natural features of the region to a European audience.
  • Early Canadian Environmental History: A Forum with the authors. A roundabout way of asking: are you in the camp that see the pre-Confederation field as in decline, as fundamentally healthy, or even, given the opening up of digital sources, as experiencing a renaissance? And, bringing environmental history into the mix, how do you interpret the pre-Confederation field's current standing?

JAR: The Loyalist Guides of Lexington and Concord

By Alexander Cain May 23, 2016

When Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill in 1774, in an attempt to break the Massachusetts colonists of their resistance to crown policy, it also authorized Gen. Thomas Gage to undertake any military measures necessary to help bring the colony under control.

In late winter and early spring of 1775, Gage received a series of dispatches from London ordering him to not only arrest the leaders of Massachusetts's opposition party, but to launch a major strike against the apparently growing provincial stockpiles of weapons and munitions.

The general decided to seize the military supplies reportedly stored at Concord, only half as far away as Worcester. Gage's plan called for approximately seven hundred men composed of the elite grenadiers and light infantry from several regiments and a company of marines, to march from Boston to Concord under cover of darkness on April 18, 1775.

One group that was noticeably absent from Gage's instructions or subsequent accounts of the Battles of Lexington and Concord were the Loyalist guides who either volunteered or were recruited to assist the military expedition. Little has been written about the role Loyalists played in Gage's military operation. Many historians suggest that perhaps two to three Loyalists accompanied Smith's regulars. Likewise, the role of armed and mounted Loyalists present with General Percy's relief force has been almost completely overlooked. Read more.

Book: Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City

Author: Todd W. Braisted UE

Yardley PA. Westholme Publishing. 2016. Hardcover. 223 pages. Cover.

Reviewed by Peter W. Johnson UE

UELAC Honorary Vice-President Todd Braisted has just released a much anticipated book on a Revolutionary War event that has been rather ignored by others. Todd's credentials as a researcher and re-enactor are well known so one can safely expect a work of quality.

The Revolutionary War event highlighted by this book is the Grand Forage of September and October of 1778 which saw over 6,000 British and Loyalist troops range over parts of Westchester County NY and Bergen County NJ as well as the edges of Orange County NY - that part now designated as Rockland County. To put it into perspective, the British fielded more troops than they had at the better known battles at Saratoga. Yet, as Todd observes, this huge operation has largely been ignored in studies of the Revolutionary War. This would be in part because there were no battles of a scale to equal that of a Yorktown or Brandywine. Furthermore the British operation was successful and there were no great Rebel victories to crow about for historians favouring that side.

The purpose of the Grand Forage was not to conquer and retain territory, but rather to acquire produce and other necessities needed by the Army. Where opportunities presented themselves, there was also a determination to curtail Rebel operations. For example the raid on Egg Harbour late in the Grand Forage had that goal in mind. Egg Harbour had been a home base for Rebel privateers whom the British deemed to be pirates.

This book is not a genealogy but a history. If you have deep roots in the area as I do, don't expect to find your individual Loyalist named. This book gives you 'the big picture' and sets the stage for a better understanding of what your local ancestor would have experienced.

One individual who does stand out is Ann Bates whom I had previously not known. At great risk to herself she served as a secret agent and made a number of successful forays into the Rebel camp. A teacher from Philadelphia originally, she survived the War and was able to make a Claim afterwards. What happened to her in later years would be wonderful to know as she is clearly a Loyalist heroine and her story needs to be spread. (pp.36-38)

If there is a climax to the book, it is the chapter about the so-called "Baylor Massacre" which occurred near Tappan NY at what is now River Vale NJ. There a troop of Virginian cavalrymen under Baylor were ambushed at night by Grey's British soldiers. The British attacked with bayonets and their muskets were not loaded. Thus when any firing did take place it immediately gave away the location of a Rebel. Bergen County New Jersey had one of the highest percentages of Loyalists and many were ready to assist the British in preparing for the ambush. Make no mistake about it, had the sides been reversed and a Rebel group ambushed the British instead, the word "massacre" would disappear and it would be deemed a "glorious victory" in American history books.

This is the type of book which very readily puts your Loyalist's experiences into perspective and against the backdrop of the Grand Forage of 1778. If you have Loyalist ties to any of Westchester, Bergen or Orange Counties this should be essential reading for you. Don't miss it! Look for a more extensive review in the next Loyalist Gazette.

War of 1812: Henry and Frederick Winters, George Winter

Henry Winters (1790-1857), Frederick Winters (1756-ca.1834), and George Winter (??-1812).

Henry Winters (1793-1857) was the first son of Nicholas Winters and a grandson of Henry Winters, UEL. Nicholas, his father Henry UEL, and 4 brothers (Henry, Frederick, Jacob, and Peter, a young drummer) are recorded as serving variously in Butler's Rangers and/or KRRNY. Nicholas also had two other brothers, George and Joseph, who, in the absence of birth years, appear to have been born between Henry and Frederick - George was enlisted in the militia during the War of 1812. A nephew of Henry (Nicholas, son of Peter) served in 3rd Regiment of the Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812, but this article has not been extended to cover the children of Nicholas' brothers and sister. These men, descendants of Palatine refugees in 1710, were of small build and there were no officers among them. They were there when they were needed.

During the revolution, Nicholas was captured by rebel forces as of January, 1778, and was to be part of a prisoner exchange; he appears as a member of the family of Henry Winters, on both the British list in the Haldimand Papers and on the rebel list. One is a page long list including Mrs. Butler and the Butler children, and two Bowmans. However, Nicholas was instead sent as a POW to Connecticut. Perhaps more by persuasion than by will, he joined the Connecticut line, served the required two years and was given a discharge.

Separated from his entire family, Nicholas went to college. Nicholas appears on the 1790 census for Hebron, Connecticut with a wife, 2 daughters and a son.

By 1798, Nicholas and family had arrived in Montreal; while there, another son, William, was born. Nicholas took the Oath of Allegiance in 1801, and subsequently took his family to Osnabruck, Stormont County, to find and rejoin his parents and siblings. But his parents and two brothers, Jacob and Peter, had moved on, initially to Bertie, and subsequently to Etobicoke in York County. Siblings remaining in Cornwall were brothers Frederick and George, and his sister Elizabeth, wife of Pader/Peter "The Elder" Ruppert/Rupert.

One of the two daughters of Nicholas married George Wright on Oct 18, 1803 - in Cornwall - the record identifies her as Sarah, daughter of Nicholas.

Nicholas and his wife had another son, Peter, whose birth date in the Anglican baptism record in Cornwall was Sept 1, 1804. This record finally provides a name, Dorothea, for his wife. (Dorothea's surname remains unknown but is possibly Daniels, according to an obituary written some years later for another relative by a grandson).

On October 14, 1811, Nicholas petitioned the government for title to the land he occupied, after living there for 5 years. He and his son Henry had worked hard at building a home and clearing, planting, and harvesting crops. His petition explains that he had been in the Province for 12 years (therefore since 1799), and he had taken the Oath of Allegiance. It was noted that his father and brothers were soldiers in the regiment of Sir John Johnston's 2nd Battalion of Royal York Volunteers during the last rebellion. Nicholas naturally wanted to patent the land but his application was not approved.

By 1812, their first son Henry was about 20 years of age. Henry and his uncles Frederick Winter and George Winters enlisted and served as Privates in the 1st Flank Company of 1st Stormont Militia. The two main combat events for the militia were the Battle of French Mills Nov, 1812 and the Battle of Chrysler's Farm on Nov 11, 1813. George Winter, identified as a brother of Frederick, was injured and died.

In 1815, Nicholas and his son Henry still hoped to get patents on the lots. The War of 1812 was now over. It became very difficult for any American Non-Loyalist to get a patent for their land. The War of 1812 resulted in changes in qualifications. Unless an applicant could attach a certificate of Loyalty during the War of 1812 to the petition, it was going to be ignored. There was no point in Nicholas petitioning again for the land patent.

Henry was now 23 years old, a native of Connecticut, but had been in the province for 16 years, since 1799. His service in the Stormont Militia and service in the War of 1812 would be to his credit. He would also qualify for his own militia bounty. He petitioned for the land that Nicholas had not been able to patent in 1811, being lot 38, 4th concession of Cornwall. There is no relationship indicated in this new application. He also applied for lot A, of the 3rd concession of Osnabruck. He did not get a patent for either lot, and they had to continue on a lease basis.

However, it appears that Henry did not get his certificate for his six months of service. A Militia certificate issued for Henry had been misfiled in the Township papers for Enniskillen and therefore lost for many years. (It was located by researcher Guylaine Petrin in recent years.) Perhaps this was the only missing document from his application.

Henry married Nancy McWilliams, youngest child of John McWilliams, UEL, in May, 1815.

In 1817, Nancy went with a relative (Sophie Winters nee Mattice, daughter of Adam Mattice, wife of Frederick Winters) to apply for their land grants as daughters of Loyalists. Both of their applications were successful. While Sophie's grant document for 200 acres specifies the lot location, the location of Nancy's land was not recorded on her document.

(To be continued next issue.)

[Submitted by Heather Traub, Edmonton]

See Loyalists and the War of 1812 for previous submissions. More are welcome.

Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, Governor General of BNA

Charles Lennox Richmond and Lennox, 4th Duke of, soldier, administrator, governor-in-chief of British N America 1818-19 (b in Eng 9 Sept 1764; d near Richmond, UC 28 Aug 1819). After an undistinguished career in the British army, he sat as an MP in the British House of Commons 1790-1806 until he inherited the dukedom of Richmond. After serving as lord lieutenant of Ireland 1807-13, he was appointed governor-in-chief of British N America in 1818. The year after his arrival in Canada, Richmond set out on a tour of the area's internal communications and defences and visited the area now called Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Like his father and many of his peers, the Duke of Richmond was a Freemason, as were a number of our Loyalist ancestors.

Bitten by a fox, he developed rabies and died suddenly in the Town of Richmond, located near Ottawa. This Town of Richmond began as a military settlement. One of Richmond's earliest buildings was The Masonic Arms inn. The keeper of this hostelry was our brother in arms, Sergeant Major Hill, who fought with the 100th Regiment of Foot during the War of 1812. It was while staying at The Masonic Arms In August of 1819, that Charles Lennox died. His Grace had generated a lot of respect, even affection, while the Canadas were under his command. The General's tragic passing was deeply felt on both sides of the Atlantic. To mark this tragedy and to remember Lennox's good deeds, seven townships and counties in Upper and Lower Canada are named after the 4th Duke of Richmond. The citizenry of Richmond Hill chose to name their town after the two freemasons most affected in this tragedy -- the Duke of Richmond and Sergeant Major Hill. Read more about this history of Richmond Lodge #23.

[Submitted by George Brown, UE]

Resources: Hard-To-Find Books

I have used this store - Words Worth Books Ltd. - for many of the books I have purchased on loyalists, genealogy, etc. The proprietor David is able to get books second hand, even out of print - really quite good at finding books that are out of print. I am not alone; our Grand River Branch president Paul Smith has also also been impressed by David's service.

On the chance that some others might have a need: Words Worth Books Ltd., 96 King St. South, Waterloo ON N2J 1P5 519-884-2665, admin@wordsworthbooks.com

By the way, just out of interest, my DAR application has been verified, on my mother's side of the family to to my 3gt. grandfather William Gage. He fought in the American revolution and then came to Canada - many might recognize as the Gages of Stoney Creek, Battlefield House, War of 1812.

...Elsie Schneider

Where in the World?

Where are Diane Faris, Mary Anne Bethune and Christine Manzer of Vancouver Branch?

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is (if you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well). Send your submission to the editor at loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

  • Mohawk Valley and Revolutionary War History. Conference, 2 Bus Tours, 1765 Tavern Dinner and More on June 9 - 12. Deadline is near, sign-up today. More information at Mohawk Country: America's First Frontier or contact Brian Mack who also handles registration at fortplainmuseum@yahoo.com or 518-774-5669. See Flyer, Schedule, Registration.
  • Kingston & District Branch UELAC will hold its annual Luncheon on Wednesday, June 15 at noon at Minos restaurant, Kingston. Speaker will be Dr. Marcus Letourneau, an historic geographer and planning consultant. His topic is "What is the future of the past? Creative Directions and Opportunities in Heritage Conservation and Celebration". We all welcome new and creative suggestions for promoting heritage in the future, among younger generations, so it should be an interesting talk as well as a delicious lunch. We also look forward to a visit from Barb Andrew, President of UELAC who will be presenting certificates to some members. All are welcome to join us -- but need to purchase a ticket ahead of time, by June 8th. It is also necessary to indicate which of 3 entrée selections you want, when purchasing your ticket. The flyer includes a form to order tickets by mail.
  • Laura Secord Walk 2016. Saturday, June 18th at Queenston (Niagara on the Lake), ON. Only 3 weeks to go -- sign up now! We'll be previewing our innovative new digital interpretive system along portions of the trail, with location-based stories about Pioneering Women, First Nations, Black History, and the bountiful natural history of the Escarpment.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Horse Racing in Early America. Horse racing in the British American colonies dates back to the establishment of the Newmarket course on the Salisbury Plains in Hempstead Plains of Long Island in 1665. Only 1 year after the English captured New Amsterdam from the Dutch, the first English governor of New York Richard Nicolls laid out the formal race course. The course was constructed 2 miles long on Salisbury Plain on Long Island. In contrast to the dense virgin forest which covered most of the eastern Atlantic seaboard, Salisbury Plain offered a tract of grass 4 miles wide & 16 miles long.
  • Migration across the Atlantic often involved a series of stages, drawing people to London before they embarked on their journey. John Harrower, a 40-year-old shopkeeper & tradesman, lived in the far north of the British Isles. Like many of the 40,000 residents of the Scottish Highlands who left after 1760, he faced poverty & little opportunity. Harrower initially planned to travel to the Netherlands but ended up in London. The great metropolis, the largest in the western world, swelled as thousands looked unsuccessfully for employment. After several weeks, Harrower signed an indenture to travel to Virginia as a schoolmaster. He sailed with 71 other male indentees, some from London, but many others from across England & Ireland. With his relatively privileged training, Harrower was fortunate & found a new life on a tidewater plantation. These excerpts from his journal tell of his time in London, journey across the Atlantic, & arrival in Virginia.
  • The Road To Concord and Stamp Act Stamp Unveiling. In September 1774 Boston became the center of an "arms race" between Massachusetts's royal government and emboldened Patriots, each side trying to secure as much artillery as they could for the coming conflict. Townsmen even stole four small cannon out of militia armories under redcoat guard. As Patriots smuggled their new ordnance into the countryside, Gen. Thomas Gage used scouts and informants to track down those weapons, finally locating them on James Barrett's farm in Concord in April 1775. This book reveals a new dimension to the start of America's War for Independence. MHS Fellow J. L. Bell, proprietor of Boston1775.net, will share highlights from The Road to Concord and describe how the society's collections provided vital clues to this untold history. As a special treat, the U.S. Postal Service will join us for the Massachusetts unveiling of a new stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the end of the Stamp Act crisis, the first act of the American Revolution.
  • Gorgeous casaquin jacket, c. 1750-70. Check out the fitted and matched back with "watteau" pleats!
  • Archaeologists Uncover 82,000 Artifacts at American Revolution Museum Site in Philadelphia. The findings were hailed as giving a glimpse into the history of Philly.
  • The National Trust for Canada released its 12th annual Top 10 Endangered Places list on May 26, 2016. The Top 10 Endangered Places List is released annually to bring national attention to sites at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. From unique 19th-century landmarks to simple vernacular housing, stone railway stations to Modernist airports, heritage districts to single buildings, the list has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill.

Editor's Note

After a visit to Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice, we are now home again. It's great to enjoy (late) Spring here in full force.

...Doug

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