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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2017 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2017-22: May 28, 2017

Articles

2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots

June 22 - 25, 2017; London, Ontario

Hosted by: London & Western Ontario Branch and Grand River Branch

Registration and details.

Lorenzo Sabine: Speaking for Outlaws, Wanderers and Exiles

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In 1847, Lorenzo Sabine published The American Loyalists, a biographical dictionary that boldly told the story of the American Revolution through the eyes of those who were driven from their homeland.

Writing from his home in Eastport, Maine, Sabine introduced his subject matter with these words. "Of the reasons which influenced, of the hopes and fears which agitated, and of the miseries and rewards which awaited the Loyalists ... but little is known. The most intelligent, the best informed among us, confess the deficiency of their knowledge. The reason is obvious. Men who, like the Loyalists, separate themselves from their friends and kindred, who are driven from their homes, who surrender the hopes and expectations of life, and who become outlaws, wanderers, and exiles, such men leave few memorials behind them. Their papers are scattered and lost, and their very names pass from human recollection."

Sabine had made it his goal to shed light on the story of the loyalists by recording all of the biographical details that he could discover for over 4,000 displaced Americans. His scholarship was exhaustive; his revelations produced a paradigm shift in America's understanding of the loyalists. If we reviewed each biography, we would understand how so much data could change one's earlier stereotypes, but since that is beyond the scope of a single article, let us instead flip through the pages of Sabine's book and sample of some of the shorter entries.

Adams, Doctor: Of the State of New York. In 1774, or early in 1775, he was hoisted up and exposed upon "Landlord Fay's sign-post, where was fixed a dead catamount {cougar}." The party who inflicted this punishment regretted that they had not tied him and given him instead five hundred lashes. His residence was at Arlington. {He eventually settled in Canada.}

Beard: Of North Carolina. Captain of Tories. After a bloody affray in the house of a Whig, whose daughter had refused his hand; he was captured, tried by a court-martial, and hanged.

Clarke, Isaac Winslow: Of Boston. He became Commissary-General of Lower Canada, and died in that Colony in 1822, after he had embarked for England. His daughter Susan married Charles Richard Ogden, Esq., Solicitor-General of Lower Canada, in 1829.

Forster, Moses: In September, 1779, he was at Halifax, Nova Scotia, a stranger and in distress. As a Loyalist, he had been imprisoned on shore a year; harassed by a Whig committee; driven from his family; taken out of bed and conveyed one hundred and twenty miles to a guard ship, and then transported. He had a wife and eight children; and, at the above date, was about embarking for New York.

Francis, Thomas: A Negro slave, purchased by Philip Lott of Elihu Spencer, of New Jersey. He ran away to New York on 2d November 1782, and was enlisted by Captain Thelwal into the Jamaica Rangers. He was reclaimed by the American Commissioners, in June 1783; but Sir Guy Carleton refused to give him up, since he had joined him under the sanction of the Negro Proclamation.

Frey, Philip R.: Of Tryon (now Montgomery) County, New York. He entered the military service of the King, and was an ensign in the Eighth Regiment. He was engaged in the battle of Wyoming. He died at Palestine, Montgomery... County, in 1823. His son, Samuel C. Frey, settled in Upper Canada, and communicated particulars of the sanguinary scenes at Wyoming, for Colonel Stone's use, in writing his "Life of Brant."

Herkimer, Colonel Hanjost, or John Joost: Of New York. He was a son of Johan Jost Herkimer, one of the Palatines of the German Flats, New York; and a brother of the Whig General, Nicholas Herkimer. He served in various county offices until the Revolution. His property was confiscated. He went to Canada, and died there before 1847.

Pickard, Benjamin: Drummer in Butler's Rangers. Settled at the peace -- when the corps was disbanded -- in Canada, near Niagara, and received a grant of land from the Crown. He was living in 1855, at the age of ninety-two, "hale and hearty"; and was supposed to be the only survivor of the Rangers, a corps, in the Revolution, "seven hundred strong."

Polhemus, John: Of Long Island, New York. In 1775 he signed a declaration of loyalty. The next year he acknowledged allegiance, and was confined; but was released by the Provincial Congress on his recognizance in £500. In 1777 he was designated a Trustee to provide fuel and other necessaries for the Guardhouse and Hospital of the Royal troops at Jamaica {NY}. September 13, 1783, he advertised in Rivington's paper that the ship was ready to receive the Loyalist who had enrolled themselves in his company for Annapolis, Nova Scotia, and that those who neglected his notice would not be provided with passages at the expense of the Government. In 1784 the Commissioners of Confiscation sold his estate.

Robbins, Joseph: A native of Plymouth, Massachusetts. He died at Chebogue, Nova Scotia, in 1839, aged eighty-two. His descendants at the time of his decease were two hundred and two; namely, thirteen children, ninety grandchildren, and ninety-nine great-grandchildren.

Ryan, John: He went to St. John, New Brunswick, at the peace, and was a grantee of that city. He established a newspaper called "The St. John Gazette," which in 1797 was yet of small size. His office, the year named, was No. 58 Prince William Street. He was King's printer for the Province. He removed to Newfoundland, where he was Queen's printer, and where he died in 1847.

Scribner: Of Connecticut. Five, of the name of Norwalk, settled in New Brunswick in 1783, namely: Hezekiah, who, with his wife; Elias, who, with his wife and five children, and Thaddeus, arrived at St. John in the ship Union, one of the spring fleet; Joseph, who was a grantee of St. John, and Thomas. The first died in that city, in 1820, aged sixty-one; and the last in 1837, at the age of seventy-seven.

Smyth, Alexander: Residence unknown. Adjutant of the King's Rangers. He was at the Island of St. John {Prince Edward Island}, Gulf of St. Lawrence, before the close of 1782, where he had settled, or thought of settling, and where he invited his countrymen and fellow-sufferers to follow him.

Even this paltry handful of stories reveals historical and genealogical details that beg further study and investigation. And therein lies the value of this biographical dictionary. Loyalist descendants and scholars owe a huge debt of gratitude to Lorenzo Sabine, an American historian who was not afraid to speak up for "outlaws, wanderers and exiles."


To read all that Lorenzo Sabine had to say about the loyalists, download your own free copy of The American Loyalists.

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

Versions of Sabine's Book

Years ago, 25+years, I found Lorenzo Sabine's work at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, and found two different versions.

The original by Sabine and a version edited by two historians; I found substantive differences on the subject I was interested in.

...Bill Davidson, Potsdam NY

Note that the link above takes you to the original first edition published in 1864. -- Ed.

Sarah Hay Revisited

The April 23 issue of Loyalist Trails carried “The Portrait of Sarah Hay: Part One,” by Stephen Davidson. Stephen noted that:

Sarah was born on Wednesday, February 19, 1777 to William Harding and Leah Gillies of Newburgh, New York. When he was just five years old, Harding's parents had emigrated from Derry, Ireland to New York in 1750. He entered the carpentry trade, married, and by February 1777 was the father of four children.

From Les Gillies

My ancestor Jesse Gillies born 1753 had a sister Leah Gillies born 1746. For a long time I thought that Gillies were Scotch, But recently I found that my line of Gillies may be German who settled at Newburgh, New York about 1709. Leah Gillies is mentioned in Stephen Davidson's article above.

Jesse Gillies married a widow, Elizabeth Sherwood born about 1746. Elizabeth was a granddaughter of Joseph Sherwood, born about 1688 and Rachel born 1713 or 1722, a Mohawk Indian. Joseph and Rachel had a son, Justus Sherwood, Loyalist. Justus was the father of Elizabeth Sherwood. Justus and his brother Andrew were very active in the 1776 war, along with the Mohawks of course. The Sherwoods settled on the Hammond River, NB.

[Editor's note: There were at least two Justus Sherwoods. One other was The Buckskin Pimpernel.]

Canada 150 Scholarship Project: 5 Weeks to Go

The countdown has begun!

The UELAC Canada 150 Project in support of the Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund is 5 weeks away from its end date of July 1, 2017.

So what's happening?

To date we have raised $1,325.00. Five UELAC branches have committed to donating $300.00 each for the Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund. With 28 branches participating, we have the potential to raise more than $8,000.00! If you feel strongly about supporting education and research in the field of Loyalist studies, this is your opportunity.

Why do we need you?

Since its inception in 1998, the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship has been sponsored by the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and supported through the generous donations of members and friends.

In May of 2017 the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada donated print copies of four dissertations to the Loyalist Collection at Brock University. A thank you letter from the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock reads,

"The information in the dissertations is impressive and the sources cited by the authors is an inspiration to us for future acquisitions as well as to students and researchers. Encouraging research through scholarship support is very important and publishing these theses is an excellent way to provide Loyalist education resource materials."

Your donation to the Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund today helps build a strong foundation for the future of Loyalist research. Track our progress and see who is giving on the 2017 Scholarship Challenge page. Let us add your name to the list of donors who support Loyalist research.

For this challenge please mark your donations “Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund.” See how to give.

A special appreciation presentation will take place at the June 2017 Conference in London, Ontario. We look forward to seeing you there.

...Bonnie Schepers, Chairperson, Scholarship Committee

Loyalist Dissertations Added to Loyalist History Collection at Brock U.

The Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University, announce new resources available in the Loyalist History Collection at Brock University. Sincere thanks go to the members of the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Committee and the UELAC for the donation of printed copies of four Loyalist Dissertations to the Brock Loyalist History Collection.

David Sharron, Head of Special Collections & Archives and Edith Williams, Special Collections and Archives Assistant were delighted to accept them - see photo.

The information in these dissertations by our Loyalist Scholarship recipients is impressive. The sources cited by the authors are an inspiration for future acquisitions as well as primary source material for students and researchers.

The dissertation titles are:

• “A Loyalist Plantation in Nova Scotia, 1784-1800,” by Catherine M. J. Cottreau-Robins

• “The Limits of Empire: Allegiance, Opportunity and Imperial Rivalry in the Detroit River Borderland,” by Gregory Wigmore

• “Mobilization and Voluntarism: The Political Origins of Loyalism in New York, c. 1768-1778,” by Christopher Minty

• “Dishonoured Americans: Loyalist Manhood and Political Death in Revolutionary America,” Timothy J. Compeau

These dissertations help explain the environment, significant events, attitudes, issues and politics surrounding our Loyalist ancestors.

It is interesting to note that there is a Niagara connection for at least 2 of the authors; Greg Wigmore, was born and raised in Welland, Ontario and Tim Compeau, did post-doctoral work at Brock University last year. Several Loyalist descendants enjoyed his presentation to the Brock University Historical Society.

Encouraging research through scholarship support is very important and publishing the theses is an excellent way to provide Loyalist education resource materials and inspire scholarly research.

Visitors are welcome to visit the Loyalist Collection at Brock University. Please contact Special Collections' David Sharron or Edith Williams so that they can help to make your visit rewarding.

...Bev Craig, UE

The Effects of the Huguenot Diaspora on the American Revolution

by Major Steven D. Griffin. A thesis presented towards a Master of Military Art and Science, Military History.

Louis XIV's 1685 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes led to the diaspora of an estimated 200,000 French Protestant Huguenot refugees throughout Europe and North America in what is known as Le Refuge. These Huguenots often intermingled and intermarried with earlier French Protestant Walloon refugees from the Spanish Netherlands. By the time of the American Revolution many of these refugee families had achieved significant political and economic power in their host nations, often leveraging refugee networks that crossed the Atlantic and spanned generations as part of a larger Protestant International.

The result was that a large percentage of key American, British, French, and various German-speaking participants in the American Revolution had at least partial Huguenot ancestry. Given this high level of participation this study focuses on what actual, demonstrated effects the existing Huguenot networks had on the conflict, as seen against instruments of power in the DIME model of diplomacy, information, military, and economics, and to see if they were leveraged to any marked advantage. It also reviews to what extent these connections varied across different ethnic groups that the refugees acculturated into, if there any resulting effects on non-Huguenots, and if these transatlantic connections distinguished the Huguenots from other immigrant groups in the American Revolution.

Read the thesis.

Note that the assistance of Fred Hayward, UE, Hamilton Branch, UELAC, is acknowledged.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Following Family Tracks: The Vanderbecks

“That at a very early period of the late Rebellion, being greatly persecuted by the Kings Enemies he was obliged to abandon his property and seek protection within the British Lines. That he joined the New Corps and cheerfully served during the whole war, exerting himself to the uttermost to prove useful, and was in the course of such service taken Prisoner, and while in Captivity treated with great inhumanity. That in consequence of his early exertion to promote the cause of his Sovereign and joining the British Army afterward, the whole of his property was seized, confiscated and sold ...”

This is a poignant excerpt from Abraham Vanderbeck's loyalist claim submitted to the British government following the American Revolution and his resettlement to New Brunswick, Canada. I first became acquainted with Abraham Vanderbeck while engaged in a project on York County, New Brunswick loyalists. During the research process, I was able (with a little digging and serendipity) to search out his family roots and branches.

Read the story of Abraham and family.

Junto: What Do PhD History Grads Do Next? (Part 1)

Welcome to the first installment of our "Where Historians Work: The View from Early America" series. Today, The Junto features a Q&A between Katy Lasdow and Dr. Emily Swafford, Manager of Academic Affairs for the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C. Emily shares her experiences seeking out varied career options after graduate school. She also provides AHA resources for readers who wish to become more involved in the conversation about career diversity, whether as part of their own job searches, or within their graduate history departments.

Read more.

Borealia: Early Canada at the Canadian Historical Assoc'n Meeting

The Canadian Historical Association meets this week at Ryerson University in Toronto. Courtesy of Borealia is a preview of panels and events that may be of particular relevance to historians with an interest early Canada.

See the speakers and topics.

JAR: We Have Sacrificed Our All

by Conner Runyan, May 25, 2017

We Have Sacrificed Our All." Thus, stated eleven loyalist officers from Ninety-Six and Camden Districts of South Carolina in a petition intended for the King of England. What happened to them, and the three hundred more named in the petition, is part of the equation leading to the question of how many families lost husbands and fathers in District Ninety-Six. Should the Loyalist families of these three hundred murdered men -- or is it more like nine hundred? -- be considered an addition to the fourteen hundred widows and orphans thought to have lived in Ninety-Six District? If not, is it conceivable that an unbearable one in five families came out of this horrific civil war made up only of widows and orphans? In truth, all we will ever know is that a murderous civil war, tightly coiled inside a revolution, sprang forth along the frontier of South Carolina.

Read more.

Ben Franklin's World: The Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy

By Julie Holcomb, Associate Professor of Museum Studies at Baylor University.

If early Americans desired slaves mostly to produce sugarcane, cotton, rice, indigo, and tobacco, what would happen if Europeans and early Americans stopped purchasing those products? Would boycotting slave-produced goods and starving slavery of its economic sustenance be enough to end the practice of slavery in North America?

Julie helps us explore the transatlantic boycott of slave produced goods during the 18th and 19th centuries. During our conversation, she reveals information about the transatlantic boycott of slave labor goods; Details about Quakerism and why the boycott of slave labor goods started with Quakers; And what impact the boycott of slave labor goods had on the quest to end slavery in the United States.

Read more.

Critique of Two Books: We Could Have Been Canada

“Was The American Revolution Such A Good Idea?” By Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker

And what if it was a mistake from the start? The Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the creation of the United States of America – what if all this was a terrible idea, and what if the injustices and madness of American life since then have occurred not in spite of the virtues of the Founding Fathers but because of them? The Revolution, this argument might run, was a needless and brutal bit of slaveholders' panic mixed with Enlightenment argle-bargle, producing a country that was always marked for violence and disruption and demagogy. Look north to Canada, or south to Australia, and you will see different possibilities of peaceful evolution away from Britain, toward sane and whole, more equitable and less sanguinary countries. No revolution, and slavery might have ended, as it did elsewhere in the British Empire, more peacefully and sooner. No "peculiar institution," no hideous Civil War and appalling aftermath. Instead, an orderly development of the interior---less violent, and less inclined to celebrate the desperado over the peaceful peasant. We could have ended with a social-democratic commonwealth that stretched from north to south, a near-continent-wide Canada.

Read more.

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued in March and April

A list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 -- showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date -- has been updated with the certificates issued in March and April of this year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Where in the World?

Where is Brian McConnell of Nova Scotia 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.

  • 50th Annual General Meeting and Luncheon. Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch. Saturday, June 10, 2017. For details and ordering information, read more... RSVP requested by 31 May. Michel Racicot, President
  • Lynne Cook's Loyalist Resource Centre in Morrisburg ON. When Lynne passed away, people wondered what would become of her Loyalist Resource Centre. In a Sept issue of Loyalist Trails, under Twittersphere it was noted that the collection would remain intact and in Dundas County. An update: the resources have been sorted, preserved, and will become accessible as a collection, hopefully under the auspices of a regional archives organisation.
  • Ross Farm Museum‏ annual Pumpkin Planting event is just around the corner! Bring the whole family on June 3rd & 4th! at New Ross, Nova Scotia

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Montreal is 375 years old, but how old are its buildings? By Roberto Rocha. Montreal is celebrating its 375th anniversary, but very few vestiges of its early history remain. The number of standing structures from the time of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance can be counted on two hands. But 375 years is a long time, enough for dozens of styles and ways of thinking to rise and fall. And fortunately, we have preserved a little bit of each along the way. Read more...
  • RevWarTalk. See a text-based list of over 200 battles, click any for a full description with statistics. Also view it image-based, by year, or on the interactive map.
  • Lewes, Delaware. Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck. A wrecked ship dating back to the American Revolution was only recently discovered off the Delaware coast. Not yet identified. Read more...
  • Western University history students find 'lost' cemetery stones in Woodland Cemetery in London. As a Canada 150 project, it is only fitting that the stones are to people who died not long before Confederation.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 27 May 1776 Representatives of the Haudenosaunee Confederation appear before Congress, discuss concerns.
    • 26 May 1776 President of Virginia Convention warns Maryland of approaching British fleet.
    • 25 May 1787 Constitutional Convention convenes, exceeding charge to amend Articles of Confederation, starts fresh.
    • 24 May 1775 John Hancock elected 4th President of Continental Congress, serving to 1777, so 1st to sign Declaration.
    • 23 May 1777 Col. Meigs' expedition seizes British fort, burns several ships at Sag Harbor on Long Island.
    • 22 May 1781 Rebel forces besiege Fort Ninety-Six, SC; forced to retreat 19 June, but British depart anyway 1 July.
    • 21 May, 1775 Ethan Allen arrives at Ft. Ticonderoga, after being repulsed at Ft. St. John's in Canada.
  • Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc. This week a Q&A on a number of topics, the last one is about taverns. Watch...
  • Do you still have one?
  • Spectacular bird's-eye view of the Niagara region.
  • 18th Century Robe a la francaise 1760-70 From the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Silk Brocade Shoes "For Exportation" Made in England for export to British America. c1780

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • Mills, Reuben - from Jonathan Mills

Last Post

Marion Fay Smith, UE

May 14, 1929 - April 08, 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of the matriarch of our family, Marion Fay Smith (Connor), at Moose Jaw on April 8th, 2017, just previous to her eighty-eighth birthday. She was a loving and caring person who enriched many through teaching , volunteering and participation throughout the community during her life time. Mom returned to her home town of Moosomin, Saskatchewan after remarrying to teach school until her retirement in 1987. After enjoying some years of travel with winters in Texas and the death of her husband Jack, she moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to be closer to family members.

Mom is predeceased by her parents John Neil and Rebecca Alma Connor; husband John Alexander (Jack) Smith; brother Edward Neil (Ted) Connor; youngest son Gordon Ernest (Ernie) Stanley; and granddaughter Megan Rae Stanley. She is survived by her (3) three children and families Wilfred Garth (Angela) Stanley and their daughter Samantha (Dan) Bourassa; Kathleen Ann Daradich and her children Michelle (Gary) Power, Corina Daradich (Dexter), and Sandra (Mike) Pryor; Edward Lambert Stanley (Carol) and his children Candace Carson and Nathan Stanley. She also leaves seven great grand children. GG will always remain in our hearts and will be remembered forever.

Marion was a member of Saskatchewan Branch. She received a Loyalist certificate in 2009 as a descendant of Reuben Lively.

...Pat Adair

Frank Cooper, UE

Lt. Col. Frank Cooper, UE (April 11, 1927 - May 25, 2017), a member of Sir Guy Carleton Branch, was President UELAC from 1988 until 1990. More about Frank details will be referenced when an obituary is available, but see a a good writeup in the Grand River Branch newsletter (Feb. 1990): "Lt.-Col. Albert Frank Cooper, CO, UE."

Queries

Was John McArthur a UE Loyalist?

I am trying to find out if my ancestor John McArthur has been proven UEL. His wife was Mary Fletcher.

I am descended from Dougald MacMillan and his wife Isabella, UELs and their daughter Mary and her husband Alexander Campbell, UELs. Their son John Hooke Campbell married John McArthur's daughter, Christie McArthur.

UK, Royal Hospital, Chelsea, Regimental Registers of Pensioners Who Served in Canada, 1713-1882

For John McArthur:

• He had a daughter Christie McArthur married John Hooke Campbell and a son named Archibald.

• He was born 1746 in Scotland and died 1836

• BIRTH 1746 at Glen-Lyon, Nasau, Perthshire Farm, Scotland

• DEATH 18 SEP 1836 at Glengarry County, Ontario


Editor's Reply

You can tell easily – just look him up in the Loyalist Directory (there are three records for three different men named "John McArthur" as of May 2017), and if it says "proven" in the 5th column ("Status as a Loyalist"), then he or someone with the same name has been proved. In this case, there are three John McArthurs and none have been proven.

There were a good number of British soldiers who fought in the Seven Years War (French Indian War) in North America and some of them either stayed after that conflict or decommissioned later and immigrated to the colonies.

In John's case, as a professional British soldier for at least part of his life, you would need to discover a couple of things:

• He needs to have been in one of the thirteen colonies now within the USA in Sept 1775, BUT NOT as a soldier. He needs to have been settled here. If he was here but as a professional soldier in 1775, he would qualify post-war as a military claimant, not a Loyalist claimant when petitioning for land. So would not be UE.

• If he meets that prerequisite, he still needs to have stepped up in support of the Royal Standard ie joined a Loyalist regiment or done some other provable services for the King's side.

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