Connect with us online:

Make a donation and help preserve Loyalist history
Make a donation and help
preserve Loyalist history

Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2019 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

“Loyalist Trails” 2019-08: February 24, 2019

Articles

UELAC Conference: The Capital Calls, May 30 - June 2, Ottawa

Join fellow Loyalists and friends at the 2019 UELAC conference, "The Capital Calls," May 30 - June 2, at DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa, 1170 chemin Aylmer, Gatineau, Quebec, hosted by Sir Guy Carleton Branch.

See more details, including a flyer, the schedule, speakers, venue, directions, and the registration form. Registration is now open!

Savannah Farewell: Part 4: A Woman's Perspective

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Thanks to the memoir that Elizabeth Lichtenstein (or Lightenstone) Johnston wrote for her grandchildren in 1836 we have both an eye-witness account of loyalist life in Georgia during the American Revolution and a female perspective on the events of the war.

Elizabeth moved to Savannah, Georgia when she was just ten years old. Following the death of his wife, Elizabeth's father, Johann Lichtenstein (a Russian immigrant) sent her into the city to attend one of its finest schools and to learn embroidery from her great-aunt.

In February of 1776, one of the family slaves made sure that Elizabeth's father escaped violence at the hands of rebels, allowing him to escape to the safety of the H.M.S. Scarborough, a British warship. The ship departed for Halifax, leaving Elizabeth behind in Savannah. Thanks to guidance from her grandfather, Elizabeth succeeded in saving her family's property from Patriot confiscation by presenting a petition to the local board of commissioners. Perhaps they were moved by the fact that the petitioner was just 12 years old. Elizabeth remembered, "One or two cases besides mine show that they did give the property to wives and children whose husbands and fathers had been forced away as mine had been."

And so the American Revolution began for young Elizabeth with the forced absence of her loyalist father and her involvement in a scheme to save the family's property. She would later remember mobs of armed men forcing everyone to make public oaths of allegiance to the new republic. The consequences for standing up in support of King George III were grave.

Violence against Savannah's loyalists was as near as the view from Elizabeth's window. "If a Tory refused to join the people, he was imprisoned, and tarred and feathered. This was a terrible indignity, the poor creature being stripped naked, tarred all over, and then rolled in feathers. I might once, if I would have gone to the window, have seen a poor man carried all over the town with the mob around him, in such a plight, but the idea was too dreadful. He was an inoffensive man, a British pilot.

In the closing months of 1778, Col. Campbell and 3,000 troops (including Captain William Johnston, Elizabeth's future husband) marched into Georgia. Elizabeth's father served the British commander as guide and advisor as to how best to approach Savannah. Elizabeth recalled, "The town was taken without loss, though the Americans as they retreated wantonly fired on the 71st Regiment of Highlanders, without attempting a regular stand. This exposed the inhabitants to the fury of the British soldiers, who then felt as though they were taking the place by storm. In consequence, before the officers could have time to stop them they committed much outrage, ripped open feather beds, destroyed the public papers and records, and scattered everything about the streets."

With Savannah once more in British control, Elizabeth's father arranged to have her leave the family farm and come to the city. "I was then in my fifteenth year, and new to scenes of the kind, and having to stop within a mile of Savannah that the Hessian officer on duty there should examine our pass, I was dreadfully frightened. He soon allowed us to go on; and what a sight did the streets present of feathers and papers!"

While in Savannah, Elizabeth caught the eye of Johnston, a captain with the New York Volunteers. Both her father and aunt disapproved of the soldier's attentions to a girl who was not yet sixteen and thwarted Johnson's early attempts to court Elizabeth. When the New York Volunteers were ordered to sail for South Carolina, the budding romance seemed to be at an end.

Elizabeth had more immediate concerns. The Continental Army and the French navy launched a siege on Savannah in September of 1779. "They were opening their batteries, and constantly cannonading and throwing bomb shells. Fortunately, however, our men were encamped near the trenches, and these deadly shells went a distance over their heads. The streets being sandy and not paved, the shells fell and made great holes in the sand, which often put out the fuse and prevented explosion. Indeed, the colored children got so used to the shells that they would run and cover them with sand, and as we were rather scarce of ammunition they would often pick up the spent balls and get for them seven-pence apiece."

Women and children who managed to flee Savannah found refuge in barns and farm houses in the outlying countryside. When the fighting was over, British and loyalist soldiers once again had the time to court the local girls. And William Johnston made good use of the cessation in hostilities to renew his pursuit of Elizabeth Lightenstone.

The two Savannah loyalists were married on November 21, 1770. The groom was 25 and the bride was just 15. Their first year of married life was not an easy one. Since the seige of Savannah, Captain Johnston had been regularly travelling along the 130 mile long route between the beleaguered city and Augusta, Georgia, wearing himself to a frazzle delivering intelligence to the British garrison in the northeastern part of Georgia. Doctors recommended that William should go to New York for the sake of his health. Discovering that she was pregnant with their first child, Elizabeth accompanied her husband to Charleston to join Sir Henry Clinton's convoy. and then on an eight day journey to New York.

Eight days later, after a trip that she described as "very delightful", Elizabeth found herself in New York City, the headquarters for the British army in the rebellious colonies.

By the end of 1780, William rejoined his regiment and Elizabeth returned to Savannah. "I remained for some time in much anxiety for my husband's safety, as his regiment was in active service. Before my confinement he obtained leave, his regiment being then in quarters, to come for a short time to Savannah. My son, who was named Andrew ... was born March 22, 1781. His father returned to Charleston soon after, and a few months later, from the enemy's troops coming near the town and rendering it unsafe to go many miles from it."

While pregnant with their second child, Elizabeth learned that Georgia's Loyalists and its British protectors would be leaving the colony. "Not many months after, Georgia was given up, and in July, 1782, Savannah was evacuated and the troops went to Charleston. Some of Mr. Johnston's early friends whom he knew at Philadelphia, one a Major Fishburne in the American army, who had an interview with him during a cessation of arms, requested him to leave me, and said I should have every kindness and protection and be secure in our house until I was fitter for moving. I knew my husband would not like the separation, and I positively refused to remain."

Over the course of the Revolution Elizabeth Lightenstone Johnston would pack up goods and children to live in Charleston, South Carolina, St. Augustine, Florida, Edinburgh, Scotland, Jamaica, and then -- in 1806-- Nova Scotia. No doubt such upheavals were the reason Elizabeth came to sign her letters to her husband William "your once truly happy, tho' now afflicted wife".


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

Loyalist James Allen's Reflection on the State of the Colonies

by George Kotlik, 18 February 2019

A councilman by profession, James Allen, esquire, lived in Philadelphia during the early years of the American Revolution. A man of considerable social prominence and stature within the colony, Allen held much influence. Indeed, the entire Allen family was held in high esteem, particularly since most of its members enjoyed positions of privilege and respect. Because of this, the position of this family during the Revolutionary tumult is an interesting one. The Allen family believed that an established form of government was necessary to safeguard against unrest; they were, however, also Americans and because of this they had much sympathy for the Revolutionary movement and the principals behind it. Despite this, the Allens would not support an armed uprising against the Crown; that was where they drew the line and it is there where their support shifted toward the British.

In his diary, James Allen recorded events he deemed noteworthy between 1770 and 1778. In the beginning of the diary, he stated the journal's purpose as being for the amusement of future readers as well as to serve as a medium of thought perseverance due to the writer's nature of forgetfulness concerning events of his past, something he regretted. The diary is riddled with private anecdotes surrounding the writer's life, such as the death of friends, noteworthy dinner guests, and personal ailments. The diary also holds first-person accounts regarding events surrounding the Revolutionary period.

Read more.

Tartan and Pure Laine: British Governors of Quebec

by Louisa Blair, February/March 2005 issue of The Beaver, Canada's History magazine

Robbie Burns Night in Quebec City, 2004. A stalwart remnant of Quebec Scots brave the minus-thirty­ degree weather to make their way across town, including Quebec City's Fraser Highlanders regiment, sporting their kilts and hairy- and by the time they get there, hoary - bare knees.

A descendant of the first captain of the cold-kneed Fraser Highlanders, whose legendary fierceness won Quebec for the British in 1759, is toasting the haggis alongside descendants of a pure Iaine Quebecer, whose Scottish ancestor fled to France in the sixteenth century. The setting is the basement not of a Presby­terian but of a Catholic church, the stabbing of the haggis is fittingly blood curdling and the Litany of toasts is riotously bilingual.

What were Highland Scots doing fighting in the British army? What were the Scots doing in Quebec before the Conquest? And what impact did Scots have on the way the British treated their new subjects?

We tend to think of the Battle on the Plains of Abraham in 1759 resulting in the replacement of a French Catholic regime with an English Protestant one. But Quebec was conquered not by England but by Britain, an entity that had come into being only fifty-two years earlier, when the Act of Union brought Scotland into the fold.

The first three British governors of Quebec were not in fact the least bit representative of the rather homogeneous English public at all.The first was Scottish, the second was Irish, and the third was Swiss. They all understood the realities of ethnic diversity only too well, and how quickly and disastrously things can go wrong.

Read more.

JAR: Bernard E. Griffiths: Trumpeter Barney of the Queen's Rangers, Chelsea Pensioner, and Freed Slave

by Todd W. Braisted on 21 February 2019

The period of the American Revolution does not afford many accounts of individual rank and file soldiers' exploits, particularly on the side British side. The filing of some 80,000 pension applications in the United States makes it much easier to learn of a soldier's activities during the war, whether it be the mundane task of guard duty or the dangers of battle. There was no equivalent pension for British or Provincial veterans. The British method of reward was meant for long-serving or wounded soldiers of the army. Those so "recommended" received the benefit of the Chelsea Hospital in London, where a veteran could be an out-pensioner and simply receive a stipend living somewhere on his own, or an in-pensioner, residing at the hospital, complete with rations, clothing and lodging. Pensioners could also be called upon again for military service, typically in "invalid companies" serving in a fortress or garrison town somewhere in Great Britain, and typically for a limited duration.

In addition to soldiers of the established regiments of the British Army, Chelsea also admitted militia, new-raised British corps (regiments raised after the start of the war and disbanded at its conclusion) and in some cases Provincials (regiments raised in America consisting primarily of Loyalists). Scattered among the pensioners were a small number of Provincial soldiers, including twenty-two men of the Queen's Rangers. Ten more of the Rangers were admitted over the next five years.

The Queen's Rangers was one of the first Provincial regiments raised in the New York City area upon the arrival of the British forces there in July 1776. The corps was initially commanded by Lt. Col. Robert Rogers, the famed ranger commander from the French and Indian War.

The Provincials were to be paid, armed, clothed, fed and disciplined in the same manner as the Regulars, which led Innes to observe on March 14, 1777: "Negroes, Mulattoes, Indians and Sailors, have been enlisted, shall they be discharged, and orders given none in future be admitted?" The answer was an unequivocal yes, commanding they "be discharged and none to be hereafter enlisted on any account."

For the Queen's Rangers, this was just one in a series of events that completely altered the corps late that winter. Unhappy with Robert Rogers and the bulk of his officers, Alexander Innes, with the blessing of the commander in chief of the British Army in America, Sir William Howe, set about replacing Rogers and his officers. Among those affected was Capt. Robert Cook, one of the ousted officers, and his men, apparently all black. The point may have been virtually moot, if a deserter's description from March 2, 1777 was accurate: "Captn. Cook's Company of Negroes are (all but three or four) dead."

They set sail in April 1780 to take part in the final stages of the Siege of Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to fine dining, Simcoe and his men secured several black slaves from the plantations and ranks of the enemy. "I understand Mrs. Elliot is to apply to the Comr. in Chief for four Negro boys now with the Queens Rangers, & I think it necessary to explain to this matter," Simcoe once again wrote to André, continuing "The Boys are Taylors & Musicians, & are at this time clothed in the Rebel Artillery Uniform, which her Husband commanded." This was no doubt a reference to the late Lt. Col. Barnard Elliott, commander of the 4th South Carolina Regiment, an artillery unit.

Read more.

The Junto: My Experience at OxEARS 2019

By Adam McNeil, 22 February 2019

2019 began with a bang when I traveled across the pond to become the first graduate student studying in the U.S. to present at the University of Oxford's Early American Republic Seminar (OxEARS).

To my surprise, there were around a dozen people present to see me elaborate on my pre-circulated paper entitled "Fear of a Negro Revolt: Southern Patriot Fears of Black Rebellion."

I drew inspiration for the work and its understanding of how fears of self-emancipating enslaved people fleeing to the British from my seminar reading and later presentation on Julius Scott's recently published dissertation The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution. My central question focused on how and why runaways during the time of the American Revolution, especially in the lead up to and aftermath of Dunmore's Proclamation, helped push southern patriots forward to proclaim independence.

Read more.

Ben Franklin's World: Making the State of South Carolina

Ryan Quintana, an Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College and the author of Making a Slave State: Political Development in Early South Carolina, joins us to investigate the creation and development of early republic South Carolina.

During our investigation, Ryan reveals what we mean by "space" and how space relates to the study of history; The ways in which Black Carolinians helped to secure South Carolina's independence; And, how enslaved men and women built the State of South Carolina and used its spaces for their own ends.

Listen to the podcast.

Where in the World?

Where are Pat Kelderman, of Thompson-Okanagan Branch, and Bev Balch, of Grand River 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.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Historic Macaulay Church welcomed speaker, author and researcher Jennifer DeBruin Tuesday afternoon as part of the weeklong Flashback February events celebrating the theme, "Spirits of our Past". DeBruin's talk covered spies and espionage and the role Loyalists played in the American Revolution. As a United Empire Loyalist herself, with deep ancestral roots in Upper Canada, Quebec and colonial America, DeBruin shared some of her extensive research and findings, providing a glimpse into what she described as a very extensive topic. Read more...
  • Happy birthday Angelica Schuyler Church, 1756. Older sister of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton & sister-in-law to Alexander Hamilton. Read how this forgotten portrait of her was rediscovered, and more about Angelica.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 23 Feb 1777 Today in New Jersey history, the "forage war" continued. British Lieutenant-colonel Charles Mawhood led a British force out of Perth Amboy towards Rahway, then known as "Spanktown."
    • 22 Feb 1770 11 year old Christopher Seider was killed. Trying to disperse a stone throwing crowd, Loyalist Theophilus Lillie fired a gun into the crowd wounding Seider who died that evening. The Boston Massacre followed 11 days later. OR Feb 22, 1770, after trying to stop a protest against imports, Customs officer Ebenezer Richardson fired birdshot into the crowd surrounding his house. He killed Christopher Seider, near his 11th birthday. The boy's grave. In any case, poor Christopher died.
    • 22 Feb 1776 Congress demands that New-York explain what efforts had been made to raise troops for its own defense.
    • 21 Feb 1776 Congress debates details of Continental currency to be issued to finance the war.
    • 21 Feb 1775 Dr. Benjamin Church, Jr., began attending meetings of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress's committees of safety & supplies. Immediately Gen. Thomas Gage's intelligence about that committee's military resources and plans improved.
    • 20 Feb 1776 Royal Gov. Dunmore offers to negotiate with Parliament for Virginia; Committee of Safety chooses Congress.
    • 19 Feb 1777 Brigadier General Benedict Arnold is passed over for promotion to Major General by Congress, prompting his eventual treason.
    • 18 Feb 1776 Virginia Royal Governor Dunmore objects to sending Gen Clinton to defend "insignificant" South-Carolina.
    • 17 Feb 1782 British and French naval forces clash in Indian Ocean, in a little-known front in the Revolutionary War.
    • 16 Feb 1776 Congress debates re-opening ports declared closed by Parliament, in an act of outright defiance.
  • Townsends: Ocean Trout in Champagne - 1755 French Cooking
  • Physics in a history museum? You better believe it! This gun gin, a simple fiddle block hanging from a tripod, gives enough mechanical advantage for one person to lift the swivel gun off its trestle, while a second person maneuvers it into position for maintenance.
  • Silk Sack Back (Robe à la française), c. 1760-80
  • Eye-catching patterning on this 18th Century dress worn by Madame Oberkampf to an audience with Marie Antoinette in 1775
  • 18th Century dress, sleeve detail showcasing embroidery and detailing on flounces, 1750's
  • 1730-50 stomacher embroidered with leaves & flowers. Stomachers were worn during the 18th century to fill the space on the front of open gowns. Pin holes can be seen on the tabs that run down the sides of the stomacher, showing how it would have been fastened.
  • This iconic tartan gown, made by Isabella McTavish Fraser in 1784-5 for her wedding, kept in the family ever since and currently on display
  • 18th Century men's ensemble, delicious red coat, 1787-1792
  • 18th Century men's waistcoat fronts, silk, embroidered with florals and sprigs, 1770-1790
  • 18th Century court suit for the young Alexander I, Russia, 1786. Pink silk with golden metal thread embroidery
  • I suppose our Loyalist ancestors could have used this approach to skiing for a bit of winter fun.

Last Post

Archibald Macdonell, UE

Archibald MacDONELL, UE, of Williamstown (Glen Road), peacefully at the Maxville Manor with his wife and family by his side, on Monday February 4, 2019 at the age of 93 years. Beloved husband of Isabel MacDonell (née MacDonald), formerly of St. Raphael's. Predeceased by his parents Jerome (Archie Roy McDonell) and Florence (Alan Peter DD McDonald). Dear brother of Gertrude MacDonell. Beloved father of Hugh Charles (Sandra Murray), Cathy (Jim McManaman), Jerome (Patricia Wheeler) and Roy. Cherished grandfather of Andrew, Lindy, Allister, Michael and Hannah. Predeceased by his siblings Isobel Redmond (late Jim), Alan MacDonell (late Patricia), and Alison MacPhee (late John).

Archibald farmed on a bi-centennial farm. He was active in Municipal politics and a builder and promoter of South Glengarry and S.D & G. He will be remembered for his contribution to Glengarry's rich history and Clans genealogy.

Resting at the Wilson Funeral Home 822 Pitt Street, where visitation will be held on Thursday from 2-5 & 7-9 PM, and Friday 9- 10 AM. The Mass of the Resurrection with Commendation and Farewell will be celebrated in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Williamstown on Friday February 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Rite of Committal at a later date in St. Mary's Parish Cemetery. If so desired contributions in his memory to The Maxville Manor or a Glengarry County Charity would be appreciated by the family. Online messages of condolence may be made in the obituary section of www.wilsonfuneralhome.ca.

Archibald MacDonell UE became St Lawrence Branch 3rd vice President in 1987 moving up the rungs to become President 1991-93 He was also the Genealogist for the local Clan Donald. He was Reeve of one of the Glengarry Townships. He knew everyone and probably their genealogy as well. He lived for the longest time on a century farm in Glengarry. His eulogy was said by The Rev Capt Rory MacDonald, his nephew.

...Michael Eamer, UE

Gerry Thomas

It is with great sadness that the family announces Gerry's passing at his home in Cowansville, on January 30, 2019, at the age of 85 (born 1933), beloved husband of 60 years to Marjorie Mason Thomas, who passed away 11 days earlier.

Gerry began working at Bruck Mills at the age of 19. Bruck was sold and renamed Consoltex where he retired as Director of Finance after 45 years. He was committed to many different community organizations. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, a proud grandpa, and a caring brother. Family and friends were very important to him.

Gerry was a supportive dad to his daughters Daphne (Jamie) and Paula (David). He will also be lovingly remembered by his 3 grandchildren Liam, Jessica and Matthew, by his sister Margaret and his 2 brothers-in-law Wayne (Louise) and Winston (Eileen), as well as many other relatives, loved ones and friends.

Family will receive condolences at Complexe funéraire BROME-MISSISQUOI, 402 rue de la Rivière, Cowansville, J2K 1N3 450 266-6061 on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A Masonic service will take place at 7 p.m. The funeral service will take place at: Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 222 Chemin d'Iron Hill, Lac-Brome, J2K 3G8 on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 2 p.m.

Thank you to family and friends who were so supportive to Dad when help was needed.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to an organization of your choice. Condolences may also be sent online at www.complexebm.com.

Gerald was a long-time member of the Sir John Johnson Branch, UELAC. Although he and I (Michel Racicot) did extensive research together, we were unable to find a Loyalist ancestor for either of us.

Gerry served as Vice-President of the Branch from 2009 to 2012 and then until 2016 as President. Since 2016, he was our Past President, and recently in June 2018 he had also taken the position of Treasurer.

...Michel Racicot

Queries

Response re Donald Daniel McCrimmon

I have done quite a bit of work on the 84th. My book of 1985 (revised/reprinted 2005 & 2017) - The Young Emigrants & Craigs of the Magaguadavic summarizes it all. A copy is at UELAC HQ in Toronto, NLC in Ottawa and a several libraries here in the Maritimes.

It covers the early history of the Royal Highland Emigrants, 1775-1783; The Unit was taken on as a regular British Regiment in 1779 and named the 84th Regiment. My main thrust was the Second Battalion which served in Atlantic Canada, NY, & the Carolinas. The First Battalion served in Quebec, Ontario, & parts of NY State, etc. The Officers of both Battalions are included in the book along with all the men,(all ranks) of the 2nd Battalion.

Unfortunately your Donald Dean MCCRIMMON did not serve in the 2nd Bn., He probably served in the 1st, - I do not have a listing of the men of the 1st. There are good records, Muster Rolls, etc in Ontario which you should check. If I can help further, please drop me a note. Also, I will be interested in your results. Good Luck.

...C.L. (Cal) Craig, UE, St. George/Bonny River, NB

Response re John Faddle m. Sarah Buck and David, Hiram and Peter Ferrel

John Faddle is the same person as the Loyalist John Farrell. He was born in Ireland and married Sarah (Sally) Buck in Sorel, Richelieu, Quebec. I have their marriage record. Sarah was the daughter of a Loyalist named Samuel Buck, so this lineage has two proven Loyalist ancestors. They had six children, five of whom survived.

This Farrell family was always Protestant, mainly Methodist, and is to be distinguished from an Irish Catholic Farrell family who lived nearby in Ontario across the Ottawa River. There is no connection between them.

David Farrell who married Philomena Bowen, Hiram Farrell who married Nancy Bowen, and Peter Farrell who married Martha Buell or Bull (she was French, they were married in Montreal) -- these three were brothers, sons of Samuel Farrell and Cynthia B Garnsey. Samuel and Cynthia had thirteen children, many of which have been traced. Several of them or their children moved to the U.S.A.

...Richard Ripley, UE

Back to Top   |   Loyalist Trails index   |   Subscribe Now