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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2019 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2019-14: April 7, 2019

Articles

National Volunteer Week

Volunteers are being celebrated this week – April 7-13 – in both Canada and the USA.

In Canada we are celebrating with the theme “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities.”

Most of you as readers undoubtedly volunteer in some way; many of you in many ways. Thank you. Volunteerism is such an integral part of our society; it would be hard to imagine what we would be without those who reach out. As a volunteer association, a special thanks to those volunteers who are involved with the UELAC and to an even broader community, those who help preserve our Loyalist heritage.

Please take a moment this week to say thanks to those you meet who are volunteering their time and effort.

2019 UELAC Conference – The Capital Calls: Friday Tours

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

On Friday 31 May, the main daytime attraction is a trifecta of bus tours:

• Tour A: Rideau Valley Tour (9am-4pm, lunch included) to Watsons Mill in Manotick; Merrickville, with lunch and a walking tour, including the Merrickville Blockhouse; and the Goulbourn Museum, in Stittsville; led by Brian Tackaberry

• Tour B: Ottawa Tour (9am-4pm, lunch extra) to the War Museum, Rideau Hall, and Museum of History, led by Craig Sweetnam

• Tour C: Archive Tour (9am-1pm, lunch included) at the City of Ottawa Archives, featuring research 9:30am-12pm and on-site lunch 12-1pm

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

Loyalist Gazette: Spring 2019 Issue

The Loyalist Gazette is published twice each year by UELAC in a magazine format with historical articles, news, UELAC activities, book reviews, photos and more.

The periodical is distributed to members of a UELAC Branch and those who purchase a subscription.

The publication is also available in digital format, which offers colour throughout and an earlier delivery. Many members have requested the digital copy, and a good portion of those are now receiving the journal only in digital format, although some prefer to also receive the paper copy. All of these digital subscribers will soon be reminded of their digital preferences.

The digital version is made public about one year after its release date. You can see past issues up to the Fall 2017 issue here.

If you are a Branch member or Gazette subscriber, and haven't yet but would like to try out the e-zine version of the Spring 2019 Gazette, complete the request form.

The Spring issue is in final steps and will be headed to the printer in the coming weeks. Target date to be delivered to Canada Post is early May.

...Robert McBride, UE, Publications Committee

Loyalist Scholarship News: Welcome 2019 Loyalist Scholars!

Congratulations and welcome to Jonathan Bayer, University of Western Ontario and Zoe Jackson, University of New Brunswick Fredericton.

Jonathan Bayer is a second-year PhD student in History at Western University. Jonathan's PhD dissertation is a study of emergent ideas of national identities, American and Canadian from mid-1700s to mid-1800s, as expressed in print culture (especially newspapers), and the extent to which these identities formed in conversation (and often in conflict) with each other. His research focuses primarily on the ways in which ridicule and satire were used to draw distinctions between the two nations and the effect this had on the formation of both Canadian and American identity.

Zoe Jackson is a Master of Arts student in History at the University of New Brunswick. Among her many accomplishments, Zoe has worked as a research assistant and a story map designer for two collaborative research projects centered on the British Atlantic world during the eighteenth century. For her graduate research she will analyze black migration in the Atlantic World, specifically Jamaica and Atlantic Canada, examining the lived experience of Black Loyalists in early colonial Maritime society, through claims, petitions, and colonial documents, along with the enslaved property of white Loyalists -- African slaves.

To learn more about our newest scholars watch for a personal biography and more detailed summary of their research on our UELAC Scholars page.

UELAC also extends a warm welcome to returning UE Scholar Denise McGuire, PhD candidate at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

...Bonnie Schepers, Scholarship Chair, UELAC

Loyalist Movie News: The Good Americans

At Størmerlige Films, The Good Americans, the feature-length documentary telling the story of the Loyalists is moving full-speed ahead through the first phase of production.

Currently, the team is focused on producing a demo reel for the film narrated by Canadian actress Val Cole, and a promotional video for the new book that inspired it: The Consequences of Loyalism (2019), University of South Carolina Press, edited by Joseph S. Moore and Rebecca Brannon. The book features several historians with UELAC ties including UE Scholars, many of whom appear in the film.

Location shooting for the documentary begins in earnest in late April, as the production team joins former Speaker of the House Peter Milliken and National Figure Skating champion Alaine Chartrand on a search for Loyalist sites and lineage in Ontario, as well as adventures in the Maritimes.

The team is looking for UELAC members to film their stories across generations. This is an opportunity for you to create your own family history heritage minute. For more information contact info@stormerligeproductions.com or meet the Executive Producers, Tad Stoermer and Bonnie Schepers, at "The Capital Calls" UELAC conference in Ottawa, May 30 - June 2.

In related news, Størmerlige Films has acquired the rights from Scholastic Canada to make a movie of one of the most popular 'Dear Canada' books, "With Nothing But Our Courage: The Loyalist Diary of Mary McDonald." Set to star Heartland's Amber Marshall, production will begin in New York and Ontario in late 2020.

The Loyalist Mapping Project: New Partnership between the UELAC and Huron at Western

This summer the UELAC and Huron at Western's Community History Centre are partnering to digitally map the loyalist migrations. With the generous financial support provided by the UELAC, a Huron undergraduate researcher, under the supervision of Dr. Tim Compeau (former UELAC Scholarship recipient), will begin tracing the movements of individuals and families displaced by the upheavals of the American Revolution. This is a pilot project and hopefully the first step towards creating a much larger public resource that visualizes the migrations of loyalists from all walks of life throughout the Atlantic World. Work gets underway in May and more details and updates will be posted here on Loyalist Trails in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

For more information, visit Huron's Community History Centre at www.huronresearch.ca/communityhistory/ or contact Tim Compeau at tcompeau@uwo.ca.

Fleshing Out Four Entries in the Victualing Musters: Part 1

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Lists, manifests, and ledgers can seem to be rather boring and dry when first encountered, but they can be the starting point for a very interesting historical or genealogical quest. The victualing musters for the commissariat at Fort Howe record the names of the heads of Loyalist refugee households, their occupations, colonies of origin, evacuation vessels, militia companies, and the composition of the refugee families. Compiled into a very accessible chart by David Bell, these musters list the Loyalists who received food (victuals) from the British garrison that overlooked the mouth of the St. John River between 1783 and 1784.

This article will use the victualing musters as a starting point in uncovering the stories of four loyal American refugees. By drawing on other primary sources, we will put "flesh" on the names found in Fort Howe's musters, and catch a glimpse of the experiences of the Loyalists who settled in what is now New Brunswick.

The first name we will consider is that of Garret Jacobus, a widower with one child over ten years of age. Father and child left New York City in April of 1783. As passengers in the spring fleet, he would have arrived in what would become Saint John in early May.

By consulting New Jersey newspapers published during the American Revolution, we discover that the Patriots of New Jersey's Essex County seized --and then sold-- the houses and land of Garret Jacobus and over a dozen other Loyalists on March 1, 1779. According to the newspaper, there were "some elegant houses and many agreeable situations. The land is excellent and the place healthy."

In April of 1779, Jacobus' name once again appeared in a long list of Loyalist "offenders". Stripped of his land, house and possessions in Aquackanonck, Garret must have sought sanctuary in New York City where in four years' time he boarded a ship bound for the mouth of the St. John River.

After his year of receiving "victuals" from Fort Howe came to an end, Jacobus and 39 other refugees were granted a total of 7,243 acres on the southeast side of Washedemoack Lake in Wickham Parish, Queen's County. Land records give us the last documentary reference to this New Jersey Loyalist. The rest of his story will unfold once we discover the identity of his second wife.

We will find our second name in a muster entry for a family comprised of a tailoress from New Jersey and two children who arrived aboard the Tartar as members of Unit 12, a Loyalist company under the command of Oliver Bourdett. Rachel Aycrigg, a widow, was one of the 77 members of this company. To learn more of her story, we must first go to her tombstone and the genealogical records compiled by descendants of the Lydekker family.

Rachel was born on September 24, 1738, sharing a birthday with her twin, Catherine. Their parents were Reyk and Maritie (Benson) Leidekker (a name with many variant spellings). Rachel married John Hurst Aycrigg, a surgeon who had emigrated from Upton-on Severn in Worcestershire, England. He was 11 years her senior. They had Benjamin, their first child, on September 27, 1773, and Mary Payne, their daughter, in 1775.

Rachel's husband John died sometime after Mary's birth. Given that widows did not usually have an "occupation" recorded in the victualing musters, the fact that Rachel was listed as a tailoress seems to suggest that this was how she provided for her family during the years of the revolution following John's death.

Widow though she was, Rachel did not journey to New Brunswick alone. Her twin sister Catherine, the wife of Oliver Bourdett, was a fellow passenger on the Tartar. The victualing muster notes for the summer of 1783 that the Bourdetts had one child over ten and another under ten. They also had two "servants".

The records of the New Amsterdam Reformed Dutch Church reveal that Henry, the youngest Bourdett, was baptized in 1781. Whoever had been Henry's older sibling died within his/her first year in New Brunswick as the victualing musters state that the family had only one "under ten" child in the summer of 1784.

The word "servant" was often a euphemism for "slave", as the Book of Negroes proves in the case of Oliver Bourdett. Eighteen year-old Harry was born into the Bourdett family, indicating they had a long history as slave owners. Caesar, a 16 year-old Black, was bought from a man in the West Indies. Both teenagers were described as the family's property in the Book of Negroes. The latter source also noted that the Bourdetts' evacuation vessel was a brig and that it left New York City on June 13, 1783 under the command of Andrew Yates.

Depending on which source you consult, Oliver Bourdett was either a merchant in New Jersey or a farmer in New York. (They may both be correct, as he could have been forced to change occupations during the revolution.) When he and his family fled to the safety of New York City, he found work within the Wagons Master General Department. Bourdett must have had leadership qualities as he was put in charge of Unit 12, a company of Loyalist refugees, on the Tartar.

As with so many other Loyalist women, historical documents have little to say about Catherine Bourdett. She is mentioned for the last time in an 1813 New Brunswick newspaper that noted her death at 74 years of age on May 11th of that year.

Oliver Bourdett was active in New Brunwick's first colonial election in 1785, siding with those who opposed the aristocratic aspirations of some politically powerful Loyalists. He also was a member of Saint John's Hiram Lodge. The city's first Masonic Lodge was created in December of 1786 and had up to 58 members before its warrant was recalled in 1796. During those ten years, Bourdett served at various times as the lodge's grand steward, its master, and its secretary. He and 12 other members were expelled in 1796 for "apostasy", having been declared "unworthy of admittance into any regular lodge".

Bourdett joined the Royal Artillery of Saint John when it first assembled for drill and inspection on May 4, 1793. He was one of the militia company's two sergeants. In the probate record for his brother Captain Stephen Bourdett, Oliver was listed as a fellow bondsman and a "gentleman". Oliver died in January of 1807.

Rachel and Catherine, the twin Loyalist sisters, were not the only family members who sailed to New Brunswick on the Tartar. See next week's Loyalist Trails to learn about their brother, Rachel's children and second husband, and the many descendants who looked back to the Loyalist Lydekker family as their ancestors.

Editor's Note: View the names and data in Fort Howe's victualing musters in David Bell's book, American Loyalists to New Brunswick: The Ship Passenger Lists. This is an invaluable resource for every UELAC branch's library.


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

The Loyalist Connections: Revolutionary Names: Privateer and Prize Ships, 1777-1814

By Leah Grandy 3 April 2019

Ship names may be commemorative or symbolic, hold a social significance, indicate political change, or offer a perceived protection in the dangerous world of the sea. What thinking can be detected behind these naming choices? Often we do not have a record of who named the ships, but we might understand the motivations behind the name or the vision that the namer wanted to project. Ship names were important for the practical purposes of nautical law and business records. Ships, however, were also treated as something akin to a living entity; they were endowed with their own personality, and therefore, their names could be very significant.

Ship names may be commemorative or symbolic, hold a social significance, indicate political change, or offer a perceived protection in the dangerous world of the sea. What thinking can be detected behind these naming choices? Often we do not have a record of who named the ships, but we might understand the motivations behind the name or the vision that the namer wanted to project. Ship names were important for the practical purposes of nautical law and business records. Ships, however, were also treated as something akin to a living entity; they were endowed with their own personality, and therefore, their names could be very significant.

A particular grouping of ships that make an interesting study are privateers, ships licensed to seizure of valuable cargoes or whole ships belonging to enemy nations, who cruised the Atlantic waters of North America from the American Revolution to the War of 1812. The prizes of these privateer ships---the enemy ships they captured which were also known as "causes" in nautical courts of law---also provide an intriguing array of naming practices. For more background on privateering, see our previous post, "License for Piracy."

The most commonly used names found among privateers on the British side who made declarations for letters of marque in the American Revolution included Active, Lively, Enterprize, Hazard, Defiance, Hope, Dolphin, Union, Fame, Betsey, Sally, Nancy, Eliza, William, Friendship, and Ann.

Ships often changed hands, and frequently captured ships turned were into privateers for the opposite side. Sometimes their names were changed, frequently because the original names had a political or historical connection to the adversary. An example of a name change of an American ship that became a privateer for the British colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia during the War of 1812 was the Portsmouth Packet, which was changed to the Liverpool Packet when purchased by Enos Collins of Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Read more.

Lt. Col. James Moody

In 1809, Lt. Col. James Moody, one of the most prominent United Empire Loyalists to settle in Nova Scotia died. Two hundred years later, on June 10, 2009, a celebration of his life was held at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Weymouth North. During that event, Roberta Journeay, a retired teacher, made an interesting and entertaining presentation on who was Lt. Col. James Moody. Was he a despicable villain or an honourable hero?

Watch a portion of the presentation about Lt. Col. James Moody - it is approximately 10 minutes long. Hope you enjoy it!

...Brian McConnell, UE

JAR: The Thunderer, British Floating Gun-Battery on Lake Champlain

by Michael Gadue 4 April 2019

The radeau (French, singular for "raft") was co-opted for eighteenth century warfare on and along Lake George and Lake Champlain, to deal with the challenges of wilderness, inland waterways. The radeau's design was unique, incorporating a pragmatic approach to the problem of transportation and concentration of ship-mounted artillery in a self-contained transport in shallow water. The radeau had much the appearance of a land tortoise. Ugly (apologies to the tortoise), slow, and ungainly, the radeau was a solution to how one concentrated and moved ordinance, slowly and carefully over water, in a backwater wilderness.

Radeaux (French, plural), though few in number, were locally constructed and used in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The French name suggests that these "rafts" had commercial use throughout French-Canada in the years before the British conquest of 1760. Radeaux might be thought of as platforms that had application to land-fortress, siege warfare, where fortresses were built lake-side, such as at Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point on Lake Champlain. Flat bottomed, used as naval, floating gun-batteries, of simple construction, built from locally available oak used to frame pine planking, some had masts, but they were very poor sailing vessels.

Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen had taken Fort Ticonderoga from the British in May of 1775. Arnold then sailed a captured civilian sloop, re-named Liberty, to capture St. Johns (St. Jean Sur Richelieu, Quebec), a small dockyard-town on the Richelieu River, capturing also the King's sloop Betsy, renamed Enterprise. The Americans beat a hasty retreat back to Lake Champlain, but had become the naval masters of Lake Champlain.

Read more.

JAR: The Double Spy – The Service and Suffering of Caleb Bruen

By Charles Dewey 1 April 2019

Throughout the Revolution, the American intelligence apparatus utilized agents with widely different backgrounds and motivations. Of the war's many spies, the service of Caleb Bruen stands out for its peculiarity, its complexity and for, well, its gruesomeness.

Many narratives of the Revolution are constructed from the informative but often unreliable pension applications of veterans taken thirty years or more after the war's end. Caleb Bruen, however, requested compensation from Congress for his suffering and for expenses incurred during the Revolution at the end of 1785, fewer than three years after the Treaty of Paris. His petition, the letters of those who corroborated him, and various other primary source documents tell the heartbreaking story of a man forced into a life he never desired, but nonetheless found a way to adapt and persevere for himself, his family, and ultimately his country.

Read more.

Ben Franklin's World: The Acadian Diaspora

Christopher Hodson, an Associate Professor of history at Brigham Young University and the author of The Acadian Diaspora, joins us to investigate the lives of the Acadians and how the British government came to displace them through a forced migration in 1755.

During our investigation, Chris reveals who the Acadians were and how they came to settle in North America; Details about how the Acadians lived, farmed, and traded while in Acadia; And, why the British government forcibly relocated the Acadians after 1755 and information about some of the places the displaced Acadians landed.

Listen to the podcast.

Where in the World?

Where is Donna Little of Vancouver & Chilliwack Branches?

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:

April 25: Victoria BC's history of United Empire Loyalists

The Victoria Historical Society presents Proud Heritage: Descendants of United Empire Loyalists in Early Victoria, with speaker Yvonne Van Ruskenveld, on April 25 at James Bay New Horizons, located at 234 Menzies Street. Admission is $5. Read details.

April 27: Central West Region Annual Meeting/Seminar With Nathan Tidridge

On Saturday April 27, 2019 from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Best Western Brantford, 19 Holiday Drive Brantford, Ontario. Refreshments will be served and a donation of $5.00 is requested

Each Branch is asked to please bring a Door Prize to be drawn at the end of the meeting.

Our guest speaker will be Nathan Tidridge who will speak about "Exploring Kinship Through Her Majesty's Chapels Royal".

More details.

June 29: Reunion of Samuel Moore Family Saturday

From 11:00 - 3:00 at the Norwich and District Museum, 89 Stover Street North, Norwich Ontario, a Reunion of descendants of Samuel Moore of Massachusetts and New Jersey, born 1630 and his great-grandson, Samuel Moore of New Jersey, born 1742, from across Canada and the USA.

Meet and Greet at 11:00; Bring a lunch for noon and share stories of our ancestors. For more information, see details posted on Facebook or contact Donna Moore at d.moore3359@gmail.com.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • "The Four Kings," by Jan Verelst, commissioned by Queen Anne. In 1710, 3 Haudenosaunee and a Mahican chief traveled to London w Mayor of Albany, New York, Peter Schulyer. Read more (be sure to click on the The "Four Indian Kings") from Collections Canada.
  • Walking the American Revolution by By Robert Sullivan, The New Yorker. I like to walk in the American Revolution. It's something I do a lot. You get some old maps and pick out a route---a retreat, a long march---and maybe convince a friend to come along, and then you are off into the past. New York is a great place for it anytime.
  • Fiasco: The Disastrous Raid on Montresor's Island by Joshua Shepherd 2 April 2019. By the evening of September 30, 1776, George Washington was, as he put it, "bereft of every peaceful moment." During the previous month, his army had been badly mauled on Long Island and narrowly escaped destruction by executing a midnight evacuation to Manhattan. Forced to abandon New York City and take up defensive positions on Harlem Heights, Washington was exasperated on September 15 when his green troops were handily brushed aside by a British amphibious landing at Kip's Bay. Washington had good reason to question the reliability of his militia officers. Earlier that day, a general court martial had convened to investigate a bloody debacle occasioned by "Cowardice and Misbehaviour in the Attack made upon Montresor's Island." Read more (from Journal of the American Revolution)
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 5 April 1745 - New England colonial forces under the command of William Pepperrell (1696 - 1759) and Commodore Peter Warren (1703 - 1752) arrived at Canso en route to Louisbourg. They began their attack on 11 May. Louisbourg surrendered six weeks later on 28 June.
    • April 6 1778: After dining w/ Washington, 4 Quaker wives return home, saddened to learn their pacifist husbands will remain in prison. The next day they receive joyous news: their husbands were being released. 1st American Political Pardon for Conscientious Objection?
    • 5 Apr 1776 General Charles Lee arrives in Williamsburg, VA, & writes Washington he fears the British will attack.
    • 4 Apr 1776 Washington's army leaves successful siege of Boston for the defense of New York.
    • 3 Apr 1776 Continental Congress authorizes privateers to attack British shipping.
    • 2 Apr 1792 Congress creates U.S. Mint, establishing $10, $5, $2.50, $1, 50c, 25c, 10c, 5c, 1c, and 1/2c coins.
    • 1 Apr 1776 Congress establishes Treasury as permanent office.
    • 1 Apr 1776: George Washington writes to Congress and introduces Jonathan Eddy, a British-American soldier who supported the rebellion. Eddy brings interesting news about recent events in Nova Scotia that could not be printed in the letter
    • 31 Mar 1776 Abigail Adams urges her husband John to "Remember the Ladies" in making laws for the new nation.
    • 31 March 1783 the Loyalist known as BLOODY JOHN BACON was captured at the Rose Tavern near Long Beach Island New Jersey. Bacon responsible for the 1782 Long Beach Island Massacre killing 19 militia while they slept.
  • Townsends
  • The Junto: the Winner of Junto March Madness 2019. This final was unusually close, decided by a razor-tight margin: 52% to 48%. It attracted far more votes. The winner is Harvard's Colonial North America project. The project will digitize nearly half a million pages of archival and manuscript materials in Harvard's collections. The runner-up, the Adverts 250 project, offering an exciting model of how to bring a sustainable approach to digital history into the classroom. Read more...
  • Coachbuilding or Coach Making in the Late 1700 and Early 1800s. Coachbuilders or coach makers created "those numerous and elegant vehicles which modern refinement ... invented as speedy and luxurious modes of traveling. Read more...
  • 18th Century dress, robe à l'anglaise, hand block printed cotton known as 'dark ground chintz'. c.1770's
  • 18th Century dress, robe à la Française 1770's via Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum
  • Richly brocaded silk w/metallic lace trim - sparkle shine luxury Détail, de Robe à la Française en brocard vers 1780
  • 18th Century dress, Scottish, cream silk painted with sprays of flowers & butterflies, 1780-1785
  • Late 18th Century men's 3 piece court suit, silk taffeta and silver thread embroidery
  • 18th Century men's waistcoat, striking silk stripes, 1780's
  • 18th Century men's waistcoat, woven silk detailed with fruit-picking couples & decorative garlands, c.1790's
  • Apr 5. Worn on this day in 1762 by the 16-year-old future King Gustav III of Sweden at the Rikssalen in Stockholm for his coming-of-age ceremony or "Majority Declaration," He wore the suit again in Uppsala on April 9, 1764, when he became Chancellor of Uppsala University.
  • Rock of ages! The Loyalist curling stone. The artifact in question is an heirloom of Dave Fletcher's family paying homage to his Scottish roots in the form of a curling stone known as the Roddick Rock, which made its way to North America in the 1700s when the family emigrated from Scotland. "Every Scottish family would have two stones," said Fletcher in Lethbridge AB. Read about it...

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