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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2019 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2019-43: October 27, 2019

Articles

Book: No Despicable Enemy, 1779: The Continental Army destroys Indian Territory, by Gavin K. Watt

No Despicable Enemy, 1779: The Continental Army destroys Indian Territory, by Gavin K. Watt, published by Global Heritage Press (an imprint of GlobalGenalogy.com Inc.), Ottawa, 2019.

This 440 page book opens with a summary of the incredibly complex, worldwide conflict of 1779, which had sprung from America's four-year revolt, and explains the inability of the Crown's commanders in New York City and Quebec to keep pace with their ever-expanding challenges. General Washington seized this opportunity to punish the northern native nations, whose raiding had so dominated the previous campaign. His armies invaded their territories, razed their towns and destroyed their extensive crops and orchards.

His primary goal was to force these British allies out of the war, although an apparent secondary goal was to prepare for the postwar expansion of the United States. While Washington's campaign was a technical success, the goal of destroying native morale failed. Three more years of intense raiding followed.

Loaded with detail and backed up with detailed source citations, this book is an essential read for those who are interested in the American Revolution and the Experiences of their United Empire Loyalist ancestors. Available in printed and digital formats.

Click here for more details, the index, and ordering information.

New Brunswick's Loyalist Slave Owners: Part 2

© Stephen Davidson, UE

New Brunswick has a strange history when it comes to slavery. One of its first Loyalist settlements, Belle View. declared itself a slave-free community from its very founding in 1783. 247 Quaker and Baptist refugees established Belle View as the first (and – as it turned out – only) intentional anti-slavery settlement in British North America. The Charlotte County community even posted a sign alerting visitors: NO SLAVE MASTERS ADMITTED. Unfortunately, Belle View was the only exception to the universal slavery of early loyalist New Brunswick.

As the Book of Negroes demonstrates, enslaved Blacks were part of the loyalist immigration to New Brunswick from the time that the very first refugee evacuation fleet left New York City in April of 1783. Created to placate Americans' fears that Loyalists were stealing the "property" of Patriots, this ledger recorded the names and circumstances of every Black – slave or free – who left the United States under British auspices in 1783. And when added up, the ledger's columns reveal that 139 enslaved Blacks were compelled to relocate to New Brunswick because they were the property of 89 white Loyalists.

Although details are sparse, there are some circumstances given for how these Loyalists became the owners of fellow human beings. Nicholas Beckle had Anthony Haln willed to him by his father. Four year-old Sukey was a present that the Rev. Mr. Badger made to Nathaniel Dickinson. As many slave-owners did, Caleb Mallory produced a bill of sale to prove that his slave Joe, a 36 year-old man, was his property. Colonel John Thomson received his slave Henry Cruden as a gift from a Colonel Cruden.

Three of Colonel William Tyng's enslaved Blacks were each described as being a "slave bred in his service". Dow VanDine also claimed fellow humans as slaves as two of them were born into the VanDine family. Two eleven year-old children (perhaps twins?) were "born and bred" in the family of Major Thomas Menzies.

Oliver Bourdette's slave Caesar was a man he bought from a man who had taken the 16 year-old from the West Indies. Edward Beattie claimed Sarah, an eleven month-old infant, and Jack, a four year-old boy, as his property since both children had been born after Beattie bought their mother Betty. Lieutenant Cox claimed 9 year-old Andrew as his slave on the basis that he had found him in a forest in North Carolina.

Major John Coffin claimed two of his five slaves as his own because they "became his property by the marriage of Mrs. Coffin." Other Loyalists appealed to authorities in New York City to verify their possession of enslaved Africans. Captain Mills, Ensign Hubbard, and Ensign Willet Carpenter all cited the Office of the Police as certifying the Blacks as their property. Lt. Gabriel DeVeber had the mayor of New York City certify that five year-old Kate was his slave.

While a child less than a year old was the youngest enslaved Black to be brought to New Brunswick in 1783, the oldest was 68 year-old London, a cooper who was considered the property of Thomas Bosworth. The latter had purchased the Black craftsman 16 years earlier. It is little wonder that the Book of Negroes entry for London's physical description says he was "worn out".

Details about New Brunswick's slave owners are difficult to discover; finding out what happened to those who came to the Loyalist colony as "property" is almost impossible – almost. The probate records provide only the smallest crumbs of data that indicate what happened to a handful of those who were enumerated in the Book of Negroes.

In 1783, Nathaniel Dickinson was listed as being the owner of Jack, Betty and Sukey. Five years later, his will's instructions included granting his wife Hannah all of his household goods, his wartime compensation, and "all my servants". When an inventory of his estate was taken, Dickinson's horses were valued at £22, and his Blacks at £45. Whether Hannah kept or sold the family's three slaves goes unrecorded.

John C_ock brought 26 year-old Mima with his family to New Brunswick in 1783. Ten years later, his will indicated that his wife Abigail was to receive his entire estate, "including my Negro wench Jemima". If Abigail remarried, C_ock wanted Jemima to be given to his son John.

Gabriel DeVeber sailed to New Brunswick with five year-old Kate as his property. When his will was proved in 1827, he instructed that "my Black woman Catharine" and "my Black boys James and Othello" should each receive £5. It would seem that Catharine/Kate – now 49 years old – may have been a free woman by this time. However, just because she had received a cash inheritance, one cannot be absolutely certain that she had been emancipated by DeVeber.

A comparison of historical documents brings one interesting story to light. Cairo was a 20 year-old woman who was listed in the Book of Negroes as the property of James Peters. This Loyalist wrote to Sir Guy Carleton in early October of 1783 with a unique request. The commander-in-chief of the British forces had a 25 year-old free Black named Pompey Rumney in his household staff. At some point in time, Pompey and Cairo had become husband and wife. Now the Peters family was heading for the mouth of the St. John River. Would Carleton let Rumney leave his service and provide him with a passport so that he could accompany his enslaved wife to sanctuary in the north?

The list of Blacks aboard the Alexander tells the tale. There, five entries below Cairo's name is the name of a man described as being "on his own bottom" and "born free" – Pompey. Cairo had not been separated from her husband.

Thirty-seven years later, James Peters' will completes the story of the free Black man and his enslaved wife. The Loyalist had not set Cairo free; his will instructed her to continue to "live with and serve" his wife. In the event that Peters' widow remarried, Cairo was given the choice of staying with her mistress or serving in the home of one of Peters' children. "It is my will that she be kindly treated and provided with every necessary that may contribute to render her comfortable and happy in her declining years." (Cairo would have been 57 in 1820). And yes, Pompey was still alive at the time of James Peters' death – and still married to Cairo. The free Black man was to be "kindly treated and provided for if required."

When the Loyalists sought refuge in New Brunswick, Hester Frink's husband, Captain Nathan Frink was the owner of 16 year-old James and 7 year-old Diana. The Frinks eventually settled in St. Stephen, Charlotte County. Nathan died in 1818 at the age of 62. When his widow died seven years later, her son James acted as the administrator of her estate. The probate records note that Hannah's "personal property had been given away prior to her decease". In other words, by 1825, James (by then 58) and Diana (by then 49) were no longer enslaved by the Frink family – but may have become the property of other Loyalists.

Their fate, like most of the Black slaves listed in the Book of Negroes, is unrecorded and lost to history.


(Editor's note: The complete list of Blacks enslaved by New Brunswick's Loyalist settlers as recorded in the Book of Negroes is available here. The complete list of New Brunswick's Loyalist slave owners as recorded in the Book of Negroes is available here. This is only a partial list and can only be considered as a minimum number. Not all slave owners and their property who migrated to New Brunswick were registered in this ledger.)


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

Giving Away Enslaved Children in 18th-Century America

By Susan Holloway Scott, 5 Oct 2019

Several readers of The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr have asked about one of the threats that my heroine Mary Emmons feared the most during her enslavement: that any child she bore, regardless of the father, would be taken from her and given away. Did this really happen?

The sad and tragic answer is yes. There are so many horrifying aspects to slavery in America, but those pertaining to children and the callous severing of families were particularly cruel. By law, children born to enslaved women were likewise enslaved; the status of the mother determined that of the child.

The plantation culture of the southern colonies and state depended on a large pool of laborers. Enslaved women were encouraged and often forced to have children to increase the slaveholder's work force and "property."

Read more.

Boston Massacre Trial

The trial of the infamous Captain Preston, who was in charge of the British soldiers at the Boston Massacre, took place from October 24 to October 30, 1770. Read how future president and patriot John Adams defended the Redcoat.

The crowd strained forward in the Queen Street courtroom on October 17, 1770. Murmurs and rumblings of anger filled the air. Captain Thomas Preston, a British grenadier, shifted his feet nervously and felt the sweat rising to his brow. If the jury found him, and his men, guilty of murder as the indictment suggested, he could only expect death as a penalty. That is what these Bostonians wanted! The only hope for Preston and his men lay with this short, stocky country lawyer – a colonial American after all – John Adams, and his too young assistant Josiah Quincy.

Seven months had passed since the "horrid, bloody massacre" took place on the 5th of March. But the passions of the people remained strong. "Sons of Liberty" such as Samuel Adams and John Hancock had seen to that! They reminded the good citizens that the British soldiers were not welcomed, and that mobs had as much right to carry clubs as the soldiers had to carry loaded muskets! But now the jury was set and the true drama was beginning. Only a fair trial would show the world that Massachusetts, and by association all Americans, deserved their liberty by an appeal to justice and not by the rule of a mob.

Captain Preston had his doubts that a fair trial was possible. Yet there was something about his lawyer that gave him hope. This fellow Adams – colonial though he was – was tenacious when it came to the truth, braver than most when it came to risking himself or his family, devoted beyond reason when it came to the law, and undeniably intelligent.

Read more.

Borealia: Research Resources – the CRKN Canadiana & Héritage Digital Collections

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) is a partnership of 79 Canadian universities and institutions dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research and teaching enterprise in Canada.

CRKN was formed in 1999 to increase the quantity, breadth, and depth of digital scholarly content available to university libraries. While content licensing is still the chief aspect of our work, in April 2018 CRKN merged with Canadiana.org, resulting in a combined organization under the governance of CRKN. Through this merger, we now manage the Canadiana collections, valued by researchers and scholars for years as a trusted source of digitized Canadian historical documents.

Combining the 40-year history and expertise of Canadiana.org with the resources and leadership of CRKN has resulted in new opportunities to expand this incredible resource. Through this merger, we have been able to remove the former subscription paywall on the Canadiana collections, invest in better infrastructure to support the preservation and access of millions of pages of digital heritage, and target new opportunities to enhance Canadiana's scope and profile within the research community. Learn more about CRKN at our website.

Canadiana.ca is the online home of the Canadiana collections, two major collections of digitized textual documents relating to Canada and its history. These collections include materials from the 16th century to the first half of the 20th century.

Read more.

JAR: “The Americans Have Hoisted Their Standard of Liberty at Salem”

By Jeff Dacus, 22 October 2019

The skirmishes at Lexington and Concord are often considered the beginning of the American Revolution, a violent change in the controversy between Great Britain and thirteen of its North American colonies. John Adams opined that the Revolution started many years before: "But what do We mean by the American Revolution? Do We mean the American War? The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the Minds and Hearts of the People . . . This produced, in 1760 and 1761, AN AWAKENING and a REVIVAL of American Principles and Feelings, with an Enthusiasm which went on increasing till in 1775 it burst out in open Violence, Hostility and Fury." Adams felt that the ideological revolution began in 1760-61 but that the war of the Revolution was something different. There were several events that took place in 1774 and 1775 that could have "burst into violence" before muskets were fired on the village green at Lexington. One of these took place in the village of Salem in Massachusetts.

The people of Salem had viewed the differences between the colonies and the Mother Country with foreboding, as noted by a resolution sent by the citizens of the town to the Massachusetts Assembly on October 21, 1765 responding to the Stamp Act: "We the inhabitants of said Salem, being fully convinced that the act lately passed by the Parliament of Great Britain, commonly called the Stamp Act, would if carried into execution be excessively grievous and burthensome to the inhabitants of his Majesty's loyal province."

Read more – an interesting account of an incident prior to Lexington and Concord.

JAR: Enoch Crosby – A Hudson Valley Spy in Fact and Fiction

By Charles Dewey, 24 October 2019

James Fenimore Cooper published his wildly popular second novel, The Spy: a Tale of the Neutral Ground, in 1821. The book tells the story of Harvey Birch, a Patriot spy operating in the "Neutral Ground," an uncontrolled region north of New York City that included Westchester County. Not long after Cooper published his novel, a former spy and justice of the peace named Enoch Crosby announced that he was the real-life inspiration for Harvey Birch. In 1826, H.L. Barnum published Crosby's account in The Spy Unmasked: or the Memoirs of Enoch Crosby, alias Harvey Birch. Barnum even dedicated the book to Cooper in a cheap, patronizing effort to link Crosby and the fictional Birch, as it was Cooper's "fascinating pen that first immortalized the subject of the following memoir." In the book's introduction, Barnum even wrote that Cooper himself "frequently assured" that Enoch Crosby was his inspiration. If this is true, Cooper never stated it publicly. Given the tendency for modern historians to credit Crosby as the inspiration for Harvey Birch, however, Barnum has been somewhat successful, though the debate rages on.

Most of the The Spy Unmasked is dramatized, exaggerated, and filled with an unrealistic dialogue that Barnum admitted to fabricating, although he insisted that the book's substance was reliable. Several events do not require rigorous analysis to be debunked outright, such as an escape through a swamp while being fired upon by Patriot prison guards and an encounter with a Tory who had built a secret lair underneath a haystack that could hold forty people. The memoir is often used as a source for Crosby's actual service, but as it was written with the explicit purpose of garnering fame, it must be questioned. One can hardly blame the historian who uses the memoir as a source for research because it does contain modicums of truth and there are very few contradictory sources. Naturally under the circumstances of espionage, the paper trails left behind are scarce. For posterity's sake, Crosby's paper trail consists of more than just the memoir. It reveals a man who repeatedly risked his life for the United States, employed a unique skillset, and took some liberties to establish his reputation.

Read more.

Ben Franklin's World: Creating the Fourth Amendment

Our Doing History series about understanding the Fourth Amendment continues with an exploration of the history of the Fourth Amendment. Our guide for this exploration is Thomas Clancy, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Mississippi School of Law and an expert on the Fourth Amendment.

During our investigation of the Fourth Amendment's origins, Tom reveals what the Fourth Amendment is and what it means; How the Fourth Amendment grew out of early American experiences with English law and the American Revolution; And how early Americans understood the Fourth Amendment and how their understanding of the amendment impacts our modern-day use and interpretations of it.

Listen to the podcast.

The Grim Food Served on 17th-Century Sea Voyages Wasn't All Bad

Sailors in the 17th century had it rough. For months, they were away at sea, sustaining themselves on an unsteady diet that included brined beef, dirty water, and tough crackers known as ship biscuit. In the days before pasteurization, seasickness likely came more often from the food than the waves.

A handful of cookbooks and ship journals detail the odious smells and tastes of 17th-century ship fare. But we can only imagine the decomposing food and its effect on the health of sailors.

Until now, that is. These questions led Grace Tsai, a PhD student specializing in nautical archaeology, to recreate ship food aboard an old-timey vessel. She and her fellow researchers at Texas A&M University have spent over three years on what they dubbed the Ship Biscuit & Salted Beef Research Project.

Read more.

The Royal Diets of George III and George IV

Unlike George IV, known for his excesses in all matters, his father was the complete opposite and abstained from any form of excess in the food department, so much so that even the newspapers felt obliged to write about it. George III was a creature of habit and had a routine that was only ever to be disturbed by special events or meetings that he had to attend.

His day typically began at 7am and after washing and being dressed his majesty would take a walk before breakfast. If they were are Windsor he would spend time at the stables checking over his horses, but when at Kew he would inspect his workmen and suggest ideas for improvement – clearly he did his best thinking first thing in the morning.

Read more.

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently

The 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 November and December of last year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Where in the World?

Where are Robert, Christopher, Hannah and Liam Rogers, of Edmonton 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.

Historical Costumer Brings Loyalist Fashion To Life In Saint John, NB, Oct. 26-27

New Brunswick museum offers workshop on making 18th-century coats. Trying to find 18th-century cloth to help repair a damaged military coat may not seem an everyday problem, but in Henry Cooke's line of work it's common.

Cooke is a historical costumer based in Massachusetts who makes his living restoring and recreating clothing from the past. He focuses primarily on garments from the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries.

"I do a lot of work for Revolutionary War re-enactors. I also do a lot of work for museums and historic sites focusing on that time period."

Cooke, who just delivered a talk at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, is hosting two workshops at the museum this weekend. Participants will be able to try their hand at making clothing worn by Loyalists, who started arriving in the area from the United States in 1783.

Read more about Cooke's occupation and experiences.

"Sullivan-Clinton Campaign" Symposium, Johnstown NY, Nov. 2

The Fort Plain Museum presents the "Sullivan-Clinton Campaign Against the Iroquois 1779 Symposium" to be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019.

There is a very strong program which includes eight expert speakers, and a concluding panel discussion.

The Fulton-Montgomery Community College, located at 2805 NY-67, Johnstown, NY 12095. There is a registration fee; pre-registration is recommended, walk-ins are welcomed.

For program details, registration, contacts etc., see "Sullivan-Clinton Campaign 1779 Symposium."

"The Great Fortresses of Eastern Canada" – Gov. Simcoe Branch, Nov. 6

"The Great Fortresses of Eastern Canada," by Garry Toffoli

Canadians have either read about or visited some of the great castles of Britain and Europe, such as Windsor, Edinburgh or Carnaervon. Many are less familiar with the edifices of Canada that have performed a similar role in North America, namely the great fortresses of Eastern Canada – including Louisbourg, the Citadels of Halifax and Quebec City, and Fort Henry in Kingston. This illustrated presentation will discuss the important royal and military roles played by these structures in Canadian history.

Read more.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • In the mail this week interesting historical pin: Nova Scotia – STILL LOYAL Loyalist Bicentennial, 1783-1983.
  • This Week in History
    • 25 Oct 1760, George II died, leaving George III as his successor. Here's a detailed plan for the his coronation procession, nearly a year later, detailing who and where everyone was
    • 19 Oct 1768, the Boston Whigs complained about the king's soldiers who had just started to patrol the town: "Gentlemen and ladies coming into town in their carriages, threatened by the guards to have their brains blown out unless they stopped."
    • 23 Oct 1769, Robert Peirpoint complained to the commander of the guard on Boston Neck about soldiers taking his firewood. The next day, that dispute led to the "Neck riot." A soldier's gun went off, and a blacksmith ran into the ranks to slug him.
    • 21 Oct 1773, Levi Ames heard a midday sermon in Boston and was then hanged for burglary. Teams of medical students raced to seize his body for dissection. A minister who had prayed with Ames slipped his corpse out to his home town of Groton.>
    • 20 Oct 1774, Gen. Thomas Gage told the First Continental Congress he wasn't harming Boston: "There is not a single Gun planted against the Town, no Mans property has been seized or hurt, except the King's..." (He aimed cannon at neighboring towns.)
    • 20 Oct 1775, Americans capture Chambly, Quebec; abandon & burn it the following spring.
    • 24 Oct 1775, British naval attack on Norfolk, Virginia ends in humiliation at hands of Patriot riflemen.
    • 21 Oct 1776, Congress pleads with Martinique merchants to send much-needed woolen goods for wintering army.
    • 25 Oct 1776, King George III issues proclamation urging able seamen to enlist in Royal Navy.
    • 22 Oct 1777, the Battle of Red Bank in Southern, New Jersey. Hessian forces were repulsed by a smaller Patriot force in their attempt to capture Fort Mercer on the Delaware River. Surviving Hessian troops retreat from their loss at the battle of Fort Mercer in Red Bank, NJ. As they cross the Clement's Bridge, they throw munitions and cannon in the Big Timber Creek, hoping to speed their journey back to safety
    • 21 Oct 1779, Continental Congress of the US elects former SC congressman Henry Laurens minister to Holland. Laurens' first and most crucial duty as the new minister was to negotiate an alliance with Holland, which he did in 1780.
    • 22 Oct 1779, New-York legislature seizes property of 60 Loyalists, including Governor Lord Dunham, General Tryon.
    • 23 Oct 1783, Virginia frees slaves who fought for the Americans in the Revolution.
  • Townsends:
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Get in the spooky spirit with these vases containing witch balls, which were hung in front of windows in 17th- and 18th- century England to ward off ill fortune and bad spirits.
    • A chilling and seasonally appropriate encounter yesterday in a 1768 letter; a skeleton playing the xylophone!
    • Two Theodosias, Together in Time, c1792. The pocket-watch shown here is one of the few objects to survive with a clear Aaron Burr connection. While the portraits on the watch's face are neither skilled nor sophisticated, they do show the two Theodosias (Burr's wife and daughter) stylishly dressed and coifed, and the overall effect is charming.
    • This is an amazing "don't sit on this chair" sign. What a difference Museum Signage can make
    • One of my favorite objects at the @mfaboston is this box of weights and scales with the conversion cheatsheet (engraved by Nathan Hurd) tacked to the inner lid. c.1760-70
    • These 18th & 19th century mousetraps look pretty grisly: five wooden deadfall mousetraps

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Alguire, Martin – by volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin, from Branch records

Please help us build the directory by contributing information. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for guidance.

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