Edward Jessup’s birthplace, in 1735, was Stanford, Connecticut, but nine years later his family moved to Dutchess County, New York. Jessup’s father raised a militia company which served under British General Jeffrey Amherst during the Seven Years’ (or “French and Indian War”) War. In 1764 Edward Jessup and a brother took up residence in Albany, where they engaged in land speculation in cooperation with Sir William Johnson of the Mohawk Valley. During the Revolution, Jessup, again with his brother, raised a Loyalist unit which by the same token served with Sir John Johnson’s King’s Royal Regiment of New York. Jessup’s men acted mostly in the Sorel region, in 1781 being constituted as a separate corps, called “Jessup’s Rangers”. After the war, Edward actively engaged in the settlement of fellow Loyalists in what later became Ontario, speculating in land there, while meanwhile acquiring the Seigneurie of Sorel, where his family for a time still resided. Later he became a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Upper Canada and his son won election to the Upper Canadian Assembly. Jessup’s active career ended in 1812, and he died four years later.

By Prof. Hereward Senior
Department of History, McGill University
Honorary Vice-President, UELAC