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Loyalist Directory: Rev. John Doty

(For a short explanation of each row, click on the row title ex. "surname")

Surname : Doty
Given name : Rev. John
Rank : Chaplain
Where Resettled : After a year in England, resettled in Sorel, Quebec
Status as Loyalist :  
Proof of Loyalty :  
Notes (Expunged, Suspended, Reinstated) :  
Regiment : 34th Regiment of Foot and then the First Battalion of Sir John Johnson's King's Royal Regiment of New York
Enlistment Date :  
Date & Place of Birth :  
Settled before war : Schenectady, New York
Date & Place of Death :  
Place of Burial :  
Wife Name :  
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Biography : The man responsible for the creation of the first Anglican church in modern day Quebec was also a loyalist chaplain. The Rev. John Doty began his ministry as the rector of the Church of England in Schenectady, New York. A progressive young man, Doty instructed enslaved Africans in the basics of the Christian faith and baptized a number of them. He used his sermons to urge his congregation to remain loyal to the king.

In 1776, his church was shut up, and the young vicar was accused of plotting against the revolution. Receiving nothing more than threats, Doty was left unmolested for a few weeks. Armed rebels later dragged him from his bed and put him in a wagon with other loyalists bound for Albany's prison. The others eventually took an oath of neutrality, but not Doty. He was permitted to return to Schenectady, but after the defeat of General Burgoyne's army, the rector and his wife were given permission to flee to Canada. The young couple lost all that they had, including a chamber organ and a sizable library.

Doty became chaplain to the 34th Regiment of Foot and then the First Battalion of Sir John Johnson's King's Royal Regiment of New York. Again, no accounts survive of Doty's years of chaplaincy to these regiments. Following a year's stay in England, Doty returned to Sorel, Quebec in July of 1784 to found the first Protestant church in the colony of Canada. Doty served in Sorel until 1803, and then taught at Trois Rivieres until his death in 1841 at the age of 96.

One historian described the spiritual counsellors of the British army, by saying “the majority of chaplains had but a poor reputation, and were typical of an age of spiritual torpor.” However, if Panton, Stuart, and Doty are any indication, the loyalist padres who served the British crown during the revolution were clearly men who possessed a much more vigourous faith and a greater moral resolve than most of their English contemporaries.
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Sources : Information contributed by Stephen Davidson
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