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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2007 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2007-37: September 23, 2007

Articles

David George: Black Loyalist, Baptist Pioneer, Nation Founder (Part Three), by Stephen Davidson

On January 16, 1792 loyalist refugees once again boarded ships to take them to a new homeland where they would be treated fairly and have the opportunity to build safe and prosperous lives. They were Black Loyalists who bravely undertook a two-month journey to found the west African colony of Sierra Leone. One of their leaders was Rev. David George, the son of enslaved Africans and a loyalist from Virginia. Black loyalists made up about ten percent of the Revolutionary War’s refugee population. These enslaved Africans had received their freedom by doing what only a small percentage of white loyalists had done – serve in the British forces for a minimum of a year. However, despite their exemplary service, they were poorly treated following the revolution. African refugees received from 1 to 40 acres of land where white loyalists received 100. Supplies that were freely given to the majority of refugees had to be earned by roadwork if one were a Black Loyalist. White refugees could always return to the American states if life was too bleak in British North America; the Black Loyalists had no such options for a return to the States would mean a return to slavery. Thomas Peters, a Black Loyalist soldier, went to England in 1791 to demand better treatment for his people. After meeting abolitionists who wished to create a colony of free blacks in western Africa, Peters returned to the Maritimes with the amazing news that Black Loyalists would be given free passage to begin a new life – once again – in Sierra Leone. By the fall of 1791, Lt. John Clarkson came to Nova Scotia to begin recruiting free blacks. When African loyalists heard about Sierra Leone – whether they were Baptist, Wesleyan or otherwise – they sent their inquiries to George. Clarkson went to Birchtown, where he was greeted by George and spoke to a large gathering of interested refugees. The two men became lifelong friends. Said George of that day, “the greater part of us was pleased and agreed to go.” Eventually 518 Black Loyalists left the Shelburne area, sixty of whom belonged to David George’s church. Clarkson organized the refugees into companies to maintain discipline and convey information. David George was made one of the three superintendents who oversaw these companies while they prepared to board 15 ships. The friendship between George and Clarkson was so strong that the Baptists of Birchtown sailed with Clarkson on the fleet’s hospital ship, the Lucretia. When Phillis George gave birth to a new son, her husband named him John in honour of Lt. Clarkson. Close to 2000 Black Loyalists left the Maritimes on January 16th. On March 6th after weathering storms, deaths by fever, and a monotonous menu, they arrived in what would become Freetown, Sierra Leone. David George and the Black Loyalists met conditions they had encountered in first settling Shelburne, Nova Scotia. There were no fortifications, no streets, and no lots surveyed. The forests were thick, the rainy season was about to begin, and there were very few rations. Within the first few weeks the Fahrenheit thermometer recorded 94 degrees in the shade and 114 in the sun. George preached his first sermon on African soil with a sail for a roof. Within a few weeks, he had baptized his first converts and built a grass-roofed meetinghouse of posts in the bare earth. This congregation was the first Baptist church in the entire African continent. While spiritual matters must have encouraged David George, the political situation in the new colony quickly soured. The Black Loyalists thought they would govern their new colony, but instead it was under the control of supervisors appointed in London. Because of his friendship with Clarkson, George persuaded his Baptists, the largest group in the colony, to support the Englishman rather than Thomas Peters. No wonder Clarkson is quoted as saying that he “esteemed David George as his brother, and that he believes him to be the best man, without exception, in the colony of Sierra Leone." When Clarkson travelled to England that December, George went along, staying eight months. While in Britain, George was interviewed, providing historians with one of the few Black Loyalist narratives. He told English congregations about the evils of slavery and the need for its abolition. George also met John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace. In September 1794, French ships attacked Freetown, killing many and driving the Black Loyalists into the forest. Every building, including George’s church, was set afire. Freetown had to be almost completely rebuilt. Until his death in 1810, George refused to oppose the Sierra Leone Company. When not preaching, George operated a tavern in Freetown. (Baptists later became teetotalers during the temperance movement of the industrial revolution.) On Sundays and in the evenings, the loyalist minister preached to both the native Africans and the growing population of Freetown. In 1796 five hundred black Jamaican Maroons joined the Black Loyalists in Freetown. When slavery was outlawed throughout the British Empire in 1807, newly freed slaves were sent to Freetown. Despite the growing population, George’s Baptists eventually became the smallest group of Christians in the new colony. Many historians attribute this decline to his support of the Sierra Leone Company. In the years the Black Loyalist pastor lived in Sierra Leone, he was a conservative leader who promoted peaceful arbitration, an outspoken proponent of slavery’s abolition, and the founder of the Baptist denomination in Africa. Whether one considers his experiences as a black supporter of King George III, his pioneer work in the Maritimes, or his role in founding a colony for free blacks, David George is a man who deserves a special chapter in the stories of Canada’s loyalist refugees.

...Stephen Davidson (who first wrote about George in his 1975 university thesis)

Additions and Corrections to "Gaspé Landmark Saved: Historic Kempffer House Gets a Makeover"

As a founding member of Heritage New Carlisle, I must correct part of this submission to Loyalist Trails, and I have provided some additional information. “Kempffer House” was built in 1868 by Robert Henry Kempffer, Jr., and his wife, Sarah Jane Langler Kempffer, both descendants of Loyalists. It was a new building, not the original built by Lt. Frederick Ludwig (Luis) Kempffer and Elizabeth Caldwell. Lt. Kempffer was not a Loyalist - he was an officer of the Erbprinz Regiment, Prince of Hesse, Prussia. The regiment came to America as paid troops of King George III. Following the armistice in 1783, Kempffer chose to be discharged at Quebec. He joined the Loyalists settlers and soldiers who were sent to Chaleur Bay in June 1784. Kempffer married Elizabeth Caldwell, daughter of Loyalist Robert Caldwell and his wife Sarah Todd. Elizabeth was born in New Perth, NYP. The Caldwell family were among the 415 men, women and children who arrived at Chaleur Bay in 1784. Elizabeth and Luis Kempffer had 3 children born at Chaleur Bay. Their Loyalist status comes from Robert Caldwell, U.E. Robert Henry Kempffer, Jr. was the son of Robert Henry Kempffer, Sr., and Mary Morrison, daughter of Loyalist Hector Morrison. Contributions to the Heritage New Carlisle Fund would be gratefully accepted, as there is still work to be completed before the opening to the public. We trust that Kempffer House will become a worthy monument to the life of all Loyalists who founded New Carlisle in 1784.

...Donald J. Flowers, U.E., Founding Member of Heritage New Carlisle

The Launching of the Jasper Haws Brochure

Included in the centennial celebration of Jasper National Park on September 14 was the launch of the Jasper Haws brochure. Printed in both French and English, this publication by Parks Canada was the culmination of many years work by the Jasper Haws descendants, in particular, Regina Branch member, Martin Hanly of Langham, Saskatchewan. Sharing in the special event with the Hanly family and other descendants of Jasper Haws were six Regina Branch members, Jerry & Pat Adair, Ken & Lorna MacKenzie, Logan & Shirley Bjarnason. Four member of Chateauguay Valley Historical Society had also come for the launch. This area of Quebec is where Jasper Haws settled in 1821, after he returned east following many years of employment with the North West. Company. The Regina Branch members wore their loyalist clothing, which along with the French Canadian sashs worn by the Haws descendants created quite a stir among the tourists and resulted in pleased comments by the Jasper Park staff. Another highlight was the raising of our Canadian flag. This flag had flown above the Peace Tower in Ottawa, where a new one is raised each day. Durring the afternoon program, Martin Hanly was presented with a framed copy of the French and English version of the brochure. The Quebec visitors surprised him with a Tic-Tac-Toe- game made from pieces of driftwood (railing) and played with stones from Haws Creek, taken near the site of Jasper Haw's farm yard. That evening Logan and Shirley Bjarnason surprised him yet again with poems Logan had composed about Jasper and his Iroquois wife and sachets of melilot (clover), requesting that he distribute them among his family and relatives. We thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the Chateauguay Valley folk and the descendants of Jasper Haws. A common interest makes for an instant bond of friendship. Martin tells me he is working on a book about Jasper Haws, so we must watch for that .

...Logan Bjarnason UE

UEL Prairie Region Conference OCT 26-28, 2007 in Calgary

The 2007 Conference for Prairie Region will be held in Calgary on the weekend of Oct 26-28. Friday: An informal "meet and greet" will be held Friday evening, either at the Inn or at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church Hall, 1611 St Andrew’s Place N.W. Saturday Morning: A more formal program at St. Andrew’s kicks off Sat morning: - Pat Adair, Family History

- Dave Embury, Palatines

- Margaret Carter, Historical Costuming

- Peter Johnson President UELAC

- lunch

Saturday Afternoon will feature a tour of Glenbow Museum with galleries and displays which include "Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta", :David Thompson", Emily Carr", "Quilt of Belonging", "Celebrating Prairie Cultures" and much more. See www.glenbow.org. Saturday Dinner and Evening: TBA Sunday church service at St. Andrew's at 10:30 and in the afternoon Tea will be served at the home of Lorna and Jim Stewart's. Please mark your calendar now.

For more information, contact Joyce Luethy {awsn AT awsn DOT com} how do I email her?

Loyalist Food: Not All Was Starvation

[Editor's note: Perhaps we should consider the Loyalist period. I am neither historian nor expert. I would suggest a small number of people came to Canada before the Fall of 1775, in anticipation of what was to come. Others came during the War and most at the end of it. If there is a Loyalist period, perhaps it runs then from 1775 until as late as the build-up to or beginning of the War of 1812. During this time, many of the Loyalists ie those who experienced the revolution as Loyalists, cooked their own food. What they cooked and how they cooked it and what they ate would have been largely dependent upon what was available. Surely there were hard times for many or even most. Surely, also, some ate better much of the time and most would find occasion to celebrate from time to time. We also have to consider the differences in regions, from the long-settled parts of Nova Scotia and Quebec (realizing of course that many or most Loyalists were sent to less or unsettled areas) to the raw wilderness of Niagara and the St Lawrence Valley. A different perspective then from Eleanor Smith.]

RE: Loyalist Foods in Today’s Recipes. As the author, of this book, I take exception to the comment in the last [Loyalist Trails] newsletter re: ..."starvation"! There really is very little that can be said about loyalist food”.

I thoroughly researched many documents, letters, period diaries, 1785, 1786 newspapers published in Shelburne, travel journals and the earliest cookbooks. I wanted the recipes to be utilized by today’s cooked so adapted them to current measurements. Some quotes from the book:

"Receipts", as they were then called in the late eighteenth century, are interesting to read but impossible to prepare without adaptation. Commercial baking powder and baking soda were non-existent; eggs were pullet size; poultry and domesticated animals roamed for their own food developing muscles which required extended periods of cooking; flours, grains and sugars were much coarser than today.

This recipe collection uses the foods consumed by the Loyalists, retains the early herb, spice and culinary combinations, has passed the test of time and has been tested and re-tested to provide you with delicious recipes for today.

It is hoped the reader of this book will enjoy an adventure in healthful eating spiced with bits of social history of the Maritime Loyalists.

March 22, 1789.

"Having had a goose brought to me which I purchased for 3/9/ / by Mrs. Holderness I requested her to do me the honour of partaking of it with two of her children. They dined with me today. Gave Veal Soup Cranberry Tart with apples, nuts and some sweetmeats. They took tea and departed at 8 in the evening. She appears a pleasant woman....daughters fine at the table."

(from Captain William Booth's diary which has many references to the foods available and enjoyed by the early inhabitants of Shelburne.

BUCKWHEAT GRIDDLE CAKES

Here is a Sunday morning treat which is well worth the effort of a few minutes of pre-preparation on Saturday night. When you eat these, think of Loyalist Alexander Huston who made this entry in his journal on Thurs. Oct. 18 (1787):

"A cold frosty morning. Wind at W. I was digging (potatoes) all day. Capn Carson was over wanting firewood. No news in town. I did take 2 bushels buckwheat to the mill."


Royal Gazette and New Brunswick Advertiser, April 3, 1787.

Mallard's Inn was a popular meeting and dining place for the Loyalists of St. John, New Brunswick. Anne Mallard carried on the business after her husband suddenly died. The Royal Gazette and New Brunswick Advertiser refers to dinner parties and Masonic celebrations which were held at Mrs. Mallard's Tavern. Kedgeree, crimped salmon, jugged hare, "fifteen tongues served with a faggot of shallots," pork dishes and boiled puddings were favourite fare.

"EARLIEST AMERICAN COOKIES" or SUGAR COOKIES

The first truly American cookbook was published in 1796. Its author, Amelia Simmons called herself "An American Orphan". Previous to Amelia's American Cookery all the available cookbooks originated in England. She introduced new terms such as "shortening" for fat and "cookies" (from the Dutch "koekje") for biscuits. The following recipe is a slight adaptation of Amelia's

"Earliest American Cookies". Coriander was grown in the gardens of the Loyalist settlers.


Boston King, a Black Loyalist happily described an increase in is winter's supplies: "...and my Winter's store consisted of one barrel of flour, three bushels of corn, nine gallons of treacle, 20 bushels of potatoes which my wife had set in my absence, and two barrels of fish; so that was the best Winter I ever saw in Burchtown"

BAKED DIGBY SCALLOPS

General Timothy Ruggles in a letter to Edward Winslow Sr. dated Annapolis, N.S. July 17, 1783 described the fish available to the settlers:

...Fin, scale & shell fish of all kind except oysters, the want of which is richly compensated by scallops in plenty about the bigness of a common tea saucer & of excellent flavour.

There were elaborate dinners held by government officials, feasts honouring patron saints, shipboard dining and dancing - with descriptions of the food served and at the other extreme there were the records of the poor who suffered in “the poor house” where they were fed limited amounts of Indian meal, potatoes and salt fish – without any fresh fruit or vegetables. Our Loyalist heritage reflects the extremities of life: adversity and thankfulness; hard work and frivolity; plenty and scarcity, and always ingenuity and acceptance.

...Eleanor Robertson Smith

Monument to Lieutenant Christian Wehr Marker, Philipsburg Cemetery

The white marble marker for Lieutenant Christian Wehr was dedicated on August 28, 1976 in Philipsburg Cemetery, Quebec, when the Sir John Johnson Branch held a pilgrimage to United Empire Loyalist Cemeteries. See more about the ceremony at Lieutenant Christian Wehr Marker. UELAC.org hosts a growing list of Loyalist monuments across Canada.

...Fred Hayward UE

Benedict Arnold's Horse Refuses to Play Dead

In the early part of September, 2007, during filming the historical documentary, "American General: Benedict Arnold", Director Chris Stearns had a problem. The scene being shot took place in the fall of 1777 and British Redcoats had just shot General Benedict Arnold's horse out from under him in a hail of lead at the Battle of Saratoga.

R.J., a specially trained horse from Columbia County, whose credits include the movie, "Hidalgo", wasn't taking direction well. R.J. did fine dropping into the dirt and rolling onto his side. The problem was, he kept getting up before Arnold's climactic scene was completed. "Dead horses don't get up", said Tom Mercer, of Slingerlands, a producer. The American Revolution was put on hold. R.J.'s trainer, coaxing with voice and switch, tried to get the horse to stay dead.

The documentary, a four part series being filmed for PBS, with a budget in excess of $1 million, is tentatively scheduled to air in the fall of 2008. It is based in part on James Kirby Martin's revisionist history, "Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered."

"American General" is the brainchild of three Albany area filmmakers: Mercer, Stearns of Niskayuna, and Anthony Verrucci of Fort Johnson. Stearns and Verrucci now live in Brooklyn, where Talon Films is based. The three met as aspiring filmmakers a decade ago through Upstate Independents. They started the Benedict project in 2002.

The story focuses on Arnold the patriot and Revolutionary general in the years 1775 through 1777, when he helped halt the British advance from Canada. Arnold became close to General George Washington, who called the fearless soldier, "my fighting general". Mercer feels that most books about Arnold focused on him as a traitor and threw out his heroic contribution to the cause of the American Revolution.

The three met Martin, a professor at the University of Houston, and invited him to join the production. He's on sabbatical this semester and is a consultant during the nine days of principal photography in the region. "My research showed me that Arnold is a lot more complex than the money-grabbing, Satan-inspired turncoat he's made out to be," said Martin, who pored over archival material at the State Archives and State Library in Albany as well as at other sites around New York. He further feels that the American Revolution is a lot messier, with several shades of gray, in sharp contrast to the true-blue version taught to American school children. The patriots were real people with real problems and real faults, just like people today. The same applies to the Loyalist side. How many have been written about in Doug Grant's "Loyalist Trails", published weekly in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, over the years.

In this documentary the actors don't speak lines. The scenes are dramatic narrative recreations that add punch to the narration and recorded interviews with historians and Arnold scholars.

Irish actor, Peter O'Meara as General Arnold, along with other actors dressed in historically accurate uniforms from both the British and American sides, performed in scenes on Friday, Sept 14th, at Eastfield Village in Nassau, a collection of restored 18th- and 19th-century buildings, located east of Albany.

O'Meara, previously starring in "Band of Brothers", has been taking the pulse of public opinion regarding Arnold. He said, "In California, my friends still perceive Arnold as a traitor. I've been pleasantly surprised to find how revered Arnold is across upstate New York. Neither the British nor the Americans really understand him. This documentary is a chance to reassess the Arnold legend." O'Meara is excited to be playing an American original who gets short shriff on both sides of the Atlantic.

Earlier in the week, O'Meara and the cast were at the Ten Broeck Mansion, home of the Albany Historical Society (AHS) located in the Arbor Hill section of Albany, to film a ballroom scene that included a toast from General Philip Schuyler of Albany to Arnold. A great mansion recalling the colonial structures of Albany, in which the AHS continues to serve tea to its members at its meetings. The crew has also shot at other historic sites across the Hudson, Mohawk and Champlain valleys. We are waiting to see the great action shots taken at Valcour Island on Lake Champlain.

As R.J. finally got the playing dead part down pat, they rolled the film. O'Meara, as Arnold was splayed on the ground, a British bayonet inches from his face. It looked like Washington's "fighting general" was a goner. But he managed to get the drop on the Redcoat, raised his pistol and fired.

...G. William Glidden, MAJOR (R) NYARNG, Trustee, NYS Military Heritage Institute

Information on Ensign Thomas Lane

Thomas was an ensign in the South Carolina Loyalist Regiment under Capt George Dawkins. He is on muster rolls in a number of places including New York prior to embarkation on the ship Nymph in 1783 bound for Halifax NS. He was given a grant of 500 acres at Country Harbour. He married Sybilla Houseal, daughter of Rev. Bernard Houseal, in Nova Scotia in 1789. Their son George Dawkins Lane was born in 1794 in Charleston, Queens Co., Nova Scotia. Any help would be great!

...{NgatiFox AT gmail DOT com} how do I email her?

Information on John and Samuel Soper Families

PART 1: There is a U.E.L. cemetery on the southern border of Niagara-on-the-Lake Township Ontario (east of St Catharines, along old Hwy #8 across Homer bridge). Some of my ancestors are buried there, namely a John Soper d.1817@ 83 yrs, and a Sarah Soper { I can't make out anything else on the stones as they are quite weathered} I know there are other Sopers buried as well. I probed the ground with a spike in between the two aforementioned stones (some 20 or 30 feet) and found possibly as many as 8 markers, now broken from their footings and lying under 5-6 inches of sod.

I am also aware of a Samuel Soper, Pvt.Butlers Rangers. I don't know his Company Commander, however if Samuel was stationed out of Niagara then I believe John to be his father and perhaps Samuel Soper is also buried @ Homer Cemetery?

I would welcome any information about the Soper family.Also,would there be burial records anywhere for the Homer cemetery,and or transcriptions of the stones?


PART 2 (later). I've been in contact with Rodney Craig of the Col. Butler Branch U.E.L. Niagara and some interesting events have turned. It would appear that Samuel Soper was given a Loyalist land allotment in Leeds county Ont., not Niagara. John Soper in Homer cemetery is Samuels' son [ I have misinterpreted his age @ 83yrs in 1817, he must have been younger, perhaps the 8 is a 3 the stone is very hard to read.]

I had assumed Samuel Soper/ Butlers'Ranger would have been from or settled in Niagara. My surprise is a pleasant one as my family line comes from {in Canada anyway} Leeds county! There must be a link, the name is to uncommon in Canada, let alone Leeds circa 1790 for there not to be.

I'm also very interested in another ancestor by the name of Levi Soper. Family history has Levi as a Lieutenant during the Revolutionary War and again, same rank, during 1812-14 with the 2nd Regiment Leeds Militia.He was involved with the attack and plundering of Ogdensburg Feb.22nd,1813. were he apparently found a fairly new American officers tunic that fit....so he took it! The coat is made of bottle green cloth w/ black velvet facings and silver vellum lace w/ silver buttons. The coat is in the reserve collection of Fort York in Toronto. At the time of Levis' death his rank was that of Col.{retired I would imagine} and he is buried in Soperton Ont. {a very small town of his namesake north of Brockville}

I however don't have information that he was a Loyalist by definition. Any help with my search would be appreciated

...D. Sean Soper {sean DOT soper AT 3web DOT net} how do I email him?

Information on Christopher Rupert, Kentucky to New Brunswick

Christopher joined the service in 1778 in London Kentucky, fighting for the King. He fought in Charleston, N.C. He was listed as a Loyalist on the South Carolina Rolls, Lt in the Militia. He was mustered out at James Island, South Carolina.

There is indication of him on a ship headed for New Brunswick, with nieces Barbara and Catherine Rupert, orphan daughters of his brother Frederick.

Christopher was given land at Sundry, New Brunswick.

Any information about Christopher's parental family, his birth dates, wife, children, rank and life before the war and after would be appreciated, as would possible sources to search. I am Christopher's great-great-great niece.

...Elaine Anderson {yohgram AT cuonlinenow DOT com} how do I email her?

To protect the people who send in queries from unwanted spam email, the online edition of Loyalist Trails no longer uses direct hyperlinks for their email addresses. Simply rewrite "name AT website DOT net" as name@website.net and sent your email to that address. For example, "doug DOT grant AT insurance-canada DOT ca" is doug.grant@insurance-canada.ca. Contact Doug with questions, or to be put in touch with someone whose email address is not listed.