Connect with us online:

Make a donation and help preserve Loyalist history
Make a donation and help
preserve Loyalist history

Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2007 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

"Loyalist Trails" 2007-47: December 2, 2007

Articles

A Lost Loyalist of Britain: William Franklin (by Stephen Davidson)

As many as half of the loyalists of the American Revolution sought refuge in Great Britain. Since these loyal colonists did not help to found nations as their descendants did in Sierra Leone, Canada, and the Bahamas, they have not been regarded as noteworthy by their British descendants. No one in the United Kingdom celebrates their loyalist heritage as we do in Canada. The story of one such "forgotten" loyalist, William Franklin, is certainly worth noting Althought he was an illegitimate son, William Franklin was raised by in the home that famous father Benjamin Franklin shared with his common law wife. Born in 1731, William received the best education available in colonial Philadelphia. During his youth, William designed a kite for his father's famous experiment that determined lightning was in fact static electricity. It was William who flew the kite in the raging thunderstorm while his father watched from under a nearby shelter. Because he was an ardent loyalist in adulthood, William Franklin's role in this experiment is virtually unknown; he was not even mentioned in his father's autobiography. But before the events of 1776, Benjamin Franklin doted on William. The young Franklin's service in King George's War (1744-1748) was noteworthy for "conspicuous bravery", and he rose to the rank of captain by the end of the conflict. Benjamin used his influence to have William appointed to a succession of colonial offices. After studying law, William travelled to England with his father. There he married Elizabeth Downes in 1762. The following year the 32 year-old William returned to the Thirteen Colonies as the governor of New Jersey. William's term as governor was marked by efficient administration, legal reforms, and the founding of Rutgers University. He was popular with the people of New Jersey and the influential people of his day. George Washington was one of the many dinner guests at the Franklins' mansion. However, William persisted in enforcing British policies, firmly placing himself among the loyalists. A meeting with his father in May 1775 failed to change William's political stance, and the two Franklins were forever estranged. Despite the growing revolutionary sentiment, William remained in office, hoping to be an influence for conciliation. On January 8, 1776 William was put under house arrest. Five months later he was put in a series of Connecticut jails. Denied clean clothing, toilet facilities, and the opportunity to bathe, William lost his hair and teeth during an eight month solitary confinement. The straw on his cell's floor did little to hide the waste of earlier prisoners. Added to this physical distress was the fact that William was unable to contact his family. Elizabeth was slowly dying in New York City; their son had been taken by William's father. William's pleas for mercy went unheeded despite the fact that George Washington had written Congress on William's behalf. Benjamin did not use his influence to free his son, and so Elizabeth Franklin died without ever seeing her husband again. (It should be pointed out that over the course of the revolution Benjamin wrote more than a dozen letters to the British Parliament, begging it to treat rebel American prisoners in a humane manner.) William was finally freed in the fall of 1778 in a prisoner exchange. Grief stricken, Franklin had a large plaque erected in his wife's memory in New York City's St.Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church. With other loyal New Yorkers, the embittered and vengeful William formed the Board of Associated Loyalists. This band of civilian guerrilla fighters harassed New York rebels for over four years in a series of brutal raids that historians often refer to as "the little war". 1778 was also the year that saw the creation of the largest British fortification along the northern shore of Long Island. Named in honour of the former New Jersey governor, Fort Franklin guarded the crucial British shipping channel through Long Island Sound. Besides protecting Long Island from patriot raids, Fort Franklin was provided much need wood for New York City. In no time a refugee camp grew up around the fort, providing protection for loyalists who fled persecution in New England. Many loyalist ancestors of today's Canadians found shelter in this camp at Lloyd's Neck. By 1779, 500 British troops manned Fort Franklin. On September 18, 1782, twenty years after he had been appointed the governor of New Jersey, William Franklin set sail for England. This loyalist who had suffered so much for the crown was only compensated for the value of his plundered furniture and was put on a brigadier-general's half pay by the army. William eventually married a wealthy Irish widow named Mary D'Evelyn and worked as an agent for loyalist claims in England. William last saw his father when the senior Franklin visited Britain in 1785. It was a cold and emotionless meeting. William Franklin died in 1813 at the age of 82 and was buried in London's St. Pancras Church -- perhaps the oldest church in Great Britain. The loyalist's son, William Temple Franklin, had settled in England with his father, so it is quite possible that there are Franklin descendants in Great Britain to this day. But if there are, they have entirely forgotten their "lost loyalist" ancestor, William Franklin.

Baptisms, Marriages and Burials in Sorel: Offer of Assistance

My husband bought me a copy of Christ Church, Anglican Sorel, Quebec 1784-1899: index to Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, compiled by Marlene Simmons. If anyone would like me to look up anything in this book I will be happy to do it.

...Josie Ross {kross AT istar DOT ca} how do I email her?

Loyalist Flag

The Loyalist Flag is part of our Association - a short history and description is posted at The Loyalist Flag - The Queen Anne Union of 1707.

Book Fundraiser: At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914 to 1916

I am writing to Friends of the Canadian War Museum to advise you of a special promotion that the Friends are conducting in co-operation with Penguin Group (Canada) and Dr. Tim Cook.

The Friends have arranged with Penguin Group (Canada) to sell new autographed copies of Dr. Cook's most recent book, At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914 to 1916. The book covers the harrowing early battles of World War One, when tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, died, before the generals and soldiers found ways to break the terrible stalemate of the front. It provides both an intimate look at the Canadian men in the trenches and an authoritative account of the slow evolution in tactics, weapons, and advancement. Featuring never-before-published photographs, letters, diaries, and maps, this recounting of the Great War through the soldiers' eyewitness accounts is moving and thoroughly engrossing. (See the Friends' website for further information on this book.)

The Friends are offering copies of At the Sharp End as a fundraiser to Friends (and friends of Friends). Regularly priced at $40.00, the FCWM price is $30.00 (GST included). Each copy is signed by the author, a curator at the Canadian War Museum, as well as an adjunct professor at Carleton University, Ottawa.

Books are available in person at the FCWM office for cash or cheque. (Shipping to North American or overseas locations is available at nominal charges.) To order a copy, e-mail Stephen Dunne, the FCWM book sales co-ordinator, at {fcwm-amcg2 AT magma DOT ca} how do I email him?. You may also call the Friends' office and leave a message at (819)776-8618.

...Mike Bedford, Chair, Membership and Services Committee, FCWM

More About Charlotte Hain[e]s, subject of book Charlotte, by Janet Lunn

I was very interested to read the review of the book Charlotte, by Janet Lunn, in the September 30th issue of the UELAC newsletter and on the UELAC website. It certainly is a charming book, beautifully illustrated and well written.

I have done quite a lot of research on this family, and as is so often the case, have uncovered some additional information and some different relationships in the families. For those of you who have read the book, these will probably add to the intrigue and story.

Yes, there was indeed a Charlotte Hain[e]s, and she did go to New Brunswick with Loyalist relatives as a 10 year old. However those relatives were not her uncle and aunt, but her grandfather, Gilbert Pugsley and his second wife. This family were on the ship Jason, along with one servant. Charlotte's older brother David, born around 1771, also went to New Brunswick. Although he would have been only about 12 or 13 at the time, he appears to be listed as a single male passenger aboard the same ship, Jason. My source regarding the ship is an appendix in the book Early Loyalist Saint John: the origins of New Brunswick Politics 1783-1786 by D.G. Bell. The appendix is a list of Loyalists arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1783 and is based on original victualling and shipping lists.

Charlotte's probable father, John Haines was, I am told by another descendant, a Loyalist who was probably killed in 1780 while fighting in one of the Loyalist regiments. His first wife was a Miss Pugsley, and she would have been David and Charlotte's mother. She must have died between 1773 and 1776, as John Haines second marriage to Sarah Haight took place around 1776. Brother David later returned to the United States, as did the Pugsleys. Charlotte married William Peters in 1791 and gave birth to 15 children. Her descendants are many and include her grandson, Sir Leonard Tilley, a father of Confederation.

My major sources are found in two places. The first is a web site by a distant cousin, Kathleen Peters, titled Peters Family Histories in Canada and the U.S (1600's to the present). The second is the book Arrivals 99, Our First Families in New Brunswick, compiled by members of the Saint John Branch of New Brunswick Genealogical Society. I have also verified some information in photocopies of Pugsley and Haines family trees which I obtained from the Westchester County Archives in New York State and have used family trees found on the web site of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society.

A chapter on Charlotte Haines in another book, titled Pioneer Profiles of New Brunswick Settlers by Charlotte Gourlay Robinson, published in 1980 was perhaps one of Janet Lunn's sources for her story; at least the two books have much common detail. Charlotte Haines husband William Peters was the son of Thomas Peters, whom many genealogists, including my own father, have incorrectly confused with Thomas Horsfield Peters. Thomas Horsfield Peters was the son of James Peters, while "my" Thomas Peters was the son of Samuel Peters. Ms. Robinson repeats that mistake and describes in nearly two pages the privileged life that a grandson of the very wealthy James Peters would have lived. So far, although the two Peters families often lived in the same communities both before the American Revolution and after, there is as yet no proof that they are related. A family history which I have not seen is cited as another source by Charlotte Robinson.

Perhaps it is true that there were family divisions. I would certainly like to hear from anyone, including other descendants of Charlotte Haines, who might possess the family history as quoted first by Charlotte Gourlay Robinson in her essay and then by Janet Lunn in her children's book. Wow, isn't family genealogy and history fun!

...Fran (Peters) Rose UE, British Columbia, {ferose AT shaw DOT ca} how do I email her?

Engelbert Huff, son Isaac Huff and Grandson Isaac Huff

Seeking information re Engelbert (Angle/Engle) HUFF: baptized 10 August 1742 in the First Reformed Church of Tarrytown, Westchester County, New York; married Belia Edwards 19 January 1764 in the Presbyterian Church of Rombout and Poughkeepsie, Duchess County, New York AND his son, Isaac HUFF: born ca 1764; married Sarah Tripp; died 1813 AND his son, also Isaac HUFF: born ca 1791 perhaps in Dutchess County, New York; married Amarilla Smith 25 December 1855 probably in Hallowell, Prince Edward County, Ontario; died 1883 in Rawdon Township, Hastings County, Ontario.

The book A Huff Genealogy - Descendants of Engelbert Huff of Dutchess County, New York by George Lockwood Trigg, states that Engelbert (Angle), "served in Brinkerhoffs Regiment of the New York Militia (thus on the Patriot side) in the Revolution; the record consists of vouchers of payment for services in 1779 and 1780 in the amount of 11 shilling 3 3/4 pence. Nevertheless, he is reported to have been in the party under Van Alstyne. Dr. William Canniff, in unpublished notes on early settlers in Ontario, says that Angle, along with John (presumably his brother) and William, settled on Huff's Pont in Adolphustown, Lennox and Addington County, Ontario."

Any information about this family would be much appreciated.

...Liz Maize {wayneandliz AT cogeco DOT ca} how do I email her?

Alexander Campbell

My sixth great grandfather was Alexander Campbell. Here are some key events in his life:

- b.@1736 in Argyleshire,Scotland

- 1756 - settled in Schenectady, N.Y.

- 1776 - imprisoned in Conn.

- 1778 - married Mary MacMillan

- 1804 - obtained land in Charlottenburgh, On

- 1812 - died

I would appreciate any information that anyone would share with me about Alexander and his family. Thank you.

...Sunday Dawn Robinson {sunday AT flarenet 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.