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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2008 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2008-15: April 13, 2008


SJ225 Saturday Seminars: Stephen Davidson

Stephen Davidson needs no introduction to even the casual reader of "Loyalist Trails". This member of The United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, New Brunswick Branch is an elementary school teacher in the Halifax, NS area.

Stephen's Saturday morning talk is titled: "Our Hearts Are Well Inclined: The Passengers on the first Loyalist Refugee Ship to New Brunswick".

Stephen's research, educational, and literary contributions to all things Loyalist are impressive. He is the author of the recent book for young people "Letters for Elly". This novel is based in part on occurrences at the Kingston Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery. It just happens that we will visit this very church for the Conference's Sunday outing - and Stephen will read in the service. For a more complete listing of Stephen's published work please consult the conference website.

Eight years ago Stephen Davidson discovered that his loyalist ancestors were among the passengers listed on the manifest of the UNION, the flag ship of the Spring Fleet. By searching through archival documents, letters, memoirs, and compensation claims Davidson has now pieced together the remarkable story of these refugees -- the first loyalists to arrive in modern day New Brunswick.

Saturday Morning 2008 UELAC Dominion Conference will feature our seminar series with 5 speakers.

(Thursday July 10 - Sunday July 13): "Saint John 225" hosted by New Brunswick Branch in Saint John NB.

...Stephen Bolton UE, Conference Chair {steve DOT bolton AT gnb DOT ca} how do I email him?

Central West Region Meeting April 19

Saturday, April 19, 2008 - Annual Regional Meeting for Branches of the Central West Region, UELAC.

9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. in London, Ontario at the Westmount Branch of the London Public Library, 3200 Wonderland Rd. S. just south of Southdale.

All members of the Central West Region Branches are welcome to attend. A registration fee of $5.00 per person will cover meeting expenses.

...B Schepers {bschepers AT govital DOT net} how do I email him?

The Cost of Loyalist Service: An Arm and a Leg

We often exaggerate how much we have paid for an item by saying "it cost us an arm and a leg". For many loyalists, however, that was exactly what their duty to their king required of them. Here are the stories of three loyalist refugees who survived the American Revolution, but lost a limb in their defense of Britain.

Stephen Tuttle was a New Jersey-born loyalist who owned a farm just 47 miles outside of Albany, New York where he lived "in good style". Before the revolution he served his fellow citizens as a justice of the peace and a deputy to the surveyor-general.

At the outbreak of war, Tuttle was offered the command of a rebel company, but he refused. He "steadily and uniformly acted a loyal part", taking every opportunity to help loyalists and British prisoners. Because he would not serve the rebels, he had to pay up to £40 (equivalent to buying two horses) in fines. Tuttle nevertheless continued to provide fellow loyalists with guns and ammunition. The loyalist farmer was persecuted by his patriot neighbours for this aid; they destroyed his crops and took his livestock. Finally, in 1777, General Benedict Arnold threatened to have him hanged.

Two years later, Tuttle was forced to flee for his life. Gathering up his deeds and certificates, he said goodbye to his five sons and urged them to join the British army. Tuttle then began the long journey to Lake Champlain to seek sanctuary with the British. At some point in the journey through the snowy forests of northern New York, Tuttle let go of all of his deeds and certificates, no doubt due to the fact that he had not protected his right arm from the severe winter temperatures.

Frostbite permanently damaged Tuttle's arm, rendering it useless for the rest of his life. Stephen Tuttle was eventually recognized "as a loyalist" who "rendered services to Great Britain" at a hearing in Halifax in 1785 and was granted compensation for his losses.

Reuben Williams was another native of New York whose patriot neighbours tried to persuade to join them. Instead, Williams joined the British, serving with the Refugees under Major Baremore and Colonel DeLancey for the duration of the rebellion.

During a battle with rebel forces, Williams was shot in the left arm. The arm was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated. Nevertheless, Williams continued on with his regiment, riding a horse into combat and using his right arm to wield his sword or musket. He must have been in the thick of battle a great many times, for Williams would later claim compensation for three horses "lost when acting with the Refugees".

Williams and his wife, the former Mary Vantassell, came to New Brunswick with the summer fleet of 1783 and settled in the loyalist community of Maugerville. Apparently, the loss of an arm did not impede his efforts to establish a new home for his family, for in 1787 Williams was alive and well, making a claim to the loyalist commissioners for the losses he sustained during the revolution. The one-armed loyalist lived fifteen more years, leaving Mary his entire estate.

Shadrack Furman was a prosperous free black man who lived in Virginia at the beginning of the revolution. His loyalty to the crown was evident every time he supplied the British troops with provisions and entertained them in his home. Finally, on New Year's Day, 1781, the local patriots "burned, destroyed and carried away" Furman's property which was valued at over £146. But the Black Loyalist's losses did not end there.

Within a matter of days, Furman was captured by rebels. Anxious to learn everything they could about the British army, his captors tortured Furman, "dangerously wounding him in diverse parts" and struck him with an axe. He was bound, stripped and whipped with fifty lashes. The rebels left Furman for dead in a field, but, amazingly, he survived. The assault he endured temporarily blinded the Black Loyalist and crippled both of his legs. The wounds Furman sustained to his head left him subject to periodic attacks of insanity.

Somehow the Virginian loyalist was able to find sanctuary aboard a ship belonging to privateers. They took him to Portsmouth, a British garrison along the coast. Furman "rendered himself as useful as possible" until his declining health brought him to the attention of the regiment's doctor. General Leslie, the British commander, promised Furman that "if he was not cured that he should be maintained out of the Royal Bounty" for all that he had suffered for his loyalty. Wounded as he was, Furman later aided the British by identifying two rebel spies who had come to Portsmouth posing as loyalists.

Furman and his wife settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia after the revolution, but because he was still under the care of a doctor, he was not able to attend the compensation board's hearings. Desperately needing the financial aid of the British government, Furman and his wife travelled to England to petition the chancellor of the exchequer. There he made his appeal, stating that he was "from a comfortable situation in life reduced to the lowest ebb of poverty and distress on account of his loyalty and attachment to His Majesty". Having "neither friends, credit, or money", the Black Loyalist and his wife were "entirely depending on the charity of the public".

The records do not indicate whether Shadrack Furman was ever compensated for the losses of property and faculties he endured during the revolution. He, like Reuben Williams and Stephen Tuttle, knew that the cost of loyalty could, indeed, be an arm and a leg.

...Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com} how do I email him?

Evidence of Loyalists who may have died at Camp Security

Shortly after my experiences with "Deadman's Island" in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I became aware of "Camp Security" in Pennsylvania and the efforts to preserve it. The vast majority of the POWs at "Camp Security" were from Johnny Burgoyne's failed campaign in New York, so I went scrounging to see if any Loyalist units were among his army. For those who can trace their origins to men in these units, yet can't account for them after the defeat at Saratoga, there is an excellent chance they died in captivity at "Camp Security". It is my understanding hundreds of British and Loyalist troops perished there as a direct result of an outbreak of cholera or influenza that decimated the prisoners. I strongly suspect the conditions must have been deplorable there, since American troops went through Hell getting supplies, I have no doubt the British and Loyalist troops had a special dimension of Hell visited upon them at "Camp Security". I also have no doubts the terrible conditions could be attributed to two factors; the inability of Congress to secure anything from the 13 States, and I suspect a tinge of retribution for the notorious British prison ships of New York. I haven't checked the status in a while, but I'm sure the fight continues to save what can be saved of the site, where at least hundreds of British and Loyalist troops are interred in unmarked graves. If preserving the site is of interest to any Loyalists, I can scrounge the URL.

Loyalist Units of the Burgoyne Campaign:

The Queen's Loyal Rangers

Not to be confused with the Rogers/Simcoe led Queen's Rangers, The Queen's Loyal Rangers was raised by John Peters of Connecticut and accompanied the Burgoyne expedition. In November 1781 the surviving members of the Queen's Loyal Rangers were amalgamated with the remnants of Jessup's King's Loyal Americans - Lieutenant David Jones, better known as the fiancee of Jane McCrea, was a member of this unit - and McAlpin's Corps into a new battalion called the Loyal Rangers.

See the recreation of Captain Sherwood's company for more information on this unit's history. A return of the Officers' Corps is also available.

The King's Loyal Americans

Commanded by Ebeneezer Jessup, and raised in 1776. The Jessups were a wealthy merchant family from the Grand Falls area, 45 miles north of Albany; other family members involved in the corps were Edward and Joseph. Jessup's Corps took part in the ill-fated Burgoyne Campaign in 1777; the survivors were condensed with McAlpin's Corps and Peters' Queens Loyal Rangers in 1781 at St. John's, Quebec. The unit was disbanded in 1784, with members settling in Grenville County, Ontario. Additional information extracted from R. Garret cited on the Canadian-Roots-L mailing list.

McAlpin's Corps of American Volunteers

Authorized by Sir William Howe, and raised by McAlpin for the Burgoyne expedition of 1777. Recruited and raised in the Albany region. Survivors of the Burgoyne campaign were stationed in Quebec, and were eventually amalgamated with the remnants of Peters' and Jessup's corps as the Loyal Rangers in 1781.

...Bruce Towers" {brucetowers AT comcast DOT net} how do I email him?

UEL Heritage Centre Employs First Full-Time Curator

"The United Empire Loyalist (UEL) Heritage Centre and Park Employs First Full-Time Curator"

by Daniel Williams, The Napanee Guide, Friday April 4, 2008

Tuesday March 25 was a big day in the history of the United Empire Loyalist (UEL) Heritage Centre and Park. For the first time a full-time curator went to work. Tom Riddolls was named curator in early March and worked his first official day Tuesday, March 25. Riddolls has masters degrees in artifact conservation and art history from Queen’s University and has worked for UNESCO, Parks Canada, and the Ontario Heritage Trust. “I became interested in conservation while volunteering at the county museum in Wellington,” say Riddolls who also did his internship in Cambridge, England at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Riddolls sees working at a small museum as an advantage compared to his experience in England where you are just part of the puzzle and only get to work on one aspect of the bigger picture.

Executive director of the park, Brandt Zätterberg, explained that appointing a curator is an important step in the evolution of the park. Having a full-time curator will allow Zätterberg more time to concentrate on fundraising. The UEL park relies on internal fundraising because it is not supported by the government directly.

UEL heritage site and park at Adolphustown will be host of the 2009 United Empire Loyalist federation conference. As curator, Riddolls will play a major role in preparing the site and its artifacts for the conference. As many as 300 delegates from all over the country will descend on the site June 11-14 for the conference.

One of Riddolls’ goals is to create an academic catalogue of the 1200 items being held at the UEL heritage park as a way to generate some interest in the site from the academic field. “The university (Queen’s) is an untapped resource,” says Zätterberg, “they were instrumental in getting the museum set up in 1956.” Sir Sanford Flemming and Algonquin College also offer museum technician programs and according to Riddolls a partnership with the colleges could be mutually beneficial.

Riddolls will also be available to write proposals for ongoing restoration projects. Currently Zätterberg and Riddolls are trying to focus on the reconstruction of the Casey House. William Casey was a master carpenter at Yorktown, son of a silversmith and counterfeiter he came to Adolphustown and built his house, at what is now known as Sherman’s Point, in 1786. The log home was carefully disassembled in preparation for reconstruction but as all the timber is ungraded, permits for the build are unattainable.

The only other option is to house the building as an artifact inside another building. Bell-Con engineering of Belleville have been involved in the preliminary planning of the new building and Zätterberg and Riddolls are hopeful that having a full-time curator will help this project come to fruition.

Zätterberg has had to innovative to come up with the funds for a new salary. One way he hopes the site can save money is by launching a new 1-800 reservation system. The system will be run by the Ontario private campgrounds association and will be linked through The 24-hour system will mean campers can book from anywhere at anytime without having to call the park. The UEL heritage site and park will open for the season May 1.

Ships Which Brought Loyalists to Canada

Since last week, Robert Wilkens, Ed Kipp, Stephen Davidson and others have provided information on ships bringing Loyalists to Canada, which we have distilled into a new section for the website: Loyalist Ships.

Like we have done for the Clinton, we would like to add more information about individual ships, and to add more ships to the list. Thus far there are none listed which had Quebec or Ile St Jean (PEI) ports as their destination.

Thanks to Corcoran Conn-Grant for the implementation of the new section, and the table which in most cass can be sorted by you.


Purdy Loyalist Reunion, July 4-6

To celebrate the 225th anniversary of the arrival of the three loyalist brothers at Fort Cumberland, please register to attend the Purdy Loyalist Reunion July 4-6, 2008 at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro, Nova Scotia. For reunion information and a registration form, visit, call (902) 661-0614 or email {purdyreunion AT gmail DOT com} how do I email them?. The registration deadline is April 30, 2008.

...Tom Purdy {t DOT purdy AT ieee DOT org} how do I email him?

Betty's Tavern in Ballston NY for Sale

After a dramatic shift in power in November's election, Ballston [about 25 miles north of Albany] town officials have delayed discussions to buy a 250-year-old tavern.

"It's on the table as an option," Supervisor Patti Southworth said. "It's not something we're aggressively seeking at this time."

Southworth said the Democrat-controlled board is currently focusing on the proposed Ballston Lake Overlay District and discussing responsibilities of the Jenkins Park Advisory Board.

In December 2006, the Republican-controlled Town Board was exploring the idea of buying Bettys Tavern, a Revolutionary War-era watering hole on Route 50. Town leaders hoped to use the property as a historic museum with a park on the grounds.

The tavern was run by William Bettys and his son Joe, who were on opposite sides of the American Revolution. Joe Bettys left Ballston to help the Patriots in the north, but later became disenchanted with the rebel forces and became a spy for the British.

Bettys was later hung [sic] for treason. His parents were buried in Hillside Cemetery in Burnt Hills.

The property, being sold as a three-bedroom house, is listed with Purdy Realty for $329,000. The listing includes 1,822 square feet of living space and one outbuilding on a 4.9-acre lot.

In early 2007, the town's engineering consultant, C.T. Male, released a report saying the tavern needed major exterior repair. -- Christen Gowan, 6 April 2007 Albany (N.Y.) Times Union

[submitted by Michael D. Trout]

Information on Staats Springsteen

I am looking for information about Staats Springsteen, born 1755 in New York, died 1825 in NY. He joined Butler's Rangers with his brother Casper Springsteen born 1745. Staats married Anna ?, thought to be an Indian. Staats is mentioned in the book "Burning of the Valley" by Gavin Watt. I have read the book - he was a hero in the book.

Staats returned to the US in 1812 and settled in Wheatland, Monroe Co. NY. He had 7 children. I have a copy of his will, but he did not name is wife in it. Anna is buried in Deerfield, Michigan. I have visited her grave.

Does anyone have more information, especially about his wife Anna?

Staats is my 5th G. Grandpa

...Marie Gilligan {ltmt4 AT sbcglobal DOT net} how do I email her?

Information on Ancestors of Sarah Tripp

Engelbert/Angle/Angel Huff (According to William Canniff in Settlement of Upper Canada, Angel was with Van Alstyne at Adolphustown.) had a family which included son Isaac Huff Sr.

Seeking info re Sarah Tripp; b. 14 June 1768 in Long Island City NY; m. Isaac Huff (sr.) probably in Kingston, Ulster County, NY; moved to Canada, date unknown; will of her husband, Isaac Huff was filed in Hallowell Township, Prince Edward County ca 1813. Sarah d. 1854.

...Elizabeth Maize {elizabethmaize AT cogeco DOT ca} how do I email her?

Information on Ancestors of Amarilla Smith

Seeking info re Amarilla Smith; b. August 1827 in Canada; daughter of William Smith and Eva Vanderburg; m. Isaac Huff (jr.) 25 December 1855 in Hallowell, Prince Edward County (see above query for Sarah Tripp). Moved to Bonarlaw, Rawdon Township, Hastings County; d. 14 May 1917 in Havelock, Peterborough County; buried in Twelfth Line Cemetery, Rawdon Township

...Elizabeth Maize {elizabethmaize AT cogeco DOT ca} how do I email her?

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