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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2009 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2009-15: April 12, 2009

Articles

The Black Loyalists (and Slaves) of Massachusetts -- © Stephen Davidson

A sad fact of the American Revolution is that both rebels and loyalists supported the institution of slavery. A not-so-noteworthy fact of Canadian history is that the largest contingent of slaves ever to come into this country were brought here by United Empire Loyalists.

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud. Thanks to the 1775 proclamation of Lord Dunmore, the governor of Virginia, any patriot's slave who joined the British was given his or her freedom. Thousands of Africans took the British at their word. While it was purely a strategic move on the part of the British, nevertheless, Dunmore's proclamation led to the first large-scale emancipation of enslaved Africans in North America. When the revolution came to an end in 1783, those Africans who had fought for the king were recognized as freemen and loyalists.

This article will explore the American Revolution's African dimension as it is revealed in papers relating to Massachusetts. While it is largely a story of man's inhumanity to man, there are a few bright lights to be found.

It would be wrong to say that every Massachusetts loyalist accepted the enslavement of African people. Benjamin Marston, a merchant of Salem, was one of the first to sign a "loyal address" drawn up by Thomas Hutchinson, the last governor of Massachusetts to stay true to the king. A Harvard graduate, Marston was a friend of John Wentworth, a Massachusetts loyalist who became the governor of Nova Scotia in 1792.

As Massachusetts plunged deeper into rebellion, Marston was forced to abandon all of his property and fled to the safety of Boston. He was evacuated to Halifax with other refugees in late 1776. Marston tried to reestablish himself as a merchant and began to trade with the West Indies on a schooner out of Halifax. His diary's accounts of what he saw in the Caribbean reveal this particular loyalist's views on slavery.

"I saw here a cargo of these poor creatures...drove like so many cattle...men and women, boys and girls all together, each as naked as God made them, saving a piece of coarse linen...What must be the feelings of a sensible human being to be...condemned to the most servile drudgery and infamous uses without the least hope of relief...I fancy there is some mistake in ye very trite maxim that all men are by nature equal."

Such had been the experience of a number of the people who came to Nova Scotia at the end of the war. While the exact number of enslaved Africans who came to Nova Scotia with loyalists from Massachusetts during the Revolution cannot be accurately determined, those who arrived after the spring of 1783 can.

When both free and enslaved Africans left New York City with the flood of loyalist refugees, British officials made a careful record of each black passenger in a ledger known as The Book of Negroes. At least a dozen of these Africans came from Boston. Their stories are brief, but the fact that a racist society took the time to note them -- and that they have survived to this day-- makes them quite noteworthy.

Luke Spence was a healthy 25-year old who had been the slave of a New Jersey man. He left his master in 1777 and served the British throughout the revolution. Despite the tragedies of a war, there was still time to fall in love. Spence met and married Abigail, an endentured servant of Boston's Joseph Graham. The young couple boarded their ship for Nova Scotia carrying a young child.

Both Prince Frederick and Pompey Fleet had once been slaves to Boston patriots. Each carried certificates to prove their seven years of loyal service to the crown. Other men carried papers with a sadder story. Pompey Chase, a 28 year-old African who had been the slave of Jacob Sharpe of Boston, sailed on a ship carrying free blacks to the mouth of the St. John River. A bill of sale stated that the African was a slave, the rightful property of Reuben Chase.

Lot Slaine, who settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, bore the marks of slavery. He had left his master in Swansey, Massachusetts when he was forty and served the king for six years. His distinguishing mark was a scar on his forehead. In 1792, Slaine was one of the nearly 1,200 black loyalists preparing to found the West African colony of Sierra Leone. He died just before the fleet left Halifax's harbour.

Isaac James was just three years old when he was given his freedom following the death of his master, George Wilson. Sometime over the next years, the African Bostonian was blinded in his left eye. James settled with hundreds of other black refugees in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Prince Augustus was at the other end of the age spectrum. Formerly a slave, at 50 years of age he was described as a "feeble old fellow" who had escaped his master during the 1776 evacuation of Boston.

Fanny, a woman without a surname, worked with the wagon master general department for up to eight years. This department transported goods overland in huge wagons drawn by teams of horses. The healthy 30-year was one of 159 free blacks who sailed on the Nisbet for Port Mattoon, Nova Scotia in November of 1783.

David Edwards was an exceptional example of a Massachusetts black loyalist. The 27 year-old was born a free man; he made his living as a coachman for the prominent Boston loyalist, Sir William Pepperell. There would not be an immediate demand for his skills in Nova Scotia, but, like the other black loyalists, Edwards seized the opportunity to begin a new life.

Recognizing that the flood of loyal refugees from the American Revolution included free blacks (and enslaved Africans) is a part of the loyalist story of Massachusetts that should not be forgotten, no matter how scant the historical records.


To secure permission to reprint this article, contact the author at {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com} how do I email him?

Another Opinion of Loyalist Ancestry by Richard Ripley, UE

Stephen Davidson's article "The Loyalist Refugee Heritage" in Loyalist Trails uses all the cleansing power of modern politically correct thought, to dismiss Loyalist genealogy developed by UEL descendants, as "well meaning," "elitist" research aimed at discovering "a loftier place in Canadian society". The Loyalists, we are told, are essentially "refugees", and are to be appreciated as "the largest group of displaced persons in North American history", and little else. Stephen tells us that the essence of this Loyalist "refugee" cause, was one much similar to others who "faced persecution in their former country", and most comparable to refugees of "the many cultural backgrounds" which make up Canada today. It might be just as well, not to use the letters "UE", he implies.

Mr. Davidson is re-writing history in line with contemporary politically-correct thought. We read often of the large number of immigrants who seek to enter Canada. However, to place Loyalist history and genealogy into this basket, is to trivialize the United Empire Loyalist fact. Stephen tells us that to be true to the quest of the Loyalist fact, we should "promote fair access -- and funding -- for the higher education of our youth", and "rather than putting up barriers, Canada should give the displaced persons of the world the opportunity to begin life in a safe country". While these are noble objectives, they are not part of the Loyalist story, and are wrongly associated with it.

My Loyalist ancestor, Corporal John Phillips (1751-1844), did not have any slaves. His New Jersey Volunteers had black members, who joined when his battalion was engaged in South Carolina and Georgia. The only group which he and the other Loyalists despised were 'the rebels'. John eventually settled at Long Point, Ontario, in 1801, with a large and growing, hungry family. John Phillips needed land for his family. He lived in a series of primitive homes hewn from towering virgin forests, and worried where he was going to find salt, and how he could grow enough potatoes to hold a few bushels over the winter. His concern about 'higher education' was enough that his son John Phillips Jr. became a teacher who instructed young boys about how to load and shoot rifles at game, and at American intruders in the War of 1812. Two of his sons served under Colonel Talbot in that war. His Loyalty to things British, was such that he named his youngest son 'George Rex Phillips', in honour of the King. He wrote his will in a typical Christian manner, with the first reference being to God.

Such virtues and values created modern Canada.

These matters - British loyalty, Christian faith - are not in the mindsets of the modern politically correct crowd, but they are the founding cornerstones of modern Canada. These pioneers set out the framework which has made Canada the great welcoming, caring, fair country which it is today. Today, we have school principals who want to ban 'O Canada' because it is not inclusive enough - let's remember the first line of O Canada in French, "O Canada, terre de nos aieux" (land of our ancestors).

It is wrong to turn our backs on our founding values.

The Loyalists brought us many things which are part of modern Canada. "Unfair taxation - Americans will not consider a health care system which is based on taxation and public funding. The Loyalists gave Canada a legacy by which we could have publicly funded health care when the need became great enough.

We have much to thank the Loyalists for, and much to be proud of in our Loyalist ancestries.

Colonel Talbot realized that Canada was vulnerable to American invasion; he employed Mahlon Burwell (1783-1846) to map out the roads and towns in a defensible and logical manner. This led to our modern map of Ontario, and to the reasoning behind the location of highway 401. All this is part of the Loyalist legacy.

Let us be proud of our Loyalist ancestries.

America has a severe problem with guns and violent crime - a murder rate ten times higher than Canada's. This can be traced to the Second Amendment - the holding of personal firearms - to the US Constitution, which came into effect in 1791, eight years after the end of the Revolutionary War. We can thank the Loyalists for our very low rate of gun crime, but the Loyalist heritage cannot protect us from those who bring illegal weapons into Canada from the US.

Our Loyalist ancestries matter. There would be no Canada without the Loyalists.

There were thousands of black Loyalists, and thousands of Indian Loyalists, who came to Canada. These groups were not welcome in the new Republic, and those who remained behind, suffered for it. The underground railway for blacks from the American South ended near Chatham, Ontario. The welcoming of these groups set the table for the grand inclusive Canada we are now proud of. Although not perfect in its actualization, the intent was there, an intent in our imperfect hearts today.

We have much to thank the Loyalists for, and much to be proud of in our Loyalist ancestries.

I was dismayed to hear that my children, schooled in Ontario, think Sir John A. MacDonald was Canada's first leader. He was the first Prime Minister; the first head of Canada was Guy Carleton (1722-1808) who almost one hundred years earlier was the first governor of the combined Canadas after the American Revolution. My children had never heard of Guy Carleton, one of Canada's Founding Fathers, along with Thomas Talbot, Mahlon Burwell, Joseph Brant, Isaac Brock, Laura Secord, and many others, including the privates and corporals like my own Loyalist ancestor, and including their wives and families. There would be no Canada today without them. Sir John A. MacDonald can thank those founders for setting the table for him.

Many Acadians remained behind after the expulsion of 1755, like one of my ancestors, George Noiles of Fenwick, Nova Scotia (1735-1792). We, his descendants, are also proud of him.

Canada's schools, and people like Stephen Davidson, are attempting to re-write the greatest part of Canadian history, the arrival of the Loyalists, and create the illusion that modern Canada is a creation of modern times. That illusion is false. Our Loyalist heritage is indeed something to be proud of, and the Loyalists were an elite group, the Founders of Canada. To find and value a Loyalist ancestry, and to use the letters "UE", is to connect oneself with the founding of modern Canada.

O Canada, terre de nos aieux.

...Richard Ripley, UE {nffgfamily AT hotmail DOT com} how do I email him?

Hotel Bookings for "Loyalist Settlement Experience" Conference 2009

The Hampton Inn, Napanee, hotel rooms which are being held for us as a block are filling up quickly. All members planning to go to the conference should make accommodation plans quickly as there is also a large Gospel Festival taking place in the town that same weekend, so other motels may also be booked up soon.

...Brian Tackaberry UE, Bay of Quinte Branch

Stockdale Cemetery in Murray Township Transcription Available and Bay of Quinte Activities

Stockdale Cemetery in Murray Township has been completely transcribed. This edition contains 1401 entries (including 162 without markers) with extensive annotations expanding on maiden names and relationships drawn from death registrations, family trees, church records and obituaries. It includes a cemetery history and map and is illustrated with pictures of markers, early settlers, buildings and funeral cards from the collection of Peter W. Johnson UE. There are many second and third generation Loyalist families at this cemetery north of Trenton, as well as Nancy Porter a wife of Timothy Porter UE and a daughter of Pte. Henry Simmons UE.

366 pages, fully indexed, available as a searchable PDF on CD-ROM from Quinte Branch, OGS.

Price: $20.00 or $25.00 by mail; Paper price: $55.00 (plus postage where applicable)

613-394-3386 Ext. 3328, {quintebranch AT ogs DOT on DOT ca} how do I email them?, www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs

Some Bay of Quinte Area Comings And Goings...

Congratulations to Eleanor Moult UE who won a recent Canadian Tire contest and was featured on a full page spread in the Belleville newspaper.

Your Past President spoke recently to the Lakeshore Genealogical Society in Cobourg and a talk at the Quinte Branch, OGS (Ontario Genealogical Society) in Trenton is on for the 18th.

...Peter W. Johnson UE, Past President UELAC

"Loyalism and the Revolutionary Atlantic World" - Conference in Maine June 4-7, 2009

This Academic Conference brings together specialists from British, Canadian U.S., and Australian universities who employ trans-national perspectives to examine opposition to the American Revolution and its broader significance throughout the Atlantic world. The conference scholars, who will draw on a range of academic disciplines, will present papers exploring loyalism beyond a U.S. national framework.

The conference scholars will address two critical aspects of the American Revolution. First, they will tackle the most significant understudied Revolutionary topic among historians in the U.S. - Loyalists, those who opposed the patriot movement. Second, their "Atlantic" perspective will help move analysis of the American Revolution beyond its familiar nationalistic boundaries and into a larger trans-national region of influence and significance.

The Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine and the University of New Brunswick are major sponsors of the conference, indicating the priority that the subject of Loyalism has long received from scholars working in Canada and in Canadian History. Thirty-three professors and doctoral candidates will be presenting their work at the conference from June 4-7, 2009.

Beginning and ending in Orono, ME, the conference will travel to Castine for sessions and a walking tour of this seaport town with an important loyalist past.

For details visit the conference web site.

Congratulations to Mildred Roblin: Oldest Loyalist Member?

Mildred Roblin, member of Bay of Quinte Branch UELAC celebrated her 101st birthday on March 12, 2009. Mildred is a life member of the branch and joined as a charter member in 1956. Congratulations go out to her on this milestone!

...Brian Tackaberry UE, Bay of Quinte Branch

Last Post: Miriam Marie Henderson, BA, UE; June 4, 1919 - March 29, 2009

Died at Carveth Care Centre, on Sunday, March 29th after an illness of several months. Predeceased by husband, Hugh J. Henderson. Mother of Anthony Hugh Henderson and his wife Cathy, and devoted grandmother of Amanda Henderson and Jennifer Henderson. Also survived by her sister Gwyneth Warnas; predeceased by her parents Archie and Myrtle Goslin of Hartington, and her brother Melvin Goslin of Sydenham. Miriam was a teacher for many years in various areas of Frontenac County and Kingston, co-owner of H-House Antiques, Harrowsmith, actively involved in the United Church of Canada and very interested in her heritage as a United Empire Loyalist. -- the Kingston Whig-Standard

...Lynne Cook UE, St.Lawrence Branch

Queries

Response re British Evacuation of New York City

I read with interest the article in this week's Loyalist Trails about the evacuation of New York City in 1783. My husband's ancestors, John Dennis and Martha Brown, widow of Surgeon Andrew McLaney, RN, married there around the same time as your ancestors, so I was grateful for the information pointing me towards a possible source to find their marriage licence.

The illegible words on the licence of your ancestors are: "...to Jemima Purdy, Singlewoman" and "Given under my hand..." Not particularly exciting but it does give you the complete licence now, and lets you know that you don't have to find any previous husbands for Jemima. (Yes, I've spent a lot of time reading old manuscripts!)

...Holly Adams, A descendant of John Hoople and of George Kintner/Kentner, UE

John Lane/Lean of Chaleur Bay

"Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution" by Gregory Palmer, Meckler Publishing, Westport, CT,1984 includes the following entry:

LANE, JOHN

A farmer of Ballstown, New York. Lane owned 100 acres, twenty of which were improved. He joined the British Army under Burgoyne on August 17, 1777, and served in the Loyal Rangers until the Peace, settling at New Carlisle, Chaleur after the Peace. Lane estimated his loss atŁ236 New York.

Lane does not appear in the Directory of Loyalists on the UELAC website. I believe he may be the same person as John Lean listed with a woman and two children in the Brig St. Peter in the "Return of Loyalists and Discharged Soldiers embarked on Board the Province Vessels for Chaleur Bay, 9th June, 1784."

I wonder if anyone has any further information on John Lane/Lean and his descendants or any suggestions on seeking this information.

...Marilyn Astle {astle DOT marilyn AT yahoo DOT ca} how do I email her?

Seeking a UEL Cookie Press in Wood

In sorting through a box of old Regina Branch material, I came across a Project Committee Annual Report submitted by June Pierson in May, 1989 for the Association's Annual meeting. The report lists the various articles the committee has for sale to branch members. I was intriqued with the UEL cookie press in WOOD to be used to make shortbread etc. Would someone have one from back then that they are not using and would be willing to part with. Another alternative would be a tracing of the cookie press to give me the actual size and possibly a photo, so I could replicate one for my own use.

...Logan Bjarnason UE {loganue AT sasktel DOT net} how do I email him?

Knitting Patterns

Knitting Patterns: does anyone have, or know where I can get, knitting patterns for socks, etc, from the 1790's or the Loyalist period generally? I am looking specifically for woman's 1790's everyday socks/stockings for my period clothing.

I do like to knit and so if I had the patterns, I could knit for others who want/need something.

...Jo Ann M. Tuskin, U.E. {jmtuskin AT sympatico DOT ca} how do I email her?

Was Widow Mallory later Hannah Munro?

The "History of Leeds and Grenville 1749-1879" presents on p. 112 the family of Daniel Mallory, U.E. A son, Peter, is listed with his two sons, William and Peter, but his wife is not named.

The tradition in my Munro family is that my ancestor, Daniel Munro, married 'Mrs. Mallory, widow, with a son Pete Mallory'. From her tombstone we know that her given name was Hannah.

Was Peter Mallory's wife named Hannah? What was her maiden name? Did she later marry Daniel Munro about 1801? If so, any information about Hannah and her family would be appreciated.

...Jo Ann M. Tuskin, U.E. {jmtuskin AT sympatico DOT ca} how do I email her?

Owen Madden and Family

Born in Ulster Province, Northern Ireland in 1722, Owen Madden received a level of education uncommon at the time, although the circumstances of his childhood and education are unknown. The first known documentation of his presence in America was in 1745 when he married Catharine Donawen in Kings Chapel, Boston.

Either shortly before or shortly after his marriage he fought in King George's War (1744-1748.) Most likely he volunteered in June, 1745 when Sir William Pepperell left Massachusetts for Louisburg and picked up recruits in the Cushing area. For this service we believe Owen was later granted land in St. Georges, Lower Town, Cushing, (Mass., now Maine) a Waldo Grant strip. His lot was the 32nd down from the fort. He is listed as one of the original settlers of St. Georges, Maine.

In 1755 he served "in a company of Rangers scouting to the east" (?? Probably should read "west.")

In 1758 "600 men were recruited for the Army of whom 300 were assigned garrison duty. Owen Madden was listed on the muster roll of Fort Fredrick under Captain Alexander Nickels. Owen served from Aug. 14, 1758 to Sept. 30, 1759.

Owen left St. Georges sometime before 1786. The "History of St. Georges" states "three Loyalists had their land confiscated in St. Georges and left the area." The names of the individuals are not stated but it is possible Owen was one of them. There is no record of his land being sold.

The "Annals of Bangor" ( Maine) place Owen in Conduskeag Plantation (now Orono and Bangor, Maine) in 1786. A passage from that book (relating an 1806 occurrence) reads, "The Plantation was first called ‘Deadwater' but 20 years earlier one Owen Madden, a discharged soldier from Burgoyne's Army who had been stationed in Stillwater, N.Y. changed the name from ‘Dead' to ‘Still'-water for a better sound. He was a schoolmaster in Bangor and Orono. He would occasionally drink to excess but possessed a good disposition and was well educated."

The "Hitchner Collection" in the Special Collections Department at the University of Maine at Orono states Owen "was in the French War" and was a "Loyalist" in the revolution. He is said to have been at Saratoga (Stillwater River) during the Crown Point fighting under Burgoyne."

Owen petitioned for land in New Brunswick, Canada three times, presumably for his service in the Revolution (I'm awaiting copies of the petitions):

In 1787 a petition was filed for land in Sunbury County by Donald Wood, Jacob Clark, Sam Sinclair (a disbanded soldier Royal Fecibles), and Owen Madden.

In 1791 Owen Madden filed a petition for land in Carleton County.

In 1800 a petition for land in Queens County was filed by William Barlow, John Morgan, David Phillips, Matthew Phillips, Robert Phillips, Thomas Phillips, and Sopher Phillips, and Owen Madden. (Note: he would have been 78 at the time.)

There is no documentation of Owen after 1800. His date of death is unknown as is his burial location.

It is interesting to note that Owen's son, John Maddan (he spelled it "…an",) served in the Revolution in the Continental Army! He enlisted in 1776 and served as a private in Capt. Talbut's Co., Col. Hitchcock's Regt. on the Rhode Island Line at Prospect Hill. He reenlisted Dec. 3, 1777 and served in Capt. Wiley's Co, Col Jackson's 8th Mass Line. He spent the winter at Valley Forge and left the service as a Sergeant in 1783.

Any information/documentation to confirm Owen service as a Loyalist in the Revolution would be greatly appreciated!

...Keith Madden {MADDEN04468 AT aol DOT com} how do I email him?

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