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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2009 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2009-37: September 13, 2009


Cadwallader Colden: The Poor Little Rich Boy (Part One) -- © Stephen Davidson

Cadwallader Colden should have had a happy childhood, one filled with horse rides on the family estate, society balls, and private tutors -- in short, the typical childhood enjoyed by any son born into a family of New York's upper crust. But as he was the son of a Long Island loyalist, young Colden's carefree childhood came to a sudden end as it collided with the events of the American Revolution.

Cadwallader Colden was the namesake of his grandfather, a former lieutenant governor of New York. Young Cadwallader was born on April 4, 1769 at Springhill, the Colden family's mansion in Flushing, New York. He grew up in Long Island's Queens County with his four sisters Alice (born 1768), Mary (1770), Elizabeth Ann (1774), and Catherine (1775). Four other sisters died as children.

Cadwallader was the son of David Colden and the former Ann Willet. David Colden had once served New York as the colony's surveyor general. He clearly had a first hand knowledge of New York; in the years leading up to the Revolution, he had acquired of thousands of acres of land in three of New York's counties as well as in New Hampshire.

Although he never set up a practice, Colden had been trained as a doctor. Science was his passion. He corresponded with Benjamin Franklin on philosophical matters and some of his papers appeared in the scientific publications of the day.

Despite the rebellious sentiments of his neighbours, Colden supported the government and did his best to persuade his countrymen to remain loyalty. The loyalists of Queens County looked to Colden as their spokesman.

In the midst of all the political upheaval, the Colden family paused to mourn the death of Cadwallader Colden Sr. who passed away at 88 in 1776. The former lieutenant-governor's funeral may well have been the last time all of his children gathered together.

Elizabeth Colden had married Peter DeLancey, a noteworthy loyalist. Their son James DeLancey, a loyalist officer, would one day sit on the governing council of Nova Scotia.

Her brother, Cadwallader Colden Jr., was imprisoned during the revolution for his loyalty. He is quoted as saying "he should ever oppose independency with all his might." At the end of the Revolution, Cadwallader Colden Jr. did not become a political refugee. He was one of the majority of loyalists who was allowed to stay in the country they had always called home.

David, the third of the lieutenant-governor's children, would die in England eight years later in a vain quest for compensation for the losses he suffered as a loyalist.

As the "troubles" continued to increase through the mid 1770s, David Colden was forced to seek sanctuary for his family within the British lines in New York City. While there, he was Long Island's superintendent of police for the duration of the war.

In 1783, Colden moved to New Jersey rather than join the thousands of loyalist refugees who sailed to Nova Scotia, England or the Caribbean. Given the family's large land holdings, Colden may have held some hope of reclaiming his property or at least of selling it before departing the United States. Since his brother had been pardoned for his loyalty, it may be that David thought that he might also be allowed to live among his patriot neighbours.

At the end of six months, Colden received word that his estate had been permanently confiscated and that the New York legislature considered him a criminal. There being no hope of compensation from the new republic, Colden left Ann and their four daughters in the care of his brother and sailed for England with his only son, Cadwallader.

The two Coldens arrived in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1784. They had not been on English soil for many weeks when David became ill. News from his wife that his youngest (and favourite) daughter Elizabeth had broken her thigh added to Colden's despair. He died on July 10th, not long after drawing up a will that bequeathed his estate in Flushing, New York to his wife and daughters.

Those who knew of Colden's wartime experiences felt that the loyalist had died of a broken heart, given all of the stress and trials he had been forced to endure. His brother later wrote that the news of his daughter's injury "helped to shorten his days". David Colden was buried at St. Ann's Church in Soho. His friends in England erected a monument to his memory.

The events of the summer must have been overwhelming for Cadwallader Colden. He was just fifteen years old; he was thousands of miles from home with no family nearby to comfort him. However, his father's loyalist friends in England came to the young Colden's aid. George Ludlow, a wealthy judge from New York, took the teenager's case to the British government. At first, Ludlow tried to secure a pension for David Colden's widow and daughters, but because Mrs. Colden and her daughters were still living in New York, the application was refused. The British government did, however, grant young Cadwallader a pension of 30 pounds sterling.

Money was no doubt the least of the teenager's concerns. More bad news came by mail. His mother had died in New York that August, a month after his father's death. Cadwallader was now an orphan without parents or an inheritance. His four sisters would continue to live with their uncle in the United States, but what would become of Cadwallader?

(Cadwallader Colden's story concludes in the next issue of Loyalist Trails.)

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

"Thanksgiving: The Food Plants": A Native Loyalist's View

"The Food Plants.

With one mind, we turn to honour and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks."

It's been said the Creator provides with food, but it's up to us to work for it. The Three Sisters of the Haudenosaunee - corn, beans and squash - are grown together to support each other in a symbiotic relationship learned from centuries of knowledge. From our full-time farmers to our weekend gardeners, food from Mother Earth nourishes us and has also been known as regional Canadian epicurean specialities.

...David Kanowakeron Hill Morrison UE

[Editor's Note: Read the full Thanksgiving Address. For details, visit Four Directions Youth Project - donations are needed, and appreciated.]

Silas Raymond (1748 - 1824) - Fifth Generation in America: Part V - © 2009 George McNeillie

[Part 1Part II,   Part IIIPart IV]

Life in Long Island was not destined to be for them a picnic. During the first winter they suffered severely.

"This winter," writes Judge Jones, "was the severest ever known in the middle colonies. The snow began to fall around the 10th of November and continued almost every day till the middle of the ensuing March. In the woods it lay at least four feet deep upon a level. It was with difficulty that the farmers got their wood...The winter was intensely cold, the rivers, creeks, harbors, ports, and brooks were frozen up. The Bay of New York, and from thence up the North River to Albany, was mere terra firma. It was equally so on the East River for a long way up the Sound. It was so strong that deserters went upon the ice to Connecticut from Lloyd's Neck on Long Island, the distance being more than twelve miles. The Sound of at New Haven, which is thirty miles from Long Island, was frozen over -- about two miles in the middle excepted -- and these two miles were filled with particles of ice. In many cases, large quantities of sea-fowl were picked up so frozen as not to take wing. At one time 200 sleighs laden with provisions, with two horses to each, escorted by 200 Light Horse, passed upon the ice from New York to Staten Island in a body."

Bishop Charles Inglis, who was at this time Rector of Trinity Church in New York, in his diary kept in the winter of this year, gives a very similar account of the rigour of the season.

The period of nearly four years spent by the Raymonds on Long Island was an anxious time. Hopes and fears alternated as to the issue of the war; but with the surrender of Earl Cornwallis and his army to the united French and American armies in October, 1781, the result was no longer doubtful. In 1782, "preliminary articles of peace were arranged."

The affairs of Great Britain, which had been sadly mismanaged by General Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, during the war at its close passed at length into competent hands. The new Commander-in-Chief, Sir Guy Carleton, was a man of a different stamp. His conduct was marked by firmness and ability. He was determined not to leave New York until he could send all the Loyalists to their places of destination. It was necessary to provide a large fleet of transport ships to carry the exiles and their possessions to their future locations. The embarkation of the troops for England was deferred till the 25th of November, 1783. But in the meanwhile Sir Guy Carleton was not idle.

Judge Jones tells us, in his Loyalist History, that Sir Guy sent away from New York at the peace as many as 100,000 souls. Of these, 40,000 went to England, this number included the army - their wives, servants, children and a numerous train of influential and well-to-do loyalists. Of the remaining 60,000 many went to Nova Scotia (which then included New Brunswick), some went to Newfoundland, others to Canada, to the Bahamas, the Sumner and West India Islands, etc., etc.

The treatment experienced by the Loyalists who ventured to return to their former homes, together with the violence threatened to any others who should attempt to do sol, gave a tremendous impetus to the emigration. To quote the historian Edward F. De Lancey:

"The unfortunate Loyalists came from all parts of America to embark for all parts of the world, for England, for Scotland, for Ireland, for Canada, for Newfoundland, for Cape Breton, for Nova Scotia, for New Brunswick, for the Bermudas, for Florida, for Jamaica and for the lesser West India Islands. Those who had means formed companies and hired vessels for themselves, those who had not were sent away in transports provided by the British Government."

"To Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the writer (De Lancey) is certified from a personal examination of the M.S. records in the Secretary's office in Halifax, the emigration amounted to 35,000 men, women and children. The emigration to Upper Canada and Lower Canada was immense. The number who went to Great Britain and Ireland, especially the former, was very great. There is scarcely a town of any size in England and Scotland where expatriated Loyalists were not found for thirty years after the peace, and where their tombstones cannot now be seen."

The evacuation of New York and Long Island took time. The news of the actual signing peace did not arrive in New York until March, 1783, and the final evacuation was on the 25th of November, although the fleet did not sail from the rendezvous at Staten Island until the 4th of December. Meanwhile, what of the loyalists at Long Island?

The Raymond Family sojourned there nearly four years, and there on April 30, 1780, their fourth child, Hannah, was born. They watched with keen interest the trend of events, and were among the first to resolve to proceed to some place where they still live under the old flag, "faithful alike to God and King."

Excerpt from Book of Family History written by The Ven. William Odber Raymond, LL.D, FRSC. © 2009 George McNeillie - all rights reserved [published here with permission; see footnote]

...George McNeillie {ggm3rd AT sympatico DOT ca} how do I email him?

Looking for Loyalists? Try the Resources at Brock University

Do you think you may have a United Empire Loyalist in your family, but have been unable to prove it? The first settlers of Ontario were Loyalists, choosing loyalty to King George III, rather than the American Rebels during the American Revolution of 1776, so if you have Niagara roots, you very likely have a Loyalist ancestor somewhere in your family. There is a great resource available now locally in the Brock University Library's Special Collections and Archives department available to anyone interested in Loyalist History.

The Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University have established a collection of original United Empire Loyalist documents on microfilm which is available for anyone interested in Loyalist History. The collection at Brock now contains the complete set of Upper Canada Land Books, complete with a thorough index to simplify research. These documents are the claims for land made by those who served the King during the Revolution, and are the proofs necessary to establish your Loyalist ancestry. For more information on the Loyalist Collection at Brock, visit our web site:

If you would like to make an appointment to visit the collection at Brock, contact Edie Williams, Special Collections and Archives Assistant at 905-688-5550 ext. 4335.

...Edward Scott, UE, Chairman, Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University

Last Post: Shirley Carol Leone Sills

Peacefully at the Brantford General Hospital on Sunday, September 6, 2009 in her 79th year. Predeceased by her parents Chester and Glenna Sills. Loving sister of Keith, and his wife Flo and family. Many friends through her association with Heritage United Church, the Genealogical Society, the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and the National Home Gardening Club. Shirley was a proud and avid gardener at her own home; winning several awards for her floral presentations. She was a retired employee of London Life Insurance after nearly 40 years of service.

Shirley's Loyalist was Martin Meddough. She was a member of the Grand River Branch, UELAC. Shirley enjoyed the meetings and going out for dinner after to socialize.

...Marilyn A. McDonald, UE, DAR


Family of William and Mary Cook of Cornwall

I am seeking information on my GG-grandmother Mary COOK(E)'s family. Mary COOK was b. c1820 in Cornwall, the daughter of William and Mary (nee unknown) COOK. Mary's father William, birth date unknown, was born in NY but his family went into Canada as Loyalists sometime before 1812 according to family lore. William married Mary's mother, Mary, born Canada. Mary COOK left Cornwall for the St. Croix area of Wisconsin where she was a school teacher and married Guy W. Dailey, grandson of Jacob BARNHART, in 1853 in St. Paul, Minnesota and they made their home in Hudson, St. Croix, Wisconsin where his parents, William and Mercy (BARNHART) DAILEY, and their family settled after leaving the Cornwall area. No other children of William and Mary COOK are known at this time.

I believe there to be a connection between Mary's father, William, and Henry R. COOK, b. c1784 in NY, who also left Cornwall for Washington Co., Minnesota, just across the river from St. Croix Co., where he and his family appear in the 1857 Minnesota census. Henry R. COOK was issued a grant of land by Council in Cornwall, Lot 15 on the south side of 9th Street, on 18 Feb 1826 for service "during the late war." In the 1829 census of Cornwall Henry COOK is cited with 3 males under 16, 3 females under 16, 3 males above 16 and 1 female above 16 in his household. Also listed in the 1829 census are a Daniel COOK and widow John COOK. Henry R. & Mary's children were baptized at Trinity Anglican Church in Cornwall, including John, Alexander, Allen and Rudolph. In 1850 Henry, wife Mary, John, b. 1827, Alexander, b. 1832, and Rudolph, b. 1835, along with a young woman Frances, b. 1828, have moved to Brasher, St. Lawrence Co. Frances does not appear in the 1857 census of Washington Co., Minnesota but Allen, b. 1831, George, b. 1836, and a James, b. 1838, are cited with Henry's family. I'm hoping someone may have more information on these COOK families and can help!

...Dawn Tedder {trterogr1 AT hotmail DOT com} how do I email her?

Creches, Past and Present, in Canada

We are hosting and organizing the American Friends of the Creche International Convention in November, 2011. This is just one country of a world-wide organization of Friends of the Creche, and I attended a World Congress on the Creche held in Augsburg, Germany last year where there were representatives from 19 national organizations from countries across the globe. There is no such organization in Canada, and I believe this is to be the first conference based on the crèche to be held in this country. As such we are looking very closely into its history across Canada, and find that it is very closely rooted to the history of the country as a whole. Many of the early explorers brought priests with them on their voyages, and Champlain brought Recollets and later Jesuits to set up missions. The first crèche in these parts was set up at the mission at St. Marie among the Hurons in 1643, but there were crèches in Quebec at an even earlier date.

I am writing to you in the hope that you might send out an enquiry on your newsletter to Loyalists as to what any of them might know about the crèche. Do any of them have any knowledge of members of their family bringing crèche figures with them to Canada to set up in their homes at Christmas as they celebrated the birth of Christ? If they did not bring them with them when they came to Canada, might they have made them, or purchased them in later years? Do they set up a crèche now, and if so, would they know when such a custom was introduced into their families? I would think that the custom was more common amongst the German Loyalists than the British, but maybe not? I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has information to share about celebrations of Christmas in their particular family, as well as from anyone interested in learning more about the introduction of the displaying of nativity scenes into this country at Christmas and its relationship with other parts of the world. It is proving to be a fascinating subject as we study the waves of exploration and immigration into Canada from its earliest days until the present.

The convention is to open with an Ecumenical Service in the Cathedral, and all sessions and exhibits will be at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

...Nancy Mallett, Chair, Archives and Museum Committee, St. James' Cathedral, Toronto, and Chair, Friends of the Crèche International Convention, November 10 to 12, 2011

416-364-7865, Ex. 233 {archives AT stjamescathedral DOT on DOT ca}

152 King Street East, 4th floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 1J3

Family of Lt. Richard Wilson 1740-1810

My family has been doing research on our family tree and I believe one of our ancestors, Lt. Richard Wilson, qualifies as a loyalist. We would like to confirm this. Here is the evidence we have uncovered so far:

- Lt. Richard Wilson 1740-1810 (gravestone, Sackville NB)

- Served 8 years in his Majesty's 22d Regimt. of foot - See His Petition

- Settled in N. Carolina after capture of Quebec.

- Served as Lieutenant of his Majesty's Garrison of Fort Johnston from 1771 until 18th of July 1775

- Petitioned in Sept 1775 for a commission in the Royal Fencible Americans, from which he was discharged 24 June 1777 (Clarke, Ernest. The Siege of Fort Cumberland 1776.McGill-Queen's University Press 1995.)

Richard had a wife and 4 children all of who died before leaving N. Carolina and remarrying in Sackville,N.B. to a Ann Harper (I beleive this to be the case, but I am still awaiting arrival of the source documents). Richard's son and/or grandson moved to Demoiselle Creek, Albert County, N.B.

Any information about Richard Wilson and his family would be greatly appreciated.

...J. Wilson {jmwilson AT mta DOT ca}

Nathaniel Bragdon II of New Brunswick

Nathaniel Bragdon II was born before July 31, 1748 in Scarborough, Maine. He died of unknown causes (to me) in Gaudaloupe on December 19, 1801. He appears to have spent a number of years in New Brunswick from the early 1780's where his 5th child (Nathaniel III) was born in Burton, NB in 1782, according to History of York, Maine Volume 1 (1967).

Nathaniel II made 3 land petitions in NB between 1785 and 1809 in the counties of Queen's and Sunbury. I have not found any land grants, but assume he arrived in NB prior to 1782 when Nathaniel III was born.

Nathaniel's five children were:

1. Elijah born 1775. Land Grant 522 granted to Elijah in 1810.

2. John born 1777

3. Margaret born 1779

4. Mary C born 1780

5. Nathaniel II born in Burton, NB in 1782. Nathaniel II's descendants were all born in NB, except for Ernest Bragdon, born in 1918 in Waterville, Maine. He (Ernest) lived in NB the rest of his life thereafter, as disd his descendents.

Another source that would suggest that Nathaniel II may be a loyalist is the Studholm Report, which stated that Nathaniel Bragdon resided in NB for about 10 years.


1. Has anyone seen proof that Nathaniel II was a Loyalist? or can you point me at sources where I would be most likely to find such proofs.

2. Has anyone discovered the reason that Nathaniel II (or other NBers) would have been in Gaudaloupe? Was there a conflict there in 1801 that the British were involved in?

3. Does anyone have any other facts about Nathaniel II, where he lived in NB, whether he owned land, occupation?

Any assistance, especially with the Loyalist questions, would be appreciated.

...Paul Bragdon, Descendent of Stillwell, UEL, {paulbragdon AT rogers DOT com} how do I email him?

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