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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2009 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2009-38: September 20, 2009


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

The year 1784 was the low point in the young life of Cadwallader Colden. At fifteen years of age, he was in England, an orphan who was thousands of miles from his relatives in New York. A loyalist judge from New York, George Ludlow, came to the boy's aid by securing an annual pension of £30 from the British government for Cadwallader, but a longer term solution was clearly necessary.

Before he left England, Ludlow put Cadwallader into the care of Colonel Farrington of the Royal Artillery. The colonel, as it turned out, was a maternal uncle. He saw to it that Cadwallader attended a classical school near London, but their relationship soon soured. Within a year, Farrington had grown tired of providing for his loyalist nephew; he was all too happy to grant him permission to return to North America. Cadwallader hoped the British government would let him continue to receive his pension after leaving England, but it refused.

Penniless, Cadwallader bid farewell to his uncle and became the ward of George Ludlow, joining him in Saint John, New Brunswick. By the time he was 18, Cadwallader was studying to be a lawyer under William Wylly.

Wylly was a loyalist from Savannah, Georgia who had studied law in the United Kingdom during the first years of the revolution. He returned to his family's plantation in 1780 and practiced law for ten months. Wylly raised a company of 55 loyalist refugees and was made the captain of a regiment of the Kings Rangers. At the end of the revolution, the lawyer from Georgia settled in New Brunswick to become the colony's first crown counsel and the registrar of the court of vice-admiralty. Wylly was a worthy teacher for Cadwallader, and George Ludlow was certainly a watchful guardian.

Ludlow had risen through the ranks of colonial politics, becoming the first chief justice of New Brunswick in 1784. In February of 1787, he took his young ward to the loyalist compensation board which was visiting Saint John at that time. But receiving compensation for wartime losses was never an easy matter for loyalists, no matter who spoke on their behalf.

After hearing the orphan's story, the commissioners feared that once he had been compensated for all of his father's losses, the young Colden would go and live with his family in New York. Ludlow testified that he meant "to keep him here and ... is satisfied that the young man himself has no thoughts of returning." Speaking on his own behalf Cadwallader testified "his determined Resolution to abide under the British Government".

But the fact that Cadwallader had four younger sisters in New York continued to worry the commissioners. Ludow argued that if the government had granted the girls a pension earlier, they would have moved to New Brunswick. The sisters' uncle had his own family to support and it seemed likely that he would be more than willing to let his nieces join their brother. Ludlow revealed that all four Colden sisters were expected to arrive in New Brunswick by November of 1787. In the end, the board was convinced, and they awarded Cadwallader Colden compensation -- a mere £2,720 for the £10,282 that his family had lost.

The best laid plans often change. The Colden sisters did not sail north to New Brunswick. Cadwallader did not continue his law studies with William Wylly. Despite the funds he received from the British government and his protestations of loyalty, Cadwallader D. Colden finally returned to New York in March of 1789, just two years after appearing before the compensation board.

The joy of the reunion with his sisters was quickly snuffed out when he learned that his oldest sister Alice had died just hours before his return. Using the money he received from the British government, Cadwallader was able to buy back some of his father's lands, by which means, he later wrote, "we are able to save something from the wreck".

Cadwallader continued to study law under one of the most eminent barristers of New York and was finally admitted to the bar at age 22 in 1791. Two years later, he married Maria Provost, the daughter of an Episcopal bishop. After practicing law in Poughkeepsie for three years, Cadwallader took his wife to New York City where he became a district attorney.

In addition to his law career, Colden served as a colonel for a volunteer regiment in the War of 1812, sat as a member of the New York assembly, and --in 1818-- became the mayor of New York City. Colden eventually served his country as a congressman in Washington and then a member of the New York State Senate. He published a book about the building of the Erie Canal and later wrote a biography of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat.

Cadwallader D. Colden died February 7, 1834 just two months before his 65th birthday. Though his adult life was full of accomplishment, his teen years had given him a front row seat to the experience of loyalists in the American Revolution. He had seen the men of his family bravely stand up for their king and in the process lose property and livelihood.

Cadwallader had crossed the Atlantic twice, once to seek compensation for his family's losses and then again to enjoy the protection of a loyalist guardian in New Brunswick. At eighteen, he was determined in his resolve "to abide under the British Government". Within four years, he was a lawyer in New York State.

One is left to wonder the impact Cadawallader Colden would have had on the history of New Brunswick if he had stayed in Saint John. His story is an outstanding example of the many twists and turns the life of a loyalist orphan could take.

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 Medicine Herbs.

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one."

Our Loyalist ancestors sacrificed more then simply property and material gain; they left behind many technological and knowledge-based inventions, among these, access to many of the medicines of their former communities. Arriving in territories relatively unknown to non-Aboriginals, the Native People's knowledge of the medicine plants would improve the lives of their new neighbours. Salves, teas and poultices from the natural world are still used in today's holistic medical circles.

...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 VI - © 2009 George McNeillie

[Part 1Part II,   Part IIIPart IVPart V ]

In the autumn of 1782, committees were formed at New York with the view of assisting the Loyalists who proposed to settle in Nova Scotia to make choice of suitable locations and to arrange for transportation to their future homes. Of the general committee the Rev. Dr. Samuel Seabury (afterwards chosen as first Bishop of Connecticut) was appointed president, and Sampson Salter Blowers, Esq. Secretary. The latter was for some years Chief Justice of Nova Scotia. The Agents appointed for Lloyd's Neck and the vicinity were Lieut. Col. Thompson of the King's American Dragoons, Lieut. Col. Edward Winslow, Sampson S. Blowers, Rev. John Sayre, Amos Botsford and Captain Mosely. Of these, Dr. Seabury and Lt. Col. Thompson were appointed to wait on Sir Guy Carleton. They submitted the following proposals:-

"1st. That they be provided with proper vessels and convoy to carry them, their horses and cattle, as near as possible to the place appointed for their settlement.

"2nd. That besides the provision for the voyage, one year's provision be allowed them, or money to enable them to purchase.

"3rd. That some allowance of warm clothing be made in proportion to the wants of each family.

"4th. That an allowance of medicines be granted, such as shall be thought necessary.

"5th. That pairs of Millstones, necessary iron works for constructing Grist Mills, and Saws and other articles necessary for Saw Mills be granted them.

"6th. That a quantity of Nails and Spikes, Hoes and Axes, Spades and Shovels, Plough Irons, and with other farming utensils as shall appear necessary be provided for them, and also a proportion of Window Glass.

"7th. That such a tract or tracts of land , free from disputed titles, and as conveniently situated as may be granted, surveyed and divided at the public cost as shall afford them 300 to 600 acres of useful land to each family.

"8th. That over and above 2,000 acres in every township be allowed for the support of a clergyman, and 1,000 acres for the support of a school, and that these lands be unalienable for ever.

"9th. That a sufficient number of good Musquets and Cannon be allowed, with a proper quantity of powder and ball for their use, to enable them to defend themselves against any hostile invasions; also a proportion of powder and lead for hunting."

The Commander-in-Chief was pleased to say that in general he approved of the proposals submitted, and that the terms of settlement should be at least equivalent to them. He advised further that some person should be sent to examine the vacant lands and see where settlements could be made to advantage.

In the month of April, 1783, the Rev. John Sayre, one of the Board of Agents, visited Huntington to hold services for the Loyalists in that vicinity and at the same time to inform them that the King had granted liberty to all who did not incline to return to their former homes and would go to Nova Scotia, 200 acres of land to each family and two years' provisions, provide ships to convey them as near as may be to a place of settlement, where lands would be granted for the support of the Church and schools, etc.

In his narrative, from which frequent quotations will be made in these pages, Walter Bates states:- "The next day I obtained a copy of the Articles proposed for settlement, from Huntington. A general meeting was held on Eaton's Neck to investigate the same and consult concerning the present situation and our future prospects. It was then resolved by all present and mutually agreed to remove with our families into the wilderness of Nova Scotia and settle all together in such a situation that we might enjoy the comforts of church and school."

After the terms were duly considered and approved at the general meeting, speedy action followed. The transport ship Union was sent to Huntington where the embarkation began on Friday the 11th of April, 1783, and was completed on Wednesday following, having occupied only five days. The shortness of the time required was in part due, no doubt, to the large number of willing workers, but also to the fact that the majority of the people had lost nearly all that they possessed, and had but little to bring with them to New Brunswick.

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?

Re-launch of "An Island Refuge", the Loyalists of Prince Edward Island

The Abegweit Branch of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada is pleased and proud to announce the re-issue of an updated printing of the 1983 classic history --- " AN ISLAND REFUGE".

Originally 3,000 copies were printed in 1983 on the 200th anniversary of the Loyalist settlement in Prince Edward Island. The original books have now become collectors' items and some have sold at over $ 200.00 each. Numerous requests have for copies of the book have resulted in a reprinting of 200 copies which are on sale for $ 40.00 each.

A LAUNCHING of the 2009 re-issue will be held at the BEAKONSFIELD'S CARRIAGE HOUSE at West and Kent Streets on Friday September 25 between 7 and 9 PM. Refreshments will be served. Those interested in reserving copies may contact David Hunter, RR#2, Vernon Bridge, P.E.I., COA 2EO, 902-651-2762 or Mrs Ruth MacDonald, 127 MacDonald Road, Crapaud, P.E.I. COA 1J0, 902-658-2862.

The original copies have become highly prized and have increased substantially in value some selling for over $ 200.00. The contents are of special interest to genealogists and historians as well as relatives pursuing the quest for ancestral and current family connections.

"AN ISLAND REFUGE" describes and explains the Loyalist evacuation from the 13 Colonies of the United States and settlement on P.E.I. at the close of the American Revolution.

The contents include 325 pages of over 100 family histories arranged alphabetically, 10 pages on Loyalist Regiments in the British Army and 20 pages of copies of the original Muster ( passenger ) and Claimants List.

The Loyalist evacuation to P.E.I. was part of the largest English speaking mass migration in the history of the New World. Many present day studiers of the Loyalists are not only amazed and surprised to find these connections but to learn of the tragic splits in their own families at the time of the Revolutionary War, thus producing today's demographics of familial descendants and relatives in both Canada and the United States.

September 1759: Quebec City "The Plains of Abraham" - Revisited

The effects of the February cancellation of the proposed August re-enactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham continue to be reported in our Canadian media. There were the expected newspaper accounts at the time, but I continue to receive reminders of what was lost, or gained, by such actions.

Re-enactment groups, deprived of their opportunity to portray the battle, found other venues and in so doing supported smaller heritage programmes. In the August 5 issue, Carolyn Keene, Editor of the Lake Champlain Weekly interviewed Albert Smith, an avid re-enactor and Battle of Plattsburgh regular. He reported that this year he would not be at Plattsburgh for the September 12 activities as he would be taking part in a re-enactment of the Plains of Abraham in the United Kingdom. She also reminded her readers of the excellent article "In Wolfe's Clothing" by Ian Brown in the Globe and Mail Focus and Book Section, August 1.

The actual date of the 250th anniversary coincided with the annual Palatine Night hosted by the Edmonton Branch as part of the recent annual Prairie Regional gathering. At the end of the evening, I was presented with a copy of the September 2009 issue of The Walrus, Volume 6, Issue 7. In it, Helen Humphreys had written a very entertaining re-enactment of the historic battle contrasting the voices and views of both sides. The article is also available on line - "On the Plains of Abraham".

Normally, Okill Stuart, UELAC President 93/94 and members of the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch provide the Association presence at the Battle of Plattsburg activities on that second week of September. However, as a former Officer Commanding the Fort St. Helen Garrison, he was in Quebec City with the recreated 78th Fraser Highlanders Regiment to commemorate the significant role played by the troops of the original 78th at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham . Robert C. Wilkins, President of the Heritage Branch and a Lieutenant of the Garrison, not only provided a detailed account of the excursion but has also included photographs from Earl Chapman and details from the plaque. As Robert observed, "a special moment in Canadian history was thus fittingly observed. "

Our Vision Statement calls us to "enrich the lives of Canadians through fostering public awareness of our national history." Thanks to our contributing members, we are more aware of events that affected the lives of our United Empire Loyalist ancestors.


Norfolklore in Simcoe ON on Saturday September 26

Norfolklore XXXIII, Canada's oldest and original genealogy fair will take place again in Simcoe on Saturday September 26th between 10am and 4pm at the Simcoe Seniors Centre and the Eva Brook Donly Museum.

Organized by the Norfolk Historical Society, Norfolklore -the Grand Daddy of all Genealogy Fairs-- is celebrating 33 years of sharing resources and information with the family historian.

More than 20 exhibitors from around Ontario will participate this year, including Ontario Genealogical Society branches from Brant, Oxford, Elgin, Haldimand, Hamilton and Niagara. United Empire Loyalists, book publishers and authors will also have booths. There will be demonstrations and displays, rare and out-of-print books for sale, and new resources for the professional and amateur family historian.

Admission for this One Day Event is only $5 per person and that includes entry to both the Genealogy Fair and to the extensive archival holdings of the Eva Brook Donly Museum -- that's half price off the regular research fee!

The Simcoe Seniors Centre is located at 89 Pond Street in downtown Simcoe, just two blocks from the Museum which is found at 109 Norfolk St. S. For more information visit or call 519-426-1583.

...Scott Gillies

Cornwall Marks Anniversary With Unveiling of Plaque

For the first time in her 225-year history, Cornwall has publicly acknowledged the role that the Mohawks played in the original settlement of the community. A new bilingual plaque commemorating the city's 225th anniversary makes reference to the negotiations between the Mohawks and Loyalist leaders which essentially paved the way for Cornwall and S, D and G. "An understanding between Mohawk Chief Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) and Sir John Johnson led to the settlement of Cornwall and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry," reads the plaque, which is inscribed in both English and French. For more, read the article.

The planning for this event was originally noted in February in Loyalist Trails item Cornwall Loyalist Cairn: Planning and Funding

...Michael Eamer UE, St. Lawrence Branch

"Dutch New York" - TV Program on PBS

There was an excellent TV program on NY PBS stations this past week, titled "Dutch New York" - the timing coincided with Henry Hudson's coming into New York harbor 400 years ago. It's available to view online: click here.

Not that there's apt to be information that folks on this list aren't familiar with - a friend called it "Island at the Center of the World" lite - but it was wonderful to have the distinctions that were characteristic of Dutch culture in its Golden Age described. New Amsterdam was a "company town", but it was also a colony that was purchased rather than conquered, and there was more freedom of discussion and dissent here than elsewhere. Definitely worth a look, and I don't know how long these videos are available.

...Regina Harinh,

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are:
- Sills, Johannes Conrad by J. Kelsey Jones


Response re Family of Lt. Richard Wilson 1740-1810

Lt. Richard Wilson made a claim in London for his losses to the Loyalist Commissioners at London's Inn Fields, and he was awarded losses and was regarded as a Loyalist in the report. Click here to read these two pages from "Report of the Loyalist Commissioners", Bureau of Archives, pages 1206-1207, as contained in "United Empire Loyalists" Part II, Volume 3, London's Inn Fields, 1784, compiled & published by by Alexander Fraser, 1905. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc, Baltimore, 1994, Library of Congress Catalogue Number 93-80414.

This is a wonderful report, with much family information which will be of great value to your family genealogy. Notice that Richard was shown to have been a Captain by the time of the Report. And notice also that he had suffered considerable personal loss. One sees that he was quite a fine person. I have seldom seen such a compassionate report as that of Richard Wilson, by the Loyalist Commissioners. The man had suffered enormously, and still served, in this cause, which became the founding of modern Canada. Values for our children to know about: core importance of family, resoluteness in the face of adversity, loyalty to deep values & beliefs, modesty in personal affirmation, obedience to the determinations of one's superiors, on it goes....

I don't know at this point, whether he ever received the half-pay which he was certainly entitled to. However, the Commissioners at least did recognize him, and compensated him well for his losses.

...Richard Ripley

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