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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2009 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2009-48: November 29, 2009

Articles

Sixteen Loyalist Servants -- © Stephen Davidson

After finding sanctuary in the Canadas or the Maritimes, some loyalist refugees had only one hope for their survival -- voluntarily pledging years of their labour in exchange for food and shelter. For some impoverished supporters of the king, indentured service was the only way they could survive the first few years of displacement and settlement.

The most common indenture agreement had a free man, woman, or child give a set number of years of work in exchange for being taught a trade or for nothing more than food and shelter. The institution of indentured servitude in North America went back to at least 1607 when Englishmen exchanged their labour for passage to Virginia. In a matter of decades, three-quarters of that colony's population was made up indentured servants. Indenture began as a method to secure manual labour (and settlers) for a growing colony. By the the late 18th century, it had become a means to acquire apprentices or house servants.

The practice of indented labour had a long life; the last mention of an indentured servant in New Brunswick's probate records is found in an 1834 will. Anne Brannah instructed that Anne Garratty, her indentured Irish girl, be "kept in some respectable family where she will be learnt habits of sobriety and industry and instructed in writing and arithmetic sufficient to enable her to make out a bill and at seventeen years of age the sum of 25 pounds sterling appropriated for her obtaining the art of dress making."

The exact number of loyalists who entered indenture service can never be accurately determined. There was no agency that kept records of such arrangements. References in wills --as in Anne Garratty's case-- are rare. Thankfully, the British government did keep a record of the status of black passengers leaving New York City with loyalists in 1783. Some Africans were free Black Loyalists, some were the slaves of white loyalists, and some were indentured servants. Thanks to The Book of Negroes, we know the names and circumstances of sixteen indentured loyalists.

Two young black women sailed to the mouth of the St. John River on the Aurora at the end of the Revolution. Sarah Farmer agreed to serve a Mrs. Sharp for one year as her indentured servant. She would be free to pursue her own dreams when she turned 24 in 1784. A number of Sharp families settled in Kings County, and this may be where Sarah fulfilled her promises of servitude. Elizabeth Black, a 24 year-old, was Sarah's fellow passenger. She arrived in New Brunswick with 15 years of experience as an indentured servant to a Mrs. Courtland.

A single-parent mother known only as Venus came to New Brunswick with two small children aboard the Mars. To support her young family, she became the indentured servant of Jolly Longshore for the next two years. Given her freedom when she was 13 in 1774, Susanna Jarvis became an indented servant at 22.

Men also took advantage of the indenture system to provide for themselves. Thirty-eight year-old Dick had been a slave in Georgia until he escaped to the safety of the British lines in 1778. He sailed to Saint John on the Hope, having agreed to serve Captain Peacock for the next seven years. John Dick, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, was 25 years old when he became John Ritchie's servant in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The length of his servitude was not given.

Orphaned children turned to indenture as the best chance for survival in the northern colonies. Peter Martin was just 12 when he arrived in Shelburne on the Grace. He had run away from his Virginian master when he was only 9 years old and later agreed to serve a Robert Martin until he was 18. The Jackson brothers, Edward (14) and James (12) both became the servants of Edward Green, a loyalist in Shelburne, until they turned 21 years of age. The boys signed on with Green "to learn the trade of shoemaker".

Eleanor Hicks was a 13-year-old who agreed to be John Kearstead's servant for five years. Toney was a 10 year-old boy "indented to Dugal McPherson for 7 years by his own consent". Eleanor Cross was only 11 years old when her first employer sold her 10-year indenture to Shelburne's James White. John Patterson, already featured in an earlier Loyalist Trails article (November 4, 2007), was the 15 year-old indentured servant of Charles Loosley, a New York tavern owner. As an adult, Patterson would later capture New Brunswick's most wanted horse thief.

The youngest indentured servant among the Black Loyalists recorded in The Book of Negroes was Grace, a 7 year-old who entered into a 10 year indenture with John Turner in February of 1783. The very first female African to arrive in New Brunswick with the loyalists was 9 year-old Sukey. She was the servant of Fyler Dibblee, the deputy agent of the Union. Dibblee committed suicide in 1784; his widow's house burned down in June of that year. Sukey's fate following these tragedies is a mystery to this day.

One black teenager who was listed as an indentured servant did not leave his loyalist evacuation ship; he was a member of its crew. James Joseph was born free in Maryland. In 1777, he escaped the colony with his father when the British army began its march toward Philadelphia. He signed a seven year indenture contract, becoming a member of the Aurora's crew two years after the death of his father.

While the system of indented service provided shelter and food for poor loyalists and gave some the opportunity to learn a valuable trade, it also restricted their opportunities. Indentured servants did not receive land grants as other loyalists did. When black loyalists were given the opportunity to sail to Sierra Leone to found a new British colony in 1792, those who were bound by indenture contracts were forced to remain behind in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

"Thanksgiving: The Creator": A Native Loyalist's View

"The Enlightened Teachers.

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one."

Throughout Canadian history, there have always been those with extraordinary vision, experience and wisdom whose shared knowledge has proven invaluable and touched our lives today. In Native culture, Elders are revered for their wisdom of life experiences that they use for the betterment of all. Teachers have inspired generations to seek knowledge in order to live with truth at times when confusion and conflict often send many into disarray. The enlightened Loyalists took many forms; from shrewd Native diplomats to military strategists to the doctors to the most extraordinary of ordinary lives, the Loyalists brought with them a wealth of enlightenment... from which a remarkable country developed.

...David Kanowakeron Hill Morrison UE

[Editor's Note: See also the full Thanksgiving Address in the Four Directions Youth Project section.]

FDYP Fundraising Campaign Progresses - over 30%

The on-line campaign thermometer has been updated (over $1,500 or 308%) and names of more donors have been added.

Your Donations, small or large, will make a difference - please contribute today and help Zig Misiak make this current day project a success. For further information on how to show your support of the Four Directions Youth Project, go to UEL Charitable Trust Donations.

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

[Part 1Part II,   Part IIIPart IVPart V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X, Part XI, Part XII]

Epidemics of measles and small-pox were dreaded in early times, as doctors were few and far between. Kingston was fortunate in having, quite early, a doctor in the person of Azor Betts, M.D. [editor's note: Betts was a distant cousin of Silas Raymond's through the latter's descent from John Raymond and Mary Betts. Dr. Betts was from New York and he had served with distinction in the Revolutionary War as Surgeon of the Queen's Rangers and later as Capt.-Lieutenant in the King's American Rangers. His son James O. Betts later married Raymond's daughter Hannah making their descendants 'double cousins'].

Small-pox broke out in Kingston some years after the settlement of the place. A sort of hospital was established by the doctor and the children were inoculated, vaccination being then unknown. In the inoculation of patients as a preventative, the surgeon employed the actual small-pox virus. It was effectual as a protection against future infection and the fatalities were not many, but the patient was sometimes badly 'pitted.' Grandfather Raymond told me that he was inoculated for the small-pox, probably at this time.

In the little cabin built for the Raymonds on their arrival in 1783, two more of Silas Raymond's children were born, a daughter 'Achsah,' who saw the light on January 2nd, 1786, and my grandfather, 'Charles,' who was born May 21, 1788.

In the summer which followed my grandfather's birth, as he once told me, his father Silas built his new house. Already there had been a wedding in the family, that of the eldest daughter Grace to John Marvin, who is said to have been her second cousin. She was only sixteen at the time of her marriage. Her first child, Josiah Marvin, was but two days younger than my grandfather, who was his uncle. Josiah was, however, older than his Uncle George and Aunt Mary Ann, who were the youngest members of Silas Raymond's family.

Some of Aunt Grace Marvin's children were remarkable for their longevity. One of them, Charles Marvin, on his 90th birthday, started to walk some ten miles or more to the residence of a relative in Belleisle to celebrate the anniversary. After he had proceeded more than half the distance, he was compelled by his relatives, in spite of many protests, to enter a carriage, and grumbled all the rest of the way, "I could have walked it all right if they had left me alone."

Josiah Marvin had twin daughters who were baptized 'Grace Betsy' and Betsy Grace'. The former married one cousin Samuel Raymond of Springfield, Kings County.

Mrs. Northrup of Kingston once told me that her mother, Aunt Mary Ann Crawford, once told her of walking with her oldest sister Grace down to see the old spot where the Loyalists had lived in tents the summer after their arrival. The old lady gazed on the place with interest and observed to her younger sister, "The land of our childhood looks natural."

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?

UELAC and the Heritage of Sport

Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications HCF, recently announced the Heritage Canada Foundation will be celebrating the "Heritage of Sport and Recreation" for Heritage Day 2010, Canada's Olympic year. HCF promotes the third Monday in February as Heritage Day and has long advocated adopting this date as a national holiday.

Across Canada sports and recreation activities have always played a central role in building social cohesion and community involvement. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw an expanding variety of athletic activities being promoted–from lacrosse, curling and hockey, to boating, skiing and hiking. Canadians were quick to embrace these sporting pleasures and to build the infrastructure needed to support them.

To this day, communities both large and small possess a legacy of sports and recreation facilities which continue to serve Canadians. You are encouraged to visit HCF's website for examples of active historic sporting centres that can assist in the development of community programs that celebrate the Heritage of Sport and Recreation.

To assist the development of a UELAC connection to this annual event as well as the Olympics in Vancouver, I would appreciate hearing of any Olympic/World Record medallist who is a descendants of a United Empire Loyalist. Earlier this year, we made the link to high-profile golfer in Loyalist Trails March 8, 2009. Help build our relevancy to the world of sport with your story.

...Frederick H. Hayward UE, President UELAC

Elsie Wayne Recovering

Earlier this month, it was reported that Elsie Wayne, Education Committee Chair for the New Brunswick Branch was hospitalized in Saint John after a series of strokes. Jim McKenzie, our Atlantic Region Vice-President has been in contact with Richard Wayne, Elsie's husband and sends in this report.

Elsie could not eat for the first 10 days she was in the hospital nor could she talk. She is now eating and beginning to talk a bit. She will go to a rehab centre when there is space available. He expects it will be a number of weeks before she is back home. She is receiving no visitors at the present time.

Richard Wayne also expressed his appreciation for our interest and advised that "Best Wishes" could be sent care of Saint John Regional Hospital, 400 University Avenue, Saint John, N. B., E2L 4L2

...FHH

Last Post: Vera Maxine Babcock

BABCOCK, Vera Maxine (nee Walker), died November 10th, 2009 at Providence Manor, Kingston and formerly of Wilton, age 76. Vera was born November 8th, 1932 the daughter of Cecil Walker and Helen Benn and wife of the late Floyd Ward Babcock. She is survived by children Linda Lee Grills, (Brockville), Brian Floyd Babcock (m. Marg LeBlanc,) and Brent Douglas Babcock (m. Diane Crouse). Vera's beloved late husband, Floyd Babcock, held the postal contract for the village of Wilton before its post office was closed on nearby Odessa. Dear sister of Mary Barnard, Barbara Beatty and Bud Walker. Internment Wilton. Vera is remembered for her great interest in Genealogy, especially of her UEL ancestors. She was a descendant of Joel Prindle UE and John Shorts UE. For many years Vera was on the Branch Education Committee and made presentations to elementary schools about the loyalists in the Bay of Quinte.

...Brian Tackaberry, UE

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