Connect with us online:

Ontario Loyalist Licence Plates
Make a donation and help preserve Loyalist history
Make a donation and help
preserve Loyalist history

Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2010 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

"Loyalist Trails" 2010-01: January 3, 2010

Articles

Loyalist Portrait Gallery: John Singleton Copley -- © Stephen Davidson

The paintings of John Singleton Copley are on display in London's National Gallery of Art and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was acclaimed as the greatest American portrait painter of the colonial era. Rebels such John Hancock and Paul Revere sat for him as did the three youngest daughters of King George III. Although he is celebrated in art history and revered for his work, very little is made of the fact that John Copley was --like over 70,000 fellow Americans of his day-- a loyalist.

This is the first of a three-part series of loyalists who had their portraits painted by Copley. It includes Copley's own self-portrait, paintings of John and Lucretia Murray and a portrait of Gabriel Ludlow.

Nothing about John Copley's early life marked him for future greatness. He was born into a family of Irish immigrants in 1738. Until Copley was ten years old, his father operated a tobacco shop near Boston's waterfront. After Richard Copley died, his widow married an engraver and moved to a more respectable part of the city. In his stepfather's workshop, Copley had the opportunity to learn drawing skills while meeting Boston painters who came to have engravings made of their more popular works. Within three years, Copley's stepfather also died.

Either the influence of his stepfather or an innate desire to become an artist, compelled Copley to apply himself to learning how to paint. When he was just 15 years old, he produced his first portraits.

At this point in his life, Copley might well have found his way to the Province of Canada (modern day Quebec). Captain Thomas Ainslie sat for a Copley portrait in the fall of 1757. He was so enthralled by the teenager's work that he encouraged him to move to Quebec where there would be opportunities to paint the portraits of British officials. But Copley had plenty of work in the Thirteen Colonies.

By 1758, the young Bostonian had painted 40 portraits. His work, commissioned by one wealthy patron, would be admired by others in the colonial elite, inevitably leading to more commissions. Copley's fame spread beyond Boston; his work was sought after throughout colonial America. His ability to render textures and colour, his sense of composition, and perhaps most importantly, his ability to paint an honest portrait that gave a sense of heroism to his subject continued to bring customers to his door.

The elite of colonial America was not troubled by Copley's humble beginnings as the son of a tobacconist. In 1760, the young artist married Susanna Clarke, the daughter of one of Boston's wealthiest merchants. Their 45-year marriage would produce six children.

However, the upper classes also included British government officials and those loyal to the crown. As rebel sentiment grew in Boston, Copley's many associations with loyal Americans threatened his future in Massachusetts. When the Sons of Liberty dumped tea into Boston harbour as a demonstration of their hatred of Britain, they were disposing of a product that was imported by Copley's father-in-law. The artist's commissions began to decline as the threats against his family began to increase.

In the spring of 1774, a patriot mob arrived on Copley's doorstep, accusing him of harbouring loyalists. It was clearly time for the artist to take a "grand tour" of Europe until matters calmed down. As he sailed away from Boston, Copley could look back on a body of work that comprised 350 portraits. Amazingly, all but 38 of those paintings still exist today.

After visiting the cultural birthplaces of European art and architecture, Copley was reunited with his wife and children in England. He would never return to his homeland. By 1776, Copley was a member of London's Loyalist Club where he enjoyed dinner and conversations with fellow refugees on a weekly basis.

Many of Britain's artistic and governing elite were already familiar with Copley's work before the artist arrived in London. Soon, he was receiving commissions to paint the portraits of members of the royal family as well as an incident in the life of London's mayor.

The scope and scale of Copley's work gradually began to grow beyond portraits of prominent Englishmen. On April 7, 1778, the Duke of Richmond stood up in the House of Lords and called upon the king to end the war and recognize American independence. The Earl of Chatham, a former prime minister, stood up to protest, but suddenly collapsed with a stroke. He died a month later. Copley decided to capture this moment of determined patriotism and loyalty in a painting he titled "The Collapse of the Earl of Chatham".

Although the painting took him two years to complete, Copley advertised advance orders for prints, selling 2,500 engravings before his canvas was finished. Copley earned additional income by exhibiting "The Collapse" in a private gallery and charging admission. 20,000 people viewed the painting over a ten-week period.

By the late 1790s, Copley's best years were behind him. Criticism of his work became harsh. A visitor to the artist's home in 1811 wrote, "His powers of mind have almost entirely left him; his late paintings are miserable; it is really a lamentable thing that a man should outlive his faculties." Copley's financial problems and concerns for his children's education added to his growing depression. He began to consider the merits of returning to Massachusetts.

In June of 1815, Copley entertained his last visitor from America: John Quincy Adams, the future 6th president of the United States. Within days, the loyalist had a stroke. Copley died on September 9, 1815, survived by his wife, two sons, and three daughters.

The loyalist who made Europe sit up and take notice of colonial artists was buried in Highgate Cemetery. Two centuries later, John Singleton Copley is still remembered as the foremost artist of colonial America.

Click here to see a Copley painting featuring a black loyalist soldier.


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

Looking Forward To New Ideas: A Native Loyalist’s View

The Grand River is often overlooked and taken for granted in a region where intensive development and modern roads have supplanted vast agricultural expanses and river transportation. As a Canadian Heritage River and thanks to numerous citizen watchdog groups and organisations, the Grand River is regaining health, respect and admiration.

In the Eighteenth Century, the Grand River was far more than simply an impressive waterway; it was a life-sustaining and life-enhancing artery which provided a transportation route, a source of power for mills, a fish producing resource and even a failed attempt as a main river/canal route. The Grand River has been used and abused for a variety of reasons over the centuries and has left an indelible mark in the history of Ontario and indeed, Canada itself.

As is often the case of many bodies of water in a heavily populated region, the Grand River has had its share of misguided treatment that has adversely affected it health and viability. Pollution from municipal dumping and agricultural runoff, flood control damming which has altered the physical and natural flow of water and nutrients, non-native invasive plant species and oxygen depletion have all threatened to turn the Grand River into a very ungrand sluice of indifference.

Fortunately, lessons have been learned and concerted efforts have taken note of what needs to be done and more importantly, what need not be done.

Lessons learned. Innovative concepts and solutions formed through cooperation with a common cause.

The Four Directions Youth Project is similar in its mandate of presenting an innovative approach to addressing and solving common concerns affecting a broad cross section of communities and societies. Certainly, one particular solution that might work on the Grand River may not be the answer to issues facing the Niagara, Bow, Fraser, Okanogan, Qu’Appelle, Red, Don, Ottawa, Richelieu or St. John Rivers but the unique methodology of using a Native-based resource might hold the promise of other relevant programs. The tallest of trees all had their origins in the humblest of seeds and sprouts.

Without question, the Ohenton Kariwatehkwen - the Thanksgiving Address – is a recitation acknowledging functions and forces found in the natural world. It does not make any references to any humanly created concept other than a nod to those who share knowledge gained from life experiences. The focus is on the creations of a Divine Power that is responsible for the world of which we humans are but one aspect of it entirety.

By presenting such a notion to young people in need of direction and guidance, the Four Directions Youth Project rises above glorifying the accomplishments of humankind and suggests in a non-religious specific manner that we humans may do well to be humbled by the natural world. Rather than preach morality and impose a well-defined set of structured ethics, the basis of the Four Directions Youth Project strives to lift eyes up and out as opposed to down and inward.

The UELAC membership may take great pride in participating in such a positive and creative program.

[Editor: As the Dominion Office closed on Dec 17 for the Christmas Break, an update on the FDYP Fundraising Campaign is not available. Should you wish to show your support with a donation, choose one of the methods suggested in UEL Charitable Trust Donations. Help UELAC meet our commitment to the youth of our country.]

...David Kanowakeron Hill Morrison UE

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

[Part 1, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X, Part XI, Part XII, Part XIII, Part XIV, Part XV, Part XVI, Part XVII]

Nor should the good work of Mrs. Silas Raymond be passed over in silence. The Trinity Church of her day had a large East Window and six windows on each side, which were filled with small panes of glass, in size 7 by 9 inches. These panes must have numbered several hundreds, and all were regularly washed and polished by this indefatigable hand-maid of the Church. She died on February 9, 1821, at the age of 75 years, having been spared to see the 51st anniversary of her wedding day and to welcome to her home her daughter Grace’s grand-children. Her husband Silas outlived her three years. Her tombstone stands beside the little church she loved in which she and all her family were confirmed and received the Holy Communion together. The inscription to her memory is – “Virtue was her guide, Till death did us divide.”

Various were the circumstances under which her children were born. Grace, Samuel and Jesse saw the light in the home at Norwalk, in a time of peace and quietness; Hannah was born on Long Island amid the clash of arms of the Revolution; Sarah under a tent on the banks of Kingston Creek; Achsah and Charles in the old log cabin which stood nearly opposite the Kingston Church; George and Mary Ann in the new house at Kingston which too has now passed out of existence.

Judging by his signature, which I have seen, Silas Raymond wrote an excellent hand. The date of his death was June 5, 1824, about three years after his wife. He had then attained the age of 76 years and was buried beside his mother Mary and his wife Sarah.

The house which he built in 1788, after lasting 115 years, has fallen in ruins, but the Church on the hill stands as his memorial yet. [Editor’s note – the interior of Trinity Church can be seen here.]

[Editor’s note – Silas Raymond married Sarah Barlow, 1746 – 1821, believed to have been originally of Stamford, Connecticut. The editor contacted the late Edson Barlow to see if he could shed further light on her origins. Barlow replied: ‘The origins of Sarah Barlow are, indeed, a mystery… At this point, one starts thinking that there was a large group of Barlows involved in an early witness protection program in colonial Fairfield County. I'm certainly not surprised that your great-grandfather "was puzzled by the lack of information about from which Barlow family Sarah descends."’]

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?

Technology Topics By Wayne Scott: Backing Up Your Information (Part 1 of 2)

Now, let’s be honest. When was the last time you backed up your Ancestry files? What about the emails which went back and forth that helped locate vital information? If your answer to the above is never, not sure, I didn’t think of that, etc., then, this information is for you.

Before you back-up any information, you should run a full anti-virus check of your computer. If you have any malicious software on your computer, you don’t want to be saving this along with the data files that you are backing up. Remember to do this every time you back your data up.

Any Genealogy program will automatically save your data. This is a good feature, but what would happen if your computer crashed? Can you imagine loosing all of your work? It is time to do a back-up.

Most programs, such as Family Tree Maker have had a backup feature built in for a number of years. You can choose the drive you want to use as a backup and then proceed. An external hard drive can be used to store an additional backup copy for added protection. It might be a good idea to make a few copies of this back-up on CD or DVD. One can be stored at a relative’s house, to safeguard your work should you have a loss of your home. From the genealogy program you can restore your work after a catastrophe. If your program doesn’t have a back-up feature, you can go to the file that contains your information (probably in My Documents – Windows), right click once, and then drag the file to your optical drive icon and select copy. It is possible that your file is larger than the capacity of your blank CD or DVD. A DVD can hold the equivalent of about 7 CDs of information. In this case, you will have to use a program such as Roxio or Nero to create your back-up.

When you got your computer, or upgraded it with a newer CD or DVD burner you probably got a copy of the Roxio or Nero programs. Run the program, and when prompted, select a Data CD or DVD. You will notice a link that says to add files. Navigate to where your files are, and select the ones you want. The copy program should allow you to copy all your data on as many CDs or DVDs that you require. If you do not have a CD or DVD copy program, you can try CDBurnerXP 4.2.7.1801, free download here. CNet rates the program as being good.

Before we leave this segment, I would ask that you make a note in your calendar to back up your data at lease once a month. I know this seems like a huge waste of CDs or DVDs, but imagine how you would feel if you lost everything. Keeping current back-ups is really inexpensive insurance.

If you are a multi-computer family, arrange for a copy of your files to be saved on another computer. You can use the Back-up program found in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. You can also download a free program called Good Sync that will allow you to back-up your files to another computer, flash drive, or online server, and then you will have the ability to sync later editions of your data with the stored data file. This will not work with data stored on an optical drive (CD or DVD), since these are usually a write once storage medium. Again, remember or remind yourself to “Sync” your data files on a regular basis. This is the best disaster recovery insurance that I can think of. It is only as good as your latest back-up!

If you have questions or comments, please contact me.

...Wayne Scott {mail4wayne AT cogeco DOT ca} how do I email him?

CJB Branch Cheers Olympic Torch Relay

Colonel John Butler Branch UELAC was well represented on Day 52 of the Olympic Torch Relay in Niagara Falls on December 20. Shirley and Jim Lockhart, David Ellsworth and Rod and Bev Craig carried the flags and banner. See photo. We cheered wildly and joined the Royal Canadian Navy vets giving three cheers when the torch was transferred between torch bearers at our location amid the beautiful light displays, overlooking the American Falls at Queen Victoria Park across from the cenotaph. A little girl saw our banner and said "Wow that's so neat" and the sound trucks blared "the Empire Loyalists cheer on our Olympic athletes". Thanks to all who turned out.

...Bev Craig

Secrets of Freemasonry and the UELAC

The revealing of secrets of the fraternal organization known as Freemasonry continues to attract the curious. As part of the CBC National News on December 27, Reg Sherren’s Canadian Freemason Secrets was given an encore presentation. Originally presented in October as the Mystery of the Manitoba Legislature, the television documentary explored the presence of symbols of freemasonry throughout the provincial legislative building identified by Frank Albo, author of The Hermetic Code (2007). The role of similar secret symbols is also key to the popular 2009 novel, The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown. (The CBC website offers the opportunity to see the Mystery of the Manitoba Legislature released on 2 October 2009 and Winnipeg’s Secret Code shown on 20 January 2008 as well.)

Further research and documentation continue to reveal the membership of many United Empire Loyalists in the Masonic Order and thus make our historic relationship more evident. Following the opening of the Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple in 1929, the Grand Lodge of Quebec chose to complete the Memorial Hall with a series of six murals that would reflect important subjects in their history. Of the six, perhaps The Funeral of Sir John Johnson is familiar to the members of UELAC through it use in The Loyalists, Pioneers and Settlers of Quebec, a Teacher’s Resource and materials reflecting the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch. As the murals are generally covered while undergoing restoration, Robert C. Wilkins, President of the Heritage Branch, arranged for a special viewing just before the October 28th Charter Night dinner at the Black Watch Armouries. In addition to the excellent conducted tour of the Sherbrooke Street Temple provided for executive members of the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch, we had the bonus resource of our Acting Senior Vice-President Robert C. McBride’s experiences as a Peterborough District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M.

In anticipation of this special viewing of the murals and the long train ride to Montreal, I chose a very informative book to read - The Enigma of The Freemasons, Their History and Mystical Connections by Tim Wallace-Murphy. (2006. Ivy Pres Ltd. ISBN-10: 1-932857). Having seen both movies, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, this profusely illustrated text clarified previously held concepts and provided considerable preparation for this special event. Overall, the Masonic Order is now less of a secret that had never been revealed in my past.

...Frederick H. Hayward, UE, President

Queries

Lt. (Captain) James Hunter and Nancy (Anne) Robertson

Two individuals have been the focus my research, during 2009. They are Lt. (Captain) James Hunter, a likely "Loyalist", and his spouse Nancy (Anne) Robertson. St. Johns (St. Jean sur Richelieu) Quebec is where I first found them. Any additional facts regarding either of these individuals would be most welcomed.

The Ward Chipman Papers identify a James Hunter as an "Armed Boatman" (1781). Through the Lower Canada Petitions for Crown Land it is found that he was Captain aboard the "Maria", and other vessels on Lake Champlain. Another source points to his status as a 1st Lt. in Sir John Johnson's 1st Battalion. Still another source (1792) indicates that he was of the "New York Regiment".

1783 finds James Hunter, along with a Charles Grajon having difficulties with the Allen family (Ira, and Ethan) across the border in Vermont. Hunter and Grajon had purchased the lease agreement that James Robertson had with the Abenakis (1765) for a large tract of land, that extended into what became known as Vermont. The Allen's took them to Court and won. James Hunter became angry over this decision and incited the Abenakis against the settlers on this land. Haldimand (who had granted Hunter's Commission) chastised him for his behavior.

There is no trace of James and Nancy Hunter from 1784 through 1790.

The Quebec Gazette [1790.10.07] listed James Hunter among those "Officers who were employed in armed vessels on the Lakes in Canada during the Late war" who would be rewarded with 'half-pay' retroactive to 1786 and continuing. In 1792 James Hunter, at St Johns, is preparing his "Last Will and Testament" which is signed "James Hunter, Defiant Men of Canada"! This Will is in Probate in 1798. In 1796 he appealed , and presented proof of his commission so as to finally receive the 'half-pay' mentioned above.

Nancy Robertson Hunter, widow of Captain James Hunter , was ' a woman before her time. ' She Petitioned for Crown Land incessantly from 1799 through 1812. Ultimately she received 742 acres in four separate Eastern Townships. An apparent shopkeeper in St John's through the War of 1812, the Courts, in 1818, required her to sell these 742 acres to satisfy the demands of her creditors. In 1821 she entered into a second marriage (Captain James Watson, a merchant from St Johns). In 1842, the year of her death, she is listed in Lovett's Directory in the Business Section as proprietor of a Hotel, on Front Street, in St Johns.

...Arthur Jannery {artmartijannery AT bellsouth DOT net} how do I email him?

Back to Top   |   Loyalist Trails index   |   Subscribe Now