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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2010 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2010-19: May 9, 2010

Articles

A Town of Black Loyalist Teamsters -- copyright Stephen Davidson

As last week's article on loyalist wagon drivers demonstrated, the role of the teamster was a crucial one for the British war efforts during the American Revolution. Desperate for support staff, the British government promised freedom to Africans enslaved by patriot masters if they would serve the crown for a minimum of one year. Thousands of blacks responded. While some of these Africans were permitted to bear arms, the British were generally hesitant to have black loyalists serve alongside their soldiers. Instead, the British made use of this willing work force by employing them as spies, camp-builders, and teamsters.

A remarkable ledger lists all of the Africans who left the Thirteen Colonies through the port of New York City in 1783, and in that record we can discover the names of some of the black loyalists who served the crown as wagon drivers. The Book of Negroes recorded four ships as departing New York in the fall of 1783 with passengers who had once served in the Wagon Master General Department. The Peggy, the Nisbet, the Elijah, and the Joseph took their loyal evacuees to settle along the coast of Nova Scotia between Shelburne and Liverpool. Some African teamsters made Port L'Hebert their new home, but most settled in Port Mouton.

One of the first things to strike the researcher who reviews the passenger lists for the four ships is the number of women who are listed among the 100 members of the Wagon Master General Department (WMGD). Given the gender limitations of the 18th century, it is unlikely that these women actually drove the wagons that carried vital supplies for the British army. They may have tended the horses, loaded the wagons, or served as cooks for the wagon trains as they journeyed through the Thirteen Colonies.

The abuses of slavery were evident. Twenty-year old Nancy had been enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina. She is described as having "several scars in her face". Bridget, a 35-year old African from Virginia is noted as being "one eyed".

Children are also included in the list of the WMGD members. While some were the offspring of teamsters or single mothers (one little passenger was just three months old), a number were without parents. Amie Orphan, for example, was just eight. The fact that there were children attached to the WMGD reveals that the operation of the "fleets" of land vehicles required more than just the labour of the actual wagon drivers -- youngsters could also be part of the work force.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum were elderly black loyalists. William Dean, who bore the same name as his former master, was 62 years old when he travelled alone to Nova Scotia. He had served the crown for four years. Sixty year-old Samuel Minton also left New York without family. Peter French was described as being "remarkably stout (healthy) of his age". He was 93! Although only 50 years old, Close Herring's entry in The Book of Negroes says that he was "nearly worn out". The former slave had been with the British army for 5 years.

The black loyalists who served the crown as teamsters hailed from all over the Thirteen Colonies: South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Maryland. The British needed wagon drivers whose knowledge of the roadways and geography of the colonies would allow them to choose the fastest and safest routes to strategic locations. Being aware of the places these black loyalists were once enslaved also provides clues as to where they served as teamsters.

The diversity of colonial origins for the black loyalists also demonstrates what an amazing variety of people settled the rocky coasts of Nova Scotia in 1783. The fact that they could unite and form new communities in such an inhospitable climate is a testimony to their determination to overcome differences in background and culture.

As one would expect, most of the black loyalist teamsters who settled in Port Mouton were men in their twenties and thirties. Loading and unloading wagons that could carry four-ton loads required strong arms and backs as well as a knowledge of colonial roads. What is interesting to note is that one of the passengers aboard the Elijah had once been an officer within the WMGD. Listed as Lieutenant Colonel Bridges, this 43-year-old is the only black loyalist on the ship's manifest to have achieved a rank within the WMGD. Bridges' potential to continue to serve as a leader in Nova Scotia would be limited by the fact that he came to the province crippled by some accident of the Revolution.

Unfortunately, The Book of Negroes provides only the briefest of descriptions of the almost 100 teamsters who came to Nova Scotia in the fall of 1783. To determine what became of these African wagon drivers, one must seek out census records or land deeds to see how they fared in Nova Scotia. Solomon Lawson, who had been enslaved in Virginia, served the British for the entire duration of the Revolution. His name later appears on another list of passengers in January of 1792.

After eight years of trying to make a living in Port Mouton under the racist regulations of the Nova Scotia government, Lawson decided to join almost 1,200 other black loyalists in founding the colony of Sierra Leone in West Africa. It would be interesting to know if he ever made use of his teamster skills in the free black settlement of Freetown.

Besides those already mentioned, black loyalist teamsters who settled in Nova Scotia had these surnames: Atkins/Astens, Ballamay, Bass, Borden, Boye, Brown, Bucher,Conway, Crosbie, Davis, DeGraw, Frederick, Hawkins, Hunter, Izzard, James, Jardine, Johnson, Jones, King, Longstreet, Miller, Morris, Mosely, Rivers, Rowan, Sampson, Shepherd, Simmons, Thompson, Townsend, Van Borun, Waldron, Whitehead, Wilkins, Wilson, Wright, and Young. They are the among the founders of Nova Scotia's African population.


To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Ebenezer Dibble (1715-1799): Fifth Generation in America (Part 12 of 13; © 2009 George McNeillie)

(See parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI.)

William Dibblee's farm was originally granted to Sergeant Henry Farmer. That just above, where John D. Beardsley and his young wife Sally Munday Dibblee lived, was originally owned by Sergeant Patrick McNamara. Farmer and McNamara together owned Lot. No. 31 of the Woodstock Grant. Henry Farmer afterwards married into the Connel family and moved across the river. He was the original proprietor of the farm on which [my] Brother Lee Raymond lives today. My Brother Arthur lives on a part of the land granted in 1784 to Srgt. Patrick McNamara. Rev. John Beardsley's father-in-law, Bartholomew Crannel, seems to have been concerned in the purchase of the two farms which, in a later plan of the Woodstock Grant, are marked as the property of John D. Beardsley and the heirs of B. Crannel. A formal title was secured on Oct. 30, 1807, when a grant of 21 lots or plantations "being a part of the escheated lots in the grant to De Lancey's corps", was made by the Government of New Brunswick, and Lot No. 31 was divided between William Dibblee and his brother-in-law John D. Beardsley.

Ralph Dibblee, of whom his Uncle Munson Jarvis speaks a little disparagingly in his letter, perhaps without reason, died in 1799 at the comparatively early age of 30 years. He was for a time associated with his Uncle Frederick in his work among the Indians. He was schoolmaster at Woodstock in 1792 and taught both the Indian and white children of the neighbourhood, receiving a salary of forty-five pounds sterling a year. We are told that the little Indians were much pleased to be classed with the whites and to have an intercourse and intimacy with them. At this date (1792) Ralph Dibblee was the only schoolteacher north of Fredericton on the St. John River.

As already mentioned, Sally Munday Dibblee, married her next door neighbour, John D. Beardsley on June 20, 1793, and on the same day Ralph Dibblee married Elizabeth Ketchum. The widow, Polly Dibblee, had then the satisfaction of having her two married daughters. Mrs. Bedell and Mrs. Beardsley, as neighbours on either side. She was a well-preserved old lady and my father remembered her distinctly, although he was less than six years old when she died in 1826. She taught him, he said, how to roast an apple at the big open fire by suspending it with a string attached to the stem and twirling it so that it might bake equally on all sides. An old arm-chair in which the widow used to sit and knit, is I think still in existence. She died in May 1826, in her 80th year. There is an interesting souvenir of her eldest son, Walter, in St. Paul's Church, Whitehead, in the Parish of Kingston. This is an old Family Bible, left for use of the minister in the services of the Church. At the end of the Old Testament the following entries are found:

"Walter Dibblee, born February 7, 1764.

Hannah (Beardsley) Dibblee, his wife, born July 11, 1765.

Walter Dibblee and Hannah Beardsley married, April,28, 1784.

-- Children --

1. Fyler, born June 16, 1785, married Sarah Raymond, Feb. 18, 1809.

2. Sylvia Polly, born July 11, 1787; m. Joseph Fyler Bedell, Oct. 10, 1808.

3. Edwin, born August 23, 1789. [m. Peggy Clarissa Beardsley -- "Aunt Clara"]

4. Harriet, born November 18, 1791.

5. John Frederick, born December 21, 1794."

The site of the house where Polly Dibblee and her son William lived for nearly forty years in Woodstock was definitely located a few years ago in rather a curious manner. My Brother Lee one day unexpectedly broke through the floor of his carriage house, which seemed to have suffered from the dry rot, and descended into quite a deep hole beneath. Further investigation showed this to be an old well and my father recognized it to be the well of "Uncle Bill's old house". The site of the house was thus revealed some fifty years after the house had ceased to exist.

After his mother's death, Uncle Bill came to live with his niece, my Grandmother Raymond. He died in 1832 six years later. By his will, which is dated on January 25, 1832, he left his farm and all his effects to my father, Charles William Raymond, whose second name was given him in honour of "Uncle Bill". The appraisement of effects made June 15, 1832, is as follows: - 1 Horse eight pounds; 1 Horse 20 pounds; 6 Cows 30 pounds; 2 Steers 15 pounds; 3 Two-year-olds nine pounds; 5 Yearlings 10 pounds; 10 sheep 6 pounds; 3 Hogs nine pounds; 1 Waggon 5 pounds; Utensils 1 pound; Total: 113 pounds.

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

...George McNeillie

Fort at Number Four in New Hampshire

The problem of the recession and the economic well-being of many heritage and historic sites in the northern American states continues to make news. Chuck Ross, Past President of the Kawartha Branch passed along an article about the Fort at Number Four in Charlestown, New Hampshire. Until it closed in 2008, this Living History Museum, built by local volunteers beginning in the 1950s, offered a taste of life in the British colonies' northernmost outpost during the French and Indian War. In the newscast, reference was also made to the possible closing of the Bennington battle ground of the American Revolution. The story originally aired on 5 April 2010 on the Vermont Public Radio and can still be heard or read online.

...FHH

Peter Robinson Jarvis, Mayor of Stratford, 1863-1867

It was April 23, 1864, the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, when a loyal group of towns people gathered under umbrellas to watch the Mayor plant the "Shakespeare Oak." They stood in the mud, on sloping ground , in what was then called " Shakespeare Square," across from the old Albion Hotel.

The Mayor was determined to carry the ceremony through in spite of the weather. He had paid $25 out of his own pocket for the tree, and the town constables and militia were impressively lined up. Standing proudly in the rain, the Mayor expressed the hope that "As from acorns great Oaks grow, so may Stratford-on-Avon, now in its infancy, become not only a great and prosperous commercial city, but also the seat of literature and science."

Mayor Jarvis would be happy to know that Shakespeare is still very much present in Stratford today in, thanks to the Festival.

Unfortunately the "Shakespeare Oak" did not survive, but its planting was an important event in Stratford's history.

Stratford's new Town Hall had been opened in 1857 and it was acclaimed as one of the finest buildings of its kind in Upper Canada. Its concert hall could seat 500 people and Mayor Jarvis used it to the full extent for Shakespeare's 300th birthday celebrations. There was a ball, a military review, a band concert and a program of Shakespearean orations readings, recitations and songs. It was a sell out.

Peter Robinson Jarvis played a dominate roll on the Stratford scene for almost 60 years. He was the fourth son of Frederick Starr Jarvis UEL who had come from New Brunswick to York in 1809 with Col. Stephen Jarvis his father and family. Stephen had fought for the British Crown all during the American Revolution and because of his gallant war record, his exit permit to Canada was personally arranged by President George Washington.

This is a portion of an article titled "He planted "Shakespeare's Oak" by Stanford Dingman July 19,1982.

[Submitted by Bob Jarvis]

"Chaleur Phantom" to Make Rare Appearance at the "Battle of the Restigouche"

Campbellton, NB -- 4 May, 2010: The committee in charge of the "Battle of the Restigouche" commemoration event is doing more than showcasing the diverse cultures and rich history of the Canadian Maritimes during the week-long heritage event planned for 4 July to 11 July. As part of the planned festivities the committee has enlisted the help of an international collaboration between two of the most experienced historical consulting firms in Canada and the United States to create a special appearance by the "Chaleur Phantom."

For many the "Phantom" is a well known maritime legend -- a burning ship that has reportedly been seen numerous times over the last two centuries on the Chaleur Bay. To others it is decidedly real, having claimed to have witnessed the apparition first hand. But whether fact or fiction, the "Phantom" is going to be a part of the "Battle of the Restigouche" event on the Restigouche River this coming 10 July.

The committee retained the services of Privateer Media, LLC, an American company that specializes in historical films and documentaries, who in turn partnered with Loyalist Arms & Repairs Ltd of Harrietsfield, NS who will directly handle the fabrication and production of the "Phantom."

"We don't want to give too much away ahead of the commemoration event -- but we want people to know that a lot is going into this production and that it's going to be something worth seeing." says Blair Higgins, President of Loyalist Arms Ltd. Higgins and his company are not new to the history business, having worked on numerous international films and documentaries including "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Night at the Museum," and "The Alamo" just to name a few.

"There is more to this than just a static display" says Wendy Cosper of Restigouche 1760, Inc. "We're working closely with the Canadian Department of the Environment to make sure that everything we're doing meets with strict environmental safety guidelines. We want this to be something spectacular and we're committed to doing it in a way that's safe for everyone and everything concerned."

Last year Cosper and her committee sought the help of Privateer Media, LLC to address a number of challenges facing the commemoration event. In addition to managing the fabrication of the "Phantom" the firm has secured the participation of a dozen historical vessels in the form of naval longboats and batteau that will be on the Restigouche River for the event's closing weekend. "We're honored that Restigouche 1760, Inc. chose our company to help with this great event," says Damian Siekonic, President of Privateer Media "and we're confident that the efforts being made by Restigouche 1760, Inc. will produce a heritage event unlike anything seen before in the region. We're excited to be a part of it."

For more information please contact:

- Wendy Cosper, Restigouche 1760, Inc., www.restigouche1760.ca, broadlands@globetrotter.net

- Blair Higgins, Loyalist Arms & Repairs Ltd., www.loyalistarms.freeservers.com, 902-479-0967, loyalistarms@ns.sympatico.ca

- Damian Siekonic, Privateer Media, LLC, www.privateermedia.com, 610-972-9981, info@privateermedia.com

Loyalist Roots and Media

This week I have been alerted to several media items that may be of interest. Unfortunately, access may be somewhat limited outside of Ontario.

The spring 2010 publication of Caledon Living has two items of interest. In "Caledon's Loyalist Roots," Diana Janosik-Wronski supplements basic Loyalist lore with a clear connection to the picturesque Caledon area. She concludes by quoting Perkins Bull, an influential Brampton citizen of the 1930's, who said he wanted to "deal with the UEL ancestry of those who have played a prominent part in building up the country. ...Because of the knowledge gained by the author in the course of his research, he is more than ever confirmed in his opinion that the UEL Loyalist story is one of the noblest and most inspiring patriotic traditions in history and is worthy of all emulation." Ms. Janosik-Wronski also laments that she "is the only one in her own family who can NOT put U.E. after her name!" At present the document is not online.

"Peter Twist, Rennaissance Man" will also appeal to some of the older members of UELAC. It was written by David K. Dorward, UE, former editor of the Loyalist Gazette (1987-97) and a Past President of the Toronto Branch. His subject, Peter Twist, was the director of historic reconstruction for Canada: A People's History.

The May issue of Canadian Gardening has a brief interview with Alexander Reford of Quebec's Reford Gardens. Having visited the gardens on the way back from the Saint John Conference in 2008, I was eager to attend the October meeting of Heritage Branch when Mr. Reford was scheduled to speak on his the family's homes in Montreal and the re-development of the gardens in Grand-Metis. Following his presentation, I made sure that there would be a Loyalist rose growing in the Reford gardens. For someone with Loyalist ties in his Fisher and Embury lines, there needed to be a visual reminder of the United Empire Loyalists. Although the award-winning documentary film Twice Upon a Garden has been produced recently, Rod Riordon, President of the Sir John Johnson Branch has advised that TVO will be airing the earlier Keeper of The Dream on Sunday May 09 at 4:00 p.m.

The Reford Garden is one of Canada's most historic landscapes, thanks to both its creator, Elsie Reford, and her great-grandson, historian Alexander Reford. Alexander used Elsie's extensive archives to slowly restore the garden to its former glory.

The wait is worth it for "Loyalist" gardeners; watch for the title on your local networks.

...FHH

"Branching Out" Extracts Online -- May 8

The transcription of the Branching Out reports previously published in the Loyalist Gazette from the Fall 2004 to the Fall 2009 issues has been completed this week. The link for each collection can be found under Branches of the UELAC by Branch name. A few Branches such as Regina, Heritage and Halifax Dartmouth were selected for special assistance with the transcription since they do not have access to electronic technology. They have a few more reports added by an "old-fashioned" retyping of the reports as printed. I can thank David Hill Morrison for his dedication and assistance with moving this Dominion project along. In time the Dominion search engine will recognize these added reports and utilize them in its search.

To complete this project in the coming months, each Branch will need to send me a transcription of their remaining Loyalist Gazette reports in MS Word (DOC) or RTF format. When it is uploaded, the years covered will be indicated on the first page. How will you help your Branch achieve the goal of a complete record of development within the history of the UELAC?

...Frederick H. Hayward, President

FamilySearch: Over 300 Million New Names Added Online

There were over 150 new collections added or enhanced in late April at FamilySearch.org. FamilySearch volunteers indexed over 120 million records -- over 300 million new names -- from original source documents to accomplish this great feat. The massive release was announced this past week at the National Genealogical Society annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The records can be found at FamilySearch's Record Search pilot (FamilySearch.org, click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot) or Beta.FamilySearch.org. Be sure to share the good news with family and friends.

None of this would be possible without the great contributions of many online FamilySearch volunteers. These individuals donate the time and effort needed to make these collections freely available to FamilySearch patrons. If you would like to become a volunteer in the FamilySearch community, please go to FamilySearchIndexing.org. Many hands produce great work. Thank you for your support!

Additions Include:

Canada

- Births and Baptisms, 1661--1959

- Deaths and Burials, 1664--1955

- Marriages, 1661--1949

- British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872--1986

- British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859--1932

- New Brunswick Births, 1819--1899

- Nova Scotia Births, 1702--1896

- Nova Scotia Marriages, 1711--1909

- Ontario Births, 1779--1899

- Ontario Marriages, 1800--1910

- Quebec Births , 1662--1898

Other additions were from Germany, Gibralter, Great Britain and USA

[submitted by Lynne Cook, UE, St. Lawrence Branch]

Congratulations to Bill Glidden, Deputy Town Historian, Plattsburg NY

Congratulations go out to Bill Glidden. At the May 3 monthly meeting of the Town Board, he was appointed Deputy Town Historian:

WHEREAS, Town Historian Jerry Bates, has requested that G. William Glidden, a resident of the Town of Plattsburgh and a historian specializing in military affairs, has shown an interest in working with the Town Historian to help represent the Town of Plattsburgh at certain events and to use his skills and knowledge to help capture the Town's history and further our efforts to showcase our rich heritage; therefore be it RESOLVED, that pursuant to Section 148 of the Education Law, G. William Glidden be appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Supervisor, as Deputy Town Historian.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are:
- Hawley, Jehiel - from Catherine Fryer with certificate application
- Lindsay (Lindsey), James - from Peter Rogers (Volunteer Alice Walchuk) and from Marlene Rodgers Kerr with certificate application
- Miller, Andrew - from Catherine Fryer with certificate application
- Pendleton, Stephen - by Linda Drake (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
- Stinson, James - from Vancouver Branch (Volunteer Wendy Cosby)
- Stuart (Stewart), Charles - from Vancouver Branch (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
- Stuart (Stewart), William - from Vancouver Branch (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
- Youmans, Arthur - from Marlene Kerr with certificate application

Last Post: Lieut.-Col. (Ret'd) John (Jack) Stanley Dunn, CD, UE, BA

Jack died peacefully at home on Thursday, 29 April 2010. Jack was born in Canora, Sask. on 14 December 1926 and soon after, with his family, moved to Blaine Lake, Sask., where he spent his childhood. Left to mourn him are his beloved wife of 52 years, Joan, their two sons, Stephen and Bruce, his sisters, Molly (Ken) and Helen of Edmonton, and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Jack was an avid outdoorsman who had a passion for history and travelling. During the last months of the Second World War he served as a Naval Cadet at the Royal Canadian Naval College, Royal Roads, British Columbia. After attending the University of Saskatchewan, Jack was an RCM Police Constable for two years before joining the Canadian Army Provost Corps. He had a long and distinguished career with the Canadian Army serving throughout Canada and, of note, in Korea, Japan, as an exchange officer with the British Army of the Rhine, in Germany and on the Golan Heights in 1973. Upon his retirement he proudly served as a Volunteer Guide at the Canadian War Museum. A family interment service was held at the National Military Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family would gratefully acknowledge memorial donations made to the Friends of the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa Citizen, 5/4/2010).

...Lynne Cook

Queries

Mary Hogeboom reference to Revolutionary War or War of 1812?

I am continuing my Loyalist family research but would also like to also prove ancestor involvement in the War of 1812.

This image (petition, recommendation) exhibits a particular form of Land Petition, noting that Mary Hogeboom personally appeared at the General Quarter Sessions in Brockville, Ontario, in the 'Province Of Upper Canada', on February 17th, 1835; that she is the daughter of the "late" Isaiah Cain UEL, of Yonge Township "who retained his loyalty during the late War, without suspicion of aiding or assisting the enemy", etc., and it also notes "that the husband of the said Mary Hogaboone did his duty in defence of the Province during said War." The sentences with quotations are in the form itself, not written in, with the exception of the names and dates.

The "late" War is the Revolutionary War, of which UEL Isaiah Cain "retained his loyalty" as noted in the text of the form. Is the "said" War the same conflict, or the War Of 1812? The individual referred to as John Hogeboom was born circa 1769 in Columbia County, NY, and would be 7 years old in 1776, and 14 years old in 1783 - the latter date making it a possibility that he was a drummer boy or fifer in the Revolution. Or, is the text referring to the War Of 1812, when it notes that John Hogaboom "did his duty in defence of the Province during said War. And, is this the "Province" of Upper and Lower Canada (1791 - 1841).

...Arthur Pegg

Loyalist Roses Need a Ride from Toronto to London

London and Western Ontario Branch is planning to plant some Loyalist roses as part of the Loyalist Day celebrations in June. The rose bushes are here in the heart of downtown Toronto but need a ride to London by early June. The roses are potted (bigger pots but not huge), so the trip could be in stages. If you have a simple solution, contact Doug.

...Doug Grant

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