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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2011 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2011-18: May 9, 2011

Articles

A Cup of Loyalist Coffee with Samuel Curwen -- copyright Stephen Davidson

If your loyalist ancestors had to flee the New England colonies for the safety of Great Britain during the American Revolution, they may, like Samuel Curwen, have found themselves at a coffee house in London. Curwen had been a commissioner of the peace for 30 years in his native Salem, Massachusetts. By 1775, his loyalist political view forced him to flee the colony in which his forefathers had lived since 1638. Like most loyal Americans of his stature, Curwen sought refuge in England. The day after his ship arrived in Dover, he headed for London; his destination: the New England Coffee House.

To someone in the 21st century, the term coffee house either conjures up memories of the local drive-through shop or images of dimly lit nightclubs frequented by countercultural poets and musicians. However, the 18th century coffee house was much more -- part social club, part embassy, and part hotel. The dozens of these establishments that could be found in London's financial district each catered to a particular clientele -- lawyers, stock brokers, actors and even merchants from the Thirteen Colonies.

When Samuel Curwen opened the door of the New England Coffee House, he was entering an establishment where he could meet other loyalist New Englanders, read the newspapers from the Thirteen Colonies, receive mail, play a game of chess, or even stay overnight. This particular coffee house had been serving colonial travellers since at least 1725. It was where 19 year-old Benjamin Franklin read American newspapers while buying printing supplies for his Pennsylvanian employer. Samuel Curwen had also travelled to England in his youth and that may have been when he first sampled the delights of the New England Coffee House. (25 years-old at the time, the Salem native was recovering from either poor health or a failed romance.)

As soon as Curwen entered the shop on the evening of July 4, 1775 he met an old friend from Salem, and the two left to tour the parliament buildings. But the coffee house was more than a place to renew old acquaintances. Curwen had fled the Thirteen Colonies for his life. He was a political refugee with few resources beyond the shipment of flour he acquired in Pennsylvania and hoped to sell in England. The profits from the flour sales would only last for so long. Curwen needed to begin forming social and business networks if he was not to become one of the loyalist street-people that were becoming all too common in London. And the New England Coffee House was just the place to begin building those vital relationships. Curwen was almost certain to meet a colonial businessman with connections in London.

Twenty years earlier, another Massachusetts traveller had made a point of fostering acquaintances at the New England Coffee House. John Mascarene, a Boston merchant, met American friends at the shop almost everyday. Quite anxious that he not appear to be a colonial bumpkin, Mascarene immediately sought out the services of a tailor, barber, and hatter before mixing with the coffee house's clientele. Once attired in the fashions of the day, the Bostonian could then catch up on both London and American gossip, share a drink with prospective business partners, and gain tips on how to do business within England.

The New England Coffee House's situation on Threadneedle Street put its customers just a short walk from the stock exchange, Lloyd's of London, and the Bank of England. Interestingly enough, the shop was also just a block or so away from St. Michael's Alley where --in 1652-- Pasqua Rosee sold the very first cup of coffee in England.

Curwen was almost 60 years old when he fled Salem. His wife was not with him; he had no family in Great Britain. Business alone was not the primary reason he sought out company at the New England Coffee House. American loyalists did not feel at home in Britain. They were generally regarded as either patriot spies or undesirable refugees. Far from their native shores, they gathered in coffee houses to talk about the old days, discuss the course of the Revolution, and to try to come to grips with the fact that they might never return home.

Within a year of fleeing America, Curwen joined 19 other Massachusetts refugees to form a Thursday evening dining club. It initially met at a local tavern, but in time convened at the New England Coffee House. Not counting tips and liquor costs, the dinner was two shillings and six pence per person. A minimum of 12 men must be present (women did not frequent coffee houses), and each week one member was put in charge of making all of the arrangements. Little did Curwen know in 1776 that these loyalists would be his community and "family" for almost a decade of exile.

Because Curwen kept a daily journal, we have a record of the role that the New England Coffee House played in his years of exile. It was there that he read the newspaper accounts of battles in America, heard first hand how loyalists were being persecuted, and discussed plans for life after the Revolution. In time, the younger loyalists who came to the establishment in greater numbers made Curwen feel old and out of touch. After 1783, the coffee house started to become a gathering place for patriot New Englanders rather than loyalists. Curwen's final visit to the New England Coffee House was on June 22, 1784, almost a year after the signing of the peace treaty with the new United States of America. Four months later, Curwen sailed back to Massachusetts, having written his wife to prepare for a move to Nova Scotia.

However, Curwen's nine years in Britain had not been entirely miserable. Making the best of a bad situation, the Massachusetts loyalist had taken dozens of sightseeing jaunts between 1775 and 1784. The tourist attractions he visited will be the subject of next week's article.


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

John Moore (1730 - 1827): Fourth Generation in America © George McNeillie

Name

Born

Married

Died

James Moore

July 24, 1754

A.D. 1785

Feb. 25th,1799

Elizabeth (Hallett)
Seaman

Oct. 4, 1762

do.

Spring of 1815

Children

 

 

 

Maria

Apr. 20, 1786

Apr. 6, 1811

Feb.11, 1855

Eliza

July 20, 1788

m. James Cunningham

Queensbury, N.B.

 

John

Nov. 2, 1791

 

1809 ae. 18 yrs.

Jane Whitlock

Apr. 12, 1794

m. 1817, Isaac De Veber

Maugerville, N.B.

 

Hannah

About 1797

m. Samuel Hallett of
Sussex, N.B.

 

My mother's parents, Samuel Carman and Maria Moore, were married April 6, 1811, by the Rev. James Bisset, Rector of Maugerville, and I think that Grandfather Carman then took up the management of the farm at St. Marys and lived there with his wife's mother until she died, four years later. The three unmarried daughters then went to live in St. John, the shares of Eliza, Jane and Hannah in the farm having been bought by Samuel Carman, on May 18, 1815 for 375 pounds. The money was advanced by his great uncle Thomas Horsfield, and afterwards repaid by Saml. Carman.

The three Misses Moore lived about where the Dominion Savings Bank stands in St. John on the north side Princess Street. The place was then called "Rocky Hill". It was quite a precipitous cliff, and it was not until 1835 that the street was dug through and the first cart ascended the hill. By the excavation rendered necessary for the street some of the houses were left perched upon the rock, and I believe had for a time to be reached by a ladder or a winding stair. Here on Princess Street Eliza Moore began teaching school, about 1815, with marked success.

Mrs. Dougan writes early in this year (1815) that it had given them pleasure to hear in Newtown of Maria's marriage, of the birth of little James Moore Carman, and of the little daughter [Aunt Sarah], nameless when they wrote, and that Maria was now "the owner of her father's farm".

Eliza Moore married James Cunningham of Queensbury, N.B. and is buried in the Maugerville Churchyard. Her sister Jane Moore married Isaac De Veber, a son of Col. Gabriel De Veber, she rests near her mother and sister in the old churchyard. I remember some of my mother's cousins of these two families (De Veber and Cunningham). The youngest sister -- the "little Hannah" of her mother's letter, married her cousin Samuel Hallett of Sussex Vale. She died near Hampton and rests in the parish Churchyard there, not far from the spot where rests the mortal form of Mary Nelson, my wife's mother, and of our Cousin John Raymond and other relatives. The little cut of the Hampton Parish Church inserted here [see a contemporary view] is of the present church, which was built in 1871 to take the place of that built about the time of the arrival of Rev. Mr. Cookson in 1819, or perhaps a little later.

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

Book Review: Liberty's Exiles, by Maya Jsasnoff

Reviewed by Thomas Bender

A Harvard historian considers those - rich and poor, white, black and red - who fled the American Revolution.

Only a tiny fraction of the books written on the American Revolution are devoted to the loyalists -- the residents of the 13 colonies who chose to leave their homes rather than become citizens of the new republic. Such a nation-bound approach to the writing of American history implies that the lives of those who left were not significant. Yet they were, and Maya Jasanoff, who teaches history at Harvard, has provided a richly informative account of those who made the choice to embrace imperial Britain.

Read the full review.

...William Dimitroff

The Royal Wedding Invitation

For those who were not invited, but wondered about the content of the Royal invitation and program for the wedding, click here for the 28-page PDF.

...Norm Lawton, UE, New Brunswick Branch

The Cadet Corps of Western Canada Requests Assistance from Veterans

(Victor Vaivads of the Friends of The Canadian War Museum has sent this request of the members of UELAC, especially those who have served with the Armed Forces. - FHH)

During recent meetings and discussions with the Cadet League of Canada, members of The RCEME Association of Western Canada, The Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association (CPVA) and The Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP), have been asked to consider providing assistance and support to their local Cadet Corps.

It is hoped that retired Veterans will consider donations of their time, money and effort in support of our young Cadets.

Specifically, Cadet Corps respectfully request the following assistance and experience from retired Veterans:

1. Physical attendance as guest speakers to present training classes, or lecture on military history subjects.

2. Provide or obtain accoutrements through contacts with regular force units, such as badges, buttons, flags, books, music, etc.

3. Provide advice on how to get things done, when dealing with town, municipalities, Provincial and/or Federal agencies.

4. Provide advice and assistance; letters of recommendation, sit on Cadet promotion boards, offer service at summer camps, etc.

5. Attend Cadet Corps activities, such as parades, mess dinners, competitions and special events.

6. Provide financial assistance;(cheques should be made out to Army Cadet League of Canada. Specify the provincial branch and specific Cadet Corps if desired). Tax receipts will be issued for all private donations.

7. Serve as a volunteer League Liaison Representative for your local Cadet Corps.

Any Veteran who is interested in offering assistance of any kind to his or her local Cadet Corps can obtain more information or details by contacting the following;

- Mr. Ed Liukaitis, Southern Zone Chairman, Cadet League of Canada, ed.liukaitis@inovageo.com or

- Mr. Terry Martin, President Alberta Branch, Cadet League of Canada, terry.martin@ca.weatherford.com

The Tech Side: ePub Self Publishing by Wayne Scott, UE

A while back I explored various publishing schemes for genealogy books. From comments received, it appears that some of you have attempted self publishing. With the introduction of a number of tablet PCs, smart phones, and digital reading devices, some further suggestions are warranted.

The ePub document format is the most widely used at the present time. It is also one that is not too difficult to publish your work in. There are also a growing number of blogs and online articles covering ePub publishing.

Some authors have pointed out that the best tool to convert your document to the ePub format is from Calibre. Not only is the program good at converting your book files to ePub format, it is free.

In order to convert a book so that it can be read on a smart phone or iPad, there are a few steps that need to be taken. Some people who have converted their book to a PDF file and then tried to convert that file to ePub, have had some difficulties and formatting issues. A different approach is advisable. One that has worked for some people involves the following steps starting with a document prepared in Microsoft Word:

1. Save your file using the "save as Web page (filtered)" (PC)

2. If you are using Word on a Macintosh computer, use the save function "save as Web page (.htm)", and then select "The Tech Side -- ePub Self Publishing -- by Wayne Scott UE". (Mac)

3. As a result of either of these actions, an HTML document will be produced. This document can be imported into Calibre ePub converter without any loss of formatting.

When the ePub book has been converted, the Calibre site will assist you in syncing the converted book to one of a few dozen electronic devices such as Kindle, Nook, iPhone, iPad among many more. From here, you can upload to Lulu for printing and/or distribution as an eBook. Using this method, newsletters, club publications and any other documents that are received with your email can be saved as ePub files and read while vacationing, waiting for airline connections, or relaxing at your vacation destination on a digital device.

There are online conversion services. online-convert.com is one such service, and it is free. Another free service, 2epub.com, will allow you to convert up to 5 files for a total of 25mb. One website suggested that 25mb equals about 350 pages of text. Still another free service is available from epubconverter.org. With this site, you are only allowed 5mb of file size. While looking into any of these free services, have a look at their privacy policies. If you are placing these publications on your smart phone it is advisable to check with your carrier so that your data limitations are not exceeded for the month.

All in all it seems easiest to upload files and let a website convert the files. However, there is always a sense of pride if the work is done yourself. The technology is there so if it fits your needs, take advantage of it.

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.

The Tech Side: ePub Self Publishing by Wayne Scott, UE

Editor's Note: On Monday last we caught a train for Aberdeen Scotland. Nancy researched more about her family in two of the archives there for a couple of days. With a rental car, we visited a distant relative and then caught a ferry for a six-hour ride to the Orkney Islands. For two days we drove over hill and down dale enjoying their rich history, as far back as 5,000 years at Skara Brae and more recent through Celt, Pict, Norse and medieval times. John Moodie, husband of Susanna Moodie was an Orcadian, born on ythe island of Hoy. One day of travel from Kirkwall to Elgin (east of Inverness) took us by the home and birthplace of Sir John A MacDonald's grandfather (John m. Jean ?) and father (Hugh) at Rogart and the village of Dornoch nearby where Hugh later owned a general store close by the cathedral. In Rogart there is a cairn to Sir John A., erected in 1968.

...Doug

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