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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2011 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2011-51: December 26, 2011

Articles

Six Loyalists Remember Christmas -- by Stephen Davidson

In the years and decades that followed the Revolution, loyalists continued to have special memories attached to the Christmas season. For six loyal Americans, their positive associations with the holiday had a great deal to do with what occurred after 1783.

Two years after the cessation of combat, the loyalist compensation board was in the midst of hearings in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Boxing Day must not yet have been very important to Nova Scotians, for on the day following Christmas, three loyalist brothers stood before the commissioners to plead their case for compensation.

James, Patrick, and John McMaster were three Scottish brothers who had immigrated to Boston before 1768. There they sold imported British goods in their store, the House of McMaster. Rebel anger over these imports rose to a fever pitch. A mob seized Patrick McMaster in 1770 and carried him through Boston's streets. Two years later Patrick's brother John McMaster felt compelled to flee the wrath of rebels in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the safety of England.

Eventually, Patrick left Boston when the loyalists evacuated the city with British troops in March of 1776. Patrick settled in Halifax. James, the third McMaster brother, managed to stay on in Boston for one more year. However, after being "much distressed and imprisoned", James had to hide out in the woods to avoid violence at rebel hands. His clerk betrayed him, handing over his property to the local rebel committee. James eventually settled in the loyalist settlement of Shelburne, several hundred miles down the coast from Halifax.

The three brothers reunited in Halifax in December of 1785 to seek financial redress for all of their losses. Their common Christmas memory was that Boxing Day marked the beginning of their attempts to receive compensation. By March 9, 1786, the board's commissioners recognized John, James and Patrick McMaster as loyalists and granted them compensation.

The compensation board was still conducting hearings in Halifax in the summer of 1786. At that time, Major Henry Williams, a loyalist who settled in the Bahamas, travelled to the Nova Scotian capital to speak to the board's commissioners. He wanted recognition and compensation for all that his father, Samuel Williams, had done.

Born in the Thirteen Colonies, Samuel eventually amassed 800 acres of land in North Carolina. There he operated his own saw mill and grist mill. A staunch supporter of the crown, Samuel Williams was made a captain of a loyalist corps in 1776 after he successfully recruited sixty horsemen. Despite defeats, pursuit by rebels, and imprisonment, Williams served his king with the Florida Rangers for the course of the Revolution.

When General Tryon, New York's last loyalist governor, left the colonies, Samuel Williams accompanied him to England. Samuel died in Portsmouth, leaving a son in England, four adult children in East Florida and his eldest son, Henry, in the Bahamas. All had been loyalists. Despite the testimony from Henry Williams and the fact that he had travelled all the way to Halifax from the Bahamas, the loyalist compensation board would not consider granting the children of Samuel Williams any money until they could prove that their father had died and that he had a will.

It was on Christmas Eve, 1787 that the family finally acquired William's will and were able to prove that he had died in England. The long struggle on the part of the Williams' children to seek compensation and recognition by the crown was over at last.

As one compensation board heard the claims of loyalists in Halifax during the December of 1787, another board evaluated the requests of loyalists in Montreal. On that same Christmas Eve, William Grant was leaving the building where the compensation board interviewed loyalists who settled in Canada.

Since 1770, Grant and his family had called Balstown in New York's Albany County their home. Six years after his arrival from Scotland, patriots imprisoned Grant "on account of his loyalty". After nine months in jail, he promptly joined the British army upon his release. Grant served in MacAlpine's Corps for the next six years. After his discharge, he settled in Oswegatchie (near modern day Prescott, Ontario). On Christmas Eve, 1787, four years after his discharge, Grant was compensated for his losses and for his service to the crown.

Very few loyalists received any financial help from the British government after settling in the Canadas or the Maritime provinces. They made do with what they had and depended upon each other for support. After years of war and hardship, life --and the observance of Christmas-- fell into reassuring patterns.

The Rev. Frederick Dibblee, a Connecticut loyalist, became the first Anglican minister in Woodstock, New Brunswick. There he noted the passing years in his diary. As one might expect, Christmas was usually a day of note.

In 1821, the cold weather made for "very good sleighing", allowing two friends to arrive on Christmas Eve. There was a very large congregation in church on Christmas Day, but it was also a time of social gatherings. When two more of the minister's friends arrived on December 26th, they joined the local young people who were congregating to "celebrate the season".

On December 28th, fifty-five people gathered at the home of a loyalist settler ("never a larger company in Woodstock") for "dancing and rejoicing". Despite snow, high winds, and drifting snow, the Rev. Dibblee and his friends enjoyed a dinner at Mrs. Griffith's home. Here, clearly, was a minister who saw no harm in laughter and good times.

Forty years after the last shots were fired in the American Revolution, these loyalists, their children, and their grandchildren were making new and happy memories. With each succeeding Christmas, loyalist settlers were laying down the traditions that we observe today. Charles Dickens' Tiny Tim would not be created for 22 more years. Yet, the Rev. Dibblee would no doubt have been able to echo the sentiment of that small boy: "God Bless Us Everyone!"


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

Oldest Loyalist

In Loyalist Trails, I have noted the List of Oldest Loyalists, defined as those Loyalists (and in some cases family members) who reached the greatest age before they left this mortal life. See the list. More entries are welcome.

...Doug

The American Revolution Had Early Roots

Just finished reading a very interesting book, Never Come To Peace Again: Pontiac's Uprising and the Fate of the British Empire in North America, by David Dixon (Univ of Oklahoma Press, 2005). Some interesting facts are pointed out:

1. The first open rebellion to challenge government authority occurred with the Paxton Boys in Pennsylvania in 1763.

2. The first time that Americans fired on British troops took place outside of Fort Loudon in 1765.

3. The first British fort fired upon was Fort Bedford.

Amazon notes it is 384 pages, ISBN no. 0806136561.

The book was reviewed by David L. Preston, the Citadel, and published in the William & Mary Quarterly

...Bill Glidden

War of 1812 Events

Here is another War of 1812 website for Amherstburg, Ontario: www.1812amherstburg.com. We are planning a three day event on the Civic Holiday weekend in August in 2012.

...Debra Honor, UE

War of 1812: He Sounded the Alarm: Lambton's Sam Smith Saved Canada from American Invasion

By Dan McCaffery, Of The Observer published Saturday December 20, 1997

Every American School child knows the story of Paul Revere. He's the guy in the three-pointed hat who made the famous 'midnight ride' during the American Revolution, warning his neighbours that the dreaded red coats were coming.

But what almost no one knows is that a Lambton County boy played a similar role on the Canadian side of the boarder during the War of 1812. In fact, if it wasn't for a teenager named Samuel Smith, Canada would probably be part of the United States today.

Smith was serving with a Canadian militia unit at Queenston Heights when the Americans launched a sneak attack across the Niagara River on the night of October 13, 1812. "He was a 17-year-old sentry on duty when he spotted the Americans massing for an attack, "according to local history buff Ralph Ferguson. "He sounded the alarm and the attack was repulsed." The Americans commenced their raid at 4 a.m. on a cold, windy night when most of the defenders were sound asleep.

Peering into a driving rain, Smith spotted a flotilla of enemy boats coming straight for him. Without wasting a moment, he ran to a guard house and summoned help. The Americans had 6,000 men against a defending force of only 1,000 British soldiers and 600 Canadians, including both First Nations warriors and militiamen. But because of Smith's early warning, the defenders were able to pour a hail of musket and cannon fire onto the invaders before they could reach shore. Indeed, eyewitnesses said the gunfire was so intense it lit up the sky for hundreds of yards.

Smith's commander, Lt. John Robinson, described a scene of terrible carnage in his diary. Fifteen Americans in one boat were killed by a single cannon blast. "Several other boats were so shattered and disabled that the men threw down their arms and came ashore, merely to deliver themselves up as prisoners of war." He wrote. "The spectacle (of so much bloodshed) struck us, who were unused to such scenes, with horror."

Before the day was over 1,400 Americans had been killed, wounded or captured. The defenders lost 96 men, including the legendary General Brock, who was killed.

Smith, who was born in Ancaster, moved to Lambton after that, becoming a well known explorer, surveyor, businessman and politician. He was responsible for laying roads, right-of-ways, lots and concessions throughout Sombra, Euphemia, Brooke and Bosanquet Townships.

Is was often dangerous, gruelling work. "This area was total wilderness back then." Ferguson said. "We have his diary and there were rattlesnakes and black snakes here at the time."

More than once natives saved Smith and his team from starvation. Working near what is now Grand Bend in August, 1828, he wrote, "the Indian was very kind and sent us some green corn and venison and appeared to be very sorry for us."

Later, he built four mills on lands bordering the Sydenham River that became known as Smith Falls.

That he was an excellent builder there can be no doubt. A home he built in Euphemia is lived in today by internationally acclaimed photographer Larry Towell.

Smith rejoined the miltia in his early 40's seeing active service during the Rebellion of 1837 -- 38.

Later, he went into politics, representing the Euphemia area on a regional body that pre-dated Lambton County council.

Today, he rests in a small Euphemia Township cemetery, where the inscription on his tombstone notes he was the man who sounded the alarm at Queenston Heights.

[Submitted by Marilyn Hardsand, UE, 4th-great grand-niece]

The Tech Side: A Holiday Gift – by Wayne Scott, UE

I know that the last thing on your mind during this joyous season is thinking about anti virus protection. However, this is the time of year that new software releases hit the market. This year is no different. Neil Rubenking of PC Magazine looked at over a dozen new releases and put them through their paces to see which ones we should look at. As is the case every year, no one title was the best at all aspects of virus protection, i.e. malware blocking and malware removal. Check the article here.

There were some surprises this year. The commercial products such as Norton Anitvirus, Trend Micro, Kaspersky, Node 32, and Bitdefender, all scored well. However, they did not overshadow AVG -- the free version. This is one instance where the old adage, "you get what you pay for" doesn't hold true this year.

With many products being somewhat similar in how they perform, the consumer might want to look at other variables such as ease of use, virus signature updates and automating basic operations. Some are basic and quite straightforward but it is sometimes the case that the more you spend for an antivirus program, the trickier it is to set up. In addition, some programs want to do more than simple antivirus cleanup and prevention. In my case, Norton Antivirus seemed to be running all the time, consequently slowing my computer to a crawl. I really didn't need my hard drive defragged every day.

We all have our preferences. This year, almost all of the antivirus programs tested by the PC Magazine labs will handle almost any challenge they confront. There really isn't an excuse to go on with your online travels without antivirus protection.

My holiday gift to you is AVG Antivirus. In most cases, this program will fulfill all your antivirus needs this year. If you do need a more robust application, then consider the fee-based version at about $35.00 or the more sophisticated Internet Security package at about $50.00.

Happy Holidays and may all your surfing be safe and informative.

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

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Miller, Peter - from Robert Galer
- Weaver, Peter - from David Clark

Last Post: Hugh T. Lemon, FCIP

Hugh T. Lemon of Waterloo passed away on December 14, 2011 at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife Doris Ann (Hood) of the Grand River Branch UELAC, son Thomas Hugh (Dr. Rosemarie Kennaley) of Scottsdale, Arizona, daughter Kathryn (Rev. Bruce Aitken) of Bracebridge and six grandchildren; Alex, Sarah and Danielle Lemon and Scott (Desirée), Paul and Luke Aitken and great grandson Zachary Light.

Hugh was with the Hamilton-Wentworth Planning Board and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Town Planning Institute of Canada (Canadian Institute of Planners). At Waterloo University 1970 -- 1985, he conducted the internship program for planning students' workplace experiences. As Director on the Grand River Conservation Authority and the Bruce National Park he advocated sound watershed management and environment protection practices. He was a naturalist and wildflower photographer at his beloved cottage in the Bruce Peninsula. A lifelong interest in bird identification led to bird carving upon retirement. His shared love and knowledge of nature will be missed.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 28 at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home , 171 King St. S., Waterloo.

In keeping with his passion, donations to the Hugh T. Lemon Student Scholarship at Bird Studies Canada, designated for the Long Point Bird Observatory, P.O. Box 160, Port Rowan, Ontario, N0E 1M0, will be appreciated.

Queries

Fetterly Family, especially John

While looking up family history I became aware that my great great great uncle Peter Fetterly b. 1753 in Hellesburg, NY and died 27/1/13 in Williamsburg, Ont was a member of the King's Royal Rangers. He is listed in the Loyalist Directory as a loyalist.

However, my great, great, great grandfather, John Fetterly b. 28/1/1751 in Hellesburg NY and d. 28/11/1810 in Williamsburg, Ont is not listed. He is noted in the Book of Loyalists as one involved in a loyalist attack on a police station in Albany.

Both Peter and John were sons of Philip Fetterly (Fedderly) (Fedder) (Vetter) b. 1725 Helleburg NY d.1803 Helleburg, NY and Anna Margaretha Schman (Schumacher) b. 1730 NY and d. 1793 Riverdam, NY. Philip and Anna had twelve children.

John married in 1776 Anna Maria Papst b. 1761 Schoharie NY d. 1798 Osnabruck, Ont. She was the daughter of Johann Adam Papst UEL (1732-1802) and Eva Maria Hamm. John and Anna had eight children, one of whom was called Johann Adam Fetterly and the eighth was Rudolph Fetterly.

Rudolph Fetterly b. Feb 2, 1786 Schoharie, NY d. 1839 Osnabruck, Ont. He married Jan 13, 1813 in Osnabruck Suzanne (Susan) Duvall b. 1788 and d. 1839 Ont. She was the daughter of Charles Duvall Sr. b, 1767 USA One of her siblings, Seneca Duvall married Elizabeth Crysler, daughter of Col John Crysler UEL and Dorothy Meyers. A second sibling- Esther Duvall married Simon Moke (Stormont), son of Phillip Moke UEL

Rudolph and Suzanne's son William Taylor Fetterly b. 1831 in Osnabruck and d 1905 was my great grandfather. His second wife, Catherine Crawford b. 1853 d. ? and daughter of Nicolas Crawford b. 1814 in Stormont and Julliane Williard b. 1823 d. 1915 Frontenac Is. gave birth to my grandfather, John Taylor Fetterly b. Mar 4, 1885 in Montreal and d. Apr 20, 1970 in Wpg.

My mother, Lucy May Fetterly, and then Me.

I would like to find more about the Fetterly family and welcome any help. Especially I would like to see if there is more information about John and his activities during the Revolution. It appears that Phillip's family would have been in the midst of the troubles. John is noted as being arrested for his part in an attack on a police station in Albany. Peter is noted in the Kings Royal Rangers and is on the UE Executive list. Both ended up in Ontario and settled in a UEL settlement area. Would John qualify as a UE Loyalist on the basis of his involvement in the Albany attach? Any help is appreciated.

...Judy McCallister

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