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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2012 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2012-48: December 2, 2012

Articles

Literacy after the Exodus: Loyalists and their Libraries (1 of 2) – by Stephen Davidson

In first part of this series, we saw how loyalist attorneys and ministers rebuilt the libraries that they had lost during the violence of the American Revolution. Besides lawyers, clergymen and civil servants, doctors also collected reference books for their profession.

Dr. Adino Paddock who had practiced medicine in Boston before finding sanctuary in New Brunswick, accumulated a library in Saint John that had over 300 titles. Another Massachusetts doctor, John Caleff, willed his grandson his apothecary shop, instruments, utensils and books should he want to become a surgeon. Caleff is remembered as the physician who inoculated over 500 people during the 1800 smallpox epidemic in St. Andrews. All but three survived the disease.

Francis Gilbert, a loyalist who became a "naval officer of New Brunswick" did not have a library in his home, but was obviously a bibliophile. He willed his grandchildren his shares and interest in the Saint John Society Library.

Some loyalist libraries force us to re-examine our stereotypes as in the case of the two book collections owned by a farmer and a blacksmith. Described as being a farmer in St. John County, Thomas Menzies was a man of intellect as well as a man of the soil. In addition to his seven lots of land and the farmhouse, he left behind a library that had 100 English volumes and 40 French books. During the revolution, Menzies had been a major in the American Legion under Benedict Arnold (following the latter's change of allegiance).

Joshua Knight, a loyalist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a blacksmith in Pennfield on the Bay of Fundy. In addition to the tools of his trade and three guns, he bequeathed "assorted books", including Laws of Pennsylvania and a History of New England.

Not all loyalists who settled in New Brunswick were able to accumulate enough books to call their collections a library. These pioneers nevertheless prized their books and passed them on to heirs as items of value. Alexander Miller, a loyalist from Virginia who was once described as a "real enemy to the general struggle of all America", is one such example. He willed that --following the death of his widow-- his house, clothing and furniture "with all of my books" should go to their grandson.

Cornelius Nice had an inventory of all his worldly goods as part of his will. It included one Testament and two books in the German language that were valued at one pound. David Pickett fled Connecticut with his wife and seven children in 1783. He eventually became the judge of the court of common pleas. In addition to land and a sawmill, his will includes items such as his watch, blacksmith tools, a clock, weaving tools, silver spoons, and a walking staff. He willed that his daughter Sarah should receive all of his books and that his son David should receive his large Bible and prayer book.

The loyalist Jeremiah Regan served New Brunswick as both a schoolmaster and a magistrate. Guthries Geographical Grammar, little "cyphering books", and Dilworth's Book-Keeper's Assistant all had their special recipients. The big family Bible went to a grandson, while other family members were instructed to keep those books in which Regan had written their names.

Another loyalist who appears to have been a teacher was John Harrington. He died without a will. In the inventory of his worldly goods were various religious and practical books including The Tutor's Guide and The Key to the Tutors Guide. David Johnston had been a teacher at a school near Fredericton. His inventory of personal effects included a dozen basic textbooks.

When the printer James Sears died, he made sure that his sister received "all my books" but he gave his brother his watch, chain, portrait and writing desk. While Sears may have short-changed his sister, he was a tad more generous than Jonathan Smith. After his death, Smith allowed his wife the use of his Bible to keep in her room. She could also read any other of his books. Smith's will went on to say what rights his widow had to the rooms and utensils of his house and what provisions she should receive, including "a prudent part of the cream for shortening".

Samuel Street willed half of his books and his long fowling piece to his son Charles -- and the other half of his books and his "number two" musket to his son Edwin. Willis Knox of Norton bequeathed to his son all of his earthly goods, including "books and periodicals, some forty titles ranging from provincial law, farriery {related to horses}, navigation and history."

Jesse Stymest was a far-seeing man. He willed money to pay for the education of his brother's two oldest children. His sisters' husbands were not to receive any money from his estate: it was all to go towards the education of their children. After bequeathing a watch, and a set of chimney ornaments to friends, Stymest willed one half (or a set of 10) books to Master Frederick Wiggins.

Gabriel Ludlow, the first mayor of the city of Saint John, also included his books in his will. They were listed in the midst of an inventory that included household furniture, plate, apparel, bedding, linen and slaves. The books of John McGeorge were part of an interesting collection of accumulated possessions. His son William inherited his furniture, sword, pistol, desk, bookcase, silver caster, table and teaspoons in addition to his "printed books".

Incongruous as these lists may be, they demonstrate that books were among the most treasured possessions of the loyalist settlers of New Brunswick.


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

Response to last Week's Column

Stephen: I found your article in the UELAC newsletter for Nov 25 on loyalist libraries very interesting. This is certainly an area of literary and cultural history that has been neglected because of the circumstances the loyalists found themselves in. Thank you for putting a focus on this topic. The fact that you started the list with the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Odell, loyalist poet and key link between General Benedict Arnold and Major John Andre, was of special interest to me. Johnathan Odell was a cousin and correspondent of my ancestor, Daniel Odell, loyalist farmer from Dutchess County, New York, who is buried in Smith's Cove, N.S. I look forward to Part 2.

...Daniel S. Odell, Cohoes, New York

Charles William Raymond (1820-1901) © George McNeillie

My father and his sister Mary were in their day deemed clever musicians. Aunt Mary had a piano – one of the first in Woodstock – and my father played with her on his violin, or on the clarinet, at social assemblies and dances. He was also a member of the first Woodstock Brass Band, in which he played a bass instrument called the "Ophiclyde". As one of this band he told me he went on an excursion in the Steamer "Reindeer" up the St. John River to the Grand Falls. This was in 1847, the first occasion on which a steamer had visited the Grand Falls. Few of the people of that village had ever heard a Brass Band before. Old Ben. Beveridge presented the captain with a handsome set of caribou horns, which were nailed on the front of the pilot house as a souvenir of the trip.

My father, in his prime, stood 6 ft. 3 in, in his socks, and without being stout weighed 210 lbs. He was a very powerful man, could handle an axe, peevie, pitch-fork or grain cradle as very few men could do. He was an adept in the use of tools, and quick to comprehend the mechanism of all kinds of machinery from a watch to a steam engine. He designed and helped to build "Carman's Mills" in Lower St. Marys, and three or four windmills in his own neighbourhood. He also designed the Episcopal Churches at Lower Woodstock, Richmond, Jacksontown and Stanley. Two of these, namely Christ Church Woodstock and St. Thomas Church, Stanley, were built under his personal supervision and in large part by his hands. He also made in his workshop a variety of Church furniture, which today is to be found in a couple of dozen churches in New Brunswick. He planned and built two houses for himself and one for Brother Arthur in Woodstock. His natural predilection was not farming.

He would have excelled as an architect, a civil Engineer, or a machinist. He might have aspired to a position in the world of politics, as he was a clever speaker, a good leader and organizer, but I verily believe he was too conscientious to be a successful politician. He would have adorned a judicial position, as he had a logical mind and sound judgment, combined with the strictest integrity. Certainly he would have made an excellent Clergyman – and this, I think would have been his choice (in fact he told me so) had there been anyone else to take the management of the farm. His life was always marked by sincere and unaffected piety. He was a well-read Bible Student and not unacquainted with the elements of theology. He had morning and evening prayers daily with his family, attended church twice on Sundays and generally on Friday evenings, remaining to the choir practices, although we lived a good two miles from St. Luke's Church. For years he was a lay reader and also Church-Warden in the parish.

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

Presidential Peregrinations: Kingston Branch

A warm welcome and a tour of parts of historical Kingston took us to the Kingston Branch meeting, the Annual Meeting with the introduction of the new Branch executive. Loyalist certificates and certificates of longer membership were presented. The Branch has produced a brochure outlining a walking tour of the Loyalist history of downtown Kingston entitled The Old Stones: A Walking Tour. Read about the branch visit and the new executive with photos (PDF).

...Robert McBride UE, President UELAC

Regional Presentation Now Online

Many a time Loyalist Trails readers will remember, after the fact, that they wanted to watch a particular programme on the television but forgot to set the beta or vhs recorder, or more currently the pvr. When it comes to attending special meetings such as those staged annually in the five regions, the obstacles of travel and timing come into play as well. The 21st century with its technological advancements is now allowing UELAC to share the special presentations by your Dominion Executive. The information shared at a singular event now can be viewed in the comfort of your own home.

The UELAC Public Relations Committee contracted the taping of the three keynote addresses at the Prairie Regional in Regina last September. Leading off with Membership by Barbara Andrew, Prairie Regional Councillor and Membership Chair, and followed by an explanation of UELAC finance structure with Bonnie Schepers, Senior Vice-President and Finance Chair, we will be able to post the video presentation of President Robert C. McBride as well.

This week we are offering the Membership presentation – this WMV file may take five to ten minutes to download. Your feedback to this recent innovation would be appreciated and may affect the next upload.

...public.relations@uelac.org

Recipients of the Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award 2012

Vancouver Branch UELAC Mary Anne Bethune UE, Chairperson for the Phillip E M Leith Memorial Award 2012, recently announced the successful two candidates who were nominated for this year's Volunteer Award. Elizabeth Aberdeen UE, President Victoria Branch introduced the first nomination and recipient, Robert Ferguson UE of the Victoria Branch. Carl Stymiest UE introduced the second nomination and recipient from the Vancouver Branch, Gwen Dumfries UE. Both recipients received a Volunteer Award Certificate, a Leith Medallion, and had their names suitably engraved on the Phillip Leith perpetual trophy.

Gwen Dumfries UE, present Treasurer and Membership Chair for the branch was presented her Award at the 80th Anniversary Celebrations of the Vancouver Branch UELAC on 13 October 2012 attended by many members of the four Pacific Regional Branches, families and friends.

Robert (Bob) Ferguson UE, Past President of the Victoria Branch UELAC received his Award on 17 November at a Fall Fleet Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia.

...Carl Stymiest, Pacific Region Vice President

Building UELAC Branch Histories

Building the collected histories of UELAC branches continues to move forward. Last week, Loyalist Trails ran an article on the War of 1812 activities of Cornelius Thompson and his sons. This contribution definitely enhanced our knowledge of the branch named after him in 1969. Thus, it has been posted to the appropriate Branching Out folder.

LT readers are reminded that the activities as reported in our periodical Loyalist Gazette have been transcribed and can be found in the Branches of The UELAC folder for each branch whether it is active or inactive. These histories are proving beneficial in helping new members understand the events and traditions that affect the operations of today. The reports as found in the Loyalist Gazette, Spring 2012 have now been uploaded. In addition to reviewing the events posted, take time to also check out the histories of the branches no longer active.

...education@uelac.org

Loyalists and the War of 1812

A new list is underway and your help is needed to help populate it. A number of Loyalists who had participated in the American Revolution also took up arms again in the War of 1812. A greater number of sons, daughters and family members of Loyalists also joined the war effort. See the beginning of the collection at Loyalists and the War of 1812.

A few submissions have been received. If you have Loyalist ancestry, or know of other, that meets the criteria above, please contribute to this collection. Submissions of about 500 words would be great, but size within reason is not a big concern.

Thanks in advance for your help; submit articles to loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Sheets Jacob Sr and sons George, Jacob Jr and William – from Doug Reynolds

Last Post: Frank E.H. Landon, UE

Peacefully at his home in Johnstown, with his family at his side on Thursday November 22nd, 2012 at the age of 76. Frank Landon husband of Bernice Landon (nee Hoy). Father of Steven (Beatrice) of Cardinal, Dennis (Evette) of Saskatchewan and Terry (Nicole) of Greenbush. Cherished Grandfather of thirteen and Great grandfather of fourteen. Brother of Sherman. Predeceased by daughter Lynda Riddell, parents Ralph and Laura Landon, brothers Roy, George and sister Shirley Thorpe.

Frank was formerly a member of St. Lawrence Branch, approved 24 May 1984 under ancestor Constant King.

A Private Family Service will take place at a later date. Memorial Donations to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent online at: www.mackayfuneralhome.comBrockville Recorder & Times.

...Lynne Cook UE

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