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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2013 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2013-01: January 7, 2013

Articles

The Forgotten Sandemanian Loyalists (1 of 3), by Stephen Davidson

On the grounds of the Nova Scotia legislature there stands a stature of Joseph Howe, one of Canada's great political champions. In a landmark 1835 court case, Howe secured the freedom of the press. Thirteen years later, he led the campaign that made Nova Scotia the first colony in the British Empire to achieve responsible government. Dubbed "the greatest Nova Scotian" by one of the province's 20th century premiers, Howe was greatly influenced by his father who had also been a newspaper man.

Canadian historian J. Murray Beck maintains that "the most lasting influence upon Howe was exercised by his father", the loyalist John Howe. The senior Howe had been the only one in his Massachusetts family to side with Britain during the American Revolution. He passed on his "reverent, almost mystical attitude towards the British connection" to Joseph, his last child. Beck attributes Joseph's father with giving him a familiarity with the Bible, a broad knowledge of colonial history, and the moral courage to stand up for the truth.

Another crucial factor in shaping the young Joseph Howe was the fact that his parents were Sandemanians. They were members of a small (and now extinct) Calvinist sect that, before the revolution, had congregations in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. If the Howes had not been followers of the Rev. Robert Sandeman, it is unlikely that they would have been loyalists, and thus they would never have left the rebelling colonies.

Before 1776, there were 24 families who belonged to Boston's Sandemanian church. Twelve of those would eventually flee to Nova Scotia. Another family from New Haven, Connecticut's Sandemanian congregation also found refuge in the northern colony. These American colonists are a largely forgotten --but imminently fascinating-- component of loyalist history.

It is no surprise that the Sandemanians would establish their first foothold in the New England colonies. Massachusetts had been founded by Puritans who felt that they could best pratice their strict Calvinist understanding of Christianity by immigrating to the New World. When Robert Sandeman sailed into Newport, Connecticut in 1764, he preached a theology that struck a chord with colonists who had a Calvinist heritage.

Sandeman was a disciple of John Glas, a former minister with the Church of Scotland. His new interpretation of Christianity caused him to break away from his denomination in 1725. Known as Glasites in Great Britain, those who held similar beliefs in the colonies became known as Sandemanians.

In its simplest terms, the teachings of Glas and Sandeman said that one need only give intellectual assent to the central truths of the gospel to become a Christian (much as one would give assent to the fact that the earth orbits the sun). This was known as the "bare belief of the bare truth". For those raised in a Calvinist environment, this freedom from needing to have a religious "experience" (and from having to prove that one was a predestined member of the faith) was a liberating experience.

By 1776, there were only four Sandemanian churches in New England. They could be found in Boston and Taunton, Massachusetts as well as in Danbury and New Haven, Connecticut.

What struck Christians in other denominations as the eccentricities of the Sandemanians were their worship practices. As they entered their meeting house on Sunday, the church members greeted one another with "a holy kiss". They washed one another's feet as part of their worship and shared a communal "love feast" in the time between their morning and afternoon services. Sandeman taught that congregational decisions had to be unanimous, clergyman should not be paid, and that it was wrong to hoard wealth. Those who led Sandeman churches had to wear a red coat as well as a ruffled shirt carry a sword. The clergymen must be a married man, and if his wife died during his ministry, he could not marry again.

These practices might be seen as odd, but certainly none of them merited persecution from neighbours. It was one particular tenet of Sandeman faith that would be the church's ruin during the American Revolution. Sandemanians believed that obedience to the king was as binding on them as the injunction to fear God. They could not in good conscience, therefore, join the patriot cause. This faith-based loyalty made them the objects of rebel violence, and so they became refugees of the revolution.

Persecution of the Sandemanians began in the earliest days of the rebellion. When Rev. Samuel Peters, an Anglican minister, tried to find sanctuary in the New Haven home of a friend, he was told that the local rebels were "mobbing the Sandemanians for having spoken against the outrageous conduct of the destroyers of the teas in Boston harbour."

Documents of the era contain the names of eight household heads who attended the Sandemanian church of New Haven, Connecticut. Although they were only a handful, the local patriot committee summoned these Sandemanians to clarify their allegiance. The loyalists said they would agree to submit to "the laws of the government", a vague answer that they hoped would keep them out of the conflict. However, by September of 1777, one of their number, an Oliver Burr, was incarcerated for his loyalty. His fellow believers wrote a petition, pleading for the release of Burr who was "suffering in prison."

The Sandemanians realized that their earlier statement was given out of their fear of man rather than their fear of God. They now bravely said that they felt "bound to their king", but wanted to "be inoffensive among our neighbours". They were prepared to leave town, but hoped that they would be "permitted to continue here if we may live in quiet". In the end, the patriots of New Haven decided to turn a blind eye to the Sandemanians' convictions. They posed no real danger and only wanted to live in peace. Richard Woodhull and Daniel Humphries, whose names were on the petition to free Burr, remained in New Haven throughout the revolution.

Another signature on the petition belonged to Joseph Pynchon. By 1780, he found it necessary to flee Connecticut and seek sanctuary within the British lines in New York. Pynchon, like the Sandemanians of Boston, ultimately found refuge in Nova Scotia. Those stories will be told in the next issue of Loyalist Trails.

Charles William Raymond (1820-1901) © George McNeillie

On the occasion of his retirement from military service in 1887, my father was presented with a handsome gold-headed cane and an address by the officers of his corps. Among those present as guests at the presentation to Colonel Raymond on the eve of his retirement from the command of the 67th Battalion was Howard McLeod, deputy receiver general of the Dominion Savings Bank in St. John. He gave me shortly afterwards an enthusiastic account of the circumstances, and said that no newspaper report could convey a just idea of the sympathetic relations existing between the Colonel and the officers of the Battalion. He described my father's address of farewell to his officers as "one of the finest things he had ever heard." I may add before leaving this subject that the relations existing between Lieut. Col. George J. Maunsell, the Adjutant General, and my father were very intimate. Col. M. often staid [sic] over-night at our house, and he once told me that he considered Colonel Raymond "his best friend."

Family Record of Charles William Raymond

Name Date of Birth Married Died
Charles William Raymond Oct. 22, 1820 July 10, 1850 (At Trinity Ch. St. Marys, York Co.) June 10, 1901
Mary Elizabeth Carman May 30, 1825
Dec. 28, 1893

Children

Name Date of Birth Married Died
James Carman June 17, 1851  --
Feb. 25, 1852
William Odber February 3, 1853
June 18, 1879
Charles Lee Street
February 1, 1856 June 19, 1900
Arthur John Beardsley Nov. 5, 1858
Dec. 12, 1883

Fanny Louisa January 18, 1861 June 20, 1881 Sep. 28, 1891
Mary Eliza June 28, 1863  --
Sept. 6, 1863
Elizabeth Maria Nov. 15, 1864  --

Charles William Raymond was born in Woodstock soon after his father went there to live in 1820 and his next sister, "Aunt Mary", was nearly three years younger. She married, July 18, 1849, Odber Miles Carman of Lower St. Marys, and about this time my father became engaged to Uncle Odber's younger sister, Mary Elizabeth Carman, whom he married in 1850. The children of these marriages were all born at Lower St. Marys and subsequently lived at the "Parsonage" in Maugerville, where we often visited them. They moved to Woodstock on the 7th of November, 1867.

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

“At the Head of Lake Ontario” Highlights: Joseph Brant Museum

The Georgian manor house at 1240 North Shore Boulevard in Burlington is not the original home that Captain Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) built for himself in 1800. It is a replica of that house, the original having been demolished in 1832. And that original house was itself a replica (albeit half the size) of the one that Sir William Johnson, Brant's patron and mentor, had built in the Mohawk Valley of the then Province of New York in the days before the American War of Independence.

The present house stands, like its predecessor, on land owned by Joseph Brant. He had wanted to buy the land, 3,435 acres (1,400 hectares) from the Mississaugas, but the British Government frowned upon land transactions between Indians. Instead, Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe bought the property on behalf of the government and presented it to Brant as a reward for his loyalty to the Crown.

Brant died in his Burlington home on November 24, 1807, at the age of sixty-five. Although he lived here for the last decade of his life, his grave is somewhere along the banks of the Grand River, where his body was taken upon his death.

Brant was one of Burlington's first settlers. After his death, two of his children, Elizabeth and John, remained in the area. Each is remembered with a Burlington street name. John is also remembered for the part he played in the War of 1812-14.

As a reproduction of Brant's home, the Joseph Brant Museum is a perfect setting for the memorabilia of his life. The museum houses over 10,000 items. Exhibits explore Burlington's heritage in all its richness from before the earliest European settlement was here.

Please watch for another “Meet us at the Head of the Lake” vignette next month.

...Jean Rae Baxter, UE, Conference Committee, Hamilton Branch

Resource: Loyalist Land Petitions Available Online

You can download digitalized copies of the Loyalist Land Petitions (over 82,000) for free online. Lynne Charles UE is also a genealogist with the Vancouver Branch and she figured out how to find these grants. It is a bit of a "round about" way but not difficult.

1. Go to Archivianet and search the Upper Canada Land Petitions to get the source information for the grant you want to find.

2. Go to "Microform Digitization" Search Help; Upper Canada Land Petitions (11763-1865). Look for your Microfilm in this list. For example, if you want Microfilm C-2027 you will find that there are "5 C-2027". Narrow down your search by finding which of these five holds the record you want. Use the Bundle, Volume and Petition Number to zero in.

3. Go to LAC Microform Digitization, Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865)

Step 2 should have helped you figure out where in the microfilm your document is. Is it in the first section of C-2027 or towards the end? There are approximately 1100 pages in each of this microfilm. I type in a page number where I think my document might be. Then it is sort of trial and error but I can usually find what I am looking for in a couple of minutes as each of the documents is numbered in order.

Quite an improvement over ordering Microfilm via Inter Library Loan (which is no more...) and waiting for two or three months for it to come to Metro Vancouver!

...Linda Nygard UE, Vancouver Branch

Where in the World?

Guess where Fred Hayward was last summer!

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is. If you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well – send to Jennifer Childs.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Queries

Seeking Elusive Proof in Peter Eamer Family

I am a new member at St. Lawrence Branch UELAC and am searching for sufficient proofs to prove my descent from Loyalist Peter Eamer UE. I have a growing number of Eamer docs and have been sharing them with Michael Eamer, UE of the St. Lawrence branch.

One of Peter's sons, Philip Eamer, in turn had a son Philip D. Eamer who married MaryAnn Silmser. They lived on the same concession as Peter's original Loyalist grant.

I am seeking some document(s) which would adequatley prove or infer the father-son relationship of Philip and Philip D. I believe I am not alone in seeking a proof for this connection; any help would be most appreciated.

...Jennifer DeBruin

Contact Sanger Descendants of Loyalist Harmanus House

I would like to contact Sanger family descendants of Harmanus House. A family member was a member of Gov. Simcoe Branch in the 1980s and proved to Harmanus. Please contact me at Bally McKeough, 291 Watercrest Lane, PO BOx 1829, Blenheim, ON N0P 1A0; or by phone at 519-676-5866. Thank you.

...W. Darcy McKeough

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