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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2013 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2013-08: February 24, 2013

Articles

Nine in a Brave New World (Part 1 of 2) – by Stephen Davidson

Few loyalist settlements started out with such high ideals as those of Beaver Harbour; few would end in such smouldering devastation. The 254 Quakers and Baptist refugees who initially settled along the Bay of Fundy had endured seven long years of war. They longed for a fresh start in a community that would be peaceful and well governed. At its founding, Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick was the only avowed anti-slavery settlement known to have existed in British North America.

Located near the mouth of Passamaquoddy Bay in southwestern New Brunswick, Beaver Harbour grew out of the hopes and dreams of "goodly creatures" who were among the revolution's refugees. In the summer of 1783, forty-nine Quakers gathered in New York City. By the end of the meeting, they had created an association of like-minded settlers and appointed Joshua Knight as their leader. Knight was a Quaker who had been forced to flee from rebel persecution in Pennsylvania.

The new association commissioned three agents to seek out land in the part of western Nova Scotia. (By 1784, their settlement would be part of the new colony of New Brunswick). In August of 1783, two hundred fifty-four refugees boarded the Camel, and although most of this number was comprised of Quakers, 80 were Baptists.

In the years that followed, the settlement at Beaver Harbour swelled to a population of 800. Belle View, the name given to the town at Beaver Harbour, was comprised of 15 streets and 149 lots. It was incorporated in 1785, and by the following year the settlers began the task of building a house of worship. Within four years time, a forest fire engulfed the town, burning all but one settler's home. The original hope of building a community based upon merchant shipping had never materialized and so Belle View's founders sought better opportunities in other settlements along the Bay of Fundy coast.

Were it not for the transcripts of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL), the stories of nine of Beaver Harbour's settlers would be completely forgotten. Because these refugees sought compensation from the British government for their lost property and possessions, we have a very small glimpse into the lives of these Quaker and Baptist settlers.

Five of Beaver Harbour claimants had once lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey: John Horner, Gilbert Giberson, Peter Stout, Richard Lippincott and Joseph Williams. Before 1776, John Horner had been a carpenter in Upper Freehold. The fact that he was one of the original 49 members of the association that settled in Beaver Harbour is strong evidence that Horner had a Quaker upbringing. If this is so, then during the revolution he evidently turned his back on his faith. Quakers were pacificists, a fact that irritated their rebel neighbours to such an extent that they were labelled as traitors and treated as loyalists.

Horner's war time experiences were certainly not those of a pacifist. During the revolution he guided for British troops, provided intelligence for Sir William Erskine, served as an ensign in the King's Militia Volunteers, and delivered correspondence between General Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot. Horner also served in a noncombant role in the engineers' department. (This latter experience may have been in the minds of his fellow Belle View settlers when they elected him as a master of roads and harbours in 1785.)

Gilbert Giberson had been one of Horner's neighbours in Upper Freehold, but he may not have been a Quaker. A farmer, Giberson had been the head of his town's militia until it committed itself to the rebel cause. The violent threats of his neighbours compelled him to sign a paper which said he had sided with the patriots. However, his actions proved his unflinching loyalty.

Giberson was at the point of joining the British army when his rebel neighbours seized him and tried him for "abetting and assisting" the enemy. After he succeeding in escaping his captors, Giberson was engaged in espionage missions for the British in New Jersey, allowing him to see his family periodically. At the end of the war, they remained in Monmouth County while Giberson settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1783. By the following spring, this loyalist had decided to join the refugees in Beaver Harbour. He returned to New Jersey to retreive his family where he was "much harassed". By 1785, the Gibersons were all safe in New Brunswick.

Peter Stout had been a farmer in Middleton, New Jersey, just 16 kilometers away from Horner's carpenter shop and Giberson's farm. Although he had been forced to be included in the local rebel militia's muster rolls, he never actually served. Stout sought refuge with the British on Staten Island in 1776. He served as a labourer throughout the war, but also gathered intelligence and participated in at least one foraging raid.

In August of 1782, rebels wounded Stout in the knee and imprisoned him for four months in the Freehold jail. Despite the fact that the peace treaty had been signed, the rebels would not release Stout unless he paid them. He was "confined in a dungeon in irons" until his elderly mother sold her interest in the family estate and gave the extortion money to the patriots.

Stout was eventually reunited with his wife and children, and they settled in Beaver Harbour. His wife may have died by 1785, for when Stout returned to New York to get a copy of his father's will, he left his youngest children, Charity and John, in the care of John Horner's family.

Richard Lippincott was the most notorious of Beaver Harbour's settlers. This Monmouth County native had been a farmer until his rebel neighbours imprisoned him for concealing an agent of General William Howe. After he escaped from the Burlington jail, Lippincott promptly raised 12 men to fight against the rebels. Again, given his military record, it appears that Lippincott was either a lapsed Quaker or a Baptist. Sometime before 1782 he attained the rank of captain in the Associated Loyalists. It was during this service that Lippincott entered American history books as a villain of the revolution.

A loyalist named Philip White was a half-brother of Lippincott's wife. The rebel Captain Joshua Huddy arrested White as a spy while the latter was visiting his grandmother. When Huddy's men shot White as he tried to escape capture, they set in motion a series of events that became a scandal on both sides of the Atlantic. The board that created the Associated Loyalists sent Lippincott to New Jersey to capture Huddy. Believing that he had been given authority by the association's board, Lippincott had Huddy hanged, or --as he phrased it-- "exchanged for Philip White".

This execution so angered General Washington that he accused Lippincott of murder and demanded that he be turned over to rebel forces. The British refused, but tried Lippincott at a court martial. Here they acquitted him of murder, and laid the blame for Huddy's death on the directors of the Associated Loyalists for ordering his hanging. Determined to seek retaliation for Huddy's death, Washington decided to execute a randomly selected British prisoner of war. When the prisoner's mother learned of his imminent death, she appealed to the French government to persuade its American allies to be merciful. Congress released the man, and the Huddy Affair came to an end.

It is interesting that Lippincott made no reference to this matter whatsoever in his claims for compensation. In his testimony, he recounted that he left New York City in 1783 to settle for a time at Gagetown on the St. John River. In less than four years, this loyalist with such a bloody past came to live among the pacifist Quakers of Beaver Harbour. Following the fire that destroyed the settlement, Lippincott took his wife and daughter Esther to Upper Canada. He died in Toronto in 1826 at the age of 82.

The stories of five other Beaver Harbour settlers will be told in next week's Loyalist Trails.


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

William Odber Raymond (1853-1923) © George McNeillie

[This article with the two photos of the referenced medal can be read here]

In the years that followed, the American Civil War continued to be the great topic of conversation. A good many of the "Blue nose boys" enlisted in the American army in the war. On the other hand the country along the border in the province was flooded with "Yankee Skedaddlers", anxious to escape the military drafts of the States. They worked at haying for the New Brunswick farmers at very low wages – something like fourteen dollars a month, if I remember rightly.

After the summer vacation in 1863 I was sent to Mr. James MacLauchlan's school in the town of Woodstock, just above St. Luke's church. This meant a daily walk of two miles to school and return, and a bread and butter lunch each day for the remainder of my school life. Lee, Arthur and I, in our school-days, must have, I think, walked about 10,000 miles each in acquiring an education. Lee and I attended in 1864-65 a school taught by Nathan B. Milberry in the basement at the Free Baptist Church in Woodstock.

After the summer vacation in 1865 we entered the Carleton County Grammar School, taught by James McCoy in the basement of the Mechanics Institute, in order to prepare for College. During the next half-a-dozen years at the Grammar School I was fortunate enough to gain the three silver medals [Note 1], at that time as prizes, besides several book prizes. In September, 1871, I left home rather in fear and trembling for the University, and to my great surprise led the matriculating class of twenty-two students.

At this distance of time I am inclined to consider the result of the matriculation as largely a matter of good luck, but I remember well the delight of my old school-master, which was only equaled I think by that of my old Grandfather. During my College course I lived in residency, having the first year, as a room-mate, the leader of the Senior Class, Simeon H. Parsons, who was also an old Carleton County Grammar School boy. In my junior and senior years my room-mate was my cousin Robert M. Raymond of Norton. In my senior year, Brother Lee Raymond matriculated second in his class, but his health prevented his finishing what promised to be a fine course at the University.

My successful matriculation carried incidentally with it the County Scholarship of the value of $84.00, tenable for two years, and in my senior year I succeeded in gaining the Mathematical Scholarship. These scholarships, with S.P.G. Divinity Scholarships (secured for me through the kindness of Bishop Medley), enabled me to defray all expenses at the University except clothes.

[Note 1: One of these medals is still in the possession of Raymond's great-grandson George McNeillie and was awarded for Mathematics in 1871]

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: Ravine Winery and Loyalist House

When you visit the Ravine Winery in the village of St. David's, you will taste a sample of one of the Niagara Region's critically acclaimed small batch VQA wines. Moreover, you will taste it in a house considered one of the top fifty most significant houses in all of Canada because it represents a preeminent example of :"Loyalist or Wilderness" architecture.

It is a house with a history.

David Secord built the original house in 1802. American troops burned it in 1814 when they burned the village. The house was then rebuilt, incorporating the original fireplace and massive chimney.

A summer kitchen was added (1815). William and Richard Woodruff bought it in 1824. It was Wm. Woodruff, from whom the house took its name, who added a Georgian front section (1827), followed by a parlour extension.

The house fell on hard times. Many families lived in it, sometimes several at the same time.

In 1932 the house was painted by the artist Frederick S. Haines, a contemporary of the Group of Seven. Seemingly consigned to a sad fate, it was cited in Marian Macrae's book The Ancestral Roof (1963) as the "Valiant Beautify of the Dying House."

But it did not die. Dismantled, its posts and beams numbered, and its components marked and documented, it was transported to Caledon Ontario in 1967. The owners of the dismantled house planned to reconstruct it there. Misfortune intervened. In 1992 it was moved to Bond Head by new owners, and in 2001 to Port Hope by another new owner. Each time, it was the subject of failed reconstruction plans.

It was not until 2003 that Norma Jane and Blair Harber purchased the house, brought it back to St. David's, and reconstructed it to become the hospitality centre for their Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery.

When you visit, raise your glass of Niagara wine to the fine old house that finally came home.

Please watch for another vignette coming soon. For details and registration for UELAC Conference 2013, visit “Meet us at the Head of Lake Ontario.”

...Jean Rae Baxter UE

UELAC Communicating with You Survey

Almost two weeks ago, a survey was distributed to readers of Loyalist Trails. A number of people have taken it. If you haven't, we would appreciate it. Although rhe survey is quite short for those who do not receive the Loyalist Gazette, we appreciate you taking it in any case. The survey will be open for another week. Click here to take the survey.

Annual Meeting of Central West Region UELAC on April 13

The Annual Meeting and senminar will be held April 13, 2013 at 3200 Wonderland Rd. S. London 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Cost per person is $5.00 at the door.

Speaker: Doris Lemon, about Major General Sir Isaac Brock - His War and His Route York to Amherstburg August, 1812

Election of RVP and Councillor: Candidates for each region shall reside within the region and shall be nominated and elected by the Branches of the Region, which they represent at an election to be held each year in each region, according to policy and procedure approved and amended from time to time by Dominion Council.

Lunch on your own.

Each Branch is asked to bring something from their Branch as a door prize.

RSVP if you are planning to attend to Sue Hines, shinese751@rogers.com.

Complete agenda will be available closer to the meeting date.

More UELAC Members Honoured with The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Beginning on the sixth of February 2012, during the sixty-first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II , sixty thousand Diamond Jubilee Medals were awarded to honour Canadians who follow Her Majesty's tradition of commitment to service that enriches the lives of other Canadians. Earlier, The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Patron of UELAC, made the following declaration:

“During her reign of six decades as Queen of Canada, Her Majesty has served our country with great dignity and dedication. In homage to Her Majesty's achievement and as a symbol of our appreciation, the new Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal will honour deserving Canadians who have contributed so much to this nation, and who have helped to define our ideal of service. The Queen has dedicated her life to encouraging excellence among Canadians, and this medal is an opportunity to recognize outstanding service to Canada and to see how we are brought together through action.”

Throughout the year, a number of our fellow members of UELAC were recognized for their service to community and country at local, regional and national events across Canada. The process of nomination and granting of the honour, coupled with the modesty of the recipients, has limited the sharing of news of this honour. However, whether it was for contributions to our organization or to areas outside of UELAC, those honoured for helping "to define our ideal of service" are recognized in a second separate document with photographs and related information. Congratulations to everyone recognized.

...FHH

Where in the World?

Where is London and Western Ontario Branch member Jennifer Childs?

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.

Clarification: Government Marker Programme to Honour War of 1812 Veterans, Part 2

From last week's issue of Loyalist Trails: “What can the readers of Loyalist Trails do until the HMEUC website is up and running? They can develop the biography of the 1812 veteran, including where the veteran is buried, and submit it to the UELAC Webmaster. If the veteran is to be honoured by this programme, it is imperative to know the burial site. More information will be released when it is provided.”

Rather the instructions should have been to hold such items until more information is available. If you have a Loyalist who also fought in the War of 1812, or a Loyalist whose son did so, please submit that story – see guidelines at Loyalists and the War of 1812.

Loyalists and the War of 1812

Thanks to those who have contributed to the slowly growing index of Loyalists and the War of 1812.

We have added a new entry for Captain John Jenkins, “New Brunswick's Hero of Ogdensburg,” thanks to a Maritime reader and the original work of Rev. W.O. Raymond (originally published in 1895).

If you have a family ancestry which qualifies (see the heading of the page with entries), please submit to loyalist.trails@uelac.org. Our rich history continues to emerge through these family histories.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: Betty Marie Nokes (nee Hanes), UE

Entered peacefully into rest at Case Manor Specialty Care, Bobcaygeon, Ontario, on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Betty, in her 88th year was the beloved daughter of the late Isabelle and Wesley Mansel Hanes.

Mother to daughters Valerie and her husband Gordon McElravy of Lindsay, and the late Susan Rae McGlashan (2008). Devoted grandmother to Sarah McElravy and her husband Oscar Villarreal of Cleveland, Ohio and Joel Gordon McElravy of Toronto, Ontario. Dear sister of the late Verna Irene Short.

Chapel services at MACKEY FUNERAL HOME, on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Spring interment to be held at Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert Ontario. The family welcomes memorial donations to a charity of choice. (The Lindsay Post)

...Lynne Cook

Queries

Initial index of references for first census of Canada circa 1790

After reading all about his Loyalist ancestor Elias Holmes in Todd Braisted's " Bergen County Voices from the American Revolution: Soldiers and Residents in their own Words", a writer from Beaconsfield, Quebec is trying to locate a copy of the "Initial index of references for first census of Canada circa 1790: a guide to pioneers of Canada." The "initial index" is credited to C. G. Lyon of the Winnipeg Branch in the 1970s who earlier was also on the committee to erect a plaque to the United Empire Loyalists in the Manitoba Provincial Legislature. If you can assist in getting a copy of this index, please email public.relations@uelac.org.

How would you travel from Sussex, NJ to Thorold, ON in 1788?

A budding writer in Oakville is attempting to flesh out her family history of the journey from Paulinskill, Sussex, New Jersey to Upper Canada in 1788. She believes they crossed Lake Erie, maybe at Buffalo, but is challenged by both a lack of details in family lore and access to the journals and documents of others who made a similar trip. If you can assist, please contact public.relations@uelac.org.

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