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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2013 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2013-15: April 14, 2013


Duelling Loyalists: Part Two of Two – by Stephen Davidson

Despite the fact that they were trying to defeat an overwhelming number of rebel colonists, loyalists and their allies sometimes allowed themselves to be distracted by petty quarrels -- and those insults to male vanity often resulted in duels to the death.

In 1783, Guy Carleton, the commander in chief of Britain's North American forces, learned of a duel amongst his soldiers when he received a letter from Major General Patterson. In the British outpost at Penobscot (in what is now part of the state of Maine), a German mercenary officer and an English soldier had squared off in a duel. It had been a particularly harsh winter, the Bay of Fundy had frozen the soldiers in, and they were isolated. Even the best of German and Scottish allies could get on each other's nerves. Captain von Wurmb of the 6th Regiment of the Anspach Recruits fought with Lieutenant McLean of the 74th Regiment (Argyle Highlanders). McLean fatally wounded the German officer. Upon Wurmb's death, McLean immediately deserted and was duly noted in the monthly report as being "absent without leave".

Although Brigadier General Campbell prohibited duelling at the Penobscot garrison, within weeks of the first duel, Lt. Charles Stewart was confined to quarters for fighting with 2nd Lieutenant Franz Graf von Bubna und Lititz. This German combatant fared no better than his countryman.

Another eyewitness to duels during the revolution was Thomas Anburey, a member of General Burgoyne's defeated army. In April of 1780, he wrote a letter about the fighting among the German mercenary soldiers who were detained in the barracks of Charlottesville, Virginia:

"You may recollect, on our first arrival in this province, I mentioned that a number of duels were fought, and what partly occasioned them. They have of late been frequent amongst the German officers, but from different motives -- disputes at gambling. Their manner of fighting is rather singular.

Each party goes to the field with a second, and after stripping to the shirt, advancing, shake each other by the hand, draw their swords, and cut and slash each other till one party relinquishes the contest; and, unless the inveteracy is very obstinate, the conflict is over upon the least appearance of blood on either side; this is deemed a sufficient proof of their courage and justification of their honor. Most of the duels among them have ended in this manner except one, where the combatants mutilated one another in a most shocking manner, as nearly to endanger each other's life."

Although Anburey was writing home to Britain, things were no more "civilized" at the heart of the empire – as is evident in a duel fought in London's Hyde Park. Lloyd Dulany, a Maryland loyalist, was accompanied by James Delancey, a New York loyalist. Dulany had agreed to a pistol duel with Bennet Allen. The latter was accompanied by a loyalist named Robert Morris. It was all a matter of honour.

In 1779, Allen had written an anonymous piece for a London newspaper in which he cast doubt on Dulany's loyalty. Dulany said that the writer was "a scoundrel and a coward". With the revolution drawing to a close in 1782, Allen revealed that he was the article's author, called Dulany the "most insulting epithets", and challenged the loyalist to a duel.

Armed with pistols, the men faced off at ten o'clock at night in Hyde Park – just eight yards apart. After putting on his spectacles. Allen fired. Dulany fell to the ground. He got up long enough to run a few yards, and fell again.

Delancey ran up to his friend, saying "My dear Lloyd, I hope you are not much hurt."

Dulany replied "My dear Jemmy, I am afraid I am done for. " Dulany's friends carried him back to his lodgings where he died three days later.

Allen fled in fear, but eventually turned himself over to the authorities. He and his second, Robert Morris, were tried for murder. The jury declared that Allen was guilty of manslaughter and that Morris was not guilty. Allen was fined one shilling and put in Newgate prison for just six months.

Even after the revolution, a few loyalists found reasons to challenge one another to duels. As New York City was being evacuated in the summer of 1783, Major John Coffin, a Massachusetts loyalist, challenged a British officer named Colonel Campbell to fight him. Along the St. John River, Coffin's men --who were waiting for him to join them-- received word that he had been killed. Seventeen days later, they learned that Coffin had only been wounded in the groin.

In 1797, Coffin challenged James Glennie to a duel near Fredericton, New Brunswick. Glennie was wounded, but lived. In 1818, Coffin called Robert Parker out to meet him on Moose Island for a duel. (Parker was the province's comptroller of customs in Saint John.) Coffin survived the encounter; he eventually became a member of the provincial assembly. But during his time in office, he was involved in at least more four duels. Coffin's worst injury, it seems, was a wounded arm.

Lorenzo Sabine, who wrote a book about duelling as well as his famous work on loyalists, noted that his "personal inquiries of Loyalist officers in the service of the crown, who remembered almost every incident of the kind, lead me to the conclusion that duelling was not frequent during the war on either side." Nevertheless, in his listing of loyalists, Sabine refers to an Irish-born loyalist named Constant Conner who was a lieutenant in the Royal Fencible Americans. Summing up the loyalist's career, Sabine says "he went to Nova Scotia after the war, where he fought a duel and killed his antagonist. He died at Halifax."

Perhaps the most famous duel after the revolution that involved a loyalist was General Benedict Arnold's pistol fight. It is recorded briefly in a 1792 letter that Peggy Arnold sent to her stepson.

"I was greatly distressed by your father being concerned in a duel; but it has ended so safely and honorable to him, I am happy it has taken place. The Earl of Lauderdale cast some reflections upon his public character in the House of Lords, for which your father demanded an apology, which his Lordship refused to make.

On Sunday morning, July the first, they went out a few miles from London, with tlieir seconds. Lord Hawke your father's, and Charles Fox Lord Lauderdale's. Lord Lauderdale received your father's fire, but refused to return it, saying he had no enmity to him. Your father, declared he would not quit the field without an apology. His Lordship made a very satisfactory one. Your father has gained very great credit in this business, and I fancy it will deter others from taking liberties with him."

Unfortunately, duelling did not die out with the loyalist generation. Sons of loyalists also challenged one another to single combat and died just as needlessly as their fathers. Those stories may be told in a future edition of Loyalist Trails.

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

William Odber Raymond (1853-1923) © George McNeillie

The next thing to claim the attention of the good people of Stanley was the building of a Rectory. Their young minister had taken a brief holiday in June, 1879, and mindful of St. Paul's advice, "Let the deacon's be the husband of one wife", returned at the end of the month with his bride. There was a full church when the bride "appeared out" on the next Sunday. The event occurred in the old church, which was then still in use. The building was adorned with roses, vines and evergreen, and Major Wilkinson's company of the 71st Battalion, York Infantry, honoured the occasion by attending church in uniform, having just returned from camp. The bride was of course closely scrutinized, and was the subject of much friendly gossip.

The new church was then unfinished, but the coming of the bride aroused the people to the necessity of providing a rectory. A meeting was called in the ensuing winter and a building committee appointed with Major Samuel Wilkinson as chairman. Our old friend Colonel Raymond again furnished plans and specifications.

The "old church" was now taken down, and much of the materials used to advantage in building the rectory. Before the end of November, 1880, the building was practically finished, and on the 20th of that month the missionary and his family moved in. To the joy of the household a baby son arrived just three days after.

Thus in a year and six months the people of Stanley built a beautiful new church and a comfortable and convenient rectory at a cost of less than $5,000.00. the buildings free of all liability. They could not today be replaced for twice the sum.

The names of those who were among the most enthusiastic workers and subscribers as I recall them, after the lapse of forty years, are Colonel C. W. Raymond, James Clarkson, James Clarkson, jr., Major Samuel Wilkinson, William and John Clarkson, Andrew Douglass, John Douglass, Thomas Douglass, David Douglass, John Douglass 3rd, Andrew and Robert Waugh, William Patchell, Edward Speer, Oliver Thomas, William T. Howe, William Biden, Henry Turnbull, Gabriel Yerma and Charles A. Miles.

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: Col. Edward Jessup Branch

At a dinner meeting in the picturesque village of Delta, I learned more about the history and Loyalist connections of this community - fascinating the amount of local history one can find everywhere by just digging, or listening.

The branch has completed and continues to work on projects within the larger branch home territory. I shared m passion for Freemasonry and Loyalists and had the honour of presenting Loyalist certificates. Thank you all for an enjoyable meeting. Read more, with photos (PDF).

...Robert McBride, UE, President, UELAC

Irish Palatines, Loyalists and Ontario Bus Tour

First of all, what is an Irish Palatine? In 1709, at Queen Anne's invitation, nearly 13,000 people left the middle Rhineland-Palatinate to seek new lands in the British colonies. Of those who landed in Ireland, some turned and set sail for the Americas forthwith, while other settled and some of them or their descendants subsequently emigrated to many parts of the world. Some who settled in the thirteen colonies became Loyalists.

The Ontario Genealogical Society has an active Irish Palatine Special Interest Group. This group has organized an eleven day September bus tour of parts of southern and eastern Ontario which have IP links. There are a few seats remaining.

For more information about Irish Palatines, the IP Special Interest Group, or the bus tour, see Was Your UE Ancestor Also an Irish Palatine, like Mine?

...Phyllis (Embury) Chapman

New Brunswick Branch now on Facebook

New Brunswick Branch is now on Facebook. Show your support at


Where in the World?

“Colonel John's quarters”

Where in the world are Bob McBride and his tour group?

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.

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 Catharine Reid Munro Leech and Sons thanks to Jo Ann Tuskin.

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

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:
- Teeple, Peter – from Jim Town

Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact for instructions and guidance.


Ship Lists Showing Loyalists who Went to Nova Scotia

I am trying to locate a passenger list that would show how my ancestor Jacob Glance, Royal North Carolina Regiment, travelled to Port Roseway. Was New York City the only port that ships left for Port Roseway? Do you know if any ships left from the Carolina's to Nova Scotia?


The majority of loyalist evacuation ships left New York City in the spring, summer, and fall of 1783. They were hired by the British government to take the ever-increasing number of refugees out of the new United States. Loyalists travelled north from the southern colonies, down from New England, and over from New Jersey and Long Island to take advantage of the "escape" the British government was providing. Many would have been persecuted or imprisoned if they remained in their hometowns.

However, privately chartered ships also left from New York City and other points along the coast. The reason that New York was the port of departure for 99% of evacuation ships was that it was the British headquarters for the length of the revolution. Being within the British lines, it was a sanctuary for loyalists. Other evacuation vessels left coastal cities when they fell to rebel control. Savannah and Charleston were the sites of loyalist evacuation in 1782 when those cities were no longer controlled by the British.

Loyalists travelled in groups or communities. Soldiers in a given regiment stayed together and settled in the same area. Some of my ancestors were from Connecticut and they settled with others from their colony when they arrived in New Brunswick. Perhaps your best bet would be to try to find out more about the Royal North Carolina Regiment. Where its men originated and where they settled might provide some important clues.

...Stephen Davidson

Rod Craig, genealogist for the Col. John Butler Branch has recommended " The King's Loyal Americans: the Canadian Fact Passenger Lists", author B. Wood – Holt, ISBN 0-9694672-0-6.


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