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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2013 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2013-42: October 20, 2013

Articles

Dear Susey (Part Two of Two), by Stephen Davidson

The American Revolution had forced Alexander and Susannah McDonald to live separate lives. Hostile rebel neighbours surrounded Susannah and their four children on Staten Island; Alexander was a captain with the Royal Highland Emigrants stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

By the end of July 1776, Alexander was "almost dead with anxiety and care", having heard nothing from the British forces that had gone off to invade New York. He advised Susannah to go to General Howe and let him know all her "hardships and grievances" that she had endured during his absence "which I hope now is at an end."

Finally, in October, Alexander was able to return to Staten Island and take his family back to Halifax with him. In a letter to his brother-in-law, he recounted having "had the pleasure of seeing {the rebels} well drubbed almost in sight of my own house and after that being totally dispersed so far that the rebellion is looked upon to be settled."

Conversations with Susannah revealed details that had not made it into her letters. During the sixteen months Alexander had not seen her, his wife had suffered insults and abuses from rebels, and had been forced to provide housing for "the villains". "Her own relations, the Livingstons, were her greatest enemy" he confided. "But she behaved with an uncommon degree of courage and even went so far as when they cursed the king, she cursed the congress to their faces." (One could hardly describe Susannah as a demure, soft-spoken woman!)

One of Alexander's later letters revealed that Susannah "continued a steady and loyal subject in spite of every abuse or insult they could offer her and she found means to convey useful articles of intelligence to Governor Tryon {last loyalist governor of New York}, Captain Hyde Parker, and Captain Vandeput {of the Royal Navy}."

After the McDonalds had been reunited for three months, Alexander wrote a letter to a friend. It is a rare glimpse into the romantic life of a loyalist. He asked his friend to buy him green tea, sugar, and some black satin. The latter was for a negligee and petticoat for Susannah who he described as "a pretty lusty woman."

By February of 1777, McDonald's letters contained snapshots of his domestic life. Their youngest son had recovered from his inoculation for smallpox; Susannah was "almost going crazy" for oysters as there were none to be had in Halifax. It was soon very obvious why for Susannah had been craving oysters. She was expecting a baby in August. He later wrote a friend to see if it was possible to "send her one of the best midwives in New York."

Alexander was obviously excited about being a father at his stage of life (he had just turned 50). He attributed the couple's fertility to the "vast quantity of fish got in this place". In a letter to an old friend, he asked the rhetorical question "When the devil will you and I give over our foolish tricks? I'm told you are getting young ones as fast as any young man in the country, and my fat frau is now within two months of being on the straw." Susannah would not have appreciated Alexander's visual imagery, but she shared his anticipation of a new baby.

By early September, 1777, John McDonald, "a fine thumping boy", was born to the couple – a brother for Donald, Alec, Robert, and the McDonald's only daughter (whom Alexander always referred to as simply "the little girl").

By December, Alexander and Susannah had decided to send their two oldest sons to college in Edinburgh, Scotland for their education, an institution to which they hoped they could one day send their youngest three. Alexander wanted Susannah to go to Scotland at the same time, but he quoted her as saying that she "would not leave America as long as a redcoat durst stay in it".

In a letter dated February 19, 1778, Alexander proudly announced that Susannah "has the assurance to tell me that she will have another {baby} next July. A rare instance of living in a good fish country."

There is a gap in the McDonald correspondence. By the fall of 1778, the loyalist captain's family was living in barracks in Fort Edward in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Alexander wrote that he had "crammed all my children and servants in the same room".

It seems that Susannah must have lost the expected baby of July early in her pregnancy. In November, Alexander wrote a friend that his wife is "for the second time since she came to Nova Scotia in a fair way." This November announcement would actually be for Susannah's third Nova Scotia pregnancy.

Tragically, no baby would be born in 1779 either. Back in Halifax by the January of the new year, Alexander wrote a letter to a friend. It was short and to the point. "I have nothing to trouble you with but the melancholy account of Mrs McDonald's death and left behind a miserable wretch with five children much at a loss which way to turn myself to provide for them."

What we know of Susannah McDonald is based solely on the details in her husband's letters. The absence of correspondence containing the story of her death forces posterity to speculate as to what might have happened. Given that in late December of 1778, Alexander was writing about the couple seeing friends if the winter sleighing was good, it does not seem likely that Susannah died of a lingering illness – nor of childbirth complications. Did she die due to an accident? A heart attack? A sudden illness? We'll never know for sure.

What we do know is that a middle-aged loyalist was in deep despair as he mourned the loss of his wife of fifteen years. Family and friends were scattered on both sides of the Atlantic. Their oldest sons were in Scotland; their youngest child was just over a year old. Susannah, the woman he called his "dearest life", was gone, having suffered deprivation and persecution for her loyalist principles.

Following the burial of his beloved wife, Alexander McDonald remained in Nova Scotia where he served the crown for five more years. In December of 1783, the city's newspaper announced that Alexander was auctioning off his furniture and selling his Halifax house. He would be returning to his beloved Highlands. The Nova Scotia Gazette's advertisement is the last we read of a loyalist who, in turn, introduced us to his wife through the letters he wrote between 1775 and 1779.


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

Granting of Lands to Loyalists: Ninth Document, by Ed Kipp

During my research, I have come across a number of files and documents relating to the granting of lands to Loyalists in the Province of Quebec (includes present day Quebec and Ontario).

The ninth one is titled Additional Instructions to Lord Dorchester concerning Oaths and Quakers. November 18, 1793. Transcriber: Edward Kipp, January 2011

Source: Library and Archives Canada

MG40 B8: LAC mf H-2952. File 4. PP 38-45.

Read "Additional Instructions to Lord Dorchester concerning Oaths and Quakers. November 18, 1793."

...Ed Kipp

Quebec Monument to Loyalist Settlers Now Restored

The Municipality of the Parish of Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, Quebec recently restored a vandalized monument honouring the United Empire Loyalist settlers of the original Lac Maskinonge settlement. Located in the English cemetery, the 1927 monument consisted of a large, rough rock to which was attached a bronze plaque listing the names of Loyalist settlers including the ancestors of Justin and Alexandre Trudeau.

The earlier information has now been inscribed in a granite plaque.

Last month, Jeanne Pelland, Secretary-Treasurer and Director-General of the Municipality expressed the council's appreciation to Montreal's Heritage Branch UELAC for its interest and financial assistance with the restoration. Roger Chattell of the D.C. area, whose ancestor John Page conveyed the land for the cemetery, has supplied transcriptions and visuals for inclusion in the Loyalists Settlers Monument page, found in the UELAC Monuments and Commemoratives folder. Once again UELAC's mission statement – “Erecting, constructing and repairing buildings, monuments and memorials in Canada to perpetuate the memory of the United Empire Loyalists” – has been documented.

...

Where in the World?

Where is Calgary Branch member Kerry Best?

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 Daniel Rose and Sons thanks to Stephen Bowley, UE.

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.

At this moment there are no more submissions on hand. If you have a family ancestry that qualifies, please submit to the address above, and help us all learn more about this important and interesting early Canadian history.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • On Oct. 5, a delegation of indigenous leaders from across Canada visited London, England, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Issued by King George III, the Royal Proclamation set out a framework for European settlement in North American territories following the Seven Years' War.  The Royal Proclamation is "an open declaration that the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains belong to the indigenous people and it really sets the basis for treaties and a respectful way of engagement between indigenous people and the settlers," said Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald. "It is referred to in Canada's constitution [Section 25], so it has not just a long, historical importance, it has an ongoing importance in the life of Canada."
  • Looking for something 18th century to bake this weekend? Try colonial Humble Pie - with a bonus recipe for rhubarb tart [pie] from 1777
  • Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne will be making a private visit to Ontario from Oct. 22 to 25 in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of The Grey and Simcoe Foresters, the Royal Canadian Medical Service (RCMS), and the Communications and Electronics Branch.
  • Canadian autumn in all its glory (click on the photo to enlarge it)

Loyalist Directory: Descendant Names From July & Aug Approvals Posted

On the UELAC website, we have a directory of Loyalists (by no means complete), possible Loyalists and even a few who have been proven to not be UE Loyalists, but are related.

When a descendant proves to a Loyalist, UELAC at that point officially acknowledges that the ancestor was in fact a UE Loyalist. The record in the directory is so noted.

For several years, people have been welcome to submit information about any person in the Loyalist Directory, or to add an appropriate new person. These are noted in this newsletter as they are posted.

When a certificate is issued, the "Proven Descendants" field in the record is subsequently updated to show that a certificate has been issued.

Recently, the names of the applicants whose application had been approved during July and August have been added to the directory – almost all the applicants in those months gave permission to include their name. The date of approval, branch name and applicant name have been added.

We may not get to this every month, but will try to keep reasonably current in the postings.

Would you like to add your name? If you are a proven descendant and would like your name added to your loyalist ancestor's record, please send an email to loyalist.trails@uelac.org with the following:

- Loyalist ancestors name as it is in the directory

- The branch to which you belonged when you received your certificate

- The date the certificate was issued (should be on the certificate; approx. will work)

- Your name as it would be on the certificate

- your name as you would like it in the record (explain if different)

- in the email subject line, put "LD name: [ancestor's first and last name] by [your name]

...Doug, Chair of the Loyalist Information Committee

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Grant, Finlay – from Ken Gordon with certificate application


Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for instructions and guidance.

Last Post: Dorcas Amelia (Palmer) Beardsley, UE

Went to be with her Lord and Saviour on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 87 years of age. She was predeceased by her husband Ken, loving mother of Brent (Marge), beloved Nana to Jessica, Joshua and Jackson. Loved Auntie Dodo to nieces and nephews. She spent most of her life working in the civil service and enjoying her many hobbies of crocheting, knitting, reading, crosswords and playing piano. She loved her church and had a great passion for missions. She was a great prayer warrior. She will be deeply missed by all her friends. In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to Kingston Alliance Church.

...Lynne Cook UE

Queries

Smuggling from America to Canada during the War of 1812

If New Englanders were motivated by idealistic patriotism in the War of 1812 they would never have considered smuggling goods to the enemy for profit. But this is precisely what Federalist-leaning residents of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York did during the War of 1812. The coast from Massachusetts to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia was routinely used to transport illegal good from the new United States to Canada/Great Britain. The territory that became Maine after the War was a regularly-traveled trade route during the War. U.S.-based smugglers made enormous personal profits at the cost of U.S. soldiers' and sailors' lives, since the smuggled goods supported the welfare and sometimes even the direct war efforts of Canada/Great Britain.

The Federalists descended ideologically from the political philosophy that was at the forefront of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Thus, it should be possible, by means of reasonable extrapolation and demonstration of similar behaviour during the Revolutionary War, to support the thesis that the Revolution was based on greed, not on lofty Enlightenment ideals.

The thesis of my book is that the Revolution was guided by ideology-free economics. That is, the Revolution was driven primarily by greed. The implication is that the United States was founded not on the lofty ideals of Enlightenment philosophy, but on the greed of a handful of Massachusetts businessmen and smugglers. Their cause was aided by Federalism (chief proponent rabble-rouser Samuel Adams' cousin, John Adams) and anti-monarchical sentiment (chief proponent Thomas Jefferson) and the institution of the para-governmental Committees (Committees of Correspondence and Committees of Safety) first throughout Massachusetts in 1773-1774 and then throughout the Colonies (1774-1776). Federalism remained a New England institution and way of thinking into the 1810s, with proponents vigorously opposed to war with Great Britain. Smuggling from New England to Canada was widespread during the 1812-1814 war both on the sea and overland through what is now Maine and New Brunswick.

What I seek specifically: documented mention in history books, Loyalist publications, personal records, genealogies, or any other *written* source containing citations regarding the smuggling of goods into Canada from the United States during the War of 1812. Something like "My great aunt Mabel said her great grandfather received gunpowder and muskets from Yankee traders in 1813," but with no citations to back it up, is not nearly as useful as "I read in The History of Canada by Jacob Johnson, page 247, published 1954, that American smugglers brought flour, blankets, and knives into New Brunswick via Maine in early 1814." But best of all would be something like "I received from my great uncle Stephen a letter written by his great grandfather who attested in 1831 that he paid for several shipments of muskets from Vermont in December, 1812." That kind of primary documentation would be terrific, though any kind of secondary source material, like the History of Canada citation above, would be nearly as good because I will be able to follow up on it, assuming it contains specific citations from primary sources.

I am a novelist, author, and son of a journalist. My father worked as a newspaper columnist and city/regional editor from his enlistment in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 to his death in 1995. My best known work is Lost Humanity, an analysis of the television programme Lost (2004-2010). Lost Humanity was the #1 bestselling book on Lost from 2011 to 2012. For more than 15 weeks during that time period it was the #1 bestselling television companion book. My best known novel is Cartier's Ring, A Novel of Canada, an Aboriginal perspective on critical events in 16th century Canada. Based on 12 years of research including dozens of trips to Ontario, Québec, and Upstate New York (from as far away as Colorado!), Cartier's Ring, A Novel of Canada, was completed two years before I knew of my Loyalist descent (my sister, the family genealogist and a staunch Patriot, began her genealogy work hoping to find Patriot ancestors. She discovered, to her horror, that we descend from Daniel Smith, one of the most notorious of Connecticut's Loyalists. I was pleased beyond words!). I write as Pearson Moore. The history may be written under my name or under my Pearson Moore pen name. I have not yet decided.

I will be grateful for all help. Some people, knowing that this book will not be entirely flattering to the United States, may wish to withhold their names, and this is why I said in my previous email that anyone helping me will be offered the opportunity to appear in the acknowledgements section of the book; I don't assume that everyone who helps will wish to have their name associated with the work. Regardless, I will personally thank everyone who helps.

...Del Freeberg, UE

Military Information About Andrew Kimmerly 2nd Bn KRRNY

My 4x great grandfather was Andrew Kimmerly (Kimmerley, Kimerly, Kimmerle, Kammerer, Kaemmerer, Kummerer, Kammerling) who was of Palatine German descent. He had land petitions in Lennox and Addington County area as Kimmerly and Kimmerley. I have found out a great deal about him but am hoping to get more military background and try to obtain copies of any actual paperwork pertaining to him.

Response re Andrew Kimmerly

Here are my findings about your ancestor.

Andrew Kimmerly, who was born in Stone Arabia, NY, joined the 2nd battalion, King's Royal Regiment of New York on 12 November 1780 after the large raid into the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys the previous October. This successful raid was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnson of the KRR NY. Whether Andrew had been taken prisoner in arms and persuaded to enter the King's service, or had voluntarily come away when the raiders destroyed the harvest and farms at Stone Arabia has not been proven conclusively; however, I've made a meticulous study of rebel prisoners taken, and recruits gained, during the raid and Andrew was not among them.

James F. Morrison's master roll of "Colonel Jacob Klock's Regiment, Tryon County Militia" (self published, 1992) has no Kimmerlys listed. Klock's regiment was from the Palatine Distict of the Mohawk Valley, which included Stone Arabia. However, although Andrew may have been born in Stone Arabia, I've found nothing to indicate that he was there in 1780. He may have migrated elsewhere.

The fact that his enlistment date is 12Nov80 suggests he was not recruited during the raid, as those recruits have enlistment dates ranging from 16-25Oct80 and one 01Nov80. Mind you, he may have come off with the raid, but been sick or wounded and not capable of duty – then, enlisted when he came out of the hospital. That is possible, but it would be more likely that he would enlist on the spot and them enter the regimental hospital when in Canada, whether sick or wounded.

A KRR NY size roll notes that Andrew was 5' 4" tall. Rolls indicate that he served in the battalion from 1780 to 83.

In 1784, he settled at Cataraqui Township No.3 (Frederickburgh) as a single man. He married Susannah Sagar circa 1787.

I have not found any specific paperwork relating to Andrew, other than these brief entries noted above. I don't believe there were such things as enlistment papers. At least, in forty years of research, I've never seen any. However, there were discharge certificates, but only a handful of these have survived intact and Andrew's is not among those that have been found.

There is a regimental history of the KRR NY written by Ernest Cruikshank, a famous Canadian historian. Here's a link to that book.

I have written several books dealing with the history of the war as waged from Canada. The book dealing with the raids of October 1780 is The Burning of the Valleys: Daring Raids from Canada Against the New York Frontier in the Fall of 1780. This book lists all the recruits and prisoners taken. If you are interested, the cheapest way of purchasing a copy is through Amazon.ca.

Two books that deal with the 2nd battalion's activities are A dirty, trifling, piece of business, Vol. 1: The Revolutionary War as Waged from Canada in 1781 and I Am Heartily Ashamed, Vol. 2: The Revolutionary War's Final Campaign as Waged from Canada in 1782. Again, the cheapest method of buying these is through Amazon.

If you have any interest in living the life of a Royal Yorker infantryman, consider joining our reenactment unit. One of our serjeants, Sean Finnegan, lives in Peterborough and he would be very helpful in getting you started. Sean is descended from the Fikes family, who also served in 2KRR.

...Gavin Watt, H/VP UELAC

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