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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2014 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2014-21: May 25, 2014

Articles

Focus 230: Creating the First Loyalist Colony, by Stephen Davidson

On August 16, 2014, New Brunswick, the first colony to be created by loyalist refugees, will be 230 years old. Tens of thousands of loyal Americans from all along the Atlantic seaboard flooded into its bays and rivers throughout 1783. It was only a year after their arrival that this portion of "New Scotland" became the British Empire's first loyalist colony. And it all began as a means to achieve the loyalists' vision for a new and better American colony.

Although most of them hailed from New York, the loyalists who settled in what would become New Brunswick represented settlers from all over the Thirteen Colonies. Black loyalists from Virginia, retired soldiers from Maryland, government officials from Massachusetts, craftsmen from Connecticut, Quakers and Baptists from Pennsylvania, German descendants from New Jersey, French Huguenots, South Carolina planters, displaced persons from East Florida, and Jewish settlers are just some of those who made new homes north of the Bay of Fundy. Given that citizens of the separate thirteen colonies did not always get along before the American Revolution, it is amazing that tens of thousands of refugees were able to find enough common ground after disembarking from evacuation ships to create a new colony in just over a year.

Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, was far off on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Colonial administrators found it difficult to oversee loyalist settlement, distribute aid, and allocate land. Edward Winslow, a Massachusetts loyalist, and other recent settlers at the mouth of the St. John River felt that the only way to meet the needs of the refugee settlers was to create a separate colony. After considering the petitions of the loyalists, the British government agreed.

The new colony would begin at the Isthmus of Chignecto, extend as far west as the St. Croix River and reach as far north as the Gaspe Penninsula. Today that area comprises 72, 908 square kilometers, not very large by Canadian standards. But in its day, the new loyalist colony had more land than either Connecticut,. Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maryland, or New Jersey.

And of course, the colony's loyalist character showed itself in every detail. The colony was named for the northern German city of Braunschweig, the ancestral home of King George III. New Brunswick's capital city, Fredericton, was named in honour of the king's second son, Prince Frederick Augustus, the Duke of York. The colony's first governor was Thomas Carleton, brother of Sir Guy Carleton. The latter had been the saviour of the loyalist evacuees in New York City and subsequently became the governor of all British North America. When a royal seal was devised for New Brunswick, it showed a ship sailing up a river (commemorating the means of loyalist arrival), and had the motto "Spem Reduxit" , meaning "Hope Restored".

Because of its huge number of loyalist settlers and its formation so near to the conclusion of the War of Independence, New Brunswick gives us a glimpse of the passions and visions of the loyalist refugees. Edward Winslow, who would eventually attain power within the colonial government, vowed that "we will be the envy of the American states...when the people of the neighbouring states shall observe our operations ... and compare their state with ours, will they not envy us? Surely they will." Here was a man on a mission.

Even before the loyalists left New York, they began to make plans to found a university in their new colony. Nineteen scholars and ministers met in 1783 to create a "Plan of [a] Religious and Literary Institution for the Province of Nova Scotia". These loyalists were quick to recognize that if Britain did not provide higher learning in British North America, their sons would travel to the new United States to receive a university degree. In the new republic, loyalist offspring would be instructed in "principles contrary to the British Constitution". Consequently, the far-seeing loyalists drew up a plan to present to the government in Britain urging it to found "a College . . . where Youth may receive a virtuous Education".

The dream of a university would take awhile to realize. By 1785, seven loyalists presented Thomas Carleton with a petition to create an "academy or school of liberal arts and sciences," which they felt would have many "public advantages and ... conveniences." The Provincial Academy of Arts and Sciences was created on paper, but would not admit students until 1800 when it became the College of New Brunswick. A provincial charter made it the first state-sponsored college in all of British North America. Fifty-nine years later, the college founded by loyalists became the University of New Brunswick.

The first loyalist newspaper could be bought in December of 1783. Three years later, even though it had only 3,000 residents, Saint John had two newspapers. A Masonic Lodge and Scots Friendly Society were a part of the city's social life within a year of the loyalists' arrival. 1784 also saw the appointment of the first judges of the colony's supreme court. The speed at which the colony achieved "normalcy" is astounding.

Saint John has the distinction of being the first incorporated city in British North America. In 1785, it received a royal charter that, among other things, united the twin communities of Parrtown and Carleton. Its motto read "O fortunate ones, whose walls rise up already!"

By the end of that year, Governor Carleton called for New Brunswick's first colony-wide election. The normal practice in such cases (whether in England or the former Thirteen Colonies) was to restrict voting to white adult males who owned land. But since the loyalists had not received their land grants, any white adult male could vote in that first New Brunswick election – this was a precedent-setting event for North America, and it happened in the continent's first refugee colony. The only parallel to this is to be found in another loyalist settlement further to the east.

Founded in 1792, the West African colony of Sierra Leone had its first elections within six months of the arrival of its Black Loyalist founders. Women made up a third of all of the household heads, and so they were given the right to vote along with any men were over 21 years of age. These loyalist women were the first of their gender to vote in elections anywhere in the world.

Despite riots and election tampering (See David Bell's Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick for the full story), the first New Brunswick legislative assembly met in January of 1786. Within three years of their arrival in the northern wilderness, a loyalist society had not only been founded, it had acquired all of the necessary elements for a working government and economy.

To learn some of the stories of New Brunswick's fascinating founders, see next week's Loyalist Trails.


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

2014 Annual UELAC Conference: Chapel of St. Alban the Martyr, June 8

The "UELAC Centennial Celebration 1914 -- UELAC 2014" will be hosted by Toronto Branch at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on June 5-8, 2014, See conference details.

In our early days the UELA Ontario and UELAC had a close connection with the Chapel of St.Alban-the-Martyr in Toronto. Arbour Days were celebrated by tree plantings at Queen's Park in 1901 and 1902 with the participation of the St. Albans Cathedral Choir.

Many special events were held over the years, with some becoming an annual event. The Empire Day service was held in St. Alban's Cathedral on Sunday May 25 1919 when the chaplain of the UELAC and rector of St. Albans', Rev. Canon Macnab would be the special preacher. Later the annual church service started to rotate through other churches such as St. John The Baptist church, Dixie; and St.Georges, John St. In 1922 the service was held at St Paul's Church, Bloor St. and Canon Cody preached on "The Adventures of Faith" of our Loyalist ancestors.

May 15 1927 the annual church service of the Association was held at St. Albans Cathedral. The sermon was preached by the association chaplain Rev. HV Thompson, MA , Rural Dean of the Deanery of Peel.

The UELAC in 1930 took part in the "Builders of the Empire," an operatic drama directed by Herbert Shorse and featuring the St. Albans Cathedral Choir.

Rev. Canon Macnab joined the association in 1899 and was a member of the executive in 1901; VP in 1902 and President from 1906-1908. He was made Honorary chaplain in 1912. He celebrated 50 years of ordination in 1924.

E.M. Chadwick was legal advisor and later in 1912 Honorary Genealogist of the UELA of Ontario. At our service of morning prayer on June 8th. At 10 a.m. Jonathan Lofft, archivist for Royal St. Georges College and curator of the Chapel of St. Alban-the-Martyr will give us a short talk on Chadwick. His doctoral dissertation, being written at U of T, is the life of E.M. Chadwick, one of the founders of the UEL Association and one of the forces behind St. Albans. In fact, Chadwick`s historic home on Howland Avenue is just across the street from the Church!

N.B. There is a flight of steps up to the Chapel and we have been informed that the elevator at the Chapel is not working.

Costume Parade: this year there will not be a formal costume or period clothing parade. You are welcome and encouraged to get into the spirit - wear your costumes at any of the events: the tour, walking tour, Burwash Hall, the Gala or Chapel.

...Martha Hemphill UE, Conference Chair, Toronto Branch

An Atlantic Region Tour: 3 Provinces, 3 Days; by Bonnie Schepers

Over the Victoria Day weekend of Friday to Sunday, I had the pleasure of a whirlwind tour with stops in PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Highlights included:

- unveiling of two paintings in the Loyalist Exhibit in the Bedeque Museum, PEI

- presentation of the charter to the newly-named Nova Scotia Branch

- New Brunswick Loyalist Day celebrations in Saint John

Thanks to my Branch hosts throughout and especially road companions Jim McKenzie and David Laskey. Read about the activities and see some of the photos in An Atlantic Region Tour: 3 Provinces, 3 Days (PDF).

...Bonnie Schepers

United Empire Loyalist Commemorative Service, 22 June, Adolphustown

You are cordially invited to attend the Sung Evensong United Empire Loyalist commemorative service at St. Alban The Martyr Anglican Church, Adolphustown.

Date: June 22, 2014, at 2:00pm

To celebrate the 230th anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists at Adolphustown in June 1784

Officiant: Reverend Dr. John Walmsley

Guest Speaker: Orland French, author & historian

A Loyalist Tea will follow the service

Enquiries: 613 373-8865

See the announcement (PDF) – or for more about St. Alban the Martyr Anglican Church, visit our website.

...Diane Berlet

Bicentennial Service Awards

The development of Loyally Yours – 100 Years of The UELAC revealed many forgotten details of our past. In 1983 and 1984, as part of the observations marking the bicentennial of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists, the UELAC established a series of awards for extended service and contribution to the Association. A sample certificate was discovered in our archives and Charles J. Humber, UELAC President 1983-84 provided his Bicentennial Service Medal to be photographed for our records. Images and the names of the twenty members honoured with this award can be found in the Honours-Recognition folder of the Dominion website.

...Public Relations

Secord Land Grant on the Market

On December 1, 1798 a patent from the Crown was granted to James and David Secord for "all of Lots 16, 17, 18, Concession 6, Pelham, comprising 600 acres". Sixteen years later, on May 18, 1814 as the last summer of the War of 1812 was about to erupt, David Secord sold to George Metler "the land and all the waters thereon."

Read more about the history of this property and the house in the article "The Metler - Thin Home" from a calendar printed by the Pelham Historical Society. Do any of the "authentic features" noted in the calendar description still appear today?

Then compare the house in that photo to the real estate listings, with photos from the interior, of the property for sale today. Views one. Views two.

Susan Henry, who is descended from Metlers in that area - these or others - has submitted these notes.

Where in the World?

Where is Calgary Branch member Ivy Trumpour?

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

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Pickell, John Sr. and sons Christopher, Jacob and John Jr. – from Judy Pickell Kroeker


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

Last Post: Earle Thomas, HVP, UELAC

Passed away at the Kingston General Hospital on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 after a short illness. He was born in Tay Creek, New Brunswick on July 12th, 1916. After graduating from Fredericton High School and the New Brunswick Teachers' College, he spent several years teaching in various parts of the province before joining the RCAF and serving nearly five years. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Faith Ingraham Thomas and three much loved children: Judith Gilbert of Grand Forks, BC, Graham Thomas of Kingston and Andrew Thomas (Alicia Borisonik) of Gatineau, QC. He is also survived by grandchildren and by his sister Clara Allen of Edmonton, and brothers, Allan Thomas of Kamloops, BC and Irvine Thomas and Robert Thomas, both of Fredericton.

After his discharge from the RCAF, Earle carried on with his education, earning an honours BA from the University of New Brunswick and an MA from Queen's University. His family moved to Montreal; he had accepted a position with the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, retiring twenty-five years later as a district superintendent. He returned to university and in 1979 was awarded a PhD in history, his field of study being the American Revolution and the United Empire Loyalists. He took up residence in Kingston and turned his attention to writing - four books and innumerable articles for magazines and other publications.

Memorial Service were held on Saturday, January 26th 2013. Interment of ashes at a later date in Glenhaven Memorial Gardens, Glenburnie.

Dr. Thomas served as an Honorary Vice President of the UELAC. More about him can be found in Honorary Officers within the UELAC Honours and Recognition section.

Queries

Response re American Patriots and 1837 Quebec Patriotes

Last week Dan Odell wondered about American Patriots and 1837 Quebec Patriotes. In Lower Canada, the term "Patriotes" was adopted by reformers, especially French reformers, inspired in part by the American Revolution.

By the time of the 1837 Rebellion - those fighting for independence called themselves "patriotes" or "patriots" while those opposed called them "rebels." Similarly, in Upper Canada and its simultaneous rebellion of 1837, the insurgents often (but not always) called themselves "patriots."

In the US, largely because of widespread sympathy for both rebellions, especially in Vermont, New York, Ohio and Michigan,the rebellions came to be called the "Patriot War."

In Canada, although more loyalists were opposed to the rebellion (and fought against it), many "rebels" or "patriots" were descendants of UE families, including, in Upper Canada, Peter Matthews who was arrested and hanged.

Terminology usually reflects ideology. Americans who joined Canadians in 1838 in various border raids, invasions of Canada (mainly Upper Canada) with a purpose of re-igniting the fires of revolution, may have called themselves "patriots" but their opponents often called them "pirates" because they were seen as opportunists invading only for personal gain.

However, Loyalists who came to Canada in the wake of the American Revolution were not necessarily.

...Chris Raible

Trying to find Tamson Park

I am seeking more information about What were Tamson Park, her years of birth, marriage and death and more?

The Haldimand Papers about Refugee Camps in 1768-1784 along the St. Lawrence river near Trois Rivieres include information about Machiche. In the 1779 Provision lists there is a Nathani(e)l Park who had a wife and 2 daughters, one over 10 & 1 son.

Next to Nathaniel was a Martin Middaugh who married Mary Huff in 1783. Mary was the oldest child of Widdow Huff who was also on the 1779 list with 6 children.

In 1809 Mary Middaugh petitioned for land as daughter of a UEL.

Also in 1809 Martin Middaugh petitioned for land for a wife named Tamson Park who was "deceast." but who would once have been a daughter of a UE and had not been granted any land.

Putting all this together we have Tamson marriageable in 1779, married to Martin Middaugh and "deceast" between 1779-1783.

I have been unable to find any other data on Tamson. If anyone can help, I would very much appreciate.

...Don Maxwell

Information on the John Pickell Family

Thank you for adding John Pickell and his sons Christopher, Jacob and John Jr to the Loyalist Directory. The two claims as published in the Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario, parts 1 & 2 clearly show a John Pickell and a John Pickle.

- https://archive.org/stream/reportpart202ontauoft#page/n421/mode/1up

- https://archive.org/stream/report02archgoog#page/n428/mode/2up

There seems to be little information about the former family, but as I live in Oregon, I am not familiar with many of the possible sources. Any information about this family, or suggestions for further research especially from a distance would be most appreciated.

...Judy Kroeker

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