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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2017 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2017-14: April 2, 2017

Articles

2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots

June 22 - 25, 2017; London, Ontario

Hosted by: London & Western Ontario Branch and Grand River Branch

Registration and details.

Unpacking a 1784 Land Grant (Part Two): Lost Stories of Loyalist Grantees

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Four months after their arrival in what would become the loyalist colony of New Brunswick, 39 members of the Prince of Wales American Regiment (PWAR) were granted land by the British government. Most of the grantees listed on the survey have been lost to history*. However, an interesting handful of stories around these loyal veterans have survived, including those of men who later settled in Upper Canada.

Like many of the men in the PWAR, Munson Hoyt (also spelled Monson Hait), was a native of Connecticut. As a lieutenant in Lyman's infantry company, Hoyt received 550 acres of land on the Nashwaak River. He joined the PWAR in 1777 when he was just 24 years old, becoming the corps' quartermaster. His aptitude for management would later serve him well in New Brunswick. In the months that followed his arrival at St. Anne's Point, Hoyt helped to lay out the loyalist settlement that became Fredericton. In time, he was appointed a justice of the peace for York County.

By 1786 Hoyt had entered into a trading partnership with another Connecticut loyalist. He and Benedict Arnold began a profitable trade with the West Indies that lasted for three years. When Hoyt was unable to repay loans made to him by Arnold, the loyalist general took his partner to court and was awarded £2,500. The wrangling intensified and Hoyt allleged that Arnold had deliberately set their store on fire in 1788 to receive the insurance money. Arnold then sued his partner for slander. The loyalist judges who heard the case found Munson Hoyt guilty as charged in September 1791, but only awarded Arnold the equivalent of 50 cents in damages. Within a few weeks, the humiliated Arnold and his family left New Brunswick that fall.

Within a year's time, Hoyt married Lucretia Hammond of Jamaica, New York in April of 1792. Given that he died fifteen years later in New York City, it would seem that the loyalist lieutenant had left New Brunswick for good. While he turned his back on a sizeable land grant on the Nashwaak River, Hoyt did hold on to at least two souvenirs of his service to the crown. Both his red waistcoat and his PWAR officer's coat (see photo) went back to the United States with him, eventually becoming part of the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society.

The stories of other PWAR soldiers whose names are found on the Nashwaak River land grant are very short. Like Munson Hoyt, John Kirk did not remain in the Fredericton area for long. The private who received 100 acres can only be found in two other references that place him in Saint John immediately within a year of his arrival. The New York farmer was among the members of New Brunswick's very first grand jury.

In less than a year after Loyalist refugees settled in Parrtown, a woman killed her abusive husband by stabbing him in the head with a kitchen fork. Immediately, the wheels of justice began to turn. A grand jury of 19 members was selected in October of 1784 to examine the validity of the charges against Nancy Mosley to determine if a trial was warranted. This was the first grand jury in Canada's legal history to be comprised of Loyalists.

John Kirk and his fellow jurors heard the evidence of three of the accused murderer's neighbours. The latter had to "answer to such questions which shall be then asked ... by the Supreme Court". Along with the findings of the coroner's jury, there was sufficient evidence for the grand jury to issue an indictment, charging Nancy Mosley with the murder of her husband. Having done their civic duty, the province's first grand jury returned to their everyday responsibilities.

John Kirk's last appearance in the print was in 1786 when the New Brunswick Royal Gazette reported the death of his 33 year-old wife Anna in Saint John.

William Tyler, a native of Charlotte County, New York, received a 200 acre grant. William Kennedy, a private in the PWAR, was granted 100 acres. After sixteen years in New Brunswick, both veterans sought better prospects in Upper Canada. In October of 1799, both men appeared before the council of York, "praying for such portion of lands in this Province as may be deemed meet." Their petition explains why they abandoned their initial land grants along the Nashwaak River. They had "settled in New Brunswick on a small portion of land which was granted to them and on which they have since resided, but from the too small quantity of land fit for cultivation and the very great severity of the Climate they are now compelled to abandon it with large families."

The two veterans were not alone in their estimation of their river grants. In her landmark book, The Loyalists of New Brunswick, Esther Clark Wright observed, "At first, there was a great scramble for lots on the Nashwaak and its tributaries, but nearness to Fredericton could not compensate for the hilliness of much of the terrain."

Other veterans of the Prince of Wales American Regiment also decided to make the long journey to Upper Canada in hopes of a better life. Next week, discover more about Titus Finch, the loyalist soldier who has the longest -- and most tangled---story of any of the original settlers of the Nashwaak River. While he would never achieve political office, judicial appointment, or financial success -- and while he would neither die abroad nor in the local poorhouse, Titus Finch would nevertheless be remembered by both a large number of descendants and generations of Baptists in Ontario's Norfolk County.

*For a complete transcript of the land grants, see here.


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

Rabble.ca: Canada's earliest immigration policies made it a safe haven for escaped slaves

Penney Kome, March 26, 2017

This is the second blog in a series about how Canada has historcially served as a place of refuge during uncertain times in the U.S. Read the first installment here.

By the time the United Empire Loyalists (British subjects who rejected the 1776 Revolution) were settling in and founding family dynasties, another group started to arrive.

The Underground Railroad began in the 1780s and peaked between 1840-60, helping escaped slaves reach safety in (mostly) slavery-free Canada. Volunteers on both sides arranged safe houses and co-ordinated passage across the U.S.-Canada border.

Since Southern states had laws against teaching slaves to read or write -- or giving them shoes -- Blacks used work songs to spread instructions about how to travel north. For example, "Follow the Drinking Gourd" urges runaways to find and follow the North Star. The "drinking gourd" is the Big Dipper.

"It is impossible to know for certain how many slaves found freedom by way of the railroad, but it may have been as many as 30 000," says Black History Canada. "The railroad's traffic reached its peak between 1840 and 1860, especially after the U.S. passed its Fugitive Slave Act in 1850.

Read more.

Borealia: Teaching Early Canadian History in the United States

About a year ago, Christopher Parsons suggested the idea that Borealia host an online conversation about being "early Canadianists" in the United States. He observed that there are a growing number of such cross-border historians, and still more Canadian PhDs are looking for jobs at American schools. It would be interesting, he said, to compare experiences with others who have made the transition. So we invited Parsons, along with Claire Campbell, Alexandre Dubé, and Jeffers Lennox, to sit down with editor Keith Grant for just such a conversation. It was a good long chat, so it will be posted in three parts. (Because the conversation took place over a few weeks, Alexandre was not able to respond to some of the later questions.)

... Editors


Claire Campbell: I did a MA in public history and then a PhD in history at Western University (then the University of Western Ontario). After that (2002-2013), I taught in Denmark, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. While in Canada I taught the garden-variety-eclectic range of Canadian history classes (regional, public, environmental) but then began doing more and more teaching in interdisciplinary programs in Canadian Studies and Environment, Society, & Sustainability. It also became clearer that environmental history was emerging as a really important and exciting field in Canada, thanks especially to NiCHE (the Network in Canadian History & Environment). So I've done almost all my research in this area.


Alexandre Dubé: In my case, it felt very much like a slow process of crossing multiple borders, in a way that retrospectively looks like a series of improvisations. I didn't really know what I was doing. I began with a BA at Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM), before doing an MA at McGill and a PhD at McGill, all the while working at the McCord Museum. After the PhD, I had a postdoc in Paris, and other fellowships in Rhode Island and Virginia, before returning to Canada, at McMaster, and then back to the US at Washington University in St. Louis.


Jeffers Lennox: So, I never in a million years thought I'd end up in "the States." I grew up in a family that was steeped in Canadian history. The three kids now joke often about the rounds of "provinces and capitals" that we would play at the dinner table. My father, a prof of Canadian literature, ensured that we cared about Canada.

I was drawn to Canadian history during my undergrad at the University of Toronto, inspired in part by classes with Arthur Silver and Ian Radforth. But my specific interests were pre-national, or what Canadian schools lump together as "pre-Confederation." MA and PhD work at Dalhousie with Jerry Bannister (and Claire!) really opened my eyes to the field's potential. I was also inspired by the Atlantic approach, which helped broaden my research interests. Acadia / Nova Scotia / Mi'kma'ki ended up being a great geographic construction to study because it was Indigenous, French, British, and American in different ways.


Christopher Parsons: I've actually found the "fit" as an Atlantic historian in the United States a better one than I think I might have found as a Canadianist. So the opportunity to move to the states has been a welcome one for me.

I didn't start out with an interest in Canadian history when I started at UBC as an undergrad. I got into it through a class on medical history and, in particular, reading about Alfred Crosby's The Columbian Exchange. I found both Crosby's method and the scale of his project exciting. As a project for this class, I wrote about the role of disease in the experience of 19th century aboriginal communities (particularly the Blackfoot)---research that I continued in an honours project.

Read more; then Part 2: In the Classroom; and Part 3.

JAR: Fort Anne: Remembering the Continental Army's First Stand Against Burgoyne

By Michael Jacobson March 22, 2017

Burgoyne's campaign of 1777 has been termed a turning point in the American Revolution.[1] Marked by the Continental Army's victories at the battles of Bennington and Saratoga, the campaign came to show the limits of the British army and gave credence to and international recognition of the American cause. Hidden in these histories of Burgoyne's campaign is the role two days of fighting near Fort Anne had in shaping the later campaign. On July 7 and 8, 1777, remnants of the Continental forces retreating from Fort Ticonderoga and Skenesborough along with members of the Albany Militia engaged the British 9th Regiment of Foot on what is now known as Battle Hill outside of the village of Fort Ann, New York.[2] On the steep slopes of Battle Hill, the Continental Army fought for two main reasons: to stall the British army's advance and to regain confidence after a series of devastating losses.

The events leading to Fort Anne began on the night of July 5, 1777. With the positioning of British artillery atop Mount Defiance, Continental Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair saw his army's defense of Fort Ticonderoga as untenable.[3] He planned to secret his army out of Fort Ticonderoga. While he led his main army of about 2,000 troops east towards Hubbardton, a small contingent of women and sick and wounded soldiers under the guard of Col. Pierse Long's New Hampshire Regiment traveled south on bateau to Skenesborough (present day Whitehall, New York).[4] Long's flotilla made its way to Skenesborough, but was followed within hours by Burgoyne's fleet.[5] Burgoyne's ships fired on Long's flotilla while the 9th, 20th, and 21st Regiments took to the land to outflank the Continentals. Even after joining Scammell's Company of the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment at Skenesborough, Long's forces were unable to make a stand against the British. As Continental Army surgeon James Thacher described it, "The officers of our guard now attempted to rally the men and form them in battle array; but this was found impossible, every effort proved unavailing, and in the utmost panic, they were seen to fly in every direction for personal safety."[6] In the confusion, the Continentals abandoned Skenesborough along with most of their supplies and personal belongings.

Read more.

Rev War Talk: Thomas Carleton

Born in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Ireland to Christoper Carleton and his wife Catherine Ball, he was the younger brother of Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester. As part of a military family, Thomas joined the British Army at a young age.

In 1753, he was an ensign in the 20th Regiment of Foot and saw action with his regiment during the Seven Years' War. After the conclusion of the Seven Years War, Thomas Carleton served as an observer during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768--1774.

In 1776 during the American Revolutionary War, as a lieutenant colonel, he arrived in Quebec City with forces to relieve his brother, Sir Guy Carleton, the Governor General of Canada, who was besieged in the city by Continental Army troops.

Read more.

Scholar: Where Is This Place in Colonial Virginia? Help Required!

March 27, 2017 by Steph Walters

It's been an interesting year creating my new data sheets based on the Loyalist Claims Commission and the Book of Negroes. Using these incredibly detailed document collections has allowed me to create datasets listing all of the interesting social data that will allow me to better understand my loyalists, reconstruct their communities, day to day lives, and how they spent their years after the Revolutionary War. Now I am in the data cleaning phase where I have to go through and make sure all of my columns are ready to be read by my software of choice, 'R'. In my dissertation, a huge portion of my digital component depends on the coordinates for colonial towns, cities, and counties in 18th-century Virginia. I want to show on maps loyalist populations, geographic networks, communities, and pre/post war maps for all Virginia loyalists. My latest task is locating each of these areas and giving them coordinates. However, what seems like a simple process is actually a lot more difficult than I previously imagined. Why? Virginia changes A LOT between the Revolutionary War and today--geographically and culturally.

For my loyalist claims dataset, I have had a lot of issues figuring out geographic locations. When submitting claims, white loyalists were a lot less specific on their locations. For instance, many loyalists just say they are from "Virginia." No city, no county, no parish. Just Virginia. However, thanks to outside sources, I've been able to narrow some of these areas down via clues in their claims and other document collections that mention loyalist locations. Thanks deeds, wills, and tax records!

Read more.

Help: Listed below the article are names which need to be better placed. Helpful comments can be added to the foot of the article.

Background: Keeping Sane

I think it's pretty apparent to everyone--in and outside of the field of history--that I have a slight obsession with my dissertation topic. As an aspiring academic, I spend my days researching and creating historical data sets on loyalists. As a regular (ha!) person I spend my evenings and weekends going to historic sites and figuring out ways I can turn my vacations (also, ha!) into research trips. There isn't a waking moment that I'm not thinking about my work

In order to keep myself motivated I realized that I needed to go back to some of my roots and remember that there used to be a Stephanie before I started all of these different degree programs. Growing up in Mississippi I was raised by a man who loved to get lost--on purpose.

For a fun read, see how getting lost improves results!

Scholar: UELAC Pin

All set & ready to give my paper on NY's loyalists in the American Antiquarian panel tomorrow. I think this calls for my @uelac pin!

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued in February

A list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 -- showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date -- has been updated with the certificates issued in February of this year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Where in the World?

Can you identify the celebrants, the reason, and the location?

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 your submission to the editor at loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

  • Joseph Brant's 1780 Attack on Canajohary, By Wayne Lenig. Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 6:30 PM at the Van Alstyne Homestead, located 42 Moyer St, Canajoharie, NY 13317. Description: Original accounts of the August 2nd raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A newspaper account dated September 9, 1780 stated the following: "At the fort now called fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners." The incursion had been more than just a raid however. Research has shown that the Mohawk Valley attacks of 1780 were part of a deliberate British strategy to depopulate the area so that the lands could be retained after the war and thus make the Mohawk the new border between the United States and Canada. Tours of the 1730 Van Alstyne Homestead will be held after the presentation. More details. Fort Plain Museum.
  • New Sign received today for Nova Scotia Branch of United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Rare first-hand account of the American revolutionary war takes record bid at Bonhams. Privately printed and distributed in Exeter in 1787, probably in quite small numbers, a copy of John Grave Simcoe's 'Journal of the Operations of the Queen's Rangers, from the End of the Year 1777, to the Conclusion of the Late American War' drew strong interest at a Bonhams New York sale earlier this month.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos)
    • 16 Mar 1778 London House of Commons creates a peace commission to negotiate with the Americans because France recognized the US
    • 18 Mar 1766 Parliament accedes to American resolve and repeals Stamp Act, but later goes on to pass Townshend Acts.
    • 20 Mar 1783 British Prime Minister North becomes first PM drummed out of office, over loss of American Revolution.
    • 22 Mar 1765 Parliament passes Stamp Act, initiating violent American protests that eventually lead to Revolution.
    • 23 Mar 1775 Patrick Henry gives speech with famous phrase, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
    • 24 Mar 1765 Parliament passes Quartering Act; when US Constitution framed, 3rd Amendment resulted from this Act.
    • 25 Mar 1774 Parliament orders closure of port of Boston in retribution for the Boston Tea Party.
    • 26 Mar 1776 The South-Carolina Provincial Congress adopts a new constitution & government.
    • 27 Mar 1775 Thomas Jefferson elected to represent Virginia to the Continental Congress.
    • 28 Mar 1774 Parliament passes Coercive Acts in punishment for the Boston Tea Party.
    • 29 Mar 1776 Washington appoints Major General Putnam commander of the troops in New-York.
    • 30 Mar 1775 King George orders all foreign trade with New England colonies banned.
    • 31 Mar 1776 Abigail Adams urges her husband John to "Remember the Ladies" in making laws for the new nation.
  • We bet you never knew there was so much to learn about lace in the 18th century! In her youth, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington wore audacious yellow silks, purple slippers, and accessorized with glittering gems. Style was no stranger, and Martha proved a leader amongst the fashionable elite of Virginia. And she had the lace to prove it.
  • Follow in footsteps of the Black Loyalists (USA Today). As the American Revolutionary War raged, thousands of slaves fled their owners and joined ranks with the British army, buoyed by hopes of winning freedom and defeating their colonial oppressors. There was just one problem: The British lost the war. So in 1783, a huge contingent of these "Black Loyalists" fled persecution, torture and death by sailing from Manhattan to an unfamiliar new home in southwestern Nova Scotia. Read more...
  • Behind The Recipe - The Two Cakes. Today Kevin joins Jon, Amy, and Brian to dig a little deeper into the latest cooking episode.
  • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry is proud to have His Royal Highness Prince Philip as Colonel-in-Chief. Read 7 Surprising Facts About Prince Philip

Last Post

Clara L. Tupper, UE

Of London on Sunday, March 26, 2017 one week shy of her 104th birthday. Survived by her nephews, Dr. John Miller (Wei) of California and Mr. James Miller (Angela) of Michigan. Clara also leaves great and great great nieces and nephews. Clara was predeceased by her parents Alberta Shepherd and Clement Tupper, her sister Melissa Miller and her cherished great nephew Geoff Miller.

Clara began her teaching career in Norfolk and Oxford Counties. She later joined the London Board of Education as a primary teacher, reading clinician and Child Guidance Consultant. Clara also held a Master's Degree from Boston University. She contributed to numerous community organizations such as the London Camera Club, The McIlwraith Society, The English Speaking Union, The United Empire Loyalists, The Retired Women Teachers, IODE and Dundas Street Centre United Church.

A Memorial Service will be held at Dundas Street Centre United Church on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. with visitation 1 hour prior to the service with Rev. Wendy Noble officiating. Logan Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements. Private interment will take place at a later date.

Those wishing to make a donations are asked to consider the Dundas Street Centre United Church or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences at www.loganfh.ca.

Clara was a long-time member of the London and Western Ontario Branch, UELAC. At a lovely birthday party for her when she celebrated 100 years, branch members Ken Fitchett and June Klassen attended and presented her with certificates of congratulations from Queen Elizabeth, the Governor-General, Prime Minister, UELAC, and local politicians. She was a much beloved teacher.

Her Loyalist ancestor was James Clement, son of Lewis Cobes Clement. She also claimed descent from Sir Charles Tupper, a Father of Canadian Confederation.

...Carol Childs and June Klassen

Alvin D. Huffman, UE

Al was born in Windsor, Ontario to Donald and Katherine (Bailey) Huffman. He leaves his wife of 67 years, Joyce (Smale), their three children Robert (Sheila), Janet and Catherine, their three grand-daughters Emily, Stephanie and Alexa, and his brother Bruce (Kay).

Al served as an RCAF pilot during WWII, flying Halifax bombers. After the war he enrolled at the University of Toronto and graduated as a Chemical Engineer (Hons.) in 1949. He had a varied business career, living in many places across Canada, and retired in Winnipeg where he was President of CSP Foods. He moved to the Victoria area of Vancouver Island in 1992 to enjoy a milder climate. In his retirement he became involved with genealogy and was able to prove descent from five United Empire Loyalists. This earned him the honorific designation of U.E., Canada's only hereditary title. He was an active member of the local branch of the United Empire Loyalists of Canada, holding several executive positions. He was also a member of the Vancouver Island Aircrew Association, a life member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. He was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. A gathering of remembrance will be held on April 8th. The family wishes to thank the staff of Broadmead Lodge for their care of Al. Donations in Al's name may be made to the CAMH Foundation and will be directed to Alzheimer's Research. Published in The Times Colonist on Feb. 11, 2017.

Al was an active member of the Victoria Branch and was instrumental in establishing a garden project in Victoria's Inner Harbour the feature of which were the specimens of the Loyalist Rose together with a plaque honouring the Loyalists. He created a booth for the Branch's outreach and education program which is still in use today. In 2014 a scholarship was named the "UEL Victoria Branch Alvin Huffman Scholarship in Canadian History" in his honour. He was able to present it himself on several occasions before becoming ill. We are so very grateful for the dedicated service on the part of both Al and his wife Joyce over the years. We send our deepest condolences to Joyce and the family.

...Aurelie Stirling, UE, Victoria Branch

Editor's Note

From Doug:

Our Netherlands sailing days on this trip are over; we are now ensconced in an old hotel just a few blocks from the Central Station and Dam Square in Amsterdam. The internet service has improved; my energy has not necessarily followed suit. Yesterday (Saturday) we trained an hour east to Putten and saw the church where two of Nancy's ancestors were married in 1630 and their eldest son (also an ancestor) was born the year following. Today we attended service - in French of course - in the Old Walloon Church here in Amsterdam. Here two of Nancy's ancestors - Georges Rapalje and Catalina Tricot - married in January of 1624 and sailed days later for New Netherlands.

...Doug

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