Connect with us online:

Make a donation and help preserve Loyalist history
Make a donation and help
preserve Loyalist history

Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2018 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

“Loyalist Trails” 2018-19: May 13

Articles

UELAC Conference 2018

Conference 2018: "Loyalist Ties Under Living Skies"

June 7-10, 2018

Temple Garden Hotel and Spa, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Visit the Information and registration.

The Loyalist Family in Exile: Some Fascinating Insights

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Although they both share the same passion for the loyalist era, genealogists, loyalist descendants and professional historians sometimes fail to connect with one another. Historians miss the opportunity to discover family stories and artifacts when their schedules do not permit attendance at local historical societies; loyalist descendants can often be too narrowly focused on just the stories of their own ancestors, missing the bigger picture that academics have been able to piece together.

Fortunately, if loyalist descendants and genealogists did not attend the many academic conferences that are held each year, they can learn about historians' research by reading the published collections of the presentations given at such gatherings – even if the research was completed 25 years ago.

In the summer of 1993, Dr. Ann Gorman Condon shared her loyalist research with fellow historians at the Planter Studies Conference in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Her presentation, titled "The Family in Exile: Loyalist Social Values After the Revolution", sought to discover "the personal bonds and ideals which united {the loyalists} over such a long stretch of time" by examining the correspondence between upper class loyalists.

If, like me, you did not have the opportunity to hear Dr. Condon's fascinating presentation in 1993, here is a condensed version of what her research revealed.

Having only just begun her project at the time of the conference, Dr. Condon hoped to "at least hint at the tone and atmosphere of family life" among the loyalist elite. She wanted to "uncover the inner workings of power and intimacy among the people known universally in Canadian history as The Family Compact." After her initial examination of loyalist family correspondence in the Maritimes, Condon came to three major conclusions.

First, the family unit was the most important institution in the lives of the loyalist refugees. They could not return to their original homes, they would not give in to despair, and they had to come to terms with the harsh physical environment of their new homes. The only aspect of life that the loyalists could control with any hope of success was their day-to-day family life. Creating a private life with its intimate parties, building new homes with well-appointed furnishings, and providing opportunities to talk about experiences in the "States" before and after the revolution became the highest priority for the loyalist elite. Family – in 21st century jargon – was the "happy place" to which these displaced Americans retreated.

Second, there were psychological and sociological repercussions unique to loyalist society because these American settlers were not immigrants to a new land but exiles from their homeland. Exiles, maintained Condon, were "rootless, mutilated people, who live two lives simultaneously: first their ordinary life which they find dull ... and second their imagined life ... full of warmth, vitality and success".

The personal correspondence of the loyalist upper class in the Maritimes shows a preoccupation with the "remembered moments of glory and power in colonial America". The letters were for the most part cheerful rather than self-pitying for it was "clearly against the common code for either men or women to complain about their fate". Nevertheless, there was a preoccupation with the "good old days" that immigrants to British North America did not share with the loyalists.

Third, loyalist children were deeply affected by their parents' experiences during and following the American Revolution. Like the 20th century's baby boomers who carried the scars of their parent's depression-era childhoods, loyalist offspring "devoted a significant portion of their lives to redeeming their parents' fate by achieving great distinction in their professional lives". They became, in effect, "redeemer children", consciously or unconsciously seeking to restore honour to their families.

Henry Bliss was one such redeemer son. His father was Jonathan Bliss, a Massachusetts loyalist who had been appointed the first attorney general of New Brunswick in 1785. After a brilliant academic career, Henry settled in Great Britain, became a distinguished lawyer, ran for a seat in Parliament, and penned at least seven historical dramas.

Edward Jarvis, another "redeemer", was the son of Connecticut loyalist and merchant, Munson Jarvis. He left Saint John, New Brunswick to assume a government position in Malta, returning to the Maritimes to become the chief justice of Prince Edward Island. Disappointed with the social life of Charlottetown, Edward and his wife Maria built an enormous mansion where they gave parties that offered the kind of entertainment one would expect to find in London's finer circles.

Dr. Condon's research indicated that upper class loyalists' children were preoccupied with their parents' world, always trying to vindicate their parents' sacrifices. This meant that they were bound up with "could've/would've/should've"s rather than putting down roots in their new colonies.

At 27, Henry Bliss wrote to his brother, "I sometimes regret that Father did not take a different side, or that the side he did take was not more successful in the American Revolution. We should now have been great Yankees at Boston—full of money and self conceit." But by the end of the letter, he confessed that he was "well content with my destiny. How can people doubt that God is good?"

Condon's research led her to the conclusion that this dilemma of being between the world of loyalist parents and the realities of the new empire only resolved itself in the third generation of loyalists. It was the grandchildren of the original loyalist refugees who began to identify with their terrain and the common folk. They even began to join Protestant denominations that were an anathema to many Anglican upper class members following the revolution.

While the third generation commemorated the sacrifices of their loyalist grandparents, they did not obsess over it. "Loyalist elegance, Loyalist exclusivity and Loyalist intensity gradually dissolved. Although their grandchildren certainly respected their ancestors, they themselves had become Canadians and Victorians".

Condon concluded that the unique culture created by the loyalist refugees – the special conditions that resulted from being made exiles – lasted only two generations at the most. However, the values of the loyalists did not disappear. The glorification of the individual that was so prevalent in American culture of the 19th century simply did not take hold in Canada. "On the contrary, group loyalties to the community and the family, a cordial acceptance of the complementarity of the sexes, a strong emphasis on public duty as well as an equal insistence on the sheer joy of human companionship; all were values which the Loyalists brought with them."

Condon ended her presentation maintaining that Canada must "recognize the social virtues of wit, learning, style and profound human solidarity" that are part of the country's loyalist heritage.

These are fascinating insights that make one want to return to the stories of noteworthy loyalists (or loyalist ancestors) to determine if these dilemmas and values were shared by other members of the refugee elite – or those in the middle and working classes. Dr. Condon's research certainly makes one appreciate the new perspectives that academic exploration brings to our understanding of the loyalist era.

~*~

Editor's note: To read Dr. Condon's original paper on loyalist family values, buy or borrow Intimate Relations: Family and Community in Planter Nova Scotia, 1759 - 1800, a 1995 Acadiensis Press publication edited by Dr. Margaret Conrad. Dr. Condon, who authored The Envy of the American States: The Loyalist Dream for New Brunswick in 1984, died in 2001. A former member of the history department of the University of New Brunswick, Condon was also the author of numerous entries in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.


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

Week Six Update: Loyalist Scholarship – Celebrate Twenty

We're on Our Way! The amount raised to date is $1,540.00.

This week we added three branches to the growing list of donors. Thank you to Governor Simcoe Branch, Assiniboine Branch, and Kawartha Branch! We are delighted with the enthusiasm and creativity at work in support of scholarship.

Celebrate Twenty is Front and Centre

Assiniboine Branch writes: "I'm really pleased to say that this was discussed at our April 28, 2018 meeting in Brandon and was met with overwhelming approval. A motion was put forward that the Assiniboine Branch match donations up to $200.00 and was approved by all present. During the meeting there was over $200.00 raised from the membership meaning that over $400.00 will be sent in. This does not mean that others can't still donate. This is the second year in a row that the Assiniboine Branch met, and exceeded, the goal. Congratulations!"

And from Vancouver Branch: "The Vancouver Branch executive is very pleased to tell you that a motion to make a Branch donation to the 2018 Celebrate Twenty scholarship challenge passed unanimously last night. We will be using the money currently in our "coffee fund" and requesting a more generous coffee donation than usual during our refreshment break next week. Our hospitality hosts will prepare a sign for the donation box. At each meeting we run a Power Point silent slide show prior to calling the meeting to order and during our refreshment break. On Tuesday, May 15th we will highlight the scholarship challenge and the voting opportunity for the new logo during the slide show. I trust that when our treasurer is ready to send a cheque for this challenge we will have met the commitment of $200 per branch for the Scholarship Endowment Fund."

How can you participate, you ask? Individual donations are always welcome. For research to continue for generations to come, consider a bequest or an annual gift. Please give to the Scholarship Endowment Fund and join us as we build a legacy. The end date for this challenge is July 1, 2018.

But Wait, There's More - Scholarship is getting a New Look!

UELAC is introducing a logo design dedicated to Loyalist Scholarship and we need your input. How? Follow the link below, or use the 'graduate cap' link on the UELAC homepage, to vote for your favourite. Voting is open now with a deadline of June 4, King George III's birthday (280 years ago). The winning design will be announced on June 8 at the UELAC Conference in Moose Jaw, SK.

Help choose the new Loyalist Scholarship Logo – Vote Now!

...Bonnie Schepers, Scholarship Chair

Ontario Licence Plates: SPRING SELLOUT – FINAL OFFER

Thanks to outstanding support from Kingston, Toronto and Grand River Branches we are now down to the final EIGHT sets. There will not be a third order from MTO.

This year, on May 27, UELAC will mark the 104th anniversary of its formation when an Act (Chapter 146, 4-5, Geo. V, 1914) was passed by the Parliament of Canada. If you are a new member of an Ontario branch of UELAC, you may not know of our special centenary Ontario Licence Plate project that kicked off the 2014 celebrations.

With 8 plates beginning with 02UE, you still have a chance to get a plate that you will remember and cause comments wherever you drive.

SAVE: Until May 27 you can save 30 dollars off the original price when you place your order. That means we will also ship your request FREE!

Take these 2 steps now:

• Email education@uelac.org with your preferred number chosen from the following: 23, 26, 27, 28, 72, 73, 77, 90.

• Send your cheque for $80.00 and this form to the George Brown House office

If you have already shown your support of this UELAC Project, I thank you.

...Fred H. Hayward UE, UELAC Education Committee

Guy Johnson (c.1740 - 5 March 1788)

Guy was an Irish-born military officer and diplomat for the Crown during the American War of Independence. He had migrated to the Province of New York as a young man and worked with his uncle, Sir William Johnson, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs of the northern colonies.

He was appointed as his successor in 1774. The following year, Johnson relocated with Loyalist supporters to Canada as tensions rose in New York before the American Revolutionary War. He directed joint militia and Mohawk military actions in the Mohawk Valley. Accused of falsifying reports, he went to London to defend himself after the war, and died there in 1788.

Read more.

JAR: The Strange Case of "Charles de Weissenstein"

by Richard J. Werther 9 May 2018

Early one morning in late June 1778, an unknown passerby tossed a package of documents that clanged against the gate at Benjamin Franklin's home in Passy, France.[1] In it was a letter addressed to Franklin dated June 16, 1778 from one "Charles de Weissenstein," writing from Brussels. In addition to the letter, the package contained two other documents, titled Project for Allaying the Present Ferments in North America and An Outline of the Future Government in America. The flurry of activity that followed provides a unique window into the state of both American and British thinking on the Revolution at the time and the nature of the alliance between France and America. It also provided bit of drama: a clandestine rendezvous that turned into a police chase. Was this now nearly forgotten incident a sideshow, almost comical if the issue at hand was not so serious, or was it a serious attempt to facilitate reconciliation between Great Britain and America? It's worth revisiting what happened.

Read more.

The Junto: Black Patriotic Masculinity and Impressed Sailor Jacob Israel Potter

By Adam McNeil 8 May 2018

After the American Revolution, the British Empire continually grew. The British Royal Navy in particular, was still the strongest in the world, and their naval preeminence was a major issue for the young United States of America. What the war also belied, was a push by the British towards anti-slavery. By 1807, the British not only ended their participation in the African Slave Trade, but they used their naval fleet of almost 100,000 seamen to curtail American, Spanish, Portuguese, and French use of the trade as well.[3] Though the Americans would end their use of the trade the following year, the British Royal Navy now was in position to enforce their naval supremacy. Ironically, this supremacy was, at least partially, expressed by apprehending American sailors and others Atlantic seafarers for service in the British Royal Navy. Pressing American sailors forced the United States Congress to pass a May 1796 law entitled "An Act for the Protection and Relief of American Seamen" which provided Seamen Protection Certificates to seafarers regardless of color. For Black sailors though, the certificates did more than certify their citizenship, they also certified their identities as American citizens too.

This post does not claim that all Black sailors performed patriotism in their roles as maritime workers, but through this thirteen letter sample size, we can see that there were Black sailors who centered their identities as men on the fact that they were American sailors willing to face British persecution. Out of the thirteen letters, the person whose resolve was tested the longest was Jacob Israel Potter.

Read more.

Ben Franklin's World: Early New York City and Its Culture

Joyce Goodfriend, a professor of history at the University of Denver and author of Who Should Rule at Home? Confronting the Elite in British New York City, helps us investigate how early New Yorkers established and negotiated the culture of their city between 1664 and 1776.

As she takes us through the establishment and development of English culture in early New York City, she reveals information about the Dutch colony of New Netherland and how the English obtained possession of it; Details about New York City's transition for a culturally Dutch city to a culturally English City; And, the different ways New Yorkers resisted and negotiated the assumed cultural and moral authority of the elites around them.

Listen to the podcast.

Old Hay Bay Church Restoration: The Mercury is Rising

Greater Napanee, ON (May 11, 2018) – Trustees of Old Hay Bay Church are set to unveil the next steps in the plans to restore the historic building. The church requires major restoration, and plans include improvements on the custodians' cottage, the cemetery and the grounds around the original Methodist meetinghouse.

Come and see the mercury rising. Trustees will thank donors and announce details on the opening day of the church, Saturday May 19, 2018. The event will be held from 1 - 3 p.m. Members of the media, current and new supporters, and interested donors are invited to attend. The church will be open daily until September 3rd, 9:30 am to 5:30pm.

Although the 225 year-old church has stood the test of time, wear and tear on the building has prompted a significant restoration. Contractors interested in the work on the exterior of the church are invited to tour the church, Tuesday, May 22 - Friday May 25, anytime between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm.

It was built in 1792 by United Empire Loyalists. This National Historic Site is located on the south shore of Hay Bay at 2368 South Shore Road in the former Township of Adolphustown.

OHBC Restoration Committee Chair Elaine Farley will announce the community support to date, which has kept the committee on schedule with its three year goals. "Old Hay Bay Church is the oldest surviving Methodist building in Canada, and a local tourist attraction, and we hope the community will embrace the idea of making sure it survives for many more years to come."

See the 2018 Flyer. More information. For further information or an interview, please contact Elaine Farley, Chair, Old Hay Bay Church Restoration Committee, 613-924-7030 or elaine.farley@sympatico.ca.

Loyalist Cemetery at Bear River, Nova Scotia

When the United Empire Loyalists began to settle in Bear River, Nova Scotia after the American Revolution there was no established church. In the early 1800s the Baptist Church established itself on a hill overlooking the Town and some joined it. The church building was moved in 1900 to a new location; however the adjacent cemetery remained.

United Empire Loyalists and their descendants were buried there for approximately 100 years from 1810 to 1910. Now more than 100 years later, the old cemetery has been overgrown by trees, however some of the stones are still visible. Earlier this week I visited it and made this short video. Hope you find interesting.

...Brian McConnell, UE

Status of the Loyalist Gazette and The Digital Version

The Spring Loyalist Gazette is one of the benefits of membership, and available also to those non-members who purchase a subscription.

Thanks to many members who have requested the digital copy, many only the digital format, although some choose to receive the paper copy as well. The digital version features colour throughout and an earlier delivery. We appreciate those who receive only the electronic version as that reduces both printing and mailing costs.

The Spring Gazette is now at the printers. They expect to deliver it to the mailing house early this week, all going well. The mailing house sometimes delivers them to Canada Post within a few days, sometimes longer depending on their backlog. With a lot of luck it might be mailed before the Victoria Day long weekend; otherwise the following week most likely.

Those who have requested the digital copy will receive instructions on how to access it before the long weekend.

If you are a member or Gazette subscriber, and haven't yet but would like to try out the e-zine version of the Spring 2018 Gazette, complete the request form.

...Robert McBride, UE, Publications Committee

Where in the World?

Where is Sir Guy Carleton Branch member Holly MacDonald?

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.

  • The Vancouver Branch will welcome Jean Rae Baxter UE to their evening meeting on May 15th.  Ms. Baxter will be in the Vancouver area for the BC Libraries Conference where she will be signing her Ronsdale Press books for the library community at the trade show on May 10th.  Her talk for the Branch on the following Tuesday will be The Governor and his Lady; John Graves Simcoe and Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe.  Everyone is welcome.
  • 20th Annual Young Family Reunion of the Descendants of Adam Young (1717-1790) & Catharine Schremling (1720-1798). A Potluck Lunch and Reunion at Grace United Church Hall 174 Caithness St. E Caledonia ON on July 14th / 11:30am-3:00pm. See flyer.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • The Rijksmuseum received a surprising gift from New York State Museum: a yellow clay brick. It was shipped in c. 1640 from the Old to the New Netherlands, as building material for a house in Fort Orange. It's quite literally a building block of New York history. Photo of brick. Read about a new exhibit running until May 2020 about "a small fort, which our people call Fort Orange" at the Museum in Albany NY.
  • Benedict Arnold is spread around, with items here and there, but Denver? One of the strangest items in Denver University's archives is a braided lock of hair from New England Revolutionary War hero-turned-traitor Benedict Arnold. Wrapped in parchment paper, with the words "Genl Arnold's Hair" written in fine black script, the tresses are part of a collection of memorabilia and letters from the Arnold family donated to the University in 1988, says Steve Fisher, curator of archives and special collections at Penrose Library. Read more... from Sandy Wunder [read about the Arnold Collection at Denver University]
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 12 May 1780 Charles-Town, South-Carolina falls to British General Clinton, marking terrible defeat for rebel forces.
    • 11 May 1776 Washington suggests raising companies of Germans to sow discontent among England's Hessian troops.
    • 10 May 1775 Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold take Ft Ticonderoga in New-York, securing cannon for patriot forces.
    • 9 May 1775 Benedict Arnold unsuccessfully challenges Ethan Allen's right to lead the expedition to Fort Ticonderoga.
    • 9 May 1768. Let the fun begin! John Hancock's ship the Liberty came in to the port of Boston loaded with Madeira wine.
    • 8 May 1776 Patriots attack British warships Roebuck & Liverpool on the Delaware River; minimal damage to both sides.
    • 7 May 1776 Congress takes measures to protect Philadelphia from threat of two British warships on Delaware River.
    • 6 May 1776 Governor of Rhode-Island sends Washington proclamation discharging inhabitants' allegiance to the Crown.
    • 5 May 1776 British Gen. Clinton offers broad amnesty to North-Carolina patriots for their "wicked rebellion."
  • Townsends
  • An elegant pair of brocaded silk buckle shoes, with leather sole and carved wood heel, were London-made by John Hose & Son, c. 1760 and likely worn by an American bride. Hose shoes were incredibly popular in British-America, and will be discussed in my forthcoming book.They are housed in the collection of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum.
  • A round gown, 1795-1800 of 'silvered muslin' via Cora Ginsburg LLC "Silver muslin also proved popular in the new American republic. Consumers in port cities eagerly awaited the arrival of imported textiles at regular "India sales."
  • 18th Century fine embroidered court gown, 1770's.
  • Detail of 18th Century dress bodice, 1750-70
  • 18th Century dress, robe à l'anglaise, cotton with silk embroidery, c.1780 via Colonial Williamsburg
  • 18th Century men's waistcoat embroidered with foliage and caterpillars, 1785-90
  • 18th Century men's court suit and waistcoat, 1780's, French
  • Ten Common Misconceptions About George Washington. Some of the most commonly known "facts" about George Washington are simply not true. Go beyond the mythology and find out how much you don't know about the man.

Queries

Loyalist Teed Family of PEI

I am researchng my mother's family (Teed) and came across an obituary of William Teed from 1950 in P.E.I. (Her father moved from P.E.I. in 1910 to Maine.) In the obit it states that William's great-grandfather was a Lt. Col. Teed who joined the United Empire Loyalists in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution. It also states that he had 5 sons - Joseph, Moses, Peter, John, and David.

I did not see a Lt.Col. Teed listed in the Loyalist Directory but I know rank can change over the years in family memory. I do have some information that his name may have been Daniel Teed (Tidd) but am not very confident that this is correct.

I do see entries for a Moses and a Joseph.

If anyone can provide some information or direction which would help me in my research, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

...Larry Gray, Richmond, KY, USA

Back to Top   |   Loyalist Trails index   |   Subscribe Now