Connect with us online:

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

Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2020 Archive

Previous Issue   |   Index   |   Next Issue

“Loyalist Trails” 2020-37: September 20, 2020

Articles

Well-to-Do Loyalist Widows in London (Part 4 of 4)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Among the 25 widows who sought relief from the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL) during its hearings in London were three prominent women from Massachusetts.

Mary (Curtis) Loring's experiences during the American Revolution, like those of her fellow widows, are almost completely lost to history. Fortunately, the transcripts of the RCLSAL provide some insight into the life and times of Mrs. Joshua Loring.

Mary appeared before the board on March 21, 1785 to seek compensation for all that she and her husband had lost. Along with Joshua and hundreds of other Loyalists, she had been compelled to leave Boston for the safety of Halifax in March of 1776. Before the year was out, the couple had settled in England to wait for the revolution to come to an end.

The British government provided Joshua with an annual allowance of £200. While this was a generous sum for a man who had once been the commodore of His Majesty's ships on the Great Lakes, it would only be able to sustain a modest lifestyle. Mary had been used to living in a far grander style.

The Loring's estate had once consisted of a 60 acres of land in the elite neighbourhood of Jamaica Plain in Roxbury, a community just seven miles outside of Boston. The "large, well built house" was not far from a barn situated on 18 acres of meadow. Six paintings showing views of the St. Lawrence River are noted as having been over the Lorings' fireplace. London, an enslaved African, was also listed among their property. The family's second home was a house near the Boston Common; they had their own pew in the city's prestigious Trinity Church.

After Commodore Loring had been wounded during the Seven Years War, he retired to Roxbury on half pay in 1763. No longer involved in the military protection of the northern colonies, Mary's husband began to become involved in Massachusetts' politics. During the decade following Joshua's retirement, Mary would have entertained – and mingled with – the elite of Massachusetts' society.

In 1774, Thomas Gage, the last royal governor of the colony, responded to the growing rebellion by replacing the Massachusetts elected assembly with a 36 member Mandamus Council chosen by Gage himself. Joshua Loring was one of those appointed. Initially seen as a rise in fortunes, it would be his undoing.

In a memorial that Mary Loring sent to a government board, she recounted how her husband was "repeatedly mobbed and otherwise ill treated in such manner as to oblige him to leave his House ... and to fly for Refuge to Boston, and put himself under the Protection of the Kings Troops, from which time ...he was confined to the Town, and never saw his House nor any part of his Estate afterwards." During Joshua's 18 months of refuge in Boston, Patriot troops occupied Mary's home in Roxbury. The latter "plunder'd it of the Furniture, Stock, and Stores."

Mary's grandniece later recounted how "the Loring stock of cattle, cows, oxen and horses were running loose in the street, but Grandfather would not have one of these driven into his yard for fear he should be thought a Tory."

After their arrival in England, Joshua and Mary settled in Highgate, Middlesex County. Within five years, Joshua died, leaving Mary a widow far from home, friends, and family. Although her husband died in October of 1781, she did not begin to receive her annual widow's allowance of £100 until May of the following year.

Mary's 1783 memorial to the government and her 1785 appearance before the RCLSAL are the only two occasions when historical documents allow us to "hear" her voice. Fortunately for Mary, she had sympathetic audiences. In the end, she received £2256 in compensation for her wartime losses, not quite half of her claim of £4815. Within ten years, Mary was laid to rest in the graveyard of St. Michael's Church in Highgate.

Most of Mary's sons had – like their father – been banished from Massachusetts and threatened with execution if they returned. However, by 1785 most of the Loring family had begun to establish new lives for themselves in England. Joshua Jr., who had served as a high sheriff in Massachusetts before the revolution, was appointed as the commissary for rebel prisoners during the British occupation of New York City. He retired in Berkshire, England. Both John Loring and Joseph Royall Loring were lieutenants in the royal navy. A graduate of Harvard, Benjamin Loring became a naval surgeon. Their sister Hannah had married Joshua Winslow, a member of Massachusetts "aristocracy" who could trace ancestors back to the Mayflower. In 1775, Winslow died, compelling Hannah to rely on her mother for the support of her six children.

However, very few of Mary's children would have been at her funeral in January of 1795. Hannah Winslow died at 43 in 1785. Joshua Junior went to his grave four years later. Benjamin died unmarried in 1787. All of Mary Loring's wealth and influence that she had enjoyed before the American Revolution did little to spare her from tragedy.

Elizabeth (Cradock) Brinley was another widow whose husband, Thomas Brinley, had been a member of Massachusetts' much-despised Mandamus Council. Her experiences echo many of those of Mary Loring.

We know very little of the Brinleys' domestic situation other than that the two spouses were cousins and that they had no children who survived to adulthood.

A graduate of Harvard, Thomas Brinley had been a successful businessman before entering politics. He was a distiller, had his own wharf, and imported salt. Good Anglicans, the Brinleys' had a pew in Boston's King's Chapel. When Elizabeth testified before the RCLSAL, she recounted how her husband had "signed every paper that was drawn out in favour of the government, by which means he made himself very obnoxious and lost a great many of his customers."

Like the Lorings, the Brinleys sought refuge in Halifax in March of 1776 and then settled in England. The British government granted Elizabeth's husband an annual allowance of £200, which he received until his death in October of 1784.

Six months later, Elizabeth appeared before the RCLSAL. Within two day's time, the compensation board recognized Thomas Brinley as a loyalist and repaid Elizabeth for her family's losses. She never returned to Boston, dying in England in 1793.

Hannah (Waldo) Flucker was the third Massachusetts widow to appear before the RCLSAL. Her husband, Thomas Flucker, had been the secretary for the colony and had the misfortune of being appointed to the Mandamus Council. Banished by the rebel government, the Fluckers had their property seized and were declared to be "aliens".

Upsetting as this may have been, it was the shattering of her family that must have been hardest for Hannah to bear. A Loyalist like his parents, their son Thomas became a lieutenant in the 60th British Regiment. However, their daughter Lucy was married to Major General Henry Knox who became the chief artillery officer of the Continental Army and later was appointed the United States' first secretary of war. The Flucker family remained divided along political lines for the rest of their lives.

Hannah and her husband had only been in England eight years when Thomas died suddenly in his bed on February 16, 1783. Another Loyalist who lived in London at the same time noted in his diary that Hannah's husband was "the 45th of the refugees from Massachusetts within my knowledge that have died in England".

A year later, Hannah Flucker stood before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists. Her sole intent was to be recognized as the executrix of Thomas' estate. For whatever reason, she felt that she would be able to recover the family's property in Massachusetts, so she did not seek compensation for all that had been lost. Hannah's hopes for re-acquiring her property went unfulfilled. She died within months of her appearance before the compensation board.

There are still more stories of well-to-do Loyalist widows. The remainder will eventually be recounted in future editions of Loyalist Trails.


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

Kelly Arlene Grant: Spring 2020: a Tale of Two Jackets

A Work Jacket and a regimental jacket in the style worn by Butler's Rangers.

As I sit here on a crisp late August morning, I have pulled on one of the jackets I made this Spring, the brown cassimere for Pierre. It was to be his work jacket, to be worn over British small clothes while we worked at Fort Ticonderoga on their opening weekend. Needless to say that event didn't happen.

The jacket was finished though, and will be used as part of my dissertation collection.

The first weekend of Covid-19 lock-down, back in March, I went over to my favourite wool shop on the island of Montreal. The gentlemen who own this shop on the upper end of Saint-Hubert street carry the finest wool suitings and coatings from all over the world. I expect to come out of that store several hundreds poorer every time I walk in. I find the perfect cloth every time. This visit was no exception. This time, I bought the end of a bolt of brown cassimere. Part of it went towards the simple cut of a work jacket, the rest I will save for a short Fall '50s swing coat for myself.

I based the cut and construction on the blue wool jacket in Henry Cooke's collection....

The second jacket I created this Spring was a regimental jacket in the style worn by Butler's Rangers and other men who worked closely with Indigenous populations in New England during the Revolution. I was sent a kit with all the supplies for completing the jacket by Tommy Tringale of Billerica. This process was an exercise in patience, as I was supposed to bring a fitting muslin with me to opening weekend at Ti, but with the border closing, we had to create new and flexible plans for completing the work.

I began by sending the fitting muslin through the mail, and doing a virtual fitting over a facebook call. Tommy then sent the muslin back to me with the kit of supplies. I got to work.

I had a few images of other gent's coats to reference so that the one I constructed was as close to uniform as I could possibly make it. There was also a bit of a checklist of points that I needed to cover during the construction process. The cutting was the tightest I have ever cut.

Read more (lots of photos).

JAR: The First Efforts to Limit the African Slave Trade Arise in the American Revolution (Part 1)

by Christian M. McBurney on 14 September 2020

The American Revolution changed the way Americans viewed one of the world's great tragedies: the African slave trade. The long march to end the slave trade and then slavery itself had to start somewhere, and a strong argument can be made that it started with the thirteen American colonies gaining independence from Great Britain, then the world's leading slave trading country.

Typically, with great movements, there is no direct line of progress. More often, progress is like a wave, moving forward, but then receding somewhat. That describes the progress on the antislavery front in the United States – during the years of the Revolution, there was definite progress, progress which ebbed in the years immediately following the Revolutionary War. Still, some progress had been achieved: by the early 1800s, each Northern state had either prohibited slavery or provided for gradual emancipation, and American participation in the African slave trade was formally banned in most states after the Revolutionary War and in all states by 1808. Tragically, the American Revolution did not end slavery in the South. It would take a Civil War and hundreds of thousands of deaths to end the institution in 1865.

In the first three quarters of the eighteenth century, Great Britain was the leading slave trading country in the world. By the 1770s, each year, on average, British merchants from Liverpool, Bristol, London, and smaller ports sent ships to the coast of West Africa, purchased more than 45,000 captives, and transported them across the Atlantic Ocean, mostly to British possessions in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica and Barbados. There, the African captives worked in horrible conditions on sugar cane plantations, suffering a high death rate from overwork, abuse, and disease.

In the course of four centuries British merchants carried an astounding number of Africans across the Atlantic, estimated at 3,250,000. Taking into account the years 1501 to 1867, when the last slave ship crossed the Atlantic to Cuba, merchants sailing from Great Britain outfitted an estimated thirty-one percent of all slave voyages even though their participation in the trade was stopped by legislation in 1807. Still, that placed them second to the Portuguese, who carried more than 5,800,000 African captives in the Middle Passage, mostly to Brazil. They began a few hundred years earlier than the British, in the 1400s, and ended decades after Britain's 1807 prohibition.

Read more.

JAR: Battle of the Saintes

by Will Monk on 17 September 2020

We often think that the Siege of Yorktown, Virginia, and the surrender ceremony of October 19, 1781, was the effective end to fighting in the American Revolution. There were smaller skirmishes in isolated places, and some fights, but the two main armies never fought again. Yet the surrender allowed the French navy to return to its base in the Caribbean, where they resupplied and waited for an expected response by the British navy.

On October 5, 1781, two British warships, St. Albans and Eurydice, weighed anchor in Cork, Ireland. Fifty seven merchant ships did the same, and a fair breeze took them out to sea, one by one. They enjoyed clear weather for a week as the convoy steadily sailed south. Unknown ships appeared in the distance, with sunlight shimmering off white sails, but Eurydice gave chase and they turned out to be merchant ships sailing from Canada to Portugal. After four weeks at sea, the men of St. Albans grew restless: three were caught fighting, another was caught stealing, a third failed to show up for his watch.

The fleet communicated with signal flags so messages could be relayed quickly over distances at sea. But the pattern of flags had to be changed periodically so that an enemy could not learn what these ships would do. Each captain had a chart divided by months and days of the week, a list of flags (St. George's ensign, the Dutch flag, a blue ensign, a red ensign, the Spanish flag), and a list of places on the ship (mizzen top gallant mast, fore top gallant mast, maintop gallant mast). In some cases, the captain put lights in a square, or a triangle, or an inverted triangle, in place of flags. Each ship had only one chart, to be seen by the captain only, and destroyed if there was a risk of capture.

On November 26, the convoy caught sight of Barbados, and the fleet sailed into Carlisle Bay. It was alive with vessels.

Read more.

Borealia: The Readers called Methodists: A Review of Pulpit, Press, and Politics

Reviewed by Todd Webb

Author: Scott McLaren, Pulpit, Press, and Politics: Methodists and the Market for Books in Upper Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019)

By the early 1860s, Methodism had become the largest Protestant denomination in the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, in terms of membership. It was also a dominant cultural presence, with its tireless circuit-riding ministers, its increasingly stylish churches, its lively but socially respectable revivals, its Sunday schools, its university, its newspaper, and its books. One of the leading Canadian-born Methodist ministers, the ubiquitous Egerton Ryerson, had even put a Methodist stamp on Ontario's public-school system. Such is the triumphant, nationalist narrative of Methodism's rise in central Canada. That story looks different, however, when viewed from New York or London, England – that is, from the point of view of the American Methodist Episcopal Church or, as I have tried to show in my work, British Wesleyanism. From that perspective, for much of the nineteenth century, Canadian Methodism was quite small and often very annoying, like a tick. That is just one of a number of revisionist points driven home in Scott McLaren's fascinating study of the links between Canadian and American Methodist print cultures.

Read more.

Ben Franklin's World: Tacky's Revolt

Vincent Brown, the Charles Warren Professor of American History and a Professor of African American Studies at Harvard University, joins us to investigate Tacky's Revolt and how that revolt served as an eddy in within the larger current of Atlantic warfare, with details from his book, Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War.

During our investigation, Vincent reveals why we need to understand the 18th-century politics, warfare, and slave trade of Africa to understand events within the broader 18th-century Atlantic World; Why Jamaica grew to become Great Britain's most profitable colony and why its sugar plantations came to rely on enslaved labor; And, details about Tacky's Revolt and the ways in which this revolt interconnected with four different Atlantic wars.

Listen to the podcast.

National Trust Canada: The Legacy of Labour and Industry in 5 Historic Places

Canada has a rich history of labour and industry, with stories of towns being built by the industry that began there. As a country of vast natural resources, our history is often tied to the exploration and extraction of those resources for better or worse. From lumber yards to fisheries, factories to railways, labourers have been the settlers of our country, and the backbone of our economy. To celebrate Labour Day this year we decided to highlight five historic places that demonstrate Canada's history of labour and places of trade and new ways they contribute to their communities.

Read more about:

• Medalta in the Historic Clay District – Medicine Hat, Alberta

• The Klondike Gold Rush – Yukon Territories

• Old Stone Mill – Delta, Ontario

• Gulf of Georgia Cannery – Steveston, British Columbia

• Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum – Prince George, British Columbia

Jamestown: 450th Commemoration of Ajacán – the Spanish Mission of 1570

In April 1607, the first English settlers in Virginia planted a cross at Cape Henry. They stepped off their ships and claimed the land in the name of their king, James I. They planned to prevent any foreign powers from meddling in their new mid-Atlantic claims. This would be England's colony, settled primarily with English settlers, establishing English governmental policies and procedures, following English religious practices, and enjoying English culture. How tolerant would they be of indigenous people already present or any European cultures that came before or would want to join them? Commemorating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 provides an opportunity to contemplate this question.

The Virginia Company certainly didn't intend to involve Virginia's indigenous people in the new colony as equal participants. Company instructions informed the settlers not to anger the Indians but to Christianize them and force their submission to English rule. What about other cultural groups? Spain already had land claims and established settlements along North America's entire southern coast and France had fur trading posts in Canada. However, what Virginia Company representatives may have forgotten by 1607 is that they were not the first Europeans to attempt a settlement in this region. Almost 40 years before they arrived in the land they called Virginia, a small group of Spanish Jesuit priests – who represented a nation the English feared – attempted a mission to the local Indian peoples in this place the Indians seemingly called Ajacán. This occurred in 1570, or 450 years ago this month.

Spain began its colonization of the Americas soon after Christopher Columbus bumped into them. Spain's appetite for expansion drove the nation to claim lands in the Caribbean, Central America, parts of South America, into today's Mexico, and across the southern United States. They intended to tap the riches of the Americas and to spread Spanish culture and Roman Catholicism to what they considered "pagan" peoples. They also sought the mythical passage to the Pacific Ocean and the riches of Asia and the Far East. More immediately at home, Spanish rulers hoped that revenue from the Americas could fund Spain's insatiable fight to unify Europe under Spanish, and by extension, Roman Catholic, rule. These goals led to increased and constant exploration of North America's southwest and southeast by the likes of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, Vázquez de Ayllón, Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo.

Read more.

Researching German Ancestors: Virtual Conference, Oct 17 & 24

The annual conference of the New York Chapter of the Palatines to America, German Genealogical Society will consist of Dr. Michael D. Lacopo making four one-hour presentations over the two Saturdays. Dr. Lacopo has been honing his genealogy research skills since 1980 and since 1991 he has pursued it full-time as a profession.

• Methods for Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants

• Finding & Using German Church Records

• How to overcome brick walls in German American Research

• The German Immigrant Experience in the 18th Century

Registration with a small fee is required, due by 10 Oct. The session is open to all.

Details and registration information.

...Garry Finkell, Past-President, New York Chapter

"Investigating Indentured Servitude," a digital exploration of 1770s data

From the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.

This exhibit offers a glimpse of the story of migration to Colonial British North America. While the data from the Record of Indentures only covers a three-year period, it has the potential to tell thousands of stories, and reveal new knowledge about migration, labor, and exploitation. Many of the individuals recorded in the Record of Indentures have been lost to history. We hope this resource will open the path for their stories to be told.

Indentured servitude was prevalent in North America from the early seventeenth century but dwindled during the first decades after the Revolution. It represented one of several forms of unfree labor that colonists relied upon to support the agricultural and artisanal industries of the colonies.

An indenture was a contract that bound an individual to a master for a fixed period of time. The indentured person – woman, man, or child – would work for a specified number of years and in exchange, the master would provide them food, shelter, and occasionally some money or property as "freedom dues." At the end of the contract, the individual would be released from their indenture and become a free person.

Visit the digital exhibit. Be sure to click on the "Find out more" button in each of the sections.

Loyalist Quarterly Newsletter, Sept 2020, by Paul J. Bunnell, UE

Published since 2004, the Sept 2020 issue is now available. At twenty-three pages, it features:

• Editor's Comments

• Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park Bookstore

• Jacob Bailey: Loyalist Anthropologist © Stephen Davidson

• "The Remainder of Our Effects We Must Leave Behind": American Loyalists and the Meaning of Things By Katherine Rieder

Vol. 17 Part 3 Sept 2020 Quarterly Issue "In Publication since 2004"

Editor: Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Author, Koasek Abenaki Chief; BunnellLoyalist@aol.com; 978-337-9085, 49 Pleasant St., #106, Alstead, NH 03602

The Only U.S. Newsletter Devoted to The study of The American Loyalists

Subscription Rate: $21 U.S. $24 Can. $5 each copy – (March, June, September, December issues)

10 Free Webinars From Legacy Until 24 Sept

We're celebrating 10 years of genealogy webinars! Below is the top webinar from each year since 2010. Unlocked and free through September 24, 2020. Enjoy! Go here.

Where in the World?

Where is ?

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.

Kingston Branch Meeting via Zoom, Sept. 26 – all invited

Kingston Branch Meeting via Zoom Sat 26 Sept

Kingston and District Branch UELAC invite you to attend their very first Zoom meeting on Saturday, September 26th, 2:00 pm EDT. Brian Shannon will speak on "Using Find-a-Grave for Family History Research." No pre-registration is required, just join the Zoom Meeting – a little before 2:00 pm on the 26th. If you haven't yet done Zoom, follow the link about 10-12 minutes ahead of time so you can download the free software to your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone – you'll be prompted how to get it. Once you've downloaded it, you won't need to do so again in the future. You will then be placed in the Waiting Room and that will give you time to check that your Zoom mic and camera icons are both muted (showing a red line through them) before the host begins the meeting.

Our thanks to Dominion for sharing their paid version of the program so we can share our meeting with the world, and to Liz Adair for providing training for a few branch members on how to host a meeting.

...Nancy Cutway

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • Paul Carrigan - contributed by Pam Wood Waugh
  • Gysbert (Gilbert) Bogert - contributed from Branch records by Jo Ann Tuskin

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

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Queries

Response re Captain Silas Emes (November 14, 2010)

This past Sunday a man named Brian Emes (Ontario, Canada) emailed me with information on an Emes ancestor. For me it was "out of the blue." In the email exchanges with Brian, I learned that several days before he had received an email from a friend in Vancouver , Canada. Apparently the friend was going through old Loyalist Trails Newsletters and found the posting you encouraged me to create about 10 years ago!!! I am STUNNED that someone saves the newsletters (as I do) and was going through them. What a gift too have that UEL member pass on the request and have Brian send me the information!

Now, where do I begin my application for UEL membership?

A WONDERFUL story for all of us.

...Margie Buckingham

Back to Top   |   Loyalist Trails index   |   Subscribe Now