Below are book reports by a member of the Calgary Branch. If anyone wishes to have a book report included please contact the executive.
The Sewing Girl’s Tale. A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America,
By John Wood Sweet
Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York. 2022. ISBN: 9781250761965
The book describes the trial of Harry Bedlow for the date rape of Lanah Sawyer in Manhattan in the1790s. Lanah was a seamstress so pictures of sewing samples of the times are included. The legal proceedings of the time are detailed.
To Stand and Fight Together, Richard Pierpoint and the Coloured Corps of Upper Canada
By Steve Pitt
Published by Dundurn Press, Toronto, Ontario ISBN 978-1-55002-731-0
Report by: Ivy Trumpour
This book follows the life of Richard Pierpoint and his raising of the Coloured Corps for the War of 1812. Also described are the further activities of the Corps and Richard Pierpoint. World events of the time and how they shaped Richard’s life are also related to place Richard in the time. A history of the slave trade and how society changed in relation to Black people, including reference to Michaelle Jean becoming Governor General are also followed. A number of “Fascinating Facts” are included throughout the pages. For a more detailed report use the link above.
Land of the Loyalists, Their struggle to shape the Maritimes
By Ronald Rees
Published by Nimbus Publishing Ltd 2000 ISBN 1-55109-274-3
The book describes the struggles of Loyalists as they settled in Nova Scotia and area. It begins with a description of the ideals of Sir Guy Carleton and others to build a province superior and more prosperous than the rebellious New England. When the influx of 30,000 Loyalists occurred, there already was a population of 4,000 to 5,000 Indigenous people, Acadians and new England planters along with officers from the Seven Years War who had been granted land in what became New Brunswick. Some town plans are described, especially for Port Roseway. Numerous drawings and text are include that depict some public and official buildings such as Sir John Wentworth’s Government House. There is also discussion about the plait of Black Loyalists. Ivy considered that the book provided information on the who, what and why of Loyalist settlement in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and so provides useful insight into their experiences.
With Nothing but Our Courage
The Loyalist diary of Mary MacDonald
By Karleen Bradford Published by: Scholastic
Report by: Haruna B
“With Nothing but Our Courage” follows Mary MacDonald as her family flees the province of New York and begins their journey to Johnstown Quebec. Since her brother Angus left to fight with the British army, Mary’s family have been determined to stay loyal to the British king and have been thrown out of their house and jobs. On their way to Quebec, Mary learns how it feels to live in poverty and meets a girl named Hannah whose loyalist family is also going to Quebec. Once the family reached Canada, it was a bittersweet month as Mary’s small baby sister Margaret passed away because of the flu, and the MacDonald family also finally heard from Angus who was coming to Canada soon.
Once winter arrived, Angus came home and met his family as well as Hannah’s older sister Molly with whom he fell in love with and the two were married, bonding Mary and Hannah as sisters. In the end Mary’s new ‘Canadian’ sister Ann was born bringing the MacDonald family joy after Margaret’s death.
I think this book will be a good learning experience for 10 to 13 year-old U.E.L. members.
By: Donna Smyth Published by: Formac Jan 1, 1991
Report by: Haruna B
In the year of 1782, a Loyalist’s daughter Kitty Byles has decided to go searching for her rebel uncle Thomas who joined the Yankee rebels to fight for independence against the British rule. The Byles family left Boston in 1776 and escaped as refugees to Halifax. Now Kitty is determined to go back. Dressed as a boy, Kit (as she now calls herself) begins her trip as a cabin boy on a ship sailing out of Nova Scotia. Suddenly, they are attacked by Yankee privateers! Sent with an injured sailor Kit finds herself in Plymouth, from which she makes her way to Boston harbor where she meets her aunts and grandfather living as loyalists in Boston. Once they receive a letter from Thomas, she is reminded of her quest to find him. So one night back in her boys clothes, Kit leaves to a rebel army camp just outside of New York. There she is reunited with her uncle Thomas who is less than pleased to see her. Kit is told to leave as soon as possible for she is a girl and a Loyalist. At the camp Kit befriends a runaway slave boy Abraham who happens to be the lost Son of Solomon, her family’s black servant. Together Thomas, Abraham and Kit hatch an escape plan, though sadly Thomas will have to stay behind with the Yankee troops. Through Sir Guy, Abraham and Kit have a ship ride arranged so they can return home to Halifax. When Kit arrives home she is warmly greeted by her family and Abraham is welcomed by his father. On their
second day home Kit receives a letter from her uncle Thomas promising that he will return home one day when peace is regained.
I think that this book will be of good use to the U.E.L. and that 9 to 11 year-old members will also enjoy learning from Kit’s adventure in the Loyalist Runaway.