“Loyalist Trails” 2005-3 January 21, 2005

In this issue:
Death beats Halifax: George Washington
tsunamiX Assistance
Post-Nominal – where after your name does UE go?
      + Where to get Loyalist Books
      + Loyalist architecture, style and colour


Death beats Halifax: George Washington

CBC News, HALIFAX – A 229-year-old letter by George Washington that describes Halifax as a dreadful place that soldiers would rather die than stay in will be sold at auction this weekend.

Washington was a general in the War of Independence when he wrote about the British Loyalists who fled Boston during the American Revolution.

In the four-page letter dated May 9, 1776, he said the Loyalists detested their time in Halifax and preferred to die than to stay in the city.

“But death being preferred to this, they now wait, in confinement,” Washington wrote to Maj.-Gen. Charles Lee, one of his officers.

Sotheby’s is auctioning off the letter and six others this weekend in New York.

The letter, currently owned by a family in Rhode Island, is expected to go for as high as $240,000 Cdn.

David Sutherland, a history professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said some Canadians may not appreciate the letter’s content.

“You can see he’s rubbing it in when he talks about Halifax in these negative terms. …This isn’t particularly positive, so it’ll grate on some nerves.”

Washington also described how the Tories had to pay $6 a week for “sorry” rooms, and the high rent and overcrowded conditions in the city led some Loyalists to return to Boston.

It’s an accurate description of Halifax at that time, Sutherland admitted. It was a frontier town, he said, that grew quickly in 1776 and “stank to high heaven.”

History professor John Reid, at Saint Mary’s University, also agreed with Washington’s appraisal of Halifax, but stressed that it reflects a newcomer’s experience.

“For those who were already living in Halifax, those who didn’t have to scramble for accommodation or pay extortionist rent, it probably was a time of real opportunities.”

tsunamiX Assistance

Here is an update on Bill’s trip. Because funds for the 747 were taking too long to collect, Bill and John Green of International Rescue flew out of Ottawa on Jan. 12 with a 9 ft. zodiac inflatable raft, motor, fuel cans, chainsaw ( to clear sites for helicopters to land and for medical stations), gas masks, hammocks, sleeping bags, bug spray, and other equipment needed to reduce hazards in the rivers, to give emergency first aid, and to take survivors needing urgent medical attention down the rivers on the raft to waiting ships. They have a satellite phone to phone for a helicopter and a GPS to give their exact location. They have been held up in Jakarta over the weekend until government officers release their supplies. It seems that even in a disaster situation the government officials have to have their weekends off. They should soon be in Banda Aceh and on their way to the site. They hope to connect with the team of doctors and nurses from Texas soon. Thank you for telling other loyalists about this.

…Sylvia Powers, Sir Guy Carleton Br.

Post-Nominal – where after your name does UE go?

A recent question from a branch directed to our Gazette Editor piqued Mette Griffin’s interest. She found this answer at the Royal Heraldry Society’s Glossary of Heraldic Terms, posted by Toronto Branch of the Royal Heraldy Society of Canada.

In formal correspondence, the sequence of post-nominal letters used after a name have a specific order of precedence. The letters are grouped into several categories, and are then organized into precedence within each category. The categories, in order, follow immediately after “Bt” or “Bart” (for Baronets) or “Esq” (for untitled gentlemen), if applicable, and are as follows:

1. Orders and decorations conferred by the Crown (see sequenced list of these on the site)
(a) National Orders
(b) Provincial Orders
(c) Decorations

2. Appointments in the following order: Privy Counsellor, Aide de Camp to The Queen (or to the Governor General or to the Lieutenant Governor), Honourary Physician to The Queen, Honourary Surgeon to The Queen, Honourary Dental Surgeon to The Queen, Honourary Nursing Sister to The Queen and Honourary Chaplain to The Queen: PC, ADC (or AdeC), QHP, QHDS, QHNS and QHC.

3. Queen’s Counsel, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant and (in Canada) Unity of Empire (for member of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada): QC, JP, DL and UE.

4. University degrees.

(a) Religious Orders
(b) Medical Qualifications

(a) Fellowships of learned societies
(b) Royal Academicians and Associates
(c) Fellowships, memberships, etc. of professional institutions, associations, etc.
(d) Writers to the Signet: WS.

7. Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Parliament, Members of the National Assembly (Québec) and Members of Legislative Assemblies: MP, MPP, MNA and MLA.

8. Membership of one of the Armed Forces or Corps (e.g. Royal Navy: RN, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: RCAC).


Where to get Loyalist Books

We are looking to purchase some of the books you have listed as Loyalist Reading. Could you please tell us where we can purchase these as well as the prices?

– Loyalist Lineages

– United Empire Loyalists – Pioneers of Upper Canada

– The Burning of the Valleys

– While the Women also Wept

– The Loyalists – The Story of those Americans who Fought against Independence

– King’s Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario

– The Envy of the American States: The Loyalist Dream of New Brunswick

– The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement

…Frank Ault UE {pat DOT ault1 AT bellnet DOT ca}

Loyalist architecture, style and colour – Question, and one answer

We own property in Prince Edward County, Ontario. A noted loyalist area. We are looking to renovate our property in keeping with loyalist architecture, style and colour. Can you refer me any good resources to get some sense of what this would look like.

…Isvar Prashad {iprashad0418 AT rogers DOT com}

There are some examples of architecture from pre-Upper Canadian architecture in the area. Unfortunately, given the temporary nature of their structure many of the oldest styles have been lost to time. You will find that much of the early architecture was influenced by the geographic regions from where the Loyalists came from. Given this, it is entirely appropriate to research 1720-1780 homes in New York state and New England.

A fine example of an early stone house is in Prince Edward County. The 1795 Daniel Reynolds house in Wellington. It is said to show “evidence of pre-Revolutionary Hudson Valley Dutch design.”

Sir John Johnson built a manor house in Williamstown, Ontario between 1784 and 1792. Images of that house can be found here and here.

In Amherstview is the 1792 White-Fairfield House. The Fairfields were originally from New England so the design of their house is reflected in that. See this image. Its colours are accurate to the time period.

The Casey House was a 1784-86 dwelling recently demolished. During demolision we found evidence that the dwelling was originally “ox-blood” red. These painted and beaded bargeboards would have been added sometime after the original construction. The base of the structure was a flagstone basement with squared dovetail timber walls. It was very similar in design to the Neilson Farmhouse at the Saratoga Battlefield in New York, even though the Casey house was much larger. Pictures of the Neilson Farmhouse can be found here.

In all of these examples you will notice the steep pitch of the roof lines. Open porches were often part of the original design. Dormers are evidenced now but may have been added later, as families grew and more time became available to spend on “luxuries.”

The Mabie Farm in New York was an ancestral home of Bay of Quinte Loyalists and May have influenced local architecture. More information can be found here.

The 1750 Van Alstyne home was the family home of Capt. Peter Vanalstine, a leader of the Loyalists who is buried in Adolphustown. See here. We know that this influenced his Canadian structures as his mill at Glenora has the same roof line.

The 1710 Abraham Yates Houses.

A redbrick example in the 1730 Quackenbush House.

I hope that this helps even though it is not very definitive. I guess the solution would be to adapt one of the various styles that best suits your existing building. We are thrilled that you are giving Loyalist heritage consideration in your renovation plans.