“Loyalist Trails” 2005-10 March 18, 2005

In this issue:
Heritage Week: Success, with a chuckle!
James “Demon” Dunlop: Remarkable Loyalist
American Loyalist Claims Commission: Records 1777-1841
Family Heritage Websites
A Loyalist Prayer
The Heritage Prayer
This Date in History
      + Heritage Fair Project: any help appreciated
      + Loyalist Items needed for UEL Display: Bicentennial Branch
      + Loyalist Trees
      + Do children of a Loyalist’s remarried spouse qualify?
      + Response to Atrocities Query
      + Additional Query about Atrocities: Is there Scholarly Work on Atrocities?
      + Harpersfield Patent


Heritage Week: Success, with a chuckle!

In past years we have received word of Heritage Week too late to do anything about it! This year I ASKED Peter Milliken’s office and the Kingston Historical Society’s president. So we had a head start.

An ad hoc committee was formed and because there have been a few “anti”- (read misinformed about Loyalists) – letters to the editor in the Whig Standard we decided to send two embracing the week. I got advice from the editorial page editor and from the KHS president to “craft an informational article celebrating Heritage Week” and make it relevant, bring it to life and not an historical essay”. It worked and both letters were in.

Then as KHS was doing a tour of the downtown churches – of which there are several – we caught their coattails and set up a display at the entrance to St. Paul’s sanctuary (our Loyalist home) . People arrived, looked, listened and visited the Loyalist tombstones under the church. We packed up and left. I arrived home and simultaneously a car pulled in the driveway. There walking in was past president, Philip Smart carrying the rocking chair which had cradled my Asselstine Woolen Mill-made antique wool blanket in the display. I cried, “But it’s not mine, we borrowed it from the nursery!!”. Later I phoned the church and said the chair “had been temporarily removed from the premises” – not stolen!

Thought you might get a chuckle out of this tid-bit!

…Carol Davy, Kingston & District Branch

James “Demon” Dunlop: Remarkable Loyalist

High in the rank of most extraordinary Loyalists was James “Demon” Dunlop (1757-1815) a Scotch merchant who settled in Montreal after a stay of several years in Virginia. He must not be confused with William “Tiger” Dunlop the legendary developer in Upper Canada. Now among the largely forgotten, the “Demon” was in his time a bold and capable adventurer. He took active part in military activities and in many business enterprises both in the south and the north, and for a time he must have been the richest man in Canada.

Here Dunlop started as an importer of wet and dry goods, and hardware. He was soon exporting raw materials to Great Britain such as grain and timber. Before long instead of purchasing from the suppliers, he acquired properties and bypassed the middle-men by providing his own products. Instead of leasing ships he set up a shipyard, built vessels for himself and formed his own shipping line. Hard cash (coins) was always in short supply and most business, which could not be conducted in kind, operated via paper using bills of exchange. Dunlop began trading them, and soon became expert in handling these financial instruments, By charging a percentage when he cashed or exchanged them in New York or overseas his wealth increased prodigiously. In shipping he soon had a booming business running on a triangular route carrying local timber and farm produce plus beef and flour, adding dried fish from Newfoundland, to Britain where he dealt with the paper bills, sold the wood, and picked up manufactured goods, thence to Spain or Portugal to deal for spirits and wines, to the Caribbean to exchange the salted fish for molasses, rum and sugar, then back to Canada to unload the manufactured goods before starting off on the circuit again.

A hard driving, hard bargaining, hard drinking entrepreneur, he had the largest general store in Canada. Once, as his large warehouse burned down, he relaxed quietly outside on a sofa rescued from the flames. A concerned citizen asked how he could do it so calmly. “A man should enjoy his own fireside”, he replied. One can picture him there cotent with a good cigar and fine whisky — he had his own special stock in barrels branded with a Scotch thistle and “J.D.”.

Although hard driving, the “Demon” was a paternalistic man who looked after and protected his workers in the days when there were no unions in Quebec. He was particularly upset if any employees were hurt on the job. His activity in war is too extensive to record here but is covered in the literature. In the midst of a frenzy of preparations for war In mid-1812 he galloped about 160 miles over rough roads from Montreal to Quebec City in 35 hours to get a letter of marque so his ship “Dunlop”, which was ready to sail to Britain, could be outfitted with guns as a privateer and sail immediately against American ships. Soon several of his ships would become privateers.

Like many other Scots, Dunlop was better educated in business than the English of that era. But he was interested in literature and the arts, especially music. Among his imports for himself and friends were the latest books, and musical instruments from flutes to fortepianos [sic]. He was a great party man — a giver and an attender of formal dinners, parties and balls. All this plus his championing of the Loyalist forces and fierce opposition to defeatists, surely qualified him as the most popular man in the province. The “Demon” died in 1815 (probably of cancer) aged 58.

[His story is related in LOYALISTS OF QUEBEC: A FORGOTTEN HISTORY. [ed. H. Senior] Heritage Branch, Montreal 1989; also well documented in DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN BIOGRAPHY. vol.V.]

…John Ruch, Sir Guy Carleton Branch

American Loyalist Claims Commission: Records 1777-1841

(From the overview of the 100 plus volumes of Loyalist Claims related material at the British national Archives at Kew. This explains who and why folks got compensated.)

The peace treaty signed at the end of the American War of Independence in 1783 provided for a recommendation by the Congress of the United States for the restoration of the property of ‘real British subjects.’

This recommendation was intended to cover the claims of those Americans who had suffered losses during the war as a result of their loyalty to the Crown but it soon became apparent that they could expect little redress from the legislatures of individual states. In fact, British commissioners had already been appointed under the American Loyalists’ Act 1783 to inquire into the losses of such persons and many of them were awarded pensions and compensations by the British government.

Claims in respect of debts were, however, excluded as the 1783 peace treaty provided that creditors on either side should meet no lawful impediment in seeking to recover debts due to them. In practice, there were many difficulties particularly as, in the case of loyalist claimants, their attainder was invariably held by the American courts to bar their suit.

In 1794 a new treaty, commonly known as Jay’s Treaty, was signed between Great Britain and the United States. The sixth article of this treaty provided for the settlement of all debts contracted with and due to British subjects prior to the peace of 1783. A seventh article provided for the payment of claims for compensation for losses and damages suffered by American merchants and citizens during the war by reason of irregular or illegal captures of vessels and property. Two boards of commissioners were established to carry these articles into effect. Each consisted of two British and two American commissioners with a fifth appointed by the other four. In 1799, deadlock having arisen in the settlement of claims under the sixth article, the British government, as a counter-measure, suspended its proceedings under the seventh article.

In 1802 a new convention was signed by the two countries for the mutual payment of claims. The board constituted under the seventh article of the treaty of 1794 resumed its work and the American government undertook to pay the sum of £600,000 in satisfaction of the money they might otherwise have been liable to pay under the terms of the sixth article.

To deal with claims under this article in respect of outstanding debts from British merchants and from Americans who had remained loyal to the Crown, three commissioners were appointed in Britain under the Distribution of Certain Monies Act 1803. Two of these commissioners had previously represented Great Britain on the former board established for this purpose under the 1794 treaty, while the third had sat on that board as its fifth member, having been chosen by lot in 1797.

Claims amounting to nearly £5 million were considered by these commissioners of which £1,420,000 were allowed to be good. Successful claimants received dividends pro rata from the money made available by the American government which, with interest, amounted to £659,493. The commission made its final adjudication on claims in 1811 and presented its last report to the Treasury in June 1812 when it wound up its proceedings.

Here is the link.

…Donald Flowers, UE (from a RootsWeb posting by Willow and Damien Aliento-Prokop)

Family Heritage Websites

These days there is an increasing number of personal websites being developed to share family heritage. Rob Fisher of Ottawa, who has contributed several times to the Rootslist-United Empire Loyalists, has created a unique website that combines both family history and material related to one of the cradles of Loyalist settlement. As the home page says, it is a site devoted to the history of the Fisher family of New Brunswick with resources for genealogy in the Maritime provinces of Canada, including censuses, maps, historic images, and more. Among other things, look for nine watercolours of historic New Brunswick, digital editions of the 1875 Atlas of Saint John City and County ,the 1878 Atlas of York County as well as the ” Return of Early Settlers in New Carlisle, Gaspé”. Explore familyheritage.ca

A Loyalist Prayer

Niagara, 18 August 1884

O Almighty everliving God!

Who in the inscrutable ways of Thy providence

didst permit the early settlers of this fair land to be driven

from their comfortable properties in the revolted colonies;

from their farms, their mills and their stores,

out of pure attachment to the British throne; and

after enduring many and grievous hardships and sufferings

Thou didst bring them to this glorious land

to hew out for themselves new homes in the wilderness.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord,

that the descendents of those noble parents

may ever carry out the principles by which

those who settled here an hundred years ago were guided;

may be loyal and devoted servants of the Crown;

faithful servants of God;

honest and industrious members of society and good neighbours;

continually striving to adorn the doctrine of God,

their Saviour, in all things, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


…Joan Clement UE Victoria Branch

The Heritage Prayer

Father God,

We keep forgetting all of those who lived before us.

We keep forgetting those who lived and worked in our communities.

We keep forgetting those who prayed and sang hymns in our churches

before we were born.

We keep forgetting what our fathers have done for us.

We commit the sin, Lord, of assuming that everything begins with us.

We drink from wells we did not find.

We eat food from farmland we did not develop.

We enjoy freedoms which we have not earned.

We worship in churches which we did not build.

We live in communities we did not establish.

This day, make us grateful for our heritage.


(Copied from FAMILIES Vol 42, No 4, 2003, Journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society)

“At the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, just east of Ottawa, is the Knox Presbyterian Church from ca. 1904. It is a typically spare Protestant church of that time period, but in the vestibule is a wall hanging entitled the Heritage Prayer. The prayer has been adapted from a prayer in the Old Covenanters’ Church of 1804 in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia and was embroidered by Mavis McNarry.”

(This prayer was given by a minister at the dedication of the Mayholme Heritage Centre in St. Catharines in 2004.)

…Fred Hayward

This Date in History

Should we start a collection of “This Date in History” items from one of the following periods?

1. pre-revolutionary war but pertaining to the war

2. during the revolutionary war

3. Loyalist settlement era up to say 1800 or 1810, but not War of 1812

If you have an item from a particular date, send it in. We will start the collection, use in the newsletter and may start a web site collection too.



Heritage Fair Project: any help appreciated

Dear United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada,

Hello, my name is Sharla Walker and I am doing a Heritage Fair project about the Loyalists. I was chosen to do this because I passed the gifted test at my school and was appointed to do a heritage project as an extra curricular activity. My father’s family is descended from the Loyalists and my father and I read a book on Loyalists which gave me the idea.

I am planning what to do to present this project. One of which are diary entries. I am looking for biographies of real loyalists as children on their journey to Canada and so when I saw your website, I was excited to think that maybe you could give me some assistance.

If you have any information or biographies can you please let me know.

Sharla, Lethbridge, Alberta (age 10, Grade 5)

(Respond to doug and I will forward to Sharla)

Loyalist Items needed for UEL Display: Bicentennial Branch

Can anyone in our organization help us locate some Loyalist Artifacts for a UEL Display at Kingsville Historical Park?

BiCentennial Branch is developing a permanent display. We would love permanent items but a loan would do as well. We would prefer to have the items loaned for at least a 12 months period or so if possible as all the workers at this museum are volunteers.

We have a fair amount of room and this museum is fitted with the appropriate lighting and is also climate controlled. Small items will be in display cases and larger items will be either hung or displayed on stands depending on the size and the nature of the item. This museum is very secure and well maintained.

We were hoping we could get some help in getting this display in place before our Student Presentations commence at the beginning of April.

…Kimberly Hurst U.E., Bicentennial Branch, Education/Outreach Chairperson

Loyalist Trees

I was wondering if there were any trees that are associated with either Loyalists or the UELAC in the same manner as the Loyalist Rose? CG of Cornwall.

…CG, Cornwall

I am not aware of any one tree having special significance for the Loyalists. Two are represented in our Member’s Badge: the maple tree as a symbol of Canada and the oak as a symbol of loyalty and fidelity to the monarch. There is a separate reference in both the Branch President’s manual and the Education/Outreach manual to the leaves of the oak tree in England hiding Charles II in 1651 The oak, exported for ship building, also figured prominently in the early development of Upper Canada being exported for ship building. I can’t recall whether those log booms floated down the St. Lawrence by the Sherwood boys were strictly oak or mixed lumber. The early pioneers definitely used the cedar for all those rail fences once the fields were cleared. Don’t forget the use of the white pine in early shipbuilding.

…Fred Hayward in Education Corner

Do children of a Loyalist’s remarried spouse qualify?

Two people with the name John Williams settled in Ernestown and one or more people have proved to each of them.

One of them died later and his wife remarried. If she had been the wife of John Williams during the revolution and had settled in Ernestown with him before he died, and her second husband was not a Loyalist, would her children from the second marriage qualify as Loyalists based on her participation in the Loyalist family?

No, her children by the second husband would not be considered to be Loyalists unless her second husband was a Loyalist.

…Elizabeth Hancocks U.E., Dominion Genealogist

Response to Atrocities Query

John Kennedy, UE   My ancestor, John Kennedy UEL, of South Carolina was first approached by the Yankees and offered a captaincy. He subsequently changed his mind and was tarred and feathered. He eventually went to New York State where he served as a pilot. He ended up in Shelbourne, Nova Scotia.

Peter Secord   Not all the Secord’s were Loyalists. My ancestor Peter was, but his first cousin once removed, Josiah, was a Patriot who served in the New York Militia. However, after 1790, he did move to the Niagara Peninsula with his family.

…Joyce Stevens, UE

Additional Query about Atrocities: Is there Scholarly Work on Atrocities?

In the last newsletter, Mr. Peter Longhorn sought information on violations of human rights committed by the rebels upon Loyalists and British military personnel during the American Revolution.

I am also interested in the topic; some years ago, I spent a day at the Rutgers University library in New Jersey– all I could find was information about some tarrings and featherings, some humiliations, and confications of Loyalist property.

I just read Christopher Hibbert’s Redcoats and Rebels: the American Revolution Through British Eyes (1990). The violence against civilians, on both sides, was apparently much more substantial than just some tarrings-and-featherings and other public humiliations. However, I am unsure if there was any systematic policy on either side to kill civilians.

Also, the war in the Carolinas was extremely brutal. Both sides exploited Blacks. One American tactic, not involving civilians, was to pretend to surrender, then fire on opposing troops. Needless to say, if these units were defeated in battle, the sabre was liberally applied to the wounded and other survivors.

I think there was a lot of misinformation in the form of propaganda at the time. This, of course, is common — during the First World War, the Allies falsely claimed that the Germans ate babies.

During the War of 1812, both sides burned each other’s towns. The American forces kicked off the practice by needlessly and foolishly burning a town named Newark in Upper Canada (Ontario) (it has another name today). However, the British and Canadian forces got on the bandwagon and did their share torch work, as well, including Havre-de-Grace, Md., and Washington, D.C.

Is there any scholarly work on the topic? There is none at Rutgers University

…Bill Volonte, SAR, NJ {VolonteW AT aol DOT com}

Harpersfield Patent

Two books that I strongly recommend for solid background material on the Harpersfield Patent are:

1. Hazel Mathews, The Mark of Honour (Toronto: UofT Press, 1965)

2. John D. Monroe, Chapters in the History of Delaware County New York (Delaware County Historical Assoc., 1949)

Neither of these mention William Reed specifically; however, the history of that settlement is dealt with in considerable detail.

I don’t find Wm Reed mentioned in the Penrose’s Mohawk Valley in the Revolution, which deals with many loyalists in Tryon County, of which Harpersfield was a part. Nor can I find him in the Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence or Minutes of the Committee for detecting and defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York. As Harpersfield bordered on the Schoharie Valley, which was part of Albany County, many Harpersfield inhabitants found their unhappy way into the minute books of those two committess.

For a hardcore rebel point of view, William W. Campbell’s Annals of Tryon County; or, the Border Warfare of New York (Cherry Valley, NY: author, 1880) tells a great deal about southern Tryon County and the Harper brothers who developed the Harpersfield Patent. A loyalist has to hold her/his nose when delving into this one, but it does have many good stories.

…Gavin Watt, Honorary VP, UELAC