“Loyalist Trails” 2005-25 July 21, 2005

In this issue:
History Detective to Air
Query: Period Clothing
Crysler’s Farm Battlefield
Ballad On The American War
Elias Smith, the founder of Port Hope
Colonial Connecticut Records
The Sovereign Collection at Bronte Creek in Oakville
Died on this day in history
      + Antoine Daniel, 1648
      + Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, 1706
      + William Hamilton Merritt, 1862


History Detective to Air

The History Detectives program involving the Loyalists in Leeds/Grenville – Loyalist Sgt. Daniel Dunham – which was filmed back in April, will be aired over the next few weeks, but different times for different stations and whether you have cable, a dish or regular TV. WNED in Buffalo, Channel 17, for example will show it on Tuesday, July 26, 3:30 AM (not good for me) and again Monday, August 01, 9:00 PM. On the web, go to http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/ and at the top in the middle is a link to TV Schedules where you can choose your station and get the schedule.

…Myrtle Johnson UE, President, Col. Edward Jessup Branch

Query: Period Clothing

I have a pattern for a blouse and petticoat (skirt) for circa 1780-1795 but need to know what colours of material would be appropriate for the costume. I tried “googling” but found the info to be contradictory from solids only in drab green or blue to patterns of tiny flowers on very light background colour – white, cream, yellow.

Also, what would they suggest for giving fullness to the skirt – 3 or 4 skirt/petticoats underneath or a hoop as some websites suggest? Somehow I find it difficult to imagine our Loyalist women roughing it in the bush while wearing a cream coloured hooped outfit.

Any suggestions as to what modern colours/patterns might serve the purpose would be appreciated.

Terrilee Craig, UE, Toronto Branch

Crysler’s Farm Battlefield

St. Lawrence Branch of the UELAC was happy to attend the 5th annual re-enactment weekend at the Crysler Farm Battlefield Memorial near Morrisburg Ontario. This year over 400 re-enactors from across Canada and the United States provided spectators with three different battles between Canadian/British and American Forces. In alternating years, battles from the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 are depicted – this year was the Revolutionary War. Each year one of them is an evening battle. This year one battle depicted the American attack on Quebec.

The visitors to the site get to see a relatively authentic encampment (the re-enactors spend much time and money to ensure that their uniforms, etc are authentic), watch a choreographed battle that is a close as possible to what actually happened with a commentator describing the action and providing historical background and the re-enactors get to be involved in something that from all appearances they take great pride in. The visitors get to have an enjoyable history lesson, see the uniforms, get a sort of feeling for the life of a soldier, smell and hear the sounds that perhaps some of their ancestors experienced and tour the battlefield at the same time. The more acquainted people become with history and realize that the soldiers they read about were real people with feelings and family the better appreciation they will have for our history and our military of today and yesterday.

Despite the rain on Saturday and the heat on Sunday thousands toured the battlefield, visited the encampment and viewed the reenactment. Our display on the weekend provided visitors with information about the St. Lawrence Branch, the UELAC and historical societies from across the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. Other branches should note that they are more than welcome to join St. Lawrence Branch in setting up a display during the Re-enactment Weekend. All that is required is to contact Robin Morris, President of the Friends of the Crysler Battlefield Memorial. Many thanks to Mahlon and Lynne Cooke, Mike Eamer and Sandra Shouldice who joined me in ensuring that our loyalist past is well represented in the present.

…Carolyn Goddard, UE, President St. Lawrence Branch, UELAC

Ballad On The American War

by Robert Burns, 1784, Song, Tune: Killiecrankie.

When Guilford good our pilot stood
An’ did our hellim thraw, man,
Ae night, at tea, began a plea,
Within America, man:
Then up they gat the maskin-pat,
And in the sea did jaw, man;
An’ did nae less, in full congress,
Than quite refuse our law, man.
Then thro’ the lakes Montgomery takes,
I wat he was na slaw, man;
Down Lowrie’s Burn he took a turn,
And Carleton did ca’, man:
But yet, whatreck, he, at Quebec,
Montgomery-like did fa’, man,
Wi’ sword in hand, before his band,
Amang his en’mies a’, man.
Poor Tammy Gage within a cage
Was kept at Boston-ha’, man;
Till Willie Howe took o’er the knowe
For Philadelphia, man;
Wi’ sword an’ gun he thought a sin
Guid Christian bluid to draw, man;
But at New York, wi’ knife an’ fork,
Sir-Loin he hacked sma’, man.

Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an’ whip,
Till Fraser brave did fa’, man;
Then lost his way, ae misty day,
In Saratoga shaw, man.
Cornwallis fought as lang’s he dought,
An’ did the Buckskins claw, man;
But Clinton’s glaive frae rust to save,
He hung it to the wa’, man.
Then Montague, an’ Guilford too,
Began to fear, a fa’, man;
And Sackville dour, wha stood the stour,
The German chief to thraw, man:
For Paddy Burke, like ony Turk,
Nae mercy had at a’, man;
An’ Charlie Fox threw by the box,
An’ lows’d his tinkler jaw, man.
Then Rockingham took up the game,
Till death did on him ca’, man;
When Shelburne meek held up his cheek,
Conform to gospel law, man:
Saint Stephen’s boys, wi’ jarring noise,
They did his measures thraw, man;
For North an’ Fox united stocks,
An’ bore him to the wa’, man.
Then clubs an’ hearts were Charlie’s cartes,
He swept the stakes awa’, man,
Till the diamond’s ace, of Indian race,
Led him a sair faux pas, man:
The Saxon lads, wi’ loud placads,
On Chatham’s boy did ca’, man;
An’ Scotland drew her pipe an’ blew,
“Up, Willie, waur them a’, man!”
Behind the throne then Granville’s gone,
A secret word or twa, man;
While slee Dundas arous’d the class
Be-north the Roman wa’, man:
An’ Chatham’s wraith, in heav’nly graith,
(Inspired bardies saw, man),
Wi’ kindling eyes, cry’d, “Willie, rise!
Would I hae fear’d them a’, man?”
But, word an’ blow, North, Fox, and Co.
Gowff’d Willie like a ba’, man;
Till Suthron raise, an’ coost their claise
Behind him in a raw, man:
An’ Caledon threw by the drone,
An’ did her whittle draw, man;
An’ swoor fu’ rude, thro’ dirt an’ bluid,
To mak it guid in law, man.

The complete works of Robbie Burns can be found here.

…William A. Smy, OMM, CD, UE

Elias Smith, the founder of Port Hope

By Catharine Tozer

It had been called Smith’s Creek for a decade before Elias Smith heard about it. The settlement was not names after him, but its name was a happy coincidence for the founder of Port Hope.

The first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, was anxious to populate the province as quickly as possible with set­tlers “only those loyal to King George” since the new country to the south was already showing signs they would eventually attack.

In 1792, he named and numbered all the townships. A proclamation was issued that the government would be pleased to consider granting large tracts of “the waste lands of the Crown” in the province of Upper Canada to those willing to colonize them with permanent settlers.

The partnership of Elias Smith, Captain Jonathan Walton, and silent partner Abraham Walton petitioned for the fifth township, the Township of Hope, at Smith’s Creek. The very first meeting of the Upper Canada Executive Council in October 6, 1792 received 10 petitions for townships and they approved six, including the Smith & Walton petition for Hope Township. Under several conditions: they needed to build a mill, attract at least 40 new settlers who needed to clear their land and build cabins and roads in the wilderness.

Elias Smith was an enterprising merchant from New York with interests in Montreal. He owned at least 10 schooners and brigantines used to import crockery, glass, tea, coffee, rum and tobacco from Europe, Asia and the West Indies. He was born in New York State about 1736. There is no apparent relation to fur trader Peter Smith who lent his name to Smith’s Creek.

When he moved into New York City by 1761, Elias met Catherine Molenaar. They were married in the Dutch Reform Church in 1764. Six of their eleven children were Baptized in New York City.

When the American Revolution began, Elias joined the British Army at Boston in 1774 and was appointed Paymaster of the Corps of Engineers. It appears Jonathan Walton and Smith were both at the occupation of Philadelphia at the same time as Simcoe who was a Major in the Queen’s Rangers during the American Revolution.

In 1780, British occupied New York City was threatened with attack by the rebels and Elias was named in command of his own Loyalist Company formed from the Engineers department to defend the garrison.

Catherine Smith’s sister Elizabeth was married to well known loyalist Moses Sherwood. After the war, the Smiths and Sherwoods were among those listed as “persons obnoxious to the American Government” and they were evacuated out of New York City directly to Quebec. They stayed only a year and then were, remarkably, able to return for business purposes.

Elias had various commercial interests in New York City. He was, for instance, a shareholder in the Bank of New York when it was incorporated.

Elias had not forgotten Canada. He purchased property in Montreal. In 1790 the Smiths and their younger children moved north and left the management of the New York interests to son David. From there Elias established other aspects of the merchant business while still able to travel to Smith’s Creek and York on business.

After “thirty-six souls” arrived in the wilderness of Smith Creek years before he moved here himself, Daughter Catherine Sculthorpe called Caty, arrived by 1797. Her husband James had died of yellow fever leaving her with young children, Elias, James and Catherine, Elias Smith’s grandchildren were the beginning of the esteemed Sculthorpe family contributing to the township continuously for 204 years.

Still directing things from Montreal, Elias Smith was having business difficulties. He wrote to a friend in December 1799, “I have had all my ships captured by the French.” Soon after that, his New York properties were confiscated. He was nearing 65 years old and his 7,000 English pounds worth of investments in Smith’s Creek needed attention too.

So in January 1801 Elias sold his Montreal property and wrote, “I go to Hope Mills in the spring where I hope to spend my days.” Elias, Catherine and their three younger children Polly, John David, and Eliza joined Elias Jr., Caty Sculthorpe Low, and Susannah Batter in Smith’s Creek. John David Smith built the beautiful Georgian mansion, The Bluestone.

Elias was granted 3,000 acres here for his military service and another 1,200 for colonizing the township. One of Elias Smith’s buildings still stands two centuries later as Canada House at 168 King Street, overlooking Lake Ontario. It matches the description and location of Elias’ home started in 1799.

Far from retiring, Elias was Justice of the Peace for four sessions and served on the Newcastle District grand jury on several occasions. He continued to be connected in the country including dining acquaintance with William Berczy, William Willcocks, and Peter Russell.

The founder of the Township of Hope and future Town of Port Hope died in February 1820. His grave rests in St. Mark’s Churchyard, King Street.

Several dozen of Elias’s original business letters (1799-1801) have been transcribed by Suzanne Jackson, of Chicago, wife of a descendant of Elias of Port Hope. Fascinating reading, available at the Ganaraska Region Archives. The chair of the archives, Dawn Smith, is married to another Elias descendant Dr. Denis Smith of Port Hope.

(Published in the Port Hope Evening Guide Friday May 18, 2001)

Colonial Connecticut Records

Browse and search the public records of the Colony of Connecticut 1636-1776

…Bev Loomis Little Forks Branch

The Sovereign Collection at Bronte Creek in Oakville

It is extremely rare to find reference to our Loyalist heritage in this part of the Golden horseshoe. In the April 15 issue of the New Homes advertorial, a Loyalist connection was clearly stated.

“In keeping with the inspiration of the entire community, the Sovereign Collection has been named for one of the historic families in the Oakville area. The Sovereign family, United Empire Loyalists from New York State, came to the Bronte area in 1814, where they farmed until 1885. Bronte’s first schoolhouse was built in 1815 on the Sovereign Farm and visitors to the Oakville area can tour the Sovereign House, which was built by Charles Sovereign in 1846, and was home to renowned Canadian author Mazo de la Roche from 1911-1915.”

There is a later reference to the settlement by the Chisholm family in 1827 but their Loyalist and Maritime roots were not identified.

Fred H. Hayward

Died on this day in history

Antoine Daniel, 1648

Priest born in Dieppe, France, on May 27, 1601

Ordained in 1629, he set up a mission at what is now Mount St. Louis, near Barrie, Ont. He had just returned from a visit to a mission at nearby Ste. Marie and had conducted Mass when he was attacked by a band of Iroquois warriors. Dressed in his vestments, he caused a diversion that allowed some of his congregation to escape. He was killed and his body was mutilated. His church was set alight and his remains were thrown into the flames.

Globe and Mail, 8 July 2005

Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, 1706

Sailor and colonizer baptized in Montreal on July 20, 1661

The son of well-to-do landowners in New France, he volunteered on French ships in Hudson Bay where he served under Chevalier de Troyes. In 1686, he fought with distinction during a surprise overland attack against English fur traders on James Bay and was given command of three captured forts. A brutal, ruthless leader, he returned repeatedly by sea, attacking the English and making off with large amounts of their furs. In 1690, he participated in a massacre of 60 settlers at Corlaer, New England; he led a similar campaign of butchery in Newfoundland six years later. After setting fire to St John’s, his men destroyed the English fisheries along the eastern shore of Newfoundland and terrorized outports. In 1697, d’Iberville took on three English warships near York Factory and sank two. In 1699, he led an expedition to rediscover the mouth of the Mississippi River and to colonize Louisiana. In 1706, he captured the island of Nevis from the English and went to Havana to organize an attack on the Carolinas, but caught yellow fever and died.

Globe and Mail, 9 July 2005

William Hamilton Merritt, 1862

Businessman, politician and visionary born on July 3, 1793, at Bedford, NY

The son of Loyalist settlers who found refuge at what later became St. Catharines, Ont., he operated a number of mills on his property and first conceived of building a canal that would service them. The idea was seized upon by others with the result that it developed into a ship canal that linked Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, thus solving the navigational obstacle of Niagara Falls. In 1824, he formed the Welland Canal Co. and five years later it opened for business. In 1832, he became a member of the Legislative Assembly and was chief commissioner of public works from 1850 to 1851. He campaigned for the St. Lawrence River to be altered and turned into a canal and argued the case for more railways. He died in Cornwall, Ont., while a passenger on board a ship.

Globe and Mail, 7 July 2005