“Loyalist Trails” 2005-26 July 27, 2005
In this issue:
– Molly Brant, by Augusta Cecconi-Bates
– Boundary Matters and “Double Loyalists”
– Cloth and Clothing for Loyalist Ladies (Responses to last week’s query)
– Loyalist Period Clothing – Web Resource
– Query: Loyalist Charles Church
– GOLF SHIRTS from Promotions Committee
– Lost Villages Tour
– Loyalist Anglican clergymen: Ron Cooksey
– History Detectives” Loyalist Episode
– Greetings from Seattle!
– Symposium: The Western Frontier: Plantation Society in Colonial New York, 1750-1775
This Saturday, July 30, a musical play based on the life of the Mohawk Loyalist
Eileen Strempel, soprano as Molly
Joan Sutherland, violin
Clare Gordon, piano, and
Garry Martin as Sir William Johnson
featuring the Quinte Mohawk Dancers, re-enactors in period costumes, and local school children as narrators
AT FAIRFIELD HOUSE – Hwy. 33 (Loyalist Parkway), AMHERSTVIEW
5:00 P.M., Saturday, July 30th
ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY
Admittance: $5.00 at the door
— bring your lawn chairs —
Presented by T. W. O. Music
“Officially known as the International Boundary, the present border originated with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ended the war between Great Britain and the separating colonies which would form the United States. The Jay Treaty of 1794 created the International Boundary Commission, which was charged with surveying and mapping the boundary.”
Many Loyalists from upper New York Colony did not want to be very far from their old home areas. In 1783-1784 they moved into Quebec Province immediately north of the first border line. After the border was moved farther north some years later, they had to forsake their new homes, pack up and move a few miles farther north just beyond the new boundary. This gave rise to the expression “Double Loyalists”.
…John Ruch U.E., Sir Guy Carleton Branch
Let’s say you want to appear as a farm woman who has just settled in the wilderness of western Quebec. That would represent the majority of loyalist women who settled in what’s now Ontario, and maybe is the route you want to go. In this case, your clothing would be respectable, but practical and rather worn and dirty in appearance, if not in fact.
Your blouse (properly shift and sometimes chemise) would always be white or natural, and of shirt-weight linen. The shift is a very loose fit with 2/3 length sleeves and comes down almost to your knees. It has a very low neck, which was fashionable at the time. The shift is the most rudimentary piece of clothing and serves as your underwear. That is, you would not be seen in public wearing this as the only garment on your upper body. I am assuming you wish to portray a proper lady, not an actress or a woman on the game.
Even in a wilderness settlement, you would wear a set of stays or jumps over your chemise, unless you were engaged in very heavy work. Stays were very heavily boned and jumps less so. As whalebone isn’t available any more, the ladies of our regiment use split cane or spring steel slats. Again, you would be too modest to be seen only in your chemise, shift and jumps. So, over top of the stays or jumps, you would wear a jacket or a gown.
If you wear a jacket, you would wear two or three petticoats, with the short skirts of the jacket resting on top of the outer petticoat.
If you have a gown, its skirts serve as your outer petticoat. You would wear at least one, maybe two other petticoats under the gown. Some designs of gowns are boned, so the upper part of the gown serves as your stays.
All jackets and gowns were made of linen, lightweight wool or a wool/linen mixture, i.e. linsey/woolsey. Cottons were uncommon.
As prominent hips were the fashion in town and country, you would wear a hoop or a roll of cloth resting on your hip bones. With stays above and one of these devices below, you attain that very feminine look of a controlled upper body and flounced lower.
Petticoats should fall at least half way down your calfs.
There is no need to be concerned about matching the colours or patterns of the cloths chosen. Woven stripes or checks were very common, as were earthy-toned solid colours. Variations of reds, blues, grays, yellows, browns, purples were easy to dye, but green was not.
The fancy brocades and prints were for the idle, upper crust when they were walking out or socializing with their peers.
And, don’t forget – if you’re over 15, your head is always covered by a cap and probably a bonnet of straw or cloth. There are literally hundreds of designs for these head coverings. Also, over 15, you never have your hair worn down. That luxury is for naughty ladies only.
Footwear is a terrible problem. Most farm women would have worn a smaller, rather more delicate, yet robust version of the men’s buckled shoe. These are available from suppliers if you’re into spending some serious money. A simple, and comfortable route, is to buy black desert boots by Clarke, the Aussie shoe maker. As they have crepe rubber soles, they certainly aren’t historically accurate, but the sueded outer is good. Lots of folks wore laces rather than buckles to close the shoes, so that isn’t a problem. If you went that route, you’d cut your petticoats a little longer so that your audience isn’t staring at your shoes all the time.
On your legs you wear cotton stockings, often white, but pastel colours are fine. If you can find knee high stockings with a bit of an embroidered design on the sides, that’s called ‘clocking’ and is accurate, if not too flamoyant. You tie bright coloured ribbons around the top of your calfs to act as garters.
Speaking of ribbons, this is one of the bright coloured accessories that is correct. And just like women today change their skirts, blouses and sweaters to create a fresh appearance, women of that time changed the ribbon tied around their necks or arranged artfully in their straw bonnets when they were at leisure.
Or, you’re the wife/daughter of a wealthy landowner and you’re a refugee in Montreal. You have theoretically brought some money and clothing with you from home and have the resources to keep up with fashion. And, to do so, you will need money, as Montreal and Quebec City were up with the European fashions, even during the war.
Being in fashion is a difficult role to portray correctly. You are really into very expensive materials, such as silk, and you need to have a very practised eye to pick out patterns of colour and weave that are 18th century correct.
Another element of being a lady of fashion – all the ladies had servants waiting on them to dress them and do their hair. It is very difficult to dress properly and get one’s hair (and the additions of hairpieces) arranged properly on your own. The ladies of our regiment spend 2-3 hours getting ready for a formal appearance and all pitch in to help each other.
…Gavin K Watt, King’s Royal Yorkers, H/VP UELAC
My father asked me to forward any hints or help for period clothing.
When I have new members these days, I refer them to the following site as being the ONE that has the most up-to-date, accessible and accurate clothing info on it for our period:
Good luck with your endeavours!
I’ve recently come across information that states there’s 35 pages of material on Charles Church, son of Charles Church who left America in 1783-4, for Nova Scotia, Canada. The source of the information is said to be Family History of Loyalists and Their Descendants. There is also mention of there being material in Loyalists Lineages of Canada. Can anyone help or instruct me with this? I am a descendant of Charles and would love to see this material.
EZCare Golf Shirts: these are a new style golf shirt. To assist in ordering please specify “Men’s Style 202” or “Ladies’ Style 203”.
Note also that the sizing has changed from the unisex/adult sizing previously carried. If you are a Branch Representative for Promotions, please copy this information to assist your members in ordering.
Men’s Style 202: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton Pique Knit, Three-button placket.
Colours: Black, Navy, Butter, Red, White, Woodland (dark green ), Stone, French Blue
Men’s Sizes: To Fit Chest S 38, M 42, L 46, XL 50, 2XL 54, 3XL 58
Cost: $30.00 plus S&H
Ladies’ Style 203: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton Pique Knit, Three-button reverse placket, tapered waist and shorter body. Colours: Black, Navy, Butter, Red, White, Woodland (dark green ), Stone, French Blue.
Ladies’ Sizes: To Fit Chest S 36, M 40, L 44, XL 48, 2XL 52
Cost: $30.00 plus S&H
NOTE: Royal Blue comes in Unisex Sizing only, Style 400. 50% polyester, 50% cotton pique knit. Sizing as for Men’s Style 202. Please note that this golf
shirt costs more than Styles 203 and 202 due to fabric content.
Cost: $37.00 plus S&H
Visit the UELAC Store
…Noreen Stapley UE, Chair Promotions Committee
On Sunday July 24, 2005 10 members of the St. Lawrence Branch boarded the tour bus at the Lost Villages Museum near Cornwall Ontario and proceeded to spend the next 4 hours touring the sites of the Lost Villages which stretched between Cornwall and Iroquois. Tour guide Jim Brownell (MPP for Stormont, Dundas & Charlottenburg), former President of the Lost Villages Society, provided us with information and anecdotes about an important time not only in the history of our country, but more importantly an important part of the cultural, historical and economic history of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry. For more information you can visit their website.
A BBQ at the Lost Villages ended the delightful afternoon. There have been many books written by local authors about the Lost Villages and anyone interested in this subject are invited to contact the Lost Villages Society in Ingleside, Ontario. [of course, most of this “Lost Villages” area was first settled by Loyalists….editor]
…Carolyn Goddard, UE President St. Lawrence Branch, UELAC
I would like to thank you again for your help in introducing me to descendants of Anglican clergymen who became Loyalists. Today, I signed the final approval for publication of my book. I have written earlier to thank the people who have offered help. I have written to them again now that the book is on its way. I will send them copies of the book.
The publisher was able to use three illustrations, two copies of portraits and one photograph of St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston, Ontario. The cover design is a portrait of Loyalist John Stuart, against the background of St. George’s Cathedral, which is a monument to his work.
[Ron submitted a query in the Fall of 2004 looking for pictures of Anglican clergy to support his book, which resulted from post graduate studies on the loyalty of such clergy during the revolution. Many replied to the query. This is the result. More information about the book once it is published.]
That was really interesting to see how they put everything together for the program Monday night. The publicity has been good for the UELAC. I have had emails from Wisconsin & Saskatchewan from people who saw the show and are interested in becoming members. [The episode appears to be showing at different times and repeatedly over a couple of weeks on many PBS stations.]
…Myrtle Johnson UE, President,
I just saw an episode of History Detective on PBS wherein I learned that the descendents of Loyalists are honored in Canada to this day! I am descended through my maternal grandmother, Martha Bunker, nee Butler, from a loyalists line. My loyalist ancestor was (I believe) one Eleazer Butler, born in 1735. The family moved to Nova Scotia after the war, where there are still many Butlers. Later they found their way back to New England where they were well established by the Civil War.
[tongue-in-cheek] If one were to want to move to Canada from the US (and right now, who wouldn’t?) would being descended from this line have any bearing? Was there some proclamation signifying that the right to live in Canada for Loyalists and their descendents was in perpetuity?
Also, I haven’t been able to find a Nova Scotia Butler Genealogy on line. Do you know where one might start?
Thanks for any information you supply.
…David May, UE
Fri., Nov. 18 – Sun. Nov. 20 at Fulton Montgomery Community College, Johnstown, New York
The Symposium sessions are free and open to the public. The interaction among the area’s populations, including Dutch, Anglo-Irish-Scots, Palatine Germans, and Six Nations, created a distinctive Mohawk Valley culture in the decades before the American Revolution. Sir William Johnson, General Philip Schuyler, and General Nicholas Herkimer influenced the development of the area by establishing a European plantation system of landlords and tenant farmers. This Symposium will explore the architecture, economics, domestic life and military experience of the area west of Albany, New York, between 1750 and 1775.
Enhanced Symposium – $35.00. Fee includes a Friday evening candlelight reception at Old Fort Johnson National Historic Landmark on November 18, an evening reception at Johnson Hall State Historic Site on Saturday, November 19, Saturday lunch, a printed bound copy of all papers presented, and a special Western Frontier portfolio.
Keynote Address by Dr. Jose Brandao: “Uneasy Allies and Reluctant Foes: Iroquois Policy Towards New France and New York in the Eighteenth Century.”
Major topics, each with multiple speakers:
The Economics of the NYS Colonial Plantation System
Military Influences on the Mohawk Valley
Cultural Conflicts in the Mohawk Valley
18th century Dinner at historic Union Hall Inn (fee)
The Architecture of the Mohawk Valley
Eighteenth Century Cultural Survivals
Open House at Historic Sites
…Bill Smy and Ed Scott