“Loyalist Trails” 2005-33 September 30, 2005

In this issue:
Portrait Gallery of Canada, Query about an Acquisition
Camp Security, More information
Loyalist Enthusiast Noreen Stapley Lives History Teaching Children
Update on the Burritt-Ruiter Family (re)Union
Update on the Gilbert Hyatt Highway Battle
      + The Musical “Loyalties”
      + Assistance for our scholar Kelly Bennett
      + Responses re Julia Hou, Chongqing, China
      + Response re John and Thomas Freeman


Portrait Gallery of Canada, Query about an Acquisition

The Portrait Gallery of Canada has been in contact with us. They have been approached by a family which owns a portrait of Louisa Billopp by Robert Field and are seeking to sell it. The portrait shows Louisa, daughter of the Loyalist Christopher Billopp, one of the founders of New Brunswick. The work is of high quality, rarity and impeccable provenance, and is oil on canvas, 43 x 38 cm (about 17″ x 15″ for those non-metric types).

Louisa, born in New Brunswick in 1795 was the daughter Col. Christopher Billopp of Staten Island NY. At the end of the war, his property was confiscated and the family immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1782. They settled in Saint John NB where he was elected to the first House of Assembly. Louisa’s mother, Jane Seaman, was Billopp’s second wife. In 1816 Louisa married John Wallace, the son of Michael Wallace, UEL.

The artist Robert Field (ca. 1769 – 1819) is recognized as one of the most important portrait painters in early 19th century New England and Nova Scotia. He emigrated from England to America in 1794, and to Halifax in 1808. He left in 1816 and died in Jamaica in 1819. His portraits are included in collections at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Art gallery of Nova Scotia, the National Gallery of Canada and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Portrait Gallery has approached the UELAC to help raise the funds to acquire this piece. Our mission statement certainly includes such relevant purchases to keep them in Canada and make them available for public view. Although we could decide to donate some funds towards the purchase as an Association, those would not be nearly enough to fund the $100,000+ cost. Although some matching funds may be found from other sources, this will require a major fund raising effort and the location of some significant donors. Major donor(s)’ will receive a charitable tax receipt and the caption of the painting, whether in exhibition or publication, would credit the major donors in perpetuity.

Please comment back to me if you feel we should aggressively pursue this project, and suggest any significant benefactors whom we might approach.


Camp Security, More information

Here is another web site with more details about Camp Security and some of the people who were there.

…Martha Hemphill UE Toronto Branch

Loyalist Enthusiast Noreen Stapley Lives History Teaching Children

I spent the morning at Marshville Heritage Village with a friend – both of us in period clothing .There was a class of grade threes on tour. We had five groups of five and the kids for the most part were very good. We were at the stone oven and in the stone house. The students were told how the stone oven worked and what jobs they would have had. In the house they made butter by shaking whipping cream in a jar until the separation occurred. Then they drank the butter milk and had their butter on home made bread. While they were taking turns shaking the jar of cream, they also peeled ( using a table mounted peeler ) and ate an apple and then had dried apples and apple cider. It was a good day. I will be there again next Monday – same place. The students are encouraged to dress in period clothing also and we always speak to those who do and make them feel a little special for their effort.

Marshville Heritage Village, which depicts 19th Century life, is in the heart of the Village of Wainfleet located on Hwy 3 between Port Colborne and Dunnville. In the 1980’s, a log cabin built in 1841 was moved to its present site and became the first structure in the Marshville Village. There are now 15 historic buildings including a sawmill, carpenter’s shop, barn, church, schoolhouse, blacksmith’s shop, general store, and stone house in the Village.

Each Fall and Spring, grade three classes from local schools are invited to spend a morning, one class at a time, and visit five of the buildings – the log cabin, stone house, schoolhouse, carpenter’s shop and the blacksmith’s shop. The purpose of the tours is to help the students understand the way of life of the pioneers who settled in the area. For example, in the log cabin, they make cookies and bake them in a small wood burning stove and do the laundry using a galvanized tub and a scrub board out on the back porch. At the stone oven outside the stone house, they learn that the oven was a communal oven shared by the people of the village. The heating, cleaning and operation of the oven is explained. When shown the ‘peel’, a long handled flat shovel used for putting loaves into the oven and taking them out, most say that they have seen one at a pizza place – or that it looks like an paddle.

In the stone house, in addition to the activates noted above, we talk about the food they would eat, how they would store food for the winter, the chores of each member of the family and how the pioneers made use of everything. Ashes from the stone oven provided lye for soap. The peelings and the cores from the apples went into a ‘slop’ pail and were given to the pigs or other animals. The pioneers were the first recyclers!

I participated for the first time in the Spring of this year and then signed up for the Fall. All the demonstrators wear period clothing. Most of the volunteers are members of the Wainfleet Historical Society. I am going to join as well as I really do enjoy ‘living history’.

However, it was nice to return to my oven and ready made butter!

…Noreen Stapley UE, Col. John Butler Branch

Update on the Burritt-Ruiter Family (re)Union

My husband, Charles Ruiter-Hunter, UE, has had his UE status verified and has found that he and his father, Winfield Ruiter-Hunter, have been Branch Members, since 1968, of the Sir John Johnson Branch.

Now I need to prove my Loyalist lineage, and we can celebrate the coming together of two famous Loyalist families, mine, Daniel Burritt and Sarah Collins along with their sons, Colonel Stephen Burritt, Colonel Daniel Burritt and Colonel Edmund Burritt, and Charles’ ancestor, Captain Henry Ruiter.

Our marriage was just beautiful. We had the opportunity to have officiate at the service on July 9, my cousin, The Rev. Hugh Burritt. I also carried in my hands, the famous Bible, of Colonel Stephen Burritt, dating 1836. Wow what a moment. The church bells rang to announce the coming together of these two families with our marriage. The church was filled with both of our families. Thanks to everyone. What a story for historians about our families.

Marg Hall, UE, was guest speaker and spoke about our two families. Thanks Marg!! What a moment.

Our house is filled with antiques from the Ruiter families and we are so proud to display them along with the photographs and hand made quilts that date over 100 years ago made by the Ruiter girls. Dishes from the Ruiter house, bowls and milk pitcher used on the Ruiter farm. Clocks from the Ruiter home along with a wooden chest passed down from Lt. John Ruiter. The later were all given to us as wedding gifts for us as a Ruiter descendant.

I will be announcing soon, my newest addition of Burritt keepsakes from a Burritt ancestor.

Thanks to Adelaide Lanktree and the wonderful story she wrote about us in her newsletter. Look forward to speaking to your groups about our two families (Burritt and Ruiter) in the near future.

…Edwina Ruiter-Hunter and Charles Ruiter-Hunter UE

Update on the Gilbert Hyatt Highway Battle

Here is an update on our Gilbert Hyatt Highway saga. We had received a letter from Kimball Smith,Director General, Municipality of Waterville and I had just finished mailing him our response when news reporter Rita Legault phoned me. She informed me that she has been in touch weekly (unbeknown to us) with the OQLF and the day before with Kimball and so she wanted a take from us.

Waterville has proposed a possible monument to honour the first setles/pioneers of Ascot Township, possibly in the Milby area of Waterville. Bev’s group responded that they would be delighted to have a monument, once the Gilbert Hyatt highway name has been restored.

The way our group analyzed their (Waterville’s) proposal was that they thought by offering to put a monument up on our school grounds that we would be soooo thrilled that we would forget about our road. NOT SO, we saw through their possible ruse!

…Bev. Loomis UE, President, Little Forks Branch


The Musical “Loyalties”

In the death notice for Joan St. Albans Bennett (2002), it was written that “Joan’s second passion, after English was composing music and in 1995 she completed, with sister Jane’s assistance, a musical on the United Empire Loyalists called “Loyalties”. Does anyone have a copy of the musical or further information regarding the performances. The service for Joan Bennett was held at Trinity United Church, Cobourg, 4 May 2002.

…Fred H. Hayward, UE, Education/Outreach Chairman, UELAC {fhhayward AT idirect DOT com}

Assistance for our scholar Kelly Bennett

My MA research is progressing nicely. I presented a preliminary paper on the subject on April 27th and submitted my formal thesis proposal to the Queen’s History Department on May 18th, before heading to Toronto to work at Historica for the summer.

I am looking for evidence of “a Loyalist womanhood not content to simply weep, and exhibiting signs of a Tory/Loyalist culture of resistance”. In particular, I will be focusing my attention on the papers of some “rebel” UEL women: Anne Powell, Christian Barnes, Maria Young, Mary Booth, Phebe Land, Sarah Sherwood, Mary Munro, Ann Peters, Nancy Jean Cameron, Isabella Gamble, Margaret Rogers, Helen McDonnell and Sarah Kast McGinnis.

I will also be taking a look at the early editions of the Upper Canadian Gazette, Kingston Gazette and York Gazette.

While I am well on my way, I am still looking for some unpublished, private documents…

If anyone has some information, or could point me to some other sources, which would help in this research, please contact me.

…Kelly Bennett {kellyb67 AT hotmail DOT com}

Responses re Julia Hou, Chongqing, China

I worked for some years in South East Asia, specifically, Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia, for that country’s energy ministry. I suggest this paper as a lead in for Julia Hou on the grounds that it identifies a specific ideology to Loyalists. The gist, the theme, is that Loyalist thinking has led to a specific outcome to the present day in much the same way as Confucianism affects many elements of Chinese culture. I believe that it would serve to aid Julia’s research in terms of an emphasis on the long term consequences seen today of Loyalist ideology upon Canada in general, which would then aid application to the specific scope of her research. I have also included an article by a renowned Albertan jurist on the history of Loyalists in Canada, plus two other articles that may provide some perspectives that may be useful with respect to her definition of an ideological context for Loyalists and a comparative analysis of the evolution of political thought in Revolutionary America as compared to Loyalist Canada.

I have begun work on a doctorate (PhD Interdisciplinary Studies – candidate) that I hope to finish within two or three years. I would be willing to correspond with Julia if you feel that it is appropriate.

…Wayne R. Hovdestad, U.E., President, Calgary Branch UELAC

I suggest a book ‘Continental Divide’ by Seymour Martin Lipset. It is the best, and least facile, of any I have encountered that explains the differences between Canada and the US. While not specifically about the maritime provinces – we know their political culture is only marginally different from other regions of Canada – it does start from the premise that many of the real differences that do exist today were formed from the characters of the loyalists.

…Jack Freeman

[Mette Griffin scanned and sent some articles which Julia had requested out of the Gazette. The two have had many email exchanges, and it seems that Mette is about to buy the book mentioned below for Julia and ship it to her]

Hi, Mette, how should I thank you for being so kind to me?

I’ll never mind when somebody points out my mistake. That is helping me. English is my second language. It’s most likely that I’ll make all sorts of mistakes. If you point out this time, I can avoid the same mistake next time.

I cherished merits of the Loyalists, such as, self-discipline, sacrifice for their children, courage to survive adversity. Loyalists’ ideology made fundamental contribution to Canada the country. In China, Canadian study is quite a newer subject compared with American study. There are fewer scholars, researchers involved in this study. But the past decade started a upsurge of Canadian study. I take my MA thesis as a beginning for possible career in this field.

If I order the book from Amazon, I’ll pay a total amount of US$91.2. The cost covers the book price, shipping freight and agent’s service charge, etc. After I read the review, I’ll be aware whether it has much bearing on my thesis subject.

No need to hurry. Tuesday is ok. You have done much for a person you never know.


Response re John and Thomas Freeman

Jack Freeman made inquiries about the families of Thomas and John Freeman — I can add only the minor point that John Freeman was a brother-in-law to another soldier in Jessup’s Corp: Lewis Mosher.

I recently edited and published an autobiography written by Edward J. Struthers (1793-1974), titled From the Richelieu Seignories to the Eastern Townships. Ed Struthers was born and raised in Noyan, Quebec and then lived his adult life in Stanstead, Quebec — acting as mayor of that town for 25 years. In his autobiography, Struthers speaks of his Loyalist ancestors, including Lewis Mosher:

The Moshers.

One impression, held by many, is that the Eastern Townships of Quebec were settled by United Empire Loyalists. A quick answer to this is that the first township, Dunham, was not open for settlement until patented on Feb. 9th, 1796, while the United Empire Loyalists came to Lower Canada from the early 1780’s on.

It was to the Seigniory of Noyan and the Seigniory of St. Armand, already surveyed, to which the first Loyalists arrived. From these points after 1796, to push on into the Eastern Townships. Indeed, Noyan was a main staging point for Loyalists going on to Sorel, Lower Canada, and eastern Upper Canada. A few families remained in Noyan.

One of the latter was Lewis Mosher, of Saratoga, N.Y., our first Mosher relative to settle in Canada. He arrived about 1784 and with him was his brother-in-law, John Freeman, on whose farm the Battle of Saratoga had been fought.

Both Lewis Mosher and John Freeman had served in Jessup’s Corps after being in the British Army since 1777. Such service had brought Lewis Mosher to St. Johns, Que., and evidently then he had chosen the site where he latter settled on the South River in the Parish of St. George de Henryville, in the Seigniory of Noyan.

I am sorry that I cannot offer any more definitive help to Jack Freeman. Perhaps he should check with the Archivist, Judy Antle, at The Missisquoi Historical Society in Stanbridge East, Que.

…Lewis S. Kreger