“Loyalist Trails” 2006-05 January 29, 2006

In this issue:
“Early Days, the Birth of Public Education in Ontario”
Died January 24, 1898: Sir Frederick Middleton (Globe & Mail Died This Day)
The Black Loyalists: A Digital Collections site
      + Response re Land Grants: Were they part of compensation for claims?
      + Response re John Chisholm, Queenston
      + Information on John Vaughn (Vaughan)
      + Muster Roll, Queen’s Rangers, Aaron Sweezy


“Early Days, the Birth of Public Education in Ontario”

You are invited to the opening of a special exhibit on the birth of public education in Ontario in the Archives and Museum, St. James’ Cathedral, 65 Church Street, Toronto, on Thursday,February 9, 2006 by the Honourable James Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Okill Stuart, direct descendant of the Rev. John Stuart, in celebration of the bicentennial of Jarvis Collegiate Institute. The opening ceremony will be in the Cathedral itself at 7:00pm, and be followed by a reception and opportunity to visit the exhibit in the Parish House.

Set into a background of world events that embrace hostilities between the imperialistic powers of Britain and France over the North American Colonies and starting in the period immediately prior to the American Revolution, the exhibit focuses on key people involved and the movement of those loyal to the Crown into Upper Canada where they found a total absence of schools. The Rev John Stuart has been described as the Father of the Anglican Church in Upper Canada, and this exhibit will focus on his being the Father of Education as well for he opened the first publicly funded school in what is now Kingston in 1785 on funding received from the Governor of Quebec. He continued his efforts to establish a secondary school, and was successful in obtaining an agreement from Simcoe in 1792 after the latter’s installation as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. The story then moves to the newly established Town of York and the eventual passage of the Public School Act in 1807 to establish a grammar school in each of the seven districts of the province. York was in the Home District and so the school we now know of as Jarvis opened as the Home District Grammar School on June 1, 1807 in what was the rectory of this Church, the home of the Rev. George Okill Stuart. Relations between the Church and School were to continue over a number of years. The Rev. George Okill Stuart, son of John, was the first Principal. He was followed the Rev. Dr. John Strachan as the second. The first Board was made up of parishioners of this Church, while our first Dean, Henry James Grasett served as Chair of its Board for close to forty years until his death in 1882. We will follow the growth of the School within the context of the City through the 19th Century and until 1924 when it moved to its present site at the south-east corner of Jarvis and Wellesley Streets, Toronto.

The exhibit will be open to the general public every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from Sunday, February 12 until Thursday, March 23, 2006 from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Admission by donation.

Because of the large number of group tours and school classes wishing to visit, the exhibit will be left in place until June, 2006 for groups to come by appointment. Such group tours can include a tour of the Cathedral, and tea can be arranged for those interested. Call Nancy Mallett at 416-364-7865, Ex. 233.

For information about Jarvis Collegiate Institute’s Bicentennial Celebrations May 25-27, 2007, visit jarvis2007.com

…Nancy Mallett, Archivist, St James Cathedral

Died January 24, 1898: Sir Frederick Middleton (Globe & Mail Died This Day)

British army officer born in Belfast on Nov. 2, 1825

A career British Army Officer who had served with distinction all over the British Empire, he had been posted to Ottawa to head the Canadian militia when the North-West Rebellion occurred. He organized a thorough and well-planned expedition against Louis Riel’s forces but moved with excessive caution. After minor setbacks, his army scored a conclusive victory over the Metis at Batoche in May of 1885. A grateful Ottawa gave him a cash prize and London saw to it that he got a knighthood. He led the militia for another five years, after which he was appointed the Keeper of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

The Black Loyalists: A Digital Collections site

This site explores an untold story of our nation’s history: how Canada became the home of the first settlements of free blacks outside Africa.

As Revolution began in the thirteen American colonies in the late 1770s, the British were badly outnumbered. When in desperation they promised freedom to any slave of a rebel who fought the Americans on their behalf, the response was greater than they could have imagined; as many as 30 000 slaves escaped to British lines. Working as soldiers, labourers, pilots, cooks, and musicians, they were a major part of the unsuccessful British war effort. As defeat became inevitable, these free blacks were evacuated to Nova Scotia with the other Loyalists.

But their hoped-for promised land never arrived. Their land was never granted, and most were reduced to a position not so different from slavery, where they were dependent on the meagre wages they could earn from manual labour. In the end most chose to seek a new life in Sierra Leone, away from the cold lands where they had experienced so much prejudice.

This is the story of those Black Loyalists. Click here for more.

To learn more about the Black Loyalist story, click on the Our Story icon to the left and begin reading the story of their experience. In the People section you can read short biographies of prominent Black Loyalists, and the Communities section contains descriptions and maps of the various Black Loyalist communities.

The chronological timeline at the bottom of the page can be freely scrolled to the left and right. Clicking on an event of interest will load a page that describes the event. If you don’t see a timeline, click on the site logo to reload the page with frames.

The Documents section contains a number of original historical documents which we have transcribed for your use, including several first hand accounts of life as a Black Loyalist in Nova Scotia. In addition we have court records, official proclamations, personal letters, and a wealth of other material, all of which may be cited at your leisure. A separate page describes a number of valuable secondary sources, historians, and web sites you may wish to consult for further information.

There is an active Black Loyalist Society in Birchtown, N.S. which sponsored the development of this site. If you would like to contact them to research your genealogy or learn more about their archaeological projects or museums, take a look at the Loyalists Now section.

We hope you appreciate the site, and if you’d like to contact the development team to thank us or have us work for you, look in the Feedback section.

This Digital Collection was produced under contract to Canada’s Digital Collections Program, Industry Canada.

…Bill Smy UE


Response re Land Grants: Were they part of compensation for claims?

Land grants were not part of compensation for war losses; rather they were a reward for loyalty and service.

Compensation claims were submitted to a Royal Commission and are contained in Audit Office 12 and 13, Claims of American Loyalists.

They have been published in:

Galloway, Joseph, 1731-1803. The claim of the American loyalists reviewed and maintained upon incontrovertible principles of law and justice. — London : Printed for G. and T. Wilkie …, 1788.

The individual had to lay out his perceived claim for losses, and have the claim supported by statements by Loyalists or British officers or officials.

Some examples of claims submitted by soldiers of Butler’s Rangers:–

John Butler claimed 9,611 pds Sterling ($718,475 in 1991 US dollars); awarded 5,400 Sterling ($403,376 in 1991 US dollars)

Philip Buck claimed 154 pds Sterling ($11,512 in 1991 US dollars); awarded 62 Sterling ($46,348 in 1991 US dollars)

William Pickard claimed 243 pds Sterling ($18,165 in 1991 US dollars); awarded 65 Sterling ($4,859 in 1991 US dollars)

The great majority of Loyalists never filed a claim.

…Bill Smy UE

Response re John Chisholm, Queenston

A wonderful book about John Chisholm and his friends was written by Hazel Mathews. “The Mark of Honour” (UofT Press, 1965). You won’t have an easy time finding a copy, but I suggest an intra-library loan.

…Gavin Watt

I notice in the latest Loyalist Trails that you are looking for information on John Chisholm of Queenston. His younger brother, George, was my g.g.g.grandfather and John was one of the reasons that my ancestor moved from Nova Scotia (he was a Port Roseway Associate) to Fort Erie and then to Burlington. John emigrated from the Parish of Croy in Scotland shortly after his brother George. My cousin, Hazel Chisholm Mathews, wrote several books including “Oakville and the Sixteen” which is a history of the Town of Oakville which was founded by William Chisholm, one of George’s sons. She also wrote “Mark of Honour” which is a Loyalist History and gives a fair amount of information on John. An unpublished work, “Chisholms of Croy”, details the history of their branch of the Chisholm family from the 1720s to the 1960s and includes a genealogy of John’s family and George’s family although the latter is more complete. A copy of the manuscript is owned by the Oakville Historical Society and I have retyped it and brought George’s side up to date as much as I can – I hear frequently from descendants from as far away as Tasmania. “Chisholms of Croy” has a fair amount of information on John and his descendants. I can send you a copy of “Chisholms of Croy” and the genealogy on CD if you like. “Mark of Honour” is out of print but I have photocopied it. It may be available in your local library as well. What further information are you looking for in particular?

…George Chisholm, UE, President Oakville Historical Society

Information on John Vaughn (Vaughan)

I am researching my John Vaughn/Vaughan families in Kingston and Elizabethtown in same time period with roots in Rupert, VT and NY.

I would like some present day documentation other than his claims and a copy of his name as a vestryman at Christ Church in Sorrel, along with Hawley and Vaughan. Charles Vaughn, who was in Elizabethtown in early 1800s. His relative, John Vaughn married Hulda Johns. John was a UEL and killed in the war.

Would be interested in document that has Hawley and Vaughan as a vestryman at Christ Church.

One of his descendants came west to Manitoba, where there is a Vaughan Street in Winnipeg.

…Cheryl Bills of Sugar City, Idaho; Respond to Margaret Carter {jmcarter AT mts dOT net}

Muster Roll, Queen’s Rangers, Aaron Sweezy

I am trying to find the Muster roll for the below mentioned person with no avail. The information listed below was transcribed about thirty years ago, but the lady who transcribed it didn’t keep the reel number.

“Aaron Sweezey – private, Queens Rangers (Master Roll Nov. 25, 1777 – Feb. 24, 1778).

– discharged Feb. 1 1778

– enlisted – Kensington Feb. 8 ’77. [There is a Kensington, New York State].

– 1777 eleventh (Highland) company raised

– Highland Company under Captain John MacKay.

– Queens Rangers commanded by John Graves Simcoe Esq. – Major

If anyone could provide a source, it would be appreciated.

…Patrick O. Sweezey {po DOT sweez AT sympatico DOT ca}