“Loyalist Trails” 2007-08: February 25, 2007

In this issue:
Honorary Vice-President Receives An Honour
Were Your Loyalist Ancestors Snooty??
“At The End Of The Trail” Conference 2007: Costume Parade
Bus to Conference from Toronto, and return
The “Almost Stories” of Loyalist Slaves, by Stephen Davidson
NS Remsheg Loyalists 225th Anniversary: Come Home to Your Loyalist Roots
Army & Empire: British Soldiers on the American Frontier, 1758-1775, by Michael N. McConnell
Black Loyalist Burial Ground in Guysborough County Slated for Development
41st Regt. Lecture Series – Steve Abolt on the US 7th Infantry in War of 1812 – April 27th in Guelph ON
New Postings in Loyalist Directory and Military Information
Last Post: BROWNLOW, William (Gordon) C.A. 1918-2007
      + H.W. Abrahams (Abrams)
      + Responses re Haldimand Papers at Ontario Archives


Honorary Vice-President Receives An Honour

Mrs. David M. Stewart, O.C., O.St.J., DLJ who has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada – for philanthropy. Congratulations from the UELAC for your achievement. Well deserved!

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

Were Your Loyalist Ancestors Snooty??

I was pleased to see an article covering Revolutionary War research in the current issue of Family Chronicle magazine, (Apr 2007). Better yet, author Rick Crume covers both sides, so we are not given the usual Mel-Gibsonized version of the War. I do, however question the following statement that the Loyalists, “included British government officials, ministers of the Anglican Church and others who depended on British sovereignty for their wealth or livelihood”.

While this may have been true for a minority, I find that most Loyalists were economically on the same level as their Rebel neighbours – farmers, tradespeople etc. I think statements like this tend to perpetuate a stereotype that is a bit misleading. I have sent a letter to the editor.

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President

“At The End Of The Trail” Conference 2007: Costume Parade

We hope you are getting your Loyalist attire ready for your trip to Windsor May 31 – June 3? Join in the Costume Parade Saturday night at the Gala and feel that sense of pride when you wear what our Loyalist families might have worn. We would love to have the largest group of members in period costume than at any other conference. If you can’t sew there are many places to get your very own costume like Linda’s Early Fashions.

Those who can sew will be excited to see the patterns available online: click here. Email me for more ideas on where to get your costumes at {Uelac2007 AT aol DOT com}.

Send your Registration Form in early to ensure you are able to take part in your preferred activities. It is available at www.uelbicentennial.org under Conference 2007.

Don’t forget to book your hotel room at the Holiday Inn Windsor Hotel website.

…Kimberly Hurst UE, 2007 Conference Chair, “At The End Of The Trail” Bicentennial Branch

Bus to Conference from Toronto, and return

If you are making your plans to get to Conference in Windsor, and those plans bring you to Toronto on the way, or you are between Toronto and Windsor, please consider the bus we are planning to take. It will leave Toronto after morning rush hour on Thursday May 31 and will return you to Toronto after the conference concludes, so by 7:00 pm on June 3.

We will stop for a lunch and visit or pass by a number of Loyalist sites and places of interest on the route down, but the return trip will be a direct one.

A small number have now booked their seats, but we need to fill the bus to make it feasible. Those now planning to make the trip merry include Gloria and Lloyd Oakes, Gloria Howard and Dave Ellesworth and his Mum, along with Nancy and me. With this bunch, it is pretty much guaranteed to be a lively trip.

Please let me know if you are interested as soon as possible.

…Doug {doug DOT grant AT insurance-canada DOT ca}

The “Almost Stories” of Loyalist Slaves, by Stephen Davidson

Discovering the details of the Black Loyalist experience is an extremely difficult task; finding out how the black slaves of loyalists managed after the exodus of 1783 is almost impossible. But there are sources that “almost” tell us about a handful of the enslaved African who came with their loyalist masters to New Brunswick. By comparing “The Book of Negroes” with the “New Brunswick Probate Records (1785-1835)” the careful reader can gain a small but vivid glimpse into the conditions of those who were once considered mere property.

The “Book of Negroes” was compiled by the British government between the spring and fall of 1783. It recorded the names and situations of both free and enslaved Africans as they left the new American republic. One entry notes that James Peters sailed on the “Alexander” with his slaves 25 year old Pompey, and 20 year old Cairo.

Twenty-three years later, James Peters drew up his will, declaring that “my negro wench Cairo” was to continue to serve his wife. If Mrs. Peters remarried, Cairo was “free” to either live with her former mistress or one of the Peters children. “In consideration of her long and faithful service, it is my will that she be kindly treated and provided with every necessary that may contribute to render her comfortable and happy in her declining years.

“Her husband Pompey Rumney was to be kindly treated and provided for if required.” While this may sound generous, it should be noted that Peters did not free Mr. and Mrs. Rumney. He did, however, free “my negro man” Len on the provision that he serve Mrs. Peters for a year after Peters’ death.

The Anglican minister, Rev. James Scovil drew up his will in 1804. At that time he had two slaves, 12 year old Robert and 10 year old Sampson. According to the pastor’s last testament, they could look forward to being given their freedom when each turned 26 years old “provided they do faithfully discharge the duty of servants until that period.”

William Wanton came to Saint John, New Brunswick with his slave, Buck. Before he died in 1816, Wanton had freed Buck. His will stated that his wife Martha was to pay their former slave one hundred dollars from his estate.

The treatment received by the Africans mentioned above was not typical by any means; most of the black slaves that were included in loyalist wills were simply considered property and were willed to various family members along with mirrors, furniture, and paintings.

Female loyalists were more likely to treat their African slaves with kindness. The will of Sarah Cory of Gagetown stated that her servant Dorothy and all her children, upon Cory’s death, were to be free from slavery “with her bed and bedding and wearing clothes without any demands of my children.”

After Euphemia Harris of Charlotte County saw to the needs of her mother and son in her will, she had her lawyer see that her slave, Silve, be given 50 acres “off the farm where I live for her life, after her decease to her son, George Field.”

Considering that 2007 is the two hundredth anniversary of the end of slavery within the British Empire, it is interesting to note how many Africans were still treated as property within New Brunswick as late as 1816. While the capture, buying and selling of slaves were outlawed, it is clear that slavery continued in loyalist communities long after the Parliamentary edict of 1802.

…Stephen Davidson

NS Remsheg Loyalists 225th Anniversary: Come Home to Your Loyalist Roots

Join us June 28 through June 30th, 2008, in Wallace, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, for a reunion of the families of descendants of Loyalist families who arrived in the mid 1780s and settled the Remsheg Grant (Wallace), Nova Scotia, Canada – a reunion of family reunions! Visit http://remsheg225.wetpaint.com/ for more details. There is a link there to a list of families listed on the Remsheg Grant survey dated 1784, and work is underway to determine more names from later and final land grants.

[submitted by Ed Kipp UE]

Army & Empire: British Soldiers on the American Frontier, 1758-1775, by Michael N. McConnell

Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2004. 213pp. $49.95.

The author, first, looks at the soldier during a time of relative peace between the French & Indian War and the American Revolution. Then looks at various aspects of soldier life during a time soldiers were more involved with building (and rebuilding) fortifications. And, finally, the author accentuates how the British Army and its soldiers were subjected to entirely new experiences when they took control of the former French holdings. McConnell accomplishes his goal of showing how “British garrisons were yet one more type of community in a complex matrix of peoples and cultures”.

…Bill Glidden

Black Loyalist Burial Ground in Guysborough County Slated for Development

(from the Chronicle-Herald, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007, p.D1, Victoria Foley Special)

James Desmond believes a Black Loyalists burial ground in Guysborough County should be protected from development even though all the bodies from the site have been moved. The Lincolnville resident said he had no idea until last November that the $4-billion liquefied natural gas project proposed by Keltic Petrochemicals at Goldboro would take in a portion of land that was home to the Red Head burial ground, a cemetery site used by his ancestors.

Red Head dates back to the late 1780s, when it is believed that the first black settlers of the Goldboro area buried their dead on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Part of the planned Keltic facility includes a large wharf jutting out from the coast, on a piece of land which is home to the Red Head burial ground. Mr. Desmond says the cliff face has eroded over the years, washing many of the estimated 200 graves out to sea. In 2001, the Lincolnville Development Association led an initiative to excavate the remaining graves. With the help of archaeologist Laird Niven, on a grant from the Nova Scotia Museum, twenty-six bodies were removed from the site and relocated to the Bayview Cemetery in Goldboro. The excavation was the first of its kind in the province.

“These kinds of things have huge significance,” Hamilton says, “and just because maybe in this research they didn’t find any more interred bodies, there are a lot of intangibles when it comes to cultural or hereditary type sites. So we really would want to make sure that whatever goes forward really does respect those kinds of locations or those kinds of meanings that are attached to burial grounds, and for the most part, I think that the community is wanting to make sure that that in itself is protected.”

“There’s never been that many bodies removed from a burial ground in the province, and certainly not Black Loyalist descendants, that’s for sure,” Niven says. “The real significance is that it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t initiated by the Lincolnville community group. “It’s unfortunate, it was simply a removal and a very basic forensics analysis. We weren’t allowed to take (the remains) back to Saint Mary’s University because the community didn’t want them to leave.”

The Red Head cemetery dates back to the late 1780s, and is believed to have been founded by a Black Loyalist named Isaac Webb. Webb and his family settled in what is now called Isaac’s Harbour, a small village adjacent to Goldboro. Very little research has been done on the Black Loyalist history in the area.

Further testing in 2004 showed no evidence of further human remains at the site, but did reveal remnants of several domestic structures nearby that may have been used by the people who once inhabited the area. Niven says there is still much to learn.

“I mean, we don’t have a lot. We don’t know the age of the structures that are remaining, but we know that they came in the 1780s and that they would have been close by, so they were living in the neighbourhood, and we don’t have a huge database of information on the Black Loyalists, especially in Guysborough, so it is extremely important.”

The second archeological report concluded that an archeologist should be on hand during the Keltic construction, to make sure that minimal damage is done if any remains or other artifacts are found. The report also recommended “that consultation with the Lincolnville black community be initiated prior to any ground disturbance in order to address any possible cultural and political issues surrounding the site.”

“Their concern is that Black Loyalist resources have been destroyed in the past and they’re trying to hold on to whatever remains, so to speak. But in terms of the Nova Scotia Museum, I mean all the steps will be taken to satisfy their criteria.”

‘We don’t have a huge database of information on the Black Loyalists, especially in Guysborough, so it is extremely important.’

[submitted by Robert Wilkins UE]

41st Regt. Lecture Series – Steve Abolt on the US 7th Infantry in War of 1812 – April 27th in Guelph ON

Steve is our next featured speaker. He will help us turn our attention to the US Army in our ongoing exploration of topics associated with the War of 1812. His presentation is titled “Cottonbalers! The 7th Infantry: A Perspective of a US Army “Old Line” Regiment During the War of 1812″.

Steve Abolt, Military Historian, Proprietor of Allegheny Arsenal and Major of the re-created 7th Regiment of United States Infantry. Steve frequently serves as Commander in Chief of the United States Forces in War of 1812 re-enactments.

Steve will travel to join us from the Deep South to give us a perspective on a U.S. regiment that was located far away from the primary seats of war and was suddenly thrust into the limelight during the defense against the British attack on New Orleans. The defense was successful and a historic regimental identity was formed.

The lecture is to be held at the Iron Duke House at the Wellington Brewery in Guelph, Ontario located at 950 Woodlawn Road West on Friday, April 27th, 2007. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Q&A at 8:30, Social commences at 9:00. There will be a nominal $10.00 fee to support the evening.

Seats can be reserved by going to fortyfirst.org or emailing register@fortyfirst.org.

Tom Fournier, 41st Regiment of Foot, Military Living History Group

New Postings in Loyalist Directory and Military Information

Over the past week information has been added to the Loyalist Directory on a number of Loyalists:

– Chester, John updates by Michael Hereford

– Defoe, Johannes Ernst “John” – from Joan Lucas

– Dulmage, John updates from Clarke Raymond

– Lloyd, George Henry – from Paul Caverly

– Phair, Andrew – from Fred Bradley

To see the details, visit the UELAC.org Loyalist Directory.

Also, Rod Craig contributed, and Peter Bolton transcribed, a chronological list of nearly sixty battles of the Revolutionary War. Each shows the date, name and place of the battle, the British and American commanders, the number engaged on each side and in many cases the losses for each side. Available as a PDF file (2 pages) from our Military Overview page.

Last Post: BROWNLOW, William (Gordon) C.A. 1918-2007

World War II Veteran, Navigator, Lancaster Bomber Passed away on February 14, 2007. Beloved husband of Irene (nee Harvey). Loving father to Barry (Kathryn), David (Anna Maria) and Mary (Jeffrey) Thompson. Gordon was born in Toronto and worked at The Robert Simpson Company for over 42 years. He moved to Ancaster with his wife Irene to be closer to their children and growing families. Muskoka was an integral part of Gordon’s life where he was a summer resident in Bala for over 50 years. Donations may be made in Gordon’s memory to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 9280 Airport Road, Mount Hope, Ontario, L0R 1W0, a museum with which Gordon was very proud to be associated.

Gordon was a proud proven descendant of John Secord Sr. and saw to it that his 3 children and his 7 grandchildren received their official Loyalist designation. As is our custom, a memorial donation will be given to the Dominion Book of Remembrance in Gordon’s honour. Although not proven, Gordon also could claim Loyalist status through Wm MAY, Nicholas SMITH, and Elias SMITH Sr.

…Gloria Oakes. Hamilton Branch


H.W. Abrahams (Abrams)

I am looking for an H.W. Abrahams or Abrams, Quaker Pioneer of Pickering, Ontario. I am thinking he (if he exists) might have been a United Empire Loyalist. I have a chair with his name on it – someone researching Pickering and Quaker pioneers has never heard of him and he may in fact not exist.

…Carol Martin {forksflyshop AT sympatico DOT ca}

Responses re Haldimand Papers at Ontario Archives

There are microfilm reels of many volumes of the Haldimand Papers available at the Ontario Archives.

Nonetheless, when you find where the collection is stored (used to be all in one drawer), they are a wonderful resource. Best to find the Finding Aid and pore over it before you launch, unless you already know what Volume you want to consult. In any event, the Finding Aid can also short circuit the time spent, as you will be able to determine quickly whether the volumes you want are held in the AO collection.

…Gavin Watt, HVP, UELAC

The Haldimand papers are also available for research in the Loyalist Collection at Brock University in St. Catharines. You can view a listing of each reel held in the collection at brockloyalisthistorycollection.ca.

…Ed Scott, UE

Sir Frederick Haldimand papers, 1758-1784 (NA MG 21, G 2):

Available on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario, 77 Grenville St., off Bay neay College, Toronto

Sir Frederick Haldimand was Governor of the Province of Quebec (which at that time included southern and central Ontario) from 1776 to 1784. His records include correspondence, lists and other records pertaining to early Loyalists in the Province of Quebec. The Archives of Ontario holds a microfilm copy of the records pertaining to Ontario. Refer to Inventory D 7 Sir Frederick Haldimand papers for details.


Haldimand, Frederick, Sir, 1718-1791

British Library. Manuscript. Additional 21661-21892

TITLE(S): Sir Frederick Haldimand : unpublished papers and correspondence 1758-84: the official and private correspondence and papers of General Sir Frederick Haldimand, Commander of Posts at Three Rivers, Rensacola and St. Augustine, 1758-1777, Acting Commander in Chief in North America, 1773-1774, and Governor of Quebec, 1778-1784, from the British Library

PUBLISHER: London: World Microfilms Publications Ltd., 1978.

DESCRIPTION: 115 reels; 35 mm.

SUBJECTS: Haldimand, Frederick, Sir, 1718-1791

There is also a searchable collection on a web site at haldimand-collection.ca

…Donald J. Flowers, UE, Toronto Branch