“Loyalist Trails” 2007-30: August 5, 2007

In this issue:
A Loyalist Teenager in Love – Stephen Jarvis
Hawkeye and J.F. Cooper
Announcing the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch WebSite
Index to Spring 2007 Issue of Loyalist Gazette
Book: The Watercolours of Charlotte Hills Beasley, with foreword by David Beasley
Friends of Fort York Newsletter Goes Electronic; Subscribers Welcome
“The British Show” Returns to Hamilton, Nov 23-25, 2007
      + Response re Drawing of Loyalist Settler’s Shanty
      + Information about Andrew, son of John Cameron and Elizabeth Summers
      + Information about Death of Frederick Frank
      + Information about The Engineers Department


A Loyalist Teenager in Love – Stephen Jarvis

We sometimes peer into the past through rose-coloured glasses, imagining that the problems of today simply didn’t exist in the “good old days”. They had their tragedies, to be sure, but nothing ever so mundane as just a “bad day”. And they certainly didn’t have to contend with teenagers. But of course, that notion is utter nonsense.

Just consider the all too familiar behaviour of Stephen Jarvis, a loyalist teenager in love. A quick review of this eighteen year old’s experiences demonstrate that the adolescents of every era have gone through the same conflicts and angst as the teenagers of the 21st century.

In April of 1775, Stephen Jarvis was living with his loyalist parents on their farm near the town of Danbury, Connecticut. But the approaching revolution was not uppermost in young Stephen’s mind — he was head over heels in love with Amelia Glover. However, his father did not approve of his choice of girlfriend, and thus Stephen was forced to sneak out to see Amelia whenever his father wasn’t looking.

The relationship between father and son soured to such a degree that one day Stephen announced that he was going to “do his own thing” (those aren’t his actual words, but that was clearly his attitude) and join the militia to fight the British forces in New York City. This angered his loyalist father so much that he grabbed the eighteen year old by the arm and threw him out of the house. (The generation gap rears its ugly head.)

Stephen managed to sneak back into his room that night, but he avoided his father all the next day. As he went off to join the militia on Monday, Stephen wished his father good-bye, but only got a cold shoulder. His father said absolutely nothing. (Lack of communication — does any of this sound vaguely familiar to parents out there?)

Though angry at his son’s rebel stance, Mr. Jarvis met Stephen at the rendezvous point for the militia. After lecturing his teenager thoroughly, Jarvis gave his son a horse and some money.

Stephen returned home two weeks later, a very contrite young man. He apologized to his father for supporting a cause he knew his father opposed and admitted that he was a loyalist, too. Stephen was so anxious to get back into his father’s favour that he even promised to break up with Amelia. Father and son were reconciled.

But within a few days, Stephen dashed off to see Amelia, once again pledging his undying love. When he returned home that night, there was an ugly confrontation with his father, but it didn’t deter Stephen from continuing to sneak off to see Amelia whenever he could.

On New Year’s Day 1776, young Jarvis discovered that a large armed body of rebel horsemen had come to his community. They had loyalist prisoners who could identify him. Fearing for his safety, Stephen went into hiding for twenty four hours.

On the following evening he met his father in a field at the back of Danbury. Jarvis knew there was no way his son could remain at home, so he gave Stephen clothes and money to aid him in his escape. The nineteen year old took off on a ten mile journey to the home of a loyalist named Hawley, the husband of Amelia’s sister. (Sure there’s a revolution going on, but you didn’t seriously believe that Stephen and Amelia had let that break them up, did you?)

The day after the teenager arrived, Hawley, in Stephen’s own words, “fetched Miss Glover to his house, and the pleasure I spent in her society surely can be better imagined than described.” (As a father of teenage daughters, this is one bit of imagining I really don’t want to engage in!)

Under the watchful eye of the Hawleys, Amelia spent two weeks in the loyalist household visiting with young Stephen. (It’s not very hard to imagine just how angry Stephen’s father would have been had he known about this arrangement.) A rebel relative came to the Hawley home on the night of a full moon to take Amelia back to her parents. The young lady pretended that she wasn’t quite ready to leave, and went to Stephen’s room for one last visit. The nineteen year old would later remember “in this manner we kept him until a late hour, when we at last took leave of each other.”

As it turned out, the loyalist teenagers would not see each other for quite a while — at least seven years. The events of the American Revolution threw Stephen into all sorts of adventures before he finally found himself among loyalist refugees in 1783, sailing for modern day New Brunswick.

Stephen eventually married Amelia Glover, and the young couple settled in Fredericton. Could any of their neighbours have imagined all that the Jarvis couple had been through as teenagers — their secret meetings, their battles with parents, and the depth of their adolescent feelings? Probably not. And if their contemporaries had difficulty imagining such behaviour, it is even more difficult for us to think of those who came to bear the “U.E.” as once being teenagers in love. But as the amazingly personal account of Stephen Jarvis’ life shows us, no matter what the time or situation, people are people. And teenagers are (for better or worse) teenagers.

If only we knew more of the stories of young loyalists in love.

…Stephen Davidson (who vaguely remembers once being a teenager in love)


– You can read the story of Stephen Jarvis online at no cost

– If you like going to primary sources, see: Jarvis, Stephen. “An American’s Experience in the British Army.” Edited by Charles M. Jarvis. Connecticut Magazine, 11 (Summer, Autumn 1907), pp. 191-215, 477-490.

– Or you can buy your own hardcopy of the book here, for only $6.95 in US funds.

Hawkeye and J.F. Cooper

The note from Ms. Brenda Merriman of Toronto re: possible Loyalist background for James Fenimore Cooper struck a chord in my mind, and I did find there is at least such a connection in his wife’s family. When Cooper returned to civilian life in 1811, he married Susan Augusta DeLancey of a formerly wealthy New York Tory family and established himself in Westchester County overlooking Long Island Sound, a gentleman farmer involved in the local militia, Agricultural Society, and Episcopal church. It was here, at the age of 30, that he published his first novel, written on a challenge from his wife.

There may of course be more. . . .

…Dave Timpany

Announcing the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch WebSite

As we approach the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch, I am pleased to announce that our new website is now on-line at www.uelac.org/SirJohnJohnson. (To make typing the address easier, www.uelac.org/sjj also redirects to the homepage.) With information on the settling of Loyalists in the Eastern Townships, the progress of the Sir John Johnson Family Vault restoration, as well as matters of interest to our branch members, you will discover a reason to return from time to time. I would like to thank Adelaide Lanktree, Louise Hall, Phyllis Hamilton, Jean Darrah McCaw, Raymond Ostiguy, Fred H. Hayward, and Corcoran Conn-Grant for their contributions. We are all very pleased with the result, one that has been accomplished in the remarkably short time of less than three weeks. This makes a much-appreciated gift on our 40th anniversary.

…Rod Riordon, President, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch

Index to Spring 2007 Issue of Loyalist Gazette

The UELAC publishes the Loyalist Gazette twice each year, in Spring and Fall. Members will have received their copy of the Spring 2007 issue in May. Information about the Gazette is posted on our website; here you will find general information, how to submit information, subscription rates, how to order back issues etc. We have just posted the “table of contents” for this latest issue – see Spring 2007 (PDF), and there is also a combined table of contents (or very simple index, if you will) of all issues, stored as a pdf and which you can search using the Acrobat Reader search function.

Book: The Watercolours of Charlotte Hills Beasley, with foreword by David Beasley

(For more information about the Loyalist connection, see query Horace Hills and Charlotte Hills Beasley Painting Circle.)

These watercolours of flowers, floral arrangements, and insects were painted between 1879 and 1882. Charlotte Hills was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1835 in a family that had come to New England in the 1600s and migrated to Canada in 1812. Her father Horace and his brother Albert were early builders and architects in Hamilton. When Charlotte was orphaned at age 14, she became the ward of Alexander Carpenter who built Rock Castle, where she lived till her marriage to Thomas Beasley, third son of the City Treasurer Henry Beasley. Thomas was City Clerk and Secretary of the Board of Education for over fifty years. Charlotte began an extensive garden behind their house on Main St. East, which attracted crowds of visitors and was carried on by her son, Alexander, who inherited his mother’s love for flowers and plants. Charlotte died in 1906.

Limited edition of 200 copies. Hardcover. Published by Davus Publishing, Simcoe ON. Click here for more information.

Friends of Fort York Newsletter Goes Electronic; Subscribers Welcome

With this number of the Fife & Drum we publish an electronic edition in parallel with the hardcopy one, and invite you to give us your e-mail address so we may send you the next issue by e-mail. Please send it to us at the email address listed below.

We’ve reached a point in the newsletter’s life where the publication appears regularly each quarter, full of a variety of news, features, essays, invitations and announcements. Up till now it has been printed on a photocopier, which limits us on what illustrations we can include, and rules out using colour. While sometimes we’d like to include more topical content, each issue must be capped at eight pages to avoid paying more than $0.52 in postage. The copies have to be folded, put in envelopes, addressed and stamped by hand. We’d like to free up our member-volunteers from these laborious jobs that consume many hours and take away from the time they could be doing more rewarding things.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, send us your e-mail address today.

…Friends of Fort York {fofy AT sympatico DOT ca}

“The British Show” Returns to Hamilton, Nov 23-25, 2007

The British Show is coming back to Hamilton, Ontario this November for the British Show at Christmas. This past February the British Show held its first event at the Hamilton Convention Centre and had a record response from both local and out of town visitors. The British Show was in fact the most successful opening show to be ever held at the Hamilton Convention Centre in the centre’s history! Over three days the British Show had thousands of attendees all with a keen interest in purchasing items and services or receiving information that appeals to the British Diaspora.

Why not consider promoting your organization at the British Show, which has achieved excellent attendance, has reasonable booth costs, extensive media exposure and taking place at a prime time for holiday sales. Please see our web site at www.britishshow.net and click exhibitors for full details or contact Sean Cairney at sean@britishshow.net

[submitted by Richard Atkinson UE]


Response re Drawing of Loyalist Settler’s Shanty

I just went into Google Images and typed in Loyalist Settlers Shanty. Four pictures which might be of use showed first, 2 photos and 2 illustrations, and then, of course, a lot of other stuff.

…Mette Griffin, Dominion Office Administrator, UELAC

The book The Smiling Wilderness, by Frank B. Edwards, shows the evolution of a Loyalist farm, from rough-hewn shanty to barn, log cabin and other outbuildings (page 29). This may still be available from the Lennox and Addington County office. I purchased 3 copies in 1997.

…Nancy Conn, U.E.

Information about Andrew, son of John Cameron and Elizabeth Summers

We live in the Cameron Stone House (circa 1853), located at 6400 County Road (or Summerstown) Road, in Summerstown Ontario, Concession 2 lot 14 in South Glengarry. The land owner, Petro-Canada, wants to demolish it, unless we can move this 300-ton house off their property. We feel with the more the history we can gather, the more we can delay the demolition and find ways to save our home (our dream Home). Pictures: Front (South), Rear, Keystone, East.
Andrew received this land beside his father John Cameron’s land. No further details other than to say his father’s lot was immediately to the south of Andrew’s.
Andrew Cameron built it (or had help building it, or helped build it), probably in 1853. The initials and date are inscribed on the keystone “A.C. 1853”.
The last Camerons to live in this beautiful house were Douglas & Penny Cameron, afterwards other owners such as Dr. Laframboise and Neil Burke. We have had this house now for 3 years.
Any information about Andrew Cameron, his family, ancestors, the property, the house would be most appreciated as we work to work to keep our home. Thank you for your time and consideration,

…Robert Gagné, {dumondgagne AT sympatico DOT ca}

Information about Death of Frederick Frank

Frederick Frank was born in Germany 1745, married Anne Margaretha, also born in Germany. They immigrated to the colonies in 1765 and son William John Frank was born 30 Sept 1765 enroute to America. There were three daughters, Margaret married John Barnet (New Johnston), Mary unmarried, Catharina, unmarried.

The family accumulated land, 399 acres, on the Upper Susquehanna. This was included on the 1776 August Tax list of those living “Up the River”.

After war broke out, Frederick joined Butlers Rangers in 1777 and served as a private. He was in active service when he was taken prisoner. He was part of a planned prisoner exchange, but the exchange did not take place for some reason. As a result he was put into a Whig prison, where conditions were very poor. The Simsbury Copper Mines were used as a prison; what became the state prison at Wethersfield in northwestern Connecticut may be another. He did not survive his incarceration, but I have been unable to find any details about his date of death, and in which prison or where else that occurred.

Son William served as a private in the Kings Royal Regiment of New York. He was very young and served as a clothing tailor. There is material showing evidence that William made a request on 6 March 1788 in Montreal for land on behalf of his Mother and sisters. William married in Ontario 1794/5 Margaretha Müller born 1770. Their children included:

– William John born 22 Sep 1795 Williamsburgh, d. Sep 1850 Belvidere, Boone, Illinois married 4 Mar 1821 Elizabeth Erwin

– Nancy Anna born 25 Sep Williamsburgh buried Greenlawn Cem Canada married 18 Feb 1818 Frederick Baker

– Simcoe

– Catherina born 25 Dec 1797 m. Frederick Baker

– Mary Maria born 14 Oct 1800 m. 23 Dec 1822 Jonathon McCurdy

– Dorothea b: 26 Feb 1802 m. Peleg Lake

– Frederick born 28 Jun 1803 d. 7 Aug 1848 Boston Mills Cemetary m. 6 March 1827 Mary McGregor McDonald

– Andrew born 3 Mar 1805

– John b. 10 Dec 1809 m. Elizabeth

– Sally born 1810

– Adam Nelson b. 18 Sep 1814

– Susannah b. 1817/18 d. 15 Feb 1893 m. 28 Feb 1835 Isaac Nelson Hughson.

I am looking for more information about the family, but most specifically about the prison(s) where Frederick Frank was incarcerated, and any information such as dates and location of his death.

…Helen C. Frank Aukerman, USA, {HCA AT gmail DOT com}

Information about The Engineers Department

I’m researching and writing about my Loyalist ancestor Abel Flewwelling. I know from his Claim for Losses that he worked for two years with the British in the Engineers Department, piloting a ship for the Commander, Alexander Mercer. Abel, being a carpenter by trade, would seem to have used those skills in some capacity for this department as well, and I’m curious as to what and where some of their activities might have been. The only thing I’ve found about the Engineers Department is at the Loyalist Studies website – see www.royalprovincial.com.

So my question would be – is there a good source of information on the workings of the Engineers Department in and around New York during the Revolution?

…Eric Langley {elangley AT shaw DOT ca}