“Loyalist Trails” 2008-11: March 16, 2008

In this issue:
“Saint John 225” Welcoming Reception by Market Slip
The Hatter, the Gardener and the Hog Farmer by Stephen Davidson
Capt. Peter Drummond, Forgotten Loyalist
Remsheg and Jabez Rundle: (Rich Man, Poor Man, by Stephen Davidson)
More on Richard Cartwright
Those Infamous Tories again…
Renaming Strait of Georgia in British Columbia to the Salish Sea
Source of Loyalist Era Clothing
Last Post: Glen Bell UE, of Waterford
      + Proof that Henry Merritt is son of Moses Merritt
      + Response re Information on John and Phoebe Schooley


“Saint John 225” Welcoming Reception by Market Slip

The Dominion UELAC Conference for 2008 “Saint John 225” officially begins the evening of Thursday July 10th. Join us in the Kennebecasis Room of the host hotel the Saint John Hilton for the Conference Welcoming Reception.

You simply cannot improve on the provenance of the Kennebecasis Room since it overlooks Market Slip – the very place where the Loyalists first landed on May 18, 1783. There will hopefully be a few “surprises” down on the shoreline for your entertainment. DeLancey’s Brigade, our local Revolutionary War re-enactors, are known to love musket drill and this event should provide a good excuse for them to burn a bit of black powder in a very historic place. We will invite Saint John’s Mayor (and other dignitaries) – but with a city election between now and then that must be a surprise as well.

Period dress is encouraged, not just at the reception but at any time during the conference. One final note – don’t eat too much before the reception as there will be lots of delicious snacks.

(Thursday July 10 – Sunday July 13): “Saint John 225” hosted by New Brunswick Branch in Saint John NB

…Stephen Bolton UE, Conference Chair {steve DOT bolton AT gnb DOT ca}

The Hatter, the Gardener and the Hog Farmer by Stephen Davidson

Loyalists were not just farmers of the New England soil or pioneers on the American frontier; their occupations in the years before the revolution ranged from hatter to hog farmer. While their jobs in the Thirteen Colonies varied, the loyalists’ experiences of persecution and displacement were the common glue that united all of the king’s refugees.

By the December of 1786, Isaac Titus and his family were preparing for their fourth winter in the refugee community of Annapolis, Nova Scotia. The New York loyalists were not very far from where Samuel Champlain had established the first permanent French settlement in North America almost two centuries earlier. While it was the hat trade’s demand for beaver that brought the French to Annapolis, it is not likely that Titus, a hat maker, found any time to turn beaver felt into a tricorner hat.

Only eleven years earlier, Titus was a tradesman in Bedford on Long Island, New York. He had built himself a hat shop and house, served in the local militia, and maintained a ten-acre farm on which he raised sheep and dairy cattle. Life was good. And then along came 1776.

At first the Bedford hat maker kept his head low, serving in the town’s militia without revealing his true allegiance. Later a friend would testify that although Titus bore arms with the rebels, he was “a friend of Great Britain”.

Two years later, Titus tried to run away to the British lines, but he was found out, and his two horses were taken. The hat maker was wounded in his escape attempt, and he was put in the Bedford jail for a year.

Titus later claimed that his imprisonment cost him £50 in potential earnings and his lost hat-making tools were valued at £15. Hat making must have been a difficult trade to enter if the tools themselves were worth almost a third of a year’s average income.

Titus was finally released on the condition that he would move away from the British lines. The hat maker promptly broke his word and fled to the safety of New York City. Two years later, Titus and his family joined other loyalists refugees to sail north to Nova Scotia.

Being a loyalist gardener was no bed of roses either. James Oram, a veteran from the Seven Years War, lived just outside of Philadelphia. He described himself as a “gardener, nurseryman, and seedsman”. Oram and his wife lived on leased land where he tended a garden and an orchard that had several hundred trees. They were no doubt anticipating many quiet and productive years ahead.

When the revolution erupted, Oram was offered a captain’s commission in the rebel army, but the old soldier stood by his king. He joined the British forces in nearby German Town, conducting horses to the field artillery. While the loyalist was away, rebels destroyed Oram’s house and laid waste to his nursery. Mrs. Oram had to seek sanctuary in Philadelphia.

One can almost see the gardener shrug his shoulders when he later explained that “his garden was in the way of the march of the Army, but had he not been a Tory, they would not have meddled with him.” A friend testified that the patriots had marched through Oram’s land with the express intent of injuring him. He felt very sure that the “depredation” would never have occurred had Oram not been a loyalist.

James Oram served the British for five years, and was at the capture of Yorktown. The gardener was finally discharged at the evacuation of Charleston, South Carolina. Within five years’ time, the resilient Oram had established a new home for his family along the Long Reach of the St. John River. There he never again had to fear that his patiently tended plants would be destroyed by vindictive neighbours.

Richard Robins was a loyalist hog farmer in New Jersey’s Monmouth County. After the declaration of independence, he immediately rallied fellow loyalists to support their king, and opposed the training of the rebel militia. Word of Robins’ outspoken loyalty made its way to the rebel congress, and it put the hog farmer in prison.

Released on parole, Robins joined the British forces in Trenton and was put in charge of the wagons that brought the army its vital supplies. But not all of the family served behind the lines. John Robins, the hog farmer’s son, joined the King’s Rangers, a corps of loyalist soldiers, and fought throughout the course of the revolution.

One day Richard Robins butchered 40 hogs (7,850 pounds of pork!) for the British army and then set off to arrange the meat’s delivery. A rebel foraging party promptly stole all that he had slaughtered. A year later, Robins once again lost more hogs –as well as three horses– to the soldiers of the Continental army.

When the British were defeated in Trenton, the hog farmer was shackled in irons and moved from one rebel prison to another. Benedict Arnold, then a rebel officer, arranged to buy 25 of Robins’ hogs while the farmer was in jail, but the promised payment for loyalist pork was never received.

After a long imprisonment and the payment of a fine, Robins was finally returned to his family. Demoralized, the hog farmer decided to “remain quiet” and left New Jersey for the safety of Staten Island. In 1783 the loyalist family left New York for the Island of St. John — modern day Prince Edward Island. By the winter of 1784, the hog farmer who had endured so many trials died without ever receiving compensation for all that he suffered for his loyalty.

…Stephen Davidson

Capt. Peter Drummond, Forgotten Loyalist

While many of the works of Peter Drummond remain, one being a national historic site and another, perhaps the oldest wooden home in Ontario, few with an interest in Canada’s history know the contributions of this early Canadian. There are no memorials to his existence and even his gravesite has been lost.

Peter Drummond left his native Scotland and arrived in the Province of New York settling with the aged Major Daniel McAlpine at Sarasota in 1774. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Drummond formed his own small loyal company and fought his way to Crown Point where Lord Dorchester gave him a Lieutenant’s commission in Jessup’s Loyal Rangers. Drummond took part in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and then the Battle of Saratoga where he was captured and imprisoned in Albany. Drummond escaped through a subterfuge in 1779 and made his way to Canada where he was given command of all British and Loyalist Troops at Vercheres with the rank of Captain. Drummond saw no further combat.

For his services, Drummond received a significant amount of land in the Johnstown District. His most southerly property is now the village of New Wexford, immediately east of Prescott. Here, his original post and beam house still stands which appears to have existed well before 1796 when Lord Simcoe asked Drummond to oversee the moving of the British Fort at Michelmackinac to St. Joseph’s Island in response to the terms of Jay’s Treaty. To effect this operation, Simcoe formed the Royal Canadian Volunteers and appointed Drummond as Captain. As officer commanding, Drummond’s signature appears on “Treaty #2” for the purchase of St. Joseph’s Island. Simcoe then solicited Drummond to serve on his Executive Council, where members are perhaps best described Ministers of the Crown. In 1800 Peter Hunter appointed Drummond a Justice of the Johnstown District. Peter Drummond’s signature also appears on a Loyalist petition which resulted in the Canada Act, creating what is now Ontario and Quebec.

All in all significant contributions by a forgotten Loyalist.

…Don Galna

Remsheg and Jabez Rundle: (Rich Man, Poor Man, by Stephen Davidson)

The Committee organizing the reunion of descendants of Remsheg (now Wallace and area, Nova Scotia) Loyalists are looking for descendants of Loyalists granted land at Remsheg. Among the grantees is Jabez Rundle. The full list can be found here.

The reunion takes place June 28 through June 30, 2008, at Wallace, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. If you have ancestors who were granted land at Remsheg, we would like to hear from you that you are interested in attending or with information on how we can contact other descendants who might be interested. We would glady post information you would like to share about your Loyalist ancestor on our web site.

…Ellen Muise {remsheg225 AT yahoo DOT ca}

More on Richard Cartwright

Q. Is Richard Cartwright in “A Journey To Canada” the son of the Richard Cartwright, born in London, England about 1720, and one of early Albany’s most notable innkeepers, owning “The King’s Arms”? Noticed during the American Revolution that the 1720 Cartwright had been identified as “suspicious”, brought before the Committee of Correspondence, and upon refusing to sign a loyalty oath, was threatened with removal to the “Fleet Prison”. Although he later relented, his personal sympathies and the emergence of Richard Cartwright, Jr.. as an overt Tory, caused him to be banished from Albany after refusing another oath in July 1778.

Further information about Richard Cartwright, Sr. and the family can be found here.

…Bill Glidden

A. Yes indeed, that’s the guy. Richard Cartwright’s (of Journey to Canada fame) father was also named Richard Cartwright. He and wife, along with 6 others were banished to Canada by order of the friendly NYS Commission for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in August 1778 (for reasons you signified).

Re the business you mentioned he had, in a deposition to the British Government for losses he sustained, Cartwright senior stated that it averaged about L200 per year.

…Eric Schnitzer

Those Infamous Tories again…

Recently I saw a portion of a booklet titled, “Centennial History of the Village of Ballston Spa

Including The Towns of Ballston and Milton by Edward F. Gross, a souvenir of the centennial celebrations of 1907. I quote:

“…Happily the vigilance of the Balls-Town Committee scented the treasonable plot before its execution and by their timely activity saved the township from the terror of a tory rising. The conspirators were captured and tried, and after the execution of their sentences of fine and imprisonment succeeded in fleeing to Canada and took service in the royal forces. During the remainder of the war they were maliciously active in forays upon Balls-Town and the northern settlements, rendering themselves infamous by their acts of malignant revenge against their old neighborhoods. They were the chosen tools of Joe Bettys in all his desperate incursions. The names of the Balls-Town tories were William Frazer, Thomas Frazer, Thomas Verte, Joseph Shearer, Alexander McLoughlin, John Mickle, John Fairman, Archibald McNeil, John Summerville, James grant, John Burns, Michael Conner and John McLaughlin.”

I have not researched all the names of the Loyalists, but John Fairman was still in NY as late as 1781, and Thomas Verte (Varty) reportedly spent a lot of time in prison. Both had been involved with McAlpin’s Corps. As well, both settled in what is now Ontario, with John Fairman north of Belleville, and Thomas Varty farther east. The attitudes expressed certainly give us an idea of the sentiments in Upper NY State almost 130 years after the War.

…Peter W. Johnson UE, President, UELAC

Renaming Strait of Georgia in British Columbia to the Salish Sea

The Monarchist League has learned of a short-sighted proposal to rename the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia to the Salish Sea. The move is designed to honour Native Canadians during the province’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

While we can certainly empathize with the desire to recognize Canada’s rich Aboriginal history, we also strongly object to renaming the Strait of Georgia, named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 after King George III.

Such actions, even when construed with the best of intentions, are nothing short of an affront to Canada’s monarchy. It is also important to remember the special relationship and mutual affection between the Crown and Canada’s First Nations.

I am sure you would agree with me that there are a number of alternative sites that could be named Salish – ones that now have only geographic names (such as the Inside Passage).

I encourage you to take action by contacting BC’s Premier and Aboriginal Affairs Minister:

The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia

PO Box 9041, STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC, V8W 9E1

Phone: (250) 387-1715, Fax: (250) 387-0087, Email: premier@gov.bc.ca

The Honourable Michael de Jong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

PO Box 9052, STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC, V8W 9E2

Phone: (250) 953-4844, Fax: (250) 953-4856 Email: ABRInfo@gov.bc.ca

The Dominion Secretariat/Sécrétariat général The Monarchist League of Canada/La ligue monarchiste du Canada

PO Box 1057, Oakville, ON, L6J 5E9

(800) I’M LOYAL, (905) 855-7262, {domsec AT sympatico DOT ca}

Robert Finch, Dominion Chairman, Monarchist League of Canada

Source of Loyalist Era Clothing

We supply everything from militaria to sewing patterns, and kitchenware to musket tools. We specialize in the 18th and early 19th centuries, with a primarily British focus.

Spencer’s Mercantile – Purveyors of finest quality historical reproduction goods

233 Locke Street South

Hamilton, ON L8P 4B8

phone: (866) 690-6507 or (905) 525-6303

website: www.spencersmercantile.com (undergoing a massive update at the moment — apologies!)

email: {info AT spencersmercantile DOT com}

…Marilyn Hardsand

Last Post: Glen Bell UE, of Waterford

We are saddened with the passing of one of Norfolk’s most enthusiastic and respected historians, Mrs. Glen Bell, aged 83. A long-time resident of Waterford, popular Head Librarian of Waterford Public Library for 20 years, unofficial archivist of Waterford and Townsend Township. Long-time stalwart of the Waterford and Townsend Historical Society. One of the founders of Spruce Row Museum. An active and esteemed member of Norfolk Historical Society Genealogical Committee.

Organizer of memorable Grand River Branch UELAC historical bus tours to the Mohawk Valley, which she researched and conducted. They were fun and educational and provided much needed funds for our fledgling branch. It may be of interest to some members to learn Glen was the daughter of Dora Hood of the Dora Hood Book Room in Toronto, and the mother of Ian Bell, musician and guest on Stuart MacLean’s radio show.

…Doris Ann Lemon UE. Past Pres. Grand River Branch


Proof that Henry Merritt is son of Moses Merritt

Joseph Merritt, a Loyalist, married Mary Parker.

– Moses Merritt

– Henry MERRITT (b: 13 Aug 1813, Grimsby Twp.,d: 20 Dec 1880, Gainsborough Twp, Niagara, ON)

m. Sarah Ann COOPER (b: 09 Feb 1815, USA; d: 27 Dec 1880, Gainsborough Twp., Niagara, ON)

We are looking for a copy of a primary source document that shows Henry MERRITT is the son of Moses MERRITT – a will of Moses perhaps,or a BDM, burial, baptismal of Henry showing his father’s name and relationship.

A Vancouver Branch member is stuck on this one proof. We’ve tried a number of Niagara historical societies, museums and family members to no avail. Any leads or information would be much appreciated.

…Vancouver Branch {uelacvancouverbranch AT yahoo DOT ca}

Response re Information on John and Phoebe Schooley

If you haven’t already done so, you might want to take a look at:– Journals of Jacob Lindley and Joseph Moore, or Quaker Accounts of the Expedition to Detroit and Vicinity Undertaken for the Purpose of Negotiating a General Peace with the Indians (Lansing, 1892). It’s been over 30 years since I went through it looking for references to Humberstone Township. I have notes that Asa Schooley and his wife, Serah, and Enoch Schooley are mentioned.

There were numerous Schooleys in Port Colborne/Humberstone in the 1940/1950s.

…Bill Smy