“Loyalist Trails” 2008-19: May 11, 2008

In this issue:
“Saint John 225”: Friday Evening Gathering with Michelle Daigle
UELAC Scholarship Winners: Catherine Cottreau-Robins and Gregory Wigmore
Catherine Cottreau-Robins Studies the Daily Life of Slaves in Nova Scotia
One Feisty Loyalist Grandmother, by Stephen Davidson
Heritage Canada Foundation Welcomes Passing of Heritage Lighthouse Bill
James Huff/Hough, Son of James and Phebe Huff/Hough
Loyalist Directory
Last Post: KEMLO: David H. (supplement)
      + Response re Loyalist Quilts
      + Captain Andrew Thompson Family


“Saint John 225”: Friday Evening Gathering with Michelle Daigle

Join us for dinner Friday evening July 11th at the newly restored Lily Lake Pavilion.

We bus from the Hilton Hotel and may just drive by the famous Reversing Falls along the way. Our tide tables tell us the tide will be near high and the falls should be near full reverse!

The entertainment will be special as we have secured an appearance by Michelle Daigle. Her show, “A Taste of the Maritimes” is a mélange of traditional and original jokes, stories, songs and snippets. Michelle celebrates lumbering, farming, fishing, ghosts and many subjects in between.

The early bird registration deadline for the Saint John 225 UELAC Dominion Conference has been extended until May 15th! If you have not registered yet, last chance to get reduced rates. Have your registration postmarked by May 15.

(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}

UELAC Scholarship Winners: Catherine Cottreau-Robins and Gregory Wigmore

From the 2008 applications for the UELAC Scholarship, we decided to award a one-year scholarship to each of two well-deserving applicants: Catherine Cottreau-Robins and Gregory Wigmore.

Catherine (Katie) is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at Dalhousie University. The title of her thesis is “Exploring the Daily Life of Slaves in Nova Scotia, 1783-1810”.

Greg is working on his doctoral dissertation at the University of California, Davis. His dissertation is entitled “The Limits of Empire: Allegiance, Opportunity, and Imperial Rivalry in the Detroit River Borderland”.

More information is included in this issue of Loyalist Trails about Katie and her studies, while Greg and his research will be featured in next week’s issue.

Our congratulations to these two students who are adding more pieces to the puzzle of our loyalist heritage.

…Irene MacCrimmon UE, Chair, Scholarship Committee

Catherine Cottreau-Robins Studies the Daily Life of Slaves in Nova Scotia

An estimated 1300 enslaved African-Americans arrived in Nova Scotia with their Loyalist masters at the end of the American Revolution. Since historian James Walker’s path-breaking study of the Black Loyalists (1976, 1992), scholarship has focused almost exclusively on those Black Loyalists who were free. Recently however, the lives and culture of the Black Loyalists who arrived in Nova Scotia as enslaved individuals has gained attention.

It is also notable that among the massive body of research that exists about the historiography of slavery in the Atlantic world, the subject of slavery in Nova Scotia has received relatively little scholarly attention. In terms of combining data from the archaeological record with evidence from historical documents and the physical landscape – the strategy for this research project, nothing has been done at all.

My dissertation focuses on the enslaved rather than the free Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia. It will explore a series of questions left unanswered by approaching a remaining frontier of Atlantic black studies that moves beyond a strictly historical approach and combines an interdisciplinary framework with comparative analysis in history, archaeology and cultural geography. What can be determined about the daily life of slaves in Nova Scotia following the wave of Loyalist immigration? What was Nova Scotia’s landscape of slavery in the late eighteenth century? These are leading-edge research questions that will be addressed in this project.

A primary objective of the dissertation is to develop a historically-based account of eighteenth-century slave life in Nova Scotia. The methodologies used to accomplish this include archaeological excavation, historical research and the description and comparison of physical landscapes in Nova Scotia and Massachusetts. Grounding these three streams of research is a case study – the home of the prominent Loyalist Brigadier General Timothy Ruggles of Hardwick, Massachusetts, who established a cider-producing farmstead in rural Nova Scotia with the help of family, hired hands and slaves.

Through the exploration of the three streams insights will be gained concerning the landscape of northern bondage in maritime Canada and the master/slave relationship on a working farmstead. This integrated strategy provides leverage in historical investigation not duplicable in any singular field. There is an opportunity with this project to open up discourse and balance the standard Canadian slavery narrative, which has traditionally begun with the Underground Railroad.

Biographical Sketch: Katie Cottreau-Robins is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at Dalhousie University. For her dissertation project, Cottreau-Robins draws from three disciplines to help explore the master-slave relationship among the Loyalists during the last quarter of the eighteenth century in Nova Scotia. Her PhD research builds on work developed during a Master of Environmental Design Studies degree obtained through the Department of Architecture at Dalhousie in 2002. Her interest in the archaeology of slavery began in the late 1980s when she participated in an archaeological field school at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in rural Virginia. Cottreau-Robins has worked as an archaeologist in Nova Scotia for several years and recently accepted the position of Curator of Archaeology for the Nova Scotia Museum.

One Feisty Loyalist Grandmother, by Stephen Davidson

What sort of image comes to mind when you hear the phrase “she was a loyalist grandmother”? Do you think of someone who withstood personal attack, endured four years in a refugee camp, weathered an uncomfortable two-week journey by sea, and then helped to carve out a loyalist community in the New Brunswick wilderness? That was the wartime experience of one very fiesty grandmother named Mary Raymond, and she was over eighty years old when her loyalist adventures began.

In November of 1776, Mary’s son Silas Raymond was forced to abandon his three children, wife, and mother in Norwalk, Connecticut for the safety of British-held Long Island. One attempt had already been made on the loyalist carpenter’s life, and so it was agreed that Silas should seek sanctuary until the anger of his rebel neighbours dissipated.

Three years passed. Living in the refugee camp near Fort Franklin, Silas discovered that the British army planned to send 2,000 troops to burn Norwalk to the ground. Under the cover of darkness, the carpenter crossed Long Island Sound to warn his family of the attack and to plan for their escape.

After gathering up what valuables they could carry, the Raymonds were to wait for daylight to make their escape. They were to travel through the fields rather than the well-travelled roads so as to avoid discovery by the town’s rebels. Once they came to the coast, they were to board a sloop where Silas would be waiting for them.

But the escape did not proceed as Silas had planned. Given what she had to carry, eighty-two year old Mary thought her son’s plan to sneak through the fields was a foolish one. In collecting the family treasures, Mary had tied two home made linen sheets beneath the skirts of her dress. As well as carrying Jesse, her four-year old grandson, in her arms, Mary was also burdened down with a pillow case that held most of the family’s silverware and jewelry.

The elderly Mrs. Raymond ignored her son’s advice to escape through the fields. She somehow persuaded the rest of the family to walk along the road. “It is the king’s highway, and I will walk in it” are the words that have been passed down over the generations.

As they hurried out of Norwalk, the five members of the Raymond family met Tryon’s army on its way toward town. A few of the officers stopped the five refugees, assuming that they were patriots who were fleeing Norwalk before the enemy troops attacked.

For some reason the officers singled out the eighty-two year old grandmother rather than the younger Mrs. Raymond and her three children. Perhaps — like many women of her advanced years — Mary was not afraid to scold those who endangered her family and town. The men picked off her bonnet with their swords, cut its ribbons, and stamped it into the dirt road. But they never thought to search inside the grandmother’s pillow case or beneath her full skirts, and the loyalist family’s treasures were preserved.

When the Raymonds got to the coast, Silas was waiting to help them aboard a sloop. Glad to be relieved of the burden of carrying her four year old grandson, Mary tried to pass little Jesse to his father. However, the boy would not go to Silas. He had not seen his father in three years and was afraid of the strange man.

The British burned down Silas Raymond’s well-furnished home along with one hundred thirty-four other dwellings, two churches, eighty-nine barns, twenty-five shops, five ships, four mills and all of the grain in Norwalk. Loyalist homes fared no better than those belonging to patriots.

When the family arrived at Lloyd’s Neck, they were reunited with two of Mary Raymond’s older daughters, thirty-three year old Mercy and thirty-five year old Mary. Despite all that she had lost, being reunited with her children once again must have been a source of comfort to Mary Raymond. At eighty-two, she was one of the oldest loyalist refugees to seek shelter at Fort Franklin.

Four years later, in April of 1783, an evacuation ship sailed into the harbour near the refugee camp at Lloyd’s Neck. The Union was to be the flagship of the Spring Fleet; it became the first vessel to bring loyalists to the shores of New Brunswick. Eighty-six year old Mary Raymond was the oldest loyalist aboard that historic vessel.

Most of the Union‘s passengers decided to settle further up the St. John River rather than staying in Parrtown. Mary Raymond was among those who helped to found Kingston, a settlement largely comprised of other refugees from Connecticut. Remarkably, she lived for ten years after the town was established.

The last story told of Mary Raymond relates how she walked with her grandson Charles along the road through Kingston. The pair went from the Raymonds’ home to Pickett Lake which was a very hilly road of a mile and a quarter’s distance and returned in the same evening. The boy was five; Mary was ninety-six.

One of Mary Raymond’s descendants was Rev. W.O. Raymond, New Brunswick’s first historian of the loyalist period. He said of her that “she displayed remarkable courage and spirit in the Revolution and was a woman of extraordinary vitality.”

…Stephen Davidson {stephendavids AT gmail DOT com}

Heritage Canada Foundation Welcomes Passing of Heritage Lighthouse Bill

The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) is delighted to report that bill S-215, An Act to protect heritage lighthouses was passed by Parliament on Wednesday after nearly ten years of effort. The private member’s bill, sponsored by former B.C. Senator Pat Carney who worked tirelessly on its passing, empowers communities to help preserve Canada’s heritage lighthouses. It is expected to receive Royal Assent shortly.

A strong supporter of this preservation initiative since 1999, HCF has worked closely with elected officials and local advocates in helping to bring this legislation forward. “It’s a momentous day for Maritime heritage in Canada,” said Natalie Bull, executive director. “HCF looks forward to helping local community groups to seize this conservation opportunity.”

There are federal lighthouses in every province except Alberta and Saskatchewan. MP Larry Miller, whose Ontario riding (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) has several historic lighthouses, carried the bill through the House of Commons.

Moving third reading in the Senate, Senator Lowell Murray noted the original version of the bill was introduced in 2000 by the late Senator Michael Forrestall of N.S. Until now, successive bills have failed to make it through the legislative process.

“It’s wonderful to see all the hard work by so many people finally come to fruition,” said Barry MacDonald of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society who has worked for this legislation from the beginning.

After criteria for heritage lighthouses are established, communities will be able to petition the Minister of the Environment for heritage designation and propose community uses for any building surplus to operational requirements.

A backgrounder on the legislation is available on the HCF website.

The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based, non-profit organization with a mandate to promote the preservation of Canada’s historic buildings and places. Visit www.heritagecanada.org.

James Huff/Hough, Son of James and Phebe Huff/Hough

James Huff (Hough) Jr. certainly appears to qualify as a Loyalist, although the land grant records indicate that land was granted to his mother and family members as a military claimant. The basics of the story are here: more in the Loyalist Directory under Huff (Hough) James.

According to a family “List of Ages” James Jr., son of James & Phebe Huff/Hough was born 27 Nov 1769 at which time the family was somewhere in New York Province. In 1779 Widow Hough and 6 children arrived in Machiche “from Niagara” (24 Oct 1779 Provision List. Haldimand Papers LAC Film C-1475)

It appears that James Jr. joined the KRRNY about 1780, when he would have been 11 or 13, depending on which of his birth dates one uses.

“I do certify that James Hough served as a private soldier in the R. Reg of New York for at least three years.” To Whom It May Concern signed Walter Sutherland, Late Lieut R Reg New York no date.

James was in Machiche where his mother and siblings were taking refuge when he died. By Jeremiah French, a J.P and former Lieutenant in the KRRNY “the Deceast James Hough was a Privit Soldier in Capt Morisons Company in the 2nd Batlion the Rl Regiment of New York and the said James Hough Died on the seventeenth day of February 1784 as appears by his Regimental Book”

On the back of Sutherland’s memo was a memo signed by John Johnson which stated: “The brothers and sisters, if any, of the deceased are entitled to the proportion of land that he would have received had he lived”.

Several land records indicate that Phebe received land. Province of Quebec. Quebec 24th November 1785 “The Bearer hereof, Widow Huff & Son and Two children—Loyalists, being entitled to Two Hundred acres of land….Lot No. 7 in the 3rd Concession consisting of 200 acres in full of the said Seigneurie of (No 3) etc etc”.

Phebe died in 1815. Norman Church “was familiar with the the lait Phebe Hough. Formerly the Widough Huff and he attended her Corps from the place she died to the place of Enterment and saw her buried on or about the Seventeenth day of October 1815”

In 1817, James’ brother, Samuel appeared before an Heir & Devisee Commission in quest of having his late mother’s land devised to him as his mother had died intestate.

Samuel’s request was approved and the Deed was given to Samuel on 27th Dec 1817. On it, by command of Sam Smith Esq. Administrator & Reg of July 1796 “Widow of James Huff orig’nl Nom’nee Marked M.C. by the Insp. Gen’l”

Here we see the original designation “Loyalists” in 1785 changed to “M.C.”, (Military Claimant) in 1817

The error of indicating Phebe was the “widow of James Huff rather than the Mother of James Huff” tends to confuse the issue. However we know that James Jr. did serve and so far I have found no evidence that James Sr. ever served in the British military during the revolution.

James, born 1767/9 definitely did serve in the KRR NY for 3 years prior to 1783 thus meeting the criteria for “Loyalist” and, had he lived long enough to have gone up river to Osnabruck he would have been on the UE List and would have been granted 200 acres of land by the Crown.

That he died in February 1784, he did, with Sir John Johnson’s backing, qualify for the same amount of land granted to Loyalists, land which went to his Mother & him being the son (and two children)

The two children were the two of James’ siblings who were considered ‘infants’ at that time; Samuel, age 12, & Hannah, age 19 who didn’t marry John Collison until late 1785 or early 1786.

[editor: James Huff (Hough) has been added to the Loyalist Directory. As our current definition of “Proven” in the “Status as a Loyalist” field is used when a descendant proves descent from this Loyalist, and as Jams died without heirs, perhaps we need another indicator in the status field.]

[Contributed by Don Maxwell]

Loyalist Directory

A few additions to the directory this week:
– Wightman, Col. George – from descendant Barb Craig
– Wightman, Lt. John – from descendant Barb Craig
– Griffen (Griffin), Charles – from Marilyn Sapienza
– Jarvis, Samuel – updated from Bob Jarvis
– Craig, John – from Cal Craig


Last Post: KEMLO, David H. (supplement)

David was an active community member, being involved in many organizations. He was past treasurer and web master of the Kawartha Branch and very proud of Pam’s loyalist connection. We have lost a wonderful asset to the branch. David was also a director of the Greater Harvey Historical Society, and in 2005 he received the Heritage Preservation Award from the County of Peterborough.

…Pam Dickey UE


Response re Loyalist Quilts

We have received additional assistance in response to a question from a Nova Scotia library: “We have a patron who teaches quilting and wants to focus on quilt patterns of the Loyalist period. Do you have any suggestions re pattern books or perhaps pamphlets or booklets that might help out with this request”

1. Faye White of Inverary, Ontario is a quilter who is of United Empire Loyalist descent from Joseph Embree of the Westchester Refugees. She wrote: I was a quilter before I knew I was of loyalist background and I have always had a great interest in antique quilts as my grandmother used to make her own out of wool she carded etc. She was however of Scottish descent. Her husband was the Embree from Nova Scotia. Since I have spent years interested in this, I would recommend two books: Nova Scotia Patchwork Patterns by Carter Houck (there are lots of basic old patterns in that one), also, Quilts and Other Bed Coverings in the Canadian Tradition by Ruth McKendry. The home she owned is right around the corner from me and I pass it each day, the Tunis Snook homestead.

The loyalist quilts in my opinion would be a) those that were brought from the US when they arrived and 2) those made after they arrived. Since most loyalists were not compensated totally and actually lost resources and funds by moving to Canada I would expect those made after they arrived were rather humble and home dyed. I have one example of one of these but it is not in good shape.” F. White

2. Martha Hemphill of the Toronto and Hamilton Branches recommends three books.

Old Nova Scotian Quilts, by Scott Robson and Sharon MacDonald. Nimbus Publishing Ltd., Nova Scotia Museum (Halifax) c1995.

Some of the chapters in it: The cultural fabric of NS; Written history of Quilts in NS; Patterns and Patternmaking; and Gallery of Quilts from the NS Museum collection.

Ontario’s Heritage Quilts. by Marilyn I. Walker, Boston Mills, c1992. Beautiful photos of quilts with the history of the pattern and owner, some are UE

Quilts and Other Bed Coverings in the Canadian Tradition. by Ruth McKendry, Van Nostrand Reinhold Ltd., c1979

Chapter 1: “Immigrants and Imports: the Loyalists and after.”

…Fred H. Hayward {fhhayward AT idirect DOT com}

Captain Andrew Thompson Family

I was wondering if you could post in the next new letter that I was looking for information on Capt Andrew Thompson from the Butler’s Rangers, information on his Wife and Children.

I am trying to see if the supposed father of John Thompson from the Gaspe. Andrew Thompson Born In New York City in 1744 is also Capt Andrew Thompson.

I don’t have much info on Andrew Thompson who was married to Mary Leonard. I have some info on John Thompson like he was born in around 1780 in the U.S.A New York, he married his wife Margaret Gallon in New Carlisle or surrounding area around 1805. I don’t know if he left New York and came right to Gaspe, but I have a hunch that he was in Ontario or Quebec City.

…James Thompson {mywlc AT yahoo DOT ca}