“Loyalist Trails” 2010-13: March 28, 2010

In this issue:
“BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS 2010” UELAC Conference 03 – 06 June 2010
Bus Trip – Calgary to Conference – Confirmed
The Loyalists of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania — © Stephen Davidson
Ebenezer Dibble (1715-1799): Fifth Generation in America (Part 6 of 13; © 2009 George McNeillie)
Book: I Am Heartily Ashamed (Paperback), by Gavin Watt
Happy 225th Anniversary, Saint John, Canada’s First Incorporated City, The Loyalist City
Update on Ham House, Bath, ON
Loyalists, Genealogy and Medical Research
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Alcy (McDougall) Palmer
      + Response re Loyalist Statue in Massachusetts


“BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS 2010” UELAC Conference 03 – 06 June 2010

“A look at the fascinating pioneer history of British Columbia and the role played by the United Empire Loyalist descendants in its founding. Taking place in the beautiful North Okanagan city of Vernon, British Columbia.”

The United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada annual general meeting brings together people from all across the country. The Pacific region (Thompson-Okanagan, Chilliwack, Victoria and Vancouver branches) is proud to host and sponsor our 96th get-together in the beautiful Okanagan city of Vernon.

Ogo Pogo has been adopted as the Conference Mascot for Beyond the Mountain 2010….. So we ask that all who are attending to educated themselves about our mascot. We wonder how many attendees will be able to catch a fleeting glimpse of our Ogopogo. One never knows!

Who is Ogo Pogo? CHECK IT OUT! Here is a two-part series from YouTube. (Just click on part 2 of the series after you have viewed Part 1……)

03 June Thursday you might want to attend Gold Trails and Ghost Towns after registration, or if you are a genealogist, attend the Genealogists Workshop; followed by the Welcome Reception in the evening.

04 June Friday you have the option of taking an Okanagan Winery Tour OR, you may want to, in the morning, attend three scheduled workshops…The Lure of Gold….The Overlanders…..Loyalist descendants who helped shape British Columbia; then in the afternoon tour Davison Orchards. Friday evening in your period clothing, be sure not to miss the Cowboy Dinner Show & Events at O’Keefe Ranch.

05 June Saturday the annual general meeting is followed, in the evening, by the Gala Banquet. Again, be sure to wear your period dress.

06 June Sunday you may want to attend an old fashioned church meeting (Loyalist style), hosted by a very special person. Light refreshments will be served in the Hospitality Room following the service, and before you check-out of the hotel.

and many many more events and activities…..

For more information and registration, visit our website!

Bus Trip – Calgary to Conference – Confirmed

In 1862, John Angus Cameron, UE arrived in Victoria, BC with his wife and infant child heading for the gold fields. Just before the “Cameron Claim” came in, his wife, Sophia, died of typhoid. Honouring his promise to bury her back home, he set out on a 400-mile journey with Sophia’s body on a toboggan. Preserving her body in an alcohol-filled coffin, he left her in Victoria and returned to work on his claim during the summer. In October 1863 he brought Sophia home via Panama and buried her in Cornwall, Ontario. With his wealth, he built Fairfield House and remarried. Gossip about his first wife and the mysteriously sealed coffin eventually forced him to raise the coffin and open it to the scrutiny of the public and people were exposed to her almost perfectly preserved face. With his fortune fading away, “Cariboo” returned to BC in 1886. He died a poor man at Barkerville and is buried nearby in the cemetery at Camerontown, a village named after him.
You will hear “Cariboo” Cameron’s story at the UELAC annual conference. And you don’t have to travel via Panama or by tobaggan to get there. Travel in comfort in one of West Trek’s tour buses. The bus trip described in last week’s Loyalist Trails is confirmed; it departs Calgary on Tuesday June 1. Read the detailed itinerary here. A block of rooms has been reserved for the previous night May 31 at the Sandman Inn (Calgary Airport) at a reduced rate for people taking the bus tour. The contact and registration info for both the bus tour and hotel can be found at the bottom of the Conference description, and in the above-mentioned itinerary.

…Wendy Cosby

The Loyalists of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania — © Stephen Davidson

Diaries and letters written during the American Revolution give a fascinating first hand account of every day life during this tumultuous period. Travels Through the Interior Parts of America, one collection of 18th century letters, was not available to the general public until its publication in 1923. The book contains the correspondence written by Thomas Anburey, a British lieutenant in General Burgoyne’s army. The letters are filled with observations on colonial life, descriptions of North American wildlife, and accounts of battles. While he was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1778, Anburey decided to put down on paper some of his conversations with American loyalists. His portrait of the king’s colonists reveals them to be opinionated people who did not always agree with what the British did.

Anburey’s first recollection concerns a loyalist he met in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The unnamed man told the lieutenant about the months when Washington’s rebel army was camped in the community during the winter of 1777. The local loyalists were forced to build log cabins for the Continental Army, and although they filled the cracks with clay, straw and dirt, the cabins were “not secure from the weather”. The loyalist remembered that “camp disorder raged among them, the greater part of them were in a manner naked at that severe season of the year, many without shoes and stockings”. Despite having eleven camp hospitals, the soldiers wasted away from sickness. The loyalist remembered that there were constant desertions; as many as ten to fifty men would flee the army camp at a time.

The horses, who were exposed to rain and snow, were unfit for battle. The loyalist told Anburey that if Washington had been attacked, “he must have left behind all his artillery, for want of horses to convey it; in addition to all these distresses.” The patriot general “had not in his camp, at any one time, a week’s provision for man and horse, and sometimes he was totally destitute.”

Anburey’s loyalist friend had waited expectantly to “hear of the camp being stormed or besieged” sometime between December of 1777 and May of 1778. Such an attack never occurred.

Anburey agreed with the loyalist’s assessment. Washington’s forces could easily have been defeated. Nevertheless, the lieutenant excused the failure of the British army to attack Valley Forge due to its lack of reliable intelligence. Anburey felt that the patriots could readily enter British camps and pass themselves off as loyalists. Unfamiliar with the local population, the British would accept the spy into their midst. However, the patriots would always know if a visitor to their camp was a friend or foe as there would usually be someone among them from the spy’s colony who could recognize him. But given the fact that there were loyalists in the vicinity of Valley Forge who could have given the British accurate data, Anburey’s explanation is a rather poor excuse for the army’s inaction.

Anburey went on in his letter to tell his English correspondent that the “Loyalists in Pennsylvania generally accuse General Howe with ungrateful conduct, in abandoning Philadelphia, after all the assistance they had given him, and not having, during the Winter, endeavored to dislodge General Washington at Valley Forge, suffering the enemy to harrass and distress the loyal inhabitants on every side of the British lines, destroying their mills, seizing their grain, horses and cattle, imprisoning, whipping, branding and killing the unhappy people, devoted to the cause of their Sovereign, who, at every risque, were daily supplying the army, navy, and Loyal inhabitants within the lines, with every necessary, and luxury the country afforded.”

Anburey paints a picture of loyal Americans who maintained their allegiance to a far off monarch despite the actions (or inactions) of the British army. The lieutenant felt particularly sorry for the loyalists of Pennsylvania. After British troops left Philadelphia, the patriots actively persecuted the loyalists. Perceiving themselves as a tactical sacrifice, the Pennsylvanian colonists’ loyalty began to fade. >From his conversations with loyalists, Anburey reported that “they do not hesitate to say, that in ease and comfort, in the city of Philadelphia, he {General Howe} cared little for military fame or glory; that he neglected his duty to his King and country, that he neglected the interest and safety of the country he was sent to protect, and that his whole conduct was founded on private interest and ambition.”

It is interesting to note that loyal Americans in Pennsylvania did not always agree with British authorities; they were not blindly loyal nor did they subscribe to a philosophy of “my country, right or wrong”. When the loyalists were scattered throughout the British Empire at the end of the Revolution, they would take this tempered loyalty with them. They were thinking loyalists; not blind followers unable to see their mother country “warts and all”.

Recognizing that his letter could be opened by British officials in transit to his correspondent in England, Lt. Anburey did not come out and say whether he agreed with the Pennsylvanian loyalists’ point of view or not. But since he closed his letter with “you shall not know my sentiments ’till we meet”, it seems safe to say that Thomas Anburey did not condone the actions of his superiors. Instead, he shared the opinions of the loyalists he met in Pennsylvania.

To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Ebenezer Dibble (1715-1799): Fifth Generation in America (Part 6 of 13; © 2009 George McNeillie)

(See parts one, two, three, four, and five.)

The untimely death of Fyler Dibblee on May 6, 1784, at the early age of 43 years, left his widow and children in straitened circumstances. The list of town lots drawn by the Loyalists at St. John shows that the widow Polly Dibblee drew lot No. 17 in Prince William Street, which is occupied today by the St. John Globe building. Lot No. 60, just across the street is credited as the property of the heirs of Fyler Dibblee. The widow and her children removed about 1784 up the River to Long Reach in the Parish of Kingston. The oldest son Walter was married on April 28, 1784, (only about a week before his father’s death) to Hannah, the oldest daughter of the Rev. John Beardsley – her father doubtless officiating.

In the Kingston grant, which is dated July 14, 1784, Belle-isle Island, and the point of land adjacent is granted to Polly Dibblee “widow”. When she removed from Kingston to Woodstock, the island was rented for $50 per annum.

After his father’s death, William Dibblee, who was yet in his teens, continued with his mother and sisters for a few years on the farm on the Long Reach, but Walter and his wife went to Maugerville with the Rev. John Beardsley when the latter was appointed rector of that parish in 1786. Margaret (or Peggy) Dibblee, the elder of the two daughters, married John Bedell, Esq., about 1787, and went soon afterwards to Woodstock to live. Her Uncle Frederick Dibblee was about this time settled there as missionary teacher of the Indians, and later (in 1791) he became the first ordained clergyman at Woodstock.

At the time of her marriage to John Bedell, Margaret Dibblee received a beautiful letter from her grand-father in Stamford, which is now in the possession of Lee Berton Bedell of Woodstock. The letter was lost for a while, probably when the old Bedell house was partially burned many years ago. The heading and date of the letter and an important part of the script are missing. But it seems pretty certain from other evidence that the marriage of John Bedell and Margaret Dibblee took place early in 1787, when she was in her 20th year. As already mentioned, after her father’s death the children, William, Ralph, Margaret, Sally Munday and Ebenezer lived for some years on the Long Reach, and their Uncle Frederick also lived in the Parish of Kingston. The latter was urged by the people of Kingston, I believe, to take Holy Orders and remain there as a clergyman but he decided to accept the invitation of the “New England Company” to be lay-mission teacher to the Indians at Woodstock – or Meductic as the place was then called. Frederick Dibblee’s decision to go to Woodstock was probably one of the reasons that impelled the Widow Polly Dibblee and her family also to remove to the same place. The letter of Rev. Dr. Ebenezer Dibblee to his grand-daughter Margaret is addressed as below:

Mrs. John Bedelle
St. John River, long Reach,
King’s County
New Brunswick
Per Mr. Holly
April 3…[year illegible]

The first part of the letter is missing. It was written I believe about the first part of April, 1787 [Extract]……”daughter may you never repent of your choice. We heartily wish you both joy, and as you are lavish of each other’s praise, may you continue amidst all the changes and chances of this mortal life equally precious and high in mutual esteem.

“In every matrimonial contract where mutual affection is wanting, misery and unhappiness ensue. That family is uniformly cursed with the most substantial misery where little or no love subsists between the heads of it. Let mutual happiness be your mutual object. As I hope you are, in the Apostle’s sense, equally yoked, may it be your mutual endeavour to fulfill the same. Be habitually and reciprocally kind, and compassionately conceal each other’s foibles and infirmities; cultivate habits of affability, forbearance and good nature, and in the union of persons let there be a union of interest, union of attention to your family interests and concerns, so you will bear each other’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.

To obtain God’s blessing let your morning and evening sacrifices be offered to Him who causeth the morning and evening to rejoice. In a word live together as heirs of the grace of life, and may the blessings of Almighty god be your mutual fortune both in this life and the next.

Present our love to your Mamma and to all our grand-children. Continue your correspondence, as we wish to see you both…My prayers and best wishes attend you.

I am, Your grand-father,

Ebenezer Dibblee

N.B. – Your Uncle Hervey we fear will never recover his health. Your Uncle Ebenezer’s family are very well. They faithfully fulfill the great command to increase and multiply. Your Aunt Sally is with her brother in the Back Country, and will continue there until Autumn. Your connections here are well. Your Uncle Frederick is invited to go home for Holy Orders – he may be provided for at Kingston upon application and recommendation….or elsewhere. Adieu.

Excerpt from Book of Family History, by The Ven. William Odber Raymond, LL.D, FRSC. © 2009 George McNeillie – all rights reserved [published here with permission; see footnote].

George McNeillie

Book: I Am Heartily Ashamed (Paperback), by Gavin Watt

The second installment in Gavin K. Watt’s Revolutionary War trilogy, I am heartily ashamed picks up where A dirty trifling piece of business leaves off. It’s a new year with new challenges. An incredibly fierce Canadian winter was endured before raiding was resumed against the enemy’s frontiers. The rebels’ Mohawk region defence soon fell into disarray when two colonels jousted for control. Continued negotiations encouraged Vermont to not support the rebellion and the republic became a haven for loyalists escaping persecution. Vermont’s adherents even felt free to militarily challenge New York.

After the poor results of Ross’s October raid, Haldimand chose to alter his strategy. For years, his native allies had sent small war parties against the frontiers and, that summer, he gave command of large projects to First Nations leaders whose methods greatly challenged the rebels.

A new British ministry announced a cessation of arms in July, soon followed by peace talks. Despite the ceasefire, Washington ordered an attack on the new British post at Oswego, which failed miserably. When Haldimand discovered that the treaty’s articles threatened the security of Canada and made no provisions for the natives or loyalists, he confessed, “My soul is completely bowed down with grief. I am heartily ashamed.”

About the Author

Gavin K. Watt is a founding member of the Museum of Applied Military History, a society of historical reenactment units. He is the author of books on the American Revolution as waged from Canada: Burning of the Valleys and The Flockey, and he co-authored The King’s Royal Regiment of New York and The British Campaign of 1777. Gavin currently lives in King City, Ontario.

Product Details

* Paperback: 440 pages

* Publisher: Dundurn Press (target for publication May 17, 2010)

* Language: English

* ISBN-10: 1554887151 / ISBN-13: 978-1554887156

Pre-order now here.

Happy 225th Anniversary, Saint John, Canada’s First Incorporated City, The Loyalist City

History records that, French explorers, Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain arrived at the mouth of the Saint John River on 24 June 1604, feast day of St.John the Baptist…and named the river in the Saint’s honour. The first permanent French settlement was located at Portland Point, in what was then known as Acadia. In 1621 King James I changed the name ‘Acadia’ to ‘Nova Scotia’. Charles de la Tour became Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia between 1631 and 1635 and engaged in trade with the native peoples.

In 1758, the settlement was taken by the British who rebuilt and settled around an old French fort, on the lower west side, and renamed it ‘Fort Frederick’. At that point Simon, Hazen & White had established their trading posts at the “settlement at the River Saint John.” Fort Frederick was destroyed by American privateers In 1775 and replaced in 1777 by Fort Howe, a building project spearheaded by Guilford Studholme.

In 1783, part of Nova Scotia became New Brunswick. With the infusion of thousands of Loyalists that year, the settlement began to develop in earnest. Without the Loyalist numbers, no charter would have been granted by the British government, two years later. The Loyalists established Parrtown and Carleton on the shores of Saint John Harbour.

In 1785 the two communities amalgamated as ‘Saint John’, named after the river, to become Canada’s first incorporated city. The date on the City Charter was 18 May 1785. Signatures on the final page of the City Charter were: Thomas Carleton, Governor; Jonathan Odell, Secretary; Ward Chipman, Attorney General.

(A point pof interest: the date of incorporation, when the three official signatures went on paper, was actually 30 April, 1785. May 18th, 1785 (18 days later) became the “chosen” Natal Day for Saint John. VT)

Reprinted with permission from the April issue of the New Brunswick Branch Newsletter, Val Teed, Editor

Update on Ham House, Bath, ON

I am pleased to announce that the Ham House at Bath, ON has been sold. The new owner will take possession end of April. He intends to ask Loyalist Township to drop their intent to “delist” the Ham House. The new owner has a passion for built heritage. In particular, he loves wood structures. Thank you for your assistance. It has been greatly appreciated.

…K.C. (Gus) Panageotopoulos

Loyalists, Genealogy and Medical Research

One of the youngest members of Vancouver Branch, Ariel Kreuzkamp, UE attended our March meeting with a message and request for all of us to wear purple on Friday, March 26th.

Ariel is a Purple Day Ambassador trying to raise awareness and support for those with epilepsy. Like a true Ambassador, her efforts earned her an article in the local Surrey newspaper. We applaud Ariel for her courage and community spirit.

The hobby of genealogy serves many purposes. One of those less talked about is medical research. Knowing who you are and where you come from can help scientists in medical research.

Ariel’s Loyalist ancestor is Jesse Purdy, one of the original patentees of White Plains, Westchester, NY and a soldier in Emmerich’s Chasseurs. His son, William, helped establish the town of Lindsay, Ontario. His building of a dam and saw and grist mills won his efforts a place in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

…Wendy Cosby, Vancouver Branch

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are:
– Williams, Jonathan – from Sue Hines
– Cosby, George – from Wilfred Cosby and Phyllis Cosby (Volunteer Wendy Cosby)
– Dulmage, Elias – from Volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin
– Embury, John Edward – from John Redmond (Volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin)
– McMullen, Daniel – from Volunteer Jo Ann Tuskin

Last Post: Alcy (McDougall) Palmer

PALMER, Alcy (nee McDougall) Peacefully on Saturday March 20th, 2010 at the Peter D. Clarke Centre at the age of 90. Beloved wife the late John Philip Palmer Q.C. Survived by Susan (Don Reed), Mariner Palmer (Claudette Groody), Philip Palmer (Catherine Jensen). Predeceased by daughters Penny and Erica. Fondly remembered by 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Survived by sisters Pamela McDougall-Mayer and Lorna Mozer. Predeceased by brother Sumner and sister Heather. Alcy was raised in Ottawa, graduated from Glebe Collegiate and attended Margaret Eaton College in Toronto. She married John on the eve of his deployment overseas in World War II. After the war they moved to Saint John, New Brunswick where he practiced law and she raised her family and their countless pets. She was active in the community, taking a very active role in the restoration of the Loyalist House in Saint John. She established and operated for many years Heritage Books on King Street in Saint John. After John’s death she returned to Ottawa to be near her family.

A commemoration of Alcy’s life was held 27 March. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Alcy to the Loyalist House (120 Union Street Saint John, NB E2L 1A3). Published in the Ottawa Citizen from 3/24/2010 – 3/25/2010

…Lynne Cook


Response re Loyalist Statue in Massachusetts (with Response)

Bill Glidden asked where in Mass. a Loyalist statue is located, following he article last week by Stephen davidson.

Doug Grant of Loyalist Trails said that you were interested in knowing where in Massachusetts one could find a statue of a loyalist. I did an article on Count Rumford (Benjamin West) for the January 25, 2008 edition of Loyalist Trails. Here is one of its final paragraphs:

The king of Bavaria commissioned the creation of a bronze statue of Benjamin Thompson in 1867. Today it stands on Maximillian Strasse in Munich, depicting the loyalist in a military uniform with a long cape thrown over his shoulders. He holds a walking stick in his right hand and a scroll with the plans for Munich’s gardens in his left. A replica of this statue was donated to the citizens of Woburn, Massachusetts in 1900. They placed it on the front lawn of their public library.

As to whether it is still there to this day, I do not know. A portrait of the last loyalist governor of New Hampshire, John Wentworth, still hangs in the council chamber of the state legislature. There are no doubt a number of such tributes to loyal Americans along the east coast. John Singleton Copley, the famous loyalist portrait painter, has his paintings on display in major art galleries throughout the United States. Since many of his subjects were fellow loyalists, there are other works of art portraying Tories to be viewed and enjoyed.

I hope this has been helpful. Yours in Nova Scotia,

…Stephen Davidson