“Loyalist Trails” 2010-15: April 11, 2010
In this issue:
– The Best Loyalist Romance: Part Two — © Stephen Davidson
– Ebenezer Dibble (1715-1799): Fifth Generation in America (Part 8 of 13; © 2009 George McNeillie)
– Calling Pin Collectors to “Beyond The Mountains” 2010, June 3-6 in Vernon, B.C.
– Loyalist Architecture
– Fraunces Tavern Restaurant to Reopen Under New Management
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: John Irwin Clark, UE
+ Specific Detail About a Record for Christian Wanner/Warner
The loyalist love stories that have survived to the 21st century are generally those of soldiers who had to overcome all sorts of adversity to marry the girls of their dreams. The seven years of the American Revolution often separated couples who were on the verge of marriage. Sometimes the war served to bring two lovers together. When World War II came to an end, there was a sudden spike in the number of weddings across the northern hemisphere as service men and women returned home to their loved ones — or, in some cases, brought new spouses home with them from the theatres of war. It was much the same for the loyalists at the conclusion of the American Revolution.
Thousands of loyal colonists were forced to become refugees in 1783. During the spring, summer and fall they had to quickly pack what possessions they could carry and board the evacuation ships provided by the British government. This added an element of urgency to their stories of romance. Could the loyalist soldier find and marry his sweetheart without being imprisoned by victorious rebels? Would he return home in time to sail north as a married man?
Just a week before the first fleet of evacuation ships set sail for the safety of Nova Scotia, Martin Trecartin of Dutchess County, New York was reunited with his Rebecca, a 16 year-old native of Norwalk, Connecticut. Trecartin, a carpenter by trade, had been a volunteer in Delancey’s Regiment in the final years of the revolution. Somehow the two lovers were able to make their way to Huntington Bay on Long Island, New York. They were married on April 13, 1783. Just three days later their ship, the Union, left for Nova Scotia. But they were not the only honeymooners on the flag ship of the first loyalist evacuation fleet.
When the Union stopped in New York City for supplies, there was an engaged couple on board who very much wanted to sail as husband and wife. A fellow passenger came to their rescue. Somehow, despite the hustle and bustle of a city in the midst of the evacuation of British troops,the passenger was able to find a fellow Connecticut refugee, Rev. J. Leaming, to marry the young couple.
Even in the year before the end of the revolution, the path of true love did not go smoothly. In April of 1782, David Fanning and four other loyalists set out for Chatham, North Carolina where a rebel was about to be married. The loyalists surrounded the house and ordered everyone out. Fanning was trying to find rebels responsible for the deaths of a number of loyalists.
Three of Fanning’s associates drove the wedding party and their guests outside, forcing them to stand in a row. However, one wedding guest, a man named William Doudy, had hidden himself upstairs. While Fanning looked over his captives for suspected loyalist killers, Doudy made a run for it. One of Fanning’s men shot the fugitive in the shoulder. Fanning raised both his pistols and shot Doudy in the chest. The wedding guest died of his wounds that night. Unsuccessful in finding those who had killed loyalists, Fanning released the wedding party.
Oddly enough, this raid upon a marriage ceremony made the 27 year-old Fanning consider his own marital status. “I concluded within myself that it was better for me to try and settle myself, being weary of the disagreeable mode of living I had borne with for some considerable time”. He recalled a young woman he had met in Deep River, North Carolina. The sister of one of Fanning’s friends, Sarah Carr was just sixteen years old. Nevertheless, the loyalist soldier visited her home and proposed to Sarah. Not ones to waste time, the couple immediately set the date for the wedding day.
When Fanning told his astonished friends that he was soon to be married, two of his companions said that they wanted to be married at the same time. Captain William Carr (Sarah’s brother) and Captain William Hooker went off to get their fiancées and themselves ready for a triple wedding ceremony. However, just 24 hours before the loyalists were wed, rebels came upon Captain Hooker while his horse was secured to a post. The reins were tied too tightly, and Hooker could not free his steed to make his escape. The rebels caught him and murdered him on the spot.
Despite the death of their friend, William Carr and David Fanning went through with a double wedding that was followed by “two days’ merriment”. However, the realities of the Revolution soon made the newlywed couples more cautious. Knowing rebels were seeking them out, Fanning hid his bride and her new sister-in-law in the woods. To further throw the rebels off of his scent, Fanning started a rumour that he had gone to Charleston. And thus, for a short time, the newlyweds were safe from harm.
With the defeat of the British army in 1782, Fanning and Sarah fled South Carolina for the safety of Florida. When Great Britain gave the territory to Spain two years later, the Fannings and their young children sailed for New Brunswick. David represented Queens County in the provincial assembly for ten years. After being banished to Nova Scotia –in lieu of being executed– for an assault, Fanning died in Digby at the age of 70 on March 14, 1825. The date of his widow’s death is unknown.
David and Sarah Fanning had courted, wed, and lived during the most tumultuous years of the 18th century. Whether their romance is the greatest in loyalist history is for the reader, rather than the historian, to decide.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
That William Dibblee and his brother Ralph (the latter then only 18 years of age) went to Woodstock at the same time as did their sister Mrs. John Bedell and their Uncle Frederick appears certain from the letter written by Munson Jarvis to his brother William in England on August 5, 1788, in which he says:
“Sister Dibblee is now about going to Stamford with her two youngest children. Bedell, William and Ralph have taken lands at Meductuck, 130 or 140 miles up the River, where they say the lands are much better than where they are now, but I fear they are but poor farmers. William is a very hard-working man; believe Ralph will work if he cannot help it. Walter seems entirely detached from the family, taking shelter under the wing of his father-in-law Mr. Beardsley, who I believe is full as good a farmer as a preacher.”
John Bedell, the husband of Margaret Dibblee, was born on Staten Island, N.Y. on December 9, 1755. He was private Secretary, at the time of the Revolution, to Colonel Christopher Billopp, the magnate of the Island. He and Benjamin Micheau were partners in business on the Island. Bedell remained there until May, 1784, when he came to St. John. On January 5, 1787, he speaks of himself as “now settled up the River” – presumably at Long Reach. He was, he says, an apprentice at New York when the war began. He then set up in trade for himself at the “Fresh Kills” on Staten Island. Two or three years afterwards he entered into partnership with Micheau near Richmond on Staten Island. Their trade with the British garrison and with the inhabitants was valuable. In 1779 and 1780 their store was plundered by parties of the Americans. The goods then lost he valued at 1,200 pounds. Col. Billopp testifies that John Bedell “was certainly a Loyalist and a very active one. He went out frequently with the loyal militia. His store was twice plundered by the enemy.”
After his arrival at St. John he was engaged with his brother Paul Bedell in the laying out of Parr-town and other lands for the Loyalists. About 1788 he settled in Woodstock at the place known as “Bedell’s Cove”.
For more than forty years he was the parish magistrate, the first Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, registrar Deeds and Wills, Commissioner of roads, Town Clerk, Overseer of the Poor, Trustee of Schools, Church Warden, etc. He died in 1838, aged 83 years, leaving a family of seven sons and three daughters, nearly all of whom were active in the community.
Three of the sons, John, Walter and Augustus were especially known in Woodstock and were very useful members of society and of the Anglican Church. The three brothers died, within a fortnight, of pneumonia, while at the prime of life, and I remember very well what a shock this caused in the community. In consequence of this event the only son of the three brothers, John Jarvis Bedell, was taken from the Grammar School at the age of about sixteen – being then a delicate boy – and placed in charge of the farm. The upper part was sold in 1867 to the Carmans, and a few years later Jarvis Bedell found a wife in our cousin Maria Moore Carman. Their sons, Berton and Victor, are now living, the first on the homestead, the second in the United States; their father died not long since of pneumonia.
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].
The Pacific Region Branches have noticed that many members from all branches like to collect pins from their travels, AGM’s and events. If you would like to trade pins at the Beyond the Mountains 2010 Conference in June, please bring pins to share. The Pacific Region UELAC has collected many pins from our local Communities and Province for the “Goody Registration Bags,” as well as for trading with member-collectors.
We look forward to meeting all of you in Vernon in June.
…Planning Committee, Beyond the Mountains 2010
Loyalist architecture throughout Ontario is showcased in the latest issue of Arabella, Volume 3, Issue 1, a magazine described as a Canadian home design and fine art magazine “edited for those with a passion for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary and living life well”. The magazine is indeed exceptionally attractive and would no doubt please the Arts and Crafts designer, William Morris who said we should “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” . The useful part is most evident in Loyalist Architecture in Ontario written by Shannon Kyles of Mohawk College. Shannon uses her own photographs of such classic homes as those of Nelles, Fairfield and Secord families as well as the log cabin at Westfield and the Mohawk Chapel to supplement her descriptions. She also uses an image of the original Wedgewood commemorative plate of the United Empire Loyalist monument in Hamilton – They drew lots for their lands, and with their axes cleared the forest, and with their hoes planted the seed of Canada’s future greatness.
If you missed the CBC’s Fresh Air on 4 April 2010, you can still enjoy Mary Ito’s 12-minute interview with Shannon and learn “what we have retained from those original structures”.
Access to Arabella may be somewhat limited to UELAC members as it can be found only at Chapters and Indigo cross Canada and Barnes and Nobel in the US. However, if you live in the greater Toronto area you may also find the magazine on the stands at Pusateri’s, whole Foods and the Summerhill Market.
You can also visit the Arabella website to get a teaser from the abbreviated article (six pages with some good pictures).
…Fred Hayward and David Turnbull
It was announced on March 30, 2010 by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, Inc. (SRNY), owner of the national landmark Fraunces Tavern building at 54 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan, that it has signed an agreement with The Porterhouse Group to become the new tenant and operator of Fraunces Tavern® Restaurant on those premises. The lease will take effect on April 1 of this year and after allowing two months for preparations, the Restaurant is expected to open its doors again to the public on or about June 1. Restaurant operations ceased at the end of this past February under the previous tenant.
Details regarding The Porterhouse Group’s plans for décor and menu are still in development however it is expected that the new restaurant operations will continue to pay homage to the history of the location while serving today’s public tastes.
The Porterhouse Group was established in 1989 in Dublin, Ireland and today operates multiple restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as their own microbrewery in Dublin. Fraunces Tavern® will be the Group’s first American establishment.
“We were very pleased to have a lot of interest from some very high quality organizations for the Fraunces Tavern® Restaurant lease,” said Anthony Wellman, SRNY Communications Director. “The Porterhouse Group presented the most promising mix of experience, capital, enthusiasm and vision to make the most of our historic location. We are very excited to be doing business with them and welcome them to this corner of Broad and Pearl Streets where food and drink have been served since 1762.”
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are:
– Wagar, Johann Everhardt – from Marlene Kerr with certificate application
CLARK, John Irwin UE, B. Comm, MA Flt. Lieutenant RCAF 418 Squadron and RAF 104 Squadron (WWII) passed away peacefully and suddenly on March 17, 2010 at the age of 89. He passed away in the arms his war bride and his sweetheart who stole his heart during his military service to his country. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 67 years, Irene (nee Parry), his children, Peter (Nenita), Anne Clark-Stewart (Hugh), Ian (Josee De Menezes) and Christine Martell (Cal). He was a loving grandfather to 11 grandchildren and their spouses.
He was truly a family man who led and taught by example John was the son of David Irwin Clark and Marie Yvonne Rheaume and one of 13 children. He is survived by his brothers Robert (Ottawa), and Kenneth (Evelyn) of Calgary and his sister Joan Grogan (Jack) of Edmonton, sister-in-law Penny Parry (Kelowna, BC), and brother-in-law, Alan Robertson, (Northumberland, England). He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers David, Douglas, Eldon and Ernest, and his sisters Marjorie Charbonneau, Dorothy Tetu, Blanche Herring, Eileen Mitrow and Muriel Commance.
John was born in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan November 25, 1920. The family returned to Ottawa in 1926. He attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute. John volunteered for service in WWII in Nov. 1941 and served his country in the European Theatre flying numerous missions as a Navigator on Mosquitoes in RCAF 418 City of Edmonton Squadron. He also served in RAF 104 Squadron and was part of the diversionary forces on D-Day. After the war, John devoted himself to raising his family. He pursued his University studies at night to the Masters level (Summa Cum Laude). He had a 40 year career in the federal Public Service, serving with the Department of Munitions and Supply, Atomic Energy Control Board and later the Department of National Health and Welfare where he played a central role in developing the Canada Pension Plan. After retirement, he a began new career as an International Trade Consultant with Peter at Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates. John also lectured in Economics at Saint Patrick’s College and Carleton University. Memorial contributions to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated.
I have a photocopy of what appears to be an Upper Canada Land Petition (UCLP) for this fellow – Christian Wanner/Warner – dated May 1, 1797 at Newark. He was a Butler’s Rangers’ NCO from 1778 onwards, but had served with Peters under Burgoyne. The document is in two parts – the first is signed by himself as a captain of militia and the second part is signed by Jacob and P. Ball, late of the Rangers.
I am looking for the call sign for this document? I believe it’s at Archives of Ontario. Thanks for any help.
Christian is buried in the Warner Cemetery near Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of the Loyalist cemeteries plaqued by the Col. John Butler Branch.