“Loyalist Trails” 2010-30: July 25, 2010

In this issue:
The Redcoat and the Scarlet Woman: Part One — © Stephen Davidson
William and Sarah Frost (Part 8 of 14; © 2009 George McNeillie)
Family Reunion: Descendants of United Empire Loyalist Benjamin Stymiest Sr and Benjamin Stymiest Jr.
The Tech Side — Don’t Leave Home Without It — by Wayne Scott
      + Lord Dorchester’s Proclamation
      + Clement Lucas, Jr.
      + John A. Cline
      + Storing Association Records Electronically


The Redcoat and the Scarlet Woman: Part One — © Stephen Davidson

Did you know that — if some history books were to be believed– the British lost the American Revolution because of an English general’s loyalist mistress? If she is not blamed for distracting him from his military duties, this woman is invariably portrayed as the wife of a man who was happy to ignore his spouse’s extramarital activities in exchange for receiving a lucrative government job. Are these historical interpretations accurate? Here is the case of Elizabeth, the wife of Joshua Loring and “friend” of General William Howe.

Elizabeth was born into the influential Lloyd family of Long Island in 1752. Following her father’s death, she was taken to Boston by her aunt. Good looks, blonde hair, and a dowry of 100,000 pounds sterling brought Miss Lloyd to the attention of Joshua Loring of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Loring had served in the British army between 1761 and 1765, during which time he made the acquaintance of an Englishman named William Howe.

Joshua and Elizabeth were married in 1769. The bride was 17, and the groom was almost 25. In the years that followed, Elizabeth had three children while Joshua worked in the British customs office in Boston, surveyed New Hampshire’s forests, and served as the sheriff of Suffolk County.

Joshua and Elizabeth’s happiness was shattered by two events in 1775: the British occupation of Boston and the death of one of their children. A known loyalist, Joshua Loring was unable to leave Boston after the Battle of Concord for fear of capture by the rebels. Trapped in the city, he lost his job and his property. At home in Roxbury –just five miles outside of Boston– Elizabeth had to endure with the death and burial of a child without her husband’s comforting presence.

Elizabeth and their two surviving children eventually joined Joshua in Boston. Joshua introduced his wife to Sir William Howe, an old friend and the commander of the occupying forces. Ever after that introduction, gossip and conjecture would permanently paint Elizabeth Loring as one of the Revolution’s most notorious loyalists.

The Lorings and General Howe, along with British officers and Massachusetts loyalists, amused themselves with balls and card parties during the days of the Boston occupation. Howe enjoyed Elizabeth’s company, but was their relationship anything more than dancing partners? Before Boston society could give that question any further consideration, the threat of a rebel attack changed the lives of the city’s loyalists forever.

In March of 1776, 10,000 British troops and 1,100 loyalists fled Boston for Halifax in 120 ships. The historian David McCullough notes that Elizabeth Loring did not seem to have travelled on her husband’s vessel. Did she, McCullough wondered, sail on Howe’s more luxurious flagship instead? For three long months, Howe, his men, and the displaced Bostonians waited in Halifax. In June, Howe’s troops finally set sail for New York to begin the conquest of the rebellious Thirteen Colonies.

When Howe arrived in Staten Island, the Lorings were part of his entourage — as they had been in Halifax. The British conquest of New York City and Long Island during the summer of 1776 left 10,000 rebel prisoners of war in its wake. Howe immediately appointed Joshua Loring as the commissary of prisoners, a position that, besides having a number of perquisites, paid a guinea a day. Soon tongues began to wag. Had Howe bought off his old friend? Had Elizabeth’s charms been “purchased” with a lucrative government position?

A decisive British victory over the rebels seemed imminent, and yet, despite a number of opportunities to deal a lethal blow to the Continental Army, Howe did not strike. In September of 1777, Howe’s army defeated Washington’s forces at the Battle of Brandywine and went on to take Philadelphia. Winter was approaching. Washington retreated to Valley Forge with his disheartened army. Why did Howe not pursue the enemy and utterly defeat them?

For some contemporaries (and later historians), the simplest explanation for the British commander’s behaviour was that Howe was distracted by the beautiful Mrs. Loring. Was the general enthralled by his 25 year-old mistress, or was he simply acting in accordance with the rules of European warfare? The notion of mounting a winter campaign, some have suggested, would not have occurred to Howe. Therefore, he spent the season in New York and, later, in Philadelphia.

Some loyalists of Pennsylvania shared their opinions of Howe with a British officer named Thomas Anburey. They felt that Howe, “cared little for military fame or glory; that he neglected his duty to his King and country,… and that his whole conduct was founded on private interest and ambition.” What is interesting by its omission, was any suggestion that Howe was staying in Philadelphia to be near his mistress.

Dancing and gambling in the salons of the colony’s largest city were certainly much preferable to marching over cold battlefields. At one gambling soiree, Mrs. Loring lost 300 guineas. Since Howe did not have such cash to give his pretty loyalist, the scandal-mongers devised their own theories. Could it be that Elizabeth’s husband, Joshua Loring, was embezzling British funds meant for prisoner care and giving them to his wife?

Despite charges of cruelty and abuse, Loring does not seem to have been the war profiteer that historians have made him out to be. Alexander Graydon, a Continental officer, said he had no complaint about his treatment as a prisoner. Imprisoned in 1779, General Silliman claimed that Loring treated him “with kindness and friendship that ought never to be forgotten by me.” Even if Loring was misappropriating funds, would he send his wife money to amuse herself in another man’s company? The accepted truth about Joshua Loring seems as riddled with errors as that pertaining to his wife.

To this point, Howe and Loring’s relationship was the stuff of high society gossip. However, in 1778, a poem would publicly accuse the red-coated general and his “scarlet woman” of scandal. Learn the fate of Howe and the Lorings in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

William and Sarah Frost (Part 8 of 14; © 2009 George McNeillie)

The Diary of Sarah Frost (continued)

Friday, June 20. At half after nine this morning our frigate fired to shift our course to north-north east. We still have fine weather and a fair wind. Mr. Emslie, the mate, tells me we are at five in the afternoon, five hundred miles from Sandy Hook light. We now begin to see the fog come on, for that is natural to this place. At six our commodore fired for the ships to lie to till those behind should come up with us. The fog comes on very thick this evening.

Saturday, June 21. I rose at eight o’clock, and it was so foggy we could not see one ship belonging to our fleet. They rang their bells and fired guns all the morning to keep company with one another. About half after ten the fog went off, so that we saw the chief part of our fleet around us. At noon the fog came on again, so that we lost sight of them, but we could hear their bells all around us. This evening the captain showed us the map of the whole way we have come and the way we still have to go. He told us we were two hundred and forty miles from Nova Scotia at this time. It is so foggy we have lost all our company and are entirely alone.

Sunday, June 22. This morning the fog is still dense. No ships in sight, nor any bells to be heard. Towards noon we heard some guns fired from our fleet, but could not tell in what quarter. The fog is so thick we cannot see ten rods, and the wind so ahead we have not made ten miles since yesterday noon.

Monday, June 23. It grows brighter towards noon, and the fog disappears rapidly. This afternoon we can see several of our fleet and one of our ships came alongside of us. Mr. Emslie says we are an hundred and forty miles from land now. The wind becomes more favorable, the fog seems to leave us and the sun looks very pleasant. Mr. Whitney and his wife, Mr. Frost and myself have been diverting ourselves with a few games of crib.

Tuesday, June 24. The sun appears very pleasant this morning. Ten ships are in sight. The fog comes on, and they all disappear. We have been nearly becalmed for three days. A light breeze enables us to sail this evening two miles and a half an hour.

Wednesday, June 25. Still foggy; the wind is fair but we are obliged to lie to for the rest of the fleet. The commodore fires once an hour. The frigate is near us, and judging by the bells, we are nor far from some of the other ships, but we can’t see ten rods for the fog. We have measles very bad on board our ship.

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

Family Reunion: Descendants of United Empire Loyalist Benjamin Stymiest Sr and Benjamin Stymiest Jr.

The descendants of Loyalists’ Benjamin Stymiest, Sr., and his son, Benjamin Stymiest, Jr. will be celebrating their 60th family reunion, Saturday, July 31 – Saturday, August 7th, 2010. The very first reunion was held in 1950. Established by one of Benjamin Stymiest’s descendants, The Rev. Frank Stymiest, Old Home Week was attended by approximately 100 descendants. Today, the small community of 800 nestled on the Miramichi & Tabusintac Rivers, grows to nearly 3000 registrants for our week long celebration.

Guest Speaker at the Stymiest Reunion event is our very own certified, family genealogist, Carl (aka Budd) Stymiest UE. His topic, “Claiming the Wilderness” will address his latest revisions for his published volume on the Stymiest Family in 2001 “Down By The Old Mill Stream- A Stymiest Chronicle.”; Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC.

Carl presently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and is active in the Vancouver Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. He owns an ancestral property, located on an original land grant from King George III to his 4th great-grandparents, Philip and Charlotte (Taylor) HIERLIHY, Miramichi, New Brunswick. Philip Hierlihy was a loyalist in the American Revolution. He served as a Sgt. in the Prince of Wales American Regiment. Charlotte Taylor’s fourth husband was Philip Hierlihy. She is also know as “The Mother of Tabusintac,” and was celebrated recently in the book, “The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor” by author, Sally Armstrong. Charlotte had no less than 4 husbands, so it is no wonder that most residents of this small community can trace their ancestors back to her in several ways. Carl traces his own ancestry to Charlotte through 7 different lineages with connections to 16 different loyalists.

Carl spends a great deal of his summers at his NB home where he offers, family and friends from far and wide; quiet relaxation at his Loyalist B&B, and tours to early loyalist historical places in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

We welcome all who feel they may be related to this branch of Stymiest’s and invite you to celebrate with us on Monday August 02, 2010, mid-afternoon at the home of Greg & Shalene (Stymiest) Losier, Wishart’s Point Road, Tabusintac, New Brunswick.

If you need further information on Stymiest history, contact me, also part of the Stymiest 2010 Reunion Planning Committee.

Carl Stymiest, UE, Vancouver Branch, UELAC

The Tech Side — Don’t Leave Home Without It — by Wayne Scott

Genealogists travel the world looking for traces of their ancestors. Loyalists scour the countryside looking at records and cemeteries proving links and ancestor lines. What if you should have a medical emergency away from home? Who should be called? What medications are you presently taking? Sometimes a few precious minutes can make the world of difference.

Much has been made of “ICE” (In Case of Emergency). This is a program where a person uses the acronym ICE to program an emergency contact into their cell phone directory. Emergency responders are trained to look for contacts this way if the person having the emergency is unconscious or unable to speak. Many people will list alternative contacts using ICE1, ICE2, etc. It is advisable to list your contacts’ telephone numbers with “00 1” in front of the appropriate area codes and numbers, if travelling outside of Canada and the United States. This saves precious time, the caller will not have to look up the country code.

Some people are now carrying a medical records form with them, particularly if there are particular medical concerns. Sample forms can be downloaded from the Internet. Some are in Excel format which will allow you to fill in the appropriate information. The forms should allow for the input of information for contacting Doctors, Specialists, Pharmacists, etc. Information on drug allergies, medications and dosage, and even herbal supplements taken can also be recorded. (If you are interested in an example, contact Wayne directly)

It could be a good idea to include an updated copy of this form with your passport or other travel documents. This medical form can also be placed on a flash drive that is carried with you. Information in your ICE contact information to look on the flash drive for this information could be quite useful.

What if you were travelling to a foreign country? You cannot always count on an emergency worker understanding written English. Planning ahead can solve some potential problems. When you are completing your form and maybe a trip to Peru is coming up, it might be a good idea to have a Spanish Language version of this completed form. While filling out the form, use a website such as the following: http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dict_en_es/english_index/, to find the Spanish equivalent for the English terms on your form. This may sound tedious, but minutes count when in an emergency situation. Remember to save a copy of this form on paper and/or on a flash drive.

The effort put into creating a document that is readable in the host country’s language can be seen as part of your trip planning. You spend a significant amount of time in selecting hotels, restaurants and sight seeing activities. Planning for a medical emergency should be right there as part of the planning. In addition, this is the sort of activity that computers are good for. Also, it can be interesting and fun.

Some have said that emergency information such as contained on our form could be stored on-line. There are many different places like the Sky Drive (Microsoft). The problem I have with this is the vulnerability to hacking. It can be dangerous if your vital medical information can be harvested. Insurance companies love to have this sort of data to help determine the rates you are charged.

One last suggestion might be for the traveller to tell their tour leaders or fellow travellers that you are carrying the medical information. You could, depending on your trust level, mention where this information is kept. Above all, plan well and travel safely.

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.


Lord Dorchester’s Proclamation

When Lord Dorchester made his UE Proclamation in 1789, presumably there were draft copies before it was finalized. We also know that the request for Royal assent was sent off to King George III. As the Proclamation was made in November of 1789, there must have been an official copy of it for government records. Where would that “official” copy have been stored; where would it be found today.

The New Brunswick Branch would like to acquire a high-resolution image of Lord Dorchester’s Proclamation – the one that gave all Loyalists and their descendants the right to use the initials UE after their names. If you know where it can be located, or have suggestions which can be followed up, please let me know.

Dave Laskey, President, NB Branch

Clement Lucas, Jr.

For the Hamilton Branch Cemetery Plaquing project, I am researching burials in the Mount Vernon Cemetery, Burlington, Ontario, where there could be a number of U.E.L. burials.

I have paperwork tracing two such burials back to their Crown Patents but cannot seem to find their military or related service which entitled them to receive a land grant.

These people are Clement Lucas, Jr. and John A. Cline (see next query).

Clement Lucas Jr. was born in Ireland and came with his parents to Pennsylvania at the age of nine. Three years later the Revolutionary War began. He and his parents and siblings sailed out of New York on The Bridgewater for ParrTown (St. Johns) in 1783. Both Clement Lucas Sr. and Clement Lucas Jr. received land grants in Sunbury County, N.B.. I also have paperwork from the University of New Brunswick indicating the approval for lumber and signed by Gilfred Studholme for the Lucas’. Clement Lucas, Jr. married Phebe Land (Robert Land’s daughter) and came to Burlington to be closer to the Lands. Clement Lucas Jr.’s land in Burlington was at Walkers Line and the Lakeshore. I cannot locate his regiment in the War. However, he is listed as a boat builder and this might indicate a coastal regiment. Mr. Studhome was given the task of surveying land and locating U.E.L.s from the 2nd Battalion New Jersey Volunteers.

Pat Blackburn

John A. Cline

John A. Cline was born in Pennsylvania in 1755. However, all but three of his children were born in Maryland (Washington County). He was 50 years of age when entering Canada. I went to York Region and traced his crown land grant in 1803. However, he sold this land in 1804 and moved to Grimsby (The Forty) and purchased 200 acres here. As John A. Cline lived to months prior to his 100 birthday, he spent years living with his son Jacob at QEW and Appleby Line (north west corner).

Clines may have been Quakers as the land area in Whitchurch/Stouffville was settled (many lots) in 1803 by Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish, Hessien. I do not have his regiment either. John Cline’s sister Mary married Herman Fisher, Herman Fisher is buried at Vineland.

I would appreciate hearing from any descendant, and anyone who can shed light on John’s participation in the Revolution – what regiment he joined, etc. See the reasons for my research in the query above.

Pat Blackburn

Storing Association Records Electronically

New Bunswick Branch is at the very early stages of a number of projects to convert all our paper files into electronic format. At this point we have approved the purchase of a multi-sheet scanner and are investigating the rental of workspace for the projects. However, it strikes me that other Branches (or groups) may have already embarked on such projects and may have developed naming conventions and tagging protocols for the electronic files. Likewise, they may have some experience, good or bad, with various pieces of software.

If anyone has information and experiences they would share, we would appreciate it.

Dave Laskey, President, NB Branch