“Loyalist Trails” 2010-50: December 12, 2010

In this issue:
Forgotten Loyalists — © Stephen Davidson
Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie
Archives of Ontario: Access Update
Last Minute Shopping? Let Promotions Help
Christmas Is Coming – Help Promote Our Loyalist Heritage
Trees for Troops: Annual Christmas Program
The Tech Side: Laptop Buying Tips – by Wayne Scott UE
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Dr. Robert Guy (Bud) Williams, UE


Forgotten Loyalists — © Stephen Davidson

A handful of loyalist diaries from 18th century America give us a ground level view of the Revolution, but only one loyalist methodically organized his war time experiences. While living as a refugee in England between 1783 and 1788, Thomas Jones gathered data, interviewed fellow loyalists, and recorded his own memories to create an amazing volume titled The History of New York During the American Revolution. Unfortunately, the book remained unpublished and unread until 1879.

One of the unique aspects of Jones book is that he takes us beyond the usual cast of characters we normally encounter in Revolutionary history books –such as generals and politicians– and introduces us to people whose names never appear in the larger stories. Here then, are some of those forgotten loyalists.

Roswell Saltonstall was a loyalist who Jones felt was without a doubt “the oddest man in America”. We might be tempted to dub him the “loyalist hippie”.

Saltonstall owned an estate near Branford, Connecticut. Although he was a member of the upper class, his attire was far from typical. Saltonstall wore “coarse leather shoes, tied with leather strings, instead of buckles, blue yarn stockings, tied below the knees with some twisted flax. His breeches were woolen, and open at both the knees. His coat and waistcoat were of homespun, his shirt of coarse linen, and appeared to have been worn about a month. The sleeves were tied with twine. He had nothing about his neck, and from the looks of his hair, a comb had not seen it for six months.” Jones also noted that this loyalist sported a beard and did not wear a wig — two exceptions to the general appearance of male colonists.

Despite his Bohemian attire, Saltonstall knew how to be hospitable. When guests arrived at his home, their host was “chatty and entertaining”, served “cider, apples, and nuts” and boldly damned the revolution, wishing the British every success. But don’t ask about the children gamboling about the house.

Saltonstall’s domestic arrangements were definitely a contributing factor to his reputation for oddity. Although he did not have a wife, the loyalist lived with six young women by whom he fathered seven illegitimate children. It seemed no one in the neighbourhood raised an eyebrow.

Saltonstall hardly seemed the type of loyalist who would endanger himself for his sovereign. However, in 1779, when British forces were headquartered in Branford, Connecticut, Saltonstall rose to the occasion. He shaved off his beard, had his servants style and powder his hair, and put on a new black velvet suit, completing the whole new look with white silk stockings and a stylish hat. With a gentleman’s sword at his side, the loyalist presented himself to General Tryon, inviting him and his officers to dinner at the Saltonstall estate.

When the British officers arrived, they were treated to roasted ox, six sheep and four hogs. Eccentric though Saltonstall was, he certainly knew how to wine and dine his guests. After the British army left Connecticut, “the oddest man in America” reverted to his strange lifestyle. Today Branford’s Lake Saltonstall is the only clue that a very eccentric man once made the area his home.

Jones’ book also reveals that there was a village along New York’s Long Island Sound shore that was comprised of loyalists who were French. Fleeing persecution in France after the Edict of Nantez, Protestant Huguenots crossed the Atlantic and settled in Westchester County. They named their community New Rochelle. Jones reported that “they have a French minister, French schools, and in their families use the French language in common. They are all an honest, worthy, and industrious set of people. They never swerved from their allegiance to their sovereign during the whole of the rebellion, for which most of them were great sufferers, and many totally ruined.”

Another New Yorker who was “notorious for loyalty of the most stubborn kind” was Thomas Smith. Because he lived in Oyster Bay on the coast of Long Island Sound, his home was a regular target for raids by Connecticut patriots who hoped to kidnap him. Smith’s only solution to this ongoing persecution was to stay in the home of a different friend or acquaintance every night, “making it a rule never to sleep two nights running at one house”. Smith lived like this for over four years. Although he escaped being kidnapped, his house was robbed and plundered three times, his wife was insulted, his daughters were abused, and his sons were carried off to prisons in Connecticut. It was never easy to be a loyalist.

One might wonder how Thomas Smith would be able to find enough acquaintances willing to take in a man who was so fiercely hunted by patriots. But friends of loyalists in need were not in short supply. John Harris Cruger and Jacob Walter, two New York loyalists, owed their lives to a Quaker who hid the fugitives in a mow of hay in a barn for three weeks during one summer. They lacked for nothing during their confinement.

A Dutch loyalist named Lefferts hid Augustus Van Cortland, the clerk of New York City, in his cow house “for a considerable time”. Knowing that he might one day be questioned by patriots, Lefferts always took Van Cortland’s food to him by walking backwards to the cow house. In this way, the honest Dutchman would always be able to truthfully swear that he had never seen the fugitive loyalist.

The fugitive Long Island loyalists who could not find shelter with British sympathizers hid themselves in the pine barrens of Suffolk. Others sailed about Long Island Sound in small boats during the day, and only came ashore at night to sleep in the woods. With the dawn, they replenished their water supplies and once again sailed out into the Sound.

Even Judge Jones would have to admit that none of these loyalists or their circumstances is especially noteworthy. Nevertheless, their “forgotten” stories add interesting threads to the larger tapestry of the loyalist epic.

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

Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie

The parish church at Maugerville was not improbably consecrated as “Christ Church” because that had been the name of Mr. Beardsley’s former church in Poughkeepsie. My mother, in her childhood used to attend this church. Her grandfather, Richard Carman, was one of the wardens at least as early as 1803, and her father Samuel Carman was warden in 1844. She remembered very well the Governor’s Pew, with its “canopied top surmounted by a dove.” This church was in use until 1857 when it was replaced by the present beautiful building, which was consecrated Christ Church by Bishop Medly on January 8th. He speaks of it as “a very beautiful and substantial building.” The old church had then been over 65 years in use. It was in size 32 X 40 feet. There is I think a sketch of it made by Miss Mary N. Jacob, in my brother Lee’s home at Woodstock.

In the summer of 1791 a Scotch Highlander, P. Campbell, made a trip up the St. John river of which he has left an interesting account in his book printed in Edinburgh in 1793. From this I will now quote, merely explaining that the author had taken passage to Fredericton in the “post- boat” along with other passengers in the early days of September 1791. He writes in his book:- “We were all very social and happy. They mostly continued on board, but I walked a great deal of the way, and when ahead of them made excursions into the different plantations in the neighbourhood, and when tired returned to the boat.” Arrived at Maugerville he says: – “I left my coat in the boat it being [on Sept. 4] as warm and sultry as with us in Scotland in the heat of the Summer, and proceeded in my waistcoat and trousers twelve miles on foot (to Fredericton). It being Sunday, I met a great many genteel, well-dressed ladies and gentlemen going to Church; some on horse-back, and some, family-way, in carreols; and all on the canter, scampering away as if posting.”

The Church to which the people were going was no doubt the Maugerville Parish Church, lately erected and not yet finished, though used for services. It was consecrated a year later by Bishop Charles Inglis.

The ladies and gentlemen were half-pay officers, their wives and daughters, and it is interesting to note that so early as 1791, “carry-alls” (wheeled vehicles capable of carrying four or more persons) were in use in Maugerville. At this time there were not ten miles of road in all the province suitable for wheeled carriages, save only in Maugerville, where nature had chiefly performed the task.

The horses in those days, as at present, went unshod all in summer, there being “nary a stone” in the road for miles. The riding whips were often merely switches. There was in front of the old Carman homestead in lower St. Mary’s a willow that grew from a switch that a young lady stuck in the ground while making a call and forgot it when she rode away. Once when in Maugerville I tried to borrow a horse to drive to Stanley, but could not find one that was shod and fit to travel on a stony road.

There was quite a nice society in Maugerville, in early times, of the families of the half-pay officers. From what Mr. Campbell tells us in his book they rode their horses well – all “scampering away as if posting.” Perhaps as a Scotchman and not improbably a “black Presbyterian,” he may not have thought this becoming on the “Sabbath.” He writes that he left his gun in the boat – presumably to save him from the temptation to shoot a partridge. Later, when the road turned into the woods, a few miles below F’ton, he says; “The many stories I had heard of Bears recurred to my mind, which made me apprehensive as to be at a stand whether to return back or to push forward. I chose the latter. It being Sunday, as before said, I left my gun along with my servant in the boat. I began to cut a stout stick with my pocket knife. While bent down at this work, such was my apprehension, that I kept constantly looking around me, lest a Bear seize one by the posteriors.”

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

Archives of Ontario: Access Update

As those of you who do research in Ontario will recall, in early 2009 the Archives of Ontario (AO) moved from a Central Toronto location to York University, on the periphery of the city. At the same time, the hours that the AO was open for researchers were dramatically reduced.

This past summer a small group of users of the Archives of Ontario (AO) formed a committee to request restored access to records and facilities at the Archives. The committee then asked for support from other individuals and groups so we could approach the Archives of Ontario and the minister to voice our concern about lack of access to our heritage. We received widespread support from historians, genealogists and heritage groups across the province.

We are pleased to announce that we have had a number of very positive meetings with the Acting Archivist of Ontario who was appointed since the move in 2009, and staff members.

On November 2nd, the AO posted a notice in the reading room and on its website, stating that extended hours would be announced in early 2011. A number of committee members had a further meeting and we are happy to pass along the following information:

– The extended hours will be formally announced on January 14th, 2011.

– The tentative schedule will have the reading room open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

– There will be an archivist on duty during the extended hours.

– Original (not microfilmed) material will be available during the extended hours, if ordered and received in advance.

Please note that the schedule shown above is only tentative. What we want to emphasize is that we need to be ready to start using the extended hours as soon as they are announced. The archives will be assessing the user volume from January to June before committing to extending service beyond that time.

The Committee: Ruth Burkholder, Jane MacNamara, Brenda Dougall Merriman, Kathie Orr, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Michael Ball and Nancy Trimble.

Editor’s Note—we owe a very large vote of thanks to the committee members who worked to make this happen. Let’s not let their efforts be in vain—let’s use the Archives during the extended hours so we can maintain this additional access.

[From the Toronto Branch Newsletter “Fidelity”]

Last Minute Shopping? Let Promotions Help

Let Promotions help you with that last minute shopping. Christmas is less than two weeks away. You still have time to order that last minute item from Promotions UELAC and have it delivered in time for Christmas.

Promotions UELAC would like to thank everyone for their support throughout the year and, as well, those who have recently purchased items for Christmas.

From everyone involved with Promotions UELAC we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Noreen Stapley, UE

Christmas Is Coming – Help Promote Our Loyalist Heritage

Help preserve our Loyalist History, make a donation to the Loyalist Collection at Brock University. If you donate $100.00 your name or the name of the person that you are gifting will be inscribed on a box of microfilm and it will be preserved forever in the Brock Loyalist Collection. Tax receipts are issued for all donations over $10.00.

The Loyalist Collection at Brock University is a rich diverse collection of resources for Loyalist research that provides learning opportunities for staff as well as researchers. Yesterday, a researcher from Fort Niagara in Lewiston New York was using the collection to research life in the Fort during the Revolution. The Collection is always expanding and relies on donations of microfilm from the Friends of the Loyalist Collection, supported by many generous donors and also on donations of personal Loyalist collections from supporters like Anna Boa Jarvis and the estates of John Ruch and John Wilson.

Everyone is welcome to use the collection. The best day to visit is Friday and it is advisable to call ahead to give the staff an idea of the records that you would like to search. Call 905-688-5550 XT 4335 or email libspcl AT brocku.ca

[Submitted by the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University]

Trees for Troops: Annual Christmas Program

This wonderful example of the Christmas Spirit is the donation of several Christmas Trees to the families of those whose family members are serving overseas.

Lewis Downey, active member of Little Forks Branch, also an experienced grower and executive director of the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association (CCTGA) was present at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier Friday, Dec.3rd. when the convoy left to deliver trees to 19 other bases across the country. Intergovernmental Affaires Minister Josée Vernier was present at the gathering. Trees grown in the Eastern Townships of Quebec are among these special trees. The Trees for our Troops’ Families Program was started by CCTGA four years ago in order to show their appreciation of Canadian troops. Since trees could not be shipped overseas, the gesture was transferred to their loved ones. The purpose is to bring a bit of cheer to the families of those whose family members are serving overseas. Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay says the CCTGA tradition is touching for those in the military community. “On behalf of the Defence family, I thank the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association for their continued generosity and support of military families. The donation of Christmas trees is a heart warming gesture for our military families and reinforces the fact that Canadians and their community stands with them during the holiday season”.

Growers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia contribute to bases in the east and Ontario growers supply their own province and ship trees to bases out west. For more information on the CCTGA, the “Trees for Troops” visit www.canadianchristmastrees.ca

…Bev Loomis, UE, President, Little Forks Branch

The Tech Side: Laptop Buying Tips – by Wayne Scott, UE

This is the time of year that many of us make winter travel plans. Is it time to upgrade to a new laptop to take along? Almost on a daily basis we are getting sales flyers touting the latest, greatest and best prices on new laptop computers. If you are tempted, here are a few things to consider.

A netbook is worth consideration if you travel a lot. They were the rage a few years ago but are not as popular these days. They have small screens, and small keyboards. You may have difficulties with a lot of typing on a netbook, unless you are part of the ‘texting’ generation and are used to small keyboards. Netbooks are relatively slow performers and do a poor job of multitasking. However, they are inexpensive. Decent products can be had for $400.00, and sometimes less.

The netbook is being replaced by the tablet pc. The most popular one is the iPad. These start in price around $550.00 and rise with greater memory and connectivity. If you want one to use anywhere a cell phone can be used, then the cellular 3G version is for you, with a monthly connection fee. The tablet pc can do most things that a touch screen phone can do, all through apps; however, they are rather lightweight when it comes to computing power.

If you are not a fan of iPad, there are a number of tablet computers on the market using the android processor, such as the Samsun Galaxy. Many of these have a maximum of 17.5cm screen size while the iPad boasts a 25cm screen.

At some point, your deliberations will include whether to get a Mac or a PC. The Mac begins with a 35 cm screen. This can appear to be somewhat small, but in reality the size is a good fit for many laptop users. At this point, price becomes a consideration. The Mac is somewhat more expensive, however, and I say this from experience, the Mac has a number of refinements that will make the price differential quite a bit less. It really is hard to find a Mac convert who wishes that they hadn’t converted years ago.

When looking at laptops, decisions need to be made on what processor meets your needs. Processors such as i3, i5, i7, Core 2 Duo and the line of AMD processors are available. As logic would indicate, the higher the number, the more computing power. It is best to shop around and find a sales representative that is informative and will work to meet your needs.

If your computing consists mostly of email, keeping a journal, surfing the net, keeping track of finances, etc, then an i3 processor, would likely suit. If you are looking to the future and want to do basic photo and video editing or blogging, then the next step up to i5 would be of benefit. Keep in mind that with each increase in computing power comes an increase in price.

Today, a well equipped computer with graphic card, 4GB ram and sporting an i5 processor costs about $800.00. The equivalent computer with an AMD processor can be $100.00 less. The prices of more advanced computers can be in the thousands of dollars. A word of caution, do not buy a computer that far exceeds your needs. Components can always be upgraded as needs arise.

Another thing to consider is the keyboard size of the laptop under consideration. Make sure that the keyboard is full size. In some models, a full size keyboard isn’t available until you purchase at least a 39cm screen laptop computer. It is unlikely that you will enjoy using a laptop computer with less than a full size keyboard.

Almost all laptops will have built-in Wi-Fi connections. Some will have blue tooth connect ability also. Blue tooth allows for connecting more advanced wireless accessories such as microphones, headsets, keyboards and mice. Also having an HDMI connector will allow you to connect your laptop to a high definition television. A new laptop will most likely have video out capabilities so that an easy connection can be made with a projector for doing presentations and slide shows.

When it comes to memory, a new laptop should have at least 4GB of random access memory (ram). Most laptops will allow the installation of up to 8GB. When choosing a hard drive, consider having 500 GB or more. If you can get your supplier to partition it into 2 – 250 GB drives, this would be of benefit, particularly for keeping a backup of documents and pictures.

When upgrading to a new windows laptop, it will most likely come with Windows 7. If the computer you are replacing is 5 or more years old, there may be some compatibility issues with your software. Make sure to talk with your vendor for recommendations. Replacing products like Microsoft Office can be quite expensive. Open Office is a good alternative, and it is free.

Another issue to check out is battery life. If using the new laptop computer for hours away from an electrical outlet is a requirement, invest in a higher capacity battery. Also, make sure that you have the proper power cords and plugs to suit the voltage and connections in the areas you are travelling to.

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

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Hawley, Martin – from Linda Smith with certificate application
– Hierlihy, Philip – by Carl Stymiest (Volunteer Wendy Cosby) with certificate application
– Murray Sr., John – from Lynne Charles with certificate application

Last Post: Dr. Robert Guy (Bud) Williams, UE

January 24, 1919 – December 3, 2010; born in Calgary, Bud followed in his father’s footsteps and studied medicine. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1943 with a degree in Medicine. After internship and general practice, he was called to serve his country. During WWII, he was a Captain in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and served time overseas until 1945. After discharge, he began post-graduate study in surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland and Toronto East General. Bud returned to Calgary where he practiced at the Calgary General Hospital until his retirement.

After retirement, Bud’s quest for learning continued with classroom and online studies. His first venture was a degree in Economics and then in 2008 a B.Sc. in Geology. He possessed such an enquiring mind, a trait that he passed onto his family.

Despite a very busy surgical practice, Bud was a great patron of the Arts. He played an integral role in the early stages of the development and organization of both the Calgary Opera and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His late wife, Mary Makar Williams, was instrumental in locating the string players required.

Bud is survived by his wife Marian; his children, Dr. Anna (Wojciech) and Rob (Jacqui); fondly remembered by grandchildren and other relatives.

A Memorial Service was held on December 8. In living memory of Dr. Bud Williams, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane.

Bud was a long-time member of the Calgary Branch UELAC, serving as President from 1972 to 1975. He received his certificate from Peter Day, originally from New Jersey, in 1990. Dr. Williams also served as secretary/treasurer. (See Branch History and Branching Out)

…Linda McClelland and Joyce Luethy