“Loyalist Trails” 2011-07: February 20, 2011

In this issue:
Glimpses of Life in the Colonies — © Stephen Davidson
The Party Girls of 1778 go to School
Three Loyalists at the Canadian War Museum
Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie
Jack Patterson: a Forgotten Loyalist Hero
War of 1812, Part 1: Bicentennial – War of 1812-14, by Doris Lemon
Brock’s Journey August 5, 1812
Heritage Canada Foundation: Celebrate Historic Parks and Landscapes
Loyalist Trivia


Glimpses of Life in the Colonies — © Stephen Davidson

Lt. Thomas Anburey spent the years of the American Revolution travelling with the British army from New England to the southern colonies. Throughout all of that time, the young officer wrote back to a close friend in England. North America was full of new sights and sounds, and Anburey was more than willing to share all that he discovered with his friend across the Atlantic. The record of his correspondence gives the modern reader a much greater understanding of the era in which the loyalists lived.

The social customs of the New World fascinated Anburey. It was in Massachusetts that he first observed young people “frolicking”. In January of 1777, he wrote, “When the moon is favorable, a number of young men and women, to the amount of thirty or forty, set off in sleighs, about seven o’clock in the evening, to join some other party, perhaps at the distance of eighteen or twenty miles, where they dance and carouse till daylight, when they return and follow their common avocations, as if they had rested all night; it is not uncommon, an hour or two after daylight, to be awaked with the singing and noise they make, and by the number of bells affixed to the horses, on the return of some of these parties.”

“Tarrying” was another popular custom that raised Anburey’s eyebrows. “When a young man is enamoured of a woman, and wishes to marry her, he proposes the affair to her parents, (without whose consent no marriage, in this colony, can take place) if they have no objection, he is allowed to tarry with her one night, in order to make his court. At the usual time, the old couple retire to bed, leaving the young ones to settle matters as they can, who, having sat up as long as they think proper, get into bed together also, but without putting off their under garments, to prevent scandal. If the parties agree, it is all very well, the banns are published, and they married without delay; if not, they part, and possibly never see each other again, unless, which is an accident that seldom happens, the forsaken fair proves pregnant, in which case the man, unless he absconds, is obliged to marry her, on pain of excommunication.”

It is a forgotten fact of history that the American colonists relied entirely upon Great Britain for their supply of salt. Anburey noted what happened one day as salt and pork supplies came to the British encampment. “As the cart with the provisions came through the plantation, I was much surprised to see all the cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs following it, nor could the driver keep them off, till he came to the house. I found this was to lick the barrels which contained the salt meat. The inhabitants throughout America, whose habitations are at any great distance from the sea or salt-water give their cattle and horses salt once or twice a week, with which they are satisfied”. Some animals were so desperate for salt that they licked “the earth where there has been any pot liquor in which salt meat has been boiled, till they have licked up all the saline particles, and if a horse that has been rode hard, and in a sweat, is turned out with others, they each instantly surround and lick him.”

Animals seeking salt was only natural. However, Anburey was horrified when he finally discovered the reason that there were so many people of mixed race in the South. “You will be surprised, when I tell you it is by the planters having intercourse with their negroes, the issue of which being a mulatto, and having a connection with that shade becomes lighter… there were mulattoes of all tinges, from the first remove, to one almost white; there were some of them young women, who were really beautiful, being extremely well made, and with pretty delicate features; all of which I was informed, were the Colonel’s own. I could not help reflecting, that if a man had an intercourse with his slaves, it was shameful in the extreme, to make his own offspring so; for these mulattoes work equally the same as those who come from Africa: To be sure, you may say, it is a pleasant method to procure slaves at a cheap rate. I imagine there could not be less than twenty or thirty mulattoes of this description, at Colonel Coles’s, notwithstanding he has a very agreeable and beautiful wife, by whom he has had eight children.”

As he travelled through Maryland in July of 1781, Anburey met a Quaker loyalist named Mr. Taylor. His are the last words of a loyal American we read in the officer’s correspondence.

“From his attachment to his Sovereign, and speaking his sentiments, he was continually threatened with imprisonment; but that, and every other persecution, he would bear with the utmost cheerfulness and resignation, concordant to the principles of his religion. Nevertheless, at times, the poor old man would fetch a heavy sigh, as if his heart was bursting with grief, and exclaim, “Ah, well-a-day! Little did I think, after the labour of my youth, and training up a large family in the fear of the Lord, this would have been the reward of my old age. There, friend, (pointing to some extensive meadows that were before his house) with these hands did I clear that ground, and many a weary night have I worked by light of pine wood, to leave my children an inheritance, which is daily threatened to be taken from me. Here his fortitude would be overcome; and, after a little respite, his final exclamation was, “The Lord’s will be done.”

More of Anburey’s stories from the loyalist era will appear in next week’s edition of Loyalist Trails.

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

The Party Girls of 1778 go to School

The Calgary Branch of the UELAC was asked to make a Loyalist presentation at a school in February. In December and January, Stephen Davidson had published his 3-part series of the Party Girls in Loyalist Trails. With Stephen’s permission, Linda McClelland put Stephen’s information into script format to be used at the school.

On February 2nd, 16 grade 7 students made up into 2 “platoons” marched into the classroom. This was an add-on by the teacher (Charles Hunter) who said that his students had done this once before and it would set the scene. It did. Since both “platoons” wanted to be Loyalists, paper/rock/scissors decided the outcome. David Hongisto had made both loyalist and “patriot” flags to be handed out to the students. Printed cards also helped to distinguish the 2 sides.

The Script: Coincidentally, there was a part for everyone. The 8 girls fashioned their own turbans from lengths of stretchy fabric and 6 of the boys donned fleece tunics to become knights. A “platoon” leader became John Andre. The patriot wore a buckskin jacket.

John Andre opened the scene by describing his plans for the party. The 6 jousting “knights” then ran several times past each other before kneeling in front of the girls who they would escort to the ball. The girls completed the script by reading what became of them after the party.

On Stephen’s request, we stressed the fact that unlike the people in the script, most loyalists were not wealthy.

After the skit Linda McClelland and David Hongisto told their ancestors’ migration stories following the war. The routes were marked on a map.

The lesson appeared to be both fun and informative. View pictures here. Anyone who would like to use the script for a school visit can obtain a copy from me.

…Linda McClelland

Three Loyalists at the Canadian War Museum

In addition to learning about Canada’s role in the two World Wars and our peace-keeping missions, visitors to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa can also learn about the wars fought in North America that helped to shape our country. In the exhibits that tell the story of the American Revolution, three loyalists have their stories told with illustrations. So here is your loyalist trivia question: Who do you think those three loyalists are? To find the answer, see the last paragraph in this issue of Loyalist Trails.

Reverend John Beardsley (1732 – 1809) © George McNeillie

– Appendix to Beardsley Ancestry – ‘B’ –

Note concerning John Davis and his brother Richard Davis of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.

Coincidently with the purchase of a Glebe at Poughkeepsie in the year 1767, Bartholomew Cranel [sic], Richard Davis (a brother of John Davis) and the leaders of the Church were instrumental in the establishment of a school at Poughkeepsie, it being specifically required that a master be obtained “to teach the English language”. Richard Davis, of Christ Church, was for many years a manager of this school, and filed his papers with those of the church. Poughkeepsie became an educational centre, during the 19th century, and Vassar College was eventually established there.

Miss Reynolds writes in September, 1920:- “John Davis of Poughkeepsie was one of the pillars of Christ Church in Mr. Beardsley’s time. He was a prosperous well-to-do citizen with a wife, but no children. Richard, his brother, left descendants. Richard Davis lived on the bank of the Hudson and had a wharf and store-house. The river sloops touched at his wharf and carried freight to and from his store-house, up and down the Hudson River for the Dutchess population. Whether or not John Davis had an interest in the business I am uncertain. I think he lived up on the hill, nearer the centre of the village. Richard was equally as prominent in Christ Church as John. Indeed the two practically kept the parish in existence during the period from 1776 to 1783.”

Memoranda concerning John Davis:-

He was Senior Warden, Christ Ch., Poughkeepsie in 1789, 1803, 1806, 1809, 1810.

Junior Warden, ditto, in 1799, 1800, 1802, 1804, 1805, 1808.

Vestryman, ditto, 1773 to 1781, 1788, 1795, 1798, 1801.

Treasurer of the Corporation, 1773 to 1782.

After the Rev. John Beardsley left Poughkeepsie the existence of the Episcopal Church there was largely due, under God, to the brothers John and Richard Davis. John Davis was one of three lay delegates chosen to represent the State of New York in the first General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, held in Philadelphia in 1785. He continued to correspond with his old rector for some years after the latter came to New Brunswick.

Here is an extract from Parish Register, Christ Ch., Poughkeepsie:-

John and Silvia Beardsley, parents of:-

{John Davis, born February 4, 1771; baptized February 17, 1771.

{Silvia, also born February 4, 1771; baptized February 16, 1771

Rev. John and Gertrude Beardsley, parents of:-

Bartholomew Crannel, b. Oct. 21, 1775; bapt. October 30, 1775.

Sponsors: Thomas Fisher, Bartholomew Crannel, Esq. and Trientie [Catryntje] Crannel (wife of Bartholomew Crannel).

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

Jack Patterson: a Forgotten Loyalist Hero

Spring issue of REAL, The Canadian Kids’ Magazine, to celebrate African Heritage Month.

Written by Stephen Davidson, a regular contributor to Loyalist Trails, this story examines the past in a compelling way, bringing Canadian history to life for young readers. Mr. Davidson has had two other loyalist stories published In REAL: The Story of the Five Stones (Spring 2010) and A Dog Named Griffin (Fall 2010).

Individual copies of these issues are available for $5.95 each by emailing Erica@realkidsmag.com.

Subscriptions are available by visiting www.realkidsmag.com.

War of 1812, Part 1: Bicentennial – War of 1812-14, by Doris Lemon

The Province of Ontario announced financial support for a major celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812-14. Kitchener-Waterloo remained safe from invasion as the closest encounter was the 1814 MacArthur raid which started in Detroit, followed the Thames River into the heart of Canada West, burned buildings, wrecked farm implements and, it is recorded, entered Burford where the most devastating pillage of the campaign took place.

I am serving on the Provincial Committee for one of seven regions across Ontario – the Western Corridor. Our region starts at the Longwoods west of London (where Tecumseh was killed), follows the Dundas Highway to Burlington Heights (Dundurn Castle), then drops down for the Battle of Stoney Creek. The route scales the escarpment to Ancaster for the Bloody Assizes (where men were charged with treason and then hanged in Burlington). The next site is the Six Nations where Isaac Brock enlisted warriors to accompany him to Detroit. At Oakland we remember the burning of Malcolm’s Mills when (my gggguncle) Lt. Col. Henry Bostwick’s brave Norfolk militia against overwhelming odds suffered a major defeat with loss of many lives. At Culver’s tavern, Brock with stirring speech encouraged 200 residents to go to the Battle of Detroit. A significant event in Norfolk County occurred when the town of Dover Mills (Port Dover) was pillaged and burned in Campbell’s raid of May, 1814.

After Port Ryerse, Port Stanley and Long Point the route takes the Talbot Road back to the Longwoods and completes our Western Corridor.

The plan is to map this Western Corridor into a walking/bicycling/motoring tour. Sites of historical interest will be marked and maps provided with details of battles or persons of historical interest. WNED PBS plans a $11,500,000. documentary. This is a Provincial Tourism project

If you have information to add, kindly share it with the Western Corridor committee.

Brock’s Journey August 5, 1812

The Chair of Legacy 1812 in Niagara, the late Vincent Del Buono, challenged me to map Brock’s route on August 5, 1812, from the capital at York (Toronto) to the Battle of Detroit. I started with 3 universities, many books (including the Blayney’s book by Brock’s nephew). Then I contacted map librarians across Canada, an expert on early Indian trails, referred to the Champlain Society Papers and the John Askin Papers (he travelled with Brock). I submitted a proposed Brock’s route.

Brock, with members of his 41st Regiment, sailed from York to Burlington Heights, crossed overland (through what is to-day Hamilton) and spent the night at Durrand’s farm, Lt 14, Con 3, in Barton Township at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. He climbed the Escarpment, marched to the Six Nations where 79 (or 60) warriors joined him. At William Culver’s Tavern, in the Gore of Woodhouse, he gave a stirring recruitment speech to the residents, mostly farmers, who did not wish to leave their families unprotected or abandon their fields during harvest. 200 (or 179) agreed to go with him to stop the American advance into Canada from Fort Detroit.

He spent the night at the home of Lt. Col. Robert Nichol, Quarter-Master General of the Militia, in Port Dover. John Askin lodged with Captain Williams (my ggggg grandfather). Next day, Brock, his regiment, Indian warriors and some Norfolk volunteers sailed up Lake Erie to Fort Malden at Amherstburg on the Chippewa in heavy rain. The remainder marched overland. The men were hungry, wet and miserable when they reached the Fort. They were outfitted with red coats and marched to Fort Detroit.

In the August 13th Battle of Detroit the Americans, in a fort on higher lands, outnumbered Brock’s force. Brock ordered the Indian warriors to circle and double back several times to appear in great numbers and send fear into the Americans. There was heavy pounding of cannon and on the 16th of August, the Americans surrendered.

What were the results of the Battle of Detroit? It raised the morale of Canadians who now believed the Americans could be deterred from capturing the country. Norfolk residents joined the militia. Brock was considered a hero.

Doris Lemon, UE, Grand River Branch

Heritage Canada Foundation: Celebrate Historic Parks and Landscapes

For Heritage Day February 21, 2011, the Heritage Canada Foundation encourages Canadians to celebrate Historic Parks and Landscapes. HCF promotes the third Monday in February each year as Heritage Day.

For generations, parks have offered Canadians grand vistas to ponder, pathways to meander, ornamental gardens to admire and impressive structures to shelter in. Read all about it in Heritage magazine’s feature article, “Canada’s Historic Parks and Green Spaces.”

In recognition of the centenary of Parks Canada, the world’s first parks service, The Royal Canadian Mint has struck a unique commemorative coin. Own this inspiring coin and get free shipping when you quote promo code Heritage at www.mint.ca/Parks or 1-877-395-2010.

Loyalist Trivia

The three loyalists whose stories are told at the National War Museum are: Richard Pierpoint, Black Loyalist; Joseph Brant, First Nations Loyalist; and Hannah Ingraham, who came to New Brunswick as a child with her loyalist family.