“Loyalist Trails” 2011-35: September 4, 2011
In this issue:
– The Street Names of Old Saint John: Part One — by Stephen Davidson
– Horsfield Ancestry: First Generation in America © George McNeillie
– Alexander Campbell of Adolphustown: Part 1, by Jean Norry
– Resources Available for the Wentworth Area
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: Edward Gordon Scott, UE
– Last Post: Doreen Gwyneth (Powell) Todhunter, UE
The history of every community lies hidden in its street names. This is especially true for Saint John, New Brunswick, the first city to be founded by loyalist refugees. There are at least thirty-four streets in the oldest part of the city that are directly connected to its loyalist heritage. Let’s do a virtual walking tour and discover the significance behind the street names of old Saint John — and in the process, see why loyalist settlements across the country have similar names for their thoroughfares.
Before we begin walking through old Saint John, it is important to know a little bit about its history. In 1783, there were two loyalist settlements at the mouth of the St. John River. On the west was Carleton, named in honour of Sir Guy Carleton, the last commander-in-chief of British forces in the Thirteen Colonies. To the east was Parrtown, named in honour of the governor of Nova Scotia, John Parr. Parrtown was a hilly peninsula formed by Courtenay Bay on the east and the harbour on the west. In 1785, the two settlements were incorporated to create the city of Saint John.
The ships that arrived in May of 1783 unloaded their loyalist passengers at a site in Parrtown that would one day it would be called Market Slip. A street eventually rose up from Market Slip and stretched over to the eastern side of the peninsula as far as Courtenay Bay. It was named King Street — a name commonly found in loyalist settlements across Canada.
In addition to King Street, there are seven other streets that have a very obvious connection to royalty: Crown, George, Charlotte, Queen, Prince, Princess, and Duke. Two city parks, Queen Square and King Square, also salute the royal family — but there are more.
Just off King Street is Prince William Street, named for William, the third son of King George. When he was 16, William visited New York City during the winter of 1781-82 as a crew member of a Royal Navy ship. In the spring, he eluded being kidnapped by patriot forces, a plot approved by George Washington.
On July 4, 1782, Prince William met Abraham Van Buskirk, the commander of the New Jersey Volunteers. A year later, this loyalist corps disbanded on the St. John River.
In 1786, Prince William visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, a port he would call on again for the next two years. Besides the gambling, drinking and carousing available in the naval outpost, William enjoyed the pleasures of his mistress, Lady Frances Wentworth. The wife of New Hampshire’s last loyalist governor, Frances would eventually use her influence with William to have her husband made Nova Scotia’s governor in 1792. William’s wild ways were put behind him when he married in 1818. Within nine years, he succeeded his older brother, George IV, as king.
Mecklenburg Street was named in honour of the tiny German principality of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. It was there that Princess Sophie Charlotte, the future bride of George III, was born. She was just 17 when she married, and unable to speak more than a few words of English. No one ever complimented her on her beauty, and yet her happy marriage to George was the exception to most European royal unions. Under her patronage hospitals, orphanages, musicians, artists, and the sciences received much needed support. Not bad for the eighth child of a minor German prince!
Prince Edward Street was named for the Duke of Kent, who also had his name given to an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Prince Edward, the fourth son of George III was the first member of the royal family to visit Saint John, staying there in June, 1794. However, the prince’s favourite Maritime location was a mansion just outside of Halifax where he lived with his mistress, Julie de St. Laurent. The construction of the Old Town Clock and St. George’s Round Church are just part of the legacy of Prince Edward’s time in Halifax. Even more significant is that Edward married a German princess in 1818. Their only child was Victoria, who, as queen, would give her name to an era of imperialism and technological change.
Some Saint Johners believe Coburg Street‘s namesake is Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. However, the fact that a loyalist settlement in Ontario elected to call itself Cobourg in 1819 points to an earlier (and loyalist) reason for this name.
The only daughter of George IV was Princess Charlotte. She became the Princess of Coburg after she married the German Prince Leopold. When she became pregnant, the entire empire was excited. Charlotte’s child would be next in line for the British throne. After 50 hours of labour, the princess died delivering a stillborn son on November 6, 1817. Charlotte had been a very popular member of the royal family. The news of her death was received with the same outpouring of grief –says one historian– as the death of Princess Diana. The celebrity of this British princess is the best explanation for the naming of both Cobourg, Ontario and Saint John’s Coburg Street.
Saint John’s Hanover Street notes that George III was a member of the House of Hanover while Brunswick Street reminded city dwellers that Braunschweig was one of their king’s German duchies.
Finally, the last of the “royal streets” of Saint John is St. James Street, named in honour of the London palace that served as the royal residence until 1837. In 1809, part of the palace was destroyed in a fire, a calamity that would threaten Saint John many times throughout its history.
If you are keeping count, we have “walked” 15 streets denoting the loyalist connection to the crown. We’ll learn the stories behind more of Saint John’s streets in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
5. Thomas Horsfield was a leading citizen of St. John in his day and a large purchaser of real estate. He purchased before 1790 from Judge Isaac Allen, the original grantee, two lots on Prince William Street where the establishment of J.& A. McMillan now stands, for the trifling sum of five pounds each. The lots were each 50 X 200 feet. He also purchased the lot opposite, on which the “Jardine Building” now stands, down to low water mark. He lived on this latter property and at his death bequeathed it to his nephew William Carman, the oldest son of his niece Sarah (Horsfield) Carman. He also owned in St. John a valuable block of land between Germain and Charlotte Streets. To render this more accessible he opened up Horsfield Street (called after him) by taking 20 feet off two 50 feet lots on each street. He sold two lots on Horsfield Street to the St. John Grammar School in 1805 for 100 pounds. The Germain Street Methodist Church lots were also purchased from him and the first Methodist Church in St. John built there around 1807.
In 1796 he purchased, for six pounds five shillings, lot No. 500, on which the Hotel Dufferin now stands, which was drawn originally by Samuel Mallard. It had a frontage of 40 feet on the square, with 100 feet on Charlotte Street. There was here a very high rock which jutted out more than a hundred feet on the S.W. corner of King Square. At its base was a public well and pump. The next year Mr. Horsfield, in order to encourage public enterprise, sold the lot to a company as a site for a “City Wind-mill”, for grinding corn and wheat. The mill was not a success and two years the later following advertisement appeared in the newspapers:- “For Sale. The City Wind-mill with lot No. 500 on which it stands, with all its apparatus” — which is described in detail. The building was used in 1809 as a barrack for the embodied Militia in the so-called “Wetmore War.” It was afterwards used for a Work House and Alms House. It came to a spectacular end in February 1819 — the year in which Thomas Horsfield himself died. Some of the inmates were employed in picking oakum, which, being spread to dry, caught fire in some way and the building was entirely destroyed. The height of the old building and its conspicuous position on the top of the lofty rock made the conflagration a notable sight. A brick building was built on the site in 1821 (the rock being then cut down) and the house was occupied by Dr. Thomas Paddock, a leading St. John physician, until 1832, when it was sold for 2,200 pounds to Robert F. Hazen, mayor of the city. In the course of time the building was enlarged and became a leading hotel and today — as the “Hotel Dufferin” — is so considered.
[NOTE: 1] Samuel Mallard had a well-known Inn, “The Mallard House,” on site of “Royal Hotel”.
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].
My Loyalist ancestor Alexander Campbell (1729 — 1811) was described by many of his descendants, including myself, as a Lieutenant in the Loyal Rangers. He is listed as a Lieutenant on page 80 of “Rolls of the Provincial (Loyalist) Corps, Canadian Command, American Revolutionary Period”, a very useful little book by Fryer and Smy, published by the Dundurn Press. I inherited my father’s genealogy papers. He had a huge Campbell file with letters from distant cousins asking for information about Dad’s Campbells, but especially about Alexander and his military career as a Lieutenant. All these distant relatives had a mental fixation on the Black Watch, the 42nd Regiment that I couldn’t fathom. I thought that Alexander wasn’t involved in this regiment and this was a mistake that was passed around much like computer mistakes are propagated today.
So, when I started to do research on Alexander for a UEL Certificate I expected to find thousands of acres in his name because he had been rewarded with land for being an officer in the Loyal Rangers during the American Revolution. I thought his six daughters would have made petitions for land, as daughters of a Loyalist, naming him as an officer. But not so. Only one, his oldest, Ann Radenhurst of York (1769 — 18) made a petition for land in 1831, 20 years after her father had died. She referred to her father as Alexander Campbell of Adolphustown, gentleman. It was a big down-size of Alexander’s career. The Lieutenant idea began to evaporate.
I think Ann Radenhurst wanted money for her son’s house in Perth. He was Thomas Radenhurst, a lawyer and at one time the clerk of the Bathurst District, living in Lanark County. Now, she didn’t say she wanted money for her son’s house renovation in her petition… It’s just that 1831 is the same year for the petition and the renovations. This house is called the Radenhurst-Inderwick house today and it is described in some detail in “The Ancestral Roof” by Adamson and MacRae, on page 217. It is an early example of Ontario Loyalist style of architecture, often copied, and usually described as “in the vernacular”. It is just speculation that Ann Radenhurst helped Thomas with the house.
My next big problem was Archibald, the one and only son, (as described in Alexander’s will), who didn’t make petitions for land as a son of Alexander. He had arrived with his family in Adolphustown in June, 1784 with the Peter VanAlstine group when he was 15. He didn’t need to make a petition and this makes it difficult to prove he is the son of Alexander. However, Alexander made a will in April of 1811 wherein he left his farm to his one and only son Archibald and alternatively to his grandson Alexander. The problem is that it is typed, which makes it easy to read, but not suitable for the UEL application. The original hand written will, drawn up by James Noxen of Adolphustown on April 10th, 1811 isn’t available.I didn’t find it in the Ontario Archives nor at the Kathleen Ryan Archives at Queen’s University. However, this typed copy could be used along with other documents to make a Preponderance of Evidence.
Then there is a third problem about a possible extra daughter Eleanor who married Daniel Rose of the Loyal Rangers in Montreal in about 1782. Her son William was born in Quebec in 1783, according to Russ Waller’s “Loyalist Families”, page 375. Eleanor’s father is listed as Alexander Campbell. She might be our Alexander’s daughter, but she isn’t mentioned in his will. Maybe she belonged to another Alexander Campbell, but it remains a good possibility that she is one of ours. If she was 18 when little William was born, she was born in 1765 or 1766 and she would be the oldest in our Alexander Campbell family… This Eleanor is a mystery.
However, there were several Alexander Campbells in Upper Canada who might have been her father. The most likely is Lieut. Alexander Campbell of Augusta Twp. in Leeds County. He had a brother James as an Ensign. There were no Eleanors in these families, but this other Alexander Campbell might be the cause for all the confusion about our Alexander of Adolphustown being identified as a Lieutenant.
Larry Turner wrote a book, “Voyage of a different Kind” a few years ago. It was about these Associated Loyalists, 199 refugees who came with Peter Van Alstine to Adolphustown in June of 1784. Most of these people were evacuated out of New York City at the time it was given over to the rebels in the fall of 1783. Larry Turner wrote a short description of each family in that group. For our Alexander he said on page 149 that it was easy to confuse other Campbell families with Alexander Campbell of Adolphustown and that many people had already confused the details. The details were that our Alexander had six daughters and one son and that he came from the Hebrides Islands near Islay in 1738 and settled in the Argyle Patent near Albany in 1765.
Larry described the other Alexander as having five sons and three daughters and his wife called Abigail Brown. He had a younger brother James. He had come from Inverary Castle in Scotland in 1756 and settled in Schenectady in 1762. So it seemed that this other Alexander Campbell had all the nice details. He had been a Lieutenant in the Loyal Rangers, he had been a ½ pay officer in Montreal, and had kept a tavern there and in his later years had represented Leeds County in John Graves Simcoes’s first parliament at Newark in 1793. It was so easy to confuse these details, and many of us have done so. So, now after sorting them out, my Alexander has been down-sized to a gentleman of Adolphustown.
[Alexander’s story in Part 2 of 2]
(The entry last week was in error and should have been this expanded version.)
The Wentworth Historical Society ceased to exist in 1925. It was followed by the Head-of-the-Lake Historical Society which continued the former organization’s role of preserving and recording the history of the Hamilton area of Ontario.
The Head-of-the-Lake Historical Society continues to market the remaining publications of the ‘Journals and Proceedings of the Wentworth Historical Society’ dating from 1915 and 1916. The society also markets volumes 2 to 6 and 8 through 15 of the ‘Wentworth Bygones’ historical series of booklets. Volume 1 was issued in 1958 and Volume 15 in 1977. These are a collection of the best talks delivered at meetings of the society.
The booklets present a variety of historically useful articles including lists of Crown patentees of the original townships of Wentworth County (including Saltfleet, Binbrook, Barton, etc.). They also contain articles on individual families such as that of Richard Beasley, Robert Land, and many others, articles on the militia, voters’ lists, pioneer stories, records of church baptisms, and a wide variety of other subjects.
Some of the early ‘Journals and Proceedings of the Wentworth Historical Society’ are now on the internet. Between the electronic and printed versions, it is possible to put together many of this society’s publications if you are interested in the Hamilton area. Also, it is possible to acquire Volumes 1 and 7 of the ‘Wentworth Bygone’ series by searching sites such as Biblio.com, Bookfinder.com, etc.
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Campbell, Alexander – by Jean Norry
– Dennis, John and Martha (Brown) – from Patrick and Holly Adams
– Jones, Simeon – by Rebecca Fraser (Volunteer Wendy Cosby)
– Wright, Jesse – from John McLeod
Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch is saddened to report that Dominion Past President Edward Gordon Scott, UE passed away in Welland on Monday, August 29, 2011 in his 77th year. Ed was very proud of his loyalist ancestors Abraham Maybee and Staats Overholt. He was dedicated to preserving, promoting and celebrating the history and traditions of the Loyalists. He was Dominion President of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada from 1998 to 2000 and served terms as Dominion Treasurer, Sr. Vice President, Past President and as the first UELAC “webmaster”. At the local level he served many terms as President of Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch and during those years was instrumental in developing the distinctive UEL clothing. He chaired many committees including the UELAC Conference 2000 committee and worked on the Butler Bicentenary Committee.
He was a founding member and Chairman of the very successful Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University. The collection is used daily by historians, researchers and the public as a resource for discovering primary source information about the American Revolutionary era.
He will be missed. To carry on Ed’s work donations may be made to the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University, P.O. Box 23041, RPO Seaway Mall, 800 Niagara Street, Welland, Ontario, L3C 7E7 or using Canada Helps.
Very involved in history, Ed was a member of the Welland Historical Society and a director of Welland Historical Museum where he contributed generously of his time and leadership.
Ed was the beloved husband for 54 years of Vera Scott (Varga) and loving father of Terri Spinney (Bruce), Thomas Scott (Mellissa) and Mark Scott (Karen). Cherished grandfather of Ashley and Aaron Spinney and Noah Scott. Dear brother of Holly Swan (Tom). He was predeceased by his parents Earl O. and Edna Scott and brother William. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the Princess Margaret Hospital or the Canadian Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated by the family. Online condolences available at www.cudneyfuneralhome.com.
…Rod and Bev Craig, Col John Butler Branch
Doreen passed away peacefully on a beautiful, sunny Sunday, August 28th, after an unexpected but brief stay at the Chilliwack General Hospital, at the age of 87. Beloved mother, grandmother, daughter and friend, she was comforted by her daughters, son, and grandchildren, as she slipped away at her favourite time of day, the dinner hour. An open-hearted, creative and energetic hostess, famous for her party games, pumpkin pie and cheesecake, a fabulous seamstress, and avid knitter, she was also a proud 2nd generation Vancouverite, history buff, and passionate about the United Empire Loyalists, from whom she was awarded The Most Honourable Order of Meritorious Heritage in official recognition of her outstanding contribution in resurrecting the Vancouver Branch of the UELAC, a life member of the Vancouver Branch,and Charter Member of the Chilliwack Branch. She received Certificates of Loyalist Lineage for her ancestors, Sgt. Robert Campbell, Frederick Smith and Jacob Beam. She was a Past Honoured Queen of Bethel No. 1 International Order of Job’s Daughters and a Charter Member of Zarah Temple No. 72 Daughters of the Nile. A valued employee of The University of British Columbia’s English Department for several years, Doreen loved language and was a sought out wordsmith and expert in the M.L.A. Style Sheet and the Chicago Manual of Style.
An amazing mother and nana whose heart was always open no matter for who, what, when, or how, she was so loved and will be carried in the hearts of those who loved her and forever missed by her children and grandchildren and extended families: Judy (Ken Rosmus), James, Susannah, Christina, Sam, Mark; Karen (Bob Derham); Ron (Janet Wagner), Robert, Sean, Schuyler, Jaydon; and Linda (Chris Godwin), Morgan, Sean, Nicole. Predeceased by husband Stanley Caswell Todhunter (1981) and sister Phyllis Sutton (1997), her partner in the Gordon Campbell Limited, Vancouver (1963-1983)
A Celebration of Doreen’s Life was held at Henderson’s Funeral Home, 45901 Victoria Avenue, Chilliwack, on Thursday, September 1st 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
…Carl Stymiest and Fred Hayward