“Loyalist Trails” 2012-09: February 26, 2012
In this issue:
– Loyalist Daytime Dramas — by Stephen Davidson
– Samuel Carman (1782 – 1864) by George McNeillie
– Previously Unpublished Loyalist Letter
– Researching and Writing: Peter C. Newman, Loyalists, and the War of 1812
– Opening of Parliament Interpretive Centre Witnessed by UELAC Members
– Loyal Americans Hall of Honour Enriched With Six Biographies
– “Vignettes of Winnipeg, Past and Present”: The Thomas Kelly Scandal
– Government of Canada Supports Black Loyalist Heritage Centre
– War of 1812: Siblings Eleanor and John Conrad Kentner
– Last Post: Judith Anne Noreen Milne UE
+ Alexander (and John) McKim Family
+ Loyalists Returning to the USA Post-War
Are you a fan of “Coronation Street”? Then this one’s for you! Loyalist history is more than the stories of war, sanctuary, and pioneering. Loyalists, being all too human, had love affairs, family quarrels and manipulative lovers. As the following stories illustrate, loyalists’ lives could easily inspire the plot lines for 21st century soap operas.
During the Revolution, it was assumed that if a husband was a loyalist, his wife was as well. That was not the case for the Hathaways of Freetown, Massachusetts. Because he joined the British forces, rebels imprisoned Ebenezer Hathaway in an old copper mine. Fortunately, he managed to escape before the date of his execution. Despite all that her husband suffered, Mary Hathaway was not a loyalist. Even after the couple and their eight children settled along the St. John River with other loyalist refugees, Mary maintained her patriot convictions.
The political division in the Hathaway household came to a head in the naming of one of their sons. Ebenezer insisted that the boy be given a Tory name and Mary said that he would have a Whig name. Unable to compromise, Ebenezer seized the family Bible and suggested that their son should be given the first proper name found on whichever page he opened. Mary agreed. Flipping to the Old Testament, Hathaway found the name Cushi. When Hathaway died at 63 in 1811, he bequeathed his worldly goods to his sons — including one who bore the name of Cushi.
The course of true love did not run any more smoothly even when a loyalist fell in love with a British officer. Henrietta Overing, a young woman from Rhode Island, had caught the eye of Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Bruce in 1778. The officer married the loyalist maiden, but insisted that they keep their marriage a secret. Bruce was afraid that his father would disinherit him if news of his marriage got back to England. Feeling sure that his father would die soon, the lieutenant-colonel persuaded Henrietta to live with her parents while he went about his duties.
Five years passed. Despite being promoted to the rank and pay of brigadier-general, Bruce did not return for Henrietta. Her brother demanded that the marriage be made public and that Bruce honour his wedding vows. The British officer’s affections had cooled during the war. He refused to meet his wife face to face. Instead, he offered to divorce Henrietta, promising her one third of his pay and half the value of his officer’s commission when he sold it. Henrietta waited. And waited. The clock was ticking. Loyalists and British troops all along the Atlantic seaboard were boarding evacuation ships.
In May, Bruce wrote his wife a classic “dear John” letter.
My dear Madam, When I gave you my hand, I gave it with the sincerest intentions of living happily with you, but since that event, things have taken another turn. By indiscretions, I am not now worth a shilling but what my commission will sell for, and we can never live together to upbraid one another.
My commission I mean to sell and you shall share of it, and my intention is to retire to some sequestered place to live, and I hope to die unknown. As to seeing you is impossible, the stroke would be to great for either; as we must part immediately, and it could not be for either of our advantages.
I am far from being well and will write you more fully, but your brother knows my fixed resolve. May every blessing attend you, prays your most wretched, A. Bruce.”
Two months went by. Bruce had not sent Henrietta a penny. In desperation, she went to court, but it had closed in the wake of the ever-quickening departure of loyalists and troops. Her last hope for justice was Sir Guy Carleton, the officer in charge of the evacuation. She sent him her husband’s letter and recounted the history of her marriage. How Carleton resolved the matter remains unknown, but given his reputation for fairness and his concern for women, it would seem logical to assume that Henrietta Bruce eventually received justice.
Margaret Tryon found true love, but it proved to be fatal. She was the daughter of William Tryon, the Englishman appointed as North Carolina’s governor in 1765. One Virginian diarist remembered how little Margaret was confined to a chair all day while her parents visited Williamsburg. A collar prevented her from enjoying cake, tea, or other treats that sympathetic adults tried to give her.
In 1771, Tryon was appointed New York’s governor; the last royal governor the colony would ever have. During the Revolution, Margaret spent her teen years safely quartered in New York City while her father led troops in raids against patriot towns along the Connecticut coast. In 1780, the Tryons returned to London where Margaret became a “maid of honour” to Queen Charlotte. (A diary entry of the era noted that she “chatted incessantly”). Margaret’s social circle grew beyond that of fellow courtiers; she also made friends with the actresses of Drury Lane.
Despite all of these connections, Margaret failed to find a young man that her parents’ could approve as a suitable mate. By the time she was thirty, her father had died, and she was living with her mother in Yarmouth. Margaret seemed doomed to spinsterhood. However, unbeknownst to Mrs. Tryon, her daughter was seeing an officer in the Life Guards.
Margaret’s only hope for happiness was to run away from home and elope. The two lovers made their plans. On the night of July 28, 1791, Margaret would leave her upstairs bedroom window by climbing down a rope ladder. The officer would wait by the iron fence beneath his lover’s window. But during her escape, Margaret’s foot slipped and she fell from the ladder, impaling herself on the iron fence stakes below. How sad that a woman hemmed in by social norms and her parents’ strict upbringing should be killed by a fence.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
[Editor’s Note: This column by Stephen Davidson is the 250th published in Loyalist Trails. I have learned much about the life and times of our Loyalist forebears and the trails and tribulations caused by the American Revolution. Wars are never nice; civil wars are really ugly. Once the battles are over, the adjustments go on for a long while and scars remain even longer. My special thanks to Stephen for helping us understand much better, and for adding content to this newsletter that makes it more relevant to all of you who are interested in the subject . . . . Doug]
Samuel Carman, second son of Richard Carman, the Loyalist ancestor on my mother’s side, was born in Hempstead on Long Island, N.Y., September 7, 1782. He came to the province of New Brunswick at the peace in 1783, with his parents, and infant of about a year old. In his childhood he lived on his father’s farm in Maugerville, about eight miles below Fredericton.
His family record is here given:
|Sept. 7, 1782
|April 6, 1811
|Nov. 3, 1864
|Mary (or Maria) Moore
|Apr 20, 1786
|“ “ ”
|Feb. 11, 1855
|1. James Moore
|March 6, 1812
|Sept. 8, 1847
|2. Sarah Ann
|March 11, 1815
|Oct. 28, 1899
|July 28, 1817
|Nov. 20, 1852
|4. Odber Miles
|June 6, 1820
|July 17, 1849
|April 13, 1899
|5. Samuel John
|Sept. 4, 1822
|July 2, 1911
|6. Mary Elizabeth
|May 30, 1825
|July 10, 1850
|Dec. 28, 1893
|7. Fanny Louisa
|March 7, 1829
Grandfather Samuel Carman was like his father a church warden at Maugerville. He assisted at the induction of the Rev. John M. Stirling, a much-loved rector of the parish, on April 1, 1844. His family often attended the old parish church in Fredericton, which was only about three miles above their home in Lower St. Mary’s, but was on the opposite side of the River St. John, and the river had to be crossed by a tedious horse-ferry. Their regular place of worship in early times, however, was the Parish Church of Maugerville, nine miles below. Here also their relatives of the Miles, Perly and other families attended. It was not until my Grandfather was grown up that the little church at Lower St. Mary’s was built in 1849 less than a mile from their residence. His general interest in church affairs is shown by the fact that at the first annual meeting of the old “Diocesan Church Society,” held in Fredericton, February 9, 1838, Samuel Carman was elected a member of the first “Executive Committee” and he and his family were thenceforth annual subscribers to the Society for the next sixty years — or until the society was amalgamated with the Diocesan Synod.
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].
Those of you following the UELAC twitter account may have seen this already today. The Annapolis Heritage Society posted a blog yesterday titled simply “Loyalist Provisioning”. The have posted a transcript of the brief letter, which is from one Joshua Quereau, who was in “the know” about the availability of provisions to a Dennis Cronean (Cronin) in 1786.
The letter is simple, but the description of coming across it, and the interpretation around the people and times is quite fascinating. Well worth a quick read.
PS: Thanks to Ryan Scranton’s twitter feed @HeritageMuse and blog post.
PPS: Ryan is our newest subscriber to LT; he can read about himself here, and maybe even go viral!
Peter C Newman, renowned author, visited Toronto to review the research materials available for a new book about Loyalists. Hosted by President Bob McBride, they visited Dominion Office and Toronto Branch. As Peter explained, time today is a priceless commodity with many interests competing for market share. Therefore, print material must entertain as well as inform.
Complementing the work of authors like Peter, the website www.warof1812online.com is a combination of traditional web content and a wiki, which allows students and the public to access research material and to publish research in various interesting formats while receiving feedback as they share their results.
Read more here (PDF with photo) about these two exciting projects and how they represent partnerships between reader and writer and evolving forms of teamwork.
…Robert C. McBride, UE, Dominion President
Members of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, Linda Young and Diane Reid, Toronto Branch, Nancy Conn and Doug Grant, Governor Simcoe Branch and Rod and Bev Craig, Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch launched Ontario Heritage Week by accepting the invitation of The Ontario Heritage Trust to celebrate the opening of the “Parliament Interpretive Centre” at the corner of Berkeley and Front streets in Toronto on Friday, February 17th. The original building was constructed in 1797 and burned by the Americans in the attack on York in 1813. The Trust acquired the property (previously a car dealership) in 2005 and worked diligently to transform the building into the elegant interpretive centre that you see today. The first exhibit “Foundations and Fire: Early Parliament and the War of 1812 Experience at York” is excellent and we encourage UELAC members to visit the site.
Nil Koksal, Anchor, CBC News Toronto was emcee for the event that began with a musical performance by the Fort York Guard. Dignitaries and guests were welcomed by Richard Moorhouse, Exec. Director of the Ontario Heritage Trust. MPP for Toronto Centre, Glen Murray, brought greetings and congratulations. Thomas H. B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust gave an interesting talk on the development and rescue of the site and the preservation of Ontario’s history by the Heritage Trust. The Honourable David C. Onley Lieutenant Governor of Ontario brought greetings and officially opened the Centre and the exhibit. The Voice Intermediate School Choir closed the ceremonies with the singing of ‘O Canada’. For more information about the Heritage Trust and to view past issues of their interesting magazine “Heritage Matters”, visit the website www.heritagetrust.on.ca.
Bev and Rod Craig credited UELAC Past President and current Public Relations Chair Fred Hayward for securing their invitations to the event. Bev was very pleased and excited to walk in the footsteps of her 3rd great grandfather Alexander MacDonell, a former lieutenant in Butler’s Rangers. Alexander was appointed Sherriff of the Home District in 1797 and elected to Parliament in 1800 representing Prescott Glengarry. He served off and on for more than 20 years and was Speaker of the House in this first Parliament Building from 1805 to 1808. In addition, Alexander served as a Deputy Pay Master during the War of 1812. Dressed in Regency period clothing to represent Alexander’s wife Ann Smith MacDonell, half sister of Queen’s Ranger Captain Samuel Smith, Administrator of the Province of Upper Canada, Bev joined Rod for a special photograph with Their Honours David and Ruth Ann Onley.
A resident of the neighbourhood, Dan Phillips, has offered his pictures of the event to supplement this article by Bev Craig. Visit Flickr for exterior and interior images free of captions, and best of all, for another view of Bev and Rod. Thanks to Richard Poaps of the Hamilton Branch UELAC for this photographic lead.
The Bay of Quinte Branch continues to enrich our knowledge of of those who have been inducted into the Loyal Americans Hall of Honour. In 2003 they created a way to both identify and celebrate those descendants of the United Empire Loyalists who made significant achievements, either locally, nationally or internationally. In December 2011, biographies for William Dempsey UE, Audrey Kirk UE and Col. Roscoe Vanderwater UE were posted to the UELAC Honours and Recognition folder. This resource has now been enriched with six more biographies including Ernest Roy Bonisteel, Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe, The Honourable Christopher Alexander Hagerman and Walter Stevens Herrington inducted in 2004 and Major General Aylesworth Bowen Perry and Whitford Julian VanDusen inducted in 2005. Brian Tackaberry, President of the Bay of Quinte Branch, has indicated that more biographies will be submitted in the coming months.
[Manitoba Branch is hosting Conference at the Confluence 2012, the UELAC annual gathering and annual meeting from June 7 to 10 in Winnipeg. These vignettes will provide some of the local history and whet your appetite for more. Now is a good time to plan your trip to the conference, and join us there.]
Thomas Kelly and his brothers had come to Winnipeg from the United States in 1881. Their construction company played a major role in the Winnipeg building boom of the 1890s and the first decade of the 20th century. Among the company’s many projects were the Free Press Building on Carlton Street, the Grain Exchange Building on Lombard, sewers, sidewalks, part of the Shoal Lake Aqueduct, and the final stages of the St. Andrew’s Locks. In 1908 Thomas Kelly formed a new company Thomas Kelly and Sons.
With such a solid record it was not surprising that the Thomas Kelly and Sons was awarded the contract to build the new legislative building. When construction began in 1913, the estimated cost was $2 million. By 1915 the cost had doubled. The Royal Commission set up to investigate began to take a serious look at Thomas Kelly’s business practices.
It discovered that he had misappropriated $ 800,000 worth of building materials and had over-billed the provincial government by $ 1.2 million. He was charged with theft and fraud, and sentenced to two and a half years in Stony Mountain Penitentiary. Legend has it that he spent much of that time in the warden’s house playing poker.
In an effort to re-coup some of the losses, The Manitoba Government confiscated 22 properties belonging to the Kelly brothers. This included Thomas Kelly’s stately home on Carlton and Michael Kelly’s more modest house on Adelaide. The latter still stands and houses the offices of CancerCare Manitoba.
There was a widespread belief that some of the stolen materials were used to build the Carlton Street house. This is probably not so, as that house was constructed in 1907.Today there is an apartment block, Kelly House, on the site. All that remains of the original are the Ionic pillars across the front façade. These pillars are smaller versions of the pillars on the front facade of the Legislative Building.
As for Thomas Kelly, after his release from prison he returned to the United States, made a fortune in gas and oil, and died in Beverly Hills in 1939, a multimillionaire.
…Mary F. Steinhoff, Secretary, Manitoba Branch, UEL
BIRCHTOWN, Nova Scotia, February 22, 2012 – The unique story of the Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia will be eloquently chronicled through a new interpretation center, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament (South Shore-St. Margaret’s) and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie).
These two children of George Kentner both participated in the War of 1812. Eleanor was married to John Hoople at the time. John Conrad served in the militia. Both were there at the time of the Battle of Crysler’s farm. Eleanor and husband John cared for a wounded American soldier. Read a little about them and an unusual war claim in this vignette (PDF) submitted by Don Maxwell.
A new member of the Thompson-Okanagan Branch is working to prove her McKim ancestry. She believes her ancestor to be Alexander McKim, however we can’t find any reference to him. This is what she has so far (her assumed line is bolded):
Thomas McKim born 1710 in Ireland came to N. America and married in 1741 in Brandywine, Delaware.
His sons were John, Robert, Alexander and daughter Eliza
Grandsons James, Elijah and John – [shows in a census record as father of John N McKim]
The following we can prove [all in Ont]
John Nelson McKim b – abt 1817, Marriage 1848 to Jane Shibley
Walter Palmer McKim b1853 marriage 1875 to Harriet Thompson
Walter McKim b 1877 marriage 1898 to Lillian Curtis
Albert Louis Tyler McKim b 1902 Marriage 1926 to Thelma Grace Neelin
Lois Marguerite McKim [applicant]
Any information that will potentially add to that which we have already gathered is much appreciated.
…Marie [Loyst] Ablett UE, Thompson-Okanagan, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently researching the reintegration of loyalists into the United States following the American Revolution for a dissertation project. Part of my focus is loyalists who never the leave the 13 states, but I’m also very interested in individuals who do leave and then come back (or try to come back) after the war. I’m impressed by the amount of data recorded in the Loyalist Directory on your website, and I’m curious if there are any kind of records tracking where these people end up over time. I hope to discover if it was common for United Empire Loyalists or their children to return to the United States at any point. I’m guessing many people went back hoping to reclaim lost property, to reunite with family members, or for a variety of other reasons. If they did, I’m planning to find out how they were received in the United States – even after time had passed, did their loyalism make them targets for persecution?
So far, I have found the records of the British Loyalists Claims commissions very helpful – many of those entries end with the ultimate location of the individual. I’m curious if there are any similar kinds of Canadian records (or any other records) that might point to United Empire loyalists who try to return to the United States.
I’m looking for any information I can get about loyalists who returned to their former “home”, be it names, records, places to look for primary sources, or anything else that might be helpful.
Thank you very much for your time and attention