“Loyalist Trails” 2012-30: July 29, 2012

In this issue:
The Diary of Henry Nase: Part 3 of 3 – by Stephen Davidson
John Davis Beardsley (1771 – 1852) by George McNeillie
First Loyalist Day in British Columbia Celebrated on 22 July 2012
Little Forks Fundraiser
Event: Shaver Reunion
The Tech Side: Virus Protection – by Wayne Scott, UE
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: Hugh Pearson MacMillan


The Diary of Henry Nase: Part 3 of 3 – by Stephen Davidson

For the past two issues of Loyalist Trails, we have been browsing through the diary of a young loyalist soldier named Henry Nase. This remarkable account of the Revolutionary War is preserved in the archives of the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Having survived a shipwreck, Nase and the Kings American Regiment (KAR) were posted to a garrison near Savannah Georgia in the summer of 1781. On September 8th, fifteen German soldiers were brought into Savannah for mutinying against their commander. On the following day, the mutineers were punished by being forced to run a gauntlet. They were stripped to the waist and forced to run between two rows of soldiers who beat them as they ran down the column. This beating could be so severe that the offenders often died, but Nase does not record any fatalities.

Just a week after Nase recounted a British victory, he wrote of “the disagreeable intelligence… of the capitulation of Earl Cornwallis … at Yorktown in Virginia”. Nase and his fellow soldiers would have been astounded had they known that this defeat signalled the beginning of the Revolution’s end. At the end of 1781, Nase wrote about his rebellious countrymen in his diary, hoping “to see them humbled and return again to the arms of my poor distressed loyal friends”.

The rebels, however, had begun to march towards Savannah in early 1782. The British troops who were defending the city did all that they could to strengthen Savannah’s fortifications. The suspense was too much for some. A Private McDonald deserted his post with a horse and arms. Following the deserter’s capture, Nase had to escort McDonald to trial. The young man was promptly executed.

In May, the KAR became volunteer fire-fighters. A fire that began in the eastern part of Savannah rapidly spread from house to house. Nase recorded that his comrades “distinguished themselves with their steadiness and activity to the end of the conflagration.”

By month’s end, “there’s a great talk of a cessation of arms soon to take place in this garrison between Great Britain and America”. This did not dampen the enthusiasm of the local loyalists who celebrated the king’s birthday with “an illumination and other demonstrations of joy” while the ships in the harbour fired a royal salute. Within 12 days’ time, Nase said that it appeared “from circumstances that preparations are making for an evacuation”.

On July 11, 1782, the whole British garrison left Savannah. “Nothing can surpass the sorrow which many of the inhabitants expressed at our departure, especially those ladies whose sweethearts were under necessity of quitting the town at our evacuation. Some of those ladies were “converted” and brought over to the “faith” so as to quit all and follow us.”

Over the next week, British ships departed for the West Indies and East Florida. Nase expected that the KAR would be leaving very soon. But his hopes were dashed when his commander received orders that only the sick, women, children and heavy baggage were to sail to New York while the men fit for duty would march up the coast to Charleston. This was “by no means agreeable to either officers or men”.

On September first, 1782, a ship from New York brought news to the troops in Charleston that “independency is proposed in a conference at Paris”. By October, fifty evacuation ships sent from New York prepared to take loyalists and troops north to Halifax.

After accounts of executions for desertion and floggings for harbouring deserters, Nase’s diary recounts the last days of Charleston as a loyalist stronghold.

“It is impossible to describe, what confusion people of all denominations, seem to be in at the thought of the approaching evacuation of Charleston, The one is buying every thing he can to complete his shop of goods, the second. is seeking for a passage to some other garrison of His Majesty’s troops, the third is going from house to house to collect his debts, the fourth, and which is most of all to be lamented, is the young ladies ready to break their hearts, at the thoughts, that we are now going to evacuate the town, and leave them subjected to the power of the merciless and insolent … everything is in motion and turned topsee turvy.”

Remembering his near death experience the last time that he sailed along the American coast, Nase found himself in the “most shocking storm of wind, rain, hail, etc. I ever endured at sea”. On January 3, “to the great joy of all the passengers and seamen in the fleet”, the British ships arrived safely in New York harbour.

As Nase waited for the ships that would take him and his regiment to Nova Scotia, his brother William visited him. Whatever insult had caused the quarrel between them was forgiven, and the brothers said their good-byes.

Henry Nase’s last glimpse of his beloved New York was taken from the deck of the Peggy, a transport ship bound for Annapolis Royal and the mouth of the St. John River. “I could not but admire the pleasing prospect we had of the Green meadows, the pleasant Gardens and fruit trees, all in blossom, on Long Island – The place, which, in some measure, I was under Obligation to Abandon – (Farewell).”

Within two week’s time, Nase was enjoying a meal of codfish and potatoes on the shores of the Annapolis Basin. After arranging paper work, receiving supplies, and sightseeing, Nase crossed the Bay of Fundy with other loyalists. On July first, the 30 year-old loyalist stepped onto the soil of a colony that would be his home for the next 53 years. The diary of a loyalist soldier now became the journal of a refugee pioneer.

In the years that followed, Nase married Jane Quinton; the couple would have four sons and six daughters. Nase became a justice of the peace, a magistrate, and a lieutenant-colonel in the militia. While leaving a legacy of service, Henry Nase’s greatest gift to posterity may well have been the weather worn pages of his diary, a priceless record of his war time experiences from 1776 to 1783.

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

John Davis Beardsley (1771 – 1852) © George McNeillie

The oldest child of John D. Beardsley, Sr., was my Grandmother Polly Sylvia. She was named, as already mentioned, for Polly Jarvis and Sylvia Punderson her two grandmothers. I have no recollection of her, though she probably rocked my cradle, for she died when I was two years old. I have heard her described as a very charming woman by those who remembered her well. She was born, March 17, 1794, and was married by her Great-Uncle, the Rev. Frederick Dibblee, to Charles Raymond of Kingston on March 16, 1817. The old rector Dibblee wrote in his journal concerning the happy event as follows:- “21st March, 1817. This day Mr. C. Raymond with his young bride set out for Kingston. Mr. Beardsley went to Fredericton.”

The trip was made down the river in a sleigh on the ice. In those days the means of travel, both in summer and in winter, were confined almost entirely to the River. Most of the houses stood near the bank of the River and all fronted the river. The old homesteads were generally surrounded by willows brought to this country by the Loyalists: many of these attained great size, and they still remain to mark the sites of old homes that have ceased to exist. Speaking of the river we may note in passing that John D. Beardsley, Sr., was considered to have made a wonderful advance in river transportation when he substituted for the old “Durham Boat” the more modern “Tow-boat”, in which horses furnished the motive power. The old Durham Boat was propelled upstream by poling, aided, where the current was strong, by a tow-line manned by men on the shore.

John D. Beardsley, Jr., was an able an enterprising man, much esteemed and respected. (He) had great natural taste and refinement. He would gather from his fields as he walked beautiful bouquets of flowers. One of his wife’s sisters, “the Widow Beardsley”, once said to me, “William, I think John is surely losing his mind, for he said to me he had just picked a finer bunch of flowers down on the Intervale than he could find in Till’s garden.

“And what was it?” she said. “Why it was just clover and bull-eye, and buttercups, and the like of that.”

But an artist would find it hard to duplicate the bouquet that Uncle John would collect in his meadows as he wandered through them. He suffered from ill-health in his later years but was always patient and uncomplaining. I always found him a very entertaining companion. He had considerable business enterprise – built a large saw-mill at the mouth of the Creek in the town of Woodstock. He also owned a steam-boat wharf and other property, including a store.

Much might be written concerning his family, who were nearly all girls. Their home, “The Grove”, was a centre of attraction for the neighbourhood, and “Till’s Garden” was the pride of the surrounding community.

Today, nearly all of the family have passed to the “great majority” – and only one remains of the clever family who used to make “The Grove” the centre of attraction for all their friends. The old home is a ruin. Till’s beautiful garden is a wilderness. The “Grove” has itself been burned by a forest fire. Most of the daughters lived and died unmarried, and some of the boys were wanderers, so that today the very name of Beardsley has vanished from the neighbourhood where it was once a household word.

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

First Loyalist Day in British Columbia Celebrated on 22 July 2012

Carl Stymiest UE, President UEL Vancouver Branch and Pacific Regional Vice President welcomed members from the four regional branches, families, and special guests to Queen’s Park, New Westminster, BC on Sunday 22 July 2012.

In his opening address, Carl gave a brief history of receiving our Proclamation from BC. Lt. Gov. Stephen Point. The branches of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada in Victoria, Chilliwack, Thompson-Okanagan and Vancouver have recently been honoured by our Lt Gov. Stephen Point with his Proclamation that 22 July be known, annually, as “Loyalist Day” in British Columbia. We are in debt to the Past President of Victoria Branch, Bob Ferguson UE for his hard work, tenacity and wisdom as he pursued this objective. Thank you, Bob!

The highlight of the UELAC Council meeting held recently at the Winnipeg Annual Conference was the special presentation to Shirley Dargatz UE who retired as Regional VP at that time. In-coming Pacific Regional Vice President, Carl Stymiest UE presented the Proclamation which resulted from Order-in-Council 903 declaring July 22 annually be known as Loyalist Day in British Columbia. Shirley thanked Bob Ferguson UE of Victoria Branch and all others who made this proclamation possible.

The date, July 22nd, was selected as British Columbia’s Loyalist Day to be coincident with the arrival date of explorer Sir Alexander MacKenzie, one of our loyalist sons, who marked his arrival . . .

“Alexander MacKenzie from Canada by land…22 July 1793.”

“Today, we have the honour to represent here our Loyalist Ancestors through our four Pacific Regional UELAC branches. We are the Loyalist descendants, who now reside in this beautiful Canadian province and are the “Stewarts” of our own heritage and history. As “Stewarts” we complete the western gateway of Canada by sea.”

From our UEL Vancouver Branch Archives we discovered the following dating back to May 1932. Then Secretary, Bessie Choate UE writes in her minutes…

“On May 18th, last, [1932) over seventy members of the Vancouver Branch met together at a dinner in the Hotel Vancouver to commemorate the landing of their forebears at Saint John, a century and a half ago, and we have no doubt that in both of the western cities (Vancouver & Victoria) there are representatives of the families who came to Saint Anne’s Point (now Fredericton, NB) with the party of Loyalists whose arrival we honour today.”

Further, she writes as the Secretary of the Vancouver Branch to the Loyalists’ Association of Canada, two paragraphs, which express without doubt the sentiments of all the members in British Columbia today:

“It is with pride that we can today appreciate the hardships endured by our forefathers of a century and a half ago and that we can also realize what the material sacrifice of that time means to us at the present moment. We revere their memory and sterling qualities of their character, without which, how different would our history be today.”

And again . . . Bessie writes:

“We join with you in spirit on this memorable occasion, as do all descendants of our forebears across our fair Dominion, and may this splendid example be repeated elsewhere so that time may not efface the glory of their splendid courage.”

We were very fortunate to have media coverage for this wonderful event and thank the “Burnaby Now” and the New Westminster “Record” for their coverage. Linda Nygard UE, our genealogist and photographer Archivist did an excellent job with photos.

…Carl Stymiest UE, RVP

Little Forks Fundraiser

We were delighted to join the Hyatt One-Room Schoolhouse fundraiser by the Little Forks Branch in the Eastern Townships. Read here (PDF) about this ongoing project, the program for this event and the involvement and outreach that the Schoolhouse has engendered.

…Bob McBride, UE

Event: Shaver Reunion

The Descendants of William and Mary Catherine Shaver will gather for a reunion on August 12, 2012, at the historic Shaver Homestead, home of Jack and Shirley Cranston, 1166 Garner Rd West R.R. #1, Ancaster, ON . Registration will begin at 3 p.m. with pot luck supper planned for 4:30 p.m. Further details about the family can be found at http://shaversofancaster.com/ – note that the reunion was originally planned for June 2012 and the website indicates that it was cancelled. This August reunion – as noted above – will proceed.

…Jack and Shirley Cranston, (905) 648-3284

The Tech Side: Virus Protection – by Wayne Scott, UE

According to www.top10-antivirus.com, there is a new virus threat detected every 18 seconds. They often spread like wildfire. The “I Love You” virus infected 45 million computers in a few short weeks. One virus in particular has been popping up in emails around the province that asks you to open a “Private Message”. It will likely come from someone you know because your email is in their address book.

Viruses seem to be a part of everyday life. Since there are over 53000 in existence, chances are good that you have come into contact with some. The above mentioned website offers a few suggestions listed under Do’s and Don’ts.

First of all, the authors suggest, is to stay calm. A virus cannot do anything unless the email is opened. If you aren’t sure whether the email is legitimate you can ask the sender if the email is legitimate (but don’t forward the email). If it is legitimate, then no problem. If you hear back that the email was not knowingly sent out, then delete the suspect email immediately and also empty the “deleted” folder.

Sometimes virus scanners do not detect an email virus. You do stand to be better protected with a commercial antivirus suite than the free versions. The $50.00 or so spent for the commercial product is inexpensive when compared to paying a professional to restore an infected computer.

Some commercial antivirus suites have a “sandbox” approach to email viruses. A Sandbox is virtual place where emails can be opened that will not allow any viruses from infecting the computer. Malicious embedded software just languishes there until it is purged by the software suite. If you are updating your antivirus software, check to see if software you are considering uses the sandbox approach.

While talking about your antivirus software, check to see that it is up to date and that the latest virus definitions are downloaded. Most software will automatically do this, but it pays to double check this feature. This goes for Mac users as well, as there are now a number of viruses that will attack a Macintosh computer.

One of the worst viruses is the non-virus. Email servers are flooded with warnings about suspected virus attacks. I received one such email last week that was for a suspected virus that went around a couple of years ago. If there is a suspicious file that comes with an email, check it our at www.vmyths.com, or www.snopes.com. These sites will give you the current information on the suspected viruses.

If you find out that your computer is infected first of all make sure your antivirus software is up to date, then run a complete virus scan. In many cases your virus scanning software will find and eliminate the malicious software. I always run a second program called “Fred”. I learned a few years ago that some viruses immediately disable virus detection software by name. If you clicked on Norton Antivirus software, you might find that the software either will not work or will not work properly. This happens because the word Norton is in the list of programs that the virus will block. I have Spybot Search and Destroy (a free download from CNET) on my computer and renamed the link “Fred”. When I ran Fred, the program detected a virus that Norton didn’t because Fred was not on the list of programs the virus will block. Good old Fred came to my rescue.

Just a few words of caution, make sure that a virus scan is done on any external memory devises. Viruses will seek out these devices to spread to also. CD’s and DVD’s are less prone to this type of virus spreading. Catching a computer Virus is like catching a cold. You need lots of vitamin “C”, which in our case stands for CAUTION.

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

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: Hugh Pearson MacMillan

Suddenly in Ottawa on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 at the age of 88. Beloved husband of Muriel for over 60 years. Loving father of Malcolm (Susan Murray), Ian, Neale (Andrée Poulin), and Jocelyne (André Bourget). Proud grandfather of Lisa, Kendra, Kyle, Matthew, Gabriel, Rachelle, Daniel, Geneviève, Madeleine, Charlotte and Emily, and of his great-grandchildren Rebecca, Nicole, Veda, Maya, and Gema. Dear brother of Grant and Marianne. Predeceased by his brothers Roy and John. Fondly remembered by nieces, nephews and friends. He enjoyed a long career with the Archives of Ontario and pursued his interests in fur trade history, the Scots in Canada, and all things Glengarry with great zeal. A Funeral Service will be held at St. Columba Presbyterian Church (Kirk Hill), 20950 Laggan-Glenelg Rd., Ontario on Friday, July 27 at 1 p.m. Donations to the Glengarry Historical Society. Hugh was a member of the St. Lawrence Branch, UELAC.

…Lynne Cook