“Loyalist Trails” 2012-42: October 21, 2012
In this issue:
– Walt Disney, Parliament and Loyalist Slurs – by Stephen Davidson
– Third Generation in America: Samuel Raymond – by George McNeillie
– In the Archives – Fall 2012 (Part 4), by Christopher Minty
– Vancouver Branch UELAC celebrates 80th Anniversary
– Presidential Peregrinations: Vancouver Branch
– Price Increase for Address Plaque in November
– The Selkirk Settlers Bicentenary: Part 2 of 2, by Mary Steinhoff
– Ontario Graphic Licence Plate Project Update
– 1812 Whirlwind Conference, First Nations, Brantford
– Great Canadian Debates: Resolved: The War of 1812 Over-hyped
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
+ Meaning of “RJDG”
Walt Disney, Parliament and Loyalist Slurs – by Stephen Davidson
Not all of the forgotten chapters of loyalist history have to do with the 18th century. In the mid-20th century, one portrayal of loyalists in the new medium of television brought down the wrath of Canada’s members of Parliament. The key figures in the incident were Walt Disney Productions, Leslie Nielsen, and the House of Commons. For loyalist descendants of a certain age, these names will stir distant memories. It is the story of the only Disneyland episode to be banned in Canada.
In the late 1950s, the Walt Disney studios launched a television show whose popularity rivalled that of the Mickey Mouse Club. Fans of the program wore raccoon-skin hats rather than mouse ears. In the half hour that followed its catchy theme song, Davy Crockett thrilled a generation of youngsters with adventures of the American frontier. Anxious to repeat their success in repackaging American history as television drama, the Disney studios decided to go further back in time and create a new series set during the War of Independence.
Instead of launching the concept in a weekly half-hour format, Disney broadcast the new series within his popular hour-long Disneyland program on Sunday evenings. Everything about the new series followed the formula that made the Davy Crockett show so successful. It had a catchy theme song, decked out its all-American hero in special headgear (a tri-corner hat adorned with a red fox tail), and featured a likeable lead actor. Likeable? Why, the fellow was a Canadian!
Leslie Nielsen was born into the family of an RCMP officer in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1926. After growing up in Fort Norman, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto, Nielsen joined the Royal Canadian Air Force where he took training as an aerial gunner. While Nielsen’s brother Erik decided to pursue a political career (eventually becoming deputy prime minister under Brian Mulroney), Leslie went to Hollywood in 1948 to become an actor. By the end of his career in 2010, he had appeared in over a hundred movies and 1,500 television programs.
Of course, Nielsen had no way of knowing that when he accepted the role of the lead character in The Swamp Fox in 1959, it would make him infamous in his own country. The new series, carried simultaneously on both ABC and CBC, was first broadcast in October of 1959. Within months, the House of Commons reacted vehemently to the program’s content and forbid its further broadcast in Canada. Nielsen had become the star of the only Disney production ever to be banned by the United State’s northern neighbour. This reaction stung the Disney studios to such an extent that the series only ran for eight episodes, coming to an end in January of 1961.
Despite being produced by a studio noted for family-friendly movies and television shows and despite starring a Canadian actor (an amazing achievement in the 1950s), The Swamp Fox had a fatal flaw. In telling the story of the American Revolution in South Carolina, the new television series portrayed British officers and soldiers as bloodthirsty villains. And the other “bad guys” were none other than South Carolina loyalists. In fact, the only good loyalist in the series was Mary Videaux, the sweetheart of Nielsen’s character, Francis Marion. She and her family only pretended to be “pro-Tory” and regularly passed along intelligence about the British to the rebels.
At first, Disney’s decidedly patriot retelling of Revolutionary history could be forgiven, but by the second episode, it had crossed a line with Canada’s members of Parliament. In the second episode, the British burned down the homes of Marion and his men. The redcoats killed both a servant boy and a young Continental Army soldier in the third episode. Loyalists were the villains of the fourth episode in which Tories tried to control salt and medical supplies entering South Carolina. Before that program was over, a vengeful father killed an imprisoned loyalist and a loyalist leader was incarcerated for the remainder of the revolution. No wonder the members of parliament became upset with this portrayal of Canada’s loyalist founders.
Some television historians claim that The Swamp Fox failed because it did not reach the heights of popularity enjoyed by Davy Crockett. Leslie Nielson, the star of the series, had another theory. In a 1995 interview with People Magazine, the star of the program attributed the cancellation of The Swamp Fox to the fact that the Canadian government banned the series. “You can imagine Walt Disney’s reaction to getting banned. He might as well have made a pornographic movie. That was the beginning of the end for the series.”
In another interview, Nielsen said, “My brother (Eric Nielsen) was an MP at the time. I’ve always felt it was because he was a little jealous of my being an actor when he was just a politician. I’m convinced he spearheaded the campaign even though he denies it vehemently.”
Although The Swamp Fox was taken off the air in 1961, it had a way of resurfacing. The final two episodes of the series were repackaged and released as a theatrical film in both the 1960s and 70s (Fortunately for movie audiences, it had been filmed in colour). The Disney Channel re-ran all eight episodes during the 1980s and 90s. In 2005, the first three Swamp Fox programs were made available in DVD format. With a modicum of online searching, it doesn’t take too much effort to discover the theme song for The Swamp Fox. (It’s a little hard to understand the appeal of a song about a southern patriot that contains the line “All we’ve got is Yankee brains.”)
Time has a way of healing all wounds. Although it got in hot water for denigrating loyalists, the story of The Swamp Fox series eventually had a happy ending in the grand Disney style. Despite the fact that the Canadian government banned Leslie Nielsen’s television program in 1960, it proudly awarded the actor the Order of Canada 42 years later.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
Third Generation in America: Samuel Raymond © George McNeillie
As already mentioned, Samuel Raymond was born at Norwalk on July 7, 1673. He was probably named for his uncle Samuel of New London, the fourth son of Richard Raymond. This uncle was living, with his wife Mary (Smith) Raymond, at New London in 1700. He died there, leaving considerable property but no children.
Samuel Raymond, our ancestor, married, April 1, 1696, Judith Palmer, daughter of Ephraim Palmer Greenwich. The following are their children:-
1. Samuel, born 07 May 1697.
2. John, born 12 Feb 1699
3. Ephraim, born 09 Sep 1701
4. Joshua, born about 1702
5. Mary, born about 1705
6. Simeon, born about 1711
After the death of his first wife, Judith Palmer, her husband was again married, in 1719, to Elizabeth Hoyt, daughter of John Hoyt.
Samuel Raymond died October 24, 1738, aged 65 years. His only daughter, Mary, married on May 6, 1729, a man with the not unfamiliar name of John Brown.
Our descent is through the eldest son of this family.
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].
In the Archives – Fall 2012 (Part 4), by Christopher Minty
[See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 – Ed.]
In the last piece in Loyalist Trails, Rev. Dr. Charles Inglis gave another vivid account of life in the colonies during the American Revolutionary War, 1775–1783. These accounts by colonists other than Washington and his followers give the other side of the conflict that often left lurking in the index, at best. Although John Shy reminded us that the American Revolution was the first American civil war, it is rarely—if ever—viewed in that light. “Why?” you may ask. The Patriots won the war and therefore they wrote (and, may I add, continue to write) the history: it was their quest for salvation against a tyrannical Hanoverian regime. Their victory was not due to the might of their arms or the strength of their ideals: it was, in a sense, their destiny. What this interpretation ignores is the fact that they actually did manage to win and they “defeated” the most formidable country in the world, at that time. Britain’s empire was not quite at the stage and mantle it would later reach during the nineteenth century, but by 1763 its empire spanned the globe and by 1775 it was not surprising that Loyalists thought the Patriots would be quickly defeated, and they would be home by Christmas. In this piece I want to touch upon a major turning point of the American Revolutionary War: the defeat of Burgoyne at Saratoga in Oct. 1777. Through the eyes of Loyalists at the time, this paper will address the perception Loyalists had regarding Johnny Burgoyne’s defeat and their speculative reasons behind his loss.
In Jan. 1778, Samuel Seabury, author of the infamous Letters of a Westchester Farmer, mused that everything in the colonies was “confoundedly out of joint.” Something was amiss in colonial society; but his hopes remained high: “I expect, I believe the nation will support their own Honor & Dignity, & will finally crush this infernal Rebellion.” His sentiments were similarly echoed by Inglis: “I doubt not but Britain will triumph, & the Monster Rebellion be bound in Chains!” These statements, however, were delivered after Gen. John Burgoyne’s disastrous defeat at Saratoga in Oct. 1777.
Burgoyne was an extremely well respected British general; “His Spirit, His Assiduity and his Perseverance” were championed throughout New York. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Loyalists flocked to join his marching army as he travelled down through Canada and upstate New York. It was also widely believed his force was formidable, consisting of over 10,000 able-bodied soldiers, as well as Indians, Canadians and Loyalists: a force that was “sufficient to insure Success in spite of all the Efforts of the Eastern Colonies”, as John Wetherhead stated. To account for Burgoyne’s shocking defeat, then, Loyalists such as Wetherhead offered a number of reasons, and the remainder of this piece will document some of these.
Wetherhead, a merchant in the 1760s who enjoyed considerable success, who married into a wealthy family of prestige, suggested that it was, perhaps because Burgoyne’s army was not “All British”. Samuel Seabury, however, offered a different perspective, one that is widely credited in other documents. Seabury argued that Gen. William Howe, in short, had caused the defeat because he offered no military assistance and, as such, Burgoyne’s expedition was part of a campaign that “seems to have been conducted without any Plan”. Seabury discussed the event with New York’s Loyalist Attorney-General, stating that “I little thought that so unparralleld [sic] a Disgrace was [ever] to befall the British arms.” John Wetherhead thought that Howe’s actions were so “impardonable”, that he could not possible have realised the severity of Burgoyne’s impending defeat when, according to Wetherhead, “the propriety of making such a Movement [i.e., sending reinforcements to Burgoyne] was so evident”. Did William Howe send Burgoyne to disaster and defeat?
After Burgoyne’s loss, a “universal Cry” rang out of New York society. They were, apparently, “poison’d by that Faction” because they sought “to protract the Rebellion, in order to give it and the Rebells, an Air of Consequence at Home”. Howe wanted to magnify “His military Character in the Eyes of the Nation”, so that when he does “put an End to the War” his adopted standing and significance as the General who slayed the Rebellion would permit him to appoint his personal friends to positions of prestige. Moreover, it was speculated that Howe was jealous of Burgoyne’s “far superior abilities” and, similarly, he “endeavoured by every means in his power to thwart General Clinton to the great Disadvantage of His Majesties Service”. Howe was “more attentive to pleasure” than military measures, and frequently allowed Washington to slip out of his grasp from the clutches of defeat. Loyalist knew the significance of Washington’s Continental Army and they knew that if they defeated Washington, the rebellion would be crushed. It is because of this there are repeated requests for a “change of Men” to command the British Army. According to one anonymous correspondent, the British “Ministry have been too long miscellaneous; they ought to have seen that Carlton & the Brothers have been fighting the Cause of the traitorous Opposition at home, instead of the King’s Cause; whether willingly or ignorantly will be judged of according to Opinions”, and asked the question: “Is Brittain [sic] so destitute of Generals that she can not afford a Change? And are the Ministry so destitute of all Friends, that they must necessarily employ their Enemies?” George Panton went one step further: “O How[e], How[e] – if thou had no other view than unhinging a Ministry (as has been generally asserted) by so many valuable Lives and ^such^ effusion of blood & treason & sufferings as Inactivity has caused to the Country – What hast Those to answer for as well as those shall may be so unchardable Hell. – Oh! Britain”.
The failure of the British Generals is one aspect of the history of the American Revolutionary War that is often neglected in Americanist literature; it corresponds more to the notion that they won rather than they lost. It could be true, however, and perhaps more accurate, to state that the British lost the war, rather than the Revolutionaries won it; which brought, as Panton bemoaned, the British rule in America “langui’d [languished] to the Dust”.
…Christopher F. Minty, Ph.D. Candidate, U of Stirling
NB: I should add at this stage, four papers into the series, that every quotation, idea, speculation or argument is taken entirely from archival research. Nothing, unless stated, is extracted from secondary literature and, therefore, references for each quotation are entirely accurate. I have also attempted to keep as close to the original formatting as possible, except when the word or phrase requires further clarity (e.g., “How” becomes “How[e]”).
Vancouver Branch UELAC celebrates 80th Anniversary
The 80th Anniversary of the Charter of the Founding of the Vancouver Branch UELAC was celebrated in style Saturday 13 October at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in Vancouver, BC. Dominion President, Robert McBride UE and his wife, Grietje McBride UE were Special Guests of Honour.
The Piper piped in the Colour Party which was followed by a Welcome Address by Vancouver Branch UELAC President, Carl Stymiest UE. Mary Anne Bethune UE read a Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Vancouver proclaiming 13 October 2012 as Vancouver Branch United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada Day in the city of Vancouver.
Carl Stymiest read Welcome and Congratulatory letters on their 80th Anniversary Celebrations from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and from His Honour, Lt. Governor of British Columbia, Stephen Pointe OBE. The Pacific Region was well represented with all four UELAC branches – Chilliwack, Victoria, Vancouver and Thompson-Okanagan – represented.
President Robert McBride UE brought Dominion Greetings and spoke on the theme of “Teamwork in the UELAC.” Dr. Peter Moogk UE, our Guest Speaker spoke on the War of 1812; his topic “Major General Sir Isaac Brock in 1812: Saviour of Canada?”
27 “UE” certificates were presented by the Branch Genealogist, Linda Nygard UE, President, Carl Stymiest UE and Dominion President, Robert McBride UE to many members of the Vancouver Branch. We give thanks to our Genealogist, Linda Nygard UE and her Assistant, Lynn Charles UE. A further Thank You is sent to Dominion Genealogist, Elizabeth Hancocks UE.
The winner of the 2013 Membership Early Bird Drive lottery was Vancouver Branch member, Marsha Hansen of Mission, BC. Marsha’s ballot was pulled from many entries for our 2013 drive. Following the Membership Lottery, Mary Anne Bethune UE Chairperson for the Phillip E M Leith Memorial Award 2012 introduced two candidates who were nominated for this year’s Volunteer Award. Elizabeth Aberdeen UE, President Victoria Branch introduced the first nomination and recipient, Robert Ferguson UE of the Victoria Branch. Carl Stymiest UE introduced the second nomination and recipient from the Vancouver Branch, Gwen Dumfries UE. Both recipients received Special Certificates, a suitably engraved Phillip Leith Medallion and a trophy.
The afternoon was rounded off by a having a slew of Lucky Door Prizes, and a Loyalist Provisions Lucky Draw. Many beautiful prize gifts were won by many members and their guests. The day ended with the singing of our National Anthem and the “Retiring of the Colour Party.”
…Carl Stymiest UE, President, Vancouver Branch
Presidential Peregrinations: Vancouver Branch
I appreciated the invitation to attend the Vancouver Branch meeting, luncheon and 80th anniversary celebrations at the Vancouver Yacht Club on 13 October. An outstanding event it was, from presentation of the Phillip E. M. Leith Award to Robert Ferguson UE and to Gwen Dumfries UE, to the presentation of twenty-seven Loyalist certificates and to the presentation by Dr. Peter Moogk about Isaac Brock and the War of 1812. As a bonus, I met relatives not seen for many years.
Read more about the branch visit with photos (PDF).
…Robert McBride UE, President UELAC
Price Increase for Address Plaque in November
Our supplier has informed us that the price of our Address Plaque is increasing. His labour and material costs have gone up and he has no choice but to pass along the increases.
– The Painted Address Plaque will be increasing from $ 69.00 to $ 89.00
– The Gold Leaf Address Plaque will be increasing from $ 89.00 to $ 109.00
The new prices come into effect November 01, 2012.
Any Plaques ordered before November 01, 2012 will still be at the old price.
Looking for a Christmas Gift and want to save $20.00?
Order an Address Plaque before November 01, 2012 and SAVE!
…Promotions UELAC, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Selkirk Settlers Bicentenary: Part 2 of 2, by Mary Steinhoff
On Saturday, September 8th, Lord Selkirk was in attendance at Kildonan Presbyterian Church, a stone church built shortly after the arrival of the first Presbyterian minister in Red River, Rev. John Black, in 1851. The foundations of the church are in dire need of restoration and heritage architect Wins Bridgman gave a presentation on the plans to restore the church.
That evening saw the crowning event, a magnificent Gala Dinner at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. The evening was a spectacle of entertainment, both Aboriginal and Celtic. Among the various speeches, that of Manitoba Historical Society Past President Harry Duckworth was a standout, as he encapsulated the beginning of the Selkirk Settlement perfectly, striking all the right notes of its importance to the history of Western Canada.
The Manitoba Branch of the UELAC made up eight of a nine person table and were joined by Manitoba Minister of Multiculturalism the Honorable Christine Melnick, who proved to be a very congenial table companion.
The nine day celebration ended with a church service at St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest Anglican Church west of the Great Lakes. The service was designed to reflect the manner in which St. John’s had melded Anglican and Presbyterian observance in the years from 1820 to 1851 when the largely Presbyterian Selkirk settlers were ministered to by Anglican clergy.
The sermon was given by the Reverend Eric Matheson, a descendant of Samuel Matheson, a Selkirk Settler, the Prayer for the People was given by the Reverend Robert Campbell of Westminster United Church, a reading was done by a descendant of John Macbeth, an original Selkirk Settler, and a reading was done in Gaelic. The service was followed by a luncheon and by a tour of St. John’s Cemetery, where many Selkirk Settlers are buried.
The Selkirk Settlers Bicentenary Committee and its supporting heritage groups are to be greatly congratulated for the fabulous job they did in planning and executing this wonderful celebration (see Samuel Matheson’s Chair – one of many artifacts). It required much work and dedication.
1812 Whirlwind Conference, First Nations, Brantford
The Woodland Centre is partnering with Six Nations Polytechnic to organize a three day “1812 Whirlwind Conference” from 15 – 17 November 2012, to be held at Six Nations Polytechnic (2160 Fourth Line Road, Ohsweken). Read the brochure which includes the scheduled list of events – more information contact and registration on that page. Sponsored by Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Ministry of Culture.
…Paula Whitlow, Museum Director
Ontario Graphic Licence Plate Project Update
Requests for UELAC graphic licence plates continue to come in and we are now more than three-quarters of the way toward our goal. At last count, we have received 152 requests for plates of the 200 we need to meet a minimum order. We’ve thus far had interest from throughout the province (and beyond) and great support from the branches – but we still need a little more of a push to make this a reality. Please continue to encourage those in your Loyalist circles.
And if you’ve not declared your interest in displaying your heritage on your vehicle with a graphic licence plate, there is still time to do so. Send your name and address to email@example.com or visit the project page on the Dominion website for full details. Once again, no money is required at this point. We merely need to know if you’d be willing to order a set of licence plates for about $100 when they become available. As ever, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
…Ben Thornton, Toronto Branch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-486-9777
Great Canadian Debates: Resolved: The War of 1812 Over-hyped
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM, The Canadian War Museum
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute has organized The Great Canadian Debates at the Canadian War Museum and will feature well-known personalities and a moderator. Audience members are invited to get involved by posing questions during a Q&A session and voting for the winning argument. Following the debate, the evening also includes private access to the War Museum’s special exhibit.
The second debate:
Was the War of 1812 a pointless conflict not worth commemorating? Or a foundation stone for today’s Canada and United States that deserves a place of honour in our respective national memories? Jeffrey Simpson, The Globe and Mail’s national affairs columnist and winner of all three of Canada’s leading literary prizes, debates Jack Granatstein, Canadian historian and former director of the Canadian War Museum. The moderator is Michael Bliss, Canadian historian, award-winning author and member of the Order of Canada.
The regular ticket price is $20, but the St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance has arranged a special rate for UEL members to attend as part of a group The tickets are $15.00. Buy tickets here – just select the $15 students/seniors button.
The War Museum is offering complimentary access to their special War of 1812 exhibit after the debate.
Audience members will have the opportunity to challenge the views expressed by the speakers in a Q & A session. Following the debate you are invited to continue the conversation at a private reception with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and a cash bar.
More information at www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/events/
…Alicia Wanless, Bicentennial Manager, St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- The Reenactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights
- 15,000 attend Battle of Queenston Heights commemoration
- Battle of Queenston Heights re-enactment bombards the senses
- Honoring The War Of 1812 [11 minute video of day’s events]
- HD video of Fireworks at Brock’s Monument on Oct 13, 2012
- Sir Isaac Brock Returns to Queenston Heights (+ photo gallery)
- General Isaac Brock’s death
- The Funeral for Sir Isaac Brock on Sunday Oct 14 (+ photo gallery)
- The Battle of Queenston Heights Was the Shining Hour for Natives in the War of 1812 with Quotes by Zig Misiak, UELAC HVP
- The Friends of the Tecumseh Monument are raising funds to create a suitable monument to this great War Chief; consider a donation.
- Referring to the War of 1812 as a ‘Canadian’ victory is too simple: Jim Guy, Cape Breton U.
- The first new Heritage Minute by Historica-Dominion Institute commemorates the War of 1812-era story of Black Loyalist Richard Pierpoint
- Amherstburg, Fort Covington site dedicated as town’s second 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden
- Festival near Benton at Five Medals, named after their community leader Chief Five Medals, commemorates War of 1812 bicentennial
- Thomas Jefferson’s Miscalculation
- Prescott resident joins Cross-Border Commemoration of War of 1812 at Ogdensburg NY “Women’s History Day” on Nov 3
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Griffen (Griffin), Charles – from Marilyn Sapienza
Would anyone know what “RJDG” means? It can be found in the Old United Empire Loyalist List, Appendix B, but is not included in the legend. For example, see John Whitley, Hosea Moor, Gersham Wing, Duncan Cameron, Henry Larne (I think an error for Larue) etc. Sometimes it is written RJ DG, sometimes RJ, DG, and sometimes RJDG. I’m conjecturing that the J may mean Jessup’s. And the G could be Grenville Co. The R might be “Return”? Does anyone have any knowledge or suggestions? Thanks.