“Loyalist Trails” 2013-02: January 13, 2013
In this issue:
– The Forgotten Sandemanian Loyalists (2 of 3) – by Stephen Davidson
– Charles William Raymond (1820-1901) by George McNeillie
– Two New Biographies added to Loyal Americans Hall of Honour
– Resources to the Rescue: Found my Proof
– Where in the World is Karen Borden?
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: Robert Allison Prosser, UE
– Last Post: Doris Jean Holmes (nee Annable)
One small group of loyalists who made themselves especially obnoxious to the patriots of New England were the members of a small Calvinist sect known as the Sandemanians. Their four congregations were found in two colonies, Massachusetts and Connecticut. One of the men involved in the Boston Sandemanian church had been educated at Harvard. Most of the other members were also from the middle class: newspaper publishers, merchants, lawyers, and shop keepers. Three of the Sandemanians in New Haven, Connecticut had graduated from Yale.
Joseph Pynchon was one of the latter. He was a justice of the peace and lived a quiet life with his wife, Sarah and children until the outbreak of the revolution. In 1777, the patriots of New Haven locked up one of Pynchon’s fellow believers. As the men of the congregation petitioned the town council on the behalf of the prisoner, they felt compelled to state their deeply held conviction that they were as obligated to remain loyal to the king as they were to fear God. Pynchon’s name was on that petition, but despite his strong stance, he was able to continue living in New Haven for the next three years.
By April of 1780, matters came to a head. The Sandemanian hurriedly gathered up his family and sought safety within the British lines in New York. The Pynchons stayed there for the next three years until they joined other loyalist refugees sailing for Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Two black loyalists, Ichabod and Frances Cornwall, were members of the Pynchon party as well as an African woman named Dinah. Despite the fact that he had been given a magistrate’s position in the new loyalist settlement, disillusionment set in. By April of 1784, Sarah Pynchon returned to her hometown of Guilford, Connecticut. Prospects did not improve, and Joseph joined his wife the following year.
Joseph Stacy Hastings was another Sandemanian loyalist who eventually returned to the United States. A native of New Hampshire and a Harvard graduate, Hastings fled to Halifax in 1776. After the war was over, he returned to Boston where he lived out his days as a grocer. However, Pynchon and Hastings were the exception to the rule.
All of the other Sandemanian loyalists who fled to Nova Scotia decided to remain in the province. They had all been part of the same congregation in Boston and had all evacuated the city at same time. After being surrounded by rebel forces, the British troops and loyalists who lived in Boston decided to find sanctuary in Halifax in March of 1776. Among those 1,100 loyalist refugees were the heads of 13 Sandemanian families.
Abigail Stayner left Boston as a widow with children. Despite a difficult beginning, their years in Nova Scotia would be a positive experience. Her daughter Hannah fled Boston with her Sandemanian husband Edward King and his brother, Samuel King. Abigail Stayner’s other daughter Joanna married John Stairs within two years, and her son John would eventually become the superintendent of the Halifax harbour ferry. The Stayners acquired land in both Halifax and Dartmouth, and operated a large tannery, a leather goods store, and an export whart.
Ebenezer Allen along with his brothers Simeon and Silas had worshiped with Mrs. Stayner’s extended family as part of the Sandemanian congregation in Boston. In Halifax, they helped to found the fifth church for their sect in North America. Members included such men as Samuel Greenwood and his son Samuel for whom there is very little information. Hopestill Capen, on the other hand, had quite a story.
Up until the revolution, Capen had operated a silk and dry goods shop in Boston. While he disagreed with British policies, his Sandemanian beliefs would not allow him to take up arms. He hoped that he could see the war through as a neutral, but the patriots finally put him in jail. Months passed. In desperation, his wife Patience collected more than 80 signatures on a petition to have her husband released given that he was “an honest and peaceable man”. The patriots would not budge despite Mrs. Capen’s pleas that she and her children had “suffered greatly” because of her husband’s confinement. After two years in jail and no trial whatsoever, Capen was released in July of 1778. The Sandemanian family promptly boarded a ship for Halifax where they were reunited with their fellow believers.
Walter and Colburne Barrell both left Boston with the British evacuation of 1776. Walter had been the inspector general of customs, a highly unpopular post with the rebels. He went on to London where he became a member of the city’s Loyalist Association. In the fall of 1783, he received compensation from the crown as a loyalist and did not return to North America. Colburne Barrell had been a teacher at the Boston Latin School. Following the 1776 evacuation, he spent some time in New York City. He was one of 55 petitioners for land in Nova Scotia at the end of the war.
Another Sandemanian to ask for land in the northern colony was Benjamin Davis. He had escaped from Boston with his family, but patriots captured him when they seized a ship bound for New York. They took the former merchant back to Boston where he was “denied pen, ink and paper, was required to keep in an apartment by himself, and was allowed to converse with others only in the presence of the jailer.” He was banished from Massachusetts in 1778, went to New York, and eventually settled in Nova Scotia.
We know that two Sandemanians made Halifax their home thanks to the transcripts of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists that convened in the city in 1786. Adam deChezzan testified on behalf of a Boston blacksmith, but made no claims for himself. Isaac Winslow’s three distilleries supplied the British forces with rum from June of 1775 to March of 1776. When patriots attacked the city, he helped to patrol the streets under General Ruggles’ command. Among Winslow’s losses were 4,000 gallons of rum that had to be left behind in Boston.
One other loyalist is known to have been a member of the Sandemanian church in Boston. His name was John Howe, the future father of Joseph Howe. His story will be told in the next edition of Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
My father built his first house at Woodstock in the years 1849-50, although it was not entirely finished until afterwards. Some very handsome native woods, notably Butternut, Ash, and Bird’s-eye Maple, were used in the doors, casings, mantelpieces, etc. Over the front door the word “PEACE” was carved, with olive branches on either side, on a panel of butternut wood by my father. This carving was saved when the first house was burned and is now in the little front drawing-room of the present house on the same site, now called “Rosebank”.
The memory of childhood is tenacious, and I can at this distance of sixty years recall the details of my father’s house. There was a hall in the centre with a winding stair at the back, a pretty niche for the clock in the centre. The wood-box was under the stairs to the left hand. The walls of the hall, stairway, and upper hall were papered with pictures. Chiefly from the Illustrated London News. Some from the Christmas Supplements were in colors, and to my boy-eyes seemed very fine. The pictures were sized with whites of eggs and then varnished. We boys collected favorite pictures on our own, father assenting.
Mother’s bed room opened off the hall. The drawing room was reserved for company and the boys excluded on every-day occasions. The sitting and dining rooms were the best used rooms in the house – perhaps I should say the most used rooms.
Upstairs were four bed rooms, besides servants in the Ell. The bed-room over the drawing room was the “Birdie Room”; that over the sitting room, the “Blue Room” — so named from the paper on the walls. Grandfather and the boys had the room over the dining room — Arthur sleeping with Grandfather; Lee and I in a trundle-bed, which in the day time was rolled under the bigger one. In mother’s room, down stairs, all of her seven children, except Bessie, the youngest, first saw the light. Under the stairs to the left was an elaborate wood-box, with a cover, which many a time I have filled with fine rock-maple wood.
The Ell of the house contained the kitchen, pantry, scullery, etc. There was in the wood-house a dairy, also a well some 24 feet deep and a huge grindstone. Above the wood-house there was a carpenter’s shop, with power connected with a windmill for the turning-lathe, circular-saw, and jig-saw. The windmill was chiefly used for sawing firewood, which was thrown in the back window and stored in the shed.
In front of the house was a garden, enclosed with a fence of light-pickets, it was in the form of a “circle”. The part of the circle nearest the house was a flower garden. In the remainder there were trees – some elms and maples, four oaks, three pines – a couple of varieties of mountain ash and some other trees. There was a path through the circle with rustic gates at either end. There was also a large orchard of “natural fruit” to the north of the “circle”.
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].
The leadership qualities of Donald Diminie UE and The Right Honourable Lester Bowles Pearson have been highlighted in their biographies now on-line. Ten years ago, the Bay of Quinte Branch UELAC created Loyal Americans Hall of Honour to both identify and celebrate those descendants of the United Empire Loyalists who made significant achievements, either locally, nationally or internationally. The new biographies can be found in the UELAC Honours and Recognition /Bay of Quinte Branch: Loyal Americans Hall of Honour folder.
Brian Tackaberry, President of the Bay of Quinte Branch, is currently working on the remaining four biographies.
Thank you! to Linda Nygard UE, Vancouver Branch regarding Resource: Loyalist Land Petitions Available Online.
I knew my great-grandfather was given land that his father successfully petitioned the Crown for in 1816, as a son of the UE Loyalist Frederick Baker. I have been looking for years for a legal document that ties my GG-Grandfather Henry Baker with my GGG-Grandfather Frederick Baker.
Using Linda’s instructions, I found the document within 20 minutes on Mikan #205131, Roll c-1624, page 108!
As for Loyalist Trails, keep up the great work on the always interesting and informative Newsletter.
Guess where Karen Borden was!
To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is. If you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well – send to Jennifer Childs.
- Hamilton Branch News Flash: Long-Lost Loyalist Fort Found.
- Antique cannon in New York from Revolutionary War discovered to be still loaded
- The Historical Detective Agency Ltd is my research firm based in Levenhall, Scotland, and the pictures on our Facebook page (two posted daily) frequently reflect my personal interests in Loyalism and Canadian history. (From an exchange between Dan MacCannell and our UELAC “face” to the world Fred Hayward)
- Janis La Couvee on Twitter – interesting comments on why to use social media (Twitter in her example). Janis: Maven, catalyst, vision caster, capacity builder, arts patron, francophone, mother, friend. Victoria, BC, Canada · http://janislacouvee.com
- Lincoln County, Kentucky, commemorates 200 years since involvement in War of 1812
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Macdonald, Soirle – from Fiona Lundy
– Marsh, William 4 (Parr Town Nova Scotia) – from Terrilee Craig [Revised]
– Phillips, Nicholas – from Elizabeth Maize
Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions and guidance.
(February 21, 1919 – January 6, 2013.) After a long full life Allison passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital. He will be deeply missed by his wife of 69 years Marion Pace. Allison is the beloved and respected father of Patricia Jackson (Francis) of Rockport, Robert of Nova Scotia and Scott (Brenda) of Monkland. Best grandpa to seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Dear brother of Reginald Prosser (late Joan) of Cornwall.
A true gentleman, he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. Spring interment at St. Lawrence Valley Cemetery. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the Winchester District Memorial Hospital would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be made at www.brownleefuneralhomes.com. ‘Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail and mankind the vessel.’
(July 10, 1922 – January 6, 2013.) Peacefully at the Lanark Lodge on Sunday January 6, 2013. Doris Holmes of Winchester. Beloved wife of the late Gerald Holmes. Always loved and remembered by her children Beverly Barkley (Allen), Bonnie DeVries (Ron), Dorothy Geymonat (Jack) and the late Trudy. Cherished Grandma of Lisa (Brett), Diane (Ian), Stephanie (Shawn), Melanie (Chris), Kevin (Eva), Geoffrey (Meghan), Tasha, Jennifer (Shaun), Joshua (Andrea), David (Margret) and 16 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by her twin sister Dorothy.
Interment Maple Ridge Cemetery. By family request donations may be made to the Winchester Wesleyan Church, the Alzheimer Society or the Charity of Your Choice. Online condolences may be made to www.byersfuneralhomeinc.com.
Doris was formerly a member of the St. Lawrence Branch.