“Loyalist Trails” 2013-05: February 3, 2013

In this issue:
The Father of English Grammar – by Stephen Davidson
Charles William Raymond (1820-1901) by George McNeillie
Gaspesian British Heritage Village to create Community Voices Centre
Ontario Graphic Licence Plate Update: Need Your Help
Loyalist Quarterly by Paul Bunnell: Winter 2013 issue now available
Where in the World are Noreen Stapley and Rod Craig?
Help Required: Government Marker Program to Honour War of 1812 Veterans
Loyalists and War of 1812: Isaac Swayze and Nephew Caleb
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post
      + Ben Miller: Fort Erie’s ‘Gentle Giant’
      + Marion Louise Phelps
      + Duncan Howard Cameron, UE
      + John H. Gordier


The Father of English Grammar – by Stephen Davidson

If ever a Loyalist Hall of Fame were to be established, a prime candidate for consideration among its inductees would have to be Lindley Murray of New York City. Known as “the father of English grammar”, this Quaker scholar made “a considerable contribution to the development of English as a world language”. Murray wrote eleven books on spelling grammar and punctuation, and Americans bought 12.5 million copies of them. His most noteworthy title was The English Reader, a volume that American president Abraham Lincoln described as “the best schoolbook ever put in the hands of an American youth”. The English Reader went through 342 printings, sold over five million copies and was the most popular reader in the United States from 1815 to the 1840s. Perhaps just as impressive is the fact that Lindley Murray accomplished all of this while he was a polio patient, housebound in Yorkshire, England.

Historians, however, are divided on Lindley Murray’s political allegiance. He was a remarkable man, but was he, in fact, a remarkable loyalist?

Born in Scotland, Murray’s father became a successful merchant in New York City, and remained loyal throughout the revolution. Murray’s Pennsylvania-born mother favoured the patriots. Murray grew up practising the Quaker faith. Chief among Quaker principles was the refusal to participate in war. Which was the greatest influence on Murray: his father, his mother, or his faith?

Since the Quakers’ pacifist stance forbid them to take up arms for the rebel cause, the patriots generally regarded them as loyalists and persecuted them as they did “tories”. In the eyes of the rebels, Lindley Murray would be labelled a loyalist simply for not joining the patriot side. However, the British would only consider Murray (or any American colonist) a loyalist if he rendered some service to the crown or suffered some loss because of their steadfast allegiance to the king.

Between 1783 and his death in 1826, Murray and his wife lived in Holdgate, England a mile from the city of York. Within months of Murray’s death, a close friend of the family, Elizabeth Frank, published the grammarian’s memoirs.

But while Murray’s memoirs are rich in details about his childhood, his faith, and his studies, they provide only the smallest clues regarding his wartime sympathies. When his legal practice declined with the beginning of the “troubles”, Murray moved to Long Island. There he attempted to start up a salt harvesting operation because the British had stopped exporting salt to the revolting colonies. As he looked back on this portion of his life, Murray recorded that he “embraced the scheme the more cordially because we were attached to our country and felt for the distresses in which it was involved.”

Was he a patriot or a businessman with a keen eye for a profitable venture? The salt works failed when the precious mineral once again flowed into lower New York after the British occupied it in 1776.

Four years later, Murray moved back to New York City to provide for his family. With unlimited credit from his merchant father, he began importing goods from London. “Every year added to my capital, till, about the period of the establishment of American independence, I found myself able to gratify our favourite wishes and retire from business”. Murray bought a mansion just three miles from New York City. There he hoped that being in the “vicinity of the city and its various institutions, would afford me opportunities of being useful to my fellow-citizens.”

A man who grew wealthy by trading with London during the revolution certainly sounds like a loyalist. A man would wanted to be “useful” in post-war America sounds like a patriot. Or are these the actions of a neutral — a man with no political agenda or alliances? Neither Frank as memoir editor nor Murray as biographer made outright reference to his loyalty.

In 1864, Lorenzo Sabine, the compiler of Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, confidently described Murray as a loyalist. He recounts how the Quaker merchant lived in Bellevue, New York until near the end of the war “when he embarked for England”. He quotes Murray’s memoir in which he professed that he was “ever partial to {Britain’s} political constitution”, knowing that “under this excellent government, life, property, reputation, civil and religious liberty are happily protected.” How could one doubt that Murray was anything but a loyal colonist?

But Sabine failed to record the fact that Murray left for England (a whole year after the revolution’s end) because of doctor’s orders – not rebel persecution. Murray suffered from a form of polio, and his doctor felt that a few years in Yorkshire would be beneficial. Murray had a high regard for England. He had visited there in his twenties and grew up in the home of an ardent loyalist. But did that positive regard make him a loyalist by conviction?

In 1886, W. H. Egle had no qualms about describing Murray as a Tory when he compiled his Pennsylvania Genealogies. Although he was “loath to dispel the bright halo which glimmers around the life of the celebrated grammarian”, Egle quoted a contemporary of Murray’s who said that the Quaker had taken “sides with the enemies of his country”.

Egle was quoting William Darby who had been a neighbour of the Quaker family. In a letter to a relative, Darby quoted Lindley Murray as saying that “he had little faith in the successful resistance of the Colonies. His father’s business and his own thrived, and the rule of England was sufficient for him.”

Egle believed that Murray’s failure to take part in the revolution was not a matter of Quaker beliefs: “… mercenary motives were generally at the bottom of it. It is to be regretted that Lindley Murray’s silent influence should have been on the side of British oppression and tyranny. At the close of the war, he had amassed a fortune, and when peace had dawned, he sailed away from the land of his nativity and the home of liberty.”

It seems that neither Egle nor Darby knew that Murray had bought a home in New York in which he planned to spend the rest of his life — and that it was only poor health that prompted him to sail for England.

So, given the scant evidence left us by contemporaries and historians, can we celebrate Lindley Murray as a loyalist who had a profound impact on the correct usage of English in the United States and Great Britain? Or was he merely a neutral language scholar who had been born in colonies?

Lindley Murray’s status is just one of the many riddles left to us by the loyalist era.

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

Charles William Raymond (1820-1901) © George McNeillie

After our mother left us – just as the year 1893 was going out – my father lived quietly in his old house at “Rosebank”. My sister Bessie went to live with her brother Arthur, whose motherless little ones needed her care, taking with her little Fannie Perkins, who was born when her mother was taken. My brother Lee meanwhile had married, and my father had made over his farm to my two brothers who divided it between them.
On Monday, June 10, 1901, Edith Brook was to be married to a Mr. Tufts at the Parish Church in Woodstock from her sister’s home, and my father was anxious to be up early to assist in preparations for the event. Early in the morning he was stricken with apoplexy and never recovered consciousness. A telegram summoned me from St. John and I arrived not long before midnight. The three sons were with him when he quietly passed to rest. Two days later the same three sons with their cousin Charles Carman, bore his mortal form into the parish church, which his hands had helped to build and where he had so often worshipped, and then we laid him to rest beside the dear mother, who had gone home a little more than seven years before him. He had passed the four-score mark, and was in the 81st year of his age. In calo quies – et sine nube dies — “Rest in heaven, and day without a cloud”.
[Editor’s note – this concludes the series on Charles William Raymond. Next we will look at the life of the author himself – The Ven. William Odber Raymond – as told in his own words.
The descendants of Loyalist Capt. Samuel Hallett will be interested to know that there is a new book about his great-grandparents William Hallett (1616-1706) and Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett (1610-1668) entitled Insubordinate Spirit: A True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest America 1610 – 1665, by Missy Wolfe [Globe Pequot Press, 2012, Guilford, CT]. It is a non-fiction history of what really happened to this couple whose lives were originally celebrated in Anya Seton’s historical fiction The Winthrop Woman. Ms. Wolfe has made extensive use of research that was unknown to Seton when her book was published in the 1950s. The book is available on Amazon and Kindle].

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

Gaspesian British Heritage Village to create Community Voices Centre

Over the next few months the Gaspesian British Heritage Village will be working to create the new “Community Voices Centre”. This research and learning centre will not only house genealogical information, but will also include family histories, photos, oral histories and video interviews with local community members.

Peggy Willett, one of the community’s most knowledgeable historians, has been hired to coordinate the initiative.

Mrs. Willett believes that “There is an urgent need to have a family history, genealogy and oral history centre in order to keep the history of the English-speaking community alive. For years, much of the Village’s collection has remained in boxes and has not been accessible to the public; we will ensure that everyone has access to the rich heritage of our community.”

Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the first step in the project will be to digitize all historical documents and photos currently at the Village. Secondly, the Village’s collection of video-interviews and audio interviews will be made available online.

It is anticipated that the Community Voices Centre will be open to the public by September 2013. It will provide space and equipment that will allow individuals to conduct genealogical and family history research, record their stories (either by audio or video means) and take part in workshops such as Building your Family Tree and How to Record Life Histories

If you are interested in sharing your documents, photos or stories to add to the collection, or if you would like to volunteer your time or knowledge, please contact us at: heritagevillage@globetrotter.net or 418-392-4487.

The Village is situated on the Bay of Chaleur; visit the website.

…Bev Loomis, Little Forks Branch

Ontario Graphic Licence Plate Update: Need Your Help

Thanks to all who have pre-ordered UELAC badge licence plates The response has been great (we are currently up to 101 prepaid orders), but we still need more orders before we can proceed to the manufacturing stage. There is a deadline coming up with the provincial agency involved – if you’ve not yet ordered your set of plates, please do so as soon as you can. A hundred-and-one other Loyalists are counting on you.

Full details of the project can be found here, or contact me at plates@uelac.org or 905-486-9777.

…Ben Thornton UE, Toronto Branch

Loyalist Quarterly by Paul Bunnell: Winter 2013 issue now available

The latest issue of the only U.S. journal devoted to Loyalist studies contains, among others, these topics:

– Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archives
– UELAC Branches: Edmonton, Victoria
– UELAC Conference
– Tar & Feathering
– Address by Gov. William Franklin 1775
– Famous Loyalist Artwork & Locations
– Loyalist Regiment Muster Rolls 1777-1783
– Loyalist Settlement Maps
– Mob Attacks on Loyalists in Massachusetts
– Spies & Intelligence Friends of the British
– Fanning, Edmund – Loyalist Bio

More information including subscription details at Paul J. Bunnell’s website.

…Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Editor/Author

Where in the World?

Guess where Noreen Stapley and Rod Craig were recently!

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.

Help Required: Government Marker Program to Honour War of 1812 Veterans

Communities across Canada will have a chance to commemorate heroes of the War of 1812, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. Funding for the Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada was announced in Penetanguishene, Ontario on January 14, 2013 by Bruce Stanton, Member of Parliament (Simcoe North), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

This investment will help establish a national program to honour the graves of War of 1812 veterans. Canadians will be able to apply for granite plaques to be placed at veterans’ gravesites. Each plaque will have a replica of the Upper Canada Preserved medal etched onto its surface. The original Upper Canada Preserved medal was produced after the War, but very few were actually awarded. A website will identify gravesites across Canada and feature the veterans’ biographies, which will form a very useful database for students and researchers. At least one thousand plaques are expected to be distributed across the country.

To date the UELAC website lists the names and stories of 14 veterans in the Loyalist and the War of 1812 folder. If the burial sites are identified, these names would be suitable for commemoration through this programme. While the Association awaits further instructions from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, it is hoped that a member would step forward to complete this small project. Similar to the Ontario Loyalist License Plate project led by Ben Thornton, the scope of this challenge can be brief but the benefits can be immense. If you would welcome this opportunity to serve UELAC, please contact me.

…Fred Hayward

Loyalists and the War of 1812

A number of Loyalists who had participated in the American Revolution also took up arms again in the War of 1812. A greater number of sons, daughters and family members of Loyalists also joined the war effort. See the beginning of the collection at Loyalists and the War of 1812.

A few submissions have been received, including Isaac Swayze and Nephew Caleb. If you have Loyalist ancestry, or know of other, that meets the criteria above, please contribute to this collection. Submissions of about 500 words would be great, but size within reason is not a big concern.

Thanks in advance for your help; submit articles to loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post

Ben Miller: Fort Erie’s ‘Gentle Giant’

When Marguerite gave birth to Ben, like many mothers of mentally challenged children at the time, she was told to have him institutionalized and “forget you ever had him.” Instead, she found a car and drove him every morning to the nearest special needs school, which was in Welland at the time. “Other mothers in the area heard about what I was doing, and soon I was picking up their kids too, and taking them out to the school,” said Marguerite. “Eventually I was driving a whole van full of kids out each morning, until the teacher there asked me, ‘Why don’t you just start your own school down there in Fort Erie?'” So she did, and thus was born, Community Living Fort Erie.

Ben would spend the next 68 years of his life with Community Living, until he died last October. He was a member of the Col. John Butler Branch, proud of his Loyalist ancestors, on both sides of his family. They were Andrew Miller Sr. in his father Arthur’s family and Cornelius and William Bowen in his mother Marguerite’s family.

Read story and the plaque presented to Marguerite here.

…Rod and Bev Craig, Col. John Butler Branch

Marion Louise Phelps

Marion Louise Phelps, a long time historian, curator and archivist of the Brome County Historical Society at Knowlton, Quebec, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2013. She was born on February 9, 1908, in the Township of Stukely, Shefford County, the daughter of William Walter Phelps and Maude McDougall.

Marion went to school at the Blake Schoolhouse, at the Stukely Village stone school, and later at Waterloo High School. After obtaining her teacher’s degree at the School for Teachers, Macdonald College, in 1927, she taught one year at St. Jovite, one year at Ste. Agathe, one year at Farnham, three years at Waterloo High School, before coming at the Heroes’ Memorial High School in Cowansville where she taught full time from 1933 to 1964, grades 4, 5 and 6. After retiring, she came back to Heroes’ Memorial, teaching arts part time until 1969.

In 1959, she was named curator of the Brome County Historical Society Museum, position she kept until the late 1980’s. She then became the archivist of the Brome County Historical Society, function she kept until March 2005, when she finally decided to retire.

In 2001, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network inaugurated the “Marion Phelps Award”. The first recipient was Marion Phelps herself. The award is given annually to an individual for his or her “Outstanding long-term contribution to the protection and preservation of Anglophone heritage in the Province of Quebec”.

Marion was a great friend of Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch since its beginning in 1967. In October 1969, in recognition of her worthwhile contribution to our branch, Marion Phelps was made Honourary Member of Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch. Through the years, our genealogists have always benefited from her invaluable assistance in the documentation of Loyalist lineage.

She will be sorely missed. Our deepest sympathies to the family.

…Michel Racicot, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch

Duncan Howard Cameron, UE

Duncan Howard Cameron UE (April 19, 1927 – January 19, 2013) Vancouver Branch UELAC passed away peacefully on January 20, 2013 at Burnaby General Hospital at the age of 85 years. He leaves behind his beloved wife Geraldine of 59 years, sons Glenn (Selina) and Lorne (Cherlynn) and two brothers, Gordon and Colin. Duncan was predeceased by his sister Dorothy and half-brother William Merriman. Grand-children Clayton, Tyler, Dylan and Dayton. He was born in Moosecreek, Ontario, April 19, 1927. Duncan worked as a longshoreman for 28 years and retired at the age of 55. He also worked as a commercial Duncan fisherman. His great sense of humor will be forever missed and cherished by all who knew him. Duncan received his UE certificate at the Spring Fleet in 2008 for his loyalist ancestor, Hugh Munroe. Duncan, although you are physically no longer with us, we feel your presence and will always be loved and remembered. Family and friends attended a memorial gathering on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at Glenhaven Memorial Chapel in Vancouver BC.

…Carl Stymiest UE, Vancouver Branch

John H. Gordier

John passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 30th, 2013, at the age of 95. Husband of 71 years to Leona (nee Jubb). Father to Alan (Kathy), the late Linda Markey (Tony). Much loved grandfather to many. Born in Williamsburg, On, on 5 Jan. 1918. Predeceased by his parents William Albert Gordier & Martha Ellen Whitteker, and by brothers George Arnold & Wesley, sisters Mary Ellen & Ethel May.

John was a teacher, a WWII army Captain, before embarking on a career as the Ottawa claims manager, Mutual Life Ins. Co. He was a member of the Ottawa Tennis Club for many years & his love of genealogy led him to become a UEL member – formerly a member of the St. Lawrence Branch. John & Lee travelled the world in their retirement years, wintered in Florida and spent their summers at the cottage he built on Nobles Bay.

The family will receive friends at Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod, (at O’ Connor) at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, Funeral Service in chapel at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers a donation to the charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Ottawa Citizen , Feb. 2, 2013

[submitted by Lynne Cook, UE, St Lawrence Branch]