“Loyalist Trails” 2013-19: May 12, 2013
In this issue:
– In the Shadow of the Gallows (Part Two of Two), by Stephen Davidson
– “At the Head of Lake Ontario” – Friday Tours, Lunches and Speakers
– Halifax Branch Loyalist Gathering
– Pacific Regional Mini-Conference, Sat. May 14, 2013
– USA President Obama Connection to Canadian Loyalists
– Where in the World?
– Loyalists and the War of 1812
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
+ Southern Ontario Before 1788; Montreal District?
During the American Revolution, a firing squad was seen as a honourable death. Hanging by the neck until dead, however, was reserved for spies and traitors.
The gallows were the cause of death for two of five loyalist brothers who had lived in Pennsylvania’s Buck’s County. Joseph Doane, a Quaker, had five sons at the beginning of the revolution: Moses, Joseph Jr., Israel, Abraham, and Mahlon. All were noted as being “of fine figure and address, elegant horsemen, great runners and leapers, and excellent at stratagems and escapes”. The five Doane brothers had been quite willing to remain neutral during the war, but the constant persecution of their rebel neighbours (including the seizure and sale of their land) compelled the men to retaliate.
The Doanes terrorized local patriots, spied for the British, plundered the wealthy, and attacked public men and public property. Even patriots had to admit that the brothers did not molest the poor, the weak, and pacifists. They sometimes attacked the rebels as a gang; other times they worked individually. No jail could hold an imprisoned Doane for very long. Finally, the rebels put a reward of 300 pounds sterling on the head of each brother.
Joseph Doane, who had been a schoolteacher, was shot through the cheeks during a raid. After escaping jail, he fled to New Jersey and finally to Canada. A reference to a Joseph in the Old United Empire Loyalist List says that he was “wounded in the face” and arrived in Upper Canada in 1787.
When rebels seized Abraham and Mahlon, they tried the pair of loyalists and had them hanged. The patriot who captured Moses Doane killed him during “a desperate fight”. Rachel Doane, the widow of one these three brothers, eventually moved to a Quaker settlement in Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick with her son.
The last of the Doane brothers was Israel. While in a Pennsylvania prison in February of 1783, he asked to be released due to his poor treatment and the destitute condition of his family. The rebels ignored his request; his final fate is unknown.
James Fitzpatrick (known as Captain Fitz) had the reputation of being one of Pennsylvania’s most infamous Tory marauders. He “delighted in perils and escapes”. However, by 1778, he had become such an irritant to the patriot cause that a thousand dollar reward was offered for his capture. When he stormed into a house to “levy his dues on the cursed rebels”, he was captured by a man and a girl. Confined in a Philadelphia jail, Fitzpatrick snapped his handcuffs twice in one night. When put in another prison, he filed through his irons and made his escape. In the end, he was hanged in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Things didn’t always work out so tragically for the loyalists of Pennsylvania. John Ellwood was tried by patriots for “acting as a pilot to the royal fleet and army” when Sir William Howe conquered the colony. They sentenced him to be “hanged by the neck till he be dead”. But he was never executed. In a letter between two loyalists, Ellwood was described as “being out of his head at the time of his trial”. By 1789, the new state government of Pennsylvania issued Ellwood a pardon.
Advice on how to avoid being hanged was actually included in a father’s letter to his sons in May of 1775. Thomas Gilbert of Freetown, Massachusetts had professed his “decided stand in behalf of the Crown” in the early days of the rebellion. When he raised 300 loyalist troops to quell troubles in Bristol County, Gilbert was immediately condemned by local patriots as “an inveterate enemy to his country”. The loyalist fled to Boston to wait out the inevitable speedy defeat (so he thought) of the rebels. But despite his confidence in the superiority of the British forces, Gilbert was concerned that his sons would be “seduced or compelled to take arms with the deluded people.”
His advice was that if the “wicked sinners, the Rebels, entice you, believe them not, but die by the sword rather than be hanged as rebels which will certainly be your fate sooner or later if you join them.” The three sons, Thomas, Peres, and Bradford, followed their father’s advice and were not hanged. The entire Gilbert family found sanctuary in New Brunswick at the end of the Revolution. The names of the sons as well as their three sisters all appear in Gilbert’s 1797 will.
When Rhode Island rebels could not lay their hands on two particular loyalists, they derived some form of satisfaction by hanging them in effigy. Their first target was Martin Howard who maintained his loyalty to the crown following its proclamation of the hated Stamp Act in 1765. After stuffing a suit of clothes with straw, the rebels of Newport dragged Howard’s effigy through the streets and hanged it on a gallows. Taking the hint, Howard fled to North Carolina. He eventually found sanctuary in England in 1778 where, three years later, he died far from rebel gallows.
Augustus Johnson also had to try to enforce the Stamp Act in Rhode Island. Being insulted and “hissed” in the streets escalated to an angry mob surrounding the Johnson home. Later rebels seized the loyalist, treated him with “indignity”, and made him promise to resign from office. Rather than forgiving Johnson when the Stamp Act was repealed, the rebels built a gallows near the house of assembly. Then, after parading effigies of Johnson and other loyalists through the streets, the patriots hanged and burned them “amid shouts and tumult”. It is little wonder, then, that Johnson sought out sanctuary on a British warship.
After fleeing to New York, Johnson and his wife went to live in England. Major Matthew Johnson, their son, fought for the crown during the revolution. In 1800, he returned to live in Rhode Island, the state that once would have quite happily hanged his father upon a rebel gallows.
Meet Us at the Head of Lake Ontario – UELAC Dominion Conference, May 30 – June 2.
Don’t miss Friday – a day of adventure and learning. Your choice of three great day programs that you are sure to enjoy.
Program One: You can get a great taste of the local history through speakers, authors and a customized trip. Local author, James Elliott will speak about the Battle of Stoney Creek early Saturday morning. With the local trip option you will visit the Joseph Brant Museum and the Hamilton Cemetery, site of the British garrison location, known as Burlington Heights. Historian Robin McKee will lead a tour there and share some of the Loyalist stories. This cemetery is across from Dundurn Castle, home of Sir Allan MacNab, who was elected in 1830 to represent the city in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, a position he held for some 27 years. You can appreciate the neo-classical architecture of this building and see the train rails along the waterfront, part of McNab’s legacy as he brought the Great Western Railway to this area. Lunch will be at the beautiful Scottish Rite Club of Hamilton, home of Freemasonry. This magnificent castle was once the home of George Elias Tuckett, who was Hamilton’s 27th mayor in 1896 and he was the owner of the Tuckett Tobacco Company which became the Imperial Tobacco Company. After lunch this group will head to Battlefield Park, Stoney Creek to enjoy all the historical displays, the suttlers, the re-enactment participants with their camps set up on the grounds. Tribal Vision will give a Native Dance and Culture presentation, the Corps of Drums of the Royal Anglian Regiment will perform and there will be a period fashion show by Westfield Heritage Village, just to mention a few special features. You’ll be able to visit the Gage House museum and walk up the grand tower, unveiled electronically 100 years ago by Queen Mary to commemorate the Battle of Stoney Creek.
Program Two: We are also offering two excellent speakers at the hotel. Doug Adams is coming all the way from Temagami to tell you about the fur trade of the past and the present. He is bringing along specially cured furs of Ontario for you to see and these will be on display in the Pearson room afterwards. Jim Taggart, a popular local speaker, will tell you about pioneer medicines and cures. After lunch at the hotel, you will be taken to Battlefield Park (see details above) for the afternoon.
Program Three: This option is a full day trip to historical Niagara. You will visit Fort George, the Laura Secord House and Queenston Heights, resting place of Major General Sir Isaac Brock and his aide-de-camp Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell. All these locations are an important part of the history of the War of 1812-14. Lunch will be at the beautiful Ravine Winery where they have preserved the Loyalist home that was originally constructed for David Secord.
Something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy. Make your choice and register today.
The conference is hosted by the Hamilton Branch and will take place in Burlington.
We had an excellent meeting at Saint Andrew’s Church Hall at 2 PM, Saturday, April 27th. Thirty-two people were in attendance – about half branch members and half guests who were interested in Loyalist history – and two representatives of the Black Loyalist Society.
This meeting was a great success thanks to the contributions of many people (see photos). Stephen Davidson helped in planning, made a great presentation and provided positive guidance at the meeting. Alma Hayward UE and her husband Roy set up the meeting area. Alma made sandwiches for 30 people and looked after coffee and tea. Sweets were purchased. Roy greeted people at the door, passed out information packages and ensured people had name tags. Everyone wore a name tag. Guests filled out their own tags and David Laskey UE, president of the NB Branch had prepared name tags for members in advance for me to take to the meeting.
Halifax/Dartmouth Branch has a new Genealogist, Carol Harding UE, of Digby. Carol is replacing Ed Morrisey who has done an excellent job since the branch was formed. The new Treasurer, Marian Munroe lives in Dartmouth. A new Steering Committee will help the other Executive Members until a President is named. On the Steering Committee are Adam Harkinson of Weymouth and new member Janice Fralic-Brown. Janice has been very active in the Genealogical Society of Nova Scotia for the past ten years. As it was not realistic to expect a new person to step in as President, the Steering Committee was formed.
As Regional Vice President, I will work closely with the Steering Committee until they obtain a new President.
…Jim Mckenzie, UE, Atlantic Region Vice President.
Four Pacific Regional Branches attended the Regional Mini Conference hosted by Chilliwack Branch UELAC. Members and Guests from Chilliwack, Vancouver, Victoria and Thompson-Okanagan Branches were feted to a days Celebration commemorating the arrivals of the Spring Fleets in 1783. Special Guests attending were Dominion President Robert McBride UE and his wife, Grietje McBride UE.
The excellent Program (PDF) was held at the Aboriginal Gathering Place located on the campus of the University of Fraser Valley (UFV) in Chilliwack. Hosted by the Chilliwack Branch, organizers Shirley Dargatz UE and Marlene Dance UE wonderfully organized the entire day’s program including a delicious catered luncheon. MC for the program was Shirley Dargatz UE, President Chilliwack Branch. The Gathering Place designed as an aboriginal long house served as the perfect venue for the Presentation of the Six Nations Flag donated to Vancouver Branch UELAC by David Kanowakeron Hill Morrison UE. The presentation of the flag and its significance to the theme for the day certainly was in synchronicity to the superb historical skit presented by Bob & Grietje McBride on his loyalist ancestor, Adam Young and Adam’s son’s connection to the Six Nations and Joseph Brant.
Branch Genealogists Linda Nygard, UE, Vancouver Branch, and Marlene Dance, UE, Chilliwack Branch, assisted presentation of twenty-seven “UE” certificates by Dominion President Robert McBride, UE, and Pacific Regional Vice President Carl Stymiestm UE. Twenty-two certificates presented to Vancouver Branch members and Five to the Chilliwack Branch. Congratulations to all! The highlight for all attending was the presentation to Brody Wilkinson, one-year old grandson of Vancouver Branch member, Janet White UE. Brody’s Loyalist Ancestor is John Carl Sr. Brody definitely stole the show!
Carl Stymiest UE, Pacific Regional Vice President and Mary Anne Bethune UE, Pacific Regional Counsellor, retiring from their Dominion Council positions and roles thanked the Dominion Council and the Pacific Region for their support in their respective duties over a number of years on various Council Committees and positions. Shirley Dargatz UE hosted the business portion of the meeting. Successful Nomination for Pacific Regional Vice President and Pacific Regional Counsellor were elected. These positions to be ratified at AGM, Burlington 2013 on Saturday 01 June:
– Diane Faris, UE, Vancouver Branch, Pacific Regional Vice President
– Marlene Dance, UE, Chilliwack Branch, Pacific Regional Councillor
The Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award 2013 recipients for the Pacific Region were Linda Nygard, UE, Genealogist, Vancouver Branch UELAC, and Catherine Fryer, UE, Treasurer, Victoria Branch UELAC.
…Carl Stymiest UE, Pacific Region Vice President
There are hundreds of Canadians who can trace their ancestry to Loyalist Daniel Dunham (born about 1730 in Woodbridge, New Jersey; died before 1821 in St John, New Brunswick). Daniel’s grandfather was Johnathan Singletary (born 17 January 1640 in Newbury, Massachusetts; and died in Wodbridge on 6 September 1724) who was a prominent early American politician and settler of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. He was a miller and held many tracts of land in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He built the first grist mill in New Jersey, served as Clerk of the township and overseer of highways and in 1673 was elected to the New Jersey Provincial Congress.
Johnathan is President Barack Obama’s eighth great-grandfather and the first of Obama’s ancestors to be born in North America. The descent is though Johnathan’s son Benjamin to Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. She was an American anthopologist who specialized in economic anthropogy and rural develpment. Dunham was known as Stanley Dunham through high school, then as Ann Dunham, Ann Obama, Ann Soetoro, Ann Sutoro (after her second divorce), and finally as Ann Dunham.
Barack Obama would be 8th, 9th or 10th cousin. once removed, to living Canadian Loyalists with Jonathan Singletary Dunham ancestry.
Where is UELAC President Bob McBride?
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.
Thanks to those who have contributed to the slowly growing index of Loyalists and the War of 1812.
We have added new entries for Sons of the Hon. Neil McLean – John, Alexander and Archibald (thanks to Gary Aitken) and William Disher (thanks to John Haynes). We have also updatd the entry for William Foster with information on his son Alvah Foster, thanks to John Haynes.
If you have a family ancestry which qualifies (see the heading of the page with entries), please submit to email@example.com. Our rich history continues to emerge through these family histories.
- Marian Pierre-Louis hosts a radio interview of JL Bell (blog Boston 1775) discussing the youth and “hooligans” of 1760’s Boston; and then the Vassall family of Cambridge MA comparing and contrasting their lives to that of their slaves, also with the same name, Vassall.
- Canada Post unveiled a postage stamp commemorating the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation
- A special edition of The Time Traveller Times features planned War of 1812 events along the t Lawrence this spring, summer and fall: Kingston, Battle of Crsyler’s Farm, Tall Ships Brockville, Spencerville Heritage Fair, and much more (6 pages)
- Laura Secord’s historic walk immortalized in wilderness trail (to open June 22) and opera Laura’s Cow: The Legend of Laura Secord
- Thousands expected to pour into Thorold for the Battle of Beaverdams commemoration on the weekend of June 22-24.
- In the 200 years following the War of 1812, the Chesapeake Campaign became romanticized in tall tales and local legends. Authors of book “:Chesapeake Legends and Lore from War of 1812” search for the history behind the legends. Eastern Shore maritime museum tells story of the War of 1812 on the Chesapeake Bay
- More photos from last weekend’s events at Havre de Grace
- Op-Ed in the Ottawa Citizen: MPs don’t really want to talk about history, by Christopher Dummitt
- Are you a chocoholic? American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic line of products-based on a recipe from the 1750s-that celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century.
- How do taverns and restaurants differ? Take a peek at some of the oldest taverns; and take a bite there when you visit the areas.
John Haynes submitted information about Adam Haines and his five sons wherein in notes that Peter Haines was born in “1786 in the family cabin on the Home Farm, Lots #21 and 22 in Concession VII of Grantham Township, Montreal District, Quebec (St. Paul Street West or Highway #8 St. Catharines, Ontario).” A reader of Loyalist Trails questioned whether “Montreal District, Quebec” was correct.
From the Grand River website: “1788 – The region of the old Province of Québec, comprising modern Southern Ontario, was divided into four districts: Hesse, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Nassau.”
From the Archives of Ontario (“Early Districts and Counties 1788-1899”): “In 1788 the government of the Province of Quebec and its successors (Upper Canada, Province of Canada and Ontario) began creating districts and counties to serve administrative needs at the local level.”
The boundaries and names of the Districts were changed in 1792 and counties were created within them.
When the Loyalists settled along the St. Lawrence (Royal Townships) and Bay of Quinte to Cataraqui area (Cataraqui townships), they joined existing Loyalist settlements at Niagara and Detroit. These were all part of Quebec. A declaration after the Seven Years (French and Indian) War that ended in 1763 , there is some indication that lands west of Montreal were set aside as “Indian Lands” where European settlement was precluded.
The question: If it is correct, were the “Indian Lands” west of Montreal given a formal name? And secondly, were these four Loyalist settlement areas (or some of them) within an [administrative] district – such as the District of Montreal – or not and if so what was it called?