“Loyalist Trails” 2013-31: August 4, 2013

In this issue:
Loyalist Racism: Case Studies, by Stephen Davidson
Granting of Lands to Loyalists: Sixth Document, by Ed Kipp
Resource: Loyalist Claims
Where in the World is Albert Schepers?
Loyalists and War of 1812: Alexander McCormick and Son William
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Glenn Dafoe, UE
Last Post: John Chrysler Martin, UE
      + Pieter Fosyuer (1728-1790) in the American Revolution
      + Directions to Iroquois Point Cemetery
      + Burnside House in Brockville
      + Researcher in Bertie Township area, Niagara


Loyalist Racism: Case Studies, by Stephen Davidson

When the loyalists settled in New Brunswick, a number of them brought African slaves with them. Tragically, these blacks were kept in bondage for decades. One need only look in New Brunswick’s early probate records to see case studies of loyalist racism. By 1835, a minimum of fifty Africans had been cited in the wills of the colony’s early settlers. Why? Because the black slaves were included among the possessions that loyalists bequeathed to their heirs.

Just two years after the loyalists arrived in Saint John, Benjamin Seaman, a New York refugee, drew up his will. His oldest son William inherited Seaman’s watch, cane, gun, sword, and his “negro boy”, Will. The third Seaman son, John, received a bond and an African named Tom.

In the following year, the Rev. John Sayre, an Anglican minister, died in a small St. John River community. As he distributed the few possessions he had saved after fleeing rebel persecution in Connecticut, Sayre noted that his “servant Rosanna {was} to be freed”. The fact that he came to New Brunswick with a slave might raise an eyebrow today –given that he was a clergyman– but it did not disturb the consciences of his congregation – or that of another Anglican vicar.

The Rev. James Scovil settled in Kingston, New Brunswick, immigrating there from Connecticut in 1788 with his large family and four slaves. When Trinity Church –the oldest Anglican Church in the colony– was built, it included a pew against the sanctuary’s back wall for the vicar’s Africans. Every Sunday, loyalist parishioners would see these slaves sitting apart from the congregation, reinforcing the idea that slavery was acceptable and that Africans were an inferior people.

The Rev. John Beardsley, a New York Anglican minister, also brought four slaves with his family, Africans who had “always been in the family”. One can only imagine how the example of their clergyman allowed loyalists to justify slavery and the subjugation of Africans.

As he contemplated his will, James Scovil began to show a change of heart; he followed Sayre’s example and made arrangements to emancipate his two “servant boys, Robert and Sampson”. However, the two Africans would have to wait five years for Scovil to die for his intentions to be made known — and Robert and Sampson would only be “set at liberty” after they reached the age of 26, “provided they do faithfully discharge the duty of servants until that period”. Scovil could hardly be called a champion of the abolition of slavery.

When he died in 1787, John McGibbon of St. George, New Brunswick owned seven slaves. In his will, the loyalist parcelled out his possessions to his children, parents, and uncles. His father in Scotland was to receive a yearly payment from his uncle who managed McGibbon’s property in Jamaica. That was where his slaves Perth, Pollidor, George, Tom, Jamnica, Dick and Cudjae were hired out. When McGibbon’s debts were paid, the uncle was to sell all seven blacks to provide dowry funds for the loyalist’s sisters Peggy and Ann. How many other marriages were enriched at the expense of slave labour?

In the following year, a Massachusetts loyalist named Nathaniel Dickinson died in Westfield, New Brunswick. He had killed a rebel at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was considered “absolutely trustworthy” by New Hampshire’s last loyalist governor, John Wentworth. When Dickinson stood before the compensation hearings in Halifax in 1786, he claimed the loss of land and livestock as well as an African slave who was valued at £60. What he failed to mention was that he managed to bring three slaves to New Brunswick on the Bridgewater, Africans who ranged in age from four to 38 years old. At his death, Dickinson willed his wife all the money that he received from the compensation board as well as “all my servants” whom he valued at £45 each.

Richard Hewlett, a loyalist from New York, died six years after arriving in New Brunswick. His six page inventory of possessions included “one Negro boy” valued at £25.

Ten years after settling in Saint John, John Cock left his wife Abigail his entire estate “including my negro wench Jemima”. If Abigail remarried, Cock wanted his son John to own Jemima.

Three years later, Samuel Hallett gave his widow a chest of drawers, a large mirror, all of his pictures, and “a Negro woman called Phillis”. He, too, had been a slave-owner before the Revolution, claiming an African man worth £100 at his 1786 compensation hearing.

Forteen years later, Charles Harrison died in Sheffield, New Brunswick. After willing his house and barn to his nephew, he bequeathed “my old servant Negro” (worth £10) to a friend.

The first mayor of the Saint John, “the Loyalist City”, was Gabriel Ludlow of Long Island, New York. Upon his death, his wife Ann was given possession of “all household furniture, plate, books, apparel, bedding, linen, and servants”. As in so many other wills, the Ludlow preferred to describe his enslaved Africans as merely “servants”.

Jacob Ellegood claimed the loss of five slaves when he appeared before the loyalist compensation board in 1784. He valued each at about £80. When he settled in York County, New Brunswick, the Virginia loyalist still had at least eight African slaves. His 1801 will made sure that all of this human “property” was distributed amongst his family. Ellegood gave his son John “my mulatto wench Pleasant and her 3 children, James, Sally, and William”. His granddaughter Rebecca could have her choice of any African slave girl who was not over 12 years old. His son Jacob received land and “my negro boy John”; Samuel inherited “my negro boy Irvin”. Ellegood’s oldest son, William, received the balance of the family’s slaves “except one wench called Betty”.

Other loyalist slave-owners included George Harding, Benjamin Woolsey, John Hume, Hester Frink, and Gabriel DeVeber. While this quick overview of wills readily shows the dark depths of loyalist racism, there were a few rays of hope hidden in the probate records. In 1816, the will of the loyalist widow Sarah Cory freed her slave Dorothy “with all her children”. Euphemia Harris willed 50 acres to her servant Silve; Thomas Miles granted his “servant” Mary Stratton £10. The will of James Peters set out the conditions for the freeing of “my negro man Len” and “my negro wench Caro”. William Wanton had freed Buck years before his death; his will included a gift of $100.00 for his former slave.

But such generosity on the part of New Brunswick loyalists was “too little, too late”. These African slaves had already lost the best years of their lives working without compensation. To learn of loyalists who stood apart from their generation and spoke out against slavery, see next week’s article in Loyalist Trails.

Author’s note: It is troubling to think that one’s ancestors might have been slave owners. To my knowledge, the 14 couples that make up my known loyalist ancestors did not own any Africans in either the rebelling colonies or New Brunswick. Interestingly, two of these couples and their families did attend Kingston’s Anglican Church mentioned in the previous article. Given that one of those ancestors was a vestryman (an elder in the church), it is extremely unlikely that he spoke out against his vicar’s enslavement of Africans or condemned the fact that the blacks in their own pew apart from the white congregation. My ancestors were members of a racist society; I can only conclude that they also discriminated against those with an African heritage.

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

Granting of Lands to Loyalists: Sixth Document, by Ed Kipp

During my research, I have come across a number of files and documents relating to the granting of lands to Loyalists in the Province of Quebec (includes present day Quebec and Ontario).

The sixth one is titled: “Circular Letter from Henry Motz, Quebec to Land Boards etc. concerning distribution of lands

Documents relating to the granting of lands to Loyalists in the Province of Quebec (includes present day Quebec and Ontario).

Transcriber: Edward Kipp, January 2011

Source: Library and Archives Canada

RG1 L4 Vol. 3 LAC mf C-14026. PP. 280-287. Land Board Minutes and Records.

Read “Circular Letter from Henry Motz, Quebec to Land Boards etc. concerning distribution of lands” dated at Quebec 19th January 1790.

…Ed Kipp

Resource: Loyalist Claims

For those of you who use Ancestry have you noticed that there is now available Loyalist Claims 1776 – 1835 taken from Original data: American Loyalist Claims, 1776–1835. AO 12–13. The National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew, Surrey, England.

I found some information that I hadn’t found anywhere else regarding the claims for Lt John Young. Having said that I was disappointed in the information for Christian Warner, although the claim was there the original claim document was missing.

…Linda Young, UE, Toronto Branch

Where in the World?

Where is Albert Schepers?

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.

Loyalists and the War of 1812

Thanks to those who have contributed to the slowly growing index of Loyalists and the War of 1812.

We have added a new entry for Alexander McCormick and Son William thanks to Brittany Begay.

If you have a family ancestry which qualifies (see the heading of the page with entries), please submit to loyalist.trails@uelac.org. Our rich history continues to emerge through these family histories.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
– Secord, Stephen – from Susan Leitch
– Dickenson, Nathaniel — from Stephen Davidson

Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for instructions and guidance.

Last Post: Glenn Dafoe, UE

Peacefully at the Ottawa Hospital General Campus on Sunday July 28, 2013 age 83 years. Glenn Dafoe of Ingleside. Past D.D.G.M. of Eastern District and past master of Lost Villages Masonic Lodge No. 256. Husband to Audrey (Rutley) Dafoe. Father of Stephen Dafoe of Athens. Predeceased by one son David, one daughter Janice Elizabeth and one grandson Robbie. Also by his parents Frank and Ellen (Stacey) Dafoe and one brother Keith Dafoe. Survived by several nieces and nephews.

Visitation and Masonic Service were held at Brownlee Funeral Home and Service at Trinity United Church, interment at St. Lawrence Valley Cemetery. Memorial donations to the Winchester District Memorial Hospital. Online condolences at www.brownleefuneralhomes.com. (Cornwall Standard Freeholder)

Glenn joined St. Lawrence Branch, approved 1 Feb 1985 under ancestor Conrad Dafoe

…Lynne Cook, UE, St. Lawrence Branch

Last Post: John Chrysler Martin, UE

Passed away suddenly on July 24, 2013 at the age of 78 in Surrey, BC. He is survived by his wife Kristine and two sons Tom and John Jr. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. John was a big fan of motor car racing. He volunteered for Champ Car and worked races all over the world for many years. In recent years he and his dog (Rusty) regularly attended races at both Deming and Skagit speedways. Join us to raise a toast to celebrate his life at the Royal Canadian Legion (Cloverdale) located at 17567-57th Avenue, Surrey, B.C. V3S 1G8 on August 23 from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. Dress will be casual; must be 19 years and over. (Vancouver Sun and/or The Province August 1, 2013)

John was a member of the Vancouver Branch UELAC. John received another “UE” certificate on 21 July 2013 at the 2nd Annual Celebrations of BC Loyalist Day – he passed away only three days later. The following is the description by Vancouver Branch Genealogist, Linda Nygard UE for the presentation to John.

John Martin UE, the younger and John Martin UE, the elder for Loyalist Chronamus Crysler… Also known at Philip Crysler and Heironymous Crysler.

John and John don’t use Jr. and Sr. so it gets a bit confusing because not only are they both John Martins, they are also both John Chrysler Martins.

This was an interesting application as the Cryslers were are very large and well know Loyalist family that settled in the area of Williamsburgh Township, Dundas County, Ontario. Chronamus Philip Crysler was with the Kings Royal Regiment of New York, commanded by Sir John Johnson. Later Chronomus served with Butler’s Rangers.

On the 11th of November 1813 a famous battle was fought on the Chrysler land – The Battle of Chrysler’s Farm.

These two applications were interesting in more than one way. John (the Elder) would never be mistaken for a “techie” — have never quite figured out just how extensive his computer skills are. Maybe non-existent — or he has me fooled? John likes golfing in warm climates so it was often difficult to find him and I am not sure he knows how to open – or reply to – his email.

Early this year, John (the elder) got serious about his application and also the application of his son. Because the family was so well known, and with the help of research done by a family member – A Portrait of the Chrysler Family by Dwight M. Turner UE – these applications came together quite quickly. Also, I understand that John’s wife Kristine was behind much of the early work on these two applications.

Congratulations John Chrysler Martin and John C. Martin

Linda Nygard UE, Vancouver Branch Genealogist 21 July 2013 at BC Loyalist Day Celebrations, Queen’s Park, New Westminster, British Columbia

…Carl Stymiest UE, Vancouver Branch


Pieter Fosyuer (1728-1790) in the American Revolution

Did Pieter Fosyuer [Peter Forshee], 1728-1790, join a regiment or fight in the American Revolution? He was born in New Jersey and came to Upper Canada in 1788 with his children. He received a Land Grant Aug. 24th 1790 in Kingston. In all the research I have it does not mention him ever joining a regiment or fighting in the Revolution. Information greatly appreciated.

Karen Borden, UE

Directions to Iroquois Point Cemetery

I am planning a brief trip to Morrisburg, Williamsburg, Dixon’s Corners etc. in Dundas County, Ontario. I have located most of the Cemeteries my ancestors were buried in.

I am a direct descendant of Col. Henry Merkley UEL 1756 1836, and Lieut. Henry Hare abt. 1745 – 1779.

I need directions or an address for Iroquois Point Cemetery, located in or near Iroquois.

Here is a link referring to the cemetery. Thanks in advance for any assistance, and by the way, Allentown is opening a new hockey rink very soon.

Tom Raub

Burnside House in Brockville

I am trying to find out more information about Burnside House in Brockville, although it is actually located in Augusta twp, on Hy2, just East of Brockville.

I am doing some research on Mrs Edward Copleston. She published a little booklet in 1861 in England called Canada: Why We Live in It, and why We Like It. It is available on Archives.org.

The booklet describes settling in a house on the St.Lawrence River from the Fall of 1857 to about 1860, for about 2 1/2 years. The Copleston leased 100 acres from the owner. Mrs Copleston describes the house, but she does not give its name or where exactly it is located. It took quite a bit of research to find out they had lived in Brockville, and specifically in Burnside.

The Copleston later moved to Belleville, where they appeared on the 1861 census, but of course, the house in Belleville is NOT on the St.Lawrence but on the Bay of Quinte.

Does anyone have anything about Burnside House. It is still standing, is used as a B&B and it is for sale right now. I would be interested in knowing both who built it originally, and who was the owner in 1857 when the Copleston lived in it. She talks about the cost of renting etc in her booklet.

Starting in 1859 or 1860, James Hargraves of the Hudson Bay Co retired there and his daughter was married in it and he later died in it, but I don’t know whether he bought the house or simply rented it.

…Guylaine Petrin g.petrin@sympatico.ca

Researcher in Bertie Township area, Niagara

I am looking for a genealogy researcher to find some additional documents for me in the Bertie, Niagara area. These are land grant documents on record from the late 1700s, a few of which I have already. The researcher who found previous ones for me can not get back to the Niagara area. Thanks in advance.

Will Mullins