“Loyalist Trails” 2013-35: September 1, 2013
In this issue:
– Samuel Peters: Part Two, by Stephen Davidson
– Commentary on Loyalist Slavery Issues
– Granting of Lands to Loyalists: Eighth Document, by Ed Kipp
– Biographies of Tiles at St Alban the Martyr UEL Memorial Church
– Where in the World is Sandy McNamara?
– Loyalists and War of 1812: Elizabeth Hopkins
– Book: The Loyalist’s Wife
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Last Post: H. Gordon Smith, UE
+ Henry Bosch/Van Den Bosch & Wife Neltzen (Middaugh)
A patriot mob had given the Rev. Samuel Peters four days to decide where his loyalties lay – with the rebelling thirteen colonies or with the British crown. The Anglican minister fled Hebron, Connecticut and found sanctuary forty miles away in the home of a fellow minister in Newhaven, far from the mob that planned to execute him.
His servants and an unnamed friend had twenty loaded muskets ready to fend off any patriot assault. When a mob arrived at the house at ten in the evening, they threatened to break down the gate and “punish that tory Peters”. In a very unchristian response, Peters declared “so sure as you split the gate, I will blow your brains out and all that enter this yard tonight.”
The mob quickly dispersed, but within half an hour, another crowd appeared. Seeing Peters’ musket, the rebel leader advised his followers to “leave this episcopal tory”. They withdrew, but kept an eye on the Newhaven manse. After disguising themselves, Peters and his servant snuck out of the house and returned to Hebron. He boldly preached in his church that Sunday morning, fully aware that the rebels knew he was back in town.
Warned by a friend that he should not preach in the afternoon and that his house would be attacked at midnight, Peters ignored the advice. His tearful congregation escorted him home following the afternoon service, fearing they might never see him again. For the safety of his mother and his infant son, Peters decided not to stay in his house and subject them to further mob violence. After dark, he quietly snuck into his garden, crossed a field, and mounted a horse for Boston.
After staying there for a few weeks, Peters left for Portsmouth, New Hampshire where he would book passage on the Fox, a ship bound for England. John Wentworth, the loyalist governor of the colony, assured Peters of his safety in Portsmouth and asked him to preach. Within days of delivering his sermon, Peters discovered that John Hancock was offering a £200 reward for his capture because he would “do mischief wherever he goes, being a most bitter enemy to the rights and liberty of America”.
Five men from Boston rode into the city, vowing that they would pursue Peters to “Casco Bay or hell”. After following a false lead, the bounty hunters returned to Portsmouth, and posted a rebel guard on the Fox to prevent Peters’ escape. By this time, however, the loyalist clergyman was hiding in a cave near the seashore.
Two weeks later, General Gage sent a British war ship to Portsmouth in the night and delivered Peters to the Fox. When it was learned that there were rebels on board, the British captain ordered them to leave or he would throw them into the water. They complied, Peters boarded the Fox, and the warship escorted it to the Atlantic.
Within six weeks, Peters was on British soil. He met with the Archbishop of Canterbury and was given an audience with George III, on which occasion he kissed the king’s hand. Within two years, the loyalist clergyman was reunited with his daughter Hannah –a witness to the Battle of Bunker Hill. They settled in Pimlico, a suburb of London that became a neighbourhood for other loyalist refugees. Peter’s infant son William remained in Connecticut where his wife’s parents cared for him over the next fourteen years.
During his exile in England, Peters socialized with a number of refugees from the New England colonies. Among these was the Rev. Ebenezer Punderson, the first resident Anglican missionary for New Haven, Connecticut, the Rev. John Troutbeck, the assistant minister at Boston’s King’s Chapel, the Rev. John Wiswall, Portland, Maine’s first Anglican minister, and the Rev. Richard Clarke. The latter was remembered by fellow loyalist refugees for being speechless for seven years after he was held on a Boston prison ship.
But maintaining contact with the émigré loyalist population did not put bread on the table. In addition to the annual pension of £40 that he received from the crown, Peters also preached at the chapel in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The chapel was located in central London and was part of a campus of buildings dedicated to legal education. It is not known how long the Connecticut loyalist ministered at the chapel. When Samuel Curwen heard Peters speak on a Sunday in September 1780, he wrote in his diary that his fellow loyalist was “an indifferent speaker and composer. How he got there is hard to conceive.” (Ouch!) However, three months later the same diary notes that the loyalist minister was still “officially engaged” as preacher at the chapel.
Whatever Peters did, it seems, provoked very strong reactions. In 1781, describing himself only as “a Gentleman of the Province”, the loyalist minister published A General History of Connecticut. Besides familiarizing his English readers with a description and history of the colony, Peters also hoped to explain the causes for the American Revolution. Its frank treatment of Connecticut’s people led to the book being burned in the colony and banned from re-publication. The truthfulness of its contents continued to be a matter of debate right up into the 1870s with descendants of Peters and Connecticut’s Governor Trumbull taking opposing views.
In 1784, the Rev. Peters appeared before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists when it convened at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He was one of three witnesses who gave testimony on behalf of Edward Thorp, a loyalist from Stamford, Connecticut. One of the other witnesses was William Jarvis. Within a year this young man married Peters’ daughter, Hannah. The Jarvis couple lived with Peters, adding children to the minister’s household over the next five years.
In 1789, Peter’s son William was finally reunited with his father and half-sister. The fifteen year-old was promptly sent to school in Arras, France, but finished his education at Oxford in 1792.
Although they were far from familiar surroundings, these Connecticut loyalists seemed to be making new lives for themselves. Little did they know that in less than a dozen years they would be scattered across North America.
The final chapter in the life of Samuel Peters appears in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
I for one applaud Stephen for his essay, which let some light and air into the very stuffy Loyalist chambers.
I have read with interest the articles on the Loyalists and slavery. I offer the following as an insight from research conducted after I discovered to my surprise and some embarrassment that my Loyalist ancestor and 6x grandfather Daniel Smith, brought two slaves with him from New Milford Connecticut when he came to what is now Blissville, Sunbury County, New Brunswick in 1783. Out of ignorance I had assumed that slavery was limited to the southern colonies of what would become the United States and mine came from New England. That was not the case as is made clear in a footnote on pages 82 and 83 of Volume I of The Kelloggs in the Old World and New by Timothy Hopkins, published in 1891. Those are the pages which also contain information about Lydia Kellogg, wife of Theophilus Fitch, mother of Ruth Fitch who was the wife of Daniel Smith the Loyalist. The footnote is designed to provide further information about a provision in Samuel Kellogg’s (brother of Lydia) will mentioning “a Negro boy, Jonas, value £600, and a Negro boy, Nimrod, value £450”. The footnote reads as follows:
(*)”Slavery was, at that period, the universal practice of all Christian nations, and although the early planters came to New England to obtain and maintain liberty, and “bond slaverie, villinage” and other feudal servitudes were prohibited, their necessities made negro slavery appear as an effectual way to solve the labor question.
Emanuel Downing, a brother-in-law of Gov. Winthrop, wrote in 1645 that he thought it “synne in us having power in our hand to suffer them (the Indians) to mayntayne the worship of the devill,” and suggests the exchange of Indians for negroes; following this suggestion the Indian war-prisoners, who proved such dangerous house-servants, seemed a convenient, cheap and God-sent means of exchange for “Moores,” as they were called, who were far better servants.
We find even gentle Roger Williams (note by JJN: founder of the first Baptist Church in America in 1638 in Providence Rhode Island) asking for “one of the drove of Adam’s degenerate seed” as a slave. Lowell thus comments upon such ministrations:
“Let any housewife of our day who does not find the Keltic element in domestic life so refreshing as to Mr. Arnold in literature, imagine a household with one wild Pequot.” Those were serious times indeed when your cook might give warning by taking your scalp or chignon, as the case might be and making off with it into the woods.
In selling these Indian captives into slavery, the colonists were but following the example of other nations: for example, at the time of the English wars, numbers of Scots were brought to America and sold. At one time, in fact “Scots, Indians and Negroes” were not allowed to train in the militia in Massachusetts.
Slavery lingered in New England until after the revolutionary days, and it is said that its death blow was given in Worcester, Mass in 1783, when a citizen was tried for beating his negro servant and convicted, notwithstanding his plea that the black man was a slave. The Declaration of Independence and the abolition of slavery did not seem to better the aspect of the servant question.
The Providence Gazette published a notice in 1796 which opens thus (and sounds quite ‘up-to-date’): “Was mislaid or taken away by mistake, soon after the formation of the abolition society, from the servant girls of this town, all inclination to do any kind of work, and left in lieu thereof an independent appearance, a strong and continued thirst for high wages, a gossiping disposition for every sort of amusement, a leering and hankering after persons of the opposite sex, a desire of finery and fashions, a never ceasing trot after new places more advantageous for stealing with a number of contingent accomplishments that do not suit the wearers” – extracted from Earle’s Customs and Fashions in Old New England. The footnote on pages 82 and 83 of Volume I of The Kelloggs in the Old World and New, by Timothy Hopkins (1891), is accessible here.
My ancestor Daniel Smith and his family also brought with them two Negro slaves to whom he granted their freedom, but they stayed with the family and are buried in Blissville on the original homestead. Slavery was not abolished in Connecticut until after the American Revolution or in New Brunswick until 1833 with the British Act of Emancipation. “Those of the Loyalists who had been in affluent circumstances in the old colonies as a rule brought with them their colored servants or slaves. The majority in process of time received their freedom though many remained in the service of their former masters. In the muster of Loyalists living on the River St. John, made by order of Major General Campbell in 1784, four hundred and forty-one servants were included.” W.O. Raymond “The Negro in New Brunswick”, 1903. From same document “the sale of slaves continued for twenty-five years after the arrival of the Loyalists.” See also “THE LOYALISTS AND SLAVERY IN NEW BRUNSWICK” By I. ALLEN JACK, Q.C., D.C.L.1 ST. JOHN, N.B. (Communicated by Sir J. Bourinot, and read May 26, 1898. Also from “The Slave in Canada” by T. Watson Smith, D. D., Halifax, N. S., 1898: “The still-enslaved Negroes brought by the Loyalist owners to the Maritime Provinces in 1783-84 were classed as “servants” in some of the documents of the day”. ” At the time of the taking of the first general census in New Brunswick, in 1824, fourteen hundred and three people of color were enumerated, and of these the Rev. W. O. Raymond, M. A., of St. John, than whom I know no better authority on New Brunswick history remarks: “I think that the majority were at one time slaves or the children of slaves, and many of them lived or had lived in the families of their owners,” with whom they came to New Brunswick.”)
The fact that some Loyalists brought slaves with them doesn’t diminish the contribution they made to the development of British North America. But it is an aspect of Loyalist history that should not be swept under the carpet.
…John J. Noble, UE
I wish to compliment you on your response to the Loyalist slavery issue. People today are always quick to judge the views of those who lived in another time as “despicable” or some other pejorative term. We cannot apply the standards of today to earlier times or all cultures. People are so quick to apply pejorative terms to those who had been raised in different times with different norms and values. It would have been even worse in the Middle Ages and in ancient civilizations where the leaders of those times were perceived to be “civilized”. I myself descended from the Joseph Orser, loyalists of Kingston Ontario, who brought two slaves under the age of 12 from New York State on the transport, The Camel” to Sorel in 1783. I do not know when they were freed or what happened to them but they were listed as servants in the ship’s manifest. New Yorkers didn’t have to be elite to have slaves and as many as 15 – 20 per cent of New Yorkers owned slave from time to time according to Rutherford in his book, New York. Nevertheless, this provoked a good discussion and I thank you for your Loyalist Trails publication that allows us to share history and viewpoints.
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 eighth one is titled “Letter from Henry Motz to Land Boards concerning Indian purchases and cessions.”
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. 288-290 Land Board Minutes and Records.
Read “Letter from Henry Motz to Land Boards concerning Indian purchases and cessions” dated at Quebec 21st January 1790.
The website for St. Alban the Martyr UEL Memorial Church has been updated with a complete alphabetized list of the early settlers, many of them Loyalists, commemorated with encaustic tiles in the church. A biography corresponding to each tile is now online for the first time, and we hope some of this information may prove helpful to members researching Loyalist history and lineages.
Where is Sandy McNamara?
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 a new entry for Elizabeth Hopkins thanks to Judith Tomkins.
If you have a family ancestry which qualifies (see the heading of the page with entries), please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our rich history continues to emerge through these family histories.
First the cover attracts your eye and then you turn the book over to look at what is written on the back of the jacket. The words “Butler’s Rangers” would attract your attention, especially if one of your ancestors belonged to the company but since it is historical fiction, the description is more evocative of a great adventure. Take a look at what is on the back of The Loyalist’s Wife:
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.
It is possible that you have never heard of the author. Your read further. A native of Southern Ontario, Elaine taught high school and with her husband raised two children until she finally had time to pursue her writing career. She loves to research both family history and history in general for the stories of real people that emanate from the dusty pages. These days writing is Elaine’s pleasure and her obsession. Telling the stories of Loyalists caught in the American Revolutionary War is very natural as her personal roots are thoroughly enmeshed in that struggle, out of which arose both Canada and the United States.
If this is not enough to encourage you to read the book, then check for other recommendations. In the case of The Loyalist’s Wife you would be advised to read the interview by Matt L. Holmes . Did you know it was available for Kindle? Now are you interested?
- Revolutionary War ship built by Benedict Arnold found in Lake Champlain
At the Kingston General Hospital, on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, aged 76. Gordon, partner of John Robertson. Brother of Mary Ann Currie and husband Don. Uncle of Allyson Sills and David Currie and great-uncle of Jeffrey and Jennifer. Predeceased by his parents, Wilfrid and Elsie Smith, late of Napanee. In accordance with Gordon’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel of the JAMES REID FUNERAL HOME , 1900 John Counter Boulevard, Kingston, on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm, Rev. Nadene Grieve-Deslippe officiating. The family will receive friends during the reception in the James Reid Reception Centre, following the service. A private family inurnment at a later date. As expressions of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, contributions in Gordon’s memory may be made to the Kingston General Hospital, payable to: University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, 55 Rideau Street, Suite 4, Kingston, ON K7K 2Z8.
Gordon was a member of Kingston Branch. we became acquainted through our U.E.L. branch where we discovered that we shared the search for elusive Smith ancestors, due to the repetition of that common name. He was always cheerful and interesting to talk to. I always thought of him too when I was researching and saw the Hawley name to which he was also connected. Gordon shared the membership responsibilities for Kingston and District Branch. He will be deeply missed by his loyalist friends.
On May 21, 2008 a query was placed in Loyalist Trails about the ancestors of Wayne Daniels, Henry Bosch/Van Den Bosch and his wife Neltzen (Middaugh) whom he reported died at Machiche in 1778 leaving four orphan children. I have been extensively researching Machiche and have turned up a number of rolls of the refugees housed there, but not these ancestors. I am looking fpor the source of the information provided in the query.
In my study of Burgoyne’s loyalists I did not find a Henry Bosch/Van Den Bosch, or anyone with a misspelling who might be taken as your Henry. The majority of the 1778 refugees at Machiche had a regimental affiliation, so I’m wondering if you have information of how your Henry and Neltzen came to be in Quebec?
I have found Mary Medaugh/Middaugh (I believe Martin’s wife) who is repeatedly returned with four children, one male, three female. As the wife of a Royal Yorker (KRR NY), she was reported in these locations on these dates.
LACHINE, 24NOV80.(T50) PT. CLAIR, 24APR &24SEP81.(T52,T58) ISLE JESU, 24JAN82. (T59) ST. VINCENT’S, 24MAR83.(T61) ISLE JESU, 24JUL83(T62) & 24JAN84.(P16) MONTREAL AREA, 17SEP84.(P36)
Assuming that these four children are the aforementioned orphans, then it appears likely that Martin and Mary had no children of their own during those years.
Can anyone shed any more light on this situation? Any help appreciated.
…Gavin Watt, Hon. VP, UELAC