“Loyalist Trails” 2014-03: January 19, 2014

In this issue:
The Disappointed Loyalist (Part 2), by Stephen Davidson
Capt. George Bennison, Loyalist of St. John (Part 2)
2014 Annual UELAC Conference: Friday Bus Tour
Help Restore the Third Concession Cemetery, “Caldwell Manor” in Noyan
International Baccalaureate Spreading the Loyalist Story
Another Loyalist Commemorative Stamp Discovered
Loyalist Gazette: Digital Version of Spring 2013 Issue Now Available
Protests About Meyers Loyalist Land
Where in the World?
The War of 1812 and Loyalist Adam Young and son Daniel
Commemorating the Battle of Plattsburg, 11 Sept 1814
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Family of Nathaniel Harriman


The Disappointed Loyalist (Part 2), by Stephen Davidson

After years of house arrest, Joshua Chandler and his family finally fled New Haven, Connecticut in 1779, finding refuge with other loyalists on New York’s Long Island. The records of the day are quiet concerning how the loyalist spent his three years within the British lines. One contemporary reference to the former businessman and politician describes him as a colonel, so he must have been “a loyalist who bore arms” with the British forces for the remainder of the revolution. As the war drew to an end, the Chandler family had come to the sad realization that they could never return to Connecticut. In the autumn of 1782, Joshua Chandler accepted an appointment as Agent for the Settlers in Nova Scotia for the loyalist refugees of Long Island’s Queens County.

A year later, the Chandlers were in New York City, waiting for an evacuation ship to take them to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Joshua, Sarah and their adult children were overcome with homesickness. The loyalist family ached to once again travel to New Haven “to have bid adieu to that Delightful Spot, and to all my friends; but the Winds, but more the Feelings of my own Mind and the Visible feelings of the Family forbid it.”

In October 1783, the Chandlers left New York with the refugees who made up the fall fleet of loyalists. They sailed for Annapolis Royal, a community across the Bay of Fundy from Parrtown (Saint John).

Despite having seen action in the revolution and receiving a position of responsibility during the loyalist evacuation, Chandler eventually came to regret having remained faithful to the crown. In a letter he would later write to his old friend, Rev. Chancey, he revealed his disappointments with all that his allegiance to the crown had cost his family. In the end, the burdens of Chandler’s loyalty had been too much for him to bear. Homesickness gnawed at him.

“In the hour of the Contest I thought, and even yet think my Country wrong; but I never wished its ruin. I wish her to support a dignified character — that can be done only by great and dignified actions, one of which is a sacred and punctual adherence to public faith and Virtue.”

The two week voyage to Annapolis Royal was not a good one; it was the eastern seaboard’s hurricane season. High winds and waves washed all of the Chandlers’ stock and possessions off the decks of their ship. Sarah Chandler was “overcome with the Passage. She languished, mourned and Died in about 3 weeks after Landing.”

Chandler received an 1800-acre grant of land in Digby (at the mouth of the Annapolis River basin) as well as 300 acres in Clements, a settlement ten miles up the Annapolis River. Although he had just lost his wife, Chandler had little time to mourn. More immediate concerns weighed upon him. His extended family included his adult sons William, Charles, Thomas and Samuel, and his two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary. Once he was satisfied that his children were secure in Clements for the rest of the winter, Chandler set sail for England.

Spurred on by the loss of his wife and all his worldly goods, the New Haven lawyer hoped to receive financial compensation for his costly loyalty to the crown. On February 8, 1784 he arrived in England. When he wrote to his friend Chancey in Connecticut, he described the country as “this Great Sink of Pollution, Corruption and Venality.”

Joshua Chandler was overwhelmed: “….This Kingdom, without a miracle in its favor, must soon be Lost; you can have no idea of their Corruption, of their Debauchery and Luxury; their Pride; their Riches; their Luxury has Ruined them… I like not the Country, either their manners or even their Soil.”

Because of his loyalty to the crown, Chandler had lost his beloved wife, a sizable estate, and any prospect of a comfortable life. He felt he had wasted his life for a false cause. Chandler wrote: “My own prospects in Life are all Dashed, my only care is now for my Children; the Idea of a Compensation is but very faint. It is probable I may Have about £400 sterling per annum.”

“My only effort now is to procure that Sum to be Settled on my two Daughters and my youngest Son for Life; my Son William Stands some Chance for a Separate Support for his Life. I find my Health on a Visible Decline; …. Thus this unhappy Controversy has Ruined Thousands; the Sacrificing {of} the Prospects of my Family for life is not the only thing that fills my mind with distress…..but let us all bear up under all our losses and separation with a becoming fortitude. My own time, and the time of my dear friend, is Short, very Short, in this world. My first and last prayers will be to meet where no Political disputes can Ever Separate from near and dear friends…” Bitterly disappointed, Chandler received no compensation during his time in England; he returned empty-handed to his children in Annapolis Royal. Three years later, a board of British commissioners travelled to the major loyalist settlements of British North America –including Saint John, New Brunswick– to hear claims for compensations. Since Saint John was just across the Bay of Fundy, Chandler decided to sail there to seek redress rather than making the longer voyage to the Halifax hearings.

He collected up all of the documentation to prove the loss of his £30,000 Connecticut estate and boarded the schooner Patty. Accompanying Chandler on the voyage to Saint John were his 29 year-old son, William and his 27 year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

It was to be their last sea journey together.

The final chapter in the life of Joshua Chandler, the disappointed loyalist, will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Capt. George Bennison, Loyalist of St. John (Part 2 of 4), by 4th great grandson Victor L. Bennison

Perhaps on his October, 1783, voyage back to New York, Capt. George Bennison acquired a ship. At any rate, within a little more than a year of arriving in New Brunswick with the June fleet, he had command of a ship. On December 4, 1784, the sloop Mary, 30 tons burthen (elsewhere noted as 40 tons), was registered with the Customs House, Port of St. John, master George Bennison, and owners George Bennison and Thomas Rogers. For the next eight or nine years George Bennison captained merchant ships plying the waters between New York City and St. John. We have a few details. From the New Brunswick Gazette:

– 23 JUL 1785: Arrivals: Sloop Mary, Bennison, New York.

– 12 OCT 1787: This morning sailed for New York the Ranger packet, Capt. Bennison, with fifty-one passengers on board.

– 23 NOV 1787: Last Sunday arrived the sloop Ranger, Capt. Bennison, in 14 days from New York, and has brought papers to the 27th ult. Their European intelligence, however, is not so late as we have already received from Halifax and nothing material has transpired on the American Continent since our last accounts.

– 28 SEP 1792: Tuesday the schooner Bell, Capt. Bennison, in nine days from New York – passengers – Capt. Cameron, Miss Hallett and Mr. Moore and family. Same time the Sloop Prudence, Capt. Beck in twelve days from the same place.

During this successful period, he fathered three more children, all born in St. John: Mary Bennison, born after John but married in 1799 so probably born 1784; George Samuel Bennison, born April 2, 1786; and Edward Bennison, born in 1788. Capt. George Bennison was one of the 48 members of the Mason’s Hiram Lodge along with several of the men who had arrived with him on the Tartar. He also seems to have dabbled in land speculation; from abstracts of petitions at New Brunswick Museum: “Kings County, 1785, #215, Memorial of George Bennison, Loyalist, asks for 200 acres, west of Long Reach (Kingston).” In 1786, he leased lot #11 in Lancaster, now part of St. John, the purpose of this lease being unknown. Also, in 1783 a group of 49 Quakers had obtained land in Charlotte County, called Pennsfield. In 1787 George Bennison is added to the list and apparently granted a parcel. We have no evidence of what, if anything, he did with these parcels of land. As a sailor, he would not have moved away from the port city. There is also no reason to assume he was ever a Quaker.

After many years of success as a sea captain and respected citizen of Saint John, something went wrong. On April 27, 1792, a motion was entered with the Supreme Court for “Security for Costs” of a plaintiff, Peter Hall, “from another province” in a case against defendant George Bennison to recover costs should the case go against the Mr. Hall or if he redraws his claim. In a letter of April 30, Isaac Bonnell says George Bennison owes him more then Bonnell can afford to forfeit and he will not sign a license to keep George Bennison free because he fears he will sell all his goods and leave the country. Probably at about the same time (though the document appears undated) Margaret Marsh executrix of the estate of Thomas Rogers, co-owner with George of the sloop Mary, claims George Bennison owes her 649 pounds in New York currency from a promissory note in her possession. At that time, George Bennison was still free and plying his trade. But apparently his creditors won their cases. For less than five months after his return voyage in September of that year, George Bennison was in debtor’s prison. On February 19,1793, through his attorney E. Hardy, he issued a petition to the House of Assembly of the Province of New Brunswick: “The humble petition of George Bennison an insolvent Debtor now a prisoner in the Gaol of the County of York. That your petitioner is indebted to divers persons in different sums of money which by unavoidable accidents and misfortunes he is become utterly unable to pay. That about the month of May last your petitioner applyed to his creditors for a letter of licence which most of them were willing to sign except a Mr. Isaac Bonnell who had commenced an action at law agt. your petitioner on which he has obtained judgment on which action your petitioner is at present confined having surrendered himself in discharge of his Bail. That your petitioner has a Wife and four Children to whose support he is unable in any shape to contribute whilst in confinement being by profession a Mariner and should he remain in his present situation they must suffer greatly. That your petitioner is willing and desirous of surrendering up to his creditors the whole of his property could he obtain either a letter of licence or a discharge for his debts. That being unable to obtain either a letter of licence or a discharge. Your petitioner humbly prays the compassionate interference of this House and that they would be graciously pleased to pass an act for his relief under such conditions as this honorable House in their Wisdom shall think meet.” Nothing has been found so far to indicate that the assembly took action on his behalf. [to be continued next week]

…Victor Bennison

2014 Annual UELAC Conference: Friday Bus Tour

The UELAC Centennial Celebration will be hosted by Toronto Branch at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, Toronto on June 5-8, 2014, See conference details.

Friday is going to be a great day, whatever event you choose to attend!

First off, Global Genealogy will be set up outside the Rosetti Room at the hotel for the day with an excellent selection of Loyalist/American Revolutionary War material. They also have many early Ontario, Quebec and Maritimes titles that are relevant to UEL settlement, and to the period of the UEL sons and daughters, for purchase. Visit their website. Pre-order and pick up your purchase at their table!

Option One: bus tour to discover Mississauga’s Loyalist Past. We will be visiting:

The Bradley Museum where the Bradley House now stands. It is believed to be the only surviving residence of the original families of Merigold’s Point. Lewis Bradley UE received a Crown Land Grant in 1810 and constructed a log cabin. He and his wife Elizabeth (nee Merigold) constructed this house c1830. The Museum site also features The Anchorage home of retired British Naval Commander John Skynner. Lots of history here!

Benares Historic House with more than 160 years of history, this lovely Georgian style home is filled top to bottom with the original family possessions. You might know Benares from the sixteen novels of Mazo de la Roche based on the trials and tribulations of the fictional Whiteoaks family of Jalna. Is Benares Jalna?

Springcreek Cemetery contains memorials recording pioneers born in 1756 and may be the oldest cemetery in Peel County. These stones reveal in a vivid way how the earliest families intermarried to form a community and in time the arrival of newcomers.

A tour through old Meadowvale Village, Ontario’s first Heritage Conservation District. It is one of Ontario’s few surviving communities that capture the physical charm of the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Meadowvale predates Confederation by almost half a century. What a history for us to learn about!

We’ll have lunch at Franklins in Meadowvale.

St.John’s Anglican Church and Dixie Union Cemetery has roots that go back to 1813 soon after Lord Simcoe decided to open a military road between York and Hamilton.

Photo op at the Cawthra-Elliott Estate, “Lotten”. The historical value of this house lies in its association with the Cawthras, one of the most powerful and wealthiest families in nineteenth century York (present day Toronto). The estate was was built in 1926 for Grace Cawthra-Elliott and her husband, Col. Harry Cawthra-Elliott on a portion of the original 200-acre Crown grant offered to Joseph Cawthra in 1808, a Loyalist and Grace’s great grandfather.

We’ll be home in time to put your feet up before dinner!

…Martha Hemphill

Help Restore the Third Concession Cemetery, “Caldwell Manor” in Noyan

In the 2013-27 July 7 issue of Loyalist Trails, The Borders Regional Ministry: Historic Roots & Current Formation described the history and Anglican ministry of the area in the vicinity of Noyan Quebec, in part at least the Caldwell Manor.

A local group is mobilizing to restore the Loyalist cemetery in the area. Their note:

Third Concession Cemetery, “Caldwell Manor” – Noyan, QC

For nearly 200 years, the Third Concession Cemetery located on Route 225, 3.1 kilometres south of the present day St. Thomas Church and 2.9 kilometres north of the border faithfully served Noyan and surrounding communities. It was located in the hamlet called Miranda, a part of Caldwell Manor.

The Cemetery was opened about 1789. It is the burial site of many Loyalist families. Among the names are Bissell, Campbell, Derby, Derick, Emerick, Farrell, Filer, Griggs, MacCallum, Vosburgh, Vaughan and Young.

In 2010, this historic Cemetery was designated a “heritage site.” It has a new sign erected on it courtesy of Real Ryan and Rena Naylor. It holds over 100 headstones but as you can expect, many are showing severe signs of age. If you are in the vicinity, we invite you to pay even a brief visit.

The Cemetery is administered by St. Thomas Anglican Church, Noyan but the resources of the Cemetery are very slim. We are asking for your help. We need financial assistance to continue to maintain the property and to restore it where possible. Charitable tax receipts will be issued by St. Thomas for donations of $10 or more.

Cheques should be made payable to “Third Concession Cemetery” and mailed to the Treasurer: Rena Naylor, 595-2nd Concession, Noyan, QC J0J 1B0.

The Third Concession Cemetery is a valuable part of our heritage and we hope we can count on your aid to sustain it!

…Passed along by Mark Gallop

International Baccalaureate Spreading the Loyalist Story

I have just given permission for an excerpt from my novel The Way Lies North (Ronsdale Press, 2007) to be included in a workbook to be used by International Baccalaureate students, ages 11 – 12. The excerpt tells of the decision by the protagonist’s family to flee their home in the Mohawk Valley following the defeat of General Burgoyne’s army in the Battle of Saratoga. The excerpt is two pages long. It will be used to develop the students’ critical and research skills.

As well as being delighted to have my writing selected for this purpose, I am thrilled to know that the excerpt will be read by students worldwide. Hopefully, some of them will wish to read the whole book. Even if they don’t, they will at least learn something about the Loyalists that many of them would otherwise never know.

The workbook will be published in May 2014. Thirty thousand copies will be printed.

…Jean Rae Baxter UE, Hamilton Branch

[Jean’s presentations to some of the UELAC Branches about the research for her books has been enlightening to we, the loyalists and history buffs. Congratulations Jean on this accomplishment; we too applaud the educational introduction of the Loyalists to so many in the school-age group – Editor]

Another Loyalist Commemorative Stamp Discovered

For almost eighty years, the 1934 ten cent “United Empire Loyalist 1776-1784” stamp has stood as a key part of the branding of UELAC. Presently it is used as the cover for the UELAC Facebook page but if you ask the members of the Hamilton Branch UELAC, the image has represented the Association since 1929 when the monument was unveiled by Stanley Mills. While researching the first fifty years for the upcoming limited edition book on our history, Martha Hemphill discovered letters that referred to the request for this stamp.

However, did you know there was another stamp to commemorate the effects of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists? We are not talking about the 1984 stamp designed by Will Davies. In 1934 there was also a two-cent stamp released to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the province of New Brunswick by King George III in 1784. Details can now be found in the Monuments and Commemoratives folder of the Dominion website.

…Education and Outreach Committee

Loyalist Gazette: Digital; Version of Spring 2013 Issue Now Available

The Gazette has traditionally been printed and mailed through Canada Post to members and subscribers.

In 2013, a survey and an analysis considered the feasibility of distributing a digital (electronic) copy of the Gazette to those people who were willing to receive it that way. In January of 2014, to further test the possibility, a digital copy of a past issue has been developed and is being made openly available.

You can view the digital copy of the Spring 2013 issue, stored as a PDF. (By digital standards, it is not large at less than 8 MB so it is feasible to look at it on even slower speed access.)

Please try it out. As this is our first attempt, and as we are not familiar with all of the nuances, please tell us how it goes – any problems or issues with various types of devices (e-readers for example), or if it goes well. What were you pleased with; what would you like improved. We need your feedback so we can better assess whether this is suitable, or if changes are needed.

Please send your comments to me. Thanks.

…doug webmaster@uelac.org

Protests About Meyers Loyalist Land

In early October last year, Loyalist Trails contained an item Part of John Walden Meyers Loyalist Land Grant Goes to the Military which in turn linked to an article in Maclean’s magazine about the Canadian military wanting to take ownership of land owned by Frank Meyers, part of an original loyalist land grant.

The issue is still around and surfaced more strongly recently with this item from the Globe & Mail: Ontario farmer gets online reinforcements in feud with military over land grab and a follow-up photo “Flagging Support” the next day.

Where in the World?

Where are Skyler and Joshua?

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 Adam Young and son Daniel thanks to Margery Carriere and to Carl Carriere, UE, the 4th great grandson of Daniel Young.

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.

Commemorating the Battle of Plattsburg, 11 Sept 1814

The 200th anniversary commemoration in Plattsburgh will be a 15 day event stretching from 31 August through 15 September with new features . On Saturday, 13 September, 1PM, Parade Day, the 42nd Infantry Division (Rainbow) Band will participate for the first time. Another new feature is an original musical program written by Doctor Rich Frost; a special memorial program at Riverside on 11 Sept (the actual 200th anniversary date); a special morning ceremony will be held on Crab Island (in some records the island is known as Hospital Island due to the number of wounded from the battle); and an evening program will be held at Clinton Community College, which includes a recreated 1814 hospital, a Jazz band concert and fireworks set off on Crab Island and viewed from Clinton Community College.

With the idea in mind to honor all participants in the battle, dignitaries from Britain and Canada as well as the United States will be invited, in hope that all three countries will be represented as Grand Marshalls in the parade. A fund raising campaign has been launched to commission nationally renowned artist Dean Mosher to create the definitive mural of the Battle of Plattsburgh. In a matter of days the “Cantonment Site” will also be featured in a spring 2014 documentary by WCNY, Central New York’s Public Broadcasting Station. It is a documentary on the significance and preservation of the War of 1812 battlefields.

For more details about related events and the planning for the bicentennial commemoration, read this report.

…Bill Glidden, Deputy Town of Plattsburgh Historian

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:
– Hutchinson Sr., Marmaduke – from Ruth Anna (Hutchinson) Alsemgeest with certificate application
– Shipman Sr., Daniel – from Barry Gardiner

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


Family of Nathaniel Harriman

I am searching for information about Nathaniel Harriman and his descendants. He is the son of Moses and Jane [Hale] Harriman. He was born 24 Sep 1760 in Bradford, Essex County, MA, served as a Private in Capt Samuel Cook’s Co., Col. Woodridge’s Regiment from 17 Aug to 29 Nov 1777. He married Bethania Snow on 14 Mar 1781 in Hardwick, Worcester County, MA. In 1790, he was a resident of Rupert, Bennington County, VT. All these dates are supported by resource documentation. Nathaniel and Bethania had nine children – Martha Lyman (1782-1821), Clariman (1783-1855?), Nathaniel, Jr (~1785-1865), Elizabeth (1786-1863), Bethania (1788-1860), Abigail (~1790-1850), Diadamia (~1792-1797, Alanson (~1794-1855), and Dr. Luther (1796-1880). Some stayed in Canada some moved back to the United States. Diadamia disappeared on June 7, 1797, while the family was preparing to take a boat to Kingston, Ontario from their home near what is now called Cobourg. Her mother composed a poem, “The Lost Child”, about her.

I have searched the UELAC Loyalist list and there are no proven “Harrimans” (or any variation of the name). The only thing I have to support my belief that he was a Loyalist is an unsourced story from a contributor on Ancestry.com that reads as follows: “He became a Loyalist to England and he arrived in May 1797 with his wife, Bethania, and their nine children. He was granted 240 acres of land in the Town of Cobourg, Hamilton Twp., Ontario, Canada under the Quebec Bill.”

His daughter, Elizabeth, married William Isaac Pettit/Pettet 20 Mar 1804 in Vernonville, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada. I did find eleven Pettits listed, but no details to help me link William to any of them. Since he was born in Hempsted, Queens County, NY 10 May 1780 and died 8 Aug 1831 in Vernonville, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada, I am assuming he is the son of a Loyalist but I have NO proof of that either.

I would appreciate any assistance or direction. Thank you.

Linne Haddock