“Loyalist Trails” 2014-25: June 22, 2014

In this issue:
“Unpacking” a Loyalist Auction Notice: Part 1, by Stephen Davidson
Loyalist Philip Huffman and His Descendants (Part One)
Loyalist Architecture Follows The Family
It’s A Wrap: A Centennial Celebration, 1914-2014
Where in the World is Doug Grant?
The War of 1812 and Loyalist Edward Hazel UEL
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Styles and Textiles of Loyalist Quilts


“Unpacking” a Loyalist Auction Notice: Part 1, by Stephen Davidson

Behind every classified ad in the newspaper there is a story. Someone is moving; an object has been lost; a former friend seeks reconciliation. The same is true of an auction advertisement found in the February 17, 1779 edition of a New Jersey newspaper. Published in the midst of the American Revolution, the notice alerts the public that the property of local loyalists will be auctioned off to support the rebel cause.

“WHEREAS inquisition has been found, and final County, judgment entered in favour of the State, against {17 listed names} —Notice is hereby given, that the houses and lands, and leases for life, and all the real estate that did belong to any or all of them, will be sold at public venue on Tuesday the 30th day of March next, at the house of Capt. Jacob Arnold, in Morris-Town, to begin at 10 of the clock, A. M., on said day, and to continue from day to day by adjournments, till the whole are sold; and as some of the lands are not yet surveyed, they cannot be so particularly described, but there will be the draughts shewn on the day of sale, and if there should be any persons from a distance inclining to purchase, and are unacquainted with the premises, by applying to one of the Commissioners they will be shewn, or informed, and deeds will be made out as soon as possible after the sales are over, as the act of the Assembly directs, and the purchasers must pay the money at the signing of the deeds, for the use of this State.”

As the family and friends of the seventeen loyalists listed in the notice read the newspaper, they were no doubt shocked and saddened by all that the men stood to lose. Local rebels would be happy to see that the “traitors” in their midst were being punished and looked forward to what bargains they might enjoy at the auction. Besides notifying the public of a buying opportunity, the ad also served as a warning to other New Jersey loyalists. Failure to support the rebel cause could have dire consequences. Which leaves the reader of the 21st century wondering: What did happen to these seventeen loyalists who lost their worldly goods at the auction?

For six of the loyalists listed in the notice, there are no passenger lists, compensation transcripts, or written records to flesh out their biographies. The only evidence of their allegiance to the crown is the notice in the newspaper of 1779. They are: John Bowlsby, Joseph Conliff, Jacob Demarest, Isaac Hornbook, William Howard, and John Steward. All we know of two men, Richard Bowlsby and John Thornton, is that they are “proven” loyalist ancestors in the files of the UELAC. This leaves us with nine men whose property was auctioned off in Morristown on the morning of March 30, 1799. Let’s see what is known of these loyalists (and their lives after the revolution) by “unpacking” the auction notice.

Asher Dunham was a native of New Jersey who had fought as a volunteer in the 80th Regiment during the Seven Years war. In the 13 intervening years of peace, he acquired a 60-acre farm on which he built a house, sawmill and barn, and planted an orchard. In the December following the Declaration of Independence, Dunham once again joined the Royal Army, giving intelligence reports on patriot activity. A month later, he raised a company of loyalists for the New Jersey Volunteers and was assigned to guard Bennett’s Neck.

When a rebel force overwhelmed the loyalists in February of 1777, they made Dunham their prisoner and marched him “in irons” to Philadelphia. For the next year, he “experienced insult, mortification and distress in great degree” – due in part to the fact that he had to go into hundreds of pounds of debt to buy his food in jail.

Thanks to a prisoner exchange, Dunham returned to New Jersey. Unable to “procure the least restitution, relief or redress”, the loyalist became a common labourer in the barrack department cutting wood for fuel. Adding insult to injury, New Jersey declared him guilty of high treason, confiscated his property, and sold it. In December of 1779, Dunham was made a lieutenant in the New Jersey Volunteers and once again began to receive an income. By 1786, the man who lost everything in a rebel auction was living with other loyalist refugees in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. In 1801, Dunham drew up his will when he and his wife Susannah Pike were living outside of Montreal. Within the next three years, Dunham returned to New Jersey, dying in Perth Amboy, 34 miles south of his former Morristown farm.

John Troup was another who had his property seized and auctioned off in Morristown. Although most of his family members were patriots, Troup was so committed to the crown that he became a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers in February of 1777. Six months later, rebels captured Troup on his second recruiting mission into New Jersey, prompting a long letter from William Livingston to George Washington. Troup claimed that he was in the colony for the sole purpose of “paying a private visit to Mrs. Troup”. Livingston, however, considered him “a dangerous man in the character of a recruiter”. He hoped that Washington would not release Troup in a prisoner exchange. Patriots in the area were “so greatly exasperated against him that his being treated with Lenity will have a very unhappy Effect upon their future military Exertions.”

In the end, the rebels took Troup to George Washington. While he was held prisoner, the local patriots who captured him beat Troup savagely, shackled him in a pigpen, and made him march in his bare feet. After being put through a mock execution, Troup managed to flee his captors. When the loyalist newspaper in New York City published the horrific details of Troup’s treatment, Washington admitted that the loyalist had been “marched backwards and forward till he was naked and almost eaten up with Filth and Vermin.” Two years later, Troup’s irate rebel neighbours auctioned off his confiscated lands.

In 1781, during the Battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina, Troup was seriously wounded and died. His wife Esther left New Jersey with other loyalist refugees two years later, settling in New Brunswick where she married George Ross.

See next week’s Loyalist Trails for the story of the remaining seven men who lost their property in a 1779 patriot auction.

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

Loyalist Philip Huffman and His Descendants (Part One)

Philip Huffman (Hoffman) was born in 1754 and lived in his youth on a farm in New York State. Philip came to Canada with a group of Loyalists when he was in his twenties; it was no longer safe to stay there on the family farms if they had aligned themselves with the British during the American Revolution. Many of the Loyalists joined regiments when they arrived in Quebec; it was a time of real excitement. There were recruiters all over the area. Philip was picked for the King’s Royal Regiment of New York.

Hoffman ancestry

After the 30 Years War (1618-1648) and the battle for Protestantism, Hoffmans were peppered throughout areas as diverse as Swedish Estonia, Prague, Holland, and throughout the Holy Roman Empire. According to the Pennsylvania Dutch Society and several other sources, the Hoffmans were a noble family in the 16th and 17th centuries. That perception fits the meaning of the surname Hoffman as ‘man of the court’. Baron Hoffman supplied Kepler with some of his astronomical instruments at Queen Anne’s Palace in Prague.

After several generations, some second sons left Europe. A few Hoffmans stayed in Ireland after emigrating from England, one or two married into the Blennerhassett family, and some went to America.

Many important records were destroyed or lost in the Counter-Reformation, the fires in Ireland in 1922, and the American Revolution; however we know about them a bit from nobility records and family history books.

King’s Royal Regiment of New York (KRRNY)

The KRRNY was an infantry group and unique like the other Loyalist regiments which existed for Britain’s defense during the period of the American Revolution. The men fought under the British, with an American commander, staged in what was then Quebec, and thrashed the Patriots in New York. They went by several names that are scattered throughout the literature: King’s Royal Yorkers, Sir John’s Greens, Royal Greens, Sir John Johnson’s Royal Yorkers, Sir John Johnson’s.

Two battalions were raised, and Philip Huffman was one of the Huffmans who served in the King’s Royal Regiment of New York in the 2nd Battalion during the American Revolution. The 2nd Battalion was raised in 21 July 1780, after the first raid on the Mohawk Valley and disbanded in 1784. From 1778-1782 there were campaigns Into the New York Valleys. The Regiment sent parties on raids into the Mohawk. These raids were chiefly launched from Lake Champlain passageway or Oswego, and consisted of a reign of terror on the New York State farms.

In the beginning, Philip and his fellow soldiers were poorly equipped for warfare. Nevertheless, Sir John Johnson did not have a rag tag army, unlike some of the Patriots. The uniforms of the infantry resembled the one worn by officer Jeremy French on public display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, said to be the earliest definable military uniform in Canada in existence. Philip cut a fine figure in it too, with his tricorn hat, breeches, red waistcoat; and trusty fire-lock.

In October of 1780, Sir John asked that the men of the 2nd who were at Coteau-du-Lac in Quebec be issued with decent firearms to replace their muskets. The muskets were replaced by guns attached with bayonets which better supported their war effort. They received them in time for the second raid into the Mohawk Valley, the Battle of Klock’s Field in October. It was a raid in to the Schoharie Valley led by Sir John Johnson which was characterized by hard-fought pitched battles. They fought in close quarters, face to face with settlers who fought with anything from guns to farm implements. Nine men were killed, 2 wounded, and 52 were missing. Then there was Munro’s raid. Munro identified the notorious Green Mountain Boys pretending to reconcile with the British, as ones to be on the lookout for.

The 2nd Battalion went on campaign in the Mohawk Valley in 1781; rebuilt the post at Oswego (Fort Ontario) which was in British hands in 1782. In 1783 the 2nd battalion rebuilt Fort Frontenac, the old French post at Cataraqui. Much of their time was spent at the essential task of building fortifications, a fitting occupation for what was then unknown to the soldiers– the start of a new nation.

The Loyalists won the battle for New York, but it was all signed away at The Treaty of Paris of 1783 and left no opportunity for Loyalists to return at all. The Loyalists were supposed to be compensated for their losses by the United States government, but this compensation was never paid. Instead, the British government offered land grants in Canada to the refugees who had fled their homes during the War. In June of 1784 the 2nd Battalion was disbanded and Philip settled in Lennox and Addington County. In the fall of 1784 some 4,000 persons were established in the townships.

By 1788, the authorities had given the numbered townships and settlements names that honoured the Royal family. Sophiasburg, Williamsburg, and Fredericksburgh, for example, commemorated some of King George III’s children, while Charlottenburg was named after the Queen. In that same year, the government divided the western part of the old province of Quebec into four districts. These districts, from east to west, were Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nassau and Hesse. The names reflected the origins of King George III, from the House of Hanover, who had dynastic connections to all four areas then, and which paid tribute to the large Protestant element among the Loyalists. According to Gavin Watt’s revised edition of Cruikshank’s ‘The History and Master Roll of the KRRNY’, Philip settled in CT3 (Cataraqui Township, North Fredericksburgh).

The King’s Royal Regiment not only helped in the first beginnings of Upper Canada, it shaped the lives of the men and their families, influenced who their neighbours were, and indirectly because of proximity, who their children married, even for generations. Because of their participation in the KRRNY, every one of their children was eligible to become a property owner. It was all encompassing for the participating families and were the ties that created a strong sense of stability and cohesiveness in their fledgling communities in Upper Canada.

Established in 1975, the re-enactment King’s Royal Yorkers in Ontario prides itself on its accurate portrayal of their soldiers, is the largest and most active living history unit in Canada today.

…Leigh Best UE, Bay of Quinte

Loyalist Architecture Follows The Family

After reading the latest edition of Loyalist Trails and the results of the survey, I thought that this might be of interest. A few years ago, my husband and I had occasion to visit Shelburne, Nova Scotia and stayed in a tourist house where the owner rented the second floor to travellers. At the time I was not aware that I had a loyalist ancestor (Thomas Wager) but the stairway in this house was very similar to the stairway in a house owned by my Mother’s first cousin, Howard Wager, who lived in the Magnetewan/Ahmic Harbour area of Ontario. He had built this house when he married. I don’t where he got the plans but there were so many similarities to this house in Shelburne NS — perhaps it was word of mouth from his Father (James Wager). The Wager family had come to the Magnetewan area from Hinchinbrooke, Lennox and Addingtion, in Southern Ontario. After inquiries I had learned that this house in Shelburne NS had been floated from the United States with one of the waves of Loyalists fleeing into Nova Scotia. I wish now that I had asked more questions and learned who had originally owned this house that had been floated to it’s present location in Shelburne NS.

…Brenda McLennan

It’s A Wrap: A Centennial Celebration, 1914-2014

It was quite a celebration! The atmosphere, the friendliness, the enthusiasm, and the number of UE’s who attended from Great Britain, the USA, the west coast right across to the east coast of Canada made it a great weekend to end the first 100 years and to kick start the next 100 years!

The Welcome Reception on Thursday featured Peter C. Newman who spoke about his upcoming book on the Loyalists. We are looking forward with interest to reading it. Loyally Yours was officially launched by Fred Hayward. He and his committee have done a superb job documenting our history. We had the opportunity to welcome old and new friends.

The lecture series on Friday was a fascinating day. The wealth of information that was shared by the speakers (Jane MacNamara, Marian Press, Stewart Boden, Leslie Anderson and Todd Braisted) has left us with a summer full of research to do!

Those who discovered Mississauga’s Loyalist Past on the bus tour thoroughly enjoyed the tour led by Matthew Wilkinson of Heritage Mississauga. The photo stop at Lotten, the Cawthra-Elliott home revealed that Betsey Davidson was one of the little girls sitting in the front row of the original picture!

Diners at Burwash Hall enjoyed a delicious meal and were well entertained by Muddy York.

Saturday morning’s AGM was followed by the Council meeting. Liz Adair was the lucky winner of the lovely crystal sculpture donated by the Smith Falconer Group, Wood Gundy, CIBC.

We were surprised by the number of people who signed up for the walking tour of historic York. They had a lovely day to explore the old city with Richard Fiennes-Clinton of Muddy York Walking Tours.

A photograph was taken of the 10 Dominion Past Presidents who were in attendance for the Centennial Celebration Gala. It was so nice to see them all together. After dinner we were well entertained by a concert performance of Augusta Cecconi-Bates’ Molly of the Mohawks.

At the finale — the service of celebration at the Chapel of St.Alban the Martyr RSGC — Jonathan Lofft spoke about E.M. Chadwick who played a prominent role in the early days of the UELAC and in the building of St.Albans. Fr. Tim Elliott led the service with readings by Doug Grant and Bonnie Schepers. Shirley Dargatz did a fine job of the sermon. The boys choir under the leadership of Doug Jamieson added a wonderful musical touch.

Thanks go out to the members of the conference committee: Linda Young, our registrar; Trish Groom, Andrew Fleming, Diane Reid, Mary Alford, Susan Ellsworth and our honorary member Debra Spence who helped all weekend! Also thanks to Ken Henderson, Alex Lawrence, Chris Moffitt, Donna Denison and all who rallied to the call for help. We appreciated every one’s support. Working together, we laid the groundwork for you to make it a success.

…Martha Hemphill UE, Conference Chair, Toronto Branch

Where in the World?

Where is Doug Grant?

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.

The War of 1812 and Loyalist Edward Hazel UEL

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 Edward Hazel thanks to Debra Honor, UE.

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


Styles and Textiles of Loyalist Quilts

Now that summer is here and it is time to air the quilts prior to putting them away, it is also time to solicit information on Loyalist quilts once again. Lisa Binkley of the Art History Department at Queen’s University in Kingston is conducting research on early Loyalist quilts. She is looking for any information that our readers might have about quilt making or the textiles used to make quilts as the American Revolution refugees migrated north. While she understands that the women were allotted linen to make clothing and supplies for the home, she also wonders if anyone would share information about this part of their ancestors’ migration and (re)settlement experience.

Back in 2008 when the question was first raised, we did have the suggestions of several book titles for reference. The first recommendation was a book called 300 years of Canada’s Quilts by Mary Conroy and published by Griffin House in 1976 ( ISBN 0 88760 077 8). Chapter 7 dealt with Loyalist quilts but patterns were more traditional in that they were variations of Log Cabin or Court House Steps. There were comments as to the different kinds of design relating to the colony, the ethnic background and the access to materials. Other than the pieced quilt and appliqué quilt, there was the reference to quilted design on the “linsey-woolsey” quilt. Another suggested book entitled The Pieced Quilt, A North American Design Tradition by Jonathan Holstein, McClelland and Stewart Ltd, 1973 was more limited with the focus more on the 19th and 20th Century quilts. There were a few images of New England quilts c 1785-90.

Faye White of Nova Scotia recommended Nova Scotia Patchwork Patterns by Carter Houck as it had lots of basic old patterns; also, Quilts and Other Bed Coverings in the Canadian Tradition by Ruth McKendry. Faye also commented that the Loyalist quilts “would be a) those that were brought from the US when they arrived and b ) those made after they arrived. Since most loyalists were not compensated totally and actually lost resources and funds by moving to Canada I would expect those made after they arrived were rather humble and home dyed.”

Earlier in 2005, Nadine Bolton of the New Brunswick helped catalogue and prepare a quilt collection for the museum. There were over 300 quilts, 30 quilting related items and “scads of blocks. ” “We processed one quilt from 1810-1820. It is one of the oldest and the most expensive, more than $10,000.”

The above information has already been sent to Ms. Binkley. She is willing to share all information that she uncovers about this topic for our resources. What can you add?

…Contact education@uelac.org