“Loyalist Trails” 2014-28: July 13, 2014

In this issue:
A Loyalist’s Psychoanalysis of Connecticut’s Rebels, by Stephen Davidson
Loyalist Philip Huffman and His Descendants (Part Four)
Loyalist Commanding British Forces: Burning the White House & Plattsburgh
Quilting as a Form of Art: Part Two
Where in the World are Jo Ann Tuskin UE, and Nancy Conn UE?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Response re Tamson Park
      + Roles of Thomas and Guy Carleton
      + Peter Christie Sr. Family
      + Family of Peter Francis Leroy


A Loyalist’s Psychoanalysis of Connecticut’s Rebels, by Stephen Davidson

The loyalists of the American Revolution were flabbergasted by the actions of their patriot neighbours. What could possibly cause the colonial subjects of His Majesty to rise up against their benefactor and seek independence? And even more confounding – why would these rebels turn on their own neighbours, plundering and persecuting them in the name of liberty?

Prior to the American Revolution, the Rev. Samuel Peters had ministered to a number of Church of England congregations in Connecticut. This colony was severely divided between loyalists and patriots. Following the Continental Congress’ declaration that thirteen of the North American colonies were now independent of Great Britain, Peters was witness to a wave of savage persecutions; Americans had seemingly been given free rein to imprison or assault other Americans. This was especially true in the treatment of Connecticut’s Anglican clergymen.

In trying to make sense of Connecticut’s rebellion, Peters wrote a history of the colony to explain the origins of its revolution against the crown and persecution of its loyalists. As an illustration of the “madness of the Sober Dissenters” (the non-Anglican Christians of Connecticut), Peters told the story of Newtown’s Rev. John Beach, a minister who continued to pray for George III.

“This faithful disciple disregarded the congressional mandate, and, praying for the King as usual, they pulled him out of his desk, put a rope about his neck, and drew him across the {Housatonic} River at the tail of a boat, to cool his loyal zeal, as they called it; after which the old confessor was permitted to depart, though not without prohibition to pray longer for the King.

But his loyal zeal was insuperable. He went to church and prayed again for the King, upon which the Sober Dissenters seized him, and resolved upon cutting out his tongue; when the heroic veteran said: “If my blood must be shed, let it not be done in the house of God.” The pious mob then dragged him out of the church, laid his neck upon a block, and swore they would cut off his head, and insolently cried out: “Now, you old devil, “say your last prayer!” He prayed thus: “God bless King George, and forgive all his and my enemies.”

At this unexpected and exalted display of Christian patience and charity the mob so far relented as to discharge him, and never molest him afterwards for adhering to the liturgy of the Church of England and his ordination oath; but they relaxed not their severities towards the other clergymen, because, they said, younger consciences are more flexible.”

Peters described how over half a dozen Connecticut Anglican ministers were “cruelly dragged through mire and dirt”, and how two were tried for high treason for having given “victuals and blankets to loyalists flying from the rage of drunken mobs”. What could have caused such “popular frenzy” in Connecticut? Peters anonymously published A General History of Connecticut in England in 1781 in an attempt to answer this question.

Peters’ history was a “psycho-analysis” of his colony. Using the best psychoanalytic techniques (more than a century before they were formulated by Sigmund Freud), the Anglican minister put Connecticut on the psychiatrist’s couch. When did it first begin to hate its mother? Thomas was convinced that Connecticut’s violent treatment of loyalists and rebelliousness – like the psychoses of troubled adults – were rooted in its formative years.

Connecticut was, after all, the product of a “broken home”. Initially settled by the Dutch, English Puritans subsequently overwhelmed the colony in 1633. Three years later, Thomas Hooker, established a second Connecticut colony in Hartford. Two years after this, a third colony formed around the town of New Haven. This was done without the sanction of the British government; the Connecticut colonies were essentially independent states that had seceded from Massachusetts. No wonder Peters could see an early propensity for independence among the Puritan settlers. A royal charter finally united the three colonies in Connecticut in 1662, but both Hartford and New Haven would be the colony’s seats of government until after the American Revolution.

Besides its fractured constitutional history and government, Peters noted that the early laws of the Puritan founders had also planted the seeds for Connecticut’s revolutionary psychosis. In other words, the heritage of Puritan laws – its collective “child-rearing” techniques – contributed to the self-righteousness of the patriots and their subsequent hash treatment of loyalists. In the initial statutes formulated in 1655 to govern Connecticut, Peters saw how the Puritans had codified what made a good citizen. Anyone who fell outside of that definition was subject to punishments ranging from fines to seizure of land and execution.

Given this “childhood”, no wonder Connecticut’s rebels could justify their rebellion and persecutions. Drenched in a Puritan worldview, the patriots saw themselves as God’s chosen people and felt justified in being the instruments of divine justice for those who strayed from the straight and narrow – the loyalists.

However, Samuel Peters had not abandoned hope for his troubled colony. His General History of Connecticut was written in 1781. The rebel victory at Battle of Yorktown had yet to be won. The loyalists in the south still might tip the scales of the revolution and the rebelling teenagers –er – thirteen colonies might still be reconciled with their parent –er – Great Britain. He had analysed the conditions that had led to the revolution, would anyone consider his arguments?

Unfortunately, A General History of Connecticut did not have a large readership in Great Britain. The English had a tendency to ignore the insights and expertise of loyal Americans. In Connecticut, the book was so despised that it was publicly burned, and was banned from publication within the state. The truthfulness of its contents would continue to be a matter of debate right up into the 1870s with descendants of Peters and Connecticut’s Governor Trumbull taking opposing views.

The book was controversial, not because of errors in its historical chronology, but because it held up to ridicule the Puritan statutes of 1655 – the so-called Blue Laws. While some historians say that Peters invented these laws for his book – and that they were never printed – others maintained that “that there were laws at that time equally repugnant, though clothed in more subtile phraseology, but pointing to the same result, and that these laws were rigidly enforced.” In 1872, Prof. DeVere, a University of Virginia faculty member, said that Connecticut’s blue laws were “confirmed without a doubt”.

What was all the fuss about? See next week’s Loyalist Trails for a glimpse at the blue laws that shaped the tone of the revolution in Connecticut and that provided the rationale for persecuting its loyalists.

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

Loyalist Philip Huffman and His Descendants (Part Four)

Philip Huffman (b. 1754) had six children, many of whom also had several children, some who lived long lives. His great-granddaughter Elizabeth Jane was born to George Huffman and Hester Johnson (Johnston) in Fredericksburgh. Elizabeth had the advantage of being a middle child. Throughout her life, she was well-versed on the give and take of sibling relationships and exercised exceptional social skills, and she was well-schooled in the home arts by her mother.

When Elizabeth was about 20 she met her future husband George Alexander Baptie when she was living with her family near the Trent Severn waterway. George and Elizabeth became engaged that same year. He cut a dashing figure with his dark suits and chevron style moustache, and Elizabeth had up-swept hair and wore freshly pressed Victorian style dresses. They made a handsome couple. After a reasonably long courtship, they married in 1888. Then Elizabeth was introduced to a comfortable family life in his village. Elizabeth, or Libby as she liked to be called by friends, enjoyed their spacious home and had close friends. Early photographs show her proudly holding her babies; they had 10.

The Bapties first came to Ontario in 1828, from Roxburghshire Scotland. There were a number of Baptie cousins and brothers in the early Ontario days who were builders. Not unlike most early Loyalist families, the Baptie’s have a rich history behind them and were inclined to marry into families with European ancestry dating as far back as the last of the Crusades. For the newly arrived Bapties in the 12th century, it was the time of the Davidian Revolution.

George Alexander’s mother Mary Barrie was from a well-to-do family and his father Peter was a builder who worked on several undertakings with Thomas Gordon in Lakefield. According to his children, George was a canoe-builder. Peter and George co-owned a planing and saw mill until 1892 and built several homes on Regent Street. They were known to the Sam Strickland’s family and were connected to them through business ventures, and the railroad – through Sandford Fleming.

The men made several trips through Alberta before they considered settling there. As builders, they had connections to many areas across the country. Peter sent a custom made prefab home in sections to Calgary in the summer of 1886 when there were just over 100 homes. Both George and Peter oversaw the cutting of the lumber at their planing/sawmill, and it was shipped by CPR freight. In 1892 George, his brother William and father Peter took a working trip by train through the NWT (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) where they had an opportunity to scout for business. They were building barns, and dance halls along the way, but the NWT’s were as yet largely undeveloped, so they didn’t stay.

In 1897 the Baptie brothers passed through Alberta on their way to the Klondike, with their groups of workers. George and William went there with some of the Stricklands and they were heavily relied on for just about everything, which included bringing up shipments without benefit of rail or road travel. George Baptie and his brother William were essential financial backers of the expedition, and oversaw the construction projects of cabins, boats, and shelters. The expedition was sponsored by Charles Tupper’s company Klondyke Mining, Trading and Transport Corporation (KMT&T Corp.). Transportation Director was former Minister of the Interior (NWT), and Lt. Governor of B.C., Sir Edgar Dewdney, who tried to get in roads and rail for everyone.

With the men gone for a time, Libby was quite busy with their children. She was the mainstay of their lives and did the lion’s share of managing the home. According to people in the village, Libby was a skilled mediator who enjoyed being around her children. Libby kept the lines of communication open to maintain business connections for her returning husband. She also had time for hobbies – her glorious peonies too, and tried to fill her pantry with things from the garden.

After several long winter months of subjugating the elements, eg. ascending the Chilkoot Pass, dog-sledding, exploring/building, and managing the groups of men – it was time for George and William to leave. They were delayed when a boat carrying NWMP and government inspectors overturned, and William gave them a boat, in return for provisions for the duration. They had to build another boat to leave, which, given Yukon winter conditions – was a major undertaking.

When they returned to the Lakefield area, they continued building in the town of Peterborough as well the county, where the J.D. Baptie mill was situated. As co-directors of Lakefield Canoes they rebuilt the factory when it burnt down in 1910. The new brick building survived, but their time there was coming to a close.

In 1912, George and William came out West to prepare a place for their families to live. They built homes for prominent citizens in the Elbow Park and the CPR division of Mount Royal areas in Calgary. Since that effort was successful, they decided to move their families out with them within the year. By 1913 they had packed up everything plus the children and moved by CPR to the city. They came out for better opportunities for their large family reaching adulthood and the first home they lived in was a brand new 2 story house in the centre of town.

As the children grew up and moved away, Elizabeth stayed at home and worked on her quilts. In 1915, the oldest daughter Flora Maude graduated at the top of the class at the General Hospital nursing school, and Flora was a pioneer nurse too. First born son Clarence Raymond and younger brother Frederick Huffman both served in WWI, and returned safely. Elizabeth attended the nearby Rosedale United Church with her family, and in 1948, Elizabeth Jane and George Alexander celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. In 2013 the 1921 Canadian census was released, and Elizabeth Jane claimed Irish there as her ethnic origin, a nod to her family’s Methodist history and Hoffman ancestry in County Limerick.

Loyalist Philip Huffman’s legacy lives on. His descendants have come a long way since a time of uncertainty in New York state with unscrupulous landowners waiting to land tenants, and opposing the British, to a country that doesn’t question the Loyalist’s right to ownership, monarchical ties, and life free from Patriots.

…Leigh Best UE, Bay of Quinte Branch

Loyalist Commanding British Forces: Burning the White House & Plattsburgh

A life member of Toronto Branch UELAC since 1984 is an ardent re-enactor. Major David G. Moore, UE, Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry (1809-1816) and King’s Royal Regiment of New York (1776-1784) carries his loyalist military heritage proudly, right into the field of action. Although he will participate in many historical scenes this year, he notes two particular events in which he will be commanding the British forces

Burning the White House

“On August 23-24, I will be commanding the British forces in Washington for the bicentenary of the burning of the White House. Yup, a definite ‘gold medal event’ for the Crown. At present we are crafting authentic torches for the big day” reports David. “One of the members of the unit (Fencibles) is (by family tradition) a descendant of Admiral Cockburn, one of the key commanders in the burning of Washington.”

Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Week

David adds that he will also be commanding the British forces at this re-enactment – a ‘silver medal commemoration,’ September, 11-14, 2014 – information at www.champlain1812.com; see also press release.

The Battle of Plattsburgh, also known as the Battle of Lake Champlain, ended the final invasion of the northern states during the War of 1812. Join the Adirondack Coast as we commemorate the Bicentennial of General Alexander Macomb’s and Master Commandant Thomas MacDonough’s unlikely defeat of the British army on September 11, 1814. The week’s series of events commemorate Plattsburgh’s military history, industry, culture and arts providing visitors a unique look at the War of 1812. Enjoy re-enactments on land and water, old fashioned parade, craft demonstrations, fife and drum performances, concerts and lectures.

Congratulations David – lay it on them!

Quilting as a Form of Art: Part Two

The search for contacts and anecdotes relating to the quilts created by our Loyalist ancestors continues. In reference to Part One, Lisa Binkley wrote to tell us that the Bath Bicentennial Quilt mentioned earlier is part of the collection of the Agnes Etherington Centre at Queen’s University. She also indicated that they have another unique quilt that reflects the United Empire Loyalist heritage.

Designed by Carol Lee Riley, “Loyalists Settle in Ontario 1784” was created by the Storrington Retirees Association of Storrington Township, Ontario and donated to the Art Centre in 1988. Measuring 224x181cm, the quilt was embroidered and appliquéd to celebrate the Ontario Bicentennial of 1984. Lisa has provided more details and an image here. The central panel includes an illustrated map of the eastern end of Lake Ontario with the Cataraqui and Napanee Rivers, Prince Edward County, Simcoe Island and part of the mainland as well as images of early Loyalist heritage.

Access to other imaginative creations by UELAC members definitely would have increased the number of pages in Loyally Yours – 100 Years of The UELAC (PDF).

…Public Relations

Where in the World?

Where are Governor Simcoe Branch members Jo Ann Tuskin and Nancy Conn?

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.

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:
– Ansley Sr., Amos – by volunteer Sandra McNamara
– Diamond, John (Fredericksburgh) – by Jack Diamond, with certificate application
– Harrison, Christopher – by volunteer Guylaine Petrin
– Malcolm, Finlay – from Patricia Brown (volunteer Linda McClelland)

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


Response re Tamson Park

Gavin Watt’s most recent book, “Loyalist Refugees, non-military refugees in Quebec,” has included the family of Nathan Parks among hundreds of others.

The Machiche provision list of August 1779 has 3 Nathan Parks’ children, 1 male over 10 and 2 girls, one over 10 & one under 10 then the October 1779 list with only 2 children, one male over 10 and only one girl under 10.

It’s easy to believe that the missing girl was Tamson who, according to Martin Middaugh was his wife Tamson, daughter of Nathan Parks UE and had died without having received any land as DUE.

Other documentation lists Mary Hough as Martin’s wife as early as 1783 having then given birth to 11 children. In 1809 she had petitioned for land as daughter of a UE and Martin had petitioned for land of his wife Tamson Parks, deceast, daughter of Nathan Parks UE.

Don Maxwell

Roles of Thomas and Guy Carleton

Lawrence Hill in The Book of Negroes writes that Thomas carried out the listing of Negroes and saw to their transport in 219 ships. On the Internet I find that Guy Carlton ordered the listing of the Negroes.

Question: Which one – Sir Guy or Thomas – ordered the listing and which one carried out the transport?

Sir Guy Carleton as Lord Dorchester decreed the Loyalist Proclamation(PDF) which provided free land for both sons and daughters of the Loyalists, and also created the designation UE. From this eventually in 1792 sprang the Executive List, the recording of the Loyalist land grants in Upper Canada (now Ontario).

I am thus curious whether Sir Guy was responsible for both lists and the transport.

Doris Ann Lemon

Peter Christie Sr. Family

I have been trying to research my mother’s family (Christie) for many years but I hit a brick wall. Only recently I wondered if perhaps they were loyalists who went to Canada during or after the American Revolution.

My g-g-grandfather Peter Christie was born in Canada (1802) and came to New York State in the late 1830’s with 5 children and his wife Jane Ferguson. Jane died shortly after and Peter remarried, to Lucinda Gardner and they had 10 children. It is from this family I am descended.

Peter’s father (also Peter) was a native of Quebec and married Lucinda (unknown). They had several children. Peter (elder) died on Amherst Island, Ontario. This is all I know prior to Peter (younger).

A bit of a flyer, but is it possible that Peter (elder) was a son of John Christie, Sr.? I have read that John was reunited with his wife and younger children after a 3 year separation. I understand he had 3 older sons John, Abijah and Simeon.

More seriously, if anyone has information about the Peter Christie family and their origins, or can point me to best places to research, it would be greatly appreciated.

Neil Fuller

Family of Peter Francis Leroy

I am interested in my family history and a possible Loyalist connection. My 3rd great grandfather is Peter Francis Leroy who was born in 1826 in either upper New York or St. Ann, Quebec. He died in 1880 in Clarksburg, Ontario. His obituary states that he was named after his grandfather, PETER FRANCIS LEROY (capitals are being used to differentiate between the two), who was a United Empire Loyalist from Vermont “who was granted land from the crown on the river Ottawa” in Quebec. The obituary continues stating the LeRoy family had been in Acadia for a time.

My 3rd great grandfathers parents are allegedly Peter/Pierre LeRoy and Mary Brush. I have no information on them except that Peter/Pierre died about 1840 in Quebec. Mary seems to have disappeared. Peter had a brother named John Brush Leroy born 1831 and died in 1915. Peter/Pierre and my 3rd great grandfather were in the lumber business. Later my 3rd great grandfather ran a stage coach between Clarksburg and Thornbury, Ontario, as well as running a hotel.

I’ve looked for years on different lists to see if PETER FRANCIS LEROY was listed on any list of U.E. Loyalists, but without success. I can’t locate him in Vermont either.

I have found a few land grants given to a Peter Francis Leroy in Canada. One is listed in 1817. It is hard to read and I don’t know of sure if this is the correct PETER FRANCIS LEROY. This is what I have uncovered:

At Library and Archives Canada I looked under land grants and petitions. In Lower Canada there are 4 Peter Leroy’s and 3 Pierre Leroy’s. Under Peter Leroy there are 4 item numbers:

1) 51733 lists a Peter Leroy on page 15. He is filing for land in the town of Chatham. He has 6 family members and is asking for lot 20.

2) 51734 has no image available.

3) 51735 Lists a Peter F. Leroy. This is hard to read and is dated December 26, 1810.

4) 51736 Lists a Peter F. Leroy. Also hard to read. It’s dated November 12, 1810 and it talks about lands on the river Bou…. in the Bay of …abur. Could be Chabur or Flabur maybe? I haven’t looked up any rivers or bays yet.

Under Pierre Leroy there are three entries.

1) 51737 has no image available.

2) 51738 lists a Pierre Leroy on page 4. It mentions his participation in the Blockade of Quebec in 1775-1776.

3) 51739 has no image available.

Petitions for Upper Canada there are 3 land requests, two for Peter F. Leroy and one for Jacob Leroy. No images are available for any. For Peter F. Leroy:

1) The first one lists the place as-Longueuil, year 1818, volume 287, bundle L11, petition 38, reference RG 1 L3, and microfilm C-2126.

2) The second listing lists the place as-Clarence, year 1840, volume 296A, bundle L 22 petition 66, reference RG 1 L3, and microfilm C-2132.

3) The 3rd person listed for an Upper Canada land grant is a Jacob Leroy and he is requesting land in the year 1850 in Clarence. I find this interesting as my 3rd great grandfather, his wife, and brother John Brush Leroy are living with a Jacob and Alameda Leroy. I don’t recall what community at the moment and will have to check.

If anyone has any information about the Leroy family that might help me, or suggestions about further research, it would be most appreciated.

Cathy Gray