“Loyalist Trails” 2014-43: October 26, 2014

In this issue:
Anything But Jolly (Part 2 of 4), by Stephen Davidson
Comment About “UELAC: Where Do We Go From Here?”
UELAC Vancouver Branch Launches Project 2014 Book
The Loyalist Gazette: Paper and Digital
Book Review: Dangerous Guests
Region and Branch Bits – Rte. Gilbert Hyatt
Where in the World?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Response re Counting Generations


Anything But Jolly (Part 2 of 4), by Stephen Davidson

One would think that losing all one’s worldly goods, being imprisoned as a traitor, and suffering the loss of one’s wife would be sufficient calamities for one lifetime. And yet all of this happened to Jolley Allen, a Massachusetts merchant, within the span of one month. It was, unfortunately, only the beginning of this loyalist’s tragedy.

There was no time for Allen to mourn the loss of his wife. He needed to look after the welfare of his seven children, and to do that he had to receive permission from the rebels of Cape Cod to go to the Massachusetts General Court to plead his case. His property had been seized from the shipwrecked vessel that was supposed to have taken him to safety in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If he could not be compensated for it, he would have no means to support his orphaned children.

Leaving his children as “a pledge for his return”, Allen and his 17 year-old son, Jolley Jr., were allowed to travel to Watertown, Massachusetts – a journey of 120 miles – to seek justice. He had no way of knowing that he would not see Eleanor, Ann, Nathaniel, Sarah, a third son, and three year-old Charlotte for 84 days.

Allen and his son stopped in Boston, thinking they could stay in their home which they had locked up before fleeing for Halifax. To their shock, they discovered that the barber who had cut their hair for 14 years had moved into their house. The latter had the nerve to charge the two loyalists eight shillings to share one bed for two nights!

While in Boston, Allen was “insulted by almost every one”. The father and son disguised themselves “for fear of being murdered” and snuck out of the city at night. Arriving in Watertown just two hours after midnight, they felt it was best to sleep behind a hedge in a field. As soon as they went to the General Court, the local patriots were, in Allen’s words, “ready to tear us to pieces.” The father and son were forced to wait for two weeks before the court made a judgement on their case.

During this time, rebels threatened Allen with incarceration in the Castle prison, imprisonment in the Simsbury mines or forced agricultural labour in Bridwell – to be fed on only bread and water wherever his destination might be. More painful than the thought of being incarcerated was the talk of splitting up his “seven Tory children”, putting them fifty miles apart, and making them work as apprentices to “earn their daily bread”. But, Allen later wrote, “in all my troubles, I never would relinquish my King and country.”

The local rebels even threatened to hang all eight members of the Allen family from the same tree. “This was done for the purpose of tantalizing and tormenting me; it was running thorns into my sides hourly. . . so their joy increased . . . during which time I had delivered six memorials at different times.”

In these dark days there was one glimmer of hope. Jolley’s brother, Lewis Allen, just happened to rest his horse in Watertown while on a business trip. He had absolutely no knowledge of Jolley’s difficulties and was shocked to learn that his brother was before the courts. When the two were reunited, Jolley said ” I did not choose to trouble any of my friends, for fear of bringing them into as great troubles as myself.”

Lewis petitioned the court, saying that he would be willing to serve as the guardian for his brother’s children. He would also see to it that Jolley would neither leave Massachusetts nor correspond with any enemies of America. The court put Jolley under house arrest in his brother’s house in Shrewsbury. It also decided to grant Lewis enough money from the sale of the loyalist’s seized goods to enable him to support his brother’s seven children. Jolley was only allowed to keep four feather mattresses, bedding and the children’s wearing apparel from his “goods and effects”. The rest was to be auctioned off. As it turned out, the General Court utterly failed to honour its agreement with Lewis Allen. In Jolley’s words, “they never gave him one farthing” for the support of his children.

Lewis gave Jolley and his son money to hire a carriage to take them the 31 miles to Shrewsbury, but no one dared to do business with the loyalist for fear of being tarred and feathered. Jolley Allen’s own words best relate what happened next:

“When I got to Shrewsbury, I was in hopes the bitterness of my hard fate was over; but I soon found, to my inexpressible grief, I was much mistaken … for the people of Shrewsbury. . . expressed most horrid and cruel invectives against me, and threatened me most violently, and friends of government informed me so much of their behavior that I durst not venture out of the house, for my life was in imminent danger … On the 27th of June, about ten o’clock at night, I was going to my bed half undressed, my brother came up to me and knocked at the door, to let me know the house was going to be surrounded that night by a very great mob from different towns.

At which news I was quite composed, thinking I must resign my breath as well as my effects. My brother was greatly agitated, thinking he and his family must die along with me, and my poor mother, who was near ninety years of age. The terror was so great on her that I thought she would expire several times. . .We sat up the whole night, but the Shewsbury mob being disappointed by the other towns did not come, and we heard nothing further of them until the 8th of July, which was twelve days, expecting them the first four days that they was coming every minute on us; the family crying and lamenting day and night the greatest part of the time, saying they was ruined forever; and I preparing myself for death as well as I was able. The 8th of July, this mob sent word to Shrewsbury mob that the reason of they being disappointed was they could not collect themselves together, but of this night was determined to come and set fire to the house and destroy everything there was.”

Learn the fate of Jolley Allen and his children in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Comment About “UELAC: Where Do We Go From Here?”

I was very interested in the Article by Dave Laskey, UE, entitled “UELAC: Where Do We Go From Here?” which appeared in the September 7, 2014 issue of Loyalist Trails because it addressed a topic that I had been thinking about. Although many of the points raised in the Article seem to me to be valid and require attention, I also wondered if our Association is doing all it can in terms of our Mission Statement and Vision Statement which both appear on the Dominion website. I believe they are the basis of who we are and thus where we want to be going. Therefore, it may be also valid to consider them in any reassessment. They were both adopted over ten years ago, at the annual meeting in June, 2002. Is it time to revisit and reassess them?

My motivation in joining the Association was partly that I was encouraged by the wording of both Statements. They contain ideals that inspired me. For others though they may not. Perhaps the wording needs to be amended. I did not join simply for help in genealogy, although I do enjoy genealogy and assisting others. Prior to joining I had completed my research back to a Loyalist ancestor. I am happy to share it with others and encourage new members who are more focused on that area of interest but would not wish to limit the Association just to it.

A significant part of the Article addresses the weaknesses and possible improvements of our means of storage and retrieval of information concerning Loyalist ancestors. It is agreed improvements can be made; the only caveat would be that they be within our means and resources. Like Dave Laskey I would be willing to volunteer to help keep the records updated and help make them more open. However, unless we are to limit our focus to that of a genealogical association, it is submitted we should consider and review our Mission Statement and Vision Statement as we approach 2015. Are they still attainable and do they present the kind of public image that we want? Are we devoting enough resources to them?

We know that many members are interested in tracing their Loyalist roots and there are ways we can improve our data to assist. Our Vision Statement says in part that we work “to enrich the lives of Canadians through fostering public awareness of our national history, and, in particular, of the United Empire Loyalists and their contributions to Canada…” Should this then be front and center in everything we do? Is it now? What about the areas of our Mission Statement that refer to publishing Loyalist material, erecting Loyalist monuments, and increasing public awareness of Loyalist contributions. Should we not also look at how we are doing in these and ask how can we improve?

NOTE: For an expansion on his sentiments and perspective, read “UE” and Me.

…Respectfully submitted, Brian McConnell UE brianm564@gmail.com

UELAC Vancouver Branch Launches Project 2014 Book

At the Pacific Regional Centenary (1914-2014) Event held Sunday 05 October 2014 at the Centennial Lodge in Queen’s Park, New Westminster, BC, a three year vision of having a book compiled on the migration of loyalist descendants to the west was realized. The book completes the Branch’s 2014 projects:

  • A new branch pin
  • Moving Ever Westward: Loyalist Descendants in British Columbia

Editor and compiler Dr. Peter Moogk, UE, launched the book Moving Ever Westward: Loyalist Descendants Come to British Columbia at the Centenary event attended by Dominion President Bonnie Schepers, UE, and her husband, Albert Schepers, of the Bicentennial Branch in Ontario. The event also marked the Fall Fleet arrival of loyalist ancestors to Parrtown, Nova Scotia (now Saint John, New Brunswick) in 1783. Members and their guests attended from all four pacific regional branches, as well as two members of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch, Mr & Mrs Syme who were in attendance to see their son, Vancouver Branch member, Jeff Syme receive his UE certification.

During the book launch, Dr Moogk made a Special Presentation of two books to the Dominion President. One copy for her own personal use, and a second copy for the Dominion Library in Toronto, Ontario.

The Vancouver Branch is proud of its latest completion of its second 2014 project and thanked Dr Moogk for his guidance and expertise in completing this project.

…Carl Stymiest, UE

The Loyalist Gazette: Paper and Digital

The Fall 2014 issue of the Loyalist Gazette has gone to the printer. Probably sometime in the next two weeks it will be printed and then mailed by the printing house we use. The digital version should be available about the same times the hardcopy is mailed.

Those who are members as individuals or as families will receive a copy, as will those who have subscribed to it. Past issues can be purchased.

The Loyalist Gazette, 2013 issues Spring and Fall are available to all.

…Bob McBride, Editor, Loyalist Gazette

Book Review: Dangerous Guests

Dangerous Guests: Enemy Captives and Revolutionary Communities during the War for Independence, by Ken Miller (Cornell University Press, 2014; ISBN 978-0801450556)

A glance at the title gives the impression that this book is about prisoners of war – which would be fine, because there isn’t enough modern literature on that subject pertaining to the American Revolution. The focus of this new volume, however, is not on the prisoners, but on the impact of the prisoners on the community in which they were held. As such, it is a work with more than one dimension: it is a study of how the Continental Congress managed the challenge of handling prisoners of war, of how British prisoners responded to captivity in a land they’d considered a colony of their own nation, of how German prisoners reacted to incarceration in a foreign land populated by many of their own countrymen, and of how the local inhabitants dealt with the responsibilities and difficulties of holding these captives. Most important, it is the study of the evolution of a community during a conflict that was as divisive as it was unifying.

Read more at the Journal of the American Revolution.

Region and Branch Bits – Rte. Gilbert Hyatt

Invitation to the unveiling of the new road signs identifying Rte. 143, formerly designated “Rte. Gilbert Hyatt.”

The members of Little Forks Branch of The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada and Patrimoine-Ascott-Heritage wish to invite you to join them for the unveiling of the new road signs which will be installed on the stretch of Rte. 143 crossing the territory of Waterville, formerly known as Rte. Gilbert Hyatt.

This unveiling will take place on Monday October 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the junction of Rte. 143 and MacDonald Road.

Being a prominent Loyalist, Gilbert Hyatt is recognized as the founder of the Township of Ascott. In 1992, the Municipality of Ascot designated a stretch of Route 143 with the intention to communicate the importance of this gentleman. Following the annexation of this sector of Ascot with Waterville, which in 2005, resulted in the removal of the signs in order to standardize the whole of Rte. 143.

“It is with the aim of emphasizing the 100th anniversary of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada that our non-profit charitable organization, namely Patrimoine-Ascott-Heritage, a part of Little Forks Branch, that steps have been taken in collaboration with the Town of Waterville to revise the possibilities to integrate this historical factor into the identification on it’s municipal signs to be installed on Rte. 143. We are proud to have reached a consensus in this way to honour this historical figure – Loyalist and Founder Gilbert Hyatt”.

These are the words expressed by Mrs. Bev Loomis UE, President of the Little Forks Branch UELAC.

Patrimoine-Ascott-Heritage will take advantage of this unveiling to update the participants about the ongoing projects and the eminent one that the group is planning for next year to honour the importance of Gilbert Hyatt and families.

The designated person to answer questions in English is Bev Loomis.

Where in the World?

Where is Jo Ann Tuskin?

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

  • Interesting report of smallpox inoculation in 1764 by Dr Joseph Warren of John Adams.
  • In times of tension, what is the right thing? Read “Wiswall Kept a House of Ill Fame for Some Time
  • In October 1776, American troops in a ragtag collection of newly built boats faced an advancing line of British ships on Lake Champlain in New York. The Americans, under the command of Benedict Arnold, were forced to retreat, but not before they fought the British to a standstill. One of the American vessels, the Philadelphia, sank during the battle and rested on the bottom of the lake until 1935. It was recovered that year with much of its equipment intact and came to the Museum in 1964, complete with the 24-pound ball that sent the gunboat to the bottom. More information including a 3D tour at Museum of American History.


Response re Counting Generations

You pose a very interesting question. When I lived in Toronto, many of my co-workers were immigrants, or the children of immigrants. How they viewed it was if both of their parents were born in another country, but they were born in Canada, then they considered themselves a first generation Canadian. If either one of their parents was born here (even if the other wasn’t), then they considered themselves a second generation Canadian. Some did do a dual thing. I had one co-worker who once told me, “I’m first generation on my mother’s side, but second on my father’s.”

They did not seem to take into account if their parents later become Canadian citizens. The defining criteria seemed to be where they were born.

As for those of us whose families have been here since before Confederation, that poses more complications. Technically, I suppose a true first generation Canadian would be anyone born here after 1867, regardless of how long their families had lived here. But that does not take into account anyone born in a province that joined Confederation later than that. It also doesn’t take into account different branches of the family who had come here at different times.

My family is a case in point.

My 5 times great-grandfather John Edward Embury ended up in Sorel Quebec in Lower Canada at the time of the American Revolution. He went back to the states to bring back the rest of his family (including his father David Embury). John Edward’s son, my four times great grandfather (John Embury), was born in Sorel Quebec. They eventually settled in Hay Bay, in Upper Canada. So, do I count generations from John Jr (making me a seventh generation Canadian), or do I only count from my grandfather Biard Detlor Embury, who was born in 1893 (his father William Henry being born in 1859 and therefore before Confederation)? That would make me a third generation Canadian…but only on my father’s Embury side. My paternal grandmother was born in England, so down the Jackson line, I’m a second generation Canadian. Then there is my mother…she was born in Newfoundland in 1923 and needed a British passport to emigrate from there in 1947 because Newfoundland did not become a province until 1949. So I am either a 7th generation a 3rd generation, or a 2nd generation Canadian on my father’s side, but a first generation Canadian on both my mother’s Dawe & Edgecombe lines!

Basically, without an official definition, it is up to personal interpretation. Did my forebears consider themselves Canadians, or British subjects? Probably the latter. But I prefer to think of them as Canadians and so I would personally count myself as a 7th generation Canadian (with 2nd and 1st generations flavours added to the mosaic)!

…Phyllis Chapman