“Loyalist Trails” 2014-45: November 9, 2014

In this issue:
Anything But Jolly (Part 4 of 4), by Stephen Davidson
2015 Conference – Loyalists Come West: Police Chorus at Banquet
“Resurgam”: The Motto of Nova Scotia Loyalist Timothy Ruggles
The Partisan (Henry Lee) and the Queen’s Ranger (John Simcoe)
The Loyalist Gazette
Where in the World?
Honouring War of 1812 Veterans
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
      + Who is the Oldest Living Branch Member and Loyalist Descendant?


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

By February of 1777, Jolley Allen had very little left to lose. His wife had died while the family attempted to escape the patriots of Boston, their refugee vessel shipwrecked and the loyalist merchant lost everything he owned. His eighteen year-old son died of despair, and the six remaining Allen children were made wards of their uncle, Lewis Allen. Jolley was under house arrest and faced 500 lashes if he were found anywhere in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts other than his brother’s house. The local patriots threatened his life on a regular basis.

After almost a year as a political prisoner, Allen was visited by “three friends of government” – others who were loyalists like himself. “Hearing how barbarously I had been treated, and how violently used by the Americans, {the three loyalists} came to my relief at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, which they was determined to effect that I might not suffer any longer amongst them, in which through God’s goodness they succeeded, and brought me away triumphant with them about the hour of one o’clock in the morning.”

What Allen neglected to say in his memoir was that his loyalist friends had arranged a horse-drawn carriage to whisk him away from Shrewsbury to New London, Connecticut.

“I went on board the {British} Amazon frigate of thirty-two guns, commanded by Captain Jacobson, who generously received me at that hour in the night, and took me in his own apartments and loaded me with kindnesses, as much as could be, as a friend of government.”

Sadly, just after Allen’s friends saw him safely aboard the British warship, his loyalist rescuers were recognized by patriots and put in prison.

Although the Amazon’s captain offered to sail Allen to New York City, the loyalist’s desire to escape America was so great that he travelled over land to get on the next ship bound for Britain. “I was in imminent danger all the way of being taken, but through the mercy of God I escaped, and arrived at New York safe of Monday following, the 17th day of February, about sunset, and waited on Sir William Howe.”

Allen’s memoir continues, “I told his Lordship … part of my difficulties, and I – hearing there was a fleet bound to England – I begged his Lordship would give me a passage in the said fleet, which his Lordship readily granted, and ordered a pass for me to go on board a brig … commanded by Captain Montgomery, as I had not money to pay my passage, nor even to lay in any stores for myself.”

Within a month’s time, Jolley Allen was once again on British soil. “The first inquiry I made was after my wife’s sister, Mrs. Lewington, and to my great grief found her doubly chained down, raving mad, in Bedlam; she thinking myself, wife, and seven children had all fell a sacrifice to the barbarity of the Americans. I thought to have lived comfortable during my stay in England with her; but I thank God she is now out of Bedlam, and much better than could be expected.”

“I being so long out of London, I was almost as great a stranger, though born and brought up in it, as those that had never seen the place. Having been out of it twenty-two years, most of my friends and acquaintance was dead and gone away; my distress was so great that it almost overcame me, and had I not a gone to the New England Coffee House, where I saw many Boston and New England gentlemen, I know not what would have become of me. By seeing of them revived my drooping spirits, and finding myself deprived of this money in London, as I thought to have received to have helped to relieve myself and children, I did not know what to do. “

Allen sought out Lord George Germain. “His Lordship graciously condescending to say to me he would take care of me. And a short time after I was ordered to wait of Mr. Row, at the King’s treasury, who gave me an order on the Bank; and from this place I receive my daily bread once a quarter, or else I must have perished in London … I shall with the greatest gratitude ever pray for the prosperity and welfare of my good King and native country, and I hope to live to see the time that this my native country will be triumphant over all her enemies.”

But for fear death should come upon me, being now in the sixty- fourth year of my age, and having six poor children now living in America, I fear in great distress, which could I by any means get them over to England, would have this my case printed and made as public as possible, to show the depravity of nature, and how cruel mankind can be to their fellow-creature when divested of parental affection and true religion, which is the case of the Americans at this time.”

Jolley Allen died in England in 1782 at the age of sixty-four. He wrote the story of his trials as a loyalist a few years before his death, hoping that someone would come to the rescue of his children back in Massachusetts. His dying wish was that once “the troubles were over”, his remains would be buried in his family’s vault under King’s Chapel in Boston. Unfortunately, Jolley Allen still lies entombed beneath St. John’s Church in London.

The story of the Allen children is not much happier. Eleanor died of tuberculosis just before she married Pardon Tillinghast Taber, a loyalist from New London, Connecticut. Ann died of the same malady in the home of her cousin, Thomas Allen, in 1782. Nathaniel Allen grew up to become a mariner who was involved in the West Indies trade. A third son (sometimes referred to by the same name as his older brother and father) also went to sea. He settled in New London with his family, moved on to New York City, and then went to sea. His fate, like that of his sisters, Charlotte and Ann, is not known.

The Allen family was shattered by the events of the American Revolution. As Jolley recorded, “Those six children never knew what it was to be cold or hungry before those troubles came on in Boston, but always had a plenty of every thing.” Of his wife he recalled, that she “never before saw any difficulties in her life, and by which I had seventeen children, born and christened, and five miscarriages, and was married to her thirty-seven years, and as good a wife and as tender a mother to her children as ever man could wish for.”

Their saga was anything but jolly.

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

2015 Conference – Loyalists Come West: Police Chorus at Banquet

Read the details for Loyalists Come West – the 2015 UELAC Conference in Victoria BC May 28-30, 2015.

The 2015 Conference Committee was fortunate enough to be able to book the Greater Victoria Police Chorus for the Saturday night Gala Banquet on May 30th, 2015.

The Chorus has toured parts of Europe on four different occasions, and has sung in historic cathedrals in the Netherlands, Wales and England. They were the hosts of the first International Police Music Festival in Victoria in 1993, and again in 2000.

Read about the choir and associated details.

[Editor’s Note: This is a repeat of the item in last week’s issue, but this time with the link to the article – my apologies.]

…David B. Clark, UE

“Resurgam”: The Motto of Nova Scotia Loyalist Timothy Ruggles

It could be written Brigadier-General Timothy Ruggles personified the Latin motto of Nova Scotia Loyalists: “Resurgam” – “I shall rise again.” Loyalty to the British Crown during the American Revolution cost him family and property. He relocated to Nova Scotia to start over.

At the end of the American Revolution, Brigadier – General Timothy Ruggles was among the 20,000 Loyalists who were relocated to Nova Scotia by the British. For his service to the Crown he was granted 1,000 acres in Wilmot on the Bay of Fundy where he built an estate and farmed until his death at the age of 83.

In 1795 he died at Wilmot and was buried at the Old Holy Trinity Church in Middleton.

Read his story: participation in the Seven Years (French & Indian) War, marriage into a wealthy family, his loyalty, a wife and four daughters who stayed in Mass. while he and three sons fled to Nova Scotia, his political successes and more.

…Brian McConnell UE, Nova Scotia Branch

The Partisan (Henry Lee) and the Queen’s Ranger (John Simcoe)

On November 6, 1779, Virginia major Henry Lee, commander of the Continental Army’s 2nd Partisan Corps, addressed a letter to British lieutenant colonel John Graves Simcoe, who eleven days before he had been trying to defeat in battle. “I am happy to hear by your polite reply to an offer dictated by the feelings of man for man, that you had already been supplied in cash by the friendship of a brother officer….” The New Jersey militia had taken Simcoe prisoner and Lee had offered to aid him with money. “Being employed in a similar line by our respective Generals,” Lee wrote, “it may not be amiss to appeal to me, should his Excellency [the governor of New Jersey] require contradiction to the reports propagated prejudicial to your character” (reports were circulating of Simcoe’s supposed cruelties during his raids into New Jersey).[1] Simcoe commanded the provincial Queen’s Rangers, like Lee’s corps a legionary unit, composed of cavalry and infantry, and like his corps often tasked with partisan missions.

Read this article in the Journal of the American Revolution about two opposing officers who admired, respected and fought each other.

The Loyalist Gazette

The Fall 2014 issue of the Loyalist Gazette may have gone to the mailing house and will probably be mailed sometime over the next week, or so.

The digital version will be available to members and subscribers who have registered for it; you should receive an email with instructions on Tues or Wed.

Digital Loyalist Gazette

As a member or subscriber, you can still request the full-colour digital version, just go to Request the Digital Version.

The Spring and Fall 2013 issues of the Gazette are publicly available to all.

…Bob McBride, Editor, Loyalist Gazette

Where in the World?

Where are Skyler and Joshua Harrison of Edmonton Branch?

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.

Honouring War of 1812 Veterans

It’s no secret that several UELAC members have been busy acquiring War of 1812 Veteran plaques for placing by the graves of such Veterans. Mostly the Veterans are ancestors but not always.

I have been busy as well, securing a plaque for John Johnson 1791-1865, Flank Coy, Prince Edward County Militia, who is buried at Stockdale Cemetery north of Trenton ON. We held our ceremony on Nov 2nd, with participation from reenactors in the Fencibles, a Colour Guard from the Legion in Frankford, attendance by from the local MP, MPP and Mayor of Quinte West, a local Minister, and representatives from Quinte Branch OGS and Trent Port Historical Society. The UELAC was mentioned, but did not bring greetings as such, as we would have been ‘greeting ourselves’! Even my grandson helped out.

I have been quite overwhelmed by the local newspaper and online coverage. Photos and articles are online from the Belleville Intelligencer / Trentonian and the EMC/Quinte West News.

The coverage has been so positive I hope that it will inspire others to submit for plaques. This project was the first of its kind in ‘Quinte West’ but the Ketcheson family is now in the process of acquiring a plaque.

…Peter W. Johnson, UE

Region and Branch Bits

  • I thought you might be interested in this bit of news that was in our local newspaper. In the October 20th edition of The Chronicle Herald, its Milestone section contained the following on Evelyn (Powell) Denton: “Evelyn has received documentation from the United Empire Loyalist Association of Halifax and Dartmouth indicating that she is the oldest documented direct descendant from {a} United Empire Loyalist living in Nova Scotia. She resides at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax and is the widow of the former Dr. Harvey Denton. She will be 106 in November, 2014. Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Mother!” See query below. (Submitted by Stephen Davidson)
  • We invite everyone to watch Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. on WNED TV, Tuesday, November 11th at 8:00 p.m. (check your local PBS station for times). Sally Field is one of the people having her family traced. Bev and I supplied a lot of information about the Loyalist Field family and other related Niagara Loyalist Families to the researchers who developed this programme. We asked that credit be given to The Loyalist Collection at Brock University for the information that we provided. (Submitted by Rod Craig, Col. John Butler Branch)
  • For sale; preserve part of our Loyalist Heritage. The Field House which was commenced in 1785 and completed in 1795 was destined to become one of Ontario’s most historically significant homes. This Georgian styled,triple bricked home served as the headquarters of Major General Isaac Brock. Ironically, it served as a headquarters and a hospital for both sides in the war of 1812. A note from the owner: “As mentioned the home is a true UEL residence and no doubt the oldest surviving home in Ontario. Could you mention it to your UEL society as I would like to see the family that buys my home is a truly connected to the past.” See the listing. (Submitted by Jocelyn Badovinac, Gov. Simcoe Branch)
  • Victoria Branch has revised and updated their branch website. Check it out. (Submitted by Gordon Wilkinson, Victoria Branch)

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Gayle Livecchia from New Jersey attended the UELAC Conference hosted by Toronto Branch this past June. She is an accomplished history buff who through her research discovered Revolutionary War era graves that had fallen into disrepair. She was recently honoured for her efforts. She researches the Mohawk Valley. While her research has expanded to include many of the Loyalists, her personal research includes the Servoss family. She is a member of the Col. John Butler Branch and has spoken to one of their meetings.
  • Six things to know about the poppy for Remembrance Day
  • Tower of London poppies to be removed as planned on 12 November. Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red display will close, despite political appeals
  • To get a glimpse into Canada’s experience in the world wars visit wartimecanada.ca

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • Phillips, John [2] – from Mary Clark, Arthur Phillips & Paul Lozo
  • Ruggles, Timothy – from Brian McConnell

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


Who is the Oldest Living Branch Member and Loyalist Descendant?

The Nova Scotia Branch member Mrs. Evelyn Natalie (Powell) Denton UE will be celebrating her 106th birthday this week.

Her family has asked if she might also be the oldest in Canada.

On behalf of the family, would anyone who has information about the elders of their branch contact me if you have someone you know is older than Mrs Denton? She has been a Halifax-Dartmouth and now NS Branch Branch member since at least 1982. Thank you.

Carol Harding