“Loyalist Trails” 2015-18: May 3, 2015

In this issue:
2015 Conference Loyalists Come West: Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria BC
History is Written by the (Loyalist) Victors, Part Three: Aboriginal Peoples, by Stephen Davidson
Ships Bringing Loyalists to Canada: The Camel
Incidents Near Fort Ticonderoga on June 17, 1777
Digital version of Spring 2015 Loyalist Gazette Available
Where in the World are Barb and Ken Law?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Book by Loyalist Author: Castle Lake Grave Reckoning
Last Post: Dora Mae Blayney
      + Crossing the Niagara River


2015 Conference Loyalists Come West: Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria BC

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

No doubt attendees will be visiting the historical Fairmont Empress Hotel, located on Government Street in Victoria during your time at the Loyalist Come West UELAC Conference, May 28-31. Please look for a recent article in the upcoming Spring publication, the Loyalist Gazette for further Tourist information on the Empress Hotel.

The Fairmont Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Located on Government Street facing the Inner Harbour, the Empress has become an iconic symbol for the city itself. It has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to its national significance.

NOTE: The Friday evening Loyalist Fare Dinner and the Saturday evening Gala Banquet are SOLD OUT!

2015 Conference Planning Committee, Victoria, B.C.

History is Written by the (Loyalist) Victors, Part Three: Aboriginal Peoples, by Stephen Davidson

The first two articles in this series demonstrated how much of Canadian history has been written from a loyalist perspective, ignoring or discounting the English people who lived in British North America before 1776. Finding a safe haven to call home was a gift of Providence for the loyalists, but their coming was often calamitous for the earlier inhabitants. Just ask the Aboriginal peoples who lived in Eastern Canada. The flood of loyal refugees forever changed their world.

In the years prior to the loyalists’ arrival, Canada’s eastern Aboriginal peoples had lost relatively little of their land to French and English settlers; they were valued as military allies and as trading partners. On the North American mainland, Europeans were concentrated in three areas: the shores of the Bay of Fundy, the St. John River Valley, and the St. Lawrence River Valley.

In Nova Scotia, the Acadians acquired fertile farmland through building dykes over the tidal river deltas of the Bay of Fundy. This did not infringe on the traditional hunting grounds of the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people, nor did the Acadian fisheries interfere with the Natives’ access to beaches that were rich in shellfish.

After the Iroquois had abandoned the St. Lawrence River Valley in the 16th century, the subsequent land-clearing activities of the French colonists did not disturb the Aboriginal peoples who remained in New France. After its acquisition of France’s North American Empire, the British government issued a proclamation to clarify its relationship with the First Nations.

The Proclamation Act of 1763 recognized two types of “Indian Land.” All of the territory beyond the boundaries of the French colonies prior to the conquest was considered to be the property of Aboriginal peoples. Secondly, the act also recognized all of the land that had been reserved for Natives within the existing colonies. Only the crown – not other agencies or persons – could purchase the “reserved” lands from First Nations. Quebec was not mentioned in the Proclamation Act, but eleven years later the British government gave the territories of New France’s Aboriginal peoples the same protection in the hope of ensuring their loyalty to the crown.

The Proclamation Act of 1763 seemed to indicate that Aboriginal people would be treated fairly and with respect under the British crown. The Native fur trade continued, but with English (rather than French) merchants doing the bartering. The Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik had some initial concerns about the New England Planters who had established farms along the St. John River in the 1760s. Some of the latter were beginning to trap and trade furs – something that the First Nations maintained was contrary to an earlier treaty that had limited the killing of wild game to the Natives alone. A new agreement in 1765 allayed the Aboriginals’ concern.

The importance of good relationships with the First Nations grew with the start of the American Revolution. Both the rebel army and British government were anxious to have Maritime Natives as allies, offering them a variety of enticements. Outside of a few isolated incidents, the Aboriginal people sided with the British, helping to ensure that the crown did not lose its Atlantic colonies. King George III later gave Andrew Julian, a Mi’kmaq leader, a “distinguished mark of Royal approbation {for} his loyalty and attachment to the British crown.”

However, concerns over land and loyalty after the American Revolution would be the undoing of the Aboriginal peoples in the territories that today comprise Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. White refugees numbering in the tens of thousands would hopelessly overwhelm Native groups that only numbered in the thousands.

In Quebec, Governor Frederick Haldimand had guaranteed that all of the Natives who fought for the crown would have their property rights restored. Seeing the rising fortunes of the rebels, Aboriginal loyalists feared that they would never be compensated for the lands that they had lost on the New York frontier.

As he was organizing the evacuation of loyalist fleets from New York City in the spring of 1783, Sir Guy Carleton sent surveyors to Nova Scotia to seek out land that would be “sufficient to accommodate the loyalists and their families”. That land was supposed to be “free from all disputed titles, either with the Indians or former grantees.”

These examples demonstrate that both Native and British authorities had made the assumption that the Proclamation Act of 1763 would protect the land claims of the First Nations. Demanding land as compensation for their losses, strident loyalist voices drowned out any hope that the British would remain true to their agreements.

John Julien, a Mi’kmaq chief, must have had a sense of what was to come. In August of 1783, as hundreds of vessels carried refugees to the shores of Nova Scotia, Julian asked the colony’s governor to grant his people 20,000 acres of land along the Miramichi River.

Over night, the government in Nova Scotia took the view that since the British had conquered New France and its Native allies twenty years earlier, all Aboriginal land was the crown’s by right of conquest. In the case of the 20,000-acre grant along the Miramichi River, it was revoked because the creation of the colony of New Brunswick supposedly voided an agreement made earlier by Nova Scotia. The lands that the Mi’kmaq had held for thousands of years were snatched from them. Natives, like any European settlers, would have to petition the government to be granted land.

Next week’s Loyalist Trails will conclude the story of the impact of loyalist settlement on Canada’s Aboriginal people – and demonstrate how history came to be written by the victors in a war for land.

(For a further historical examination of Canada’s Native People, see Arthur J. Ray’s 1996 book, I Have Lived Here Since the World Began.)

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

Ships Bringing Loyalists to Canada: The Camel

Many of the Loyalist refugees who were forced out of the new United States during or at the end of the Revolution and who came to Canada came by ship. Others obviously came overland or in smaller watercraft. UELAC has a list of ships with varying amounts of additional data – a few have passenger lists, but not many.

The list had only one entry for the Camel, a voyage from New York to New Brunswick in the Spring of 1783. A recent contribution by David Woodward, who was submitting information about Gilbert Orser for the Loyalist Directory, has added a second voyage for the Camel, departing from New York in July and arriving in Quebec on August 12. This came with a passenger list – heads of family units and number of family members.

If you have any information which would add to the list, it would be much appreciated.

Incidents Near Fort Ticonderoga on June 17, 1777

In early 1777, the American army on Lake Champlain struggled to gather the necessary strength to man its positions. Unlike the previous year when there had been well over ten-thousand men at Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga, late spring of 1777 found barely a quarter of that number defending the posts. Two conditions brought on the predicament. To the south, Washington had his own dire problems assembling sufficient numbers to counter the British threat to the areas around Philadelphia and New York. As a result, he had few troops to spare for the Northern Department. Acquilla Cleaveland pointed to the second condition when he wrote that rumors claimed the British did not plan to “trouble us here this summer.” Many soldiers, civilians, and members of Congress felt the British would not mount an invasion out of Canada with the result that minimal effort went into strengthening the department.

…but of course 1777 was the year Burgoyne marched south. Read more about some of the little incidents that occurred and life in that environment in this article by Michael Barbier, a life long Vermonter, researcher and interpreter. The article has been published by The Journal of The American Revolution. Read more.

Digital version of Spring 2015 Loyalist Gazette Available

Although not verified, the Spring 2015 issue of the Loyalist Gazette should be now in the mail, or about to go to Canada Post.

The digital version is now available. Those who requested a digital copy were sent an email about ten days ago with the access instructions. Note that the digital issue is available ONLY to paid up members, and also to non-members who have paid subscriptions to the Loyalist Gazette.

Thanks to the number of you who elected to receive the digital copy only. For those who have received the electronic copy, enjoy the full colour and other advantages of digital.

…The Publications Committee

Where in the World?

Where is Colonel Edward Jessup Branch member Barb Law with husband Ken?

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.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

  • The Bicentennial Branch has a new website address: http://www.uelac.org/Bicentennial-UEL/ The site has been redesigned by the team there, led by Dan Griffin.
  • The Loyalist Rose Garden is officially open! Look for it in the Inner Harbour, Victoria BC when you are at conference, or visiting otherwise – photo

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Much the same as today, there have been issues and challenges in the medical professions for a long while. Read this note from Dr. Whitworth to (about) Dr. Thomas Young a decade prior to the Rev War. Be sure to read the comments.
  • Thew siege of Boston, Massachusetts began on April 19, 1775 and lasted eleven months, ending on 17 March 1776. Read this summary (about 5 pages) at Rev War Talk.
  • Check out the early history of the Ontario Parliament buildings, of which some of our Loyalist ancestors would have been involved.
  • Readers interested in colonial era livestock (including chickens) and current preservation efforts should contact the Livestock Conservancy; PO, Box 477, Pittsboro, NC, 27312, USA; www.livestockconservancy.org. The contact at The Livestock Conservancy News is, rwalker@livestockconservancy.org. (N.B., renamed about two years ago from The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.) They are concerned with all rare and endangered breeds, including the Canadian Horse,  many of which may be viewed at Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, ON., pulling the wagons. Bill Davidson, Potsdam, NY wevansdv@gmail.com.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Coons, Jacob – (volunteer Sandra McNamara)
  • Currie (Currey), Joshua – (volunteer Sandra McNamara)
  • McDonell, Allan – from Bev Craig with certificate application
  • McCollom, James – (volunteer Sandra McNamara)
  • McLean, (Capt.) Archibald – (volunteer Sandra McNamara)

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

Book by Loyalist Author: Castle Lake Grave Reckoning

A new book, Castle Lake Grave Reckoning has been published (288 pages, paperback and e-book). It is the third in the Castle Lake series.

While there is no direct Loyalist connection, it is set in an area very similar to Long Point. The book is written so that both Canadians and American’s can appreciate the rural setting next to the water.

The author is Tom Ryerson UE, originally a member of the London Branch but more recently the Grand River Branch. He is a descendant of Col. Joseph Ryerson, (6th great) and his newest grandson who has a given name Joseph owes a part of his name to that legacy.

e-book available at Amazon. A short description and hardcopy orders at Lulu.com.

Last Post: Dora Mae Blayney

Dora Mae passed away at St Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener, Monday, April 27th. She is survived by husband of 61 years, Fred Blayney UE. Dora Mae graduated from Western University and taught French and Latin at the New Hamburg Continuation School. She and Fred owned and operated Blayney pharmacy in Kitchener.

Dora Mae was a long-time active member of Grand River Branch UELAC. She was also involved in the University of Waterloo Women’s Club, Probus, and the U.C.W. of First United Church, Waterloo. Dora Mae was instrumental in fundraising to purchase the pipe organ at First United Church.

Visitation at First United Church, Waterloo, Sunday May 3 at 1:00-1:45. Funeral 2:00. Cremation has taken place and internment will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Simcoe at a later date.

Condolences in her memory – donations in her name to First United Church, Waterloo may be arranged through Erb and Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo.

…Doris Lemon, UE


Crossing the Niagara River

Can anyone supply reference on how the Loyalists and the Pennsylvania Dutch crossed the Niagara River with their belongings, including wagons and horses?

My story is they crossed by raft. Everyone’s story is they crossed by raft with family bible and grandfather clock. But a person here in Luther Village (Waterloo, Ontario) would like a reference … or the truth? Please help; my reputation might be at stake.

Doris Lemon (or, in some circles, Lemon-Miller), UE