“Loyalist Trails” 2015-33: August 16, 2015

In this issue:
More Loyalist Nuggets in the Pan, by Stephen Davidson
Anthony and Andrew Westbrook (Part 12), by Doug Massey
Book: The Roar of the Sea, by Frank Crowell Leaman, UE (2015)
A Visit to the Beach in late 18th Century: The Bathing Machine
Sept 9, 2015: Celebrate the Queen’s Reign
Where in the World?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: Mahlon Cook, UE


More Loyalist Nuggets in the Pan, by Stephen Davidson

Stories that have survived from the loyalist era were often short little anecdotes that stayed in the minds of their listeners long after the loyalists who told them had died. For example, the grandson of Polly Jarvis Dibblee always remembered how his loyalist ancestor used to roast a single apple over a fire. When she was a child in Stamford, Connecticut, she would tie a string to the apple’s stem and hold the apple over the open fire. As it twirled on the string, it baked evenly on all sides.

In 1858, Lucius M. Sargent of Boston remembered the strength of the bitter divide between the patriot and loyalist members of his family long after the American Revolution was over. His grandfather, Col. Epes Sargent, had two stepsons whose surname was Dudley. Paul was a patriot who had fought in the revolution; John sided with the British. They were stepbrothers to Lucius’ father, Daniel Sargent.

Daniel Sargent always tried to reconcile his two stepbrothers. John Dudley, the loyalist, was not so difficult as his temperament was “mild and genial”. Paul, however, was known to be a “zealous Whig”. On one Sunday afternoon, Daniel Sargent invited his stepbrother John to church, knowing that Paul would also be attending the service. The Dudley brothers had not seen each other since 1778.

After tying up his sloop at the wharf, Paul headed for the meetinghouse. He sat down in the family pew next to his nephew Lucius, his sister-in-law and stepbrother Daniel, not recognizing their guest. Lucius remembered that his Uncle Paul looked “earnestly over his spectacles {and} he recognized his brother John. In an instant, he grasped his cocked hat and hurried out of church. When my father and he next met, the following brief colloquy ensued: ” Brother Dudley, how could you act so?” ” Brother Daniel, I’ll never sit down, knowingly, with a Tory, in God’s house nor in any other.”

It was not easy to forgive family members after such a divisive civil war, and yet one loyalist family was somehow able to come to terms with neighbours who had attacked them in the last year of the revolution. Lorenzo Sabine, the American historian, records the tragedy of John Mitchell, a loyalist who lived in New York’s Queen’s County.

“His house was broken into at night, in 1783, by six men who landed from a whale-boat: an affray followed; he and his aged father were beaten over the head with the butt-end of muskets; his wife, with an infant in her arms, was beaten also, until she fainted; and his son Benjamin, a boy, was led out of doors, held, and shot through the body with two balls, by Jackson, one of the gang, who had lived in the family.”

Nothing more of this loyalist family’s history has survived. Remarkably, they did not leave New York at the end of the revolution, but found some way to “forgive and forget” so that they could live among their patriot neighbours. John Mitchell died in 1833 at the age of eighty-one in the same county where his family had been so brutally attacked.

For most loyalist men, their lasting impact on posterity was their children. Although his obituary noted that he left a widow and large family, Adam Allan also left New Brunswick a legacy of literature after his death in 1823. The soldier who was born in Dumfries, Scotland is credited with being the author of the first book of poetry written in New Brunswick.

Allan came to North America as an officer in the grenadier company of the Queen’s Rangers, a regiment once commanded by John Graves Simcoe. After the signing of the peace treaty, the 26 year-old Allan was granted land in Saint John, New Brunswick. Two years later, he owned a home in Fredericton. He married Margaret Clarke who was eight years his junior and the daughter of the loyalist, Dr Joseph Clarke.

Given a lieutenancy in the King’s Regiment of New Brunswick, Allan was stationed upriver from the colony’s capital and served in the garrison at Grand Falls. This waterfall, formed by the St. John River, drops 23 meters over a series of rock ledges.

Being near the American border meant that there were always concerns about encroachment on “His Majesty’s Dominions”. In a 1794 letter that Allan wrote to Edward Winslow, the muster master of the regiment, he reported on an American surveyor who had put a stake at nearby Meductic Point to indicate an extension of the border. This so alarmed the loyalist settlers in the area that some were ready to leave their grants. Allan brought a quick end to the diplomatic crisis by simply pulling the stake out of the ground.

By 1798, Allan commanded the Grand Falls garrison. The surging waters must have been his creative inspiration, for it was here that Allan began to write his poetry. His longest poem was titled “The Great Falls of the River Saint John in the Province of New Brunswick”. A man of many talents, Allan was later put in charge of laying out some of the loyalist colony’s first roads.

Allan wrote poetry for his own amusement. However, his son Jacob felt that his father’s work deserved a wider readership. In 1845, twenty-two years after the death of his father, Jacob found a publisher in England who printed Adam Allan’s poems. Jacob’s mother, Mary and his siblings, Mehetable, Joseph, Margaret, Isabella, and Hannah were still alive at the time of the poetry’s publication. They no doubt treasured being able to hear the old soldier’s voice in the printed word. Unfortunately, not a single copy of this book now exists.

Little wonder then, that Adam Allan’s contribution to loyalist literature has been forgotten. His tombstone, however, still reflects the “tribute of respect justly due to one deeply regretted” as it cites Allan’s birth in Scotland, his service in the Queens Rangers, and his arrival with the loyalists.

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

Anthony and Andrew Westbrook (Part 12), by Doug Massey

© Doug Massey, UE

The repeated raids on the Talbot settlement pretty much “bounced the rubble”, and Andrew Westbrook revelled in it. It is said that Westbrook was “animated by an insatiable desire for revenge…most formidable and merciless”. [70] There is much evidence of this. Bursting into Sykes Tousley’s bedroom on the night of April 5, 1814, he is reported to have said to Tousley’s wife, “If you scream, I shall blow your husband’s brains out”. No doubt he would have had she obliged. Any friend of Thomas Talbot was fair game. Baby, Springer, Burwell were all Talbot men. Capturing them at once beheaded the militia of its leaders but also helped settle old scores for Westbrook. John Carrol was also on the hit list. After Westbrook scooped him up on Aug. 30th, his party was ambushed by Capt. Abraham Rapelje of the 2nd Norfolk Militia. But Westbrook had taken precautions. He rode a very distinctive brown and white pinto horse and feared being targeted as a result. So he switched horses with Carrol, forcing his captive to ride in the vanguard while he rode Carrol’s mount in the rear. In the ambush, known as the Battle of Reservoir Hill, Carrol was killed by friendly fire. Brilliant? Vengeful? Both. John Carrol was a brave man. In October of 1813, after the battle of Moravian Town, he had protected a wagon train of wounded British soldiers against an attack by Kentucky militia in what is known as the Battle of Hungerford Hill. But then, terrible things are done in battle, were done too by Anthony Westbrook out of revenge and hatred during the American Revolution.

The death of John Carrol would have shocked and saddened the Sages, Andrew’s family in Oxford. After the death of Benjamin Becraft, Andrew’s sister Elizabeth married Allen Sage, a widower with family, and moved to Oxford sometime after 1799. When Ebenezer Allen, and perhaps Andrew Westbrook as well, were arrested in early August 1812, it was Carrol and his company under the command of Lt-Col Abraham Bostwick, supported by W. H. Merritt and his Niagara Dragoons that did the job. [71] Two of Elizabeth’s stepsons, Samuel and Comfort Sage, were in Carrol’s 2nd Flank Company that day. [72] The fact that Andrew was very much the cause of Carrol’s death would only have created hatred for him in the family. [73] Moreover, Sage family property suffered in Andrew’s raids on the Oxford settlement. After the war, Comfort Sage was compensated for losses he had sustained in “the insurrection and invasion of the Western part of the Province” [74] Had the Sages been able to lay hands on Andrew, things would have gone very rough for him indeed.

The same would have been true had he fallen into the hands of his brothers, Alexander, Haggai and especially John. Alexander served in the militia, possibly in Burford. Haggai is listed in the muster list for 1800 in Burford along with Willard Sage. [75] John, a captain in the 5th Lincoln Militia and a major after the war, was strongly pro British and would have shot Andrew dead if they had met in battle, or would have gladly handed him over to be tried and hanged.

Consider the parallels. Anthony Westbrook took part in the burning of the Mackhackemeck church in 1779. Strangely enough on the first Oxford settlement raid, Andrew burned down the Episcopal Church of America, the log church his sister Elizabeth attended! Neither act of arson helped one little bit to repair family division! And both father and son faced the noose: Anthony was attainted for two murders connected with the first Minisink raid, and Andrew, for treason. There is no doubt that Andrew would have hanged had he been tried as part of the Ancaster Bloody Assizes in 1814. But Andrew, like Anthony in Ulster County, never had to face his day in court. Both men were adept at getting clean away. Both knew all the roads in their respective neighbourhoods. But neither could escape the verdict of the wider family: Anthony was a “traitor” to the kin who remained in Minisink, and Andrew, in Upper Canada.


[70] The War of 1812 In St. Thomas and Elgin County, Researched and compiled by Donna Hanson of the St. Thomas Public Library (July 2011).

[71] R. Cuthbertson Muir, The Early Military History of Burford, La Cie d’imprimerie commerciale, Quebec, 1913, pg. 220-21, 239-41.

[72] Ibid. See muster roles 239-241. Anthony Westbrook, Andrew’s nephew, son of Alexander, was also part of Carrol’s company a little later. See muster roles, 242, 243, and 244. See also muster rolls of the Oxford Militia in Muir 239-251.

[73] John Carrol is buried near that old log church along with Comfort Sage, and many more in his family.

[74] R. C. Muir, op cit., pg. 163.

[75] Ibid., 176.

Doug Massey

Book: The Roar of the Sea, by Frank Crowell Leaman, UE (2015)

Nova Scotia’s Maritime heritage is brought to life in this true life story of an adventurer who traveled the world on an epic solo voyage in a 23′ foot sailboat in the 1936. With only his dog, Togo, as a companion, Captain William CROWELL overcame the challenges of an unforgiving ocean.

Decades later, his grandson, Frank Crowell LEAMAN, UE helped him tell the story of his travels. The Roar of the Sea explores not only his family’s history, but also Nova Scotia’s seafaring heritage. After the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax included Captain Crowell’s solo voyage as part of its’ permanent ‘Days of Sail’ exhibit, Frank continued to gather CROWELL family history and dig deeper into his grandfather’s life. Together with Allison Lawlor, Frank has created a story that weaves Captain Crowell’s life into his family’s Loyalist roots and personal reflections. The resulting book stands as one grandson’s loving tribute to his grandfather – a daring Mariner who saw the end of a golden era of wooden ships and iron men. Photo of cover.

About the author – see newspaper article.

The Nova Scotia Branch of UELAC has four (4) copies of the newly published book, The Roar of the Sea, for sale @ $19.99 each. Each copy is signed by the author, Frank Crowell Leaman, UE.

It is a captivating and lively story of his grandfather’s early life, his sea trunk, his ocean journey, and the legacy he left behind. Much of it is taken from Capt William Crowell’s own diary and includes many pictures. Captain William Crowell built his 23′ foot longboat in his back yard and named it the Queen Mary. For protection from the elements it had only a small covered crawlspace in the bow. From Dartmouth, NS to Vancouver, BC via the Panama Canal he sailed across the oceans in the perilous times shortly before the beginning of World War II.

Frank Crowell LEAMAN, UE is the Flagbearer for the Nova Scotia Branch UELAC. His Loyalist ancestor is Captain Joseph CROWELL of the New Jersey Volunteers, the great, great grandfather of Capt. William Crowell. Capt Joseph CROWELL settled in Carlton, New Brunswick, but his son decided to settle in what became Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Note: BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF AMERICAN LOYALISTS, by Lorezo SABINE (1847), pg 234: “CROWELL, Joseph — Was a captain in the First Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers. He settled in New Brunswick, received half-pay, and died at Carlton in that Colony.”

Carol Harding, UE, Nova Scotia Branch

A Visit to the Beach in late 18th Century: The Bathing Machine

A contemporary description of George III bathing at Weymouth in 1789 describes the king’s dippers thusly: “The bathing-machines make it [‘God Save the King’] their motto over all their windows; and those bathers that belong to the royal dippers wear it in bandeaus on their bonnets, to go into the sea; and have it again, in large letters, round their waists, to encounter the waves. Flannel dresses, tucked up, and no shoes or stockings, with bandeaus and girdles, have a most singular appearance; and when first I surveyed these loyal nymphs it was with some difficulty I kept my features in order.” Diary and Letters of Madame d’Arblay, vol 5, pp. 35-6.

The bathing machine was an 18C & 19C contraption devised to allow “proper” people to change out of their usual clothes, possibly change into swimwear & then wade at beaches. Bathing machines were roofed & walled wooden carts rolled near or even into the sea. Some had solid wooden walls; others had canvas walls over a wooden frame. The bathing machine was part of etiquette for natural water bathing more rigorously enforced upon women than men but observed by both sexes among those who wished to be proper. Men & women were usually segregated, so nobody of the opposite sex might catch even a glimpse of them in their bathing suits, which were not considered proper clothing in which to be seen.

Read more, with drawings.

Sept 9, 2015: Celebrate the Queen’s Reign

On September 9 The Queen’s reign will surpass that of Canada’s other great Mother of Confederation, Queen Victoria. On that date, our Monarch will have served us and the Commonwealth for the longest period in our modern history. Many municipalities across Canada will mark the occasion with a formal program. Is yours on the list? Check here. If not, consider suggesting it to them. In either case, join in the celebration.

Where in the World?

Where are Bonnie Schepers, Trish Groom and Barb Andrew?

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

  • Before New York: When Henry Hudson first looked on Manhattan in 1609, what did he see? (photo)
  • What were fashionable Americans wearing in 1776 (at least, as a bride to a fancy wedding)? A Chinese silk damask wedding dress! (photo)
  • Did Canada almost join the American Revolution? In September 1775, Major-General Philip Schuyler launched the Patriot’s invasion into Canada. The Patriots hoped to end the threat of a British invasion from the north by occupying Canada and bringing the colony into the American Revolution. Discuss Canada and how the American Revolution played out there with Bruno Paul Stenson, an historian and musicologist with the Château de Ramezay historic site in Montréal. Château de Ramezay served as the headquarters for the American forces between 1775 and 1776. A podcast (Ben Franklin’s World)
  • Theirs was an epic and tragic journey–the brutal irony of some Black Loyalists who made it all the way to Sierra Leone and founded the colony of Freetown in 1792, only to be re-enslaved, continues to haunt Black Americans and Canadians who experience state-sanctioned violence that triggers historical memories of past injustices. Perspective from visits to Birchtown and the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre. (The Huffington Post)
  • United Empire Loyalists’ cairn at Leggett Point, Stormont, Country Habour, Guysborough County, NS. GPS location:45°11’33″N 61°42’50″W, And a close up for the text. And the nearby Loyalist Hiking Trail at Country Harbour (Brian McConnell UE)
  • For those who like an “acid” pen and wondrous turns of phrases from the mid-18th century, read “Futile Growling of a Toothless Hound Cannot Disturb the Breast Covered by the Shield of Conscious Integrity“, written 27 July 1767. Joseph Warren is not dissuaded by threat of lawsuit and ridicules Thomas Young.with a concluding barnyard farce.

Last Post: Mahlon Cook, UE

Charter Member of the St. Lawrence Branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. At the Woodland Villa Nursing Home, Long Sault, on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, Mahlon Cook of Morrisburg, age 88. Loving husband of Lynne Cook (nee O’Brien). Dear brother of Evelyn Robinson (Doug) of Elma. Dear uncle of Ruth Turner (Brian) of Barrie, Donald Robinson of Elma and Ann Moore (Stan) of Cardinal. Predeceased by his parents Orlando and Agnes Cook (nee Casselman) and his stepfather Roy Casselman.

Funeral service held on Saturday, August 15th at 11 a.m., followed by cremation. Donations to the U.E.L. Association of Canada would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.

Interment of cremated remains at Spruce Haven Cemetery, Brinston.