“Loyalist Trails” 2015-48: November 29, 2015
In this issue:
– Conference 2016: The Confederation Trail
– A Quaker Connection to Zealous Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson
– The Quaker Question … Again
– Editor’s Note
– Fire-related History of Thomas Cutler
– Borealia: The Future of Loyalist Studies, by Christopher Minty
– JAR: British Veterans of Two Wars
– 2015 Inductees to Loyal Americans Hall of Honour
– New Resources at Library and Archives Canada
– Broadway’s Newest Hit Hamilton Does It Right
– Fall 2015 Issue of the Loyalist Gazette
– Region and Branch Bits: Unmarked Burying Ground for Blacks in Quebec
– Region and Branch Bits: Emma McFadyen, UE, turns 102
– Where in the World are Susan McCloskey, Judith Girty, Linda Iler and Ruth Nicholson?
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Last Post: Dr. Traer Van Allen, MD
The 2016 UELAC Conference in Summerside PEI will be hosted by the Branches of the Atlantic Region: Abegweit, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on July 7-10. New information about the conference is now available – read here.
Ye Olde Loyalist Lore From Pei: The Confederation Trail
When PEI’s railway was abandoned in 1989, Islanders were quick to notice a unique opportunity. The idea of a tip-to-tip shared walking and cycling trail was born. With beautiful rolling hill scenery, quaint villages and broad bay seascapes the Confederation Trail is Prince Edward Island’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail.
The 435 kilometers of rolled stone dust trail has gentle gradients which never exceed 2% (up or down). The Island wide exploration corridor is ideal for visitors of all fitness levels. The main trail starts in Tignish at kilometer 0 and ends in Elmira at kilometer 273. Branch trails extend into the heart of Charlottetown and to the waterside communities of Souris, Georgetown, Montague, Wood Islands, Murray River and Murray Harbour plus the link to the Confederation Bridge in Borden-Carleton.
For those of us who are interested in the sport of geocaching, there are 1600 geocache sites along the route.
Without any real wilderness in PEI, frequent villages along the trail offer the cyclist or hikers a convenient selection of accommodations, food and services.
Further information about the Confederation Trail. Bicycle rentals are available on PEI.
…Peter Van Iderstine, Abegweit Branch
© Stephen Davidson, UE
In July of 1785, Zephaniah Kingsley, a loyalist merchant from Charleston, South Carolina, was recognized as a zealous loyalist — even though he was a known Quaker. Given that pacifism was a basic tenet of the Society of Friends, was Kingsley a loyalist anomaly? The number of Quaker refugees who settled in Upper Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick following the American Revolution certainly disproves this. The fact that six of them were “determined” to be loyalists and granted compensation by the British government underscores the point that even pacifists could take sides in a civil war. Quakers could, indeed, be “zealous loyalists.”
As one searches the records for stories of loyalist Quakers, the key word is “affirm”. While other loyalists would swear to the truthfulness of their testimony or to their willingness to be an executor for a will, a Quaker would affirm the validity of what he said. The Society of Friends believed that one should speak the truth at all times, and therefore an oath to confirm one’s honesty was unnecessary. It was disobeying follow Christ’s command, “Swear not at all”. The following Quakers were found in historical transcripts because each of them “affirmed” rather than swore when speaking before the loyalist compensation commissioners.
John Parroch was a Quaker merchant who was born in the colonies and lived in Philadelphia at the outbreak of the revolution. Local patriots tried to compel him to sign an oath of allegiance to their cause, but he repeatedly refused. In the end, his property was seized because he would not join the local rebel militia. Whether it was this persecution that pushed Parroch over to the British side or his own convictions is uncertain, but, by 1777, the Quaker was in charge of quartering the British army in Philadelphia. His ability to identify “the loyalty or disaffection of the inhabitants” was valued by the occupying army. Later, General Howe had Parroch secure timber for the British forces.
When the king’s army left Philadelphia for New York City, Parroch went with them. Following the loyalist evacuation in 1783, the Quaker returned to Philadelphia only to have patriots charge him with high treason. By 1786, he was living in Nova Scotia where a number of Quakers had found new homes. When the compensation board held hearings in Halifax, Parroch testified that he had no plans to return to the United States; he wanted to be part of the whaling industry in Nova Scotia.
Arthur Thomas had been a breeches maker and leather dresser in Philadelphia before the outbreak of war. In 1776, “a mob collected and beset his house … merely on the account of his loyalty.” As the mob attacked the Quaker home, his two sons ran away; while Thomas hid in the homes of different friends. John Parroch remembered that after the plundering of the Thomas home, there “was money scattered about the streets and furniture destroyed and the whole house rifled and plundered.” Despite his escape into the countryside, rebels eventually arrested Thomas and imprisoned him for six weeks.
The Quaker loyalist helped the British quarter their soldiers in Philadelphia and then followed them to New York City. In 1783, he fled to Bermuda, and eventually made his way to Nova Scotia where three witnesses testified on his behalf at the loyalist compensation board hearings.
Caleb Powell was a Quaker who settled in Gagetown, New Brunswick following the revolution. He had been a farmer in Dutchess County, New York; counting among his treasures horses, cattle, sheep and six sons. Since Powell had always “expressed his approbation of the British government”, local rebels harassed him and imprisoned him three times for helping other loyalists. Five of the Powell boys left home and joined the British army. Finally, in 1781, Caleb Powell could endure no more persecution and found sanctuary in New York City. The rebels, he recounted, “before that time had taken almost his all from him.”
John Rankin had experienced first hand the family divisions caused by the revolution. Despite their Quaker upbringing, his brother Wiliam “was in the American service” whereas John “joined the British in March 1778, and remained with them until the evacuation of New York”. Like Powell, he settled in New Brunswick.
Samuel Smith was a Quaker from Elizabethtown, New Jersey. While the British appreciated his intelligence on the movements of the Continental Army, local patriots arrested him when they suspected that he was supplying the enemy with provisions. Smith escaped from prison, remaining within British lines until the end of the war. Captain Cameron of the 37th Regiment wrote a testimonial on the Quaker’s behalf, noting that he was “an active, zealous loyalist … and that the greatest reliance was laid upon his information.” Smith eventually settled in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.
As with other loyalists, sometimes it fell to a Quaker widow to tell the story of the sacrifices a family had made for its loyalty. Hannah Lewis had been the wife of Curtis Lewis, a farmer in Pennslyvania’s Chester County — one of “the most substantial men there”. The couple had four daughters and a son. After Lewis joined the British prior to the Battle of Brandywine, local rebels plundered the Quaker home of livestock, furniture, and blacksmith tools. They left Hannah and the children with just one bed. Two years later, rebels sold the Lewis home and refused to make any restitution to Hannah.
Curtis Lewis, serving as a pilot for the British, did not see his family until 1783. He died ten weeks after being reunited with Hannah and his children in New York City. After the loyalist evacuation, the Quaker widow and her children returned to Pennsylvania. By this time Reuben Lewis was “of age”, but the family was destitute. Desperate for aid from the British government, Hannah arrived in Halifax in May of 1786 to appeal for compensation. There, three loyalists spoke on behalf of her family.
Naturally, these are only a handful of stories that could be told about loyalist Quakers. They, like the vast majority of loyalists, never had the opportunity to petition the British government for compensation. Except for what has survived in family lore, their stories have been lost forever.
The best stories of the loyalist era are to be found in the diaries of the American Revolution. Next week, we’ll peek inside the diary of a Quaker loyalist woman who was married to an Anglican patriot.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
[Reference: The Quaker Connection: Prologue]
I don’t regard the Quakers as Loyalists. There were, however, exceptions to the rule and the Zephaniah Kingsley mentioned in Stephen Davidson’s article was a case in point. There were also some who actually fought for the Crown and the Dorland brothers are well known in that regard. Philip returned to the Quaker fold later, but his brother Thomas didn’t. In Zephaniah’s case, I am not troubled by the fact that he didn’t take up arms. There were plenty of Loyalists who demonstrated their loyalty without being mustered into a regiment.
The Quakers in general, did not align themselves with the Crown and I was of the understanding that actual Loyalists did make that connection, be it in a military fashion or otherwise. Quakers also objected to the granting of land to Loyalists for military service. Was there persecution of the Quakers because of their faith? Yes, but that had nothing to do with their supporting or not supporting the Crown.
If Quakers are to be considered as Loyalists, then why stop there? Numbers of Rebel Veterans also settled up here, no doubt in search of new lands. They petitioned for land grants too, and were willing to live under the Crown again (although the War of 1812 would certainly indicate who among them were sincere or not sincere).
The point is that if we water down what a Loyalist is by essentially including anyone who dropped in for a visit in the years following the cessation of hostilities, we are devaluing our Loyalist Heritage. Do we really want that?
You want a Quaker to be a Loyalist?. It’s up to the applicant to document what that particular Quaker did to support the Crown. Just being a Quaker is not the key.
…Peter W. Johnson, UE
I read each article carefully before I include in Loyalist Trails – Gee, I do learn a lot. When I read Peter’s article here, I did go back and reread Stephen’s article.
In my mind, they are both saying the same thing.
Stephen is saying that as a Quaker, one was not “ineligible” to be a UE Loyalist.v
To me Peter is saying the same thing, that because someone – in this case a Quaker – came to Canada at the end of the Revolution, they are not automatically a UE Loyalist.
Anyone who has submitted an application for a Loyalist certificate knows that there must be some proof that the ancestor qualifies as a UE Loyalist ie in some way took up the Royal Standard, residence before the Revolution etc. The same rules apply to everyone, regardless of their faith, race, original nationality and so on.
If you would like to dig deeper into the discussion of who was a “Loyalist” which is stretching far beyond our borders, read the blog post at Borealia “The Future of Loyalist Studies, by Christopher Minty” (see below) where you just might get a sense of how fortunate we have been to have so many stories of individual loyalists contributed by so many readers of and contributors to Loyalist Trails.
Please, pass along my appreciation to Dorothy Meyerhof who wrote the article about Thomas Cutler. Although I don’t descend from him, I have three Loyalist ancestors plus other kin, who lived in the Guysborough NS area who would have known Cutler well. Two of them were also in the group, The Associated Department of the Army and Navy, (Richard Morris and Donald Ross) and were very likely affected by the fire the author wrote about prior to settling in Guysborough. I enjoyed reading her well-researched article and would like to say “thank you” to her.
From the book Guysborough Sketches and Essays by A C Yost, the lines below brought the personal side of the impact of fire into focus for me:
“They landed from the transports in November 1783…
The winder was a bad one. Starvation was narrowly averted. A number became ill and died…
The crowning misfortune came quickly… It was spring and even the hardship had not stifled the house cleaning urge of at least one of the women. Some rubbish in her door yard invited a match. The fire immediately got out of control. It spread so rapidly that nothing could be done to arrest its progress. The terrified settlers were driven to the waters of the harbour to save their lives. One person was not so fortunate as to be able to escape and perished…” (pages 137, 138)
Read a segment of the book surrounding these pages.
The book is available for purchase from Amazon and undoubtedly other sources. It is also in some libraries as well.
“Intractable issues vex loyalist studies.” These were the words Ruma Chopra used in an essay, published in History Compass, in 2013. She’s right. As of mid-2015, loyalist studies has come to an important juncture, and the paths historians, researchers, and students go down in choosing their approaches to loyalist studies, within the next decade or so, will affect scholarship for well over a generation.
Defining “loyalist” is difficult for a number of reasons. Many of the problems relate to grouping loyalists together. Those white and black men and women who, at one stage, opposed America’s revolutionaries had different backgrounds. Their stories were rarely comparable, and contrasting impulses underpinned their allegiance. Furthermore, many loyalists were not really loyalists at all. As one contemporary noted during the Revolutionary War, people “wait[ed] to go with the stronger.” That is, they sided with the strongest military, or political, presence. Their ideological or political beliefs mattered less than their lived reality.
By Don N. Hagist, November 4, 2015 in Journal of the American Revolution
The British army that fought in the opening engagements of the American Revolution in 1775 was not a wartime army, it was a peacetime army that suddenly found itself involved in a war. It was composed entirely of volunteer, professional soldiers, but not many among them had prior combat experience. This is true at the beginning of almost every war in history, so it is no surprise that it was so in America in 1775. What is not known, though, is the number or proportion of combat veterans in the British regiments serving in America at the beginning of the war, or in any of the regiments that joined the conflict in subsequent years. While muster rolls for the 1775-1783 era are reasonably complete for most regiments, only a few survive from the era of the Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian War), and the service of many men was not continuous (that is, they were discharged from the army, then enlisted again later on).
Although we may never know the number of British combat veterans who joined the war in America, either at the beginning or part way through, we can identify a few. Among the soldiers who received pensions after their service were some whose discharge papers describe service in other wars before they fought in America. Some had been wounded, but soldiered on. Below is a small sampling of these long-serving veterans, showing the diverse military careers that typified the professional soldiers in the British Army.
Read the article about six representative soldiers.
Twelve years ago the Bay of Quinte Branch UELAC created Loyal Americans Hall of Honour to both identify and celebrate those descendants of the United Empire Loyalists who made significant achievements, either locally, nationally or internationally. On 12 September 2015 author and genealogist “Libby” Hancocks CG, UE and internationally renowned author and British politician Sir Gilbert Parker were honoured posthumously. The biographies of these most recent inductees can be found in the UELAC Honours and Recognition folder.
LAC has launched two new databases: Carleton Papers: Loyalists and British Soldiers, 1772-1784 and Carleton Papers: Book of Negroes, 1783.
These databases were developed by members of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch over many years and previously were for sale on CD.
The best way to access them for now is by going to the Library and Archives home page (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca), scrolling down on the right-hand side to the LAC Blog and finding the blog for each of the databases.
Here is text from the Sir Guy Carleton Branch website (http://www.uelac.org/Carletonuel) that gives some information on the databases. These databases are also available there.
The King’s Name Project is a project of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch, United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, Ottawa, Canada. The purpose of the project was to index, selectively, names of loyalists and associated people found in the British Headquarters Papers. The project involved several researchers reading the microfilm and creating an index card, containing pertinent information, for each loyalist name. There are about 50,000 index cards available covering names from A to Z.
Importance of the Index
This index is an exceptional guide to information for anyone interested in the Loyalists (white or black), soldiers and civilian refugees, or German soldiers who passed through New York during the American Revolution. It will be especially valuable for genealogists as well as historians, ethnographers and other specialists who formerly had only a short-entry, general index to help them research. Now specific data will be easy to locate and manipulate.
The index can be used to find ancestors who passed through New York City during the Revolution, ancestors who fled or were evacuated, ancestors sent to Canada under specific orders, ancestors who were soldiers of a British Regiment demobilized in Canada, ancestors who were soldiers of a German Regiment, “rebels” who: wrote letters to Headquarters, whose property was confiscated, or who were imprisoned.
This index is invaluable for Black History because it contains many names of individuals, previously scattered throughout the documents: loyalist soldiers, and freed or enslaved civilian refugees. The index also includes the so-called “Book of Negroes” which is a register of refugees of colour giving references to 2,831 people many of whom went to Nova Scotia. There is extensive information about them such as their names, gender, health, distinguishing marks, status (free or slave), origins, names of their white associates, and the ships used to carry them.”
…Dorothy Meyerhof, Sir Guy Carleton Branch
Ed Garrett notes that Hamilton the Broadway musical warrants an article in a recent edition of Smithsonian Magazine. It is really about Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Genius Behind the musical. In one paragraph, it notes:
The show is successful because the show is so good, and the show is so good largely because of Lin-Manuel Miranda. His secret is that he writes in service of character, to advance story. He doesn’t write merely to be clever, to show off. Without having to contrive event or fabricate plot he breathes life into history and Alexander Hamilton, animates him, stands him up and makes him sing, makes him human for a couple of hours.
But this is more than a possible genius creating a successful production. In a review in the Journal of The American Revolution, James Kirby Martin writes:
Let me confess at the outset that I’m not a movie, television, or Broadway critic. I’m a trained academic historian, and most of my publications have focused on the era of the American Revolution. In recent years I’ve viewed episodes of some pretty ridiculous programming about this era. The two biggest farces were two seasons of Turn (AMC Network) and the mini-series Sons of Liberty (History Channel). Amazingly, each of these forms of historical fiction, in which insipid dramatic action casts something like a California Howdy at real history, has been renewed for another season.
No wonder I entered Richard Rodgers theater somewhat skeptically on a Friday evening with ticket in hand to see the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Was it going to be an evening spent swimming around in another pool of historical hogwash? In two words: ANYTHING BUT? Why? Reasons abound.
Where is Kawartha Branch member Bob McBride?
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.
I and some others here in Toronto received the Fall issue of the Loyalist Gazette on Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week. If you are a member, or subscriber to it, and have not yet received it, it should arrive a matter of days. Enjoy another good issue.
…The Publications Committee
The Eastern Townships region of Quebec was settled by Loyalists; one in particular was Philip Luke near Saint-Armand-Station. As an end-point of the Underground Railroad, some blacks settled here, as hired hands, log hewers, horse drovers etc. It is said that Philip Luke hated slavery, and did something to help. He purportedly made a trip south each year to buy slaves, as many as eight at a time, and set them free on his return to Canada. As they usually lived here, at least for a period, some also died here. But the graveyard is unmarked and not recognized. It is on the farm originally cleared by Philip Luke and the graveyard lies at the foot of a cliff which has borne the local nickname of “Ni**er Rock”.
Read the article about Hank Avery, a teacher, and has efforts in the mid nineties to gain recognition for the graveyard. As Sir John Johnson Branch Education chair, Louise Hall asked Hank Avery to talk to the students of Farnham Elementary school on this topic. In 2002 Hank received the Frederick Johnson Award for his work in connection with the slave cemetery. A 1908 publication of the Missisquoi Historical Society refers to the “St. Armand Negro Burying Ground.” Other records refer to the cemetery as lying on the farm.
Adelaide Lanktree notes that her personal files about this cemetery and its lack of recognition go back to 1959. The latest article in the Brome County News, “Recognizing The History Of St. Armand’s Rock For What It Was,” highlights the ongoing struggle to gain appropriate designation and marking. We hope for success – soon.
…Adelaide Lanktree, UE, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch
My Mother Eugenie Emma MacPherson McFadyen UE will be 102 on Dec the 8th.
Emma was born in Guelph, Ontario, 8 Dec 1913, the first child of Palmer Murton MacPherson and Beatrice Ann Jordan.
Emma descends through her father from Samuel Soper, Butler’s Ranger, United Empire Loyalist and is a proud member of the Col. John Butler Branch.
She is a graduate of the Canadian Mothercraft Society and is a member of the Canadian Women’s League of Health and Beauty. She has been awarded The Order of Niagara. Emma has always been active in her community: Leader of Brownies, Junior Achievers, craft classes for children, 4 H Club, President of Weller Park Rate Payers, President of Port Weller Home and School, president of Grantham Women’s Institute, member of The Eastern Star, member of Campers and Hikers Assoc., member and President of the Golden Wanders, delivered meals On Wheels, Hospital Visitor, and a life filled with volunteering.
See the photo of Emma – with a twinkle in her eye – as a veritable youngster at only 100.
…Elizabeth Robbins UE
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.
- Samuel Curwen, a Massachusetts loyalist, stopped in the city of Bath (England) and observed a tavern’s sign. This is what he wrote in his journal on August 4, 1780:
“On the sign were painted five men, well known by the name of the “Five Alls.”
The first in order (according to present mode of arrangement of church before king) stands the parson in his vestments; he prays for all.
Second, the lawyer, in his gown, band, and tie-wig; he pleads for all.
Third, the soldier in uniform, with a fierce countenance; he fights for all.Fourth is a physician, with great wig and solemn face, and pills and juleps in his hand; he kills or cures all.
The fifth and last is the farmer, with his settled, thoughtful countenance; he pays for all.”
(submitted by Stephen Davidson)
- Take a tour of The Merritt Home, a Saint John Loyalist Tradition, now Loyalist House in Saint John, NB. It is the oldest structurally unaltered building in the city. Watch and listen.
- Need a bit of color for a gray day. A gentleman’s banyan, silk, wool & linen. European, 2nd half 18th century. (Metropolitan Museum). Or this collection of American, English & French ladies’ shoes, 1760s on
(1931-2015) Dr. Traer Van Allen passed away peacefully following a stroke on November 16, 2015. Traer served as Chief Resident Psychiatrist and ultimately Clinical Instructor at Cornell University Medical College. Early in his medical training he specialized in Child Psychiatry. Later, Traer dedicated himself to working with adults and was in private practice from 1963 – 2010 whilst teaching at Roosevelt and New York Presbyterian Hospitals. Traer stood out among New Yorkers not only as a tall fellow, but also as a man of great warmth, kindness and curiosity. He was adored by the elderly and earned the affection of children at every family gathering. In the words of a friend, Traer was one of the last true gentlemen.
While Traer’s avocation was genealogy and history of his native Canada, his passion was design. His conversation was filled with asides that could honor the innovation of a Slant Six engine, the precise color of Egyptian papyrus grass or the simple beauty of a farmhouse staircase. He was fun to listen to but also an empathetic listener.
He revitalized four homes near the St. Lawrence River in Canada, one that had been in the family for generations and another that became the Van Allen Archives, a resource and library for the community and surrounding universities. His unique intelligence and humor was influential in the lives of colleagues, friends and family. Traer will be greatly missed but remembered with love and deep appreciation for his life. Traer is survived by his sister, Louise Van Allen Tarleton (Hillsborough, CA); her daughters, Leslie Hayne (Oakland, CA), Courtney Hayne McDowell (Brooklyn, NY); nephews, nieces, Godchildren and a wide range of friends. (New York Times, Nov. 22, 2015)
Traer was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but was a resident of Morrisburg for many years, where his Van Allen roots started with Jacob Van Allen, United Empire Loyalist. He joined The St. Lawrence Branch, and was approved 8 July 2003. His father, George Harold [died 1937], was a founding member of the organization in Alberta , approved 19 Feb. 1934, No. 644.
…Lynne Cook, St. Lawrence Branch