“Loyalist Trails” 2015-50: December 13, 2015

In this issue:
Conference 2016: Loyalist 84th Encampment
A Quaker Connection to the Black Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson
The Quaker Connection and the Responses Thereto
Editor’s Note
Christmas Eve in Montreal 1783: A Bleak Mid-Winter
Captain John MacDonald of the Royal Highland Emigrants
Fire and Its Impact on Jacob Phillips
The Christmas Pie
Certificates Issued in November
UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Opportunity
Borealia: Loyalists in the Classroom: Students reflect on historical sources
Borealia: Pirates, 1726: The Regionalism of Danger in the Early Northeast
JAR: Which side benefited the most from the Native Americans?
Where in the World are Gene and Suzanne Davidson?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Addendum: First World War Casualty Isaac Maracle


Conference 2016: Loyalist 84th Encampment

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: Loyalist 84th Encampment

Announcing a Loyalist encampment.

The 84th Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion, Regimental Association is a volunteer, non-profit association, devoted to the re-creation of the everyday life of the Pipes, Drums, Infantry, and Camp Followers of a Highland Regiment during the American Revolution.

The 2nd Battalion of the 84th was based as Fort Edward (Windsor ), Nova Scotia from 1778 – 1783 with companies serving throughout Atlantic Canada and in the American South. Read the announcement with photos.

Brian McConnell, UE, Nova Scotia Branch

A Quaker Connection to the Black Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In April of 1783, Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Allen and his family boarded the Spring, bound for the mouth of the St. John River. Travelling with the loyalist family were the only four African passengers to sail on that particular evacuation ship. Allen would later write, “George Black, a free man, his wife, and two children came with me to this place; he has long been free and was one of the brave fellows who served under the gallant Colonel Tye. I think he deserves provision as well as other refugees.”

As with all of the free Africans who left New York City during that year, the names of the Black family were recorded in a British ledger known as The Book of Negroes. There it was noted that George was 35, his wife Ann was 25, and that the couple had seven year-old Reuben and five year-old Sukey. It also proclaimed the family’s status as free citizens. Each of them had been “freed by Lawrence Hartshorne as certified.”

Nine years later, Lawrence Hartshorne would be more than the man who had freed a family of four Black Loyalists. He would be one of the two men who oversaw the emigration of nearly 1,200 Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone. Hartshorne, a loyalist and a Quaker, became the link between America’s Quaker heritage and its Black Loyalists.

At the age of twenty-two, Lawrence Hartshorne had left his home in Black Point, New Jersey to work in New York City. There he entered the merchant trade and by 1780 had married Elizabeth Ustick. The Sons of Liberty had already declared her father, William Ustick, an enemy of the republic because of his continued trade with British manufacturers. Ustick and his new son-in-law also provided goods for the British army that had been headquartered in New York City since 1776.

Despite his prominence within the Quaker community, Lawrence Hartshorne could not be considered a neutral businessman. His dealings with loyal Americans and the British military during the course of the revolution had put him in the “Tory camp”. In the summer of 1783, he joined fellow loyalists as they boarded evacuation ships for Nova Scotia. Thanks to generous land grants from Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander in chief, Lawrence was able to establish himself as a hardware merchant in Halifax and as a model farmer across the harbour in Dartmouth.

Hartshorne maintained his contact with other loyalist refugees, and lent them his support when the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists held hearings in Halifax in 1786. Ever the faithful Quaker, Hartshorne could not swear on behalf of his friends, but he affirmed the truthfulness of the testimonies that he gave on behalf of Gilbert Hicks, Peter Stout, Richard Stanton, Dr James Boggs, Wiliam Terrell and Joseph Taylor.

Hartshorne must have also kept in touch with fellow Quakers in England — perhaps they were his trading partners on the other side of the Atlantic. It is interesting to note that when Lieutenant John Clarkson of the His Majesty’s Navy arrived in Halifax as an agent of the Sierra Leone Company in 1791, he brought with him a letter that designated Lawrence Hartshorne as his fellow agent and chief assistant. Quaker abolitionists in England must have recommended Hartshorne to Clarkson. The two men had apparently never met before, but they formed what was to become a very strong partnership as they recruited Black Loyalist settlers for Sierra Leone.

Besides marking the end of the American Revolution and the exodus of the loyalist refugees, 1783 marked the year that British Quakers presented the first abolitionist petition to parliament. The Society of Friends also established a committee to research and publish data on the slave trade. This was the first anti-slavery organization within the British Empire.

With the growth of abolitionist fervour came the formation of the Sierra Leone Company in May of 1791. Created by an act of parliament, the company’s goal was to found a West African colony comprised of settlers who had once been slaves in North America. Thomas Peters, a Black Loyalist from Nova Scotia, met with the directors of the Sierra Leone Company in 1791. He quickly recognized that their vision for a free African colony was a welcome alternative to the wretched living conditions Black Loyalists had been made to endure since 1783.

In August of 1791, the company sent John Clarkson, a brother of the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson, to Nova Scotia to gather up all willing Black Loyalist settlers. Lawrence Hartshorne, a loyalist Quaker, was to be Clarkson’s second in command.

The men began their work as soon as Clarkson arrived in Halifax in October. Confiding in his diary, the British abolitionist wrote, “I feel myself happy in having a man of Mr. Hartshorne’s character who is universally esteemed, employed in the same business with me, and I am particularly obliged to him for his attention upon every occasion.”

At times it was an uphill battle. The colony’s governor was not particularly pleased to let Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalists leave for Africa. Supplies for a trans-Atlantic journey had to be ordered and stored at the Halifax dockyard.

By December, the Black Loyalists began to arrive in the hundreds and needed accommodations until their ships departed. Provisions required inspection, new clothes had to be acquired, and there were daily letters that demanded replies. Throughout it all, Hartshorne was an able assistant and friend. Within Clarkson’s journal are regular notes about meals in the Hartshorne home “to divert my thoughts and relax myself from the fatigues of the day.”

As the day of departure drew nearer, the two agents organized the stowing of baggage, visited their would-be settlers, issued codes of conduct, heard complaints and met with the Black Captains of all the settler companies. Finally, there was the matter of issuing certificates to each Black Loyalist to indicate that he/she was authorized to make the journey to Sierra Leone.

On January 15, 1792, John Clarkson had to bid good-bye to his friend and confidante, Lawrence Hartshorne. The naval officer was travelling to Sierra Leone with almost 1,200 Black Loyalist settlers. Hartshorne would remain in Nova Scotia. No more fitting description of this tireless Quaker merchant can be found than the one in Clarkson’s diary for the day the men bid each other farewell.

“I cannot express too strongly the obligations I am under to Mr. Hartshorne, who upon every occasion gave me his advice and assistance, and it would have been impossible for me to have brought this business to a conclusion, as far as we have already gone, if it had not been for his good and unwearied application to it. … I consider myself extremely fortunate in his being appointed to act with me.”

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

The Quaker Connection and the Responses Thereto

The largest and perhaps best known group of Friends Refugees, were the Quaker Company who settled at Bellevu or Bellveue (present day Beaver Harbour, Pennfield, New Brunswick) – n.b. John Rankin was a member.

The following points can be made about this group:

  • They had all fled behind British Lines in New York., a fair number having accompanied the British Army when it evacuated Philadelphia.
  • The Royal Navy transported them (most aboard H.M.A.T. Camel) from New York to New Brunswick.
  • Many had been attainted of Treason by the Revolutionary Governments of either Pennsylvania or New Jersey and had their property seized.
  • At the same time many of them did not submit Loyalist Claims and the vast majority had not rendered military service to the Crown.

Further, perhaps reflecting some of the back and forth in Loyalist Trails issue 48, the Governor of Nova Scotia and others in charge of Loyalist resettlement didn’t know quite what to do with them. Perhaps as a result, a group composed mostly of farmers from Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey were not settled in the Saint John Valley or in the eastern part of Kings County (decent agricultural land) but rather in Coastal Charlotte County (poor rocky soil with tons of Spruce and Fir Trees). This was right down the Coast from the Penobscot Association in Saint Andrews which had members with extensive experience logging and the trade connections to sell lumber, which of course the Bellevu Group did not.

So 11 score and 12 years later and leaving aside the Association’s qualifications for hereditary membership. As Stephen Davidson has been discussing in this series of articles, what does make someone a Loyalist? Does being attainted of treason by a Revolutionary Government, being exiled by a Revolutionary Government, having your property confiscated by a Revolutionary Government? Or is it only having served the King under arms?

Indeed still controversial all these years later.

My apologies in advance for the fact that my research papers on this group are in storage as I am in the process of moving so I have to write without giving specific examples. That said, here is an example of the mixed messages, even of that day:

    Here courtesy of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch created Carleton Papers database at LAC is an example of the very sort of thing that we have been discussing. My 6x Great Uncle Captain Gideon Vernon, U.E. who held a Commission is not indexed. But another Quaker Company 6x Great Uncle Samuel Fairlamb, who although Attainted of Treason by Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Government, never bore arms for the King is listed as being recommended to Governor Parr by General Carleton. See entry at LAC.

Edwin Garrett

Editor’s Note

Several years ago I heard a presentation by David Moore UE about what made a Loyalist. It seems there were lots of possible factors and they could vary quite considerably from community to community. I have often wondered how often someone was forced into being on one side or the other, just because someone else – a neighbour for example – made an accusation about him. Could have been incidental. Or could have been quite deliberate by perhaps someone who coveted your possessions, or who didn’t like something about you – perhaps your religious beliefs, or the doctrines which you followed.

As Stephen Davidson has noted, what makes a loyalist is not a matter of conjecture. The British made it quite clear when they set up the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists. Note the seven classifications set by the British:

The British parliament appointed a five-man commission to classify the losses and services of the loyalists. As a result of their work they came up with these seven classifications:

  1. those who had rendered services to Great Britain;
  2. those who had borne arms against the Revolution;
  3. zealous and uniformed loyalists;
  4. loyalists living in Great Britain;
  5. those who took oaths of allegiance to American states, but afterwards joined the British;
  6. those who bore arms for the American States but afterwards joined the British;
  7. those who sustained losses under the Prohibitory Act.

Some Quakers fulfilled at least one of these categories. Therefore, in the eyes of the British government, they were loyalists. Those who met these qualifications at a compensation board hearing were declared to be “zealous” loyalists. The same can be said for quite a number of people of other faiths who were rooted out of home and community.

Dare I make another point? One that lies in a dark corner into which no one wishes to carry a bright lantern and bring forth. In the world of today, several groups are called loyalists. The loyalists of the Spanish Civil War being one, and the American Loyalists of which we speak are another. The world at large would most likely divide the residents of British North American at the time of the Rev War into three groups – rebels, neutrals and loyalists. The classes of “losses and services of loyalist” referenced above, defined probably about 1784 could nicely address [many in] that “loyalist” segment. Then there is Lord Dorchester’s decree of 1789 which gave us the post-nominal UE. Squaring those two, one with the other, is a discussion for another day.

Christmas Eve in Montreal 1783: A Bleak Mid-Winter

What was Montreal like 202 years ago on Christmas Eve, the very night that some 549 officers and men of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York were informed that their regiment was disbanded, they were off the imperial military budget, the war lost in the revolting states and their homes and lands permanently confiscated by the revolutionaries?

It was a sober and sombre moment for these men, their wives and children, who made up a total of 1,462 people, all squeezed into the newly-built Montreal barracks that faced Jacques Cartier Square. The Montreal commandant, Brig.-General Barry St. Leger, was quite candid about their condition. He had reported earlier to Governor Frederick Haldimand that he had “contracted the Royal Yorkers into as narrow a compass as possible on this side of misery” in order to make a little room for the incoming companies of the 53rd regiment of British regulars. To make matters worse on that Christmas Eve in 1783, most of the wives and children of the Royal Yorkers “were down with measles or smallpox”.

Read the article in the UELAC education section.

Captain John MacDonald of the Royal Highland Emigrants

On a low hill overlooking the upper Hillsborough River in northwestern Queens County, Prince Edward Island is an imposing monument to Captain John MacDonald, an officer of the 2nd Battalion, 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). It was erected in Scotchfort Cemetery by his descendants and others who remember him as the founder of the First Scottish Catholic Settlement in Prince Edward Island. In early November, 2015, as a history enthusiast and member of the 84th of Foot, 2nd Battalion, Regimental Association I visited the site.

Captain MacDonald was unique in several ways among the Officers of the 84th Regiment:

  • unlike other Officers he had no previous military experience;
  • he was a Roman Catholic while his Commander and other Officers were Protestant;
  • he had already settled in what would become part of Canada and remained there after the war, unlike most other Officers who returned to Scotland;
  • he was one of the few Officers to have his place of death recognized with a Monument.

For these reasons it is perhaps easier to remember him and to recognize his place in history. Read his story, from his father’s participation at Culloden to John’s immigration to St. John’s (later known as Prince Edward) Island, his participation in the American Revolution and his return to his PEI home.

Brian McConnell, UE

Fire and Its Impact on Jacob Phillips

Jacob Phillips, in his petition for land, 08 December 1836, shared the impact of fire on him. He swore an oath that:

“… his discharge was burnt on the journey from Quebec to Nova Scotia in the Year 1784 of his sister with whom he had left it to take care of with their clothing &c in the cabin they were then tenanting and that this Deponent did make application to the late Mr Small respecting his U. E. rights and lands about the Year 1795 and the reason of his not having moved his claim as U. E. Loyalist he had always imagined that he was placed upon the list.”

I have attached a copy of the original page, the one in which he states his discharge is burnt. The entire petition is available from Library and Archives Canada. I have also attached my transcription of the petition.

Not having his discharge paper complicated things for Jacob Phillips! He filed several petitions before finally being placed on the U.E. List.

…Elizabeth Maize

The Christmas Pie

In most English societies, for centuries Christmas has been a time of gatherings, and food, and festivities, and traditions, and family. For many people in the eighteenth century, Christmas was celebrated much differently than it typically is today. Remnants of the old holiday customs can still be found in rhyme and song. “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” for instance, is a whimsical 18th century English carol that enumerates the progressive celebrations starting with Christmas day and culminating with Epiphany.

Christmas was Incomplete without Christmas Pie … but which one?

There were traditional celebrations along with their traditional foods. One such dish was the Christmas pie. Now there were apparently two kinds of Christmas pies known to the English: the Yorkshire pie, and the mince pie.

Read the rest of this interesting article from Savouring the Past.

Certificates Issued in November

The list of UE Certificates has been updated to include those issued in November 2015.

Likewise, the Loyalist Directory has been updated accordingly

UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Opportunity

Did you know that UELAC provides scholarship support to postgraduate students? Two scholarships of $2500.00 are offered each year to qualified candidates undertaking a program in relevant Loyalist history (1783 – 1800) research.

The UELAC Loyalist Scholarship, established in 1998, is available for each of two years for Masters and three years for PhD students. Preference may be given to students who have taken an undergraduate degree in history, to those who are of proven Loyalist descent, and to students at universities in Canada.

Past Loyalist Scholarship recipients have studied at home and abroad attending Queen’s University; Western University; University of California, Davis; Dalhousie University; Brock University; Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne; University of Stirling, Scotland; and King’s College, London.

The United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada is proud to support the academic achievements of these dedicated historians.

2016 application requirements and additional information is available here.

How can you participate? Two ways:

1. Share. We ask that you share the above information with interested students of history and members of your local academic communities.

2. Give. UELAC welcomes donations to the Loyalist Scholarship Fund. Your dollars directly support Loyalist history research. Help us to do more. Please mark your donations — Scholarship Fund. (Ways to Donate.)

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Thank you.

…Bonnie Schepers, UE, UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Chair

Borealia: Loyalists in the Classroom: Students reflect on historical sources

History students at the University of New Brunswick, in Bonnie Huskins’ course on Loyalists, wrote a response to Christopher Minty’s Borealia post on using petitions and claims as sources for Loyalist Studies. They write, in part:

In our seminar, we discussed the interpretive issues involved in using Loyalist Claims Commission (LCC) records. We agree with you that the claims were biased in the sense that claimants were crafting their submissions to acquire compensation from the commission. But it was the subjective nature of the claims records which made them so fascinating. In our seminar we found that the language used by the claimants was significant: for example, the phrases used by female claimants provided insight into the gender norms of the period. We also concluded that claims records only applied to those who had access to the commission process and could document their claims. The claimants were mostly male and mostly white. It was interesting to assess why it was that Black Loyalists received so little from the commission.

Read the rest of their reflections, and a postscript on Huskins’ course on Loyalists.

Borealia: Pirates, 1726: The Regionalism of Danger in the Early Northeast

By Alexandra Montgomery

The story of the Tryal is a gripping one. It has all the elements of a good yarn: high-seas violence, captive loved ones, and dramatic plot twists, all set against the dramatic beauty of Nova Scotia’s south shore. As an incident of intense intercultural contact, it is also compelling for historians. William Wicken, for example, has used it to talk about relationships between New England fishermen and the Mi’kmaw communities they interacted with along Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast. Geoffrey Plank has discussed the trial for what it says about efforts to separate Acadians and Mi’kmaq within the province, as the ethnically mixed members of the Guedry-Meuse family were sorted into categories of “French” and “Indian.” But I suspect that this story might also have something to tell us about how we as historians can understand dynamics in the greater Gulf of Maine region in the era before the erection of an international border. Both “sides” in this encounter were multicultural and multiethnic. Doty’s crew, for example, consisted not only of English-descended white New Englanders, but at least one Native man from the Cape Cod region, Philip Sachimus. It is therefore not accurate to consider this simply an encounter between the English and French, or even between natives and newcomers. The events of August 1726 also did not involve crossing between empires. Still, both sides clearly recognized a significant regional difference, one defined, in this case, by the threat and location of captivity.

Read the rest of this post.

JAR: Which side benefited the most from the Native Americans?

We would almost all agree that the Native Americans lost the most at the end of the day. But which of the American Rebels or British Loyalists benefited most from their relationship/partnership/alliances with various Native American groups.

There are some interesting comments among these various points of view.

Where in the World?

Where are Gene and Suzanne Davidson of Calgary 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.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Hannah Otis’s (1732-1801) sampler “View of Boston Common” (c. 1750, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) is a charming and significant pictorial narrative, capturing life in Boston prior to the Revolution. The connection of the sampler to a significant New England family, the documentary nature and large over-mantel size all serve to distinguish it as a preeminent example of school girl skill and, in this case, creativity. It is embroidered in wool and silk on a linen canvas.
  • As the Newport Historical Society continues to unpack and rehouse artifacts after the Resource Center Renovation Project, staff has been rediscovering some fascinating pieces from our costume collection. This pair of infant shirts, made with distinct printed fabrics, are said to have been worn by Mary Arnold of Newport, circa 1776. Read more about them, with photos.
  • Who introduced the Christmas tree to London? Tina Baxter and Miss Kitty take us on a tour of parts of the City, which have links to the 18th century and tell us about Georgian London and Christmas in particular. Listen to an episode “A Georgian London Christmas” of Londonist Out Loud, a podcast about London.
  • Is the future of our public heritage sites looking dimmer? Is there hope? Read the thoughts of Taylor Stoermer at The History Doctor who was worried and then visited Plimouth Plantation. There is hope.
  • Holiday Countdown: December 10th. Nostalgic memories of a child’s “world of wonders” in the old Winnipeg store of the Hudson’s Bay Company at Christmas. Written by Ruth Harvey. Illustrated by Barbara Cook. For the Yuletide Feast. Each year we can identify the subtle hints that the holiday season is upon us, whether it be the smell of cinnamon, the hustle-bustle of shoppers, or the continuous ringing of bells. In this article from the 1949 December issue of The Beaver magazine a young child can already recognize these symbols of the holiday season in the old Winnipeg store of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Read the article, view it in the original printed format as well.
  • Forget the Syrians. Who’s keeping an eye on those Loyalist refugees? Many of the ancestors of today’s Anglo-Canadian population — including folks who like to boast about their “old stock” roots — came here as refugees fleeing the American War of Independence, which ended in 1783. Known as Loyalists, they came by the tens of thousands, believing that the British Crown remained a better guarantor of life and liberty than the radical, new American Republic to the south. By Robert J. Talbot. Posted in iPOLITICS.

Addendum: First World War Casualty Isaac Maracle

Information about Isaac Maracle was provided last week. More notes:

Here is an image of Isaac Maracle.

He had originally served for 2 years with the 49th Regiment Hastings Rifles, then enlisted in Deseronto on March 29, 1916 with the 155th Battalion. Following his training in England, Isaac was transferred from the 155th Battalion to serve overseas with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He was killed in action on October 30, 1917 during an attack west of Passchendaele, and since his body was never found, he is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

…Brian Tackaberry, Bay of Quinte Branch