“Loyalist Trails” 2016-11: March 13, 2016

In this issue:
Week Six Update: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016
Conference 2016: Loyalists, Lighthouses & Lobsters
Natives in Her Diary (Part Two), by Stephen Davidson
Comment on Natives in Her Diary (Part One)
Oldest Loyalist: John Schram
Borealia: A Loyalist Historian from Canada Responds to American Scholars
JAR: Alexander Hamilton, Benedict Arnold and a “forgotten” Publius
Conference: The American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley, June 9-12
The Lawrence Loyalist Rose Helps Solve Lawrason Genealogical Mystery
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Cecil Elvin Decker, UE
      + Thanks for Response re Heraldry
      + Response re Upper Canada Land Board Records


Week Six Update: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016

Moving on up! Donations to the scholarship fund in the sixth week of our campaign have reached $3,861.00. With your help our goal of $5000.00 will become a reality on April 1. This week we welcomed Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch and Toronto Branch UELAC to our growing list of donors. Thank you!

When this fundraising campaign was first announced we promised to spotlight graduate students who have benefited from the UELAC Scholarship. This led to the question — ‘Where Are They Now?’ and we have come up with some interesting answers. We found our 2008 UELAC Loyalist scholar, at one of the oldest provincial museums in the country. A post on Twitter by The Nova Scotia Museum @NS_Museum this past week featured a great photo of Archaeology Curator, Dr. Katie Cottreau-Robins. See the photo and read more about Katie here – Meet the Curators.

Michael Greguol MA, our 2011 UELAC Loyalist scholarship recipient, joined the staff of AECOM, London, Ontario in 2015 as a Cultural Heritage Specialist. He is a member of the Cultural Resources Management team at AECOM and has project experience in assessing heritage properties, buildings, and cultural heritage landscapes as part of land use planning applications and environmental assessments. Michael attended The National Trust for Canada Conference 2015 in Calgary, Alberta as a session participant on the topic of Conservation Challenges: Integrating Old and New. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP). Michael’s bio is on our list of UELAC Scholars. We will soon be adding his major research paper.

What else is new?

The UELAC scholarship committee is busy reviewing applications for 2016. We look forward to introducing the newest recipients of the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship. An announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

As we near the close of the 2016 challenge, we need you to reach our goal. Through the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship we are developing relationships with educational institutions, academic supervisors, and with committed students as they begin their professional careers. Your gift now will have a lasting effect on Loyalist history research. Please give now. At the close of the fund drive on April 1, 2016 a Donor Appreciation list will be added to the UELAC Scholarship site. Thank you.

For those on Facebook and social media, please use the hashtag #UEscholars to draw attention to the Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge.

…Bonnie Schepers, UE, Scholarship Committee

Conference 2016

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. Information about the conference is now available – read here.

A “welcome” stands by the gate to the Loyalist Country Inn.

Natives in Her Diary: Elizabeth Simcoe’s Encounters with First Nations People: Part I

© Stephen Davidson, UE

From 1791 to 1796, Elizabeth Simcoe lived in Upper Canada, a colony comprised of loyalist refugees. As the wife of its governor, John Graves Simcoe, she travelled from Quebec City to Niagara, making sketches of what she saw, visiting the settlers, meeting Natives, and writing down her observations of life in the new colony. This article begins with her entry for December of 1792.

On another Sunday, December 9, 1792– Elizabeth entertained Joseph Brant, the greatest Native hero of the American Revolution. “He has a countenance expressive of art or cunning. He wore an English coat, with a handsome crimson silk blanket, lined with black and trimmed with gold fringe, and wore a fur cap; round his neck he had a string of plaited sweet hay. It is a kind of grass which never loses its pleasant scent. The Indians are very fond of it.”

Elizabeth’s diary entries for the winter of 1793 reveal that several Mohawks were to guide her husband overland to Detroit by a route never before taken by a European. In addition to their knowledge of Upper Canadian geography, the Simcoes appreciated Natives for speedily delivering their English mail from Montreal to Niagara — although a few letters had their edges burnt from the mail packet being hung too near the fire!

In March, Elizabeth was amazed at how her husband’s Mohawk guides had cared for him on their return from Detroit. “A party of the Indians went on an hour before, to cut down wood for a fire and make huts of trees, which they cover with bark so dexterously that no rain can penetrate, and this they do very expeditiously; when the Governor came to the spot the Indians had fixed upon the lodge for the night, the provisions were cooked.”

In April of 1793, Elizabeth recorded the names of two Native men, the first time that she had done so in her diary (with the exception of Joseph Brant). Jacob Lewis and Aaron Hill, two Mohawks, had made a journey from Detroit in just eight days, walking 56 miles on the last day. Two months later, she met the men again when they brought mail from Detroit. Aaron “was well dressed and looked very handsome. Lewis’ wife was with him; a very pretty woman, the only handsome woman I have seen among the Indians. We treated them with cherries. The Indians are particularly fond of fruit.”

In July, Native leaders gathered to confer with Elizabeth’s husband regarding the boundary line between Upper Canada and the United States. As her diary notes, the First Nations chiefs were treated as respected members of the council. A ship “arrived with 270 Indians from St. Regis. They belong to the tribes called the Seven {sic} Nations of Canada. They speak French, are much civilized, and have a good deal of the manners of Frenchmen.”

A month later, Elizabeth met members of Ojibway people for the first time. “They are extremely handsome, and have a superior air to any I have seen … These Indians brought the Governor ‘a beaver blanket to make his bed,’ as they expressed themselves, apologized for not having done it sooner, and invited him to visit their country.”

Although not recorded in the diary of Elizabeth Simcoe, little Francis, the Simcoes’ son, was a great favourite of the Iroquois. He was later given Native clothing, an honorary chieftainship, and the name Deyoken, meaning “between two objects”.

Elizabeth recorded Francis’ reaction when a chief, his wife and their ten children gave the Simcoes some deer meat. “Francis handed plates of apples to them. He shakes hands with the Indians in a very friendly manner, tho’ he is very shy and ungracious to all his own countrymen.” When Seneca people came north from New York State, Francis went to see them dance “and afterwards imitated their dancing and singing surprisingly well.”

Elizabeth delighted in the skills of the Natives. “To see a birch canoe managed with that inexpressible care and composure, which is the characteristic of an Indian, is the prettiest sight imaginable. A man usually paddles at one end of it and a woman at the other; but in smooth water little exertion is wanting, and they sit quietly, as if to take the air. The canoe appears to move as if by clockwork. I always wish to conduct a canoe myself when I see them manage it with such dexterity and grace. An European usually looks awkward and in a bustle compared with the Indian’s quiet skill in a canoe.”

Elizabeth noted the burial customs of the local Native tribe with all of the objectivity of a modern day anthropologist. “I passed a spot on the peninsula where it was supposed an Indian had been buried lately. A small pile of wood was raised, a bow and arrow lay on it, and a dog skin hung near it. Some Indians sacrifice dogs, other tribes eat them when extremely ill.” Two weeks later, “An Indian came here who, by way of being in mourning for a relation, was painted black round his face.”

On another occasion, “I saw a Chippewa woman carrying a linen bundle tied up like a doll. I was told it was customary for them to carry about this thing for some months after the death of their husbands. When an Indian intends to express his determination to get thro’ any difficulty he says “Garistakaw,” and after that always pursues the object.”

In January of 1794, Elizabeth’s diary entries recorded her recognition of Native astronomy, artistry, and bearing. “The Indians call the stars we name Ursa Major, a marten with a broken tail. I received from Detroit a stone carved by an Indian into a head, and when it is known that they have no tools but the commonest kind of small knife, it is surprising to see it is so well done. I sketched a Caughnawaga Indian to-day whose figure was quite antique … I have often observed (but never had more reason to do so than to-day) that when the Indians speak, their air and action is more like that of Roman or Greek orators than of modern nations. They have a great deal of impressive action, and look like the figures painted by the Old Masters.”

Within two year’s time, Elizabeth Simcoe would bid farewell to Upper Canada and its Native people. See next week’s Loyalist Trails for the final chapter in this series.

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

Comment on Natives in Her Diary (Part One)

I enjoyed reading your account of Mrs Simcoe’s diary. It is of special interest to me at this time as I am writing a tour guide for Adolphustown – Fredericksburgh townships in Ontario. Fairly recently an Indian site was discovered at the “gap” between Amherst Island and Prince Edward County – looking out on Lake Ontario. Three signs have been erected: one in English, one in French and one in Mohawk. The tour Date of tour is August 27 – part of the Old Hay Bay Church “Roots” Reunion August 26-28 – will be stopping there and Ms Simcoe’s diary information helps embellish the commentary. I don’t think I need to reprint your article but would like to make reference to her diary.

Thanks for contributing this information at this time.

Lois O’Hara

Oldest Loyalist: John Schram

John (given name Johannes) Schram was baptised 7 April 1755 at the Zions Lutheran Church in Loonenburg (now Athens) in the Province of New York. He died Sept. 17 1851 in the house of his son Jacob in Gainsborough Township, age 96 years, 5 mos., 10 days – and his headstone rests in the Schram Family Burial Plot in Pelham Township.

John married Margaret Staufer, the daughter of Henry Staufer, and settled in the Katskills before the breakout of the American Rebellion when he served as a private in Butler’s Rangers. After the war he returned to New York and is found on the 1790 United States Census of Coxsackie with his wife and five children. However as with most loyalist he found life in the United States was too difficult and came to the Upper Canada where petitioned for land as a loyalist in 1794 and 1797. He received a warrant for lots 15 and 16 on concession 2 in Hope Township in 1797 but chose instead to settle in Pelham Township where he purchase lot 9 on concession 1 from his cousin Jeremiah Schram.

John and Margaret raised a family of 10 children, one of which was Jacob who fought in the War of 1812 and was in the Battle of Queenston Heights.

Of particular interest is a story involving the Schram and Disher Families and how the Schram Family Burial Plot came to be located on land owned by William Disher. In the early 1810s William Disher built his mill on 15 mile creek (later to be called Sawmill Creek) and Sawmill Road was cut through the forest separating concession 1 and 2 in Pelham Township. When constructing the road it was discovered that John’s property line had encroached upon William Disher’s property on lot 9 of the 2nd concession. William, who had fought in Butler’s Rangers had been a “brother in arms” with John during the war. Faced with the problem a gentlemen’s arrangement was struck between the two men that left John in possession of part of William’s lot. Whether or not the Schram Family Burial plot had been established at the time is unknown because there is no record to shed light on the matter. Whatever the arrangement, it was honoured by Joseph Disher, after his father’s death in 1835, as John Schram was buried in the Burial plot shortly following his death in September of 1851. Following John’s death lot 9 on concession 2, including the Schram Family Burial Plot, became the property of DC Roland who married into the Disher family. The Roland family emphatically states to this day that lot 9 never left the Disher family possession. So how it is that the Schram Burial Plot remained on Disher property is a “Loyalist Mystery”.

…Submitted by John Schram, UE

For more interesting history, visit the section on Oldest Loyalists.

Borealia: A Loyalist Historian from Canada Responds to American Scholars

This week at Borealia, Bonnie Huskins urges American historians of Loyalism to consider how Canadian and Atlantic World historians have taken different approaches to Loyalist studies. Here’s a taste of her essay:

It has been gratifying to see the number of recent Borealia blog posts on the loyalists Sources for Loyalist Studies, Loyalists in the Classroom: Students reflect on historical sources, The Future of Loyalist Studies, and Let’s Play Again: Recovering “The Losers” of the American Revolution (Part I). However, it is sometimes a tad frustrating to hear references to the loyalists as an ‘overlooked’ people.

Perhaps this is the case in the context of American historiography, but I would like to interject with the reminder that scholars of British North America/Canada have been studying the loyalists for a long time. This is articulated in Jane Errington’s 2012 review essay “Loyalists and Loyalism in the American Revolution and Beyond” as well as Ruma Chopra’s “Enduring Patterns of Loyalist Study: Definitions and Contours.” I realize that many scholars of early America are more interested in examining the loyalists in situ. Indeed, one of the most interesting directions in loyalist studies is the analysis of loyalist reintegration into the United States being pursued by historians such as Rebecca Brannon. Nonetheless, I still hold that the literature written about loyalists and loyalism in a Canadian and Atlantic World setting are useful for American researchers. Perhaps this is a transitional moment, as Chris Minty suggests in The Future of Loyalist Studies. As scholars and public historians engage with the loyalists who returned to the United States, or never left, it is hoped that they will do so in the spirit of collaboration.”

You can read the rest of her essay here. As always, you can follow Borealia on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for email updates.

JAR: Alexander Hamilton, Benedict Arnold and a “forgotten” Publius

By Stephen Brumwell; 9 March 2016

Hamilton was a gifted, versatile and prolific writer, keen to communicate his ideas through personal letters, official reports and political essays. Given their importance in promoting the ratification of the US Constitution, particular attention has focused on Hamilton’s prominent role in producing the series of articles, collectively known as The Federalist Papers, first published in 1787-88 in three New York newspapers: The Independent Journal, The New-York Packet, and The Daily Advertiser. Hamilton who penned the majority of the eighty-five Federalist essays, chose the nom-de-plume “Publius,” after one of the founders of the Roman Republic, Publius Valerius.

This was not the first time that Alexander Hamilton had adopted the persona of “Publius.” He’d also used it in October and November 1778, when he wrote three newspaper articles, all published in The New-York Journal, and the General Advertiser, attacking Maryland Congressman Samuel Chase for allegedly deploying insider knowledge in an unfair — and unpatriotic — bid to monopolize the flour market.

Existing scholarship maintains that it would be another nine years before Hamilton once more assumed the mantle of “Publius,” yet there’s compelling evidence that he resumed that identity just two years later in 1780, in the wake of one of the most dramatic episodes of the entire Revolutionary War, Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold’s failed attempt to betray the Hudson Valley fortress of West Point to the British.

Interesting reading, with a portion about the capture of Major André and Arnold’s escape.

Conference: The American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley, June 9-12

The Mohawk played a key role in the struggle for American independence. Discover the area’s rich history and attend an exciting conference that will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, 2016. Four great days of history, nine fascinating presentations, two distinct bus tours of Mohawk Country Historic Sites, banquet with keynote speaker at the historic 1765 Goose Van Alstyne Tavern and much more.

More information at Mohawk Country: America’s First Frontier or contact Brian Mack who also handles registration at fortplainmuseum@yahoo.com or 518-774-5669.

See Flyer, Schedule, Registration.

The Lawrence Loyalist Rose Helps Solve Lawrason Genealogical Mystery

[Read with photo and image]

Jim Lawrason had been troubled during his genealogical research. The names “William and Anna” Lawrason were included in the The Annals of the Forty describing local Grimsby Loyalists. It reads “On the 4th of May 1804 Rev. Addison, of Niagara’s St. Mark’s Church, baptized Elizabeth daughter of William & Anna Lawrason.”

He was never able to find any further records of William & Anna. However in subsequent research of the Loyalist families, that travelled from the New Jersey area, he discovered a record of a William & Anna Lawrence who brought theirLoyalist Rose to Canada.

William and Anna Lawrence nurtured a treasured rose in their Conestoga wagon in 1787, and travelled up the Susquehanna River Valley with a large Loyalist group to Grimsby Ontario. This rose continued to grow in the Lawrencefamily’s garden for several generations.

Then in 1946 this rose was transplanted to a Toronto garden, and in 2015 Jim & Colleen Lawrason were kindly given an offshoot by Mrs. Mary Williamson UE. The St. Catharines Lawrasons now have a Lawrence Loyalist Rose to enjoy, and pass to other United Empire Loyalists.

Jim recently visited St. Mark’s Church Niagara-on-the-Lake and viewed the May 4th 1804 baptismal registry which records “Elizabeth Lawrence of William and Anna”.

The Annals of the Forty had mistakenly given Elizabeth, and her parents William & Anna, the surname Lawrason. This record showed that William & Anna’s correct surname was Lawrence; the purveyors of the Lawrence Loyalist Rose!

…Jim Lawrason, St. Catharines

Where in the World?

Where is Christopher Minty, UELAC Loyalist Scholarship recipient 2012?

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 your submission to the editor at loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Region and Branch Bits

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

  • Some mornings you just have to take the time to go for a walk and enjoy the view that surrounds you. Welcome to the Highland Village, a living history museum and cultural centre that celebrates the Gaelic experience in Nova Scotia.
  • Celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. The Monarchist League of Canada gala reception with His Excellency TheRt Honorable David Johnston Governor General and Commander in Chief of Canada. Music by ensembles of The Governor General’s Horse Guards Band, at the Churchill Ballroom, Chelsea Hotel in Toronto on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 3:00 – 5:00 pm ~ business dress. Tariff payable online: scroll down to “Event Tickets” at www.monarchist.ca/en/products
  • Spring Social – Sir Guy Carleton Branch UELAC – Saturday April 23, 2016. Best Western Hotel, Ottawa, at noon. Speaker: F. Murray Barkley. Topic: “The Influence of Loyalists on Upper Canada”. $30 per person. Details at website.
  • Celebrate The Queen’s 90th Birthday: The Governor General’s Horse Guards Cavalry & historical Society, and The Regimental Band Featuring Mrs. Ruth Ann Onley in Celebrating The Queen’s 90th Birthday. Sunday April 24, 2016 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. At York University, Tribute Communities Recital Hall. Tickets and information at (416) 736-5888 or ampd.yorku.ca/boxoffice. $30.00
  • Nova Scotia Branch Spring Meeting, Tour of Old Burying Grounds, and Government House in Halifax will be Saturday, May 7, 2016. A Business Meeting at the central Halifax Library on Spring Garden Road in Halifax at 11 a.m. followed by short break for lunch from 12:00 – 12:30. The Tour of Old Burying Grounds, a short walk away, will be from 1:00 – 2:00. We will then cross the street for Tour of Government House.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Blakely, Chambers Sr. – from Brenda Hawley-Harrison

Last Post: Cecil Elvin Decker, UE

July 29, 1923 – March 5, 2016. Cecil Elvin Decker CMA -92 of Halifax passed away Saturday, March 5, 2016, in the QE11 Hospital. Cecil was born in Jordan Ferry, Shelburne County, the oldest son of the late Harold and Hilda (Bower) Decker. His early career was as a partner in the family lumber business in Musquodoboit and later moved to Halifax where he worked and studied to achieve his designation as Certified Management Accountant of Canada. He worked for the province of Nova Scotia in the Department of Finance as Supervisor of Accounts Payable and retired as chief account for the Fisheries Loan Board in 1988.

In his earlier years he was an active member of Brunswick United Church, where he was an elder and on financial committees until 1996. He was a fully documented Member and Charter Member of the [Halifax/Dartmouth – now Nova Scotia – Branch] United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada and a member of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada.

His particular passion was reserved for Masonry and his work with this organization began when he joined C.W. Saunders Lodge No. 125 of Elmsdale in 1957. In 1964, he was Worshipful Master and received the Meritorious Service Medal in 2000. He served in many cfpacities; he was a Knight Grand Cross with 3 Quadrants.

A member of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America, where he was Preeminent Governor of N.S. College #132 Truro N.S. and Grand Governor in 1997-2000 and received the honor of becoming Regent Emeritus. A member of the Scottish Rite, he served as Commander-in-Chief of the N.S. Sovereign Consistory from 1981-83. In 1990 he was awarded the honorary 33rd degree.

A member of the Eastern Star, he joined Elmsdale Chapter No. 55 in 1958. In his spare time, he enjoyed bowling, travelling, reading historical items and music.

He is survived by his wife, Eleanor (Vogler); brother, Henry (wife, Marcheta — deceased) and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Ernest and his wife, June; sister, Mildred and her husband, George, and first wife, Helen (Pace) Decker.

A Masonic, Eastern Star, and funeral service will be held at Bethany United Church on Clinton Ave, on Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 pm, with Rev. Kevin Little officiating. Donations in memory may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital or Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre of Canada or a charity of your own choice. A private burial at a later date. Online messages of condolence www.jasnowfuneralhome.com.

He was a member of the Halifax Dartmouth Branch for many years and a descendant of Adam Bauer (Bower). He lived to a ripe age of 92. A very quiet man, a gentlemen, a Mason; he will be fondly remembered by many.

…Ray Blakeney, UE


Thanks for Response re Heraldry

Mr. Rumball, thank you for the helpful answer to my query.

I have arms granted as follows: I engaged one of the Heralds to search College records. He found arms granted to Wade Browne of Monkton Farleigh, Wilts, my 2nd cousin 4x removed, in about 1850. In vigorous research I have found no living descendants of his line.

I decided it was OK to difference these arms as the easiest solution, skipping design and possible infringement problems.

From where to get a grant? Canada does not grant to non-Canadians, A grant from the College of Arms is only honorary. And is very expensive. At that time, a good workaround was available from Spain. Spain claims heraldic jurisdiction over parts of the US once under her authority, most of our Southwest and west coast. The arms are a grant and were of moderate cost.

It is tempting to re-design with a Loyalist coronet. Though my Loyalist ancestor, Lt. Robert Melvin, fought for the Crown in the colonial wars, I doubt he fought during the Revolution as he was in his 60s. So if I augment, it would be a civil crown.

Thanks to Doug Grant and UELAC for mediating.

…Howard Browne, UE, Williamsburg, Virginia

Response re Upper Canada Land Board Records

Last week, the query Upper Canada Land Board Records brought a response.

The microfilms are digitized on the Heritage Canadiana website.

Follow this link: http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c14027/1?r=0&s=1.

…Guylaine Petrin