“Loyalist Trails” 2016-12: March 20, 2016

In this issue:
Week Seven Update: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016
2016 UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Award Recipients
Conference 2016: Registration Form
Natives in Her Diary (Part Three), by Stephen Davidson
More About Part Two: The Seven Nations
Borealia: Dartmouth College and Canada
JAR: Benedict Arnold, Natural Born Military Genius
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post
      + Lynne Cook (O’Brien) UE
      + Catherine Margaret (Peggy) Milliken
      + Response re Upper Canada Land Board Records


Week Seven Update: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016

We have raised $4436.00! With less than two weeks to go there is a very real possibility that we may exceed our goal of $5000.00. Thank you so much for your generous support. This has been an exciting week for the scholarship committee as we anticipate the announcement of two successful candidates for the 2016 UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Award.

William James, a 19th century American philosopher and psychologist said, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” This week we added Nova Scotia Branch to our growing list of donors bringing the total number of participating branches to 10. With two weeks left in this campaign we look forward to adding more branches and individuals to our Donor Appreciation List.

Dr. Peter Moogk UE, Vancouver Branch, a member of the UELAC scholarship committee shares his thoughts on the value of supporting original research on the American Loyalists. Peter says, “Canadians, who are constantly exposed to American popular culture, need to be reminded that the Loyalists were not a selfish, privileged elite or wrong-headed losers who resisted political progress. Original research on the American Loyalists will reveal their actual social makeup and their guiding principles and remind Canadians of the real nature of those who laid the foundations of English-speaking Canada. It is in the UELAC’s interest to encourage such research; it is also a service to Canada.”

Our thanks to Peter Moogk UE and Murray Barkley UE of the scholarship committee for their considered review of the 2016 Loyalist Scholarship applications.

This fundraising campaign ends April 1, 2016. UELAC gladly accepts donations to the scholarship fund throughout the year. Your gift now will have a lasting effect on Loyalist history research Please give now.

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

2016 UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Award Recipients

The success of our 2016 Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge has allowed UELAC to award two PhD graduate scholarships this year. Of the excellent applications received, both of the award winning candidates met and surpassed the criteria set out by the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.

The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada is pleased to announce Ms. Stephanie Seal Walters and Ms. Sophie H. Jones, recipients of the 2016 UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Award. Each of these successful UE Scholars, plans to make use of archives in Canada and the United States to conduct primary research. This may allow members and friends of UELAC to extend a warm welcome in person. To find out more about their accomplishments and immediate travel plans please read more here (PDF).

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.

The information about the conference was updated this week and good news! The registration form is now available (a word version coming soon) – read here.

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

Natives in Her Diary (Part Three)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Time and again, as one browses through Elizabeth Simcoe’s diary, one is impressed by the regard she held for the Native people she met. An aristocrat and scholar, she did not belittle either the Natives’ character or knowledge.

Elizabeth had an underlying respect and trust in these people as is illustrated when her toddler, Francis, met the Ojibway chief, Canise. Also known as Great Sail, the chief was present when guns fired at York’s naming ceremony. Canise “took Francis in his arms, and was much pleased to find the child not afraid, but delighted with the sound {of the cannon}.”

The winter of 1794 was a difficult one for those who depended on deer for their meat. The entry Elizabeth made a year later related how Natives had killed 500 deer in a month “within a fence of seven miles; they cut down trees and laid them in a circle of that extent; the deer were afraid to pass the apparent fence and were easily shot.”

However, in 1794, the winter was very cold with little snow cover, making it difficult to track deer. Consequently, “the Indians have been almost starved. A great many of their women and children come to our windows every day for bread, which we cannot refuse them, tho’ having but a small quantity of flour until the spring supply arrives, it is inconvenient to give them what they require.”

These contributions to the Natives must have made a strong impression on little Francis. A year later, after he met a First Nations man washing clothes in a lake, Francis asked his mother for a loaf of bread to give the man.

Elizabeth admired Native efficiency. She noted that they were able to “shoot small birds with such blunt arrow that their plumage is not injured”. Their quiet gatherings were even more impressive. “We went out in a boat. While we were walking in the garden this evening about 50 Indians, men and women, landed from their canoes and encamped outside the paling, brought on shore their luggage and made fires; they were met by a party of Senecas, who sat round their fire. All this passed with so little noise or bustle that we scarcely heard there were people near us. What a noise would the encampment of 50 Englishmen have made! … {they} never appear to make one motion that does not effect the purpose they intend.”

During their stay in Upper Canada, the four members of the Simcoe family often received game or wild berries as gifts from Natives. In February of 1796, Elizabeth’s diary notes, “A Mohawk, named Jacob, and his wife came here. They are handsome and well dressed. She works any pattern given her in beads remarkably well; they brought Francis a present of cranberries.”

This Jacob impressed Elizabeth with his ability to dance. “Jacob, the Mohawk … danced Scotch reels with more ease and grace than any person 1 ever saw, and had the air of a prince. The picturesque way in which he wore and held a black blanket gave it the air of a Spanish cloak; his leggings were scarlet; on his head and arms he wore silver bands. I never saw so handsome a figure.”

Sometimes the Simcoe family received handcrafted items as gifts. J.B. Lawrence, one of Simcoe’s officials “met with some Indians, who invited them to feast on bear’s meat. They appeared to use many ceremonies on this occasion, which he did not understand. The head is always presented to the chief of the party, and they make a rule that all that is dressed of bear’s meat must be eaten at the feast. Mr. Lawrence brought me two wooden bowls and spoons; they are made by the Indians from the knots … growing on pine and other large trees; they are stained red by the juice of the inner bark of the hemlock pine, of which they make a decoction on purpose. The children will use these bowls as basins at breakfast when travelling.”

Elizabeth’s diary even offers a glimpse of the prices of goods in the mid-1790s. In April, “Some Indians brought maple sugar to sell in birch bark baskets. I gave three dollars for 30 pounds.”

In June of 1796, Joseph Brant visited with the Simcoe family for the last time. “Capt. Brant … called on horseback on his way to Niagara, but left his sons and attendants here till the wind proves fair for them to proceed. The boys are going to school at Niagara. They are fine children about ten years old. They dined with us and gave Francis a boat. Francis gave the Mohawks a sheep for their dinner, and afterwards they danced and played at ball. …. Brant’s sons slept in our house, and the Indians found shelter under a number of planks; these are here to finish the house.”

Mrs Simcoe’s last reference to the First Nations of Upper Canada was written just a few days after she entertained the Brants. Elizabeth, her daughter Sophia, and two Natives went for a three-mile canoe ride on the Credit River. They had to stop to portage around some rapids, and when they were about to step back into their canoe, they found a small snake. “The Indians took it out with caution and abhorrence. They hate snakes, which they seem to dread more than the Europeans do.”

It is fitting that Elizabeth Simcoe’s last contact with Natives focused on what the two races had in common –a dislike of snakes– rather than on what made them different. Her five years in Canada gave her an “up close and personal” perspective of First Nations people. Whatever preconceptions of “red men” that she may have had when she arrived in Upper Canada were replaced by experiences of Native generosity, skillfulness, and dignity. She watched her small son’s positive encounters with First Nations people, appreciated their services to her husband, and put her trust in the Natives’ knowledge of the wilderness.

Such openness to new experiences has left posterity with a remarkable document, the diary of Elizabeth Simcoe. Thanks to her observations, we have a unique perspective on the life of First Nations people during the loyalist settlement of Upper Canada.

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

More About Part Two: The Seven Nations

Stephen, I greatly enjoyed the notes you made from Elizabeth Simcoe’s diaries. An observation. Here’s an excerpt from your article.

… 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” …

Your “sic” suggests that Elizabeth made an error, perhaps indicating she should have written “Six”; however, “Seven” is correct. The Native communities in lower Quebec were known by several designations — the Canada Indians, The Seven Fires, Praying Indians, Domiciliated Indians, or the Seven Nations of Canada. Although there is debate about what communities constituted the seven, here’s a likely list:

Kahnawake (Caughnawaga or Sault Ste Marie);

Kanehsatake (Oka);

Akwesasne (St. Regis);

Odanak (St. Francis) and Becancoeur;

Lake of Two Mountains Algonquins;

Lake of Two Mountains Nipissings;

and the Hurons of Lorette.

I thought you would like to know.

…Gavin Watt


By Thomas Peace, March 14, 2016.

“When I first learned about Louis Vincent Sawatanen, about a decade ago, I thought that this Wendat man from Lorette was exceptional. Indeed, in many ways he was. Sawatanen was competent, if not fluent, in at least five different languages (Wendat, Mohawk, French, English, and Abenaki). At the end of the eighteenth-century, when the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution, and the subsequent settler floods that followed these conflicts radically transformed his world, he deftly navigated linguistic and religious chasms, bridging French/English, Patriot/Loyalist, and Protestant/Catholic divides. Indeed, in the midst of turmoil, Sawatanen also attended school, becoming the first Indigenous person from what would become Canada to graduate from a colonial college. He then returned to Lorette in 1791 both to start a school and begin a series of petitions against over a century of settler encroachments.

What I have since learned, however, is that Sawatanen was not alone. Indeed, there are at least a half-dozen similar late-eighteenth-century Indigenous people, whose life stories and interactions with Moor’s Indian Charity School, an institution from which Dartmouth College developed, bear much in common with those of Sawatanen.”

Read the article.

As always, you can follow Borealia on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for email updates.


By James Kirby Martin, March 14, 2016

Denouncing the reputation of Benedict Arnold began immediately after he fled West Point and returned his allegiance to the British empire on September 25, 1780. Without hesitation, contemporaries denounced him as a nefarious human being, a devious villain suddenly well-known to everyone for his “barbarity,” “avarice,” “ingratitude,” and “hypocrisy,” in sum nothing more than “a mean toad eater.” Stated General Nathanael Greene a week after Arnold’s apostasy: “Never since the fall of Lucifer has a fall equaled his.”

Since 1780, why Arnold committed treason has remained the focal point of interest about this general officer whom Washington once held high as his best fighting general. Was it insatiable greed, his beguiling second wife Peggy, or Satan himself that provoked Arnold’s apostasy? Forgotten in these explorations and denunciations about his allegedly corrupt character is the reason why Arnold’s contemporaries were so upset about his apparent treachery: Arnold’s natural military genius in support of the Revolution.

Read more about the emergence of Arnold’s military brilliance in the early years of the war.

Where in the World?

Where is Shirley Dargatz?

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.

    • The Ends of Loyalty: Taking the Battle Road through the Hearts and Minds of Revolutionary Americans, An Evening with Taylor Stoermer, Thurs April 14 at Lexington Depot, Lexington MA
    • Burlington’s Joseph Brant Museum is going to try again to get its much-desired addition built underneath the current building.
    • Longing for the green grass of Spring and the sound of muskets firing at Fort York in Toronto.
    • Spring is here. Some daffodils in bud in St James park, downtown Toronto; but here is what Spring looks like, in Vancouver

    From the Twittersphere and Beyond

    • On this day (March 16) in 1776, British troops are forced to evacuate Boston during the Revolutionary war – painting
    • After four months of widespread protest in America, the British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act in March 17 in 1776 – picture
    • From Ben Franklin’s World, a podcast: Episode 071: Bruce M. Venter, Saratoga and Hubbardton, 1777. Historians refer to the Battle of Saratoga as the “turning point” of the American Revolution. They argue the Patriot Army’s defeat of British General John Burgoyne’s forces convinced the French to enter the War for Independence. Together, French and American forces cornered Charles, Earl Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781 and ended the war. This is the quick version of Saratoga, but as we know, history is more complicated. More information and to listen.
    • Lord Cornwallis dreams of New York at the 5th Annual Conference on the American Revolution at Williamsburg
    • Loyalist Women and the Fight for the Right to Entry by Kacy Tillman. Posted on March 14, 2016 by Age of Revolutions.  “If we take this sample of loyalist women and compare it to the men in Compeau’s study, then the discourse coming from both groups suggests that loyalists were regulated and defined by what was taken from them, rather than what they embraced. Loyalist women specifically emphasized that the threat from all sides was forced entry — the metaphorical and literal violation of the home and the family inside of it.”
    • John Aikman’s family has 225 year history in the Hamilton area. His ancestors, John and Hannah Aikman were United Empire Loyalists who were among the first white settlers in Hamilton when they arrived in 1787. It’s believed their first son Alexander Aikman was the first non-native to be born in the area.
    • Opening Canadian Parliament 1879. Louise, Duchess Argyll, also presiding.

    Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

    • Jackson, Jethro – from George Brown

    Last Post

    Lynne Cook (O’Brien) UE

    Peacefully at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Gloria Lynne Cook (nee O’Brien) of Morrisburg, age 71 years, daughter of the late James O’Brien and the late Irla Jean Deeks, and beloved wife of the late Mahlon Cook, UE.

    Lynne was born on April 5, 1944 in Cornwall, Ontario. At the age of 2, she went to live with her grandfather, Lee Deeks and his mother, and was raised by Lee as a daughter. She attended Morrisburg Public School and Grades 9 and 10 in the local High School; then in 1960 attended Cornwall Commercial College. There was no graduation, and she stayed home to look after her elderly great grandmother for ten years. She did typing for several groups — the Masons, Curling Club, Golf Club, Cancer Society and Morrisburg Old Home Week.

    Lynne sold admission tickets at the Morrisburg arena from 1962 to Spring 1986. She was the statistician for the Junior ‘B’ Hockey League, reported sports to eight newspapers, as well as wrote articles for the Iroquois Chieftain newspaper. Lynne was the Treasurer of Knox Presbyterian Church from December 1974 to December 1985, and assisted her grandfather Lee with his job for 14 years’ previous. She also worked part-time at the Morrisburg Hydro from 1981 to November 1985.

    In 1966 Lynne started working on Family trees, a passion that continued until shortly before her death. She was the Genealogist for the Casselman Ancestral Society; and with the St. Lawrence Branch UELAC, Morrisburg, Lynne was a Charter Member, Pro-tem President in 1977, a past editor of the newsletter, Past President, Secretary, and Branch Genealogist since 1977. Lynne had established a Genealogical Resource Centre in her home, and was kept happily busy until a few months prior to her death, with people calling, e-mailing and helping visitors who came to research the many resources on display in her home. Lynne’s passion was her Loyalist heritage, and to that end she has been awarded a number of Loyalist Certificates from the UELAC.

    Lynne has also been the coordinator of information on the Strader Family gathered from various people, publications, and tombstones. Lynne and her late husband, Mahlon, have transcribed the tombstones in most of the cemeteries in Dundas County and surrounding areas. Several of these transcriptions are available online on her web site.

    Lynne will be dearly missed by sister-in-law Evelyn Robinson (Doug) of Elma and nieces Ruth Turner (Brian) of Barrie, Ann Moore (Stan) of Cardinal, and nephew Donald Robinson of Elma. Fondly remembered by several cousins and friends.

    Visitors were welcomed at the Marsden Mclaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg, on Friday, March 18th. Funeral service was held at the Funeral Home on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Online condolences may be made at www.marsdenmclaughlin.com.

    Interment of Cremated Remains — Spruce Haven Cemetery, Brinston, ON.

    See a few photos of Lynne.

    …Lorraine Sherren UE

    Lynne helped start, was a charter member, Protem President, Past President, Secretary and long time Genealogist of the St. Lawrence Branch UELAC. She will be greatly missed at her desk where she did many genealogical certificate applications. Her knowledge will only continue with the library she helped start and lovingly kept going at the Loyalist Resource Centre. She had many UE certificates showing her descent from different Loyalists.

    …Micheal Eamer, UE

    Catherine Margaret (Peggy) Milliken

    Left us on Friday, March 11, 2016, at the age of 91, following complications from a stroke. Beloved wife of the late John Andrew Milliken. Survived by her children, Peter Milliken, Ann Campbell (Mike), Bill Milliken (Pat), Cathy McIlquham (Ross), Amanda Milliken, Elizabeth McLean (Jim), Christie Milliken (Jay). Grandmother to many.

    Predeceased by her parents, Homer and Margaret McCuaig and her brother, Donald McCuaig. Remembered by many nieces and nephews. Peggy led a very full long life. Her immediate and extended families and her enduring friendships brought her much celebration. Environments, indoors and out, occupied her focus. Every season was her new favourite. She saw beauty in every view.

    Special thanks to the Kidd 7 staff at KGH and Palliative Care at St. Mary’s of the Lake, Kingston. Cremation was held at James Reid Crematorium, Kingston. A Memorial Service was held at 3:00 p.m., on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at CHALMERS UNITED CHURCH, Kingston (212 Barrie St.). As expressions of sympathy, donations to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation or Alzheimer Society of Kingston would be appreciated by the family.

    Son Peter noted above is the Honorary President of the UELAC.


    Response re Upper Canada Land Board Records

    Following the query and last week’s initial response; does an index exist for the names mentioned in the Upper Canada Land Board Records?

    Yes there is an index to the Land Board on the Library and Archives website: Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804

    Simply search the database by name and it will give you the microfilm number, volume and page number. The microfilms are digitized on Heritage Canadiana website for free.

    …Guylaine Petrin