“Loyalist Trails” 2016-14: April 3, 2016

In this issue:
Final Week Update: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016
Conference 2016: Loyalists, Lighthouses & Lobsters: Registration Form
Unpacking a Loyalist Epitaph, by Stephen Davidson
Borealia: Violence in Early Canada
JAR: Anything But Monotonous: Nine Months of Garrison Duty at Fort Griswold
Quaker, Whaler, Coward, Spy!: William Rotch and the Age of Revolutions
Reaching Out
Once, They Were Americans: Our Loyalist Canadian Cousins
Where Are the Good American Revolution Movies?
Digital Gazette: Help Save Costs; Sign up by April 14
Where in the World is Barb Law UE?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory


Final Week Update: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Here we are at the close of a very successful eight week fundraising campaign. Each week we watched the numbers rise as branches and supporters stepped in with generous donations in support Loyalist history research. With a goal of $5000.00 you surpassed all expectations.  As of April 1 we raised $7,946.00. Amazing! And donations are still coming in. Thank you!

During this campaign donations were received from all five regions across Canada and from fourteen UELAC branches. Through the use of social media, interest spread beyond our borders drawing major support from early American history enthusiasts in the United States. By providing financial support to scholarship we are seeing the vision statement of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada come to life. Encouraging research through scholarship is integral to our mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the history and traditions of the United Empire Loyalists.

Stephanie Seal Walters (2016 UE Scholar) writes, “I’m so excited to be working with the UELAC. Thank you and the UELAC so much for this incredible honor. I am looking forward to working with everyone in the future and can’t wait to start my research.

As previously reported, we plan to establish a UELAC Loyalist Scholarship endowment fund to generate investment income. With your support we have great expectations for the future of Loyalist scholarship.

Please tuck this information away for another day – Donations to the scholarship fund are welcome throughout the year. See how to donate or read more about the scholarship.

In the next few weeks we will be adding a Donor Appreciation List to the Scholarship webpage. It is a list of fifty three names of outstanding branches and supporters of UELAC. Thank you all for your part in the Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge of 2016.

…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.

Unpacking a Loyalist Epitaph

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Graveyards have always fascinated me. With tombstones that look like a chess game frozen in time, a cemetery holds a wealth of stories waiting to be discovered. In November, I wandered through a graveyard near Starr Point, Nova Scotia in the hopes of finding some loyalists among the dearly departed. Within a stone’s throw of St. John’s Anglican Church, I found a well-carved epitaph. Abigail Hatheway, a native of Rhode Island, had died in 1822. Her husband Luther had been a lieutenant in the Loyal New Englanders. Armed with these names and dates, I went home to “unpack” the loyalist epitaph. Through consulting primary sources, genealogical websites, and local history books, the story of Luther and Abigail Hatheway eventually came to light.

The Loyal New Englanders, raised in Newport Rhode Island in 1777, were commanded by Lt. Col. George Wightman. Their recruiting notice invited loyal subjects to “throw off the yoke of an abandoned set of men” so that they could “wipe away the shame and infamy their unhappy country hath endured”. Upon enlisting for two years each man would be furnished with clothing (a green uniform) and “every accoutrement necessary to complete a gentleman soldier”.

The Loyal New Englanders served in Rhode Island until the British forces left the colony in October of 1779. They then manned Fort Franklin, the garrison at Lloyd’s Neck on Long Island. When a muster was taken of the corps in December of that year, the name of Lieutenant Luther Hatheway was listed as the fourth in command. Despite the fact that the corps was eventually absorbed by the King’s American Dragoons, Hatheway would continue to refer to himself as “lieutenant” for the rest of his life.

Although he joined with a loyalist corps in Rhode Island, Luther Hatheway (sometimes spelled Hathaway) was born and raised in Freetown, Massachusetts – about 30 kilometres from Rhode Island. He and his twin brother Calvin had seven siblings. In 1778, four of the Hatheway brothers were listed in the Banishment Act of the State of Massachusetts to “prevent the return to this state of certain persons…who have left this state … and joined the enemies thereof”. Luther’s second oldest sister, Welthy/Wealthy, married Richard Ruggles, another Massachusetts loyalist.

Luther’s oldest brother was Ebenezer Hatheway Junior. He became a privateer during the revolution, was imprisoned in the Simsbury Mines, evacuated New York on the Symmetry in 1783, and eventually settled in Burton, New Brunswick. Luther’s younger brother Shadrach died during the revolution. The latter died at 28 years of age in a Long Island refugee camp, leaving a widow (Hannah Chase) and four children. Luther’s twin, Calvin, may have survived the war, but for only a few years.

At some point during the revolution, Luther met and married a young lady named Abigail Sherwood. Perhaps they courted during the two years the Loyal New Englanders were stationed in Rhode Island following Luther’s banishment from his home colony. Although several genealogies give Abigail’s birthplace of as Massachusetts, her gravestone makes it very clear that she was “a Native of Rhode Island”. The couple and their son left New York with other loyalists in 1783.

By consulting the Book of Negroes, another piece of the Hatheway puzzle fell into place. The ledger that was created by Sir Guy Carleton notes that the sloop Lydia was bound for Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia on June 25, 1783. A Black Loyalist woman by the name of Elizabeth Movrick was among the sloop’s refugees. Accompanying (or escorting) her was Luther Hatheway, thus giving posterity the name and departure date of the ship that carried the lieutenant and his wife.

Once in Nova Scotia, the Hatheways tried to make the best of their new circumstances. It was not an easy start. Within their first year, the Hatheways’ son died in November of 1784. If the couple had any other children, they are not listed in any historical records.

Although Luther’s sister Welthy and her husband Richard Ruggles had settled in Annapolis Royal with their eight children, the Hatheways had, by 1785, settled further east in King’s County. Six years later, both the tax roll and the census for 1791 included the name of Lt. Hatheway. In 1795, twelve years after their arrival in Nova Scotia, Luther Hatheway and 35 other loyalists were granted land totaling 21,380 acres in the townships of King’s County.

Thanks to Arthur W.H. Eaton’s History of Kings County, Nova Scotia, we know that the Hatheways made their home in the Cornwallis township (today’s Starr’s Point). Eaton’s book outlines the growth of St. John’s Anglican Church. Its building had been completed in 1776 and repaired in 1784. Many of its parish officers were former loyalist officers, and this might have served to attract Luther and Abigail to worship there. A plan of the church’s interior includes the names of those who rented pews. One of the pew holders who sat in the “north middle row” was Luther Hatheway.

Although they had survived the American Revolution, Luther Hatheway’s siblings did not live very long into the 19th century. His older brother Ebenezer died in New Brunswick in 1811. Among those in Ebenezer’s will was Calvin Luther Hatheway, a son named for the twin Hatheway brothers who had been born in 1754. Luther’s younger sister Hannah, died unmarried in Berkley, Massachusetts in 1823. In her will, Hannah made a point of saying that she did not bequeath anything to her living loyalist siblings or the children of her deceased loyalist brothers. It’s clear that for some patriots, their loyalist siblings could never be forgiven for not siding with the rebel cause. Luther’s older sister, Welthy Ruggles, died in Annapolis Royal in 1824. The loyalist lieutenant’s greatest loss came on February 10, 1822. His beloved wife Abigail died at age sixty-six.

Lt. Luther Hatheway is believed to have died in Cornwallis township in 1833, making him seventy-nine years old. While his Abigail had an elegant tombstone that described her as Luther’s “consort”, the loyalist officer’s own headstone is nowhere to be found. Without heirs to carry on the family name, the tombstone that was Hatheway’s tribute to his wife’s memory is all that remains of this loyalist couple.

How many other lost stories are hiding in ancient graveyards? How many epitaphs are waiting to be “unpacked” to reveal the tales of Canada’s loyalist pioneers?

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

Borealia: Violence in Early Canada

by Elizabeth Mancke & Scott See, Published 1 February

A November editorial also reaffirmed that Canadians and Americans have substantively different understandings about how to respond to violence both internationally and domestically, about when it is appropriate for a state to use violence, and what the boundaries to that violence should be.

As historians of pre-Confederation Canada and the United States, we have committed a great deal of our intellectual energies, individually and collaboratively, to understanding why the two countries have such profoundly different understandings about the role of violence in defining the character of social order, from localities to the international community. We know that the frequent contrast between Canada as peace-loving and the United States as more violent can too often mask episodes of violence in Canadian history. As well, we know that Canadian history is often dismissed as irrelevant to understanding the modern world because its historical narrative is not intensely shaped and punctuated by episodes of large-scale violence. Yet as Jerry Bannister reminds us, colonialism is intrinsically violent, involving at the very least the traumatic displacement of indigenous peoples. Involving Indigenous leaders in relocating their nations, as the British did with Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) and the Mohawks after the American Revolution, does not assuage the suffering of the ordeal. And as the recent report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools tells us, cultural genocide through education is a profoundly disruptive form of social violence that echoes down the generations in Indigenous communities, hampering if not handicapping their ability to build strong nations. Read the full article.

JAR: Anything But Monotonous: Nine Months of Garrison Duty at Fort Griswold

By Matthew Reardon March 7, 2016

New London’s harbor was the center of Connecticut’s wartime naval activity for the duration of the eight-year American Revolution. Because of its recognized importance, its provincial government, as early as 1775, sought ways to protect it. Sending a military commission to the harbor area, they would eventually order the construction of three earthen fortifications on three sides of the harbor, but only two were fully built: Fort Trumbull protected the western side and Fort Griswold was on the eastern side.

To maintain and garrison the forts, for 1776-1777, the General Assembly had attempted to raise a small battalion of both infantry and matross (artillery) companies. As the war progressed, it became more and more difficult to recruit men to fill these companies. Difficulties at times with delay of pay and food shortages made serving in the harbor for many a dull and sometimes hard service. Most men preferred serving in the Continental Army or were captivated by the potential riches of serving aboard one of the many privateers operating out of the harbor. By 1780, the garrison had been greatly downsized to only two matross companies, one serving at Fort Trumbull and the other at Fort Griswold.[1] At times, they were supported by revolving militia companies drafted from regiments across eastern Connecticut to serve for a period of 1 to 3 months, but for the most part, they were on their own.

That same summer, John Harris, a fourteen-year-old native of Preston, Connecticut, had entered his teenage years eagerly seeking to participate in the war. This was in despite his father’s wishes to keep him out of it. Read the full article.

Quaker, Whaler, Coward, Spy!: William Rotch and the Age of Revolutions

by Sarah Crabtree

A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and therefore a pacifist, William Rotch vehemently opposed the wars for independence and empire during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As a result, the governments of three different countries accused him of disloyalty between 1775 and 1795.

Rotch’s incredible story begins in 1775 when he sank a shipload of bayonets rather than allow American or British forces to commandeer them for “blood-letting.” He narrowly escaped formal charges for this public act of defiance, but continued to bedevil both sides with his quest to declare Nantucket, his home, a neutral republic (efforts that eventually caused the Massachusetts legislature to impeach him for high treason in 1780). Read the full article.

Reaching Out

Over the last few years the UELAC Mission has been strengthened through the use of Facebook, Twitter and the growth of the Loyalist Trails subscription list. The most recent proof of that statement can be found in the appearance of a United Empire Loyalist article in DAR’s periodical American Spirit (see next item). As part of her research, author Deborah Cummings made good use of our organization’s network to include UELAC Historian Peter Johnson and Hamilton photographer Ron Barrons.

Once, They Were Americans: Our Loyalist Canadian Cousins

by Deborah Cummings, Published in the DAR’s periodical American Spirit Jan/Feb 2016Copyright 2016 NSDAR. American Spirit is published six times annually, to subscribe, click here. Reprinted with permission.

“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.” Benjamin Rush.

These words, penned by Benjamin Rush, a Founding Father and signer of the Declaration if Independence, could have also been repeated by the Loyalists dur8ing the revolutionary War.

The year was 1774 and unrest was looming. After years of living on British-ruled soil, many colonists sought out independence from Britain because they felt the laws imposed on the colonies violated their rights. But others – the Loyalists, or Tories, as they were often referred to – remained loyal to the British Crown. While they agreed that the Colonists had suffered at the hands of the British, they hoped for a peaceful reconciliation. They also liked the protection that Great Britain provided from threats of other countries. It was that protection that the Loyalists eventually needed themselves.

The largest concentration of Loyalists was located outside of New England. They came from all walks of life – there were farmers, artisans and wealthy merchants. There was also a large number of African Americans who remained faithful to the Crown, due to Britain’s promise to liberate slaves who fled their Patriot owners.

Read the full article.

Where Are the Good American Revolution Movies?

Malcolm St-Pierre, the writer of the essay, reflects on why there are no good movies about the American Revolution. In the introduction he says:

It is my opinion that the American Revolution itself is the reason there are no good films about the American Revolution. While much lionized, the reality is that the revolution was not at all a compelling cause by modern standards, nor does it resonate with any of today’s concerns.The American Revolution helped the colonial elite enormously, but helped “we the people” very little – and helped blacks, natives, and women not at all. It employed the rhetoric of liberty and equality but resulted in close to zero social change. The grievances the revolutionaries rebelled against seem almost trivial today. Filmmakers have had difficulty making us root for the revolutionaries because, patriotism aside, it is difficult to root for them.

The article concludes with this thought:

The American Revolution was the beginning of something great – an actualization of the Enlightenment, a dream of liberty, equality, and a better world. Centuries later, its intellectual legacy is enormous, and has enriched the lives of people all over the world. But the event itself does not live up to its own legend. It was a war fought for control of the colonies by the colonial elite, not by its people. It benefited “we the people” very little, if at all. And it ignored glaring injustices which would nearly destroy the country one hundred years later.

Read the full article.

…Stephen Davidson UE

Digital Gazette: Help Save Costs; Sign up by April 14

Each person who receives the digital version – and no paper copy – of the Spring Gazette receives the benefits of the electronic copy (full colour, less storage space etc.) and helps reduce expenses as well. BUT in order to reduce expenses, we need to know if you will accept ONLY the digital copy before April 14 when the printing order will be placed. The Spring issue is available publicly – a lot of colour. Have a look.

People who are paid-up members and Gazette subscribers can register for the digital copy of the Spring 2015 issue (and get access to the Fall 2014 issue in the same place). Each request is processed at Dominion Office (to check that the requirements are met) before the access details are returned (the office is open Tues, Wed, Thurs).

Those who received access last year will need to reapply, as the address and password are new.

We hope you will enjoy this year’s issues of the Loyalist Gazette – in digital full colour.

…Publications Committee

Where in the World?

Where is Colonel Edward Jessup Branch member Barb Law?

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.

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:

  • Burhoe, John – from Linda Drake, with certificate application
  • Melvin, Eleazer – from Howard Brown
  • Melvin, Robert – from Howard Brown
  • Otto, Gotlieb – from Murray Taylor
  • Praught, Frederick – from Linda Drake, with certificate application

Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for instructions and guidance.