“Loyalist Trails” 2016-17: April 24, 2016
In this issue:
– Final Thank you: Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge 2016
– Conference 2016: Loyalists, Lighthouses & Lobsters
– The Nine Legends of Kate Fowler (Part 2 of 2), by Stephen Davidson
– More Loyalist Ships
– Woodruff Family Fonds is Now Digital: The Friends (FOTLCABU)
– Resource: Monmouth County NJ History
– Borealia: Settler Colonialism and the Future of Canadian History
– JAR: William Ferguson’s Walk on the Ice
– Digital Gazette: Help Save Costs; Sign up by April 14
– Where in the World is anyone?
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
+ Biological Father of Christiana (Loyst or Shewman) Diamond
Sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the 2016 Scholarship fundraising campaign. In just 9 weeks we raised a grand total of $8,246.00 for Loyalist history research. Amazing.
Loyal members and friends of UELAC enthusiastically took part. Fourteen UELAC branches representing all five regions sent in donations. We are thrilled with the interest generated beyond our membership. Financial support came in from international historians and researchers as well as others who follow the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada in social media. Our Donor Appreciation List acknowledges the generous individuals behind the tremendous success of the 2016 Loyalist Scholarship Fund Challenge. Thank you!
…Bonnie Schepers, UE, Scholarship Committee
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, including the registration form, is now available read here.
It started more than 200 years ago. Six-hundred Empire Loyalists made the trek to P.E.I. in search of refuge. Fast forward to 2016, and more than two hundred Empire Loyalist descendants will being making the trek again, this time to Summerside, for a conference in July. Peter VanIderstine of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada (UELAC) Abegweit branch, said the conference expects to bring 250 delegates from across Canada and from a few U.S. states. Read more from the Journal Pioneer (April 21, 2016).
© Stephen Davidson, UE
By the 20th century, a third version of Kate’s exploits contained so many details that, if one did not know the historical facts, it would seem to be the definitive account.
In his 1927 book, History, Stories and Legends of South Carolina, E.C. McCants retells a lengthy story. He begins with Kate Fowler’s birth at her family’s home on the edge of a creek (the one that would later bear her name). Her father, Anthony Fowler, was a great horseman and farmer. Kate had a horse named “Bullet” that she regularly rode into Ninety-Six where she sold produce from the family farm.
Among the loyalists in the Star Fort was a young lieutenant who often visited the Fowler farm. Over time, the two young people fell in love. Their meetings came to an end when the Continental Army surrounded the fort. Unable to sell eggs or vegetables to the loyalist soldiers, Kate found new customers among the rebel forces.
As she overheard conversations and observed the patriots digging trenches toward the fort, Kate discovered that General Greene planned to blow up the loyalist stronghold. Later, when one of Cruger’s messengers stopped at the Fowler home with news of coming reinforcements, Kate offered to deliver the letter to the fort herself. She hid the envelope in a basket of farm produce and rode Bullet into town.
Kate dashed past the rebels, flashed over the barricade and raced for the fort’s gates. The loyalists shot at the rebels pursuing Kate, allowing her to safely enter the fort. The story concludes that “when Ninety-Six was evacuated by Royalists, Kate went with her lover to Charlestown, but many years later, when the war was only a memory and she an old woman, she came back to her old home and lived until she died on the banks of Kate Fowler’s Branch.”
This third version of young loyalist’s exploits provided a reason for a local stream to be named for Kate. But then again, so did a fourth legend.
Rather than having her die in old age, the Star Fort Historical Commission cited a variant of the legend in which Kate’s soldier lover deserted her, leaving her to die of a broken heart. She was then “buried in a clump of white oaks beside a little stream, ever after called Kate Fowler’s Branch.”
In 1932, Mrs John B. Sloan of the Star Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution offered a fifth version of Kate Fowler’s story. She recounted how a young Tory snuck out of the fort to carry a message to Lord Rawdon. On his way back to the fort, the messenger stopped at the home of Anthony Fowler. His “beautiful daughter, Kate” offered to take Rawdon’s message to Cruger.
Sloan went on to say: “Kate’s lover was a British lieutenant inside the fort, but she, herself, was neutral, and equally beloved by both sides”. (This explains why she was able to pass through the rebel camp and why the loyalists allowed her into the fort.) Sloan’s account also includes a “swift young horse” that helped Kate on her “mission of love”. However, the author noted, “we have no reason to believe that Kate’s lover was true to her.”
In 1938, a guide to the Palmetto State said that Kate was a “colonial lady with amorous inclinations and a preference for the Tory uniform”. This sixth variation of the Fowler legend alluded to “scandalous tales” about Kate and said she was buried somewhere on the banks of the stream that bears her name.
In their 2006 book, Old Ninety-Six: A History and Guide, Robert Dunkerly and Eric Williams refer to a “local legend” about a Kate Fowler who sold food and other articles to the rebel troops on a regular basis. In this account, Kate drove her wagon through the camp of the besiegers and was welcomed by the soldiers inside the fort. There she told the loyalists of Rawdon’s imminent arrival. In another book, Dunkerly claims that Kate made arrangements for a man to inform the garrison. It was this lone man who raced his produce wagon toward the fort’s gates and proclaimed the news of Rawdon’s approach.
The genealogist Kirk Fowler describes Kate as “the daughter of a well-known horseman and loyalist”, but considers her story a legend. In trying to determine which family might have been Kate’s, he discovered Richard and Joshua, two sons of a Richard Fowler of Durbins Creek. Rebels had captured a group of loyal South Carolinians that included both brothers during the 1775 Snow Campaign. However, since Kate’s father was listed as being Anthony Fowler in other sources, all the genealogist could do was assume that if Kate existed, she might have been related to loyal Fowlers at Durbins Creek.
We can find the ninth and final version of the legend of South Carolina’s loyalist heroine in a 2009 online posting. Mandy Spitzmiller, an elementary teacher, designed a lesson around “Kate Fowler, Tory Spy”. She quoted a memoir written by Nathanael Greene, the rebel general leader who had laid siege to the Star Fort in 1781. Cruger, the loyalist leader, was cut off from food and ammunition and was beginning to lose hope when a “Tory spy” daringly delivered the news of Rawdon’s reinforcements.
General Greene recorded that before this loyalist messenger arrived in Ninety-Six, a lady of “Tory persuasion” had come to the rebel camp holding a white flag. Despite the fact that the girl’s father and brothers were loyalists, she had supper with Greene and then “retired to a nearby farmhouse”. Two days after this strange dinner, a young man rode his horse “through the pickets and into the British fort with a message from Lord Rawdon”. Local legend later identified this bold Tory spy as Kate Fowler in disguise.
After reviewing the nine legends that connect Kate Fowler to the siege of Fort Ninety-Six, one is left wondering which, if any, of the versions, are true. But whether she ever helped to deliver a message of hope and rescue to the loyalist garrison directly or indirectly, it seems certain that a local girl named Kate Fowler did something of such a romantic or heroic nature that the people of the area named a stream after her. Beyond that, one can be certain of very little.
Many of the loyalist soldiers who successfully resisted the siege of Fort Ninety-Six eventually immigrated to Nova Scotia. They settled in a community in Hants County that they named Rawdon in honour of their 1781 saviour. If only these men had recorded their memories of the siege, perhaps we would have an accurate account of whatever Kate Fowler had done to bring hope to the loyalist defenders of Fort Ninety-Six. Instead, she is quite literally the stuff of legends –nine, to be exact.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
I enjoyed Loyalist Trails this week (“Ships Bringing Loyalists to Canada: New Data for the John & Jane”). There are two ships that were used to transport Loyalists that are not on the list: the John and Bella and the Free Briton. Both took refugees from Charleston, SC, to Halifax in November 1782. Later, the Free Briton was to take settlers to Saint John but took them to Shelburne instead (see Esther Clark Wright). I understand it was a ship load of new passengers who travelled to Shelburne, although some South Carolina loyalists continued there.
From American Marine Units and Vessels and Their Supporters During the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783, by Granville W. Hough: British snow/transport John and Bella — Capt. Andrew Green, active 1775 and 1776, James River to London with tobacco and shingles, at Oxford, MD., in 6 Sep 1775.
Also mentioned in A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution – Sept. 6, 1783 at Quebec.
Thanks to the foresight and dedication of David Sharron, Head of Brock University Special Collections and Archives and after months of describing, scanning and uploading images, by Shauna Ribaric, Digital Resource Assistant, the Woodruff Family Fonds/Collection is now available in its entirety online through the Brock University Library’s Digital Repository.
The Woodruff family came to Canada in 1795 from Connecticut. Brothers, Richard and William Woodruff, married sisters Anne and Margaret Clement from Niagara. The Clements were a prominent UEL family and with these marriages, the Woodruffs held their Loyalist heritage in high regard for generations to come.
Shortly after arriving, the Woodruff family became an influential force on the business, political, and social spheres in Upper Canada / Ontario. They set up early mills along the rivers of Niagara, conducted land surveys, participated in the War of 1812, successfully ran for civic offices all the way to Member of Parliament, helped with the construction of the Welland Canal, funded railroads, drained swamps, built macadamized roads, and were active members of the community. Their history is the classic example of the successful pioneer and entrepreneurial spirit in early Canada. These records will be a valuable resource for all Canadian scholars for many years to come.
Over 6000 pages of records were digitized for this project. The funding for the scanning, digitization and microfilming came from the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University (FOTLCABU). The directors Bill Smy, Rod Craig, Bill Stevens and Bev Craig sincerely appreciate and acknowledge the ongoing support and funding received from UELAC Major Grants; many loyal, private donors and the profits from the sale of “An Annotated Nominal Roll of Butler’s Rangers, 1777 – 1784 with Documentary Sources” the gift of the author Bill Smy.
For years, the FOTLCABU group has supported the study of Loyalist history and has provided access to wonderful collections through efforts like this. The Woodruff collection valued at $325,000 was donated to Brock University in 2015 from the estate of Robert “Bob” Band who inherited the Woodruff family records from his mother, Margaret. Bob passionately cared for these materials for decades before his passing and wanted the information to be shared with the community.
For a detailed look at the finding aid for the Woodruff Family Fonds, click here.
For more information about the FOTLCABU, visit their website.
…David Sharron & Beverly Craig
Old Times in Old Monmouth by Edwin Salter and George C. Beekman, 1887. Anyone with New Jersey ancestors should find it interesting. It is “searchable,” but you can’t “copy and paste” its content. A large (18MB) pdf. Access here.
by Jerry Bannister on 18 April 2016.
In March I had the pleasure of attending the Pierre Savard conference at the University of Ottawa. I was asked to give a talk on the future of Canadian history, particularly the ongoing debate over transnational versus national perspectives. I never did get around to asking why they invited me to speak. Perhaps it was the exchange I had with my friend Chris Dummitt a few years back, when we were fretting over the new “history wars.” Or it might have been the argument I made in the article I published in Acadiensis in 2014, “Atlantic Canada in an Atlantic World.” During my talk, I returned to a theme that I’ve been discussing with Chris for several years now: the need to make and maintain a distinction between national and nationalist history. As I said in Ottawa, there is still an unfortunate tendency among Anglophone historians of Canada to presume that we are what we study. In other words, if someone studies the Loyalists, then she/he must somehow be biased in favour of them. And if someone says that national frameworks are important, then she/he must somehow necessarily be a nationalist. I think that this tendency has abated with the decline of the history wars, but I still hear echoes of it when I’m at conferences.
A good read about the changing nature of the study of history in Canada. Be sure to follow the link at the end for the conclusion.
By Don N. Hagist 19 April 2016
On Saturday, December 17, 1774, the 10th Regiment of Foot marched out of Boston and into the Massachusetts countryside “to give the men a little exercise.” The British government’s response to the Boston Tea Party had included sending ten British army regiments, elements of two others, a contingent of artillery and a battalion of Marines to garrison Boston, crowding some 6000 troops into the peninsular city by the end of 1774. The 10th and 52nd Regiments had been among the last to arrive; they had been in Canada since 1767 and had been preparing to return to Great Britain when they were ordered instead to Boston, landing in that city at the beginning of November. To keep these men fit for service, regiments took frequent marches of several miles into the country “with Arms, Knapsacks, &c.” The local inhabitants watched these movements closely, ever wary that the troops might be on some sort of enforcement mission, but nothing remarkable occurred that year.
Nothing remarkable, that is, for the citizens of Massachusetts. The December 17 march did have serious consequences for one soldier of the 10th Regiment, a man who did not even participate. While his comrades got their exercise, William Ferguson remained in barracks recovering from an illness.
The Loyalist Gazette was delivered to the mailing house this past week. It should be in the post by the May 1 target date, perhaps several days earlier.
People who are paid-up members of a branch of UELAC, or are Gazette subscribers can register for the digital copy of the Spring 2016 issue. 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).
We hope you enjoy this year’s issues of the Loyalist Gazette – in digital, you get full colour.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploring America’s Largest Collection of Early Tavern Signs, by Atlas Obscura. The early American colonists were ferocious drinkers. It’s thought that the average person back then inhaled around six gallons of booze a year, compared today’s average of two. Hot ale flips, warming wassails and planter’s punches were consumed in such alarming quantities that Benjamin Franklin published over 200 synonyms for being tipsy in the Pennsylvania Gazette on January 6th, 1737. “Gather’d wholly from the modern Tavern-Conversation of Tiplers,” he wrote, “I do not doubt but that there are many more in use.” The signage, though, was a rather difficult design challenge. While today restaurants and bars are often easily identifiable by the form and shape of their buildings, historic watering holes were virtually indistinguishable from the private residences on either side of them: They were literally public houses. The painted and carved saloon signs hanging outside would signpost to visitors that food, drinks and lodging were to be had inside. Read more.
- The Historical Reenactor Accuracy Wars. How to get ostracized at a reenactment: use bug repellant. When you load up the car for a camping weekend set in the 1800s, the gear is a little different: Canvas tent. Wool bedroll. Hobnail boots instead of hiking sandals. Homemade food wrapped in wax paper. An ice cooler disguised as a wooden chest. Muslin underwear. Silk suspenders. And as you load up your gear you live in fear of one word: farb. Read about it.
- Ottawa’s Uppertown: A lost neighbourhood uncovered. The federal government expropriated all properties located in Uppertown, an area bounded by Bank, Wellington, and Bay streets and the cliff along the Ottawa River. The area was expropriated to make way for a new supreme court and other federal buildings. Interesting piece of our capital’s history.
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Schram, Cpl. Frederick Andrew – from John Schram
- Schram, Pvt. Frederick – from John Schram
I am looking for the biological father of Christiana DIAMOND wife to John DIAMOND originally of
• Birth 1759 — Poughquag, Beekman Precinct, Dutchess Co., New York Province, America;
• Death 12 MAY 1845 — S. Fredericksburgh, Lennox & Addington Co., ON, Canada.
It was originally thought that CHRISTIANA was the child of:
• Johann Cheban Loyst, Birth 13 JAN 1724 — Bonn, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany; Death 1807 — Frontenac Co., ON, Canada and
• Annoka Magdalena Lydecker, Birth 8 APR 1737 — Bonn, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany; Death ABT 1827 — Fredericksburgh, Lennox & Addington Co., ON, Canada.
Recently evidence has been generated that WILLIAM FREDERICK SHEWMAN of:
• Birth 1740 — Alsaac, Germany;
• Death 1 APR 1806 — Fredericksburgh Twp., Lennox & Addington Co., ON, Canada
is CHRISTIANA’S biological father, based on a Land Petition, a copy of which is in my position. I have ordered the Lutheran Trinity Church of Stone Arabia: in the town of Palatine, Montgomery County, N.Y. Province. Expect the books about the middle to end of May 2016.
Any HELP would be appreciated.