“Loyalist Trails” 2016-32: August 7, 2016

In this issue:
Conference 2016
If Loyalist Furniture Could Talk (Part 1 of 2), by Stephen Davidson
Borealia: Bear Years, Squirrel Years, and Environmental Politics
JAR: How Article 7 Freed 3000 Slaves
How to Research History Online
UE Loyalist Certificates Issued in June
Book review: Abductions in the American Revolution
The Big Chill: 1816, the Year Without a Summer
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Response re David Redding
      + Captain John Keaquick
      + Rev. Lefevre? Or Ryckman Families from Sherbrooke
      + Early Families of York (Toronto)


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, including the registration form, is now available read here.

If Loyalist Furniture Could Talk (Part 1 of 2)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

While diaries and muster lists have their stories to tell regarding the loyalist era, there are also accounts of loyal refugees’ lives waiting to be discovered in the furniture that has survived the American Revolution. For example, if you were to visit St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick, you could enjoy a tour of a loyalist family’s home. In the living room of the Sheriff Andrews House, you would find a remarkable chest of drawers.

Known as a ‘highboy’ (‘tallboy’ in England), this handcrafted piece has an amazing story to tell. Its fifteen drawers, cabriole legs, and Dutch feet contain more than clothing from the 18th century. If you have ears to hear, the highboy will tell you the tale of a loyalist family that faced persecution, shipwreck, and the loss of six children before they found sanctuary in New Brunswick. Attend, then, to the story of the loyalist chest of drawers — the story of John and Dorothy Calef.

When Dorothy Jewett married Dr. John Calef in Massachusetts on January 18, 1753, she was just seventeen years old. Her new husband was Dr. John Calef, a widower ten years her senior — the father of five-year old Margaret and three-year old Mary. It would not be long before Dorothy’s two stepdaughters would have a brother. Little John Calef was born in November of 1753. He would be the first of fifteen children born during the 56 years of the Calefs’ marriage. Years later, a friend would tease the couple about their large family in verse, writing, ‘Doctor Calef, wife of thine, Fruitful as a pumpkin vine.’

Dorothy was the daughter of Rev. Jedidiah and Elizabeth (Dummer) Jewett, a prominent family in the colony. Her ancestor, William Dummer, had served as the governor of Massachusetts and was the founder of Dummer Academy. Among Dorothy’s wedding gifts were an armchair and highboy from her maternal grandmother as well as a tankard, platters and candlesticks made of silver.

The blended family established their home at 7 Poplar Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts where John Calef was a surgeon, operated an apothecary shop, and served as a member of the colonial legislature. Dorothy’s husband had distinguished himself eight years before their marriage as a member of the New England militia that successfully captured Fort Louisbourg in 1745.

Nine years later, Calef was in charge of the army hospital at Albany, New York, and then returned to Louisbourg in 1760 for its final recapture. John’s book, the only first hand account of the siege of Penobscot, would eventually be put in the library at Harvard University. Calef also dabbled in international trade, having an interest in a schooner known as the Speedwell. However, it was John’s political service that, as early as 1768, would start to unravel the good life that he and Dorothy had enjoyed during the first fifteen years of their marriage.

Life on the homefront was busy for Dorothy Calef. She produced a child every year or two. Following John Junior’s birth in 1753, Jedidiah was born. Named for her father, this son would only live to be three. Elizabeth arrived in 1757, but died when she was fourteen. In 1759, Dorothy had a daughter who was stillborn. A year later, Robert arrived –a son who would survive both his childhood and the American Revolution. His sister Dorothy was born in the following year, followed by Sarah in 1764 and Susanna in 1766. In January of 1768, when the Calefs should have been celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary, they were mourning the loss of a stillborn son. Mehitable was born in September of that year. No doubt the fifteen drawers in the Calefs’ highboy was by this time crammed with the socks and garments of their growing family.

1768 was also the year that forced Dr. John Calef to reveal his loyalist principles. He had been one of seventeen Massachusetts legislators to vote in favour of the very unpopular Acts of Parliament, ‘contrary to the minds of the people’. The growing patriot forces were so incensed by these men that a soon-to-be famous rebel named Paul Revere published a newspaper cartoon that featured the ‘Seventeen Rescinders’. Revere drew Calef with a calf’s head (a pun on his name), so there was little chance that the loyalist could avoid a political backlash. His constituency removed him from office.

In the fall of 1774, Ipswich’s patriots surrounded Calef’s home and demanded a formal confesson of his wrongful vote. (How this alarmed Dorothy and their eight children goes unrecorded. The youngest Calef, Samuel, had been born two years earlier.) Given that loyalist homes were often attacked and vandalized, the highboy in the Calef’s parlour was as in great a danger of injury as the man of the house. Calef signed a statement begging forgiveness and expressing the hope that he could be restored to the ‘esteem and friendship’ of the people of Massachusetts — and for a time, this was enough to satisfy his neighbours.

Learn the fate of the Calef family in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Borealia: Bear Years, Squirrel Years, and Environmental Politics

(By Loren Michael Mortimer) In September of 1759, great armies were on the move through the upper St. Lawrence Valley. Not the military forces under the command of Montcalm and Wolfe en-route to their climactic showdown on the Plains of Abraham, but an army of black bears migrating en-masse southward from Canada into Britain’s Atlantic colonies. During that autumn, newspapers from New England and New York recorded a southern migration of bears, accompanied by an equally mysterious appearance of thousands of black squirrels. Bears were reported in the city of Boston for the first time in a century—a large bear ‘the size of small cow’ was shot on a Boston wharf as it swam across the harbour from Dorchester Neck.

Bears were ‘spreading mischief’ on colonial farms from the New England frontier to the lower Hudson Valley, devouring fields of ‘Indian corn’ and destroying stocks of hogs, sheep, and calves. British army officers bemoaned frequent bear sightings near General Jeffery Amherst’s field headquarters on Lake Champlain. Read more.

JAR: How Article 7 Freed 3000 Slaves

(By Bob Ruppert August 4, 2016) The American Peace Commissioners, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay, and Henry Laurens, signed the preliminary articles of peace in Paris with Richard Oswald, the British Commissioner, at the Hotel de York on November 30, 1782. On April 15, the preliminary articles of peace were approved by the Continental Congress.

Article 7, however, fell under the direction of General Washington. It stated, ‘all hostilities both by sea and land shall … immediately cease; all prisoners on both sides shall be set at liberty, and his Britannick Majesty shall, with all convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any negroes or other property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, garrisons and fleets … and from every port, place and harbour within the same.’

During ongoing negotiations and concerning the embarkation that had already taken place, Washinton wrote,’ I find it my Duty to signify my readiness … to enter into any Agreements, or take any Measures which may be deemed expedient to prevent the future carrying away any Negroes or other property of the American Inhabitants.’

Read more.

How to Research History Online

How do historians conduct research online? Listeners ask this question a lot. As the ‘Doing History’ series explores how historians work, it offers the perfect opportunity to explore answers to it.

Sharon Block, a Professor of History at the University of California-Irvine, has made use of computers and digital resources to do history for years, which is why, in this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, she serves as our guide for how to research history online. You can listen to the podcast here.

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with an historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past.

…Liz Covart

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued in June

A list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 — showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date — has been updated with the certificates issued in June of this year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Book review: Abductions in the American Revolution

Attempts to Kidnap George Washington, Benedict Arnold and Other Military and Civilian Leaders by Christian McBurney (McFarland, April 2016)

Abductions in the American Reovlution, is the most innovative look at the American Revolution I have read in a long time. The focus is a topic, kidnapping, and the facts about the American Revolution are used to illustrate how prevalent it was during the war. At times the reader may feel like there are a lot of names and dates they will not care to internalize, but all of the history tells a larger story and reinforces a larger lesson about kidnappings during the American Revolution and how instrumental they were to the military strategy of both sides.

The book focuses on raids and plans to kidnap military leaders with the rank of lieutenant colonel and above or civilian leaders who served as governors of colonies or states. McBurney defines kidnap as ‘seizing an enemy leader after making plans to do so.’ The American and British forces orchestrated these raids for the purpose of removing high ranking officials from the war. It was viewed as a virtuous act and not done with the intent to kill the target after capture. The British in particular believed that events were driven by great men and refused to accept that the American Revolution was based on ‘broad-based and popular’ sentiments.

Read more – the review is fascinating by itself.

The Big Chill: 1816, the Year Without a Summer

(By Alan MacEachern in Canada’s History) Two centuries ago, much of the world was left in the cold during what became known as the Year Without a Summer.

Giving a historical event a name – especially a catchy name – has its drawbacks. A name can give an event too defined a shape, solidify it while making it smaller, like water beading on a surface. So it is with the name given to 1816 – the “year without a summer.”

The Year Without a Summer refers to what followed the global impact of a volcanic eruption on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. When Mount Tambora erupted in the spring of 1815, it spewed about fifty cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and dust high into the air. Some of the particles remained suspended in the atmosphere for months, even years, effectively blocking some of the sun’s heat. What was by far the largest eruption in recorded history had the effect of cooling the planet’s surface. This led to widespread crop failures around the world.

Hunger throughout Europe led to outbreaks of disease and food riots. Eastern North America also experienced intense bouts of cold weather in 1816, creating hardship for thousands of people. But the eruption’s impact was not restricted to one season, or even one year. Nor was the impact felt equally everywhere. Read more.

Where in the World?

Where is Joyce Deyong of Gov. Simcoe 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 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.

  • Ben Thornton (@BCThornton on twitter) displays his Loyalist heritage proudly. He has the Loyalist version of the Ontario licence plates on his car  – do you?  Not only that but he likes to drink his heritage (but would never put the two together other than in this photo). UELAC plate down in Prince Edward County. Which drink first – Loyalist Lager or Gin?

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Rev. Ebenezer Thompson, Minister to the Marshfield Loyalists. Ebenezer Thompson was born in West Haven, Connecticut, in 1712. He graduated from Yale College in 1733, married the following March, and then did what Yale graduates weren’t supposed to do: start worshipping in the Church of England. In fact, in 1743 Thompson took holy orders in England, becoming an ordained Anglican minister. At that time the Church of England considered most of New England to be missionary territory, hostile or indifferent to the established denomination. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts paid ministers to take posts there since the congregations were too small to support them.  Read his story through the beginning of the Revolution.
  • 1785 Loyalist gravestone of Mary Getsheus (photo), oldest in Digby, Nova Scotia. (Brian McConnell)
  • Chloe Cooley and the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada. Although little is known about Chloe Cooley, an enslaved woman in Upper Canada, her struggles against her ‘owner,’ Sergeant Adam Vrooman, precipitated the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada, 1793 – the first legislation in the British colonies to restrict the slave trade. Read the story.
  • Two Vegetarian Desserts from 1796 – Video. Today we revisit a video we produced a few years back. In this episode, we reproduce two recipes: a ‘Carolina Snowball,’ and a simple rice pudding. We found both recipes in the 1796 cookbook, ‘Primitive Cookery,’ which is a rare 18th-century vegetarian cookbook.


Response re Loyalist David Redding

(From the July 31 issue of Loyalist Trails)

During an historical reenactment in Bennington (205th… 210th anniversary??), our Tory regiment marched to the cemetery in the town where the Brunswick Dragoons and American loyalists are buried, alongside David Redding’s bones. All the other reenactors, who were rebel militia or Continentals, marched to the gigantic obelisk monument and held a service there.

At the cemetery, we held a solemn commemoration for the German and Loyalists fallen at the Walloomscoick and for the executed David Redding, then marched back to our camp, passing through the rebel camp with our drums and fifes beating the Rogue’s March. Perhaps that has some meaning for you.

I trust you have consulted John Spargo, The Story of David Redding Queen’s Ranger Who Was Hanged in Bennington, Vermont June 11, 1778 – A Study in Historical Reconstruction (Bennington: Bennington Historical Museum and Art Gallery, 1945.) I didn’t find this study of particular value. Revisionist history is often questionable. As you know, Redding was not a Queen’s Ranger — his regiment was the Queen’s Loyal Rangers. Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers served in the Central and Southern Department.

Of far more value is a study by Dr. H.C. Burleigh entitled ‘The Bones of David Redding’ (Ontario: self published, 1975)

My book details Burgoyne’s campaign of 1777 and lists all of the American loyalists who served in various capacities. It is entitled, ‘The British Campaign of 1777, Volume Two. The Burgoyne Expedition — Burgoyne’s Native and Loyalist Auxiliaries’ (Milton, On: Global Heritage Press, 2013) The entries for the Redding brothers are copied below.

367 Pte David Redding. Personal: b/o Francis. b.~1755-Am; d.1778-VT.(Burleigh, Bones of David Redding)
Particulars: Spelled — Reding on QLR list of men who served in 1777.(T56) Reding, French’s Coy, entered 15Aug,
captured 14Sep77.(P35) Illegally hanged at Bennington, VT, 11Jun78.(Burleigh) In Mar79, it was voted that ‘the
Judges of the VT Special Court be Allowed 2 Dollars pr day for the Tryal of David Redden…in June last.'(T100)

368 Pte Francis Redding. Personal: b.1759-Am. 5’7′. Wife — Elizabeth Snider d/o Simon.(S16) Fras Reding settled at
CT3, 1785.(T10) Particulars: QLR subsistence list for 25Jun-24Oct77, Reding commenced provisioning on
07Sep.(P32) Spelled — Reding on QLR list of men who served in 1777.(T56) Reding in French’s Coy, entered
07Sep.(P35) Reding on QLR rolls of 29Jan78 & Oct78.(P34,T59) QLR roll of 02May79, Drummer Francis
Roaden.(T61) Spelled — Redding on two QLR rolls.(T62,T63) QLR roll of 14Dec80, Francis Reading in the King’s
Works at St. John’s.(T65) QLR roll of 01May81, Reading in the Engineers’ dept.(T66) Enlisted in 2KRR on 12Nov81,
with the Engineers in 1782 and served till 1784.(S16) A Frances Redding in 1NY ContLine, possibly 1776.(T11)

I have a new book that is about to be published by Dundurn Press, Toronto. Redding gets a passing mention in the text as follows.

A Tory Hanging

On June 9, the Vermont Council chose a two-man committee to prepare a congratulatory letter to Ethan Allen on his safe return from imprisonment in England. The same day, Ethan was appointed the State Attorney for the negotiations between the United States and Vermont, and to represent the Tory, David Redding, a private in John Peters’ Queen’s Loyal Rangers who had been captured while on a foraging patrol almost a month after the Walloomscoick battle. Redding was to be tried that day for inimical conduct against Vermont and the United States. His crime was to have taken arms on behalf of the Crown against the rebels, during which service he foraged for supplies like all soldiers on either side of the conflict; however, that was deemed sufficient grounds to hang him and he swung for his sins on June 11. Clearly, Allen’s intercession had been perfunctory.[i]

[i] Council minutes, 09Jun78. Vermont Minutes, I, 263&64; Redding: Watt, Burgoyne’s Auxiliaries, 187 & Dr. H. C. Burleigh, The Bones of David Redding (self published, n.d.) & John Spargo, The Story of David Redding Who Was Hanged (Bennington: Bennington Historical Museum, 1945); hanging of Tories and suspected Tories, or disaffected persons, was a common occurrence in the United States. In contrast, no rebels were hanged in Quebec during the revolution.

I hope some of this information proves useful for you.

…Gavin Watt, HVP, UELAC (website)

Captain John Keaquick

My gggg-grandfather was Captain John Keaquick. I do not know whether he would be classified as a Loyalist, but he was certainly involved in the lives of some Loyalists. I thought I would give some timeline notes for him. Some of these might be of interest to UELAC members. I have added some queries. If anyone has any more information, I would be grateful to receive it.

c. 1751 born (but I am not sure where)

1780 New York: married Darcus Lightfoot at Trinity Church I believe.

1783 October 10: An advertisement in a New York newspaper reads:

‘Just arrived from St. Johns and to sail again for that port in a few days (to touch first at Port Roseway) the brig ‘Lovely Lass,’ John Keaquick, master, now lying at Roaches Wharf, a few wharfs below the Coffee-house, where she is now taking in. For Freight or Passage apply to the master on board, to Messrs. Hughes & Montgomery, or to the printers. She has excellent accomodations for passengers’

(REF: The Founding of Shelburne. W. O. Raymond. In Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society)

1783: Shipmaster of the brig ‘Lovely Lass’ on various trips, carrying passengers between New York and St. John, Halifax, Shelburne, and Annapolis during the period of evacuation.

(REF: Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick: A defining conflict for Canada’s political culture, by David Bell, 2013; also

REF: Carleton’s Loyalist Index – Sir Guy Carleton Branch, UELAC)

Query: For August 25 and October 17 the index says ‘carrying family effects’. Is there a way of accessing more information on this?

1783 May 13, New York: a juror into the death of William Richardson

(REF: Carleton’s Loyalist Index – Sir Guy Carleton Branch, UELAC)

Query: Does anyone know any details of this case?

1785 May: It was reported in The Port-Roseway Gazetteer and The Shelburne Advertiser of June 9, 1785, that John Keaquick and John Younghusband had arrived back in Nova Scotia after being rescued after their ship was overturned in a gale. John Keaquick had been washed overboard but managed to get back on when the mast was cut away. They were rescued by Captain Anthony Ludlam from the brig Active.

1785 St. John: John Keaquick, along with Richard Lightfoot (possibly his brother-in-law) was a member of a militia company intended for Annapolis, but they both became involved in the opposition at Saint John. John Keaquick was involved in the Mallard House riot after New Brunswick’s first provincial election. He was a member of the disgruntled Lower Covers. Apparently John Keaquick and Joseph Montgomery were so upset with the Government that they set out for Shelburne on a schooner, with the intent of then sailing to England to lay their grievances ‘before the house of commons, the house of Lords, the King, etc etc’

(REF: From December 5, 1785, Sewell Papers quoted in Note 40 p 173 ‘Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick: A defining conflict for Canada’s political culture, by David Bell, 2013)

It is not clear whether they did in fact go back to England then as they were soon after ‘back at Saint John causing more trouble for the governing faction’

(REF: See Note 40 p 173 ‘Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick: A defining conflict for Canada’s political cuture, by David Bell, 2013)

1787 July 20: embarked for St. John from New York on the brig the ‘Loyal Briton’, taking Joseph Moore and William Wilson to New Brunswick for their inspection of the Quaker colony at Beaver Harbour, also bringing food supplies for the colony. They took 60 barrels of Indian meal, 31 barrels of middlings, 15 barrels of rye meal, and 2 barrels of pork. They assisted 48 people or families in Beaver Harbour, as well as another 36 people or families in places such as St. John River, Digby, and St Marys Bay.

(REF: The Quaker-Loyalist Migration to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1783, Arthur J. Mekeel. In Bulletin of Friends’ Historical Association Vol 32, No. 2, 1943)

1791 Took George Rapelje of New York to Boston on a brig part owned by Keaquick.

(REF: A narrative of excursions, voyages, and travels, George Rapelhje, 1834)

Later years: John Keaquick retired to England. I do not know what happened to Darcus Lightfoot or whether they had any children. Back in England, he married three times: to a Susanna, (probably about 1798); then in 1801 to Hannah Skevington (from whom I am descended); then in 1808 he married her sister, Esther Skevington. I believe the Skevington sisters were the nieces of Captain Anthony Ludlam. John Keaquick died aged 91 in October 1842 in Bristol, England.

Marilyn Ford

Rev. Lefevre? Or Ryckman Families from Sherbrooke

Last year a query, “Help With a Ryckman Ancestor,” was published in the July 12 issue of Loyalist Trails. Here is an update.

I am still looking for Ann Eliza’s parents, so far without success. There was a book about Bergen County New Jersey Loyalists stating that of the 100 plus loyalists that went to Canada, 7 returned to the US, but only 4 to NJ and ‘some went to New York.’ The author only names those who returned to New Jersey. The Bergen County Historical Society was not able to give me a list of the 7 Loyalists who returned.

I did find information on the pastor Lefevre who married my Ann Eliza Ryckman and Zephaniah Smith in NYC . I don’t know how they knew Rev. Lefevre, whether in NY or Canada. Rev. C. F. Lefevre (1797-1882) was born in England. He married Mary Clowes. He was an Anglican pastor assigned to a parish in Sherbrooke, Province of Quebec. He served 7 years there and resigned in 1829 and went to the US where he affiliated with the Universalist church and served as pastor of the Universalist Church in Troy, New York in 1830. He also served in Hudson, NY, Manhatten, where my people married, and later in Wisconsin. I am now hoping to find church records maybe giving Ann Eliza’s parents names. The notes he had written which I borrowed from Utah LDS listed no NYC marriages , and the ones listed for Troy or Hudson did not name parents anyway.

Did you ever hear about this Rev. Lefevre? Or Ryckman families from Sherbrooke? My Ann Eliza came back to the US as a baby about 1823, so if the Ryckman family met the pastor in Canada, it was briefly while he served as Anglican pastor of Sherbrooke. That’s all I have learned so far.

I really enjoy reading the UEL newsletter!

Christine Izzo

Early Families of York (Toronto)

My gt Uncle Rudolph Papst, sold 200 acres in Osnabruck in Feb 1811 and bought 200 acres in York twp. in Oct 1811.

His lot, Con 2, Lot 2 (East of Bayview and second lot north of Eglinton) is shown in the book ‘Pioneering in North York’ by Patricia Hart.

His daughter Catherine married Dr. Amasa Stebbins at York, Sept. 1809.

His daughter Cristeen married Joseph B Abbot of York, Nov. 1811.

Several documents (Marriage,petitions) indicate the family was resident in Etobicoke, ca 1809++

My copy of ‘York, Upper Canada Minutes of Town Meetings and Lists of Inhabitants, 1797-1823’, lists; Joseph B. Abbot (and his tavern) and Doc, A.Stebbins as inhabitants of York in 1812 (with apparent spouse), but Gt Uncle Rudolph and his family of at least 5 children, (at this point) is not mentioned as being resident in Etobicoke, York or York Township.

One child, Jacob Papst(1789-18XX) is however listed as being a resident in York in 1814, 1816, 1818 and 1819 and other documentation indicates his residence as Lot St and Hospital street.

My question is;

a) Is there another source for early (1810+/-10) families to York?

b) Is there another source following the period of 1823-1860+/-.?

Thank you.

Richard A. Poaps, UE