“Loyalist Trails” 2016-45: November 6, 2016

In this issue:
The Fury of the Mob: Connecticut, by Stephen Davidson
Peter Newman’s Hostages to Fortune Now Available
Hamilton Branch Project: Cemetery Plaquing
New Digital Maps at Brock University, Loyalist Collection
The Unexpected Answer to the Biggest Mystery of the American Revolution
Twenty Tories: Loyal Virginians at the Yorktown Siege
JAR: The Mythology of Stony Point
War of 1812 Canadian Stories
Fall 2016 Issue of the Loyalist Gazette
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post
+ Donald Raymond Grant, AACI, UE
+ Kathleen Rose Gee
+ Jerald Eugene Gibson


The Fury of the Mob: Connecticut

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In 1787, Polly Dibblee wrote to her refugee brother in England. The loyalist widow and her children were shivering in a log cabin in the New Brunswick woods, smarting from the lack of support from the British government. As she reflected on her calamitous situation, she remembered the “inhumane treatment” she suffered “under the power of American mobs and rebels” because of her loyalty.

In Polly’s case, this treatment was the repeated attacks on her young family after Fyler Dibblee had declared himself to be a “friend of the government”. Mrs. Dibblee witnessed the kidnapping of her husband, her children being held at bayonet point, repeated robberies, and the seizure of her home.

Her sister-in-law, Mary Dibblee, had “gone mad from fear” following violent attacks on her father’s parsonage. In 1789, a decade after the mob had surrounded her home, Mary was still “as bad as ever”; her family had been “obliged to chain her some part of the time”. Unfortunately, such treatment at the hands of a rebel mob was all too common an experience for America’s loyalists.

While Polly did not receive any compensation from the British government when it sent commissioners to New Brunswick in 1787, other loyalists from Connecticut did, giving them the opportunity to retell their stories of the fury of the mob.

Nehemiah Clarke faced such persecution in his hometown of Hartford after the Boston Tea Party that he had to seek sanctuary in Redding, Connecticut “where there were many loyalists”. Business forced him to return to Hartford in early 1775. There he was “insulted and treated by a mob with great cruelty so that his life was in danger”, making “his escape at last with difficulty.”

However, this time when he sought refuge in Redding, Clarke was “taken again by a mob” and forced to sign a thousand pound bond that he would not join the British. By December of 1776, he found sanctuary on Long Island where he became the surgeon to a loyalist regiment.

Israel Hoyt, a shoemaker from Norwalk, Connecticut, remembered “being carried before a committee and insulted by a mob, imprisoned in order to be tried for his life”. He was able to break out jail, spending the rest of the revolution cutting wood for the British forces. James Hoyt, another Norwalk loyalist, enraged the rebels to such an extent in 1777, that a mob seized his vessel and ran it ashore before selling it. Hoyt’s property was also plundered before he sought sanctuary within the British lines.

Azariah Pritchard was a Derby, Connecticut loyalist who eventually settled along the Bay of Chaleur. He had been instrumental in transporting 160 loyalists to safety on Long Island before being imprisoned for espionage. When he escaped captivity, Pritchard served as a guide along Lake Champlain for three years. In his testimony, he recounted how his grist mill had been seized by patriots and how the mob had plundered his property, stealing rum, sugar, indigo, fifty pairs of shoes, furniture, clothes and cheese. It is hard to see any motivation other than personal enrichment for the actions of these patriots.

When the widow Ann Cable sought compensation for all that she and her late husband John had lost, it fell to a friend named James Callahan to recount all that the mob had done. Cable owned two ships, the Primus and the Andrew. Rebels had already taken the two friends before a committee on suspicion that they might become fugitives. The mob took away the ships’ sails to prevent the Cable and Callahan’s escape.

By the Christmas of 1776, the loyalist realized that the mob would soon be “rising” again. Callahan agreed to help his friend; but they had to hurry if they were to avoid being “taken by the mob”. After Cable’s brother “gave the alarm” to John; Callahan and Cable immediately weighed anchor. It was not a particularly safe time of the year to go to sea, and the men only set sail “from fear of the property falling into the hands of the mob”. In the end, the Andrew escaped but the Primus was lost.

These accounts from just a handful of Connecticut loyalists demonstrate that members of a mob pretending to be concerned about “taxation without representation” and “liberty from tyranny” were using their so-called patriotism as a means for personal gain and enrichment. Stealing from loyalists was a socially sanctioned means to increase one’s worldly goods and real estate. When the call came to surround a loyalist’s home, were those who joined the mob thinking of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” or “loot, property and pursuit of plunder”? It would be interesting to know how many artifacts of the American Revolution treasured by patriots’ descendants are actually the rightful property of American colonists whose only crime was to maintain their loyalty to a sovereign across the sea.

Next week’s Loyalist Trails will reveal more stories of the “fury of the mob” in Pennsylvania.


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

Peter Newman’s Hostages to Fortune Now Available

No stranger to Canada’s past, author Peter C. Newman has emerged from his latest trip through time with a new book about the United Empire Loyalists.

“It’s the great Canadian story,” said the 87-year-old Belleville author and journalist.

“It would be a great movie: how Canada was born.”

Loyal to Britain, the Loyalists fled the British colonies in what’s now the United States in the 1770s. They settled in what’s now Canada, including in the Quinte region.

Newman saw in the Loyalist story a chance to fill two voids: one in written history and the other in his own work.

Read more at Belleville Intelligencer: “Peter C. Newman releases new UEL book.”

Watch Peter talk about why he wrote the book, see the description and read an excerpt at Hostages to Fortune.

NOTE: see “Region and Branch Bits” below about book signings in various Ontario cities (one was held in Toronto on Nov 3).


A NOTE about the cover: The image of the soldier on the cover is a segment of a painting by Charles Pachter. The lady who now owns the painting was at the Toronto book launch, as was Charles. From Gavin Watt:

The man in the painting was Ed Anderson. Ed had been a major proponent of our organization (Service Rifle) founding a loyalist reenactment regiment. He favoured the Queen’s Rangers 1st Americans. I wasn’t keen on that choice, as they had served in the Central and Southern Departments and settled in the Maritimes. I thought we should represent a regiment that had served in the Northern/Canadian Department and that had settled in Ontario. I won out and thus, the Royal Yorkers. (Note from Doug: My two proven loyalist ancestors, George Sutherland and Michael Warner, both served in the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, as did many many others.)

Hamilton Branch Project: Cemetery Plaquing

A Loyalist Cemetery Plaquing Project by Hamilton Branch has successfully marked eleven cemeteries between 2009 and 2015. Read about the project including a list of the cemeteries and the Loyalists buried there.

Every unveiling of the Plaque is special as we have an Unveiling ceremony. We invite members of the family to speak about their Loyalist ancestor. We also invite members of Federal, Provincial and local Municipal Governments. Everyone in our committee has a job to do from reading the Loyalist prayer, introducing the speaker or taking pictures of the event. We always provide refreshments.

…Doug Coppins

New Digital Maps at Brock University, Loyalist Collection

Good News! The Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University and David Sharron, Brock’s Head, of Special Collections and University Archivist are pleased to announce that an interesting collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century maps has been digitized and is available online. The maps focus on Ontario, including Niagara and parts of Eastern Canada, areas settled by Loyalists.

Samuel Dunn’s, “A Map of the British Empire in North America”, published in London in 1776 shows the British Empire’s possessions in North America on the eve of the American Revolution; coloured in pastels; with a fold mark in the middle – it had been part of a book used by both sides in the American Revolutionary War, for geographic information on the colonies.

This collection of maps was donated by Dan Livermore, Brock graduate with a BA in history and politics. Dan served as Canada’s ambassador to Guatemala and El Salvador and later became Canada’s Director General of Security and Intelligence. Currently, he works at the University of Ottawa in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

You can find the maps here.

…Bev Craig, UE

The Unexpected Answer to the Biggest Mystery of the American Revolution

In the grade-school version of American history, the Revolutionary War seems like a righteous inevitability. The typical narrative conflates taxes with tyranny, casting the rebellion as a break from British greed and oppression. “King George III didn’t seem to care what the colonists thought,” one children’s book explains. “He needed more and more money, so Great Britain’s Parliament passed more and more taxes on the colonies.”

Such mythologizing is dangerous because it creates the false impression that the nation was conceived out of an allergy to taxation. You see this fable repeated in slogans from the Tea Party, the latest in a long tradition of activists attempting to dragoon the Founding Fathers into their arguments for reducing taxes.

In truth, the British only wanted the colonists to start paying their fair share of public expenses. And the colonists themselves weren’t opposed to taxation in principle; they were angry that they had no official say in the matter, since they had no seats in the British Parliament. As the famous slogan goes, the colonists bristled at “taxation without representation.”

Read more (Washington Post).

Twenty Tories: Loyal Virginians at the Yorktown Siege

This project has taken a sampling of twenty loyalists from the state of Virginia during the Revolutionary War who joined Cornwallis during his southern campaign and fought at the Battle of Yorktown against their fellow Virginians. The goal of this website is to allow historians of loyalism to better comprehend these men and the context of their service as a window into better understanding loyalism–especially a loyalism so strong that they would risk everything for it. This work is just the start of a much longer research project begun on military loyalism and is being updated with the emergence of new materials and further research.

On the Twenty Tories site you will find a listing of these twenty loyalists who joined Cornwallis at Yorktown. As a social history project, each Tory has their own biography page describing the pre-war lives of the twenty, their path to Yorktown, and the repercussions of their service after the war. All biographical information has been taken from their loyalist claims–whether through their own hand or their families depending on their fate after the battle. All claims can be found in the British Records Office A012 and A013. The hope is that this website will–at some point–be given permission to publish the original claims online and transcriptions of all claim materials are currently in process for future publication on this site.

The website also includes a map of Virginia and pins for each loyalist locating where they lived before the Yorktown Siege. Each pin redirects to each Tory’s biography page for more information. Also included on the website are descriptions of Virginia Loyalism during the American Revolution and why this sampling of only twenty tories is so important to the history of the Revolution, Virginia, loyalism, and Transatlantic relations.

Explore the Twenty Tories Project; by Stephanie Anne Seal, 2016 UELAC Scholarship Recipient.

JAR: The Mythology of Stony Point

(By Michael J. F. Sheehan) The American War for Independence, like any great historical episode, has its share of legends and mythology. The period from 1775 to 1783, perhaps more than any other period in our short history, went through the wringer of nineteenth century romanticism perhaps a little worse for the wear. Students of the period too often find that many aspects of the Revolution have become pseudo-historical. The history of one action in particular, the storming of Stony Point, suffers from a number of myths that still persist, even into the twenty-first century. Five main tales surround Gen. Anthony Wayne’s victory over the British garrison at Stony Point in the wee hours of July 16, 1779. The five myths explored here relate to:

• Dogs

• Fanciful Quotes

• Peter Francisco

• Pmpey Lamb

• The Pay Tree

Read more.

War of 1812 Canadian Stories

This is an introduction to my website which will be of interest to those of you who are researching Loyalists and their descendants living in Upper Canada. The main part of this website is a time line of stories about life during and after the War of 1812. The stories are gathered from a number of primary and secondary sources. You will find stories here about Loyalists, their children, and their grandchildren. There is also an index to names found in the stories and a bibliography. This is a work in progress and new stories are add regularly.

The second part of the website is about how to find documents and histories about people living in Upper Canada at this time. Some of my transcriptions and indices have also been published here. The stories and research aids are listed in the right-hand column. The link to my website is warof1812cdnstories.blogspot.ca.

The third part of the website are the blogs on the Home page. Over the last year, the blogs have been about my plans for the website. A recent addition has been an article about the militiamen of the Mount Pleasant area who served in the 5th Lincoln Militia. Comments and queries are welcome at warof1812cdnstories@gmail.com.

…Fred Blair

Fall 2016 Issue of the Loyalist Gazette

The Fall Loyalist Gazette is at the printers – the anticipated date for mailing is still during the second week in November.

A note with instructions to those who have already requested the digital copy has been sent.

As a paid-up member or a subscriber to the Gazette (published twice each year), you can still request the digital copy.

…Publications Committee

Where in the World?

Where is ?

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 of the planned book signing events for Peter Newman and his new book Hostages to Fortune
    • Brockville Nov 9
    • Belleville Nov 17
    • Ottawa Nov 25 at Rideau Club
    • Hamilton Nov 28th at McMaster

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Brian McConnell UE at New Albany, NS, named by Loyalists after American Revolution for Albany, NY
  • 18th Century Brewery Walkthrough. Brian Nagel, from Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY, takes us on a tour of The 1803 Walter Grieve’s Brewery located on the site. Brewing beer played such an important roll during this time in history, and the amazing presentation of the brewing process is a must-see for anyone who enjoys history as well as the art of brewing.
  • Hallowe’en may have passed, but these dozen old Hallowe’en postcards are a quick treat.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Richards, Charles (#2, of Digby NS) – from Lillian Randall

Last Post

Donald Raymond Grant, AACI, UE

Don passed away on November 3 at the Wellington Hospice in Guelph at the age of 95 after a short illness. Don loved his family, especially his wife Peggy (née Margaret Warner, 1923-2011). They leave sons Doug (Nancy Conn) of Toronto, Gord (Kathy) of Oakville, Ken of Campbellford and Al of London. Don enjoyed and was proud of ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Son of Bert and Jean (Stewart) Grant, Don was brother to Stewart (Joy, Cathie), Earl (Margaret), George (Dorothy), June Hill (Bill) and Dr. Ross (Doreen) of Kitchener, and brother-in-law to Ross Warner (Shireen) and Joan Fox (Charles).

Don was proud of his family heritage and displayed his Loyalist Certificate as a descendant of George Sutherland of Glengarry. He was a longtime member of the Gov. Simcoe Branch.

Don was raised and schooled in St. Marys. He enlisted in the RCAF in early days of WWII, was called up in 1940 and in 1941 was preparing to embark to Europe when Pearl Harbour was attacked. He was immediately posted to the west coast of Canada, where he served on numerous bases while doing anti-sub patrol. While on a leave, he married Peggy on 4 Sept, 1943 in Wesley United Church, Mimico (Toronto). A year later, when posted to Victoria as an instructor, Peg joined him. Don attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant before war’s end in 1945.

Don and Peg then returned to Avonbank where they took over the family homestead farm which Don’s Taylor forefather had taken up from the Canada Company in 1845. They were active participants in the Avonbank community. Don became President of the Perth County Federation of Agriculture.

In 1962, Don took a position with the newly formed Farm Credit Corporation (FCC). They sold the farm and moved to Campbellford, then to Woodstock in 1971 and finally to Guelph in 1977.

While in Campbellford, Don returned to his love of flying, buying a four-seater airplane. In Guelph, living not far from the University, they rented their basement rooms to a series of students, developing life-long friendships with several of them.

Don earned his ‘AACI’ designation as an appraiser. He retired from the FCC in 1983 and focused on his hobbies: woodworking (he had an extensive knowledge of trees and wood), gardening, and later needlework. He and Peg enjoyed extensive travelling, meeting many who became good friends from places such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. They often gave hosts small wooden personalized gifts that Don had made.

Dad also volunteered, for twenty years, for Meals on Wheels and the Red Cross.

In mid-September, 2016, Don fell and broke his hip. After a hip replacement, unrecoverable complications ensued. He chose to enter hospice in early October. On Nov. 2, after a big smile while saying good-bye to a great granddaughter and a seemingly normal bedtime routine, he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Although the medication and his health made him tired, Don always appreciated the help he received from staff at the seniors’ home Wellington Park Terrace where he lived, at Guelph General Hospital and at Hospice Wellington. Staff consistently commented that they enjoyed his company, his anecdotes, dry wit and jokes, right until his last sleep. Don’s extended family appreciated that too. His family thank all the staff, and the many visitors, for their kind assistance.

At Don’s request, cremation has taken place. There will be a visitation on Tuesday, November 8 from 2:00-4:00pm and 7:00-8:30pm at the Wall-Custance Funeral Home & Chapel, 206 Norfolk St., Guelph, and a memorial service on Wednesday, November 9 at 2:00 at Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Ave., Guelph. Interment will follow at a later time at Avonbank Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Salvation Army, Red Cross or a charity of your choice, would be appreciated.

…Doug Grant, UE

Kathleen Rose Gee

Kay passed away peacefully on October 20, 2016 in Victoria, BC. Kay is survived by her devoted husband of 64 years, Eric, and lovingly remembered by: sons Robert and Michael; daughter Margaret (Ken); granddaughters Kate and Sarah; her greater family; and her many, much-loved friends. She was pre-deceased by her father William A A MacMillan, mother Lucile Hooker, step-father Jimmy Hooker, brothers Pat and Alan, and sister Mary.

Kay was born in Bear Creek, YT and grew up to the age of 7 in Dawson City, before ‘coming outside’ to Vancouver. There, family, school, and an active social life filled her days. After achieving a B.S.W. from UBC in 1948, she met the first and last true love of her life, Eric, and they were married in September 1952.

A busy life ensued. Kay and Eric raised three kids, had successful careers, and, over the next 33 years, moved between Vancouver, Montreal, Connecticut, and back to Montreal, before coming to their home, where she spent the longest time, Victoria. Over the past 30 years, Kay was involved in various social and community endeavors. Throughout her life, she was a very dedicated and devoted member of The Church of Christ, Scientist.

Kay’s primary devotion was to her family, and she loved spending time with them. She also inspired and shared loving experiences with many people, in many ways. She loved to garden, to read, hostess high teas, travel extensively, visit with friends, laugh, and her talents on the piano were a source of joy.

Special thanks to Wayside House and their dedicated staff. A Celebration of Kay’s Life will be announced in Spring 2017. McCall Gardens, www.mccallgardens.com.

Kay was a long time member of the Victoria Branch.

…Karen Borden, UE

Jerald Eugene Gibson

Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch is saddened to report that Jerald Eugene Gibson, U.E. passed away on Monday October 24, 2016, at the Greater Niagara General Hospital, at the age of 87. His long suffering is over. He has been reunited with the love of his life his late wife Constance Gibson (nee Bent). Jerald leaves behind a legacy of love and wonderful memories. Left to mourn his passing is his loving daughter Sherryle (Sherry) Bell U.E. and son-in-law Bob Bell, of Niagara Falls. His two treasured grandchildren Koren and Garrett Bell U.E. of Niagara Falls. Jerald will be sadly missed by his sisters-in-law, Margaret Bent, Elizabeth Black and Lorraine Gibson and by his many nieces and nephews. He is remembered with great love by his nephew Kenny Gibson. Jerald is predeceased by his son Terry, father John Sidney Gibson and mother Mary Elizabeth Gibson (nee Flewelling), brothers William (late Edna), Lloyd, James (late Ruth), Stanley, Charles, Sheldon (late Linda) and sisters Shirley, Audrey (late David) Underhill, Joyce (late Carl) Dunn and cousin Margaret Vanstone (nee Burleigh). Special thanks to his many loving caregivers.

Jerald was extremely proud to be a descendant of United Empire Loyalists and Canadian. He was a descendant of eight proven United Empire Loyalist including Benjamin Fralick. All of his Loyalist ancestors settled in the Niagara area. Jerald was born and raised in Niagara Falls and worked for 40 years at Gerber’s Baby foods.

A service to celebrate Jerald’s life was held at Morse & Son Funeral Home, Niagara Falls, on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Burial followed at Fairview Cemetery. As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to the Greater Niagara General Hospital Foundation. Memories, photos and condolences can be shared at www.morseandson.com.

…Bev Craig, UE