“Loyalist Trails” 2017-07: February 12, 2017

In this issue:
2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots
Valentine’s Day: Montreal 1788, by Stephen Davidson
Comment: Pepperrell Family
The Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783
Borealia: Jean Baptiste Assiginack / The Starling (aka Blackbird): Anishinaabeg in the War of 1812
JAR: Crossing the Great Divide: The Battle at Van Creek, Georgia, February 11, 1779
The Junto: Fashioning the 17th Century in Boston: John and Hannah Leverett
Brock U. Collection Shows Canada’s Rich History of Welcoming Refugees
Ontario Drivers: For Valentine’s, a Loyalist Licence Plate
Six Generations: How Far Back is that for You?
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Seeking New Brunswick 1854 Bronze Standard Measures


2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots

June 22 – 25, 2017; London, Ontario

Hosted by: London & Western Ontario Branch and Grand River Branch

Registration and details.

Valentine’s Day: Montreal 1788

© Stephen Davidson, UE

While love and romance may have been in the air in Montreal on the Valentine’s Day of 1788, it was business as usual for the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists. Colonel Thomas Dundas and Jeremy Pemberton, the RCLSAL commissioners, were in the Lower Canadian city to determine which loyal refugees merited financial compensation for their losses during the American Revolution.

Dundas was well suited for his role as commissioner. He had served as a member of the British Parliament for the Shetland Islands for almost ten years before serving under Benedict Arnold, Charles Cornwallis, and Banastre Tarleton at various times during the American Revolution. Having been a prisoner of war following the fall of Yorktown, Dundas knew all too well what it was like to be among the defeated in a war that the empire should have won.

Although he had no personal connection to the experience of the loyalist refugees, Jeremy Pemberton brought legal expertise to the RCLSAL hearings. He had been a practising lawyer for 26 years; his grandfather was Sir Francis Pemberton, a lord chief justice of England. The loyalist settlers of Nova Scotia must have been impressed by his judgements during the RCLSAL’s mandate. Six months after he heard refugees’ petitions in Montreal, Pemberton was appointed as the fifth chief justice of Nova Scotia Supreme Court, a position he held until October of 1789.

Before this particular Thursday was over, Dundas and Pemberton would hear the cases of six loyalist petitioners: Philip Eamer, John Farlinger, Johann Michael Gallinger, Christian (Schtick) Scheck, Jacob (Waggems) Waggoner, and Michael Johannes Warner.

All of these loyalists had been German immigrants to New York before the outbreak of the revolution. Each man had fought for the crown and then settled in New Johnstown, a community that would one day become Cornwall, Ontario. Together they had braved the bitter February snow and ice of 1788 to travel 114 km down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. Martin Algier (Alguire?) and John Cristy (Christie), two other loyalists, accompanied their friends to testify on their behalf.

Philip Eamer had lived in North America since 1755. Thirty-three years later, all he had to show for his sixty-six acres of cleared land was a tattered lease that had been signed in 1764. John Farlinger testified that his friend was “reckoned a rich man” with good stock. Martin Algier, who described Eamer as a “man in good circumstances”, recalled that rebels seized the loyalist’s valuable stock (which included a horse, two mares, four cows, an ox and ten sheep).

Eamer, although “always loyal”, had not been able to escape New York sooner; a fact that he attributed to his age. His adult sons found sanctuary in Canada before he was reunited with them in 1781. Two years later, the elder loyalist joined Sir John Johnson’s Second Battalion. The RCLSAL commissioners were impressed with Eamer’s success in the New World, noting that he “seems to have been in a good way”.

John Farlinger told the commissioners that he had immigrated to America “when a boy”. He settled in New York in 1763 following service to the crown. In the years before the revolution, Farlinger had cleared 18 of the 100 acres he had from Sir William Johnson. He had built a small house and barn that housed two horse, two cows and “some farming utensils”. Farlinger sought sanctuary in Canada in 1776 and served in the Second Battalion “the whole war”. Despite the fact that friends and former comrades in arms had travelled to Montreal with him, none of them testified on Farlinger’s behalf.

Johann Michael Gallinger had a story very similar to that of Eamer and Farlinger. However, he had been “obliged to serve the rebels with his wagon and horses”, but assured the commissioners that he “never did anything else with them”. The fact that local patriots had imprisoned Gallinger for six months — and that four Gallinger sons had fought for the crown—provided a strong indication of the German native’s true loyalty. Gallinger eventually found his way to Canada in 1781 and served with the Second Battation for the remainder of the revolution.

Christian (Schtick) Scheck had a 200 acre farm in Johnson’s Bush — as well as a town lot– in the years before the revolution. His blacksmith shop was prosperous enough to have employed apprentices and journeymen. When war broke out, Scheck sent his workers off to join Sir John Johnson’s regiment; he enlisted in the same battalion three years later. John Christie remembered that Scheck “was in considerable business as a blacksmith” while J. M. Gallinger testified that the rebels had imprisoned Scheck several times because he would not take the oath of allegiance to the patriot cause. Unfortunately, the RCLSAL commissioners felt that Scheck “values his property too highly” and did not compensate him for all that his immigrant work ethic had brought into being.

Jacob Waggoner (“Waggems” in the RCLSAL transcripts) had immigrated to the thirteen colonies thirty years ago. When the rebellion broke out, he joined Sir John Johnson’s First Battalion in 1777, receiving his discharge six years later. John Farlinger backed up the loyalist’s claims that he lost 20 acres of cleared land, remembering his farm and his livestock.

Michael Johannes Warner had been a German settler on the Mohawk River. His testimony was much like that of his five friends, but he had also been able to plant an orchard during his days in New York. Martin Algier testified that he had been “long settled” on the Albany Patent and that he had “very good stock”. Like so many other loyalists, Warner had to leave this “all behind when he joined the British”. Something beyond the mere facts of Warner’s case must have impressed the RCLSAL’s commissioners for their notes in the border of the loyalist’s transcript state that he was “a good man”.

How did these six refugees fare on February 14, 1788? Was their wartime loyalty dismissed or rewarded? The transcripts of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists do not record what funds –if any– were awarded that day. Given all that these men had endured, one can only hope that when they had finished retracing their wintry journey back to their wives and children, they could report that they had received the appreciation of the empire for which they had become refugees. If the families had indeed been compensated, it would forever be a Valentine’s Day to remember.

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

Comment: Pepperrell Family

[Editor’s Note: The Pepperrell family was the subject of Massachusetts Loyalists Buried in Halifax (Part 3 of 3), by Stephen Davidson, in last week’s issue.]

As you know the Pepperrell family is very well known here in Maine, with a number of female line descendants to the present.

It is indeed a small world – and in this case I’m not a relative – as I know several descendants of the second Sir William Pepperrell all of whom live in the U.K. Perhaps the best known is the late Anthony W. Furse (through his father, the second Sir William’s 2x Great-Great-Great Grandson) who is the author of a most interesting book about his maternal Uncle, Air Chief Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman, Bt.: Wilfrid Freeman: The Genius Behind Allied Survival and Air Supremacy 1939 to 1945 who was the Freeman of “Freeman’s Folly” – the de Havilland Mosquito and the P-51 Mustang.

I mention this since Tony’s paternal Grandfather was the Rt. Reverend Charles T. Abraham, Bishop of Derby. In early 1939 Sir Wilfrid wrote his sister saying that he felt that war was inevitable, and that since both of his nephews were in the process of becoming RAF Officers things might go easier for them if they became POWs if her husband changed his surname to his mother’s surname (interestingly they like the Pepperrell’s were a Devonshire family).

The second Sir William Pepperrell and his wife Elizabeth have at least two dozen living descendants in the U.K. today, including a Baronet and a Life Peer Law-Lord. See the portrait of Sir William and his Family.

…Ed Garrett

The Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783

By Stuart Salmon: a PhD Dissertation, 2009. Univerity of Stilring

This dissertation is about the Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolution, 1775 – 1783. These were the formal regiments formed by the British, consisting of Americans who stayed Loyal to the British crown during the American Revolutionary War. They fought in most of the main campaigns of this war and in 1783 left with the British Army for Canada, where many of them settled.

• Chapter 1: The Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolution 1775 – 1783, p. 19

• Chapter 2: The Loyalist Regiments Organsisation, Themes and Issues, p. 77.

• Chapter 3: The Queens Rangers 1776 – 77, p. 126.

• Chapter 4: The Queens Rangers Under Simcoe, p. 186.

• Chapter 5: The British Legion, p. 240.

• Chapter 6: Butler’s Rangers, p.302.

• Dissertation Conclusion, p. 369.

…Noted by Bill Smy

Borealia: Jean Baptiste Assiginack / The Starling (aka Blackbird): Anishinaabeg in the War of 1812

By Alan Corbiere

On the morning of October 5, 1861, 96 year old Odaawaa Chief Jean Baptiste Assiginack of the Biipiigwenh (Sparrowhawk) clan rose from his slumber and got dressed. J.B. Assiginack, frame bent with age, did not fully fill out the blue admiral attire he had been given for services during the War of 1812. Regardless, Assiginack shined up his black top boots, pressed his blue cloth tail coat, shined the coat’s gilt buttons, and straightened the gold epaulettes. Putting on his undergarments, socks, pants, shirt, he then put on his boots followed by his blue coat. He buttoned the coat and then took the crimson sash and fastened it around his waist. Next he grabbed the silver medal he received the previous year from the Prince of Wales and affixed it to his breast. Holding the King George III medal he received for services during the War of 1812, and taking it by the blue ribbon, he pulled it too over his head and wore it around his neck. Lastly he took the black cocked hat, adjusted the plume of blue and white feathers, and then placed it upon his head. He then proceeded to the dock at Manitowaning Bay and awaited the arrival of the treaty commissioners.

Read more.

JAR: Crossing the Great Divide: The Battle at Van Creek, Georgia, February 11, 1779

By Robert Scott Davis, February 9, 2017

Due to the work done by many people since 1976 in uncovering the lost history of the American Revolution, for the first time in more than two centuries the people who risked and sacrificed so much in that conflict are no longer just names but human beings. An excellent example of how far the historiography of that period has come is the Battle of Van Creek, near Elberton, Georgia. There the local militia fought a desperate battle on February 11, 1779 to try to stop other Americans from reaching the British army then at Augusta, Georgia.

The Loyalists or Tories who supported the King’s cause may have numbered 600 or more men with horses and were commanded by a Col. James or John Boyd. They were opposed in crossing the Savannah River by some 100 militiamen from Georgia and South Carolina.

Read more.

The Junto: Fashioning the 17th Century in Boston: John and Hannah Leverett

For scholars who are deeply interested in the connections between material culture and social history, textiles can be imagined as significant documents. Contextualizing objects through print culture, and exploring print through materials, allows us to texture the past and to weave “fashion stories” that complicate conventional histories. A favorite site for this work is the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), home not only to one of the country’s most significant collections of letters, manuscripts and decorative arts, but also houses an important collection of textiles, clothing, and shoes, spanning the broad sweep of Massachusetts history. As the Andrew Oliver Research Fellow for 2016-2017, I have had the special opportunity to investigate pre-1750s textiles within the Society’s collection. Here, the lure of seeing objects, many of which had not been viewed for over 40 years, is particularly exciting.

Read more.

Brock U. Collection Shows Canada’s Rich History of Welcoming Refugees

Even before Canada was an independent nation, it was welcoming political refugees from America. At the time of the American Revolution (1775-1783), some Loyalist Americans who supported King George III found themselves in danger. Property was destroyed, land was confiscated and the threat of mob violence loomed in many areas.

With these pressures and the desire to remain under British rule, many Loyalists immigrated to other countries within the Empire. These refugees became known as the United Empire Loyalists (UEL) and those who came to Canada, including about 5,000 who settled in Niagara, helped shape the development of the future nation.

For the past 15 years, a group of descendants from the UEL have been working to ensure that the history of the Loyalists in Canada can be studied at Brock.

Read more.

Ontario Drivers: For Valentine’s, a Loyalist Licence Plate

While the United Empire Loyalists arrived long before Confederation you can still share your pride in their heritage as you celebrate the 150th anniversary. You may remember the special centenary Ontario Licence Plate project that kicked off the 2014 celebrations. With less than forty-eight plates beginning with 02UE, you still have a chance to get a plate that you will remember and cause comments wherever you drive.

SAVE: for the rest of the month of February, you can save 30 dollars when you place your order. AND we will also ship your request FREE!

Take these 2 steps now:

Email public.relations@uelac.org with your preferred number chosen from the following: 16-19, 23, 24, 26-32, 34, 36-38, 40, 42, 47,49, 52-55, 57,59, 67, 69, 72-75, 79, 90-95, 97, 98.

Send your cheque for $80.00 and this form to the George Brown House office.

Show your support of the UELAC and your pride in your pre-confederation heritage.

…Fred H. Hayward, UELAC Public Relations

Six Generations: How Far Back is that for You?

I was watching the news this morning and there was a SIX GENERATION FAMILY shown on a photo – the youngest being a new baby with the Great-Great-Great grandmother holding the babe.

That caused me to count back 6 generations in my family, and My 6th Generation was United Empire Loyalist John Moore, who settled in Grimsby

  • 1st – William Morecroft Robinson of Dundas, and after WW2, Cheshire England, as he result of war wounds!
  • 2nd – Fredrick Melangthan Robinson of Dundas and Hamilton
  • 3rd – Lydia-Ann Emmeline Moore Robinson of Hamilton
  • 4th – Dennis Moore of Grimsby and Hamilton
  • 5th Peirce Moore of Grimsby

Two Canadian examples:

What an stunning quirk of history! (It all depends on the age of marriage / birth of eldest child, as to how long ago the new generation begins, I guess.)

…Judith Nuttall

Where in the World?

Where are Doug Grant and Nancy Conn 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.

  • The UELAC Vancouver Branch invites you to check out their new FaceBook page now located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1862786684006289/
    Our Vancouver Branch Website is still located at http://www.uelac.org/Vancouver/
    Please feel free to join the UELAC Vancouver Branch Facebook Group for updated information as it happens.
    You may ask to join the group; Follow us or Unfollow us. We are a group of like-minded individuals/descendants whose vision is promoting the Heritage and History of the United Empire Loyalists. As “stewards,” we keep their history and their contributions to Canada alive.
    “Because they were Loyalists, we are Canadians” ~ W.S.MacNuTT
    Ducit Amor Patriae: “The love of country leads me”.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Deceptively simple, elegant, timeless – silk damask American wedding dress, c. 1770s
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos)
    • 5 Feb 1783 Sweden formally recognizes the United States; first nation not directly involved in war to do so.
    • 6 Feb 1778 France formally allies with the Americans in their war against the British.
    • 7 Feb 1776 NYC British authorities arrest Alexander McDougall for writing anti-crown newspaper articles. Held with a £1000. Franklin tweaks British, remarking in part on Colonies’ higher birth rate.
    • 8 Feb 1779, a party of the 4th Battalion, NJ Volunteers under Capt Samuel Ryerson surprise rebel picket at Woodbridge NJ. New-Hampshire Provincial Legislature asks Continental Congress’ help in defending seacoast.
    • 9 Feb 1776 Gen. Lee asks Congress to send a battalion to NYC to build fortifications against newly-arrived British.
    • 10 Feb 1779 Americans outfight Loyalists at Carr’s Fort, GA, turning away to rout enemy at Battle of Kettle Creek.
    • 11 Feb 1776 Sir James Wright, Royal governor of Georgia, escapes Patriot house arrest; returns to office 1779-1782.
  • Queens Square showing Old Loyalist Cannon ( Postcard mailed in 1912 from Saint John, New Brunswick )
  • Barbecue (video): the second of a series that focuses on historic foods of the enslaved African community of North America.
  • The Glengarry News – a newspaper in Glengarry County which is Ontario’s easternmost County – is online with issues from 1892 to 1960. as are several newspapers in Huron County.
  • Canada history: Jan 26, 1924 Canada’s first (more or less) official flag. Canada has an interesting history with its national flags. Canada came into being in 1867 and usually when a country is formed, one of the first things it does is create a flag as part of its new and distinct identity. That didn’t exactly happen in the Dominion of Canada. Read more…
  • First census data release is now out! Canada’s population has grown 10 times since Confederation, to 35,151,728. Read more…
  • Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee: Gun salutes mark 65 years on the throne


Seeking New Brunswick 1854 Bronze Standard Measures

The N.B. Government ordered sets of Bronze Standard Measurements from TROUGHTON and SIMMS,London England, in 1854.

We are trying to find other N.B. 1854 Bronze Standard Measures to go with the Standard Peck (1/4 Bushel) measure – see photo – to complete a set of a museum. A complete set contained approx. eight to ten measures of various sizes. Prov. Government inspectors used them to check Weights and Measures in New Brunswick Stores.

We hope that some of your loyal readers might be able to help us in our venture. We are tracing a N.B 1854 Bronze Half-Bushel Standard which sold at auction in Toronto in 2016.

Other Provinces ordered them in different years. See a collection of information with photos about Canadian Manufacturers of Measures, different standards etc.

…Ray Adams