“Loyalist Trails” 2017-13: March 26, 2017
In this issue:
– 2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots
– Unpacking a 1784 Land Grant (Part One): The Prince of Wales American Regiment, by Stephen Davidson
– Book: Fire and Desolation, by Gavin Watt
– UELAC Loyalist Scholars Update: Sophie Jones
– A Guide to Online Resources for Teaching and Learning Loyalist History
– Rabble.ca: Fleeing North is a time-honoured tradition for U.S. dissidents
– Rev War Talk: John Smith, British Army, served at Fort St. Jean
– JAR: A Republic of Wool: Founding Era Americans’ Grand Plans for Sheep
– Loyalist Gazette: Last Year’s Spring Issue 2016 now Available To All
– Where in the World?
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Last Post
+ Lorraine Rogers (née Ball), UE
+ Marianne Kathleen Davis
+ Royal Navy Able Seaman John Allen
June 22 – 25, 2017; London, Ontario
Hosted by: London & Western Ontario Branch and Grand River Branch
© Stephen Davidson, UE
They had survived one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolution, escaped shipwreck, and endured a long and bitter winter. Finally, in February of 1784, the men of Captain Daniel Lyman’s Light Infantry Company received official notice of the lands granted to them by a grateful king. Twenty-five soldiers who had served with the Prince of Wales American Volunteer Regiment received between 100 and 300-acre lots; their company’s fourteen officers were granted lots ranging in size from 800 to 1,000 acres.* Four months after settling at St. Anne’s Point (Fredericton) on the St. John River, these battle-hardened loyalists could now look forward to a busy spring and summer clearing the land along the Nashwaak River.
Among these 39 veterans were men who would become businessmen, politicians, jurors, farmers, and clergymen in the northern remnants of the British Empire. While the stories of most of these loyalists have been lost to posterity, the names of John Kirk, William Tyler, Munson Hoyt, William Kennedy, Daniel Lyman and Titus Finch still shed light on the era of loyalist settlement in both New Brunswick and Upper Canada.
Before we can appreciate what happened to these men after 1784, it is important to review the course of their lives during the American Revolution. Early in 1777, Montfort Browne recruited Connecticut and New York refugees to form the Prince of Wales American Regiment (PWAR). It first saw action in the attack on Danbury, Connecticut – a munitions and supply centre for the rebels.
Setting off before the dawn, Daniel Lyman’s light infantry company had marched just a mile and a half towards Danbury when it came under attack. Members of the local patriot militia who had been hiding in a ditch fired a “few straggling shots”. “Wounded in the dark” were three PWAR privates and Captain Lyman. The enemy snipers congratulated themselves, reporting to Fairfield’s patriots that they had mortally wounded Lyman. However, the still-breathing infantry captain and two soldiers were quickly transported back to New York to be given medical attention.
While the fate of the other loyalists “wounded in the dark” is not known, Lyman’s injury — a “musket shot through the body” – was so serious that he was sent to England to recover. The Connecticut loyalist did not take an active part in the PWAR for the remainder of the revolution. Captain John Collett assumed command of Lyman’s light infantry company.
Described as a “cripple” by a contemporary account, Lyman delivered a letter written by his commander, Montfort Browne, to George Germain upon arriving in England. (Germain was the secretary of state for the American department and thus was responsible for quashing the revolution. ) Lyman must have made a good impression on Germain for in 1780 the latter recommended that the Connecticut loyalist be put into a newly established regiment. What became of such a highly placed request is not known, but by 1783, Lyman was once again reunited with the PWAR in New Brunswick.
Following the successful assault on Danbury, Connecticut in 1777, the PWAR was posted in New York, before serving at the siege of Newport, Rhode Island in 1778. An embarkation return for that year for Lyman’s company shows that it was comprised of 46 “rank and file”, one drummer, 3 sergeants, 2 subalterns, and three women (the latter were cooks and laundresses).
By the spring of 1780, the PWAR was among the British forces that were fighting in the South under Lord Rawdon. One company was almost wiped out while another detachment sustained sizeable losses at Hanging Rock in South Carolina. The PWAR’s light infantry company – then under the command of Lt. Thomas Lindsay – was overwhelmed in the bloody Battle of Cowpens and became prisoners of war.
After the evacuation of Charleston, South Carolina in December of 1782, the PWAR’s remaining soldiers were put on garrison duty in Long Island. They stayed in New York until they were evacuated with 3,050 soldiers and their dependents in the thirteen ships that made up the Fall Fleet.
According to the records found in the Book of Negroes, the Fall Fleet left New York City on September 18, 1783. The men of the PWAR, their families, and slaves were quartered on both the Montague and the Elizabeth. Eleven days later, all but two of the fleet’s ships had dropped anchor at the mouth of the St. John River – the site of modern day Saint John, New Brunswick. After a wait of two days, the wayward Esther sailed into sight. The Martha never appeared. It was shipwrecked off of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Only 68 of its 181 passengers were rescued and eventually reunited with the other loyalist regiments.
Delayed by the tardiness of the Esther and the loss of the Martha, the loyalist veterans and their families rented a flotilla of small boats to take them up the St. John River to St. Anne’s Point. The trip took nine days to complete. When the disbanded soldiers and their families arrived, they were “much discouraged at the gloomy prospect” before them. Who had the unenviable task of telling the weary loyalists that they would have to spend the approaching winter in old army tents?
One woman’s account reveals the horrors of that first winter: “Many woman and children, and some of the men, died from cold and exposure. Graves were dug with axes and shovels near the spot where our party had landed, and there in stormy winter weather our loved ones were buried.”
Although the snow would not yet have begun to melt in February of 1784, the news of the land grants on the Nashwaak River opposite their refugee encampment must have been heartening for the loyal Americans.
As the former commander of his light infantry company, Captain Daniel Lyman received 1,000 acres of land. He was just thirty years old when he and his 28 year-old wife Statira (Camp) arrived in the colony that would become New Brunswick. A graduate of Yale College, Lyman was a native of New Haven, Connecticut, the home of many loyalists.
His father in law, Abiathar Camp, had been a merchant until rebels locked him away for a year because of his refusal to support the revolution. After being released when the British attacked New Haven, Camp found refuge in New York City. He and his family eventually settled in Saint John, just sixty miles downriver from where Daniel Lyman received his generous land grant.
Within a year of receiving his one thousand acres, Lyman ran for public office, becoming a member of New Brunswick’s very first House of Assembly. He would hold his seat for seven years. One source notes that the infantry officer leased a farm from Benedict Arnold during the latter’s short stay in New Brunswick.
Statia Lyman died at 45 in 1800; Lyman moved to London, England where he died at 55 in 1808. What little property and possession he still had remaining in New Brunswick were dispersed by 1811.
Not everyone who received a Nashwaak River land grant did as well as Lyman. Private Annanias Huddleston had received a 100-acre grant in 1784. By 1815, he had moved south from York County to Kings County where his name appears in a probate record for a man who lived on the lower stretch of the St. John River. By 1832, Huddleston was in the place where he had disembarked from his evacuation vessel in 1783 – Saint John. The New Brunswick Courier noted that the old loyalist soldier had died at age 75 in the city’s almshouse. Huddleston’s story is one of a fresh beginning that had a poignant ending.
Next week, learn about the men of the Prince of Wales American Regiment who eventually left their Nashwaak River farms to settle in Upper Canada.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
My new book Fire and Desolation, about the 1778 campaign and the infamous actions in the Wyoming Valley and Cherry Valley, is now available for pre-order.
If any of you have been thinking about recommending or buying it, I would like to ask you for a favour. It’s become important these days for books to get a spike of online pre-order sales before they’re released. Pre-orders signal to bookstores that they need to stock up on the title, which can make a huge difference to overall sales.
I’d be grateful if you ordered a copy today. Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm!v
If I may be so bold as to quote Abigail Adams (nee Smith), wife of John Adams, the second President of the United States and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth:
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” (From a letter to John Quincy Adams, 8 May 1780)
This observation is one our UELAC scholars may well agree with. This week we are bringing you an update from UELAC scholar Sophie Jones, PhD candidate, University of Liverpool:
“I was delighted to be awarded a UELAC Scholarship in March 2016 and since the announcement was made I have been made to feel incredibly welcome as a member of the Loyalist community. I would like to extend my heartfelt and sincere thanks to the board and members for their warmth and support – it is very much appreciated. My first year as a UELAC scholar has been an extremely busy one, but full of varied and rewarding experiences which have helped to strengthen the direction of my research, but also support the development of my academic career.
I am very excited to have been put forward by UELAC to work with Bruce Carlin and Carlin Media in their upcoming documentary on the United Empire Loyalists.”
In 2016 Sophie travelled to University of Georgia as part of a Doctoral student short-term International Research Fellowship. You can read about her experience here.
While already in the US, Sophie visited the Massachusetts Historical Society to consult their Loyalist collections and met with 2012 UELAC scholar Christopher Minty.
During 2016, Sophie actively participated at academic conferences in both the US and UK. Following a paper which she presented in Liverpool, Sophie was invited to Knowsley Hall to view their collection related to General Burgoyne — “these texts belong to the private collection of the Earl of Derby and are only accessible by invitation. (Burgoyne was a school friend of the son of the 11th Earl [known as Lord Strange] and later eloped with his sister, Charlotte. Following Burgoyne’s death, his children were sent to live with their uncle, who was by now the 12th Earl.)” Very interesting!
Plans for 2017 include:
March 2017 – American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Annual Meeting: AAS-sponsored panel on Loyalism at the ASECS annual meeting where I will be presenting a paper entitled “Surged with so many infernal wretches”: Patterns of Loyalist Support in Upstate New York. Following the ASECS Conference, Sophie is heading to Albany to take up a two-week residency at the State Archive.
Ms. Jones continues to work with Bluecoat as part of their 300-year anniversary, and will be presenting at a conference in November 2017 considering charity, philanthropy and slavery in eighteenth-century Liverpool.
In addition, Sophie will be teaching second- and third-year undergraduate modules in Liverpool: ‘Living the Global Eighteenth Century’ and ‘Age of Reason: The Social Impact of the European Enlightenment.’ An element of this includes working with material artefacts from the eighteenth century with the curatorial team at National Museums Liverpool.
UELAC is delighted to offer these glimpses into the busy schedules of our scholars. Since 2005, eleven graduate students have furthered their academic careers through the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada Loyalist Scholarship. Your gift to Loyalist Scholarship has a direct impact on education and research in the field of Loyalist studies. Donations are always welcome.
…UELAC Scholarship Committee
March 21, 2017 by Andrea Eidinger
Welcome back to yet another resource guide! This time, in collaboration with the Atlantic Loyalist Connections blog, our latest resource guide focuses on the history of the Loyalists, broadly defined as those individuals who chose to leave the US for various reasons following the American Revolution.
Once again, I have stuck to sources that are produced by institutions, museums, archives, and historical societies. This is again to ensure that the sources presented are authentic and their provenance clear. In order to keep this guide to a manageable size, I have excluded websites that are narrative-based, rather than providing primary sources and/or learning tools. However, unlike previous guides, the nature of this area of study is such that my sources as transnational in nature, and come from Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. Also in the interest of keeping this guide manageable, I have focused most of my sources on the experiences of Loyalists after they left the United States. That said, I have included some materials that relate explicitly to the experiences of Loyalists (rather than American colonists in general) during the American Revolution.
Penney Kome, March 24, 2017
One of the ironies of being an American immigrant to Canada is discovering how many Canadians wish they could immigrate to the States, which they see as a land of opportunity.
Americans do play a certain type of socio-political capitalist game better than most Canadians, but sometimes I think that’s because that’s all they’re taught how to do. On the other hand, Americans tend to think of Canada as a safe haven, a refuge if all else fails — like running away to the woods.
“This myth is so strong,” writes Jessica Squire in Building Sanctuary: The Movement to Support Vietnam War Resisters in Canada 1965-73, “that the support dimension of the [draft-dodger] story is easily dismissed; after all, part of the myth is that Canada has always been such a haven…”
As she describes in meticulous detail, every aspect of “safe haven” requires hours and hours of daily work. But again I’m stuck with an irony — the myth persists, precisely because Canadians have so often risen to welcome refugees from wars and injustice in the States and elsewhere.
Sir John Smith (22 February 1754 — 2 July 1837) was a British army general. In his early career as a Royal Artillery officer he fought in the American War of Independence, and was twice captured and imprisoned by the Americans. In his later career he was involved in expanding the British Empire in the West Indies, helped keep control of the island of Gibraltar and commanded various artillery battalions.
He was born in Brighton, Sussex, England, on 22 February 1754. There is no record of who his parents were. He married Grace Weatherall at Chatham, Kent on 17 April 1782. They had five children in total.
He entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich on 1 March 1768 and was commissioned a second lieutenant into the Royal Artillery on 15 March 1771. He was posted to Canada in 1773. After the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War he was involved in the Siege of Fort St. Jean. He and the other defenders surrendered on 2 November 1775 and were captured.
by Brett Bannor, March 21, 2017
Only 1,457 pounds of wool? George Washington was astonished. He had 568 sheep, so that meant the recent shearing at Mount Vernon and his other farms yielded an average of just over two and a half pounds of wool per animal. Washington was not home to supervise the process; it was June of 1793 and he was in Philadelphia beginning his second term as President of the United States. He learned the details of the shearing through a letter from his farm manager, Anthony Whitting. The President’s response detailed exactly why he was so distressed by the news:
From the beginning of the year 1784 when I returned from the Army, until Shearing time of 1788, I improved the breed of my Sheep so much by buying, & selecting the best formed, & most promising Rams & putting them to my best Ewes—by keeping them always well culled & clean—and by other attentions—that they averaged me … rather over than under five pounds of washed wool each.
What could be causing the dramatic reduction in the productivity of Washington’s sheep? The President implied that insufficient attention had been paid to selectively breeding the animals. Showing a disdainful aspect of Virginia plantation life, Washington also reminded Whitting to be mindful of “the roguery of my Negros.” It was the enslaved doing the actual shearing; Washington snarled that in the past they had skimmed wool for themselves between the shearing and delivery of the fleeces.
One of the benefits of membership in a branch of UELAC is the Loyalist Gazette, our periodical which is available also to those non-members who purchase a subscription.
Traditionally the publication was printed and mailed, but more recently it has been made available in digital format as well. This format offers colour throughout and an earlier delivery. Those who receive only the electronic version also help the association manage expenses as both printing and mailing costs are avoided.
Many members have requested the digital copy, and a good portion of those are now receiving the journal only in digital format, although some prefer to also receive the paper copy.
If you are a member or Gazette subscriber, and haven’t yet but would like to try out the e-zine version of the Spring 2017 Gazette, complete the request form.
…Robert McBride, UE, Publications Committee
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.
- Biscuits And Gravy – Where Do They Come From? Jas. A Townsend & Son. Today Jon and Kevin focus on Biscuits And Gravy and try to flesh out it’s origins in 18th Century Cooking. We want your help on this one!
We are on a river cruiser in the Netherlands. I do have some spare time, but the internet is often rather slow. As a result the task of assembling the newsletter is rather painstaking, enough so that I have not included as much as I often do, nor have I checked the links; I hope they all work.
Lived for 83 years and 7 months. She was the youngest child of her family and the last one alive from her generation. She outlived everyone including her husband, John Rogers, her brothers, sisters, and all her in-laws. She was born on August 6, 1933 and died in London on March 16, 2017. Her life was good. It was filled with travel, laughter and love with daughter Deb, son Doug, daughter-in-law Karen Cunningham and Lorraine’s two grandchildren Evan and Alanna. Her last years were cheerfully lived at Elmwood Place Long Term Care Home.
Mom loved travelling, five-pin bowling, crocheting, exploring her family genealogy and mostly the Toronto BlueJays. She was a proud United Empire Loyalist. There will not be a funeral service. Instead, she has been cremated and will be buried with dad in Oakland Cemetery in a private ceremony. In lieu of a service we ask that you might visit Balls Falls Provincial Park or the Ball Wing of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum and remember the entire Ball family, who played such an important role in Canadian History.
In celebration of her life and to remember her, please pour yourself a hot cup of tea and raise your cup to her memory. She would like that. To Mom!
She and her husband, John, were very active and enthusiastic members of the London and Western Ontario Branch. Lorraine enjoyed crocheting and created the Loyalist dolls that are among the Branch possessions. In the fall of 2009, when UELAC President Fred Hayward visited London Branch, Lorraine presented him with two of the dolls.
Her Loyalist ancestor was Captain Jacob Ball, Butler’s Rangers, who settled in the Niagara region. As the obituary states the Ball family were very prominent in the area.
John was a graphic artist and designed our first display sign. He created all the sketches that appear in the UELAC Education Manuals. When John died, London Branch donated money for the cost of three planks in the Pond Mills boardwalk in his memory. They are engraved with his name.
…Carol Childs, June Klassen, Gerry Tordiff, London and Western Ontario Branch
Born Sept. 29, 1916 — 2017 Passed away on March 23 at the Montreal General Hospital in her 100th year. Predeceased by her parents C. Bruce Davis and Fannie Hamilton Davis; her brothers John and C. Bruce Davis II; sister Ruth Davis and niece Daphne Davis Morgan. She will be greatly missed by her nieces and nephews, Mary Ellen Davis and Tony Davis; and Debra Davis, Lesley Sutton, and C. Bruce Davis III. She will be lovingly remembered by many great- nieces and nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews.
Marianne attended MacDonald College, Temple University (Philadelphia) and was a graduate of Sir George Williams College (1952); a teacher and Elementary School Consultant at the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal; a founding member of DKG Quebec, a professional association for women teachers; and Trinity Memorial Church where she and her sister Ruth were very active. On the occasion of Marianne’s 100th birthday celebrations, DKG named an Early Educator Award in her name to thank her for all her hard work in the field of education over the years.
Both Marianne and her sister Ruth were also active members of The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, Heritage and St. Lawrence Branches. Marianne resided in the family home on Wilson Avenue for 91 years until she moved to Westmount Manor. The visitation will take place at Collins Clarke MacGillivray White Funeral Home, 5610 Sherbrooke Street W., Montreal H4A 1W5, Saturday, March 25, 3pm – 5pm. followed by a funeral service in their chapel. The burial will take place in the spring. In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.
Loyalist ancestor: Alexander Bruce. Marianne and sister Ruth both worked tirelessly, as Vice-President and Genealogist respectively, of Heritage Branch for many years. Space does not permit listing their accomplishments in preserving and promoting our Loyalist heritage. They also regularly attended the UELAC’s annual conferences and in particular rendered diligent service in helping organize the 1989 event in Lennoxville, Quebec, where the guest of honour was His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, and which was a resounding success still remembered in the UELAC today.
…Robert Wilkins, UE, Heritage Branch
I was recently reading an obituary online for Donald Allen from the Toronto branch from 3 years ago and I noticed that he had written about “A Genealogical Sketch of UK, Royal Navy Able Seaman John Allen 1782-1861”, an ancestor who fought under Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson 1758-1805 in the Battle of Trafalgar 1805 as well as the Battle of Baltimore 1814. I believe this is the John Allen I have been looking for. Would you know how to get a copy of his writing?
Thanks in advance and any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.