“Loyalist Trails” 2017-27: July 2, 2017

In this issue:
Canada 150 Scholarship Project: Happy Canada Day Weekend!
UELAC Gear: Order Before July 12
UELAC Conference: 2017, Canada 150, and 2018
Sarah Winslow: The Spunky Sister (Part 1 of 2), by Stephen Davidson
Honouring Simon Girty in Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Postuma Simcoe, Artist & Diarist
Canadians all sound the same, UVic study finds
Raise the Spitfire?
Borealia: Indigenous Policy and Silence at Confederation
JAR: The April 19, 1775 Civilian Evacuation of Lexington
Ben Franklin’s World: Nathaniel Bowditch – 19th-Century of Business, Science, and the Sea
The Museum of the American Revolution is Open!
Loyalist Gazette: Articles for Fall 2017 Issue
A Canadian Informal Toast: Canuck-A-Luck
Where in the World?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Editor’s Note
      + George Millward McDougall


Canada 150 Scholarship Project: Last Week, Your Last Chance

This Canada 150 year we have so many reasons to celebrate. On June 23rd at the Delta London Armouries, seven UELAC branches received Certificates of Appreciation for donations to the Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund. It was a privilege to highlight the important work the Scholarship committee is doing with the financial support from UELAC branches and individual donors. For any branches still working on the 2017 Scholarship Challenge we look forward to adding you to our scholarship “Hall of Fame”.

As of June 22, 2017, we received $5750.00. And we’re still counting. There is still time to join us as we stand together in support of Loyalist research. Thank you to those individuals who approached me over the UELAC Conference weekend indicating your desire to give. With your commitment to scholarship we are that much closer to achieving our goal.

By special request, we will continue to receive donations to the 2017 Scholarship Challenge through the month of July. Over the next four weeks please follow our progress and see how to donate. For this challenge please mark your donations Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Thank you! And best wishes for ongoing Happy Canada 150 celebrations.

…Bonnie Schepers, UE

UELAC Gear: Order Before July 12

New UELAC logo’d clothing items have been previewed for the last while at some events.

These items are available now online, but only until July 12. See flyer.

During this time, orders will be collected and then the goods will be made and shipped. Take advantage of this period to get free shipping right to your home.

To order, visit www.headaboveuelac.deco-apparel.com/ – for item detail questions, see the contact page.

If you have questions about the overall program, email Trish Groom at patricia.groom.uel@gmail.com.

2017 UELAC Conference: Discover Your Roots

As one of the last events on the conference weekend, the group gathered to celebrate Canada 150. Watch their Canada Day video message on the UELAC homepage at www.uelac.org.

Next year, Loyalist Ties Under Living Skies – hosted by Saskatchewan Branch – will be held June 7-10, 2018, at Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Mark your calendar now and Watch for more details

Sarah Winslow: The Spunky Sister (Part 1 of 2)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

She was a wig-wearing woman of the 18th century, eager to attend balls and assemblies, a Mayflower descendant, and familiar with the cream of Massachusetts society. On the surface, she was the fulfillment of every stereotype of an upper class Loyalist woman. And yet when she was forty years old, this single woman boarded a ship in Halifax, endured a round-trip sea voyage of over 9,000 km without a male escort, and boldly sought compensation from the British government for her family’s losses during the American Revolution. Her name was Sarah Winslow, and this is her story.

The middle child of Edward and Hannah Winslow, Sarah was born into a life of luxury. Like most women of this era, she was defined by the men in her life. At various times, her father served as the treasurer of Massachusetts, held a position in local government, was the collector of customs for Plymouth, a justice of the peace, the clerk to the common pleas, and register of the court of probate. Little wonder, then, that Edward Winslow was able to move his wife and children into a magnificent mansion when Sarah was just nine.

By 1770, Sarah’s younger brother, Edward Junior, was also making a name for himself. When only 23, he made a public address celebrating the anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. However, young Edward’s rising star soon began to fall. Four years later, the professed loyalist was chased out of town by rebels for treating “the body of this country with insult and contempt”. In 1775, Edward took part in the Battle of Lexington on the British side—an involvement which so angered the patriots of Plymouth that they put the Winslows under house arrest. For the next decade, Sarah’s life was filled with uncertainty and loss. Not having found a husband among the young men of Plymouth by the time she was 30, Sarah’s destiny was tied to that of her father and brother. By March of 1778, the persecution of Plymouth’s remaining loyalists had escalated beyond mere house arrest.

A letter of Sarah’s recounted how the local patriots had auctioned off the furniture and personal affects of a family friend named Robert Hallowell. She reported how “her dear Mr. Hallowell’s clothes pass the house every Sunday on the back of a nasty great cooper.” Because Sarah had left her pincushion at the Hallowell house, it too was put up for auction. She supposed that it “now hangs next to the new-dyed petticoat of some indelicate fat fisherman’s wife.”

Having permission to go to New York with Sarah and a black slave for six weeks in 1781, Edward Senior decided to seek sanctuary in the British-held city. The rebels of Plymouth tossed Sarah’s sister Penelope and their mother out of their home, seizing all of the family’s goods. Within a year’s time, Mrs Winslow and her oldest daughter were reunited with Edward Senior and Sarah in the fashionable Bowery district. Edward Junior was also in New York, serving as the muster master general for the provincial (loyalist) forces.

Years later, Sarah reflected on her time on Manhatten Island. “With becoming firmness I supported our first great reverse of fortunes. I bid a long farewell to an elegant house, furniture, native place and all its pleasures with but little emotion save wounded pride. From a great share of vivacity and a tolerable good disposition I was not only reconciled but happy at New York.”

By April 1783, the Winslow family’s happiness was shattered yet again. The patriots had been victorious. The family could not return to Plymouth, and they could no longer stay in New York. Confiding to a cousin in a letter, Sarah wrote, “Our fate seems now decreed, and we left to mourn out our days in wretchedness. No other resource for millions but to submit to the tyranny of exulting enemys or settle a new country. I am one of the number that gladly would embark for Nova Scotia was it either prudent or proper.” The loyalists, she wrote, were “left without friends, without fortune, without prospect of support.”

Six months later, Sarah wrote her cousin to say that the Winslows had safely arrived in Halifax after a long and stormy journey by sea. Her father had decided they should all settle in “this uncultivated country” rather than take his son’s advice to go to England.

By November of 1783, the Winslows were “situated in a good house … Are all in health, glad we are here, and happy… in the most lively, clean part of town.” Sarah wrote: “With truth do I say to you I am not only glad, but exceedingly rejoiced that we came here instead of going to Great Britain. The family all enjoy good health and a degree of cheerfulness that we have long been strangers to; have quietly bid adieu to Old and New England, and all are endeavouring to add to the felicity of each other. Seldom as possible reflect upon past disagreeables and strive never to anticipate any for the future, but enjoy while we can the blessings that is still left for us.”

In January of 1784, Sarah’s brother Edward wrote a friend saying, “The old folks are delighted with Halifax, they receive every civility and attention — the Girls have a larger circle of their friends than they have been accustomed to since they left their home.”

Having endured the persecutions of rebels for the better part of a decade, it seemed that the Winslow family was finally settling back into an accustomed lifestyle of leisure. And then things began to unravel.

In March, a servant robbed the family of 75 guineas as well as almost $400.00. Three months later, Edward Winslow Senior died at seventy-one years of age, leaving a widow and two spinster daughters. Although Sarah’s brother Edward had secured a 400 acre land grant for his two sisters near Saint John, New Brunswick, this did little to provide the income that the Winslow women’s lifestyle required.

By this time, the loyal refugees who had settled in Halifax learned that the British government had struck the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists. If one had the necessary documents and witnesses, it was possible to receive money for property and possessions seized during the American Revolution. But who among the Winslows would cross the Atlantic Ocean for such a task? Edward Junior, the only surviving male member of the Winslow family, was busy in New Brunswick. Penelope, the oldest Winslow, had to see to the care of her widowed mother. If the Winslows were to save themselves from poverty and a dependence on young Edward, Sarah would have to journey to London.

And so she did.

Next week’s Loyalist Trails will conclude the story of Sarah Winslow, the champion of her refugee family

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

Honouring Simon Girty in Pennsylvania

Simon Girty was a Loyalist hero of the American Revolutionary War who is buried near Ft Malden, Amherstburg Ontario in a grave that is marked by a United Empire Loyalist plaque.

He had defected from Ft Pitt in 1778, leaving his 155 acre farm in Pittsburgh to join the British Indian Department in Detroit. As an interpreter, emissary, and military commander, he played an important role in defending Native American, as well as British interests in the Northwest Territories.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recently approved the nomination for an historical marker to be sited near his Pittsburgh farmstead.

On behalf of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society, I would like to inquire if your organization would like to participate in the dedication ceremony, scheduled for September 30, 2017?

We are also seeking financial support to help defray the approximately $2000 cost of casting and installing the marker, which is our responsibility as the nominators of the award.

Please contact me – Eric Marchbein – for more information about how you might get involved in this extremely rare opportunity to celebrate a Loyalist within the official historical recognition process here in the US.

NOTE: Item above submitted by President Barb Andrew who indicates that a member of the Assiniboine Branch who is a descendant of Simon Girty plans to attend.

Elizabeth Postuma Simcoe, Artist & Diarist

“We dined in the Woods and ate part of a Raccoon, it was very fat and tasted like lamb if eaten with Mint sauce.” – Diary entry, November 20, 1793

Elizabeth Simcoe came to Canada in 1791 as the wife of John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. The Simcoes brought with them their two youngest children, leaving an additional four back in England. (3) Through her watercolours, diaries and letters home, Elizabeth Simcoe left a vivid and revealing picture of life in the earliest days of the British settlement of what is now Toronto.

A legacy in her own right! Elizabeth Simcoe’s diary & watercolours paint a vivid picture of life in York (Toronto).

Read more.

Canadians all sound the same, UVic study finds

Canadian accent more than just iconic ‘eh’

Celebrations across Canada this weekend may look different from one community to the next, but for most of the country it will all sound the same.

Derek Denis, a post-doctoral researcher of linguistics at the University of Victoria, said more than just the stereotypical “eh?” unites Canadians.

His research comparing the recorded oral histories from 50 years ago and interviews from more recent times found that from the Ontario-Quebec border to Vancouver Island, English-speaking Canadians have a largely homogenous accent.

Migration patterns and settlement patterns are believed to be behind the consistency in accent in Canada. Southern Ontario was settled by English-speaking United Empire Loyalists who were fleeing the American Revolution in the late 1700s. Denis said those people established their accent and as they drove the westward colonization, the accent spread across the country.

Read more.

Raise the Spitfire?

Earlier this month the Associated Press reported on the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s proposal to raise, preserve, and display a gunboat that sank in 1776.

The boat is the Spitfire, one of Gen. Benedict Arnold’s fleet during the Battle of Valcour Island. The dispatch says: “The Spitfire was found during a 1997 sonar survey of the lake. Museum divers check on it yearly. Its mast is still erect and the bow cannon still in the firing position. The ammunition and other artifacts from the battle are buried in mud.”

Raising the Spitfire is a huge undertaking. The plan being proposed would take twenty-two years and cost an estimated $44 million.

Read more.

Borealia: Indigenous Policy and Silence at Confederation

This essay is the first in a three-part series on Confederation that provides critical historical context for Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary.

Infamously, the British North America Act only mentions, “Indians and lands reserved for the Indians” in a single sub-clause, assigning responsibility for both to the federal government. The “Fathers of Confederation” first adopted the phrase without debate at the Quebec Conference in 1864, adding “Indians” to the federal powers proposed by the Canadian Liberal-Conservatives in their aborted 1858 project of British North American Union, while replacing the less specific “Indian territories” with “lands reserved for Indians.” Along with the Indian Department and Indigenous policy more generally, this sub-clause remained absent from parliamentary debate on both sides of the Atlantic in the years following 1864 and from the London Conference that in the winter of 1866-67 produced the final version of the BNA Act. Historians of Confederation have long replicated this silence, finding no role for relations with Indigenous peoples in the constitutional origins of modern Canada. Historians of Indigenous-state relations have concurred, unanimously downplaying Confederation while instead focusing on changing legislation from 1850, the 1860 shift in responsibility for the Indian Department from the empire to the colony, Canada’s 1869 purchase of Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Red River Resistance, and the numbered treaties of the 1870s. Though correct to concentrate on these critical issues, we need to do more; we need to place them at the heart of our understanding of state formation and changing political thought in the mid-nineteenth century. This is critical if we are to avoid replicating the “Fathers'” imperial and imperious perspective that, though consciously centred on land, resources, and the liberal individual, declared relations with Indigenous peoples a mere political afterthought.

Read Part One: Indigenous Policy and Silence at Confederation, and Part Two: Confederation and Political Reason. Part Three to follow – check earlycanadianhistory.ca.

Read more.

JAR: The April 19, 1775 Civilian Evacuation of Lexington

by Alexander Cain, June 27, 2017

“This is My Little Girl That I Was So Afraid the Red Coats Would Get”

One important aspect of the Battle of Lexington that has been often overlooked by historians is the psychological and physical impact upon the civilian populace. Hours before the engagement, at approximately six o’clock in the evening of April 18, 1775, Lexington resident Solomon Brown observed nine British officers riding slowly along the country road before him. The night was not very cold yet Brown noted that each of the officers was wearing a heavy wool blue overcoat under which he could see the shape of their pistols. Taken aback, Brown passed the officers and galloped towards Lexington. He rode directly to Munroe’s Tavern where he informed Sgt. William Munroe of what he had observed.

By eight o’clock in the evening, Lexington received two messages from Elbridge Gerry, a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Committee of Safety and Supplies. According to Jonas Clarke “We received two messages, the first verbal, the other, by express . . . informing that eight or nine officers of the king’s troops were seen just before night passing the road towards Lexington in a musing, contemplative posture; and it was suspected they were out upon some evil design.” At eleven o’clock in the evening, alarm rider Paul Revere arrived in Lexington warning of a military expedition advancing from Boston. Approximately an hour later, a second alarm rider, William Dawes, arrived and confirmed Revere’s report. As a result, militia Capt. John Parker ordered his company to assemble.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Nathaniel Bowditch – 19th-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea

Nathaniel Bowditch worked as a navigator, mathematician, astronomer, and business innovator. Over the course of his lifetime, his fellow Americans hailed him as the “American Sir Isaac Newton.”

Tamara Thornton, a professor of history at the University of Buffalo and author of Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed America, leads us on a detailed exploration of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch.

During this exploration, Tamara reveals who Nathaniel Bowditch was and why he was so famous during the early 19th century; Details about Bowditch’s maritime life and business work; And, Nathaniel Bowditch’s greatest contributions to early American society and our present-day lives.

Points include:

• Mathematical education in early America;

• Salem, Massachusetts during the revolutionary and early republic eras;

• What it was like to apprentice in a chandlery;

• How Bowditch learned to sail and navigate the seas.

Listen to the podcast.

The Museum of the American Revolution is Open!

Review by Steph Walters

The Museum of the American Revolution has been a long time coming. I have literally counted down for years waiting for this museum to open–and for my chance to play Food Network and decide for myself if Geno’s or Pat’s had the better cheesesteak.

Going into the museum I knew I would view everything from the perspective of three different audiences: A public history student; a loyalist/early America scholar, and a general enthusiast. The public history student in me hoped for an innovative museum on the cutting edge. The loyalist/early American scholar wanted enough attention paid to all parties of the era. The general enthusiast I’ve been since a kid wanted an educational experience with a few bells and whistles to keep me entertained. This blog is my review from all three perspectives.

Read more.

Steph is a current holder of a UELAC Scholarship.

Loyalist Gazette: Articles for Fall 2017 Issue

I hope that you as members or subscribers have enjoyed the Spring 2017 issue of the Loyalist Gazette, either the digital or hard-copy version.

The deadline for the Fall 2017 issue is rapidly approaching, being 01 August 2017.

As always, I’m looking forward to receiving future feature articles about the American Revolution or the War of 1812 eras as well as Branch Reports. Remember to send me your articles in MS Word format and your photos as e-mail attachments, in jpeg format, with at least 300 dpi resolution.

Hope that you all have enjoyed the 150th anniversary of the formation of our great nation, Canada, on 01 July.

Bob McBride, UE, Editor of the Loyalist Gazette

A Canadian Informal Toast: Canuck-A-Luck

As we hoist a glass to celebrate our nation’s 150th anniversary I have become aware of a glaring omission relating to these activities. Simply stated, we appear to be without a popular national toast to use in these celebrations. However, there is a solution to this major shortcoming which I humbly offer for your consideration. Let me explain.

Most nations have an informal toast. The British have “Cheers”, the Scandinavians have “Skol”, and there are others . Other than the 1967 offering, “Chimo”, we have none but the formal toast “to Canada”. With this shortcoming in mind, I would offer to my fellow Canadians a toast. It is: “CANUCK-A-LUCK!” with the optional addition of a hearty, “EH!” for more exuberant events.

How Canadian can one get,eh? This toast fairly rolls off the tongue! In addition, it makes sense because, Canuck is an internationally recognized designation for Canadians, “a” in French means towards or to, and everyone knows what luck means. Hence, a Canadian wishes luck to you!

Please feel free to use the toast with pride – or a “glowing heart” – at your next festive event where a toast might be required. (BTW! It can be used as a salutation, farewell, or for other valid purposes.) Enjoy the experience!


…Bob Tordiff, UE, a proud Canadian, London & Western Ontario Branch

Where in the World?

Where are Nancy Cutway and husband Steve of Kingston and District 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.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 29 Jun 1776 South-Carolina’s delegate Rutledge to Continental Congress expresses opposition to independence.
    • 28 Jun 1776 Spongy palmetto walls @ Ft Sullivan, Charleston SC absorb British navy shot, enable repulsion of attack.
    • 27 Jun 1778 NJ Skeptical of success & men, Gen Charles Lee takes command of American advance guard in attack the British rearguard.
    • 27 Jun 1775, Continental Congress orders MG Philip John Schuyler to inspect Fort Ticonderoga & Crown Point & glean intelligence.
    • 26 Jun 1775 Washington states intention to return to private life following the “establishment of American liberty.”
    • 25 Jun 1775 Washington arrives in NYC, inspects Hamilton’s forces as he passes through on his way to Boston.
  • Visiting Gavelton Meeting House in Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia. It was named for United Empire Loyalist John Gavel. Watch this video on Gavelton Meeting House and cemetery.
  • Townsend: We’re back at George Washington’s Mount Vernon! Once again, we’re joined by Deb Colburn and today she has a recipe for “Hoe Cakes”. A delicious and easy Cornmeal Pancake that you have to try!

Editor’s Note

As I plan to be away from June 30 until July 10, and essentially out of touch by voice or email, I am setting this up on Thursday evening for distribution on July 2 – not such a short issue after all. The subsequent one is most likely to be a couple of days late ie quite possibly not until July 11. It will likely be rather brief.



George Millward McDougall

Does anyone know if George Millward McDougall who was born in Kingston on Sept 9, 1821, has Loyalist background? He married Elizabeth Chantler in 1842 and died on January 25, 1876, the year after he and his son, John, built a Methodist church in Morley, Alberta. McDougall apparently died during a blizzard while on a bison hunt in what is now part of Calgary.

The McDougall Stoney Mission Church recently burned down (some suspicion of arson) and there are plans to rebuild it as a church or as an Interpretive Centre. Some members of the Calgary Branch think that this location would be a good place for a Loyalist plaque, i.e., if McDougall has a Loyalist background. Please email Linda McClelland at hughlin@telus.net if you have any information.