“Loyalist Trails” 2017-29: July 16, 2017

In this issue:
Loyalists and Their Horses (Part 1 of 3), by Stephen Davidson
Book: A Service History and Master Roll of Major Edward Jessup’s Loyal Rangers, by Gavin K. Watt
Ontario Licence Plate: Special Savings for Simcoe Day
Book: Canada’s Odyssey
Borealia: Anguish in the Loyalist Archives, Part 2
JAR: King George III’s Twitter War
The Junto: Book Review: The Reintegration of South Carolina Loyalists
Ben Franklin’s World: Manisha Sinha, A History of Abolition
Canada 150 Scholarship Project: Let the Good Times Roll
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: H. Daryl Currie, UE


Loyalists and Their Horses (Part 1 of 3)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

The 21st century is the Age of the Automobile: car production is a major industry and its fuel source is a primary nonrenewable resource. The car has led to the creation of suburbia, the shopping mall, and pollution of our planet’s air. It affects every area of life – and warfare. The 18th century was the Age of the Horse, and what was then the fastest means of land travel also affected every aspect of life from the smell of the streets to the demand for crucial feed crops to the way in which wars were waged. One only need look at the loyalists of the American Revolution to appreciate the impact of the horse on society.

Horses provided individual transportation, but they also pulled carriages, wagons, and the wheels of grain mills. To steal a man’s horse was considered a more serious crime than the stealing of a car in the 21st century. When John Summerton Matross of the Royal Artillery was found guilty of desertion and stealing an army horse, he was executed. As loyalists settled New Brunswick, a 21 year-old horse thief, Henry Moore Smith, was sentenced to be hanged.

Being outnumbered by their patriot neighbours in most of the rebelling thirteen colonies, loyalists were often robbed of their horses, but no court of law would convict their “politically correct” neighbours. The loss of a horse to patriot gangs was regularly reported in later petitions for compensation for war losses.

James Williams, the indentured servant of a New Jersey loyalist, testified how rebels had stolen three horses from his master and how two were lost by “retaliation”. In other words, rebels who had two horses taken by the British went and raided Robins’ home, taking two of his horses. The only way Robins could retreive his livestock was to buy them back.

Patriot horsemen often descended upon loyalist farms in raiding parties. In one case, they took all of the cattle, sheep, hogs and horses of Captain Thomas Crowell of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. As they rode off with the loyalist’s livestock, the rebels warned Mrs Crowell that they “intended to return and carry off all of her household furniture, and then dispose of her house and plantation.”

Peter and Elias Snider, who found refuge in New Brunswick after the war, also missed having a good horse. In each of their compensation claims they mourned the loss of the prized mares they once rode in Pennsylvania. Loyalists who settled in the town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick would not see a horse in their coastal settlement until four years after the revolution ended.

Horses were often used in the persecution of loyal Americans. During the revolution, a rebel mob in Massachusetts tied Jesse Dunbar to his horse’s tail, driving him through the mud and mire. In the weeks before peace was officially declared, Stephen Jarvis witnessed Connecticut loyalists being put backwards on bare-back horses and mocked.

Sometimes it was the loyalist’s horse that suffered. Timothy Ruggles, a member of Massachusetts’ upper class, was renowned as horse breeder, having developed hunting and riding horses from imported and domestic bloodlines. In 1774, a mob “cut his Horses Tail off & painted him all over. The mob found that Paint was cheaper than Tar and Feathers.” A horse belonging to Henry Barnes of the same colony was actually tarred and feathered.

The presence of the British military in the thirteen colonies also meant a tremendous influx of horses that needed to be sheltered in stables, serviced by blacksmiths, and fed with local grain crops. In New York City, the British commissary had to feed 4,000 horses in addition to 35,000 troops. The needs of so much livestock inevitably increased the demand for food crops – and not all feed was purchased.

A British foraging party put 50 horses into the orchard of a Long Island loyalist named Isaac Lefferts. The officer ignored the farmer’s pleas to put the horses into a nearby field of hay with the result that his entire fall crop of apples was totally consumed by the horses.

In another instance, 60 horses completed destroyed a field of corn belonging to a loyalist in Jamaica, Long Island. Israel Okely, a lieutenant in a loyalist militia, had his barn commandeered to house 100 horses. 300 bushels of his oats were taken to feed the British livestock and no payment was made.

British officers were ordered “not to press or hire horses of the inhabitants without permission”, so there was money to be made in “horse rentals”. Jolley Allen of Massachusetts supplemented his income by renting out horses and carriages to government officials.

Given American history’s propensity to remind us of Paul Revere’s midnight (horse) ride, it is easy to be ignorant of the fact that women also rode horses. Margaret, the wife of Benedict Arnold, not only had a horse to take her through the streets of Saint John, New Brunswick, she also had her own sidesaddle, bridle, and gear. Leila Robinson travelled 800 miles between Virginia and Florida on horseback with two young daughters to be reunited with her husband, Major Joseph Robinson. (The latter was the loyalist officer who wrested Fort Ninety-Six from its patriot defenders.) Kate Fowler, the young loyalist woman who figures in so many stories surrounding South Carolina’s Fort Ninety-Six was supposed to have ridden to the fort on a regular basis on a steed named Bullet.

A number of aristocratic loyalist women rode in horse-drawn carriages. Mrs Penuel Grant hoped that she could take her horse and chaise on the refugee evacuation ship bound for Halifax (!). Another member of the upper classes, Elizabeth Simcoe, toured the countryside around Cornwall, Upper Canada thanks to the kindness of two loyalist settlers, Captain John Munro and Captain Richard Duncan. Mrs. Simcoe once noted in her diary that Joseph Brant, the loyal Native war hero, visited her family as he rode a horse to Niagara.

The relationship between loyalists and horses had its lighter moments. In the summer of 1781, British officers could enjoy a number of diversions at a Long Island tavern operated by two loyalists. Among the entertainments provided by Charles Loosely and Thomas Elms was a horse race.

This series on Loyalists and their Horses continues in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Book: A Service History and Master Roll of Major Edward Jessup’s Loyal Rangers, by Gavin K. Watt

A Service History and Master Roll of Major Edward Jessup’s Loyal Rangers, by Gavin K. Watt (Carleton Place: Global Heritage Press. 2017). Coil bound, 255 pages. (See book cover.) Reviewed by Peter W. Johnson UE.

Gavin Watt’s latest and second book of 2017 made its first public appearance at the Canada 150 Banquet sponsored by Bay of Quinte Branch on June 30th. Even better, Gavin was one of the two scheduled speakers so the assembled were presented to an animated presentation about the Loyal Rangers.

One new book per year from Gavin is a treat. Two is amazing, and they represent the two different approaches Gavin takes. His Fire & Desolation followed the events of the 1778 Campaign whereas this new work is a regimental history with that all important Master Roll of those who served in (Jessup’s) Loyal Rangers. The Loyal Rangers settled in various locations but especially in the Prescott area of Upper Canada and Ernestown Township. There must be a lot of descendants who would find this book enlightening.

The odd thing about the Loyal Rangers is that it was a late-War assemblage which saw no action. Gavin, however, tried to stress that a considerable number of the men had seen some very hard service earlier in the War, and especially in the Burgoyne Campaign. Gavin’s 2013 book, The British Campaign of 1777, Vol. Two, The Burgoyne Expedition, Burgoyne’s Native and Loyalist Auxiliaries is in a sense the companion book to this new one.

The Service History in the Loyal Rangers goes into considerable detail about the many small units several of which were amalgamated in 1781 to form the Loyal Rangers. It’s crucial for understanding how the Loyal Rangers came into being. If you are not familiar with Peter’s Queen’s Loyal Rangers, Jessup’s King Loyal Americans, MacKay’s “Loyal Volunteers” to name just three, this book will set you straight, but be warned, it’s a complicated story. If you are a descendant submitting a UE application, it would be nice to include all of your Loyal Ranger ancestor’s War service and not just the post-1781 situation.

The other treat with this book is the Master Roll of all individuals known to have been in the Loyal Rangers. Gavin has already provided such Rolls for the King’s Royal Yorkers and (Roger’s) King’s Rangers so one for the Loyal Rangers was the next logical step. It will be delight for descendants, and sources are included. Naturally the amount of information on each individual varies according to what was available. If you find an ancestor in the Loyal Rangers’ Master Roll, don’t assume other family members always served in the same regiment. For example you will see Eberhardt Wager UE in this list, but his son Thomas served in the 2nd Battn. King’s Royal Yorkers.

Another valued addition to your Loyalist book collection? I think so!

Ontario Licence Plate: Special Savings for Simcoe Day

How do you celebrate Ontario’s 150th Anniversary as one of the four original members of Canada’s Confederation in 1867? If you live in the Greater Toronto Region perhaps you recognize the upcoming Civic Monday as Simcoe Day. You may remember the special centenary Ontario Licence Plate project that kicked off the 2014 celebrations. How many special plates do you recognize in the parking lot when you attend your branch meetings?

With less than 34 plates beginning with 02UE, you still have a chance to get a plate that you will remember and cause comments wherever you drive. SAVE: Until Gov. Simcoe Day you can save 30 dollars when you place your order. That means we will also ship your request FREE!

Take these 2 steps now:

• Email education@uelac.org with your preferred number chosen from the following: 18,19, 23, 24, 26-29, 31,32, 34, 36-38, 40, 42, 47, 52-55, 59, 69, 72-73, 90-95, 97, 98.

• Send your cheque for $80.00 with this completed Licence Plates order form to the George Brown House office.

If you have already shown your support of this UELAC Project, thank you. Buy one as a special gift for a family member.

…Fred H. Hayward, UELAC Education Committee, education@uelac.org

Book: Canada’s Odyssey, by Peter H. Russell

150 years after Confederation, Canada is known around the world for its social diversity and its commitment to principles of multiculturalism. But the road to contemporary Canada is a winding one, a story of division and conflict as well as union and accommodation.

In Canada’s Odyssey: a Country based on Incomplete Conquests, renowned scholar Peter H. Russell provides an expansive, accessible account of Canadian history from the pre-Confederation period to the present day. By focusing on what he calls the “three pillars” of English Canada, French Canada, and Aboriginal Canada, Russell advances an important view of our country as one founded on and informed by “incomplete conquests”. It is the very incompleteness of these conquests that have made Canada what it is today, not just a multicultural society but a multinational one.

Featuring the scope and vivid characterizations of an epic novel, Canada’s Odyssey is a magisterial work by an astute observer of Canadian politics and history, a perfect book to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It includes substantial coverage of the Loyalists and their contribution to Canada.

The book can be bought in Chapters/Indigo, Book City and any other major book store. Also order it through University Press on line. The retail price is $39.95. Publisher is U of T Press.

…Bob Jarvis, UE

Borealia: Anguish in the Loyalist Archives, Part 2

In the first post, I looked at some of the historical records that have been preserved and digitised for historians and family historians alike to use to find out more about the early European and loyalist American settlers in Upper Canada (now Ontario). Several of my ancestors were loyalists who settled near the shores of Lake Erie in Upper Canada and many of their descendants are still living in the region.

Today I wanted to demonstrate how to navigate these records to piece together a personal story. I did this briefly with my look at Jacob Anguish’s request for aid that is found in the Haldimand Papers. Today I want to show what can be found across a range of sources for one person, namely Henry Anguish, Jacob’s son.

Read more.

JAR: King George III’s Twitter War

By John Knight, July 11, 2017.

In 1775 London was the largest, most prosperous and economically important city in the world. Though it was Britain’s capital, politically and economically it remained aloof from the rest of the Kingdom. Uniquely governed by an independent Corporation, it had declared itself a “commune” as early as 1191 and held a constitutional position of importance only one place below the Sovereign himself It remained outside the authority of both the King and Parliament and elected its officials and Lord Mayor from a small group of medieval guilds arranged in strict precedence from the “Mercers” at the top to “Cloth Workers” at the bottom. It openly espoused free trade, even when both King and Parliament did not, and steadfastly refused to allow any soldiers to be billeted within its walls. In short, London taxed itself, governed itself and judged itself, and woe betide any monarch who interfered with its ancient rights and privileges.

It was inevitable therefore that this mercantile, cosmopolitan, city would find itself frequently at odds with its proud and obstinate King. Even before the outbreak of hostilities, the corporation was unfailingly antagonistic towards George III and the “American Policy” of his Prime Minster Lord North. For the first twenty years of his reign, it was the centre of opposition to the court and regularly produced “remonstrance’s” or grievances that it expected the King to respond to without delay. Fascinatingly George did so in a way so personal and free from etiquette that contemporary study exposes not just a city and monarch with conflicting views on America almost to the point of treason, but reveals too, much about the personality of the man who brought Britain and America to Civil War.

In an age when communications travelled slowly, “remonstrances” or petitions were the most direct and efficient way that bodies or individuals could air a concern to their king. There was no guarantee, however, that the monarch would reply or even see them. In this crucial regard, the City of London possessed one unique advantage over every other institution in that it insisted on its ancient right to present grievances to the King as he “sat on the throne.” This practice was more than mere civic vanity or empty convention, for a sovereign who received a London remonstrance did so in person, rather than through an aristocratic third-party, many of whom were known to water down petitions or in extreme cases to not present them at all.

Read more.

The Junto: Book Review: The Reintegration of South Carolina Loyalists

Book: From Revolution to Reunion: The Reintegration of the South Carolina Loyalists by Rebecca Brannon.

Review by Christopher F. Minty (Christopher was a UELAC Scholarship recipient)

Maya Jasanoff stated that over 60,000 Loyalists left in search of a new home—but what of those who stayed? Until recently, the reintegration of some 400,000 Loyalists into American society has been an overlooked topic. James Madison University’s Rebecca Brannon takes a major step to address this obvious historiographical oversight.

Adjusted from her 2007 University of Michigan dissertation, in five chapters, Brannon further complicates Loyalist studies by arguing that “the majority of South Carolina Loyalists . . . became Loyalists for pragmatic reasons”. Ideology, though important, did not define their position. The people Brannon focuses on sided with the Crown “in an effort to maintain their lives, their status, and their fortunes”. Their Loyalism was, she continues, “self-interest”. These Loyalists’ reintegration, then, was a natural step—the subsequent pragmatic move to ensure their economic, political, and social status was not affected.

Thus Brannon sets out how seventy percent of the 232 men identified in the Confiscation Act of 1782 reintegrated into South Carolinian society.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Manisha Sinha, A History of Abolition

By Liz Covart

Most histories of American abolitionism begin just before the Civil War, during the Antebellum period. But the movement to end chattel slavery in America began long before the United States was a nation.

Manisha Sinha, the Draper Chair of American History at the University of Connecticut and author of the award-winning book The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, takes us through the early American origins of the the abolition movement.

During our exploration, Manisha reveals the origins of the American abolition movement; How the Age of Revolutions contributed to the early abolition movement and gave it momentum; And how events like the Haitian Revolution and the Constitutional Convention of 1787 impacted the abolition movement.

Listen to the podcast.

Canada 150 Scholarship Project: Last Week, Your Last Chance

The challenge continues, donations welcome. Bonnie Schepers, head of the Scholarship Committee presents a certificate of appreciation to Gerry Adair for Saskatchewan Branch’s participation in the challenge.

See the certificate which was presented to Nova Scotia for their support.

…Bonnie Schepers, UE

Where in the World?

Where are Catherine Fryer and Karen Borden of Victoria 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.

  • Happy Birthday Prince Philip. Read the birthday letter sent by Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch on behalf of Okill Stuart UE – a member of the branch, a past President of UELAC and a classmate of Prince Philip – and the response from Buckingham Palace.
  • To mark Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the Anciennes troupes militaires de Montréal will present a historical reenactment and set up a 17th and 18th-century military camp in two local parks this weekend and next. In collaboration with the Lake St. Louis Historical Society, the Soldats Animateurs and the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de Grâce borough, a military camp will be set up in Benny Park on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. The following weekend, on Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23, the camp will be located in Mackenzie-King Park. More.
  • Sir John John Johnson Centennial Branch summer events. Saturday 5 August picnic with Brome County Historical Society in Knowlton QC and on Tuesday 15 August a day trip to Williamstown ON. See details here.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Heritage Minute #10: United Empire Loyalists. During the American Revolution, Adam Young and his two sons fought with the British alongside the Mohawks led by Joseph Brant.
  • Your revolution was dumb and it filled us with refugees: A Canadian take on the American Revolutionary War. It’s an odd ‘freedom struggle’ that sends 60,000 people fleeing to Canada for their lives, and let’s not forget the autocratic tyrant who supplied the freedom-loving Americans with their guns. To be clear; Canada loves you, United States. You buy our oil, you made Drake a superstar and you haven’t invaded us for 205 years. As Poland and Ukraine keep reminding us, we really couldn’t ask for a better superpower neighbour. However, just because it all worked out doesn’t mean that starting a brutal war over a tax dispute wasn’t a bit of an overreaction. As the National Post’s own Conrad Black wrote in a 2013 history of the United States, the Founding Fathers “do not deserve the hallelujah chorus ululated to them incessantly for 235 years.” Read more…
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 15 Jul 1776 Loyalists & Cherokee allies attack Lindley’s Fort in SC backcountry, but are repulsed.
    • 14 Jul 1780 Washington writes to Congress to inform them that French fleet under Rochambeau sighted off Newport, RI.
    • 13 Jul 1787 Congress enacts NW Ordinance, establishing means of making 3-5 slave-free states out of territories.
    • 12 Jul 1780 Patriot forces, learning of interrogation of commander’s wife, ambush Loyalists at Brattonsville, SC.
    • 11 Jul 1779 British burn most buildings in Norwalk, Conn. in reprisal for privateering & espionage based there.
    • 10 Jul 1777 British General Prescott captured by rebels for the second time, this time in Rhode-Island.
    • 9 Jul 1777 NY elects 1st governor as independent state; George Clinton is later VP to Jefferson and Madison.
  • The British Long Land Pattern musket and its variations were the standard for British forces for well over 100 years. It was a .75 caliber, flintlock, smoothbore musket weighing in at about 10.4 pounds with an overall length of 62.5 inches.
  • Although not as well known as Boston, Cambridge played an important role in the Revolutionary War before Washington even arrived. Wealthy families had moved to Cambridge from Boston for the relatively wide stretches of land on which they could build their estates, but these loyalist citizens (or “Read more…
  • A list of battles of the Revolutionary War in 1779
  • The American Legion was a British provincial militia raised for service late in the American Revolutionary War by the turncoat Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. It was composed primarily of deserters from the Continental Army.
  • 1790 Deed from Loyalist James Moody to inhabitants of Sissiboo River, Digby Twp., for establishment of Church of England
  • Live cannonball from Battle of the Plains of Abraham found in Old Quebec. Work crew posed with 90-kg ball, unaware that it still contained charge and gunpowder. Read more…
  • 3 Colonial houses with Revolutionary War connections for sale in USA. This week, the U.S. celebrated its 241st birthday. And while the Declaration of Independence may be safely in Washington, D.C., not every artifact from America’s revolutionary past is guarded behind glass in a museum. Up and down the east coast, houses with connections to the Revolutionary War are not only still standing, they’re still being used as private homes. Whether they were the former homes of soldiers or places where notable players in the war passed through, these 18th-century residences all share a few characteristics: They’re mainly wood-frame structures with central chimneys and wood clapboard cladding. Read more…
  • Question: There’s a supposed folklore that Loyalists escaping into Canada would see homes that had three pine trees as a signal that they were in safe territory. If you know about this folklore, do you have any detail about its origin? (reply to editor)
  • The “Art & Mystery” of Cutting an 18th century Gown. An 18thc mantua-maker (dressmaker) seldom shared the “art and mysteries” of her trade with her customers. It was hard-earned knowledge and skill, gained through an apprenticeship that might have lasted seven years, and it also benefited the business to keep a bit of alluring, magical mystery to her fashionable creations. For the last five years, Sarah Woodyard, journey-woman in the mantua-making trade, Margaret Hunter Shop at Colonial Williamsburg has been studying different theories of cutting out 18thc gowns. Read more…
  • Details of an 18th Century sack back dress, silk, 1760-70, and an 18th Century Polonaise gown, painted silk, 1780s from the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Very intricate and fine details of an 18th Century men’s frock coat, 1770-1779
  • Steph Walters – UELAC Scholar. So happy to be working with Glebe Church in Suffolk, VA on their loyalist history. Big things happening in VA! Drawing of a small historic church near Driver was the scene of open rebellion to the British crown in 1775.

Last Post: H. Daryl Currie, UE

Born November 30, 1938 in St. John, NB; died July 9, 2017 in Toronto, ON. Predeceased by his wife, June Currie (Garrah), daughter Heather Quai (Dennis), sister Louise (Harley) and brother Addison (Gail). Survived by children Dale (Shelly), Susan Currie and Linda Donnelly (Gerald); sister Gloria (Dave); brothers Blaythe (Ann), Milton (Donna), Duane (Sheila) and Richard (Mary); and grandsons Adam Donnelly, Noah Spataro and Jonah Spataro.

Daryl was a long time employee of CP Rail, a Mason and a Shriner.

Daryl was a faithful, dedicated and hard-working individual who reached out and helped many. To members of the Gov. Simcoe Branch UELAC, he would best be remembered as the membership person of the Gov. Simcoe Branch, UELAC, for many years, giving up that responsibility in Sept of 2015. He always added a personal touch, a card or telephone call. Daryl served as President of Gov. Simcoe Branch twice, from 2002-2003 and again 2007 – 2011.

Visitation Thursday, 5-8 p.m. and Friday, 10-11 a.m., with service to follow at the Giffen Mack Funeral Home, 2570 Danforth Ave., Toronto. In lieu of flowers, donations to Susan Currie’s Terry Fox Walk (Toronto Beaches) would be appreciated.