“Loyalist Trails” 2017-46: November 12, 2017

In this issue:
A Friend of Black Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson
Loyalist Gazette: Now Mailed; Digital Version
New Addition to The Loyalist History Collection at Brock University
Battle of Machias (1777)
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Gaming Houses in Early Nineteenth Century Saint John
JAR: The Earl of Dartmouth’s First Year as Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Junto: Module Conveners and the British Job Market
Ben Franklin’s World: The Revolutionary Economy
Thomas Hinde
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Where in the World?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: Richard Henry Harris, UE


A Friend of Black Loyalists

© Stephen Davidson, UE

To one Black Loyalist, he was a link to men of influence; to another he was a miraculous answer to prayer. This is the story of a New Jersey Loyalist who, on two different occasions, was in the right place at the right time for two Black Loyalists.

George Black was an African who had distinguished himself during the American Revolution by serving under Colonel Tye. The latter was a black guerilla fighter whose name struck more fear in the hearts of New Jersey’s rebels than any other loyalist commander. The leader of as many as 800 white and Black Loyalists, Tye attacked military outposts, plantations and individual rebel homes throughout Monmouth County.

If George Black joined Tye’s band at the outset of its operations in 1778, he would have been thirty years old. Fighting for the crown meant that George had to leave Ann, his twenty year-old wife, Reuben, their two-year-old son, and Sukey their newborn daughter. The family may have been reunited as early as 1779 when Tye’s Black Brigade worked alongside the Queen’s Rangers to defend New York City.

Tye led his men on a number of sensational raids in the summer of 1780, assassinating the much-hated Joseph Murray and capturing a rebel militia leader along with twelve men. Tye had become a legendary soldier in the Revolution and rebels regarded him as a dangerous military threat. His death in the fall of 1780 was a blow to British military operations and to the morale of fellow Black Loyalists.

Three years later, George Black, his wife and two children were part of the first Loyalist evacuation fleet, leaving New York City aboard the Spring in April of 1783. Although the Book of Negroes gives very little information about the veteran and his family, it noted that Lawrence Hartshorne, a loyalist Quaker from New Jersey, had given them their freedom. And one other fact – the family was escorted by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen.

The latter was a war hero in his own right – the commander of the second battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers. Before the revolution, Allen had been a lawyer in both Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey. The legal predisposition to discover all of the facts in a matter prompted Allen to make good use of his long voyage north, learning all that George Black had done during the revolution.

Despite the fact that Isaac Allen had Africans as slaves at his new home in Wilmot, Nova Scotia, the loyalist colonel was impressed by what George Black had done in the service of the crown. Anxious to help the young couple establish themselves in the northern wilderness, Isaac Allen sat down and wrote a letter to Edward Winslow shortly after the Spring had anchored at the mouth of the St. John River. A “friend in high places”, Winslow had once worked at British headquarters in New York City and was now serving as the agent for the settlement of Loyalist troops in Nova Scotia.

Allen addressed his concerns for George Black in the opening lines of his letter. “He has long been free and was one of the brave fellows who served under the gallant Colonel Tye. I think he deserves provision as well as other refugees. If you should be of the same opinion, pray be so good as to say a word for him.”

Isaac Allen had done what he could to help a Black Loyalist. The outcome of his letter is unknown as is the fate of George Black’s family. However, the letter is remarkable for the fact that Allen recognized that the Black Loyalist fighter “deserved” the same treatment “as other refugees”. This was certainly not the typical regard that white Loyalists had for their black contemporaries. Such convictions would benefit another Black Loyalist in the years to come.

In 1790, the Rev. David George was certainly in need of a friend and advocate. Eight years earlier, the Black Loyalist had been a refugee evacuee, fleeing Charleston, South Carolina. George settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia and founded the colony’s first black Baptist congregation. Over the succeeding years, the Baptist pastor visited both black and white communities, preaching the gospel and establishing new churches.

In July of 1790, George accepted the invitation of Black Loyalists in New Brunswick to visit Saint John. His preaching was well received by both free and enslaved blacks. Within two week’s time, he had baptized new believers in the waters of the St. John River.

However, “many of the inhabitants made a disturbance”, demanding that George immediately stop his preaching. They cited a new colonial law that stated that any minister who was not part of the Church of England must acquire a license from the colony’s lieutenant governor. Otherwise, George would be breaking the law and could face imprisonment.

The likelihood of a former slave receiving a license to preach from an Anglican governor was highly improbable. However, David George was a man of faith; he resolutely boarded a vessel and sailed up the St. John River to Fredericton, the colonial capital. No doubt the Baptist’s fervent prayers for a miracle kept him occupied during the 100-mile journey.

Unbeknownst to George, a man he had known in Charleston during the revolution now lived in Fredericton. Although George’s memoir does not say how the two men met, nevertheless, the Baptist pastor found Isaac Allen. The Loyalist who had once sought help for George Black in 1783 had been serving New Brunswick as a Supreme Court judge for the past six years. David George had his miracle.

Allen was happy to introduce the Black Loyalist to Thomas Carleton, the lieutenant governor, and had his secretary issue a preaching license to George. Dated July 17, 1790, the license gave George “permission from his Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, to instruct Black people in the knowledge … of the Christian Religion.”

And instruct, he did. George preached to Black Loyalist communities on his return voyage to Saint John, established church elders in the loyalist city, and – before the summer was over – returned to the city to preach yet again. A year later, convinced that it was the best choice for his people, David George encouraged his fellow Baptists to join the expedition to Sierra Leone to found a colony of free, Christian blacks. Congregants from both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia followed the pastor, becoming the founders of Sierra Leone.

If Judge Isaac Allen had not been in Fredericton at the time of David George’s arrival – and had he not helped his old acquaintance to acquire a preaching license – the fate of hundreds of Black Loyalists in New Brunswick would have been radically different.

The story of Isaac Allen continues in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

Loyalist Gazette: Now Mailed; Digital Version

The Fall 2017 issue of The Loyalist Gazette was delivered by the mailing house on Wednesday Nov 7, late in the day. My (Doug) copy was in my post box in downtown Toronto on Friday afternoon.

The digital copy has been posted to a password-protected part of the website. Those who requested the digital version were emailed instructions to access it last Sunday.

You too can still request a digital copy. NOTE: to be eligible, you must be a current paid-up member of a branch of UELAC, or separately a paid subscriber to the Gazette.

…Publications Committee

New Addition to The Loyalist History Collection at Brock University

November 7th was an exciting day for Friends of the Brock Loyalist History Collection when several Directors and loyal supporters visited the Loyalist History Collection at Brock University to donate a printed copy of Dr. Judd Olshan’s informative dissertation Butlers of the Mohawk Valley: Family Traditions and the Establishment of British Empire in the Mohawk Valley an important addition to the collection. Head of Special Collections and University Archivist David Sharron welcomed everyone and was delighted to receive the latest addition to the Loyalist History Collection.

It is interesting to note the UELAC team work involved in completing this project. It all began when Dave Rolls UE, Edmonton Branch Secretary/Genealogist a Col John Butler descendant sent a heads up message to the Friends of the Brock Loyalist History collection who in turn alerted Bonnie Schepers.

The Friends of the Loyalist History Collection offer sincere thanks to:

  • Dave Rolls UE for initiating the project;
  • the UELAC for the long-time, loyal support for this project and facilitating this donation – the 5th dissertation donated to the collection;
  • Bonnie Schepers UE, UELAC Past President & Chair of the UELAC Scholarship Committee who contacted Dr. Olshan and obtained his permission to print his dissertation for use, as reference only material, in the UELAC Scholarship collection, the UELAC Archives and the Loyalist History Collection at Brock University;
  • Carl Stymiest UE, Dominion Archivist and member of the UELAC Scholarship Committee who arranged to have the dissertation attractively printed, bound and distributed to each collection.

Serendipity is often present when we honour our UEL ancestors. In this case, Judd Olshan contacted Butler Historian Wm. A. Smy UE, Director of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University and received permission to use The Butler Papers as a resource for his dissertation, and the rest is history!

Here are links to:

See photo – L-R, Edie Williams (Brock Archives & Special Collections Assistant, Bill Stevens (FOTLCABU Director), David Sharron( Brock Head, Special Collections and University Archivist), Rod Craig (FOTLCABU Chair), Ivy Stevens, UE (ret. Brock Library Staff) & Bev Craig, UE (FOTLCABU Sec./Treas.). Photo with thanks to Dennis Gannon, Historian.

…Bev Craig, UE

Battle of Machias (1777)

The Battle of Machias (August 13-14, 1777) was an amphibious assault on the Massachusetts town of Machias (in present-day eastern Maine) by British forces during the American Revolutionary War. Local militia aided by Indian allies successfully prevented British troops from landing. The raid, led by Commodore Sir George Collier, was executed in an attempt to head off a planned second assault on Fort Cumberland, which had been besieged in November 1776. The British forces landed below Machias, seized a ship, and raided a storehouse.

The result of the raid was disputed. Collier claimed the action was successful in destroying military stores for an attack on Fort Cumberland (although such stores had not been delivered to Machias), while the defenders claimed that they had successfully prevented the capture of Machias and driven off the British.

Read more about the background, the battle and the aftermath, including references to New Ireland both during this Revolutionary War and later the War of 1812.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Gaming Houses in Early Nineteenth Century Saint John

In Great Britain specifically, gambling was first officially legislated around the sixteenth century; this made the games of cards, lotteries, dice etc. a purely recreational pastime. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, gambling or “gaming” returned as a commercial activity, with the rise in horse-betting, lotteries, and establishments built for the sole purpose of gambling. These buildings began as early as the 1600s, but only really took hold in Britain with the rise in urbanization and commercialization of the eighteenth century. Sometimes they operated under the guise of a “gentleman’s club” if the patrons were wealthy, but mostly they were called “Gaming Houses”—what we would call casinos. These establishments became common-place in Great Britain, and consequently in both the United States and in Canada. By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century the morality of these establishments came into question, and several different Acts banning the practice of gambling were passed. In spite of governmental restrictions, people often decided to take a risk and continue their beloved games for the sake of a reward. The County Court Records from Saint John, New Brunswick demonstrate that while technically against the law, gambling was still a very pervasive part of society.

Read more.

JAR: The Earl of Dartmouth’s First Year as Secretary of State for the Colonies

By Bob Ruppert on November 8, 2017

William Legge, the second Earl of Dartmouth, had three interests: his family, his estates, and his religion. He was known by many as “the good Lord Dartmouth.” It is very likely that he would never have entered politics if he had not been related by marriage to Frederick, Lord North. When he became the Secretary of State for the American Colonies in 1772 his appointment was highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic, from King to common man and from Parliament to colonial assembly. During his three years in office, he made several attempts to bring about reconciliation between England and the colonies based on constitutional principles. He was called to understand and respond to many events, from the burning of the Gaspee to the rejection of the Olive Branch Petition that led to the opening of the War. Lord Dartmouth sought the King’s peace, considered the doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy an “unalterable principle,” and believed the developing constitutional divergence between Great Britain and her colonies could only end in reconciliation or in independence.

Read more.

The Junto: Module Conveners and the British Job Market

By Rachel Herrmann on Nov. 9, 2017

As an undergraduate, I didn’t take many large survey classes, and apart from one class, even the surveys that I took were taught by one faculty member. Larger U.S. universities do have more survey classes (I know, because I was a TA for several of them), but most that I taught on were also taught by one person. That model seems to be less usual in the United Kingdom, so I thought I’d talk about monster team-taught classes, the role of convener in bringing (and then holding) these classes together, and what you need to know about them if you’re considering the British job market.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: The Revolutionary Economy

Serena Zabin, a Professor of History at Carleton College and author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York, kicks off a 3-episode exploration of the economic origins of the American Revolution.

During our investigation, Serena reveals details about what the British Empire looked like and what it meant to be a British subject on the eve of the American Revolution; British trade networks and imperial trade restrictions; And information about the British imperial economy and how ordinary people participated in that economy before the outbreak of Revolution.

Listen to the podcast.

Thomas Hinde

Doctor Thomas Hinde (July 10, 1737 — September 28, 1828) was Northern Kentucky’s first physician, a member of the British Royal Navy, an American Revolutionary, personal physician to Patrick Henry, and treated General Wolfe when he died in Quebec, Canada. He is the patriarch of the Hinde family in the United States, and many of his children, grandchildren, and other descendants became prominent historical figures. His youngest son, Thomas S. Hinde, was a notable Methodist minister and businessman, Charles T. Hinde, his grandson, was a shipping magnate, and Edmund C. Hinde, another grandson, was an adventurer. The Kavanaugh and Southgate branches of his family held elected office and positions of leadership in the Methodist church.

As personal physician to Patrick Henry, Hinde played a critical role in the American Revolutionary War through his vaccinations against smallpox and treatment of wounded soldiers. For his service he received a large land grant in Kentucky, where he moved with his family. Hinde was northern Kentucky’s first physician, and a memorial was erected in Campbell County, Kentucky to honor his services to the state. He died in 1828 aged 91, which was unusually old for the time. According to Otto Juettner in 1909, who was a famous medical doctor and medical historian, Hinde “never wrote a line in his life.” His life has been described as being like a “romance”, and he was called a “patriarch” to the American medical profession.

Read an expanded version.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • McMicking, Peter – from Dennis Wally Reid

Where in the World?

Where are Gov. Simcoe Branch members Nancy Conn and Doug Grant?

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

  • A Friend of The King is a friend of … yours? Join the Georgian Papers Programme’s new site for researchers & keep up with all the things. Interesting description; for researchers into the Georgian era.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 11 Nov 1776 Congress orders Board of War to lay plans for the defense of Philadelphia, should Howe’s army attack.
    • 11 Nov 1778 Loyalists and Indian allies massacre over 40 Patriots at Cherry Valley NY.
    • 10 Nov 1776 First reports of Battle of White Plains arrive in Philadelphia, raising fears British might soon arrive.
    • 9 Nov 1780 British attack Patriot encampment (Battle of Fishdam Ford in SC), resulting in wounding and capture of commander Major Wemyss, 20 dead.
    • 8 Nov 1776 Washington gives Gen Greene permission to abandon Ft. Washington; Greene stays.
    • 7 Nov 1781 Patriot soldier shoots Loyalist during surrender negotiations at Cloud’s Creek SC, triggering massacre.
    • 6 Nov 1777 HMS Syren runs aground off Pt. Judith CT, leading to capture of crew and weapons.
    • 5 Nov 1776 Committee of Charlton MA asks state legislature for authority to protect evacuated Loyalists’ property.
  • Will you help us put our ‘Queen of the Night’ back together again? Museum Of London. Explore the dress’s history since the 1770’s here. Delve into more details. More information about their “Pleasure Gardens” (London’s fashion history) exhibit.
  • Townsends: An “Acceptable”, Less “Offensive” Pudding, recipe from “The Universal Cook” by John Townshend.
  • Canada was the 1st country to put Queen Elizabeth II on its money; back in 1935 while she was Princess Elizabeth.

Last Post: Richard Henry Harris, UE

Richard died Monday October 30th in Bountiful, Utah. He was 83. Born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, 9 May 1934 to Ormonde Butler Harris and Doris May Thompson. His father was a descendant of not just a Loyalist, but of a rebel who served as a Brigadier General of the American army.

Married 28 April 1956, Hamilton, Ontario, Jean Ada Goodfellow, also from Alberta.

They recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. They raised 6 children; Karen Nickl (Mario), Douglas (Beverly), Bradley (Janina), Richard (April), Steven (Becky), and Barbara Comish (Camron). All were born in Ontario and collectively produced 27 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Richard lived in Grande Prairie, Brantford, Paris, Kitchener, Sarnia and Windsor.

The family immigrated to the United States in 1980, to assure the education of their children. Karen, Doug, and Steven earned doctorates. Rich is a Lawyer. Brad and Barb have graduated from university.

In 1999 Richard and Jean served a humanitarian mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Richard has suffered the indignities of Alzheimer’s for the past three years, cared for tirelessly by his angel wife, Jean.

A celebration of his life was held Saturday, 4 November in Bountiful. His four sons spoke of their memories of life with their father. Steven summed it up with, “I learned from my father, by watching my father. He was principled and lived his life with integrity. A man that God could trust. My children and I will be forever blessed by the faithful example that he provided and lived.”

…Carolyn Cragun