“Loyalist Trails” 2018-02: January 14, 2018
In this issue:
– The Quest for Daniel Herring: Part 2 of 2, by Stephen Davidson
– UELAC Dorchester Award: Nominations Are Welcome
– Captain Robert Dove: Seeking More Loyalists of Kings County in Nova Scotia
– Borealia: A Community of Suffering: The Robie Women in Loyalist Halifax
– JAR: Baptism of Fire, Brunswick, New Jersey, June 1777
– JAR Review: The Hessians: Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association
– Ben Franklin’s World: Colonists and Animals in North America
– January in the 18th Century, and the Ink is Frozen
– Battle of Saint-Pierre, Quebec – March ’76
– Catecahassa or Black Hoof (c. 1740-1831)
– Research the Newly Digitized Ontario Land Registry Records
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Loyalist Directory Tidbits
+ Where was a Rebel Prisoner Held?
© Stephen Davidson, UE
In the early winter of 1785, a Black Loyalist named Richard Corankapone Wheeler petitioned the New Brunswick government on behalf of 35 families for land along the Nerepis River so that could “lead industrious, honest lives” and grow their own food.
Although Daniel Herring was not mentioned in this document, Wheeler’s words give us a glimpse of the conditions in which Black Loyalists found themselves. The petition also shows the initiative taken by free black men to follow official procedures in appealing to the government — and the value they gave to their service to the British during the revolution.
By the time the government responded to Wheeler’s petition in July of 1786, Daniel Herring had attached himself to this group; a colonial order in council lists his (misspelled) name among those who were given lots near present day Westfield, New Brunswick.
Herring was now a part of a group of sixteen Black Loyalists who were given land on the Nerepis River, a tributary of the St. John River. In his own petition, Herring heard the Indigenous word “Nerepis” as “Narrow Piece” and used that name when writing to the chief justice. For some reason, Herring had initially only received 50 acres when the rest of his neighbours had been given 100 acres.
Herring’s request for 50 additional acres was granted; a land survey of that stretch of the Nerepis clearly shows the lots of the Black Loyalist settlers. Daniel Herring’s name is on Lot 18, between Lot 16 (John Hedler) and Lot 20 (Edward Morris), with Henry Gwin’s Lot 19 to the south. All lots were equal in size and bordered on Glazier’s Manor — a large block of land given to Colonel Beamsley Glasier (sometimes Glazier). A former commander of the 60th Regiment of Foot in Halifax, Glazier had, at one time, served as the military governor of Pensacola, Florida.
It is interesting to note that in his petition to the colony’s chief justice, Herring used the word “captain” three times. He calls himself “the captain of the Second Company of Blacks”, describes his Nerepis neighbours as “every black captain” and refers to “Captain Wheeler” (the author of the 1785 petition). The titles do not indicate military ranks, but, rather, are designations for those having authority or command over companies of loyalist refugees.
For example, before leaving New York City for the mouth of the St. John River, the white loyalists who made up the Bay of Fundy Adventurers divided themselves into companies of thirty households. Each company elected a “captain” who then chose two lieutenants. As the historian David G. Bell noted, “This mode of organization was adopted for convenience in embarking a large number of refuges in an efficient manner and to ease the process of issuing and accounting for the various forms of royal bounty.”
Herring and his fellow Nerepis grantees were not military officers, but they were leaders in the Black Loyalist community, having been designated as “captains” by the British authorities before boarding the Clinton in 1783. It was a responsibility that they regarded with pride, given that they still referred to one another with that title four years after arriving in the refugee colony.
Now that we have examined Herring’s petition and the New Brunswick land survey, the paper trail that has taken us on our quest to learn more about Daniel Herring comes to an abrupt end. Local histories relate how the Nerepis settlement did not prosper and that its Black Loyalists did not pursue farming. Most of the families moved to towns or villages where they could hire out their labour to white loyalists.
Of all of those who sailed on the Clinton with Daniel Herring in 1783, we are only certain that six joined the exodus to Sierra Leone to found a colony of free blacks in western Africa. Herring’s name appears nowhere in the passenger lists of the ships that took 1,190 free blacks to Sierra Leone in 1792 or in the subsequent history of the African colony. The records of New Brunswick are equally silent.
Daniel Herring escaped slavery when he was 31, and left New York as a free Black Loyalist four years later. His character led the British authorities to appoint him captain of a company of Black Loyalists in the summer of 1783. A year later, Herring was a husband and father. Within three years’ time, he was the master of 100 acres of land on the Nerepis River with fifteen free black families as his neighbours.
Perhaps the best epitaph for Herring’s incomplete biography is to be found in his own optimistic words, dictated to a scribe in his 1787 petition: “I shall do my utmost to raise as much grain and vegetables as lays in my power”. Spoken by a man full of hope for a new life of freedom, Herring’s words echo the Jewish prophet Micah who foretold a peaceful and happy future in which “every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken”.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
The UELAC Dorchester Award established October 2007 by Dominion Council, UELAC exemplifies Volunteer Excellence and Participation, by conferring recognition on recipient(s), for their lengthy contribution to the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. Exclusive to the UELAC membership, this Award salutes the “best in volunteerism” amongst our members within the Association.
Nominations for a 2018 award, to be presented at the annual Conference June 7-10 in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan are now being accepted. If you would like to initiate a nomination, please contact a member of the executive of your branch. See past recipients.
…Gerry Adair, UE, Dominion Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair
Can you add another name to the list of all of the loyalist refugees who settled in what is now Nova Scotia’s Kings County. The list will include:
1. those who settled in Kings County after arriving at Annapolis Royal,
2. those who initially settled in Kings County but moved elsewhere, and
3. those who moved to Kings County after initially settling elsewhere (Shelburne, Halifax, Port Mouton, etc.).
If you know the name of a loyalist and (if married) his/her immediate family members who fit these parameters, please forward the information on to Stephen Davidson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Carol Harding (email@example.com) This list, when completed, will be shared.
Captain Robert DOVE: Loyalist from Philadelphia, PA to Parrsboro, Nova Scotia
Few records were found in Nova Scotia about Captain Robert DOVE, UEL. But he was flexible and industrious, playing an important role in helping settle the Loyalists and Militia whom he transported to Nova Scotia. A few irrefutable Loyalist documents of origin were found while researching a man from his Militia.
Robert was a leather cutter by trade, working and living in Philadelphia as early as June 1775 where he already was publicly charged by the Supreme Executive Council in a Proclamation. Commanded to appear in Court, he “… rendered himself to the Justices of the Commonwealth charged “with aiding and assisting the Enemy “. He was to appear at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer in September 1778 for his “legal tryal”. Bond was £1,000. On June 17th 1778 his name was on an attainted list in the Philadelphia Packet, as “Of the City”: There were a number of such records and lists. He was charged with the crime of High Treason, but was ‘discharged’.
1778 List of Men from Pennsylvania who joined the British Army (from www.olivetreegenealogy.com)
The following individuals are reported in the June 17, 1778 edition of the Pennsylvania Packet as having joined the British Army and were therefore proclaimed traitors to the United States. Some, but not all, had Quaker ancestry or were Quakers themselves.
All now or late of the County of Philadelphia
all now or late of the Northern Liberties township
• Robert Dove, leather cutter
From Leather Cutter to Mariner, Robert DOVE is next recorded in the Carleton Papers (on the Library and Archives Canada website) as being in New York in January, 1783 where he is the Shipmaster of the Charming Jenny on at least two trips carrying Tobacco, then on 02 October 1783 is in the return of troops in New York as Captain, on a list of ‘officers destined for NS’. The full list of those he brought to NS is mentioned as attached to his memorial, but not found with the petition.
On his petition for a grant dated Halifax 26 December 1783 “for himself and the Loyalists of his company” (Company 2) he describes himself and them, “That your memorialists having been obliged from their attachment to the British Government to abandon their interests in the more Southern Provinces, and had been recommended by His Excellency Sir Guy Carleton as intitled to the favours intended …to men of their description”. He states that Sir Guy was pleased to order vessels to convey themselves and their families to Nova Scotia and most of them have arrived and they are in hopes of land. They have heard of unappropriated land lots near the head of the Bay of Fundy. He is quite specific where they want to go: “particularly on the peninsula between Chignecto Bay and Minas Channel taking in both shores of Apple River where they feel they can conceive of settling.” This was at first called Mill Village by the Loyalists, but changed to Parrsboro after the surveyor John Parr who laid out their lots. It borders on the Minas Basin, and there is some thought that early on this area was considered part of Kings County, but today it is incorporated into Cumberland County. Once there was a ferry service to Wolfville. Across the water it is little more than 3 miles to Horton where both Pudsey and Elderkin did move later. Family ties and fertile land for orchard farming likely made it more to their liking.
So their first petition of 1783 was approved by John Parr and off they went. However, by the 1793 census a decade later, Robert Dove is a Shopkeeper in Halifax. In 1796, Robert Dove, Captain of Militia, and 2 of his company, Hugh Pudsey and Joseph Elderkin, all Loyalists, petition then Lieutenant Governor Sir John Wentworth for help as they have never received clear title to their grant land. They relate that they were not able to support their family as their children were too small to help clear land so they were obliged to resort to the City of Halifax to work. While they were away working they learned newcomers were trying to ‘defraud them’ by getting surveys done of the lands where they had lived and made improvements for almost eight years, building houses, barns and a mill. Their title was granted to them.
In 1803 (registered in 1810) Robert DOVE was still in Halifax when he and wife Jesse sold their 900 acres at Apple River to George Johnson, Yeoman, for £123. (This land abutted ‘George Johnson and Company’ land and was likely the Mill they had shared). Robert may have died ca.1809.
One of the witnesses on the deed of sale was Joseph ELDERKIN, UEL. As it happens, this man was an uncle of the wife of Hugh PUDSEY, UEL. Both Elderkin and Pudsey eventually relocated to Greenwich area, Horton Township, Kings County. Both have descendants living in the same area. The names are still well known in the Annapolis Valley today. All the mentioned records are found online in various sites.
By G. Patrick O’Brien; Jan. 8, 2017
Having spent an agreeable New Year’s Eve with her friends, nineteen-year-old Mary Robie paused to write in her diary before turning in for the night. “Which brings 1783 to a period,” she began, “I have made out to continue my journal for one year and now might make many observations upon the occurrences of the year.” As a New England refugee living in Halifax, Mary’s life had changed considerably in the more the eight years since a patriotic mob chased her family from their home in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The events of 1783, however, had been especially dramatic. Following the conclusion of peace negoritish strongholds of the independent United States. In front of Mary’s home on Granville Street, refugees and soldiers alike congregated around a number of small stoves, which the colonial government had removed from the transport ships, to feed and warm themselves. While the ubiquity of suffering certainly affected the young girl, she also took comfort in her own family’s good fortune. Summarizing her conflicting emotions she recorded, “In this world I think we have a fore taste of the joys of heaven and almost the same of the miseries of hell”.
By Phillip R. Giffin; Jan. 11, 2018
In late May 1777 the new recruits in Col. Samuel Blachley Webb’s 9th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Army mustered in a rough formation on the village green in Wethersfield, Connecticut. General Washington had ordered his recruiters to forward all available men immediately, “even in groups of 20,” to join his Army at Morristown, New Jersey. The enemy juggernaut in New York was stirring and Washington’s Army was badly outnumbered.
As he departed Wethersfield with a small detachment of men, Sgt. Simon Giffin of Capt. Cabel Bull’s company noted in his diary, “May 30, 1777 marched from Wethersfield to Middletown & lodged at Landlord Fennels.” From there he continued on a circuitous route following the main post roads south to Durham and Newhaven, then west through Stratford and Fairfield, then north to Danbury, and finally west to Peekskill where they crossed the Hudson River and turned southwest. In his journal he noted, “June 16, 1777 marched to Pittino and from there to Morristown. Rained very hard; lodged there.”
Their journey of some two hundred miles had taken eighteen days, a slow pace for men who would later march twenty to thirty miles a day even in deep snow. Whatever the season and weather the main post roads were deplorable, rough dirt trails meandering over the countryside, strewn with rocks, ruts, and tree roots. As was his usual custom, our stoic company sergeant noted that it was raining heavily, failing to notice that their dirt pathways had become quagmires of mud which clung to their shoes, spatterdashes and breeches, slowing their progress, and adding to the general misery of their hike.
By Alec D. Rogers; Jan. 12, 2018
In recent decades, scholarship on the American Revolution has grown to include those largely excluded from the main narrative. Women, Native Americans, those of African descent (enslaved and otherwise), and especially loyalists have all been the subject of the some of the best and most recent studies. For example, Kathleen duVal’s Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution tells the story of how the Revolution affected those who literally lived on the fringes of the conflict, such as natives and Africans living in the Gulf Coast, and how they were among the conflict’s losers. In contrast, the “Hessians,” Germanic state soldiers transported to America to fight alongside the British, might make an interesting contrast. For many, the conflict was a way off a continent that held less opportunity and the gateway to a better life.
Andrea Smalley, an associate professor of history at Northern Illinois University and author of Wild By Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization, joins us to explore the many ways wild animals shaped colonists’ ideas and behavior as they settled and interacted with North American lands.
During our investigation, Andrea reveals the different kinds of wild animals colonists encountered in North America and what they thought about these animals; How specific animals like the beaver, wolf, and fish impacted and shaped early English colonists’ ideas about what it meant to tame and possess land in North America; And, how North American animals served as tools Native Americans used to stymie English and Anglo-American colonization.
Two Nerdy History Girls; Jan. 7, 2018
The eastern coast of the United States is currently suffering through a record-breaking cold-spell, with temperatures below zero and piles of snow as the literal icing on the cake. Everywhere you go, the cold is an unending source of conversation and complaint.
It’s weeks like this that I consider one of the inevitable questions by readers regarding my books: “You make the 18th century seem so real. Don’t you wish you lived then?”
Well, no, and especially not in an 18thc January, which was probably even colder than this 21stc version. Aside from all the obvious modern amenities (I’m sure without antibiotics, I’d probably already be dead), winter weather would have brought its own special awfulness.
Most houses depended on fireplaces for heating, and with no insulation in the walls or storm windows doubling up the panes, that heat didn’t linger long in a room. Anyone who’s stood in an old house heated exclusively by a fireplace knows that the circle of warmth from a hearth was small indeed. Sitting, working, or sleeping more than about six feet away from the fireplace meant you were … unfortunate.
The Battle of Saint-Pierre was a military confrontation on March 25, 1776, near the Quebec village of Saint-Pierre, south of Quebec City. This confrontation, which occurred during the Continental Army’s siege of Quebec following its defeat at the Battle of Quebec, was between forces that were both largely composed of Canadian militia, including individuals on both sides of the conflict that had been recruited in the same communities. The Patriot forces routed the Loyalist forces, killing at least 3 and capturing more than 30.
Black Hoof was the head civil chief of the Shawnee Indians in the Ohio Country of what became the United States. A member of the Mekoche division of the Shawnees, Black Hoof became known as a fierce warrior during the early wars between the Shawnee and Anglo-American colonists.
He probably took part in the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War against the Virginia militia in 1774. During the American Revolutionary War, he may have taken part in the siege of Boonesborough in 1778, which was led by Chief Blackfish, as well as the subsequent defense of the Shawnee village of Chillicothe in 1779. In the Northwest Indian War, Black Hoof was defeated by “Mad” Anthony Wayne and, following the collapse of the Indian confederation, surrendered in 1795.
FGail Dever and Cindi Foreman
If you’ve come up for air after looking at the new online collection, OnLand Records, about property ownership in Ontario from the Ontario Land Registry, now is the time to read Cindi Foreman’s latest two blog posts that continue her four-part series of step-by-step illustrated instructions with Parts III and IV.
Warning: The detailed information Ms. Foreman provides will send you back into the virtual stack of online records. So, clear your calendar before reading further.
On December 18, 2017, the Ontario Land Registry built a web portal to deliver key statutory services relating to land and property ownership in Ontario to land registry professionals and the public.
- From Brian McConnell UE, a short video about those who qualified as original UE Loyalists, proving descent from a UE Loyalists to earn a certificate and joining a Branch.
- What flags were used and flown by rebel American forces in early days of the war. On the powder horn of a soldier stationed at Ticonderoga is a flag with a plan field, or ground, perhaps meant to depict a blue field, with the British union flag in the canton. One of the colors captured from the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment in July of 1777, also consisted of a blue field, with the British union flag in the canton. Read the Fort Ticonderoga article.
- Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
- 13 Jan 1776 British attempt to raid Prudence Island, Rhode-Island for sheep, are driven back by Patriot forces.
- 12 Jan 1776 Congress specifies handling of expenses incurred for board and lodging of enemy officers taken prisoner.
- 11 Jan 1775 Francis Salvador becomes the first American Jew elected, taking a seat in SC Provincial Congress.
- 10 Jan 1776 NC Royal Gov. Martin issues proclamation calling on Loyalists to restore Crown rule in the province.
- 9 Jan 1776 Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” published in Philadelphia, an instant best-seller.
- 8 Jan 1777 British withdraw all forces from New-Jersey except posts at West Brunswick and Perth Amboy.
- 7 Jan 1777 East-Florida’s Royal Governor Tonyn informs Crown that estates of Royal officials were seized in Georgia.
- Townsends: A Winter Treat from 1796! – 18th Century Cooking: A Christmas Cookie
- Three Degrees to Washington: When George Met Cary Grant, By Kim Curtis, Research Editor, Washington’s Quill, January 12, 2018. I wrote a paper about the meaning and creation of Cary Grant’s star persona. As I’ve studied George Washington at The Washington Papers, I’ve noticed how he also proactively developed his public image. Read more…
- Canadian English in Yorkton [SK] this week. . There are many Canadians who do not know that the 13 American Colonies called New England States were England’s main contribution to early settlement of North America. France’s main colonization contribution in North America was the Province of Canada — its main colony, the smaller colony of Acadia, Louisiana and the Louisiana Territory. Read more…
- The Georgian Papers Programme releases new documents which add to the information about George I and II and why there are few records. However, despite the scantiness of material on Georges I and II, some of the documents from the Royal Archive, published here for the first time, do serve to add to our understanding of these monarchs and can provide us with new details that both contrast with and complement Hervey’s narrative. Read the article.
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Dove, Robert – from Carol Harding
- A farm established by Jacob Holder, my great, great, great, great grandfather is still a working farm owned by Holders in Holderville (Long Reach) NB. Jacob is buried on the farm. Note that there is a lot of information about Jacob in the Loyalist Directory.
- Shirley Thorne notes that the directory entry for Melanchton Thorn(e), which indicates that he had at least one child, in fact had eleven. Listing the names of those children (and spouses if known) would be a help to researchers.
One of my rebel ancestors, Isaac Bininger, was captured at the battle of Fort Ann and spent 2 years in Canada as a prisoner. Are there any sources that could tell me where he was held?
Isaac Bininger was born September 12, 1760 in Nazareth, PA, the son of Abraham and Martha Bininger.
Isaac was a resident of Salem, Albany County, NY when he enlisted on April 1, 1779 and served as a private in Captain Levi Stockwell’s New York Company, Col. Harper’s New York Regiment, stationed at Skenesboro, New York until January 1, 1780.
He then enlisted as a private in October, 1780 in Captain Sherwood’s Company in Colonel McKinstry’s New York Regiment.
Isaac was captured at Fort Ann by the British, under the command of Major Carleton, and marched to Sandy Hill and from there to Fort George which was taken by Major Carlton and carried to Canada and held prisoner until October 23, 1782.
On September 21, 1784, Isaac Bininger granted his pay from the time he was a prisoner from October 10, 1780 until October 23, 1782 ‘as per Capt Sherwoods certificate is 24 months & 13 days’.
He remained a prisoner until a treaty was concluded with the British Government when a general release of prisoners took place.
NOTE: All of the above information comes from Isaac Bininger’s widow’s petition on Ancestry.com:
U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900
By the way, my Loyalist ancestor was Frederick Keller, son of Christian Keller, of Albany, New York.
Any help would be appreciated.