“Loyalist Trails” 2018-20: May 20, 2018

In this issue:
UELAC Conference 2018
The Montreal Claimants of 1788, by Stephen Davidson
Scholarship: Vote for the New Logo
Last Call: Ontario Licence Plates SPRING SELLOUT
UE Loyalist: Solomon Jones (c. 1756 – Sept. 21, 1822)
Women and the Continental Army at Valley Forge, 1777-78
The Loyalist Gazette for Spring 2018
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: NB and the Origins of Canadian Mental Health Care
JAR: Musicians Who Deserted
The Junto: Teaching the Meaning of Liberty
Ben Franklin’s World: The New Map of the British Empire
UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Daniel D. Ward (b. 1804 in PEI)


UELAC Conference 2018

Conference 2018: “Loyalist Ties Under Living Skies”

June 7-10, 2018

Temple Garden Hotel and Spa, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Visit the Information and registration.

The Annual General Meeting of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada will be held Saturday 9 June 2018 in Moose Jaw SK.

Members of the Association may vote in person or by proxy.

Members: For information on your voting options and the Annual Reports package, click here for instructions about how to access them.

The Montreal Claimants of 1788

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In February of 1788, loyalists from new settlements along the St. Lawrence River converged on Montreal to seek financial redress from the British government’s Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL). Previous editions of Loyalist Trails examined the stories of 122 petitioners who sought compensation during this four-week period. Over the next three weeks, this series will conclude with an examination of the circumstances of 16 loyal claimants, providing a glimpse into the lives of refugees before, during, and following the American Revolution.

February 27, 1788 was a Wednesday, a day that would prove to be rather long as the commissioners of the RCLSAL had seventeen cases to hear.

Ralph Vanducar was a loyalist from the town of Claverack, Albany County, located 150 miles above New York City. The town had been founded ten years earlier in the midst of the American Revolution. Its name is a corruption of the Dutch word for “clover fields”. A rather bizarre claim to fame occurred in 1705 when early settlers made the first discovery of a mastodon’s tooth.

Palatine Germans settled in the area, swelling the local Reformed Dutch Church so that a larger structure had to be built in 1767. Within a decade, this church had a new pastor — a man of patriot leanings. John Gabriel Gebhard had fled New York City when it was occupied by the British in 1776 and then left Kingston, New York when the British burnt that community in the fall of 1777.

The patriots of Claverack evicted or banished the town’s known loyalists. Henry Simmons, who kept a journal from 1777 to 1779, wrote of his flight from his home on August 16, 1777: “I left my house at Claverack and set out with a company of seven and twenty men and officers to go to General Burgoyne’s army.”

Ralph Vanducar might have been one of those 27 loyalists. He told the RCLSAL that he had served his community as a tanner and shoemaker while living with his parents. He had no property to lose, and aided the crown by serving as a scout. Vanducar’s only witness was Guysbert Sharp who also testified on behalf of Peter Van Alstine and himself that day. (Both of these men have been featured in earlier Loyalist Trails articles.) Sharp told the RCLSAL that Vanducar was a very poor man and had a “sickly family” that had settled in the third township above Cataraqui.

Adam Bouck, who had testified for a neighbour the day before, also appeared before the RCLSAL. A settler of Johnstown, he had lived in Schohary, New York before the outbreak of the revolution. His fifty-acre farm supported cattle, sheep, hogs and horses; in addition to raising livestock, Bouck grew grain and had a 33% interest in the local saw mill. Having never taken any part with the Americans, he joined the British at Oswego in 1777, serving under Sir John Johnson for the duration of the war.

Another loyalist from New York who appeared before the compensation board was Paul Huff. A resident of Fishkill, Huff had his property, livestock and real estate seized and sold by the Dutchess County commissioner of forfeitures. After joining the army in 1777, he rose through the loyalist ranks under a variety of commanders (De Lancey, Ward, and Cuyler). He eventually received a commission as a lieutenant with a company of associated loyalists. Following the peace in 1783, Huff travelled north from New York City and wintered with other loyalists in Sorel, Canada. By 1788, he had settled with fellow refugees in Adolphustown along the Bay of Quinte.

Described as a “good man” in the notes of the RCLSAL transcripts, Colin McKenzie had seen many changes in his lifetime. A native of Scotland, he had come to North America in 1767 as a solider in the Royal Artillery. By 1776, he had settled in Crown Point. When General Burgoyne’s army marched toward New York, McKenzie served as a guide. Following the defeat of Burgoyne, the loyal Scot enlisted in Jessup’s Corps, serving as a sergent for the remainder of the war. Rebels seized his livestock and burned down the new house that McKenzie had bought at the start of the war. Colin and his wife Sarah Powers started their new life by settling along the Bay of Quinte.

Henry Cross’ petition to the RCLSAL reveals how active some loyalist veterans had been during the revolution. Although he had once been compelled to act as a pilot for a patriot general, he “never took any part with the rebels” and joined the British army in 1776. There he served with Major Rogers Corp as a member of the “King’s Works” at St. John’s on Lake Champlain. After the war, Cross settled at Oswegatchie (near today’s Prescott, Ontario).

A native of Stone Arabia, New York, Warner Casselman was compelled to seek sanctuary in Canada in 1777. It must have been especially hard for him to leave the area as his ancestors were among the original settlers. The farmers in his Mohawk Valley town provided essential wheat and oats to the patriot forces. Once in Canada, Casselman served with Sir John Johnson’s regiment until 1783. Noted as a “good man” in the liner notes of his transcript, the loyal New Yorker settled in the 4th Township along the St. Lawrence River.

Next week’s Loyalist Trails will retell the stories of the last loyal refugees to appear before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists on Wednesday, February 27, 1788.

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

Scholarship: Vote for the New Logo

UELAC is introducing a logo design dedicated to Loyalist Scholarship and we need your input. How? Follow the link below, or use the ‘graduate cap’ link on the UELAC homepage, to vote for your favourite. Voting is open now with a deadline of June 4, King George III’s birthday (280 years ago). The winning design will be announced on June 8 at the UELAC Conference in Moose Jaw, SK.

Help choose the new Loyalist Scholarship Logo — Vote Now!

Ontario Licence Plates: SPRING SELLOUT – FINAL OFFER

Thanks to outstanding support from Kingston, Toronto and Grand River Branches we are now down to the final EIGHT sets. There will not be a third order from MTO.

This year, on May 27, UELAC will mark the 104th anniversary of its formation when an Act (Chapter 146, 4-5, Geo. V, 1914) was passed by the Parliament of Canada. If you are a new member of an Ontario branch of UELAC, you may not know of our special centenary Ontario Licence Plate project that kicked off the 2014 celebrations.

With 8 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 May 27 you can save 30 dollars off the original price 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: 23, 26, 27, 28, 72, 73, 90.

• Send your cheque for $80.00 and this form to the George Brown House office

If you have already shown your support of this UELAC Project, I thank you.

…Fred H. Hayward UE, UELAC Education Committee

UE Loyalist: Solomon Jones (c. 1756 – Sept. 21, 1822)

A doctor, judge and political figure in Upper Canada.

He was born in New Jersey, America around 1756 and the family later moved to New York state. He studied medicine in Albany; at the start of the American Revolution, he became a surgeon’s mate in Edward Jessup’s Loyal Rangers. After the defeat of General John Burgoyne at Saratoga, the family fled north. Jones spent much of the following years treating wounded loyalist soldiers.

After the war, he settled in Augusta Township. In 1788, he became surgeon for the local militia and, in 1794, was clerk for the land board in the Eastern District. In 1796, Jones was elected to the 2nd Parliament of Upper Canada for Leeds and Frontenac and was also appointed justice of the peace in the district. In 1800, he became a judge in the court for the Johnstown District.

His sons were educated at the school in Cornwall run by John Strachan and he helped Strachan in establish the Church of England in the area. During the War of 1812, he served as surgeon for the garrison at Prescott. In 1819, he was appointed to the district land board.

After a period of ill health, he died at his home near the current site of Maitland in 1822.

His former home, Homewood, one of the oldest houses in Ontario, was opened as a museum in 2005. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1982.

Step back in time to 1800. Get a glimpse of the life of Dr. Solomon Jones (1756-1822), a United Empire Loyalist and the area’s first physician. Explore one of Ontario’s oldest houses, view original Jones family furnishings and heirlooms, and discover the story behind the internationally known Red Fameuse apple. See where seven generations of the Jones family chose to call home and immerse yourself in Ontario’s rich heritage.

Many United Empire Loyalists settled in the St. Lawrence valley after the American Revolution. Jones and his three brothers arrived in Augusta Township in 1784 to take up lands granted to them by the government. He commissioned Louis Brière, a Montreal mason and contractor, to build a “gentleman’s residence” in stone overlooking the river in 1799. Although Homewood was constructed in the late Georgian style, the simplicity of some of its details, especially the shutters and metalwork, show a French-Canadian influence. Located just outside the village of Maitland, near Brockville, Homewood became the home for six generations of the Jones family. In the 1940s, Justus Jones, the last owner, constructed an addition that matched the design of the original home.

In addition to being a surgeon, Jones was an accomplished farmer and avid grower of fruit trees. His great-grandson, Harold Jones, followed in his footsteps and received international recognition for developing the Jones Red Fameuse apple in the early 1900s. Between 1900 and 1930, Homewood was the St. Lawrence Fruit Station, a division of the federal Central Experimental Farms in Ottawa. Many of the station’s original trees are still bearing fruit in the restored orchard today.

In 1965, Justus Jones sold the property to the DuPont Corporation, an international chemical company, but continued living on the site until his death in 1972. DuPont developed a portion of the property as a chemical plant and donated Homewood along with 4.5 hectares (11 acres) of land to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1974. The Trust restored the site with the help of the Grenville County Historical Society and the Canadian Parks Service.

Women and the Continental Army at Valley Forge, 1777-78

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is not only the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, but also a beautiful 3,500 acre park that includes a rivers, streams, forests, and tall-grass meadows.

I attended a special program devoted to telling the stories of the approximately 400 women (along with about 10,000 soldiers and 2,000 support staff) who were part of the encampment.

Too often the role of women in connection to the 18thc army is overlooked, ignored, or reduced to mean-spirited camp-follower jokes. In reality, women were an important part of the army’s day-to-day life, especially during the months-long winter encampments. Women (and children) who followed the army were paid to wash the army’s laundry, sew and mend garments, cook food and bake bread, and tend the sick and wounded. The majority of these women were wives and other family members of the soldiers, who ate and slept as families with their husbands’ messes. They also remained connected to the army during the summer campaign season, following at a distance from the army on foot behind the baggage wagons. These were strong women, in every sense of the word.

Read more.

The Loyalist Gazette for Spring 2018

The Loyalist Gazette is one of the benefits of membership, and available also to those non-members who purchase a subscription.

The Spring Gazette was delivered to the mailing house early last week, which in turn may have delivered the periodical to Canada Post on Friday; otherwise this week.

Those who have requested the digital copy received instructions on how to access it earlier this past week.

If you are a member or Gazette subscriber, and haven’t yet but would like to try out the digital version of the Spring 2018 Gazette – all colour really does make a difference!

…Robert McBride UE, Publications Committee

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: NB and the Origins of Canadian Mental Health Care

by Bethany Langmaid 16 May 2018

With open discussions about mental health and mental illness becoming much more prominent and accepted in contemporary culture, it is interesting to track the history of mental health care and responses to mental illness in Canada. In fact, for New Brunswickers, it can be surprising to discover that the roots of Canada’s mental health care can actually be found in our own back yard: loyalist Saint John County. This history can be traced back to the year 1835 when what was called the “Provincial Lunatic Asylum” was constructed in Saint John—making it the first mental health facility to be built in British North America.

Read more.

JAR: Musicians Who Deserted

16 May 2018

There were drummers, there were fifers, and then there were men who had general musical talent, capable of playing several instruments.

Many British, American and German regiments, and other military organizations, had bands of music. These bands, which might consist of six to twelve men, were separate entities from the regiment’s drummers and fifers. In general, then, the term “musician” applied not to drummers and fifers (who were called “drummers” and “fifers”), but to men who played in the band.

Some military musicians were professionals retained by the army solely for their musical skills; others were soldiers who also had musical talent. Occasionally, they deserted and were advertised in newspapers, leaving us with descriptions of these versatile men. Here are a few ads for musicians, showing that they were often adept at more than one instrument.

Read more.

The Junto: Teaching the Meaning of Liberty

by Tom Cutterham 15 May 2018

“We all declare for liberty,” Abraham Lincoln remarked in 1864, “but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.” That word gets thrown around a lot when we talk about, and especially when we commemorate, the early American republic. Since I started my job two years ago, I’ve been teaching a course on “the meaning of liberty” from Revolution to Civil War. In this post I want to reflect on the process of designing, teaching, and redesigning that course—a process of thinking through American “liberty” with my twenty-first century British students in mind.

The truth is, I find it hard even to begin thinking collectively about freedom. Our starting point is unfreedom. It was the same for Thomas Jefferson. His Declaration of Independence gives meaning to liberty by listing its violations. When we read David Walker, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Jacobs in my class, we try to glimpse freedom by looking deep into its absence. But it’s too easy for students to assume that because slavery has been abolished in America, the problem of liberty has already been solved. Spend too long pondering slavery, and just about anything else starts to look like liberty.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: The New Map of the British Empire

Max Edelson, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence, helps us explore how Great Britain intended to govern its newly expanded empire in North America by taking us on an investigation of the Board of Trade and its General Survey of North America.

As we explore the Board of Trade’s plans for British North America, Max reveals details about the size of the British Empire after the Seven Years’ War; King George III’s order to the Board of Trade and its response to that order; And, information about the General Survey of North America and how the Board of Trade envisioned surveys and maps as the key to Great Britain’s better management of its North American colonies.

Listen to the podcast.

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently

The list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 — showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date — has been updated with the certificates issued in November and December of last year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Where in the World?

Where are Jill Mattinson, Alma Hayward, Ruth Coker and Brian Coker of Nova Scotia 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.

  • You are cordially invited to attend the UNITED EMPIRE LOYALIST COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE at ST. ALBAN THE MARTYR ANGLICAN CHURCH ADOLPHUSTOWN 3 pm, June 17th, 2018 To celebrate the 234th anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists at Adolphustown in June 1784. Officiant: Reverend Dr. John Walmsley and Guest Speaker: Donald Curtis, Author & Local Historian Tea will be served on the rectory lawn following the service Inquiries/Regrets: 613 373-8865  (see flyer; also see more about St. Alban’s – church history, memorial tiles, book, cemetery etc.)
  • In Brant County, the “Nixon Way” is more than just a road. Robert “Bob” Nixon heads up one of the most remarkable political families in this province’s history. The Nixon family has been a fixture in Brant county, just west of Hamilton, since Bob’s great-grandfather Charles moved the family there from Grimsby in 1850. Charles was originally from New Jersey, but his family were United Empire Loyalists and left after the American Revolution. Disease killed Charles Nixon’s young wife and two children, leaving him alone and devastated. It would not be the last time the Nixon family would experience tragedy. Read more about the family and the recognition.
  • UE Loyalists and the Royal Wedding

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Royal weddings in the Georgian era. On Tuesday 8th September 1761, in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, the new King George III (he had ascended the throne a little less than a year earlier) married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The wedding took place only a few hours after their initial meeting.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 19 May 1780 A mixture of thick smoke & heavy cloud cover left New England in total darkness starting at 10:30 AM. It became known as New England’s Dark Day. Panic ensued in many communities and candles were needed in the middle of the day.
    • 19 May 1776 Bitter struggle for control of Pennsylvania Assembly erupts over question of support for Independence.
    • 18 May 1783 Loyalist evacuees from New-York and other parts of the U.S. arrive in Canada.
    • 17 May 1775 The Continental Congress bans trade with Britain’s Canadian Colonies.
    • 16 May 1775 Hannastown, Pennsylvania, Resolutions assert it’s the obligation of Americans to resist British tyranny.
    • 15 May 1781 Rebel forces take Fort Granby, South-Carolina, without the loss of a single man.
    • 14 May 1787 First delegates arrive in Philadelphia to revise Articles of Confederation; create new Constitution.
    • 13 May 1776 Antigua-based British Adm. Young relays intel to Jamaica that Americans plan to attack West India ships.
  • Townsends
  • As if this mid-18thc brocade wasn’t gorgeous enough, the elbow length cuff has a sprinkling of fly braid that encircles the arm in a bloom of frayed floss, Indianapolis Museum of Art.
  • 18th Century dress, Robe à la française, 1760-70
  • 18th Century dress & matching pettycoat, 1779 – 1799
  • 18th Century 1780s gown, via National Museums Northern Ireland
  • 18th Century dress, robe à l’anglaise, c1770-80’s
  • 18th Century men’s shot silk suit c.1790 altered c.1805
  • 18th Century men’s maroon silk velvet coat & breeches, silk waistcoat, English, 1770’s
  • Smock Races (or Women’s Foot Races) were run by girls and women in 18th and early 19th century Britain, the prize being usually a smock or shift decorated with ribbons


Daniel D. Ward (b. 1804 in PEI)

Looking for any leads on Daniel D. Ward b. PEI 1804. Married Margaret Full 1835 Halifax (NS? I presume) she died 1839. He married Harriet Newell Cook dau. of Manassah about 1840 in Halifax. Since Manassah Cook was in the 1838 census a couple of pages from Daniel, I presume N.S. Daniel and Harriet moved like gypsies starting in N.S. and moving, not in this order, to New York, all across the bottom of Ontario from Niagara to Detroit and then down into the states.

I would like Daniel’s father to be Ebenezer Ward and his mother to be Peggy Clark/e who married at the home of John Clark/e in Tryon PEI 1792. There was a (Loyalist) John Clark on PEI. There was an Ebenezer Ward who left N.Y. in Oct. 1783 with a wife, 2 chil, 1 svt. I know that the servant was a 7 year old Negro, Elizabeth Ward. Was that Ebenezer the same one in PEI? There is no consensus among the Ebenezer Ward trees of which there are plenty. Ancestry.com trees say this Ebenezer was married to Mary Gray but she died 1864 in the states so it couldn’t be them. On the other hand the death record they cite is for Mary Gray spouse of Abraham Ward sometimes in ancestry trees as Abraham Ebenezer Ward. I saw that death record and it plainly says Abraham Ward. The children it lists are the children listed as Mary Gray’s children (Michael).

Who was the Ebenezer Ward who married Peggy Clark in PEI in John Clark’s house in Tryon in 1792? Was he the Loyalist who left N.Y. in 1783? Was he related to Uzal Ward who left N.Y. but returned? Uzal was a stone cutter who was famous for his grave stones.

I am working on finding DNA matches hoping a living Ward can be convinced to take the Y test. I’m also working on finding a descendant of Phoebe Clark Ward Weeks who I would like to be Daniel’s sister. I have some leads so that will be my next shopping trip. If Phoebe’s descendant matches me then I know I’m on the right track. If not, more crying for me.

Toni Walker