“Loyalist Trails” 2018-30: July 29, 2018

In this issue:
Desirous of Removing to Canada: Part One, by Stephen Davidson
The Black Cemetery at Conway, NS, as a Reminder of Brinley Town & the Loyalists
The Sullivan Expedition
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: On Archives and Stolen Papers
JAR: The Curious Case of Zacheus Holmes
Washington’s Quill: “His Obliging Partiality for Me” – George Washington Meets Rochambeau
The Junto: Making the Personal Historical: Reflections on Pregnancy and Birth
Ben Franklin’s World: Information & Communication in the Early American South
All Things Georgian: 18th-Century Business Women – Trade Cards
Digital Gazette: Contribute To Loyalist Lore & Help Reduce Costs
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Nancy Fitzgerald Crosbie, UE


Desirous of Removing to Canada: Part One

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In 1783, the new United States of America was witness to the forced migration of 60,000 refugees — loyal Americans who, having survived the violence of the War of Independence, were no longer welcome in their own country. Most loyalists who sailed away on evacuation vessels sought sanctuary in the United Kingdom, the West Indies or Nova Scotia. Only one colony of British North America was easily accessible by land. Approximately 9,000 loyalists decided to find sanctuary in Canada, a colony that had been in British hands for only the past 20 years. They travelled there by foot or by paddling northward along the rivers and lakes.

There are however, exceptions to every generalization. Not all loyalists who settled in Canada went overland to find sanctuary. In July and September of 1783, two evacuation fleets left New York City carrying 1,328 loyalists (6% of all evacuees) who had decided to make their way to Canada by sea. Because their story is one that has been largely forgotten, it is worth investigating.

Unfortunately very, very few ship’s manifests have survived the great loyalist evacuation of 1783. If historians and genealogists want to discover the names of the loyalists who arrived at the port of Quebec, other primary documents need to be consulted. Two of the most helpful documents are the Book of Negroes, a ledger of the names of free and enslaved Africans, and the collected correspondence of Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander-in-chief headquartered in New York City.

It was Carleton’s task to oversee the evacuation of all British soldiers and sympathizers from the new United States of America before the fall of 1783. Driven there by patriot persecution, thousands upon thousands of loyal Americans flooded into New York City in the hopes of finding sanctuary elsewhere in the British Empire. Consequently, Carleton’s headquarters regularly received letters and petitions from loyalists asking for the means to escape the former thirteen colonies.

New York simply did not have enough ships available to transport all of the troops and civilians who needed to be evacuated and so Carleton called on transports from both the West Indies and England. Loyalists who were able combined their resources and chartered their own ships.

And what ships carried loyalists to Quebec? The only record we have of a privately chartered evacuation vessel bound for Canada is found in a letter that Carleton received in August of 1783. It listed the loyalists who were about to embark on the Industry. Unfortunately, those names are not recorded in the collection of Carleton’s correspondence that is available online. Hopefully, one day the full letter with the Industry’s manifest will be found safely filed away in a British archive.

To learn the names of eight of the ships that took loyalists to Canada, one must consult the pages of the Book of Negroes. Because those vessels contained free or enslaved African passengers, their names have been snatched from oblivion. On July 10, 1783 loyalists sailed north to Quebec on the Mary, the Camel, the Blackett, the Hope, the Baker&Atlee, and the Union.

The latter was the flag ship of the first evacuation fleet to take loyalists to what is now New Brunswick. When it entered the mouth of the St. John River in May of that year, it was carrying 209 passengers. One of those aboard the Union described it as being “the best ship in the British fleet” and one of the most comfortable. Its captain, Consill Wilson, was noted for his consideration of his refugee passengers, allowing them to stay on his ship until they were able to locate a suitable settlement. It is hoped that he was equally kind to those he took to Canada.

As for the other ships in the July fleet, we have no details as to their tonnage or captains. The Camel had served as an evacuation ship in the same fleet that took loyalists to New Brunswick in the spring of 1783. The Mary had been used to transport loyalists to Port Roseway in April, and Annapolis Royal in June. After its July journey to Quebec, it took refugees to the St. John River in July and Nova Scotia in October. The Baker and Atlee had delivered loyalists to Port Roseway in April; the Hope would later provide transportation for refugees to Annapolis Royal in October. The Blackett’s only ever carried loyalist passengers on its voyage to Quebec.

These six ships (and there may have been more who sailed to Canada that July) had among their passengers 5 enslaved Africans and 12 Black Loyalists.* The only white loyalist passengers who are listed in the Book of Negroes are those who were either slave owners or the designated escorts for the Black Loyalist passengers.

The loyalist slave owners were Joseph Orser, David Whitehill, Thomas Darling, John Graham, and Saumuel Umberston. The white loyalists who accompanied free Black Loyalists were Alexander White, Robert Cockrill, Jane Croser, William Dempsey, Peter Dollier, William Campbell, Stephen Delancey, Capt. McDonald, and Daniel Huggenell.

The last evacuation fleet bound for Quebec left New York on September 6, 1783. Only two of its ships’ names are known: the Grace and the Three Sisters. Both of these vessels had transported loyalists to the St. John River back in July. Between them they carried nine enslaved Africans and six Black Loyalists.* The loyalist slave owners were Guy Johnson, Alexander Hare, John Graham, Major Van Alstine, Casper Hellenbeck, Peter Van Alstyne, and John Huyck. The white loyalists who accompanied free Black Loyalists were Stephen Delancey, Capt. McDonald, and Daniel Huggenell.

Thanks to the data in the Book of Negroes we know the names of some of the loyalists who sailed to Quebec to find sanctuary. Next week, the second part of this series will browse through the correspondence of Sir Guy Carleton to discover the names of more of the American refugees who, in the words of one loyalist, were “desirous of removing to Canada”.

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

(Editor’s note: This is Stephen’s third article on the loyalists who sailed to Canada from New York City in 1783. To read more about the free and enslaved Africans who journeyed to Quebec, see Africans Bound for Quebec City.)

The Black Cemetery at Conway, NS, as a Reminder of Brinley Town & the Loyalists

By Brian McConnell, UE

As you approach the Town of Digby, Nova Scotia on Highway 303 you pass by a cemetery at Conway. It is only a few kilometres from downtown Digby and has been referred to as the Black Cemetery. Conway includes the area where the community of Brinley Town, sometimes spelled as Brindley Town, was started after the Loyalists arrived at the end of the American Revolution. Brinley Town consisted of 76 one acre lots of land granted to the Black Loyalists by Governor John Parr of Nova Scotia on July 29, 1785.

Land records dealing with property holdings indicate the cemetery was formerly referred to as “the burying ground used by the colour population.” This reference appeared in a Deed dated June 21, 1922 from Arthur L. M. Swabey which conveyed a 33 acre lot of land to Gertrude S. Dukeshire and reserved out the cemetery. Later Deeds include references to being ” lands of the African Baptist Church and used as cemetery” and “commonly known as the coloured cemetery”.

Read more.

The Sullivan Expedition

The 1779 Sullivan Expedition, also known as the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition, was an extended systematic military campaign during the American Revolutionary War against Loyalists (“Tories”) and the four Amerindian nations of the Iroquois which had sided with the British.

The campaign ordered and organized by George Washington and his staff was conducted chiefly in the lands of the Iroquois Confederacy “taking the war home to the enemy to break their morale”, and the expedition was largely successful in that goal as they destroyed more than 40 Iroquois villages and stores of winter crops, breaking the power of the six nations in New York all the way to the Great Lakes, as the terrified Indian families relocated to Canada seeking protection of the British. Today this area is the heartland of New York State, and with the military power of the Iroquois vanquished, the events also opened up the vast Ohio Country, the Great Lakes regions, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky to post-war settlements.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: On Archives and Stolen Papers

by Christine Lovelace 25 July 2018

Researchers using archives are often puzzled as to why we ask them to register, and leave all bags and coats in a locker before they may use the collection. It is because archives, libraries, and museums have been pillaged in the past of valuable collections, and the job of an archive is to protect these items, whether from the elements or thieves.

Annabelle Babineau wrote a post about John Saunders for Atlantic Loyalist Connections in November 2016 which included material from the John Saunders Papers, 1775-1910; the entry for the John Saunders papers in The Loyalist Collection catalogue notes that some of the Saunders family papers are held at UNB Archives & Special Collections.

I was looking into this UNB collection to educate myself on what we had here at UNB Archives, when I found out that a number of Saunders papers had been stolen!

Read more.

JAR: The Curious Case of Zacheus Holmes

by Todd W. Braisted 24 July 2018

The United States pension and land bounty records furnish us with a multitude of fascinating stories. It is important, however, to weight them against other information, as there is often much more to the real story. Such is the case with Private Zacheus Holmes of Massachusetts; his pension application gives just a tease of his career, while the real story, like so many others of the revolution, is much more complex than what this simple document reveals.

The pension application, prepared in accordance with the congressional act of 1818 for Continental Army veterans, was brief and to the point.

There is not much detail except for one tantalizing comment, that of being awarded “the badge of merit.” This distinguished award, created by George Washington in 1782, was meant to acknowledge “instances of unusual gallantry, [and] also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service.” Three are known to have been awarded, to Daniel Bissell, Elijah Churchill and William Brown, all Continental Army sergeants from Connecticut. Was Zacheus Holmes an unrecorded fourth recipient of the reward, and if so, what act of gallantry did he perform?

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: “His Obliging Partiality for Me” – George Washington Meets Rochambeau

By Jeffrey L. Zvengrowski 27 July 2018

Gen. George Washington wrote Deputy Quartermaster Gen. Nehemiah Hubbard from headquarters in Bergen County, N.J., on Sept. 13, 1780: “I have made an appointment to meet the Count de Rochambeau and The Chevalier de Ternay. . . at Har[t]ford on the 20th instant. The Marquis de la Fayette—Genl [Henry] Knox and the commanding Officer of the Corps of Engineers in our service [Lieutenant Colonel Gouvion] will accompany me. [Y]ou will be pleased to provide the best quarters which the Town affords, and make every necessary preparation of Forage and other matters.”

Washington first met Lieutenant General Rochambeau, whose French soldiers were stationed near Rear Admiral Ternay’s French fleet at Rhode Island, to plan strategy during a nadir of the American Revolution. Aspiring to take New York City from the British in 1780 before the onset of winter, Washington expected during the first two weeks of September that French reinforcements from Europe or the West Indies would soon arrive. He learned instead on September 16 that a British fleet from the West Indies had recently reached the vicinity of New York City.

Read more.

The Junto: Making the Personal Historical: Reflections on Pregnancy and Birth

By Lindsay Keiter 25 July 2018

Human reproduction is simultaneously unchanged and radically different over time and across cultures. This paradox has preoccupied me for over a year as I carried and gave birth to my first child one year ago today, and as I watched my sister follow the same path soon after. Throughout my pregnancy, delivery, and now early motherhood, I’ve found myself thinking often long-dead women and pondering how vastly different our experiences of the same condition must be.

Pregnancy and birth generate intense feelings. Most parents experience joy, hope, and fear. As a historian, I regularly identify with the women I encounter in the archive. The empathy born of our shared biological and emotional experiences generated two additional emotions that most new parents may not: gratitude, on the one hand, and anger on the other.

For women today, modern medical science offers myriad insights into a process largely secret from our eighteenth, nineteenth, and even many twentieth-century counterparts.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Information & Communication in the Early American South

In this episode, Alejandra Dubcovsky, Associate Professor at University of California, Riverside and author of Informed Power: Communication in the Early South, leads us on an exploration of the early American south and its information networks.

During our exploration, Alejandra reveals details about Native American peoples who lived in the early American south prior to European arrival; When and how the Spanish established a settlement at Saint Augustine; And, how understanding early American information networks can help us reconstruct how people in the early south lived and interacted with one another.

Listen to the podcast.

All Things Georgian: 18th-Century Business Women – Trade Cards

We have looked at trade cards in a previous blog and if we’re honest this post is slightly self-indulgent as we’re fascinated by them. Today we thought that we would focus on the trade cards for those women who chose to run their own business or were forced out of necessity to continue running their husband’s business after his death as they would most likely have no other source of income.

There is an assumption that all women in the eighteenth and early nineteenth-century needed or wanted a husband to secure their position in society, although for some this was not the case. Whether they succeeded on not we may never know, but they certainly tried to be self-supporting.

Read more.

Digital Gazette: Contribute To Loyalist Lore & Help Reduce Costs

The Loyalist Gazette is published twice each year in May and November by UELAC in a magazine format with about 52 pages of historical articles, news, UELAC activities, book reviews, lots of photos, and more. The periodical is distributed to members and those who purchase a subscription.

Would you like to shed some more “light” on a bit of family or community history?

Do you have an interesting Loyalist history? a research “success” overcoming a significant obstacle? a unusual set of circumstances in your loyalist lineage? Would you share with the Loyalist community via the Loyalist Gazette?

Send Robert McBride a note at gazette.editor@nexicom.net – let’s collaborate.

A double win! Get a better experience with the digital Gazette – receive it earlier and enjoy full colour throughout.

Many members have requested the digital copy, and a good portion of those are now receiving the journal only in digital format, although some prefer to also receive the paper copy.

The digital version is made public about one year after its release date. You can see past issues in the online archive.

If you are a UELAC member (or a paid Gazette subscriber) and haven’t yet tried out the e-zine version of the Fall 2018 Gazette, complete the request form for full-colour digital access.

……Robert McBride, UE, Publications Committee

Where in the World?

Where are Diane Faris, Mary Anne Bethune, Carl Stymiest, and James Adair?

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.

  • Members of the Old Hay Bay Church Restoration Committee and the Bay of Quinte Branch of the United Empire Loyalists unveiled a new marker at the historic church site in Greater Napanee on Saturday.  A new sign will mark the church’s cemetery as a Loyalist burial ground. The cemetery has hundreds of individuals buried in it, including United Empire Loyalists, who settled in Canada after fighting for the British during the American Revolution found them exiled from the United States. “This cemetery is linked to Old Hay Bay Church, which goes back to 1792,” said Peter Johnson, president of the Bay of Quinte Branch. “The Bay of Quinte Branch is unveiling their first United Empire Loyalist burial ground sign at Old Hay Bay Church. Other branches have done this. We’re starting, and hope to continue.” Johnson said that these signs indicate at least one Loyalist is buried in the cemetery. Read more…

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • ‘Illegal border crossers’ created Ontario and Canada; by Rick Salutin 24 July 2018. Doug Ford and Andrew Scheer are targetting “illegal border crossers,” a sinister new term that basically, in the current context, simply means refugees. Doug calls it a “mess.” Has he no clue that Ontario was created by political refugees, back when borders were sketchy at best? There would be no Ontario without the United Empire Loyalists, who came up from the U.S. after they backed the wrong side in the American Revolution. Read more…
  • 25 July 1780. Sir John Johnson learns of the death of Major Daniel McAlpin, who passed away three days earlier. McAlpin had received a warrant from Sir William Howe to raise a corps, which he did during the Burgoyne Campaign of 1777. As one of the Royalist corps, it was never completed and languished in limbo for years afterwards. Here, Haldimand is in hopes that Sir John can sift through the carcass of the corps and grab most of it for his new 2nd Battalion, King’s Royal Regiment of New York. Read more… by Todd Braisted.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 28 Jul 1776 Declaration of Independence received with cheers by solders when read at Fort Ticonderoga, New-York.
    • 27 Jul 1777 Marquis de Lafayette & Baron Johann de Kalb arrive in Philadelphia to assist Continental Army.
    • 26 Jul 1775 Continental Congress establishes Constitutional Post, forerunner to the US Postal Service.
    • 24 Jul 1779 Penobscot Expedition begins. The British were attempting to establish a new colony (New Ireland) on a peninsula in modern day Maine. The amphibious American force of some 700 soldiers, six small cannon and 10 ships were not well led.
    • 24 Jul 1779 Penobscot Expedition begins. The British were attempting to establish a new colony (New Ireland) on a peninsula in modern day Maine. The amphibious American force of some 700 soldiers, six small cannon and 10 ships were not well led.
    • 25 Jul 1783 Final action of the Revolutionary War, Siege of Cuddalore, Carnatic (India), ended by peace agreement.
    • 24 Jul 1776 President Hancock reprimands General Schuyler over disruptive dissent in his militia ranks.
    • 23 Jul 1777 – British Gen. William Howe, with 15K troops, set sail from NYC for Chesapeake Bay to capture Phila instead of sailing north to join up with Gen. Burgoyne. This would mean Burgoyne’s defeat at Saratoga.
    • 23 Jul 1776 Congress declines to give Washington direction for defense of NYC, citing confidence in his judgement.
    • 22 Jul 1779 British-allied Mohawk Chief Brant defeats forces responding to his attack in Neversink Valley, New-York.
  • Townsends:
  • This pilastered fieldstone chimney, probably one of the most elaborate to survive from early New England (Eleazer Arnold House, 1693).
  • Lots to see meandering around the [Cape Breton} island by Rannie Gillis. St. Peter’s, about an hour’s drive from Sydney on Route 4, is a small village (population of 750) situated on a narrow strip of land that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Bras d’Or Lake. The United Empire Loyalists who replaced them decided to fortify the location, and by 1787 Fort Dorchester had been built. Read more…
  • Georgian Papers in the Royal Library. The present Royal Library owes much of its shape, and indeed its very existence, to the Hanoverians. The Old Royal Library, compiled between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, was presented to the newly formed British Museum in 1757 by George II. Its replacement, the King’s Library of George III, was likewise given to the British Museum by George IV in 1823. William IV re-established the Royal Library at Windsor Castle in the 1830s, housing it in the Queen’s Apartments on the north side of the Castle. The new Royal Library brought together the private libraries of George III from Windsor Castle and Kew Palace, and the library of George IV, held at his London residence, Carlton House. Read more…
  • Pretty in pink firescreen (National Gallery of Art, Washington), Kaufman Collection. Serpentine floral silk brocade with precious metal warp floats, and mahogany frame, Philadelphia 1765-1775.
  • After 1770, a more relaxed approach to a woman’s wardrobe included a short, fitted jacket known as a caraco. These jackets were often worn with a fichu (a triangular scarf) and paired with a quilted petticoat or a fashionable skirt.
  • 18th Century dress, rare robe volante “Flying dress” c.1730 via Palais Galliera, Paris
  • 18th Century wedding dress with quilted petticoat, 1742
  • 18th Century dress, robe à la polonaise, c.1780
  • 18th Century dress, Robe a la Francaise, 1770
  • Two 18th Century dresses & accessories, 1770-1790
  • 18th Century women’s Robe à la Française and gentleman’s court suit ca.1770
  • 18th Century men’s silk suit and waistcoat, c.1790
  • 18th Century men’s shot silk suit c.1790 altered c.1805
  • 18th Century men’s 3 piece court suit, French, c.1760
  • 18th Century men’s waistcoat, embroidered with an array of insects & florals c. 1790
  • 18th Century embroidery details up close from a man’s coat, c.1780’s

Last Post: Nancy Fitzgerald Crosbie, UE

Nancy always said that on the day that she departed this mortal coil there would be conditions: she’d have to have a fun day with her family, she’d have to be on a cruise ship and she’d have to pass away in her sleep. So, as it happened all of these conditions were met on July 11, 2018, and her departure for Heaven happened while she slept, after a fun day with her family while sailing from Montreal to Boston and while on her favourite cruise ship. To know Nancy was to love her. She had a huge heart and the person who filled quite a bit of it was her husband of 56 years, Doug. Their children, Susan (Michael Jennings), Scott (Chalalai) and grandsons Alex, Evan and Jacob Jennings filled up quite a bit of the remainder but she always had room for more friends and dogs.

Nancy, a proud alumna of the Hospital for Sick Children’s 1960 School of Nursing, was employed by Peel Memorial Hospital in Brampton for 25 years, retiring in 1998. Nancy and Doug then began their global travels, eventually travelling to almost 50 countries. Nancy, a cradle Anglican, was a very active member of St.James Anglican Church in Dundas. She loved to read and recently researched her United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada roots leading to her receiving her UE designation.

In addition to her family, Nancy will be greatly missed by her book club buddies, the Hospitality Crew and Knitwits at St. James, and her fabulous group of Sick Kids classmates who recently celebrated their 57th anniversary. A Celebration of Nancy’s Life will be held at ST. JAMES ANGLICAN CHURCH, 137 Melville St., Dundas on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Family will receive friends from 11 a.m., until the time of Service at 12 noon, followed by a reception in the Dundas Room.

…Canon David Ricketts, Counsellor, Hamilton Branch