“Loyalist Trails” 2018-32: August 12, 2018

In this issue:
Unshaken Amidst Peculiar Trials: The Loyalist in the Book of Common Prayer (Pt. 1), by Stephen Davidson
UE Loyalist John Howe
Bowman/Lampman Loyalist Families Leave Lasting Legacy: Dr. Arthur Spohn
Addendum: Capt. George Bennison, Loyalist of St. John
A Loyalist Perspective on the Cherry Valley Raid
JAR: A Visit to Old Fort Mercer on the Delaware
The Junto: From Platform to Publisher: Facebook, the Early American Open Press, and Alex Jones
Ben Franklin’s World: The Saltwater Frontier: Native Americans and Colonists on the Northeastern Coast
War-Time Treatment of Those With Opposing Views
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
From the Twittersphere and Beyond


Unshaken Amidst Peculiar Trials: The Loyalist in the Book of Common Prayer (Pt. 1)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

By the end of the American Revolution, approximately60,000 refugees had left their homes to begin life again either in Great Britain or other parts of its vast empire. Over the next fifty years, loyal Americans would surface in India as members of the military, in Upper and Lower Canada as members of the judicial system, in the Maritime Provinces as politicians and university founders, and in the West Indies as plantation owners. One loyalist who settled in England became the Lord Mayor of London; another was the first American to fly in a hot air balloon, while a third became the foremost portrait painter of his era. Another refugee found sanctuary in Bavaria where he was honoured with a statue in Munich’s English Gardens.

And one loyalist was honoured with a feast day occurring each year on August 12th. Recognized as an ecclesiastical pioneer, Charles Inglis is the loyalist you will find in the Book of Common Prayer.

The Book of Common Prayer has guided Anglicans in their worship services since 1549, providing vicars and congregants with psalms, prayers, ceremonial scripts, and the Christian calendar. Canadians received their own prayer book in 1918. But even those who are not part of the Church of England have been influenced by the language of the prayer book. Pledging to be faithful to someone “till death do us part,” mourning loved ones with the words “ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” and hoping for “peace in our time” all originated in the prayer book. So how did a loyalist refugee come to have a feast day listed in the Book of Common Prayer?

There was certainly nothing about Charles Inglis’ origins that would lead one to pick him out as one destined for greatness. Born the third son of an Irish clergyman in Glencolumbkille in 1734, Charles’ prospects in life seemed rather limited. His father died when he was eleven, removing a person of influence and means who could have helped him obtain a college education and a professional career.

In his early twenties, Charles immigrated to Pennsylvania where he served as a schoolteacher for three years. With his earnings, he was able to return to England, take divinity studies, and receive ordination as an Anglican priest. He became a missionary in Dover, Delaware, but whether this was his choice or an assigned task is not certain.

In 1764, Inglis made a move that would forever change the course of his life. He became the assistant rector of New York City’s Trinity Church. In addition to this improved professional situation, Charles also became a married man, making Mary Vining of Salem County, Virginia his wife. The thirty-year old rector’s world turned upside down before the year was out. Mary died while giving birth to twin daughters who did not long survive their mother.

Charles found love once more at age 39, marrying Margaret Cooke (14 years his junior) in May of 1773. Thanks to his new wife’s ample dowry, Charles became the owner of a number of farms valued at £10,000 in New York’s Ulster and Dutchess Counties. If one could conclude the Anglican rector’s biography at this point, it would have an almost fairy tale-like happy ending. However, the storm clouds of rebellion were gathering throughout the thirteen colonies – and Charles Inglis would find himself in the centre of the ensuing storm.

Sympathetic to the concerns of his fellow New Yorkers, Inglis wrote five letters acknowledging the legitimacy of the colonies’ grievances, and argued for a new constitutional relationship between Britain and its dependencies. He could not, however, condone a revolution.

A year later, when the Anglican minister published a rebuttal to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the New York Sons of Liberty burned as many copies as they could. Threats of violence against the clergyman only grew. In the spring of that year, Inglis received word that 150 armed patriot troops and their general, George Washington, would be worshipping at St. Paul’s, an outreach chapel of Trinity Church on Broadway. Patriot officers told Inglis to omit the usual prayers for the king or risk being shot.

Recalling that Sunday, Inglis wrote, “This Message was brought to me, & as You may suppose, I paid no Regard to it. On seeing that General not long after, I remonstrated against the Unreasonableness of his request . . . This Declaration drew from him an awkward Apology for his Conduct, which I believe was not authorized by Washington.”

Nevertheless, a local militia surrounded the chapel and rebel sympathizers plundered Inglis’ home. Fearing for the safety of his family, Inglis had Margaret and their two children move out of the city to Orange County. When King George III heard of all that Charles Inglis had endured, he sent him a Bible and Book of Common Prayer that had the royal monogram on its cover as tokens of his appreciation.

With the arrival of the British and their occupation of the city, it looked as if Inglis’ life would return to its former quiet pace. What peace there was only lasted a week. On September 21st, fire swept through the lower end of Manhattan, destroying between 400 and 1,000 buildings – one quarter of New York City. Most buildings that lay between Broadway and the Hudson River were in ruins – including the Inglis family’s home, Trinity Church, and the Anglican’s Charity School.

Despite the carnage around him, Charles Inglis organized a bucket brigade that doused the roof of St. Paul’s Chapel, keeping the flames at bay. Their efforts saved the ten year-old building.

On a cold Thursday in March of 1777, Charles Inglis – making his vows with a hand resting on the scorched ruins of Trinity Church – became the fourth rector of Trinity Church. Until the end of the revolution, the loyalist minister would lead the members of his parish in worship at St. Paul’s Chapel.

Life seemed to be taking a turn for the better for the rector of New York City’s largest Anglican congregation. In 1778, Inglis received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Oxford University. At the year’s end, he wrote, “The rebellion, be assured, is on the decline; its vigor and its resources are nearly spent, and nothing but a little perseverance, and a moderate share of prudence and exertion on the part of Britain, is necessary to suppress it totally.”

But hardships continued to hound Inglis. In addition to the defeat of British forces at the Battle of Yorktown the end of 1781, rebels seized the loyalist vicar’s rural properties and promised to his execute him should he still be in America after the British evacuation. Inglis’ oldest son died that January, and in the following year, Margaret passed away, leaving him with three motherless children between the ages of six and eight.

Within two months of his wife’s passing, Inglis tendered his resignation and preached his farewell sermon. The loyalist minister and his children were among the last refugees to flee New York in November of 1783.

The story of how Charles Inglis came to be in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer concludes in the next edition of Loyalists Trails.

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

(Editor’s note: Two centuries after the fire that almost levelled St. Paul’s Chapel, Inglis’ former church was once again threatened with destruction. On September 9, 2001, debris from the twin towers of the World Trade Centre fell into the streets of New York. A large tree in the churchyard saved St. Paul’s Chapel from being crushed by falling concrete and steel.)

UE Loyalist John Howe

On a recent visit to Halifax Brian McConnell UE stopped at the historic Old Burying Ground in the city situated on Barrington Street across from Government House. It was founded in 1774 and contains some 1,300 headstones including one to United Empire Loyalist John Howe, father of Nova Scotia Premier Joseph Howe. Watch a short video.

Bowman/Lampman Loyalist Families Leave Lasting Legacy: Dr. Arthur Spohn

Loyalist son, Dr. Arthur Spohn (1845-1913), became a medical pioneer. He still holds today the Guinness World Record for the largest tumor (328 pounds) ever removed with the patient surviving. He performed the first successful caesarian hysterectomy on a malacosteon (severe scoliosis) in the United States, and invented the rubber ring tourniquet for bloodless operations used in military field hospitals around the world. His snakebite remedy was requested as far away as India. In 1888 he carried a rabid patient to the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, where Dr. Pasteur saved the patient’s life and gave Dr. Spohn the rabies vaccine to bring back to America.

Who was Dr. Spohn and how did his Loyalist roots influence his remarkable achievements? Dr. Spohn’s family survived the brutal treatment of British Loyalists during the American Revolution. His great grandfather, Jacob Bowman and his family, were attacked by American rebels in the middle of a winter’s night. Their house was pillaged of every article except the bed on which his sick wife was giving birth, and left them with only the bed and one blanket. Half an hour after they took Jacob and his oldest child captive his wife gave birth to his youngest child, leaving his wife with an infant and six children. They would all have perished if friendly First Nations had not administered to them. While Jacob and his son were imprisoned, the family endured many hardships including near starvation. They fled to Upper Canada to help establish a new nation, “with their axes clear[ing] the forests and with their hoes plant[ing] the seeds of Canada’s future greatness.”* From these experiences this Loyalist family instilled the qualities of fearlessness, conviction and loyalty in their children while providing them all with an excellent education.

Jacob’s son Peter married Loyalist family member Magdalena Lampman. Tradition has it that the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was composed by a British officer billeted in the Lampman home, written to mock the disorganized rebels. Peter and his wife moved to Wilson Mills, later Ancaster, and established a school and church and raised their daughter Elizabeth with the values of hard work, Christian values, and loyalty to England. She responded to Dr. Egerton Ryerson’s request to chronicle “the cruel treatment by the professed friends of liberty, their privations, suffering, courage and industry in settling Canada.” Her words were chosen to be used on the United Empire Loyalist monument in Hamilton, Ontario, entitled “For the Unity of Empire.”**

Elizabeth married Philip Spaun/Spohn and together they had eleven children. The Bowman/Spohn family continued their close ties with the First Nations people. Jacob had been in the Indian Department during the French and Indian War and spoke several dialects. Two sons, Peter and Adam, served with Butler’s Rangers, wore Indian garments and also spoke several Indian dialects. Peter’s grandsons, Henry and Arthur Spohn, spoke the Mohawk language. Every spring the Mohawks moved through the territory and camped on the Spohn fields where the children played together. Later both Henry and Arthur had strong feelings about the mistreatment of the Native Americans in Texas and the brutal treatment they suffered at the hands of the United States Army.

Arthur’s family also played a major role in church history. They were strong Methodist who first hosted the church services, then helped establish Bowman Church, which served as the home base for Methodist ministers for sixty years. The Bowman Church hosted the first Canadian Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held Aug. 29, 1829, where they decided to create a Book Room (later Ryerson Press); to establish an Upper Canada Academy (later Victoria College); to publish a church newspaper, The Christian Guardian, and organized Canada’ first Total Abstinence Society. This church is also known as the “Sliding Church.” One of the Spohn relatives said they were the only family to help build a church, helped steal a church, helped burn one down and rebuild another.

Of Philip and Elizabeth’s children, three brothers, a sister and brother-in-law, and five nephews went to lawless Texas and made names for themselves. It is family lore that the Spohn men were doctors, lawyers and devils. These men and women brought their talents, skills and perhaps in some instances, their devilment to Texas. Dr. Arthur Spohn’s strong Loyalist values that were passed on to him through the family led to his remarkable career and legacy. In South Texas, where he drove miles in a buggy to perform surgery in primitive conditions on kitchen tables by kerosene lamps, stands now a modern hospital system named in his honor. The Christus Spohn Health System has six acute care hospital campuses, chest pain center, cancer center, stroke program, women’s health hospital, and six family health centers. This Loyalist family left a strong legacy and one that serves as a tribute today to the values instilled in them by their brave and fearless Canadian ancestors.


*Elizabeth Bowman Spohn letter to Dr. Egerton Ryerson, dated July 23, 1863. Ryerson incorporated Elizabeth’s letter into an article he wrote that was published as “Elizabeth Bowman Spohn” in the Christian Guardian in February 1875. Paul T. Harris submitted Elizabeth Spohn’s letter and Ryerson’s comments for publication in the Loyalist Gazette, and they appeared in the Fall 1997 issue on page 25.

**For the Unity of Empire

The United Empire Loyalists, believing that a Monarchy was better than a Republic, and shrinking with abhorrence from a dismemberment of the Empire, were willing rather than lose the one and endure the other, to bear with temporary injustice. Taking up arms for the king, they passed through all the horrors of civil war and bore what was worse than death, the hatred of their fellow-countrymen, and when the battle went against them, sought no compromise, but, forsaking every possession, excepting their honour, set their faces toward the wilderness of British North America to begin, amid untold hardships, life anew under the flag they revered. They drew lots for their lands and with their axes cleared the forest and with their hoes planted the seeds of Canada’s future greatness.

The book about Dr. Spohn and his family, entitled Dr. Arthur Spohn: Surgeon, Inventor, and Medical Pioneer, by Jane Clements Monday & Frances Brannen Vick with Charles W. Monday Jr. MD – introduction by Kenneth L. Mattox MD – will be available October 15 on Amazon.

Addendum: Capt. George Bennison, Loyalist of St. John

Since the article “Capt. George Bennison, Loyalist of St. John (Part 1)” was published in this newsletter in January 2014, a couple of important and fascinating sources have surfaced relating to its subject, Captain George Bennison. The first is an abstract of records from the New York Court of Vice-Admirality, in which it is stated that on February 17, 1782, the British privateer Jack o’the Lanthorne, George Bennison, Commander, with the Privateer Sukey, James Ridley, Commander, captured the American sloop Chance in Mockjack Bay, off the coast of Virginia, and two days later captured the 80 ton American ship Ceres. Both prizes were apparently brought into New York harbor. So in between being captured as a mate on a British ship in 1776 and leaving New York City for New Brunswick in 1783, George Bennison was the commander of a British privateer, probably calling New York City harbor his home port.

The second is a notice in the “foreign deaths” column of the “New-York Magazine” in 1794, of the death of Captain George Bennison of New Brunswick in Martinique. It does not say how he died, or if he died on sea or on land, but at least we now know that he did not die in debtor’s prison, but was released and allowed to continue his profession as commander of a ship on the high seas.

…Victor Bennison

A Loyalist Perspective on the Cherry Valley Raid

I read the material related to the Cherry Valley incident, as referenced in The Sullivan Expedition in the July 29 issue of Loyalist Trails. It was composed obviously from a Rebel (Patriot) perspective.

When the Loyalists and Indians arrived they found a number of American rebel officers that had given their parole to not take up arms. The Indians did not like the idea of defeating rebels, who then gave parole, only to find them under arms again. The basic idea was; “Why fight the same rebels a second time”. Thus the Indians took slaves and killed a number of women and children, as well as rebels.

The so-called massacre was, in fact, retaliation for rebels who lied about parole.

The same thing happens in any war. If you choose to break the rules – you pay the price.

It might be interesting to note that Butler’s Rangers trekked through deep snow in early November, 1778 in order to attack the fort in the Cherry Valley. I don’t think any of us today would have the fortitude to walk from Niagara to the Cherry Valley in winter!

My Loyalist ancestor, Jacob Teague had been with Walter Butler’s Company 10 of Butler’s Rangers up until the 24th of October, 1778. He subsequently joined the KRRNY and so was not with Company 10 when they attacked the Cherry Valley fort.

…David B. Clark, UE

JAR: A Visit to Old Fort Mercer on the Delaware

by Rand Mirante, 9 August 2018

A motorist travelling northbound through New Jersey along Interstate 295, which tracks the east bank of the Delaware River from the Delaware Memorial Bridge, passes opposite Philadelphia, and ends a short ways beyond Trenton, might think he or she is in Europe, based strictly on fleetingly observed exit signs rather than any resemblances evoked by the surrounding flatlands. Turn-off markers for towns such as Florence, Mantua, Berlin, Swedesboro, and even Runnemede flash by, creating an allusive and elusive sense of déjà vu. The most attention-getting sign, however, for this readership at least, does have a truly European connection. It’s the one for “Hessian Avenue,” and it commemorates the approximate approach-route traversed in 1777 by Col. Carl von Donop and his 1200 seasoned professionals drawn from three grenadier battalions, a fusilier regiment, and the corps of Jägers. They were headed towards their fatal and futile assault on the determined defenders of Fort Mercer, a critical link in the riverine defensive network that threatened to choke off the British high command’s ability to adequately supply its troops and the residents of occupied Philadelphia.

Read more.

The Junto: From Platform to Publisher: Facebook, the Early American Open Press, and Alex Jones

Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify removed the content of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services. These decisions to remove Jones’s content come amid a growing public conversation about the extent to which technology and social media companies should act as stewards of truth. Facebook claims that it is a neutral platform, not a publisher – a technology company, rather than a media company.

Zuckerberg is not the first to make this kind of claim. In 1731, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay for his Pennsylvania Gazette titled “Apology for Printers” that responded to some concerns that his readers had raised about the contents of one of his recent advertisements. As a printer, Franklin explained, he couldn’t pick sides in disputes over news or politics. These practices were common among colonial Anglo-American printers. Scholars call this model the “open press.”

The “open press” ideology remained dominant for several decades, until the Anglo-American imperial crisis of the 1760s and 1770s. In that era, many printers faced new pressure from readers and local leaders to excise apparent “falsehoods” from their pages. Patriots generally argued that the lies of their enemies – the British ministry, their Loyalist neighbours – were too dangerous to share.

In 1770, for example, the New York Patriot printer John Holt admitted that while he had published “Things on all Sides” in the past, he now felt that the press should be “subservient to… the public good.” As the political stakes of news escalated, Holt eventually declared in 1775 that he would only print pieces that “support… the cause of truth and justice.”

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: The Saltwater Frontier: Native Americans and Colonists on the Northeastern Coast

In this episode, Andrew Lipman, an Assistant Professor of History at Barnard College and the author of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast, leads us on an exploration of the northeastern coastline and of the Native American and European peoples who lived there during the seventeenth century.

During our exploration, Drew reveals details about the Native American and European peoples who lived along the New York-New England coastline during the seventeenth century; Northeastern Native American maritime life; And details about the development of the early American whaling industry.

Listen to the podcast.

War-Time Treatment of Those With Opposing Views

Perhaps you noticed in Richard Werther’s article, “The Canadian Patriot Experience,” that neither Allen nor Gosselin was flogged, tarred and feathered, or hanged. In fact, I don’t think any anglo- or franco-rebels were treated so. Properties were confiscated and rebels jailed – yes. But, they suffered no extreme measures so typical of the rebels’ treatment of loyalists.

On a similar note, convicted rebel spies, whether Canadians or Americans, were never executed in Quebec or Nova Scotia. Nor were escaped prisoners. The same cannot by any means be said of the rebelling colonies.

…Gavin Watt

Where in the World?

Where is Bob McBride, of Kawartha 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.

  • As a former student at Moira Secondary School in Belleville, Ontario, I read with interest the remarks by Constance Brummel Crooks on the situation with the renaming of my school (see Should Slave Owner John Walden Meyers Be Refused Recognition?).  Despite protests from alumni and community members (myself included), the board of education was determined to change the name of my school.  Although I wasn’t happy with changing the name to Meyers Creek Secondary School, I was glad that the board had at least chosen a name with historical significance as John Meyers was a founder of Belleville.  It seems to me that rejecting the Meyers name because he owned slaves was a knee-jerk reaction.  It was 1790, and slavery was still legal in British North America for another 45 years.  Also, by all accounts John Walden Meyers was kind to the slaves in his household.  Margaret Hammell UE
  • Reference “Only fitting that the United Empire Loyalist statue in Hamilton will front the provincial offences administration offices. from Loyalist Tails 5 August. The land for the old courthouse in Hamilton was donated to Wentworth county by my 3rd Great grandfather George Hamilton. The first Monday in August, being the Civic Holiday,  in Hamilton it is called George Hamilton Day, so fitting that this article is in this week .  George was a loyalist through his mother Catharine Askin Hamilton. He fought in the War of 1812 at Detroit, Queenston Heights, Lundy’s Lane and Chippawa.   Moved to the head of the lake in 1815 and gave the town its name. Canon David Ricketts UE, dricketts@cogeco.ca

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 11 Aug 1775 Washington sternly warns British commanders to improve treatment of POWs.
    • 10 Aug 1776 News of the Declaration of Independence reaches London. “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”
    • 9 Aug 1780 Spanish fleet captures 55 ships of British convoy, crippling East Indies commerce.
    • 8 Aug 1778 American land forces & French naval forces besiege Newport RI; land delays & weather defeat them.
    • 7 Aug 1782 Washington creates Purple Heart commendation for exceptional merit; awards only 3.
    • 6 Aug 1777 Patriot Gen. Herkimer mortally wounded in ambush; attempting to relieve besieged Fort Stanwix.
    • 5 Aug 1779 Bitter fight between Loyalist & Patriot forces for Bronx results in destruction & capture of Loyalists.
  • Townsend
  • A woman’s sack and petticoat of purple silk brocaded with a floral pattern in white with red centres, yellow, red and white and silver with red, and pink centres. The foliage is in green and the design is linked by vertical meandering trails in silver gilt. V&A.
  • Robe a la francaise, brocaded silk, with box (also called Watteau) pleats cascading from neck, worn over panniers, c. 1750-75.
  • 18th Century dress, Robe a l’Anglaise, c.1780’s
  • 18th CenturyCourt Mantua, silk woven in France 1753-55 dress made in England 1755-1760
  • 18th Century court suit for the young Alexander I, Russia, 1786. Pink silk with golden metal thread embroidery
  • Men’s 18th Century striped silk frock coat and embroidered waistcoat, 1790’s
  • 18th Century men’s waistcoat, 1780-1790, via V&A
  • 18th Century men’s waistcoat, 1730’s
  • Brocaded silk shoes, English, c. 1760s (?) with later alterations to heel in late 18th-early 19th, American. Worn in New Hampshire. Collection of The Warner House
  • Vibrant with high quality finish work, these c. 1770s brocaded silk buckle shoes exhibit a high Italian heel, oval toe and pattern matched heels & toes. By London Cordwainers James Adams