“Loyalist Trails” 2018-45: November 11, 2018
In this issue:
– Today is Remembrance Day
– Vimy Pilgrimage Award
– Four Suntanned Loyalists in Halifax: Part Two, by Stephen Davidson
– Comment from Part 1 of Suntanned Loyalists
– The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776
– JAR: Who was Captain Marsh?
– Behind the Scenes in the Chapel Royal: The Chapel Royal Memorandum Book
– Atlantic Loyalist Connections: The Case of Zimri Armstrong, Part Two
– Borealia: Absence Makes the Art Go Ponder
– Dundas County (ON) Archives Commissioned
– Where in the World?
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
+ Responses re Rev. War Hessians or Descendants Who Served in War of 1812
Today – Sunday, 11 November 2018 – is the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One. Let us not forget.
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The Vimy Foundation created the Vimy Pilgrimage Award to recognize the actions of young people who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to volunteer work through positive contributions, notable deeds, or bravery that benefits their peers, school, community, province, or country.
The Vimy Pilgrimage Award consists of a fully funded week-long educational program in Belgium and France to study Canada’s tremendous First World War effort. The program, scheduled for April 2-10, 2019, is offered by the Vimy Foundation and features daily visits to important First World War sites including museums, cemeteries, and historic battlefields. A total of 20 students will be selected for the 2019 program. The award deadline is November 18, 2018, midnight (Pacific time).
Read more about the details.
© Stephen Davidson, UE
Following the American Revolution, Alexander Kidd had made the Bahamian island of New Providence his home. As he made his claim for compensation, Kidd would have spoken with a Scottish brogue — he had only immigrated to Philadelphia in 1766. A shopkeeper when “the troubles” began, Kidd was not shy in declaring his support for the British crown.
In the fall of 1777, British troops advanced on Philadelphia, which by this time had become the capital city of the new United States. Kidd went out to meet the king’s army at Germantown, a British outpost near the capital and offered his services. During the time that the British occupied Philadelphia, Kidd provided Colonel William Erskine, the quartermaster general under Lord Cornwallis, with information on Patriots and their activities.
Kidd’s loyalty eventually cost him his marriage. All of his in-laws were Patriots, and Kidd’s actions in 1777 were the last straw for his wife; she left him that year. Mrs. Kidd later remarried without bothering to get a formal divorce from her Loyalist husband.
When the British withdrew from Philadelphia, Erskine advised Kidd to stay in the city where –despite his Loyalist stance– he was able to continue operating his store. In 1780, he hired a vessel, sailed it to Suffolk, Virginia and there filled it with 1,350 barrels of “naval stores” (including tar and pitch). But instead of returning to Philadelphia, Kidd’s ship set its course for British headquarters in New York City.
Patriots intercepted the ship and put its crew (and Kidd) in jail in Williamsburg. Kidd was transferred to a prison in Philadelphia where he was incarcerated for five months. During this time, rebels seized the Loyalist’s furniture and sold it off “at public vendue”. The Patriot council banished Kidd to St. Kitts in the West Indies after he paid a bond of £60,000 as a guarantee that he would not return to the colony for the remainder of the revolution.
Kidd must have liked the West Indies’ lifestyle. After a brief visit to New York in the summer of 1783, he set sail for the Bahamas and settled on the island of New Providence. Whether he ever recovered his bond of £60,000 from Philadelphia’s Patriots goes unrecorded.
The fourth loyal refugee to make the journey from the Bahamas to Nova Scotia in the summer of 1786 was Richard Pearis (pronounced “Paris” and often misspelled as “Peavis”). The son of Irish immigrants who initially made Virginia their home, Peavis became the first white man to settle in South Carolina’s Greenville County. Although he ultimately found sanctuary in the Bahamas, the only site named in this Loyalist’s honour is Paris Mountain, a 609.6 metre peak in South Carolina.
In 1765, Pearis established a trading post in territory that belonged to the Cherokee people. Within five years’ time, he had acquired 100,000 acres of Native land as well as an Indigenous lover and son. (Tradition says that this woman’s name was Pratchy Hatton; their son was named George). Pearis also had a European wife named Rhoda who had three children by him: Richard Junior, Margaret, and Sarah. The family’s plantation on the Reedy River was comprised of the Pearis home, storehouses, a trading post and a grist mill. It was also home to 14 enslaved Africans, 200 head of cattle, 250 hogs, 14 sheep and goats, and 21 horses.
Pearis had served with the British forces in the Seven Years’ War and was respected by the Cherokee people. When the revolution broke out, both South Carolina’s Patriots and Loyalists hoped that the influential landowner would choose to fight for their side in the war. Pearis’ motivation in becoming a Loyalist has been a matter of debate. Did he side with the British because they offered him a better military rank than the rebels? Or was it Britain’s promise to give large portions of South Carolina to the Cherokee nation at the end of the war?
By July of 1776, Pearis and 260 Loyalist militia men and Indigenous warriors had attacked a nearby rebel fort. Although their efforts were unsuccessful, Pearis went on to become instrumental in “dispersing” 700 rebels in the Ninety-Six District. When the fighting was all over, the Patriots broke the truce they had signed and captured both Pearis and his son George. They put the two in Charleston, South Carolina’s jail where Richard spent nine months in irons.
With Pearis behind bars, 400 Patriots under the command of Colonel John Thomas seized and burned down his plantation in Greenville Country, claiming that it was a stronghold for Indigenous and Loyalist forces. The soldiers looted the home, and physically abused Pearis’ wife and children. Thomas forced the family to march 25 miles on foot without food or hats.
After being imprisoned for three days without food, Pearis’ wife and children were then put into an uncovered wagon and sent 100 miles further away to a rebel community where they had to fend for themselves without money or provisions. Writing about his family after the war’s conclusion, Pearis said, “They were then obliged for three years during my absences on duty to be depending on Charitable People added to their own Industry for their Living, and under continual Apprehension of being massacred.”
Patriots eventually released Pearis from jail on the condition that he remain neutral for the rest of the war. He returned to his plantation to find everything destroyed and his family missing. Fearing for his life, Pearis first went to Charleston to seek British protection, and then found sanctuary in the backcountry among the Indigenous people. With six other companions, the Loyalist eventually made his way to Pensacola, West Florida, where –in 1777– he became a captain of the West Florida Loyalists.
~The conclusion to this account of the four Bahamian Loyalists who sought compensation in Halifax will be featured in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
From the references in last week’s Loyalist Trails to the Williams family and the link to the Bahamas. As a brief background, thanks to ‘23 & Me’ I had found a second cousin on my Dad’s side (Williams) who told me earlier this year that she thinks there is a Bahamas connection for ‘our’ Williams. My Dad, Frank Williams (b 1899), grew up in Georgetown, British Guiana. Who knows what might develop for my ‘Williams clan’.
The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776: An Episode in the American Revolution, by Ernest Clarke (Mcgill-Queens University Press, Jan. 1, 1999). Available new and used.
Clarke describes events in Nova Scotia leading up to the siege of Fort Cumberland by the Continental army in 1776 and argues that from the beginning of hostilities Nova Scotians’ primary loyalty was to Britain. He examines the attitudes of the various players in the region – New England planters, Acadians, Native peoples, Yorkshiremen, and Scots-Irish – and their responses to the call to arms issued by the revolutionary forces in the thirteen colonies. Clarke is the first to take the Nova Scotia patriots seriously and explain their motives instead of damning them as rebels. An in-depth study of a British colony’s reaction to and ultimate rejection of independence, The Siege of Fort Cumberland will be of great interest to colonial historians in Canada and the United States.
by Todd W. Braisted, 18 October 2018
Many people involved in the American Revolution played but a short role in the long war. A John Babcock, for example, apparently served as an ensign in Capt. Peter Ruttan’s Company of the 4th Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers, but was taken prisoner previous to his actually being commissioned, and he never served again. All that is known of him was that he lived in Ramapo, “about 2 Miles from Sydman’s & ab’t ½ Mile from Parkman’s.”
Another officer of the New Jersey Volunteers was Henry Marsh, whose story can be pieced together from a number of disparate documents. The first mention of “Captain Marsh” is in a December 1776 writing by Sgt. Mathew Knaught, who confusingly described Marsh as living at both New Bridge and Ramapo. No such person appears on the existing muster rolls of the New Jersey Volunteers (which commence in November 1777), or on a list of officers of all of that Loyalist regiment’s battalions prepared by Brig. Gen. Cortland Skinner in February 1778. This would indicate that Captain Marsh’s service had come and gone within the first year of the battalion’s history.
What’s so special about the Chapel Royal? That phrase refers not to the building itself, but to the group of people responsible for running religious services for the monarch and their family. The Chapel Royal has been in place in one shape or another since the eleventh century, and continues to the present day. It is responsible for the smooth performance of religious services, a particularly important task given the monarch’s position as Head of the Church of England after the Reformation.
This memorandum book provides insight into the workings of the Chapel Royal under George I, George II, and George III. It contains a profusion of information about the chapel, including: a list of the officers of the Chapel Royal in 1721 and 1727, and memoranda about the order of services, including Maundy Thursday. It also includes notes from the 1740s about how and when to conduct services around great court events, like balls for Twelfth Night and the monarch’s birthday, as well as minutes of the Annual Chapter meeting (the governing body of the Chapel Royal), and financial accounts through the 1780s.
By Isabelle Goguen, 7 November 2018
From where we left off with Zimri Armstrong, a Black Loyalist who fought for the British, after the war he had indentured himself for two years to Samuel Jarvis in hopes of gaining the freedom of his wife and family; however, Jarvis abruptly left Saint John to return to Stamford, Connecticut. Having received no provisions, “being almost naked,” once the two years were up, Armstrong appealed to a Mr. Leonard only to learn that Jarvis sold his wife and family to a new master.
Armstrong, in desperation, appealed to a Mr. Knox, who went to Captain Whitmore. Despite the fact that other Loyalists, especially those that fought for Britain, would have received land and the resources needed to survive in British North America, all Whitmore could offer Armstrong was a bit of meat and flour since Armstrong could not present Whitmore with documents proving that he was indeed a freed man.
by Alan MacEachern, 31 October 2018
This summer, I curated “Missing the Island,” an exhibit at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. It tells of how PEI, its sandstone base worn away by the surrounding waters over the millennia, at some point broke free and now periodically floats around the North Atlantic, until the tides carry it back to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was this peripateticism that led Mi’kmaq passengers to name the isle Epekwitk, or “cradled on the waves.” The exhibit documents the history of how mapmakers and illustrators have attempted to capture the Island’s absence visually, while others, perhaps, have been utterly unaware of its existence.
The exhibit utilizes images from three eras: the 1500s-1600s, the mid-1800s to early-1900s, and today. The first of these will be of primary interest to Borealia readers. Jacques Cartier described Prince Edward Island as what has usually been translated as “the fairest land ’tis possible to see” (who knew that “’tis” was a standard 16th century French usage?) but as a considerable number of maps from this era make clear, PEI was not always possible to see.
A Nov. 4 occasion including: recognition for the “houseful” of extensive Loyalist genealogical material donated by the family of the late Lynne Cook of Morrisburg (while kept at the Iroquois-based Archives, those papers remain under the control of the St. Lawrence Branch of the United Empire Loyalists by special arrangement); and the contribution of a century’s worth of Chesterville Record editions with the blessing of the family of the previous publisher, the late Robin Morris.
IROQUOIS — Dundas County’s historic papers and documents — both public and private — now have a final resting place for posterity. Officially, the new Dundas County Archives won’t open its doors until the New Year. A plaque acknowledges the establishment of a “Lynne Cook” Research Room at the new archives. The St. Lawrence Branch of the United Empire Loyalists Association was represented by President Lorraine Reoch.
Where are Calgary Branch members Ivy Trumpour and Jack Twells?
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 email@example.com.
- From a UELAC Scholarship winner, Steph Walters @sas_walters: First full day on fellowship at the International Center for Jefferson Studies @TJMonticello. Nothing better than a rainy day in a gorgeous library!
- Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
- 9 Nov 1780 British attack Patriot encampment, resulting in wounding and capture of commander Major Wemyss, 20 dead.
- 8 Nov 1776 Washington gives Gen Greene permission to abandon Ft. Washington; Greene stays.
- 7 Nov 1775 Invade Canada, Quebec – HMS Lizard log entry: “Disembarked our Marines to Assist the Garrison. They being in want of regulars. . . sent on shore 100 Hand Grenades and 10 Fuses for the Use of the Garrison….”
- 7 Nov 1781 Patriot soldier shoots Loyalist during surrender negotiations at Cloud’s Creek SC, triggering massacre.
- 6 Nov 1777 HMS Syren runs aground off Pt. Judith CT, leading to capture of crew and weapons.
- 5 Nov 1776 Committee of Charlton MA asks state legislature for authority to protect evacuated Loyalists’ property.
- 5 Nov 1775, Continental Army commander in chief Gen George Washington condemns his troops’ planned celebration of the British anti-Catholic holiday, Guy Fawkes Night, as he was simultaneously struggling to win French-Canadian Catholics to the Patriot cause.
- 5 Nov 1775 Continental Congress issues first naval commission to Samuel Nicholas as a Captain of Marines.
- 5 Nov 1776 Committee of Charlton MA asks state legislature for authority to protect evacuated Loyalists’ property.
- 4 Nov 1782 American forces attach foraging party on John’s Island SC, last battle before Treaty of Paris drafted.
- 3 Nov 1777 Washington learns of conspiracy to convince Congress to replace him with Gates as Commander in Chief.
- 2 Nov 1776 American officer deserts to Lord Hugh Percy, delivers plans for Ft. Washington on Manhattan.
- 1 Nov 1765 Stamp Act takes effect, intented to pay for defense of Colonies.
- 31 Oct 1775 Cambridge, MA Gen George Washington tries to encourage re-enlistment in the Continental Army by reserving new supplies for any who commit to another year of service and promising each man time to visit his family during the winter.
- 20 October
- A Striking Persimmon Sack Back, c1760s. I was fortunate to tour the Casanova exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston this summer. It was a lavish and bold exhibition; a feast for the senses—as one might imagine for one with the appetites (many quite unsavory) of Casanova and the 18thcentury world he traversed. For this post, I focus on the striking persimmon orange robe a la francaise (or sack back) open robe with compere (a variation of a stomacher often with buttons like a waistcoat) front, double-flounced pagoda sleeve ruffles and pocket slits at each hip. It is two parts (robe, petticoat).
- The dress Abigail Adams wore for her portrait by Gilbert Stuart is on view now – w/ the painting!? @MHS1791 One of three extant ex. in exhibit Dress
- Elizabeth Bull [Price] silk thread embroidery on silk wedding petticoat. Maker was the wearer; worn in Boston in 1735; today in the collection of Bostonian Society. You can see this rare extant beauty MHS1791. Note at left corner of hem, the pattern has been drawn but the embroidery was never completed by Elizabeth Bull
- For blue Monday I’m posting this French fashion plate from the late 18th century. It should be about the jacket…but those boots! I would so wear those boots.
- Detail of 18th Century men’s embroidered waistcoat with frock coat buttons, c.1765
- 18th Century men’s 3 piece silk suit, 1780-1788
- A Muffin Man by Paul Sandby, who died on this day in 1809. This is part of his evocative London Cries series, which showcased London street scenes and the lives of ordinary Londoners rather than the rich and influential.
- Pair of women’s shoes covered in pink wool fabric with matching clogs of red Morocco leather. Embroidered in double rows of chain stitch to produce pale pink strips. c1700.
- On 3 Nov. 1789, President George Washington was in Portsmouth NH & noted there were “about 75 well dressed, & many of them very handsome Ladies” at a gala held in his honor. Did Sally Brewster Gerrish wear this shoe when she accompanied him via carriage?
- A very fine & large pair of French & Indian War period French double barrel flintlock holster pistols, ca. 1740
I’m not sure how much research you need for your screenplay. Quite a few Hessians soldiers settled in both what is now Quebec and Ontario, as well as in the United States after the American Revolution.
Hessians soldiers is a vast topic and there are many experts on this topic.
In Canada, many soldiers received military grants depending on their rank, and they married into and integrated with the neighbouring society. In Quebec many married into French families and sometimes their names were “Frenchisized.” But many others settled near German speaking Loyalists from Pennsylvania or New York, and again intermarried with neighbours.
Soldiers from the Revolution were generally too old to fight in the War of 1812, but certainly there would have been many sons of both Loyalists and soldiers of the Revolution who would have served in the War of 1812.
All males from 16 to 60 were automatically in the Militia, which usually meant a roll call once a year and a drill on the King’s birthday. Before and during the War of 1812, of course, militias were mobilized, and that meant every male form 16 to 60, but only the fit and generally the men under 40 would actually serve.
Some men did also enlist in the regular British regiment who were stationed in Canada such as the 100th Regiment of Foot, and others. But that is another thing from the militia.
There are many books on the topic, and again it depends where your screenplay takes place, because locations plays a great role. Also, after the War of 1812, many members of the active militia received land grants in Upper Canada as a reward.
A good book about the organization of the Militias in the war of 1812 is Gray, William. Soldiers of the King: The Upper Canadian Militia 1812-1815. Erin, Ont.: Boston Mills Press, 1995.
But there are other more recent books about the War of 1812 which discusses the different militias engagement, battles, etc.
Recent (and less recent) book about Hessians:
• Crytzer, Brady J. Hessians: Mercenaries, Rebels, and the War for British North America. Westholme Publishing, 2015.
• Merz, Johannes Helmut. The Hessians of Upper Canada. Hamilton, ON: German Canadian Historical Book Pub., 1997. (See the website based on the book.)
And also, a very important book for Quebec:
• Demarce, Virginia Easley. The Settlement of Former German Auxiliary Troops in Canada After the American Revolution. 1984.
Many Hessians settled in Quebec and there is a group of genealogists especially interested in them in Quebec. See books and website by Dominique Ritchot, who translated and augmented the book by Demarce.
Do not forget that many Hessians who were captured or who deserted also settled in the United States, especially in Pennsylvania and other German speaking area, where they also mixed with the general population. And some later moved to Upper Canada as well, so that it can be a bit difficult to track them down.
It really depends on how much research you are willing to do and where your film will take place. I hope this helps.
I just scored some great info from my wife’s friend: a book The Hessians of Quebec (not found in google) ….and I can see the German names becoming more French names.