“Loyalist Trails” 2018-52: December 30, 2018

In this issue:
More Loyalist Tales of the Unexpected, by Stephen Davidson
The Story of Ezekiel Younglove, his Estranged Wife Sarah, and Family (Part 3)
Borealia: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish: Networks of Diaspora
JAR: Rediscovering British Surveyor John Hills
JAR: Christmas Night, 1776 – How Did They Cross?
The Junto: New Orleans at 300: A Year in Review and a Look to the Future
Ben Franklin’s World: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents & Treats
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: Eleanor Eva Knapp
Editor’s Note


More Loyalist Tales of the Unexpected

© Stephen Davidson, UE

When the conversation lags at your next high society soiree, toss out this story recorded by Linda Grant DePauw in her 1975 book Founding Mothers. Elizabeth Flanagan, an ardent Patriot, operated a tavern at Four Corners, New York. While she had an “unbounded love for her adopted country”, Flanagan had a “total disregard of all the decencies of language”. She also liked to mix drinks.

Her most famous concoction was a blend of fruit juice, rum and rye. When she served this drink to a French officer (and an ally of the new United States), Flanagan decorated it with a feather that she had pulled from the rooster belonging to a Loyalist neighbour. The officer raised the glass and made a toast: “Vive le Coq’s Tail”. And thus was born the cocktail – a Patriot innovation named for its Loyalist trimmings.

While Flanagan was busy running her tavern in New York, Mary Poynton was occupied in the same task in Trenton, New Jersey. As she served her customers, Mary also “rather spoke her mind too plain” about the rebellion, but unlike Flanagan, Poynton was a Loyalist through and through. Mary had become Mrs. Bereton Poynton on September 22, 1772. Her new husband, a British major with experience in the Seven Years War, left Mary two years later to assume a position in Jamaica.

In his absence, local rebels tried to convince Mary to write to Bereton to persuade him to join the Patriot cause, promising that he would be made a brigadier-general. Why did they ever think that an outspoken Loyalist would even consider penning such a letter?

In her husband’s absence, Mary’s reputation as a “Tory” grew to such an extent that she was put on a list of over 1,700 New Jersey Loyalists. She and the wife of a family friend were the only two women on the list. These Loyalists were charged with a number of “crimes”, ranging from refusing to take the Patriot oath of allegiance to seeking British protection to taking up arms against the Continental Army. Some were fined, others were put in prison, and a few were executed. Over the course of the first years of the revolution, Patriots seized Mary’s Mary tavern and the two houses that she rented out.

Bereton Poynton finally left Jamaica for New Jersey in 1777, and took Mary to England, safe from Patriot persecution. Whatever the awkward three-year separation might suggest about the state of their marriage, it is interesting to note that when the Poyntons appeared before the loyalist compensation board in 1784, it was Mary – and not her husband – who sought recognition as a Loyalist and who hoped to be repaid for the losses that she suffered in the revolution.

In her petition, the service of Mary’s husband is not the focus of her hearing – a reversal of the typical loyalist compensation claim that entirely ignored the service and suffering of wives. In the end, the British government allowed the Poyntons £775 for their claim of £1,764. Five years later, in a second memorial that Mary made to the crown, the loyal tavern-keeper said that she and her husband were soon to be separated. Was it her habit of speaking “her mind to plain” ? Or had Bereton’s long absences cooled their initial attraction?

While the aforementioned individuals all spoke out in their own ways during the American Revolution, there were other Loyalists who had to be coaxed to share their stories. Some aspects of their lives were so painful, it is not difficult to understand why they would not recount what they had witnessed until 30 years had passed.

Warwick Francis was just eleven years old when he escaped from Aaron Jellot who had enslaved him in Charlestown, South Carolina. Making his way to New York City, Warwick found work helping a carpenter in the British service. At age 16, he was recognized as a Black Loyalist by General Musgrave and boarded the Pallisar, a refugee evacuation ship, on September 13, 1783. The teenager was one of nine Black Loyalist passengers that were bound for the mouth of the St. John River.

The records for the next eight years of Warwick’s life are silent until December 1782, when the 24-year old was among hundreds of Black Loyalists from New Brunswick who sailed for Halifax in preparation for a longer trip across the Atlantic to found the colony of Sierra Leone.

After a number of years in Sierra Leone, Warwick Francis was appointed as a peace officer by Governor Ludlam. A subsequent colonial governor made Francis a liaison officer with the Indigenous people of Sierra Leone. The Black Loyalist was obviously highly respected by those in power as well as those who attended his Baptist chapel services.

In 1812, a British agricultural magazine reported on the quality of indigo that Francis was producing in Sierra Leone, indicating that the Black Loyalist was enjoying success as an indigo farmer in his new country. The magazine reported that Francis’ indigo was “not at all inferior to that sent by the East India Company”.

But 1812’s greatest revelation concerning Francis had to do with what he had witnessed as a slave in South Carolina. At age 45, he opened up about the horrific treatment of Africans that he had witnessed in Charleston in the 1770s.

“I have also seen Joseph Belseford in the same county chain two of his slaves and make them walk on a plank at a mill pond and those two got drowned … Belseford gave a man 360 lashes and then washed him down with salt and water, and after that took brand that he branded his cattle with and make the brand red-hot and put it on his buttocks the same as you would brand a creature … “

“John Drayton: I have seen him take his slave and put them in a tierce {barrel} and nailed spikes in the tierce and roll down a steep hill …. Many poor {pregnant} women which I have seen likely to be deliver the child and oblige to {wear} a mouth piece {to prevent them from stealing food and eating it}… I have seen them with a thumbscrew screwed until the blood gushed out of their nails. This I have seen at Isaac MacPherson’s … this is what I have said I am an eye witness to it, it is not what I have heard.”

It is sobering to consider that hundreds – if not thousands – of other Black Loyalists carried such memories of slavery with them for the remainder of their lives.

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

The Story of Ezekiel Younglove, his Estranged Wife Sarah, and Family (Part 3)

By Hugh Cowan, August 2018 (Revised October 2018)

In the year 1810, John Barber and James Watson came from Pennsylvania, and took up land. They remained here for two or three months, and then returned to the United States. In the following year Mr. Barber came back, bringing with him his wife and family. Burgess Swisher accompanied him, but James Watson did not come back till 1812. About the same time James Best, James Burwell, David Watson and Charles Benedict settled in the section. Others who settled during the next five years were Joseph Vansythe, Ezekiel Younglove, Richard Barret, and about 20 others (This is from Williams Family History)

Younglove, Ezekiel

Event: Living

Year: 1815

Place: York (Toronto) Inc Militia Regt Province of record source : Ontario Comments: Private (1st Company) deserter.

Source: Redcoated Ploughboys, (extracts of the Incorporated Militia Muster Listings from 1813-1815). (Author: Richard Feltoe)

The three items above as a time line seem to cover the period from 1812/13 to 1818/19; remember there were only two Ezekiel’s and the other one wasn’t born yet. We can’t pass by the name of Col. Talbot without comment. He was a Veteran of the 1812 War. After the war he took on the role as the go-to guy for settlers in Long Point and London Middlesex; he was known to be a tough guy to deal with and always seemed to get things to go his way. He is honoured by having a road and town named after him. He built his own castle-like home on Lake Erie. He originally came to Canada as an aide to Governor John Graves Simcoe and was granted 5000 acres of land for distribution in Elgin Co.

We have nothing on Ezekiel again until 1830 although he may have lived in York (Toronto) and maybe with his Bowman daughters in Burford. Then he bought land in Burford Twp. Brant Co. Ezekiel bought lot 9 Con 14 on 31 Jan 1831, 100 Acres from John Colver (no age is attached to these transactions). He wrote his last will on 10 Feb 1830 in the Town of Simcoe, Charlotteville Twp. then part of the London District, signed in his own hand writing. This Will was witnessed by a bevy of friends and neighbours. We are not sure of his exact date of death but it was prior to 20 Feb 1832 when the Will was read. He gave to his eldest son John Younglove 5 Pounds Sterling (page One). He gave to his granddaughter Catherine Bowman (page two) 50 Acres the West quarter of lot 9 Con 14 and to his Grandson George Bowman (page 2 & 3) the east Quarter and named him Executor of his Will. We have all 5 Pages of this will. It’s likely the land gift and personal effects to Catherine were a sign of affection as she was barely a teen at that time, as so indicated in the Will.

So now the will has been read and it indicates in no uncertain terms that this is Ezekiel Younglove of Thorold. We have John Younglove the eldest son of Ezekiel & Sarah and Catherine & George Bowman and their grandchildren who are the children of Dorcas (Jacob) & Mary (John) Younglove Bowman. You can’t have Bowman Grandchildren without having Bowman son’s-in-Law; it is fact that his two daughters married Bowman brothers.

So how and why did Sarah his wife & son David think he was dead??? Was it under the assumption of Ezekiel’s death that she re-married? Both David & Sarah wrote on more than one occasion that he was deceased. It’s obvious that his son John stayed close to his father due the fact that he was gifted in the Will (no other child was mentioned).

Researching this family has been a challenge but none the less interesting. I’m not sure it’s the end of the story by any means. Maybe we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of difficulty between Husband & Wife in the sale of lot # 135 on 27 Jan 1800 the note wife Bars Her Dower was inserted on the Deed Abstract buy /sell agreement. It is sheer speculation on my part but keeping in mind the problems written above thing may have been falling apart in 1800. Below is what I found out and what the legal terms are. This applied then and still does today.

Bar her Dower: When a woman gives up her right to lands which her husband owned she “bars her dower.” This is done whenever his land is sold and is shown in the land record. If this is done it could be for many reasons such as; divorce, adultery, death.

Dower: A woman’s right in lands which her husband owned or had an equitable title to was protected by dower – an interest that lasted until her death. Upon marriage a man’s land immediately became subject to dower, or upon a husband becoming the registered owner of land in which his wife had a dower interest.

Any questions please contact me, there are still many questions unanswered.

PS: I have copies of Ezekiel’s will, all his land titles Thorold & Burford, Original patent letters for Sarah, John, & David….

Revised 8 Oct 2017 (Parts rewritten for clarity 30 Aug 2018)

…Hugh Cowan, UE; 4th great Grandson; Assiniboine Branch

Borealia: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish: Networks of Diaspora in Early-Twentieth Century Northeastern North America

By Patrick Mannion on 17 December 2018

On October 4th, 1920, Irish-Canadian nationalist Katherine Hughes arrived in St. John’s, the capital and chief port of the Dominion of Newfoundland. Her objective was to establish a branch of the Self-Determination for Ireland League (SDIL) – a Canadian organization designed to win popular support for Irish independence during the peak of the Anglo-Irish War (1919-1921), and to connect those of Irish birth and descent overseas to a broader, transnational movement for Irish freedom. St. John’s was the final stop on Hughes’ British North American “Facts About Ireland” tour, which saw the establishment of dozens of SDIL branches in cities and towns across Canada. The League attracted thousands of members through 1920 and 1921, while countless more took part in its various meetings, lectures, rallies, and other events.

In St. John’s, Hughes lectured to over one-thousand people at the Methodist College Hall on Long’s Hill. The event was a resounding success. Reporting to the leader of the nationalist movement in Ireland and President of the re-established Irish Republic, Éamon de Valera, she noted that: “Both the organizational meeting and the public meeting were splendid. The latter was the most representative I have had outside of Washington. […] Political leaders – the big men of the government – the leader of the opposition, judges, editors, merchants, financiers, clergy, and of course the rank and file [were present]. Many converts to the cause were made.” She concluded her report by stating that Newfoundlanders had “the warmest Irish hearts I have met outside of Ireland.[…] Poor Newfoundland, so much like Ireland in kind hearts, in predominance of Irish blood and accent, and has also been a land of exploitation of the many by the few.”

Read more.

JAR: Rediscovering British Surveyor John Hills

by Adam E. Zielinski, 27 December 2018

While conducting research for my essay on General Washington’s plight in the New Jersey short hills in the spring of 1777, I was fortunate to have stumbled upon a series of maps held at the David Library of the American Revolution in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. These maps, twenty reprinted copies in all, focus attention on the New Jersey towns the British occupied during the war. Reprinted for the bicentennial by the Library of Congress, the impressive manuscripts caught my imagination. And more so, the author of these maps, John Hills, caught my curiosity. Who was he? How did he do all of these surveys and sketches? I had never heard of Mr. Hills, but his talent was evident enough in his work.

The professions of surveying and being a draughtsman, someone who makes detailed drawings, usually fell within the realm of engineering. Formal training for British military engineers was conducted under the guidance of the Board of Ordnance in London, who used the Drawing Room at the Tower of London to train young cadets in engineering. The Royal Artillery Academy at Woolwich also trained cadets who could begin as early as the age of ten. The work of a draughtsman, or draftsman in modern spelling, employed an established set of measuring scales.

Read more.

JAR: Christmas Night, 1776 – How Did They Cross?

William M. Welsch, 24 December 2018

When the two columns of the Continental Army slammed into Trenton at 8 a.m. on Thursday, December 26, surrounding and capturing most of the Hessian garrison, new life was breathed into a faltering revolution. But how did they get there?

In late 1776, Washington’s greatest fear was that a hard freeze of the Delaware River would enable the British to march across and capture the colonial capital at Philadelphia. The river had frozen over lightly on December 23, but had broken up 48 hours later. He also realized that enlistments for many of his troops expired at the end of the year. He and his advisors were cognizant of the need for a bold stroke to revive the war effort. In mid December, the commander-in-chief began to formulate that bold strike – an attack against the 1500 Hessians garrisoned at Trenton. He wrote, “Christmas-day at night, one hour before day is the time fixed upon for our attempt on Trenton.” Washington’s plan called for three coordinated, simultaneous river crossings, with two columns attacking Trenton, while the third provided security against an enemy counter-thrust from the south. Those efforts led by Col. John Cadwalader and Gen. James Ewing below Trenton were mostly unsuccessful.

While many participants wrote of the crossing in letters and memoirs, most soldiers mentioned only the weather or the icy river. Almost nothing seems to have survived about the actual mechanics of the event. I’ve arrived at many of the conclusions in this article after years of studying the literature of the crossing, many visits to the site, and conversations and correspondence with professional and avocational historians. Unfortunately, many of the details of this historic night will never be known.

Read more.

The Junto: New Orleans at 300: A Year in Review and a Look to the Future

By Philippe Halbert 28 December 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on this year and its meaning for a place that has become near and dear to my heart (and in-progress dissertation): New Orleans. Founded by the French in 1718, Louisiana’s largest city has been celebrating its tricentennial for months and in a way that only New Orleans can. Ranked number one on the New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2018” list, New Orleans continues to attract first-timers curious to discover “America’s most foreign city.” Repeat visitors, myself included, just can’t get enough, although my trips have taken me beyond Bourbon Street, from the attic of the city’s colonial-era Ursuline convent to the notarial archives of Orleans Parish, hidden within a twenty-story office building a stone’s throw from the Superdome. My own excursions aside, how exactly have we gone about celebrating, remembering, and thinking about the history of early New Orleans in 2018? What does the future hold?

In honor of its tricentennial, New Orleans has reclaimed this history in different ways that stand to interest early Americanists. In May, the Junto covered New Orleans, the Founding Era, an exhibition curated by Erin M. Greenwald at The Historic New Orleans Collection. Focused on the early years of settlement, The Founding Era addressed topics including Franco-Amerindian relations, forced immigrations to Louisiana, and the monopoly of the French Company of the Indies. Located in the Warehouse District a few blocks from the French Quarter, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art unveiled Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 in March as an introduction to the city’s first documented painter, Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents & Treats

In this episode we explore the origins of Santa Claus and the important contributions 17th-century Dutch colonists made to North American culinary traditions with Peter G. Rose, author of Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats.

Peter takes us on an exploration through American culinary history and the festive traditions of Christmas and Santa Claus. She reveals which “American” foods have Dutch origins; Why the Dutch have long celebrated St. Nicholas’ Day; And, how Dutch St. Nicholas Day traditions evolved into the present-day American traditions of Christmas and Santa Claus.

Listen to the podcast.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • The Town and Harbor of Halifax in Loyalist Days“, published April 25, 1777 by John Baydell
  • Historic Nova Scotia has a Christmas treat for you: we’ve curated a tour of holiday-themed stories from Halifax’s history – skating, sledding, sleigh rides, sweet treats, and songs a-singing! A good read by the fire with family & friends. Merry Christmas!
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 28 Dec 1781 Lt. Col Henry Lee plans attack on British troops on John’s Island, SC; plan fails due to high water.
    • 27 Dec 1776 News of Washington’s victory at Trenton reaches Philadelphia, raising spirits.
    • 27 Dec 1782 On this day after Yorktown, is the Battle of Cedar Bridge (Tavern) near modern Barnegat New Jersey. Infamous loyalist John Bacon attacked Patriot militia trying to capture him. Bacon was wounded, but escaped.
    • 26 Dec 1776 Patriot forces rout Hessians at Trenton, giving the rebels a crucial victory over the British.
    • 25 Dec 1776 Washington crosses into New-Jersey from Pennsylvania, exploiting Hessians’ Christmas celebrations.
    • 24 Dec 1776 Washington’s army issued three days’ provisions in preparation for march to banks of the Delaware.
    • 23 Dec 1783 “Having now finished the work assigned to me, I retire from the great theatre of action.” -G. Washington
    • 22 Dec 1775 Esek Hopkins,  onetime failure as slave ship captain, appointed commander in chief of Continental Navy
  • Townsends:
  • The World’s First Christmas Stamp & The Canadian Knight Who Accidentally Created It – fascinating story; equally fascinating man.
  • housed at Historic Deerfield 1760s brocaded silk court dress & petticoat has a timeless appeal. There is a pleasing balance & harmony in this ensemble – all the parts come together to form a cohesive whole. Read more…
  • 18th Century dress, robe à la francaise showcasing the sack back, 1760’s
  • Lush, emerald green dress began as Spitalfields silk damask wedding dress, worn by Rebecca Tailer for her Boston wedding to Rev. M. Byles, 1747 Altered, clumsily, c1830s-40s, most likely for a fancy dress event
  • 18th Century dress, robe à la polonaise with Matching Petticoat, c.1780
  • 18th Century dress, Robe à l’Anglaise, French, 1785-1790
  • 18th Century man’s suit, pink silk, silver brocade with rich embroidery in gold, 1780 via Swiss National Museum
  • Men’s 18th Century waistcoat, ca 1750 France
  • Cooking has long been a hallmark of the holiday season. With the Port of Yorktown less than a week from Bermuda by ship, oranges were relatively easy to come by for a dish of Orange Loaves like this one made by historical interpreters at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Last Post: Eleanor Eva Knapp

October 9, 1926 – December 18, 2018

At Springdale Country Manor on Tuesday December 18, 2018, at the age of 92. Beloved wife of Harold Knapp and the late Bruce Wesley. Dear mother of David Wesley (Constance) of Peterborough, Stephen Wesley (Susan) of Peterborough, Step-mother of Susan Eberle (Gary) of Scarborough and the late David Knapp (Lynda). Loving grandmother of Susannah, Samuel, Rebecca, Adam, David, James, Christopher, Nicholas, Marcus and great grandmother of nine. Sister of the late Bert Johnston (Ada) of Bowmanville.

Eleanor was a long time Pharmacist in the Peterborough area, retiring from the Medical Centre. She was always proud of her contribution as a Farmerette during World War II. Friends will be received at the COMSTOCK-KAYE LIFE CELEBRATION CENTRE, 356 Rubidge Street on Friday December 21, 2018 from 9:45 am – 10:45 am. Funeral service to follow in the chapel at 11:00 am. Interment Lakefield Cemetery. In memory of Eleanor, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society. Online condolences may be made at www.comstockkaye.com.

Eleanor and Harold have been faithful attendees at our Kawartha Branch meetings.

…Bob McBride

Editor’s Note

This morning we have a very light dusting of snow on the ground; the first since before the winter solstice; it will not last the day. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve – another year, already.

I extend my personal appreciation to all those who put a little – or a lot – into their involvement with Loyalist story, whether as researchers, historians, authors, and/or with UELAC branches informally, or more formally on committees or in executive roles, and/or on the UELAC executive or committees. Thank you for helping to preserve, and promote, our Loyalist history.