“Loyalist Trails” 2019-11: March 17, 2019

In this issue:
UELAC Conference: The Capital Calls — Thursday Daytime
New In The UELAC Store: Loyalist Family Name Badge
Loyalists Who Could Not See: Part 1 of 3, by Stephen Davidson
How Robert Morris’s “Magick” Money Saved the American Revolution
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: A General’s Reprimand: Hospital mismanagement in Halifax, 1778
Borealia: Ordinary Women – Jeanne Dugas of Acadie
JAR: Walking Skeletons – Starvation on Board the Jersey Prison Ship
The Junto: Does Size Really Matter? Searching for Early American Women in the Archives
Ben Franklin’s World: The Townshend Moment
UELAC Archives Missing Past Loyalist Gazette Issues – Can You Help?
UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently
Where in the World?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post: Wayne Spencer Scott, UE
      + Response re Donald Daniel McCrimmon


UELAC Conference: The Capital Calls — Thursday Daytime

Join fellow Loyalists and friends at UELAC Conference 2019 “The Capital Calls” – May 30 – June 2, 2019, at DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa, 1170 chemin Aylmer, Gatineau, Quebec, hosted by Sir Guy Carleton Branch.

On Thursday 30 May, enjoy two afternoon presentations:

• 2-3pm – Presentation: “Loyalist Land Grants along the Ottawa (Grand) River in 1788,” by George Neville

• 3-4pm – Presentation: “Capital City Treasures,” by Marilyn Schwartz

Note: Two sessions also on Thursday that are restricted to a representative or two from each branch who has branch responsibility for membership (9:00 – 11:30) and for genealogy (1:00 – 4:00)

See more details, including a flyer, the schedule, speakers, venue, directions, and the registration form. Registration is now open!

See also: More information about the hotel and alternate hotels (PDF).

Loyalists Who Could Not See: Part 1 of 3

© Stephen Davidson, UE

One Loyalist lost his eyesight in an explosion; for another it was the legacy of smallpox, while others went blind following their service to the crown. Losing the ability to see is tragic at any time, but when one is a member of a refugee population that has been uprooted from everything familiar and tossed into a wilderness to begin life from scratch, blindness could be a threat to one’s very survival. Here are a handful of stories of remarkable Loyalists who – although they could not see – helped to found a new nation.

Before the American Revolution, James Parke had worked on a 25-acre farm in New York’s Charlotte County where he had built a log house and a stable. His loyalty to the crown was not well received, and in 1777 members of a scouting party for the Continental Army raided Parke’s home, stealing the family’s clothes and money.

This was the same year in which British General Burgoyne led his troops from Canada down the Hudson River to quash the revolution in New York and isolate the troublesome New England colonies. Like many other Loyalists in the region, Parke joined the British forces. September’s defeat at the hands of the Patriot soldiers saw Parke return to his farm where he lived for the next three years.

When Patriots seized the Parke farm in 1780, James found sanctuary in Canada and joined the Queens American Rangers under the command of Major Robert Rogers. One of the most active Loyalist regiments, the Rangers fought rebel troops in a number of colonies. In the aftermath of one of those battles, Patriots made Parke a prisoner of war. Given the condition of the era’s jails, this may have been the beginning of Parke’s failing eyesight.

Discharged with the rank of sergeant, Parke eventually settled in Oswegatchie (near present day Prescott, Ontario). By the fall of 1787, the Loyalist was blind, and relied on his brother Cyrenius to speak on his behalf before the Loyalist compensation board when it convened in Montreal. Testifying for his brother, Cyrenius Parke shared his hope that a surgeon living in their Loyalist settlement would be able to treat his brother. Whether James Parke ever received due compensation for his wartime losses and the medical assistance he needed is not certain, but the fact that his brother was nearby gives us reason to believe that this refugee had supporters to help him adjust to life in Upper Canada and the new reality of his blindness.

A community of supporters was a crucial element in the survival of visually impaired Loyalists. In addition to being blind, Moses Wilkinson arrived in Nova Scotia unable to walk. Despite these handicaps, Wilkinson managed to escape enslavement in Virginia’s Nansemond County when he was 29 years old. Loyalist historian Cassandra Pybus speculates that Wilkinson’s physical challenges were a result of the smallpox epidemic that swept through Virginia in 1776. He was the first of four other Africans to escape Miles Wilkinson’s plantation and find refuge in New York City.

By 1783, Moses was a leader of the city’s Black Loyalist Methodists and valued as a powerful preacher. How he came to know the Bible and the basics of a Christian worldview may be due to the fact that Methodists stressed the importance of Scripture and the application of its teachings to one’s life through moral living and service to others. Initially a movement within the Church of England, Methodism had a great appeal to enslaved and free Blacks in America.

When Wilkinson settled in Birchtown, the largest community of free Blacks outside of Africa, many members of his New York congregation accompanied him. These followers built a meetinghouse and soon welcomed other Black Loyalists into their congregation. Following the biblical juncture to care for pastors, they saw to Wilkinson’s needs for food, clothing and shelter. Although he was only 36 when he arrived in Nova Scotia, Wilkinson was often referred to as “Old Moses” or “Daddy Moses” by the people of Birchtown – titles of respect as well as endearment.

Eight years after his arrival in Nova Scotia, Wilkinson welcomed John Clarkson, the British abolitionist, to stand in the pulpit of his chapel to share the government’s offer of free transportation to Sierra Leone. Most of the three to four hundred people who came to hear Clarkson – including Wilkinson and the majority of his Methodists – were thrilled at the prospect of moving to a new Promised Land. Now 44, the blind Black Loyalist pastor was enthusiastic to “form a settlement upon Christian principles” for free Blacks.

When over 1,100 Black Loyalists went ashore at Freetown, Sierra Leone in March 1792, Moses Wilkinson was among the denominational leaders who guided the people in their regular morning and evening prayers. It was the beginning of the history of the Methodist church in West Africa – a denomination led by a blind and lame Virginian.

Only one account of Moses Wilkinson’s style of preaching has survived. In his diary for December 13, 1791, John Clarkson wrote about attending one of the Black Loyalist’s Methodist prayer meetings. Speaking of Wilkinson, he wrote, “He worked himself up to such a pitch that I was fearful, something would happen to him. The congregation appeared very attentive & the discourse tended to glorify God, and to point out to men the sure & certain road to eternal happiness.”

Moses Wilkinson triumphed over his physical limitations, pursuing a career and calling that did not require him to be able-bodied to contribute to his community. Was this true for other blind Loyalists? Ten Black Loyalists whose names appear in the Book of Negroes were listed as being blind in one eye. How they fared in their Maritime settlements has been lost to history.

Sarah, a 42 year-old woman who served the British crown with the Black Pioneers for seven years, was noted as being “stone blind”. Her evacuation vessel took her to Annapolis Royal, where in all likelihood she found a home with other Black Loyalists in the settlement of Brindley Town. Being a single woman without an extended family to care for her was a further challenge to Sarah’s survival in Nova Scotia. However, since women who served with the Black Pioneers were employed as laundresses, seamstresses or cooks, it may be that Sarah was able to use her wartime skills to contribute to her community and thrive in her new home.

More stories of Loyalists who could not see will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

New In The UELAC Store: Loyalist Family Name Badge

Trish Groom who among many other responsibilities also manages UELAC’s promotional items – the UELAC store – announces a new item: a “Loyalist Family Name Badge“.

This is a ribbon to wear on clothing (on the right lapel as it is not an earned ribbon), or for display, with one to five bars and the Loyalist Badge. The intent is to have the name of your Loyalist ancestor family name engraved on a bar – see photo on Facebook.

The cost is $20.00 which includes one blank name plate (bar). Additional name plates are $2.00 each. The ribbon is long enough to hold up to four plates. Engraving is extra, but it could be done individually at a shop local to you.

To order, contact Trish – patricia.groom.uel@gmail.com

An order is going in VERY soon. If you want your ribbon in time for the UELAC 2019 conference this May, order now! If you wish the bar to come with the name already engraved, request that from Trish and she will work out the price – estimated $.60 – $.80 per letter (you may well pay more at your local store).

Note to branches. As is usually the case, you can order in bulk at a branch discount of ten percent for the ribbon and one plate, extra plates remain at $2.00.

How Robert Morris’s “Magick” Money Saved the American Revolution

by Harlow Giles Unger 12 March 2019

The year 1780 ended badly, and the new year boded worse for America’s War of Independence. Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold’s treason and defection to the British army had left Gen. George Washington’s officer corps in disarray, demoralized. Officers of all ranks eyed each other suspiciously, questioning each other’s decisions, while distrust of officers provoked mutinies among the rank and file. On January 1, 1781, 2,400 Continental Army veterans in the Pennsylvania Line, some unpaid for as many as three years, seized company arms and ammunition, fired at and wounded several officers, then, led by their sergeants, marched off toward Philadelphia to force Congress at bayonet point to pay them their due.

With Congress bankrupt, all eyes turned to Pennsylvania delegate Robert Morris. Called “The Financier,” Morris had already worked financial miracles saving Congress from bankruptcy three times, magically producing funds from no-one-knew-where to pay Continental Army troops and sending Congress enough money to buy arms and ammunition for the Army. Morris seemed able to draw money from thin air. Washington called it “Art magick.”

Read more.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: A General’s Reprimand: Hospital mismanagement in Halifax, 1778

By Stephen Bolton, 13 March 2019

Newly promoted Brigadier General Francis MacLean could not have been pleased when he read the letter from Lord Barrington. William Wildman Shute Barrington, the second Viscount Barrington, was the Secretary at War for the British Government in London, and MacLean had been the commander of the British forces in Halifax for just a few months, having replaced General Eyre Massey after his arrival in August 1778.

The letter, in formal eighteenth-century language, takes MacLean to task for acting “contrary to His Majesty’s intentions” by permitting the ongoing functioning of a general hospital in Halifax. Barrington helpfully attached a detailed set of instructions about how to set things right. So, what prompted the reprimand?

Halifax in 1778 was a hub of activity in the late 1770s. The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was raging and proximity to America made the young harbor town an attractive garrison location for British forces.

British forces were regularly sent from England to defend the town as there was a real threat of invasion by the rebel forces to the south, and on 12 August 1778 three Regiments, under MacLean’s command, arrived to fortify the garrison.

Read more.

Borealia: Ordinary Women – Jeanne Dugas of Acadie

By Stephanie Pettigrew, 11 March 2019

The summer before I started my PhD, there was a massive reunion of my grandmother’s side of the family in my hometown of Cheticamp. It’s the type of thing that used to happen on a fairly regular basis when I was a kid, but has started becoming a rare event now that my grandmother’s generation has largely passed. My cousin put together a family tree, dating back to the founding families of Cheticamp, and I didn’t really think much of it until a few years later when I was back in the village for a visit with my sister. One of our ancestors, Jeanne Dugas, was getting a lot of attention that year; a novel had been written about her, the federal government had recognized her as a “Person of Historical Significance”, and one of my dissertation advisors, Dr. Elizabeth Mancke, had recently brought home a sheaf of deportation-era documents from the UK that included Jeanne and her family. While juggling the demands of dissertation and digital history projects, I would sometimes find the time to dig into our Jeanne’s history. Although I had been largely unaware of her prior to that family reunion, other than as one of the names on the list of the “quatorze vieux” who had founded our village, I became more fascinated with her the more I learned about her.

This blog post is a direct development of my growing obsession with Jeanne – her life, her experience of a defining moment in Acadian history, and how an ordinary woman kept her family together through years of constant displacement and war.

The most accessible source on Jeanne Dugas’ life was written by Anne Marie Lane Jonah, and can be found on Acadiensis. It’s part of an article that compares the life of Jeanne and Marie-Marguerite Rose, a freed slave in Louisbourg, and how public history can better tell and acknowledge their stories. I highly recommend it. (So does Andrea, as proven by this Best New Articles post from 2016!) One of the items mentioned by Jonah is the fact that the Dugas family were slave owners. I want to highlight that here; Acadians rarely think of themselves as being descendants of slave owners. That’s something for southern Americans to worry about. Our public history, and public education, does a terrible job talking about the history of slavery in Canada.

Read more.

JAR: Walking Skeletons – Starvation on Board the Jersey Prison Ship

by Katie Turner Getty on 11 march 2019

Eighteen-year-old Andrew Sherburne’s younger brother, Samuel, guided Sherburne into a room away from the rest of the family to help wash and dress him. As he helped his older brother peel off his ragged, lice-infested clothing, Samuel glimpsed Sherburne’s emaciated body. Shocked, the younger boy fell back. “He having taken off my clothes and seen my bones projecting here and there, he was so astonished that his strength left him. He sat down on the verge of fainting, and could render me no further service.”

Andrew Sherburne managed to wash off the filth that had accreted on his body during his imprisonment on board the British prison ship HMS Jersey, as well as the road dust accumulated during his journey home to New Hampshire. After washing, he pulled some clean clothes over his skeletal frame, the folds of fabric covering the sharp geometry of his protruding bones. He spoke briefly with his family and then went to bed. He barely sat up again for twenty days.

It was spring of 1783 when Sherburne was released from the Jersey and embarked on his journey home. Although plagued with crippling diarrhea the whole way and so weak that he could barely pass over a door step without help, he made it home safely. Clean and comfortable for the first time in many months, Sherburne retreated to his bed, his ravaged physique testament to the starvation and sickness he had suffered while a prisoner.

At age eighteen, he was already a seasoned sailor, having signed up for his first cruise at thirteen. He had been serving on the privateer Scorpion in the autumn of 1782 when captured by the British Royal Navy. He and the rest of the crew were taken as prisoners to New York and confined on the Jersey. By the time of Sherburne’s imprisonment in 1782, the Jersey was already notorious for its shocking filth, rampant disease and the high mortality of its prisoners.

First used as a hospital ship, the Jersey was hulked and converted into a prison ship for American sailors about 1779.

Read more.

The Junto: Does Size Really Matter? Searching for Early American Women in the Archives

By Caylin Carbonell, 12 March 2019

Today’s guest post comes from Caylin Carbonell, PhD Candidate at the College of William and Mary. Her research interests include gender, family, and legal history in the colonial British Atlantic. Her dissertation looks at women’s everyday household authority in colonial New England. Prior to her doctoral work, Caylin graduated summa cum laude from Bates College in 2012. Caylin received her Master of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in 2015. Her master’s thesis, titled “In noe wise cruelly whipped: Indentured Servitude, Household Violence, and the Law in Seventeenth-Century Virginia,” explores how early Virginians narrated their experiences with violence and authority. In a close examination of court records from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Caylin argued that servant bodies and the sites where servants faced violence served as crucial evidence in determining the legitimacy of violence, as correction or abuse.

Most historians enter the archive with something they’re hoping to find. For me, that has always been women’s voices. Even as my dissertation project has evolved into a broader study of family, labor, and authority in early New England households, I remain firmly committed to bringing women’s stories front and center. Whenever I enter the archive, I am hopeful, if realistic, about what I might find in my efforts to bring women more squarely into the stories we tell about Vast Early America.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: The Townshend Moment

Patrick Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Family Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century, joins us as we continue our 3-episode investigation of the Boston Massacre.

As we investigate the imperial context of the Massacre, Patrick reveals details about the Townshend Moment; Information about the British Empire and how it functioned after the French and Indian or Seven Years’ War; And, the Townshend Plan for imperial and colonial reform.

Listen to the podcast.

UELAC Archives Missing Past Loyalist Gazette Issues – Can You Help?

The UELAC Library & Archives (see Missing Gazettes and photos) is in the process of accessioning our copies of our Loyalist Gazette Collection and we note that some of our past Issues are missing.

Our Archive holdings normally retains TWO copies in our repository (one for handling, and one for preservation). The above document on the second page indicates IN BOLD the Issues/Printings we would appreciate having for our UELAC records.

If you have even ONE of the missing printings to donate, we would be pleased to receive it. Our goal is to make our Loyalist Gazette Collection complete.

Please contact Assistant Archivist Leon Wu at leonwwu@gmail.com before mailing your donated copy(s), indicating who you are and what missing issue/printing you wish to donate to our Archives.

…Carl Stymiest, UE, UELAC Dominion Archivist

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently

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

Where in the World?

Where is Geri Wilson of Col. John Butler Branch?

Once again, the cupboard is pretty much bare. All it takes is you, a bit of Loyalist gear or period clothing, a historic site where you live (or elsewhere) and someone with a camera.

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.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • From the Journal of the American Revolution, a list of responses from JAR contributors to the question “What was the best strategic defeat, whether political or military, of the American Revolution and the founding era (roughly 1765 thru 1805)?”
  • New Light On Virginia’s First Documented Africans. The traditional story about the arrival of Virginia’s first documented Africans begins in late August 1619. A ship, the White Lion, arrives at Old Point Comfort (today’s Hampton, Virginia), at the mouth of the James River, where the historical record says “20. and odd” African captives are exchanged by the ship’s captain for some victuals. Three or four days later another ship, the Treasurer, comes into port with a human cargo of more captured Africans, only one of whom we know by name – Angelo. Read more…  New research by acclaimed historian and author Martha McCartney sheds new light on Virginia’s first documented Africans in 1619. Her findings, discovered in the British National Archives and released March 1, will be in Jamestown Settlement’s new exhibits.
  • DNA on ancient tobacco pipe links Maryland slave site to West Africa. Enslaved woman’s broken pipe still had her DNA after two centuries in the ground. One day about 200 years ago, a woman enslaved on a tobacco plantation near Annapolis tossed aside the broken stem of the clay pipe she was smoking in the slave quarters where she lived. This week, experts announced that DNA had been gleaned from the pipe stem and linked back to modern-day Sierra Leone, in West Africa, and probably to the Mende people who have lived there for centuries. Read more…
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 15 Mar 1783 Washington persuades  Continental Army officers at Newburgh, NY to abandon uprising over unpaid wages.
    • 14 Mar 1776 Alexander Hamilton receives commission as Capt. in NY artillery company, leading with great distinction.
    • 13 Mar 1777 Through its agents in Europe, Congress calls for foreign military experts to aid in leading rebellion.
    • 12 Mar 1776 Appreciation of the support of women for war effort is published in several Baltimore-area newspapers.
    • 11 Mar 1779 Army Corps of Engineers created to build & maintain fortifications.
    • 10 Mar 1783 Last naval battle of the Revolution is fought off the Atlantic coast of Florida.
    • 9 Mar 1781 Spanish Gen. Galvez besieges British-occupied Pensacola, eventually winning all of Florida for Spain.
    • 8 Mar 1782 PA Patriot militia kills 96 pacifist, Christian-convert Indians at Gnadenhuetten.
  • 18th Century dress, an American dress made from British 1730’s fabric, worn by Mary Waters, Salem, MA at her marriage to Anthony Sigourney of Boston in 1740. Dress was restyled in 1763 when their daughter wore it at her own wedding
  • Detail of back of 18th Century dress, robe à la française, made from beautifully painted silk from China, 1760-1770
  • 18th Century dress, robe à la française, c.1780, It is extremely small in size and may have been a young woman’s first formal gown, to be worn at local dances & assemblies
  • Detail of 18th Century Court Mantua, 1740-45, English; dark pink ribbed silk embroidered with silver
  • 18th Century men’s formal coat, embroidered with a floral border, 1770’s
  • 18th Century men’s waistcoat, 1780’s The influence of Neo-classical design is evident in the decoration. Medallions of twill silk minutely & skilfully painted in black with mythological classical figures have been applied to the front & collar
  • 18th Cent men’s waistcoat, Anna Maria Garthwaite’s original design of this is at Victoria & Albert & identifies not only the artist but also the weaver, Peter Lekeux, & date of sale – Oct 23, 1747. Both were important contributors to Spitalfields silk industry.
  • A wee mention of United Empire Loyalists in this article Niagara’s History Unveiled: W.L. Mackenzie Part 1 of 2
  • Penal transportation was relocation of convicted criminals or undesirables to a distant place, often a colony for a specified term. Here English women are mourning their lovers who are soon to be transported to penal colony at Botany Bay, 1792.
  • A moment of appreciation for the pink hair trend of the late 1770s– early 1780s. Men & women powdered their hair or wigs pink the same way they used white powder. These are all by John Smart, top miniaturist of the time & clearly a big fan of this trend.
  • All Things Georgian: The practicalities of wearing riding habits, and riding ‘en cavalier’ – We’ve written about Georgian era riding habits earlier, but this time we’re looking at the practicalities of wearing one. Female equestrians in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries were certainly hampered by their clothes, in comparison to men, and needed assistance just to mount and dismount. Then, once in the saddle, they had to arrange themselves to be perfectly positioned with their skirts all in place.

Last Post: Wayne Spencer Scott, UE

April 10, 1941 – March 11, 2019

Wayne passed away peacefully at GNGH with his family by his side. He will be greatly missed by his loving family, wife Cheryl, daughter Kelly Bissette (John), son Sean (Diana), and his much-loved grandchildren Alisha, Blake (Alyssa) and Joshua Lemire, Jessica and Carson Bissette, Sophia and Cameron Scott; and his sister Lori Scott, brother-in-law John Mayhew (Rose) and their children Chris Mayhew, and Alexandra (Alexander) Jensen. He is predeceased by his parents Bud and Dorothy Scott and his brother-in-law Jim Mayhew.

Wayne grew up in Niagara Falls and retired from his teaching career in 1997. He was an active community volunteer with the Nova House Book Riot, the Niagara Falls Arts and Culture Commission, and the Niagara Falls Lions Club. He was proud of his United Empire Loyalist heritage as the seventh generation Scott in Canada. Wayne enjoyed many years with woodworking, wood carving and remodeling projects. He taught Tai Chi, worked with RTO/ERO District 14, and applied his computer skills to a variety of newsletter projects. Summers were time for boating, spending time at the trailer, camping and travel. As winter snowbirds, Wayne and Cheryl created many great memories at Sun-N-Fun in Sarasota Florida.

Family will receive friends at MORSE & SON FUNERAL HOME, 5917 Main St. visiting Sunday from 2 to 4 pm and 7 to 9 pm. A Memorial Service in celebration of Wayne’s life will be held on Monday at 11 am. In Wayne’s memory, please consider a donation to The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Niagara Falls Lions Club, or Niagara Health Foundation (GNGH site).

Wayne was a member of the Col. John Butler Branch, UELAC. He received Loyalist Certificates as a descendant of Alexander Brotherton and of David Scott in 2010. Wayne contributed a number of columns containing computer advice to Loyalist Trails and more recently shared his editorial skills with the development of Loyally Yours, 100 Years of THE UELAC.

…Fred Hayward, UE, and Bev Craig, UE


Response re Donald Daniel McCrimmon

In response to a Feb. 17 query and supplementing a Feb. 24 response:

I have been compiling information on the 1st Battalion of the 84th Regiment (Royal Highland Emigrants) for some years, and can confirm that McCrimmon served as a private in Capt. Malcolm Fraser’s company of this battalion. He is included on a muster roll dated at Sorel, Quebec, 16 April 1781 (and covering the period from June to December of the previous year).

Following the reduction of the regiment in 1784 he was granted land in Marysburgh, Prince Edward County, although he later moved to Binbrook, Ontario, where he died c. 1831. His petitions to the Governor in Council of 1790 and 1797 for additional lands mention his service in the 84th.

I hope this will be useful.

…Marilyn R.W. Boissonneault