“Loyalist Trails” 2019-16: April 21, 2019
In this issue:
– UELAC Conference: Earlybird Rates Until 30 April
– Loyalist Gazette: Spring 2019 Issue at The Printers
– Ten Black Loyalists who Settled in New Brunswick, by Stephen Davidson
– Loyalist Shipwrecks near St Augustine, Florida and Charleston Evacuation
– Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Revolutionary Names: Privateer and Prize Ships, 1777-1814
– Borealia: Immigrant Servant Girls to Home Children: Following a thread in Canada West
– JAR: James Willing and the Mississippi Expedition
– JAR: Killer Trees of the Revolution
– Ben Franklin’s World: Farms & Farm Families in Early America
– Book Review: Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World
– Resource Book: Upper Canada Naturalization Records 1828-1850, 2nd Edition
– Quebec Genealogical Records: Additions at the Drouin Institute
– Where in the World … are the Photos??
– Region and Branch Bits
+ Spring Fleet Celebration: April 27, Chilliwack Branch
+ Failure of the Sullivan Expedition: May 9, Albany
+ Reunion of Adam Young & Catharine Schremling Descendants: July 13
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Last Post: Lieutenant Colonel William Arthur Smy, OMM, CD, UE
UELAC Conference: Earlybird Rates Until 30 April
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 Friday 31 May, if you are not on one of the two all-day bus tours, then from 3-4pm, hear the Presentation: “Jonathan Sewell: Chief Justice of Lower Canada,” by Valerie Knowles.
Don’t miss the Banquet (5:30pm – 9pm) with entertainment by Carolynne Davy & Edith Troup consisting of a medley of songs popular among early settlers.
See more details, including a flyer, the schedule, speakers, venue, directions, and the registration form. Registration is now open!
Loyalist Gazette: Spring 2019 Issue at The Printers
The Spring issue of the Loyalist Gazette is has been delivered to the printer. The Gazette team – Amanda Fasken, Jennifer DeBruin and Robert and Grietje McBride – have created another great issue. See the cover and first details.
Comment from Størmerlige Films: “Stoked to be the cover story in UELAC’s latest magazine, highlighting our commitment to charitable efforts that promote our subjects. Also, portions of the proceeds of every film, in true UVA Alumni fashion, go to support One Love Foundation”.
A note with access instructions will be sent to those who receive the digital version of the Gazette once the printed copies have been delivered to the mailing house. If you are a current member of UELAC or have a paid subscription to the Loyalist Gazette, and would like to try the digital version, please complete the request form.
Ten Black Loyalists who Settled in New Brunswick
© Stephen Davidson, UE
One died in the line of duty while defending his colony’s government. Another was hanged for participating in an uprising. A third became the liaison between his colony and the nearby Indigenous People. Others served their colony as its elected representatives. Two threatened to kill a third man who they had known for eleven years.
What did all of these men have in common? Each was once listed in the Book of Negroes as he prepared to leave behind a life of slavery in the United States. Each man lived in New Brunswick for eight years. And – finally – each of these Black Loyalists was one of the 1,131 settlers who founded Sierra Leone in 1792. With documents first created in New York City, New Brunswick, and Sierra Leone, we can piece together the stories of these men, giving us a glimpse of the experiences of ten Black Loyalists who travelled across the globe in search of freedom and equality.
On Thursday, July 31, 1783 Lt. Trounce commanded the crew of the Clinton to raise anchor and set sail from New York’s harbour. The refugee evacuation vessel was carrying a large number of Black Loyalists to the mouth of the St. John River. There the passengers would disembark and would wait patiently to receive their promised grants of land and provisions. Six of the Clinton’s passengers would have thought it ludicrous had they been told that in less than nine years they would once again be receiving free passage to a land of promise that was located on the west coast of Africa.
Mingo Jordan was the youngest of the Clinton’s six Black Loyalists who would one day settle in Sierra Leone. He had been enslaved by Richard Jordan in Virginia’s Isle of Wight County until he ran away to freedom within the British lines in 1779 at the age of 15. Four years Jordan’s senior, Nathaniel Wansey (Wandry/Wonsey) had been enslaved by a man in Newcastle, Pennsylvania until he escaped at the age of eighteen. While on board the Clinton, Wansey became friends with Richard Crankapone Wheeler, a 30 year-old Black Loyalist from New Jersey. Three years after their arrival in New Brunswick, these two men would be neighbours in the St. John River valley along with 32 fellow Black Loyalists.
Three other men sailing on the Clinton were Lewis Kirby (a 29 year-old from Little York, Virginia who had escaped his master in 1780), Henry Beverhout/Biverowdt (a 26 year-old from St. Croix in the West Indies), and Francis/Frank Patrick (a 28 year-old from Norfolk, Virginia). But these were not the only men listed in the Book of Negroes who would stay in New Brunswick for just eight years.
Sir Guy Carleton’s ledger of free and enslaved Blacks also listed Warwick Francis who escaped his enslaver in Charleston, South Carolina when he was only 11 years old. After serving with the royal army’s carpentry department for five years during the Revolutionary War, Francis was given his emancipation document and sailed for New Brunswick on the Palliser on September 13, 1783. Five days later, two other loyalist evacuation ships left New York City with passengers destined to settle in Sierra Leone.
Also just sixteen years of age, Simon Johnson sailed for New Brunswick on board the Elizabeth. Enslaved in Williamsburg, Virginia, he joined the Loyalist forces led by General Benedict Arnold in 1781, and became a trumpeter in the American Legion. Departing New York on the same day, James Robinson sailed to Parrtown (Saint John) on the Mars. He had managed to escape from his master before the siege on Charleston, South Carolina in 1780 and then joined the British troops.
Except for Crankapone (as he would refer to himself) and Nathaniel Wansey, we do not know how the other men spent the next eight years in New Brunswick. They had arrived in the colony expecting to be given all of the rights and privileges of free Englishmen – including the all-important ability to own land. Given that it took 36 months for Crankapone and Wansey to finally receive land, it was an ongoing challenge for Black Loyalists to survive during their first years in New Brunswick. Crankapone’s petition to the colonial government provides insight into those early hardships.
When the initial year of free rations distributed by the British government from Saint John’s Fort Howe came to an end, Black Loyalists discovered that “they, their Wives and Children cannot subsist” and were “under apprehensions of suffering this winter, labour and provisions being so very scarce”.
Crankapone reminded the lieutenant governor that “the Blacks in general have been thought Loyal and have throughout the Rebellion been generally ready to Obey an Orders from the British Commander”. He pointed out that the Blacks wanted to “lead Industrious, honest Lives and instead of Being a Burden, should be an Advantage to the Community.”
But it was an uphill battle. When Saint John was incorporated in 1785, its charter forbid Blacks to work within the city limits. “People of colour or black people” – read the charter – “are …excluded the privilege of being or becoming free citizens.”
Despite institutional roadblocks, some Black Loyalists did receive land grants. Besides Crankapone and Wansey’s settlement, a group of sixteen Black men were given land on the Nerepis River in 1787 (four years after arriving in New Brunswick). However, this settlement’s farms did not prosper, and the Black Loyalists moved to towns and villages where they hired out their labour to white Loyalists.
By this time, most of New Brunswick’s Black Loyalists were more than willing to listen to what Thomas Peters had to say about how they could achieve justice. Noted in the Book of Negroes as being a 45 year-old member of the Black Pioneers, Peters left New York City on the Joseph in November of 1783. Due to delays caused by a hurricane he did not arrive in Annapolis Royal with his wife and two children until the spring of 1784. Peters quickly became frustrated by the inequality that he encountered in Nova Scotia’s Brindley Town, the second largest settlement of Black Loyalists in the colony. In 1785, he crossed the Bay of Fundy to New Brunswick in search of better conditions for his fellow Black Loyalists. Over the next five years, he sent the New Brunswick government three separate petitions to secure land for its Black Loyalists. All came to naught.
Peters decided that the only way to gain the equality promised by the British government was to go to London to seek justice. Over 200 families in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia gave Peters the power of attorney, authorizing him to represent them in England. In late 1790, he sailed for Britain.
Long story short: By the late summer of 1791, Peters returned to the Maritimes with the astonishing news that all Black Loyalists who wished to settle in Sierra Leone would be given free passage to West Africa by the British government.
Peters visited Black Loyalist communities from Saint John to Fredericton throughout the fall. 222 Black Loyalists in New Brunswick decided to strike out for Sierra Leone.
The story of how Peters – and the nine other men cited in this article – fared in Sierra Leone will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
Loyalist Shipwrecks near St Augustine, Florida and Charleston Evacuation
I have an interest in Southern Loyalists and in shipwrecks. While in Tallahassee Florida I came across a book and subsequently emailed the Society. Through these emails I received the attached extensive archaeological report. What they found is fascinating and a real history of the Southern Loyalists who had evacuated Charleston to Florida in 1780-1782 and were shipwrecked near St Augustine. Interesting artifacts include buttons from Provincial Regiments. They are still trying to get the name of the wreck and have done a lot of research overseas in England. You never know where you will find interesting information on Loyalists.
The archaeological data collected to date, along with extensive archival research carried out in the British National Archives, has led to the identification of this shipwreck as one of 16 refugee ships lost in December 1782, on route from Charleston, South Carolina to St. Augustine. Charged with the evacuation of Charleston at the end of the American Revolution, the fleet carried troops, Loyalist civilians, their slaves, and whatever possessions they could manage to bring with them to East Florida, which was at the time still a loyal British colony. In 2017, the Storm Wreck was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The document has been posted here with permission of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, proprietors of the information.
The report (30 MB, 249 pages; but the numbered pages after the preface begin with page 113) contains lots of details about the archaeological work. For an interesting analysis and history of the evacuation of Charleston and what has been uncovered about these floundered ships, read the pages numbered 291-305.
…Ray Blakeney, UE
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Revolutionary Names: Privateer and Prize Ships, 1777-1814
By Leah Grandy on 17 April 2019
The arts, literature, and religion provided a plethora of source material for the naming of ships. Characters from history, literature, Greek and Roman mythology, saints, and other religious derivations were very common inspirations in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Atlantic World. The classicist movement was influential during this period, and classically inspired names were extremely prevalent among many types of ships. Examples of classical names among ships abounded: Neptune, Juno, Ceres, Pomona, Atlas, Hercules, Argus, Leonidas, Ulysses, Diomedes, Telemachus, Aeolus, Nestor, Nymph, Atalanta, Apollo, Romulus, Mars, Vestal, Orion, Pompey, Cincinnatus, Caesar, Brutus, Lucretia, Herculaneum, and Pythagoras. Saint’s and Biblical names were popular name choices for ships in the Atlantic World as well, such as St. Anne, St. Thomas, St. Michael, and Nimrod.
Places as names for ships often denoted where the ship (or its owner) originated. The most frequently used types of names included rivers, landmarks, cities (usually ports), trading destinations, battle sites, and aristocratic family seats. There is great difficulty in distinguishing names deriving from geographic places versus noble titles, as they are often one in the same.
Read more, including other sources (nature, ideas, political significance, etc.).
Borealia: Immigrant Servant Girls to Home Children: Following a thread in Canada West
By Wendy Cameron 15 April 2019
In the 1850s and 1860s parties of assisted British emigrants arrived in Canada to work as servant girls. These young women paved the way for British child migrants now known as Home Children. Taken from situations of dire poverty by child savers in Britain, up to 100,000 Home Children were placed with Canadian families between 1869 and the late 1930s. A few were adopted into families, but the norm was to place in homes them as servants. Andrew Doyle, a senior inspector sent to Canada by the British Local Government Board in 1874, called in vain on the Canadian government for a program of official inspection of the children in their rural homes. Canadian authorities never did exercise effective oversight, and this failure contributed to the suffering of vulnerable children.
Working on a book on the inland immigration service in Upper Canada/Canada West from 1829 to 1867 has led me to consider the role of immigrant agents as mediators between the poorest immigrants and their employers. Studies of Post-Confederation child emigration highlight the contentious subject of assisted emigration and the political and social factors that allowed child migration to expand in Canada as the background for the later neglect of child migrants.
JAR: James Willing and the Mississippi Expedition
by Jeff Dacus, 18 April 2019
The story of the Revolutionary War tends to focus on operations and events east of the Appalachian Mountains, with good reason as most of the war took place in at area. West of the mountains, the story of George Rogers Clark in the Ohio Valley is famous and found in many history books. The expedition of James Willing on the Mississippi River is not as well known but is full of adventure, intrigue, and piracy.
Born to a well-to-do family in Philadelphia, James Willing opened a store in 1770 in Natchez, then part of British West Florida. A poor businessman and reckless with his money, he soon was on the verge of poverty. The Mississippi was bordered by Spanish Territory to the west and the British to the east. When the Revolutionary War began, Willing tried to rouse the local population, a mix of Spanish, French, and other backgrounds, against the British but failed.
Returning to Philadelphia in 1777, Willing lobbied Congress for command of an expedition to eliminate the threat of the British closing the Mississippi to trade. Congress agreed. He later described his instructions to the American agent in New Orleans: “the following Extracts will serve to specify their Tenour – After being ordered to make prize of all British property on the Mississippi River I was instructed to apply to the Governor of this Province [Spanish Louisiana] for Liberty to make sale of them, that obtained I am again instructed to pay one moiety [share] of the Net proceeds into Your Hands as agent for the Congress.” It is not clear what property was included in these instructions.
JAR: Killer Trees of the Revolution
By Joseph Lee Boyle 16 April 2019
Around a hundred people are tragically killed in the United States each year by falling trees or limbs. Death or injury by trees was also among the hazards of war between 1775 and 1783.
The first reported soldier to die was British, ironically killed by the Liberty Tree of Boston. Samuel Haws recorded in his journal that an eyewitness told him that on August 31, 1775, “After a long spell of laughing and grinning, sweating, swearing, and foaming with malice diabolical, they cut down a tree, because it bore the name of liberty. A tory soldier was killed by its fall.” A newspaper account recounted that “a soldier in attempting to dismantle it of one of its branches, fell on the pavement, by which he was instantly killed.”
Several soldiers were killed during Arnold’s March to Quebec. In what seems to be two separate incidents at the Great Carrying Place on October 10, 1775, the wind “blowed hard, and one of the men was killed by the falling of a tree.” The next day “a man was pasing a tree that sum of ye men was cutting fell on him & wounded him so that he dyed / we buried him thare /”.
Ben Franklin’s World: Farms & Farm Families in Early America
If we want to understand everyday life in early America we need to understand the everyday life of early American farms and farmers.
Roughly three-quarters of Americans in British North America and the early United States considered themselves to be farmers.
Richard Bushman, the Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, joins us to investigate farms and farm life in early America with details from his book, The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century: A Social and Cultural History.
During our agricultural exploration, Richard reveals why early Americans wanted to farm; How colonists and early Americans created and built new farms; And, details about the rhythms of work and farm life for early American farm families.
Book Review: Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World
Author: Katherine Gerber
Reviewer: Casey Schmitt 18 April 2019 The Junto
Scholarship on the Anglo-Caribbean has tended to minimize the role of the Anglican Church in Caribbean society through an emphasis on the greed and irreligiosity of the English colonists who profited from the exploitation of enslaved labor. This tendency is especially striking when compared to the historical work on Catholic institutions in neighboring French and Spanish territories. In the Anglo-Atlantic, missionary work among free and enslaved Africans and Afro-Caribbean people tends to be equated with antislavery thought and activism. Katharine Gerbner’s new book, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, challenges these historiographic tendencies and presents a welcome reinterpretation of the relationship between race, religion, and slavery in the Protestant Atlantic.
Resource Book: Upper Canada Naturalization Records 1828-1850, 2nd Edition
By Donald A. McKenzie
After 1829, all men over the age of sixteen who were not British subjects and who had lived in Upper Canada more than seven years were required by law to take an oath of allegiance. This book now contains nominal indexes to all the surviving records now in Archives Canada.
Available from Ontario Ancestors.
Quebec Genealogical Records: Additions at the Drouin Institute
ALL of Quebec’s Catholic baptisms and burials from the 1850-1861 period have now been added to the LAFRANCE, which now includes:
• ALL of Quebec’s Catholic marriages from 1621 to 1917
• ALL of Quebec’s Protestant marriages from 1760 to 1849
• ALL of Quebec’s Catholic baptisms from 1621 to 1861
• ALL of Quebec’s Catholic burials from 1621 to 1861
• 68 401 Quebec Catholic baptisms and burials from between 1862 and 2019
More about LAFRANCE, available to Genealogy Quebec members.
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.
For want of a photo …
All it takes is you, with a bit of Loyalist gear or period clothing, and a historic site (where you live or elsewhere) – and, of course, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others:
Spring Fleet Celebration: April 27, Chilliwack Branch
Sat. 27 April at 11:45 am. Chilliwack Branch hosts the Spring Fleet Celebration at Carman United Church Hall. Program will include announcements, presentation of slides on the Spring Fleet and the Loyalists. Details.
Failure of the Sullivan Expedition: May 9, Albany
Thurs 9 May 2019, the American Revolutionary War Round-Table presents Amateurs Talk About Tactics, but Professionals Study Logistics: Supplying the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 by Robert Mulligan. In 1779 George Washington sent a quarter of the Continental Army into the unknown Iroquoian lands of central New York to destroy the towns and crops, and to capture hostages to secure the good behavior of the Iroquois. No hostages were taken. The lack of supplies, and the lateness of their arrival, was given as the reason for the failure of the expedition. Was this in fact true? Details and here. See a map of the route of the Sullivan Expedition.
Reunion of Adam Young & Catharine Schremling Descendants: July 13
From 11:30 – 3:00 at the Grace United Church Hall, 174 Caithness St E, Caledonia Ontario, a reunion of descendants of Adam Young (1717-1790) and Catharine Elizabeth Schremling (1720-1798). Potluck lunch at noon, followed by sharing of stories of our ancestors. For more information, contact Betty Yundt or Dan Young; read more on Facebook.
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- Happy 93rd birthday to Her Majesty The Queen! This video includes a photograph from each decade of The Queen’s life, from an image of her as a baby in 1926, to her visit to King’s College last month.
- Visited Gilberts Cove Lighthouse in Digby County, Nova Scotia today named after family of United Empire Loyalist Thomas Gilbert from Massachusetts who settled there in 1784…Brian McConnell UE
- April 18, 1774, Gen. Thomas Gage sailed for Massachusetts to become royal governor. Precisely one year later, he sent troops to Concord to subdue the rebel province’s nascent military. Gage’s portrait at Yale Centre for British Art
- and a century earlier in April 18th on 1689, the Boston Revolt took place. Coming on the news of the Glorious Revolution in England, local colonial leaders and citizens revolted against the pro-Anglican and authoritarian policies of Edmund Andros.
- Jamestown-Yorktown. The flintlock musket was the weapon of choice for infantry soldiers during the American Revolution. When the flint strikes the steel, it sets off a chain reaction of events leading to ignition, moving the musket ball out of the weapon and down range.
- Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
- 19 Apr 1775 From Concord, Massachusetts, British retreat under fire – the “shot heard around the world.”
- 18 Apr 1776 The Isabella, carrying British troops, is met by American militiamen at Cape Fear, North-Carolina.
- 17 Apr 1783 British Capt. James Colbert launches attack on Spanish Fort Carlos in Arkansas, unaware war was over.
- 16 Apr 1776 John Hancock writes the Maryland Council of Safety advising them to seize Royal Governor Robert Eden.
- 15 Apr 1783 Congress ratifies peace treaty with Britain, formally ending hostilities.
- 14 Apr 1777 Congress establishes magazine in Springfield, MA, eventually becomes known as the Springfield Arsenal.
- 14 Apr 1780 Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton smashes an American cavalry unit in pre-dawn attack at Monck’s Corner, SC.
- 14 Apr 1780 Staten Island Expedition against the British begins, succeeding only in capturing 17 before retreating.
- 13 Apr 1776 George Washington arrives in New York with General Gates.
- Welland Now and Then: Bridgetender’s House: The house that Welland made. What is now known as the Bridgetender’s House originally started its existence as a Crown land grant of 120 hectares from Britain’s King George III to Captain Thomas Welch in 1769 for his service.
- The Kit Matteson House c. 1740. Good morning from our kitchen! Original mantel and granite, fieldstone, and brick fireplace c.1740. We really love this period. Check the photos and comments of this restoration in progress. And Cynthia Chin showing a cotton gown draped and hand sewn based on an original from c1780s
- 18th Century dress, Robe a l’anglaise ca. 1780-90 at Colonial Williamsburg
- A Pretty Pair of Printed Cotton Gowns, c1800, from the Collections of Colonial Williamsburg. I’ve always had a weakness for beautiful historic clothing with a story. I saw these new acquisitions to the Costume & Textile Collection of Colonial Williamsburg – they’re not yet on display. And what a pair of beauties they are! They date to about 1796-1803, and are made of white cotton, block printed with a finely drawn purple-red scrolling grass (or wisteria?) pattern. Susan Holloway Scott.
- Mary Rein (fl. 1780-1815) managed the finances of Dury Lane’s wardrobe and kept a journal. She noted payments to staff, and bills from suppliers such as linen drapers, embroiderers and button-makers. She was paid £3 per week.
- A pleasing blue Back view, robe a la francaise (aka a Watteau back) of blue damask, circa 1760
- Wedding season is coming up – a throwback to the 18thc. with Rebecca Tailer Spitalfields silk damask (silk design by Garthwaite) 1747 wedding dress worn in Boston 19thc alterations. but condition is excellent. And Rebecca Tailer [Byles] emerald green pattern matched silk damask wedding shoes 1747, made by London cordwainer Robert Dasson (Basson?) [mid-18thc buckles not assoc w/shoes)
- Two toned salmon pink damask Robe a l’anglaise, woven w/large exotic foliage, centre front fastening, cartridge pleated waistline, ¾-length sleeves, and a matching petticoat front. Great Britain, ca 1774. Various views.
- Gorgeous Georgian brocaded silk buckle shoes by William Hose, London cordwainer, c. 1760s. From the collection at Historic Deerfield.
- 18th Century men’s frock coat, green velvet with floral sprays of metallic threads, spangles, net and multicoloured paste gems, 1770-1780
- 18th Century men’s sleeved waistcoat, silk brocaded with metallic yarns & flat wire with silver buttons, 1750-1770
- Detail from men’s 18th Century waistcoat of monkeys collecting fruit, I’m enjoying the symbolism of this on the pocket.
- Worn in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden near Inverness, Scotland. The defeat of the Jacobite forces by the English redcoats marked the end of the Highland way of life – and dress. Tartan garments like kilts and this coat would be banned until 1782.
- Louise Penny‘s books beckon readers to the small-town Quebec. Quebec’s Eastern Townships are known for the wooded landscapes with lakes and Victorian towns with vintage general stores, century-old churches, charming country inns, boutiques and countless antiques stores. The area, just north of the Vermont border, was settled by United Empire Loyalists. Read more…
Last Post: Lieutenant Colonel William Arthur Smy, OMM, CD, UE
The Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University & members of Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch UELAC are saddened to report the passing of Lieutenant Colonel William Arthur Smy, OMM, CD, UE. Bill passed away on Thursday, April 18th in Fort Erie. Bill was very proud of his New Brunswick Loyalist ancestors Daniel and Lewis Dunham.
He was the guiding light for the Loyalist Collection at Brock University and donated all the proceeds from his book, An Annotated Roll of Butlers’ Rangers 1777-1784 with Documentary Sources, to the Collection.
Bill was born in Port Colborne and after graduating from Hamilton Teachers’ College, taught History at Ridley College and later worked for the Department of National Defence.
He served the UELAC as Treasurer & Senior Vice President and worked closely with UELAC Past President Okill Stewart to plan and host the wildly successful 1989 UELAC Conference at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, PQ where The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was guest of honour for the entire weekend.
Bill was passionate in his belief that Canada should have a statue of Queen Elizabeth II on Parliament Hill. He wrote more than 2500 letters to politicians, societies and ordinary people across Canada, eliciting their support and urging them to lobby their MPs. Due to his efforts Canadians are privileged to have an elegant statue on Parliament Hill depicting Queen Elizabeth II riding her horse “Centennial” a gift from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1973.
Another of his projects was the very successful Butler Bicentenary weekend in Niagara on the Lake commemorating the life and service of Col. John Butler, 200 years after his death.
Bill was a careful researcher and published many of his findings in several books & research papers including the Annotated Roll of Butler’s Rangers mentioned above and:
• Humberstone Township the First Fifty Years 1784-1834
• The 19th Battalion Volunteer Militia (Infantry) Canada and the Fenian Raid in Niagara, June 1866
• Guarding Niagara: the Welland Canal Field Force 1914-1920
• Canadian-Born Recipients of the United States Medal of Honor
Bill also co-authored Rolls of the Provincial(Loyalist) Corp, Canadian Command American Revolutionary Period with Mary Beacock Fryer & Casualties of the Militia of Lincoln County in the War of 1812 with Alan Holden.
He will be greatly missed by friends & researchers everywhere.
…Bev Craig, Col. John Butler Branch