“Loyalist Trails” 2019-21: May 26, 2019

In this issue:
2019 UELAC Conference: Canada’s National Flag
Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: 5 Days In
The Fourteen Tisdales – A Loyalist Family Saga, Part 2: Marriage and Migration, by Stephen Davidson
15 Ships to Sierra Leone
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Anthony Casteel’s Account of Scalping Proclamations in Colonial Nova Scotia
JAR: Operations of the Queen’s Rangers: Foraging in New Jersey, February-March, 1778
JAR: To the End of the World: Cornwallis Pursues Morgan to the Catawba
Washington’s Quill: “Fake News!”: Newspapers and George Washington’s Second Presidential Administration
The Junto: Q&A with Kate Egner Gruber, Curator of “Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia”
Ben Franklin’s World: Post & Travel in Early America
Things: The Nicola Affair
Colonial Williamsburg: Head Over Heels – Making a Wig
Unravelling The Lives Of The Man Who Spent 12 Years As A Slave – And The Canadian Who Saved Him
Region and Branch Bits
      + American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference, June 7-9
      + Kingston and District Branch UELAC Raise the Loyalist Flag, June 12
From the Twittersphere and Beyond


2019 UELAC Conference

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.

Only four days until the Conference begins. Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new acquaintances.

The Saturday evening Gala Banquet is always a special occasion. Given we will be at Canada’s capital, the presentation: “From Controversy to Compromise: The Origins of Canada’s National Flag,” by Glenn Wright is quite apropos.

The conference ends on Sunday with Service at Christ Church Aylmer; saying good-bye to many for another year with a look ahead to next year.

See more details, including a flyer, the schedule, speakers, venue, directions, and the registration form. Don’t miss the conference; register today!

Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: 5 Days In

40 Days of Giving, May 21 – July 1, 2019

Congratulations and a hearty thank you to Kawartha Branch and Assiniboine Branch for leading the way in 2019. Your commitment of $200 kickstarts the campaign along with individual donations winging their way to UELAC head office. Vancouver Branch embraced the Victoria birthday theme at their recent branch meeting. Colourful invitations encouraged members to “Join Us!” in support of UELAC scholarship. To that we say, “Party On!”

Because of you, Loyalist Scholarship is thriving. This year we received a record number of applications making the task of the review committee interesting and challenging. Each year the excitement builds as we step up for scholarship. As United Empire Loyalist descendants, members, and friends who support the UELAC vision statement we are the champions of academic research in the field of Loyalist studies.

A twenty-dollar ($20) individual donation puts your name on our list of generous donors. In the spirit of Queen Victoria’s bicentennial, we are asking for a commitment of $200 per branch. This year’s celebration goal is $8000. All donations are welcome.

For donations of $20 or more, a tax receipt will be issued by UELAC Head Office, or by CanadaHelps if donating online. Please make cheques payable to United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. Donations for this challenge must specify ‘Scholarship Endowment Fund.’

See how to donate and follow our progress on the 2019 Scholarship Challenge page.

…Bonnie Schepers, UE; Scholarship Chair

The Fourteen Tisdales – A Loyalist Family Saga, Part 2: Marriage and Migration, by Stephen Davidson

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Evicted from their home in Freetown, Massachusetts, Ephraim and Ruth Tisdale were among the first Loyalist refugees to find sanctuary in New Brunswick in 1783. Over the next seven years, the couple and their 12 children had settled in Waterborough on Grand Lake.

On October 4, 1790, Hannah Tisdale married twenty-five year-old Israel Perley. The Perleys had settled in New Brunswick before the arrival of the loyalist refugees. Known as Planters, these “old inhabitants” founded villages along the St. John River with Maugerville as their principal town. During the American Revolution, Israel’s father had sided with the Patriot forces, serving as the clerk of the local rebel committee. Israel Perley Senior was taken to Halifax as a prisoner of war, but was later released. He once again pledged loyalty to the crown and returned to Maugerville. His son and daughter-in-law became parents of Elizabeth Mooers Perley in August of 1791. Charles Perley was born in the following year, but would not live to see his third birthday.

In 1792, twenty-six year old Ephraim Tisdale Junior became the husband of Submit Newcombe. The couple said their vows in nearby Gagetown.

Now grandparents and “in-laws”, Ephraim and Ruth Tisdale decided that it was time to tend to some neglected religious matters in December of 1793. They arranged for Joseph (15), William (12), Samuel (9), Joanna (6) and Matthew (6) to be christened by the clergyman in Gagetown.

The new year saw Hannah give birth to Ephraim Tisdale Perley in August. Three months later Elizabeth, Hannah’s closest sister, married Ebenezer Hathaway, a 46 year-old widower and father of seven children. A native of Freetown, Massachusetts, this Loyalist may have been known to the Tisdales before the outbreak of the American Revolution. While Hathaway was 35 when he arrived in New Brunswick, his new bride would have been only ten at the time.

Ebenezer and Elizabeth had six children over the next 13 years: Mary, Joshua Warren, Matilda, George, Eliza and Caroline. They moved from Gagetown, New Brunswick to Sheffield, then to Burton, and on to Conway, New Hampshire. Elizabeth Tisdale Hathaway died in New Gloucester, Maine at age 82 in 1855.

Lot Tisdale struck out for Upper Canada in 1798 when he was 22 years old. He settled at Long Point near Charlotteville Township in the colony’s Norfolk County. Lot liked what he saw and wrote letters back to New Brunswick to encourage the rest of the Tisdale clan to join him on the shores of Lake Erie – luring them with stories of the region’s plentiful peaches.

Three years later, Lot visited his family in Waterborough and was able to persuade four of his siblings to return to Upper Canada with him. Pulling up roots – and their children – were 33 year-old Ephraim Jr. and his wife Submit, 20 year-old William and his wife Sarah Lawrence, and 30-year-old Hannah Perley and her three children (Elizabeth, Ephraim and Charles Strange Perley).

The last Perley child was born in 1796 and – as was often done in those days – given the same name as his brother who had died the year before. The second Charles Perley was five years old when his mother and siblings left for Upper Canada.

Tisdale family lore describes Hannah as a widow when she left New Brunswick in 1801. What makes this family’s situation curious is that her husband Israel Perley did not die until May 8, 1830 in New Brunswick – 29 years after his wife Hannah and their three children left for Upper Canada. Obviously something had occurred to make the couple part, but it wasn’t death.

In 1877, when Charles Perley gave a brief outline of his life, he mentioned his father’s Planter origins, his parents’ marriage, his own birth and the date when he left for Upper Canada – but he failed to mention his father’s death. Why had Charles’ parents separated? Had Israel abused Hannah? Had he been unfaithful? Did he suffer from a mental illness? These questions remain unanswered to this day.

While we do not know the marital relationships of all of the Tisdale siblings bound for Upper Canada in 1801, family lore did preserve a valuable insight into the trek across the continent. So often in Loyalist history, when we are told that families left New Brunswick for Upper Canada, we are given none of the details. Try to imagine what it would be like to start at Fredericton, New Brunswick and make your way to Simcoe, Ontario – roughly the same distance that the Tisdales travelled. Today the 1, 510 km trip would take just over 14 hours of driving. But with no roads, railways, or shipping lines, how did Loyalists make their way from the interior of New Brunswick to the shores of Lake Erie in 1801?

Tisdale family lore remembered, “they came in small boats, taking advantage of the numerous water-stretches that intervened. At night the boats were drawn ashore & made to serve as a covering & protection for their sleeping berths.” It’s not much of a description of a trip that must have taken weeks to complete, but at least we have some small glimpse into the exodus.

In the following year 24 year-old Joseph Tisdale followed his sibling’s path and settled near his older brother Ephraim.

The saga of the Tisdale family continues in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

15 Ships to Sierra Leone

In January of 1792, 1,100 Black Loyalists sailed in 15 ships from Halifax Harbour to Sierra Leone, where they founded Freetown. These people were the first large group of former slaves ever to return to Africa. Many descendants of these families still live in Freetown and are proud of their Nova Scotian roots.

Watch this short video.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Anthony Casteel’s Account of Scalping Proclamations in Colonial Nova Scotia

by Zoe Louise Jackson, 22 May 2019

In 1753, English linguist Anthony Casteel, along with his crew, were taken hostage by Mi’kmaq warriors in Jeddore, Nova Scotia between the months of May and June. Casteel left Halifax, presumably from the town fort, to negotiate with neighbouring Mi’kmaq leaders.

However, during this time, regional hostilities escalated among the English, French, Indigenous, and Acadian parties which problematized Casteel’s presence in Mi’kmaq territory. These tensions were the result of a variety of factors, including French puppeteering of Mi’kmaq warriors against Britain’s imperial presence; English expansionist and settlement efforts on Mi’kmaq territory; and lastly, the intensification of English and French scalping bounties. Casteel noted that the aggression towards himself and the later death of his crew transpired as a result of a recent confrontation in which two English men, James Grace and John Conner, had stolen “forty barrels of provisions” from the Mi’kmaq community which was “given to them by the [English] Gov[ernor].”

Read more.

JAR: Operations of the Queen’s Rangers: Foraging in New Jersey, February-March, 1778

by Joseph E. Wroblewski, 21 May 2019

“Of the forty or more battalions of Loyalists, which enlisted in the service of the Crown during the Revolutionary war, none has been so widely celebrated as the Queen’s Rangers.” – James Hannay.

The Queen’s Rangers, named in honor of King George III’s wife Queen Charlotte, were mustered into service in August 1776 on Staten Island. It was the reincarnation of the French and Indian War unit known as Roger’s Rangers. Colonel Robert Rogers was given authorization by General William Howe to raise a regiment of American Loyalists recruited mainly from New York and Connecticut.

In the summer of 1777, Howe’s army embarked in New York with the goal of capturing Philadelphia. Included in the invasion force was the Queen’s Rangers, consisting of 312 officers and men of whom only 267 were fit for service. The troops boarded their transports on July 9, 1777, but the ships laid at anchor in New York Harbor in the stifling summer heat for two weeks before they sailed. The trip to Philadelphia that should have taken five to six days ended up taking five weeks. Finally on August 26, the Queen’s Rangers disembarked at the Head of the Elk (today Elkton, Maryland) and began their march toward Philadelphia.

Read more.

JAR: To the End of the World: Cornwallis Pursues Morgan to the Catawba

by Andrew Waters, 23 May 2019

As Daniel Morgan collected his prisoners on the morning of January 17, 1781, he knew Charles, Lord Cornwallis, could not be far behind. “The Troops I have had the Honor to command have been so fortunate as to obtain a compleat Victory,” Morgan would later report proudly to Nathanael Greene. At the Battle of Cowpens earlier that morning, he had killed 110 British soldiers, including ten officers, and taken over eight hundred prisoners, destroying Cornwallis’s light infantry. In comparison, he reported only twelve American dead and sixty wounded.

But Cornwallis was lurking somewhere less than thirty miles away, and with him the main body of his army, 1,150 crack British troops, soon to be reinforced by 1,400 more under the command of Alexander Leslie. And Morgan knew Cornwallis would be eager to recapture his British prisoners. Now was not the time for celebration – now was time to run.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: “Fake News!”: Newspapers and George Washington’s Second Presidential Administration

By Lynn Price 24 May 2019

The cry of “fake news” has become ubiquitous in the United States today, particularly with regard to politics. When a news story paints a negative view of a politician, a partisan belief, or a proposed law, the public’s response now often involves attacks on the press. However, the use of the press to spread misleading or outright false information, usually about a political opponent, is nothing new. George Washington experienced attacks by Democratic-Republican newspapers in attempts to destroy his character, discredit his administration, and promote opposing viewpoints. And it was up to the reader to determine what truth, if any, lurked beneath partisan criticisms – or outright penned assaults.

Read more.

The Junto: Q&A with Kate Egner Gruber, “Curator of Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia”

by Philippe Halbert, 20 May 2019

JUNTO: Congratulations, Kate, on Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia (which opened at Jamestown Settlement in November of 2018 and runs through January of 2020) , and thank you for agreeing to talk to us about this exciting and important exhibition! 2019 marks several landmark historic anniversaries in Virginia. Can you tell us about the exhibit’s role in commemorating these events? What were your goals for this particular project?

KATE: The Commonwealth of Virginia is acknowledging four historic events that took place in 1619: the first legislative assembly meeting at Jamestown; the first official English Thanksgiving at Berkeley Plantation; the arrival of the first documented Africans; and the recruitment of Englishwomen to join the colonists in Virginia. While Tenacity touches, perhaps indirectly, on all four of these significant events, we took this opportunity to more fully explore the theme of women in early Virginia. Our overarching goal was simply to speak the names of the women who have been, for so long, written out of traditional narratives. To give them a voice, to tell their stories. To reinsert women – Virginia Indian, African, and English – into their rightful place in history. But even further, we wanted our visitors to feel connected to these women, to see themselves in this history, and to feel that the bond that we share in our common humanity is stronger than the 400 years that separate us.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Post & Travel in Early America

Joseph Adelman, an Assistant Professor of History at Framingham State University and author of Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing, 1763-1789, joins us to further explore how the early American postal system worked and how people and mail traveled around early North America and the Atlantic World.

Listen to the podcast.

Things: The Nicola Affair

Lewis Nicola was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1717, the son of a British army officer and the grandson of Huguenot refugees. Although little is known of his upbringing, Nicola’s family apparently provided him with a solid secondary education. As with so many Irish, he joined the British army and spent almost thirty years fighting for his king.

When he failed to receive an expected inheritance, Nicola moved to America in 1766, and settled in Philadelphia and opened a dry goods store on Second Street. Not content to be a mere shopkeeper, Nicola became an important figure in the burgeoning world of publishing. In 1767 he established a library and in December 1769, moved it to Spruce Street in the more fashionable Society Hill. He renamed his establishment the “General Circulating Library.” A believer in general enlightenment of people, Nicola went on to publish several magazines that specialized in scientific information and inquiry. Nicola also helped create the American Philosophical Society in 1769 and became publisher of its annual report, Transactions.

His experience leading old men and boys as commander in Philadelphia caused him to ask Congress to adopt an idea he had for a better way to garrison – use wounded veterans. On 20 June 1777 the Continental Congress, bowing to the logic of Nicola’s arguments, established an Invalid Corps, eight companies strong and totaling close to one thousand men, “to be employed in garrisons, and for guards in cities and other places, where magazines or arsenals, or hospitals are placed; as also to serve as a military school for young gentlemen, previous to their being appointed to marching and other military arts. In essence this would be the beginning of a primitive military academy. Nicola was appointed Colonel in the Continental Army and commander of the Invalid Corps.

In a letter to Washington, Nicola’s second theme stunned and angered him. Nicola stated bluntly that, unlike many of his American contemporaries, he was not a “violent admirer of a republican form of government”. Nicola went on to build a case for a limited constitutional monarchy like Britain’s. That sent Washington into a fit. The tone of Washington’s reply to Nicola that same day indicates that he not only disapproved of Nicola’s “scheme,” but was deeply offended by it.

Read more.

Colonial Williamsburg: Head Over Heels – Making a Wig

May 21, 2019, By Staff

Who knew the collaborative reproduction of an 18th-century wig could bring such joy?

When Anne E. Bentley first saw the wig, she whispered in awe, “Is this it? My god! It’s gorgeous!”

For more than 40 years, she’d worked with the artifacts at the Massachusetts Historical Society, including a deteriorating 18th-century bagwig, which had been stored in, of all things, a coconut. Now, in standing in the Colonial Williamsburg Wig Shop, Bentley saw the wig reincarnated, as it would have graced Henry Bromfield’s head the first day he wore it.

This collaborative project with the Massachusetts Historical Society was the culmination of 145 hours of work by three women in the Colonial Williamsburg wig shop. It all began when Bentley, the Curator of Art & Artifacts at the Massachusetts Historical Society needed help interpreting a wig for an upcoming exhibition. Bentley was working with Kimberly Alexander, who was guest curating an exhibition called “Fashioning the New England Family,” which featured textiles and costumes from 1630s through 1896, and also happened to include a reproduction 18th-century petticoat made by the Foundation’s Janea Whitacre, Christine Johnson, Rebecca Starkins, and Sarah Woodyard.

Read more.

Unravelling The Lives Of The Man Who Spent 12 Years As A Slave – And The Canadian Who Saved Him

By Douglas Quan, National Post, 24 May 2019

Five years after the release of the movie 12 Years A Slave, history buffs and descendants of Solomon Northup and Samuel Bass continue to uncover new information about the pair.

In the fall of 2013, while promoting his critically acclaimed film 12 Years A Slave, director Steve McQueen told audiences his movie was not meant to be watched passively.

Rather, he said, the film is intended to be a “call to arms.” It is based on the harrowing true-life story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and forced into servitude in the Deep South, and Samuel Bass, the roving Canadian carpenter who saved him. (Descended from a family of United Empire Loyalists who fled the United States in the late 1700s, Bass was raised in Augusta Township in Ontario.)

By that he meant he hoped the movie, which won the Academy Award for best picture, would inspire researchers to keep digging for new information.

“If that starts a conversation, wonderful,” he said. “It’ll be about time.”

Outside the glare of the Hollywood spotlight, a loose network of history buffs and descendants of Northup and Bass have heeded that call.

Read more.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference, June 7-9

The American Revolution Mohawk Valley Conference is back and is being held on June 7-9, 2019. Join the celebration of the Fort Plain Museum’s 5 year holding this premier conference with more speakers and an early sign-up special (savings of $10 off conference admission by if registered by May 31st). For details, registration, and information about accommodations, visit www.fortplainmuseum.com/conference.

Kingston and District Branch UELAC Raise the Loyalist Flag, June 12

The Branch will once again raise the Loyalist flag on a flagpole across from Kingston’s City Hall on Wednesday, June 12 at noon. We mark this day because June 12, 1784 was the date when Governor Haldimand received from King George III correspondence saying, “His Majesty approves the plan you have proposed for settling some of the Loyalists at Cataraqui and places adjacent” — settlement that is considered by historians to be “the spark that transformed the wilderness peninsula north of Lake Ontario and Erie”. We invite all friends of the Loyalists to attend this brief ceremony, whether attired as their Loyalist ancestor might have been or in 21st-century garb.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • 24 May 1758 – While in Halifax preparing for the British attack on Fortress Louisbourg, Brigadier General James Wolfe hosts a party for 47 of his men at the Great Pontack Inn (at the corner of Duke and Water Streets) with ten musicians and plenty of liquid refreshments.
  • Short but memorable tour of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The United States has an historic social and political connection to this region dating back to the American War of Independence. The United Empire Loyalists cleaving to the British Crown bolted from the U.S. Read more about the tour…
  • Gravestone of Loyalist Thomas Coattam in Christ Church Cemetery, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He died in 1841 aged 76 after serving as Town Clerk and for 57 years as Schoolmaster.
  • Deed dated April 19, 1792 between two Black Loyalists, former members of Black Pioneers. Isaac Ringwood conveyed 50 acres near Digby, Nova Scotia to Frances Wells for 2 pounds 10 shillings.
  • I am a retired academic living in Bristol, UK.  When I was a boy my father used to have a chart of the Kings and Queens of England on the wall of his study.  I used to find it fascinating because it showed clearly the length of each reign.  Since retiring I have considerably updated the chart and have created an entirely new one depicting Scottish monarchs.  I myself lived in Canada during the 1970s and was very aware of the number of people with Scottish or English heritage.  If you are interested in these royalties, you can order these charts. Visit http://www.ukmonarchs.uk/
  • Wreckage of the last known US slave ship found in Alabama river. The Clotilda was found in a remote area of Alabama’s Mobile River. Around 400,000 enslaved Africans were shipped to the US from the 17th to 19th centuries, of whom the Clotilda transported the last 110 persons illegally. 110 kidnapped people were taken from Benin on the Clotilda in 1860 and sold into slavery in Alabama. After the Civil War, some founded a small town: Africatown.
  • In May 1776, Colonel Joseph Reed purchased a set of campaign tents for General George Washington from Philadelphia upholsterer Plunkett Fleeson. According to the surviving receipt, Fleeson makes two “marquees” as well as a baggage tent. Read about the history and a timeline to today.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 25 May 1787 Constitutional Convention convenes, exceeding charge to amend Articles of Confederation, starts fresh.
    • 24 May 1775 John Hancock elected 4th President of Continental Congress, serving to 1777, so 1st to sign Declaration.
    • 23 May 1777 Col. Meigs’ expedition seizes British fort, burns several ships at Sag Harbor on Long Island.
    • 22 May 1781 Rebel forces besiege Fort Ninety-Six, SC; forced to retreat 19 June, but British depart anyway 1 July.
    • 21 May, 1775 Ethan Allen arrives at Ft. Ticonderoga, after being repulsed at Ft. St. John’s in Canada.
    • 20 May 1775 Committee of Safety in Mecklenburg County, North-Carolina declares independence; text lost to time.
    • 19 May 1776 Bitter struggle for control of Pennsylvania Assembly erupts over question of support for Independence.
    • 18 May 1783 Loyalist evacuees from New-York and other parts of the U.S. arrive in Canada.
  • May 25, 1768, the Massachusetts legislature opened a new session. Boston refused to allow Gov. Francis Bernard to host a dinner in Faneuil Hall so long as he invited the Commissioners of Customs.
  • On December 16, 1773, a group of Bostonians met at the Old South Meeting House to debate the controversial tea tax, leading to the Boston Tea Party. How many people were in the Old South Meeting House during that debate?
  • While the profession of dentistry did not officially exist in the 18th century, treatise on dentistry had been published and procedures like extractions and tooth cautery were performed. Continental Army camp surgeons may have relied on tools like these to relieve tooth woes.
  • Townsends
  • Check out the pattern matching on these London-made gorgeous Georgian Spitalfields silk shoes, c1765 from the stellar collection Newport RI History & a rare ex. of paste buckles worn with the shoes
  • From the collection Newport RI History A richly embroidered early stomacher, c1690 brought to Newport by Margaret Anderson, and passed down by subsequent family members until donated to the Society in 1925. Replete with silk and metallic threads.
  • 18th Century dress detail, robe a la francaise ca. 1750’s
  • 18th Century court dress, worn by a new bride being presented at court as a married woman 1775-80
  • An intriguing 18th Century men’s waistcoat, linen canvas with silk needlepoint, linen plain weave with silk supplementary-warp cut-pile trim & silk embroidery – embroidered caterpillar & butterfly but I don’t know what the words say, 1789-1794
  • Cufflinks from the sleeve of a 1700’s gentleman. Ravishingly and perfectly joined. Good enough to wear. Found this morning on the Thames foreshore while mudlarking
  • Household names: Archivists take on task of identifying women who captured Newfoundland folklore. The cures for unwanted freckles, nearsightedness, car sickness and not getting lost in the woods are catalogued in a set of groaning file cabinets. Helpful Newfoundlanders have noted these and many more local traditions on recipe-like index cards that are part of the Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Folklore and Language Archive. But who wrote the folklore tidbit? Read more…