“Loyalist Trails” 2019-24: June 16, 2019

In this issue:
UELAC President Sue Hines, The Queen and Centenial
2019 Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: The End is Near
The Defiant Loyalists of Lower Canada: Part 1 of 3, by Stephen Davidson
More Information About the Tisdale Family
JAR: The First American Warship
Washington’s Quill: Horses and Housewares: Indexing George Washington’s Financial Papers
Ben Franklin’s World: A History of Early Delaware
Re-enacting the Landing of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
Stories of the American Revolution: Fact, Fiction, or Some of Each?
Resource: How Far Did They Sail?
Loyalist Mapping Project and Tornadoes
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
      + June 19: Loyalist Day in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Edmonton
      + Chilliwack Branch Meeting, June 22
      + National Trust for Canada: The June Giveaway contest – until 27 June
      + Norfolk Historical Society, History Book Sale, June 29
      + Canada’s History for Kids: See Their Videos and Vote
From the Twittersphere and Beyond


UELAC President Sue Hines, The Queen and Centenial

Having just attended the UELAC Conference in Gatineau-Ottawa and presided over her first AGM, President Sue was invited back to Ottawa for the unveiling of the Queen Elizabeth II Equestrian Monument on June 12, 2019 at Rideau Hall. Read about her experience at the event.

2019 Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: The End is Near

May 21 – July 1, 2019

“For the real winners, there are no finish lines.” – Harvey Mackay

This week we add Governor Simcoe Branch, Manitoba Branch, and Vancouver Branch to our list of generous donors. With nine branches and four of the five regions represented we are close to breaking a record for branch donations. Huzza! (It never gets old.)

Amount Raised to Date: $6,110.00

For those keeping track the amount raised to date is $6,110.00. We have 14 days to reach our goal of $8000.00. I know we can do it! Please join us in giving and follow our progress on the 2019 Scholarship Challenge page.

Let’s Bring it Home – What is Kelly doing?

Hello esteemed group! Again, I would like to thank the UELAC for their generous support in my PhD pursuits.

I am leaving for my first field work trip on the 2nd of July to Shelburne Nova Scotia, where I will be examining the Collections at Ross-Thompson House and the Shelburne Museums by the Sea. I’m looking forward to spending some time with old clothes and the public. I plan to make a few trips back east over the next year and will be spending the next two years in the writing and creating segment of my studies.

Over this past year, I have been researching my family connections to the Loyalist diaspora. It seems that I am connected through both my mother’s and father’s family, the latter of which was originally given a grant of land in Shelburne. The Days left shortly thereafter for the Saint John river valley. I may have to pack my hiking boots and go check out the original land grant. My mother’s family was issued a grant in Pictou county through Governor Wentworth and this piece of property is still within close family relations.

My overall research project hopes to bring to the forefront, the importance of clothing and personal material culture to our interpretation of history at museums and historic sites. As a living history interpreter, I see first-hand how important this first visual contact with the past is for the visitor.

Thank you all again for helping me to pursue my passions.

– Kelly Grant, 2018 UE Scholar

For donations of $20 or more, a tax receipt will be issued by UELAC Head Office, or by CanadaHelps if donating online. Donations for this challenge must specify Scholarship Endowment Fund.’ Should you wish to make a memorial gift we will ensure that recognition is given to those you wish to honour through your donation.

Thank you for Giving

Sincere thanks,

…Bonnie Schepers UE, Scholarship Chair

The Defiant Loyalists of Lower Canada: Part 1 of 3

© Stephen Davidson, UE

When it comes to their relationship to established governments, the last adjective you would think to use to describe Loyalists would be “defiant” – and yet they were a fiesty lot.

Within just a year of the colony of New Brunswick, Loyalist protests against undemocratic elections in Saint John forced the local garrison’s soldiers to quell the unrest. In Shelburne, Nova Scotia – the largest of all Loyalist settlements following the revolution – there was a great outcry against how slowly – and to whom – land grants were being distributed. And the same resistance to government was evident in the Loyalists who settled along the southern border of what is now Quebec following the peace of 1783.

Despite a direct order from their governor, American refugees defiantly established new settlements in Canada’s “no man’s land”. And in so doing, they risked more than simply a battle of words with the established government. They risked renewing military strife with the new United States of America. Let’s explore the story of Loyalists who defied the stereotype of compliant refugees; let’s visit Lower Canada’s Caldwell Manor.

Situated between the Richelieu River to the west and Baie Missisquoi to the east, Noyan, Quebec is about five km north of the border with Vermont. With a population of just over one thousand residents, it hardly looks like a former hot spot in Loyalist history. A plaque mounted on a boulder in MacCallum Park, informs visitors that the village was part of a land grant once known as Caldwell Manor. It was “one of the first United Empire Loyalist Settlements … formed after the American Revolution”. However, the plaque fails to mention that Caldwell Manor was not a government approved settlement.

During the revolution, Lake Champlain and the pennisula that contained Caldwell Manor were hotly contested areas. Originally known as the Seigneurie de Foucalt when it was settled by the French, the pennisula became part of the Britain’s North American Empire in 1763. Eleven years later, the 35,000 acre seigneury was leased to British Colonel Henry Caldwell. A member of the Canadian legislative council and an officer under General Wolfe, Caldwell could never have anticipated that a colonial rebellion would jeopardize all of his plans to profit from his manor through leases to settlers.

With the outbreak of the revolution, loyal Americans who felt threatened by their Patriot neighbours sought refuge in Canada. The quickest route for many was to travel north on Lake Champlain and head for the St. Lawrence River by means of the Richelieu River. Given that there were a number of British posts along this route, it was much safer than travelling to Loyalist sanctuaries such as New York City or Halifax.

Some of the refugees were Quakers and Baptists who did not want to take up arms in the conflict, but they were followed by others. Finding sanctuary was made easier by the fact that the British forces had established a “naval fleet” off of Crown Point, New York in 1776 to patrol and protect the shores of Lake Champlain.

The schooner Maria, commanded by Captain Thomas Pringle, was the flag ship of a fleet of 28 vessels that included the Thunderer (similar to a bateau), the schooners Carleton and Loyal Convert as well as 20 small gunboats and four longboats. In addition to keeping Patriot ships out of the lake, these vessels also served to bring Loyalists within the British lines.

Some of these refugees had left their homes willingly. Others, such as families who “had joined the enemy” were forced to leave New York in 1780 and 1781 under flags of truce, making landfall at the mouth of the Richelieu River. Canada’s governor general, Sir Frederick Haldimand sent rescuing expeditions to help Loyalists while private scouting parties brought others north to safety. By 1782, 1,700 refugees were in the Richelieu Valley, making it one of the first areas of Loyalist settlement in what became Lower Canada.

For many of these Loyalists, Caldwell Manor was among the first places that they saw as they crossed into British lines. It became a natural spot for settlement. No doubt, many of the refugees from New York and Vermont believed that with the inevitable British victory, they would be able to return to their former homes more readily if they settled near the shores of Lake Champlain. If they went up the Richelieu River, they would have to settle among the French inhabitants who lived along the shores of the St. Lawrence. Caldwell Manor was a logical choice for these Loyalists, and Colonel Caldwell was more than happy to have them as his tenants. To meet the needs of the refugees, the colonel had built a church, repaired his mill, and built a manor house.

However logical and profitable the settlement of Caldwell Manor might have been, it did not please Sir Frederick Haldimand, Canada’s governor general during the revolution. As early as 1778 – five years before the War of Independence came to an end – he was actively discouraging Loyalist settlement around Missisquoi Bay. Looking at the situation from a military point of view, Haldimand reasoned that Loyalist settlers could be a means by which intelligence might reach the enemy through deserters and rebel spies. Prefering to have a “no man’s land” between loyal settlers in Canada and Patriots in Vermont and New York, Haldimand sent word to potential Loyalist refugees that despite their desire to settle along the northern portion of Lake Champlain, nothing of the kind would be permitted.

Nevertheless, defiant Loyalists began to send the governor petitions as early as 1782 to allow them to settle in and around Caldwell Manor. When the revolution came to an end, Haldimand’s oppostion to Loyalist settlements only increased. As the Treaty of Paris was about to come into effect, he wrote to the British prime minister, explaining that “by keeping the frontier east of the St. Lawrence uninhabited as long as possible, a rupture with the neighbouring Americans would be avoided”.

If there must be settlers, Haldimand reasoned, it would be far better to populate the region with French habitants whose difference in language, laws, and religion would serve as a buffer zone between Loyalists and Patriots whose animosity towards one another would take decades to dissipate.

For the Loyalists who had made their homes around Caldwell Manor during the revolution, their reasons for staying only seemed more justified. They had come to know the region during the war; the land was already partially cleared and had proved to be fertile. Water transportation routes allowed easy access to other settlements as well as to communities along the Richelieu and St. Lawrence Rivers where they could sell their produce. Given all of these advantages, what was the point in moving to the isolated lands along the western shores of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes?

And so the lines were drawn. British policy forbid settlement in Caldwell Manor. Defiant refugees who had lost everything for their loyalty to the crown desperately wanted to establish new homes along the border with the United States.

Who were these defiant Loyalists? How was their dispute with Governor General Halidimand resolved? Next week’s Loyalist Trails will continue the story.

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

More Information About the Tisdale Family

Some of the readers of Loyalist Trails may be interested in the following information regarding the Tisdale family, subject of a four part series by Stephen Davidson – see Part 1: “The Fourteen Tisdales – A Loyalist Family Saga.”

Six items of correspondence between Maggie Tisdale of Norfolk County and Benjamin Woodruff Price of Fonthill, Pelham Township are extent in the Benjamin Woodruff Price Papers in the Brock University Archives. Maggie [or Margaret] Tisdale was the daughter of Ephraim Tisdale and Hannah Price and the granddaughter of the Ephraim Tisdale and Submit Newcomb.

The six letters encompass approximately a year of correspondence between Maggie and her “cousin” Benjamin W. Price in 1859. Maggie writes from Oakridge, which may have been the name of the family home in Norfolk County.

See the complete finding aid for this archive.

…Edith Williams, Archives and Special Collections Assistant, Brock University

JAR: The First American Warship

by Michael Gadue, 10 June 2019

One might think that the first American warship, named the Liberty, would be showered with accolades and articles touting its significant place in American history. It isn’t. Whether this deficit is because she was first owned by Loyalist Philip Skene under another name, captained by later traitor Benedict Arnold, or recaptured by the British in 1777, she seems to fall from the pages of history, likely prejudiced and dismissed by the U.S. Navy as an inland, shallow-water craft before there was a deep, blue-water, Continental Navy. But minimizing her exploits is wrong – the Liberty was and is a unique part of American naval history.

Little Red Trading-Sloop, 1771-1775

Philip Wharton Skene (1725-1810) was one of the more interesting immigrants that had come to northern New York in 1756. English born, Scotsman-soldier, and entrepreneur, he was a veteran military officer. He married in Ireland, came to America to take part in Gen. James Abercromby’s unsuccessful attack against Fort Ticonderoga in 1758 where he was wounded. The following year he was appointed Major of Brigade in the campaign that took Crown Point.

Although not officially recognized as the first Unites States naval vessel, the Liberty can claim a number of firsts during the Revolutionary War.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: Horses and Housewares: Indexing George Washington’s Financial Papers

By Reese Fulgenzi, 14 June 2019

One of The Washington Papers’ central tenets, producing “accessible transcriptions of historical documents,”1 is perhaps best demonstrated by the project’s work on George Washington’s financial papers. The zeroing in on the Washingtons’ lives that the financial papers provides is incredible; small details are captured and preserved, down to the exact day that sundries were purchased or that employees were paid. Even beyond the numbers, the language and phrasing of these documents provide a glimpse into the world of colonial Virginia.

I was elated to begin work on the financial papers in January of this year because of the richness of the documents. They seemed to be filled with even more information than Washington’s letters and other records. Financial documents, however, are matched in their wealth of content by their complexity.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: A History of Early Delaware

David Young, the Executive Director of the Delaware Historical Society, joins us to explore the early American history of Delaware from its Native American inhabitants through its emergence as the first state in the United States.

As we make our way through this rich past, David reveals the work of the Delaware Historical Society and its public historians; Details about the Native American peoples of Delaware and their first encounters with Europeans; And, how and why Delaware developed dual identities as both a northern and southern colony and state.

Listen to the podcast.

Re-enacting the Landing of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

“Our people should always be honoured.”

In 1784, more than 100 Indigenous people established a new home on the Bay of Quinte, in southeastern Ontario. Every year for almost a century, the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga has commemorated their arrival.

Read more.

Stories of the American Revolution: Fact, Fiction, or Some of Each?

If Only We Had a Primary Source. Contributors to Journal of the American Revolution were asked to indicate their own favourite unsubstantiated tales for which they would like to discover a primary source to substantiate? Read on for more details about their suggestions, such as:

• The late-night ride of sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington

• John Honeyman, a spy for Washington in the late 1776 early 1777

• King George III exclaimed when told that George Washington was going to resign his commission, “Why, if he does that, he’ll be the greatest man in the world!”

• The design and creation of the first American flag; was it Betsy Ross?

• What intelligence information did a slave named James who infiltrated the British lines at Yorktown provide to General Lafayette.

• Did Elizabeth Burgin really did board the prison ships of Wallabout Bay and help the prisoners?

• Did Thomas Jefferson while residing for five years in Paris actually encountered Banastre Tarleton?

• What words did Ethan Allen say when he demanded that the British commander surrender Fort Ticonderoga?

Resource: How Far Did They Sail?

Have you ever wondered the distance your ancestor sailed between two ports, from the old country to the new, or the evacuation of New York. Check our sea-distances.org.

Loyalist Mapping Project and Tornadoes

The Northern Tornadoes Project Open Data site, launched by Western Libraries this week is the first of its kind in Canada. The launch is a pivotal milestone for the Northern Tornado Project, a partnership between Western, ImpactWx and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Read more. The database helps put Canadian tornadoes on the map.

The Loyalist Mapping Project is a partnership with Huron University College’s Community History Centre and the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada; the project aims to create an open data site to visualize the migrations of Loyalists who left the United States during and after the American Revolution.

Where in the World?

Where are Jamie Scott, Mary Anne Bethune, and Carl Stymiest?

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.

Region and Branch Bits

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

June 19: Loyalist Day in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Edmonton

Many of the branches in these locations will be celebrating Loyalist Day on 19 June. Contact them or check their websites and social media for local details.

Chilliwack Branch Meeting, June 22

1pm, June 22, at Carman United Church, 7258 Vedder Road

Guest speaker: Vivian Walker – Evans Family Historian

Mixed berry shortcake will be served.

National Trust for Canada: The June Giveaway contest – until 27 June

In the lead up to Canada Historic Places Day on July 6th, we are giving away $12,000 worth of prizes to increase awareness of Canada’s historic places from coast to coast to coast. Send a photo of your favourite historic place to our contest page before Thursday, June 27. You will be entered in a random draw to win one of 14 remaining Via Rail vouchers and over 30 other prizes! Winners are selected every weekday until Friday, June 28.

Norfolk Historical Society, History Book Sale, June 29

New and used; Local history and local authors; Fiction; Genealogy; Collections; Books by the bag; Atlases.

St. James United Church, 150 Colborne St. South, Simcoe

Canada’s History for Kids: See Their Videos and Vote

The 2019 Young Citizens Program is a national contest that sees young Canadians create engaging and inspiring history videos. Participants are selected from the thousands of students who take part in Heritage Fairs across the country each year. Visit YoungCitizens.ca – check out the videos and before July 1 you too can vote.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Many of those who attended the UELAC Conference in Gatineau-Ottawa brought their Loyalist period clothing and wore it to the Saturday Gala Banquet. Check the photo on the homepage of uelac.org.
  • Replica of American Revolutionary War blockhouse built in 1777 by Royal Fencible Americans at Oromocto, New Brunswick … Brian McConnell UE
  • At Fort Howe National Historic Site, Saint John, New Brunswick … Brian McConnell UE. Read the Parks Canada description.
  • June 14th, 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of the Continental Army. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, we celebrate 244 years of military tradition.
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 15 Jun 1776 Lower Counties of Pennsylvania declare independence from Britain – and Pennsylvania – as Delaware.
    • 15 Jun 1775, William Stoddard wrote from besieged Boston to Capt. James Littlefield in Watertown, discussing how to secretly move people, messages, and food in & out of the town
    • 14 Jun 1775, Congress established the American Continental Army,setting quotas for each state to raise “Continental Line” regiments and would eventually appoint general officers, the first of whom was George Washington, Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief
    • 14 Jun 1775 Dr. Joseph Warren was voted by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress to become a major general. Three days later, he refused to take command at Bunker Hill because he was not commissioned by the Continental Congress.
    • 14 Jun 1777 Continental Congress specifies that the American flag will be 13 stripes and 13 stars.
    • 13 Jun 1777 The Marquis de Lafayette arrives in South-Carolina, offering military leadership to rebel forces.
    • 12 June 1775 The Battle of Machias is the First Naval battle of the Revolution
    • 12 Jun 1776 Virginia adopts Declaration of Rights, derived from England’s “Glorious Revolution” Bill of Rights.
    • 11 Jun 1776 Committee appointed by Congress to draft Declaration of Independence, incl. Jefferson, Adams, Franklin.
    • 10 Jun 1775 Congress starts the process of organizing the militia besieging Boston as a Continental Army.
    • 9 Jun 1772 Angered by Townshend Acts, Colonists board & burn grounded British customs ship Gaspee, off Rhode-Island.
    • 8 Jun 1776 Rebels lose 400+ men to British in running battle at Trois-Rivieres, between Quebec City and Montreal.
  • Townsends
  • All Things Georgian: Eighteenth-century watch papers. It was believed that initially watch papers were a form of protection for the mechanism itself, which may well be correct, they then developed into the equivalent of a trade card. Quick read; great illustrations.
  • 18th century doll. Streamers of fabric; ‘leading strings’ at the back shows she represents a teenage girl. They originated in clothing of very young children learning to walk & became customary for unmarried teenage girls, to show they were still under parental control.
  • A baptismal apron embroidered by talented Mary Woodbury of  Beverly MA, c1735. Read on for the story of the maker & the apron.
  • Old, odd bits of shoes & textiles were ‘translated’ into a shoe of fashionable detail & proportion. Although in its current state, it dates to 1720-50, some of the embroidered pieces date back to 1620s. Reuse, recycle, update.
  • According to the Metropolitan Museum, ‘western chinoiserie is often a compound of exotic elements, not all indigenous to China.’ This 1760 dress has multiple allusions – palm trees and pagodas symbolise the foreign, but the gown has been made in Lyon, France.
  • Lustrous green and gold brocade in a full skirted jacket dating to the 1740s. The richness of the silk glows more than two centuries after it was worn, the gold pattern leaping out
  • 18th Century dress, rare robe volante “Flying dress” c.1730 via Palais Galliera, Paris
  • 18th Century women’s riding habit, 1750’s
  • 18th Century gentleman’s embroidered green velvet court coat & matching ivory satin waistcoat, French, c 1790.
  • Suit worn in 1777 by King Gustave III of Sweden when he visited Empress Catherine the Great of Russia at Tsarskoe Selo in St. Petersburg. By traveling incognito as “the Count of Gotland,” Gustave could avoid the formality required by court etiquette.
  • The Bone skate I found a few weeks back on the river Thames has now been added to my mudlarking Exhibition in the picture research library. My favourite recent Thames mudlarking find is this delightful little 12cm onion bottle (so small its like a spring onion bottle).It dates back to at least 1690 and wd have contained a perfect large glass of red wine or a few swigs of brandy for one Im sure!
  • Charles and Diana’s 1983 royal tour was capped by 2 birthdays. Crowds turned out at every stop during 18-day visit to see Princess of Wales. Hearing a stadium full of people sing Happy Birthday in your honour would be a memorable way to end a trip abroad. And that’s exactly how Diana, Princess of Wales, finished her 1983 tour of Canada in Edmonton with her husband, Prince Charles. The tour was timed, in part, to mark the 200th anniversary of United Empire Loyalists arriving in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after fleeing the newly independent United States. Read more…