“Loyalist Trails” 2019-26: June 30, 2019
In this issue:
– 2019 Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: Final Countdown
– The Defiant Loyalists of Lower Canada: Part 3 of 3, by Stephen Davidson
– Book: Birchtown and the Black Loyalist Experience
– JAR: David Holmes, Timothy Barnard, and Questionable Loyalties
– Cross-Dressing to Enlist: Deborah Sampson
– JAR: Thomas Fletchall’s Association: A Loyalist Proclamation in the South Carolina Backcountry
– Washington’s Quill: Comparing Correspondence and Personal Documents
– The Junto: Bread in the French Tropics during the Seventeenth Century
– Ben Franklin’s World: Shoe Stories from Early America
– A Loyalist Flag for Loyalist House
– How an 18th-Century Lady Dressed for Travelling
– Prince Edward Island This Summer? Visit the Bedeque Area Historical Museum
– Where in the World?
– Region and Branch Bits
+ Every Place, A Story: Canada Historic Places Day 2019: Saturday, July 6
+ The Bedeque Area Historical Museum Opens New Exhibits
+ The Truth about Alexander Hamilton’s Birth, Wedding, and the Newburgh Conspiracy
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
From beginning to end the celebration continues and we thank you for another successful campaign. Yes! We did it! We reached our goal and there are still donations making their way to Head Office.
Two new branches joined us this week. Welcome London Branch and Thompson-Okanagan Branch! This brings the number of donating branches to eleven. Sincere thanks for your commitment to the Loyalist scholarship program. Goal for this challenge was $8,000. As of June 30, the total in scholarship giving is $8,765. Thank you! Our Donor Appreciation List acknowledges the generous individuals behind the success of the 2019 Scholarship Challenge.
Scholarship by Numbers
(Spoiler alert: It’s impressive!)
• Amount Raised in this Campaign: $8,765.00
• Number of Donors: 49
• Number of donating branches: 11
• Years of UELAC Scholarship: 21
• Number of scholarships awarded: 13
• Number of fundraising campaigns: 4
• Amount raised since 2016: $33,584.00
Stay with us for updates on the scholars you support. We look forward to a feature article in the fall Loyalist Gazette by Jonathan Bayer, 2019 Loyalist Scholar. And when you have a moment check out Størmerlige Films – History in Real Time for news on The Good Americans.
Our sincere thanks to Størmerlige Films for designating the UELAC Scholarship Fund as a charity recipient of The Good Americans:
“We firmly believe that making movies, especially ones about people long ago or far away, are exercises in empathy. We almost literally try to put our audiences in the shoes of those people, to feel what they felt, to hear what they heard, and, hopefully, to understand what they thought, no matter how different their views of the world might be from our own. With that, however, we feel a responsibility to give back to the modern communities of which we and our films are a part. That’s why, with every film that we make, we dedicate 100% of our net proceeds to charitable efforts determined by the cast, crew, and our subjects.”
Again, to all who give, thank you for your continued support. Your donation to scholarship is the key that opens doors to opportunity. Please remember, donations to Loyalist Scholarship or the Scholarship Endowment Fund are welcome throughout the year. Sincere thanks.
…Bonnie Schepers UE, Scholarship Chair
© Stephen Davidson, UE
When Loyalist refugees began to establish farms in the area between the Richelieu River and Missisquoi Bay in 1782, it raised the hackles of Sir Frederick Haldimand, the governor general of Canada. Since 1778 he had specifically forbidden the Loyalists to settle in the area, fearing that it was far too close to the rebelling colonies. Despite this decree – and the support of King George III – loyal American settlers defied their government, making places such as Caldwell Manor their new homes.
Despite the temporary loss of their government provisions and allowances, the Loyalist “squatters” refused to move. The government in Quebec City eventually gave in to their wishes to populate the southern boundaries of the colony. The promise of greater prosperity in other parts of Lower and Upper Canada did, in time, what Haldimand’s demands had failed to achieve, luring many defiant squatters away from Lake Champlain. Typical of Loyalist settlements throughout parts of the Maritimes and Lower Canada, Caldwell Manor would come to serve as just a temporary resting place before its settlers put down deeper roots in other parts of British North America. Here are some of the stories of defiant Loyalists who eventually settled far away from Caldwell Manor.
Daniel Scott had served in Jessup’s Corps during the revolution. His family lived in the refugee camp at Sorel before moving to Caldwell’s Manor. Living there until 1803, Scott and his wife had four sons and a daughter born there. The family would eventually settle in Scottsmore in Lower Canada’s Dunham Township.
From the outset of the revolution, John Pickel had “declared to favour the British”, resulting in his imprisonment by the Patriots of Kingsbury, New York. Unlike many fellow Loyalists, Pickel was able to sell off most of the horses and cattle that he had accumulated since leasing land near Fort Edward. However, rebels managed to seize two of his steers, a cow, a calf and six hogs.
Turning their back on “a good way of living”, Pickel, three sons (Jacob, John and Christopher) and a son-in-law, joined the British forces, serving in different regiments. At the end of the revolution, John was discharged from Major Roger’s Rangers. Although they initially settled on Caldwell’s Manor, members of the extended Pickel family moved to Lower Canada’s Sutton Township. They then established homes in Sweetsburg and Scottsmore near other former Caldwell Manor settlers.
Another temporary settler at Caldwell Manor was John Church. The descendant of German immigrants to the Hudson River Valley, his family name was probably a corruption of Shirts or Shertz. After demonstrating his loyalist convictions by leaving New York for Canada, Church joined Burgoyne’s army. At the war’s end, he remained in Canada, settling at Caldwell Manor in 1784. He married Tryphena Huntington, another New York refugee, and had four daughters and a son at the manor before moving on to Dunham Township with other Loyalists.
In time, Church operated a distillery, potashery, post office and smithy in a town bearing his name. (Churchville would later become Sweetsburg). Before his death at age 82, Church served his community as a militia captain, but did not see action in the War of 1812.
Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, Charles Kilborn was forced to serve with Patriot forces, but deserted to the British after just one campaign. Following time as a prisoner of war, Kilborn escaped and made his way to Canada on foot. At the end of the revolution, he settled at Caldwell Manor with other defiant Loyalists, married Margaret Young, and began the next chapter of his life.
By 1804, the Kilborns and their ten children had established themselves in Stanstead – a town that can still be found on the Quebec/Vermont border – 60 km east of Caldwell Manor. Here, the Connecticut Loyalist built a dam, a canal, and mills for flour and lumber. Kilborn’s service in the local militia led to his involvement in several battles during the War of 1812. He became active in advancing education in the Stanstead Township, and by his 48th year, he had been made a justice of the peace for the district of Montreal. Historian Marie-Paule LaBreque summed up Kilborn as a man who met “the most pressing needs of his community: land clearance, industry, education and defence of territory.”
John Savage had been an influential citizen of Spencertown, New York before the revolution brought him into conflict with his rebel neighbours and brothers-in-law. Escaping imprisonment for his loyalist convictions, Savage found refuge in New York City where he became a lieutenant in the Loyal Rangers. Following a military career that included near-execution, time as a prisoner of war, and espionage, Savage turned his attention to his family’s safety.
The British defeat at Yorktown in the fall of 1781 unleashed a wave of persecution against Loyalists throughout the rebelling colonies that compelled Savage to seek sanctuary in the territory north of Lake Champlain. Along with his family, Savage also brought his cattle to Caldwell Manor. His livestock allowed him to earn a temporary living as a beef butcher.
Over the next few years, the Loyalists who settled near Savage felt the wrath of Canada’s governor general for their defiant disobedience. Unwilling to follow Sir Frederick Haldimand’s orders to leave the manor, these Loyalists lost their government provisions and allowances. Terms such as “dissension” and “blowing the coals of sedition” were used to describe these stubborn refugees. Amidst all of the tension, Savage continued to work on his farm and provide meat for his fellow Loyalists.
But greener fields beckoned, and in 1792, Savage applied to be given a grant of land in Shefford Township (today’s Waterloo, Quebec). After building a log cabin, the Loyalist surveyed the township and began to build roads. Land grants were slow in coming, forcing Savage and other Loyalists to send an agent to Britain to expedite the process. Finally, in February of 1801, Savage and 38 others were granted 34,000 acres.
Like other Loyalists who were once chastised for their defiance, Savage went on to serve his community as an officer in the local militia, a justice of the peace, and a devout Anglican layman.
Despite being 72 years old, Savage joined the Frontier Light Infantry when it was created during the War of 1812. Eight years later, he was instrumental in the construction of Shefford’s first Anglican Church. John Savage died at 86 years of age. The defiant Loyalist who had once called Caldwell Manor his home had lived to see his son and five daughters establish themselves in Lower Canada, providing him with 47 grandchildren who called Shefford their birthplace.
In the years following the Treaty of Paris, defiant Loyalists who settled along the border between Lower Canada and the United States had declared “nothing but superior force shall drive them off that land”. Who would have thought that the men and women who had staked their lives on maintaining a united empire would defy the British government so belligerently?
However, the worst imagined scenarios of those in power never materialized. Within 30 years of standing up to the authorities, these defiant Loyalists had not sparked another war, had not rebelled against the empire but had, in fact, proven themselves to be model citizens. They established prosperous communities, schools, churches and good government in both Lower and Upper Canada.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
Formac Publishing Company is pleased to announce the release of Birchtown and the Black Loyalist Experience: From 1775 to the Present, by Stephen Davidson, UE (see the cover). Written by Loyalist Trails weekly contributor Stephen Davidson, this book chronicles experiences of African Americans who were among Loyalist refugees who left the United States after the American Revolution.
The Black Loyalists were both freed and enslaved Black Americans who had joined the British side. For their loyalty they were evacuated by the British Navy to Nova Scotia where they were to receive freedom, land and provisions. Ultimately, many Black Loyalists chose to leave Nova Scotia to go to Sierra Leone, West Africa, founding a new settlement there. The descendants of those who remained can be found in communities across Nova Scotia and beyond.
Through images, artifacts and text, this book tells the story of Birchtown and its residents as well as the larger story of Black Loyalist history, reflecting the research and exhibits in the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown.
Priced at $16.95, the book is available at bookstores and online at the websites for Indigo, Formac and Amazon.
Stephen Davidson is a historian and educator who has been researching the story of Black Loyalists since the mid-1970s. Along with contributing to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, he is the author of The Burdens of Loyalty. Stephen lives in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.
By Bryan Rindfleisch, 27 June 2019
With the Revolutionary War in full swing by August 1776, George Galphin penned a letter to his nephew, Timothy Barnard. Galphin started his letter with a report of the expeditions against the Cherokee Indians in the spring and summer, followed by the news of armed confrontations between settlers in Georgia and Creek (Muscogee) Indians, although Galphin hoped Cherokee losses might convince the Creeks they would be “served in the same manner.” Galphin then described the activities undertaken by revolutionaries in Charleston, Savannah, and Philadelphia…
When Galphin moved on to more personal matters, he urged Barnard and his partner in the deerskin trade – David Holmes, also a nephew of Galphin – to “get your Skins down as fast as you can” before British blockades, retaliatory embargoes, and war might prevent “a man from paying his Just debts.” It was at that point Galphin confided in his nephew: he had been appointed by the South Carolina and Georgia Councils of Safety, and the Continental Congress, as the commissioner for Indian affairs in the South…
What Galphin did not know was that his two nephews had pledged their allegiance to John Stuart, British superintendent for Indian affairs in the South. As Stuart gloated to his superiors in London, “David Holms . . . made a voluntary Offer to me of his Services . . . accompanied by Mr. Timothy Barnard.” Stuart appointed Holmes “an Extra Commissary, and Mr. Barnard an Extra Assistant Commissary in my Department.” Therefore, when Barnard received Galphin’s letter in August 1776, he transmitted the contents of that letter to Stuart.
In the final years of the American Revolution, a self-educated woman named Deborah Sampson felt a higher calling. She bound her chest, tied back her hair and enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army as “Robert Shurtleff.” In a special performance of A Revolution of Her Own, the American Heroine takes you back in time! Learn more about Deborah at Wikipedia.
By George Kotlik, 24 June 2019
Thomas Fletchall was a man of considerable influence in the South Carolina backcountry. Born in Maryland in 1725, Fletchall and his family relocated to South Carolina. By the 1770s, he owned a plantation in the Fairforest Creek region where he served his locality as a justice of the peace, coroner, and militia colonel for the Ninety-Six Precinct. When the Revolution came knocking on his door, Fletchall refused to take up arms against the King. Consequently, he used his influence to rally support for the British during the Revolutionary War.
Fletchall wrote a proclamation declaring support for the following principles: refusal to acknowledge accusations that King George III had violated the rights of colonists; securing the defense of the colony from Indian threats, Slave insurrections, and external enemies; and the refusal of these men to abide by laws not executed by the Statute of Great Britain. In essence, the resolutions outlined in this Proclamation firmly asserted loyalty to the King and to the British government.
By Jeffrey Zvengrowski, 28 June 2019
When annotating, editors at the Papers of George Washington often consult and cite personal documents, such as diaries, for additional details about the events and people described in Washington’s correspondence. These personal documents are especially useful as they commonly provide uninhibited evaluations of those events and people. Take the case of a delegation of Indians who visited the French commanders at Rhode Island in late August 1780 and Washington’s army in September of that same year.
Writing to Major General Lafayette from Albany on Aug. 18, 1780, New York congressional delegate Philip Schuyler noted that certain Oneidas had taken refuge at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., from other Indians, “whom the enemy [Great Britain] with great Industry have taught to believe that France was not In Alliance with us, and never Intended to afford us any Assistance.”
Read more. [NOTE: very interesting to see the descriptions of the Indian visitors.]
By Carla Cevasco, 19 June 2019
The economic potential of the trade in foodstuffs destined for France’s colonies in the Lesser Antilles in the eighteenth century – the period of the colonies’ economic pre-eminence – was common knowledge on both sides of the Atlantic. Metropolitan and colonial administrators, merchants and their lobby groups, all understood the profits to be made from the subsistence crises endemic to plantation slavery. This knowledge decisively shaped France’s restrictive trade policies in the decades before and after their formal articulation in law in 1717 and 1727.
But what of earlier periods? How was colonial subsistence both imagined and daily enacted when colonial populations themselves were much less dense and characterized by a kind of demographic diversity and parity in which indigenous Kalinago outnumbered the newcomers (French, other Europeans, and Africans), a diversity which simply didn’t exist in the eighteenth century? Recent interest in the seventeenth-century Caribbean has revealed the complexities of early European colonies that have too often only been considered as embryonic forms of better-known eighteenth-century colonial phenomena.
Seventeenth-century missionary accounts are vital evidence that help us understand the early political economy of colonial subsistence of one pivotal category of dietary staple: wheat bread and wheat bread substitutes. Wheat bread formed one part of the cultural dyad of pain/vin (bread/wine) that had a powerful significance, both in terms of its symbolic connections to the Catholic Eucharist for French colonists and the transatlantic political economies of commodity production that it ultimately involved.
Kimberly Alexander, museum specialist, lecturer at the University of New Hampshire, and author of Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era, joins us to explore early American shoes and what they can tell us about the everyday lives of early Americans.
As we converse, Kimberly reveals how we can read shoes for information and what they can tell us about early America; How early Americans purchased shoes and the work eighteenth-century shoemakers performed to produce them; And, how politics informed the fashion choices early Americans made.
Last month I visited Loyalist House in Saint John, New Brunswick. It was constructed in 1810 and is a National Historic Site. Loyalist David Merritt built it and it was lived in by five generations of the Merritt family until 1959.
It is now operated by the New Brunswick Historical Society. On my visit I met with President Kathy Wilson and presented her with the Loyalist flag since I had learned they did not have one.
Watch a short video of my visit.
…Brian McConnell, UE; Regional VP (Atlantic), UELAC
By Susan Holloway Scott, 26 June 2019
Traveling for ladies in the 18thc – whether a week-long journey by stage or sloop, or a quick call ten minutes away in a private chaise – was not easy in Great Britain, and even more difficult in the American colonies. Even the most luxurious carriage would have been without heat, and a journey in the winter would often have been made in an open sleigh across the snow. Special clothing was required: stylish, yet also practical. Some ladies wore riding habits of a sturdy wool, while others chose a silk petticoat (skirt) and hooded jacket like this one called a Brunswick.
The expanded exhibit on the Bedeque Harbour Loyalists of last summer continues and is now part of the permanent display on the Loyalist settlement around Bedeque Bay. The settlement included persons of the names Anderson, Darby, Green, Hooper, Lefurgey, Linkletter, MacFarlane, Murray, Robins, Schurman, Sil- liker, Small, Strang, Waugh and Wright. The exhibit includes maps showing where particular families settled and also offers new insights as to why they settled in the Bedeque Bay area. This summer a major addition to the display are images of historic maps from the P.E.I. Public Archives, dating from the 1780s and later, which show the location of Loyalist land grants around ‘Bedeque Harbour’ (now Summerside Harbour’). The printing of these maps was funded by a grant last year from the Community Cultural Partnership Program of the P.E.I. Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture.
We are grateful to David Schurman and his family for the continuing loan of the many items from last year’s ‘Valley Farm’ exhibit, which also continues this summer. These tell the story of Solomon and Maria Schurman and their descendants, including the tragic loss of four of their eight children to diphtheria in 1863.
Where are Gerald Curry and Carol Harding of Nova Scotia Branch?
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.
A Project of the National Trust of Canada. Learn more at historicplacesday.ca.
All members and friends, as well as the general public, are invited to this free official opening on Saturday, July 6, at 10:30am. The new exhibitions have been funded in part by a grant from the P.E.I. Community Museums Association, which covered the cost of printing the new posters displayed in the exhibit.
• Two Island Nurses of the Great War;
• Signature Quilts of the Early 20th Century from the Bedeque and Freetown Areas;
• L. M. Montgomery’s Secret Bedeque Romance;
• Three Longcase Clocks;
• and the continuing Loyalist display – see item above.
As a major fund-raising event the Bedeque Area Historical Society will be holding its second annual Strawberry and Ice-cream Social on Sunday July 14 from 2 to 4 pm in the Central Bedeque Park, opposite the Museum.
The Fort Plain Museum welcomes back Hamilton Historian Michael E. Newton. Mr. On Wednesday, July 17, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Newton will discuss three of the most exciting topics to be included in his new book, Discovering Hamilton. Based on newly discovered legal testimonies from St. Croix, Mr. Newton presents new evidence and conclusions regarding Alexander Hamilton’s birth-date, places of residence, religion, parents, and more. He will also scrutinize a well-known “fact” regarding Hamilton’s wedding to Elizabeth Schuyler (took place in the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, NY) and will reexamine Hamilton’s involvement in the Newburgh Conspiracy. See details.
- King George III on the wall in Loyalist House at Saint John, New Brunswick… Brian McConnell
- All Things Georgian: The Heatwave of 1808. In July 1808 Britain also experienced unusually high temperatures. So, given the British obsession with the weather, we’ve taken a look at how the newspapers reported this unusual weather.
- An iron-working tradition in Virginia dating back to 1607, the blacksmiths at Jamestown Settlement not only educate visitors on its’ historical application in the colony, but also make many of the iron tools and hardware used today in the fort and on the ships.
- Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
- 28 Jun 1776 Spongy palmetto walls at Ft Sullivan, Charleston SC absorb British navy shot, enable repulsion of attack.
- 27 Jun 1775 Congress sends Gen. Schuyler to assess Lake Champlain situation, Canadian interest in joining rebels.
- 26 Jun 1775 Washington states intention to return to private life following the “establishment of American liberty.”
- 25 Jun 1775 Washington arrives in NYC, inspects Hamilton’s forces as he passes through on his way to Boston.
- 24 Jun 1776 Congress orders New-Jersey Royal Governor Franklin (son of Benjamin) sent under guard to Connecticut.
- 23 Jun 1776 British position fleet to attack Charleston, repulsed by defenders within improvised palmetto-log fort.
- 22 Jun 1775 Congress issues first currency, unbacked fiat “Continentals,” which suffer instant runaway inflation.
- On 28 June 1778 the Battle of Monmouth was fought in New Jersey. This flag, on loan from Monmouth County Historical Association, is long thought to have been carried at the Battle of Monmouth and is one of the oldest surviving American flags of the Revolution, dating to 1775-76. Alexander Hamilton fought in the longest battle of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Monmouth. Hamilton reconnoitered the enemy, rallied, charged, and had his horse shot from under him. According to James McHenry he exhibited “proofs of bravery.”
- Detail of 18th Century Court Mantua, 1740-45, English; dark pink ribbed silk embroidered with silver
- 18th Century dress, robe à la française, The ‘watercolour’ effect of the silk used in this sack back dress is achieved by a weaving process called ‘chiné’. French, 1760’s
- 18th Century Casaquin – a close fitting coat, silk with gilded silver lace, 1730-1740, a rather elaborate version of a hunting coat, but worn for ceremonial occasions or post hunt
- 18th Century men’s court suit, Silk plain weave with a moiré (washed) finish, with sequins & metallic-thread embroidery, 1760’s
- 18th Century men’s wool coat, decorated with silver and gold metallic thread with sequins and blue paillettes, 1770-1780