“Loyalist Trails” 2019-28: July 14, 2019

In this issue:
2019 Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: Epilogue
The Prince Who Dined with Loyalists, Part 2: Halifax, by Stephen Davidson
Borealia: Exhibiting the Acadian History of Pointe Sainte-Anne
JAR: Les Habitants: Collaboration and Pro-American Violence in Canada, 1774-1776
Washington’s Quill: “Cents and Sensibility” – Martha Washington’s Financial Papers
The Junto: Food and Hunger in Vast Early America
Ben Franklin’s World: Road Trip – Montréal, Château Ramezay
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
      + The Truth about Alexander Hamilton, Fort Plain Museum, July 17
      + Chilliwack Branch Celebrates BC Loyalist Day, July 20
      + Van Valkenburg Family Reunion, Sept. 15-19
From the Twittersphere and Beyond


2019 Loyalist Scholarship Challenge: Epilogue

“Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you.” – Randy Pausch

Let’s just say we didn’t have to wait. We are impressed! The good news this week is that donations to the Scholarship Challenge have exceeded $10,000. I know! I intended to bring a final wrap up report but word from Head Office is that more donations are expected this week. The Donation Tracker and Donor List will be updated in the coming days so check back to follow our progress as another exciting challenge comes to an end.

Something wonderful happened this year. The Loyalist Scholarship Challenge captured the enthusiasm of members and friends resulting in record giving. In addition to our Donor Appreciation List it is an honour to highlight Scholarship Endowment Memorial Donations as we pay tribute to the individuals lovingly remembered there.

Our humble thanks to the generous individuals behind the success of the 2019 Scholarship Challenge. Your continued support for the Loyalist Scholarship Endowment Fund is building a strong foundation for future Loyalist research. And today, that future is looking very bright indeed.

…Bonnie Schepers UE, Scholarship Chair

The Prince Who Dined with Loyalists, Part 2: Halifax

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Before Prince William Henry left New York and its environs, he visited Fort Franklin at Lloyd’s Neck on Long Island – the largest British garrison on Long Island Sound and the site of its largest Loyalist refugee camp.

While the names of all those who sought sanctuary at Lloyd’s Neck can never be completely identified, the records of the claims made to the loyalist compensation board include: Lyon, Bates, Hoyt, Dibblee, Hubbard, Pickett, Frost, Seely, Raymond, Fowler, Whelpley, Clarke, Whitney, Miles, Ketchum, Dickson, Chace, Roberts, Slocum, Corey, and Caswell.

It would be speculation to say whom among these men may have dined with the sixteen year-old prince, but no doubt many of them managed to at least catch a glimpse of His Royal Highness during his visit to the refugee camp. For the most part, Fort Franklin’s displaced Loyalists settled in New Brunswick after being evacuated from New York just a year after Prince William Henry’s visit.

On July 4th, just six years after the Declaration of Independence was issued, the prince met Abraham Van Buskirk and the New Jersey Volunteers – a loyalist corps – at Paulus Hook, New Jersey. Van Buskirk, a surgeon and doctor, led fellow Loyalists to settle in Nova Scotia two years after meeting William Henry, and became the first mayor of Shelburne – a city of 10, 000 refugees.

In August of 1782, a Massachusetts Loyalist who had taken refuge in England made a chilling entry in his diary. “This day the papers announce Prince William Henry’s death at New York.” However, this was later proved to be a false rumour. His Royal Highness was very much alive and active aboard the Warwick. As a crew member of the British warship, he helped to capture a French frigate and a sloop off of the Delaware River in September of 1782. In the fall, he sailed to the West Indies where he met Lord Horatio Nelson.

Nelson would later write, “In his professional line, he is superior to two-thirds, I am sure, of the [Naval] list; and in attention to orders, and respect to his superior officer, I hardly know his equal.”

Prince William Henry once again encountered Loyalists when, as captain of the frigate Pegasus, he sailed into the naval yard at Halifax, the Royal Navy’s North American station. It was June 28, 1787, and His Royal Highness was just two months shy of turning 22.

As one historian recounts the event, Prince William Henry “landed amidst the acclamations of a numerous and loyal people. H.R.H. expressed his desire, that all military form and etiquette with respect to himself should be laid aside; but it was found impossible to stifle the joy which broke forth, and pervaded all ranks of people, at seeing the son of their beloved Monarch among them.”

Halifax, populated by Loyalist refugees as well as military personnel and New England Planters, pulled out all the stops. At a dinner hosted by Governor John Parr, loyal toasts were each saluted by artillery fire.

While the elite citizens of Halifax attended a ball in the prince’s honour, Haligonians of lesser status celebrated William Henry’s arrival by a “general illumination of the town”. People lit all the lanterns and candles in their homes so that by eight that evening the whole town was illuminated. The streets were crowded with people enjoying the marvelous sight and the presence of their monarch’s son.

At midnight, the guests invited to the prince’s ball were conducted into the “supper room” which was “handsomely decorated and contained places for 200 people”. The Prince sat with the Governor and Bishop on a dais under a white satin canopy. His Royal Highness was remembered as having displayed “great affability in conversation” throughout the evening. A total of thirty-five toasts were made. It is little wonder, then, that the festivities did not end until at 7 o’clock the next morning.

Unfortunately, the Loyalist dinner guests (who would have been among the members of the colonial legislature) are not named in any accounts of the prince’s first visit to Nova Scotia. However, we do know of one Loyalist who was not at the dinner.

It is interesting to note that while most Haligonians, particularly Loyalists, fawned over Prince William Henry during his visit to Halifax, the loyal American who declined the opportunity to sit at the same table as the royal guest was the Anglican chaplain of the garrison.

It’s not as if the Rev. Dr. Mather Byles Jr. was an unsociable man; he was noted for keeping a “grand parlour” where he held salons and gave parties for his “refugee friends” which included “dancing assemblies”. But when the Connecticut Loyalist was invited the dinner held in honour of His Royal Highness, Byles bluntly refused to attend and act “like a fool”.

Byles stands out, then, as the Loyalist who did not want to dine with Prince William Henry. The cleryman’s frank evaluation of people, whether of noble or common birth, was evident in his appraisal of Nova Scotians. “I desire never to forget that the most irreligious People I ever knew were at the same time the most ignorant, the most stupid, & the most unhappy.” The Anglican clergyman eventually left Halifax to become the vicar at Saint John, New Brunswick’s Trinity Church. “I am connected with as worthy a People as I ever knew.”

At some point during his sixteen days in Halifax, Prince William Henry met Francis (Fanny) Wentworth, the wife of New Hampshire’s last Loyalist governor. After he had found sanctuary in England, John Wentworth was appointed Nova Scotia’s surveyor general in 1783. Having spent much of the revolution in courtly circles, Fanny continued to dress in the latest fashions after relocating to Halifax, but she had grown weary of the naval port’s “high society”.

When Fanny met Prince William Henry, she was forty-one and he was twenty-one. Despite the difference in ages, Fanny was still very attractive. The young prince reminded her of her happier days in London; Fanny’s fashion sense and manner reminded the prince of life in the British court. Their mutual attraction became the stuff of local gossip. A diary writer noted in an entry later that year that “the Royal Highness used to be there {the Wentworth home} frequently” during that first visit to Halifax.

Given that His Highness was in Halifax for just over two weeks, the liaison between the prince and the former governor’s wife seems to have been a temporary fling. It would take a second visit to Halifax later that fall to confirm whether Fanny had become the prince’s Loyalist mistress.

William Henry soon set sail for Quebec City, arriving in the capital of Canada on August 14. Once again, he was the toast of the town. Sir Guy Carleton – now Lord Dorchester and governor-general of Canada – and his young wife tried to keep an eye on His Royal Highness. Chroniclers of the Quebec visit recalled with shocked delight how the prince ignored Lady Dorchester’s list of recommended dance partners and instead chose young ladies who had pretty faces rather than social prominence.

William Henry was remembered for enjoying himself among Quebec’s beau monde (fashionable society) and for having “eyes for more than the scenic beauties of the Ancient Capital”. Lord Dorchester treated the prince to “a grand pyrotechnical display” on August 21, 1787 before His Royal Highness set sail for Montreal further up the St. Lawrence River.

See next week’s Loyalist Trails for Prince William Henry’s further adventures in British North America.

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

Borealia: Exhibiting the Acadian History of Pointe Sainte-Anne

By Stephanie Pettigrew, July 9

The Pointe Sainte-Anne exhibit and lecture series originated in conversations between Chantal Richard and myself about how lacking Fredericton was in terms of public education and knowledge of its Acadian history. Everything you see around here is Loyalist history. Beyond a few street names, and the name of the French school here in Fredericton, there is very little acknowledgment of the complex history of Saint-Anne, the Acadian village that existed in this location until its destruction in 1759.

But first, we need to emphasize that the history of Pointe Sainte-Anne obviously does not begin with the French at all, but with the Wəlastəkwiyik. Sainte-Anne (and thereby Fredericton) is located on Wəlastəkwiyik territory, which was never ceded. The first thing we aim to do with our exhibit is disabuse ourselves of the notion that the Acadians always peacefully co-existed with the local indigenous people. They did not. Although Acadians mostly managed to avoid outright war with the indigenous communities nearest to them, that doesn’t mean they didn’t outright displace them, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the local indigenous communities benefited from their presence.

French settlements were small, and consisted mostly of the seigneurial family and their servants. The grants were held by the D’amours family, who held massive amounts of land they were meant to populate with French settlers. Governor Villebon, the Governor of Acadia from 1691 to 1700, established Fort Nashwaak, turning the Fredericton region into Acadia’s capitol for a brief 9 year period – a foreshadowing of its future as provincial capitol, perhaps. After Villebon’s death, the capitol moved back to Port Royal, despite its proven insecurity; Port Royal had fallen numerous times by 1700.

Read more.

JAR: Les Habitants: Collaboration and Pro-American Violence in Canada, 1774-1776

by Sebastian van Bastelaer 9 July 2019

The fleeting invasion of Canada in 1775, though often consigned to a bit-part in the American Revolutionary drama, proved vital to the emergence of American nationhood. The abortive attack at the walls of Quebec City on New Year’s Eve was one of the first of many major setbacks for the Continental Army and ensured there would be no further incursions into the would-be “fourteenth colony.” Yet the misbegotten campaign, which began with a two-pronged assault the preceding summer, provided a vital learning experience for a fledgling force that had to overcome numerous obstacles. Soldiers earned experience and learned difficult lessons, while the military careers of some of the leaders who oversaw the operation were forever altered.

These military outcomes were not the only useful lessons to the Americans, however. The plains of Quebec were also the scene for a political and ideological struggle for the loyalties of the people in the province. The class of peasants known as the habitants, a largely illiterate group that worked the land they occupied and rarely left their parishes, weighed heavily on the minds of both rebel and Loyalist leaders. Soldiers and their officers relied on these people’s support in order to secure shelter, rations, and logistical aid. As a result, both sides sought to cultivate and retain the favor of the habitants. Their help could sustain an army indefinitely; failing to secure this endorsement could, conversely, lead to ruin.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: “Cents and Sensibility” – Martha Washington’s Financial Papers

By Alicia K. Anderson, 12 July 2019

Martha Custis’ home was a sickly one in the summer of 1757. Dr. James Carter visited the family regularly. On June 12, he ordered a purgative of rhubarb for “Master Johnny,” Martha’s three-year-old son, John “Jacky” Parke Custis. Two days of steady care did nothing to help her husband, Daniel, who was also ailing. He died suddenly on July 8, aged 45. Only two weeks a widow, Martha had to call the doctor yet again on July 20: Jacky was ill once more. On Aug. 1, an enslaved woman belonging to the household was prescribed a “Cordial Astringent,” and for three days in mid-September, Dr. Carter waited on Martha herself. Remedies during these months included hartshorn, diascordium, syrup of poppies, chamomile, ipecacuanha, and tamarind.

If it were not for Martha’s handwritten statement of the above medical costs we would know little about the state of her household leading up to and immediately following her first husband’s death.

Read more.

The Junto: Food and Hunger in Vast Early America

By Rachel Herrmann, June 21

This week I spent three days reading three books, and I watched these posts go out into the world while thinking about my comps. I remember my comps year as the year of graduate school when I was more stressed than I can ever recall feeling, for such a protracted period of time, in my life. But I think that it was the state of food history in 2009-10, when I was reading for my comps, that contributed to this feeling of panic.

I don’t mean the state of food studies; that discipline was already healthily expanding. I mean food history. I found comprehensive exams stressful because I knew that I wanted most to speak to early Americanists and early Atlanticists (and I think the distinction was more pronounced back then), but I was not convinced that there were very many early American food histories. There were food histories on other periods and other geographies; there were food studies books on single commodities like sugar and chicken and interdisciplinary food studies collections with foundational essays on method; there was some relevant work on alcohol, and on animals; and it felt like there was no roadmap for my dissertation. That previous footnote, by the way, cites some of that scholarship, but also work that has come out since my comps, in spring 2010. The number of works appearing in 2009 might have contributed to that feeling of panic, but it also illustrates the problem with comprehensive exams that are based mostly on books rather than articles, which tell us what is coming for the field.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Road Trip – Montréal, Château Ramezay

Bruno Paul Stenson, a historian and musicologist with the Château de Ramezay historic site in Montréal, joins us to discuss how the American Revolution played out in Canada.

During our conversation, Bruno reveals information about Canada’s French history; the founding of Montréal and its importance to the colony of New France; And the role the Château de Ramezay played during the American Revolution.

Listen to the podcast.

Where in the World?

Where are Joan Lucas, Kawartha Branch, and Barb Andrew, Assiniboine 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 loyalist.trails@uelac.org.

Region and Branch Bits

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

The Truth about Alexander Hamilton, Fort Plain Museum, July 17

The Truth about Alexander Hamilton’s Birth, Wedding, and the Newburgh Conspiracy By Michael E. Newton. Was Hamilton born in 1755 or 1757? What was Hamilton’s role in the Newburgh Conspiracy? Hamilton was married in Albany, NY at the Schuyler Mansion? Pre-registration is required, $10. Details at www.fortplainmuseum.com/events.

Chilliwack Branch Celebrates BC Loyalist Day, July 20

At the home of Ken and Shirley Dargatz, a dedication ceremony, raising of the Loyalist flag and announcements with a pot Luck luncheon to follow. If attending please bring some sort of finger food or appetizer. RSVP with Marlene Dance wmdance@telus.net – only if you are planning to attend and for more details.

Van Valkenburg Family Reunion, Sept. 15-19

The 49th Annual Reunion of The National Association of the Van Valkenburg Family will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview 6455 Fallsview Boulevard Niagara Falls, ON, Canada L2G 3V9 on September 15-19, 2019. Contact the National Association of the Van Valkenburg(h) Family for more details.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Gravestone of John Lichtenstein, United Empire Loyalist, died 1813, buried Garrison Graveyard, Annapolis Royal, NS. With Loyalist regiment in Georgia during American Revolution. Grandson James William Johnston became Premier of Nova Scotia. courtesy Brian McConnell UE
  • Officers Quarters at Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia originally built in 1797 by British
  • Remind us once again, who “lost” the American Revolution? New Brunswick looks pretty good to us… Størmerlige Films and The Good Americans (see short video)
  • Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
    • 12 Jul 1780 Patriot forces, learning of interrogation of commander’s wife, ambush Loyalists at Brattonsville, SC.
    • 11 Jul 1779 British burn most buildings in Norwalk, Conn. in reprisal for privateering & espionage based there.
    • 10 Jul 1777 British General Prescott captured by rebels for the second time, this time in Rhode-Island.
    • 9 Jul 1776 Gen Washington had the newly arrived Declaration of Independence read aloud to the troops assembled in NY. Their reaction was favorable. The celebration that followed saw them tear down an equestrian statue of King George III. (Bowling Green Park NYC)
    • 9 Jul 1777 NY elects 1st governor as independent state; George Clinton is later VP to Jefferson and Madison.
    • 8 Jul 1776 Liberty Bell is rung to announce public reading of Declaration of Independence.
    • 7 Jul 1777 The only battle of the Revolution fought in Vermont, Battle of Hubbardton, ends in Patriot defeat.
    • 6 Jul 1777 Ft. Ticonderoga retaken by British, with great loss of critical military supplies, light casualties.
  • July 14, 1776, Continental adjutant general Joseph Reed refused a letter from Adm. Lord Howe addressed “To George Washington, Esq.,” not recognizing military rank. Reed said, “I cannot receive a letter for General Washington under such a direction.”
  • “I now date from Boston where I yesterday arrived and was with all 4 of our little ones innoculated for the small pox.” Abigail Adams to John on this day in 1776. The family wouldn’t fully recover from the treatment until the end of August.
  • 230 years ago, on this day 1789, the French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille prison during a popular uprising in Paris
  • On a relatively routine autumn day, General Montgomery’s 1793 Daybook for his Haverhill NH store records (Oct 26) Moses Dow to nails; Alden Sprague to 2 nutmegs; Sally Thompson to ribbon; Benj Young to a pair of cotton hose & WI rum, & Ebenezer Gray to souchong tea
  • Townsends
  • Robe a la francaise, brocaded silk, with box (also called Watteau) pleats cascading from neck, worn over panniers, c. 1750-75.
  • 18th Century Court dress, French, 1770s
  • 18th Century dress, Robe à la Française, The open skirt section is decorated with a wide embroidered strip, bordered with a strip of lilac satin with appliqués & feminine neo-classical designs, 1770-1790
  • 18th Century cream-coloured silk dress with woven stripes, floral scrolls, chain motif and multi-colored embroidered with bouquets and garlands, c.1760-1780’s
  • 18th Century men’s frock coat, silk corduroy in purple/green colours, with sequins & spangles, c.1780-1790
  • 18th Century men’s waistcoat, detail of embroidery and buttons