“Loyalist Trails” 2019-31: August 4, 2019
In this issue:
– Loyalists and Canada’s First Residential School, Part 1: New Brunswick, by Stephen Davidson
– Coronation Robes for King William IV
– St. Mary’s Church in Auburn, Nova Scotia
– “General Fry, That Wonderful Man”
– Borealia: Decorous Dispossession: Legally Extinguishing Acadian Landholding Rights
– JAR: The Tragedy of Henry Laurens
– JAR: A General’s Funeral: The Burial of Enoch Poor Revisited
– Washington’s Quill: Going Digital: The Process of Adding a New Volume to our Digital Edition
– Ben Franklin’s World: Charlottesville, VA, James Monroe’s Highland
– Everyday History: 18thc Tin Lanterns with Windows Made of Horn
– Thanks for Missing Loyalist Gazette Issues
– Where in the World?
– Region and Branch Bits
+ Quench Your Thirst With a Loyalist Beer
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Last Post
+ Robert Norman Wylie, UE
+ The Curious Case of Simeon and Wait Wright UEL
© Stephen Davidson, UE
It is a sad fact of Loyalist history that Canada’s first residential school for Indigenous children was overseen and staffed by Loyalists. As Canadians now begin to acknowledge the Native ownership of the land on which they live, it is also important that those of Loyalist descent recognize the role played by their ancestors in trying to mold Indigenous children into Europeans. It is a story that begins in the very first colony founded by Loyalists – New Brunswick.
After operating a number of schools for Indigenous and Black students in the New England colonies, the London-based Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent in America decided to open schools in New Brunswick “for educating and civilizing the Indians in this province”. The colony was just two years old when the New England Company (its shorter name) appointed its first commissioners on June 14, 1786 to oversee the creation and staffing of the Indigenous schools.
Except for Thomas Carleton, New Brunswick’s lieutenant governor, all of the school commissioners were Loyalist refugees: Jonathan Odell, William Paine, John Coffin, Jonathan Bliss, Ward Chipman, George Leonard, Isaac Allen, and George Duncan Ludlow. These men were paid by the New England company to hire and pay teachers, as well to provide books, clothes and implements “for such of the Indians as should profess the Protestant religion, and to place such Indians in English families or with English teachers to be instructed in the English language and in the trade and mystery of some lawful calling and in other liberal arts and sciences.”
By the following year, the commissioners had established seven schools (or stations) across the colony in Meductic (Woodstock), Fredericton, Sheffield (near Maugerville), Westfield (outside of Saint John), St. Andrews, Sussex Vale (now Sussex Corner) and Chatham. All but one of the headmasters appointed by the New England Company were Loyalists.
Within five years, this arrangement was “not deemed satisfactory, and the system was radically changed”. Six of the schools were closed, and the “academy” at Sussex Vale became New Brunswick’s central Indigenous school. Because it was the only “college” for Native children in the colony, it was – of necessity – a residential (or boarding) school.
For the most part, very little is known about the six Indigenous schools that were replaced by the one in Sussex Vale. James Frazer the headmaster of the Chatham school may be the Loyalist who received two town lots in Saint John in 1786. Benjamin Gilbert has left no other trace of his name in historical records except for the fact that he taught at the Fredericton school.
The fact that the Loyalist Henry Barlow Brown was the teacher appointed to instruct Native children in St. Andrew’s was ultimately of so little significance that it is not mentioned in his biographical information. What we do know of this Bostonian refugee was that he sought sanctuary in St. Andrew’s in 1776. He was single when he assumed his teaching responsibilities, as we know that he married Rebecca Appleton in 1790 when she was 25 and he was 26. After serving as a registrar of deeds and a judge of probate in the Loyalist town, he left New Brunswick in 1811, and made his home in Woodstock, Vermont where he died at the age of 93.
The only teacher of Indigenous students who was not a Loyalist was Gervas (Gervais/Gervis/Gervice) Say, a New England Planter who had settled along the St. John River in the 1760s. During the American Revolution, Say was among 19 other settlers in Maugerville who refused to sign the resolutions of rebel sympathizers. He served the crown as a negotiator with the Wolastoqiyik people, helping to secure their loyalty during the war.
(The first European settlers called the Wolastoqiyik people “Maliseets”, a derogatory term meaning “imperfect speakers”. It was the name given them by the Mi’kmaq people of present-day Nova Scotia. Wolastoqiyik means “People of the Beautiful River” in their own language.)
As Loyalists began to disembark at the mouth of the St. John River in 1783, the commander of Fort Howe appointed three newly arrived refugees and Say (the only “old settler” representative) to discover who already had farms along the river valley and where land was available for Loyalists. It would seem that Say’s service was rewarded by his 1786 appointment to the Indigenous school established in Sheffield just down the river from Maugerville. Of all of the teachers hired to work with First Nations children, Say is the only one who had previous experience with the Wolastoqiyik – and he would champion their cause outside the classroom as well.
When the newly minted colonial government conducted a survey in 1789 that threatened to impinge on Indigenous land, the local Wolastoqiyik turned to Say to resolve the situation. At that time, he was described as being the “Indian agent”. Again, in 1792, Say petitioned New Brunswick’s lieutenant governor on behalf of several Wolastoqiyik families to secure land along Grand Lake that would provide them an opportunity to become farmers. The Indian agent gave “some small donations” to the families, including corn, “clothing, axes, and hoes, with ammunition to kill their own meat, as their poverty is such that it is impossible for them to go forward without help.” Gervas Say’s petition resulted in land being allotted to the Indigenous families.
Burrows Davis, who instructed Native children at Westfield, had his name appear in a Canadian Educational Review article titled “New Brunswick Schools of the Olden Time”. Featured in the piece is a contractual agreement signed on January 28, 1791 between Davis and Joseph Maductick, a Wolastoqiyik leader.
Maductick agreed to “give up” his family to Davis for one whole year “to be educated by him after the English manner” on the condition that his wife and children would be supplied with food, “comfortable and sufficient clothing”, while he would be provided with powder and shot for hunting and tobacco. These were the kind of incentives regularly used by the New England Company to encourage Indigenous People to enroll their children in school. As for Burrows Davis, his name last appears in documents of the era when he died in a shipwreck in December 1801.
While details are practically nonexistent concerning the Indigenous schools that were established in Chatham, Fredericton, St. Andrew’s, Westfield and Sheffield, the school founded in Meductic near present-day Woodstock, New Brunswick has left posterity with a clearer understanding of its operations. The story of Frederick Dibblee and Meductic’s Indigenous school will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
For four weeks, the “Prince Who Dined with Loyalists” series by Stephen Davidson was about His Royal Highness Prince William Henry, who was crowned King William IV in 1830.
According to family, my GG grandfather James Charles Dexter, as an apprentice tailor, helped make the coronation robes for King William IV. An English cousin born in 1917 told me she remembered seeing a piece of ermine fur that was left over from the robe. I have forgotten the name of the company that did the work, but their records from that time are missing.
…Ivy Trumpour, Calgary Branch
The church was consecrated on October 10, 1792 by Loyalist Bishop Charles Inglis, the first Anglican Bishop appointed in British North America.
It was built between 1789-1790 as a result of the settlement of United Empire Loyalists in the area. It contained a Governor’s Pew with the Coat of Arms of George III believed to have been painted by Bishop Inglis which is on display in the church.
Among its’ early members was Lawrence VanBuskirk who served with the King’s Orange Rangers. Several other members of the VanBuskirk family are also buried with him in the family plot in adjacent church cemetery.
I had the opportunity recently to attend a tour of the church and cemetery by John A. DeCoste and Twila Robar De-Coste, co-authors of the book The Little Wren Church – A History of St. Mary’s Anglican Church, published in 1980 by Lancelot Press. During the fascinating tour inside I recorded this short video which I hope you find interesting.
…Brian McConnell, UE, Regional VP (Atlantic), UELAC
By J.L. Bell, 13 November 2012
NOTE: Regardless of the group, there are those who are great, and there are those who…
Joseph Frye (1712-1794), appointed a Massachusetts general on 21 June, was working closely with Gen. Artemas Ward when they learned of the Continental Congress’s choice of generals. That list didn’t include Frye. Ward personally went out to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in Watertown to talk to its leaders about sending a full list of its appointees to Philadelphia. At least that’s how Frye recalled the situation the following spring.
Occasionally that summer, Washington’s general orders referred to “Frye’s brigade,” but officially he was still just the senior colonel, not a brigadier general. Washington did want another brigadier. He just didn’t particularly want Frye. That’s clear in a 31 August letter to the Congress in which he mentioned two candidates for that rank.
In January the Congress finally decided to make Joseph Frye a brigadier in the army at Boston. That news took a while to reach Maine. Frye arrived back at the siege lines on 15 February, and Washington gave Frye his commission the next day. On the 24th, he sent Frye a short note about chaplains. And that’s the only message to the man in the commander-in-chief’s correspondence.
By Elizabeth Mancke, 30 July 2019
In August 1759, the Nova Scotia assembly passed “An Act for the Quieting of Possessions to the Protestant Grantees of the Lands, formerly occupied by the French Inhabitants, and for preventing vexatious Actions relating to the same.” The legislation prohibited “any troublesome or vexatious Suits of Law” by Acadians trying to recover their lands and made it illegal for any courts in the province to hear cases brought “for the Recovery of any Lands” by “the former French Inhabitants.” The text of the legislation indicated that “some Doubts have arisen … concerning the Title of the said French Inhabitants to any of the said Lands,” and some New Englanders were wary of moving hundreds of kilometers north to settle on lands to which Acadians might have legal recourse to recover.
Ten months earlier, in its first sitting, the assembly passed “An Act for confirming Titles to Lands and Quieting Possessions” with an explicit provision “That no Papist hereafter, shall have any Right or Title to hold, possess, or enjoy any Lands or Tenements, other than by virtue of a Grant or Grants from the Crown.” Anyone convicted of assisting a Catholic to acquire land would see it revert to the Crown.
By Gabriel Neville, 1 August 2019
It wasn’t really their fault, they said. Slavery, men of the founding generation liked to argue, was brought to the colonies by Britain. It came via Barbados and the other sugar islands of the Caribbean. Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens both blamed Britain and wished the colonies could free themselves of the practice. It was ironic, therefore, that American slavery not only outlasted the War for Independence but also outlasted slavery in the British Empire. In truth it was more than ironic: it was a tragedy that led to additional decades of forced labor and the deaths of well over half a million Americans in the Civil War.
Could the abolition of American slavery have come sooner? Maybe. Slavery never existed in the New World without someone also speaking out against it, and antislavery views took a demonstrably large leap forward during the founding era. Christianity, social contract theory, and the very spirit of the Revolution led many Americans to the same conclusion. Even many slaveowners understood it was wrong. “I can only say,” wrote George Washington about slavery in 1786, “that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it.”
By Joseph Lee Boyle, 30 July 2019
In the May 30, 2016 issue of this Journal, Todd W. Braisted introduced us to General Enoch Poor of New Hampshire, his death, and burial. The story is here continued.
On September 9, 1780, Lt.-Col. Henry Dearborn of the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment recorded that “this evining ye Honbe. Brigadeer Genl. Poor departed this life after labouring under a severe bilious fever 13 days, very universally lamented by the Genls. & other officers of the army.” The same day Second Lieutenant Pennington of the 2nd Artillery made the notation that “Last Night Died B. General Poor of a Short Illness he is much lamented by all ranks in the Army as he was a Brave Office and a worthy member of Society—” General Jedediah Huntington wrote from Paramus on September 11 that “Yesterday we buried one of our valuable Generals (Poor) who was sick but a few days with a bilious Fever – the funeral solemnity was very handsome & honorable to the deceased.”
Writing at “Camp, New Jersey” on September 17, Major Joseph Bass, who was Commissary and Clothier for New Hampshire lamented:
On the 8th inst. at night, died the worthy Gen. Poor, of a putrid nervous fever: very much lamented by all ranks in the army; and on the 10th he was buried at Hachinsach with all the honors of war. His funeral was attended by his Excellency Gen. Washington, the Marquis and all the principal officers of the army; in fact there was every respect shown this good man, and he was deserving of it all. In him may be truly said, was united the christian, the soldier, the gentleman. The army has lost a good officer: our Brigade in particular will feel the loss of him; for he was like a father, both to officers and men. He did honor to the State he came from. His funeral was the grandest I ever saw in this way. I pity his poor wife and family.
By Katie Blizzard, 2 August 2019
Every volume that The Washington Papers produces, we publish in print and digital formats. Our subscription-based digital edition, which is published by the University of Virginia Press’s electronic imprint Rotunda, is one of several online resources that result from our work.1 Used by thousands of people every year,2 the Papers of George Washington Digital Edition (PGWDE) is an especially valuable tool since it includes a cumulative index, which spans all volumes and series. The PGWDE also links readers directly to any document referenced in an annotation or editorial note, making it easy for users to discover other pertinent information. The nature of digital publication furthermore enables authors – or, in our case, documentary editors – to emend material after publication. It is, of course, unfortunate that errors can still occur even after our multiple volume reviews, but it is helpful (and heartening) to be able to visibly correct those errors in our digital edition.
The addition of a new volume to our digital edition, however, is not automatic. While much of the source material can be transformed by computer into the XML, or programming language, needed to integrate the volume into the PGWDE, some elements must be done by hand.
Sara Bon-Harper, Executive Director of James Monroe’s Highland, leads us on an exploration of the life and presidency of James Monroe, the fourth president in the so-called Virginia Dynasty.
During our exploration, Sara reveals details about James Monroe’s diplomatic service and presidency; Monroe’s private life at his estate, Highland; And, the interpretive challenges historians and interpreters at Highland face given the surprising new discovery they made about the estate in April 2016. Included is reference to Monroe’s experience in the Continental Army and his participation in the Battle of Trenton, 1776.
Susan Holloway Scott, 3 August 2019
One of my favorite parts of writing historical fiction is creating the material space for my characters to inhabit. When I write, I’m world-building, too; the world I’m describing once really did exist.
Whenever I visit a museum or historic site, I’m always on the hunt for the small, everyday things that my characters would have taken for granted.
Colonial Williamsburg is filled with these little details. On my visit there last weekend, I learned more about lanterns from Jenny Lynn, an apprentice tinsmith in CW’s Historic Trades Program. Used throughout 18thc America, tin lanterns were the flashlights of the day, and came in many sizes, shapes, and materials.
The simplest tin lanterns had holes punched into their sides to permit the light to pass through. More costly lanterns, like the one shown here, had windows filled with translucent panels crafted from the horns of cattle.
The UELAC Library & Archives was in the process of accessioning copies of the UELAC Loyalist Gazette Collection for missing editions. In the 17 March issue of Loyalist Trails, they requested assistance.
They are pleased to announce that they now have a full complement of the Archive holdings. Thanks to ALL who supported this initiative by sending the needed copies. Much appreciated!
…Carl Stymiest UE, UELAC Dominion Archivist
Where are Peter Milliken and Jim McKenzie, of Kingston Branch and New Brunswick Branch, respectively?
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.
Bench Brewing of Beamville ON released three new beers in time for the August 5 Civic Holiday long weekend. The Short Hills East Coast IPA is named after the most easterly region of the Twenty Valley known for its small but steep hills. Originally granted to the United Empire Loyalists after the Revolutionary War, this area was farmed by Mennonite settlers who cleared the land for agriculture in the early 1800s.
- Gravestone “In Memory of Pioneers Buried in this Cemetery in Unmarked Graves” at St. Peter’s Church Cemetery in Weymouth North, NS on land donated by United Empire Loyalist James Moody who with others Loyalists were pioneers to area. From Brian McConnell UE
- It’s time for some Schuyler Family Trivia! How many months after Philip and Catharine’s wedding was their first child, Angelica, born?
- If you guessed that Angelica was born five months after the wedding, you’re correct! She was an “early baby.” As long as the couple married before the child’s birth, there was no scandal in having a child so soon after the wedding.
- Today in History: Some from Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos) – items with links are from different places:
- 2 Aug 1776 Actual signing of the Declaration of Independence, the language for which was adopted on 4 Jul 1776.
- Aug 1776, the Continental Congress resolved “That General Washington be instructed to employ in the service of the states, as many of the Stockbridge Indians as he shall judge proper”. A Stockbridge company had already served in the Boston siege.
- 1 Aug 1777 Burgoyne reaches the Hudson after spending a month crossing 23 miles of wilderness from Lake Champlain.
- 31 Jul 1777 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayette volunteers to lead rebel troops as Major General – without pay.
- Interested in shipping something to London from Boston, circa 31 July 1769? Henry Johnson still has room aboard the Susanna!
- 30 Jul 1776 Washington offers exchange of any British officer for return of Col. Ethan Allen, captured at Montreal.
- 29 Jul 1776 Patriot forces invade Cherokee territory at North-Carolina to discourage alliance with British.
- 28 Jul 1776 Declaration of Independence received with cheers by solders when read at Fort Ticonderoga, New-York.
- 27 Jul 1777 Marquis de Lafayette & Baron Johann de Kalb arrive in Philadelphia to assist Continental Army.
- Bright as golden sunshine for a summer #footcandyfriday brocaded silk London-made Georgian shoes c1760 from my collection visit to Old York Historical Society in Maine
- How fabulous are these Galerie des Modes prints from the 1780s
- What else would you wear with a striped coat like ours than striped stockings,yellow breeches & contrasting blue waistcoat? Flamboyant combinations as shown in 1793 ‘Giornale delle Mode’ were just as popular with men as muted tones.
- 18th Century wedding dress, with what looks like a stunning two-tone silk, 1774
- 18th Century dress, Robe à l’Anglaise, silk, British, 1770
- Detail showcasing embroidery from 18th Century men’s court suit, 1770-90
- 18th Century men’s waistcoat, striking silk stripes, 1780’s
- An 18th-century London night watchman’s rattle, used to communicate and call for help. ; New York watchmen used these rattles as well. I looked for mentions of them in colonial Boston and found none.
- More summery florals for textiletuesday Asian-inspired flower-basket brocaded silk w/ metallic threads mid 18thc well-worn dress-weight study collection Fragment
Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch is saddened to report the passing of long-time member Robert Wylie. Robert attended almost every meeting for more than 10 years and he will be missed. He was very proud of his 10 proven Loyalist ancestors: John Annable, Adam Baker Sr., John Dixson, Jacob Eligh Sr., William Empey, Jeremiah French, Abraham Marsh, John McNairn, Nicholas Shaver & Dr. James Stuart!
Robert passed away peacefully at the Port Colborne Hospital on Friday July 19, 2019 in his 93rd year. He was predeceased by his wife Orpha Doan Wylie, his parents Lloyd and Marguerite (Shaver) Wylie, his sister Vera Woodward and his brothers William, John and Donald Wylie. Loved father of Catharine, dear brother of Ronald (Marilyn) of Cornwall, Uncle to Barb (Lou) Mitrovich and many nieces and nephews. He will be sadly missed by his 4 legged companion Lacie.
Robert was an employee for 46 years for Misener Transportation and was a member for over 61 years of the MacNab Lodge169, Royal Arch Mason McCallum Chapter #29, Plantagenet #8, Perceptoy #19 and Ramesis Port Colborne District Shrine Club. He was very proud of his 10 UEL ancestors and was a member of Col. John Butler Branch.
A special thank you to Dr. Rungi, the St. Elizabeth PSW’s, therapists and nurses, community Paramedic Ken, the nurses and staff of the Port Colborne Hospital and Lorenzo Cromwell. The Wylie family received visitors at the DAVIDSON FUNERAL HOME, 135 Clarence Street, Port Colborne on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 from 7-9p.m. Funeral Service was held in the Davidson Chapel on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. A private interment will be held at a later date. If so desired, memorial donations may be made to the Port Colborne Shrine Club or St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church.
…Bev Craig, UE
Simeon Wright was a Captain in the Vermont Militia,in Colonel Gideon Warren’s Regiment, and led his troops in at least one skirmishes against the British, (November 7-13 1778), and remained Captain of that Company until 1780 (when he was 56 years old). He continued to serve with the Vermont Militia, but was now a Private in a different company.
Two of his sons, Wait Wright and Simeon Wright, served in their father’s Company, and were both involved in at least two skirmishes against the British (Nov 7-13 1778 and November 22-25, 1779. On that 2nd occasion, Captain Simeon Wright was absent, and the Company pay sheet was signed by Ensign Nathaniel Bradford.
The two sons, Wait and Simeon, continued to serve in the same company, through 1782, but it was now under the command of Captain Nathaniel Bradford.
Corporal Wait Wright is known to have enlisted as a Private in the Kings Rangers in January, 1783. That’s a proven fact.
A Simeon Wright received rations at Fredericksburg (in now Ontario) in 1784. It is not known if this was Captain Simeon Wright (there were a number of Wright males named Simeon in New England during the relevant time frame).
On February 16 1786, Sarah Wright filed a claim, on behalf of her husband; for losses due to Simeon Wright because of his loyalty to Great Britain. There is however, absolutely NO record of his ever being a Loyalist.
Corporal Wait Wright is on record as purchasing cattle in Rutland, Vermont in 1786. That appears to be a curious thing for a person who was forced out because of his Loyalty to Britain to be doing. His brother, Simeon Wright was living in Rutland at that time, as were his sisters Anna and Sarah.
Wait Wright had 16 children, the first born in Rutland, Vermont in June 1786. Once again, it seems somewhat curious that a committed Loyalist either was living in Rutland, or was present in Rutland, when his daughter was born. There is no known record of a marriage, of his wife’s name, or what happened to 8 of his 16 children. It is known that all but one of his sons (Smith Wright) served in the Durham County Militia – in [what is] now Ontario.
I have searched, for over 40 years, for ANY proof that Captain Simeon Wright ever supported the British cause in any manner. I have also searched for any record of the deaths of Simeon or Sarah Wright in both Canada and Vermont.
I suspect that Captain Sineon Wright likely died between 1781 and 1786. I believe that his widow went to Canada to be with her older two daughters (who were both married to Loyalists), and filed a claim in an effort to obtain a benefit. I have no proof of that, but it is widely believed among his American descendants.
As far as his son Wait is concerned, once again, his case is a curious one. He is known to have been living in Hope Township (ON), and then Darlington (ON). But where/when did he marry? Why did a number of his children return to the USA? Where did he die, and when?
I know that Captain Simeon Wright appears on the UEL list. BUT, what evidence, other than the petition signed by Sarah Wright, shows that Simeon Wright was a Loyalist?
Wait Wright, for whatever reasons, chose to enlist in the King’s Rangers in 1783. This was after having served for the vast majority of the Revolutionary War on the opposite side. What caused him to switch sides, on the eve of Victory by the American side?
I began working on my family genealogy back in 1978, when my mother died. I wanted to find out how many of the family stories were true. It turned out that most of them were not completely true, but the real stories were much more interesting.
I would very much like to get some accurate data on Captain Simeon Wright, UE and Wait Wright, UE. They are the ONLY direct ancestors that I have very little information on from the time of the American Revolution onward.
I plan to apply for my UEL Certificates, from my Wright ancestors, as well as my Nova Scotia loyalist ancestors Alexander Peers and Daniel Teed.
…Lynton “Bill” Stewart Alvaton, Kentucky, USA