“Loyalist Trails” 2019-35: September 1, 2019

In this issue:
Explore the Mohawk Valley This Fall! (Sept 29 – Oct. 4)
Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone: 18 Black Loyalists’ Stories (Part 1), by Stephen Davidson
George Duncan Ludlow, UEL
Controversy over Ludlow Hall at University of New Brunswick
A Loyalist’s House in Saint John, New Brunswick
JAR: Four Battleflags of the Revolution: Captured by Lt.-Col. Banastre Tarleton
JAR: The Beeline March: The Birth of the American Army
Washington’s Quill: Martha on Money: The History of the Martha Washington Silver Certificate
Ben Franklin’s World: Life & Revolution in Boston & Grenada
Book: Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789
Where in the World?
Region and Branch Bits
      + Bicentennial Branch Meeting, Sept. 14
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Last Post
      + G.B. Okill Stuart, UE
      + Geraldine Helen Robson


Explore the Mohawk Valley This Fall! (Sept 29 – Oct. 4)

Looking to ‘experience’ history? Enjoy a whole week – or a a day or more – of unique, custom-designed experiences that will allow you to immerse yourself in the rich history of the Mohawk Valley and surrounding area. The American Revolution swept people of the region up in the chaos of war, forcing people who had lived, worked, and fought together, to choose sides. The complex history of this time is best understood when we are able to visit the places, and explore the lives, of these once neighbours, friends, and family.

Whether you are a United Empire Loyalist descendant, Patriot descendant, or both, or someone looking to experience a more hands-on exploration of Mohawk Valley colonial history, this is the package for you!

See the full Schedule of Events.

Come step back in time with us…Created by passionate historians and descendants connected to the region, we designed events we wanted to experience ourselves! This opportunity to explore history through sight, sound, taste and feel experiences in a small group setting, will allow for greater engagement and interaction.

Event Partners: UE Loyalists Bridge Annex; Johnson Hall Historic Site; Johnstown Historical Society; Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park

Hands-On History Starts Here! The booking is now open for the Mohawk Valley events by day(s) or full week.

Only $200 USD for a full week of custom events! (+$10 USD processing fee – does not include travel, accommodation or all meals)

See the Schedule of Events for day-by-day fees. Follow the “Sign up now” button – or email ExploreHistoryMV2019@gmail.com – for the booking link. Book 3+ days and you will receive a FREE SWAG bag!

Spaces are limited: book today!

Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone: 18 Black Loyalists’ Stories (Part 1)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In 1783, thousands of emancipated Africans made their way to sanctuaries within the British Empire, fleeing the very real danger of re-enslavement. Now recognized as Black Loyalists, these men and women have very few historical records to document the story of their lives before, during and after the events of the American Revolution.

However for 18 Black Loyalists who settled in Nova Scotia, there are enough documentary fragments to piece together their lives as slaves, their time in Nova Scotia, and the remainder of their lives in Sierra Leone.

The evacuation of both white and Black Loyalists from British headquarters in New York City began in April of 1783. During that month, the Mary, the Baker & Atlee, the Blacket, and the Esther were part of the fleet carrying Loyalist refuges to Port Roseway, (now Shelburne) Nova Scotia. Aboard each of those vessels were Black Loyalists who would end their days in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

None of the thousands of Black Loyalists sailing for Nova Scotia in 1783 could have anticipated the struggles that they would face in the northern colony. Rather than quickly receiving land grants equal to those of white Loyalists and being treated as British subjects, the Black refugees of the American Revolution faced systematic racism.

In the fall of 1791, their hopes for a life as free and equal British subjects were renewed when they were offered the chance to found a colony of free Blacks in Sierra Leone. Almost 1,200 Black Loyalists left Nova Scotia in 15 vessels in January of 1792. For some, it was a journey to the continent of their birth; for others it was a journey to the home of their ancestors. Here are the stories of people who lived in Nova Scotia for eight years before becoming the founders of West Africa’s Sierra Leone.

John and Lucinda Cuthbert’s long journey to Sierra Leone began in 1779 when they escaped from their slave master, Joseph Cuthbert, a resident of Savannah, Georgia. At 26 and 23, respectively, John and Lucinda boarded the Mary, bound for Nova Scotia with their two small children.

During their time in Nova Scotia, the Cuthberts joined the Baptist congregation lead by David George. John went on to become a leader in the church after the Black Loyalists arrived in Sierra Leone. A few years after settling in Freetown, John had the opportunity to travel to England to meet with British Baptists. When he returned to Freetown in the fall of 1794, his ship came under attack by French forces who had been pillaging the Black Loyalist settlement. The French took all the gifts that the British Baptists had given John, his belongings, and even his spectacles.

Two years later, Black Loyalist representatives appointed Cuthbert to serve as a justice of the peace, one of several men made magistrates in a bid to wrest control of the colony from the Sierra Leone Company. However the British government refused to recognize the Black Loyalists’ appointments.

The Baptists of Sierra Leone normally sided with the British, but in 1800 John Cuthbert decided to throw his lot in with fellow colonists who had proclaimed a new constitution for the colony. What was supposed to be a peaceful reform turned into an armed uprising. Quashed by the authorities, some rebels were executed, while others like John Cuthbert were banished from Sierra Leone.

The Cuthberts were not the only passengers aboard the Mary who would eventually migrate to Sierra Leone. William and Mary Ashe sailed to Nova Scotia with their daughter Esther. William (38) and Esther (10) had been enslaved by Cato Ashe in Charleston, South Carolina, but gained freedom by joining the British in 1775. Mary Ashe (38) escaped her master, James Gerrido, in Indian Land, South Carolina at the same time. This fact suggests that Mary had been taken from her husband and daughter at some point and had been sold by the latter’s master in the years before the Declaration of Independence.

After settling in Birchtown, William Ashe became a member of Lady Huntingdon Connexion, a small denomination made up of Calvinist Methodists. He was eventually ordained as a preacher in the mid-1780s. When the Ashes joined other Black Loyalists who settled in Freetown, William became an assistant pastor in the first Lady Huntingdon Connexion church in Africa.

Another Black Loyalist who spent just eight years in Nova Scotia was Cato Perkins. He was 44 years old when his evacuation ship, the Free Briton, left New York City for Port Roseway in June of 1783. He escaped enslavement in Charleston, South Carolina in 1778, and after receiving his General Birch Certificate, settled in Birchtown where – in addition to working as a carpenter – he, too, became a preacher with the Calvinist Methodists.

Within a year after settling in Freetown, Perkins was one of two Black Loyalists who travelled to England with a petition against the Sierra Leone Company, complaining that his people were “so distressed because we are not treated as freemen”. While Perkins waited for a response to the Black Loyalists’ petition, he was able to receive theological training at a Huntingdon Connexion college.

Unhappy with the response to the settlers’ petition, Perkins returned to Freetown where he served as a preacher until his death in 1805. The man who had accompanied him to London and back to Sierra Leone was Isaac Anderson, a Black Loyalist who was among those leaving New York City in April of 1783 on board the Baker & Atlee. A 30 year-old carpenter at the time, Anderson claimed to have been born free into the family of Charleston’s Robert Lindsay. Anderson married after arriving in Nova Scotia where he and his wife had two sons and a daughter. Later he would claim to have been born in Angola and described himself as a soldier, carpenter, and farmer.

While there was nothing remarkable about the years that he lived in Shelburne, Anderson would become an important figure in the early history of Sierra Leone. Given the fact that Anderson and Cato Perkins had been selected by their fellow Black Loyalists to present grievances to the Sierra Leone Company, the carpenter from South Carolina had clearly earned the respect of his fellow Nova Scotians.

Three years after the failed attempt to seek reforms in England, Anderson was appointed as a justice of the peace in the hope that the Black Loyalist settlers could take control of the colony through the judicial system. In 1800, Anderson was one of four men who signed and proclaimed a new constitution for Sierra Leone. Within two weeks of the proclamation, Black Loyalist rebels made Anderson their governor.

All of the members of the Huntingdon church and half of Freetown’s settlers supported their newly proclaimed governor. Within a matter of days, the rebels were overwhelmed by government forces and the Maroon settlers who had just arrived from Halifax. On the basis of having written a threatening letter to the true governor of Sierra Leone, Isaac Anderson was hanged for his part in the rebellion while 32 others received the lesser consequence of banishment from the colony.

Learn more about the Nova Scotian settlers of Sierra Leone in next week’s Loyalist Trails.

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

(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles about Black Loyalists who have documents pertaining to their lives in the United States, the Maritimes and Sierra Leone. The first articles in this series were published in Loyalist Trails in April 2019 and featured Black Loyalists who had initially settled in New Brunswick before migrating to West Africa.)

George Duncan Ludlow, UEL

A judge and politician; b. 1734 in Queens County, Long Island, N.Y., son of Gabriel Ludlow and Frances Duncan; m. 22 April 1758 a cousin who was also named Frances Duncan, and they had one son and two daughters; d. 13 Nov. 1808 in Fredericton, N.B.

Duncan and his brother George were staunch supporters of the crown during the troubles of the pre-revolutionary years. In the mid 1770s George Duncan was forced out of New York City “to cherish the remains of loyalty in Queens County,” where he and Gabriel owned substantial adjoining properties near Hempstead.

Regarded as arch-tory to the core, the Ludlows apparently had no choice but to leave New York when the revolution was over, though their half-brother Daniel, also a loyalist, remained there to become a successful businessman.

With the successful conclusion of the campaign to create from Nova Scotia a new province as a home for American refugees, George Duncan was selected as its chief justice. As chief justice he was a member of the original council that was to administer the province. Gabriel was also appointed to this body and, by virtue of his military rank, became its senior member. The Ludlow brothers held these positions, two of the most prestigious in New Brunswick, for the next 25 years.

Younger members of the Council such as Edward Winslow, Ward Chipman, and John Coffin had more to offer, but their activities always took place under the cautious eyes of their seniors.

As chief justice, Ludlow was more inconsistent, or more flexible, than might have been expected. In his first case Nancy Mozely (Mosley), a black, was convicted of manslaughter for killing her husband with a pitchfork. After praying benefit of clergy under an ancient tradition, she was sentenced to be branded with the letter M in the brawn of her left thumb and then dismissed. In a more celebrated case of February 1800 that considered the legality of slavery in New Brunswick, Ludlow, a slave holder, supported the owners. “Our Chief Justice,” declared Ward Chipman, “is very strenuous in support of the master’s rights as being founded on immemorial usuages and customs in all parts of America ever since its discovery. He contends that customs in all countries are the foundation of law, and from them the law acquires its force.” Ludlow was supported on the bench by Joshua Upham while the other two judges were opposed. The split permitted the slave owner, Caleb Jones, to hold his property, despite British practice at the time. By 1820, however, slavery was at an end in New Brunswick, partly because of the controversy this outcome had sparked.

The Ludlow brothers occupy a unique position in New Brunswick history. For 25 years they held two of the senior positions in the colony, and for five years after Carleton’s return to Britain they were in control, apparently without being seriously challenged. Innately conservative, a predilection reinforced by the American revolution, they were partly responsible for the ascendency of that disposition in New Brunswick. Past their prime when they arrived in New Brunswick, the Ludlows claimed their rights as members of the loyalist élite and died respected.

Read more in the in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Controversy over Ludlow Hall at University of New Brunswick

The UNB law school is urged to shed a name linked to slavery and residential school.

Ludlow Hall was named after a judge who supported slavery and keeping Indigenous children away from their families.

The name Ludlow Hall, spread in bold letters over the entrance to the University of New Brunswick law school, is an unsettling, hurtful sight for some students who have to see it every day.

George Duncan Ludlow, a Loyalist and the first chief justice of New Brunswick, sided with slave owners in the colony and also supported an early residential school for Indigenous children.

Read more.

A Loyalist’s House in Saint John, New Brunswick

This image, taken from an old postcard, shows the home of Ward Chipman, a Massachusetts Loyalist who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick. An 1885 newspaper article says Chipman built his house in 1788 – five years after loyalist refugees first arrived in Saint John. Chipman commissioned buyers in London to purchase furnishings (as well as wallpaper) for his new home. In 1794, the Duke of Kent (later the father of Queen Victoria) was a guest in the Loyalist’s home. In 1860, the duke’s grandson, Edward the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) also stayed there. One historian described the house as ” the social centre of the city for a century”. Located at 223 Germain Street, the house later became the Seaman’s Institute. Although it was the oldest house in Saint John, the city demolished Chipman House in 1903 to make space for the city’s new library and YMCA buildings.

Learn more about the Loyalist who built this impressive home.

JAR: Four Battleflags of the Revolution: Captured by Lt.-Col. Banastre Tarleton

By John Knight, 27 August 2019

On a late summer afternoon in 2005 representatives from Sotheby’s, the world’s most prestigious Fine Art auctioneers, pulled up outside the Hampshire home of Christopher Tarleton-Fagan. Fagan was a retired Grenadier Guards officer and the owner and custodian of four of the most historic Revolutionary war artefacts still remaining in private hands. He was also the great-great-great-great-nephew of British cavalry commander, Banastre Tarleton. Once inside, the amazed appraisers stood opposite four invaluable battle flags captured by Tarleton’s British Legion, including one regarded as the precursor to the iconic “Stars and Stripes.”

Though Tarleton had been a notorious womaniser, at his death, he had fathered just one illegitimate daughter, and she had predeceased him. His war trophies, therefore, he bequeathed to his nephew Thomas Tarleton whose direct descendent Christopher now stood alongside them. He was destined to be the final Tarleton scion to own them. Captain Tarleton-Fagan explained to the representatives, “I am very sad to sell them. They are an important part of our family history. However, there comes a time when their value is such that one can no longer afford to insure them.”

Nearly two hundred and fifty years after they were captured from Continental troops and smuggled away to England, these precious standards would finally be returning home. Or would they?

Read more.

JAR: The Beeline March: The Birth of the American Army

By John Grady, 26 August 2019

On a late spring afternoon in 1825, the two Bedinger brothers – Henry and Michael, old men now, seventy-four and sixty-nine respectively, proud immigrants from Alsace-Lorraine – commanded attention among “a party of ladies and gentlemen” gathered for an “elegant [midday] dinner” to keep a fifty-year-old pledge to their other “brothers” in arms. They were at Daniel Morgan’s Springs, near Shepherdstown, Virginia, now West Virginia – named not for the famous officer, but for the “other” Daniel Morgan. It was Friday, June 10, and they commemorated “times long past,” keeping the vow that the brothers and ninety-six of their neighbors – hardened young men to their times and place – made to each other in a very different world. Looking about them, the Bedingers saw “sons and grandsons” of those “boys of 1775.”

Fifty years before, the “boys” had been restive at the end of a day of drilling “for what.” They heard disjointed tales of great troubles carried from Massachusetts, the far reaches of the Hampshire Grants, Williamsburg, and Richmond. In mid-April, they and other companies in the Shenandoah Valley had been placed on alert to be able “at a moment’s warning, to re-assemble, and by force of arms” defend the liberty of Virginia “or any other colony.” Tumbling one on top of the other, their futures teetered on bedlam and mayhem. To some, they had good reason to fear. In their future was imprisonment in rotting hulks, barely surviving under conditions more common to the cells of the Public Hospital for Persons of Disordered and Insane Minds; tomahawk-charging, cutthroat frontier warfare with Indians and Loyalists; and death before their time.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: Martha on Money: The History of the Martha Washington Silver Certificate

By Kathryn Gehred, 30 August 2019

The U.S. Department of the Treasury sparked controversy in 2016 when it announced plans to place Harriet Tubman on the front of the twenty-dollar bill in 2020. Earlier this summer, the department postponed the bill’s release to 2028.1 When the redesign finally takes place, Tubman will be the first woman on U.S. paper currency since 1886, when Martha Washington appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate. As an editor of the papers of Martha Washington, I was curious about the history of the Martha Washington dollar. Did her image inspire as much debate as Tubman’s?

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Life & Revolution in Boston & Grenada

In this episode we join Susan Clair Imbarrato, a Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead and author of Sarah Gray Cary from Boston to Grenada: Shifting Fortunes of an American Family, 1753-1825, to discover more about the letters of Sarah Gray Cary and what they reveal about how she and her family experienced the American Revolution on the island of Grenada.

As we explore the life and letters of Sarah Gray Cary, Susan reveals why the letters of Sarah Gray Cary are remarkable and what they can tell us about the Age of Revolutions; Details about the lives of Sarah Gray Cary and her family; And the different ways the American Revolution impacted the Cary Family’s ability to stay together and make money in the transatlantic economy.

Listen to the podcast.

Book: Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789

By Joseph M. Adelman, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019). During the American Revolution, printed material, including newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and broadsides, played a crucial role as a forum for public debate. Adelman, Associate Professor of History at Framingham State University, argues that printers – artisans who mingled with the elite but labored in a manual trade – used their commercial and political connections to directly shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization. Going into the printing offices of colonial America to explore how these documents were produced, Adelman shows how printers balanced their own political beliefs and interests alongside the commercial interests of their businesses, the customs of the printing trade, and the prevailing mood of their communities. Adelman describes how these laborers repackaged oral and manuscript compositions into printed works through which political news and opinion circulated.

Read more.

Where in the World?

Where are David Kanowakeron Hill Morrison, of Grand River Branch and Bridge Annex, and David Ellsworth, of Col. John Butler 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.

Bicentennial Branch Meeting, Sept. 14

Ruth Nicholson will tell a tale of her ancestors – “Three Loyalist Heroes: Robert Land, Isaac Ferriss and John Cornwall.”

1:00 pm, Church of the Epiphany, Kingsville, ON

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Twenty-seven Loyalist slaveholders from Annapolis Nova Scotia petition the Assembly to uphold their ‘rights’ as slaveholders. Among them they claim ownership of eighty-eight slaves, December 1807.
  • Sign beside cemetery at historic St. Mary’s Church in Auburn, Nova Scotia built in 1790 to shipwreck victims, strangers, & slaves
  • This Week in History
  • Townsends
    • Open Fire Shrimp With Black Pepper Butter Sauce – 1600s Recipe (from Martha Washington’s Cookbook)
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Living the good life on Le Boat, a product that’s easier to sell than you might think. Take a leisurely cruise along the Rideau Canal. The United Empire Loyalists settled this region of Eastern Ontario and thrived thanks to the waterways and industry. Now these historic towns are forever connected by the 24 lockstations along the Rideau and the popularity of summer vacations in Lanark County. Read more…
    • 1612, John Rolfe harvested the first crop of tobacco for export, which sparked centuries of tobacco farming in Virginia. Stop by our re-created farm at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown to learn how our historical interpreters tend to tobacco from seed to harvest.

Last Post

G.B. Okill Stuart, UE

Okill touched the minds and hearts of literally hundreds of people in his long and productive life, especially thanks to his welcoming and dynamic personality. His commitment to promoting his Loyalist heritage, as a direct descendant of Rev. John Stuart, UEL (1740-1811), was heartfelt and sustained. Among his accomplishments were his presidency of Heritage Branch (c. 1987-1993); the organizing of the UELAC’s Convention in Lennoxville, Quebec in 1989, graced by the presence, as guest of honour, of Okill’s former schoolmate from Gordonstoun, H.R.H. the Prince Philip; the publication that same year of The Loyalists of Quebec: A Forgotten History, 1774-1825, and his term as Dominion President of the UELAC (1994-1996). He had a passion for history, genealogy and heraldry, as well as an unshakeable belief in the value of our Canadian constitutional monarchy and our two official languages.

Okill Stuart’s involvement, as a decorated D-Day veteran, in the building of the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy; his work as a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem; his leadership as a long-time Office Commanding the (recreated) 78th Fraser Highlanders Regiment; and his devoted service over the decades to so many other organizations and causes (local, provincial and national) too numerous to mention, made him a very special person who it was an honour to know and easy to love. He was indeed a “person of consequence” – an unforgettable character – whose memory shall be cherished by the legion of admirers in several lands.

Visitation on Thursday September 5, 2019 from 2 pm to 5 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm at Collins Clarke Macgillivray White Funeral Home, Dignity Memorial, 307 Riverside Drive, Saint-Lambert, QC, J4P 1A7. The funeral will be held at the Saint-Lambert United Church, 85 Boul. Desaulniers, Saint-Lambert on Friday September 6, 2019 at 11 am. Read the obituary.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, let us remember him.

…Robert C. Wilkins UE CMH President of Heritage Branch UELAC

See also: “WWII veteran Gordon Bruce Okill Stuart, friend to Prince Philip, dies at 98” by Global News; the first video clip is about Okill.

Geraldine Helen Robson

Passed away peacefully on August 29, 2019, at Leamington Hospital at age 92. Daughter of the late Joseph and Caroline (Deacon) Renaud. Reunited with her husband William. Loving mother to Bill Robson (Jill), Fred Robson (Lynn), and Tom Robson (Shelley). Cherished grandmother to Ben, Meghan, Erika, Reg, Phil, Graeme, Samantha, and Jessica. Beloved great-grandmother of Will, Owen D., Freya, and Owen W., Survived by her sister Eleanor.

Geraldine was a faithful lifelong member of the Church of the Epiphany. She also loved her flowers and history and was a longtime member of the Horticultural Society and the United Empire Loyalists, Bicentennial Branch.

Special thanks to Katherine Groenewegan for all her care and compassion at the hospital. Visitation will take place at the Kendrick Funeral Home in Kingsville, Tuesday, September 3 from 5-8pm and funeral services will be also held at Kendrick on Wednesday, September 4 at 11 a.m. If desired, donations can be made to the Church of the Epiphany or the Kingsville Horticultural Society.

…Earline Bradt, UE, Bicentennial Branch Newsletter Editor