“Loyalist Trails” 2019-41: October 13, 2019
In this issue:
– Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia: Part 3: Other Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson
– Worthy of Commemoration
– How Paul Revere Scooped a Rival and Created One of the Most Infamous Images in American History
– JAR: The Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary Service of Georgia’s John Milton
– JAR: Book Review: Printing the News, 1763-1789
– Washington’s Quill: George Washington Sees the Circus
– Ben Franklin’s World: American Legal History & the Bill of Rights
– Fall 2019 Loyalist Gazette: Paper vs. Digital
– Loyalist Certificate Applications: Deadline for 2019 is October 31
– Where in the World?
– Region and Branch Bits
+ “Sullivan-Clinton Campaign” Symposium, Johnstown NY (Nov. 2)
+ Reconnecting a Divided Winslow Family
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
– Additions to the Loyalist Directory
– Last Post: James Donald Lochhead Howson
+ Acquiring a Loyalist Rose
© Stephen Davidson, UE
It is unusual to have a physical description of a Loyalist, but we have one for Daniel Weeks. When he was 48 years old, he was described as being five foot six inches high, having a black complexion, black hair and gray eyes. A later source would add, “he was a man of low stature but stout with great energy of body and rather active mind”.
Born on New York’s Long Island in December of 1735, Weeks served in the British Army under General James Wolfe. The young New Yorker saw action during the Gulf of St. Lawrence Campaign in September of 1758. General Wolfe’s forces attacked French settlements with the goal of eradicating any resources that might be used to counter the British army’s forthcoming attack on Quebec City.
Following this campaign, Daniel Weeks returned to New York, but then “left his father” in the early 1770s, boarding a vessel for Newfoundland. By 1778, the 43 year-old Weeks was in Halifax where he joined the Loyal Regiment of Nova Scotia Volunteers – a Loyalist infantry battalion created to defend the colony during the American Revolution. Weeks wrote letters back to Long Island during this time, but heard nothing from his parents, siblings or grandparents.
Weeks was the Loyal Regiment’s carpenter, a role that did not require him to bear arms. He married Jerushia Powers, and by 1781 the couple had a daughter. In September of that year, Weeks tried once again to contact his family. When his parents responded, their letter was full of shock and amazement. Ambrose and Phebe Weeks had received none of their son’s earlier letters and had come to the conclusion that he was dead. In addition to news of weddings and deaths, his parents included assurances of their love for their long lost son.
Two years later, when Daniel Weeks was discharged, he was a widower and the father of two children. Because he had “adhered to the royal cause at the time of the revolution”, he received a grant of land at Ship Harbour, 72 km to the east of Halifax. There he met and married a German Loyalist’s daughter, Hannah Mehl. The couple would eventually have 19 children.
The census of 1827 reveals that Daniel’s household was comprised of 6 males and 3 females. His son Daniel Junior had a wife and two sons, while his son David Weeks had a wife and one son.
The same census listed Daniel senior as a member of the Church of England, having 6 acres under cultivation, 170 bushels of potatoes, ten bushels of “other grain”, 6 tons of hay, five horned cattle, ten sheep and two swine.
While the census describes Weeks with statistics, his neighbours remembered him as a great character, having a “fertile imagination in giving accounts of his exploits” – a number of which had to do with hunting bears and moose. In fact, Weeks is credited with naming a point of land along the eastern Nova Scotia. Just south of Moser River (and 18 km east of Sheet Harbour) one will still find a community called Moosehead. It has nothing to do with the brand of Maritime beer and everything to do with the imagination of David Weeks.
Daniel’s obituary notes that in 1838, “he enjoyed his second sight” at age 103, bestowing such robust health upon him that “up to a couple of days ago” (in 1851) he “went bareheaded into the woods to cut timber”.
Others remembered that at the age of 112, Weeks travelled 25 km from Musquodoboit Harbour to the local polling station to cast his vote in the 1847 colonial elections. He got there in a boat and over a road in the forest “which would be death to men of ordinary vigor when he stood up in the boat and cheered for his party like a boy of 16 years of age”.
A Loyalist who had witnessed a century of remarkable changes, Daniel Weeks died at the age of 117 on December 29, 1851.
No doubt Ship Harbour had other “characters” among its Loyalist settlers, but their personalities do not emerge from the documents of the era. Most of Ship Harbour’s founders were Palatine Germans who had initially settled in the interior of South Carolina. Their unwavering allegiance to the British crown made them refugees who found sanctuary in Nova Scotia. And yet, among these German-born veterans of the American Revolution, there lived other men who – like Daniel Weeks – were exceptions to the typical Ship Harbour settler.
Born in England, Joseph Lamb gave up his life as a sailor and became a carpenter in Virginia in 1772. With the outbreak of the revolution, local Patriots drafted Lamb into the Redford militia. He pulled up stakes immediately and settled in the Camden District of South Carolina. Although urged to join its rebel militia, he was able to “keep out of the way”. When South Carolina came back under British rule, Lamb served in Charleston’s Loyalist militia.
Following the death of Arthur Graham, a Camden neighbour, Lamb married his widow Hannah. The couple joined other Loyalists who left South Carolina for Nova Scotia in the fall of 1782 – just ten years after Lamb first arrived in the New World. The last time we hear the voices of Joseph and Hannah is in the July 11, 1786 transcripts of the loyalist compensation board. As well as recording the story of their lives during the revolution, these transcripts note that the couple had made their new home in Ship Harbour.
Given the absence of supporting witnesses at the compensation hearings, it seems that the Lambs were not well known by their German neighbours. The Irishman Chambers Blakeney (sometimes Blakley) – a former resident of the 96 District – not only spoke on behalf of his fellow South Carolina refugees, but had Andrew Myers* validate his compensation claims.
Blakeney left County Armagh with his parents, siblings and over 250 Protestants to settle on free land in South Carolina just ten years before independence was declared by the Thirteen Colonies. By the time he had married Catherine White, Blakeney had 100 acres of his own land. His holdings had doubled just as he was forced to abandon the 96 District and find refuge in Charleston. Blakeney served the crown at James Island with Henry Siteman*, and later set sail for Nova Scotia on the naval troop ship Argo with the Webber* families.
It is little wonder then that this Irishman, his wife and their six children decided to settle with their German comrades – all were Loyalists who had shared so many of the same trials and tribulations in South Carolina. Catherine Blakeney died sometime before 1790, just seven years after her arrival in Nova Scotia. Chambers lived twenty years as a widower, dying in Ship Harbour in his early sixties.
These accounts of the Loyalist settlers of Nova Scotia’s Ship Harbour began with three death notices, each recording the passing of a man who died near (or past) the age of 100. Given the traumas these Loyalists endured during the American Revolution, it is remarkable that they managed to survive their first winter in Nova Scotia, let alone thrive in their new homes. Why these particular Loyalists lived to be almost a century or more will – however – remain one of the enduring mysteries of Ship Harbour.
* See Stephen’s piece in last week’s Loyalist Trails.
[Editor’s note: For more of the story of Ship Harbour’s settlers, read My Help Comes from Above, by R.H. Blakeney; and Families of Ship Harbour, by R.K. Stevens.]
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
9 October 2019
Contributors to the Journal of the American Revolution were recently asked: “If you could commission a monument, what would you commemorate and where would it be located?”
There are many interesting suggestions.
On December 19, 1777, more than 400 women – and an unknown number of children – struggled into their winter encampment at Valley Forge.
Just north of the New York border in the Canadian Province of Quebec lies a small island on the Richelieu River. The island’s name is Ile aux Noix (translated Island of Nuts). In 1775 it served as a staging area for the Schuyler-Montgomery invasion that led to the capture of Montreal in November. In June 1776 Ile aux Noix served as the last gathering point for thousands of American rebels being driven out of Canada by superior British forces. Smallpox, dysentery, and other killer diseases were rampaging through these valiant patriot soldiers who, by the hundreds, succumbed to these diseases while temporarily bivouacked on the island. Their remains were hastily buried in open pits, but no marker of any consequence has ever been placed on Ile aux Noix.
In France, as we owe the French a huge debt in helping us win the war.
The Oneida Indians should have a monument. While most of the Iroquois Confederacy sided with Great Britain, the Oneidas largely supported the rebelling colonies. They aided American forces in the Mohawk Valley, particularly at the Battle of Oriskany. In the spring of 1778, Oneidas served as scouts around the Valley Forge encampment and fought at the Battle of Barren Hill. The Oneidas, however, were never recognized for their support and were dispossessed of most of their land after the war. Their monument should be at the Oriskany battlefield or Valley Forge.
I would commission a monument to John Small, the Gaelic-speaking British officer famously depicted in Jonathan Trumbull’s The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In the words of Trumbull, he was “equally distinguished by acts of humanity and kindness to his enemies as by bravery and fidelity to the cause he served.”
Given the changes in political tides in the centuries since the war, the British soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War deserve commemoration. The names of many of the fallen are known, and thousands of their descendants are among American citizens today.
A memorial at Ninety-Six, South Carolina, national historic site in memory of the Loyalists executed there and all such Americans who fought for King and Country.
A memorial to those who were forced to leave their native homeland: Loyalist Americans, because of virulent and violent sentiment against them; Native Americans, forced to move west and north because the British loss meant wholesale land theft by the winners; and African Americans, who, having been given their freedom by the British, would be sent back into slavery had they stayed.
I would put a monument in front of any one of the many Quaker sites that were taken advantage of both by the British and the Americans.
Henry Pelham created an image for the ages.
On the snowy night of March 5, 1770, a group of British soldiers were confronted by an unruly crowd of colonists near the Custom House in Boston. The melee that followed ended with the panicked troops firing into the crowd, killing several colonists, including Crispus Attucks, a Black sailor who’s often regarded as the first casualty of the American Revolution. The deaths outraged a rebellion-minded city already on edge over British occupation. Quickly known as the Boston Massacre, it became a signal event in early American history and the run-up to the Revolutionary War.
It’s not known if Pelham witnessed the Massacre. But as a Bostonian and engraver by trade, he certainly understood how earth-shattering it was. He quickly produced a copperplate engraving depicting the events. At some point in the days afterwards, he showed a colleague a version of it, perhaps an early proof. The image, called Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street Boston, on March 5th, 1770, was highly inflammatory – more propaganda than journalism – showing an organized British squad following an order to fire on the colonists, several of whom fall wounded in the street. It leaves no doubt of the patriot point-of-view: This was cold-blooded murder.
Pelham’s intent was to get the engraving printed and disseminated as widely as possible. There was only one problem: He got scooped. The colleague he conferred with was silversmith, fellow engraver, and Son of Liberty Paul Revere, who quickly realized how powerful the image was and set about engraving one of his own that was remarkably similar to Pelham’s. Revere called his version The Bloody Massacre, Perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th 1770 by a Party of the 29th Regt and rushed it to press, beating Pelham by several days.
By R. Boyd Murphree, 10 October 2019
Georgia’s fragile independence within the new American republic was shattered on December 29, 1778, when British troops attacked Savannah. Despite clear signs that the British were coming, the capital of the state on that December morning was caught by surprise. Panic set in as the redcoats approached the city. State officials and soldiers fled for the interior in hopes of reestablishing the government up the Savannah River at Augusta. A few weeks earlier, when British vessels neared the Georgia coast, Gov. John Houstoun, fearing an imminent attack on Savannah, ordered twenty-two year-old John Milton, a captain in the Georgia Brigade of the Continental army and the acting secretary of state, to remove the secretary of state’s papers to a safe location. Captain Milton secured the papers and transported them by boat on the Savannah River to Purrysburg, South Carolina.
On January 22, 1779, Milton informed Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who was organizing an American force at Purrysburg in the hope of recapturing Savannah, that Governor Houstoun had entrusted him with the task of securing the state papers, which he now held in Purrysburg. With the British advancing from Savannah towards Augusta, Milton was worried that the papers “may not be secure so near the Enemy” and asked General Lincoln if the papers “should be removed further into the country.” After receiving approval for the move, Milton transported the papers by wagon to Charleston, South Carolina.
In February 1780, anticipating that a British siege of Charleston would leave the Georgia papers vulnerable to fire, General Lincoln, who was preparing the city’s defenses, ordered Milton to remove the papers north to Moncks Corner, where he could transfer them to the care of a “Mr. Parker, one of the treasurers of this state,” who had the job of protecting the state papers of South Carolina.
Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789, by Joseph M. Adelman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019). Reviewed by Gene Procknow, 7 October 2019.
Adelman aptly portrays the complex challenges of a fast-growing but risky publishing business that required long hours of heavy manual labor and earned scant profits. Cogently, he contends the oft-repeated assertion that, “in establishing American independence, the pen and the press had merit equal to the sword,” is overly simplistic and was not reflective of broad segments of the eighteenth-century printing industry in America.
Printers adopted network-enabled commercial practices to gather the most timely and relevant news and to maximize profitability. Types of networks included kinship, correspondent, and business associates. As case examples, he cites the Green family who operated nearly one-half of early eighteenth century New England printing offices and Benjamin Franklin’s extensive East Coast correspondent network.
Printers had to decide which side they were on, and when the other party controlled their operating territories, many printers were forced to flee. Adelman finds that fifty-one printers had to evacuate their offices at some point during the war.
Adelman’s data demonstrates that printers divided along the same lines as the general population with Rebel, Loyalist, and neutral-leaning newspapers. Remarkably, this newly-compiled data demonstrates that almost forty percent of printers espoused Loyalist views.
Some of the most fascinating portions of Adelman’s volume are his descriptions of the physical printing process and the business operations of a commercial printer.
By Carly Dotson, 11 October 2019
The circus is not what usually comes to mind when thinking about George Washington, though it seems Washington was intrigued by it. According to his Presidential Household Financial Accounts, Washington “[paid] for 8 tickets for the Circus” on April 24, 1793. This was the first circus to take place in the United States, and it had debuted only a few weeks prior.
The circus that Washington attended was started by John Bill Ricketts, who previously had trained and worked as a circus performer in Europe in the 1780s.
Jessie Kratz, First Historian of the United States National Archives, and Mary Sarah Bilder, the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College, take us through the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the laws they established.
The Loyalist Gazette Fall issue is nearing completion, again with hopes that the paper copies will be printed and in Canada Post around the beginning of November.
The Loyalist Gazette is distributed to current members of a branch of UELAC.
A good number of UELAC branch members who like things in a digital format have elected to forego the paper copy and receive only a digital copy. They receive it a few days earlier as well.
A note will be sent this weekend or Monday to those who have been receiving ONLY the digital copy, and to those who have received BOTH digital and paper in the past Spring issue, asking if you wish to change your preference.
A new “Members’ Only” section of a new UELAC website is coming soon. An announcement will be made. Any current UELAC Branch member who wishes to log in will have access to the current digital Gazette issues there.
If you are receiving ONLY the paper copy of the Loyalist Gazette now, but would like to forego the paper copy, please send me a note.
…Doug Grant, firstname.lastname@example.org
On occasion, loyalist descendants wish to obtain a Loyalist Certificate for Christmas. The processing from Branch genealogist to Dominion Office, to the Dominion genealogist for review and reverse the process for delivery of the certificate takes six weeks or so.
Hence the deadline for Certificate Applications at Dominion Office is the 31st of October for cut off for Christmas certificates.
…Angela Johnson, UE, Dominion Genealogist
Where are Shirle McGimpsey and James & Liz Adair, of 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 email@example.com.
From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.
The Fort Plain Museum presents the “Sullivan-Clinton Campaign Against the Iroquois 1779 Symposium” to be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
There is a very strong program which includes eight expert speakers, and a concluding panel discussion.
The Fulton-Montgomery Community College, located at 2805 NY-67, Johnstown, NY 12095. There is a registration fee; pre-registration is recommended, walk-ins are welcomed.
I made the trek from Massachusetts to Saint John, NB at the beginning of October. Met the curator and docents at Loyalist House. As a Mayflower Descendant on the Winslow Line I have done the Anglican Church Tour and observed the Royal Crest, which Edward Winslow liberated. His home in Plymouth is now the General Societies Headquarters for the Mayflower Descendants.
I have a Colonial pre-Revolutionary family home on Clarks Island in Plymouth. It was the home of the Federalist John Watson . It served as a Loyalist preserve for a period during the Revolution.
With Mayflower connections my family was divided as to the the merits of the Revolution in Plymouth, both socially and economically. In this family so divided, all contact was lost and remained so through the generations since the revolution, at least until I had become interested.
…William Watson Taylor
- Welland ON: The iconic Fortner House at 24 Burgar St. has a long and involved history of being passed from family to family, an heirloom whose character reads like a scrapbook of the people who lived in it. The history of the house begins with the Burgar family. Joseph Burgar was a New Jersey United Empire Loyalist who settled in Thorold township in 1788. Read more…
- Excellent NS branch meeting today (Oct 5) at West Hants Historical Society Museum in Windsor Nova Scotia. The Loyalist Flag hanging beside Canadian Flag.
- This Week in History
- 9 Oct 1768, the redcoats who were newly occupying Boston put up a guardhouse at Boston Neck, and that night somebody tore it down. The perp was never caught.
- 10 Oct 1769, Thomas Gilpin writes Benjamin Franklin about proposals to build what would become the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, making the transfer of goods between Baltimore and Philadelphia much easier.
- 11 Oct 1769, the proprietor of the George Tavern on Boston Neck received the selectmen’s permission “that Fire Works, should be exhibited at his yard,” the following evening. Impresario Felix Fissour advertised a 7-act display of fireworks & music.
- 10 Oct 1774, “General Gage, who when going was talked of as a cool prudent man, and therefore fit for that service, is now spoken of as peevish, passionate and indiscreet.” – Benjamin Franklin in London to Thomas Cushing (because Gage was warning of war)
- 8 Oct 1775, General officers of Continental Army meet, decide to bar slaves & free blacks from enlisting.
- 8 Oct 1775, Gen. George Washington gave Capt. Sion Martindale of Rhode Island command of the armed schooner “Washington,” fitting out in Plymouth. Martindale wanted another mast to make the ship a brig. It sailed Nov 23. Read more…
- 5 Oct 1776, Georgia Constitutional Convention meets to draft plan of gov’t for post-colonial state.
- 11 Oct 1776, British defeat Gen. Arnold on Lake Champlain, but delay causes them to return to Canada for the season.
- 9 Oct 1779, Polish General Pulaski mortally wounded leading Patriots in attack on Savannah.
- 7 Oct 1780, Patriots crush Loyalist militia at Battle of Kings Mountain, South-Carolina.
- 10 Oct 1780, Great Hurricane strikes Caribbean, killing over 22,000 & sinking over 50 British & French warships.
- 6 Oct 1781, Americans & French begin siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown; final major battle of Rev War.
- Clothing and Related:
- Winter months are usually for building new kit. This year, I will attempt to only use fabrics from my ‘well curated collection’, ie. The Stash! Read a bit more…
- I love a good pleat and the back of this 1790s gown is resplendent in both pleats and the tightly matched seams to ensure a smooth fit. There is a suggestion that this is a maternity gown since it has a loose tie front, if so a rare survival
- Sumptuous sack back robe, woven silk passementerie robings; textile poss. from Amsterdam, made in England, 1735-40 altered c1780. Now on view Historic Deerfield
- 18th Century cotton day dress, rear view, 1740-1760
- 18th Century dress, 1760s gown features a rose-red silk with trails of ivory flowers woven in a complex technique. The fabric, a type of silk known as gros de tours, dates from the 1740s, dress was altered again in 1950’s for fancy dress.
- Variety of late 18th- early 19thc pockets embroidery crewelwork dimity dyed
- Vibrant red Spitalfields silk damask banyan with built in waistcoat front, c1770s. On view now Historic Deerfield
- 18th Century men’s court waistcoat, silk, with stunning embroidery of exotic flowers & foliage, c.1780’s
- 18th Century men’s ribbed silk coat with matching covered buttons, paired with a beautifully fine silk waistcoat embroidered with floral design, 1790’s
As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Davis, Isaac – from Linda Mazrimas
Please help us build the directory by contributing information. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
The Rev. Major Donald Howson passed away Just a few weeks shy of his 105th birthday, on August 26th with his daughter, Alix, by his side. Don’s was a life that spanned world wars and saw unimaginable technological changes. (The fact that he purchased his first television in order to watch the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965 says much about Don, as his attachment to his English roots ran very deep.) Toward the end of his life, he was assisted in using an iPad to FaceTime with his son, Geoff, indicating some (grudging) acceptance of the changes occurring around him.
Born on October 14th, 1914, in Peterborough, Ontario, Don attended Trinity College, Toronto, in the late 1930s. Following graduation, he sailed to Scotland to attend the University of St. Andrews but, due to the increasing tensions in Europe, was requested by his father to return home. Always a dutiful son, he did so and enrolled at Presbyterian College, Montreal, from which he graduated in 1940. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church that year, accepting a call to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Fredericton before taking a leave of absence in 1944 to join the Canadian Navy in which he served until the end of WWII.
Following the war, Don returned to Trinity College where he earned an MA in Psychology, and then made his way back to St. Andrews, Fredericton, where he served as minister until 1950. When the Korean War broke out, Don joined the Royal Canadian Army as a chaplain, serving from 1951-53. At the cessation of hostilities in Korea, Don remained in the Army, serving in various postings in Europe and Canada until 1968.
In 1953, Don married Mary Archbold at St. Peter’s on the Rock on Stoney Lake. Don’s family had been vacationing on Stoney since before his birth, and the cottage at Stone Leigh remained an incredibly important and beloved part of his life. After leaving the Army (in protest over the unification of the Canadian armed forces), Don moved his family back to Peterborough where he became a clinical psychologist at the hospital until he hit the mandatory retirement age in 1979.
He remained active, becoming a consulting psychologist for the Northumberland Board of Education until he turned 80, serving on the Peterborough Board of Education, and participating in St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church as well as various other groups that spoke to him, including the Order of St. Lazarus, the United Empire Loyalist Association, the Monarchist League of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Korean War Veterans Association, and the Naval Club.
Loving the history of Peterborough, Don was involved in the restoration of the Cenotaph and efforts to preserve important buildings in the area. Don and Mary purchased 100 acres of land in Keene in 1972 with thoughts of building a home there, overlooking Rice Lake. With Mary’s death in 1982, those plans were never realized, but Don spent hundreds of hours on the property, planting trees, grooming paths, trimming lilacs, and enjoying taking people on tours of the land. Such was his love of Glenburn that he joined forces with the Kawartha Land Trust to ensure that the acreage would remain relatively untouched in the future.
While Don lived long enough to lose his peers to death, he had an amazing ability to cultivate friendships with people much younger than himself, and this no doubt was a factor in his long and contented life, as was the joy he took in spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. While human, like all of us, and with his own struggles, it still seems safe to say that we will not again see his like.
Don is survived by his son, Geoff, and daughter, Alix, as well as their spouses, seven grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Those wishing to commemorate Don’s life may do so by making a donation to Trinity College (University of Toronto) or to a charity of their choosing. A funeral will take place at the Anglican Church of St. John the Evangelist in Peterborough on Sunday, October 13th, at 2:00 p.m., with reception following in the church hall. Online condolences may be made at www.comstockkaye.com.
Don was a member of the Kawartha Branch, UELAC.
Is there a source where I can obtain a United Empire Loyalist Rose next spring? I would need it shipped to me. I am a member of Bay of Quinte Branch but live in northwestern Ontario. I am also a former director of the Thunder Bay Horticultural Society. While this area is zone 2 for growing plants, there are zone 4 roses that survive over winter. If you can assist me, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Editor’s Note: If an individual or a Branch has the Loyalist Rose available for sale, I would gladly reference you on the UELAC website as a source, if you wish.