“Loyalist Trails” 2020-02: January 12, 2020

In this issue:
UELAC Annual Conference To Be Hosted by Manitoba Branch, June 24-28
Penuel Grant: Loyalist Officer’s Widow and New Brunswick Pioneer (Part Two), by Stephen Davidson
Loyalist Monuments: Saint John Trinity Anglican Church Added
Honouring The Loyalists
“My Phillips Family Story,” by Bruce Pitts
Canadian Heritage Matters: A Tour of King’s Square, Saint John, NB
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Early Loyalist Vital Statistics in NB: The Marianne Grey Otty Database
JAR: The Fear of Domination: Resistance Against Tyranny
JAR: Smoking the Smallpox Sufferers
Washington’s Quill: Henry Lee Jr.’s Partisan Corps in its First Action
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Microfilm Digitization
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory


UELAC Annual Conference To Be Hosted by Manitoba Branch, June 24-28

The Manitoba Branch of UELAC will be welcoming UELAC members and guests from everywhere to the 2020 Dominion Conference and AGM at the Delta Marriott Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in late June.

More information is now available at “2020 UELAC AGM and Conference,” where you can see the brochure, check out the preliminary schedule, review guest speakers and book your hotel room. The registration package is being developed now but should be available within weeks.

Penuel Grant: Loyalist Officer’s Widow and New Brunswick Pioneer (Part Two)

© Stephen Davidson, UE

Penuel Grant, a Loyalist officer’s wife, and her two young sons had been captured by Patriot sympathizers in Hackensack, New Jersey en route to New York where the boys planned to join their father in the British army. Their guide was a man known only as Tailor. His reputation as a British spy may have tipped off the rebels that Mrs. Grant’s party was not one that shared Patriot convictions.

One of their captors raised his musket and aimed it at Penuel. Fortunately for her, it “missed fire three times”. The Loyalist mother, sons, and spy were seized, but managed to escape capture at the “first opportunity to free themselves”.

The Gentleman’s Magazine recounted that finally — after much difficulty– Penuel and her two sons “succeeded in making their way to New York, near which Major Grant was stationed in command of the King’s American Regiment. During this hazardous journey of 170 miles from Albany to Long Island, … Mrs. Grant had in her possession the silver token that passed between the British commanders; she was thus the means of having it safely conveyed to the hands of Gen. Sir Henry Clinton.”

And what of the rest of the Grant family? There were, after all, “four infants left at the farm in charge of servants” and a neighbour named Van Tambrooke. According to family tradition, George Washington eventually “sent the children to their parents” in New York. Unfortunately, the details of this arrangement have been lost to history.

The Grants remained on Long Island until evacuation vessels began to take Loyalist refugees to safer and more welcoming parts of the British Empire. Penuel, her three servants, and the youngest children all sailed for the mouth of the St. John River, which at that time was part of northwestern Nova Scotia. Because of an October 1781 advertisement for a runaway slave, we know that James and Penuel Grant once had a Black fourteen year-old named Bristol in their household. If he was recaptured and accompanied the family to New Brunswick, Bristol would have been 16 years old — just a year younger than Joseph, the Grant’s second son. The names of Penuel Grant’s other two slaves are not known.

Still in his teens, the Grants’ eldest son Alexander went to Antiqua with his brother Joseph where they became planters under the auspices of an uncle, Lauchlan Grant. The brothers took up arms again in 1792 to join in the War of the First Coalition. They died two years later while defending Guadeloupe from capture by the French Republic’s navy.

A third Grant son lost his life while leading a party of seamen from his Majesty’s ship Inconstant in an attack on a French settlement on the coast of Africa. In total, five sons and two grandsons of James and Penuel Grant served as officers of the British artillery and infantry from 1739 to 1824, a period of 85 years.

While the British magazine’s obituary for Penuel Grant noted that she had died in Paddington just west of London, it failed to make any mention of how she returned to the United Kingdom from New Brunswick or of her descendants who made their new homes in the first Loyalist colony. One family record notes that Penuel was living with her sons Peter and John in New Brunswick in 1787, so her return to Britain would have been sometime after that date.

The fate of the three Grant daughters is completely unknown, but period documents show that both Peter Grant and his younger brother William settled in Southampton in New Brunswick’s York County. Little is known of Samuel Grant beyond his marriage to Ann Nichols and the fact that they have descendants to this day. (The Grants’ youngest son could be either the John Grant who settled in Botsford, Westmoreland County or the John Grant who made his home in Woodstock, New Brunswick.) Penuel Grant had every right to be proud of the three sons who took up arms for the crown, but she could also take pride in the four sons who were among the first Loyalist settlers of New Brunswick.

Peter Grant’s obituary was much shorter than that of his mother’s. The April 20, 1852 edition of The Carleton Sentinel noted that Penuel’s son died on January 22nd at the age of 80 in Southampton, New Brunswick. He had been a carpenter in the royal navy and had retired with a pension after serving on the ship “San Josef”. Other sources note that his wife was named Abigail (who Peter married in 1794 when he was 22) and that the couple had a son named John.

William Grant married Ann Hillman when he was 21 in Woodstock’s St. John Anglican Church on November 4, 1795. This family’s connections to Penuel are somewhat murky at this point. For while local tradition remembers William as the orphan son of a man who served in the King’s American Regiment and as coming to New Brunswick as a boy with a widowed mother and four brothers in 1783, that same tradition remembers William’s mother as being an Elizabeth who subsequently married a Henry Cronkhite. Regardless, this William Grant died in his 73rd year on March 26, 1847.

With just one of Penuel Grant’s letters before us, it would be easy to dismiss the Loyalist widow as an entitled officer’s wife who felt that she had every right to cram the furniture from two rooms and a kitchen, cattle, a horse, a chaise, eight children and three servants onto a refugee evacuation vessel. But with further evidence, we discover a woman who bravely accompanied her two sons over 170 miles of enemy territory at risk to her own life, and then strove to support her young family in the wilderness of New Brunswick. Her British obituary summed her up best, “In life she was respected by her friends, beloved in her family, and in death is honoured and lamented by all her acquaintance.”

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

Loyalist Monuments: Saint John Trinity Anglican Church Added

Trinity Anglican Church, located at 115 Charlotte St., is the oldest established Christian congregation in the City of Saint John, New Brunswick.

Founded by the United Empire Loyalists, the church has many memorials and plaques dedicated to members and descendants of this group of parishioners.

As you enter the nave look back to see the Royal Coat of Arms made in 1714 from Boston’s Old State House during the American Revolution and salvaged from the 1791 Trinity Church after the Great Fire.

Resting above it is the porcelain figure of Queen Victoria presented to the church in 1880.

Read more.

Honouring The Loyalists

The mission of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association calls on members to “preserve, promote and celebrate the history and traditions of the Loyalist epoch in Canadian history” in a variety of ways. Over the years the contributions of the United Empire Loyalists have been recognized by the Association, governments, community groups and individuals in the form of monuments, memorials, plaques, and commemorative stamps and plates. The following will both remind and inform about how the Loyalists are honoured and remembered across Canada.

Thanks to Brian McConnell UE with a bit of assistance from Fred Hayward UE for this latest addition. Note that Fred initiated, managed and did much of the work to create and develop the content in this Honouring the Loyalists section.

“My Phillips Family Story,” by Bruce Pitts

German Palatines. In early 1709, a trickle of immigrants coming down the Rhine River to Rotterdam became a tidal wave estimated by some to be 30,000 persons strong. From there many were making their way to England, where they were initially welcomed. While most came from the war-ravaged Palatinate region of south western Germany, many were refugees or opportunists from elsewhere in Europe – Huguenots (French Protestants), rural poor from over 250 widespread German villages, Calvinists from the Netherlands, even families from Switzerland.

3,000 Palatines accompanied the recently appointed New York Governor Robert Hunter to the new world, sailing on ten to twelve ships, which started boarding in December 1709 and left England in April 1710. On this voyage some 480 passengers died and one vessel foundered on the Long Island coast, so close to its destination. After reaching New York City they were quarantined for five months on Nutten (now Governor’s) Island where 250 more succumbed to ship fever (typhus) and 84 orphaned children were apprenticed.

Among this group was Johan Petrus Philipp (John Peter Phillips) and his wife Magdalena Haber (sometimes Habbers) – my great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents – along with 3 children, who arrived in New York on June 14, 1710 on the ship Fame. Their son, Johannes Nicholas Phillips, (my lineage) was born in 1705 in Homburg, Germany, which indicates the family had actually been living in the Palatinate and would legitimately qualify as one of the ‘poor German Palatines’.

Follow this family from the first settlement in Columbia County through several locations in the Mohawk and Schoharie valleys. They too suffered from imprisonment, and fought as Butler’s Rangers before settling in Canada.

Read the story – 38 pages with sources, maps and images.

Canadian Heritage Matters: A Tour of King’s Square, Saint John, NB

By Stephanie Bellissimo, 3 January 2020

Ron Williams, author of Landscape Architecture in Canada, called King’s Square of Saint John, New Brunswick, “one of the most memorable urban squares in Canada.” Ian Sclanders in his 1958 MacLeans article called it, “a monument-studded park.” The square is both of these things – a lovely space where visitors can stroll and relax and also a site for taking in the province’s rich history.

The square, established in 1785 and named for King George III, was created just one year after the province of New Brunswick was formed. Early uses included: oxen roasts, militia parades, cricket games, firework displays, public pillories, agricultural fairs and a slaughterhouse. In 1844, the square was developed as a park and its current design was implemented. Orthogonal and diagonal paths were laid out, reminiscent of the Union Jack. The paths meet in a central circle housing a fountain (built in 1851) and a two-storey bandstand (erected in 1908).

Read more.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Early Loyalist Vital Statistics in NB: The Marianne Grey Otty Database

Clergy were few and far between in the first years of loyalist settlement in New Brunswick, however, records from travelling Anglican ministers based in Gagetown, Queens County provide an early record of baptisms, marriages and deaths prior to the establishment of most churches. Many New Brunswick loyalists and their descendants may be found in these records.

The pioneering Queens County, New Brunswick author and local historian, Marianne Grey Otty transcribed these records, and these records in turn were made into a digital database by Microforms and UNB Libraries staff entitled The Marianne Grey Otty Database, open for public access and featuring approximately 4,000 entries. The original materials are held by the and a microfilm copy of Otty’s transcription is held in The Loyalist Collection.

The original nine record books were kept by a series of travelling ministers, the first of which was the Reverend Richard Clarke, followed by his son, Samuel Clarke. Richard Clarke was a minister for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the missionary group of the Church of England concentrating on the American colonies, who paid a salary of £50 per year. He had ten children with his wife, Rebecca Sturges and had been the Anglican rector of New Milford, Connecticut from 1767 to 1786 when he was sent to Gagetown, New Brunswick.

The records covered the years 1786 to 1841, centring geographically on Gagetown, Queens County with a particular focus on the New Brunswick communities of Fredericton, Saint Marys, Lincoln, Grand Lake, Waterborough, Long Island, Wickham, Hampstead, Maugerville, Petersville, Sheffield, Kingston, Springfield, Greenwich, and Saint John.

The Marianne Grey Otty Database is a useful tool for genealogists, historians, and students alike, offering an opportunity to explore family connections, as well as providing a glimpse into eighteenth and nineteenth century New Brunswick. Demographics in particular may be gleaned from the database. For example, in 1809, four burials were recorded and they were all children, perhaps indicating an outbreak of disease. Cause of death can often be found in notations, such as in 1810, out of eight burials, three were accidental: two were drownings and one a shooting.

Read more.

JAR: The Fear of Domination: Resistance Against Tyranny

By Dean Caivano, 7 January 2020

The threat of continued oppression and an encroaching condition of slavery was central to the American colonists’ call for separation from Great Britain and the corresponding shift to direct resistance. While the lack of effective political representation was crucial, importantly the colonists held other more acute concerns than the issue of representation in Parliament. Crucially, the colonists grew increasingly fearful over the loss of their status as free men and the dangerous prospective of their lives being reduced to a state of domination.

The first plank of the debt-reduction and military establishment plan was passed in April 1764 as the American Revenue Act, or commonly referred as the Sugar Act of 1764. Marking the first instance of Parliament exercising its perceived right of taxation over the colonists, the act imposed duties on molasses, coffee, textiles, and wine, while additionally restricting the export of iron and silk exclusively to Great Britain. Although the Sugar Act of 1764 was met with resistance by the colonists in the form of boycotts and the creation of a Committee of Correspondence in Massachusetts to coordinate formal objections across the colonies, it failed to generate sufficient revenue for a total reduction of debt.

In March 1765, Grenville pressed Parliament again to authorize another round of taxation on the colonies in order to raise revenue. Parliament complied with Grenville’s request, passing the Stamp Act of 1765 on March 22, 1765. Under this act, taxes were levied on all legal documents, newspapers, and pamphlets. Protests against the tax erupted across the colonies.

Read more.

JAR: Smoking the Smallpox Sufferers

By Katie Turner Getty, 9 January 2020

At about midnight on September 29, 1792, Ashley Bowen and his young assistant, Tucker Huy, heard a carriage clatter up the Boston Road and arrive at the Marblehead gate. Upon learning the “coach-full of men” had come from Boston, Bowen brooked no complaints when he approached the carriage and informed the passengers, “You must be smoke[d].”

Practiced in Boston and its environs during the American Revolution and in the decades following, the art of smoking was rooted in “the ancient records of physic” as a purification method. According to Dr. James Lind’s 1774 Dissertation on Fevers and Infections, “a judicious and proper application of fire and smoke is the true means appropriated for the destruction and utter extinction of the most malignant sources of disease.” In particular, smoking was thought to neutralize the great mortal terror of human history – smallpox.

As ineffectual as it might strike twenty-first century minds, smoking was believed to bestow salutary effects by cleansing individuals so that they could travel freely and interact with others without communicating disease. During the siege of Boston by Patriot forces in 1775-76, smoking was employed as a prophylactic measure to prevent people displaced by the war from spreading smallpox through the Massachusetts countryside and infecting the Continental Army.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: Henry Lee Jr.’s Partisan Corps in its First Action

By Benjamin Huggins, 10 January 2020

In this post, I continue the story of Maj. Henry Lee, Jr. and his partisan corps. After several months spent manning and equipping his new unit, Maj. Henry Lee, Jr., finally got his partisan corps into the field in August 1778. Lee and his new corps marched into White Plains, N.Y., on the first day of August.

Gen. George Washington had assigned Lee to operate with Brig. Gen. Charles Scott’s light infantry brigade, the element of the army that had advanced closest to the British lines in the lower part of Westchester County. The brigade, “composed of the best, most hardy and active Marksmen” and “commanded by good Partizan officers,” numbered about 1,300 foot and about 400 cavalry. Washington’s orders to Scott specified duties that made operating with the light infantry brigade the logical assignment for the dragoons of Lee’s partisan corps.

Scott assigned Lee’s dragoons to patrol in the most forward areas near the enemy’s lines just north of King’s Bridge.

For the remainder of August and most of the next month, Lee and his corps carried out their patrol and intelligence-gathering duties, but in late September, that would change.

Read more.

Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Microfilm Digitization

In November 2019, the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives completed a large-scale microfilm digitization project. This project was realized as part of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy with funding from the Hudson’s Bay Company History Foundation.

HBCA digitized 1052 reels of microfilm, encompassing over 10,000 volumes of the pre-1870 records kept at almost five hundred Hudson’s Bay Company posts. The digitized records include post journals, incoming and outgoing correspondence and accounts kept at individual posts. They also include records kept at districts and departments overseeing the post activity. These records include: lists of servants, accounts, reports, engagement registers, abstracts of servants’ accounts and minutes of council. These records were selected for this project because they are some of the most heavily accessed records held by HBCA.

How to find digitized microfilm on Keystone

Most researchers will find the digital files in the course of their research, embedded in Keystone, by searching for specific post records. However, researchers may also isolate these files by searching for them more directly:

To find individual records, search listings and enter “PDF” in the keyword field. This will bring up any individual records that have a PDF linked to the listing.

Source: Archives of Manitoba.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Gravestone of Anthony Marshall (1738-1829) founder of Marshalltown, Digby Co., Nova Scotia. Born in Essex Co , Massachusetts he served under General Wolfe in capture of Quebec in 1759.  Moved to Nova Scotia in 1760s. Gravestone in St. Paul’s Church Cemetery, Marshalltown. Brian McConnell UE. [That might well make him a “Planter”?]
  • This Week in History
    • 9 Jan 1769 A child who was enslaved in Boston was advertised “to be given away” in the Boston Gazette
    • 5 Jan 1776 The assembly of New Hampshire adopts the first American state constitution.
    • 5 Jan 1776 Washington’s general orders “The Regimental Quarter Masters, and their Serjeants, are to cause proper Necessarys to be erected at convenient distances from the Barracks, in which their men are lodged, and see that those necessarys are frequently filled up, any person who shall be discovered easing himself elsewhere, is to be instantly confined and brought before a Regimental Court Martial.”
    • 6 Jan 1776 SC Council of Safety warns Georgia that British ships leaving Charleston are headed to Savannah.
    • 9 Jan 1776 Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” published in Philadelphia, an instant best-seller.
    • 10 Jan 1776 NC Royal Gov. Martin issues proclamation calling on Loyalists to restore Crown rule in the province.
    • 10 Jan 1776 Col. Henry Knox crossed the border from New York back into Massachusetts, bringing heavy cannon from the forts on Lake Champlain. He still had to cross “mountains from which we might almost have seen all the Kingdoms of the Earth.”
    • 11 Jan 1776 an essay in the Boston News-Letter, probably by Loyalist judge Peter Oliver, described the late Dr. Joseph Warren as having been a “bare-legged milk-boy.” Warren hadn’t worn stockings while growing up on his family’s farm in Roxbury.
    • 7 Jan 1777 East-Florida’s Royal Governor Tonyn informs Crown that estates of Royal officials were seized in Georgia.
    • 8 Jan 1777 British withdraw all forces from New-Jersey except posts at West Brunswick and Perth Amboy.
    • 4 Jan 1781 Virginia militia completes an expedition of eradication against the British-allied Cherokee.
    • 5 Jan 1781 British force led by turncoat Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Virginia.
  • Townsend’s
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Get yourself a man who will forge your wedding ring. Paul Revere’s craftsmanship in gold included precious items for his own family members, including a wedding ring for his 2nd wife, Rachel.
    • How European press reports about vampires appeared in colonial American newspapers.  Americans printers didn’t run a lot of those stories, but over time they ran them on page 1 to grab readers’ attention. Read the post…

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • Phillips, Nicholas and son Jacob – by Bruce Pitts

Please help us build the directory by contributing information. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for guidance.