“Loyalist Trails” 2020-04: January 26, 2020

In this issue:
UELAC Annual Conference, Hosted by Manitoba Branch, June 24-28
Dr. John Gamble: Loyalist Doctor, by Stephen Davidson
Addendum to Kingston [Ontario] Lower Burial Ground
Borealia: Book Review: Jacksonian America and the Canadian Rebellion
JAR: Henry Laurens and the Grand Tour of Europe
JAR: The Lenape Origins of an Independent America: The Catalyst of Pontiac’s War, 1763-1765
Washington’s Quill: Appleton P. C. Griffin: Bibliographer Extraordinaire and An Editor’s Friend
The Junto: Professional Motherhood: A New Interpretation of Women in the Early Republic
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
      + Response re Ziba Pope’s Personal Journals
Editor’s Note


2020 UELAC Conference, Hosted by Manitoba Branch, June 24-28

We finally made it to 2020! Our Conference Communiqués (Number 2, formatted printable version – please use and distribute) will help keep you abreast of the latest news and developments.

Please join us at the Conference as we enter a new decade and proudly celebrate Manitoba’s 150th birthday with #UELMB2020! And to kick things off…

Visit the 2020 conference page (on the UELAC website) for details, including:

• our introductory brochure

• preliminary conference schedule with workshops, tours, meals, special events

• presentation topics and presenter profiles

• hotel reservation information (and nearby alternative hotels)

There are many ways to stay informed

• Our Twitter account @UELMB2020 is NEW, so we have no followers yet. Please help us out by following and retweeting – and encourage your friends to do the same!

• Special conference email account: UELMB2020@gmail.com (send us an email and ask to sign up for our advance news list)

• Facebook: Join the Manitoba Branch Facebook group (use search term “Manitoba Branch UELAC” to find us)

• Dedicated phone/text #: (204) 514-4604

• Find out more about the Manitoba Branch.

Use our conference hashtag whenever you can: #UELMB2020

Thanks everyone!

…Wendy Hart and Mary Steinhoff, Co-Chairs

Dr. John Gamble: Loyalist Doctor

© Stephen Davidson, UE

After a medical career of 32 years, Dr. John Gamble ended his days in Kingston, Upper Canada on December 1, 1811. Left to grieve his loss were his wife Isabella and their 12 children. Gamble first employed his medical skills as a surgeon when he joined the staff of the General Hospital in British occupied New York City in September of 1779. It was the beginning of a long and adventurous association with the Loyalist refugees of the American Revolution.

Gamble was born in Duross near Enniskillen in the northern Irish county of Fermanagh in the year 1755. Determined to be a doctor, he crossed the Irish Sea to Edinburgh where he studied “physic and surgery” at the city’s university. (Gamble may have also studied at Marishal College in Aberdeen.) Scottish universities had become international centres of learning and drew students from across Protestant Europe, England, and northern Ireland.

As the historian Arthur Herman explains, the graduate of Scottish medical faculties was a “new kind of modern doctor: the general practitioner, who was physician, surgeon, and apothecary rolled into one.” English medical schools discouraged their students from having any kind of physical contact with their patients. Edinburgh taught its doctors to be generalists, equipping them to spot a problem, diagnose it, and apply the treatment themselves. At the age of 25, John Gamble received his degree and went off to the colony of New York to serve his king as an assistant-surgeon in the royal army’s General Hospital.

Later, Gamble joined the Queen’s American Rangers as a member of its medical staff. His contact with the corps’ commander, Lt.-Col. John Graves Simcoe, would prove to have significant ramifications 13 years after the end of the American Revolution.

With the end of hostilities, the Queen’s Rangers boarded evacuation vessels in New York City in the fall of 1783 and set sail for the mouth of the St. John River – then on the western extremity of Nova Scotia. Because of an entry in the Book of Negroes, we know that Gamble was a passenger on the Sovereign, a ship that left for Parrtown (today’s Saint John, New Brunswick) on September thirteenth. Gamble served as the designated escort for a free 25-year old Black named Joe who had escaped enslavement to a master who lived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1778.

After the men of the Queen’s Rangers arrived in Parrtown, they formally disbanded on October 10. Dr. John Gamble was a civilian once again. With other Loyalists, Gamble participated in a draw for land and received Lot #610 on what was then known as Tyng Street. That part of the street was nicknamed Rocky Hill and was considered to be of little value. Four years later, Gamble posted an ad in a Saint John newspaper to find a tenant for his two-story house.

This advertisement was the last time that a 19th century historian could find Gamble’s name in print, so he assumed that the Loyalist doctor had, like many others, returned to the United States.

He was not aware that Gamble had, indeed, remained in New Brunswick, held there by romance if not by politics or riches. Somehow during the course of his early days in the refugee colony, Gamble had become acquainted with the family of another Loyalist doctor, Joseph Clarke. The latter had set up practice in the town of Maugerville, located between Saint John and Fredericton. A native of Stratford, Connecticut, Clarke had come to New Brunswick with his wife, ten children, and four servants. One of those children was Isabella Clarke.

On May 12, 1784 – just seven months after his arrival in New Brunswick – John Gamble married Isabella. The groom was 29 and the bride just 17.

Gamble continued to provide medical services to the Loyalists of Saint John for the next nine years. The appointment of his former commander, John Graves Simcoe, to the position of Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in 1791, marked a dramatic change in the course of the Loyalist doctor’s life. The Queen’s Rangers had been reorganized in the new Loyalist colony, and Simcoe had appointed Gamble as the corps’ new assistant surgeon. After leaving Isabella and their five daughters in the care of his father-in-law in Maugerville, Gamble made the long and hazardous journey to Niagara, travelling to Upper Canada by canoe and foot.

Gamble’s professional duties included seeing to the medical needs of Joseph Brant, the Loyalist Mohawk leader who had led his people to settle in Upper Canada following the American Revolution. It is this attachment that resulted in Gamble’s name appearing in the diary of Elizabeth Simcoe’s diary. On March 28, 1794, the wife of the lieutenant-governor noted that “Mr. Gamble, the surgeon of the Queen’s Rangers, returned from the Mohawk village on the Grand River where he had been to attend Chief Brant”. Gamble also delivered a letter to Mrs. Simcoe from her husband who at that time was on “the head of the lake to Niagara”.

In 1795, Gamble petitioned Upper Canada’s executive council for the quantity of land “usually granted to officers of his rank”. Having served in the Queen’s Rangers during the Revolution proved to be a distinct advantage. In the end, Gamble received an enormous land grant that he dubbed “Mimico”. (The name was derived from an Ojibwe word meaning “abundant with wild pigeons”. The birds in question were passenger pigeons.)

Gamble’s grant extended from the Humber River to the Royal York Road, bounded on the south by Lake Ontario and on the north by the modern Queensway. (His sons, John William Gamble and William Gamble, later became the founding fathers of Lakeshore and Etobicoke.)

In 1798, Isabella and her daughters left New Brunswick to join Gamble in Upper Canada. Led by Indigenous guides, they set out in a birch bark canoe, portaging near Riviere du Loup, travelling up the St. Lawrence River in a bateau, and finally reuniting with Gamble in York (Toronto). Their journey is especially remarkable considering that the oldest of the five Gamble daughters was just thirteen years old while the youngest was only six. Gamble, now a full surgeon, had left Niagara when Simcoe made the York the new capital of Upper Canada.

The Gamble family remained in York until the Queen’s Rangers were disbanded in 1802. Now with nine daughters and four sons in tow, John and Isabella moved to Kingston. At age 47, John Gamble was once again pulling up roots. At 24, he had left Ireland for New York. At 28, he joined the Loyalist refugees who settled in New Brunswick. Ten years later, he moved to Niagara in Upper Canada, settling in York at the age of 43.

Kingston would be the Loyalist doctor’s last home. He practiced medicine there for nine years.

Following Gamble’s death in 1811, his widow Isabella remained in Kingston for nine more years. She then took the children who were still at home with her to York where she lived until her death on March 9, 1859 at the age of 92.

Dr. and Mrs. Gamble had a total of 13 children, nine daughters and four sons: Isabella, (Mrs. Robert Charles Horne), Mary Ann (Mrs. Sinclair), Sarah Hannah Boyes (Mrs. James Geddes), Leah Tysen (Mrs. Matthew Allen), Catherine (unmarried), Jane (Mrs. Benjamin Whitney), Rachel Crookshank (Mrs. James B. Macauly), Magdalena (Mrs. Thomas W. Burchell), Mary Ann (unmarried), John, William, Clarke, and Joseph (died an infant). It is interesting to note that Isabella and Sara, the daughters and granddaughters of doctors, both married surgeons.

At her death, Isabella Gamble had 204 descendants; some of her great-grandchildren were already in their thirties. No doubt her late husband John Gamble would have been pleased with such a legacy of progeny. As for his medical legacy – the hundreds of soldiers and civilians who would have been treated by the Loyalist doctor during his lifetime – we only know the names of two of his patients – the war hero, Joseph Brant, and the teenager, Thomas Powell.

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

Addendum to Kingston [Ontario] Lower Burial Ground

Last week’s Loyalist Trails included an article about Kingston [Ontario] Lower Burial Ground.

John D. Reid’s blog post in Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections dated 11 January 2020 references the same website and the use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging. John highlights an interesting chart showing the number of burials by year.

(Noted by Mark Gallop)

Borealia: Book Review: Jacksonian America and the Canadian Rebellion

Jacksonian America and the Canadian Rebellion, eds. Maxime Dagenais and Julien Mauduit (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019).

Review by Mark R. Cheathem, 20 Jan. 2020

If Americans know very little about Martin Van Buren, they know even less about his foreign policy. If they learned anything about Old Kinderhook, it was probably that he was a one-term presidential loser who didn’t live up to Andrew Jackson’s legacy. It is possible that that they also may have learned that an economic depression was the main cause of Van Buren’s presidential failures. Maybe they would recall something about his involvement with the Trail of Tears, but most would probably lay the blame for that atrocity at the feet of Jackson (who, of course, deserves the criticism). Perhaps they would have some familiarity with the Second Seminole War or of U.S. efforts to annex Texas—but, if we’re being honest, probably not. Even less likely is a recognition that the United States experienced significant conflict along the Canadian border throughout Van Buren’s four years in the White House.

This book is an attempt to raise more awareness to one aspect of Van Buren’s foreign relations. In particular, editors Maxime Dagenais and Julien Mauduit have brought together scholars who present the American perspective on the Canadian Rebellion of 1837-38. Dagenais and Mauduit argue that despite the other domestic, and even foreign, concerns that Van Buren’s America faced, “Canada’s Rebellion added to the internal pressures felt by the young republic”. Americans found in the Canadian Rebellion an opportunity to discover remedies for their disillusionment with their nation as it made the transition from the newness and excitement of its early years to the awkwardness of maintaining the democratic experiment in its fifth decade and beyond. Highlighting the interconnection of Canada and the United States during the Jacksonian period, the editors focus on three themes: the rebellion’s significance for the U.S.; the fluctuating definition of what it meant to be a nation or state; and the porousness of the U.S.-Canadian border.

Read more.

JAR: Henry Laurens and the Grand Tour of Europe

By Will Monk, 23 Jan 2020

In the fall of 1771, the South Carolina rice merchant Henry Laurens sailed to Britain with his teenaged sons. They toured the countryside and settled in London, where Laurens conducted business and oversaw the loading of ships to America. He also wanted to give his sons an education, placing them with men who would help them become gentlemen. After six months, when his business was completed, Laurens decided that his sons needed the polish of a European tutor. On May 30, 1772, a horse-drawn carriage took them out of London, across a countryside of villages and rolling hills. They traveled southeast to the English Channel, getting to Dover twelve hours later. They walked to its famous beach and saw the cliffs of Dover towering above them, and even from the beach Laurens claimed he could see the distant shore of France, lit by the fading sun. He led his sons to Payne’s Inn for a night of rest before continuing their journey.

The next morning the Laurens party stepped aboard a packet boat with British and American tourists, all looking forward to seeing France. It took four hours to cross the Channel, with rain and haze limiting their view. As their boat entered the harbor of Calais, it came to a long wharf of wooden piles driven into the mud and supported by stones, which formed an artificial coastline to match the natural shore of sand dunes and rocks. In the harbor were passenger and cargo ships from Britain, Norway and the Netherlands, with twenty fishing boats used in the mackerel trade. The main street of Calais featured flags of many colors, to celebrate weddings which took place that Sunday morning. French soldiers in white uniforms patrolled the city as Laurens and his sons saw a play performed in the streets, before finding an inn.

The next morning, they began their journey to Paris. Laurens found the rental carriages so dirty and small that he bought his own two-wheeled carriage, drawn by horses.

Read more.

JAR: The Lenape Origins of an Independent America: The Catalyst of Pontiac’s War, 1763-1765

By Kevin A. Conn, 21 Jan 2020

In the wake of the Seven Years’ War in North America, the costly British triumph seemed complete. Thus, when a coda to the Seven Years’ War erupted in the interior of North America, it came as an unwelcome shock to the British Empire. War broke out anew, nominally led by the Ottawa chieftain Pontiac, who gathered members of many tribes in a combined war against British presence in the Great Lakes and Ohio region. One of the tribes that participated in what historians have called Pontiac’s Rebellion or Pontiac’s War was the Lenape, who laid an informal siege to Fort Pitt in western Pennsylvania. Lenape attacks disrupted settlement in central and western Pennsylvania and cut off trade and contact with the fort for several months, until a relief expedition under Col. Henry Bouquet won the battle of Bushy Run in August 1763 and temporarily dispersed Lenape forces, relieving the siege. Even then, the war dragged on in a stalemate that stretched into 1765.

Although many historians have focused on Pontiac himself, Pontiac’s War was as much a Lenape war as Pontiac’s conflict. While the Lenape had signed the Treaty of Easton in 1758, renouncing their alliance with the French and concluding peace with the British, they renewed the war in 1763, responding to direct threats to their territory, disruption of their economy due to British stinginess and pettiness, and a spiritual movement that stressed a pan-Indian creation and sought revival in rejection of English corruption. In the wake of Gen. John Forbes’s 1758 expedition against Fort Duquesne, which resulted in the French retreat from the Ohio country, Anglophone settlers poured into central and western Pennsylvania, displacing the Lenape and other nations or amalgamated groups. Rather than leaving the strategic Forks of the Ohio, the British rebuilt Fort Duquesne, calling it Fort Pitt. The Lenape thus faced a repetition of the circumstances that had pushed them into western Pennsylvania in the first place. British commander-in-chief Jeffrey Amherst’s restrictive trade policies and unwillingness to remove British forts such as Fort Pitt in the wake of British triumph over the French also rankled. Not only did the Delawares and most other nations depend on European trade goods, but the customary “gifts” of diplomacy also represented a kind of tribute in return for permission to occupy Native land. Amherst abruptly stopped the practice of gift giving and restricted trade of such essentials as ammunition and guns, believing it would reduce the chance of Indian hostilities if Natives were unable to stockpile weaponry.

Read more.

Washington’s Quill: Appleton P. C. Griffin: Bibliographer Extraordinaire and An Editor’s Friend

By William M. Ferraro, 24 January 2020

In a past blog post titled “Interrogating the Text; How to Annotate a George Washington Document,” I observed that a principal feature of documentary editing is using bibliography to contextualize texts. Bringing order to sources is the essence of bibliography, and it cannot be stressed enough how much editors appreciate any person who achieves that end. In the world of documentary scholarship on George Washington, a genuine star in this regard is Appleton Prentiss Clark Griffin (1852-1926), who compiled A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum (Cambridge, Mass., 1897). The bland title does not do justice to its usefulness as a comprehensive source on the books Washington owned and the evidence of how he read or handled the various titles.

Read more.

The Junto: Professional Motherhood: A New Interpretation of Women in the Early Republic

By C.C. Borzilleri, 21 Jan. 2020

With this year marking the 40th anniversary of Linda Kerber’s Women of the Republic, popularizing Republican Motherhood as an understanding of women in the Early Republic, I propose a supplementary theory to understand women in this time. Kerber’s Republican Motherhood articulated the accepted role of women: the “steady infusion of virtue into the Republic” by raising children to be responsible citizens. This mindset justified the education of women because they were responsible for the early inspiration of their children to care for the new nation. Kerber emphasized the division of public and private space, with the corresponding distinction of the public for men and the private for women. But her theory does not paint the full picture of activities women carried out.

Studying the outcomes of women educated at the Litchfield Female Academy (LFA) from 1792-1833 to write my senior thesis at Georgetown, I found dozens of women who pursued a fine balance of working outside the home without fully disrupting the separation of public and private space. They served as presidents, treasurers, and board members of voluntary organizations with varied missions: to care for orphans, instill morality among their communities, and to beautify their towns for the benefit of all.

Read more.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • A remarkable historical book, “Finding Fortune – Documenting and Imagining the Life of Rose Fortune (1774-1864)“, daughter of runaway slaves, Black Loyalist who made Annapolis Royal home. Pleased to have my article mentioned in notes. Brian McConnell UE
  • Found this novel that looks interesting by Stephen Gill entitled “The Loyalist City” set in Saint John, New Brunswick. Brian McConnell UE
  • This Week in History
    • 19 Jan 1770 Riot known as the Battle of Golden Hill erupts when British post handbills attacking Sons of Liberty.
    • Jan 23, 1770, acting governor Thomas Hutchinson declared a meeting of Boston’s merchants illegal and ordered the men to disperse. With William Phillips chairing and John Hancock writing out their reply, the merchants chose to remain in session.
    • 25 Jan 1770 Benjamin Franklin writes another anonymous article in London’s “The Public Advertiser” about how Britain’s regulations and practices harm the colonies.
    • 23 Jan 1775 Merchants in London ask Parliament assist with financial losses from interruption of American trade.
    • 21 Jan 1776 Washington directs regiments to purchase firearms, offers enlistees bonuses for bringing own weapons.
    • Jan 21, 1776, Continental engineer Jeduthan Baldwin wrote in his diary, “13 Ingions came from Canady to see Genl. Washington.” Those Native emissaries were from the Caughnawaga community near Montreal.
    • 22 Jan 1776, British army officers performed Gen. John Burgoyne’s farce “The Blockade of Boston” (previously interrupted by a Continental attack on Charlestown) and a version of Christopher Marlowe’s “Tamburlaine” in Faneuil Hall.
    • 20 Jan 1781 300 weary American troops at Pompton, New-Jersey mutiny, in echo of earlier Pennsylvania Line mutiny.
    • 24 Jan 1781 Lee & Marion’s combined forces raid Georgetown, SC, capturing commander of British garrison there.
    • 22 Jan 1782 French Navy recaptures Caribbean colonies of Demerara and Essequibo, taken from Dutch in 1781.
  • Townsend’s
  • Clothing and Related:
    • One of my favorite things from @MHS1791 – A glittering length of 18thc gold lace, still folded & in the original paper with the shopkeeper’s tally. 250 years old or so, & like new.
    • Worn 18 Jan 1781 by Hester Thrale at the English court: a gown
      inspired by goods Captain James Burney acquired on his voyage to the Pacific with Captain Cook, the Spitalfields silk woven in imitation of a Hawaiian pattern and trimmed with grebe feathers and gold lace.
    • Byron Greenough and His Tall Hats, 1820+. Hats were a crucial element of a man’s ensemble, revealing to a passerby at a glance some identifier – usually socio-economic status – of the wearer. Hats changed styles throughout the 18th and 19th centuries with regularity, although often with subtleties lost on a modern audience. Height, width, depth of brim, colors, fabrics and even types of trim, could place a hat at a certain time and place. Hats of beaver fur, wool, straw or felt were among the most common. Read more…
    • Props to the unknown artist who decorated the leaf of this late-eighteenth century fan. Silk pleats sprinkled with spangles, sequins and brilliantly painted with motifs resembling winged insects and feathers.
    • 18th Century dress, Scottish, cream silk painted with sprays of flowers & butterflies, 1780-1785
    • 18th Century Court dress, Rear view, robe à la francaise of cream silk brocaded with blue floral motifs, linen lining, golden lace trim. 1765-1770
    • 18th Century day dress, 1760-1780, dull purple silk with woven leaf-trellis pattern in white, cream & golden brown with large irregular diamond shapes & small irregular circles in white, these have brocaded floral sprays
    • Detail of 18th Century men’s coat and waistcoat, of fine purple silk, metallic embroidery and spangles with delicate buttons, c.1790’s
    • Stunning detail of an 18th Century men’s Court suit, of black & blue striped cannelé silk, embroidered in floss silks with stylised blooms, appliquéd with lace & muslin lilies, spangled with large mica sequins, c.1790 via Kerry Taylor Auctions
    • 18th Century men’s coat and waistcoat detail, 1790’s, This young man’s tailcoat, with its high turned-down collar, narrow back, and wide lapels, exemplifies the exaggerated silhouette fashionable in post-revolutionary France.


Response re Ziba Pope’s Personal Journals

The edition of the Canadian Journal of Ziba Pope remains optimistically in progress. Pope (1779-1862), a New Light-turned-Freewill Baptist preacher, is one of those paradoxical figures who left a detailed 20-year diary on the state of his soul but revealed next to nothing of his “worldly” affairs as a Passamaquoddy Bay smuggler and a serial entrepreneur in Maine, New Brunswick, Lower Canada, Vermont and even Newfoundland. Reconstructing his life has been a worthy challenge.

One sidelight turned up by research on Pope’s journal is a character called Jason Mack (ca 1760-1838) of Mill Village (NS) and L’Etang and Blissville (NB). It was under Mack’s labours that Pope was converted in a New Light meeting on the northwest Oromocto River in 1812. All historians of the founding of Mormonism highlight Mack’s New Brunswick doings as an influence on his nephew, the prophet Joseph Smith. As part of the process of contextualizing Ziba Pope, there’s now a piece entitled “In Search of Jason Mack” in the January 2020 issue of the Journal of Mormon History (vol 46/1), 1-25. One of its sources is Pope’s journal.

…David Bell

From the Editor

We returned from 2 weeks away late last evening with mixed emotions: How can two weeks have flown by so quickly, and now we are back to the grind! It was a good break. Do apologize for the web site and email downtime a week ago.