“Loyalist Trails” 2020-19: May 10, 2020

In this issue:
Spring 2020 Loyalist Gazette: Are You A Member? Access The Digital Version
UELAC Annual General Meeting: Details Available Now
Loyalist Migrations Mapping Project Update
Colonel John Peters: Sufferings, Services and Scandalous Treatment, by Stephen Davidson
Loyalist Jews During the American Revolution: The Loyalist Diaspora (Part 2)
Kelly Arlene Grant: Sew Along At Home – Overhaul My Kit
Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Named in Freedom: Children in the Book of Negroes
Borealia: Women Also Know Revolution (Part 1)
JAR: General Charles Lee Imposes Oaths of Allegiance on Newport Tories, 1775
JAR: Revolutionary Revenge On Hudson Bay, 1782
Ben Franklin’s World: Victoria Johnson, David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Early Republic
Forgotten Revolutionaries: Camp Followers Discovery Cart
Reporting on the Battle of Lexington, 1775: Fake News and the Massachusetts Spy
1832 Cholera Chronicle (Part 4), by Chris Raible
Typhus in the Day of Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Old St. Edward’s Loyalist Church, Clementsport NS
Where in the World?
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Additions to the Loyalist Directory
Last Post: Helen “Ruth” (Wright) MacDonald and Norman Warren Franklyn


Spring 2020 Loyalist Gazette: Are You A Member? Access The Digital Version

The Spring 2020 Loyalist Gazette is at the printers. As the social distancing rules have slowed the printing and distribution process, the paper copies will probably be mailed during the week of May 18.

But if you are a member of a branch of UELAC, you can read it now. Visit UELAC.ca and log in to the Members’ Section where the digital version awaits you.NOTE: if you have not set up your account and password yet, be sure to follow the instructions at the bottom of the homepage.

UELAC Annual General Meeting: Details Available Now

Notice of Meeting: Now publicly posted; see link at UELAC.ca homepage.

Meeting Details: Now available in the Members’ Section; log in at UELAC.ca homepage. Here you will see:

• Overview

• Notice of Meeting

• Attending the Virtual AGM (Registration and deadline)

• Not Attending? Send Your Proxy (Registration and various deadlines)

• AGM General Items

• Executive Reports

• Committee Reports

• Motions

Loyalist Migrations Mapping Project Update

Now that classes are complete and the finals are behind us, we are back at work (from a distance) at Huron University College on the Loyalist Migrations project. Thanks to the generous support from the UELAC we have a new student researcher, Jacob Vanderhoeven, who is busy plotting the journeys of loyalists. Liz Sutherland of Western Libraries’ Map and Data Centre continues to provide us with vital technical leadership and guidance.

Thank you to all those who submitted their ancestor’s information using the “Map a Loyalist” report form on the site. While we hope to map every name in the loyalist directory, the more specific information we have – dates, places, birthdates and names of children etc. – the richer and more accurate we can make the map. Loyalists submitted through the website become our priority. You can submit your loyalists for mapping here.

So, a heartfelt thank you to: Allen Steinburg, David Adam Crozier, Jane Smith, David Belisle, Judy Sanders, Gregory Hussey, Jennifer, Patricia A. Farrell, Nancy Mae Josland Dalsin, Susan MacDonald Dill, Barbara Bettes, Brian Perrault, Vivien Martin, Debbie Lamb, Deborah Leonard, Richard Poaps, Martin Conroy, Chris McEvoy. John MacKinley, Gloria Jean Stanton Parson, Mike Talbot, Mona Lucille Hall Charlesworth, Shirley Joyce Gathright, Robert James Miller, RJ Ferguson, Carl Stymiest, Valerie Knowlan Richards, Lynton C. Stewart, Joanne Paterson.

Your loyalists will be posted very soon. We continue to update and refine our project so check back regularly!

If you have any questions, please contact me.

…Tim Compeau, Huron University College at Western University

Colonel John Peters: Sufferings, Services and Scandalous Treatment

© Stephen Davidson, UE

In November 1777, Colonel John Peters and Major Zadock Wright were at a turning point in their lives. The two Loyalists had just made their way to Montreal following the ignominious defeat of Lt.-General Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga, New York. Should they continue to serve in the Queen’s Loyal Rangers or see to the welfare of their families?

Major Wright had left his wife and children at their home in Hartland, Vermont. When he returned to take his family back to Canada in early 1778, Wright was captured and put in jail. He would remain a prisoner of Patriots for the next three years.

Colonel John Peters had also escaped persecution at the hands of Vermont’s Patriots, finding refuge in Montreal in the fall of 1776. Like Wright, he had also been forced to leave his wife and children behind. In her husband’s absence, it had fallen to Ann Peters and the family’s slaves to care for their five sons, John, Andrew, Henry, Edmund and William, who ranged in age from 2 to 14 years of age. It did not take long for Moretown, Vermont’s Committee of Safety to punish Peters for his loyalty to the crown. In January of 1777, rebels confiscated his slaves, house, barn, sawmill and gristmill, and forced his wife and children to leave town.

Ann and her sons were put into a sleigh with a few trunks and a bed, and ordered to go to rebel-held Fort Ticonderoga. Friends later told John Peters that his family had been forced to travel nearly 140 miles through snowbound woods, bad roads, and foul weather.

After wintering at Ticonderoga, the Peters family was taken on a 30-mile trek north. Their Patriot guides left them with enough provisions for three weeks in a deserted house that was 50 miles from the nearest neighbour. Eighteen days later, a party of British soldiers came upon the family, loaded them into a boat, and took them further north to St. Johns.

By May 4, 1777, Ann and the children were safe within British lines, “well, but naked and dirty”. It had been quite a trial for the 37 year-old Ann, who her husband would later describe as “a small delicate woman”.

The family’s subsequent reunion in Montreal was short-lived. In June, the newly formed Queen’s Loyal Rangers joined with Lt. General Burgoyne’s troops to begin their long march into New York. Among the Rangers was John Peters Junior, the 14 year-old son of John and Ann Peters. Leaving his young family in the care of the commander of Montreal’s garrison, Col. John Peters went to war, never guessing that he and his son would be separated from them for the next five months.

When John Peters returned to Montreal, his Queen’s Loyal Rangers had been reduced from a force of hundreds to one of dozens. Nevertheless, given his meritorious service to the crown and his many talents, the 37 year-old Peters had every hope of assuming some sort of prominent position within Montreal’s military establishment. A graduate of Yale, Peters had served Vermont as a judge of probate in the court of common pleas, clerk of the court, a colonel in the Gloucester County militia, and a member of the 1774 Continental Congress.

However, Americans – whether Patriots or Loyalists – were not held in high regard by the British military establishment and Canada’s governor, General Frederick Haldimand was no exception. In addition to this prejudice, an incident involving overdue back pay would forever impede John Peters’ hopes for advancement.

During their five months’ absence from Montreal, the Queen’s Loyal Rangers (QLR) had not received their wages, so as their commanding officer, John Peters tried to get the funds from Haldimand. When the governor refused to settle the matter, Peters wrote to his uncle in England who, in turn, spoke to Lord Germain, the secretary of state for the colonies. Germain wrote Haldimand to disburse the QLR’s back pay.

The governor resented what he perceived as Peters going behind his back, and had his revenge in 1781 when he re-organized the QLR. Haldimand demoted Peters’ rank from lieutenant colonel of the corps to a mere “captain of invalids”. In military jargon, “invalids” were those who had retired from active service due to illness or wounds. To be given such a lowly assignment was a humiliating experience for the talented Peters.

John’s family continued to grow during its time in Montreal. Joseph Peters was born on November 11, 1779. When old enough, he joined the British army and fought in Spain under the Duke of Wellington. After marrying an Englishwoman, he returned to Vermont and settled near his brother Andrew who had become a farmer. Joseph and his family returned to England in the 1840s.

John and Ann’s only daughter – and their ninth child – Ann was born on January 18, 1782. She would eventually become Mrs. Watson, the wife of a Nova Scotia settler. Seven of the Peters children lived into adulthood; two had never left Vermont. Samuel died as an infant before the outbreak of the revolution; William Peters died at age six after a tree fell on him in Moretown, Vermont.

When the American Revolution came to an end, Haldimand was anxious to put the Loyalist refugees in various parts of Canada to strengthen Britain’s hold on the remnant of its North American Empire. Although he favoured settling displaced Loyalists along Quebec’s Bay of Chaleur, Haldimand received a petition whose signatories asked to be allowed to settle in the newly created colony of Cape Breton Island.

Suspecting that John Peters was the petition’s author, Haldimand refused to grant Peters a certificate to verify his loyal service during the war. This refusal meant that Peters would find it difficult – if not impossible – to receive financial compensation for his wartime losses from the British government. Haldimand also denied military promotions to Peters’ two oldest sons.

In September of 1784, twenty Loyalists – including John Peters – and their families sailed off to settle on Cape Breton Island. John Jr. and Andrew, the Peters’ two oldest sons, stayed behind to make their own way in the world. John Jr. initially settled in Cataraqui, and then moved to Sophiasburgh along the Bay of Quinte. Andrew lived in New Brunswick for a time before returning to Vermont.

Despite the advantage of having over a thousand kilometers between themselves and Haldimand, the Peters’ move to Cape Breton was not as successful as they had hoped. A letter that Ann wrote to their son John told of problems they had getting supplies, troubles in caring for their livestock, and health issues that they suffered in a harsher climate. After two years of enduring these hardships, John Peters boarded a ship for England.

Determined to receive compensation for his Vermont property and his service as a Loyalist officer, John Peters struck out on what he knew would be a difficult mission. Having fallen out of favour with his two former commanders – Frederick Haldimand and Lt. al John Burgoyne – he had no certificates to authenticate his seven years of sacrificial service. He bristled at Burgoyne’s charges that the Loyalist soldiers had been cowards. In a letter, Peters pointed out that Loyal Americans “had Courage to leave their Wives & Children, their Friends & Property and turn Soldiers and go in the forefront of all his Army to receive the first Blows of the Enemy and be Guardians to Each Wing & Rear…when…the loyal Provincials…were killed ten to one of the royal Army.”

Once in London, John Peters sought out the help of his uncle, the Rev. Samuel Peters. Despite all of the minister’s many connections within the British government, he could do nothing to further John’s case. But in the midst of all of his trials, John Peters did not regret his wartime service.

In a letter to a friend, he confided, “I cannot say I look back with regret at the part I took from motives of loyalty… I thought the part I took {was} right and I certainly think so still, from love of my country as well as duty to my sovereign; and notwithstanding my sufferings, and services, and scandalous treatment … I would do it again, if there was occasion.”

While lodging outside of London in Paddington in December of 1787, Peters succumbed to what his uncle described as “gout and rheumatism in his breast and head”. The 47 year-old Loyalist died on January 11, 1788 and was buried far from his family in St. George’s graveyard in London’s Hanover Square. While his family would never see Peters’ inscribed tombstone, John’s uncle sent his widow a “good likeness of him in life and in his coffin” as well as a lock of her husband’s hair.

In the years that followed John’s death, Ann Peters remained on the family’s land near Glace Bay, Cape Breton. Her son Henry Moore Peters, his wife, and their five children lived nearby. Ann died at 87 years of age in 1827 – proving that she was anything but a “small, delicate woman”.

John Peters Jr. remained in Upper Canada. The younger Peters eventually settled in Salem, Cramahe Township, and became the sheriff of Hastings and Northumberland County. During the War of 1812, he was a colonel in the 1st Regiment Northumberland Militia. Today in Salem, Ontario there is Peters Road, which commemorates John Junior – a Loyalist who first went to war when he was just 14 years old.

This concludes the stories of Zadock Wright and John Peters, two officers in the Queen’s Loyal Rangers. Given that many Loyalists would later proudly refer to their service with this corps in their claims for compensation, there are many more stories yet to be told of these men who endured “suffering and scandalous treatment”.

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

Loyalist Jews During the American Revolution: The Loyalist Diaspora (Part 2)

By Stephen Davidson UE, Stuart Manson UE, and Stephen McDonald UE

Hart is a common surname among Jews of colonial America and also among those who remained loyal to the Crown during the American Revolutionary War, as evidenced in some of the examples below.

The Hart family of Newport, Rhode Island were Jewish Loyalists who did not survive the American Revolutionary War. Many members of this family remained loyal to the Crown during the war. When the British evacuated that city in 1779, many naturally followed the British to the New York City area. Some settled on Long Island. The Rebels later attacked this settlement. Despite a spirited defence in a makeshift fort, Isaac Hart, a merchant, was killed “with the greatest brutality by the rebels for his attachment to Great Britain.”

Samuel Hart was a merchant and politician who lived in Philadelphia and New York City prior to the end of the American Revolutionary War. He was part of the exodus of Loyalists who departed New York in 1785, destined for Nova Scotia. Hart set-up shop in Halifax, where his business initially prospered. He lived in a mansion on a large country estate in nearby Preston.

His biographer notes: “Not content with material success, Samuel Hart aspired to social recognition, even if that required suppression of his Jewish identity. In March 1793, he had himself baptised an Anglican and by 1801 he owned a pew in St. George’s Anglican Church in Halifax.”

By the early 19th century, however, Hart’s mercantile business failed. The stress was too much; in 1809 he was legally declared insane. He died the next year, “a pathetic figure who spent the last days of his life chained to the floor of a room in his Preston mansion.”

Ezekiel Hart life shows that the Jewish experience in early Canada was not always positive. Ezekiel Hart, in early 19th century Lower Canada (Quebec) encountered this first hand.

Ezekiel Hart was not a Loyalist, but rather a native of Canada, being born in Trois Rivières in 1770. He was the son of Aaron Hart, who entered British Canada in 1760, when British arms had recently defeated the French at Québec and Montréal. Aaron Hart has been called the “virtual founder of the Jewish community in Canada,” and supported the British during the Rebel invasion of Canada in 1775-1776.

Interested in local politics, Ezekiel successfully ran for his hometown seat in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada (Quebec) in 1807. Unfortunately, Jews in Canada had fewer rights than Christians in this period of Canadian history. Despite Hart’s attempts to simply modify the Christian components of the standard oath required of all members of the legislature, his political enemies forced the issue. Hart was ejected by a resolution of the assembly, which was upheld by the British colonial secretary, Lord Castlereagh. Jews did not obtain full rights as citizens in Lower Canada until the 1830s.

David Franks was a merchant from Philadelphia who spent the American Revolutionary War walking the tightrope between Loyalist and Rebel worlds. He spent the war supplying troops with provisions, both Rebel and British. He eventually became known as a Tory, a derisive term applied to Loyalists. Around this time his socialite daughter named Phila eloped with Oliver Delancey, the famous Loyalist who established a three-battalion regiment that operated out of New York City. Phila converted to Christianity at the time of her marriage.

During the war Franks migrated to Montréal, joining an established Jewish community in the city, which included his relative Abraham Franks. David Franks contributed financially to a construction fund for Montréal’s first synagogue. His sojourn there was short-lived; he soon travelled to England in an attempt to receive compensation for losses sustained during the war, including unpaid bills for supplying British and Loyalist troops. He died there in 1793 or 1794, still suffering financially. A key biographer claims: “David Franks deserves to the numbered among Loyal Americans who suffered greatly during the American Revolution, and his story is an example of the tribulations that could befall a civilian Loyalist in those difficult times.

David Franks is not known to be a direct relative of Major David Salisbury Franks, who was associated with General Benedict Arnold prior to his allegiance switch to the British in 1780.

Next week read about more Loyalist Jewish families.

Sew Along At Home – Overhaul My Kit

By Kelly Arlene Grant, 8 May 2020

Let’s face it, we are currently in the mother of all off-seasons. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking this opportunity to completely overhaul my kit. I started this plan before covid, as part of my dissertation work. In actuality, I tend to do this from time to time to make sure I’m still on the right track, and this feels like as good a time as any to take stock.

My first wardrobe overhaul was to address some issues I had been having with some of my kit pieces, but also to make some better work clothes for summer months. I was working from an inventory record of one Mrs. McQueen attached to the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants, one of our forebears in Nova Scotia. My own family came to live in Nova Scotia as part of this very regiment, so Mrs. McQueen may have even known my ancestor. Her inventory seemed like a good place to start.

The first piece was one of the Short Gown. This first short gown I based off the one in Colonial Williamsburg’s collection, accession #1985-242 found in Linda Baumgarten’s book, Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern 1750-1790. I put the word out into the community looking to purchase old stock of cotton prints…

The second item I wanted to tackle this year is an item that is strangely missing from the inventory – stays…

Currently on the board is a new petticoat. I happened to start this project at the same time Burnley and Trowbridge started their petticoat sew-along…

Sew there you have it, re-examine your own kit and see what needs to be improved. Now is the time.

Read more.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Named in Freedom: Children in the Book of Negroes

By Leah Grandy, 6 May 2020

Often, we can only guess at what children of the past experienced in their young lives as it was not usual for them create documents of their own. This was poignantly true for the children of the African Diaspora during the eighteenth century. A record as basic as a name, however, can offer a way into an historical culture. The Book of Negroes holds the names of many children leaving New York City at the end of the American Revolution, although an equal number of children’s names were not put to paper at this time.

Children of African descent are one of the most difficult subgroups to uncover in the eighteenth-century Atlantic World. Most studies of enslaved children and children of African descent in North America and the Caribbean pertain to plantations in the West Indies and Southern United States just prior to the American Civil War, thus any contribution to understanding the history of childhood among this group must be approached with a creative use of primary sources.

An examination of the cohort of children who were born during the American Revolution and the period immediately before the outbreak of war (1773 to 1783) demonstrated the range of life experiences among peoples of African descent living in North America.

Read more.

Borealia: Women Also Know Revolution (Part 1)

4 May 2020

A conversation among three historians of the American Revolution, focusing on the political agency and experiences of women.

Rebecca Brannon: Opening up a discussion of women in the Revolution is a great way to make us reevaluate and reshape our thinking about the American Revolution in general. Nice pieties fall away along with certainties. At the same time, when historians of the American Revolution really assess the loyalist experience, the American Revolution begins to look very different – a civil war in an age that proclaimed itself the age of revolutions. So, let’s really upset the apple cart and talk about female loyalists in the American Revolution!

Lauren Duval: I agree. Recent scholarship on the Revolution has re-centered the war as a military conflict, and increasingly recognized the implications of the conflict far beyond the battlefield – indeed, as Rebecca notes, this framing has pushed us to consider the lived experience of the Revolution as a civil war that took place in American cities, homes, and farms and to trace out the implications of this conflict for Americans of all classes, genders, races, and states of freedom. The renewed attention to the societal aspects of the military conflict has the potential to reshape traditional narratives of the Revolution by adding new voices and new experiences to our understanding of war – to tell the stories of ordinary people (including female loyalists) who were simply trying to survive the war and protect their families.

Read more.

JAR: General Charles Lee Imposes Oaths of Allegiance on Newport Tories, 1775

By Christian M. McBurney, 5 May 2020

Major General Charles Lee visited Newport, Rhode Island, in late December 1775, where he – controversially – insisted that local Loyalists take an oath of allegiance to the Continental Congress. This approach, and a similar one he took in New York City shortly thereafter, created concern in Congress on how best to handle Loyalists. But by mid-1778, Lee had changed his mind and no longer believed in employing oaths of allegiance.

Charles Lee was probably the most remarkable personality of the American Revolution on either side. He was brilliant but eccentric, and well-educated and well-schooled in military matters but had a habit of insulting his superiors. Born in England, he had his first military experience in North America during the French and Indian War. He showed courage by being wounded in a charge. Lee finally received promotion to lieutenant colonel in the British Army. After the French and Indian War ended, he served as a soldier of fortune, serving in high positions in Poland, Russia, and Turkey, gaining valuable experience.

Lee began to make it clear in his letters home that he opposed the system of British monarchy and favored republican government. He decided to move to America in 1773. “Liberty I adore,” he explained, and “where she lives, that is my country.” With his impressive military background, he was immediately hailed as a Patriot leader. He wrote a popular pamphlet arguing that American militiamen could defeat British regulars in battle.

Read more.

JAR: Revolutionary Revenge On Hudson Bay, 1782

By Merv O. Ahrens 7 May 2020

French naval officer La Pérouse (Jean Francois de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse) was one of many who actively supported the American Patriots in their war for independence from Britain. La Pérouse’s assignments included patrolling the North Atlantic where he directed the capture of numerous British merchant vessels. His early 1781 outbound voyage from France to Boston brought Gen. George Washington a supply of much-needed money and official strategic correspondence from the French court. In 1782 La Pérouse commanded an Arctic raid on the commercial interests of Britain. His destruction of the British trading depots on Hudson Bay was very much a part of America’s Revolutionary War.

Once large-scale combat with the British erupted in the Boston area in the spring of 1775, Americans were buzzing with ways to weaken and destroy the British presence in North America and abroad. An armed attempt by Gen. Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold to conquer neighbouring British Canada ended with the failed assault on Quebec. In early spring 1776 a diplomatic approach to win the hearts and support of Canadians and the British colony for the American cause was spearheaded by Benjamin Franklin. This attempt also failed. Other leading American minds proposed weakening the British economy by capturing their merchant vessels thereby destroying their trading networks and skyrocketing their naval insurance rates.

The majority of delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia approved the Eastern Navy Board’s plan to attack the Hudson’s Bay Company’s (HBC) ships and trading forts.

Read more.

Ben Franklin’s World: Victoria Johnson, David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Early Republic

Victoria Johnson, an Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City and author of American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, introduces us to the life of Dr. David Hosack and the many philanthropic organizations he founded.

As Victoria helps us investigate David Hosack’s life, she reveals who David Hosack was and information about his training as a medical doctor; Why Hosack worked to build a botanical garden in New York City, which was the first of its kind in the United States; And, How David Hosack’s personal relationships with the likes of DeWitt Clinton, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr helped him establish philanthropic institutions like the Elgin Botanical Garden.

Listen to the podcast.

Forgotten Revolutionaries: Camp Followers Discovery Cart

9 May 2020, Museum of the American Revolution

During the Revolutionary War, women and children travelled with both the British and Revolutionary armies. Whether part of a soldier’s family or not, they served vital roles, including as laundresses and food vendors. Eighteenth-century armies were stalked by disease, and they relied on women for much of the cleaning and nursing that they used to prevent and treat illnesses. Camp followers were so important that military forces allotted them food rations and regulated their work much as with actual soldiers. Explore replica objects related to camp followers in our latest digital discovery cart!

Reporting on the Battle of Lexington, 1775: Fake News and the Massachusetts Spy

May 3rd is an important date for both the American Antiquarian Society and the community of Worcester. On that date in 1775, Isaiah created the first object printed in this community: his newspaper the Massachusetts Spy. In this issue, he described the Battles of Lexington and Concord. While Thomas was present at those battles, his account is far from an objective one and in this video, I examine and provide some context to this document. Read more, with a 10-minute video.

…Chris Raible

1832 Cholera Chronicle: The Ordeals Of An Epidemic As Recorded In A York Merchant’s Diary (Part 4)

By Chris Raible

Wishful thinking was by no means limited to York. On June 25th, the Gore District Medical Board at Hamilton produced a bold broadside declaring that “its Members this day… after a minute inquiry into the disease of Mr. Thomas Racey, are unanimously of opinion that his was not a case of the Asiatic Cholera, and further are happy to state that no cases of an alarming nature, have occurred in this neighbourhood…” Alas, two days later, the same Gore Medical Board president, Dr. T. Slade Robinson, issued a heavily headlined retraction: “CHOLERA BULLETIN” reporting “Cases THREE, Deaths 1, Convalescent 2.”

Lesslie’s optimism was similarly short-lived. Tuesday, July 3rd: “The Cholera Report is again more unfavourable… alarm pervades the minds of the Country people…” Wednesday, July 4th: “The Reports still unfavourable…” To his dismay, he recorded that “the Pensioners seem to be paid today so many of them going about Intoxicated.” Thursday, July 5th: “A Pensioner & 4 or 5 of his associates were carousing & became all Intoxicated.” He died, “with Cholera unknown to his companions &… every one of them were afterwards seized by it and are now in their graves!! Oh what a solemn & affecting warning to man & particularly to the Intemperate!”

If the spreading of the disease could not be stopped, perhaps relief could be found for those who suffered. Near the end of June, Lesslie learned of “a Recipe for Cholera which was witnessed to be effectual in 30 cases in Montreal viz 2 Table Spoonfuls of ground maple Charcoal – 2 Hogs Lard & 2 of maple sugar to be mixed & given at 3 doses – 1 every 1/2 hour.” A week later he reported “This afternoon a man named Hewitt a Bricklayer at the Newmarket House was taken with it and did in about 2 Hours! The Charcoal remedy not given to him – it has however been successfully used in Town & may… be more extensively useful.”

Very early on, the Board of Health observed that “several cases of cholera [have] occurred in Church Street near Market Lane.” Its solution was to remove the people from the area, “take immediate measures for cleaning and purifying the houses and premises,” and then allow the residents to return. Later the Board requested the use of the old school near the market as a cholera hospital. Colborne reluctantly agreed, but he warned of the danger “of inflicting a severe injury” by placing sick people in a wooden building in the area “where, even in a healthy season the effluvia is sufficient to produce pestilence, and where from the tainted atmosphere… the prevailing disease has appeared in its worst form.” The source of the problem, as neither Colborne nor the Board understood, was neither air nor dirt. It was the neighbourhood public well in Market Square.

It would be another fifty years before medical researchers would determine that cholera bacilli are transmitted in water polluted by fecal matter. Yet in April of 1832, two months before cholera appeared in York, Canadian Freeman editor Francis Collins had written with amazing prescience: “It is really astonishing how the magistrates can allow the horrible nuisance which now appears…. All the filth of the town – dead horses, dogs, cats, manure, etc. heaped up together on the ice to drop down in a few days, into the water which is used by almost all inhabitants on the Bay shore…. There is not a drop of good well-water about the Market-square, and the people are obliged to use the Bay water however rotten…. There is nothing more conducive to health than good water – nothing more destructive than bad….” Again, in May Collins commented: “Stagnant pools of water, green as a leek, and emitting deadly exhalations, are to be met with in every corner of the town…. and the state of the bay, from which a large portion of the inhabitants ar supplied with water, is horrible…” (It is tragically ironic that two years later, in a second epidemic, Collins died of cholera.)

Day after day Lesslie noted the horrors around him: Sabbath, July 8th: “one young woman dies in half an hour!” Monday, July 9th: “No less than 10 cases of Cholera since yesterday & 5 deaths – 7 persons taken ill in one house & 3 have died!!” Tuesday, July 10th: “one young man it is said took ill at 11 a.m. & died at 2 a.m.” Wednesday, July 11th: “The devastations of the Cholera still continues around us and baffles the skill of the Physicians…Pilkington – messenger of the Govern’s office – I have been informed is in his grave.” Thursday, July 12th: “S. Shanklin’s wife is in the dust but he survives and is on the way to recovery.” Friday, July 13th: “This day Seely the Jailor dies of the Cholera – took ill this morning at 6 and was a corpse in the afternoon! – a rapid & solemn transition! May eternal realities be more familiar to us all.”

From July 15th to the 21st, Lesslie may have been too awed even to write. There is only one diary entry for the whole week: “The town very dull – few of the Country people coming in…It has been a solemn visitation & is truly calculated to make all feel that they are in the hand of a Great & almighty being who altho unseen to mortal eye is evidently by His judgements searching his vast Creation…”

The peril was everywhere. No longer could cholera be dismissed as a disease of the emigrant, the intemperate, or the impoverished. Everyone was in danger. Sabbath, July 22nd: “This morning the Cholera car passed our door in the morning to convey some person to their long home – and again as we came out of meeting was it receiving the body of a man who had died in the house opposite. – how many cases may have been today I know not” Monday, July 23rd: “Rumour says that this day 20 or 21 persons have died of Cholera in Town!” A crowd packed Lesslie’s Baptist chapel that evening; the preacher’s text: “while we were yet without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

(Continued next week)

Typhus in the Day of Jane Austen (1775-1817)

By Geri Walton, 4 May 2020

Typhus is an infectious disease caused by rickettsiae that can be transmitted by lice, ticks, mites, or rat fleas and is caused by certain types of bacterial infection. It usually causes flu-like symptoms that result in headache and fever, sometimes accompanied by delirium. The characteristics of the disease were further explained in a health column written in the nineteenth century by F.A.J. de Conde:

“The appearance of typhus is very characteristic, and to a practised eye is unmistakable. The sufferer lies prostrate on his back, very much like on recovering from the effects of extreme intoxication. When the attack is a severe one the sufferer lies quite helpless, moaning, with eyes closed, and too prostrate to answer a question or even to move without assistance. Thirst is a constant symptom of typhus …”

Typhus was often called by other names. For instance, in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries it was often referred to by its symptoms and therefore known as “brain fever,” “fever of the spirits,” or “military fever.”

During Jane Austen’s time there were many people who died from typhus.

Read more.

Old St. Edward’s Loyalist Church, Clementsport NS

Though we had some rain and wind yesterday, feeling a need for a walk about I took this short video outside one of oldest churches in Nova Scotia, Old St. Edward’s Loyalist Church at Clementsport built in 1795 and consecrated in 1797 by Bishop Charles Inglis.

The Church is about a 5 minute drive from my home. Video starts at rear and moves around East then South side to entrance. It was built in the New England style of meeting house with added classical details like the Venetian window at the rear. Local building materials were used in its’ construction including local fieldstone for foundation, pine trees for wooden supports, boards and sills, and clam shells baked on beach of nearby Moose River for mortar for inside walls and ceiling.

Watch the video.

UE Loyalist Certificates Issued Recently

The list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 – showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date – has been updated with the certificates issued in November and December of last year. The same updates have been applied to the Loyalist Directory.

Where in the World?

Where is Victoria Branch memberFran Rose?

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.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • At Nova Scotia’s only monument to Germans. Located in Annapolis County it marks the Waldeck Line Road & remembers Germans from Waldeck who settled there in 1783. They fought in American Revolution on side of British & afterwards came to Nova Scotia to settle.  Brian McConnell UE
  • On 9 May 1754, Benjamin Franklin published one of the most famous cartoons in history: the “Join or Die” woodcut. Franklin’s art carried significant importance at the time and is considered an early masterpiece of political messaging. At the time, Franklin was the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette. He also had been chosen as a delegate for an upcoming conference in Albany, New York, to deal with a combined threat to the British from French and Indian forces. Read more…
  • This Week in History
  • Townsend’s
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Victory in Europe – VE Day – 75th anniversary on 8 May 2020
      • Watch message from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
      • Watch message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada
    • Virtual tour of the Benjamin Franklin House in London, where the Boston native lived from 1757 to 1775 while lobbying Parliament on behalf of several North American colonies. See more…

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

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

  • Chase, Reuben – contributed by Martin Conroy
  • MacInnes, Miles – contributed by Carolyn Brown
  • Lloyd, George Henry – contributed by Jo Ann Tuskin
  • Jarvis, Munson – contributed by Jo Ann Tuskin

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

Last Post: Helen “Ruth” (Wright) MacDonald and Norman Warren Franklyn

The death occurred peacefully at the Prince County Hospital, on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020, of Helen “Ruth” (Wright) MacDonald of Crapaud in her 93rd year.

The death occurred peacefully at the South Shore Villa, on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020, of Norman Warren Franklyn MacDonald of Crapaud in his 95th year.

Ruth and Norman were life partner for 69 years. Survived by children Jim (Lucie Anne), Waverley; Liz (Ron) Maynard, Port Hill; Frank (Sandra), Crapaud; and Holly (Keith), Ottawa. Proud grandparents, relative and friend to many.

Born on March 3, 1928 daughter of the late Walter and Helen (Bishop) Wright, Ruth was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Ruth lived a long and happy life and was loved by all who had a chance to know her and to be close to her. After growing up in a loving home in Searletown, PE, Ruth attended Prince of Wales College graduating in 1948. She was a very bright and hardworking student and was the recipient of many academic awards. Ruth taught in several rural schools and delivered high quality education to all of her students. Ruth’s dedication was a game changer for many.

In 1951 after marrying Norman, Ruth embraced the rural life. She supported Norman with his farming pursuits and with him, raised their five children in a loving and nurturing environment. The home overflowed with books and music and laughter. Ruth lovingly provided all the resources her children needed for their education and the pursuit of their many interests. Ruth welcomed her daughters and sons-in-law into the family fold and was a loving and engaged Nanny for her grandchildren and great grandchildren who in return kept her young at heart. Every family milestone was recognized by Ruth with a hand written letter to the recipient. She never forgot anyone.

Ruth generously contributed to the community to the benefit of many. Women’s Institute, United Church Women, Abegweit Branch UELAC (Ruth served in many executive positions, incluuing that of President), Order of the Eastern Star, Crystal Chapter, and school associations are but a few examples of where Ruth donated her talents. Ruth’s contributions to these groups included baking pies, keeping the minutes, contributing information for a book, “An Island Refuge” and so on. Whatever was needed Ruth simply got on with it and did it in her quiet and thorough way.

In her later years, Ruth continued to inspire all with her resilience in overcoming many significant health challenges that could have flattened an average person. Ruth refused to give up on her life with her dear Norman and her family who adored the ground she walked on.

Born on June 16th, 1925, son of the late Frank and Margaret (MacDonald) MacDonald, Norman throughout his life exemplified unfailing service to his beloved family and his community. As a fourth generation farmer, working hand in hand with Ruth, Norman supported his family while respecting the land of his ancestors. He worked hard and never complained but his work did not stop at the farm gate.

Norman responded to the needs of his community throughout his life including serving many leadership roles within his church, at his children’s schools, and with community groups, the Masonic Lodge and the Liberal Party.

He maintained an interest in the farm and farming in general throughout his lifetime. An inherently social man, Norman touched many people’s lives. He had a great ability to make people feel special by drawing out their life stories. He also had the unique skill of providing folks with their personalized ancestral background including anecdotes. His sweet baritone voice was a constant in the church choir as well as many community occasions. Most importantly, his pattern of behavior was to always be supportive to friends and neighbors when they were in need. With his dear Ruth always close, Norman never stopped connecting with people in his senior years.

The family would like to take this time to thank the South Shore Villa and the Prince County Hospital for the care and comfort given to Ruth and Norman during the past few months. Thanks also to Ed and Marion Miller, great neighbors to Norman and Ruth on the MacDonald Road. Arrangements entrusted to Dawson Funeral Home, Crapaud. Condolences may be made on line at the Funeral Home website, www.dawsonfh.com A celebration of Ruth and Norman’s lives will take place at a later date. If so desired memorial donations may be made to South Shore United Church or PCH Foundation.

…Holly MacDonald, UE