Loyalist Trails Newsletter 2020-49 (December 13, 2020)

In this issue:

  • Loyalist Christmas 1808: Part One of Two by Stephen Davidson UE
  • Atlantic Loyalist Collections: Loyalist Borderlands on Campobello Island: The Ordeal of Gillam Butler, Part Two
  • The Slave in Canada
  • The Disadvantage of the “Benefit of Clergy”
  • William Williams, Fourth Child of Patriach Samuel
  • JAR: Yellow Fever and Church Attendance
  • JAR: The Revolutionary Language and Behavior of the Whiskey Rebels
  • Loyalist Quarterly Newsletter, Dec 2020, by Paul J. Bunnell UE
  • Ben Frankinl’s World: The World of the Wampanoag, Part 1: Before 1620
  • The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Wins 2020 Prince of Wales Prize
  • Resource: BIFHSGO Workshop “Ontario Land Records Made Easy”
  • Query: A Copy of W.D. Reid’s book, The Loyalists in Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists?
  • Additions to the Loyalist Directory
  • From the Twittersphere and Beyond
  • Last Post: FLEMING QC, James Cameron

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Loyalist Christmas 1808: Part One of Two by Stephen Davidson UE
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
This two-part series will describe a prosperous Loyalist family’s Christmas as celebrated in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1808. However, before we look in on the festivities, we will first take a moment to become acquainted with the family members who gathered around the banquet table on that distant December 25th. Let’s meet the family of Major John and Elizabeth Ward.
When he died in Saint John on August 5, 1846, Major John Ward was regarded as “the Father of the City”, having filled many offices of public service and enjoying a very successful career as a merchant. He was held in such high regard by his fellow citizens that one writer of the era predicted that Ward’s name would “descend unsullied to posterity, and be held in reverence by future generations”. But there was nothing in Ward’s youth that would have predicted his many accomplishments or his high regard.
Ward was born in Peekskill, Westchester County, New York on November 8, 1753. Situated on the east side of the Hudson River, his hometown was about 64 km north of New York City. He and his three brothers fought for the British as members of the Loyal American Regiment during the Revolutionary War. This regiment saw action in New York, Virginia and Connecticut, but Ward’s most memorable wartime service was commanding the escort for Major Andre when he went to West Point to discuss Benedict Arnold’s change of loyalty.
At the war’s conclusion, Ward was stationed in New York City where he lived with his wife, Elizabeth Strang, and their five year-old son, Caleb. The last of the transport ships that left Manhattan for Parrtown on November 25, 1783 were under Ward’s command. It must have been a worrisome journey for it was not only hurricane season in the North Atlantic, but Elizabeth Ward was in the final weeks of her pregnancy with their second child.
When the Loyal American Regiment arrived in Parrtown (the future Saint John), there was no time to build log homes, and so the soldiers and their families had to make due with canvas army tents staked into the frozen ground. Trenches surrounded the tents and spruce branches covered the canvas walls for insulation. On December 18th, Elizabeth safely delivered their second son, John Ward Junior.
By the time he was 32, Ward had partnered with his brothers Benjamin and Moses as merchants in West Indies rum. When Moses returned to the United States, Ward and his sons established a wholesale liquor business that expanded over the years to include lumber mills, an iron foundry, and the sale of general merchandise. In partnership with another businessman, the New York Loyalist operated the first steamship that travelled between Saint John and Fredericton.
Ward never lost his interest in military matters and in 1793 became one of the founding officers for the New Brunswick Regiment of Artillery. He would eventually command all of the Saint John County militia. See sketch of John Ward.
As Ward’s influence and wealth grew, so did his family. By 1791, he and Elizabeth had Caleb (1778 – 1833), John Junior (1783 – 1875), William (? -1814), Esther/Hetty (1788 – 1848), Eliza (? – 1812) and Charles (1791 -1882). The family lived in a large house on the corner of King and Germain Street.
John Ward also served Saint John in a variety of offices. For ten years, he was a member of the city council. He was both a magistrate and a justice of the peace for Saint John, and represented his city in the provincial assembly on three occasions. For 40 years, he served as the commissioner for lighthouses along the Bay of Fundy. Ward also found time to act as a warden of Trinity Anglican Church.
Wealth and influence did not make Ward immune to heartache. His third son, William, died far from home in Jamaica while serving as captain of the “Pacific”, presumably one of his father’s merchant vessels.
Ward’s youngest son, Charles, also faced calamity while at sea. During the War of 1812, American privateers captured Charles while he was on his way to Quebec to join the army. After the privateers captured Ward’s son, they took him to Boston where he was made a prisoner on parole and then eventually exchanged for two prisoners in Halifax. Charles returned home by riding horseback from Boston to Castine, Maine (which was in British hands at the time).
He continued his journey home by boarding a schooner for Saint John. His ship wrecked further up the Maine coast, forcing Charles to walk the rest of the way to Saint John. Upon his return home, his father, Major Ward, concluded he had better abandon the army and become a merchant – which he did.
Ward endured even greater heartache when his ten year-old grandson shot and killed a member of Ward’s local militia.
Barton and Newton Wallop were the sons of Ward’s daughter Eliza and Major B. W. R. Wallop. On June 13, 1818, the brothers discovered two pistols while visiting at the home of their Uncle Charles Ward. Ranging in age between ten and eight, the boys did not have the foresight to see if the weapons were loaded. They pointed the pistols at one another and snapped the flints, unaware that while one pistol was empty, the other was loaded. However, neither gun fired.
Newton then dared his older brother to shoot the pistol out the window that looked down on King Street, Saint John’s busiest thoroughfare. As it happened, Daniel DeVoe, a Loyalist veteran and member of the Regiment of Artillery, was walking up the street. Barton aimed the pistol and fired, unaware that he was using a loaded pistol.
Accounts of the shooting from the era are quite detailed. “The ball with which it was loaded, entered the head of Daniel DeVoe … it entered the back of the left ear and lodged over the right eye, which terminated his life in half an hour. Immediately on the accident being discovered, the boy ran to inform his grandfather”, Major John Ward. Both grandsons were taken into custody. “The formalities of a trial took place in the Court Room, Market Square, young Wallop being attended by his grandfather As the accident was purely accidental, an acquittal followed. No one felt more keenly the death of his old neighbour, Daniel Devoe, than did Major Ward.
Despite this tragedy, the Ward family did not lose its good name in Saint John. During the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the arrival of the Loyalist refugees (1833 and 1843 respectively), the citizens of Saint John treated Major John Ward as a celebrity of his generation. Given that he was 90 years old during the 60th anniversary, the city no doubt recognized that they did not have many years left to enjoy this link to Saint John’s past.
At Major John Ward’s funeral, the casket bearing his remains was “followed to the grave by one of the largest and most respectable funeral processions ever seen in this city … all anxious to pay the last tribute of respect to one who was so intimately associated with the early history of the country“.
The Saint John Courier carried this obituary: “Thus full of years and honours has departed one who has led an unblemished life, and who carries with him to the grave the highest esteem and most profound respect of the community to whom his noble and venerable appearance, his strict integrity and amiable disposition have long been familiar.

Next week’s Loyalist Trails will share the story of how Christmas 1808 was observed in the home of Major John Ward.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at stephendavids@gmail.com.

Atlantic Loyalist Collections: Loyalist Borderlands on Campobello Island: The Ordeal of Gillam Butler, Part Two
Richard Yeomans 9 December 2020
To fully grasp the kind of place that Gillam Butler lived, it is useful to imagine New Brunswick’s southwesterly edge, including the Fundy Isles, as a kind of loyalist borderland. The fishing outports of mainland Charlotte County, Grand Manan, Deer and Campobello islands have long been sites to congregate in Indigenous trading networks, transatlantic commerce, and European imperial warfare.
By 1783, the Passamaquoddy region was situated between two competing empires – the United States and Great Britain – making illicit trade highly profitable and political jurisdiction all the more complicated. As Joshua Smith writes, “the more government forces attempted to halt unregulated trade, the more apparent it became to locals that the state was an unwelcomed and alien force” (Borderland Smuggling, 2006; 11). For Butler, and many others like him, islands such as Campobello represented an important intermediary location between American enterprise and British law. As the concept of a loyalist borderland suggests, Campobello and loyalists like Gillam Butler were defined by the social, political, and cultural consequences of civil war that made smuggling a necessary component to life in New Brunswick. However, participation in illicit trade did not completely contradict Butler’s loyalist identity but instead demonstrates how loyalism existed in shades of grey. Even officials such as William Wanton, the American-born Customs Officer at Saint John, was lax in his duty to prevent contraband from entering port. This helps explain why Butler chose to sail further to Saint John, rather than the closer Customs House at St. Andrews controlled by British-born merchants. When Butler was caught at the Saint John Customs House in April of 1786 trying to import American whale oil as British American produce, Governor Carleton’s efforts to make an example of Butler is indicative of much larger tensions in New Brunswick. Read more…

The Slave in Canada
Author: T. Watson Smith
Published as part of the Collections for the Nova Scotia Histrical Society 1896-98
This paper, read in part before the Nova Scotia Historical Society on March 18 1898 is an attempt to supply a missing chapter in Canadian history – a sombre and unattractive chapter, it may be, but necessary nevertheless to the completeness of our records.
If instances given seem too numerous, it must be remembered that the skepticism of many of the best informed Provincials as to the presence at any time of Negro slaves on the soil of Canada has challenged the production, on the part of the author, or more repeated facts than he would otherwise have deemed necessary.
In the collection of these facts, not a little difficulty has been encountered. Our historians have almost wholly ignored the existence of slavery in Canada.
Chapter 1 (on page 10):
Slavery in Canada as that extensive province was formerly defined was of French institution. The first slave sale recorded in the colony was that at Quebec of a negro boy from Madagascar by David Kertk in 1628 for fifty half-crowns. Kertk, the son of a Scotch father and French mother, and born at Dieppe, had gone to England; and with several ships fitted out with the assistance of two brothers and other relatives, under a commission from the English king, had done serious damage to French interests at Port Royal, and other points on the Atlantic seaboard.
In a local history, reference is made to the presence of Indian slaves at Montreal in 1670. These slaves were known as Panis, members of a distant tribe, once numerous but greatly reduced in numbers by the attacks of more powerful Indian nations. Captured in war, and offered for sale by their captors at low prices, they had been purchased by Canadians at Detroit and other outlying posts, whence some of them had been carried towards the Atlantic coast. They seem to have been more easy of control as domestic servants than members of some other native tribes of this continent, but the propensity of these wild children of the woods to run off, with the presence of the ever-adjacent forest as a constant temptation, greatly lessened their value. Read more…

The Disadvantage of the “Benefit of Clergy”
J.L.Bell Tuesday 8 December 2020
As reported here, jurors convicted Pvt. Mathew Kilroy and Edward Montgomery of manslaughter instead of murder for the Boston Massacre. Manslaughter was still nominally a capital crime—but only nominally.
Under British law, people convicted of manslaughter could plead “benefit of clergy” at their sentencing. That plea was an old protection for actual or potential members of the clergy, who could get out of hanging by demonstrating the valuable skill of being able to read from the Bible.
While avoiding execution, those defendants who weren’t actually in holy orders got branded on the base of their thumbs to mark them as convicted felons. Read more…

William Williams, Fourth Child of Patriarch Samuel
By Phil Eschbach
William, patriarch Samuel’s third son and fourth child, was born about 1743, in Anson County, North Carolina. He fought together with his brothers and father as a British loyalist in several skirmishes in North Carolina, culminating in the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, after which he migrated briefly to Wilkes County, Georgia, with his brother, Henry. Then, at the recommendation of his father, he went to Florida. He joined his brothers Wilson and Henry and his father at a 500-acre plantation on Doctor’s Lake, on the St. John’s River, a few miles northwest of St. Augustine. In 1784, he joined the local militia and later in the year he got into an argument with Felipe Fatio over the ownership of several enslaved people. But after Florida was ceded back to Spain in 1783, the political landscape changed. It took several years for the transfer of the territory, finally occurring in 1786, at which time William left for the Bahamas with his brother Henry and their families.
William maintained several plantations in the Bahamas but decided to move back to Florida in the early 1800’s, along with his nephew Samuel, son of his brother Henry. The Spanish in 1790, had rescinded their rule that all settlers must become Catholic. He obtained a land grant of 2,200 acres on the Halifax River in Mosquito County near his nephew Samuel, bringing forty-five enslaved people with him from the Bahamas. Finding that this land was of poor quality, he gave up all but 180 acres there and petitioned the land office in St. Augustine for another grant and was given the balance of 2020 acres inland, near the St. John’s River in 1804. He named it Spring Garden, now known as DeLeon Springs. He established a farm, growing cotton and staple crops, with forty-five slaves, but had difficulties with the local Indians. He died in St. Augustine on November 28, 1807, at age 64, at the house of Theresa Thomas.
He left his Spring Garden property to his nephews, William Williams, the younger, Abner Williams (sons of his brother Abner) and William Henry Williams (son of his brother Wilson). He left his Halifax River property to his other nephew Samuel Williams. A map exists that was handdrawn by a local settler on the Halifax River showing the Williams’ 180-acre plot (now Samuel’s) for sale.
When William Williams died, as a Protestant, he could not be buried in the cemetery in St. Augustine, reserved for Catholics only. So, he was buried on Fish’s Island, an outcrop of Anastasia Island which was not part of St. Augustine at that time but was the private reserve of Jesse Fish. Samuel, William’s nephew who died in 1811, was also buried there.
So far as is known William never officially married but had a relationship with his enslaved mulatto named Angelica, originally from the Bahamas. The couple had three children, Sampson, Susanna and Eliza. In his will, he freed Angelica and the three quadroon children and gave them ownership of some of his other slaves, as well as some cows, cooking utensils, and food from his plantation on the river. He also decreed that they were permitted to live there as long as they wished, rent free.
Angelica and William’s son Sampson (1800-1847) moved to St. Augustine and became a successful merchant, partnering with William Clarke, a bi-racial son of George Clarke and his black common law wife, Flora Leslie, who had been enslaved and whom he had manumitted in 1797. Sampson married Harriet Fish, the granddaughter of Jesse Fish of Anastasia Island and daughter of Jesse Fish, Jr. and Clarissa Sanders, a mulatto. Sampson and Harriet had at least two children, William and Sophia. They lived in a house at 73 Marine Street which they purchased from kinsman Josef Hernandez. Former slave, Sampson is listed in the 1830 census as owning seven slaves. He joined the Mosquito Roarers in 1835, a local militia formed to fight the Seminoles. In 1836, he was listed in the 2nd Mounted Militia under his cousin Lieutenant Venancio Sanchez. He re-enlisted in 1837 and 1838 and was named the company musician (bugler).
Little is known about Sampson except mention of a kerfuffle near his tavern in 1837. It is recorded in the Spanish archives that a group of five soldiers caused a ruckus when leaving a bar. Captain Matthew Solana, on patrol, attempted to arrest them but they ducked into Sampson’s tavern on Charlotte Street and locked the door. Solana went for reinforcements, but when he returned to the Williams and Clarke Tavern, the soldiers had fled. Sometime in 1840, Sampson and kinsman Venancio Sanchez were offered property in Key Biscayne to settle there but they did not pursue it. Venancio was the brother of Maria Sanchez who was married to Samuel Hill Williams, Sampson’s cousin and younger son of Samuel Williams.
During the Civil War, Sampson’s son William Williams joined the Union army in St. Augustine where he was instrumental in aiding many slaves to escape to the safety of the Union forces who occupied St. Augustine – a sort of underground railroad in Florida.
The Spanish had a different perspective on “free men of color.” If a slave holder manumitted his slaves in Florida or a free black arrived in Spanish territory, they were treated almost like the whites. They could testify in court, serve in the militia, own land, and even own other slaves. This created a unique environment, chiefly in St. Augustine. The Spanish were not opposed to slavery per se but considered any free man of any color as a near equal. The only restriction, which applied to all non-Hispanics, was that they could not hold public office.
Sampson Williams joined the local militia to fight the Seminoles, alongside other white settlers, without any repercussions. This situation radically changed as soon as Florida became a United States territory. Some free blacks were re-enslaved, but mostly in St. Augustine people “looked the other way,” at least until statehood in 1845 when laws were passed making it illegal to be free if you were black or part black.
During the Second Spanish period, some slaves in the upper states made their escape to Florida, where they would be free. Slave holders in the upper states, mainly Georgia and the Carolinas, complained to the Spanish government in Florida, demanding the return of their escapees. The Spanish mostly ignored these demands, refusing to send them back. This was all reversed when Florida became a United States territory.
The next installment will involve Patriarch Samuel’s fourth son, Wilson.

  • Feldman, Lawrence H. The Last Days of British Saint Augustine, 1784-1785. Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 1998.
  • “East Florida Papers,” archives at Smathers Library.
  • “Florida Memory,” many maps, portraits, deeds, and surveys.
  • Schene, Michael G. Hopes, Dreams, & Promises. Daytona Beach News Journal,1976.
  • Marotti, Frank. The Cana Sanctuary. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2012.
  • _____ Heaven’s Soldiers. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2013.
  • Cusick, James G. The Other War of 1812. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2007.

JAR: Yellow Fever and Church Attendance
by Brian Patrick O’Malley 8 December 2020
John Adams was certain he made a mistake by going to church. Philadelphia’s yellow fever outbreak only ended in November 1793. On Sunday, December 22, Adams attended a Presbyterian service in the morning and an Episcopalian service in the afternoon, “but I am not Sure it is prudent to go to Church or to Meeting for if there . . . can be infection any where it is as likely to be in these Assemblies as in any Place.” Adams, however, felt alone in his apprehension. “All the World . . . says and believes there is no danger.”
John Adams was not the only American who perceived a connection between church attendance and yellow fever mortality. Philadelphia-based publisher Mathew Carey wrote of churchgoing, “To this cause I am bold in ascribing a large proportion of the mortality—And it is remarkable, that those congregations, whose places of worship were most crouded, have suffered the most dreadful.” Carey condemned those “whose mistaken zeal” prompted them “to croud some of our churches,” “during the most dreadful stages of this calamity,” only to “aid this frightful enemy.” Carey asked if people would forgive him for criticizing those “who, fearful lest their prayers and adoration at home would not find acceptance before the Deity, resorted to churches filled with bodies of contagious air, where with every breath they inhaled, they drew in noxious miasmata?” Read more…

JAR: The Revolutionary Language and Behavior of the Whiskey Rebels
by Kyler Burd 10 December 2020
The image of a nation united in the aftermath of the American Revolution, content with hard-fought for and hard-won independence, is largely a grade school fairy tale. The early years of the American republic were often tumultuous, and competing conceptions of liberty meant that popular unrest was not uncommon. As it had in the period leading up to the American Revolution, rhetoric played a crucial role in this politically chaotic time. Federalist and anti-Federalist took the place of Patriot and Tory as early Americans struggled to present a unified vision of what democracy was meant to look like.
In 1781, the ratification of the Articles of Confederation brought together thirteen states into a “firm league of friendship.” This loose gathering of nearly autonomous states formed a quasi-nation with only a weak, decentralized authority. Prominent political figures who had once advocated government built upon a foundation of the “principle or passion in the minds of the people,” had realized some of the difficulties inherent in this position. They began to promote a limited democracy that reinforced the existing social strata. On the other hand, the lower-classes and rural groups began to demand the increased role in society and politics that had been promised to them in the high-minded rhetoric of the American Revolution. As proponents of a centralized nation gained power and encroached on the ideals of popular democracy, the poor and those dispossessed by Federalist policies consolidated into meaningful pockets of resistance. Read more…

Loyalist Quarterly Newsletter, Dec 2020, by Paul J. Bunnell UE
Published since 2004, the December 2020 issue is now available. At twenty pages, it features:

  • Editor’s Comments
  • New Book on Nova Scotia Loyalists
  • Minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office : C-14027
  • Pirates of the Chesapeake Boy
  • John Bacon, Loyalist
  • Loyalist Influence in Nassau
  • The Highpoint of British Success
  • Revolutionary War: Southern Phase, 1778-1781
  • The Boston Massacre
  • Support Loyalist Trails

Vol. 17 Part 4 December 2020 Quarterly Issue “In Publication since 2004”
Editor: Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Author, Koasek Abenaki Chief; 978-337-9085,
49 Pleasant St., #106, Alstead, NH 03602
The Only U.S. Newsletter Devoted to The study of The American Loyalists
Subscription Rate: $21 U.S. $24 Can. $5 each copy – (March, June, September, December issues)

Ben Frankinl’s World: The World of the Wampanoag, Part 1: Before 1620
Before New England was New England, it was the Dawnland. A region that remains the homeland of numerous Native American peoples, including the Wampanoag.
Over the next two episodes, we’ll explore the World of the Wampanoag before and after 1620, a year that saw approximately 100 English colonists enter the Wampanoags’ world. Those English colonists have been called the “Pilgrims” and this year, 2020, marks the 400th anniversary of their arrival in New England.
In this episode, we’ll investigate the cultures, society, and economy of the Wampanoags’ 16th- and 17th-century world. This focus will help us develop a better understanding for the peoples, places, and circumstances of the World of the Wampanoag. Listen in…

The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Wins 2020 Prince of Wales Prize
Run by The National Trust for Canada, The Prince of Wales Prize recognizes communities and their local governments for the successful heritage stewardship of a town, city, First Nations reserve or community, rural region, or district. Congratulations to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Read more, and short video…


Resource: BIFHSGO Workshop “Ontario Land Records Made Easy”
The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa featured a presentation “Ontario Land Records Made Easy” by Ken McKinley on Dec 5. I am told that the presentation was quite well done.
BIFHSGO has posted the information about this for pub;ic access, but ONLY for two weeks ie until about December 19, 2020, after which time it will be for members only. There is access to the handout and three videos: Overview and Part 1; Part II – The Abstracts; Part III – The Instruments. Go to BIFHSGO, and part way down the homepage you will find the links in the first row of the table about Resources from past events.



Query: A Copy of W.D. Reid‘s book, The Loyalists in Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists?
Where can I acquire and/or purchase a copy of W.D. Reid‘s book, The Loyalists in Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists? It would be good to have them as reference for genealogy queries.
The book resulted from research into the The Upper Canada Land Petitions at the Ontario Archives. Those who could show their participation in the American Revolution and were wanting to claim a land grant in Upper Canada (now Ontario) could petition for a grant. In 1789, Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, decreed that not only Loyalists, but their children of either sex, could also petition.
This book lists many Loyalists from the list and then for each, their children and if they received a land grant, when. Do keep in mind that the record keeping in the years after the war were not the best.
Jo Ann M Tuskin <jmtuskin@sympatico.ca> Genealogist, Gov. Simcoe Branch

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

  • Andrew Eastman – contributed by Kevin Wisener
  • John Camp – contributed by Kevin Wisener
  • Thomas Embree – contributed by Andrew Payzant
  • Hazelton Spencer – contributed from Branch records by Jo Ann Tuskin
  • Samuel Lewis Hayden – contributed from Branch records by Kevin Wisener

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

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: FLEMING QC, James Cameron
1930 – 2020 Born to Andrew Fleming and Evelyn Cameron, he leaves behind his wife, Ruth; son, Andrew (Farah); grandchildren, Olivia and James. He was predeceased by his brother, Richard Fleming. Kane-Jerrett Funeral Home Thornhill, Ontario.
He received his certificate as a descendant of Johann Hendrick Windecker in 2012
Martha Hemphill UE, Toronto Branch

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