In this issue:

  • Remembering Prince Philip & Lennoxville, Quebec, 1989
  • UELAC Conference 2021: be part of the story
  • Margaret Draper: Boston’s Loyalist Newspaper Publisher – Part Two by Stephen Davidson
  • JAR: Loyalist Slave-Owning Refugees in Postwar Jamaica
  • JAR: Fake News of the Surrender of Quebec: A Video Contribution
  • Ben Franklin’s World: Colonial Virginia Portraits
  • Call for Participants in Pandemic Methodologies Twitter Conference 2021
  • Query: Housing for Loyalist Troops and Families
  • Query: Mohawk Valley to Montreal via Oswegatchie
  • Where in the World is James Oborne UE?
  • Events:
    • Toronto Branch UELAC: Quakers and the American Revolution Tues. 13 Apr @7:30
    • Plans for the Site of Upper Canada’s First Parliament Buildings Thurs. 15 April @6 – 8:00
    • Grand River Branch UELAC: The Castine Loyalists of New Brunswick Sunday 18 Apr @2:00
  • From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Connect with us:


Remembering Prince Philip & Lennoxville, Quebec, 1989
By Brian McConnell UE
Upon learning of the passing of His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on April 9, 2021, I have reflected on his connections to Canada. Married in 1947 to the future Queen Elizabeth II he was the longest serving royal consort in British history. He travelled to Canada forty- six times, often as a patron to philanthropic causes. In particular, as a member of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada I am appreciative of his attendance at its’ Annual Conference in 1989 held at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, a borough of Sherbrooke, Quebec. A detailed report appeared in the December, 1989 issue of the Loyalist Gazette magazine. Okill Stuart, President of Heritage Branch of Montreal which along with Sir John Johnson Branch of the Eastern Townships of Quebec hosted the event from May 18 — 22, 1989, was a classmate of Prince Philip while attending Gordonstoun School in Scotland. This personal connection made possible his invitation and attendance.
In this document, read the historically interesting and inspiring speech given by Prince Philip on May 20, 1989 at the Convention Banquet. [Editor: everyone should read his speech]
Addendum: Two items in the press about Prince Philip and Quebec:

UELAC Conference 2021: be part of the story
Hosted by Bridge Annex , May 27-31
The UELAC 2021 Virtual Conference & Historical Event is now welcoming registrations!
We have created an interactive and memorable experience that will immerse you in Loyalist and related history. Visit our interactive map and explore what you can expect May 27-31, 2021.
Our All-Access Pass is an amazing value at only $50.00 – attend all Live presentations and events, and get a free music download, courtesy of our musical entertainment, the renowned Celtic group, The Brigadoons!
UELAC Conference-specific information and AGM registration for UELAC members will be posted when ready (no additional fees).
Come be part of the story this May!
NOTE: Links to Live events, and free music download, will be sent out the week of May 10, 2021 to all who have registered.

Margaret Draper: Boston’s Loyalist Newspaper Publisher – Part Two of Two
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
On August 11, 1774, one half of the publishing partnership that printed the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News Letter dissolved his business ties with Margaret Draper, his former partner’s widow. Why did John Boyle withdraw from printing Boston’s oldest newspaper and all of the attendant advantages of being the official printer for the Massachusetts’ government?
Two explanations have been put forward. One maintains that Boyle left the MGBNL voluntarily because of his political differences with Margaret Draper. He did not want to be associated with Loyalists, “finding his connection with a Tory newspaper not quite pleasant to himself nor agreeable to his friends.”
A second theory hypothesizes that Boyle was nudged out of the partnership. Because he was “strong for the Continental cause, he was not agreeable to Widow Margaret”. Mrs. Draper wanted “a companion who shared her supportive effort of the British”.
Margaret found that needed companion in young John Howe. At age 20, the MGBNL’s “cub reporter” became Margaret’s business partner.
The new partnership became official at the conclusion of Howe’s apprenticeship on the day before he turned 21. Beginning on October 13, 1775 (and ending with the MGBNL’s final issue on February 22, 1776), Howe was listed as the newspaper’s publisher. However, Margaret was the female power behind the paper’s male figurehead
The last year of the paper’s life was one filled with headlines and excitement. On April 19, 1775, Patriot forces began their siege of British-occupied Boston. The political crisis brought about the end of four of the city’s newspapers: the Boston Evening-Post, the Boston Post-Boy, Boston Gazette and the Massachusetts Spy. Margaret Draper’s newspaper was the only one that continued printing within the besieged capital.
In an appeal to her readers to maintain their subscriptions to the paper, Margaret wrote of “The Difficulties attending the Publication of a News-Paper, at this unhappy Period, when almost all Communication with the Continent is cut off, and so every regular Source of Intelligence stopped, obliges us to beg a twofold Share of that Candour we have formerly experienced.”
Besides noting the fact that her readership had been diminished by the Patriot siege of Boston, this notice reveals that Margaret’s sources for reliable news had also been reduced. Newspapers of the era did not rely entirely on local reporters to provide news. In the absence of modern day news services, they acquired foreign (or distant) news through re-publishing what was in the newspapers of other cities or letters received from distant places.
John Howe made a similar appeal in the fall of 1775: “The Publisher would be extremely obliged to Gentlemen, into whose Hands Papers or Articles of Intelligence may accidentally fall, if they would be so kind as to favour him with them.
In addition to limited resources and reduced news sources, Margaret also had to contend with violent opposition to the content of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News Letter. Local Patriots destroyed copies of the paper in public burnings. A much milder form of protest was found in M’Fingal, the most popular poem of the American Revolution. In the poem, the author John Trumbull imagines a conversation between a Loyalist and a Patriot. The decidedly pro-independence poem contains this jab against Margaret Draper and other Loyalist newspapers:

“The summit of newspaper wit;
Fill every leaf of every paper
Of Mills & Hicks, and Mother Draper;
Draw proclamations, works of toil,
In true sublime of scarecrow style,
Write farces too ‘gainst sons of freedom,
All for your good, and none would read ’em.”

By March of 1776, the handwriting was on the wall. The Continental Army’s eleven-month siege of Boston finally forced the British to withdraw from the city. In addition to transporting 9,906 British troops, the 120 ships that eventually left Boston also carried approximately 1,000 of Massachusetts’ Loyalists to safety. Among that number were Margaret Draper and her business partner, John Howe. Ever the businesswoman, Draper also brought along her presses and types.
On March 17, 1776, the British evacuation vessels left Boston, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Margaret, now 49 years old, travelled with a party of four, but there is no record of exactly who was with her. Within a matter of months, Draper sailed for England from Halifax, never to return to her native Massachusetts.
Before leaving Nova Scotia, she sold her presses “and other plant” from the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News Letter to John Howe. The latter also left Halifax, but instead of following Margaret to England, he went to Newport, Rhode Island. By 1777, Howe was the publisher of the Newport Gazette, a newspaper that supported the crown. Two years later, Howe moved to New York City, the headquarters for the British forces in North America.
In 1780, Howe finally settled in Halifax where he remained for the rest of his life. On December 28th of that year, he began to publish the weekly Halifax Journal. However, John Howe’s most significant contribution to his new country would be his eighth child, Joseph Howe. Destined to become a premier of Nova Scotia, the younger Howe was also responsible for establishing the principles of free speech and the freedom of the press in Canada. (Wouldn’t it be interesting to discover what lasting imprint Margaret Draper had made on John Howe and –through him—his illustrious son?)
And what of Margaret Draper? Little is known of her life in England. Historic records note that she was in poor health when she arrived, and that she eventually settled in Pimlico in the county of Middlesex.
When Massachusetts issued its Banishment Act in 1778, it threatened John Howe with execution should he decide to return to the state. However, it did not list Margaret Draper among the hundreds of Loyalists who were forbidden to return to their home. In 1783, she received notice that her property in Boston had been confiscated and sold by the state.
Although there is no record of her petition to the British government for financial aid, Margaret is known to have received a pension from the crown that supported her for the rest of her life. In 1802, she made up her last will and testament. The exact year of her death is not certain. A number of sources suggest that it was 1804, which would have meant the Boston publisher died at the age of 76.
For two brief years during the American Revolution, a Loyalist woman stood at the helm of one of Boston’s major newspapers. Margaret Draper not only supported a united British Empire, she also used her newspaper as a vehicle to promote the city’s writers — daring to publish the work of a poet who was both a woman and an African. A woman of courage as well as strong political convictions, Margaret Draper continued printing her paper despite opposition that was often violent. One is left wondering what this Loyalist publisher’s legacy would have been if she had had more than just two years at the helm of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News Letter.
+ + + + + +
Editor’s note: see a portrait of Margaret Draper
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

JAR: Loyalist Slave-Owning Refugees in Postwar Jamaica
by Patrick E. Brady 6 April 2021
The two forces of paternalism and slavery shaped the lives of Loyalist slaveowners in the postwar British Empire. Historians rarely connect these forces in attempts to understand the relationship between refugees, colonial hosts, and British officials. In the postwar era, British officials treated Loyalists as an itinerant population to resettle to aid imperial expansion. In Canada, Loyalist refugees received lands on the northern frontier. The towns and trade networks established by Loyalists served as inroads for further settlement. To this day, British Canadians regard Loyalists (and free and enslaved African Americans) as the founders of the colony. Across the ocean, the British founded Sierra Leone as a colony for free Black Loyalists. The overarching mission of the colony was to serve as an entrepôt for the colonization and Christian conversion of western Africa. Jamaica presents a different case. Far from a frontier outpost, the island was the most profitable colony in the realm. The creole population had already settled most of the arable land. British authorities shipped in eight-thousand Loyalists (who brought with them two-thousand enslaved Blacks) to bolster the creole population, which was outnumbered ten-to-one by enslaved people. Thus, Loyalists across the Atlantic world benefitted from both the paternalism and the commitments to slavery in the British Empire.
Revolutionary America
In 1785, in his Historical view of the Commission for enquiring into the losses, services, and claims of the American Loyalists, John Eardley-Wilmot remarked with remarkable clarity at the unrest in the former Thirteen Colonies:

Civil Wars are always the most difficult to describe . . . particularly because their first causes and origin are soon lost sight of among progressive and increasing animosities; these alternatively giving place to a complication of mutual reproaches and injuries, and last ending in actual hostility and open war.

Read more..

JAR: Fake News of the Surrender of Quebec: A Video Contribution
by Jonathan Bayer 8 April 2021
In 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post printed a letter, allegedly from Paris, which reported that American commander Benedict Arnold had captured the last major British stronghold in Canada, Quebec City. While almost certainly not the first of its kind, this letter from the Post is one of the earliest examples of fake news during the Revolutionary War. Quebec had not, in fact, surrendered to American troops at the time the letter was supposedly sent on January 4, 1776. Rather, less than a week before that date, the forces of Arnold and Gen. Richard Montgomery had been defeated in an assault on the city, during which Arnold had been injured and Montgomery had been killed. News of the defeat had spread widely by the time the letter from Paris was printed on April 6, 1776, so what was the intention of this fraudulent account? And what was its effect on American public opinion? Read more… (with short video)

Ben Franklin’s World: Colonial Virginia Portraits
Janine Yorimoto Boldt is the Associate Curator of American Art at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin as well as the researcher behind Colonial Virginia Portraits, a digital project produced by the Omohundro Institute.
During our discussion of colonial Virginian portraits, Janine reveals how historians use portraits as historical sources; Why early Americans commissioned portraits ; Who commissioned portraits; And what portraits can tell us about early American history. Listen in…

Call for Participants in Pandemic Methodologies Twitter Conference 2021
June 24 – 25, sponsored by the Canadian Historical Association (CHA).
In the past year historians have had to adapt how they do research, perhaps relying more heavily on digital methods or developing more collaborative projects. What does the historian-at-work look like right now? How is research being shaped by contemporary constraints and creative solutions? How does it feel to do historical research in our historical moment?
We invite abstract submissions for 15-minute presentations (a 10-12 tweet thread). Read more…

Query: Housing for Loyalist Troops and Families
In the March 28th issue (2021-13) of Loyalist Trails there is this description of “pit houses” in 1930’s Road Trip, part 2:
That’s all they ever were,” said the owner. “I’ve heard grandfather tell about them. The government gave the Negroes land here, but they had no houses, not even log cabins. They just dug a hole in the ground and put a little peaked roof over it. They chose a hill for their purpose because the ground was drier. The peak roof would shed the water when it rained. There was a small trapdoor in one side of the roof and the Negroes entered the house by dropping right down through. And that was the Black man’s home — a hole in the ground with a roof over the hole..“…….The existence of “pit houses” was a fact of Nova Scotia’s history that was unknown outside of the Black community until 1998. Sixty-five years after Dennis’ visit to Birchtown, archaeologist Laird Niven excavated a habitat such as Farmer described. It was a depression measuring five feet by five feet and was about 20 inches deep. Although this “pit house” was built as a temporary measure, the evidence Niven discovered suggested that they were used for more than one year. Evidence from the 1998 archaeological dig verified what had only been retained in the oral history of Black Loyalist descendants dating back to 1783.”
This type of dwelling may have been not only a “Black man’s home”. Loyalist Trails a couple of years ago referred to an article in JAR describing where loyalist troops lived between engagements.
An illustration showed the results of excavations of rural military encampments in New York / Long Island, I believe. They looked rather like roofed “holes in the ground” of Nova Scotia refugees, and would be used by families too. I remember being rather shocked by this, as it was no neat and tidy regimental barracks one had previously imagined. One did not like to think of one’s loyalists ancestor spending months there, especially if they (like mine) were “in hospital” much of the time. These troops were not billeted in the British-occupied city of New York.
Did the troops carry tents with them on the southern campaign for example? Did they carry shovels?
More specifically I am interested in the housing for the King’s American Regiment, wives and children. The Regiment was raised in Flat Bush Long Island, 12 Dec. 1776; designated 4th American Regiment in 1779. There were 500 in the corps, many from the lower Hudson River Valley, LI, and CT, and later RI.
Any information and suggestions would be appreciated
Mary McCutcheon <>

Query: Mohawk Valley to Montreal via Oswegatchie
A few maps show an emigrant trail from the Mohawk Valley, north via Canada Creek to Oswegatchie. I assume they probably walked to Oswegatchie. What did the refugees do on reaching the fort?
Could they have been transported/walked past the rapids at Longue Sault and then transported to Lachine/Montreal ?
Thanks for any input.
Richard Poaps UE <>

Where in the World is James Oborne UE?

‘JGO’: Just Got One! … Where in the world is James G Oborne of New Brunswick Branch?

A year into the pandemic. Loyalists Fighting the Pandemic! We are all still fighting Covid-19. Those who are front line workers, those who are keeping their distance from everyone else – ervyone. Take a photo of yourself, or those of your family who are together, with something Loyalist – some Loyalist-era period clothing, a Loyalist-emblazoned article of clothing, a Loyalist artifact, your Loyalist certificate, some Loyalist reenactment gear. Send photos with a description of what and who are in the photo, the Loyalist-related item, how you are contributing, how you are are spending your time, etc. – send to the editor


Toronto Branch UELAC: Quakers and the American Revolution Tues. 13 Apr @7:30

During the American Revolution Quakers were under tremendous pressure by the rebels for their refusal to bear arms and it is no surprise that when some Quakers did assist the British, they were disowned by Quaker Meetings for not maintaining their neutral position. Some of these “Loyalist” Quakers claimed a grant as UE Loyalists and remained Quakers within Canada.
Randy Saylor. Randy has had extensive experience transcribing Quaker Records for the Canadian Friends (Quakers) Historical Association, a project that continues to this day. He will share his knowledge of Quaker Loyalist history and their families, as well as available online resources for Quaker research.
To register, contact Sally Gustin, Programme,

Review Plans for the Site of Upper Canada’s First Parliament Buildings Thurs. 15 April @6 – 8:00PM

The historic First Parliament site located in downtown Toronto is a nationally significant parcel of land that saw the formation and governance of Upper Canada, the beginning of a united country, and the industrial growth of Toronto.
The City of Toronto has been developing a master plan process to help protect, preserve and support community priorities for this civic site. Learn more about Canada’s First Parliament site.
The Ontario Line – a new subway – will intersect with Canada’s First Parliament site. Discuss the issues and implications.
Join Councillor Wong-Tam for Protect First Parliament, a town hall with special guests from Metrolinx, City Planning, CreateTO, City Planning, and Transit Expansion Office for presentations followed by Q & A.
Register at – a link will be provided

Grand River Branch UELAC: The Castine Loyalists of New Brunswick Sunday 18 Apr @2:00 ET

Speaker R Barry Murray share via Zoom this intriguing story.
No need to preregister. Join anytime after 1:30 ET to socialize.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 991 2907 2340 Passcode: 761015
Teaser: What would you do if you had moved your family to a new community and built your life all over, only to find you were really not welcome in your new home? In particular what would you think if all of your friends had joined you in building this new community, and they too were not welcome?
To make matters worse, the other residents in your new community were plotting to have you arrested, or even killed?
Not a very welcoming position to be in for a group of British (Loyal) soldiers and their families who had already fled persecution in previous communities.
This loyal group did the unthinkable! They disassembled their houses, and loaded them on ships along with their livestock and worldly possessions, and set sail for more friendly shores. They did this in October, just before winter was to set in, and re established them selves on a small peninsula..In 1783. Join the meeting to hear more.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond


Published by the UELAC
If you do not now receive this free newsletter directly but would like to, you can subscribe here.