In this issue:

  • Final events on Sunday 30 May at UELAC Conference 2021
  • UELAC Board of Directors For 2021-22
  • Butler’s Rangers and The Road Trip of 1787, Part 1 of 4 by Stephen Davidson UE
  • Book: 1764: The First Year of the Revolution by Ken Shumate
  • JAR: Massachusettensis and Novanglus: The Last Great Debate Prior to the American Revolution
  • JAR: Wampum Belts to Canada: Stockbridge Indian Ambassadors’ Dangerous 1775 Peace Mission
  • Red Meat for Empire: New England Cattle, the British Empire, and the Disruption of Revolution
  • Six Revolutionary Forts
  • Washington’s Quill: George Washington Sees an Elephant
  • Ben Franklin’s World: La Pointe Krebs House
  • Events:
    • Gov. Simcoe Branch “Remembering Dieppe, Timothy Munro UE and Rebellion Boxes” Wed 2 June @7:30
    • Fort Plain: Surviving the Winters Housing Washington’s Army by Steven Elliott Mon. 7 June @7:00 EST
  • From the Twittersphere and Beyond


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Final events on Sunday 30 May at UELAC Conference 2021 Hosted by Bridge Annex
Great comments and good UELAC Conference 2021 – visit
You may still be able to catch the final events (Eastern time)

  • Church Service at 10:00
  • Genealogy Presentation with Steve Fulton UE at1:00
  • Jennifer DeBruin “Traitors, Spies and Heroes: Loyalist Espionage during the American Revolution” at 7:00

See the details and register
“Thanks Janet Parsons for pointing out one of the little gems within the interactive map!” (King George III’s Favourite Morning Chocolate.) as posted on UELAC Facebook.

UELAC Board of Directors For 2021-22
Congratulations to Members of the UELAC Board who were elected at the AGM on Saturday 28 May 2021. (* = members with a new role; ** = New members)

  • Dominion President: Patricia Groom*, from Bridge Annex
  • Dominion Past President: Suzanne Hines*, Grand River
  • Senior Vice-President: Carl Stymiest*, Vancouver
  • Dominion Treasurer: Scott Hazelwood, Saskatchewan
  • Dominion Secretary: Jo Ann Tuskin, Gov. Simcoe
  • Atlantic Region V-P: Stephen Bolton*, New Brunswick
  • Atlantic Region Councillor: Angela Donovan**, New Brunswick
  • Central East Region V-P: Bill Russell*, Kawartha
  • Central East Region Councillor: Miles O’Reilly**, Kingston & District
  • Central West Region V-P: Heather Smith, Grand River
  • Central West Region Councillor:David Kanowakeron Hill-Morrison, Grand River
  • Prairie Region V-P: Barbara Andrew, Assiniboine
  • Prairie Region Councillor: Liz Adair, Assiniboine
  • Pacific Region V-P: Frans Compeer*, Victoria
  • Pacific Region Councillor: Christine Manzer**, Vancouver

Butler’s Rangers and The Road Trip of 1787, Part One of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
The last ten years had been difficult ones for Richard Philips, a man who had once been proud to call New York’s Susquehanna Valley his home. In the year following the Declaration of Independence, he decided to join the newly formed Rangers under the command of Col. John Butler. Based at Niagara, the Loyalist unit had been authorized by Sir Guy Carleton to “serve with the Indians as occasion shall require”. As it turned out, Butler’s Rangers would prove to be one of the most effective corps of Loyalists raised, a persistent raiding force on the New York frontier throughout the duration of the American Revolution.
Philips served with the Rangers for just two years before he was taken prisoner by Patriot forces and “confined in several gaols”. His first attempt to escape failed, but on the second try he was able to evade his captors and find sanctuary first in New York City and then in Montreal. By the end of the war, Philips had returned to Niagara, the wartime headquarters for Butler’s Rangers. What had once been the base of operations for the Loyalist corps was now a settlement for Ranger veterans and their families.
Going back to the Susquehanna Valley was no longer an option for the Loyalist veteran. The Patriot government had seized his land and the livestock that he had accumulated after five years of farming. In addition to the loss of his log home and barn as well 6 horses, 5 cows, a yoke oxen, 5 young cattle, 6 sheep, and 40 hogs, Philips also had his blacksmith tools taken by plundering neighbours.
Things must have seemed bleak for Philips and his family at the end of the revolution, but in 1787 word came to Niagara that Loyalist refugees could seek compensation for their wartime losses from the British government. The Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL) would be convening in Montreal beginning in August of that year. Almost 80 veterans, widows and orphans associated with Butler’s Rangers struck out for Montreal in the hopes of receiving financial compensation.
Having years of experience in travelling long distances to raid rebel farms and villages, the Rangers veterans now had to complete a “road trip” of 660 km from Niagara to Montreal. No doubt their long association with Indigenous People helped them to select the best overland trails –or canoe routes across Lake Ontario and down the St. Lawrence River— to Montreal. They no doubt made many stops at Loyalist settlements along the way. Nevertheless, it was not a trek for the faint-hearted.
Somehow, the compensation claimants had learned that they needed to bring titles and deeds with them to prove their property losses. Their cases would also be strengthened by having witnesses testify on their behalf. It is remarkable that in addition to the 35 Rangers who submitted petitions for compensation, there were 42 others who joined the “road trip” to serve as character witnesses. It was a long way to go just to help a fellow veteran.
After arriving in Montreal, the Rangers had to wait for their turn to appear before the RCLSAL. Richard Philips was one of five who sought compensation on Thursday, August 27, 1787. It would not be until September 30th that the last of the Rangers would testify in the hope of receiving something for all of their losses during the revolution.
William Pickard was another of Butler’s Rangers who had once called the Susquehanna Valley his home. Like Philips, he left home in 1777 to join the Rangers, but he also brought his two sons with him. Pickard and his oldest son became privates while the younger son served the corps as a drummer. While the three Pickard men were absent throughout the revolution, their Patriot neighbours burned down their house and barn, confiscated their farm, and then sold it. Rebels and local Indigenous People took Pickard’s cows, horses, hogs, grain, furniture and “utensils”.
Another of Butler’s Rangers to appear before the RCLSAL on that day was Jacob Ball, who –before the war– operated a potash works 20 miles outside of Albany, New York. At first, Ball had tried to keep his Loyalist leanings to himself, but was eventually “fined and imprisoned” for not agreeing with his rebel neighbours. They persecuted him “so much that he could not stay at home”. Ball joined the Rangers in 1778, serving with them as a lieutenant until the revolution’s end.
Two years after Ball left home, rebels took all of his livestock: 30 hogs, 30 sheep, 15 horses, and 25 cattle and sold them to support their cause. His wife and son were able to stay in their home until they were forced to “quit the premises” in 1784. The family was reunited in Niagara.
John Coon was another of Butler’s Rangers who once lived near Albany. Initially, he had shown his Loyalist convictions by joining General Burgoyne’s ill-fated “invasion” of New York. In his absence, the local rebels confiscated and sold his livestock. One horse was so fine that it sold for £52 — more than the price of an enslaved African man. In 1777, Coon became a sergeant with the Rangers, serving the corps for the next seven years.
The fifth claimant to appear before the RCLSAL on August 23, 1787 was Adam Crysler. His strong Loyalist convictions resulted in his being “carried frequently before the {rebel} committees” in his neighbourhood. In response to this harassment, Crysler gathered up 35 men and headed off to join the British forces in their siege of Fort Stanwix in August of 1777. Becoming sick on the way, Crysler sent his men on to what would be a failed military effort.
After a brief return to his home in Schoharie, New York, he then joined Butler’s Rangers at Niagara as a lieutenant. Turning his back on Schoharie must have been difficult. In addition to his farm, Crysler owned a flour mill, a saw mill, a variety of livestock, a wagon, and wheat fields. Later, Crysler worked in the Indian Department that oversaw British relations with the local Indigenous People.
What makes Crysler stand out from his fellow Rangers is the fact that he kept a journal of his services to the crown, beginning in March of 1777. He still had the journal in 1787, and presented it to the RCLSAL commissioners as evidence for his claims. After looking through its pages, the commissioners admitted that “he appears to have been much employed and to have been very active and to have gone through a great deal.”
There was also another document that helped to secure compensation for Crysler. Anxious to gather as much accurate background evidence as possible, the RCLSAL had sent John Anstey, a barrister at law, to the United States to collect lists that itemized the seizures of loyalist property, the names of banished loyalists, and any accounts that would substantiate or negate a loyalist’s claim. Bolstering Adam Crysler’s claims for compensation was the fact that his name was on Anstey’s list.
Next week’s Loyalist Trails will continue the story of the 100 men and women who made a 1787 “road trip” from Niagara to Montreal.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Book: 1764: The First Year of the Revolution by Ken Shumate
“The sad story of colonial oppression commenced in the year 1764. Great Britain then adopted new regulations respecting her colonies, which, after disturbing the ancient harmony of the two countries for about twelve years, terminated in a dismemberment of the empire.”—David Ramsay, 1789
Ken’s succinct volume looks at the major shift that occurred in 1764 between Great Britain and its North American colonies over the use of customs duties to draw revenue from the colonies. To the Americans, the new policy set a precedent of unilateral parliamentarian rule over colonial legislatures. Despite the American’s initial deferential approach to England about these perceptions and concerns, their efforts—through pamphlets and petitions to the King and parliament—provoked a stronger reaction from England. With that, the two sides began drifting further apart. Relying on the words of those involved, Shumate provides a virtual “real time” account of how a rosy relationship up to 1763 quickly unraveled to a point where independence appeared to be the only solution for the Americans.
The latest in the Journal of the American Revolution Book Series. Published by Westholme – read its description of the book and author. Available at book stores.

JAR: Massachusettensis and Novanglus: The Last Great Debate Prior to the American Revolution
by James M. Smith 25 May 2021
When John Adams returned to Massachusetts after the session of the First Continental Congress, he was surprised to find that there was growing opposition to the radicals and the work of the Congress. It was led by a man who identified himself as “Massachusettensis.” On December 12, 1774 Massachusettensis published the first of a series of articles in which he decided to take the American “patriots,” as he says they styled themselves, head on. His pamphlets were very readable and persuasive. There were seventeen letters in all, each published about a week or ten days apart.
When Adams heard about the articles and the influence they were having on the population in Massachusetts, he wrote a reply under the name of “Novanglus.” In the last few articles written by Massachusettensis, the author replied to Adams and in the last article evaluated the work of the First Continental Congress. In these two men the two sides had a final argument in which issues were discussed and analyzed prior to fighting actually breaking out. After that it was too late for any more discussions of this sort. Read more…

JAR: Wampum Belts to Canada: Stockbridge Indian Ambassadors’ Dangerous 1775 Peace Mission
by Mark R. Anderson 27 May 2021
In early May 1775, with the Revolutionary War not even one month old, western Massachusetts Patriot leaders and their Stockbridge Indian neighbors developed a plan to use diplomacy to neutralize a looming danger in the north. Stockbridge ambassadors would take a peace message from their community to the New England colonists’ traditional Native enemies in Canada. The Indian delegation’s resultant mission promoted this objective but also inadvertently sparked a diplomatic incident that further helped the American cause.
The primary target for this outreach was the Mohawk village-nation of Kahnawake (historically spelled in variations of “Caughnawaga”), southwest of Montreal. Kahnawake was the central council fire of the Seven Nations Indian confederation, composed of Catholic mission villages in the St. Lawrence valley. For almost one hundred years, warriors from these villages had episodically raided New England and New York frontier communities, often as part of the British-French colonial wars—killing settlers, taking captives and plunder, and devastating entire villages. They were a legendary terror for the colonists. While Kahnawake and other Seven Nations Indians villages considered themselves to be independent, sovereign enclaves within the British Province of Quebec, they generally kept good relations and frequently allied with their Canadian neighbors’ imperial government. So, with Revolutionary War hostilities commencing, northern colonies believed new frontier attacks could be imminent if these Indians allied themselves with the king. Read more…

Red Meat for Empire: New England Cattle, the British Empire, and the Disruption of Revolution
At Age of Revolutions on 24 May 2021 by . By Strother E. Roberts
Samuel White’s threat was a bold one, especially as it was being issued to a Continental Army colonel at the height of America’s War for Independence. If not left alone to go about his business and drive his cattle to market, White declared, he would “raise a force… from Canada” that he would lead against New England’s vulnerable northern frontier. It was September 1778, and the threat proposed by White was exactly what Colonel Timothy Bedel of the Continental Army had been charged with guarding against.
Barely a year had passed since the American army had thwarted British General John Burgoyne’s invasion of the Hudson Valley from Canada. Now, a year later, Bedel’s superiors feared that the enemy’s next attempt might strike down the Connecticut River, into the heart of New England. Read more…

Six Revolutionary Forts
Scattered throughout New England are dozens of revolutionary forts. Some, like Fort Halifax in Maine, date to the French and Indian wars. Others, like Fort Washington in Massachusetts, rose during the American Revolution.
Revolutionary forts range from the extensive remains of Mount Independence in Vermont to mere traces of earthworks in Rhode Island. All are sited along waterways and harbors, making them pleasant summer destinations today.
Here are six revolutionary forts, one for each state.

  • Black Rock Fort built in 1776 in New Haven CT
  • Fort Halifax built at the outset of the French and Indian War, Maj. Gen. John Winslow built Fort Halifax where the Sebasticook River flows into the Kennebec. Winslow’s great-grandfather, Edward Winslow, came to Plimoth Plantation on the Mayflower.
  • Fort Washington Park in Cambridge, Mass., contains the remains of the only surviving fortification built by Gen. George Washington during the Siege of Boston. It’s also the oldest surviving fortification from the American Revolution.
  • Before 1632, the British built a stone fort, then called the Castle, in New Castle, N.H. The colonists renamed it Fort William and Mary around 1692.
  • Fort Conanicut, first built as Dumpling Rock Battery in 1776 near Jamestown, R.I., had eight 18-pound guns.
  • Mount Independence in Orwell, Vt., is one of the largest and least disturbed Revolutionary sites in America. Fort Ticonderoga stands across from it on the other side of Lake Champlain.

Read more about each.

Washington’s Quill: George Washington Sees an Elephant
George Washington had a fascination with exotic animals. As a result of a growing number of traveling entertainers and showmen who toured 18th-century America with unusual creatures, Washington, his family, and other members of the American public gained opportunities to experience animals native to other continents, such as elephants and camels. When word circulated about an upcoming event involving the display of an exotic animal, Washington often paid for himself and members of his household to attend the viewing.
For instance, as early as January 1761, Washington spent 10 shillings to see a “Lyoness.”1 And in December 1787, Washington paid 18 shillings to a man who brought a camel from Alexandria, Va., to Mount Vernon “for a show.”2 Washington’s attendance at such displays, even during periods when he was absorbed in domestic or public business, or in presiding over the burgeoning new nation, demonstrates his keen interest in such animals. Read more…

Ben Franklin’s World: La Pointe Krebs House
Matthew Powell, a historian of slavery and southern history and the Executive Director of the La Pointe-Krebs House & Museum, leads us on an investigation of the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
During our exploration, Matthew reveals information about the different indigenous and European peoples who lived along the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; Details about the La Pointe-Krebs family, the house they built, and the plantation they operated throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; And, what small historic sites and museums, like the the La Pointe-Krebs House & Museum, can add to our knowledge about early American history. Listen in…


Gov. Simcoe Branch “Remembering Dieppe, Timothy Munro UE and Rebellion Boxes” Wed 2 June @7:30

Joyce Crook, a long-time member and nonagenarian will recall a certain aspect of her youth when growing up in what is now part of Toronto. She will describe a link to the Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942, a trip and a commemoration in her local community.
Jo Ann Tuskin UE will speak about Timothy Munro UE, son and grandson of Loyalist refugees, his involvement with the Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837 and the wooden boxes he created while in prison.
June 2, at 7:30pm EST, on Zoom; Register here

Fort Plain: Surviving the Winters Housing Washington’s Army by Steven Elliott Mon. 7 June @7:00 EST

George Washington and his Continental Army braving the frigid winter at Valley Forge form an iconic image in the popular history of the American Revolution. Such winter camps, Steven Elliott tells us in Surviving the Winters, were also a critical factor in the waging and winning of the War of Independence. Exploring the inner workings of the Continental Army through the prism of its encampments, this book is the first to show how camp construction and administration played a crucial role in Patriot strategy during the war. Details and registration.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Covenanter Church, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia originally built as a Presbyterian meeting house between 1804 and 1811. It is valued as the oldest Presbyterian Church in Canada and was recognized as a National Historic Site in 1988. Brian McConnell UE
  • Have I mentioned how excited I am about teaching architecture in the American experience. A favorite topic is New England vernacular architecture Here, surviving carriage stalls/stables in Lyme NH. Used by churchgoers into 19thc & well-preserved. Kimberley Alexander
  • Colonial newspapers contributed to the perpetuation of slavery. Advertised 250 years ago today: “Ran away … a Negro Man named Dick or Richard … speaks very good English, and that very handsomely.” Has a forged pass. (Boston-Gazette 5/27/1771)
  • This Week in History
  • Clothing and Related:
    • 18th Century fan, incorporating carved ivory sticks inlaid with mica, the leaf painted with figures playing ‘Blind Man’s Buff’ after a painting by Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695–1736) English, ca.1750
    • The matching fly braid of this 1760s gown makes the silhouette indistinct as though it has been sketched by hand and softened to a blurry finish. This hand knotted floss trim is a fascinating art so rooted to #18thcentury sartorial aesthetics
    • A rare survivor – An 18th Century silk dress designed by Rose Bertin and supposedly worn by Marie Antoinette and passed to one of her Courtiers, 1780’s, altered in the 19th Century, but the quality of the silk & the embroidery is still clear. Via @ROMtoronto
    • 18th Century Court dress, bodice detail of a Robe à la Française, silk brocade of gold & silver, large floral design, c.1770-1780’s
    • 18th Century dress, Robe à l’Anglaise, back detail showing fine applique & embroidery, cotton, c.1780
    • When the world feels complicated, zoom in on a detail. There is much to admire in this 1770s striped silk from ombré blues to double engageants of the cuff & matching fly braid trimming each finely conceived edge. Breathe, put the kettle on and enjoy for a momen
    • 18th Century men’s waistcoat, adorned with monogrammed medallions, c.1790’s
    • I adore the patches of delicate colour interspersed with the silver on this 18th Century man’s sleeved waistcoat, England, 1740’s
    • Nobody sparkled quite like the c.18 British macaroni… (coat @Fashion_Museum; buckles @LACMA; swords @metmuseum & @corningmuseum) ‘In Sparkling Company: Glass and the Costs of Social Life in Britain during the 1700s’ on view til Jan 2
  • Townsends
  • Miscellaneous
    • Snake bridge over the Macclesfield canal. Allowing the towpath to cross the canal without the horse being unhitched from the narrowboat it was pulling. Photographer unknown
    • Here’s a set of “Waterloo teeth“. These are dentures made from the teeth of men who died on the Waterloo battlefield. Via the BDA Museum.
    • When we heard it was #WorldTurtleDay we couldn’t help but share this porcelain butter box Turtle. World Turtle Day was started to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats. Butter Box, Claudius Innocentius du Paquier Factory, Austria, 1719 – 1744. Gardiner Museum


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