In this issue:
- Black Lives Hanging in the Balance – Part Two by Stephen Davidson UE
- Making The Connection to my Loyalist Ancestors
- Tour of St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery
- Land Grants, Religious Exemptions, and Aid on the Ground: The Role of Local Government in the Resettlement of Loyalist Refugees after the American Revolution
- Refugees after the American Revolution needed money, homes and acceptance
- “Signed, sealed and delivered”: The Treaty that Ended the Revolutionary War
- JAR Book Review: Two Revolutions and the Constitution
- JAR: Thomas Knowlton’s Revolution
- The Gregorian Calendar Adopted in England, and the Colonies
- Mural behind Cornwall museum unveiled; showcases region’s history
- Sources of Light and Textile Materials– Observations by 18th Century Travelling Naturalists
- Comment: British Crown or Canadian Crown?
- From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Connect with us:
Black Lives Hanging in the Balance – Part Two of Three
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
On Thursday, May 8, 1783, George Washington appointed three men to oversee the embarkation of British troops and Loyalists from New York City. Chief among his objectives in establishing these commissioners was to prevent the departure of the slaves of Patriots, men and women who had been granted their freedom by the British government during the course of the American Revolution.
Daniel Parker was one of the American commissioners Washington had selected. The American commander in chief asked his former army contractor to keep an eye out for his lost slaves. “I am unable to give you there descriptions; their names being so easily changed, will be fruitless to give you,” he told Parker. “If by chance you should come at the knowledge of any of them, I will be much obliged by your securing them so I may obtain them again.”
Egbert Benson was another Washington appointee. A native of New York, Benson became the first attorney general of the state following the Declaration of Independence. He would later serve as a member of the Continental Congress and ended his political career as a member of the House of Representatives.
Rather than being a businessman or a lawyer, Washington’s third inspector of departing vessels was a military man — Lt. Col. William S. Smith. His service record ranged from being a combatant in 1776’s Battle of Harlem Heights to serving as an aide-de-camp during the Yorktown Campaign in 1781.
A fleet of 42 vessels had already taken British troops and Loyalists north to Nova Scotia in late April. Those vessels had been inspected by two Americans who had been chosen by Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander-in-chief. Among the evacuees were approximately 600 free Loyalists who had formerly enslaved by Patriots. 73 Black passengers were the slaves of Loyalists.
Washington was determined that no American “property” would be among the evacuees in the next fleet that was scheduled to leave New York City on June 13, 1783. Given the backgrounds of the inspectors that he had chosen, it looked as if Washington would completely thwart Carleton’s efforts to honour the British promise of freedom to thousands of Black Loyalists.
In the days leading up to the departure of the June fleet, Washington’s three commissioners and Carleton’s four British inspectors met at Fraunces’ Tavern every Wednesday morning at ten o’clock to hear “any Person claiming property embarked, or to be embarked.” Parker, Benson and Smith were also tasked with examining every transport ship “before it put to sea”. It did not take long before the American inspectors cried foul.
On June 9th, the three commissioners wrote a “remonstrance” to Sir Guy Carleton. This diplomatic slap on the wrist informed Carleton that a Black man named Thomas Francis was about to set sail for Jamaica despite the fact that he had been the property of Philip Lott prior to 1782. The commissioners even had Francis’ “provenance”, noting that the Rev. Elihu Spencer of New Jersey had once owned the Black man.
The American inspectors wanted Carleton to prohibit the captain of the ship on which Francis had taken refuge from “carrying away the said Negro”. They wanted Francis delivered to Mr. Lott, his owner. The three felt that they had to respond to every infraction of the articles of peace treaty and “it therefore becomes their duty to remonstrate to your Excellency against your permitting any Negroes, the property of the citizens of these States, to leave this city, and to insist on a discontinuance of that measure“.
Thomas Francis had become the test case in the struggle between two commanders in chief. Would Washington staunch the further loss of American slaves — or would Carleton provide escape for Britain’s Black allies?
Carleton’s response to the remonstrance was to do nothing at all. On June 13th, 14 evacuation vessels set sail for Nova Scotia, carrying at least 3,000 Loyalists. And among their number were at least 130 free Blacks. Apparently, Thomas Francis had also sailed off to Jamaica.
On the following day, Smith, Parker and Benson wrote to tell Washington about the great “escape”. “We submit to your excellency whether it is necessary for us further to remonstrate to Sir Guy Carleton against his permitting slaves, the property of American subjects, to leave this place and could wish to receive your Excellency’s directions on that subject.”
It is interesting to note that the three inspectors did not tell their commander-in-chief that they had all signed a document attached to Carleton’s ledger of Black names. Above their signatures was the following statement:
“We found the Negroes mentioned in the foregoing list amounting to sixty eight men, twenty seven women and fifty one children and to the best of our judgment believe them to be all the Negroes on board the said vessels and we enquired of the master of each vessel whether he had any records, deeds, archives or papers or other property of the citizens of the United States on board and to each enquiry we were answered in the negative. And we further certify that we furnished each master of a vessel with a certified list of the Negroes on board the vessel…”
This is the first time that Washington’s three appointees had their names appear in Carleton’s ledger, a document now known as the Book of Negroes.
Washington must have instructed Benson, Smith and Parker to contact Carleton because on June 17th they wrote a second remonstrance. They told the British commander that they considered his granting of freedom to enslaved Blacks to be “an infraction of the treaty of peace . . . and that they do not, neither can they consider the said embarkation or any other of a similar nature, as an embarkation which the evacuation of this place requires.”
Again, Carleton did not respond. He stuck by his conviction that “if sending off the Negroes should hereafter be declared an infraction of the treaty, compensations must be made by the crown of Great Britain to the owners.” But in the meantime, Carleton would continue to keep including free Blacks among the Loyalist evacuees.
In the staring contest between the two commanders-in-chief, Washington “blinked”. In a June 23rd letter to the president of the Continental Congress, Washington expressed his doubt that “there will be much advantage in continuing our commissioners any longer at New York“. He had conceded to Carleton’s dogged determination. But the momentum of bureaucracy was hard to stop. Benson, Smith, and Parker, however, would continue to serve as inspectors until the final evacuation of New York City on November 25, 1783.
The final chapter in this series concludes in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at email@example.com.
Making The Connection to my Loyalist Ancestors
By Sean Rombough UE
My DNA was stirring. For more than 4 decades it thrashed around gagged and bound like a prisoner desperate to tell its side of the story. It managed some garbled words from time to time but I never listened closely enough to make them out.
In the spring of 2020, I thought I had a pretty good handle on who I was. Growing up in suburban Ottawa, I was surrounded by war refugees from places like Vietnam and Somalia. I could see how some flourished while others faced some very serious challenges to adjustment. I sympathized with them but it was difficult for me to empathize with their experiences. How could a kid with roots in the St. Lawrence Valley and a limited family military tradition relate to that kind of trauma?
Later in university and college I found myself actively involved in the constitutional debates of the early 1990s and that subsequently led me to issues affecting Indigenous Peoples. During that time, I visited Mohawk territories and regularly corrected others who thought I was from those communities too. It was important to me that I not ever give that impression. I did what I could to identify myself properly and find any common ground that might explain my allyship to their cause. I also spent time in Cree communities in the James Bay area. Some of my closest friends from that region were living in the wake of the James Bay Hydroelectric Project that flooded large parts of their traditional homelands.
Whenever anyone did ask about my origins, I was quick to say I was a mutt. Both sides of my family have been around Canada long enough to have stirred the multicultural pot. It was something I took pride in but there wasn’t much more to say beyond that I was (among other things) of German, Irish, French, Scottish descent and that no one in any recent generation had considered themselves connected to anywhere else but Canada.
There was one thing that confused me though. The one member of my family, my Great Aunt Helen Rombough, who did have quite an interest in our family history had apparently found that we had connections to the United Empire Loyalists. She was quite the genealogist and was laying the groundwork for research I would find my way back to 40 years later. What had me puzzled though was that the Romboughs were not English. In my mind, the Loyalists were tea-sipping monarchists chased from their homes clutching their silverware by righteous Patriots. My Great Aunt Helen had told us our great-grandfather was a British spy though and that was something I carried through adulthood and I paired that little anecdote with my handy “mutt” reference.
2020 was a year of self-discovery for so many Canadians on so many levels. We learned about resilience. We learned about the importance of family. We learned who was willing to do their part and who would stand idly by. Some Canadians, like me, learned that they could follow the examples of the ancestors who came before them.
My own discovery story began early in the pandemic as we all flocked to Netflix for some much-needed distraction. TURN: Washington’s Spies was one of the first binge-worthy series to take off. It recounts the story of the Culper spy ring and “Hey my great grandfather was a spy during the Revolutionary War” so binge-watch I did.
The series had me hooked but seemed to play loose and fast with the facts. For one, the show’s villain had a familiar name and it took me a couple of episodes to recognize and make the connection. John Graves Simcoe was portrayed as a sociopathic monster on my screen while just outside my window, Simcoe Street paid tribute to the man who played a pivotal role in shaping the future of Ontario. It inspired me to do my research as I wondered what other half-truths I’d been fed over the years about the war. As it turned out… PLENTY.
In 1733, my 7th great-grandparents Asemus and Maria Catherina Rambach arrived in Philadelphia with their two sons from the Palatinate region of Germany. Behind them, war and religious persecution had dominated their lives. They risked a long and dangerous Atlantic crossing in a cramped storage hold for the chance at a better life. Within a few years, Asemus and his son (my 6th great-grandfather) Hans Jacob relocated to New York’s Mohawk Valley where they endured the French and Indian War but managed to find happiness as farmers on their own land. Hans Jacob had 7 children of his own: 4 sons and 3 daughters.
In 1775, 5 years after Asemus’ death, “Committees of Safety” began harassing anyone who would not swear allegiance to the patriots who were pushing for independence from Britain. Many of these people wanted nothing to do with fighting. Some, like my family, were not even of British descent. They wanted to tend their farms and hold on to what they had worked so hard to claim as their own. In time though, men of age who had not sworn allegiance to the rebel cause were deemed traitors. They faced humiliation and violence. When it inevitably became clear they had to choose a side, it wasn’t difficult to distinguish between friend and foe. The price they paid for that was the seizure of the land they had worked tirelessly to clear from the wilderness and the lives they had built upon it.
Hans Jacob had already been imprisoned twice and tried for his life before escaping and finally fleeing north to Canada where he joined his 3 oldest sons, William, John and my 5th great-grandfather Amos Rambach. They all were enlisted in Sir John Johnson’s King’s Royal Regiment of New York and fought to reclaim their homes and the lives they had been forced to leave behind. The women and children of the family were also still there. After England declared an end to hostilities in 1783, Hans Jacob’s wife Anna Maria (my 6th great-grandmother) faced the daunting trek north to follow her husband and sons to Canada.
Anna Maria raced across dangerous terrain through the Adirondack Mountains facing unpredictable weather and wildlife to reach the uncertainty of a crowded refugee camp north of Montreal. That journey was tough enough for the adult men of the family but my grandmother had even more challenging circumstances. She had her young son, two of her daughters, a daughter-in-law, elderly mother-in-law and a grandchild with her. The reunited family would then move west to settle along the St. Lawrence Valley in and around Osnabruck (now west of Cornwall).
And there it was. Or so I thought!
My great-grandfather Glenn Rombough (one of the many later deviations from the spelling Rambach) had encouraged my father to pursue his UE certificate and he had mused about it for years. Working with the research of my Great Aunt Helen I decided I would see if that were possible. My father had understood that the UE title was passed from the first-born son of each generation and so I clearly had a lot to learn about the process. Once that was cleared up, I sat staring at the family tree I had built and started recognizing the names of so many other grandparents as proven Loyalists. The Werts, the Countrymans, the McDonnells, the Empeys… and there was something else in common.
When the Romboughs settled along the St. Lawrence, they joined other men who had also fought with the King’s Royal Regiment of New York. The Royal Yorker families were now neighbours with growing families and it was inevitable that those families would intermingle, marry and have children. It wasn’t lost on me that I was now not simply a Canadian mutt. I was a Royal Yorker mutt!
I hesitated to write this article because, as the saying goes, “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know”. I’ve seen a lot of very suspect family research this past year and I don’t for a moment want to share anything but the truth after spending so many years oblivious to the past with no bearings at all on my own history. It turned out that some of my family’s stories may not have been accurate. Among other things, there does not appear to be any proof that Hans Jacob was an accused spy. It seems clear he was jailed twice but there is no evidence to explain why. This turned out to be one of many examples of confusion between Hans Jacob and his son William. I’ve learned that saying something isn’t proving something.
That said, in the 12 months since my Netflix marathon, I am in the midst of proving my 5th and 6th UE certificates and I plan on pursuing more. Besides these grandfathers, I’ve also made connections with great uncles who fought alongside them and other ancestors who fought again in the War of 1812. My most recent Eureka moment came when I made a very likely connection to Royal Yorkers on my mother’s side too. The idea that I had great grandfathers and great uncles from both sides of my family fighting for each other two and a half centuries ago in the very same regiment made my heart stop.
The truth is that United Empire Loyalists were not desperately grasping for their silverware all those many years ago. They were refugees desperately grasping for each other. That’s quite a lesson in family history as, more than a year into this pandemic, we’re all supporting one another during these challenging times.
The truth is that I am a descendant of refugees, allies of the Haudenosaunee
As a rookie UE, I have one message to pass along that I do feel confident in stating unequivocally. We need to carry the legacy left to us by our ancestors into the 2020s. We are living, breathing evidence of loyalty to our families and to our communities. We have a valuable perspective to share with Canada. Yes, we have a role to play in preserving our past. Just as much though, we have the honoured obligation to share their story as we grapple with difficult issues moving forward. While it may be tempting to see ourselves as an exclusive club, what we should really be seeing is an exclusive opportunity to represent our perspectives. After all, our ancestors risked their lives to preserve those perspectives for future generations. We are relevant in 2021 and I’m angry I did not know that until 2020.
It’s time we all pulled that gag from our mouth and shared our story.
Sean Rombough UE firstname.lastname@example.org St. Lawrence and Sir John Johnson Branches
Tour of St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery
Where in Canada has there been a graveyard tour exclusively about United Empire Loyalists for over ten years? One answer is in Weymouth North, Nova Scotia at historic St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery which is located on land donated by renowned United Empire Loyalists Lieut. Col. James Moody and his wife Jane. He had been an Officer in the New Jersey Volunteers. Headstones in view include Loyalist Moody, Ruggles, and Campbell families.
Retired school teacher Roberta Journeay has provided a tour of the cemetery which is preceded by a presentation about the United Empire Loyalists who founded the community when they arrived after the American Revolution. She started doing this in 2008 with the support of local Anglican Church Minister Reverend Donald Ruggles. He himself was descended from General Timothy Ruggles, a United Empire Loyalist refugee from Massachusetts.
On August 25, 2021 I attended the presentation and tour and recorded a video. Also, see the impressive alter chair dedicated to memory of Lieut. Col. James Moody, renowned United Empire Loyalist who died April 6, 1809 aged 64
Brian McConnell UE, President, NS Branch UELAC
Land Grants, Religious Exemptions, and Aid on the Ground: The Role of Local Government in the Resettlement of Loyalist Refugees after the American Revolution
By Alexandra Mairs-Kessler 14 January 2021 at Age of Revolutions
The end of the American Revolution was a time of great uncertainty for colonists who sided with the British government. For those who wished to remain British subjects and leave the United States, how would they create new lives in unfamiliar areas of the empire? Tiers of aid — often unreliable and inconsistent — provided the basis for loyalists to rebuild their livelihoods after the American Revolution. This aid included the large scale offerings from the British Empire, more immediate aid from local governments, and the personal assistance offered by family and business connections. Refugees could pursue support through multiple channels to ease the strain of relocation. Local governments provided a key component of the resettlement aid by addressing some of the immediate concerns of resettlement. In aiding refugees, colonial governments tried to strike a balance between supporting loyalists and moving the whole colony towards success in a post-war Atlantic World.
Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and East Florida are the entry points for the study. The notable differences between these three colonies and the range of refugee experiences they produced highlight how aid functioned in the wake of the Revolution. By considering three locations that entered the post-war period in very different circumstances, it is clear that local governments provided crucial aid catered to the needs of their colony and refugees. Regardless of age or ruling empire, local governments were an accessible source of support during resettlement. With the loss of Virginia, Bermuda became the oldest colony in the British Empire. It had a maritime based economy and no available land for resettlement. Nova Scotia, by Britain’s standards, was an underdeveloped region. It had expanded from its mid-18th century settlement, but the population remained small and the land largely unused by British colonists. East Florida was only a British colony for twenty years, from 1763-1783, and suffered from a lack of population and economic growth during that time. It was only over the course of the war that loyalist refugees accelerated the colony’s development. Despite this wartime expansion, the colony returned to Spanish control during the peace negotiations, and the colonists had to either evacuate the colony or change empires. These three colonies entered the post-war period in very different circumstances and the type of government aid needed and offered reflected this diversity. These divergent stories illuminate how the through-line of colonial government aid provides a framework for discussing the loyalist diaspora and refugee experiences more broadly. Read more…
Refugees after the American Revolution needed money, homes and acceptance
The Conversation: 31 August 2021
The U.S. has long been a destination for people fleeing war-torn regions of the world. But in 1783, the tables were turned: Between 60,000 and 100,000 disaffected colonists from diverse backgrounds were fleeing the American states newly independent from Britain.
The leaders of these exiles referred to themselves as “loyalists,” a title they chose to underscore the debt they believed the British Empire owed them. The largest group of refugees, around 32,000 people, went elsewhere in North America, to British-controlled Nova Scotia and the newly created British colony of New Brunswick. They had hopes of building a colonial society that would compete with the nascent United States.
By the end of the 18th century, however, many became disillusioned with Britain’s promises to aid its loyal refugees. Some even found repatriation to the United States preferable to eking out life in the empire. Examining the experience of the American loyalists reveals important lessons to consider as the United States prepares to welcome Afghan refugees.
Perhaps most importantly, like the modern Afghan refugees, thousands of loyalists were desperate for financial assistance.
Describing the pitiful scene of refugees lining up for provisions in Halifax during the summer of 1784, one young woman wrote in her diary, “If I look round me, what thousands may I see more wretched than myself.”
The most destitute refugees, the roughly 3,000 formerly enslaved people who evacuated the Colonies with British forces, needed the most help. But the colonial British government gave these free Black refugees swampy land unsuited for farming. Extreme poverty forced many Black refugees, especially refugee women and children, to work in homes of white loyalists, where they faced the threat of re-enslavement, either in Nova Scotia, where slavery remained legal through the early 19th century, or possibly through transportation to the Caribbean. Read more…
“Signed, sealed and delivered”: The Treaty that Ended the Revolutionary War
By Amanda A. Mathews, Adams Papers
“On Wednesday the third day of this Month, the American Ministers met the British Minister at his Lodgings at the HÃ´tel de York, and signed, sealed and delivered the Definitive Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and the King of Great Britain.” John Adams reported this news to the President of Congress on September 5, 1783 and congratulated Congress on the “Completion of the work of Peace.”
It was eight o’clock in the morning when John Adams along with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, met the British peace negotiator, David Hartley, at his residence in Paris and months of negotiations, first the previous year leading to the preliminary peace treaty, and then in earnest from April until the end of August culminated in this definitive treaty. Read more…
JAR Book Review: Two Revolutions and the Constitution
How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution
Author: James D. R. Philips (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2021)
Review by Jeff Broadwater 30 August 2021
In his concise Two Revolutions and the Constitution, the Australian lawyer and law professor James D. R. Philips traces the roots of the American Founding back to England’s Glorious Revolution and to the even earlier English civil war of the mid-1600s. He does a competent job, and students of American history should benefit from his treatment of seventeenth century English politics, which, in conventional treatments of the American Revolution, often appear as a hazy background. What most stands out, however, is Philips’s respectful if not reverential treatment of all, or at least most, things American. His description of the Declaration of Independence is only one of several examples. “To read it is to be in awe: at the audacity of its purpose; at the idealism of its vision; and at the beauty of its prose” (page 90). Early on he acknowledges the problem of American slavery, but even here suggests that the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the common law “established such a robust framework for personal rights” as to make the abolition of slavery essentially a matter of time. Many ordinary Americans would undoubtedly agree with his assessments; most American academics would probably be less charitable.
In Philips’s account, England’s troubles began with James I and Charles I, who attempted to defend the divine rights of kings in defiance of the Magna Carta (1215). The Protestant Reformation, moreover, had weakened the monarchy by undermining belief in the need for an intermediary between God and the people. Charles’s inability to adjust to the new realities led to civil war, his execution, and a decade without a king. Read more…
JAR: Thomas Knowlton’s Revolution
by David Price 2 September 2021
The story of Thomas Knowlton in the American Revolution is brief but meaningful. He was only thirty-five at his death, arguably a full-fledged hero in what George Washington termed “the “glorious Cause” of American independence. The Connecticut colonel remains largely obscure in our collective historical consciousness but has been long recognized by serious students of the Revolution for his stellar personal qualities and the dynamic role he played in the early stages of the conflict.
Knowlton was born in West Boxford, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, on November 22, 1740 to William and Martha Knowlton, his family of English origin being among the earliest settlers in the colony. William Knowlton moved the household to Ashford in eastern Connecticut when Thomas was eight. The boy’s formal learning was limited to the narrow course of study generally characterizing instruction in the common schools at that time. As a strapping fifteen-year-old, he took up arms with the Anglo-American forces in the French and Indian War, rising to the rank of lieutenant in a provincial unit by age twenty and surviving the Battle of Wood Creek in 1758, the campaign to capture Fort Carillon (Fort Ticonderoga) in 1759 and the siege of Havana in 1762.
Knowlton became actively involved in the rebellion against Britain when news came to Ashford of the shooting that had erupted at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. He was unanimously chosen as captain of his militia unit, the Ashford Company, which was part of the 5th Regiment of Connecticut militia along with men from the towns of Coventry, Mansfield, and Windham. Captain Knowlton’s company became the first to enter Massachusetts from another colony when he led these armed farmers across its boundary to support the Massachusetts militia who had engaged the redcoats. Read more…
The Gregorian Calendar Adopted in England, and the Colonies
The country skipped ahead 11 days on September 2nd, 1752.
In 1750 England and her empire, including the American colonies, still adhered to the old Julian calendar, which was now eleven days ahead of the Gregorian calendar, introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and in use in most of Europe.
Attempts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to adopt the new calendar had broken on the rock of the Church of England, which denounced it as popish. The prime mover in changing the situation was George Parker, second Earl of Macclesfield, a keen astronomer and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was assisted in his calculations by his friend James Bradley, the astronomer royal, and he gained the influential support of Philip Dormer Stanhope, the sophisticated fourth Earl of Chesterfield (of letters to his son fame), who squared it with Henry Pelham’s initially reluctant government.
In 1751 Chesterfield introduced in the House of Lords ‘an Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year and for Correcting the Calendar now in Use’, gracefully commending it, with Macclesfield in support. Read more…
Mural behind Cornwall museum unveiled; showcases region’s history
Cornwall Newswatch 28 August 2021
City waterfront trail users are being greeted with a new panoramic mural detailing the rich and diverse history of the region.
The mural, done by St. Andrews West artist Alexandra MacDonald, was unveiled during a small ceremony Saturday morning (Aug. 28). It’s on the retaining wall behind the Cornwall Community Museum that’s also the museum’s fire exit.
The painting starts with British Loyalist leader Sir John Johnson and then moves through brightly-coloured collage depicting slaves, United Empire Loyalists, the War of 1812, the Mohawks, the St. Lawrence River and basket weaving among others. Read/see more…
Another description and photo at Seaway News “New mural unveiled at Cornwall Museum”
Sources of Light and Textile Materials– Observations by 18th Century Travelling Naturalists
By Viveka Hansen 1 September 2021 at ikfoundation
For a multitude of reasons, candles and lamps were repeatedly mentioned in the journals of Carl Linnaeus’ seventeen Apostles — who made natural history journeys to more than 50 countries. Primarily due to their reading or writing during dark hours, movement in the darkness, observations of ceremonial traditions, how candles were produced etc. Whilst lanterns, torches and fires were other sources of light in these descriptions dating from the 1740s to 1790s. This essay will focus on such attention to details when being associated with a good night’s sleep in comfortable beds, Tahitian bark cloths, the preference of cotton wicks and other textile perspectives. Observations, which give enlightening information of everyday life in Paris, London, Philadelphia, Canton (Guangzhou), Nagasaki and other geographical areas visited by seven of these travelling naturalists.
Pehr Kalm’s travel journal reveals further information on the subject of the Norwegian coastal communities, due to his general interest and curiosity as well as professional aims on his way towards the North American colonies — via England — to report about learned natural knowledge from all possible angles. For instance on 17 December 1747, he noted from Arendal:
‘Lamps were used almost everywhere here along the coast for illumination in the evenings instead of candles; for fuel in the lamp most of those who could afford it used rape-oil, which was brought here from Holland, as this did not reek like train-oil….’
A few months later when arriving to Philadelphia by ship from London, Pehr Kalm’s first destination in North America, more practical matters were related to for himself and his assistant’s daily life. Kalm reported, for instance the following in his journal on 16 September 1748:
‘At night I took up my lodging with a grocer who was a Quaker, and I met with very good honest people in this house, such as most people of this profession appeared to me, I and my [assistant Lars] Yungstraem, the companion of my voyage, had a room, candles, beds, attendance, and three meals a day, if we chose to have so many, for twenty shillings per week in Pennsylvania currency. But wood, washing and wine, if required, were to be paid for besides.‘ Read more…
Comment: British Crown or Canadian Crown?
I noticed in a recent issue of Loyalist Trails an article by By Sheila North, August 3, 2021 at Canadian Geographic: Treaties 1 and 2: reflecting on the 150th Anniversary. One line caught my eye. “This land is where treaties 1 and 2 were signed in August 1871 between the British Crown and some of the original people from these lands…”.
The term “British Crown” I found jarring.
By 1871 it was of course the Canadian Crown that signed the treaties. I find the media will often use the term “British Crown” and I speculate that this is some attempt to distance ourselves from the actions of the Crown in the past. The reality is that the actions of the Crown in Canada are done at the direction of the elected government of Canada. I think the fig leaf should be torn away and the media should clearly state that it was the government of Canada, the representatives of the people of Canada, who took these actions.
David Moore UE
Life Member since 1984, Toronto Branch
Todd Braisted noted historian and author will speak about The Loyalists of New York Province – at 7:30PM EDT
At the time of the American Revolution, New York was one of the most heavily populated colonies in America. Then, as now, it had a diverse population, ethnically, racially and politically. It also provided more soldiers for the British Army than any other province, making New York’s battles a true civil war. Join us as we examine the roles of New York’s Loyalists in their attempts to subdue their rebellious countrymen and their fate at the end of the war.
Todd Braisted is an author and researcher of Loyalist military studies. His primary focus is on Loyalist military personnel, infrastructure and campaigns throughout North America.
Register today, and see more about Todd as well
Registration is now open for the Conference on October 15-17, 2021 in Johnstown, NY.
This Conference includes 9 speakers and a bus tour. David L. Preston, an award-winning historian of American military history and author of Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution is the conference’s Head of Faculty. See details and registration.
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- From Bill Rankin at Radical Cartography, a interactive map showing where people were enslaved in the northern US in 1790
- This Week in History
- 2 Sep 1769 Benjamin Franklin warns against the dangers of “law enforcement” antagonizing an already hostile people.
- 1 Sep 1773 “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral,” a collection of poems by the enslaved Phillis Wheatley, is published in London. Her poems on Liberty would touch the conscience of many on both sides of the Atlantic. A modest start… TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE COUNTESS OF HUNTINGDON, THE FOLLOWING POEMS ARE MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED. BY HER MUCH OBLIGED, VERY HUMBLE AND DEVOTED SERVANT. PHILLIS WHEATLEY. Boston, June 12, 1771. Access the book at Project Gutenberg
- 1 Sep 1774 British General Gage raids powder magazine in Charles-Town, Massachusetts, triggering “Powder Alarm.”
- 28 Aug 1775 First USS Enterprise, a captured British sloop, embarks on expedition into Canada; fails at Quebec City.
- 30 Aug 1776 Washington refuses to entertain General Howe’s offer of reconciliation following defeat at New-York.
- 31 Aug 1778 British officers Col. Simcoe & Lt. Col. Tarleton ambush party of Mohican Indians, killing 30-40.
- 29 Aug 1779 Sullivan defeats Iroquois and Loyalist forces at Newton in upstate New-York, setting the stage to complete the destruction of British-allied Iroquois settlements.
- 3 Sep 1783 Treaty of Paris ends the Revolutionary War.
- Clothing and Related:
- A remarkable 2000 year old ladies shoe found in a well amongst the ruins of a Roman Fort archaeological dig in Germany
- Shoes, late 18th–early 19th century
- 18th Century dress, rear view of this brocaded silk Court mantua, which belonged to the musical Linley sisters, 1760-1780
- 18th Century Purple silk brocade dress with lace cuffs. Worn by Sophia Maskelyne (nee Rose), wife of fifth Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne. Possibly worn on her wedding day on 21 August 1784
- 18th Century ensemble of quilted silk caraco jacket and skirt, the quilting was not only decorative but also added warmth to the wearer. c.1760’s
- Robe Ã la franÃ§aise, French ca 1770 collections. Medium/technique: silk cannelle patterned with weft floats & brocaded with silk thread
- 18th Century men’s matching three piece suit, wool plain weave, with sequins and metallic embroidery, 1760’s
- 18th Century men’s Court Coat with cutaway fronts, embroidered with sprays of stylised flowers & leaves in yellow, green, pink & cream silk. At the very edge is a simple border of leaves and sprigs. c.1790’s
- 18th Century men’s waistcoat, Brown satin with pale green, peach and ivory silk. Scattered flowers throughout, with wheat sheaves & scrolls along centre and pockets, French, c.1790
- Budget Cooking in 1755 – Meatballs Two Ways
- This token, a heart-shaped disc, is dated 6 September 1759. It bears the emotional message ‘You have my Heart, Tho wee must Part’ – probably a final message from the mother.
- Heraldry on tabards worn by heralds. This example has the arms of Great Britain and Ireland used from 1714-1800, and was worn by a Pursuivant, as the ground fabric is silk damask (heralds wore satin, kings of arms wore velvet)
Published by the UELAC
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