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Remembrance Day: A Time to Think About and Thanks Those Who Served

From the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Remembrance Day, November 11, this year falls on this coming Thursday. A time to reflect on those who have served and those who serve today, for us all. From before European settlement here in Canada, through the wars on our soil – the American Revolution and the Loyalists, the War of 1812, 1837 Rebellion, Fenian Raids – and the wars elsewhere in the world. Think about those who served and even more about those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Wear a poppy to signify your thoughts.

For Members, watch a recording of the Hamilton Branch meeting from 28 October 2021 which offers some details to reflect on:
A Walk on Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach: Past and Present by Linda Ploen
Former Canadian Forces Chief of Defence General Rick Hillier (retired) has often said, “It should be every Canadian’s goal in life to make a pilgrimage to Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach.”
Sometimes that is not possible. Linda Ploen shared her experience visiting these two important landmarks, both located in northern France.
Vimy Ridge is the significant memorial site of World War 1, known as “the war to end all wars”. Juno Beach is synonymous with the “beginning of the end of Nazi Germany during World War 2” when allied troops landed on the shores of the Normandy coast.
Linda Ploen grew up on the Escarpment in Milton, Ontario. She is the proud daughter of a WW2 RAF/RCAF 148 /405 squadron navigator, wireless operator and tail gunner on Wellington and Lancaster bombers.

The Prisoner Exchange of Two Families (Part One of Two)
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
After being living with the Mohawks for two years, little James Campbell no longer spoke or understood English. The son a Patriot officer, the boy was reunited with his mother in Montreal as part of a prisoner exchange in June of 1780. The seven year-old had been put in the care of Catharine Butler, the wife of Lt. Col. John Butler, the commander of a Loyalist regiment. In preparation for James’ reunion with his mother, Catherine removed the Mohawk clothing he had been wearing and dressed him in the green uniform of Butler’s Rangers. And so the son of a Patriot greeted his mother wearing the colours of a Loyalist regiment.
The story of how a Loyalist raid on James Campbell’s home in the Cherry Valley culminated in his family’s exchange for an imprisoned Loyalist family is an amazing insight into the “collateral damage” that the American Revolution inflicted on wives and children. And it is a story that would have been lost entirely had it not been written down by James’ son, William W. Campbell, in his 1831 book, Annals of Tryon County.
This is a story of how two families — the Loyalist Butlers and the Patriot Campbells –- were displaced by a bloody civil war and then eventually restored to one another. And it all began with the events of the fall of 1778.
Samuel and Jane (Cannon) Campbell settled in New York’s Tryon County after Samuel’s service in the Seven Years War. The couple had four children: William, Eleanor, James and Matthew. Their family also included Jane’s elderly parents, and an enslaved Black boy. Siding with the Patriots, Samuel became a member of the local Committee of Safety through which he monitored the allegiances and movements of the settlers of the Cherry Valley. His prominence within Patriot circles would eventually endanger Jane and their children.
Like Samuel Campbell, John Butler had also served with the British forces during the Seven Years War. Following the war, he married Catharine Bradt and settled in the Mohawk Valley where they raised Walter, Thomas, William Johnson, Andrew, and Deborah on a 26,600-acre estate. The settlement, which became known as Butlerbury, was situated near present day Johnstown, New York. In 1774, General Guy Carleton, then military governor of Canada, appointed Butler as the interim Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
With the outbreak of the revolution, John and his oldest son Walter fled to Montreal in August of 1775. By November, the two men were stationed at Fort Niagara. After his success at the Battle of Oriskany in 1777, John Butler was made a Lieutenant Colonel and then raised his own Loyalist regiment, Butler’s Rangers. He remained headquartered at Fort Niagara. Samuel Campbell also fought at Oriskany, but on the Patriot side. He suffered the loss of both his brother and the battle.
Like Samuel Campbell, Butler’s prominence as a Loyalist would eventually place his family in danger of attack. Catharine and the three youngest Butler children had stayed in their Butlerbury home after John’s departure to Montreal, thinking that they would be safe. (Thomas, the second oldest son, had joined his father and oldest brother in Canada.) However, in 1776, Patriots plundered their house and took the family into custody. The rebels took Catharine and her 3 children almost 50 miles away to Albany where they were placed under house arrest.
The stories of the Butler and Campbell families became entwined in the fall of 1778. In the place of his father who was incapacitated by illness, Walter Butler left Fort Niagara with 50 British soldiers, 150 Loyalist rangers and 300 Indigenous warriors to lead a raid on New York’s Cherry Valley.
The Campbell family lived in one of the 40 houses that surrounded the recently built Fort Alden. On the morning of Wednesday, November 11, Butler’s men crept over the newly fallen snow to attack the homes in which Fort Alden’s officers were billeted. They killed the fort’s commander and several other officers before news of the attack prompted the Patriot soldiers to close the fort’s gates. Thwarted in their plan, Butler’s men turned on the houses of Cherry Valley, finding that 34 of them had been abandoned.
Colonel Samuel Campbell was not home on the morning of the attack. It fell to his father-in-law to try to defend the colonel’s family. By the time Campbell was able to return home, he found his house destroyed and his wounded father-in-law. Samuel’s wife Jane, their four children, his mother-in-law, and his young slave were gone.
It would not be until the following day that Campbell learned that his family were alive and prisoners of Butler’s Rangers. All of those taken in the raid on Cherry Valley were released with the exception of some key captives. Chief among those were Jane Campbell and her children as well as the wife and 3 daughters of the Patriot James Moore. Given that Walter Butler’s mother and siblings — as well as those of several other Loyalist officers— were prisoners of the rebels in Albany, Walter decided to keep the Campbell and Moore families as hostages to exchange for the imprisoned Loyalist families.
Samuel Campbell wasted no time in trying to secure the release of his family. Fifteen days after the attack on Cherry Valley, he wrote to Brigadier General Edward Hand, a rebel commander. His letter listed the 33 names of those carried off, noted the 38 prisoners who were released, and reported that 31 people were killed.
On February 10, 1779, General Frederick Haldimand, the British commander in Quebec City, wrote that he was “dispatching a flag for the purpose of negotiating the exchange of Mrs. Butler and family for that of Mrs. Campbell and the Moores“.
As with any negotiations between hostile forces, the proposed exchange of Loyalist family for Patriot family took many months to arrange. In the meantime, Catharine Butler and her three children remained in detention in Albany, hostages to the rebels for the past four years.
John Butler had the advantage of knowing where his family was being held captive. Samuel Campbell did not. It was only two years later when he would learn of all that his wife and children had been forced to endure.
The story of Jane Campbell and her children will continue in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Plaques Honouring Sir William and Sir John Johnson
The mission of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association calls on members to “preserve, promote and celebrate the history and traditions of the Loyalist epoch in Canadian history” in a variety of ways. Over the years the contributions of the United Empire Loyalists have been recognized by the Association, governments, community groups and individuals in the form of monuments, memorials, and plaques (arranged geographically East-to-West), and commemorative stamps, plates, and more. The following will both remind and inform about how the Loyalists are honoured and remembered across Canada. Visit at Loyalist Monuments, Memorials and Commemoratives.
On the south-east side of the Marché Bonsecours building, near the corner of Rue Bonsecours and Rue de la Commune in Old Montreal, a marble plaque referring to Sir Wm. Johnson and Sir John Johnson was installed in the mid-nineteenth century by the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montreal.
On the north-east side of the building, also facing Rue Bonsecours near the corner of Rue Saint-Paul E, is a bronze plaque marking the residence of Sir John Johnson. This was erected by the former Commission des Monuments historiques in some year between 1924 and 1968.
See the plaques and read the inscriptions. Many thanks to Michel Racicot (Sir John Johnson Branch) and Robert Wilkins (Heritage Branch) for the content and to Fred Hayward (Hamilton Branch) for organizing.

Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Wealth, Death, and Land: A Qualitative and Quantitative Headstone Analysis of Fredericton’s Old Public Burial Ground
By Harrison Dressler, Student, UNB
The Old Burial Ground in Fredericton, New Brunswick were originally established in the years after fleets of Loyalist families arrived in the province in 1783. Loyalists erected numerous settlements across the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, establishing the cities of Fredericton, Saint John, Digby, and Shelburne. Originally intended as a public square by surveyors, the grounds instead saw their first internment in 1787 with the burial of British Officer Anthony Foster, marking the founding of one of the city’s oldest cemetery.
Today, the cemetery is home to over two thousand burials, including a sizable section of once fenced-in family plots, an array of individual burials, and two monuments. The first of these monuments was dedicated to the “Founding Fathers” of the City of Fredericton and the Province of New Brunswick, and the second memorialized the British soldiers who served Fredericton from 1784 to 1869. The grounds remained fully open to new internments for just under a hundred years, at which point limits were enacted for future burials in 1886. The grounds’ final burials occurred in the mid-twentieth century.
When I first set foot in the cemetery last Fall, I was struck by how much variation existed between the different burial sites. Read more…

The King’s Colour: The “Bitter Tongue” of Elizabeth Wheeler French
by Stuart Manson Nov. 2021
Elizabeth Wheeler married Jeremiah French in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1763. The happy couple settled in Manchester, Vermont, where they raised their family. All was well, until the eruption of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, which tore families, communities, and an empire apart. The story of Elizabeth Wheeler French is one that sheds light on the experiences of women in colonial North America during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Read more at Facebook, or directly from Dropbox

Boston 1775: “The present popular Punishment for modern delinquents”
J.L. Bell 6 November 2021
The 6 Nov 1769 Boston Gazette carried this item at the top of its local news:
“Last Thursday Afternoon a young Woman from the Country was decoyed into one of the Barracks in Town, and most shamefully abused by some of the Soldiers there:–
“the Person that enticed her thither, with promises of disposing of all her marketing there (who also belonged to the Country) was afterwards taken by the Populace and several times duck’d in the Water at one of the Docks in Town; but luckily for him he made his escape from them sooner than was intended.” Read more…

Benjamin Franklin’s Writing About Losing His Son to Smallpox Is a Must-Read for Parents Weighing COVID-19 Vaccines Today
Time, 2 Nov 2021
Parents of elementary school children received great news last week; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years old. Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off, kids may be able to start getting vaccinated as soon as next week with a dose one-third of the strength given to those 12 and older.
And yet, some parents are still worried about how their children will react to these safe and effective vaccines. Reasons for their hesitancy are broad, but hesitancy about medical interventions to resist infectious disease is nothing new in the United States—and can be traced back as far as the nation’s earliest days.
In the late 18th century, one of America’s Founding Fathers penned a timely message for parents about the importance of protecting children from infectious disease. It came from painful first-hand experience. Read more…

JAR: Teaching the American Revolution in the United Kingdom
by Daniel Koch on 2 November 2021
Teaching the American Revolution in the United Kingdom comes with baggage. But British students respond to it ways that an American might not expect. I grew up in the United States and moved to the U.K. about twenty years ago. I have taught the American Revolution in four different institutions, working with both British and American students. What I’ve found is that while Americans tend to view the revolution (consciously or unconsciously) through a patriotic lens, the British view it primarily through a post-colonial one. Rather than defend their county’s part, British students tend to see the colonists’ cause as a just one.
No one comes at history with complete objectivity. There are many subconscious factors that play a role in how someone will respond to and interpret the past. In America the imagery of the revolution is everywhere. Read more…

Addendum to Remembering Our Veterans: Unmarked Grave Program
Last week’s issue of Loyalist Trails included Remembering Our Veterans: Unmarked Grave Program.
An article by Andy Prest – a much better version says Glenn Smith – titled “Unmarked Grave Program aims to give all deceased veterans a proper resting place” was posted in the North Shore News on 4 November 1921. It includes a photo of Glenn in the North Vancouver Cemetery. Read more… (Noted by Linda Nygard, Vancouver Branch).

Bust of Harriet Tubman at St. Catharines, Ont., church shoved over, face smashed
Dan Taekema, CBC 12 October 2021
‘It’s heartbreaking,’ says historian. ‘Who would want to bother Harriet Tubman?’
A bust of Harriet Tubman was toppled over, smashing the face of the famed abolitionist. The statue stood outside the Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church in St. Catharines, Ont., that Tubman helped build along with other freed slaves.
“It’s heartbreaking. I’m still in shock,” said Rochelle Bush, a trustee of the church and its resident historian. “She was a hero. Who would want to bother Harriet Tubman? She was a humanitarian. She was a freedom fighter.”
Tubman escaped slavery and led dozens of others to freedom through the secret network of safe houses and contacts known as the Underground Railroad. Read more…

The Many Dogs of George Washington
By Geri Walton 1 November 2021
The dogs of George Washington were of varying breeds and ranged from Greyhounds, Dalmatians, and Newfoundlands, to Briards and terriers. He even had spaniels, just like the French Queen Marie Antoinette and her friend and superintendent of her household, the princesse de Lamballe. Although Washington’s dogs varied, the dog that was most popular with him was the retriever. He also imported English Foxhounds in 1770. Because of his interest in breeding them he crossbred big French hounds with his black and tan hounds and created a new hound breed. This resulted in him becoming widely known as the “father of the American foxhound.” Read more…

Georgian Era Kitchen Room(s). Yes, more than just one room!
By Sharon Lathan 31 October 2017
To fully comprehend the duties of the servants within the kitchen rooms of a Regency Era household [in England], it is helpful to understand kitchen architecture and technology of the equipment available. It is a complex issue impossible to cover completely in one essay. Instead, I’ll give a nutshell synopsis with images for visual enhancement.
First, it is vital to note that the food preparation area wasn’t one room but consisted of several distinct, separate rooms. The main room for cooking was the kitchen, of course. Attached or in very close proximity were two (or more) larders, storage rooms (pantries), the stillroom, the dairy, wine cellar, and the scullery. If fortunate, there would be an ice house on the grounds not too far away. Read more…


FamilySearch: From the Colonies to Canada: Researching Your United Empire Loyalists. Thurs. 18 Nov. 12 noon ET (10 am MT)

Loyalists were individuals who supported the British cause during the Revolutionary War, most of whom were expelled to the future nation of Canada after the American victory. This class will focus on history, methodology, and record sets to help you find your own Loyalist ancestors. Register for Zoom link

Toronto Branch: “Fascinating Facts from Loyalist History” by Stephen Davidson Thurs. 18 Nov. @7:30ET

Stephen Davidson has made many, many contributions to Loyalist Trails. He will speak on “Fascinating Facts from Loyalist History”.
Whether you are new to the story of the Loyalists or it is a treasured part of your family’s heritage, there is always something new to learn about Canada’s refugee founders. Historian and author Stephen Davidson has compiled 25 facts from Loyalist history that may have escaped the notice of your Canadian history teachers — facts that prove to be far more fascinating than many of the myths that have clung to these “friends of the king” over the centuries.
Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm. Please plan to join us.
Register with Sally Gustin UE The Zoom link will be sent to you prior to the meeting.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Nov. 5 until November 11, Canada marks Veterans’ Week. Veterans’ Week is an opportunity for Canadians to honour those who have served our country in times of war, military conflict and peace.
  • Among the headstones I photographed in the Port Wade Cemetery, Annapolis County & added to Find-a-Grave this week were ones for Pvt. Kenneth C. Hudson of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders & Pvt. James S. Morrison of the West Nova Scotia Regt. Lest We Forget. Brian McConnell UE, @brianm564
  • Visited Mariner’s Section Burial Ground in Port Wade, Annapolis Co., NS where among the headstones are those of United Empire Loyalist Martin Johnson (1730 – 1813) and wife Hannah (1733-1812).
  • Plaque to the United Empire Loyalists in historic Trinity Anglican Church at Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Headstone of Loyalist Thomas Ganong in Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery at Kingston, NB, great grandfather of the founders of Ganong Chocolate in St. Stephen, James & Gilbert Ganong
  • Here’s a look at the news from Boston 246 years ago this month. A report confirming that the British had gutted the interior of Old South Meeting House and were using it for a riding school. From the November 21, 1775 issue of the Pennsylvania Evening Post.
  • This week in History
  • Clothing and Related:
    • 18th Century dress, 1775, American: Round Gown, similar to a Robe à l’Anglaise
    • 18th Century sack back gown rear view, purple silk, brocaded with flowers & lace, French, 1765-1770
    • 18th Century court dress, worn by a new bride being presented at court as a married woman 1775-80
    • The pierrot jacket created the most distinctive shape in the 1780s. With its flat front and ruffled short back it created a kick of fabric that sat on top of the gathered skirt. Often in bright stripes, this example is awash with narrow neons
    • A fiery red shoe. The short, pointed toe and wedge-shaped heel are typical of the 1780s.
    • Detail from men’s 18th Century waistcoat of monkeys collecting fruit, I’m enjoying the symbolism of this on the pocket
    • Men’s 18th Century striped silk frock coat and embroidered waistcoat, 1790s
    • 18th Century men’s waistcoat showing the Fox & the Crow from Aesop’s fable across the bottom. Warning our wearer to beware of flattery, or perhaps warning others of the wearer’s flattery?! The way these were made, the fabric was put into an enormous frame, yards long, stretched taut. Then the shapes of the pieces to be cut out were traced and the embroidery done before cutting or sewing.
    • Because fellows can be #frockingfabulous too! This full dress suit (habit à la Française), c1775-1785, is via the Rijksmuseum, and it’s lush.
  • Townsends:
  • Miscellaneous

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