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The Hanging of Hare and Newbury: PartTwo: The Greatest Villain
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
When he wrote about the hanging of the Loyalist Henry Hare, General Philip Schulyer said, “In executing Hare, we have rid the State of the greatest villain in it.” However, Richard Cartwright, secretary to the commander of Butler’s Rangers, confided in his journal that “We have lost in Mr. Hare a very active enterprising officer“. Was Hare in fact the violent enemy described by the Patriot general or an unjustly executed Loyalist? Documents of the era shed more light on this man who engendered such diametrically opposed descriptions.
Before the outbreak of the American Revolution, Henry Hare lived near Fort Hunter on the southern bank of the Mohawk River and the northeastern shore of Schoharie Creek, just west of Albany, New York. On April 15, 1765, he married Abigail/Alida Vrooman, and by 1779 had a family of seven children: Ally, John, Faulky (m), William, Peter, Barent, and Catey. As farmlands belonging to Hare are not mentioned in any documents of the era, it seems that Henry made a living as a fur trader with the local Indigenous People, a job that would entail knowing a Native language and a familiarity with the Mohawk Valley. These two traits would later make him a valuable member of Butler’s Rangers.
A veteran of the Seven Years War, Hare had hoped to remain neutral during the revolution, and did not sign a rebel “association” in 1775. About six months later, he was taken prisoner by local Patriots despite the fact that he had made an oath of neutrality. In May of that year, he and other Loyalists joined Sir John Johnson in fleeing to what is how Quebec where he joined the Indian Department. Hare’s wife and children remained at Fort Hunter.
At some point in time, Patriots captured Hare and put him in prison in Hartford, Connecticut. After seven months, he made his escape, and joined Butler’s Rangers at Fort Niagara in the spring of 1777.
Other men in Henry’s family also served the Loyalist cause. His brother Captain John Hare died during the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777. Later described as one of the bloodiest battles of the revolution, this conflict pitted Loyalists against Patriots just six miles east of Fort Stanwix. Henry was among the combatants; Patriots would later accuse him of killing a 20 year-old civilian named Caty Steers. According to eyewitnesses, Steers had been picking blackberries outside of Fort Stanwix when Hare came upon her, killed her and took her scalp.
Another of Hare’s brothers, Peter, became a captain in Butler’s Rangers, and his nephew John became a lieutenant. Unlike Henry, both of these men survived the war and eventually settled in Upper Canada.
There are several references to Henry Hare carrying letters between Loyalist men and their wives as well as delivering correspondence for Sir John Johnson, so his knowledge of northwestern New York was clearly a valuable asset. Despite the fact that he was based in Fort Niagara (Ontario), which was about 280 miles from his home in Fort Hunter, Hare made two visits to his family prior to the summer of 1779. It was his third visit that was to prove fatal.
In June of 1779, Hare and his friend William Newbury were part of a group comprised of 63 Indigenous warriors and two other white men. This party then divided into three groups with separate missions along the Schoharie River, Cherry Valley, and the upper part of the Mohawk River to — in the words of a Patriot general—“take prisoners or scalps”.
However, when Hare was eventually captured, he was on a far more domestic mission. According to one source, it was his wife Abigail’s birthday, and he had returned home to give her presents. William Newbury, who lived just three miles from the Hare family, was also visiting his wife and children.
The transcript of Newbury’s trial contains the fact that Abigail/Alida Hare “went backwards and forwards every day to gain intelligence” for the two visiting Loyalists. These small-scale spy missions did not implicate her in her husband’s “treason”, but later Abigail would write that “the want of Every necessary of life and the Continual Insults of the Rebels obliged her to leave the Province of New York.
The gifts that Henry gave Abigail included moccasins, a dress shawl and “British calicoes”. Her delight in receiving such treasures may have contributed to the later capture of Henry. As one source indicates “she was so impudent as to put them on and go visiting”. A local Patriot officer named Major John Newkirk had heard rumours that Hare and Newbury were visiting their families; the appearance of Abigail in her British finery corroborated the stories.
Newkirk had Captain William Snooks and a few armed Patriots go to the Hare home. Unaware of his imminent capture, Henry Hare had walked three miles to the home of William Newbury to start out on their departure for Niagara. However, less than 10 miles into their journey, Newbury sprained his ankle, and so the two Loyalists decided to return to their homes and travel to Fort Niagara later, once Newbury’s ankle had healed.
As Henry walked back to Abigail and the children, he went through his apple orchard. A teenager who was with Snook’s party stepped out from behind a tree and put his musket on the Loyalist’s chest. Francis Putman called the others who immediately came and arrested Hare.
The story of Hare’s trial and execution will be featured in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

The Mohawk Fort at Annapolis Royal
By Brian McConnell UE
How did a Mohawk Fort get built in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia?
The Mohawks fought on the side of the British Crown in the old province of New York during the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783 and were granted lands in Ontario afterwards.
This, however, was not the only time they served side by side. Another occasion where they fought together against a foe was more than a thousand kilometres away in southwestern Nova Scotia. There some Mohawks served with the British between 1712 and 1713 against the French and their allies. Read more…

Ancestors at Louisbourg, and Quebec
Relating to the article “JAR: The Two Sieges of Louisbourg: Harbingers of American Discontent” in last week’s Loyalist Trails.
Two of my direct GOVE ancestors from NH fought at the first raid on Louisbourg and a third GOVE cousin died there of Malaria. The 2 GOVEs later claimed they were Friends so they didn’t have to sign the Association Test (loyalty to the Rebellion.)
I am an Honorary LT Colonel in the 78Th Fraser Highlanders. They fought in Wolfe’s attack in 1758 and were his largest regiment with 1500 Scots. They were assigned to frontal attack by boats and suffered brutal casualties. The English regiments sneaked behind by land. We are now down to about 500 78TH Fraser Highlanders in 9 Commands in Canada and the US.
When at Louisbourg ten years ago, I asked about the grave for my GOVE cousin. I was told that while there were detailed records of the French dead, the English bodies were left out on the beach for the tide to take. Even today, bones surface on that beach each year and are left unattended. It seems some discrimination continues at Louisburg.
James G. Oborne UE

JAR: Jemima Howe, Frontier Pioneer to Wealthy Widow; Mother of Squire Howe (Patriot) and Caleb Howe (Loyalist).
by Jane Strachan 9 December 2021
Jemima Howe (1724–1805) reflects the strength it took to endure the harsh realities of the Vermont frontier during the American colonial and Revolutionary War eras. Although recognized as the “fair captive” then and now, Jemima was far from a damsel in distress. During her full life, she outlived three husbands and five of her nine children, was a witness to divided loyalties in her own home during the American Revolution, and through her tenacity and wit became a wealthy widow and financial matriarch to her family. Because Jemima Howe is only known to a few historians and experts on Indian captivity narratives, it is time to bring her back to life as a remarkable woman of her time.
Jemima Sartwell was born in Groton, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1724, the fourth generation of her paternal family from Somersetshire, England, who settled in the area west of Boston. Jemima’s great-grandfather, Richard Sawtell, was an early proprietor and selectman of Watertown, Massachusetts, and later the first town clerk of Groton. Her father, Josiah Sartwell, was born in Groton where he married his second wife and Jemima’s mother, Lydia Nutting. Having served as a soldier and sustaining wounds likely during Dummer’s War, in 1738 Josiah received a military grant of 100 acres just west of the Connecticut River in present day Vernon, the most southeasterly town in Vermont bordering New Hampshire. This is where Jemima Howe would spend most of her years, in the frontier wilderness of the Connecticut River Valley where the dark shadows of international and local wars and politics loomed large over her and her family. Read more…

King’s College, Nova Scotia: Direct Connections with Slavery
By Karolyn Smarz Frost PhD and David W States MA
Report prepared for the University of King’s College and Slavery: A Scholarly Inquiry project, Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 2021.
Over the past few years, universities in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and beyond have undertaken studies exploring the connections between slavery and the history of their institutions. In February 2018, the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia initiated its own investigations. The purpose was to explore ways in which slavery and the profits derived from trade in the products of enslaved labour contributed to the creation and early operation of King’s, Canada’s oldest chartered university. Read more via link in tweet by Brian McConnell UE

JAR: Virginian Ned Streater, African American Minute Man
by Patrick H. Hannum 7 December 2021
Ned Streater (also spelled Streator) was a twenty-year-old man when he first served early in the American Revolution as a member of a Virginia Minute Battalion from Nansemond County during the Battle of Great Bridge in 1775. Streater served again during the Virginia campaign of 1780-81. What makes Ned Streater unique is not his multiple tours of militia service or the fact he received no written discharge to document his service to the Patriot cause, but that he was an enslaved African American. He is one of only three African American soldiers identified to date who fought on the Patriot side from the State of Virginia early in the war, at the Battle of Great Bridge. The most notable African American Patriot to serve in Virginia’s first Revolutionary War battle, Great Bridge, was William (Billy) Flora, a free African-American from Portsmouth, Virginia. Flora was reportedly one of the three sentries on duty at the south end of the Great Bridge on the morning of December 9, 1775, when the British assault took place. Flora’s story has been told many times and likely romanticized over the years. Ned Streater’s story is quite different, and likely never previously told. His story provides insight into the military service of enslaved African American veterans and their post-revolutionary experiences.
Today, Nansemond County, Virginia, is one of several extinct counties in the state. It was incorporated with the Independent City of Suffolk in 1972, and in accordance with Virginia law, when incorporated, the county ceased to exist. Historical research into people and events in Nansemond County is difficult for other reasons beyond a name change. The county records were destroyed by fire on at least three separate occasions in 1734, 1779, and again in 1866. This makes the content of Ned Streater’s pension application particularly valuable for the study of local history because it contains official court documents and proceedings, providing insight into his service and journey to freedom. Unlike many revolutionary veterans who moved west after the revolution, Ned remained in Nansemond County linked to his enslaved status. Ned Streater’s pension application was sworn and attested by Jeremiah Jones and Henry Lassiter in Nansemond County in 1833. Read more…

Ben Franklin’s World: Jews in Early America
Gemma Birnbaum, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society, and Melanie Meyers, the Director Collections and Engagement, lead us on an exploration of the Jewish presence in Early America and Jewish contributions to the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.
As we investigate Jewish life in Early America, Gemma and Melanie reveal information about the American Jewish Historical Society and what its unique collections reveal about early American Jewish life; The origins and backgrounds of Jewish colonists and why they chose to settle in North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; And Jewish contributions to early American history and the founding of the United States. Listen in…

Washington’s Quill: Bushrod Washington Papers and the Challenges of Transcription
by Kathryn Gehred 10 December 2021
One of the most important skills for a transcriber to master is how generously to read misspellings. For example, if an 18th-century writer did not differentiate between their “i’s” and “e’s” very well, then the question of spelling must be decided by the transcriber. Do you transcribe every letter without a dot above it as an “e,” even if that results in a misspelled word? Or do you trust that the author meant to spell the word correctly and just didn’t dot the “i”? Read more…

Loyalist Gazette Fall 2021 Issue: Doug’s Copy has Arrived
The Fall 2021 issue was delivered to Canada Post on Monday 29 Nov. I guess Canada Post is in the middle of the Christmas rush and pandemic deliveries.
My paper copy arrived just on Thursday, so ten days in the system. In the past it has on occasion arrived next day, most frequently second day after mailing.
It looks good.

Loyalist Quarterly Newsletter, December 2021, by Paul J. Bunnell UE
Published since 2004, the December 2021 issue is now available. At nineteen pages, it features:

  • A Winslow Christmas
  • Samuel Henry Rose — Loyalist
  • Loyalists During and After the War of Independence
  • Sierra Leone
  • Royal Governor Josiah Martin (1737 — 1786)
  • Loyalist Gazette Fall 2021 Issue
  • Quakers of Adolphustown
  • Support Loyalist Trails
  • Stephen Davidson UE

Vol. 18 Part 4 December 2021 Quarterly Issue “In Publication since 2004”
Editor: Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Author, Koasek Abenaki Chief;; 978-337-9085, 49 Pleasant St., #106, Alstead, NH 03602
The Only U.S. Newsletter Devoted to The study of The American Loyalists
Subscription Rate: $22 U.S. $24 Can. $5 each copy — (March, June, September, December issues)

Who are the Ladies In The Picture?
Go to Who’s In The Picture (WitP). The photo of two ladies posted on 8 December was also taken at the 1989 Royal Convention (May 18-22) at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, QC.
Do you recognize either or both of the ladies?
If you can identify someone, please send an email to Carl Stymiest, Leader of the Library and Archives Committee at — please note the date and reference number of the photo and clearly indicate which person you are identifying. Any additional relevant comments are welcome, and appreciated.
Carl Stymiest

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Inside historic Old St. Edward’s Church at Clementsport, NS in 1915 photo from old postcard. Built by United Empire Loyalists in 1795 and consecrated by Bishop Charles Inglis in 1797.
  • Interesting old postcard of original Loyalist Monument in Shelburne, Nova Scotia
  • Rev250 resource of the day — From Urbanist: Exploring Cities, a 360° video tour of the Fraunces Tavern Museum in lower Manhattan
  • The day after he arrived at Fort George, a four day trip down Lake George in open boats from Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox provided this inventory of cannons that were bound for Boston.
  • This week in History
    • 5 Dec 1766, the auction house Christie’s states that founder James Christie conducted the first sale in London, England. Shown is engraving of Christie’s auction room 1808 by Thomas Rowlandson.
    • 10 Dec 1773, the brig “William” was wrecked on Cape Cod. It was carrying 58 chests of controversial East India Company tea and what were supposed to be Boston’s first 300 street lamps.
    • 7 Dec 1775 Dr. Benjamin Gale writes to Silas Deane in Congress of progress on submarine invented by David Bushnell.
    • 6 Dec 1777 Tipped off by Quaker housewife, Patriot forces outwit Cornwallis in skirmishes north of Philadelphia.
    • 8 Dec 1775 Arnold & Montgomery besiege Quebec City, in a doomed attempt to bring Canadian provinces into the revolt.
    • 9 Dec 1775 Patriots defeat British forces, including 800 slaves freed for the purpose, to secure Virginia.
    • 10 Dec 1775 HMS Rose raids Jamestown, Rhode-Island, burn ferry house at West Ferry & many other structures.
    • 5 Dec 1776 Washington asks Congress to create standing professional army, to reduce dependence on militia.
    • 6 Dec 1777 With news of Saratoga, French Compte de Vergennes agrees to military alliance with United States.
    • 10 Dec 1777 Col. Samuel B. Webb attempts to raid Setauket, Long Island; thwarted by weather & captured by British.
    • 9 Dec 1778 Virginia annexes all territory captured by George Rodgers Clark, naming it Illinois.
    • 10 Dec 1778 John Jay elected as 6th President of the Continental Congress, later abolished slavery in NY as Gov.
    • 4 Dec, 1780 Col. William Washington forces surrender of Loyalists at Rugeley’s Mills SC with fake cannon made from pine log.
    • 7 Dec 1787 Shay’s Rebellion demands published, spurring reconsideration of Articles of Confederation.
    • 9Dec1793 Noah Webster establishes New York’s 1st Daily Newspaper, the “American Minerva.” He published his first dictionary in 1806
  • Clothing and Related:
    • Sumptuous silk (from China) gown, c.1760-70 hand-painted silk. This elegant robe & petticoat are fine examples of a woman’s formal daywear in the early 1760s. In cut, fabric & design they were the height of fashion
    • 18th Century dress, robe à la française, c.1780, It is extremely small in size and may have been a young woman’s first formal gown, to be worn at local dances & assemblies
    • 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
    • Pocket detail of an 18th Century waistcoat. Pink was a popular colour for men’s dress, particularly in the 1770s during the period of the Macaronis – young dandies, who dressed in the latest French & Italian styles on returning from the Grand Tour.
    • 18th Century men’s matching three piece suit, wool plain weave, with sequins and metallic embroidery, 1760’s
    • 18th Century uncut waistcoat of neoclassical design, this waistcoat front with printed design of dancing nymphs, medallions & borders. Figures in lower panels taken from “Borghese Dancers” a relief now in the Louvre. c.1790’s
  • Townsends:
  • The Christmas season
    • Sharon Latham’s Christmassy Words! Here we go again today with awesome etymology and more in our quest to uncover the history of words, in this case: Carol, Sleigh, Angel, Wreath and Jolly.
    • Christmas Tree Folktales and Legends. Many countries have claimed that the Christmas tree originated in their country. Among those are France, the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), and Germany.
    • Christmas Cards and the Loss of Christmas. Christmas cards first appeared in 1843 when a civil servant named Sir Henry Cole decided he was too busy to send individual greetings to his business colleagues, family, and friends. Instead he decided to seek out his friend, a painter named John Callcott Horsley. Cole asked Horsley to create a card with a brief greeting that he could mail to colleagues, family, and friends.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Bata Show Museum: The launch of our next virtual exhibition, Boots & Blades: The Story of Canadian Figure Skating, is coming up in the New Year. In this blog, One of the earliest skates with manufacturer’s marks in the collection are the three pairs shown in this blog post. Read more…

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