In this issue:
- 2022 UELAC Conference: “From Heartbreak to Hope in the Heart of the Continent”
- From Fear and Danger Free: Loyalist Tombstones Tell Their Stories, Part One of Four, by Stephen Davidson UE
- THE KING’S COLOUR: The Rise and Fall of Navy Hall
- JAR: Jemima Howe: Two Competing Captivity Narratives
- JAR: Thaddeus Kosciuszko: “Patron Saint of West Point”
- Tarring and Feathering Attacks in America
- The false promises of Canadian official multiculturalism
- Reparative Semantics: On Slavery and the Language of History
- Ben Franklin’s World: Cuba, An Early American History
- The Dorchester Award: Call for Nominations
- Who are the People In The Picture?
- From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Connect with us:
2022 UELAC Conference: “From Heartbreak to Hope in the Heart of the Continent”
May 25th to 29th, 2022
Hosted by the Manitoba Branch of the UELAC
The Conference will be concurrent with the AGM and other Dominion meetings. There will be nine presentations and one tour, that of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. What will follow are short articles on the content of the presentations and biographies of the presenters.
“Eclectic and Inclusive: The Presentations of the 2022 UELAC Dominion Conference”
When we began our search for suitable presentations we wanted to focus on Central Canada in the time of the early Loyalist period, 1783 -1820. We were looking for a balance of gender and content, from the military to the social and political. It is our hope that the nine presentations will edify, enlighten, and entertain.
“Family, Friends, and Wild Turkeys: Amelia Ryerse Harris’s Loyalist History“, presented by Dr. Cecilia Morgan.
Those of you who attended the 2018 UELAC Dominion Conference in London, Ontario may have taken the tour of Eldon House, the stately home of Amelia Ryerse Harris and later generations of the Harris family. The presenter, Dr. Cecilia Morgan is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She has published several works on commemoration and public memory in Canada including a prize winning study of the commemoration of Laura Secord. She is presently researching a book on the Harris family of London and the Hamilton family of Queenston, Ontario.
- Dr. Morgan (a panelist) was interviewed on The Agenda, TVO, Nov. 11th, 2020: Watch
- Eldon House can be viewed at https://eldonhouse.ca.
- The Harris women appear in https://eldonhouse.ca/the-harris-women/
Mary Steinhoff, Chair, 2022 Conference Planning Committee, Manitoba Branch
From Fear and Danger Free: Loyalist Tombstones Tell Their Stories, Part One of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
In November of 1887, Saint John, New Brunswick’s Daily Sun printed the following paragraph: There is a very old Church of England within the limits of the town of St. Andrews (Charlotte Co.) Some years ago this graveyard was closed by an act of the legislature. For a period of time no attempt was made to care for the grounds. Recently, however, the rector and corporation of the church took steps to tidy up the old ground. There are some quaint old epitaphs which attracted the attention of the Sun reporter.
We’ll look over the anonymous reporter’s shoulder, and –using the epitaphs that he discovered– learn more about four of the couples who are buried in what is now known as St. Andrew’s Loyalist Cemetery.
The tombstone of Jeremiah Pote makes a good starting point. Rather than being situated on land belonging to a church, St. Andrew’s graveyard was the result of Pote’s sale of a piece of property that he owned on the upper part of King Street. This burial ground not only became his final resting place, but would eventually contain the earthly remains of his wife, children, and three couples whom he called his friends: the Rev. Samuel Andrews and his wife Hannah, Robert and Miriam Pagan, and Thomas and Mary Wyer.
At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Jeremiah Pote lived in Falmouth, Massachusetts (today’s Portland, Maine). A merchant with a wharf “in the best part of the town”, Pote was one of the Falmouth’s selectmen. Charged with organizing town meetings, he became subject to persecution when he would not call meetings when demanded by the local rebels. After being imprisoned a number of times and having had “things taken from him by force”, Pote fled to Nova Scotia in “an open boat” in May of 1777. A year later, he was among those listed in the Banishment Act of Massachusetts, a declaration that not only evicted those opposed to the revolution, but also promised to execute any Loyalist who might return to Massachusetts.
By 1778, Pote was in New York where he served as a ship’s pilot for the British forces. When Patriots seized the Rainbow, 53 year-old Pote and all of the vessel’s crew were made prisoners and spent the winter behind bars. The whereabouts of the Loyalist’s 47 year-old wife Elizabeth and their three children for this year are not known. Their daughter Joanna was 29 in 1778 and was the second wife of Thomas Wyer. Her sister Miriam was 31 and the wife of Robert Pagan. Robert Pote was just 8 years old.
Two years later, the Pote family moved to Penobscot where a number of other Loyalists from Falmouth had settled. When the final boundaries of the new United States of America were set, Penobscot was determined to be in what is now Maine rather than in newly created colony of New Brunswick. The Penobscot Loyalists formed an association to seek out a new home, making Pote and two others their agents.
Jeremiah Pote and his refugee neighbours quite literally pulled up stakes –bringing their Penobscot cottages with them– and moved 215 km northeast to St. Andrew’s Point at the mouth of the St. Croix River. Within four years of this migration, there were 600 houses in a town with a population of more than 3,000 Loyalists. Its harbour proved to be a good base for ships engaged in trade with the West Indies, a trade that had been the source of Jeremiah Pote’s prosperity in Falmouth.
In March of 1787, Pote and other St. Andrew’s settlers stood before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists when it met in Saint John. He hoped to recoup some of the value for his schooner, sloop, scows, wharf, home, furniture, store, and limekiln that had been taken or destroyed in Falmouth.
It is unlikely that Pote was awarded the £1,000 he sought in compensation, but he was nevertheless able to re-establish himself as a merchant with trade in the West Indies. One of his ships that sailed out of St. Andrew’s harbour was named Miriam in honour of his daughter; it had a grandson as one of its mates. Jeremiah and Elizabeth’s only son Robert became a captain of a ship that was part of the family’s business.
A family letter written in December 1794 describes how Robert Pote had left St. Andrew’s for Bermuda, but ended up in Jamaica where he sold his brig’s cargo. Within a week of departing the Caribbean island, Robert took “ill with the fever” and died on November 8th. Another crewmember died two days after Captain Pote.
When the vessel returned to St. Andrew’s with the news, Jeremiah and Elizabeth were in “great affliction” at hearing of Robert’s death for they had “lost a dear and only son … on whom the hopes of their old age was fixed”. Jeremiah was 69 and Miriam was 63 when they learned of the death of their 24 year-old son.
It was not the only tragedy of that year for the Potes. Their grandson, Jeremiah Pote Wyer also succumbed to some illness while the Miriam was docked at the mouth of the Martha Brae River in Jamaica. He died on Christmas Day, about two weeks after his Uncle Robert. Young Jeremiah was just 18 years old.
The deaths of a son and grandson may have been what prompted Jeremiah Pote to draw up his last will and testament in February of 1795. All of his estate was to go to his only surviving child, Miriam Pagan and the sons of Joanna, his departed daughter, following the death of her mother Elizabeth.
Within 21 months, Jeremiah Pote, the Loyalist of Falmouth, died at the age of 71. His tombstone would be placed near those of his son and grandson in the graveyard he had sold to the people of St. Andrew’s 15 years earlier. His widow, Elizabeth, died at 79 on December 24, 1809, and was buried near her family. Although her tombstone and its epitaph have disappeared, there is still a record of what was inscribed on the headstone of her husband:
the body of
Jeremiah POTE, Esq.
who departed this life
23rd Nov’r, 1796, in the 71st
Year of his Age
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that
He shall stand at the latter day upon
the earth, and though after my skin
Worms destroy this body, yet in my
flesh shall I see God
The stories of other couples buried in St. Andrew’s Loyalist Cemetery will continue in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at email@example.com.
THE KING’S COLOUR: The Rise and Fall of Navy Hall
by Stuart Manson Jan. 2022
This Issue 5 of the broadside describes a viceregal structure, situated in the Niagara district of Upper Canada, that Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe described as “…an old hovel that will look exactly like a carrier’s ale-house in England when properly decorated and ornamented.” Enjoy!
Read more at Facebook, or directly from Dropbox
JAR: Jemima Howe: Two Competing Captivity Narratives
by Jane Strachan 6 January 2022
Jemima Howe (1724–1805), a pioneer woman of the early Vermont frontier wilderness, survived a 1755 abduction along with her seven children ranging from six months to eleven years old, three years of captivity in French-Canada, and three husbands, the first two killed by Abenaki. The early American literary genre of Indian captivity narratives presented the story of Jemima Howe, but cloaked it in myth. As literacy rates rose right after the American Revolution, especially among women, so climbed the popularity of these historical and often religious stories. The burgeoning colonial readership provided the audience for Jemima Howe to become a celebrity, widely known as the “fair captive,” alongside a hero of the American Revolution—her rescuer and suggested romantic lead, Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam—in two competing captivity narratives.
The importance of the captivity narrative in American literary history and its role in creating an American literature cannot be underestimated. One of the first best sellers in this literary genre was The Sovereignty and Goodness of God Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, likely arranged and written at least in part by Increase Mather, Puritan clergyman and president of Harvard, with his son, Cotton Mather, a minister and prolific author following in his father’s footsteps with a well-known captivity narrative about Hannah Dustan. Mrs. Rowlandson’s narrative went through numerous printings from its initial publication in 1682 well into the 1800s and is considered a colonial classic even today. Read more…
JAR: Thaddeus Kosciuszko: “Patron Saint of West Point”
by Joseph E. Wroblewski 5 January 2022
In Douglas S. Freeman’s biography of Robert E. Lee, he noted:
Corps activities took a certain amount of Lee’s time that winter. Kosciuszko was in those days the patron saint of West Point. He had designed the Revolutionary forts, Clinton and Putnam, and had resided in the little cottage that had been preserved. For some years, the corps had been contributing twenty-five cents monthly per man toward the construction of a monument in honor of the Lithuanian supporter of American Independence.
As early as 1775 it was apparent to both the Americans and the British of the strategic importance of the Hudson River (also called the North River). On May 25, 1775 the Continental Congress passed a resolution:
Resolved, that a post be also taken in the highlands on each side of the Hudson’s River and batteries erected in such manner as will most effectually prevent any vessels passing that may be sent to harass the inhabitants on the borders of said river; and that experienced person be immediately sent to examine said river in order to discover where it will be most advisable and proper to obstruct the navigation. …
Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko, a son of a minor Polish noble, received an excellent education in military engineering as a cadet at the new military academy established in Poland by King Stanislaw II Augustus Poniatowski. In 1769, Captain Kosciuszko was given a stipend to go to France, where for the next five years he studied military engineering based on the curriculum of the French military engineering school, Ecole de Genie, at Mezeires. While in France he not only studied military subjects but also art, sculpture, and in what was to have a profound effect on his life, he absorbed the teachings of the philosophers of the Enlightenment. Read more…
Tarring and Feathering Attacks in America
By Geri Walton 3 January 2022
Although the phrase tarring and feathering appears to have originated just prior to the American Revolution, the practice was much older having first happened in Europe. One of the earliest reports of it occurring was in 1189 during the time of the English King Richard the Lion-Hearted. Laws and regulations had been drawn up in Latin regarding the practice. Translated these laws stated:
“A thief or felon that hath stolen, being lawfully convicted shall have his head shorn, and boiling pitch poured upon his head, and feathers or down strew upon the same, whereby he may be known, and so at the first landing place they shall come to, there to be cast up.”
Although Richard the Lion-Hearted’s tarring and feathering was limited to the head, tarring and feathering attacks in America could involve the whole body. In the 1700s and 1800s, just like in the 1100s, tarring and feathering was used to punish, embarrass, or warn people to behave. In addition, after a tarring and feathering attack the victim was often paraded through the streets in a nude or semi-nude state and because it was difficult to remove the tar and feathers scarring often occurred, which thereby served as a reminder to victims not to arouse community ire.
The type of tar usually used was readily available and used for maintaining and building ships. It was called pine tar and was considered ideal because it only needed to be heated to about 140°F to melt. Read more…
The false promises of Canadian official multiculturalism
by John Clarke 2 January 2022
Leaders like Trudeau offer only empty words about multiculturalism while presiding over a deeply racist state that continues to oppress minorities, argues John Clarke
Last summer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement proudly declaring that “Fifty years ago this fall, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt a policy of multiculturalism.” He was careful to include an admission that, “Every day, far too many racialized Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and religious minorities continue to face systemic racism, discrimination, and a lack of resources and opportunity.” However, he expressed confidence that “Together, we can make Canada a stronger, more welcoming, and inclusive place.”
After fifty years of official multiculturalism, for which Trudeau’s Liberal Party is largely responsible, his picture of a well-intentioned work in progress that still has a few wrinkles to iron out is really quite preposterous. The truth is that the ‘inclusive place’ that Trudeau conjures up has far more to do with official statements than with the realities of Canadian society. Multiculturalism was hardly one of the founding principles of the state that was established, as a project of the British Empire, through the genocidal dispossession of the Indigenous population.
It is well known that Black people escaping slavery in the United States, by way of the ‘Underground Railroad,’ sought freedom in Canada. However, this country has its own history of slavery spanning some two hundred years before the practice was abolished within the British Empire in 1833. Certainly, there was no plantation economy in Canada and slavery existed on a relatively small scale compared to the US and the Caribbean but it remains an integral part of the country’s history that has shaped subsequent developments.
A Black population was created in Nova Scotia, when thousands of so-called ‘United Empire Loyalists’ fled the newly created US republic and settled in Canada. Read more…
Reparative Semantics: On Slavery and the Language of History
Dr. Nicholas Rinehart at CommonPlace
Rather than seeking to extinguish the humanity of its victims, slavery rather invests in, and relies upon, their human capacity for suffering.
History happens on the internet, and so does historiography. In recent years, scholars and lay commentators alike have advocated an alternative vocabulary for describing the historical violence of racial slavery. We should substitute “enslavement” for “slavery”; “enslaved person” for “slave”; “enslaver” for “slave owner” or “slaveholder”; “slave labor camp” for “plantation”; “freedom-seeking” or “self-emancipated” for “fugitive.” These arguments have been advanced by public history and educational organizations, governmental agencies, and scholarly organizations–all aiming to address (and perhaps redress) the legacies of Atlantic slavery by centering questions of language. From this perspective, the oft-cited “power” or “importance” of language resides precisely in its capacity to inflict or alleviate harm. But this all-too-neat categorization of right and wrong, good and bad terms and phrases actually underestimates the power of language by insisting upon its moral and semantic stability. Language is far too dynamic and slippery a medium to serve as foundation for such broad normative claims. This move to revise our collective historical vocabulary, moreover, introduces as many complications as it seeks to resolve. In what follows, then, I aim merely to question the assumptions that undergird arguments for what I call reparative semantics and, in so doing, illuminate some of the historiographical problems that arise in the process.
First, we should endeavor to understand the arguments for reparative semantics on their own terms. The preference for “enslaved person” over “slave,” for example, is most often framed as a question of humanity or personhood. The phrase “enslaved person,” that is, supposedly acknowledges or restores the full humanity of the enslaved, whereas the term “slave” is objectifying, commodifying, or dehumanizing. Read more…
Ben Franklin’s World: Cuba, An Early American History
Ada Ferrer, the Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, joins us to investigate the early history of Cuba with details from her book, Cuba: An American History.
During our investigation, Ada reveals what Cuba was like before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish. Why the Spanish and other European empires consider Cuba to be the “Key to the Indies.” And, details about early Cuba’s relationship with British North America and the early United States, including details about Cuba’s role in the American Revolution. Listen in…
The Dorchester Award: Call for Nominations
The UELAC Dorchester Award, established October 2007 by Dominion Council, exemplifies Volunteer Excellence and Participation, by conferring recognition on recipients for their lengthy contribution to the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada. Exclusive to the UELAC membership, this award salutes the “best in volunteerism” amongst our members within the Association.
One individual has been honoured each year since 2008. See the list, with details of each.
As this award goes to members of UELAC, and nominations must be by members, members can log in where they will find in the members’ section, in the table of contents, the Dorchester Award:
- Terms of Reference
- Call for Nominations (deadline: Feb. 28 each year)
- Nomination form
Don’t delay as the deadline for nominations to be received is 28 February.
Carl Stymiest, SVP, Chair of UELAC Volunteer Recognition & Awards firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are the People In The Picture?
Go to Who’s In The Picture (WitP). Two men and a woman stand in front of a table covered with books. It was taken by Gerald Rogers between May 18-22 at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville QC, during the 1989 Royal Convention.
Do you recognize any of the three?
If so, please send an email to Carl Stymiest, Leader of the Library and Archives Committee at email@example.com — please note the date and reference number of the photo. Any additional relevant comments are welcome, and appreciated.
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- Interesting find; rare old postcard – historic Covenanter church at Grand Pre, NS. Reads: “This Church was erected by Loyalists & Scotch & Irish Presbyterians. It was begun in 1804 during the ministry of Rev. George Gilmore (1791 – 1811) & completed the year of his death..” Brian McConnell UE @brianm564 Rev. Gilmore was believed to be born in Co. Antrim, N. Ireland & was ordained Church of Scotland clergyman He emigrated to the American colonies in 1769 & preached in Massachusetts, Connecticut & New York before fleeing as a Loyalist to Quebec. From there moved to Nova Scotia.
- Rev. Jacob Bailey, Loyalist refugee & minister for Annapolis, Nova Scotia, in 1782 wrote: “We have a church at Annapolis 60 ‘ long & 40 broad, with a steeple & a bell but as the outside only is finished we are unable to have any service in it during the extremely cold weather..”
- This week in History
- Jan 8, 1775, Gen. Thomas Gage ordered: “if any officers of the different regiments are capable of taking sketches of a country they will send their names to the Deputy Adjt. Gen.” He was starting to scout missions into the countryside.
- 4 Jan 1776 Cambridge MA Gen George Washington writes Continental Congress assuring them he will attack Boston when the opportunity arises.
- 5 Jan 1776 The assembly of New Hampshire adopts the first American state constitution.
- 6 Jan 1776 SC Council of Safety warns Georgia that British ships leaving Charleston are headed to Savannah.
- 2 Jan 1777 Second Battle of Trenton, results in British withdrawal from New-Jersey for the winter.
- 3 Jan 1777 Washington departs Trenton NJ under cover of darkness, engages British at Princeton in decisive victory.
- 7 Jan 1777 East-Florida’s Royal Governor Tonyn informs Crown that estates of Royal officials were seized in Georgia.
- 8 Jan 1777 British withdraw all forces from New-Jersey except posts at West Brunswick and Perth Amboy.
- 1 Jan 1781 — 1500 men of Pennsylvania Line kill officers in mutiny, march on Congress.
- 4 Jan 1781 Virginia militia completes an expedition of eradication against the British-allied Cherokee.
- 5 Jan 1781 British force led by turncoat Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Virginia.
- 1 Jan 1782 Loyalists begin widespread evacuation from America, heading to Nova-Scotia and New-Brunswick.
- Clothing and Related:
- Elegant Georgian London shoes from Historic New England. Top: brocaded silk upper by John Hose; Bottom: silk satin upper by Chamberlain & Son. Same paste buckles on both: Worn by Prudence Jenkins for her 1778 wedding.
- Although [shoe] buckles were considered scandalous when they first came into fashion in the mid 17thc, they were quickly embraced and became a form of shoe jewellery crafted out of silver and set w/diamonds, rhinestones or glass paste called strass. English, 1750-70. Bata Show Museum
- 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
- it’s a bit funny that the pleats at the back of a robe à la française are called Watteau pleats just because the artist Watteau painted a lot of people wearing that kind of dress
- 18th Century dress, fully pattern matching overcoat, stomacher & petticoat – adorned with beautiful embroidered fruits & florals, c.1745
- Unusual 18th Century women’s banyan, It would have been worn over stays & petticoats in the privacy of home, either in the morning before dressing formally for the day or in the evening before changing for bed. 1750-1770
- 18th Century wedding dress, worn by Miss Sarah Boddicott, for her celebrations to her second cousin, Samuel Tyssen on 28 September 1779, at St John’s church in Hackney, London. Spitalfields silk with silver fringe
- 18th Century women’s jacket & waistcoat, c.1790
- 18th Century waistcoat, striped fabric woven with a small stylised flower repeat in tan and deep pink between primrose yellow and fine groups of blue stripes, 1780’s
- 18th Century men’s suit and waistcoat, of fine purple silk, metallic embroidery and spangles with delicate buttons, c.1790’s
- 18th Century men’s Court matching suit, brown figured silk tailcoat with 11cm-high stand collar, sharply curving front panels, beautifully embroidered in floss silks with sprays of forget-me-nots, c.1800
- “We have Exactly What We Need” – Townsends Year End Thoughts
- 7 January is “St. Distaff’s Day.” The day when people returned to regular work after the end of Christmas, it has become a celebration of the domestic labour traditionally done by women in general, and of the fibre arts in particular. JYF Museums
- Radical abolitionist Benjamin Lay (1682-1759) rejected worldly comforts and lived in a cave (with a big library) in Abington, PA. After I published my book about Lay in 2017, two elderly Quakers recalled stories of yore about the location of the cave and rediscovered it.
- #mudlarking: Today’s Thames find is one of my most exciting. A log slate belonging to the HMS Merlin (early 19th C).At the end of the day the data on the slate was put into the log book & the slate wiped clean (hence the saying).So literally going into Jan 2022 with a clean slate!
Published by the UELAC
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