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2022 UELAC Conference Presentation: “Apocryphal Ambulations?”
Conference: “From Heartbreak to Hope in the Heart of the Continent”
May 25th to 29th, 2022. Hosted by Manitoba Branch, UELAC. Mark the dates.

The 2022 Dominion Conference Presentations: “Eclectic and Inclusive”.

Dr. Janet Noel will be presenting, “Apocryphal Ambulations? The Many Walks of Laura Secord“. Dr. Noel is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. She was educated at the University of Toronto and is a specialist in Early Canadian history with a focus on gender issues. She has published 35 articles and several books including New France: Les Femmes Favorisses and The First French Canadian Women (UTP, 2013).

In 2014 Dr. Noel was the recipient of the Kerr Prize for her work on Aboriginal women in the Fur Trade.

Mary Steinhoff, Chair, 2022 Conference Planning Committee, Manitoba Branch

Scholarship Applications Are Now Open: February 28 Deadline
UELAC members and friends – Do you realize that you can be of the main ways that potential Masters or PhD students find out about the UELAC Scholarship?
The UELAC Loyalist Scholarship is available to Masters and PhD students who are undertaking a program in relevant research. This topic should further Canada’s understanding of the Loyalists and our appreciation of their, or their immediate descendants, influence on Canada.
The award is for $2,500 per year and will be provided for each of two years for Masters and three years for PhD students, depending on satisfactory progress in their studies. The student must intend to use the award in the academic year following the receipt of the award and use the money for fees and books.
Students looking for funding know how to go about it. All you need to do is share this information with them. The deadline for applications is February 28th.
Thank you
Dr. Taylor Stoermer & Christine Manzer UE
Co-chairs UELAC Scholarship Committee

From Fear and Danger Free: Loyalist Tombstones Tell Their Stories, Part Two of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Women who lived through the era of the American Revolution and the settlement of the Loyalists are not often recognized for all that they accomplished or endured during their lifetimes. Miriam Pote Pagan, one of the first Loyalists to settle in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick, was usually defined as being either the daughter of Jeremiah Pote or the wife of Robert Pagan. Although buried in St. Andrew’s cemetery, her tombstone has disappeared, leaving posterity with only her death notice as an epitaph:
“d. St. Andrews (Charlotte Co.) 11th {January 1828}, age 81, Miriam PAGAN widow of Robert PAGAN, lived there since 1783.”
Forced to rely on the stories of the men in her life, we can nevertheless piece together a glimpse of this Loyalist woman’s contributions.
Miriam was the oldest of three children born to Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Berry) Pote. She was born in 1747 in the seaside town of Falmouth, Massachusetts (today’s Portland, Maine). Her father was a very successful businessman who conducted trade between New England and the West Indies. In time, she married Robert Pagan, a Scot three years her senior who had emigrated to Falmouth when he was only 19 years old.
Representing a Scottish trading company, Robert eventually became the head of its American venture which bore the name Robert Pagan and Company. It “carried on a considerable trade”. He owned a brig and was part owner of a schooner both of which were used in trading lumber and masts with the West Indies. Until the American Revolution divided Falmouth into Loyalists and Patriots factions, Miriam’s husband was known as “a man of popular manners and much beloved by the people.”
However, because Pagan retained his allegiance to the British crown, local Patriots subjected him to a tarring and feathering, and threatened his life if he did not change sides. In 1775, the Pagans’ home and store were destroyed by the British bombardment of Falmouth. Gathering up Miriam and a few of their belongings, Pagan boarded his brig Falmouth and sought refuge in Barbadoes. (Some of those household items included a tea pot, a tankard, and a coffee pot made of silver, a gold watch, and a mahogany chest of drawers – all of which were later bequeathed to family members in 1828).
Since the documents of the era make reference to Robert taking his “family” to Barbadoes and then England, it may be that the couple had children. However, by the time they settled in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick, the Pagans had no dependents. All of their estate was eventually willed to nephews and nieces.
Following a short stay in England, Robert and Miriam joined other Loyalist refugees in New York City, the headquarters for Britain’s army during the revolution. Despite the war, Pagan carried on trade between New York City and the Loyalist settlement of Penobscot on what is now the coast of Maine. His ships also became “active privateers, menacing revolutonary lifelines.”
When Penobscot was deemed to be within the borders of the new republic, Robert and Miriam had their house moved 215 km up the coast to St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick where neighbours and relatives from Falmouth had made their new homes. Robert re-established his mercantile business that traded goods between New Brunswick and the West Indies.
Miriam Pagan kept in touch with the family members who ventured out onto the sea, including her brother Robert (a captain) and her nephew Jeremiah Wyer (a mate). One surviving letter shows her concerns for the souls of her relatives as well as their earthly well-being.
Miriam also made connections with like-minded people in St. Andrew’s. The local Anglican minister created The Friendly Society. This group met once a week for thirteen years. Limiting themselves to “spirits and water” as refreshments at their meetings, this group gathered to discuss “questions of religion, morality, law, medicine, geography, and history, besides contributions of importance in newspapers and magazines.
In the meantime, Robert was becoming “one of the principal men in the county of Charlotte”. In the days of Loyalist settlement, he acted as an agent for the crown in allotting land. He later served as a magistrate, a judge of the court, a militia colonel, and a member of the colonial assembly.
The historian Isaac Allen Jack remembered that Pagan’s teeth were “rather far apart”. When he was just a boy, Jack’s father was persuaded by another relative to make toothpicks for Pagan, assuring the boy that if he whittled half a shingle to a point, Pagan would find them very useful. Rather than embarrass the little boy, Pagan kindly accepted the toothpicks each time that Jack made a bundle for him.
In June of 1800, smallpox swept through St. Andrew’s and Charlotte County. Dr. John Caleff, a Massachusetts Loyalist, knew that inoculations could stop the spread of the disease. Over a five-week period, he vaccinated approximately 300 people, losing only 3 patients, including a 5 year-old girl who refused to be inoculated.
In writing a report of his efforts in Charlotte County, Caleff mentioned that he was assisted by Miriam Pagan and two men “at such a perilous juncture”. Unfortunately, Caleff did not give specific details on how Miriam served alongside him other than noting that she and his assistants “performed the operation both in their own families and that of some of their friends.”
Miriam encountered some resistance to the inoculations from those who felt that they had their own treatment to combat the disease. “Their adult patients were incrusted as with a coat of mail and when the crust fell off their appearance was like unto fleeced rabbits but they recovered.” Whatever she did, Miriam demonstrated courage in the face of a deadly disease, and had a respect for medical methods that many of her contemporaries feared and resisted.
By the time of her husband’s death on November 23, 1821, Miriam had also suffered the loss of her sister Joanna, her brother Robert, and both of her parents. Robert Pagan died at the age of 71; his death notice referenced two points of pride: being a member of New Brunswick’s first House of Assembly and having been born in Glasgow, Scotland.
A clause in his last will and testament speaks to the character of this Loyalist from Falmouth. In the process of seeking the repayment of loans from Pagan’s debtors, the Loyalist stipulated that his executors should see that “no person was to be imprisoned” to secure the money that they owed.
Miriam Pote Pagan lived seven more years after Robert’s death. She died at 81 on January 11, 1828. When her will was proved three days later, it distributed the last of the worldly wealth and property that Miriam and Robert had accumulated during their lifetimes – including a handful of family treasures that had escaped destruction in Falmouth during the American Revolution.
Though neither Miriam’s epitaph nor death notice referenced any outstanding accomplishments, the aspects of the Loyalist woman’s life that have been pieced together show a person who enjoyed intellectual pursuits, valued family connections, risked personal harm to help others, and maintained a deep Christian faith.
There are other stories to tell of the men and women laid to rest in St. Andrew’s Loyalist Cemetery – in particular, that of Miraim’s brother-in-law, Thomas Wyer. His story will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Shelburne NS: the Day of Black Loyalist Exodus
WHEREAS, January 15, 2022, is the 230th anniversary of fifteen ships departing the Harbour of Halifax in 1792, and that the conditions and causes that led to the exodus of 1,196 self-liberated Black Loyalist were conditions of abject institutionalized racism and that this departure took place at the height of the transatlantic chattel slave trade one of the cruelest chapters in the history of humanity….
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Warden Penny Smith, on behalf of Shelburne Municipal Council, do hereby proclaim January 15, 2022, the Day of Black Loyalist Exodus: Fifteen Ships to Sierra Leone #1792Project in the Municipality of the District of
Dated at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, this 12th day of January 2022, Warden Penny Smith Read the proclamation (a pdf)

THE KING’S COLOUR: Well-Travelled Cannons
by Stuart Manson Dec. 2021
The fourth issue of The King’s Colour contains an article called “Well-Travelled Cannons: The Captured Ogdensburg 12-Pounders.” It explores the 1813 British and Canadian attack on Ogdensburg, which netted a couple of war trophies from an earlier war. Read more (directly from Dropbox)

David Fanning UEL: A Loyal Hillbilly
By S.W. O’Connell, 28 April 2019
It has been some time since the Yankee Doodle Spies featured the Loyalists – those very proper Americans who stayed loyal to the King and Britain during the time of political upheaval and bloody war. As a rule, these were conservative and very proper folk. But they did have their share of badasses. One of these was a notorious and stubborn orphan from the backwoods of the Carolinas.
David Fanning was born in Birch Swamp, Amelia County, Virginia in 1755. In July 1764 Fanning was orphaned. As a result, the young David was bound to Needham Bryan (Bryant), a county justice in Johnson County, North Carolina. The justice provided for his education but was by Fanning’s account, harsh. Or maybe young David was a bit of a handful. So in 1773, when Fanning was 18 and of legal age, he left his guardian and moved to Raeburn’s Creek in the western section of South Carolina. There the young man farmed and traded with the nearby Cherokee Indians. Although life on the frontier was not easy, it was reasonably good for the enterprising young David Fanning.
Things began to change when the American Revolution broke out in 1775. At the time, Fanning was a company sergeant in the Upper Saluda militia of South Carolina. Most upcountry Carolinians were sympathetic to the crown and eyed the lowland planters and merchants with suspicion. There was friction. A delegation from the low lands established a tenuous truce that was broken when a local Loyalist was arrested in November. Soon rumors spread that the rebels were enticing the Indians to their side. That was it. Accosted and robbed by patriot militias, Fanning sided with the local Loyalist faction.
David Fanning served under Major Joseph Robinson in military operations in western South Carolina. He was part of the force that captured a large Patriot garrison at the key Fort Ninety Six in November 1775. But Fanning himself was nearly captured in December that year during the battle at Big Cane Break. Eluding the local patriots, Fanning fled to the Cherokee Indians. Read more… (See first tweet below)

JAR: Charles Townshend: Architect of the Townshend Duties
by Richard J. Werther 13 January 2022
The increasingly turbulent years preceding the American Revolution were fueled by an exchange of laws promulgated by Great Britain to maintain political and economic control over its American Colonies and the reactions of her unruly colonies to those laws. One of the events in the lead-up to the Revolution was the issuance by Great Britain of the Townshend Duties. These were actually four separate regulations, issued between June 5 and June 29, 1767, designed to succeed where previous efforts had failed to bring the recalcitrant colonies to heel.
The architect of these duties was Charles Townshend who, though possessed of a flawed and quirky personality, may also have been one of the brightest lights ever to arise in British politics. Yet as brilliant as he may have been, he was blind to potential that his Duties would be a major death knell for relations between the colonies and the mother country. It is worth examining in some detail the life of this man who streaked, meteor-like, ever so briefly across the British political scene and just as quickly disappeared.
Born on August 27, 1725 to Charles Townshend, the third Viscount Townshend, and his wife Audrey, son Charles experienced, nearly from the start, an unhappy childhood. His mother was famed, as would be Charles, for her wit and intellectual abilities; she was also known for her promiscuity, which led to continuing problems in the marriage. His parents separated when young Charles was just fifteen. He went to live with his father, claiming a greater affection for him, though some suspected that this was more feigned than sincere and that he was not really that fond of either his father or his mother. Read more…

JAR: Blessing of the Flags
by Norman Desmarais 12 January 2022
During the era of the American Revolution, French and Spanish regiments were comprised primarily of Roman Catholics who customarily have objects and implements blessed before their use to invoke God’s blessing, favor and protection on them. Small objects, like medals, are blessed with a simple prayer. Larger, more important objects and occasions are blessed in the context of a Mass, the major liturgical ceremony. These include sacraments (baptism,[1] first communion, confirmation, marriage, and ordinations of priests and bishops) and larger objects and implements (houses, vehicles, vessels and ships, and regimental flags).
Accounts of the blessing of flags are extremely rare which makes the translation of the following document about the blessing of navy flags so important. Read more…

JAR: Undeceived: Who Would Write the Political Story of the Revolution?
by James M. Smith 11 January 2022
In July 1783 John Jay, one of the Americans negotiating a treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States, was sitting at his desk. The negotiations, taking place in Paris had been going on for some months with much quibbling over language, borders, trading rights, and fishing rights. Sentences were being written and rewritten over and over again. Now as the negotiations were entering their final stage, Jay sat down and thought of the future. He had some concerns and he wrote to Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress about them.
Jay had met Thomson when he was a member of the First Continental Congress that met in August 1774….
On the first day of the congress, it was decided that someone needed to be the secretary. The conservatives had centered on James Duane, the moderates on Silas Deane, but the radicals reached outside the membership of the congress and chose Charles Thomson. … Thus, Charles Thomson became a central part of the congress. He was the only one to stay in his position throughout the whole fifteen years of the Continental Congress. No document was official without his signature. Read more…

Book: “The Knotted Rope” by Jean Rae Baxter Coming Soon
This has been a most distressing situation. There have been production problems with The Knotted Rope. These were due to the illness of Ronsdale Press’s Director, Ronald B.Hatch. He died of cancer on November 25, after being ill for one year, during which he tried valiantly to keep everything up to schedule.
I just heard from Kevin Welsh, the Assistant Publisher now in charge, that the book has gone to press and will be available in February. Kevin also told me that none of the distributors have cancelled their orders.
Jean Rae Baxter

A Big BooBoo: “Who is in the Picture” Mistake in Email Address
The email address to send information both in previous references in Loyalist Trails as well as on the webpage was incorrect. It had been erroneously directed to the “.ca” domain and should have been to the “.org” domain, as in – our apologies
If you have submitted identifying details over the last month or so since WitP was announced and still have the details, please send again; it would be appreciated.

Who are the People In The Picture?
Go to Who’s In The Picture (WitP). Two unidentified women behind the Costume Branch table at the 1989 Royal Convention (May 18-22 at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville QC). It is part of the Okill Stuart Fonds.
Do you recognize either of them?
If so, 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. Any additional relevant comments are welcome, and appreciated.
Carl Stymiest

Upcoming Events:

Family History Library “Research in Canada…” Thurs. 20 Jan. Noon ET

There is a webinar on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at 10:00 AM MST (noon ET). This class is titled “Research in Canada: An Introduction.” Click here to learn more, register, and attend:
To access the handouts for these webinars please visit the Family History Library Classes and Webinars page on the FamilySearch Wiki.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: ROBISON UE, Paul Athol
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Paul Athol Robison UE of the Edmonton Branch on 9 January 2022. Having recently returned from California after visiting family, he suffered a brain aneurysm on 5 January from which he could not recover.
He was a descendant of William Dougal UEL and was the first President of the current Edmonton Branch from 1987 to 1989.
Retired, he was a soldier, a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and an educator, a facility member of the University of Alberta. He was a great supporter of the Edmonton Branch and the United Empire Loyalists’ Association as a whole and will be sorely missed by the branch. Our sympathy goes out to his family and close circle of friends.
Robert J. Rogers, UE President, Edmonton Branch
Obituary was published in the Edmonton Journal on 15 January 2022:
Loving husband to Donna Robison passed away suddenly at the age of 86 of a brain aneurysm. He is survived by his brother Michael, 3 daughters Cheryl Robison, Elisa Robison and Lisa Mah (Raymond). He was adored by his grandchildren, Tessa, Curtis and Avery. Paul was an Administrator at the U of A for many years and was a proud Veteran. He enjoyed history, reading, he walked daily and enjoyed all music. Paul will be missed by his many friends, family and the love of his life Donna. Salvation Army was Paul’s favorite charity.

Last Post: TAPLEY, RWBro George Burnham
The Calgary Branch has lost a long time member with the death of George Tapley. George was our Treasurer from 2011 to 2019. He had been researching his Loyalist ancestor, Henry Belyea for a number of years, but was unable to get the necessary documents for the older connections.
George was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick on March 17, 1942 and died in Calgary on January 1, 2022. He received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1966 and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario in 1971. Initially he worked at the Dalhousie University and City of Halifax until he moved to Calgary. In Calgary, he worked at the City as Executive Director of the Calgary Centre for International Training, and Manager of the Calgary Business Information Centre, finishing his career with The City’s Information Technology group.
George was a dedicated Mason in Calgary from 1996. He became a District Deputy Grand Master, long term editor of the Alberta Freemason and Grand Historian along with other offices.
George is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Elizabeth and his sister Susan Fairweather.
As an icon of the best of men, George influenced and touched the lives of so many in his many years as a leader and mentor leaving this world a better place than he found it. His column is broken and his Brethren mourn.
Read the obituary.
Suzanne Davidson UE, President, Calgary Branch

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