In this issue:

Connect with us:


Rev250 quote of the day — “I therefore consider this Man as void of a Spark of Humanity, who can deliberately be the Instrument of depriving our Country of its Liberty, or the people of their Lives in its Defence.” —Samuel Adams on Gen. Thomas Gage, March 4, 1775.

…. could be Putin invading Ukraine. Although as a Loyalist, I am not pleased that the British went home, I have every wish that Putin is sent packing.

Website down
Most if not all people cannot access the website. It appears that the security certificate has expired and it probably won’t be repaired until early in the week. I have removed most of the material in this issue of Loyalist Trails which had links to it (to be included next week) …doug

2022 UELAC Conference Presentation: “Loyalist Descendants Journey West …”
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”.
Loyalist Descendants Journey West to Become Pioneers on the Prairies” will be presented by Barbara Andrew UE. Barb has submitted the following biography:
With a lifelong love of all things historical, Barb enjoys the research involved in putting the “meat on the bones” when studying the genealogical lines of her family tree. Being descended from a colorful array of ancestors, who fought during the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Battle of Waterloo, Northwest Rebellion, WWI, WWII, and the Korean Conflict has provided thousands of hours of research fodder.
An interest in the United Empire Loyalists was spurred on by research her aunt had undertaken and involvement in the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada took on a life of its own during the past twenty odd years. Barb is a past president of the Manitoba Branch, a past president of UELAC, and is currently president of the Assiniboine Branch.” Barbara Andrew UE
Mary Steinhoff, Chair, 2022 Conference Planning Committee, Manitoba Branch

Checking Over a Loyalist Fort’s Shopping List
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
In many a mystery novel, the detective deduces a huge amount of data about a particular person by examining the contents of his shelves or what is written down on a shopping list. What if we could do the same for a whole Loyalist regiment? Thanks to the diligent research of William A. Smy, we can peruse a list of articles ordered by Butler’s Rangers in September 1779, and indulge in some historical deduction.
Found in the British Library, “A List of Sundry Articles Wanted for the Use of Major Butler’s Corps of Rangers” is a fascinating glimpse into the life at Fort Niagara, the headquarters for one of the most famous Loyalist regiments. In 1779, there were a total of 1,346 people drawing provisions from the fort’s commissary. They included 445 Indigenous allies, 351 members of the King’s Regiment, 64 refugee families, teamsters, and 40 Indian Department staff as well as the 308 men in Butler’s Rangers.
Although no tailors are listed among those who were given provisions, there must have been a number of people at Fort Niagara who were handy with a needle and thread. The first items on the list of “sundry articles” that the Rangers requested from British headquarters in Quebec City were “pieces” of fine green cloth for officers, white cloth, and pieces of “middling green” cloth for sergeants. The distinctive green uniforms of Butler’s Rangers did not arrive at Fort Niagara ready-made – someone had to sew them together.
In addition to the fabric order, Col. John Butler ordered “buttons and trimmings” for the 360 “suits of clothing” that would be made at the fort. He also requested 360 blanket coats, and if those were not readily available, he asked for an equivalent number of blankets. Shirts apparently came ready-made as 1,500 of them were ordered along with 1,440 pairs of stockings. (Was the number of stockings less than that for shirts because the Rangers’ Indigenous allies did not wear them with their moccasins?)
The fort’s unnamed tailors would also be busy making trousers as Butler ordered “russia sheeting” that would be make into trousers and “russia drilling” that would be transformed into knapsacks. (“Russia” fabric is a material made of plain weave hemp linen.) No wonder there were also orders for “assorted needles” and 40 threads of different colours. Thanks to Butler’s requests, his men’s clothing would be kept clean with 336 pounds of whitening, the same amount of starch, and 112 pounds of bluing (a powder used to preserve laundry’s whiteness).
While Butler requested 1,500 pairs of “strong shoes” for his men, there was clearly a need for cobblers on staff at Fort Niagara. The colonel’s 1779 order included 30 dozen shoe buckles, 10 dozen shoemaker awls, 30 pounds of shoemakers’ thread, and 8 dozen buckle brushes. These materials would have been used to repair or maintain the footwear that the Rangers received. To keep boots black and shiny, Butler also ordered 20 dozen “blacking balls”, the era’s equivalent for shoe polish. The buckle brushes may have also been used to clean the 30 dozen knee buckles and 30 dozen sleeve buckles that had been ordered.
To this point, Butler’s order for “sundry articles” would clothe his men with green uniforms, shirts, trousers, stockings and shoes – and all of the buckles, buttons and trimmings such garb required. Topping off this clothing –quite literally—would be the 30 dozen hats on the order.
In addition to all of this, it seems that a member of Butler’s Rangers also had to be mindful of his personal appearance. Besides the 30 boxes of soap that were ordered, there were a number of products to maintain one’s hair. No less than 50 pounds of hair powder was on Butler’s list — presumably a product used to maintain the white wigs worn by Fort Niagara’s officers. In this era, hair powder was made of finely ground starch and could have an orange or lavender scent.
For those who did not wear wigs, the order included 30 dozen containers of pomade. This particular male hair grooming aid lasted well into the 20th century. Pomade was a scented oil or ointment used to give a man’s hair a shiny, slick appearance. In the Loyalist era, pomade was made of bear fat or lard. It is little wonder that it took multiple washes to completely rinse it from the wearer’s hair.
To make sure that the wigs and greased-back hair of Butler’s Rangers were kept in good order, the list of requested supplies also included 20 dozen ivory combs and 30 dozen horn combs.
Both as a weapon and a tool, the clasp knife must have been very useful. Butler ordered 30 dozen of these ancestors of today’s jack-knife.
Fort Niagara depended on local livestock and crops to feed the 1,346 people who inhabited its environs, but there were a number of items that could not be obtained along the western shore of Lake Ontario. Butler’s order also included requests for 240 candles, 100 gallons of vinegar, 12 barrels of molasses, 10 boxes of spruce essence, 90 pounds of mustard, 60 pounds of pepper, 3,000 pounds of cheese, and 3,600 pounds of tobacco. Once received, the latter required 10 dozen tobacco boxes or containers.
Butler’s order went on to include 4 dozen chocolates, 300 pounds of coffee, 900 pounds of tea (black and green), 30 barrels of brown sugar, and 3,000 pounds of loaf sugar. (It’s difficult to imagine how many bateaux and canoes would have been required to transport all of these materials from Quebec City to Fort Niagara.)
All of these items point to the fact that there must have been a cooking staff at Fort Niagara. Col. Butler did not forget their needs, either. He ordered 60 camp kettles, 60 frying pans, and 180 pairs of scissors. The 360 tin canteens that were requested would be especially valuable when the Rangers trekked through the woods during the heat of the summer.
The “list of sundry articles” that began with clothes, ended with requests for stationery supplies. Fort Niagara needed 400 quill pens, 3,000 sheets of writing paper, and a dozen orderly books to keep records of all of its transactions, correspondence, and accounts.
It was such a common item for a garrison that Butler almost failed to mention rum. He concluded his list, saying, “There will also be rum wanted, if a greater quantity should not be sent up than has already been done.”
Although it was not included in this particular order, Butler later requested another item. In that instance, he asked for 4 bags of paint, “an article the warriors want for encouragement.” On another occasion, he requested 50 pounds of paint. Although this would have been chiefly for the benefit of the Rangers’ Indigenous allies, it is known that Rangers themselves often wore war paint during their attacks on Patriot settlements.
A List of Sundry Articles Wanted for the Use of Major Butler’s Corps of Rangers” has provided us with a fascinating glimpse into what a distant Loyalist outpost ordered from British headquarters in Quebec City. In next week’s Loyalist Trails, we’ll review correspondence from the era to gain more insight into life at Fort Niagara.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

JAR: King George III’s Montreal Bust in a Pattern of Iconoclasm
by Mark R. Anderson 3 March 2022
Throughout history, changes in political order have often been accompanied by the destruction of the old regime’s images and monuments. The July 9, 1776 destruction of King George III’s New York City statue is the most famous and persistent image of such iconoclasm in the American Revolution. In that particular event, after a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, soldiers, sailors, and Sons of Liberty toppled, mutilated, and recycled the city’s most prominent symbol of royal rule. As historian Wendy Bellion noted, “there would seem to be no clearer way to signal the beginnings of the United States than a ritualistic killing of the British King.” But in her analysis of the event, Bellion also commented: “Although artists and writers would later represent the assault on the Bowling Green statue as an anomalous, even epochal, event of the Revolution, the statue’s destruction transpired within [a] much larger field of iconoclastic actions in Britain and British America.” In fact, New York’s famed episode of political iconoclasm was not the first of its kind in the war. In 1775, vandal-activists defaced a marble bust of King George III in Montreal, and six months later revolutionaries destroyed the same monument.
While the famous equestrian monument in New York and the lesser-known bust in Montreal honored the same king, they had different origins. Read more…

Borealia: Hedging His Bets: Ethan Allen, the Haldimand Negotiations, and Allegiance in the American Revolution
By Benjamin Anderson 28 February 2022
It was the summer of 1780 when Ethan Allen, Vermont’s self-proclaimed leader, was approached by a man on a dusty road to Arlington. Beverly Robinson, a Virginian Loyalist and friend of British Commander-in-Chief Henry Clinton, looked down at Allen from atop his horse and handed him a piece of paper. It was a proposal to Allen and Vermont: renounce their commitment to the Union, return to the British Empire, and they could potentially be rewarded with a “separate government under the king and constitution of England” with their lands validated.A Allen promised to consider the proposal and Robinson rode into the distance.
This episode and what was to follow demonstrated Allen was not unlike the average American during the American Revolutionary War. By promising to consider Robinson’s proposal, he was hedging his bets, looking to side with whoever he thought was likely to win the war. In recent decades, historians, especially of the southern theater of war and New York, have discovered that this action was not unusual during the Revolutionary War. Survival trumped patriotism. In Vermont, as Allen exemplifies, land validation transcended nations and ideals. Read more…

New Heritage Minute focuses on NOTL woman who resisted slavery
The Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada was given royal assent on July 9, 1793
Chloe Cooley’s resistance led to Canada’s first piece of legislation limiting slavery in 1793.
Cooley, a Black woman who lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake, is highlighted in Historica Canada’s most recent Heritage Minute.
Historica Canada said Cooley engaged in acts of resistance however she could: by refusing to work or temporarily leaving the property without permission.
Cooley was first enslaved by Benjamin Harrison of Bertie Township (now Fort Erie) and later sold to United Empire Loyalist Sgt. Adam Vrooman. Read more and watch the Heritage Minute…

Memoirs of an American Official in the Service of the King (in early 1760’s)
An account by John Moore Esq (1745-1828) written in 1821 of an event in the Seven Years (French-Indian) War.
My Uncle Stephen Moore, served his time with the Hon. John Watts, one of his Magesty’s Council, an eminent merchant, and contractor for the Army Supplies at New York. Upon the breaking out of the French War in 1754, he obtained a Commission in a New York Regiment, under the command of Col. Oliver Delancey, was in several of the battles of those days and obtained considerable reputation in the expidition under Col. Bradstreet. He was at the taking of Fort Stanwix, so named in honor of the British General who commanded on that occasion. He continued in the service through-out the war; at the close of it he was appointed Dep. Paymaster General in Canada.
I cannot help recording here, a circumstance evincive of his intrepidity, activity and zeal. General Haldimand, the {military governor} in command in Canada, had occasion in mid-winter to send an express to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, the commander-in-chief in America, residing at New York. He applied to my uncle to look out for a person qualified for the purpose and acquainted with all the wilderness through which it was necessary to pass, neither the St. Lawrence nor the Lakes being frozen sufficiently hard to bear sleigh of horses and the dispatches requiring haste and immediately conveyance.
My uncle after a few hours preparation told the General he had found such a person and the letters were immediately handed to him. He put a pound or two of dressed provision in his knapsack, put on his skates; slung his blanket and snow-shoes on his back and started from Quebec on the St. Lawrence. On arrival at Montreal he hired a couple of faithful Mohawks, armed as a guard, and all of them on snow-shoes (the snow very deep and no vestige of track) proceeded through the wilderness by the shortest course known only to his Indian guides, to the north end of Lake Champlain. (See map of route)
They there took to the lake and proceeded on it and Lake George to its south boundary and from thence to the Hudson. At Albany, he discharged his Indians, took to his skates and kept on them till he reached Col. Philip’s seat at the Yonkers, 20 miles from New York. He fell through the ice twice before he relinquished the frozen Hudson. From Col. Philip’s he walked to town and delivered his dispatches to Sir Jeffrey Amherst on the tenth day after leaving Quebec. The General told my Uncle that his situation as deputy Paymaster General to the King’s Army forbade his offering him any pecuniary remuneration, but handsomely insisted upon his acceptance of postage, presenting him with a Roleau of 100 guineas.
Contributed by Stephen Davidson

JAR: From the First Partition of Poland to Yorktown
by Joseph Solis-Mullen 1 March 2022
It is generally taken for granted that France was ready to jump into the war between Britain and the rebelling North American colonies on the side of the colonies as soon as the colonists showed themselves capable of giving the British a serious fight. After all, Britain had been a frequent antagonist to France, had recently humiliated France during the Seven Years War, and its relative power was steadily growing. Setting aside the differences of opinion between Turgot and Vergennes within the French court, which we will return to, this perspective misses the fundamental contingency of the circumstances that even allowed France to consider intervening efficaciously in the American Revolution. The French motivation for helping the Patriots being obvious, French assistance, key in securing the final victory at Yorktown, was only possible because of a singular window of relative peace in Central and Eastern Europe during the latter half of the eighteenth century. For no matter the strategic advantages France might have hoped to gain from effectively intervening in the conflict between Great Britain and its North American colonies, they would have been unable to devote adequate resources to the distant conflict had there not been relative peace between Russia, Prussia, and Austria during the period 1775-83.
Making this case requires a basic understanding of the basic trajectory of European great-power relations in the eighteenth century, the causes and consequences of the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, and the consequences of these and local events in Central and Eastern Europe, along with a description of the strategic landscape facing each of the great powers as the American Revolution got under way. For our purposes, these were, in no particular order, Russia, Prussia, Austria, France, and Great Britain—though the Ottoman Empire was also a factor. Read more…

Wet Nurses and Nursing in the Eighteenth Century
By Geri Walton 13 August 2018
Breastfeeding or nursing with wet nurses in the eighteenth century was a common occurrence. That was because by medieval times the idea of breastfeeding was often regarded as too menial a task for royal women, and they began to use wet nurses. Other reasons for the use of wet nurses was that mothers sometimes were unable to produce enough milk, died during child birth, or suffered some physical ailment. There were also some women who claimed breastfeeding was time consuming or they argued that it ruined their figures. Sometimes a woman’s husband might not support her breastfeeding activities, or sometimes a woman wanted to quickly get pregnant again and thought it would happen faster if she didn’t nurse.
Noble women and the gentry, such as Jane Austen’s cousin, Eliza de Feuillide, Jane’s Austen mother and aunt, Philadelphia, soon adopted the idea of using wet nurses, which then made the job of nursing primarily a job for the lower classes. Read more…

Ben Franklin’s World: American Expansion and the Political Economy of Plunder
In the Treaty of Paris, 1783, Great Britain ceded to the United States all lands east of the Mississippi River and between the southern borders of Canada and Georgia. How would the United States take advantage of its new boundaries and incorporate these lands within its governance?
Answering this question presented a quandary for the young United States. The lands it sought to claim by right of treaty belonged to Indigenous peoples.
Michael Witgen, a Professor of History at Columbia University and a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, joins us to investigate the history of the Anishinaabeg people and the United States’ efforts to purchase their lands for American settlement.
Using details from his book, Seeing Red, Michael reveals details about the geography of Anishinaabewaki and its role in Anishinaabeg ways of life; Information about the economic, diplomatic, and political relationships the Anishinaabeg created with the French, English, and Americans between the mid-1600 and mid-1800s and how those relationships—or the political economy of these powers—changed over time; And, the ways in which the new United States went about organizing, regulating, and incorporating parts of Anishinaabewaki into the United States as new territories and states. Listen in…

Kelly Arlene Grant: What’s Up Buttercup? An Update 2022-03-03
UELAC Scholarship Recipient
What happened to this year? Well, in July, we moved back east to Nova Scotia. Bought the Farm, so to speak. On the Annapolis River, 1.25 acres, with a small barn and some big plans…
I jumped back into the job market. I also submitted my final draft of the dissertation to committee for defense…
Right now, I’m getting caught up on folks tailoring projects. Read more..

Upcoming Events:

UELAC Scholarship recipient will speak on Loyalists 15 March

The Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies is Scotland’s only centre for American Studies. The Centre sponsors the most extensive American Studies lecture and seminar series in Scotland, free for academics, students and the public.
Our current UELAC Scholarship recipient, PhD Candidate, Benjamin Anderson, researching Vermont and the Northern Borderland Loyalists, 1749-179n will present on March 15, 2022. He is delighted to be sharing his research on Ethan Allen, Vermont, and Allegiance in his first research seminar presentation. It is a Zoom event and all are welcome. Seminars begin at 4pm GMT. That is 11am EST here in Canada. Check the time zone conversion for your area.
The Centre created an Eventbrite page where people can register and get the zoom link:
Christine Manzer, UE, Co-chair UELAC Scholarship Committee

York Sunbury Historical Society: “Rebels on the River” Thurs. 17 Mar @7:00 AT (6:00 ET)

“Rebels on the River: The American Revolution and New Brunswick” by Major (Ret’d) Gary Campbell PhD

The presentation will be about the American Revolution and Sunbury County, Nova Scotia (present day New Brunswick). This is the only area that I am aware of that rebelled against British rule and where the rebellion was successfully suppressed. It will discuss the two rebel invasions that occurred and will examine the interactions between the Indigenous people, the New England Planters, the New Englanders of the District of Maine and the British forces. This is an interesting period of history and one that is not generally known about.
Gary Campbell is a retired CAF officer who is interested in the military history of New Brunswick. He became interested in the story of the American Revolution in New Brunswick when he was researching his first book “The Road to Canada“, a military history of the St. John River.
To register send an email to

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • 75 in ’75 Patriots’ Day Countdown — #46 From @oldnorth1723. Thomas Gage worshiped from this pew at the Old North Church while serving as Royal Governor of Massachusetts. Gage commanded the 4,000+ British soldiers sent to occupy the city after the Boston Tea Party.
  • This week in History
    • 26 Feb 1776 Spain orders West Indies fleet to observe and detain British merchant shipping to gather intelligence.
    • 28 Feb 1776 Washington prepares to take heights above Boston, writing that it will “bring on a rumpus” with British.
    • 2 Mar 1776 Patriot bombardment of occupied Boston begins, eventually leading to British evacuation.
    • 3 Mar 1776 Silas Dean departs to negotiate in secret for French contributions of arms and military materiel.
    • 4 Mar 1776 Cannon seized from Fort Ticonderoga are placed overlooking Boston, dooming British occupation.
    • 4 Mar 1776 “I have just returnd from Penn’s Hill where I have been to hear the amazing roar of cannon. Tis now an incessant roar. But O the fatal ideas which are connected with the sound. How many of our dear country men must fall?” Abigail Adams #OTD in 1776. Read more…
    • 26 Feb 1779 Horseneck Landing, CT. NY Royal Gov William Tryon leads 600 troops in a rout of 150 militia under Gen Israel Putnam. Putnam escapes riding down a cliff. Tryon plunders & burns the village. British losses 2 dead & 20 captured.
    • 1 Mar 1781 The Articles of Confederation ratified, forming first national gov’t for new United States of America.
    • 27 Feb 1782 British House of Commons votes against continuing war in America.
  • Clothing and Related:
    • 18th Century wedding dress of Hannah Palmer of Bedford, she wore this dress when she married the Reverend William Bull of Newport Pagnell in June 1768. Her marriage was a long and happy one. The dress stayed in her family until 1987
    • 18th Century dress, an example of the most formal ensemble for a woman in the late 1770s, except for court dress. It is a robe à la française. Feathers, lace, raffia tassels and lengths of satin embellish an already embroidered satin.
    • Back view, 18th Century dress, robe à la française, c.1770-75
    • Slippers, 1790s
    • 18th Century men’s Court coat, the design consists of a variety of floral arrangements on ribbed silk with a woven pattern of brown & green stripes. 1770-1790
    • 18th Century Royal Marines dress coat belonging to Major General Arthur Tooker Collins (1718-93), of red wool with cuffs & lapels faced with blue. Buttons are stamped with a laurel wreath enclosing a crossed sword & baton.
    • 18th Century waistcoat, teeming with insect life. Small butterflies float between floral sprigs, blue dragonflies adorn the pocket flaps, furry caterpillars crawl along branches, and menacing-looking stag beetles take flight along the bottom edge.
  • Townsends:
  • Miscellaneous
    • A wobbly bottom – the base of an 18th c wine bottle, found and left on the foreshore. Large enough to be from a mallet bottle, the transitionary shape between the squat onion bottles of the late 17th and early 18th c and the cylindrical bottles we recognise today. by Lara Maiklem Mudlarking (London Mudlark)

Last Post: Brown, Dr. Wallace
Wallace, son of Dr. Alexander (“Sandy”) Brown and Mary (“Maimie”) née Wallace, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and moved to Scotland in 1938. He attended Saint Edmund Hall, Oxford (BA, MA), University of Nebraska (MA), University of California, Berkeley (PhD).
After teaching stints at the University of Alberta and Brown University, he joined the History Department at the University of New Brunswick in 1967, where he spent the rest of his career. He specialized in American colonial and early national history.
The central fact of his life was his life-long love affair with his wife, Paula and the family it produced. Now for some words from his children (Catherine, Alexander, Paul and Emily). Read more…
Wallace’s interest, writing and speaking about the Loyalists was recognized and he was appointed a UELAC Honorary Vice-President. He noted “My dissertation subject was the Loyalists, mainly because it combined my British and Canadian backgrounds with mainstream American history. After the publication of my dissertation as The King’s Friends, the bulk of my research and publications remained focused on the Loyalists.” Read more about Professor Wallace Brown, MA, PhD, F.R. Hist.S., Fredericton, NB

Published by the UELAC
If you do not now receive this free newsletter directly but would like to, you can subscribe here.