In this issue:
- Registering for UELAC AGM, for Members
- 2022 UELAC Conference: Speakers; Manitoba Descendants
- Loyalists Executing Loyalists – Part One, by Stephen Davidson UE
- JAR: Orderly Book of the 5th Continental Infantry Regiment, New Hampshire Historical Society
- JAR: The 25th Grievance of the Declaration of Independence
- The Children’s Crusade: A Teenage Recollection of the American Revolution
- Velnos’ Vegetable Syrup Sold by Isaac Swainson
- Benjamin Franklin’s World: Making a Benjamin Franklin Documentary
- In the News:
- Response to Query. Route from New Brunswick to Upper Canada
- UELAC Loyalist Directory: New Entries
- Upcoming Events:
- Gov. Simcoe Branch: “The Bachelorette New France” Wed 4 May
- Researching Loyalist Ancestors: May 4, 11 and 18
- Nelles Manor Museum: Mother’s Day Tea 2022 Sunday 7 May
- From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- Last Post: THOMPSON UE, Charlene Ferne
- Last Post: CHISHOLM UE, Dorothy
Registering for UELAC AGM, for Members
NOTE: This is a separate registration from the UELAC Conference
The AGM for current members is scheduled for Saturday, 28 May 2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Registration to attend is required – details to register (separate from the Conference registration) are in the Members’ Section – login at uelac.ca for instructions.
The agenda for the meeting, and a package with all the reports etc. have now been posted there as well. Check out the President’s report, branch reports, financials and what each of the many committees accomplished in 2021.
2022 UELAC Conference Invitation: Speakers; Manitoba Descendants
The Planning Committee of the 2022 Dominion Conference would like to invite you to our virtual conference, “From Heartbreak to Hope in the Heart of the Continent“.
The events – presentations by notable speakers etc. – have been intentionally scheduled over five days from Wednesday to Sunday, frequently two each day (See the schedule and times at the bottom of the registration page).
Recognizing potential conflicts in your calendar, all presentations of the 2022 Dominion Conference are to be recorded and will be available for viewing for 72 hours. The sole exception is the tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights which has a policy of not recording its “live” virtual tours.
- “Family, Friends, and Wild Turkeys: Amelia Ryerse Harris’s Loyalist History“. Presented by Dr. Cecilia Morgan.
- “Life in Exile: How Loyalist Women in the Maritimes Contributed to their Families’ Survival and the (Re)formation of Community”. Presented by Dr. Bonnie Huskins.
Visit https://uelmanitoba.ca/conference2022 for more details and registration.
“Magnates, Mavens, and Miracle Workers: Loyalist Descendants in Manitoba”
Julia Annette Elizabeth Dafoe
Loyalist forebears: John Ernst Dafoe, Daniel Dafoe of Hossick, Rensalear, New York Province.
Elizabeth Dafoe was born in Montreal in 1900 to John W. Dafoe and Alice Parmalee. They moved to Winnipag in 1901.
Shewas a tireless champion of public libraries and served on the National Advisory Board and the Manitoba Library Advisory Board. She was a founding member of the Manitoba Library Association.
Miss Dafoe promoted the concept of a “National Library” and helped define the mandate of the Library and Archives of Canada. Read more…
Mary Steinhoff, Chair, On behalf of the 2022 Conference Planning Committee of the Manitoba Branch
Loyalists Executing Loyalists – Part One of Three
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Human nature has not changed over the centuries. Within every community there is a criminal element that will take advantage of the weak, steal what is not theirs, and commit murder for any variety of reasons. The same is true of the Loyalist refugees that flooded into the Maritimes and Canada following the American Revolution.
Some refugees’ crimes resulted in prison sentences; other misdemeanours were punished by public floggings or brandings. Hanging was the preferred form of capital punishment — and it was meted out for a variety of crimes. Strange as it may sound, Loyalists executed Loyalists.
The first known hanging of Loyalist criminals occurred in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. In 1784 — just a year after the arrival of the Loyalists — four men robbed a ship anchored in the harbour and wounded its captain. While two of the thieves were pardoned, the men known only as Shannon and Doyle were hanged.
Two years later, a 31 year-old Black Loyalist named Brittain Murray and three others were charged with stealing a chest containing clothes and money from a man known only as Cinder. Murray’s accomplices were pardoned on the condition that they leave Nova Scotia within 3 months’ time. Murray was hanged by Simon Proof, a man hired by Shelburne to serve as its executioner. Proof, also a Black Loyalist, lived in nearby Birchtown.
Town records note that three more robbers were slated to be hanged in Shelburne in 1786. Following an escape from their jail, one man was pardoned following his recapture and one was never found. Only James Mitchell was hanged for his crimes.
Overlooking the mouth of the St. John River, Fort Howe was the British garrison that Loyalist refugees saw on the horizon as they arrived by the thousands during the spring, summer and fall of 1783. The fort became the distribution centre for the provisions and food that sustained the Loyalists during their first year in what would become Saint John, New Brunswick. Its blockhouse also served as the settlement’s first jail. Just east of Fort Howe on a height of land that overlooked a small pond was Gallows Hill.
A contemporary described the gallows as “a substantial timber structure” that was a permanent “institution of the state. Criminals were hung in chains and their bodies were left to decay or be eaten by crows.”
While there may have been executions related to desertions or other crimes meted out by court martial before the arrival of the Loyalists, the first records of executions performed by civilian courts occurred on February 11, 1785. Four men and one woman had been tried for crimes that were punishable by death.
Michael and Abraham Mings were charged with burglary. Fortunately for the brothers, the court pardoned them on the condition that they leave the colony. Nancy Mosley was found guilty of manslaughter for the death of her husband. The Black Loyalist woman escaped execution through a legal loophole known as the “benefit of clergy”. Instead, the court released her after branding her left thumb with the letter “M” (manslaughter).
Peter Korman was convicted of highway robbery; William Thatcher was found guilty of grand larceny. Of the five Loyalists convicted of capital offences that February, these two men were the only ones who were sent to Gallows Hill. They were the colony’s first Loyalists to be hanged.
In May of 1786, David Nelson and William Harboard — two Loyalist veterans who had served with the Queen’s Rangers– were arrested for the shooting of an Indigenous man in a community 27 miles above Fredericton, New Brunswick. As the man fled in a canoe, he was killed when Nelson and Harboard used their muskets to fire two warning shots at him. The veteran soldiers said that they had no intention of killing or wounding him.
The Indigenous people wanted an instant decision. The Loyalist settlers in the area did not feel that the two accused men should be “sacrificed to satisfy the barbarous claim of a set of savages”.
The colony’s supreme court conducted the trial in Fredericton on June 13, 1786. Two judges sat on the bench and a jury of 12 men heard the arguments against the accused Loyalists. In the end, the court found both men guilty of murder and sentenced them to be hanged on June 23rd. However, in considering the evidence, three members of the grand jury signed a petition to have William Harboard pardoned. It was the second shot fired by Nelson that had killed the victim; Harboard had only fired once.
A man who knew William Harboard said of the pardoned man that he “has been out of his senses. When they told him he was reprieved, he replied that he had suffered what was worse than death, and he was perfectly indifferent about his execution. He is now at liberty and has returned to his former habitation.”
The historian W.O. Raymond later wrote, “The impression prevailed that if Nelson had not been executed the Indians would have had revenge upon the settlers; but seeing that justice was done they were satisfied and were afterwards for the most part peaceable and well behaved.”
The Loyalists of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were not the only ones who sent their fellow citizens to the gallows. The first hanging in Upper Canada occurred in 1789 and was the punishment meted out to an unnamed man who was convicted of stealing a watch. Judge Richard Cartwright presided over the trial that was held in Finkle’s Tavern in the Loyalist settlement of Ernestown. (now Bath, Ontario.) The only evidence of any crime was the fact that the stolen timepiece had been found on the accused. The latter claimed that he had bought the watch from a peddler.
Despite the appeals of a Dr. (James?) Connor, the convicted thief was hanged on a tree near the tavern on the farm of Captain Grass. The spot became known as Gallows Point for generations. Following the man’s execution, it was determined that he was, in fact, innocent of the crime. The next time that the peddler cited in the trial came to Ernestown, he admitted that the convicted man had indeed bought the watch from him.
More stories of Loyalists who died in public executions will be told in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAR: Orderly Book of the 5th Continental Infantry Regiment, New Hampshire Historical Society
by Michael Barbieri 28 April 2022
In the summer and fall of 1776, the decrepit fortifications at Ticonderoga and the area surrounding it became one of the top five population centers in North America—ultimately numbering 12,000 or more. In early July, a brigade under the command of New Hampshire’s John Stark began building fortifications on the forested, 300-acre rocky peninsula across the southern extension of Lake Champlain. First called Rattlesnake or East Hill, it briefly became known as Stark’s Point but, with the arrival of news of the Declaration of Independence, the name changed again to Mount Independence.
Recently, the regional director of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Elsa Gilbertson, sent this author a note about a document on the website of the New Hampshire Historical Society. The 146-page manuscript is part of the ‘General John Stark Papers, 1758-1819’ and is an orderly book
To better appreciate the purpose of this manuscript, one must first understand the function of an orderly book….Orders were issued at each level and filtered down to the lower echelon. An orderly book is the daily record of those orders issued to a particular brigade, regiment, or company. Read more…
JAR: The 25th Grievance of the Declaration of Independence
by James M. Deitch 25 April 2022
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the twenty-seven grievances against the King listed in the Declaration of Independence, he did so with the intention of encapsulating the sentiment and objections that colonists felt about their current situation. It was a collective account of their grievances and their interpretation of the unfairness of how they were being treated differently and with inequity to their brethren throughout the British empire. Upon closer examination, we find that the 25th grievance was carefully designed to have a specific useful purpose to the cause. This grievance would incite anger and hatred and would kindle further revolutionary ideals amongst the more centrist of the objectors to American independence. It would not be a stretch to describe this grievance as propaganda, intended to ensure that fear in place of logic would drive the undecided towards the cause. Further, this grievance, along with the 27th, must be separated from the others as they describe the threat of what was to come rather than current and past sufferings.
This nuance, this consideration of the construct of the words and sentences used in the declaration, must be recognized by those who write of the period and synthesize the works available on the subject. While the balance of the grievances documented tangible complaints that impacted the daily life and welfare of the colonists, the 25th and 27th grievances outlined the extent of how their lives could worsen through the threat of the British government employing foreign armies and inciting violence and death from the “insurrectionists amongst us.” Read more…
The Children’s Crusade: A Teenage Recollection of the American Revolution
By Tessa de Boer at Age of Revolutions, 25 April 2022
On August 4, 1781, a glittering frigate left the port of the Dutch isle of Texel. Its name was South Carolina, and it was tasked with transporting military supplies to the nascent United States, taking as many prizes as possible along the way. On board was someone decidedly small: Botto Scultetus Aeneae, a twelve-year-old boy from Amsterdam, feverishly excited about his fanciful midshipman job and the adventures ahead of him. In the next two years, he certainly experienced enough adventures to last a lifetime. Sailing straight into the heart of the American Revolutionary War, the young teenager survived military engagements, brutal treatment as a prisoner of war, and life on the streets of Charleston. Once back in the Europe – defeated, traumatized and at only fourteen years old — his experiences were recorded. His is the glorious and all too familiar story of the American Revolution, demystified through the eyes of an increasingly disillusioned child.
Recent indexation works at the Amsterdam City Archives unearthed Botto’s adventure for the first time since its recording nearly 250 years ago. On November 25, 1783, Botto (fourteen at the time) paid a visit to Amsterdam notary Cornelis van Homrigh to officially record what he had witnessed aboard the South Carolina and ashore in the United States. It resulted in fourteen pages of notarized witness testimony, declared under oath to be truthful aside from the occasional (and very present) errors in numbers and dates, “which he tried his best to remember.” Read more…
Velnos’ Vegetable Syrup Sold by Isaac Swainson
By Geri Walton 14 June 2019
Isaac Swainson’s famous Velnos’ Vegetable Syrup was a miraculous cure for disease based on vegetables rather than mercury and first appeared in the late 1700s in England. However, Swainson was not the creator of it. That honor apparently belonged to Jean-Joseph Vergely de Velnos, who then seems to have been aided or succeeded in some way by a Dr. Mercier of Soho.
Swainson was the son of a yeoman named John Swainson and his second wife, Lydia Park. When Swainson was old enough he decided to seek his fortune in London. It was there that he began assisting a woolen draper named Dr. Mercier and it was from him that Swainson purchased the patent medicine called “Velnos’ Vegetable Syrup” for four thousand pounds. Swainson also studied medicine around this time and got his MD in 1785 but was never elected to the Royal College of Physicians.
Earlier, “In February 1772, a full year before any of his competitor’s treatises, Dr. John Burrows applied for and received a patent for ‘a medicine, called Velno’s Vegetable Syrup.” Read more…
Benjamin Franklin’s World: Making a Benjamin Franklin Documentary
David Schmidt, a senior producer at Florentine Films and a senior producer on Ken Burn’s Benjamin Franklin, joins us to investigate documentary filmmaking and the life of Benjamin Franklin.
During our conversation, David reveals why Ken Burns decided to make a documentary film about the life of Benjamin Franklin; How David and his teammates went from film idea to a finished film; And details about Benjamin Franklin’s printing business, his relationships with his son William and his wife Deborah, and his experiments with electricity. Listen in…
UELAC Dominion Office, archives relocating to Cornwall museum
By Todd Hambleton 26 April 2022 Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
It’s being called an historic move to an historic city.
“We started looking for a new home two years ago,” said UELAC vice-president Carl Stymiest – reached by phone Tuesday in Toronto – who along with president Patricia Groom were instrumental in having the effort come to fruition. “We needed space.”
Stymiest said the Dominion Office will be sharing staff with the museum, and UELAC will be hiring an employee later this summer with a dual role working in the office and with the archives. Read more…
Why some are more equal than others
Hamilton Spectator: White privilege and its colonial foundations remain intact here.
Hamilton has a lot to do to dismantle white privilege; those of us of who are white must acknowledge that systems designed to suppress communities historically marginalized (by racism, classism and gender bias) are being sustained.
Hamilton is a city that includes a governing body that voted 12-3 to keep a statue of a racist prime minister, and maintains monuments of Queen Victoria and United Empire Loyalists (both symbols of a society founded on chattel slavery and Indigenous genocide). Read more…
Response to Query. Route from New Brunswick to Upper Canada
In the April 10 issue of Loyalist Trails, Kathy McIlwaine asked about the route Loyalists took from New Brunswick to Upper Canada. (NOTE: there were several responses; more will be included in subsequent issues)
From Stephen Davidson:
I read with interest your recent query in Loyalist Trails in which you wondered what route Loyalists followed when leaving New Brunswick to settle in Upper Canada.
I have three suggestions for you:
Some Loyalists may have followed routes established by mail carriers. See this paragraph:
Acadian couriers could complete the overland trip between modern day Fredericton and Quebec in just two weeks in the summer — and in four weeks during the winter. Although Natives were often hired as couriers, the British had a greater confidence in the Acadians and entrusted their most important dispatches to them. Comprised of log huts built at intervals of a day’s journey, the Acadians’ courier route was the means by which messages were sent to Quebec from Halifax, New York, and the mouth of the St. John River.
During the War of 1812, the 104th Regiment made a historic overland trek to Upper Canada. See the map at this site: <https://www.silverhawkauthor.com/post/the-104th-new-brunswick-regiment-of-foot>
It is possible that the 104th Regiment followed a route that was commonly used by travellers between the two colonies.
Finally, the richest account of a journey from New Brunswick to Upper Canada is found in a book written by John Carroll. His family followed a route that took them into the Bay of Fundy and then across American territory. I am not sure how “typical” this 1809 route was, but the details of the journey are amazing. Read John Carroll’s recollection.
UELAC Loyalist Directory: New Entries
Entries which have been added, or revised, this week, with thanks:
- Thanks to Lynton “Bill” Stewart for mostly new records
- Pvt. Stephen Seaman who settled at Remsheg River (Wallace, Cumberland County, NS)
- Pvt. Daniel Teed at Wentworth, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia
- Ensign John Teed at Remsheg River, Nova Scotia, British North America
- Pvt. Joseph Embree Jr at Westchester, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia
- Augustus Baxter Jr. at Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia
- Frederick Baxter also at Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia
Would you add some information to a directory entry, revise some or even add a new entry? Send a note to me at email@example.com – please include the name of the Loyalist about whom you would like to contribute information. If that person is in the Loyalist Directory already, please send the ID number too. …doug
Gov. Simcoe Branch: “The Bachelorette New France” May 4, 2022 at 7:30 EDT
“The Bachelorette New France (Les Filles a Marier and Les Filles du Roi): Stories of Bigamy, Incest, Witchcraft and Murder” — Presentation by Dawn Kelly & Carol Ufford
In 1630 New France was populated mainly by men. With threats to its economy from the British in the south, plans were made to encourage young women to immigrate, marry and populate the young colony.
Between 1634 and 1663 the Company of 100 Associates sponsored 260 young women who are now known as Les Filles à Marier or The Marriageable Girls.
Dawn Kelly is a veteran radio newscaster.
Carol Ufford is a retired librarian, and is currently Carol is currently Chair of the Toronto Branch of the OGS (Ontario Ancestry)
More details at Governor Branch Meetings. Please register to get the link.
Researching Loyalist Ancestors: May 4, 11 and 18
Organized by American Ancestors, a three part course (Fee: $85) on Wednesdays, May 4, 11 and 18 at 6 – 7:30 ET with speakers Sheilagh Doerfler, David Allen Lambert and Melanie McComb. More details and registration.
Nelles Manor Museum: Mother’s Day Tea 2022 Saturday 7 May
Enjoy Mother’s Day afternoon tea in Nelles Manor with a fashion show by Jackie O’s Boutique. There are tables for 2 — 6 guests.
Tickets are $40.00 per person. Information and ticketing
Nelles Manor Museum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kate Pyatt, Museum Manager
From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- Have you heard of the grave marker at Loyal Hill Cemetery in Sommerville, Hants Co., Nova Scotia to Peter Dunton? It is marked:
1816 PETER 1891
BLACK FRIEND OF
It is located next to headstones of members of the Grant family who were United Empire Loyalists. Captain John Grant, born in Scotland, had served with the Black Watch in the British Army. After the American Revolution he received a large grant of land at Summerville. He settled there with his family along and eight black slaves which he brought from New York. For more on this see article at https://westhantshistoricalsociety.ca/loyal-hill-captain…/
Today an appointment took me close to Sommerville and I visited the cemetery to take some photos and prepare a short video that can be viewed at https://youtu.be/L3qkeApUWa0 Brian McConnell UE @brianm564
- This week in History
- 26 Apr 1764: “I join with you sincerely in your lamentation that you were not inoculated. I wish to God the Dr. would inoculate you. Parents must be lost in avarice or blindness, who restrain their children.” … John Adams to fiancee Abigail Smith
- 27 Apr 1773 Parliament passes Tea Act, propping up British East India Tea company at colonists’ expense.
- 19 Apr 1775 Revisiting Old North Bridge in Concord, Mass., today got me going down rabbit holes. Wanted to share the really moving story of Hannah Davis, wife of Capt Isaac Davis of Acton who was killed here at North Bridge – first officer killed in American Revolution
- 25 Apr 1775 Patriots in Baltimore seize military supplies.
- 26 Apr 1776 the Continental Congress ordered the Commissioners to Canada to investigate charges against Colonel James Easton of plundering prisoner in one of the early oversight investigations in Congressional history.
- 28 Apr 1776 In Savannah, GA, Col. McIntosh writes that procurement is difficult due to lack of local manufacturing.
- 29 Apr 1776 General Greene sets up defense of Long Island, crushed in Aug 1776.
- 26 Apr 1777 Sybil Luddington rides through the Connecticut night, mustering the militia to repel a British attack.
- 30 Apr 1778, a chain of obstacles across the Hudson River was first installed at West Point. The man behind this engineering feat, Continental Army officer Thomas Machin, had started the war in Boston as a private in His Majesty’s 23rd Regiment.
- The chains used across the Hudson River were made at Long Pond Iron Works and Sterling Iron Works. Pictures are from Long Pond in NJ
- 30 Apr 1780 British force takes possession of Lempriere’s Point (near Charleston SC) where rebels had abandoned cannon and guns.
- 24 Apr 1781 Petersburg, Virginia attacked by traitor Benedict Arnold & British Gen. Philips.
- Clothing and Related:
- 18th Century women’s Pierrot jacket, striped silk, French, 1787-1795
- 18th Century dress, c.1708. Stiff constricting boned style previously worn by women was now replaced with the mantua, a more loosely draped style of gown, thought to display silk designs to their best advantage, as they were draped rather than cut.
- Personal favourite 18th Century dress, black silk with pink & green floral pattern, 1780’s
- 18th Century sample pattern for embroidered floral design for a man’s frock coat, c.1780’s
- 18th Century man’s outfit, matching coat and waistcoat, the dense covering of silver embroidery on these indicates that they were Court dress. c.1760’s
- 8th Century men’s waistcoat, 1780’s The influence of Neo-classical design is evident in the decoration. Medallions of twill silk minutely & skilfully painted in black with mythological classical figures have been applied to the front & collar
- London Leftovers from 1669 – Citrus and Meat Hash (A nourishing hachy)
- The Myth of “The Rugged Individual”
- Love the taffeta color detailing… “Two women [in a duel], Augsburg” by Martin Engelbrecht, c. 1740-50
- An Archive Object that can be an excellent window into the past are samplers. Samplers were a critical part of women’s education in the 18th and 19th century. This particular sampler was created in Newport by Mary Tillinghast in 1772.
Last Post: THOMPSON UE, Charlene Ferne
November 8, 1943 – April 20, 2022
At Cedarwood Village, Simcoe on April 20, 2022, Charlene Thompson of Simcoe in her 79th year. Beloved wife of 50 years to Keith E. Thompson. Dear mother of Paul Thompson. Charlene was employed as a secretary at the Norfolk Co-Op for many years. She was a member of the Assembly of Peace Church and volunteered at Norfolk General Hospital and Norfolk Hospital Nursing Home for 23 years. Friends are invited to call at The Ferris Funeral Home, 214 Norfolk St., S., Simcoe on Monday, April 25, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. with interment at Oakwood Cemetery. Those wishing to remember Charlene may make a donation to your charity of choice. Online condolences at Ferris Funeral Home.
Charlene served as Dominion Treasurer during Bill Terry’s term term as Dominion President, 2000 – 2022. She was a member of the Grand River Branch for a number of year until her health began to fail.
Bill Terry UE
Last Post: CHISHOLM UE, Dorothy
Peacefully at Victoria Hospital on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, Dorothy Anne Chisholm, nee Robertson of London age 88. Beloved wife for 64 years of Andy Chisholm.
Dorothy was a dedicated primary school teacher, and a much-loved teacher at Ryerson Public School for many years. She and Andy treasured their time together with family and friends at their cottage in Rondeau Park.
The memorial service will be conducted in June. Read the obituary for more information about Dorothy and the service.
Dorothy had been a long-time member of the London and Western Ontario Branch. She had not been a member for the last couple of years due to declining heath. She is fondly remembered and missed by the members who knew her.
Carol Childs UE, President, London Branch
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