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Scholarship Challenge 2022: Multiplying UE Scholar Opportunities (30 June)
Thank you for your donations for the UELAC Scholarship Fund since the earliest announcements in May.
The donations received by Thursday 30 June have been added at Scholarship Challenge 2022. Thirty-two people and branches have contributed $4,550 – thanks so much to those who have donated.
The scholars we support help add to the collective wealth of information and growing body of interpretation and understanding of the Loyalist-era experience.

Nicole Hughes, a 2022 UELAC Loyalist Scholarship Award Recipient, is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.
Since 2017, Nicole has been excavating as a field osteologist at the Rochefort Point Cemetery located within the Fortress of Louisbourg (1713 – 1758), a National Historic Site, on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The project is led by Dr. Amy Scott (Anthropology, UNB) in collaboration with Parks Canada. Under the supervision of Dr. Scott, Nicole’s PhD research will explore the genetic ancestral diversity of those living at the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton to better understand the social and cultural complexity of this 18th century colonial site beyond the historically documented French and English influences. Read more…

Multiplying UE Scholar Opportunities will run until August 22, 2022 with updates each week.
Please join the challenge by donating – the instructions are there to mail a donation, or to donate online via Canada Helps – and watch our success as we meet the challenge goal of $8088.
Christine E. Manzer UE, Scholarship Committee,

A Loyalist Rogues Gallery: Part One
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
As the author of 1864’s Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, Lorenzo Sabine did much to change American attitudes towards those who had remained loyal to the British crown. He demonstrated that the Loyalists came from all walks of life and that most acted out of their personal convictions. However, he also identified at least 20 Loyalists as men who he felt were nothing more than “robbers and marauders”. Using Sabine’s research as a starting point, we’ll examine the men that he considered ought to be included in a Loyalist Rogue’s Gallery.
His “rogues” were an interesting group. Among them was a man that Thomas Jefferson said should be immediately executed for treason without a trial, another who broke into a Patriot jail and freed all of its prisoners, and a man whose capture would result in a reward of $1,000.00. Another Loyalist “marauder” escaped jail disguised as a woman while a second had his skull placed in a tree following his execution.
The first Loyalist to be considered is a Weart Cornelius Banta, a man Sabine described as a “noted marauder and thief”. Born on August 29, 1743 near Hackensack, New Jersey, Banta was working as a carpenter in New York City by the time he was 31 years old. He and his wife Elizabeth Mildeberger would eventually have four children. Banta’s political convictions became evident on the day that he helped a city alderman rescue a Loyalist named Moore from being tarred and feathered by a rebel mob.
When New York City’s Patriots could not compel Banta to take an oath of allegiance to their cause, they put him in jail in Albany as a “dangerous Tory”. After ten months in prison, Banta escaped, and became active in fighting for his British sovereign. It is at this point that Patriot histories label him a “spy” and “highway man”, while Loyalist accounts describe him as a hero.
Banta not only served the crown as a guide and scout, he also recruited no less than 62 Loyalist volunteers for regiments under Col. Bayard and Lt. Col. Van Buskirk and did his best to intercept the delivery of rebel mail. Patriot account of Banta’s service note that he stole two hogs and bedding from John Nelson of Hackensack, and that he plundered furniture and grain from two widows and a man named Isaac Naugle. No doubt, these are the stories that prompted Sabine to write Banta off as a rogue.
Banta later recounted some of the service he rendered to the crown in 1777. “I was sent to reconnoitre Fort Montgomery by Sir William Howe, which I did to his Excellency’s satisfaction, and was at the taking of it when I received two wounds. That I went as guide to the Light Infantry, under the command of Colonel Abercrombie, to Tappan, where Washington’s Light Horse were defeated.” At this time, Banta was “found much more useful in the Scout and reconnoitering duties from his knowledge of the Interior Country“.
It was Banta’s exploits in 1778 that would make one British officer exclaim “There has been nothing equal to it since the war began“. His first claim to fame was the capture of a rebel who had killed a Loyalist friend named John Richard. Despite two successive February snowstorms, Banta and three comrades ambushed and took prisoner Abraham Brouwer, bringing Richard’s murderer back to New York City. New York City’s newspaper noted that Banta’s men had “endured inexpressible Anxiety and Fatigue“, and encouraged its readers to contribute to a “subscription” to reward the Loyalist captors for “their spirited enterprise“.
In November of that year, Banta and a handful of volunteers overwhelmed almost a dozen rebel soldiers and captured Muster General Joseph Ward and Col. William Bradford, his deputy, while they were still asleep. By the time “the drums was beating, horns blowing and alarm guns firing in every part“, Banta, his men, their prisoners and their booty were making their escape in “two boats from one of the king’s ships lying in the North river, in order to take off {his} party, with the prisoners there in the woods concealed“. New York’s Loyalist newspaper reported “the captors brought them to town after many hairbreadth escapes, having by invincible perseverance, surmounted amazing difficulties.”
On February 21, 1779, Banta was made a lieutenant in the King’s Militia Volunteers. Five weeks later, Banta’s daring exploits came to an end when, during a battle with Patriots, he was wounded in the knee by an enemy’s musket ball.
The New Jersey Gazette, a rebel newspaper, reported that a “corps of tories” went to Closter “for the purpose of stealing horses and of robbing the habitants”, but were “attacked and put to flight” by nine of the local Patriot militia. In addition to a Loyalist officer’s death, “the infamous Weart Banta, so notoriously known for his complicated villainies, thefts and robberies, was shot through the knee, and it is supposed will, by the amputation of a limb, be disabled from kidnapping and plundering the loyal subjects of this state in future“.
Banta was indeed shot, but did not — as his enemies hoped– have his leg removed. Instead, he would be crippled for life and unable to serve as a combatant for the remainder of the revolution.
Four years after being shot, Banta left New York City with his family as a member of the Port Roseway Associated Loyalists. As they sailed north in April of 1783, this group of refugees looked forward to occupying land that had been granted to them in the area around what would become Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Having lost £900 in property and possessions during the revolution, the 40 year-old Banta returned to his trade as a carpenter.
Three years after arriving in Nova Scotia, Banta stood before the loyalist compensation board when it convened in Halifax. It gave him a certificate verifying his service to the crown.
However, it took a trip to London in 1788 to “seek recognition for service and disability” before Banta received any compensation or veteran’s pension. In his plea to the crown, he said, “I am now reduced to extreme poverty and have nothing to depend upon in this country, where I am a stranger, to the great inconvenience of my family in Nova Scotia, who, with myself, unless I succeed to that benevolence which has been extended to many of my fellow countrymen and sufferers, must inevitably be involved in utter ruin and distress.
Governor William Franklin, Benjamin Franklin’s Loyalist son, spoke on his behalf, citing a memory of “Banta being on crutches for many months in New York from the musket wound”. In the end, the British government awarded him £70 a year for life.
At age 52, Banta petitioned for land in Stamford, Upper Canada in July of 1795 and received 2,000 acres. The Loyalist who had once been the “toast of New York City” died before establishing himself on his grant. Elizabeth Banta petitioned the colonial government for her husband’s land and an order in council stipulated that it be divided between her and their children.
In retrospect, Sabine seems to have been less than objective in his description of Weart Banta as a “noted marauder and thief”. This potential member of a Loyalist rogues gallery was in fact a military asset to the British forces and would have been — had the Patriots lost the revolution—a hero in Loyalist history.
The series on Loyalist “rogues” continues in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Captured by Indigenous British Allies: Elizabeth Brown and Abigail Cobrun
By Rick Thackeray UE
The article on Loyalist families captured by Indigenous British allies by Stephen Davidson UE was very interesting and brought to mind my own findings while preparing some of my applications for Loyalist certificates. While researching Samuel Newkirk and Isaac Dolsen I came across reference to two great-great-great-great-grandmothers who had been captured in their youth by indigenous warriors; Elizabeth Brown, wife of Samuel Newkirk, and Abigail Coburn, wife of Isaac Dolsen’s son, Daniel. At first I thought there had been some mistake; that this fate had been experienced by only one of them. However, diligent research determined both had been.
In his great history of Kent County, Ontario (Romantic Kent: More Than Three Centuries of History, 1626 — 1952), Victor Lauriston states:

“Samuel Newkirk was the loyalist descendant of a family from Gelderland, in Holland. His wife, as a girl, had been captured by Indians; the second of his two children was born just after he settled on the Thames. Newkirk was killed by a falling tree. Times were hard on the Thames, especially for a widow with two small children, so Mrs. Newkirk returned to the Mohawk Valley. But when the two children, Harriet and James, were grown, they returned to the Thames and either made good their claim to their father’s property or secured new holdings.”

In The Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, under the entry for Gilbert H. Dolsen (a descendant of Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Daniel) is stated:

“Daniel Dolsen was born May 4, 1773, and died Jan. 23, 1853. He was but a boy when the family located in Raleigh township, and he was reared there, engaged in farming, was a man of economy and good judgment, and accumulated a large property, owning 8oo acres in one block, upon a part of which G. H. Dolsen now lives. His death occurred at the age of eighty-five years. He married Abbie Coburn, who, when a girl, met with an unusual and thrilling experience. She was born in Pennsylvania, and in girlhood was captured by a band of Indians and taken to their camp, and made to do the hard labor of cook for the band. She managed to escape some months after, through the connivance of a Frenchman who discovered her captivity.”

The full story of Abigail’s ordeal was chronicled in a periodical called New Dominion Monthly. The story was spread over two publications of the magazine, August and September, 1868. Here are the links to both — it’s a lengthy read but interesting. The article describes at length the conditions under which she lived for the year she was with the “Indians”. Her capture was an act committed during the Lake Indian uprising of the 1790’s (sometimes referred to as the Northwest Indian Wars):

If you do read this article, you will notice two tales and the first tale in the article is a story concerning a Rebecca Brown, who had three daughters who had spent up to seven years in Indigenous captivity. I believe this actually refers to Mrs. Newkirk’s capture mentioned by Victor Lauriston. The evidence of that capture is somewhat convoluted but here is what I have uncovered so far:

In June, 1780, Captain Henry Bird of the 8th Regiment, along with some troops and Indigenous warriors, raided several settler forts (called stations) in the North Carolina territory of Kentucky. They took with them a several individuals responsible for keeping the indigenous under control, Alexander McKee, Matthew Elliot, and Simon Gerty. Unfortunately, they were not very effective at control and the “Indians” ran amok. Those settlers who were not killed and not captured by Indigenous warriors were force marched back to Detroit. One of those was Gasper Brown; his wife and three daughters had been taken prisoner by the “Indians”. Their release was negotiated a couple of years later; except Elizabeth.

There is an organization devoted to remembrance of this event — Ruddle’s and Martin’s Stations Historical Association. They maintain an excellent website, which lists, among other things, those who were captured by Bird’s forces, and those by the “Indians”. The latter lists Mrs Brown and three children. The former does not mention Gasper, but his son-in-law, Hezekiah Wilcox, does mention the capture and march to Detroit in one of his Upper Canada Land Petitions. Here are some websites for those interested:

I believe Elizabeth Brown was released from captivity c. 1787; a belief based on the first story in the New Dominion Monthly article. Samuel Newkirk was honorably discharged from Butler’s Rangers in June of 1784, and granted a lot in Colchester Township of what is now Essex County, Ontario. I further believe he may have been married once before being married to Elizabeth. There is a family tree document in the possession of the Pennsylvania Genealogical Society that had been prepared by some of the descendants of Samuel’s grandfather, Adrian Newkirk. In it, Samuel’s spouse is listed as Amy or May Jones. However, Samuel’s son, James, states in his Upper Canada Land Petition that Samuel married Elizabeth Brown in September 1788; a marriage witnessed by Isaac Dolsen, and performed by Alexander Grant.
In my research of Elizabeth Brown, I’ve noted several discrepancies in Victor Lauriston’s account. I do hate to disagree with such a noted individual as Victor, and he was a cousin of mine, but Elizabeth Brown probably had never set foot in the Mohawk Valley in her life. She, and her sister, Sarah Brown who married Hezekiah Wilcox, were born in North Carolina. Samuel Newkirk was killed by a falling tree while clearing his land. He had cleared about 10 acres. Elizabeth remarried Edward Watson, a hatter from Philadelphia who had resettled in Raleigh Township. They would later move to Blenheim Township of Oxford County, where Edward would try to secure land to establish a Quaker enclave. Both Gasper Brown and Edward Watson petitioned the land board to revert ownership of Lot #11, Raleigh Township to Samuel’s children, once they were of age. This was done and title was transferred in 1803. Both children also petitioned for land and were granted a lot each. I have copies of a number of pertinent land petition records, and land deed records from Family Search to attest to these facts.
One more item concerning Samuel Newkirk before I end. He was in William Caldwell’s company of Butler’s Rangers (as stated in James Newkirk’s UCLP). As such, he would have been in the Battle of Blue Licks — the last battle of the American Revolution the British won. One of the Patriot leaders was Daniel Boone. Daniel’s son, Israel, was killed in that battle. Here is some information regarding that campaign:

Old Holy Trinity Church & the Loyalists at Middleton NS
By Brian McConnell
It is known as the “only unaltered church of its kind”. Old Holy Trinity Church was built at Wilmot, present day Middleton, Nova Scotia by United Empire Loyalist refugees who settled there at end of the American Revolution. Construction began in 1789 and the first service was held on August 12, 1791 by Anglican Bishop Charles Inglis. The church was fully finished with the addition of a bell tower in 1797. A bell constructed in England in 1792 was donated by William Bayard, the Loyalist in New York who organizied the King’s Orange Rangers in 1785. It is called Old Holy Trinity as a new church, named Holy Trinity, is in use beside the old church on the Main Street leading into Middleton. The old church is cared for and maintained by the Old Holy Trinity Charitable Trust.

Read about the church and about the Loyalists: five who took ownership of the land for the church and the first rector:

  • Timothy Ruggles
  • John Ruggles (Son of Timothy)
  • Thomas Barclay
  • Samuel Vetch Bayard
  • John Slocom
  • Rev. John Wiswall

P.E.I. church aims to repair teetering headstones in Loyalist cemetery
Kevin Yarr, CBC News 30 June 2022
Two brothers have launched a fundraising campaign to save the Baptist cemetery in Central Bedeque, one of the few surviving Loyalist cemeteries in P.E.I.
“It’s in great need of repair,” said Jim MacFarlane, deacon of the connected Bedeque Baptist Church.
“A cemetery should be kept well, to respect the people that are here.”
Some of the stones date back to the late 18th century. Many are leaning and in danger of toppling. Almost all of them need to be cleaned. Read more…

JAR: Top Ten Quotes by Francis Lord Rawdon
by Todd W. Braisted 30 June 2022
For the past two years I have had the good fortune to be heading up a project to gather, for eventual publication, the correspondence of one of the more colorful officers on the British side, Francis Lord Rawdon. Rawdon was an Irishman, one of a handful of young officers who catapulted to command ahead of older officers by taking advantage of opportunities to lead Loyalist troops on the Provincial Establishment. Like fellow officers Banastre Tarleton and John Graves Simcoe, Rawdon commanded a regiment while still in his mid-twenties.
Born in December 1754 at Moira, County Down, west of Belfast in what is now Northern Ireland, Rawdon entered the British military at the age of sixteen as an ensign in the 15th Regiment of Foot. Through the influence (and especially the money) of his family, including his very influential uncle and member of the House of Lords, the Earl of Huntingdon, Rawdon began his climb in rank through the British purchase system. With the 5th Regiment of Foot, in which he was then a lieutenant, Rawdon embarked in 1774 for America, where he would spend much of the next seven years.
As an officer of grenadiers, Rawdon was heavily involved in the opening actions of the American Revolution, especially at the Battle of Bunker Hill, where his actions were noted by several senior officers, particularly Generals John Burgoyne and Henry Clinton. Rawdon departed Boston with Clinton in January 1776, a staff officer on Clinton’s expedition to the Carolinas, where they met up with the force under Lord Cornwallis in the ill-fated attempt to take Charleston. Rawdon continued with Clinton in the New York City Campaign in 1776, culminating in the British occupation of Newport, Rhode Island. The young Irish captain (promoted to that rank in the 63rd Regiment of Foot in July 1775) accompanied Clinton to London on that general’s brief return home in January 1777. Returning to America that summer, Rawdon stayed with Clinton at New York City while the main army under Sir William Howe fought in Pennsylvania. Howe’s return to England in early 1778 proved fortuitous for Rawdon, as Clinton succeeded to command of the Army in America. The new British commander-in-chief appointed Rawdon adjutant general of the Army in America, just in time for the evacuation of Philadelphia and the march across New Jersey. Read more…

JAR: Benjamin Franklin’s Unconventional Marriage to Deborah Read
by Nancy Rubin Stuart 28 June 2022
She was neither beautiful nor wealthy. Nor was Benjamin Franklin’s wife educated or intellectual. Nevertheless in 1724 he proposed to Deborah Read while renting a room from her father, the carpenter John Read of Philadelphia. Was it simply youthful passion that attracted him or did the eighteen-year-old printer ask for Deborah’s hand because she had a dowry?
Ben’s Autobiography glossed over key emotional moments in his life. Written more than four decades after that proposal, it offers few hints about the depth of his attraction to Deborah. “I had a great Respect and Admiration for her, and had some Reason to believe she had the same for me,” he wrote. There is no mention of “love” as we perceive it today, but in the colonial era, an affectionate attraction between the partners and the man’s economic abilities were the standards by which most marriages were made.
Ben’s Autobiography adds that his marriage to Deborah was postponed because her newly-widowed mother, Sarah Read, thought it unprudent. He and Deborah were still teenagers; besides he was about to sail to England to buy printing equipment through the largesse of Sir William Keith, deputy governor of Pennsylvania. “A Marriage if it was to take place would be more convenient after my return, when I should be as I expected set up in my Business,” Ben wrote, quoting Mrs. Read. Just before sailing, he “interchanged some promises with Miss Read” to marry after his return. Read more… (a strange marriage indeed!)

Ben Franklin’s World: Experiences of Revolution, Part 1: Occupied Philadelphia
What was everyday life like during the American War for Independence?
In honor of the Fourth of July, we’ll investigate answers to this question by exploring the histories of occupied Philadelphia and Yorktown, and how civilians, those left on the homefront in both of those places, experienced the war and its armies.
These episodes will allow us to see how the war impacted those who remained at home. They will also allow us to better understand the messy confusion and uncertainty Americans experienced in between the big battles and events of the American Revolution.
This first episode investigates everyday life in British-occupied Philadelphia.
We speak with Aaron Sullivan, author of The Disaffected: Britain’s Occupation of Philadelphia during the American Revolution; George Boudreau, author of Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia; and Kalela Williams, the Director of Writing at Mighty Writers and founder of Black History Maven. Listen in…

Book Review: The Knotted Rope
Review By Nat Stone
Author: Jean Rae Baxter
Publisher: Ronsdale Press, 191 pages, 2021
In a tale of early Abolitionists working to end slavery in Upper Canada and slaves to escape the institution, Jean Rae Baxter weaves important historical events and personalities to make an enjoyable and enlightening story.
The author tells the story of Broken Trail, an adopted Oneida and Loyalist, who meets Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, who expresses his intentions to end the scourge of slavery in Upper Canada in the long-term through a 1793 proclamation by the British Government. Broken Trail adopts the more immediate objective of helping two slaves he meets in Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake), Joseph and Rosa, along with wife Sukie and 12 others, using a loophole in the 1793 proclamation.
Unfortunately, this proclamation did not end slavery for people older than 25, nor did it prevent owners in Upper Canada from selling their slaves in the United States. This is the story of how Broken Trail and his allies intended to take advantage of the loopholes to assist slaves get their freedom.
The story is spectacularly set along the Niagara River, where Upper Canada abuts against the United States (part of the story takes place under Niagara Falls.)
The Knotted Rope is first and foremost an historical fiction story that cleverly intertwines events of the time, such as the proclamation of July 9, 1793 to gradually eliminate slavery in Upper Canada and the decision to relocate the capital city to what is now Toronto. Similarly, the reader is introduced to important personalities of the time, such as John Simcoe and Thayendanegea (also known as Joseph Brant).
This story is primarily written for a young audience, and does a masterful job is introducing this audience to the early history of Upper Canada, along with the related social and economic issues while giving the reader an engaging and suspenseful account of this period in Canadian history.

Toronto’s Fort York is Under Attack Again. This Time it’s an Inside Job
Larry Ostola 27 June 2022
For nearly 70 years visitors to Toronto’s Fort York have been greeted by the trill of fifing, the beating of drums, the crash of muskets and the boom of cannon. These authentic 19th century sounds, along with the colourful sight of red-coated soldiers in the uniform of the Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry performing military drills on the grounds of the meticulously preserved site have brought history to life for countless tourists and residents alike.
Fort York is often referred to as the birthplace of Toronto and was officially designated a National Historic Site in 1923. Beyond its outstanding collection of original buildings and priceless historical artifacts, the fort holds considerable significance for all Canadians thanks to its role in the Battle of York, which occurred on April 27, 1813 during the War of 1812.
On that date, a large American flotilla hove into sight on Lake Ontario near what is now Sunnyside Beach and disembarked an estimated 1,800 American troops under the command of Brigadier General Zebulon Pike. The invaders immediately moved on Fort York. Opposing them were several dozen Mississauga and Ojibway warriors and 500 to 600 British and Canadian troops. Despite putting up fierce resistance, the greatly outmanned defenders were eventually forced to abandon the fort. As they retreated, the defenders blew up the fort’s main gunpowder magazine – creating a massive explosion that killed Pike and 37 other American soldiers. Read more…

Coachbuilding or Coach Making: Late 1700 and Early 1800s
By Geri Walton 23 June 23 2014
Coachbuilding or coach making was achieved by coach makers who created “those numerous and elegant vehicles which modern refinement … invented as speedy and luxurious modes of traveling.” In building a vehicle, a coachbuilder usually relied on artisans, “wheel-wrights, smiths, painters, carvers, joiners … [and] harness-makers,” and assembled together the parts the artisans created by making a body and a carriage. Read more…

UELAC Loyalist Directory: New Entries
Entries which have been added, or revised, this week, with thanks:

If you are willing to submit some information, send a note to
All help is appreciated. …doug

In The News:

St. Catharines ON park now officially named after Richard Pierpoint UEL

The area formerly known as Centennial Park is now officially named Richard Pierpoint Park. Pierpoint was a former black slave who fought as a British loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, and in return was granted 200 acres of land, a portion of which is occupied by the park today.
During the War of 1812, at the age of 68 years old, Pierpoint fought for the British and was instrumental in the creation of the first all-black military unit. He is remembered as one of the early leaders of Canada’s black community. Read more…

Upcoming Events:

Young Family Reunion at Caledonia ON Saturday 9 July

The Annual Young Family Reunion (Descendants of Adam Young 1717-1790 & Catharine Schremling 1720-1798) will be held on Saturday, July 9 11:30-3 PM at the Grace United Church, Caledonia, Ontario. See details. Questions to Betty Yundt

UEL Heritage Centre & Park: School of the Sailor encampment; Battle on the Water

July 9 & 10, 2022: SCHOOL OF THE SAILOR 1792-1815 Encampment on the park grounds open to the public Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 10-3 with general day admission.
Special event – a battle on the water – held on Sunday from 11AM at Gap Park near Lennox Generating Station.
Visit UEL Heritage Centre & Park

St. Lawrence Branch Exhibits: July 10; July 16/17

Our next appearance will be 10 July at “History in the Park” an event in Iroquois organized by the Historical Society of South Dundas. It will be held at the Iroquois Campground adjacent to the Forward House.
July 16 and 17, we will have a display at the Battle of Crysler’s Farm Re-Enactment at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg.

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