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A Loyalist’s Conversation with the King
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Samuel Shoemaker, the former mayor of Philadelphia and a Loyalist refugee, had a great deal to write in his diary on Sunday, October 10, 1784. It was the day that he met King George III and Queen Charlotte.
After fleeing Philadelphia to find temporary refuge in New York City in 1778, Shoemaker and two of his sons sailed to safer sanctuary in England in August of 1783. While in London, Shoemaker was a busy man. He visited with a variety of other Loyalist émigrés and was often consulted by the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists for advice on the Americans who petitioned it for compensation.
One of the friends Shoemaker made was the artist Benjamin West. Like Shoemaker, West was born in Pennsylvania. In 1772, King George III appointed this American as the historical painter to the court. Over time, West completed portraits for nine members of the royal family as well as two paintings of the king.
On October 10, 1784, while staying in Windsor with the West family, 59 year-old Samuel Shoemaker accompanied Elizabeth, Benjamin’s wife, to the worship service at the king’s chapel. There he saw King George III and several of his daughters. Later in the day, Benjamin West invited Shoemaker to his studio in Windsor Castle to see his most recently completed painting, a picture of the Lord’s Supper.
West informed Shoemaker that members of the royal family wanted to see the completed work. The artist thought this would give Shoemaker an opportunity to see the king and queen. At one o’clock, two carriages pulled up to the castle door that led to West’s studio. In one was Queen Charlotte and princesses Charlotte, Elizabeth, Mary and Sophia, and in the second coach was George III.
After George helped his wife and daughters down from their carriage, the royal family entered Windsor Castle followed by the ambassador from the Court of Hanover, the king’s equerry, and the princesses’ governess. Shoemaker and Elizabeth West stood at a discreet distance to have their glimpse of royalty.
It was then that Shoemaker heard the king say, “Tell him to come in.” Thinking that the king was referring to someone else, Shoemaker prepared to leave his vantage point. But then Benjamin West came out to say that the king had ordered him to bring in Shoemaker and Mrs. West.
After they entered West’s portrait studio, the Loyalist and Mrs. West were introduced to the royal party. Feeling both flattered and embarrassed, Shoemaker was utterly surprised when George III came up to him and said, “Mr. Shoemaker, you are well known here, everybody knows you.” The king then introduced the Pennsylvanian Loyalist to his wife and daughters. Shoemaker would later write in his diary, “The Queen and each of the Princesses were pleased to drop a Curtsey, and then the Queen was pleased to ask me one or two Questions.
The king asked Shoemaker “many questions” and repeated his answers in German to Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverian ambassador.
Among other Questions, the King was pleased to ask me the reason why the Province of Pennsylvania was so much further advanced in improvement than the neighbouring ones, some of which had been settled so many years earlier. I told his majesty (thinking it would be a kind of Compliment to the Queen’s Country-men) that I thought it might be attributed to the Germans, great numbers of whom had gone over in the early part of the settlement of that Province, as well as since.”
Smiling, the king answered that he felt that Pennsylvania’s Quaker settlers were the reasons for the colony’s success. Emboldened by the rapport that was growing between them, Shoemaker decided to answer one of the king’s questions in German.
Then the Queen condescended to ask me several questions, one of the last, whether I had a family. On my telling her that I was once blessed with a numerous family, but that it had pleased Providence to remove them all from me, except a wife and two Sons, this visibly touched the Queen’s delicate feelings, so much that she shed some Tears, at which I was greatly affected. She is a charming woman, and if not a Beauty, her manners and disposition are so pleasing that no Person who has the Opportunity that I have had can avoid being charmed with the sweetness of her disposition.”
“The Princess Royal {Charlotte} is pretty, has a charming countenance indeed; the Princess Elizabeth very agreeable, but rather too fat or bulky for her height. Mary and Sophia are pretty, but being so young their looks will alter.
After being graciously indulged with the opportunity of conversing with the King and Queen, and being in the Room with them three-quarters of an hour, they all departed and went to the Queen’s House.”
Samuel Shoemaker’s visit with the royal family lasted for 45 minutes. It was an experience denied to all but a small handful of loyal Americans, although it might have been in the daydreams of thousands. As Shoemaker prepared to lay down his pen and close his diary for the day, he recorded his final impression of King George.
I cannot say, but I wished some of my violent Countrymen could have such an opportunity as I have had. I think they would be convinced that George the third has not one grain of Tyranny in his Composition, and that he is not, he cannot be that bloody-minded man they have so repeatedly and so illiberally called him. It is impossible; a man of his fine feelings, so good a husband, so kind a Father, cannot be a Tyrant.
Two years after his visit with the royal family, Samuel Shoemaker ended his eight-year absence from Philadelphia and returned to be with his wife and children. He was pleasantly surprised to find that even his most vociferous Patriot neighbours treated him with civility. While they would have no interest in Shoemaker’s adventures in England, the Loyalist no doubt repeatedly told his family the story of the day he met His Majesty, King George III. Six years after his visit to Windsor Castle, Samuel Shoemaker died at the age of 75.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

New York’s Frontier on Fire: Major Christopher Carleton’s Raid in 1780
The 1780 Carleton Raid devastated the present-day New York State counties of Saratoga, Warren, and Washington. It was known as the “Great Burning” because most of the structures along the “Old Military Road” were destroyed. British Maj. Christopher Carleton’s raid was part of a larger strategy that played out across upstate New York and Vermont. Together with Carleton’s raiders, Sir John Johnson swept across the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys, Col. John Munro attacked Ballston Spa, and Lt. Richard Houghton raided Royalton, Vermont during the autumn of 1780.
While Carleton’s raid has been largely overshadowed by Johnson’s march through the Mohawk Valley, the young officer’s exploits played an integral part in the Crown’s overall strategy in 1780. Our tour will shed new light on Carleton’s operations and give you a better understanding of the simultaneous operations against American frontier settlements and posts.
Maj. Carleton and Lt. John Enys, both of the 29th Regiment of Foot, left descriptions of their travel and actions taken during the 1780 expedition. From Fort Ticonderoga, we will travel south to Whitehall (formerly Skenesborough) where American prisoner exchanges complicated Carleton’s plans. We’ll go through Fort Anne to pick up Carleton’s original route. We’ll approach from the west passing the sites of Philip Skene’s sawmill, blockhouse and the falls as depicted in Thomas Anburey’s Journal through America. The military actions taken before, during, and immediately after the surrender of Fort Anne will be discussed.
We’ll continue south along the Old Military Road to where Carleton decided to bypass Fort Edward to burn unprotected structures in the town of Kingsbury. Carleton’s main force camped for the evening at Wing’s Tavern next to Wing’s Falls (present-day Glens Falls.) From Wing’s Tavern, Carleton sent out raiders to burn the Queensbury District and another party to burn as far as Saratoga (present-day Schuylerville.) We will travel along Carleton’s route on the Old Military Road toward Fort George, stopping at the site of Fort Amherst, a post used during both French and Indian War and the American Revolution. As we continue to Lake George, we’ll stop at the site of the “second massacre” at Bloody Pond. Fort George was the final objective of the raid. We’ll tour the ruins of Fort George and visit the new Visitors Interpretation Center created by the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance as a museum with help from the NYS Dept. of Environment Conservation. Carleton retreated up the western side of Lake George and we’ll follow his route back to Fort Ticonderoga, pointing out sites along the way associated with Carleton’s command.
NOTE: This a one day bus trip on Friday 23 September, from and back to Ft. Ticonderoga. More details.

Book: North of America: Loyalists, Indigenous Nations, and the Borders of the Long American Revolution
By Jeffers Lennox
The story of the Thirteen Colonies’ struggle for independence from Britain is well known to every American schoolchild. But at the start of the Revolutionary War, there were more than thirteen British colonies in North America. Patriots were surrounded by Indigenous homelands and loyal provinces. Independence had its limits.
Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and especially the homelands that straddled colonial borders, were far less foreign to the men and women who established the United States than Canada is to those who live here now. These northern neighbors were far from inactive during the Revolution. The participation of the loyal British provinces and Indigenous nations that largely rejected the Revolution—as antagonists, opponents, or bystanders—shaped the progress of the conflict and influenced the American nation’s early development.
In this book, historian Jeffers Lennox looks north, as so many Americans at that time did, and describes how Loyalists and Indigenous leaders frustrated Patriot ambitions, defended their territory, and acted as midwives to the birth of the United States while restricting and redirecting its continental aspirations.
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Yale University Press (August 30, 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0300226128
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0300226126
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.74 pounds

Should the War Continue? The Motion in the House of Commons, Dec 12, 1781
by Bob Ruppert 1 Sept 2022 The Journal of the American Revolution
Following the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, the House of Commons began to debate whether or not the war should continue. There were three separate attempts over a period of two and a half months to end the war. This article presents the first attempt, that is, the first motion, the first debate and the eventual first vote, as recorded by William Cobbett.
The Motion
Baron James Lowther (MP for Westmoreland, with estates in Cumberland, Barbados and Whitehaven; when he came of age considered the richest commoner in England)

…rose to make a motion to enquire, whether they were to persevere in this war, and feed it with more British treasure, and British blood . . . The country was drained, exhausted, dejected . . . The Speech from the throne . . . shewed them that ministers were determined to persevere in spite of calamity . . . That the surrender of an army only gave them spirit to risk and lose a second; and the surrender of a second instigated them but to venture a third . . . The general voice of the people of England was against them, and still they persevered . . . They would cease to be the representatives of the people, and become the representatives of the minister . . . The war carried on in the colonies and plantations of North America has proved ineffectual either to the protection of his Majesty’s loyal subjects in the said colonies, or for defeating the dangerous designs of our enemies . . . This leads to a second proposition . . . All further attempts to reduce the revolted colonies to obedience are contrary to the true interests of this kingdom, as tending to weaken its efforts against its ancient and powerful enemies. Read more of the Debate and Vote…

Book: American Revolutionary War in the South: Further Reflections…
Review by Gene Procknow 29 Aug 2022 Journal of the American Revolution
Author: by Ian Tolworth Saberton (Surrey: Grosvenor House Publishing Co., 2022)
Building upon expertise gained by editing Lt. Gen. Charles, Earl Cornwallis’s 1780 and 1781 official papers from the southern theater of the Revolutionary War, Ian Saberton recently published a second volume of fourteen short essays describing various aspects of Cornwallis’s 1780-1 southern campaign.
Refreshingly, Saberton writes from the British commander’s point of view, emphasizing strategic initiative, military operations, and offensive campaigns. Saberton’s first essay, “The Decision that lost Britain the War: An Enigma Now Revealed,” is, by far, the most controversial and well worth a re-reading. Saberton argues that Cornwallis was “a dynamic officer best suited to offensive action.” Furthermore, Saberton identifies Cornwallis as “temperamentally ill at ease with defensive warfare” and “sickened by the murderous barbarity” of the southern war. For these reasons, Cornwallis made the “absurd” decision to invade Virginia, which “cost Britain the southern colonies and lost it the entire war.” Read more…

Ben Franklin’s World: Early America’s Trade with China
Dael Norwood, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Delaware, joins us to explore the lure of trade with China with details from his book, Trading Freedom: How Trade with China Defined Early America.
As we explore early America’s trade with China, Dael reveals China’s place in the world during the early modern period; Why Europeans and later Americans wanted to trade with China; And, details about why Americans set out to establish a trade with China right after they secured the United States’ independence from Great Britain. Listen in…

The Georgian era fashion for straw hats
By Sarah Murden 6 Dec. 2018
Straw hats were fashionable for women of all social classes, from very plain for the lower class to ones highly decorated for the elite throughout the Georgian era with many being imported, mainly from Italy and Germany, but Bedfordshire became the major manufacturer for straw hat making in England.
Imported straw hats were valuable commodities, as reported in this extract from Tenby in 1750… Read more…

Query: Information About Enos Wood who m. Margaret Eamer UE
Margaret Eamer (July 1938-1904) was a daughter of Daniel Eamer (1802 – 1838) and his second wife. Daniel died in November 1938 while serving in the military.
Wayne Mullins, Legacy Research, Grimsby, Ontario tells us: “November 1838, the 1st regiment of Stormont Milita under Lt. Colonel Donald AE MacDonnell were dispatched with other British army units to Lower Canada (Quebec) to help subdue a revolt by rebels. …It had to be during these operations that Daniel was killed for there were no details after Beauharnois.”
The Cornwall Observer records: “Daniel’s remains were returned to Cornwell for burial. Most of the early Cornwall area settlers were buried in Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Cornwall.”
Margaret’s grandfather Peter Eamer (1759 – after 1811) and grandmother Maria Cathrine Gallinger (1759 – 1839).
Margaret’s great-grandfather Johannes Phillip Eamer (1722 – after 1790) and great-grandmother Maria Catrina Leyser (1725 – 1786).
Margaret married Enos Wood in St. John’s Church in Cornwall on 30 July 1853 when she had just turned fifteen. My husband Lyle V. Wood is descended from Enos and Margaret
I am researching the family of Enos.
Is he related to the better known Wood Family from Cornwall? (I can’t find his name in any of the information that I have ready access to about that family.)
When did he show up in Cornwall? (From several different sources, I have Enos born in Lanchester, Durham, England in 1828.
I find Enos and a Seth Wood and his family both at the same address in the US Census of 1850 at Syracuse, Omondage, New York which is about 200 miles +/- from Cornwall, Ontario (google map). Note: Seth and Enos may be brothers as Seth is the name of several members of Enos’ descendants.
A son Samuel Reginald was born in Cornwall to Enos and Margaret in 1855. I believe Enos and Margaret left Canada sometime after Samuel was born in 1855 and 1857 when a daughter was born to them in Chicago, IL, USA.
Enos Wood was a baker by trade. He and Margaret moved “all over the place” from Cornwall to Chicago (where I find the Seth Wood and his family – names are same as those I found in Syracuse, New York in 1850 census – which makes me wonder did Enos and Seth meet up in Chicago at some point before Enos and Margaret moved on down to Tennessee? They then moved from Tennessee back to Chicago, then to Minnesota, then to Wisconsin, back to Minnesota and finally back to Wisconsin!
Looking for ancestral roots for Enos, I have done some research into where related settlements are located in England. I noted in an earlier family book that I wrote that Enos’s birthplace was listed as Lancashire , Manchester (from family Bible).
It seems Lancashire, Manchester and Lanchester, Durham , Cheshire are all within 100 miles of each other. I am currently researching that geography to see if I can find a better connection.
Questions: What was Enos doing in Cornwall in the 1850’s. 1853 when he married Margaret? Are there any directories for Cornwall for those years? Even IF all the sources I have are all true and correct, I would like to prove the connection from Syracuse, NY to Cornwall.
Helen Stoltz-Wood <>

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

  • Lynton “Bill” Stewart is transcribing details from the Loyalists and Land Settlement in Nova Scotia from the public archives of Nova Scotia. About 150 new entries to the Loyalist Directory were added this week, all from Annapolis County.
  • Wendy Broda provided details from a certificate application by Sandra Jean DeYoung to a new entry about
    • Titus Doan Sr. , from Hardwick Township, Sussex County, Province of New Jersey who settled in 1787 Crowland Township, Welland County, Province of Quebec (later Upper Canada, now in Ontario). He married Deborah Willson on August 10, 1751.
  • Peter Johnson has provided a more details based on his research into Jeremiah French Sr. Although too old to bear arms, Jeremiah was a Loyalist, imprisoned by the Rebels and had his land confiscated.
  • From Jo Ann Tuskin information from the Rowland Family ancestor Joseph Orser who was from Westchester County’s Sleepy Hollow near the North River at Philips Manor but died during the voyage from New York to Quebec City in the Fall of 1783. He married Anna (Antje) Jurckse and from their many children, Arthur Orser UE, Isaac Orser UE, Solomon Orser UE and Gilbert Orser UE are also recognized UE Loyalists. Anna and children settled at Kingston Ontario.
  • Jim Bruce from Dominion Office records has provided additional information about William Rogers Jr. and helped consolidate three entries for William into one. William’s parents were William Rogers Sr. (c1710-1777) and Mary Weith (?-1801) – no evidence to date that he was a Loyalist. Wm Jr. from Saratoga, NY married Mary Williams. They had many children. After the war, they settled in 1790 Township of Ernestown, Midland District, ON.

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

Upcoming Events

Gov. Simcoe Branch: “Fascinating Facts from Loyalist History” by Stephen Davidson

Historian and author Stephen Davidson has compiled 25 facts from Loyalist history that may have escaped the notice of your Canadian history teachers — facts that prove to be far more fascinating than many of the myths that have clung to these “friends of the king” over the centuries.
Wed 7 Sept at 7:30 ET. See Details and Register

St Lawrence Branch, 45th Anniversary Dinner Sat 17 Sept (Deadline Wed. 7 Sept)

The St. Lawrence Branch Charter Night Dinner on Saturday, September 17th at St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church, 15 Memorial Square, Ingleside ON. Social hour at 5pm, turkey dinner at 6pm. Cost: $30 per plate. Tickets must be ordered by September 7th. Non-members are welcome to join us!
Speaker: Erie Duncan, MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, on “The Value of
Protecting our Local and Canadian History.”
Darlene Fawcett for tickets

Kawartha Branch Meeting Sunday 18 Sept. 2:00 ET, Canadian Navy and Peterborough

In the lower floor of St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, at Hilliard and St. Paul’s Street, Peterborough, Ontario, Join Canadian naval author and historian, Roger Litwiller, and discover Peterborough’s connection to Canada’s Navy. His Majesty’s Canadian Ship PETERBOROUGH was a Flower class corvette that fought during the Second World War. Discover incredible personal stories and photos of Canadian Sailors from the area who served in HMCS TRENTONIAN and survived its tragic loss. Attend in-person or virtually.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 821 6756 7318; Passcode: 124256
If you plan to attend or have questions, email Grietje McBride

Toronto Branch In-Person, Elaine Cougler about Col. John Butler, Sept 18 2:00

At the Toronto UEL Office, at 40 Scollard St., Toronto, meeting in person. Elaine Cougler is the award-winning author of historical novels about the lives of settlers in the Thirteen Colonies who remained loyal to Britain during the American Revolution. Elaine is descended from a Butler’s Ranger herself.
We ask that those who are attending consider wearing a mask for everyone’s sake.
To confirm your attendance or if you have questions, email Sally Gustin Programme Coordinator,

In The News:

New to Canadian winters, pit houses were home to Black Loyalists for years
By Nathan Coleman, 2 Sept 2022 at The Weather Network
After being freed by the British for fighting in the War of Independence in 1776, Black Loyalists built pit houses in order to survive harsh winter conditions in Birchtown, N.S.
The Weather Network recently visited the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown and spoke with their Executive Director, Andrea Davis, about the history of the pit houses.
“Winter was approaching when they landed and they didn’t have the opportunity to set up traditional homes,” Davis told The Weather Network.
Archaeologists didn’t discover the remnants of pit houses until back in the mid-1990’s. Read and see more…

Editor: Significance of 796
796 actually underestimates the number of days since the Covid pandemic hit hard enough that a lockdown was implemented in Ontario, roughly 900 days ago. It appears that Covid has become endemic and may be with us for a long while. Are our governments gradually finding a balance between prevention measures and acceptable healthcare measures and costs and deaths? Everyone has an opinion.
So what is “796”? Watch this space.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Deed dated July 18, 1787 in which Samuel Balcom & wife Mary of Wilmot in the County of Annapolis conveyed 17 acres to “Samuel Brown (a Black man) of the County & Province aforesaid, Farmer” . Price paid was 7 pounds 10 shillings. In a subsequent Deed on May 30, 1789 “Samuel Brown, a Black Man” and his wife Hannah of Wilmot sold the land for 10 pounds. Brian McConnell UE
  • View inside historic St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg, NS founded in 1753 and 2nd oldest place of Protestant worship in Canada. Brian McConnell UE
  • This week in History
    • 2 Sep 1769 Benjamin Franklin warns against the dangers of “law enforcement” antagonizing an already hostile people.
    • 1 Sep 1774 British General Gage raids powder magazine in Charles-Town, Massachusetts, triggering “Powder Alarm.”
      • Gen. Thomas Gage, royal governor & commander of the Massachusetts militia, ordered British soldiers to remove the provincial supply of gunpowder from this stone building (originally a windmill) in what is now Somerville.
    • 2 Sep 1774, thousands of Massachusetts militiamen responded to Gen. Thomas Gage’s troops seizing provincial gunpowder in Charlestown by crowding onto Cambridge common and demanding every royal official in town resign, up to Lt. Gov. Thomas Oliver.
    • 28 Aug 1775 Gen. Richard Montgomery advanced toward Fort St. John with 1,200 Continental soldiers, thus launching the American invasion of Canada. He got as far as the gates of Québec City before being killed.
    • 28 Aug 1775 First USS Enterprise, a captured British sloop, embarks on expedition into Canada; fails at Quebec City.
    • 27 Aug 1776 British are victorious at Battle of Brooklyn Heights, but fail to capture American military commanders.
    • 30 Aug 1776 Washington refuses to entertain General Howe’s offer of reconciliation following defeat at New-York.
    • 31 Aug 1778 British officers Col. Simcoe & Lt. Col. Tarleton ambush party of Mohican Indians, killing 30-40.
    • 29 Aug 1779 Sullivan defeats Iroquois and Loyalist forces at Newtown in upstate New-York, setting the stage to complete the destruction of British-allied Iroquois settlements.
  • Clothing and Related:
    • Pinch Punch, first of the month! Wishing all of my followers a happy & healthy September. Print from The Twelve Months, 1781
    • Button, ca. 1775 (from the Met)
    • This rare woman’s banyan (informal garment worn over stays & petticoats at home) dates from 1750s. Green silk damask woven in the style of the one & only Anna Maria Garthwaite.
    • Italian casaquin & petticoat, embroidered linen 1725-40, via The Met. This type of two-piece dress was adopted as fashionable informal wear but perhaps this was intended for something special?
    • These French brocaded silk corset/stays c1750 (via FIT) have been enlarged by adding panels of a different fabric at the sides. They were possibly passed down or sold in the secondhand market. Or perhaps those pastries…
    • Women’s outdoor leather boots, European 1795-1810. Few pairs survive, the wrap-around leg is specific to this period & extremely rare. This dark teal colour seems to have been particularly favoured.
    • An 18th century hoodie (1760-70)
    • Brunswick hooded jacket in white silk satin, quilted. English 1760-70
    • 18th Century Purple silk brocade dress with lace cuffs. Worn by Sophia Maskelyne (nee Rose), wife of fifth Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne. Possibly worn on her wedding day on 21 August 1784. More pics with detail.
    • These strawberry shoes are playfulness at its finest, c.1760-70. Via Hampshire City Council Museum.
    • Men’s coat, Silk and velvet, 1760 (altered later). Victoria and Albert Museum. I’ll admit this mannequin freaks me out a bit.
  • Townsends:
    • Full Cabin Build – 4K Full Length (42 min) – Townsends Wilderness Homestead
  • Miscellaneous
    • And you thought your kids shoes were cute! Archduke Karl Joseph (1649-1664) with squirrel, aged about four or five years, 1653-54. By Cornelis Sustermans.
    • Aug 29, 1751, the world’s biggest wine barrel was completed. Made from 90 oaks, the Heidelberg Tun has a capacity of 219,000 litres. It is a popular tourist attraction, watched over by Perkeo, Charles III Philip’s jester, who is said to have drunk nothing but wine all his life.


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