In this issue:
- Editor: Significance of 800; Think about it.
- Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022
- Ten Loyalist Silversmiths – Part One, by Stephen Davidson UE
- Loyalists Moved Around; Land Grants Changed Hands by Cal Craig
- Wilmot, Nova Scotia & Black Loyalists
- Sean Rombough UE: A Descendant Visits Oriskany
- Searching for Samuel’s Service: Stories of the Revolution Revealed Through One Man [a Loyalist this time]
- The Strange Affair of the King and the Repeal of the Stamp Act
- BOOK: The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America by John Wood Sweet
- Upcoming Events
- Editor’s Note. Apologies for the Abbreviated Issue
Connect with us:
Editor: Significance of 800; Think about it.
How long would it take you to count to 800?
Pick an average article below – Stephen Davidson’s for example. How long would it take you to read it?
How long to write an equivalent about something you know well?
How long to research and then write, proof and submit an equal?
Significance of 800.
Yes, this week’s submission by Stephen Davidson UE is his 800th article published in Loyalist Trails.
What an accomplishment.
The very first one as I recall was My Calamitous Situation: The Life of Polly Jarvis Dibblee, in “Loyalist Trails” 2006-38 September 24, 2006
My own thanks – I have learned so much from them. I believe I speak for many of you too in offering a huge vote of appreciation to Stephen.
Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022
On Monday, September 19, 2022 reenactors from the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, the Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry, the Royal Artillery, the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants, women from the units and Parks Canada employees participated in a 96 gun salute in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II at Fort Wellington in Prescott, Ontario.
Priapus, the KRRNY’s 3-pounder was used for the first and ninety-sixth round. Priapus was fired in September 1984 when Her Majesty inspected the regiment at Fort Wellington. She remarked, “A jolly good bang!” A few notes and photos…
Alex Lawrence UE
Ten Loyalist Silversmiths – Part One of Two
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
If someone familiar with the history of the American Revolution were asked to identify a silversmith from that era, the answer would almost certainly be the Patriot hero, Paul Revere. But as was true of all colonial society, there were both rebels and Loyalists in every profession and trade, including silversmiths.
Thanks to the exhaustive research that went into Donald C. MacKay’s 1973 book, Silversmiths and Related Craftsmen of the Atlantic Provinces, we know the names of the Loyalist silversmiths who fled the United States in 1783 and found sanctuary in what is now New Brunswick. Ten of those craftsmen practiced their profession in Saint John during the first decades of that city’s settlement. Though brief, the details of these men’s lives provide a glimpse into a profession that brought a little elegance into the lives of Canada’s refugee founders.
Were it not for the fact that he created the earliest piece of silverware attributed to a Loyalist refugee, William Brothers’ name would be lost to history — with the exception of its two other appearances in documents of the era. In July of 1784, Brothers’ name was on a list of officers and men of the 2nd Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers who were given land in New Brunswick’s King’s County. His name only appears in the colony’s records a second time upon his being made a freeman of the newly incorporated city of Saint John in 1785.
Being designated a “freeman” had nothing to do with emancipation from slavery. Rather, it was the freedom to exercise one’s craft. Derived from medieval English tradition, a freeman had exclusive rights to practice his craft within a given municipality, so it was a valuable status to attain. When the Loyalist settlements of Carleton and Parrtown were incorporated into the city of Saint John in 1785, a number of silversmiths were designated as “freemen”.
John Booth was another Saint John silversmith. A native of Scotland, Booth’s name first appears on a 1783 petition to Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander in chief. The silversmith was among hundreds of colonists who expressed their outrage that 55 prominent Loyalists had tried to get to the head of the line to acquire large tracts of land in what are now the Maritime Provinces. The petition achieved its desired aim. The 55 did not receive lands ahead of other Loyalists.
After signing the petition, Booth came to New Brunswick as a member of the Royal Engineers. For unexplained reasons, he went back to New York in 1784, but then returned to become a freeman in the Saint John in 1785.
Like many other silversmiths, he opened a shop on King Street, Saint John’s main thoroughfare. In addition to making silver spoons, Booth also worked as a goldsmith, creating earrings and wedding rings.
Booth and his wife Jane would eventually have five children. Jane died at age 40 in 1812, and John died the following year. The Booth estate was valued at £113, including a “mahogany cased eight-day clock” worth £12.
The Booths’ lasting legacy was their children. Unfortunately, their youngest son, known only as C.B. Booth, died at nineteen in 1826. His nearest sister, Eliza, married John Cole of Gagetown, and died at age 66 in 1876. Her older sister, Elizabeth Booth, married John Cumming, and died at age 45 in 1878.
One Saint John silversmith who may well have known Paul Revere was John Rule. Like Revere, Rule had a silver shop in Massachusetts, but when he first settled in Saint John, he served the city as a schoolmaster. By 1798, fifteen years after arriving in New Brunswick, Rule opened a shop on King Street where he made clocks and watches as well as crafting items out of silver.
At age 23, Dutchess County native Jeremiah Brundage and his wife Elizabeth came to Saint John on the Loyalist evacuation ship, Mercury, with one child under ten. At the time, the former soldier with the Westchester Loyalists was “recommended for charity”. Acquiring land was the first priority of the Loyalist refugees, and in December of 1784, Brundage joined with over a hundred others in signing a petition to New Brunswick’s newly appointed lieutenant governor to protest what they perceived as an unfair distribution of the colony’s land.
Within a year’s time, Brundage was made a freeman of the city. In 1787, when he made claims for his wartime losses, Brundage included the market value of his silversmith and blacksmith tools (an interesting combination, indicating that he could do fine metalwork and had great physical strength). A silver “helmet creamer” of Brundage’s is in the permanent collection of the New Brunswick Museum.
Brundage did not remain a silversmith. In 1792, he operated a public ferry; 14 years later, he became a magistrate. Jeremiah died in 1816, followed by his wife in 1821. Their son Thomas, a blacksmith, is their only known offspring. An 1894 newspaper article featured a story about the Brundages’ great-grandson, so the silversmith clearly had many descendants.
Less is known about John S. Miller who came to Saint John aboard the Nancy with his wife Hannah and their two children. Within a year one of the young Millers had died and the family had acquired a servant. By 1786, Miller had a silversmith shop on Germaine Street just off of King Street. He had an interest in the military as he was later a member of the Queen’s County militia and is remembered for donating to a fund that aided the United Kingdom against its enemies.
When he died in 1817, Miller had an estate worth £572, which was distributed to his widow and eight children: Andrew, John Jr., Sara, Martha, Ann, Lydda, Hanna and Conrad.
When he was a witness to a last will and testament in 1786, Francis Young was described as a watchmaker. Eight years earlier, he owned a goldsmith shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution, he moved to New York City where he worked as a watch and clock maker.
Francis, his wife Rebecca, and their three servants (perhaps apprentices?) fled New York aboard the Tartar in June of 1783. Like Jeremiah Brundage, Young also signed the Huggeford Petition of Grievance that protested the way land was granted in New Brunswick in 1784. The following year, he was made a freeman watchmaker in Saint John. The last historical record for this craftsman is his inclusion in a list of the 58 members of Saint John’s first Masonic Lodge, which thrived from 1786 to 1796.
Learn more about the Loyalist silversmiths of Saint John, New Brunswick in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at email@example.com.
Loyalists Moved Around; Land Grants Changed Hands
I was interested in your article in Loyalist Trails (11 Sept 2022). The Lands of Capt. HATCH & Capt. George DAWSON (in Loyalist Directory) at Bonny River, Parish of St. George, NB were originally allotted by the Govt in Halifax, but were not maintained, nor kept.
My Pvt. John CRAIG occupied part of that land in 1785 and was granted 413 acres of it in 1797. It included Dawson Mountain & was part of the adjacent HATCH lot. HATCH was from the Loyal Americans & DAWSON was from the Orange Rangers & British Legion. CRAIG was from the 84th Regiment & came over here from Fort Edward (NS) with Lieut. Samuel BLISS & others. Lieut. Hugh MacKAY of the Queen’s Rangers was granted part of the HATCH land.
CRAIGs have lived here on the Grant for 237 years, I am the 6th generation here. HATCH & DAWSON received Grants in St. Andrews/St. Stephen. HATCH died in St. Andrews & DAWSON in Philadelphia.
C.L. (Cal) CRAIG UE, Bonny River, NB.
Wilmot, Nova Scotia & Black Loyalists
By Brian McConnell UE, 28 Sept 2022 at Atlantic Loyalist Connections
A burial entry for Jeffery Jenkins, Black Loyalist, in the Anglican Parish Church records of Wilmot, Nova Scotia provides a remarkable insight into the history of the area. Other information about the Black Loyalists in the area is found in the baptisms as well as in land and census records.
Wilmot was one of four townships in Annapolis County set up in Nova Scotia in the late 1700s following the arrival of Loyalist refugees. The other townships were Annapolis, Clements, and Granville. It as been described in the “History of the County of Annapolis” by W.A. Calnek as: Read more…
Sean Rombough UE: A Descendant Visits Oriskany
I’d been driving for about six hours from Ottawa before finally arriving at the Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site. The entrance gate was an unassuming exit from NY-69 and I’d managed to cruise past on my first attempt to find it. The sign attached at the gate read that it would be closing in 20 minutes, so I moved quickly from the parking lot for a closer look at the monument and then down to the tiny visitors centre at the base of the hill behind the 93-foor obelisk. Read more with photos…
Searching for Samuel’s Service: Stories of the Revolution Revealed Through One Man [a Loyalist this time]
by Sarah Swift 27 Sept 2022 Journal of the American Revolution
The American Revolution was perhaps America’s first civil war—a dispute that forced neighbors to choose between country and King; to declare themselves Patriots or Loyalists. Modern Americans might be tempted to only focus on the Patriots’ side of events, but I have discovered that by investigating the Loyalists, an ensemble of characters with connections to major events throughout the Revolution—and American history itself—emerges to broaden the story.
In the years following the American Revolution, many Loyalists fled to present-day Canada to remain under the British flag and obtain land as compensation for their service and losses.
A registry of names was thus created, “to put a Marke of Honor upon the families who had adhered to the Unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal Standard in America before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783.” This became the U.E. List, which recognized settlers who served the Crown (most often through military service) and ensured their children were eligible for land grants as they came of age or married.
While most names in the U.E. List belonged to soldiers, occasionally the name of a soldier’s widow appears. Widows were often given few details regarding their husband’s service, and the particulars of their involvement in the war become lost to history. Such was the case of one Samuel Babcock, a British soldier who died under unknown circumstances during the war, and his widow, Rachel of Warwick, Orange County, New York. I wanted to know the story behind Samuel, and find out how he met his end. Read more…
The Strange Affair of the King and the Repeal of the Stamp Act
by Ken Shumate 29 September 2022 Journal of the American Revolution
“The King had evidently consented to the repeal, and then disavowed his Ministers.”—Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Third
In early 1766, in response to American violent resistance to the taxation levied by the Stamp Act of 1765, British leaders were concerned with determining “the best mode of restoring order & obedience in the American Colonys.” A sideshow to that effort opens a window into the character of King George III. It is a strange affair of political intrigue.
The British had three options: enforce the act with the military, repeal the act, or modify it in a way that would conciliate the Americans. Read more…
BOOK: The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America by John Wood Sweet
Review by Don N. Hagist 26 Sept 2022, Journal of the American Rvolution
Author: by John Wood Sweet (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2022)
It is one of the great ironies of historical studies that the people who were most numerous are the ones about whom, as individuals, the least information survives. The ordinary citizens, the working class people, tend to be lumped together as homogeneous masses, not because their importance is not recognized but because specific information is lacking. It is a real treat, then, when an entire book can be devoted to the tribulations of a single person, a sewing girl in post-revolutionary America, for whom chance would leave a substantial documentary record of one event in her life.
Lanah Sawyer lived and worked in the city of New York in 1793. Her life became eventful, and her place in history was secured, that year, but her story carried on for another half-decade. Read more…
Heritage Branch in Montreal “Family History Research” Tues 4 Sept @2:00
Heritage Branch (Montreal) UELAC will hold its annual general meeting on Tuesday, October 4th starting at 2:00 pm at the Atwater Library, 1200 Atwater Ave (just south of Ste-Catherine St., at the corner of Tupper St.), Montreal. The speaker will be Gary Schroder, President of the Quebec Family History Society on “The Magical World of Family History Research”. All are welcome! More details..
Gov. Simcoe Branch: Wed 5 Oct. The Price of Loyalty with Gail Copeland
Gail’s fourth great-grandfather was a United Empire Loyalist who left New Jersey at the age of fifteen, along with his older brother, to find land in what is now Thorold, Ontario. What was his journey like?
Gail will describe her research, the family, writing the book and publishing it.
The meeting is available via zoom, but we are planning in-person as well. We hope all the pieces come together in time
More details, register for online, or RSVP for in-person.
Fort Plain: Sir William Johnson and the Wars for Empire Conference Oct 21-23
Sir William Johnson was a larger than life character who dominated the Mohawk Valley and beyond during the 18th century in warfare, politics, trade and diplomacy. This conference will address aspects of Johnson’s historical impact as well as the larger scope of the great wars for empire. This new Fort Plain Museum conference will offer a look at the colonial era when major personalities, like Sir William, dealt with overlapping cultures and the impact of war on society. At Johnstown NY
See Details and Registration.
UELAC Conference 2023: “Where the Sea Meets the Sky” 01-04 June 2023
Hosted by the four Pacific Region Branches, Conference 2023 will be held near Vancouver at Richmond BC. This summary notes
- Air flight discounts by Air Canada and Westjet
- Accommodation information
- Video of Spectacular British Columbia
Mark you calendar, make your plans, arrange your journey. See Summary and links to details.
Editor’s Note. Apologies for the Abbreviated Issue
Time has run out for this issue before it has been completed. I am celebrating this weekend with Nancy her 50th anniversary (one year deferred due to Covid) of graduation from University. We are also in early to mid-stages of moving to new living quarters. I won’t have time to add more to this issue in the next few days, so I deemed it better to send what I have ready now, only a few hours late. ….doug
Published by the UELAC
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