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Happy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving (French: Action de grâce) or Thanksgiving Day (French: Jour de l’Action de grâce), is an annual Canadian holiday and harvest festival, held on the second Monday in October, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Outside of Canada it is sometimes called Canadian Thanksgiving to distinguish it from Thanksgiving in the United States, held in late November.
Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated as an annual holiday in Canada since November 6, 1879. While the date varied by year and was not fixed, it was commonly the second Monday in October.
On January 31, 1957, the Governor General of Canada Vincent Massey issued a proclamation stating: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October.” Wikipedia.

On 3 Oct 1789 George Washington proclaims first national Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. for November 26. Some later presidents opposed it and it was not until 1863 that Abraham Lincoln established the regular tradition of national thanksgiving. Read the announcement.

Ten Loyalist Silversmiths – Part Two of Two
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
One of the unexpected facts pertaining to the loyalist heritage of Saint John, New Brunswick is that within just a few years of its founding by refugees, the newly incorporated city had nine silversmith shops in its commercial district. In addition to producing spoons and plates, the colony’s silversmiths often did gold work, repaired watches and built clocks. The exhaustive research that went into Donald C. MacKay’s 1973 book, Silversmiths and Related Craftsmen of the Atlantic Provinces sheds a much-deserved light on this portion of Saint John’s Loyalist founders.
Alexander Munro came to the New World as a young immigrant from Scotland. In August of 1783, he joined with other disgruntled Loyalists to sign a petition to Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander in chief. The document expressed its signers’ outrage that 55 prominent Loyalists had tried to use their positions in colonial society to acquire large tracts of land in what are now the Maritime Provinces.
Sometime later in that year, the 22 year-old Munro boarded an evacuation vessel in New York City and became one of the founders of Port Roseway, today’s Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Four years after making this loyalist sanctuary his home, Munro is listed as operating a goldsmith shop on the city’s King Street. Two years later, he married a woman named Margaret who was 11 years his junior. Their son John was born in 1791.
Shelburne never lived up to the hopes of its refugee founders, and — by the early 1790s– was in decline. Most of its early settlers moved on to other parts of the Maritimes to seek their fortunes. The Munro family decided to move to the thriving city of Saint John, and by 1795, Alexander had a shop on Saint John’s Duke Street, two blocks south of a concentration of silversmith shops on King Street. Unlike many craftsmen who lived above their shops, Munro lived in a house on Princess Street, suggesting the craftsman’s degree of prosperity.
Thanks to an advertisement Munro placed in a newspaper in 1815, we have a sense of all that he could provide for his clientele. Munro proudly stated that he made “tablespoons, tea, mustard, salt and gravy spoons, sugar tongs, tureen, butter and cream ladles, silver forks, and marrow scoops … sterling and jewellers gold, plain and fancy rings.” Another noteworthy aspect of this ad is the fact that Munro also imported gold and silver goods from Great Britain. There was clearly a demand for fine goods in the city that went beyond what its own silversmiths could supply.
Alexander died on March 27 1825 at the age of 74; his wife Margaret “departed this life” on October 2, 1826 at age 63.
Following the death of his parents, John Munro remained in Saint John with his wife Hester. Members of the city’s Baptist church, the Munro couple had at least three children and numerous grandchildren.
The story of Alexander Munro is a rich one in comparison to that of Thomas Walker. There is little data on this Loyalist other than that he became a freeman silversmith of Saint John in 1785. Given that there were at least three Thomas Walkers who settled in New Brunswick at this time, the silversmith may have been a member of the New York Volunteers, a former carpenter in Britain, or a Loyalist from New Jersey’s Middlesex County.
If the silversmith Walker hailed from New Jersey, then his name is among those described as being “fugitives and offenders” in a colonial newspaper in 1779. The notice alerted its readers that the properties of the men listed were being put up for sale at “public vendue”. The ad went on to say, “There are some elegant buildings, and many agreeable situations. The land in general is excellent good.”
The last two silversmiths of Saint John to be considered are Thomas Smith and John Stoddart (often Stoddard) who went into partnership after arriving in the Loyalist settlement. In 1783, Smith arrived in what was then Parrtown with his wife, a child over ten and two servants. The victualing muster for Fort Howe listed him as a watchmaker. A year later, Smith was doing silver work and watchmaking on the north side of King Street. In 1785 he was designated as a freeman goldsmith along with his new partner, John Stoddart.
The two Loyalists established their joint business venture in 1784. Their shop must have been a popular one, given that they once placed a newspaper advertisement for other craftsmen to work with them. They wanted a person “”brought up to the jewellery business; likewise a watchmaker”.
Stoddart was not among the first Loyalists to arrive in Saint John; like Alexander Munro, he had initially settled in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. After establishing his shop in New Brunswick, he demonstrated a number of common interests that he shared with the refugee silversmiths who had made Saint John their home. In 1784, he signed a petition sent to the colony’s lieutenant governor to protest the unfair distribution of the colony’s land.
In 1786, Stoddart was among those who called themselves “dissident electors”, protesting the way in which votes had been tallied in the colonial election of 1785. (It is interesting that his business partner’s name does not appear on this petition, suggesting that the men had differing political views.)
Stoddart was also a mason, being listed among the 58 members of Saint John’s first Masonic Lodge, which thrived from 1786 to 1796. While fellow silversmith Francis Young was a lodge brother, Stoddart’s partner Smith was not.
It is hard to make generalizations about the ten Loyalist silversmiths of Saint John. These craftsmen hailed from different parts of the British Empire: Scotland, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Some combined their skills in crafting silver with watch and clock making as well as goldsmithing and blacksmithing. They represented at least two different Christian denominations. Some were politically active both within New Brunswick and in the years before the settlement of Saint John – unafraid to let their discontent be known.
About the only thing these craftsmen had in common –besides their status as freemen of Saint John– was the location of their businesses: either along King Street or in avenues attached to the main thoroughfare. It would seem that those interested in purchasing silver and gold goods (as well as watches and clocks) could easily do comparison-shopping in one small geographical area. Given that Saint John was founded by refugees who often brought very little fine worldly goods with them, this concentration of craftsmen and precious metal makes one rethink what early life was like in a city of Loyalists.
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Anthony Wayne’s Repulse at Bull’s Ferry, July 21, 1780
by Jim Piecuch 4 Oct 2022 Journal of the American Revolution
General Anthony Wayne was one of the most capable generals in the Continental Army and is perhaps best remembered for his successful surprise attack that captured the British post at Stony Point, New York, on July 16, 1779. Wayne also suffered his share of reverses, most notably at Paoli, Pennsylvania, on the night of September 20-21, 1777, when his 2,500 troops were soundly defeated after being caught unaware by Gen. Charles Grey with 1,200 British regulars. As painful as this debacle was, Wayne later suffered another stinging defeat on July 21, 1780, when a handful of Loyalist militia holding a blockhouse at Bull’s Ferry, New Jersey repulsed Wayne’s much larger force of Continentals. Although the battle did not alter the overall strategic situation, it proved embarrassing to the Americans, while the British and Loyalists exulted in their triumph. The event prompted Major John André, Gen. Sir Henry Clinton’s aide-de-camp, to compose and publish a lengthy poem, Cow-chace, ridiculing Wayne and other American officers. Read more…

Robert Hallowell, British Tax Collector, Returns to Boston in 1792
New England Historical Society
Robert Hallowell in 1792 decided to leave England and to return to America permanently. He had fled Boston during the American Revolution, having served as the British tax collector in Boston. He had started out as tax collector for Portsmouth, N.H. But then, just before the American Revolution started, he was elevated to the post in Boston.
The job should not have endeared him to the patriot side. Nor did the Hallowell family have any love for the patriots. Robert’s father, himself a tax collector, had his house in Boston attacked years earlier during the run-up to the Revolution. In 1776, the the Hallowells left with the British Army when it evacuated the city.
But then when the family returned, his son found himself in the midst of another controversy over revolution, this time in France.
When Hallowell returned to Boston, he received a surprising reception. Boston welcomed him with open arms.
His son Robert Hallowell Gardiner explained in his memoirs. “My father had held a very unpopular office, but he had performed its duties with so much forbearance as to create no ill feelings towards himself,” he wrote. “On his return he was received in the most friendly manner by his old acquaintances.”
Hallowell reclaimed his family mansion on Batterymarch Street. His grandmother, a widow, had inherited it, and thus she retained right to the property despite her Loyalist leanings. With the property restored, Hallowell set down roots. His 10-year-old son Robert became an eager observer of his new country.
Robert Hallowell Gardiner, born in England during his family’s exile, retained some affection for England after coming to Boston. His recollections create a colorful picture of America in her early days. The French Revolution, he noted, was a hot topic for him and his schoolmates.
In sympathy with the desires of the French people for freedom, Boston celebrated when it learned the revolutionaries had deposed the country’s king. Read more…

Book: Canada’s Deep Crown – Beyond Elizabeth II, The Crown’s Continuing Canadian Complexion
University of Toronto Press, 2022.
Recommended by Brian McConnell UE
In the Introduction the book aptly states that in Canada “the Crown is viewed by many observers as a vestigial relic of a bygone era.” The book examines the actual Canadian elements of the Crown and the part they play in our society.
The authors are:

  • David Smith who teaches at Toronto Metropolitan University;
  • Christopher McCreery, private secretary to the Lieut. Gov. of Nova Scotia; and
  • Jonathan Shanks, a senior lawyer with the Department of Justice.

This Day in History: Stamp Act Congress Convenes in Protest
October 7, 1765 – On this day in 1765, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York City. Representatives from nine colonies met to protest the Stamp Act, which imposed the first direct tax by the British Crown on American colonies. The passage of the Stamp Act is often cited as one of the first catalysts of the American Revolution, as some people living in the colonies felt they were being unfairly taxed without representation in Parliament.
The Boston Gazette and Country Journal published a page-long criticism of the Stamp Act on that day. The newspaper reads: Read more…

Marie Antoinette: Facts About Her You May Not Know
By Geri Walton 16 Oct 2017
Marie Antoinette is often considered one of the most fascinating and interesting women of 18th century France. If you are familiar with her at all, you probably know that she was born on 2 November 1755 and was the fifteenth and second youngest child of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She married Louis-Auguste (later Louis XVI) by proxy at age fourteen on 19 April 1770 and met him for the first time about a month later at the edge of the Forest of Compiègne.
When Louis XV died about four years later, Louis-Auguste assumed the throne as Louis XVI. Marie Antoinette then became Queen of the French. She and her husband had four children — Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, Louis-Joseph, Louis-Charles (Louis XVII), and Sophie — with only Marie-Thérèse Charlotte growing to adulthood. However, there are many other interesting things about her, and, so, here are some facts about Marie Antoinette you may not know. Read more…

“Characters Pre-eminent for Virtue and Ability”: The First Partisan Application of the Electoral College
by Shawn David McGhee 6 Oct, 2022 Journal of the American Revolution
Scholars typically cast the outcome of the second presidential election as either a forgone conclusion or a non-event. After all, George Washington ran unchallenged and once again received unanimous support from the Electoral College.[2] Shifting academic focus from the first magistrate to the second, however, reframes the 1792 contest as a struggle for the soul of the republic rather than a forgettable victory for the incumbent. As the first Washington administration drew to a divisive close, Republicans sought to unseat Vice President John Adams and replace him with a candidate they felt embodied republican virtue. If they succeeded, these actors felt they could exorcise Adams’ perceived monarchical influence on President Washington and return the nascent republic to its revolutionary principles. Federalists, however, supported Adams in order to protect the integrity of the national government. From their perspective, Republican rule would undermine the federal architecture and return the republic to the instability of the 1780s or worse. Yet efforts to vanquish or vindicate Adams required careful consideration of the Electoral College and represent the earliest attempts at weaponizing that institution for national partisan purposes. Read more…

Loyalist Quarterly Newsletter, Sept 2022, by Paul J. Bunnell UE
Published since 2004, the Sept 2022 issue is now available. At fourteen pages, it features:

  • UELAC 2023 Conference: Where the Sea Meets the Sky
  • Old Holy Trinity Church – Nova Scotia
  • Harvey Amani Whitfield. Biographical Dictionary of Enslaved Black People in Nova Scotia
  • Queen Elizabeth Passes
  • Historical Background: St. Augustine, the American Revolution, and the Loyalist Influx
  • Remembering Black Loyalists, Black Communities in Nova Scotia

Vol. 19 Part 3 Sept 2022 Quarterly Issue “In Publication since 2004”
Editor: Paul J. Bunnell, UE, Author, Koasek Abenaki Chief;; 978-337-9085, 49 Pleasant St., #106, Alstead, NH 03602
The Only U.S. Newsletter Devoted to The study of The American Loyalists
Subscription Rate: $22 U.S. $24 Can. $5 each copy — (March, June, September, December issues)

Upcoming Events

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.

In The News:

Today in Canada’s Political History: Sir Richard Cartwright passes into history
Arthur Milnes 24 Sept 2022 National Newswatch
One of Canada’s most significant early post-Confederation politicians died on this date in 1912. I speak, of course, of Sir Richard Cartwright of Kingston (where I now live), who would serve in the cabinets of both Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie and Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
Cartwright, from one of Kingston’s most storied United Empire Loyalist families, began his political life as one of Tory – and fellow Kingstonian – Sir John A. Macdonald’s strongest supporters. Read more…

Welland Then and Now: Former Hagar residence impresses with its style and history
By Mark Allenov 30 Sept 2022 Niagara Falls Review
While there are a number of majestic buildings that could be described as grand old mansions in Welland, the building that stands at 131 Aqueduct St. holds that title through its authentically antique style and the sheer weight of its history.
There were two prominent but unrelated families with the last name of Hagar in the history of Welland, that of F.M. Hagar and Seras S. Hagar.
Seras, who belonged to the latter and was the one who lived in the mansion, was a member of one of the early pioneer families that settled in the region. His parents were Jonathan and Azubia (Hopkins) Hagar. His grandfather was a United Empire Loyalist who settled in the area that is now Hamilton following the American Revolutionary War. His father, Jonathan, was born in New Jersey, and received grants of 40 hectares on Lot 85 and 80 hectares on lots 62 and 63 from the Crown in 1803 after he came to Canada. Seras was born in Thorold township in 1811, and came to Welland circa the late 1860s. Read more…

Where Was Hallmark’s Home for Harvest Filmed? Who is in the Cast?
By Tamal Kundu 2 October 2022 The Cinemaholic
Directed by Andrew Cymek, ‘Home for Harvest’ (2019) is a Hallmark romantic comedy film. The plot revolves around Katie, a travel writer, who discovers that she has to write her next piece on her hometown.
A considerable portion of the film was shot in Port Perry, a community located in the township of Scugog, Ontario.
The town has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century when settlers began to arrive in the area. The first known settler was Reuben Crandell, who was a United Empire Loyalist. In 1821, he and his wife set up the first homestead in the area. Read more…

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Recent visit to Old Schoolyard ‘Loyalist’ Cemetery in Centreville, Digby County, Nova Scotia. Three monuments were placed there in 2008, to mark the 225th anniversary of the arrival of United Empire Loyalists to the area. Unfortunately, it appeared in similar condition to my last visit two years ago when I prepared a video – watch now. Brian McConnell UE
  • Portrait of a Cherokee man in London by William Hodges, c.1790. Hodges painted two Cherokee men but their identities are not definitively known.
  • This week in History
  • Clothing and Related:
    • Spain. Whimsical gloves, late 18th c. I really, really like these! Printed leather, lace.
    • Pair of mittens, 1750/1800. The white cotton is embroidered with flowers in coloured silk threads
    • London. Ledger (active late 18th c- early 19th c.) Women’s shoes, c.1795. Leather with silk embroidery and silk-ribbon trim.
    • A multitude of coloured silks were chosen to embroider the whole surface of this cream silk casaquin jacket. The structured garment, sharply tailored with flared hem & turned back cuffs, allows the #embellishment to be enjoyed in all of its detail, 1730s-40s
    • French. Day dress, 1796-1804. Indian cotton, hand-spun, hand-woven plain weave called mulmul or muslin.
    • 18th Century dress, a striped chine taffeta robe à la polonaise, c.1770’s
    • 18th Century dress, dress was made in 1770’s and worn by the Faneuil family, but silk dates from 1745-1755
    • 18th Cent men’s waistcoat, Anna Maria Garthwaite’s original design of this is Victoria and Albert, & identifies not only the artist but also the weaver, Peter Lekeux, & date of sale – Oct 23, 1747. Both were important contributors to Spitalfields silk industry.
    • 18th Century men’s frock coat, an autumnal dream of brown silk and floral embroidery, 1775-1800
    • 18th Century men’s Court suit and waistcoat, 1775-85
  • Townsends:
  • Miscellaneous
    • reallywallpaper: A surprisingly large number of hand-painted scenics are still with us. These oriental scenes might be from any era but the hand joined sheets of paper suggest pre-1830, when continuous paper came into the French wallpaper industry.
    • Mudlarking: I found another glass Georgian cufflink for my collection last week. It’s would have looked very smart on the cuffs of a dandy. The word ‘dandy’ first appeared in the late 1700s to describe a self-made middle-class man who impersonated an aristocratic lifestyle.
    • Sr. Book Conservator Jessica Henze applies Japanese tissue paper with wheat paste to the spine of an 18th c. Saur Bible from the @jyfmuseums — the 1st European language Bibles printed in the U.S. This application process is strong, yet non-damaging to the book. 1 minute video.

Last Post: WRIGHT, John “Charles” 1930 – 2022
The death occurred peacefully, at Prince County Hospital, Summerside, on Friday, September 23, 2022, with his family present, of John “Charles” Wright, age 92 years. Charles was born in Searletown, PEI to his parents Walter and Helen (Bishop) Wright. He lived in Searletown, in the house where he was born, into his 80th year.
Charles is survived by his brother George Wright (Phyllis), Waterford, ON, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Mary Wright Bradshaw (late Reginald), Ruth Wright MacDonald (late Norman), sister-in-law Marie (Shea) Wright and his niece Marylea MacDonald.
Charles was a great historian and very proud of his United Empire Loyalist Wright heritage. He had his DNA done and enjoyed hearing from distant relatives about his connections on all sides of his family tree (Bishop, MacLure, Trueman, Black, etc.). His mind remained very keen to the end as he recalled numerous stories and events to family and friends. Read more…

Tentative Comment: Could Charles’ sister Ruth MacDonald have been President and Mary Bradshaw Treasurer of Abegweit Branch?

Published by the UELAC
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