In this issue:

Connect with us:


Volunteer Recognition: Who would you like to see Recognized?

UELAC Volunteer Recognition Reminders

Deadline for nominations is 28 February 2023

NOTE: Most of these links are accessible only by members; login required.
Please be aware that UELAC Volunteer Recognition Nominations are now being accepted by the UELAC Volunteer Recognition Committee for…

2023 Dorchester Award
for Volunteer Excellence and Participation recognizing lengthy contribution to the UELAC: Exclusive to membership, this award salutes the “best in volunteerism”; information for 2023 has been posted:

2023 Suzanne Morse-Hines Memorial Genealogy Family History Award
for research in genealogy and family history, and actions towards genealogical success

These two awards will be presented at the upcoming 2023 UELAC Hybrid Conference & AGMWhere the Sea Meets the Sky” (01 – 04 June 2023), Vancouver /Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.
Carl Stymiest UE, UELAC Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair

Reminder from the UELAC Scholarship Committee
If you know a graduate student working on a topic related to the Loyalists in the American Revolution, be sure to encourage them to apply for a UELAC Scholarship. These are awarded to support exciting new research at the MA and PhD level. You can find more information at Due date is February 28.
As a former recipient, I will be forever grateful to the UELAC for providing funding to visit archives in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Canada. My deepest thanks to everyone in the UELAC who has contributed, and I encourage members to consider donating to support continued research into Loyalist history!
Tim Compeau, Huron University College

Solomon and Elizabeth Powell: First Loyalists Along the Richibucto River. Part Two of Two
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Solomon Powell, a Loyalist blacksmith from New York, had survived the American Revolution and – by the spring of 1783—had secured sanctuary for his family in what would become the British Empire’s newest colony, New Brunswick. After spending a year at the mouth of the St. John River, Solomon and his wife Elizabeth moved their four childlren up river to Gagetown. Among their neighbours were his father and stepmother as well as at least five of his brothers. The latter had not arrived in the colony until four months after Solomon and Elizabeth.
For the next four years, the extended Powell family remained in Gagetown. The convening of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists in Saint John brought both Solomon and his father to the port city to seek compensation for their wartime losses.
On February 24, 1787, Solomon stood before the commissioners to seek financial redress for his saw mill, his house, his Pennsylvanian land, livestock, furniture, farming utensils, and his blacksmithing tools. His father appeared as a witness on his behalf, underscoring the value of all that Solomon had lost.
Within a few hours, Solomon then appeared as a witness for his father. Caleb Powell’s testimony sheds light on how his Quaker family fared during the revolution. Because five of the Powell sons had “acted with the army”, Caleb Powell was “much harassed” by the Patriots. He was put in jail on three separate occasions for assisting Loyalists and was once fined for giving provisions to a refugee headed for New York City. Caleb was so “ill used that he was obliged to fly in 1781”. Rebels took all that he had.
A witness on Caleb’s behalf recounted everything that was taken from his farm, saying that it was “seized on account of his loyalty”. In addition to livestock, furniture, and farm implements, Caleb reported losing “all his writings”. Whether these were his personal diaries or religious texts is not clarified.
Like so many other Loyalists, the senior Powell found refuge in New York City until his family were able to find passage on the Eagle, a British transport ship, in the fall of 1783.
Solomon’s father lived in New Brunswick for ten more years after his appearance before the compensaton board. Caleb’s 1787 will shows that he remained in the Gagetown area. Caleb Jr., Reuben, and Solomon are the only sons referenced, and they were instructed to “aid and assist” their stepmother, Meary Powell, “in every point necessary with true justice and equality.”
During the revolution, Solomon’s stepbrother, Jacob, sailed a vessel from New York “without convoy” for England. On one occasion a French privateer met him off the coast of Nova Scotia. Jacob responded to the call for surrender by firing back with his one cannon. Although the French vessel shattered his mainmast, Jacob managed to get “a fair shot” and sank his attacker. He rescued the crew, putting all but one of them ashore at Halifax.
Jacob had taken such a shine to the French ship’s cabin boy, that he took him home with him and brought him up as his own. Despite being raised by the Powells, the boy retained his surname, Michaud. As late as 1889, there were still descendants of M. Michaud living in Kent County.
At about the time that Caleb and Solomon Powell were appearing before the Loyalist compensation board, Solomon’s stepbrother Jacob was exploring the New Brunswick wilderness. Upon his return, he told Solomon about a river the Indigenous People called Richibucto. It was teeming with fish and had “an abundance of trees suitable for timber”. Solomon was relieved to hear that the Mi’kmaq in the area were “disposed to be friendly”. After Solomon surveyed the area for himself, he was so taken with what he saw that he prepared to settle there.
Writing of the Powell family’s move, a reporter noted in his 1893 article: “A long story might be written of the difficulties he had to contend with in getting back and forward, and the dangers and delays in getting his wife and children there. Fish and game were plenty, but the great trouble was to get bread the first few years they lived there, there being no market nearer than St. John for the furs he could collect.” Powell’s good relationship with the Mi’kmaq was facilitated by the trading of goods that furnished them with the excellent knives he made on his blacksmith’s anvil.
The thoughts and experiences of Loyalist women are usually lost in the retelling of what their husbands and brothers did. Thankfully, some of Elizabeth Powell’s story was passed down by her descendants.
She “used to tell touching stories of her trials and hardships. The anxious days and nights she spent when her husband and elder sons were away from home on their long trips to and from St. John“. Elizabeth feared the Indigenous People and kept hoping that the Powell family would “return to some more civilized spot”. Solomon assured her that one day she would “see a coach and pair drive through the town” — which she did in 1837.
The Powell family enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity on the Richibucto River. At some point between 1810 and 1812 the two elder sons of Solomon Powell —Solomon Jr. and Absalom— built the first sailing vessel to be launched into the river. Unfortunately, when the younger of the two sailed in her for Newfoundland, he was lost with all on board upon the ship’s return to New Brunswick.
By 1805, Solomon and Elizabeth Powell had a range of relatives living near them on the river. These included brothers, stepbrothers, and sons. Three members of the larger Powell clan were granted land along the river, but they chose to take their families to Upper Canada instead. There, descendants of Abraham, Louis, and James Powell, could still be found in the Toronto area when the family’s story was recorded in 1893.
All eight of Solomon and Elizabeth’s children —Solomon Jr., Absalom, Thomas, Israel, John, Elizabeth, Mary, and Nancy — remained in New Brunswick.
When Solomon’s stepbrother Jacob died in 1819, the Saint John City Gazette noted his age (53), that he “came from New York in 1783”, and that he was a partner of the Pagan brothers. Jacob’s widow Phoebe died at 85 in 1856.
Solomon Powell died in 1818. His tombstone can no longer be located, but Elizabeth’s can. Erected by Sylvanus Powell, “in memory of his grandmother”, the stone gives the month and year of her death — the only biographical details that would have survived to this day were it not for two 19th century newspaper stories and the transcripts of the loyalist compensation board. As with so many loyal Americans, the story of the Loyalist founders of the settlement along the Richibucto River was almost lost.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Book: The Sugar Act and the American Revolution
By Ken Shumate
The first act of Parliament to levy direct taxation on the colonies, the Sugar Act of 1764 defined a new colonial policy and prompted a decade of protests that ended in open rebellion against Great Britain. The initial Sugar Act of 1733—also known as the Molasses Act—was designed to secure and encourage the trade of British colonies in the West Indies by placing prohibitive duties on the products of competing foreign colonies. The dramatic revision to that act in 1764 imposed duties for both revenue and trade regulation, in addition strengthening the laws of trade so as to tighten the connection between Great Britain and the colonies. In 1766, a revision to the act of 1764 responded to American grievances, but also transformed the Sugar Act into an explicit law for taxation. Americans, having long seen the act as within Parliament’s authority to regulate their trade, did not at first see the duties as taxes—and paid them without complaint. The resulting revenue was greater than that exacted by any other parliamentary tax on America.
The Sugar Act and the American Revolution by Ken Shumate is the only book-length treatment of this first great challenge of the revolutionary era. For each of the three incarnations of the act, the author provides a clause-by-clause description, including the British reasoning behind the duties and trade restrictions, and a summary of the resulting American grievance. Following the explanation of each act are chapters describing the protests of American merchants and popular leaders, and the British response to those protests. As a consequence of further parliamentary acts of taxation, the story ends with the demand in 1774 by the First Continental Congress for Parliament to repeal the Sugar Act as being “essentially necessary in order to restore harmony between Great Britain and the American colonies.”
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Westholme Publishing (December 20, 2022), ‎ 232 pages

Your History-Related New Year’s Resolutions for 2023?
What is your history-related New Year’s Resolution?
The Journal of the American Revolution asked those who have contributed articles to the group. The answers posted on 14 January 2023 are diverse, and you might find interesting. They include and often expand on topics such as:

  • The 200th Anniversary of Lafayette’s Triumphal Return
  • to learn how to write with a quill in eighteenth-century roundhand.
  • Finding out where Cornwallis and his army was on February 11 and 12, 1781.
  • To visit Scotland where many soldiers in the American War of Independence claimed ancestry.
  • Make progress writing a book on the Holodomor—the Great Famine in Ukraine (1932—1933).
  • to finish and publish my book on Why American Slavery Persisted

Read more…

The Eastern Shore Battalion: The Story of the 9th Virginia Regiment
by John Settle 19 Jan 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
In July 1775, the Third Virginia Convention passed an ordinance to create two regiments of regulars and fifteen battalion for minute service….
The Convention authorized the raising of a regiment of regulars to be garrison the Eastern Shore. Designated as the 9th Virginia, it was sometimes referred to early in the war as the Eastern Shore Regiment due to its station and the number of recruits from that region.
[Most of the Regiment was captured at the Battle of Germantown.]
The officers and men were imprisoned at two places in Philadelphia.
the Walnut Street Jail was infamous for the treatment of American prisoners. The commanding officer of the Jail, Capt. William Cunningham, would take the food women brought for the prisoners and toss it onto the floor to watch the prisoners fight over the scraps. Those men who got outside to the prison yard ate grass and roots, and caught rats for food. In the winter, the men were not given blankets and they suffered from exposure. The prisoners were whipped and received very little medical treatment. Those who died in the jail were dragged outside and buried in a ditch. The Goolsby brothers, Benjamin Taylor, and other men of the regiment died alongside around 275 other Americans at the Walnut Street Jail. At least sixteen men of the 9th Virginia preferred to enlist in Loyalist regiments rather than remain prisoners of war.
After suffering for two months with no fuel for fire and scanty rations, Waples escaped in late December 1777 disguised as a civilian and rejoined the Americans at Valley Forge three days later. He was furloughed to go home to Accomack County for three months. Cpl. Micajah Clark tried to escape the jail by dressing as a woman with a dress brought in by other women visiting the jail. This failed when the guards realized that one more woman exited the jail than had entered. He was exchanged eight months later. Those who survived the conditions of the Walnut Street Jail remained there for about eight months. When the British evacuated Philadelphia in June 1778, 135 American prisoners were exchanged for British prisoners. Many survivors of the 9th Virginia were amongst the exchanged soldiers. The official exchange, ironically, took place in Germantown. Those who were exchanged either reenlisted or were discharged, for their two years’ enlistment had run out in February. Those who weren’t exchanged were put on ships and taken to confinement in New York; the officers were taken to Long Island. Read more…

The Women Behind Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin’s World, 17 January 2023
Nancy Rubin Stuart is the Executive Director of the Cape Cod Writers Center. She’s an award-winning historian who has written numerous books and she’s a journalist who specializes in the histories of women, biography, and social history. She joins us to investigate the private life of Benjamin Franklin with details from her latest book, Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father.
During our investigation, Nancy reveals why we should explore the life of Benjamin Franklin through the women in his life; Deborah Read Franklin and her marriage to Benjamin Franklin; And, details about the marriage of Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, including the many years they spent apart from each other between 1757 and 1775. Listen in…

The Years the River Thames Froze, Including 1788-9
Souwark in Winter by by Emma Sweeney and Lisa Soverall 7 Feb. 2020
Records show that between the 15th and early 19th centuries the River Thames in London was able to freeze over completely. This only happened on average about one year in ten and London’s inhabitants saw it as a great excuse for a party. But why doesn’t the Thames Freeze any more?
In addition to changes to the climate, there were several factors that contributed to the freezing of the Thames. Read more…

Slavery Adverts 250
Colonial newspapers contributed to the perpetuation of slavery. Advertised 250 years ago today:

  • “TO BE SOLD (for want of Employ) Three young healthy Negro Men, Enquire of the Printer.” (Massachusetts Gazette & Boston Weekly News-Letter 1/21/1773)
  • “At Mr. M’Lean’s, Watch-Maker… is a Negro Man whose extraordinary Genius has been assisted by one of the best Masters in London.” (Mass Gazette & Boston Weekly News-Letter 1/21/1773)
  • “To be given away, a Negro Female Child, two Months old. Enquire of the Printer.” (Massachusetts Gazette & Boston Weekly News-Letter 1/21/1773)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Jigsaw Puzzle: Jumbling the Pieces of Stowe’s Story
By Patricia Jane Roylance about 18 Jan 2023 in Commonplace
In a recent Commonplace essay, Janet Moore Lindman describes a late eighteenth-century jigsaw puzzle featuring an allegorical map used to educate young Quakers about spiritual principles. The puzzle depicted the spiritual cartography of a pious Quaker life: places to avoid and paths to pursue.
By the nineteenth century, jigsaw puzzle content expanded beyond the geographical subjects that puzzles originally featured and began to include, among other subject matter, literature. Given literary narratives’ reliance on linear order to produce meaning, the jigsaw puzzle form enacted a fundamental challenge to narrative, by inviting users to disassemble and play with the ordering of a narrative’s pieces. Although puzzles might be conceived as exercises in achieving order, nineteenth-century puzzles that functioned as children’s toys went through multiple rounds of disassembly, assembly, and all of the chaotic stages in between, and they therefore fostered disorder as well as order. When these puzzles depicted literature, then, they disrupted the process by which stories function, through particular arrangements of narrative events.
A jigsaw puzzle version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel, illustrates both how linear order generates narrative meaning and how the jigsaw puzzle form can subvert that meaning. This fifty-two-piece jigsaw, probably manufactured in the early 1850s in England and consisting of paper glued to a sheet of wood, features eighteen scenes from the novel…
…By placing the successful escape after Tom’s murder, the puzzle transforms Stowe’s disquieting and ideally galvanizing tragedy into a narrative ultimately about triumph. The puzzle features Eliza in both the first and last scenes and thereby emphasizes her narrative arc, from enslavement and familial insecurity to freedom and a reconstituted nuclear family. The puzzle omits Stowe’s fraught colonizationist coda to the Harris story, in which the family decamps to Africa. It also brackets Tom’s story—featured in the second and second-to-last scenes, among others—within Eliza’s, subordinating tragedy to triumph. Read more…

Upcoming Events

Gov. Simcoe Branch: Wed. 1 Feb. Three Loyalist Heroes by Ruth Nicholson UE

Three Loyalist Heroes: Robert Land, Isaac Ferriss & John Cornwall” Wednesday, February 1, at 7:30pm – on Zoom (register) and in-person.
These three heroes share their lives and stories in common terms with many of our early people. They are stories of war, espionage, escape and love. All these stories connect to early life in Upper Canada.
Ruth will share her research into the lives of just three of these stories. Robert Land is well known in the Hamilton area and books have been written about his service to the Crown and his troubled and eventful life. Issac Ferris was only 17 years old when he took on an act of bravery for General Brock and Chief Tecumseh. John Cornwall was a learned man and helped develop law and order in this new land.
Ruth Nicholson, UE has agricultural roots: born & raised in Essex County, Ontario. All four of her proven Loyalist ancestors are from The New Settlement, the NW side of Lake Erie. They are: Jacob Arner, John Cornwall, Joseph Ferriss & Henry Wright.
Ruth is past president of the Hamilton Branch UELAC.
More details and to register for virtual or for in-person.

10th Annual Conference of the American Revolution 17 – 19 March 2023

By America’s History LLC.
At Colonial Williamsburg’s Woodlands Hotel
Friday Bus Tour, March 17, 2023 (8am to 4:30pm) “Beyond Redoubts #9 & #10: 18th Century Siege Warfare at Yorktown” Led by Dr. Glenn Williams, US Army Center for Military History (ret.)
Program on Saturday (Speakers and topics) and other details including the bus trip, fees, registration etc. See details…

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

  • From Lynton Bill Stewart
    • Lt.-Col. Joseph Barton from Newtown (now Newton), Sussex County, NJ served with 5th Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers; then 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (Skinner’s Brigade) and resettled in Digby, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia (now Digby County) where he received land grants in 1784, 856 and 87.
  • From Kevin Wisener
    • Adam Steel was named on the Muster Table HMS Clinton. He received a 300 acre land grant on the Pinette River, Lot 58, Queens County, Prince Edward Island.
    • Thomas Bycroft Received a 300 acre land grant at Lot 58, Queens County, Prince Edward Island
    • John Dutcher from New York received 100 acres of land at East Point, Lot 47, Kings County, Prince Edward Island but by 1790, he had moved to Miramichi, Northumberland County, New Brunswick.
    • William Campbell served with the 42nd Regiment of Foot – Royal Highlanders – Nov 1782 until Oct, 1783. He was allotted land in Lot 15, Prince County, Prince Edward Island but did not receive it. The petitioner is the widow of the late William Campbell.
    • Lieut. Alexander Campbell served with the Kings Rangers, 1st Battalion. He received a 200 acre land grant at Pownal Bay, Lot 50, Queens County, Prince Edward Island. He married with a child under ten, according to the Muster Roll at Charlotte Town, PEI 12 June 1784.

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

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • I’m almost 40 & have a PhD in history & today I learned the largest battle of the American Revolution was the Great Siege of Gibraltar. Over 60,000 combatants, & still the longest siege ever endured by British forces at 3 years 7 months.
    We Americans learn our history in a bubble
  • This week in History
  • Clothing and Related:
    • 18th Century dress, a bright magenta Robe à la française, 1765 via Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Art
    • Detail of an 18th Century dress, Sacque gown a la Piedmontese, c.1780, possibly Italian, plain cream ribbed silk, metallic & silk embroidery.
    • 18th Century dress, robe à l’anglaise, this dress’ stylised Indian floral pattern has the colours as its focus. Red, along with blue, green, yellow, and other various colors, were applied both by hand paint and by woodblock prints. c.1780s
    • 18th Century women’s stomacher, a decorative piece that sat over the torso which fastened the overcoat of the gown by being pinned into place. This example shows painted pastoral scenes nestled into elaborate silk & metallic embroidery, French
    • 18th Century waistcoat of cream ribbed silk, embroidered to the front with a floral and foliate design in brown, blue and yellow silk, 1770-1790
    • 18th Century suit & waistcoat, Coat of blue & green striped silk taffeta & satin, waistcoat of silk faille with Roman-like arch embroidered showing a country scene, French, c.1790
  • Townsends:
  • Miscellaneous
    • Beginning some writing about extremely iconic Spitalfields silk designer Anna Maria Garthwaite, so thinking about the cut paper work she made in 1707 when she was 17 years old. It shows a country house surrounded by gardens, a park, village, and church and is now at the @VandA
    • england. Mourning ring, inscribed 1787. Gold, enamel, porcelain & glass. Inscribed: ‘One well chosen’, ‘Ann. Jackson.OB.16.FEB.1787.AE.27.’ ‘Wife of Jabez Jackson.’

Last Post: GALNA UE, Don 1942-2023
Donald Irving Galna was born on September 1942 to Carmel Galna and Ida Alyea,
He passed away in Brockville on 14 January 2023 and is survived by his wife Patricia, son Peter and 2 grandsons. Predeceased by brother Robert and sister Lois Drummond UE.
Don Galna UE was an active member of the Col. Edward Jessup Branch since 2004, He was a descendant of Capt. Abraham Maybee UE, Peter Maybee Sr. UE, Isaac Alyea UE, Conrad Gunter UE, and Dr. Joseph Bostwick Clark UE.
Don was an avid historian. In 2018 he published a “Family History” of the Alyea family based on the 3 daughters of Edward Alyea and Minnie Maud Gunter named Ada 1896, Olive 1898. and Ida 1900. Angela Johnson UE our Dominion Genealogist is the granddaughter of Olive and is a first cousin once removed of Don Galna.
Don was very active in the writing and publishing of “Still They Stand” with the Col Edward Jessup Branch UELAC in 2013 in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of our Association. He was an avid researcher on the Gilmour Lumber Company. His love of family and history will be sorely missed in the Association.
Angela Johnson UE
More and photo at Barclay Funeral Home.

Last Post: JOHNSTON UE, Myrtle
A long-time and very active member of The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, Myrtle Johnston died at Brockville General Hospital on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. She was 90.
The former Myrtle Elizabeth Bellamy was born near the village of Toledo southwest of Ottawa and north of the eastern Ontario city of Brockville.
After graduating from Ottawa Normal School (teachers’ college) in 1951, Myrtle taught in Brockville area schools. She left teaching to raise a family of five children but later returned to the education system as a supply teacher for 30 years. She and her husband, William David Johnston, who predeceased her, lived on a farm north of Brockville. Myrtle continued to reside there until she was forced to enter hospital.
Descended from Loyalists Thomas Sherwood and William Buell, Myrtle joined the Colonel Edward Jessup Branch only months after it formed in 1968. She joined the executive of the Branch as recording secretary in 1971 and has served on the executive since that time including a 10-year stint as president. But she was best known as Branch genealogist, a position she held for 38 years.
For many years, she was a member of Dominion Council and served as Regional Councillor of the UELAC’s Central Region East encompassing nine branches – six in eastern Ontario and three in southwestern Quebec. Myrtle was vice-chair of the 2011 national conference of the UELAC when it was held in Brockville and she also was a member of the conference organizing committee for the 2019 conference hosted by the Sir Guy Carleton Branch in Ottawa.
For her service to UELAC, Myrtle was, in 2017, awarded The Dorchester Award which confers recognition on recipients for their lengthy contribution to the Association.
Active in other community organizations, Myrtle belonged to the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. She is a former president of the OGS branch and had been editor and publisher of the organization’s newsletter for more than 40 years.
A member of the Addison United Church near Brockville, she was active in that church’s United Church Women’s organization and taught Sunday school. She also volunteered at a local nursing home for many years.
Besides her husband, she was predeceased by two brothers, James and Warren, and a daughter, Karen Doreen. She is survived by four children – Shirley, Nancy, Steve and Kevin as well as three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. A sister, Lorna Johnston, who is also an active member of the Jessup Branch, also survives as well as many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Myrtle’s life will be held at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Maitland (near Brockville) in the spring.
Roy Lewis UE

Published by the UELAC
If you do not now receive this free newsletter directly but would like to, you can subscribe here.