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Online Registration Registration for UELAC Conference is Now Available
Join Loyalist enthusiasts at “Where the Sea Meets the Sky” (June 1-4, 2023) in Vancouver/Richmond BC.
The “print and mail” form was available last week.
The Online Registration Form for the 2023 UELAC Conference (01 – 04 June), Vancouver/Richmond, British Columbia, using the PayPal Payment system, it is now available. The Online Registration Form is powered by Google Forms. The link to register and pay online is
Payment will be accepted securely through Paypal, just follow the link at the bottom of the registration page once you have selected your registration options and determined the total fee. Don’t forget to Submit your form at the bottom.

See the conference details for more about the event including registration, hotel rates and booking, flight discounts and more…
2023 UELAC Hybrid Conference Planning Committee

Desperately Seeking Indigenous Allies in the East – Part One of Five
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Great Britain had never fought a war like the American Revolution. Rather than being waged on land that was just across the English Channel or along the shores of the North Sea, the War of Independence had to be fought over 3,000 miles away. Just getting ships, troops and supplies to the rebelling colonies could take at least a month. Besides the logistics of moving munitions, horses, and staff to the North American theatre, finding allies to supplement British troop numbers was particularly challenging. Not willing to send so many men overseas that Britain could not defend itself against European aggressors, British military leaders needed to find others who would support the crown against its revolting American colonists.
In the fall of 1775, Virginia’s Lord Dunmore offered freedom to any Patriot’s slave who was “willing and able to bear arms”. These emancipated slaves, now known as Black Loyalists, struck fear in the hearts of rebellious Southerners. The Patriots anticipated a great deal of violence at the hands of those who had once suffered under the lash of slavery.
In the summer of 1776, King George III also hired troops from various German duchies to bolster the British regiments sent to put down the colonial rebellion. Known as the Hessians, 19,000 of these traditional allies fought for the British right up to the defeat at Yorktown in 1781. Many Patriots were both horrified and intimidated by the use of German soldiers, feeling that the British had let loose a ruthless army to slaughter their own people.
The third source of supplementary soldiers was loyal Americans — colonists who did not want to separate from Great Britain. These men were also despised by the Patriots –even more than the Germans and Africans– as they were regarded as traitors to the cause of independence. American rebels also feared Loyalist soldiers (known as “provincials”), as they could be quite vindictive, fiercely retaliating for the persecutions they had endured at the hands of Patriot friends, neighbours, and relatives.
But the British allies that generated the greatest amount of fear among rebelling Americans were the warriors of Indigenous Nations. Centuries of conflict caused by European encroachment on Native land had already characterized these warriors as “savages” in the minds of English colonists. They were recognized as skillful combatants and masters of guerrilla warfare. Stories of tortured prisoners of war and scalped victims did nothing to lessen the terror felt by those who lived on the frontiers of the rebelling colonies.
Indigenous allies were sought out by both sides of the American Revolution. Members of the Six Nations Confederacy had fought alongside the English during the Seven Years War (1756 -1763), so both the British and their colonists had made contacts within the Indigenous community. The First Nations that made up the Native confederacy found themselves courted by both sides in the hopes of securing the western frontiers of the rebelling colonies.
However, it was a different story in the East. In American history books the Seven Years War is referred to as the French and Indian War because it pitted the British and their colonists against eastern First Nations and the European settlers of New France. Conflict with both the French and Natives was an ongoing part of the history of the New England colonies. In both New France and Acadia, the Indigenous nations had always sided with the French.
But war, like politics, makes strange bedfellows. Before the American Revolution was over, the rebelling colonists would not only ally themselves with their ancient enemy France – but they sought to enlist the support of the Indigenous People of the East in their war against the British.
Not as well known as the Six Nations Confederacy in the annals of the American Revolution, the Wabanaki Confederacy was comprised of the Native people who lived in the Land of the Dawn (today’s Maine and the Maritime Provinces). The Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, and Penobscot People all spoke the Algonquian language, but each also had their own dialect.
(Because Europeans met the Mi’kmaq first, they thought the latter nation’s word for the Maliseet was their true name. But rather than being “those who speak slowly”, the Maliseet were actually the Wolastoqiyik: “the people of the beautiful river”. That name will be used for the rest of this series.)
Although they only numbered around five thousand, First Nations people would make valuable partners for whichever side could gain their friendship. They knew Nova Scotia’s terrain and rivers, and were not hampered by winter storms.
Despite the past history of violence at the hands of Indigenous warriors, Massachusetts’ rebel assembly sent out letters to the eastern First Nations seeking a military alliance as early as May 1775. Although the colonies had not yet declared their independence, the Patriots wanted to be sure that they could count on Native support for their cause. In doing so, they were not only acting counter to racist attitudes that had been held for centuries, they were also turning a blind eye to what once was perceived as an insurmountable religious divide. Those who were Christians among the Wabanaki were Roman Catholics. New England was decidedly Protestant.
The letters sent to members of the Wabanaki Confederacy said in part: “The ministry of Great Britain have laid deep plots to take away our liberty and your liberty; … to make you and us their servants and let us have nothing to eat, drink or wear but what they say we shall; and prevent us from having guns and powder to kill our deer and wolves and other game or to send to you to kill your game with so as to get skins and fur to trade with us for what you want …
“We want to know what you our good brothers want from us of clothing or warlike stores, and we will supply you as fast as we can. We will do all for you we can and fight to save you at any time…The Indians at Stockbridge {Massachusetts} all join with us and some of their men have enlisted as soldiers, and we have given each of them a blanket and a ribbon, and they will be paid when they are from home in the service, and if any of you are willing to enlist we shall do the same for you.”
The story of the eastern First Nations’ role in the American Revolution will continue in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

The Escape of John Champe
by Victor J. DiSanto 24 Jan 2923, Journal of the American Revolution
In 1876 Currier and Ives issued a lithograph titled The Escape of John Champe: In the endeavour to carry out Washington’s plan to capture Arnold and to save the life of the traitors victim the Gallant Major Andre, 1780. It showed a mounted Continental dragoon looking over his left shoulder as he outraced another Continental dragoon pursuing him. The print contributed to the glorification and victimization of the British spy, Maj. John André, who had met his death on a gibbet in Tappan, New York, on October 2, 1780.
The problem with the Currier and Ives lithograph is that Champe embarked on his mission to capture Arnold on October 20, eighteen days after the execution of André. We can blame Light Horse Harry Lee for dreaming up this myth. In his memoir, first published in 1812, Lee misled readers to believe that the rescue of André was a motivating factor for Champe. Champe had died in 1798 and was not around to disagree. Read more…

Emily Geiger’s Fabulous Ride
by C. Leon Harris, Harriet Imrey, Conner Runyan 26 Jan. 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Fabulous: adj. 1) wonderful; 2) existing only in fable.
Emily Geiger is celebrated in numerous books and articles, memorialized on monuments, and portrayed in videos.[1] Her fame rests on the story that as a teenager she volunteered to carry a message from Gen. Nathanael Greene to Gen. Thomas Sumter in South Carolina when no man would dare to do so. As the story goes, Miss Geiger was stopped by enemy scouts who put her in a room and sent for an older woman to search her, and while waiting, she ate the message, the contents of which Greene had told her. Her mission undetected, she completed her journey and recited the contents of the message to Sumter.
Over time the tale acquired layers of conflicting ornamentation, mainly from writers who valued style over accuracy, but also from some serious historians. Read more…

The Unofficial Abolition of Slavery on Prince Edward Island
198 years ago this week, slavery was effectively abolished in Prince Edward Island. The first slaves under the British Regime in Canada’s smallest province arrived prior to 1780 with a merchant family and others previously from New England. The numbers were added to with the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists, of which a small number of wealthier families brought servants with them.
A nascent abolitionist sentiment had sought to free slaves by virtue of their baptism into the Christian faith. However, in 1781, to ward off this challenge, legislation was introduced and passed in the Prince Edward Island Colonial Legislature, namely an Act declaring that the baptism of slaves shall not exempt them from bondage, which effectively meant that the only possibility to exit slavery was by the owner freeing the person. This Act had the effect of institutionalizing slavery in Prince Edward Island.
Of note, among the Maritime Provinces, Prince Edward Island did not receive Black Loyalists (freed men) like those who arrived in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Almost entirely, the early African Islander population were those enslaved or in servitude. Undoubtedly, the 1781 Act favoured slave-owners and actively discouraged freed men from taking Governor Patterson up on his offer of free land to Loyalists and Disbanded Soldiers.
In time, slavery on Prince Edward Island diminished greatly due to freeing of slaves and the largely held public opinion of the inappropriateness of the institution of slavery. The last recorded sale of a slave in PEI was in 1802. Shortly after the turn of the century, slavery was essentially non-existent in PEI, which led in 1825 to the introduction of an Act to rescind the 1781 Act which in the Legislators’ words was as follows:

Be it therefore enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council and Assembly, That from and after the passing hereof the said Act,
intituled ‘ An Act declaring that Baptism of Slaves shall not exempt them from Bondage,’ and every Clause, Matter and thing therein contained, be, and the same is hereby, repealed.

Prince Edward Island notes the January 19th, 1825 repeal of the 1781 Act as the effective end of slavery in Prince Edward Island. However, from a legal perspective, slavery was still possible within the British realm, and it wasn’t until the Imperial Act of 1833 freeing all slaves living under the British flag that slavery was officially abolished in the colony of Prince Edward Island.
Kevin Wisener UE, President, Abegweit Branch

Query: Missing Muster Rolls for British 84th Regt (Royal Highland Emigrants)
Last week’s Loyalist Trails included an article Your History-Related New Year’s Resolutions for 2023? which contained objectives by many who have contributed articles to The Journal of the American Revolution.
Calvin Lee CRAIG UE added his comment to the article

My long-standing goal is to find the missing muster Rolls (1779-1781), for the [British] 84th Regt (Royal Highland Emigrants), 2nd Battalion who served in South Carolina & New York, etc. Earlier ones and those after have been found & available for some time. The Unit was disbanded at Fort Edward, Windsor, Nova Scotia on 10 Oct 1783. Any help will be greatly appreciated. – C.L. (Cal) CRAIG, UE.

If you can help, reach out to Cal Craig

Book: The Battle of Musgrove’s Mill, 1780
By John “Jack” Buchanan
Small Battles: Military History as Local History
On August 19, 1780, near a ford of the Enoree River in northwest South Carolina, a short and savage encounter occurred between Rebel militia and a combined force of Loyalist militia and Provincial regulars. Despite the Rebel’s being outnumbered more than two to one, it was an overwhelming victory for the American cause. The Rebels defended from the top of a ridge, inflicted heavy casualties on the Loyalist force as it advanced, then charged and drove the enemy from the field of battle. Just as Bunker Hill had done on a larger scale in Massachusetts, this clash of hundreds of soldiers in the Carolina backwoods invigorated the Rebel cause and led directly to the Battle of King’s Mountain, the turning point of the war in the South. This battle is also remarkable because instead of one leader the Rebel force was directed by a joint command of three colonels.
The Battle of Musgrove’s Mill, 1780, by award-winning historian John Buchanan, begins by describing the situation in South Carolina following the British invasion of 1780 before introducing the three colonels: Isaac Shelby, James Williams, and Elijah Clarke. These men led Rebel militia from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in an effort to disrupt British operations and their Loyalist support. The colonels and other leaders led mounted Rebel militia in a sweeping and bloody guerilla war that played an essential role in opening a path to the eventual British surrender at Yorktown and Britain’s loss of America.

Small Battles offers a fresh and important new perspective on the story of America’s early conflicts. It was the small battles, not the clash of major armies, that truly defined the fighting during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the hostilities on the frontiers. This is dramatic military history as seen through the prism of local history—history with a depth of detail, a feeling for place, people, and the impact of battle and its consequences that the story of major battles often cannot convey. The Small Battles series focuses on America’s military conflicts at their most intimate and revealing level.
Publisher: ‎ Westholme Publishing (December 2, 2022)

Research in Ontario: Municipal Records: A Guide and a Book

GUIDE – Ontario Municipal Records – Beginner’s Guide
By Fraser Dunford
Published by Global Heritage Press, Carleton Place, January 2023
An introduction to municipal records that are helpful to family history researchers. Includes a brief history of municipal records collected in Ontario, Upper Canada and Canada West plus a description of those records. The author includes maps that show changes to boundaries of districts, counties and regional municipalities from 1788 to 1979 and….
Available in both printed or pdf download formats. Read more…

BOOK – Municipal Records in Ontario, History and Guide [detailed]
By Fraser Dunford
Published by Global Heritage Press, Carleton Place, January 2023
This book provides the detail necessary to identify, locate and access a wide range of municipal records that provide researchers with valuable information. Appendices list every municipality that could have produced records including dates of establishment, amalgamation or elimination, and dates of boundary changes.Two more appendices give details on Assessment Rolls and Collector Rolls, showing what information can be found in them in different time periods.
Available in both printed or pdf download formats. For more details or to browse the Index: Read more…

Help Save the Forward [Carmen] House in Iroquois ON

Going Forward: historic home in Iroquois getting attention, repairs
By Todd Hambleton, Published 27 Jan 2023, Standard-Freeholder
IROQUOIS —- An historic home in Iroquois that’s heyday was decades ago — or arguably centuries ago — has been getting a lot of attention lately. Forward House, over 200 years-old and in considerable disrepair, seems to have a new lease on life.
The Historical Society of South Dundas entered it into a national competition against dozens of communities spotlighting heritage buildings, and it received well over 3,400 votes and made it to the finals of the National Trust for Canada’s online competition ‘The Great Save,’ up against nine others for a chance to win $50,000.
Forward House is one of the oldest buildings in South Dundas, surviving the Seaway flooding in the 1950s and a council effort a few years ago to have it demolished. The Society’s priority project is the home built by United Empire Loyalist Michael Carman II after his service in the War of 1812. Read more…

Help out Forward House … Vote here (and more details)

Upcoming Events

The Battle of St. Louis and the Attack on Cahokia, Stephen Kling Jr.

31 Jan 2023 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm The American Revolution Institute
Compared to events in the East, the American Revolutionary War in the West has received sparse attention despite its major impact on the geographical extent of the United States after the war. In 1779, in response to George Rogers Clark conquering the Illinois country and Spain entering the war, Lord George Germain set in motion a grand plan to conquer the entire Mississippi River Valley for the British. The lynchpin of the plan was a simultaneous attack by over one thousand men against Spanish St. Louis and American Cahokia—attacks that were repelled by each town on May 26, 1780. Historian Stephen L. Kling, Jr., discusses the details of this little-known, yet important history of the Revolutionary War. Read more and registration…

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.

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

  • Since the new version of the Loyalist Directory was implemented in 2021 with about 9,500 ent5iers, many have provided information about Loyalists who had not been included previously, or additional data for existing records. For example, Lynton “Bill” Stewart is digging out Nova Scotia land grants and warrants. The most recent addition is for Thomas Drasey who in 1790 received a Town Lot Loyalist Land Grant in Guysborough, Sydney County, Nova Scotia. His record id is 14,627, meaning that more than 5,000 entries have been added to the directory over the last couple of years. Another is Ensign Benjamion Douglass who served in the Kings Carolina Rangers and in In 1784 received a 650 acre Loyalist Land Grant in Country Harbour E., Sydney County, Nova Scotia.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed your time and information., If you are willing to submit some information, send a note to
All help is appreciated. …doug

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Photo of Udora Orange Hall taken from “Udora – Moments in Time“, book by Helen Westgarth. From research turns out my maternal 4th great grandfather, Samuel Umphrey, son of James, United Empire Loyalist, was a member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 571 which met in Udora, Ontario. In the Report of the 26th Annual Session of the Grand Orange Lodge of British America which met in 1855 at Brockville, Ontario he is listed as attending along with two others from the Udora Lodge, David Marshall and Samuel Brethour. The Brethour family came from the Irish Palatine and Samuel Brethour was also a great uncle of mine. Interesting to see that my Orange roots in Canada precede the founding of the country. Amazing find!
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