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UELAC Scholarships: Current Recipients
The UELAC Scholarship committee would like to remind Loyalist Trails readers who our current Scholarship recipients are. When we introduce the annual Scholarship Challenge, a few months from now, we hope that knowing the names and research focus of the students will reinforce the importance of the fundraising challenge.

Nicole Hughes is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Nicole’s research explores the genetic ancestral diversity of those living at the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton to better understand the social and cultural complexity of this 18th century colonial site beyond the historically documented French and English influences.
…Christine Manzer UE

Nicole adds:
Thank you UELAC! Your support has made it possible for me to pursue my studies with less financial stress, allowing me to focus on conference presentations, publishing, and completing the second year of my PhD. UELAC’s guaranteed funding at the beginning of each school year is a significant relief when covering the cost of tuition and purchasing research related books. With UELAC’s continued generosity, I am on track to complete my PhD and am closer to pursuing my goal of being a university professor and educator. Thank you again to UELAC for your commitment to student excellence and research.

Volunteer Recognition: Who would you like to see Recognized?
The UELAC Conference is only a bit more than three months away. During the festivities, some people are recognized. It takes time to select the person to be honoured from the nominations. As a result there are impending deadlines.

A reminder that Nominations for the 2023 UELAC Dorchester Award and the UELAC Suzanne Morse-Hines Memorial Genealogy Family History Award deadline is Tuesday, 28th February. See more details at Volunteer Recognition: Who would you like to see Recognized?
All Nominations to be forwarded to the UELAC Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair.

Carl Stymiest UE

2023 UELAC Hybrid Conference: Virtual Guest Speaker No. 3
Learn about the Loyalist presence in “Early British Columbia Descendants of United Empire Loyalists: Who was in B.C. for the 1881 Census?” presented by Mike Woodcock UE, President Victoria Branch, Pacific Region. More details about BC Loyalists and Mike.

Conference Registration
You can register to attend the “Where the Sea meets the Sky” conference in-person, or virtually for the eleven guest speakers. You have the option to register online, or by mail. Visit Registration for the 2023 Conference.
Read all about the conference “Where the Sea meets the Sky
The 2023 UELAC Conference & AGM Committee

Desperately Seeking Indigenous Allies in the East – Part Four of Five
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
The tug of war over which of the combatants in the American Revolution would secure the support of the Indigenous People of the eastern colonies reached a fever pitch in 1778. On the Patriot side was John Allan, the superintendent of Indian affairs for Massachusetts, and Ambroise St. Aubin, a chief of the Wolastoqiyik People. The British had Michael Francklin, Nova Scotia’s superintendent of Indian affairs, and Pierre Tomah, another chief of the Wolastoqiyik, promoting loyalty to the crown.
Allan and St. Aubin were based in Machias (Maine), about 120 miles away from the mouth of the St. John River. Tomah lived along the latter river with his people. Francklin was often headquartered in either Windsor or Halifax, Nova Scotia. Each pair of men tried to persuade the Indigenous People of the region to ally themselves with one of the revolution’s warring factions.
From his base in Machias, Allan maintained contact with his Wolastoqiyik allies along the St. John River, promising them rewards and the support of “their old father, the King of France” who had recently sided with the Patriot cause.
Needing someone “on the ground” to woo the Wolastoqiyik, Michael Francklin appointed James White, a merchant at Portland Point to be his deputy superintendent. He instructed White to let him know what the Indigenous People wanted and asked for insight as to what would “promote His Majesty’s interest to the end that they may not be led astray by the machinations and devices of His Majesty’s rebellious subjects.”
In August, John Allan made a formal declaration of war on behalf of the Wolastoqiyik who were living in Machias and Aukpaque. Indigenous men delivered it along with a British flag to Major Studholme, the commander of Fort Howe that guarded both Portland Point and the mouth of the St. John River.
The declaration included these words:

The Chiefs, Sachems and young men belonging to the River St. John’s … are unanimous that America is right and Old England is wrong. The River on which you are with your soldiers belongs from the most ancient times to our Ancestors, consequently is ours now, and which we are bound to keep for our posterity… Americans is our Friends, our Brothers and Countrymen; what they do we do, what they say we say, for we are all one and the same family… If you don’t go directly you must take care of yourself your men and all your English subjects on this River, for if any or all of you are killed it is not our faults, for we give you warning time enough to escape. Adieu forever.

Following up on their threat, Nicholas Hawawes, an Indigenous chief, and a war party comprised of 90 canoes headed down the St. John River to Portland Point to destroy the cattle around Fort Howe that were intended for the use of the troops, to take prisoners, and to encourage desertion.
Unarmed and alone, James White met with the war party near present day Kingston, New Brunswick. Having known and trusted him as someone with whom they had traded in the past, the warriors listened to what White had to say. While the majority of the men were still set on disrupting the garrison at Fort Howe, Pierre Tomah, their head chief felt that he needed to consult the Divine Being to know how to proceed. Just a year earlier, Michael Francklin had described Tomah as “a friend”, so it is interesting that he had joined the war party that was acting on behalf of its American allies. His ambivalence was emblematic of the dilemma in which the Wabanaki Confederacy found itself. Which alliance – British or American– was likely to be of the greatest benefit to the Indigenous People?
After an hour of lying prostrate on the ground to consult the Divine Being, Tomah said that the Wolastoqiyik should “keep peace with King George’s men”. However, the other chiefs did not agree with Tomah. As White continued to confer with the Indigenous elders, Michael Francklin and Father Joseph Mathurin Bourg, a Roman Catholic missionary, arrived at Fort Howe. Messengers were sent up the river with an invitation for the war party to meet the superintendent and the priest at a “friendly reception”.
Francklin’s invitation said, “I am come to heal and adjust every difference that may exist between you and your Brethren the faithful subjects of King George your father, my master… I desire Pierre Thomas and two or three other principal Indians do immediately come down to Fort Howe with Mr. White my Deputy to speak to me and to Mr. Bourg that we may settle in what manner to proceed to accomplish my good intentions towards you.”
And so what started out to be a First Nations war party became a delegation at a “grand meeting” of Indigenous People and Michael Francklin on September 24, 1778. Among the Native “delegates” were Pierre Tomah, his second chief Francis Xavier, four captains, eight principal men and representatives of the Mi’kmaq from Richibucto, Miramichi, Chignecto, and Minas. Father Bourg read out a letter from the Bishop of Quebec that banned any Native from entering the church who molested white settlers or who took part in the rebellion against Nova Scotia’s government.
After listening to Francklin and the Roman Catholic missionary, the representatives of the Wabanaki Confederacy declared that John Allan had deceived them. He had “not spoken their sentiments, but his own.” The Indigenous leaders took an oath to “bear faithful and true allegiance to his Majesty King George the Third”.
In addition to giving Francklin a string of wampum to confirm their loyalty to the crown, they presented him with the presents George Washington had sent them as well as the treaty they had made in Watertown, Massachusetts two years earlier. A new treaty, known as the Treaty of Fort Howe, included clauses that said that members of the Wabanaki Confederacy would hunt and fish in a peaceable manner, protect the white officials, and convey any intelligence they gained of Patriot “designs”.
On behalf of the British, Francklin gave out a number of presents including pots, knives, pottery, blankets, and hats – as well as the promised services of a Roman Catholic priest. Plans were made (and fulfilled the following year) to build a trading post above the falls at Portland Point. In the lore of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the conference or pow-wow held near Fort Howe in the fall of 1778 was remembered as the time when Indigenous and English people became “all one brother”.
With Francklin as their scribe, both the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik delegates wrote to Allan to declare their renewed loyalty to the British crown. They gave notice “That their eyes are now open and they see clearly that thou hast endeavored to blind them to serve thy wicked purposes against thy lawful sovereign King George, our forgiving and affectionate Father. We have this day settled all misunderstanding that thou didst occasion between us and King George’s men.”
Within a few weeks of the signing of the Treaty of Fort Howe, John Allan sent a New Englander and a band of Penobscot warriors to harass the settlers along the St. John River. They plundered one or two of the inhabitants, but outside of terrorizing the white settlers, the raid did nothing to sway the Indigenous People to side with the Patriot forces.
Negotiation and diplomacy rather than war and bloodshed had convinced the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik to side with the British. However, within two years’ time, it looked as if all of Michael Francklin’s work would come undone.
The final chapter in 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

Captain Jacob Getcheus
Master of ships supporting American Patriots, British, and Black Loyalists
By Brian McConnell UE, Historic Nova Scotia
By 1784, Jacob Getcheus and wife Mary had settled in Digby, Nova Scotia. How this ship’s captain from Philadelphia came to be in Digby is a dramatic tale of sea voyages, captured ships, imprisonment, and helping Black Loyalists.
The Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery in Digby contains over two hundred graves associated with the first settlers to the area and their descendants. The oldest gravestone is for Mary Getcheus who died on November 17, 1785, at the age of 37, merely two years after the town was settled. While little information remains about Mary Getcheus, plenty was recorded about her husband Captain Jacob Getcheus (sometimes spelled Getsheus) and his activities during the American Revolution. How he came to be in Digby is a dramatic tale. Read more…

John Roy Stuart UEL (b. April 21, 1753)
By Elizabeth Stuart UE, January 2023
There is confusion in the research concerning my fourth Great Uncle, John Stuart. He was baptized, John Roy Stuart in the Abernethy and Kincardine Parish, Strathspey, Scotland, on April 21, 1753. His parents, Dr. James Stuart and Jeane Grant likely named him after a famous relative, John Roy Stuart born in 1700, viewed by many as the most important historical and cultural figure to originate from the Strathspey region. A celebrated Gaelic poet and military man his loyalty and devotion to the Jacobite cause led him to become one of Prince Charles’ most trusted men making him a hero to many in the Scottish Highlands.
Other records show my fourth Great Uncle’s name spelled Steuart. Interestingly, his grandfather often signed his name the same way, ‘Bailie’ John Steuart. The ‘Bailie’, as he was known, was a prominent Merchant, Magistrate and Town Counsellor in Inverness during the early 1700’s. He was also ‘factor’ to the Earl of Moray for several years. He is a proven descendant of the Barons of Kincardine with a direct line back to Alexander Stuart, Earl of Buchan (Wolf of Badenoch), third surviving son of King Robert II of Scotland, Grandson of Robert the Bruce.
Background research reveals that my fourth Great Uncle was 21 years old when his parents and five siblings emigrated to America in May 1774 from the Scottish Highlands. They worked 100 acres of land near Stamford, New York in Upper New York Province (now State), along the west branch of the Delaware River with several livestock. Rebels took over their land in 1775 stealing the animals, farming equipment, books, and surgical instruments.
During the American Revolution John served as a Captain in the General Waggon Service, until the end of the war. His father, Dr. James Stuart also served during the American Revolution in the Kings Royal Regiment of New York (KRRNY) as Surgeons Mate. Historian ‘Monroe’ noted that “Dr. James Stuart’s eldest son, was taken prisoner in 1777. He and his brother fled to New York City and did duty on the Waggon Master’s General Service”.
A very intriguing account of John Stuart was sent to me by the late G. MacDonald, a genealogist from the Cornwall area. Below is a portion of this document:

John served as a Captain in the General Waggon Service with a brother until the end of the war. He was imprisoned after being taken prisoner at his father’s farm in Ulster County, New York in 1777 after having been stripped of a silver watch worth 5 pounds sterling. He was imprisoned an additional five times in two years, the last imprisonment being placed in irons for nine weeks. After his final escape, he asked for asylum in March 1778 with the British Army as a Guide.
He served under General William Thomas while in Philadelphia, Pa. and on the evacuation of said place, followed the Royal Army to New York City. General William Thomas certified of his total service from 1777 – 1786 in an affidavit in Digby, Nova Scotia. John Stuart maketh oath that he resided at Shelburne in Nova Scotia from July 15, 1783 to March 25, 1784.
John wrote and signed his loyalist memorial in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia, April 14, 1786. He received 650 acres in 1785 and 5 acres in Guysborough Township in 1790. John and his wife Sarah moved to Guysborough, Nova Scotia between 1783 and June 1786 where their sons John Roy (June 9, 1786), Murdoch (July 15, 1790), and daughter Jane (October, 1788) were born according to Baptismal Records pg.2, Christ Church, Guysborough. Their mother, Sarah, died age 30 coinciding with the birth of Murdoch in 1790.”

Interesting to note that the General named in the above letter, William Thomas, is mentioned in a letter held at the Ottawa Archives. I have viewed several letters and documents from this important collection called the Stuart Family Fonds. Stated in the introduction of the fonds:

Contents of these documents include information about Dr. James Stuart, who served in Sir John Johnson’s regiment during the Revolution War and received 900 acres of land in the Township of Osnabruck (Ontario, Canada) from King George III in 1797. Other documents are related to John Stuart, his son, an American Loyalist, who established in Nova Scotia in 1783. He then moved to Osnabruck where he was involved in the militia and the administration of justice.

The letter mentioning General William Thomas and other correspondence sheds light into John Stuart’s role as Captain in the ‘General Waggon Service’ evacuating American Loyalists from New York to Nova Scotia. He appears to have been involved in several voyages of up to 500 settlers from Staten Island, New York to Canso Harbour located on the north-east tip of Nova Scotia next to Chedabucto Bay. His other duties included the construction and settlement of Guysborough located approximately 40 km west of Canso Harbour. Throughout the 1780’s he was appointed to several administrative duties noted in the fonds including Registrar of Deeds, Deputy of Granting Papers, Coroner, Registrar of Wills and Probate plus the title of Sheriff.
My fourth Great Uncle has been confused in the research with another prominent Scottish settler named John Stuart, who arrived with the same group of loyalist settlers at Guysborough, Nova Scotia in the early 1780’s. Lieutenant John Stuart of the 71st Regiment, served in the Nova Scotia Legislature. He died in Halifax in 1835. His wife was Elizabeth Boggs having no children recorded. It has been a real challenge differentiating these two men in the research.
Another valuable document details the sale of my fourth Great Uncles’ lands in Nova Scotia in the year 1812. There is evidence that he moved to Osnabruck Township (Cornwall, Ontario area) where his siblings lived and bought land from his brother (my fourth great-grand father), Henry Stuart. Like Henry, John served as a Captain in the local militia during the War of 1812. Evidence from the fonds indicate that John served as Justice of the Peace in that area. A document from the Stuart Fonds reveals that John was in the Cornwall area by 1809:

Commission of Captain of a Company in the First Regiment of Militia in the County of Stormont, Eastern District, for John Stuart signed by Francis Gore, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, with paper seal, January 5, 1809.

I have no evidence of John remarrying after the death of his wife, Sarah, in 1790 and have not been able to find his date or location of death.

Disaffected Loyalists and Passionate Patriots: Feelings in the Enlightenment Atlantic
With Keith S Grant, 16 February 2023 The Champlain Socety
In this podcast episode, Nicole O’Byrne speaks to Keith S. Grant about his book, Enthusiasms and Loyalties: The Public History of Private Feelings in the Enlightenment Atlantic published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2022. Grant examines the emotions of the communities in Atlantic Canada during the Enlightenment as they grappled with the turnout of the War of 1812, the Loyalist settlement in Nova Scotia, the American Revolution, and other turbulent events of the time. He refers to the journals and other public writings of key historical figures to reveal the deep feelings expressed during the time. From angry mobs to homesick immigrants, passionate patriots to disaffected loyalists, Grant explores how these “private” emotions shaped the public events of the era. Listen in…
Keith S. Grant is an associate professor at Crandall University, a Christian liberal arts university located in Moncton, New Brunswick. He has a PhD from the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick.

Treason against the state: America declares independence
Daniel Gosling 3 February 2023 UK National Archives
This is the second part of a two-blog series exploring treason against the state, as used during the civil wars of the 1640s and again in the American Revolutionary War of the 1770s and 80s. Previously, treason laws had always protected the life and authority of the monarch. Now, they were used by those that levied war against the monarch to reject royal authority and accuse their kings of levying war – of committing treason – against the state.
In our first blog, the execution of Charles I was framed in the context of his crimes against the state for ‘levying war against the said Parliament and People’ (see footnote 1). In this final part, we’ll examine how and why America declared independence from Great Britain, and where treason fits into this story.
Treason on both sides?
The execution of Charles I for treason against his people in January 1649 created the historic precedent that monarchs could be held accountable for their (alleged) crimes. In the 1770s, this theory that kings could commit – and be punished for – treasonable actions was tested once again.
This time, it was King George III accused of levying war against his subjects in the British colonies in North America. The people of these American colonies had become increasingly frustrated throughout the 1760s and 1770s by the British Parliament trying to levy taxes against them, despite these colonies not having any representation in Parliament. Read more…

Captain Luke Day: A Forgotten Leader of “Shays’s Rebellion”
by Scott M. Smith 14 Feb 2023 The Journal of the American Revolution
While Daniel Shays (1747-1825) has basked posthumously in the glory of leading the 1786-87 populist rebellion that bears his name, Luke Day (1743-1801) was a co-commander of the forces on the ground that fateful winter. Both Shays and Day were battle-hardened Continental army captains who returned home to rural Massachusetts to find their fellow farmers squared off against the state legislature, financially more oppressive than the British Crown which they had just helped defeat. The newspapers of the day, overwhelmingly biased against the backwoodsmen, needed a rebel leader to demonize and somewhat randomly picked Shays, condemning Day to an eternity of ignominy. In his History of Western Massachusetts, published in 1855, Joshua Gilbert Holland noted: “Day was the stronger man in mind and will, the equal of Shays in military skill, and his superior in the gift of speech.”
At the end of the Revolution, Day and Shays had many similarities; it was their differences, although slight at the time, that likely led to the vast divergence in their places in history. Read more…

Grave Errors: Inaccurate Markers for the 8th Virginia Regiment Soldiers
by Gabriel Neville 16 Feb 2023 The Journal of the American Revolution
Of the roughly nine hundred men who served at some point in the 8th Virginia Regiment in the Revolutionary War, only fifty-two have identified graves. Several of them are marked with wrong information that needs to be corrected. In some cases, the information is dramatically wrong. Sadly, this review of fifty-two grave markers from just one regiment may indicate a significant amount of bad information carved into stone in cemeteries across the eastern half of the United States.
Leonard Cooper had one leg and he didn’t like to tell people why. When he applied for a veteran’s pension in 1818, he more than bent the truth in saying that he was in “a skirmish” at Paramus Meeting House, New Jersey where he “was wounded and lost his leg.”[2] The truth? He lost his leg in a duel with another officer at Pompton Plains in October 1779.[3] Cooper was the lieutenant commandant, or “captain lieutenant,” of Col. John Neville’s company of the 4th Virginia Regiment. This was a new rank for the Continental Army modeled on British practice that resulted from a cost-saving reduction in the number of officers. As the regiment’s senior lieutenant, Cooper led a company nominally under the direct command of the colonel.[4] Perhaps Abraham Kirkpatrick, the man who shot him, thought Cooper was putting on airs. Read more…
(Note: Also discusses history and analysis of US Military Veteran grave markers, and best-practice recommendations.)

Book: Allegiance: The Life and Times of William Eustis
By Tamsen Evans George, Riverhaven Books (December 27, 2021)
Tamsen Evans George provides a well-researched and easily accessible account. William Eustis’ story touches on many major events of the nation’s early years, including his associations with many familiar characters of the times. I recommend this book especially for the illuminating and unique perspective of a Revolutionary War physician and his time spent in the Hudson Valley of New York State.
Tamsen George does a brilliant job of breathing life back into William Eustis in this well-researched and fascinating biography. A witness to the rebellion in Boston, Eustis, became a military surgeon during the American Revolution and a close friend with numerous founders such as Dr. Joseph Warren and Aaron Burr.

Ben Franklin’s World: Wealth and Slavery in New Netherland
African chattel slavery, the predominant type of slavery practiced in colonial North America and the early United States, did not represent one monolithic practice of slavery. Practices of slavery varied by region, labor systems, legal codes, and empire.
Slavery also wasn’t just about enslavers enslaving people for their labor. Enslavers used enslaved people to make statements about their social status, as areas of economic investment that built generational wealth, and as a form of currency.
Nicole Maskiell, an associate professor of History at the University of South Carolina and the author of Bound By Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of the Northern Gentry, joins us to investigate the practice of slavery in Dutch New Netherland and how the colony’s elite families built their wealth and power on the labor, skills, and bodies of enslaved Africans and African Americans. Listen in…

Bridging the Cultural Gap: Jamestown Settlers and Powhatan Inhabitants
In February 1608 at Werowocomoco, the seat of power of the Powhatan paramount chiefdom at the time, Paramount Chief Powhatan and Captain Christopher Newport exchanged young boys, Namontack and Thomas Savage, to serve as cultural intermediaries.
Namontack was described by an English colonist as the “trusty servant” of Paramount Chief Powhatan. Thomas Savage was described by an English colonist as being a thirteen-years-old boy from Cheshire, England.
During his life, Namontack visited London twice, met with English nobility and leadership in the Virginia Company and served as a translator, guide, and diplomat. The circumstances of Namontack’s death are contested, but he likely died in 1609 or 1610 on the island of Bermuda.
Thomas Savage only lived with the Powhatan peoples for a couple of years and English accounts say that he was “loved exceedingly” by Paramount Chief Powhatan. He worked as a translator and diplomat returning to English settlements in 1610. He likely died a wealthy man in 1633.
These are brief summaries of Namontack’s and Thomas Savage’s lives as two children burdened with the responsibility of striking peace between converging cultures and whose lives tragically mirrored the futures of their peoples. Check out our Facebook or Instagram for more detail!

List of Loyalist Certificates Updated with those issued in 2023 until January 31
The list of UE Certificates issued since late in 2012 — showing the Loyalist ancestor, name of descendant (when permission is granted), branch and date — has been updated with the certificates issued through 31 January 2023.
The list can be seen at Loyalist Certificates Issued
These have also been added to the appropriate Loyalist in the Loyalist Directory.

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

  • Information about Andrew Miller has been added to the Loyalist Directory. Thanks to Bruce Miller UE.
  • Thanks to Lynton “Bill” Stewart who has contributed the names and some details about another groud who received Loyalist land grants in Nova Scotia. The directory now contains more than 15,000 entries.

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

Genealogy and Related Books for Sale – Loyalists
Past Times: genealogy and more
See this list of about fifty books of Loyalist-related topics for sale. The right column indicaterd which ones have been sold.

In the News:

Remembering Richard Pierpoint UE
Veteran’s story worth revisiting during Black History Month, writes Michael Chong in the
Independent Free Press on Monday, February 13, 2023
February is Black History Month, a chance to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians.
Wellington—Halton Hills ON is home to a historically significant Black Canadian, Richard Pierpoint. He was a Black Loyalist, soldier and storyteller, who was instrumental in the War of 1812.
Pierpoint was born in the kingdom of Bundu (in present-day Senegal) in 1744. At 16, he was captured and transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the Thirteen Colonies, which later became the United States. He gained his freedom from 20 years of enslavement by fighting for the British during the American Revolutionary War. Read more…

Forward House: Help Win the Next Great Save!
Krystine Therriault 14 Feb. 2013 Seaway News
It’s no secret that the United Counties of SDG are steeped in rich history. Right now, the Historical Society of South Dundas (HSSD) needs your help to preserve a piece of that history: the over 200-year-old Forward House in Iroquois.
The HSSD is competing against 10 heritage buildings to win The National Trust for Canada’s Next Great Save competition, sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance. The winning entry will be awarded $50,000 to put towards saving an endangered piece of history. Voting for the Next Great Save opened on January 20th and closes on February 22nd. Voters can cast one vote per day.
Forward House is a home in Iroquois that was built around the time of the War of 1812. It was built by Michael Carman III who was an United Empire Loyalist and captain of the local militia. Carman was contracted by the British government to put a fort on Point Iroquois (where the locks are today). The house stayed in the Carman family for six generations. Read more…

Upcoming Events

Kawartha Branch: The Knotted Rope By Jean Rae Baxter 19 Feb. 2023 2:00 ET (Today!)

The Knotted Rope, the sixth and final novel in what has become known as the “Forging a Nation” series, is set in Niagara in 1793 during the last days of slavery in Upper Canada. It returns to the subject of Jean Rae Baxter’s third historical, Freedom Bound, in which she told the story of the Black Loyalists’ escape from slavery during the American Revolution.
In The Knotted Rope, Jean Rae Baxter unravels another strand of the complicated, sometimes tragic, but ultimately victorious, history of the fight to end slavery.
In this presentation, she examines the paradox at the heart of writing responsible historical fiction. To honour our history, we must be true to it.
But how can we tell the truth by means of made-up stories? That is the question. The answer, she explains, lies in the use of historical facts to trigger the action. The writer shows how people reacted to, and were affected by, actual events. Just such an event was The Proclamation of “An Act to Prevent the further Introduction of Slaves and to limit the Term of Contracts for Service Statutes of Upper Canada 33 George III.”
NEW How did the Cave of the Winds form behind Niagara Falls? How could fugitive slaves have used the tunnels and caves of the Niagara Escarpment to escape to freedom? Dr. Leigh Smith, a geologist whose special field in Sedimentary Geology, will join the meeting to explain the Geology behind the story.
Jean Rae Baxter‘s historical fiction has won recognition in both Canada and the United States.
Join Zoom Meeting

Toronto Branch “British Child Migration” by Pat Skidmore Thurs. 23 Feb

On February 23, 2023 at 7:30 pm via zoom, Pat Skidmore is going to give us an overview of the 350 year history of British Child Migration – a history that has been kept silent for a good portion of the 350 years. British Child Migration took place as far back as the 1830s to the late 1940s, although the ‘height’ of child migration to Canada was between 1869 and the 1930s.
Her research is mainly centered on the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School and her mother, Marjorie’s, experience there. Over 120,000 children were sent to Canada . Over 95% of the children were not orphaned.
To register, send an email to – a meeting link will be sent out by February 20th.

Colonial Williamsburg: Black Coachmen and Horsemen Feb 28 @1:00 ET

In 18th-century America who were the people driving carriages and tending to horses? In this video, we explore the roles of Black coachmen and horsemen in colonial Virginia. Join here…

Gov. Simcoe Branch: “Murder & Mayhem, Settlers & Sinners, Colonists & Criminals: More Thrilling Stories from New France” Wed 1 March 7:30 ET

Presentation by Carol Ufford and Dawn Kelly who return with more fascinating stories from New France — unusual deaths, illegitimate children, and of course a little witchcraft and murder. As they tell the stories, Carol and Dawn will show some of the resources they used to trace their family histories. Details and registration.

Rebellion or Revolution? Understanding the American Revolutionary War

How do we define loyalty? Rebellion? Resistance?
Fri, 3 Mar 2023, 14:00 GMT (9:00 AM ET)
And how were these concepts understood in the context of the American Revolutionary War?
Join 18th-century record specialists, Philippa Hellawell at The National Archives and Corinne Porter of the USA’s National Archive & Record Administration (NARA), for a unique collaboration discussing devotion and duplicity during the American Revolutionary War.
This talk uses highlights from both collections to help us understand both British and American perspectives, including the British reaction to the Boston Tea Party, George III’s Proclamation of Rebellion following Congress’ initial petition for independence, and the subsequent American Declaration of Independence accusing the British King of being the traitor. Read more and register… (pay what you can, even free)

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Notice of June 15, 1779 in the Pennsylvania Packet published in Philadelphia named Jacob Getcheus as commander of vessel to which claim being heard in Admiralty Court. This is captain who 4 years later transported Black Loyalists aboard sloop Lydia to Annapolis Royal, NS. After he settled for a time in Digby where his wife Mary died on November 17, 1785. Her gravestone is the oldest one in the Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery. To read more about their story see the article above. Brian McConnell UE @brianm564
  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • 11 Feb 1776 Sir James Wright, Royal governor of Georgia, escapes Patriot house arrest; returns to office 1779-1782.
    • 13 Feb 1776 Patrick Henry is placed in command of defense of Virginia’s gunpowder supply.
    • 15 Feb 1776 Governor of Nova Scotia warns Crown that corruption crackdown may spur Patriot sympathizers to rebel.
    • 16 Feb 1776 Congress debates re-opening ports declared closed by Parliament, in an act of outright defiance.
    • 14 Feb 1779 Patriots defeat Loyalists at Kettle Creek, GA, after mortally wounding Colonel Boyd, leading to a rout.
    • 14 Feb 1779. British explorer, Captain James Cook (aged 50), was stabbed to death on the beach at Kealakekua (Hawaii) by local Polynesians. He had aimed to kidnap the Island of Hawaii’s monarch, Kalani’ōpu’u, in order to reclaim a cutter stolen from one of his ships.
    • 17 Feb 1782 British and French naval forces clash in Indian Ocean, in a little-known front in the Revolutionary War.
    • On February 14, 1783 a 70-year-old woman named Belinda Sutton successfully petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for a pension from the estate of her former slaveholder…Isaac Royall.
    • 12 Feb 1789 Ethan Allen, of Green Mt. Boys, dies of stroke, possibly following a night of drinking & carousing.
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous


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