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Conference 2023: Where the Sea Meets the Sky June 1-4

Early-bird Registration Until 30 April
The 2023 UELAC Conference & AGM “early Bird” registration ends on Sunday 30 April at midnight. Thereafter the fee increases. The venues need to know in advance how many are attending.

A Special Invitation for You

Your friends in the Pacific Region branches of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada have a special invitation for other UELAC members.
Our 2023 Dominion Hybrid Conference & AGM is happening in Richmond, BC from June 1 to 4. Members and their guests from 27 branches across Canada will be in attendance. Why not gather a couple of friends and join in all or some of our “in-person” conference events! See full details where you fill find the registration form.
UELAC Virtual Guest Speaker #8 “”The Black Loyalists of the Maritimes”
Presented by Stephen Davidson, UE (Atlantic Region)”

Born to two New Brunswickers who had 14 Loyalist couples in their family trees, Stephen Davidson spent his formative years in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Maine. His 1975 bachelor’s thesis on an aspect of Black Loyalist history became the basis for his contribution to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
An elementary school teacher for more than 30 years, Stephen pursued genealogical and Loyalist historical research in his spare time. His first article for Loyalist Trails, the story of a Loyalist woman (Polly Jarvis Dibblee), was submitted in 2006; his 800th article (Ten Loyalist Silversmiths) was published in the fall of 2022. In addition to contributions to the Loyalist Gazette, Stephen’s research has appeared in multiple genealogy periodicals, a national children’s magazine, The Beaver, and a number of Maritime newspapers.
He has served as a consultant for two Loyalist websites created by the University of New Brunswick, a speaker at two UELAC Dominion Conferences, a researcher for Peter C. Newman, and the author of two books on Black Loyalists. Stephen and his wife live in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia where they raised two daughters and now enjoy the proximity of two grandsons.

For the benefit of those who will be attending the conference in person, you might want to consider having my two books about Black Loyalists at your book table (Black Loyalists in New Brunswick and Birchtown and the Black Loyalist Experience from 1775 to the Present). The New Brunswick Branch of the UELAC is the publisher of my 2015 book, The Burdens of Loyalty: Refugee Tales from the First American Civil War, about 111 Loyalists — most of whom settled in New Brunswick. Among other things, the latter book features an annotated list of the 209 passengers aboard the first ship to bring Loyalists to New Brunswick.
Don’t miss it; Register today!

The Loyalist Ghost of Pine Plains, New York
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
In July of 1876, the women of Pine Plains, New York were preparing a tea party to celebrate the centennial of American independence. To heighten the historical flavour of the party, revolutionary relics, antique furniture, and old dishware were brought to the town’s oldest building. A log structure that measured 24 by 60 feet, the Dibblee-Booth house first served as an Indigenous trading post before becoming a store in the years leading up the American Revolution. The owner at that time was Dr. Jonathan Lewis, one of Dutchess County’s first physicians. His suicide in the attic in 1784 led generations of Pine Plains’ citizens to consider the log building a haunted house.
And it was the thought of being haunted by the ghost of Dr. Lewis that worried those planning the centennial tea. After all, there had been stories in the past of doors flying open and windows rattling. What better time for a man who was a Loyalist to upset a party celebrating a Patriot victory?
The good doctor did not make a house call that day.
However, while his ghost may not have haunted his former home, his death certainly haunted his children, leading to two of them taking their own lives. This is the story of what is known of the Loyalist of Pine Plains.
Pine Plains is 94 miles north of New York City, situated in New York’s Dutchess County that lies between the Hudson River and the Connecticut border. At some point before the outbreak of the American Revolution, Dr. Jonathan Lewis and his wife Gertrude (Groesbeck) moved into the area and acquired a log cabin that had been built in 1728. Lewis added a second level, and had his family live above the ground floor that contained his general store.
Despite his training as a physician, it seems that Lewis gained most of his income as a shopkeeper. He is recorded as selling corn as early as 1769.
In the records of New York marriage licenses, is found the date of Jonathan and Gertrude’s wedding – December 11, 1766. Apparently, Gertrude’s family was one of “high standing”, but the exact nature of this status is not explained in the records. Over the next decade the Lewis couple had four children: Mary Ann, Jonathan Groesbeck, Hannah, and Polly.
In addition to serving as a physician and a storekeeper, Jonathan Lewis is noted as being a senior warden of a Masonic Lodge in Poughkeepsie in April of 1771. Given that this involved making a journey of 27 miles, Lewis was obviously a keen lodge member.
Geographical distance did not separate Lewis from the political turmoil of the times. In the summer of 1775, New York’s rebel government sent out an “association” to enumerate the signatures of those who were siding with the Patriot cause. The second name on the list for the Pine Plains area was none other than Jonathan Lewis’.
Like others who held Loyalist principles, Lewis was willing to sign a document to indicate his lack of satisfaction with the status quo. But following the publication of the Declaration of Independence a year later, thousands of Loyalists could not support breaking away from Great Britain. Despite all of his many social and business connections with the people of Pine Plains, Jonathan Lewis was now regarded as a hateful Tory. Life became intolerable for the family, and they abandoned their property.
The records of the day note that the Lewis family “fled to Nova Scotia” sometime “at the start of the revolution”, but neither a precise location nor date is indicated. The mass migration of Loyalist refugees to Nova Scotia would not begin until the fall of 1782, so it seems most likely that Jonathan Lewis’ family sought sanctuary in Halifax, the largest settlement in Nova Scotia. It was there that civilians from Boston had found sanctuary in March of 1776. Richer Loyalists moved on to Great Britain; the poor ones suffered through Halifax’s food and housing shortages in the hope of returning to their homes with the victorious British troops.
But with the Patriot victory at the Battle of Yorktown in the fall of 1781, the British had lost the will to continue fighting. Loyalists within the United States had to decide whether to stay among enemies or strike out for new opportunities. Those Loyalists who had found sanctuary in Canada, Nova Scotia, and Great Britain now had to decide if they wanted to return to their American homes.
For unspecified reasons, Jonathan and Gertrude Lewis returned to their store in Pine Plains, New York. Hoping for forgiveness and mercy, the family was confronted by scorn and abuse. But rather than returning to Nova Scotia, Lewis found another means of escaping his family’s intolerable situation. He went up into the attic of his home and hanged himself.
A family friend who had served in the Seven Years War helped take down Jonathan’s body. The date of his death and his place of burial remain unknown. The fate of his wife Gertrude has also been lost to history. The four Lewis children, however, all decided to remain within the United States. The scars and trauma they experienced both as refugees and the children of a suicide victim would make themselves evident in the years that were to come.
Hannah Lewis married Ebenezer Husted, a Dutchess County man, and had three children by him (Gertrude, Eben and Lewis). After his death, she married Isaac Huntting of nearby Stanford, New York. When Hannah’s second husband died, she went to live with her daughter in Pittsford, New York. There she died in 1855, 72 years after her father’s suicide.
Hannah’s sister Polly married a man named (William?) Sutherland. If correctly identified, the couple lived in Washington, Dutchess County. Both died between 1811 and 1813.
It is now being recognized that soldiers and civilians who have had to confront violence are likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Families can also have histories of clinical depression from one generation to the next. One of these may have contributed to the deaths of Jonathan G. Lewis and his sister Mary Ann.
Jonathan Junior was only about 8 years old when the family found his father’s body hanging from a beam in the attic. Jonathan died “very suddenly” as a single man at the age of 35 in 1810. He had been a clerk for a prominent judge. Although his death was rumoured to be a suicide, young Lewis was held in such high regard by Judge Smith that the latter had him laid to rest in his family graveyard.
The oldest child of the Loyalist Jonathan Lewis was Mary Ann, who had been born in 1768. She married a man two years her senior named Obadiah Germond. The fact that his wife had been the daughter of a hated Loyalist does not seem to have deterred Germond in making her his wife. The couple lived in Chenango County, New York and had five children. Germond served his new country as a general, a judge, the speaker of the New York House of Assembly and as a senator.
Mary Ann was 15 when her father killed himself. She would have had memories of the family’s persecution at the outset of the revolution, the years of refugee life in Nova Scotia, and the abuse that drove her father to die by suicide. At the age of 61, Mary Ann hanged herself on an apple tree on Sunday, September 13, 1829.
So although Jonathan Lewis was once regarded as a Loyalist whose ghost haunted an old log house in Pine Plains, it may be that the shadow of his death was what truly haunted two of his children – members of a family who carried the pain of Loyalist persecution well into the 19th century.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Loyalist, Col. James DeLancey UE , born 1746 or 1747, died 1804
By Grietje R. McBride UE, B.Sc., and Robert C. McBride UE, B.Sc., M.Ed.
Published in the Loyalist Gazette
James DeLancey was born in Westchester County, New York. Before the Revolution, he served as sheriff of Westchester County from 1769 to 1776 and tended to Estate business. A prominent and wealthy land owner, his first loyalty was to the Patriots until a group of the Patriots reportedly stole a favourite horse and harnesses. (1) Thereafter, he became an ardent Tory. Identified as a Loyalist, DeLancey was forced to leave his extensive holdings that were confiscated and sold to support the American Militia. From New York he joined his uncle, Oliver DeLancey, who had raised a Loyalist unit known as “DeLancey’s Brigade.” James DeLancey then headed the Westchester Chasseurs, hand-picked marksmen chosen from disbanding militias after the Battle of White Plains. These raiders were also known as “DeLancey’s Cowboys” and “DeLancey’s Refugees.” (2) Governor Tryon of New York called them “truly elite of the Militia of Westchester County and their Capt’n Mr. James DeLancey, who was also Colonel of the Militia of Westchester County; I have much confidence in them for their spirited behaviour.” Due to the success of the forays into Patriot territory around Kingsbridge, and White Plains, even General George Washington desired their capture. “Even General George Washington knew of James DeLancey and his mounted troop. He was to report to Congress on May 17th, 1781: ‘Surprise near Croton River by 60 Horse and 200 Foot under Colonel James DeLancey … 44 killed, wounded and missing … attempted to cut him off but he got away.’ (3)
Upon evacuation from New York in 1782 or 1783, 37-yearold DeLancey, his young wife, infant child, and six slaves moved to Nova Scotia and settled around the Annapolis Valley on a 640-acre land grant at Round Hill beside the Annapolis River.
In 1790, he was elected to the Provincial Assembly and appointed to Council by Governor Wentworth later in 1793. He resigned his seat in 1801 due to poor health and died in 1803 at the age of 57. An historical marker in his honour has been placed near Tupperville in Annapolis County. (4)
Many interesting stories in bits and pieces that have been archived through the years are surfacing at an increasing rate as historical resources are shared worldwide. In the history of Colonel James DeLancey, many facts are still unknown, especially concerning muster rolls naming individuals who served under him. Through petitions for losses, we get a glimpse of the Loyalists and their stated military history that sometimes adds new information. My Loyalist ancestor, Sergeant Gabriel Purdy UE, was one of those petitioners who provided information about his service as a sergeant with the Westchester Refugees commanded by Isaac Hatfield UE and then under Captain Henry Purdy UE in the Company of Light Infantry commanded by Colonel James DeLancey UE.

  1. Historical Biographies: James DeLancey (1747 – 1804),
  2. Annapolis Heritage Society, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Community History. Notable Personalities of the Past: James DeLancey,
  3. Thomas B. Allen, Tories Fighting For The King In America’s First Civil War, Harper Collins, 2010, page 200.
  4. Annapolis Heritage Society, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Community History. Notable Personalities of the Past: James DeLancey,

The Unimportance of John Brown’s Raid on Ticonderoga
by Michael Barbieri 28 March 2023 Journal of the Americanj Revolution
A lesser-known action during Gen. John Burgoyne’s 1777 campaign occurred at Ticonderoga and Mount Independence in the days surrounding the first battle at Saratoga in mid-September. What became known as “Brown’s Raid” has commonly been interpreted as playing a key role in the defeat of Burgoyne’s invasion. Such is not necessarily the case and, as often happens in war, supplies lie at the heart of the question.
When Burgoyne’s army of British and German regulars, Loyalists, Indians, and Canadians began their move south from Canada in June, they carried with them unresolved supply problems. A large portion of their provisions and stores had to come from England and the ships carrying them had not arrived before the army set out.[1] To augment the army’s supplies until those from England arrived, Burgoyne relied on the success of two assumptions—that his army would receive significant support from Loyalists encountered during the advance and, that his men would be able to forage for the remainder of their needs. The slightest disruption in these assumptions would create serious problems.
Burgoyne experienced much more than a slight disruption: the Loyalist support he counted on never materialized, and the enemy retreating before his army took with them every useful item they could carry and destroyed the rest. By early August, Burgoyne had realized his assumptions had not been well-founded and it would not be long before provisions would start to run low. Read more…

Burlington 1776: The Forgotten Opportunity
by Colin Zimmerman 30 March 2023 The Jpurnal of the American Revolution
The 1776 campaign season had ended badly for General George Washington and the Continental Army as the dejected Patriots struggled through foul weather over primitive New Jersey roads as they marched toward Trenton in early December. To compound matters, Washington was faced with certain termination of the conflict if the situation did not dramatically improve. The only remedy at this bleak hour would be a bold, almost miracle-like, victory to turn his fortunes around.
True to his character Washington, with his army now safe in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the first week of December, urgently set out to save his young nation’s cause. His enterprise, planning, and innovation ultimately resulted in crossing the Delaware River and the subsequent attack on the isolated Trenton outpost. This event, which occurred on the evening of December 25 and carried into the morning of the 26th has gone down as one of the most singular, recognizable, and critical events in the American national story. This decisive moment, however, was only possible because of a series of independent, yet strategically linked incidents, which individually laid the foundation for Washington’s strategic stroke of genius and the rescue of the American cause. Washington understood the necessity of keeping rivercraft out of the hands of the British and securing the ferry systems along the river. There were many key areas along the Delaware River, the most important of which was Burlington, a bustling little town that served as the gateway to Philadelphia. Read more…

New NS book is Black Loyalist monument fundraiser
Upper Clements, N.S., author’s – Brian McConnell UE – book about Anglican church in Middleton includes chapter about Black settlers
By Lawrence Powell 16 March 2023 Saltwire
Now completing research for new book about Old Holy Trinity Church and early settlers including Black Loyalists.
MIDDLETON, N.S. — A man writing a book about Middleton’s Old Holy Trinity Church is hoping sales from the new volume will help fund a monument to Black Loyalists, possibly in the church’s cemetery.
“This book that is due for release early in June, I call it First Church, because it’s the first of three churches the Anglicans have here,” said Brian McConnell. “It’s also going to have one or more chapters dealing with the Black Loyalists here.”
McConnell has already written two books on Loyalists in Nova Scotia, concentrating on Annapolis and Digby counties, and First Church delves deeper into a congregation that built its original place of worship after clearing land in 1789, with the first church service held in August 1791. Read more…
[my apologies if you have hit your limit of free articles there – see image, save, expand and read, 2 pages]

Podcast: The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America
John Wood Sweet is a Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He specializes in the social and cultural histories of race, gender, and sexuality during the revolutionary era. He’s the author of numerous articles and several books, including The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America, winner of the 2023 Bancroft Prize in American history.
During our investigation, John reveals who Lanah Sawyer was and how she met her rapist, Harry Bedlow; The legal recourse open to Lanah for reporting her rape and seeking legal redress; and details about Lanah Sawyer’s case, Harry Bedlow’s trial, and the significance of how it serves as the first published rape trial in United States history. Listen in at Ben Franklin’s World…

The transportation of female convicts in 1820, onboard The Morley
By SarahMrden 27 March 2023 All Things Georgian
On 22 May 1820 a ship named The Morley, sailed for New South Wales, arguably there was nothing new about this one as plenty of ships transported convicts to Australia at that time, but this ship was transporting 121 female prisoners, along with some several children, and was one sailing which we know a good deal more about than many other such voyages.
The reason for this being that the ship’s surgeon, Thomas Reid, who was a young man of just 29 years of age when they set sail, kept a detailed account of this voyage, with specific references and a dedication in the book to his good friend, the prison reformer, Elizabeth Fry. She and representatives from the British Ladies’ Committee, boarded the ship several times to deliver Bibles, prayer books and to also give the convicts moral advice prior to the ship sailing. Read more…

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

  • More information about Lt. Col. James Delancey has been added, thanks to Grietje and Robert McBride. In biography field, a profile has been added. It was formerly printed in the Spring 2016 Loyalist Gazette.
  • Kevin Wisener, Abegweit Branch, Prince Edward Island, has provided the following:
    • Timothy Sylvester served in the Kings Rangers, 1st Battalion, and received a 100 acre land grant at Pownal Bay, Lot 50, Queens County, Prince Edward Island
    • Pvt. Joseph Ferdinando, possibly born in England, also of the Kings Rangers, 1st Battalion, settled either at Pawnal Bay, Queen’s County or Lot 47, KIngs County

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

Upcoming Events

The American Revolution Institute: The Surveyor’s Eyes: Mapping Empire in the Era of the American Revolution 13 April @6:30

In the second half of the eighteenth century, British surveyors came to North America and the West Indies in unprecedented numbers. Their images of coastlines, forts and frontiers helped win the French and Indian War and pictured a triumphant British Atlantic world. The American Revolution shattered this vision of peace, commerce and settlement.
Max Edelson is a professor of history at the University of Virginia. His studies surround the history of British America and the Atlantic World, and his research examines space, place and culture in colonial North America and the Caribbean. Details and Register.

Nova Scotia Branch: “Coronation of King Charles III”. Sat. 15 April 2:00 AT

President Brian McConnell UE invites you to join the NS Branch Spring Meeting on Zoom. Guest Speaker Daniel Guenther on “The Monarchy in Canada & Coronation of King Charles III” followed by NS Branch Business Meeting including election of officers for 2023 – 2024
Time: Apr 15, 2023 02:00 PM Atlantic Time (Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting:

Fort Plain Museum: The Revolutionary War Conference 250 in the Mohawk Valley, June 9-11

Registration now open.
Friday, June 9: Bus Tour – Forts and Fortified Homes of the Mohawk Valley
Opening Reception and Registration
Saturday, June 10: Program and reception
Sunday, June 11 until noon: Program
See details: schedule, registration, lodging etc

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • 25 Mar 1774 Parliament orders closure of port of Boston in retribution for the Boston Tea Party.
    • 28 Mar 1774 Parliament passes Coercive Acts in punishment for the Boston Tea Party.
    • 26 Mar 1776 The South-Carolina Provincial Congress adopts a new constitution & government.
    • 27 Mar 1775 Thomas Jefferson elected to represent Virginia to the Continental Congress.
    • 30 Mar 1775 King George orders all foreign trade with New England colonies banned.
    • 29 Mar 1776 Washington appoints Major General Putnam commander of the troops in New-York.
    • 31 Mar 1776 Abigail Adams urges her husband John to “Remember the Ladies” in making laws for the new nation.
  • Clothing and Related:
    • Pinch Punch! Wishing all of my followers a happy & healthy April! Print from set of twelve fashion plates, 1749
    • American hat, about 1830, via MFA Boston. Pale green silk gauze brocaded in wide & narrow straw bands & silk leaf motifs, on buckram foundation. Worn in Worcester, Massachusetts
    • I present you the robe à la piémontaise (it’s a robe à la française with a narrow train) which was briefly fashionable in 1780, and it’s now very rare to find.
    • 18th Century dress, robe à l’anglaise, wedding dress, American, c.1775
    • 18th Century Court dress, 1780-1790, Silk woven with silver-gilt threads, trimmed with silver-gilt lace, sequins & tassels
    • jacket of 1750 is a thing of beauty! This chintz number hails from the Netherlands. Via the Rijksmuseum.
    • Sleeve detail of 18th Century men’s coat, iridescent blue & green ribbed silk add a luxurious quality to this plain frock coat. Cuffs are in the ‘mariner’s’ style made popular in mid-18th century although these are narrower & shallower. c.1780’s
    • 18th Century waistcoat, made of silk woven by a well-knwn 18th Century London weaving company, Maze & Steer. Their pattern book of “Fancy Vestings & Handkerchief Goods” is also held in collection & features this design woven in 1788 in 3 colourways
    • 18th Century men’s day coat of grey striped wool, 1790’s
  • Miscellaneous
    • After abandoning her home in Bristol in the 1740s, Mary Hamilton, disguised as “Charles” travelled the Westcountry, marrying up to 14 wealthy women in just a few years. After being caught “The Female Husband” as she was known, was sentenced to public whippings in 4 local towns.
    • One of Mary Delany’s over 1000 plants she made of cut paper beginning in 1772, each labelled with their Linnaean names.
    • Captain Thomas Coram died 29 Mar 1751. He was an English sea captain & philanthropist who created the Foundling Hospital in Lamb’s Conduit Fields, Bloomsbury, to look after abandoned children on the streets of London. It is said to be the world’s first incorporated charity.
    • Huge news: Oldest tartan found to date back to 16th Century. A scrap of fabric found in a Highland peat bog 40 years ago is likely to be the oldest tartan ever discovered in Scotland, new tests have established. Read more…
    • March 30, 1773, Benjamin Franklin reported from London: “Two Ships are now fitting out here, by the Admiralty, at the Request of the Royal Society, to make a Voyage to the North Pole, or to go as near to it as the Ice will permit.”

Last Post: ROSS UE, Alexander Hughson Ross
Alexander left us recently, and quite suddenly. Luckily his family was with him, including one from half-way around the world. He was the Librarian and Merchandise coordinator for the Kingston and District Branch UELAC for many years. Alexander received his Loyalist Certificate based on descent from Jacob Bonesteel UEL. He was a faithful attending member with us, as he was with with Kingston Branch, OGS. He had a deep passion for Genealogy and was always ready to regale you with the details of all the conflicting family trees that had the various Samuel ADAMS’ muddled up. I have some of his written versions of that information if anyone needs it!
Anne Reddish UE,
Read his obituary at Simpler Times

Published by the UELAC
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