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UELAC Membership and Loyalist Gazette
When published the Loyalist Gazette is available only to members/
A year after publication, each issue is then made available to all. The Spring 2022 issue is now openly available from the homepage at, see Loyalist Gazette.
It will soon be time for the Spring 2023 issue to go to the press
If you were a member and have not yet renewed, or are not a member and would like to join, now would be a good time to do so; get in line to receive this next issue coming in May. Past members should log in; new members use the “Add/Renew Membership” button on the homepage.

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.

UELAC’s AGM on Sat 3 June, Separate Registration is Required
The UELAC AGM is traditionally held during the Conference, and is again this year.
In order to participate in the AGM and vote whether in-person or virtually, you must register. NOTE: this is a separate registration from the Conference registration.
There are different deadlines for registration for members themselves, and for members identifying others who will be their proxy. Depending on the type of proxy, there are different deadlines. Details are in the Members’ Section under AGM 2023 at – login required.

UELAC Virtual Guest Speaker #9 “The Crown and the Square”
Presented by Alex Greer UE (Pacific Region)”
The Freemasons, or Masons, has been a prominent social institution in the English-speaking world since the early 1700s, and some United Empire Loyalists were Masons. Who were and are the Masons? What brought about the development of Masonry in Great Britain in the 1700s, and its spread to the American colonies? Who were the Masons among the United Empire Loyalists?
After explaining the beginning, growth and migration of Masonry to the thirteen Colonies, this presentation will focus primarily on prominent and ordinary men who were both Free Masons and United Empire Loyalists. More about Alex and this presentation
See more about the Virtual Presentations & Guest Speakers

The virtual guest speaker presentations will be available at the scheduled time (to be announced); Zoom links will be forwarded at a later date.
For those attending virtually, ensure you are register via the online registration form:. Information about registration and payment options (Paypal or credit card) is outlined on the registration page and on the form itself.

Visit Where the Sea Meets the Sky for all the details

Loyally, The 2023 UELAC Hybrid Pacific Region Conference & AGM Planning Committee

Samuel Bard: Washington’s Loyalist Doctor
copyright Stephen Davidson UE

George Washington had decided views on the Americans who remained loyal to the British crown. In 1776, he had occasion to express his feelings regarding Loyalists: “One or two have done, what a great many ought to have done long ago—committed Suicide—By all Accts there never existed a more miserable set of Beings than these wretched Creatures now are.”
Thirteen years later, it was one of those “wretched creatures” who was called to Washington’s bedside to save the president’s life. At the outset of the revolution, Dr. Samuel Bard had had to flee to sanctuary in New Jersey to avoid persecution and imprisonment. Following his life-saving operation on Washington, the 47 year-old Bard became the commander-in-chief’s personal physician – a strange turn of events for such a “miserable” being.
The son of a New York doctor, Samuel Bard went abroad to receive his medical training, studying in both London and Edinburgh in the 1760s. When he returned to his native city, Bard was a driving force behind the creation of New York’s first public hospital. A friend and mentor in England worked to raise funds for the hospital’s construction, and King George III granted it a charter in 1771, just two years after Bard began his lobbying.
Built between 1773 and 1775 with the help of wealthy Loyalists, the New York Hospital only served the community for a year. At some point in 1776, Patriots plundered the hospital. It was then almost totally destroyed by a fire. The British were able to use portions of it for a barracks during their occupation of New York.
His “political principles being odious to the generality of the community“, Bard fled New York City and settled in Shrewsbury, New Jersey where he tried his hand at manufacturing salt. In October of 1776, New Jersey’s rebel government had passed legislation to encourage the creation of more salt works. This created a “rush” of interest as people expected to make huge profits. Located along the Atlantic shore, salt works collected and boiled sea water in large, flat pans over wood fires. When the water evaporated, the remaining salt would sell for as much as $27.00 a bushel.
For reasons not given, Bard was a failure as a salt manufacturer and could not support his family. Lorenzo Sabine, the first prominent Loyalist historian, noted that Bard “returned to New York after the Royal Army took possession, and found himself an object of suspicion, and of utter neglect. Reduced to his last guinea, he accidentally met the mayor, {David Matthews} who treated him kindly, and who, by his good offices subsequently, was the means of restoring him to the confidence of his former friends. The leaders of the Royal party became at last his frequent guests.
With the defeat of the British, Loyalists such as Bard had to choose to either leave the United States as refugees or remain behind to take their chances among neighbours who, like Washington, would prefer that they were dead. Sabine records that Bard “At the peace…was urged to leave the country on account of his known associations and political sentiments; but he declined.”
This was an especially courageous decision when one remembers that New York City served as the capital of the new republic until 1790. It was hardly welcoming to Loyalists.
The first inauguration of an American president took place in the city’s Federal Hall on April 30, 1789. By June, George Washington’s term in office looked like it would only amount to six weeks.
On June 17, 1789, George Washington’s life was hanging in the balance. In addition to a high fever, the new president had a rapidly growing tumour on his left thigh. His personal physician was back in Virginia and would not be able to treat Washington in time. Despite his Loyalist political convictions, Dr. Samuel Bard was recognized as New York City’s preeminent physician. By 1782, he had become the family physician for Alexander Hamilton’s family and delivered his son Philip in January of that year. Bard’s skills as a doctor were of far greater importance than his unpopular political leanings.
Upon examining Washington, Bard saw that the tumour required immediate surgery, as it was “so malignant as for several days to threaten mortification {gangrene}. This was a diagnosis that was painful –and potential fatal– for the patient, given the period’s lack of anaesthesia, disinfectants, and understanding of pathogenic microorganisms.
When Bard shared his diagnosis with Washington, the latter said, “Do not flatter me with vain hopes; I am not afraid to die, and therefore, can bear the worst.” He went on to say, “Whether to-night, or twenty years hence, makes no difference; I know that I am in the hands of a good Providence“.
And so it was that on June 17, 1789, a loyalist doctor operated on the left thigh of the newly minted president of the United States. The tumour was quite large, and Bard had to excise the infected tissue and accompanying pus. The operation was a success, but Washington was bedridden for weeks. It wasn’t until early September that Dr. Bard reported that the inflammation had almost disappeared. As a result, Bard became the very first presidential doctor. The Loyalist’s bill for services rendered was 84 pounds.
Bard’s earlier efforts to establish a public hospital bore fruit in 1791 when New York City Hospital was finally rebuilt after its destruction by fire 15 years earlier. When Columbia University absorbed the city’s existing medical school, it made Bard the dean of the faculty as well as a professor of theory and practise. Bard also helped to found both the New York Dispensary and the city’s library. When the College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded in New York in 1811, it appointed Bard as its president, a position he held until his death ten years later.
Nevertheless, Bard felt that one of the crowning achievements of his professional life was his service to George Washington. Writing to one of his children, the loyalist doctor said, “Nothing can exceed the kindness and attention I received from Washington.” Ten years after removing a deadly tumour from the president’s leg, Bard was planning to visit Washington’s home in Virginia. He would never see his patient again. Washington died of quinsy, an inflammation of the throat, on December 14, 1799.
Twenty-two years later, Dr. Samuel Bard died of pleurisy, an inflammation of the membranes of the lungs on May 24, 1821. His death occurred just 24 hours after his wife Mary died of the same condition. The parents of eight children, the Bards had lost four of them in their younger years to scarlet fever.
Bard’s contributions to medicine – as well as his service to the first American president – are certainly noteworthy. It would have been a great loss if he had followed Washington’s 1776 advice to Loyalists to do everyone a favour and die by suicide.
But like Washington –a man who owned hundreds of slaves– Bard’s legacy is not an unblemished one. He had enslaved at least 9 Black men and women during his lifetime. One of the earliest occurrences of Bard’s name in a New York newspaper is found in an ad for a runaway slave named James. Bard is also remembered as having an enslaved valet named Caesar. This man’s attendance on Bard in public gave the Loyalist doctor prestige in the eyes of fellow New Yorkers, “enhancing his standing and professional dignity”. At one point, an abolition society thought it was important to visit the Bard home in person to determine if one of the family’s slaves was actually being held in legal bondage. Despite being an administrator, Bard did not stop the medical students and professors of the College of Physicians from stealing Black corpses from the city’s graveyards to use for anatomical dissections.
In 1931, Columbia University named its newest medical centre dormitory Bard Hall in honour of the Loyalist doctor. But when Bard’s record as a slaveholder was discovered, the faculty and student body urged to have the hall renamed in 2020. It is now known as 50 Haven Avenue.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

BOOK – Africa’s Children: A History of Blacks in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
By Sharon Robart-Johnson
Published by Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2009
Chronicling the history of Black families of the Yarmouth area of Nova Scotia, Africa’s Children is a mirror image of the hopes and despairs and the achievements and injustices that mark the early stories of many African-Canadians.
This extensively researched history traces the lives of those people, still enslaved at the time, who arrived with the influx of Black Loyalists and landed in Shelburne in 1783, as well as those who had come with their masters as early as 1767. Their migration to a new home did little to improve their overall living conditions, a situation that would persist for many years throughout Yarmouth County.
By drawing on a comprehensive range of sources that include census and cemetery records, church and school histories, libraries, museums, oral histories, newspapers, wills, The Black Loyalist Directory, and many others, this is a history that has been overlooked for far too long. More details at Global Genealogy

Book: Captain John Peck Rathbun, Revolutionary War Naval Hero and Man of the Sea
Author: Frank H. Rathbun (privately published, 2022)
Reviewed by Christian McBurney 3 Apr 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
There is a new biography of a worthy Continental Navy captain, John Peck Rathbun. Rathbun was not the self-promoter that John Paul Jones was, and did not have Jones’s penchant for a great quote, but he too showed courage and boldness as a ship commander, as well as when he was Jones’s second in command.
Rathbun was born in Exeter, Rhode Island, in 1746. Orphaned at a young age, he was taken to Boston and raised in the family of his uncle, merchant Thomas Peck. Rathbun learned the ropes of a mariner and by age twenty-seven he was in command of a coastal trading schooner.
After war broke out in Boston, Rathbun returned to Rhode Island where a sister of his lived in South Kingstown. Rathbun brought with him his new wife, Polly Leigh. Fortuitously, Rhode Island’s Esek Hopkins was just appointed commander in chief of the new Continental Navy. Hopkins tasked Abraham Whipple with the recruitment of officers for the sloop Katy, based in nearby Providence. In November 1775, Rathbun enlisted as an officer on board the Katy, which later became the Continental Navy sloop Providence. He became a second lieutenant on board the sloop, which fell under the command of the erratic Capt. John Hazard. Read more…

The Return of Samuel Dyer: An Attempted Assassination in Revolutionary Boston
by J. L. Bell 4 Apr 2023 Journal of the American Revolutionary
On October 10, 1774, the brigantine Charlotte arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, from London. On board was a sailor named Samuel Dyer, and he told a shocking story, soon reported in the local newspapers. Three months earlier, on July 6, soldiers of the 4th or King’s Own Regiment had grabbed him off the streets of Boston and kept him “confin’d in irons” in their camp. And that was just the start of his harrowing tale.
According to Samuel Dyer, the 4th Regiment’s commander, Lt.-Col. George Maddison, had asked Dyer “who gave him orders to destroy the Tea” tossed into the harbor the previous December. Dyer insisted no one had told him to do that. Maddison replied, “he was a lyar, it was King Hancock, and the damn’d Sons of Liberty”! The officer told Dyer that “he should be hung like a dog” in London, and advised him “to prepare a good story” for the royal governor, Gen. Thomas Gage. Then the sailor, still in chains, was loaded onto Adm. John Montagu’s flagship, the Captain, to await Gage.
But the governor never came, Dyer said. Instead, after three or four days the ship sailed out of Boston harbor, taking Montagu home. Read more…

The Secrets of Samuel Dyer
by J. L. Bell 6 Apr 2023 Journal of the American Revolutionary
As recounted in a previous article, in October 1774 a sailor named Samuel Dyer returned to Boston, accusing high officers of the British army of holding him captive, interrogating him about the Boston Tea Party, and shipping him off to London in irons. Unable to file a lawsuit for damages, Dyer attacked two army officers on the town’s main street, cutting one and nearly shooting another—the first gunshot aimed at royal authorities in Boston in the whole Revolution. Those actions alarmed both sides of the political divide, and Dyer was soon locked up in the Boston jail. Everyone seemed to agree the man was insane.
That attempted homicide undoubtedly alarmed Thomas Gage, the British army general appointed to be royal governor of Massachusetts. Not just because the targets had been two of his top officers, artillery commander Lt. Col. Samuel Cleaveland and chief engineer Capt. John Montresor. Not just because the attacker had received support from top Whigs in London, Newport, and Boston. Gage had to deal with the uncomfortable knowledge that many of the Samuel Dyer’s outrageous accusations were basically true. Just because Dyer might have been crazy didn’t mean that royal authorities hadn’t been out to get him. Read more…

HMS Quebec vs. Surveillante – 1779. Perhaps the most ferocious frigate action ever?
HMS Quebec & the French Surveillante fought in 1779 perhaps the most ferocious frigate action of the Age of #FightingSail. But it was marked by magnanimity in victory & heroism in defeat.
Single ship actions, usually between frigates, are remembered as some of the most dramatic actions of the Age of Fighting Sail. They captured the imagination of the public in their own time, making heroes of captains like Pellew and Cochrane, who gained the sort of adulation reserved for pop-stars today and they figure as central elements in the naval fiction of Forrester, Pope, Kent, O’Brian, Bond and others. Perhaps the most dramatic of all single-frigate actions occurred not during the Revolutionary or Napoleonic Wars, but when France was locked in conflict with Britain during the American War of Independence. This ferocious battle was fought by the British frigate HMS Quebec against her French counterpart Surveillante. What follows serves to give an impression of this now largely forgotten epic. Read more…

Only surviving fragment of ‘slave’ cloth found in Derbyshire record office
By Dalya Alberge 2 Apr 2023 The Guardian
Exclusive: 240-year-old scrap of indigo woollen cloth identified as fabric made in Yorkshire to clothe millions of enslaved people.
It is a scrap of indigo woollen cloth that is slightly moth-eaten and so tiny that few would give it a second glance, but a 1783 note on its reverse has revealed its chilling significance.
Discovered in a public record office in England, it has been identified as the only surviving fragment of its kind used to clothe millions of enslaved people in the Caribbean and North America for almost 200 years. This coarse fabric, known as “slave” or “negro” cloth, was woven in West Yorkshire, close to the town of Penistone, from which it derives its name.
“Very little is known or has been written about how the millions of those who were enslaved were clothed. This small sample begins to unravel that story and tell us that it wasn’t just the rich in Britain, Ireland and Europe who benefited from slavery, but also weavers and spinners.” Read more…

The Middle Hutchinson: Elisha, 1641-1717
By Dror Goldberg about 4 April 4023 in Common Place
By leading the risky but eventually successful financial operation, Elisha justified his name.
The Hutchinson family is famous in the history of colonial Massachusetts. At the beginning was Anne, a religious dissenter who brought the colony of Massachusetts Bay to the edge of civil war. At the end of the colonial period there was Thomas, a royalist and the last civilian governor. Both were banished by the people of Massachusetts and soon died in exile. Between these failed troublemakers lies Elisha Hutchinson, Anne’s grandson and Thomas’ grandfather. Though far less famous, one of his deeds in Massachusetts influenced the history of the world. This is his story.
The Hutchinsons, a family of merchants, left Boston with the banished Anne in 1638. Soon after, Anne’s son Edward returned to Boston. In 1641, his first son was born. The boy was named Elisha after a biblical prophet and miracle worker. The name, meaning “my God’s salvation,” was popular among Puritans and separatists. Young Elisha was never able to hide. First, his grandmother’s legacy was still fresh in memory. Second, he grew to the very unusual height of six feet, two inches (a visiting Londoner would remark he was “the tallest man that I ever beheld”). As the eldest son of a merchant, his career was foretold. Read more…

A Study of Upholstery in 18th & 19th Century London
By Viveka Hansen 17 April 2016
The rich information on trade cards and bill-heads in the form of illustrations, printed texts as well as hand-written notes may be compared with observations by the social reformer Charles Booth for historical studies of London. Together these sources give a multitude of facts linked to upholstering as an occupation and other interests of the trade during two hundred years. This case study aims to present a glimpse of the commerce of such goods, in the eyes of the shop-keepers and customers, as noticed on trade cards from the 18th- and first half of the 19th century. To be contrasted with the later observations – mainly 1880s-1900s – by Booth where the conditions and daily lives of the manufacturers/shop-keepers as well as the upholstery workers were included. Read more…

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:

Toronto Branch “The Mills Loyalists of Cumberland County, N.S.” Thurs 20 Apr 7:30pm ET

By Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mills UE, an ordained minister in the Canadian Baptist family of churches. He took an interest in genealogy when his mother became ill and the preservation of the family history took on a new sense of urgency (aka borderline obsession).
His presentation will highlight three major areas including:
1) an overview of his personal journey and his Mills Loyalist roots,
2) his discoveries and progress to the Archives in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and
3) a deep dive into Y-DNA and how it helped solve a 240 year old mystery regarding the relationships between four Mills Loyalists of Cumberland County.
Contact Sally Gustin for the zoom link

Kingston Branch, “Fort Frontenac” by Jean Rae Baxter, Sat 22 Apr @1:00 ET

Kingston & District Branch UELAC meets on Saturday, April 22 at 1:00 pm. This will be a Hybrid presentation with many of us in person at St. Paul’s Hall, 137 Queen Street, Kingston (doors open at 12:30 p.m.) Others will join us by Zoom about 1:00 pm. Our Speaker will be Jean Rae Baxter with a talk called “Fort Frontenac: The Rise and Fall of New France’s Key to the West.” This presentation follows the fortunes of Fort Frontenac over the centuries — how it was knocked down, rebuilt, abandoned, rebuilt, blown up, rebuilt again, destroyed by the British in the last days of New France and, finally, became the site for the Loyalist settlement at Cataraqui following the American Revolution. And it all began with the beaver. No registration required, link.

Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia Conference April 22-23

The Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) is hosting a Zoom virtual conference on April 22-23. Nova Scotia/New Brunswick received a large number of Loyalists. The list of presenters also includes two speakers on historical British Military research and one with Black Loyalist heritage. The main purpose of this virtual genealogy conference is to connect speakers and researchers from Nova Scotia to researchers and genealogists all around the world. Visit for details and registration.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: BASTEDO Ph.D., Q.C., UE, Thomas Galbraith Bastedo (Tom)
February 24, 1939 – February 15, 2023
Tom was a proud descendant of Loyalist Jacob Bastedo.
He earned a B.A.(Hons) and an M.A. from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. from Duke University, and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. As one of the leading family law lawyers of his generation, Tom developed a rich and diverse practice, with professional relationships, teaching, and speaking engagements that spanned the globe.
Active in the community over his lifetime, Tom’s volunteer activities and interests were varied, ranging from being Chair of the Legal Aid Plan of Ontario, to serving meals at the St. Mary Magdalene Community Dinner.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife and partner of 58 years, Alice; his three children, Ruth (Michael McHale), David (Megan Conacher), and Peter (Debra); and four grandchildren. More details.

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