In this issue:


Conference 2023: Where the Sea Meets the Sky June 1-4
Have you chosen Tour B {Steveston Heritage Tour} for your preferred Friday 02 June 2023, UELAC Conference Tour?
Be sure to check out this added historical information – (fascinating even if you are not taking the tour)

  • Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site
  • Britannia Shipyards Video
  • Benjamin Babcock UE and the Steeves Family by Marguerite Colpitts
  • Steveston: A splendid opening for capitalists

Visit Where the Sea Meets the Sky for all the details

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

Unpacking a Chedabucto Muster Roll: The Black Loyalists of Guysborough: Part Four of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Despite their importance as early settlers of a region known as Tracadie in eastern Nova Scotia, these Black Loyalists did not begin to attract the interest of scholars until the 21st century. Thomas H. Raddall wrote a paper that referenced the Guysborough settlement that was published in the Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society in 1949. However, he only followed the Black Loyalists as far as Port Mouton. Unaware of the Book of Negroes, he believed that only the 70 Blacks aboard the HMS Sophie had come to the settlement; he was not aware that Black Loyalists were among the first settlers of Guysborough County.
An exhaustive “unpacking” of the Chedabucto muster roll was undertaken by Carmelita Robertson, who published a curatorial report for the Nova Scotia Museum in 2000 titled “Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia: Tracing the History of Tracadie Loyalists 1776 –1787“. Thirteen years later Ruth Holmes Whitehead published her groundbreaking book, Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia’s First Free Black Communities. Heather MacLeod-Leslie’s 2021 PhD thesis, Sankofa, examined the archeological discoveries of the region. In 2021, historian John Ashton wrote about the life of one Tracadie Black Loyalist in his article “Andrew Izzard’s Journey to Nova Scotia“.
What these historians discovered in their research reveals how much can be discovered when there is a dogged determination to “unpack” the data found in the Chedabucto muster roll.
Ruth Holmes Whitehead fleshes out the story of the departure of the Black Loyalists from Port Mouton and their arrival at Chedabucto Bay, noting that they first lived in tents on an island in the harbor, and then built log cabins on shore. Living on the margins of the white settlement, many of them experienced starvation. Some had to resort to becoming servants in the white Loyalists’ homes.
Although his entry in the Book of Negroes was only 18 words long, Joseph Wingwood/Ringwood had his biography enriched to fill several pages in Whitehead’s book. He escaped slavery when Charleston, South Carolina fell to the British in 1780. Shortly after his arrival in Guysborough, Ringwood married Sarah/Sally. The two were later baptized in Christ Church, the Anglican church where they were married and where they would later have their 3 daughters baptized in 1799 and 1803. The Ringwood family settled on a grant of 40.5 acres in an area known as Tracadie in 1788. An unnamed Ringwood was buried in the church’s graveyard in 1831.
Whitehead also expanded on the 18-word entry for Benjamin Gerrow (later Gero) found in the Book of Negroes. Benjamin had been enslaved by a French silk weaver in Charleston, South Carolina. He later married a fellow Nesbit passenger named Hagar who was 7 years his junior. They were also baptized at Guysborough’s Anglican Church. Whitehead speculated that Gero could speak French, which would later be advantageous as he settled on land in Tracadie that was next to Acadian settlers. Descendants of the Gero couple can still be found in the area. Six people of that name are buried in Upper Big Tracadie’s Baptist Church cemetery. The oldest surviving grave is for a woman who lived between 1891 and 1954.
There was far more to Hannah Lining‘s life than her 25-word entry in the Book of Negroes revealed. Blind in one eye, she had helped her 62 year-old mother, Dianah, escape from Dr. John Lining who had enslaved her in South Carolina. The Lining family had kept slaves on their indigo plantation for generations. The Black mother and daughter fled to New York in 1780; three years later, they were among the Loyalist refugees aboard the Nisbet.
Two years after arriving in Guysborough, the Lining mother and daughter were baptized at the Anglican Church. Hannah married James Lennox, one of grantees of 40.5 acres in Tracadie. Before they moved on to their grant, James died. Hannah married again, but lived to bury her second husband. Although Hannah’s mother had received one of the Tracadie grants, Whitehead believes that they spent their remaining years in the town of Guysborough.
The historian John Ashton went beyond Andrew Izzard‘s 22-word entry in the Book of Negroes, shedding light on his lost story. Just 28 years old when he came to Nova Scotia, Izzard had been enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina. He worked in the British army’s wagon department for what may have been 5 years of service. After his arrival in Guysborough in 1784, he established his first home on a hill on the outskirts of the town. Later, Izzard settled in a village known as Birchtown. Like its namesake outside of Shelburne, this settlement was named in honour of Brigadier-General Samuel Birch, the British officer whose name on an emancipation document validated the Black Loyalists’ status as free people.
Izzard married Nancy Ann Richardson. In December of 1787, the couple was among the 74 families who received land in the Tracadie grant. Izzard descendants continue to live in the Guysborough area to this day. In 1994, Norman Izzard became the first African Nova Scotian elected to serve on the municipal council in Guysborough County. At the time, it was the only municipal seat in Nova Scotia created to ensure that Black Nova Scotian communities would have a voice at the council.
Carmelita Robertson’s painstaking comparisons of entries in the Book of Negroes, the names on the Chedabucto muster, and the list of Tracadie Land grantees tell the story of the Black Loyalist settlers after their arrival in Guysborough in 1784.
Within three years’ time, 74 of the Black Loyalists who had first lived in Port Mouton became landowners through the Tracadie Land Grant. Also known as the Brownspriggs grant, Nova Scotia allotted 40.5 acres to each of those who had petitioned the government for land.
At some point after the arrival of the Black Loyalists, Thomas Brownspriggs had come to Guysborough as a school teacher employed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Described as “well spoken, intelligent, and somewhat literate”, this Black educator and preacher represented the Black Loyalists, successfully petitioning the colonial government for 3,000 acres of land. Most of the granted land was located in what are now the communities of East Tracadie, Monastery, and Rear Monastery.
One last fact is worthy of inclusion before we conclude this examination of the Black settlers of Guysborough County. In the fall of 1791, seven years after their arrival in the Chedabucto Bay area, a Black Loyalist named Thomas Peters returned from a trip to England with amazing news. The British government was prepared to underwrite the cost of a voyage to Sierra Leone in West Africa to any free Blacks then living in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was the crown’s response to the injustices that Black Loyalists had experienced since their arrival in the Maritimes.
Peters visited Black communities in Digby, Annapolis Royal, and along New Brunswick’s St. John River to spread the word of the opportunity for a fresh start in Sierra Leone. In Nova Scotia, a British naval officer named John Clarkson was charged with recruiting new settlers for the West African colony. However, Clarkson was only able to visit Preston, Dartmouth, Halifax, Shelburne, and Birchtown. The limitations of time and the white community’s increasing resistance to the Black Loyalist exodus prevented him from sailing to Guysborough.
When 15 ships left Halifax’s harbor bound for Freetown, Sierra Leone on January 15, 1792, none of their 1,190 Black Loyalist passengers were from Guysborough. Those who had been given land on the Tracadie Grant were never told of the opportunity to found a colony in Africa.
As greater attention is given to Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalist history, there will no doubt be even more stories revealed as researchers continue to “unpack” the Chedabucto muster roll of 1784.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Remember Baker: A Green Mountain Boy’s Controversial Death and Its Consequences
by Mark R. Anderson 4 May 2023 Journal of the Americanh Revolution
Despite the imperative nature of his unusual name, Remember Baker has garnered significantly less historical attention than fellow Green Mountain Boys Ethan Allen and Seth Warner. Baker seemed destined for an important role in the Revolutionary War, but his life was cut short in an August 22, 1775 incident across the Quebec border. As a result of this “unhappy affair,” Remember Baker’s most significant Revolutionary War legacy was the diplomatic crisis caused by his “imprudence” on the very eve of the Canada invasion. Previously neglected documentary material only reinforces Baker’s responsibility for the controversial incident that resulted in his death.
Remember Baker had emerged as a Green Mountain Boys leader in the early 1770s, during the land-rights struggle in what is now Vermont. He moved from Connecticut to the disputed New Hampshire Grants region with his cousins, Allen and Warner. Together they settled, speculated, fought, and established de facto control that subverted New York’s lawful authority there. Baker was indomitable in this effort, a French and Indian War veteran, “about 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, pretty well sett, something freckled in his face,” who had once killed a bear with only a hatchet. Friends and allies considered him “a Man of Courage and Integrity and well beloved in that Country,” but not everyone shared those sentiments. Read more…

William Walker Crosses Kings Ferry
by Michael J. F. Sheehan 2 May 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
On the second day of 1780, Capt. Silas Burbank of the 12th Massachusetts Regiment sat down to record a deposition from William Walker, a private soldier in the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment. Walker wasn’t sure if he was in trouble, but after losing £2,561 worth of clothing destined for the Continental Army wintering in Morristown, he certainly had to explain himself.
Walker had been in the army for three years, enlisting in January 1777 for the duration of the war. As he left no pension application and only late-war muster rolls remain that record his name, it is difficult to determine what he did from 1777 to 1780, but the tale he told Captain Burbank would certainly rank among his most unique wartime experiences. Read more…

American Naval Hero: Silas Talbot
The Dawlish Chronicles
The USS Constitution – “Old Ironsides” — is apparently the only active ship in service in the United States Navy to have sunk an enemy ship in combat. She was launched in 1797 and is a true national treasure. Immediately after commissioning in 1798 she was to plunge into more than a decade and a half of war, first against the French in the undeclared “Quasi-War”, thereafter in the Barbary Wars and lastly, and against the Royal Navy in the War of 1812, when in frigate-to-frigate “single ship actions” she defeated the British HMS Guerriere and HMS Java. It is with the Constitution’s second captain, Silas Talbot (1751 — 1813) that this blog is concerned, most especially regarding his service as a privateer during the American War of Independence. Read more…

Tax dodging and bribery: the practicalities of trade in the 18th-century Indian Ocean
By Dan McKee, Untold Lives Blog, British Library
East India Company merchant John Pybus compiled notes about the practicalities of trade in various ports and settlements of the Indian Ocean in the 18th century. Among lists of prices, exchange rates, and goods are advice and instructions for enterprising traders looking to maximise their profits through bribery and tax dodging.
Gift-giving is mentioned in the description of many ports. Read more…

ReCollections: A Podcast from Parks Canada
Parks Canada is proud to announce the launch of its new podcast project: ReCollections, a podcast about the places, stories and artifacts that bring history to life.
For a century, Parks Canada’s experts have worked with communities across the country to learn about and protect the buildings, landscapes, and objects that have shaped the land we now call Canada.
As of today, discover five extensively-researched, narrative, documentary episodes that feature compelling stories of Canada’s National Historic Sites. Each episode presents archeological artifacts and historic objects from Parks Canada’s collection, cultural landscapes, and/or historic buildings, along with interviews with experts who bring them to life.

  • L’Anse aux Meadows: The Saga of Vinland
  • Dawson: A Ruby in the Rough
  • Gwaii Haanas: Living Landscapes of SG̱ang Gwaay
  • Grosse Ile: The Quarantine Island
  • Louisbourg: Enslavement and Freedom at the French Fortress

Read more…

18th century trade cards for London book sellers
By Sarah Murden 4 June 2022 All Things Georgian
For those readers who are familiar with All Things Georgian, you will more than likely know of my passion for trade cards and the tiny clues they offer about the lives their former owners. Today we’re going to take a look at just a few of the book sellers of 18th century London.
We begin with the card above which belonged to Mr George Sael of at No 192, the Strand, London, showing a female figure, possibly Minerva, seated to the right inscribing the text on an oval. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation 1765-1795
Author: Edward J. Larson (New York, NY: WW Norton & Company, Inc., 2023)
Review by Timothy Symington 1 May 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
The 1619 Project undeniably makes the case that American history can only be properly understood if slavery is a central pillar (perhaps THE central pillar). The peculiar institution was always in the background and foreground during seminal events surrounding the nation’s founding. Edward J. Larson, whose books are familiar to most Revolutionary War historians, examines what Larson calls a “political minefield” (page vii): the idea of liberty and the reality of slavery. The synthesis of these two opposites shaped many of the events concerning the Revolution and the Early Republic.
Larson begins his book with Crevecouer’s question of “What is an American?” Crevecouer wrote glowingly about what he observed about American culture and the ideas of liberty and equality. At the same time, he did not ignore the hypocrisy of slavery. Larson gives a brief history of slavery in the British world since the 1450s, along with the viewpoints regarding slavery from famous Americans, such as Franklin and Jefferson. Read more…

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

  • Thanks to Sandra Guinan who contributed information about:
    • Maj. Samuel Andrews who before the war was probably in Bladen County, North Carolina. He served in the Loyalist Militia: “The Great Swamp Company”. His Loyalist journey took him to Florida to Shelburne NS to Tusket Creek (Tusket River?) NS. He married Mary Musselwhite (1759-1851) probably early to mid-1770s. They had three children, all born during the war.

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

Upcoming Events

St. Alban’s Centre: Donations Welcomed May 11 & 12; Garage Sale May 13

Spring Cleaning? We would love your unwanted items for our garage sale: Household Items; Clothing; LPs, Books, And Plants Too!
No Electronics Please
Drop off items at the Rectory, Thursday & Friday May 11 & 12, 9am to noon
St. Alban’s Centre, 10419 Loyalist Parkway (Hwy. 33), Adolphustow

St. Alban’s Annual Garage & Plant Sale, Saturday May 13, 9am to 1pm
Household Items, Clothing, Books, All Sorts of Cool & Useful Stuff
And Plants Too!

For Members: Loyalist Gazette; Recorded Presentations

The 2023 Spring Loyalist Gazette is progressing. It is likely to be printed and go into the post about the end of May.

Presentations on Demand
Grand River Branch has contributed a recording of a presentation to their April meeting “The Kerrs, 1755-1868, and their Grand River tract“.
The Kerrs 1755-1868: a remarkable more-than-less-Loyalist family and their Grand River tract – involved immense research by John Davis on the Kerr family. Robert Kerr had married Elizabeth Brant, Molly Brant‘s daughter, and their 5 children had each received 1000 acres of tract land from the 6 Nations. The Kerr children, as adults, did not spend much time on their acreages, in fact one daughter spent most of her life in London and Scotland. The majority of the Kerrs and their spouses sold their land to maintain their prosperous lifestyles, excluding one son who ended up a bankrupt. Robert Kerr had also fathered an illegitimate son and this son had purchased land from his half Kerr sister. Interesting that he was the only Kerr to live and work on the land.
By John N. Davis, J.D. (Toronto), M.L.S. (Western), Emeritus Professor.
Log in at and on the Members’ page, go to “Presentations to Branches; Recordings on-demand”.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Thunder on the Reach: Come experience life in the 18th Century on an original Loyalist Landing site! Join us on Friday, June 16th through Sunday June 18. The UEL Heritage Park & Centre in Adolphustown ON. More…
  • Nice presentation for NB Historical Society on DeLancey’s Brigade and other Provincial (Loyalist) regiments in the American Revolutionary War by Steve Fowler part 1 and part 2. Sponsored by the New Brunswick Historical Society. Held at the Saint John Public Library, April 22, 2023. Thanks Brian McConnell UE
  • Colonial newspapers contributed to the perpetuation of slavery. Advertised 250 years ago today: “RAN away … a Mulatto Fellow, named Harry, part Indian and part Negro … speaks good English … All Masters of Vessels and others are hereby cautioned.” (Essex Gazette 5/4/1773)
  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • 1 May 1775 NY’s Committee of 100 suggests that every man acquire weapons & school himself in military discipline.
    • 2 May 1775. Hanover County, VA. about 150 men under Patrick Henry did march toward Williamsburg. Violence, however, was averted when Carter Braxton persuaded Lord Dunmore to pay £330 for the confiscated gunpowder.
    • 3 May 1775, Dr. Benjamin Church signed the Massachusetts committee of safety’s approval for Col. Benedict Arnold to go attack Fort Ticonderoga. Church was already secretly helping the Crown; Arnold would start doing so four years later.
    • 3 May 1773, the ship Africa, financed by Aaron Lopez (pictured) & his father-in-law Jacob Rodrigues Rivera (also pictured), & captained by Nathaniel Briggs, departed Newport for Anomabu, Ghana to purchase 183 enslaved Africans for sale in Barbados.
    • 29 Apr 1776 General Greene sets up defense of Long Island, crushed in Aug 1776.
    • 2 May 1776 France loans 1 mil livres to a company created to support the American cause.
    • 3 May 1775 Governor of North-Carolina Colony instructed by British gov’t to organize Loyalist militias.
    • 4 May 1776 Rhode-Island renounces allegiance to the English King, but continues to call itself an “English Colony.”
    • 5 May 1776 British Gen. Clinton offers broad amnesty to North-Carolina patriots for their “wicked rebellion.”
    • 30 Apr 1780 British force takes possession of Lempriere’s Point, where rebels had abandoned cannon and guns.
  • Clothing and Related:
    • 18th Century cream-coloured silk dress with woven stripes, floral scrolls, chain motif and multi-colored embroidered with bouquets and garlands, c.1760-1780’s
    • 18th Century dress, robe à l’anglaise, c1775, The fabric was designed by Anna Maria Garthwaite, an important English textile designer and the only woman known to have worked in Spitalfields, London
    • 18th Century robe à la française, c.1760 Western chinoiserie is often a compound of exotic elements, not all indigenous to China. Palm trees signify the foreign, the pagoda-inspired follies are posts with tented swags.
    • Spring is springing, and this gorgeous hat of c.1770 is giving me some seasonal vibes.
    • Corset Stays, c.1750. Brocaded ilk with symmetrical multicolour floral pattern; decollete with high, laced back; stiffened, pieced construction with gussets and boning.
    • 18th Century men’s waistcoat of cream silk, with silk floral sprig embroidery, wheat-ears down the centre front opening and floral detail around the pockets, 1790’s
    • 18th Century men’s cream silk satin embroidered coat & pink silk breeches, 1780’s
    • 18th c garter buckle from a time when it was fashionable for men to wear knee breeches with stockings, silk or wool. Men’s garters were usually made of soft leather and did up just below the knee, to hold up the stockings and maintain the silhouette of a shapely, manly calf.
  • Miscellaneous

Last Post: LEMON UE, Doris Anne, May 31, 1928 – May 2, 2023
Doris Ann Lemon was born in Waterdown Ontario in May 1928. She was the daughter of Arthur and Alice Hood (nee Berry). She grew up on the farm and had stories of the long walks to school, or standing at the Hamilton market, doing chores, hard work, favorite animals, candling eggs, pulling weeds, picking stones out of the fields, unheated farmhouse bedroom. She married Hugh T. Lemon (d. 2011) of Strabane on December 10, 1950. Tom was born in 1955 and Kathy Aitken in 1956 (d. 2017). Doris is survived by six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Doris married Bob Miller (d. 2017) and for the last several years enjoyed the company of Paul Dixon of Waterloo.
Doris became involved in family histories and published more than a dozen genealogies on multiple family lines. She was proud of her Dutch ancestors (Wyckoff) who settled in the New York City area in the 1600’s, and her United Empire Loyalist ancestors who left the US during the American Revolution settling in Norfolk County (Port Dover- Port Rowan area). She became an expert on Loyalist history in southwest Ontario, the War of 1812, and Major General Sir Isaac Brock. At 80 she earned a BA in history from the University of Waterloo. She documented her Loyalist ancestry, earning the designation “UE” from the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada. She was an active member of the Grand River Branch of the UEL, and a contributor to the archives at the Eva Brook Donnelly Museum in Simcoe.
For the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, she recruited Bob Rennie to take on the role of Sir Isaac Brock in historical uniform to appear at special events which continue to this day. Doris gave many presentations in period costume about life in the 1700’s and early 1800’s.
She was also interested in Canadian art and artists, birds, flower arranging and gardening, music and enjoyed her summer cottage near Tobermory for 50 years. She loved to sing and dance. She was a gracious and fun host, good cook, good bridge player and tough rummy player (the grandkids said she bent the rules).
As anyone who was, will attest, it was great to be in Doris’ circle and she will be missed. If she was here, she’d already have asked if you have a Loyalist ancestor. More details…

Sadly, our long time member, Doris Lemon UE has passed away. Doris became interested in all things Loyalist when she was helping her son work on a school genealogy project. This spurred her on to a lifetime of Loyalist research and involvement both at the Grand River Branch and Dominion level. Her influence and contributions including her work on the Long Point Settlement cannot be underestimated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.
Loyally, Bev Balch UE, Grand River Branch

Doris proved descent from Jonathan Williams UEL.

Published by the UELAC
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