In this issue:
- Conference 2023: Where the Sea Meets the Sky: Welcome, AGM
- Loyalist Gazette, Spring Issue 2023
- Unpacking Loyalists’ Runaway Notices. Part Three, by Stephen Davidson UE
- John Dickinson and the Letter to Canada
- Podcast: St Augustine and Early Florida
- HMS Roebuck on the Delaware
- Local Kingston ON History: Experienced Loyalist hands built beautiful stone farmhouse
- Book: Questions of Order: Confederation and the Making of Modern Canada
- Query: A Source for the Loyalist Rose in USA
- PEI Abegweit branch of United Empire Loyalist Association revived
- Help St. Alban’s Centre in Adolphustown Ontario with a Vote
- Scholarship keeps celebrated Stoney Creek citizen’s spirit alive
- African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts
- UELAC Loyalist Directory: New Contributions
- Upcoming Events
- For Members: Recorded Presentations “Major John Norton“
- From the Twittersphere and Beyond
- Memorial Service: Johnston UE, Myrtle
Looking Forward to Greeting You
The “Where the Sea Meets the Sky” 2023 UELAC Hybrid Pacific Region Conference Planning Committee awaits your arrival at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel and Conference Centre – 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, British Columbia.
AGM Registration is Separate
A reminder that you MUST Register separately, whether attending “in-person” or “virtually,” for the UELAC AGM, Saturday 03 June 2023: 9:30AM- (PDT)
The deadline for AGM Registration is Saturday 27th May 2023 (noon). See the AGM Information including registration details in the Members’ Section at uelac.ca – login required.
On behalf of the 2023 Conference Planning Committee – Co-Chairs Carl Stymiest UE, Diane Faris UE, Christopher Wilcott UE, and Coco Aders-Weremczuk
Visit Where the Sea Meets the Sky for all the Conference details
Loyalist Gazette, Spring Issue 2023
The digital copy of the Spring 2023 issue of the Loyalist Gazette is now available from uelac.ca in the members section. Log-in is required.
The The Gazette is now at the printer. Once it has been printed, stuffed and stamped, it will be delivered to Canada Post over the next couple of weeks for delivery to those who have requested a paper copy.
Unpacking Loyalists’ Runaway Notices – Part Three of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
This series of articles is based on a sampling of about 50 fugitive servant ads found in the newspapers of the Middle Colonies. By comparing the masters’ names in documents relating to Loyalist history, it can be determined that seven of the men in the sampling later sided with the British during the American Revolution.
While the details in their ads for their runaway servants are quite profuse, there are only mere sentences of data on such men as Robert Pearson, John Carey, Isaac Haines, John Monrow, and Robert Andrews. Each man left clues to his Loyalist convictions in probate records, ships’ manifests and petitions, but nothing substantial. However, if two names have been correctly matched, then there are stories to be discovered for the Loyalists named Jacob Miller and Mathias Burnet.
All that is known about a New York Loyalist named Mathias Burnet is summed up in just 98 words in Lorenzo Sabine’s Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution. This same Burnet published a notice in a 1768 colonial newspaper in an attempt to recapture a fugitive servant whom he described in 115 words. Posterity knows more about an Irishman named Thomas Harber than it does about the man who offered a five-pound reward for his capture.
During this period of colonial history, it was very common for recent immigrants to enter into indenture agreements with prosperous Americans, exchanging a set number of years of labour for food, clothing, and shelter in a strange land. Although not a slave, the indented servant’s contract could be sold to another person, so such a servant was a “commodity” of value within colonial society. And as in the case of Thomas Harber, sometimes more than the indented servant’s commitment of years of service were lost when one ran away.
Mathias Burnet’s ad noted that Harber had stolen “a coat mixed blue and white, bound with blue binding, mohair buttons, a pair of leather breeches, a crimson vest, two shirts, and sundry other articles.” Included in the latter was £40 in cash that had been taken from a small leather trunk belonging to Burnet.
To secure Harber’s capture, Burnet described the runaway as being 5 feet 2 inches in height, having black curled hair, a thin visage and a sandy beard. At the time of his escape, the Irish servant was wearing a camblet (a sturdy water proof fabric made of wool or cotton) coat, a scarlet vest and trousers made of osnaburg – a coarse linen used for furnishings and sacks. These were very typical clothes for an indented servant, much as denim would be the material of choice for someone working outdoors today.
While the documents of the era do not reveal what happened to the runaway servant, Sabine’s biographical sketch sheds light on the fate of Harber’s master.
Mathias Burnet was born in New Jersey and graduated from that colony’s Princeton College. He became a Presbyterian minister in Jamaica, New York. A Loyalist, he was noted as continuing with his congregation during the American Revolution – and as being the only Presbyterian clergyman to be a “friend to Government”. At the end of the war, Burnet and his wife were “compelled” to move to Connecticut owing to Burnet being a Loyalist. As his wife was an Anglican, Burnet was able to pastor the Episcopalian Church in Norwalk, Connecticut. He died there in 1806.
Jacob Miller was another Loyalist who posted a runaway ad in the Pennsylvania Gazette within a year of Mathias Burnet. Miller was born in one of the German states, and after immigrating to New Jersey established himself at Cohansey Bridge (today’s Fairfield) at the time his servant escaped. In time, he was doing well enough to enter into an indenture contract with another German immigrant named William Peineburg.
The fugitive was 45 years old, 5 feet 4 inches in height, had grey hair and had a “stiff walk”. When Peineburg escaped from his servitude, he took a coat, shirt, breeches and two yards of fabric with him in addition to the clothes on his back. His master included another detail that might help to identify and capture the German servant – the latter had run off with a “middle sized” black dog that had a short cut tail and curly fur on its back. Three pounds would be awarded to the German’s captors.
Peineburg’s escape is noteworthy in that he was the oldest runaway found in the sample of newspaper notices. Had he finally grown weary of a long time in his master’s home? Or was he a more recent immigrant who remembered a long life of independence in his home country? The motivations for escaping servitude never surface in run away notices.
Jacob Miller was living in Turloch in New York’s Tryon County at the outbreak of the American Revolution. He had built a house and barn, and cleared 22 acres of the 150 acres he had bought from a Nicholas Stamburg in 1769.
Eight years later, Miller’s commitment to the crown saw him join the British army following the siege of Fort Stanwix in 1777. He “served all the war”, and at its conclusion was one of the thousands of Loyalist who sought refuge along the Bay of Quinte, on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. In 1788, he stood before the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists to seek compensation for all that he had sacrificed as a Loyalist.
The last document to contain Jacob Miller’s name is the Hastings County Copybook, which notes that a Bellville carpenter of that name was a witness to an 1822 land grant. He is later referenced in Rev. W. B. Tucker’s 1929 book, The Romance of the Palatine Millers.
Sometimes there was a Loyalist connection to runaway servants that involved those who were in charge of colonial jails or who had the authority to imprison fugitives until their masters could be located.
The story of the Loyalist Stephen Skinner and other runaways will appear in the fourth part of this series in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Dickinson and the Letter to Canada
by James M. Smith 23 May 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
After the French and Indian War the British government made a number of decisions with respect as to how it would govern its North American colonies. One was the Proclamation of 1763 in which it reserved all the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains for Native Americans. English settlers who had already settled there had to leave and go back east and those who wanted to settle there were forbidden. In addition it regulated who could and who could not buy land from Native Americans and it stipulated that all who wished to trade with Native Americans had to obtain a license, post a bond and obey the regulations that were to be established insuring fair trade. The regulations were to be drawn up in London, not in the colonies. Anyone found in violation of the regulations would lose their license and forfeit their bond.
The Quebec Act of 1774 went even further. Officials in London declared that the Ohio Valley north of the Ohio River was to be a part of Canada and the province of Quebec, administered by the Canadian Royal Governor out of the capital city of Quebec.
It is ironic that the French and Indian War was started by English officials sending the Virginia Militia to clear the French out of the Ohio Valley and claim it for the English colonies south of Canada, only to have it declared a part of Canada after the war. Needless to say this did not sit well with the English settlers in the thirteen lower colonies. Many of them, including George Washington, who was the militia commander who started the war, as well as Benjamin Franklin and others, had petitioned London to purchase large land grants in the Ohio so that they could subdivide it and sell it to settlers for a profit. The Quebec Act made those plans moot. Read more…
Podcast: St Augustine and Early Florida
Charles Tingley joins us to explore the early history of St. Augustine and Florida. Charles is a Senior Research Librarian at the St. Augustine Historical Society in St. Augustine, Florida.
During our investigation into St. Augustine and early Florida, Charles reveals how and why the Spanish founded a colony at St Augustine, Florida; The layout and appearance of colonial St. Augustine and the makeup of its people; And, the journey of St. Augustine and Florida from a Spanish colony to a British colony, back to a Spanish colony, and finally, the 27th state of the United States. Listen in… at Ben Franklin’s World
HMS Roebuck on the Delaware
by Robert N. Fanelli 25 May 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
The Royal Navy was designed not just protect the island of Britain and its commerce, but to project Great Britain’s power across the seas. Britain’s success as a sea power led to the creation of a large overseas empire and, by the latter half of the eighteenth century, naval dominance of the Atlantic world. One of the Royal Navy’s organizing principles during the age of sail was the notion of a stand-up sea battle, where numbers of ships on both sides lined up against one another, blasting away with their broadsides. In confronting its rebellious North American colonies this approach proved unworkable, for the simple reason that, through their long reliance on the Royal Navy for safety, the Americans were incapable of floating such a navy themselves. Instead, the rebels’ strategy was to avoid British naval strength, and instead pick away at their enemy, guerilla style, with small vessels, privateers and coastal defenses. The Royal Navy needed to adapt by expanding the number of their ships which could function in a shallow coastal and riverine environment.
Fortunately for Britain, in the period between the Seven Years War and the American rebellion, the Admiralty had dusted off and updated an earlier design for a medium size warship with substantial armament that could perform well on the coast of North America. Designed in 1769, His Majesty’s Ship Roebuck was constructed at Chatham Dockyard, at a leisurely pace between 1770 and 1774, initially under the direction of Surveyor of the Navy, Sir Thomas Slade. Built along the general lines of the Phoenix, which had been in service since 1759, Roebuckwas a fifth rate: a 44-gun, two-deck warship, too small for a ship of the line, yet too large to be called a frigate.
Commissioned as Roebuck’s captain was thirty-six-year-old Andrew Snape Hamond, the son of a merchant ship owner, who had joined the Navy at age fifteen, and who achieved command of a series of increasingly powerful ships. By the time he was twenty-one, he was a lieutenant aboard the 64-gun Magnamine, proving his mettle in the British victory over the French at Quiberon Bay under Capt. Richard Howe, the man who would become his chief supporter. By 1775, Hamond had served as commanding officer of six other ships, including the 90-gun, second rate, Barfleur. Moving to a 44-gun ship might seem a reduction in stature, but Hamond was soon to be placed in command of a squadron of smaller ships. Read more…
Local Kingston ON History: Experienced Loyalist hands built beautiful stone farmhouse
By Susanna McLeod, 25 May 2023, Kingston Whig Standard
Facing the waterfront on a treed, sloping lot, the stone farmhouse looks like it’s patiently waiting for its residents to return. The boarded-up windows and doors are a signal that the family is long gone, but the area surrounding Peter Wartman House remains tended and tidy. Part of Patterson Park in Kingston’s west end, the land could tell captivating stories of a Loyalist family making Kingston its home after suffering heartbreak and losses during the American Revolution.
In the summer of 1731, Hans Adam Wartman and his wife, Maria Elizabetha, sailed from Rotterdam, Germany, for the United States. Abraham Wartman (born 1725) and his sister, Mary, grew up on the family farm on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. The family constructed a home and a barn, and the father was a cooper, making wooden barrels, casks and containers. They were part of the Lutheran Church congregation.
When he was 20, Abraham Wartman married 23-year-old Catherine Baumann (Bowman) from New York state. Her grandparents and their children emigrated from Europe, migrants from Germany’s Palatinate region. Read more…
Book: Questions of Order: Confederation and the Making of Modern Canada
Author: Peter Price (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021)
Review by Steve Penfold 9 May 2023 in Borealia, Early Canadian History
As an historical event, Canadian Confederation is very confusing. Multi-leveled, contradictory, endlessly complex – it has meant, and continues to mean, different things to a ridiculously wide range of scholars, politicians, and citizens. The British North America Act might be the most boring “founding document” in the history of nations – a tedious description of government institutions – but it is also endlessly fascinating in its technical complexity. Read one way, it seems to show federal supremacy; read another, it has decentralizing tendencies. John A. Macdonald thought he had subordinated the provinces, but his ally Georges-Etienne Cartier saw all the powers that Quebec needed to protect its national distinctiveness (not to mention sufficient federal power to build railways). Remember that old story of the blindfolded men touching an elephant? Don’t be fooled: that yarn is about perception, but Confederation is confounding in fact, a jumble of contradictory features that should never occur in the same lifeform. Examine a platypus without a blindfold: we can see the animal just fine, but who can figure it out? Read more…
Query: A Source for the Loyalist Rose in USA
Joshua Loper, with both Patriot and Loyalist ancestors, a member of Gov. Simcoe Branch UELAC but a resident of Delaware, would like to plant a Loyalist Rose.
Does anyone have a source for the Loyalist Rose in USA – the paperwork to bring a live rose from Canada is rather daunting.
Joshua can be reached at email@example.com
In the Loyalist Monuments, Memorials and Commemoratives Section, read more about the Loyalist Rose.
PEI Abegweit branch of United Empire Loyalist Association revived
In Eastern Graphic – Wednesday, 24 May 2023
The Abegweit branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC), representing PEI, has been revived six years after it became dormant.
In 1973, a group of Islanders with a keen interest in the history and culture of the province successfully established a branch of the UELAC. Under the leadership of its first president, Dr Helen MacDonald, the Abegweit branch received its charter on May 30, 1973.
The national organization was founded by federal charter on May 27, 1914. Its purpose was to unite the descendants of families who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution and to preserve their history, traditions, and memorabilia.
About 600 Loyalists and disbanded soldiers had settled on PEI by 1785, and their descendants today number in the tens of thousands. Membership in the UELAC is open to anyone with Loyalist ancestry or with an interest in the role of Loyalists in PEI history or history in general.
For more than 40 years the Abegweit branch furthered this mission on PEI. Among the group’s many accomplishments were the 1983 publication of An Island Refuge: Loyalists and Disbanded Troops and the Island of Saint John and its 2002 revision and reissue. In time, however, its executive had aged and passed away with the branch becoming dormant in 2017.
Under the leadership of Kevin Wisener, a descendant of two PEI Loyalists, and with the assistance of UELAC Dominion vice president Carl Stymiest, the branch has recently reformed.
The board includes Mr Wisener as president along with vice president Kathryn Sencabaugh, secretary Jo-Ann Leake, treasurer Jayne Leake, genealogist Carol Harding and acting pastpresident Winston Johnston.
Mr Wisener said the Abegweit branch is currently recruiting new members.
“If you or someone you know is interested in researching a PEI Loyalist, please alert them to our Abegweit Branch and we would be pleased to assist where we can. We intend to continue our research on Prince Edward Island Loyalists and some disbanded soldiers and to post their profiles on the UELAC Loyalist Directory webpage.”
The UELAC raises monies to support its UELAC Scholarship Master’s and Doctoral recipients. These are awarded annually to continuing and new applicant candidates for related studies on the Loyalist era. The UELAC also provides branches with grants for projects commemorating Loyalist historical places, cemeteries and other projects of Loyalist significance across Canada.
For more information, visit the Abegweit branch website at
https://abegweit.uelac.ca or the national association website
Help St. Alban’s Centre in Adolphustown Ontario with a Vote
The Adolphustown Community Centre has entered into the McDougall Community Contest for $5,000 to help their transformation from The Loyalist Church to an active community centre.
The funds will help them update St. Alban’s for community use and preserve and promote this historic building for generations to come.
View our submission video to learn of our plans (2 minutes).
Votes can be cast each day for the next week, but please, no more than one vote per day!
Voting open May 24-31
St. Alban’s Centre, 10419 Loyalist Parkway (Hwy. 33), Adolphustown
A Rich Past ★ A Promising Future
Scholarship keeps celebrated Stoney Creek citizen’s spirit alive
$5,000 Marie Robbins award open to hometown’s newcomer students
By Richard LeitnerReporter, 26 May 2023, The Hazmilton Spectator
Her family’s United Empire Loyalist roots in Stoney Creek ran deep, but Marie Robbins had a passion for helping people who were new to Canada to learn English and pass their citizenship test.
A charitable foundation honouring the memory of Stoney Creek’s 2016 Citizen of the Year is keeping that spirit alive, offering an annual $5,000 scholarship to help young newcomers pursue post-secondary education.
Applications are being accepted via the foundation’s website for this year’s award and newcomer students completing studies at any Stoney Creek high school are eligible to apply. Read more…
African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts
Within this web presentation, the Massachusetts Historical Society brings together historical manuscripts and rare published works that serve as a window upon the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late seventeenth century through the abolition of slavery under the Massachusetts Constitution in the 1780s.
Although the complex role of African Americans, both enslaved and free, in colonial Massachusetts is an important part of our state and local history, the struggle for personal liberty in Massachusetts is central to a full understanding of our national history.
This website features 117 items from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. This group of unique manuscripts and rare published materials includes handwritten documents and letters, Pamphlets, petitions, warrants etc. Read more and explore…
- No updates this week
If you are willing to submit some information, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org All help is appreciated. …doug
Our first AGM and lunch meeting since Covid will start at 11:30 am on Saturday, June 10th, 2023 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Hall, 107 Holy Trinity Road, Athens, Ontario, (just west and south of Athens). The meal by the ACW volunteers – ham, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, turnip puff, peas and carrot medley, cabbage salad, tea and coffee and a selection of pies. This is a church fundraiser and they are only charging us $25 per meal. We have met there before; the food is delicious.
This will be an important meeting to discuss the future of our Colonel Edward Jessup Branch.
Please register and ask any questions by e-mail to Barb Law UE email@example.com so we can let the ladies know how many delicious meals to prepare. If you need a ride, we will try to arrange one for you.
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
A gathering of the descendants and friends of Samuel Moore I, of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Province of New Jersey, born c. 1630, and his great-grandson, United Empire Loyalist Samuel Moore of Upper Canada, formerly of the Provinces of New Jersey and Nova Scotia, born 1742, died and buried 1822, Norwich, Upper Canada
- 1:00 Informal meet and greet
- 1:30 Welcome, Introductions and 2 presentations, each followed by discussion and a break:
- Unravelling the DNA by Bob Moore
- Life in the Aftermath of the Flushing Remonstrance: Assessing Liberalism’s Unintended Consequences at the End of the Modern Age by M. Jane Fairburn
We look forward to sharing stories and insights into the rich historical tradition of the Moore family in North America, all without distance restrictions!
Please share this invitation.
Contact Donna Moore UE firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link
Presentations on Demand (member log-in required)
“Major John Norton, 1770-1827”
Angus Sutherland presentation to Grand River Branch on 21 May 2023
Angus spoke about Major John Norton 1770-1827. Major Norton was highly esteemed in his time as a linguist, teacher, trader, adventurer, translator of the Gospel John, Christian and war tactician for the First Nations during the War of 1812.
Born of Scots/Cherokee parentage, he was raised in Scotland and joined a regiment when he was 16 which brought him to Canada in 1786. John resigned from the military, came to the attention of Joseph Brant – who adopted him as a nephew, was employed by the Indian Department and was sent to Britain to get the British Privy Council to agree on the Haldimand Tract.
Back in Canada in 1809, John canoed down the Grand River, crossed a Great Lake, paddled down the Ohio River, arrived in Cherokee Territory, southern U.S. and connected with his Cherokee relatives. He returned to Upper Canada a year later and worked on his Journal. Rumours of war began circulating in 1811 and Sir Isaac Brock asked John to go on diplomatic missions. As the war progressed John became a war chief and encouraged the Grand River Mohawk to support the British. After Brock was shot at Queenston Heights, John and his 80 warriors harassed and scared the American troops until British reinforcements arrived from Fort George.
After the War, John, travelled back to Britain, returned to Canada and then journeyed back to the southern States. His death year is unknown but the last time his name appears in records is 1826. The Champlain Society gave his death date as 1827.
- The Duke of Wellington’s robes and two coronations. The robes are interesting to me, not because they were worn by the current duke, but because they were worn by the Iron Duke at the coronation of George IV in 1821. Read more…
- The Most Important Job In The World – The Blacksmith
- This week in History
- 20 May 1775 Committee of Safety in Mecklenburg County, North-Carolina declares independence; text lost to time.
- 21 May, 1775 Ethan Allen arrives at Ft. Ticonderoga, after being repulsed at Ft. St. John’s in Canada.
- 24 May 1775 John Hancock elected 4th President of Continental Congress, serving to 1777, so 1st to sign Declaration.
- 26 May 1776 President of Virginia Convention warns Maryland of approaching British fleet.
- 23 May 1777 Col. Meigs’ expedition seizes British fort, burns several ships at Sag Harbor on Long Island.
- 24 May 1777, as part of a tit-for-tat series of raids across Long Island Sound, Continental units from Connecticut attacked a Loyalist force in Sag Harbor, New York, burning ships and taking prisoners. Read about Meigs Raid…
- 22 May 1781 Rebel forces besiege Fort Ninety-Six, SC; forced to retreat 19 June, but British depart anyway 1 July.
- 18th Century wedding ensemble, c.1780
- 25 May 1787 Constitutional Convention convenes, exceeding charge to amend Articles of Confederation, starts fresh.
- Clothing and Related:
- Some sparkle & shine for a rainy Saturday from my study collection: Silver and paste stone shoe buckles, c. mid-18th century, French or English; in original shagreen, silk lined case. See 3-minute video on Georgian Buckles.
- Eighteenth-century fabrics were costly and cherished commodities. Lengths of dress cloth were cut into as little as possible, so that they could be unstitched and refashioned as new styles. The silhouette of this gown dates to circa 1765, but its fabric was woven about 30 years earlier in Spitalfields, a prominent silk weaving center in England. Photos
- 18th Century dress, Robe à la Française made in Great Britain, 1760s, of Chinese export painted silk satin, dated 1735-60.
- Rear view of an 18th Century caraco jacket worn with a quilted silk skirt, c.1750 -1760’s
- 18th Century silk embroidery sample. Kept in their original paper enclosures for over 200 years, preserving their brilliant colour & pristine condition. This likely represents a design for men’s coats, c.1770’s
- Detail of an 18th Century Court suit, showcasing the incredible embroidery across this 3 piece matching set, c.1780’s
- 18th Century 3-piece court suit for the young Alexander I, Russia, 1786. Pink silk with golden metal thread embroidery; matching waistcoat: cream silk with metal thread embroidery.
- Discovered in an abandoned mine in New Mexico, a set of Levi jeans dating back to the 1880s were recently sold at an auction for $87,000. These jeans bear wax marks on the legs, a testament to the original owner’s toil by candlelight. With a waist measuring 38 inches and a length of 32, denim historian Michael Harris stumbled upon them in the mine. These pants would have been worn during the gold rush period, and Harris vividly described their condition.
Memorial Service: Johnston UE, Myrtle
Myrtle Johnston UE a member of the Colonel Edward Jessup Branch of UELAC for 55 years, passed away this past January and a memorial service will be held for her June 3rd, at 2: pm at the Addison United Church which is located in the settlement of Addison, (north of Brockville, Ontario) the address is 9007 County Rd 29, Addison, ON K0E 1A0. If anyone has any questions they can contact me, Barbara Law UE at email@example.com
See the “Last Post for Myrtle Johnston UE” from Loyalist Trails 23 January 2023
Published by the UELAC
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