In this issue:




Conference 2023: Where the Sea Meets the Sky: Virtual Presentations Available
Those who wished to participate in the conference – but not to physically attend – could register to watch eleven speakers from across Canada speak about a variety of topics, often relevant to their home base.
The Conference Planning Committee has decided to make those presentations openly available to all.
The speakers and their topics are described at Virtual Guest Speakers
Watch those you are interested in at Virtual Presentations.
Visit Where the Sea Meets the Sky for all the Conference details

A Black Loyalist’s Story In His Own Words: Part One of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
In the former part of my life I had suffered greatly from the cruelty and injustice of the Whites, which induced me to look upon them, in general, as our enemies … I still felt at times an uneasy distrust and shyness towards them.
These are the words found in the 1796 memoir of a Black Loyalist who was born into slavery in South Carolina. During his 42 years, Boston King emancipated himself by joining the British during the American Revolution, found sanctuary in Nova Scotia, and then settled in Sierra Leone on the western coast of Africa. His memoir is just one of four autobiographies written by Black Loyalists.
During her research, historian Ruth Whitehead determined that Boston was born to Will and Cate, two Africans enslaved by Richard Waring, owner of the Beech Hill plantation on the Ashley River west of Charleston, South Carolina. Will had been captured as a boy and sold into slavery in the New World. There are no further details concerning Cate’s life other than the fact that she was also the mother of a daughter named Tenah.
Despite being bound to Richard Waring for life, Will and Cate were “beloved by this master“. Boston’s father had “the charge of the plantation as a driver for many years”; Cate was “employed chiefly in attending upon those that were sick, having some knowledge of the virtue of herbs“.
Boston’s carefree childhood came to an end at the age of six when he was made to wait upon his master in the Waring home. Three years later, he was given the task of “minding the cattle“. At one time he travelled with the Waring’s groom as he visited various colonies to race horses.
At age 16, Boston became an apprentice to a nearby carpenter — a man who beat him severely whenever building tools were lost or misplaced. The teenager was once beaten so harshly that he was unable to do anything for two weeks. When Boston was later falsely accused of stealing nails he was “beat and tortured most cruelly, and was laid up for three weeks” before he was able to return to work. It is little wonder that when he wrote his memoir 20 years later, Boston recalled the “cruelty and injustice of the Whites“.
When Richard Waring heard how his slave was being treated, he threatened to apprentice Boston to another tradesman. Boston’s master carpenter “behaved much better“, and the next two years passed peacefully.
By 1778, the British began to focus their military strategy on occupying the southern colonies. Fearful of the king’s army, Boston’s carpenter moved inland, taking the Black teenager with him. It may be that he knew of the enemy’s offer to set free any Patriot slave that joined the British forces and was afraid that Boston would run away.
The British captured Charleston on May 12, 1780. Not too long afterwards, 20 year-old Boston borrowed a horse to visit his parents. They were just 12 miles from the construction site where he was working with his master. When Boston was unable to return the horse on the agreed date, he “expected the severest punishment, because the gentleman to who the horse belonged was a very bad man, and knew not how shew mercy.
Boston made up his mind to run off to Charleston and “throw {himself} into the hands of the English“. They welcomed the runaway teenager who now began to “feel the happiness, liberty, of which I knew nothing before“. But Boston’s joy was short-lived. He contracted smallpox, a common occurrence when Southerners came in contact with British soldiers.
Boston and other Black Loyalists were quarantined, forced to recuperate a mile outside of the army camp. Often a whole day would pass without any food or water. A soldier with the New York Volunteers who was one of Boston’s acquaintances, brought him “such things as I stood in need of“.
When the British army marched away, Boston feared being taken back into slavery by the Patriots, but as soon as the rebel forces saw that the Black Loyalists were infected with smallpox, they “precipitately left us for fear of the infection.
Boston was eventually reunited with the British army and lived to tell the tale of being a smallpox survivor. The regiment with which the Black Loyalist was travelling “had an engagement with the Americans“, resulting in the wounding of the soldier who had tended to Boston when he was sick. (The teenager’s Good Samaritan may have been Captain Grey as Boston would later describe himself as that officer’s servant.)
As soon as I heard of his misfortune, I went to see him, and tarried with him in the hospital six weeks, till he recovered; rejoicing that it was in my power to return him the kindness he had shewed me.”
Although Boston had been safe while in the company of the British, his freedom was not recognized by the Loyalist militia men who fought alongside the king’s men. Thinking that the British had been captured following their quick abandonment of their camp, Captain Lewes of a local militia asked Boston if he would like to have a new master.
When the Black Loyalist “spoke some sharp things to him“, Lewes threatened him, saying “”If you do not behave well, I will put you in irons, and give you a dozen stripes every morning.”
After Lewes sent Boston on an errand to retrieve horses, the Black Loyalist rejoined the British army and told the commander about the 50 English horses the militia captain had stolen and of the latter’s desertion.
Within a year’s time, Boston left Captain Grey’s employ and became a servant to the commanding officer of the British garrison at a redoubt on the north side of the Santee River. Nelson’s Ferry was a strategic crossing-place for travelers or troops travelling between Camden and Charleston.
Our situation was very precarious; and we expected to be made prisoners every day; for the Americans had 1600 men, not far off; whereas our whole number amounted only to 250. But here were 1200 English about 30 miles off; only we knew not how to inform them of our danger, as the Americans were in possession of the country.
Promising me great rewards“, the garrison’s colonel gave Boston a letter requesting aid from nearby British forces. The Black Loyalist refused to ride off on horseback, no doubt fearing that a Black man on a horse would be considered an escaping slave if he were intercepted by rebel forces. After narrowly avoiding being detected by Patriots, Boston borrowed a horse to cover the remaining two miles of his journey. The officer who read the message from Nelson’s Ferry “received me with great kindness, and expressed his approbation of my courage and conduct in this dangerous business.
When he returned to Nelson’s Ferry, Boston was not impressed by his “great reward” of just three shillings “and many fine promises, which were all that I ever received for this service from him“.
Thursday, August 24, 1780 entered the annals of the American Revolution as the date of the Battle of Nelson’s Ferry. A Patriot victory, the nighttime raid resulted in the capture of British soldiers and the release of 150 prisoners of war. Boston’s involvement is unknown. His memoir picks up his story with his travelling to Charleston where he boarded a British man-of-war and sailed for New York City.
The story of Boston King continues in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Colonial newspapers contributed to the perpetuation of slavery
Advertised 250 years ago today: “A hearty Male Negro Child of a good Breed, to be given away. Enquire of the Printer.” (Massachusetts Gazette & Boston Weekly News-Letter 6/10/1773)

Advertised 250 years ago today: “Any Persons who have healthy Slaves to dispose of … may be informed of a Purchaser by applying to the Printer.” (Mass. Gazette & Boston Weekly News-Letter. Supplement 6/10/1773)

Advertised 250 years ago today: “RAN away … a Negro Man named Chester , alias Titus, formerly Mr Thomas Jaque’s Runaway … one or more of his Toes partly lost by Frost.” (Essex Gazette 6/8/1773)

Advertised 250 years ago today: “Ran away … a Negro Woman named LETTICE … born upon Long Island, speaks good English … Two Dollars Reward.” (New-London Gazette 6/4/1773)

Advertised 250 years ago today: “RAN away … a middle sized Indian servant … named GEORGE PAUL, but tis likely he will change his name; he has been used to farming business.” (Newport Mercury 5/31/1773)

Book: The First Church: Old Holy Trinity in Middleton, Nova Scotia
by Brian McConnell UE Independently published (May 24 2023) ‎ 141 pages
Construction of Old Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Middleton, Nova Scotia began in 1789. It was the first place of worship and first of three Anglican churches in the area. In 1998 it was recognized as a provincial heritage site and is the oldest substantially unaltered church built by United Empire Loyalists who settled in Canada after the American Revolution. This book traces the history of this special building and considers the people who were involved in construction and the community. It includes information about Black Loyalists and African Nova Scotians. Available at

School of the Loyalist: “Letter to my Dear Father”
in Piscataway, New Jersey, July 15-16, 2023
From Facebook: School of the Loyalist 2023
As Father’s Day is approaching, thought we’d share the letter of a Loyalist officer to his own father on Long Island. Its a letter that could have been written by far too many sons over the course of history: sorry dad, not enough time to see you. Next time… Edmund Fanning had been secretary to Governor William Tryon and in December 1776 raised the King’s American Regiment, of which he was colonel commandant.
“Setauket 31st Jan. 1777
My Dear Father,
I am accidently called down upon His Majesty’s Service as low as this Place, and am obliged to return back immediately, but cannot forego the Pleasure of writing You these few lines, & sending them by an Express hired for that Purpose, just inform You that I am very well and should have waited on You the last Time I was as low as the River Head, but was obliged to hurry on with the greatest Expedition to attend a muster which was had here the next day. I shall be down again in ten or twenty days, or thereabouts, when I intend to come and see you and stay a day or two or more, and in the mean Time am with my tenderest Love to all my Relations, & best wishes for your Health & Happiness,
My Dear Father
Your most dutiful
and affectionate Son
Edm. Fanning
Capt. James Fanning”
Source: Virginia Historical Society, Wickham Family Papers, Mss 1 W6326C FA2, Box 1, Edmund Fanning Letters, (Copies).

The French Depart Newport
by Norman Desmarais 6 June 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Lt. Gen. Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur Comte de Rochambeau did not wake up on the morning of June 18, 1781 and order his army of more than 6,000 men to break camp and begin their march south. Such an operation would take months to plan and execute. He sent the artillery company to Providence on April 10 and he was already making plans and purchasing horses, wagons and foodstuffs by April 12, 1781. He sent assistant quartermaster Matthieu Dumas ahead of the army to select the camp sites and to mark the route. Dumas submitted his recommendations to Pierre François de Béville, quartermaster general of the army, for his approval and final decision.
Quartermasters are generally not well-appreciated. Officers usually don’t want to perform their functions because there is no glory in them. After Congress appointed Nathanael Greene to replace Thomas Mifflin as quartermaster general of the Continental Army on March 2, 1778, Greene complained to his friend, Gen. Alexander McDougall on March 28: “All of you will be immortalizing your selves in the golden pages of History while I am confined to a series of druggery [drudgeries] to pave the way for it.” He later wrote to General Washington on April 24, 1779 to express his desire to achieve fame on the battlefield, saying “Nobody ever heard of a quarter master in history.” But quartermasters perform essential functions to keep an army in the field.
Quartermasters were staff officers responsible for the procurement and distribution of food, clothing and supplies. They also reconnoitered travel routes; oversaw the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges; established the layout, organization and construction of camps; and managed the supply and maintenance of wagons and the teams. They even assembled boats for water transport and river crossings. Read more…

The Revolutionary Battle of Petersburg
by William M. Welsch 8 June 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
When one mentions the Battle of Petersburg in Civil-War-centric Virginia, the immediate reaction is Ulysses S. Grant versus Robert E. Lee in 1864 and 1865. True. But the first Battle of Petersburg was a revolutionary encounter on April 25, 1781, between the Americans and their British adversaries. And instead of Grant and Lee, the leaders were American Maj. Gen. Baron von Steuben and British Maj. Gen.William Phillips.
And there was a Benedict Arnold connection. Arnold, forty years old and now a British brigadier general, had arrived in Virginia with 1,500 men in late 1780 to raid and to cut off men and supplies to Major Gen. Nathanael Greene, farther south. Steuben reacted by moving stores from Richmond, Petersburg, the Westham Foundry, and Chesterfield farther westward.
Arnold landed at Westover Plantation on the James River on January 4, 1781, and marched west to attack Richmond, the new capital of Virginia, where a small skirmish occurred. Arnold offered to spare Richmond if Jefferson surrendered tobacco stores to the British, but Jefferson refused. Read more…

You are not really dressed until you are wearing a hat
2022/11/20 by Anna M. Thane 20 Nov. 2022 in Regency Explorer
Dear time travelling gentleman on the way to the 18th century, please make sure to take with you one thing: a hat!
In the 18th century, a hat is not only useful in bad weather, and it is more than a fashion accessory. A hat indicates your role in society. Without a hat you are a nobody.
Follow me to a brief introduction to the history of 18th century hats. We make sure you pick the correct one for each period, and we also find out about hat etiquette.
The tricorn that wasn’t a tricorn
For most part of the 18th century, things are easy: The tricorn was the hat of choice for all – rich or poor alike, gentleman or soldier, craftsman or highwayman. Some wealthy women wore it as a part of their riding or hunting attire. There were no set rules how it should be worn: The pointed corner could either be in the middle or at the side.
There is just one thing: Don’t call the hat a tricorn. People wouldn’t know what you mean. The correct name is cocked hat. Read more…

Trans-ing Gender in Early America
Ben Franklin’s World. — Jen Manion, a Professor of History and of Sexuality and Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College, joins us to explore the history of queer and gender-non-conforming culture in early America with details from their award-winning book, Female Husbands: A Trans History.
During our investigation into the history of female husbands in early America, Jen reveals how gender was experienced and understood in early American society; explains the term “female husband” and what it meant in the eighteenth-century British-Atlantic world; and considers why jobs in the military or sailing might have appealed to those who wanted to trans gender. Listen in…

In the News

The St. Lawrence Seaway Claimed a Loyalist George Dixon Home

Another piece of history was erased in the name of progress in May 1958 as the St. Lawrence Seaway Project neared I-Day and the Big Flood.
The ‘I’ stood for Inundation Day, July 1, when an explosion ripped open the cofferdam and flooded thousands of acres that four days later became a lake. Six villages and three hamlets were wiped off the map and 7,500 inhabitants displaced.
An 11th hour bid to save an historic Dixon home in Moulinette from the reckless wrecking ball that cleared a path for the project was rejected by the St. Lawrence Parks Development Commission.
The Dixon home was built in 1817 by United Empire Loyalist George Dixon.
In a back-handed good-will gesture, the commission said several artefacts from the home would be preserved.
As was published in Seaway News 3 June 2023. (Under “Looking Back”, 2nd item)

Read all about it, 270-year-old N.B. newspapers go digital

By Lane Harrison · CBC News · Posted: Sep 25, 2022
With help from UNB, a U of T project will make some of Canada’s oldest newspapers accessible online
An issue printed on wrapping paper, warnings about ships in Saint John harbour carrying disease and reports about the prevalence of slavery in Canada —these are just some of the things a team from the University of Toronto has discovered while digitizing early newspapers in Canada, including some from New Brunswick.
The project, Early Modern Canadian Newspapers Online, is digitizing around 30 newspapers from the years 1752 to 1810. The term early modern refers to the centuries between the late middle ages and the age of revolutions…
…Sébastien Drouin, the associate professor leading the U of T project, said one of the more troubling aspects of their work was the prevalence of material related to slavery in the newspapers.
“We realized, actually, like, every two pages, you turn the pages, and you see ads for people for sale,” Drouin said. “Or the other type of ad is runaway slaves.” Read more…

Loyalist Day Celebrations

Kingston and District Branch, Loyalist Day, Signage Unveiling, Monday 12 June

The Board of the Heritage Cemetery at Cataraqui, Kingston and District Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, and members of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York cordially invite the public to attend the unveiling of signage designating the cemetery as a Loyalist Burial Ground on Monday, June 12 (Loyalist Day in Kingston*) at 2:00 p.m. at 965 Sydenham Road, Kingston. Light refreshments to follow. All are welcome.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the church hall adjoining the cemetery.
*On June 12, 1784, Governor Haldimand received confirmation from King George III, “His Majesty approves the plan you have proposed for settling some of the Loyalists at Cataraqui and places adjacent.”

June 18 St. Albans Centre, Annual United Empire Loyalist Commemorative Service

To celebrate the 239th anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists at Adolphustown in June 1784, service at 11 am.
Guest Speaker: Chief R. Donald Maracle, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
A Sweets & Savouries Tea afterwards
at 1:30 pm Flag raising Ceremony at the Old UEL Burying Ground
See more details

Loyalist Flag Raising in Ottawa, June 19, Sir Guy Carleton Branch

The Sir Guy Carleton Branch of the UEL will be raising the Loyalist Flag at Ottawa City Hall, Marion Dewar Plaza . The ceremony starts at 10:00 am and runs for a half hour. There will be brief speeches by the Mayor of Ottawa and the Branch President.
You are welcome to attend in period dress, but it is not mandatory. We look forward to seeing you. More details.

Loyalist Flag Raising at Peterborough City Hall, June 19, Kawartha Branch

At 10:00 am Flag bearers parade the flags to the flag pole, Ken Spry UE President, Welcome and opening comments, local political dignitaries, anthems by Barbershop Quartet, Loyalist proclamation, Loyalist Prayer, Raising the Queen Ann “Loyalist” Flag. Light refreshments following the flag raising.

Loyalist Day in Ontario, Virtual, June 19 @7:30, Gov. Simcoe & Toronto Branches

In the fall of 1997 Loyalist Day in Ontario was proclaimed and the first celebration held on 19 June 1998.
Join with us – all are welcome – as we honour our Loyalist ancestors. The program will include: What and why is Loyalist Day, some history of Ontario, Loyalist Prayer, Declaration of Dependence, The Loyalist Tree at Queen’s Park, Vignettes of Loyalists and more… Details and zoom registration…

Upcoming Events

American Revolution Institute: A Short-Barreled Blunderbuss 16 June 12:30

Short-Barreled Blunderbuss From the Period of the American Revolution
June 16, 2023 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm. Historical Programs Manager Andrew Outten discusses a British blunderbuss that was made commercially in London, ca. 1770-1780. A precursor to the shotgun, this weapon was often issued to cavalry or naval troops for use in close-quarter combat. Details and registration.

Nelles Manor Museum War of 1812 “Engagement at the Forty” Sat 17 June 10:00 – 4:00

On Saturday June 17, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. Nelles Manor Museum will be commemorating the 210th anniversary of the Engagement at the Forty as part of day long display of British/Canadian and US artifacts from the Engagement of the Forty.
The Engagement at the Forty is not well-known part of the War of 1812 but assisted in the American military being pushed back to Fort George and never advancing further.
After the Battle of Stoney Creek, the American forces retreated to the Forty to wait for reinforcements. On June 8, 1813, Admiral Yeo’s naval attack from Lake Ontario, the local militia forces pressing back to Niagara, and a small band of Indigenous warriors shooting down on the American encampment, the Americans made a hasty retreat to Fort George. They left what they could not carry. This sudden retreat it is probably one of the reasons Nelles Manor survived and was not burned. Most of this took place on Robert Nelles’ property.
In recognition of the 210th anniversary of this engagement and in further recognition of the members of the Nelles Family, other Forty (Grimsby) and Niagara citizens, and Indigenous supporters who volunteered for service, Nelles Manor Museum is holding a Flag Raising at the Manor. Website: 126 Main Street West, Grimsby ON

Nelles Manor 225 Years Young! Nelles Family Reunion Sat. 24 June

Nelles Manor Museum is celebrating 225 years of the Nelles Manor. The early Upper Canada Georgian home in Grimsby, Ontario was completed in 1798.
As part of the year long celebration the museum is hosting its first Nelles Family Reunion on Saturday, June 24.
“The Nelles Family Reunion is a time for family members to become more knowledgeable about their ancestors. A time to get acquainted with extended family, share stories, and have fun together”, says long time museum volunteer and reunion committee chair Karyn Henderson.
“Not only is it an opportunity for the family to get together, we are also looking forward to all the stories, photos, and documents the family members will be sharing with the museum”, said Museum Manager Kate Pyatt. Nelles Manor became a museum in 2016 and houses many original family artifacts and documents, dating back to the 1700s.
The family arrived from the Mohawk Valley, New York State in 1780s and settled at The Forty (now Grimsby) and on the Grand River at the Nelles tract.
For those who are interested in attending the reunion or more information, you can contact the museum at See the event flyer Website:

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: MOKE UE, Eric April 18th, 1935 – June 1st, 2023
At the Cornwall Community Hospital, age 88. Eric was born in Osnabruck Township to Elva May (Baker) Moke and David Edward Moke. He went to school at SS #16 and Avonmore High School. Eric worked on the home farm for four years and then at Courtaulds Canada Ltd. for 37 years.
He married Edith Dixon on June 15, 1963. Loved father of Edward “Ted” (Susan) and Janet (Jean-Pierre Roger). After his retirement from Courtaulds Eric became a handy man for several years, as well as a Meals on Wheels volunteer with Edith, delivering meals to those in need for 20 years.
The Wilson Funeral Home, Cornwall for more details. Interment Memorial Hill Cemetery, Lunenburg.
Eric was a member of the St. Lawrence Branch UELAC and proved Loyalist ancestry to Benjamin Baker UEL and Philip Moke UEL.
Michael Eamer UE

Published by the UELAC
If you do not now receive this free newsletter directly but would like to, you can subscribe here.