In this issue:




Cheering Confederation
By Alison Nagy, 29 August 2017, in Canada’s History
The ways Canadians toast their country have changes with the times.
Say the words “Canada Day,” and images come to mind of fireworks, barbecues, outdoor concerts, and trips to the lake or the beach. We owe this public holiday to the Dominion Day Act, which received royal assent on May 15, 1879, and set July 1 as Dominion Day, the day to celebrate Confederation. Since then, Canadians have marked July 1 in many ways. During times of peace and periods of war we have used the holiday to connect with each other and with our country. Here are a few examples of how past generations have observed the holiday.

July 1, 1867, marked the enactment of the British North America Act, uniting Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick as a single dominion of the British Empire.
1892 Canada’s twenty-fifth anniversary did not pass unnoticed. The Manitoba Free Press reported “trainload after trainload” of men and women arriving at the Manitoba Turf Club for the day’s races.
1917 Canada’s fiftieth birthday saw the first official federal government program for Dominion Day.
On July 1, 1927, telegraph and telephone companies and twenty-three radio stations united to give a cross-country broadcast of Canada’s diamond jubilee celebrations at Parliament Hill.
1942: Canada’s seventy-fifth anniversary fell during one of the darkest periods of the Second World War.
1967: Spirits were high as Canada entered its centennial year. A bold new vision of the future was unveiled on April 29 in Montreal: Expo 67
1983: In 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government introduced Bill C-201, An Act to Amend the Holidays Act. Dominion Day was Rneamed Canada Day.
Read more details.

The Mothers of Confederation
by Sydell Waxman 9 May 2017 in Canada’s History
Life was a story of unending toil for many women in pioneer Canada.
Canadian history alludes to women of the last century only incidentally, yet our country owes an enormous debt to those not immortalized with the “Founding Fathers.” Our “Founding Mothers” led lives filled with endless toil, too numerous pregnancies, cumbersome dress and second class citizenship, but by the end of the nineteenth century a dramatic, courageous tale of “women’s sphere” began to unfold.
The story began before confederation when there was a great demand for female labour. Newspapers, promoting the planned mass immigration, praised women as “invaluable as a sympathetic companion, an economical manager, an actual helpmate in the farm work, as a mother of future citizens and as a standard-bearer of civilization.”
Our Founding Fathers, not oblivious to the importance of the female role in the future of Canada, were very cautious about the quality of women immigrants. Although the Election Act of the Dominion of Canada stated that “No woman, idiot, lunatic or child shall vote,” there was a steadfast belief that women were the cornerstone of family and nation. The values they would pass on to the young, it was unanimously agreed, should be British values since Canada “would be a nation that was British in outlook and character.”
Long before this search for the ideal Canadian mother began, colonial women had cleared land, worked as loggers, owned and operated mines, hunted for meat and trapped for fur. They did this while raising families and they often kept journals about their pioneering lives. Read more…

A Black Loyalist’s Story In His Own Words: Part Four of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
On January 15, 1792, a fleet of fifteen vessels left Halifax for Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sailing on board the Eleanor were no fewer than 220 Black Loyalists who had once called Preston and Halifax their homes. Included within their number were Preston’s Methodist minister and his wife – Boston and Violet King. Thanks to a memoir that he wrote six years later, we have the story of Boston King’s experiences in Africa. His account of the settlement of Freetown is only one of two that has survived to the 21st century. The other is a diary written by John Clarkson, the Englishman charged with organizing the exodus to Sierra Leone.
After a two-month journey that included violent storms, fatal diseases, and near encounters with slave ships, the amazing exodus of Black Loyalists came to an end with the sighting of the “lion mountains”.
The Eleanor, Boston King’s ship, was one of the first vessels in the fleet to arrive at the site that would later become Freetown. By March 9th, the Black Loyalists were busy clearing the land and removing their luggage from the vessels that had brought them across the Atlantic. Two days later, a worship service of thanksgiving was held under a large cotton tree.
Sixty-five of their number had died during the transatlantic voyage; however, at least three babies had been born at sea. One of the passengers who sailed with Boston and Violet on the Eleanor was a 104 year-old woman whose greatest wish was to die on the continent of her birth.
Unfortunately, the weather and sickness plagued the settlers’ first weeks. King and his companions had arrived in Sierra Leone at the beginning of the rainy season, a factor that impeded the establishing of the settlement. Many were sick with fever and dysentery. Temperatures rose as high as 34°C in the shade and 45° in the sun – hardly ideal conditions for the arduous work of clearing the forest.
King briefly summed up the early days of settlement in his memoir, saying, “When the rains were over, we erected a small chapel, and went on our way comfortably. I worked for the {Sierra Leone} Company, for 3s. per day, and preached in my turn. I likewise found my mind drawn out to pity the native inhabitants {the Bullom}, and preached to them.”
King would have shared preaching responsibilities with a number of other Methodist ministers, including Henry Beverhout and Stephen Peters. Beverhout had been free born in the West Indies and lived in New Brunswick before settling in Sierra Leone. The latter was a school teacher through the week and a preacher on Sundays — a common arrangement in the day.
Stephen Peters, like King, had escaped slavery in South Carolina and found sanctuary in Birchtown. As an elder, he advised his congregants on political matters and spoke out against the lack of equality Black Loyalists experienced in Sierra Leone. Moses Wilkinson, who was both lame and blind, was the Methodists’ senior pastor. Once enslaved in Virginia, this Black Loyalist had brought most of his Birchtown congregation with him. Wilkinson is remembered as the founder of the Methodist Church in Africa.
Absent in Boston King’s recollections is the death of his wife. Violet died of a tropical fever shortly after the Black Loyalists arrived in Freetown. At some point in time, Boston married again and had three children with his new wife, but the names of his family members have been lost over time.
King spent his time working for the Sierra Leone Company and preaching to the Bullam people, the Africans who lived in the vicinity of the Black Loyalist settlement. He noted that “The poor Africans appeared attentive to the exhortation although I laboured under the disadvantage of using an interpreter.
Later, he was employed to teach the Bullam children. “My scholars soon increased from four to twenty; fifteen of whom continued with me five months. I taught them the alphabet, and to spell words of two syllables; and likewise the Lord’s Prayer. And I found them as apt to learn as any children I have known.” It is worthy of note that King’s school was one of eight founded by the Black Loyalists after their arrival in Sierra Leone.
Those in charge of the trading company based in Freetown noted King’s efforts. “The gentlemen belonging to the company told me, that if I would consent to go to England with the governor, he would procure me two or three years schooling, that I might be better qualified to teach the natives…On the 26th of March 1794, we embarked for England, and arrived at Plymouth, after a pleasant voyage, on the 16th of May.
King was sent to Kingswood School, a Methodist institution in Bristol, where he studied for two years. It was during his time there that “many respectable friends” urged the 38 year-old Black Loyalist “to set down, as they occurred to my memory, a few of the most striking incidents I have met with in my pilgrimage.” The memoir that he wrote before returning to Sierra Leone was published in a 1798 edition of The Methodist Magazine.
During his time among British Methodists, King’s attitude toward whites changed. “I found a more cordial love to the White People than I had ever experienced before … I have great cause to be thankful that I came to England, for I am now fully convinced, that many of the White People, instead of being enemies and oppressors of us poor Blacks, are our friends, and deliverers from slavery, as far as their ability and circumstances will admit.”
King returned to Sierra Leone in September of 1796. The historian Gary M. Best has filled in the remaining years of the Black Loyalist’s life. Now a qualified teacher, King put his energies into ministering to the native Africans. Taking his wife and children with him, King travelled to a company outpost that was 100 miles away from Freetown where he was a missionary to the Sherbro. While working among these indigenous people, Boston and his wife contracted a tropical disease and died in 1802 leaving their three young children as orphans. King was just 42 years old at the time of his death.
As for the denomination he had served in both Nova Scotia and England, the Methodists became the largest group of Christians in Freetown. One third to one half of its settlers identified themselves as Methodists.
As well as their Christian faith, the Black Loyalists had also brought a high regard for education with them to Sierra Leone. The foundation laid by teachers such as Boston King was instrumental in the future success of Black Loyalist descendants. James W. St. G. Walker has noted that throughout the 19th century the people of Sierra Leone “supplied West Africa with its African clerks and teachers, merchants and professional men, catechists and pastors“.
It is all part of the legacy of Boston King – a man who began his adult life as an enslaved carpenter in the American Colonies, becoming a Methodist preacher in Nova Scotia, and then serving as one of the leading educators of Sierra Leone.
Had he not written his memoir, then all that posterity would have known about this Black Loyalist would have been the data found in his entry in the Book of Negroes:
Boston King, 23, stout fellow. Formerly the property of Richard Waring of Charlestown, South Carolina; left him 4 years ago General Birch Certificate.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act in Canada
17 May 2023 at Canada’s History
People of Chinese ancestry have a long and storied history in Canada. As early as 1788, the first Chinese arrived in what is now British Columbia, as part of a British fur trading expedition. In the 1850s, Chinese men came in response to the Fraser and Cariboo Gold rushes and thousands more came to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) between the 1881 and 1885.
Despite this long history, Canada’s immigration policies in 19th and 20th centuries discriminated against people based on race, particularly people wishing to emigrate from China.
In 1885, following the completion of the construction of the CPR, which relied heavily on Chinese labour, the Canadian government passed the Chinese Immigration Act. This legislation imposed fees called a “head tax” on each Chinese person immigrating to Canada, with very few exemptions.
On July 1, 1923, the government passed the newest version of the legislation, which came to be known as the Chinese Exclusion Act because it completely banned Chinese people from entering Canada. From 1923 to 1947, when the act was finally repealed, less than 15 Chinese migrants entered the country. The legacies of these policies were deep and negatively impacted communities and families for generations. Read more with suggestions for teachers.

Account of the Battle of Springfield, 23 June 1780
from the Military Journal of Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe. (Copied from School of the Loyalist)
Today (23 June) is the anniversary of the Battle of Springfield here in New Jersey. The action figured prominently in the book later written by Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe who commanded the Queen’s Rangers in the battle…
“On the 23d of June, M. Gen. Mathews with a division of the troops, marched before day towards Springfield: the Rangers made the advance guard. The enemy’s smaller parties fell back upon a larger one, which was well posted on an eminence, covered on the right by a thicket, and on the left by an orchard: the road ran in a deep hollow between them.
While the battalions of Gen. Skinner’s brigade, who flanked the march, were exchanging shot with these troops, Lt. Col. Simcoe closed the companies of the Rangers, and directed them to rush down the hollow road in column without firing, and then by wheeling to the right, to ascend to the orchard and divide the enemy’s parties: this was done, and Capt. Stevenson who led with the riflemen and light infantry company, obtained the ground on their flank without loss, making several prisoners: the enemy fled, and the Rangers pursued closely on the right, where the ridge continued, and which commanded the road, virtually, becoming a flanking party to the line of march.
In the mean time, the enemy who had been posted on the left retreated up the road, which led through a plain, unpursued: the line for some time leaving it to follow the Queen’s Rangers, who having dispersed the party they pursued, now made the utmost exertions to cut off the retreat of the other division: the circuit they had to take rendered this design ineffectual. The enemy retired over the bridge near Springfield, where they had some troops and cannon; they fired a few shot, by which two of the Rangers were killed as they slept,
M. General Mathews halting till the arrival of Gen. Kniphausen, with the main body of the army; he then made a circuit with his division to pass the river higher up, on the right. The troops halted for a considerable time on a height, below which ran a little brook, and cannonaded small parties of the enemy scattered up and down in the fields and woods, which shelved at a considerable distance from the Newark hills. A very heavy fire being heard from Gen. Kniphausen’s column, the troops proceeded unopposed over the brook: the enemy appeared beyond a second bridge, and possessing the heights, seemed to be drawn up in small bodies by echelon, so as to concentre their fire upon the road.
Lt. Col. Simcoe advanced towards the bridge in column, when rapidly forming the line, and extending it to the left, he passed the deep gully covered by the thickets, and by the riflemen whom Lt. Shaw had well disposed of, and out-reached the enemy’s left: they immediately fell back, with too much precipitation to be overtaken by the Rangers, who were forming for that purpose, and with too much order to be adventured upon by a few men, whom Lt. Col. Simcoe had collected and brought secretly through the thickets upon their flank. The Rangers met with no loss; the gallant Lt. Shaw was slightly wounded.
The column then marched to Springfield, which Gen. Kniphausen, on hearing the cannonade from Gen. Mathews, had forced; on their arrival there, most of the army re-crossed the river, and the Rangers received orders to follow in the rear over the bridge, where it was intended to halt for two or three hours to refresh the troops, who it was now evident, were to return to Elizabethtown Point. Lt. Col. Simcoe thought proper to accompany the officer, who brought this order, to Gen. Kniphausen, and to represent to him that the Rangers, who lay in an orchard full of deep hollows, which secured them from the enemy’s shot, were in a much more favourable position to cover the army than if they crossed the river; and it being obvious, that while this position was maintained, the enemy could not be certain whether the British army meant to return towards Staten Island or advance, they would not hazard the passing their light troops over the river on the flanks of the army in readiness to molest them in their present position and future march.
Gen. Kniphausen directed Lt. Col. Simcoe to maintain his post, and some Yagers were sent to cover his left, and a battalion of Gen. Skinner’s his right flank. In the mean time Gen. Greene, with the gross of his army, occupied a strong position upon the hills, near a mile and a half in front of the advanced corps: his troops and his cannon in general were in ambuscade. He detached two or three field pieces to the right flank of the British, which canonaded them for some time, but with little effect; and his militia and light troops in great numbers came as close to the front as the intervening thickets could shelter them, and kept up a constant though irregular fire from every side. Most of these shot passed over the heads of the Rangers, while some, which were fired at a greater distance, dropped with little effect in the hollows which concealed them.
On their right ran a rivulet, forming small and swampy islets, covered with thickets; as under favour of this ground the enemy were gradually approaching, Lt. Col. Simcoe waded to one of them with Captain Kerr, whom with his company he left in ambuscade, with orders, if the enemy advanced, to give them one well-directed fire, and immediately to re-cross to the regiment. Captain Kerr executed his orders judiciously, many of the enemy were seen to fall: the thicket he quitted was not again attempted by them, but it became the centre to which the principal part of their fire was directed.
The troops having halted two or three hours, began their march to Elizabethtown: the advance corps covered the retreat, and re-passed the bridge without molestation. It was a considerable time before the enemy perceived their movement, nor did they become troublesome till the Yagers, who made the rear guard, had nearly ascended the heights where the army was to divide into two columns; the one on the right was closed by the Yagers, that on the left by the Rangers. The columns marched on, and it appearing that the Yagers might be pressed, the Rangers returned to their assistance, and the enemy retired. The troops proceeded towards Elizabethtown with little interruption.
The riflemen of the Queen’s Rangers, now commanded by Serjeant M’Pherson, were eminently distinguished on this retreat. The enemy’s militia, who followed the army, were kept by them at such a distance, that very few shot reached the battalion; and they concealed themselves so admirably that none of them were wounded, whilst they scarcely returned a shot in vain. There being at one time an appearance that the enemy meant to occupy a tongue of wood, which ran between the columns, Lt. Col. Simcoe requested of Colonel Howard, who commanded the guards, to post some divisions of them in echelon behind the various fences, so as to protect his flank, masque the wood, and in some measure to extend and to approach nearer to the right column; the Colonel assented: but as the enemy were not in sufficient numbers to advance, the army returned to their former encampment. The Rangers had two men killed, Lieut. Shaw and nine privates slightly wounded: the huzzar, Wright, had his horse wounded; but a great many soldiers had marks of the enemy’s bullets in their clothes and knapsacks: the Jersey militia suffered considerably, and among others Fitz Randolph, one of their best officers, was killed.
At night the troops passed over the bridge to Staten Island; the retreat being covered by two redoubts, occupied by troops of the line, who embarked, on the bridge being broken up, without molestation.”
Source: John Graves Simcoe. A History of the Operations of a Partisan Corps called the Queen’s Rangers commanded by Lieut. Col. J. G. Simcoe, during the War of the American Revolution, Bartlett & Welford, New York (1844,) Pages 143-148.

Hobkirk Hill: A Major Minor Battle
by David Price 27 Jube 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
The Battle of Hobkirk Hill (or Hobkirk’s Hill), sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of Camden, remains one of the less prominent engagements of the Revolutionary War, even as John Buchanan’s masterful study of the campaign in the Deep South terms it “a major and controversial battle” in the American effort to reclaim South Carolina and Georgia from British control. It was fought in the backcountry of South Carolina, just north of the village of Camden, on April 25, 1781, near the site of the first Battle of Camden fought on August 16, 1780. The latter proved to be a humiliating debacle for the insurgent forces in their conflict with Great Britain and especially embarrassing for a disgraced Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, who with the militia fled 180 miles northward to Hillsborough, North Carolina, where he waited for the Continental regulars he had abandoned to show up. On December 3, Gates yielded command of the Southern Department of the Continental Army to thirty-eight-year-old Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, the fifth major general to occupy that position—after Charles Lee, Robert Howe, Benjamin Lincoln, and Gates. Read more…
In summary, While Hobkirk Hill may never be as famous as Bunker Hill, in both instances the Crown’s forces won what was literally an uphill battle by driving their adversary from the high ground but suffered losses they could ill afford and were left weaker than before.

Charles Lee’s First Inklings of Fractious American Political Battles
by Gene Procknow 29 June 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Unique among the Continental Army generals, Charles Lee expressed prescient insights into the upcoming political issues dividing Americans during the Early Republic era. Born and educated in England, Lee espoused pre-Revolution British Whig views seeking to moderate the monarchy’s powers and engender a more representative government. As a recent immigrant, Lee brought his radical republican ideas to America and fought for them in the American Rebellion. However, Lee’s controversial military command decisions and attempts to supplant George Washington greatly overshadowed his fervent advocacy for expanded democracy. Additionally, while much has been written about Lee’s quarrelsome military leadership and his attack on Washington, a closer look at Lee’s writings reveals keen insights into the coming highly contentious Early Republic era electoral battles. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, two partisan factions would clash over issues raised by Lee in 1779, including the creation of political parties, the establishment of a standing army, political rights, suffrage, and the role of the president. Lee’s anti-Washington and republican political philosophies would re-emerge publicly during the 1800 presidential election campaign. Read more…

Book Review: Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politics of the American Revolution
Author: Eli Merritt (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2023)
Review by John Gilbert McCurdy 26 June 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
In many ways, the history of the United States is one of union and disunion. From the Civil War to rumors of secession in the present, it has long been an open question of whether America would be one nation or many. Eli Merritt’s Disunion Among Ourselves takes a deep dive into the origins of this ongoing drama, documenting “the centrifugal force of disunion” that the founders faced and how they overcame it. Merritt argues that the men who sat in Congress between 1774 and 1783 were constantly preoccupied by fears that the states would descend into conflict over borders and resources that would shatter the Union. As a result, “the American Union was an unwelcome alliance formed by bitterly conflictual colonies”; in other words, the creation of the United States was “a shotgun wedding”.
Merritt’s story begins with the First Continental Congress. Meeting to decide on a response to the Coercive Acts, the delegates found themselves enmeshed with questions of how to work together. Read more…

Book: Battle on the Ice, by Jean Rae Baxter UE
Published by Crossfield Press. Available through bookstores and Amazon.
It’s December 1837, a winter of discontent, with Upper and Lower Canada on the verge of civil war. Young “Dory” Dickson, an innocent farm boy, needs to leave home to find work. Despite his father’s warnings to stay away from the border towns, where rebels are recruiting for an invasion of Upper Canada from the United States, he walks straight into trouble at his first stop, a tavern in Chippawa. On nearby Navy Island, in the middle of the Niagara River, rebellion leader William Lyon Mackenzie has an army of 400 men training for a war that will establish the Republic of Canada. Dory, unaware that he’s being used, is thrust into a role he didn’t choose, fraught with danger and betrayal wherever he turns.
Now here are some historical facts: American sympathizers made 14 armed incursions into Canada during the rebellion. Their actions were illegal, because the United States had a Treaty of Neutrality with Britain. But that didn’t stop them. One of the most serious was the invasion of Pelee Island in the middle of Lake Erie, Canada’s most southerly settled community. The invasion took place in late February, 1838, when an army marched from Sandusky, Ohio, across the frozen lake to Pelee Island. The island was occupied for five days., five days of looting and rampage. On March 3, the Battle on the Ice was fought off the southern tip of Pelee Island. Few Canadians know about this. I think they should.
I am by trade a teacher. Historical fiction is the tool I use to tell our story from a Canadian point of view.

Underscoring Borderland Blacks and the Underground Network that Undermined National Lines
By dann J. Broyld 19 June 2023 in Borealia
Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region during the Final Decades of Slavery by dann j. Broyld examines Rochester, New York, and St. Catharines, Canada West, the last stops on the Niagara branch of the Underground Railroad. The story that is best known of Rochester and St. Catharines before the Civil War is a one-way flow on the “Underground Railroad”—America-to-Canada. But the relationship is actually much more complex, the doors of the border swung open in both directions, and ultimately reveals an understudied part of the Atlantic world. Borderland Blacks moves these Niagara cities away from the local and national context, and places them into the transnational and international conversation which is more befitting of the global world we live in today, and moreover is a better historical reflection of their disposition beyond the domestic. Read more…

Perfumed Gloves, Ear Covers and Revolving Heels
By Sarah Murden, 24 Sept 2019 in All Things Georgian
Those Georgians certainly had entrepreneurial spirit, and I came across such an example of this some time ago in an article I wrote about the things that every respectable woman should own. In 1794, this gentleman, a Mr Nosworthy, advertised the wares that he sold in his store on Queen Street, Norwich. At that stage his was simply one of many similar adverts I plucked from the newspapers as he sold the unusual item referred to as perfumed gloves.
It wasn’t until later that I found myself drawn back to him to take a closer look at exactly who he was, and guess what, he was the gift that kept on giving. Read more…

Upcoming Events

NEHGS American Ancestors: Researching Black Patriots and Loyalists During the Revolutionary Era, Thurs, July 6, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

Presented by Danielle Rose. The American War of Independence was not only a fight for freedom from a tyrannical world superpower. Thousands of Black soldiers fought for the patriot cause and even more (tens of thousands) enslaved people fled to the British forces. In this online lecture, Researcher Danielle Rose will provide a brief history of Black soldiers during the Revolutionary War and their motivations for joining either side; and discuss several resources, records, and strategies for piecing together the service and stories of individuals. Register…

American Revolution Institute: Franco-British Struggle; Lt. Col. Dupleix de Cadignan. Lecture 13 July

Jean-Baptiste Dupleix de Cadignan (1738-1824) entered the French army’s Régiment de Bourgogne-Infanterie as a lieutenant on April 15, 1754, five weeks before his sixteenth birthday. That same day, he began a diary that forms the basis for his over four-hundred page, two-volume journal owned by the Society of the Cincinnati. Commencing in April 1755, when he embarked for Louisbourg, Canada, Dupleix de Cadignan’s journal describes his experience as a prisoner of war in July 1758, his exchange the following year, the American Revolution and more… More and registration…

School of the Loyalist, July 15-16, East Jersey Old Town Village, Piscataway NJ

We are pleased to announce the 3rd incarnation of the School of the Loyalist, a weekend of scholarly presentations and living history, set in beautiful East Jersey Old Town Village, located in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Time to Register!! Hello all! I am pleased we finally have our webpage for the event up and running. See the schedule, speakers and other event ddetails,
We are asking everyone attending to please go to the registration page, which you you will see a link for on the page below. Whether you are a reenactor or a member of the public attending the school, we ask you fill out the applicable areas of the registration form and submit. A reminder that the weekend is free for all to attend, which, given the lineup of speakers, we think is one heck of a deal. Two weeks to go, so we look forward to seeing you soon at East Jersey Old Town

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Last Post: MACDONALD UE, Charles Hubbard 1937 – 2023
Our remarkable 86 year old father has sadly passed away suddenly in his own home, leaving a space which can never be filled by another human being. He led an amazingly interesting, long life. He lived well, loved us all and left quickly as we each hope to, inevitably.
He is survived by three children. The eldest, Lynn LaGrange, who is married to Rod, resides in Alberta. The middle child, Karen Dutcher … his “marvel” stayed close in Fredericton. Ian MacDonald, his son and youngest, settled in Toronto.
He was predeceased by wonderful parents Gordon and Grace MacDonald as well as siblings Mary, Gordy and Jane Cassidy along with her husband Fred. Also in 2013, Charles lost Patricia, his incredible wife of 46 years.
This compelling man’s life began and ended in Fredericton. After graduating from high school, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy. Being a sailor enabled him to travel extensively as he trained in electronics.
From 1957 to 1963, “Chowder” (the nickname given by his shipmates), served on several vessels including the Loon, the Cornwallis and the Restigouche. During the Cuban missile crisis, he signed on for an extra year. His last ship was the largest aircraft carrier in Canada, the Bonaventure. He participated onboard during the naval blockade around Cuba to stop Russian supply ships.
After leaving the navy, during the Cold War, “Chuck” worked four years on the Distant Early Warning line (the DEW Line) in Cambridge Bay, watching for Russian bombers.
His next employment phase would last for 20 years where he enjoyed working for Transport Canada as an electronic technician and radician.
He worked obsessively for years on his family genealogy. His effort became a time-consuming, all-consuming labour of love, which resulted in vast volumes of information and documentation, much of which has been donated to the provincial archives.
He was a member of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada and subsequently able to verify being the ninth generation with proven Loyalist ancestors. He also uncovered a rich history of Huguenot roots. His revelations about our ancestors will remain a deep source of pride.
This man had tremendous admiration for the university of New Brunswick and as such, set up the Patricia and Charles MacDonald scholarship in 2011. His donations paid the entire tuition for 30 students over the years.
Gone from this world is a truly fascinating individual. He did pottery, lapidary rock work, macrame and he was even a great cook. He built his own utility dinghy. He remade, rebuilt, and reused everything. He lived to learn all about anything.
He absolutely loved the river he lived on as well as generally, all things outdoors. He had a great passion for birds!
In accordance with his wishes, he will be interred by his wife Pat, at a later date, with a family-only service in the Fredericton cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Patricia and Charles MacDonald Scholarship Fund at the University of New Brunswick.|
We are proud of our father; we love him and will miss him forever. Rest in peace Dad.
More details.
Charles was a past-president of the Fredericton Branch in New Brunswick. He proved descent from Joshua Bebee UEL, Mary Secord Bebee UEL, Aaron DeLong UEL, Henry Erb UEL, William Gray UEL, Isaac Mann UEL, John Mann UEL, Benjamin McDonald UEL and Thomas Shearer UEL.

Published by the UELAC
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