In this issue:




Funding Future Knowledge – 2023 Scholarship Challenge, June 1 – August 1, 2023 New date: September 1, 2023
As we move closer and closer to the original end date of the 2023 Challenge it has become evident that an extension would be a good idea. I am happy to report that the amount raised as of July 12th is $2,125.00 Thank you to the individuals and to the following 3 UELAC branches for their generous support: Sir Guy Carleton Branch, Kawartha Branch and the Saskatchewan Branch.
What have been our challenges during the early part of the Fund Raising push?
Our move from Toronto to Cornwall means some Canada Post mail needs to be redirected or picked up from our wonderful new head office. With the recent appointment of Rodney as office administrator that detail between him and Jim our business administrator is now working well. Thank you gentlemen.
Are there any other reasons? … Well yes! Doug, our faithful Loyalist Trails editor had an email glitch and we went one or two issues without a prompt to donate.
So, now we hope to give branches and individuals an extended time to be aware of the need to support this yearly concentrated time where the Scholarship Committee seeks to attract your attention and ask you to please support the scholarship fund. We do encourage the use of CanadaHelps.
Here is the link to the Scholarship Challenge. If it does not open easily for you then go to our UELAC.CA page and find the link there.
Christine Manzer UE Chair of the Scholarship Committee.

Jahleel Brenton: Rhode Island Loyalist and British Naval Officer
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Had his political convictions been different, Jahleel Brenton — and not John Paul Jones –would be remembered as the father of the United States Navy. This is the story of the impact of one Rhode Island Loyalist’s decision to maintain his allegiance to the British crown.
Having created the Patriot army under the command of General George Washington, the Continental Congress formed the Continental Navy in January of 1776. Half of the sailors, officers, and captains who manned the small fleet of eight ships were from Rhode Island. But who would be the commander of this new fighting force? One particular Rhode Island man seemed an ideal choice and was approached in December of 1775.
The loyalist historian, Lorenzo Sabine, summed up Jahleel Brenton’s career in just 54 words. Before the outbreak of the American Revolution, he “was living quietly on his patrimonial estate. It is stated that he was a gentleman of high character and respectable talents, that he had many warm friends among the Whig leaders who endeavoured to enlist his sympathies on the popular side, and who offered him the highest rank in the naval service of Congress.”
A Loyalist, Brenton politely refused to consider commanding the rebel navy, and was subsequently driven from his Newport home in 1775. The Rhode Island Assembly declared him to be a traitor. Fortunately for the 46 year-old Brenton, the Rose, a Royal Navy vessel, was stationed near Newport. He went aboard, coming under the protection of Captain James Wallace.
Just a year earlier, Brenton had been enjoying a life of prosperity and privilege in Newport, Rhode Island. He and his wife Henrietta (Crowley) had a family of five children over 16 years of age and 5 children under sixteen. Jahleel junior, the youngest, was just four years old. Their household also included three enslaved Blacks. Brenton was a vestryman at Newport’s Trinity Anglican Church where the family filled its rented pew each Sunday.
Brenton’s father had been a large landowner; his mother Frances was the daughter of a former Rhode Island governor, Samuel Cranston. The latter held that office from 1678–1680. Jahleel’s grandfather, William Brenton, had been the colony’s governor between 1666 and 1669.
In addition to being a family of influence, the Brentons also owned quite a bit of property. On their 177 acres near Newport, they grew oats, Indian corn, potatoes, flax, apples, hay, and turnips. They had dairy cattle, and an “amount of stock” and a barn. Brenton also owned 1,600 acres in Maine.
Despite all of this valuable land, Brenton had long dreamed of serving at sea in the British navy. At age 28, he passed his lieutenant’s examination, but had to wait five years to be commissioned as an officer. He was the highest-ranking American in the Royal Navy.
But his steadfast loyalty to the British crown compelled Brenton to flee Newport and seek refuge on a nearby British navy vessel. Henrietta Brenton and their children remained on the family farm, but their house on Newport’s Thames Street was confiscated and then purchased by Benjamin and Mary Almy. Benjamin, an Anglican, joined the rebels. Mary, a Quaker, remained loyal to the crown. Her letters describing the 1778 siege of Newport provide a unique perspective on how a Loyalist endured what was more of a civil war than a revolution.
By May of 1776, Brenton was in England and was given the command of his own vessel. The Pembroke was sent to the British naval base in Halifax, Nova Scotia where it had its rigging and equipment removed to turn it into a “hulk”. Anchored in the harbor, it became a floating hospital.
Brenton returned to England and assumed the command of the armed store ship, the Tortoise in the summer of 1777. He made two transatlantic crossings before being transferred to the Strombolo in New York City.
By this time, Brenton’s wife and children had left Rhode Island to find sanctuary in England. Their house and barn were in British hands, serving as an army hospital. Another Brenton house had been destroyed by Hessian troops stationed in Newport.
Jahleel was reunited with his family, but by September of 1780 he was once again at sea as the captain of the Queen. His son, Jahleel Junior, was not yet a teenager when he joined the crew of his father’s ship. The youngest Brenton would go on to serve in the Napoleonic Wars and as the dockyard commissioner at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Before his death in 1844 he was made a baronet.
By the end of 1782, Jahleel Brenton senior had seen his last assignments on seagoing vessels. He went ashore to what the historian J.R. Hutchinson described as the “grave of promotion” – the impress service. “Impressment” — which amounted to little more than government sanctioned kidnapping– was the method by which the Royal Navy conscripted sailors from 1743 to 1815. It was roundly despised and provoked strong resistance. The unpopular task of pressing men into the royal navy typically was put into the hands of “disappointed men” and “service derelicts”.
Hutchinson describes Brenton in more glowing terms. “A notable example of this type of officer was Capt. Jahleel Brenton, who for some years commanded the gangs at Leith and Greenock {Scotland}. Though a man of blunt sensibilities and speech, he possessed qualities which carried him out of the stagnant back-water of pressing into the swim of service afloat, where he eventually secured a baronetcy and the rank of Vice-Admiral. Singularly enough, he was American-born.
Surprisingly, the work of the Impress Service could be very violent for those who forced men into the naval service. One example would be Brenton’s unforgettable day in Rochester, Scotland.
On this particular day, Brenton made the error of trying to “press” a city apprentice “who appeared to be a seafaring man”. The mayor of Rochester had Brenton arrested and took his sword. When Brenton showed the mayor the government-issued warrant permitting him to press young men, the mayor said it was “useless in Rochester”.
Brenton was then released, but the townsfolk were waiting for him as he left the jail. They “set about him and beat him unmercifully”.
On another occasion, a riot broke out when Brenton refused to release a shipwright who his men had impressed in Leith. “The people became very riotous and proceeded to burn everything that came in their way.” Several of the ringleaders were imprisoned, but others suffered greater consequences. One of Brenton’s men “in defending himself, was under the necessity of running one of the rioters through the ribs.”
It can hardly have been the way that Brenton had envisaged his final years of service when as a younger man he dreamed of a life at sea. But those in authority noted how well he performed an unpopular task. On January 1, 1801, Benton was made a rear-admiral (putting him above a commodore and below a vice-admiral.)
A year and 29 days later, Jahleel Brenton died at Stafford Place, in Pimlico – an upscale residential area of London. He had served the British Empire at sea and on land for 27 years, losing his estate in Rhode Island as well as the good opinion of his Patriot neighbours. However, despite failing to become the “father of the American navy”, Brenton achieved the rank of rear admiral 61 years before any naval officer in the United States did. It would not be until 1862 that American naval officers were promoted to the new status of rear admiral. And perhaps that achievement in itself would have been a vindication for all that Jahleel Brenton had endured as a Loyalist from Rhode Island.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

A Visit to the Battle of Fallen Timbers Monument
by Al Dickenson 13 July 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Northern Ohio has a surprising number of historical sites related to the American Revolution and beyond. Travelers or residents have their choice between the Historic Fort Steuben in Steubenville, the General Moses Cleaveland statue in Cleveland, Ohio, or the Moravian missionary village massacre site at Gnadenhutten, to name a few. Maumee, Ohio, just outside of Toledo, holds what would probably be one of the more important sites: the Battle of Fallen Timbers Monument.
The Battle of Fallen Timbers is represented in multiple sites. The Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site, commissioned in 1995, holds both the remains of Fort Miamis (a fortification held by the British at the time of the battle) and the Fallen Timbers Battlefield. The Fallen Timbers Battlefield is over 180 acres of largely undisturbed land that was not considered to be part of the event’s history for decades but is now recognized as the battlefield itself. Read more…

Slavery, Segregation and Anti-Black Racism in Canada: Trauma and Legacies
By Dr. Afua Cooper 28 March 2023 at Canada’s History
“The history of slavery is about oppression, but it’s also interwoven with this phenomenon of resistance. It’s always there and you build confidence.”
I teach, I work on Black History and a field that I look at, that I’m working in at the moment, is that of slavery — well I shouldn’t say at the moment; I’ve been doing it for the past 25 years — is that of slavery, the enslavement of Black people in Canada. And so I excavate this work, and I just want to say it’s not as if the documents or evidence for this issue is dead and we have no evidence, they’re not available. No, there are.
There are tonnes of documents in various archives across this country, and also international archives in the United States, in France, in Great Britain, and elsewhere. So slave holders in Canada, they left documents, they left evidence rather, of their slave holding in their wills, in newspaper ads as they sought to buy and sell slaves, or when enslaved people ran away from the homes of these people. There’s evidence of slave holdings in government records. Watch video (22 min); read transcript.

Steel blades swishing around – or through – you
Personally, I can think of few things more terrifying on an 18th Century battlefield than to be an isolated infantryman staring down a couple thousand pounds of charging horse and rider, with the latter wielding the finest piece of cutlery in the British Army. And if it had a tag on it, it would say: “Made In New York City.” James Potter, cutler, militia officer, entrepreneur, left his mark, as it were, on the American Revolution by manufacturing cavalry swords for the British, providing the Provincial cavalry like the British Legion and Queen’s Rangers with a lethal advantage over their foes. Join us this Sunday Morning at the School of the Loyalist as the renowned curator Erik Goldstein joins us to explain Mr. Potter and his incredible swords.
If you are reading this, you are probably not attending the “School of the Loyalist” which concludes today.

The Fall of 1774 in Boston
by Bob Ruppert 11 July 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Parliament responded to the Boston Tea Party by imposing on the colony of Massachusetts four laws including the Boston Port Bill. This bill received King George III’s royal assent on March 31, 1774 and would go into effect on June 1, 1774. The first sentence of the Bill made its purpose clear, “An act to discontinue . . . the landing and discharging, lading and shipping, of goods and wares, and Merchandise, at the town, and within the harbour, of Boston.”
Between May 11, when knowledge of the Bill first reached Boston, and the end of August the following took place:

  • Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage was appointed the new governor of Massachusetts;
  • Samuel Adams and the Boston Committee of Correspondence sent a circular letter to each colony’s Committee of Correspondence explaining the measures Parliament had taken against the town and asking for their support;
  • The Massachusetts Provincial Assembly appointed a Committee of Overseers to manage the town, that is, the loss of imports, the unemployment, and the food shortages;
  • Read more…

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

  • Hon. Jonathan Bliss was born in 1742 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Married to Mary Worthington, they had four sons (any daughters?) including Henry Bliss and William Blowers Bliss. Jonathan has entries in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Bliss, Jonathan and Wikipedia: Jonathan Bliss .
  • Thomas Robie from Marblehead MA married Mary Bradstreet, daughter of Simon Bradstreet (the last Charter Governor of Massachusetts). Resettled at Halifax NS, they had four children.
  • Barnard (Barnett) Snell (Schnell) from Orangeburg, South Carolina resettled at the Halifax-Hants Boundary in NS. He and his spouse had at least three children; these three and Barnard served in the 96th British Regiment were all UEL Loyalists

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

Men’s waistcoats of the Georgian era
By Sarah Murden 30 Jan 2023 All Things Georgian
In the 18th and early 19th century it was very much the fashion for men to wear some stunning waistcoats, so today we’re going to take a pictorial look at some stunning waistcoats from a variety of museums and galleries. Why don’t we see anything quite like these today? Perhaps time for a revival, maybe!
The first items is truly stunning especially when you look at the detail of the bottom of it. I can’t imagine how long that must have taken to sew. Read more…

Two versions of refinement: Man’s Clothing 1787; Language, 1802.
by Mike Rendell, 1 July 2023
Googling the word ‘refinement’ brought up a couple of interesting caricatures:
I rather like this fashion print (courtesy of the British Museum) showing what the fashionable male was wearing 225 years ago:
Rowlandson had produced a print called Refinement of Language – shown here courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is an interesting mixture of puns and exaggerations. (Short) Read more…

Some animosities continue a long while; Loyalists in Caribbean and Central America
Even today, some of our American visitors do not acknowledge the atrocities and wrongs done to their Loyalist neighbours. I have had some American visitors to our Museum here [in the Bahamas] when I show them the Loyalist exhibits deny they ever treated the Loyalists badly. One woman from Charleston South Carolina a few months ago was so irate saying they would never have done any wrongs and that, anyway, they could all go back to England where they came from. When told by me that 95% were born in the colonies or had lived there for a long time she just stormed out of the Museum to the astonishment of the other six people who I was guiding around.
This afternoon we had a couple from Nicaragua fully bilingual. They are now living in Cayman islands and he is an accountant auditor. He can trace a Loyalist ancestor who settled in the East of Nicaragua where today there are longstanding settlers – white, mixed and black – from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands as that area once was British territory – British Mosquito Colony. Many then went to British Honduras when Spain took over. But today the English speakers are still there. I know a couple from there who I knew in Toronto decades ago that their uncle was the Anglican Bishop and went from British Honduras to English settlements in Central America regularly for pastoral activities like baptisms, marriages and deaths. Our Loyalists are in many places!
Tom Wardle 7 July

King Charles III’s 50th Independence Message to The Bahamian People
Watch ((5-minute video) or read the message from King Charles to the Bahamian people on the 50th anniversary of their Independence. Watch/tread…
Tom Wardle 12 July

In the News:

History and change at Cassbrae Farms
By James Morgan 12 Jul 2023 in Review, Champlain, L’Orignal ON
Cassbrae Farms near L’Orignal is one of the oldest farms in the area. It is a cornerstone of local agricultural heritage interwoven with the history of the region. Cassbrae Farms has been in the same family for more than 200 years and is a story of family farm succession before the term even existed. But generations change and families change, and what happens at Cassbrae Farms is changing as a result.
In May, 1796, Nathaniel Treadwell, an American from Plattsburgh, New York, purchased the vacant Seigneury of Longueuil and in 1798 the first settlers arrived in what later became Longueuil Township. Elihu Cass, a United Empire Loyalist, was among them and settled on Lots 23, 24 and 44 which he purchased for six shillings. In 1824, the was passed to Elihu’s son, Josiah Cass. Read more…

Upcoming Events

Every Place, A Story: Historic Places Days, July 8-23, A National Canada Event

National Trust for Canada
On July 8 we launched Historic Places Days 2023 and it’s bigger than ever! From July 8-23, we are excited to be working with heritage places and their communities to share the diverse, thought provoking and dramatic stories of Canada, from coast to coast to coast.Historic Places Days is a 2 week festival that features over 650 historic places, 340 Visitlists, and over 193 special events.
Check our those in your area and explore

American Revolution Institute: South Carolina Provincials: Loyalists in British Service. July 19, 2023 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The Loyalists who supported the British during the American Revolution have frequently been neglected in accounts of that conflict. Nevertheless, Loyalists made significant efforts to assist British forces in restoring royal control of the thirteen colonies. This was especially true in South Carolina, where backcountry Loyalists under almost-forgotten leaders such as Joseph Robinson and Euan McLaurin challenged the Revolutionary movement in 1775. By Jim Piecuch, Ph.D., is a former professor of history at Kennesaw State University. Details and registration. (…Bill Davidson)

American Revolution Institute: An Orderly Book Kept by British General Robert Cuninghame Friday July 21, 2023 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Museum Collections and Operations Manager Paul Newman discusses a manuscript orderly book kept by British General Robert Cuninghame from his time in command of an army camp near Clonmel, Ireland, 1778. An important historical record, this book records the daily orders disseminated at the camp and includes court martial proceedings, unit movements and the rotation of soldiers to be placed on guard duty. This Lunch Bite will examine the orderly book and its significance in offering a better understanding of everyday life in the British army during the late eighteenth century. Registration and details. (…Bill Davidson

St. Alban’s Centre, Fish Fry Sunday 23 July 5:00pm

Third annual. Open at 4:30 Serving at 5:00,
Tickets $20, only in advance (limited to 100)
at the Hallowed Grounds Café
10419 Loyalist Parkway (Hwy. 33), Adolphustown ON

Bus Tour: After Yorktown: The Continental Army in the Hudson Valley, George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy. Sat. Sept. 30, 2023

Led by: Lt. Col Michael McGurty (ret.). Pick-up in Albany and Amsterdam NY. 8 am until 6 pm
After Yorktown in October 1781, George Washington moved the Continental Army back to upstate New York because British forces under Sir Henry Clinton still occupied New York City. Washington’s army encamped near Newburgh. From these Hudson Highlands Washington kept a wary eye on the British in New York City, 60 miles away.
This one-day tour will visit sites associated with the Continental Army’s camp and the Newburgh Conspiracy, culminating in a special presentation in the recreated Temple of Virtue where General Washington successfully managed this crisis. Details and Registration.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • 9 July 1793 the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada receives Royal Assent which prevented the further introduction of enslaved persons into Upper Canada. DYK the bravery of an enslaved woman named Chloe Cooley precipitated this bill. Learn more (Youtube, 1 min. “heritage Minute”) –
  • Colonial newspapers contributed to the perpetuation of slavery. Advertised 250 years ago today: “TO BE SOLD … A Negro Fellow … perfectly Sound and Healthy, who has been us’d to wait at Table … speaks good English, as also Spanish & Portuguese.” (Boston-Gazette 7/12/1773)
  • Advertised 250 years ago today: “SLAVES. Any Persons who have healthy Slaves to dispose of, Male or Female … may be informed of a Purchaser by applying to the Printers.” (Boston Evening-Post 7/12/1773)
  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • Petition dated “Boston, October 28, 1767” calling for a boycott of British goods in response to the Townsend Acts, a series of Parliamentary acts passed in 1767 & 1768 levying heavy tariffs on British goods. There are 650 signatures on the document. If you look closely you can see James Otis Jr., Thomas Cushing, Paul Revere, William Dawes and John Scollay. Dr. Joseph Warren also signed the document. The list of boycotted articles includes American imports on furniture, loaf sugar, nails, anchors, hats, shoe leather, linseed oil, glue, malt liquors, starch, gauze, and the dress gloves worn at funerals.
    • 11 July 1780, 6,000 French soldiers under Count Rochambeau landed in Newport, Rhode Island. The French navy had come in 1778 as part of an unsuccessful effort to drive the British away, but these were the first French army units in New England.
    • 11 July 1976. On this day, Queen Elizabeth visited Old North Church in celebration of the Bicentennial. Today, the British Consul-General in New England and other members of the British community in Boston will come to Old North to watch the original play “Revolution’s Edge.”
    • 14 July 1789 in 1790, the French celebrate the “Fête de la Fédération” to commemorate the storming of the Bastille a year prior. Louis XVI attends and takes the oath to the Nation, hoping that the Révolution is in its last moments… it wasn’t the case.
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous
    • Tobacco production is a labor intensive, nearly year round endeavor, and our historical interpreters on the Revolution-era farm have been hard at work. See this and many other historical crops being raised and tended to when visiting the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.


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