In this issue:



2023 Scholarship Challenge, Jun 1 – Sept 1, 2023: Over the top
The donations noted below were recorded on 29 Aug, a couple of days before the end of 2023 Scholarship Challenge – Funding Future Knowledge.
We are over the top; our total has reached $5,341.14 of our $5,000 goal. Thank you to the UE Branches and individual who have answered the challenge. See details.
As some donations come by mail, there may well be more coming. When I am back from vacation ie later in September, we will post final results. In the meantime, thank you for taking the Challenge “over the top”.
Christine E. Manzer UE, Chair, Scholarship Committee

Presentation: Unfriendly to Liberty: Loyalist Networks and the Coming of the American Revolution in New York City
bY Chris Minty UELAC Scholar, September 5, 2023 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Drawing from his recent book, historian Christopher Minty, Ph.D., explores the origins of loyalism in New York City between 1766 and 1776, and adds to our understanding of the coming of the American Revolution. Focusing on political culture, organization, and patterns of allegiance, Dr. Minty demonstrates how the contending allegiances of loyalists and patriots were all but locked in place by the outset of war in 1775, and that the political alignments formed during the imperial crisis of the 1760s and 1770s provided a critical platform that made New York City a center of loyalism throughout the American Revolution.
Christopher F. Minty is an editor at the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia, where he contributes to the Papers of George Washington and the Naval documents of the American Revolution, among other projects. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Stirling, and his research has been supported by Harvard University, the Huntington Library, the New-York Historical Society, the New York State Archives and UELAC. Registration.

Some Loyalists of Rhode Island: Sarah Slocum. Part Four of Four
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Being the wife of a Rhode Island Loyalist could be hazardous to one’s health. Sarah Slocum knew this all too well.
Sarah and her husband Charles ran a prosperous farm in North Kingston, Rhode Island until the outbreak of the “Troubles”. In addition to their flock of 230 sheep, the family also had cattle, hogs, horses, and oxen. Jim, an enslaved African, also worked on their farm. All of the Slocums –including Sarah’s brother-in-law, Eleazar Slocum— were loyal to the crown.
Charles and Sarah Slocum had ten children – the oldest being born in 1750 and the youngest in 1775. They were Ebenezer, George, Margaret, Elllis, Maus, Sarah, Elizabeth, Ann, Hannah, and Abraham.
Sarah’s oldest son, Ebenezer was a married man when the American Revolution began. His wife was Esther Corey, a woman who was one year his senior. Four of her brothers were also Loyalists. Ebenezer and Esther lived and worked on the farm with Ebenezer’s parents.
In the early years of the revolution, Ebenezer supplied information and provisions to Lord Hugh Percy, the commander of a British garrison in Rhode Island. While helpful to the British war effort, Ebenezer’s actions would have disastrous consequences for his family.
On April 5, 1777, a rebel mob pounded on the door of Charles and Sarah’s home, demanding to see their son Ebenezer. Anxious to be rid of a spy in their midst, the mob tracked the 27 year-old to his father’s home. Beriah Brown, the county’s high sheriff, knocked at the door, pistol in hand. Charles answered the door and in the act of trying to prevent his son being arrested was shot and killed. (Other accounts name George Babcock as the murderer).
The sheriff arrested Ebenezer; later that month, the Rhode Island Assembly banished the entire Slocum family from North Kingston. They ordered them to move 16 kilometres inland so as not to signal British ships. Sarah was mentioned by name in the legislation as being “suspected of having communicated intelligence and afforded supplies to the enemy at Newport“.
The family did not move inland until December. At that time it was noted that “a Correspondence is maintained with the enemy at the House of the widow Slocum in North Kingstown, and it being known that the Family there are very unfriendly to the Liberties of America whereby it is very unsafe for the Welfare & happiness of this State that said family should be suffered to continue any longer in Possession thereof.” If Sarah or any of her ten children were found close to the Atlantic coast after their removal from their farm, the local deputy was “empowered and directed forthwith to apprehend and Commit them to the Gaol in said County“.
Soon after, Rhode Island’s rebels confiscated the Slocum farm and it was “sold {it} at venue”. Their slave Jim was auctioned off as well.
Rather than having to face charges of treason, Ebenezer was able to escape Patriot custody and, by 1778, had found sanctuary at Long Island’s Fort Franklin within the British lines.
Being a widow with ten children was only the beginning of Sarah Slocum’s problems. Local Patriots accused her of paying her rent with forged currency — money that was in her home when her husband was murdered. Earlier, John Hart, a family friend, had been convicted of spying and forging Patriot currency. The court had him hanged for his crimes in May.
However, when Sarah was found guilty, the court punished the Loyalist woman by branding her cheeks and cutting off her ear lobes (the actual account uses the word “cropped”). To add to this indignity, she was forced to stand for half an hour with her head and arms in the town pillory. One suspects that her arrest had more to do with her loyalty to the king than her use of bad currency.
Sarah and her family remained in Rhode Island until 1783 when they were reunited with Ebenezer in New York. Her oldest son had been serving as a lieutenant in a militia company based at Fort Franklin at Lloyd’s Neck on Long Island. Ebenezer’s reaction to seeing his mother’s mutilated face for the first time can only be imagined.
While Lloyd’s Neck was the scene of a Slocum family reunion, it was also a time of parting. The Union, a British transport ship, had arrived in Huntingdon Harbour. It was to take Loyalist refugees who had found shelter at Fort Franklin to sanctuary in Nova Scotia. While some Slocums were happy to be leaving, others opted to remain in the new American republic.
Sarah’s son Ebenezer, his wife Esther, and four of Sarah’s grandchildren decided to join other loyalist evacuees. Daniel, Eleazar, Anna, and Elizabeth would accompany their parents to the mouth of the St. John River. Two other children stayed behind in Rhode Island where they were raised by an uncle. The reasons for splitting the family go unrecorded.
Although Sarah’s brother-in-law, Eleazar Slocum, also sailed on the Union, the Loyalist widow decided not join the rest of her family in their trip north. Perhaps she had hopes of regaining the family farm. Perhaps the age of her youngest two children (9 and 8) made her feel such a long voyage was unsafe. Whatever her reasons, Sarah was not the only Slocum waving goodbye as the Union set sail.
Despite being persecuted as Loyalists during the revolution, the rest of Sarah’s children decided to stay in the United States. Their fate was revealed in testimony that Sarah made in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1787. By then, Sarah’s only refugee son, Ebenezer, had established himself in Gagetown, a loyalist settlement on the St. John River. The loyalist compensation hearings had convened in Saint John beginning in 1786, and Sarah was in the city either as a permanent resident or as a witness for Ebenezer. When speaking to the compensation commissioners in March of 1787, Sarah said that she hoped “to bring the younger part of her family” to New Brunswick, but it is not known if she was able to make this happen.
In that year, her second oldest son George was a 22 year-old bachelor. Margaret had become Mrs. B. Arnold of North Kingston, Rhode Island. Ellis was a married man, and Mauss was the wife of Robert Hazard. Her daughter Sarah was living in Granville, Massachusetts. Ann was “in service” (presumably as a maid) as was 13 year-old Hannah. Twelve year-old Abraham was living with one of his older brothers.
After speaking on Ebenezer’s behalf, Sarah Solcum’s name disappears from the documents of the era. Wherever her final resting place may have been, she stands out as a woman who suffered greatly for being a Loyalist. Just one of the consequences Sarah endured for passing on information to the British would have traumatized most women of the era. Sarah witnessed the murder of her husband and the arrest of her son, experienced the loss of her farm, suffered the forced relocation of her family, endured public humiliation in stocks, suffered the mutilation of her face and ears, and was separated from a number of her children and grandchildren.

Should They Stay or Should They Go? Rhode Island Black Loyalists after the American Revolution
By Jane Lancaster in Online Review of Rhode Island History
Benjamin Quarles once wrote that the loyalty of black Americans during the American Revolution “was not to a place nor to a people, but to a principle, freedom.” In late 1779 Newport’s black residents, free or enslaved, faced a predicament: should they stay or should they go? Should they choose freedom but risk an uncertain future under British protection, or should they stay enslaved in wartime Rhode Island? In Newport, prior to the war, nearly twelve percent of the residents were black, and almost a third of white families owned at least one slave. The tiny colony of Rhode Island, in addition to playing a major role in the American slave trade had the highest proportion of enslaved people in New England, some 6.3 per cent of the population.
Newport had been occupied by British and Hessian troops for almost three years, and while many white Patriots had escaped to the mainland, some of the blacks they left behind had worked for the British. The British army was finally leaving the city in October 1779, taking several dozen leading white Loyalists (and their slaves) with them and seemed willing to take self-liberated slaves belonging to Patriots with them. The blacks had perhaps heard about Dunmore’s Edict of 1775 which freed Virginia slaves willing to fight for the British; it is more likely they had heard about the Phillipsburg Proclamation of June 30, 1779, which freed any slave in Patriot hands, man, woman or child, military service not required.
It is not known how many Rhode Island blacks liberated themselves and left the colony, but it is estimated that 20,000 blacks left their enslavers in the new United States during or after the Revolutionary War. Many simply melted away. … The majority of the Rhode Islanders were taken to Nova Scotia in the Canadian Maritimes, five went to Germany, and two to Abaco in the Bahamas. …
… What follows is an examination of the experiences of a well-documented handful of these risk takers illustrating the complexity of slavery and its aftermath, showing examples of creative survival, family formation and re-formation, the growth of religious autonomy and political activism. Read more…

Note: Recommended by Stephen Davidson as an excellent article on the Black Loyalists of Rhode Island.

Visiting the Diligent River Monument in Nova Scotia
Recently I visited the Diligent River Monument to the United Empire Loyalists in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. I had intended to see it sooner, however the over four hour one way travel distance by car from my home in SW Nova Scotia and it being in a rather remote and unpopulated part of the province deterred me. It is located on the west side of the Ramshead River Road just south of Cottage Road in the community of Diligent River and a wooden sign is nailed to some trees to mark it, although it is largely overgrown and requires special attention or you will miss it as I did the first time and stopped at a home in the area to ask for directions.
The Monument mentions Captain Samuel Wilson, a native of Rhode Island, and Lieutenant Elizear Taylor, from Connecticut, both who served with Loyalist Regiments during the American Revolution and afterwards were granted lands at Diligent River. The place was named in 1785 by Governor Parr of Nova Scotia when he visited and was impressed by the diligence of the settlers.
A Plaque on the front of the monument reads: “Near this site lived Lieutenant Elizear Taylor, a fellow officer and one of original Loyalists who settled the area. Impressed by their diligence and industry, Governor Parr named the community Diligent River during his visit in 1785.”
At the rear of the monument a plaque states: “Sacred to the memory of Capt. Samuel Wilson, who fought for his King through the American Revolution . He died at the age of 82 years, his wife Mary Clark, his daughter Sarah aged 16 years , Mary, wife of Robert Salter. ”
See a collage of three photos showing the sign for the Monument near Ramshead River Road and views of it from front and back.
Watch a short video about the Monument by Brian McConnell UE, President Nova Scotia Branch, UELAC

300 Years of French Settlement at Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island)
By Anne Marie Lane Jonah, at Ben Franklin’s World at end of August 2023, a historian with the Parks Canada Agency, joins us to explore the history of Prince Edward Island and why Great Britain and France fought over the Canadian Maritime region.
During our exploration, Anne Marie reveals the early history of Prince Edward Island, including details about the Mi’kmaq people and their homeland, which encompasses Prince Edward Island; How and why the French came to settle Prince Edward Island in 1720; And, details about the ways in which the French and British vied for presence and control in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, including details about the Acadians and the Grand Deportation of 1758. Listen in…

At Ease: Baron von Steuben’s Final Resting Place
by Alexandra I. Griffeth 29 August 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, more commonly known as Baron von Steuben, served as a military officer in both the Prussian and American armies. He fought in the Prussian army for sixteen years, rising through the ranks from cadet in 1747 to adjutant general on the king’s staff in 1759. In 1762, he served as aide-de-camp to King Frederick II. With the end of the Seven Years’ War, Steuben resigned his commission and spent his time at court and traveling.
In September 1777, Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane recommended von Steuben’s services to George Washington. They detailed his lengthy service with the Prussian king and had the recommendation of the French foreign minister, Comte de Vergennes and minister of war Comte de St. Germain. Franklin and Deane described von Steuben as having “a true Zeal for our Cause, and a View of engaging in it, and rendering it all the Service in his Power.” In his own letter to Washington, von Steuben offered to serve as a volunteer, and stated, “the Object of my greatest Ambition is to render your Country all the Services in my Power.”
General Washington recognized the value of Baron von Steuben’s military experience and appointed him inspector general of the Continental Army. Von Steuben utilized the Commander in Chief’s Guard to build a model company of soldiers, used to train the rest of the army. The Baron’s drill manual, called the Blue Book because early editions were printed with blue covers, provided the foundation of training that has evolved and endured in the U.S. Army. The book given to new recruits upon entering basic training is still called The Soldier’s Blue Book. Read more…

Black Soldiers of Liberty
by Robert Scott Davis 31 August 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Estimates have appeared in print for generations that 3,000 to 5,000 Black soldiers served in the American military in the Revolution. These claims seldom offer documentation, being instead what historian Michael Lanning defined as only a “general consensus” of the number of African American patriots. Lack of records, reliance on anecdotal evidence, and other factors make any estimate of the number of these soldiers only an educated guess, but modern scholars make arguments for 10,000 or more Black Patriots.
African Americans participated in the patriot cause from the beginning of the conflict, and that had international consequences. George Washington and the Continental Congress originally opposed accepting Black soldiers. As the war progressed and enthusiasm for the Revolution waned, however, men previously marginalized, such as immigrants, filled the ranks. “It serves as no coincidence,” historian Patrick F. Moriarty wrote, “that as the reverence toward the American soldier diminished, the tendency to accept Blacks into the armed service increased.”
African Americans served in the most racially integrated American army until the twentieth century. All of the rebelling colonies except Georgia and South Carolina allowed enslaved people to enlist. In most states, enslaved men could serve in place of White masters to gain emancipation. Virginia law protected 500 of these veterans from former owners trying to reenslave them after the war.
The King’s army did offer emancipation to obtain African Americans as laborers and even soldiers, hoping to deny Black labor and service to the American cause. Read more…

Loyalists and descendants who participated in the War of 1812: Joseph Flewelling
Joseph Flewelling b. ca. MAY1748, d. Saint John Co., NB 2DEC1821 age 73 years and 7 months, buried Old Cemetery, Carleton Twp., Saint John Co., NB, m. Phoebe Worden (b. ca. 1753, d. Carleton, Saint John Co., NB 23NOV1837 age 84 years), d/o Gabriel and Sarah (Anderson) Worden).
Joseph and son Isaac are recorded in the original manuscript of the Saint John militi for the years 1809, 1810 and 1811: “Flewewlling, Joseph” and “Flewewlling, Serjt. Isaac (dead in 1810).”
“The party under the direction of Corp’l Micheau consisting of 4 men and a corporal, were employed 15 days upon the house on the St. Andrews road. Calculating from the time they left Fredericton until the 23rd of February, inclusive at which time the work on the house stopped — making 75 days….” Joseph Flewelling, Serg’t., Fredericton, 30 March 1813″. Read more…

Read about other Loyalists and the sons and daughters of Loyalists who participated in the War of 1812.

Submissions are still welcome. Send up to 500 words describing the Loyalist’s experience or participation in the war, and where settled before and afterward, to Please reference both the Loyalist experience, perhaps to a lesser degree, along with the 1812 history.

Where in the World is Brian McConnell UE?

“Remembering Cap’n Sam” … Where is Brian McConnell UE of Nova Scotia Branch?

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is (if you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well). Send your submission to the editor at

In the News:

Robert Land, Revolutionary War spy for the British

NARROWSBURG, NY — On Saturday, September 2, Fort Delaware’s Bold Gold Media Speaker Series concludes for the season with a program on Robert Land, Revolutionary War spy for the British, at 2 p.m. at the fort.
The price of “The Cushetunk Spy: The Enigmatic Life of Robert Land,” is included in the price of admission to Fort Delaware.
It is presented by Sullivan County Historian John Conway. Read more…

Upcoming Events

Gov. Simcoe Branch “Prelude to Brandywine” by Joshua Loper Wed 6 Sept @7:30 ET

“Prelude to Brandywine: Loyalists, Hessians, the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, and a Fateful Council of War”. The Battle of Brandywine, fought just outside of Philadelphia on September 11, 1777, resulted in an overarching British victory and the conquest of the rebel seat of government.
However, this presentation is not about Brandywine, but some of the events leading up to it. John Graves Simcoe, participated in this battle.
Joshua made a great presentation in May, mixing historical facts, debunking myths, adding some humour (Recording available in the Members Section.
Joshua is a historian, published author, and educator of many years. He is currently the Director of the Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation/the Delaware Military Museum. He is also the Executive Director of the George Washington Witness Tree of Delaware Museum. He has a lifelong love of history, especially the American Revolution. More details or Register now.

St. Lawrence Branch Charter Night Banquet Sat, Sept. 16, 2023 @ 5:00 ET

At St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church, 15 Memorial Square, Ingleside ON. Social hour at 5:00pm; serve at 6:00pm. A ham supper with all the fixings.
Speaker is Roy Lewis, Col. Edward Jessup Branch.
Tickets are $30, advance sales only. Email Secretary Darlene Fawcett to reserve seats. Payment by e-transfers to Treasurer Michael Eamer, Reference dinner tickets in the “Message” box. Tickets must be reserved by September 4th.
There will be a Harvest Basket raffle at the end of the night. Contact Darlene Fawcett if you will contribute to the harvest basket.

Grand River Branch Celebrates 50th Anniversary on Sunday 17 Sept.

At the Arlington Hotel in Paris, Ontario.
Reception & Mingle 4:00 p.m. Buffet Dinner 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: $50.00 Payable to “Grand River Branch UELAC” by Sept. 1.
RSVP Ms Jane Adams, 92 Brewster, Cambridge, ON N3C 3T9
Period Costume is encouraged
Guest Speaker: Nathan Tidridge, Honorary Fellow, UELAC
Topic: “Crown Indigenous Relations“.
Questions to Bill Terry UE

Sir William Johnson and the Wars for Empire Conference

October 20-22, 2023 in Johnstown, NY
Sir William Johnson was a larger than life character who dominated the Mohawk Valley and beyond during the 18th century in warfare, politics, trade and diplomacy.
This conference will address aspects of Johnson’s historical impact as well as the larger scope of the great wars for empire. This new Fort Plain Museum conference will offer a look at the colonial era when major personalities, like Sir William, dealt with overlapping cultures and the impact of war on society. Bus Tour on Friday, lectures on Saturday and Sunday. See details, registration, accommodation etc.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

Editor’s Note: We are on vacation, in southern England for a couple of weeks. Family wedding yesterday. The next week and a half will be visiting some of my partner’s ancestral villages on day trips out of London. The ancestors were Mayflower and 1600’s to New England. It will be interesting to see the places they came from, churches attended or other artifacts from the time before they left.

So this week’s issue is rather short; the next one may be as well.

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