In this issue:



John Bartram: Loyalist Botanist to the King
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
The man considered to be the father of American botany was a Loyalist named John Bartram. His Quaker parents had immigrated to Pennsylvania from Darby, England. Born in 1699, John had very little formal education. Not having mastered Latin, the language of science, he initially found botany to be a difficult subject. He persevered, making a number of important discoveries with his keen observational skills, becoming – over time—”the most celebrated gardener in early America“.
Bartram began his adult life as a farmer. At age 24, he married Mary Maris who bore him two sons. Following her death, he married Ann Mendenhall when he was 30 years old. The couple had five boys and four girls.
The Loyalist biographer Lorenzo Sabine notes that Bartram “was so earnest in pursuit of knowledge that he hardly allowed himself time to eat. He was a proficient in the learned languages, in medicine and surgery, and in natural history… Besides these accomplishments, he was an ingenious mechanic; built his own stone house, and made most of his own farming tools and other articles required on his estate. He was gentle in manners, amiable in disposition, modest, and charitable.
At age 29, Bertram founded the first botanic garden in what would become the United States on the Schuylkill River, four miles from Philadelphia. Consisting of 6 acres, the garden contained plants that Bartram had collected on his travels from Canada to Florida. (In 1751, he wrote a book with the lengthy title of Observations on the inhabitants, climate, soil, rivers, productions, animals, and other matters worthy of note: made by Mr. John Bartram, in his travels from Pensilvania to Onondago, Oswego and the Lake Ontario, in Canada.)
He traded seeds and plants with other botanists and established friendships with both European and American naturalists. Among his correspondents were Benjamin Franklin, the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, James Logan, and Peter Collinson, a wealthy British patron of the sciences.
Logan, one of colonial Pennsylvania’s preeminent scientific thinkers, introduced Bartram to the classification system Linnaeus had created and helped him with Latin terminology. Logan and Collinson were the men who brought Bartram to the attention of British and European botanists. These naturalists, in turn, funded Bartram’s trips through the fields and forest of North America.
In addition to being the first North American to create hybrid plants, Bartram is also remembered for being responsible for the creation of a library in his hometown of Darby in 1743. Five years later, he wrote Pennsylvania’s first known weather reports. At 44, he was one of the original members of the American Philosophical Society. The latter was created to pursue “all philosophical Experiments that let Light into the Nature of Things, tend to increase the Power of Man over Matter, and multiply the Conveniences or Pleasures of Life.”
On April 9,1765, King George III appointed Bartram as the “American Botanist to his Majesty”. The historian Thomas P. Slaughter noted, “As the King’s Botanist in the colonies, his job was to be of use to the Empire, to discover curious plants and provide information that would help extract value from the American possessions.” Bartram’s appointment came with both a stipend of £50 per year as well as the expectation that Bartram would explore Florida on Britain’s behalf.
Bartram and his 26 year-old son William did just that during the winter of 1765-1766. Britain had acquired East Florida two years earlier through the Treaty of Paris that had ended the Seven Years War. British investors wanted to know about the new colony’s resources and its potential for settlement.
When Bartram and his son returned from their explorations, the botanist published a journal containing his observations as well as a map of East Florida. British merchants and aristocrats who read the journal were keen to acquire tracts of land in the new colony. It clearly was worthy of future British settlements.
Despite the growing friction between Great Britain and its colonies, Bartram maintained his loyalty to the crown in the years following his appointment as the royal botanist. He was not the only Loyalist in the American scientific community. Another one of Bartram’s American naturalist correspondents was Cadwallader Colden. In addition to being the lieutenant governor of New York, Colden was a doctor and a natural scientist. He and Bartram formed a friendship that lasted for three decades.
Both Bartram and Colden stayed in contact with like-minded naturalists on both sides of the Atlantic. According the historian Katherine Gray Smith, these friendships “seem to have affected Colden’s politics, confirming his dedication to the mother country“. They “all supported, either by word or deed, Colden’s dedication to the Crown.”
The letters Colden and Bartram wrote to one another dealt primarily with scientific matters, but occasionally the current political situations were referenced. In one exchange, the men agreed that Americans had plenty of opportunity for justice, a fact that the colonists often abused.
As Smith points out: Bartram, like Colden, felt that America’s colonists often brought trouble on themselves. She further observes, “While Bartram did not express devotion to the royal prerogative quite like Logan and Colden, his assiduous courting of royal favour suggested that he respected the government and thought it could best provide for him, even if he sometimes found problems with it … Bartram clearly wanted the best for himself and for the colonies. Yet he never hinted that that best could be found anywhere outside the monarch … How he felt about the {revolution}, he did not say, beyond indicating that he found the interruption of his travels as a result of the conflicts rather inconvenient. While it would be too much to say that Bartram had the same level of devotion to the Crown that Colden did, he was certainly no revolutionary.
William, Bartram’s son and an expert botanist in his own right, did not share his father’s political views. In July of 1776, he was among the volunteers in the militia that stood ready to defend Georgia from the British. He was engaged in reconnaissance rather than in combat.
It is interesting to note that despite the fact that John Bartram had been in the employ of the king for ten years at the outset of the American Revolution, there is no record of him being persecuted, evicted, or imprisoned by the Patriots of Pennsylvania.
On September 22, 1777 John Bartram died at the age of 78, still holding the position of American Botanist to His Majesty. The Loyalist naturalist died in a colony that was in rebellion against his royal patron. Within four days of his death, British forces began their occupation of Philadelphia. Bartram’s family continued to operate his botanic garden until 1850. Now managed by a non-profit organization and the city of Philadelphia, Bartram’s Garden became a national historic landmark in 1960.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Slocum, Flewelling, Land and My New Brunswick Loyalist Roots – and Research
By Ken MacCallum UE
I enjoy reading Loyalist Trials and each week wonder whether there will be articles about any of the families I am researching. Last week’s newsletter was a trifecta, with Stephen Davidson’s article on Ruth Slocum, as well as articles on Joseph Flewelling and Robert Land. None of these people are my ancestors, but they or their families play a role in the lives of my Loyalist ancestors. Stories about others help place one’s ancestors into context. Genealogy should be as much a study of local history as opposed to simply the study of individuals or specific families. Without an understanding of the historical context, how can you understand the lives of the persons whom you are researching?
The Slocums in Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War were neighbors of my Clark ancestors (Elisha Clarke Sr.) and his wife Elizabeth Reynolds from North Kingston. Elisha Clarke Sr.’s life during the Revolutionary War is enigmatic, but it seems that he was “loyal” to the British Crown after having served in the Rhode Island Patriot militia. Widow Elizabeth and many of their children settled in New Brunswick, likely just after the Revolution, but apparently not as part of the organized Loyalist exodus. One of their sons, Gardner Clark, married Ruth, one of the Slocum daughters, in Hampstead, Queens County, after the War. Col. Wightman married another Clark. The Coreys were also part of the extended Clarke family. Ancestors of Elisha Clarke Sr. and Elizabeth Reynolds include the earliest English settlers of Rhode Island, including Ann Hutchinson and Ann Marbury, which gets you into the rabbit hole of European ancestry and royal lines of descent.
The story of the Slocums is dark and tragic. The Slocums were a Tory family from North Kingston, which was across Narragansett Bay from Newport and a hotbed of Tory activity. Ruth was a daughter of Captain Ebenezer Slocum and the granddaughter of Charles Slocum and Sarah Slocum, all of whom engaged in spying and activities against the Patriots during the American Revolution. The family’s downfall was occasioned in part by their association with John Hart from North Kingston. Hart was a spy for the British who brought counterfeit currency from New York City to Rhode Island as part of a larger British plan to devalue American paper currency. John Hart and Sarah Slocum uttered and passed a considerable sum of counterfeit Massachusetts Sword-in-hand money from January to April 1777. Between February and April 1777, Hart made numerous crossings from the mainland to Aquidneck Island (the island in Narragansett Bay on which Newport was located), including on March 4 with Charles Slocum. Hart also engaged in a series of plots and attacks on the Patriots before being caught at Exeter, Rhode Island carrying counterfeit currency. After a court-martial at Providence, Rhode Island, he was sentenced to death and was hung on May 17, 1777. Ruth’s husband Ebenezer Slocum was tried as a British spy after admitting to twice crossing over Narragansett Bay in a small boat to Cinanicut Island and then to Newport to meet with Lord Percy; after spending several months in jail in Providence, he was surprisingly acquitted. In April 1777 Sarah Slocum was suspected of spying for the British, and she and her family were ordered by the Assembly to be removed at least two miles from the shore. She was later ordered to move further inland. Sarah seems to have been an active participant in Tory conspiracies, and was not an “innocent Loyalist housewife and the mother of Loyalists.” She was a legitimate object of Patriot legal proceedings, and almost certainly would have been hung and she been a man. Instead, she was branded and had her ears cropped. While that is a barbaric punishment by today’s standards, it was not unusual at the time.
There is much more to the story of the Slocums and the other intermarried Loyalist families from North Kingston (Boone, Wightman, Smith, Slocum, Corey and Cutter), many of whom were went to Long Island, New York after the British withdrew from Rhode Island, where they served in Col. Wightman’s Loyal New Englander Regiment, before coming to Saint John as Loyalists on the vessel Union. But that is a tale for another time. The Slocum name lives on 240 years later in Saint John as Slocum & Ferris in the City Market, now a popular eatery and café and the latest iteration of a business founded in 1895 by descendants of these two Loyalist families.
Joseph Flewelling‘s ancestors were Loyalists from North Castle in Westchester County, New York (now the southeast corner of Yorktown and the adjoining community of Mr. Kisco), where my 5x great-grandfather Jacob Van Wart had a 233 acre farm in Cortlandt Manor. The Flewellings were Quakers, some of whom owned what are now called enslaved persons before the War. One branch came to Saint John as Loyalists; Major Eddis Flewelling, Mayor of Saint John the mid-1970s, was a descendant. Many others remained generally neutral and stayed in New York after the War; some of them owned parts of Jacob’s farm after the war through the late 1800s. That corner of Yorktown, like North Kingston, was another hotbed of Tory activity, with many men serving in De Lancey’s Westchester Refugees. They included Captain Gilbert Totten (Jr.) – a very bad man, about whom Steven Davidson has written in Loyalist Trails – who lived on the farm next to Jacob. Jacob is also an enigma, as he served as a Lieutenant in the Third Regiment of the Westchester County Militia before turning coat around June 1779; he then served in De Lancey’s Refugees, sometime in action near his former home. I am writing a book about Jacob – the progenitor of the Van Wart family of New Brunswick, who have spread to Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Maine, Louisiana, California and even Montana – which I hope to complete in 2024.

As an aside, I have been researching family and local history for over 50 years, an interest fostered in no small measure by three of my grandparents. They lived to advanced ages, had wonderful memories, told stories of their families, and kept family documents. That all researchers should be so fortunate! As a native of Saint John with one grandmother who was almost entirely of Loyalist descent, I have New Brunswick Van Wart, Golden, Clarke, Slipp, Merritt, Birdsall, Hendry, Bulyea, Foster, McLeod, Carpenter, Adams, Roberts and Bishop Loyalist ancestors. These, and other ancestors of the Revolutionary War era, have given me a far deeper connection with early New Brunswick and east coast history – both Loyalist and pre-Loyalist – that I could have imagined during nine years of history classes in public school in Saint John.
Ken MacCallum UE

A piece on the history of Slocum & Ferris
It was founded in 1895 by George W. Slocum and John D. Ferris, who left Queens County, New Brunswick to become produce dealers in Saint John. Both were of Loyalist agricultural background, with the Ferris family coming from New York and the Slocums from New England. The partners maintained links with the farmers of the Saint John River Valley, who sent them produce downstream by riverboat. Slocum and Ferris did not buy the goods outright, but took a commission instead, calling themselves “commission merchants”. In the second-floor office above the shop there is still a folio-size ledger from the 1910s recording the firm’s transactions in fine cursive script. By the mid 20th century, Slocum and Ferris had become a small grocery store, selling spices, canned goods and “fancy groceries” to complement the butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers who then dominated the City Market. In this period, the store began to sell dulse, the deep purple dried seaweed harvested on Grand Manan Island. Slocum’s came under current ownership in 1989, and has since become a favourite Uptown lunch spot and caterer. It also keeps up its traditions as a retailer and provisioner, with a wide selection of local maple products, confections, teas and preserves. And, of course, dulse! John Ferris. (Contributed by Ken MacCallum)

Smallpox Threatens an American Privateer at Sea
by Christian McBurney 7 Sept. 2023 Jpurnal of the American Revolution
Two important books in the twenty-first century have focused on the impact of terrifying smallpox contagions on the American Revolutionary War.[1] Understandably, most of their stories are about smallpox infecting soldiers on land. As the two books relate, smallpox wrought havoc on Benedict Arnold’s small army outside Quebec in 1775 and 1776, and likely killed more than ten thousand Continental Army troops, many of them prisoners of war. The smallpox scourge impacted the miliary strategy of both side’s armies
Smallpox posed a unique danger to warships at sea because of the relatively small size of sailing vessels and the often crowded quarters. Indeed, the disease could threaten to kill so many of a crew that the ship’s mission might have to terminate, and the ship might be forced to return to a safe harbor. The Rhode Island privateer Marlborough faced such a risk in January 1778.
On January 2, the Marlborough departed Edgartown in Martha’s Vineyard, commencing one of the most extraordinary voyages ever undertaken by an American privateer during the war. Its mission was to attack and plunder British slave forts and capture British slave ships operating on the West Coast of Africa. Read more…

Book: United for Independence: The American Revolution in the Middle Colonies, 1775–1776
by Michael Cecere (Yardley, Pa.: Westholme, 2023)
Review by John Gilbert McCurdy 5 Sept. 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
In the American Revolutionary War, probably no period was more dramatic than the time between April 1775 and August 1776. It was then that the skirmish at Lexington and Concord grew into an all-out war, and the thirteen British colonies boldly acted as one to declare themselves a new American nation. With few exceptions, the locus of action during this period was in the middle colonies, that is New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. It was here that independence was debated and where the British army came closest to crushing the army of General George Washington and destroying the United States.
Michael Cecere recounts some of the most exciting and consequential events of this early chapter in the Revolutionary War. A former high school teacher, Cecere laments that “in classrooms across America,” this part of the story is given short shrift as the narrative takes “a great historical leap” between Lexington and the Declaration of Independence (page xi). His book seeks to remedy this omission and does so admirably.
Because “each colony approached the rebellion against Great Britain differently,” Cecere proceeds both chronologically and spatially (xii). Each chapter covers a different season between Spring 1775 and Summer 1776, and within each chapter, each of the five colonies receive separate treatment. This has the effect of conveying both five united but very different colonies as well as how the push for unity coexisted with the colonists’ cultural and social diversity. Read more…

Tracing Material Culture Histories: A Miniature Mokuk within Networks of Indigenous Resistance
Allyson LaForge about 5 Sept 2023 in Common Place
Even before the miniaturization of mokuks as souvenir items, these folded birchbark baskets served as trade items that also facilitated diplomacy between Native and colonial nations.
In the 1820s or 1830s, a Native woman from the Great Lakes crafted this miniature mokuk, or maple sugaring basket, and sold it to a non-Native buyer. She folded the birchbark into a box, sewed its edges with twisted spruce roots, affixed a cedar rim, quilled patterns of flowers and leaves on the sides, and filled it with a few tablespoons of maple sugar. She then affixed a lid, which has since gone missing, presumably lost after the buyer removed it to taste the sugar. Today, the mokuk sits in the collections of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, where it recently reconnected with Eric Hemenway, the Director of Repatriation, Archives, and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians as part of a broader project to restore relationships between material culture and descendant communities. This community-engaged methodology is key to recovering the histories of Indigenous material culture. Read more…

Rachel Revere Letter to Paul Revere, April/May 1775. Thomas Gage Papers.
At the William L Clements Library
Paul Revere was one of the original members of the Sons of Liberty rebel organization and played a large role in popularizing resistance to the Stamp Act and the Boston Massacre through his widely circulated engravings of the events…
On April 18, 1775, Revere learned of General Gage’s plans for a midnight raid on the town of Concord to seize the rebel colonists’ store of weapons. Revere immediately set out on horseback to warn patriot leaders John Hancock and Sam Adams in Lexington that the British were marching to seize rebel leaders and weapons. After delivering his message in Lexington, Revere continued on to Concord where he was captured and questioned by British troops. In their hurry to return to Concord, the British officers decided to release Revere. However, they took his horse, forcing him to return to Lexington on foot…
Paul’s wife, Rachel Revere, sent this concerned letter to her husband as he tried to make his way home, horseless and without funds. Rachel entrusted the letter and 125 pounds to Benjamin Church to deliver to her husband. Church was a member of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts and the surgeon general of Washington’s troops. Rachel and the rebel leaders did not know that Church was also a spy for the British and reported to General Gage the movements and strategies of the rebel forces. Read more…

Advertised on 8 September 1773: “Given away GRATIS … ROBERT BELL’S SALE CATALOGUE…..”
What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?
Robert Bell became one of the most prominent and influential American booksellers and publishers of the late eighteenth century, in part due to his flamboyant personality and flair for marketing. He disseminated advertising in the same formats as other booksellers and publishers – newspaper notices, book catalogs, handbills, broadsides – yet introduced innovations intended to engage and entice consumers.
Such was the case in an advertisement that Bell placed in the September 8, 1773, edition of the Pennsylvania Journal. Read more…

Loyalists and descendants who participated in the War of 1812: Zachariah Hainer
In 1812, Zachariah Hainer joined the 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia. At age 52 he was a seasoned soldier, a veteran of the American Revolution, one of Butler’s Rangers. His second military experience, in the War of 1812, was much shorter than his first fight. On October 24, 1812 Zachariah Hainer was “declared unfit for service” and entered on the Pension List. By December he was very ill. On February 2, 1813 Zachariah Hainer died of disease. Read more… Submitted by Janet Hodgkins, UE

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.

Book: Battle on the Ice: Meet the Authour
Jean Rae Baxter,
“Once again, Jean Rae Baxter has brought our history to life. Dory (Theodore) Dickson’s journey reveals the tumultuous period of the Upper Canada Rebellion, including the extraordinary history of William Lyon Mackenzie’s ill-fated Republic of Canada and the struggle against the Family Compact. From Navy Island to Pelee Island, Battle on the Ice, is a thrilling tale populated by some of Canada’s most important 19th century figures..” Nathan Tidridge MSM FRCGS, Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada, Honorary Fellow of the UELAC
Essex County Book Tour Scheduled Events

  • Monday, Sept. 18
    • 11:00 a.m. Ferry from Kingsville to Pelee Island.
      • 2:00-4:00 p.m. Book signing at “One of a Kind Pelee: Gifts, Art & Collectibles”.
  • Tuesday, September 19
    • 2:00-4:00. Presentation followed by” Meet & Greet” at “Pelee Art Works”.
  • Wednesday, Sept 20
    • 9:30 a.m. Pelee Island Public School.
    • 4:00 p.m. Ferry from Pelee Island to Kingsville.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21
    • 1:30 p.m. Presentation at HEIRS, Harrow.
    • 7:00 p.m. Maidstone Bicentennial Museum, 1093 Puce Road, Essex,
  • Friday, Sept. 22. 4:30 pm. Presentation at John. R. Park Homestead, Harrow.
  • Saturday, Sept 23
    • 1:00-3:00 p.m. Presentation to Bicentennial Branch, UELAC.
  • Sunday, Sept. 24
    • 12:00-3:00 p.m. Book Signing at River Bookshop. Amherstburg.
  • End of Book Tour

Loyalist Certificates Issued
The publicly available list of certificates issued since 2012 is now updated to end of August 31, 2023.
When a certificate is added there, it is also recorded in the record for the Loyalist Ancestor in the Loyalist Directory.

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

  • Kevin Wisener, President, Abegweit Branch, has contributed information about:
    • Lt. Andrew McMillan had a farm at Carlisle PA before the war, fled to Montreal. Lieutenant, Prince of Wales Regiment New Jersey, Captain of an Independent Company raised in Danbury, Connecticut (Source #2).
      Fought at Danbury, Connecticut and at the Battle of Fort Montgomery, New York. In the spring of 1778 was ordered by Gen Clinton at New York to go to Cape Breton to protect the coal mines. After defending the mines was relieved by part of the 82nd Regiment and was sent to Island of St. John where he mostly had garrison duty. He settled in Queens County, PEI
    • William Young settled in PEI where he received a land grant for two land parcels of 100 and 400 acres respectively. He and wife Margaret Johnson had nine children.

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

Upcoming Events

Kawartha Branch “The Elizabeth Beard Story” 17 Sept@2:00 pm ET

“Valiant Amazing: The Elizabeth Beard Story” by Andrew MacLean
Elizabeth Beard was a young Loyalist woman from Philadelphia who ultimately fought alongside her soldier husband during the Revolution. She was with him on a ship which was attacked, and she manned the cannon, tearing off parts of her dress to use as wadding.
After that she went on land and was part of a partisan attack on a small group of Rebels. Later, she popped up again, in what is now Florida, in a besieged fort, again manning a cannon. After that she became a prisoner, and was ultimately part of a swap at the end of the war.
She then sailed aboard the Martha from New York City to Nova Scotia. The Martha became separated from the refugee fleet in heavy fog and crashed on a rock. She, while heavily pregnant with triplets(!), was aboard a raft with sixty-some survivors and was rescued by fishermen, giving birth on the beach.
Her sons later fought in the War of 1812.
In person, at Activity Haven, Peterborough, ON – email Bob McBride for details
Via zoom, Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 852 5540 8930, Passcode: 721187

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

Abegweit PEI Branch “Governor Fanning” Tues. 19 Sept @6:30 AT

Abegweit PEI Branch will hold a hybrid/in-person meeting on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:30 pm to 8 pm, AST. The location (local members) will be the Charlottetown PEI Library’s Rotary Club Auditorium, 97 Queen Street, Charlottetown, PEI.
We are pleased to have Reverend-Dr. Becket Soule join us as Guest Speaker. His topic will be “Governor Fanning: Before, During and After the Revolution”.
Those wishing to join via Zoom can contact Jayne Leake at

From the Twittersphere and Beyond


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