In this issue:



Merry Christmas, Riedesel Style
December 1, 2018 at St. Lawrence Branch
The first Christmas tree in Canada takes its origins from the American Revolutionary War.
During that conflict, Major-General Friedrich Adolphus Riedesel commanded troops from the German state of Brunswick. Britain hired these troops to help quell the American rebellion, and Riedesel spent time in Canada. In December 1781, he and his wife Friederike introduced to the Canadian scene the German tradition of the Christmas tree.
That year marked a turning point for the Riedesels. They had arrived in Canada four years earlier, in the spring of 1777. At that time, the Major-General immediately joined a British offensive led by John Burgoyne. Its objective was to drive south from Canada to Albany, New York, in an attempt to cut the Thirteen Colonies in two. Friederike joined him on this campaign. After some initial success, Burgoyne’s army surrendered on October 17, 1777 after a series of battles near Saratoga, 40 kilometres short of Albany.
Riedesel and his wife became prisoners of war. Read more…

The Christmas Eve Petition
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
On December 24, 1784, a petition of grievance was delivered to Thomas Carleton, the lieutenant governor of New Brunswick. 345 Loyalists signed the petition, stating that they were “embarrassed, impoverished and suffering greatly for want of settlement” by what they saw as the unfair distribution of land in the new colony.
Besides the fact that this document demonstrates the Loyalist refugees’ serious dissatisfaction with the government of the day, the petition is noteworthy because four of those who signed their names were women. Who were Mary Campbell, Sarah Gillespie, Mary Moss and a widow known only as Mrs. Muskolins? Have documents of the era left any clues as to what prompted these women to add their names to a petition of grievance?
The search for data on Mrs. Muskolins ends very suddenly. Her name does not appear anywhere in the newspapers, probate records, or land grant lists for New Brunswick in the 1780s. In fact, her surname — which seems to originate in Eastern Europe—has very few “hits” in a internet search. But as two of the other female petitioners were known to each other, it may be that this Loyalist widow was also a friend of the women signatories.
While one can only speculate on how Mrs. Muskolins came to have her name on what has come to be known as the Huggeford Petition of Grievance, documents of the era provide more clues regarding Campbell, Gillespie, and Moss.
Mary Moss came to New Brunswick along with her husband Amos and their three children in June of 1783. The latter were all under the age of ten. Later records only provide Samuel and Esther as the names of Moss children. Esther became Mrs. Daniel McGregor in 1798; Samuel married Elizabeth Jackson in 1799.
The Loyalist family sailed on board the Two Sisters as part of the company of Loyalist refugees led by Silvanus Whitney. Amos had been a farmer in Connecticut. (One primary source states that he brought with two servants along with his family. However, the Book of Negroes only notes a Black Loyalist named London Derry as accompanying the Moss family.)
It appears that Amos Moss did not live much more than a year after settling in what became Gagetown, New Brunswick. Had he been alive, he would no doubt have been the family member that signed the Huggeford Petition rather than Mary in late 1784. It fell to the widowed Mary to stand up for her family’s rights and seek justice from the colony’s government along with 344 other disgruntled Loyalists, many of whom were her neighbours.
Needing to have the support of a husband in a male-dominated society, Mary Moss married Francis Blackburn, a bachelor from Oyster Bay, New York. Blackburn had been a “clothier and fuller” until he had to “take to the woods” because he was being “harassed by rebels”. He joined the Loyalist militia of Long Island and remained with them until the end of the American Revolution. When he sought compensation for the loss of two houses, a fulling mill and an “oil house” in March of 1786, his claim was rejected.
Like Mary, Francis Blackburn recognized the value in petitions. In January 1786, he joined 222 other Saint John voters who signed the Petition of Dissident Electors. The signatories were protesting the results of the 1785 election for members of the colony’s House of Assembly, stating that the sheriff had struck out names on the voters’ list. This resulted in the victory going to friends of the lieutenant-governor.
Blackburn also signed what has become known as the Seditious Election Petition in March of 1786 – a document that historian David Bell has described as “the ultimate and most vehement mass expression of anti-administration sentiment to emerge from Loyalist New Brunswick“.
While it is not known when the two petition-signing Loyalists became husband and wife, the probate records of the colony reveal that Mary Moss Blackburn became a widow for the second time in the fall of 1798. The couple had been living in Waterborough Parish in the colony’s Queen’s County. Although she had been bold enough to sign the Huggeford Petition in 1784, Mary decided not to serve as the administrator of her second husband’s estate, giving the responsibility to a neighbor since “she knew of no other relatives” of Francis’ in New Brunswick. On September 24, 1801, Mary became the bride of William Holderan, at the church in Gagetown. If he is the William “Holdram” listed as a farmer in Waterborough (where Mary had lived with Blackburn) that is found in the probate records, then Mary died sometime before 1814 – the year that William drew up his will. All his property was granted to the White family, described as his “friends and neighbours”. Neither a wife nor stepchildren are mentioned.
Besides appearing in the Huggeford Petition, Sarah Gillespie‘s name can only be found in one other primary source, the Sunbury County Land Records. In 1785, she applied for land along the Oromocto River but her request was denied. Sarah was listed as being with the 40th Company of Loyalists. Like other women who had lost their husbands, Sarah was described as a widow in the land records in 1785. At least 77 men were part of this militia that sailed out of New York City on board the Sally in July of 1783.
The company’s captain was Robert Campbell who came to the colony with his wife Mary, 3 children over the age of ten, and a servant. Campbell had been a surveyor in New Jersey.
In 1785, Campbell asked for lots along the Oromocto River for Sarah Gillespie, his son Robert Jr., a single farmer named William Carre/Carey, and Elizabeth Mather. He also requested land for a Mary Campbell as well. Given the land granting practices of the era, it does not seem likely that Robert would request land for his wife. Was this Mary Campbell a sister? The widow of a relative? `Given that the other three women listed on the Huggeford Petition were all widows, it seems reasonable to assume that this was the marital status for Mary Campbell as well. In 1787, a Mary Campbell listed in the Sunbury County Land Records is described as a widow. She was among those seeking land by means of a petition sent to Fredericton by Walter McCalpine. The bachelor farmer was also a member of Robert Campbell’s 40th Company. His petition was submitted on behalf of himself and 10 other Loyalists who sought land along Swan Creek.
In addition to Mary Campbell, another widow was part of this group of petitioners – one Mary Morse. Could this be a misreading of Mary Moss’ name? If so, it would mean that at least two of the female signatories of the Huggeford Petition had been known to one another for a number of years as spouses of men in the 40th Company.
While not revealing whether the four women and their fellow petitioners were successful in their appeal to the New Brunswick government in 1784, the historian Elspeth Tulloch recognizes the significance of their signatures. Referring to the Huggeford Petition of Grievance that was delivered on Christmas Eve, Tulloch notes: “Of its 345 signatories, four were women; barely making 1% of the total, they were present all the same.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

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The two Archibald Thomson UELs: Part Two of Five
copyright Stephen Bowley UE
Archibald Thomson, the Brant Volunteer, was born in Hawick Parish, Roxburghshire, Scotland. He emigrated to New York in 1773 and, in partnership with fellow Scotsman James Park, settled on 100 acres owned by John Harper near Harpersfield, Tryon County. There they built a log house and barn and by the time the War of Independence unfolded they had cleared about 12 acres.
John Harper became a member of the Tryon County Committee of Safety and later Colonel of the 5th Tryon County militia. Loyal to the King, Archibald Thomson and James Park were not able to escape the attention of their landlord. Both were indicted by the Tryon Committee of Sequestration on 3 May 1777.
Not surprisingly, Thomson and Park took up arms in July 1777 under John McDonell (of Scotus) and joined with 27 other fellow Loyalists on the 8 Aug 1777 raid of Harpersfield. A scouting party which included Archibald Thomson apprehended Nathan Daley and Isaac Patchin—the chairman of the local Committee of Vigilance. Linking up with McDonell’s main company, they along with their prisoners marched to Adam Crysler’s. Joined by other men at Adam Crysler’s mill the group set out to join other Loyalists from the north. Unfortunately the party was attacked by a dragoon unit –the battle of the Flockey— and they were forced to escape into the woods.
By the end of the year, Thomson, Thomas McMicking (also a Brant Volunteer and later Forester) and John Brown (later a Butler’s Ranger) were impressed for service in Capt. Alexander Harper’s Ranger Company. There were 34 men in the Company and their orders were to guard the Commission of Sequestration while they were seizing and selling the personal property of Loyalists.
At the time it was not uncommon for Loyalists such as these to infiltrate militia units in order to gain and pass on intelligence about Rebel plans. By the spring of 1778, Archibald Thomson had deserted from Capt. Harper’s Company and along with other Loyalists had made his way to Oquaga and then on to Tioga Point. Thomson and Harper would meet up again two years later.
In May 1778 at Tioga Point Archibald Thomson, along with James Park, John Chisholm and Daniel Rose, joined as Volunteers with Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)—a member of the Kanyen’kehà:ka (Mohawk) Nation. From that point on they were on active service with Brant on raids from their base at Oquaga.
In late July 1778 Archibald Thomson had carried a message from Brant to the recruiter Charles Smith near Harpersfield, Tryon County. The latter wrote two letters and gave them to Thomson to return; one was addressed to Capt. Walter Butler and the other to Joseph Brant.
They parted company and Thomson went to the Servos homestead. There a detachment of Rebel soldiers killed Thomas Servos, and took John Servos, Archibald Thomson, Johannis Docksteder, and one other Loyalist prisoner. The four were transferred and held in confinement at Albany by order of Lt.-Col. William Butler.
On the 22 August 1778 Archibald Thomson and others who had become ill were moved to the hospital. Johannis Docksteder was released on bail on 24th August and John Servos on the 17th Sept. There is no record as to the date Thomson was released (or escaped) from confinement in Albany. It is possible he was able to rejoin Brant’s men when they attacked the Minisink settlements that October.
When Archibald Thomson came into Fort Niagara in Oct 1779, Guy Johnson (Superintendent of the Six Nations) offered him, James Park, John Chisholm and Daniel Rose an appointment in Johnson’s new group of Rangers he called Foresters—so named to differentiate those under his direction at Niagara from the Rangers commanded by Lt.-Col. John Butler.
All four men declined the offer “as they served the Crown from principle and not for the sake of Emolument, they would continue to serve [Brant] without pay during the remainder of the war.
On 7 Apr 1780 Thomson was a member of Brant’s party that took 12 men and boys captive, including Capt. Alexander Harper and Freegift and Isaac Patchin Jr., near Harpersfield; Harper had commanded the guard for the Committee of Sequestration and the Patchins were sons of Isaac Patchin who McDonell’s men had briefly detained in 1777. The captured men were taken to Niagara by 12 May 1780 and held prisoner for the remainder of the war (Harper at the Provost prison in Québec, and the Patchins at Prison Island at Coteau-du-Lac). Archibald Thomson also participated in the raiding of Vrooman’s Land in the Schoharie later that August.
On 4 Sept 1782, in a rare return which listed the Brant’s Volunteers by name, Thomson was recorded as one of those stationed at the Upper Landing, both sides of the Niagara River (present day Queenston and Lewiston).
His post-war claim to the American Loyalist Loss Commissioners included an attestation by Joseph Brant confirming his volunteer service during the war.
Following the war, Isaac Patchin Sr. pursued penalties for those involved in his detention and other actions taken by McDonell’s party during the war. Before a Grand Jury at Albany in April 1783, he made a deposition which listed those who joined McDonell in 1777 “who were then actively and zealously employed in the Service of the King.” As a consequence, Archibald Thomson was one of a number of Loyalists indicted 3 May 1783 by the New York Supreme Court for adhering to the Enemies of the United States.
The post-war activities of Archibald Thomson, the Brant Volunteer, will be featured in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

America’s Loyalists : Where Did They Go After The War?
You might find this video explanation regarding UEL origins: political, philosophical, and physical. The video also describes what happened to the Loyalists during and after the Rev War, where they resettled and what happened then to each. It presents the story of several individuals as examples. (26 minutes)
Thanks to Andy Pollock for suggesting

We Were Never There! Solomon Tift, Daniel Eldridge, and Groton Heights
by Matthew Reardon 19 Dec. 2023 Journal of the American Revolution
Solomon Tift was long believed to be one of the last surviving veterans of the Battle of Groton Heights in Groton, Connecticut. Daniel Eldridge was also supposedly there with Tift heroically defending Fort Griswold. But neither man was there. In fact, on September 6, 1781, while the battle raged, Tift and Eldridge were not defending Fort Griswold. Rather, they were 200 miles away in New York, sitting on the Jersey prison ship.
Solomon Tift was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, on May 28, 1758, and resided there at the outbreak of the war. In March 1777, at eighteen years old, Tift enlisted in an independent militia company, the Kingston Reds, that had been raised in his hometown by John Gardner, who became the company’s first captain. Read more…

Hessian Soldiers Travelling to America: Describing Philadelpia Jan 1778
From a Hessian Diary of the American Revolution.
This excerpt from the diary of Johan Conrad Dohla (170 pages).

Describing Philadelphia (page 47)

Description of the Occurences in America in the Second Year, 1778
Year 1778, 1 January. I went on picket duty one English mile from the city, on the banks of the Schuylkill. This river has no salt water. Very many and good fish are caught in it. It runs past the city on one side and goes on into the land of the province of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia is the capital city not only of the province of Pennsylvania but also of North America, and the main center of the so-called Quakers. More than two hundred years ago the province belonged to Sweden and was then called New Sweden. After the English drove the Swedes out, the King of England, Charles II, in 1681, gave this province to the famous Quaker William Penn and named it Pennsylvania after him. Penn, the first owner of the province, began construction of the city of Philadelphia in 1689, and already in the year 1713 there were 2,300 houses. At that time it was estimated that there were 12 people in every house, and the population was 27,600 people. In the year 1753 there were 117 ships there, and in 1771, 742 ships sailed out of the harbor, most of which belonged to the city’s merchants. The city lies on a plain and in a beautiful, fertile region, and has a great outer boundary, because it is four English miles long and four English miles wide, and therefore laid out in a square. The Delaware River, which flows by the city, provides great advantages, and ease of importing and exporting of many wares. The number of houses amounts to about 4,740, and the inhabitants are as many as 50,000.
All the buildings are constructed entirely of brick. On the roofs of the houses there are walks and galleries for walking, looking about, and for diversion. The streets are all parallel and straight as a string, laid out in squares, and the cross streets are cut at right angles. All the streets are well and permanently paved. In every street there are paved footpaths; two of them are made with broad stones, but most are of well-baked brick. Behind the houses are alleys with beautiful, leafy trees, which are very pleasant in the summertime, and where a person, during the greatest heat, can walk in cool shade. Also, twice weekly throughout the year, the streets are cleaned, and every inhabitant must keep the area before his house neat and clean. At night all the streets are lit with lanterns in which there is lamp oil. Also, the night watch must call out not only the hour but also the weather, if it is nice or rains or snows, or if the moon is shining, if there is starlight, or if the sky is overcast; and this must all be called out every hour.
Since everything in Philadelphia is laid out in proportion, when in the middle of the city, where the beautiful market building stands (in which food can be purchased at a low price), one can see out to the twelve main streets and gates, which are extraordinarily splendid.
The townhall is a beautiful, large, and stately building in which the high council and representatives of the thirteen provinces of North America, which is called the Congress, sit. There are rooms designated for the sachems, that is, the Indian chiefs, or their representatives, when such are present and have something to settle with the American Congress. At the same place there are two beautiful and excellent libraries, because a complete freedom of belief and conscience exists in Philadelphia. There are four English Episcopal churches, three Presbyterian churches, one Scottish, or Sessionist, church, one Baptist church, one Moravian Brethren, one Methodist church, two Catholic churches and one chapel, one German and Swedish Lutheran church, one Dutch Reformed church, one English Reformed church, four Quaker meetinghouses, one Herrnhuter meetinghouse, and one more Lutheran church two miles below the city. The Jews also have a synagogue there. There is no shortage of public houses to care for the poor, or of public schools.
Most of the inhabitants are Quakers, who, in their usual spiritual enthusiasm, declare everything in their meetings that God has told them in a dream or that has otherwise occurred. Both men and women among these Quakers clearly differentiate themselves from other religious groups, even by their dress. They are, however, the richest people, because they have hidden underground passages in which, reportedly, there are storehouses of gold and silver (this could be false), which, however, they would rather lose their life than uncover or reveal. They do not believe in war, nor in dueling, but love peace and quiet in the land. Therefore, they send no man off to fight, but pay for the fighting with money. Just as everyone who is capable of providing for himself is accepted, the more lazy people are abhorred. Therefore, it is the case that beggars and poor, wretched people are not seen in Philadelphia, nor in other cities and provinces, but old, sick, and infirm poor people are cared for in the excellent institutions and houses meant for that purpose.
(to be continued)

Advertised on 22 December 1773: “Jailed, but is he who he says he is?”
What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

“WAS committed … a man, by the name of John Smith, being described in the Gazette as a runaway servant.”
John Anderson, the jailer in Newtown in Bucks County, placed an advertisement in the December 22, 1773, edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette in hopes that it would come to the attention of Thomas Tempel of Pennsbury Township in Chester County, though he likely desired that other readers might supply additional information to help him sort out a situation at his jail. Anderson reported that on December 13 he detained a man named John Smith,” being described in the Gazette as a runaway servant, his person and cloathing exactly answering the said advertisement.” At least some colonizers closely read newspaper advertisements that described runaway indentured servants, convict servants, and apprentices or enslaved people who liberated themselves, making it worth the investment for masters and enslavers to place those notices.
Anderson stated that the man he believed was Smith “passed [in Newtown] by the name of Peter Woodford, alias Peter Shanley” and produced “former indentures” when he claimed he had been “a bound apprentice to Richard Plumer” in Lower Makefield Township in Bucks County. Read more…

Loyalists and descendants who participated in the War of 1812: George and Jacob Ott, Sons of Jacob Ott UEL
Jacob Ott, UEL, 1763-1848, married Barbara Zavitz, 1765-1849, sister of Christian Zavitz, UEL, 1750-1826. They were the parents of seven daughters, but only two sons. Both of those sons, George Ott, 1796-1882, and Jacob Ott Junior, 179?-1846, served in the 3rd Regiment of the Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812.
The Ott family was originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. After the Revolutionary War they eventually settled in Wainfleet Township, Ontario on 330 acres of land at Lot 15, Concession 1 south of the present- day hamlet of Burnaby, along the shores of Lake Erie. Read more.
Submitted by Janet Hodgkins, UE, 5th great-grand-daughter of Jacob Ott, UEL

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

Christmas 1819
Sarah Murden 12 Dec 2019 All Things Georgian
Today I thought I’d take brief look back at what was making the news in December in 1819, so here we go.
Christmas Shopping.
Very much as it is today, advertising for Christmas was in full swing, with retailers mainly recommending books as gifts, but if you wanted to buy someone a gift with real possibilities then you could do as one gentleman did for his daughter at Blackheath, London when he presented her with a Lottery Share from Piddings of No.1 Cornhill. She won a quarter share of twenty thousand guineas. What a lovely Christmas gift that must have been.
Of course they too had their Boxing Day sales. Read more…

Be published: Your Loyalist story in the Loyalist Gazette
The Loyalist Gazette committee is seeking articles for submission for the Spring Gazette. In this next issue we are mainly concentrating on stories from Quebec and Ontario but other locations will be considered. The deadline for submissions is March 5, 2024.
But don’t wait until the last minute. Be in touch if you are interested. I would be glad to discuss with you, review parameters, answer any questions, etc.
Please direct your communications and interest to me.
Bill Russell UE, Editor,

Query: Request for an issue of the Loyalist Gazette
A recent question came to us at Dominion Office:

I’m looking for a copy of one of your “Loyalist Gazette” issues, volume 29, issue #1 (April 1991), as it contains an article about one of my ancestors, SARAH KAST
MCGINNESS (“A Stone for Sarah”).

We realize that we are short a copy of this – see the cover – in the Dominion Archives.
If you have a copy that you would be willing to part with, please contact me so we can arrange details. Thank you in advance.
Rod Appleby <>

In the News:

Remarkable Cornwall and SD & G
by Ian Bowering 16 Dec 2023 in in Discover SD&G, The Seeker
Ian Bowering Cornwall and SD & G can proudly claim to be “Where (Modern) Ontario started.”Founded by refugee United Empire Loyalists with the forbearance of Indigenous peoples 239 years ago, I am going to take this year end opportunity to highlight a few, of the region’s significant local, national and international achievements. Each month throughout 2024 I will expand upon the various topics below.
Agriculture: The McIntosh apple was introduced to the world by John McIntosh of Dundas County circa 1830. Michael Cook near Aultsville, Stormont County imported the first Holstein Frisian cows to Ontario in 1881, laying a solid foundation for the local and provincial dairy industry. Read more…

Upcoming events

Gov. Simcoe Branch “The Winter of Discontent” by Jean Rae Baxter Wed 3 Jan 7:30

Jean Rae Baxter’s new historical novel, Battle on the Ice, focuses on the invasion of Pelee Island in 1838 by an illegal American army. This was a time when Upper Canada stood on the brink of civil war.
In the 1830s, very few in Upper Canada had any interest in Upper Canada becoming a republic like the United State. But many deplored the system that had developed, in which an entrenched group of privileged families—the Family Compact—enjoyed for themselves the province’s wealth and power.
South of the border, William Lyon Mackenzie, in exile after the failure of his attempt at revolution, convinced American sympathizers that most Canadians would welcome an invasion that would set them free.
In late February, 1838, an American armed force crossed the ice from Sandusky, Ohio, and invaded defenceless Pelee Is

Jean Rae Baxter is the descendant of settlers who arrived in New France in the 17th century, Loyalists who came here in the 1780s, and immigrants from Germany in the 19th century. There were many family stories to awaken her interest in Canada’s history. Her s historical fiction has won wide recognition.
For more details and to Register, go here

From the Social Media and Beyond

  • William Wallace Hayden (1862 – 1942) was the Mayor of Digby, NS from 1908 – 1909. This colourful stained glass window in Grace United Church at Digby was in memory of him, his wife Emma Jane (Carty) and family. His grandmother was Prudence DeLong, the granddaughter of Simon DeLong, born in Albany, NY who during American Revolution was personal valet to Major Thomas Barclay who served with distinction in the Loyal American Regiment. Brian McConnell UE @brianm564
  • Hermione in drydock.
    She is a full-sized sailing replica of the 18th century French frigate of the same name and was completed in 2014. The original Hermione brought La Fayette as the French representative to the American rebels in 1779
  • The diary of Boston tradesman Thomas Newell covering 1773 and 1774, including the Boston Tea Party, the second Boston Tea Party, the arrival of General Gage
    • Boston was hardly the only town riled up about tea in the 1770s. There were 17 tea-related actions in seven states, including a 1774 Yorktown Tea Party in Virginia.
  • Townsends – or Food
  • This week in History
    • 17 Dec 1760 Plympton, MA. Deborah Sampson, was born. She would serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War & is one of a number of women with a documented record of military combat experience in that war.
    • 22 Dec 1774, Greenwich, NJ. A load of tea was torched in Greenwich by a group of 40 patriots dressed as Native Americans. The event became known as the Greenwich Tea Burning or the Greenwich Tea Party.
    • 19 Dec 1775 The New York Provincial Congress orders the purchase of 1,000 copies of the proceedings of the Continental Congress in Low Dutch and German to be distributed to residents of the colony.
    • 20 Dec 1775 Philadelphia, PA. Congress orders a temporary cease-fire between CT & PA in a dispute over conflicting land claims in the Wyoming Valley.
    • 22 Dec 1775 Congress commissions first naval officers: Commander of the Fleet Esek Hopkins; Capts Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicolas Biddle, and John Hopkins. Their vessels, Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria & Cabot – the first ships of the fleet.
    • 22 Dec 1775 London King George III signs the Prohibitory Act, allowing confiscation of American ships & imprisonment of American sailors.
    • 23 Dec 1775 London King George III issues a royal proclamation closing the colonies to all foreign commerce & trade effective March 1776.
    • 19 Dec 1776 Thomas Paine sent “The American Crisis” to the publisher. This pamphlet was a powerful follow-up to Common Sense & had a great impact in motivating people to support the cause of Liberty when victories were few and the cause seemed lost.
    • 19 Dec 1776 Capt William Hallock and 16-gun brig Lexington captured by frigate HMS Pearl under British Capt Thomas Wilkinson, but the Lexington’s crew under Master’s Mate Richard Dale re-take it and sail to Baltimore.
    • 20 Dec 1776 Gen William Howe wrote Lord Germain, British Secretary for the Colonies, proposing a campaign to capture the American capital, Philadelphia. This signaled a major shift in strategy from isolating New England.
    • 21 Dec 1776 Paris, France. Commissioners Silas Deane, Benjamin Franklin & Arthur Lee meet with Congressional authority to negotiate treaties & secure loans with King Louis XVI’s government.
    • 17 Dec 1777: France’s foreign minister, Charles Gravier, officially recognizes the United States as an independent country from England.
    • 18 Dec 1777 The United States, in Congress, issued the nation’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation as an independent country, signed by President of Congress Henry Laurens. The proclamation was a means of giving thanks for the recent victory at Saratoga.
    • 19 Dec 1777 Valley Forge, PA. A fatigued Continental Army struggles into winter quarters at this location which protected Gen Washington’s communications & posed a threat to the British in Phila. A harsh winter would reduce the force of 9K by almost one-third.
    • 17 Dec 1778 Lt Col Henry Hamilton’s force of 500 British & Indians recaptures Vincennes, IN from Virginia Capt. Leonard Helm. Hamilton then releases his militia & Indians for the winter.
    • 16 Dec 1779 Morristown, NJ Gen George Washington writes the State governors of the alarming state of food & supplies for his army. He warns: If the states don’t come through with supplies, the army will probably disband in 2 weeks.
    • 18 Dec 1778 Liverpool, NS. A force of New Jersey and New York Loyalists, The King’s Orange Rangers, traveled to arrive to help in its defense against patriot privateers, threatening commerce.
    • 20 Dec 1781 London King George III disregards the recommendations of Prime Minister Lord North & Colonial Minister Lord George Germain and refuses to bring the American war to a negotiated end.
    • 21 Dec 1781 Great Britain declares war on the Dutch Republic for joining the First League of Armed Neutrality but also for informally supporting the Americans with money & armaments. & giving refuge to John Paul Jones & his squadron.
    • 22 Dec 1781 Boston MA. His mission to America essentially done-the Marquis de Lafayette sets sail for France. His youth, intelligence & devotion to the American cause inspired many. Sadly, his role in France’s revolution would not bring the same success
  • Clothing and Related:
  • Miscellaneous
    • Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation: Papanow (winter) in Tsenacommacah. The months leading up to papanow were very busy for Powhatan people in the 17th century. Fall was an active season with crops harvested, wild foods gathered and large-scale hunting trips undertaken.
      Foods were preserved by being sundried or smoked before they were stored in the smoky rafters of the yehakins. These preparations made it possible for Powhatan communities to live as comfortably as possible during the winter months.
      Children and adults spent their days around fires playing games, making music and working on projects for the spring. Storytellers held a very important place in these communities, and in winter they traveled between towns in the chiefdom to educate and entertain.

Last Post: FLADAGER, Richard Earle July 16, 1930 – December 17, 2023
It is with deep sorrow we announce the passing of Richard Earle Fladager on December 17, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. Earle was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Earle will be lovingly remembered by his beloved wife of 69 years Betty, children David (Nataliya), Neal (Deborah), and Marilyn (Dave).
Earle was born on July 16, 1930, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Tedden Fladager and Marguerite Mair. In 1954 Earle married the love of his life, Betty Marlene Chrysler and together they raised their family in Edmonton. His passion for the outdoors, and weekends spent at the cabin defined his leisure time.
From his time as a deckhand with the Northern Transportation Company to joining the Royal Canadian Air Force for aircrew training, his professional journey led him in 1951 to a 30-year career with the City of Edmonton Police Department earning many promotions and commendations. Following retirement in 1980, Earle continued his public service with the Alberta Attorney General’s Department.
A lifelong member of many volunteer organizations all reflect Earle’s dedication and commitment to community service. More details.

Earle was a founding members of the current Edmonton branch UEHer was not of Loyalist descent however was a staunch supporter of his wife, Betty Chrysler. He filled many positions on the executive over many years most notably as treasurer. Last year they were awarded the Queen’s platinum jubilee metal for outstanding voluntary service to the province. …Robert Rogers UE, President Edmonton Branch

Editor’s Note: I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and merry Christmas season and a well-celebrated welcome to the new year.
If things go according to plan, we will be travelling the next two weekends and just returned for the one following. I hope those issues of Loyalist Trails will be distributed about the normal time, but technology may interfere.
However, my time constraints may mean that the issues are significantly shorter than usual.
An increased workload at my real job for a couple of months may well mean shorter issues into March as well. We shall see.
Best to all – enjoy the festivities.

Published by the UELAC
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