In this issue:



Loyalist Prisoners of War
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
The Loyalists of the American Revolution suffered for their convictions. Neighbours confiscated their possessions and property. Mobs tarred and feathered them – or rode them on rails through town. All too often, Patriots hanged Loyalists without the benefit of a trial.  The most common experience for those known to be Loyalists, however, was imprisonment. The stories of what it was like to be incarcerated in a rebel prison have been preserved in the transcripts of the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists. They are not for the faint of heart.
Thomas Powell of Augusta, Virginia was arrested when intelligence regarding rebels was found hidden on a ship that he and three other merchants owned. Shackled by handcuffs, he was made to march from Williamsburg to Philadelphia “living off scraps tossed him by his guard.” In the end, he was thrown on top of a baggage wagon to finish the long trek. After being put in a Philadelphia jail, his head was “shaved and blistered”.
As he was only given bread, salt, and water to live on, Powell eventually was “reduced to a skeleton”. His incarceration lasted 7 months. After serving on a rebel vessel in the hopes of being taken by the British, Powell was captured along with the rest of the Patriot crew by the HMS Roebuck and Orpheus. Eventually released, he spent the rest of the war as a teacher in a school he opened in Brooklyn, New York. Powell recovered his health by “adhering to diet of milk and vegetables“. In 1783, the former Loyalist prisoner of war found sanctuary in New Brunswick.
Powell’s experiences were not unique. In the spring of 1776, Isaac Man of Stillwater, New York and his son John were made to walk over a hundred miles to Exeter and then almost 50 more to Amherst where Isaac was finally imprisoned. Not having been permitted to ride horses (even at their own expense), father and son both became “impaired in health”.
In the spring of 1777, Man was confined alone in “a distant room”.  He had no fuel other than what was handed to him on a shovel – and that was only just enough to light his pipe. The Loyalist existed on “ordinary rations” prepared by his keeper.  There was no contact with –or food brought by— his friends. This went on for 8 months. Man testified that he was “reduced to a skeleton” and was unable to walk in his apartment.
In June, Man learned that his 13 year-old son William was “cruelly taken and conveyed 85 miles to Esopus” where he was kept on a prison ship for almost half a year. He became sick and was confined to a bed for 14 months.
Besides concerns over William, Isaac Man would also have been worried about his wife as William was her “chief means of support”.  His third son survived his imprisonment, but he developed symptoms “that would be with him to his grave.” During this time, Isaac’s wife was at home with their youngest son Edward and an unnamed daughter. Isaac Jr., Thomas, and John, the three oldest Man sons, were fighting with the British.
Finally, Mrs. Man was able to have her husband released in January of 1778. After a total of 15 months in jail, he was finally put on trial in Albany. When Isaac returned home, he discovered that rebels had imprisoned his son Thomas. Thomas did not see the sun for the eight months of his incarceration. Eventually, he was released and joined the rest of his family that had by that time found sanctuary in Canada in September 1778.
Feeding Loyalist prisoners was not a concern of rebel jailers. Often the political prisoners had to rely on friends and family to bring them food.  John Freel of Johnstown, New York was imprisoned after he returned home from service in the British army. He was forced to live on bread and water for three weeks.
Neighbours betrayed Alexander White as he fled to sanctuary in Canada. Taken prisoner, he was “bound with cords,” and sent to Albany, New York.  Given that he had once been the sheriff of Tryon County, this must have been especially humiliating for White.
After a short time in jail, he was released, and then arrested again, but was eventually able to escape imprisonment. He joined Burgoyne’s army, and in the wake of its defeat, became a prisoner of war. He was once again taken to Albany where he was “loaded with irons and put into dungeon” with thieves, murderers, and slaves.
After 2 years, he was set free thanks to a prisoner exchange in October of 1778.  In June of 1783, White and his family left New York and settled in Sorel, Canada.
James Robertson was a Georgia Loyalist who settled in Nova Scotia following the revolution. His memories of the war would be his traumatic imprisonment in Charleston, South Carolina. For six months he was kept “naked as he was born except for a flap“. Following his release, he initially settled in East Florida, but sailed for England when the colony was returned to Spain. In the fall of 1784, he summed up his situation as being a man “without friends or money“.
When rebels took prisoner William Burtis of Westchester, New York, he was stripped, flogged with 39 lashes, and “carried in irons” to West Point Fort.  There he was tried and sentenced to be executed within 48 hours.  However, he was kept in irons for 10 months and then paroled in Dutchess County. After six months, he again served the British as a spy. Later in the war, the French captured Burtis, and he was imprisoned once again. Nevertheless, his wife Mary made sure that the British received the intelligence he had gathered. At the peace William and Mary went to New Brunswick. The former prisoner of war died in Saint John on September 6, 1835, aged seventy-five.
George Christie of Bennington, New York not only spied for British, but also helped many Loyalists who were imprisoned. He was noted as giving 10 shirts to the men of the 84th Regiment, and providing a gun and money to an unnamed Loyalist who was later executed. When Christie was imprisoned for his counter-revolutionary activities, he was sick for 16 weeks. His greatest fear was the doctor who had been assigned to treat him. Somehow Christie learned that the rebel physician had been “sent privately to assassinate him“.
Because he was able to bribe a man to “give him a habitation”, Christie was able to leave the rebel prison. He made it to the safety of Canada in 1778, and served with Sir John Johnston’s regiment until the end of the war.
With no organization to monitor the conditions in the jails that held Loyalist prisoners of war, the enemies of American rebels endured horrific living conditions and beatings — and often faced starvation. The worst situations, however, were endured by those Loyalists who were incarcerated deep underground in old mines. Their stories will be considered in next week’s Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

The First Rhode Island Regiment and the Pines Bridge Monument
by Victor J. DiSanto 22 Feb 2024 Journal of the American Revolution
The Pines Bridge Monument, unveiled on November 17, 2018 in Yorktown Heights, New York, is the first Revolutionary War memorial to depict a white American, an African American, and a Native American uniting with each other against enemy forces. In an era when existing monuments, such as that of the Albany icon General Philip Schuyler, are being removed as a matter of political correctness, it is a refreshing addition to the Hudson Valley’s built environment and a tangible statement about the multicultural composition of the Continental Army.
According to Michael Kahn, a retired Yorktown police officer and the driving force behind the monument, “We have a popularly inaccurate perception that it was white guys in red coats versus white guys in blue coats, but the reality was a lot more diverse.” Mr. Kahn stated that the monument is “a testament to our heritage, and we want generations down the road to remember what people sacrificed and gave before our time.”
Mr. Kahn is a member of the 5th New York Regiment reenactment group and is currently working on an M.A. in Public History at Empire State College. He conducts interpretive programs at the monument and hopes it will attract tourism to the area and stimulate interest in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.
Constance Kehoe, president of Revolutionary Westchester 250, stated that

We are humbled by the black and indigenous soldiers who served a country that was not yet ready to grant them full equality. The Pines Bridge Monument is one of the seven sites on our upcoming mobile audio tour. We want to inform the public about the praise these soldiers received and the sacrifices they made right here in Westchester County.



Some background and commentary:
Pines Bridge crosses the Croton River in Cortlandt Manor about seven miles east of the Hudson River. The bridge at Pines Bridge was the principal route of north/south communication and travel in northwestern Westchester County during the Revolutionary War.   A number of roads converged at this strategic location.  Control of the roads meant the ability to obstruct travel from north to south (or vice versa) by military forces and commercial traffic. Patriot control prevented farmers –  whether Patriot, Tory or neutral – from being able to move their goods, livestock and other farm animals, and produce from locations north of the Croton River to market in lower Westchester County or New York City, by road or by water.
The black and indigenous soldiers of the First Rhode Island Regiment are now lionized as heroes – and remembered through a statue.  There are many excellent first hand accounts of the events in the MacDonald Papers which belie this view.  While many of them may have fought bravely, and some may have “defiantly brac[ed] themselves,” against the well-organized British force of Col James De Lancey’s Westchester (Loyalist) Refugee, the engagement should be properly described as a “Massacre,” not a “Battle.”  But the British lost the War, and victors write the history, so c’est la vie.      Viewed objectively, the men of the First Rhode Island Regiment were the victims of multiple failures by their officers.  They were surprised at dawn by the Westchester Refugees, many who had lived in the area and were intimately familiar with the roads and houses around in the area.  The Refugees had encountered no guard at the Bridge or at a nearby ford over the Croton River.  The Refugees found the Rhode Island Regiment’s officers in bed, and found many of the men asleep in their tents or other nearby houses.
In addition to the “Massacre” described in this article, the Revolutionary War era Pines Bridge bore witness to many other important events of that conflict.  It was crossed by General Washington and his army when they withdrew northwards into the Hudson Highlands after the Battle of White Plains in late 1776.  It was crossed by the British during the June 3, 1779 raid on Crompond in northern Westchester County, where they burned the parsonage and a storehouse at the Presbyterian Church.  It was attacked and captured by the Queens Rangers under Lt. Col. John Simcoe on June 24, 1779, when the Queens Rangers secured the crossing of the River for the retreat by Col. Tarleton’s British Legion, as part of that day’s multi-prong second attack on Crompond.  During that second attack, Patriot casualties at Crompond were 1 dead and at least 48 captured, and the British burned the Meeting House and the Parsonage house.  It was crossed by Major John Andre on September 23, 1780 (the day on which he was captured by “The Captors”) while he was attempting to return to New York after meeting General Benedict Arnold. It was crossed by the part of the French army under General Rochambeau August 1781 when they marched to Crompond before joining the Patriot army and marching to Yorktown, Virginia. It was again crossed by the French army in 1782 when they returned from Yorktown.  It was crossed by both Patriot and British forces on innumerable other occasions in the course of scouting and foraging expeditions, raids and feints by both sides:  Pines Bridge was often a rallying point for Patriots as they moved south into the “Neutral Country;” it was a strategic target for hundreds, and likely over a thousand, Loyalist troops serving in De Lancey’s Westchester Refugees, Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers and Tarlton’s British Legion.
A great many Loyalists lived in the vicinity of Pines Bridge, despite it being at the northern edge of the “Neutral Ground” in Westchester County.  My fifth great-grandfather, Jacob Van Wart, lived about a mile south of the Bridge and, while serving as an officer in the Third Regiment of the Westchester County Militia, was from time to time in charge of the guard of militiamen who were posted there.  Van Wart later went over to the British, possibly about the time of, or after, the second June 1779 British raid on Crompond; he had served with a number of Patriots who were captured.  After going over to the British, he joined – you guessed it – the Westchester Refugees, in which one of his former neighbors was an officer.  Van Wart and his children were Loyalists to New Brunswick in 1783, along with a number of his neighbors.
Regards, Ken MacCallum

Preserving the Memory of Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale
by Judith E Pearson 22 Feb 2024 in All Things Georgian
On 22 February 1815, US Navy Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale, feverish and in pain, his right leg recently amputated at sea, died in Stennett’s Hotel, St. George’s, Bermuda. He was the last US officer to perish in the War of 1812; ironically, 60 days after the Treaty of Ghent was signed. He was 20 years old. Today, over two centuries after his death, Dale’s grave is the site for an annual commemoration, marking the friendship of Bermuda and the United Kingdom with the United States. Here is the story behind that commemoration.
Midshipman Dale’s Father – Commodore Richard Dale
Richard Sutherland Dale was the first son of Commodore Richard Dale (1756 – 1826), an American merchant mariner who became a naval officer in the Continental Navy under John Barry during the War for American Independence. Thus began his heroic and adventurous naval service, which included serving under John Paul Jones on Bonhomme Richard, Alliance, and Ariel. Commanding the American privateer Queen of France, he captured several British vessels. Following the Treaty of Paris, he became one of the six original commodores of the permanent US Navy. He commanded a blockade of Tripoli during the First Barbary War under President Thomas Jefferson.
Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale and the Battle between USS President and the British Squadron
Richard Sutherland Dale was the second of eight children born to Commodore Richard and Dorothea (née Crathorne) Dale. Like his father, he joined the US Navy, and with his father’s influence, rapidly secured a position as a midshipman on his father’s former flagship, the US Frigate President (44), Commodore Stephen Decatur commanding. Read

more…ceremony continues today.

Everyday Black Living in Early America (Podcast)
Tara Bynum 19 Feb, 2024 at Ben Franklin’s World
Tara is an Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. She’s a writer and scholar with research expertise in early African American histories before 1800. She’s also the author of Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America.
During our investigation of the writings of early Black Americans, Tara reveals information about the lives of Phillis Wheatley, John Marrant, James Albert Unkawsaw Groniosaw, and David Walker; Ways religion influenced the lives and writing of these four authors; And, what brought Wheatley, Marrant, Groniosaw, and Walter joy, and why their joy is worth considering as we try to better understand the early American past. Listen


Hessian Soldiers Travelling to America: Newport RI: Winter Quarters Nov 1778
From a Hessian Diary of the American Revolution.
This excerpt from the diary

of Johan Conrad Dohla (170 pages).

1778 – Nov: At Newport, Rhode Island – entering winter quarters (Continued – page 61)

28 November. Our regiment also entered winter quarters in the city of Newport. We entered old, repaired houses in which no one lived. We received an adequate supply of wood and peat for burning. Initially, for the night, we received candles, later oil, for burning. We also received oil, instead of butter or lard, for cooking. On the whole, all of our provisions were reduced.
30 November. I went to the reserve.
As the British Crown, in the middle of the course of the war against his rebellious subjects in America, always sought to bring them back to their duty through peaceful persuasion, and rather through kindness than with the sharpness of the sword, therefore, at this time, he also had sent a peace commission to them in order to try negotiating with the Congress. However, because France had become involved in the situation, and because the rebels, with their strong hopes of independence, knew how to use other advantages, the commission returned to England without settling the situation and decided to continue the war more earnestly and energetically in the future.
At this time the unpleasant news reached England that, on 1 and 2 November of this year, the English fleet under the command of Admiral Byron had suffered severely in a storm not far from Boston. All the ships were heavily damaged, and three were lost in the storm. This fleet consisted of ten warships, seven frigates, and some lesser ships.


This Boston is the capital city of New England, that is, of the fifth province of the land of Canada. It lies on the sea on a headland. It is a large city and has fine houses and a secure harbor, which can be closed by a fort lying opposite, in which there are 180 cannon. There is also a large lighthouse there. There are four well-organized schools, eleven beautiful churches, one hospital, and a splendid armory, among other public buildings. The heaviest trade is carried on with cod, iron, boards, cloth, especially sailcloth, anchors, cannon, and other implements. The climate and weather of New England is almost like ours in Germany. The woods are full of wild oxen, bear, wolves, deer, beaver, marten, and other game, which deliver the finest furs. In New England everything is to be had in abundance that is necessary for ship building. Above all, the province of New England is a fertile, developed, thickly populated land, and defends itself very well in the war because this landscape cannot be easily attacked. It is in a position to put eighty thousand men in the field, and these are people who fight well.
There was also another English fleet, unfortunately hit by a storm, under the orders of [Lieutenant] Colonel [Archibald] Campbell, with troops that were to go to Carolina to support the inhabitants of that colony who had declared for the King and are called Tories. Most of the ships were heavily damaged, and the fleet was forced to return to New York.
It also was learned at this time that Lieutenant General Clinton had undertaken an expedition on land into the province of Jersey and, not far from Bergentown, captured the American General [William] Maxwell with several hundred provincials.
4 December. A gruesome example of an unheard-of bitterness happened in Philadelphia. Two eminent, wealthy inhabitants, by the names of Robert and Carlisle, had publicly been hanged for no other reason than that Robert showed General Howe, during his march on Philadelphia, a place where the Schuylkill River could be crossed. Carlisle, however, had taken on the position of examiner of passes from the above-mentioned general in order to prevent spies entering the city of Philadelphia. They also were accused of carrying on a traitorous correspondence with enemies of the United States of North America.
A trial was held, and in announcing the terrible death sentences that were imposed, the President of Congress gave a long speech. The first left a wife with ten children, and over one thousand of his friends and other prominent Philadelphians accompanied him to his ignominious death. The bodies were removed from the gallows by relatives and buried side by side. All of Philadelphia, however, loudly complained about this tyrannical behavior.
26 December. A frightful snow fell here, accompanied by strong winds and a violent snowstorm such that we could hardly remain in our houses because of the snow. Tonight a Hessian sergeant got stuck in the snow near Quaker Hill and froze to death.
31 December. Here in Newport the provisions are very small because all storehouses, that is, provisions magazines, have mostly been emptied, and nothing more can be brought here because of the French fleet. Therefore, Major General Prescott, the commandant, allowed the common people of this island to cross over to New England with wives and children, because it is no longer possible to supply the people with sufficient wood and food. All of the trees that stood on this island, and all of the garden fences, have been chopped down in order to supply the watches and the troops stationed here with wood to ensure their lives. At present nothing can be brought here from Long Island and Block Island because the French fleet has cut off all passages. Those regiments lying in the city received wood from the old ferryboats. These were torn apart and the wood chopped out. We received only half wood and half peat to burn. Here in Rhode Island this peat is dug out across the city, near the hill fortification Prince Dauneck, between the cliffs and rocks at Princepoint.
Today two American sloops arrived here from New England with English and Brunswick officers who belonged to the captured army of General Burgoyne and were going on parole. They had been sitting in captivity in Lebanon, a city in Pennsylvania, and told much of what they had endured there. Everyday here in Newport old buildings and unserviceable houses are torn down and the wood given to the regiments to burn. The province of New England borders on Rhode Island on the left and right [and] has many forests, cliffs, and rugged, stony, and high mountains. Also, on the border opposite Rhode Island, there are very important defenses and a large barracks built of wood and boards in which three or four regiments can be quartered. The small city of Bristol, which, together with Providence, properly belongs to Rhode Island, is of great importance and excellent fortifications. Bristol is reported to be surrounded with seven fortifications and defensive works. Otherwise, however, Bristol gives a bad appearance from without, because much of it is ruined and burned. In New England there are also powder mills, and much ammunition is made there. Also, in Newport one cannon is poured daily. Below the city of Newport on Rhode Island, a small island lies in the middle of the river, called Pest, or Smallpox Island, or in German “Blatterinsel.” The people and children who have smallpox are sent there, because this is considered a contagious and most dirty disease.
(to be continued)

John Marshall, Historian
by Jude M. Pfister 20 Feb 2024 Jpournal of the American Revolution
John Marshall’s life (1755-1835) has been the subject of many authors over the nearly 190 years since his death. Albert Beveridge, Charles Hobson, and Leonard Baker immediately come to mind. There are others, of course; and there are those works which look at the life of Marshall’s wife, Mary (Polly). Their home of nearly fifty years in Richmond, Virginia, is a much-visited site and continues to reach new audiences with innovative programming. Marshall’s published papers (Chapel Hill, 1973-1993) cover twelve volumes (a more manageable one-volume edition was published by the Library of America in 2010). This is to say that John Marshall is not one of the cadre of forgotten American Founders.
His contributions to the American story generally involve his work on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice from 1801 to 1835. Other aspects of his life, soldier, student, private attorney, and his work in France during the XYZ Affair are a close runner up in his story. Yet, another contribution to the American story, which commenced around the same time as his Supreme Court work, is his work in the development of the American history narrative biography; in particular, his landmark book The Life of George Washington. This aspect of Marshall’s life is vastly overshadowed by his Supreme Court career. While his Supreme Court career was precedent-setting, his publishing career was no less so, and indeed could be said to have ultimately led to the innumerable books and journals, print and electronic, which thrive to this day inspired by Marshall’s commitment to primary sources. Read


Loyalists and descendants who participated in the War of 1812: Francis Weaver and sons Peter, Baltus and John
Francis Weaver was born 10 Nov 1760 in what was then Hellenberg, New York.   He’s said to be the Tory soldier captured at Normanskill 16 Aug 1777.  He was later a private in the 3rd Regiment of Militia with Butler’s Rangers.  In 1778 and 1783 he was listed as a Butler’s Ranger in the Companies of Capt John McDonell and Capt George Dame’s Company respectively.  Francis received a Loyalist land grant in the Niagara region.  His wife Elizabeth also received land as daughter of another Loyalist, Peter Alcombrack / Auchampaugh.
In the War of 1812, although in his 50’s, he enlisted in the First Regiment Lincoln Militia.  His service this time was short, as he was wounded 24 Oct 1812 and died of disease 15 Nov 1814.  His widow was admitted as a Militia pensioner. Their sons Peter, Baltus and John also fought in the militia in the 1812 war. See

also list of resources.

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

Advertised on 23 February 1774: “A RIDER between Philadelphia and that place.”
What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

“A RIDER between Philadelphia and that place.”

William Stenson played a part in establishing and maintaining the communication infrastructure that connected Baltimore and Philadelphia and points in between in the mid 1770s.  Though it had not displaced Annapolis, Baltimore became an increasingly significant urban port on the eve of the American Revolution.  In August 1773, William Goddard launched the Maryland Journal, the city’s first newspaper.  At about the same time, Joseph Rathell attempted to establish a subscription library, but could not manage to generate sufficient interest to compete with William Aikman’s circulating library in Annapolis.  For a small fee, Aikman delivered books to subscribers in Baltimore.
Still, Baltimore was becoming an increasingly important commercial center, a place of interest for merchants and others in Philadelphia.  That created an opportunity for Stenson.  On February 23, 1774, he informed readers of the Pennsylvania Journal that he was “employed by a number of Gentlemen in Baltimore, &c. as a RIDER between Philadelphia and that place”. Read more…

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

  • Thanks to Stephen Bowley who contributed information about:
    • PeterJames Plato

      from West District Manor Reneselaer, NY who served in Butler’s Rangers (and the 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia in the War of 1812). He settled in the Home District: Bertie Township, Welland County, Upper Canada. He married Gertrude Catherine Bowen, daughter of Loyalist Cornelius Bowen and they had six children. (good details)

    • JohannChristian Plato (Bledo)

      born circa 1735 in Saxony, Germany and from West District Manor Reneselaer, NY who served in the Royal Americans (1756-1761), Brant’s Volunteers (1778-1779) and Butler’s Rangers thereafter. He married Dorateya (Dorothea) May, sister of William May UEL. She died 3 Feb 1803, aged 65. They had two children, Peter and Catherine

  • and to Bob Weaver who contributed information about FrancisWeaver

    , as noted in War of 1812 above.

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

Deadline: Articles for the Loyalist Gazette Spring 2024
The Loyalist Gazette editorial board would like to remind you that March 5, 2024 is the last date to submit an article for the Spring Gazette. Please forward your submissions to me, Bill Russell, Chair, at

UELAC Recognition Awards – Deadline is 28 February 2024

Call for Nominations for 2024 UELAC Honorary Fellows
Deadline for Nominations is 28 February (midnight EST)
As per UELAC Policy 2017.002 Honorary Fellows

The UELAC Honorary Fellows Policy lays out the criteria for appointment of Honorary Fellows, describes their roles within the Association and establishes limits on their terms of office.

Authority:    Paragraph 3.6 (Honorary Fellows) of the By-Law states, Honorary Fellowship may be conferred by the Corporation on a person for distinguished service to the Corporation by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of Members at an Annual Meeting, provided that notice of such intended action shall have been given in accordance with these By-Laws. While an Honorary Fellow may be a Member, the designation as an Honorary Fellow does not itself confer any membership rights.
Paragraph 5.1 (Powers) states, The Board shall manage or supervise the management of the activities and affairs of the Corporation.

Criteria for Appointment
Honorary Fellows of the Association are expected to demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. Show a high degree of interest in supporting the goals and mandates of the Association;
  2. Have a solid base of professional and/or academic credentials that are relevant to the Association’s mission;
  3. Have contributed to and be likely to continue to contribute to the Association by way of their talent, profession, expertise or knowledge of Loyalist history or heritage;
  4. Have an exceptional desire and capacity to be involved with Association events during their term as an Honorary Fellow.

Please forward Nominations to Carol Childs UE, Chair, Honorary Fellows Committee
Carol Childs UE, Chair Honorary Fellows Committee
Carl Stymiest UE, UELAC Dominion President

Call for Nominations for 2024 UELAC Dorchester Award
Deadline for Nominations is 28 February (midnight EST)

Recipients of the Dorchester Award are UELAC members who have:

  • Made a significant contribution through their volunteerism; and
  • Have gone that extra mile with their contribution to the UELAC.

Nominations are made at the Branch or National level, and are submitted to the Volunteer Recognition Committee chair at The Award is presented at the UELAC Conference. Details and a nomination form are available on the members page at (login required).
Diane Faris UE, Chair Volunteer Recognition Committee”

Call for Nominations for 2024 UELAC Suzanne Morse-Hines Memorial Genealogy-Family History Award

Deadline for Nominations is 28 February (midnight EST)

Recipients of the Suzanne Morse-Hines Memorial Award are UELAC members who have made significant research progress towards family history and genealogy for the purpose of obtaining a UE Certificate. The Award is presented at the UELAC Conference.
Nominations are made at the Branch, Regional, or National level, and are submitted to the UELAC Board of Directors Executive Committee at  Details and a nomination form at available of the members page at
Diane Faris UE, Chair Volunteer Recognition Committee”

Events Upcoming

American Revolution Institute: American Revolution in the Old Northwest Wed 28 Feb 6:30

The American Revolution in the West is often neglected from the overall history of the conflict, though it had a significant impact on how it was conducted. Larry Nelson, assistant professor of history at Bowling Green State University, discusses this important component of the war by examining American ambitions in the Old Northwest, the vast uncharted region north and west of the Ohio River; the political goals of the Continental Congress within that region; and the role of Virginia militia leader George Rogers Clark in bringing those aims to fruition. Details

and registration.

Col. John Butler: Regency Cookery and Customs. Sat 2 Mar 11:45 at Betty’s

Lisa Barty.  The Pleasures of Spring:  Regency Cookery and Customs.
In the winter of 2022 Lisa Barty shared with us Rations and Recipes:  Winter Fare in the Early 1800s.  We have invited her back to tell us more about food and eating in the early days of Upper Canada.
At Betty’s Restaurant, Chippawa, at 11:45 for a lunch meeting.  Cost of the lunch is $30 for UELAC members and $35 for guests.  Cash only.  No credit cards.   So the restaurant can prepare, please register in advance with

Gov. Simcoe Branch, The Life of a Loyalist in Vermont Wed 6 March at 7:30 ET.

AGM   The Annual General Meeting (brief)
The Life of a Loyalist in Vermont” — Presentation by Paul Warner.
Did you know that Vermont was a self-declared independent republic from 1777 to 1791, that it was not part of the so-called United States of America? Did you know that there were negotiations that, had they been successful, would have made Vermont our eleventh province?
The life of a Loyalist in Vermont was unlike that of a Loyalist anywhere else in the colonies. We’re going to hear the story of Colonel Samuel Wells and his family, as a starting point for understanding what it was like to be a Loyalist in the Vermont Republic.
Paul’s  paternal ancestors played a central role in building what is now the Beaches (in Toronto). His maternal ancestors include both Loyalists and so-called “Patriots,” and he’s related by marriage to the famous feuding Hatfields and McCoys.

Registration:  If attending in-person, RSVP to Anne Neuman at or 905-888-1278.

To register for the on-line meeting via zoom, go to the meeting description, or directly to registration.

From the Social Media and Beyond

  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • 22 Feb 1732 George Washington was born the 1st of 6 children to Mary Ball Washington & Augustine Washington at Popes Creek in Westmoreland Co, VA. Augustine Washington had 4 children by his 1st marriage. More…
      The Rev War Minute
      Westmoreland Co, Virginia. George Washington was born to Mary Ball Washington and Augustine Washington at Popes Creek. Young George would become a surveyor, explorer, military leader, farmer, land speculator, entrepreneur, politician, and Founding Father. Although he inherited modest land holdings in northern Virginia, his marriage to wealthy widow Martha Parke Custis would mark him as one of the wealthiest men in America. But his strong personality and ability to motivate men made him the military leader of a revolution that shook the world and a political leader who would oversee the establishment of the United States constitution and the President of the first administration of the newly constituted government. His devotion, honesty, and disdain for power marked him as the greatest man of his age – the Indispensable Man. More…
    • February 24, 1774, after months of working up to it, the Massachusetts assembly voted to impeach Chief Justice Peter Oliver, a relative and political ally of Governor Thomas Hutchinson, for accepting a salary from the revenue of the tea tax.
    • 20 Feb 1775 Concord MA 2nd Mass Provincial Congress reconvenes to improve colonial defenses: creating a military commissary, enlisting Stockbridge Indians, establishing military rules, & requests reinforcements from other colonies. More…
    • 17 Feb 1776 Continental Navy’s first Atlantic coast cruise under Commodore Esek Hopkins includes 8 refitted merchant ships: frigates Alfred & Columbus; brigs Cabot & Andrew Doria; sloops Providence & Hornet; schooners Fly & Wasp. Mission:  control Atlantic waters.  More…
    • 18 Feb 1776 Brunswick NC. Patriots defending Rock Fish Creek failed to block a Loyalist force of 1500 under Lt Col Donald MacDonald, who used boats to cross upstream.  More…
    • 23 Feb 1776 Loyalists under Lt Col Donald McDonald, marching to Brunswick, NC, encounter rebel militia under Col Richard Caswell entrenched behind Rockfish Creek. MacDonald builds a bridge over the Black R. & continues but falls sick & is replaced. More…
    • 18 Feb 1777 Lawrence Island NJ, Before dawn, Colonel John Neilson and 200 enlisted men of the 2nd Middlesex County raided the fort on Bennetts Island in such secrecy that the British in town did not become aware of the raid until later that morning. More…
    • 19 Feb 1777 Continental Congress promotes Thomas Mifflin; Arthur St. Clair; William Alexander, Lord Stirling; Adam Stephen; & Benjamin Lincoln to major general. Brig Gen Benedict Arnold feels slighted & threatens to resign.  More…
    • 21 Feb 1777 Col John Glover (Whose Marblehead sailors heroically got the army Across the Delaware & 2x evacuated to safety) declines promotion to Brigadier General. Washington himself wrote a letter urging him to accept the promotion & stay in the army.  More…
      The Rev War Minute
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Continental Congress promotes Colonel Anthony Wayne to Brigadier General. The bold Pennsylvanian was sometimes called “Mad Anthony” for his bravery and aggressive tactics. Wayne, a native of Pennsylvania, was noted for his storming Stony Point, New York, an action in which he was wounded. He fought at Trois Rivieres, Brandywine, Paoli, Monmouth, and numerous other actions. After the war, he was recalled to lead an army he formed called The American Legion, which fought in the Northwest Indian War, ending the war with a victory at Fallen Timbers in 1794. More…
    • 21 Feb 1777 Philadelphia, PA. Continental Congress promotes Colonel Anthony Wayne to Brigadier General. The bold Pennsylvanian was sometimes called “Mad Anthony” for his bravery and aggressive tactics.  More…
    • 23 Feb 1777 Rahway, NJ. Col. William Maxwell leads an attack on a British foraging party, inflicting many casualties. These attacks escalated throughout the winter, sapping British strength.  More…
    • 17 Feb 1778 London. PM Lord North tried to forestall the American treaty with France by offering to suspend all inflammatory acts passed by Parliament since 1763. Charles Fox & Edmund Burke praised the effort but later lampooned North in Parliament. More…
    • 18 Feb 1779 Phila PA. Continental Congress authorizes the Continental Army’s Inspector General Department with Gen Frederick von Steuben as its first chief. More..
    • 20 Feb 1779 Col George Rogers Clark captures 5 hunters from Vincennes. After questioning, Clark found his small army was not yet detected & the people of Vincennes supported the cause. Clark pushes towards Sackville to attack Royal Gov Henry Hamilton. More…
    • 23 Feb 1779 Col George Rogers Clark encircles Ft Vincennes, defended by British Lt Col Henry Hamilton & a small garrison. Hamilton refuses demands to surrender. Americans begin sniping at the defenders, killing 6 artillerymen. More…
    • 19 Feb 1780 British 24-pound cannon moved across the frozen Hudson River to help defend the British garrison at Paulhus Hook, NJ. #RevWarwinters were bitterly cold, and the river often froze thick enough for heavy wagons & guns. More…
    • 23 Fen 1780 Charleston, SC. Lt Col Banastre Tarleton’s British Legion ambushes an American patrol, killing 10 & capturing 14. Tarleton’s force provided the shock troops of Cornwallis’s army in the south, spreading fear & anger wherever they struck. More…
    • 21 Feb 1781 Belleville, SC Gen Thomas Sumter’s partisans attack the British garrison with sniping. Sumter takes time to also raid a supply column of 20 British wagons. He abandons the siege on news of a British relief column from Camden. More…
    • 17 Feb 1782  Sadras India. French Adm de Suffren’s squadron cruises the Coromandel Coast. He engages a British squadron under Adm Edward Hughes. The British van is pounded, but the weather shifts, & the British rear moves to support the van. De Suffren breaks off contact. More…
    • 22 Feb 1782 Montserrat, West Indies A French squadron under Adm Jacques, comte de Barras takes the island from the British without a fight. The last two years of the war were mostly naval actions to gain land for the peace table.  More… 
  • Clothing and Related:
    • Redwool shoes

      , prob New Eng, c1750s+, wool, leather, silver, linen, silk, wood, accession #2016-198, 1-2. Vernacular wool shoes feature strip of metallic lace, interior lined w/blue & white checked linen

    • From my March 2021 visit to @peabodyessex exhibition (now closed)  A trio of 18thc green silk ensembles. Installation view. Exhibition with loans from @kunstmuseumdh #gorgeousgeorgians #Petra Slinkard
    • An archive favorite for #SackBackSaturday: Good morning, sunshine! A yellowsilk satin quilted robe à la francaise

      , England, ca. 1750-1755. Via The Kyoto Costume Institute

    • Friday Treat Time and a very lovelylinen waistcoat from the early 1700s

      . Beautifully decorated with hand-embroidered motifs of fanciful birds and pink and blue coloured flowers, it was made for informal wear and worn under a loose open gown in the home.

    • My half finished blackworkcoif

      which I am about to draw more animals and insects on.  In the late 16th and early 17 th century when blackwork was fashionable you could buy paper patterns from book sellers to trace or pounce with charcoal.

    • Bunch of pinmanagement options c1770-mid 1800s

      going on view soon at the DAR Museum as part of exhibit “Sewn in America: making/meaning/Memory,” open March 21-end December. Quilts, clothing, needlework, tools c1750-1940 but with modern craftivism items too.

    • Easing into the day with a pair of women’sblack woollen slippers

      , embroidered with colourful floral motifs in braid, English, 1800-50.

    • Woman’s coatfor a riding habit

      of brown worsted, trimmed with wide silver lace. British, #1750s.

  • Miscellaneous
    •  Married to a man 62 years her senior, after a courtship of 2 days? Sounds legit (Chester Chronicle, 1799). 63 of his descendants at the dinner. More…
    • Matrimony.  (London Evening Mail 1792, via @_newspapers). She was seen riding behind the priest of the parish… More…
    • A #Meissensugar bowl and cover

      , decorated in grape and vine pattern in raised relief. Circa 1740. White never goes out of fashion!
      Other items in the smaller tea services would have included- teapot, coffee pot, cups, saucers, waste bowl, milk jug, tea caddy and spoons  (and sometimes folks). These could also be transported around in special protective travelling cases (such as in photo 4).

Last Post: BJARNASON UE, Logan Wesley
28 August, 1940 – 6 February, 2024
Logan Wesley Bjarnason, late of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, born August 28, 1940, passed away, February 6, 2024 at the age of 83 years.
Logan was predeceased by his parents, Kris and Clara Royal Bjarnason; brothers, Ernie, Agust, Irwin, Rae & Gerald; sisters, Ruby Taylor and Lina Ivan and Shirley’s son, Robert Doyon.
Logan will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 39 years, Shirley Bjarnason of Weyburn, SK; her children, René Doyon of Regina, SK and Michael Doyon of Jasper, AB; sisters, Mary Maas, Anne Huber and Inga Hill as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives & friends.
At the request of Logan and his family cremation will take place and interment will follow in the summer of 2024. More at Dignity


Logan was a long-time member of the Saskatchewan Branch UELAC where he served as President and other roles.
He received Loyalist Certificates based on his descent from John Barnhart UEL and from Stephen Middaugh UEL in 1988.

Read some of his branch

reports as published in various issues of the Loyalist Gazette between 2001 and 2008.
He was the main inspiration and leader of a project to build the Regina Loyalist Cairn situated on the grounds of the Legislative Buildings in Regina.  “Our gracious patron, the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Lynda Haverstock, unveiled the cairn on June 2, 2005 during the annual UELAC conference held in Regina.”

As UELAC President at the time, I was honoured to be asked to make comments at the unveiling …Doug Grant UE

At Centennial Place, Millbrook on January 27, in his 98th year. Proud of his army service. Passionate fourth-generation cottager on Stony Lake. Never one to miss opening of the trout season, the deer hunt, grandchildren’s sports – he never had enough hours in the day.
After a start in banking, his next career in Toronto and Peterborough was as a metal fabrication manager. He enjoyed a lengthy post-retirement second career working for the Canadian Welding Bureau into his 90s.
He was interested in everyone and everything – world events, the periodic table, Canadian loyalist and military history, card games and making maple syrup.
Jack was predeceased by his wife, Norma (Crone), in 1984; and married Peggy (White) in 1993. He leaves his children, Kathleen Brown and husband Ken, Reid and wife Sheila, and Garth and wife Mary. Jack welcomed Peggy’s children, Chris, Whitney and Jeff Taylor.
He was predeceased by brothers, Doug, Ken, Ross and sister Jean.
Online condolences may be made at Highland

Park Funeral Centre

On Jan 27, 2024, we lost a well-known Kawartha Branch founding member, Jack Brownscombe, U.E.
Jack was for many of the Branch’s formative years, an active member and was its first Treasurer in 1980. He was a part of the committee who developed our first Branch display that included a video of the history of the United Empire Loyalists that was displayed at the UELAC Conference in Kingston. He was proud of his heritage and a descendant of Conrad Sills Sr., who settled in the Bay of Quinte (Ernestown Township) in 1784.
Jack was an outdoorsman who enjoyed nature and his cottage where he could fish, hunt and enjoy his family. A friendly outgoing man, he attracted people with stories about the Loyalists and his family in particular. He was 97 years of age, 1927-2024. Jack’s dash between those dates was well spent.
Joan Lucas UE, Kawartha Branch Historian

Last Post: ILER UE, Linda
Linda Harju-Iler UE, an adventurous and community minded individual, left us all too soon on February 17, 2024 at the age of 74.
Linda was gifted with skills most of us would shy away from instantly. In her early career path, she was the only female 50-ton crane operator at Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie. She also traveled thousands of miles driving an 18-wheeler truck across the country. She owned her own motorcycle and was a long time member of the North Wall Riders’ Association who were dedicated to supporting all Veterans. This group naturally supported the Hogs for Hospice that has a big rally annually in Leamington.
In addition to all these “out of the box” activities, Linda supported and led many heritage groups in Essex County. She was the president of the Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society (HEIRS) from 2006-09. This is one of  the best research facilities in Essex County. Linda founded the Essex & Community Historical Research Society (ECHRS) in 2007, accessing the permanent use of the former Carnegie Library building in the town of Essex. It was established to promote interest in local history. Linda was the president of the Bicentennial Branch UELAC from 2012-2016.
Monies given in our sister, Mary Hutchins UE’s memory to the Bicentennial were used to have a woodcarver create an early map of Essex County and the New Settlement along with cards that were engraved with all the lot owners’ names. Linda had a stand made for that heavy map and she took it to many heritage events. It is housed at ECHRS.
When Ruth brought a bus load of people from the Hamilton area to Essex County in 2014 for the hundredth anniversary of our association, Linda and several members met them at Fort Malden. Linda brought that  New Settlement map and the members came with food treats and water to refresh the bus tour guests.
Linda was always supportive of Legion and Veteran events as her father was a veteran of WWII. She was the secretary of Southern Ontario Military Muster (SOMM). She organized a big fundraiser that invited many branches of the Canadian Military to take part and it was a great success.
Linda is quoted as saying: “Historical events and working with other organizations is a great learning experience for younger generations.” – Media Plex: radio, television, print & online, May 29, 2013
Linda is the daughter of  the late Clifford and Joyce Iler. She is now reunited with the late Richard Harju and the late Fred Totten. Linda is survived by her daughters Heather Hannigan and Carole Quesnel (Jim). There will be a Life Celebration on May 11, 2024. More details at  the Kennedy

Funeral Home.

Ruth Hutchins Nicholson UE & Susan McCloskey Hutchins UE
Hamilton & Bicentennial Branches UELAC


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