In this issue:



Three Loyalists Deep Underground
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Although both the British and Patriot forces used jails and derelict sailing vessels to house their prisoners of war during the American Revolution, the rebels had a third option not available to the Royal Army – colonial mines. When Loyalists who survived imprisonment looked back on their wartime experiences, it was the dark and damp conditions of months underground that they recalled.
John Collett, a Loyalist merchant from Philadelphia, had managed to escape being tarred and feathered by Pennsylvania rebels – an experience that did not deter him from helping 15 other Loyalists find sanctuary. In early 1776, he was in a small boat that was foraging for provisions for the British forces. A snowstorm drove the ship ashore, wrecking it. Rebels captured Collett, and, after putting him behind bars for 13 weeks, condemned him to a lead mine “for life”.
Although not identified in his account, Collett’s prison was probably the Chiswell lead mine located along the New River in what is now Virginia’s Wythe County. Used to acquire the lead needed for musket balls in fighting the British, the mine may have employed prisoner labour. When a slave named Bristol was captured while trying to join the British, he was sent to the lead mine as a prisoner. At least 33 enslaved Blacks are known to have worked as miners.
Collett managed to escape his underground prison, but the details of how he did so have been lost. He made his way to the British fleet – having suffered “much hardship in the woods for want of food and clothing“. The Loyalist escapee immediately went back into action against his captors, raising 200 other Loyalists who were under his command until 1782. A storm-damaged ship was his undoing for a second time when his crippled vessel was captured by a Patriot privateer in the waters off of Georgia. After being taken to Savannah, he was stripped and detained as a prisoner until Loyalists and British troops evacuated Charleston in December 1782.
The most infamous underground prisoner of war detention centre was the Simsbury copper mine near Hartford, Connecticut. Also known as Newgate, it could house more than 100 inmates in its caverns that were 40 feet underground. Used earlier to detain colonists who had committed crimes, it became a jail for Loyalist political prisoners in 1775.
General George Washington issued the following orders in December of 1775: “The prisoners which will be delivered you with this, having been tried by a court-martial, and deemed to be such flagrant and atrocious villains that they cannot by any means be set at large or confined in any place near this camp were sentenced to be sent to Simsbury, in Connecticut.”
The historian Harry Schenawolf called the mine “a dark dismal cavern of slippery stinking filth“. An apt description, given that prisoners could not wash, used communal lavatories, and had no natural light. Schenawolf further notes that handcuffed Loyalist prisoners were made to work in a nail factory as early as 4 a.m., provided with half-edible food, given “countless lashes” for disobedience, and then returned 70 feet underground at the end of the day. Because they were not recognized as prisoners of war, the Loyalist inmates at Newgate could not be pardoned or take part in prisoner exchanges. Instead, they could be executed as traitors rather than being treated as enemy soldiers.
One of those Loyalist prisoners was Thomas Gilbert Jr. of Berkley Township, Massachusetts. Captured with 300 other loyal Americans, he was forced to march to the mine. “After cruel In 1779, an American privateer captured Gilbert while he served on a British vessel that was supplying Long Island wood to Newport, Rhode Island. He was “beaten and bruised and taken in irons” to Hartford, Connecticut’s jail rather than the nearby mines. Nevertheless, it was during the most severe cold of the year. Gilbert was “held without fire or covering until he almost starved.” Fortunately, he was part of a prisoner exchange in Newport and was reunited with his family. At the end of the war, Gilbert, his wife Mary and their four children initially found refuge in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis County. They later settled along New Brunswick’s St. John River where Gilbert died at age 84 in 1797.
Alexander Fairchild was a Connecticut carpenter who was tried for high treason and condemned to the Simsbury mine after he joined the British in the fall of 1776. Sentenced to live 70 feet underground for two years, Fairchild thwarted his rebel captors and was able to escape after 4 months of detention. He escaped to New York after “enduring great hunger and fatigue“.
Fairchild joined the Prince of Wales’ Royal American Volunteers, serving with them until they disbanded in New Brunswick in 1783. Records of the era note that he married Anne Seely in June of 1786. The couple would eventually have a farm on Kingston Peninsula, living near Alexander’s brother Thomas and sisters Huldah, Sarah, Mary and Clara.
Justus Sherwood lived in New York’s New Hampshire grants until he was accused of sending intelligence on rebel activity to Canada in 1776. After a month in a local prison, he was condemned to “work for life in the Simsbury Mines“. Despite being imprisoned so far below ground, he managed to escape within a year’s time.
Sherwood fled to the mountains where he met up with 40 other Loyalists. Because of his knowledge of the area, he was able to lead the loyal refugees 200 miles through the wilderness to join the British army at Crown Point. He became a scout and was able to provide sketches of rebel fortifications to the British in Montreal. Following the Battle of Saratoga, Sherwood was among the prisoners of war incarcerated by the rebel victors.
Sherwood eventually settled his refugee family just west of present day Prescott, Ontario in 1785. He appears in the historical records again in January, February, and March of 1788 when he stood as a witness for fellow Loyalists at the compensation hearings when they convened in Montreal. The man who had once escaped from the Simsbury mines died at age 51 while transporting timber to Quebec in the summer of 1798.
This series on the mistreatment of Loyalists at the hands of their fellow Americans concludes in next week’s Loyalist Trails with stories of those who were tarred, feathered, and tortured.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

Janet Ewing’s ball gown
By Verity Stevenson & Nantali Indongo 28 Feb 2024, CBC News
From Colonial America to a closet in the Laurentians, the travels of a 250-year-old dress shed light on the history of slavery in Canada.
If your family was ever one of the few to own a century-old ball gown, chances are Cynthia Cooper knows about it.
The curator of dress, fashion and textiles at the McCord Stewart Social History Museum in Montreal has for three decades been studying the way garments shaped past people’s lives.
But in the fall of 2021, while Cooper was reviewing some of the museum’s archives for an upcoming exhibition on 19th- and 20th-century costume balls, she came across a photo of a dress she had not seen before.
The gown is made of light blue silk, embroidered with flower detailing and a cream-coloured lace collar and lace cuffs. It hung loosely on the woman wearing it and seemed to date back to the 1700s, though the picture was taken at a costume ball in 1927. Read more…
When a Canada-wide search through museum collections turned up nothing, Cooper grew intrigued and more determined to find the gown.
“It became a bit of an obsession,” Cooper said inside the McCord Stewart’s library, which encompasses her office and is where she conducts much of her research. “Most things of this date are in museums.”
This one, she ended up tracking to a basement in a village in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains. Read more…
Article noted by Ken MacCallum

Principled Resistance and the Trouble with Tea
by Robert Guy 27 Feb 2024, Journal of the American Revolution
On November 16, 1775, Robert Dixon lay dying not far from Quebec.
Among the first American troops commissioned by the Continental Congress, he was a sergeant in Matthew Smith’s Company of Thompson’s Rifle Battalion. The previous July, he had walked with his company from the backcountry of Pennsylvania all the way to Boston, a distance of four-hundred miles.
Two months later, when Gen. George Washington ordered Col. Benedict Arnold to join Gen. Richard Montgomery in his campaign for Canada, Dixon trudged another thousand miles through the rain and snow across the rugged Maine wilderness toward Quebec.
But Sergeant Dixon never quite completed the journey. Deceived by a Royalist Canadian, his company had been lured into a trap near the mouth of the St. Charles River. Trying to free a boat to recover some supplies under a supposed order from Arnold, they were fired upon by a nearby cannon, and a thirty-six-pound ball took off Dixon’s leg just below the knee.
He was carried to a house about a mile away where his leg was amputated and bandaged. He was being cared for by gracious English woman, but when she brought him a bowl of tea, he politely refused it. “Oh no, Madam,” he said, “it is the ruin of my country!” Read more…

General John Burgoyne’s Stay in Albany
by Sherman Lohnes 29 Feb 2024, Journal of the American Revolution
On October 19, 1777, two days after the Articles of Convention brought his “disaster at Saratoga” to a close, British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne arrived in Albany, New York, a defeated man. There, Burgoyne resided in the home of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler until October 27, 1777. Most accounts of his stay focus on the hospitality Burgoyne was shown by Schuyler’s wife, and the comforts he is alleged to have enjoyed. The work he accomplished, as well as his physical and mental condition at that time, is often overlooked.
Burgoyne himself is responsible to some degree for the view many have of the time he spent in Albany. He shared little regarding his 1777 journey from Saratoga to captivity in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and what he did highlights the courtesy extended to him. According to Burgoyne, following the surrender on October 17:
“[General Schuyler] sent an aide-de-camp to conduct me to Albany, in order, as he expressed it, to procure me better quarters than a stranger might be able to find. This gentleman conducted me to a very elegant house, and to my great surprise, presented me to Mrs. Schuyler and her family; and in this general’s house I remained during my whole stay in Albany, with a table of more than twenty courses for me and my friends, and every other possible demonstration of hospitality; a situation, painful as it is true in point of sensibility at the time, but which I now contemplate to some satisfaction.”
Subsequent accounts often reflect this aspect of his stay. Read more…

Gaps in the Record: Teaching with the Constitutional Convention
By Katlyn Marie Carter Feb 2024 at Commonplace
Too often, historians turn to records of constituent or legislative deliberations from the eighteenth century as a source to draw quotations from early American political figures, without questioning their accuracy.
How do we know what happened in the Pennsylvania State House over the summer of 1787 when delegates convened there to write the federal Constitution?
On its face, answering this question doesn’t seem to pose any insurmountable obstacles. Afterall, the meeting was one of great historical import; the men who gathered in it were elite, literate, and even used to the idea of preserving records. Surely, it should be easier to answer than similar questions about what happened in any myriad of past events of less apparent significance or involving actors who did not or could not record their thoughts or actions.
Too often, historians turn to records of constituent or legislative deliberations from the eighteenth century as a source to draw quotations from early American political figures, without questioning their accuracy. Even in meetings that were open to the public, the technological limitations of the era made recording speech anywhere near verbatim difficult—and this is on top of considerations like space constraints, printing costs, intended audience, or the distortions of memory. When a meeting was held behind closed doors, like the Constitutional Convention, there is the additional possibility of distortion due to the intervening time between when notes were taken and when they were revisited, edited, and published. Teaching with these types of sources highlights their limitations and, for me, forced a more critical engagement with them in my own scholarship. Read more…

Hessian Soldiers Travelling to America: Newport RI: Winter Quarters Jan 1779
From a Hessian Diary of the American Revolution.
This excerpt from the diary of Johan Conrad Dohla (170 pages).

1779 – Jan: At Newport, Rhode Island – in winter quarters (Continued – page 65)

1 January. Commencing today, we received only half bread and for the other half, rice. Also our bread is baked mostly from rice and pea flour because there is no longer any other kind of flour available
4 January. A three-masted ship arrived from Block Island loaded with fresh meat and Indian corn. Just at the beginning of this year, 1779, the Congress in Philadelphia gave General Washington the full power to name commissioners for the exchange of prisoners and to send them to the English command in New York. Therefore Burgoyne and all the officers released on parole must return to America, if that is the wish of Congress. The campaign for the coming spring will be undertaken at New York, and General Clinton resolved to move out against, and to attack, Washington’s army. Up until now Lieutenant General Clinton could undertake nothing because he had first to await the reinforcement from Europe and the recruits for the German troops. Also, at this time he wished to take advantage of the very prevalent desertions from the Americans, since on many days twenty or thirty rebels come over. During this time also, twelve hundred Virginians, on the march to join the rebels, took flight, and most went over to the English. Our corps, then on Rhode Island, had a strength of between six and seven thousand men and consisted of thirteen regiments — namely, seven English regiments, four Hessian, and our two — under the command of Major General Prescott and General Prevost of the English; and also the Hessian General [Friedrich Wilhelm von] Lossberg was here. Prescott was in agreement with General Clinton, who wanted to attack the enemy General Washington, who drew ever nearer
7 January. Today heavy cannon fire was heard on the ocean — from which it is assumed that possibly the English and French ships attacked one another. There is also a report in the newspaper that a Spanish war fleet sailed from Cadiz to join the French. It is understood that all of our entrances to the ocean are to be cut off, thereby creating, here in the city of Newport and on the island, a great shortage of bread and all foodstuffs — above all, wood has become very expensive. A board or a stick sells for one-quarter dollar, or two shillings in sterling (one shilling sterling is in German money a bit more than eight groschen).
11 January. A number of ships arrived here from New York. They were partly loaded with wood and provisions and also brought all of our recruits and convalescents from New York, among whom also was a Doctor [Johann David] Sch€pf. They were four weeks underway coming here and had to endure great cold aboard ship. They also told that there was a great shortage of provisions for the army at New York and on Long Island, and also that the English Admiral [Augustus] Keppel in a short time had brought ten French ships into New York as prizes.
21 January. An English fleet of seven ships arrived here which had loaded flour, meat, and other foodstuffs. At New York they had separated from the large fleet, which had recently arrived there from Ireland with provisions and had entered that place.
23 January. I was detached on a large command to Conanicut, where I immediately went on watch at the post ferry. Commencing today, we again received all of our bread, baked from peas and Indian corn, and it was again possible to obtain food in the city for money.
30 January. Today some transport ships, as well as the so-called wood fleet, departed from here for New York and Long Island. On board were English light infantry and grenadiers, and the Hessian General [Karl Ernst Johann von] Bose, who is to receive command of a brigade with the main army. (to be continued)

Advertised on 29 February 1774: “NUMBER I. of The Royal AMERICAN MAGAZINE.”
What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?


February 1774 was an important month for Isaiah Thomas and the Royal American Magazine. The enterprising printer of the Massachusetts Spy first announced his intention to publish a magazine in May the previous year. At the time, no other magazines were published in the colonies. Instead, colonizers purchased and read magazines that printers and booksellers imported from England.
Over the past several decades, American printers attempted to establish magazines, but most lasted about a year before folding. Hoping for better results, Thomas marketed the Royal American Magazine in newspapers from New Hampshire to Maryland. The Adverts 250 Project has traced his advertising campaign throughout June, July, August, September, October, November, and December 1773 and January 1774. This entry provides an overview of advertisements for the Royal American Magazine published in February 1774. Read more…

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

  • Thanks to Lynton “Bill” Stewart who contributed information about:
    • Jeheil Partelow (Sr.) from Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut who served 1778-1783 Pilot guiding Loyalists behind British Lines. He settled in St. John NB.
    • John Ketchum from Hartford, Connecticut who enlisted in 1777 and afterwards settled in Woodstock, Carleton, NB. Son of Joseph, he was brother to James, Jonathan, Jehiel and Samuel.
    • Rev. John Sayre from Fairfield CT who received a Loyalist land grant at Burton, St. John, NB. Married to Mary Bowes in 1758, they had ten children. He was an Anglican Priest, who was Rector of 3 parishes near Fairfield, Connecticut. He was employed by ”the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.”
  • Thanks also to Kevin Wisener of Abegweit Branch who contributed information about:
    • Pvt. Barnaby McCrossan who served with the Royal Nova Scotia Volunteers and resettled at Wheatly River, Queens Co., PEI
    • William S. Crossing from Rhode Island who settled at Saint John, NB; then Conway, NB.

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

Wendy Clapp Receives Medal for the Philip E. M. Leith Memorial Award
Established in 2006, the Vancouver Branch inaugurated the Phillip E. M. Leith Memorial Medal to be awarded annually to a person, from the Pacific Region, as recognition for their outstanding volunteer work on behalf of the association. See list of recipients and their details.
Wendy Clapp and Sandy Farynuk UE were recipients of the award presented at the UELAC Annual Conference & AGM, Where the Sea Meets the Sky, June 1-4, 2023, in Richmond, B.C See their citations.
Wendy was not able to attend the conference due to a mishap during day surgery in Vancouver on May 8, 2023. Since then Wendy has spent her time in various hospitals in Vancouver and Victoria. She was released from the hospital in Victoria on January 26 and is now home where her healing process continues.
On February 11, many of the Victoria Branch executive got together at the Compeer residence in Esquimalt for the award presentation. Wendy arrived at the gathering and was surprised to see people other than the Compeers. Her husband, Jim, was in on the ruse. Read more with photos.

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

In the News

Local History: Old tombstones attest to history of Ernestown
By Susanna McLeod, 28 Feb 2024 Pembroke Observer
The perimeter of the small parcel of land is lush with trees, bushes, and at the right time of year, pink peonies provide a gentle burst of colour. West of Kingston, the Lutheran Union Cemetery is tended with loving care, the gravestones marking the lives of United Empire Loyalists who made Ernestown their home. Newer headstones and remnants of older ones are visible, the oldest dating back to the late 1790s. One of the oldest cemeteries in Loyalist Township, the cemetery was founded by members of the Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist churches.
Before becoming a burial site, the Ham Road property was part of the hard-earned land grant awarded to Alexander Laughlin (born in Stirling, Scotland, 1750) for military service during the American Revolution. As the detachment of Maj. McAlpine’s Corps of Loyal Americans marched from Albany, N.Y., toward Upper Canada, the troops, including Laughlin, were captured. Imprisoned for three years, Laughlin was released in 1780. All he owned had been confiscated by the rebellious Patriots. Meeting his future bride, Laughlin married Mary Snyder in 1782 (born in New York, 1860) and they began their family.
Six years later, Laughlin and his family trudged north with thousands of Loyalists to escape the American turmoil. Slogging through winter snow, the migrants reached the Cape Vincent, N.Y., region. “They crossed the ice on sledges to the city of Kingston,” noted Laughlin descendants. Read more…

Black History Month: Kingsville’s Negro Cemetery
26 Feb 2024 in Kingsville Times
The only known Negro Cemetery in the township is located in Kingsville between Roads 3 and 4, west of Division Road. It is the burial ground of early Black pioneer settlers of the Kingsville Gosfield area.
Black United Empire Loyalists were the first known Black settlers of Essex County. They had fought for the British in the American Revolution and in appreciation for their service received free land grants. Many other Blacks in the area had been brought here as slaves for Loyalist settlers. Read more…

Black History Month: May Aggie in 1730’s Virginia
Black History Month offers an opportunity to highlight moments of African American resilience. Mary Aggie is one example. Enslaved in Virginia, she attempted to sue for her freedom in the late 1720s. While her words were not recorded, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor William Gooch wrote, “she was examined touching her Faith of which she gave a tolerable Account.” Unfortunately, her freedom case failed.
In 1730 she was convicted of stealing three sheets worth forty shillings from her Williamsburg enslaver, a crime punishable by death. Gooch, remembering Aggie’s beliefs in Christianity, hired a lawyer to bring her case to the General Court’s attention. She pled the established English privilege called benefit of clergy – a pardon available originally for members of the clergy for a first-time conviction of a capital offense – that was available to most free people by the 18th century.
The General Court was deadlocked on a decision so by an executive session with his Council, Gooch granted Mary Aggie’s pardon on the condition she was sold into slavery outside of the colony.
Still, her court case changed Virginia’s colonial law. A new law in 1732 allowed enslaved people to claim benefit of clergy. Aggie’s words and faith saved the lives of numerous African Americans.
from Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum at Yorktown @JYFMuseumsBlack History Month

Events Upcoming

American Revolution Institute: At War, At Sea: The Legacy of James Forten. Tues 5 Mar 6:30

The exhibition “Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia” introduced visitors to three generations of the family of James Forten (1766-1842), a free Black Revolutionary War veteran and sailmaker, as they battled slavery and defended freedom in the early United States. Matthew Skic, curator of exhibitions will tell the story of the research behind Black Founders. Details and registration.

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.

Victoria BC Genealogical Society: Loyalists Come West! – United Empire Loyalists in Early Victoria
Thurs 14 Mar 7:00 PM PT

After an explanation on the emergence of the Loyalists, Mike Woodcock will focus on some fascinating early UEL descendants who made their way to Victoria. He will then trace the early Victoria UELAC branch (1927) development and the early member’s efforts to develop UEL presence and legacy in Victoria.
Mike is the Past President and Executive Member of the Victoria Branch UELAC) and is also a Director with the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS). To raise the profile of United Empire Loyalists on Vancouver Island, Mike has developed an online Loyal-List with profiles of over 800 UELAC descendants found here between 1860-1950. Please visit the site and find a Loyalist ancestor. Mike continues to refine this genealogical resource and welcomes additional information and edits through the site.
Details and registration – a small registration fee applies.

From the Social Media and Beyond

  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • 27 Feb 1765: The Stamp Act was passed in the House of Commons. The Bill was then sent on to the (upper) House of Lords. In an interesting twist, on the same day in 1782, the House of Commons voted against continued war in America. Image..
    • 28 Feb 1772 Boston, Massachussetts. The Boston Assembly threatened Britain with separation unless the traditional rights of Englishmen were upheld and respected. Image…
    • 2 MARCH 1774, NEWBURYPORT, MASSACHUSETTS: “A Lady’s Adieu to Her Tea Table” appears in the Essex Journal:
      “Farewell the Tea-board, with your gaudy attire;
      Ye cups and ye saucers, that I did admire.
      Because I’m taught (and I believe it is fact)
      That our ruin is aim’d at in a late act.
      LIBERTY’S the Goddess that I do adore
      And I’ll maintain her right until my last hour,
      Before she shall part I will die in the cause,
      For I’ll never be governed by tyranny’s laws.”
    • 26 Feb 1775 Salem, MA British Col Alexander Leslie marches a detachment of 64th Regt to the North Bridge to seize a rebel arms cache. A group of townspeople blocks his advance. He negotiates a peaceful crossing but finds no arms.. He returns peacefully. Image…
    • 27 Feb 1775 London. Parliament passes Lord North’s Conciliatory Resolution abolishing taxes on colonies once they assume financing their own defense. Act spoke to colonies, not the American Congress, which Parliament did not recognize. Image…
    • March 2, 1775, two years after a similar protest in Boston, Providence residents (including a group of women) started a fire in Market Square, and burned over 300 pounds of tea. It is now known as the Providence Tea Party. Image…
    • 27 February 1776 Moores Creek Bridge, North Carolina. The Rev War Minute: Some 1500 Scottish Loyalist Highlanders under Captain James MacCleod clash with 1,900 lowland patriots under Colonel James Moore, John Ashe, and Richard Cashwell. The Highlanders, recent immigrants from Scotland, responded to Royal Governor Josiah Martin’s call for Loyalists to assemble at Wilmington, where a British fleet was expected. The low country was firmly patriot, and when they learned of this, they marched to the nearby Moores Creek Bridge, tore up the planks, and positioned themselves in the woods with a few guns and muskets ready. When the Highlanders arrived, they wasted no time and launched at the rebels with cries of “King George and Broadswords!” Horrific volleys by well-placed artillery and musket fire cut them down like wheat. MacCleoud was killed, along with 30 others, and 850 were captured. Patriots lost one dead and one wounded. British plans to take Wilmington and Gov Josiah Martin’s hope to gain control of North Carolina are foiled in a battle lasting 3 minutes. Image 1… Image 2…
    • 29 February 1776 Niagara. Loyalist Lt Col John Butler writes to Loyalist Alexander McKee, directing him to arrive at a meeting planned for May, undoubtedly to develop a plan against rebels in possession of Montreal. McKee is told to rally as many Iroquois as possible and to report back on rebel activity in his area as well. Image…
    • 1 Mar 1776 Philadelphia. Continental Congress orders Gen Charles Lee to give up command of the Northern Department to Gen Phillip Schuyler and take command of the Southern Department with headquarters at Charleston, SC. Image…
    • 1 March 1776 The Rev War Minute: Commodore Esek Hopkins’s squadron gathers off the island of Abaco in the Bahamas in preparation for an attack on New Providence on Nassau. The Rhode Island-born Hopkins disregarded Congress’s mandate to patrol and clear the Atlantic coast of British vessels and sailed south, where he successfully raided the Bahamas, capturing guns, munitions, the governor, and two British ships – failing to take a third. After initial praise, he was harshly criticized for disobeying orders. Accusations of other impropriety by some of his subordinate officers resulted in Congressional censure, suspension from command, and ultimately dismissal from the service in January 1778. Image…
    • 1 Mar 1776 Robert Howe, of North Carolina, was made Brigadier General, and a little more than a year later, would be made a Major General. Image…
    • 2 Mar 1776 Cambridge, MA. General Washington ordered cannons to bombard British defenses in occupied Boston as a decoy while other artillery was secretly placed at Dorchester Heights overlooking the city. Final stages of the siege. Image…
    • 25 Feb 1777 London. Lord George Germain appoints General John Burgoyne to command of troops in Canada – sharing command with Gov-Gen Sir Guy Carleton. Burgoyne’s authority would extend over troops invading New York from Richelieu in the upcoming campaign. Image…
    • 28 Feb 1777 London. Gen John Burgoyne outlines his elaborate scheme to separate New England from the rest of the colonies: a 3-pronged attack with thrusts on Albany, NY from the north, west & south. Image…
    • 26 Feb 1778 Irish-born American Captain John Barry, with a boat carrying 27 men, surprised and captured the British schooner HMS Alert and 4 transport vessels, plus 119 prisoners. An ironic victory – given the schooner’s name. Image…
    • 28 Feb 1778 RI General Assembly authorized the enlistment of “every able-bodied negro, mulatto, or Indian man slave… so enlisting shall, upon his passing muster… be immediately discharged from the service of his master or mistress, and be absolutely free….” Image…
    • 25 Feb 1779 Lt Col Henry Hamilton surrenders Ft Vincennes & 79-man garrison to Col George Rogers Clark. Clark’s victory secured the Illinois Territory for the US, opening it to settlers, who would number some 20,000 by the end of the #RevWar. Image…
    • 26 Feb 1779 Horseneck Landing, CT. NY Royal Gov William Tryon leads 600 troops in a rout of 150 militia under Gen Israel Putnam. Putnam escapes, riding down a cliff. Tryon plunders & burns the village. British losses were 2 dead & 20 captured. Image…
    • 24 Feb 1780 Virginia Col William Washington’s 3rd Continental Light Dragoons clash with Lt Col Banastre Tarleton’s Legion cavalry along the Ashley River, NC. Washington’s cavaliers repel the British but then withdraw to Monk’s Corner. Image…
    • 29 Feb 1780, Philadelphia, PA Congress met and discussed reimbursing Baron von Steuben, and then the depreciation of the Continental Bills and the need to take the old money out of circulation, replacing it with a more stable currency. Image…
    • 28 February 1780 St Petersburg, Russia. The Rev War Minute: Czarina Catherine II formed the League of Armed Neutrality with Sweden and Denmark. A form of “soft power” that weakened British maritime strategy vs Americans. Prussia, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicily’s would later join. At first, Catherine, an Enlightenment-age monarch and thinker, supported the American Revolution. But stressors within her own empire caused her to harden against liberty and the rights of man. Image..
    • 1 Mar 1780 Philadelphia, PA. The Pennsylvania Assembly passes an ordinance emancipating all African-American children born after 1780 in an attempt at the gradual elimination of slavery. 1st abolitionist law in America. Image…
    • 24 Feb 1781 Alamance Co, NC. Pyle’s Massacre. Continental Army Colonel Henry Lee’s Legion surprised Loyalist militia under Dr. John Pyle, who thought Lee was the British cavalry commander Banastre Tarleton. Lee’s men fire, scattering Pyle’s force. Image…
    • 28 Feb 1781 Havana , Cuba. Spanish Gov Don Bernardo de Galvez’s invasion force of 1,500 men sailed for Pensacola, FL. Galvez was an advocate and practitioner of bold action to retake Spanish lands given over to Britain after losing their previous wars. Image…
    • 28 Feb 1781 Fort Watson SC. Gen Thomas Sumter’s frontal assault was repulsed with over 50 casualties. His 3rd defeat in a month weakens morale & increases desertion. Image…
    • 27 Feb 1782 London. Parliament’s House of Commons, stunned by Gen Cornwallis’s defeat at Yorktown the previous Oct, passes a resolution urging King George III to accept peace with the Americans, now termed “the former colonies.” Image…
  • Clothing and Related:
    • Wishing all of my followers a happy & healthy March! Print from The Twelve Months, 1781 . Print from set of twelve fashion plates, 1749
    • 18th Century linen petticoat with naive but delightful wool embroidery, American, 1780-1790’s
    • thinking about my beloved frog pouches. These two frog pouches are in the collections of the @AshmoleanMuseum and @MuseumofLondon and are two of six 17th-century frog pouches I know of, each one totally unique. 17th-century frog pouches, in my opinion the cutest (and weirdest) of all EM English needlework trends. They are TINY and their mouths opened to create purse openings. They were likely used as pomanders, filled with sweet scents
  • Miscellaneous
    • From George Walker’s (1781–1856) book of engravings ‘The Costume of Yorkshire, an illustration of the ‘Leech Collectors.’ Leeches have been used medicinally since ancient times. Built around the late 18th/early 19th century the Bedale Leech House

Last Post: MCCUAIG UE, Helen Elizabeth
Helen Elizabeth McCuaig celebrated her 100th birthday on December 21, 2022 with friends, fun and cake at the Unitarian House, where she resided for the last ten years of her life. She died peacefully on April 30, 2023 after a brief hospitalization.
Helen was born of United Empire Loyalist lineage in Glengarry County, Ontario and was raised in Montreal West and Ste Anne de Bellevue.
Helen’s early working years were as a secretary in Vancouver for ICAO and Douglas Paper. She joined External Affairs (now Global Affairs) in 1954 and had postings in Caracus, Dublin, Stockholm, and Saigon. In 1965, Helen left External Affairs.
Helen had a long and satisfying retirement. An independent woman throughout her life (giving up driving at age 95), Helen continued to travel, dance and nurture rich relationships with family and friends.
See more details at Ottawa Citizen, May 13, 2023

Helen was a member of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch UELAC in Ottawa. She proved her descent from Donald Ross UEL in 2010.
Submitted by Rosemarie Pleasant UE, President, Sir Guy Carleton Branch

Published by the UELAC
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