In this issue:



Happy Victoria Day
The Sovereign’s birthday has been celebrated in Canada since the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).
May 24, Queen Victoria’s birthday, was declared a holiday by the Legislature of the Province of Canada in 1845.
After Confederation, Queen Victoria’s birthday was celebrated every year on May 24 unless that date was a Sunday, in which case a proclamation was issued providing for the celebration on May 25.
From 1953 to 1956, Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday was celebrated in Canada on Victoria Day, by proclamation of the governor general, with the Queen’s approval. In 1957, Victoria Day was permanently appointed as Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday in Canada. In the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday was celebrated in June.
Over the course of Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign, the observance of the Sovereign’s birthday on Victoria Day had become ingrained in Canadian custom. Despite this, it was not guaranteed that future Sovereigns’ birthdays would be celebrated on this day.
In May 2023, a proclamation fixed Victoria Day as the date on which the Sovereign’s birthday would be celebrated in Canada. The proclamation did not assign this date to the observance of King Charles III’s birthday specifically, even though it was issued in the early part of his reign. Rather, the language of the proclamation deliberately mentioned the Sovereign’s birthday, indicating that it would apply to all future monarchs of Canada.
This proclamation confirmed what had become established practice, but which is also a uniquely Canadian tradition. Read more…

“The Story Continues…” at the UELAC 2024 Conference
June 6-9, 2024 at Cornwall, Ontario
The conference has three main groupings of events:

  • Pre-Conference day-tours: Tues June 4 to Thurs June 6
  • UELAC Conference: Evening Thurs June 6 through Sunday June 9
  • 240th Anniversary of New Johnstown & The Royal Townships: Fri June 7 through Sun June 9
    • UELAC has scheduled Sat daytime for conference attendees to visit and learn.

And so “The [Loyalist] Story Continues….”

Thursday 6 June, Reception
President Carl Stymiest UE will “open” the conference with welcome remarks.
Time to enjoy finger foods, reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Saturday 8 June. Plan to spend the day at the 1784 program (see below) and then the gala banquet in the evening.

  • Gala Banquet at host hotel – start gathering from 5:00
    • (Period Clothing/Regalia Requested)
  • Guest Speaker: Brent Whitford,
    • Senior Curator and Administrator at the Cornwall Community Museum and Archives. PhD Candidate, University at Buffalo SUNY. Prehistoric Archaeologist. Brent is from Cornwall, ON, born and raised. What he appreciates most is the direct impact on the community as regards the importance of history and heritage.
  • History v. Heritage: Blending the Past and the Present
    • History is history. What I mean to say is that history is nothing more than an amalgamation of tangible artifacts and facts that together make a coherent narrative about that which is said to have happened once upon a time. Heritage, on the other hand, is that which we choose to emphasize and remember about our history. Heritage is our history preserved. In other words, heritage is what we believe matters about the past in the present. As such, we don’t preserve history simply because it is history, but rather because it is our history and it continues to hold meaning in the present. But how do we communicate the meaning of history to new and younger audiences? How do we ensure that our history continues to hold heritage-value in the present and into the future? These and other matters will be discussed in the context of the UELAC at this year’s keynote address.

Sunday 9 June. Morning church service followed by lunch

1784 Event: 240th Anniversary by SD&G Historical Society at Lamoureux Park
240th Anniversary of New Johnstown & The Royal Townships
See the full event website

UELAC Conference: For more details and to Register now:
For more, see “The Story Continues…”

Wounded and Disabled Loyalists. Part Two of Two
copyright Stephen Davidson UE
Loyalists who survived the battles they fought alongside British soldiers during the American Revolution often travelled to colonies of refuge bearing wounds from the war. As the Royal Commission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists (RCLSAL) toured British North America to hear veterans’ claims for compensation, it also heard the stories of how petitioners became wounded and disabled Loyalists. But the stories that the RCLSAL commissioners heard were only the tip of the iceberg.
The historian Maya Jasanoff, has determined that of the 60,000 Loyalists who became refugees after the war, only 5,656 appeared before the RCLSAL – just 9% of all loyal Americans. Of the 5,656 claimants, only 2,291 received compensation. (In other words, only four per cent of all loyalist refugees.) Thus, the stories that have been preserved in the transcripts of the RCLSAL do not even represent 10% of the first hand accounts that could inform Loyalist history.
The stories of Nicholas Bickle and Andrew Pickens, two wounded Loyalist soldiers, begin in an August 1778 edition of a New Jersey newspaper. Their names were among a list of those that the rebel government of the state considered traitors — a list that began with these words: “Sundry Juries of Inquiry have been held at different times and places in the county of Hunterdon, and inquisitions have been found against the following persons, subjects of the State of New Jersey, who have either joined the army of the King of Great Britain, or have otherwise offended against the form of their allegiance to this State
A blacksmith by trade, Bickle “suffered many abuses and was brought to death’s door by trials and menaces“. Speaking on Bickle’s behalf at a session of the RCLSAL, a witness affirmed that he had always been loyal and that he had been both imprisoned and wounded. He and two other Loyalists were arrested for recruiting men to fight for the crown. Rebels had hanged Bickle’s two companions, and he would have joined them on the gallows if he had not made his escape “still loaded with irons“.
Bickle’s townsman, Andrew Pickens also recruited Loyalist soldiers – about 40 in all. On September 11, 1777, while “marching across country“, Pickens was shot through his thigh. Rebels took him to prison, but his wound was serious enough that he was sent to a hospital. By October of 1777, he was able to find sanctuary in New York City.
When the city was evacuated in 1783, both Bickle and Pickens left with their wives and children as members of the Bay of Fundy Adventurers. Bickle travelled with a child ten or older, and one younger than ten; Pickens had two children ten or older.
At the time of Andrew Pickens’ appearance before the RCLSAL hearings in Saint John (a decade after he was shot), the wound still bothered him. He testified that he “suffered every loss except death“.
Following the war, both Bickle and Pickens settled in New Brunswick’s Kings County. Bickle (sometimes spelled Pickle) died at Upham, King’s County, New Brunswick, in 1843, aged ninety-eight.
A Scottish immigrant, George Bremner had called Willsborough, New York his home before he settled in present day Quebec. During the revolution he helped scouts in Canada to gather both provisions and intelligence. In the fall of 1776, Bremner left his family “at mercy of the rebels” to join a party of Indigenous warriors, and later helped the British army navigate Lake Champlain. He remained with the army until Burgoyne’s defeat at the Battle of Saratoga.
During his time as a pilot for the 84th Regiment in a battle on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, he was wounded by a musket ball in his left thigh and was “forced to remain there in great pain“. In the following spring, he went to Canada, but he was unable to provide for wife and children due to his wounds. He told the RCLSAL commissioners that he was “in {a} languishing state with no pension“.
Like others who sought compensation for their wartime losses, Bremner listed all that he had once owned. While he cleared 14 acres of land, he built a house, barn and stable. He had owned 4 dairy cows, 3 oxen, 6 hogs, and a calf. His grain, furniture and farming utensils were all confiscated by local rebels “because he would not join them“. The Patriots were so cruel that they “even took his shoes and stockings.
William Melick was the eldest of eight children born to Gottfried and Margaret Moelich, a couple who immigrated to New Jersey from Germany before the revolution. William served the British army as a sergeant in a regiment of foot, much to the dismay of his Patriot family. He took part in a number of battles and was wounded by a musket ball that he carried in his shoulder the rest of his life. William eventually settled in Saint John with others who had served with the 1st New Jersey Volunteers. At his death on April 27, 1808, Melick owned the most extensive tannery in the city.
Having considered just a handful of the men who were wounded and disabled while fighting for the British, it seems appropriate to take note of the Loyalists who served as health care workers during the American Revolution. Their stories will be told in the next two editions of Loyalist Trails.
To secure permission to reprint this article contact the author at

The Impact of the American Revolution on the Mackenzie Rebellion in Upper Canada
by Marvin L. Simner 14 May 2024 Journal of the American Revolution
As an integral part of the American governing system, the United States Congress added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution on December 15, 1791. Whether by accident or design, that same year the British House of Commons also approved the Constitutional Act of 1791 as the governing structure for its newly acquired territory of Quebec, which it had divided into the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. Owing to this coincidence in timing, from the beginning the United States and the two Canadian provinces, while sharing a common border, operated under entirely different governing philosophies.
Over the ensuing years a growing awareness had taken place in both provinces of the advantages along with the disadvantages of these two very different forms of government. As a result, reform movements emerged in Upper as well as in Lower Canada with the aim of requesting from the British Parliament changes in the provinces’ governing structure. To specify the nature of the desired changes, toward the end of July 1837, the Reform Party of Upper Canada took its lead from the Declaration of Independence and produced a lengthy document with the following introductory statement.
The time has arrived, after nearly half a century’s forbearance under increasing and aggravated misrule, when the duty we owe our country and posterity requires from us the assertion of our rights and the redress of our wrongs, [therefore, we request the] right conceded to the present United States, at the close of [their] successful revolution, to form a constitution for themselves . . . the loyalists with their descendants and others, now peopling this portion of America [Upper Canada], are entitled to the same without the shedding of blood—more they do not ask; less they ought not to have.
The goal of the Reform Party document, which set forth the principal grievances identified by the Party, was to engage the governor-general of Canada in a series of discussions followed by negotiations. The hope was that by enumerating the many grievances that had troubled the residents of Upper Canada, a different constitution would emerge to replace the Constitutional Act of 1791. Read more…

The Battle at The Village: Alabama’s Miniature Bunker Hill
by Anthony Roney II, 16 May 2024 Journal of the American Revolution
Ten days before General Daniel Morgan’s momentous victory at Cowpens, a battle, or rather to some, a skirmish took place beyond the peripherals of the Continental army on the Eastern Seaboard. Though all but forgotten by the majority of history books and locals, this action was the bloodiest Revolutionary War battle fought in modern-day Alabama and was quite possibly the key fulcrum of a power struggle in the vast colony of West Florida.
Stretching from the Mississippi to the Apalachicola Rivers, West Florida had been a hotbed for conflict since Spain declared war on King George III in May 1779. Bernardo de Gálvez soon commenced successful sieges against the British forces at Baton Rouge in September 1779 and Mobile in March of the following year. Following the capitulation of Fort Charlotte at Mobile on March 14, 1780, Maj. Gen. John Campbell soon found his headquarters at the capitol city of Pensacola, just slightly over fifty miles away, to be within striking range of the Spanish. The disputed territory between these cities, modern-day Baldwin County, Alabama and Escambia County, Florida, would then become the primary battlefront of the Gulf Coast campaign for the next fifteen months.
For the most part, this area at the time was nothing short of an uninhabitable wilderness dangerous to any person that set foot on its land. Aside from the few communities and plantations that existed on Mobile Bay and its tributary rivers, there were almost no settlements in the region. Read more…

Hessian Soldiers Travelling to America: New York A Soldier’s Life February 1780
From a Hessian Diary of the American Revolution.
This excerpt from the diary of Johan Conrad Dohla (170 pages).

Major Moves during Johan’s deployment:

  • March 1777: Depart Germany
  • 3 June 1777: Arrive New York, then Amboy NJ
  • November 1777: To Philadelphia
  • June 1778: to Long Island
  • July 1778: To Newport RI
  • October 1779: to New York

February 1780: At New York (page 77)
Continuation of Occurences in North America During the Fourth Year, 1780 (page 77)

2 February. I went on the main watch in the city as lance corporal. The great cold abated somewhat.
6 February. During the evening I went on picket at the Star Fort at Country Hill.
8 February. Today an Ansbach soldier named [Heinrich] Katzenwinkel came over from Staten Island. He had deserted from winter quarters in Philadelphia in the year 1778. During this time he had taken service with the Americans, and deserted again from them not far from Amboy, in New Jersey. He was returned to his company without punishment.
11 February. Commencing today, the recruits and clumsy individuals must drill. This morning at nine o’clock Private Lauterbach, of the Colonel’s Company, deserted across the ice on the North River. Our regimental sentries saw him running, but could no longer catch him. He had been on watch and shortly before his flight had received many blows from the non-commissioned officer.
13 February. The news arrived that General Clinton’s fleet and army had entered the province of Georgia with the intent of attacking Charleston, South Carolina.
15 February. I went on a large command to Staten Island. Sixteen sleds loaded with rum were taken across, and we escorted them.
22 February. Today the North River ice began to break, after having been frozen for nearly seven weeks. An English frigate, called Barwick, brought in two Spanish ships loaded with gold and silver ore having a value of several million. They were from the Spanish silver fleet, which sailed from New Mexico and Santa Cruz, became separated [from the Spanish fleet], and fell into the hands of some English ships.
24 February. I was sent to Bloomingdale as an orderly with letters for a Hessian captain, from whom I received a gratuity of half a Spanish dollar.
(to be continued)

Advertised on 16 May 1774: “Fresh Imported….English GOODS”

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

“Fresh Imported … direct from LONDON … English & India GOODS.”

The crisis over tea hit the boiling point as Christopher Champlin inserted a new advertisement in the May 16, 1774, edition of the Newport Mercury. Relying on standard language that appeared in notices placed by merchants and shopkeepers, he informed readers in Rhode Island that he stocked a “general assortment of English & India GOODS, Suitable for the Season, Which he continues to sell, by WHOLESALE and RETAIL.” His merchandise was “Fresh Imported” on two ships “direct from LONDON.” In a final appeal, Champlin asserted that he sold his wares “As low, for cash, as at any store or shop in the colony.” Considering the news that ran immediately to the left of his advertisement, Champlin’s marketing strategy may not have been resonated differently than he originally intended.
Word of the Boston Port Act had arrived in Newport. A news update with a headline that proclaimed, “JOIN or DIE!!” described the “act of parliament for blockading the harbour of Boston, in order to reduce its spirited inhabitants to the most servile and mean compliance ever attempted to be imposed on a free people” as leading to a fate “worse than death—SLAVERY.” The editor had the news from “a gentleman” who recently arrived in Newport from Boston.”…
…By the end of October, the First Continental Congress adopted the Continental Association, a trade boycott intended to pressure Parliament into repealing the Boston Port Act and the rest of the Coercive Acts passed in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party as well as address other grievances. Read more…

Book: Perceptions of Battle: George Washington’s Victory at Monmouth
By Jeff Dacus
Publisher: ‎ Brookline Books (May 15, 2024) 240 pages
A new perspective on the Battle of Monmouth from the first-person accounts of those who took part in the battle.
After spending a difficult winter at Valley Forge, George Washington led the Continental Army in pursuit of the British Army moving from Philadelphia to New York City. On June 28, 1778, the army caught up with the British and defeated them at Monmouth Court House.
The principal figure in the battle is George Washington. His planning, his orders, and his actions on the battlefield dominate the story. After the first rebuff of his advance guard under Charles Lee, it is Washington who matched each movement of the enemy with decisive actions of his own. In doing so he attained a tactical victory on the battlefield that had major strategic implications. Because of his leadership, and the actions of his army, both he and the Continental Army gained renewed respect from Congress, the American people, and the enemy.
Washington’s success solidified his position as the face of the Revolutionary effort. While the Congress was often ineffectual or even nonexistent, Washington and his army became the symbol of the Revolution.
Modern authors have contributed greatly to our knowledge of the battle of Monmouth but in doing so have tried to interpret or analyze it through our modern point of view, losing sight of what happened, disregarding the perceptions, opinions, and conclusions of the people who took part in the battle and its aftermath. This book is different in that it uses only first-person accounts to reach conclusions or render judgments. In addition to changing the perceptions of the victory of the Continental Army, modern historians have distorted the story further through the court martial of Charles Lee in the aftermath of the battle, giving it undue importance.
Table of Contents – chapters:

  • Background to Battle
  • Valley Forge and Philadelphia
  • Across New Jersey
  • An Imminent Battle
  • Retreat?
  • Order from Chaos
  • Aftermath of Battle
  • Perceptions of Battle

BOOK REVIEW: Freedom: The Enduring Importance of the American Revolution
by Jack D. Warren, Jr. and the American Revolution Institute of The Society of the Cincinnati (Essex, CT: Lyons Press, 2023. $59.95 cloth)
Review by Timothy Symington 13 May 2024 Journal of the American Revolution
George Washington walked away from power when he resigned his commission to the Continental Congress in December 1783. King George III, on hearing that Washington might do such a thing, said “‘If he did that, he would be the greatest man in the world.'” (page 280) This action sealed Washington’s legacy as the American “Cincinnatus,” the Roman leader who turned down dictatorial power in order to return to his farm. Before he left the army, Washington’s officers formed the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization that allowed for them to gather to share their experiences and to help each other when necessary. One final commitment for the Society was to remind Americans “to remember and honor the achievements of the Revolution.” (p. 269) The book Freedom: The Enduring Importance of the American Revolution, written by Jack D. Warren, Jr. and put out by the Society, is an excellent reminder of the values and ideas of the Glorious Cause.
Freedom chronicles the events of the Revolution from the colonization of British North America through the ratification of the Constitution. The focus throughout the book is the concept of “freedom.” What did it mean? How did the idea come about in the colonies? The Prologue sets the question which the book tries to answer: “Why is America Free?” Read more…

Podcast: Making Maine: A Journey to Statehood
by Joshua Smith mid-May 2024 in Ben Franklin’s World
Article IV, Section 3 of the United States Constitution establishes guidelines by which the United States Congress can admit new states into the American Union. It clearly states that “no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State…without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
Five states have been formed from pre-existing states: Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Maine. How did the process of forming a state from a pre-existing state work? Why would territories within a state want to declare their independence from their home state?
Joshua Smith, the interim director of the American Merchant Marine Museum in Kings Point, New York, and author of the book Making Maine: Statehood and the War of 1812, leads us on an exploration of Maine’s journey to statehood. Listen in…

The colour yellow – 18th century fashion
By Sarah Murden 13 December 2021 at All Things Georgian
Gold always feels like such a luxurious colour, so today I thought I would take a quick look at some of the shades of yellow and gold used in Georgian fashion.
According to The Art of Dying of 1705, we know how fabric was dyed to create a wide variety of colours and it provides us with instructions about how to create the colour, gold. Read more…

The Loneliness of Leadership
Elaine Chalus discusses the loneliness of leadership experienced by active Royal Navy officers during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Abstract: This chapter concentrates on the loneliness of leadership experienced by active Royal Navy officers during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, specifically captains and admirals, who not only were often away from their loved ones for years at a time but were also, as a result of the increasingly rigid, hierarchical structure of the Royal Navy, set apart professionally, socially and psychologically from their subordinates. It suggests that, on the whole, these men suffered from two kinds of loneliness: personal and professional. While the two frequently overlapped, both were vocational and were primarily articulated through expressions of longing and frustration—be it for home and loved ones, for peer sociability and/or for official direction and recognition. It contends that while loneliness could be acute, it was endured and contained, not only because the men involved expected it to be time-limited but also because they believed in the cause for which they were fighting and felt that their service at sea would lead to the fulfilment of a variety of goals—personal or familial, professional and/or national.
Listen to a video recording by Elaine. Access to the full report is restricted to certain people and institutions, through which you might have access.

UELAC Honorary Fellows: Dr. Bonnie Huskins and Dr. Timothy Compeau UE
Honorary Fellows of the Association demonstrate a high degree of interest in supporting the goals and mandates of the Association., have a solid base of professional and/or academic credentials that are relevant to the Association’s mission, 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 and have an exceptional desire and capacity to be involved with Association events during their term as an Honorary Fellow
Congratulations to Dr. Bonnie Huskins and Dr. Timothy Compeau UE who have been recently recognized recognized as the current Honorary Fellows of UELAC . Read more about them…

UELAC Loyalist Directory: New Contributions

Entries which have been added, or revised, this week, with thanks to:

  • Kevin Wisener UE, President of Abegweit Branch which covers Prince Edward Island. He is researching and contributing information about Loyalists who received grants there:
    • William Bethell from New York married Margaret Willett September 4th, 1766, New York City. He received a town and pasture lot in Georgetown, Kings County, Prince Edward Island, believed to have returned to New York City in 1798.
    • Pvt. Peter Connolly was in Boston, Massachusetts with the 40th Regiment which moved to Boston in June 1775 from Ireland. He married Anne McManus. When Peter arrived in PEI in September 1784 he was accompanied by his wife and one child under 10 years of age. By the time of the 1798 census, Peter and his wife had 3 sons and 3 daughters under 16 years of age. He received an initial land grant of 100 acres at Lot 56, Kings County, PEI.
    • Private Patrick Conolly from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania served with the Philadelphia Light Dragoons 1777-78; then attached to the British Legion (Cavalry). Passenger number 427 on HMS Clinton, picking up 14 Nov 1783 East River, NY, delivered to Port Roseway NS 13 Dec 1783. First land grant at Port Mouton, Queens County, NS but after the fire, relocated to a land grant of 100 acres at Lot 56, Kings County, PEI.
  • and to Andrew Payzant for additional information about Dr. James Boggs who received land grant & town lot in Guysborough, Sydney County NS, but settled in Halifax County NS. From Shrewsbury NJ, his wife was Mary Morris (5 Apr 1746 – 21 Feb 1831) m. 24 Nov 1765, daughter of Robert Hunter Morris (three times Mayor of New York, Chief Justice of New Jersey and Governor of Pennsylvania) and Elizabeth Stogdell of Monmouth, New Jersey. They had eight children. James served as a surgeon in the war.

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

Loyalist Gazette: Spring Update; Fall Request
Spring issue: As a member who requested a paper copy of the Loyalist Gazette, the mailing was delivered to Canada Post as previously indicated in first week of May, Doug, in downtown Toronto, received his copy on Tuesday, May 14.

Fall Issue: The theme for the Fall 2024 issue will be Loyalists of Upper Canada. The Gazette team is requesting relevant articles to build out that story. For more information, contact
Bill Russell UE, Chair of the Communications Committee,

In the News:

Celebration of 240 years of Cornwall, Royal Township history, is weeks away
by Shawna O’Neill, 15 May 2024 in Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
In just a few weeks from now, community members and visitors alike will have the opportunity to witness what it was like when United Empire Loyalists arrived in our area by boat in 1784.
Re-enactors are ready to climb up onto the shores of the St. Lawrence River, and show how settlers drew from a hat to determine which lot of land they would occupy and soon call home.
“Right now we are three weeks away from the event, happening June 7-9, and things are starting to get really exciting,” said Dona Cruickshank, SD&G Historical Society president — the society and the Cornwall Community Museum it manages are putting on the free event.
When looking back at the Cornwall 1784 Celebration that took over Lamoureux Park in 2022, Cruickshank said this year’s event has grown immensely in size and depth; in 2022 six re-enactment tents occupied the space, and this year close to 50 are expected to be along Water Street and the city’s waterfront, showcasing various elements of what life was like in our region throughout its history. Read more…

St. Alban’s to launch summer concert series with Bluegrass legend Bob Burtch May 25
17 May 2024 Napanee Beaver
Greater Napanee and area music fans are in for a treat as Bob Burtch and his ace bluegrass band bring their toe-tapping roots music to Adolphustown’s historic St. Alban’s on Saturday, May 25th.
The Friends of St. Alban’s are launching their inaugural series of four concerts in 2024 and are going big with their first show. Bob Burtch and his fellow players have been acclaimed across North America for their picking and plucking prowess.
Admission is $25
Founded by United Empire Loyalists in 1784, Adolphustown produced early Canadian leaders, and is now part of Greater Napanee.
The Friends of St. Alban’s was formed by local volunteers to preserve the former St. Alban’s Church. Read more…

Beyond the [Niagara] Falls
Written by Nelle Oosterom 5 March 2024 at Canada’s History
The scenic route along the Niagara River offers many historic attractions.
Growing up in the middle of Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, I visited Niagara Falls many times. Whenever relatives from overseas appeared on our family’s doorstep, it was not long before we were all riding down Lundy’s Lane in my Dad’s Plymouth Valiant, rolling down Clifton Hill, riding up the Skylon Tower, and sailing on Maid of the Mist tours in bright yellow raincoats.
I was a young adult before I realized that there was a whole other side to the Niagara experience. While attending journalism school at Niagara College in nearby Welland, Ontario, in the late 1970s, I was assigned a history project to research the War of 1812. With camera and notebook in hand, I pedalled my bicycle to Queenston Heights — and I entered another world.
The village of Queenston — just ten kilometres northeast of the city of Niagara Falls — was a quiet, leafy haven of stately old homes, low stone walls, and deep woody ravines. Looming over the village is a steep hill with an enormously tall limestone tower topped with a statue of General Isaac Brock. My twenty-year-old self was stunned by the grandeur of it all. Read more…

A few Cornwall and SDG firsts
by Don Smith 16 May 2024 in Cornwall Seaway News
In today’s column we continue our look at city and regional firsts.
Evan Roys was a fifth generation United Empire Loyalist (UEL), whose family homestead was in the now lost village (hamlet) of Maple Grove. The family home was relocated not once, but twice. The original family house was moved to facilitate the Cornwall Canal, and his brick veneer house was relocated in 1958 to make way for the power project. Roys told a news reporter that the homestead was site of the first prayer meeting of the UELs who migrated from the Mohawk Valley to the area in 1783-84. Read more…

National Trust for Canada: Winners of “Next Great Save”
Congratulations to the three winning projects in the Next Great Save competition. The Next Great Save featured twelve groups from coast-to-coast vying for cash prizes to protect, adapt, renew, or improve a heritage place in their community. The winners earned the most votes through online public voting, which closed on May 6. There were over 220,000 votes cast during the competition!

  • Grand Prize $50,000 – The Painted Lady, Port au Port West, NL
  • 2nd Place Prize $10,000 – Save The LaSalle, Kirkland Lake, ON
  • 3rd Place Prize $5,000 – Nanton Grain Elevators, Nanton, AB

The 2024 Next Great Save Finalists

  • Cape Bear Lighthouse and Marconi Station – Murray Harbour, PE
  • Cité-des-Hospitalières – Montréal, QC
  • Greenly Island Houses – Blanc-Sablon, QC
  • LaSalle Theatre – Kirkland Lake, ON
  • Mon Keang School – Vancouver, BC
  • Nanton Grain Elevator – Nanton, AB
  • Old St. Thomas Church – Moose Factory, ON
  • Our Lady of Mercy Heritage Church – Aguathuna, NL
  • Roxy Theatre – Coleman, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, AB
  • St. Andrew’s Lodge – Qualicum Beach, BC
  • St. John’s Centre for the Arts – Arichat, NS
  • Welland Central Fire Station – Welland, ON

See photos of finalists

Events Upcoming

American Revolution Institute: Freedom for Slaves Escaping in British Ships Tues 21 May 6:30

Author’s Talk — The Promise of Freedom for Slaves Escaping in British Ships: The Emancipation Revolution, 1740-1807
To Blacks, Britain’s Emancipation Revolution rang out louder than the Declaration of Independence. Drawing from his recent book, historian Theodore Corbett traces the emerging path of freedom for Africans and African Americans in the late-eighteenth century by discussing major social shifts and political events in Great Britain and her American colonies—the Great Awakening, Lord Dunmore’s proclamation and the American Revolution—to demonstrate how they all led to Parliament’s abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807.
Theodore Corbett is a scholar of the American Revolutionary War and an award-winning author. Details and registration…

Toronto Branch: Confiscation of Loyalist Personal Property – One Family’s Experience May 23 7:30

Sarah Beth Gable, who was the 2022 recipient of the UELAC Scholarship. Her talk is titled Confiscation of Loyalist Personal Property – One Family’s Experience.
Sarah Beth is a PhD candidate at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Her forthcoming dissertation, “Policing the Revolution: Massachusetts Communities and The Committees of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety, 1773-1783,” examines the process of identifying, prosecuting, and banishing loyalists and suspected loyalists in Massachusetts communities, a process she argues that involved a shifting definition of loyalist, adapting to the shifting needs of the Revolution rather than reacting to legitimate military threats.
Sarah Beth was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and raised surrounded by Revolutionary history. She initially came to her program wanting to study the concept of neutrality during the American Revolution but quickly became fascinated with the Loyalists.
Register with Toronto Branch UEL <>

Victoria Branch: Spring Fleet Luncheon – May 25, 2024 – 11.30 a.m.

At The Lakes, Saanich – an in-person event only. Period Dress appreciated
A presentation by Gwendoline Gold, UE “The Button Blanket at Government House”
Created by Chief Tony Hunt and Gwendoline Gold
Please reply to

St. Alban’s summer concert series with Bluegrass legend Bob Burtch May 25

The Friends of St. Alban’s are launching their inaugural series of four concerts in 2024 and are going big with their first show. More details…

Gov. Simcoe Branch: “The Northern Brigaden” by Gavin Watt 29 May 7:30

The Northern Brigade Later in the Revolution” The Northern Brigade would be supported by a few British Regular regiments and the 84th’s first battalion. The brigade included these loyalist regiments – Royal Yorkers, Butler’s Rangers, Jessup’s Loyal Rangers and Roger’s 2nd Bn, King’s Rangers.
Sir John Johnson was the brigadier general of those loyalists as well as the Superintendent General of Northern Indians with the Six Nations’ and Seven Nations of Canada’s departments and their large numbers of rangers. Johnson had a very heavy responsibility.
Gavin Watt will likely never retire form his avocation, military history. To those of us with Loyalist interests, his presence has been keenly appreciated. Gavin is the founder, and was Officer Commanding, of the recreated King’s Royal Yorkers from 1975-2006, and until 2017 continued his valued involvement. Gavin has researched extensively the military actions and people of the American Revolution, and authored or co-authored several books. More details and registration, in-person or on zoom.

The Revolutionary War Conference 250 in the Mohawk Valley – June 14-16, 2024

Johnstown, NY
Bus Tour – “1774: The Rising Tide” Friday 14 June. (sold out; get on waiting list)
In 1774, the politics of the Revolution had arrived in the Mohawk Valley with a vengeance. At the eastern end of the Mohawk another violent Liberty Pole riot was having a detrimental effect on the local citizens of Schenectady. Meanwhile further west along the Mohawk River, in Johnstown, events took a turn when Sir William Johnson passed away in July, thus starting a new chapter in political unrest.
Speakers include:

  • James R. Fichter – Tea – Consumption, Politics, and Revolution, 1773–1776
  • Mark Edward Lender – “Liberty or Death!” – Some Revolutionary Statistics and Existential Warfare

The Bus Tour (sold out) will include several stops in both Schenectady and Johnstown, such as the Schenectady Stockade, Johnson Hall and more. Details and Registration.

Loyalist Day in Ontario, Branches (more details in June)

  • Saturday 15 June. Col. John Butler Br. Niagara-on-the-Lake, at cenotaph
  • Monday 18 June. Toronto and Gov Simcoe Br. Queen’s Park. 12:00
  • Saturday June 22. Grand River Br. 11:00 at Vittoria. Lunch (fee) and program Flyer

From the Social Media and Beyond

  • Fort Anne National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal, and the Annapolis River. See photo.
  • Capt. Simcoe died of pneumonia 15 May 1759 on board ship in the mouth of the St Lawrence. Son John Graves Simcoe married Elizabeth 1782. Governor Simcoe founded York (Toronto) 1793. His wife had a daughter Katherine who’d be the 1st European born in Toronto. Daughter of John Graves Simcoe and his wife Elizabeth. He was the Military Governor of Upper Canada. The little girl died at about 15 months and was buried at the Garrison Burying Ground. The remains of that cemetery is now known as the Victoria Memorial Park. (Photo of the park shows a monument to the War of 1812 sculpted by Walter Seymour Allward and completed in 1902.)
    Katherine’s stone marker disappeared from the Burying Ground sometime before 1850. Inscription: “Katherine Simcoe, January 16, 1793 – April 19, 1794. Happy in the Lord.”
  • Townsends
  • This week in History
    • 17 May 1733 The English Parliament passed the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum, sugar & molasses imported to colonies from other than British-held possessions. The act imposed a tax of six pence per gallon on imports from non-English colonies. image
    • 15 May 1750, Martha Dandridge (19) married Daniel Parke Custis (38) at Chestnut Grove, her family home. image
      Together, the couple had four children; two of whom, Jacky and Patsy, survived infancy. ⁣
    • 17 May 1756, Britain officially declares war on its long-time rival France. The move is something of a formality; both powers have already been fighting for at least two years in the North American wilderness. image
    • 16 May 1768 Williamsburg, VA. The Virginia House of Burgesses drafts a circular calling for the colonies to act together to thwart British attempts to “enslave” them and enjoins them to a strong unity in the face of growing hostility. image
    • 17 May 1768 Boston, MA The 50-gun HMS Romney docks in the harbor as a symbol of Britain’s determination to protect customs officials and enforce parliamentary dictates. image
    • 17 May 1769, George Washington launches a legislative salvo at Great Britain’s fiscal and judicial attempts to maintain its control over the American colonies. Washington brought a package of non-importation resolutions before the Virginia House of Burgesses. image
    • 11 May 1771 New Bern, NC. Royal Gov William Tryon marches for Hillsborough with a force of 1,200 militia & some artillery pieces. image
    • 16 May 1771 Regulators dispersed at the Battle of Alamance, fought as part of the War of the Regulation with the forces of Royal Gov William Tryon & a band of settlers from western NC who were dissatisfied with the rule of the royal governors. image
    • 3 May 1774 Boston, MA. Gen Thomas Gage arrives with 4 new infantry regiments & replaces Thomas Hutchinson as governor of Massachusetts while also serving as British commander-in-chief. image
    • 13 May 1774 @ Boston Town Meeting moderated by Samuel Adams passed a resolution for an economic boycott against the Boston Port Act “If the other Colonies come into a joint resolution to stop all importation from Great Britain… (it) will prove the salvation of North America…” image
    • 10 May 1775, the 2nd Continental #Congress convened. It both planned for war & drafted the Olive Branch Petition. But the King rejected reconciliation. And by July 1776, Congress answered what Adams called “the greatest question…which ever was debated in America” image
    • 13 May 1775 Cambridge, MA. Gen Artemus Ward’s ragtag army begins a march to Charlestown, where they pass under the guns of the British. Gen Israel Putnam then occupies Charlestown Heights with 3K men, who quietly withdraw when the British fail to respond. image
    • 15 May 1775 Philadelphia, PA. Continental Congress encourages NY & other colonies to begin preparations for military readiness. image
    • 18 May 1775 St John Quebec. Colonel Benedict Arnold, aboard sloop-of-war Liberty, raids the shipyards & captures a schooner & a supply sloop named George. Arnold led some 35 sailors on the 2-hour raid. George was later armed with twelve 4-pound guns and ten swivel guns and renamed USS Enterprise, beginning a lineage of American warships with the name. This first Enterprise became the most powerful ship in America’s Lake Champlain fleet—served in the August 1775 expedition to St. Johns, the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, and in 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga. image
    • 13 May 1776 Gen Charles Lee writes to Congress president John Hancock that he was sending the 8th Virginia south into the Carolinas to fend off an expected attack by British naval and land forces. image
    • 15 May 1776 The Virginia Convention passed a resolution to establish a Declaration of Rights & a plan for an independent Government. Also gave instructions for Richard Henry Lee to propose independence from Britain at the Continental Congress. image
    • 12 May 1777 Lt. Col. Meigs is commissioned as commander of the 6th Connecticut Regiment due to an ailing Col. Douglas. He will remain a Lt. Col. until September when he then becomes a Colonel. image
    • 16 May 1776 Montreal, Canada. Maj Henry Sherburne marches a detachment of 150 men to reinforce the American garrison at the Cedars, but his force drops to 100 from increased desertion. image
    • 15 May 1777 Sawpit, FL Indian braves attack encamped Georgia militiamen commanded by Col John Baker & steal several horses. But Baker recovers the horses the following day & awaits continental reinforcements under Col Samuel Ebert. image
    • 17 May 1777 Thomas Creek, FL Battle of Thomas Creek ends the 2nd Florida Expedition, an attempt by GA patriots to invade British E. Florida becomes a rout when they are surprised & surrounded. Americans would not attempt another invasion of East Florida. image
    • 11 May 1778 London. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, dies in parliament. The prominent British politician was a vocal supporter of American rights. image
    • 12 May 1778 Redstone Settlement. Col George Rogers Clark sails down the Monongahela River to join other rebel forces gathering at the falls of the Ohio River. image
    • 14 May 1778 London First Lord of the Admiralty, John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich (& namesake of the snack) delays the departure of Adm John Byron’s fleet due to worries about the activities of the French navy. image
    • 16 May 1778 Frigates HMS Proserpine & Enterprise confirm reports that Adm d’Estaing’s fleet passed the Straights of Gibraltar (British stronghold) and is now in the Atlantic. image
    • 12 May 1780 Charleston, SC. American After laying the first parallel on 1 April, the British siege of Charleston ended with the unconditional surrender by American General Benjamin Lincoln. The British levied extremely punitive terms of surrender. No “honors of war “were allowed. They imprisoned the American soldiers on ships where many of the 2,500 captives died. Besides reducing American manpower, the British gained a wealth of armaments: some 6.000 muskets, over 300 pieces of artillery, and numerous barrels of gunpowder. The casualties suffered by both sides were relatively low during the siege – less than 300 were killed and wounded. Ironically, more died in an accidental magazine explosion following the surrender. This was America’s most significant defeat and disgrace of the war and the high point for British General Henry Clinton’s command. However, the harsh terms and Clinton’s ill-advised proclamation demanding loyalty and service would cause the ambivalence in the South to rally to the American cause, feeding the resistance that would grind down the British over the next three years. image
    • 14 May 1780 Col Abraham Buford, commanding the last organized American force in SC, retreats toward Hillsborough following the fall of Charleston. image
    • 15 May 1780 St. Lucia Channel, West Indies British Adm George Rodney’s ships of the line intercept French Adm Luc-Urbain, comte de Guichen. Winds prevent a major engagement, and after indecisive skirmishing and modest casualties, both sides break contact. image
    • 11 May 1781, the British surrendered at Orangeburg, South Carolina. The victory at Orangeburg, led by General Thomas Sumter, was one of a series of victories that put South Carolina and Georgia back into American hands a few months later (ex Charleston & Savannah). image
    • 14 May 1781 Croton River, NY. Col James De Lancey’s Loyalist raiding party surprises an American outpost. Col. Christopher Greene is killed & some 40 soldiers are wounded. image
    • 14 May 1781 Philadelphia, PA Confederation Congress gives in to Robert Morris’s demand for complete control of national finances. He handpicks his subordinates, including Jewish financier Haym Salomon, and assumes the role of superintendent of finance. image
    • 15 May 1800: King George III of #Britain survives two #assassination attempts in one day. In Hyde Park, a bullet intended for him hits another man. That night at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, an #insane man fired two shots at him that missed. image
  • Clothing and Related:
    • A charming pair of boots trimmed with lace & bows. Via The Charleston Museum Pale #pink silk faille boots, late 19th century. Made by Gartrell / Rue St. Honoré No. 359 / Paris. These stylish ankle boots have embossed pewter buttons.
    • Recently received a grant to expand the U of NH Flax-to-Linen Project into the wider community. 4 grow sites will participate: @WoodmanMuseum @Moffatt_Ladd @OldBerwick & New_Market_Hist. Today we plant the Woodman Museum site with flax & indigo. Project Information
    • Small bed cover of silk patchwork, Kent, the silks made c. 1680-1700, and made up c. 1700-1720
    • Elizabethan book or folio cover. Its floral pattern is delicate and detailed, with threads whose colours remain vibrant more than 400 years after they were stitched. Nestled amongst the flowers are tiny birds, squirrels, rabbits, and insects
    • Unlined linen jacket, hand-sewn & embroidered, English, made 1590-1630. Informal style, may have been worn during pregnancy.
  • Miscellaneous

WALTERS UE, Cleo Josephine (1927 – 2024) nee Coutu
Sadly, we have just now learned of the death of Cleo. A lovely person and an avid supporter of our UELAC branch here Chilliwack.
She passed on January 9, 2024 in White Rock, BC at the age of 97. Cleo Coutu, was born Feb. 6, 1927 and raised in North Bay, Ontario. She studied at McGill University and earned a Bachelor of Science, specializing in chemistry and biology.
Cleo met Fred Walters at McGill and they married in 1952. They had four children: Janet, Philip, Rosanne, and Alexander.
She later obtained her teaching certificate at the University of Toronto and taught High School for many years. Cleo and Fred, retired to Chilliwack in 1997 to be near their grandchildren.
Both became very involved in the activities of the community. Besides the UELAC, they were members of the Probus Club of Chilliwack, Chilliwack ElderCollege and Chilliwack Garden Club where she won many prizes. Her garden was a delight, and she shared her plants willingly. I still have a few in my garden.
In August of 2000 she was so proud to receive her certificate for Loyalist George Schriver and to add the initials UE to her many other achievements.
Cleo is survived by her four children and eight grandchildren; predeceased by her husband, Fred Y. Walters (2011) and her siblings, Wilfrid Coutu (2015) and Joan Frisch (2018). More in obit…
We send our condolences, thoughts and prayers to Cleo’s family. She will be missed.
Marlene Dance UE, President, Chilliwack Branch UELAC

Editor’s Note:
A lot of items this week. I have decided to send this without testing all the links which I normally try to do. I hope most of them work. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. …doug

Published by the UELAC
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