Loyalist refugees transported from New York to Nova Scotia By HMS Clinton (1783)

The evacuation of New York in the Fall of 1783 was a major challenge. The HMS Clinton, one of many ships, made two trips that season, one in October and another in December. In each case it mustered passengers more than once before departing the New York area.

This simple passenger list is separated into men, women, children over ten, and children under ten. The names are sequenced by their passenger number.

Before adding these Loyalist names to the Loyalist Directory, an attempt was made to group the individuals into families. This was a major challenge and the Loyalist community is being asked to help sort these. For example, when there are more than two men and two women and many children with the same surname, who is part of which family? The passenger list by family attempts to group families together, with the passengers sorted by surname. However, due to the splitting apart of families in the war, where we have assumed a man, woman and children were part a single family unit, this may not be the case.

Furthermore, where there are multiple potential families, it is possible that the second or additional men could be the brothers of the head of family, or sons over age 20. Similarly with women, they could be mothers, sisters, daughters over age 20 etc. If you can help sort out of any these families, we would appreciate your help:

  • Richard, Robert and John Anderson
  • Archibald and Obadiah Cook
  • Two George Defendress
  • Joseph Edwards
  • John and Thomas Grainge
  • William and Thomas Jones
  • Amos and Joshua Lockwood
  • Thomas and John Lumley
  • William and Jonathon Massey
  • Richard and Angus McDonald
  • Two David mellows
  • George, John and William Miller
  • Peter, Daniel, William, Joshua, Jonathon, and Nicholas Smith
  • Alexander and Robert Stuart
  • William and John Thompson
  • Uriah, Elisha, Bartholomer and Hezakiah Travess

Many thanks to Frank Davis of Halifax who submitted this list, and to Mette Griffin for transcribing it.



Addendum: Black passengers on board the Clinton

When the Clinton sailed in August of 1783 it had 243 Black Loyalist passengers. when it sailed in September it had 7 Black Loyalist passengers, and when it came to Nova Scotia a third time, it had eight blacks enslaved by loyalists. That’s 250 free blacks and 7 slaves that were overlooked in the listing on the ship site. Perhaps something needs to be added to the list to let people know that the Clinton had a “few” more folks than the ones given. – Stephen Davidson



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