Samuel Colman – Hudson River School

A 2nd Cousin is a bit more of a distant relative than I usually feature, but the Hudson River School is one of my favorite genres and I wanted a page to highlight a few of his paintings.

Samuel Colman was one of the leading artists of the Hudson River School’s second generation, creating luminous landscapes of near and distant lands.

Storm King on the Hudson (1866) is one of Colman’s best known works and one of the iconic images of Hudson River School now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

Samuel Colman  (wiki) was born 4 Mar 1832 in Portland, Maine.  Although our Coleman ancestors spelled their name with an “e,” his family spelled the name “Colman.  His parents were Samuel Colman (1799-1865) and Tamelia “Pamela” Chandler (1799 – 1865). His grandparents were Dr. Samuel Colman (1759  – 1810) and Susan Atkins (1762-1827). His great grandparents were our ancestors Deacon Benjamin COLEMAN (1720 – 1797) and Ann BROWN (1724- 1776).  He married 1863 Newport, Rhode Island to Ann Lawrence Dunham (b. 6 Nov 1832 in Manhattan, New York City). Samuel died 26 Mar 1920 in Portland, Cumberland, Maine.

Samuel’s second cousin (also Benjamin’s great grandson) was our ancestor Dudley COLEMAN (1805 – 1865)

Samuel’s father moved his family from Portland, Maine to Greenwich Village, New York City and opened a fine-arts bookstore on Broadway, attracting a literate clientele that may have influenced his son Samuel’s artistic development.  At the age of eighteen, Colman trained under Asher B. Durand; he began exhibiting at the National Academy of Design that same year.

In the 1850 census, Samuel Colman Sr. (1799 – 1865) was a Book Dealer in Ward 15 Western half, New York City. His son Samuel Jr. age 18 was already listed as an Artist.

In the 1850 census, the Colman family lived in the Western Half of Ward 15. Here is a 1852 map.

Samuel went abroad in 1860, studying in Paris and Spain ; was made a member of the National Academy in 1864 ; president of the American Water Color Society in 1866 : resigned in 1872 and went abroad spending some years in the principal cities of Europe.

Samuel Colman Jr. (1832-1920)

He is believed to have studied briefly under the Hudson River school painter Asher Durand, and he exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1850.  By 1854 he had opened his own New York City studio.   The following year he was elected an associate member of the National Academy, with full membership bestowed in 1862.

Near Cro’s Nest on the Hudson, NY by Samuel Colman Oil on academy board

Colman spent the summer of 1856 in Jackson, NH, sharing a studio with his brother-in-law, Aaron Draper Shattuck.  The Crayon of that year noted: “Mr. Colman has made wide advances on all his previous studies … He has a study of Mote [sic] Mountain and the Ledges at North Conway, with a wheat-field in the foreground.”

In addition to his exhibits at the  National Academy of Design, he was also a frequent exhibitor at the Boston Athenaeum and the Brooklyn Art Association.

Colman began painting in the pastoral mode of Durand, before a trip abroad in the 1860s unlocked a more instinctive feeling for natural scenery. He soon became one of the most widely-traveled painters of the period, capturing the beauty of the American West, British Columbia, the Gulf of Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Egypt, Morocco, and Japan. Shifting between oil painting, watercolors, and etchings, Colman developed a fluid, graceful style—emphasizing nature’s quiet harmony over its epic scope.

Looking North from Ossining, New York, Samul Colman 1867 Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York

In 1866 he helped found the American Society of Painters in Water Colors and was its first president.  He became interested in etching in 1867 and, in 1877, at the founding of the New York Etching Club, exhibited a number of landscape etchings.

His landscape paintings in the 1850s and 1860s were influenced by the Hudson River school, an example being Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856) now in the collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. He was also able to paint in a romantic style, which had become more fashionable after the Civil War.

Rainbow on the Hudson by Samuel Colman, oil on canvas

In 1867, Henry Tuckerman wrote of Colman, “to the eye of refined taste, to the quite lover of nature, there is a peculiar charm in Colman’s style which, sooner or later, will be greatly appreciated.”  Implicit in Tuckerman’s statement is his observation of a strong individualism in Colman’s style.

Finish—First International Race for America’s Cup, August 8, 1870 Samuel Colman New York Metropolitan Museum — This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 774

Colman was an inveterate traveler, and many of his works depict scenes from foreign cities and ports. He made his first trip abroad to France and Spain in 1860-1861, and returned for a more extensive four-year European tour in the early 1870s in which he spent much time in Mediterranean locales.

The Hill of the Alhambra, Granada 1865 by Samuel Colman New York Metropolitan Musuem of Art – This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 737

He visited Spain and Morocco and painted scenes in a combination of pastel and gauche. Colman often depicted the architectural features he encountered on his travels: cityscapes, castles, bridges, arches, and aqueducts feature prominently in his paintings of foreign scenes.

Solomon’s Temple, Colorado 1888 Samuel Colman Oil on canvas

In 1870 and again in the 1880’s he journeyed to the western United States, painting western landscapes comparable in scope and style to those of Thomas Moran.

Late November in a Santa Barbara Cañon, California – Samuel Colman

In the aftermath of the Civil War, watercolor painting became more popular. In 1866, Colman was one of the founders of the American Watercolor Society, and he became its first president from 1867 to 1871. Colman also became skilled at the medium of etching. He was an early member of the New York Etching Club, and published popular etchings depicting European scenes.

Ruins of a Mosque, Tlemciem, Algeria, Etching by Samuel Colman 1887 National Gallery of Art Washington DC

Colman’s artistic activities became even more diverse late in life. By the 1880s he worked extensively as an interior designer, collaborating with his friend Louis Comfort Tiffany on the design of Samuel Clemens‘ Hartford home, and later on the Fifth Avenue home of Henry and Louisine Havemeyer.  He also became a major collector of decorative Asian objects, and wrote two books on geometry and art:   “Nature’s Harmonic Unity a treatise on its relation to proportional form“1912 and “Proportional Form: Further Studies in the Science of Beauty” 1920

Cover “Nature’s harmonic unity” by Samuel Colman 1912 with 302 illustrations by the author, the mathematical analysis by the editor

For a time he was a member of the Century Association but resigned in 1884.  Colman’s paintings are represented by the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Union League Club, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Portland Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid.

Samuel Colman Jr. (1832-1920)


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Church & State Fighting Antidisestablishmentarianism

Joseph BALCOM’s (1705  – 1787) son Elijah played an interesting role in constitutional history.  Ronald Balkom sent me the story in a PDF image. Tiny, tiny type in all caps. It took skilled touch typing (which I don’t have) to transcribe because one glance away and you lose your place, but it’s in and enhanced with links, pictures and commentary.

The church that Elijah didn’t want to pay for was founded 300 years ago today, November 12, 1712.  Happy 300th  to the First Congregational Church of the Attleboroughs!!

Church and State

This post concentrates on Elijah’s constitutional court case. For his complete story including his minuteman days as a drummer and fifer and his wife and children, see his father’s page.

Elijah Balcom was born 2 Sep 1752 in Attleboro, Bristol, Mass. He married 30 Nov 1786 Attleboro to Marcy Daggett. Elijah died 7 Jan 1796 in Attleboro.

Do you remember learning in elementary school that  Antidisestablishmentarianism  was the longest word in the English language?   I never knew what that word meant. Turns out it was the ideology opposing Elijah in 1781.

Edited from Robert E Bolkom’s of Lakeland Florida Dec 1984 Newsletter — In the night of Dec 17, 1781 Elijah Bolkcom 28 years of age and unmarried was at home with his father Joseph, now 75,  in Attleboro, Mass.  Although Elijah was baptized and raised in the Congregational Church, he changed in May of 1780 to the Baptist Society which was led by Job Simmons.  This church had begun 11 years earlier and were Calvinists in theology and though Elijah attended regularly and supported the church, he did not yet enjoy full membership.

Constable Wilmarth chose this night to place Elijah under arrest for non payment of his religious tax.  On the way to the jail at Taunton, Elijah had second thoughts about leaving he aging father at home alone and agreed to pay the 17 shillings, sixpence and 3 farthings and was released.  [remember 20 shillings to the pound]

Attleboro, like most Massachusetts towns was predominantly Congregationalists and the new state constitution provided for a religious tax on every male inhabitant in order to maintain a “standing church” in each town or parish.  Since Congregationalists were in the majority, the “standing churches” were almost always Congregational.

Following approval by town meetings, the Massachusetts Constitution was ratified on June 15, 1780, became effective on October 25, 1780. It remains the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world and was the model for the Constitution of the United States of America, drafted seven years later.

Massachusetts Constitution  PART THE FIRST
A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the summer of 1779, delegates were elected to a constitutional convention, which met in Cambridge in September 1779.  The convention chose a committee of thirty members to prepare a new constitution and declaration of rights, which in turn named a  subcommittee of  John AdamsSamuel Adams, and James Bowdoin.   The subcommittee in turn assigned the task of preparing a first draft to John Adams alone, a “sub-sub committee of one,” as Adams later referred to it. For the new declaration of rights, the committee of thirty members assigned the drafting directly to John Adams. However, the articles on religion was referred to Calvinist Congregational Clergy who guided the orthodox Puritan outcome.

John Adams wrote most of the Massachusetts Constitution himself, but the sections on religion were delegated to the clergy.

Perhaps the most famous line in Adams’s draft declaration of rights was this: “All men are born equally free and independent….” This was slightly revised before being adopted by the constitutional convention: “All men are born free and equal…

Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

In 1781,  Article 1 was the subject of a landmark case Brom and Bett v. Ashley  which outlawed slavery in Massachusetts.

In 2004,  the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Article 1 of the Massachusetts constitution to allow only heterosexual couples to marry.

Same Sex Marriage Cartoon

It’s inspiring that John Adam’s work of 233 years ago is still bringing justice today, but back to Elijah and Article 3.

Article 2 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights said

” no subject shall be hurt, molested or restrained in his person, liberty or estate for worship of God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience for his religious profession of sentiments”,

but Article 3 asserted that every town or parish had the right to make suitable provision at their own expense for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality.  This meant that compulsory religious taxes were still to be laid in the new state.

The fourth paragraph allowed non-Congregationalists to pay the tax to their own pastor, but the courts construed this clause so narrowly that in practice it exempted only members of an incorporated Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist or Universalist Church. A member of one of these bodies who resided too far from his church to attend, or a non-church goer had to pay to support a Congregational minister ( unless he lived in Boston where the voluntary system prevailed.) In Elijah’s case, he had to pay because he had not yet been accepted as a full member of the Baptist church.

In December of 1780, Attleboro had authorized renovation of its Congregational church in the amount of 23,000 pounds and was aggressively raising funds.  At least four of Elijah’s neighbors who refused to pay had a cow siezed and sold at public auction to satisfy the requirement.  Anyone who refused to pay was called “A Certificate man” which meant that they were probably a Quaker, Baptist or Episcopalian. The Baptists in Massachusetts had been fighting to dis-establish the standing church concept for over 100 years.  By disestablishment, they meant the abolishing of religious taxes.

I’m not sure if the Church Elijah didn’t want to pay for his the 1st or 2nd Congregational Church of Attleboro.   Maybe the funds went into one pot and were divided.  I was corresponding with the First Congregational Church of North Attleboro (Oldtown)  and their historian found in  Second Church’s History by Ted Moxham (who is still the historian) that when their first meeting house was built (work began in 1743, but took several years to finish) and that pews were not installed until about 1786 . It then says that they were installed with funds collected to defray the cost.   They said “Sounds like that might be the funds that you are looking for!! :) ”

Second Congregational Church of Attleboro Today

I’m still checking with the 2nd Attleboro Congregational Church for a picture of the Church began in 1743 and finished about 1786, but here’s what the current church looks like.  This Facebook Page from the New England Church Project has over a hundred beautiful pictures of the current church.

First Congregational Church of Attleboro.   The current Meetinghouse was completed in 1825, so it is probably not the one that Elijah didn’t want to pay for.

The First Congregational Church of North Attleboro (Oldtown) Facebook Invitation to  their 300th anniversary celebration.  The church was founded 300 years ago today, November 12, 1712.

Just a reminder tomorrow is our 300th Anniversary Celebration!!!!
All are welcome!!!
Worship is at 10am, fellowship and fun to follow from 11-1pm and then an Oldtown Chicken BBQ at 1pm. (not 1:30 like the Friday email said)
Please wear your 300th t-shirt if you have one. If you don’t we have lots of extras!!! See you tomorrow!!!

First Congregational Church of Attleboro Interior – Congratulations on your 300th Anniversary!

By Feb 2, 1782 Elijah, with counsel, had filed suit against the assessors Wilkerson, Wilmarth and Richardson and was in the Justice of Peace Court at Norton (held in Justice Holmes’ house).  He stated that because he was a member of the Baptist Society, regular attendance and financally supporting it, that he was not liable for the religious tax.  He claimed that the assessors were in full knowledge of this and that the arrest was arbitrary, illegal and vexatious.   The ruling went against Elijah.  He filed an appeal in the Inferior Court of Common Pleas at the Bristol County Courthouse in Taunton and the review was set for the March term.  His case was based on the claim that Article 3 was unconstitutional.

Article 3 was a compromise which attempted to satisfy those who wanted to continue the old Puritan tradition of an established tax supported church and those who wanted a voluntary church system.  It satisfied neither group and was the most controversial and hotly debated issue at town meetings which preceded the ratification of the constitution.

Isaac Backus (1724-1806) argued Elijah’s appeals case

Massachusetts officials recognized Elijah’s appeal to be an ideal test case and the Attorney General personally appeared to argue for the defendants.  Elijah was suppoted by Isaac Backus, spokesman for the Baptists and other minority  sects whho were closely watching the case progress.  The defendants tried to get a trial by jury, but Elijah realizing the difficulties to seat an impartial jury and because of the complexity of the isses insisted that it be heard by competent judges.  Decision by judges also would enhance the legal precedent and potential for future impact.

Elijah claimed that his relationship with God was purely between he and his creator and the government had no right to intervene.  He argued for a separation of church and state in order that each individual could worship and support the church of his choice.  The court ruled in his favor and awarded him six pounds, eighteen shillings and sixpence court costs and recovery of the tax and penalty.

The Baptists and minority sects (and even some Congregationalists) were overjoyed and the case was appropriately publicized.  Isaac Backus even had tracts printed explaining the expected impact of the decision.

Government and Liberty by  Isaac Backus, Boston: Powars and Willis, 1778
Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University

Isaac Backus (1724-1806) was the leader of the New England Baptists. In this response to Payson’s Election Sermon, Backus forcefully states the Baptists’ opposition to state support of the churches. This opposition was grounded in the Baptists’ reading of the New Testament and also of ecclesiastical history which demonstrated, that state support of religion inevitably corrupted the churches. Backus and other Baptist leaders agreed with their clerical adversaries in believing that religion was necessary for social prosperity and happiness but they believed that the best way for the state to assure the health of religion was to leave it alone and let it take its own course, which, the Baptists were convinced, would result in vital, evangelical religion covering the land.

The joy at winning Elijah’s case turned to sorrow two years later when Baptist Gershin Cutter of Middleboro found himself in a similar plight as Elijah.  This time the local court ruled in his favor, but on appeal against him.  For the next fifty years Massachusetts authorities did their best to make the religious tax stick until 1833 when the constitution was amended to eliminate it.

While the Bolkcom case was being enjoyed in Massachusetts, Virginia was in the throes of fiery debate on the same subject.  George Washington, Patrick Henry and Richard Lee argued for the general assessment bill with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Mason opposed.

George Washington in Support of Tax Supported Religion Source: Library of Congress

In this Oct 3, 1785 letter George Washington informs his friend and neighbor, George Mason, in the midst of the public agitation over Patrick Henry’s general assessment bill, that he does not, in principle, oppose “making people pay towards the support of that which they profess,” although he considers it “impolitic” to pass a measure that will disturb public tranquility.

In 1786 the bill was defeated and Jefferson became recognized as the author and initiator of the separation of church and state in the new nation. A close look at Jefferson’s argument reveals that his opposition was based upon a fear that religious influences would creep into government much as they had in Europe and impose their will on the people through government.  An effective philosophy which is as important today as  it was in 1786.

Separation Of Church And State Xmas Police

Elijah’s argument  that religion was prior to all states and kingdoms of the world and could not in its nature be subject to human laws was different from Jefferson’s.  How different might our posture be today towards prayer in schools and federal aid to education if his reason for separation had been accepted rather than Jefferson’s.

Find Out More

Understanding the Separation of Church and State - We need to look at three parts of the Constitution: Article VI section 3, the 1st Amendment & the 14th Amendment.

Religion and State Governments Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

Thirty Quotes from the Founding Fathers on the Separation of Church and State

Posted in Dissenter, Historical Church, History, Storied | 8 Comments

Battle of Sacket’s Harbor

I just finished a War of 1812 story where two of our cousins were captured by the British and an uncle (their father and from the same company) was captured a year later and died in a Quebec City POW camp.  (See my post Battle of Frenchman’s Creek Nov 28, 1812)

Today, I found another cousin who was captured by the British in the War of 1812.

Benjamin COLEMAN’s grandson Charles Colman  (b.  8 Aug 1782 Newburyport, Essex, Mass – d. 12 Sep 1849 Brookfield, New Hampshire of consumption)  enlisted as a sergeant in the 21st US Infantry Jan 2 1813 in Wakefield New Hampshire for 18 months under company commander Capt. Lemuel Bradford (b. 1 Dec 1775 -d. 14 Sept 1814 of wounds received during the War of 1812)  Note: Sep 14 1814 was the day Francis Scott Key saw that “Our Flag Was Still There” at Fort McHenry.

According to his enlistment, Charles was 5′ 11 1/4″  or 6′ 0″ [Very tall for those days].   Blue eyes, Red Hair, Light Complexion; Yeoman or School Master; Newburyport or Boston.

Charles was in the roll of American prisoners of war arrived in schooner Lignan at Salem, Mar 16, 1815 captured at Sixtown Point, Henderson Bay on May 28, 1813.  M.R. Captain James Green Jr’s. detachment Fort Pickering March 20, 1815.  Present – Book 569; Discharged May 1, 1815

Map of New York, the red dot is Sackets Harbor

The Battle of Sacket’s Harbor, (Also called the 2nd Battle of Sacket’s Harbor) took place on May 29, 1813.  A British force was transported across Lake Ontario and attempted to capture the town, which was the principal dockyard and base for the American naval squadron on the lake. They were repulsed by American regulars and militia.

Isaac Chauncey (1779-1840 ) commanded US naval forces on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812

The British force set out late on 27 May and arrived off Sacket’s Harbor early the next morning. The wind was very light, which made it difficult for Captain James Lucas Yeo (commander of the British naval force on the Great Lakes) to manoeuver close to the shore. He was also unfamiliar with the local conditions and depths of water. Shortly before midday on May 28, the troops began rowing ashore, but unknown sails were sighted in the distance. In case they might be Captain [later Commodore] Isaac Chauncey‘s fleet, the attack was called off, and the troops returned to the ships. The strange sails proved to belong to twelve bateaux carrying troops from the 9th and 21st U.S. Regiments of Infantry from Oswego to Sackets Harbor.   The British sent out three large canoes full of Native American warriors and a gunboat carrying a detachment of the Glengarry Light Infantry to intercept them.

Charles Coleman’s 21st Regiment was being transported from Oswego to Sackets Harbor when it was intercepted by the British on May 27, 1813

The British force caught up with the convoy off Stoney Point on Henderson Bay. As the British opened fire, the Americans, who were mostly raw recruits, landed their bateaux  (barges) at Stoney Point and fled into the woods. [Google Maps Directions from Stony Point to Sackets Harbor 13.5 Miles - 25 minutes] The Natives pursued them through the trees and hunted them down. After about half an hour, during which they lost 35 men killed, the surviving United States troops regained their vessels and raised a white flag. The senior officer rowed out to Yeo’s fleet and surrendered his remaining force of 115 officers and men including Charles Coleman.  Only seven of the American troops escaped and reached Sackett’s Harbor.

Another account:  On May 28, 1813, a flotilla of British warships appeared at the mouth of Black River Bay. The weather was miserable, however, with visibility poor and the lake calm. This prevented the British fleet from being able to tack into the harbor. So they waited. Through the fog they noticed barges loaded with reinforcements, elements of the 9th and 21st US Infantry from Oswego, headed for the harbor. The British dispatched their Indian allies to overtake the barges, who fearing for their lives pulled ashore at Stony Point. Pursued by Indians, many of the soldiers were hunted down and killed. Other boats that witnessed the carnage pulled directly for the British fleet, rather than take their chances on shore against the Indians. This skirmish is known as the Battle of Stony Point.

On May 28, 1813 Sir James Lucas Yeo, Commander of the Royal Navy on the Great Lakes, captured  115 American troops including Charles Coleman.

This delay nevertheless gave the Americans time to reinforce their defenses.

I found a book on published in 1879 by Charles Colman’s cousin’s wife Sarah Ann Smith (b. 1787 – d. 1879) titled Reminiscenses of a Nonagenarian.

This book has many interesting and amusing anecdotes about the Colman family which I”ll be sharing. Here’s what she has to add to the story of Charles Colman and the Battle of Sackett’s Harbor.

Charles was taken prisoner, held as a hostage, and confined in the jail at Quebec. With two others he escaped. Having stolen a calf, which they managed to dress and roast, they made the best of their way through the woods for several days, but were so blinded by mosquito bites they were unable to proceed, and were recaptured. Afterwards Mr. Colman was taken to Halifax. At the disbanding of the army he returned home, where he learned that at the time he was taken prisoner a Colonel’s commission was on the way to him, which he failed to get. But later he received the deed of one hundred and sixty acres of land, as other soldiers.

Back to the Battle of Sacket’s Harbor

The next morning, 29 May, Prevost resumed the attack. The British troops landed on Horse Island, south of the town, under fire from two 6-pounder field guns belonging to the militia and a naval 32-pounder firing at long range from Fort Tompkins. They also faced musket fire from the Albany Volunteers defending the island.  Although the British lost several men in the boats, they succeeded in landing, and the Volunteers withdrew. Once the landing force was fully assembled, they charged across the flooded causeway linking the island to the shore. Although the British should have been an easy target at this point, the American militia fled, abandoning their guns. Brigadier General Brown eventually rallied about 100 of them.

The British swung to their left, hoping to take the town and dockyard from the landward side, but the American regulars with some field guns gave ground only slowly, and fell back behind their blockhouses and defenses from where they repulsed every British attempt to storm their fortifications.

2010 Reenactment Battle of Sackett’s Harbor

Yeo had gone ashore to accompany the troops, and none of the larger British vessels were brought into a range at which they could support the attack. The small British gunboats, which could approach very close to the shore, were armed only with small, short-range carronades which were ineffective against the American defences.

Sacket’s Harbor during the War of 1812

Eventually one British ship, the Beresford, mounting 16 guns, worked close in using sweeps (long oars). When its crew opened fire they quickly drove the American artillerymen from Fort Tompkins. Some of the Beresford’s shot went over the fort and landed in and around the dockyard. Under the mistaken impression that the fort had surrendered, a young American naval officer, Acting Lieutenant John Drury, ordered the sloop of war General Pike which was under construction and large quantities of stores to be set on fire. Lieutenant Woolcott Chauncey had orders to defend the yard rather than the schooners, but had instead gone aboard one of the schooners, which were engaging the British vessels at long and ineffective range.

The “enemy” ship, Fair Jeanne, fires at Sackets Harbor — The 110 foot Canadian Brigantine Fair Jeanne travels the world. This Tall Ships training program has graduated over 2,000 young sailors.

By this time, Governor General of Canada, Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost was convinced that success was impossible to attain. His own field guns did not come into action and without them he was unable to batter breaches in the American defenses, while the militia which Brown had rallied were attacking his own right flank and rear. He gave the order to retreat. Prevost later wrote that the enemy had been beaten and that the retreat was carried out in perfect order, but other accounts by British soldiers stated that the re-embarkation took place in disorder and each unit acrimoniously blamed the others for the repulse.

The Americans for their part claimed that had Prevost not retreated hastily when he did, he would never have returned to Kingston. The U.S. 9th Infantry had been force-marching to the sounds of battle, but the British had departed before they could intervene.

The British defeat at Sacket’s Harbor compared badly with the victorious American opposed landings at York and Fort George, even though the odds at Sackett’s Harbor were slightly more favourable to the defenders. The chief reason was probably that the attack was launched without sufficient preparation, planning and rehearsal. The troops were an ad hoc collection of detachments, which had not been exercised together. This applied to the American regulars also, but since they were fighting from behind fixed defences, this mattered less.

Sacket’s Harbor Today

Another account of the end of the battle and aftermath —  The British commanders at the same time began to notice a rising plume of dust to the west of the village. They had learned from Americans captured at Stony Point that a column of Tuttle’s 9th Infantry had marched from Oswego the previous morning. Fearing these to be fresh reinforcements who would arrive on their rear, the British commander, Sir George Prevost, sounded a retreat. Tired and beaten, the British broke ranks and ran back to their landing boats, not even stopping to gather their wounded and dead. Once the landing party was safely back to the British fleet, they sent a representative under a flag of truce to ask that a landing party be allowed to tend to the casualties. The Americans refused.

In the aftermath of the battle, the fires in the Navy Yard were extinguished, but not before more than $500,000 worth of supplies and materials had been consumed. The new ship was saved with only minor damage. The wounded soldiers were taken to several homes in the village for care. One of these homes was the Sacket Mansion. The British were also tended to, while the dead were placed in an unmarked grave south of the village. The location of this grave has yet to be found. In all, the Americans lost 21 dead, 84 wounded and 26 missing. The British fared far worse for their effort: 48 dead, 195 wounded, and 16 missing.

So who won the battle? The British object was to destroy the Navy Yard and recapture supplies taken from York [today's Toronto] and Gananoque. Thanks to some panicked Americans, they succeeded in destroying the Navy Yard and refusing the Americans use of their stores.   Although the new ship was saved, the loss of rigging and sails in the fire delayed her commission for months and gave the British clear reign on Lake Ontario. The 250 or so Americans left at Fort Tompkins were beaten, and would not have held out long against an all-out British assault. The Americans, for their part however, inflicted disproportionately heavy damage on the British, something that Sir George Prevost would have to answer for in the coming months.

Sackets Harbor just after the War of 1812 by 19th-century artist William Strickland

[Based out of Hamilton, Ontario, the 21st U.S. (Treat's Company) seeks to recreate the life and times of a Soldier of the United States during the War of 1812]

They Built Things Better in the Past?

The ships the British and Americans were fighting to destroy and protect left something to be desired in the quality department.  Here’s an historical note about their poor workmanship by Dr. Gary M. Gibson:

When something breaks shortly after you bought it, you might complain that “they built things better in the past.” However, if the past was Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812 and the items were warships, you would be well to prefer today’s models.

Between 1812 and 1815 the United States and Great Britain engaged in a war of ship carpenters. Although there were no major naval battles on Lake Ontario to compare with the actions on Lake Erie in 1813 and Lake Champlain in 1814, the shipbuilding efforts on Ontario far surpassed those on the other lakes. Workmen at the American shipyard at Sackets Harbor and the British shipyard at Kingston, Upper Canada, competed to be the first to build enough warships to gain and maintain control of Lake Ontario.

This competition led to hasty work. On the Atlantic, building a 44-gun frigate could easily take two or three years. At Sackets Harbor that feat was accomplished in two months. Even the first warship built at Sackets Harbor, the 24-gun [corvette]USS Madison, was ready to launch in only 45 days.

All this construction required skilled ship carpenters, and at Sackets Harbor there were never enough of them. The gap was filled by hiring common house carpenters. Unfortunately, you did not build a wooden warship like you did a barn. The shipwright at Sackets Harbor, Henry Eckford., had to compensate for this by altering the design to make the vessels easier (and faster) to build.

This nearly lead to disaster. In September 1814, the 22-gun brig USS Jefferson encountered a fierce gale on Lake Ontario and the vessel, rolling heavily and “twice on her beam ends” began to come apart. To save the ship, the captain, Charles G. Ridgeley, had to lighten the load on deck by throwing ten of her cannon overboard.

In January 1815 construction began on two huge warships, the 106-gun New Orleans and Chippewa.

[The  first-rate ship-of-the-line, New Orleans was designed to carry a crew of 900 and was enclosed in a huge wooden ship house to protect it for future use, but in 1817, the Rush-Bagot Treaty between the United States and Great Britain limited all naval forces on the Great Lakes.  The treaty provided for a large demilitarization of lakes along the international boundary, where many British naval arrangements and forts remained. The treaty stipulated that the United States and British North America could each maintain one military vessel (no more than 100 tons burden) as well as one cannon (no more than eighteen pounds) on Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain. The remaining Great Lakes permitted the United States and British North America to keep two military vessels "of like burden" on the waters armed with "like force". The treaty, and the separate Treaty of 1818, laid the basis for a demilitarized boundary between the U.S. and British North America.]

[In 1816, a year after construction began] , with the war now over, a British foreman of shipwrights, John Aldersley, visited Sackets Harbor and inspected the incomplete New Orleans. He saw “the most abominable, neglectful, slovenly work ever performed …the timbers are in many instances thrown in one upon the other, without even the bark of the tree being taken off.” Aldersley noted that the New Orleans’ gun ports were created after the ship’s sides were completed, “the same as the doors and windows are cut out after a log house is framed.”

The incomplete USS New Orleans in 1883, the year she was sold for scrapping.  She remained on the stocks, housed over, until sold on 24 September 1883 to H. Wilkinson, Jr., of Syracuse, New York.

Built quickly out of green wood, few of these warships survived for long. By the early 1820s most were reported to be “sunk and decayed.” The only exceptions were the incomplete New Orleans and Chippewa, which remained in good condition only because they had expensive shiphouses built over them. As a result, the New Orleans, slovenly construction notwithstanding, was still considered useful as late as the American Civil War, a half century later.

The Great Rope — One Last Fun Story

In May 1814, 84 men carried a ship’s cable weighing five tons from the mouth of Sandy Creek to Sackets Harbor, a distance of 20 miles.   It took two days and they were left battered and bruised, but they did the job “can-do” American style.

The serpentine line of cable-carriers passed from village to village during the 20-mile journey where they were met with growing enthusiasm, refreshments, and replacements for those too exhausted or injured to continue. Mats of woven grass were fashioned to protect the shoulders of cable-carriers but all had large bruises. It was said that some carried the callous or mark on their shoulders the rest of their lives.

The Great Rope was the main anchor cable for the “Superior”, a frigate launched May 1, 1814 from Sackets Harbor under the command of Issac Chauncy. When armed, she was to carry 66 guns. The rope, under guard in Oswego, was 22 inches around and weighed 9,600 pounds. Although the rope traveled by boat most of the way, due to heavy fighting on Lake Ontario, the last leg of the trip was made over land on the backs of men. Here’s the complete story “.Events Surrounding The Battle of Big Sandy and the Carrying of the Great Rope in 1814 and the Ensuing 185 Years.” by Blaine Bettinger.

This reenactment rope  is undersized. Plus the locals were the ones who pitched in and they wouldn’t have had hats with feathers.       The original ships’ cable would have been four times as thick and heavy as the one depicted here.


Posted in History, Storied, Veteran | 3 Comments

Our New Brunswick Loyalists

When I was growing up, I thought all our American/Canadian/American ancestors were Loyalists, but my research has discovered most just went to Canada  in the 1760’s for an opportunity.  These strict Puritans were overwhelmed when the Loyalists arrived in 1783.   See my post New England Planters in New Brunswick.   

While we had 15 ancestral families who immigrated to and from Canada, Nathaniel and Jonathan PARKS were our only direct ancestors who were actually resettled Loyalists. There were several cousin and in-law Loyalists, however.

Jonathan’s Uncle Peter even had his 3 Durham Boats, 1 Skiff, a chain and crowbar, 16 setting pole irons, 8 pair of oars, pots, axes, chest etc. confiscated in December 1776 and maybe used by  Washington’s to cross the Delaware on Christmas night.

Here’s our Loyalists’ story.

Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to Great Britain (and the British monarchy) during the Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called ToriesRoyalists, or King’s Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution. When their cause was defeated, about 20% of the Loyalists fled to other parts of the British Empire, in Britain or elsewhere in British North America, especially Ontario and New Brunswick, where they were called United Empire Loyalists. Most were compensated with 200 acres of Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures.

Loyalist Landing in Parrtown – The Harriet Irving Library at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B. is a repository of Loyalist resources which is unique in Canada. The Loyalist Collection is a special collection on microfilm of North American colonial and early Canadian primary sources from approximately 1760 – 1840. The chief focus is directed toward the American Revolution and the early years of Loyalist settlement in British North America

Historians‘ best estimates put the proportion of adult white male loyalists somewhere between 15 and 20 percent. Approximately half the colonists of European ancestry tried to avoid involvement in the struggle — some of them deliberate pacifists, others recent immigrants, and many more simple apolitical folk. The patriots received active support from perhaps 40 to 45 percent of the white populace, and at most no more than a bare majority.

The largest number of loyalists were found in the middle colonies: many tenant farmers of New York supported the king, for example, as did many of the Dutch in the colony and in New Jersey. The Germans in Pennsylvania tried to stay out of the Revolution, just as many Quakers did. Highland Scots in the Carolinas stayed loyal to the king. [Our recently arrived Scotch/Irish ancestors in South Carolina were Revolutionaries - See my post Carolina in the Revolution]

The Loyalists rarely attempted any political organization. They were often passive unless regular British army units were in the area. The British, however, assumed a highly activist Loyalist community was ready to mobilize and planned much of their strategy around raising Loyalist regiments. The British provincial line, consisting of Americans enlisted on a regular army status, enrolled 19,000 loyalists (50 units and 312 companies). Another 10,000 served in loyalist militia or “associations.” The maximum strength of the Loyalist provincial line was 9,700 in December 1780 . In all about 50,000 at one time or another were soldiers or militia in British forces, including 15,000 from the main Loyalist stronghold of New York.

During and following the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, Loyalists (especially soldiers and former officials) could choose evacuation. Loyalists whose roots were not yet deeply embedded in the New World were more likely to leave; older people who had familial bonds and had acquired friends, property, and a degree of social respectability were more likely to remain in the US.

Approximately 10 to 15 % left (about 62,000 white Loyalists, or about 2 % of the total US population of 3 million in 1783). Many of these later emigrants were motivated by the desire to take advantage of the British government’s offer of free land, but many also were disillusioned by the continuing hostility to Tories and eventually decided to leave the new Republic.

The Coming of the Loyalists by Henry Sandham showing a romanticised view of the Loyalists’ arrival in New Brunswick

About 46,000 went to British North America. Of these 34,000 went to Nova Scotia [which included New Brunswick at the time], 2,000 to Prince Edward Island and 10,000 to Ontario.   7,000 went to Great Britain and 9,000 to the Bahamas and British colonies in the Caribbean.  The 34,000 who went to Nova Scotia, where they were not well received by the residents who were mostly descendants of New Englanders settled there between the Acadian expulsion (1755-1763) and the Revolution. In 1784, the colony of New Brunswick was separated from  Nova Scotia for the 14,000  loyalists who had settled in those parts.

With the arrival of the Loyalist refugees in Parrtown (Saint John) in 1783, the need to politically organize the territory became acute. The newly arrived Loyalists felt no allegiance to Halifax and wanted to separate from Nova Scotia to isolate themselves from what they felt to be democratic and republican influences existing in that city.

On May 18, 1785 the two towns of Carleton and Parrtown amalgamated to form the City of Saint John – Canada’s first incorporated city.

They felt that the government of Nova Scotia represented a Yankee population which had been sympathetic to the American Revolutionary movement, and which disparaged the intensely anti-American, anti-republican attitudes of the Loyalists. “They [the loyalists],” Colonel Thomas Dundas wrote from Saint John, New Brunswick, Dec 28, 1786, “have experienced every possible injury from the old inhabitants of Nova Scotia, who are even more disaffected towards the British Government than any of the new States ever were. This makes me much doubt their remaining long dependent.  These views undoubtedly were exaggerated but there was no love lost between the Loyalists and the Halifax establishment and the feelings of the newly arrived Loyalists helped to sow the seeds for partition of the colony.

The British administrators of the time, for their part, felt that the colonial capital (Halifax) was too distant from the developing territories to the west of the Isthmus of Chignecto to allow for proper governance and that the colony of Nova Scotia therefore should be split. As a result, the colony of New Brunswick was officially created with Sir Thomas Carleton the first governor on Aug 16, 1784.

New Brunswick was named in honour of the British monarch, King George III, who was descended from the House of Brunswick (Haus Braunschweig in German, derived from the city of Braunschweig, now Lower Saxony). Fredericton, the capital city, was likewise named for George III’s second son, Prince Frederick Augustus, Duke of York.

The choice of Fredericton (the former Fort Anne) as the colonial capital shocked and dismayed the residents of the larger Parrtown (today’s Saint John). The reason given was because Fredericton’s inland location meant it was less prone to enemy (i.e. American) attack. Saint John did, however, become Canada’s first incorporated city and for a long time was one of the dominant communities in British North America. Saint John also found itself home to the American traitor Benedict Arnold; whose questionable local business dealings meant that the local Loyalists also came to despise him.

Our Loyalists

In Canadian heraldry, Loyalist descendants are entitled to use a Loyalist coronet in their coat of arms. 

Loyalists military coronet

Loyalists civil coronet

Peter Parlee Sr.

Peter’s father Jean PERLIER III was born 5 Sep 1703 in Staten Island, New York. His baptism in the French (Huguenot) Church in New York City on 19 Sep 1703.  His father and grandmother were Protestant refugees from La Treamblade, Charante, France.

He married Abagail JONES on 13 Jun 1734 in Edison, Bergen, New Jersey. He moved to the Jersey settlement in North Carolina between 1750 and 1760 and became John Purlear. Possibly, he married Ann [__?__] and had seven more children. John died in 1771 in Davidson North Carolina.

Jean Perlier was baptized in the Huguenot Church New York City – “Saint-Esprit”, the French Reformed Church on Pine Street, New York,

Jean’s son Peter Parlee Sr. was baptized “Pieter Parliez” 13 Jun 1736 in St. Andrews Church, Fresh Kill, Staten Island, NY. Peter was a Loyalist and died in 1821 in Sussex Vale, Kings County, New Brunswick.

Parlee Brook Ice Falls near Sussex, New Brunswick.  —  Peter left dozens of grandchildren in the area.  Parlee Brook is named for the family.

Peter had five boys and at least 45 Parlee grandchildren, so they were able to found the hamlet of Parlee Brook all on their own.

Parlee Brook is one of the ice climbing meccas in New Brunswick. Nestled in a hidden canyon, lies several (12) ice lines ranging from WI 2 to 4+. The ice begins to form around mid December.  More pictures of ice climbing at Parlee Brook.

Directions: Make your way to Sussex, then to Waterford (follow the blue signs to the Poley Mountain ski area). Before you reach the ski hill, turn right onto the Parlee Brook Road. The road is paved but becomes dirt. Once you see “The Abbey” take the road before it called Arnold’s Hollow Road. The province maintains this road but it can get pretty rough or washed-out near the bottom. Head up the hill, then down the hill and park opposite the camp. Walk for about 5 minutes until you come to an area on the left that has been logged. Go past a very “burly” spruce tree on your left (see pics) and look for a very small stream that crosses the road. Turn left up this stream; it will lead you into the amphitheatre.

Peter’s second wife Lydia Robbins was born in 1735 in Amwell, Hunterdon, New Jersey. Her parents were John Robbins and Eleanor [__?__]. Lydia died 21 Mar 1820 in Sussex Vale, Kings, New Brunswick, Canada  John Robbins’ farm was an original land grant to the Robbins family from the descendants of William Penn. It is now know as “Robbins’ Nest Farm.” John and Eleanor’s children were: John Jr., Cornelius, Job, Anna, Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, Jane, Rachel, Lydia and Catherene.

Peter  met and married Lydia Robbins in Amwell Township, Hunterdon, New Jersey, the same place Elizabeth met Nathaniel PARKS, as the Robbins family lived there also.  He is located in Durham Township, Bucks Co., PA before the American Revolution. His name also appears on several Muster Rolls for the 2nd New Jersey Volunteers, an Artillery Battalion. At the close of the War, his land was confiscated and he resettled in Sussex, New Brunswick, after being captured by American forces at least twice. Peter was married twice, but his first wife’s name is not known. His second marriage was to Lydia Robbins (married between 1764 and 1774).

Peter was a British Loyalist.  By 1740, Pennsylvania had become the nation’s first melting pot.  The 1775 tax records show Peter owned a large farm of 164 acres in Durham Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which was directly across the Delaware River from Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County New Jersey, where his sister Elizabeth lived with her husband, another Loyalist who relocated to New Brunswick Nathaniel PARKS. Nathaniel owned land in both Hunterdon County NJ and in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

One of the most informative documents is Peter’s claim for losses submitted to the British authorities in 1786″

” Peter Parlier, late of Bucks County in the province of Pennsylvania,  but now of York County in the Province of New Brunswick, begs leave humbly to represent, that at the commencement of the unhappy dissensions he was possessed of a real estate for which he had honestly paid and expended in improvements the sum of three hundred pounds Pennsylvania currency. And that he also possessed various other property as enumerated in the annexed schedule.

That your Memorialist in consequence of his loyalty to his Sovereign and attachment to the British Goverment, has suffered a loss of all the said property by its being taken and destroyed or confiscated and sold by the Americans.

That your Memorialist joined the British Army in April 1777 after suffering grevious persecutions and abuses. He immediately enlisted as a private solider in the 2nd Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers commanded by Lieut. Col. Allen, in which batttalion he continued to serve until the same was disbanded.

That in April 1779 he was employed in the recruiting service and was taken prisoner and robbed of forty pounds.

That in 1781 he was taken prisoner again and confined three months and was at the expense of at least thirty pounds. That your Memorialist exerted himself to the best of his ability in the King’s service and was frequently employed in dangerous and arduous services, as he can make appear.

That he is now with a wife and five children reduced to poverty. He therefore humbly hopes that the Commissioners will take his case into consideration allow him to produce evidences of the facts herein set forth when they shall arrive in the Providence of New Brunswick and otherwise relieve him. And as in duty bound, Peter Parlee. “

The attached summary of his losses provides the following information:

” Schedule of property belonging to Peter Parlier, taken from him in December 1776 and destroyed to prevent the British Army from crossing the river Delaware. [Peter lived just a few miles from Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, which occurred on the night of December 25–26, 1776]

3 Durham Boats
1 Skiff, a chain and crowbar
16 setting pole irons
8 pair of oars, pots, axes, chest etc.

Captain Thatcher, Daniel Shannon, Joseph Parks, Thomas Simmons

Durham boat used in a reenactment of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River

The Durham boat was a large wooden boat first produced by the Durham Boat Company of Durham, Pennsylvania, starting in 1750. They were designed by company owner Robert Durham to navigate the Delaware River and thus transport the products produced by the Durham Forges and Durham Mills to Trenton, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  From about 1803 – 1820, a larger version of the Durham boat was crucial to operations on the waterway connecting the Hudson River to Lake Ontario via the Mohawk River.

They were flatbottomed boats – provided with keels – with high vertical side which ran parallel to each other up to a point 12 to 14 feet  from the boat’s ends, where they then tapered. The boats were constructed of 1.25-inch   thick planks and measured up to 60 feet  long by 8 feet  wide by 42 inches   deep. They displaced a draft of 3.5 inches when light and 28 inches when fully loaded. Since both ends were tapered, either end could serve as the bow of the boat since the heavy steering gear, called a “sweep.” could be shifted to either end. As a result, the boat could go in either direction depending on the placement of the steering sweep and the movement of the poles or oars.

They were designed to be able to carry a maximum load of 17 tons while traveling downstream and two tons while traveling upstream. Thus they could carry 150 barrels  of flour or 600 bushels of corn. It took three or four men, plus a steersman, to operate the boats. Moving downstream they used 12-foot  to 18-foot  long “setting poles” mainly for steering and when moving upstream they used these poles to push the boats upriver. The crew walked back and forth on “walking boards” built into the sides of the boats. Some were later fitted for the use of oars.

From 1803-1820, Durham boats were the watercraft of choice on the waterway for traffic between the Hudson River and Lake Ontario via the Mohawk River. The eastern terminus of this waterway was in Schenectady, New York, and the Durham boats were also known as Schenectady boats in this region.  The waterway was the major one connecting the eastern seaboard of the United States to the continental interior. The improvements to it that made the use of Durham boats practicable were an important prelude to the construction of the Erie Canal. Durham boats aren’t designed as canal boats, and their era on the waterway along the Mohawk largely ended with the canal’s opening in 182

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanue Leutze 1851

Socorro at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art — May 29, 2012  This is the second version that Leutze painted.  The first version was destroyed in the bombing of Bremen in World War II.

Back to the list of Pete Parlier’s losses:

February 1778
Taken for fines levied for not turning out against the King’s Army
2 Cows
1 Horse
Cornelius Parlier and Peter Parlier Jr.

Taken by James Morgan from the wife of Peter Parlier by order of Congress – November 1779
25 Bushels Buckwheat
30 Bushels Rye
5 Stocks Bees
Cornelius Parlier and Peter Parlier Jr.

Peter stated that he was on actual service with the King’s Army until October 24 1783 and after that he resided in the Province of New Brunswick. Records show that his property in Bucks County Pa. was sold at public auction the 28th day of June 1780, for the sum of 6600 pounds.

The New Jersey 2nd Battalion served as artillery men. The inception of the corps can be traced to its commander, Lieutenant Colonel John Morris , joining the refugees from Monmouth County on the first arrival of the British fleet off New York in late June of 1776.

Morris, a half-pay lieutenant of the 47th Regiment of Foot who had previous military service, convinced Brigadier General Cortlandt Skinner and the British that he could raise a battalion, and therefore declined serving under Elisha Lawrence. With the British entry into New Jersey in late November of 1776, his plans commenced.

Morris competed directly with Elisha Lawrence in seeking recruits from his home area of Monmouth County. As quickly as he raised men they were thrown into action. On 2 January 1777 four of his men were killed in battle and as many as thirty others captured near Monmouth Court House in Freehold.

The next month they worked in conjunction with the British 26th Regiment of Foot in surprising a large body of militia between New Brunswick and Perth Amboy. In addition to the troops at New Brunswick, there was a detachment in garrison at Sandy Hook, providing a guard for the important light house there.

This would be the sum of their operations while in garrison at New Brunswick until 30 April 1777 when they were ordered to New York to commence immediate service with the Royal Artillery Regiment.

Attaching the 2nd battalion to the Royal Artillery was a stop-gap measure designed to make up for a shortfall in regular artillery men from England. It was suggested that Sir William Howe, the British Commander in Chief, might raise a new Provincial regiment of 300 men to fill this need. Needing the men for immediate service though, Howe could not wait for the amount of time it would take to recruit that many men.

General Sir William Howe made the 2nd New Jersey an Artillery Battalion

The 2nd battalion, roughly the number of 300 men, was therefore chosen as a mark of honor for their service to that point. They would have to learn the trade of artillery on the job, as the bulk of the battalion set sail in July of 1777 with Howe and thousands of British, German and Provincial soldiers to do battle with Washington and capture Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Campaign was a successful one, both for the British and the 2nd battalion. While losing perhaps only one man total through the bloody battles of Brandywine and Germantown, they were swarmed with new recruits, many of them deserters from the Continental Artillery at Valley Forge.

Others were Loyalists from the lower counties of New Jersey on the Delaware, while a whole company under Captain Donald Campbell was added from Major William Stark’s corps of New Hampshire Volunteers. Despite the name, this company had been raised in Philadelphia, being added to the NJV in January of 1778.

The men enjoyed their stay in comfortable quarters in Philadelphia. Their main duties, when not being instructed in the artillery exercise, involved gathering and stacking firewood, sometimes forming detachments to make incursions for this purpose in the countryside.

They formed a part of the army under Lt. Colonel Charles Mawhood that located and destroyed two militia outposts at Quintin’s and Hancock’s Bridges in South Jersey. Some of the men were given to the different British brigades to help serve the battalion guns attached to them. They were augmented later in the spring by the rest of the battalion from New York, minus Lieut. Colonel Morris who was in ill health.

With the evacuation of Philadelphia, the battalion marched with the Royal Artillery back to New York. Before reaching Sandy Hook, their point of embarkation to the city, they fought in the largest encounter of the war, the Battle of Monmouth.

The past year’s training came into great use, as the artillery was engaged heavily throughout the contest. An indication of the fierceness of the fighting and their forward role in it is their loss of four men killed serving the guns while the Royal Artillery lost none. The Battle of Monmouth would prove the last time they would fight with the entire battalion present.

Once returned to New York, the men were divided up among every outpost on the lines and every brigade in the army. While the men did their duty, it proved of little service to the officers. Since the men were doled out in fives and sixes, these detachments were too few in number to be commanded by a commissioned officer.

With no other duties to attend to, the officers’ chief function was to sit on whatever court martial might present itself, an unglamourous duty indeed and hardly one for which they would have signed on.

The duty with the artillery would continue through 1779 and lead to a bizarre incident involving Brigadier General Skinner and Lt. Col. Morris. Skinner had lost touch with the battalion while in Philadelphia and had exerted little control over them after their return.

Wishing to correct that, he asked for bi-monthly states of the battalion which Morris refused, claiming he was not under Skinner’s command. Morris was eventually placed under arrest and tried for disobedience of orders, found guilty and sentenced to minor punishment. Even this, though, was remitted by Sir Henry Clinton, who had replaced Howe as Commander in Chief.

The 2nd battalion was finally given its freedom from the artillery in November of 1779 and was once again allowed to consolidate and act as a battalion of infantry.

To their dismay, the many months of artillery service had bled them of manpower. Virtually no recruiting had been done since Philadelphia, and there were no men to replace the many desertions, deaths and discharges that had occurred since.

When they made their way to their various posts on Long Island (Jericho, Jerusalem and finally Lloyd’s Neck), they barely numbered 150 officers and men. Thankfully for them, they were able to recruit a goodly number of Rebel deserters (and possibly a few prisoners of war) to help bolster the ranks.

While at Lloyd’s Neck the battalion saw little or no action. Their main duties there were to provide guards for the various woodcutting parties and shipping. For the latter duty they served as marines on board various armed brigs and sloops of the Quarter Master General’s Department, a task performed by NJV from almost every battalion at some point during the war.

For more action there was always the post at Sandy Hook, where a detachment from the 2nd battalion did duty after June of 1780. Often going out in small parties with armed refugees into Monmouth County, they proved a great nuisance to the countryside, occasionally capturing prisoners, the most notable of whom was Captain Joshua Huddy.

Taken by a party commanded by Lieutenant Josiah Parker, Huddy would be exchanged, only to be captured again and hanged in 1782 by Captain Richard Lippencott of the Associated Loyalists, formerly an officer in the 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers who had several kin in the 2nd battalion.

The post at Lloyd’s Neck was due to be turned over to the Associated Loyalists in June of 1781. With no further need of Provincial forces there, the 2nd battalion commenced its march to Brooklyn, where they would be ferried across to Staten Island. Once there, their career as a battalion was finished, and they were drafted into the 1st and late 4th battalions, one company to the former and three to the latter.

Lieut. Colonel Morris would finish the war uneventfully upon half pay, not having really commanded the battalion since 1777 due to the artillery duty and his later illness. Some of his fellow officers would join him on half pay, while Samuel Richard Wilson , disgraced by a court martial in 1780, found a home in the Royal Garrison Battalion, and Ensign LeGrange joined the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot.

After the war the bulk of the 2nd New Jersey Volunteers arrived at Saint John, Canada on the ship ” Duke of Richmond “. The soldiers received grants of land in a block along the St John River when the regiment was disbanded for their service of the King. Peter settled near Long Creek, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada on July 29 1785. Later Peter Parlier received a grant from the British Government for land in Sussex Township, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada on the north bank of the Big Salmon River.

Footbridge over Big Salmon River

Abiel Peck

Thomas SKINNER’s son-in-law Abiel Peck and daughter Ruth Skinner came to New Brunswick in 1783 as Loyalists and settled in Hopewell Parish, Albert County.

The Peck grant was taken up by Abiel Peck, great-great grandson of Joseph PECK who emigrated from England to Attleboro, Mass. in the year 1636. Abiel Peck was born in 1730 and married Ruth Skinner of Attleboro. He came to Cumberland at the time of the Revolution and shortly after to Shepody where he obtained a large tract of land from the government said to contain 6,000 acres. The most of this land is still owned by the Peck family.

A tombstone in the old Peck burying ground bears this inscription ‘Here lies interred the body of Abiel Peck, a native of Boston, and one of the first settlers of this place, who, on the 16th of Dec., 1802, unfortunately perished in a boat, in the 73rd year of his age, leaving upwards of three score descendants to lament his melancholy fate.’ During his life the country was a comaparitive wilderness with no roads nor means of communication with the different settlements along the shore, except by water. It was upon one of these occasions, while attempting to cross the Bay from Dorchester to his own place in an open boat, that he lost his life. The boat was picked up in a cove near the Joggin, now known as Peck’s Cove. The elder Peck had eleven children.

One of these, Rachel Peck, married Thomas Calhoun, grandfather of George Calhoun, now Registrar of Deeds for Albert Co. The grant was for the most part divided among his immediate family, the last side of the grant, when he had first settled himself, being given to his son Abiel. The next lot, the only one that went outside of the family, was sold to David Hoar from Colchester, N.S. The next farms were occupied by his sons Elisha Peck and Thomas Peck and his sons-in-law, Nicholas Pearson, John Edgett, Oliver Stiles and Joel Edgett.

Nathaniel Parks

Nathaniel PARKS (1738-1818) was Alex’s 6th Great Grandfather; one of 128 in this generation of the Miller line.  While we had 15 ancestral families who immigrated to and from Canada, the Parks were the only clan who were actually resettled loyalists.  When I was growing up, I thought all our American/Canadian/American ancestors were loyalists, but most just went to Canada for an opportunity.   See my post New England Planters in New Brunswick.

Nathaniel and his son Joseph fought in South Carolina against some other of our ancestors.  Almost all our ancestors are northerners, but we do have one group of Scotch/Irish Presbyterian Seceder ancestors who immigrated to  Ninety-Six District, later Abbeville County, and Chester County South Carolina in the late 1700′s, just in time for the Revolutionary War.  Our branch followed their minister Alex. Porter to Preble County, Ohio in the early 1800′s, supposedly to avoid contact with the institution of slavery, but before they left, the second generation fought in the Revolution.   For more details, see my post Carolina in the Revolution.

Nathaniel Parks was born c. 1738 in Kingwood Township, Hunterdon Co., New Jersey His parents were Jonah PARKS and perhaps  Elizabeth PARLEE . He married Elizabeth PARLEE in 1760 some sources say in Canaan, Connecticut.    Nathaniel and his son Joseph enlisted in the loyalist 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (known as Skinners Greens) on 6 June 1778.  Nathaniel was 40 when he enlisted and his son was 18 years old.  The N.J. Volunteers were relocated to Canada arriving in Parrtown New Brunswick  in Oct 1783 aboard the Duke of Richmond (Parrtown was renamed Saint John in 1785.  “Saint” is written out to distinguish it from St. John’s Newfoundland.).Both Nathaniel and Joseph are on the battalion land grant list for King’s County, New Brunswick on 14 July 1784.Nathaniel died in 1818 in New Brunswick, Canada

St John

Elizabeth Parlee was born in 1740 in Hunterdon, New Jersey.  Her parents were Jean PERLIER III and Abigail JONES. The Perlier family were from Staten Island, but, after the father’s death in 1723, the family, like many of their neighborns removed to New Jersey. They came by way of Perth Amboy, the Raritan and Millstone Rivers, and thence the branches of said rivers into Hunterdon Co. The Perliers were found in Amwell Township, and this probably is where Nathaniel met and married Elizabeth Perlier.  Her brother Peter Perlier, also, met and married Lydia Robbins in Amwell, as the Robbins family lived there also.  Elizabeth died in 1815 – Saint Martins, New Brunswick, Canada

Nathaniel Parks was a sergeant in Captain Thatcher’s company of the 3rd Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, which was commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen. (The battalion was redesignated as the 2nd Battalion after a regimental reorganization in 1781.)  This battalion served in the New Jersey/New York area until it was ordered south to join in the Southern Campaign. Col. Allen’s battalion served with distinction at the siege of Fort Ninety Six, South Carolina, and later participated in the bloody battle of Eutaw Springs, SC.

Nathaniel’s eldest son, Joseph, served in the same outfit as his father and attained the rank of Corporal. For his service he was granted 200 acres in Sunbury County, New Brunswick, on 24 Feb 1785. Along with his father, Joseph was one of the 73 participants in the four acre St. John River island rights grant.

Nathaniel Parks Timeline

Before the War – Nathaniel Parks was found living on a 50 acre plantation in Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey with his father Jonah Parks who also had 50 acres.  It is quite possible the children were all born there.

1760 – Nathaniel Parkes married Elizabeth Perlier/Parlee.

1767 – Nathaniel and Elizabeth living in West Jersy. Jonathan’s petition for land states he was born in West Jersey.

1777/78 – Nathaniel Parkes paid taxes on land in Kingwood Township, but, no deed has been found. However, he may have had a deed, not registered, and as a result of Nathaniel joining the King’s army his property would be confiscated. see Nov. 22, 1777 ‘Congress recommended the confiscation of all Loyalist estates.’

1778 – Nathanile Parkes joined 2d NJ Vol., as a Sargent. Joseph Parkes, eldest son of Nathaniel Parkes joins the same regiment on the same day.

6 June 1778 – Nathaniel Parks was enlisted by Captain Peter Campbell for his company in the 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (known as Skinners Greens) on  Joseph Parks enlisted as a sergeant in the same company and battalion and on the same date, except that he was enlisted by Lieutenant Bartholomew Thatcher. Both Campbell and Thatcher were from Hunterdon County, New Jersey and the dates of enlistment of the men in their company suggest that the men were enlisted during the British march from Philadelphia to Sandy Hook.

1778 – Sargent, Capt. Bartholomew Thatcher’s Co., 3rd NJV commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen, Staten Island.

In the muster of 31 Aug 1778 however, Nathaniel Parks is listed as the sergeant and Joseph Parks as a private, in now Captain Bartholomew Thatcher’s Company. This was the same company as before, except Peter Campbell did not have the command, as there was much confusion over his eligibility for rank.

Oct 1778. Sargent, Capt. Bartholomew Thatcher’s Co., 3rd NJV commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen, Staten Island.. Staten Island.

29 Dec 1778 – Both Parks sailed with the expedition to take Savannah, Georgia  They subsequently took part in the Franco- American Siege of that city in Sep/Oct 1779.

29 Nov 1779 – They were both listed as sick in quarters, Joseph now promoted to corporal, both still serving in the same company and battalion. Sargent, Capt. Bartholomew Thatcher’s Co., 3rd NJV commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen, Staten Island.. Savahnah.

Both Parks continued in this situation through 1780 and into 1781.

July 1780 – The battalion march in  from Savannah to Augusta, Georgia, and shortly thereafter to Ninety Six, South Carolina. At Ninety Six there were numerous small expeditions and skirmishes, which they may have taken part in. Ironically, another of our ancestors, James McCAW lived in the Ninety Six area and fought for the American side in the South Carolina campaign, see his page for an account of the battles.

May and Jun 1781 – Nathaniel and Joseph took part in the Siege of Ninety Six by the Rebel forces under [our possible relative] General Nathanael GREENE  , and the immediate evacuation of that post after the lifting of that event.

8 Sep 1781 – They also took part in the very bloody Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina,.  Though half the British forces were killed, wounded or captured, the Parks survived apparently unscathed. At this time they were serving in the same company but the battalion had just been renumbered to the 2nd. This was due to the “old” 2nd battalion being under strength and drafted into the 1st and late 4th battalions.

25 Oct  – 24 Dec 1781. Sargent, Capt. Bartholomew Thatcher’s Co., 3rd NJV commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen, Staten Island.. Charlestown.

25 Apr  – 24 Jun 1782. 2nd NJV. Capt. Bartholomew Thatchers Co.

The two Parks were in their same situation, company and battalion at Charlestown in the April 1782 muster. They would continue there until the city was evacuated by the British in Dec 1782, when they sailed back to the British garrison at New York. Joseph Parks was sent with an advance party of the battalion to Nova Scotia with the fleet in the Spring of 1783.  There he remained until joined by Nathaniel and the rest of the battalion that did not take their discharge at New York.

24 Jun  – 27 Aug 1783. 2nd NJV. Commanded by Major Robert Drummond. Sick in quarters.

25 Aug – 24 Oct 1783. 2nd NJV. Commanded by Lt. Col. Isaac Allen.

10 Oct 1783 – The battalion was disbanded and they were discharged on that day.

A Plaque that represents the Landing of the Loyalists which is at the mouth of the St John River in St John New Brunswick. At the time of the landing this area was known as Nova Scotia.

Oct 1783 – Came to Canada on ship, ‘Duke of Richmond’.

Parks, Nathaniel Source: LLC w: Elizabeth Parlee. Child: John, Jonathan, David, Mary, Nathan, Sarah, Rachel. Fr: New Jersey ? Stl: St. Martins, NB, CA Reg: Sargent in 2nd, NJ Volun.

The N.J. Volunteers arrived in Parrtown in Oct  1783 aboard the 865 ton warship Duke of Richmond, captained by Richard Davis.

14 Jul 1784. – Both are on the battalion land grant list for King’s County, New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Counties

21 Jul 1784 – Grant #113, Kingsclear, Sunbury Township, Block 2 (for NJV).

1784 – Loyalist Settlement List Return of People, near Long’s Creek, 2nd NJV:

Parks, Nathaniel: 1 man, 1 woman, 6 children over 10, 1 under 10.

24 Feb 1785 – Nathaniel received a grant of 600 acres in Sunbury County, NB on He was also one of 73 individuals who were granted four acres, designated as “Island Rights”, on an island in the St. John River, NB. This grant was dated 08 Aug 1789. I believe the island in question is in the vicinity of Frederickton.

1 Feb 1788 – Petition #282, land purchased from William Mills lying between Thomas Nay and Phillis Creek.

3 Aug 1789 – Grant #201, islands in Saint John River, Fredericton. Grant recalled and regranted 1 Feb 1793.

23 Oct 1790 – purchased lot #10, Dibbles Survey, 3rd range, Queens County. Witnessed by David Parke.

4 Oct 1799 – Grant recalled and regranted.

9 Jan 1802 – sale of lot #10 Dibbles Survey, 3rd range.

26 Feb 1823 – Named in petition #1121, John MacDonald, regarding land on road to Belleisle from Washademoak.

Joseph Parks

Nathaniel’s oldest son Joseph Parks (~1760 New Jersey- ? New Brunswick)

1778 – Nathaniel Parkes joined 2d NJ Vol., as a Sargent. Joseph Parkes (age 18), eldest son of Nathaniel Parkes joins the same regiment on the same day.

6 Jun 1778 – Nathaniel Parks was enlisted by Captain Peter Campbell for his company in the

3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (known as Skinners Greens) . Joseph Parks enlisted as a sergeant in the same company and battalion and on the same date, except that he was enlisted by Lieutenant Bartholomew Thatcher. Both Campbell and Thatcher were from Hunterdon County, New Jersey and the dates of enlistment of the men in their company suggest that the men were enlisted during the British march from Philadelphia to Sandy Hook.

In the muster of Aug 31, 1778 however, Nathaniel Parks is listed as the sergeant and Joseph Parks as a private, in now Captain Bartholomew Thatcher’s Company.

Oct 1778 – Joseph Parks participated in the successful raids on Egg Harbor, New Jersey under Captain Patrick Ferguson and the subsequent surprise of Pulaski’s Legion.

Both Parks sailed with the expedition to take Savannah, Georgia, which was effected on 29 Dec  1778. They subsequently took part in the Franco- American Siege of that city in Sep/Oct 1779. They were both listed as sick in quarters on Nov  29, 1779, Joseph now promoted to corporal, both still serving in the same company and battalion.

Both Parks continued in this situation through 1780 and into 1781. During that period the battalion march in July of 1780 from Savannah to Augusta, Georgia, and shortly thereafter to Ninety Six, South Carolina. At Ninety Six there were numerous small expeditions and skirmishes, which they may have taken part in. Ironically, another of our ancestors, James McCAW lived in the Ninety Six area and fought for the American side in the South Carolina campaign, see his page for an account of the battles. Nathaniel and Joseph took part in the Siege of Ninety Six by the Rebel forces under [our possible relative] General Nathanael GREENE through May and June of 1781, and the immediate evacuation of that post after the lifting of that event. They also took part in the very bloody Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, on 8 Sep 1781, surviving apparently unscathed. At this time they were serving in the same company but the battalion had just been renumbered to the 2nd. This was due to the “old” 2nd battalion being under strength and drafted into the 1st and late 4th battalions.

The two Parks were in their same situation, company and battalion at Charlestown in the April 1782 muster. They would continue there until the city was evacuated by the British in Dec 1782, when they sailed back to the British garrison at New York. Joseph Parks was sent with an advance party of the battalion to Nova Scotia with the fleet in the Spring of 1783.  There he remained until joined by Nathaniel and the rest of the battalion that

did not take their discharge at New York. The battalion was disbanded on 10 Oct 1783 and they were discharged on that day.  Both  are on the battalion land grant list for King’s County, New Brunswick on 14 Jul 1784.

Along with his father, Joseph was one of the 73 participants in the four acre St. John River island rights grant.

Nothing more about Joseph has been published. Perhaps he died soon after.

Josiah Foster

Nathaniel PARK’S son-in-law Josiah Foster  was born 11 Jun 1758 in Elizabeth, New Jersey (this may be a baptism as he is given as b. in St. John’s Church). His parents were Ebenezer Foster (b. 1731 Woodbridge, New Jersey – d. 10 Dec 1787 Kings, New Brunswick) and Mary Beach (b. 1729). He married Sarah Park in Mill Cove, Queens County, New Brunswick in 1783 or shortly before as Sarah’s 1838 petition says she came to NB with her husband . Josiah died 9 Nov 1833 in Waterborough Parish, Queens, New Brunswick, Canada..

Ebenezer was of Dutch descent.  He was a Loyalist. His property in Middlesex Co., New Jersey was confiscated 1 May 1787. He obtained land on an island in the Long Reach called the ‘Isle of Pines’. This later became known as Foster’s Island.’ “Ebenezer Foster was a member for Kings county in the first house of assembly.”

Owned lots 3,4,5 Mill Cove, Parish of Waterborough, Queens Co.

Josiah was a Corporal in the 2nd New Jersey Volunteers, came to New Brunswick with his regiment on the Duke of Richmond bound for the River Saint John.  According to one of Sarah’s petitions for widow’s benefits, he served for seven years. He received a grant of land above Fredericton, only to have it escheated ( a common law doctrine which transfers the property of a person who dies without heirs to the crown or state). Josiah Foster, Nathaniel Parks and Joseph Parks in a list of names of officers and men of the 2nd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers, who received grants of land in King’s County, New Brunswick. Dated 14 July 1784

Josiah married Sarah Park and had nine children so states her petition for assistance in 1839, this was a pension given to ‘Old soldiers and widows of the soldiers of the Revolutionary War’. (RS566 I2/1 1839)

Josiah later received three lots of land on the Grand Lake, very near to where some of the Parke family settled. This property had a nice stream running through it, so Josiah built the firs saw mill in the area and the village became known as ‘Mill Cove‘. The saw mill later burned and then Josiah built a grist mill on the same site.

Josiah and Sarah’s family scattered and the property was sold, the will probate only lists five children. Some may not be living at that time

17 Jan 1838 – Petition of Sarah Foster, widow of the late Josiah Foster who ???? with Revolutionary War pray my for Legislation aid. Discharge and certificate of character enclosed.

To His Excellency Major General, John Harvey RCH and CB Lieutenant Govenor and Commander in Chief of the Province of New Brunswick, To the Honorable President and Member of Her Majesties Legislative Council and the Humble Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly. Humbly herewith,

That your Petitioner is the widow of Corporal Josiah Foster who served for the term of the Seven Years in the 2 Batt NJ Volunteers during the American Rebellion as by reference to the annexed discharge will more fully appear that your Petitioner came to this Province with her Late husband with the Loyalists, that she had reared a family of nine children, that she is now upwards of seventy four years of age and is living on the affectionate bounty of one of her sons. She therefore humbly trusts that the liberality of the Legislature will be extended to her that may be afforded to ???? in her situation and as in duty bound with every way. Sarah Foster. X for her mark.

I hereby certify that my mother has lived with me since the death of my late father and belive that the above petition to be correct. Signed John Foster

Henry Belyea

Nathaniel PARKS’ son-in-law  Henry (Hendrick) Belyea was born 1766 in Cortland Manor, Westchester, New York. His parents were Hendrick Belyea and Engeltje Storm. He married Mary  Parks about 1799 in Oromocto, York, New Brunswick. Henry died 1851 in Greenwich Parish, New Brunswick.

Bilyea, Belyea, Bulyea are just three of the family names of descendants of Louis Boulier (born 1672 in Saintonge, France), a French Huguenot who fled religious persecution in France and ended up becoming part of the early Dutch community in what is now New York. We know very little about Louis, other than that he may have lived in the Netherlands before coming to North America.

Henry’s grandfather, father and brothers were tenant farmers at Philipsburg Manor in Tarrytown NY. Philipsburg Manor is open to tourists today.

Henry and his four brothers served with the British Army during the American Revolution. One of them was taken prisoner. The family lost all of its property and farms in New York because they sided with the losing forces, so the British paid to resettle them in Canada.  He arrived on April 26, 1783, with a fleet of twenty ships carried 7,000 Loyalists from New York City to Nova Scotia.

A legacy of the family lives on in New Brunswick in the form of “Belyea’s Cove” [covered with ice in this Google Maps Satellite View]. in the Saint John River Valley on Washademoak Lake. There is also a Belyeas Point in NB. Belyea’s Point Lighthouse, an 11 metre tall landfall lighthouse located along the Saint John River, near the community of Morrisdale, was built in 1881.

Henry owned land in Parish of Greenwich, Kings Co.

Silas Titus

Nathaniel PARKS’ son-in-law  Silas Titus was born 1765 in New York. His parents were Benjamin Titus and Ruth Bryan.  He married Rachel Parks 27 Dec 1794 at the Anglican Church, Gagetown, New Brunswick.  Silas died in 1817 in New Brunswick, Canada.

When the Loyalists drew lots in 1784, Silas Titus received 100 acres of land at Lorneville, Saint John County, but he did not settle on his grant and it reverted to the government. Instead he followed his family to Queens County and in 1794 he married Rachel Parks at St. John’s Anglican Church, Gagetown.

Early in 1794, Silas Titus and Thomas Creighton were sued by Reuben Williams for an unpaid debt of £10, and appears to have lost the suit. Shortly thereafter Silas Titus sold Lot 25 on Greater Musquash Island, which belonged to his father, probably to pay his debt. After his father went to Canada, in 1802 Silas Titus filed a petition for Lot 8 on the southeast side of the Washademoak Lake, but because the government was not issuing grants during that period, the petition stalled. It is likely that Silas and Rachel Titus lived during the early years of their marriage in proximity to her family near Fredericton. Titus appeared in court records again in 1813, when he was sued by Alexander Nevers and Ezekial Sloot of Fredericton for a promise of £22.

Johannes and Nicholas Emigh

Jonas DeLANGE’s grandchildren Johannes and Nicholas Emigh were Loyalist Soldiers relocated to Canada.

Johannes Emigh was a Loyalist and served in the Revolutionary War on the British side. John Emigh, also seen as John Amey, was born in 1747 in Dutchess Co, New York, and died in Ontario, Canada. He married Evah Stover, daughter of Jacob. Evah was born in 1751. John changed his name to Amey at some point.

Nicholas Emigh was born 1 Dec 1748 in Dutchess Co, New York. He married Margaret Stover. Margaret was born in 1749 in Dutchess Co, New York. Nicholas served in the Revolutionary War (Loyalist).

Abraham Beselie

Robert Willemze’s grandson Abraham Beselie was a scout for Gen. Burgoyne’s troops in the Hudson Valley. At the time that the British troops were escaping or surrendering in the vicinity of Saratoga, Abraham contracted small pox and died.  Several Philipsburgh Beselies moved to Brooklyn.

On 15 July 1783  Abraham’s wife Catherine fled to New York City and on Sep 24, 1783 embarked for Annapolis, Nova Scotia, with two of her sons, Francis and William, on The Peggy mastered by Abraham’s brother, James.

Annapolis Nova Scotia the 5th of January 1786
A true statement of the Estate of Catherine Beasley
Late of the Province of New York Taken and Confiscated in
Consequence of the Deceased Husband[s] loyalty and attachment to the British Government &c &c &C

…To the Honorable Commissioners appointed by His Majesty for looking into the losses and Confiscations of Loyal Subjects, &c &c  &c

Catherine Beasley late of Westchester County in the Province of New York but now of Annapolis in the Province of Nova Scotia, Maketh Oath and saith that She resided in the City of New York from 15th of July 1783 till the 24th of September. Then embarked for Nova Scotia…

The Memorial of Catherine Beasley Widow of Abraham Beasley of Westchester County and Province N York, who became a Guide to Some of General Burgoyns Army making their Escape in N York, at various times, by which means your Memorialists Husband, took, the small pox and leaving her; in the greatest want, and destitute of any help, to assist her, and two helpless Children, your Memorialist, having four sons Grown to the state of Manhood, all entered into His Majesties Service, two of whom was taken by the Rebels, and can not hear whether they are living or dead, the other two, since the Peace Came to this place, where your Memorialist took refuge to–as She could not remain Peaceable, upon her own possessions, Most humbly begs that She may be assisted by His Majestys Most Gracious Act &c &c &c

And she will ever Pray
Catherine  X  Beasley (Her Mark)
Annapolis [Nova Scotia]  January 19th 1786

Elizabeth’s claim for assistance was rejected by the Crown. The hardships in Annapolis were more than she could endure. She returned to New York, accompanied by Francis and William, on the same vessel Peggy

Elizabeth’s claim for assistance was rejected by the Crown. The hardships in Annapolis were more than she could endure. She returned to New York, accompanied by Francis and William, on the vessel “Peggy“, again mastered by James Beselie. They settled in Brooklyn to rebuild their lives, living, it appears from the 1790 census, in the household of her son, William and his wife, no children. The 1800 census shows William (under 45), and suggests his wife and mother (both over 46), a daughter and a son both under ten. The 1810 census indicates the absence of William and his mother, but his widow and two daughters are listed.

David Currie

Zebulon ESTEY’s son-in-law  David Currie was born 29 Apr 1767 in Peekskill, New York. Curry can be spelled Currie, Currey, Corey, or Corry. His parents were Joshua Currey and Eunice Travis  David married Dolly Estey 9 Jan 1791 Gagetown Anglican Church By Rev. Richard Clarke.  His nephew Joshua married Dolly’s sister Phoebe. He left Peekskill with his loyalist parents, sailing to Gagetown in 1783. David died 12 Aug 1827 in Upper Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada.

When the American Revolution broke out, Joshua Curry took up arms for the British. His neighbors were on the side of independence, and he had to flee from home under cover of night. Three hundred miles lay between him and the nearest British camp; however, he reached there in safety, and enlisted as a soldier. Before long he was promoted to Lieutenant. His family supposed he was dead as they did not her from him till the war was over. In the fall of 1783, rather than be disloyal to England, he, with his family, left his beautiful home in Peekskill New York and went to New Brunswick, landing at the mouth of the St. John river, in November. They spent the winter there, and in the spring went up the river and purchased land in the parishes of Gagetown and Canning.”

David and Dorothy took up their abode in Canning, and God prospered them exceedingly. They owned nearly two thousand acres of land on both sides of the river. There were born to them ten sons and two daughters. The fifth son, whose name was John, and who was born in 1788, married Ann Upton and had nine children. He carried on a large tanning business and was quite wealthy. He died in 1876. His brother George is the only surviving member of the family (1897) and he has lived to see seven generations, both ancestors and descendants.

George Adkin Hartley

Richard ESTEY II’s son-in-law George Adkin Hartley was born 1759 in Newcastle, Northumberland, England or Canterbury, Kent, England, He married Abigail Estey in Sunbury County in 21 Apr 1788, but moved to Woodstock, Carleton County. George died 2 Sep 1812 in Burton Parish, Sunbury County, New Brunswick. Abigail lived for 32 more years.

George was a Sergeant in the King`s American Regiment. George was wounded several times while fighting as a Soldier in King George’s Guards during American Revolution. Granted Regimental land in Canterbury Parish, York County, New Brunswick, Canada.

The Regiment was raised in New York in December, 1776 by Colonel Edmund Fanning as the Associated Refugees. This one regiment served in six major campaigns across the length of the eastern seaboard. They fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, ending their service by being placed on the regular British Establishment, an honor bestowed on but a handful of Loyalist units.

It served in the attacks on Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery. It took part in relief of Newport, raids in Virginia and operations in Georgia and East Florida. It was taken into the American Establishment on March 7, 1781 as the 4th American Regiment. It was taken into the British Establishment on December 25, 1782, possibly as the 110th Regiment of Foot and disbanded in Canada in 1783.

Gathering for the Parade, Loyalist Centennial, Saint John, New Brunswick in 1883

Posted in History, Immigrant - North America, Storied, Veteran | 3 Comments

Dudley Coleman Extra Pix

Many of these pictures are from the Gilbert family homestead, thought lost forever and recently rediscovered.

Dudley COLEMAN (1805 – 1865) was Alex’s 4th Great Grandfather, one of 32 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Dudley Coleman was born 17 Nov 1805 in  Vassalboro Maine. His parents were Joseph COLEMAN and  Mary CROSS. Dudley married Cynthia Maria RICHARSON 29 Oct 1829 in China, Kennebec, Maine.   Dudley died 25 Sep 1865

Cynthia Maria Richardson was born 18 May 1811 in Vassalboro, Maine and died 9 Mar 1899 at the residence of her daughter Susannah  Hathaway in  Stillwater, Washington, Minnesota and is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Stillwater.

Children of Dudley and Cynthia:

8. Elvira, 7.  Charles,  6. Eliza and sitting  1.  Cynthia Maria Coleman
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Coleman Children August 1906

Coleman Children August 1906
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

1908 —  9. Seth Coleman standing, 4. Roxanna Coleman Lovejoy, 6. Eliza Coleman, 8. Elvira Gilbert, on step, Belle and Eleanor lill Sholes, Emma Coleman and Etta
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Dudley Coleman Children Aug 16, 1906: Standing 9. Seth & Emma, Sitting 8. Elvira, 4.  Roxanna
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

1. Cynthia Maria Eastman Coleman (1830 – 1897) m.   1 Dec 1857 Augusta, Maine to Daniel Foster

2. Guilford Dudley COLEMAN (See his page)

3. Susannah Richardson Coleman(1834 – 1916) m. 23 Jun 1852 Vassalboro to  Calvin Hathaway

Children of Susannah and Calvin:

iv. Effie and v. Addie Hathaway in Stillwater, MN
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

i.  Elbridge C. Hathaway  (1853 – bef. 1860)

ii. Alice H. Hathaway (1854 – 1856)

iii. Willis Hiram Hathaway (1859-1929)  m. Mary Josephine Woods.

Mr. and Mrs. Willis Hathaway
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Willis’ daughter Carrie Belle Hathaway 3 years  — birth Feb 21 1897 Stillwater, MN
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Willis’ son Franklin “Frank” Woods Hathaway b. 26 Sep 1899 in Minnesota
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

iv. Elizabeth B. ” Effie” Hathaway (1863-1917); m. 6 Jan 1890 Stillwater, Minnesota to John Burnham Northey

Effie Hathaway age 19 years May21, 1882
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

v. Adalide “Addie” Eastman Hathaway  (1866-1921)  Adalide didn’t married and lived her whole life in Stillwater.

Hathaway Stillwater, MN
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

vi. Harry Lincoln Hathaway (1869-1935)  m.7 Nov 1893 Minnesota to Emma Herrn

vii. Calvin Hathaway (1871-bef. 1880)

viii. Annie Shakespere Hathaway  (1874-1882)

4. Roxanna “Roxie” Parmenter Coleman  (1835 – 1926) m1.  20 Apr 1854 to Augustus Plummer; m2. 5 Sep 1863 Kennebec, Maine to Charles R. Church; m3. 22 Aug 1869 to Marcellus Lovejoy

5. Judith Coleman (1836 – 1898) m. bef. 1863 to Milton Lapham

6. Eliza Ann Coleman (1837 – aft. 1930) m. 1858 Edward Lang

Eliza Coleman Lang
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Eliza Ann Coleman Lang
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Eliza Ann Coleman Lang
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Eliza Coleman Lang Studio at 513 Congress St
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Eliza Ann Coleman Lang in her 90’s
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Eliza Coleman Lang,  he daughter Belle Lang Cropley, Lill Dunham Shales

Eliza Coleman Lang, her daughter Belle Lang Cropley, and her granddaughter Lill Dunham Shales

Children of Eliza and Edward

i. Rosetta Hotten Lang (1859-aft. 1920)  m1. 14 Nov 1877 to John F. Dunham; m2. Oscar Franklin Skillings; m3. 20 Mar 1920 in Westbrook, Main to her cousin  Seth Elison Gilbert

ii. Edward M. Lang  (1865-1932) ; m. 1888 to Ella M. Freeman

Edward Lang Jr

Edward Lang Jr
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

iii. Charles Elden Lang (1872-1961)  m. 12 Sep 1894 to Ruth E. Merrill

Ed and Charley Lang

Ed and Charley Lang
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

C E Lang age 20 1892

C E Lang age 20 1892
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

iv. George Burnnham Lang  (1873-1970)   m. 3 Jun 1896 to Fannie Foster Cobb

George and Fanny Lang

George and Fanny Lang
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

 v.Eliza Belle Lang (1876-aft. 1960) m. 16 Sep 1896 Alton Irving Cropley

Belle Lang Cropley
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Belle Lang Cropley
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Belle Lang Cropley
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson


7. Charles Richardson Coleman (1841 – 1911) m1.  25 Nov 1865 Vassalboro to Mary E. Gardiner; m2. 12 Jun 1904 Vassalboro to Augusta “Abbie” Stewart

Charles Richardson Coleman

Charles Richardson Coleman
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Charles R Coleman 57 years taken Dec 21, 1897

Charles R Coleman 57 years taken Dec 21, 1897
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Charles R Colman ninety years - 1

A Poem Charles R Colman wrote to celebrate his ninetieth birthday

Charles R Colman ninety years - 1
Charles R Colman ninety years - 2

Children of Charles and Mary

i. Effie Hathaway Coleman (1866 – 1937)  m. 8 Jan 1887 in Augusta Maine to Duncan Christopher Walker

Effie Walker and children: left to right  Nellie Edna Walker, Ralph Waldo Walker and Elsie May Walker  May 12, 1917 Newton, Mass.
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Effie Coleman Walker taller women
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Ralph Waldo Walker (1895 – 1935)
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Mr. and Mrs. (the former Rosa Marie Shurll) Ralph Walker — Boston July 1924
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

ii Lillian May Coleman (1869 -1946)   m. 21 Sep 1889 to Charles F. Connor

Lillian Coleman Connor
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Lillian and Charles F Connor and their daughter Aline – June 1906
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Charles, Aline and Lillian Connor June 14, 1913
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

iii. George Weston Coleman (1876 -1923)

George Weston Coleman 21 yr 1 mo 29 days taken Dec 21 1897

George Coleman, Mr Whitney,  Stella Perry — At Camp Meeting July 1913

iv. Harvey Alexander Coleman (1879 – 1880)

8. Elvira Brown (Alvira, Vi) Coleman (1845 – 1930) m. 25 Nov 1865 Vassalboro to William Wallace Gilbert

i. Infant son Gilbert

ii. Flora M. Gilbert (1866 – 1867)

iii. Edward Leslie Gilbert (1868 – 1939) m. 2 Aug 1899 to Carrie Viola Johnson

Edward Leslie Gilbert

Edward Leslie Gilbert

iv. Seth Elison Gilbert (1869 – 1939) m. 5 Dec 1892 to Elizabeth (Lizzie) M. Jones

Seth Ellison Gilbert

Seth Ellison Gilbert

v. Jesse Stevens Gilbert (1872 – 1940) m. 15 Dec 1897 to Estella Blanche Sherman

Jesse Stevens Gilbert

Jesse Stevens Gilbert
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Left to Right Estella (1879 – 1931),   Claire (1900 – 1987),  Doris (1902 – 2001) and Jesse Gilbert

Left to Right Estella (1879 – 1931), Claire (1900 – 1987), Doris (1902 – 2001) and Jesse Gilbert before 1909 when Perry was born

Gilbert kids: Perry (1909 – 1978), Ivan (1920 – ), Claire, Alice (1918 – 2001), Doris in Vassalboro.

Gilbert kids: Perry (1909 – 1978), Ivan (1920 – ), Claire, Alice (1918 – 2001), Doris in Vassalboro.

Gilbert Siblings: Perry, Ivan, Claire, Doris, Alice

Gilbert Siblings: Perry, Ivan, Claire, Doris, Alice
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

9. Seth Richardson Coleman (1847 – 1936) m. 2 Jun 1871 Cedar, MN to Emma Theresa Miars

Seth Coleman

Seth R  and Emma Miars Coleman
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Jul 4 1907 — Picture of Seth R with Cow and Minneapolis friends by Old Mississippi River
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Seth and Emma Coleman
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Seth R Coleman 4 of July taken with horse and Minneapolis friends

Seth R Coleman May 18 1909 age 80 years
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Seth R Coleman Dec 14 1911 (See postcard description)
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Seth R Coleman Postcard – No Whiskers!

Seth and Emma Coleman from a postcard

1922 Seth R Coleman and intended grandaughter Champlain taken in Minnesota Jul 4

Children of Seth and Emma

i. Lula May Coleman (1873 – 1952) m. 19 Jan 1893 to James Edward Henry

ii. Hale Sylvester Coleman (1875 – 1955) m1. Isabella Armstrong; m2. Edith Hagen; m3. Mary Houtte\

iii. Vernon Pratt Coleman (1888 -1946) m. 16 Aug 1922 Minnesota to Alice Christine Gagnelius

Seth and Vernon Coleman

Seth and Vernon Coleman
Photo Courtesy of Margaret Gilbert Peterson

10. Eleanor Coleman (1850 – 1861)

Posted in -6th Generation, Line - Shaw, Storied | Tagged | 1 Comment

Battle of Frenchman’s Creek – Nov 28, 1812

This story is action packed with our relatives achieving their objective Navy SEAL Team 6 style, only to be betrayed by their inept General Alexander Smyth.  Result: our brothers spent two years in POW camp.  Their father  Roger Parke was captured in an action a year later and died a POW.   On the other hand, the General was later elected to Congress and even had a county named after him: Smyth County, Virginia.

Canadians interpreted the commando raid as the direct assault and celebrated the victory.  In the United States, the story is largely forgotten.

After arguing with Brigadier General Peter B. Porter, Alexander Smyth challenged him to a duel, but both men went unscathed. The historian John R. Elting wrote of the duel, stating “Unfortunately, both missed.”

Alexander Smyth (1765-1830)

To be fair, maybe Smyth was a better economist than he was a general.  In The Old Republicans, Norman K. Risjord cites a speech delivered by Virginia Rep. Alexander Smyth on Thursday January 30, 1823 as “the first time it was openly asserted on the House floor” “that the protective tariff was unconstitutional.” Rep. “Smyth maintained that the power to lay and collect taxes was for purposes of revenue only; Congress had no power to protect domestic manufactures”:

The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek is coming up in a few weeks.   The operation was conceived as a raid to prepare the ground for a larger American invasion of Upper Canada (Now Ontario). The Americans succeeded in crossing the Niagara and landing at both of their points of attack. They achieved one of their two objectives before withdrawing but the invasion was subsequently called off, rendering useless what had been accomplished.

Frenchman’s Creek National Historic Site, Niagara Boulevard, Fort Erie, ON

Two of our cousins,  George and Joseph Parke, were captured  and sent to a Quebec POW camp.  They remained there until the War was over in 1815. Their father Roger Park was captured 5 Sept 1813 and died a few weeks later 6 Nov 1813 buried at The Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City, Canada.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City became the first Anglican cathedral built off the British Isles, when it was completed in 1804

Roger Parke, the son of our ancestor Jonah PARKE (1716 – 1785) was born 1755 in Huntingdon, New Jersey.  Ironically, Roger’s older brother Nathaniel PARKS (1738 – 1818) was a sergeant on the Loyalist side and was our only ancestor who was relocated to Canada after the British were defeated.  The Parkes were also our only ancestral family where brothers fought on opposite sides.   Nathaniel and his son Joseph enlisted in the loyalist 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers (known as Skinners Greens) on Jun 6 1778. (See his page for his side of the story)

Roger was married to Elizabeth Dallas on the 6th day of September, 1774 by Rev David Griffin of Shelburne Parish, Loudoun Co., VA. They were listed for 9 years in Loudon Co., paying tithes to Cameron Parish from 1774-1783. Roger Parke was living beside William Parke and Andrew Buckalew in Cameron Parish.

Roger and his family lived in Loudon County, Virginia

1777 – 1783 – 4th Regiment of Virginia; Roger (Rodger McPark, pvt, later records, Roger M Parke, Corporal.) Muster Roll & Pay Roll served with Capt Abraham Kirpatrick’s Company on the 3rd-4th-8th-12th Cont Line.

The 4th Virginia Regiment was raised on Dec 28, 1775 at Suffolk Court House, Virginia for service with the Continental Army. The regiment saw action at the Battle of TrentonBattle of PrincetonBattle of BrandywineBattle of GermantownBattle of Monmouth and the Siege of Charleston. Most of the regiment was captured at Charlestown, South Carolina on May 12, 1780 by the British and the regiment was formally disbanded on January 1, 1783.

Roger had a 400 acre land grant ca 1785-1796 (the Monongalia Co., Court House Burned in 1796). In 1803 Monongalia Co., records, Roger Parke sold 400 acres, on Indian Creek, to James Williamson who later sold to Charles Boyes.

In the War of 1812, at the age of 57, Roger enlisted in Capt. Willoughby Morgan’s 2nd Company Monongalia Co., VA/WV. He was captured Sep 5, 1813 and POW records show he died two months later on Nov 6, 1813 from wounds received at Ft Erie, NY on the Canadian border.  He was buried at the Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City, Canada.

Roger Parke is buried at Holy Trinity the Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City

Roger was probably captured in one of the last Skirmishes at Ball’s Farm, Upper Canada (July 8 – September 6, 1813): A series of skirmishes that occurred just west of Niagara, Upper Canada, between the American and British lines during the blockade of Fort George (July 1 – October 9, 1813).

Blockade of Fort George, Upper Canada (July 1 – October 9, 1813): A British attempt to reoccupy Fort George following their victories at Stoney Creek (June 6, 1813) and Beaver Dams (June 24, 1813). There were frequent skirmishes (Ball Property) and raids (Black Rock) during this period. The blockade was lifted in order to redeploy troops in response to developments elsewhere along the American-Canadian border, especially Wilkinson’s Campaign on the St. Lawrence, which began in October, and the British defeat at Moraviantown in Upper Canada, which occurred on October 5.

1813 – POW Roger Parke Quebec Canada Source: The Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City, Canada.

Monongalia Co., VA/WV court records 1821, Roger Parke’s son in law, Jehu Lash, is assigned as administrator to his estate.

Roger Park Revolutionary War Grant 15 Sep 1823

1823 Coshocton Co Oh Court records, two sons of Andrew Buckalew swore in Court they knew Roger Parks, father of George Parks, personally.

1823 Recorded list of heirs of Roger Parks were named; John, George, Joseph, Jonas, Mary/Polly Lash, Deborah, David, Jonathan & Joshua Parks

Roger’s sons George and Joseph enlisted in the War of 1812 Monongalia Co. VA/WV under Capt. Willoughby Morgan at the same time with their father.  Younger brother Jonathan enlisted Monongalia Co. in 1814 after his father’s death.  George and Joseph were captured at the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek at Ft. Erie 28 Nov 1812 and sent to a Quebec POW camp along with his brother Joseph. They remained there until the War was over in 1815.

Story of the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek

Old Fort Erie as it was imagined in 1814

During the war, the Americans launched several invasions into Upper Canada (present-day Ontario). One section of the border where this was easiest (because of communications and locally available supplies) was along the Niagara River. Fort Erie was the British post at the head of the river, near its source in Lake Erie.

Fort Erie Today

In 1812, two American attempts to capture Fort Erie were bungled by Brigadier General Alexander Smyth. Bad weather or poor administration foiled the American efforts to cross the river.

The Battle of Frenchman’s Creek took place in the early hours of November 28, 1812, in the Crown Colony of Upper Canada, near the Niagara River. The operation was conceived as a raid to prepare the ground for a larger American invasion. The Americans succeeded in crossing the Niagara and landing at both of their points of attack. They achieved one of their two objectives before withdrawing but the invasion was subsequently called off, rendering useless what had been accomplished. The engagement was named, “the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek” by the Canadians, after the location of some of the severest fighting. To contemporary Americans, it was known as, “the Affair opposite Black Rock”.

Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764-1834) Smythe’s commander officer and later 2nd Lieutenant Governor of New York

Failure to spike the British batteries was a major contributor to the earlier American defeat Oct 13  1812 at the Battle of Queenston Heights.  Despite their numerical advantage and the wide dispersal of British forces against an invasion attempt, the Americans, who were stationed in Lewiston, New York, were unable to get the bulk of their invasion force across the Niagara River due to the work of British artillery and reluctance on the part of the undertrained and inexperienced American militia. As a result, British reinforcements were able to arrive and force those Americans on the Canadian side to surrender.

After this defeat, command of the U.S. Army of the Centre on the Niagara Frontier passed from Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer of the New York Militia to his second-in-command, Brigadier General Alexander Smyth of the Regular U.S. Army.  Van Rensselaer, despite having held high rank in the militia for several decades, was, like most American militia officers at the time, virtually untrained and inexperienced.  The Van Rensselaers were the original patroons of Albany New York (See The Manor of Rensselaerswyck).  Clearly, Van Rensselaer was not a good choice to command an entire American army, but politics as much as military tactics dictated many of the military appointments of the day.

Smyth had deeply resented being subordinated to a militia officer and this was the opportunity for which he had been waiting. He immediately planned to invade Canada with 3,000 troops. Assembling his forces at Buffalo, he directed a two-pronged attack in advance of his main invasion. Captain William King, with 220 men, was to cross the Niagara and spike the batteries at the Red House, beside Fort Erie, in order to enable Smyth’s main invasion force to land without facing artillery fire. At the same time, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Boerstler, with 200 men, was to land in Canada between Fort Erie and Chippawa and destroy the bridge over Frenchman’s Creek in order to hinder the bringing-up of British reinforcements to oppose Smyth’s landing.

Two of Roger Parke’s sons were captured at the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek

The British commander-in-chief in North America, Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost, had forbidden any offensive action on the Niagara Frontier. This left the local British forces with no alternative but to wait for the Americans to make the first move and try to counter any attempt at invasion. The regular troops were distributed among the defensive outposts and supplemented with militia and Native American forces.

In a floridly worded proclamation, published on 10 November and addressed “To The Men of New York”, Smyth wrote that, “in a few days the troops under my command will plant the American standard in Canada” and he urged New Yorkers not to “stand with your arms folded and look on in this interesting struggle” but to “advance…to our aid. I will wait for you a few days.”

British Forces

General Smyth had so long and loudly proclaimed his designs against Canada, and had so fairly indicated his probable point of invasion, that the authorities on the other side were prepared to meet him at any place between Fort Erie and Chippewa. Major Ormsby, of the Forty-ninth, with a detachment of that and the Newfoundland regiment, was at the fort. The ferry opposite Black Rock was occupied by two companies of militia under Captain Bostwick. Two and a half miles from Fort Erie, at a house on the Chippewa road, was Lieutenant Lamont, with a detachment of the 49th Regiment of Foot , and Lieutenant King, of the Royal Engineers, with a three and six pounder, and some militia artillerymen. Near the same spot were two batteries, one mounting an eighteen and the other a twenty-four pound cannon, also under Lamont. A mile farther down was a post occupied by a detachment under Lieutenant Bartley; and on Frenchman’s Creek, four and a half miles from Fort Erie, was a party of seventy under Lieutenant McIntyre.   Lieutenant Cecil Bisshopp was at Chippewa with a part of the 41st (Welch) Regiment of Foot Regulars, some militia and military artillery, and near him was Major Hatt with a small detachment of militia. The whole number of British troops, scattered along a line of twenty miles, did not, according to the most reliable estimates, exceed one thousand men.

United States Forces

Captain William King of the 13th U.S. Regiment of Infantry was detailed to attack the Red House with 150 troops and 70 U.S. Navy sailors under Lieutenant Samuel Angus. King’s soldiers came from Captain Willoughby Morgan’s company of the 12th U.S. Regiment of Infantry [the Parke brother's company] and Captains John Sproull and John E. Wool’s companies of the 13th Regiment.

John Ellis Wool (1784-1869) was later the oldest General in the Civil War

The Parke family’s company commander Willoughby Morgan (1785 – 1832) was the son of the famous Daniel Morgan (1736 – 1802) an American pioneer, soldier, and Congressman from Virginia. One of the most gifted battlefield tacticians of the American Revolutionary War, he later commanded troops during the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion.  Willoughby went on to a successful military career of his own, negotiating Indian treaties and rising to the rank of Lt. Col.

Joseph Parke named his son born 26 Apr 1828 “Willoughby” after his commanding officer.  Willoughby Parke (1828-1900) was a blacksmith in Burning Springs, West Virginia.  He enlisted July 1861 as a private in Company C 1st West Virginia Volunteer Calvary Regiment and was discharged Oct 1861; length of service, 3 months.  Discharged for Disabilities.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Boerstler was directed against Frenchman’s Creek with 200 men of his own 14th U.S. Regiment of Infantry. Colonel William H. Winder, commander of the 14th Regiment, was in reserve, with 350 of his own regiment.

Waiting to Start the Attack – Battle of Frenchman’s Creek Reenactment June 24, 2012  Source:

The Action

Captain King’s force landed at the Red House under fire from the defenders and charged Lieutenant Lamont’s detachment of the 49th Regiment. Angus’s sailors, armed with pikes and swords, closed in for hand-to-hand fighting. Lamont’s troops drove back the attackers three times but King made a fourth assault which hit the British left flank and overwhelmed them; capturing Lamont and killing, taking or dispersing all of his men. The victorious Americans set fire to the post, spiked the guns and set off back to the landing-point, where they expected their boats to have re-landed in order to evacuate them. However, in the moonless darkness, King’s force became dispersed and split into two parties: one led by King and the other by Lieutenant Angus. Angus returned to the landing-point and found only four of the party’s ten boats there. Unaware that the six missing boats had not in fact landed, Angus assumed that King had already departed, and he re-crossed the river in the remaining boats. When King’s party reached the landing-point, they found themselves stranded. A search downriver found two unattended British boats, in which King sent half of his men, and the prisoners that he had captured, over the Niagara while he waited with his 30 remaining men for more boats to come from Buffalo and pick him up.

Another Version of the Parke Brother’s Action [from 1869 Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812]

Before the appointed hour on the morning of the Nov 28th, the boats were in readiness under the general superintendence of Lieutenant Angus, of the navy, at the head of a corps of marines and seamen, assisted by Lieutenant Dudley, Sailing-master Watts, of Caledonia fame, and several other naval officers. It was a cold and dreary night. At three in the morning the advanced parties left the American shore for their respective destinations.

One, under Lieutenant Colonel Boerstler, consisted of about two hundred men of Colonel Winder’s regiment, in eleven boats; and the other, under Captain King, was composed of one hundred and fifty regular soldiers, and seventy sailors under Lieutenant Angus, in ten boats.

King’s party were discovered upon the water a quarter of a mile from the shore, and were so warmly [violently] assailed by volleys of musketry and shot from a field-piece at the Red House, that six of the ten boats were compelled to return. The other four resolutely landed in good order, in the face of the storm of bullets and grape-shot from flying artillery; and before King could form his troops on the shore, Angus and his seamen, with characteristic impetuosity, rushed into the hottest fire and suffered considerably.

King formed his corps as quickly as possible, and the enemy were soon dispersed. He then proceeded to storm and take in quick succession two British batteries above the landing-place, while Angus and his seamen rushed upon the field-pieces at the Red House, captured and spiked them, and cast them, with their caissons, into the river. In this assault Sailing-master Watts was mortally wounded while leading on the seamen.

Angus and his party returned to the landing-place, with Lieutenant King, of the Royal Artillery, wounded and a prisoner. Supposing the other six boats had landed (for it was too dark to see far along the shore), and that Captain King and his party had been taken prisoners, Angus crossed to the American shore in the four boats. This unfortunate mistake left King, with Captains Morgan and Sproull, Lieutenant Houston, and Samuel Swartwout, of New York, who had volunteered for the service with the little party of regulars, without any means of crossing.

King waited a while for re-enforcements. None came, and he went to the landing-place for the purpose of crossing, with a number of the British artillerists whom he had made prisoners. To his dismay, he discovered the absence of all the boats. He pushed down the river in the dark for about two miles, when he found two large ones. Into these he placed all of his officers, the prisoners, and one half of his men. These had not reached the American shore when King and the remainder of his troops were taken prisoners by a superior force.

Battle of Frenchman’s Creek Reinactment The big Commemoration is coming up November 28, 2012

Lieutenant Colonel Boerstler made for Frenchman’s Creek but four of his eleven boats, “misled by the darkness of the night or the inexperienced rowers being unable to force them across the current, fell below, near the bridge and were forced to return”. Nevertheless, Boerstler’s seven remaining boats forced a landing, opposed by Lieutenant Bartley and his 37 men of the 49th Regiment. Boerstler led the attack, shooting with his pistol a British soldier who was about to bayonet him. Bartley’s outnumbered force retired, pursued to the Frenchman’s Creek Bridge by the Americans, who took two prisoners. Boerstler’s men were then attacked by Captain Bostwick’s two companies of Norfolk Militia, who had advanced from Black Rock Ferry.

Battle of Frenchman’s Creek Reinactment June 24, 2012 – British Fire Back Source:

After an exchange of fire in which Bostwick’s force lost 3 killed, 15 wounded and 6 captured, the Canadians retreated. Boerstler now encountered another problem: many of the axes provided for the destruction of the Frenchman’s Creek bridge were in the four boats that had turned back and those that were in the seven remaining boats had been left behind when the Americans fought their way ashore. Boerstler dispatched eight men under Lieutenant John Waring to “break up the bridge by any means which they could find”. Waring had torn up about a third of the planking on the bridge when it was learned from a prisoner that “the whole force from Fort Erie was coming down upon them”. Boerstler quickly re-embarked his command and rowed back to Buffalo, leaving behind Waring and his party at the bridge.

Another Version of the Boerster’s Party [from 1869 Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812]

Boerstler and his party, in the mean time, had been placed in much peril. The firing upon King had aroused the enemy all along the Canada shore, and they were on the alert. Boerstler’s boats became separated in the darkness. Seven of them landed above the bridge, to be destroyed, while four others, that approached the designated landing-place, were driven off by a party of the enemy. Boerstler landed boldly alone, under fire from a foe of unknown numbers, and drove them to the bridge at the point of the bayonet. Orders were then given for the destruction of that structure, but, owing to the confusion at the time of landing, the axes had been left in the boat. The bridge was only partially destroyed, and one great object of this advance party of the invading army was not accomplished. Boerstler was about to return to his boats and recross the river, because of the evident concentration of troops to that point in overwhelming numbers, when he was compelled to form his lines for immediate battle. Intelligence came from the commander of the boat-guard that they had captured two British soldiers, who informed them that the whole garrison at Fort Erie was approaching, and that the advance guard was not five minutes distant. This intelligence was correct. Darkness covered every thing, and Boerstler resorted to stratagem when he heard the tramp of the approaching foe. He gave commanding orders in a loud voice, addressing his subordinates as field officers. The British were deceived. They believed the Americans to be in much greater force than they really were. A collision immediately ensued in the gloom. Boerstler ordered the discharge of a single volley, and then a bayonet charge. The enemy broke and fled in confusion, and Boerstler crossed the river without annoyance.

It was sunrise when the troops began to embark, and so tardy were the movements that it was late in the afternoon when all were ready. General Smyth did not make his appearance during the day, and all the movements were under the direction of his subordinates. A number of boats had been left to strand upon the shore, and became filled with water, snow, and ice; and as hour after hour passed by, dreariness and disappointment weighed heavily upon the spirits of the shivering troops.

Meanwhile the enemy had collected in force on the opposite shore, and were watching every movement. At length, when all seemed ready, and impatience had yielded to hope, an order came from the commanding general “to disembark and dine!” The wearied and worried troops were deeply exasperated by this order, and nothing but the most positive assurances that the undertaking would be immediately resumed kept them from open mutiny. The different regiments retired sullenly to their respective quarters, and General Porter, with his dispirited New York Volunteers, marched in disgust to Buffalo.

In response to the attack, Major Ormsby advanced from Fort Erie to Frenchman’s Creek with his 80 men of the 49th Regiment, where he was joined by Lieutenant McIntyre’s 70 light infantrymen, Major Hatt’s Lincoln Militia and some British-allied Native Americans under Major Givins. Finding that Boerstler’s invaders had already gone, and being unable to determine any other enemy presence in the pitch dark, Ormsby’s 300 men remained in position until daybreak, when Lieutenant Colonel Bisshopp arrived from Fort Erie. Bisshopp led the force to the Red House, where they found Captain King and his men still waiting to be evacuated. Outnumbered by ten-to-one, King surrendered and the Parke brothers were captured.

When the news arrived in Buffalo that King had spiked the Red House batteries, General Smyth was overjoyed. “Huzza!” he exclaimed, “Canada is ours! Canada is ours! Canada is ours! This will be a glorious day for the United States!” and he dispatched Colonel Winder with his 350 men across the river to evacuate King and the rest of his force. Winder collected Lieutenant Waring and his party and then landed. However, he had only disembarked part of his force when Bisshopp’s 300 men appeared. Winder ordered his men back to their boats and cast off for Buffalo but his command came under a severe fire as they rowed away, costing him 28 casualties.

According to U.S. Army records, Captain King’s troops had 15 killed and wounded; Lieutenant Colonel Boerstler’s command had 8 killed and 9 wounded; while Colonel Winder had 6 killed and 22 wounded

In spiking the guns at the Red House battery, the Americans had accomplished the more important of their two objectives: an invading force could now land between Chippawa and Fort Erie without facing artillery fire. However, subsequent events would render their service useless.

Female American Soldier Battle of Frenchman’s Creek Reinactment June 24, 2012 – Source:

With the Red House batteries out of action, Smyth immediately pressed on with his invasion plans. However, attempts to embark his 3,000 men ended in chaos; with only 1,200 men managing to board because of a shortage of boats and the artillery taking up an unexpected amount of space on board. Amid torrential rain and freezing cold, a council of war headed by Smyth decided to postpone the invasion pending more thorough preparations that would enable the embarkation of whole force.

On November 31, Smyth tried again, ordering his men to embark two hours before dawn in order to avoid enemy fire. This time, the embarkation was so slow that, two hours after daylight, only 1,500 men were on board. Rather than attempt an amphibious landing in broad daylight, Smyth once again postponed the invasion.  By this time, morale in Smyth’s command had plummeted: “all discipline had dissolved; the camp was a bedlam”. This, and widespread illness among the troops, persuaded a second council of war called by Smyth to suspend all offensive operations until the army was reinforced.

After arguing with Brigadier General Peter B. Porter, Alexander Smyth challenged him to a duel, but both men went unscathed. The historian John R. Elting wrote of the duel, stating “Unfortunately, both missed.”

The Army of the Centre went into winter quarters without attempting any further offensive operations and General Smyth requested leave to visit his family in Virginia. Three months later, without Smyth resigning his commission or facing a court-martial, his name was dropped from the U.S. Army rolls by President James Madison.

Alexander Smyth (1765-1830)

Another version of Smyth’s delays [from 1869 Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812]

It was sunrise when the troops began to embark, and so tardy were the movements that it was late in the afternoon when all were ready. General Smyth did not make his appearance during the day, and all the movements were under the direction of his subordinates. A number of boats had been left to strand upon the shore, and became filled with water, snow, and ice; and as hour after hour passed by, dreariness and disappointment weighed heavily upon the spirits of the shivering troops. Meanwhile the enemy had collected in force on the opposite shore, and were watching every movement. At length, when all seemed ready, and impatience had yielded to hope, an order came from the commanding general “to disembark and dine!” The wearied and worried troops were deeply exasperated by this order, and nothing but the most positive assurances that the undertaking would be immediately resumed kept them from open mutiny. The different regiments retired sullenly to their respective quarters, and General Porter, with his dispirited New York Volunteers, marched in disgust to Buffalo.

Smyth now called a council of officers [November 28.]. They could not agree. The best of them urged the necessity and expediency of crossing in force at once, before the enemy could make formidable preparations for their reception. The general decided otherwise, and doubt and despondency brooded over the camp that night. The ensuing Sabbath dawn brought no relief. Preparations for another embarkation were indeed in progress, while the enemy, too, was busy in opposing labor. It was evident to every spectator of judgment that the invasion must be attempted at another point of the river, when, toward evening, to the astonishment of all, the general issued an order, perfectly characteristic of the man, for the troops to be ready at the navy yard, at eight o’clock the next morning [November 30.], for embarkation. “The general will be on board,” he pompously proclaimed. “Neither rain, snow, or frost will prevent the embarkation,” he said. “The cavalry will scour the fields from Black Rock to the bridge, and suffer no idle spectators. While embarking, the music will play martial airs. Yankee Doodle will be the signal to get under way. . . . The landing will be effected in despite of cannon. The whole army has seen that cannon is to be little dreaded. . . . Hearts of War! to-morrow will be memorable in the annals of the United States.”

“To-morrow” came, but not the promised achievement. All the officers disapproved of the time and manner of the proposed embarkation, and expressed their opinions freely. At General Porter’s quarters a change was agreed upon. Porter proposed deferring the embarkation until Tuesday morning, the 1st of December, an hour or two before daylight, and to make the landing-place a little below the upper end of Grand Island. Winder suggested the propriety of making a descent directly upon Chippewa, “the key of the country.”

This Smyth consented to attempt intending, as he said, if successful, to march down through Queenston, and lay siege to Fort George. Orders were accordingly given for a general rendezvous at the navy yard at three o’clock on Tuesday morning, and that the troops should be collected in the woods near by on Monday, where they should build fires and await the signal for gathering on the shore of the river. The hour arrived, but when day dawned only fifteen hundred were embarked. Tannehill’s Pennsylvania Brigade were not present.

Before their arrival rumors had reached the camp that they, too, like Van Rensselaer’s militia at Lewiston, had raised a constitutional question about being led out of their state. Yet their scruples seem to have been overcome at this time, and they would have invaded Canada cheerfully under other auspices. But distrust of their leader, created by the events of the last forty-eight hours, had demoralized nearly the whole army. They had made so much noise in the embarkation that the startled enemy had sounded his alarm bugle and discharged signal-guns from Fort Erie to Chippewa.

Tannehill’s Pennsylvanians had not appeared, and many other troops lingered upon the shore, loth to embark. In this dilemma Smyth hastily called a council of the regular officers, utterly excluding those of the volunteers from the conference, and the first intimation of the result of that council was an order from the commanding general, sent to General Porter, who was in a boat with the pilot, a fourth of a mile from shore, in the van of the impatient flotilla, directing the whole army to debark and repair to their quarters. This was accompanied by a declaration that the invasion of Canada was abandoned at present, pleading, in bar of just censure, that his orders from his superiors were not to attempt it with less than three thousand men. The regulars were ordered into winter quarters, and the volunteers were dismissed to their homes.

General Porter’s Residence Black Rock

More on Smyth vs. Porter [from 1869 Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812]

This order for debarkation, and the fact that just previously a British major, bearing a flag of truce, had crossed the river and held an interview with General Smyth, caused the most intense indignation, and the most fearful suspicions of his loyalty in the army, especially among the volunteers, whose officers he had insulted by neglect.

The troops, without order or restraint, discharged their muskets in all directions, and a scene of insubordination and utter confusion followed. At least a thousand of the volunteers had come from their homes in response to his invitation, and the promise that they should certainly be led into Canada by a victor. They had imposed implicit confidence in his ability and the sincerity of his great words, and in proportion to their faith and zeal were now their disappointment and resentment.

Unwilling to have their errand to the frontier fruitless of all but disgrace, the volunteers earnestly requested permission to be led into Canada under General Porter, promising the commanding general the speedy capture of Fort Erie if he would furnish them with four pieces of artillery. But Smyth evaded their request, and the volunteers were sent home uttering imprecations against a man whom they considered a mere blusterer without courage, and a conceited deceiver without honor.

They felt themselves betrayed, and the inhabitants in the vicinity sympathized with them. Their indignation was greatly increased by ill-timed and ungenerous charges made by Smyth, in his report to General Dearborn, against General Porter, in whom the volunteers had the greatest confidence.

His person was for some time in danger. He was compelled to double the guards around his tent, and to move it from place to place to avoid continual insults.  He was several times fired at when he ventured out of his marquee. Porter openly attributed the abandonment of the invasion of Canada to the cowardice of Smyth.

A bitter quarrel ensued, and soon resulted in a challenge by the general-in-chief for his second in command to test the courage of both by a duel. In direct violation of the Articles of War, these superior officers of the Army of the Centre, with friends, and seconds,   and surgeons,   put off in boats from the shore near Black Rock, in the presence of their troops, at two o’clock in the afternoon of the 12th of December, to meet each other in mortal combat on Grand Island.

They exchanged shots at twelve paces’ distance. Nobody was hurt. An expected tragedy proved to be a solemn comedy. The affair took the usual ridiculous course. The seconds reconciled the belligerents. General Porter acknowledged his conviction that General Smyth was “a man of courage,” and General Smyth was convinced that General Porter was “above suspicion as a gentleman and an officer,”

Thus ended the melodrama of Smyth’s invasion of Canada. The whole affair was disgraceful and humiliating. “

What wretched work Smyth and Porter have made of it,” wrote General Wadsworth to General Van Rensselaer from his home at Geneseo, at the close of the year. “I wish those who are disposed to find so much fault could know the state of the militia since the day you gave up the command. It has been ‘confusion worse confounded.’ “

The day that saw Smyth’s failure was indeed “memorable in the annals of the United States,” as well as in his own private history. Confidence in his military ability was destroyed, and three months afterward he was “disbanded,” as the Army Register says; in other words, he was deposed without a trial, and excluded from the army. Yet he had many warm friends who clung to him in his misfortunes, for he possessed many excellent social qualities, He was a faithful representative of the constituency of a district of Virginia in the national Congress from 1817 to 1825, and again from 1827 until his death, in April, 1830.

After the war, Smyth resumed the practice of law, and again became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1816, 1817, 1826, and 1827. He was elected to the Fifteenth United States Congress and reelected to the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1817 to March 3, 1825. He was elected again to the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses, serving again from March 4, 1827 until his death.

Smyth died in Washington, D.C., and was interred in the United States Congressional Cemetery. Smyth County, Virginia is named after him.

In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Fort George at the northern end of the Niagara River. The British abandoned the Niagara frontier and allowed Fort Erie to fall into American hands without a fight. The Americans failed to follow up their victory, and later in the year they withdrew most of their soldiers from the Niagara to furnish an ill-fated attack on Montreal. This allowed the British to recover their positions and to mount raids which led to the Capture of Fort Niagara and the devastation of large parts of the American side of the Niagara River.

A Commemoration of thew Battle of Frenchman’s Creek is planned for November 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm. More details to come. Contact for more info.

Frenchman’s Creek Monument

The Monument Reads:

In an effort to regain the initiative lost at Queenston, the Americans planned a general invasion for November 28th 1812. Before dawn advance parties crossed the Niagara River to cut communications between Fort Erie and Chippawa and to silence the British shore guns. The attackers failed to destroy the bridge over Frenchman’s Creek and the batteries they had overrun were soon retaken by British reinforcements. After confused fighting the advance parties returned to the American shore. The main assault failed to materialize. The fiasco ended American hopes for victory on the Niagara Frontier in 1812.

After being released, George and Joseph both returned to Virginia and started their own families. On April 12, 1816, George W. married Margaret Morris in Monogalia Co., VA[WV]. Thier first child Roger, born January 11, 1819, was named after George’s father. Zadock Parke, their second child, was born February 1820 and was named after Margaret’s father, Zadoc Morris, b 1759 Monongalia Co., VA.

The War of 1812 and the death of their Father had a strange effect on this family. George changed the spelling of his last name to Parks moved to Coshocton Co OH in 1820, receiving 160 acres for his Fathers service in the War of 1812. Joseph always spelled his name Park and moved to Wood/Wirt Co in 1819.



1812 News ~ Honoring The War Of 1812 —- War of 1812 re-enactors recall a forgotten invasion: The Battle of Frenchman’s Creek  This page has some great photos.

Fort Erie Bicentennial Celebration – 200 years of Peace.–re-enactors-recall-a-forgotten-invasion-the-battle-of-frenchman-s-creek – Alexander Smyth’s later career

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New England Planters in New Brunswick

When I was growing up, I thought all our American/Canadian/American ancestors were Loyalists, but my research has discovered most just went to Canada in the 1760′s for an opportunity. These strict Puritans were overwhelmed when the Loyalists arrived in 1783.

While we had 15 ancestral families who immigrated to and from Canada, Nathaniel and Jonathan PARKS were our only direct ancestors who were actually resettled Loyalists. See my post Our New Brunswick Loyalists


Acadian Expulsion

The Acadian Expulsion also known as the Great Upheaval, the Great Expulsion and Le Grand Dérangement, was the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people from the present day Canadian Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and also part of the US state of Maine—an area also known as Acadie.

Acadia (1754)

The Expulsion (1755–1763) occurred during the French and Indian War, the North American theater of the Seven Years War. It was part of the British military campaign against New France. The British first deported Acadians to the Thirteen Colonies, and after 1758 they transported additional Acadians to France. Approximately 11,500 Acadians were deported by the British.

After the British conquest of Acadia in 1710, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht allowed the Acadians to keep their lands. Over the next forty-five years, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. During this period, Acadians participated in various military operations against the British and maintained supply lines to the French fortresses of Louisbourg and Fort Beausejour.  The British sought to eliminate future military threat posed by the Acadians and to permanently cut the supply lines they provided to Louisbourg by removing them from the area.

A View of the Plundering and Burning of the City of Grymross, by Thomas Davies, 1758 (present day Gagetown, New Brunswick). This is the only contemporaneous image of the Expulsion of the Acadians from New Brunswick

Without making distinctions between the Acadians who had been neutral and those who had resisted the occupation of Acadia, the British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council ordered them to be expelled.   In the first wave of the expulsion, Acadians were deported to other British colonies. During the second wave, they were deported to England and France, from where they migrated to Louisiana. Acadians fled initially to Francophone colonies such as Canada, the uncolonized northern part of Acadia, Isle Saint-Jean and Isle Royale. During the second wave of the expulsion, these Acadians were either imprisoned or deported. Thousands of Acadians died in the expulsions, mainly from diseases and drowning when ships were lost.

The St. John River Campaign occurred during the French and Indian War when Colonel Robert Monckton led a force of 1150 British soldiers to destroy the Acadian settlements along the banks of the Saint John River (New Brunswick) until they reached the largest village of Sainte-Anne des Pays-Bas (present day Fredericton, New Brunswick) in February 1759.  Monckton was accompanied by Captain George Scott as well as New England Rangers led byJoseph Goreham, Captain Benoni Danks, and Moses Hazen ( later Brigadier General in the Continental Army.  Moses was great-grandson of our ancestor Edward HAZEN Sr. see Edward’s page for his bio)

On 18 February 1759, Lieutenant Hazen and about fifteen men arrived at Sainte-Anne des Pays-Bas. They pillaged and burned the village of 147 buildings, including two Mass-houses and all of the barns and stables. They burned a large store-house, and with it a large quantity of hay, wheat, peas, oats, etc., killing 212 horses, about 5 head of cattle, a large number of hogs and so forth. They also burned the church (located just west of the Old Government House, Fredericton).  

The rangers also scalped six Acadians and took six prisoners.  There is a written record of one of the Acadian survivors Joseph Godin-Bellefontaine. He reported that the rangers restrained him and then massacred his family in front of him. There are other primary sources that support his assertions.  (While the French military hired Natives to gather British scalps, the British military hired Rangers to gather Native scalps.  The scalping of Acadians in this instance was unique for the Maritimes. New Englanders had been scalping native peoples in the area for generations, but unlike the French on Ile Royale, they had refrained from authorizing the taking of scalps from individuals identified as being of European descent.[

Under the naval command of Silvanus Cobb, the British started at the bottom of the river with raiding Kennebecais and Managoueche (City of St. John), where the British built Fort Frederick. Then they moved up the river and raided Grimross (Gagetown, New Brunswick), Jemseg, and finally they reached Sainte-Anne des Pays-Bas.

There were about 100 Acadian families on the St. John River, with a large concentration at Ste Anne.   Most of whom had taken refuge there from earlier deportation operations, such as the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign.  There was also about 1000 Maliseet.

According to one historian, the level of Acadian suffering greatly increased in the late summer of 1758. Along with campaigns on Ile Saint-Jean, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, at Cape Sable Island and the Petitcodiac River Campaign, the British targeted the St. John River.

New England Planters

Eight thousand Planters (roughly 2000 families), largely farmers and fishermen, arrived from 1759 to 1768 to take up lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawrence‘s offer. The farmers settled mainly on the rich farmland of the Annapolis Valley on the south shore of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia .  Our ancestors colonized along the Saint John River in the southern counties of what is now New Brunswick but was then part of Nova Scotia.

Maugerville Map

Most of the fishermen went to the South Shore of Nova Scotia, where they got the same amount of land as the farmers did. Many fishermen especially wanted to move there because they were already fishing off the Nova Scotia coast.

GLIMPSES OF THE PAST. History of the River St. John A. D. 1604-1784. By Rev. W. O. RAYMOND, LL.D. St. John, N. B.

Very shortly after Monckton’s occupation of the St. John River, Charles Lawrence issued the first of his celebrated proclamations, offering favorable terms to any industrious settlers from New England, who would remove to Nova Scotia and cultivate the lands vacated by the French, or other ungranted lands. The proclamation stated that proposals on behalf of intending settlers would be received by Thomas Hancock at Boston, and by Mesrs. De Lancey and Watts at New York, and by them transmitted to the Governor of Nova Scotia.

This proclamation had the effect of directing attention to the River St. John. Young and adventurous spirits soon came to the fore anxious to be the pioneers of civilization in the wilds of Nova Scotia. But first they wished to know: What terms of encouragement would be offered? How much land each person would get? What quit-rents and taxes would be required? What constitution of government prevailed,and what freedom in religion?

In answer to their inquiries a second proclamation was issued, in which it was declared that townships were to consist of 100,000 acres (about 12 miles square) and were to include the best lands, and rivers in their vicinity. The government was described as similar to that of the neighboring colonies, the legislature consisting of a governor,council and assembly and every township, so soon as it should consist of fifty families, would be entitled to send two representatives to the assembly. The courts of justice were similar to those of Massachusetts, Connecticut and the other northern colonies, and full liberty of conscience was secured to persons of all persuasions,”papists” excepted, by the royal instructions and a late act of the Assembly. As yet no taxes had been imposed or fees exacted on grants.Forts garrisoned with troops were established in the neighborhood of the lands it was proposed to settle

The movement of some 2,000 families from New England to Nova Scotia in the early 1760s was a small part of the much larger migration of an estimated 66,000 people who moved to New York’s Mohawk River valley, to New Hampshire, and to what later became the states of Vermont and Maine. In the years 1760 to 1775, some fifty-four new towns were established in Vermont, one hundred in New Hamphsire, ninety-four in Maine, and fourteen in Nova Scotia. Land scarcity was the principal cause, free land the attraction, while the defeat of French power in North America, achieved in 1758-60, explains the timing. 

The Planters were the first major group of English-speaking immigrants in Canada who did not come directly from Great Britain. Most of the Planters were Protestant Congregationalists, in contrast to the largely Roman Catholic Acadians.

Within twenty years, they were  joined by Ulster and Yorkshire  emigrants from Britain and United Empire Loyalists who left New York, New Jersey and the New England colonies after the American War of Independence in 1783. The latter influxes greatly diminished the Planter political influence in Nova Scotia. However the Planters laid the foundations of a large number of the present day communities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and their political and religious traditions (for example Henry Alline) had important influences on the culture of the region.

In Nova Scotia, the New England Planters inspired the provincial nickname of “Bluenoser” as the term was first used to distinguish Planter candidates from Loyalist candidates in elections after the American Revolution.

Our New England Planter Ancestors

New Brunswick Counties

In 1764, Richard ESTEY I (1706 – 1791) led the migration of a large clan of our ancestors from Rowley, Massachusetts  to a settlement on the St John’s River in New Brunswick Canada called Maugerville.

Richard Estey was born on 7 Apr 1706 in Topsfield, Mass.  Richard’s grandmother Mary Towne ESTEY  was hanged for witchcraft 14 years in Salem Mass before he was born.  Richard married Ruth FISKE on May 7, 1728 in Ipswich, Mass.      Richard died 26 Mar 1791 in Sheffield Parish, Sunbury County, New Brunswick, Canada.

Richard’s son Zebulon ESTEY made the trip the next year with his new bride and was one of the signers of the original covenant of the Congressional Church. Zebulon’s daughter Molly ESTEY married her first cousin Amos ESTEY so many of our direct ancestors made the trip.

  • Grandfather Richard ESTEY – age 58,
  • son Richard ESTEY II age 36, wife Hannah HAZEN (2nd cousin of Moses and William Hazen above)  age 37 and his son Amos ESTEY age 5
  • son Zebulon ESTEY age 22 and his new bride Molly BROWN
  • Zeb’s twin brother John and sister Sarah who married Thomas Barker also made the trip.

The River St. John” by Rev. Wm. Raymond published in 1910, pages 334-5:

“On 15 January 1765 on Captain Francis Peabody’s schooner, came Zebulon ESTEY to Maugerville. He paid 12 shillings passage money from Newburyport to St. John and 13s 6d for `his club of Cyder’ on the voyage.

Richard ESTEY and Thomas Barker built a saw-mill on a small creek near Middle Island. (After 1765.) They sold it in 1779 – near Maugerville

Richard ESTEY signed a church covenant for a distinct church society. Many moved from Maugerville due to the annoyance of the spring freshets. [A sudden overflow of a stream resulting from a heavy rain or a thaw]  Zebulon Estey moved to Gagetown. Some went across the river to the township of Burton. These included Israel Estey, Moses Estey and Amos ESTEY.”

Maugerville Flooding

My mother has some letters her mom wrote documenting her efforts in the 60′s to track down info about the Esteys.  She and my grandfather went on a trailer trip to the east coast and New Brunswick and Ontario.  Seems there was a family story that Mary Estey had Indian antecedents (the”estey eyes” were almond shaped and slightly slanted) and she was trying to track it down.. In New Brunswick she found the custodian of the land grant records who was a gold mine of info. When she said there was a legend Mary Estes (her spelling) had Indian blood, the woman was horrified and said “Oh, no-the Estes were all most respectable. They came from Massachusetts and brought their wives with them.”

John BRADLEY was born 17 Aug 1738 in Haverhill, Mass.  His twin sister Susannah Bradley married Philbrook Colby 13 Jul 1758 Haverhill.  He married Mary Lucy HEATH on 21 Mar 1760 in Haverhill, Mass. They immigrated to New Brunswick between 1764 and 1765, about the same time as the Estey clan.  John died before 1830.

John originally settled in  Conway Township near the mouth of the Saint John River, but due the continual robberies committed by the Rebel boats during the war,  he moved up the river on the same account and cleared and improved about 4 acres of land.

Nathaniel Gallup was born in 1734 in Boston, Mass.   His parents were Nathaniel Gallop (1707 – 1744) and Dorcas Collins (1713 – 1749). He first married before 1760 to Hannah Parent (b. 1739 in Mass – d. 1780 in Truro, Nova Scotia.) After Hannah died, he married Deborah NEWCOMB.  Deborah was our ancestor with her first husband Issac MILLER Nathaniel died about 1820 in Sheffield, York, New Brunswick, Canada.

1783 Studholm Report (See below)Township of Burton

2. Nathaniel Gallop, from Coveget, has a wife and 7 children, been on about 3 years. Has a log house and about 8 or 10 acres of cleared land. Claims by possession and purchase of improvements..

Benjamin NEWCOMB was born about 1700 in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.     Benjamin emigrated to Cornwallis Township in Kings County, Nova Scotia in 1760 at the same time as his four of his  children becoming one of the original proprietors.   Cornwallis is across the Bay of Fundy from St John New Brunswick,  See Satellite Map. He received a half-acre house-lot in the compact part of town, for residence and several large lots in the vicinity as his share.  Mr. Newcomb and his wife aided in the organization of the 1st Church in Cornwallis. He removed with his son, Benjamin after 1775 , to Waterborough, now Canning, in Sunbury, New Brunswick, where both died.

Enoch DOW was born 7 Dec 1744, Methuen, Essex County, Massachusetts.   He moved from New Hampshire to Orocmocto New Brunswick in 1753 with his parents  David DOW and Mary BROWN and his brothers.  The town is located on the west bank of the St. John River, across from Maugerville at the mouth of the Oromocto River, approximately 20 kilometers southeast of Fredericton.   Enoch married .Ruth MORTON about 1770 probably in Maugerville.   Enoch died 23 Dec 1813  in Dow Settlement, (Dumfries Parish) York County, New Brunswick Canada and is buried in Lower Meductic Cemetery,  in Canterbury (between Highway 2 and the St. John River).

Enoch worked with his father, brother Nith and cousin William as lumbermen.

In 1803, he loaded a large flat bottomed boat with all their belongings and poled up St. John river from Maugerville to Canterbury,, leading 20 families upriver and founding Dow Settlement on his land grant, 2 miles of river front and 4 miles deep.  After land was cleared, he helped to build a church and Dow Cemetery.

Here is Google map’s directions of the 100 kilometers from Maugerville  (then Majorfield) to Dow Settlement,.  At that time, there were no roads, only a trackless wilderness forest and the river.

In Robert Piercy Dow’s Book of Dow, Enoch is given the coding “bcdgd” (p. 690).

The Majorfield [Maugerville] colony had a hard time.  All the clearing and the homes were close to the River.  The industry was in floating timber to tidewater and selling it.  Three times the Spring freshets assumed great proportions and swept away all the homes in Majorfield.  Thereupon the colonists became utterly discouraged.  Nith Dow, William Dow and others returned across the border.  Enoch DOW decided to remain and formulated a plan to move upstream to a safer shore and used for his purpose the Canterbury land grant.  A dozen or so families went with him.  They built a large flat boat and poled it up the river.  The forest was trackless and so remained many years.  The migration was in 1803 – this date is positive..  About 100 miles north they stopped and chose the right bank for the new settlement.  Some years later Dow’s Settlement was founded across the stream and about 4 miles higher up.  Still anothyer 4 miles up, the lane was settleed, another Dow home.

Some remembered Enoch Dow as an outspoken Tory during the Revolutionary War, although he was part of the group to settle in New Brunswick with the Massachusetts firm of Simonds, Hazen and White (headquartered in Newburyport, where the Dow clan originated) which settled in the area as early as 1762 (before his father settled there). His name is listed among those granted land. There is even proof of an Enoch Dow that served in the rebel army of the time. He was a Baptist. In 1803, he moved from the original Majorfield settlement to form Canterbury, after several floods destroyed the houses of Majorfield..


Maugerville was a New England Planter settlement on the east bank of the St. John River, below Fredericton was first known as Peabody for Francis Peabody, an early grantee. The name was changed to honor Joshua Mauger (1725-1788), a native Jersey who established himself as a merchant in Halifax during the period 1749-61. Later he became the agent for Nova Scotia in London. In 1763 he was successful in securing for the New Englanders along this stretch of the river formal title to their lands. Thus the community was re-named Maugerville in his honour.

Its importance in the evolution of New Brunswick has been outlined by Esther Clark Wright: “The New England pattern of living would have been only a minor factor in New Brunswick but for the Maugerville settlers and their diffusion throughout the province. The Maugerville settlement was successful because it was formed by a closely knit group, with religious ties, and experience in a not dissimilar environment.

Maugerville Potato – Mr. Peanut’s Deranged Cousin

The list of the grantees of the Township of Maugerville, alphabetically arranged, includes the following names:–Benjamin Atherton, Jacob Barker, Jacob Barker, jr., Thomas Barker [Richard ESTEY's son-in-law], Richard Barlow, Benjamin Brawn, David Burbank, Joseph Buber, Jeremiah Burpee, Jonathan Burpee, James Chadwell, Thomas Christy, Joseph Clark, Widow Clark, Edward Coy, Moses Davis, Jos. F. W. Desbarres, Enoch DOW, Joseph Dunphy, John Estey [Richard's son], Richard ESTEY, Richard ESTEY Jr., , Zebulun ESTEY, Joseph Garrison, Beamsley P. Glazier, William Harris, Thomas Hart, Geo. Hayward, Nehemiah Hayward, Jeremiah Howland, Ammi Howlet, Samuel Hoyt, Daniel Jewett, Richard Kimball, John Larlee, Joshua Mauger, Peter Moores, William McKeen, Elisha Nevers, Jabez Nevers, Phinehas Nevers, Samuel Nevers, Nathaniel Newman, Daniel Palmer, Moses Palmer, Jonathan Parker, Francis Peabody, Oliver Peabody, Richard Peabody, Samuel Peabody, Stephen Peabody, Asa Perley, Israel Perley, Oliver Perley, Humphrey Pickard, Moses Pickard, Hugh Quinton, Nicholas Rideout, Thomas Rous, John Russell, Ezekiel Saunders, William Saunders, Gervas Say, John Shaw [Richard ESTEY's son-in-law] , Hugh Shirley, James Simonds, Samuel Tapley, Giles Tidmarsh, jr., Samuel Upton, James Vibart, John Wasson, Matthew Wasson, John Whipple, Jonathan Whipple, Samuel Whitney, Jediah Stickney, John Smith, Johnathan Smith, Charles Stephens, Isaac Stickney

Plan of Maugerville, Including Sheffield

The above plan of the river shows the locations of the early settlers of Maugerville; in order ascending the river.

The lower ten lots of the township and Mauger’s Island were granted to Joshua Mauger. Just above were the lots of Gervas Say, Nehemiah Hayward, John Russell, Samuel Upton, Zebulon ESTEY, John Estey, Richard ESTEY I and Edward Coy.

At the head of Mauger’s Island were the lots of Matthew Wason, Samuel Whitney and Samuel Tapley.

Between Mauger’s Island and Middle Island the lots were those of Jeremiah Burpee, Jonathan Burpee, Jacob Barker, Daniel Jewett, Ezekiel Saunders, Humphrey Pickard, Moses Pickard, Jacob Barker, jr., Isaac Stickney and Jonathan Smith.

Opposite Middle Island, in order ascending, were Thomas Barker [Richard ESTEY's son-in-law], John Wason, Daniel Palmer, Richard Kimball, Joseph Garrison, Samuel Nevers, Peter Mooers, Richard ESTEY Jr., Jabez Nevers, Enoch DOW and Hugh Quinton.

Between Middle and Oromocto islands were Thomas Christie, Elisha Nevers, Jedediah Stickney, Stephen Peabody, Capt. Francis Peabody and William McKeen.

Opposite Oromocto Island were Israel Perley (at the foot of the island), Lt.-Col. Beamsley P. Glasier, John Whipple, Nathaniel Rideout, Capt. Francis Peabody, Alexander Tapley, Phineas Nevers, Joseph Dunphy, William Harris, Ammi Howlet, Samuel Peabody and Oliver Peabody.

Above Oromocto Island we find the lots of Asa Perley, Oliver Perley, George Munro, James Simonds, Joseph Buber, Joseph Shaw, Benjamin Brawn, Daniel Burbank, Thomas Hartt and the Widow Clark. Thence to the upper boundary of the township, a distance of two miles, there were at first no settlers, but in the course of time Richard Barlow, Nehemiah Beckwith, Benjamin Atherton, Jeremiah Howland and others took up lots.

1783 Studholm Report

In June, 1783, Maj. Studholm sent a party of four men up the river from Fort Howe with instructions to determine who was settled upon the lands in various townships and what title they had to those lands, if any and details about numbers in each family, length of settlement and amount of land cleared.

When the decision was taken by England at the close of the Revolutionary War to evacuate New York, several thousand Loyalists were shipped to Nova Scotia, which then included roughly the area occupied by the present provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In 1784, that part of Nova Scotia which lay north of the Bay of Fundy was set off as a new Province of New Brunswick, the dividing line being established at the Isthmus of Chignecto just north of the present town of Amherst.

During the War the settlers on the Bay of Fundy were often pillaged and plundered by Rebel privateers from down the coast, mainly out of Machias, Maine (See Battle of Machias 1777)  , and the trading post at the mouth of the Saint John River operated by James Simonds, William Hazen (Lt. Moses Hazen’s brother and great-grandson of our ancestor Edward HAZEN Sr ) [see Edward's page for Wiiliam's bio] and James White, was particularly vulnerable.

Rev. William O. Raymond, in The River St. John, ed. Dr. J.C. Webster, C.M.G., (1910; Sackville, N.B.: The Tribune Press,), tells us that

“late in the autumn (of 1778) an American sloop carrying eight guns entered the harbour. Her Captain, A. Greene Crabtree, proved the most unwelcome and rapacious visitor that had yet appeared. Many of the settlers fled to the woods to escape the vandalism of his crew. From the store at Portland Point 21 boat loads of goods was taken. The plunder included a lot of silver ornaments, fuzees and other articles left by the Indians as pledges for their debts.”

Following that incident, William Hazen proceeded to Windsor, N.S., and urgently demanded protection. Col. Small, of the Royal Highland Emigrants, accompanied him to Halifax and by their united efforts the British government authorities were convinced of the necessity of immediate action. A considerable body of troops was ordered to the mouth of the river with directions to repair Fort Frederick, which the Rebels had burned in 1775, or build a new fort.

General Massey chose Maj. Guilford Studholm as commander of the expedition. He was a capable officer and had previous experience as a former commander of the Fort Frederick garrison. His knowledge of the St. John River and its inhabitants, both whites and indians, made him particularly well fitted for the post.

Maj. Studholm arrived at the mouth of the river during the latter part of November, 1778, with 50 men, a framed block-house and four six-pounders. They came in a sloop of war, which remained in the harbour for their protection until the next spring. He decided against repairing Fort Frederick and commenced immediately to construct a new fort on a new location. It was named Fort Howe.

When the Spring Fleet arrived from New York in May, 1783, Maj. Studholm was still in command of the garrison at Fort Howe. One of the first and most urgent things to do was to find lands for these new arrivals. Much of the best land on the St. John had already been granted. However, a lot of it had been granted in large blocks to propritors who had undertaken to place tenants upon it but had for the most part not been very successful in doing so.

In June, 1783, Maj. Studholm sent a party of four men up the river from Fort Howe with instructions to determine who was settled upon the lands in various townships and what title they had to those lands, if any. Their report to Maj. Studholm, usually referred to by family historians today as “The Studholm Report” is an important historical document. It is, in effect, a heads of households census, and in addition provides information about land title, the loyalty or otherwise of many of the pre-Loyalist inhabitants on the river, etc., that can be found nowhere else.’

Map of the Studholm Report — Saint John River in the Province of Nova Scotia. Exhibiting The Grants to Officers &c In 1765 With other Patents. From The Survey of Mr. Chas. Morris and Other Surveyors.

Township of Conway

10. John BRADLEY settled in the same manner and about the same time with the said Easterbrook, and moved up the river on the same account and cleared and improved about 4 acres of land.

[9. Elijah Easterbrook settled in consequence of a similar agreement with said Hazen and Simmons.Cleared and improved about seven acres of land and had built a log house which is now fallen to decay, said Easterbrook moving up the river on account of the danger of his situation; has lived on it 8 years.]

[Messrs. Hazen and Symonds, two of the original proprietors of Conway, have at different times placed a number of settlers on the lands of that Township, and have used every offort on their parts to comply with the terms of their Grant, but the continual robberys committed by the Rebel boats during the war, to which those settlements were totally exposed, obliged a number of their tenants to remove. However, as every exertion was used by them, I take the liberty, sir, to recommend their claims on that Township to your consideration.]

Gage Town

5. Stephen Dow [ has a wife, is settled on Musquash Island, has no claim but possession, has built a log house and cleared about 3 acres of land. Came from Pasmaquadde about 4 years past and says he was drove off by the rebels.

[I'm trying to locate Stephen in the Book of Dow.   After building the first running dyke in 1769, Hazen, Simonds and White continued to devote considerable attention to the task of reclaiming and improving the marsh. In order to have ready access a road was laid out running back of Fort Howe hill and along Mount Pleasant to the marsh. Not far from the present station at Coldbrook they built a house with hovels for cattle and put up fences and settled a family there. A few years later they built two more houses and settled two more families there, each with a stock of cattle. The first tenants on the marsh were Stephen Dow, Silas Parker and Jabez Salisbury. The houses built for their accommodation cost from £15 to £20 apiece. About this time or a little later a small grist mill was built at the outlet of Lily Lake.

To  William Dow bcdhd land was granted in Charlotte Co in 1791, on which his kin had settled possibly as early as 1772.

The grants of land to the Joseph Dow bbbfa line did not begin until 1803.  A series of accidental discoveries have brought to light the movements of this family throughout.  Joseph Dow and wife were in Boston 1774 and he took part in the so-called Boston Tea Party.  Just when he was converted to the tory cause we do not know.  The people of Boston had no chance to join the Federals at Bunker Hill.  They had to look on in silence, whatever their sympathies.  Joseph was a ship builder already; under the British occupation of the city he was the best man at that trade in the place.  He was kept busy and well paid.  Family tradition says that a son of Joseph was born in or near Haverhill 1783.  This is absent in the well kept Haverhill rec, and is doubtful, unless the family was there in hiding.  When the British evacuated Boston, the position of the tories was precarious.  A fairly large party fled; among them was Joseph Dow and at least three members of the allied family of Emery.  These subsequently followed Joseph to New Brunswick, where their descendants are plenty, some being quite prominent merchants in St John today.  They took refuge first on the uninhabited island of Southport, just outside of Wiscasset, Me.  Possibly Henry Dow bbbfh went there first.  They traveled in a boat of Joseph's own making and were successful in taking all portable property, tools for ship-building being a prime necessity.]

28. Zebulun Esty [Zebulon ESTEY] has a wife and 8 children. Has been on about 5 years; built a house and grist mill and has about 3 acres of cleared land. Went on in consequence of an agreement with Mr. John Crabtree acting as attorney for Capt. Jades, and was promised a lease for ever on payment of a small acknowledgement yearly. Said Esty is a good man, his character very loyal and we beg leave to recommend him to be confirmed in his possessions.

Township of Burton

2. Nathaniel Gallop, [third  husband of Deborah NEWCOMB married on 22 May 1766 in Kings County, Nova Scotia.]  from Coveget, has a wife and 7 children, been on about 3 years. Has a log house and about 8 or 10 acres of cleared land. Claims by possession and purchase of improvements.

4. Israel Esty has a wife and 3 children; been on about 5 years. Built a log house and has about 15 acres of cleared land. Claims by possession and a quit claim of the improvements of his grandfather, who had possessed it about 15 years before he came on.

7. Moses Esty, favors the rebels and has not above half the cleared land reported.

31. John Shaw has a wife and 6 children, a log house and about 6 acres of cleared land. Been in possession about 5 years.

32. John Shaw Jr.[John BRADLEY's son-in-law] has a wife [Mary Bradley] but lives with his father, has a house but no land cleared. Claims also some land in New town in consequence of clearing three fourths of an acre of land in that township. Gave intelligence to the rebels at Oak Park that the Kings troops were pursuing them up the river, in consequence of which they escaped.

The Maugerville Settlement 1763 – 1824  by James Hannay Maugerville, New Brunswick, Canada [Published in Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society Vol. 1, 1894]

(I’m not blockquoting this text as I usually do because  there as some quoted letters within the article)   [My notes are indicated by square brackets]

Several years ago, through the courtesy of Judge Barker of St. John, there came into my hands a number of papers which had originally been in the possession of David Burpee, one of the first settlers of the township of Maugerville, on the River St. John. These papers embraced a number of deeds, an account book, a diary, copies of a number of letters and a pretty complete record of the transactions of the Congregational church at Maugerville, from the year 1773 to 1824.

On perusing these papers I have been many times forcibly impressed with their value from a historical point of view, especially as illustrating the mode of life in this early Nova Scotia settlement, and I propose here with their help to give some account of Maugerville and its people, as well as of the County of Sunbury generally, relying as little as possible on anything that has already been published on the subject.

The principal source of the published information which we possess in regard to the Maugerville settlement, is a lecture which was delivered in St. John by the late Moses H. Perley, about fifty years ago [1844]. This gentleman was a descendant of one of the original settlers, and, having been born about the beginning of the present century [1800], he had the opportunity of learning much from tradition and family documents in regard to the history of Sunbury.

According to the narrative of this gentleman the government of Massachusetts, in 1761 , sent an exploring party to ascertain the position of affairs and the state of the country on the River St. John. The leader of the party was Israel Perley, the grandfather of Moses H. Perley, and he was accompanied by twelve men in the pay of Massachusetts. They proceeded to Machias by water, in the month of February, and there shouldered their knapsacks and, he being a land surveyor, steered by compass and succeeded in reaching the head waters of the River Oromocto, and by it descended to the St. John.  They found the country wholly unsettled, and with this report they returned to Boston.

If the statement that this exploring expedition was paid for by Massachusetts is accurate, there is, no doubt, some record of it in the archives of that state, and the fact would seem to show that the old land-hunger of the Puritans, which involved them in a disgraceful but unsuccessful attempt to steal the province of Maine from its proprietors, was impelling them to endeavor to bring within the bounds of Massachusetts the fine territory on the River St. John. This conjecture derives additional force from the declaration made in 1776 by the settlers on the St. John River that they desired to submit themselves to the government of Massachusetts Bay.

In 1760, James Simonds, who was engaged in business at Newburyport, Mass., was at St. John Harbour in connection with the carrying of supplies to the garrison of Fort Frederick and he became impressed with the advantages St. John offered for trade. On the 28th August, 1762, he arrived at St. John from Newburyport, in company with James White, Capt. Francis Peabody , Jonathan Lovet, Hugh Quinton and about fifteen other persons intending to take up his residence there.

[“On 15 January 1765 on Captain Francis Peabody’s schooner, came Zebulon ESTEY to Maugerville. He paid 12 shillings passage money from Newburyport to St. John and 13s 6d for `his club of Cyder’ on the voyage.

Mr. Simonds built his house on the ruins of Charnisay’s old fort, on Portland Point. Simonds and White were partners, and they did business at St. John under that style, while a business at Newburyport in which they were interested was conducted by Messrs. Hazen and Jarvis.

[Our ancestor Hannah HAZEN was baptized 7 Jan 1727  in Boxford, Essex, Mass. Her twin Margaret (Peggy) died young.  Her parents were Israel HAZEN and  Hannah CHAPLIN. She married 7 Feb 1750 in Rowley, Mass  to Richard ESTEY IIHannah died  28 Sep 1817 in Kingsclear Parish, York Co., New Brunswick. I’m still working on the connection to Messrs. Hazen and Jarvis.

The nature of the trade they carried on and the difficulties they had to encounter may be gathered from the following letter, written by the partners in St. John to the partners at Newburyport, in 1770. The letter is addressed “Messrs. Hazen and Jarvis, Merchants, Newbury Port.” I have preserved the spelling of the original:—

St. Johnn River May 10th 1770. Gentlemen The Slop St. John’s Paquet arrived here the second inst. but the river was so high and full of ice that we could not begin to unload until 3 days ago, have taken out 200 Hhs. salt and 4t : 36:0 sugar and have left 650 Bushels of salt on board — and ship—d all the lime that is burn and furrs that we have yet rec’d. This sp;ring has been so backward that there has been no possibility of burning any lime. The piles of wood and stone are now frozen together — we have not more than half men enough to save the fish (seven in all the rest have left us some time since) the first school is now running and the wires wholy broken down with ice, have no help of the fishermen only abt. 10 days work of two hands.

The mill could not go before the middle of April and the ice has been continually breaking the dam ever since. The saving the gundalo’s from being lost at the places where they was left last fall has taken a great deal of time, have got the last of them home today but have not any body to caulk them — have no nails to trim cases or board the frames nor any hops but what is picked up at an amazing expence. But what has been the most difficult and distressing was the want of provisions and hay.

Such a scene of misery of man and beast we never saw before. There was not any thing of bread kind equal to a bushel of meal for each person when the schr. sailed the 6th of February and less of meat and roots in proportion — the Indians and hogs had part of that little. The flour that came in the schr. has been wet and much damaged and having no Indian corn it will be mostly gone by the time the hunts are finished.

We meant by our memorandum to have the articles over and above what would fit out the fishing vessels — they will want 7 or 8 barrels of the pork and all the bread for the whole season. They ought to have all their stores when they leave this place about the first of June. We have expected Capt. Newman for some time but begin to think he or you have altered your minds about the trip.

There is a great uneasiness among the fisherman about coffe. They say you promised them 5lb. each man the same as they had last year and a barrel of molasses to each vessel. We have not had any of them articles nor any tea except that of the spruce kind for three months past. We beg that we may have the articles in our inclosed memorandum by our first opportunity.

If hands can be got to work on shore, we think it will be best to send sloop back immediately and have her graved here — there is part of pitch enough that we shall not want at present, and if Newman do’s not come there will be no other way to bring the lumber down the river but in the sloop. We have only to add that we shall do all in our powr to catch fish and burn lime but cannot tell what quantitys we shall have as the few hands here are sickly and not to be depended upon. We are gentln. Yr. Humble Servts.

Simonds & White William Hazen, one of the Newburyport firm, afterwards removed to St. John. In 1765, Simonds, White and Hazen received from the government of Nova Scotia a grant of a very extensive tract of land at the mouth of the St. John River. This grant embraced on the east side of the harbor all the land from Union Street, St. John, north to the Kennebeccasis, and on the west side what is now known as the Parish of Lancaster. This last tract was then designated the Township of Conway. A return made to Major Studholm, who commanded at Fort Howe, on the 8th July, 1783, gives the names of the settlers who had cleared land and made improvements in the Township of Conway, under agreements with the grantees up to that date. The return may be summarized as follows:—

Name Amount Cleared and Improved. Hugh Quinton 15 Peter Smith 10 Thomas Jenkins 12 Samuel Peabody 55 Jonathan Lovet 60 William McKeene 45 Daniel Lovet 30 James Woodman 5 Elijah Esterbrook 7 John Bradley 4 [our ancestor John BRADLEY (1738 – bef. 1830)] Zebedee Ring 3 Gervis Say 10 Nearly all these people had been driven off their land by raiding parties from Machias during the Revolutionary war, and compelled to seek shelter up the river. These raids will partly serve to account for the extremely backward state of the settlements at the mouth of the St. John, prior to the arrival of the Loyalists.

The immediate result of Israel Perley’s report of the state of the lands up the St. John River was the removal of a large number of families to them from Massachusetts in 1763. According to Moses H. Perley’s statement, there were about two hundred families, numbering eight hundred souls, in this band of settlers and they were brought in four vessels under the charge of Israel Perley. The number, however, is probably exaggerated and perhaps four hundred would be nearer the truth. That at all events was the estimated number of the settlers on the St. John in 1764, and a census taken in 1767 showed that there were but 261 persons in Maugerville, the principal township. This township had been surveyed in 1762, at the instance of Capt. Francis Peabody, who was the father-in-law of both Simonds and White and also of Jonathan Lovet. This man, from his age and character, as well as from the active part he took in the work of settling the River St. John, must be justly regarded as the founder of Maugerville and Gagetown and the most prominent and influential person on the river, while he lived.

The township of Maugerville was on the east side of the St. John River and began at a point about five miles below Fredericton. Its northerly line was at right angles with the river and its depth along the river was sixteen miles in an air line. It embraced, therefore, the present parishes of Maugerville and Sheffield. Opposite to it was the township of Burton and below the latter, Gagetown. The three townships were all more or less settled prior to 1770, but, except in the case of the Maugerville immigration of 1763, it is not now possible to determine the date of the arrival of the settlers.

It is certain, however, that some of those who came with Perley in that year settled at Gagetown, amongst others, Edward Coye, one of whose daughters was said to be the first female child born of English speaking parents on the River St. John. Nearly all the settlers on the river were from Massachusetts, and the vast majority of them from a single county, Essex. Thus the Perleys were from Boxford, the Burpees from Rowley, while other families were from Haverhill, Newburyport, Ipswich, Gloucester, Salem and other towns of this ancient county which antedates all others in Massachusetts with the single exception of Plymouth. These settlers were therefore, for the most part of Puritan stock and all, or nearly all, were members of the Congregationalist churches of New England. The following list of surnmaes of settlers on the St. John, prior to the landing of the Loyalists, is made up from documents in my possession:—

BOLD = Direct Ancestor  Red = Son or daughter in law  Green = Spouse of ancestor’s Grandchid Anderson Atherton Burpee Barker Brown Brnach Beckwith BRADLEY Briggs Black Booby Blasdel Bartlett Bragden Bill Bailey Coye Coburn Cristy Crabtree Cram Carr Crosbe Campbell Clark Churchill Cross Conwell DOW Davidson Doucett DeLaport Duggin Denmore Dean Day ESTEY Estabrooks Franeau Frost Fearley Gallishan Godsoe George Graves Garrison Grant GALLOP HAZEN Hayward Howlin Hartt Hilton Harris Hersey Hammond Hendrick Harden Hovey Hall Howland Jenkins Jewett Jones Kenney Kimball Knox Lovet Larlee Loder Laskey Langin McKeene Mooers Martin Marsh Mitchell Marlington Masterlin Nevers Noble Nickerson Old Peabody Pickard Plummer Perley Palmer Pritchard Parker Porter Parsons Quinton Russell Robinson Rideout Ring Rogers Richardson Rolf Robertson Roe Robins Rusk Rockwell Simonds Smith Say Shaw Stickney Sanders Sinnott Turner Tibbitts Tracey Upton Villary Whitney Woodman Whitmore Watson Wasson West Wood White Weade Weymouth Woodworth Wade Young

In this list of names there are two or three that are probably French, two or three, such as Anderson and Mitchell, which represent men from Halifax, and three or four which belong to individuals who had come direct from England, Scotland or Ireland, but the vast majority were names of the New England stock.

If this stock had reason to complain of having to face a second emigration, there was abundant consolation in the fact that it was under very different circumstances from those of their ancestors who settled Salem and Newburyport. Instead of the barren soil of New England, they had their choice of the noble intervale lands of the St. John River, which have their fertility renewed every spring by the overflowing of that great stream. And this land they received for a price so small as to be merely nominal.

The township of Maugerville was divided into one hundred lots, each with a frontage on the river and a width of about fifty rods. Four of these lots were reserved for public purposes: one for a glebe for the Church of England, one for the Dissenting Protestants, one for the maintenance of a school and one for the first settled minister. Nearly all the Maugerville lots were taken up immediately after the first immigration, and the population of the township in 1767 was, as before stated, 261 souls. All these people were natives of America, with the exception of six English, ten Irish, four Scotch and six Germans. The enormous preponderance of the native New England element gave a tone to the character of the settlement, which it never lost until the arrival of the Loyalists.

Scarcely had the Maugerville people settled themselves in their new possessions until they began the formation of a church. I have before me a copy of the original church covenant attested to be correct by Humphry Pickard, church clerk. It bears no date, but it probably was made in 1763, and certainly not later than 1764; it is in the following terms:—

“We whose name are hereto subscribed apprehending ourselves called of God (for advancing of his Kingdom and edifying ourselves and posterity) to combine and embody ourselves into a distinct Church Society and being for that end orderly dismissed from the Churches to which we heretofore belonged: do (as we hope) with some measure of seriousness and sincerity, take upon us the following Covenant, viz:

“As to matters of faith we cordially adhere to the principles of religion (at least the substance of them) contained in the Shorter Catechism of the Westminister Assembly of Divines wherewith also the New England Confession of Faith harmonizeth, not as supposing that there is any authority, much less infallibility, in these human creeds or forms; but verily believing that these pricnciples are drawn from and agreeable to the Holy Scripture, which is the fountain and standard of truth; hereby declaring our utter dislike of the pelagian Arminian principels, vulgarly so called.

“In a firm belief of the aforesaid doctrines from an earnest desire that we and ours may receive the love of them and be saved with hopes that what we are now doing may be a means of so great an happiness; we do now (under a sense of our utter unworthiness of the honour and priviledges of God’s Covenant people) in solemn and yet free and cheerful manner give up ourselves and offspring to God the Father, to the Son the Mediator, and the Holy Ghost the instructor, sanctifier and comforter, to be henceforth the people and servants of this God, to believe in all His revelations, to accept of His method of reconciliation, to obey all His commands, and to keep all His ordinances, to look to and depend upon Him to do all for us, and work all in us, especially relating to our eternal salvation, being sensible that of ourselves we can do nothing.

“And it is also our purpose and resolution (by Divine assistance) to discharge the duties of Christian love and Brotherly watchfulness towards each other, to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Commanding them and our Household to keep the way of the Lord: to join together in setting up and maintaining the Publick worship of God among us, carefully and joyfully to attend upon Christ’s Sacrament and institutions; to yield all obedience and submission to Him or them that shall from time to time in an orderly manner be made overseers of the flock, to submit to all the regular administrations and censures of the Church and to contribute all in our power unto the regularity and peaceableness of those administrations. “And respecting Church discipline it is our purpose to adhere to the method contained in the platform for the substance of it agreed upon by the synod at Cambridge in New England Ano. Dom. 1648 as thinking these methods of Church Discipline the nearest the Scripture and most likely to maintain and promote Purity, order and peace of any.

“And we earnestly pray that God would be pleased to smile upon this our undertaking for his Glory, that whilst we thus subscribe with our hands to the Lord and sirname ourselves by the Name of Israel; we may through grace given us become Israelites indeed in whom there is no Guile, that our hearts may right with God and we be steadfast in His Covenant, that we who are now combining together in a new church of Jesus Christ, may by the purity of our faith and morals become one of those Golden Candlesticks among which the Son of God in way of favor and protection will condescend to walk. And that every member of it thro’ imputed righteousness and inherent grace may hereafter be found among that happy Multitude whom the glorious head of the Church, the Heavenly Bridegroome shall present to Himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

(Signed,) Jonathan Burpe Elisha Nevers Richard ESTEY I Daniel Palmer Gervas Say Edward Coye Jonathan Smit

Jonathan Burpee, whose name heads the above list, was a deacon of the church and at the head of all church movements in Maugerville up to the time of his death in June, 1781. He was the grandfather of David Burpee, whose papers form the basis of this account of Maugerville. Deacon Jonathan, judging from the number and variety of the tools mentioned in the inventory of his estate, must have been originally a carpenter. I have before me a deed, dated December 29th, 1735, by which Moses Braley, of Rowley, in the County of Essex, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, conveys to Jonathan Burpee a lot of land in that place for a consideration of thirty pounds. Deacon Burpee was the ancestor of the late Hon. Isaac Burpee, who was Minister of Customs in Mr. McKenzie’s government.

For the first ten years of its existence the Maugerville church had no settled minister, but the settlement was frequently visited by clergymen, and, in their absence, the public worship of God was kept up by the deacons and elders on the Sabbath, by praying and reading sermons and by singing. This fact is stated by David Burpee, in a letter written by him, to the London Missionary Society in 1814. In 1769, the Rev. Thomas Wood, who was for ten years Dr. Brenton’s assistant in St. Paul’s church, Halifax, made a missionary tour on the St. John river. On the 2nd July he conducted service and preached to the English families at the mouth of the river and baptized four children. On the following Sunday, July 9th, he read service at Maugerville to more than two hundred persons. He stated in his report to the S. P. G., that owing to the fact that the congregation was composed chiefly of Dissenters from New England, and had had a Dissenting minister among them, only two baptisms took place, but added, “if a prudent missionary could be settled among them I believe all their prejudices against our forms of worship would vanish.” In 1770 David Burpee, then a young man of eighteeen, kept a diary in which he briefly noted down the principal occurrences of his life from day to day. From that we learn that Mr. Zephaniah Briggs was preaching in Maugerville from May to August of that year. Mr. Briggs was, doubtless, a Congregationalist minister from New England. I quote the following entries as to church services from David Burpee’s diary:—

Friday, January 14th. Private meetings at Mr. Palmer’s, and mother went there. Sunday, January 14th. The meetwas was at Mr. Barker’s, I went to meeting. Sunday January 21st. Meeting at Mr. Palmer’s, I went. Friday, February 2nd. Private meeting was at our house. Saturday 26th May. Mr. Zephaniah Briggs came here. Sunday, 27th May. Mr Briggs preached at Mr. Smith’s, his text was in Ephesians 2nd, 8th verse. Sunday, June 3rd. Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Quinton’s, from Isaiah 1st, 3rd verse. Sunday, 10 June. Mr. Briggs preached again at Mr. Quinton’s, from John’s gospel, 3rd and 3rd. Sunday 24th June. The meeting is at Mr. Elisha Nevers’s. Mr. Briggs’ text was Matthew 5th, 15th. Sunday, 1st July. To-day Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Nevers’s, from Corinthians 15th, 25th and 26th verses. Sunday, 8th July. Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Smith’s, from Hebrews 11th chapter and part of 14th and 15th verses, and from Titus 3rd and 8th verse. Thursday, 12th July. Mr. Briggs preached from Ezekel 18th, 30th verse. Sunday, 15th July, 1770. Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Nevers’s, from Romans 3rd and 19th verse. July 22nd. Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Anderson’s, from Proverbs 15th and 17th. Sunday, 29th July. Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Quinton’s, from 2nd Corinthians 8th chap., 18, 19, 20th and 21st verses. Sunday, 5th August, 1770. Mr. Briggs preached at Mr. Quinton’s, from Ephesians 2nd and 1st and 2nd verses.

These entries show that the people of Maugerville were very well supplied with preaching during the summer of 1770 at least. On the 30th April, 1765, all the townships on the St. John river were formed into a county under the name of Sunbury. On the 29th of May, of that year, a writ was issued to the inhabitants of the new County, directing them to choose a fit person to represent them in the General Assembly of Nova Scotia. Their choice was Charles Morris, son of the first Surveyor General of Nova Scotia. In 1766, the people of Sunbury appear to have had all the machinery of government in full operation.

It is therefore curious to find in that very year a marriage celebrated as described in the following document:—

Maugerville, February 23, 1766, In the presence of Almighty God and this Congregation, Gervas Say and Anna Russell, inhabitants of the above said township, enter into marriage Covenant lawfully to dwell together in the fear of God the remaining part of our lives, in order to perform all ye duties necessary betwixt husband and wife as witness our hands. Gervas Say Anna Say Daniel Palmer Fras. Peabody Saml. Whitney Richard ESTEY George Hayward David Palmer Edwd. Coye

Gervas Say, one of the principals in this affair, and three of the witnesses, Richard ESTEY, Daniel Palmer and Edward Coye, were signers of the original Church Covenant, so it must be presumed that the marriage thus solemnized was regarded as perfectly regular, and it is probable that, in the absence of a minister competent to perform the ceremony, this was the ordinary mode of marriage.

The promise made by the members in the Church Covenant to discharge the duty of “Brotherly watchfulness toward each other” seems to have been religiously observed in Maugerville. A great many entries in the early records of the Maugerville church are devoted to matters of discipline. A few examples will suffice to illustrate this:

Letter written by Zebulon ESTEY as Clerk to the Senior Calvinist Baptist Church Waterborough to church member to restore them to attending regular church meetings Dec 31 1803

“August the 29th day, 1773. Then the Church appointed a meeting to be held at the house of Mr. Moses Pickard on the 7th day of September and chose Mr. Richard ESTEY, Daniel Palmer, Humphrey Pickard a committee to talk with Israel Kenny concerning his being charged with scandalous sins.

“September the 7th day 1773. The church met at the house of Mr. Moses Pickard to see if they could be satisfied concerning the crimes alleged against our brother Israel Kenny but had no satisfaction. The meeting was adjourned to the 22nd day of September.

“The Church met together on the adjournment of the meeting on the 22nd day of September, 1773. Then Israel Kenny made his acknowledgement before the Church for his offence and was restored to their charity again. “On the 22nd of September, 1773, brother Benjamin Brown then having things laid to his charge before the church, which caused him to be suspended till they were satisfied. “

March the 15th day 1774. The the church met together at a legal meeting our brother Benjamin Brown confessed his faults and was restored to their charity again.”

It may be of interest to note that Israel Kenney, who acknowledged himself before the church in September, 1773, as guilty of ‘scandalous sins’ was elected a ruling elder of the church in June, 1775. The year 1774 was a very important one for the Maugerville Church for it gave them their first settled minister Rev. Seth Noble, a person whose acquaintance the Halifax authorities were anxious to cultivate three years later. I transcribe from the faded page written by Daniel Palmer, church clerk, the minutes relating to Mr. Noble’s selection and call.

“At a meeting held by the subscribers to a bond for the support of the Preached gospil among us at the Hous of Mr. Hugh Quinton inholden on Wednesday ye 15 of June 1774. 1ly Chose Jacob Barker Esq. Moderator in Sd. meeting. 2ly Gave Mr. Seth Noble a call to settle in the work of the ministry among us. 3ly to give Mr. Seth Noble as a settlement providing he accept of the call, one hundred and twenty Pounds currency. 4ly Voted to give Mr. Seth Noble a yearly salery of sixty five pounds currency so long as he shall continue our Minister to be in Cash or furs or grain at cash price. 5ly. Chose Esqrs., Jacob Barker, Phinehas Nevers, Israel Pearly, Deacon Jonathan Burpee and Messrs. Hugh Quinton, Daniel Palmer, Moses Coburn, Moses Prickard a Committee to treat with Seth Noble. 6ly Adjourned the meeting to be held at the House of Mr. Hugh Quinton on Wednesday ye 29 Instat, at four of the clock in the afternoon to hear the report of the committee. Met on the adjournment on Wednesday ye 29 of June 1774 and voted as an addition to the salary of Mr. Seth Noble if he should except our Call, to cut and haul twenty five cords of wood to his house yearly so long as he shall continue to be our Minister. The meeting dissolved.”

These terms were very liberal, considering the time and the circumstances of the people, and Parson Noble accepted them. In addition to his settlement, money and salary, there was also for him in prospect the grant of one of the Maugerville lots, reserved for the first settled minister of the place, but for certain excellent reasons, to be hereafter stated, the lot did not go to Mr. Noble but to a minister of the Church of England.

In 1775, the people of Maugerville were busy erecting a meeting house which was also to serve as a residence for their pastor. In January, 1776, it was so far advanced that it was being clapboarded, for in David Burpee’s account book, under that date, is a charge against the meeting house for work done by Messrs. Plummer and Bridges, for him, at clapboarding one-third of the east end. All would have been well with Parson Noble and his flock if he had been content to attend strictly to their religious welfare. But Noble was from New England, where the clergy had always been accustomed to exercise a large share of authority in secular affairs, and he was also what some people in New England called a “patriot” and the majority of those in Nova Scotia a “rebel.”

Noble began to stir up his flock to join with their friends in New England in throwing off the authority of Great Britain. He wrote a letter to General Washington setting forth the great importance of the capture of western Nova Scotia, and proposing to assist in such an enterprise if it should be undertaken. At length, on the 24th of May, 1776, a meeting of the inhabitants of the River St. John was held at Maugerville, at which a committee was appointed

“to make immediate application to the Congress or General Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay for relief under their present distressed circumstances.”

This rebel committee consisted of twelve persons, ten of whom were prominent in the church. Jacob Barker, who presided at the meeting, was a Justice of the Peace and a ruling elder of the church. Pheneas Nevers and Israel Perley were also justices, and both were church members. Daniel Palmer, Edward Coy, Israel Kinney and Asa Perley were ruling elders. Moses Pickard, Thomas Hartt and Hugh Quinton were church members. The two remaining members of the committee, Asa Kimbal and Oliver Perley were probably church members also, but I have not been able to establish that fact. Without them the connection between the church and the rebel movement is sufficiently clear.

This committee drafted several resolutions which were passed by the meeting, the most important of which was “

that it is our minds and desire to submit ourselves to the government of Massachusetts Bay, and that we are ready with our lives and fortunes to share with them the event of the present struggle for Liberty however God in His Providence may order it.”

The meeting also voted

“that we will have no dealings or connection with any person or persons for the future that shall refuse to enter into the foregoing or similar resolutions.”

Under this threat these resolutions were hawked around the country with a result which is thus stated by the rebel committee:—

“If it be asked what proportion of the people signed the resolutions, it may be answered there is 125 signed and about 12 or 13 that have not, 9 of whom are at the river’s mouth.” I make up the roll of honor of those who refused to sign as follows:— William Hazen, Thomas Jenkins, James Simonds, Samuel Peabody, John BRADLEY, James White, William McKeene, Zebedee Ring, Peter Smith, Gervas Say, Lewis Mitchill, ———— Darling, John Crabtree, John Hendrick, Zebulon ESTEY, John Larlee, Joseph Howland, Thos. Jones and Benj. Atherton.

Perhaps to this list should be added the name of John Anderson, a merchant or trader from Halifax. Francis Peabody whose name would have been upon this list if he had lived, had died in 1773.

Two of the rebel committee, Asa Perley and Asa Kimbal went to Boston with the resolutions and received from the Commissary General, by order of the General Court, one barrel of gunpowder, three hundred and fifty flints and two hundred and fifty weight of lead. They were also graciously permitted to purchase forty stand of small arms for the use of their constituents. This was the price of their allegiance.

Among the instructions given by the Committee to Perley and Kimbal is this significant one:

“Represent the conduct of the Indians that General Washington’s letter set them on fire and they are plundering all people they think are torys and perhaps when that is done the others may share the same fate.”

Washington’s letter, a copy of which was sent to all the Eastern Indians, was written in February, and was not by any means the only communication they received from the same source. If Lord Chatham had been favored with a perusal of these letters and had learned their effect on the Indians that spouting piece of the American school boy, against the employment of Indians in the war, would probably never have been spoken. It was quite natural that the Indians should take to plundering Tories, in view of the example that it was set them by their new found friends.

A great deal of the patriotism of New England at that time had its origin in downright dishonesty and rapacity. If John Hancock had not been a smuggler, with suits hanging over him to the extent of half a million dollars, he would probably not have been a patriot. New England patriots found an easy way of paying their debts and enriching themselves at the same time by driving their Tory creditors out of the country and taking possession of their property.

The people of Machias [Seat of Washington County, Maine, see Battle of Machias 1777]  who were all great patriots, made an easy living during the war by plundering the farmers and fishermen of Nova Scotia. The settlers at the mouth of the St. John were constantly exposed to the depredations of these raiders from the summer of 1775 until the garrison at Fort Howe was established under Major Studholm, in the summer of 1778. The conduct of these raiders must have been bad indeed to draw forth a remonstrance from so notorious a rebel as Colonel John Allan, who, in a letter to the Massachusetts Council, was constrained to say:

“I am extremely sorry privateers are so encouraged this way. Their horrid crimes is too notorious to pass unnoticed.”

Most of the farmers settled at the mouth of the St. John were compelled to abandon their homes and remove up the river in consequence of the visits of the Rev. Seth Noble’s friends, the thieves and plunderers of Machias.

The rebel proceedings at Maugerville formed only a part of a general movement which was made about the same time all over Nova Scotia, by the settlers from New England, to remove the Province from under the authority of the British crown.

In the latter part of 1776, Jonathan Eddy, a native of Norton, Mass., who had settled in Cumberland in 1763, made an attempt to capture Fort Cumberland, then held by a weak garrison under Col. Gorham. The people on the St. John River furnished a contingent of one captain, one lieutenant and twenty-five men for this enterprise. Hugh Quinton, William McKeene, Elijah Estabrooks, Edward Burpee, John Whitney, Benjamin Booby, Amasa Coy, Edward Price, John Pritchard, John Mitchell, Richard Parsons and Daniel Lovet were of this party, but I have not been able to ascertain the names of the others.


Sixteen of the St. John Indians also joined Eddy. Upwards of one hundred residents of Cumberland took up arms under Eddy, but the attempt was a ludicrous failure. Fort Cumberland was not taken, but more than sixty of the misguided men of that county had to abandon their homes and families and fly to escape the consequence of their treason. Eddy and his party, after a dismal December journey, in which they came near perishing of cold and hunger, found rest and shelter at Maugerville. The Cumberland people suffered severely for their little rebellion. Many of them from comparative affluence were reduced to dire poverty, and most of them did not return to Nova Scotia at all, but were compelled to settle on the barren uplands of Maine.

The presence of so reckless a conspirator as Eddy on the St. John spurred the Nova Scotia authorities to action, and in May, 1777, Col. Gould was sent to the St. John River with a force to exact the submission of the inhabitants. This was easily done; the miserable plight to which the Cumberland refugees had been reduced had taken all the fight out of the valiant men, who only a year before were ready with their lives and fortunes to share with the people of Massachusetts, “the event of the present struggle for liberty.” They all took the oath of allegiance. Some of them broke it afterwards in a sneaking way by secretly serving the rebel agents from Massachusetts, but as a community they remained quiet and, to all outward appearance, loyal.

Col. Gould on leaving the River St. John carried with him to Halifax Israel Perley, who had been clerk of the rebel committee on the river. Eddy, in company with Parson Noble and Phineas Nevers, escaped and reached Machias by an inland route. There Colonel John Allan was organizing an expedition for the purpose of holding possession of the St. John River on behalf of the Continental Congress.

The history of Allan’s expedition is very fully related in his diary and letters, which have been printed in Kidder’s book on the Military Operations in Eastern Maine, which was published at Albany in 1867. The expedition left Machias on the 30th May, 1777, and reached St. John on the 2nd June. Messrs White and Hazen, who resided at the mouth of the river, and Lewis Mitchell, who lived at Gageton, were made prisoners by Allan, and carried up to Aukpaque, the Indian town, six miles above the site of the present city of Fredericton, where Allan took up his abode.

Allan hoped to be able to maintain himself on the river with the help of the Indians, but the escape of Lewis Mitchell carried the news of his arrival to Halifax, and brought a British force down upon him which speedily drove him away. Allan and his party with the remains of the Cumberland Contingent and the Indians were compelled to retreat to Machias, going by way of Eel river and St. Croix lakes.

Most of the St. John Indians remained with Allan at the expense of the Massachusetts authorities during the remainder of the war. They proved themselves very valiant trencher men and kept Allan at his wits’ end to provide for them, but no new graveyards had to be started to accommodate the enemies they slew.

Parson Noble and Phineas Nevers were with Allan in his expedition and went back with him to Machias. Noble never returned to the St. John River, but his wife remained at Maugerville for more than two years after his hegira. Nevers also appears to have remained in Maine.

All the other rebels were allowed to remain unmolested on their farms, and had their lands granted to them in due time, while Loyalists in the revolted Provinces were being maltreated and plundered, exiled and deprived of their estates. This generosity on the part of the British Government towards its erring subjects was as creditable to them as the ill treatment of the Loyalists was disgraceful to the States which sanctioned it.

The troubles on the St. John River seem to have demoralized the church at Maugerville, and it was found necessary to renew the church covenant which was done in a document now before me, of which the following is a copy:

Maugerville, June ye 17, year 1779.

“We who through the exceeding riches of the grace and patience of God do continue to be a professing church of Christ being now assembled in the holy Presence of God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ after humble confession of our manifold breaches of the Covenant, before the Lord our God and earnest supplication for pardoning mercy through the blood of Christ and deep acknowledgement of our great unworthiness to be the Lord’s Covenant People, also acknowledging our own inability to keep covenant with God or to perform any spiritual duty unless the Lord Jesus do enable us thereto by his spiritual dwelling in us, and being awfully sensible that it is a dreadful thing for sinful dust and ashes personally to transact with the infinitely glorious Majesty of Heaven and Earth.

“We do in humble confidence of his gracious assistance and acceptance through Christ; each one of us for ourselves and jointly as the church of the Living God explicetly renew our Covenant with God and one with another and after perusing the Covenant on which this church was at first gathered, we do cordially adhear to the same, both in matters of faith and discipline; and whereas some provoking evils have crept in among us which has been the procuring causes of the divisions and calamitys that God has sent or permited in this place, especially the neglect of a close walk with God and a watchfulness over our brother. We desire from our hearts to bewail it before the Lord and humbly to entreat for pardoning mercy through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, and we do heartily desire by God’s grace to reform these evils or whatsoever else have provoked the eyes of God’s glory among us.”

Daniel Palmer, jr. Peter Mooers Jabez Nevers Moses Coburn Benjm. Brown Israel Perly Daniel Jewett Jacob Barker, jr. Asa Perley Jonathan Burpe Saml. Whitney Daniel Palmer Jacob Palmer Humphrey Pickard Edward Coy Female Members of the Church Mary Barker Jane Pickard Abigail Jewett Hannah Coburn Lydia Whitney Lydie Jeheson Hannah Noble Ana Coy Elizbth. Palmer

Turning from political and religious affairs to the social condition of the Maugerville settlers, the Burpee papers supply excellent material for a study of the lives of those pioneers of Sunbury county.

Deacon Jonathan Burpee died in 1781; his will was proved June 26th, and his estate appraised on the 4th of July, of that year, by Jacob Barker and Daniel Jewett. It was valued at upwards of £525, of which £80 was in cash, or money due on notes and other obligations, so that the deacon was probably the wealthiest farmer in the settlement. His land was valued at £252 and his stock at £111.17s. The follow extract from the appraisement paper will serve to show the prices of cattle at that date:

1 pair of oxen £20, 1 dry cow, £5.10: 1 black cow, £4.10. 1 lop horned cow, £5.10s — 2 cows at £5 — 1 pair of 3 year old steers, £12.10s — 2 two year old heifers, at £3.15s. 1 yearling steer, £2.15s — 1 do heifer, £2.15s. 7 pair of sheep, at 20 s. 14 dry sheep, at 13s. 1 mare £10 — 1 colt, £2.5s. Swine 1 at £3.5s — 1 do £4 — 2 pigs at 7s.6d.

These prices are lower than those of the present day [1894], but the prices of grain were higher, for in the same appraisement corn is put down at 7s.6d. a bushel. Deacon Burpee, according to the inventory of his estate, had no carriage or wagon of any kind and no sleigh, but he owned the irons of a cart and half the woodwork, the valuation of his share being £2,10s. The custom of neighbors joining together to purchase a cart, grindstone or some other implement seems to have been quite common. No doubt the roads were too bad to admit much use of wheeled vehicles. The deacon, however, possessed a saddle valued at £3, and a pillion for his better half valued at 6s.

It is when we come to the furniture of Deacon Burpee’s house that the contrast between that time and the present day becomes most marked. The total value of this wealthy farmer’s furniture was just £5 7s. 8d. The list in the inventory is as follows:—

1 bedstead and cord 7s. 6d. 1 do. 12s. 1 do. 8s. 6d. 1 do. 9s. 8d., 1 looking glass 35s., 1 table 5s., 1 do. 1s., 1 great chair 4s. 10 small chairs at 2s., 1 large black do. 5s.

These articles with two chests, valued at 29s., make up the entire furniture of the house, unless I should add one pair of andirons 28s., and fire shovel and tongs 5s. The deacon’s bedding comprised three good feather beds with pillows, coverlets and blankets, all complete the whole valued at £16 11s. 3d. All the cooking of those days was done at an old-fashioned fire place and the deacon’s cooking utensels were therefore few and simple, as will be seen by the following list:—

1 gridiron 6s., 1 toasting iron 6s. The largest iron pot 5s., 1 iron pot 7s. 6d., 1 do. 7s. 6d., 1 iron kettle 8s., 1 iron pan 5s., 1 do. 4s., 1 frying pan 3s., 1 brass kettle 20s.

All the dishes used in the farm houses of Maugerville at that period were of pewter, and their number was quite limited. Deacon Burpee was the possessor of the following:—

1 pewter dish 5s, 1 do. 4s., ½ doz. plates, marked H. P. 9s., 1 large do. 2s., 1 do. 1s., 3 deep plates at 2s., 1 quart pot, 4s. 2 pewter dishes marked M. J. at 6s., 1 three pint basin 2s. 6d., 1 quart do. 2s., 1 porringer 1s. 6d., 1 do. 1s., 1 tea pot 3s. 6d., coffee pot and spoons 2s.

No mention is made of knives or forks, but perhaps the appraisers forgot them. In Deacon Burpee’s time the clothing of a deceased person was duly inventoried, and plenty of people were found ready to buy the garments of the dead. A broadcloth coat or a beaver hat was a valuable asset which might be handed down to the second or even the third generation. Deacon Burpee’s wardrobe was thus valued and described. I preserve the spelling of the original:—

1 Brown coat 55s., 1 black wescot 18s., 1 pare brown breeches 12s. 6d., 1 mixt coat 20s., 1 mixt jackoat 10s., 1 great coat 15s., 1 white 3s. 6d., 1 blew coat 12s. 6d., 1 old jackoat 5s., 2 pare old breakes 2s., 1 black handkerchief 1s. 6d., 1 pare of toe shirts 3s., 1 shirt with fine sleeves 5s., 1 pair of do. 2s., 1 pair blew stockings 1s. 6d., 1 woosted do 1s., 1 pair of neebuckils 1s. 3d., 1 beavour hat 10s., 1 felt do. 2s., 1 pair of shooes 5s.

The total value of these articles was £7 13s. 3d. The accounts of David Burpee, the executor, show what became of some of them.

Edward Burpee, a grandson of the Deacon, and probably an older brother of David, purchased the “mixt coat” for 20s., the mixt waistcoat for 10s., the black waistcoat for 10s., and one shirt for 5s. The beaver hat was sold to Jeremiah Burpee, another grandson, and the felt hat to Thomas Burpee, who was probable a grandson of the deceased deacon.

No doubt the venerable beaver had figured at church meetings in New England before the removal of its owner to Nova Scotia, and it may have attended many a meeting with its new owner who was still active in church work forty years after his purchase of the hat of his grandfather.

In the inventory of Deacon Burpee’s estate occurs the following item:

“A number of books £2 2s. 6d.”

No mention is made of the number or character of these books, but it may be inferred that they were mainly religious works. Reading for amusement was not much practiced in the rural districts of Nova Scotia a century ago. It is somewhat remarkable in David Burpee’s account book, extending over a period of twelve years, there is only mention of the purchase of a single book, although the sale of two is recorded. These were purchased by his sister, Lydia Barker, and were part of the effects left by her father. One was a Bible at 1s. 4d., and the other a sermon book at 1s. We may gather from all this that life was somewhat hard and dry in the Maugerville settlement, and that even the richest had a very few of those things about them which a modern man regards as essential to his comfort.

David Burpee’s “Book of Accounts,” as he entitles it, contains his transactions with fifty-seven different individuals between the year 1772 and 1784. When the first entries were made he was twenty-one years of age, and when the accounts closed he had become a prominent member of the community, sufficiently well thought of to be selected by his grandfather, the deacon, as his executor. Every article purchased by David Burpee for twelve years is entered here, and also every article sold by him in the same period. David appears to have been a very exact man in his dealings and, no doubt, such particularity was the custom of the time.

This feature extends not only to his dealings with strangers, but to his accounts with his brothers and sisters. Of the latter he had three — Lydia, Hephizibah and Esther, all married at or before they had reached their majority, the first to Nathanial Barker, the second to John Pickard, and the third to Jesse Cristy. Each of these young women received £13 7s. 6d. as her share of her father’s estate, the payments being made, for the most part, in household goods at their appraised value.

This was in accordance with the custom of conducting business by barter and making payments in kind. Thus the amount of cash in circulation was always small. Corn and furs were the staple articles of trade, and corn was raised to a greater extent than any other grain. David Burpee’s accounts show that in 1778 he raised fifty bushels of corn, of which eighteen bushels were ground and the remainder sold. The price seems to have varied greatly. In March, 1777, it was 4s. a bushel; in July, 1777, it was 5s.; in 1778 and 1779 the price was 5s. In June, 1780, it was 7s.; in September, 7s. 6d.; in May, 1781, 6s. 2d.; in 1782, 6s., and May, 1784, it was 9s. a bushel. Corn was made the basis of board as will be seen from the following transcript from David Burpee’s accounts:—

“Corn that I have found for my board at Uncle Pickard’s since the 11th of September, 1775: 2 bushels last till the 11th October, ½ bushel Indian. Dec. 4th — 1 3/8 bushels wheat. ” ” — 2 bushels of Indian, last till 4th December. ” 12th — 6 bushels, ½ will last till the 4th of March, 1776. 1/8 bushel of Indian meal. Feb. 7th — ½ bushel Moses and I ground in the hand mill. ” 28th — 1 7/8 bushels of Indian meal last till the 8th of April, 1776. April 4th — 1 bushel of wheat meal last till the 22nd of April, 1776. June 1st — 3 bushels of Indian meal, which make me even about meal”

It would appear from this that half a bushel of corn was the equivalent of a week’s board. In another part of the account book, mention is made of an arrangement which David Burpee entered into in 1782, by which he agreed to board Eliud Nickerson and Pyam Old at his house, in consideration of them each working two days in the week for him. The ordinary rate of wages was 2s. day, except for mowing, framing, hoeing corn and raking hay, for which the charge was 2s. 6d. Board, therefore, must have been estimated at from 4s. to 5s. a week.

[Remember 20 shillings to a pound, The shilling was subdivided into 12 pennies (d)].

The wages of a woman servant were 10s. a month. This was what Hephzibah Burpee received from her brother David during the fourteen months she worked with him, ending Oct. 6th, 1777. A clear income of £6 a year was not calculated to admit of much finery, but this young lady seems to have indulged her taste to the full extent of her means, for she expended 10s. for a pair of stays, 25s. for one gown and 7s. 6d. for another, 15s. for a quilted coat, 5s. 6d. for a pair of silk mits, 7s. for a lawn handkerchief, 6s. 6d. for an Indian cotton handkerchief, and 24s. for eight yards of striped camlet.

All articles of clothing were very dear, as compared with present prices, and excessively so when the rate of wages was taken into account. In one place we find calico charge at 6s. a yard, holland at 6s. 6d. and cotton wool at 3s. 6d. per lb. When David Burpee, in December, 1777, went to buy himself the material for a decent broadcloth suit his account at Mr. Joseph Dowset’s stood as follows:

3 ¾ yards B. cloth at 20s £3 15 0 3 years shalloon at 4s 12 0 3 sticks twist at 1s., 2 skeins at 1s. 3d. 5 6 1 ½ dozen coat buttons at 2s. 6d 3 9 £4 16 3

I cannot find anywhere a record of what David paid the tailor, but there is little doubt that the suit when made cost David Burpee as much as he could earn in three months, at the current rate of wages, after paying his board. This being so, it was necessary for the early settlers to indulge in a new suit as seldom as possible. Leather breeches seem to have been universally worn, and it is to be presumed that from their lasting qualities they were considered an economical garment.

In 1773 David Burpee paid John Wason 12s. for the leather for a pair of breeches, and this was probably the common price. I see among the goods charged in this account book certain articles not now known to the dry goods trade, such as stroud at 10s. a yard and chenee at 17s. 6d.

As a rule, everything that had to be purchased out of a store was dear. Molasses was 2s. 6d. a gallon in 1772, and 5s. in 1777; salt was 5s. a bushel in 1771, and 10s. in 1778; sugar ranged from 1s. 3d. to 1s. 8d. per lb., the higher being the prevailing price. I find 1s. 8d. charged for brown sugar in 1782; indigo was from 12s. to 20s. per lb.; tea varied in price from 6s. to 7s. 6d. per lb; coffee was 2s.; raisins, 2s.; gunpowder, from 2s. 6d. to 5s.; tobacco, 3s. to 3s. 6d.; rum, of which a good deal seems to have been used, ranged in price from 4s. to 5s. a gallon. It was however, 10s. in 1781, owing, no doubt, to the war.

One of the curious entries in David Burpee’s account book is the following charge against Edward Burpee: “1776 Nov. For rum we drank coming up the river, 6d.” Why Edward, who was probably a brother of David, should be charged with the rum “we” drank coming up the river is not apparent.

In the winter of 1778-9 David Burpee taught school, and this circumstance enables us to ascertain that the rate of tuition was 3s. 11½d. per month for each scholar. I can only find charges in the book for the tuition of seven scholars. The tuition fees, as the accounts show, were paid in a variety of goods, and in work, in grain, leather, musquash skins and rum, and in hauling hay and making shoes. The schoolmaster appears to have handled only 10s. in actual cash for his entire winter’s work.

The prices of produce in Maugerville varied very considerably at different times. In Sep 1774, butter was sold for 6d. per lb., in Jul, 1778, for 10d.; in Nov 1781, for 1s., and in Sep 1784, for 1s. 3d. Lamb was 2½d. per lb. Beef ranged from 1½ in 1777 to 3d. in 1780, and 6d. in 1783. Potatoes varied in price from 1s. 3d. a bushel, in 1779, to 2s. 6d. in 1781. Geese cost from 3s. to 3s. 6d. each; fowls 1s.; pork from 5d. to 6d. per lb. Wheat was as low as 5s. a bushel in 1773 and as high as 10s. in Feb 1782. Cheese was sold at 7½d. per lb. in 1784.

Here is the record of a transaction which would be regarded as unusual at the present day:

— September 30th, 1778. Took a hog of Mr. Joseph Howlin of Burton to fat, the hog weighs now 113 lbs. and I am to have as many pounds of pork as he weighs more when I kill him. Dec. 1st, 1778, killed Mr. Howlin’s hog. Weighed before he was killed 181 lbs. His weight before 113 lbs. 68 lbs.

Arrival of the Loyalists

The arrival of the Loyalists in 1783 seems to have had rather an injurious effect on the primitive ways of the original settlers. There was but little sympathy between the new residents and the old and considering their antecedents much was not to be expected. The new comers were loyal men who had lost their all for their king and constitution, the old settlers had, as a rule, been only kept from open rebellion by fear.

Naturally, difficulties arose about grants, for the Loyalists could hardly have been well pleased to find the best lands on the St. John River occupied by men who were just as much rebels as the Whigs of Massachusetts. The late George A. Perley, of Fredericton, in a letter written to me in May, 1883, in which was enclosed a list of the grantees of lots in Maugerville, said:

“The grantees are not all of the original settlers; some of them were Loyalists that came twenty years after the ‘old inhabitants.’ All the Loyalists were not over honest nor gentlemanly be it known to you and had more knowledge and were abler dealers than some of the old inhabitants, for some of them visited Halifax and examined the records of the Land Office, and wherever they found grants not taken out, or where settlers had gone on without proper authority, they applied for these lands got grants and dispossessed many of the early settlers, so the names of the Loyalists and Refugees are intermingled in the original grant with the old inhabitants.”

The writer of the above was a grandson of Israel Perley, clerk of the rebel committee on the St. John River in 1776, and also of Oliver Perley, another member of the same committee, so that his views of the honesty or gentlemanly conduct of the Loyalists were hardly those of an unbiased person. His two grandfathers, however, got their grants all right, but whether they deserved them or not may perhaps be open to doubt.

Some intimation of the friction between the old and new settlers on the St. John River seems to have reached the Rev. Seth Noble, for, after many years, he wrote on the 6th of September, 1784, to the Maugerville church. The previous June he had become the minister of Brewer, Me., and he now made a claim against the Maugerville people for his salary for the seven years he had been absent, a fact which shows that Mr. Noble was never likely to lose anything by his modesty.

He also endeavoured to alarm his late flock in regard to the growth of immorality, owing to the arrival of the new settlers, and to persuade them to remove to Maine and live under Republican institutions.

On the 10th of November, of the same year, the Maugerville church answered Noble’s letter, utterly refusing to recognize any claim on his part against them. They also declined to remove to Maine. On this last point they say:—

“But with regard to the growth of immorality in this place we acknowledge and lament it, and the gloomy prospect we have of future generations growing up in the utmost dissipation fills us with grief and discontent, and would willingly forego many of the conveniences of life for the sake of better company or to see religion flourish here, as it once did. But are we to throw away the fruits of many years of painful industry and leave (with precipitation) the place where God in his providence had smiled upon us both in our spiritual and temporal affairs and, destitute of support, cast ourselves into a place where the necessaries of life are hardly to be obtained, unless we could find a place where vice and immorality did not thrive, or at least where vital piety did flourish more than here.”

Those who are familiar with early New England history will recognize here the same old cant about the degeneracy of the times which caused Hubbard the Puritan historian to say that the golden age in Massachusetts only lasted ten years. Yet in 1635 the first Grand Jury in Massachusetts presented one hundred offences, and this in a population of not more than three thousand persons. The same ratio of crime would give New Brunswick more than 10,000 indictable offences annually. And in 1637 the Synod that was called to settle the religious dispute in Massachusetts, which threatened to wreck the Commonwealth, found that there were eighty erroneous opinions which had become disseminated in New England.

If the golden age ceased in Maugerville when the Loyalists came, that event at least gave the people better opportunities for public worship. In the winter of 1783-4 the Rev. John Sayre, a Loyalist clergyman of the Church of England from Fairfield, Conn., preached in the Congregationalist meeting house at Maugerville, but he died in the summer of 1784.

He was succeeded by the Rev. John Beardsley, a New York clergyman, and under his ministry the Church of England people erected a church for themselves. On the 1st of June, 1788, two missionaries Messrs. James and Milton arrived from England. They had been sent out by the Countess of Huntington and were warmly welcomed. The Maugerville people made provision for their board and lodging at once, until the following June, when the Rev. Mr. James became their settled minister.

On the 4th September, 1789, the church covenant was renewed and signed by the following persons:—

John Hames, Pastor Deacons: Humphrey Pickard William McKeene Elders: Daniel Palmer Jacob Barker Moses Coburn Asa Perley Peter Mooers Members: Edward Coye Israel Perley Samuel Nevers William Smith Jabez Nevers Daniel Jewett Samuel Whitney Female Members: Jane Pickard Mary Burpee Mary Nevers Elis’th Perley Hannah Perley Anne Nevers Abigail Jewett Susanna Smith Jane Langin Elizabeth Whitney Thankful Parker Mary Coye

The last person on the list, Mary Coy, is the woman who as Mrs. Bradley, more than forty years ago, published her religious biography, a very curious and interesting volume, which throws a good deal of light on the lives of the early settlers of the St. John River.

It was owing to some charge brought by Mary Coy against Mr. James, which is now rather obscure, that his ministry closed in 1791. This, whoever may have been to blame, had a sinister influence on the church.

There was some trouble in regard to the possession of a lot on which the meeting house stood in 1793. In 1794 a Mr. Boyd was preaching at Maugerville, and his ministry seems to have lasted until 1797. Then there is a gap in the church records until 1805, and another gap between that year and 1811, when a Mr. Eastman was preaching at Maugerville. In 1814 the Maugerville people were applying to the London Missionary Society for a minister, but this application does not appear to have been successful.

At length, after one or two other failures to secure a suitable minister, application was made to Scotland, and the Rev. Archibald McCallum was sent out. He appears to have arrived at Maugerville in the latter part of 1820, or the beginning of 1821. He was living in the county of Sunbury as late as the year 1842. The last record I have of the Maugerville church in the handwriting of David Burpee contains the two following entries:

“At a church meeting held on Saturday, the 3rd day of October, 1829, Jane, the wife of Francis McEwen, and Sarah, the wife of Charles Stuart, were received as members of the church.” “At a church meeting held at the meeting house since the last date, James McLaughlin was received a member of the church.”

This ends the record. David Burpee was then about 78 years of age, and probably near the close of his useful and respectable life. His writing, once so even and regular, had fallen into the tremulousness of age, and it may be that these were the last lines he ever penned. The fact that there is no date to the last entry tells of impaired memory and faculties grown weak. It is the old story, as ancient as the days of Moses, of years whose strength had become labor and sorrow.

From the first line of his handwriting, which I have quoted, until the last there is an interval of more than fifty-nine years. By the help of his papers I have endeavored to relate something of the life and manners of this pioneer settlement on the St. John, not so much for anything novel or striking which they disclose, as to show the value of those materials which may be found in every county in the maritime provinces for the purpose of restoring its history.

There is scarcely an ancient house in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick which does not contain old letters and paper of priceless worth for the uses of the historian, and the collection and preservation of such materials must ever be one of the chief objects of such a society as this. With their help we can reconstruct the past from which we are so far removed, not so much by reason of the lapse of years, as because of the altered condition of life, which the innumerable inventions of the present century have brought about; with their help we can better appreciate the toils and trials which our fathers had to endure, in layinSog the foundations upon which we have built the fabric of our present civilization.


The Maugerville Settlement 1763 – 1824 by James Hannay Maugerville, New Brunswick, Canada [Published in Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society Vol. 1, 1894]

The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776: An Episode in the American Revolution
By Ernest Clarke 1995

1783 Studholm Report – transcribed by George H. Hayward

BURPE (Burpee), DAVID Bio, farmer, magistrate, and office holder; b. 22 April 1752 in Rowley, Mass., eldest son of Jeremiah Burpe, a carpenter, and Mary Saunders; m. 1 Jan. 1778 Elizabeth Gallishan, and they had seven sons and seven daughters; d. 31 May 1845 in Maugerville, N.B.

Seth Noble, Maugerville, and the American Revolution by Johnwood1946

GLIMPSES OF THE PAST. History of the River St. John A. D. 1604-1784 By Rev. W. O. RAYMOND, LL.D. St. John, N. B.

Planters and Pioneers, Nova Scotia 1749-1775 by Dr. Esther Clark Wright 2007

Posted in History, Immigrant - North America, Line - Miller, Pioneer, Storied | 17 Comments