The Loyalists: Facts Bearing on the Approaching Centennial.

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The Loyalists: Facts Bearing on the Approaching Centennial.
J. W. Lawrence
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THE LOYALISTS. Facts Bearing on the Approaching Centennial. Letters of J.W. Lawrence, Esq. No. 5. Hon. Robert Duncan Wilmot, Lieutenant Governor. SIR: The patriotic spirit of 1798, when Governor Carleton subscribed £555 11s. 1d., and Joseph Warren, the black drummer, £2 per annum, during the continuance of the war, against all His Majesty’s enemies, yet lives in New Brunswick, as shown by the declaration of the Corporation of St. John, in reference to the centennial celebration: It is now nearly a century since that patriotic band of men left their all for a home in British land, and came hither to build up what has become a prosperous commonwealth, and it has seemed that for nearly a hundred years nothing but the opportunity was wanted to bring into full play those noble sentiments of our people that have lingered ready to show, by some spontaneously generous act, their love for the memory of the founders of this country. In the judgment of the Mayor, aldermen and councillors, a “Memorial Hall” should be erected in the city of St. John, “to the patriotic band of men who, in 1783, left their all for a home in British land.” When the city corporation is a unit on a question, it must be one not only of intrinsic merit, but carrying with it the elements of popularity. In connexion with the Memorial Hall, the question presents itself: from what source the free library and the reading room will be maintained. In the solution of the problem the city fathers are important factors. From two sources the fund for the maintenance of a free library and a free reading room can be obtained. 1st. Relieve the aldermen from attendance at the city court, and let the fee paid them go to “The Library and Reading Room” fund. In Portland, the police magistrate has no assistance on the bench, and none is required. As there, let the duty in the city court devolve on the Judge alone. Graver questions than come before it are disposed of by the police magistrate and by the Judges in chambers. For the presence of an alderman at the city court there is no necessity. From the change a considerable sum could be made available for the “Free Library and Reading Room.” 2nd. For over sixty years it was unknown for the city fathers to vote themselves pay. Like the peers and commoners of England, they asked no compensation. Why do not the Board of the present day walk in their footsteps? His Worship the Mayor in his late inaugural remarked: “The labour performed by the members was comparatively without remuneration.” The sum received, while insignificant to each, in the aggregate, would give to the “Free Library and Reading Room,” Eighteen Hundred Dollars per annum. This with Four Hundred Dollars from the salary of the Mayor, with the fees now received by the aldermen at the city court, would form a handsome endowment, without any increase of the civic burden; at the same time adding dignity to the position of the city fathers, making an epoch in civic affairs, becoming the oldest colonial city in the British Empire. “Bringing into full play those noble sentiments of our people that have lingered ready to show by some spontaneously generous act, their love for the memory of the founders of this country.” Let the new departure, of which his Worship the Mayor has set an example, mark the centennial of the arrival of those “who left their all for a home in British land, and came hither to build up what has become a prosperous commonwealth.” DEATH OF AN OLD LOYALIST. “DIED, Wednesday evening, 12th March, 1800, Mr. Richard Partelow, in the 98th year of his age, an old and respected inhabitant.” When the Loyalists in 1783 landed at Parr Town, the old Patriarch was in his 83rd year. He was the great grandfather of the Hon. John. R. Partelow. With St. John’s second and third mayors, a judge, a sheriff, two chamberlains, three rectors, and a long line of old worthies, Mr. Partelow lies in the Old Burial Ground. The eve of the 99th anniversary of their landing is a fitting time for the city fathers to apply the plummet to their head stones. THE UNITED STATES AND THE YEAR 1883. On the 25th of November, 1783, the flag of Britain floated over the Old Thirteen Colonies for the last time. Preparations of various kinds are making for a series of celebrations in 1883. At the last General Convention of the Bishops and delegates of the Protestant Episcopal Church it was resolved to mark the centennial, 1883, by raising a church building fund of $1,000,000. DISBANDING OF THE AMERICAN ARMY. At the town of Newburg, on the Hudson, the American army, on the 3rd of November, 1783, was disbanded. “In their ragged regimentals, Stood the old continentals,” drawn up in line, while the proclamation of Congress and Washington’s farewell orders were read. The troops who had so long fought together then broke rank for the last time. On that spot it is proposed to celebrate the centennial of the event. The plan of the celebration is not determined, but it will cover several days. The initiative has been taken by Washington head quarters commission. It is proposed to ask appropriations from the State Government and National Congress. For it the latter has voted $10,000. THE LADIES OF NEW BRUNSWICK AND THE CENTENNIAL. Loyalty was not alone with the fathers and sons of the Revolution; there were mothers and maidens, with husbands and brothers, faithful to the crown. Mrs. Inglis, the wife of the last rector of New York, the first Bishop of the Church of England in the colonies, Mrs. Robinson, whose husband was appointed to a seat in the first Council of New Brunswick, and whose two sons, Beverly and John, subsequently were members, with her sister Mrs. Morris, were attainted of treason, their property confiscated, and were adjudged worthy of death. Of them and other loyal matrons it could be said. “The heart of her husband safely trusted her, so that he had no need of spoil, She did him good and not evil all the days of her life. She sought wool and flax and worked willingly with her hands. She rose also while it was yet night, and gave meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She laid her hands to the spindle, and her hands held the distaff. She stretched out her hands to the poor; yea, she stretched out her hands to the needy. She looked well to the ways of her household and ate not the bread of idleness. Her children rose up and called her blessed, her husband also and he praised her.” FIRST MARRIAGE AT PARR TOWN. On a tomb stone at Sussex Vale is the following: “IN MEMORY OF Lieut. Andrew Stockton, born at PRINCE TOWN, NEW JERSEY, January 3rd, 1760, and died at Sussex Vale, May 8th, 1821. ALSO HANNAH, HIS WIFE, Born in the State of New York and Died in Kings county, October 1st, 1793, Aged 25 years and 4 months. LIEUT. STOCKTON was married in the city of St. John, then called PARR TOWN, The 4th of April, 1784, By the Hon. George Leonard. Which was the first marriage in that Town.” FASHIONABLE WEDDING. “Married on Thursday evening, February 17th, 1787, by the Rev. George Bisset, rector, William Sandford, Oliver, Esq., High Sheriff for the city and county of St. John, to the much esteemed and accomplished Mrs. Catherine Menzies, late Widow of Capt. Menzies, deceased.” The lady was Sheriff Oliver’s second wife, she died in 1803, aged 41 years. The sheriff married a third wife and died 1813, aged 62 years. At this time his residence and office was in Union Street opposite Drury Lane, then a fashionable section of the city. Along side his second wife, the first sheriff of St. John rests in the Old Burial Ground. Up to 1817, all the marriages at St. John were by the rector of Trinity, consequently in the notices, his name does not appear. “Married on Tuesday evening, the 7th of May 1793, William Melick to Miss Kent. On Thursday evening, Captain Noah Disbrow to Isabella Chillas. On Sunday evening, Capt. Beck, to Miss Elizabeth Cutler.” In these days there were no bridal presents, wedding breakfast, or bridal tours, the latter largely the creation of the steamboat and railroad. The young housekeeper of olden times had no cooking stoves, self feeders, gas meters, water faucets, lucifer matches, sewing machines, no Harpers’ Bazaar, Godey’s Ladies Book, illustrated papers, Daily Telegraph, Sun, Mechanics’ Institute, with its lectures (“Who giveth this Woman?” Art Decoration, etc., etc.,) reading room, library and museum, Skating Rink, School of Cookery. The only variation from the daily work was the quilting parties, with an occasional gathering in the Old Coffee House, some going in their Sedan chair. A NOBLE EXAMPLE. The History of a People told in China. SPECIMENS OF CHINA Brought to the Colonies By the Early Settlers, Particularly the Loyalists, collected for THE MUSEUM OF KINGS COLLEGE, WINDSOR, NOVA SCOTIA. Presented in Memory of Haliburton Weldon, by his mother. Fredericton, New Brunswick, 18th May, 1880. PREFACE. In presenting this small collection of old china to the museum of King’s College, Windsor, N. S., it is hoped that it will be borne in mind it must be valued not for its intrinsic worth, but as a recollection of the early settlers in these colonies, among which will be found several contributions from families of later arrival. The original intention, however, of the collection was to save from destruction some specimens of the china brought to the country by the Loyalists and to place them in the first college in British North America, established by Royal charter since their landing; a fitting place for the deposit for the relics of those leal and true subjects of the English Crown. It is rather a remarkable fact that in the hazardous departure of these refugees, though obliged in many cases to leave their books, plate and even clothing, still the bowl in which their children were baptised, or some valuable article of glass or porcelain, was always saved, and it is because their descendants will place some value on these slight memorials of an ancestry worthy to be held in all honor. A distinguished general officer, when in command of the troops at St. John, truly and beautifully remarked to the donor, that “The self-denying devotion of those Loyalists in their attachment to their Sovereign, exceeded anything on record in the page of history.” Fredericton, 18th May, 1880, the ninety-seventy anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists in St. John, N. B. THE HISTORY OF A PEOPLE TOLD IN CHINA. Among the 363 pieces in the three cabinets are the following: -- No. 46, a rare and remarkable vase, presented by the late Lieut. Governor Chandler; brought to Nova Scotia by his grandfather, a loyalist, who died at the age of 90 years. This vase has a likeness of the Elector of Hanover, George I., with a Herald placing the crown of England on his head. On the reverse is the ship in which Lord Dorset brought His Majesty from The Hague. No. 76, St. George and the dragon, a most valuable piece of Burslem china; brought by Capt. Bailey, Loyal American Regiment. He came to Fredericton, 1783, and died at the advanced age of 97 years. It was presented by his daughter, Miss Bailey, who died at Fredericton, 1875. She remembered when the tea was thrown overboard in Boston, being then about seven years old, which would make her age about 105 years. She said her father highly prized this St. George, and thought every English gentleman should have one. This group was examined by a person acquainted with china, who said it was priceless from its great rarity. No. 56. A valuable old Wedgworth pitcher, with Flaxman medallion in white. It belonged to Col. Bayard, King’s Orange Rangers, and was used during the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent on his way to Annapolis. No. 210. China cup and saucer, from General Sir Fenwick Williams, who was born at Annapolis, Nova Scotia, and early entered His Majesty’s service. The ancestors of General Williams will always have honorable mention in history for his noble and courageous protection to King Charles II. after the battle of Worcester! The King had wandered to Boscobel alone and friendless, and made himself known to a family of four brothers of the name of Penderell, who lived in a lone house there, and though death was denounced to all who should conceal, and a large reward promised to any who should betray him, they nobly promised to shelter him, and placed him in safety in the famous tree afterwards known as “King Charles’ oak.” In the thick branches and leaves he remained hidden twenty-four hours, seeing the soldiers pass who were in pursuit of him. In answer to the repeated request what the recompense should be, the modest sum of “forty pounds” was named, and this being made perpetual, the family still receive the pension. This remarkable occurrence, together with General Williams’ own fame, give these piece of china a two-fold interest among the relics of these “leal and true subjects of the English crown.” If one lady can gather such a trophy, and so perpetuate the history of the Loyalists, who can limit the success that would follow the combined efforts of the ladies of New Brunswick in collecting for an Art Gallery Museum, and stained glass windows for a section of the Memorial Hall, through bazaars with the “Old New England kitchen,” old costumes, Art exhibition, “Old Folks’ concert,” etc., etc. Of the ladies of New Brunswick, in 1883, may it be said as of the matrons and maidens of old: “They laid their hands to the spindle and their hands held the distaff; They sought wool and flax, and worked willingly with their hands.” The sixth and last of the series will appear on the morning preceding the 99th anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists at Parr Town – an anniversary to be honoured with a “Musical and Literary Festival,” presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of the Province, “the initial of a series, to culminate a year hence, in the grandest patriotic movement ever attempted in the Maritime Provinces. J. W. LAWRENCE. * Haliburton Weldon was a son of Hon. John Wesley Weldon, Judge of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, and grandson of the late Judge Haliburton of Nova Scotia, the distinguished author. Haliburton Weldon was born 17th June, 1849; graduated at Windsor College, 1870; admitted to the New Brunswick bar the same year, and died at St. John, 3rd August, 1873. † In the “Old Graveyard,” St. John, is a slab to the memory of the mother of General Williams: SACRED to the memory of Anna Maria Williams, widow of THOMAS WILLIAMS, Esq., late Commissary at ANNAPOLIS ROYAL. She died June 15th, 1823, AGED 55 YEARS. Thanks be to God which giveth the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.