Loyalists Enroute to Canada

C. W. Jeffreys.  Reproduced courtesy of the National Archives

During the latter half of the nineteenth and early years of the twentieth centuries, artists contributed to the Loyalist traditions in Ontario and the Maritimes.  The sketches of C. W. Jefferys and the paintings of J. D. Kelly are familiar to many Canadians and to most Loyalist descendants.  C. W. Jefferys illustrated the Ontario history textbooks of George M. Wrong and Stewart Wallace.  The drawing above and the evening camp scene on the following page are images of exile, hardship and endurance in a new land.  Such art contributed to a pastoral and pioneer mythology which evolved after the 1860's.  Notice the mother who appears to be nursing her child in both scenes.  J. D. Kelly also gives prominence to the mother holding and possibly nursing her baby in his "Loyalists Landing" painting.  Dennis Duffy has drawn attention to the power of religious methaphor which is inherent in the "Loyalist madonna".  The nursing mother represents the "suffering of the innocent" in Matthew XXXIV, verse 19: and woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days.  See Dennis Duffy, "The Mythology of Loyalism", Journal of Canadian Studies 12 (Spring, 1977): 21.