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ONTARIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY. PAPERS AND RECORDS VOL. II The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie. BY L. H. TASKER, M. A., Collegiate Institute, Niagara Falls. TORONTO: WILLIAM BRIGGS. 1900.
THE UNITED EMPIRE LOYALIST SETTLEMENT AT LONG POINT, LAKE ERIE. CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION.
No more inspiring subject can engage the pen of any writer than the theme of loyalty. Fidelity to the constitution, laws and institutions of one's native land has been honored in every country and in every age. From infancy we have been told of the brave men of our race, and yet the tale, ever told, is ever new. The hero stories that thrilled us in our childhood have still the power to make the heart beat quickly and the current of feeling sweep over us, rich and strong. Socialists and revolutionists may affect to scorn it, but they cannot blot out the inherent glory contained in the word "patriot." "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." To die for one's native land is assuredly sweet and seemly, and yet there is a truer and a nobler loyalty than this. It is that of preserving inviolate one's faith to the established government, when all around is sedition, anarchy and revolution. When to be loyal means to fight, not against the stranger and the foreigner, but against those of the same language, the same country, the same state, and, it may be, the same family as one's self-when loyalty means fratricidal war, the breaking up of home, the severing of the dearest heart cords, the loss of everything except honor- "Oh who shall say what heroes feel, When all but life and honor's lost?" Such was the loyalty of these who plunged unshaken, unterrified and unseduced into a conflict unutterably bitter, which was destined to last for seven long years, and finally to sever them from their native land. During the war of the revolution, and in the blind revenge exacted by the victorious side, their property was confiscated, their families ostracised and exposed to insult, outrage and spoliation, their lives were in danger, and often ruthlessly declared forfeit, to satisfy malicious hatred and suspicion. Their zeal for the unity of the empire gave them the title of United Empire Loyalists, and these were the men who, at the close of the war, sought a refuge and a home on British soil, among the northern forests, and laid deep the foundations of the institutions, the freedom, the loyalty, and the prosperity of our land. "Dear were the homes where they were born, Where slept their honored dead; And rich and wide, on every side Their fruitful acres spread; But dearer to their faithful hearts Than home, and gold, and lands, Were Britain's laws, and Britain's crown, And Britain's flag of high renown, And grip of British hands."
CHAPTER II. THE POLITICAL ASPECT 0F THE REVOLUTION.
THE Acts of the Imperial Parliament by which direct taxes were imposed on the American colonies are to be regarded as the culmination of the series of causes which brought on the revolution. In this series of events the most important is, no doubt, the renewal of the restrictions on colonial trade, enforced soon after the third George began his reign. Under the old "navigation laws" and "laws of trade" the colonial produce had to be exported directly to Britain, and thence by British vessels only, carried to its destination. Similarly, goods for the colonies had to be brought to Britain and thence to the colonies in British ships. The American colonies were not allowed to trade even with other colonies directly. For nearly a Century these odious Acts had been evaded by an organized and well arranged system of smuggling. The revenue officers of the Crown were lax in their enforcement of the letter of the law; consequently the merchants of various states, and chiefly those of Massachusetts, had grown rich by the illicit traffic, and were exasperated beyond measure by the attempts of the revenue officers, under fresh orders, to enforce the laws. Fourteen of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were engaged in trade which was affected grievously by these restrictions. [Hancock, Adams, Hewes, Langdon, Whippler, Livingstone, Clymer, Lewes, Sherman, Morris, Gwinnet, Taylor, Hopkins and Gerry] At the time of the Declaration of Independence John Hancock was a respondent in suits of the Crown to recover £1O0,O00, or over, for alleged infractions of the trade laws. Thus the questions relative to trade and commerce are to be regarded as a primary cause of the revolution. Another primary use was the fact that colonial industry and manufacture were restricted. The colonists were denied the use of natural advantages, such as waterfalls; they were forbidden the erection of sundry kinds of machinery, particularly spinning and weaving machines; the king's arrow was placed on trees in the forest, which were two feet or over in diameter, at a height of twelve inches from the ground; the manufacture of sawn lumber, except for home consumption, was interdicted; the market for dried fish was cut off; the commerce in sugar and molasses was rudely interrupted; the most important and profitable avenues of trade were closed to them. Hence one of the aims of the revolution was to take off the shackles which bore heavily on the rising colonies. The explanation, or excuse it may be called, for these impositions lies of course in the opinion held by all Imperial governments at that time, that colonies existed for the benefit of the Mother Country only. The world has at last outgrown that doctrine, and we are to-day reaping the benefit of the removal of restrictions which was accelerated by the shock of the loss of half a continent. But all nations and governments are to be judged according to the general standard of enlightenment at the time of the events under consideration. It is easy to criticise a public policy when the result of a chain of events has demonstrated it to be wrong. Before the issue, its wisdom or foolishness is for the most part a matter of opinion. Had we been a member of Lord North's Government we would have, no doubt, thought the existing colonial policy a natural and necessary one; had we made a fortune smuggling tea, wine, or mollasses, we would have no doubt, thought that same colonial policy vile and inhuman. Living as we do with a century and a quarter of added experience, we neither commend its wisdom nor criticise too harshly its application. Let us be merciful. If we cannot be merciful let us be fair, and give the devil, on both sides, his due. We now come to that question which, as an apple of discord, was rolled around the parliamentary table for ten long years, and at last plunged the nation into warfare and led to the dismemberment of the empire: "Has the British Parliament power to tax the colonies without giving them representation in the Imperial Parliament?" This question may be considered: Firstly, from a purely legal aspect; secondly, from the standpoint of expediency; and thirdly, from the moral and ethical side. As a matter of abstract right, the Mother Country has never parted with the claim to ultimate supreme authority of legislation on any matter whatever. This has always been acknowledged by constitutional lawyers. If the Imperial Parliament were to resign this ultimate right, the tie that binds the empire would be dissolved, and the colonies would forthwith become independent state. It is that right which, along with the acknowledgment of a common head, makes us a part of the British Empire of which we are so proud. The question of the abstract right of taxation was never disputed; simply that of taxation without representation. Yet we must remember that the theory of "no taxation without representation," was not settled at the time of the Revolutionary War. Many of the important cities of the United Kingdom, and the large manufacturing districts were not represented for fifty years after this time; for example, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Yet they did not resort to arms. Their burdens were heavy, but with the patient loyalty of true Britons they bore them until the good sense of the present century gave them a share in the government. Not so the colonies. They enforced their demands by an appeal to arms. It would seem, moreover, as if the moving spirits of the revolution had seized the enforcement of taxation as an excuse for the unfilial demand of absolute separation from the Mother Country. On what other supposition can their haste and violence be accounted for? To what else can their action be attributed? Secondly, let us discuss the action of Britain from the standpoint of expediency. Viewed in the light of the actual result-the loss of the southern half of this continent- it would seem as if the Stamp Act and the tea duty were inexpedient. Yet it may be questioned, if, as the writer is convinced, the question of taxation was used as an excuse for the Declaration of Independence, would not the leaders of the revolution have made some other act of the Mother Country the basis of their agitation? The actions of these men at the close of the war did not show that rigorous adherence to right and justice which they had insisted on so strenuously before the revolution. The following chapters will prove this point. But even allowing that the taxation was inexpedient in the light of the result, was it a fair demand? For nearly two centuries the colonies had been watched over by Britain. They had been defended alike from the encroachments of home enemies and of foreign foes. For years the French and the Indian had been repulsed and kept in check. The constant fear of sudden attack and merciless massacre had been removed. The New England colonies were in a state of safety and prosperity they had never known before. Under the superintendency of Sir William Johnson, the Six Nation Indians and their affiliated tribes lived in a marvellously friendly state with the white settlers. They had nothing now to fear from their dusky allies. Their enemies, the French and the tribes of Canadian Indians, were at this time under the same British rule. The protecting arm which Britain now extends around the world was furnishing to the colonies that security in which they contentedly flourished. Even John Otis, one of the most violent agitators of independence, said in 1763, in the course of a public speech at Boston, "The true interests of Great Britain and her colonies are mutual, and what God in his providence hath joined together let no man put asunder." Now, on the other hand, the burden on the Home Country was enormous. For nearly thirty years England had been fighting the combined armies of France and Spain, and at times the allied forces of Europe. The tale of British conquest in India and in America, is also the tale of the wonderful endurance and courage of her people. The national debt had been doubled. The people of the United Kingdom were taxed to the utmost, and still there was deficit. In this strait she turned to the colonies and levied a duty on imports, a tax on law stamps, and a tax on tea-the latter being only one quarter of the rate of revenue duty on tea at home. The colonists refused to import the taxed articles; they burned the stamp office; and a mob of Bostonians forcibly boarded the tea ship Dartmouth and emptied eight hundred and forty boxes into the sea. Such was the response of the New England colonies to the request for help of the hard-pressed Motherland. Lastly, let us consider the moral aspect of the case. It was no doubt an assertion, by force of arms, of the "Right of Rebellion." It seems also to have been a triumphant assertion of the "Right of Advantage" - the right to take the controlling power in a tight predicament; the right to enforce consent to their demands at a time when the Mother Country could not fairly defend itself. The Americans were successful through a combination of circumstances unfavorable to Britain, chief of which were: The terrible pressure of the war in the East; the incompetent Ministry in power at the time; ignorance as to the real state of affairs in the colonies and as to the methods of colonial warfare; and, of course, the insufficient and imperfectly equipped forces sent to America. In some cases there may be a distinct "Right of Revolution," but surely it is only, as in the case of the English revolution of 1688, after years of patient waiting for some great fundamental right, which has been long withheld, and whose accomplishment there seems no outlook of peacefully gaining. It seems as if the United States has been reaping the fruit of this doctrine of the right to rebel against law and the settled constitution of the land. The sins of the fathers were visited upon the children in that terrible deluge of blood in the sixties, which swept from South to North. In this case the Southern States who wished to withdraw from the Confederacy were the rebels. In 1776 the secessionists had been the patriots. Assuredly nothing under the sun is constant, not even the opinions of American politicians. Within the last two decades there have been over 23,000 separate struggles of labor against capital, in most cases accompanied by force and violence, and the attempted subversion of lawful authority. "And it doth not yet appear what there shall be." Truly, from the seed of dragon's teeth sown in the war of rebellion there have sprung up armed warriors in a great and limitless host, who continue to advocate the same principles of mutiny and insurrection that fired the hearts of the revolutionists of the last century with the lust of forbidden power.
CHAPTER III. MOTIVES 0F THE LOYALISTS.
The majority of American historians have been unfair to the Loyalists. They have spoken of them with scorn and ridicule; they have called them weak, because they submitted to "tyranny"; they have called them cowards, because they refused to fight the British they have called them unnatural, because they took up arms against their countrymen; and they have called them the dregs of society, because they had spirit enough to seek a new home under British rule. American writers have further unfairiy questioned the motives of the Loyalists. They have denied to their enemies that freedom of choice which they reserved to themselves; they have charged the loyalists with being "Tory office-holders"; they have declared that the possession of offices of emolument from the Crown was the sole reason which prevented these "office-holders" from taking up arms in company with the "victims of Britain's injustice." On the other hand, according to these writers no eulogy is too strong, no commemoration is too extensive for the "Patriots" who, in the face of fearful odds, swept the British army from the plains of Yorktown, and planted the standard of liberty on the erstwhile down-trodden and benighted land. A more impartial age has brushed away the deception of a century. The honor of the Loyalists has been amply vindicated. It is seen that those who were called weak, were strong enough to leave all they held dear for the sake of principle; those who were called cowards, fought to the bitter end of a losing struggle; those who were called unnatural, were not as unnatural as the matricidal sons who took up arms against the Motherland; and those who were called in malicious hatred the outcasts of society, have since been acknowledged the brightest and best of their age. It is noticeable that the bulk of the Loyalists were men in no mean positions in their native states; men who possessed a high moral ideal and an elevated mind, men of education and of unsullied honor. Even American historians are now coming to admit that they were of the noblest descent and of the most upright character. Colonel Sabine says, in his well known work, "It is evident that a considerable proportion of the professional and editorial intelligence and talents of the thirteen colonies was arrayed against the popular movement." (Vol. I, p. 50) And we have others. Dr. Geo. E. Ellis, in the "Narrative and Critical History of America," (page 186), says, "Among those most frank and fearless in the avowal of loyalty, and who suffered the severest penalties, - were men of the noblest character and highest position." And Mr. M. C. Tyler, writing in the American Historical Review, so lately as October, 1895, says, "To any one at all familiar with the history of colonial New England, that list of men, denounced to exile and loss of property on account of their opinions, will read like the head roll of the oldest and noblest families concerned in the founding and upholding of New England civilization; and of the whole body of the Loyalists throughout the thirteen colonies, it must be said that it contained more than a third of influential characters, that is, a very considerable portion of the customary chiefs in each community." Nearly all the clergy were Loyalists. "Fear God, Honor the King," was their unvarying doctrine. Lawyers, judges and physicians also, in a great number, were ranged on the side of loyalty, men of education and refinement and of deep religions conviction, the moral tone of whose lives put to shame even that of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence. So much for the general character of the Loyalists. Let us consider their motives. To charge them with being all office-holders under the Crown is false on the face of it, because upwards of thirty-five thousand came to Canada after the war, and it is absurd to suppose that even one-tenth of that number remained faithful to the king from mercenary motives. And if the Loyalists had been influenced by monetary considerations they would probably have deserted the ship before the final plunge, and made overtures of friendship and reconciliation to the victorious party. Base and sordid men are not the kind who are willing to leave rich and luxurious homes on the banks of the Hudson and the Delaware, for a cabin in a northern wilderness, and scarcity and hardship withal. Those of the New Englanders who remained faithful to the old flag possessed all the ardor of a lofty patriotisin. With an unswerving trust in the fundamental justice of the British Government, they believed that the misunderstandings were only temporary and would be removed. They believed that most of the disaffected were laboring under an erroneous idea of oppression and an egregious conceit of their own importance and to the last they remained true to their conviction that to take up arms against the Mother Country was high treason, and morally as well as legally wrong.
CHAPTER IV TREATMENT OF THE LOYALISTS DURING THE WAR.
From the very beginning the Loyalists were looked upon with the disfavor with which evildoers always regard those who do not approve of their actions. They were the objects of suspicion. All their movements were watched. They were even forbidden the ancient British right of public meeting and the freedom of the press, and were liable to arrest and imprisonment at any moment, without the right of habeas corpus. The Declaration of Independence forced the choice of either one side or the other. Previously both parties bad been, nominally at least, at one in their allegiance to the British Crown; but now it was open war and no neutrality. In many states Congress gave the legislative, executive and judicial powers over to committees, who often improperly used their authority under the specious veil of patriotism. [Dr. Ramsey, "History of United States," Vol II, Chap. 26, p 467] These dealt at pleasure with the rights and liberties, and even lives, of the hated "Tories." To crush liberty of speech and opinion, to reduce the Loyalists to the position of slaves or proscribed aliens, under penalties of imprisoninent, banishment, and even death, was a startling contradiction to their high-sounding declaration, "All men are born free and equal." The Loyalists were exposed to all sorts of indignities and to wanton insult, such as being tarred and feathered, their cattle were sometimes horribly mutilated, their barns burned, and neither life nor property was safe. [Dr. Canniff, "Settlement of Upper Canada, p. 55. Sabine, "American Loyalists" Vol. I, p. 75.] The rule of the mob was dominant. A letter from John Adams, then at Amsterdam, in 1780, to the Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, says, "I think their (the Loyalists') career might have been stopped if the executive officers had not been so timid in a point which I strenuously recommended from the first, namely, to fine, imprison and hang all inimical to the cause, without favor or affection. I would have hanged my own brother if he had taken part with the enemy in the contest." [Dr. Ryerson, "Loyalists of America and their Times," Vol II, p. 127.] This advice of Adams was followed by Lieutenant-Governor Cushing, and many instances are on record of unjust and cruel persecution. Bodies of vagabonds roamed about the state, destroying the property of the Loyalists, imprisoning the suspected, and seizing the goods of those unable to defend themselves. A nefarious band dubbed themselves "Sons of Liberty," and carried bloodshed and rapine to peaceful homes. Their victims were the women and children, the aged and defenceless. Their favorite pastime was the burning of the homes of the Loyalists. Often the houses were set on fire in the middle of winter and the occupants forced to take shelter the woods, every door being shut against them, some were frozen to death. Frequently torture of various kinds was resorted to, in order to make the victims tell where their money or valuables were concealed, or their dear ones in hiding. The family of Maby, which came to Long Point, suffered grievously, as will be told in a subsequent chapter. There is nothing more pathetic than the story of this unceasing and determined persecution. Nor were other states very far behind Massachusetts in point of unpunished lawlessness. The blood of the murdered cried from the ground unceasingly for vengeance. The governments of the different states winked at, if they did not sanction, this terrible ill-treatment of the Loyalists. All trod the blood-stained path of cruelty, and the pen of anguish writes its history. The Convention of the State of New York in 1776 enacted that any being an adherent of the king of Great Britain, should be guilty of treason and should suffer death. [Dr. Ramsay, "History of United States", Vol II Chap II.] But this enactment of the Legislature seems to have been too extreme, and was not carried out in its entirety, the Loyalists for the most part being given an opportunity to quit the country. However, in all the states there was a vast amount of lawlessness by organized mobs, who had at least the passive sanction of the executive councils. The saying became common among these bands of "Loggers and Sawyers," that "The Lord commanded us to forgive our enemies, but said nothing about forgiving our friends." This went on so far that the State of North Carolina, in 1780, passed a law to put a stop to the robbery of people under the pretence that they were Tories, "a practice carried on even to the plundering of their clothes and household furniture." [Hildreth, "History of United States", Vol III Chap 41.] In New York State this rage for plundering grew so strong that it demoralized the American army, and affected even the officers, who, from first opposing it, came to take afterwards an active share in despoiling Loyalist homes. [Dr. Ramsay, "History of United States,", Vol. II, p. 159.] "We hold," says the Declaration of Independence, these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." And yet, in the same year in which that precious document was promulgated, the State of New York passed an Act whereby severe penalties were pronounced on all adherents of the king. This then was the liberty they allowed their opponents. They had one gospel for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. It matters so much whose ox falls into the ditch.
CHAPTER V. LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS FOR THE PUNISHMENT OF THE LOYALISTS.
BOTH during and after the war the legislatures of the different states passed Acts for the punishment of the Loyalists and the confiscation of their property. In spite of the recommendations of Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Treaty of Paris*, there was no mercy shown to those who had joined the king's army or who sympathized with the Royal cause. *[The Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3rd, 1783, immediately on the conclusion of the Treaty of Versailles with Louis XVI of France. The Articles of the treaty which relate to the Loyalists are these: ARTICLE 4.-It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all bonafide debts heretofore contracted. ARTICLE 5.-It is agreed that Congress shall earnestly recommend to the legislatures of the respective states to provide for the restitution of all estates, rights and properties, which have been confiscated, belonging to real British subjects, ... and that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several states a reconsideration and revision of all Acts or laws regarding the premises, so as to render the said Acts and laws perfectly consistent, not only with justice and equity, but with that spirit of conciliation which, on the return of the blessings of peace, should universally prevail. ARTICLE 6.-That there shall be no future confiscations made, nor any prosecutions commenced, against any person or persons- for or by reason of the part which he or they may have taken in the present war, and that no person shall on that account suffer any future loss or damage, either in his person, liberty or property, and that these who may be in confinement on such charges at the time of the ratification of the treaty in America, shall be immediately set at liberty, and the prosecution so commenced be discontinued.] NEW YORK, on the 12th of May, 1784, passed an Act for the speedy sale of the confiscated and forfeited estates. The county committees were authorized to apprehend and decide upon the guilt of such inhabitants as had been in correspondence with the enemy, and punish those whom they adjudged to be guilty with imprisonment or banishment. DELAWARE enacted that the property, real and personal, of forty-six persons should be forfeited to the state unless they gave themselves up to trial for the crime of treason in adhering to the Royal cause. RHODE ISLAND announced the penalties of death and confiscation of property on any person who communicated with the Ministry or their agents, or who afforded supplies to the forces or piloted the armed ships of the king. NEW HAMPSHIRE confiscated the estates of twenty-eight of her former citizens and banished seventy-six. In CONNECTICUT, to speak or write against the doings of Congress or the State Legislature was punished by imprisonment and disqualification for office. The property of those who sought Royal protection was seized and confiscated. To give the king's army or vessels any assistance, whether by information or provisions, was punished by forfeiture of estate and imprisonment for three years. VIRGINIA and PENNSYLVANIA proscribed certain persons, and enacted that their property should be sold and the proceeds go into the public treasury. In NEW JERSEY traitors were punished by imprisoninent and confiscation of property. If the prisoner were a "traitor" of repute, he might be hanged for treason on the judgment of the Executive Council, and the estates of all refugees were declared confiscate. MARYLAND.-The estates and property of all persons who preserved their allegiance to the British Crown were declared forfeit, and commissioners appointed to carry out the terms of the statutes. GEORGIA.-"Augusta, State of Georgia, 4th May, 1782. Be it enacted by the representatives and freemen of the State of Georgia in general assembly met, that all and each of the following two hundred and eighty-six persons be, and are hereby declared to be, banished from this state for ever, and if any of the aforsaid shall remain in this state sixty days after the passing of this Act, they are to be apprehended and committed to jail without bail and main prize, until such time as a convenient opportunity shall occur for their transportation beyond the seas; and if they shall hereafter return they shall be adjudged and are hereby declared to be guilty of felony, and shall on conviction of their having so returned as aforesaid, suffer death without the benefit of clergy and be it further enacted, that all their property, real and personal, be confiscated to, and for the benefit of this state; and whereas there are various persons subjects of the king of Great Britain, possessed of or entitled to estates, which justice and sound policy require should be applied to the benefit of this state, be it therefore enacted that all and singular, their estates, real and personal, of whatever kind or nature be confiscated, to and for the use and benefit of this state, and the commissioners appointed are hereby given full power and authority for the carrying into effect of these regulations." In SOUTH CAROLINA forty-five persons who had offended the least were simply amerced ten percent of the value of their estates, sixty-three were banished and their property confiscated for affixing their names to a petition to be armed on the Royal side, eighty suffered the same penalty for holding civil or military commissions under the Crown, and twelve others for the sole reason that they were "obnoxious". In NORTH CAROLINA the property of sixty-five individuals and four mercantile firms was confiscated. MASSACHUSETTS took the lead in severity. A person suspected of enmity to the Whig cause could be arrested under a magistrate's warrant and banished, unless he would take the new oath of allegiance. In another Act three hundred and eighty of her people, who had fled from their homes, were designated by name, and in the event of return were threatened with apprehension, imprisonment and transportation to a place possessed by the British, and for a second voluntary return, death without the benefit of clergy. In another Act the property of twenty-nine "notorious conspirators" was declared confiscated, of whom there were two governors, one lieutenant governor, one treasurer, one chief justice, one attorney-general and four commissioners of Customs. Congress itself, by several Acts, subjected to martial law and to death all who should furnish provisions and certain other articles to the king's troops in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and enacted that all Loyalists taken in arms be sent to the states to which they belonged, there to be dealt with as traitors. These Acts may well be compared to the scandalous confiscations of Marius and Sulla in the later days of the Roman Republic. That the refusal to take the oath of allegiance should be declared to be treason, or neutrality a crime will always remain an everlasting monument to the injustice and tyranny of the legislatures of the various states of the union. No modern civilized nation, unless it be Spain in the courts of the inquisition, or the French Republic in its earliest days, has presented such a spectacle of wholesale and undeserved confiscation of the property of those who were guilty of no crime, except that of loyalty to their king.
CHAPTER VI THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT AND THE LOYALISTS.
THE fifth article of the agreement of the Peace Commissioners at Paris provided that Congress should recommend the different state legislatures to show leniency and a forgiving generosity to the Loyalists and to take measures to reimburse them for their losses. The gross abandonment of the faithful minority to the spasmodic and uncertain justice, in fact we may say the certain injustice, of the state governments, was severely assailed in both Houses of the British Parliament. At the opening of Parliament the King, in his speech from the Throne, alluded to the "American sufferers," and trusted that Parliament would see fit to pass measures for their compensation forthwith. Lord North said: "I cannot but feel for men thus sacrificed for their bravery and principles-men who have sacrificed all the dearest possessions of the human heart. They have exposed their lives, endured an age of hardship, deserted their interests, forfeited their possessions, lost their connections and ruined their families in our cause." Lord Mulgrave said that, in his opinion, "it would have been better that it should have been stipulated in the treaty that Great Britain spend £20,OOO,OOO in making good the losses of the Loyalists, than that they should have been so shamefully deserted, and the national honor so pointedly disgraced as it was by the 5th Article of the Treaty of Peace with the United States." Mr Burke declared that "to such men the nation owed protection and its honor was pledged for their security at all hazards." Mr. Sheridan "execrated the treatment of these unfortunate men, who, without the least notice taken of their civil or religious rights, were handed over as subjects to a power that would not fail to take vengeance on them for their zeal and attachment to the religion and government of the Mother Country." Mr. Townsend declared that "this country would feel itself bound in honor to make them full compensation for their losses." Sir Peter Burrell said that "the fate of the Loyalists claimed the compassion of every human heart. These helpless forlorn men; abandoned by the Ministers of a people on whose justice, gratitude and humanity they had the best founded claims, were left at the mercy of a Congress highly irritated against them." In the House of Lords, Lord Walsingham said that "with patience he could neither think nor speak of the dishonor of leaving these deserving men to their fate." Lord Stormont asserted that "Great Britain is bound in justice and honor, gratitude and affection, and by every tie, to provide for and protect them." Lord Loughborough declared that "neither in ancient nor in modern history had there been so shameful a desertion of men who had sacrificed all to their duty and to their reliance on British faith." Lord Sackville argued that "peace on the sacrifice of these unhappy subjects must be auswered in the sight of God and man." Lord Shelburne, whose Ministry had concluded the treaty, could only say, in reply, that he "had but the alternative to accept the terms proposed or to continue the war, and a part must be wounded that the whole empire might not perish." He also stated that he did not doubt the honor of the American Congress, who would doubtless be just and fair in their restitution of the lands of the Loyalists. As to how far this was likely to be the case they might have concluded from the fact that even before the peace was signed the State of Virginia decreed "that all demands of the British courts for the restoration of property confiscated by the state were wholly impossible;" and the State of New York, "that the scales of justice do not require, nor does the public tranquillity permit, that such adherents who have been attainted should be restored to the rights of citizens, and that there can be no reason for restoring property which has been confiscated or forfeited." Since even the mockery of justice was denied them, the Loyalists organized an agency and appointed a committee of one delegate from each of the thirteen states to prosecute their claims in England. A Board of Commissioners was appointed to examine the claims preferred. The claimants were divided into six classes: 1. Those who had rendered service to Great Britain. 2. Those who had borne arms for Great Britain. 3. Uniform Loyalists. 4. Loyal British subjects resident in Great Britain. 5. Loyalists who had taken oath to the American States but afterward joined the British. 6. Loyalists who had borne arms for the American States and afterwards joined the British army; or navy. The rigid rules of examination caused much dissatisfaction and gave the Board the title of the "Inquisition." The inquiry lasted through seven successive years. Their methods may be best stated in the words of their report: "Our mode of conducting the inquiry has been that of requiring the very best evidence which the nature and the circumstances of the case would admit. We have demanded the personal appearance and examination of the claimant, conceiving that the inquiry would be extremely imperfect and insecure against fraud and misrepresentation if we had not the advantage of cross-examining the party himself, as well as his witnesses, nor have we, for the same reason, allowed much weight to any testimony which has not been delivered on oath before ourselves. We have investigated with great strictness the titles to real property, whenever the necessary documents could be exhibited to us, and where they have not been produced we have required satisfactory evidence of their loss or the inability of the claimant to procure them." The amount of claims preferred was £10,358,413 and the sum granted in liquidation thereof £3,294,452 which was distributed among 4,148 persons. In addition to this money satisfaction they were given land in the "country of their exile," and supplies and provisions for a certain time, as will be detailed in the following chapter.
CHAPTER VII. WHAT BRITAIN DID FOR THE LOYALISTS.
THE money indemnification has been referred to in the preceeding chapter. This sum of over $15,000,000 does not include the value of land grants, implements and supplies of food. Land was ordered to be surveyed for the Loyalists in New Brunswick, and afterwards in Nova Scotia and in Upper Canada. These grants were free of expense, and made on the following scale: 5,000 acres to a field officer, 3,000 to a captain, 2,000 to a subaltern, and 200 to every private soldier, and 200 to sons and daughters of Loyalists on coming of age. In regard to Upper Canada, however, Lientenant-Governor Simcoe, in 1792, reduced the grants of land to be given to future settlers, still preserving the rights of those who had settled previously. By this regulation no lot was to be granted of more than 200 acres, except in such cases as the Governor should otherwise agree; but no one was to receive a quantity of more than 1,000 acres. [It seems that, in the few years following, many persons obtained still larger grants of land, for in 1797 the Executive Council investigated the matter, and on the basis of their findings, made the following recommendations to the Legislature under date of 28th August: "(1) That all appropriations for townships or other tracts of land heretofore made in this province be immediately rescinded, and the townships or other tracts thrown open to other applicants. (2) That all persons who were really and bone fide located in any township or tract, by the nominee, before the first of June, 1797, and since, (if there he no appearance of fraud), be confirmed in that location to the amount of two hundred acres, but that no recommandation made by any nominee for a greater quantity be attended to, not precluding, however, the settler himself from exercising the right common to all His Majesty's subjects of making such applications to the Executive Government for an addition as he shall think proper. (3) That twelve hundred acres, including former grants (except on military lands) be granted to each of the four principal nominees, if case there should be four, whose names are subscribed to the petition for an appropriation; those persons, however, who happen to be nominees of more than one township, are not to receive this donation more than once. (4) That the unsurveyed tract be surveyed and the unlocated be located as soon as possible." ("Dominion Archives," State papers Upper Canada, Q. 285.) Each settler had to make it appear that he or she was in a condition to cultivate and improve the land. It is related of Colonel Talbot, in the settlement of his own reservation, that he put the claimant through a somewhat severe examination, and by this process of separation of the sheep from the goats, obtained a very fine class of settlers for the Talbot district. It was obligatory on the settler to clear five acres of land, to build a house, and to open a road a quarter of a mile long in front of his property. The oath of allegiance had to be taken in tho following terms: "I, A. B., do promise and declare that I will maintain and defend, to the utmost of my power, the authority of the King and his Parliament, as the supreme Legisiature of this province." As to provisions. The Government had pledged itself to their support for three years; but, despite its promise, the rations were given out spasmodically and generally in insufficient quantities. They consisted of flour, pork, beef, a very little butter, and a little salt. In the distribution of these rations the commissariat officer (to avoid the appearance of partiality), after duly weighing and tying up the provisions in bundles, would go round with a hat, and each of the claimants present would put into it something which he would again recognize such as a knife, pencil, button, or a marked chip. Then taking the articles out of the hat as they came uppermost, he would place one on each of the piles in rotation, and the settler would come and claim his property. To the early settlers material for garments was given also- a coarse cloth for trousers, Indian blankets -for coats, and also shoes; but the clothing was even more uncertain than the food. A certain quantity of spring wheat, peas, corn and potatoes was given for seed, and certain agricultural implements, to wit: an axe, a hoe, a sickle for reaping, and a spade. In regard to the axes, a grievous mistake was made in sending out the short-handled ship axes, which, in addition to the defect of inferior quality, strained and weakened the backs of the colonists in the use thereof, for the short handles unfitted them for felling trees. A letter of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe to the Home Government (September 23rd, 1793), complains in strong terms of the axes sent out, saying: "they are of bad quality, too short in the handle, and altogether too blunt. They should be made like the model sent herewith. Those that have come are absolutely useless." ("Dominion Archives," Q. 279, p. 325.) In addition to the supplies given to every family, a plough and a cow were allotted to every two families, a whip-saw and a cross-cut saw to every four families, and a portable corn mill in every settlement or district. A quantity of nails, a hammer, and a hand saw for building was given to each family, and to every five families a set of tools, which included a full set of augers and draw-knives, and also a musket and forty-eight rounds of ammunition. Four small panes of glass, 7 x 9 inches, were allowed for each house, and a small quantity of putty. Such were the supplies allowed by the British Government in the early years of the Loyalist - settlement in Canada; but it must be remembered that, although the Loyalists who came to New Brunswick enjoyed this provision which had been made for them, yet when they made their second migration into the wilderness of Long Point, they were dependant on their own resources, and except the grant of land and the glass and ironware for their houses, did not receive Government aid. Hence we have the fearful struggle for subsistence in Norfolk County in the latter years of the century, the cry of the children for bread and the anxious waiting for the first harvest.
CHAPTER VIII. THE LOYALIST EMIGRATION.
ALTHOUGH the treaty of Peace recommended the Loyalists to the mercy of the different states, the Americans, being secured in their independence, used their victories to the blind and selfish punishment of the "traitors" to their traitorous cause. Consequently, instead of an entire cessation of hostility, as should follow the conclusion of peace, the most bitter and rancorous mob law under the sanction of the different legislatures, was employed against the Loyalists. They were driven from the country by a process of organized persecution. Thus the wretched and short-sighted policy of the majority of the States depleted them of their very best blood. Those who had been the doctors, lawyers, judges and often ministers of the community, men of culture and refinement, men of worth and character were driven into hopeless and interminable exile. And indeed, the migration into Canada was considered by them as exile though unfalteringly they chose its hardships. They believed that they were coming to the region of everlasting snow and ice. They understood that New Brunswick had at least seven months of winter in the year, that but few acres of that inhospitable land were fit for cultivation, and that the country was covered with a cold spongy moss instead of grass, and devoid of any kind of fodder for cattle. Lower Canada was known as a region of deep snow, a nine months winter, a barren and inhospitable shore. Upper Canada was not thought of in the early years of the migration, except as the "great beyond," a tangled wilderness, the Indians' hunting ground, covered with swamps and marshes and sandy hills, the forests full of bears and wolves and venomous reptiles. The only favorable report of Upper Canada that had reached them was of its abundance of fish and game. The British commander of New York, in his work of transportation, when no more could be accommodated in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, sent for a Mr. Grass, who had been a prisoner at Fort Frontenac among the French, and anxiously inquired if he thought "men could live in Upper Canada," and on a favorable reply being given Mr. Grass was sent as the founder of a colony to Cataraqui in 1784. The mere fact that thirty-five thousand Loyalists left their native land for a country which they regarded as a land of exile, is the best proof of two things-first, that they were barbarously treated by the victorious side; and second, that they were not a mere set of office-holders influenced simply by mercenary motives, as is charged against them, or that they came to Canada for what Britain provided. To enter the unbroken forests, chop, hew, "log" and "after many days" sow the seed among the blackened stumps was a herculean task for any one, but was even more difficult for these men-judges, lawyers, commissioners, and others-who were not used to farm life, much less to the kind of toil required to change the acres of forest land into fields of waving grain. But their courage rose with their difficulties, and in spite of their dangers there was much to encourage them. They were not, it is true, entering on a land "flowing with milk and honey," but it abounded in fish and game; and, above all, it was a land over which waved the banner under whose folds their sons and fathers had fallen in disastrous war, and to which they clung with the love that passeth not away, but endureth "through all the years."
CHAPTER IX. ROUTES OF THE LOYALISTS, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO LONG POINT.
IN addition to the promise of the British Government to indemnify the loyalists for their losses; was the promise to send ships to carry the loyalists them into Canada. Consequently in the spring of 1783 crowds of the hapless exiles awaited in the Atlantic seaports the British vessels. They came at last, and the first contingent of refugees arrived on the 18th of May, 1783, off the mouth of the River St. John and by the end of the year about 500 had been safely transported to the land, over which waved the "meteor flag of England". But for those living inland other means had to be provided, and they were asked to rendezvous at different stations along the Canadian frontier, for example, Oswego, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Isle aux Noix on Lake Champlain. The distance travelled by most of the Loyalists before reaching Lake Ontario was about 500 miles. From New York to Albany, the Hudson is navigable about 175 miles. North of Albany, the river forks into two branches, the western of which is the Mohawk. About the ancient Fort Stainwix (now Rome) the Mohawk is joined by Wood Creek. This was followed up for some miles, then a portage of ten miles was necessary to Lake Oneida, from which Lake Ontario could be reached by the Oswego river. This was by far the more generally followed, hence in our classification of routes it is to be put first. Second.-The eastern branch of the Hudson was sometimes followed, the mountains crossed and Sackett's Harbor reached by the Black River, which empties into the lake at that point. Occasionally the Oswegotchie was reached from the Hudson, and followed to its mouth at the present town of Ogdensburg, then called "La Presentation." Third.-The old military road which ran along the west shore of Lake Champlain, thence down the Richelieu River to the St. Lawrence, or west to Cornwall. Fourth.-Others again travelled more directiy westward from the rendesvous on Lake Champlain, and striking Lake Ontario at its eastern extremity proceeded westward along the southern shore of the lake to the settlement on the River Niagara. But it must be remembered that nearly all the Loyalists who came to the Long Point country settled first in New Brunswick. This province became rapidly overcrowded, and of necessity their thoughts were turned westward, and most opportunely came the messages from Governor Simcoe and President Peter Russell urging them to settle in Western Canada, and promising liberal grants of land. Hence it was, that in the last decade of the Century, many availed themselves of their offers, and moved their families up the St. Lawrence, and lakes Ontario and Erie, to the Long Point country. This was therefore the common route of the Loyalists who settled in Norfolk. Still there were some who came direct, via the Hudson and Black rivers to Sackett's Harbor, and thence by boat to Long Point. Others again came in a north-westerly direction overland through Penusylvania and New York, and crossed Lake Erie in frail skiffs. These were the routes of the Loyalists.
CHAPTER X. MODES OF TRAVELLING.
As to travelling expedita, from place to place, there were just two means of transit for the early settler, namely, on foot or by canoe. Of course the latter was used wherever there was water communication. The canoe, weighing less, as a usual thing, than fifty pounds, could, when necessary, be taken out of the water and carried over the necessary portages. Besides, it was swift. A speed of ten miles an hour could be reached by practised hands, and so it continued to be used well into this century; for we are told that Sir Isaac Brock travelled in a birch-bark canoe all the way from Lower Canada to York on the outbreak of the War of 1812. But the purpose of this chapter is to deal with the methods of conveyance used by the Loyalists and their families for themselves and goods in the long migrations to Upper Canada. First and chiefly- Batteaux. These were long birch canoes, each capable of holding about eight persons and two tons of goods. The standard size was thirty feet in length and six in width, diminishing to a short point at either end, bow and stern being alike. The frame is made by bending in hot water or steam long strips of elm. This, when fitted together, is covered with birch bark not more than an eighth of an inch in thickness. These strips of bark are sewn together by the twisted fibres of the root of a particular tree, and the joints made water-tight by the application of a gum obtained from the fir tree, which becomes perfectly hard. These fibre ropes or cords also bind the parts of the frame together, and the bark to the frame, for no iron work of any description whatever is used. The result is a vessel of wonderful lightness, resonance and strength, and capable of standing the impetuous torrent of any rapid. Boats of this description are still used by the Indians in taking tourists down the rapids at Sault Ste. Marie. For convenience in transportation over the numerous portages, the cargo was done up in portable packages of about a hundred weight each. The settlers usually came in companies, the different batteaux forming a kind of caravan. About a dozen boats would constitute a brigade, and an experienced man was always appointed conductor, who gave directions for the safe management of the boats. When they came to a rapid the boats were doubly manned. A rope was attached to the bow, and about three-quarters of the crew walked along the shore hauling the boat, enough men being left in it to keep it off logs and rocks by the use of pike poles. The men on shore had to walk along the bank, or sometimes in the shallow water, occasionally stopping to open a path for themselves through the underbrush by the use of the ever necessary axe. When the top of the rapids was reached the boats which had been brought up were left in charge of one man, while the others returned to assist in the navigation of the remaining boats, or to carry up the cargo. The progress was certainly slow. Sometimes several days would be consumed in transporting the cargo past the rapid, and the labor was hard and often dangerous. Day by day they would make their few miles, and at night lie down to sleep under the stars, and around the blazing camp-fire gain strength for the labor of the morrow. By such trials was the bone and sinew and muscle of our forefathers developed, in a way they little expected twenty-five years before, when in their manor houses on the Hudson, they lived in the enjoyment of the luxuries of civilized life. Still another kind of water transportation was in curious flat bottom boats, called "Schenectady". This was of wood not of birch bark, and was rigged with a triangular sail. The difficulty with this was that its weight made it almost impossible to be carried across the portages, and though it would bear a tremendous load, it could only be used along the lakes or where there was clear transit for many miles. Another variety still less used was called the "Durham " boat. This resembled the Schenectady to a large extent, but was not quite so flat bottomed, and was propelled in shallow places by poles about ten feet long, and by oars when the depth of the water necessitated it. So much for summer travelling. But many families of refugees came in the winter. These followed as nearly as possible some one of the recognized routes. Several of the families would join to form a train of sleighs, which were often nothing more than rude jumpers, the runners being often not even shod with iron. On these rude sleds would be placed their bedding, clothes, and what they deemed most precions. The favorite route for these winter travellers was the old milltary road along lakes George and Champlain, and then north to the St. Lawrence. Provisions had to be taken with them sufficient for the long journey, for none was to be had en route. For winter travelling the "French train" was often used, which simply consisted of a long narrow jumper, drawn by several horses in tandem style. Arranged in this way the passage around the trees and through the underbrush was more expeditiously made. Yet the number of Loyalists who came in the winter was but few in comparison with those who made their way west in the swift and silent batteaux.
CHAPTER XI. EARLY ACCOUNTS 0F LONG POINT.
The earliest mention we have of the Lake Erie country is in the records of Father Daillon, of whom there will be further mention made in Chapter XIV. Father Daillon visited what is now South-western Ontarli in 1626 and though it is somewhat uncertain what district he is describing, it is probable he was near the Lake Erie shore, for he speaks of the great number of wild fowl in the marshes and along the streams. He also mentions the larger game for he says, "The deer, with which this country abounds, are easily captured for they have but little sense of fear and the Indians drive them into wedge-shaped inclosures. The streams abound in fish and the marshes in wild ducks and turkeys." Forty-four years later we have reliable mention of Long Point in the journal of Galinée. For this information the writer is indebted directly to Mr J.H.Coyne, M.A., of St Thomas, who is preparing for the press the journal of Galinée. Father Galinée and Father Dollier de Casson were two Sulpician priests who made a voyage of discovery through lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron in the years 1669 and 1670, returning to Montreal via the Sault, Lake Nipissing and the Ottawa river. Galinée's party, consisting of the other priest and seven Frenchmen (nine in all), reached Black Creek, where it joins the River Lynn (near the present site of Port Dover), in October, 1669. There they encamped for the winter. On the 23rd of March following, they went down to the lakeshore and planted a cross, with the Royal arms affixed, and a written declaration that they had taken possession of it as unoccupied territory in the name of King Louis XIV. On the 26th of March they proceeded from the river mouth in three canoes. Off Turkey Point they were stopped by a head wind and forced to land. One of their canoes being insecurely beached was carried out into the bay and lost, and the cargo of the lost canoe had to be divided between the other two. Four men took charge of the canoes, and five, including the two priests, had to proceed west to Kettle Creek by land. It seems that they marched from the Point about two miles to the high bank, and then followed substantially the present lake road through the location of Port Rowan to Big Creek, about where is the present Port Royal. This stream they followed up for some distance, but being dismayed at the widening swamp, walked down the east bank to the mouth of the creek. There they bnilt a raft and crossed without accident. They went on to the portage, where their companions joined them some days later. After celebrating Easter together they again separated. On the shore near the present site of Port Stanley they found the canoe Joliet had left the previous September on his return from the exploration of the Mississippi. From there to Point Pelée they travelled in canoes. At the latter point a storm wrecked one of the canoes, and its cargo was entirely lost, including the altar service, which they had intended to leave in a mission among the Potawatamies.* Thus they were obliged to give up the idea of the mission altogether, and after making their way as far as Sault Ste. Marie they travelled home by the ordinary route, namely, by the French and Ottawa rivers. *The Potawatamies (or Pouteouatamis) have a village near Detroit of one hundred and eighty men. They bear for device the golden Carp, the Frog, the Crab, and the Tortoise. They also compose the Village of St. Joseph, south of Lake Michigan, to the number of one hundred warriors. (Report of M. de Joncaire, "Documentary History of New York," VoL I., p. 25.) Galinée speaks of the Long Point country in glowing terms. He mentions the immense herds of deer, which were to be seen feeding together. He admired the great walnut trees, with their savory fruit, also the chestnuts, hickory nuts, the wild grapes and apples, and says that it is a perfect paradise and well suited for settlement. In the journal of Charlevoix, of the date June 1721, there is mention of Long Point, a sandy ridge of land which had to be portaged. Thus it will be seen that though the country had been explored and commended by French discoverers, it was destined to remain for more than a century without settlement, until a strong and sturdy band of Loyalists should rear for themselves new homes among the forests.
CHAPTER XII. THE COUNTY 0F NORFOLK.
By the Act of the Imperial Parliament, 1791 (31 George III., Cap. 31), the Governor was empowered to divide Upper Canada into as many counties as he might think fit. Accordingly, in the following year nineteen counties were surveyed, among them Norfolk, which is the sixteenth on the list. The original proclamation bounds it as follows: "On the north and east by the County of Lincoln and the River La Tranche (Thames); on the south by Lake Erie, until it meets the Barbue; thence by a line north running until it intersects the Tranche, and up the said river till it meets the north-west boundary of the County of York." This included the townships of Burford, Oxford-upon-the-Thames, Norwich, Dereham, Rainham and Walpole, now in other counties. At first it formed part of the Western district, an extremely indefinite province. Previous to the Treaty of 1794, which came into effect in 1796, the Ohio and Mississippi rivers formed the boundary line of Canada. By that treaty the line of division was drawn in the middle of the lakes. The Surveyor-General described the Western district as follows in 1796 (the early part of the year): "On the south it is bounded by Lake Erie; on the east by a meridian passing through the easterly extremity of Long Point, and comprehends all the lands north-westerly of these boundaries, not included within the bounds of the Hudson Bay Company or the territory of the United States. The boundary which divides it from Louisiana is not well known after it reaches the sources of the Mississippi. In 1798 the London district was created, and Norfolk incorporated in it. "The counties of Norfolk, Oxford and Middlesex, with as much of this province as lies westward of the Home district and the district of Niagara to the southward of Lake Huron, and between them and a line drawn due north, from where the easternmost limit of Oxford intersects the River Thames till it arrives at Lake Huron." (It will be noticed that what is now called "Georgian Bay" was not distinguished from Lake Huron.)* * The following extracts are taken from a series of remarks in 1798, by Chief Justice Elmsley, on the "Act for the better division of the province," which had been passed in the preceding session of the Legislature of Upper Canada ("Canadian Archives," Series Q, 285, p.85): The very rapid progress made in the townships on the River Thames and in those which form what is commonly called the Long Point settlement, together with the great distance of the latter from the Town of Sandwich, which is at present the capital of the Western district, called for the division of that district into two, if not three, districts. The County of Norfolk will probably in a few years require to be raised into a distinct Bailiwick; its limits and those of the adjacent counties were accordingly moulded with a view to that event. "The head of the navigation of the River Thames, and the confluence of its two principal branches, are two of those points which I have already had the honor to observe naturally present themselves as points of rendezvous and consequently as places for the transaction of public business, both where accordingly long ago selected by His Excelency the Lientenant-Governor for the sites of towns, to that at the former he gave the name of Oxford, to that at the latter the name of London. In forming the present arrangement, therefore, care was taken to distribute the townships which he near those places in such a manner as it was conceived would best promote His Excellency's intentions. "The town which has been projected, and I believe actually laid off at Charlotteville, will be a very convenient capital to the Long Point settlement; and it is hoped that the towns of Chatham and Sandwich wiil be equally so for the two counties which will compose the Western district." The general appearance of Norfolk county is rolling and pleasant. A century ago the gentle undulations were covered with vast forests of beech, white pine, walnut and oak, of which a good deal yet remains. In certain townships (Houghton, Middleton, Charlotteville and Walsingham) are extensive deposits of bog iron ore of the very finest kind. In this connection may be mentioned the establishment of the blast furnaces at Normandale as far back as 1818. Nearly every kind of fruit found in the temperate zone flourishes here- apple, peach, pear, plum, quince, cherry, grape, apricot and berries of all kinds. The woods are well stocked with quail, partridge, rabbits, hares and black squirrels, and the marshes abound in waterfowl, especially at Turkey Point and at Long Point, which is now a game preserve and owned by a private corporation. The creeks and streams are well stocked with fish, speckled trout predominating. Some parts of the county, for example, Houghten Centre, are simply tracts of sand; but the general character of the soil is a clay loam, suitable for a great variety of crops, easily worked, early and rich.
CHAPTER XIII. THE TOWNSHIPS 0F NORFOLK. CHARLOTTEVILLE.
THIS township was named after the now extinct town, Charlotteville or Turkey Point. It is probably the most historic of the seven townships, chiefly on account of its containing Turkey Point, rich in historical memories, of which a number will be mentioned in subsequent chapters. The soil is a loam, with a tendency towards sandy loam in some places, chiefly in the southern part. Yet the township contains a great deal of rich farming land. It is watered by a multitude of creeks, most of them short and flowing directly into Long Point Bay. It was one of the very earliest townships settled, chiefly because, as the Loyalists came generally in batteaux, they would strike the lake shore first, and not go further inland than necessary to obtain good land or favorable locations. Among the earliest Loyalist settlers were Frederick Maby (Mabee), Lieut. Joseph Ryerson, Anderson, McCall, Munro, Secord, Johnson, Spurgin, Finch, Montross, Freeman, Smith, Welch, Brown, Teeple and Tisdale. The towns and villages are Simcoe, Vittoria, Normandale, Walsh, Lyndock, Glenshee, Forestville and the much-to-be-regretted Charlotteville or Turkey Point.
Is a comparatively regular township at the south-east corner of the county. It has a large lake front and two harbors-Port Dover and Port Ryerse. The latter harbor has been spoiled by the drifting in of sand, but many years ago it was a regular calling-place for the steamers which plied up and down the lake. The township is well watered. Among the creeks is the Lynn, and one district is called the Lynn Valley, where the Austins settled. The soil is rich, very rich in places. This was the attraction which drew so many Loyalists to the country in the early days; as, for example, Capt. Samuel Ryerse, Wycoff, Davis, Austin, Matthews, Williams, Berdan, Wilson, Price, Millard, Gilbert and Bowlby. The chief town is, of course, Port Dover, if we except Simcoe, which takes a corner off four townships. Port Ryerse has lost almost everything but its name.
This township would be regular, were it not for a "bias line" which cuts off its north-easterly corner. It also is a rich township and well watered, chiefly by small creeks, which are tributary to those in other townships. Many Loyalists settled here, notably Dougharty, Fairchild, Green, Haviland, Shaw and the Culvers. The chief town is Waterford, and the chief villages, Rockford, Boston and Villa Nova.
Is the only township perfectly rectangular and contains fourteen concessions nine miles long and five-sixths of a mile wide, laid out on the same plan of survey as Daniel Hazen followed in Walsingham. The soil of Windham varies greatly, from almost pure sand to the heaviest clay or muck, with all the intermediate grades. The chief rivers are Big Creek and Paterson's Creek. In the western part of the township is Hunger Lake, called so by a party of Indians who camped a winter on its shores. It is of great depth indeed, is said to be unfathomable; its waters are "crystal clear," while the banks slope gently up from the shores and are covered with the richest verdure among the pines. It was one of the earliest of the townships settled, as will be seen from mention of the following names: Beemer, Powell, George Brown, Joseph and Philip Sovereen, Jesse Munro, Jacob Powell, Wood, Martin, Glover, Peter and Henry Boughner, John Butler. It heads the list in the number of villages: Kelvin, Wellington, Powell's Plains, Colborne, Windham Centre, Teeterville, Nixon and Bookton.
This township was originally covered with great forests of pine, and the axe of the woodman busily plied for a century has scarcely removed much more than half of its timber. In the western part of the township the land is a clay loam, in the eastern a sandy loam, and admirably adapted for all kinds of crops. Bog iron ore is found in great quantities. The streams are the Little Otter in the western part and various branches of Big Creek. Venison Creek takes its rise in the south. It is therefore a well-watered township, and abounds in water-power facilities. It will be noticed in the map that the roads in this township are peculiarly laid out, and this makes the shape of the farms trapezoid, or diamond shaped. The reason for this is that the concessions follow the direction of the celebrated Talbot Street, which was planned in 1803 by Colonel Talbot, of Malahide, an aide-de-camp on the staff of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe. He was given a large grant of land, chiefly in Elgin County, and settled at a place on Lake Erie called Port Talbot.* * The following extracts are from the "Life of Col. Mahlon Burwell," by Archibald Blue, Esq., Director of Bureau of Mines, Toronto: "In 1804 an expenditure of £250 was made under the direction of Col. Talbot on building a road through his lands. In 1808, when Sir Francis Gore became Governor, Col. Talbot petitioned him for an extension of the road, saying that the money already expended would he entirely lost if a through road were not opened up. On his recommendation Col. Mahlon Burwell was commissioned to survey the road, under date March 24th, 1809. The commission to Col. Burwell from Acting Surveyors General Chewett and Ridout begins as follows: "In obedience to His Excellency, the Lieutenant-Governor's commands to us, bearing date 17th February, 1809, to send a surveyor and a sufficient party as soon as the season will permit, to complete certain surveys in the London District, recommended by the Executive Council and approved by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governer, upon a petition submitted to the Board by Thomas Talbot, Esq., of Port Talbot, who has recommended you to carry the said survey into execution. "You are hereby required and directed without loss of time, as soon as the season will permit, to survey and lay out a road, to pass through the aforesaid townships on the principle of Yonge Street, by making the said road in breadth one Gunther's chain, and laying out lots thereon of twenty chains in breadth on each side of the same, leaving a road on the side lines of each of the said townships, and a road between every five lots in each of the same of one Gunther's chain. "For this survey your pay will be 7s 6d per day, with an allowance in lieu of rations of 1s 3d Provincial curreney per day." The principal villages are Fredericksburg (Delhi, and Middleton Centre (Courtland). Settlement-Middleton was not settled as early as Walsingham or Charlotteville. About the year 1812 settlers moved into the township chiefly from the adjoining townships. Frederick and Henry Sovereen (Sovereign) and the four sons of Samuel Brown were among the earliest settlers. Lot Tisdale removed to Middleton Centre in 1823. Southwest of Delhi is a settlement of Protestant Germans from Würtemberg. This consists of about eighty families, the great majority of whom came in one body in 1847. The old settlers tell of the destruction in 1824 of an immense beaver dam near Guysboro', on Talbot Street.
"The sandy township." The soil in this township, the most westerly in Norfolk County, is principally a sandy loam, with pure sand predominating in many places. The "Sand Hills" are famous. One is a thousand feet long, three hundred wide, and two hundred high, of which the summit presents the form of a circular plateau with a erater, both deep and wide, a natural ampitheatre or coliseum. The sand is composed almost entirely of grains of silica, with a small proportion of limestone, feldspar and garnet, the particles very round. It is a great absorbent of moisture, which it retains for a long time. This keeps the hills in their original shape. There is an observatory of the United States Lake Survey on the summit. Another of the peculiarities of these sand hills is a curious appearance presented by the tops of great pine trees, protruding from the sand which has engulfed them, resembling the spars and masts of a fleet of wrecked ships. No description is adequate, the sight is simply unique. The chief streams are Clear and Hemlock creeks, flowing into the lake, and some branches of the spider-like Otter. Settlement-Hougton was first settled along the lake shore by the Beckers, Burgars and Walkers. These were not Loyalists. The two villages are Houghton Centre and Clear Creek.
THE soil of the southern part of Walsingham is a heavy clay loam. Towards the centre it becomes sandy, but from this to the north town line there is much excellent land. Altogether it is a very fine agricultural township. The largest stream is Big Creek, which takes its rise in Windham Township. After being joined by its most important tributary Venison Creek, it becomes a large stream, and is in places very deep where the current is held in by high banks. Occasionally it flows through deep gulches and ravines. In Galinée's journal it is mentioned that his party were delayed more than a day in attempting to cross this stream. It was also at the mouth of this creek that the McCall party landed in 1796. The township was surveyed by Sergeant Daniel Hazen in 1797. The chief villages are Port Rowan, St. Williams, Walsingham Centre, Port Royal and Langton. Settlement-Walsingham was one of the earliest settled of the townships. "Dr." Troyer and Lucas Dedrick (1793), Ed. McMichael (1794), one of the Browns and Daniel Hazen (1797), Cope, Backhouse and Wm. Hutchison (1798), Rohrer and Foster (1800), the Fecks in 1805, Ellis and the Schumackers in 1807; also John McCall, Silas Secord, James Munro, David Price and William Johnson. The reader will recognize that many of the names are those of Loyalists.
For many years this district was popularly known as the Long Point Settlement, hence a few lines of description of the peninsula will be … propos. Long Point is a tongue of land (the greater part being hard sand) extending out into Lake Erie for about thirty miles, and for municipal purposes attached to the Township of Walsingham. It is now an island, a kind of shallow canal having been dredged between it and the main shore. It abounds in waterfowl, wild duck, geese and turkeys, quail and partridge. It is also the "anglers' paradise," rock bass, salmon trout, carp, whitefish, pike, pickerel, and mackerel being found in abundance. It is now owned by a private corporation, who bought it from the Government. They have also a preserve of deer on the island, the number of which is increasing from year to year. There is but one settlement on the island, called the "Cottages," to which a small boat runs a regular ferry service in the summer. To the north, that is on the inner side, is a small triangular isle, called Ryerson's Island. The reader is referred to the map subjoined, for a clearer idea of this cunous formation and the bay enclosed between it and the mainland.
CHAPTER XIV. THE INDIANS 0F THE LONG POINT DISTRICT.
THE tribe of Indians which inhabited the country between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, in the 17th century, was called the "Neutrals," for they had preserved a strict neutrality in the savage wars of the Hurons and the Iroquois. Champlain speaks of them in his account of his trip west in 1616, saying that they had twenty-eight villages and more than four thousand warriors. These Indians seem to have been favorable to the French, for in 1626 when three Frenchmen named Daillon, Lavellé and Grenolle visited their country, the Indians hospitably entertained them, the chief, Souharrissen, adopting them as members of his family. In fact, it was with some difficulty that the tbree Frenchmen finally escaped from the affectionate hospitality which was lavished on their devoted heads. Unfortunately for the Neutrals they were ultimately drawn into the fierce tribal wars, and in the conflict, about the middle of the century, were dispersed, and absorbed into the neighboring Indian tribes. Thereafter, the Indians who roamed round the western part of Ontario were chiefly Iroquois. After the war Brant and his Mohawks settled on the Grand River. Between the Thames and Lake Erie, further west, dwelt the Delawares, and bodies of the Chippawas, Hurons, Shawnees, Potawatamies, Ottawas, Fustans, and the Six Nations (Mohawks, Senecas, Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Tuscaroras). The attitude of these Indians to the Loyalist settlers seems to have been one of unchangeable courtesy and kindness. Chief Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) was a personal friend of Governor Simcoe, and with twelve Indians accompanied him in 1795 on his visit to Detroit on a prospecting tour through western Canada. In spite of the fact that England had neglected to provide for the Indians in the Treaty of Paris, the loyalty of the Six Nations never wavered. The allegiance of Brant to the British brought him enmity of the American revolutionists, the consequence being that the Mohawk valley was the most frequently of all districts invaded and overrun, and that, too, by an enemy more barbarous than the Indians themselves. Their towns and villages were ruthlessly burned, and the whole district turned into a scene of widespread and sickening desolation. Let not the Americans censure England for the use of Indian tribes in the war and the atrocities alleged to have been committed by them, until they have excused, to some extent at least, the terrible depopulation of the Mohawk valley after the war, for they left there only a third of the inhabitants, and of that third there were three hundred widows and two thousand orphaned children. There are many traditions of the kindness of the Indians to the early settlers. More than once when a pioneer family was reduced to the verge of starvation a kind-hearted Indian would come with a fish or a deer or some wild fowl, although perchance he needed it himself almost as badly. The Indian was always welcomed at the settler's shanty. The door was never shut against him, and they continued to live on terms of peace and good fellowship. Such instances of treachery as will be described in connection with the history of the Maby family are likely untrue, and if they were true the singular exception only proves the rule.
CHAPTER XV. THE MIGRATION TO LONG POINT.
FOR many years before a settlement was made at or near Long Point, Major-General John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, proposed to found there a military establishment, to aid in the defence of the new province. He had heard favorable reports of that district long before he had the opportunity of personally examining it. He constantly advises the Home Government of its importance, as for example in the letter written on December 7th, 1791, shortly after his appointment, he says: "Toronto, the best harbor on Lake Ontario, and Long Point, the only good road-stead on Lake Erie, are admirably adapted for settlements. These and the country between the Grand River and the La Tranche (Thames) form a body of most excellent land, of which no grants have yet been made. ("Dominion Archives," Q. 278.) In another letter (August 20th, 1792), accompanying the proclamation dividing Upper Canada into counties, etc., he announces his intention to occupy in the following spring a post near Long Point, and another at Toronto, and to settle himself on the river La Tranche. ("Dominion Archives," 278, p. 197. "Simcoe to Dundas," No. 11.) About a year afterwards, he again sends to the Home Goverment a favorable notice of Long Point, saying, "The survey of the communication between Lakes Ontano and Sinclair (St. Clair) is completed. The surveyor has discovered an admirable harbor on Lake Erie, near the very place he (Simcoe) wished it, namely, Long Point, opposite Presqu' Isle. (August 23rd, 1793.). On September 20th of the same year, Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe submitted to the Home Goverument, an actual survey of the Thames so far as it serves to communicate between lakes Ontario and St. Clair, referring to the tract of land as "one of the finest in America," and, accompanying it a survey of Long Point, on Lake Erie, saying, "the situation of Long Point is eminently suitable for a fortified post and naval arsenal for Lake Erie, and the establishment of one here would counteract the one held by the United States at Presqu' Isle. A harbor could be constructed on the island near it. It possesses every facility necessary for an important centre of military operations!" ("Dominion Archives," Q. 279-82, p. 483). Towards the close of this long epistle he again reverts to the settlement at Long Point as affecting the movements of the Indians. "The settlers to be brought in should be brave and determined Loyalists, such as those from Pennsylvania and Maryland, who at the end of the war were associated to support the cause of the King, and who had sent an agent to ascertain what arrangements could be made for their removal to the province. A strong settlement there would effectually separate the Mohawks on the Grand River from the other Indians." In a letter, about two years after (July 31st, 1795), to the Earl of Portland, Simcoe emphasizes the importance of the occupation of Long Point as a naval arsenal, saying, "I am thoroughly convinced that it is absolutely necessary that military establishments should precede settlements, and hence I have withheld all grants on the centre of Lake Erie. There should be a military organization established there at once, and around it a strong settlement could group itself. The half-pay loyalist officers with their followers will form a proper basis for the setttement at Long Point. I propose to put Major Shaw in command of the troops and in general superintendence there." In another letter, written at the same time, to Lord Dorchester, he announces his intention to visit the intended settlement near Long Point, and in view of the fact that three hundred troops of Pennsylvania are at Presqu' Isle to construct a fort at the entrance of the harbor, he asks leave to send a detachment of the Queen's Rangers (one hundred rank and file) to Turkey Point, which is considered to be the most eligible situation. During the summer months of 1795, Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe made his long deferred visit to Long Point and the Grand River. In a letter written on his return to Lord Dorchester from Navy Hall, he describes his route and the country through which he passed. His favorable preconception of the district was not disappointed, and he became more than ever anxious to found a settlement there. The country is thickly timbered, the chief trees being oak, beech, pine and walnut. Making our way through the forest we reached the lake at a place which, from the abundance of wild fowl, is named Turkey Point. A ridge or cliff of considerable height skirts the shore for some distance. Between this and Lake Erie is a wide and gently sloping beach. The long ridge of hard sand (Long Point proper) encloses a safe and commodious harbor. The view from the high bank is magnificent. Altogether the place presents a combination of natural advantages and natural beauty but seldom found. Here we have laid out a site of six hundred acres for a town, with reservations for Government buildings, and called it Charlotte Villa, in honor of Queen Charlotte." In this letter was enclosed a sketch of Long Point and a plan of the proposed town. In a despatch from the Earl of Portland to Governor Simcoe (December 6th, 1795) the proposed settlement at Long Point was formally approved, as was also the class of settlers proposed. "The gentlemen mentioned in your letter of the 30th of July, as desirous with their followers of settling there, cannot fail to lay the best foundation of attachment to the Crown and constitution," ("Dominion Archives," Q. 281, 2); and a month later, in another despatch, "His Lordship urges that the occupation of Long Point should take place with as little delay as possible (January 6th, 1796). The intention of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe to found a military settlement at Long Point was frustrated by Lord Dorchester. His Lordship, in a despatch from Quebec (April 4th, 1796), declares that the present posture of affairs would condemn growing expense or leaving troops in Upper Canada to increase the growth and prosperity of the colony. The policy of placing so many troops out of the way, and the enormous abuses in the public expenditure for twenty years, are not the only objection to this mode of encouraging settlements. The principle itself is erroneous, as evidenced by the improvement in provinces where neither extraordinary expenses were incurred nor troops were employed for civil purposes. We have no intention of authorizing public works of great expense, but reserves of land should be made at every place likely to become of consequence, where they may be required for public purposes." In a despatch to the Earl of Portland (June 18th, 1796) Simcoe states plainly that his plan as to Long Point had been frustrated by the interference of Dorchester. "It is my public duty to observe, that in the civil administration of this Government I have no confidence whatsoever in any assistance from Lord Dorchester. His economical ideas are contrary to the real principle of public saving." It is unfortunate that this difference of opinion existed, for it prevented the early establishment of strong military posts at such places as Long Point, London and Chatham. The settlement at Long Point was assuredly tedious in its beginning, but it was not thereby doomed to be forgotten. Lieutenant-Governor Simcce obtained leave of absence, owing to ill-health, in the summer of 1796, and sailed for England. The Hon. Peter Russell, President of the Executive Council, was appointed acting Governor. The townships in various counties were surveyed into allotments, and among them Walsingham, Windham, Townsend and Charlotteville. Up to this time no grants of land had been formally assigned in Norfolk County. There were a few squatters already there. "Dr." Troyer, Frederick Mabee, Peter Secord, Lucas Dedrick, Edward McMichael, Abraham Smith and Solomon Austin. These were confirmed in the possession of the farms they had already chosen. Now proclamations were issued inviting settlers to the New districts, and appealing especially to the United Empire Loyalists. The fees for land grants, a much discussed question, were settled by an enactment of the Executive Council for Upper Canada, in 1798, as follows: "COUNCIL OFFICE, 25th October, 1798. "That grants to be issued in consequence of Orders of Council subsequent to the 6th instant, to U. E. Loyalists and their children of the first generation, to the extent of two hundred acres each, are not to be charged to the expense of survey, but are to be subject to a fee of threepence per acre, and that one-half of the above fees are to be paid to the Receiver-General by all persons on taking out their warrants of survey, and the other half to the Secretary of the Province on receiving the patents for the land ordered them. "Approved and signed, "J. SMALL, "PETER RUSSELL. "C. E. C." The fame of the Long Point district had reached to Eastern Canada, and when it was opened for settlement there was for a few years a steady influx of settlers, chiefly Loyalists from the Lower Province, for whom it was a second migration. The great majority had lived already in New Brunswick for ten years or longer. That province was overcrowded, and the allotments unsatisfactory; and so, being influenced by the offers of land in Upper Canada, they came west, for the most part in open boats, to make their homes in that district. But this removal was a work of stupendous difficulty. The roads were simply blazes through the forests. The heaving bosom of the inland sea was the only highway, and they had to trust themselves and their dear ones in frail batteaux to the deep waters. Only one man came to Long Point in the later years of the century who had ever been there before, that is, the old Scotch soldier, Donald McCall, whose history is related in a subsequent chapter. Consequently, their knowledge of the course was meagre and the danger great. Those who came by land had to find their way over the devious trail of the Indian. Their worldly possessions were tied up in portable bundles, and carried often on their shoulders. The length of their journey precluded their bringing much with them, and thus the building of their new homes in the County of Norfolk was just as tedious and just as severe as it had been years before in their settlements on the St. John.
CHAPTER XVI. CHARLOTTEVILLE.
THE principal point of interest in Norfolk County is, or ought to be, the location of the now extinct town of Charlotteville, or Turkey Point. This was situated on the high bank overlooking Turkey Point proper. This point projects into Lake Erie in a south-westerly direction for a little more than five miles. It is a low-lying peninsula of sandy loam, forming, as it were, a backbone to the masses of marsh which surround it. This marsh, of reeds, rushes and quill grass, fills up almost entirely what was formerly a safe and commodious harbor on the inner side of Turkey Point. Through the point flows a narrow stream, not more than eight feet wide, called Indian Creek. Although so narrow and so shallow that the bottom is easily touched, there is suficient current to prevent its freezing up in the winter, and it is the waterway of the sportsmen, who thereby insert themselves into their favorite coverts. The immense numbers of wild turkeys found there a century ago gave the point its designation. The wild turkeys have, for the most part, disappeared, but wild ducks of many varieties abound, particularly mallards, black ducks, yellow legs, red heads, butter balls, the mourning duck, pintails, and canvas-backs. The point is owned by a private company who have erected a commodious club-house thereon, with boat-houses and all conveniences for the sportsman. When London district was separated from the Western district, as has been mentioned in the chapter on the "County of Norfolk," and comprised the land that is now incorporated in the counties of Bruce, Huron, Middlesex, Elgin, Norfolk and Oxford, the courts of Quarter Sessions were first held in the house of Lieutenant Munro, as will be detailed in the chapter on his settlement; but not long afterwards a public-house was built in CharlotteviUe by Job Loder, and the early courts were convened there until a more suitable accommodation could be obtained. In 1804 a building was erected to serve the purposes of a courthouse and jail. This was of frame, two stories high, and twenty-six feet in width by forty feet in length. The lower story was occupied by the court when in session, with the exception of a small portion at one end partitioned off for the "district jail." The upper story was divided into two rooms for the jurors, but it is said tbat in the hot days of summer they preferred to conduct their deliberations under a spreading oak tree close by. The jail was but seldom used, for crime was rare in that community and the moral sentiment so high that locks and bolts were scarcely thought of. There is, however, in connection with this jail and court house an interesting tradition which shows that once at least, in Norfolk, the sterner penalties of the law were dealt out. The writer does not vouch for the correctness of the narrative. It is said that while Sherrif Major Bostwick was in charge of the government buildings there, a negro was in confinement awaiting execution for theft, in those days a capital crime. The negro was sentenced to be hanged on a certain Thursday, but the sherrif had friends coming from York in the latter part of the week to visit him and enjoy the shooting; so the sherrif, not wishing to be troubled with an execution after his friends arrived, asked the "colored gentleman" if he would have any objections to be hanged on the preceding Tuesday, to which the negro replied, "No, no, massa, you've been very good to me, and if you feed me well until Tuesday I'll be hanged then to oblige you." So the necessary ceremonies took place, per agreement, on the Tuesday, and the sherrif was at liberty to entertain his friends. In 1812 Fort Norfolk was built at Charlotteville, of which nothing but the trenches remain. This was a stake fort, the walls consisting of a double row of pointed stakes, the two rows being several feet apart, and the space between filled in with earth. At the close of the war the fort was abandoned, and nothing more than the irregular trench marks its location. Just on the outskirts of the town a rough frame building was erected in 1813 for a hospital. This was put up during the cholera epidemic of that year. As to the other buildings, it is certain that a rival hotel to Job Loder's was built on the shore by a man named Hatch, and still another by Silas Montross. In the kitchen of Loder's hotel was held the first meeting of Norfolk Masons. The branch society was organized in that old tavern. In the same room was held the first meeting of the adherents of the English Church to see about securing a glebe reservation, so that their church might be appropriately and sufficiently endowed. This was secured, although the church was not built for many years afterwards, until the Rev. Mr. Evans came to reside among them. But the town did not prosper, the chief reason being that it was apart from the main thoroughfare east and west. Twenty years after its foundation it contained but one solitary house. Today it exists no more. A barren stretch of sand is all that meets the eye. Yet the antiquarian, or the curio-hunter, or the traveller with the historical mania, can find many an interesting landmark that tells the story of long ago. And how many interesting memories crowd upon one who is familiar with its history! There is the hill on which was buried the first white man who died in that district. A hollowed log was the coffin of Frederick Maby, and in this simple tomb the members of his sorrowing family laid him away. In the war of 1812 an anxious watch was kept for American foes from the bastion of old Fort Norfolk. In the courthouse for twelve years, at the courts of quarter sessions, those old settlers, in Grand and Petit Jury assembled, tried offenders against the peace of King George. In this little quadrangle were confined those who from time to time thought themselves above the law of the new land. Over to the west are the traces of the old hospital, where works of mercy were no more omitted than were the requirements of law overlooked. Interesting surely, though the blinding sand has blotted out man and his works; yet the lives of those who raised these earliest marks of law, religion and pity for suffering man, have not been without effect. Far from it. They live in the best blood of Ontario, in our people's reverence for law, in the stern unswerving loyalty to the Crown, in the scorn of cant and empty show, the acts of mercy and benevolence, love of God, faith with man, courage in war, kindness in peace, purity and goodness and true religion undefiled.
CHAPTER XVII. CLEARING THE LAND.
IT is no small undertaking to enter the forest and attempt, even under the most favorable circumstances, to turn the wilderness into cultivated fields. Much more difficult was it for these Loyalists, many of them unaccustomed to the use of the axe, to remove the giant trees of the "forest primeval" from sufficient of their allotments to sow the seed. It has been mentioned that the British Government made the unfortunate mistake of sending out ship-axes for the colonists, and this clumsy implement, too blunt, too heavy, and too short-handled, almost doubled the labor of the already over-taxed settler. Many, indeed, who had had no experience of "roughing it in the bush" found it almost impossible to overcome the difficulties of pioneer life. Moreover, a certain amount of land had to be cleared before any grain could be sown. This was the prime necessity after the building of the rude log-houses described, and the fact that often a wife and a number of starving chudren were dependent on him, caused the early colonist periods of almost superhuman exertion. It is related of one early settler in the township of Stamford, named Spohn, that he used to work from the earliest streaks of dawn till the darkness prevented his further labor, and then walk three miles to the river where fish were to be caught, collect light wood, and spend often the greater part of the night in fishing by the aid of these "fire jacks." The fishing tackle was very rude, the hooks being simply part of the bone of the pike. On the fish which he managed to catch in this way, and certain leaves and buds of trees, mixed with the milk of a cow, which he had fortunately brought with him, the family managed to exist until early August, when his little crop of spring wheat headed out sufficiently to allow a change of diet. Not less severe was the struggle for subsistence of the earliest Loyalist families who came to Long Point, among whom may be specially mentioned the families of Maby, Secord and Teeple. At that time the only thought was to get rid of the great forests of beech, maple, white and yellow pine and walnut in the shortest and easiest way. The great green trees, after being felled, had to lie until they had dried sufficiently to be burned, or until they could be cut into pieces and removed. Time was necessary for the first, and for the second prolonged labor with the unwieldy axe. Moreover, beasts of burden or draught animals were rare in this section, and if the trees were to be removed while green they had to be cut into small pieces to permit of carrying. The common process of clearing the land, after the first little plot had been planted, was to burn the trees. Often the trees were "girdled" with an axe; that is, the bark was cut through all round the tree, whereby it would die, and becoming gradually dry would burn the year following. When the trees were felled they were set on fire, and most of the smaller branches would burn, leaving the great blackened trunks. Then came the "logging" bees, when the settlers of the neighborhood combined to draw these great logs into heaps, where they would be out of the way, comparatively speaking, till they were dry enough to burn. Thus it was that the forest melted away before the determined attacks of the sturdy pioneers.
CHAPTER XVIII. BUILDINGS.
UNTIL the settler could erect his rude shanty, which usually took about two weeks, the spreading forest trees formed the only protection for his family from wind and weather. Coming, as they generally did, in the early summer, this was not severely felt unless a period of rain made their condition deplorable. The settler's first task was, of course, the erection of a log shanty, and all in the community turned out to help the newcomer build his house. These gatherings for co-operative labor were called "bees" in upper Canada. The same institution was known by the name of "frolics" in New Brunswick. A number of straight, round basswood trees were cut down and logs cut off the required length, seldom more than fifteen or twenty feet. These being roughly notched at the corners were piled one on top of another until the required height of the walls was obtained. The Government had provided saws, as has been mentioned, and with these an opening was cut for a door and a window. The wall on one side was generally built four or five feet higher than on the other, and the roof put on in one continuous slant. Others managed to make a kind of gable roof. Strips of bark (generally black oak or swamp oak), overlapping one another, formed the sheeting of the roof. As nails were an extreme scarcity, for they cost 18d. a pound, and being made by hand, so few were in a pound that the price was at least a shilling a dozen, this bark, which formed the roof, was fastened to the rafters by green withes. The interspaces of the logs which formed the walls were filled up with small straight branches, chinked with clay, which soon hardened so as to be air and water tight. The fireplace was made of flat stones, laid one upon another with clay for mortar, the roughness of the material necessitating its occupation of an exceedingly disproportionate space in the one-roomed house. The chimney was composed of strips of hard wood fitted together and plastered with mud. These were not always safe, for Captain Ryerse's house was burned to the ground in 1804, having caught fire from the chimney. The floor of the cabin was made of split timber, rudely levelled by the axe, or by an adze if there was one in the community. As has been mentioned, the government allowed a whip saw to every fourth family, and with this lumber for a door was sawn out and a few boards wherewith to make a rough table and benches. The bedstead was formed by inserting long straight poles into the walls across the end of the house while the walls were in process of construction. Between these poles the long strips of green bark would be woven back and forward-a very comfortable "spring mattress." The earlier settlers also followed the fashion of changing or trading work or labor. One who possessed any skill as a carpenter was in constant demand, and the others would do, in exchange for his services, the rough work in clearing his land. The "village carpenter" would make and fit in the little sash with its four panes of glass, in the opening left for a window. He would, perhaps, also construct a rude cabinet or cupboard for them, or a chest of drawers. These articles with, it may be, some treasured heirloom brought from their native home, such as a tall clock, or a carved chair with curved feet, or an old mahogany escritoire, would constitute the furniture of the early settler's home. Yet they were happy, for they were on British soil, which to them meant more than palatial homes and broad, cleared lands; more than fine clothes and fine furniture; more than flocks of sheep and herds of cattle; more than all the luxuries which the thought of rebellion and the countenancing of it made as gall and wormwood to their loyal hearts.
CHAPTER XIX. FOOD.
As has been mentioned in Chapter VII, to the Loyalists who first came to Canada provisions for three years were given by the Government; but the people of Long Point were thrown on their own resources, and the first settlers experienced the most acute distress. Mention will be made from time to time of particular instances of hardship, but in a general way it may be here stated that the long journey from New Brunswick, and the insufficient conveyance, forced the settlers to come without any quantity of provisions in store for the few months before the grain could be ripened. Thus it was that there occurred many touching instances of hardship and almost starvation. All kinds of edible herbs were eaten- pig-weed, lamb's quarter, ground nut, and the plant called Indian cabbage. The bark of certain trees was cut in pieces and boiled, as were also the leaves and buds of the maple, beech and basswood. Were it not for the game, which Providence occasionally threw in their way, they certainly would have starved. Occasionally a deer was shot and divided among the members of the rejoicing community. Frequently, also, great flocks of wild turkeys were seen in the marshy lands, and it did not require an expert shot to bring down the unsuspecting birds. Fish were also easily caught; so that as soon as the first year or two had passed, the settlers had abundance for themselves, and for any strangers "within their gates." Tea was an unthought-of luxury for many years, and various substitutes were used; as, for example, the hemlock and sassafras. Still a rude plenty existed. As to meat, the creeks and lake supplied fish of several kinds-black and rock bass, perch, carp, mackerel, pickerel, pike and white fish, and above all speckled trout; the marshes-wild fowl, turkeys, ducks and geese; the woods-pigeons, partridge, quail, squirrels, rabbits, hares and deer. As to other animals in the woods, there were many (too many) wolves, bears, lynx, wild cats, beavers, foxes, martins, minks and weasels. Bustards and cranes also were found by the streams. As to grain, they soon had an abundant supply of Indian corn, wheat, peas, barley, oats, wild rice, and the commoner vegetables. The thoughtful housewives of those times tried to make up for the various articles of food which they could not procure by the invention of new dishes, and to make the ordinary menu as palatable as possible by some change or addition. One of the most appreciated of the "delicacies" was the pumpkin loaf, which consisted of corn meal and boiled pumpkin made into a cake and eaten hot with butter. It was generally sweetened with maple sugar. Another "Dutch dish" was "pot-pie," which consisted of game or fowl cut up into small pieces and baked in a deep dish, with a heavy crust over the meat. On such fare were developed the brawn and muscle which in a few years changed the wilderness into a veritable Garden of Eden.
CHAPTER XX. MILLS.
As has been mentioned in Chapter VII., some were fortunate enough to be provided with portable mills for the grinding of their corn, but the greater number in Upper Canada had no such luxuries. For many years the nearest flouring mill to the Long Point settlement was that at Niagara Falls, a distance of a hundred miles. At first, then, when they were unable to make the long journey to the mill, they used what was called the "hominy block" or "plumping mill." This was simply a hardwood stump, with a circular hollow in the top, partly burned into it, and partly chopped out. If a cannon ball could be obtained, it was heated to burn out this bole. In this hollow the grain was pounded with a great wooden beetle, and sometimes a heavy round stone was attached to a long pole or sweep, and by this mortar and pestle contrivance the Indian corn and, wild rice were rudely crushed, and afterwards baked into corn or "Johnny" cakes. But wheat could not be ground by this process, and unless the family had a portable steel mill they were compelled to do without wheaten bread. Some, however, had these mills, and if they also possessed a horsehair sieve or bolting cloth, the bran could be separated from the flour and white bread manufactured. It was always a condition of the grant of land on which there were good water-power facilities, that a grist mill be erected within a certain time, and thus in a few years all over the country sprang up flouring mills. Captain Samuel Ryerse built the first mill in Long Point, and ran it for several years, though at a financial loss, for the toll was only one bushel in twelve, and the mill was idle all through the summer. The machinery for these mills was hard to procure, and after it was gotten, hard to keep in order. It could only be bought for cash, and ready money was never a very plentiful article with the early settlers. Captain Ryerse had to sell part of his grant of land at a dollar an acre to obtain money to buy the machinery for his mill. Moreover, there was no market for any surplus wheat that might be raised. Until the war of 1812 wheat was never more than two shillings (sterling) a bushel. Consequently after the first struggle for life there was no particular inducement for the early settler to grow more wheat than was necessary for his own consumption. For many years the Ryerse mill was the only one within seventy miles. About 1805, however, Titus Finch built one at Turkey Point. There was also the Sovereign mill at Waterford, the Russell mill at Vittoria, Malcolm's mills near the present site of Oakland, the Culver- Woodruff mills on Paterson Creek, and the mills of Robert Nicol at Dover.
CHAPTER XXI. CLOTHING.
THE half-pay officers who settled in New Brunswick had frequently their uniforms and accoutrements which they had worn in their native States-tight knee-breeches of black or yellow or dark blue satin, white silk or satin waistcoats, and the gorgeous colored frock coats, often claret, royal purple, or pea, pearl or bottle green, with their wide collars. The coats were lined with plush or velvet of a different shade. Black silk stockings and morocco shoes, with immense silver buckles covering the whole instep, completed their attire. However, these were not garments suitable to making their way through the tangled underbrush, fording creeks and marshes, and stumping and logging in the bush. Even if it were used at all, in a year or two this finery would disappear, and the colonists had to resort to the produce of their fields or that which the new land provided. It may be thought that the wool from the sheep would be the most natural material to weave into coarse garments. This would have been the case if the early settler could have depended on his sheep from one day to another, but the fondness of Canadian wolves for lamb and mutton seriously interfered with his calculations in this regard, and supremely fortunate was he, if by any chance a sheep could be preserved until its wool were of sufficient length to be clipped and thereafter made into garments. Consequently they resorted to the culture of flax. Every family had its little plot of ground sown with flax-seed, and one of the standard accomplishments of the brave women of those days was the knowledge of its culture. They had to weed, pull and thresh out the seeds, and then spread it to rot. After it was dressed they spun and wove it into coarse linen, which supplied garments for both sexes. The spinning and weaving processes were generally difficult on account of the rude home-made implements which the early settlers had to use, for but rarely had any spinning wheels or looms been brought over from the States. The "fulling" of the cloth had to be accomplished by the proeess of "treading" the fabric in large tubs. This coarse linen cloth, which was very often mixed with what little wool could be obtained, made a material which would last for years. The next most important clothing material was deerskin, which was used not only for shoes, but for garments also. The settlers got the idea of using it from the Indians, who taught them how to prepare it, so as to be pliable and comfortable. The tanning process consisted in removing the hair, and working it by hand with the brains of some animal until it became soft and white. This, of course, made the most durable garments and was a favorite material for trousers. Petticoats were alse made of it for the women. The only objection to deerskin garments was that they soon get lamentably greasy and dirty, and were hard to dean. In Dr. Ryerson's history an interesting story is told of the domestic, Poll Spragge. She had but one article of dress, a kind of sack made of buckskin, with holes at the top for her arms, and this garment hung from her shoulders, and was tied in at the waist by thongs of the same material. She was left alone in the house one day with orders to wash her single garment. In the absence of soap she bethought herself of the strong lye, made from wood ashes, not knowing its effect on leather. When she took it out of the pot where she had been boiling it, it was nothing but a partly decomposed mass. The feelings of poor Poll may be more easily imagined than described. As soon as she caught sight of the returning family she hid herself in the potato cellar, and refused to come out until some one's second best petticoat was procured for her. Such was the scarcity of clothing ofany kind in these early years. As for personal ornamentation or decoration the pack of the Yankee pedlar supplied the wants of the families who were rich enough to buy such luxuries. The coming of the pedlar and the opening of the pack was a long looked for occurrence. The ordinary articles always carried by these itinerant merchants were gaudy printed calicoes, a yard of which sold for the usual price of an acre of ground ($1.00), coarse muslin at about fifteen shillings a yard, and shawls and kerchiefs, of elaborate pattern, "fearfully and wonderfully made," the gaudy colors greatly enhancing their value. Besides these, he was accustomed to bring around the standard assortment of tape and needles, horn combs, pencils, paper, hooks and eyes, and some yards of narrow ribbon of divers colors for hair and neckwear on special occasions. To get a long chintz or gingham dress to "go to meeting" in was the height of many a fair maiden's ambition. The writer has been told of an instance where two daughters of the same family were accounted the most finely dressed "belles" of the settlement because they had each a long veil of coarse muslin to wear to church, though, indeed, neither of them had anything to wear in the line of footgear, and so went to meeting barefoot. As to wedding garments, generally some faded silk dress of the mother, which had been laid away for a quarter of a century or more, with cinnamon bark or sprigs of cedar, was remodelled to fit the fair damsel on this auspicious occasion. Some amusing stories are told of smaller dresses being "let out," with the coarse linen of the household, so as to fit the extensive figure of a maiden who was not so slender as her mother had been. But "necessity constraineth us," and these trifling inconsistencies, which would drive a modern fiancée to distraction, did not alloy the happiness of the Loyalist maidens.
CHAPTER XXII. THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL IN LONG POINT.
Until the year 1800 there were very few churches in upper Canada; and the people were dependent on one of their own number to conduct service, in a settler's cabin or under the forest trees. A letter of Hon. Peter Russell to the Anglican bishop of Quebec (22nd June, 1796), gives a very accurate view of the state of religious organization in Upper Canada at that time. "There are no churches west of Kingston, a circumstance disgraceful to the inhabitants, and only to be apologized for by their hard struggles and want of proper clergymen. Of the £1,000 voted by Parliament, I suggest that £500 be used in building a handsome church at York, and when the inhabitants of New Johnstown (in Eastern District), Newark and Sandwich appear disposed to raise subscriptions for their respective churches, let £100 be given to Newark and £200 to each of the other two. I have appointed Rev. Mr. Addison to Newark." The Bishop of Quebec approved of the appointment of Addison, and decided that he be one of four to receive a salary (£100). Rev. Mr. Addison had, however, other sources of income, for a minute of the Council of Newark (August 14th, 1797) reads: "Resolved that the salt springs at the Fifteen-mile Creek be leased to the Rev. Mr. Addison at a rent of 5s currency, for such time as he shall continue to officiate as a clergyman of the Church of England at Newark." Rev. Mr. Addison was given grants of land in various places, among them 400 acres (lots 1 and 10, third concession) in Walsingham.
For thirty years after the foundation of the settlement, until the arrival of the Rev. Mr. Evans in 1824, the colonists who adhered to the faith of the English Church had no regular minister. There was no clergyman nearer than Niagara, a hundred miles distant, and a blaze through the trees constituted the only road to that centre of advancement and civilization. Captain Samuel Ryerse was accustomed to read the church service every Sunday to his household, and to any who might wish to listen with them. Subsequently Mr. Bostwick, who was the son of a clergyman, used to read the service and sometimes a sermon. But very few copies of sermons were to be obtained, for, indeed, but few copies of any books existed among the settlers, and after reading over several times the "stock in hand" they naturally lost their interest. The first visit of a bona fide minister of the Episcopal faith to Norfolk County occurred in 1805, when the Rev. Mr. Addison, the only clergyman in Western Ontario, came by request from Niagara to baptize the children who had been born on the settlement, for so far there had been no regularly authorized licentiate to perform that ceremony. It was a long-to-be-remembered event, and many of the people broke out into a passion of tears as they listened, in some cases, the first time for eleven years, to the voice of a regularly ordained minister. It was surely an affecting scene, and brings home to our minds one of those trials which the Loyalists had to undergo, and which is but seldom thought of namely, their enforced deprivation of religious instruction. [These baptisms may be the first ones documented by Rev. Addison for Long Point in 1807. See this page of baptisms. Bill]
In 1798 Elder Titus Finch came to Long Point and became the leader of the Baptists of that district. For many years they had no church, and so Elder Finch travelled around and held service on the Sabbath at various points in the settlement. The houses of the settlers were not often large enough to accommodate those who assembled, and frequently on summer days the service was held in an open glade of the forest, the murmur of the breeze forming a sweet accompaniment, which in its calm and heavenly influence wafted their thoughts to the Creator of the universe. In 1804 the community of Baptists was organized, and about 1810 their church was erected, a commodious and substantial building.
The founder of the first Presbyterian church of Norfolk County was the Rev. Jabez Culver. He was a regularly ordained minister in New Jersey, and on coming to the Long Point settlement in 1794, held service every Sabbath in his own house. In 1806 the Presbyterians were organized into a church community, with the Rev. Jabez Culver as their regularly appointed pastor. This was known as the old "Windham Church," and continued until the death of Mr. Culver in 1819. Then it was dissolved, but being reorganized later, became a flourishing and important body.
This denomination was, as usual, one of the very first to establish its organization in the new country. It is said that the Presbyterians have the congregation first, and the church afterwards; but the Methodists the church first and the congregation afterwards. The Methodist body had two chapels in this county before the first Presbyterian church was built. The first recognized Methodist minister was the Rev. Daniel Freeman, who, though not ordained by the Methodist Episcopal Church until he had been some years in the Long Point district, nevertheless conducted regular service, and most of the young people of the community joined his church. This was called the "Woodhouse Methodist Church," on the identical site of which the third Woodhouse Methodist Church now stands. All honor to these early ministers of the dissenting bodies, for though they were unlearned, and sometimes uncouth in speech, their lives proved their sincerity. They bore cheerfully every privation, and preached in every place where they could get a hearing. Nor can anyone charge them with doing this, to be supported by the other members of the community, for even "after many years" the regular stipend for a married man was only $200, and half that sum for a single man. Nor was this always paid in cash, but the greater part of it made up in the produce of the land, or in the coarse linen or woollen garments which were the product of the house looms. There were no Roman Catholics in the neighborhood until after 1825. Such was the state of religious instruction in the Long Point Settlement in the early days.
CHAPTER XXIII. MARRIAGE.
THERE were but few clergymen in upper Canada in the early years of the century. Mr. Addison, of Niagara, was the nearest minister to Long Point. Consequently almost any person who held any public position whatsoever was often called upon to perform the ceremony as, for example, the captain of a regiment, a colonel, adjutant, magistrate, or sheriff. In a letter of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe to Dundas (November 6th, 1792), he calls attention to the necessity for a bill to make valid marriages contracted in upper Canada, and to provide for them in the future, and he encloses a bill for the purpose framed by Chief Justice Osgoode, and a report on the same subject submitted by Mr. Cartwright. ("Dominion Archives," Q. 279, p. 77).*
*THE MARRIAGE LAW IN UPPER CANADA. REPORT BY RICHARD CARTWRIGHT, JUNIOR ("Canadian Archives," Series Q. 279-1, p. 174)
"Report on the subject of Marriages and the State of the Church of England in the Province of upper Canada, humbly submitted to His Excellency Governor Simcoe. "The Country now Upper Canada was not settled or cultivated in any part except the settlement of Detroit, till the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, when the several Provincial Corps doing Duty in the Province of Quebec were reduced, and, together with many Loyalists from New York, established in different Parts of this Province, chiefly along the River St. Lawrence and the Bay of Quenti. In the meanwhile from the year 1777 many families of the Loyalists belonging to Butler's Rangers, the Royal Yorkers, Indian Department and other Corps doing Duty at the upper Posts, had from Time to Time come into the country, and many young women of these families were contracted in Marriage which could not be regularly solemnized, there being no Clergyman at the Posts, nor in the whole country between them and Montreal. The practise in such cases usually was to go before the Officer Commanding the Post who publickly read to the parties the Matrimonial Service in the Book of Common Prayer, using the Ring and observing the other forms there prescribed, or if he declined it, as was sometimes the case, it was done by the Adjutants of the Regiment. After the settlements were formed in 1784 the Justices of the Peace used to perform the Marriage Ceremony till the establishment of Clergymen in the Country when this practice adopted only from necessity hath been discontinued in the Districts where Clergymen reside. This is not yet the case with them all; for though the two lower Districts have had each of them a Protestant Clergyman since the year 1786; it is but a few months since this (Nassau or Home) District hath been provided with one; and the Western District in which the settlement of Detroit is included, is to this day destitute of that useful and respectable Order of men; yet the Town of Detroit is and has been since the Conquest of Canada inhabited for the most part by Traders of the Protestant Religion who reside there with their Families, and among whom many Intermarriages have taken place, which formerly were solemnized by the Commanding Officer, or some other layman occasionally appointed by the Inhabitants for reading prayers to them on Sundays, but of late more commonly by the Magistrates since Magistrates have been appointed for that District. "From these circumstances it has happened that the Marriages of the generality of the Inhabitants of Upper Canada are not valid in Law, and that their children must stricto jure be considered as illegitimate and consequently not intitled to inherit their property. Indeed this would have been the case, in my opinion, had the Marriage Ceremony been performed even by a regular Clergyman, and with due Observance of all the Forms prescribed by the Laws of England. For the clause in the Act of the 14th year of His Present Majesty for regulating the Government of Quebec which declares "That in all cases of Controversy relative to Property and Civil Rights, resort shall be had to the Laws of Canada as the Rule for the Decision of the same, "appears to me to invalidate all Marriages not solemnized according to the Rites of the Church of Rome, so far as these Marriages are considered as giving any Title to property. "Such being the Case it is obvious that it requires the Interposition of the Legislature as well to settle what is past, as to provide some Regulations for the future, in framing of which it should be considered that good policy requires that in a new Country at least, matrimonial Connections should be made as easy as may be consistent with the Importance of such Engagements; and having pledged myself to bring this Business forward early in the next Session, I am led to hope that Your Excellency will make such Representations to His Majesty's Ministers as will induce them to consent to such arrangements respecting this Business as the circumstances of the Country may render expedient, Measures for this purpose having been postponed only because they might be thought to interfere with their Views respecting the Clergy of the Establishment. "Of this Church I am myself a member and am sorry to say that the State of it in this Province is not very flattering. A very small proportion of the Inhabitants of Upper Canada have been educated in this Persuasion and the Emigrants to be expected from the United States will for the most part be Sectaries or Dissenters; and nothing prevents the Teachers of this class from being proportionally numerous, but the inability of the People at present to provide for their support. In the Eastern District, the most populous part of the Province there is no Church Clergyman. They have a Presbyterian Minister, formerly Chaplain to the 84th Regiment, who receives from Government fifty Pounds p. ann. They have also a Lutheran Minister who is supported by his Congregation, and the Roman Catholic Priest settled at St. Regis occasionally officiates for the Scots Highlanders settled in the lower part of the District, who are very numerous and all Catholics. There are also many Dutch Calvinists in this part of the Province who have made several attempts to get a Teacher of their own Sect, but hitherto without success. "In the Midland District, where the members of the Church are more numerous than in any other part of the Province, there are two Church Clergymen who are allowed one hundred pounds stg. p. ann. each by Government, and fifty pounds each by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. There are here also some itinerant Methodist Preachers, the Followers of whom are numercus. And many of the Inhabitants of the greatest property are Dutch Calvinists, who have for some time past been using their endeavours to get a Minister of their own Sect among them. In the Home District there is one Clergyman who hath been settled here since the month of July last. The Scots Presbyteriaus who are pretty numerous here and to which Sect the most respectable part of the Inhabitants belong, have built a Meeting House, raised a Subscription for a Minister of their own who is shortly expected among them. There are here also many Methodists and Dutch Calvinists. In the Western District there are no other clergy than those of the Church of Rome. The Protestant inhabitants here are principally Presbyterians. From this statement Your Excellency will be able to draw the proper Conclusions; and to judge how far the Establishing the Hierarchy of the Church of England in this Province may be proper & expedient. "I have the Honor to be, with the most profound respect, "Your Excellency's most humble servant, "RICHD. CARTWRIGHT, Junr. "NEWARK, 12th October, 1792." To avoid complications which might have resulted from illegal marriages, the Parliament of Upper Canada, in 1793, passed "an Act to confirm and to make valid certain marriages, heretofore contracted in the country now comprised in the Province of Upper Canada, and to provide for the future solemnization of marriage within the same ..... The marriage and marriages of all persons not being under any canonical disqualification to contract matrimony, that have been publicly contracted before any magistrate or commanding officer of a post, or an adjutant, or surgeon of a regiment acting as chaplain, or any other person in any public office or employment before the passing of this Act, shall be confirmed and considered to all intents and purposes as good and valid in law; and it is further enacted that the contracting parties, which do not live within eighteen miles of any minister of the Church of England, may apply to any neighboring justice of the peace, who shall affix in some public place, a notice for which he shall receive one shilling, and no more." In 1798 another Act provided that ministers of the Church of Scotland, or Lutherans, or Calvinists, could perform the ceremony if one of the contracting parties had been a member of that Church for at least six months. This clergyman had to prove his qualification before six magistrates at Quarter Sessions, appearing with at least seven members of his congregation, to bear witness to the correctness of his oath. In 1818 a further Act made valid the marriages of those who had in any way neglected to preserve the testimony of their marriage. In 1831 another Act confirmed marriages contracted before any justice of the peace, magistrate, commanding officer, minister or clergyman, and at the same time it was provided that it should be lawful for ministers of the Church of Scotland, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Independents, Methodists, Mennonists, Turkers [Tunkers ??] or Moravians, to solemnize matrimony. This is very important, as it conveyed a long delayed right to ministers of all the recognized dissenting bodies. Until 1814 no licenses were used. In that year, on the 31st of May, the Government appointed five persons as issuers of marriage licenses, of whom the nearest to Long Point Settlement lived at Queenston. The ordinary method was to publish the banns for three successive Sundays. This notice was to be posted in some conspicuous place, generally on the mill door, for there were not many churches at that time. The young people, in their anxiety to avoid publicity, would sometimes put the notice on the inside of the door, while another way was to take two or three of their immediate friends, sworn to secrecy, and simply hold it to the door for a few minutes each Sunday, three Sundays in succession. The purport of the notice was as follows, the words being subscribed by a magistrate: "Know all men by these presents, that 'A. B.' is desirous of taking to wife 'C. D.' If any one knows any just cause why the ceremony should not be duly performed let him give notice to Magistrate 'X. Z.' on or before __." As to wedding garments. If the family had any fine clothes stowed away, which had been brought from "Old Virginia," these were looked up, the creases of a score of years smoothed out, and her mother's dress made over to fit her youthful daughter. But, as a rule, in this settlement it was the height of the prospective bride's ambition to get money enough to buy from a pedlar a few yards of dimity or coloured calico, or calamok, or a "linsey-woolsey" petticoat, or a woolen drugget. But many a blushing bride had to be content with a garment of deerskin, and a squirrel-skin bonnet, and still looked lovely in the eyes of her lover. The déjeûner consisted usually of huge chicken or partridge pies, wild fowl of all kinds, piles of "Johnny cake" and wheaten bread and buns, cranberry and wild fruit pies and puddings, and various other dishes which have been described in detail to the writer. A wedding without a dance was an insipid affair, and often the festivities were kept up for two or three nights in succession. As to dowry, the bride was rich if her portion was a yoke of steers, a cow, three or four sheep, and a few yards of homespun linen; while, if the groom had a hundred acres of land, with a tenth of it cleared, and a log-house already built, they were a much-to-be-envied couple.
CHAPTER XXIV. FUNERALS.
THE first white man who died in the Long Point Settlement was the U. E. Loyalist, Frederick Maby. In 1794 he passed away, after only one year spent in the endeavor to build up a home in the wilderness. He was buried in a log coffin; that is, one hewn out of a solid log, covered with a rough slab. The grave was on the top of the hill which overlooks Turkey Point. There was no funeral, for there was not a minister of any denomination within a hundred miles. The weeping family simply knelt around the open grave. Besides the widow and the children of the deceased, there were three other men, still earlier settlers,- 'Billy Smith,' who had lived a wild life for years among the Indians, Peter Secord, and "Dr." Troyer. The places of burial continued generally on the spot chosen by the family of the first person who died in that locality. When another of the settlers died, it was the natural thing to lay him beside the one who had gone before, and thus the number of those who were removed from their difficulties and hardships would keep on increasing, and the cemetery would be filled. But some preferred to bury their loved ones in a corner of their farm, and many a little private burying ground may be seen to-day- a corner of a field, where a few cypress or willow trees have been left to murmur a requiem over the departed. The mode of burial was simple and touching. Seldom in the early days of the settlement was there any minister to conduct the service. The elder sons of the mourning family would bear the rude coffin, which had sometimes the simple tribute of a few wild flowers placed thereon, to the open grave. When the body was lowered the father, in broken voice, would read a prayer or make a few remarks about the departed to the friends who were standing around, with heads uncovered. "Dust to dust, ashes to ashes." Sadly the sorrowing friends filled in the earth and turned away, striving to drown their grief in labor. But the cypress trees softly whispered in the breeze of summer or howled in the winter's blast ever the resting-places of those whe had been loyal and true and noble, who had done their duty for conscience' sake, who had worked hard and long and faithfully to build a home on British soil, and to whom had now come the everlasting rest after labor. Oh, what memories, sacred and sad and sweet, cluster around these old burying grounds! Men who rest without a marble monument, yet who need none, for the fields, clad with the ripening grain, the beautiful homes, the splendid roads, the churches, the schools, the benevolent Institutions of every kind are their memorials, for it was they who first entered the wilderness and laid the foundation for that marvellous superstructure of civilization reared by generations then unborn.
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