Loyalist Lowdown: The Edward Winslow Edition

Edward Winslow was a key Loyalist figure in New Brunswick, but he is also important because of the staggering number of his letters that survive to this day, in what is now called the Winslow Papers. While the University of New Brunswick’s Archives and Special Collections holds the originals, for ease of access the collection is accessible in The Loyalist Collection and online through UNB Libraries.

Because of Winslow’s surviving papers, the amount of literature about him is astounding and readily available through the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and the University of New Brunswick’s Archives and Special Collections’ biography, to name a few sources.

Therefore, to whet the appetite, here are some fun facts about this key Loyalist figure:

1. Because of his personal involvement with Loyalist ideologies he was drawn into not only one duel, but two!

2. Winslow shares the name of Edward Winslow, a direct ancestor of his who was on the Mayflower in 1620. 

Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton, the figure that New Brunswick might
have been named after without Winslow’s interjection.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3. There are suggestions that when Winslow tried to create a new province out of Nova Scotia, this new province (what is known today as New Brunswick) might have been called “Guy” after Sir Guy Carleton of Nova Scotia. However, there is some evidence that insinuates that Winslow (and perhaps with Jonathan Odell’s assistance) might have had a hand in stopping the province from being named “Guy.”

4. The series of letters that survive in the Winslow Papers had to be washed in water for preservation purposes! The surviving Winslow Papers are a combination of an estimated 2,500 individual letters that range from 1695-1866.

5. He was fined twice while in University “for making indecent and tumultuous Noises in the College” where he lived in Caleb Prentice’s rooming house. This house was also the location where he was once found by a Professor Wigglesworth, very drunk by midday. Winslow, then nicknamed Ned, gladly paid his fine.

6. In October of 1774 Winslow was chased by an angry mob (who didn't like his loyalist tendencies).

7. Winslow had a great skill for creative insults, such as calling Elias Hardy a “pettifogging notary public,” Richard John Uniacke “a great lubberly insolent Irish rebel,” and Jonathan Odell “a High priest of the order of Melchisedec.”

8. In a letter, Winslow wrote that if he were an instrument he “would chuse to be a fiddle because it would require some skill and taste to play upon me.”

Winslow Letter BeforeWinslow Letter After


Right, a Winslow Letter showing difference between post- and pre- conservation. Photos courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of New Brunswick.


9. Winslow believed that New Brunswick would become the most “Gentlemanlike [place] on earth”; he saw New Brunswick as a better Nova Scotia, better for the Loyalists. (Yet, no concessions would be made for the First Nations or Acadians already living there.)  He also believed New Brunswick would become a place to be envied especially by Americans:


Yes – by God! we will be the envy of the American states. . . . When the people of the neighboring states shall observe our operations. When they see us in the enjoyment of a regular system of Government – protected by the mother Country – not sad’led with enormous taxes and compare their state with ours, Will they not envy us? Surely they will. Many of their most respectable inhabitants will join us immediately.

Fundy National Park
New Brunswick is a quite spectacular, beautiful place to live! Even with the author's meager photography skills,
she was able to take this beautiful photo in Fundy National Park.


Annabelle Babineau is a student assistant for the Microforms and Government Documents, Data, and Maps Units at the Harriet Irving Library. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts in the English Honours Programme.


SUBJECTS:  loyalist, Loyalist Lowdown, New Brunswick, Edward Winslow, conservation

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