“What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy light! –With what wistful look did he eye every trembling ray of light streaming across the vast fields from some distent window!” Ichabod Crane was often “thrown into complete dismay by some rushing blast, howling among the trees, in the idea that it was the Galloping Hessian on one of his nightly scourings!”
In this special edition of Lost Loyalists you will learn about five amazing women’s lives during the American Revolution. Loyalist women are often under-researched as they did not typically participate in the war as part of the military, but that does not mean that they did not have an impact on its outcome. These women have fascinating stories, and I am happy to share them with you.
The following post features one of the loyalists who is portrayed in our upcoming story mapping project "New Brunswick Loyalist Journeys." Please watch this page for further announcements on this exciting, new way to understand the lives and experiences of loyalists.
The citizens of Saint John, New Brunswick were gripped by fear during the mid-nineteenthcentury as a haunting spectre was sweeping the globe. Yet, this menace was not of a paranormal nature. Rather, it was one of humanities oldest foes: contagious disease, this time in the form of cholera.
In the early nineteenth century, two fatal duels took place in the Maritimes: one in Nova Scotia and the other in New Brunswick. These duels happened between prominent members of society and were fought with pistols. Despite duels being illegal, they still happened, and like the cases that will be discussed in this post, they occurred as a result of bruised egos and served to defend personal honour.
The quest to pinpoint historical places, even those from the late eighteenth century, can prove a difficult endeavour for researchers and requires the skills of both Sherlock Holmes and an experienced historian. In New Brunswick, for instance, two main cites existed under alternate names for the early period of loyalist settlement: Parrtown or Parr Town for Saint John and St.
On September 6th of 1816, Abel Sands appeared in the Saint John County Court House as the alleged father of a bastard child with Ann Mickens. About 200 years later, this record was transcribed by a student assistant in the Microforms Unit—marking our very first encounter with Mr. Abel Sands. As you can probably tell by the chicken scratch handwriting pictured below, this first encounter was definitely not straightforward.
For many living in present day New Brunswick, Canada party politics has become normalized. People vote for the party that has the most agreeable party platform, and the elected Member of the Legislative Assembly becomes an ambassador of the party first and their riding second. Many do not know that party politics was imported into New Brunswick with the signing of Confederation in 1867.
The real, daily interactions between indigenous people and setters of European ancestry in British colonies was an ongoing process and often involved a clash in lifestyles. Formation and negotiation of relationships between colonial groups were recorded through petitioning and court cases initiated by both indigenous and settler populations.