Diary : 26 December 1776 - 15 May 1797.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .N3H4D5
Category: Family
Creator: Nase, Henry, 1753-1836.
Description: 1 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm

Henry Nase was a native of Dover, Dutchess County, New York. He was the son of Philip Nase and the eldest child in a family of five sons and four daughters. His mother's maiden name may have been Dutcher. After an attempt by the rebels to impress both Henry and his brother, William, into the American army, he fled to Jamaica, New York, where he enlisted in the Kings American Regiment on 10 April 1777. He served with the regiment for six years until the end of the war, first as a sergeant, then as sergeant-major, and eventually as an ensign after he received his commission in 1783. Throughout most of his war service, he was attached to Captain John William Livingston's Company and later served in Capt. Thomas Chapman's Company and Capt. Abraham DePeyster's Company. He embarked at New York for Nova Scotia on board the Peggy (transport) on 21 April 1783 and arrived at Annapolis Royal on 10 May 1783. On 2 July 1783 he landed in Saint John, having come from Digby on the Howe (brig), and soon began building a house for Major John Coffin who was still with the regiment in New York. On 26 September 1783, John Coffin and his family arrived from New York on board the Britain. He was so pleased with the house that he gave Henry a beautiful horse. Before winter set in, Henry Nase had constructed a hut at Beaubear's Point, later building a home at Mount Hope, and finally a new house near the mouth of the Nerepis River where it meets the St. John in the Parish of Westfield. He records in his diary that on 13 November 1783 there was a snowfall of six inches, and from then until 21 December 1783 there were 12 days of snow. On 13 March 1788 Henry Nase and Jane Quinton (1767-1852), the daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Quinton, were married in Lancaster, NB. The ceremony was performed by Reverend James Fraser, a minister of the Church of Scotland. Four sons and six daughters, who were born to Henry and Jane, survived to adulthood. According to Henry's will the sons were: Henry, William Henry, Philip, and John Quinton. The daughters were: Maria, Elizabeth, Ann, Sophia, Rebecca Clarke and Jane Haviland. After he settled in New Brunswick, Henry Nase became a highly regarded and active member of the community. He was a justice of the peace, the lieutenant-colonel of the Kings County Militia, Edward Winslow's deputy surrogate (later called judge of probate) for Kings County, and an active member of his church. On 20 May 1836 he died at the age of 84 years and is buried with his wife and other members of their family on private land in the Village of Westfield. For many years after the war Henry Nase received an ensign's half-pay allowance from the British government, and after his death his widow petitioned the British government for a pension as the widow of a half-pay officer.


Henry Nase enlisted as a sergeant in the Kings American Regiment at Jamaica, New York, on 10 April 1777. However, his Diary begins on 26 December 1776 when he and his brother William were forced to flee at night from their home to avoid being forced into the rebel army, and continues with an account of his adventures until he joins the regiment. From the date of his enlistment to the end of the war, the diary provides a detailed and exceedingly valuable account of the regiment's movements, their engagements with the enemy, the fate of many of the officers and men, and many other regimental activities. The Diary continues with his embarkation at New York for the voyage to Saint John, and the early years of struggle to established a new life in New Brunswick. During the war period, the Diary entries are made almost daily, but as Henry Nase becomes more involved in becoming established and raising a family, the entries occur less frequently. Yet, the details that are revealed about his circumstances and activities provide a fascinating window into the life of an ordinary person in the formative years of Loyalist settlement.


In addition to the Diary, the microfilm reel contains documents relating to the marriage of Henry Nase and Jane Quinton, 1828; militia commissions appointing Philip Nase an ensign, and later a captain in the the First Battalion of the Kings County Militia, 1822 and1827; several documents regarding land transactions,1817-1847; and letters from William Nase, Henry's brother, who remained in New York, 1830-1836.


The original Diary is held by the New Brunswick Museum Archives. It was a gift to the Archives by Mr. Charles MacKenzie.

Archival Ref. No.:
Finding Aids:

Transcription of diary is available at the New Brunswick Museum, transcribed by Todd Braisted, as well as online from Online Sources of the American Revolutionary War.

Electronic Finding Aid Record:

The will of Henry Nase and other documents can be found in the following source: Great Britain. War Office 42/62, 316-320.


The dates that have been given in the typed introduction at the beginning of the microfilm reel are inaccurate.

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