“For more than a century they and their descendants have been distinguished for the useful and important part they have taken in every matter deeply associated with the best interests of the country.”
Today’s installment concludes After the American Revolution, Where Did the Loyalists Go?,
our selection from The Story of Canada by Sir John G. Bourinot published in 1896.
If you have journeyed through all of the installments of this series, just one more to go and you will have completed a selection from the great works of three thousand words. Congratulations!
Previously in After the American Revolution, Where Did the Loyalists Go?
The records of all the provinces show the great influence exercised on their material, political, and intellectual development by this devoted body of immigrants. For more than a century they and their descendants have been distinguished for the useful and important part they have taken in every matter deeply associated with the best interests of the country. In New Brunswick we find among those who did good service in their day and generation the names of Wilmot, Allen, Robinson, Jarvis, Hazen, Burpee, Chandler, Tilley, Fisher, Bliss, Odell, Botsford; in Nova Scotia, Inglis (the first Anglican bishop in the colonies), Wentworth, Brenton, Blowers (Chief Justice), Cunard, Cutler, Howe, Creighton, Chipman, Marshall, Halliburton, Wilkins, Huntingdon, Jones; in Ontario, Cartwright, Robinson, Hagerman, Stuart (the first Anglican clergyman), Gamble, Van Alstine, Fisher, Grass, Butler, Macaulay, Wallbridge, Chrysler, Bethune, Merritt, McNab, Crawford, Kirby, Tisdale, and Ryerson. Among these names stand out prominently those of Wilmot, Howe, and Huntingdon, who were among the fathers of responsible government; those of Tilley, Tupper, Chandler, and Fisher, who were among the fathers of confederation; of Ryerson, who exercised a most important influence on the system of free education which Ontario now enjoys. Among the eminent descendants of U. E. Loyalists are Sir Charles Tupper, long a prominent figure in politics; Christopher Robinson, a distinguished lawyer, who was counsel for Canada at the Bering Sea arbitration; Sir Richard Cartwright, a liberal leader remarkable for his keen, incisive style of debate, and his knowledge of financial questions; Honorable George E. Foster, a former finance minister of Canada. We might extend the list indefinitely did space permit. In all walks of life we see the descendants of the Loyalists, exercising a decided influence over the fortunes of the Dominion.
Conspicuous among the people who remained faithful to England during the American Revolution was the famous Iroquois chief Joseph Brant, best known by his Mohawk name of Thayendanegea, who took part in the war, and was for many years wrongly accused of having participated in the massacre and destruction of Wyoming, that beauteous vale of the Susquehanna. It was he whom the poet Campbell would have consigned to eternal infamy in the verse
“The mammoth comes–the foe, the monster, Brandt–
With all his howling, desolating band;
These eyes have seen their blade and burning pine
Awake at once, and silence half your land.
Red is the cup they drink, but not with wine–
Awake and watch to-night, or see no morning shine.”
Posterity has, however, recognized the fact that Joseph Brant was not present at this sad episode of the American War, and the poet in a note to a later edition admitted that the Indian chief in his poem was “a pure and declared character of fiction.” He was a sincere friend of English interests, a man of large and statesmanlike views, who might have taken an important part in colonial affairs had he been educated in these later times. When the war was ended, he and his tribe moved into the valley of the St. Lawrence, and received from the Government fine reserves of land on the Bay of Quinte, and on the Grand River in the western part of the Province of Upper Canada, where the prosperous city and county of Brantford and the township of Tyendinaga–a corruption of Thayendanegea–illustrate the fame he has won in Canadian annals. The descendants of his nation live in comfortable homes, till fine farms in a beautiful section of Western Canada, and enjoy all the franchises of white men. It is an interesting fact that the first church built in Ontario was that of the Mohawks, who still preserve the communion service presented to the tribe in 1710 by Queen Anne of England.
General Haldimand’s administration will always be noted in Canadian history for the coming of the Loyalists, and for the sympathetic interest he took in settling these people on the lands of Canada, and in alleviating their difficulties by all the means in the power of his government. In these and other matters of Canadian interest he proved conclusively that he was not the mere military martinet that some Canadian writers with inadequate information would make him. When he left Canada he was succeeded by Sir Guy Carleton, then elevated to the peerage as Lord Dorchester.
This ends our series of passages on After the American Revolution, Where Did the Loyalists Go? by Sir John G. Bourino from his book The Story of Canada published in 1896. This blog features short and lengthy pieces on all aspects of our shared past. Here are selections from the great historians who may be forgotten (and whose work have fallen into public domain) as well as links to the most up-to-date developments in the field of history and of course, original material from yours truly, Jack Le Moine. – A little bit of everything historical is here.