(reposted from June 2020)
Charlotte Haines (1773-1851) was solely ten years previous when the breakaway 13 colonies gained the Conflict of Independence in April 1783. These residing within the new United States of America, who had remained loyal to the British Crown, have been persecuted and compelled out of their properties and their belongings seized. Chaos reigned all over the place and households have been torn aside.
One fateful day round this time, younger Charlotte sneaked away to go to her British Loyalist cousins, towards the expressed needs of her American Patriot stepfatheri. Upon her return, standing outdoors the entrance door, he refused her entry again into the household house.
Charlotte was my three-times great-grandmother. Her daughter Margaret Ann Peters married Daniel Hanington and their son James Peters Hanington was my grandmother’s father.
The British authorities got here to the help of these Loyalists and organized for transportation for individuals who wished to depart the brand new America. Charlotte’s grandparents, Gilbert and Anna Pugsley, rescued younger Charlotte and her brother David. Collectively they sailed from New York for ten days on the “Jason”ii, with 124 different “refugees” as a part of the ultimate massive scale evacuation and landed in New Brunswick (then nonetheless a part of Nova Scotia) in October 1783…simply in time for the brutally chilly winter.
Charlotte has been the favorite topic of a few books and several other folktales. She warranted her personal chapter in “Pioneer Profiles of New Brunswick Settlers”iii and is the primary character in a youngsters’s e book titled “Charlotte”iv. One folktale claimed that she was the primary Loyalist to set foot ashore (not true) and in doing so, she misplaced her “slipper” within the mud (probably). The matching slipper (unlikely) was donated to the New Brunswick Museum years later, nonetheless, it appears considerably too huge and trendy for a ten-year previous woman. However they make fantastic tales and totally acknowledge younger Charlotte as one of many first “petticoat pioneers” of New Brunswick.
Fourteen thousand Loyalists established a brand new settlement in 1783 alongside the St. John River and shortly afterwards they petitioned for their very own colony. In 1784, Nice Britain granted their request and divided Nova Scotia into two — New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Loyalists, who made up 90 % of the inhabitants of New Brunswick, turned a separate colony with its capital, Fredericton, 90 miles upriver from Saint John.
The Loyalists and their youngsters have been entitled to free land as soon as they offered the mandatory proof. Charlotte, because the organic daughter of John Haines, a Loyalist on report, seems in 1786 documentation as one of many grantees of 84 tons on Lengthy Island, Queen’s County, together with a number of different outstanding Loyalists – though she was solely 13 on the time. I can think about her grandfather Pugsley nodding discreetly in her route as he sorted her pursuits.
For his or her first three years, the British offered the Loyalists with a number of easy instruments, blankets, materials for clothes and seeds for wheat, peas, corn and potatoes. The rations of fundamental meals provided by the British supplemented the abundance of recreation and fish out there to them within the forest and streams. Most lived in tents on dust flooring till they have been capable of construct primitive log cabins. Tree by tree, stump by stump, the fertile uplands have been cleared to widen the fields making them prepared for crops.
The Loyalists saved significant social contacts by way of numerous neighborhood occasions. Neighbours organized “frolics” whereby the lads would work collectively to clear land, transfer rocks, construct a barn or full another job which proved inconceivable for one or two folks. On the identical time, the ladies ready meals and the kids had an opportunity to play with associates. Girls additionally held their very own frolics to make quilts, card wool or shell corn. These Loyalist neighbours have been depending on each other in instances of illness, accidents and childbirth and supported each other at gatherings for weddings, funerals and church companies.
Maybe Charlotte met her future husband at one among these common frolics. At 17, Charlotte married William Peters (additionally from a United Empire Loyalist household) in 1791 in Gagetown. Quickly afterwards, the completely happy couple moved downriver, settled in Hampstead and constructed a house the place the St. John River widens to a powerful view.
At the moment, there existed solely ten miles of roadway in the entire province and one other 20 years would go earlier than there can be an 82-mile lengthy highway linking Fredericton and Saint John. Nevertheless, within the meantime, the river served as a “freeway” enabling the transport of passengers and needed items between the 2 cities.
When the steamboats first chugged noisily up the river in 1816, William determined to compete with them and he constructed a 100-foot lengthy facet wheeler powered by 12 horses strolling up and down the deck and propelling the boat alongside.
William actively pursued his curiosity in politics, and because the first consultant of Queen’s County within the New Brunswick Legislature, he spent lots of time in Fredericton (50 miles away) attending the periods of Parliament.
In the meantime, again house, Charlotte managed their complete land-holding on her personal. Ultimately that they had 15 youngsters, 5 sons and ten daughters. She bore her final little one at 50 years previous in accordance with the baptismal certificates. All of them survived besides their son John who drowned at 21 trying to avoid wasting one other man’s life.
Not solely did she dress, feed and look after all of them (together with the servants) but in addition offered a lot of their early training as nicely. On Saturday evenings in the summertime, the fiddlers would play rollicking tunes and the tapping of dancing toes might be heard in huge homes and cabins alike. When winter shut down the fields, and with meals plentifully saved within the cellar, the spinning wheels would start to hum throughout these coldest months.
By the point William died in 1836, that they had lately relocated to Woodstock (100 miles upriver from Hampstead) with two of their youthful youngsters, James and Caroline. Their older youngsters have been married with properties of their very own scattered alongside the St. John River Valley. Round this time, she wrote a letterv to her daughter Susan, Mrs. Thomas Tilley:
I take my pen to deal with a number of strains to you to inquire after the well being of you and all your household. The grate distance we’re from you prevents me from listening to. You heard of the dying of your Father at Woodstock.
Charlotte described William’s dying in some element after which continued:
I hop [sic] this will likely discover you all nicely. I’m not nicely. My head troubles me very a lot. There may be not someday that it don’t ake [sic] in order that I cant hardly stir. My cough is one thing higher. James and Caroline is nicely and harty [sic] and fairly contented hear. I just like the place and in case your Father has lived and been hear to see to it we’d have made a superb residing. It’s nice and a superb place for enterprise however we should attempt to due the perfect we will. The place is out of restore and shortly would have been a typical if we had not come hear. I needs to be glad if my associates was close to to us. I don’t know as ever I shall see you all once more. I believed to have gon [sic]to see you all earlier than I got here up hear however I used to be so sick that I couldn’t go all the way down to see you. James and Caroline needs to be remembered to you and all of the household. I need to be remembered to Thomas and the kids and tel them I needs to be glad to see them and also you. Give my like to all inquiring associates and besides a share for your self.
This from you afectionet [sic] Mom, Charlotte Peters
Though she had her share of aches and pains at the moment, she lived one other 15 years and finally loved the blessing of 111 grandchildren.
She had a robust affect over all her household for she believed that their heritage carried an incredible duty to others. When the grandchildren would go to, her sleek arms have been at all times busy winding yarn or knitting a sock whereas patiently answering their questions and reciting passages from the bible.
Considered one of her grandchildren, Samuel Leonard Tilley, later referred to as Sir Leonard, served as Premier of New Brunswick and went on to turned one of many Fathers of Confederation.
A standard story states that Tilley proposed the time period “Dominion” in Canada’s title, on the London convention in 1866, which he gleaned from Psalm 72:8 – “He shall have dominion additionally from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth”. In the end, as Minister of Finance within the federal authorities, he was additionally instrumental in seeing the transcontinental railway accomplished.vi
Younger Charlotte Haines may need felt on their lonesome on the earth at age ten however, when she died 68 years later, the epitaph on her tombstone proclaimed her legacy: “…Lamented by a big circle of descendants and associates by whom she was universally beloved and revered.”
Charlotte’s daughter Margaret Ann Peters and her husband Daniel Hanington “Roaring Dan” (my nice nice grandparents).
iCharlotte’s mom, Miss Pugsley, died when she was very younger. Charlotte’s father remarried Sarah Haight earlier than he died. Then Sarah remarried Stephen Haviland who was Charlotte’s stepmother’s husband (step step father?)
iiThe Ship Passenger Lists, American Loyalists to New Brunswick, David Bell, as seen 2020-03-28
iiiCharlotte Gourlay Rovinson, Pioneer Profiles of New Brunswick Settlers, (Mika Publishing Firm), 1980, p.143.
ivJanet Lunn, Charlotte, (Tundra Books), 1998.
v as seen 2020-04-02
vi Conrad Black, Rise to Greatness: The Historical past of Canada, (Random Home), 2014.