Author Louis Quigley explores Benedict Arnold's
life in Saint John from 1785 to 1791
The air was really crisp this September afternoon as Cliff and I walked home from school. Dad had topped the turnips several days before and had left them to dry in the field. We were anxious to help him load them into the sloven. The fun part was throwing the turnips down the chute into the bin in the cow barn. But alas, things didn't work out as we planned. Dad had already dumped one load of turnips and now was leaning against the sideboards of the sloven talking to an old pal of his who had dropped in to visit. The team kept shaking their heads as if they were as anxious as we were to get moving.
Cliff and I sat on the bank and listened. A provincial election was to
be held in a few weeks. Dad and his friend were all fired up about some neighbour
who came from a long line of Conservatives, who had decided to campaign for
the Liberal candidate. I didn't understand a lot of things they said, but
when they called him ‘a turncoat just like Benedict Arnold', I knew what
I whispered to Cliff, "This guy will be easy to recognize as he will be wearing a reversible mackinaw jacket and his name is either Ben or Arnold." I thought this was very good figuring for a kid.
Speaking of turncoats, the story of Benedict Arnold is fascinating, and one of special interest to New Brunswickers. In 1785, Benedict Arnold sailed into Saint John harbour in his own brig. He had come from England, and his goal was to make a new life for his family. But his new countrymen, mostly loyalists, eyed him warily; Arnold's notoriety, his overbearing manner, and his quarrelsome nature did little to endear him. He was eventually burned in effigy in front of his house on the corner of King and Canterbury Streets and, after enduring six turbulent years, he and his family returned to England. In a letter to a friend he described the city as a ‘shipwreck from which I have escaped.' His wife Peggy, by contrast, was much admired. She wrote "We hear much of the gaiety of your little city. . I shall always regret my separation from my valuable friends."
In a new book (80pp) entitled, ‘Benedict Arnold, the Canadian Connection', author Louis Quigley explores Arnold's life in Saint John. He also devotes a chapter to another intriguing episode about Arnold's involvement with Canada. In 1775 Colonel Benedict Arnold, of the American Continental Army, led a heroic March, in midwinter to the gates of Quebec. The aim was to conquer Canada and to add a fourteenth star to the American flag.
In the early years of the Revolution, Arnold was the most courageous and effective military leader on either side. Without him, the Revolution might well have failed. But on an early autumn day in September 1780 Benedict Arnold made the decision to quit the side of the American patriots and to return his allegiance to Great Britain. That act of treason has forever branded him as a turncoat. His good deeds have been ignored or forgotten.
Throughout his tumultuous life, Arnold's most loyal friend was his second wife, Peggy Shippen. Peggy came from a prominent Philadelphia family that was much respected. When they met , she was eighteen - lovely and blond, young and graceful, ‘with a quick keen, mischievous face' - Arnold was thirty-eight, described as an ‘old warhorse, who walked with a cane and was a widower with children.' After their marriage, they lived for a while in Philadelphia, spending extravagantly and taking part in the active social scene. (Peggy was with Arnold at West Point when he defected to the British. During his dramatic escape he was forced to leave her behind. However Arnold wrote to his former friend George Washington and the gallant Washington consented to her release.)
After leaving Saint John in 1791, they lived in England. Arnold died there at the age of 60 in 1801. Two years after his death Peggy was afflicted with cancer and died in 1804 at the age of 45.
The book includes many excerpts from correspondence with prominent citizens of Saint John, such as Ward Chipman and Joanathon Bliss, as well as love letters from Benedict to Peggy. Also included is Arnold's Last Will and Testament, which makes provisions not only for his wife and children, but also for John Sage, aged fourteen. Sage is thought to have been Arnold's illegitimate son.
The author of ‘Benedict Arnold, the Canadian Connection', Louis Quigley, is a native of Saint John, and now lives in Riverview. He decided to research and write about Benedict Arnold so that New Brunswickers and other Canadians might get to know more about one of the most villified and fascinating character in history, and about his friends, as well as the folk who did not call him friend.
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Jamieson - Miller - Trafford - Flanagan - White: Samuel Jamieson married Mary P. Miller on Feb. 28, 1850. According to the 1871 Census of Wicklow Parish they had 8 children: John Earnest 18; Ira Woodworth 17; George W. 16; Alice Jane 11; Charles 9; Anna Elizabeth 6; Theodore 3 and Emma 1. George W. Jamieson married Olive H. Trafford March 6, 1880 in New Brunswick. They had 7 children all born in New Brunswick: Fred Thomas; George Fraser; Guy Allen; Lulu Luett; Miles Gray; William Blair and Stella May. In the Trafford family, William was born in England in approximately 1801 and he came to New Brunswick 1816 and married Christiann Flanagan who was born in New Brunswick in approximately 1799, on December 27, 1824. In the 1851 Wicklow Parish Census they had 5 children still living at home with them: John 21; Mariah 19; Thomas 18; William 13 and James 7. Thomas Trafford married Eunice White on Sep. 26, 1857. Their children according to the 1871 Census were Anna Amelia 12, Olive H. 10 (who married George W. Jamieson), Odbur 8, Sarah 6, William 4 and Rainsford 9 months. I am looking for any information or ancestors on these families. The different spelling of the name Jamieson has made it difficult to verify Samuel's parents.
-Michelle Jamieson, #1 - 10318 East Whalley Ring Road, Surrey, British Columbia, V3T 4H4 . E-mail to email@example.com.
Falkenham: I am researching the Falkenham Family who may have come to New Brunswick from Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. I hope that there is someone who shares the same interest and will contact me.
-Darlene Falkenham Vaughn, RR#1, Mill Village, Queens County, Nova Scotia, B0J 2H0. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oram - Laskey - Hines - Vaughan - Marshal - Robichaud: I am looking for information on Daniel Emsley Oram (#1) who married Mary Elsedore Laskey. They had three children: Daniel Emsley (#2), Nellie (1893), and John Craig (1894). I believe they were all born in Saint John. Daniel Emsley Oram (#2) married Helena Augustine Hines, daughter of Bradford Lyon Hines and Henrietta Vaughan on Dec. 20,1906 and had 1 son, Daniel Emsley (#3) and he was killed in action in World War I on Jun.13, 1918 and his widow, Helena later remarried to Ambrose R. Marshal and they had 2 daughters Margaret and Grace. Daniel Emsley Oram (#3) married Annabella Robichaud and they had 5 children: Patricia, Rosalie, Daniel, Josephine and Bradford. I would like to hear from anyone who has done research on the Oram, Laskey, Hines, Vaughan, Marshal or Robichaud names.
-Darryl Markou, 4294 Sharon Avenue, Windsor, Ontario, N9G 2X9. E-mail to email@example.com.
Ruby is a genealogy buff. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.