Loyalists to Upper Canada

My father, Michael Grass, lived, at the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, on a farm about 30 miles above New York. He was a native of Germany, but had lived most of his time in America. When the Revolution commenced General Herkimer sent my father an invitation to join the Americans and offered him a Captain’s Commission. My father replied:—“I have sworn allegiance to one King and I cannot served any other.” For this saying he was driven from his home and family and was obliged to take refuge within the British lines at New York. His family followed shortly afterwards. He lost his farm and property and was obliged to maintain his family at New York by working as a harness maker. At the close of the War the British General commanding at New York, having heard that my father had been a prisoner of the French at Frontenac, in the time of the old French War, sent for him to enquire about the place and said:—“Mr. Grass, I understand that you have been at Frontenac in Canada. What sort of a country is it? Can people live there?” My father replied: “What I saw of it, I think it a fine country, and if people were settled there, I think they would do very well.” The Governor replied: “Oh, Mr. Grass, I am delighted to hear you say so, for we don’t know what to do with the poor Loyalists. The city is full of then and we cannot send them all to Nova Scotia. Would you be willing Mr. Grass to take charge of such as would be willing to go with you to Frontenac? If so I can furnish you a conveyance by ship to Quebec, and rations for you until such time as you may have means to provide for yourselves.”

Richard A. Preston, ed., Kingston Before the War of 1812: A Collection of Documents (Champlain Society, 1959).

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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.