21 March 2009

John Ogden, Loyalist

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris is 1783, the United Kingdom officially recognized the independence of thirteen of their former North American colonies.

Although this treaty included provisions stating that Loyalists were to be compensated for property that had been taken from them, neither the new Congress nor the state governments provided any assistance or compensation to those who had remained loyal to the Crown. The Loyalists felt compelled to seek their futures elsewhere.

Canada welcomed more than 35,000 of these refugees, giving them provisions, support and land. Urged by King George III, Parliament in July, 1783 appointed a commission of five members to classify the losses and services of those who had suffered due to "the late unhappy dissentions in the Americas." By April, 1788, the commission had examined 1,680 claims and authorized the payment of nearly $10 million.

On Feb. 26, 1787 in St. John, New Brunswick, my great-great-great-great-grandfather John Ogden (Kevin Huigens, Shirley Ogden, Emery Ogden, William Ogden, James Robert Ogden, Robert Ogden, John Ogden) presented his claim to Commissioner Jeremy Pemberton. The record of his claim is as follows:

New Claim

743. Case of John Ogden, late of New York.

Claimt. says. He came in July, '83. Went up to Gage town. Did not come down. Never heard of the act till last year. Now settled in Queens County.
Lived in Westchester Co. Went within the Brit. Lines on Long Island, the spring after New York was taken. He was draughted in the Militia & did not choose to serve, on which he went into the Brit. Lines.
Lost--yoke of oxen, 2 horses, 2 Cows, 2 Calves, 17 Sheep, 2 2 years old, 5 Swine, Cart, farm utensils.
Left all these things on a hired Farm. They were taken from the Place. His Wife was there. They would not let her have anything. She came to New York . Part sold by Vendue. The sheep were taken for the Rebel Militia.
Produces Certificate of his taking the Oath of Allegiance. Mathews , Mayor of New York , 27th March, 1777.
Joseph Ferris, Wits:
Knew Claimt. He was always reckoned a Loyalist. He went within the Lines, rather than serve in the Militia. Believes him a very honest man. Knew of his having some stock; yoke of oxen, 2 horses, Cart.
Heard of his stock being taken on acct. of his Loyalty.

(pages 886-887, Fraser, Alexander. 1905. United Empire Loyalists: enquiry into the losses and services in consequence of their loyalty : evidence in the Canadian claims : second report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario, Part II. Toronto: L.K. Cameron, Printer to the King.)

Jonathan (John) Ogden was 35 years old when he left New York for New Brunswick with his father Michael Ogden. The farm he had left behind was near Rye or North Castle in Westchester Co., NY. John eventually left Queens County and settled in Kings County where he died in 1845 at the very old age of 97.

I don't know if John's wife mentioned in his claim was the Milla (Millie Whitlock?) with whom he baptized three children in Hampstead parish on March 2, 1794 or a previous wife. I'm not sure what the "2 years old" that he lost were. Maybe thoroughbreds?

The New York mayor before whom he took his Oath of Allegiance was David Mathews. Mayor Mathews had early been accused of taking part in a plot to kidnap the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, George Washington. Mathews eventually settled in Nova Scotia.

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