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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XXX. Smith

In New Jersey four Acts were passed by the Legislature dealing with the Loyalists of that State. The first provided for the punishment of traitors and disaffected persons; another provided for the taking charge of and leasing the real estates, and for the confiscation of the personal estates of certain fugitives and offenders therein named; a third for forfeiting to and vesting in the state the real property of persons designated in the second statute; while a fourth more rigorously defined and enunciated the principles of the first. By it certain offenders who had contributed provisions and other specified articles to the king’s service were given sixty days to leave the state, after which time, if they still remained, they were to be adjudged guilty of felony and to suffer death.

Abraham Smith had been a soldier in the New Jersey volunteers and had taken a rather prominent part in the Revolutionary War. It seems that he did not realize the seriousness of this statute, for the sixty days had passed and he had not conformed to the regulations. Promptly at the expiration of the allotted time, there appeared at the house a sergeant and a few troopers with a warrant for the arrest of the head of the family. But Mr. Smith had seen them coming and had had time to conceal himself. His wife met the soldiers at the door and coolly told them that her husband had gone that morning to Summerville, to make arrangements for transporting their goods to Canada, and she did not expect him back before the evening of the following day. She also volunteered the information that they were about ready to leave, and pointed to sundry large wooden boxes, in which they intended to transport the goods they were taking with them. “You and your family may go,” replied the sergeant, “but your husband will have to stay and stand his trial.” So they left, with the intention of returning the following evening for their man. During their absence preparations were hurriedly made, Mr. Smith was put into a large box and with him some provisions and a couple of jars of milk. Then the box with its precious freight was duly lifted with a couple of others on to the first load, and one of the hired men drove the team straight for the northern boundaries of the state. They travelled all that night and part of the succeeding day as rapidly as possible. When they had crossed the borders of the state whose regulations Smith had violated, they proceeded more leisurely, though by no means without danger. The returning soldiers were calmly met by the information that Mr. Smith had not returned, and they had better take the road for Summerville and look for him there. By the time the sergeant realized that he had been duped, Smith had crossed the borders of Maine into New Brunswick, whither his brave wife and family followed soon after.

After remaining a short time in New Brunswick they removed to Western Canada, settling first in the eastern part of what is now Welland County. Their eldest son, William, came still farther west, and lived among the Indians near Long Point. His father, mother, brothers and sisters removed to Charlotteville about 1794, and “squatted” on land about the centre of that township. This particular portion was secured to them along with other lots by patents issued about three years later, by Hon. Peter Russell, acting Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

Another Smith family (Loyalists) settled in Norfolk County some years later, namely, Hart Smith, also of the New Jersey volunteers. From New Brunswick he came west to the township of Crowland, in Lincoln County, and thence to Windham, in 1811.

The Crown Lands records show the following grants of land to his family:

“Catherine Doan, wife of John Doan, and daughter of Hart Smith, 28th May, 1811, two hundred acres in Charlotteville.

“Eliza, daughter of Hart Smith, 8th April, 1812, two hundred acres in Windham.

“Aaron, son of Hart Smith, 8th April, 1812, two hundred acres in Windham.”

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