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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XXXI. McMichael

The McMichael family are from Ayrshire, in Scotland. Early in the eighteenth century they emigrated to America, one branch of the family settling in New Jersey and another in Pennsylvania. When the war broke out Edward McMichael was a prosperous merchant in Philadelphia. Of him, Colonel Sabine has the following note (Vol. II., p. 72): “Edward McMichael, of Pennsylvania, was lieutenant in the Whig army while stationed at Fort Schuyler, but in August, 1776, he deserted to the enemy.”

He was given a captain’s commission in the “Guides and Pioneers” of the British army, and at the battle of Trenton was wounded in the face and deprived of the sight of one eye. Later he was with the unfortunate Cornwallis at Yorktown. After the war he was attainted of treason and his property confiscated, for the Legislature of Pennsylvania designated sixty-two persons who were required to surrender themselves to some judge of the court or justice of the peace within a specified time, and abide trial for treason, or in default thereof to stand attainted. McMichael was very far from pursuing the suicidal policy of staying in the “burning fiery furnace” if he could get safely away, and at the expiration of the days of grace he was settling his family on the western bank of the Niagara River. Consequently his property in his native state was confiscated, for, by a subsequent Act, the estates of thirty-six persons who had been previously attainted, were declared to be confiscated. Among this list also appears the name of McMichael.

In the Niagara district the McMichael family remained till 1794, when they removed farther west and settled in Walsingham, on the lake front. The Captain lived but six years in his new home. In 1800 he passed away, leaving to his widow the stupendous task of bringing up her ten children amid the hardships of a wilderness home. But bravely Mrs. McMichael applied herself to the best interests of her family, and the high characters of her children show that in them the mother’s work was blessed.

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