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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter XLVI. Anderson

Just before the war there settled in New Jersey a Scotch family of the name of Anderson. On the declaration of the hostilities they declared themselves on the side of the King, and enrolled themselves in the New Jersey volunteers. One of the family, Walter, rose to the rank of captain. His true British bravery, his sharp wit and clever repartee commanded the admiration and respect of the men of his company. He had an extraordinarily versatile nature, and at night around the camp-fire he was the popular entertainer, spinning off by the hour romantic stories with exceedingly dramatic execution.

About the close of the war he was one of the Loyalists who took refuge in Ward’s blockhouse on Long Island. In that place they were besieged by the Americans; but, before a surrender was made, he and a comrade named Henry Bush, escaped by night across the ice to the mainland of Connecticut. In this State they were, however, in exceedingly dangerous territory, for Captain Anderson was one of the persons who were designated by name, and in a certain posted order were required by the Executive Council to surrender themselves to some judge of a court or justice of the peace within a specified time and abide trial for treason, or, in default of appearance, to stand attainted.

It is needless to say that these men were very far from trusting themselves to the tender mercies of the Executive Council of Connecticut, and a plan of escape was soon concocted in the fertile brain of Anderson. They assumed the role of a pair of itinerant evangelists, a Moody and Sankey, or Crossley and Hunter, of the last century. It seems that Bush could sing very acceptably. His rich, melodious voice would ring out in sonorous tones over the rows of New Englanders in the log meeting-houses in such affecting strains as:

“We’ll drive the devil around a stump,
We’re marching on to glory;
And hit him a thump at every jump,
We’re on our journey home.”

Nor was Anderson less talented on his side. Clothed in a rusty black coat reaching to his knees, his beard shaved off, with the exception of a most sanctimonious-looking pair of side whiskers, his shoulders bowed beneath the burden of the woes of wretched humanity or the ponderous Bible which he carried so carefully under his arm, with a voice tremulous with emotion he would plead with the people to accept the offer of salvation. Anon, in firmer tones, he would relate such familiar tales as that of the good Samaritan or the rich man and Lazarus, and draw moral lessons therefrom. As he proceeded, we are told that he would work himself into a paroxysm of rage as, on the basis of: “Woe unto thee Chorazin, woe unto thee Bethsaida,” he would proclaim the vengeance of a justly angry God on account of the wickedness of the country in general, and the ill-fated remnant of Loyalist English in particular, and the barbarous atrocities of the Six Nation Indians at Wyoming. His eyes would glow, his mouth quiver, his heart throb, his breast heave, and his finger-nails dig into the palms of his hand, as in a fervor of religious frenzy he prayed high heaven to send the red archangel with the two-edged sword of flame to separate the sheep from the goats, and the dire deceivers from those that were true.

Thus they held one meeting each day at early candle-lighting in all the school-houses and chapels in a comparatively straight line between the southern and northern boundaries of the State. Once safely out of Connecticut, they struck with unclerical haste for the military high road, which ran along the west shore of Lake Champlain. In a flat-bottomed boat they rowed themselves the whole length of the Upper St. Lawrence and of Lake Ontario, and settled in the Niagara district.

Captain Anderson’s family made their way to him as soon as possible, and for about thirteen years they lived in the County of Lincoln. In 1799 they moved to the Long Point settlement, having received land in Charlotteville.

The old Captain died from injuries received by falling from a roof in 1810. “Full of years and honors” he passed away, leaving to his five sons and two daughters a name to be respected and honored as long as the lamp of patriotism sheds light on the deeds of men.

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