Canada’s Sesquicentennial – 150 Years of Loyalists
This has been a particularly busy week for me and probably for all of my readers. We are living in exciting times but occasionally we run out of time. That happened to me this week so first and foremost I apologize to my readers for being late with my blog post.
One of the reasons for my busy week is that our local library has chosen to feature three Canadian writers each week for the whole year and this is week 22, my week. The wonderful Susan let me know about this a few weeks ago but I had forgotten until I was in the library and saw the display. I’m featured with Nino Ricci and Fred Stenson, two other Canadian writers and I’m doing as much to point to Susan’s efforts for us writers as I can.
Librarian Susan Earle’s reason for undertaking this project is that we Canadians are celebrating our sesquicentennial this year. Canada morphed from being a British colony to becoming our very own country and a member of the British Commonwealth on July 1, 1867. If you do the math, we’re 150!
All this year from British Columbia to Newfoundland we are celebrating even though it’s not 150 years for every province. Some came in later. Newfoundland was not part of confederation until 1949. Nevertheless we are one proud collection of provinces and territories the sum total of which makes up our country.
Happy Birthday, Canada!
Our actual day is July 1. As my own personal celebration I offered free copies of my first book, The Loyalist’s Wife, to those who are on my special newsletter list who got here first to pick them up. I’m sorry to say those copies are now gone but you can still buy that first edition on Amazon or buy the second edition from me or on Amazon. Thanks again to all my supporters who helped me celebrate Canada 150 in this way.
This seemed a fitting way to celebrate since my Loyalist trilogy was born to tell the story of a young couple in the wilds of 1778 New York State whose lives are forever changed when he decides to join Butler’s Rangers and fight for the British and leave his wife behind on their isolated farm to try to hold on to their land. The story of the fictional Garner family moves from there through two more books to 1838 here in Ontario. I loved researching and writing this historical fiction trilogy for its riveting history and its answer to the universal question, who are we?
Of course our story would not be complete without mentioning the indigenous peoples who were here long before we Loyalists and others arrived, as my wonderful friend, Raven Murphy, has reminded me. She has encouraged her audiences to take a wider view of history. I’m happy to do that.
Here are my listings as Susan put them in her brochure:
The Loyalist’s Wife
by Elaine A. Cougler
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive.
Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins
Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up
Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has. With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.
The Loyalist’s Luck
by Elaine Cougler
When the revolutionary war turns in favour of the Americans, John and Lucy flee across the Niagara River with almost nothing. They begin again in Butlersburg, a badly supplied British outpost surrounded by endless trees. He is off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she is left behind with her young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. With vivid scenes of heartbreak and betrayal, heroism and shattered hopes, Elaine Cougler takes us into the hearts and homes of Loyalists still fighting for their beliefs, and draws
poignant scenes of families split by political borders.
The Loyalist Legacy
by Elaine Cougler
After the crushing end of the War of 1812, William and Catherine Garner find their allotted two hundred acres in Nissouri Township by following the Thames River into the wild heart of Upper Canada. The political atmosphere laced with greed and corruption threatens to undermine all of the new settlers’ hopes and plans. William knows he
cannot take his family back to Niagara but he longs to check on his parents from whom he has heard nothing for two years. Leaving Catherine and their children,
he hurries back along the Governor’s Road toward the turn-off to Fort Erie, hoping to return home in time for spring planting. With spectacular scenes of settlers recovering from the wartime catasttophes in early Ontario, Elaine Cougler shows a different kind of battle, one of ordinary people somehow finding the inner resources to shape new lives and a new country. The Loyalist Legacy delves further into the history of the Loyalists as they begin to disagree on how to deal with the injustices of the powerful “Family Compact” and on just how loyal to Britain they want to remain.