Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Friday, January 18, 2013

Follow Up on Marytje Brouwer and John Munro

In a follow up to the post of January 14, 2013, "Some Unexpected Descendants of Willem Brouwer of Beverwijck," Carole Leishman sent me a bit more information regarding Marytje Brouwer, John Munro and their children. Carole states that the following was found in the Brouwer File at the Schenectady Historical Society in June, 2006. "A Letter from a Loyalist Wife," was deposited with the Schenectady Historical Society (possibly in 1976) by Richard and Elizabeth Hubert*. Richard was a descendant of Marytje Brouwer and John Munro through their daughter Marie Charlotte Munro.

"Addressed: John Munro Esz. Montreal
My dear John
I hope when you receive these few lines they may find you in good health. Your Dear Childern are all well, as for myself I am in a poor state of health and very much distresst. I must leave my house in a very short time, and God knows where I shall get a place to put my head on, for my own relations are my greatest enemy's, the mills they have had a long time in their possession -- likewise all your tenents houses and lands--They have distressed me beyond expression. I have scarcly a mouthfull of bread for myself or Childr for heavens sake my dear Mr. Munro send me some relief by the first safe hand. Is their no possibility of your sending for us, if their is no method fallen upon we shall all perish, for you can have no idea of our sufferings here, let me once more intreat you to try every method to save your family - my heart is so full it is ready to break--adew my Dearest John may God Almighty bless preserve and protect you, that we may live to see each other is the constant prayers of
Your affectionate tho afflicted Wife
Mary Munro
P.S. The Childer send love to You
A.L.S."
ff 32-33 Blank PUBLIC ARCHIVES CANADA
fo 33 MG 21, volume B214, Page 35)

Along with the letter the Huberts sent a brief biography, which among other things, states that Mary (Marytje) and her children were permitted to join John Munro in Montreal, Canada in October 1778. They list the sons of John Munro and Mary Brouwer as Hugh, Cornelius, Henry, John, and William Johnson, and the daughters as Cornelia Pat(t)erson, Christine Mount, and Charlotte deLotbiniere. The Huberts also mention that the gravestones of John and Mary Munro were relocated to the United Empire Loyalist Shrine in the yard of Trinity Anglican Church in Riverside Heights, Morrisburg, west of Cornwall and just west of the Upper Canada village. "Their earthly remains lie under the newly created St. Lawrence seaway."

With respect to the fate of Loyalist wives who remained at home while their husbands were away during the Revolutionary War, those interested in further reading might try Janice Potter-MacKinnon, While the Women Only Wept: Loyalist Refugee Women in Eastern Ontario (McGill-Queen's Press, 1995)

Thanks to Carole Leishman for passing this along.  

*Update March 27, 2014 - John Gearing, author of the forthcoming, Schenectady Genesis, Vol. 2, 1760-1798, by e-mail, informs me that the Huberts did not deposit the original letter of Mary (Brouwer) Munro with the Schenectady Historical Society. The Huberts had submitted a transcript of the letter to a "Connecticut genealogy society several decades ago," who in turn published the transcript in an issue of their newsletter. It was a copy of the Hubert's published transcript that was found in the Brouwer File at the Schenectady Historical Society. The original letter is located in the British Archives, and a microfilmed copy of the original is found in the Canadian Archives. The Schenectady Historical Society now has a photocopy of the microfilmed copy from the Canadian Archives which was provided by John Gearing. Thank you to John Gearing for the clarification. 

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