Norma Watson retrieved this article from HISTORICAL MAGAZINE and mailed a copy to me.I am taking the liberty of posting a transcription of it. This may answer some of the questions regarding the "three motherless children" who were sent to Canada in 1781, as it appears from this letter that he has returned for the remaining children and their mother.
Mr. Editor - I send for the Historical Magazine a letter from Captain Simeon Covell, a loyal man of the American Revolution, written three years after the peace of 1783, to his friend the Rev. Dr. Harry Munro, another loyal man of that period.
It is, as you will see, only a private letter, but contains such a graphic account of the internal conditions of the United States in 1786 that it may prove interesting to your readers.
Dr. Munro, I may add, was the Rector of St. Peter's Church, Albany, New York and was driven from that city for his loyalty.His wife was the elder sister of Chief Justice John Jay.He went to England and subsequently resided at Edinburgh where he died a few years after the date of the letter.
DUTCHES COUNTY, 1st of December 1786
By the mercy of God I arrived in good health in New York after a passage of sixty-seven days and immediately proceeded to Quakerhill where I had the pleasure to find my children well.I find the spirit of people in general cool towards men of my description, yet, there remains sufficient of the more violent to render my situation unsafe were I to be public, and I believe the more so from the distress which the people in general feel (viz) their trade ruined, by various means, which are obvious, to the smallest capacity, by many captures and depredations committed by the Algerians, England, France and Spain and likewise the Dutch, restricting their navigation so as to render it unprofitable.Nothing by anarchy and confusion throughout, Boston state at present prevented of the exercise of their own laws, by the mob, Vermont the same, New York state in distress for bread, by means of a vermin not much unlike a lows, which for two years past has destroyed all the wheat, so that the inhabitants buy at New York to supply the County of Dutches with bread, formerly such a wheat country.However, this calamity is not considered by any means to be the act of Providence, but rather the cruel malice of Great Britain and there adherence by sending jarmin troops whom they say brought over this insect to distress the land, however strange it may seem.True it is the people generally call it the jarmin lows and flatter themselves that they shall soon be rid of them as they had been of the vile propagators.I am preparing and in a few days shall be on the route for Canada with my family but I shall take care to find out the particulars respecting the confiscation of your lands, though I cannot myself be known on that or any other business, yet I shall employ others that it may be done.Permit me sir to acknowledge your favors and attention to me in my business when preparing to leave London.I am further to request the favor that if Doctor Munro should leave England he will be so good as to lodge all the papers belonging to me in the hands of my friend Colonel Ebenezer Jessup and take his receipt for them, the receipt please to leave with Philip Skeen Esquire at No. 5 Field Row, Chelsea, and let me know of the matter by a line directed to the care of Mr. Dobry Marchant in Montreal and if anything new or important respecting the loyalists.I had forgot to mention that among other calamities here in the States, the Indians are daily scalping and destroying the back settlements wherever it is said war is declared and a large force sent against them.My eyes never saw nor my ears heard such complicated scenes of distress.Nothing but complaints and murmurings among all orders and ranks of people.The Congress it seems faults the legislature of the separate States for not adopting their recommendation.The legislature complains of the public for not holding to and fully complying with the laws, the popular clamor that the tax is unsupportable, that if justice had been done the sales of the Tory estates would have lessened the burden.In a word, every man seems to incline to do whatever suits his turn, thieving and other crimes of like nature are so prevalent that house nor barn, man or beast is not safe night nor day and it seems to be growing evil.I consider, however, that I have already transposed on time and may on your patience to ready such disagreeable truths.
I am Sir your most devoted and obedient humble servant,Simeon Covell
Addressed: Reverend Doctor Henry Munro No. 66 Castle St. near Oxford Road, London Favored by the ship Betsey Watson Master