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Jacob Smith (Jakob Schmidt)

In 1788 Jacob and Elizabeth and their thirteen children came here to Quebec, as it was still known. They did not come alone.

During the revolutionary war, their eldest daughter Anne had married a dashing young sergeant in the New Jersey Volunteers. His name was Christopher Huffman. Jacob and Elizabeth’s second child, Lewis had married Christopher’s sister Phebe Huffman. Clearly the two families lived near each other in Knowlton Township, Sussex County, New Jersey.

Five years after the conclusion of the revolutionary war, these three families decided that they had had enough of American republicanism. Together they decided to leave the U.S.A. and move to Quebec. Consequently in 1788 the three families left together and made the back-breaking journey as an extended family. After a brief stay at Saltfleet Township, they came – again together – here to Glanford.

They petitioned for land here and the three men – father, son and son-in-law – were all successful. Christopher’s patent was issued on June 30, 1801, Jacob’s and Lewis’ followed on July 10th. Jacob’s was here on lot 4, concession 1, Christopher’s was lot 6, concession 1, and Lewis’ was lot 1, concession 2.

In 1788 the entire Niagara Peninsula was still virgin forest.

The obstacles they faced were formidable.
Their work ethic was amazing.
The sheer might of their labour was awesome.
They were strong, hard-working and useful people.

Throughout it all, they maintained their loyalty to their King, the courage of their convictions, confidence in the due process of law, and respect for authority.

These fundamental Loyalist beliefs, virtues, and behaviours helped to lay the foundations of Ontario. Indeed, their significance in the founding of Ontario lives on in the Province’s coat of arms. The Latin phrase thereon when translated means “Loyal she began, loyal she remains”.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a legacy to be proud of and this is why we are here today honouring our Loyalist pioneer Jacob Smith and all the members of his extended family who are buried here.

On November 11 we will be observing Remembrance Day. The original objective of this occasion was to pay tribute to the men and women who served in WWI, WWII, and Korea. We should remember, however, that others have fought and died for their King in other times. Let us remember Jacob Smith and Christopher Huffman fighting for their King and country during the American Revolution. Let us also remember the deaths of Lewis Smith and his son Matthias as they fought alongside thousands of other loyal Upper Canadians against the Americans during the war of 1812. We must remember the achievements, the service, and the sacrifices of all our ancestors. They too deserve our remembrance.

Submitted by Ted Huffman UE