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Samuel and Peter Wood

Peter Wood served as a Sergeant in the Queen’s Rangers throughout the War.  Peter was about 32 years old when he embarked at New York for Saint John by the Cyrus on 21 August 1783, and landed in Saint John in September 1783.  He settled in Maccan in the River Hebert area.  Peter received no land in Nova Scotia until he petitioned for it 28 years later.  He was known as the best horseman in Cumberland County, founded the Baptist Church in Maccan and held many town offices.

Peter’s father Samuel was a prosperous cooper in Westchester County who made kegs and barrels. As a businessman, he tried to maintain a level of neutrality while there were uprisings. He did not openly express his Tory sympathies until the British warship “Asia” anchored nearby in the North River. Emboldened by the British presence, he finally declared his Tory sympathies and throughout June of 1775, transported nearly one hundred men to New York City to enlist in the British Army.  However, he failed to realize that the guns of the “Asia” were not long enough to guard his comfortable home from the enraged Whigs who were often his neighbours, the people who needed the goods he manufactured.  He eventually had to flee to Long Island, where he served in the Queen’s Rangers.  He returned to Westchester County in 1776, was captured by the rebels during a raid, and spent six months as a prisoner. He petitioned for pardon, which was granted, and for a time pretended sympathy with the Patriot cause, while in fact he was engaged in espionage for the British.

Submitted by Betty Compeer