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Some Background Information for ALEXANDER MCDONALD.

Alexander McDonald was one of eight men with the same name, according to Esther Clark Wright's book, The Loyalists of New Brunswick, Lancelot Press, 4th printing, March 1981.

Born in Ireland, he became a Barrack Master General, who lived on Staten Island in New York. He was in charge of the buildings or set of buildings for soldiers, especially in garrison. That might have included oversight of food procurement.

BELOW FROM "Centennial Prize Essay on the History of the City and County of Saint John", by D.R. Jack, published in 1883 by J. & A. McMillan, 98 Prince William Street, 1883.

A[lexander] McDonald drew lot 1290 in Parr Town in 1784. Parr Town was the initial name of what became Saint John, New Brunswick. Many Loyalists arrived initially in Saint John, but most were soon granted land elsewhere.

Alexander must have been well-regarded by the officials who distributed land to the Loyalists, as he received two or more grants, one of which was by far the largest grant in the area. He was one of the few among the early grantees who remained on his Washamadoak land. He drew lot 12 and bought other adjacent lots or took over lands escheated because of non-settlement. The area in Wickham Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick, became known as MacDonald's Point.

[From Chapter XIV, THE WASHAMADOAK, pp. 107 - 110.]

The following bits from Maya Jasanoff's Libery's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World illustrates the dire state of provisioning of the British soldiers in New York:

"... Provisions were frequently so poor in quality as to be absolutely inedible, even by hungry redcoats. The commissary generals complained again and again of mouldy bread, weevily biscuit, rancid butter, sour flour, worm-eaten pease, and maggoty beej. In November, 1776, despite repeated protests to the Treasury board, the commissary general at New York asserted that the bread supplied to General Howe's army continued to be 'very bad in quality mixt with old bread, musty and much broken...several Casks promiscuously taken being found all more or less to have live Maggots in them, some quite rotten and those that were the best with a great mixture of Green Pea, which on boiling proves to have no Substance and leaves little more than the Husk."

A private aboard a troop transport, bound for America, humorously described the fare of his unhappy fellow soldiers, as follows: "Pork and pease were the chief of their diet. The pork seemed to be four or five years old. It was streaked with black towards the outside and was yellow farther in, With a little white in the middle. The salt beef was in much the same condition. The ship biscuit was so hard that they sometimes broke it up with a cannonball, and the story ran that it had been taken from the French in the Seven Years' War and lain in Portsmouth ever since...Sometimes they had groats and barley, or, by way of a treat a pudding made of flour mixed half with salt water and half with fresh water, and with old mutton fat."

DAILY LIFE:

"The harsh conditions of life in the army meant that discipline was severe. Crimes such as theft or desertion could result in hanging and punishments such as lashings were administered publicaly. Soldiers spent a great deal of time cleaning and preparing their clothing and equipment. Families were permitted to join soldiers in the field. [44] Wives often washed, cooked, mended uniforms and served as nurses in the time of battle or sickness...so Rebecca may have been with him in or near the fields of battle during the war.

{The army often suffered from poor discipline away from the battlefield, gambling and heavy drinking were common among all ranks. [45] The distance between the colonies and the British Isles meant logistics were stretched to breaking point, with the army often running out of food and supplies in the field, and forced to live off the land."

BY FRAN ROSE UE
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:1738-1834
Author:Rose, Fran
Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Article Type:Biography
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2019
Words:668
Previous Article:About identifying the correct person.
Next Article:VETERAN BURIAL PLAQUES.
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