Caleb Lewis – Loyalists Make the Trip
Dr. Benjamin Lewis, son of Ebenezer, was born Sept 21, 1701 at Wallingford, Connecticut. Benjamin was married twice (first wife unknown) and had a total of sixteen children. In his will dated Sept 1, 1788 he mentioned his second wife, Mary Maltbie and daughters Elizabeth, Ester, Hannah, Mary and his sons, Bela, Benjamin, Barnabas, Amassa and Caleb. Benjamin died on January 31, 1789 at Chesshire, Connecticut.
Caleb Lewis, son of Benjamin Lewis was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, May 22, 1736. He married Abigail Moss on March 13, 1760. Abigail Moss was the daughter of Benjamin and Abigail-Cole Moss. Caleb Lewis apparently refused to take part against the British Crown in the Revolutionary War of the Colonies. Caleb was arrested because of his Tory sympathies. His property was confiscated, his family broken up. Caleb escaped from prison with John Fordice. He was taken away from the dead body of his wife (reason for death unknown). For eight days these two men lived on roots and berries. On one occasion, hiding in the dense branches of a friendly tree they saw troopers who were searching for them. As the troopers rode by Caleb and John heard them swearing and threatening to shoot the fugitives at sight.
They walked through Maine to freedom in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Caleb Lewis and John Fordice secured from the government of Nova Scotia a grant of land. The lot contained 85 acres and was described in the deed as lying and being on the road between Partridge Island and Fort Cumberland, extending from the road on one side to Muddy Brook. Caleb Lewis felled the first tree between Partridge Island and Maccan.
Caleb Lewis dared not write home to his family as he was an United Empire Loyalist.
Five or six years after Caleb and John escaped from prison, Caleb’s son Jesse searched out his refugee father. In Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, Jesse Lewis had heard his refugee father was living near Parrsboro Village, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Jesse Lewis found his father Caleb near Parrsboro. The 85 acres of land was deeded to Jesse.
When the Revolutionary War ended, Caleb Lewis and John Fordice returned to the new United States for their families.
John Fordice, found that his wife (name unknown), thinking he was dead, had married again. John did not upbraid her. It was her choice to remain with her wealthy husband in his fine home or return with him to frontier hardships. She chose her first love and returned with John Fordice to Nova Scotia, Canada. John took back with him his two unmarried daughters named Lois and Martha. Lois afterwards married Daniel Holmes of Half Way River.
Caleb Lewis died April 28, 1827.
Jesse Lewis (born Dec 30, 1760 in Wallingford Connecticut) lived on the Lewis homestead in Half Way River, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was confirmed in St George’s Church by the Bishop of Nova Scotia on Aug 10, 1779. Before the Union Church was built, Jesse opened his house for the services of the Church. He, with due authority, officiated at the services of worship, ceremonies of marriage and burials. Jesse Lewis was a leader in starting the Union Church at Half Way River.
Jesse Lewis married Chloe Olney Fullerton and they had seven children (six names unknown) one of whom was Oman Lewis. Oman Lewis (records are not clear as to dates of Oman’s birth and death) married Mary Fullerton and they had four children (3 names unknown) one of whom was Gaius Lewis. Twice married with a second family of three (two names unknown) one of whom was Oman Lewis Jr. who was killed felling a tree on the Lewis farm.
Gaius Lewis (born 1819) married Eliza Barnes of Maccan, Nova Scotia, Canada on July 17, 1860. They lived in a log house on the farm at Half Way River, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia Canada.
Bruce’s notes: I received this information in an email recently. I initially asked myself why it qualified as an entry in Mysteries of Canada. Then it dawned on me. From the beginning of this site in 1997, I have always maintained that this was a History of Canadians and not a History of Canada. What Canadians (and others) did before us, makes us, and our country, what it is today. What we do today will mold our grandchildren and their country.
written by Roland Bradley Lewis