Loyalist of the Day – Leonard Slipp

Leonard Slipp candlesticks and candle snuffer and tray, collection of the New Brunswick Museum

Leonard Slipp candlesticks and candle snuffer and tray, collection of the New Brunswick Museum

With the Slipp Family Reunion wrapping up this past weekend, the highlights of this entry are the Leonard Slipp family items on loan to Queens County Heritage’s Loyalist Legacy exhibition from the New Brunswick Museum.  Leonard Slip, or Slipp, was born 20 August 1748 at Frankfurt, Franconia, Bavaria.  According to family documents, Leonard signed an indentureship with a sea captain in the mid-1760s on the condition that, at the end of the three years, he would be left in New York.  After two and a half years, the indenture was transferred to a potash miner in New York and Leonard completed his term.  In 1769 he opened a tavern and by all accounts was relatively successful.  In 1772 he married Elizabeth Ryson, born 18 December 1756 the daughter of Johan Caspar Ryson and Anna Catharina Hauser.  By 1774, Elizabeth was a member of the German Reformed Church, New York City.

Slipp Family 2011

Slipp Family 2011

Leonard and Elizabeth Slipp had a large family.  The sixty or so descendents who visited the Court House are a fraction of the thousands of people who can claim Leonard Slipp as an ancestor.  Children:
Magdalen born 23 October 1780 in Long Island City, Queens, New York
Catherine born on 20 March 1783 in New York
John born on 24 August 1785 in Gagetown
Elizabeth born on 5 November 1786
George born on 1 November 1787
Deacon William born from 14 November 1789
Mary born on 10 March 1792
Leonard born on 17 February 1794
Hannah born on 9 July 1796
James Francis born on 19 July 1799

Collection of the New Brunswick Museum

Collection of the New Brunswick Museum

During the American Revolution, Leonard Slipp remained loyal to the King.  His allegience to the English King is curious given he was a recent immigrant to New York.  Without speculating too much, it would be interesting to know his motivation – family? business? political leanings?  New York was certainly a Loyalist stronghold throughout the war and the center of British activities; it might not have been popular to have been a patriot.  Whatever their reasoning, Leonard, Elizabeth and their two daughters came to New Brunswick with the Loyalists in 1783, evenutally settling at the mouth of the Otnabog Lake and still later on the farm at Central Hampstead that has descended through the family to today.  By the 1790s or early 1800s, Leonard established the Long Island tavern known to us today as Blizzard’s.  The tavern was part of small but vibrant community that including homes and a church, which sprang up on the Island prior to knowledge of the spring flooding.  The building is featured in an 1824 engraving and today stands near the wharf at Wickham. It is rumoured they brought a quantity of cash with them, but what is for sure is that they brought the pewter candlesticks featured here.

candle snuffer and tray, collection of the New Brunswick Museum

candle snuffer and tray, collection of the New Brunswick Museum

The candlesticks are probably European in origin and are dated about 1775.  The silver plate candle snuffer and tray are somewhat later, dating to about 1815, illustrating the speed with which the Loyalists established themselves in New Brunswick and were able to acquire nice objects for their homes within a few short years.

Leonard Slipp died 1 October 1833 and was buried with his wife and other family members in the Merritt-Slipp Cemetery at Queenstown.  Elizabeth had died 9 February 1821.

To learn more about Leonard Slipp or the see the candlesticks in person, visit the Loyalist Legacy exhibition at the Queens County Court House, Gagetown, until 18 September.

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