Elizer Stevens

As of April, 2007, an acquisition of letters and notes regarding Elizer Stevens was received from Don Reel. You will note that Elizer (or Elizur) Stevens is not listed in either of the lists of participants appearing on this website. However, he is listed in Pat James' listing in the "Genealogical Journal of Jefferson County, N. Y.," December, 1992 issue.

Two Letters Written
Elizur Stevens

Letter No. 1 - before being sent to Van Deiman’s Land
Letter No. 2 - after his arrival back in the United States

(these items contributed by Don Reel of California)


Letter No. 1

LB6 In Haste

To: David Stevens
      Oswego, New York

In care of Wm. Lewis Esq.

Fort Henry Kingston UC May 29th (18) 39

Dear Brother Once again I am favored with the opportunity of writing to you it being the third time since my confinement and as yet not recd” any answer from you. Our prospects have been very flattering until writhin (sic) a few days but now they seem to wear a more unfavorable aspects we are almost certain of being transported Van Damons Land and are to start within a few days I wrote to you from London again from Toronto of some other letters I sent others But have not heard a bit from any of friends or acquaintances since I have been a prisoner which is now about six months. If I am to be transported I shall soon be beyound the reach of all intelligence from you and should this be the last that you should receive from your unfortunate Brother May if sometime remind you of his fate I have suffered through many and severe and sore trials all ready but am looking forward for numerous others and feel myself competent and ready for any hardwhips trials that awaits my fate I feel resigned to shair my misfortune with a cheerful heart, and all though I am to leave behind me all that can make life desirable - yet life at farterest cant be long.

I was a prisoner in the London Gaol nearly four months Left that prison on the third day of April and arrived at Toronto on the seventh of (?) where I remained seven weeks & and then brought to Kingston which place I arrived on Sunday last being the 26th of May Nineteen in number and all for the same charges There were seventy two prisoners here that was taken at Prescott making in all ninty one All to have the same fate as your brother Some are very smart inteligent young men worthy of a better fate

One young man by the name of G. M. Aitchison a Scotchsman is a fine fellow and were he out of this scrape would not be easily snaired into another I was chained along with him while traveling a distance of nearly three hundred miles He has behaved any way to me like a Brother He is just about my age and has been in America about five years There are many out of our number that are neady of family and who are in extreeme need of their guardianship and protection The most or greater part are American Citizens from the United States and was led into their present misfortunes through intrigue

If you could come immediatley here you may possibly have an opportunity of seeing me once more But if you come come quickley I should like very much to have you come for if I am sent to Vandemans Land I shall have little hopes of ever seeing any of you more You can come here from Oswego in a few hours now and can be permited to see me My health is good I have not been sick much since my confinement I have endeavoured to keep up as good spirits as possible and at present as much so as can be expected give my love to all our friends and tell them that they have not been forgotten neither will they be by me as long as this hulk of me is permited to live Forgive my dear brother my extreme folly which brought me where I am But while I am to be seperated from all my earthly friends yet I trust that I have one in Heaven that will never forsake me in this life or the life to come We have been favored with preaching all most every Sunday and have Bible for each of us to read We have pleanty of provisions are for our comfort and clothing Come dear Brother come and see me while thier is time and with you fetch some token of rememberence which shall go with me to my grave So fair you well the present in hopes of seeing you soon

Your VC Elizer Stevens

Letter No. 2

(the blanks are likely resultant of deterioration {via an unknown manner} of the stationery along its bi-fold)

Lebanan City
May 16th

Mr. David Stevens
      New York

Savage & Moore (seal in the top corner of the first page)
Oneida Mill

Dear Brother

Once more I have the pleasure of
addressing you within our parents dwelling
I reached home the 5th last and should
have written sooner if my health would have
permitted My journey home has been long
and tedius After leaving Boston I did not
sleep until I reached Ny -----------------
am with the agitation of Mind R-----------
of times but am now -------------

My health has been ---------------
The last ten months bring a --------------
of the liver and during my ------------------
the Sandwich Islands to Boston -----------
were severe You can imagine the --------
the great change concerning our Relan---------
thing in general not hearsay from Aug 7 --------
you from any quarter within my knowledge from
the time I left Canada until I reached home

I shall not attempt to give you furt-
her act of myself at this time but
intend to pay my complements to you and
yours as soon as circumstances will permit
in person

Father and Mother are well and likewise
the rest of our Brothers & Sisters and their
children as far as has come to my knowledge
Loveman Wife and child was here Monday
Isac & Persis Saturday Father has not
found a place to suit him as yet

Amos is intending to start for Wisconsin
with his family in about twelve days in com-
pany with his wifes Brother

Brother Fisk is turning out some
Mammouth Chuo, one he weighed the other
day and its weight was 160 lbs

(possibly the start of a second panel of writing paper - most likely the missing portions correspond with one another)

Uncle Hills & Aunt Honor is expected here next
week -- They have written and have made
mention of several farms in the vicinity of
ours as suitable for Father to buy of which
they write of in very high terms

Mother is twisting thread at the big wheel
--------- been to Mr. Lulls to sell some lumber and return
-----------------ing a Rifle which he thinks of buying
----------------making pies and preparing dinner
-----------------oughton is ------off a fishing
---------Jerusia is washing - she is working
-------- for the people that is managing Johns

--------- & I have had the last two nights considerable
----- frosts but think the frost as not entirely
--- destroyed the chance of fruit
You will pleas remember my love to your family
and Patricks and tell them not to think
that any of them have been forgotten although
time may have changed appearinces __
Father and Amos reached home the second day
after leaving your house at 2 oclock without

I have a great many visitors and have
intentions of many more which keep
me in a complete bustle and I think
of going to Phelips for a few days
in order to get a little quiet and so soon as
I am able I shall come and pay you a

Yours vc vr
Lebanon May 13th 1846 Elizer Stevens



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The following is the transcribed text of a note attached to an antique bureau owned by Don Reel, 9620 Florence Ave., Downey, Calif. 91240. (e-mail: don.reelcar@frontier.com) Don stated that the bureau had been in the family for a long time. Don is related to Elizer Stevens, a Patriot War participant. Don became curious about the identity of Harriett L. Stevens mentioned in the text below. If anyone has information, please write Don at the above e-mail address. The text below is not structured like the note Don found attached to the bureau.



Beautiful Mahogany Bureau

Presented to Hannah Amanda Scott (May 10, 1803 - Jan. 7, 1897) When she married Henry Cronk Miller Jan. 5, 1796 - Oct. 20, 1863 in1820

Not sure it was new in 1820.

Both families old settlers near Oswego, N. Y.

They were the parents of five children.


I. Esther Ann Miller (1821 - 1884) married Dr. Revillo Rice 1852, Council Bluffs, last home & burial place.

II. Artemus (1824 - 1902) married Adelia Washburn 1851

Both buried at Plano, Ill.
also, only child. Amanda.

III. John Ward Miller (1826 - 1910) married Harriett L. Stevens, 49*
Our Grandmother Miller. May 30-1830 - Apr. 1906
both buried Maryville, Mo. near last home.

IV. Thadeus J. Miller (1831-1881) married Betsy Rice (sister of Dr.)
both buried. Maryville, Mo. near last home.

V. Henry C. Miller (1850 - 19 ) married Annie Huey 1873
Henry buried at Williamsport, Penn.
Annie “ “ Angelus Abbey near Compton, Calif."


"Amanda’s (see below) husband was killed by an angry bull near Oswego, 63 after which she brought her young son Henry to Ill. to join he- (sic) (blurred - indoubtedly “her”) married children in Kendall Co. Her last home was with her son John & wife Maryville, Mo. where she was buried and her husband’s remains were brought from NY and placed beside hers"

The following also appeared on the left side of the note:


1. Mother Scott & her direct descendants
2. Amanda Scott Miller
3. John Ward Miller
4. Ella Miller Mighell

(the following three entries had no numbers preceding them - perhaps they were torn off))

Allis (not clear) Mighell Rhinehart
Thelma Rhinehart Reel
Donald Albert Reel

* * * * * * * *



A note from Don Reel follows: "Shirley: The enclosed was attached to a bureau that has been in the family for a long time. I now have it. It mentions a Harriette L. Stevens being married in 1849 but I do not know where Elizer fits in. A great aunt of mine saved a lot of family history........

Don Reel
9620 Florence Ave.
Downey, Ca 90240"
Contact Don Reel

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The following may be of help in locating Elizur’s whereabouts before the Patriot War. It was taken from the "History Of The City Of Toledo And Lucas County, Ohio, Clark Waggoner, 1888, Published by Munsell & Co. New York":


“The settlers built a log School-house on the Woodville road in 1834. In this the first School in the Township was taught by Elizur Stevens, a brother of Oliver Stevens. Mr. Stevens went into the "Patriot War " and was captured by the British and sent to Van Dieman's Land. He afterwards returned, broken in health, and died at his father's in Lebanon, New York.”

Under the same text there is the name Oliver Stevens, which might help in constructing Elizur Stevens family tree.

“Among the early Directors of Schools in the Township we find the names of Lawson Hicks and Rariel Salisbury, District two, 1839 ; Elijah J. Woodruff, George D. Treat, District three, 1839 ; John Consaul and Robert Denman, District three, 1840; Oliver Stevens, Lawson Hicks, Ebenezer Ward, District two, 1841 George D. Treat, John Consaul, Jr., James Maddocks, District three, 1841 ; Joseph W. Prentice, Francis W. Jenison, Hiram Brown, District one, 1841; Gabriel Crane, Hiram Brown, Hiram Vinal, District one, 1842.”

* * * * * * *

The following was sent to this webhost by Don Reel - April 28, 2007 It represents comments sent to Stuart D. Scott, author of a must read book on the subject of the prisoners who spent time in Tasmania. Mr. Scott's book is entitled, To The Outskirts of Habitable Creation," Subtitled: “American and Canadians Transported to Tasmania in the 1840’s. I suggest you visit Mr. Scott's website being sure to click on the URL's at the bottom of the pages for additional interesting information.


"The Patriot’s War started in November, 1837.

"1848  Among non-criminal convicts to Tasmania were 143 Canadians and Americans apprehended during the civil uprising in 1837-38 and five Maori leaders in 1846, after the insurrections in New Zealand.

"Buffalo H.M.S. Male convicts on board. Departure Quebec 28 Sep.-02 Oct 1839.

"Convicts Landed 82 Hobart, 58-61 Sydney. Convicts were Patriots. James Aitcheson and Elizer Stevens were aboard.

"They were in the Battle of the Windmill in Prescott.

"On the 12 October 1844 Samuel Snow heard the joyful news that a free pardon has been granted and that twenty eight American prisoners, including Elizer Stevens, would be liberated. Passage home was aboard the American Whaler “Steiglitz” out of Sag Harbor, New York.

"In a letter to his brother in Oswego, New York, on May 29th, 1839 Elizer Stevens wrote that he was almost sure of being transported to Vandemons Land and will start within a few days. He has been a prisoner about six month.

"Elizer said he was a prisoner in the London Gaol for nearly four months and left that prison on the third day of April and arrived at Toronto on the seventh of ? He remained in Toronto for seven weeks and was brought to Kingston on the 26th of May.

"Brother was David Stevens and lived in Oswego, New York - 1839. Related to Harriett Stevens Miller (1839-1907). Possibly born in Madison County."



2009.11.06 - Update on avilable information re: Elizur Stevens

Be sure to see a very comprehensive and well-done article in Ontario History (Fall 2009) written by Dr. John C. Carter. This is a very comprehensive article, entitled "One Way Ticket to a Penal Colony - North American Political Prisoners in Van Diemen's Land." Elizur Stevens and several other patriots are mentioned in this piece.

Index of All Patriot War Articles

Letters from Descendants of Patriot War Participants

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