Compensation for Refugees

June 29th, 2010

The War Department has a surprising number of documents related to the compensation of refugees from Canada.  Most documents cite patriotism, military service, and good morals as reasons for compensation.  Men and women left their homes, property, and livelihoods in Nova Scotia and Quebec due to the invasion of American troops.  Congress approved the fiscal support of these refugees in 1798 and shortly thereafter claims were filed in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.  A more complete overview of these documents can be found with the search keyword, “refugees” in the War Department Papers database.  Oddly enough, the number of documents related to these claims are limited to a small number of people.  John McGown, the De Lesdernier family were two groups that communicated extensively on the subject.