Launched in 2008, Robert Dallison’s Fredericton Loyalists exhibit tells the story of the Loyalist experience from the American Revolution, their struggle to survive the conflict, defeat, exile and settlement in Fredericton, New Brunswick. About 100,000 people fled the United States and about 14,000 found themselves in New Brunswick.
Mr. Dallison took a closer look at two families in Fredericton. The first being the Ingraham family whose experiences were recorded in their teenage daughter’s (Hannah Ingraham, 1772-1869) personal diary and was the focus of a National Film Board film, “The World Turned Upside Down.” The second is the Robinson family whose Fredericton home was situated across the St. John River from the Governor’s House in Fredericton. Dallison’s exhibit includes some of the archaeological findings from the Robinson home since it no longer exists.
The exhibit features a replica Loyalist New Jersey Volunteers uniform (courtesy of Marion Fleming, Shelburne NS) that guests can try on and have their picture taken next to two life sized soldier cut outs from the Maryland Loyalists (courtesy of re-enactors Robert and Brendon Dobyns).
Mr. Dallison also included a Union Flag in the exhibit. The Union Flag was carried by the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. This flag is easily confused with the Union Jack of the United Kingdom adopted in 1801 when the red cross of St. Patrick was incorporated.
The last part to be installed is the computer work station that is in the centre of the room. It includes an interactive quiz game, a video of a musket firearm being loaded and fired and a copy of the Atlantic Canada Virtual Archives Loyalist website.
The Fredericton Region Museum would like to thank The Province of New Brunswick Heritage Branch and the New Brunswick Provincial Capital Commission for their generous contributions as well as Robert L. Dallison for his contribution of knowledge, management skills and his ongoing support of our organization. A big thank you to our contract/summer students (Peter, Sarah, Kathleen, Katriana and Erika) who worked tirelessly on the exhibit set up, French translations and exhibit opening and to Tara Curwin (Cyberstar Web Development) for her technical expertise.
Mr. Dallison has travelled the world, serving with the United Nations in Cyprus and as staff intelligence officer in Germany. A graduate of Royal Roads Military College and Royal Military College, he is a highly respected historian. Upon his retirement, he became the director of the award-winning Kings Landing Historical Settlement, in Prince William, New Brunswick, a position he held from 1992 to 2002.
In addition, he has been president of Fredericton Heritage Trust and was the New Brunswick representative on the Board of Governors for Heritage Canada. Mr. Dallison is the author of the book Hope Restored: The American Revolution and the Founding of New Brunswick, which can now be purchased at the museum.