The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Life and Correspondence of Sir Isaac
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Title: The Life and Correspondence of Sir Isaac Brock

Author: Ferdinand Brock Tupper

Release Date: December 23, 2004 [EBook #14428]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Steven Gibbs and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team






"What booteth it to have been rich alive?
What to be great? What to be glorious?
If after death no token doth survive
Of former being in this mortal house,
But sleeps in dust, dead and inglorious!"

SPENCER'S "Ruins of Time."





In the early part of last year, a box of manuscripts and the trunks belonging to Sir Isaac Brock, which had remained locked and unexamined for nearly thirty years, were at length opened, as the general's last surviving brother, Savery, in whose possession they had remained during that period, was then, from disease of the brain, unconscious of passing events. With that sensibility which shrinks from the sight of objects that remind us of a much-loved departed relative or friend, he had allowed the contents to remain untouched; and when they saw the light, the general's uniforms, including the one in which he fell, were much moth-eaten, but the manuscripts were happily uninjured. On the return of the Editor from South America in May last, he for the first time learnt the existence of these effects; and a few weeks after, having hastily perused and assorted the letters and other papers, he decided on their publication. Whether this decision was wise, the reader must determine. If, on the one hand, part of their interest be lost in the lapse of years; on the other, they, and the comments they have elicited, can now be published with less risk of wounding private feelings.

It has been the Editor's study to avoid all unnecessary remarks on the letters in this volume, so as to allow the writers to speak for themselves. But he has deemed it a sacred obligation due to the memory of Sir Isaac Brock, to withhold nothing descriptive of his energetic views and intentions, and of the obstacles he experienced in the vigorous prosecution of the contest—obstacles which his gallant spirit could not brook, and which necessarily exposed "his valuable life" much more than it would have been in offensive operations.[1] He regrets, however, that in the performance of this duty, he must necessarily give pain to the relatives of the late Sir George Prevost, of whose military government in Canada he would much rather have written in praise than in censure.

Brief memoirs are inserted, at the conclusion of the Appendix, of one of Sir Isaac Brock's brothers, the bailiff or chief magistrate of Guernsey, and of two of their nephews, Lieutenant E.W. Tupper, R.N., and Colonel W. De Vic Tupper, of the Chilian service. The premature fate of these two promising young officers is, to those who knew them best, still a source of unceasing regret and of embittering remembrance.

The notices of the celebrated Tecumseh interspersed throughout the volume, and the connected sketch of him near its close, can scarcely fail to interest the reader; that sketch is drawn from various and apparently authentic sources, and the Editor believes that it is more copious than any which has yet appeared of this distinguished Indian chief. A perusal will perhaps awaken sympathy in behalf of a much-injured people; it may also tend to remove the films of national prejudice, and prove that virtue and courage are not confined to any particular station or country, but that they may exist as well in the wilds of the forest, as in the cultivated regions of civilization.

GUERNSEY, January 15, 1845.


[1] See pages 275-28O, 298, 304, 305, 315-317.




Parentage and birth—Boyhood—Enters the King's Regiment—Trait of determination of character—Becomes Lieutenant-Colonel of the 49th—Campaign in Holland, in 1799—Russian troops in Guernsey—Battle of Copenhagen, in 1801—Notice of John Savery Brock, Esq.


Proceeds to Canada with the 49th—Suppresses a mutiny at Fort George—Returns to Europe, and recommends the formation of a Veteran Battalion for Upper Canada—Re-embarks for Canada, and succeeds Colonel Bowes in command of the troops there—Letters to Lieut.-Colonel Gordon, Right Hon. W. Windham, the Adjutant-General, Mr. President Dunn, and to Lord Castlereagh—Arrival of Sir James Craig


Is made a Brigadier—Letters to his family—Proceeds to Upper Canada—Letters from Colonels Baynes and Thornton—Lieut.-Colonel Murray—Baroness de Rottenburg


Letters to and from Lieut.-Governor Gore—from Colonels Kempt and Baynes—to Sir James Craig and Major Taylor—from Colonel Vesey—P. Carey Tupper, Esq.


Is made a Major-General—Sir James Craig returns to England; his character and administration—Letters from Major-General Vesey and Colonel Baynes—Duke of Manchester—Arrival of Sir George Prevost—Letters from Lieut.-General Drummond and Lieut.-Colonel Torrens—to and from Sir George Prevost


Origin of the American war—Letters to and from Sir G. Prevost and Colonel Baynes—Meeting of the Legislature—Letter to Colonel Baynes relative to Detroit and Michilimakinack, &c.—Letters to Lieut.-Colonel Nichol—from Sir James Saumarez, Major-General Le Couteur, and Sir John Dumaresq


Description of the boundaries, military posts, and lakes of Upper Canada—of the Michigan territory, Detroit, and Michilimakinack


War declared—Major-General Brock's proceedings—Force under his command—Letters from Colonel Baynes, and to and from Sir George Prevost—American newspaper.


General Hull invades Upper Canada—His proclamation, and that of Major-General Brock in reply—Letters to Sir G. Prevost and from Sir T. Saumarez—Meeting of the Legislature—Critical state of the Province


Capture of Michilimakinack—Letters to and from Sir G. Prevost, from Colonels Baynes and Bruyeres


Occurrences in the Western District—Tecumseh—Major-General Brock proceeds to Amherstburg—Voyage described—General Order—Indians, and notice of Tecumseh—Summons to General Hull, and his answer—Surrender of Detroit, and its consequences—Anecdotes of Tecumseh—Country about Detroit—Indian war in 1763.


Letters relative to Detroit, to and from Sir G. Prevost, to Earl Bathurst, from W.D. Powell, Esq., Chief Justice Sewell, General Maitland, Major-General Burnet, from Major-General Brock to his brothers, and from Lieut.-Colonel Nichol—General Hull's reception at Montreal


Major-General Brock returus to the Niagara frontier—Armistice—Proposed attack on Sackett's Harbour prevented—Letters to and from Sir G. Prevost and Major-General Van Rensselaer—from Colonel Baynes—to Colonel Proctor and to J.S. Brock—Wrongs of the Indians, and speech of Tecumseh


Rival forces on the Niagara frontier—Capture of brigs Detroit and Caledonia—Letters to Sir G. Prevost and Colonel Proctor—Battle of Queenstown, and death of Sir Isaac Brock, with remarks on his funeral and character—Description of Queenstown Heights, &c


Sir R. Sheaffe and armistice—Further remarks on Sir Isaac Brock—Americans obtain the command of Lake Ontario—Capture of York—Attack on Sackett's Harbour—Colonel Proctor's proceedings near Detroit—Defeat of British squadron on Lake Erie—Retreat and surrender of Major-General Proctor's army—Capture of Fort George, and surprise of the American troops at Stoney Creek—Attack on Michilimakinack—23 British deserters—Peace—Sir G. Prevost's death and character—Inscription on monument to—Colonel Tupper—Connected notice of Tecumseh


Servant—Letters from the Duke of York—J. Savery and Irving Brock, Esqrs. and Mrs. Eliot—Introduction of four Indian chiefs to George the Fourth, at Windsor—Destruction of Monument, and "gathering" on Queenstown Heights—Intended obelisk—Notice of Sir Isaac Brock's brothers, sisters, and nephews


Section I.—British Authors.

1. Letter from Lord Aylmer—2. Dispatch from Captain Roberts—3. Extracts from Letters of Veritas—4. Sir G. Prevost's general order—5. Brief extracts from various authors—6. Council of condolence—7. Monument in St. Paul's cathedral—8. A Huron chief's surprise on seeing this monument—9. Address of the Commons of Upper Canada to the Prince Regent—10. Re-interment described—11. Dickens' American notes

Section II.—American Authors.

1. Jefferson's correspondence—General Hull's revolutionary services—Letter from Captain Wool—Battle of Queenstown—Hull's army at Detroit


Daniel De lisle Brock, Esq


Lieutenant E. William Tupper, R.N.


Colonel W. De Vic Tupper, Chilian service


The Guernsey family of BROCK is probably of English origin, but we have been unable to ascertain the period of its first establishment in the island. The parochial register of St. Peter-Port extends only to the year 1563, soon after which time it contains the name of Philip Brock. By "Robson's Armorial Bearings of the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland," eight families of the name of Brock appear to bear different arms, one of which was borne by all the Brocks of Guernsey—viz. azure, a fleur de lis or, on a chief argent a lion pass. guard. gu.—crest, an escallop or[2]—until the death of Sir Isaac Brock, when new and honorary armorial bearings were granted by the sovereign to his family. Brock is the ancient Saxon name for badger, and as such is still retained in English dictionaries. Froissart,[3] in his Chronicles, makes mention of Sir Hugh Brock, an English knight, keeper of the castle of Derval, in Brittany, for his cousin Sir Robert Knolles, who was governor of all the duchy, and resided in Brest, during the absence of the duke in England. The French overran Brittany at this period, and leaving 2,000 men near Brest, so as to prevent its receiving succours, sat down with "great engines" before the castle of Derval, to the siege of which came the constable of France, the Duke of Bourbon, the Earls of Alençon and of Perche, and a great number of the barony and chivalry of France. The castle being sore oppressed, Sir Hugh Brock was at length constrained to agree to surrender it at the end of two months, if not relieved by that time. Sir Robert Knolles, hearing this, also began to treat with the French; and while at the head of 30,000 men, he was afterwards defeated by Bertrand du Guesclin. These events occurred in the reign of Edward the Third, about the middle of the fourteenth century, when the English were driven out of France; and as Guernsey is in the direct course between Brittany and England, may not one of Sir Hugh Brock's family, on his passage across the Channel, have visited the island and settled there?

The common ancestor of the present Guernsey family of the name of Brock was William Brock, Esq., a native of the island, who died in the year 1776, and was the grandfather of the subject of this volume. He had three sons and one daughter, who became connected by marriage with some of the principal and most ancient families of Guernsey; namely, William, married to Judith, daughter of James De Beauvoir, Esq.;[4] John, married to Elizabeth De Lisle, daughter of the then lieutenant-bailiff of the island; Henry, married to Susan Saumarez, sister of the late Admiral Lord de Saumarez; and Mary, wife of John Le Marchant, Esq[5]

John Brock, Esq., born January 24, 1729, second son of the above-named William, had by his wife, Elizabeth De Lisle, a very numerous family of ten sons and four daughters, of whom eight sons and two daughters reached maturity. He died in June, 1777, at Dinan, in Brittany, whither he had gone for the benefit of the waters, at the early age of forty-eight years.[6] In his youth he was a midshipman in the navy, and in that capacity had made a voyage to India, which was then considered a great undertaking. As he was possessed of much activity of mind and considerable talent, his death was an irreparable loss to his children, who were of an age to require all the care and counsels of a father; the eldest, John, having only completed his seventeenth year. They were left in independent, if not in affluent, circumstances; but the fond indulgence of a widowed mother, who could deny them no enjoyment, tended, notwithstanding their long minority, to diminish their patrimony.

Isaac Brock, the eighth son, was born in the parish of St. Peter-Port, Guernsey, on the 6th of October, 1769, the year which gave birth to Napoleon and Wellington. In his boyhood he was, like his brothers, unusually tall, robust, and precocious, and, with an appearance much beyond his age, remarkable chiefly for extreme gentleness. In his eleventh year he was sent to school at Southampton, and his education was concluded by his being placed for a twelvemonth under a French Protestant clergyman at Rotterdam, for the purpose of learning the French language. His eldest brother, John, a lieutenant in the 8th, the King's, regiment, being promoted to a company by purchase, Isaac succeeded, also by purchase, to the ensigncy which consequently became vacant in that regiment, and to which he was appointed on the 2d of March, 1785, soon after he had completed his fifteenth year. He joined in England, and was quartered there in different places for a few years. Having entered the army at so early an age, he happily felt sensible of his deficiencies of education, and for a long period he devoted his leisure mornings to study, locking the door of his room until one o'clock, to prevent intrusion. In 1790 he was promoted to a lieutenantcy, and was quartered in Guernsey and Jersey. At the close of that year he obtained an independent company, by raising the requisite number of men to complete it, and was put on half pay. He exchanged soon after, by giving the difference, into the 49th, which regiment he joined at Barbadoes, in 1791, and he remained doing duty there, and afterwards at Jamaica, until 1793, when he was compelled to return very suddenly to England on sick leave, having nearly fallen a victim to the pestilential effects of the climate, and an immediate embarkation being pronounced his only chance of recovery. His first cousin, Lieutenant Henry Brock, of the 13th foot, who was ill at the same time at Jamaica, died of the fever; and the survivor always thought that he was indebted for his life to the affectionate attentions of his servant, Dobson, whom he subsequently ever treated with the kindness of a brother, until he died in his service shortly before himself, in Canada. The mention of the following trait of great determination of character may serve as a guide to other young officers, similarly circumstanced. When Captain Brock joined the 49th, the peace of the regiment was disturbed by one of those vile pests of society—a confirmed duellist. Captain Brock soon proved to his brother captain, who took advantage of being a dead shot, that he was neither to be bullied nor intimidated, and the consequence was a challenge from the latter, which was promptly accepted. On the ground, Captain Brock, who was very tall and athletic, observed that to stand at twelve paces was not to meet his antagonist on any thing like equal terms, and, producing a handkerchief, insisted on firing across it. This the duellist positively declined, and being in consequence soon after compelled to leave the regiment, the officers were thus relieved, by the firm and resolute conduct of a very young man, of the presence of one with whom all social intercourse had previously been difficult and dangerous. On his return from Jamaica, Captain Brock was employed on the recruiting service in England, and afterwards in charge of a number of recruits at Jersey. On the 24th June, 1795, he purchased his majority, and remained in command of the recruits until the return of the regiment to England the following year. On the 25th of October, 1797, just after he had completed his twenty-eighth year, Major Brock purchased his lieutenant-colonelcy, and soon after became senior lieut.-colonel of the 49th. This was very rapid promotion for one who had not only entered the army during a period of profound peace, but had been five years an ensign, and, having no interest excepting that which his own merit might have procured him, he was generally considered at that time as one of the most fortunate officers in the service. In a little more than seven years, he had risen from an ensign to be a lieut.-colonel. Owing to gross mismanagement and peculation on the part of his predecessor, who was in consequence recommended privately to sell out, if he did not wish to stand the ordeal of a court martial, the regiment was sadly disorganized; but the commander in chief, the late Duke of York, was heard to declare that Lieut.-Colonel Brock, from one of the worst, had made the 49th one of the best regiments in the service.

In 1798, the 49th was quartered in Jersey, whence it proceeded, to England early the following year, to take part in the projected expedition to Holland, as in 1799 the British Government determined on sending a strong military force to that country, then in alliance with the French republic, which force was to be joined by a Russian army. The first English division, consisting of twelve battalions of infantry, among which was the 49th, and a small body of cavalry, assembled at Southampton under Sir Ralph Abercromby, and, having embarked, finally sailed from the Downs early in August. On the 26th of that month, the fleet, consisting of fifteen ships of the line, from forty-five to fifty frigates, sloops, and smaller vessels of war, and about one hundred and thirty sail of transports, anchored along the coast of North Holland, from the mouth of the Texel as far as Calants-Oge. Early the next morning, the flank companies were landed, under the protection of the guns of the fleet. An engagement commenced as the British were about to march forward; but being continually reinforced by the arrival of fresh troops, they compelled the enemy to retreat. This warm engagement lasted till four o'clock in the afternoon, and cost the British about 1,000 men. Sir Ralph Abercromby, having become master of the point, or peninsula, of the Helder, completed his landing, entrenched his advanced posts toward the right, and occupied with his left the point of the Helder, and the batteries there which had been evacuated. In these positions he awaited the arrival of the second division, under the Duke of York, the commander-in-chief, which remained in England until news were received of the landing of the first on the coast of Holland. These two divisions were composed of thirty battalions of infantry, of 600 men each, 500 cavalry, and a fine train of artillery.[7] During this campaign, Lieut.-Colonel Brock distinguished himself in command of his regiment, which, on the 2d of October, in the battle of Egmont-op-Zee, or Bergen, had Captain Archer and Ensign Ginn killed; and Major Hutchinson, Captains Sharp and Robins, Lieutenant Urquhart and Ensign Hill, wounded; Lieutenant Johnston missing, and supposed to be killed, exclusive of nearly one hundred non-commissioned officers and privates killed and wounded.[8] In this action, Lieut.-Colonel Brock was slightly wounded, although his name does not appear in the returns; and his life was in all probability preserved by his wearing, as the weather was very cold, a stout cotton handkerchief over a thick black silk cravat, both of which were perforated by a bullet, and which prevented its entering his neck: the violence of the blow was, however, so great, as to stun and dismount him. The following letter contains some interesting particulars relative to this campaign, and the part taken in it by the 49th.

Lieutenant-Colonel Brock, 49th regiment, to his brother, brevet Lieutenant-Colonel John Brock, 81st regiment, at the Cape of Good Hope.

"LONDON, November 26, 1799.

"I was pretty constant in my correspondence with you whilst the regiment was quartered at Portsmouth, and no opportunity offered from thence direct to the Cape without taking letters and newspapers from either Savery or myself, and often from both; but the very active and busy life I have passed since put an end to all such communications. Knowing, however, that you will be gratified in hearing from my own pen the various incidents which have occurred since that time, I proceed to give you the substance of them. You will have seen in the public prints that the 49th embarked among the first regiments under Sir Ralph Abercromby, and that the army, amounting to about 10,000 men, after beating the seas from the 8th to the 27th of August, effected a landing near the Helder; that the enemy most unaccountably offered no opposition to our landing; and that, after a well-contested fight of ten hours, he retreated, and left us in quiet possession of the Heights, extending the whole length of the Peninsula. The 4th Brigade, under General Moore,[9] consisting of the Royals, 25th, 49th, 79th, and 92d, landed to the left, where the greatest opposition was expected, as it was natural to suppose that so essential an object as the Helder would be defended to the last, but, to our utter astonishment, the enemy gave us no annoyance; on the contrary, soon after the affair on the right had terminated, he evacuated the town, which we took quiet possession of the following morning, and with it the whole of the fleet. The garrison, consisting of 1,600 men, could easily have been intercepted had it not been for a large body of cavalry and a number of cannon, which completely commanded a plain of a mile and a half in breadth, necessary to be crossed to get to them: as we had neither the one nor the other, it would have been the height of folly to attempt it. The regiments which distinguished themselves most on this occasion were the 23d, 27th, and 55th. The evening of our landing, a reinforcement of 5,000 men arrived, but could not disembark until two days after, owing to the badness of the weather. During all this time the troops lay exposed on the sand hills, without the least shelter to cover them against the wind and rain. At length the army moved forward eleven miles, and got into cantonments along a canal extending the whole breadth of the country, from the Zuyder sea on the one side to the main ocean on the other, protected by an amazingly strong dyke, running half a mile in front of the line. In this position we remained unmolested until the 10th of September, on which day the enemy made a most desperate attack in three columns, two on the right and one on the centre of the line: he could not avoid being beaten, as it was the most injudicious step imaginable, and his loss was in proportion very great. The Guards, 20th, and 40th, acted conspicuous parts in this affair. The 49th was here again out of the way, with the exception indeed of Savery, whom nothing could keep from going to see what was doing on the right, and as it happened he proved of great use to Colonel Smith,[10] whom he assisted from the field after being wounded. The French soldier was taught to consider the British troops as the most undisciplined rabble in the world, and he advanced confident of conquest; but this affair, and others which followed, made him very soon change his opinion. Nothing remarkable occurred after this until the arrival of the Duke of York with the remainder of the British troops and 16,000 Russians, which increased the army to about 35,000 men. Continued rain, however, prevented any thing being done before the 19th, when the whole army was put in motion. Sir Ralph took 12,000, of which the 4th Brigade formed a part, to the left on the evening preceding, and got possession of the city of Horn the following morning at daylight, without a shot being fired: 200 prisoners were taken. Horn is a very populous, handsome city, and evidently in the interest of the Prince of Orange. Nothing could exceed the joy of the inhabitants at our arrival, and in proportion as they rejoiced they mourned our departure, which took place before sun-set, in consequence of a fatal disaster which had befallen the Russians on the right. They of course threw the blame off their own shoulders, and wished to attribute the whole misfortune to the want of concert and a proper support on the part of the British; but I verily believe the real fact to be this. After most gallantly driving the enemy before them as far as Bergen, where it was previously arranged they should halt, they dispersed for the sake of plunder;—the French, hearing of this disorder, renewed the attack, and never gave the Russians an opportunity to form, but continued driving them with the bayonet until they encountered a body of English, under General Manners and Prince William, whose brigades suffered considerably. The Russians were, however, thus happily enabled to effect their retreat without further molestation; they were certainly the original cause of this disaster, but whether the British were sufficiently brisk in coming to their assistance, is doubted. The Russians in their persons are rather short of stature, and very thick and clumsy; they have nothing expressive in their features, but resemble much the Chinese countenance. I remarked an exception to this rule in a grenadier battalion, who, with tall, elegant persons, possessed remarkably fine, commanding faces. The officers in general are the most despicable wretches I ever saw: accustomed, as they have always been, to fight with troops much inferior to themselves, they thought themselves invincible. They take the field with an immense number of artillery, with which they cover their front and flanks, and thus never dreamed it possible, from their former experience, for troops to rally after being once beaten. This fatal security was the cause of the misfortune which befell the allies on the 19th. After the retreat from Horn, the 4th brigade took its station on the right, preparatory evidently to being actively employed; accordingly, on the 2d of October, the weather not permitting it sooner, the brigade assembled before daylight at Petten, and formed the advanced guard of a column, consisting of 10,000 men, which was to proceed along the beach to Egmont-op-Zee. After every thing had been properly arranged, it moved forward, supported by 1,000 cavalry, under Lord Paget. It was intended that the reserve, under Colonel M'Donald, should cover our flank, and that the column should rapidly advance to Egmont, in order to turn the flank of the enemy at Bergen. This was, however, prevented by a strong body of the enemy, who engaged the reserve the moment it ascended the sand hills; and although he retreated before the reserve, he constrained Colonel M'Donald to follow in a different direction to that intended, thereby leaving our left flank uncovered. But this did not impede our moving forward, and it was not until we had proceeded five or six miles that we found the least opposition. The enemy then appeared in small force, and the 25th was ordered up the sand hills, but, he having increased, the 79th followed, and it was not long before the 49th was also ordered to form on the left of that regiment. It is impossible to give you an adequate idea of the nature of the ground, which I can only compare to the sea in a storm. On my getting to the left of the 79th, I found that its flank was already turned, and that the ground, which we were to occupy, did not afford the least shelter: my determination was instantly taken. I had gone on horseback to view the ground, and on my return to the regiment, which I met advancing, I found the left actually engaged with the enemy, who had advanced much beyond our left. I, however, continued advancing with six companies, and left Colonel Sheaffe with the other four to cover our left: the instant I came up to the 79th, I ordered a charge, which I assure you was executed with the greatest gallantry, though not in the greatest order, as the nature of the ground admitted of none. The enemy, however, gave way on every side, and our loss would have been very trifling had the 79th charged straightforward; but unfortunately it followed the course the 49th had taken, thereby leaving our right entirely exposed. I detached Lord Aylmer[11] with the grenadiers, who, after charging different times, totally cleared our right. The 25th then advanced, and behaved with the greatest good conduct. The enemy after this never attempted to make a stand, but continued to retreat, and their loss on this occasion was very considerable. Nothing could exceed the gallantry of the 25th, 49th, 79th, and 92d. For my own part, I had every reason to be satisfied with the conduct of both officers and men, and no commanding officer could be more handsomely supported than I was on that day, ever glorious to the 49th. Poor Archer brought his company to the attack in a most soldierlike manner; and even after he had received his mortal wound, he animated his men, calling on them to go on to victory, to glory; and no order could be more effectually obeyed: he is an irreparable loss to the service. I got knocked down soon after the enemy began to retreat, but never quitted the field, and returned to my duty in less than half an hour. Savery acted during the whole day as aide-de-camp either to Sir Ralph or Moore, and nothing could surpass his activity and gallantry. He had a horse shot under him, and had all this been in his line, he must have been particularly noticed, as he has become the astonishment of all who saw him. We remained that night and the following on the sand hills; you cannot conceive our wretched state, as it blew and rained nearly the whole time. Our men bore all this without grumbling, although they had nothing to eat but the biscuits they carried with them, which by this time were completely wet. We at length got into Egmont, and on the following day (5th) into Alkmaar, where we enjoyed ourselves amazingly. Alkmaar is a most delightful city; but the inhabitants are rank patriots, and none of the higher class remained to welcome our arrival. The following day another engagement ensued,[12] in consequence of the Russians advancing further than they were ordered to do: during this severe contest we were snugly in church. It is extraordinary that both parties were so beaten as to find a retreat necessary, as while we retreated to our old position, the enemy was also in full retreat. I shall say no more of the expedition to Holland, as what remains to be added, you will see fully detailed in the papers. I go to Norwich, where the regiment is quartered, this evening. Another expedition is talked of, under Lord Moira. Adieu."

In the battle of Egmont-op-Zee, seven pieces of cannon, a great number of tumbrils, and a few hundred prisoners, were taken, and the loss of the enemy was estimated as exceeding 4,000 men. Major-General Moore, in whose brigade was the 49th, although severely wounded through the thigh, continued in action for nearly two hours, until a second wound in the face obliged him to quit the field. In his dispatch relative to this battle, the Duke of York observed, that "under Divine Providence this signal victory obtained over the enemy, is to be attributed to the animating and persevering exertions which have at all times been the characteristics of the British soldier, and which on no occasion were ever more eminently displayed." The following extract from this dispatch, dated Alkmaar, 6th of October, will shew the part borne in the engagement by Sir Ralph Abercromby's division, in which was Major-General Moore's brigade.

"This was the last event which took place on the side of Bergen; and, as the close of the day was fast approaching, Colonel Macdonald with two battalions was sent to the support of General Sir Ralph Abercromby. The heights of the sand hills, surrounding Bergen for about three miles, remained crowned and possessed by about eleven British battalions. General Sir Ralph Abercromby had marched, according to the disposition, along the beach, with Major-General D'Oyley's, Major-General Moore's, and Major General Lord Cavan's brigades, the cavalry and horse artillery, (the reserve under Colonel Macdonald not having been able, owing to the great extent of the sand hills, to rejoin him, after turning to the left at Campe.) The main body of Sir Ralph Abercromby's column had proceeded, without meeting with much resistance, in the early part of the day, but was nevertheless much inconvenienced, and his troops harassed, by the necessity of detaching continually into the sand hills to his left, to cover that flank against the troops whom the enemy had placed in the sand hills. The admirable disposition, however, which he made of his troops, and their determined spirit and gallantry, enabled him to arrive within a mile of Egmont. Here he was seriously opposed by a very considerable corps of French infantry, which occupied Egmont-op-Zee, and the high sand hills in its front, and who had formed a very strong corps of cavalry and artillery to their left. The engagement was maintained during several hours with the greatest obstinacy; and in no instance were the abilities of a commander, or the heroic perseverance of troops in so difficult and trying a situation, more highly conspicuous. Animated by the example of General Sir Ralph Abercromby, and the generals and officers under him, the troops sustained every effort made upon them by an enemy then superior in numbers, and much favoured by the strength of his position. Late in the evening, the enemy's cavalry, having been defeated in an attempt which they made upon the British horse artillery on the beach, and having been charged by the cavalry under Colonel Lord Paget, was driven, with considerable loss, nearly to Egmont-op-Zee; his efforts then relaxed considerably on the right; and General Sir Ralph Abercromby, having soon after been joined by the reinforcements under Colonel Macdonald, took post upon the sand hills and the beach, within a very short distance of Egmont-op-Zee, where the troops lay upon their arms during the night."

In the battle of the 6th of October, in which the 49th was not engaged, the English and Russians, after gaining some advantage, were suddenly charged by the enemy's cavalry and separated, so that they could neither support each other nor retain the ground which they had gained. The allied armies were repulsed beyond Baccum, after having sustained a very severe loss; and as they were unable either to advance or to draw any resources from the country in their possession, their supplies were necessarily obtained from the fleet. The Duke of York, therefore, assembled a council of war, whose decision was, that the allied forces should fall back and wait the instructions of the British Government. As the season was so far advanced, as the approach of winter was daily making the navigation of the coast more dangerous, and as there was no time to effect diversions or to change the plan of operations, the Duke of York was ordered to evacuate the country. In the meanwhile, as the English and Russians concentrated themselves behind their entrenchments at the Zyp, the enemy pressed upon them, and the Duke of York sent a flag of truce to General Brune, proposing a capitulation on the basis of an armistice, or of the free embarkation of his army. This was agreed to at Alkmaar, on the 18th of October, and thus ended this memorable expedition, the most considerable that had been attempted in modern times up to that period. As the introduction of foreign troops into England was prohibited by the Bill of Rights, the Russians were sent to the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, the season not admitting of their return home. About 6,000 were quartered in the latter island, where a disease, contracted by exposure to the marshy grounds of Holland, carried off some hundreds, who were buried at the foot of the hill on which stands Vale Castle, and where their graves are still to be seen. Their conduct in Guernsey was at first peaceable and orderly;—the inhabitants were surprised at seeing them eat the grease from the cart wheels, and they were also excessively fond of ardent spirits; and, having plenty of money, they indulged in them freely, swallowing large draughts in a raw state. But in June, 1800, while the transports were in the roads to convey them to Russia, a soldier, who was robbing vegetables on a small farm, which had been frequently plundered by his comrades before, was fired at and wounded by the proprietor. This so exasperated the whole body, that fears were entertained of their revenging themselves on the inhabitants generally; and as the British garrison was very small, it required all the tact and conciliation of the lieutenant-governor, Sir Hew Dalrymple, to prevent an outbreak. The Russians embarked, but the guns at Castle Cornet were kept shotted to prevent their relanding.[13] The 49th, on the return of the expedition from Holland, after remaining a short time in England, was again quartered in Jersey, where the fine person and manly bearing of Lieut.-Colonel Brock are still favorably remembered. In return for the many attentions which he and his officers received in that island, he obtained an ensigncy in his own regiment for a young man resident there, whom he afterwards pushed forward in the service, and who died recently a major-general and a companion of the bath. Early in the year 1801, the 49th was embarked in the fleet destined for the Baltic, under Sir Hyde Parker; and Lieut.-Colonel Brock was second in command of the land forces at the memorable attack of Copenhagen, by Lord Nelson, on the 2d of April. He was appointed to lead the 49th in storming the principal of the Treckroner batteries, in conjunction with five hundred seamen, under Captain Fremantle,[14] of the Ganges, of 74 guns; but the protracted and heroic defence of the Danes rendering the attempt impracticable, Colonel Brock, during the hard-fought battle, remained on board the Ganges; and at its close he accompanied Captain Fremantle to the Elephant, 74, Nelson's flag ship, where he saw the hero[15] write his celebrated letter to the Crown Prince of Denmark. Savery Brock was also on board the Ganges, and while in the act of pointing one of her quarter deck guns, his cocked hat was torn from his head by a grape shot: a naval officer, who was present, afterwards described the scene which followed this narrow escape in these words: "I now hear Sir Isaac exclaim, 'Ah! poor Savery is dead!' But Savery was not an instant on his back; in the same moment he rubbed his head, assured his brother that he was not injured, and fired the gun with as much coolness as if nothing had happened." The effect of the shot passing so near him was such that, although a remarkably powerful young man, six feet two inches in height, he was knocked down and stunned for the moment. Of the 49th, Captain Sharp was badly wounded on board of the Bellona, and Lieutenant Dennis was wounded on board of the Monarch, which ship had 55 killed and 155 wounded, exclusive of officers, but including 8 soldiers of the 49th killed, and 20 wounded. In addition to the 49th was a detachment of the 95th, rifles—consisting, we believe, of two companies—under Lieut.-Colonel the Honorable William Stewart,[16] who was senior officer of the troops embarked. As such his name was included in the thanks of Parliament; but we cannot understand why a lieutenant-colonel, with only two companies, was placed over the head of an officer of equal rank with his entire regiment, unless indeed the cause was that Lieut.-Colonel Brock was not an "honorable!" We are not aware that he ever complained of what appears to us to have been an act of injustice to him, and we may therefore be wrong in our view of the subject. The British loss, in killed and wounded, was 953, or 58 more than fell at the battle of the Nile. In mentioning the loss at Copenhagen, Southey, in his admirable Life of Nelson, says, on what authority we know not: "Part of this slaughter might have been spared. The commanding officer of the troops on board one of our ships, asked where his men should be stationed? He was told that they could be of no use; that they were not near enough for musquetry, and were not wanted at the guns; they had, therefore, better go below. This, he said, was impossible—it would be a disgrace that could never be wiped away. They were, therefore, drawn up upon the gangway, to satisfy this cruel point of honor; and there, without the possibility of annoying the enemy, they were mowed down! The loss of the Danes, including prisoners, amounted to about 6,000."

John Savery Brock, of whose gallantry mention is made in the preceding pages, was the next younger brother of Lieut.-Colonel Brock, and had been in the navy; but it being supposed that he was influential, in the year 1790, in inducing his brother midshipmen, of the fleet at Spithead, to sign a round robin against their being subjected to the practice of mast-heading—one having been hoisted up to the gaff end in an ignominous manner, because he refused to go to the mast head as a punishment—he was recommended privately to retire from the service.[17] Being at this time a tall and high spirited young man of eighteen, it is not surprising that he deemed such a punishment unnecessarily degrading to the feelings of an officer, and which has since been very properly abolished. Had it not been for this circumstance, it is the opinion of a naval officer of high rank, that Savery Brock would have distinguished himself and risen to eminence in the navy during the late revolutionary wars. Some little time after this affair, being in Guernsey, he wished to go to England, and was offered a passage in the Amazon, frigate, Captain Reynolds, afterwards Rear-Admiral Reynolds, who perished in the St. George, of 98 guns, on her return from the Baltic, in 1811. The Amazon, bound to Portsmouth, left the roadstead late in the afternoon, and before she was clear of the small Russel—a dangerous passage—night overtook her. By some accident the pilot mistook the bearings, owing to the darkness and thick weather. Savery Brock, being acquainted with the intricate course, was on the fore yard looking out, when he suddenly espied some rocks towards which the frigate was steering. There was no time for communication, and, without hesitating an instant, he cried out in true nautical style: "H-a-r-d up, h-a-r-d up." "H-a-r-d up it is," replied the helmsman. "H-a-r-d up," repeated Savery in a louder key. "Gently, young man," said the captain, who was standing forward. The ship fortunately bore away just in time to clear the rocks, and was thus saved by the prompt interference of her passenger. We have often heard him in his latter days tell the story with excusable pride, and he especially remembered how the crew pointed him out the next morning to each other, as the young man who had got the ship out of her danger. As he was without employment, his brother Isaac subsequently procured him the paymastership of the 49th, which he retained only three or four years, the office being one quite unfitted to his previous education and active mind. In 1808, his military zeal induced him to serve for a short time as an amateur aide-de-camp to Sir John Moore, on the Peninsula. He married and settled in Guernsey; and whether as a militia colonel, or in the exercise of a generous hospitality, or, above all, as a projector and zealous promoter of many public improvements in his native island, his memory will long live in the recollection of its inhabitants.

When Kean performed in Guernsey, two or three years before his appearance on the London boards, Savery Brock was enthusiastic in his admiration, and predicted the future eminence of that celebrated tragedian, in whose memoirs his name is gratefully mentioned.


[2] With a slight variation, the field being gules instead of azure. Motto, Vincit Veritas.

[3] Translation from the French by Lord Berners, vol. 2, chap. 39, 40. London Edition, 1815.

[4] The name of this ancient family, second to none in wealth and station, became extinct in Guernsey, in 1810, on the death of Osmond De Beauvoir, Esq., when his large property was inherited by distant relatives.—Duncan's History of Guernsey.

[5] Major-General Le Marchant and his eldest son, a captain in the Foot Guards, who both fell in Spain during the late war, and Captain Philip Saumarez, who was Lord Anson's first lieutenant in the Centurion, and was slain in 1747, while commanding the Nottingham, of 64 guns, were members of those families.

[6] Brock street, at Bath, was named after him by the projector, in testimony of friendship.

[7] New Annual Register for 1799, page 395.

[8] See the returns in the New Annual Register, for 1799, Principal Occurrences, page 143. Singularly enough, the loss of the non-commissioned officers and privates in each corps is not given, but the casualties among the officers of the 49th exceeded those of any other regiment engaged on this day, with the exception of the 25th and 92d.

[9] Afterwards Sir John Moore, who fell at Corunna.

[10] Lieut.-Colonel Smith, commanding the 20th, a native of Guernsey, afterwards Colonel Sir George Smith, aide-de-camp to the king. He died at Cadiz, in 1809, and was a distinguished officer.

[11] The present General Lord Aylmer, G.C.B., formerly governor-general of British North America. He was then a captain in the 49th. See Appendix A, Sec. 1, No. 1.

[12] In this engagement, the gallant Lieut.-Colonel Bainbrigge, of the 20th, was killed. He married Miss Dobrée, of Beauregard, Guernsey.

[13] Duncan's History of Guernsey.

[14] The late Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Fremantle, G.C.B.

[15] It is worthy of remark, that Lieut.-Colonel Brock's almost immediate superiors, during his active service in Europe, fell like himself in action, as knights of the bath, viz. Sir Ralph Abereromby, Lord Nelson, and Sir John Moore.

[16] Afterwards Sir W. Stewart, G.C.B., who commanded a division in the Peninsular war.

[17] While the above was in type, the Duke of Rutland visited Guernsey in his yacht, and wrote the following note at Detroit, the residence of the once outcast middy, on whom, while we write this, the hand of death is but too apparent: "The Duke of Rutland called to pay his respects to Mr. Savery Brock, and sincerely regrets to find that he is so unwell. Saturday, July 13, 1844."


The 49th, on its return from Copenhagen to England, was collected at Colchester, and in the spring following, (1802,) the regiment sailed for Canada, which country was destined to bestow on it many additional laurels, as well as to be the scene of the fame and death of its commanding officer. In less than eighteen months after the arrival of the 49th in Canada, and while it was quartered in the upper province, a serious conspiracy was on the point of breaking out in that part of the regiment which was in garrison at Fort George, on the Niagara, under the command of the junior lieutenant-colonel, the head quarters being, we believe, at York, the capital. This officer, it seems, more by useless annoyance than by actual severity, had exasperated the men under his command to that degree that they formed a plot to murder all the officers present, with the exception of a young man who had recently joined; and then to cross over to the United States. Far be it from us to justify the intention, which indeed was highly criminal; but in all such extreme cases we hold that a sad abuse of power, or a gross want of tact, must be the exciting cause, and that even in the passive obedience of a military life, there may be a limit to human endurance. The proximity of the United States rendered this plot a very feasible one, as the men in a body could have crossed the river Niagara without molestation or difficulty. The suspicions of the officer in command having been aroused, he hastily wrote to Lieut.-Colonel Brock on the subject, and sent his letter by one of the men, who delivered it as the latter officer was shooting, or on his return from a shooting excursion. On reading the letter, and knowing from the character of the man that he must be engaged in the conspiracy, if there were any, he threatened to shoot him on the spot, if he did not instantly divulge the names of the ringleaders. The man, thus taken by surprise, did as he was ordered, and Lieut.-Colonel Brock hurried off to Fort George. On his arrival he found the men at dinner, and placing the officers with their drawn swords at the doors, he went into the rooms with handcuffs, and secured the most culpable, among whom was a sergeant, none offering the slightest resistance. The ringleaders were immediately embarked, so as to prevent any attempt at their rescue.[18] On being tried by a court martial, four were condemned to suffer death, and, with three deserters, were shot at Quebec, in presence of the garrison, early in the month of March, 1804. A most awful and affecting sight it was: the wind was easterly, strong, and cold,—a thick drift of snow added to the gloom,—and, as if to increase the horror of the scene, a few of the firing party, fifty-six in number, instead of advancing to within eight yards of the prisoners, as was intended, owing to some mistake commenced firing at the distance of at least fifty yards. The consequence was, that the unhappy wretches were only partially wounded, and dropped one after another. Nearly forty shots were fired before one poor fellow in the centre fell, although he was wounded through the abdomen at the first discharge. The men who had reserved their fire, were at length ordered up, and, lodging the contents of their muskets in the breasts of the culprits, by that means put them out of torture. The unfortunate sufferers declared publicly that, had they continued under the command of Colonel Brock, they would have escaped their melancholy end; and, as may be easily conceived, he felt no little anguish that they, who had so recently and so bravely fought under him in Holland and at Copenhagen, were thus doomed to end their lives, the victims of unruly passions inflamed by vexatious authority. He was now directed to assume the command at Fort George, and all complaint and desertion instantly ceased.

In the fall of 1805, in October of which year he was made a full colonel, Colonel Brock returned to Europe on leave; and early in the following year, he laid before his royal highness the commander-in-chief the outlines of a plan for the formation of a veteran battalion, to serve in the Canadas. In support of the plan he wrote:

"The advantages which may attend the establishment of a corps such as is here recommended, will be perhaps more clearly understood by first adverting to some of the causes that produce the inconvenience to which the troops occupying the frontier posts of that country are continually exposed.

"A regiment quartered in Upper Canada is generally divided into eight different parts, several hundred miles asunder, and in this situation it remains at least three years. Great as is the evil incidental to a state of separation, even where the mind is in no danger of being debauched, what may not be apprehended in a country where both the divided state of the regiment, and the artifices employed to wean the soldier from his duty, conspire to render almost ineffectual every effort of the officers to maintain the usual degree of order and discipline. The lures to desertion continually thrown out by the Americans, and the facility with which it can be accomplished, exacting a more than ordinary precaution on the part of the officers, insensibly produce mistrust between them and the men, highly prejudicial to the service.

"Experience has taught me that no regular regiment, however high its claim to discipline, can occupy the frontier posts of Lower and Upper Canada without suffering materially in its numbers. It might have been otherwise some years ago; but now that the country, particularly the opposite shore, is chiefly inhabited by the vilest characters, who have an interest in debauching the soldier from his duty; since roads are opened into the interior of the States, which facilitate desertion, it is impossible to avoid the contagion. A total change must be effected in the minds and views of those who may hereafter be sent on this duty, before the evil can be surmounted."

In a letter from Lieut.-Colonel Gordon, dated Horse Guards, January 17, 1806, Colonel Brock received the Duke of York's "thanks for the communication of his very sensible observations respecting the distribution of the troops in Canada, which his royal highness will not fail to take into consideration at a seasonable opportunity."[19]

While on a visit to his family and friends in Guernsey, Colonel Brock deemed the intelligence from the United States to be of so warlike a character, that he resolved on returning to Canada before his leave was expired; and such was his anxiety to be at his post, that he overtook at Cork the Lady Saumarez, a Guernsey vessel, well manned and armed as a letter of marque, bound to Quebec. He left London on the 26th June, 1806, and hurried away from Europe never to return—never to revisit those who fondly loved him, not only from ties of kindred, but for his many endearing qualities; but he had the satisfaction of knowing that the commander-in-chief was much pleased with the zeal and devotion evinced by him on this occasion.

Soon after his arrival in Canada, Colonel Brock succeeded, on the 27th September, 1806, to the command of the troops in the two provinces, Colonel Bowes[20] having resigned that command on his departure for England. At this time, the civil government of the lower province was administered by Mr. President Dunn, and Colonel Brock resided at Quebec, in command of the forces, until the arrival of the governor-general, Sir James Craig, in October, 1807, who appointed him to act as a brigadier, which appointment was confirmed by the king, to date from the 2d of July, 1808.

Colonel Brock to Lieut.-Colonel J.W. Gordon.

QUEBEC, September 28, 1806.

I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of the commander-in-chief, that Colonel Bowes, preparatory to his departure for England, has resigned the command of his majesty's forces in this country, which, as the next senior officer, devolves on me.

I find great pleasure in reporting to his royal highness the good order and discipline which, much to the credit of Lieut.-Colonel Sheaffe, I found on my arrival to prevail among the eight companies of the 49th regiment, quartered in this garrison.

It has been the fate of the 49th to be divided, for the last four years and a half, several hundred miles apart, and however anxious I must be to assemble the whole together, I have not, considering the youth of the 100th regiment, which alone affords me the means of effecting that measure, thought it prudent to withdraw the company stationed at St. John's and the other frontier posts of this province, but the one at Montreal will be relieved this autumn.

Colonel Bowes having complied with Lieut.-Colonel Otway's earnest application for leave to return to England, I have appointed Captain Ormsby, of the 49th regiment, an officer of approved merit, to act as deputy adjutant-general during his absence; an arrangement which, I presume to hope, his royal highness will be graciously pleased to sanction.

Colonel Brock to the Right Hon. W. Windham.

QUEBEC, February 12, 1807.

I have the honor to transmit for your consideration a proposal of Lieut.-Colonel John M'Donald, late of the Royal Canadian Volunteers, for raising a corps among the Scotch settlers in the county of Glengary, Upper Canada.

When it is considered that both the Canadas furnish only two hundred militia who are trained to arms, the advantages to be derived from such an establishment must appear very, evident.

The military force in this country is very small, and were it possible to collect it in time to oppose any serious attempt upon Quebec, the only tenable post, the number would of itself be insufficient to ensure a vigorous defence.

This corps, being stationed on the confines of the Lower Province, would be always immediately and essentially useful in checking any seditious disposition, which the wavering sentiments of a large population in the Montreal district might at any time manifest. In the event of invasion, or other emergency, this force could be easily and expeditiously transported by water to Quebec.

The extent of country which these settlers occupy, would make the permanent establishment of the staff and one sergeant in each company very advisable. I shall not presume to say how far the claims of the field officers to the same indulgence are reasonable and expedient.

In regard to the Rev. Alexander M'Donald, I beg leave to observe, that the men being all Catholics, it may be deemed a prudent measure to appoint him chaplain. His zeal and attachment to Government were strongly evinced whilst filling the office of chaplain to the Glengary Fencibles during the rebellion in Ireland, and were graciously acknowledged by his royal highness the commander-in-chief.

His influence over the men is deservedly great, and I have every reason to think that the corps, by his exertions, would be soon completed, and hereafter become a nursery from which the army might draw a number of hardy recruits.

The following letter affords a good idea of the confidential report of a general officer on the state of a regiment after its periodical inspection.

Colonel Brock to the Adjutant-General of His Majesty's Forces.

QUEBEC, March 17, 1807.

In obedience to the commander-in-chief's commands, communicated to me in your letter dated 20th November last, I shall proceed to state, for His Royal Highness's information, such observations as a strict attention to the conduct and interior economy of the 100th[21] regiment during the preceding six months has enabled me to make.

The greatest praise is justly due to Lieut.-Colonel Murray, who has commanded, with only a short interval, from the first formation of the regiment to the present time, for his unremitting care and attention to the several important duties of his office.

The good effects of his exertions and intelligence are strikingly visible in every department of the corps. He has been ably supported by Major Hamilton and the rest of his officers, who on all occasions evince the utmost zeal for the service, and the highest respect and attachment towards his person. He has succeeded in establishing an interior discipline and economy, which I have never before witnessed in so young a corps, and scarcely seen surpassed by any, and in a way too the most satisfactory to the feelings of an officer.

Although I trust the garrison duty at Quebec is carried on with every regard to the safety of the place, together with the strictest attention to all prescribed forms and regulations, yet the winter has nearly passed without a single instance of neglect or misconduct having occurred among the 100th regiment; and it is a pleasing task to report, that so exemplarily have the men behaved, that, even regimentally, only one corporal punishment has been inflicted for the last three months.

I am now speaking of men who, being nearly all Irish, are of all others the most volatile and easily led astray. Should they, therefore, hereafter be seduced by the various temptations by which they are surrounded, I hope to escape the imputation of judging too hastily and partially. The men were principally raised in the north of Ireland, and are nearly all Protestants; they are robust, active, and good looking.

The troops in this country are precluded, by the severity of the climate during seven months in the year, from exercising out of doors: it cannot, therefore, be expected that the 100th regiment can, considering the little practice it has had in the field, and after such a long interval, be very expert in its manoeuvres; but as Lieut.-Colonel Murray possesses both capacity and inclination, and as a good foundation is already laid, the most rapid progress may be expected so soon as the season enables him to commence his labours.

A large room has been allotted in the barracks to the purposes of drilling with arms, from which the garrison has derived essential benefit.

The clothing for the present year is all fitted, and appears very good. Every man is provided with a great coat, agreeably to His Majesty's regulations; but as the great coat is necessarily worn on all occasions for six months in the year, it cannot by the strictest economy be made to last the specified time. Those of the 100th have been two years in wear, and are so far expended, that they will become wholly unserviceable before next winter. I know of no other alternative but supplying others at the charge of the men, which opinion I have given to Lieut.-Colonel Murray, who applied to me on the subject.

The messes have been all along abundantly provided. Indeed, the soldiers in this country live in a perfect state of luxury unknown any where else.

The non-commissioned officers and privates acknowledge to have received every thing which is their due in respect to pay and clothing. One man claims a part of his bounty, which, he says, has been withheld. A regimental court martial has already decided against him, but the business shall again be investigated by a garrison court martial.

Lieut.-Colonel Murray has reported to me, that there are several men in his regiment who claim bounty, but as only one complained at the inspection, the remainder must be satisfied that he is doing his utmost to recover what is actually their due.

The hospital is in as complete order as the house which has been hired for that purpose can admit. Indeed, the troops in garrison are much inconvenienced for want of permanent hospitals. There were three cases of fever; the remainder of the patients were chiefly attacked with a disease too prevalent among young soldiers. Three men are unfit for service, being frost-bitten.

The men are supplied with necessaries in conformity to his majesty's regulations.

Colonel Brock to the Adjutant-General of His Majesty's Forces.

QUEBEC, July 1, 1807.

I have the honor to transmit herewith the inspection return of the 41st regiment for two distinct periods, viz. September 1, 1806, and March 1, 1807.

Some inaccuracies being found in the September return previously received, it was sent back to Lieut.-Colonel Proctor, at Fort George, for correction. This circumstance and the distance of the place, account for the delay which has occurred in complying, in the present instance, with the commands of his royal highness the commander-in-chief.

The very great distance of the quarters the 41st now occupy, has prevented my making personally the periodical inspection of that regiment required by my instructions. But its dispersed state and the many evils by which it is surrounded will, however great the zeal and intelligence of Lieut.-Colonel Proctor and the other officers, so far affect the discipline and morals of the men, as to justify my saying that both the one and the other must, without the possibility of a remedy, progressively suffer in proportion as the regiment remains stationed in the Upper Province. The 41st regiment, having a considerable number of old soldiers, is better calculated for that service than either the 49th or 100th regiments, and no change is therefore meditated.

Not being possessed with the means of making a more circumstantial report of the state of the 41st regiment, I have only to add, in justice to the officers commanding posts, that they evince in their communications with head quarters much attention and sound judgment.

Contemplating the probable arrival of a general officer by the fleet daily expected from England, I have so far presumed to deviate from my instructions as to postpone making the periodical inspection of the regiments quartered in this garrison, conceiving that his royal highness the commander-in-chief would esteem a report coming from such a high source more satisfactory, than if I were to undertake the task in my present situation, which may naturally be supposed, in some degree, to bias my judgment.

On the 17th July, 1807, in consequence of an expected rupture between England and the United States, Colonel Brock addressed a letter to Mr. President Dunn, in which he said that the number of militia armed and instructed in the province did not exceed 300, while he thought that as many thousands could easily, and with perfect safety, be formed into corps; and that Quebec, the only military post in the country, was not in a condition to make much defence against an active enemy, as the walls on the western side were old and decayed, and could not possibly sustain a continued heavy fire. He added, that he wished to throw up such works as would remedy this glaring defect; but as the garrison was totally inadequate to such an undertaking, he required from 600 to 1,000 men every day for six weeks or two months, besides a vast number of carts, &c., to complete the necessary defences of the citadel. This letter being submitted to the council, that body replied, that the only means by which assistance could be given by the civil government to the military, in the manner proposed by Colonel Brock, would be by embodying a proportion of the militia according to law, the men for which service must be taken from different parts of the province. And that as this measure had only once before been resorted to in the province, on which occasion a decided disobedience was generally manifested, and was again to be anticipated, the council inquired of Colonel Brock whether he had the means, and would furnish them, to enforce the attendance of the militia, who, when embodied, were entitled to the same pay and allowances as the king's troops. The council further informed Colonel Brock that it would meet again the next day, for the purpose of taking into consideration any representation, in writing, which he might think proper to make in answer to their communication, and that, if convenient to him, they requested his personal attendance. His reply was as follows:

QUEBEC, 23d July, 1807.

Colonel Brock has perused with attention the proceedings of his honor the president in council, communicated to him by Mr. Ryland, and begs leave to observe, that in addressing his honor on the 17th instant, it was far from his intention to assume a political character.

His sole object was to state the assistance required by the military to remedy a glaring defect in the fortifications of Quebec, should his honor conceive that preparatory measures were necessary to be adopted in consequence of the event which recently occurred between his majesty's ship Leopard and the American frigate Chesapeake, but more particularly the subsequent aggressive provisions contained in the proclamation of the American government.

In thus complying with the dictates of his duty, Colonel Brock was not prepared to hear that the population of the province, instead of affording him ready and effectual support, might probably add to the number of his enemies; and he feels much disappointment in being informed by the first authority, that the only law in any degree calculated to answer the end proposed was likely, if attempted to be enforced, to meet with such general opposition as to require the aid of the military to give it even a momentary impulse.

Colonel Brock is therefore obliged to observe, that the officer commanding certainly would not choose the time when the troops may every instant be called upon for the defence of Quebec, to disperse them over the country in aid of the civil government, coercively collecting a body of men, which, under such circumstances, would be of more detriment than service to the regular army. Colonel Brock cannot, therefore, look for any assistance from that quarter, but, should an emergency arise, he is confident that voluntary offers of service will be made by a considerable number of brave and loyal subjects, and feels himself justified in saying, that even now several gentlemen are ready to come forward and enroll into companies men on whose fidelity they can safely rely.

It remains with his honor to determine the degree of countenance which ought to be given to such sentiments.

Colonel Brock will be at all times proud to attend deliberations of his honor in council.

Colonel Brock to Lord Viscount Castlereagh.

QUEBEC, July 25, 1807.

I think it my duty to transmit for your lordship's information a copy of the communication that has passed between his honor the president and me, relative to the military situation of this country.

Your Lordship will perceive from the minutes of the council, how very inadequate the militia law is to afford assistance to the regular force, and the degree of dependance that may be placed on the population of this province.

My own observations, however, enable me to assure your Lordship, that a respectable force might be trained and rendered exceedingly useful on any exigency, were the least encouragement given to the spirit which at present pervades a certain class to volunteer their services.

To such characters arms might be safely entrusted, but I certainly would consider an indiscriminate distribution to the militia, were it possible to collect it, as highly imprudent and dangerous.

What I stated to his honor the president respecting the weakness of the works along the whole of the west front of this garrison, is consonant to the opinion transmitted by the officers of engineers and artillery, in their half-yearly periodical report, to the master-general of the ordnance.

To a question from the president, viz. "Should the council conceive it necessary to call out the militia, whether I thought myself warranted to issue pay and provisions to them?" I answered, Certainly not: that in all British Colonies, of which I had any knowledge, they on all such occasions defrayed their own expenses.

The consideration that there is about £30,000 in the civil chest, which cannot be applied to its object until next spring, and the ease with which the error I may have fallen into might be remedied, induced me to be so positive upon a subject, regarding which I am without instructions.

Colonel Brock to Lieut.-Colonel J.W. Gordon.

QUEBEC, Sept. 6, 1807.

It is impossible to view the late hostile measures of the American government towards England, without considering a rupture between the two countries as probable to happen.

I have in consequence been anxious that such precautionary measures might be taken as the case seemed to justify; but his honor the president has not judged it proper to adopt any other step, than merely to order one-fifth of the militia, which amounts to about 10,000 men, to hold itself in readiness to march on the shortest notice.

The men thus selected for service being scattered along an extensive line of four or five hundred miles, unarmed and totally unacquainted with every thing military, without officers capable of giving them instruction, considerable time would naturally be required before the necessary degree of order and discipline could be introduced among them. I therefore very much doubt whether, in the event of actual war, this force could assemble in time, and become useful.

Without considerable assistance from the militia, the few regulars which might be spared from this garrison could avail nothing against the force the Americans would suddenly introduce by various roads into this province.

The Canadians have unquestionably shewn a great willingness upon this occasion to be trained, and, I make not the least doubt, would oppose with vigour any invasion of the Americans—but how far the same sentiments would actuate them were a French force to join, I will not undertake to say; at any rate, I feel that every consideration of prudence and policy ought to determine me to keep in Quebec a sufficient force to secure its safety; the number of troops that could therefore be safely detached would be small, notwithstanding a great deal might be done, in conjunction with the militia, in a country intersected in every direction by rivers, deep ravines, and lined, at intervals on both sides the road, by thick woods.

From every information I can receive, the Americans are busily employed in drilling and forming their militia, and openly declare their intention of entering this province the instant war is determined upon; they will be encouraged to adopt this step from the very defenceless state of our frontiers; the means at my disposal are too limited to oppose them with effect in the open field, and I shall be constrained, unless his honor the president make exertions, which I do not think him at this moment disposed to do, to confine myself to the defence of Quebec.

I have hastened the completion of the works which enclose the upper town of Quebec, and I have thought myself justified in causing a battery of eight 36-pounders to be raised sixteen feet upon the cavalier in the centre of the citadel, which will effectually command the opposite heights.

Although these remarks may be premature, I yet conceive it my duty to give his royal highness the commander-in-chief a view of my real situation.

I must freely confess that I am unable to account for the motives which seem at present to guide the councils of this province. Voluntary offers of service have been made by numbers, on whose loyalty the utmost reliance can be placed, to form themselves into corps of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, at little or no expense to government, provided they were furnished with arms; but this liberal spirit has not been encouraged by the president.

I have the honor to report, that at a recent interview I had at Montreal with Lieut.-Governor Gore, it was judged expedient that his excellency should assume the command in the upper province. I regretted exceedingly that I could not, with propriety, detach troops in support of the spirited exertions whioh will be immediately made to place that country in a respectable state of defence. He has been supplied with four thousand muskets from the king's arsenal at Quebec, and with various military stores of which he stood in need: this leaves in my possession only seven thousand muskets for the use of the militia of this province, and to supply, as far as they will go, every other emergency.

Sir James Craig to Colonel Brock.

H.M.S. Horatio, Oct. 16, 1807.

His majesty having been pleased to appoint me to the chief government of the British provinces in America, as well as to the command of his forces in these parts, I do myself the pleasure to announce to you my arrival in the river, to take these charges upon me.

Lieut.-Colonel Baynes, the adjutant-general, and Major Thornton, my secretary and first aide-decamp, will deliver you this, and will inform you of the very miserable state of my health, which obliges me to write to Mr. Dunn, to entreat that he will permit my landing to be as private as possible. Of you I must make the same request. A salute may be proper, but I beg nothing more may be done: my object must be to get to the château as speedily and with as little fatigue as possible.


[18] Owing to the difficulty, after the lapse of above forty years, of obtaining the particulars of this event from any officer present, the preceding account may be slightly inaccurate notwithstanding our diligent inquiries, but we doubt not that it is substantially correct.

[19] The 10th Royal Veteran Battalion arrived in Canada the year following.

[20] Afterwards Major-General Barnard Foord Bowes, slain on the 27th June, 1812, while leading the troops to the assault of the forts of Salamanca. Monuments in St. Paul's, to the memory of Major-General Bowes and of Sir Isaac Brock, were voted in the House of Commons on the same day, 20th July, 1813.

[21] On the passage of the 100th to Quebec, in 1805, one of the transports was wrecked on the 21st October, on the coast of Newfoundland; and Major Bertram, three captains, six lieutenants, the assistant-surgeon, and about 260 men of the regiment, miserably perished.


Brigadier Brock to his Brothers.

MONTREAL, July 20, 1808.

I have written to all of you since the navigation opened, and the only letters I have received from any of the family for several months came from Irving, who, to do him justice, is infinitely the most attentive and regular correspondent among you.

My appointment to be brigadier I first announced by the March mail. Those who feel an interest in my prosperity will rejoice in my good fortune, as this distinguished mark of favor affords undeniable proof that my conduct, during the period of my command, was approved;—a great gratification, considering the many difficulties I had to encounter. I once thought I should be ordered to the upper province, but General Ferguson being among the newly appointed major-generals, will not now probably visit this country. In that case, I stand a very good chance of succeeding him, both in rank and in the command of Quebec, where it was intended he should be stationed.

What will be the result of our present unsettled relations with the neighbouring republic, it is very difficult to say. The government is composed of such unprincipled men, that to calculate on it by the ordinary rules of action would be perfectly absurd. We have completely outwitted Jefferson in all his schemes to provoke us to war. He had no other view in issuing his restrictive proclamation; but, failing in that, he tried what the embargo would produce, and there he has been foiled again. Certainly, our administration is deserving of every praise for their policy on these occasions. Jefferson and his party, however strong the inclination, dare not declare war, and therefore they endeavour to attain their object by every provocation. A few weeks since, the garrison of Niagara fired upon seven merchant boats passing the fort, and actually captured them. Considering the circumstances attending this hostile act, it is but too evident it was intended to provoke retaliation: these boats fired upon and taken within musket shot of our own fort; their balls falling on our shore, was expected to have raised the indignation of the most phlegmatic; fortunately, the commandant was not in the way, as otherwise it is difficult to say what would have happened. A representation of this affair has been made at Washington, and, for an act certainly opposed to existing treaties, we have been referred for justice to the ordinary course of the law! If our subjects cannot command impunity from capture under the guns of our own forts, it were better to demolish them at once rather than witness and suffer such indignity. By the treaties which have expired, the navigation of the waters that divide the two countries is regulated and stipulated to be still in force, although every other part should cease to be obligatory.

I get on here pretty well, but this place loses at this season the undoubted advantage it possesses over Quebec in winter. Great additions are making to the fortifications at Quebec, and, when completed, the Americans will, if I mistake not, think it prudent not to trouble the place, for they can have no chance of making any impression upon it during the short period which the severity of the climate only permits an enemy to lay before it. I erected, as I believe I told you before, a famous battery, which the public voice named after me; but Sir James, thinking very properly that any thing so very pre-eminent should be distinguished by the most exalted appellation, has called it the King's Battery, the greatest compliment, I conceive, that he could pay to my judgment.[22] Not a desertion has been attempted by any of the 49th for the last ten months, with the exception indeed of Hogan, Savery's former servant. He served Glegg in the same capacity, who took him with him to the Falls of Niagara, where a fair damsel persuaded him to this act of madness, for the fellow cannot possibly gain his bread by labour, as he has half killed himself with excessive drinking; and we know he cannot live upon love alone. The weather has been exceedingly hot the last week, the thermometer fluctuating from 94 degrees to 100 degrees in the shade. The embargo has proved a famous harvest to some merchants here. It is certainly the most ridiculous measure imaginable, and was evidently adopted with the view of pleasing France; but no half measure can satisfy Napoleon, and this colony has been raised by it to a degree of importance that ensures its future prosperity.

Brigadier Brock to his Brothers.

QUEBEC, September 5, 1808.

I have been here but a few days, having been superseded at Montreal by Major-General Drummond. I do not approve much of the change, as being separated from the 49th is a great annoyance to me. But soldiers must accustom themselves to frequent movements; and as they have no choice, it often happens that they are placed in situations little agreeing with their inclinations. My nominal appointment has been confirmed at home, so that I am really a brigadier. Were the 49th ordered hence, the rank would not be a sufficient inducement to keep me in this country. In such a case, I would throw it up willingly.

Curious scenes appear to have occurred in the Baltic. I fear very much that Sir James (Saumarez) may be induced to return to his retirement in Guernsey. Indeed, the navy has little left to do, while the army has now a glorious opportunity of distinguishing itself as much as the sister service. Valour the British troops always possessed, but unless they evince discipline, their fame will be blasted for a century to come.

Brigadier Brock to his Brothers.

QUEBEC, November 19, 1808.

Yesterday Irving's letter of the 19th September reached me. How very thankful I feel for his attention. But I have not received that which he mentions Savery had written on the same day, giving an account of his proceedings in Spain and Portugal. This is a truly mortifying disappointment, as it is impossible to discover by the public prints the mystery by which the conduct of our officers has been influenced. The precaution which Irving took to transcribe a part of the letter, has proved very lucky. Notwithstanding, I look for the original with unusual impatience, as Savery's opinion must be formed upon what he saw in full practice in the best disciplined army that ever, I imagine, left England. His observations are never thrown away.

I am still confined to my room, more indeed on account of the badness of the weather than any want of progress in my recovery. We have had very hard gales from the East. The Iphigenia frigate, with her convoy, could not have cleared the land, and the greatest apprehension is entertained for her safety. Her commander, Captain Lambert, is a friend of George Brock. I find him an exceedingly good fellow; and I have reason to think that he left us well satisfied with the attention he received from me.[23]

Sir James Craig has certain intimation of the appointment of Colonel Baron de Rottenburg, of the 60th, to be a brigadier in this country, and he is daily looked for. This most probably will make a change in my situation, as one must go to the upper province, and, as he is senior, he will doubtless have the choice. My object is to get home as soon as I can obtain permission; but unless our affairs with America be amicably adjusted, of which I see no probability, I scarcely can expect to be permitted to move. I rejoice Savery has begun to exert himself to get me appointed to a more active situation. I must see service, or I may as well, and indeed much better, quit the army at once, for no one advantage can I reasonably look to hereafter if I remain buried in this inactive, remote corner, without the least mention being made of me. Should Sir James Saumarez return from the Baltic crowned with success, he could, I should think, say a good word for me to some purpose.

Vincent[24] is doing extremely well. I however dread the severity of a winter upon his shattered frame. I must contrive to meet and dissipate the dull hours with my good friends of the 49th. I have prevailed upon Sir James to appoint Sergeant Robinson, master of the band, to a situation in the commissariat at Sorel, worth 3s. 6d. a day, with subaltern's lodging money and other allowances. He married a Jersey lass, whose relatives may inquire for him.

It will be seen by the next letter and a few others which follow, that Sir Isaac Brock was well aware of the existence among the French Canadians of a spirit of disaffection, which, in 1837, broke out into open rebellion, the suppression of which earned Sir John Colborne (the present Lord Seaton) his peerage. The outbreak caused great loss of life, and considerable expense arising not only from the hurried dispatch to Quebec of a large body of troops from Nova Scotia and England, but from the retention in the Canadas of about 10,000 men for a few years, to overawe the disaffected, and to repress the piratical incursions of the citizens of the United States in their favor.

Brigadier Brock to his brother William.

QUEBEC, December 31, 1809.

You will long since have been convinced that the American government is determined to involve the two countries in a war; they have already given us legitimate cause, but, if wise, we will studiously avoid doing that for which they shew so great an anxiety. Their finances, you will perceive, are very low, and they dare not propose direct taxes. They must have recourse to loans at a time when they have only six frigates in commission, and about five thousand men embodied. To what a state of poverty and wretchedness would the accumulated expenses of war reduce them! But they look to the success of their privateers for a supply, and contemplate the sweeping away of all foreign debts as the means of reducing the calls upon their treasury. Whatever steps England may adopt, I think she cannot, in prudence, avoid sending a strong military force to these provinces, as they are now become of infinite importance to her. You can scarcely conceive the quantity of timber and spars of all kinds which are lying on the beach, ready for shipment to England in the spring: four hundred vessels would not be sufficient to take all away. Whence can England be supplied with these essential articles but from the Canadas? Bonaparte, it is known, has expressed a strong desire to be in possession of the colonies formerly belonging to France, and now that they are become so valuable to England, his anxiety to wrest them from us will naturally increase. A small French force, 4 or 5,000 men, with plenty of muskets, would most assuredly conquer this province. The Canadians would join them almost to a man—at least, the exceptions would be so few as to be of little avail. It may appear surprising that men, petted as they have been and indulged in every thing they could desire, should wish for a change. But so it is—and I am apt to think that were Englishmen placed in the same situation, they would shew even more impatience to escape from French rule. How essentially different are the feelings of the people from when I first knew them. The idea prevails generally among them, that Napoleon must succeed, and ultimately get possession of these provinces. The bold and violent are becoming every day more audacious; and the timid, with that impression, think it better and more prudent to withdraw altogether from the society of the English, rather than run the chance of being accused hereafter of partiality to them. The consequence is, that little or no intercourse exists between the two races. More troops will be required in this country, were it only to keep down this growing turbulent spirit. The governor will, it is foreseen, have a difficult card to play next month with the assembly, which is really getting too daring and arrogant. Every victory which Napoleon has gained for the last nine years, has made the disposition here to resist more manifest.

Brigadier Brock to his sister-in-law, Mrs. W. Brock.

QUEBEC, June 8, 1810.

It was my decided intention to ask for leave to go to England this fall, but I have now relinquished the thought. Several untoward circumstances combine to oppose my wishes. The spirit of insubordination lately manifested by the French Canadian population of this colony, naturally called for precautionary measures, and our worthy chief is induced, in consequence, to retain in this country those on whom he can best confide. I am highly flattered in being reckoned among the number, whatever inward disappointment I may feel. Some unpleasant events have likewise happened in the upper country, which have occasioned my receiving intimation to proceed thither, whether as a permanent station, or merely as a temporary visit, Sir James Craig has not determined. Should, however, a senior brigadier to myself come out in the course of the summer, I shall certainly be fixed in the upper province, and there is every probability of such an addition very soon. Since all my efforts to get more actively employed have failed; since fate decrees that the best portion of my life is to be wasted in inaction in the Canadas, I am rather pleased with the prospect of removing upwards.

There is a lady living at Barnet for whom I feel much interested. If you should by chance drive that way, and do not object to form a new acquaintance, I wish you to call upon her. She is the wife of Captain Manners, of the 49th, and the daughter of the celebrated Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia. She has a most amiable disposition and genteel manners. Her sister, Mrs. Ross Cuthbert, a charming little creature, makes her husband—my most intimate friend, and with whom I pass a great part of my leisure hours—a most happy man.

I received the other day a long and exceedingly well written letter from Henrietta Tupper—she is really a charming girl. What Maria[25] (Potenger) do you begin to slacken in your attention to your poor devoted uncle?

Brigadier Brock to his brother Irving.

QUEBEC, July 9, 1810.

I have a thousand thanks to offer you for the very great attention you have shewn in executing my commissions: the different articles arrived in the very best order, with the exception of the cocked hat, which has not been received—a most distressing circumstance, as, from the enormity of my head[26], I find the utmost difficulty in getting a substitute in this country.

I proposed writing to you early to-morrow, but Sir James having this instant intimated his intention of sending me upwards immediately, I avail myself of an hour's leisure to do that hastily which I would gladly have done quietly, and, consequently, more fully. If I am to remain in this country, I care little where I am placed; but going up, as I do now, without knowing whether I am to stay or return, is particularly awkward, and interferes materially in all my future arrangements: perhaps I shall be able to get the point settled before I commence my journey.

Every thing here remains in a state of perfect quietness. It is but too evident that the Canadians generally are becoming daily more anxious to get rid of the English. This they cannot effect unless a French force come to their aid, and I do not think that Bonaparte would risk the loss of a fleet and army for the chance of getting possession of the country. What infatuation! No people had ever more cause to rejoice at their fate; but they are not singular, as all mankind seems prone to change, however disadvantageous or productive of confusion.

Savery forwarded your pamphlet to me. You have taken a very proper view of the political dissensions which at this moment disgrace England. Those to whom I have allowed a perusal, and who are infinitely better judges than I can pretend to be, speak of the purity of the language in terms of high approbation. You have happily suited the style to the matter. Several copies have, within a few days, been in circulation here. Savery speaks of a letter you received, in consequence, from Lord Melville. I hope you will not fail in sending me a copy, as I am all anxiety for your literary fame. As you differ in sentiment from the Edinburgh Review, I hope that you have made up your mind to an unmerciful lashing.

I do not see the smallest prospect of my getting away from here, as the disposition manifested by the Canadians will occasion a large military force to be kept in the country, and it will serve as a plea to retain all at their posts. I wish that I could boast of a little more patience than I feel I now possess.

The fortifications of Quebec are improving pretty rapidly, but workmen cannot be procured in sufficient number to proceed as fast as government would wish. Labourers now get 7s. 6d. a day, and artificers from 12s. to 15s. Upwards of three hundred vessels have already arrived—a prodigious number.

Brigadier Brock to his sister-in-law, Mrs. William Brock.

QUEBEC, July 10, 1810.

I cannot allow the frigate to depart without sending my affectionate love to you. A Guernsey vessel arrived a few days ago, which brought me a letter from Savery of 10th May, and nothing could be more gratifying than the contents. The May fleet, which sailed from Portsmouth the 24th, reached this in thirty days, but as it had not a scrape of a pen for me, its arrival did not interest me. We have been uncommonly gay the last fortnight: two frigates at anchor, and the arrival of Governor Gore from the upper province, have given a zest to society. Races, country and water parties, have occupied our time in a continued round of festivity. Such stimulus is highly necessary to keep our spirits afloat. I contributed my share to the general mirth in a grand dinner given to Mrs. Gore, at which Sir J. Craig was present, and a ball to a vast assemblage of all descriptions.

I mentioned in a former letter my apprehensions of being ordered to the upper province. I return this moment from waiting upon Sir James, who sent for me, to say he regretted he must part with me, as he found it absolutely necessary that I should proceed upwards without delay. I am placed in a very awkward predicament, as my stay in that country depends wholly upon contingencies. Should a brigadier arrive I am to be stationary, but otherwise return to Quebec. Nothing could be more provoking and inconvenient than this arrangement. Unless I take up every thing with me, I shall be miserably off, for nothing beyond eatables is to be had there; and in case I provide the requisites to make my abode in the winter in any way comfortable, and then be ordered back, the expense will be ruinous. But I must submit to all this without repining, and since I cannot get to Europe, I care little where I am placed. I have the most delightful garden imaginable, with abundance of melons and other good things, all which I must now desert.

What am I to tell you from this out-of-the-way place. Your old friends of the 49th are well, but scattered in small detachments all over the country. They are justly great favorites at head quarters. I mentioned in a former letter my wish that, provided you could make it perfectly convenient, you would call upon Mrs. Manners, the wife of a captain of the 49th. I am satisfied that you would, after a short acquaintance, approve of her much—she is all goodness. By the last accounts they resided at Barnet.

I have no doubt that Maria and Zelia (Potenger, his nieces) continue to conduct themselves in such a manner as to reward you amply for the unbounded kindness you have all along shewn them. If I am able in the fall to procure handsome skins for muffs worth their acceptance, I shall send some to the dear little girls: they ought, however, to write to me. There are few here brought up with the advantages they have received; indeed, the means for education are very limited for both sexes in this colony. Heaven preserve you. I shall probably begin my journey upwards in the course of a few days.

Brigadier Brock accordingly proceeded to the Upper Province, Baron de Rottenburg having replaced him at Quebec, and, with the exception of a few months in 1811, during which he visited Lower Canada, he continued in command of the troops there till his death, Lieut.-Governor Gore at first administering the civil government.

Colonel Baynes, the Adjutant-General, to Brigadier Brock, at Fort George.

QUEBEC, September 6, 1810.

The Brigadier-General (Baron de Rottenburg) is Sir James' (Craig) senior in age by a year, but is still strong and active, and looks much younger. I am well pleased with the little I have seen of him, which by the bye is very little, for I only returned yesterday from Sorel. Mrs. de Rottenburg[27] has made a complete conquest of all hearts. She is in reality remarkably handsome, both in face and figure, and her manners uncommonly pleasing, graceful, and affable. There is, I fancy, a very great disparity of years. They both speak English very fluently, and with very little foreign accent. Sir James (Craig) is remarkably well: we celebrated the anniversary of his sixtieth year yesterday at a very pleasant party at Powell Place. Our general court martial is over, and will be published in orders to-morrow. A soldier, who was under sentence of death for desertion from the 101st regiment, and transferred to the 8th, and a Jonathan of the Canadians, who is considered a ringleader, are sentenced to be shot; the others, a dozen in number, are to be transported to serve for life in the African corps.

Brigadier Brock to his Brothers.

FORT GEORGE, Sept. 13, 1810.

My good and dear friends,—I have been of late so much upon the move, that I had no thought of writing to you, and no letters of yours put me in mind that I should do so. Here I am stationed for some time, unless I succeed in the application I mean to make shortly for permission to visit England. At present Vincent, Glegg, and Williams, 49th, enliven this lonesome place. They are here as members of a general court martial, and are soon to depart, when I shall be left to my own reflections. Should I be so lucky as to obtain leave, I shall not commence my journey to New York until after Christmas. Baron de Rottenburg, a senior brigadier, has arrived at Quebec, where he remains. His presence unquestionably diminishes my prospects in this country, and I should stand evidently in my own light if I did not court fortune elsewhere.

I have been as far as Detroit, a delightful country, far exceeding any thing I had seen on this continent.

I have not had a letter from Europe since May, and wish you to write to me by way of New York. I avail myself of an unexpected passenger to scribble this in the presence of many of the court, who tell me it is time to resume our labours; therefore, my beloved brothers, adieu. I shall write again in a few days, viâ New York.

Colonel Baynes to Brigadier Brock, at Fort George.

QUEBEC, October 4, 1810.

By yesterday's post, I was favored with your letter of the 23d ultimo. I regret that so much trouble should have been occasioned to so little purpose, the more so as I apprehend an example to be much called for in the 100th regiment. Murray seems sanguine that the regiment will go on better under his rule, and that he knows the men better. I hope his conjecture may prove well founded, but I fear they are too wild a set to thrive in Upper Canada.

As I felt at a loss how to introduce the subject of your personal views and wishes, I gave Sir James your letter to read; it did not, however, draw from him any remark on those topics. I know that he is very strongly impressed with the necessity of having a person like yourself for some time in the Upper Province, that a scrutinizing eye may correct the errors and neglect that have crept in, and put all in order again; and, in confidence between ourselves, I do not think he would be more ready to part with you from that station, in consequence of the arrival of Colonel Murray, who is not at all to his taste, and has managed, by a most indiscreet and indecent conversation at his table, to blot himself out of his good opinion. The conversation was on the subject of Cobbett, and the colonel's the only dissenting voice, which he exerted with the more energy in proportion to the badness of his cause, and after defending him in a style and language highly indecorous, and reprehensible to be held at the table of the governor, he so completely forgot himself as to repeat and justify the very offensive and illiberal publications of Cobbett respecting the German troops and foreign officers, although sitting directly opposite to General de Rottenburg. Sir James, who was suffering extremely from the commencement of a very severe attack of illness, could contain himself no longer, and silenced Murray by a very severe but highly just rebuke. Rottenburg appeared much hurt, and said to me that he was very sorry to find that any officer, entrusted with the honor of commanding a corps, could take a pleasure in exposing such sentiments as he had heard from Colonel M. Colonel Kempt, who naturally feels much interested for his young cousin, (Mrs. Murray,) and who really deserves and merits it for her own sake, was much mortified and vexed at Murray's impropriety.[28]

The charms of Mrs. de Rottenburg have not effaced you from the recollection of your friends, who very sincerely regret your absence.

Lieut.-Colonel Thornton[29] (Military Secretary and first Aide-de-Camp) to Brigadier Brock.

QUEBEC, October 4, 1810.

I was yesterday favored with your letter of the 23d ultimo, and have not failed to communicate to Sir James your account and your charity towards the poor old fellow, formerly of the king's.[30] He has in consequence directed the allowance of the ration to be authorized and continued to him, for which purpose I must request his Christian name and the date of the first issue, but I am to remind you of the danger of establishing a precedent of this nature, and to request in the general's name that you will refrain as much as possible from indulging the natural benevolence of your disposition in this way, as he has hitherto resisted all applications of this sort.

Your successor, as commandant of Quebec, is certainly much to be esteemed—a good kind of man, and devoted to his profession—but it is vanity in the extreme to attempt to describe the general admiration and estimation of his cara et dolce sposa: she is young, (twenty-three,) fair, beautiful,—lively, discreet, witty, affable,—in short, so engaging, or rather so fascinating, that neither the courier nor my paper will admit of my doing her justice; however, from what I have said it is necessary further to add and explain, that this is not my opinion alone but that of the public.

Two hundred volunteers for Colonel Zouch, from other veteran battalions, have just arrived and landed: the regiment is to be completed in this manner to one thousand.

Colonel Baynes to Brigadier Brock.

QUEBEC, October 11, 1810.

Sir James has conversed with me fully on the subject of your wish for leave, and prefaced it by declaring himself very desirous on his part to forward your views as far as he could do so with propriety, but that he had written in such strong terms, urging the necessity of a third general officer being kept constantly on the staff of the Canadas, and assigned as a principal reason the advantage of an officer of that rank being stationed in the Upper Province, that he does not conceive himself at liberty to overset an arrangement which he has been two years soliciting the means to carry into effect, and the absolute necessity of which he is highly impressed with. In reply to an observation of mine, that you regretted the inactive prospect before you, and looked with envy on those employed in Spain and Portugal, he said: "I make no doubt of it, but I can in no shape aid his plans in that respect; I would not, however, be the means of preventing them, and although from his local knowledge I should regret losing him in this country, yet I would not oppose it if he could obtain an appointment to the staff on service; but in that case I would ask for another general officer being seat in his place immediately to Upper Canada." I tell you this, my dear general, without reserve, and give you, as far as I can recollect, Sir James' words. If he liked you less, he might perhaps be more readily induced to let you go; as matters stand, I do not think he will, although I am convinced that he will feel very sincere regret in refusing you on a subject upon which you appear to be so anxious.


[22] In some book of Travels in Canada, Duncan's we think, it is stated that the highest battery in Quebec is called Brock's Battery: we know not whether it is that erected by Sir Isaac Brock.

[23] "The young and gallant" Captain Henry Lambert, mentioned above, was mortally wounded in December, 1812, in command of H.M.S. Java, when she was captured by the American frigate Constitution, of greatly superior force.

[24] The present General Vincent, colonel of the 69th foot. He was then major of the 49th.

[25] His niece.

[26] It has been remarked, that men with very small heads are seldom clever, and certainly the Brocks of this family had large but well shaped heads, with full foreheads.

[27] The mother of Lady William Paget.

[28] Whatever may have been Colonel Murray's indiscretion on this occasion, he proved himself one of the most gallant and enterprising officers in Canada during the war, and particularly distinguished himself in the assault and capture of Fort Niagara, in December, 1813, where he was severely wounded. If Colonel Murray admired Cobbett's writings he was not singular, as he was perhaps the most forcible political writer in the English language.

[29] Afterwards Lieut.-General Sir William Thornton, K.C.B., &c.

[30] Sir Isaac Brock was several years in the 8th regiment, but this old man had probably served with his brother, Lieut.-Colonel John Brock, who was many years in the 8th, in Upper Canada.


Brigadier Brock to Lieut.-Governor Gore.

FORT GEORGE, Jan. 6, 1811.

Having lately received a letter from Colonel Vesey, in which he urges me to ascertain whether it be possible to secure to his family some benefit from the grant of five thousand acres he has so long unprofitably held, I am encouraged by the disposition your excellency has uniformly evinced to serve him, to renew my earnest request that your influence may be now exerted in his behalf.

I am given to understand that there are extensive tracts of excellent land at the disposal of the crown on Lake Erie, and that a new township is undergoing a survey near the head of Lake Ontario. Were it possible to ensure Colonel Vesey eligible situations in those districts, he no longer would hesitate in incurring the necessary expense.

Your excellency having signified your intention of visiting England in the course of next summer, I am impelled to the present application by the consideration that before your return the land, which I have taken the liberty to point out, may be disposed of, and Colonel Vesey thereby lose the fair opportunity of acquiring property upon which he can confidently place some value.

Lieut.-Governor Gore to Brigadier Brock.

YORK, January 21, 1811.

Your letter of the 6th instant should have been earlier acknowledged, but that I was desirous to render my answer as satisfactory as possible, and it was necessary to refer to the offices, on the subject of the grant of land ordered for Colonel Vesey.

I am very sorry now to be constrained to tell you, that it is not in my power to comply with Colonel Vesey's wish in respect of the location, without a special order from the king, as in the case of Colonel Talbot.

The diagram by which the crown and clergy reserves are recorded, cannot be dispensed with, so that it is now impracticable to obtain in any township five thousand acres in a block.

The townships lately surveyed are partial exceptions to the general rule, for the express purpose of establishing roads through the province, and the locations in that exception are by an act of government expressly reserved for actual settlers.

The utmost in my power to do for Colonel Vesey is to adopt the latitude directed by his majesty in favor of General Arnold, which is to permit his representative to locate his land in any open township, and to pass the patent without his personal attendance.

Exclusive of my very strong desire to serve Colonel Vesey, I beg you will believe that I should have had a very particular gratification in promoting the success of any measure for which you are pleased to express an interest.

Brigadier Brock to his brother Irving.

NIAGARA, January 10, 1811.

I cannot sufficiently thank you for your constant attention to me; you contribute largely to render my present sequestered abode tolerable, and let me entreat you to continue the practice you have lately adopted of sending me a letter every fortnight. In addition to the last daily paper, send me likewise the Observer, or any other weekly depository of domestic news. You, who have passed all your days in the bustle of London, can scarcely conceive the uninteresting and insipid life I am doomed to lead in this retirement. My situation obliges me to maintain some sort of establishment, otherwise I should, from inclination, confine my intercourse to a very limited circle. I have been for some days projecting a jaunt into the interior of the States, and I may probably visit New York before I return, but I shall weigh passing events well, ere I hazard so long a journey. The heavy rains which have fallen for the last ten days have delayed my progress, as I did not choose to undertake the journey on horseback. I by no means admire travelling alone in so comfortless a manner, in which the gratification would not repay the inconvenience.

I purpose directing my steps in the first instance to Ballstown, a medicinal water of great celebrity, about twenty miles north of Albany. I then expect to be joined by James Brock, and probably by some others of the 49th. I shall wait ten days, not only to give him full time to come up, but likewise to try the efficacy of the waters, as I have an idea that they will be serviceable to me. I feel at this moment infinitely better, but am not quite the thing, without knowing what ails me. A sound jolting and change of air will produce wonders, and make me look once more upon a beefsteak with appetite. At present I live very abstemiously, and scarcely ever touch wine.

I mentioned in a former letter that the new arrangements deprived me of the comfort of a companion. Expecting to obtain leave to visit England, I thought it of little consequence, but now that such an indulgence is denied me, I feel sadly the want of a lively, communicative associate. I hardly ever stir out, and, unless I have company at home, my evenings are passed solus. I read much, but good books are scarce, and I hate borrowing. I like to read a book quickly, and afterwards revert to such passages as have made the deepest impression, and which appear to me most important to remember—a practice I cannot conveniently pursue unless the book be mine. Should you find that I am likely to remain here, I wish you to send me some choice authors in history, particularly ancient, with maps, and the best translations of ancient works. I read in my youth Pope's Translation of Homer, but till lately never discovered its exquisite beauties. As I grow old, I acquire a taste for study. I firmly believe that the same propensity was always inherent in me, but, strange to tell, although many were paid extravagantly, I never had the advantage of a master to guide and encourage me. But it is now too late to repine. I rejoice that my nephews are more fortunate.

The president's address is sufficiently hostile, and if I thought that he would be supported to the extent of his wishes, I should consider war to be inevitable. Congress will hesitate before consenting to go the length he proposes. The taking forcible possession of West Florida may provoke a war sooner than any other act, but it is impossible to foresee how such a step may be viewed by the Cortes. We are at this moment in awful suspense—the king's illness, the proximity of the armies under Massena and Wellington, and the measures our government may deem proper to adopt to meet the hostile proceedings of the Americans, afford serious matter for contemplation.

I have seen "Thoughts on Political Fanaticism," in answer to your admirable pamphlet. The author appears to me to proclaim his servile attachment to Bonaparte, without in any degree refuting your arguments. When you tell me that Peter Tupper is a son of the jurat, and a member of the Junta of Valencia, you by no means satisfy my curiosity. Is he equal to fill the situation? Has he discretion, and is he distinguished by a strong mind and undaunted courage, as these are qualities that can alone be serviceable at such a crisis? I observed his name some little time back in the public prints, without knowing who he could be, and I suppose that he is my junior in age by several years.[31]

Colonel Kempt[32] (Quartermaster-General) to Brigadier Brock.

QUEBEC, January 17, 1811.

Baynes tells me that he has written to you repeatedly, and most fully and confidentially, on the subject of your application for leave. The letters, which I have received from home, explicitly state that the last brevet was made so extensive with the view of doing away with the appointment of brigadier, so that no general officer under the rank of major-general will be in future employed; independent of this circumstance, you have no reason, believe me, to dread being unemployed in any rank while you have a wish to serve,—this opinion, my dear general, is not given rashly or upon slight grounds,—before I came to this country I had, you must know, several opportunities of hearing your name mentioned at head quarters, both by General Calvert and Colonel Gordon, who unquestionably spoke the sentiments of the then commander-in-chief, and in such a way as to impress me with a thorough conviction that few officers of your rank stood higher in their estimation. In short, I have no manner of doubt whatever that you will readily obtain employment upon active service the moment that you do get home, and with this view I recommend you to express, through Baynes, your sense of his excellency's good intentions and wishes towards you in respect to leave of absence, and your hopes that when the circumstances of the country are such as will permit him to grant six months' leave to a general officer, that this indulgence will be extended in the first instance to you. I am very happy to find that you are pleased with Mrs. Murray: I have just received a long letter from her, giving me an account of a splendid ball given by you to the beau monde of Niagara and its vicinity, and the manner in which she speaks of your liberality and hospitality reminds me of the many pleasant hours I have passed under your roof. We have no such parties now, and the indisposition of Sir James having prevented the usual public days at the castle, nothing more stupid than Quebec now is can be imagined.

Colonel Baylies to Brigadier Brock, at Fort George.

QUEBEC, February 14, 1811.

From the sincere and lively interest which I am sure you feel for our worthy chief, I am happy to announce to you that an important change has taken place in his disease, from which his medical attendants augur, with great confidence, most essential and permanent relief. On Sunday last I received a summons to attend immediately at the castle, where Kempt was also called, and to our extreme astonishment he informed us that he was then about to undergo the operation of tapping, as he fully coincided with his medical attendants who advised it. Sir James (Craig) proceeded with great calmness to give me some instructions as his executor, in the event of any fatal consequence following, which he did with a degree of composure, and even cheerfulness, which only a mind like his can assume. We were present, at his request, at the operation, which appeared to me painfully tedious—but not an expression, or even a look of impatience, escaped Sir James, whose manner absolutely inspired spirits and fortitude to those around. At the close he stood up for several minutes to let the water drain from the higher parts of the body, and thirty-six pints, weighing nearly as many pounds, were altogether drawn off.

Sir James lately received accounts of the 14th of November, that his brother, General Peter Craig, was then so reduced and weak from a long and severe illness, that no hopes were entertained of him. You will conceive what a severe shock this has been, the more so as Sir James never harboured a doubt that his elder brother, from his apparently stronger constitution, would have long survived him. Their mutual ties of relationship were in a manner concentrated in each other, for Sir James will have none left but of a very distant degree.

I am happy to find by a long letter from Mrs. Murray to Colonel Kempt, that you have found the means of enlivening the solitary scene that has so long prevailed at Fort George. I assure you that we miss you much here, and that the fascinating Mrs. de Rottenburg, with all her charms, has not effaced the very universal regret which your loss occasions in Quebec.

Brigadier Brock to his brother Irving.

NIAGARA, February 19, 1811.

Nothing can be more considerate, nothing more friendly, than your constancy in writing to me. Your last letter is dated the 26th November. What can I say from this remote corner in return for the pleasure I experience at the receipt of your letters? I have already described my sombre kind of life, but I am sure you will rejoice to hear that my present quiet has been productive of the essential good of restoring my health. I now consider myself quite re-established; therefore, my good Irving, dispel all your alarms on my account. I once thought of visiting Ballstown, but, as a trial of the springs there was my chief motive, I gave up the journey the moment I found there was no medical occasion to undertake it. I do not admire the manners of the American people. I have met with some whose society was every thing one could desire, and at Boston and New York such characters are, I believe, numerous, but these are the exceptions. Politics run very high at this moment, but the French faction have evidently the preponderance, and they style themselves republicans! Was ever any thing more absurd? A dreadful crash is not far off—I hope your friends have withheld their confidence in their public stocks. There have been many failures at New York, and the merchants there are in a state of great confusion and dismay.

I returned recently from York, the capital of this province, where I passed ten days with the governor, (Gore,) as generous and as honest a being as ever existed. His lady is perfectly well bred and very agreeable. I found ample recompense in their society for the inconvenience of travelling over the worst roads I ever met with. The governor was formerly quartered with the 44th in Guernsey, and recollects vividly the society of those days.

I seldom hear from James Brock, who dislikes writing to such a degree, that he hazards the loss of a friend rather than submit to the trouble; and what is strange, when he sets about it he expresses himself happily, and is highly entertaining.

Sir James Craig has triumphed completely over the French faction in the Lower Province. By their conduct they have fully exemplified the character of their ancestors. The moment they found they could not intimidate by threats, they became as obsequious as they had been violent. The house of assembly passed every bill required of them, among others one authorizing the governor-general and three councillors to imprison any one without assigning a cause. The state of the country makes such a measure highly necessary. Sir James has been very ill, and it is supposed that he cannot long survive the fierce and frequent attacks of his disorder. His death, whenever it comes, will be bewailed by all who possess the feelings of Englishmen in this country. He appears determined to keep me near his person, and I hardly know how to accomplish my grand object of visiting England in opposition to his wishes. You may well imagine the regret I feel in being obliged to submit to a life of such complete idleness—but fate will have it so.

We are all impatience and anxiety to learn the ultimate result of the king's indisposition, and the movements of the contending armies in Portugal. If we are to be governed by a regent, I trust that ambition, jealousy, or party interests, will not conspire to diminish or circumscribe his regal powers. These are not times to slacken the reins.

Colonel Murray, 100th, went home last year, married, and brought out a charming little creature, full of good sense and spirit. They dined with me yesterday, and she appeared a little dejected in consequence of an idle report of the regiment being destined for the West Indies.

Care ought to be taken to get William Potenger introduced into a quiet, well-behaved corps; the 49th would do very well, but I am not partial to Canada for a young soldier; the regiment has, however, been in it so long, that it cannot be continued many years. Throw him into the sea rather than allow him to join a wild Irish regiment.

This country is getting very populous and rich. Great emigration from the States; Quakers especially come in numbers, and bring with them large sums. Assure William of my eternal esteem.

Brigadier Brock to Sir James Craig, K. B.

NIAGARA, February 27, 1811.

I have this day been honored by the receipt of your excellency's letter, dated the 4th instant. The subject to which it refers has occasioned serious reflection in my mind. If unfortunately the Indians be determined to commit acts of hostility in the spring, they are at too great a distance for us to succeed in any effort we may be disposed to make to avert so great a calamity. Therefore, the next consideration is the posture we are to assume in case of such an event; whether we are to remain in a state of strict neutrality, which doubtless the Americans will call upon us to observe, and thereby sacrifice our influence over the Indians; or, unmindful of the consequences, continue to them the accustomed supplies of food, arms, and ammunition.

I lament to think that the Indians retired from the council, in which they declared their resolution of going to war, with a full conviction that, although they could not look for active co-operation on our part, yet they might rely with confidence upon receiving from us every requisite of war.

Our cold attempt to dissuade that much-injured people from engaging in such a rash enterprise could scarcely be expected to prevail, particularly after giving such manifest indications of a contrary sentiment by the liberal quantity of military stores with which they were dismissed.

I shall not fail in reporting every circumstance that may come to my knowledge relative to our connections with the Indians, which I think your excellency may desire to be acquainted with: I must look to officers commanding at the outposts for such information, as the lieut.-governor withholds from me all communications on the subject.

Mr. Elliott, who has the management of the Indian department at Amherstburg, is an exceedingly good man, and highly respected by the Indians; but, having in his youth lived a great deal with them, he naturally has imbibed their feelings and prejudices, and partaking in the wrongs they continually suffer, this sympathy made him neglect the considerations of prudence, which ought to have regulated his conduct. If he had delayed the issue of presents until he reported their mission to Lieut.-Governor Gore, they would have returned to their companions, carrying with them the positive sentiments of government.

Brigadier Brock to Major Taylor, 100th Regiment, commanding at Amherstburg.

NIAGARA, March 4, 1811.

You omitted to report to me the important resolution which the Indians formally announced last autumn in council to have been adopted by the different nations, of going to war with the Americans. Having however received advice of the circumstance through other channels, I was enabled to communicate the interesting fact to head quarters, and now transcribe, for your individual information and future guidance, extracts of his excellency's secret and confidential answer, dated 4th ultimo:

"Although the conduct of our intercourse with the Indians is by his majesty's command vested in the civil government of the province of Canada, and consequently the interference of military officers, otherwise than by being present at such councils as may be held as they are directed to be, would be improper, I nevertheless desire that you will instruct the officers in command at the different posts, particularly at Amherstburg, to report confidentially to you what may pass at those councils, as well as any other transactions in which the Indians are concerned, and which may come to their knowledge; these reports you will forward to me occasionally, as you may think them of importance."

The conduct which the military are expected to pursue in their intercourse with the Indian department is so explicitly stated in the above, that I need not say a word more on the subject. But I think it highly necessary to put you in possession of the policy which Sir James Craig is very anxious may be observed in the present uncertain state of our political affairs.

"I am decidedly of opinion, that upon every principle of policy our interest should lead us to use all our endeavours to prevent a rupture between the Indians and the subjects of the United States. Upon these considerations, I think it would be expedient to instruct the officers of the Indian department to use all their influence to dissuade the Indians from their projected plan of hostility, giving them clearly to understand that they must not expect any assistance from us. The officers, however, should be extremely cautious in pointing out to them that it is for their own good only that this advice is given to them, and not from any dereliction of that regard with which we always view their interests; it will perhaps require some management to avoid exciting their jealousy or resentment; the doing so must be strongly recommended."

I wish you to comprehend clearly the sentiments of Sir James upon this essential point; because, although I entertain great respect for the personal character of Mr. Elliott, yet I should be unwilling to place entire dependance in an affair of such manifest importance, upon a judgment biased and prejudiced as his is known to be in every thing that regards the Indians. To act with due prudence, he participates in and feels too keenly the grievous wrongs they have suffered. Should you, therefore, perceive the smallest indication to depart from the line so strongly marked by his excellency for the government of the Indian officers, you will, without creating suspicion of an intention of controlling their measures, offer friendly advice, and even have recourse to written protests to deter them from persevering in any act that may have a tendency to irritate and expose the two nations to endless controversy. All this you of course will do as coming from yourself, and you will be very regular in reporting circumstantially every occurrence that may come to your knowledge, to enable me to conform strictly with the instructions of the commander-in-chief.

Colonel Baynes[33] to Brigadier Brock, at Fort George.

QUEBEC, March 4, 1811.

Sir James desires me to tell you that he had fully intended writing to you himself by this day's post, but, from the arrival of the January mail and the departure of the Halifax courier to-morrow, he finds himself so much occupied that he has deputed me to explain to you the cause of his not announcing to you by his own pen the resolution he finds himself under the necessity of adopting, of returning to England early in the summer. I think it probable that he will leave this by the July fleet; indeed, the extremely weak and debilitated state of his health will not admit of his deferring his departure longer, lest it might involve him in inconveniences attendant upon an equinoctial or fall passage. It is with the deepest regret I observe that his strength is visibly sinking under his disease, although the latter does not appear to have increased in violence; on the contrary, for this fortnight past he seems in better spirits and to suffer less pain: the first probably arises from the prospect of his being speedily relieved from the weight and anxiety of his public charge, for, with regard to himself, his mind is most perfectly made up, and resigned to a very speedy termination of all his sufferings; and his anxiety has been latterly much excited from the apprehension of his becoming too ill to be able to undertake the voyage, and being obliged to linger out the short remnant of his life in this country.

I assure you he is very far from being indifferent in regard to forwarding your wishes; but from the necessity of his retiring himself, and even without waiting for leave to do so, he feels it the more indispensably necessary to leave this country in the best state of security he can, and that, under existing circumstances, he cannot attend to your request for leave. He desires me to say, that he regrets extremely the disappointment you may experience, and he requests that you will do him the favor to accept, as a legacy and mark of his very sincere regard, his favorite horse Alfred, and that he is induced to send him to you, not only from wishing to secure to his old favorite a kind and careful master, but from the conviction that the whole continent of America could not furnish you with so safe and excellent a horse. Alfred is ten years old, but being a high bred horse, and latterly but very little worked, he may be considered as still perfectly fresh. Sir James will give him up to Heriot, whenever you fix the mode of his being forwarded to you.

I have requested Sir James to allow me to accompany him home, a duty I should feel a most grateful pleasure in performing; but with a kind regard to what he thinks more to my interest, he will not accede to my wishes, but insists on my remaining here, as he thinks that my appointment will be considered permanent. Kempt goes home, his private affairs requiring his presence, and having strong ground to hope that he will be able to resign his staff for an active brigade; although his senior in years and length of service, I must still wait a long time before I can direct my ambition to so desirable an object.

You will have seen by Sir James' speech, the very complete triumph his firmness and energy have obtained over the factious cabal of their most contemptible assembly. Bedard will be shortly released—that fellow alone of the whole gang has nerve, and does not want ability or inclination to do mischief whenever opportunity offers; the rest, old Papineau and the blustering B——, are all white-livered runagates to a man; but when Sir James' back is turned, they will rally and commence the same bullying attack on his successor, who, I trust, will follow his example.

Colonel J.A. Vesey to Brigadier Brock.

HAMPTON COURT PARK, April 9, 1811.

I am bound to Sicily in about a fortnight, as a brigadier-general on the staff there, and I am told that Lord William Bentinck, who is destined to command the forces in that island, will be the bearer of instructions to insist upon the command of the Sicilian army likewise.

I thank you much for the interesting details of local politics, both military and civil, which your letter contains, for I feel a more than common wish to know what passes in Canada, although I am certainly not partial to that country—quite the reverse. It is a pity that the 49th should be detained there so long, as it will interfere materially with the promotion of your officers. I fear you will have passed a lonely winter at Fort George, notwithstanding the addition of my friend Murray and his nice little wife to your society. Pray remember me kindly to them and to my old friend, St. George. Mrs. Vesey has charged me to call her to your recollection in the kindest manner; she and my six children are as well as possible, and a very nice little group they are, all as healthy as can be. I wish I had a daughter old enough for you, as I would give her to you with pleasure. You should be married, particularly as fate seems to detain you so long in Canada—but pray do not marry there.

Colonel Vesey to Brigadier Brock.


I received a few days ago your letter of the 22d February, for which I thank you very much. I am very much obliged to you for taking so much trouble about my grant of land, respecting which I have not taken any steps whatever here, neither shall I so long as Lord Liverpool continues to direct the affairs of the colonial department, for he is not friendly to me, but I will reserve my claims for a more favorable moment. I am not the less thankful for your friendship on the occasion.

I quite feel for you, my good friend, when I think of the stupid and uninteresting time you must have passed in Upper Canada—with your ardour for professional employment in the field, it must have been very painful. I did not think Sir James (Craig) would have detained you so long against your will. Had you returned to Europe, there is little doubt but that you would immediately have been employed in Portugal, and, as that service has turned out so very creditable, I regret very much that you had not deserted from Canada. I take it for granted that you will not stay there long, and should the fortune of war bring us again upon duty in the same country, I need not say how I shall hail the event with joy. If you come to England, I would wish you to call upon the Duke of Kent,[34] who has a high respect for you, and will be happy to see you.

It seems determined that the Duke of York shall return to the command of the army; it would have taken place ere now, but for some ill-natured remarks inserted in some of the newspapers, produced by an over zeal on the part of his friends. Sir David (Dundas) will not be much regretted, and it surely is time that at his advanced period of life he should be relieved from the cares of office.

I am rejoiced to find that you live so comfortably with my friend Murray and his nice little wife. Mrs. Vesey and myself took a great fancy to her the morning she called here, on their way to Portsmouth.


[31] Peter Carey Tupper, Esq., a native of Guernsey, British consul for Valencia at this time, and afterwards for Catalonia. He distinguished himself from 1808 to 1814, in encouraging the Spaniards to resist the invasion of Napoleon; and his name occurs repeatedly in the Duke of Wellington's Dispatches, recently published, as also in the first and fourth volumes of Napoleon's Peninsular War. He died in Madrid in 1825, in the prime of life. His youngest brother was British consul for Caraccas, and afterwards for Riga.

[32] The present General Sir James Kempt, G.C.B., &c, afterwards governor-general of British America, and subsequently master-general of the ordnance in Earl Grey's administration.

[33] Owing to the communication by post between Lower and Upper Canada being so slow at this period, we observe that many of Colonel Baynes' letters to Brigadier Brock, at Fort George, were transmitted through the United States. There was only a post once a fortnight between Montreal and Kingston, and in Upper Canada the post office was scarcely established.

[34] The father of her present Majesty, Queen Victoria.


On the 4th June, 1811, Brigadier Brock was promoted, and appointed by the prince regent to serve from that day as a major-general on the staff of North America. On the 19th of the same month, Sir James Craig embarked on board his majesty's ship Amelia for England, leaving Mr. Dunn in charge of the government of the Lower Province, and Lieut.-General Drummond in command of the forces in the Canadas, consisting of 445 artillery, 3,783 regular troops, and 1,226 Fencibles; in all, 5,454 men. He seemed disgusted with the cares of a government, in which he had experienced only crosses and mortification, as his administration was decidedly unpopular among the great mass of the French Canadians. His health had long been wasting away with a dropsy and other infirmities, and he doubted whether he should live to reach England, where he however survived several months, and met with a most gracious reception from his immediate superiors. Sir James Craig had been from his youth in the service of his country,[35] and he owed to merit alone his rank and consideration in the army. He was corpulent in person, and rather below the middle stature; his features were strong and regular, his aspect was severe and imposing, his deportment, manly and dignified; in society he was polite, frank, and affable. He is said to have been positive in his opinions, and therefore prompt and decisive in his measures. To a clear and comprehensive judgment, he united the best qualities of the heart, and though hasty in temper, he was easily reconciled to those who might involuntarily have incurred his resentment. In fine, he seems to have possessed all the sterling and undisguised virtues that distinguish the soldier, and some of the qualities that constitute the able statesman. Although many differed widely in opinion with respect to his government, yet few could deny him the merit of disinterestedness and integrity in the discharge of his public duties. He may have erred in the performance of the important and complicated functions of his post, but he was guided by sincerity; and it is due to his memory to add, that the objects of his administration, however erroneous the means he pursued for their attainment, were the concord, the happiness, and the prosperity of the people whom he governed for nearly four years.[36]

Major-General Vesey to Major-General Brock.

PORTSMOUTH, June 10, 1811.

I congratulate you on your promotion, and you may return me the compliment. I did not expect to appear in the same brevet with you as a major-general; it has so happened, however, and I am not at all sorry to go out to Sicily as major-general instead of a brigadier. You have such a lot of generals in Canada at present, that it is impossible to continue them all upon the staff. Your wish will be to come home, I dare say, and very glad I should be if you were in England at present, while all the arrangements are making. It may perhaps be your fate to go to the Mediterranean, but the Peninsula is the most direct road to the honor of the Bath, and as you are an ambitious man, that is the station you would prefer—so should I, but I have been advised not to solicit for it, but to go where I was ordered; therefore, am I proceeding. I need not say how rejoiced I should be if you were of the party.

The return of the duke of York to the head of the army gives general satisfaction to all military people, and indeed to most others I fancy: his old worn-out predecessor has long been superannuated. I still retain my appointment of deputy barrack master-general in Nova Scotia, to the astonishment of every body, because I suppose they do not like to take it from me par force, without giving me something in lieu of it. I have told the treasury that I would not give it up upon any other terms than for my lieutenant-colonelcy, but that they had the power of taking it from me if they chose to do me that injustice: I suppose they will as soon as my back is turned. Lord William Bentinck is expected down to-day; he goes to Sicily in the Caledonia, with Sir Edward Pellew. As it is possible you may have left Canada, I shall enclose this letter to our friend Bruyeres; bid him read it and forward it if you are yet in that country.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock, at Montreal.

QUEBEC, August 3, 1811.

We were very much surprised on Thursday last by the arrival of the Racoon, sloop of war, from Jamaica, with the duke of Manchester on board, who is come with the view of visiting the lions of Canada previous to his return to England; he is gone, attended by General Drummond, to see the falls of Montmorenci, and the general desires me to let you know that his grace intends leaving this in the stage on Tuesday morning for Montreal. The duke has no attendant except a Colonel Gold, ci-devant militaire; he appears to be very affable, and perfectly sans façon; he particularly requested that no compliments or ceremony of any kind might be shown him, and that he might be permitted to indulge his fancy by going about as he pleased. His grace is not likely to have many volunteer aides-de-camp, for he treated those who formed his suite yesterday to a walk of half a dozen hours in the sun at mid-day round the works, the towers, plains, &c.; and from which he did not appear to experience the slightest inconvenience, being in the habit, we are told, of taking similar rambles even in the West Indies. The duke will pay you but a very short visit, being limited for time, and anxious to make his tour as extensive as possible. He seems to like a glass of Madeira, and would match any of the Canadian tribe in smoking cigars; he walks about with one in his mouth at all hours in the day. He begs you will have the kindness to secure for him a boat and a good Canadian crew to proceed to Kingston, and to facilitate his progress from that place, inasmuch as it may be in your power to do so. I apprehend that the movement of the troops may very materially interfere with him, but the duke will not object to embarking with any of the detachments if no other vessel can be spared.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock, at William Henry, Sorel.

QUEBEC, August 12, 1811.

I have to acknowledge and thank you for your letter of the 8th instant. I regret much that you did not find it convenient to remain at Montreal to receive the duke of Manchester, as I think you would have felt gratified; and if you could have reconciled to your own feelings the want of due preparation for the reception of so great a personage, I am sure, from the specimen we had of his grace here, that he would have been perfectly satisfied, and happy to have shared your fare. He does not appear to be a lady's man—perhaps a little too much the contrary, and I am confident that a dinner with a few gentlemen, and an invitation to smoke, would suit his taste in preference to a formal fête. On an excursion to the Chaudière, of which Mrs. Drummond and other ladies formed part, his grace appeared to be very little at his ease until he effected his escape out of the frigate's barge into one of the small boats that was in attendance with his compagnon de voyage and the commander of the sloop, when, with the aid of his favorite cigar, he appeared to be perfectly happy. I mention these traits in order that you may be prepared to receive him or not on his return, as you think best. I am sure he would prefer William Henry to sleep at in preference to Montreal.

After an inter-regnum of nearly three months, Sir George Prevost arrived at Quebec in September, and assumed the government of Lower Canada, having succeeded Sir James Craig in the chief command of the British North American provinces. The known mildness of his character, and the popularity of his administration in Nova Scotia, from which he had been just promoted, afforded a hope that his government of Lower Canada would prove more auspicious to the internal union of the people than that of his predecessor. Sir George Prevost had moreover the advantage of being, we believe, a Canadian born, and, as his name indicates, his family was doubtless of French origin, a circumstance which the French Canadians could not fail to appreciate. Soon after his arrival, Major-General Brock, in addition to the command of the troops, was appointed president and administrator of the government in Upper Canada, to which office he succeeded on the 9th October, 1811, in place of Lieut.-Governor Gore, who returned to England on leave. At the close of the year, his royal highness the duke of York expressed at length every inclination to gratify Major-General Brock's wishes for more active employment in Europe, and Sir George Prevost was authorized to replace him by another officer; but when the permission reached Canada, early in 1812, a war with the United States was evidently near at hand, and Major-General Brock, with such a prospect, was retained both by honor and inclination in the country.

Lieut.-General Drummond[37] to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, August 31, 1811.

I have just been favored with your kind letter, and return many thanks for your friendly congratulations. Under present circumstances, it must be the wish of every military person to seek active employment; I should most willingly sacrifice many domestic comforts to obtain it, but I fear the rank I have just attained will interfere with my prospects. I have often regretted, during my residence in this country, that we have been so much separated, which has deprived me of the opportunity of cultivating your friendship, which I shall ever feel anxious to possess; and be assured it will always afford me the most sincere satisfaction to renew an acquaintance with one for whom I have so great a regard. Captain Glegg's appointment will be in general orders to-day. Captain and Mrs. Fulton arrived this morning: I have not seen him yet. I understand Sir George Prevost was to embark three days after the Hunter sailed. I shall probably embark in the Melamphus, for Halifax, and from thence in the packet for England: should you have any commands, I shall be happy to charge myself with them. Mrs. Drummond unites with me in sincere wishes for your health and happiness.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, October 7, 1811.

I have a letter from Thornton of the 2d of August; the party arrived at Deal on the 27th of July. Sir James (Craig) bore the passage remarkably well, and he has received the most flattering and satisfactory assurances that his conduct, civil and military, has met with the most unqualified approbation. Kempt has experienced a very honorable reception: the duke told him he would give him a carte blanche as to his future destination; he has requested to have a brigade under Lord Wellington, and was preparing to go to the Peninsula. Thornton does not allude to the probability of its effecting his present post, as he says Kempt writes to you at length, and will tell you of himself. Ellice[38] has found great difficulty in effecting an exchange. Dalrymple, Sir Hew's eldest son, had no objection till he found that the duke set his face against the continued exchange of that post, and that he would not permit it to be made a mere stepping stone for the brevet rank. He in consequence declined it, and Ellice is on the hunt for a lazy married major of dragoons, who has no objection to obtain it as a fixture. Thornton has been appointed to a regiment, but he neglects to mention the number, although he enters into a long explanation respecting it, viz. that it is of two battalions, the second in Portugal and the first in the East Indies, but, by a recent regulation, the senior lieutenant-colonel has the option of remaining in command of the second in Portugal if he chooses. Thornton has obtained leave to go, in the first instance, to his corps in Portugal, so as to endeavour to persuade his senior that India is a more desirable quarter: if he fails in his rhetoric, he expects shortly to travel that route himself.

The following paragraph is copied verbatim from Thornton's letter; he is connected with Torrens and in habits of familiar intimacy, so that I am inclined to think he draws his inference from that quarter: "Pray give a hint in private to Generals Brock and Sheaffe, that if the former were to ask for a brigade at home, or on European service, and the latter to be put on the staff in Canada, I am almost certain they would succeed."

Lieut.-Colonel Torrens to Major-General Brock.

HORSE GUARDS, October 17, 1811.

I have had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 6th of July, and I beg you will be convinced that I should derive much satisfaction from the power of complying with your wishes as far as my situation might enable me to facilitate the accomplishment of the object you have expressed of returning to England.

I have made known your wishes to the commander-in-chief, and his royal highness has expressed every inclination to comply with them. But until another officer shall join the station, you will be readily aware of the difficulty his royal highness would have in withdrawing you, by leave of absence or otherwise, during the present state of public affairs with the American government.

Should you wish, however, to quit the Canadian staff with a view to serve in Europe, his royal highness will not object to your return to this country, under the arrangement of your being immediately succeeded by another officer. And as Major-General Sheaffe is on the spot, and has strong claims to employment on the staff, his royal highness will have no objection to furnish Sir George Prevost with an authority to employ that officer in your room, provided he has not yet left Canada.

I trust this arrangement may be acceptable to you. An official communication to the effect of this note will be made to Sir George Prevost.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, November 21, 1811.

We fortunately received yesterday the last batch of recruits for the 41st regiment, as from the present state of the weather and appearance of the river, I fear their situation would have been very desperate. They have, poor devils, been sixteen weeks and four days on their passage, and have suffered much from dysentery. Four men have died, and several are sick; but as the former detachment recovered fast when landed and taken care of, I doubt not that these will also: they amount to three hundred, and are in general very fine young men. What a noble battalion they will make when brought together; and the officers say that about 200 more were left at the depôt, for want of room in the transport.

What do you think of the president's speech? In any government more consistent, it would mean war. I think that he has committed himself more openly and more unjustifiably than could have been expected, in the relation of the affair of the Little Belt, by accusing that poor little sloop of a wanton act of aggression by attacking a huge American frigate, when Commodore Rodgers himself admits that he was for nearly eight hours the chasing vessel.

Governor Gore has revived the formation of the Glengary Fencibles, and I have shewn Sir George what passed on a former occasion. I hope the latter will be able to provide for his school-fellow, Major-General Sheaffe,[39] and he expresses himself very anxious to do so.

Major-General Brock to Lieut.-General Sir G. Prevost, Bart., at Quebec.

YORK, December 2, 1811.

The information contained in the message of the president to congress, relative to the existing differences between England and the United States, will justify, I presume to think, the adoption of such precautionary measures as may be necessary to meet all future exigencies. Under this impression, I beg leave to submit to your excellency such observations as occur to me, to enable you to form a correct judgment; of the actual state of this province.

The military force which heretofore occupied the frontier posts being so inadequate to their defence, a general opinion prevailed that no opposition, in the event of hostilities, was intended. The late increase of ammunition and every species of stores, the substitution of a strong regiment, and the appointment of a military person to administer the government, have tended to infuse other sentiments among the most reflecting part of the community; and I feel happy in being able to assure your excellency, that during my visit last week at Niagara, I received the most satisfactory professions of a determination on the part of the principal inhabitants to exert every means in their power in the defence of their property and support of the government. They look with confidence to your excellency for such additional aid as may be necessary, in conjunction with the militia, to repel any hostile attempt against this province.

I shall beg leave to refer your excellency to the communications of Lieut.-Governor Gore with Sir James Craig, for a correct view of the temper and composition of the militia and Indians. Although perfectly aware of the number of improper characters who have obtained extensive possessions, and whose principles diffuse a spirit of insubordination very adverse to all military institutions, I am however well assured that a large majority would prove faithful. It is certain that the best policy to be pursued, should future circumstances call for active preparations, will be to act with the utmost liberality, and as if no mistrust existed; for, unless the inhabitants give an active and efficient aid, it will be utterly impossible for the very limited number of the military, who are likely to be employed, to preserve the province.

The first point to which I am anxious to call your excellency's attention, is the district of Amherstburg. I consider it the most important, and, if supplied with the means of commencing active operations, must deter any offensive attempt on this province, from Niagara westward. The American government will be compelled to secure their western frontier from the inroads of the Indians, and this cannot be effected without a very considerable force. But before we can expect an active co-operation on the part of the Indians, the reduction of Detroit and Michilimakinack must convince that people, who conceive themselves to have been sacrificed, in 1794,[40] to our policy, that we are earnestly engaged in the war. The Indians, I am made to understand, are eager for an opportunity to avenge the numerous injuries of which they complain. A few tribes, at the instigation of a Shawnese,[41] of no particular note, have already, although explicitly told not to look for assistance from us, commenced the contest. The stand which they continue to make upon the Wabash, against about 2,000 Americans, including militia and regulars, is a strong proof of the large force which a general combination of the Indians will render necessary to protect so widely extended a frontier.

The garrisons of Detroit and Michilimakinack do not, I believe, exceed seventy rank and file each; but the former can be easily reinforced by the militia in the neighbourhood, which, though not numerous, would be ample for its defence, unless assailed by a force much superior to any we can now command. The Americans will probably draw their principal force, either for offence or defence, from the Ohio, an enterprising, hardy race, and uncommonly expert on horseback with the rifle. This species of force is formidable to the Indians, although, according to reports which have reached me by different channels, but not official, they lately repelled an attack of some magnitude. Unless a diversion, such as I have suggested, be made, an overwhelming force will probably be directed against this part of the province. The measure will, however, be attended with a heavy expense, especially in the article of provision, for, not only the Indians who take the field, but their families, must be maintained.

The numeral force of the militia in the vicinity of Amherstburg exceeds by a trifle seven hundred rank and file; consequently, very little assistance can be derived from that source in any offensive operation. Should, therefore, the aspect of affairs hereafter give stronger indications of a rupture, I propose augmenting the garrison of Amherstburg with two hundred rank and file from Fort George and York. Such a measure I consider essentially necessary, were it only calculated to rouse the energy of the militia and Indians, who are now impressed with a firm belief, that in the event of war they are to be left to their fate. Great pains have been taken to instil this idea into their minds, and no stronger argument could be employed than the weak state of that garrison.

The army now assembled upon the Wabash, with the ostensible view of opposing the Shawnese, is a strong additional motive in my mind in support of this measure; for I have no doubt that, the instant their service in the field terminates, a large portion of the regulars will be detached to strengthen the garrison of Detroit. I have prepared Colonel Proctor for such an event, and after weighing the inconvenience to which the service would be exposed if the district were placed under a militia colonel, (an event obvious, unless superseded by a regular officer of equal rank) I have directed Lieut.-Colonel St. George to be in readiness to repair to Amherstburg and assume the command; and I hope his situation of inspector of militia will not be considered a bar to the arrangement. The state of the roads will probably stop this projected movement until the end of this month or beginning of the next; nor do I intend that the troops should leave their present quarters, unless urged by some fresh circumstances. I therefore look to receive your excellency's commands previous to their departure.

From Amherstburg to Fort Erie, my chief dependance must rest on a naval force for the protection of that extensive coast; but, considering the state to which it is reduced, extraordinary exertions and great expense will be required before it can be rendered efficient. At present, it consists only of a ship and a small schooner—the latter of a bad construction, old, and in want of many repairs; yet she is the only king's vessel able to navigate Lake Huron, whilst the Americans have a sloop, and a fine brig capable of carrying twelve guns, both in perfect readiness for any service. If, consequently, the garrison of St. Joseph's is to be maintained, and an attack on Michilimakinack undertaken, it will be expedient to hire, or purchase from the merchants, as many vessels as may be necessary for the purpose. The Americans can resort to the same means, and the construction and number of their vessels for trade will give them great advantage: besides, their small craft, or boats, in which troops could be easily transported, exceed ours considerably; indeed, we have very few of that description. I therefore leave it to your excellency's superior judgment to determine whether a sufficient number of gun-boats for both lakes, so constructed as to draw little water, ought not be added to our means of offence and defence. It is worthy of remark, that the only American national vessel on Lake Ontario, built two years ago, and now lying in Sackett's harbour, has remained without seamen until within the last fortnight, when the officers began to enter men as fast as possible. A lieutenant with a party came to Buffalo, a tolerably large village opposite Fort Erie, and procured several hands, but, not satisfied, a petty officer was sent to our side to inveigle others. The magistrates, hearing of this, sent to apprehend him; but he escaped with difficulty.

The strait between Niagara and Fort Erie is that which, in all probability, will be chosen by the Americans for their main body to penetrate with a view to conquest. All other attacks will be subordinate, or merely made to divert our attention. About three thousand militia could, upon an emergency, be drawn by us to that line, and nearly five hundred Indians could also be collected; therefore, with the regulars, no trifling force could hope for success, provided a determined resistance were made; but I cannot conceal from your excellency, that unless a strong regular force be present to animate the loyal and to control the disaffected, nothing effectual can be expected. A protracted resistance upon this frontier will be sure to embarrass the enemy's plans materially. They will not come prepared to meet it, and their troops, or volunteer corps, without scarcely any discipline, so far at least as control is in question, will soon tire under disappointment. The difficulty which they will experience in providing provisions will involve them in expenses, under which their government will soon become impatient.

The car brigade will be particularly useful in obstructing their passage; and I cannot be too urgent in soliciting the means, both as to gunners and drivers, and likewise as to horses, to render this arm complete for service. A small body of cavalry would also be absolutely necessary, and I have already offers from many respectable young men, to form themselves into a troop. All they seem to require are swords and pistols, which the stores below may probably be able to furnish.

The situation of Kingston is so very important in every military point of view, that I cannot be too earnest in drawing your excellency's attention to that quarter. The militia, from the Bay of Quinti down to Glengary, is the most respectable of any in the province. Among the officers several are on half pay, and still retain a sound military spirit. Those from the Bay of Quinti would be properly stationed at Kingston, but all downwards would naturally desire to be employed to resist any predatory excursions to which their property would be so much exposed from the opposite shore. Besides, I have always been of opinion that a strong detachment would follow the route of Lord Amherst, and attempt to enter the province by Ozwegatchie.[42] The militia on the whole of that communication cannot, therefore, be more usefully employed than in watching such a movement; and should the enemy direct the whole of his force by St. John's, the greater part can with the utmost facility join the army acting upon that frontier.

The militia act, which I have the honor to enclose, provides for such an emergency, but your excellency will readily observe, that among many wise and salutary provisions, there are but few means of enforcing them. No exertions, however, shall be wanting in my civil capacity to place that body upon a respectable footing. Mr. Cartwright, the senior militia colonel at Kingston, possesses the influence to which his firm character and superior abilities so deservedly entitle him; but as I cannot possibly give the necessary attention to so distant an object, and as a regular officer will be indispensable to direct the operations, one of high rank ought, if possible, to be nominated to that command. So much will remain to be done, and such high expenses to be incurred in the quartermaster-general's departments, that I cannot too earnestly request your excellency to select an officer who may be equal to discharge the various duties of that office. A head to the commissariat will be likewise indispensable.

I have trespassed greatly on your excellency's time, but I beg to be permitted to entreat your excellency to honor me with such advice and counsel as your experience may suggest, and be assured it will ever be my utmost pride to meet your views and to merit your approbation.

Major-General Brock to Lieut.-General Sir G. Prevost.

YORK, December 3, 1811.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's dispatch, dated the 11th ultimo, with its enclosures.

My first care, on my arrival in this province, was to direct the officers of the Indian department at Amherstburg to exert their whole influence with the Indians to prevent the attack which I understood a few tribes meditated against the American frontier. But their efforts proved fruitless, as such was the infatuation of the Indians, that they refused to listen to advice; and they are now so deeply engaged, that I despair of being able to withdraw them from the contest in time to avert their destruction. A high degree of fanaticism, which had been for years working in their minds, has led to the present event.

Major-General Brock to Lieut.-General Sir G. Prevost.

YORK, December 11, 1811.

I had the honor yesterday of receiving your excellency's letter of the 1st ultimo, stating your intention of establishing depôts of small arms, accoutrements and ammunition, at the different posts in Upper Canada.

Since the settlement of the province, several hundred stands have been at different times issued to the militia, and I have given directions for collecting them, but in all probability great deficiencies will be found; indeed, it has already been ascertained that those delivered in 1795 by the late Lieut.-General Simcoe are wholly lost to the service. To obviate for the future such an extensive waste, I propose fixing upon proper places at each post, wherein the arms may be deposited after the militia have exercised; and I have to request your excellency's permission to direct the field train department to attend to their preservation, and keep them in a state of repair, in the same manner as those remaining in store. The expense cannot be great, and in all such cases the infant state of the country obliges the militia to have recourse to the military.

I have recently had occasion to report for your excellency's information, the total want of stores at this post, beyond those immediately necessary for the commissariat. I shall consequently be much at a loss to find accommodation for the 2,329 French muskets which your excellency has directed to be sent here; and as the only magazine is a small wooden shed, not sixty yards from the king's house, which is rendered dangerous from the quantity of powder it already contains, I cannot but feel a repugnance to lodge the additional 13,140 ball cartridges intended for this post in a place so evidently insecure. But as these arrangements cannot conveniently take place until the opening of the navigation, there will be sufficient time to contrive the best means to meet your excellency's wishes.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, December 12, 1811.


I am directed to transmit herewith a copy of proposals for raising a corps of Glengary Fencibles. The commander of the forces has selected an officer of the king's regiment, a Captain George M'Donnell, an avowed catholic, and a relation of the Glengary priest of that name, to attempt the formation of a small battalion, to be in the first instance under his command with the rank of major; and in case a more respectable body can be collected, a lieutenant-colonel commandant will be appointed. Captain M'Donnell will leave this in a few days, and he will be directed to take an early opportunity of communicating with you as soon as he has felt his ground a little in Glengary, and is able to form a correct idea of the prospect and extent of success that is likely to attend his exertions.

I shall have the honor of sending you by the next post a regulation for the payment of clergymen performing religious duties for the troops at the different stations in Canada. The officiating clergyman at York will receive the garrison allowances of a captain, together with a salary of £70 army sterling per annum.


Sir George will fill up the new Glengary corps with as many officers as he can from the line, with permanent rank, and I have availed myself of the opportunity to propose one, in whose advancement I know you feel an interest. He has allowed me to note Lieutenant Shaw, of the 49th, for a company, and you are at liberty to inform his father, the general, of Sir George's favorable intentions towards his son.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, December 24, 1811.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, which reached me by the courier on Saturday, and I have not failed to give it that consideration which the importance of the several points, to which it alludes, entitles it.

In addition to the president's message being full of gunpowder, the report made to congress by its committee on the state of the foreign affairs of the United States, conveys sentiments of such decided hostility towards England, that I feel justified in recommending such precaution as may place you in a state of preparation for that event; and with this view you must endeavour to trace an outline of co-operation, compensating for our deficiency in strength. I agree with you as to the advantages which may result from giving, rather than receiving, the first blow; but it is not my opinion war will commence by a declaration of it. That act would militate against the policy of both countries; therefore, we must expect repeated petty aggressions from our neighbours, before we are permitted to retaliate by open hostilities. It is very satisfactory to observe the professions of the inhabitants of Upper Canada in defence of their property and in support of their government.

I will look into the correspondence you refer to, which took place between Sir James Craig and Lieut.-Governor Gore, in 1807, 1808 and 1809, respecting the temper and disposition of your militia, and the policy to be observed in your intercourse with the Indians.

Your views, in regard to the line of conduct to be observed towards the militia forces, notwithstanding some existing circumstances unfavorable in their composition, are in my estimation wise, and on such conceptions I have hitherto acted.

There are too many considerations to allow me to hesitate in saying we must employ the Indians, if they can be brought to act with us. The utmost caution should be used in our language to them, and all direct explanation should be delayed, if possible, until hostilities are more certain; though whenever the subject is adverted to, I think it would be advisable always to intimate that, as a matter of course, we shall, in the event of war, expect the aid of our brothers. Although I am sensible this requires delicacy, still it should be done so as not to be misunderstood.

I shall call the attention of the commissariat to the supply of provisions that may be required in the Upper Province; and I had, previously to the arrival of your letter, given directions for the building of another schooner for Lake Erie.

[The remainder of this letter is of no interest.]


[35] While Colonel Craig, he was lieutenant-governor of Guernsey, in 1793, but only for a few months.

[36] Memoirs of the Administration of the Colonial Government of Lower Canada, by Sir James Henry Craig and Sir George Prevost, from the year 1807 until the year 1815; comprehending the Military and Naval operations in the Canadas during the late War with the United States of America. By Robert Christie.—Quebec, 1818.

[37] The present General Sir Gordon Drummond, G.C.B., colonel of the 49th foot. He succeeded to the command of the forces in Upper Canada in December, 1813.

[38] Lieut.-Colonel Ellice, inspecting field officer of militia.

[39] The present General Sir Roger H. Sheaffe, Bart., colonel of the 36th regiment, born at Boston, United States, 15th July, 1763, and entered the British army on the 1st May, 1778.

N.B.—On the day on which the last sheet was printed, we discovered that we had been misled by the Times of 24th November, 1835, in stating our belief that Sir George Prevost was "Canadian born." He was born at New York, May 19, 1767—his father, a native of Geneva, settled in England, and became a major-general in the British army—his mother was Dutch, and as regards nativity, Sir George Prevost was certainly not an Englishman, so that our remark at page 95 on this point applies almost equally. Sir G. Prevost was created a baronet in 1805.

[40] Miami affair.

[41] Doubtless the afterwards celebrated Tecumseh, or his brother.

[42] An American fort on the river St. Lawrence, about seventy miles from Kingston, and one hundred and twenty-five miles from Montreal.


Our memoir having now reached the year 1812, in which the United States of America declared war against Great Britain, we proceed to give a brief review of the causes which led to that event; and in doing so it will be necessary to go back to the commencement of the century.

The first president of America, the immortal Washington,[43] and his successor, Adams, entertained friendly sentiments towards the British government and people; but early in 1801, Jefferson succeeded the latter functionary as president, being elected by ten of the sixteen states then constituting the Union. Jefferson was as inimical to England as he was favorable to France, so was his secretary of state, and successor in the presidential chair, Madison. Although there were many intervenient heart-burnings, it was not until the year 1807, when Jefferson was a second time president, that the government of the United States assumed a decidedly hostile attitude towards Great Britain. The Berlin decree, in which the French ruler ventured to declare the British islands in a state of blockade, and to interdict all neutrals from trading with the British ports in any commodities whatever, produced fresh retaliatory orders in council, intended to support England's maritime rights and commerce, and to counteract Bonaparte's continental system. The Berlin decree was a gross infringement of the law of nations and an outrage on neutral rights, which especially called for resistance from the Americans, a neutral and trading people; but they neither resisted nor seriously remonstrated against it. Other causes of dispute arose from the determination of the British government to exclude the Americans from the blockaded ports of France, and from that inexhaustible source of quarrel, the impressment of British seamen from American vessels, especially as the difficulty of distinguishing British from American seamen led occasionally to the impressment of American native born citizens. In June, 1807, occurred the rencontre between his majesty's ship Leopard and the Chesapeake, which terminated in the forcible extraction from the American frigate of four deserters from British ships of war. The British government instantly disavowed this act, and recalled Vice-Admiral Berkeley, who had given the order to search the Chesapeake. Jefferson, however, not only issued a proclamation interdicting all British ships of war from entering the ports of the United States, but proposed to congress to lay an embargo on American vessels, and to compel the trading ships of every other nation to quit the American harbours. This proposition was warmly opposed by the federalists, or Washingtonians, but it was nevertheless adopted by large majorities. Thus matters remained, with subsequent slight modifications, from the month of December, 1807, to the declaration of war in 1812, an interval which the commercial classes spent in a hopeless struggle against bankruptcy and ruin. Attempts were not wanting on our part to arrive at a friendly accommodation, but Jefferson demanded, as a preliminary, the revocation of the British orders in council, and the entire exemption of American ships from any search, or from any question as to their crews or cargoes. The British government pledged itself to repeal the orders in council as soon as the French decrees should cease to exist. In 1809, Jefferson was succeeded as president by Madison, who was compelled to yield somewhat to the popular outcry, and to repeal the universal embargo substituting a non-intercourse act with England and France, both which nations, it must be confessed, having by restraints on their commerce given the Americans just grounds for dissatisfaction. On the 23d June, 1812, the prince regent in council revoked the orders in council as far as regarded America, with a proviso that the revocation should be of no effect unless the United States rescinded their non-intercourse act with England. It has been thought that the revocation came too late, and that if it had been conceded a few weeks earlier, there would have been no war with America; but Madison had been treating with Bonaparte's government since the end of the year 1810, and the whole course of his conduct, with his evident desire to illustrate his presidency by the conquest of Canada, proved his determination to brave a war with England. He and his party nicely calculated on which side the greater profit was to be obtained—whether the United States would gain more by going to war with England than by hostility against Bonaparte and his edicts. "Every thing in the United States," says James in his naval history, "was to be settled by a calculation of profit and loss. France had numerous allies—England scarcely any. France had no contiguous territory; England had the Canadas ready to be marched into at a moment's notice. France had no commerce; England had richly-laden merchantmen traversing every sea. England, therefore, it was against whom the death-blows of America were to be levelled." The struggles of England against Napoleon enabled the American government to choose its own time. On the 14th April, congress laid an embargo on all ships and vessels of the United States during the space of ninety days, with the view of lessening the number that would be at the mercy of England when war was finally declared, and also of manning efficiently their ships of war and privateers. By the end of May their fastest merchant vessels were converted into cruisers, ready to start at a short notice. On the 18th of June, before the revocation of the orders in council was known in the United States, a declaration of war was carried in the house of representatives by seventy-nine to forty-nine votes, its supporters being chiefly from the western and southern states to Pennsylvania inclusive, while the advocates for peace were principally from the northern and eastern states.[44]

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, January 22, 1812.

It is the opinion of the adjutant-general that you will not wish to avail yourself of the conditional leave of absence I have received authority to grant you. I shall hear with particular satisfaction that Baynes is not mistaken, as I value your services highly.

If it be the disposition of government to employ Major-General Sheaffe, the death of Major-General Balfour, at Fredericton, and the absence of Major-General Wilder, affords the opportunity of doing so without depriving me of your assistance at this critical period of affairs.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock, at York.

QUEBEC, January 23, 1812[45]

Sir George Prevost has commissioned me to inform you that by the October mail, which arrived two days ago, he received a letter from the adjutant-general, authorizing him to permit your return to England for the purpose of being employed on the continent, and sanctioning his appointing Major-General Sheaffe to succeed you on the staff in Canada. But Sir George, viewing the intention of the commander-in-chief as instigated solely by a desire to promote your wishes and advantage, and having learnt from me that from the tenor of your recent correspondence I was led to believe that you would prefer retaining your present charge, he has directed me to inform you of the circumstance by a private letter, which will enable you to canvass the subject with more freedom than an official communication would admit of. Your decision to remain longer in Canada will be highly acceptable to him. Sheaffe, I have no doubt, will be very speedily provided for in this country, without depriving us of your services. Sir George has asked permission to appoint him in General Wilder's place, and there will be two vacancies in Nova Scotia to fill up in the spring.

Sir George has great pleasure in acceding to your request to be permitted to nominate one or two ensigns to the Glengary Fencibles, and, if you wish, young Shaw may be immediately provided for in that corps, and afterwards transferred to the line.

The cold here has been severer for the last eight days than has ever been recollected by the oldest inhabitant; the thermometer falling as low as 33 degrees under cipher, accompanied with high wind, and never rising during all that time above 15 degrees below—it is at this moment 20 degrees under cipher: fortunate you, that are in a milder climate, for we are suffering dreadfully from excessive cold. By your description of your pastime in shooting wild pigeons, you certainly possess a very great advantage over us in these respects. We have been much plagued with opthalmia, which has been very general in the king's regiment, and the severe cold does not prevent the contagion.

On the 4th February, 1812, Major-General Brock, accompanied by a numerous suite, opened the session of the legislature at York with the following speech to the legislative council and the house of assembly:

"Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

"I should derive the utmost satisfaction, the first time of my addressing you, were it permitted me to direct your attention solely to such objects as tended to promote the peace and prosperity of this province.

"The glorious contest in which the British empire is engaged, and the vast sacrifice which Great Britain nobly offers to secure the independence of other nations, might be expected to stifle every feeling of envy and jealousy, and at the same time to excite the interest and command the admiration of a free people; but, regardless of such generous impressions, the American government evinces a disposition calculated to impede and divide her efforts.

"England is not only interdicted the harbours of the United States, while they afford a shelter to the cruisers of her inveterate enemy, but she is likewise required to resign those maritime rights which she has so long exercised and enjoyed. Insulting threats are offered, and hostile preparations actually commenced; and though not without hope that cool reflection and the dictates of justice may yet avert the calamities of war, I cannot, under every view of the relative situation of the province, be too urgent in recommending to your early attention the adoption of such measures as will best secure the internal peace of the country, and defeat every hostile aggression.

"Principally composed of the sons of a loyal and brave band of veterans, the militia, I am confident, stand in need of nothing but the necessary legislative provisions, to direct their ardour in the acquirement of military instruction, to form a most efficient force.

"The growing prosperity of these provinces, it is manifest, begins to awaken a spirit of envy and ambition. The acknowledged importance of this colony to the parent state will secure the continuance of her powerful protection. Her fostering care has been the first cause, under Providence, of the uninterrupted happiness you have so long enjoyed. Your industry has been liberally rewarded, and you have in consequence risen to opulence.

"These interesting truths are not uttered to animate your patriotism, but to dispel any apprehension which you may have imbibed of the possibility of England forsaking you; for you must be sensible that if once bereft of her support, if once deprived of the advantages which her commerce and the supply of her most essential wants give you, this colony, from its geographical position, must inevitably sink into comparative poverty and insignificance.

"But Heaven will look favorably on the manly exertions which the loyal and virtuous inhabitants of this happy land are prepared to make, to avert such a dire calamity.

"Our gracious prince, who so gloriously upholds the dignity of the empire, already appreciates your merit, and it will be your first care to establish, by the course of your actions, the just claim of the country to the protection of his royal highness.

"I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of announcing to you from this place, the munificent intention of his royal highness the prince regent, who has been graciously pleased to signify that a grant of £100 per annum will be proposed in the annual estimates, for every future missionary of the Gospel, sent from England, who may have faithfully discharged, for the term of ten years, the duties of his station in this province.

"Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

"I have no doubt but that, with me, you are convinced of the necessity of a regular system of military instruction to the militia of this province;—on this salutary precaution, in the event of a war, our future safety will greatly depend, and I doubt not but that you will cheerfully lend your aid, to enable me to defray the expense of carrying into effect a measure so conducive to our security and defence.

"I have ordered the public accounts to be laid before you, and have no doubt but that you will consider them with that attention which the nature of the subject may require.

"Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

"I have, without reserve, communicated to you what has occurred to me on the existing circumstances of this province. We wish and hope for peace, but it is nevertheless our duty to be prepared for war.

"The task imposed on you, on the present occasion, is arduous; this task, however, I hope and trust, laying aside every consideration but that of the public good, you will perform with that firmness, discretion, and promptitude, which a regard to yourselves, your families, your country, and your king, call for at your hands.

"As for myself, it shall be my utmost endeavour to co-operate with you in promoting such measures as may best contribute to the security and to the prosperity of this province."

The addresses of the provincial parliament in reply were highly satisfactory, and in answer Major-General Brock observed:

"The congratulations offered upon my appointment to the honorable station I hold in this province, and the confidence you so early repose in me, are, be assured, received with pride and heartfelt satisfaction.

"Impressed with the assurance of your support, I feel a most perfect reliance that the exertions of this province will be found equal to meet every emergency of this important crisis."

The conclusion of the following letter is descriptive of Major-General Brock's views and intentions in the probable event of a war ensuing between Great Britain and the United States, and which a few months afterwards he carried into effect with a success that must have exceeded his most sanguine expectations.

Major-General Brock to Colonel Baynes, the Adj.-General.

YORK, February 12, 1812.

The assurance which I gave, in my speech at the opening of the legislature, of England co-operating in the defence of this province, has infused the utmost confidence; and I have reason at this moment to look for the acquiescence of the two houses to every measure I may think necessary to recommend for the peace and defence of the country. A spirit has manifested itself, little expected by those who conceived themselves the best qualified to judge of the disposition of the members of the house of assembly. The most powerful opponents to Governor Gore's administration take the lead on the present occasion. I, of course, do not think it expedient to damp the ardour displayed by these once doubtful characters. Some opposed Mr. Gore evidently from personal motives, but never forfeited the right of being numbered among the most loyal. Few, very few I believe, were actuated by base or unworthy considerations, however mistaken they may have been on various occasions. Their character will very soon be put to a severe test. The measures which I intend to propose are:

1.—A militia supplementary act. Sir George will hear the outlines from Captain Gray.

2.—The suspension of the habeas corpus. A copy of the act now enforced in the Lower Province.

3.—An alien law.

4.—The offer of a reward for the better apprehension of deserters.

If I succeed in all this, I shall claim some praise; but I am not without my fears. I shall send you the militia act the moment it passes into a law. The more I consider the new provisions, the more I am satisfied (giving of course every proper allowance to the disposition of the people) they are peculiarly calculated to meet the local situation of the country. I have not a musket more than will suffice to arm the active part of the militia from Kingston westward. I have therefore to request that the number of arms may be sent, according to the enclosed requisition, to the places therein specified, on the communication between Glengary and Kingston. Every man capable of carrying a musket, along the whole of that line, ought to be prepared to act. The members of the assembly from that part of the country are particularly anxious that some works may be thrown up as a rallying point and place of security for stores, &c, in the vicinity of Johnstown. I shall request Colonel M'Donnell to examine, on his return, the ground which those gentlemen recommend as best suited for that purpose. Being immediately opposite Ozwegatchie, some precaution of the sort is indispensable, were it only to preserve a free communication between the two provinces. I have been made to expect the able assistance of Captain Marlow. Should he be still at Quebec, have the goodness to direct his attention, on his way up, to that quarter. He had better consult. Colonel Frazer and Captain Gilkinson, men of sound judgment and well acquainted with the country. The militia will have of course to be employed on the works.

I must still press the necessity of an active, enterprizing, intelligent commander being stationed on that important line of communication. I wish Colonel Ellice[46] were here to undertake the arduous task, as it is wholly impossible that I can do so. Every assistance in my civil capacity I shall always be ready to give, and to that point my exertions must be necessarily limited. Niagara and Amherstburg will sufficiently occupy my attention. I deliver my sentiments freely, believing they will not be the less acceptable.

I discussed every point connected with Amherstburg so completely with Captain Gray, that I do not find any thing very essential was omitted. Colonel M'Donnell will be able probably to give us further insight as to the actual state of affairs there. He was to make every enquiry and, as far as he was permitted, to judge himself of the relative strength of Detroit. Lieut.-Colonel—— preceded him by some days, but in such state of mind that forbids my placing any dependance in his exertions. When I first mentioned my intention of sending him to Amherstburg, he seemed diffident of his abilities, but pleased at the distinction. However, when he received his final instructions, his conduct in the presence of some officers was so very improper, and otherwise so childish, that I have since written to say, if he continued in the same disposition, he was at liberty to return to Niagara. I did not directly order him back, because at this time I consider an officer of rank necessary at Amherstburg, particularly during the absence of Messrs. Elliott and Baby, who are both here attending their parliamentary duties. You will imagine, after what I have stated, that it is the influence of his rank I alone covet, and not his personal aid. He has very fortunately given timely proof that he is in no way ambitious of military fame, therefore unfit for so important a command. Should it please his excellency to place the 41st and 49th at my disposal, I propose sending the former regiment to Amherstburg, as we cannot be too strong in that quarter. I have already explained myself on that point, and Captain Gray is furnished with further arguments in support of the measure. I have delayed to the last the mention of a project which I consider of the utmost consequence in the event of hostilities. I set out with declaring my full conviction, that unless Detroit and Michilimakinack be both in our possession immediately at the commencement of hostilities, not only the district of Amherstburg, but most probably the whole country as far as Kingston, must be evacuated. How necessary, therefore, to provide effectually the means of their capture. From Amherstburg it will be impossible to send a force to reduce Michilimakinack. Unless we occupy completely both banks, no vessel could pass the river St. Clair. What I therefore presume to suggest for his excellency's consideration, is the adoption of a project which Sir James Craig contemplated three years ago. The north-west company undertook to transport 50 or 60 men up the Ottawa, and I make no doubt would engage again to perform the same service. If therefore a war be likely to occur, at the time the canoes start from Montreal, I should recommend 40 or 50 of the 49th light company, and a small detachment of artillery, embarking at the same time for St. Joseph's. Should hostilities commence, the north-west would not object to join their strength in the reduction of Michilimakinack; and should peace succeed the present wrangling, the 49th detachment could be easily removed to Amherstburg.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, February 20, 1812.

Captain M'Donnell has not clearly understood the purport of his mission to Upper Canada, and the general regrets that he should have proceeded the length he has done without having previously received your advice and instructions, to obtain which was the chief object of his visit to York. It is to be hoped, however, that sufficient patronage still remains open to meet your wishes, as the appointment of three of General Shaw's sons may be considered, from the sentiments of friendship and regard you have testified for that officer, to be almost equivalent to anticipating your own choice of them. And Sir George has directed me to inform you, that he readily accepts of your proposal to recruit two companies, to be added to the Glengary Fencibles; the nomination of the officers, viz. two captains, two lieutenants, and two ensigns, to rest entirely with you. The general has approved of the following quotas of men for the respective ranks: captains 30, lieutenants 15, and ensigns 20; the commissions to be issued on completing the quota, and such as complete their proportion quickest, or exceed in extra number of recruits, will have priority in regimental rank. I am not aware that Sir George purposes nominating a lieutenant-colonel; but I am sure that you will not feel less disposed to promote the formation of this corps, when I inform you that it is his intention to recommend me to the commander-in-chief for the appointment of colonel.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, February 22, 1812.

Sir George is much pleased with the favorable account Captain Gray has given him of your proceedings. Your speech is highly approved of here, and we shall rejoice to find our house following so laudable an example as your commons have shewn them: but I am not sanguine; they have already commenced with great illiberality and violence to vent their spleen and resentment against Sir James (Craig) in votes of censure, and I fancy Sir George, with all his amiable, conciliatory mariners, will hardly succeed in keeping them within bounds.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, February—, 1812.

I cannot permit Colonel M'Donnell to return home without giving your excellency a short account of our proceedings here.

I had every reason to expect the almost unanimous support of the two houses of the legislature to every measure the government thought it necessary to recommend; but after a short trial, I found myself egregiously mistaken in my calculations.

The many doubtful characters in the militia made me anxious to introduce the oath of abjuration into the bill: there were twenty members in the house, when this highly important measure was lost by the casting voice of the chairman.

The great influence which the numerous settlers from the United States possess over the decisions of the lower house is truly alarming, and ought immediately, by every practical means, to be diminished. To give encouragement to real subjects to settle in this province, can alone remove the evil. The consideration of the fees should not stand in the way of such a politic arrangement; and should your excellency ultimately determine to promise some of the waste lands of the crown to such Scotch emigrants as enlist in the Glengary Fencibles, I have no hesitation in recommending, in the strongest manner, the raising of a Canadian corps upon similar offers, to be hereafter disbanded and distributed among their countrymen in the vicinity of Amherstburg. Colonel M'Donnell being in full possession of my sentiments on this subject, I beg leave to refer your excellency to him for further information.

The bill for the suspension of the habeas corpus, I regret to say, was likewise lost by a very trifling majority. A strong sentiment now prevails that war is not likely to occur with the United States, which, I believe, tended to influence the votes of the members; I mean of such who, though honest, are by their ignorance easily betrayed into error.

The low ebb of their finances appears to stagger the most desperate democrats in the States, and may possibly delay the commencement of direct hostilities; but should France and England continue the contest much longer, it appears to me absolutely impossible for the United States to avoid making their election; and the unfriendly disposition they have for some years past evinced towards England, leaves little doubt as to their choice. Your excellency, I am sensible, will excuse the freedom with which I deliver my sentiments.

Every day hostilities are retarded, the greater the difficulties we shall have to encounter. The Americans are at this moment busily employed in raising six companies of Rangers, for the express purpose of overawing the Indians; and are besides collecting a regular force at Vincennes, probably with a view of reinforcing Detroit. Indeed, report states the arrival of a large force at Fort Wayne, intended for the former garrison. Their intrigues among the different tribes are carried on openly and with the utmost activity, and as no expense is spared, it may reasonably be supposed that they do not fail of success. Divisions are thus uninterruptedly sowed among our Indian friends, and the minds of many altogether estranged from our interests. Such must inevitably be the consequence of our present inert and neutral proceedings in regard to them. It ill becomes me to determine how long true policy requires that the restrictions now imposed upon the Indian department ought to continue; but this I will venture to assert, that each day the officers are restrained from interfering in the concerns of the Indians, each time they advise peace and withhold the accustomed supply of ammunition, their influence will diminish, till at length they lose it altogether.

I find that ever since the departure of Priest Burke from Sandwich, the £50 per annum paid from the military chest to that gentleman have been withheld, on what account I have not been able to ascertain. The individual at present officiating is highly spoken of; and as several gentlemen of the Catholic persuasion have applied to me to intercede with your excellency to renew the allowance, I presume to submit the case to your indulgent consideration.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, March 5, 1812.

I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th February, which I have communicated to Sir George, who is highly pleased to find you are satisfied to retain the important post you fill, and which you appear to govern under such very auspicious prospects. I sincerely trust you will be able to keep your subjects, and particularly your house of representatives, in the same good humour and sound principles which they have hitherto testified. You will perceive in the main sentiments of Sir George's opening address, a perfect accordance with your own: the answer of the assembly led to a very violent and personal debate, which lasted with closed doors for nearly eighteen hours. It would have been more to their credit had they left out the allusion which has drawn from Sir George a very appropriate retort. Your friend, James Cuthbert, was very warm and eloquent upon the occasion, and the demagogue party seemed sensible of the severity of his satire, when he compared the factious cabal to Æsop's fable of the ass kicking at the dying lion. Having vented their spleen, they will, I believe, prove a little more tractable: the militia bill has a prospect of being materially amended, and they will, I think, allow a proportion of about 2,000 men, or perhaps a few more, to be incorporated for two or three months, for three successive years; after the second year to be replaced by a new quota, and to be selected by ballot, and no substitutes permitted to serve in the place of a militiaman drawn by lot: this will be a great point gained.

Major-General Brock to Colonel Baynes.

YORK, March 9, 1812.

I received yesterday your letter dated the 20th February, and have to express my thanks to Sir George Prevost for his readiness in attending to my wishes.

His excellency having been pleased to authorize the raising of two companies under my superintendence, giving me the nomination of the officers, I have to acquaint you, for his information, that Alexander Roxburgh, Esq., has been appointed by me to raise men for a company, and William M'Lean, gentleman, for an ensigncy. The former is a gentleman strongly recommended to me by Mr. Cartwright, of Kingston; and the latter, the son of an officer formerly in the 25th regiment, who, having settled in this country, has become one of the most influential characters in it. He is a member of the house of assembly for the district of Frontenac. I have not yet determined in respect to the remaining commissions, but will report the instant the individuals are nominated.

Captain Dixon (royal engineers) proceeded four days ago to Amherstburg, with the gentlemen who were returning from their parliamentary duties.

I request you will have the goodness to inform me of the probable time I may expect the honor of seeing Sir George Prevost, as I shall consider it a duty, which I shall execute with the utmost pleasure, of meeting his excellency at Kingston.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, March 19, 1812.

I regret to find by your late letters to Sir George Prevost, that your expectations from your legislature have not been realised to the extent of your well grounded hopes. Sir George, who is well versed in the fickle and untractable disposition of public assemblies, feels more regret than disappointment. He has a very delicate card to play with his house of assembly here, who would fain keep up the farce of being highly charmed and delighted with his amiable disposition and affable manners: they have even gone the length of asserting, that these traits in his character have afforded them the most entire confidence that in his hands the alien act would not be abused. They have, however, taken the precaution of stripping it of its very essence and spirit, while last year they passed it without a division, when Sir James, (Craig,) on whose mild and affable disposition they did not pretend to rely, told them that it could only alarm such as were conscious of harbouring seditious designs. They have passed an amendment to the militia bill, which, though not affording all that was required, is still a material point gained. 2,000 men are to be ballotted to serve for three months in two successive summers; one of their strongest objections was the apprehension of the Canadians contracting military habits and enlisting into the service.[A]

Sir George has directed me to inform you, that he will be ready to render you any assistance in his power to strengthen the Upper Province; but that unless reinforcements arrive from England, (in which case you may depend upon having a due proportion put under your immediate command,) his means of doing so are but very limited. His excellency is not sanguine in his expectation of receiving reinforcements this summer; on the contrary, the appearance of hostilities beginning to abate at Washington, and the pledge held out in the prince regent's speech of supporting with energy the contest in Spain and Portugal, are likely to prevent troops being sent to this quarter, unless a more urgent necessity of doing so should appear. I will not comment on American politics, in which we all appear to agree that the deep-rooted jealousy and hatred of that people must in the end lead to hostilities, and that it behoves us not to lose sight of an event which, if not prepared to meet, we shall find more difficult to repel;—under this impression, Sir George is disposed to promote the several plans you have recommended to him, relating to the general line of conduct you would wish to adopt in the defence of the important province committed to your charge. If no additional forces be sent out, he will send up the strong detachment of the 41st, composed of uncommonly fine young men, and in very good order: the general has it also in view to send you a strong detachment of the Newfoundland regiment, selecting their seamen and marine artificers, who will be most useful in the proposed works to be carried on at York; and here I am apprehensive that the means of augmenting your strength must be bounded, unless the Glengary Levy can be rapidly formed, and Sir George is sanguine in his expectations of its being speedily placed upon a respectable footing: in that case, it could occupy Kingston and that line of communication between the provinces, which you deem so essential to be guarded. This corps will have the very great advantage of starting with a better selected body of officers than has fallen to the lot of any Fencible regiment in Canada. I hope you will feel inclined to bring forward Shaw as one of your captains, as without your countenance I fear he will find it an arduous task to provide for himself and his brother. The uniform of the corps is to be green, like that of the 95th rifles.

Sir George expressed himself very sensible of the policy of the line of conduct you would wish to pursue respecting the Indians; but as other considerations of the greatest political delicacy are so minutely interwoven with them, and as the American government are already inclined to view every transaction with those people with a jealous and suspicious eye, he would recommend the utmost caution and forbearance, lest a different line of conduct might tend to increase the irritation between the two governments, which it is evidently the wish of Great Britain to allay.

Our weather has been, and still continues for the season, severer than ever was recollected by the oldest stagers, and has rather put our Halifax friends out of conceit with the fine climate of Canada, particularly as Lady Prevost's health is delicate, and she is very sensible of cold. Mrs. Cator and Mrs. Baynes beg to be most kindly remembered to you. General Bowes accompanied Kempt to Portugal in the end of December.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, April 2, 1812.

Many thanks for the very kind and friendly note which accompanied your letter of the 9th ultimo, and I beg you to rest assured, that I am very sensible of your friendly disposition towards me, and feel particularly grateful and flattered by the kind manner in which you have the goodness to express it.

The American papers, under the head of English news, as late as the 20th January, give a circumstantial account of the death of Sir James Craig, on Sunday, the 12th, at his house in Charlotte Street. There are too many circumstances corroborating an event which was so greatly to be apprehended, to leave a shadow of doubt of the severe loss that all, who were favored with his friendship, have sustained. To me, from my earliest youth, he has been the best and kindest friend, a steady and powerful patron; for few sons ever experienced more truly paternal care and affectionate regard from the best of fathers, than I have received at the hands of that best of men. The grief that I cannot suppress is a selfish tribute to my own irreparable loss: his release from a state of cruel, lingering suffering, which, as I had so long witnessed, he bore with a degree of fortitude and patient resignation unparalleled, could have been no cause of regret to him, and therefore ought not to be so to those who most sincerely loved him; but I have so long been accustomed to cherish the grateful and affectionate sentiments of a highly favored son to the best of parents, that however I might have been prepared for this inevitable shock, I still feel that there are affections so rooted in our hearts, that this world's changes can never efface the impression. His memory will long be remembered with admiration by all who knew his merit. As a soldier he had few equals, and no knight had a fairer claim to the proud title of sans peur et sans reproche; while the widow, the orphan, and every distressed object that claimed his aid, will testify the generous heart that once animated that good and honorable man.

The ladies of this house always beg to be remembered to you, with the sincerest good wishes for your health and happiness. Mrs. Baynes has been plotting with Mrs. Colonel Robertson to elope and pay you a visit, pressing Heriot[47] into their service as their knight errant.

Major-General Brock to Lieut.-Colonel Nichol, Commanding 2d Regiment Norfolk Militia.

YORK, April 8, 1812.

The power which is vested in the person administering the government, by the amended act of the militia, passed the last session of the provincial parliament, of forming two flank companies, to be taken indiscriminately from the battalions, being limited to the end of the ensuing session, would almost deter me from incurring public expense upon a system which will cease to operate before its utility and efficacy can well be ascertained.

But being anxious at this important crisis to organize an armed force with a view of meeting future exigencies, and to demonstrate by practical experience the degree of facility with which the militia may be trained for service, I have to request you to adopt immediate measures for forming and completing, from among such men as voluntarily offer to serve, two companies, not to exceed one captain, two subalterns, two sergeants, one drummer, and thirty-five rank and file each, in the regiment under your command.

You will have the goodness to recommend two captains, whom you conceive the best qualified to undertake this important duty; the nominating of the subalterns is left to your discretion.

Such other regiments as are conveniently situated to receive military instruction, shall have an opportunity afforded them of shewing their ardour in the public service, which cannot fail of creating a laudable emulation among the different corps.

Assisted by your zeal, prudence, and intelligence, I entertain the pleasing hope of meeting with very considerable success, and of being able to establish the sound policy of rendering permanent to the end of the present war, a mode of military instruction little burdensome to individuals, and every way calculated to secure a powerful internal defence against hostile aggression.

Printed rules and regulations, for your future guidance, are herewith forwarded: the most simple, and at the same time the most useful, movements have been selected for the practice of the militia.

Experience has shewn the absolute necessity of adopting every possible precaution to preserve in a proper state the arms issued to the militia, and of guarding against the heavy defalcations which have heretofore occurred.

You will make applications to the officers commanding at Fort Erie for the number of arms and accoutrements wanting to complete the men actually engaged to serve in the flank companies; and that officer will be instructed to comply with your requisition, upon your transmitting to him duplicate receipts, one of which is to be forwarded to head quarters, that you may become responsible for the articles delivered to your order: at the same time, the most liberal construction will be given to any representation accounting for such contingencies as are incidental to the service.

[The remaining details in this letter are omitted here.]

Sir James Saumarez, Bart.[48] to Major-General Brock.

SPITHEAD, April 14, 1812.

Lieutenant Le Couteur[49] being ordered to join his regiment in Canada, permit me to recommend him to your kind notice: he is a promising young officer, and being connected with our family, makes me interested for his welfare. I congratulate you upon your present distinguished appointment. A few weeks previous to my leaving town, I was informed by Lord Liverpool that Governor Gore had leave of absence, but that if he did not return to his command, he would be happy in taking your services into consideration. From what his lordship was pleased to add, I have no doubt of your succeeding to the government, in the event of Governor Gore obtaining any other situation.

I am on the point of returning to the Baltic, where there appears a strong disposition on the part of Russia and some of the other powers to resist the aggressions of Bonaparte,—I trust with well-founded hopes of ultimate success.

Major-General Le Couteur to Major-General Brock.

LISBON, April 16, 1812.

I am here in consequence of a mistake in orders sent to me by Lord Palmerston, to join the army in Portugal, when his lordship meant Jamaica. On my arrival at Lisbon I found out the mistake, and I hope in a few days to sail for my real destination.

My son, whom you perhaps will remember an infant when you were in Jersey, will have the pleasure to deliver you this letter, if the 104th regiment be in your neighbourhood. He is only seventeen years old; very young to be sent loose on the wide world. Allow me to recommend him to your kindness and friendly protection; and should he be quartered at some distance from you, permit me to request you will be so good as to introduce him to some steady officer, or to such of your friends as might be in his neighbourhood. I shall hope to have him soon as my aide-de-camp.

Sir John Dumaresq, Kt., Lieut.-Bailiff of Jersey, to Major-General Brock.

JERSEY, April 20, 1812.

I hope you will pardon the liberty I take of giving a letter of introduction to you to my grandson, Lieut. John Le Couteur, of the 104th, son of Major-General Le Couteur, who is on his departure for Quebec with recruits. His father, who is now in Portugal, had some hopes his son might have been allowed to be on his staff; but it seems that could not take place until he has served a certain time in the regiment. He is a young man (not yet eighteen) of an excellent disposition, educated at Marlow, where he has given the most pleasing testimonies of early professional abilities and attention to his duty. I shall esteem, it a great favor, as well as his father, for any mark of attention or notice which you may have it in your power to shew him whilst under your command.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, April 22, 1812.

I had the honor yesterday to receive your excellency's letter, dated the 21st ultimo, and I entreat you to believe that no act within my control shall afford the government of the United States a legitimate pretext to add to a clamour which has been so artfully raised against England.

We have received the account of the renewal of the embargo, and that the most rigorous measures have already been adopted to prevent the least infringement of it upon the Niagara river. Armed men, in coloured clothes, are continually patroling along the shore. These troops are stated to have recently arrived, but I have not been able to ascertain whether they belong to the new levy or to the militia. They are reported to amount to about 300. Colonel Proctor has doubtless written fully on the subject, but unfortunately the letters, by some negligence, were left at Niagara. The accounts which have reached me are not therefore so satisfactory as could be wished. An idle boy is stated to have wantonly fired with ball at the guard opposite Queenstown, and it appears that the Americans were guilty of a similar outrage by firing during the night into a room in which a woman was sitting. Luckily no mischief followed. Being detained here upon civil business, I have sent Captain Glegg over to see how matters stand, and to arrange with both civil and military the best means of preventing a recurrence of a practice which may easily lead to serious consequences. I hope to be at Niagara myself the day after to-morrow.

I beg leave to assure your excellency, that I receive with no small degree of pride the praise bestowed on my endeavours to improve the militia system of this province; and as the bill underwent some alterations after the departure of Colonel M'Donnell, particularly in limiting its operation to the end of the ensuing session, I shall have the honor to forward for your excellency's information the law as now enforced. I have, by partial and gentle means, already commenced to give it operation, and I make not the least doubt that a sufficient number will be found ready to volunteer to complete the flank companies; and I here beg leave to call your excellency's attention to the clause which authorizes the training of the flank companies six times in each month; but as no provision is made for remunerating the men, I presume to submit for your excellency's indulgent consideration, that the commissaries be instructed to issue rations for the number actually present at exercise. These companies I expect will be composed of the best description of inhabitants, who in most cases will have to go a great distance to attend parade; and, unless this liberal provision be allowed, will be liable to heavy expense, or be subject to considerable privations. According to my present arrangements, the number embodied will not exceed 700, and when the companies are completed throughout the province, they must be calculated at 1,800; and, as during harvest and the winter months few or no parades will take place, the total expense attending the measure can be of no material consequence in a pecuniary point of view, and may in a political light be productive, at this juncture, of considerable benefit.

I have likewise to request that such portion of clothing as your excellency can conveniently spare from the king's stores, may be forwarded, to enable me to clothe such companies as are the most likely to be called upon duty.

I am anxious to hear the real object of the embargo; should it be directed solely against England, the probability is that it leads to a war; but should France be included in its operation, nothing of the kind need be dreaded.

In the expectation of having the honor of seeing your excellency shortly at York, I limit, for the present, the works of the military artificers at this place, to preparing a temporary magazine for the reception of the spare powder at Fort George and Kingston, and the excavation of the ditch for the proposed fortifications of the spot on which the government house stands.

I transmit, for your excellency's perusal, a detailed account of the transactions which led to the unjustifiable censure passed by the house of assembly upon Chief Justice Scott. It is written by Mr. Nichol himself; and the warmth with which he has expressed his indignation at the wanton exercise of a power yet undefined, as far as regards this province, is not therefore surprising. I am convinced that whenever the business is brought legally before the judges, they will refuse to sanction the enormous power, under the name of privilege, which the house arrogates to itself. The executive will in that case be placed in a very awkward predicament: Mr. Nichol having commenced civil actions against the speaker and sergeant at arms for false imprisonment, will, should he succeed in obtaining damages, bring the question with double force on the tapis. The violence and ignorance which, in all probability, will mark the proceedings of the house, cannot fail of producing a dissolution. I apply forcibly to ministers for instructions, but should they be contrary to the opinion which the judges of the court of king's bench have formed of the law, I am led to believe they will not influence the members; therefore, one of two alternatives must be resorted to, either the appointment of more docile judges, or the decision of the question by a British act of parliament. I trust, for the tranquillity and prosperity of the province, that the latter mode may be preferred. I have thus freely, and perhaps with rather too much haste to be sufficiently explicit, stated the difficulties which in all likelihood I shall have to encounter at the next meeting of the legislature.

Should the effect of the embargo appear to be directed solely at Great Britain, I shall avail myself of the confidence placed in me, and order the purchase of horses, to enable the car brigade to act in case of necessity. This, being a service which requires infinite trouble and practice to bring to any degree of perfection, cannot be too soon attended to.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, April 30, 1812.

I have just heard from Mr. Foster that the secretary at war, at Washington, has transmitted orders to Governor Tompkins, of New York, to send 500 of the state militia to Niagara, 500 to the mouth of the Black River, opposite to Kingston, and 600 to Champlain, in consequence of the hostile appearances in Canada. Mr. Foster is of opinion the government of the United States calculates that something will happen on the part of these men to produce a quarrel with the British troops, which may lead to retaliation on both sides, and occasion hostilities to commence, as in this way alone, it seems thought, an unjust war can be forced on the American people, who are represented as really averse to it. We must, therefore, use every effort in our power to prevent any collision from taking place between our forces and the American.

I have also received information that the American garrison at Fort Chicago, not exceeding 60 men, has been ordered to Detroit, in consequence of apprehensions from the Indians.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, May 14, 1812.

I have great satisfaction in telling you that I have reported the Glengary light infantry more than complete to the establishment of 400 rank and file, and have received Sir George Prevost's commands to recruit for a higher establishment; indeed, the quotas the officers have engaged to fulfil will nearly amount to double that number; and from the very great success that has attended our exertions, I have no doubt of succeeding by the end of this year. Two officers have divided Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for their hunting ground, and are permitted to recruit Acadians; and Lieutenant Ronald M'Donnell, of the Canadians, proceeds in a few days to Pictou and the highland settlements on the coast and gulf: he is an officer that appears to be eminently qualified for that service, and he is sanguine that the proffer of lands in the Scotch settlements of Upper Canada will induce great numbers to enter. I am assured from various channels that the men I have got are generally young, rather too much so, and of a good description, there being very few Yankees amongst them.

I have long letters from my friends at home, giving me a detailed account of the death of my excellent and best of friends: the duke of York sat by his bedside for half an hour the day before he died, and, Somerville says, was extremely affected. Sir James, (Craig,) on the contrary, rallied from the pleasure he experienced from this condescending kindness. Sir James had a codicil written fair for his signature, the chief object of which was to add a legacy for a female cousin whom he did not know to be in existence, and to direct the sale of the priory and freehold, which cost 12,000 guineas, to enable the payment of the legacies: this instrument, not having been executed, will lead to what he most deprecated and wished to avoid, a lawsuit. The heirs at law will possess the freehold; and Wilkie, who, besides £6,000, is left the two houses in London, furniture, &c, as residuary legatee, will be stripped of the whole that is not given by special bequest, to make up the legacies: he will however, I believe, have at least £10,000 left—very ample payment for his services.

Sir George has announced his intention of recommending Battersby to be lieutenant-colonel of the Glengary corps, and ordered him to take the command of the recruits assembled at Three Rivers. Your major of brigade[50] will be recommended to succeed to his majority in the king's regiment.

Major-Gencral Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, May 16, 1812.

I have this day been honored with your excellency's confidential communication, dated the 30th ultimo.

I have long since thought that nothing but the public voice restrained the United States government from commencing direct hostilities; and it is but reasonable to expect that they will seek every opportunity to influence the minds of the people against England, in order to bring them the more readily into their measures. It will be my study to guard against every event that can give them any just cause of complaint; but the proximity of the two countries will in all probability produce collisions which, however accidentally brought about, will be represented as so many acts of aggression. It would not surprise me if their first attempt to excite irritation were the seizing of the islands in the channel, to which both countries lay claim: such was represented to Sir James Craig on a former occasion to be their intention.

In addition to the force specified by your excellency, I understand that six companies of the Ohio militia are intended for Detroit. Our interests with the Indians will materially suffer in consequence of these extensive preparations being allowed to proceed with impunity. I have always considered that the reduction of Detroit would be a signal for a cordial co-operation on the part of the Indians; and if we be not in sufficient force to effect this object, no reliance ought to be placed in them.

About forty regulars were last week added to the garrison of Niagara, and by all accounts barracks are to be immediately constructed at Black Rock, almost opposite Fort Erie, for a large force.

I returned three days ago from an excursion to Fort Erie—the Grand River, where the Indians of the Six Nations are settled—and back by the head of the lake. Every gentleman, with whom I had an opportunity of conversing, assured me that an exceedingly good disposition prevailed among the people. The flank companies, in the districts in which they have been established, were instantly completed with volunteers, and indeed an almost unanimous disposition to serve is daily manifested. I shall proceed to extend this system now I have ascertained that the people are so well disposed—but my means are very limited.

I propose detaching 100 rank and file of the 41st regiment to Amherstburg, almost immediately.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, May 21, 1812.

Sir George has allowed me to make the following extracts from a dispatch of Mr. Foster's, dated the 28th April, which I do in the minister's own words: "The American government affect now to have taken every step incumbent on the executive as preparatory to war, and leave the ultimate decision to congress, as vested by the constitution in that body, which is fluctuating as the sea: there is a great party in the house of representatives for war, composed principally of the western and southern states—members who have little to lose, and may gain, while the northern and eastern states are vehement against it. The embargo seems to have been resolved upon, because at the moment they did not know what else to do. The cabinet wished only sixty days—the senate made it ninety. Our government leaves no room to expect a repeal of the order in council, yet they wait for the return of the Hornet. Something decisive must then be known; perhaps when they become completely convinced of Bonaparte's playing upon them, it will end in declaring against France. The question of adjournment was lost, notwithstanding there was an absolute majority known a few minutes before in its favor. The ruling party are split into many; the old revolutionists, jealous of younger men taking a lead. The army cannot, I conceive, soon be filled up—they get few recruits."

You will have heard, long ere you receive this, that the 49th regiment is ordered home; the 41st are by the same authority to return to Europe, but Sir George will not, under existing circumstances, attempt to relieve the posts in Upper Canada, so that there will be no immediate change in your quarter. Sir George regrets that he has not field officers of the description you require to command at Kingston and Amherstburg. The only prospect of relief in that respect which he has in view, is from the arrival of the absent inspecting field officers.

The arrangement you propose respecting the unfortunate delinquents of the 41st regiment, will perfectly meet the approbation of Sir George, who approved of your not forwarding the resignation of the younger members, or indeed of any, if they are worthy of consideration.

Kempt has brought his name into notice in the assault of La Picurina, an outwork at Badajoz, where he commanded, being on duty in the trenches. The Glengary levy goes on swimmingly.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, May 27, 1812.

I was much pleased to find, by your letter of the 22d ultimo, you had taken precautions to prevent any act occurring within your control that should afford the government of the United States a legitimate pretext to add to the clamour artfully raised by it against England.

The circumstance which happened to the guard stationed opposite to Queenstown, arrived here much exaggerated. Your account of it silenced the idle reports in circulation.

I agree with you in deploring the limitation, until the end of the ensuing session, in the operation of the militia act for Upper Canada; but as in the event of hostilities it might not be possible to convene the legislature, then the bill would in all probability continue in force during the war, provided you were not induced to make an exertion for a more perfect law.

Colonel Baynes having informed me he had an opportunity of communicating with you more expeditiously than by post, I desired him to make you acquainted with the peaceful intelligence I had just received from Mr. Foster; but although it comes with a good deal of reservation, still it warrants me in recommending the most rigid economy in carrying on the king's service, and in avoiding all expense that has not become absolutely necessary, as it is with the utmost difficulty money can be raised for the ordinary service.

I am apprehensive that I cannot look forward to the pleasure of seeing you before the end of August, as my presence in the province is become indispensably necessary during the first operation of the new militia law.

Many thanks for the particulars of the transaction which led to the censure passed by the house of assembly on Chief Justice Scott.


[43] He died at Mount Vernon, on the 14th December, 1799, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, leaving a widow but no issue.

[44] Pictorial History of England.

[45] This and a few of the subsequent letters from Colonel Baynes are partly in cipher of figures, but of course we have not the key.

[46] The present Lieut.-General Ellice, colonel of the 24th regiment of foot. He is the officer mentioned at page 97, but was deputy adjutant-general in Canada, and not inspecting field officer of militia as we supposed.

[47] The late Major-General Heriot, C.B., then Captain Heriot, of the 49th.

[48] The late Admiral Lord de Saumarez, G.C.B., &c.

[49] The present Colonel Le Couteur, Militia Aide-de-Camp to the Queen, in Jersey. In the United Service Journal for October, 1831, Colonel Le Couteur has described the winter march of the 104th regiment, early in 1813, from New Brunswick to Canada.

[50] The present Major-General Thomas Evans, C.B., then a captain of the 8th foot.


It will be assisting the reader, ere we proceed to detail the operations at the commencement of hostilities, to give a brief description, not only of the lakes and straits which constitute the water boundaries of Upper Canada, and of the towns and military posts distributed along them, as existing in the year 1812, but also of the territory of Michigan, which was surrendered, with Detroit, to Major-General Brock. The distances are given in British statute miles.

The most remote piece of water on this frontier worthy of notice is Lake Superior, a body of fresh water unequalled by any upon the face of the globe. Lake Superior is of a triangular form; in length 381, in breadth 161, and in circumference about 1,150 miles. Among its islands is one nearly two-thirds as large as Jamaica. Out of Lake Superior a very rapid current flows, over immense masses of rock, along a channel of 27 miles in length, called St. Mary's River, into Lake Huron, at the head of which is the British island of St. Joseph, containing a small garrison. This isolated post is distant about 350 miles by water from Amherstburg, which contained the nearest British garrison.

Lake Huron is in length, from west to east, 218 miles; in breadth, 180; and in circumference, through its numerous curvatures, 812 miles. Except the island of St. Joseph, and one or two trading establishments belonging to the north-west company, the shores of this lake were in a state of nature, or inhabited only by Indians. When the Americans were allowed to obtain the dominion of Lake Erie, which they did in 1813, it was determined at the close of the following year to create a naval force on Lake Huron in the ensuing season, (1815,) as possessing much greater security for the construction of vessels than Lake Erie, where the enemy could at any time destroy them, in the same manner as their vessels ought to have been previously destroyed by the British. Lake Michigan, which belongs wholly to the United States, is connected with Lake Huron at its western angle by a short and wide strait, in the centre of which is the island of Michilimakinack, belonging to the United States. This island is about 9 miles in circumference, and, like St. Joseph, its neighbour, it possessed a small fort and garrison. Lake Huron flows through the river St. Clair, which is in length about 60 miles, into Lake St. Clair, a small circular lake 30 miles in diameter. The beautiful river Thames, in Upper Canada, opens into Lake St. Clair, and it was along the banks of this river that Major-General Proctor retreated in 1813. From Lake St. Clair, the stream, through the Detroit, navigable for vessels not drawing more than fourteen feet water, pursues a course of nearly 40 miles into Lake Erie.

Upon the western side of the Detroit is situate the American town of that name. About 5 miles below Detroit, upon the opposite side of the strait, is the British village of Sandwich, then containing scarcely fifty houses; and 18 miles lower, and within four of the termination of the strait, is the British village of Amherstburg, then containing about one hundred houses, and a fort where a small garrison was maintained, and where the principal vessels for the service of Lake Erie were constructed. The American village of Brownstown stands nearly opposite to Amherstburg, which is distant from Quebec by the nearest route by water 815 miles, from Fort Erie about 250 miles, and from York 315 miles.

Lake Erie, from Miamis Bay to the entrance of the straits of Niagara, is in length 257 miles, in breadth 64 miles, and in circumference 658 miles. The greatest depth of water is between forty and forty-five fathoms, but a very rocky bottom renders the anchorage unsafe in blowing weather. Except Amherstburg, the British have no harbour or naval depôt upon Lake Erie, while the Americans have two or three excellent ones. Presqu'île harbour is situate on the southern side of the lake, not far from the entrance to the Niagara. It is a safe station, but has a seven feet bar at its entrance, as indeed have all the other harbours on this lake. The town, named Erie, is situate on the south side of the harbour, and contains a dock yard, in which the Americans built their Lake Erie fleet. To the eastward of the town stands a strong battery, and on the point of the Peninsula forming the harbour, a block house, for the protection of this naval depôt. The rivers Raisin, Sandusky, and Miami, the scenes of important operations during the war, discharge themselves into Lake Erie.

On the north-western side of the entrance to the Niagara river stands, at a distance of 565 miles from Quebec, the British fort Erie, at best a very inconsiderable work. Near to the same outlet from Lake Erie is Buffalo Creek, on the border of which is built the American village of Buffalo; and about 2 miles beyond it, Black Rock, where there is a battery, and a ferry, about 800 yards across, to Bertie, in Upper Canada. The Niagara proceeds at a quick rate past several small and one large island, called Grande Isle, 10 miles long; about 2 miles below which, on the American side, and distant 2 miles from the Falls, is the site of Fort Schlosser. At about the same distance from the Falls, on the opposite side, standing on the northern bank of the river Chippewa, is the British village of the same name, distant from Fort Erie 17 miles. Chippewa consisted chiefly of store houses; and near it was a small stockaded work, called Fort Chippewa. At the distance of 23 miles from the entrance to the Niagara, is Goat Island, about half a mile long, and which extends to the precipice that gives rise to the celebrated Falls. The larger body of water flows between Upper Canada and Goat Island, at the upper end of which island the broken water, or rapids, commence. Here the stream passes on both sides of the island, over a bed of rocks and precipices, with astonishing rapidity; till, having descended more than fifty feet in the distance of half a mile, it falls, on the British side 157, and on the New York side 162, feet perpendicularly.

From the cataract, the river is a continued rapid, half a mile in width, for about 7 miles. At this point stand, opposite to each other, the villages of Queenstown and Lewistown. The latter, situate upon the American side, contained, till destroyed as a retaliatory measure, between forty and fifty houses. At about six miles and a half from Queenstown, near to the river side, stands Fort George, then constructed of earthen ramparts and palisades of cedar, and mounting no heavier metal than 9-pounders. About half a mile below Fort George, and close to the borders of Lake Ontario, stood the beautiful and flourishing village of Newark, which was burnt by the Americans.

Directly opposite to Newark, upon a neck of land projecting partly across the mouth of the river, which is here 875 yards in width, stands the American fort of Niagara, the scene of so many conflicts. It was built by the French in 1751; taken by us in 1759;[51] and, along with several other frontier posts, ceded to the United States in 1794; and, though since taken, has again been ceded to the same power. Fort Niagara, unlike any of the Canadian forts along that frontier, is a regular fortification, built of stone, on the land side, with breast works, and every necessary appendage. It mounts between twenty and thirty heavy pieces of ordnance, and contains a furnace for heating shot.

The strait of Niagara is about 36 miles in length; and its shores, on both sides, were, more or less, the scenes of active warfare during the whole period of hostilities. Lake Ontario, to which the strait leads, is in length, from west to east, 171, in breadth 50, and in circumference 467 miles. The depth of water varies much, it being in some places three or four, in others fifty fathoms: towards the centre three hundred fathoms of line have, it is said, not found the bottom. York harbour lies on the north side of Lake Ontario; is nearly circular, of about a mile and a half in diameter, and formed by a narrow peninsula extending to Gibraltar Point, upon which a blockhouse has been erected. The town of York, (now called Toronto,) the infant capital of Upper Canada, is in lat. 43° 35' north, and long. 78° 30' west, and is distant from Fort George by water about 30 miles. The public buildings consisted of a government house, the house of assembly, a church, court-house, and a gaol, with numerous stores belonging to government. Kingston harbour is situate at the eastern extremity of Lake Ontario. It contains good anchorage in three fathoms water, and was defended by a small battery of 9-pounders on Mississaga Point, and another, of the same metal chiefly, on Point Frederick. The town, which was the largest and most populous in the Upper Province, contained about 370 houses; including several buildings and stores belonging to government. Its distance from York is 145, from Montreal, in an opposite direction, 198, and from Quebec 378 miles. Opposite to, and distant about half a mile from, the town, is a long low peninsula, forming the west side of Navy Bay, the principal naval depôt of the British on this lake, and where the ships of war were constructed.

Of the American military posts on Lake Ontario, the principal one is Sackett's harbour, distant from Kingston, by the ship channel, 35 miles. The harbour is small but well sheltered. From the north-west runs out a low point of land, upon which was the dock yard with large store houses, and all the buildings requisite for such an establishment. Upon this point there was a strong work called Fort Tompkins, having within it a blockhouse two stories high: on the land side it was covered by a strong picketing, in which there were embrasures; at the bottom of the harbour was the village, containing about seventy houses; and, to the southward of it, a large barrack, capable of containing 2,000 men, and generally occupied by the marines belonging to the fleet. Towards the middle of 1814, there were three additional works, Fort Virginia, Fort Chauncey, and Fort Kentucky, as well as several new blockhouses; and the guns then mounted upon the different forts exceeded sixty.[52]

The greatest length of the Michigan territory, from south-east to north-west, is 500 miles, and the number of square miles both of land and water is estimated at 150,000. The country was then chiefly in the possession of the Indians, and the white population amounted by the previous census to about 5,000. It includes two peninsulas of unequal size, in addition to which are numerous islands, constituent parts of the territory. The most important of these is Michilimakinack, already described. This island, while in the former possession of the British, was the general rendezvous of the North-West traders and the Indians they supplied. Here the outfits were furnished for the countries of Lake Michigan and the Mississippi, Lake Superior and the North-West; and here the returns of furs were collected and embarked for Montreal. Detroit, the chief town of the territory, is situated on the right bank of the strait, 10 miles below Lake St. Clair and 28 miles above Lake Erie. It then contained above two hundred houses, many of brick, and upwards of 1,200 inhabitants. In the rear of the fort was an extensive common, skirted by boundless and almost impenetrable forests. We learn from Morse's American Geography, on the acknowledged authority of Governor Hull, that Fort Detroit, in 1810, was a regular work of an oblong figure, "covering about an acre of ground. The parapets were about twenty feet in height, built of earth and sods, with four bastions, the whole surrounded with pallisadoes, a deep ditch, and glacis. It stood immediately back of the town, and had strength to withstand a regular siege, but did not command the river." And as the American government had been for some time secretly preparing for war, it may be safely inferred, that in the meanwhile this fort had been rather strengthened than permitted to fall to decay; and that it was at least as tenable in 1812 as when Governor Hull, two years before, gave the preceding description of its defences. The town of Detroit is in lat. 42° 15' north, and long. 82° 33' west.

About the year 1763, Detroit, then indeed the far west, and containing a garrison of 300 men, was nearly captured by stratagem by Pontiac, the celebrated Indian chief of that day, who waged war against the British, and whose alliance, before the capture of Quebec by Wolfe, in 1759, was anxiously courted by both the French and English.[53]


[51] The 49th British regiment assisted at the reduction of this fort in July, 1759.

[52] James' Military Occurrences of the late War between Great Britain and the United States, 2 vols. London, 1818.

[53] For a description of the deeds of Pontiac, or Pondiac, as she spells his name, see Mrs. Grant's "Memoirs of an American Lady," vol. ii.


The discussions which had been so long pending between Great Britain and the United States, assumed, during the winter of 1811-12, a very serious aspect. But many did not believe that the latter power was inclined to proceed to extremities; while others, who foresaw that it only awaited a favorable moment to invade the Canadas, which were supposed ripe for revolt and would therefore fall an easy conquest, were prepared to expect what soon after followed, a declaration of war against Great Britain.

As this was not the first time that the American government had proceeded to menaces, and as the northern and eastern states were known to be averse to hostilities, the British ministry were deluded into a belief that peace would yet be maintained. Mr. Foster, the English minister at Washington, seems to have partaken of this delusion, for it does not appear that he had taken any precautionary measures to convey to the governor of the British North American Provinces the earliest intelligence of the declaration of war on the 18th June, 1812; and, had it not been for the prudent foresight of some British merchants at New York, it is possible that the first intimation would have been received from the mouths of the American cannon. To Upper Canada Mr. Foster sent no notice whatever of the war, and Major-General Brock was left to learn it officially through the circuitous and dilatory channel of the governor-general. Happily, individual diligence made up for this unpardonable neglect; and the war was known by private expresses at Montreal, in Lower, and at Fort George, in Upper Canada, on the 24th of June, or in six days after its declaration at Washington.

At this period the exigencies of the Peninsular war, which depended chiefly upon English arms and English money, required the almost undivided attention and energies of the British ministry, who are thus entitled to some excuse for their neglect of North American affairs; but they will still remain amenable to the charge of having been guilty of the folly of too much despising the new enemy arrayed against them at that most busy and critical moment. The want of a sufficient force for the protection of the Canadas[54] might have proved fatal, at least to the Upper Province, had not Major-General Brock, from the first moment of being placed at the head of his government, been convinced that war was inevitable; and that in consequence every exertion should be used to place the province in as respectable a state of defence as his very limited means would admit. The instant the navigation opened in the spring, a supply of ordnance and other stores was hurried up to fort St. Joseph; and its commandant, Captain Roberts, was instructed to be constantly on his guard. Similar precautions were adopted relative to Amherstburg, to which post Major-General Brock paid a visit early in June, and fortunately took with him a reinforcement of 100 men of the 41st regiment. But in the execution of his plans he had to encounter many obstacles, among which the subordinate nature of his command was not the least formidable. Even as late as the 27th May, Sir George Prevost does not seem to have considered hostilities so near, as on that day he recommended to Major-General Brock the most rigid economy in carrying on the public service, and in avoiding all expense that was not absolutely necessary, on the plea of the great difficulty of raising money. Sir George has, however, been wrongly accused of not sending any instructions whatever to Major-General Brock for some weeks after he received intimation of the war, as he did so from Montreal on the 7th and 10th of July, or in less than a fortnight afterwards; but, either from his dispatches not being transmitted by express, or from some other unexplained cause, they did not reach their destination until the 29th of July, or exactly five weeks after the declaration of war was known in Upper Canada.

On the breaking out of hostilities, the regular force in Upper Canada amounted to barely 1,500 men, including seamen, as under:

41st Regiment        900
10th Veterans        250
Newfoundland Regiment  250
Royal Artillery        50
Provincial Seamen      50
Total 1500 men.

This force had to occupy the forts St. Joseph, Amherstburg, and Chippewa—Fort Erie and Fort George—and York and Kingston—to maintain the superiority on the lakes; to preserve the communication and escort convoys between Coteau de Lac and Kingston; and to defend an assailable frontier of nearly 800 miles, reckoning from the confines of Lower Canada to Amherstburg, and excluding the British coast from the Detroit to Fort St. Joseph. With this very inadequate force, it was the opinion of the highest authorities that the country could not be maintained. Major-General Brock was well aware that, in carrying on the war along so extensive a frontier, uncovered by a single fortress of strength, and with such a handful of regular troops, he could only expect success in the aid and zealous co-operation of the people. But the province had long been torn by intestine disputes, and the prevailing factionwhich had been originally established by one of the judges, and which after his departure was fostered by one of his zealous supporters—had been for years hostile to the measures of the government. We have already given Major-General Brock's speech to the provincial parliament, on his meeting it for the first time; the session, although obstructed by party dissensions and unlooked-for opposition, terminated better than was anticipated, as the rancorous spirit of many was subdued by his frank and conciliatory demeanour; and laws were passed which enabled him to organize the flank companies of the militia, unaccompanied, however, by the desired oath of abjuration, so as to exclude settlers from the United States and persons of doubtful loyalty. A troop of volunteer cavalry was also incorporated, and on his return to York from Amherstburg, about the 20th of June, Major-General Brock was gratified by the offer of a company of farmers' sons with their draft horses for the equipment of a car brigade, under Captain Holcroft, of the royal artillery, which offer he gladly accepted.

Major-General Brock was at York when he received intelligence of the war—an event which he had long anticipated, and which therefore did not take him by surprise. After assembling his council and summoning an extra session of the legislature, he hastened with his brigade major, Evans, and his aide-de-camp, Captain Glegg, to Fort George, on the Niagara frontier, where he immediately established his head quarters. It was at first his intention to capture the opposite American fort Niagara; but the high responsibility he was about to assume, of acting without instructions or an official communication, being represented to him, he confined himself to collecting and preparing his small force for offensive or defensive operations. Early in July he procured a "National Intelligencer," which contained the act of congress declaratory of war, and the message of the president accompanying it, and this information was of course decisive.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, June 25, 1812.

Sir George Prevost desires me to inform you that he has this instant received intelligence from Mr. Richardson, by an express to the north-west company, announcing that the American government had declared war against Great Britain. This dispatch left New York on the 20th instant, and does not furnish any other circumstance of intelligence whatever. His excellency is induced to give perfect and entire credit to this report, although it has not yet reached through any official channel. Indeed, the extraordinary dispatch which has attended this courier, fully explains his not having received the minister's letters, of which he will not fail to give you the earliest intimation.

Mr. Richardson informs his excellency that it is the intention of the company to send six large canoes to receive their furs by the Grand River, (or Ottawa,) and should it be thought expedient to reinforce the post of St. Joseph, that they will be able to carry six soldiers in each boat.[55] Anxious as Sir George feels to render you every aid in his power, and to afford every possible assistance and protection to the north-west company, who have on their part assured his excellency of their ready and active co-operation to the utmost of their ability, his excellency, nevertheless, does not think it advisable, under existing circumstances, to weaken the 49th regiment, which occupies so important and critical a station; nor can he hold out any certain prospect of any further reinforcement until the arrival of the troops he has been led to expect from England, but directs me to assure you of his cordial wish to render you every efficient support in his power.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, July 3, 1812.

I have been anxiously expecting for some days to receive the honor of your excellency's commands in regard to the measures the most proper to be pursued on the present emergency.

The accounts received, first through a mercantile channel, and soon after repeated from various quarters, of war having been declared by the United States against Great Britain, would have justified, in my opinion, offensive operations. But the reflection that at Detroit and Michilimakinack the weak state of the garrisons would prevent the commanders from accomplishing any essential service, connected in any degree with their future security, and that my means of annoyance on this communication were limited to the reduction of Fort Niagara, which could easily be battered at any future period, I relinquished my original intention, and attended only to defensive measures. My first object has been the calling out of the flank companies of militia, which has produced a force on this line of about 800 men. They turned out very cheerfully, but already shew a spirit of impatience. The king's stores are now at so low an ebb, that they scarcely furnish any article of use or comfort. Blankets, hammocks and kettles, are all to be purchased; and the troops, when watching the banks of the river, stand in the utmost need of tents. Mr. Couche has adopted the most efficacious means to pay the militia in paper currency. I cannot positively state the number of militia that will be embodied, but they cannot exceed throughout the province 4,000 men.

The Americans are very active on the opposite side, in the erection of redoubts; we are not idle on our part, but unfortunately, having supplied Amherstburg with the guns which that post required from Fort George, depending upon getting others from Kingston to supply their place, we find ourselves at this moment rather short of that essential arm. I have, however, every reason to think that they are embarked on board the Earl Moira, which vessel, according to Major M'Pherson's report, was to have sailed on the 28th ultimo. The Americans have, I believe, about 1,200 regulars and militia between Fort Niagara and Black Rock, and I consider myself at this moment perfectly safe against any attempt they can make. About 100 Indians from the Grand River have attended to my summons; the remainder promise to come also, but I have too much reason to conclude that the Americans have been too successful in their endeavours to sow dissension and disaffection among them. It is a great object to get this fickle race interspersed among the troops. I should be unwilling, in the event of a retreat, to have three or four hundred of them hanging on my flank. I shall probably have to sacrifice some money to gain them over, and the appointment of a few officers with salaries will be absolutely necessary.

The Americans make a daily parade of their force, and easily impose on the people on this side in regard to their numbers. I do not think they exceed 1,200, but they are represented as infinitely more numerous.

For the last fortnight every precaution has been taken to guard against the least communication, and to this day we are ignorant whether the president has sanctioned the war resolutions of the two houses of congress; that is, whether war be actually declared.

The car brigade has been completed for service with horses belonging to gentlemen, who spared them free of expense.

I have not been honored with a line from Mr. Foster, nor with all my endeavours have I been able to obtain information of any consequence. The Prince Regent made her first voyage this morning, and I purpose sending her to Kingston this evening, to bring such articles as are absolutely necessary, which we know have arrived from Quebec. I trust she will out-sail the Oneida brig.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, July 4, 1812.

We have a report here of your having commenced operations by levelling the American fort at Niagara. The general is most anxious to hear good and recent intelligence from your quarter. There is no considerable assembly of troops in our neighbourhood as yet; the flank companies, embodied under Colonel Young, are on their march, and the 2,000 militia will form a chain of posts from St. John's to La Prairie. The town militia of this and Quebec, to the amount of 3,000 in each city, have volunteered being embodied and drilled, and will take their proportion of garrison duty to relieve the troops. The proclamation for declaring martial law is prepared, and will be speedily issued. All aliens will be required to take the oath of allegiance, or immediately quit the province. Our cash is at its last issue, and a substitute of paper must per force be resorted to. This has been Sir George's principal object in calling the legislature together. You have a very arduous and difficult card to play, and have our sincere and confident wishes for your success. Sir George strongly recommends extreme moderation in the use of the Indians, and to keep them in control as much as possible.

[This letter contains the details of a large and armed assembly at La Chine, near Montreal, of French Canadians, who refused to serve in the embodied militia. They were dispersed by the light company of the 49th, and a detachment of artillery with two field pieces, under the command of Major Plenderleath, of the 49th, but not before one Canadian was killed and another dangerously wounded.]

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, July 7, 1812.

It was only on my arrival at Montreal that I received Mr. Foster's notification of the congress of the United States having declared war against Great Britain; the fact had been previously ascertained through mercantile channels.

I am convinced you have acted wisely in abstaining from offensive operations, which in their effect might have united a people governed by public opinion, and among whom too much division exists, at this moment, to admit of its influence in promoting vigorous measures against us.

The manner of the flank companies of militia turning out must have been very satisfactory to you. I hope your supplies of ordnance and ordnance stores, on their way from Kingston, have arrived safe.

I have caused arms, accoutrements and ammunition, to be forwarded for the use of the Cornwall, Stormont, and Dundas battalions of militia. Camp equipage for 500 men shall be sent to you as soon as possible, together with muskets.

We are on the eve of substituting paper for bullion. I am aware of the Canadian prejudice against such a circulating medium, but it must give way to the imperious necessity of the times.

It is highly proper you should secure the services of the Indians; but restrain and control them as much as you can. Whatever appointments you deem indispensably necessary you are authorized to make, as well as the sacrifice of some money to gain them over. It is proper we should maintain our ascendancy over the Indians, and feed with proper food their predeliction for us.

Colonel Lethbridge, an inspecting field officer, is under orders for Kingston, and there to wait your commands.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, July 8, 1812.

I was highly gratified yesterday in receiving your letters of the 3d July, for we have felt extremely anxious about you ever since we have learnt the unexpected declaration of war, which had been so long threatened that no one believed it would ever seriously take place; and even now it is the prevailing opinion that, from the opposition testified by the eastern states, offensive measures are not likely to be speedily adopted against this country. Sir George is inclined to let these sentiments take their course, and as little advantage would accrue by more active measures on our part, our present plans are all defensive. General de Rottenburg is arrived, and the flank companies embodied are on their way: this corps, with the embodied militia, will form a chain from La Prairie to St. John's, with a light corps advanced in their front. We have reports of the 103d regiment being in the river, and, it is added, recruits for the 100th regiment.

Sir George has had applications from so many quarters for militia below Kingston, that to insure a general arrangement and to adopt the best system that circumstances will admit, he has directed Colonel Lethbridge, the inspecting field officer here, to proceed through the line of settlements to see the several colonels and corps of militia so as to fix their quotas, and afterwards to proceed to Kingston and assume the command of that post, if necessary: he will be placed under your orders, but you will perhaps not wish to bring him in contact with the 41st regiment, as he is senior to Colonel Proctor.

Sir George desires me to say, that he does not attempt to prescribe specific rules for your guidance—they must be directed by your discretion and the circumstances of the time: the present order of the day with him is forbearance, until hostilities are more decidedly marked.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, July 10, 1812.

Colonel Lethbridge's departure for Kingston affords me an opportunity of replying more fully and confidentially to your letter of the 3d instant, than I could venture to have done the day before, yesterday by an uncertain conveyance. That officer has been desired to transmit to you, together with this dispatch, a copy of the instructions given to him for his guidance until the exigencies of the service make it necessary in your estimation to substitute others, or to employ the colonel in any other situation of command. In them you will find expressed my sentiments respecting the mode of conducting the war on our part, suited to the existing circumstances; and as they change, so must we vary our line of conduct, adapting it to our means of preserving entire the king's provinces.

Our numbers would not justify offensive operations being undertaken, unless they were solely calculated to strengthen a defensive attitude. I consider it prudent and politic to avoid any measure which can in its effect have a tendency to unite the people in the American States. Whilst disunion prevails among them, their attempts on these provinces will be feeble; it is, therefore, our duty carefully to avoid committing any act which may, even by construction, tend to unite the eastern and southern states, unless, by its perpetration, we are to derive a considerable and important advantage. But the government of the United States, resting on public opinion for all its measures, is liable to sudden and violent changes; it becomes an essential part of our duty to watch the effect of parties on its measures, and to adapt ours to the impulse given by those possessed of influence over the public mind in America.

Notwithstanding these observations, I have to assure you of my perfect confidence in your measures for the preservation of Upper Canada. All your wants shall be supplied as fast as possible, except money, of which I have so little, as to be obliged to have recourse to a paper currency.

The adjutant-general has reported to you the aid we have afforded, in arms and ammunition, to your militia at Cornwall, Glengary, Dundas, and Stormont.

To prevent an interruption to the communication between the two provinces, it is fit a system of convoy should be established between Montreal and Kingston; and as Major-General de Rottenburg is to remain here in command of a cordon of troops, consisting of regulars and militia, (established in this neighbourhood to prevent an irruption for the plunder of Montreal,) whilst I attend to parliamentary duties at Quebec, on that subject you may communicate direct with the major-general, as he has my instructions to co-operate with you on preserving this important object.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, July 12, 1812.

With the exception of occasional firing from the opposite shore, (the unauthorized act of an undisciplined militia,) nothing of a hostile nature has occurred on this communication since I last had the honor of addressing your excellency.

The enemy is busy constructing batteries at different points in the river, but he does not appear to have yet received cannon to place in them. We are doing all we can on this side to counteract his views, and the arrival this morning of the Royal George and the vessels under her convoy, bringing various pieces of ordnance, will give us in this respect a decided superiority.

The militia, which assembled here immediately on the account being received of war being declared by the United States, have been improving daily in discipline; but the men evince a degree of impatience under their present restraint, that is far from inspiring confidence. So great was the clamour to return and attend to their farms, that I found myself in some measure compelled to sanction the departure of a large proportion; and I am not without my apprehensions that the remainder will, in defiance of the law, which can only impose a fine of £20, leave the service the moment the harvest commences. There can be no doubt that a large portion of the population in this neighbourhood are sincere in their professions to defend the country; but it appears likewise evident to me that the greater part are either indifferent to what is passing, or so completely American as to rejoice in the prospect of a change of government. Many who now consider our means inadequate, would readily take an active part were the regular troops increased. These cool calculators are numerous in all societies.

The alacrity and good temper with which the militia, in the first instance, marched to the frontiers, have tended to infuse in the mind of the enemy a very different sentiment of the disposition of the inhabitants, who, he was led to believe would, upon the first summons, declare themselves an American state. The display for several days of a large force was made, I have every reason to believe, in that expectation.

Nearly the whole of the arms at my disposal have been issued. They are barely sufficient to arm the militia immediately required to guard the frontier. Were I furnished with the means of distributing arms among the people, in whom confidence can be placed, they would not only overawe the disaffected, but prove of essential use in the event of invasion. The militia assembled in a wretched state in regard to clothing; many were without shoes, an article which can scarcely be provided in the country.

After the cannon, which have arrived this morning, are mounted, I shall consider my front perfectly secure. I do not imagine the enemy will hazard a water excursion with a view to turn my flanks. He probably will wait until winter, when the ice will enable him to cross with the utmost facility to any part between Fort Erie and as far as Long Point. My situation will then depend upon the force the enemy may bring to invade the province. Should the troops have to move, the want of tents will be severely felt.

A person who left Sandwich yesterday week, pretends that the enemy was then in the act of cannonading the place. I have not heard from Lieut.-Colonel St. George since my last letter to your excellency.

An officer is so absolutely necessary to command in the eastern district, that I have consented to Major-General Shaw proceeding thither in that capacity. I have full confidence in his judgment, and his conduct in the field is undoubted. He of course will assume the command in virtue of his militia rank, and will be liable to be superseded by any lieutenant-colonel your excellency may be pleased to appoint.

The expense of defending this province will unquestionably be great; upon a rough calculation, and supposing that 4,000 militia be constantly embodied, it cannot be estimated at less than £140,000 per annum. However great the sum, it will be applied to very considerable advantage, provided your excellency be enabled to send reinforcements, as without them it is scarcely possible that the government of the United States will be so inactive or supine as to permit the present limited force to remain in possession of the country. Whatever can be done to preserve it, or to delay its fall, your excellency may rest assured will be exerted.

Having been suddenly called away from York, I had not time to close my dispatch, giving your excellency an account of my proceedings during my stay at Amherstburg. I now have the honor to forward two documents, detailing the steps taken by the Indian department to prevail on that unfortunate people to accommodate their differences with the American government.

Extract from an American Newspaper.

BUFFALO, July 14, 1812.

Major-General Brock is at present at Newark, superintending the various defences on the river. He is stated to be an able and experienced officer, with undoubted courage. He came from Little York soon after hearing the declaration of war, and, it was believed, with a serious intention of attacking Fort Niagara, but, contrary to what has been reported, he made no demand of a surrender.

Expecting a descent from the American army, the Canadians have, for ten days past, been removing their families and effects from the river into the interior. At Newark, Queenston, and other villages on the river, there are no inhabitants except a few civilians and officers and soldiers. It is even said, that an immense quantity of specie, plate, &c, from various parts of the province, have been boxed up, and destined for Quebec.

The British are understood to have about six or seven hundred regular troops stationed between the lakes, from Fort George to Fort Erie. These men are generally those who have "seen service" in various parts of the world. The militia of the province are ordered out en masse.

It is stated by gentlemen of intelligence at Lewistown, that the government of Canada have in their employment, under pay, about 250 Indians, armed complete: a part of them are mounted.

Brigadier-General William Wadsworth, from Genesee, commands the troops on our frontiers. His aids are Major Adam Hoops and Major W. H. Spencer. His head quarters are now at Lewistown. It is impossible to state the precise number of troops under his command, because the militia ordered on the lines are returning, and the companies composing the regiments under his command have not all arrived; but from what we learn, there are in regular troops, volunteers, and detached militia, above 4,000 stationed at Rock, Lewistown, Youngstown, and Fort Niagara. The troops are in excellent health, in good spirits, and well supplied. They appear quite impatient for want of employment. There has been some firing from the sentries on both sides of the river.


[54] At this time, the British regular force in the Canadas consisted of the 8th, 41st, 49th, and 100th regiments, a small detachment of artillery, the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, and the Canadian, Newfoundland, and Glengary Fencibles; amounting, in the whole, to 4,450 men. These were distributed along the different posts from the telegraph station, about 250 miles below Quebec, to St. Joseph's, but so unequally divided, that, in the Upper Province, whose front extends to nearly 1,300, out of the 1,700 miles, there were but 1,450 men.—James' Military Occurrences.

[55] In answer to Major-General Brock's suggestions on the subject, see page 127.


The American government, in anticipation of its declaration of war, had detached from the state of Ohio to the Michigan territory an army of about 2,500 men, under the command of Brigadier-General Hull, who, said President Madison in his message to congress, "possessing discretionary authority to act offensively, passed into Canada with a prospect of easy and victorious progress." The enemy evidently confided in the very limited defensive means of the Upper Province, and in the impossibility of its receiving early assistance from the mother country. They relied also on the supposed disaffection of many of its inhabitants, and they expected confidently that, weak and divided, it would fall an easy prey to the invaders; but they were soon undeceived. Having crossed over to the Canadian village of Sandwich on the 12th July, Brigadier-General Hull issued on that day the following insidious but able proclamation, which was doubtless written at Washington. It will be seen that the American general was made to say, that he did not ask the assistance of the Canadians, as he had no doubt of eventual success, because he came prepared for every contingency with a force which would look down all opposition, and that that force was but the vanguard of a much greater!

Inhabitants of Canada!—After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the United States have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities of Great Britain, have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission.

The army under my command has invaded your country, and the standard of union now waves over the territory of Canada. To the peaceable, unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to make them. I come to protect, not to injure you.

Separated by an immense ocean, and an extensive wilderness from Great Britain, you have no participation in her councils, no interest in her conduct. You have felt her tyranny, you have seen her injustice—but I do not ask you to avenge the one or redress the other. The United States are sufficiently powerful to afford you every security, consistent with their rights and your expectations. I tender you the invaluable blessings of civil, political, and religious liberty, and their necessary result, individual and general prosperity—that liberty which gave decision to our councils and energy to our conduct in our struggle for independence, and which conducted us safely and triumphantly through the stormy period of the revolution—that liberty which has raised us to an elevated rank among the nations of the world, and which has afforded us a greater measure of peace and security, of wealth and improvement, than ever yet fell to the lot of any people.

In the name of my country, and by the authority of my government, I promise protection to your persons, property and rights. Remain at your homes—pursue your peaceful and customary avocations—raise not your hands against your brethren. Many of your fathers fought for the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being children, therefore, of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an army of friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated from tyranny and oppression, and restored to the dignified station of freemen.

Had I any doubt of eventual success, I might ask your assistance; but I do not. I come prepared for every contingency. I have a force which will look down all opposition, and that force is but the vanguard of a much greater. If, contrary to your own interests and the just expectation of my country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered and treated as enemies, and the horrors and calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous and savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages be let loose to murder our citizens, and butcher our women and children, this war will be a war of extermination. The first stroke of the tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal of one indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man, found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner—instant destruction will be his lot. If the dictates of reason, duty, justice, and humanity, cannot prevent the employment of a force which respects no rights and knows no wrong, it will be prevented by a severe and relentless system of retaliation.

I doubt not your courage and firmness—I will not doubt your attachment to liberty. If you tender your services voluntarily, they will be accepted readily. The United States offer you peace, liberty, and security. Your choice lies between these and war, slavery and destruction. Choose, then, but choose wisely; and may He who knows the justice of our cause, and who holds in his hand the fate of nations, guide you to a result the most compatible with your rights and interests, your peace and prosperity.

By the General, A.F. HULL.
Capt. 13th Regt. U.S. Infantry, and
Head Quarters,
Sandwich, July 12, 1812.

The following counter-proclamation was published by Major-General Brock, "a proclamation as remarkable for the solid reasoning and dignity of its language, as that of the American for its presumption."[56]

The unprovoked declaration of war by the United States of America against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and its dependencies, has been followed by the actual invasion of this province, in a remote frontier of the western district, by a detachment of the armed force of the United States.

The officer commanding that detachment has thought proper to invite his majesty's subjects, not merely to a quiet and unresisting submission, but insults them with a cell to seek voluntarily the protection of his government.

Without condescending to repeat the illiberal epithets bestowed in this appeal of the American commander to the people of Upper Canada, on the administration of his majesty, every inhabitant of the province is desired to seek the confutation of such indecent slander in the review of his own particular circumstances. Where is the Canadian subject who can truly affirm to himself that he has been injured by the government, in his person, his property, or his liberty? Where is to be found, in any part of the world, a growth so rapid in prosperity and wealth, as this colony exhibits? Settled, not thirty years, by a band of veterans, exiled from their former possessions on account of their loyalty, not a descendant of these brave people is to be found, who, under the fostering liberality of their sovereign, has not acquired a property and means of enjoyment superior to what were possessed by their ancestors.

This unequalled prosperity would not have been attained by the utmost liberality of the government, or the persevering industry of the people, had not the maritime power of the mother country secured to its colonists a safe access to every market, where the produce of their labour was in request.

The unavoidable and immediate consequences of a separation from Great Britain must be the loss of this inestimable advantage; and what is offered you in exchange? To become a territory of the United States, and share with them that exclusion from the ocean which the policy of their government enforces; you are not even flattered with a participation of their boasted independence; and it is but too obvious that, once estranged from the powerful protection of the United Kingdom, you must be reannexed to the dominion of France, from which the provinces of Canada were wrested by the arms of Great Britain, at a vast expense of blood and treasure, from no other motive than to relieve her ungrateful children from the oppression of a cruel neighbour. This restitution of Canada to the empire of France, was the stipulated reward for the aid afforded to the revolted colonies, now the United States; the debt is still due, and there can be no doubt but the pledge has been renewed as a consideration for commercial advantages, or rather for an expected relaxation in the tyranny of France over the commercial world. Are you prepared, inhabitants of Canada, to become willing subjects, or rather slaves, to the despot who rules the nations of continental Europe with a rod of iron? If not, arise in a body, exert your energies, co-operate cordially with the king's regular forces to repel the invader, and do not give cause to your children, when groaning under the oppression of a foreign master, to reproach you with having so easily parted with the richest inheritance of this earth—a participation in the name, character, and freedom of Britons!

The same spirit of justice, which will make every reasonable allowance for the unsuccessful efforts of zeal and loyalty, will not fail to punish the defalcation of principle. Every Canadian freeholder is, by deliberate choice, bound by the most solemn oaths to defend the monarchy, as well as his own property; to shrink, from that engagement is a treason not to be forgiven. Let no man suppose that if, in this unexpected struggle, his majesty's arms should be compelled to yield to an overwhelming force, the province will be eventually abandoned; the endeared relations of its first settlers, the intrinsic value of its commerce, and the pretensions of its powerful rival to repossess the Canadas, are pledges that no peace will be established between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland, of which the restoration of these provinces does not make the most prominent condition.

Be not dismayed at the unjustifiable threat of the commander of the enemy's forces to refuse quarter, should an Indian appear in the ranks. The brave bands of aborigines which inhabit this colony were, like his majesty's other subjects, punished for their zeal and fidelity, by the loss of their possessions in the late colonies, and rewarded by his majesty with lands of superior value in this province. The faith of the British government has never yet been violated—the Indians feel that the soil they inherit is to them and their posterity protected from the base arts so frequently devised to over-reach their simplicity. By what new principle are they to be prohibited from defending their property? If their warfare, from being different to that of the white people, be more terrific to the enemy, let him retrace his steps—- they seek him not—and cannot expect to find women and children in an invading army. But they are men, and have equal rights with all other men to defend themselves and their property when invaded, more especially when they find in the enemy's camp a ferocious and mortal foe, using the same warfare which the American commander affects to reprobate.

This inconsistent and unjustifiable threat of refusing quarter, for such a cause as being found in arms with a brother sufferer, in defence of invaded rights, must be exercised with the certain assurance of retaliation, not only in the limited operations of war in this part of the king's dominions, but in every quarter of the globe; for the national character of Britain is not less distinguished for humanity than strict retributive justice, which will consider the execution of this inhuman threat as deliberate murder, for which every subject of the offending power must make expiation.

Major-Gen, and President.
Head Quarters,
Fort George, July 22, 1812.
By order of his honor the president.
Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, July 20, 1812.

My last to your excellency was dated the 12th instant, since which nothing extraordinary has occurred on this communication. The enemy has evidently diminished his force, and appears to have no intention of making an immediate attack.

I have herewith the honor of enclosing the copy of two letters which I have received from Lieut.-Colonel St. George, together with some interesting documents found on board a schooner, which the boats of the Hunter captured on her voyage from the Miami to Detroit.

From the accompanying official correspondence between General Hull and the secretary at war, it appears that the collected force which has arrived at Detroit amounts to about 2,000 men. I have requested Colonel Proctor to proceed to Amherstburg, and ascertain accurately the state of things in that quarter. I had every inclination to go there myself, but the meeting of the legislature on the 27th instant renders it impossible.

I receive this moment a dispatch dated the 15th instant, from Lieut.-Colonel St. George, giving an account of the enemy having landed on the 12th and immediately after occupied the village of Sandwich. It is strange that three days should be allowed to elapse before sending to acquaint me of this important fact. I had no idea, until I received Lieut.-Colonel St. George's letter a few days ago that General Hull was advancing with so large a force.

The militia, from every account, behaved very ill. The officers appear the most in fault. Colonel Proctor will probably reach Amherstburg in the course of to-morrow. I have great dependence in that officer's decision, but fear he will arrive too late to be of much service. The enemy was not likely to delay attacking a force that had allowed him to cross the river in open day without firing a shot.

The position which Lieut.-Colonel St. George occupied is very good, and infinitely more formidable than the fort itself. Should he therefore be compelled to retire, I know of no other alternative than his embarking in the king's vessels and proceeding to Fort Erie.

Were it possible to animate the militia to a proper sense of their duty, something might yet be done—but I almost despair.

Your excellency will readily perceive the critical situation in which the reduction of Amherstburg will place me.

I do not imagine General Hull will be able to detach more than I,000 men, but even with that trifling force I much fear he will succeed in getting to my rear. The militia will not act without a strong regular force to set them the example; and as I must now expect to be seriously threatened, I cannot in prudence make strong detachments, which would not only weaken my line of defence, but, in the event of a retreat, endanger their safety.

I am now given to understand that General Hull's insidious proclamation, herewith enclosed, has already been productive of considerable effect on the minds of the people. In fact, a general sentiment prevails, that with the present force resistance is unavailing. I shall continue to exert myself to the utmost to overcome every difficulty. Should, however, the communication between Kingston and Montreal be cut off, the fate of the troops in this part of the province will be decided. I now express my apprehensions on a supposition that the slender means your excellency possesses will not admit of diminution; consequently, that I need not look for reinforcements. It is evidently not the intention of the enemy to make any attempt to penetrate into the province by this strait, unless the present force be diminished. He seems much more inclined to work on the flanks, aware that if he succeed every other part must very soon submit.

My last official communication from the Lower Province is dated the 25th ultimo, when the adjutant-general announced the receipt of intelligence, by a mercantile house, of war being declared by the United States against Great Britain.

Major-General Sir Thomas Saumarez, Kt.,[57] to Major-General Brock.

HALIFAX, July 22, 1812.

Being this moment informed that an express is to be dispatched immediately from hence to Quebec, I have great pleasure in having an opportunity to inquire after your health and welfare, and to acquaint you that your relation, Lady Saumarez, and myself, arrived here about a month since. I assure you we consider ourselves particularly fortunate in not having fallen into the enemy's bands, as the Americans had declared war a week before we reached this. We came out in a very valuable ordnance store ship, which would have been a great acquisition to the enemy, at the breaking out of a war especially; and the loss to us would have been seriously felt here, as all the stores on board were very much required. Another ship with naval stores accompanied us; they were much wanted by our squadron, and possibly as much so by the ships of the enemy. Our squadron on this station has been very active. Prizes arrive here daily, I could almost say hourly. The Emulous brig brought in ten yesterday, and 30,000 dollars were found on board some of them. Mr. Foster, late ambassador to the American States, has been here nearly a week; he is to sail for England to-day. According to the best information we can obtain here, the Northern and Eastern States of America are extremely inimical to, and dissatisfied with, the war; so much so, that there is reason to suppose they will dissolve the Union shortly, and declare themselves totally independent of the Southern and Western States.

The American privateers are extremely numerous and daring in this neighbourhood; and, I am sorry to add, they have proved but too successful, having captured several of our vessels bound to Quebec and New Brunswick, and some to this port. I received a note about an hour ago from Lieut.-Colonel Pearson, who sailed from hence last Sunday, with his wife and family, for Quebec, being appointed inspecting field officer in Canada, to inform me that he had been made prisoner by an American privateer. Most of our ships are looking out for the squadron the Americans have at sea, under Commodore Rodgers, who is supposed to have sailed from New York with a view to intercept our West India fleet homeward bound.

We are as busy here as possible in placing all our outposts in the best state of defence. I suppose you are not less so.

A transport, with 140 men of the Royals, from the West Indies to Quebec, was boarded by the Essex American frigate about ten days ago, and permitted to proceed, on condition that the master of the vessel promised to pay a ransom of 12,000 dollars for her; and that the officer commanding considered himself on parole, and gave his assurance that the troops would not fight against the Americans during the war. The transport arrived here yesterday, and the remainder of the battalion is supposed to have reached Quebec.

You have probably heard of the many improvements in our little island. An excellent road was finished from town to Vazon Bay, and from Fort George to Rocquaine; also one from town to Lancresse. The Braye du Valle is now under a state of cultivation. Roads of communication were nearly finished; one of them from what is called the Long Store passes Amherst Barracks and my house, and joins the great road to the Forest and St. Martin's: the opening of all these have discovered many beautiful views, which we did not know the island possessed.

If there should be any thing I can do for you or my nephew James Brock, I beg that you will afford me the pleasure of executing your commissions. I have not time to add more, but to assure you both of Lady S.'s and my best wishes and regards.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, July 25, 1812.

Since my dispatch to your excellency of the 20th instant, I have received information of the enemy having made frequent and extensive inroads from Sandwich up the river Thames. I have in consequence been induced to detach Capt. Chambers with about 50 of the 41st regiment to the Moravian town, where I have directed 200 militia to join him. From the loud and apparently warm professions of the Indians residing on the Grand River, I made no doubt of finding at all times a large majority ready to take the field and act in conjunction with our troops; but accounts received this morning state that they have determined to remain neutral, and they had consequently refused, with the exception of about fifty, to join Captain Chambers' detachment.

I meditated a diversion to the westward, the moment I could collect a sufficient number of militia, in the hope of compelling General Hull to retreat across the river; but this unexpected intelligence has ruined the whole of my plans. The militia, which I destined for this service, will now be alarmed, and unwilling to leave their families to the mercy of 400 Indians, whose conduct affords such wide room for suspicion; and really to expect that this fickle race will remain in a state of neutrality in the midst of war, would be truly absurd. The Indians have probably been led to this change of sentiment by emissaries from General Hull, whose proclamation to the Six Nations is herewith enclosed.

I have not deemed it of sufficient consequence to commence active operations on this line, by an attack on Fort Niagara. It can be demolished, when found necessary, in half an hour, and there my means of annoyance would terminate. To enable the militia to acquire some degree of discipline without interruption, is of far greater consequence than such a conquest. Every thing in my power shall be done to overcome the difficulties by which I am surrounded; but without strong reinforcements, I fear the country cannot be roused to make exertions equal to meet this crisis.

I proceed immediately to York, to attend the meeting of the legislature, and I hope to return on Wednesday. The charge of this frontier will in the mean time devolve on Lieut.-Colonel Myers, who appears worthy of every confidence. The actual invasion of the province has compelled me to recall that portion of the militia whom I permitted to return home and work at harvest. I am prepared to hear of much discontent in consequence; the disaffected will take advantage of it, and add fuel to the flame. But it may not be without reason that I may be accused of having already studied their convenience and humour, to the injury of the service.

I should have derived much consolation in the midst of my present difficulties had I been honored, previously to the meeting of the legislature, with your excellency's determination in regard to this province. That it cannot be maintained with its present force is very obvious; and unless the enemy be driven from Sandwich, it will be impossible to avert much longer the impending ruin of the country. Numbers have already joined the invading army; commotions are excited; and the late occurrences at Sandwich have spread a general gloom. I have not heard from Lieut.-Colonel St. George, or from any individual at Amherstburg, since I last had the honor of addressing your excellency, which makes me apprehensive that Colonel Proctor has been detained on his journey too long for the good of the service.

The enemy's cavalry, amounting to about fifty, are led by one Watson, a surveyor from Montreal of a desperate character. This fellow has been allowed to parade with about twenty men of the same description as far as Westminster, vowing as they went along the most bitter vengeance against the first characters in the province. Nothing can shew more strongly the state of apathy which exists in most parts of the country; but I am perhaps too liberal in attributing the conduct of the inhabitants to that cause.

Mr. Couche has represented to the head of his department the total impracticability of carrying on the public service without a remittance of specie, or a government paper substitute. He was in expectation of making arrangements with some individuals that would have enabled him to proceed, but I much fear that the whole project has fallen to the ground. The militia on this communication were so clamorous for their pay, that I directed Mr. Couche to make the necessary advances, and this has drained him of the little specie in his possession.

My present civil office not only authorizes me to convene general courts martial for the trial of offenders belonging to the militia, but likewise the infliction of the sentence of death; whilst, in regard to the military, my power is limited to the mere assembling of the court. I beg leave to submit to the consideration of your excellency, whether in times like the present I ought not to be invested with equal authority over each service.

I herewith have the honor to transmit two letters, one from Captain Roberts, commanding at St. Joseph's, and the second from Mr. Dickson, a gentleman every way capable of forming a correct judgment of the actual state of the Indians. Nothing can be more deplorable than his description; yet the United States government accuse Great Britain of instigating that people to war. Is not the true cause to be found in the state of desperation to which they are reduced by the unfriendly and unjust measures of that government towards them?

On the 27th of July, Major-General Brock returned to York from Fort George, on which day, accompanied by a numerous suite, he opened the extra session of the legislature, and delivered the following speeches.

Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

The urgency of the present crisis is the only consideration which could have induced me to call you together at a time when public, as well as private duties elsewhere, demand your care and attention.

But, gentlemen, when invaded by an enemy whose avowed object is the entire conquest of the province, the voice of loyalty, as well as of interest, calls aloud to every person in the sphere in which he is placed to defend his country.

Our militia have heard that voice, and have obeyed it; they have evinced, by the promptitude and loyalty of their conduct, that they are worthy of the king whom they serve, and of the constitution which they enjoy; and it affords me particular satisfaction, that while I address you as legislators, I speak to men who, in the day of danger, will be ready to assist, not only with their counsel, but with their arms.

We look, gentlemen, to our militia, as well as to the regular forces, for our protection; but I should be wanting to that important trust committed to my care, if I attempted to conceal (what experience, the great instructor of mankind, and especially of legislators, has discovered,) that amendment is necessary in our militia laws to render them efficient.

It is for you to consider what further improvements they still may require.

Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

From the history and experience of our mother country, we learn that in times of actual invasion or internal commotion, the ordinary course of criminal law has been found inadequate to secure his majesty's government from private treachery as well as from open disaffection; and that at such times its legislature has found it expedient to enact laws restraining for a limited period the liberty of individuals, in many cases where it would be dangerous to expose the particulars of the charge; and although the actual invasion of the province might justify me in the exercise of the full powers reposed in me on such an emergency, yet it will be more agreeable to me to receive the sanction of the two houses.

A few traitors have already joined the enemy, have been suffered to come into the country with impunity, and have been harboured and concealed in the interior; yet the general spirit of loyalty which appears to pervade the inhabitants of this province, is such as to authorize a just expectation that their efforts to mislead and deceive will be unavailing. The disaffected, I am convinced, are few—to protect and defend the loyal inhabitants from their machinations, is an object worthy of your most serious deliberation.

Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

I have directed the public accounts of the province to be laid before you, in as complete a state as this unusual period will admit; they will afford you the means of ascertaining to what extent you can aid in providing for the extraordinary demands occasioned by the employment of the militia, and I doubt not but to that extent you will cheerfully contribute.

Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and dispatch in our councils, and by vigour in our operations, we may teach the enemy this lesson, that a country defended by free men enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their king and constitution, can never be conquered!

The invasion of the western district by Brigadier-General Hull, and the artful and threatening language of his proclamation, were productive at the outset of very unfavourable effects among a large portion of the inhabitants of Upper Canada; and so general was the despondency, that the Norfolk militia, consisting, we believe, chiefly of settlers of American origin, peremptorily refused to march. The majority of the members of the house of assembly were impressed with the same gloomy forebodings, and that body appeared by its proceedings rather to court the favor of the enemy than fearlessly to perform its duty. It was therefore prorogued upon passing the money bills, as no advantage could result from its remaining longer in session. The state of the province required the most prompt and decisive measures for its preservation, and Major-General Brock considered its situation at this moment as extremely critical. With the concurrence of his council, to whom he represented his many difficulties, he is said to have resolved on exercising martial law whenever he should find it necessary, although the house of assembly had rejected its enactment, even in a modified form. Not only among the militia was a disposition evinced to submit tamely, but five hundred in the western district sought the protection of the enemy. It is true that the people then were far removed from the seat of government, and the more subject to hostile influence, as they were principally composed of French Canadians and of the natives of the United States, or their immediate descendants; but even the Indians, who were located on the Grand River, in the heart of the province, positively refused, with a few exceptions, to take up arms; and they announced their intention, after the return of some of their chiefs from General Hull, to remain neutral, as if they wished the authorities to believe that they would remain in peace in the midst of war. Major-General Brock had not long administered the government of the province, but where he was individually known, and where his personal influence extended, a better feeling prevailed; and his counter-proclamation served not only to animate the well disposed, but to counteract the machinations of the disaffected. The confident tone of his address to the provincial parliament was also productive of the best effects, whatever inward misgivings he might feel; and those who were dastardly enough to join the invaders of their native or adopted country, were quickly taught to repent of their baseness and treason.


[56] Christie's Memoirs, already cited at page 90.

[57] General Sir Thomas Saumarez, now in his 85th year, and brother of the late Admiral Lord de Saumarez.


We have mentioned that Major-General Brock had in the spring provided for the protection of Fort St. Joseph, a small British post, distant by water nearly 700 hundred miles from York, and situate about 40 miles, also by water, to the north-east of the American island and fort of Michilimakinack, or Makinack, which island is in latitude 45° 35' north, and longitude 84° 30' west; and one of his first cares, on hearing of the declaration of the war, was to send, on the 26th of June, a notification of it to Captain Roberts, who was stationed at St. Joseph with a detachment of the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, accompanied by orders to make an immediate attack upon Michilimakinack, if practicable; or, in the event of an attack by the Americans upon St. Joseph, to defend it to the utmost. Captain Roberts received at the same time another letter from Major-General Brock, dated the 27th June, suspending the orders for the attack from the uncertainty he was under of the declaration of war. In a third letter, dated Fort George, the 28th June, Major-General Brock, being sufficiently informed of such a declaration, directed Captain Roberts to adopt the most prompt and effectual measures to possess himself of Michilimakinack, and for this purpose to summon to his assistance the Indians within his influence, as well as the gentlemen and dependants of the British fur companies near his post. On the day that Captain Roberts received this letter, another reached him from Sir George Prevost, dated Quebec, 25th of June, by which he was directed to take every precaution to secure his post against any attempt by the enemy, and, in case of necessity, to effect his retreat.[58] This contrariety of instructions from the two general officers did not fail to perplex Captain Roberts, who, however, with great promptitude and decision made preparations for the attack. By another dispatch of the 4th of July, from Major-General Brock, Captain Roberts was left at his own discretion to adopt either offensive or defensive measures, as circumstances might dictate. On the 16th July, he accordingly set out with a flotilla of boats and canoes, in which were embarked 45 officers and men of the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, about 180 Canadians, and nearly 400 Indians, the whole convoyed by the Caledonia brig, belonging to the North-West company; and on the ensuing morning, the British force effected a landing before Michilimakinack,[59] the garrison of which, consisting only of 61 officers and men, immediately surrendered by capitulation. A quantity of military stores and seven hundred packs of furs were found in the fort, and its surrender had a very favorable effect upon the Indians, a large number of whom now joined in open hostility against the Americans. It will be found by a letter of the 12th August, from Sir George Prevost, who appears to have seen no safety but in defensive measures, that he would not have approved of the attack on Michilimakinack if it had occurred prior to Hull's invasion! And yet that officer, in his official dispatch relative to the capture of his army and the surrender of Detroit, attributed his disasters partly to the fall of Michilimakinack, which he said opened the northern hive of Indians against him!

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, July 29, 1812.

I have the honor to transmit herewith a dispatch this instant received from Captain Roberts, announcing the surrender by capitulation, on the 17th instant, of Fort Michilimakinack.

The conduct of this officer since his appointment to the command of that distant post, has been distinguished by much zeal and judgment, and his recent eminent display of those qualities your excellency will find has been attended with the most happy effect.

The militia stationed here volunteered this morning their services to any part of the province without the least hesitation. I have selected 100, whom I have directed to proceed without delay to Long Point, where I purpose collecting a force for the relief of Amherstburg. This example, I hope, will be followed by as many as may be required. By the militia law, a mail refusing to march may be fined £5, or confined three months; and although I have assembled the legislature for the express purpose of amending the act, I much fear nothing material will be done. Your excellency will scarcely believe, that this infatuated house of assembly have refused, by a majority of two, to suspend for a limited time the habeas corpus.

The capture of Michilimakinack may produce great changes to the westward. The actual invasion of the province justifies every act of hostility on the American territory.

It was not till this morning that I was honored with your excellency's dispatches, dated the 7th and 10th instant. Their contents, I beg to assure your excellency, have relieved my mind considerably. I doubt whether General Hull had instructions to cross to this side of the river; I rather suspect he was compelled by a want of provisions. I embark immediately in the Prince Regent for Fort George. I return here the day after to-morrow, and shall probably dissolve the legislature.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, July 31, 1812.

I have received your letter of the 20th instant, accompanied by the copy of two letters from Lieut.-Colonel St. George, who is in command at Amherstburg, and some interesting documents found on board a schooner, which had been taken by the boats of the Hunter.

In consequence of your having desired Colonel Proctor to proceed to Amherstburg, and of your presence being necessary at the seat of government to meet the legislature of Upper Canada, I have taken upon myself to place Major-General Sheaffe on the staff, to enable me to send him to assist you in the arduous task you have to perform, in the able execution of which I have great confidence. He has been accordingly directed to proceed without delay to Upper Canada, there to place himself under your command.

I believe you are authorized by the commission under which you administer the government of Upper Canada, to declare martial law in the event of invasion or insurrection; it is therefore for you to consider whether you can obtain any thing equivalent to that power from your legislature. I have not succeeded in obtaining a modification of it in Lower Canada, and must therefore, upon the occurrence of either of those calamities, declare the law martial unqualified, and of course shut the doors of the courts of civil law.

The report transmitted by Captain Dixon, of the Royal Engineers, to Lieut.-Colonel Bruyeres, of the state of defence in which he had placed Fort Amherstburg, together with the description of the troops allotted for its defence, give me a foreboding that the result of General Hull's attempt upon that fort will terminate honorably to our arms.

If Lieut.-Colonel St. George be possessed of the talents and resources required to form a soldier, he is fortunate in the opportunity of displaying them. Should General Hull be compelled to relinquish his operations against Amherstburg, it will be proper his future movements should be most carefully observed, as his late march exhibits a more than ordinary character of enterprize.

Your supposition of my slender means is but too correct; notwithstanding, you may rely upon every exertion being made to preserve uninterrupted the communication between Kingston and Montreal, and that I will also give all possible support to your endeavours to overcome every difficulty.

The possession of Malden, which I consider means Amherstburg, appears a favorite object with the government of the United States. I sincerely hope you will disappoint them.

Should the intelligence, which arrived yesterday by the way of Newfoundland, prove correct, a remarkable coincidence will exist in the revocation of our orders in council as regards America, and the declaration of war by congress against England, both having taken place on the same day in London and at Washington, the 17th June.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, August 1, 1812.

Sir George yesterday received your letter of the 20th with its several enclosures, which are, I assure you, highly interesting to all, and doubly so to those who feel warmly and sincerely attached to you; and few, I believe, possess more friends and well wishers than yourself. 100 effective of the Newfoundland, and 50 picked men of the Veterans, left this in boats on Thursday, and, as it has blown a gale of east wind ever since, have I trust made great progress: they were intended to reinforce the garrison of Kingston, and to relieve the company of the 49th that escorted stores to that place. Sir George regrets extremely his inability to render you a more efficient aid, but, under existing circumstances, he does not feel himself warranted to do more. I regret to find your militia at Sandwich so lukewarm, to call it by no harsher name; but I fear that little can be expected from those recently settled, or of American extraction, and with our Canadians we have found a very reluctant compliance. I trust we may still look to considerable reinforcements from home this year. We are led to expect the 1st battalion of the Royals from the West Indies immediately, destined indeed to relieve the 41st. I hope we shall not be disappointed, as our militia will feel bold if well backed; and I am sure Sir George will rejoice in receiving the means of rendering you further assistance. It appears to be credited that the orders in council were rescinded, in as far as regarded America, on the 17th June, the day the war vote was carried: this will strengthen the oppositionists in the States, and the timid will feel alarmed, not without reason, when they read the glorious and judicious exploit of Captain Hotham, in the Northumberland, 74, in destroying, under circumstances of great difficulty and peril, two French 44-gun frigates and a sloop, which received a superior degree of protection from batteries on the shore than can be afforded to Commodore Rodgers in any harbour of the States.

The Americans are forming depôts in the neighbourhood of the Montreal frontier and building batteries on the lake, but they have not brought forward any considerable shew of strength;—on this appearance of weakness we cannot rely, as it would answer no good end making a parade before they intended to attack. If they be serious in their views on this province, the attempt will be probably backed by predatory incursions on various points. A corps of militia is kept on the Point Levi side.

Our legislature meet this day to terminate the session. One great object has been accomplished in the house, adding the provincial security to the army money note bill; the province pays the interest accruing upon the notes and the expense of the establishment, and they are constituted a legal tender. Without this step we were completely at a stand, for we could not obtain money to pay the last month's subsistence to the troops: great benefit is expected to accrue from the operation of the bill. The clergy have engaged to promote the circulation of the notes, all of which above twenty-five dollars bear interest, and all under are payable on demand.

Adieu, my dear generals—may every success and good fortune attend you in the arduous task before you: we cannot command success, but I am sure you will not fail to merit it.

Lieut.-Colonel Bruyeres, Royal Engineers, to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, August 1, 1812.

I take the favorable advantage of this being delivered to you by General Sheaffe, to assure you of the sincere interest I feel in the very arduous and important position you are now placed in to protect and defend a chain of posts, and a country that has been so long neglected. This difficult task placed in any other hands, I should consider very discouraging; but I acknowledge that I look with a certain degree of confidence to your abilities and perseverance in surmounting every difficulty that must unavoidably occur in a service of this nature. I most fervently and earnestly hope that every possible success may attend all your proceedings. I trust that you will always meet with zeal and activity in the officers of my department, to perform every part of the duty allotted to their charge. It is very difficult at this distance to suggest any ideas that might be useful, as every operation in which you are engaged must depend so entirely upon local circumstances, and the conduct which the enemy may pursue towards attaining the object he has in view. I am glad to find that the new arrival of the Royals, expected at Quebec to-morrow, will give you the reinforcement of the 49th regiment, which, with the detachments of the Newfoundland and Veterans, and gun-boat No. 7, will add something to your present strength.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, August 2, 1812.

Last evening an officer of the 98th regiment arrived here express from Halifax, the bearer of dispatches to me, dated on the 22d ultimo, from Mr. Foster, who was then in Nova Scotia.

I lose no time in making you acquainted with the substance of this gentleman's communication. He informs me that he had just received dispatches from England, referring to a declaration of ministers in parliament, relative to a proposed repeal of the orders in council, provided the United States government would return to relations of amity with us, the contents of which may possibly induce the American government to agree to a suspension of hostilities as a preliminary to negotiations for peace;—that he proposed sending his majesty's hired armed ketch Gleaner to New York, with letters to Mr. Baker, whom he had left at Washington in a demi-official capacity, with directions to communicate with the American minister and to write to me the result of his interview. Should the president of the United States think proper to signify that hostile operations should cease on the American side, Mr. Foster suggests the expediency of my being prepared to make a similar signification on our part.

As I propose sending Colonel Baynes immediately into the United States, with a proposal for a cessation of hostile operations, I enclose for your information the copy of my letter to General Dearborn, or the commander-in-chief of the American forces.

Mr. Foster also submits the propriety of our abstaining from an invasion of the United States territory, as only in such an event could the American government be empowered to order the militia out of the States. I am led to believe from this, that General Hull, in possessing himself of Sandwich, has exceeded his instructions; particularly as Mr. Foster informs me that Mr. Monroe had told him Fort Maiden (Amherstburg) would not be attacked, but that General Hull had stated to a friend of his, some time ago, that he would attempt it.

A report has been made to me that a frigate and six transports, with the Royal Scots (1st battalion) on board, from the West Indies, are just below Bic;—in consequence of this reinforcement, I have ordered the company of the 49th regiment, sent to Kingston, to remain there; and in addition to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and a detachment of an officer and 50 Veterans most fit for service, now on their route to that station, I shall order Major Ormsby, with three companies of the 49th regiment, to proceed from Montreal to the same post, to be disposed of as you may find it necessary.

Lieut.-General Sir J.C. Sherbrooke has informed me that one of the transports, with part of the Royals on board, has been captured by the United States frigate the Essex; that she has been ransomed and the officers and troops allowed to proceed, upon condition that they are not to serve against America until regularly exchanged. The vessel and troops had arrived at Halifax, and will shortly be sent hither.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, August 4, 1812.

I have the honor to enclose a statement made by me yesterday to his majesty's executive council, which will fully apprize your excellency of my situation. The council adjourned for deliberation, and I have no doubt will recommend the prorogation of the assembly and proclamation declaring martial law, but doubts occurred in contemplation of such an event, which I take the liberty to submit to your excellency, and request the aid of your experience and superior judgment.

1.—In the event of declaring martial law, can I, without the sign manual, approve and carry into effect the sentence of a general court martial?

2.—Can I put upon a general court martial, after martial law is proclaimed, any person not a commissioned officer in his majesty's regular forces? In other words, can officers of militia sit in conjunction with those of the line?

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, August 12, 1812.

Your letter of the 4th instant, enclosing the proceedings of the executive council of the 3d.; Captain Glegg's letter of the 5th instant, transmitting copies of letters from Colonel Proctor to you of 26th and 30th July, with the correspondence between Brigadier-General Hull and Lieut.-Colonel St. George, and the intercepted correspondence of the former, together with your letter to Colonel Baynes, of the 4th instant, were all delivered to me on my arrival at this place yesterday. The information they contain is highly interesting, and I lose no time in dispatching to you Brigade Major Shekleton, as the bearer of this letter, and for the purpose of receiving whatever communication you may have to make in return. Being fully aware of the necessity of affording you such reinforcements as the exigencies of the service in other parts of the two provinces would permit, I had, previous to the receipt of your letter, made arrangements for that purpose.

Major Ormsby, with three companies of the 49th regiment, protecting a considerable supply of ordnance and ordnance stores, left La Chine on the 6th instant for Kingston and Fort George, taking with him £2,500 for the payment of the regular and militia forces. Major Heathcote, with one company of the 49th regiment, about 110 men of the Newfoundland regiment, and 50 picked Veterans, are to leave La Chine on the 13th instant. With this detachment, an additional supply of ordnance stores and camp equipage for 500 men will be forwarded for Upper Canada; and as soon as a sufficiency of bateaux can again be collected at La Chine, Colonel Vincent is under orders to proceed to Kingston with the remainder of the 49th regiment, and a subaltern of the royal artillery and ten gunners, with two 3-pounders.

When these reinforcements reach you, they will, I trust, enable you successfully to resist the internal, as well as external, enemies opposed to you, and materially aid the able measures you have adopted for the defence of Upper Canada.

With regard to the queries you have submitted to me on the subject of martial law, I have to observe, that it has not fallen within my experience to see martial law proclaimed, except in those places where it has been declared under the authority of a provincial legislature, which of course regulated the mode in which it was to be executed. As the martial law which you purpose declaring is founded on the king's commission, and upon the extreme case of invasion alluded to in it, I am inclined to think that whatever power is necessary for carrying the measure into effect, must have been intended to be given you by the commission, and consequently, that the power of assembling courts martial and of carrying their sentence into execution, is included in the authority for declaring martial law. The officers of militia becoming themselves subject to martial law when it is declared, I conceive they may sit upon courts martial with officers of his majesty's regular forces; but upon both these points I desire not to be understood as speaking decisively—extreme cases must be met by measures which, on ordinary occasions, would not perhaps be justified. Your situation is such as to warrant your resorting to any step which, in your judgment, the public safety may require. I should therefore think, that after taking the best opinions you can obtain from the first law characters you have about you respecting the doubts you entertain on this subject, you need not hesitate to determine upon that line of conduct which you shall think will best promote the good of the service, trusting, if you do err, to the absolute necessity of the measures you may adopt, as your justification for them to his majesty's government.

Your letters of the 26th, 28th and 29th July, with the several enclosures and papers accompanying them, were received by me shortly previous to my leaving Quebec; the last containing Captain Roberts' official account of the capture of Fort Michilimakinack. Great credit is certainly due to that officer for the zeal and promptitude with which he has performed this service; at the same time I must confess, my mind has been very much relieved by finding that the capture took place at a period subsequent to Brigadier-General Hull's invasion of the province, as, had it been prior to it, it would not only have been in violation of Captain Roberts' orders, but have afforded a just ground for the subsequent conduct of the enemy, which, I now plainly perceive, no forbearance on your part would have prevented. The capture of this place will, I hope, enable the Indian tribes in that quarter to co-operate with you in your present movements against the enemy, by threatening his flanks, a diversion which would greatly alarm him, and probably have the effect of compelling him to retreat across the river.

I send you enclosed a copy of the official repeal of the orders in council, which I received last night by express from Quebec. Although I much doubt whether this step on the part of our government will have any effect upon that of the United States, the circulation of the paper evincing their conciliatory disposition may tend to increase and strengthen the divisions which subsist amongst the people upon the subject of the war. I therefore recommend to you to have a number of copies struck off and distributed.

Colonel Baynes is still absent upon his mission to the enemy's camp. Your letter to him of the 29th ultimo was received at the same time with those I have last acknowledged. Colonel Lethbridge I have directed to return to Montreal.

The issue of army bills has taken place at Quebec, and I hope to be able shortly to send you a supply of them.

We have previously alluded (page 206) to that part of the preceding letter which relates to the capture of Michilimakinack. This capture appears to have been effected contrary to Sir George Prevost's orders, as Fort St. Joseph being nearly 350 miles from Detroit and Sandwich, and as the expedition left the fort only four days after Hull's invasion, it was scarcely possible that Captain Roberts was then aware of that circumstance. Neither in his letter to the adjutant-general, announcing the capture, does he excuse himself by stating that he had heard of the invasion. In his dispatch to Earl Bathurst, written exactly a fortnight after the preceding letter, and dated Montreal, August 26, Sir George Prevost, in communicating the surrender of Detroit, expressed himself in very altered language, as he said:

"In these measures he[60] was most opportunely aided by the fortunate surrender of Fort Michilimakinack, which, giving spirit and confidence to the Indian tribes in its neighbourhood, part of whom assisted in its capture, determined them to advance upon the rear and flanks of the American army, as soon as they heard that it had entered the province."


[58] This order strikes us as an unmilitary interference on the part of Sir George Prevost with Major-General Brock's authority, Captain Roberts being under the immediate command of the latter general.

[59] See Captain Roberts' Dispatch, Appendix A, Sec. 1, No. 2.

[60] Major-General Brock.


Whilst Major-General Brock impatiently lingered on the Niagara frontier, so as to give time to the legislature to assemble at York, he dispatched Colonel Proctor, of the 41st regiment, with such reinforcements as could be spared, to assume the command at Amherstburg. General Hull, after crossing to Sandwich, remained for some time inactive, under pretext of making preparations for the reduction of Amherstburg, or Malden, as the Americans called it, which lay but eighteen miles below him, and was not in a condition to withstand a regular siege. During the delay, three detachments of his army were on three successive days beaten back by a small number of the 41st regiment and a few Indians. Michilimakinack had fallen since the invasion, and the Indians from that quarter were flocking to the British standard. Our naval force being superior on the lake, Colonel Proctor pushed over to Brownstown, an American village, about 25 miles from Detroit, and nearly opposite to Amherstburg, a small detachment of the 41st regiment, and some Indians under the celebrated Tecumseh, who, with 70 of the latter, awaited in ambush near that village a party of 200 Americans, under Major Van Home, on their march[61] from Detroit to the River Raisin, (40 miles south of Detroit,) to meet a detachment of volunteers from Ohio, with a convoy of provisions for Hull's army. The Indians, firing suddenly, killed 20, including 5 officers, and wounded about the same number of the Americans, who hastily retreated, and were pursued seven miles by the warriors alone, not a British soldier being engaged. In this affair, General Hull's dispatches and the correspondence of his troops fell into the hands of Tecumseh, and it was partly the desponding nature of their contents which afterwards induced Major-General Brock to attempt the capture of the American army. Foiled in the reduction of Fort Amherstburg; disappointed in his hope of a general insurrection of the Canadians; and, "above all, dismayed at the report of General Brock's resolution to advance against him,"[62] Hull's schemes of conquest vanished; and he who, less than a month before, had landed in Canada boastful of his strength and with threats of extermination, now saw no other alternative than a hasty return to Detroit, under the pretence of concentrating his forces; and after re-opening his communication with the rivers Raisin and Miami, through which he received his supplies, of resuming offensive operations. Accordingly, on the 7th and 8th of August the American army re-crossed the river, with the exception of a garrison of 250 men left in charge of a small fortification they had thrown up on the British side, a little below Detroit, and which they evacuated and destroyed before the arrival of Major-General Brock.[63] On the 9th of August, a body of 600 Americans, sent to dislodge the British from Brownstown and to open a communication with the Rivers Raisin and Miami, was met by the white troops and Indians under Captain Muir, of the 41st, at Maguaga, between Brownstown and Detroit, but, after a severe conflict, Captain Muir was compelled to retreat.

From the moment that Major-General Brock heard of the invasion of the western district, he determined on proceeding thither in person after he had met the legislature and dispatched the public business. Having expressed a wish of being accompanied by such of the militia as might voluntarily offer their services, 500, principally the sons of veteran soldiers who had settled in the province, cheerfully came forward for that purpose. The threatening attitude, however, of the enemy on the Niagara frontier, obliged the general to content himself with half this number; and he left York on the 6th of August for Burlington Bay, whence he proceeded by land for Long Point, on Lake Erie. In passing the Mohawks' village, on the Grand River, or Ouse, he desired the Indians there to tell him who were, and who were not, his friends; and at a council held on the 7th of August, they promised that about 60 of their number should follow him on the ensuing Monday, the 10th. At Long Point, a few regulars and nearly 300 militia embarked with him on the 8th of the same month in boats of every description, collected among the neighbouring farmers, who usually employed them for transporting their corn and flour. The distance from Long Point to Amherstburg is about 200 miles along the shore, which in many parts is a high precipitous bank of red clay, with scarcely a creek for shelter. The little flotilla encountered heavy rain and tempestuous weather, but nothing could for a moment retard its progress, or diminish the confidence of the men in their indefatigable leader. Among his general orders from the commencement of hostilities, the only one relating to this voyage is the following, which, from the singularity of the circumstances attending it, is thought worthy of being preserved:

G.O. Head Quarters, Pointe au Prince, Aug. 12, 1812.

It is Major-General Brock's intention, should the wind continue fair, to proceed during the night; officers commanding boats will therefore pay attention to the order of sailing, as directed yesterday; the greatest care and attention will be required to prevent the boats from separating or falling behind. A great part of the banks of the lake, where the boats will this day pass, is much more dangerous and difficult of access than any we have passed; the boats will, therefore, not land except in the most extreme necessity, and then great care must be taken to choose the best place for beaching.

The troops being now in the neighbourhood of the enemy, every precaution must be taken to guard against surprise. By Order.

J.B. GLEGG, Aide-de-Camp.

After five days and nights of incessant exertion, the little squadron reached Amherstburg[64] shortly before midnight on the 13th, and in a rough sketch in the handwriting of Major-General Brock, he observed: "In no instance have I seen troops who would have endured the fatigues of a long journey in boats, during extremely bad weather, with greater cheerfulness and constancy; and it is but justice to this little band to add, that their conduct throughout excited my admiration."

Soon after their landing at Amherstburg, the attention of the troops was suddenly roused by a straggling fire of musketry, which in a few minutes became general, and appeared to proceed from an island in the Detroit river. Colonel Elliott, the superintendent of the Indians, quickly explained that the firing arose from the Indians attached to the British cause, who thus expressed their joy at the arrival of the reinforcement under their white father. Major-General Brock, aware of his scarcity of the munitions of war, sent Colonel Elliott to stop this waste of powder, saying: "Do, pray, Elliott, fully explain my wishes and motives, and tell the Indians that I will speak to them to-morrow on this subject." His request was promptly attended to, and Colonel Elliott returned in about half an hour with the Shawanee chief, Tecumseh, or Tecumpthé, already mentioned. Captain Glegg,[65] the aide-de-camp, being present, had an opportunity of closely observing the traits of that extraordinary man, and we are indebted to him for the following graphic particulars: "Tecumseh's appearance was very prepossessing; his figure light and finely proportioned; his age I imagined to be about five and thirty;[66] in height, five feet nine or ten inches; his complexion, light copper; countenance, oval, with bright hazle eyes, beaming cheerfulness, energy, and decision. Three small silver crowns, or coronets, were suspended from the lower cartilage of his aquiline nose; and a large silver medallion of George the Third, which I believe his ancestor had received from Lord Dorchester, when governor-general of Canada, was attached to a mixed coloured wampum string, and hung round his neck. His dress consisted of a plain, neat uniform, tanned deer skin jacket, with long trousers of the same material, the seams of both being covered with neatly cut fringe; and he had on his feet leather mocassins, much ornamented with work made from the dyed quills of the porcupine.

"The first and usual salutation of shaking hands being over, an allusion was made to the late firing of musketry, and Tecumseh at once approved of the reason given by Major-General Brock for its discontinuance. It being late, the parties soon separated, with an understanding that a council would be held the following morning. This accordingly took place, and was attended by about a thousand Indians, whose equipment generally might be considered very imposing. The council was opened by General Brock, who informed the Indians that he was ordered by their great father to come to their assistance, and, with their aid, to drive the Americans from Fort Detroit. His speech was highly applauded, and Tecumseh was unanimously called upon to speak in reply. He commenced with expressions of joy, that their father beyond the great salt lake (meaning the king of England) had at length awoke from his long sleep, and permitted his warriors to come to the assistance of his red children, who had never ceased to remain steady in their friendship, and were now all ready to shed their last drop of blood in their great father's service. After some speeches from other chiefs, and replies thereto, the council broke up. General Brock, having quickly discovered the superior sagacity and intrepidity of Tecumseh, and his influence over the Indians, and not deeming it prudent to develop before so mixed an assemblage the views which were at that moment uppermost in his thoughts, and intended to be carried so quickly into execution, directed Colonel Elliott to inform this Shawanee chief that he wished to see him, accompanied by a few of the oldest chiefs, at Colonel Elliott's quarters. There the general, through the medium of interpreters, communicated his views, and explained the manner in which he intended to carry into execution his operations against Fort Detroit. The chiefs listened with the most apparent eagerness, and expressed their unanimous assent to the proposed plan, assuring General Brock that their co-operation, as pointed out, might be depended on. On General Brock asking whether the Shawanee Indians could be induced to refrain from drinking spirits, Tecumseh assured him that his warriors might be relied on, adding, that before leaving their country on the Wabash river, they had promised him not to taste that pernicious liquor until they had humbled the "big knives," meaning the Americans. In reply to this assurance, General Brock briefly said: 'If this resolution be persevered in, you must conquer.'"

In a general order on the 14th of August, at Amherstburg, in announcing his arrival in the western district, Major-General Brock observed: "The major-general cannot avoid expressing his surprise at the numerous desertions which have occurred from the ranks of the militia, to which circumstance the long stay of the enemy on this side of the river must in a great measure be ascribed. He is willing to believe that their conduct proceeded from an anxiety to get in their harvest, and not from any predeliction for the principles or government of the United States."

The next day, the American commander was startled by a summons to surrender; and so resolute a demand seems to have struck him with dismay, as at the worst he had never contemplated a pursuit into his own territory.

Head Quarters, Sandwich, Aug. 15, 1812.

The force at my disposal authorizes me to require of you the immediate surrender of Fort Detroit.[67] It is far from my inclination to join in a war of extermination; but you must be aware, that the numerous body of Indians who have attached themselves to my troops, will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences. You will find me disposed to enter into such conditions as will satisfy the most scrupulous sense of honor. Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell and Major Glegg are fully authorized to conclude any arrangement that may lead to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood.

ISAAC BROCK, Major-General.
Brigadier-General Hull.

Hull refused to see Captain Glegg, who carried the summons, and, after detaining him upwards of two hours, returned the following answer:

Head Quarters, Detroit, Aug. 15, 1812.

I have received your letter of this date. I have no other reply to make than to inform you, that I am prepared to meet any force which may be at your disposal, and any consequences which may result from any exertion of it you may think proper to make.

W. HULL, Brigadier-General,
Commanding the N.W. Army of the U.S.

Nothing daunted, and contrary to the advice of some of his officers, Major-General Brock at once determined on crossing the river, with the view of attempting, by a sudden and resolute attack, the annihilation of the enemy's power in that quarter. In the afternoon, a fire was opened from a battery of five guns, erected opposite to Detroit, under the direction of Captain Dixon, of the Royal Engineers: this cannonade was returned from seven 24-pounders, but the British general, perceiving that little effect was produced by either fire, gave orders that his should cease. The troops retired to their bivouac and lay on their arms, with orders to cross the strait, or river, which is here about three-fourths of a mile in width, on the following morning. Accordingly, at the first blush of dawn, on Sunday, the 16th of August, when the fire from the British battery was resumed, 330 regulars and 400 militia were embarked, with five pieces of light artillery, in boats and canoes of every description, and soon effected a landing without opposition, near Springwell, four or five miles below Detroit. About 600 Indians, under Colonel Elliott, had crossed the river during the night, and were ordered to be so placed as to take the enemy in flank and rear, should he attempt to oppose the landing. The white troops marched towards the fort, while the Indians moved through the woods, and covered the left flank, the right resting upon the river, and protected by the Queen Charlotte, colonial vessel of war. The enemy's effective force was estimated at nearly 2,500 men, and, supported as they were by a neighbouring fortress, it required no little daring to pursue them on their own ground with such unequal numbers. Contrary to Major-General Brock's expectation, the Americans abandoned a favorable position, strengthened by pickets and two 24-pounders, and retreated into the fort on the advance of the British, who halted in a ravine within a mile, and, discovering the weakness of the works on the land side, prepared for its assault. While the various columns were forming for that purpose, a flag of truce, borne by Captain Hull, was unexpectedly seen emerging from the fort,—Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell and Captain Glegg accompanied him back; and shortly after the British troops marched in with Major-General Brock at their head, the American general having assented to a capitulation, by which the Michigan territory, Fort Detroit, with thirty-three pieces of cannon,[68] the Adams vessel of war,[69] and about 2,500 troops, including one company of artillery, some cavalry, and the entire 4th U.S. regiment of infantry, with a stand of colours, were surrendered to the British arms. An immense quantity of stores and the military chest were also taken; and as there was a great deficiency of arms in the Upper Province wherewith to equip the militia, the 2,500 stand of American became a valuable acquisition. To this surrender the after preservation of Upper Canada, at least, may in a great measure be ascribed, as it caused a delay of nearly a whole year in the meditated invasion,[70] and secured the support of some of the Indian tribes, who were hesitating as to the side they should espouse. It was the more fortunate that Major-General Brock acted with so much promptitude and vigour, because large reinforcements were on their way to General Hull; and not only would that officer's reverse otherwise have been spared, but the western districts of Upper Canada would probably have fallen before the overwhelming numbers which would soon have been brought against them.

The surrender of Detroit was so unexpected, that it produced an almost electrical effect throughout the Canadas: it was the first enterprize in which the militia had been engaged, and its success not only imparted confidence to that body, but it inspired the timid, fixed the wavering, and awed the disaffected. Major-General Brock from this moment became the idol of the great mass of those whom he governed; and when he returned to York, whither he arrived on the 27th of August, he was received amidst the heartfelt acclamations of a grateful people, rescued by his promptitude from the ignominy of submitting to a conqueror. They remembered that in the short space of nineteen days he had, not only met the legislature and settled the public business of the province under the most trying circumstances that a commander could encounter, but, with means incredibly limited, he had gone nearly 300 miles in pursuit of an invading enemy of almost double his own force and compelled him to surrender, thus extending the British dominion without bloodshed over an extent of country almost equal to Upper Canada.[71]

The conduct of the American general in so tamely surrendering is inexplicable, as Detroit contained an ample supply of ammunition and provisions for nearly a month, besides an abundance of wheat in the territory, with mills to grind any quantity into flour. One of his officers, Colonel Cass, in a long letter to the Honorable William Eustis, the secretary of war at Washington, said: "I have been informed by Colonel Findley, who saw the return of the quartermaster-general the day after the surrender, that their whole force, of every description, white, red, and black, was 1,030.[72] They had twenty-nine platoons, twelve in a platoon, of men dressed in uniform. Many of these were evidently Canadian militia. The rest of their militia increased their white force to about 700. The number of Indians could not be ascertained with any degree of precision—not many were visible. And in the event of an attack upon the town and fort, it was a species of force which could have afforded no material advantage to the enemy.... That we were far superior to the enemy, that upon any ordinary principles of calculation we would have defeated them, the wounded and indignant feelings of every man there will testify.... I was informed by General Hull, the morning after the capitulation, that the British forces consisted of 1,800 regulars, and that he surrendered to prevent the effusion of human blood. That he magnified their regular force nearly five-fold, there can be no doubt. Whether the philanthropic reason assigned by him is a sufficient justification for surrendering a fortified town, an army, and a territory, is for the government to determine. Confident I am, that had the courage and conduct of the general been equal to the spirit and zeal of the troops, the event would have been brilliant and successful as it is now disastrous and dishonorable." Hull's behaviour, then, can only be accounted for by the supposition that the boldness of his adversary's movements led him to believe he had to contend with far greater numbers; or, that having threatened to refuse quarter to the white man found fighting by the side of the Indian, he was apprehensive, in the event of defeat, that this threat would be visited with severe retaliation, particularly by the Indians, whose fury, in a successful assault, it might have been very difficult to restrain. To their honor, however, be it said, that although they took a few prisoners on the advance, the enemy sustained no loss of life beyond that caused by the British batteries; and in general orders, at Detroit, they were told, that in nothing could they testify more strongly their love to the king, their great father, than in following the dictates of honor and humanity by which they had hitherto been actuated.

"The news of the surrender of Detroit," says the American historian, Brown, "was so unexpected, that it came like a clap of thunder to the ears of the American people. No one would believe the first report. The disastrous event blasted the prospects of the first campaign, and opened the northern and western frontiers of Ohio to savage incursions.

"Previous to the surrender of Detroit, the governors of Ohio and Kentucky, in obedience to the directions of the war department, had detached powerful reinforcements to the aid of General Hull. Had he deferred the capitulation but a few days longer, his army, Detroit, and the Michigan territory, would have been saved.

"The forces advancing to his support consisted of 2,000 militia, under Brigadier-General Payne, and a battalion of mounted riflemen, under Colonel R.M. Johnson, from Kentucky; a brigade of Ohio militia, under the orders of Brigadier-General Tupper;[73] and nearly 1,000 regulars, under the command of General Winchester. They had reached the St. Mary's River when the news of the capture of Detroit was received. But for the well-timed arrival of the above force a wide scene of flight and misery, of blood and desolation, must have ensued. Nearly half of the territory of Ohio must have been depopulated, or its inhabitants fallen victims to the scalping knife."

"The chagrin felt at Washington," observes James in his Military Occurrences, "when news arrived of the total failure of this the first attempt at invasion, was in proportion to the sanguine hopes entertained of its success. To what a pitch of extravagance those hopes had been carried, cannot better appear than in two speeches delivered upon the floor of congress, in the summer of 1812. Dr. Eustis, the secretary at war of the United States, said: 'We can take the Canadas without soldiers; we have only to send officers into the provinces, and the people, disaffected towards their own government, will rally round our standard.' The honorable Henry Clay seconded his friend, thus: 'It is absurd to suppose we shall not succeed in our enterprize against the enemy's provinces. We have the Canadas as much under our command as she (Great Britain) has the ocean; and the way to conquer her on the ocean is to drive her from the land. I am not for stopping at Quebec, or any where else; but I would take the whole continent from them, and ask them no favors. Her fleets cannot then rendezvous at Halifax, as now; and, having no place of resort in the north, cannot infest our coast as they have lately done. It is as easy to conquer them on the land, as their whole navy would conquer ours on the ocean. We must take the continent from them. I wish never to see a peace till we do. God has given us the power and the means: we are to blame if we do not use them. If we get the continent, she must allow us the freedom of the sea.' This is the gentleman who, afterwards, in the character of a commissioner—and it stands as a record of his unblushing apostacy—signed the treaty of peace."

Tecumseh, who was slain the year following, headed a party of his warriors on this occasion, and in the rough sketch already mentioned, Major-General Brock remarked: "Among the Indians whom I found at Amherstburg, and who had arrived from distant parts of the country, there were some extraordinary characters. He who most attracted my attention was a Shawanee chief, Tecumseh, the brother of the prophet, who for the two last years has carried on, contrary to our remonstrances, an active war against the United States. A more sagacious or a more gallant warrior does not, I believe, exist. He was the admiration of every one who conversed with him. From a life of dissipation he has not only become in every respect abstemious, but he has likewise prevailed on all his nation, and many of the other tribes, to follow his example." Previously to crossing over to Detroit, Major-General Brock inquired of Tecumseh what sort of a country he should have to pass through in the event of his proceeding further. Tecumseh, taking a roll of elm bark, and extending it on the ground, drew forth his scalping knife, and with the point presently edged upon the back a plan of the country, its hills, woods, rivers, morasses, and roads—a plan which, if not as neat, was fully as intelligible as if a surveyor had prepared it. Pleased with this unexpected talent in Tecumseh, with his defeat of the Americans near Brownstown, and with his having, by his characteristic boldness, induced the Indians, not of his own tribe, to cross the river prior to the embarkation of the white troops, Major-General Brock, soon after Detroit was surrendered, took off his sash and publicly placed it round the body of the chief. Tecumseh received the honor with evident gratification, but was the next day seen without the sash. The British general, fearing that something had displeased the Indian, sent his interpreter for an explanation. Tecumseh told him, that not wishing to wear such a mark of distinction when an older, and, as he said, an abler warrior than himself was present, he had transferred the sash to the Wyandot chief, Roundhead.[74]

The unfortunate General Hull, on his return to the United States, was tried by a court martial and condemned to death; but the sentence was remitted by the president, in consideration of his age and services during the war of independence.[75] His name was, however, struck off the rolls of the army. His son, and aide-de-camp at Detroit, Captain Hull, was killed in July, 1814, in the hard-fought battle near the Falls of Niagara.

Major-General Brock's services throughout this short campaign, closed by an achievement which his energy and decision crowned with such unqualified success, were highly appreciated by the government at home, and were immediately rewarded with the order of the bath, which was then confined to one degree of knighthood only. He was gazetted to this mark of his country's approbation, so gratifying to the feelings of a soldier, on the 10th of October; but he lived not long enough to learn that he had obtained so honorable a distinction, the knowledge of which would have cheered him in his last moments. Singularly enough his dispatches, accompanied by the colours of the U.S. 4th regiment, reached London early on the morning of the 6th of October, the anniversary of his birth. His brother William, who was residing in the vicinity, was asked by his wife why the park and tower guns were saluting. "For Isaac, of course," he replied; "do you not know that this is his birth-day?" And when he came to town he learnt, with emotions which may be easily conceived, that what he had just said in jest was true in reality; little thinking, however, that all his dreams, all his anticipations of a beloved brother's increasing fame and prosperity would that day week, one short week, be entombed

"Where Niagara stuns with thundering sound."

In one of his letters to his brothers, (page 63,) Major-General Brock said that he had visited Detroit, the neighbourhood of which was a delightful country, far exceeding any thing he had seen on that continent, and a cursory description of it, as it appeared in 1812, may prove interesting.

The Detroit river, which connects Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, extends from about latitude 41° 48' to 42° 18' north, and divides that part of Canada from the United States. Possessing a salubrious climate, a productive soil, and a water communication with the upper and lower lakes and the river St. Lawrence, we can scarcely conceive any thing more favorable than the geographical position of the adjacent country. Michigan afforded a rich field for "fowling" and fishing, and its forests were plentifully supplied with various kinds of game. It was the opinion of a former governor of Upper Canada, Simcoe, that the peninsula of that province formed by Lakes Huron, St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, Rice, and Simcoe, would alone furnish a surplus of wheat sufficient for the wants of Great Britain. The banks of the Detroit were in many places thickly peopled and in a fair state of cultivation. The inhabitants on the Canadian side were chiefly of French origin, who began to occupy the country when Canada was still under the dominion of France. They still retained that urbanity of manners which distinguishes them from the peasantry of most countries. Further back, the country was settled principally by Americans, partial to the United States. Three or four years after the war, the houses were so numerous and so close together upon the banks of the Detroit, that there was an appearance of a succession of villages for more than ten miles. The farms were very narrow in front, extending a long way back, and were allotted in this awkward and inconvenient form, that their respective occupants might be able to render each other assistance when attacked by the Indians, who were at one time very numerous and troublesome in this vicinity.

The banks of the river Detroit are the Eden of Upper Canada, in so far as regards the production of fruit. Apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, and nectarines, attain the highest degree of perfection, and exceed in size, beauty, and flavour, those raised in any other part of the province. Cider abounds at the table of the meanest peasant, and there is scarcely a farm that has not a fruitful orchard attached to it. This fineness of the fruit is one consequence of the amelioration of climate, which takes place in the vicinity of the Detroit river and Lake St. Clair. The seasons there are much milder and more serene than they are a few hundred miles below, and the weather is likewise drier and less variable. Comparatively little snow falls during the winter, although the cold is often sufficiently intense to freeze over the Detroit river so strongly, that persons, horses, and even loaded sleighs, cross it with ease and safety. In summer, the country presents a forest of blossoms, which exhale the most delicious odours; a cloud seldom obscures the sky; while the lakes and rivers, which extend in every direction, communicate a reviving freshness to the air, and moderate the warmth of a dazzling sun; and the clearness and elasticity of the atmosphere render it equally healthy and exhilarating.[76]

The fort of Detroit was originally constructed to overawe the neighbouring Indian nations, and its military importance as the key of the upper lakes appears to have been well known to them. But, neither possessing battering cannon nor understanding the art of attacking fortified places, they could only reduce them by stratagem or famine, and Detroit could always be supplied with provisions by water. In the year 1763, the Indian chief, Pontiac, whose name has already appeared, (page 164), formed a powerful confederacy of the different tribes, for the purpose of revenging their past wrongs and of preventing their total extirpation, which they were erroneously led to believe was contemplated. In a sudden, general, and simultaneous irruption on the British frontier, they obtained possession, chiefly by stratagem, of Michilimakinack,[77] Presqu'île, and several smaller posts; but there still remained three fortresses formidable alike by their strength and position, which it was necessary the Indians should subdue before they could reap any permanent advantage from their successes. These were Detroit, Niagara, and Pittsburg; and the first and last, although so remote from each other, were invested almost at the same moment. The consummate address, which the Indians displayed in this alarming war, was supported by a proportionate degree of courage, determination, and perseverance; nor ever did they approve themselves a more stubborn and formidable enemy than in this final stand against the encroachments of European dominion and civilization in North America. General Amherst, sensible of the danger, sent immediate succours to those two western garrisons, and thus prevented their fall. Captain Dalzell, after conducting, in July, a strong reinforcement to Detroit, was induced to think that he could surprise the Indian force encamped about three miles from the fort, and he sat out at night with 270 men, adopting the most judicious precautions for the secrecy and good order of his march. But the Indians, apprized of his design, were prepared to defeat it, and every step from the fort only conducted the English troops further into the jaws of destruction. Their advance was suddenly arrested by a sharp fire on their front, which was presently followed by a similar discharge on their rear, and then succeeded by destructive vollies from every side. In the darkness neither the position nor the numbers of the Indians could be ascertained. Dalzell was slain early, and his whole detachment was on the brink of irretrievable confusion and ruin when Captain Grant, the next in command, perceiving that a retreat, now the only resource, could only be accomplished by a resolute attack, promptly rallied the survivors, who, steadily obeying his orders, charged the Indians with so much spirit and success as to repulse them on all sides to some distance. Having thus extricated themselves from immediate peril, the British hastily regained the shelter of the fort, with the loss of 70 killed and 40 wounded; and the Indians, unable to reduce the fort by a regular siege, and pausing long enough to ascertain that the garrison was completely on its guard against stratagem and surprise, broke up their camp and abandoned the vicinity of Detroit.

The Indians, thus grievously disappointed in their designs on Detroit and Pittsburg, now closely beleaguered Niagara, which they justly considered as not less important. They hoped to reduce it by famine, and on the 14th of September, surrounding a convoy of provisions which had nearly reached its destination, they succeeded in making it their prey by a sudden attack, in which 70 of the British soldiers were slain. Shortly after, as a schooner was crossing Lake Erie with supplies for Detroit, she was attacked by a numerous fleet of canoes, in which were nearly 400 Indians. But this attempt was less successful, and, after a warm engagement, the Indian flotilla was repulsed with considerable loss, as, in a conflict with an armed vessel, they were exposed to the same disadvantages which attended their operations against fortified places. Niagara having at length been powerfully reinforced and well supplied, the Indians abandoned all hope of reducing it, and thenceforth confined themselves to their wonted predatory hostility. In the spring and summer of the following year, the British troops attacked them with such vigour and success, that they were compelled to propose, in Indian phrase, to bury the hatchet; and in September a treaty of peace was concluded, the conditions of which were dictated by the English.[78]


[61] The captain of the spies was killed and scalped on the march. "Thus fell the brave, generous, and patriotic McCulloch, captain of the spies,"—and in a foot note a few pages before—"Captain McCulloch, of the spies, scalped an Indian, whom he killed in the engagement," in Upper Canada! We quote from Brown's-American History, so it appears that at least one patriotic American could scalp as well as the Indians!

[62] Christie's Memoirs.

[63] Christie's Memoirs.

[64] The American historian, Brown, observes: "In the meanwhile, Michilimakinack surrendered to the British without resistance. The indefatigable Brock, with a reinforcement of 400 regulars, arrived at Maiden; and several Indian tribes, before hesitating in the choice of sides, began to take their ground and array themselves under the British standard." Vol. i, page 64.—100 regulars!

[65] Now Colonel Glegg, of Thursteston Hall, Cheshire.

[66] His age was then about forty.

[67] The American historian, Thomson, in his "Sketches of the War," says that General Hull surrendered "to a body of troops inferior in quality as well as number!" and he adds: "When General Brock said that the force at his disposal authorized him to require the surrender, he must have had a very exalted opinion of the prowess of his own soldiers, or a very mistaken one of those who were commanded by the American general."

[68] Including four brass field pieces, captured with General Burgoyne, at Saratoga, in 1777, and which were retaken by the Americans, at the battle of the Thames, in October, 1813.

[69] Afterwards named the Detroit.

[70] Appendix A, Section 2, No. 1. Jefferson's Correspondence.

[71] Christie's Memoirs.

[72] Doubtless an error for 1330, the entire British force.

[73] There is a tradition in the editor's family, that one of its members removed from Guernsey to England early in the seventeenth century, and that a son of his, a clergyman, settled in the island of Barbadoes, whence he or his family emigrated to the then British provinces of North America, now the United States.

[74] James' Military Occurrences.

[75] For his revolutionary services, see Appendix A, Section 2, No. 2.

[76] Howison's Upper Canada. London, 1821.

[77] The British garrison was surprised, not being aware of the war, and the Indians butchered nearly all the whites, in number about 100. An English trader, concealed in the house of one of the French inhabitants, beheld the massacre from an aperture which afforded him a view of the area of the fort. He describes it as follows: "I beheld, in shapes the foulest and most terrible, the ferocious triumphs of barbarian conquerors. The dead were scalped and mangled; the dying were writhing and shrieking under the insatiated knife and tomahawk, and from the bodies of some, ripped open, their butchers were drinking the blood scooped up in the hollows of joined hands, and quaffed amid shouts of rage and victory."

[78] Grahame's History of the United States.


The following letters[79] relate chiefly to the enterprize against Detroit, and, although not in the chronological order we have hitherto observed, will form the subject of this chapter.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

Head Quarters, Detroit, Aug. 16, 1812.

I hasten to apprize your excellency of the capture of this very important post: 2,500 troops have this day surrendered prisoners of war, and about 25 pieces of ordnance have been taken without the sacrifice of a drop of British blood. I had not more than 700 troops, including militia, and about 600 Indians, to accomplish this service. When I detail my good fortune, your excellency will be astonished. I have been admirably supported by Colonel Proctor, the whole of my staff, and I may justly say, every individual under my command.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

Head Quarters, Detroit, Aug. 17, 1812.[80]

I have had the honor of informing your excellency, that the enemy effected his passage across the Detroit river, on the 12th ultimo, without opposition; and that, after establishing himself at Sandwich, he had ravaged the country as far as the Moravian town. Some skirmishes occurred between the troops under Lieut.-Colonel St. George and the enemy, upon the river Canard, which uniformly terminated in his being repulsed with loss. I judged it proper to detach a force down the river Thames, capable of acting in conjunction with the garrison of Amherstburg offensively, but Captain Chambers, whom I had appointed to direct this detachment, experienced difficulties that frustrated my intentions. The intelligence received from that quarter admitting of no delay, Colonel Proctor was directed to assume the command, and his force was soon after increased with 60 rank and file of the 41st regiment.

In the mean time, the most strenuous measures were adopted to counteract the machinations of the evil-disposed, and I soon experienced the gratification of receiving voluntary offers of service from that portion of the embodied militia the most easily collected. In the attainment of this important point, gentlemen of the first character and influence shewed an example highly creditable to them; and I cannot, on this occasion, avoid mentioning the essential assistance I derived from John M'Donell, Esq., his majesty's attorney-general, who, from the beginning of the war, has honored me with his services as my provincial aide-de-camp. A sufficiency of boats being collected at Long Point for the conveyance of 300 men, the embarkation took place on the 8th instant, and in five days we arrived in safety at Amherstburg.

I found that the judicious arrangements which had been adopted immediately upon the arrival of Colonel Proctor, had compelled the enemy to retreat, and take shelter under the guns of his fort: that officer commenced operations by sending strong detachments across the river, with a view of cutting off the enemy's communication with his reserve. This produced two smart skirmishes on the 5th and 9th instant, in which the enemy's loss was considerable, whilst ours amounted to 3 killed and 13 wounded; amongst the latter, I have particularly to regret Captain Muir and Lieutenant Sutherland, of the 41st regiment; the former an officer of great experience, and both ardent in his majesty's service. Batteries had likewise been commenced opposite Fort Detroit, for one 18-pounder, two 12, and two 5½-inch mortars, all of which opened on the evening of the 15th; (having previously summoned Brigadier-General Hull to surrender;) and although opposed by a well-directed fire from seven 24-pounders, such was their construction, under the able direction of Captain Dixon, of the Royal Engineers, that no injury was sustained from its effect.

The force at my disposal being collected in the course of the 15th, in the neighbourhood of Sandwich, the embarkation took place a little after daylight on the following morning; and by the able arrangements of Lieutenant Dewar, of the quartermaster-general's department, the whole was in a short time landed without the smallest confusion at Spring Well, a good position, three miles west of Detroit. The Indians, who had in the mean time effected their landing two miles below, moved forward and occupied the woods, about a mile and a half on our left.

The force, which I instantly directed to march against the enemy, consisted of 30 artillery, 250 41st regiment, 50 royal Newfoundland regiment, 400 militia, and about 600 Indians, to which were attached three 6-pounders and two 3-pounders. The services of Lieutenant Troughton, commanding the royal artillery, an active and intelligent officer, being required in the field, the direction of the batteries was entrusted to Captain Hall and the marine department, and I cannot withhold my entire approbation of their conduct on this occasion.

I crossed the river, with an intention of waiting in a strong position the effect of our force upon the enemy's camp, and in the hope of compelling him to meet us in the field; but receiving information upon landing, that Colonel M'Arthur, an officer of high reputation, had left the garrison three days before with a detachment of 500 men, and hearing, soon afterwards, that his cavalry had been seen that morning three miles in our rear, I decided on an immediate attack. Accordingly, the troops advanced to within one mile of the fort, and having ascertained that the enemy had taken little or no precaution towards the land side, I resolved on an assault, whilst the Indians penetrated his camp. Brigadier-General Hull, however, prevented this movement, by proposing a cessation of hostilities, for the purpose of preparing terms of capitulation. Lieut.-Colonel J. M'cDonell and Captain Glegg were accordingly deputed by me on this mission, and returned within an hour with the conditions, which I have the honor herewith to transmit. Certain considerations afterwards induced me to agree to the two supplementary articles.

The force thus surrendered to his majesty's arms cannot be estimated at less than 2,500 men. In this estimate, Colonel M'cArthur's detachment is included, as he surrendered, agreeably to the terms of capitulation, in the course of the evening, with the exception of 200 men, whom he left escorting a valuable convoy at some little distance in his rear; but there can be no doubt the officer commanding will consider himself equally bound by the capitulation.

The enemy's aggregate force was divided into two troops of cavalry; one company of artillery, regulars; the 4th United States' regiment; detachments of the 1st and 3d United States' regiments, volunteers; three regiments of the Ohio militia; one regiment of the Michigan territory.

Thirty-three pieces of brass and iron ordnance have already been secured.

When this contest commenced, many of the Indian nations were engaged in active warfare with the United States, notwithstanding the constant endeavours of this government to dissuade them from it. Some of the principal chiefs happened to be at Amherstburg, trying to procure a supply of arms and ammunition, which for years had been withheld, agreeably to the instructions received from Sir James Craig, and since repeated by your excellency.

From that moment they took a most active part, and appeared foremost on every occasion; they were led yesterday by Colonel Elliott and Captain M'Kee, and nothing could exceed their order and steadiness. A few prisoners were taken by them during the advance, whom they treated with every humanity; and it affords me much pleasure in assuring your excellency, that such was their forbearance and attention to what was required of them, that the enemy sustained no other loss in men than what was occasioned by the fire of our batteries.

The high sense I entertain of the abilities and judgment of Lieut-Colonel Myers, induced me to appoint him to the important command at Niagara; it was with reluctance I deprived myself of his assistance, but I had no other expedient; his duties, as head of the quartermaster-general's department, were performed to my satisfaction by Lieut.-Colonel Nichol, quartermaster-general of the militia.

Captain Glegg, my aide-de-camp, will have the honor of delivering this dispatch to your excellency; he is charged with the colours taken at the capture of Fort Detroit, and those of the 4th United States' regiment.

Captain Glegg is capable of giving your excellency every information respecting the state of this province, and I shall esteem myself highly indebted to your excellency, to afford him that protection to which his merit and length of service give him a powerful claim.[81] I have the honor to be, &c.

P.S.—I have the honor to enclose a copy of a proclamation which I issued immediately on taking possession of this country.

I should have mentioned in the body of my dispatch, the capture of the Adams; she is a fine vessel, and recently repaired, but without arms.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

Head Quarters, Montreal, Aug. 30, 1812.

I received on the 25th, whilst at St. John's, your dispatch, by express from Detroit, of the 16th instant. I do most sincerely congratulate you upon the complete success which has attended your measures for the preservation of Amherstburg. The surrender of Detroit, the capture of General Hull's army with so large a proportion of ordnance, are circumstances of high importance to our country, and which have evinced your talents as an officer in command, and reflect honor upon you, and upon Lieut.-Colonel St. George and Colonel Proctor.

I propose sending an aide-de-camp to England with your short dispatch, together with such details as I am in possession of, respecting Brigadier-General Hull's previous invasion of Upper Canada and of his foiled attempts to invest Amherstburg; but I shall delay his departure from hence until the 1st of September, in hopes of obtaining from you before that time further particulars of the operations which led to General Hull's disgrace.

Well aware of the difficulties you have surmounted Tor the preservation of your government entire, I shall endeavour to do justice to your merit in my report to his majesty's minister upon the success which has crowned your energy and zeal.

A warrant, giving to you more extensive power over the sentence of such general courts martial as you may be called on to assemble, was signed by me ten days since, and has I hope reached you.

I am in hourly expectation of receiving from General Dearborn intelligence respecting the reception of the proposed suspension of hostilities, in consequence of the revocation of the orders in council, which are the plea for war in the American cabinet; and also whether Mr. Baker has been allowed to assume, pro tempore, the character of a chargé d'affaires at Washington, where Mr. Foster had left him in a demi-official capacity. I consider the arrangement entered into by General Dearborn with Colonel Baynes, requiring the confirmation of the president, to establish its sacredness.

The king's government having most unequivocally expressed to me their desire to preserve peace with the United States, that they might, uninterrupted, pursue, with the whole disposable force of the country, the great interest committed in Europe, I have endeavoured to be instrumental in the accomplishment of their views; but I consider it most fortunate to have been enabled to do so without interfering with your operations on the Detroit.

I have sent you men, money, and stores of every kind.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

Head Quarters, Montreal, Aug. 31, 1812.

I had scarcely closed the letters I addressed to you yesterday, when an aide-de-camp from Major-General Dearborn made his appearance, and delivered to me the dispatch herewith transmitted. It will expose to your view the disposition of the president of the United States on the provisional measure temporarily agreed upon between the American commander-in-chief and myself, in consequence of an earnest desire not to widen the breach existing between the two countries, the revocation of the orders in council having removed the plea used in congress for a declaration of war against Great Britain.

I am much disappointed that the particulars of the surrender of Detroit have not as yet reached me, particularly as my aide-de-camp, Captain Coore, is to leave Montreal this evening for Quebec, where a ship of war is on the point of sailing for Halifax, from whence I expect the admiral will give him a conveyance for England.

Being unacquainted with the conditions attached to the surrender of Brigadier-General Hull's army, and giving scope to your expression of prisoners of war, I have made arrangements for increasing their security against any attempt to rescue them, by ordering Captain Gray to proceed with two flank companies to Prescot.

[The dispatch from General Dearborn, dated Greenbush, August 26, was to announce the discontinuance of the temporary armistice agreed to between him and Colonel Baynes, in four days after the receipt of the communication at the frontier posts in Canada. The American general added: "If a suspension of offensive operations shall have been mutually consented to between General Hull and the commanding officer of the British forces at and near Detroit, as proposed, they will respectively be authorized, at the expiration of four days subsequent to their receiving copies of this communication, to consider themselves released from any agreement thus entered into."]

As we have already commented on Sir George Prevost's management of the war, and shall have occasionally to do so again, we gladly give him credit for the very handsome manner in which he spoke of Major-General Brock, in his dispatch to Earl Bathurst, one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state, announcing the surrender of Detroit, and dated Montreal, 26th August, 1812.

"It was under these circumstances at this critical period, and when the enemy were beginning to consult their security by entrenching themselves, that General Brock entered Amherstburg with a reinforcement, which he was fortunately enabled to do on the 13th instant, without the smallest molestation, in consequence of our decided naval superiority on the lakes. To his active and intelligent mind, the advantages which his enemy's situation afforded him over them, even with his very inferior force, became immediately apparent; and that he has not failed most effectually to avail himself of those favorable circumstances, your lordship will, I trust, be satisfied, from the letter which I have the honor of transmitting.

"Having thus brought to your lordship's view the different circumstances which have led to the successful termination of the campaign on the western frontier of Upper Canada, I cannot withhold from Major-General Brock the tribute of applause so justly due to him for his distinguished conduct on this occasion; or omit to recommend him, through your lordship, to the favorable consideration of his royal highness the prince regent, for the great ability and judgment with which he planned, and the promptitude, energy, and fortitude with which he has effected, the preservation of Upper Canada, with the sacrifice of so little British blood in accomplishing so important a service.

"My aide-de-camp, Captain Coore, will have the honor of delivering to your lordship this dispatch; and as he is well qualified to give your lordship information respecting the military resources of this command, I shall beg leave to refer your lordship to him for farther particulars."

At the same time, truth compels us to add, that Sir George Prevost took credit to himself, to which he was not entitled, when he wrote to Lord Bathurst: "General Brock, relying upon the strong assurances I had given him of a reinforcement as prompt and as effectual as the circumstances by which I was placed by this new war would permit me to send, adopted the most vigorous measures for the safety of that part of the frontier which had been attacked." And again: "The certainty of the expected reinforcements, and the weakness of the enemy on the Niagara frontier, had in the mean time induced General Brock," &c. The last dispatch which, we believe, Major-General Brock had received from Sir George Prevost, when on the 6th of August he left York for Detroit, was dated the 10th and received on the 29th July; and in that dispatch (see page 178) no reinforcements were promised, and indeed offensive operations were deprecated. The first reinforcement which left Lower for Upper Canada, appears to have consisted of about 100 men of the Newfoundland regiment and 50 of the Veterans, which left Quebec on the 30th of July for Kingston, to strengthen that post; and the adjutant-general, on the 1st of August, (page 211), wrote that Sir George Prevost regretted extremely his inability to render Major-General Brock more efficient aid. It was only on the 2d of August that Sir George Prevost promised an additional reinforcement of four companies of the 49th regiment, (page 215,) and on the 12th of the same month the remainder of the regiment (page 218). Mr. Powell confirms this view of the subject in his admirable letter, page 261. It will be seen in the sequel that, on the 13th of August, the adjutant-general wrote that he had strongly urged Sir George Prevost to send further reinforcements, as he was sure they could be spared. As to the remark relative to the weakness of the enemy on the Niagara frontier, we shall only mention that Major-General Brock states, in a MS. before us, that it was the strong American force on that frontier which compelled him to take with him to Detroit only half of the militia, who volunteered.

Sir George Prevost to Earl Bathurst.

Head Quarters, Montreal, Sept. 1, 1812.

Since I had the honor of transmitting to your lordship my letter of the 26th ultimo, in charge of my aide-de-camp, Captain Coore, I have received from Major-General Brock a dispatch, of which the enclosed is a copy, containing the particulars of Brigadier-General Hull's invasion of Upper Canada, which has terminated most gloriously to his majesty's arms, in that officer's defeat and surrender, as a prisoner of war, with the whole of the north-western army, together with the fort Detroit, and thirty-three pieces of ordnance.

I forward this dispatch express, in the expectation of its reaching Captain Coore previously to his leaving Canada, which, with the colours of the 4th United States' regiment accompanying it, I trust that officer will have the honor of delivering to your lordship.

Earl Bathurst to Sir George Prevost.

DOWNING STREET, October 10, 1812.

I have had the honor of receiving your dispatch, dated the 26th August, together with its enclosures, from Major-General Brock, and I lost no time in laying intelligence so important and satisfactory before his royal highness the prince regent.

I am commanded by his royal highness to desire you to take the earliest opportunity of conveying his royal highness' approbation of the able, judicious, and decisive conduct of Major-General Brock, of the zeal and spirit manifested by Colonel Proctor and the other officers, as well as of the intrepidity of the troops under the command of Major-General Brock.

By the united exertions of this little army, the enterprize of the American army has been defeated; the territories of his majesty in Upper Canada have been secured; and on the enemy's fort of Detroit, important to that security, the British standard has been happily placed.

You will inform Major-General Brock that his royal highness, taking into consideration all the difficulties by which Major-General Brock was surrounded from the time of the invasion of the province by the American army, under the command of General Hull, and the singular judgment, firmness, skill, and courage, with which he was enabled to surmount them so effectually—has been pleased to appoint him an extra knight of the most honorable order of the bath.

The following letter strikes us as singularly appropriate and pleasing, and as creditable to him who wrote it as it must have been gratifying to him who received it. Mr. Powell, who, we believe, was then one of the puisné judges, was chief justice of Upper Canada in the year 1817.

William Dummer Powell, Esq., to Major-General Brock.

KINGSTON, August 27, 1812.

I cannot persuade myself to offer my hearty congratulations through the medium of a third person, and hope you will believe that no one sympathizes more cordially than myself in your feelings on the late happy event. I shall never again regret little disappointments, when I consider to what they may lead: had your early representations been attended to and produced their proper effect, you would probably not have to boast of the most brilliant success, with the most inadequate means, which history records. There is something so fabulous in the report of a handful of troops, supported by a few raw militia, leaving their strong post to invade an enemy of double numbers in his own fortress, and making them all prisoners without the loss of a man, that, although your report may be sanctioned by Sir George Prevost, it seems to me that the people of England will be incredulous until they see the exterminating boaster a prisoner in London. We find in a cover by General Sheaffe, that the first report of the cannon taken was one-third short of the real number. I shall hardly sleep until I have the satisfaction of hearing particulars of the wonderful excursion, for it must not be called a campaign. The veni, vidi, vici, is again the faithful report. Your good fortune in one instance is singular, for if your zeal had been thwarted by such adverse winds as frequently occur on the lake, the armistice might have intercepted your career. That it did not I heartily thank God, and pray that nothing may occur to damp the entire satisfaction of yourself and family in the glory so well earned. I am impatient to hear from Colonel M'Donell, but have no doubt that he justified your warmest expectations in every trial. May I beg to be presented to Glegg, and that you, Sir, will believe me, &c.

Chief Justice of Lower Canada, Sewell, to Major-General Brock.

QUEBEC, Sept. 3, 1812.

In your present situation, I am perfectly sensible of your occupations, and know that your time is precious. Yet I take the liberty to intrude upon you with my congratulations upon the brilliant success which has attended the measures which you have pursued with so much judgment in Upper Canada, and the thanks of an individual who feels the benefits which he, in common with every other subject of his majesty in British America, derives from your exertions.

The next letter is from General Maitland,[82] who was colonel of the 49th foot from the 25th May, 1768, to the period of his death, in February, 1820, or nearly fifty-two years! Major-General Brock held this gallant veteran in high estimation, having received from him much attention and kindness, which were continued to some of his relatives after his fall, and it will be seen that the feeling was mutual. Although General Maitland was so many years colonel of the 49th, yet we find that the Marquis of Drogheda held a similar appointment for a longer period, being colonel of the 18th Hussars from the 3d August, 1762, to October, 1821, when that regiment was disbanded, or above fifty-nine years!

General the Honorable Alexander Maitland to Major-General Brock.

TOTTERIDGE, October 8, 1812.

Yesterday being mail day for America, I dispatched my usual monthly letter to the regiment, and in which, as I always do, I desired to be remembered to you with my best and warmest wishes for your health, happiness, and success. I had not then heard, but did a few hours after, of your glorious victory over our most unnatural enemies, (such an one as can hardly be equalled in the annals of history,) that of not only beating, but taking prisoners, more than double your numbers; and now that you have conquered them in the field, I trust that their wrong-headed government will be brought to reason and peace, for it will prove to them, if they persevere, that they will be forced to it, and terms dictated to them. Therefore allow me, Sir, with the warmest feelings of an old friend to congratulate you, as I do the public, on the essential service you have done the country on the present occasion; as I do my friend, your aide-de-camp, Captain Glegg, as far as the sphere of his duty could assist in the great work; and I glory to say you are both 49-thers. I could write sheets on the subject, but, not to take up your valuable time longer than I have done to express my pleasure and feelings, I will stop by adding the sincere congratulations of all related to me here as well as elsewhere. But I cannot help now observing how prophetic I was in what I wrote to Colonel Vincent yesterday concerning you, which was, that if you mere properly supported, I thought the enemy would never cross the line of your command, a proof of which I had a few hours afterwards.

When you see any of our friends of the 49th, pray remember me in the kindest manner to them, and I am sure they will thank you that they are safe and warm in their quarters in place of having a winter campaign in so severe a climate. And now I will only add my warmest wishes for your health and happiness, and that the same good fortune that has hitherto attended you may continue; and I beg that you will be so good as to convey the same to my friend, your aide-de-camp. Believe me to be, my dear general, &c.

P.S.—I send this after the mail, which left London last night, in hope it may overtake it at Falmouth, as I know the packet seldom sails for some days after her time.

Major-General John Burnet to Sir Isaac Brock, K.B.[83]

STRABERRY, Ireland, Oct. 11, 1812.

There has existed too long and too sincere a friendship between us for me not to feel the most lively interest in the event which has added such éclat to your achievement at my old quarter, Detroit.

To evince to you how much I regard you, and how much I have talked of you, a friend of mine at the Horse Guards enclosed me the Extraordinary Gazette, saying he knew how much I should be gratified: judge then, my friend, of my feelings that you had acquitted yourself with such address; and I feel some degree of pride that my opinion was so justly formed of your conduct, whenever you should have an opportunity to display your talents. Accept, then, the very sincere congratulations of an old friend on this occasion, and be assured of the happiness it gives me, as well as Mrs. Burnet, who is with me, and sends her love to you.

With respect to my situation, I offered my services to go to the Peninsula as soon as our promotion took place, and at one time flattered myself I should have gone there; but superior interest prevailed, and I was placed on the staff of Ireland. I first went to Londonderry, but have been here six months, as more central to the brigade under my command.

I have my hands full of business, and little time for private correspondence; but I could not resist the impulse on an occasion so highly to the honor of an old friend. Believe me, my dear Brock, &c.

P.S.—If Commodore Grant be still alive, pray remember me warmly to him and Mrs. Grant.

Major-General Brock to his Brothers.

Head Quarters, Detroit, Aug. 16, 1812.

Rejoice at my good fortune, and join me in prayers to Heaven. I send you a copy of my hasty note to Sir George.

[Here follows his short dispatch of that day. See page 247.]

Let me hear that you are all united and happy.

Major-General Brock to his Brothers.

LAKE ONTARIO, September 3, 1812.

You will have heard of the complete success which attended the efforts I directed against Detroit. I have received so many letters from people whose opinion I value, expressive of their admiration of the exploit, that I begin to attach to it more importance than I was at first inclined. Should the affair be viewed in England in the light it is here, I cannot fail of meeting reward, and escaping the horror of being placed high on a shelf, never to be taken down.

Some say that nothing could be more desperate than the measure; but I answer, that the state of the province admitted of nothing but desperate remedies. I got possession of the letters my antagonist addressed to the secretary at war, and also of the sentiments which hundreds of his army uttered to their friends. Confidence in the general was gone, and evident despondency prevailed throughout. I have succeeded beyond expectation. I crossed the river, contrary to the opinion of Colonel Proctor,——, &c.; it is, therefore, no wonder that envy should attribute to good fortune what, in justice to my own discernment, I must say, proceeded from a cool calculation of the pours and contres.

They say that the value of the articles captured will amount to 30 or £40,000; in that case, my proportion will be something considerable. If it enable me to contribute to your comfort and happiness, I shall esteem it my highest reward. When I returned Heaven thanks for my amazing success, I thought of you all; you appeared to me happy—your late sorrows forgotten; and I felt as if you acknowledged that the many benefits, which for a series of years I received from you, were not unworthily bestowed. Let me know, my dearest brothers, that you are all again united. The want of union was nearly losing this province without even a struggle, and be assured it operates in the same degree in regard to families.

A cessation of hostilities has taken place along this frontier. Should peace follow, the measure will be well; if hostilities recommence, nothing could be more unfortunate than this pause. I cannot give you freely an account of my situation—it is, however, of late much improved. The militia have been inspired, by the recent success, with confidence—the disaffected are silenced. The 49th have come to my aid, besides other troops. I shall see Vincent, I hope, this evening at Kingston. He is appointed to the command of that post—a most important one. I have withdrawn Plenderleath from Niagara to assist him. P—— is sitting opposite to me, and desires to be remembered. James Brock is likewise at Kingston. I believe he considers it more his interest to remain with the 49th than to act as my private secretary; indeed, the salary is a mere pittance. Poor Leggatt is dead, and has left his family in the most distressing circumstances. His wife died last year.

Major Smelt and Captain Brown have sent me your letters, for which I thank you. Let Richard Potenger be assured that his letter afforded me the highest gratification. I trust in Heaven that the whole of his thoughts will be directed to study, and to qualify himself for the holy profession he has chosen. Ignorance is despised in most men, but more particularly in the clergyman educated at one of the universities, who must have neglected so many opportunities of acquiring knowledge.

I received the other day a long letter from Sir Thomas Saumarez, from Halifax. I regret the death of the two Harry Brocks.[84] I have likewise been particularly unfortunate in the loss of two valuable military friends. I begin to be too old to form new friendships, and those of my youth are dropping off fast.

General Sheaffe has lately been sent to me. There never was an individual so miserably off for the necessary assistance. Sir George Prevost has kindly hearkened to my remonstrances, and in some measure supplied the deficiency. The 41st is an uncommonly fine regiment, but, with few exceptions, badly officered. You mention John Tupper[85] in a manner as to leave hope that he may still be living. God grant it! He is a great favorite of mine, and I should lament any disaster happening to him. Perhaps Glegg may be sent home by Sir George, and in that case I hope he will allow you to see the colours taken from the 4th U.S. regiment. The generality of the English will esteem them very little: nothing is prized that is not acquired with blood.

KINGSTON, September 4.

I this instant receive your letters by Mr. Todd, So honest John Tupper is gone! I could not have loved a son of my own more ardently. Hostilities I this instant understand are to be renewed in four days; and though landed only two hours, I must return immediately to Niagara, whence I shall write fully.

Lieut.-Colonel Nichol, Quartermaster-General of Militia, to Major-General Brock.

DETROIT, August 25, 1812.

I have just been informed by Colonel Proctor that he intends sending an express to-morrow to Fort George, which gives me an opportunity to forward a few printed copies of your proclamation, and to inform you that in order to carry it into effect, it has been found absolutely necessary to organize the civil government. Under existing circumstances, I have advised Colonel Proctor to assume the administration until your pleasure is known, to which he has agreed, and the necessary arrangements consequent thereto have been adopted and promulgated. In Judge Woodward, who has been appointed secretary pro tem, he will find an able coadjutor; and as your object undoubtedly was to tranquillize the public mind and to give the inhabitants a proof of the moderation and benevolence of his majesty's government, as well as to ensure the due administration of the laws, I do not think a more judicious choice could have been made. In all the discussions which took place on this subject, Colonel Proctor did me the honor to consult me; and I have no hesitation in saying, that I urged him to the step he has taken, of which I hope you will, as it is only temporary, approve. We have had much difficulty in collecting the public cattle and horses, and have suffered greatly from the predatory spirit of the Indians; indeed, their conduct has been infamous. There is hardly a house on either side of the river that has not been robbed by them; they have taken away the greater part of the captured horses and cattle, and without our being able to prevent it. It has not been in my power as yet to send a statement of all that we have captured, as the property is so scattered, but I hope to finish this week. We got upwards of £1,200 in money, and have sent down a hundred packs worth, I suppose £1,500 more. I have reason to think the captured property will not be much under £40,000.

We have still 350 prisoners to ship off, but I hope to get rid of them in a few days. Public confidence seems to be partially restored; business is again going on, and I hope that the country will become perfectly quiet.

It is impossible for me to say when I shall get done here. I hope, however, it will not be long. I regret that we are not able to send you complete returns of every thing; but the captured property is in so many different places, and so scattered, that it cannot be done.

Extract from a Canadian Newspaper.

MONTREAL, September 12.

Last Sunday evening the inhabitants of this city were gratified with an exhibition equally novel and interesting.

That General Hull should have entered into our city so soon, at the head of his troops, rather exceeded our expectations. We were, however, very happy to see him, and received him with all the honors due to his high rank and importance as a public character. The following particulars, relative to his journey and reception at Montreal, may not be uninteresting to our readers:

It appears that General Hull and suite, accompanied by about 25 officers and 350 soldiers, left Kingston, under an escort of 130 men, commanded by Major Heathcote, of the Newfoundland regiment. At Cornwall, the escort was met by Captain Gray, of the quartermaster-general's department, who took charge of the prisoners of war, and from thence proceeded with them to La Chine, where they arrived about two o'clock on Sunday afternoon. At La Chine, Captains Richardson and Ogilvie, with their companies of Montreal militia, and a company of the king's from Lower Chine, commanded by Captain Blackmore, formed the escort till they were met by Colonel Auldjo, with the remainder of the flank companies of the militia, upon which Captain Blackmore's company fell out and presented arms as the general and line passed, and then returned to La Chine, leaving the prisoners of war to be guarded by the militia alone. The line of march then proceeded to the town in the following order, viz:

1. Band of the king's regiment.

2. The first division of the escort.

3. General Hull in a carriage, accompanied by Captain Gray. Captain Hull and Major Shekleton followed in the second, and some wounded officers occupied four others.

4. The American officers.

5. The non-commissioned officers and soldiers.

6. The second division of the escort.

It unfortunately proved rather late in the evening for the vast concourse of spectators assembled to experience that gratification they so anxiously looked for. This inconvenience was, however, in a great measure remedied by the illuminations of the streets through which the line of march passed. When they arrived at the general's house, the general was conducted in, and presented to his excellency Sir George Prevost, and was received with the greatest politeness, and invited to take up his residence there during his stay at Montreal. The other officers were accommodated at Holmes' hotel, and the soldiers lodged in the Quebec barracks. The general appears to be about sixty years of age, and is a good looking man, and we are informed by those who have had frequent opportunities of conversing with him, that he is a man of general information. He is communicative, and seems to bear his misfortunes with a degree of philosophical resignation that but few men in similar circumstances are gifted with. On Thursday last General Hull, with eight American officers, left this city for the United States, on their parole.


[79] We can discover none from Colonel Baynes on the subject.

[80] This dispatch was published in a Gazette Extraordinary, in London, on the 6th of October. See page 240.

[81] Captain Glegg was made a brevet-major for the capture of Detroit. Sir George Prevost's aide-de-camp, Captain Coore, was also made a brevet-major for taking the dispatches to England.

[82] Created a baronet on the 30th November, 1818.

[83] This letter is apparently written with the left hand, as if the writer had lost his right.

[84] Henry Frederick Brock, Esq., jurat of the Royal Court of Guernsey; and Lieutenant Henry Brock, R.N. In his letter, (see page 194,) Sir Thomas Saumarez, speaking of the latter, says: "He was a most promising young officer, and, had the poor fellow lived, my brother James would probably have made him a commander this summer."

[85] His nephew, John E. Tupper, Esq., aged twenty, perished at sea in January, 1812, in the Mediterranean, the vessel in which he was a passenger from Catalonia to Gibraltar having never been heard of after sailing. He was educated at Harrow at the same time as Lord Byron, Sir Robert Peel, &c.


After issuing a proclamation to the inhabitants of the Michigan territory, by which their private property was secured and their laws and religion confirmed, and leaving as large a force under Colonel Proctor as could be spared at Detroit, Major-General Brock hastened to return to the Niagara frontier; and while on his voyage across Lake Erie, in the schooner Chippewa, he was met on the 23d of August by the provincial schooner Lady Prevost, of 14 guns, the commander of which, after saluting the general with seventeen guns, came on board and gave him the first intelligence of the armistice which Sir George Prevost had unfortunately concluded with the American general, Dearborn. Major-General Brock could not conceal his deep regret and mortification at the intelligence, which he feared would prevent his contemplated attack on Sackett's Harbour. Sir George Prevost, early in August, on hearing of the repeal of the British orders in council, which were the principal among the alleged causes of the war, had proposed a suspension of hostilities until the sentiments of the American government were received on the subject; and to this suspension General Dearborn readily agreed, with the exception of the forces under General Hull, who, he said, acted under the immediate orders of the secretary at war. But, by the terms of the truce, General Hull had the option of availing himself of its provisions if he thought fit, and that he would gladly have done so there can be no doubt. Happily, however, owing to the rapidity of Major-General Brock's movements, the news of the armistice did not reach the belligerent commanders in time to prevent the surrender of the one, or to snatch well-earned laurels from the brow of the other.[86] This armistice was attended with very prejudicial consequences, as it not only marred the attempt on Sackett's Harbour, but it rendered unavailing the command of the lakes, which was then held by the British.[87]

The successful commander, in transmitting by Captain Glegg his dispatches to the governor-general at Montreal, expressed, through his aide-de-camp, his intention of proceeding immediately to Kingston, and from thence to the attack of the naval arsenal at Sackett's Harbour, on Lake Ontario. Had its destruction been accomplished—and no one can doubt that this was the proper period to attempt it, as the enemy, dispirited by the capture of Detroit, would probably have offered but a feeble resistance—the Americans could not, without much additional difficulty and future risk of destruction, have built and equipped the fleet which subsequently gave them the naval ascendancy on that lake, and enabled them twice in 1813 to capture the capital of Upper Canada. The armistice, however, caused a delay of nearly a fortnight in the necessary preparations, as Major-General Brock returned from Detroit to Fort George on the 24th of August, and the cessation of the truce was not known to him until his arrival at Kingston, on the 4th of September. The distance by water between Fort George and Kingston is about 160 miles, and from Kingston to Sackett's Harbour only 35 miles; so that the destruction of the arsenal might have been effected early in September, had not the armistice prevented the attempt. But, unhappily for the interests of his country and the credit of his own fame, Sir George Prevost disapproved of the proposition, and commanded Major-General Brock to relinquish all idea of the contemplated enterprize, although the official intelligence of the president's refusal to continue the suspension of hostilities reached him at Montreal on the 30th of August, a day or two before Captain Glegg, with the dispatches and trophies of the capture of Detroit. At the commencement of the war, a defensive attitude was perhaps excusable, especially as the British cabinet seems to have been anxious to accommodate the differences between the two countries; but after the American government had refused to continue the armistice, it appears to us that Sir George Prevost was pursuing a suicidal course, as to wait for the enemy till he shall have prepared his forces and passed your frontiers, to plunder your towns and occupy your country, is a very recent expedient recognized by no government, and practised by no people of ancient or modern times. But notwithstanding the delay caused by the armistice, the proposed attack could still have been carried into effect after its cessation; and it was only relinquished by express orders from the commander-in-chief. We seek not to impugn his motives, as they probably originated in a mistaken sense of duty, and evidently from an impression that to attack the Americans again on their own frontier would be to render the contest more popular among them. It was under this impression that, in a general order[88] issued at Montreal on the 31st of August, the commander-in-chief was weak enough to offer an indirect apology to the American people for the invasion of their territory at Detroit. Whether this continued defensive policy was such as, under all the circumstances, ought to have been observed, we leave it to others to determine; but certainly the result did not justify its expediency, and the tree is usually judged of by its fruit. Forbearance in war, where success is probable, strikes us as a positive evil that a very doubtful good may ensue—it is seldom properly appreciated; and the governor-general appears to have seen his error when too late, as in the following year he was himself ignobly foiled in an attack on Sackett's Harbour. We cannot understand why the attack under Sir George Prevost, in May, 1813, was more politic than it would have been in September the year preceding, under Major-General Brock; and although Captain Glegg met with a very chilling reception from the former officer, yet we would willingly acquit him of any jealous feeling where such important interests were at stake. At the same time it is due to the memory of this unfortunate officer to add, that his civil administration was as able as his military one in Canada was inglorious; and that although his conduct as a soldier was on more than one occasion the subject of much and just animadversion in England, yet he acquired the warm attachment of the French Canadians, who speak highly of him to this day. Those leading men who, during the administration of Sir James Craig, had been considered almost as enemies, were treated with confidence by his successor, who gradually appointed them to situations of trust, and by this wise measure secured their aid and influence in the defence of the province. Certain it is, on the other hand, that Major-General Brock did not approve of the defensive warfare to which he was restricted, and subsequent events too truly proved that had he been permitted to pursue that course which his zeal and foresight dictated, his valuable life might have been spared, and a very different series of incidents in that war claimed the attention of the historian. The high-minded soldier could not brook a state of inaction with such promising prospects before him. His best feelings revolted at being compelled to languish within the strict pale of military obedience, when so rich a field for doing good service presented itself; and in place of becoming the assailant, he was soon doomed, by awaiting the attacks of his opponents, to sacrifice not only life, but, what is far dearer, the opening prospects of honorable ambition.

On the 16th December, 1812, the inhabitants of the Niagara district addressed a spirited letter to Sir George Prevost, from which we copy the following extract, as confirming what we have already stated on the same subject: "Nevertheless, such was the popularity of the general, such the confidence he had inspired, that he was enabled to carry with him to Detroit, though under great privations, a large body of volunteers, which, in addition to the small regular force at Amherstburg, enabled him to capture an entire army of our invaders, with the fortress from which they had made their descent into Canada—a success unparalleled in the annals of war. Here, for the first time, we got a supply of good arms. The success of this first enterprize, in which the militia were engaged, acted like an electric shock throughout the country: it awed the disaffected, of whom there were many; it confirmed the timid and the wavering; and it induced the Six Nation Indians, who had until that time kept aloof, to take an active part in our favor. At that moment such was the energy and confidence that had been excited by our illustrious chief and the success of his plans, that had he been permitted, he could, and would, have destroyed and laid waste the whole American frontier, from Sandusky to St. Regis. Your excellency doubtless recollects the armistice which immediately preceded the capture of Detroit, which gave the enemy an opportunity to recover from their consternation, to fortify and strengthen their lines, to accumulate in security the means of annoying us at pleasure along our whole frontier, and which sent at least 800 of our Indian allies in disgust to their own homes."

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, August 13, 1812.[89]

I wrote to you from Albany on the 8th instant, but as my letter was submitted to the inspection of General Dearborn, I of course confined myself to the sole subject of the armistice entered into with that officer.... A clause, admitting reinforcements to pass with stores, was readily agreed to on my part. General Dearborn told me that a considerable reinforcement with stores was on its way to Niagara, and that he could not delay or alter its destination. I informed him that we were also forwarding reinforcements and stores, and that it would be advisable to agree that all movements of that nature on either side should be suffered to proceed unmolestedly by troops under instructions to preserve defensive measures. I am apprehensive that General Dearborn may not explicitly explain all these points; and I have therefore cautioned all the officers, to whom I have communicated them, to act with the utmost caution, and to be prepared for all events that may arise. I feel extremely prepossessed in favor of General Dearborn, whose manners appear to evince great candour and sincerity: he assured me that no event of his life would afford him so much satisfaction and happiness as resigning his command in consequence of our honorable adjustment of differences. He told me that General Hull was placed under his orders merely for form sake, but that he acted by particular instructions from the war department, and would not consider himself bound to obey any order that was not in conformity to them.

[Colonel Baynes describes at length the incipient state of military preparation for the invasion of Lower Canada, which he witnessed on his journey; and after mentioning that the Americans had sent the most efficient of their forces to the Niagara frontier, he adds:]

Under all these circumstances, which I have represented to Sir George, I have strongly urged his sending you further reinforcements, which I am sure can be spared: we are at present checked from the want of conveyance, but I trust after the corps, now on their route, are dispatched, that Sir George will be induced to send you further aid, and that of the best description. I think it of the highest importance, particularly if we are likely to arrange matters with the States, that the balance of military events should be unequivocally in our favor. I found a very general prejudice prevailing with Jonathan, of his own resources and means of invading these provinces, and of our weakness and inability to resist, both exaggerated in a most absurd and extravagant degree—a little practical correction of this error would be attended with the best effects.

The 1st battalion of the royals are upwards of 1,100 strong, but sickly, having suffered from their long residence in the West Indies, and they are in consequence marked for the Quebec garrison.

Major-General Brock to Colonel Proctor.

FORT GEORGE, August 25, 1812.

I wrote to you yesterday, informing you that a cessation of hostilities had been agreed upon between Sir George Prevost and General Dearborn, and requesting you in consequence to postpone any attempt upon Fort Wayne, or any other post of the enemy. I consider the present forbearance may lead to such consequences that I cannot refrain from sending a second express, to urge you to restrain the Indians likewise in their predatory excursions: this, however, ought to be done with the utmost caution, and on grounds foreign from the present considerations.

Colonel Myers tells me that he forwarded on the 11th instant a dispatch received from Sir George Prevost to me, in which his excellency so clearly stated the principles of moderation upon which he thought it expedient to act, that I fully expect, should you have received the dispatch and perused his sentiments, you will forbear from any hostile aggression; in fact, act completely upon the defensive.

Should every thing remain quiet in the vicinity of Detroit, you will proceed hither, bringing to Fort Erie the detachments which Captain Chambers and Lieutenant Bullock took to Amherstburg. All the spare ordnance is to be transported to Fort Erie without delay.

I should also think that Lieutenant Troughton and a few of his men could be spared for some time from the duties at Amherstburg; in that case, you will have the goodness to order them to accompany you.

Major-General Brock arrived at Kingston on the 4th of September, and left it on the 6th for Fort George. During this hasty visit he reviewed the militia, and expressed his satisfaction at its evolutions and appearance. He also received a flattering address from the magistrates, officers of militia, and other inhabitants; and in reply he told them with much tact, that it was the confidence inspired by the admirable conduct of the York and Lincoln regiments of militia which had induced him to undertake the expedition which terminated in the capture of Detroit, and that from the report of the officers of the garrison at Kingston, he relied with the same confidence on the bravery and the discipline of the militia of that district. In the same manner, in an address a few days before from the inhabitants of York, he said: "Gentlemen,—I cannot but feel highly gratified by this expression of your esteem for myself; but, in justice to the brave men at whose head I marched against the enemy, I must beg leave to direct your attention to them, as the proper objects of your gratitude. It was a confidence, founded on their loyalty, zeal, and valour, that determined me to adopt the plan of operations which led to so fortunate a termination. Allow me to congratulate you, gentlemen, at having sent out from among yourselves a large portion of that gallant band; and that at such a period a spirit had manifested itself, on which you may confidently repose your hopes of future security. It will be a most pleasing duty for me to report to our sovereign a conduct so truly meritorious."

Major-General Brock, to Sir George Prevost.

KINGSTON, September 4, 1812.

Upon my arrival here an hour ago, Captain Fulton delivered me your excellency's dispatch, dated the 31st ultimo, enclosing a letter from General Dearborn, in which the president's disapproval of the armistice is announced. I am in consequence induced to return without loss of time to Fort George. Captain Fulton having expressed a wish to accompany me, I have the more readily consented, as he will be able to give you full information of our actual state. The enemy was very busy upon Fort Niagara, and appeared inclined to erect additional batteries. I may perhaps think it proper to stop their career.

I enclose several documents lately received from Colonel Proctor, at Detroit. That officer appears to have conducted himself with much judgment. I likewise transmit a memorial which I have received from some merchants in the Niagara district, but of course I cannot judge of its merits.

I shall be obliged to your excellency to direct the remittance of the £5,000, for which I sent a requisition some time ago, on account of the civil expenditure of this province, either in government paper or specie, as you may deem most convenient. I doubt not the former meeting a ready currency.

The very flattering manner in which your excellency is pleased to view my services, and your kindness in having represented them to his majesty's ministers in such favorable light, are gratifying to my feelings, and call for my grateful acknowledgments.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, September 9, 1812.

I have been honored with your excellency's dispatch, dated the 24th ultimo, and have to thank you for ordering a company of the Glengary regiment to strengthen Colonel Lethbridge at Prescott, whose force you have been led to believe was weakened in consequence of my interference, but which, I beg leave to state, was done without my knowledge, and contrary to my intention.

The enclosed copies of letters will inform you of the state of affairs to the westward. It appears evident the enemy meditates a second attempt on Amherstburg. The greater part of the troops, which are advancing, marched from Kentucky with an intention of joining General Hull. How they are to subsist, even for a short period, in that already exhausted country, is no easy matter to conceive. This difficulty will probably decide them on some bold measure, in the hope of shortening the campaign. If successfully resisted, their fate is inevitable.

The Indians, it appears by the accompanying documents, were adverse to retreating without first making a trial of their strength. Taking, however, every circumstance into consideration, I am inclined to think that Captain Muir acted judiciously. Should the Indians continue to afford a willing co-operation, I entertain not the smallest doubt of the result that awaits this second attempt to turn my right; but your excellency will easily perceive that doubts and jealousies have already seized their minds. The officers of the Indian department will, I trust, be able to remove all such impressions. Although, from the daily observations of what is passing on the opposite shore, a single man can ill be spared from this line, I have notwithstanding determined to send the two flank companies of the royal Newfoundland regiment to Amherstburg. Fresh troops are daily arriving, supposed to belong to the Pennsylvania quota of 2,000 men, known to be intended for this frontier. After the whole arrive, an attack, I imagine, cannot be long delayed. The wretched state of their quotas, and the raggedness of the troops, will not allow them to brave the rain and cold, which during the last week have been so severely felt.

Between 200 and 300 Indians have joined and augmented the force on the other side. Their brethren here feel certain that they will not act with any spirit against us—so I imagine, if we continue to shew a bold front; but in the event of a disaster, the love of plunder will prevail, and they will then act in a manner to be the most dreaded by the inhabitants of this country.

I beg leave to recommend to your excellency's indulgent consideration, Colonel Proctor's application for an increase of pay as commanding a district, which I request may commence from the 16th August last.

Colonel Baynes to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, September 10, 1812.

Sir George writes to you so fully upon the several subjects to which your letters refer, that I have little left to communicate to you. Major Heathcote leaves this to-day, with all the small description of ordnance stores intended for Amherstburg, but we have detained the 12-pounders and shot; as you have helped yourself so amply at Detroit, it is imagined you do not now want them. I enclose a letter from Captain Roberts, who was, I suppose, induced to address himself direct to head quarters, by an opportunity of doing so offering itself at the moment. The North-West gentlemen are very urgent in recommending a reinforcement in that quarter; but Sir George has told them that their representation must be addressed to you, who will act as you deem proper.

Your friend, Mr. Isaac Todd, is arrived, and looking much better for his trip; he was suffered to pass by Albany and the lake. He tells me that Mr. M'Donell is confirmed attorney-general, and that the governor's salary is increased, £1,000 a year. I sincerely trust that it will soon be your own. Sir George has in his official dispatches, after paying that tribute of praise so justly your due, stated as his confirmed opinion, that the salvation of the Upper Province has in a very great measure arisen from the civil and military authority being combined in able hands. The prisoners, with their general, arrived here on Sunday night; as they had not halted since they left Kingston, and were in a very dirty state, we kept them here on Monday, and they yesterday proceeded to William Henry, on their way to Quebec; the officers are to be on parole in Charlesbourg, and the men confined on board two transports in the river. Sir George has permitted most of the officers, who have families with them, to return on their parole; four of them are proposed to be exchanged for the officers of the Royal Scots, taken by the Essex frigate. Sir George has also consented to allow General Hull to return upon his parole: he is loud in his complaints against the government at Washington, and the general thinks that his voice, in the general cry, may be attended with beneficial effects, and has allowed him to return and enter the lists. General Hull appears to possess less feeling and sense of shame than any man in his situation could be supposed to do. He seems to be perfectly satisfied with himself, is lavish of censure upon his government, but appears to think that the most scrupulous cannot attach the slightest blame to his own immediate conduct at Detroit. The grounds upon which he rests his defence are not, I fancy, well founded, for he told us that he had not gunpowder at Detroit for the service of one day. Sir George has since shown him the return of the large supply found in the fort; it did not create a blush, but he made no reply. He professes great surprise and admiration at the zeal and military preparation that he has everywhere witnessed; that it was entirely unlooked for, and that he has no doubt that his friend, General Dearborn, will share his fate, if he has the imprudence to follow his example. Hull seems cunning and unprincipled: how much reliance is to be placed on his professions, time will shew.

General Dearborn has certainly left Albany for Skeensborough, at the head of the lake, where great preparations have been making in collecting boats and sending the regulars from Greenbush to the stations in our vicinity. Major Cotton, with about 300 men, half of the king's regiment, is stationed at Isle aux Noix,[90] and two gun-boats have been carried into that river, as the enemy's preparations seem to indicate that quarter as their point of attack. Colonel Murray commands at St. John's, and will give them a warm reception. I do not feel a doubt of Jonathan's complete discomfiture and disgrace if he make the attempt: we could, I fancy, bring as many men as he will be able to persuade into the field, and of very superior stuff, for our militia have really improved beyond all expectation in discipline, and with it in spirit and confidence. This town would turn out 2,000 volunteer militia, a great proportion of whom are clothed and very tolerably drilled. We have destroyed all the roads of communication in our front, leaving open the water route only, and these woody positions will be shortly occupied by the Indians of this neighbourhood and a corps of volunteer voyageur Canadians. The enemy's preparations, however, may be a feint to cover some plans in agitation against your province.

I send you a long letter from Kempt for your perusal, with a sketch of Badajos, though no longer recent news. I am sure the interest you take in the success of our arms, and in his share in particular, will induce you to read it with pleasure.

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, September 14, 1812.

Captain Fulton arrived on the 11th instant with your letter of the 7th; the intelligence you have communicated by it convinces me of the necessity of the evacuation of Fort Detroit, unless the operations of the enemy on the Niagara frontier bear a character less indicative of determined hostile measures against your line in their front than they did when you last reported to me. You will therefore be pleased, subject to the discretion I have given you under the circumstances to which I have alluded, to take immediate steps for evacuating that post, together with the territory of Michigan; by this measure you will be enabled to withdraw a greater number of the troops from Amherstburg, instead of taking them from Colonel Vincent, whose regular force ought not on any account to be diminished.

I have already afforded you reinforcements to the full extent of my ability; you must not, therefore, expect a further supply of men from hence until I shall receive from England a considerable increase to the present regular force in this province: the posture of affairs, particularly on this frontier, requires every soldier who is in the country.

In my last dispatch from Lord Bathurst, dated the 4th of July, he tells me, "that his majesty's government trusts I will be enabled to suspend with perfect safety all extraordinary preparations for defence which I may have been induced to make in consequence of the precarious state of the relations between this country and the United States; and that as every specific requisition for warlike stores and accoutrements which had been received from me had been complied with, with the exception of the clothing of the corps proposed to be raised from the Glengary emigrants, he had not thought it necessary to direct the preparation of any further supplies." This will afford you a strong proof of the infatuation of his majesty's ministers upon the subject of American affairs, and shew how entirely I have been left to my own resources in the event which has taken place.

Judging from what you have already effected in Upper Canada, I do not doubt but that, with your present means of defence, you will be able to maintain your position at Fort George, and that the enemy will be again foiled in any further attempts they may make to invade the province.

I leave to your discretion to decide on the necessity of sending a reinforcement to Michilimakinack.

Major-General Brock to Colonel Proctor.

FORT GEORGE, September 17, 1812.

I have had before me your several communications to the 11th instant, addressed to myself and to Major-General Sheaffe. I approve of your having detached a party to aid in the reduction of Fort Wayne, not only because its destruction will render your position more secure, but also from the probable result of saving the garrison from sharing the fate of that of Chicago; but it must be explicitly understood, that you are not to resort to offensive warfare for purposes of conquest. Your operations are to be confined to measures of defence and security. With this view, if you should have credible information of the assembling of bodies of troops to march against you, it may become necessary to destroy the fort at Sandusky, and the road which runs through it from Cleveland to the foot of the rapids: the road from the river Raisin to Detroit is perhaps in too bad a state to offer any aid to the approach of an enemy, except in the winter; and if a winter campaign should be contemplated against you, it is probable that magazines would be formed in Cleveland and its vicinity, of all which you will of course inform yourself. In carrying on our operations in your quarter, it is of primary importance that the confidence and good-will of the Indians should be preserved, and that whatsoever can tend to produce a contrary effect should be most carefully avoided. I therefore most strongly urge and enjoin your acting on those principles on every occasion that may offer, inculcating them in all those under your influence, and enforcing them by your example, whether in your conduct towards the Indians or what may regard them, or in your language when speaking to, or of, them. I am aware that they commit irregularities at times, which will make this a difficult task; but you must endeavour to perform it—attending at the same time to the means already suggested to you for preventing, as much as possible, a repetition of disorderly conduct.

Colonel E—— is a respectable, gentlemanly man, but he by no means possesses the influence over the Indians which Captain M'K—— does. I recommend to you to promote, as far as in you lies, a good understanding with and between them, and to observe a conciliating deportment and language towards the latter, that his great influence may be secured and employed in its fullest extent for the benefit of your district, and for the general good. In conversation with him, you may take an opportunity of intimating, that I have not been unmindful of the interests of the Indians in my communications to ministers; and I wish you to learn (as if casually the subject of conversation) what stipulations they would propose for themselves, or be willing to accede to, in case either of failure or of success.

I understand that salvage has been demanded from individuals on several accounts; for property recovered or restored, for patents, &c. &c. I lament that such a course has been adopted, for it was my intention, and it is now my wish, that our conduct in those matters should be governed by the broadest principles of liberality. You will, therefore, be pleased to have returned to the several individuals the amount which each may have paid as salvage on any account.

With respect to calling out the militia, I am particularly desirous that it should not be resorted to but in case of urgent necessity, and then only in such numbers as shall be actually required. It appears to me that the cavalry employed exceed the number that may be indispensably necessary: if, without risk or detriment to the public service, any of either of those corps can be spared, let them be dismissed.

I wish the engineer to proceed immediately in strengthening Fort Amherstburg, his plan for which I shall be glad to see as soon as possible.

Of the ordnance stores of every description, you will reserve such proportions as may be absolutely required for the public service in your district, and cause the remainder to be embarked and sent down to Fort Erie with the least possible delay.

I cannot at present make the change in the distribution of the 41st regiment which you propose, but, whenever circumstances may permit, I shall be happy to accede to your wishes.

Major-General S.V. Rensselaer to Major-General Brock.

Head Quarters, Lewiston, Sept. 17, 1812.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday evening; an extract of a letter addressed to you on the 15th instant by Captain Dyson, of the United States regiment of artillery; also a packet addressed to the Honorable Albert Gallatin, secretary of the treasury of the United States.

Colonel Van Rensselaer will have the honor to deliver this communication, and I have entrusted him to solicit your permission for an interview with Captain Dyson, for the purpose of ascertaining, particularly, the condition of the prisoners of war under his charge, to the end that they may be relieved from Fort Niagara, if practicable; and if not, that I may, without delay, state their condition to the government, that they may receive from the proper department the earliest possible supplies.

The women and children, and such other persons as have accompanied the detachment from Detroit, and ought to be here received, I will immediately receive at Fort Niagara, or such other convenient place as you may order them to be landed at.

In a communication which I some time since had the honor of receiving from Lieut.-Colonel Myers, he assured me that it had been the constant study of the general officer commanding on this line to discountenance, by all means in his power, the warfare of sentinels; yet the frequent recurrence of this warfare within a few days past, would warrant the presumption that a different course has been adopted. I wish to be assured of this fact.

Major-General Brock to Major-General S.V. Rensselaer.

Head Quarters, Fort George, Sept. 17, 1812.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date. Captain Dyson has obtained my permission to cross on his parole to the United States; he has, however, requested to remain till to-morrow, to settle with the men of his detachment. He shall in the mean time have an interview with Colonel Van Rensselaer.

Measures will be immediately taken to land the women and children at Fort Niagara.

It has been with the utmost regret that I have perceived within these few days a very heavy firing from both sides of the river. I am, however, given to understand, that on all occasions it commenced on yours; and from the circumstance of the flag of truce, which I did myself the honor to send over yesterday, having been repeatedly fired upon, while in the act of crossing the river, I am inclined to give full credit to the correctness of the information. Without, however, recurring to the past, you may rest assured on my repeating my most positive orders against the continuance of a practice, which can only be injurious to individuals, without promoting the object which both our nations may have in view.

We cannot find the dispatch from Sir George Prevost of the 7th of September, to which the next letter is an answer, but it could not have been of a very pleasing character, and certainly Major-General Brock's implicit obedience to such instructions is most creditable to him.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, September 18, 1812.

I have been honored with your excellency's dispatch, dated the 7th instant. I have implicitly followed your excellency's instructions, and abstained, under great temptation and provocation, from every act of hostility. The information received from a deserter, and which I had the honor to detail in my last, is far from correct, and, where credit is to be given, the facts apply solely to the regular force. The militia, being selected from the most violent democrats, are generally inclined to invade this province—provisions are in tolerable plenty—the only complaint arises from a want of vegetables. It is currently reported that the enemy's force is to be increased to 7,000, and that on their arrival an attack is immediately to be made. I am convinced the militia would not keep together in their present situation without such a prospect, nor do I think the attempt can be long deferred. Sickness prevails in some degree along the line, but principally at Black Rock.

The flank companies of the royal Newfoundland have joined me. A sergeant and twenty-five rank and file of the Veterans arrived at the same time, whom I propose sending to Michilimakinack.

The enclosed letter from Colonel Proctor will inform your excellency of a force having been detached, under Captain Muir, for the reduction of Fort Wayne.[91] I gave orders for it previous to my leaving Amherstburg, which must have induced Colonel Proctor to proceed, upon receiving intelligence of the recommencement of hostilities, without waiting for further directions. I regret exceedingly that this service should be undertaken contrary to your excellency's wishes; but I beg leave to assure you, that the principal object in sending a British force to Fort Wayne is with the hope of preserving the lives of the garrison. By the last accounts, the place was invested by a numerous body of Indians, with very little prospect of being relieved. The prisoners of war, who know perfectly the situation of the garrison, rejoiced at the measure, and give us full credit for our intentions.

The Indians were likewise looking to us for assistance: they heard of the armistice with every mark of jealousy, and, had we refused joining them in the expedition, it is impossible to calculate the consequences. I have already been asked to pledge my word that England would enter into no negociation in which their interests were not included, and, could they be brought to imagine that we should desert them, the consequences must be fatal.

I shall be obliged to your excellency to direct £5,000 to be transmitted to the receiver-general, for the civil expenditure of this province. Army bills, I make no doubt, will answer every purpose.

This dispatch is entrusted to Lieut.-Colonel Nichol, quartermaster-general of this militia, whom I take the liberty to introduce to your excellency, as perfectly qualified, from his local knowledge and late return, to afford every information of the state of affairs in the western district. He is instructed to make extensive purchases of necessaries for the use of the militia, and I have to entreat your excellency to indulge him with the means of a speedy conveyance back to this place.

Major-General Brock to his brother Savery.

FORT GEORGE, September 18, 1812.

You doubtless feel much anxiety on my account. I am really placed in a most awkward predicament. If I get through my present difficulties with tolerable success, I cannot but obtain praise. But I have already surmounted difficulties of infinitely greater magnitude than any within my view. Were the Americans of one mind, the opposition I could make would be unavailing; but I am not without hope that their divisions may be the saving of this province. A river of about 500 yards broad divides the troops. My instructions oblige me to adopt defensive measures, and I have evinced greater forbearance than was ever practised on any former occasion. It is thought that, without the aid of the sword, the American people may be brought to a due sense of their own interests. I firmly believe I could at this moment sweep every thing before me between Fort Niagara and Buffalo—but my success would be transient.

I have now officers in whom I can confide: when the war commenced, I was really obliged to seek assistance among the militia. The 41st is an uncommonly fine regiment, but wretchedly officered. Six companies of the 49th are with me here, and the remaining four at Kingston, under Vincent. Although the regiment has been ten years in this country, drinking rum without bounds, it is still respectable, and apparently ardent for an opportunity to acquire distinction: it has five captains in England, and two on the staff in this country, which leaves it bare of experienced officers. The U.S. regiments of the line desert over to us frequently, as the men are tired of the service: opportunities seldom offer, otherwise I have reason to think the greater part would follow the example. The militia, being chiefly composed of enraged democrats, are more ardent and anxious to engage, but they have neither subordination nor discipline. They die very fast. You will hear of some decisive action in the course of a fortnight, or in all probability we shall return to a state of tranquillity. I say decisive, because if I should be beaten, the province is inevitably gone; and should I be victorious, I do not imagine the gentry from the other side will be anxious to return to the charge.

It is certainly something singular that we should be upwards of two months in a state of warfare, and that along this widely extended frontier not a single death, either natural or by the sword, should have occurred among the troops under my command, and we have not been altogether idle, nor has a single desertion taken place.

I am quite anxious for this state of warfare to end, as I wish much to join Lord Wellington, and to see you all.

Has poor Betsey recovered the loss of my young and dear friend, John Tupper?

Sir George Prevost to Major-General Brock.

MONTREAL, September 25, 1812.

It no longer appears, by your letter of the 13th, that you consider the enemy's operations on the Niagara frontier indicative of active operations. If the government of America inclines to defensive measures, I can only ascribe the determination to two causes: the first is, the expectation of such overtures from us as will lead to a suspension of hostilities, preparatory to negociations for peace; the other arises from having ascertained, by experience, our ability in the Canadas to resist the attack of a tumultuary force.

In consequence of your having weakened the line of communication between Cornwall and Kingston, a predatory warfare is carrying on there very prejudicial to the intercourse from hence with Upper Canada. I have ordered a company of the Glengary to Prescott to strengthen Colonel Lethbridge, and, under present circumstances, you are not to expect further aid.

I agree in opinion with you, that so wretched is the organization and discipline of the American army, that at this moment much might be effected against them; but as the government at home could derive no substantial advantage from any disgrace we might inflict on them, whilst the more important concerns of the country are committed in Europe, I again request you will steadily pursue that policy which shall appear to you best calculated to promote the dwindling away of such a force by its own inefficient means.

I shall receive with much satisfaction Colonel Proctor's report of having saved the garrison of Fort Wayne from the inhuman fury of the Indians. I am particularly anxious that class of beings should be restrained and controlled as much as possible, whilst there exists a pretence of implicating the national character in their cruelties.

The following letter not only explains the impolicy of obeying Sir George Prevost's provisional orders for the evacuation of Detroit and the Michigan territory, but also ably deprecates any abandonment of our Indian allies. With such leaders as its author and Tecumseh, what might not have been done in this war to obtain the security and regeneration of this much injured people? But alas! these "kindred spirits" lived not long enough to plead their cause, and in the negociations for peace their interests were shamefully overlooked or cruelly forgotten;[92] although, in the first American war, the Indians had also, with few exceptions, taken part with Great Britain against the colonists in their contest for independence. It is true that their mode of warfare is abhorrent to Europeans, as differing from the more honorable slaughter of civilized enemies; but Sir Isaac Brock proved that they were to be restrained, and Tecumseh was as humane as he was brave. Moreover, we should not condemn their previous excesses without remembering the many injuries they had received. They knew from sad experience that they could place no faith in the whites, who had long considered them as legal prey, and too often treated them as the brute animals of the forest. Expelled from the coasts, and dispossessed of their hunting grounds, they had been gradually driven westward, until they had too much cause to apprehend that the cupidity of their invaders would be satisfied only with their utter extermination. "The red men are melting," to borrow the expressive metaphor of a celebrated Miami chief of the last century, "like snow before the sun." Indeed, it is melancholy to reflect, that the aborigines of both continents of America have, from their first intercourse with Europeans or their descendants, experienced nothing but fraud, spoliation, cruelty, and ingratitude.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, September 28, 1812.

I have been honored with your excellency's dispatch, dated the 14th instant.[93] I shall suspend, under the latitude left by your excellency to my discretion, the evacuation of Fort Detroit. Such a measure would most probably be followed by the total extinction of the population on that side of the river, or the Indians, aware of our weakness and inability to carry on active warfare, would only think of entering into terms with the enemy. The Indians, since the Miami affair, in 1793, have been extremely suspicious of our conduct; but the violent wrongs committed by the Americans on their territory, have rendered it an act of policy with them to disguise their sentiments. Could they be persuaded that a peace between the belligerents would take place, without admitting their claim to an extensive tract of country, fraudulently usurped from them, and opposing a frontier to the present unbounded views of the Americans, I am satisfied in my own mind that they would immediately compromise with the enemy. I cannot conceive a connection so likely to lead to more awful consequences.

If we can maintain ourselves at Niagara, and keep the communication to Montreal open, the Americans can only subdue the Indians by craft, which we ought to be prepared to see exerted to the utmost. The enmity of the Indians is now at its height, and it will require much management and large bribes to effect a change in their policy; but the moment they are convinced that we either want the means to prosecute the war with spirit, or are negociating a separate peace, they will begin to study in what manner they can most effectually deceive us.

Should negociations for peace be opened, I cannot be too earnest with your excellency to represent to the king's ministers the expediency of including the Indians as allies, and not leave them exposed to the unrelenting fury of their enemies.

The enemy has evidently assumed defensive measures along the strait of Niagara. His force, I apprehend, is not equal to attempt, with any probability of success, an expedition across the river. It is, however, currently reported that large reinforcements are on their march; should they arrive, an attack cannot be long delayed. The approach of the rainy season will increase the sickness with which the troops are already afflicted. Those under my command are in perfect health and spirits.

I have the honor to transmit the purport of a confidential communication[94] received in my absence by Brigade-Major Evans from Colonel Van Rensselaer. As your excellency's instructions agree with the line of conduct he is anxious I should follow, nothing of a hostile nature shall be attempted under existing circumstances.

The unlettered Tecumseh well knew the wrongs of the red men when he endeavoured, several years before the war, to induce the Osages to unite in a general Indian confederacy against the continued encroachments of the Americans, and gave extemporaneous utterance before a large assemblage to the following simple but faithful narration of their grievances. The harangue, eloquent as it is, suffers under all the disadvantages of translation, and is but the shadow of the substance, because the gestures, and the interests and feelings excited by the occasion, which constitute the essentials of its character, are altogether wanting.

Brothers,—We all belong to one family; we are all children of the Great Spirit; we walk in the same path; slake our thirst at the same spring; and now affairs of the greatest concern lead us to smoke the pipe around the same council fire!

Brothers,—We are friends; we must assist each other to bear our burdens. The blood of many of our fathers and brothers has run like water on the ground, to satisfy the avarice of the white men. We, ourselves, are threatened with a great evil; nothing will pacify them but the destruction of all the red men.

Brothers,—When the white men first set foot on our grounds, they were hungry; they had no place on which to spread their blankets, or to kindle their fires. They were feeble; they could do nothing for themselves. Our fathers commiserated their distress, and shared freely with them whatever the Great Spirit had given his red children. They gave them food when hungry, medicine when sick, spread skins for them to sleep on, and gave them grounds, that they might hunt and raise corn.—Brothers, the white people are like poisonous serpents: when chilled, they are feeble and harmless; but invigorate them with warmth, and they sting their benefactors to death.

The white people came among us feeble; and now that we have made them strong, they wish to kill us, or drive us back, as they would wolves and panthers. Brothers,—The white men are not friends to the Indians: at first, they only asked for land sufficient for a wigwam; now, nothing will satisfy them but the whole of our hunting grounds, from the rising to the setting sun.

Brothers,—The white men want more than our hunting grounds; they wish to kill our old men, women, and little ones.

Brothers,—Many winters ago, there was no land; the sun did not rise and set; all was darkness. The Great Spirit made all things. He gave the white people a home beyond the great waters. He supplied these grounds with game, and gave them to his red children; and he gave them strength and courage to defend them.

Brothers,—My people wish for peace; the red men all wish for peace; but where the white people are, there is no peace for them, except it be on the bosom of our mother.

Brothers,—The white men despise and cheat the Indians; they abuse and insult them; they do not think the red men sufficiently good to live.

The red men have borne many and great injuries; they ought to suffer them no longer. My people will not; they are determined on vengeance; they have taken up the tomahawk; they will make it fat with blood; they will drink the blood of the white people.

Brothers,—My people are brave and numerous; but the white people are too strong for them alone. I wish you to take up the tomahawk with them. If we all unite, we will cause the rivers to stain the great waters with their blood.

Brothers,—If you do not unite with us, they will first destroy us, and then you will fall an easy prey to them. They have destroyed many nations of red men, because they were not united, because they were not friends to each other.

Brothers,—The white people send runners amongst us; they wish to make us enemies, that they may sweep over and desolate our hunting grounds, like devastating winds, or rushing waters.

Brothers,—Our Great Father, over the great waters, is angry with the white people, our enemies. He will send his brave warriors against them; he will send us rifles, and whatever else we want—he is our friend, and we are his children.

Brothers,—Who are the white people that we should fear them? They cannot run fast, and are good marks to shoot at: they are only men; our fathers have killed many of them: we are not squaws, and we will stain the earth red with their blood.

Brothers,—The Great Spirit is angry with our enemies; he speaks in thunder, and the earth swallows up villages, and drinks up the Mississippi. The great waters will cover their lowlands; their corn cannot grow; and the Great Spirit will sweep those who escape to the hills from the earth with his terrible breath.

Brothers,—We must be united; we must smoke the same pipe; we must fight each other's battles; and, more than all, we must love the Great Spirit: he is for us; he will destroy our enemies, and make all his red children happy.

Conclusion of Major-General Brock's general order, Detroit, 16th August, 1812: "The conduct of the Indians under Colonel Elliott, Captain M'Kee, and the other officers of that department, joined to that of the gallant and brave chiefs of their respective tribes, has since the commencement of the war been marked with acts of true heroism, and in nothing can they testify more strongly their love to the king, their great father, than in following the dictates of honor and humanity, by which they have been hitherto actuated. Two fortifications have already been captured from the enemy, without a drop of blood being shed by the hands of the Indians: the instant the enemy submitted, his life became sacred."


[86] To the facts and observations above stated I must add the extraordinary circumstance, that a staff officer was sent, express from Montreal to Upper Canada, to prevent General Brock from proceeding to the western district, but which most happily was prevented from taking effect by the extraordinary rapidity of the movements of that most zealous and gallant officer, who had arrived thither before the officer so sent could reach him.—Letters of Veritas.

[87] See extract from Letters of Veritas on this point. Appendix A, Section 1, No. 3.

[88] Appendix A, Section 1, No. 4.

[89] This letter was forwarded by Brigade-Major Shekleton with that of the 12th August (see page 217), from Sir George Prevost, who doubtless wrote another the following day relative to the armistice, but we cannot find it among Major-General Brock's papers.

[90] Coteau du Lac and Isle aux Noix are the keys of Lower Canada; the former completely commands the navigation of the St. Lawrence between the Upper and Lower Provinces, and the latter had been so decidedly regarded as the barrier of Lower Canada from the Champlain frontier, that it excited the particular attention of the French engineers in the last defence of the country, and was afterwards fortified at considerable expense by General Haldimand, daring the war of the American revolution.—Quarterly Review.

[91] Fort Wayne is situated at the junction of the St. Mary and St. Joseph rivers, which form the Miami of the lake, and not more than twelve miles from the navigable waters of the Wabash. This post is nearly in the centre of the Indian settlements on this side the Mississippi. Many Indian villages lay from twelve to sixty miles from this place.—Brown's American History.

[92] "The Indians on this occasion" (the defence of Michilimakinack, in 1814,) "behaved with exemplary zeal and fidelity in our cause; and indeed their attachment throughout has been such as to make me blush for my country, in the dereliction of their interests in the negotiations at Ghent, after so many promises made them, and so fair a prospect at the commencement of these negotiations."—Letters of Veritas.

[93] See page 291. We cannot discover a copy of Major-General Brock's letter of the 7th September, to Sir George Prevost, to which the latter officer refers in his letter of the 14th.

[94] This communication, of which we have no particulars, is the more singular, as Colonel Van R—— commanded the advance of the American attacking party on the 13th of October, when Sir Isaac Brock lost his life. Colonel Van R—— was severely wounded on that day.


The Americans, burning to wipe away the stain of their discomfiture at Detroit, and apparently determined to penetrate into Upper Canada at any risk, concentrated with those views, along the Niagara frontier, an army consisting, according to their own official returns, of 5,206 men, under Major-General Van Rensselaer, of the New York militia, exclusive of 300 field and light artillery, 800 of the 6th, 13th, and 23d regiments, at Fort Niagara; making a total of 6,300 men. Of this powerful force, 1,650 regulars, under the command of Brigadier Smyth, were at Black Rock; 386 militia at the last named place and Buffalo; and 900 regulars and 2,270 militia at Lewistown, distant from Black Rock 28 miles. Thus the enemy had, along their frontier of 36 miles, 3,650 regulars and 2,650 militia.[95] To oppose this force Major-General Brock, whose head quarters were at Fort George, had under his immediate orders part of the 41st and 49th regiments, a few companies of militia, amounting to nearly half these regulars, and from 200 to 300 Indians—in all about 1,500 men—but so dispersed in different posts at and between Fort Erie and Fort George, (34 miles apart,) that only a small number was quickly available at any one point. With unwearied diligence the British commander watched the motions of the enemy; but under these circumstances it was impossible to prevent the landing of the hostile troops, especially when their preparations were favored by the obscurity of the night.

On the 9th of October, the brig Detroit, of 200 tons and 6 guns, (lately the U.S. brig Adams,) and the North-West Company's brig Caledonia, of about 100 tons, having arrived the preceding day from Detroit, were boarded and carried opposite Fort Erie, before the dawn of day, by Lieutenant Elliott, of the American navy, with 100 seamen and soldiers in two large boats. This officer was at this time at Black Rock, superintending the equipment of some schooners, lately purchased for the service of Lake Erie. But for the defensive measures to which Major-General Brock was restricted, he would probably have destroyed these very schooners, for whose equipment, as vessels of war, Lieutenant Elliott and 50 seamen had been sent from New York. The two British brigs contained 40 prisoners, some cannon and small arms, captured at Detroit, exclusive of a valuable quantity of furs belonging to the North-West Company, in the Caledonia. Joined by the prisoners, the Americans who boarded numbered 140, and the crews of the two brigs, consisting of militia and Canadian seamen, amounted to 68. After the capture, Lieutenant Elliott succeeded in getting the Caledonia close under the batteries at Black Rock, but he was compelled, by a few well-directed shots from the Canada shore, to run the Detroit upon Squaw Island. Here she was boarded by a subaltern's detachment from Fort Erie, and the Americans soon after completed her destruction by setting her on fire. Some lives were lost upon this occasion, and among the Americans a Major Cuyler was killed by a shot from Fort Erie, as he was riding along the beach on the opposite side of the river.

Sir Isaac Brock to Sir George Prevost.

FORT GEORGE, October 11, 1812.

I had scarcely closed my dispatch to your excellency, of the 9th, when I was suddenly called away to Fort Erie, in consequence of a bold, and, I regret to say, successful attack by the enemy on his majesty's brig Detroit, and the private brig Caledonia, which had both arrived the preceding day from Amherstburg. It appears by every account I have been able to collect, that a little before day a number of boats full of men, dropped down with the current unobserved, boarded both vessels at the same moment, and, cutting their cables, were proceeding with them to the American shore, when Major Ormsby, who witnessed the transaction, directed the batteries to open on them, and soon compelled the enemy to abandon the Detroit, which grounded about the centre of Squaw Island, a little more than a mile below Black Rock. She was then boarded by a party of the 49th regiment; but as no anchor remained, and being otherwise unprovided with every means by which she could be hauled off, the officer, throwing her guns over board, after sustaining a smart fire of musketry, decided to quit her. A private, who is accused of getting drunk, and a prisoner of war, who was unable from his wounds to escape, with about twenty prisoners brought by the Detroit from Amherstburg, remained however behind; these it became necessary to remove before the vessel could be destroyed, and Cornet Pell Major, of the provincial cavalry, offered his services. Being unfortunately wounded as he was getting on board, and falling back into the boat, a confusion arose, during which the boat drifted from the vessel, leaving two of the 41st, who had previously ascended, on board. In the mean time the Caledonia was secured by the enemy, and a cargo of furs, belonging to the North-West Company, landed.

The batteries on both sides were warmly engaged the whole of the day, but I am happy to say no mischief was sustained by the enemy's fire. I reached the spot soon after sun-set, and intended to have renewed the attempt to recover the Detroit, which I had every prospect of accomplishing, assisted by the crew of the Lady Prevost, which vessel had anchored a short time before; but before the necessary arrangements could be made, the enemy boarded her, and in a few minutes she was seen in flames.

This event is particularly unfortunate, and may reduce us to incalculable distress. The enemy is making every exertion to gain a naval superiority on both lakes, which if they accomplish I do not see how we can retain the country. More vessels are fitting out for war on the other side of Squaw Island, which I should have attempted to destroy but for your excellency's repeated instructions to forbear. Now such a force is collected for their protection as will render every operation against them very hazardous. The manner our guns were served yesterday, points out the necessity of an increase, if possible, of artillerymen to our present small number of regulars. The militia evinced a good spirit, but fired without much effect. The enemy, however, must have lost some men; and it is only wonderful, that in a contest of a whole day no life was lost on our side. The fire of the enemy was incessant, but badly directed, till the close of the day, when it began to improve. Lieutenant Rolette, who commanded the Detroit, had, and I believe deservedly, the character of a brave, attentive officer. His vessel must, however, have been surprised—an easy operation where she lay at anchor; and I have reason to suspect that this consideration was not sufficiently attended to by the officers commanding on board and on shore.

We have not only sustained a heavy loss in the vessel, but likewise in the cargo, which consisted of four 12-pounders, a large quantity of shot, and about 200 muskets, all of which were intended for Kingston and Prescott.

The only consolation remaining is, that she escaped the enemy, whose conduct, after his first essay, did not entitle him to so rich a prize. The enemy has brought some boats over land from Schlosher to the Niagara river, and made an attempt last night to carry off the guard over the store at Queenston. I shall refrain as long as possible, under your excellency's positive injunctions, from every hostile act, although sensible that each day's delay gives him an advantage.

Sir Isaac Brock to Colonel Proctor, at Detroit.

The unfortunate disaster which has befallen the Detroit and Caledonia will reduce us to great distress. They were boarded whilst at anchor at Fort Erie and carried off: you will learn the particulars from others. A quantity of flour and a little pork were ready to be shipped for Amherstburg; but as I send you the flank companies of the Newfoundland, no part of the provisions can go this trip in the Lady Prevost. It will be necessary to direct her to return with all possible speed, bringing the Mary under her convoy. You will husband your pork, for I am sorry to say there is but little in the country.

An active interesting scene is going to commence with you. I am perfectly at ease as to the result, provided we can manage the Indians and keep them attached to your cause, which in fact is theirs.

The fate of the province is in your hands. Judging by every appearance, we are not to remain long idle in this quarter. Were it not for the positive injunctions of the commander of the forces, I should have acted with greater decision. This forbearance may be productive of ultimate good, but I doubt its policy—but perhaps we have not the means of judging correctly. You will of course adopt a very different line of conduct. The enemy must be kept in a state of constant ferment. If the Indians act as they did under Tecumseh, who probably might be induced to return to Amherstburg, that army will very soon dwindle to nothing. Your artillery must be more numerous and effective than any the enemy can bring, and your store of ammunition will enable you to harass him continually, without leaving much to chance.

I trust you will have destroyed every barrack and public building, and removed the pickets and other defences around the fort at Detroit.

You will have the goodness to state the expedients you possess to enable us to replace, as far as possible, the heavy loss we have sustained in the Detroit. Should I hear of reinforcements coming up, you may rely upon receiving your due proportion. Nothing new at Montreal on the 25th ult. Lord Wellington has totally defeated Marmont, near Salamanca. I consider the game nearly up in Spain. May every possible success attend you.

[The preceding letter is transcribed from a rough copy in the general's handwriting, and, not being dated, may not have been transmitted, as it was written only a day or two before his death.]

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

October 12, 1812.

The vast number of troops which have been this day added to the strong force previously collected on the opposite side, convinces me, with other indications, that an attack is not far distant. I have in consequence directed every exertion to be made to complete the militia to 2,000 men, but fear that I shall not be able to effect my object with willing, well-disposed characters. Were it not for the numbers of Americans in our ranks, we might defy all their efforts against this part of the province.

[The above letter is also from a copy written hurriedly by Sir Isaac Brock only a few hours before his death, and it may not have been forwarded.]

A day or two prior to the battle of Queenstown, Major-General Brock wrote copious instructions for the guidance of the officers commanding at the different posts on the Niagara river, in the event of their being attacked, and he explained the probable points which he thought the enemy would select for accomplishing his descent. He evidently entertained a high opinion of the discipline and prowess of the British soldier, as in these instructions he observed: "If we weigh well the character of our enemy, we shall find him more disposed to brave the impediments of nature, when they afford him a probability of accomplishing his end by surprise, in preference to the certainty of encountering British troops ready formed for his reception." The original draft of these instructions in the general's writing, contains scarcely an erasure or correction.

On the 4th of October, an American spy was sent to the British side, and returned with information that Major-General Brock had proceeded to Detroit with all the force that could be spared from the Niagara frontier. Encouraged by these false news, which perhaps the American general circulated to induce his troops to cross over, every preparation was made for a descent upon Queenstown. On the morning of the 11th, the enemy assembled a force at Lewistown, opposite to Queenstown, with the view of making an immediate attack on the latter, but, through some mismanagement in conducting the boats to the place of embarkation, the attack was delayed. Early on the morning of the 13th, the enemy's troops were again concentrated and embarked in thirteen boats at Lewistown, under cover of a commanding battery of two 18 and two 6-pounders, which, with two field pieces, completely commanded every part of the opposite shore, from which musketry could be effectual in opposing a landing. The only British batteries from which the enemy could be annoyed in the passage were one, mounting an 18-pounder, upon Queenstown Heights, and another, mounting a 24-pound carronade, situate a little below the village. Three of the boats put back, while the remaining ten, with 225 regulars, besides officers, struck the shore a little above the village of Queenstown, and immediately returned for more troops. The British force in Queenstown consisted of the two flank companies of the 49th regiment and the York volunteer militia, amounting in all to about 300 rank and file. Of these about 60, taken from the 49th grenadiers, and Captain Hatt's company of militia, under Captain Dennis,[96] of the 49th, advanced at four o'clock, a.m., with a 3-pounder against the first division of the enemy, under Colonel Van Rensselaer, who had formed his men near the river, and was awaiting the arrival of the next boats. The Americans were driven with some loss behind a steep bank, close to the water's edge, where they were reinforced by a fresh supply of troops, and whence they returned the fire of the British. In the mean time the remainder of the 49th grenadiers and of the militia company joined Captain Dennis; while the 49th light company, under Captain Williams, with Captain Chisholm's company of militia, stationed on the brow of the hill, fired down upon the invaders.

Sir Isaac Brock for some days had suspected this invasion, and the evening preceding it he called his staff together, and gave to each the necessary instructions. Agreeably to his usual custom, he rose before daylight, and hearing the cannonade, awoke Major Glegg and called for his horse, Alfred, which Sir James Craig had presented to him. He then gallopped eagerly from Fort George to the scene of action, and, with his two aides-de-camp, passed up the hill at full gallop in front of the light company, under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry from the American shore. On reaching the 18-pounder battery at the top of the hill, they dismounted and took a view of passing events, which at that moment appeared highly favorable. But in a few minutes a firing was heard, which proceeded from a strong detachment of American regulars under Captain Wool, who had succeeded in gaining the brow of the heights in rear of the battery, by a fisherman's path up the rocks, which, being reported as impassable, was not guarded. Sir Isaac Brock and his aide-de-camps had not even time to remount, but were obliged to retire precipitately with the twelve men stationed in the battery, which was quickly occupied by the enemy. Captain Wool having sent forward about 150 regulars, Captain Williams' detachment, of about 100 men, advanced to meet them, personally directed by the general, who, observing the enemy to waver, ordered a charge, which was promptly executed; but as the Americans gave way, the result was not equal to his expectations. Captain Wool admits that he reinforced his regulars, "notwithstanding which the whole were driven to the edge of the bank."[97] Here some of the American officers were on the point of hoisting a white flag, with an intention to surrender, when Captain Wool tore it off, and reanimated his dispirited troops. They now opened a heavy fire of musketry; and conspicuous from his dress, his height, and the enthusiasm with which he animated his little band, the British commander was soon singled out, and he fell about an hour after his arrival, the fatal bullet entering his right breast and passing through his left side. He had that instant said: "Push on the York volunteers;" and he lived only long enough to request that his fall might not be noticed or prevent the advance of his brave troops, adding a wish, which could not be distinctly understood, that some token of remembrance should be transmitted to his sister. He died unmarried, and on the same day a week previously, he had completed his forty-third year. The lifeless corpse was immediately conveyed into a house at Queenstown, where it remained until the afternoon unperceived by the enemy. His provincial aide-de-camp, Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell, of the militia, and the attorney-general of Upper Canada—a fine promising young man—was mortally wounded soon after his chief, and died the next day, at the early age of twenty-five years. Although one bullet had passed through his body, and he was wounded in four places, yet he survived twenty hours; and during a period of excruciating agony, his thoughts and words were constantly occupied with lamentations for his deceased commander and friend. He fell while gallantly charging up the hill with 190 men, chiefly of the York volunteers, by which charge the enemy was compelled to spike the 18-pounder in the battery there.

The flank companies of the 49th having suffered severely, and both their captains being wounded, the disputed ground was lost soon after the death of the general, and the troops retreated in front of Vromont's battery, where they awaited the expected reinforcements. The Americans remained in quiet possession of the heights of Queenstown for some hours, during which they were but partially reinforced, as their militia, who a day or two before were so anxious to invade Canada—having heard from the wounded men sent back what they must expect if they came in contact with the 49th, "the green tigers," as they called them from their green facings—could not now be induced, either by threat or entreaty, to cross the river. Indeed, the flank companies of the 49th, in the excitement arising from the loss of their late beloved colonel, are said to have fought with such animosity throughout the day, as to have fully supported this new title. In the meanwhile, Major-General Sheaffe arrived from Fort George[98] with nearly 400 of the 41st regiment, under Captain Derenzy and about 300 militia; and—after being joined by the remnant of the 49th flank companies and the Indians, and leaving two field pieces with 30 men in front of Queenstown, to prevent its occupation by the Americans—he proceeded by a circuitous route to gain the rear of the heights upon which the enemy was posted. Here he was reinforced by the arrival of the 41st grenadiers and some militia from Chippewa, the whole of the British and Indian force thus assembled rather exceeding 1,000 men, of whom about 600 were regulars. In numbers the Americans were about equal—courage they had, but they wanted the confidence and discipline of British soldiers.

The attack commenced in the afternoon, and after a little firing, the British, setting up a shout which was accompanied by the war-whoop of the Indians, advanced at the double quick or running pace, when the Americans, perceiving the hopelessness of resistance, fled down the hill after a feeble contest. The slaughter was unhappily protracted, because the Indians could not at first be restrained. The Americans, who attempted to escape into the woods, were quickly driven back by the Indians; and many, cut off in their return to the main body, and terrified at the sight of these exasperated warriors, flung themselves wildly over the cliffs, and endeavoured to cling to the bushes which grew upon them; but some, losing their hold, were dashed frightfully on the rocks beneath; while others, who reached the river, perished in their attempts to swim across it. Such, alas! are the dreadful horrors too often arising from human warfare! A flag of truce soon came from the American commander, with the offer of an unconditional surrender, and Brigadier Wadsworth, with upwards of 900 officers and men, were made prisoners. The death of the British general is said to have cost the invaders many a life on that day, which otherwise had been spared. Their loss was 90 killed and about 100 wounded, while that of the British and Indians was 16 killed and 69 wounded. The victory, though easily won, was complete; but it was felt by the conquerors as a poor compensation for the loss of the British chieftain, thus prematurely cut off in the pride of manhood and in the noon-tide of his career; while the sorrow manifested throughout both provinces proved that those who rejoiced in the failure of this second invasion, would gladly have foregone the triumph, if by such means they could have regained him who rendered the heights of Queenstown memorable by his fall.

Joy's bursting shout in whelming grief was drowned,
And Victory's self unwilling audience found;
On every brow the cloud of sadness hung,—
The sounds of triumph died on every tongue!

"The news of the death of this excellent officer," observed the Quebec Gazette, "has been received here as a public calamity. The attendant circumstances of victory scarcely checked the painful sensation. His long residence in this province, and particularly in this place, had made him in habits and good offices almost a citizen; and his frankness, conciliatory disposition, and elevated demeanour, an estimable one. The expressions of regret as general as he was known, and not uttered by friends and acquaintance only, but by every gradation of class, not only by grown persons, but young children, are the test of his worth. Such too is the only eulogium worthy of the good and brave, and the citizens of Quebec have, with solemn emotions, pronounced it on his memory. But at this anxious moment other feelings are excited by his loss. General Brock had acquired the confidence of the inhabitants within his government. He had secured their attachment permanently by his own merits. They were one people animated by one disposition, and this he had gradually wound up to the crisis in which they were placed. Strange as it may seem, it is to be feared that he had become too important to them. The heroic militia of Upper Canada, more particularly, had knit themselves to his person; and it is yet to be ascertained whether the desire to avenge his death can compensate the many embarrassments it will occasion. It is indeed true that the spirit, and even the abilities, of a distinguished man often carry their influence beyond the grave; and the present event furnishes its own example, for it is certain, notwithstanding General Brock was cut off early in the action, that he had already given an impulse to his little army, which contributed to accomplish the victory when he was no more. Let us trust that the recollection of him will become a new bond of union, and that, as he sacrificed himself for a community of patriots, they will find a new motive to exertion in the obligation to secure his ashes from the pestilential dominion of the enemy."

A Montreal newspaper of the day also contained the following observations: "The private letters from Upper Canada, in giving the account of the late victory at Queenstown, are partly taken up with encomiastic lamentations upon the never-to-be-forgotten General Brock, which do honor to the character and talents of the man they deplore. The enemy have nothing to hope from the loss they have inflicted; they have created a hatred which panteth for revenge. Although General Brock may be said to have fallen in the midst of his career, yet his previous services in Upper Canada will be lasting and highly beneficial. When he assumed the government of the province, he found a divided, disaffected, and, of course, a weak people. He has left them united and strong, and the universal sorrow of the province attends his fall. The father, to his children, will make known the mournful story. The veteran, who fought by his side in the heat and burthen of the day of our deliverance, will venerate his name."[99]

And the sentiments of the British government, on the melancholy occasion, were thus expressed in a dispatch from Earl Bathurst, the secretary of state for the colonies, to Sir George Prevost, dated December 8, 1812: "His royal highness the prince regent is fully aware of the severe loss which his majesty's service has experienced in the death of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock. This would have been sufficient to have clouded a victory of much greater importance. His majesty has lost in him not only an able and meritorious officer, but one who, in the exercise of his functions of provisional lieutenant-governor of the province, displayed qualities admirably adapted to awe the disloyal, to reconcile the wavering, and to animate the great mass of the inhabitants against successive attempts of the enemy to invade the province, in the last of which he unhappily fell, too prodigal of that life of which his eminent services had taught us to understand the value."

The Montreal Herald of April 29, 1815, blames Sir George Prevost for having suppressed, in his general order, much of the preceding letter from Lord Bathurst, and remarks: "We repeat that the said letter was not published to the army or to the public, a part of which the latter ought to have known, because the sentiments expressed by the prince are those of the loyal people of Upper Canada, who would be glad to have seen them soon after the official letter arrived in Canada." The following was substituted for this letter in a general order of the late commander-in-chief, dated the 10th March, 1813, said to have been published to the army at the time of its date:

'His royal highness is fully aware of the severe loss which his majesty's service has experienced in the death of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock.'

"But we have been told that even the said general order was not known to some regiments of the right division, until it appeared in the Quebec Gazette of the 20th instant." And "considering the character of the distinguished chief who fell on the British side at the Queenstown battle,"[100] we certainly do not think that Lord Bathurst intended his dispatch, relative to that officer's death, should have been thus mutilated or suppressed in the Canadas.

The Canadian boat songs are well known for their plaintive and soothing effect, and a very beautiful one was composed on the death of Major-General Brock. The writer of this memoir, while sailing one evening in the straits of Canso, in British North America—the beautiful and picturesque scenery of which greatly increased the effect of the words—remembers to have heard it sung by a Canadian boatman, and he then thought that he had never listened to vocal sounds more truly descriptive of melancholy and regret. Even the young in Canada invoked the Muse in expression of their sympathy, and the following lines were indited by Miss Ann Bruyeres, described as "an extraordinary child of thirteen years old," the daughter of the general's friend, Lieut.-Colonel. Bruyeres, of the Royal Engineers, (see page 213,) and who died not long after him in consequence of disease contracted in the field:

As Fame alighted on the mountain's[101] crest,
She loudly blew her trumpet's mighty blast;
Ere she repeated Victory's notes, she cast
A look around, and stopped: of power bereft,
Her bosom heaved, her breath she drew with pain,
Her favorite Brock lay slaughtered on the plain!
Glory threw on his grave a laurel wreath,
And Fame proclaims "a hero sleeps beneath."

As if to complete the double allusion to Fame in the preceding lines, singularly enough the mournful intelligence of Sir Isaac Brock's death was brought from Quebec to Guernsey by the ship FAME, belonging to that island, on the 24th November, two days before it was known in London.

Sir Isaac Brock, after lying in state at the government house, where his body was bedewed with the tears of many affectionate friends, was interred on the 16th of October, with his provincial aide-de-camp, at Fort George. His surviving aide-de-camp, Major Glegg, recollecting the decided aversion of the general to every thing that bore the appearance of ostentatious display, endeavoured to clothe the distressing ceremony with all his "native simplicity." But at the same time there were military honors that could not be avoided, and the following was the order of the mournful procession,[102] "of which," wrote Major Glegg, "I enclose a plan; but no pen can describe the real scenes of that mournful day. A more solemn and affecting spectacle was perhaps never witnessed. As every arrangement connected with that afflicting ceremony fell to my lot, a second attack being hourly expected, and the minds of all being fully occupied with the duties of their respective stations, I anxiously endeavoured to perform this last tribute of affection in a manner corresponding with the elevated virtues of my departed patron. Conceiving that an interment in every respect military would be the most appropriate to the character of our dear friend, I made choice of a cavalier bastion in Fort George, which his aspiring genius had lately suggested, and which had been just finished under his daily superintendence."

Fort Major Campbell.
Sixty Men of the 41st Regiment, commanded by a Subaltern.
Sixty of the Militia, commanded by a Captain.
Two Six-Pounders—firing minute guns.
Remaining Corps and Detachments of the Garrison, with about 200
Indians, in reversed order, forming a street through which the
Procession passed, extending from the government house to the
Band of the 41st Regiment.
Drums, covered with black cloth, and muffled.

Late General's Horse, fully caparisoned, led by four Grooms.
Servants of the General.
The General's Body Servant.
Surgeon Muirhead.            Doctor Kerr.
Doctor Moore.              Staff Surgeon Thom.
Reverend Mr. Addison.

(The Body of Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell, P.A.D.C.)

Capt. A. Cameron.            Lieut. Jarvis.

Lieut. Robinson.            Lieut. Ridout.

J. Edwards, Esq.            Capt. Crooks.

Supporter,                  Supporter,
Mr. Dickson.                Captain Cameron.

Chief Mourner,
Mr. M'Donell.

(The Body of Major-General Brock.)

Supporter,                Supporter,
Mr. James Coffin, D.A.C.G.  Captain Williams, 49th Regt.

Capt. Vigoreaux, R.E.      Major Merritt, L.H. Lin. Mil.

Capt. Derenzy, 41st Regt.    Lieut.-Col. Clark, Lin. Mil.

Capt. Dennis, 49th Regt.    Lieut.-Col. Butler.

Capt. Holcroft, R.A.        Colonel Claus,

Supporter,                Supporter,
Brigade-Major Evans.        Captain Glegg, A.D.C.

Chief Mourners.
Major-General Sheaffe.        Lieut.-Colonel Myers, D.Q.M.G.
Ensign Coffin, A.D.C.        Lieut. Fowler, A.D.Q.M.G.
The Civil Staff.
Friends of the Deceased.

Such was the esteem in which Sir Isaac Brock was held by the enemies of his country, for he had or could have no personal enemies, that Major-General Van Rensselaer, in a letter of condolence, informed Major-General Sheaffe that immediately after the funeral solemnities were over on the British side, a compliment of minute guns would be paid to the hero's memory on theirs!!! Accordingly, the cannon at Fort Niagara were fired, "as a mark of respect due to a brave enemy." How much is it then to be regretted that we should ever come into collision with those who possess the same origin and the same language as ourselves, and who, by this generous feeling and conduct, proved that they are a liberal, as they undoubtedly are a gallant, people; and may the future rivalry of both powers be, not for the unnatural destruction of each other, but for the benefit of mankind. No words can better express the favorable opinion entertained by the Americans of the deceased than the language of their president, Madison, who, alluding to the battle of Queenstown in his annual message to congress, observed: "Our loss has been considerable, and is deeply to be lamented. That of the enemy, less ascertained, will be the more felt, as it includes amongst the killed the commanding general, who was also the governor of the province."

Ere we proceed to delineate the person and character of this able soldier and excellent man, we shall transcribe the sketches of two strangers,[104] lest the portrait of a relative should be deemed too highly coloured. That portrait has been drawn by them with a master hand, especially the first; and although feelingly alive to our incompetency for the task, we also must endeavour, with a trembling pen, to do justice to the memory of the hero.

"Thus ended in their total discomfiture," says Christie in his Historical Memoirs, already cited, "the second attempt of the Americans to invade Upper Canada. The loss of the British is said to have been about 20 killed, including Indians, and between 50 and 60 wounded. The fall of General Brock, the idol of the army and of the people of Upper Canada, was an irreparable loss, and cast a shade over the glory of this dear-bought victory. He was a native of Guernsey, of an ancient and reputable family, distinguished in the profession of arms. He had served for many years in Canada, and in some of the principal campaigns in Europe. He commanded a detachment of his favorite 49th regiment, on the expedition to Copenhagen with Lord Nelson, where he distinguished himself. He was one of those extraordinary men who seem born to influence mankind, and mark the age in which they live. Conscious of the ascendancy of his genius over those who surrounded him, he blended the mildest of manners with the severity and discipline of a camp; and though his deportment was somewhat grave and imposing, the noble frankness of his character imparted at once confidence and respect to those who had occasion to approach his person. As a soldier, he was brave to a fault, and not less judicious than decisive in his measures. The energy of his character was strongly expressed in his countenance, and in the robust and manly symmetry of his frame. As a civil governor, he was firm, prudent, and equitable. In fine, whether we view him as a man, a statesman, or a soldier, he equally deserves the esteem and respect of his contemporaries and of posterity. The Indians who flocked to his standard were attached to him with almost enthusiastic affection, and the enemy even expressed an involuntary regret at his untimely fall. His prodigality of life bereft the country of his services at the early age of forty-two years. The remains of this gallant officer were, during the funeral service, honored with a discharge of minute guns from the American, as well as the British, batteries, and with those of his faithful aide-de-camp, Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell, were interred in the same grave at Fort George, on the 16th October, amidst the tears of an affectionate soldiery and a grateful people, who will cherish his memory with veneration, and hand to their posterity the imperishable name of BROCK."

"General Brock was killed at the battle of Queenstown heights," observes Howison in his Sketches of Upper Canada, "and the place where he fell was pointed out to me. The Canadians hold the memory of this brave and excellent man in great veneration, but have not yet attempted to testify their respect for his virtues in any way, except by shewing to strangers the spot on which he received his mortal wound. He was more popular, and more beloved by the inhabitants of Upper Canada, than any man they ever had among them, and with reason; for he possessed, in an eminent degree, those virtues which add lustre to bravery, and those talents that shine alike in the cabinet and in the field. His manners and dispositions were so conciliating as to gain the affection of all whom he commanded, while his innate nobleness and dignity of mind secured him a respect almost amounting to veneration. He is now styled the Hero of Upper Canada, and, had he lived, there is no doubt but the war would have terminated very differently from what it did. The Canadian farmers are not over-burthened with sensibility, yet I have seen several of them shed tears when an eulogium was pronounced upon the immortal and generous-minded deliverer of their country.

"General Brock was killed close to the road that leads through Queenstown village, and an aged thorn bush now marks the place where he fell, when the fatal ball entered his vitals. This spot may be called classic ground, for a view of it must awaken in the minds of all those who duly appreciate the greatness of his character, and are acquainted with the nature of his resources and exertions, feelings as warm and enthusiastic as the contemplation of monuments consecrated by antiquity can ever do."

Nature had been very bountiful to Sir Isaac Brock in those personal gifts which appear to such peculiar advantage in the army, and at the first glance the soldier and the gentleman were seen. In stature he was tall,[105] erect, athletic, and well proportioned, although in his latter years his figure was perhaps too portly; and when a young man, at the head of his company of grenadiers, he attracted general observation by his martial presence. His fine and benevolent countenance was a perfect index of his mind, and his manners were courteous, frank, and engaging. Brave, liberal, and humane; devoted to his sovereign, and loving his country with romantic fondness; in command so gentle and persuasive, yet so firm, that he possessed the rare faculty of acquiring both the respect and the attachment of all who served under him. When urged by some friends, shortly before his death, to be more careful of his person, he replied: "How can I expect my men to go where I am afraid to lead them;" and although perhaps his anxiety ever to shew a good example, by being foremost in danger, induced him to expose himself more than strict prudence or formality warranted, yet, if he erred on this point, his error was that of a soldier.[106] Elevated to the government of Upper Canada, he reclaimed many of the disaffected by mildness, and fixed the wavering by the argument of success; and having no national partialities to gratify, that rock on which so many provincial governors have split, he meted equal favor and justice to all, British born subjects soon felt convinced that with him their religion or their birth-place was no obstacle to their advancement. Even over the minds of the Indians Sir Isaac Brock gained, at and after the capture of Detroit, an ascendancy altogether unexampled, and which he judiciously exercised for purposes conducive equally to the cause of humanity and to the interests of his country. He engaged them to throw aside the scalping knife, implanted in their breasts the virtues of clemency and forbearance, and taught them to feel pleasure and pride in the compassion extended to a vanquished enemy. In return they revered him as their common father, and while under his command were guilty of no excesses.[107] It is well known that this untutored people, the children of the forests, value personal much more highly than mental qualities, but the union of both in their leader was happily calculated to impress their haughty and masculine minds with respect and admiration; and the speech delivered by Tecumseh, after the capture of Detroit, is illustrative of the sentiments with which he had inspired these warlike tribes. "I have heard," observed that chief to him, "much of your fame, and am happy again to shake by the hand a brave brother warrior. The Americans endeavour to give us a mean opinion of British generals, but we have been the witnesses of your valour. In crossing the river to attack the enemy, we observed you from a distance standing the whole time in an erect posture, and, when the boats reached the shore, you were among the first who jumped on land. Your bold and sudden movements frightened the enemy, and you compelled them to surrender to half their own force."

Of all the good qualities which adorned this accomplished soldier none was more prominent than his decision, and it was ever under the guidance of a sound judgment. His strong attachment to the service, and particularly to his regiment, formed another distinguishing feature in his character. A very gallant officer, who still survives, is not ashamed to confess his pecuniary obligations to Colonel Brock while he was a subaltern in the 49th, and rendered, as he states, doubly valuable by the manner in which assistance was afforded to him in his difficulties. When, as Colonel Brock, he had secured the ringleaders of the intended mutiny at Fort George, as related in the second chapter, he ordered the detachment to the parade, where he proceeded to address them on the enormity of their offence; but when he began to express his grief and shame at their conduct, he was so affected as to be utterly unable to continue. The men were equally moved, and are said to have exclaimed: "Had you commanded us, Sir, this never would have occurred." Indeed, there was a correspondence of regard between him and his officers, and even the non-commissioned officers and privates, that, with this solitary exception, produced the picture of a happy family. Those extremities of punishment, which the exactions of discipline will sometimes occasion, rarely reached his men. And yet shortly before he succeeded to the command of the regiment, it was in a sad state of disorganization, from the causes already explained. (Page 7.) During the mutiny on board the fleet at the Nore, in May, 1797, the 49th was quartered on the borders of the river Thames; and as the privates evidently sympathized with the seamen, Major Brock not only seldom went to bed till nearly daylight, but slept with loaded pistols, while during the day he frequently visited the mess-rooms, to tear down or erase such inscriptions as "The Navy for Ever." But soon after he became the lieutenant-colonel, by happily blending conciliation with firmness, and bringing to a court martial two or three officers, whose misconduct could not be overlooked, he quickly restored the discipline of the corps. Having effected this, he afterwards governed it by that sentiment of esteem which he himself had created, and the consolation was given him to terminate a brief but brilliant course in the midst of his professional family.[108]

It deserves to be recorded as an instance of good fortune, unprecedented perhaps in military annals, and especially in a country where the advantage and facility of escape were so great, that from the 6th of August, the day on which Major-General Brock left York for Detroit, to the period immediately preceding the battle of Queenstown, the force under his personal command suffered no diminution in its numbers either by desertion, natural death, or the sword. This comprehended a period of nearly ten weeks, during which an army was captured, and a journey of several hundred miles, by land and water, accomplished with extreme rapidity.

In compiling this memoir, we have been much struck with the rapidity of Major-General Brock's movements: he appears to have been everywhere, and, as Veritas observed of him, to have "flown, as it were." To-day at York, engaged in his civil and military duties—to-morrow at Fort George, superintending the defences of the Niagara frontier, or at Kingston, reviewing and animating the militia. To-day at Fort George, watching the enemy—the next at York, dissolving the legislature—and a fortnight after, on his return from the capture of Detroit! To-day at Fort George again—a few hours after at Fort Erie, endeavouring to retake the brigs Detroit and Caledonia. And yet this most active and energetic officer was compelled, by his defensive instructions, tamely to look on the offensive preparations of the Americans for the invasion of the province committed to his charge!

In conclusion, it is due to the memory of this excellent man to declare that, eminent and undisputed as were his public virtues, he was no less estimable in private life. In his own family he was the object of the warmest affection, and his servants carefully preserved relics of their dear master, as they styled him to their dying day. His cares and anxieties had no reference to the wealth he should amass, but to the sum of human misery he might relieve; and towards the close of his brief career, as the prospect of increasing honors and emoluments opened to his view, he contemplated his good fortune only as the means of diffusing felicity, of drying the tear of affliction. Indeed, so totally devoid was he of every mercenary consideration, that although he enjoyed an ample income from his appointments,[109] by which at least the purchase of his commissions might have been repaid, yet he left literally nothing but his fair name behind him. Some of his nearest relatives have since been cut off more prematurely, and far more cruelly, than himself; but those who still survive him possess the never-failing consolation which arises from the remembrance of his virtues, and from the reflection that, though his blessed spirit fled early from this world, they may meet again in the mansions of futurity.

Though the dead heed not human praise, yet the living act wisely in commemorating the fall of a distinguished chief—the example is never thrown away—and on this occasion it is gratifying to reflect, that every posthumous honor was paid to the memory of one who had merited the distinction so well. A public monument,[110] having been decreed by the imperial parliament, was raised a few years since in St. Paul's, and a view of it is said to have awakened in an astonished Indian more surprise and admiration than any thing he witnessed in England.[111] In consequence of an address[112] from the commons of Upper Canada to the prince regent, a munificent grant of 12,000 acres of land in that province was bestowed on the four surviving brothers of Sir Isaac Brock, who, in addition, were allowed a pension of £200 a year for life, by a vote of the imperial parliament. To "the hero of Upper Canada," as he is still termed in that country, the provincial legislature erected a lofty column[113] on Queenstown heights, to which his remains, and those of his gallant aide-de-camp, were removed from Fort George in solemn procession, on the 13th of October, 1824.[114] Although twelve years had elapsed since the interment, the body of the general had undergone little change, his features being nearly perfect and easily recognized, while that of Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell was in a complete mass of decomposition. One of his regimental companions, Colonel Fitzgibbon, in transmitting a detail of the ceremonies of the day, thus pathetically expressed himself: "Nothing, certainly, could exceed the interest manifested by the people of the province upon the occasion; and numbers from the neighbouring state of New York, by their presence and conduct, proved how highly the Americans revere the memory of our lamented chief. Of the thousands present not one had cause to feel so deeply as I, and I felt as if alone, although surrounded by the multitude. He had been more than a father to me in that regiment which he ruled like a father, and I alone of his old friends in that regiment was present to embalm with a tear his last honored retreat. What I witnessed on this day would have fully confirmed me in the opinion, had confirmation been wanting, that the public feeling in this province has been permanently improved and elevated by Sir Isaac Brock's conduct and actions while governing its inhabitants. These, together with his dying in their defence, have done more towards cementing our union with the mother country than any event or circumstance since the existence of the province. Of this our leading men are aware, and are careful to seize every opportunity of preserving recollections so productive of good effects." The height of the column,[115] which commanded a view of the surrounding country for about fifty miles, was from the base to the summit 135 feet, and from the level of the Niagara river, which runs nearly under it, 485 feet. The following inscription was engraven on this splendid tribute to the unfading remembrance of a grateful people:[116]

ON THE 13th OCTOBER, 1812,

The cataract of Niagara is supposed to have commenced on the heights of Queenstown, and to have gradually receded, or worn its way backwards to its present site, seven miles above, near Chippewa, the banks of the river on both sides between the two spots being perpendicular, 2 to 300 feet in height, chiefly of solid rock, and of the same level as the fall.

"The village of Queenstown is beautifully situated at the foot of a hill, and upon the side of the Niagara river, the bank of which is high and precipitous. The imagination is agreeably struck with the first view of the place. On one side of the village is a mountain covered with shrubbery and verdure;—behind, a rich and cultivated plain extends backwards, which is bounded in every direction by luxuriant woods; while in front, the Niagara river glides in majestic stillness, and may be traced, with all its windings, till its waters are swallowed up in the vast expanse of Lake Ontario. The soil around Queenstown consists chiefly of a red clay, the bright colour of which, upon the roads and declivities where it is exposed, forms a singular contrast, during summer, with the pure green of the trees and fields in the vicinity.

"Queenstown must infallibly acquire magnitude and importance when the province becomes populous and flourishing, for it is situated at the commencement of a portage, which never can be evaded by any improvement in the navigation, it being rendered necessary by the falls of Niagara; therefore, all vessels containing goods and stores destined for the western parts of Upper Canada must unload and leave their cargoes at Queenstown, that they may be conveyed overland to Chippewa, where the Niagara river again becomes navigable. Even now, a good deal of this carrying business goes on during the summer months. The North-West Company forward a considerable quantity of stores to the Indian territories by this route, and the country merchants receive annual supplies of goods from Montreal, and send down pork, flour, staves, and potash, in return.

"The environs of Queenstown are beautifully picturesque and romantic, and nothing can be finer than the prospect up the Niagara river. Immediately above the village its channel narrows very much, and the banks rise to the height of 300 feet perpendicular, while at the same time they become wild and rocky, and are thickly covered with trees of various kinds. In some places they partly over-arch the river, and throw an appalling gloom upon its waters, now dashed into turbulence and impetuosity by the ruggedness of their sloping bed.

"At the ferry, the Niagara river is 1,250 feet in breadth, and from 2 to 300 in depth. The current is very rapid, and the wreathing and perturbed appearance of the water shews that its course is much impeded by the narrowness of the channel, which must be entirely composed of rocks; for, otherwise, the continual and rapid attrition of such a large river as that which flows through it, would undermine and wear away the banks, and thus gradually enlarge and widen its course.

"The prospect from the top of Queenstown mountain is the finest and most extensive that Upper Canada affords, and, in an eminent degree, combines the beautiful and the magnificent. The wild and majestic precipices which engulf one part of the Niagara river, the windings and mirrored expanse of that noble body of water, the dim and undiscoverable extent of Lake Ontario, together with the verdant orchards, thick forests, and improved fields, glowing beneath a pure sky, collectively form a scene of admirable effect and composition. Even York, which is 36 miles distant, and lies very low, can be seen from the summit of this hill during clear weather."[117]


Low bending o'er the rugged bier
The soldier drops the mournful tear,
For life departed, valour driven,
Fresh from the field of death to heaven.

But time shall fondly trace the name
Of BROCK upon the scrolls of fame,
And those bright laurels, which should wave
Upon the brow of one so brave,
Shall flourish vernal o'er his grave.



[95] James' Military Occurrences.

[96] The present Colonel James Dennis, lieut.-colonel 3d foot: an officer of above forty-eight years service, and several times wounded.

[97] See Captain Wool's letter, Appendix A, Section 2, No. 3.

[98] Major-General Brock, soon after his arrival at Queenstown, sent orders for the battering from Fort George of the American fort Niagara, which was done with so much effect that the garrison was forced to abandon it.

[99] Death and Victory: a sermon under this title was preached by the Rev. William Smart, at Brockville, Elizabethtown, November 15, on the death of Major-General Brock, and published at the request of the officers stationed at that post and of the gentlemen of the village. The text was: "How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle."

[100] James' Military Occurrences.

[101] The mountain above Queenstown, where Major-General Brock was slain.

[102] Extract from D.G.O. for the Funeral.

The officers will wear crape on their left arms and on their sword knots, and all officers will, throughout the province, wear crape on their left arm for the space of one month.

Captain Holcroft will be pleased to direct that minute guns be fired from the period of the bodies leaving government house until their arrival at the place of interment; and also, after the funeral service shall have been performed, three rounds of seven guns from the artillery. By order. THOMAS EVANS, B.M.

[103] Extracted from the York Gazette, October 24, 1812.

[104] For brief extracts relative to Sir Isaac Brock from other authors, see Appendix A, Section 1, No. 5.

[105] In height about six feet two inches. Since the first sheets were printed, we have heard from a school-fellow of his, James Carey, Esq., that young Brock was the best boxer and swimmer in the school, and that he used to swim from the main land of Guernsey to Castle Cornet and back, a distance each way of nearly half a mile. This feat is the more difficult, from the strong tides which run between the passage.

[106] "On arriving before Fort Detroit, a characteristic trait of his courage took place, when, within range of the guns of that fort, and in front of his heroic and devoted band of militiamen and regulars, his attention was drawn by Colonel Nichol to the dangerous nature of the expedition, and to the wish of his gallant comrades in arms that he would not go to the front, and endanger a life they could not spare—to these suggestions he replied: 'I will never desire the humblest individual to go where I cannot lead.'"—Toronto Herald, June 15, 1843.

[107] For council of condolence, see Appendix A, Section 1, No. 6.

[108] The officers of the 49th, after his death, instructed the regimental agent in London to procure them a likeness of Sir Isaac Brock, that it might be placed in their mess-room, and allotted a handsome sum for this purpose. The agent applied to the family for a copy, but unfortunately they possessed no good likeness of the general.

[109] The salary attached to the civil government of Upper Canada was increased, we believe, shortly before his death to £3,000 a year.

[110] By an official return, it appears that this monument cost £1,575 sterling. For inscription, &c, see Appendix A, Section 1, No. 7.

[111] See Appendix A, Section 1, No. 8.

[112] For the address, see Appendix A, Section 1, No. 9.

[113] This column cost nearly £3,000.

[114] For the details of the re-interment, see Appendix A, Section 1, No. 10.

[115] It was a Tuscan column on a rustic pedestal, with a pedestal for a statue; the diameter of the base of the column was seventeen feet six inches, and the abacus of the capital was surrounded with an iron railing. The centre shaft, containing the spiral wooden staircase, was ten feet in diameter.

[116] We speak in the past tense, because the column, as will be seen in the sequel, was so much injured in 1840 as to require its reconstruction.

[117] Howison's Sketches of Upper Canada. London, 1821.


Sir Isaac Brock was succeeded in his civil and military commands in Upper Canada by Major-General Sheaffe, who was created a baronet for the dearly bought victory of Queenstown. After the battle, he paroled General Wadsworth and some of the principal American officers, the remainder proceeding to Quebec. Among the prisoners, 23 were found to be deserters from English regiments, and British born subjects; and they were sent to England for trial as traitors. This caused a retaliation upon British prisoners in the United States, and an equal number were put by the American government into close confinement as hostages for the security of the traitors.

On the 18th of October, General Smyth assumed the command at Niagara, and applied to the British general for an armistice; and notwithstanding the well-known prejudicial effect of the former one proposed by Sir George Prevost, it was agreed to by Major-General Sheaffe![118] This unaccountable proceeding, as might easily have been foreseen, proved of material detriment to the British on Lake Erie, as the Americans availed themselves of so favorable an occasion to forward their naval stores unmolested from Black Rock to Presqu'île by water, which they could not otherwise have effected, but with immense trouble and expense by land, and equipped at leisure the fleet which afterwards wrested from us the command of that lake. When the enemy was prepared for a third invasion of Upper Canada, General Smyth did not fail to give the thirty hours notice required for the cessation of the armistice, which terminated on the 20th of November.

"After the surrender of Detroit," said the inhabitants of Niagara in their spirited letter to Sir George Prevost, already quoted (page 279), "the enemy were suffered unmolested to concentrate a large force on the Niagara, at Sackett's Harbour on Lake Ontario, and at Ogdensburg on the St. Lawrence; they were not interrupted in bringing forward to these places a large quantity of field and heavy artillery, with the requisite supplies of ammunition, and in equipping a flotilla, to dispute with us the superiority of the lakes. When their preparations were complete—when our regular and militia forces were nearly exhausted with incessant watching and fatigue, occasioned by the movements of the enemy, which kept them constantly on the alert by uncertainty as to the point of attack—they at length, on the 13th of October, attacked our line at Queenstown. The behaviour of both regulars and militia on that memorable occasion is well known to your excellency, and added another wreath to the laurels they had gained at Detroit: the glories of that day were, however, obscured by the death of our beloved and now lamented chief, whose exertions had prepared the means of achieving this great victory. This was another triumph for the militia; they had fairly measured their strength with the enemy, and derived additional confidence from the glorious result. Here was another opportunity that slipped away without being improved: Fort Niagara was abandoned by the enemy, and might have been with the greatest ease destroyed, and its guns brought away by a trifling force. It is neither necessary, nor do we feel inclined to enter into the causes why it was not done; we have, however, the strongest reason to believe that, had General Brock survived, it would have been attempted. In addition to this (as we consider it) capital error, Major Mullaney, and other natural born subjects of his majesty, actually taken in arms as commissioned officers in the service of the United States, were released and allowed to return on parole to that country; and a partial armistice was agreed to, liable to be broken off at thirty hours notice, which could be productive of no real advantage to us, nor give any repose to our harassed and suffering militia, though it enabled the enemy to recruit his strength and organize at will the means of attacking us anew. He was observed busily and actively employed, throughout a great part of the month of November, collecting boats on the Fort Erie end of the line; and when his preparations were complete, he gave notice of the termination of the armistice on the 20th."

"When General Wilkinson complains," observes the British historian James, "that the executive has not rendered 'common justice to the principal actors in this gallant scene,'—not exhibited it to the country 'in its true light, and shewn what deeds Americans are still capable of performing,'[119]—who among us can retain his gravity? 'It is true,' says the general, 'complete success did not ultimately crown this enterprise; but two great ends were obtained for the country: it re-established the character of the American arms;'—it did indeed!—'and deprived the enemy, by the death of General Brock, of the best officer that has headed their troops in Canada throughout the war;'—truth undeniable!—'and, with his loss, put an end to their then brilliant career;'—yet the capture of General Wadsworth took place in less than five hours afterwards.

"The instant we know what the Americans expected to gain, a tolerable idea may be formed of what they actually lost by the attack upon Queenstown. General Van Rensselaer, in a letter to Major-General Dearborn, written five days previously, says thus: 'Should we succeed, we shall effect a great discomfiture of the enemy, by breaking their line of communication, driving their shipping from the mouth of this river, leaving them no rallying point in this part of the country, appalling the minds of the Canadians, and opening a wide and safe communication for our supplies; we shall save our own land,—wipe away part of the score of our past disgrace,—get excellent barracks and winter quarters, and at least be prepared for an early campaign another year.'

"It is often said, that we throw away by the pen what we gain by the sword. Had General Brock been less prodigal of his valuable life, and survived the Queenstown battle, he would have made the 13th of October a still more 'memorable' day, by crossing the river and carrying Fort Niagara, which, at that precise time, was nearly stripped of its garrison. Instead of doing this, and thus putting an end to the campaign upon the Niagara frontier, Major-General Sheaffe, General Brock's successor, allowed himself to be persuaded to sign an armistice."

In November, the Americans were already in command of Lake Ontario,[120] and their fleet, after chasing the Royal George into Kingston, captured on the 12th the transport sloop Elizabeth, on board of which was Mr. Brock, paymaster of the 49th. He was paroled by Commodore Chauncey, who, to his credit be it said, immediately restored "the plate and effects belonging to his late illustrious relative," which he was conveying from Fort George to Kingston. The box of letters and other papers from which this little work has been principally compiled, was, we believe, among these effects; and we gladly seize this opportunity to express the obligation of Sir Isaac Brock's family to the commodore for his generosity on this occasion.

On the 27th April, 1813, York was captured by Major-General Dearborn, with 1,800 American troops, embarked in fourteen sail of armed vessels, that post being occupied by 700 regulars and militia, with from 40 to 50 Indians, the whole under the immediate command of Sir Roger Sheaffe. In resisting the enemy, the grenadier company of the 8th (the king's) regiment greatly distinguished themselves, losing their captain, M'Neal, and being nearly annihilated. By an explosion of the powder magazine, to which a train had been laid, 260 of the Americans were killed or wounded, including Brigadier Pike among the former; and they were thrown into such confusion, that an immediate and resolute attack would probably have sent them back to their ships.[121] The British general "drew off his regulars and left the rest to capitulate within the town, wherein considerable public stores were lost;"[122] and the Americans, having secured their booty, re-embarked and sailed on the 2d of May for Niagara. The inhabitants of York do not appear to have been satisfied with the conduct of Major-General Sheaffe in this affair; and, although it was not ascertained whether his removal was the result of the displeasure of the Commander-in-chief, he was replaced early in July by Major-General de Rottenburg, and on his arrival in the Lower Province he assumed the command of the troops in the district of Montreal. A few months after, the Baron de Rottenburg was in his turn succeeded by Lieut.-General Gordon Drummond, who commanded in Upper Canada to the end of the war.

We have alluded (page 278) to the discomfiture of Sir George Prevost before Sackett's Harbour, that naval arsenal whose destruction Major-General Brock was so unfortunately prevented from undertaking. The governor-general having proceeded in May from Montreal to Kingston with Sir James Yeo, who had just arrived from England to command the British naval forces on the lakes—the squadron on Lake Ontario now consisting of two ships, a brig, and two schooners—the public was on the tiptoe of expectation for some decisive dash on the enemy's flotilla on that lake. An attack upon Sackett's Harbour, in the absence of their fleet at Niagara, was resolved upon, so as to destroy "the forts, the arsenals, and the dock-yard, where the Americans had a frigate almost ready for launching, and several other vessels; but when this wavering and spiritless general reconnoitred the place, he would not venture an attack, and returned across the water towards Kingston. Then he changed his mind and went back to Sackett's Harbour; and (but not without more wavering and loss of time) our troops, about 750 strong, were landed. The Americans were presently driven at the bayonet's point into some loop-holed barracks and forts; and so panic-stricken were they that they immediately set fire to their new frigate, their naval barracks and arsenal, and destroyed a gun-brig and all the stores which had so recently been captured at York. While the arsenal was in flames, while the Americans were flying through the village, and when the complete success of the assailants was certain, Sir George Prevost sent a precipitate order for retreat, merely because a momentary resistance was offered by a party of Americans who had taken refuge in the log-barracks! The British troops reluctantly obeyed their general's order and returned to their boats, men and officers being acutely sensible to his folly, and wondering by what means so incompetent a commander had been placed over them. If Sir George Prevost had studied the history of the war of the American revolution, it could only have been with an eye to copy all the indecisions and blunders of the formalising, badly instructed English generals of that period. But the Howes, Clintons, and Burgoynes, were at least always ready to fight. As soon as the Americans could believe that the English were really abandoning their enterprize at the moment that it was all but completed, they rushed back to stop the conflagration: they were too late to save the stores which had been brought from York, the navy barracks, or the brig, but the frigate on the stocks, being built of green wood, would not easily burn, and was found but little injured. If the destruction at Sackett's Harbour had been completed, we should have deprived the Americans of every prospect of obtaining the ascendancy on the lake."[123] And, as if to crown this miserable failure, the details were narrated by the adjutant-general, in a dispatch to Sir George Prevost, as if Colonel Baynes had commanded in chief, and the governor-general had been present as a mere spectator![124]

From these humiliating occurrences on Lake Ontario, we turn to the captured post of Detroit, which, it will be remembered, was left by Major-General Brock in charge of Colonel Proctor. No sooner had intelligence of the surrender of Hull reached Washington, than the renewal of the North-Western army for the recovery of the Michigan territory became the anxious object of the American government. That army, which eventually outnumbered the former one, was placed under the command of Major-General Harrison, (who died a few years since while president of the United States,) and in September was in full march for the Miami rapids, the spot assigned as the general rendezvous. In January, 1813, Colonel Proctor received information that a brigade of that army, under Brigadier Winchester, was encamped at Frenchtown, on the river Raisin, 40 miles south of Detroit. The British commander, although he had orders not to act on the offensive, promptly determined to attack this brigade before it was reinforced by the main body, a few days march in the rear; and with his disposable force, consisting of 500 regulars, militia, and seamen, he made a resolute assault, at dawn on the 22d, on the enemy's camp, which was completely successful. In this affair the Americans lost between 3 and 400 men killed; and Brigadier Winchester, 3 field officers, 9 captains, 20 subalterns, and upwards of 500 men, in prisoners. This gallant exploit secured Detroit from any immediate danger, but the day after it was sadly tarnished by the straggling Indians, who massacred such wounded prisoners as were unable to walk, the guard left for their protection deserting their charge on a false alarm of General Harrison's approach. This success, for which Colonel Proctor was immediately promoted to the rank of Brigadier, together with the spoil obtained at Frenchtown, brought down several warlike tribes of Indians from the river Wabash, and even from the more distant Mississippi, to join the British standard. Towards the end of March, Proctor learnt that General Harrison intended to commence active operations for the recovery of the Michigan territory, on the arrival of considerable reinforcements which he was expecting. Resolved to try the issue of another attack before the enemy, already much superior in numbers, gained a fresh acquisition of strength, Proctor embarked at Amherstburg with 520 regulars and 460 militia, and made for the mouth of the Miami, which falls into Lake Erie. He ascended that river, about 1,200 Indians co-operating with him, and landed his troops, stores, and ordnance, on the 28th of April, near Fort Meigs, mounting eighteen guns, which he cannonaded from both banks of the Miami, On the 5th of May the enemy's long-expected reinforcements, under Major-General Clay, came suddenly down the river; they were 1,300 strong, but newly-raised militia; and as the boats drew near, Harrison ordered Clay to storm the British batteries on the opposite or north side of the river, while a sortie was made from the fort for the purpose of capturing the three British guns on the southern bank. For a short period the British batteries on both sides were in the hands of the enemy, but they were quickly regained by bayonet charges; and on the north bank Colonel Dudley, after spiking the captured guns, having marched with 400 men to attack the British camp, was drawn into an ambuscade by the Indians, and himself and about half his men were slain. Of the Americans, about 550 men were made prisoners, and their killed and wounded were estimated at nearly as many more. The far-famed Tecumseh buried his tomahawk in the head of a Chippewa chief, whom he found actively engaged in massacring some of the prisoners. But as the Indians retired, as is their wont after success, to enjoy their plunder; and as many of the militia were also returning to their homes, Proctor was compelled to raise the siege of Fort Meigs. Having re-embarked his small force of regulars, chiefly of the 41st, and the whole of his ordnance and stores, he proceeded to Sandwich; while General Harrison abandoned all intention of advancing against Detroit until the American squadron had gained the command of Lake Erie.

Major-General Proctor having determined to recommence his attacks against the American North-Western army, whose head quarters were then in the neighbourhood of Sandusky Bay, on Lake Erie, he landed on the 1st of August near the Sandusky river, and soon after invested with 400 regulars and between 3 and 400 Indians, Fort Stephenson, about 20 miles from its mouth. On the 2d, a fire was opened from two 6-pounders and two 5½-inch howitzers against the fort, which appears to have possessed only one masked 6-pounder, and to have been garrisoned by about 180 men, under Major Croghan, but as the fire produced no impression, the place was ordered to be stormed. The assailants reached the ditch which was raked by the masked gun, and sustained in consequence so severe a loss, that they retreated precipitately, having their leader, Brevet Lieut-Colonel Short, of the 41st, with 3 officers and 52 men, killed or missing, besides 3 officers and 38 men wounded; while the Americans had only 1 killed and 7 slightly wounded. The Indians did not assist in the assault, withdrawing to a ravine out of gun shot. Thus foiled, Proctor retired on the 3d, and after abandoning "considerable baggage and a gun-boat laden with cannon ball," he returned to Amherstburg. The attack is said to have been "ill digested," and the expedition to have ended with "some disgrace."

Towards the end of August, (1813,) the American squadron, under Commodore Perry, became too powerful for the British, under Captain Barclay, who now remained at Amherstburg to await the equipment of the Detroit, recently launched. The British forces in the neighbourhood falling short of various supplies, for which they depended chiefly upon the fleet, Captain Barclay had no other alternative than to risk a general engagement. With this purpose he sailed on the 9th of September, with his small squadron wretchedly manned, and the next day encountered the enemy. For some time the fate of the battle poised in favor of the British, as the principal American ship, the Lawrence, struck her colours; but a sudden breeze turned the scale against them, and the whole of their squadron was compelled to surrender, after a desperate engagement of upwards of three hours. Captain Barclay was dangerously wounded; Captain Finnis, of the Queen Charlotte, killed; and every commander and officer second in command was either killed or wounded.

Major-General Proctor's army was deprived, by this disastrous defeat, of every prospect of obtaining its necessary supplies through Lake Erie, and a speedy retreat towards the head of Lake Ontario became inevitable. Stung with grief and indignation, Tecumseh at first refused to agree to the measure, and in a council of war held at Amherstburg on the 18th of September, he thus delivered his sentiments against it:

Father, listen to your children! You have them now all before you.

The war before this, our British father gave the hatchet to his red children, when our old chiefs were alive. They are now dead. In that war our father was thrown on his back by the Americans, and our father took them by the hand without our knowledge; and we are afraid that our father will do so again at this time.

The summer before last, when I came forward with my red brethren, and was ready to take up the hatchet in favor of our British father, we were told not to be in a hurry,—that he had not yet determined to fight the Americans.

Listen! When war was declared, our father stood up and gave us the tomahawk, and told us that he was then ready to strike the Americans; that he wanted our assistance; and that he would certainly get us hack our lands, which the Americans had taken from us.

Listen! You told us, at that time, to bring forward our families to this place, and we did so; and you promised to take care of them, and that they should want for nothing, while the men would go and fight the enemy; that we need not trouble ourselves about the enemy's garrisons; that we knew nothing about them, and that our father would attend to that part of the contest. You also told your red children that you would take good care of your garrison here, which made our hearts glad.

Listen! When we were last at the Rapids, it is true we gave you little assistance. It is hard to fight people who live like ground hogs.

Father, listen! Our fleet has gone out; we know they have fought; we have heard the great guns; but we know nothing of what has happened to our father with that arm. Our ships have gone one way, and we are much astonished to see our father tying up every thing and preparing to run away the other, without letting his red children know what his intentions are. You always told us to remain here and take care of our lands; it made our hearts glad to hear that was your wish. Our great father, the king, is the head, and you represent him. You always told us that you would never draw your foot off British ground; but now, father, we see you are drawing back, and we are sorry to observe our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our father's conduct to a fat dog, that carries its tail upon its back, but when affrighted, it drops it between its legs and runs off.

Father, listen! The Americans have not yet defeated us by land; neither are we sure that they have done so by water: we therefore wish to remain here and fight our enemy, should they make their appearance. If they defeat us, we will then retreat with our father.

At the battle of the Rapids, last war, the Americans certainly defeated us; and, when we retreated to our father's fort in the neighbourhood, the gates were shut against us. We were afraid that it would again be the case; but, instead of closing the gates, we now see our British father preparing to march out of his garrison.

Father! You have got the arms and ammunition which our great father sent for his red children. If you intend to retreat, give them to us, and you may go, and welcome for us. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and if it be His will, we wish to leave our bones upon them.

General Harrison's troops were soon transported by the American squadron to Put-in-Bay, and they occupied Amherstburg on the 23d of September, Proctor having previously fallen back upon Sandwich, after setting fire to the navy yard, barracks, and public stores at the former place. The British general, seeing the enemy determined to follow up his first success by an immediate attack upon Detroit, and being unable with his very inferior numbers to dispute the occupancy of that post, evacuated it and Sandwich on the 26th, also destroying the public property at both posts; and commenced his retreat along the river Thames, with between 900 and 1,000 regulars, chiefly of the 41st regiment. In this reverse of fortune, Tecumseh still adhered to the British standard with unswerving fidelity, and with the Indians covered the retreat. On the 2d of October, General Harrison marched in pursuit with rather above 3,000 men, escorted by three gun-boats and a number of bateaux. On the 4th, he came up with the rear guard, and not only made some prisoners, but succeeded in capturing a great part of the ammunition and stores. By this second reverse, the British were left destitute of the means of subsistence and protracted defence; and their commander being thus compelled to stake the fate of his small army on a general engagement, he took up an excellent position on the right bank of the Thames at the Moravian town, an Indian village 80 miles from Sandwich, his entire force now mustering barely 900 regulars and about 600 Indians. The former were posted in single files in two lines, their left resting on the river, their right on a narrow swamp, beyond which were the Indians, reaching obliquely backwards to a second and much broader swamp, so that neither flank of the allies could be easily turned. The enemy commenced the attack with a regiment of mounted riflemen, the élite of their army, formed into two divisions of 500 men each, one of which charged the regulars with great impetuosity, while the other advanced with a company of foot against the Indians. The regulars, dissatisfied by fancied or real neglect, and dispirited by long continued exposure and privation, made but a very feeble resistance; their ranks were pierced and broken, and being placed between two fires, they immediately surrendered, with the trifling loss of 12 killed and 22 wounded, the British general and a part of the troops seeking safety in flight. But the Indians carried on the contest with the left of the American line with great determination, and did not retreat until the day was irretrievably lost and 33 of their numbers had been slain, including the noble Tecumseh—a warrior not less celebrated for his courage than for his humanity, his eloquence, and his influence over the different tribes. The Americans returned to Sandwich immediately after the action. Proctor is accused of leaving entire the bridges and roads in the rear of his retreating army, and of encumbering it with an unnecessary quantity of his own personal baggage; and certain it is that his defeat led to the harshest recrimination between Sir George Prevost and himself. The general order of the former on the subject was of unparalleled severity, as he said: "On this disgraceful day upwards of 600 officers and soldiers were taken prisoners almost without a struggle, of whom but very few appeared to have been rescued by an honorable death from the ignominy of passing under the American yoke; nor are there many whose wounds plead in mitigation of this reproach." The fugitives made the best of their way to Ancaster, at the head of Lake Ontario; and on the 17th of October they numbered there 240, including the general and 17 officers. The consequence of these disasters was the relinquishment, by the British, of the Michigan territory, with the exception of Michilimakinack; the abandonment of the posts in Upper Canada to the westward of the Grand River, or Ouse; and the loss of the services of the whole of the north-western Indians, with the exception of 2 or 300, who subsequently joined the centre division of the army.[125]

Fort George was taken in May, 1813, by a large American force, under General Dearborn, which compelled Major-General Vincent to withdraw his troops from Fort Erie and Chippewa, and to retreat to Burlington Heights, at the head of Lake Ontario, the British losing 52 killed, besides upwards of 300 wounded and missing. Immediately after the capture of Fort George, General Dearborn pushed forward a body of 3,000 infantry, with nine field pieces and 250 cavalry, for the purpose of dislodging Major-General Vincent from his position. Lieut.-Colonel Harvey,[126] deputy adjutant-general, proposed a night attack on this body, which was approved, and with the 49th, under Major Plenderleath, and five companies of the 8th, under Major Ogilvie, (the whole only 704 firelocks,) he led the attack in gallant style, and completely succeeded in surprising the enemy, who evinced a highly creditable state of order and discipline in repeatedly forming, though compelled as often to disperse before the resistless energy of the British bayonet. Two brigadiers, (Chandler and Winder,) 7 other officers and 116 men, with three guns and one brass howitzer, were taken in this intrepid attack, which, as it reduced the Americans from offensive to defensive operations, was of the greatest importance to the salvation of the Upper Province. The enemy, however, occupied Fort George till the month of December, when they were compelled to evacuate it and retreat across the Niagara.[127] In that month, Colonel Murray surprised, and very gallantly captured by a night assault, Fort Niagara, which was retained by the British till the end of the war.

The recovery of Michilimakinack had long been seriously contemplated by the American government, and would have been attempted in the fall of 1813, but for the lateness of the season, when the expulsion of the British from the banks of the Detroit had opened the passage into Lake Huron. On the other hand, the necessity of retaining a post so favorably situated, if in the hands of an enemy, for annoying the British north-western trade, pressed itself on Sir George Prevost; and in April, 1814, a reinforcement of about 90 men, under an active and zealous officer, Lieut.-Colonel M'Douall, was forwarded with military stores and provisions, by a back route to Michilimakinack. They embarked in twenty-four bateaux from Nottawassega Bay on Lake Huron, distant 260 miles from Michilimakinack, and, after a very tempestuous passage of twenty-five days, reached the fort on the 18th of May. On the 26th July, an American expedition from Lake Erie, consisting of three brigs and two schooners of war, under Captain Sinclair, with nearly 800 troops on board, appeared off Michilimakinack, and a landing was effected by them on the 4th of August. The British force on the island amounted to only 190 men, including regulars, militia, and Indians, with which Lieut.-Colonel M'Donall repulsed every effort of the Americans to approach the fort; so that they were glad, to re-embark the same evening in the utmost haste and confusion, leaving 17 dead on the ground, while the garrison had only one Indian killed. Captain Sinclair stated what does not appear to have been known to Lieutenant Hanks, when he surrendered the island in 1812 to Captain Roberts,[128] "that Michilimakinack is by nature a perfect Gibraltar, being a high inaccessible rock on every side,[129] except the west, from which to the heights you have nearly two miles to pass through a wood so thick, that our men were shot in every direction, and within a few yards of them, without being able to see the Indians who did it." Michilimakinack remained unmolested to the end of the war, when it was restored, by the treaty of peace, to its former possessors.

It has already been mentioned, that among the prisoners taken at the battle of Queenstown, 23 were sent to England for trial as British born subjects and deserters, and that the American government had placed an equal number of British soldiers into close confinement as hostages. In consequence, Sir George Prevost, by a general order of the 27th October, 1813, made known that he had received the commands of the prince regent to put 46 American officers and non-commissioned officers into close confinement as hostages for the 23 soldiers confined by the American government. He at the same time apprized that government, that if any of the British soldiers should suffer death by reason of the guilt and execution of the traitors taken in arms against their country, he was instructed to select out of the American hostages double the number of the British soldiers who might be so unwarrantably put to death, and to cause them to suffer death immediately. The governor-general also notified to the American government, that in the event of their carrying their murderous threat into execution, the commanders of the British forces, by sea and land, were instructed to prosecute the war with unmitigated severity against all the territory and inhabitants of the United States.

On the 10th of December, Sir George Prevost received a communication from Major-General Wilkinson by a flag of truce, stating that the American government, adhering unalterably to their previously declared purpose, had placed 46 British officers into close confinement, there to remain until the same number of American officers and non-commissioned officers were released. In consequence, the governor-general ordered all the American officers, prisoners of war, without exception of rank, to be placed into close confinement as hostages, until the number of 46 was completed over and above those already in confinement. In pursuance of this order, Generals Winder, Chandler, and Winchester, were confined in a private house at Quebec, with as little inconvenience as their security would admit.

On the 15th April, 1814, after some negotiation, opened at the solicitation of the American government, a convention was entered into at Montreal, by which it was agreed to release the hostages and to make an exchange of prisoners, the American government relinquishing its pretensions to retaliate for the prisoners sent to England for legal trial as traitors to their country. This convention was ratified in July, at Champlain, near the lines; but, whether by previous agreement or tacit understanding, the traitors, we believe, escaped the just punishment of their crime.

The remaining events of the war in Canada during the campaigns of 1812, 13 and 14, do not fall within the scope of this memoir. Some we might chronicle with pride, but a few we could not record without shame; and, on the whole, we cannot but think that the same withering influence, which bound the hands and repressed the energies of "him who undoubtedly was the best officer that headed our troops throughout the war,"[130] was visible to the termination of the contest—a contest in which we are satisfied the result would have been very different, "if a man of military genius, courage, quickness, and decision, had held the supreme command."[131] Indeed, when we reflect upon the management of that eventful war, we are often forcibly reminded, in the fatal loss of Sir Isaac Brock, of the pathetic lament of the gallant highlander, who, contrasting the irresolution of his present general with the deeds of his former chief, the renowned Grahame,[132] Viscount Dundee, mournfully exclaimed:

Oh! for one hour of Dundee!

During the progress of the war, the British government made several overtures for a reconciliation; and at length, when Napoleon's disasters commenced, and the Eastern States were threatening to dissolve the union, Madison expressed a wish to treat with England, even at the end of 1813. The negotiations were commenced in earnest at Ghent, in August, 1814, at a time when Great Britain, being at peace with the remainder of the world, was in a condition to prosecute the contest with all her energies; but her people wished for repose after the long and arduous struggle in which they had been engaged; and a treaty of peace, signed at Ghent on the 24th of December, was ratified by the two governments, the plenipotentiaries on both sides waiving every question at issue before the war, and restoring every acquisition of territory during its progress. Thus the Americans had only the Canadian and defenceless side of the Detroit to give in exchange for their fortress of Niagara and their key possession of Michilimakinack.

Early in 1815, Sir George Prevost was directed to return to England for the purpose of meeting accusations relative to his conduct at Plattsburg, which had been preferred by Commodore Sir James Yeo, who, after some delay, produced his charges in legal form; and to afford time for the arrival of the necessary witnesses from Canada, the general court martial was postponed to the 12th of January, 1816. In the mean time the health of the late governor-general, naturally of a delicate cast, became seriously affected, partly from anxiety of mind, and he died in London on the 5th of January, exactly a week preceding the day appointed for his trial. Previously to his departure from Lower Canada, the commons, or French party, voted him the sum of £5,000 for the purchase of a service of plate, as a tribute of respect, which vote was approved of by the prince regent; but the legislative council, or English party, refused their assent to a bill for that purpose.

Sir George Prevost was of slight, diminutive person, and unsoldierlike appearance; his manners are represented as unassuming and social, and his temper as placid and forgiving. His public speeches or addresses are said to have partaken of even classical elegance, and his dispatches and general orders also afford proofs of his literary acquirements. Discredit can only be thrown on his character as a general; and indeed his best friends must admit that his defensive policy at the commencement of the war, and his subsequent irresolution and infirmity of purpose, did not tend to raise the glory of England, or to advance his own fame, and that of every enterprizing officer who served under him. And yet soon after his death, notwithstanding that the lamentable failures at Sackett's Harbour and Plattsburg were fresh in the public recollection, new and honorary armorial bearings, with supporters, were solicited and obtained by his family in seeming approbation of his services in Canada, the supporters being two grenadiers of the 16th foot, of which regiment Sir George was colonel, each bearing a flag, gules; the dexter flag inscribed, "West Indies"—the sinister, "Canada"! If these distinctions were conferred in honor of his civil administration, which we have already eulogized, although Veritas, in his well-known letters, stoutly denied him any merit even on this point, they were, we believe, justly bestowed; but if they were intended as an approval of his military conduct during the contest, certain it is that his contemporaries indignantly refused to concede his claim to them, and that no historian has as yet admitted that claim.[133] It was unfortunate for Sir George that he was called upon to wage war against the United States, as his natural and excusable sympathies in favor of a people among whom he had been born, and at least partly educated, may have influenced his judgment without any conscious betrayal of the great charge entrusted to him; and this remark applies with double force to his school-fellow, Sir Roger Sheaffe, whose entire family and connexions were American. In any case, it was hard on Sir Isaac Brock, after being retained in Canada by Sir James Craig, when he was so anxious to serve in the Peninsula, because that officer could not spare him, and after at length obtaining leave to return to Europe for that purpose—it was hard, we repeat, when hostilities did at last break out in America, that his energies should have been so cramped by the passive attitude of his superior. Remembering, however, the maxim, de mortuis nil nisi bonum, the editor has refrained from transcribing aught reflecting on the memory of that superior when he could do so consistently with truth, although he feels acutely that the death of Sir Isaac Brock—hastened as he believes it was by the defensive policy and mistaken views of Sir George Prevost—was an irreparable loss to his many brothers,[134] who were at that period just rising into manhood, and in consequence required all the interest for their advancement which their uncle would probably have possessed. One especially, who closely resembled him both in appearance and character, and who would have been an ornament to any service, was compelled to embrace the profession of arms, for which he had been educated, under the banners of a foreign and far distant country. In that country, Chile, Colonel Tupper cruelly fell at the early age of twenty-nine years; and if the reader will turn to the memoir of this daring soldier in the Appendix, necessarily brief as it is, he will probably agree with the British consul who wrote, that he had "for many years looked upon his gallant and honorable conduct as reflecting lustre upon the English name;" and he will think with the French traveller, who, after highly eulogizing him, said: "N'est-il pas déplorable que de tels hommes en soient réduits à se consacrer à une cause étrangère?"

As Tecumseh was so conspicuous in the annals of this war for his fidelity and devotion to the British crown, and as his name has occurred so often in these pages,[135] a concluding and connected notice of him will surely be deemed but an act of justice to his memory.

This renowned aboriginal chief was a Shawanee, and was born in 1769 or 1770, about the same year as his "brave brother warrior," Sir Isaac Brock. He may be said to have been inured to war from his infancy, as the Indian nations continued in hostility against the United States after their independence was achieved, alleging that they infringed on their territories. In 1790, about which period Tecumseh first gave proofs of that talent and daring which so distinguished his after-life, General Harmer was dispatched with a competent force to punish the predatory incursions of the Indians; but he was glad to return, with the loss of many of his men. In the following year, General St. Clair proceeded with another army to ravage the Miami and Shawanee settlements, and was even more unfortunate than his predecessor, as the Indians boldly advanced to meet him on the way, attacked his encampment, and put his troops to a total rout, in which the greater part were cut off and destroyed. In 1794, however, a much more formidable expedition, under General Wayne, entered the Indian territory; the warriors gradually retired as the Americans advanced, but at length imprudently determined on making a stand. In the battle which ensued, the Indians were so completely discomfited, that, the following year, they agreed to the treaty of Greenville, by which they were compelled to cede a large tract of country as an indemnity for past injuries! As Tecumseh had then scarcely completed his twenty-fifth year, and as the Indians pay great deference to age, it is not probable that he had any hand in this treaty, the more especially as, from that period to 1812, he laboured incessantly to unite the numerous aboriginal tribes of the North American continent in one grand confederacy, for the threefold purpose of endeavouring to regain their former possessions as far as the Ohio, of resisting the further encroachments of the whites, and of preventing the future cession of land by any one tribe, without the sanction of all, obtained in a general council. With this object he visited the different nations; and having assembled the elders, he enforced his disinterested views in strains of such impassioned and persuasive eloquence, that the greater part promised him their co-operation and assistance. But, to form a general alliance of so many and such various tribes, required a higher degree of patriotism and civilization than the Indians had attained. From the numbers, however, who ranged themselves with Tecumseh under the British standard; on the breaking out of the war in 1812, it is evident that he had acquired no little influence over them, and that his almost incredible exertions, both of mind and body, had not been altogether thrown away.

About the year 1804, the brother of Tecumseh proclaimed himself a prophet, who had been commanded by the Great Spirit, the Creator of the red, but not of the white, people, to announce to his children, that the misfortunes by which they had been assailed arose from their having abandoned the mode of life which He had prescribed to them. He declared that they must return to their primitive habits—relinquish the use of ardent spirits—and clothe themselves in skins, and not in woollens. His fame soon spread among the surrounding nations, and his power to perform miracles was generally believed. He was joined by many, and not a few came from a great distance, and cheerfully submitted to much hardship and fatigue, that they might behold the prophet, and then return. He first established himself at Greenville, within the boundary of the United States; but the inhabitants of Ohio becoming alarmed at the immense assemblage of Indians on their frontier, the American authorities insisted on his removal. Accordingly, he proceeded, in 1808, to the Wabash, and fixed his residence on the northern bank of that river, near the mouth of the Tippecanoe. Here his popularity declined, but, through the influence of Tecumseh, he was again joined by many among the neighbouring tribes. The prophet's temporal concerns were conducted by Tecumseh, who adroitly availed himself of his brother's spiritual power to promote his favourite scheme of a general confederacy.

In 1811, Tecumseh, accompanied by several hundred warriors, encamped near Vincennes, the capital of Indiana, and demanded an interview with the governor of that state, Major-General Harrison, the same officer who, in 1813, commanded the victorious troops at the battle of the Thames, in which Tecumseh lost his life. The interview was agreed to, and the governor inquired whether the Indians intended to come armed to the council. Tecumseh replied that he would be governed by the conduct of the white people; if they came armed, his warriors would be armed also; if not, his followers would come unarmed. The governor informed him that he would be attended by a troop of dragoons, dismounted, with their side arms only, and that the Indians might bring their war clubs and tomahawks. The meeting took place in a large arbour, on one side of which were the dragoons, eighty in number, seated in rows; on the other the Indians. But besides their sabres, the dragoons were armed with pistols. The following incident is said to have occurred at this interview. Tecumseh looked round for a seat, but not finding one provided for him, he betrayed his surprise, and his eyes flashed fire. The governor, perceiving the cause, instantly ordered a chair. One of the council offered the warrior his chair, and, bowing respectfully, said to him: "Warrior, your father, General Harrison, offers you a seat." "My father!" exclaimed Tecumseh, extending his hand towards the heavens, "the sun is my father, and the earth is my mother; she gives me nourishment, and I will repose on her bosom." He then threw himself on the ground. When the governor, who was seated in front of the dragoons, commenced his address, Tecumseh declared that he could not hear him, and requested him to remove his seat to an open space near himself, The governor complied, and in his speech complained of the constant depredations and murders which were committed by the Indians of Tippecanoe; of the refusal on their part to give up the criminals; and of the increasing accumulation of force in that quarter, for the avowed purpose of compelling the United States to relinquish lands, which they had fairly purchased of the rightful owners. Tecumseh, in his answer, denied that he had afforded protection to the guilty, but manfully admitted his design of forming a confederacy of all the red nations of that continent. He observed, that "the system, which the United States pursued of purchasing lands from the Indians, he viewed as a mighty water, ready to overflow his people, and that the confederacy which he was forming among the tribes, to prevent any tribe from selling land without the consent of the others, was the dam he was erecting, to resist this mighty water." And he added, "your great father, the president, may sit over the mountains and drink his wine, but if he continue this policy, you and I will have to meet on the battle field." He also admitted, that he was then on his way to the Creek nation, for the purpose he had just avowed, and he continued his journey two days after, with twelve or fifteen of his warriors. Having visited the Creek and other southern tribes, he crossed the Mississippi, and continued a northern course as far as the river Demoins, whence he returned to the Wabash by land. But a sad reverse of fortune awaited his return; he found his town consumed, his bravest warriors slain, and a large deposit of provisions destroyed. On his departure, the settlement at Tippecanoe was left in charge of his brother, the prophet, with strict injunctions to prevent all hostile incursions, as they might lead to extremities before his plans were matured. The prophet, however, wanted either the inclination or the authority to follow these injunctions; and the Americans assert, that murder and rapine occurred now so frequently, that they were compelled, in their own defence, to punish the delinquents. Accordingly, General Harrison proceeded with nearly 1,000 men to Tippecanoe, and on his approach, in November, 1811, was met by about 600 warriors; a battle ensued, in which the Indians, deprived by the absence of their chief of his counsel and example, were defeated, but with nearly equal loss on both sides. Assured by the prophet that the American bullets would not injure them, they rushed on the bayonets with their war clubs, and exposed their persons with a fatal fearlessness. But the prophet himself remained during the battle in security on an adjacent eminence; he was chaunting a war song, when information was brought to him that his men were falling. "Let them fight on, for my prediction will soon be verified," was the substance of his reply, and he resumed his song in a louder key!

The hostility of Tecumseh to those whom he had ever considered as the spoilers of his country, was, if possible, redoubled by this severe act of retaliation. General Harrison, in particular, incurred his personal enmity, and he declared openly that he would seek for vengeance. Nor was he backward in putting his threats into execution. Early in 1812, the Indians renewed their hostile incursions, but they were now treated with unusual forbearance, in the hope that they would remain neutral in the war with Great Britain, which the American government well knew was near at hand. On its declaration in June, however, Tecumseh eagerly embraced the opportunity which it afforded, not only to promote his long meditated public views, but to avenge his private injuries; and, hastening with his warriors to Upper Canada, he had soon the gratification of witnessing, at Detroit, the surrender of the 4th U.S. infantry, (or heroes of Tippecanoe, as they were then denominated,) which regiment claimed the principal merit of having, the preceding year, defeated his followers and destroyed his settlement.

Previously to the battle of the Thames, already noticed, the position chosen to await the attack of the American army, and the disposition of the British force, were approved of by Tecumseh, and his last words to General Proctor were: "Father, tell your young men to be firm, and all will be well." He then repaired to his people, and harangued them before they occupied their post. While the white troops were so quickly overcome, Tecumseh and his warriors almost as rapidly repelled the enemy; and the Indians continued to push their advantage in ignorance of the disaster of their allies, until their heroic chief fell by a rifle bullet, while in the act of advancing to close with Colonel Johnson, who was on horseback commanding his regiment of mounted riflemen.

Of the many Indian chiefs who distinguished themselves in the wars of the whites, Tecumseh was undoubtedly the greatest since the days of Pontiac. Sir Isaac Brock has expressed his warm admiration of him, and it is well known that the feeling was mutual; but it is said that after the death of his friend and patron, Tecumseh found no kindred spirit with whom to act. In early life he was addicted to inebriety, the prevailing vice of the Indians, but his good sense and resolution conquered the habit, and, in his later years, he was remarkable for temperance. Glory became his ruling passion, and in its acquisition he was careless of wealth, as, although his presents and booty must have been of considerable value, he preserved little or nothing for himself. In height he was five feet ten inches, well formed, and capable of enduring fatigue in an extraordinary degree. His carriage was erect and commanding, and there was an air of hauteur in his countenance, arising from an elevated pride of soul, which did not forsake it when life was extinct. He was habitually taciturn, but, when excited, his eloquence was nervous, concise, and figurative. His dress was plain, and he was never known to indulge in the gaudy decoration of his person, which is the common practice of the Indians. On the day of his death, he wore a dressed deer skin coat and pantaloons. He was present in almost every action against the Americans, from the period of Harmer's defeat to the battle of the Thames—was several times wounded—and always sought the hottest of the fire. On the 19th July, 1812, he pursued, near Sandwich, a detachment of the American army under Colonel M'Arthur, and fired on the rear guard. The colonel suddenly faced about his men and gave orders for a volley, when all the Indians fell flat on the ground with the exception of Tecumseh, who stood firm on his feet, with apparent unconcern! After his fall, his lifeless corpse was viewed with great interest by the American officers, who declared that the contour of his features was majestic even in death. And notwithstanding, it is said by an American writer, that "some of the Kentuckians disgraced themselves by committing indignities on his dead body. He was scalped, and otherwise disfigured." He left a son, who fought by his side when he fell, and was then about seventeen years old. The prince regent, in 1814, as a mark of respect to the memory of the father, sent a handsome sword as a present to the son. A nephew of Tecumseh and of the prophet, (their sister's son,) who was highly valued by the Americans, was slain in their service, in November, 1812, on the northern bank of the river Miami. Having been brought up by the American general, Logan, he had adopted that officer's name. He asserted that Tecumseh had in vain sought to engage him in the war on the side of the British.


[118] "But General Sheaffe, like his superior, was a lover of armistices, and after the action he concluded one of his own with the American general, for which no reason, civil or military, was ever assigned."—Quarterly Review, April and July, 1822; article, "Campaigns in the Canadas."

[119] From an American work,—Major-General James Wilkinson's "Memoirs of my own Time," published in 1816.—ED.

[120] "But the most fatal and palpable error of the commander-in-chief was his neglect to preserve that ascendancy on Lakes Erie and Ontario which was actually enjoyed by the British at the opening of the contest. The command of these lakes is so evidently an object of primary consideration in the defence of the Canadas, that it is perfectly inconceivable how any man in Sir George Prevost's situation could have been so infatuated as to disregard the importance of maintaining his superiority!"—Quarterly Review.

[121] "General Sheaffe has been much blamed, first for the injudicious position of the troops, by which the grenadier company of the 8th regiment, who behaved with great gallantry, were exposed to be cut to pieces in a wood, and again for not returning to the attack, after the explosion of a powder magazine had destroyed 250 of the enemy, and thrown them into confusion."—Quarterly Review.

[122] Pictorial History of England.

[123] Extract from the Pictorial History of England.

[124] "Sir George Prevost was beyond all doubt the immediate commander of this expedition. But he found it convenient not to appear in that character; and the only detail of operations was in the shape of a dispatch from his adjutant-general to himself, obligingly communicating what was already sufficiently known to him. By this ingenious device, he in some measure averted the exposure of miscarriage from himself, and generously yielded his laurels, such as they were, to his grateful and submissive follower."—Quarterly Review.

[125] "The reader now sees the fatal consequences; first, of not having, in the autumn of 1812, destroyed the two or three schooners which were equipping at Buffaloe by Lieutenant Elliott; secondly, of not having, in the spring of 1813, secured the possession of Sackett's Harbour; thirdly, of not having, in the summer of the same year, captured or destroyed the whole American fleet, as it lay, unmanned, in Presqu'île Harbour."—James' Military Occurrences.

[126] The present Major-General Sir John Harvey, K.C.B.

[127] While the Americans retained Fort George, the graves of Sir Isaac Brock and Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell, in the cavalier bastion there, remained sacred, and were also respected.

[128] It strikes us as singular that Captain Roberts was not promoted to at least a brevet majority for the capture of this important post, although he had an overwhelming force, and took it without resistance. Was this promotion withheld because the capture was effected contrary to Sir George Prevost's orders?

[129] "The land, in the centre of this island, is high, and its form somewhat resembles that of a turtle's back. Mackinac, or Mickinac, signifies a turtle, and michi (mishi), or missi, signifies great, as it does also, several, or many. The common interpretation of the word Michilimakinac, is the Great Turtle."—Henry's Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, between the years 1760 and 1776.

[130] James' Military Occurrences.

[131] Pictorial History of England.

[132] John Grahame, of Claverhouse, was mortally wounded at the pass of Killicrankie, in 1689, and died the next day. With him expired the cause of James the Second in Scotland, as, although the war languished in the highlands for two years after, nothing of importance occurred. When William was urged to send more troops into Scotland, he replied: "It is unnecessary, the war has ended with Dundee's life."

[133] While these remarks were in type, we heard accidentally of a large monument, in the cathedral at Winchester, to the memory of Sir George Prevost, with a laudatory inscription, for a copy of which we immediately wrote to a friend, and which we now transcribe without comment, as we respect the feelings of conjugal affection by which the epitaph was evidently dictated.

"Sacred to the memory of Lieut.-General Sir George Prevost, Baronet, of Belmont, in this County, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in North America; in which command, by his wise and energetic measures, and with a very inferior force, he preserved the Canadas to the British Crown from the repeated invasions of a powerful enemy. His constitution at length sank under incessant mental and bodily exertion, in discharging the duties of that arduous station; and having returned to England, he died shortly afterwards in London, on the 5th of January, 1816, aged 48, thirty-four years of which had been devoted to the service of his Country. He was intered near the remains of his father, Major-General Augustus Prevost, at East Barnet, in Hertfordshire. His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, to evince in an especial manner the sense he entertained of his distinguished conduct and services during a long period of constant active employment, in stations of great trust, both Military and Civil, was pleased to ordain, as a lasting Memorial of His Majesty's Royal Favor, that the names of the Countries where his Courage and Abilities had been most signally displayed—the West Indies and Canada—should be inscribed on the Banners of the Supporters, granted to be borne by his Family and Descendants. In testimony of his Private Worth, his Piety, Integrity and Benevolence, and all those tender, domestic virtues, which endeared him to his Family, his Children, his Friends, and his Dependants, as well as to prove her unfeigned Love, Gratitude, and Respect, Catherine Anne Prevost, his afflicted Widow, caused this Monument to be Erected. Anno Domini 1819."

[134] Including the editor, ten; viz. two died young, of scarlet fever, and were buried in the same coffin; two drowned at different times; two slain; two died at sea, while passengers on board his majesty's packets from Rio de Janeiro to Falmouth, on the same day of the same month (15th August) in different years, 1833 and 1837! and only two still survive.

[135] See pages 222, 223, 227, 238, 307, 339, 360, 364 and 366.


Thomas Porter, a faithful servant of Sir Isaac Brock, was sent to England with his effects, and at the request of the family, was discharged from the 49th regiment, in which he was borne as a soldier, and in which he had an only brother, their father having been killed, while also in the regiment, on board the Monarch, at Copenhagen. The Commander-in-chief readily sanctioned the discharge of Porter, "as a small tribute to the memory of a most gallant and valuable officer."

His Royal Highness the Duke of York to W. Brock, Esq.

HORSE GUARDS, December, 1815.

The prince regent having been graciously pleased to command, in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, that the officers present at the capture of Detroit should be permitted to bear a medal commemorative of that brilliant victory, I have to transmit to you the medal[136] which would have been conferred upon the late Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, and which the prince regent has been pleased to direct should be deposited with his family, as a token of the respect which his royal highness entertains for the memory of that officer.

I am, Sir, yours,    FREDERICK,

In the year 1817, Mr. Savery Brock visited the United States and Canada, and, while in the latter country, received the grants of the 12,000 acres of land voted by the legislature of the Upper Province to the four brothers of Sir Isaac Brock, The letters written by him during his travels were highly prized at the time, and the following are brief extracts from them:

YORK, Upper Canada, Aug. 20 to 25, 1817.

I travelled with three gentlemen from New York as far as Fort George, where they left me on their return by Montreal. We crossed at Buffalo on the 9th instant, at which place we arrived half an hour before the President; and although one of our party (Mr. Gouverneur) was his nephew, we did not delay our journey to have a view of his countenance, and came over to Fort Erie, or, properly speaking, its remains. Seven miles from the Fort, we stopped the next morning to breakfast at a house where Isaac had lived six months, and the landlord told me with tears: "He was a friend and a father to me. I was close to him when he was shot;"—with these words, unable from his feelings to add more, he walked away quickly up his orchard.... On paying my respects to Mrs. Powell, the lady of the present chief justice, and to Mrs. Claus, they were greatly affected, and shed tears; and Mr. Scott, on whom I called yesterday, was equally so. Every one here is most kind—Isaac truly lived in their hearts: from one end of Canada to the other, he is beloved to a degree you can scarcely imagine—his memory will long live among them. "To your brother, Sir, we are indebted for the preservation of this province," is a sentiment that comes from the heart, and is in the mouths of too many to be flattery. This is pleasing, no doubt, to me, but it is a mournful pleasure, and recalls to me the past. I dine at five with the gentlemen of this town, and I see a splendid table laid out up stairs—the garrison is invited. I found no way to avoid these marks of respect to Isaac's memory. I assure you that it is truly unpleasant to me to see so many persons putting themselves in some degree out of their way to gratify me, as I think it, though I am aware they do it to satisfy their own feelings. I should also mention, that last Saturday I dined at Fort George, by invitation of the gentlemen there and its environs; we were forty-nine in number, and it was the anniversary of the capture of Detroit. I was invited, without their remembering the day of the month—it was a curious coincidence. The clergyman, who was of the party, made allusion during divine service next morning to Isaac, and to my being in the church. I mention these particulars, that you may fully judge of the kindness of all. After the service, three fine young farmers came up to me and wished to shake hands, having been at Detroit and Queenstown. Nothing could exceed their marks of attachment. Every body, they said, connected with Isaac would always be seen with pleasure: they were, like myself, most sensibly affected.

I hear of such misconduct on the part of most of the generals, of such negligence that was occasioned by it on the part of other officers, that it is only surprising we retained the country. Every general required so much urging to permit an attack, that it was really a favor for any enterprising officer, who grieved that nothing was done, to be allowed a handful of men to defeat the enemy with. Poor York! how miserably defended; but I shall not enter into particulars, as no interest is now entertained for these affairs.

MONTREAL, October 24.

I have had 7,000 acres granted in East and West Flamborough, at the head of Lake Ontario, about twelve miles from its margin; this is the best of our land, but not a house within eight or nine miles of it; 1,200 acres in Brock township, on Lake Simcoe; 3,000 acres in Monaghan, on the Rice Lake; and 800 acres in Murray, on Lake Ontario.

The principal gentlemen of this place have formed a committee of eight persons, and waited on me to fix a day to dine with them. Tuesday is named. So very civil is every one, that I am quite overcome with their politeness. Colonel M'Bean, of the 99th, and all his officers, have also called. Isaac's memory is so cherished—all loved him sincerely. At Quebec, I dined with Sir John Sherbrooke, &c, visited the falls of Montmorenci, &c, and was much pleased with my trip there.

Extract from the Montreal Herald of November 1, 1817.

On Tuesday, the 28th ultimo, the principal inhabitants of Montreal gave a public dinner at the Mansion House, to John Savery Brock, Esq., of the island of Guernsey, as a tribute of respect justly due to the memory of his late brother, the deceased Major-General Sir Isaac Brock.

Sir John Johnson, Bart., took the chair at six o'clock, supported by Messrs. Forsyth and St. Dizier, vice-presidents, who conducted the arrangements of the table in a manner worthy of the occasion which the company had assembled to commemorate.

After the cloth was removed, a series of appropriate toasts were given from the chair. When "the memory of the late Major-General Sir Isaac Brock" was pledged and drunk, Mr. B. availed himself of the universal silence it created to address the company. In a short speech, he expressed his acknowledgments for the very flattering and distinguished manner they were pleased, through him, to testify their veneration for the memory of his deceased brother, whose public and private qualities, he was proud to observe, were so highly appreciated by the inhabitants of Montreal, in whose society he had for a period been domesticated, and of whose kindness and hospitality he always retained a grateful remembrance.

At the commencement of the American war, Mr. B. observed, an arduous command devolved upon his brother; he had to protect an extensive frontier with very limited means, and those means, feeble as they were, shackled by the trammels of superior authority; the advance of an hostile army, however, upon our provincial territory, developed the resources of his military genius, and afforded him a glorious opportunity of proving to his country what he might have achieved under different circumstances. Mr. Brock apologized to the company for detaining them a few minutes longer, in reading some extracts of letters he had received from the late general, at different times, previous to the battle of Queenstown. These extracts corroborated what Mr. B. had previously stated; and it is remarkable that in one of them, with a spirit almost prophetic, the hero foretold the issue of that eventful day, when the hand of victory was destined to mingle the cypress and the laurel over his grave. Mr. Brock's feelings were a good deal affected in addressing so numerous an assemblage of his late brother's personal friends; and we may venture to add, that never were feelings of the same description more sacredly participated than those of Mr. B. on this occasion. Mr. B. concluded his speech by drinking the health of the company, and "success and prosperity to the city of Montreal."

At eleven o'clock the president retired, and was succeeded in the chair by the Hon. W. M'Gillivray, who immediately proposed the health of the worthy baronet, with three times three.

The band of the 99th regiment attended and played a variety of beautiful airs, which, in addition to a number of excellent songs given in the coarse of the evening, seduced the party to remain until the "little hours" stole upon them.

We regret that want of room prevents us from noticing as we could wish the neat and soldierlike address of thanks from Lieut.-Colonel M'Bean, on behalf of the garrison of Montreal, or of recording a translation of the figurative speeches, delivered in the Indian language by Lieut.-Colonel M'Kay[137] and A. Shaw, Esq., excited from those gentlemen by a recurrence to the co-operation of the gallant warrior, Tecumseh, with the lamented chief whose immortal memory forms the subject of this article.

Irving Brock, Esq., to his niece, Miss Caroline Tupper.[138]

LONDON, April 12, 1825.

I went to Windsor on Wednesday last with the four Indians, accompanied by my friend Mr. W——, to show them the castle, Frogmore, &c.; but the chief object, which I had secretly in mind, was to have them introduced to his majesty. Sir John C——, the late mayor of Windsor, assisted me very effectually, and the upshot of the matter is, that the king expressed his desire to see the Indian chiefs, although every body treated this as a most chimerical idea. They wore, for the first time, the brilliant clothes which Mr. Butterworth had had made for them, and you cannot conceive how grand and imposing they appeared.

The king appointed half-past one on Thursday to receive our party at the royal lodge, his place of residence. We were ushered into the library; and now I am going to say somewhat pleasing to your uncle Savery. As Sir John C—— was in the act of introducing me, but before he had mentioned my name, Sir Andrew Barnard[139] interrupted him, and said: "There is no occasion to introduce me to that gentleman,—I know him to be General Brock's brother,—he and Colonel Brock, of the 81st, were my most intimate friends,—I was in the 81st with the colonel. There was another brother whom I knew,—he who was paymaster of the 49th,—he was a gallant fellow. By the bye, sir, I beg your pardon; perhaps I am speaking to that very gentleman."

In the library there was also present Marquess Conyngham, Lord Mount Charles, Sir Edmund Nagle, &c. &c. We remained chatting in the house above half an hour, expecting every moment to see the king enter; and I was greatly amused to observe Mr. W—— and Sir John C—— start and appear convulsed every time there was a noise outside the door. We were admiring the fine lawn when the Marquess Conyngham asked the Indians if they would like to take a turn, at the same time opening the beautiful door that leads to it. The party was no sooner out than we saw the king standing quite still, and as erect as a grenadier on a field day, some forty yards from us. We were all immediately uncovered, and advanced slowly towards the handsomest, the most elegant, the most enchanting man in the kingdom; the Indians conducted by Marquess Conyngham, Sir Edmund Nagle, Sir Andrew Barnard, Lord Mount Charles, &c. &c. The range of balconies was filled with ladies. Sir John C——, Mr. W—— and I, allowed the party to approach his majesty, while we modestly halted at a distance of twenty yards. It was worth while being there only to see the benign countenance of the greatest monarch in the world, and to witness his manner of uncovering his head. The four chiefs fell on their knees. The king desired them to rise, and entered into a great deal of preliminary conversation. I saw him turn towards the marquess, and after a few seconds he said, with his loud and sonorous voice: "Pray, Mr. Brock, come near me,—I pray you come near me." I felt a little for my companions who continued unnoticed, and especially for Sir John C——, to whom I was principally indebted for the royal interview.

The king addressed the Indians in French, very distinctly, fluently, and loud: "I observe you have the portrait of my father; will you permit me to present you with mine?" The marquess then produced four large and weighty gold coronation peer medallions of his majesty, suspended by a rich mazareen blue silk riband. The chiefs, seeing this, dropped again upon their knees, and the king took the four medallions successively into his hand, and said: "Will some gentleman have the goodness to tie this behind?"—upon which Sir Edmund Nagle, with whom we had been condoling on account of the gout, while waiting in the library, and who wore a list shoe, skipped nimbly behind the chiefs, and received the string from the king, tying the cordon on the necks of the four chiefs. We were much amused to observe how the royal word can dispel the gout. The instant the grand chief was within reach of the medallion, and before the investiture was completed, he seized the welcome present with the utmost earnestness, and kissed it with an ardour which must have been witnessed to be conceived. The king appeared sensibly affected by this strong and unequivocal mark of grateful emotion. The other chiefs acted in a similar way, and nothing could have been managed more naturally, or in better taste. After this ceremony, the king desired them to rise and to be covered. They put on their hats, and which appeared extraordinary to me, his majesty remained uncovered all the time. Here it was that the grand chief, as if incapable of repressing his feelings, poured out in a most eloquent manner, by voice and action, the following unpremeditated speech in his native Indian tongue. I say unpremeditated, because that fine allusion to the sun could not have been contemplated while we were waiting in the library, the room where we expected the interview to take place. I was pleased to find that the presence of this mighty sovereign, who governs the most powerful nation upon earth, did not drive from the thoughts of the pious chief, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

The instant he had finished, the chief of the warriors interpreted in the French language, and I wrote down the speech as soon as I left the royal lodge. It should be observed, that the chiefs had been previously informed by me that, according to etiquette, they should answer any questions which his majesty might be pleased to ask, but not introduce any conversation of their own. The sun was shining vividly.


I was instructed not to speak in the royal presence, unless in answer to your majesty's questions. But my feelings overpower me. My heart is full. I am amazed at such unexpected grace and condescension, and cannot doubt that I shall be pardoned for expressing my gratitude. The sun is shedding his genial rays upon our heads. He reminds us of the great Creator of the universe—of Him who can make alive and who can kill. Oh! may that gracious and beneficent Being, who promises to answer the fervent prayers of his people, bless abundantly your majesty. May He grant you much bodily health, and, for the sake of your happy subjects, may He prolong your valuable life! It is not alone the four individuals, who now stand before your majesty, who will retain to the end of their lives a sense of this kind and touching reception—the whole of the nations, whose representatives we are, will ever love and be devoted to you, their good and great father.

His majesty felt deeply every word of the speech, when interpreted by the chief of the warriors. The king answered, that he derived high satisfaction from the sentiments they had expressed, and assured them that he should always be much interested in the happiness of his North American subjects, and would avail himself of every opportunity to promote their welfare, and to prove that he was indeed their father. After acknowledging in gracious terms the pleasure which the speech of the grand chief had afforded him, he mentioned, in an easy and affable manner, that he had once before in his life seen some individuals of the Indian nations, but that was fifty-five or fifty-six years ago. He inquired of their passage to this country, the name of the ship and of the master, and was persevering in his questions as to the treatment they had experienced at his hands, whether they had been made comfortable in all respects, and if he had been polite and attentive.

While the grand chief was delivering his speech in the Huron language, it seemed as if it would never end, and, observing the king look a little surprised, I informed the Marquess Conyngham, in a loud whisper, that this was the mode in which they expressed their sense of any honor conferred, and that the chief of the warriors would interpret the speech in the French language. The king asked me to repeat what I had been saying, and George and Irving conversed for some time. His majesty, on another occasion, asked me under what circumstances the Indians had been introduced to me. I answered that they were recommended to my notice, because they had been invested with the medallions of his late majesty by my brother.

His majesty hoped the Indians had seen every thing remarkable in Windsor, and told us we were welcome to see the interior of the lodge and pleasure grounds, that Sir Andrew Barnard would accompany us everywhere, to his stables, menagerie, aviaries, &c., and afterwards he trusted we would partake of some refreshment. He also offered us the use of his carriages. The refreshment was a truly royal repast,—we eat on silver,—the table groaned, as Mr. Heathfield would say, under the king's hospitality. We made a famous dinner,—pine apple, champagne, claret, &c.—servants in royal liveries behind our chairs. After dinner the Indians gave us the war song, when, (in your uncle Savery's poetry about Maria Easy,)

"Tho' the dogs ran out in a great fright,
The ladies rushed in with much delight."

[NOTE.—These four Indians came to England for the purpose of endeavouring to recover lands which had been given to their tribe by Louis the Sixteenth, but it appears that they did not succeed. They were very pious Roman Catholics, and those who saw them were much amused with their simple and primitive manners.—ED.]

Extract of a Letter from Walter Bromley, Esq., dated London, 15th April, 1825.—From a Halifax N.S. newspaper.

[The Indian chief, who accompanied me to England, sailed in the Ward, for New Brunswick, a few days ago, loaded with presents to his family and people. I think his appearance here has been more beneficial than if volumes had been printed on Indian civilization, and I am in hope that on both sides of the Atlantic a general sympathy has been excited. The four Canadian chiefs have attracted much attention, and have been presented to his majesty by the brother of the late General Brock; they are the most interesting characters I ever saw—are extremely polite—and speak French fluently.]

Mrs. (Lieut.-Colonel) Eliot[140] to her sister, in Guernsey.

QUEBEC, January 12, 1831.

With my kindest love to the Tuppers, tell them that I often see Colonel Glegg, who was Sir Isaac Brock's aide-de-camp: he is now Lord Aylmer's civil secretary, and we meet very often. He speaks affectionately of his old patron, and has made many inquiries relative to the family: the tears come into his eyes when he talks to me of old times. He and George (Lieut.-Colonel Eliot) were a great deal together during the war in the Upper Province. The other day, at dinner at the château, he told me that he had had a visit from Sir Isaac's old housekeeper, who is still living here in a similar situation to the House of Assembly, and gets £50 a year salary. He knew her directly, and seemed quite affected when telling me that she had brought her credentials with her in case he had not recognized her, as many years had elapsed since they met; and she opened a pocket book carefully, which she had in her hand, and took a piece of a shirt with the initials of General Brock's name, which she said she had cut off when the body was brought in to be buried at Fort George, and preserved it as a relic of her dear master. This little, trifling, affectionate remembrance of the old creature, shews her real attachment. Colonel Glegg gave her a new snuff box, filled with snuff from Paris, and told her to come again to see him. Perhaps the Tuppers will be pleased to hear this little anecdote.

[Mrs. Eliot, whose maiden name was Jane M'Crea, is the daughter of an American loyalist and a gallant field officer, now deceased, and the niece and namesake of the unfortunate Jane M'Crea, whose tragical fate in the American revolutionary war excited so much commiseration, and gave rise to a correspondence between the American general. Gates, and General Burgoyne. The former wrote: "Miss M'Crea, a young lady, lovely to the sight, of virtuous character and amiable disposition, engaged to an officer of your army, was, with other women and children, taken out of a house near Fort Edward, carried into the woods, and there scalped and mangled in a most shocking manner.... The miserable fate of Miss M'Crea was particularly aggravated by being dressed to receive her promised husband, but met her murderer employed by you." The latter, in his reply, stated, that "two chiefs, who had brought her off for the purpose of security, not of violence to her person, disputed which should be her guard, and in a fit of savage passion in one, from whose hands she was snatched, the unhappy woman became the victim."]

We have in a preceding chapter described the monument, on Queenstown Heights, to the memory of Sir Isaac Brock, a monument which "the popularity of the general had caused to be regarded with more affectionate veneration than any other structure in the province." On Good Friday, the 17th of April, 1840,[141] a miscreant of the name of Lett introduced a quantity of gunpowder into this monument with the fiendish purpose of destroying it; and the explosion, effected by a train, caused so much damage as to render the column altogether irreparable. Lett, who was by birth an Irishman and by settlement a Canadian, had been compelled to fly into the United States for his share in the recent rebellion; and "well knowing the feeling of attachment to the name and memory of General Brock, as pervading all classes of Canadians, he sought to gratify his own malicious and vindictive spirit, and at the same time to wound and insult the people of Upper Canada" by this demon's deed. The universal indignation of that people was aroused, and a public meeting was appointed to be held on Queenstown Heights, on the 30th of July following, for the purpose of adopting resolutions for the erection of another monument, the gallant Sir Allan Mac Nab especially making the most stirring exertions to promote this great object. The gathering, as it was called, was observed in Toronto (late York) as a solemn holiday; the public offices were closed, and all business was suspended; while thousands flocked from every part of the province to testify their affection for the memory of one who, nearly thirty years before, had fallen in its defence! History, indeed, affords few parallels of such long cherished public attachment. "Steam vessels, engaged for the occasion, left their respective ports of Kingston and Coburg, of Hamilton and Toronto, in time to arrive at the entrance of the Niagara river about ten o'clock in the forenoon. The whole of these, ten in number, then formed in line, and ascended the river abreast, with the government steamer, containing the lieutenant-governor, Sir George Arthur, and his staff, leading the way. The British shore was lined with thousands, and the fleet of steamers filled with hundreds, each shouting and responding to the cheers of welcome from ship to shore, and from shore to ship again. The landing being effected, the march to the ground was accompanied by military guards, and a fine military band. The public meeting was then held in the open air, near the foot of the monument, and Sir George Arthur was in the chair. The resolutions were moved, and speeches made, by some of the most eminent and most eloquent men, holding high official stations in the province;[142] and considering that amidst this grand and imposing assemblage, there were a great number of veteran officers of the Canada militia, who had fought and bled with the lamented chief, whose memory they were assembled to honor, and whose monument they had come to re-establish over his remains, the enthusiasm with which the whole mass was animated may readily be conceived; while the grand and picturesque combination of natural objects of scenery, beheld from the heights on which they were met, and the brightness of the day, added greatly to the effect of the whole." The gathering[143] was attended by about 8,000 persons, and the animation of the scene was increased by a detachment of royal artillery, who fired a salute; by a detachment of the 1st dragoon guards, with their bright helmets glittering in the sun; and by the 93d regiment, (Highlanders,) in full costume.

There were altogether eleven resolutions, of which the fifth was the following:

Resolved,—That we recall to mind, with admiration and gratitude, the perilous times in which Sir Isaac Brock led the small regular force, the loyal and gallant militia, and the brave and faithful Indian warriors, to oppose the invaders—when his fortitude inspired courage, and his sagacious policy gave confidence, in despite of a hostile force, apparently overwhelming.

We cannot refrain from transferring to these pages parts of the long and eloquent speech of the chief justice, Robinson, who, on advancing to the front of the hustings to move the sixth resolution, was received with the most enthusiastic cheers.

If it were intended by those who committed this shameful outrage, that the injury should be irreparable, the scene which is now before us, on these interesting heights, shews that they little understood the feelings of veneration for the memory of BROCK which still dwell in the hearts of the people of Upper Canada. No man ever established a better claim to the affections of a country; and, in recalling the recollections of eight and twenty years, there is no difficulty in accounting for the feeling which has brought us together on this occasion. Among the many who are assembled here from all parts of this province, I know there are some who saw, as I did, with grief, the body of the lamented general borne from the field on which he fell—and many who witnessed, with me, the melancholy scene of his interment in one of the bastions of Fort George.[144] They can never, I am sure, forget the countenances of the soldiers of that gallant regiment which he had long commanded, when they saw deposited in the earth the lamented officer who had for so many years been their pride; they can never forget the feelings displayed by the loyal militia of this province, when they were consigning to the grave the noble hero who had so lately achieved a glorious triumph in the defence of their country: they looked forward to a dark and perilous future, and they felt that the earth was closing upon him in whom, more than in all other human means of defence, their confidence had been reposed. Nor can they forget the countenances, oppressed with grief, of those brave and faithful Indian warriors, who admired and loved the gallant Brock, who had bravely shared with him the dangers of that period, and who had most honorably distinguished themselves in the field, where he closed his short but brilliant career.

It has, I know, Sir, in the many years that have elapsed, been sometimes objected, that General Brock's courage was greater than his prudence—that his attack of Fort Detroit, though it succeeded, was most likely to have, failed, and was therefore injudicious—and that a similar rashness and want of cool calculation were displayed in the manner of his death.

Those who lived in Upper Canada while these events were passing, can form a truer judgment; they know that what may to some seem rashness, was, in fact, prudence; unless, indeed, the defence of Canada was to be abandoned, in the almost desperate circumstances in which General Brock was placed. He had with him but a handful of men, who had never been used to military discipline—few, indeed, that had ever seen actual service in the field; and he knew it must be some months before any considerable reinforcement could be sent to him. He felt, therefore, that if he could not impress upon the enemy this truth, that—wherever a major-general of the British army, with but a few gallant soldiers of the line, and of the brave defenders of the soil, could be assembled against them—they must retire from the land which they had invaded, his cause was hopeless. If he had begun to compare numbers, and had reserved his small force in order to make a safer effort on a future day, then would thousands upon thousands of the people of the neighbouring States have been found pouring into the western portions of this province; and when at last our mother country could send, as it was certain she would, her armies to our assistance, they would have had to expend their courage and their strength in taking one strong position after another, that had been erected by the enemy within our own territory.

And at the moment when the noble soldier fell, it is true, he fell in discharging a duty which might have been committed to a subordinate hand; true, he might have reserved himself for a more deliberate and stronger effort; but he felt that hesitation might be ruin—that all depended upon his example of dauntless courage—of fearless self-devotion. Had it pleased Divine Providence to spare his invaluable life, who will say that his effort would have failed? It is true his gallant course was arrested by a fatal wound—such is the fortune of war; but the people of Canada did not feel that his precious life was therefore thrown away, deeply as they deplored his fall. In later periods of the contest, it sometimes happened that the example of General Brock was not very closely followed. It was that cautious calculation, which some suppose he wanted, which decided the day against us at Sackett's Harbour—it was the same cautious calculation which decided the day at Plattsburg; but no monuments have been erected to record the triumphs of those fields—it is not thus that trophies are won.

The Hon. Mr. Justice Macaulay, in moving the third resolution, thus elegantly expressed himself:

It was not my good fortune to serve in the field under the illustrious Brock, but I was under his command for a short period, when commandant of the garrison of Quebec, thirty years ago, and well remember his congratulating me upon receiving a commission in the army, accompanied with good wishes for my welfare, which I shall never forget. I feel myself a humble subaltern still when called upon to address such an auditory, and upon such a topic as the memory of Brock. Looking at the animated mass covering these heights in 1840, to do further honour to the unfortunate victim of a war now old in history, one is prompted to ask, how it happens that the gallant general, who has so long slept the sleep of death, left the lasting impression on the hearts of his countrymen which this scene exhibits; how comes it that the fame of Brock thus floats down the stream of time, broad, deep, and fresh as the waters of the famed river with whose waters, it might be almost said, his life's blood mingled? In reply, we might dwell upon his civil and military virtues, his patriotic self-devotion, his chivalrous gallantry, and his triumphant achievements. (Here one of the auditors added, "and that he was an honest man"—an attribute most warmly responded to on every side, for an honest man is the noblest work of God.) Still it might be asked, What peculiar personal qualities predominated and gave him the talismanic influence and ascendancy over his fellow men, which he acquired and wielded for his country's good? I answer, Are there any seamen among you? (Yes, yes, answered from the crowd)—then I say it was the Nelsonian spirit that animated his breast; it was the mind intuitively to conceive, and the soul promptly to dare, incredible things to feeble hearts—with a skill and bearing which infused this chivalrous and enterprising spirit into all his followers, and impelled them energetically to realize whatever he boldly led the way to accomplish. It displayed itself too, not only in the ranks of the disciplined soldiers, but in those also of the untrained militia of Upper Canada, as was amply proved on this memorable ground. Such were the shining and conspicuous qualities of the man that have rendered very dear his memory and his fame. Gentlemen, the resolution which I hold in my hand is expressive of the indignation felt throughout the province at the lawless act, the effects of which are visible before us.

After the resolutions had been carried by acclamation, and the public proceedings had terminated, 600 persons sat down to dinner in a temporary pavilion erected on the spot where the hero fell, "Chief Justice Robinson presiding; and at this, as at the morning meeting, great eloquence was displayed in the speeches, great loyalty evinced in the feelings, and great enthusiasm prevailed." After the queen's health had been drunk, the chief justice rose and said:

I have now to propose the memory of the late gallant Sir Isaac Brock, of Colonel M'Donell, and those who fell with them on Queenstown Heights. That portion of you, gentlemen, who were inhabitants of Upper Canada while General Brock served in its defence, are at no loss to account for the enthusiastic affection with which his memory is cherished among us. It was not merely on account of his intrepid courage and heroic firmness, neither was it solely because of his brilliant success while he lived, nor because he so nobly laid down his life in our defence; it was, I think, that he united in his person, in a very remarkable degree, some qualities which are peculiarly calculated to attract the confidence and affection of mankind,—there was, in all he said and did, that honesty of character which was so justly ascribed to him by a gentleman who proposed one of the resolutions,—there was an inflexible integrity, uncommon energy and decision, which always inspire confidence and respect,—a remarkable union in his whole demeanour of benevolence and firmness,—a peculiarly commanding and soldierlike appearance,—a generous, frank, and manly bearing,—and, above all, an entire devotion to his country. In short, I believe I shall best convey my own impression, when I say it would have required much more courage to refuse to follow General Brock, than to go with him wherever he would lead.

"The meeting presented a proud display of high and noble feelings, honorable to the memory of the dead, and equally so to the character of the living. It was conducted with great dignity and judgment, and no accident occurred to interrupt the pleasures of the day; the steam vessels re-embarking their passengers soon after sun-set, and conveying back the individuals composing this congregated multitude to their respective homes in safety."[145]

It having been resolved by the meeting that the most suitable monument, to replace the shattered column, would be an obelisk on the site of the mutilated structure, the committee offered a premium for a design, which, in February, 1843, was awarded to Mr. T. Young, architect to the university of king's college, Toronto. The style of the intended obelisk is the simplest and purest Egyptian, the artist having strictly avoided all minuteness of detail in order that the massive proportions of the design might harmonize with the bold and beautiful scenery by which it will be surrounded. The total height of the base, pedestal, and obelisk, will be 120 feet. The obelisk will measure at the lower base 16 feet 6 inches square, diminishing to 10 feet at the base of the upper, the proportions of that known as Cleopatra's needle having been strictly adhered to. The estimated cost of this obelisk is about £5,000 currency, the materials of the old monument being used as far as possible; and as above £4,000[146] have already been contributed, it is expected that the new structure will be commenced in the spring of 1845.[147]

A concluding notice of Sir Isaac Brock's favorite regiment will scarcely be deemed superfluous, although, as the records of the 49th were destroyed at the evacuation of Fort George, in May, 1813, we cannot give many further details of its services previous to that period. In 1759, it assisted at the reduction of Fort Niagara, then held by the French, (page 160,) and it served in the American revolutionary war, as, by the records still existing, the flank companies were to be permitted to wear, the grenadiers a black, and the light company a red, feather, for services at Bunker's Hill; but the books being lost, the regiment cannot shew the authority, and consequently is not allowed this distinction. The 49th was repeatedly engaged in Upper Canada, and was especially distinguished at the battles of Stoney Creek and Chrystler's Farm. In 1815, the regiment returned to England, after an absence of above thirteen years; and in January, 1816, "in consequence of its doing duty over her royal highness the princess Charlotte of Wales, at Weymouth, she was graciously pleased to nominate it her regiment." In December, 1821, the 49th embarked for the Cape of Good Hope, and in 1828 proceeded on to Bengal. In April, 1840, the regiment embarked for China, where it distinguished itself, and suffered much from climate. In gaining possession of the heights which overlook the city of Canton, on the 25th May, 1841, "as the two brigades advanced together, there was some little rivalry between the 49th and 18th regiments, as to which should have the honor of commencing the attack upon the two forts. The 49th, having the advantage of a shorter and perhaps rather better road, got the lead, which they maintained; so that the left brigade carried BOTH the eastern forts before the 18th came up, and with little loss."[148] In February, 1843, after the Chinese had been coerced into a peace, the 49th returned to Calcutta, and the following month embarked for England, where the head quarters arrived on the 24th August, after an absence of nearly twenty-two years—an example of the arduous services in which the British infantry of the line is constantly engaged. The 49th, (the Princess Charlotte of Wales',) or Hertfordshire regiment, bears on its colours and appointments the distinctions of Egmont op Zee, Copenhagen, Queenstown, the Dragon, and China.

On the 27th August, 1844, new colours were presented to the 49th, at Winchester, by Lady Pakenham, the wife of Major-General the Hon. Sir Hercules Pakenham, commanding the district, the colours being first consecrated by Doctor C. R. Sumner, the Lord Bishop of Winchester, who thus addressed the troops:

Soldiers of the 49th, I have solicited and obtained permission of your gallant commanding officer to address you a few moments before I invoke the blessing of Almighty God upon the colours which are never to be sullied by any act of yours, and are not to be abandoned but with life itself. And let not any man marvel that I, a man of peace, come among you, who are men of war, for I hold that there is not a truer man of peace than a Christian soldier. When he conquers, it is not for national aggrandizement, nor the mere raising of your names, but for the insuring of peace in future time. Many a brave man has bled on the field, or expired on a bed of agony, that his countrymen might be preserved from the horrors of war. With respect to the services of the 49th, I might go back to a time antecedent to the present century. We must remember what a debt of gratitude we owe to your companions in arms for their prowess in many a well-fought field. And what did we not owe also to the naval power for the preservation of our soil from the insults and the cruelties of our enemy? I must bid you look back to the recollection of those days when you won glory in Holland, Copenhagen, and Canada, and since in India and China. I remember well the stirring phrases used by the great captain of the age, the commander-in-chief of the British army, the Duke of Wellington, when he asked for the thanks of parliament to the army of China—those were stirring phrases indeed—they were well worth living to hear, and well worth dying to deserve; they are for you to treasure up, and your children yet unborn to hear from your lips. When you unfold those banners, you look upon them as the memorials of former days, and in centuries yet to come they will be memorials of your country's renown, of your country's prosperity, and of your country's peace. On these grounds I hold that the Christian soldier is an instrument of good to the nation at large, and I bid you God speed in the name of the Lord, and, as a Christian bishop, I would bid you remember Him who is the God of battles, Him by whom nations are led to victory and preserved in peace. Be men of resolution and men of energy, pacific in your profession and disinterested in your patriotism, observant of your duty to your queen, your country, and your God.

Of Sir Isaac Brock's brothers, the eldest, John, a brevet lieutenant-colonel in the 81st regiment, was killed in a duel, in July, 1801, at the Cape of Good Hope, by Captain M——,[149] in consequence of his having, as steward of a public ball, very properly resisted the introduction, by his antagonist, of a female of disreputable character. The second brother, Ferdinand, a lieutenant of the 60th regiment, was slain in the defence of Bâton Rouge, on the Mississippi, 21st September, 1779, at the early age of nineteen. The third brother, Daniel De Lisle, a man of distinguished ability, was bailiff and president of the States of Guernsey. No chief magistrate of the island was ever so beloved, honored, and regretted, as Mr. Brock; and so universal was the feeling of admiration for his talents and services, that the Royal Court decreed him a public funeral at the public expense—a tribute of respect never previously paid by that body to any individual.[150] The ninth brother, Savery, who died on the 7th August, 1844, has been already noticed, and the tenth, Irving, who died in 1838, at Bath, was "the accomplished translator of Bernier's Travels in India," and a very powerful writer in support of the government in 1810, at a very eventful and critical period.[151] Singularly enough, of the eight brothers of this Family of the Brocks who reached maturity, no male descendant of their name is now in existence. Of their two sisters, who grew to womanhood, the elder, Elizabeth, now the only survivor of the family, married John E. Tupper, Esq., of Guernsey; and the younger, Mary, was the wife of Thomas Potenger, Esq., of Compton, in Berkshire, first cousin to the Countess of Bridgewater.

Of the five nephews and one great nephew of Sir Isaac Brock, who have hitherto embraced the profession of arms, not one survives, four of the former and the latter having sadly and prematurely perished, viz: first, Midshipman Charles Tupper, of his majesty's ship Primrose, drowned at Spithead, in 1815, by the upsetting of the boat in which he was accompanying his commander from Portsmouth to the ship; second, Lieutenant E.W. Tupper,[152] his majesty's ship Sybille, mortally wounded in action with Greek pirates, near Candia, on the 18th June, 1826; third, Lieutenant William Potenger, adjutant 22d regiment, died on the 19th November, 1827, of the fever, at Jamaica; fourth, Colonel W. De Vic Tupper,[153] of the Chilian service, slain in action near Talca, on the 17th April, 1830; and, fifth, the great nephew, Ensign A. Delacombe Potenger,[154] of the 5th Bengal Native Infantry, while in command of the light company, was killed by a bullet, which entered his breast, in the disastrous retreat of the British army from Cabool, in January, 1842. The remaining nephew, Captain Eugene Brock, of the 20th regiment, died at Bermuda, in January, 1844.

Our memoir is concluded, and even if in its progress we have but feebly and imperfectly narrated the career and portrayed the character of him who is the subject, we trust that our labour has not been in vain, because we feel that we have rescued much from oblivion that was hitherto unknown and unrecorded. It was that feeling which prompted us to undertake this work; and, in completing our task, we are not without hope that the simple language of soberness and truth will be preferred to a memorial composed with more art, but dictated by less sincerity. And should we in the course of these pages have inadvertently fallen into undue panegyrism, that common error of biographers, our excuse must be, that we could scarcely avoid eulogizing one of whom it was written, soon after his untimely fall, by a bosom friend:

"General Brock[155] was indeed a hero, a hero in the only true and in the most extensive sense, resembling what history or fable has represented, rather as the offspring of the imagination than a personage that could have real existence, so entirely was every great and good quality comprehended in his character."

Additional Notes.

The garrison of Michilimakinack, when surprised in 1763, (see page 244,) consisted of the commandant, Major Etherington, two subalterns, and ninety soldiers; and there were four English traders there. Of these Lieutenant Jemette, about seventy soldiers, and one trader, were massacred; but the commandant, Lieutenant Leslie, and the remainder, were preserved by the Ottawas, and restored at the peace in 1764. The English trader, who beheld and described the massacre, was Alexander Henry, whose travels in Canada are cited at page 369.

When peace was concluded at Detroit, by General Bradstreet, with the Indians, in 1764, Pontiac fled to the Illinois; (see pages 164 and 243;) but he appears subsequently to have joined the English, and to have received a handsome pension from them to secure his attachment. Carver, in his "Three Years Travels" in North America, relates that in 1767 Pontiac held a council in the Illinois, in which he spoke against the English, and that in consequence an Indian, who was attached to their cause, plunged a knife into his heart, and laid him dead on the spot.


[136] The medal is a very large and beautifully executed gold one, made to suspend from the neck. On the obverse is, "Detroit;" on the reverse, the figure of Britannia; and round the rim, "Major-General Sir Isaac Brock." The medal was given only to the principal officers.

[137] This is doubtless the officer whose name is spelt M'Kee, at page 252; see also page 294.

[138] The present Mrs. De Beauvoir De Lisle.

[139] The present Lieut.-General Sir Andrew Barnard, G.C.B.

[140] Her husband, who distinguished himself in Upper Canada during the war, was then serving on the staff in Lower Canada.

[141] On the same day, ten years previously, Sir Isaac Brock's nephew, Colonel Tupper, was slain in Chile.

[142] Exclusive of the chief justice and Mr. Justice Macaulay, the speakers were, His Excellency Sir George Arthur; Sir Allan MacNab; Mr. Thorburn, M.P.P.; Colonel the Hon. W. Morris; Colonel R.D. Fraser; Colonel Clark; Mr. W.H. Merritt, M.P.P.; Lieut.-Colonel J. Baskin; Lieut.-Colonel Sherwood; Colonel Stanton; Colonel Kerby; Colonel the Hon. W.H. Draper; Colonel Angus M'Donell; the Hon. Mr. Sullivan; Lieut.-Colonel Cartwright; Colonel Bostwick; Colonel M'Dougal; the Hon. Mr. Justice Hagannan; Colonel Rutton; Lieut.-Colonel Kearnes; Lieut.-Colonel Kirkpatrick; H.J. Boulton, Esq.; and Lieut.-Colonel Edward Thomson.

[143] A public meeting of the inhabitants of Montreal was also held in that city, for the same purpose as that on Queenstown Heights.

[144] We suppose that the chief justice was the lieutenant of militia, who acted as one of Lieut.-Colonel M'Donell's pall bearers. See page 332.

[145] The extracts given in inverted commas are from "Buckingham's Canada," that gentleman being at Toronto at the time, but unable from illness to attend the "gathering."

[146] In 1841, the Six Nations of Indians had contributed the (for their diminished numbers and limited means) large sum of £167.

[147] See Appendix A, Section 1, No. 11.

[148] Bernard's Narrative of the combined Naval and Military Operations in China. London, 1844.

[149] Captain M——, the son of a baronet, fell as a major and aide-de-camp to Lord Lake, at the siege of Bhurtpore, in 1805.

[150] For a brief memoir of him, see Appendix B.

[151] One of his pamphlets went through four editions.

[152] For a short memoir, see Appendix C.

[153] For a memoir, see Appendix D.

[154] The only son of the Rev. Richard Potenger. (See page 269.) With this fine young man expired the last hope of his family, and the continuation of his line.

[155] It is also creditable to the military character of the little island of Guernsey, that of the five British generals killed in action in 1812, two, whose names follow in the obituary of the Annual Army List for 1813, were Major-General Le Marchant, 6th Dragoon Guards, at the battle of Salamanca, and Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K.B., 49th Foot, in America,—Duncan's History of Guernsey.



No. 1. Page 15.

Lieut.-General Lord Aylmer, Governor-General of British North America, to J. Savery Brock, Esq.

SOREL, Lower Canada, August 23, 1834.

I received yesterday your letter of the 19th March.... The sight of your handwriting reminded me of old times, and brought back the recollection of scenes which almost appear to have taken place in another state of existence.... I made a tour in Upper Canada last summer, and visited with a feeling of love and reverence the monument at Queenstown, erected to the memory of one who was as brave as he was good, and a better man never breathed; to have enjoyed his friendship and good opinion, is to me a source of pride and satisfaction.

Yours, my dear Savery, very sincerely,


Extract of a note from Lord Aylmer to the Editor.—

"LONDON, August 5, 1844.

I am very glad to learn by your letter that a work is shortly to appear, intituled 'The Life and Correspondence of Sir Isaac Brock,' for sure I am that the more of him that is made known to the public, the more highly will his valuable services be appreciated."

No. 2. Page 206.

From Captain Roberts to the Adjutant-General.

Fort Michilimakinack, July 17, 1812.

On the 15th instant I received letters, by express, from Major-General Brock, with orders to adopt the most prudent measures either for offence or defence, which circumstances might point out; and having received intelligence from the best information, that large reinforcements were expected to be thrown into this garrison, with the thorough conviction that my situation at St. Joseph's was totally indefensible, I determined to lose no time in making the meditated attack on this fort.

On the 16th, at ten o'clock in the morning, I embarked my few men, with about 180 Canadians, and two iron 6-pounders. The boats arrived without the smallest accident at the port of rendezvous, at three o'clock the following morning: by the exertions of the Canadians, one of the guns was brought up a height commanding the garrison, and ready to act about ten o'clock. A summons was then sent in; a copy of the capitulation which followed I have the honor to enclose. At twelve o'clock, the American colours were hauled down, and those of his majesty were hoisted. A committee has been appointed to examine into the state of the public stores.

Enclosed also are the returns of the ordnance and military stores found in the fort, and the strength of the garrison. The greatest praise is due to every individual employed in the expedition; to my own officers I am indebted, in particular, for their active assistance in carrying all my orders into effect.

No. 3. Page 275.

Extracts from "The Letters of Veritas;"[156] containing a succinct Narrative of the Military Administration of Sir George Prevost during his command in the Canadas, whereby it will be manifest that the merit of preserving them from conquest belongs not to him. 8vo. Montreal, July, 1815.

"Then or before was communicated to him (Major-General Brock) the information of that deadly armistice concluded by Sir George Prevost with General Dearborn, which had so fatal an effect upon all the future operations, and which tied up the hands of the gallant Brock from executing his intended plan of sweeping the American posts to Sackett's Harbour, inclusive—an operation that most certainly would have been then effected.

"This armistice, proposed by Sir George Prevost, merits serious consideration, from its operation being so greatly in favor of the enemy at that time, and so disadvantageous to us. A period most precious to us, if we had profited by it with vigour, was thereby lost in inaction, and the enemy in consequence allowed to recover from the panic into which they were thrown by Hull's capture.

"The transport of the American stores, ordnance, and provisions, of each of which they were much in want, not being prohibited by that armistice, was accordingly protected and facilitated by it on Lake Ontario and along the Niagara frontier beyond the enemy's most sanguine hopes, whilst their then only disposable and invading force, under General Hull, on the Detroit frontier, was left at full liberty to profit by circumstances, the armistice as to him being at his option.

"Most fortunately, however, Hull's business was settled by capitulation before the armistice was known to General Brock or him; but had it reached him in time, he of course would gladly have accepted it, to gain delay for the arrival of reinforcements and a supply of provisions, from which would have resulted the salvation of his army, the prejudicial consequences whereof to us are incalculable; for, had a knowledge of it reached the Indian nations at that time, such a disgust and distrust would have been thereby excited as could never have been removed; and the first effect of which would have appeared in the immediate dispersion of the Indians, whose powerful and indispensable aid at that early period of the contest would have been totally lost to us.

"Madison's rejection of this armistice was followed by that chilling defensive system which General Brock was instructed by Sir George to follow, and which palsied his operations until his country had to mourn over his fatal loss at the battle of Queenstown, on the 13th of October, 1812.

"Such, however, was the impulse he had given, and the valour and zeal wherewith the regular troops, militia and Indians, had been inspired, that the valuable effects thereof survived him; and gave a brilliant victory on that day to his successor, General Sheaffe, a lover of armistices also, who, in proof thereof, made one of his own, which threw away most of the advantages of that victory; for he neglected (although strongly urged thereto) to take Fort Niagara, which could have been done on the afternoon of the day of the Queenstown battle, without loss, as the enemy had entirely, or almost entirely, then evacuated it: had he done this, and at the same time crossed over a part of his force to Lewistown, as he was urged to do, and as Brock would have done had he survived, the whole Niagara line would have been cleared of the enemy, and all our after disasters in that quarter prevented.

"It has been urged in favor of Sir George's timid defensive system, that it was proper in order to avoid irritating the enemy, and thereby uniting them; as also, that his force was inadequate to offensive warfare. Now, no positions were ever more untenable, for to think of conciliating an enemy by leaving to him the full benefit of maturing in security all his means of annoyance against you, and at the same time muzzling yourself, is a most extraordinary doctrine; surely, to do so must ensure success to that enemy, as we know that success will unite discordant parties and interests, whilst defeats promote disunion, and would have strengthened the anti-war party in the States, by furnishing to them unanswerable arguments when depicting the folly and impolicy of the war, which had been so wantonly declared by the Madisonian party.

"Were facts in support of this view of the subject necessary, they would be found in the effects upon the public mind in that country, produced by the capture of Michilimakinack and Detroit, with Hull's army. Did these events irritate and unite the enemy against us? No, they increased irritation, it is true, but against their own government."

(In his tenth or concluding letter, Veritas recapitulated his preceding arguments, and observed:) "That to General Brock's zeal and energy, left as he was without orders, along with other causes independent of Sir George, the preservation of Upper Canada, in the first instance, and of Lower Canada as a consequence, are mainly to be ascribed."

No. 4. Page 277.

Extract from Sir George Prevost's General Order, Montreal, August 31, 1812, in announcing the refusal of the American President to continue the armistice.

"The invasion of the Upper Province, undertaken so immediately after the declaration of war, shews in the strongest manner how fully they had prepared themselves for that event, and how highly they had flattered themselves with finding it an easy conquest, from the supposed weakness of the force opposed to them, and the spirit of disaffection which they had previously endeavoured to excite amongst its inhabitants. Foiled as they have been in this attempt by the brave and united efforts of the regular forces, militia, and Indians of that province, under the command of their distinguished leader, their whole army with its general captured, and their only remaining fortress and post in the adjoining territory wrested from them, it is not to be doubted but that the American government will keenly feel this disappointment of their hopes, and consequently endeavour to avail themselves of the surrender of Detroit, to term it an invasion of their country, and to make it a ground for calling upon the militia to march to the frontiers for the conquest of the Canadas. A pretext so weak and unfounded, though it may deceive some, will not fail to be received in its proper light by others; and it will be immediately perceived by those who will give themselves the trouble to reflect on the subject, that the pursuit of an invading army into their own territory, is but a natural consequence of the first invasion; and the capture of the place, to which they may retire for safety, a measure indispensably necessary for the security and protection of the country originally attacked."

No. 5. Page 333.

"To Colonel Brock, of the 49th, who commanded at the fort, I am particularly indebted for his kindness to me during the fortnight I remained at Niagara. Among many pleasant days which I passed with him and his brother officers, that of our visit to the Tuscorora Indians was not the least interesting. They received us in all their ancient costume; the young men exhibited for our amusement in the race, the bat game, &c, while the old and the women sat in groups under the surrounding trees, and the picture altogether was as beautiful as it was new to me."—Note in Moore's Epistles, Odes, &c.

"At Queenstown the battle was fought in which General Brock fell, and the inhabitants point out a thorn bush at the bottom of the heights, where it is said that he received his mortal wound. His career was a short but a brilliant one; and had the direction of the affairs of the Upper Province, after his death, been characterized by an equal degree of courage, prudence, and humanity, a very different series of subsequent events would have claimed the attention of the historian."—Duncan's Travels in the United States and Canada, in 1818 and 1819.

"Close to the spot where we landed in Canada, there stands a monument to the gallant General Brock, who was killed during the battle of Queenstown, in the act of repelling an invasion of the frontier by the Americans, during the late war.... The view from the top of the monument extended far over Lake Ontario, and showed us the windings of the Niagara, through the low and woody country which hangs like a rich green fringe along the southern skirts of that great sheet of water,"—Captain Basil Hall's Travels in North America, in 1827 and 1828.

Travelling in the state of New York, the author observes: "The late Sir Isaac Brock was, by some accident, mentioned. The canal agent spoke of him in terms of great respect, as the best commander the British had ever sent to Canada—equally regretted on both sides of the St. Lawrence...."

"From Niagara Falls we proceeded by the stage first to Queenstown, (seven miles,) near which a monument has been erected to the memory of Sir Isaac Brock, from the top of which, about 120 feet high, there is a noble view of Lake Ontario and the adjoining country, and thence to the village of Newark, (seven miles,) formerly called Fort George, on the Niagara river."—Stuart's Three Years in America.

"Immediately above Queenstown stands Brock's monument, on the heights where the battle was fought in which that hero was killed. His body was removed to it from Fort George, in 1824. The view from this fine column is probably the most beautiful in Upper Canada."—M'Gregor's British America, vol. ii.

"Seven miles south of Fort George, and at the foot of the romantic heights of the same name, which have become famous in Canadian history as the scene of a battle wherein General Brock fell, is the village of Queenstown, pleasantly situated on the Niagara, and opposite to the American village of Lewistown. The monument, built to the memory of the gallant general and his companions, on the loftiest part of these heights, forms a prominent object to the numerous voyageurs who are constantly arriving at this portage, in elegantly fitted up steam boats, from York and Kingston, to view the neighbouring falls of the Niagara. The village contains a church, court house, large government stores, and a population of between 400 and 500 inhabitants."—The Canadas, by Andrew Pichen.

"Leaving a garrison in Detroit sufficiently strong to keep the inhabitants in awe, General Brock lost no time in quitting the conquered post and hastening to Niagara—a command he had only relinquished for the purpose of undertaking an achievement which the gallantry and determination of his character could alone have crowned with such unqualified success....

"The month of October was marked by an event of the most melancholy nature—the death of General Brock, who fell a victim to the intrepidity and daring of his character.... The loss of their leader, however, cast a gloom over every English brow, and an advantage thus purchased was deemed at too high a price. General Brock was beloved by the soldiery, particularly the 49th, of which he had long been lieutenant-colonel, and the indignation of their grief for his loss cost the Americans many a life on that day, that had otherwise been spared. At Amherstburg, the account of his death was received with heartfelt concern, and not a man was there of those he had lately led to victory who failed to pay that tribute to his memory, which the gallantry and magnanimity of this glorious chief were so every way calculated to awaken in the breast of the soldier."—'A Canadian Campaign,' by a British Officer, in the New Monthly Magazine for December, 1826, and February, 1827.

"Immediately opposite the town of Prescott, on the shore of the United States, is the town of Ogdensburg; and twelve miles higher up, on the Canadian shore, stands the delightful village of Brockville, so called in honor of the late lamented Sir Isaac Brock. This enchanting little spot unites in its situation every beauty of nature. In front of it flows the river St. Lawrence, interspersed with numerous islands, variously formed and thickly wooded; behind it is an assemblage of small hills, rising one above another in 'gay theatric pride;' and on each side are a number of well cleared farms, in an advanced state of cultivation. Every thing combines to render it pre-eminently beautiful. The dwellings are built of wood, and tastefully painted; and the court house, in an elevated situation at the back of the village, seems, from its superior size, to be the guardian of the villagers—an idea of my fancy, which I did not seek to confirm by entering within its doors. Brockville contains 450 souls. It has a parsonage house, but no church has hitherto been erected."—Five Years in Canada, by E.A. Talbot.

"We remained an hour or two at Brockville, the village of palaces; and few villages have I seen more attractive than this one. It is situated on a shelving bank, with a southern aspect, and groves of trees round it. The houses and churches are built of grey stones, and, being covered with tin, have a light and pleasant appearance." Alexander's Transatlantic Sketches. London, 1833.

[NOTE.—Brockville was originally named Elizabeth Town, in compliment to the general's mother, and the township or county, in which the village is situated, is still called Elizabeth. There is a large township bordering the river St. Clair and Lake Huron, in about latitude 43° and longitude 82°, in the western district of Upper Canada, named Sarnia, the ancient name of Guernsey. This township was probably so named by Sir Isaac Brock.]

No. 6. Page 338.

At a General Council of Condolence, held at the Council House, Fort George, 6th November, 1842,

Present—The Six Nations, Hurons, Potawatitimies, and
Chippawas. William Claus, Deputy Superintendent-General.
Captain Norton. Captain J.B. Rosscaux, and several others of
the Indian Department. Kasencayont Cayonga Chief, Speaker.

"Brothers,—The Americans have long threatened to strike us, and in the beginning of the summer they declared war against us, and lately they recommenced hostility by invading the country at Queenstown. In this contest, which, with the help of God, terminated in our favor, your much lamented commander and friend, General Brock, his aide-de-camp, Colonel M'Donell, and several warriors, have fallen.

"Brothers,—We therefore now, seeing you darkened with grief, your eyes dim with tears, and your throats stopped with the force of your affliction, with these strings of wampum we wipe away your tears, that you may view clearly the surrounding objects. We clear the passage in your throats that you may have free utterance for your thoughts, and we wipe clean from blood the place of your abode, that you may sit there in comfort, without having renewed the remembrance of your loss by the remaining stains of blood.

Delivered eight strings of white wampum.[157]

"Brothers,—That the remains of our late beloved friend and commander, General Brock, shall receive no injury, we cover it with this belt of wampum, which we do from the grateful sensations which his kindness towards us continually inspired, as also in conformity with the customs of our ancestors; and we now express, with the unanimous voice of the chiefs and warriors of our respective bands, the great respect in which we hold his memory, and the sorrow and deep regret with which his loss has filled our breasts, although he has taken his departure for a better abode, where his many virtues will be rewarded by the great Dispenser of good, who has led us on the road to victory.

A large white belt.

"Brothers,—We now address the successor of our departed friend, to express the confidence we feel that his heart is warmed with similar sentiments of affection and regard towards us. We also assure him of our readiness to support him to the last, and therefore take the liberty to speak strong to all his people to co-operate with vigour, and, trusting in the powerful arm of God, not to doubt of victory.

"Although our numbers are small, yet, counting Him on our side, who ever decides on the day of battle, we look for victory whenever we shall come in contact with our enemy.

Five strings of white wampum.

(Signed) "W. CLAUS, D.S.G."

No. 7. Page 343.

Extract from a Description of St. Paul's Cathedral.

"In the western ambulatory of the south transept is a tabular monument to the memory of Sir Isaac Brock, by the same artist (Westmacott).

"A military monument, on which are placed the sword and helmet of the deceased; a votive record, supposed to have been raised by his companions to their honored commander.

"His corpse reclines in the arms of a British soldier, whilst an Indian pays the tribute of regret his bravery and humanity elicited.


No. 8. Page 343.

"This chief of the branch of the once great tribe of the Hurons visited England some time ago. I afterwards saw him in Quebec, and had a good deal of conversation with him. When asked what had struck him most of all that he had seen in England, he replied, without hesitation, that it was the monument erected in St. Paul's to the memory of General Brock. It seemed to have impressed him with a high idea of the considerate beneficence of his great father, the king of England, that he not only had remembered the exploits and death of his white child, who had fallen beyond the big salt lake, but that he had even deigned to record, on the marble sepulchre, the sorrows of the poor Indian weeping over his chief untimely slain."—Hon. F.F. De Roos' Travels in North America, in 1826.

No. 9. Page 343.

To His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,

The humble address of the Commons of Upper Canada, in Parliament assembled,

May it please your Royal Highness,

We, his majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects the Commons of Upper Canada, in Provincial Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer to your Royal Highness the homage of our unfeigned attachment to his Majesty's sacred person and government, and of our filial reverence for the great and magnanimous nation of which we have the honor to form a part.

While we pray your Royal Highness to accept of our most cordial congratulations on the splendid achievements of his Majesty's forces, and of those of his allies in various parts of the globe, and in particular on the extraordinary successes which, under Divine Providence, have attended his Majesty's arms in this portion of his dominions; we should do injustice to the memory of our late truly illustrious president, Major-General Brock, under whose auspices the latter were during his lifetime principally achieved, did we omit to accompany them with feelings of the most poignant sorrow for his fall.

He had endeared himself to us by his able, virtuous, and disinterested administration of the civil government, and by the zeal, military talent, and bravery, which characterized and marked his conduct in the field.

To his energy, his promptitude, and his decision, do we feel ourselves in a great degree indebted, for having at this moment the happiness of enjoying the privileges of his Majesty's subjects. His disinterested and manly conduct aroused the spirit of the country, and called it forth for self-defence against a most insidious foe.

In appreciating, as we do, his talents and eminent services, most deeply do we lament our inability to bestow on them any other reward than our praise. Without revenue for even the ordinary purposes of the government, we have no funds from whence to reward merit, however exalted and deserving.

We derive, however, much pleasure from beholding that the services of our ever-to-be-lamented president and general have been appreciated by your Royal Highness; and while we feelingly regret that he did not survive to enjoy the high honors conferred upon him by your Royal Highness in his Majesty's name, we, with all humility, would beg to suggest that a grant to his family of a portion of his Majesty's most valuable waste lands in this province would be most gratifying to us. It would, we doubt not, be acceptable to them, and it would be the means of perpetuating the connection that had taken place between us, as well as the name of Brock, in a country in defence of which the general so nobly fell!!! and which his exertions had so eminently contributed to save.

That your Royal Highness may long be preserved to fill the exalted station to which you have been called for the advancement of the happiness, honor and glory, of the British nation, is the fervent prayer of his Majesty's faithful subjects, the Commons of Upper Canada.

(Signed) A. M'LEAN, Speaker.

Passed the Commons House of Assembly, the Sixth Day of March, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirteen.

No. 10. Page 344.

Anniversary of the Battle of Queenstown, and the re-interment of the late much-lamented Major-General Sir Isaac Brock.

"There is something so grand and imposing in the spectacle of a nation's homage to departed worth, which calls for the exercise of so many interesting feelings, and which awakens so many sublime contemplations, that we naturally seek to perpetuate the memory of an event so pregnant with instruction, and so honorable to our species. It is a subject that in other and in older countries has frequently exercised the pens, and has called forth all the descriptive powers of the ablest writers.[158] But here it is new; and for the first time, since we became a separate province, have we seen a great public funeral procession of all ranks of people, to the amount of several thousands, bearing the remains of two lamented heroes to their last dwelling on earth, in the vaults of a grand national monument, overtopping the loftiest heights of the most magnificent section of one of the most magnificent countries in the world.

"The 13th of October, being the anniversary of the battle of Queenstown, and of the death of Brock, was judiciously chosen as the most proper day for the removal of the remains of the general, together with those of his gallant aide-de-camp, Lieutenant-Colonel M'Donell, to the vaults prepared for their reception on Queenstown heights.[159]

"The weather was remarkably fine, and before ten o'clock a very large concourse of people, from all parts of the country, had assembled on the plains of Niagara, in front of Fort George, in a bastion of which the bodies had been deposited for twelve years.[160]

"One hearse, covered with black cloth, and drawn by four black horses, each with a leader, contained both the bodies. Soon after ten, a lane was formed by the 1st and 4th regiments of Lincoln militia, with their right on the gate of Fort George, and their left extending along the road towards Queenstown, the ranks being about forty paces distant from each other: within this line was formed, a guard of honor of the 76th regiment, in parade order, having its left on the fort. As the hearse moved slowly from the fort, to the sound of solemn music, a detachment of royal artillery began to fire the salute of nineteen guns, and the guard of honor presented arms.

"On moving forwards in ordinary time, the guard of honor broke into a column of eight divisions, with the right in front, and the procession took the following order:

A Staff Officer.
Subdivision of Grenadiers.
Band of Music.
Right Wing of 76th Regiment.
Aide-de-Camp to the late Major General Sir ISAAC BROCK.
Chief Mourners.
Relatives of the late Colonel M'DONELL.
Commissioners for the Monument.
Heads of Public Departments of the Civil Government.
Members of the Executive Council.
His Excellency and Suite.
Left Wing of the 76th Regiment.
Indian Chiefs of the Five Nations.
Officers of Militia not on duty—junior ranks—First forward,
Four deep.
Magistrates and Civilians,
With a long Cavalcade of Horsemen, and Carriages of every

"As the procession passed along the lane of militia, the latter wheeled inwards by subdivisions in succession, as soon as its own front was clear, and followed the procession. At a certain distance from Fort George the quick march was taken up, and arms were sloped; the members of the procession then took their carriages, preserving as nearly as possible the order abovementioned, and the whole proceeded on the road to Queenstown. The 2d and 3d regiments of Lincoln militia, in like manner, formed a lane, its left resting on the heights, near the entrance to the monument, and extending along the road towards the village of Queenstown. On reaching the commencement of this lane, the procession resumed its formation, all horses, carriages, &c., keeping in the rear; and when the head of the column approached the monument, it inclined to the right, to allow the body to proceed direct to the entrance. The guard of honor then halted and formed in parade order; the 2d and 3d Lincoln regiments following the procession in like manner as the 1st and 4th.

"The time occupied in moving from the fort to Queenstown, a distance of nearly seven miles, was about three hours, including stoppages. Being arrived opposite the spot where the lamented hero received his mortal wound, the whole procession halted, and remained for a few minutes in solemn pause. It then ascended the heights, and to the spectator who had his station on the summit near the monument, nothing could be finer than the effect of the lengthened column winding slowly up the steep ascent in regular order, surrounded by scenery no where surpassed for romantic beauty. On the bodies being removed from the hearse and deposited in the vault, the guard of honor presented arms, whilst the artillery, (which had been taken from the enemy during the last war,) posted on the heights, fired a salute of nineteen guns. The troops then marched in ordinary time round the monument, and immediately separated to their respective parades.

"All those who were inclined to visit the interior of the vault were then permitted to enter in small parties. The remains of the brave M'Donell lie to the left of those of the general. On the general's coffin, which is otherwise quite plain and covered with black cloth, are two oval plates of silver, each six inches by four, one above the other. On the first is the following inscription:

"Here lie the earthly remains of a brave
and virtuous hero,
Commander of the British Forces,
and President administering
the Government of Upper Canada,
who fell, when gloriously engaging the enemies
of his country,
at the head of the Flank Companies
of the 49th Regiment,
in the town of Queenstown,
on the morning of the 13th of October, 1812,
Aged 42 years."


And on the second plate the following additional inscription is engraved:

The remains of the late
removed from Fort George to this vault,
on the 13th of October, 1824.

Upon a similar plate, on the lid of the aide-de-camp's coffin, was engraved:

The remains of
Provincial Aide-de-Camp to the late
who died on the 14th of October, 1812,
of wounds received in action the day before,
Aged 25 years.

"Several printed papers, having the following extract from the government dispatches of the day, were handed about:

[See dispatch from Earl Bathurst to Sir George Prevost, page 328.—ED.] "Besides which, on large placards, to the number of several hundreds, copies of the inscription to be placed on the tablet, over the entrance of the monument, were distributed amongst the assembled multitudes, and which is as follows:

"The Legislature of Upper Canada has dedicated this Monument to the very eminent civil and military services of the late Sir Isaac Brock, Knight of the Most Hon. Order of the Bath, Provisional Lieutenant-Governor, and Major-General commanding the Forces in this Province, whose remains are deposited in the vault beneath. Having expelled the North Western Army of the United States, achieved its capture, received the surrender of Fort Detroit, and the territory of Michigan, under circumstances which have rendered his name illustrious, he returned to the protection of this frontier; and advancing with his small force to repel a second invasion of the enemy, then in possession of these heights, he fell in action, on the 13th of October, 1812, in the forty-third year of his age, honoured and beloved by the people whom he governed, and deplored by his Sovereign, to whose service his life had been devoted."


"By the best computation we could make, and avoiding all exaggeration, at the time the procession reached the monument there could not be less than five thousand persons present, many of whom were from the United States. General Brock, indeed, was a man no less esteemed by the enemy than he was admired and almost adored by his friends and soldiery; and we heard several Americans say, who had served against him and saw him fall, that they lamented his death as much as they would have done that of any of their own generals, on account of his humanity, and the great attention he had uniformly shewn to his prisoners.

"His excellency the lieutenant-governor (Major-General Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B.) was in full dress, and, we are happy to say, appeared in good health after his late fatiguing journey of inspection to the Lower Province. The two M'Donells and Captain Dickinson, of the 2d Glengary regiment, relatives of the deceased Lieut. Colonel M'Donell, in the highland costume, appeared in the procession to great advantage, and seemed to excite much attention.

"But, amongst the assembled warriors and civilians, none excited a more lively interest than the chiefs of the Indian nations from the Grand River, whose warlike appearance, intrepid aspect, picturesque dress and ornaments, and majestic demeanour, accorded well with the solemn pomp and general character of a military procession—amongst these, young Brant, Bears Foot, and Henry, were distinguished. In our mind we never saw a dress more elegant of its kind, and fit for active service in the woods, than that worn by young Brant, who, with his tomahawk in hand, was a perfect resemblance of all that could be imagined of the accomplished Indian warrior.

"Amongst the numerous gentlemen in the procession, we observed that old veteran, Lieutenant M'Dougall, of his majesty's 8th (the king's) regiment, who, like a brave and loyal man, came from Sandwich to attend the re-interment."—Upper Canada Gazette, October, 1824.

No. 11.—Page 410.

"Queenstown, at which place the steam boats start for Toronto, is situated in a delicious valley, through which the Niagara river, in colour a deep green, pursues its course. It is approached by a road that takes its winding way among the heights by which the town is sheltered, and, seen from this point, is extremely beautiful and picturesque. On the most conspicuous of these heights stood a monument, erected by the provincial legislature in memory of General Brock, who was slain in a battle with the American forces, after having won the victory. Some vagabond, supposed to be a fellow of the name of Lett, who is now, or who lately was, in prison as a felon, blew up this monument two years ago; and it is now a melancholy ruin, with a long fragment of iron railing banging dejectedly from its top, and waving to and fro like a wild ivy branch or broken vine stem. It is of much higher importance than it may seem that this statue should be repaired at the public cost, as it ought to have been long ago; firstly, because it is beneath the dignity of England to allow a memorial, raised in honor of one of her defenders, to remain in this condition, on the very spot where he died; secondly, because the sight of it in its present state, and the recollection of the unpunished outrage which brought it to this pass, are not very likely to soothe down border feelings among English subjects here, or compose their border quarrels and dislikes."—Dickens' American Notes, vol. ii. pp. 187, 188.


No. 1.—Page 233.

Extract from Jefferson's Correspondence.—Monticello, October 1, 1812.

"I fear that Hull's surrender has been more than the mere loss of a year to us. Besides bringing on us the whole mass of savage nations, whom fear, and not affection, had kept in quiet, there is danger, that in giving time to an enemy who can send reinforcements of regulars faster than we can raise them, they may strengthen Canada and Halifax beyond the assailment of our lax and divided powers. Perhaps, however, the patriotic efforts from Kentucky and Ohio, by recalling the British force to its upper posts, may yet give time to Dearborn to strike a blow below. Effectual possession of the river from Montreal to the Chaudière, which is practicable would give us the upper country at our leisure, and close for ever the scenes of the tomahawk and scalping knife."

No. 2.—Page 240.

Revolutionary Services of General Hull, as taken from his Defence before the Court Martial, in March, 1814.

"For more than half a century I supported a character without reproach. My youth was devoted to the service of my country; I fought her battles in that war which achieved her liberty and independence, and which was ended before many of you, gentlemen, who are my judges, were born. If upon any occasion a man may speak of his own merits, it is at such a time as this; and I hope I may be permitted to present to you, in very few words, a narration of my life, while I was engaged in scenes which were calculated to prove a man's firmness and courage. I shall do it with less reluctance, because the testimony I have offered of the venerable men who served with me in the revolutionary war, will vouch for all I have to say. In the year 1775, at the age of about twenty-one years, I was appointed a captain in one of the Connecticut regiments; during that campaign, and until March, 1776, when the enemy evacuated Boston, I served with the army at Cambridge and Roxbury, and in the immediate command of General Washington. I was with that part of the army, in March, 1776, which took possession of Dorchester heights—the movement which compelled the enemy to evacuate Boston. The next day, the regiment to which I belonged marched for New York. I was on Long Island when the enemy landed, and remained until the night the whole army retreated. I was in several small skirmishes, both on Long Island and York Island, before the army retired to the White Plains. I then belonged to Colonel Charles Webb's regiment, of Connecticut.

"This regiment was in the severest part of the action on Chatterdon's Hill, a little advanced of the White Plains, a few days after the main body of the army abandoned New York. This battle is memorable in the history of our country; and the regiment to which I belonged received the particular thanks of General Washington, in his public orders, for its bravery and good conduct on the occasion. It was particularly distinguished from all the other troops engaged in the action. I received a slight wound by a musket ball in my side, but it did not prevent me from remaining at the head of my company.

"I was in the battle of Trenton, when the Hessians were taken, in December, 1776; and, being one of the youngest captains in the army, was promoted by General Washington the day after the battle, to a majority, for my conduct on that occasion. The 1st of January, 1777, I was in the battle of Princeton. In the campaign of the same year, the regiment to which I belonged served in the northern army. I was early in the spring ordered to Ticonderoga, and commanded the regiment (being the senior officer present) under General St. Clair, and I was with that officer in his retreat from that post.

"After General St. Clair's army formed a junction with General Schuyler's army on the North River, at Fort Edward, the regiment to which I belonged was detached, and marched to Fort Schuyler, and relieved that post, which was besieged by General St. Leger.

"On the retreat of General Schuyler's army from Fort Edward, I commanded the rear guard of the army; and, being two miles in the rear, was attacked by a large body of British troops and Indians at daylight in the morning, in which action were killed and wounded between thirty and forty of my guard. And I received the particular thanks of General Schuyler for my conduct on the occasion.

"I was in the two memorable battles, on the 19th of September and the 7th of October, on Bemis' heights, against General Burgoyne's army, previous to its surrender. In the action of the 19th of September, I commanded a detachment of three hundred men, who fought the principal part of the afternoon, and more than one half of them were killed or wounded.

"On the 7th of October, I likewise commanded a detachment from the brigade which assisted in attacking the enemy on the left of our position, defeated him, followed him to the right of his lines, stormed his entrenchments, and took and held possession of the right of his position, which compelled him to retreat to Saratoga, and there to capitulate.

"After the memorable event of the capitulation of General Burgoyne's army, the regiment to which I belonged was ordered to Pennsylvania, to join the army under the command of General Washington. I remained with the army the winter of 1777, at Valley Forge; and in the spring of 1778, when the British army evacuated Philadelphia, I was in the battle of Monmouth.

"From December, 1778, to May, 1779, I commanded the American posts in advance of the White Plains, near Kingsbridge, during which time I had various skirmishes with the enemy. In May, 1779, the principal part of the British army advanced up the North River to Verplank's and Stoney Point, and I was ordered to retreat before them to West Point.

"I then joined the light infantry, under the command of General Wayne, and was in the memorable attack on Stoney Point, with a separate command of four hundred light infantry.

"For my conduct on this occasion I received the particular thanks of General Wayne, General Washington, and congress.

"In the summer and autumn of 1780, I commanded the advanced posts of the army; and in December of that year, I commanded an expedition against the enemy, stationed at Morrissina, which was successful, and for which I received the thanks of General Washington, in his general orders to the army, and likewise the thanks of congress. General Washington, in his orders, I well remember, made use of these words: 'He thanked me for my judicious arrangements in the plan of operations, and for my intrepidity and valour in the execution.'

"From the conclusion of the revolutionary war I have lived with the respect of my countrymen, and have enjoyed repeated marks of their confidence in the offices which have been bestowed upon me. When I found that the independence, for which I had so often fought, was assailed,—that again my country must appeal to arms to avenge her wrongs, and to protect her rights,—I felt that I might yet do her some service. For though many years had passed since I had fought under her standard, and though my own arm might not have had its wonted strength, yet my spirit was unbroken, and my devotion to her unimpaired. I thought in the field, where there could be but few who had any military experience, what I had learned in the most active scenes of a seven years' war, might be useful. I fondly hoped that in my age, as well as in my youth, I might render services that should deserve the gratitude of my country—that if I fell by the sword of her enemies, my grave would be moistened with the tears of my countrymen; that my descendants would be proud of my name and fame. But how vain is anticipation! I am now accused of crimes which would blast my former honors, and transmit my memory with infamy to posterity. And in that hideous catalogue, there is none from the imputation of which my nature and my feelings have more recoiled than from that of cowardice, to which I am to answer."

"The appearance of General Hull was venerable and prepossessing. Beneath snowy locks, of nearly sixty winters' bleaching, he exhibited a countenance as fresh and blooming as a youth of eighteen. His eloquence was perspicuous and graceful."—American History.

No. 3.—Page 322.

Letter from Captain Wool to Colonel Van Rensselaer.

"BUFFALOE, October 23, 1812.

"I have the honor to communicate to you the circumstances attending the storming of Queenstown battery, on the 13th instant; with those which happened previously you are already well acquainted.

"In pursuance of your order, we proceeded round the point and ascended the rocks, which brought us partly in rear of the battery. We took it without much resistance. I immediately formed the troops in rear of the battery, and fronting the village, when I observed General Brock with his troops formed, consisting of four companies of the 49th regiment, and a few militia, marching for our left flank. I immediately detached a party of one hundred and fifty men, to take possession of the heights above Queenstown battery, and to hold General Brock in check; but in consequence of his superior force they retreated. I sent a reinforcement; notwithstanding which, the enemy drove us to the edge of the bank: when, with the greatest exertions, we brought the troops to a stand, and ordered the officers to bring their men to a charge as soon as the ammunition was expended, which was executed with some confusion, and in a few moments the enemy retreated. We pursued them to the edge of the heights, when Colonel M'Donell had his horse shot from under him, and himself was mortally wounded. In the interim, General Brock, in attempting to rally his forces, was killed, when the enemy dispersed in every direction. As soon as it was practicable, I formed the troops in a line on the heights fronting the village, and immediately detached flanking parties, which consisted of Captain Machesney, of the 6th regiment, Lieutenant Smith and Ensign Grosvenor, with a small detachment of riflemen, who had that moment arrived; at the same time, I ordered Lieutenant Ganesvoort and Lieutenant Randolph, with a detachment of artillery, to drill out an 18-pounder which had been previously spiked, and, if possible, to bring it to bear upon the village. The wounded and prisoners I ordered to be collected, and sent to the guard-house. About this time, which was about three or four o'clock in the afternoon, Lieut.-Colonel Christie arrived, and took the command. He ordered me across the river to get my wounds dressed. I remained a short time. Our flanking parties had been driven in by the Indians; but General Wadsworth and other officers arriving, we had a short skirmish with them, and they retreated, and I crossed the river."

[NOTE.—Captain Wool, in stating that he was opposed to four companies of the 49th, only doubled the number of companies; but this exaggeration is a trifle compared with the following gross and hudibrastic mis-statements, relative to the battle of Queenstown in "Ramsay's History of the United States," viz: "The 49th British regiment, signalized in Egypt under Colonel, since Lieut.-General, Brock, and usually called the 'Egyptian Invincibles,' was among the prominent corps, and was led by its favorite commander. In the second engagement, this regiment of British regulars, 600 strong, encountered a body of 320 American regulars, supported by a few militia and volunteers, the whole under Colonel Chrystie. They mutually resorted to the bayonet, and after a bloody conflict, the famous invincibles yielded to the superior energy of their antagonists, although the latter were so far inferior in numbers. They were rallied by Lieut.-General Brock, who was killed in conducting them a second time to the charge. The American prisoners were kindly treated by this brave regiment, who, after the battle was over, acknowledged they had never opposed more gallant adversaries."—The 49th, not having been with the British army in Egypt, could not be called the "Egyptian Invincibles;" and instead of this regiment, 600 strong, being led by Major (not Lieutenant) General Brock, only the flank companies were present, with a small body of militia, together about 300 men. In fact, four companies of the 49th were at Kingston, 160 miles distant, and the remaining four battalion companies were, we believe, at Fort Erie, 27 or 28 miles from Queenstown; and therefore, the assertion that the "famous invincibles" yielded to far Inferior numbers, is something worse than ridiculous. Such, however, is the correctness of this American historian on the subject, and with such materials is history too often compiled.—ED.]


"Captain Wool discovered the British troops forming at Queenstown, and formed the troops under his command in line. General Brock was at the head of the British troops, and led them round about to the heights in the rear of the battery. Captain Wool detached 160 men to meet the British; this detachment was driven back, reinforced, and the whole driven to the brink of the precipice, forming the bank of the Niagara river, above Queenstown.

"At this moment some of the officers put a white handkerchief on a bayonet to hoist as a flag, with intention to surrender. Captain Wool inquired the object. It was answered that the party were nearly without ammunition, and that it was useless to sacrifice the lives of brave men. Captain Wool tore off the flag, ordered the officers to rally the men, and bring them to the charge. The order was executed, but in some confusion. The boasted 49th could not stand the American bayonet. The British troops were routed, and Major-General Brock, in gallantly exerting himself to rally them, was killed. His aid, Colonel M'Donell, fell mortally wounded at the same time.

"The British being completely driven from the heights about ten o'clock, the line was reformed and flanking parties sent out."—Niles' Weekly Register, 1812.

Extracts from Niles' Weekly Register, Baltimore, 1812.

"Extract of a letter from a gentleman at Detroit to his friend in Pittsburg, dated July 7, 1812.—'General Hull is making preparations to cross the river this evening or to-morrow, and it is expected that an immediate attack is contemplated on Maiden (Amherstburg). The army are all in health and good spirits, and wait with anxiety to be put on the other shore: they are certainly as fine looking men as I ever saw.'

"We have several reports of the capture of Fort Malden. General Hull has sent expresses to the governors of Ohio and Kentucky for further supplies of troops, supposed for the purpose of maintaining the ground he may take, and to keep the allies in check. We trust he may religiously adhere to his proclamation, whatever General Brock may say, and give no quarters to the white savages when found fighting by the side of the Indians, for whose extensive murders the British should be made responsible."


[156] "The 'Letters of Veritas' were originally printed in a weekly paper published at Montreal, in Lower Canada, and subsequently collected into the little volume before us. Within a small compass, these unpretending Letters contain a greater body of useful information upon the campaigns in the Canadas than is any where else to be found. They are, we believe, the production of a gentleman in Montreal, of known respectability. Though not a military man, he enjoyed the best opportunities for acquaintance with the circumstances of the war; and as these letters, which excited great attention in the Canadas, appeared in successive papers while Montreal was filled with almost all the officers of rank who had served in the country, it may reasonably be presumed that his errors, had he committed any, would not have escaped without censure. Yet no reply was ever attempted to his statements, no doubt ever expressed in the provinces, of the correctness of his assertions."—Quarterly Review, July, 1822.

[157] Wampum is the current money among the Indians. It is of two sorts, white and purple: the white is worked out of the insides of the great Congues into the form of a bead, and perforated so as to be strung on leather; the purple is worked out of the inside of the muscle shell. They are wove as broad as one's hand, and about two feet long; these they call belts, and give and receive them at their treaties, as the seals of friendship. For lesser motives, a single string is given; every bead is of a known value; and a belt of a less number is made to equal one of a greater, by so many as is wanted being fastened to the belt by a string.—Buchanan's North American Indians.

[158] It is impossible here to forget (however different were the circumstances and character of the two warriors) that fine passage by the splendid historian of Rome, wherein he immortalizes the death and funeral of the ferocious Attila, in language at once musical and sublime, and which is probably without an equal in the whole range of English literature: "His body was solemnly exposed in the midst of the plain, under a silken pavilion; and the chosen squadrons of the Huns, wheeling round in measured evolutions, chaunted a funeral song to the memory of a hero, glorious in his life, invincible in his death, the father of his people, the scourge of his enemies, and the terror of the world."

[159] The monument itself is not yet finished; we shall therefore defer our description of the edifice until it is completed.

[160] It is remarkable that, on inspecting the remains, the body of Colonel M'Donell was found to be almost entirely decomposed,—whilst that of the general was still firm and nearly entire; some of the flesh and lineaments of his martial countenance being yet visible.




This able magistrate, the third son of John Brock, Esq., was born in Guernsey on the 10th December, 1762, and closed a long and useful career on Saturday evening, the 24th September, 1842, at the age of 79 years and nearly 10 months. After receiving such rudiments of education as the island could furnish in those days, he was placed at Alderney, to learn the French language, under M. Vallatt, a Swiss protestant clergyman, and a man of talent, who was afterwards rector of St. Peter-in-the-Wood, in Guernsey. From Alderney he was sent to a school at Richmond, in Surrey, where he remained only two years, as at the early age of fourteen he went to Dinan with his father, who died there. The early death of his parent was an irreparable loss to the son, as it was the cause of his not returning to school, where he had already shown that he possessed a vigour of intellect much beyond his years. His two elder brothers were in the army, and the pardonable fondness of his mother induced her to retain at home the only one of her sons, who could in some measure replace the counsels of her husband.

In 1785, he went by sea to the Mediterranean, and spent upwards of a year in visiting Spain, Malta, Sicily, Italy, Switzerland, and France. In 1798, he was elected jurat of the Royal Court; and the greater part, if not the whole, of the public documents of that body, were from that period written by him. In 1821, he obtained the high and responsible appointment of bailiff, or chief magistrate of Guernsey.

"It has been truly said that the history of Guernsey, for the last fifty years, was, in fact, the history of Daniel De Lisle Brock. So exclusively has the better part of Mr. Brock's life been devoted to the service of his country—so completely have his affections been wrapped up in her welfare—so ardently, so zealously, and so unceasingly has he laboured to promote her prosperity and to protect her privileges—and so intimately has he been connected with all the important occurrences of the period alluded to—that in reading the history of the island, we read the history of this the most able and devoted of its friends."

Between the years 1804 and 1810, Mr. Brock was deputed by the States and Royal Court of Guernsey no less than four times, as their representative to government, in matters connected with the trade and privileges of the island; and he also went once to Jersey, to confer with the Royal Court there on the same subject. In these missions, Mr. Brock distinguished himself by his luminous and argumentative papers,[161] and the authority of the Royal Court was happily preserved intact by his representations and unremitting exertions.

"In 1821, an act of parliament having been passed prohibiting the importation of foreign corn into the Channel Islands, whenever its entry for consumption was prohibited in England, to wit, until it reached the price of 80s. per quarter, Mr. Brock was again deputed to London to contend against a measure fraught with such fatal consequences to the islands, and at the same time to obtain some modifications in the navigation laws. Mr. Brock, who was essentially assisted in this business by Mr. James Carey, jurat, succeeded in both these objects. The obnoxious corn law was repealed so far as the Channel Islands were concerned, and some important privileges conceded to their trade and navigation, especially in granting them free intercourse with the British colonies, and the American continent and islands. So highly were these last services appreciated, that when Mr. Brock returned to Guernsey, on the 24th July, 1822, he was received with unexampled enthusiasm. On landing in the morning, he was saluted with deafening cries of "Brock for ever!" "Long may he live!" &c. The public joy was manifested on this occasion in many different ways. The shipping in the harbour hoisted their flags; crowns and garlands of flowers, flags, loaves of bread, with ears of corn, were tastefully arranged, and suspended in almost every street; mottos and devices, expressive of unbounded gratitude, were exhibited in every direction, and in the greatest variety; and the church bells throughout the island rang merry peals during the day. Bands of music paraded the town, followed by crowds, on whose happy countenances "Mirth, admit me of thy crew," was expressed. The musicians wore various coloured bands round their hats, with the motto of "Long live Bailiff Brock!" They surrounded a banner crowned with flowers, bearing the following inscription:

"The grateful inhabitants of Guernsey, to the worthy Bailiff,
Happy is he who labours to promote the happiness of his fellow
He will secure their eternal gratitude. They will unceasingly
exclaim: 'May God preserve oar friend, our benefactor, and our

"This inscription having been borne in triumph in every part of the town, was presented to the object of well-merited praise, and accepted. Preparations had been made by the militia bands to receive this distinguished patriot at the landing place; but their good intentions were thwarted, in consequence of the early hour at which the arrival took place. At a public meeting of the inhabitants, it was determined to present a piece of plate to Mr. Brock, as a testimony of the value attached to his public services, and in the hope that this faint evidence of their attachment might serve to stimulate others to follow his steps, and might descend as a memorial to his posterity. Upwards of £300 were quickly raised for this purpose, and other less valuable, but not less gratifying, testimonials were presented to him. Nor was Jersey less grateful, as a public meeting was held in the town of St. Helier, when the thanks of the island and a handsome piece of plate were unanimously voted to him."

In 1826, General Sir John Doyle, Bart, and G.C.B., for many years lieutenant-governor of Guernsey, visited the island, and at a public dinner, given to him on the 29th August, at the Assembly Rooms, he rose and spoke as follows:

Gentlemen,—Having received permission from the chair, I rise to propose a toast which would be well received in any society where the enlightened individual is known. But here I anticipate it will be met by acclamation and enthusiasm. I do not propose his health, merely because he is my friend, although I feel truly honored by his friendship; and the more so, as I know that it originated and was cemented by his conviction of my honest zeal for the public good, and the deep interest I took in the welfare of his native land. But I give him as a public man, who, to a sound, vigorous, and cultivated understanding, joins a liberal and enlightened mind—an innate love of justice, and hatred of oppression—an inflexible adherence to that which appears to him to be right—a man too wise to be cunning. Armed with the 'mens conscia recti,' he marches straightforward to his object, nor turns into the devious path of crooked policy, and left-handed wisdom. To these qualities are added indefatigable industry, and a patience not to be exhausted. This is the man, who, as a public magistrate in high station, I offer for your acceptance. Of his private worth, I dare not say all that I feel. He is present. You know him, and can duly appreciate his value. You will have anticipated that I mean the bailiff of Guernsey. I now propose to you 'The health of the bailiff, and unalloyed happiness to the island of Guernsey.'"

"In 1832, one of the most ancient and vital privileges of Guernsey—the right of the inhabitants to be tried in their own local court—was placed in peril, it being assailed by no less a character than Lord Chief Justice Tenderden, who sought to extend the power of the writ of habeas corpus to this island. The history of this event would occupy much more space than we can now devote to it. Suffice it here to say, that after much correspondence on the subject, Mr. Brock and Mr. Charles De Jersey, the king's procureur, were deputed to London, to act in conjunction with the bailiff and procureur of Jersey in opposing the measure. The mission was successful, and the independence of the insular jurisdictions was maintained.

"The last occasion on which Mr. Brock went to England in the service of his native island, was in the year 1835, when the channel islands were menaced with being deprived of the privilege of sending their corn into England, duty free. An idea had obtained ground that this privilege was abused; and, in consequence, a bill was brought into parliament to deprive the islands of this important branch of their trade. Deputies were therefore appointed by the islands to proceed to London, for the purpose of advocating their rights, and Mr. Brock was again fixed on as the representative of Guernsey. Owing to the remonstrances of this deputation, a select committee of the House of Commons was appointed to inquire into the matter, and the result was that the bill was withdrawn. So highly were Mr. Brock's services on this occasion valued by both islands, that the States of Jersey voted him a piece of plate of the value of £100, whilst the States of Guernsey voted that portrait which now adorns the interior of the court-house, and which will afford to succeeding generations the means of contemplating the intellectual countenance and venerable form of one whom they will ever remember as the firmest friend, and ablest administrator of his country.

"From the period here alluded to, until within a few days of his death, Mr. Brock was unremittingly engaged in labouring for the public good. The records of the island will show how indefatigably be devoted himself to its service; and it may be truly said of him, that to his latest moment the desire to secure its welfare was the reigning impulse of his heart."

Mr. Brock left one son, Eugene, a captain in the 20th regiment, since deceased, unmarried; and one daughter, now also unmarried. In countenance and robustness of frame, although not so tall, as well as in vigour of intellect and decision of character, the bailiff strongly resembled his brother, Sir Isaac Brock; and when a friend of the latter, Sir James Kempt, visited Guernsey, in his official capacity as master-general of the ordnance, he was struck with the personal resemblance, notwithstanding that Mr. Brock was then in his 71st year.

The Royal Court, having met on the 26th September, to appoint a judge delegate to replace pro tempore the late bailiff, unanimously requested the family of the deceased to allow him to be buried at the expense of the States of Guernsey, and the funeral was in consequence a public one. "For though Mr. Brock had enriched his country with numerous and inappreciable benefits—though he bequeathed to it an inestimable heritage in his deeds and in his example—he died in honorable and ennobling poverty, resulting from his disinterestedness, his integrity, and his patriotism.[162] The public, we say, were pleased, were gratified, were proud in seeing that their representatives and rulers so promptly and so handsomely anticipated and fulfilled their wishes, and they looked forward to the moment of paying to their departed benefactor the last mournful honors with feelings in which complacency was not unmingled with their grief.

"Some hours before the time appointed for the ceremony, the inhabitants of the country parishes, mostly clothed in respectable mourning, were seen thronging into town; and by eleven o'clock a considerable crowd was collected in the front of Mr. Savery Brock's house, from whence the procession was to issue. Punctually at the time appointed, (twelve o'clock,) the authorities and other gentlemen invited to take part in the ceremony, together with a large number of persons who attended spontaneously to pay the last mark of respect to the deceased, were assembled; and having been marshalled by the deputy sheriffs and the special constables, in the manner laid down in the programme, the mournful cortège, comprising nearly 500 persons, issued into the Grange Road in the following order of procession:

Four Assistant Constables,
(each with his Staff of office.)
Two Deputy Sheriffs.—Deputy Greffier.—Deputy Sergeant.
Deputy, Harbour Master.—Postmaster.—Surveyor of
Receiver of Impost.—Assistant Supervisor.—Harbour Master.
The Principal Officer and the Comptroller of
Her Majesty's Customs.
Deputy Judge Advocate.—Barrack Master.—Ordnance
Fort Major.—Government Secretary.
Officers of the five Regiments of Guernsey Militia.
Officers of the 48th Depot.
Officers of the Royal Artillery.—Colonel Moody.
Clerk of the Town Parish and Clerk of St. Martin's Parish.
Rev. W. Le Mottée.    Rev. Henry Benwell.
Rev. E. Guille.      Rev. George Guille.
Rev. F. Jeremie.    Rev. Peter Carey.
Rev. Daniel Dobrée.  Rev. W.L. Davies.
Rev. William Guille.  Rev. W.J. Chepmell.
Rev. Thomas Brock.    The Very Rev. the Dean.

Frederick Mansell, Jurat.    Hilary O. Carré, Jurat.

John Hubert, Jurat.        John Le Messurier, Jurat.

James Carey, Jurat.        John Guille, Jurat.

Rev. R. Potenger.}  Mourners.  { F.B. Tupper.
John Carey, jun. }            { Henry Tupper.

Lieut.-General Sir James Douglas.—His Excellency Major-General
W.F.P. Napier, Lieut.-Governor.—Lieut.-General Ross.

Peter B. Dobrée.    }  Jurats.  { T.W. Gosselin.
Thomas Le Retilley. }        { H. Dobrée, jun.

The Queen's Procureur.—The Queen's Comptroller.—Her Majesty's
The Advocates of the Royal Court.
The late Bailiff's Medical Attendants.
The Douzeniers of each parish, headed by their respective
Constables, four abreast.
Relatives, with Hat Bands, four abreast.
The Order of Rechabites in full procession.
A Deputation of the Total Abstinence Society,
headed by Mr. Edmund Richards.

"The procession proceeded in solemn order down the Grange Road, until it reached the College, when it turned to the left, and passed on to the eastern entrance of the new burying ground, and from thence proceeded to the grave, near the opposite extremity of the cemetery, which was destined to be the final resting place of the aged patriot. The persons who composed the cortège having been formed in order round the grave, the sublime and solemn ritual of the Church of England was read in a feeling and impressive manner by the Very Reverend the Dean, the coffin being at the proper period of the service committed to the bosom of the earth in profound and solemn silence. When the service was concluded, a great many persons approached the border of the grave to take a farewell look at the narrow tenement which now contained the remains of a man who, but a few short hours back, had occupied so prominent a position in his native land. Many a sigh was breathed, many a tear was shed upon that grave; and many and various were the expressions of affection and regret which there found utterance, and which seemed to say

'We ne'er shall look upon his like again.'

"On no similar occasion had there ever been collected so large a concourse of persons in this island. Some pains were taken to ascertain the number of those who entered the burial ground, and it is believed that they considerably exceeded 4,000. An equal, or perhaps a larger number, were dispersed, as spectators, in the Grange Road and adjacent parts. Every house that commanded a glimpse of the procession, or the interment, was crowded. The windows, even, to the attics, were peopled; whilst walls, gardens, and every spot from which any thing could be seen, were in like manner occupied. Notwithstanding the extraordinary number of persons collected, a very creditable degree of order and decorum was maintained throughout the whole of the proceedings."[163]

The union jack was hoisted half mast at Fort George and Castle Cornet from the day succeeding the bailiff's death to that of his funeral, on which days also the bells of the parish church of St. Peter-Port were tolled, and the flags of the vessels in the two harbours and roadstead were hoisted half mast. On the day of the interment, the shops in St. Peter-Port were entirely closed until the mournful ceremony was completed.

The lieutenant-governor of the island, Major-General Napier, the celebrated historian of the Peninsular war, evinced, in a manner as creditable to his feelings as it was gratifying to those of the family, an anxious desire to pay every respect to the memory of the deceased, his excellency, with the officers of his staff, and Lieut.-General Ross, and Lieut.-General Sir James Douglas, ex-lieutenant-governors, attending the funeral in full uniform, as did all the officers of the garrison, and the officers of the five regiments of militia. All the civil and military authorities, as well as the whole of the clergy of the island, were present.

The following remarks are extracted from a long and ably written article of nearly two columns, in the Guernsey Star of Monday, September 26, 1842, in which the last moments and character of Mr. Brock were feelingly portrayed by the editor, an English gentleman:

"Mr. Brock's career, his talents, his services, and his amiable qualities, are so familiar to every native and inhabitant of Guernsey—they have, as it were, become so much the common property of the community—they have been so much the objects of their study—so constantly the theme of their praise and admiration—that it may seem almost a work of supererogation in us to make any observation on them on the present melancholy occasion. We cannot, however, allow the grave to close upon him without strewing it with some of those offerings of respect and praise which spontaneously spring to our hand as we pen the notice of his death. We feel that we enjoy considerable latitude on this occasion, because, from having been for years the political antagonists of Mr. Brock, and having braved his hostility when living, our tribute to his memory cannot be looked on as other than the genuine offspring of our feeling and our judgment.

"Mr. Brock was not an ordinary man. He was constituted of materials which would have led their owner to distinction in whatever sphere he might have been placed. Indebted but little to early education, he possessed within himself a faculty of extracting knowledge from every thing that came within his observation; and, gifted with a powerful memory, a reflecting mind, and the art of methodizing and arranging the ideas and information which he acquired, he was enabled at all times to bring a mass of well digested and pertinent knowledge to bear upon and illustrate any subject which he was required to discuss. He had a singular talent for comprehending principles and for seizing information, and arranging and applying it; so that there were few subjects upon which he entered on which he could not lay down sound principles, and illustrate and maintain them by sound arguments. Too confident of his strength, and perhaps over-elated with his many victories, he would sometimes venture on untenable ground, and expose himself to the inroads of an able enemy; but these indiscretions were of rare occurrence, and the memory of his temporary checks was generally cancelled by the skilfulness of his retreats.

"If Mr. Brock was thus distinguished for his mental powers, he was no less so by the strength and felicity of his style of writing. He had the rare talent of putting proper words in their proper places. He wrote English with English plainness and English force. There was nothing affected or modish in his manner. He gave his readers an impression that he was clear in the conception of his own meaning, and he made it equally so to them. He aimed at no ornament: the beauty of his writings consisted in their perspicuity and strength. A verbal critic might discover inaccuracies in his compositions, but the man of sense would find in them nothing unmeaning—- nothing useless—nothing vapid. He was not a turner of fine periods—he was not a fine writer—but he wrote with strength, precision, and lucidity; and his compositions, even where they failed to produce conviction, could never be read without creating respect for the masculine talents of their author......

"But the main ground on which the memory of Daniel De Lisle Brock must rest its claims on the affection, the respect, and the gratitude of his fellow countrymen, is the devoted—the engrossing love which, during his whole life, he bore to his native land. Every thought, every wish, every feeling of pride or ambition, centered in his beloved Guernsey. She was the idol of his affections—the object of all his solicitude—the glory of his inmost heart. His endeavours for her welfare may occasionally have been misdirected—his objections to change in her institutions may have been ill-founded—but his motives have ever been beyond the reach of suspicion or reproach. They were concentrated in the desire for her good. Her people, her soil, her laws, her customs, nay, even her prejudices, were dear to him—they were his household gods. He worshipped them, he lived for them, and he would have died for them......

"The private character of Mr. Brock presents an embellishing and graceful adjunct to his public qualities. Bold even to temerity in his acts; firm even to obstinacy in his opinions; entertaining an exalted estimate of the office that he filled, and of the interests that he embodied or represented in his person, he was, at the same time, simple, courteous, and benevolent in his private manner, to a degree that was as honorable to himself, as it was gratifying to those who came in contact with him. Mr. Brock on the bench, and Mr. Brock in private, were distinct characters. In the former position, conscious, probably, of his talents and his authority, he was firm, and sometimes, though rarely, in appearance even imperious; in the latter, resigning himself to the feelings of the gentleman, he was affable, kind, and even diffident. In his privacy he displayed all the attributes of a superior mind. He was entirely devoid of pride and ostentation: his mind was superior to the weakness they denote. He disdained the conventional habits of society, for nature had created him a gentleman, and he needed not the aid of art. He mingled not in that society where he might have received the homage to which his talents were entitled. He spent his time in study, or in working for the public welfare; his relaxations being in his fields and garden, or in the conversation of casual visitors who, uninvited, occasionally resorted to his unceremonious and hospitable roof. Ardent as he was in political discussions, prone as he was to enter into controversy, the feelings of animosity which he expressed died in their utterance. The adversary of to-day was the welcome guest of the morrow. The hand which had distilled the gall of disputation at one moment, was readily extended in kind fellowship the next. Mr. Brock was probably not exempt from failings, but he had certainly nothing of littleness about him. He respected an honorable and open adversary, more than a flattering and servile friend. His hostility was strong, but it was shortlived: his enmity was vigorous, but it had no memory. In other respects, too, he evinced a generous and benevolent heart. At all seasons and under all circumstances, his time and attention were willingly devoted to those who sought his assistance or advice. He was the friend and counsellor of all. Many is the angry feeling he has allayed—many the lawsuit he has prevented—many the family division he has closed. His kind offices were at the command of all. No labour was too great for him, when called on for his assistance; but if at any time he found himself obliged to reject a claim which was made on him, he so softened his refusal with courtesy and kindness, that the disappointed seldom left him without experiencing a sense of obligation.

"Possessing these characteristics, which are hastily sketched by the pen of a political opponent, Mr. Brock, it must be admitted, was a distinguished man. His sphere of action was limited, but within that sphere he acted an honorable, a useful, and a noble part. Had he been cast upon a wider stage, there can be little doubt that his talents and his resolution would have acquired for him a more extensive reputation; but, even as it is, his fate is enviable. He sought the welfare of his country, and desired its respect and gratitude as his reward. Both objects have been attained; and he now sleeps, at the close of a long and honorable life, regarded by all his country men as the most able, the most useful, the most disinterested, and the most patriotic of the rulers to which its destinies have ever been committed. No man has been more beloved and respected in his life, and none more regretted at his death. Peace to his manes!"


[161] There are some of the public papers written by Mr. Brock which may be profitably studied as models of this kind of composition.—Guernsey Star, September 26, 1842.

[162] Mr. Brock was no doubt ambitious, but his ambition was gratified in beholding the advancement of his country. Personal advantage—individual distinction—were things that never occurred to his imagination, or occurred only to be contemned. He might have had an augmentation of salary—he might have received the honor of knighthood—he might have had the sources of fortune opened to him—but these would have brought no advantages to Guernsey, and he rejected them.—Guernsey Star, September 26, 1842.

[163] The extracts in inverted commas are from the Guernsey Star of Thursday, 29th September, 1842.


The common ancestor of the Guernsey family of this name was John Tupper, who settled in the island about the year 1592. He was an English gentleman, of German, extraction, his forefather, it appears, having, about the year 1525, fled from Cassel during the religious persecution in the reign of Charles the Fifth. The elder son of this John Tupper married Elizabeth, daughter of Hilary Gosselin,[164] procureur du roi, or attorney-general—the younger removed to England.

In the memorable year of 1692, John Tupper, Esq., (the grandson of the said John Tupper and Elizabeth Gosselin,) at some expense and risk of capture, conveyed to Admiral Russell, who commanded the combined English and Dutch fleets lying at St. Helen's, the intelligence that the French fleet, under Admiral Tourville, was in the channel. This intelligence led to the battle of La Hogue; and as a reward for this patriotic service, Mr. Tupper was presented by his sovereigns, William and Mary, with a massive gold chain and medal, which are now in possession of his heir male; his descendants being permitted to bear them as an honorable augmentation to their arms and crest.

The elder son of John Tupper, who acquired the medal, by his wife, Elizabeth Dobrée, of Beauregard, had three sons, of whom the eldest died without issue; the second was Elisha, a much-respected jurat of the Royal Court, who died in 1802, leaving five surviving children;[165] and the youngest was John, who obtained, in 1747, a commission, by purchase, in General Churchill's regiment of marines, that corps being then differently constituted to what it is now. He served as a captain at the celebrated defeat of the French fleet in Quiberon bay, by Sir Edward Hawke, in 1759; as a major and commandant of a battalion at Bunker's Hill, in 1775,[166] where he was slightly wounded, and where the marines, having greatly distinguished themselves, won the laurel which now encircles their device; and as a lieutenant-colonel in Rodney's victory of the 12th of April, 1782, having been especially sent from England to command the marines in the fleet, about 4,000 men, in the event of their being landed on any of the enemy's West India islands. At his decease, in January, 1795, he was a major-general in the army, and commandant-in-chief of the marines. Had the honors of the Bath been extended in those days to three degrees of knighthood as they have been since, he would probably have been a knight commander of that order.

The fatality which has attended the descendants of the two brothers just named, will appear in the following brief summary:

1.—Lieutenant Carré Tupper, of his majesty's ship Victory, only son of Major-General Tupper, slain at the siege of Bastia, on the 24th of April, 1794.

2.—William De Vic Tupper, (son of E. Tupper, Esq.) mortally wounded in 1798, in a duel in Guernsey, with an officer in the army, and died the day following.

3.—John E. Tupper, aged twenty, perished at sea, in 1812, in the Mediterranean, the vessel in which he was a passenger, from Catalonia to Gibraltar, having never been heard of since.

4.—Charles James Tupper,[167] aged sixteen, captain's midshipman of his majesty's 18-gun brig Primrose, drowned on the 17th August, 1815, at Spithead, by the upsetting of the boat in which he was accompanying his commander, Captain Phillott, to the ship.

5.—Lieutenant E. William Tupper, of his majesty's ship Sybille, aged twenty-eight, mortally wounded in her boats, June 18, 1826, in action with a strong band of Greek pirates, near the island of Candia.

6.—Colonel William De Vic Tupper, Chilian service, aged twenty-nine, slain in action near Talca, in Chile, April 17, 1830. The four last sons of John E. Tupper, Esq., and Elizabeth Brock, his wife; and nephews of William De Vic Tupper, Esq., already named, and also of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K.B.; of Lieut.-Colonel John Brock, and of Lieutenant Ferdinand Brock, who all fell by the bullet.

7.—Colonel William Le Mesurier Tupper, of the British Auxiliary Legion in Spain, and a captain in the 23d, or Royal Welsh Fusiliers, mortally wounded near San Sebastian, May 5, 1836, aged thirty-two. Colonel Tupper was also nephew of W. De Vic Tupper, Esq., and first cousin of the four brothers last named.


This promising young officer, third son of John E. Tupper, Esq., by Elizabeth Brock, his wife, was educated at Harrow, and commenced his naval career in 1810, in the Victory, of 110 guns, under the care and patronage of the late Lord de Saumarez, with whom he continued some time in the Baltic. He served on the American coast during the latter part of the war, in the Asia, 74; and was present at the disastrous attack of New Orleans, in January, 1815, forming one of a party landed from the fleet, to co-operate with the army. On the night of the storm, this party, in conjunction with the 85th light infantry, under Colonel Thornton,[168] attacked some fortified works on the right bank of the Mississippi, and were completely successful; but the failure of the main assault rendered this success unavailing. In the same year he joined the flag ship of Sir Thomas Fremantle, who, having been an intimate friend of his late uncle, Sir Isaac Brock, kindly assured him of his influence and support; but peace taking place before he had attained the requisite age for promotion, all the bright prospects with which he entered the service were blighted. In November, 1817, on his return in the Active frigate, Captain Philip Carteret, from the Jamaica station, he passed at the naval college at Portsmouth, and was one of four midshipmen complimented as having undergone a superior examination. In 1823, he was appointed to the Revenge, Sir Harry Neale's flag ship, in the Mediterranean, and placed on the admiralty list for advancement. Early in 1826, he was at length promoted into the Seringapatam frigate; but Sir John Pechell, under whom he had previously served for a short time, prevailed upon the admiral to transfer him to his own ship, the Sybille, of 48 guns, "a crack frigate," in a high state of discipline, the crew of which was remarkable for its skill in gunnery.

The Sybille was at Alexandria, when intelligence arrived there of the plunder of a Maltese vessel, under atrocious circumstances, by a nest of Greek pirates, on the southern coast of Candia. Sir John Pechell set sail immediately in quest of these lawless and desperate men. On Sunday, the 18th of June, 1826, at daylight, two misticoes were observed under sail, near Cape Matala, standing towards the frigate; but on discovering their mistake, they made for the land, and were followed by the Sybille, into a narrow creek formed by a rocky islet and the mainland of Candia. On this islet were posted from 200 to 300 armed Greeks, chiefly the crews of three or four piratical misticoes at anchor in the creek; and in a desperate attempt to cut out these misticoes, with the boats, Midshipman J.M. Knox and twelve men were killed; and the first lieutenant, Gordon, dangerously; Lieutenant Tupper, mortally; Midshipmen William Edmonstone and Robert Lees, both very severely; and twenty-seven men were wounded, of whom five died in a few days. Two of the misticoes were afterwards sunk, and many of the pirates were killed and wounded by the frigate's guns.[169]

Lieutenant Tupper commanded the launch, and although severely wounded in three places, he stood up the whole time, and retained the command of her until he returned to the ship. The bullet, which proved fatal, entered his right breast, and was extracted from under the skin over the false ribs. He lingered until the 26th June, when he breathed his last, in a state of delirium, on board the Sybille, at Malta, where his remains were interred, and a monument was erected to his memory by his captain and messmates. In person he was rather above the middle height, with a pleasing and intelligent countenance; and when his brother Charles and he were midshipmen together in the Victory, in the Baltic, they were designated on board as the handsome brothers.[170]

The surgeon of the Sybille, in a letter to the family in Guernsey, wrote of Lieutenant Tupper:

"When I first saw him he was firm and cool. He asked me to give my opinion without reserve, and knowing him to be possessed of

great fortitude, I told him that the wound in the chest was of a most dangerous nature, but not necessarily fatal. He had by this time lost a great deal of blood, but the internal hemorrhage, though the most alarming, was slight. He remained so low for three days, that it was expected he would have sunk, though he still continued collected and firm. On the fourth day he rallied, his pulse became more distinct, and he evidently encouraged hopes. Need I say that I felt myself incapable of destroying them—indeed I was not altogether without hope myself. The principal danger was from hemorrhage upon the separation of the sloughs, and my fears were fatally verified, for on the 25th, at noon, it commenced and increased internally, until his lungs could no longer perform their functions, and he died at about three o'clock on the morning of the 26th. During the whole time he was resigned, evincing the greatest strength of mind. As it was with unfeigned sorrow that I saw a fine and gallant young man fall a victim to such a cause, so it was with admiration that I witnessed his heroic bearing when the excitement was past, and hope itself was almost fled. I have seen many support their firmness amidst danger and death, but it belongs to few to sustain it during protracted suffering, which is indeed a trial often too severe for the bravest, but through which your lamented brother came with a spirit and resignation which reflected lustre upon himself and family, and endeared him to all his shipmates."


[164] Eldest son of N. Gosselin, Esq., jurat, one of the clerks of the council to Queen Elizabeth, by his wife, a daughter of Lewis Lemprière, Esq., bailiff of Jersey—and grandson of Hilary Gosselin, bailiff of Guernsey in four reigns, Henry the Eighth to Elizabeth.

[165] Viz. two sons—Daniel, married Catherine, daughter of John Tupper, Esq., jurat; and John, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Brock, Esq.—and three daughters, Emilia, wife of Sir P. De Havilland, bailiff; Elizabeth, wife of W. Le Marchant, Esq.; and Margaret, wife of I. Carey, Esq.

[166] Major Tupper succeeded to the command of the marines, of whom there were two battalions at Bunker's Hill, after the fall of the gallant Major Pitcairn, and was honorably mentioned in the general orders of the day.

[167] The Primrose, while this young officer was serving in her, was actively employed during the war, and in one engagement had fifteen officers and men killed and wounded. In 1815, he accompanied Captain Phillott in the boat expedition up the river St. Mary, in the United States, in which that officer was wounded.

[168] The same officer whose letters have been given in this volume.

[169] See United Service Journal, March, 1841, pp. 332-3.

[170] By a singular coincidence, the two brothers commenced their career in the same ship, the Victory, to which their near relative, Lieutenant Carré Tupper, belonged when he was killed in the Mediterranean, in one of her boats, and all three lost their lives in boats!



... My beautiful, my brave!

Ah! who can tell how many a soul sublime
Has felt the influence of malignant star,
And waged with Fortune an unequal war!

This highly gifted young man was a brother of the subject of the preceding memoir, their father having had ten sons and three daughters. He received an excellent education in England, partly under a private tutor in Warwickshire; and on the restoration of the Bourbons, in 1814, he was sent to a college in Paris, in which he continued until the arrival of Napoleon from Elba, when he was gratified by a glimpse of that extraordinary man. When he landed in France, although he had barely completed his fourteenth year, his stature was so tall and athletic as to give him the appearance of a young giant; and on being asked his age at the police office, that it might be inserted in his passport, his reply was received with a smile of astonishment and incredulity, which afforded much subsequent amusement to his elder fellow travellers. At the age of sixteen his strength and activity were so great, that few men could have stood up against him with any chance of success. On his return to Guernsey, every interest the family possessed was anxiously exerted to indulge his wish of entering the British army, but owing to the great reductions made after the peace of 1815, he was unable to obtain a commission, even by purchase. Those relatives, who could best have forwarded his views, had been slain in the public service; and in that day few claims were admitted, unless supported by strong parliamentary influence. He attended the levee of the commander-in-chief, who promised to take his memorial into early consideration; and it was hoped by the family that his tall and strikingly handsome person would have had some influence; but unfortunately the youth, then under sixteen, waited alone on the Duke of York, and had no one to plead his cause or to promote his wishes. He was accompanied as far as the Horse Guards by the late Lieut.-Colonel Eliot, (see page 399,) who there, or in the neighbourhood, introduced him to Sir Roger Sheaffe, whom they met accidentally; but the general took little or no notice of the nephew of one to whom he was under much obligation, and whose fall had been his rise. It is true that Sir Roger Sheaffe was also about to solicit an ensigncy for his own nephew; but sure we are, that had Sir Isaac Brock met the nephew of a gallant predecessor under similar circumstances, he would have presented him to the commander-in-chief, and urged his claims with all the warmth of companionship and gratitude. And is it not painful to think, that a nephew of Sir Roger Sheaffe obtained that without purchase, which was withheld from the nephew of Sir Isaac Brock, even by purchase—and that nephew of as noble a spirit as ever breathed? Being thus cruelly disappointed, young Tupper spent two or three years in Catalonia, of which province a relative, P.C. Tupper, was British consul (see page 73); and "the young Englishman" received the public thanks of the municipality of Barcelona, for having boldly exposed his life to extinguish a conflagration which threatened to destroy a whole barrier of the city. Here his vanity was constantly excited by exclamations in the streets, on the manly beauty of his person. The profession of arms continuing his ruling passion, he embarked at Guernsey late in 1821 for Rio de Janeiro, whence he proceeded to Buenos Ayres, and thence over land to Chile, then struggling for her independence of Spain. His family was averse to his joining the patriot cause, as it was then termed, and he arrived at Santiago a mere soldier of fortune—without, we believe, a single letter of introduction to those in authority. But his appearance and manners, and a perfect knowledge of three languages, English, French, and Spanish, all of which he spoke fluently, soon procured him friends and active military employment. He rose rapidly, and his deeds have been compared to those of the far-famed Sir William Wallace.

In a necessarily brief notice, it is, however, quite impossible to detail the services of young Tupper in the land of his unhappy adoption; and it must, therefore, suffice to say that he displayed the greatest talent and bravery, first against the Spaniards, and, after their subjugation, in the civil wars which ensued. He was drawn into the latter, when, in 1829, part of the troops, under General Prieto, attempted to subvert the existing authorities, because, as he wrote, he "considered that no free government or orderly state could exist an hour, if the military were once allowed to throw the sword into the scale, and decide points of legislation by the force of arms." In a battle fought near the capital, Santiago, the rebel troops were defeated, but Prieto gained that by treachery, which he could not effect by the sword; and when Colonel Tupper resigned in disgust, the earnest entreaties of his old commander, General Freire unfortunately induced him to accept the government of Coquimbo, which step soon after compelled him to resume the command of his regiment. Freire was deceived by some of Prieto's chiefs, who, probably at the instigation of that faithless general, had promised to pass over to him with their troops at the first convenient opportunity; and he allowed himself to be forced into a battle on a vast plain at Lircay, near Talca, on the 17th April, 1830. Nothing could be more ill-judged or imprudent, as his army, which consisted of about 1,700 men, had only two weak squadrons of regular cavalry and four pieces of artillery, while that of Prieto, amounting to fully 2,200 men, had 800 veteran cavalry, and eleven or twelve pieces of artillery. The Chile cavalry is very formidable, the men being most expert riders, mounted on active and powerful horses, and generally armed with long lances, which they use with great dexterity. After a long engagement, Freire's cavalry, consisting of about 600 men, including militia and Indians, fled completely discomfited, and abandoned the infantry, composed of three weak battalions, to its fate. Their situation was now indeed desperate, as the ground was so favorable to cavalry, and the neighbourhood offered them no accessible place of defence or refuge. When they formed into squares to resist the hostile cavalry, they were mowed down by artillery; and, when they deployed into line, the cavalry was upon them. In this dreadful emergency they maintained the conflict for nearly an hour, with all the obstinacy of despair; and at length, in attempting to charge in column, they were completely broken. The loss in Freire's army fell chiefly on the devoted infantry, and included eighteen officers among the killed. The only officers mentioned as slain, in Prieto's hurried dispatch of the 17th of April, are Colonel Elizalde, chief of the staff; Colonel Tupper, and his gallant Major Varela, a young man of five or six and twenty. Colonel Tupper is said to have exhibited the most reckless valour during the day, and to have rallied his battalion several times. Having dismounted to encourage his men, he was unable, in the mêlée when all was lost, to find his horse; and the accounts of the manner of his death are so contradictory, that it is impossible to reconcile them. All agree, however, in stating that he was particularly sought after, and that orders were given to shew him no quarter. Certain it is that he was overtaken, and "sacrificed to the fears of Prieto, who justly considered him the sword and buckler of the irresolute and vacillating Freire." He was pronounced by an English traveller, as "the handsomest man he had ever seen in either hemisphere," and undoubtedly his tall, athletic, and beautifully proportioned person, his almost Herculean strength, the elegance of his manners, and his impetuous valour in battle, gave the impression rather of a royal knight of chivalry, than of a republican soldier.[171] The influence and popularity which in a few short years he acquired in his adopted country, by his own unaided exertions, and under the many disadvantages of being a stranger in a strange land, best prove that his talents were of the first order, and that he was no common character. And that fraternal affection may not be supposed to have dictated this eulogium, the following impartial testimonies of its correctness are appended, in justice to the memory of one whom a combination of cruel circumstances drove to a distant land to shed that blood, and to yield that life, winch he had in vain sought to devote to his own country.

An English gentleman, of ancient family, and author of travels in South America, who knew Colonel Tupper intimately, thus wrote of him:

"He was certainly one of the finest fellows I ever knew—one of those beings whose meteor-like flame traverses our path, and leaves an imperishable recollection of its brilliancy.... I have often held him up as an example to be followed of scrupulous exactness, and of a probity, I fear, alas! too uncompromising in these corrupt times."

The American chargé d'affaires and consul-general in Chile, said, in a letter to Captain P.P. King, then of his majesty's ship Adventure, both strangers to the family:

"The heroism displayed by Tupper surpassed the prowess of any individual that I ever heard of in battle; but, poor fellow! he was horribly dealt with after getting away with another officer. A party of cavalry and Indians was sent in pursuit, and they boast that poor Tupper was cut to pieces. They seemed to be more in terror of him, on account of his personal bravery and popularity, than of all the others. Guernsey has cause to be proud of so great a hero—a hero he truly was, for nature made him one."

And one of the British consuls in Chile wrote:

"I trust you will believe that any member of the family of Colonel Tupper, who may require such services as I am at liberty to offer, will be always esteemed by one who, for many years, has looked upon his gallant and honorable conduct as reflecting lustre upon the English name in these new and distant states."

An anonymous French traveller, who published in a Paris newspaper, Le Semeur, of the 4th April, 1832, his "Souvenir d'un Séjour au Chili," thus expressed himself:

"Les Chiliens sont jaloux des étrangers qui prennent du service chez eux, et il est assez naturel qu'ils le soient, quoiqu'on ne puisse nier qu'ils aient de grandes obligations à plusieurs de ceux qui ont fait Chili leur patrie adoptive. Depuis mon retour en Europe, un de ces hommes, digne d'une haute estime, a cessé de vivre. Je veux parler du Colonel Tupper, qui a été fait prisonnier à la tête de son regiment; et qui, après avoir été tenu, pendant une heure, dans l'incertitude sur son sort, fut cruellement mis à mort par les ennemis. Le Colonel Tupper était un homme d'une grande bravoure et d'un esprit éclairé; ses formes étaient athlétiques, et l'expression de sa physionomie pleine de franchise. II se serait distingué partout où il aurait été employé, et dans quelque situation qu'il eût été placé. N'est-il pas déplorable que de tels hommes en soient réduits à se consacrer à une cause étrangère?

"J'espère que le temps n'est pas éloigné où l'on saura apprécier au Chili le patriotisme et l'énergie, dont le Colonel Tupper a donné l'exemple."

And in a pamphlet published at Lima, in, 1831, by General Freire, in exposition of his conduct during the civil war in Chile, 1829-30, is the following extract translated from the Spanish:

"It does not enter into my plan to justify the strategic movements which preceded the battle of Lircay. The disproportion between the contending forces was excessive. Neither tactics nor prodigies of valour could avail against this immense disadvantage. The liberals were routed. Would that I could throw a veil, not over a Conquest which proves neither courage nor talent in the conqueror, but over the horrid cruelties which succeeded the battle. The most furious savages, the most unprincipled bandits, would have been ashamed to execute the orders which the rebel army received from Prieto, and yet which were executed with mournful fidelity. Tupper—illustrious shade of the bravest of soldiers, of the most estimable of men; shade of a hero to whom Greece and Rome would have erected statues—your dreadful assassination will be avenged. If there be no visible punishment for your murderer, Divine vengeance will overtake him. It will demand an account of that infamous sentence pronounced against all strangers by a man[172] who at that time was the pupil and the tool of a vagabond stranger,[173] indebted for his elevation and his bread to the generosity of Chile."


[171] From his earliest youth he gave indications of that fearless and daring spirit which marked his after-life; and when he left Europe in 1821, he was generally thought to bear a striking resemblance to his late uncle, Major-General Brock, at the same age. This similarity extended in some degree even to their deaths, as the Indians of either continent were employed as auxiliaries in the actions in which they fell, and both were killed in the months that gave them birth. Like his uncle also, he swam occasionally to Castle Cornet and back, (see foot note, page 337,) and he was equally tall, being in height six feet two inches, while his figure was a perfect model of strength and symmetry.

[172] General Prieto.

[173] Garrido, a Spanish renegade.

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Isaac Brock, by Ferdinand Brock Tupper


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