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(Ontario,), by William Canniff

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Title: History of the settlement of Upper Canada (Ontario,)
       with special reference to the Bay Quinté

Author: William Canniff

Release Date: April 16, 2017 [EBook #54554]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Transcriber's Note:

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Settlement of Upper Canada,



In the year 1861 a meeting was convened at the Education Office, Toronto, with the view of establishing an Historical Society for Upper Canada. The writer, as an Upper Canadian by birth, and deeply interested in his country with respect to the past as well as the future, was present. The result of that meeting was the appointment of a Committee to frame a Constitution and By-Laws, and take the necessary steps to organize the proposed Society, and to report three weeks thereafter.

The Committee consisted of the Hon. Mr. Merritt, Rev. Dr. Ryerson, Col. Jarvis, Mr. DeGrassi, Mr. Merritt, J. J. Hodgins, Dr. Canniff and Mr. Coventry. For reasons unknown to the writer, this Committee never even met. The following year the writer received a printed circular respecting an “Historical Society of Upper Canada” which had been established at St. Catharines, of which Col. John Clarke, of Port Dalhousie, was President; Hon. Wm. H. Merritt, Vice-President, and George Coventry, of Cobourg, Secretary.

“Chief Justice Sir John Beverley Robinson, Bart.,
Colonel Jarvis, Toronto,
Doctor Canniff, Toronto,
Henry Eccles, Esq., Q.C.,
William H. Kittson, Esq., Hamilton,
Henry Ruttan, Esq., Cobourg,
The Venerable Lord Bishop of Toronto,
Alfio DeGrassi, Esq., Toronto,
J. P. Merritt, St. Catharines,
Thomas C. Keefer, Esq., Yorkville,
Hon. George S. Boulton, Cobourg,
David, Burn, Esq., Cobourg.”

At the request of this Society the writer undertook to prepare a Paper upon the Settlement of the Bay Quinté. Having been induced to take up his abode for a time at Belleville, near which he was born, the writer availed himself of every opportunity he could vicreate while engaged in his professional duties, during a period of five years, to collect facts pertaining to the subject. After some months of labor, he was advised by friends, in whose judgment he had confidence, to write a History of the Bay Quinté, for publication.

Acting upon this advice, he continued, with increased energy, to collect and elaborate material. In carrying out this object, he not only visited different sections of the country and many individuals, but consulted the libraries at Toronto and Ottawa, as well as availed himself of the private libraries of kind friends, especially Canniff Haight, Esq., of Picton. As the writer proceeded in his work, he found the subject assuming more extended proportions than he had anticipated. He found that, to write an account of the Settlement of the Bay Quinté, was to pen a history of the settlement of the Province. Finally, he has been induced to designate the work “A History of the Settlement of Upper Canada.”

The labor, time and thought which has been given to the subject need not to be dwelt upon. Every effort has been made, consistent with professional duties, upon which the writer’s family is dependent, to sift a mass of promiscuous material which has come under investigation, so that grains of truth alone might fill the measure which this volume represents.

Various sources of information have been duly indicated in the text; but there are a large number of individuals, from whom information has been obtained, whose names could not be recalled.

This work has been one of love as well as labor; yet time and again the writer would have relinquished it had it not been for the words of encouragement, volunteered by his friends.

The writer has explained the cause of his writing this volume. He now presents it to the reader—​to Canadians—​to the world. He loves his country so well, that he regrets an abler pen had not undertaken the task, that justice might be more fully done to the worthy.

Fault may be found because of repeated and earnest protests against the attitude assumed by the United States: the comments viimade in respect to their history: the contrast drawn upon the subject of Liberty and Freedom. The writer offers no excuse. He has endeavored to adhere to truth. It is true these pages have been written during a period of great irritation to Canadians, from the hostile and aggressive spirit which the United States have displayed towards us; but a record has been made which, it is trusted, will stand the test of the closest examination.

As to the work, apart from its historical character, no remark is offered, except that the writer is perfectly conscious of errors and imperfections. Time has not been allowed to polish; and while the pages have been going through the press, other necessary duties have prevented that close and undivided attention which the work demanded. But subscribers to the volume were urgent in their requests to have the work without further delays. The reader is referred to a page of Errata.

A concluding chapter it has been found necessary to omit, in consequence of the size already attained. In this it was intended to discuss the future prospects of the Dominion. The writer has unbounded faith in the Confederation scheme. Before this scheme was initiated, the writer, in a lecture delivered to a Toronto audience, uttered these words. Pointing out the elements which constitute the fabric of a great nation, he remarked that he “loved to contemplate the future, when all the British American Provinces would be consolidated into a grand whole; when, from the summit of the Rocky Mountains, would be seen—​to the East along the magnificent lakes and river to the Atlantic, and down the western slopes to the Pacific—​the ceaseless industry of the Canadian beaver, and the evergreen Maple Leaf overshadowing the peaceful homes of Canada.” The prospects now are far brighter than when those words were spoken; and notwithstanding the obstacles—​an unpatriotic company of Englishmen, the unscrupulous designs of covetous Americans, and the apathy of the British Government—​the belief is broad and strong that the dream of the future will be realized. There is life in the tree whose seed was viiiplanted eighty years ago, and as it has in the past continued to grow, so it will in the future.

In concluding these prefatory remarks, we desire to tender our thanks to all who have assisted us directly or indirectly, by supplying information, and by encouraging words. Particularly we thank those gentlemen who gave their names as subscribers, some of them voluntarily, years ago, before the work was fairly commenced; also the Hon. Lewis Wallbridge, for procuring for us, when Speaker, copies of manuscript in the Parliamentary Library, at Ottawa.

Finally, we express our obligations to the Publishers and Printers.

Toronto, 27th March, 1869.
[Copy Right secured.]


Antiquarianism—​Records of the Early Nations—​Tradition—​The Press—​The Eastern World—​The Western World—​Importance of History—​Columbus—​Colonization—​Canada—​America—​Cartier—​French Canadian writers—​Cartier’s first visit—​Huguenots—​Cartier’s second visit—​Jean Francois—​Sir George E. Cartier—​Establishment of the Fur Trade—​Champlain—​Discovery of Lake Ontario—​Bay of Quinté—​Quebec founded—​First fighting with Indians—​First taking of Quebec by the British—​Returned to France—​The Recollets and Jesuits—​Death of Champlain—​Foundation of Montreal—​Emigration from France—​The Carignan Regiment—​DeCourcelle—​Proposal to found a Fort at Lake Ontario—​Frontenac—​Fort at Cataraqui—​La Salle—​Fort at Niagara—​First vessel upon the Lakes—​Its fate—​Death of La Salle, the first settler of Upper Canada—​Founder of Louisiana—​Discoverer of the mouth of the Mississippi 1
Cataraqui Fort strengthened—​Kente Indians seized and carried captive to France—​Massacre of Lachine—​Commencing struggle between New England and New France—​Siege of Quebec by Sir Wm. Phipps—​Destruction of Fort Cataraqui—​Its re-erection—​Treaty of Ryswick—​Death of Frontenac—​Iroquois in England—​Another attempt to capture Quebec—​Decline of French power—​Population of Canada and of New England—​Continuation of the contest for the fur trade—​Taking of Fort Louisburg—​Col. Washington, dishonorable conduct—​Inconsistency of Dr. Franklin—​Commencement of seven years’ war—​Close of first year—​Montcalm—​His presentiment—​Taking of Fort Oswego—​Of Fort William Henry—​Fearful massacre—​The state of Canada—​Wolfe appears—​Taking of Frontenac—​Duquesne—​Apathy of France—​The Spring of 1759—​Reduced state of Canada—​Overthrow of French power in America—​The result—​Union of elements—​The capture of Quebec—​Wolfe—​Death of Montcalm—​Fort Niagara—​Johnson—​Effort to retake Quebec—​Wreck of the French army—​Capitulation at Montreal—​Population—​The first British Governor of Canada—​The Canadians as British subjects—​The result of French enterprise—​Rebellion 15
First American rebellion—​Independence—​Traitors made heroes—​Loyalists driven away to found another colony—​The responsibility of rebelling—​Treatment of the Loyalists—​The several colonies—​The first Englishman in America—​Receives £10—​English colonization—​Virginia—​Convicts—​Extent of Virginia—​First Governor—​Virginians not willing to rebel—​Quota supplied to the rebel army—​New York—​Hudson—​The Dutch—​New Netherlands—​Price of New Amsterdam (New York)—​First Legislative Assembly—​Not quick to rebel—​Quota of rebel troops—​Gave many settlers to Upper Canada—​New Jersey—​Its settlement—​A battle ground—​Gave rebel troops; also loyal troops—​Furnished settlers to Upper Canada—​Massachusetts—​Captain Smith—​New England Puritans—​The “Mayflower”—​First Governor—​Cruel treatment of Indians—​Massachusetts takes the lead in rebelling—​Troops—​Loyalists—​New Hampshire—​Troops—​Delaware—​Settlement—​Quota of rebel troops—​Connecticut—​Education—​Troops—​Roman Catholics—​Toleration—​Rhode Island—​Providence—​Inconsistency of the Puritans—​Roger Williams—​North Carolina—​Inhabitants—​South Carolina—​Many Loyalists—​Pennsylvania—​William Penn—​Conduct toward Indians—​The people opposed to rebellion—​Georgia—​Oglethorpe—​Policy of New England—​New England 32
American writers—​Sabine—​Loyalists had no time to waste—​Independence not sought at first—​Adams—​Franklin—​Jay—​Jefferson—​Washington—​Madison—​The British Government—​Ingratitude of the Colonists—​Taxation—​Smugglers—​Crown officers—​Persistence—​Superciliousness Contest between Old England and New England 41
The signers of the Declaration of Independence—​Their nativity—​Injustice of American writers for 80 years—​Cast back mis-statements—​The Whigs had been U. E. Loyalists—​Hancock—​Office-seekers—​Malcontents stir up strife—​What the fathers of the Republic fought for—​Rebel committees—​Black mail—​Otis, John Adams, Warren, Washington, Henry, Franklin—​What caused them to rebel—​What the American revolutionary heroes actually were—​Cruelty, during and after the war—​No Freedom—​The political mistake of the rebels in alienating the loyalists—​The Consequence—​Motives of the loyalists—​False charges—​Conscientious Conservatives—​Rebellion not warranted—​Attachment to the old flag—​Loyalists driven away—​Suppressio veri—​Want of noble spirit towards the South—​Effects—​Comparison between loyalists and rebels—​Education—​Religion—​The neutral—​The professions 46
Republicanism—​The lesson of the first rebellion—​The late civil war—​The Loyalists; their losses and hardships—​Ignored by Americans—​Unrecorded—​The world kept in ignorance—​American glory—​Englishmen—​Question of Colonial treatment—​The reason why Great Britain failed to subdue the rebellion—​Character of the rebel bravery—​The great result—​Liberty in England and United States contrasted—​Slavery—​The result to U. E. Loyalists—​Burgoyne—​Mobocracy—​Treatment from “Sons of Liberty”—​Old men, women and children—​Instances of cruelty—​Brutality—​Rapacity—​Torture—​The lower classes—​“Swamp Law”—​Fiendish cruelty—​Worse than Butler’s Rangers—​Seward and the Fenians—​Infamous falsification—​Close of the war—​Recognition of independence by Great Britain—​Crushed hopes of the Loyalists—​In New York—​Their conduct—​Evacuation day—​The position of the Loyalists—​Confiscation—​“Attainting”—​Seizing Estates—​Paine—​Commissioners at Paris—​British Ministry—​Loyalists’ petition—​King’s speech—​Division of claimants—​Six classes—​The number—​Tardy justice—​Noble conduct of South Carolina—​Impostors—​Loyalists in Lower Canada—​Proclamation—​The soldiers’ families—​Journeyings—​Meeting of families 52
A spirit of strife—​The French war—​British American troops—​Former comrades opposed—​Number of U. E. Loyalists in the field—​General Burgoyne—​Defeat—​First reverse of British arms—​The campaign—​Colonel St. Leger—​Fort Stanwix—​Colonel Baume—​Battle of Bennington—​General Herkimer—​Gates—​Schuyler—​Braemar Heights—​Saratoga—​Surrender—​The result upon the people—​Sir John Johnson—​Sir William—​Sketch—​Indian Chief—​Laced coat—​Indian’s dream—​It comes to pass—​Sir William dreams—​It also comes to pass—​Too hard a dream—​Sir John—​Attempt to arrest—​Escape—​Starving—​Royal greens—​Johnson’s losses—​Living in Canada—​Death—​Principal Corps of Royalists—​King’s Rangers—​Queen’s Rangers—​Major Rogers—​Simcoe—​The Rangers in Upper Canada—​Disbanded—​The Hessians 63
Indian names—​The Five Tribes—​The Sixth—​Confederation—​Government—​Subdivisions—​Origin—​Hendrick—​Death—​Brant—​Birth—​Education—​Married—​Teaching—​Christianity—​Brant elected Chief—​Commissioned a British Captain—​Visits England—​Returns—​Leads his warriors to battle—​Efforts of Rebels to seduce Brant to their cause—​Attempted treachery of the Rebel Herkimer—​Border warfare—​Wyoming—​Attempt to blacken the character of Brant—​His noble conduct—​Untruthful American History—​The inhabitants of Wyoming—​The Rebels first to blame—​Cherry Valley—​Van Schaick—​Bloody orders—​Terrible conduct of the Rebels, Helpless Indian families—​Further deeds of blood and rapine by the rebel Sullivan—​A month of horrible work—​Attributes of cruelty more conspicuous in the Rebels than in the Indians—​The New Englander—​Conduct toward the Indians—​Inconsistent—​The “down trodden”—​The Mohawks—​Indian agriculture—​Broken faith with the Indians—​Noble conduct of Brant—​After the war—​His family—​Death—​Miss Molly—​Indian usage—​The character of the Mohawk—​The six Indians as Canadians—​Fidelity to the British—​Receiving land—​Bay Quinté—​Grand River—​Settling—​Captain Isaac, Captain John—​At present—​Mohawk Counsel 71
Individuals—​Anderson—​Bethune—​Burwell—​Butler—​Canliff—​Claus—​Coffin—​Doune—​Jarvis—​Jones—​McDonald—​McGill—​McGilles—​Merrit—​Munday—​Peters—​Robinson—​Singleton—​Ross—​McNab—​Allen—​Allison—​Ashley—​Bell—​Burritt—​Casey—​Carscallion—​Church—​Clark—​Crawford—​Dame—​Daly—​Diamond 85
Ferguson—​Frazer—​Gerollamy—​Goldsmith—​Harrison—​Hudgins—​Hicks—​Howell—​Hover—​Hogle—​Ham—​Herkimer—​Holt—​Jones—​Johnson—​Ketcheson—​Loyst—​Myers—​McArthur—​Miller—​Mordens—​McDonald—​McDonnell—​McDonell—​Ostrom—​Peterson 100
Rogers’ family—​Ryerson—​Redner—​Sherwood—​Taylor—​Van Dusen—​Williamsburgh—​Wright—​Wilkins—​Young—​Officers who settled in Niagara District 117
Indian paths—​Portages—​Original French routes—​Mer de Canada—​Original names of St. Lawrence—​Ontario—​Huron—​Route by Bay Quinté—​Old French maps—​Original English routes—​Four ways from Atlantic to the Lakes—​Mississippi—​Potomac—​Hudson—​Indian name of Erie—​From New York to Ontario—​The Hudson River—​Mohawk—​Wood creek—​Oneida Lake—​Oswego River—​The carrying places—​West Canada Creek—​Black River—​Oswegotchie—​The navigation—​Military highway—​Lower Canada—​An historic route—​The paths followed by the Loyalists—​Indian paths north of Lake Ontario—​Crossing the Lake—​From Cape Vincent to the Bay Quinté—​From Oswego by Duck Islands—​East Lake—​Picton Bay—​Coasting Ontario—​Two ways to Huron—​By Bay Quinté and Trent; by Don River—​Lake Simcoe—​Point Traverse—​Loyalists—​Travelling by the St. Lawrence—​First road—​Long remembered event 129
Indians traveled by foot or by canoe—​Secreting canoes—​Primeval scenes—​Hunting expeditions—​War path—​In 1812—​Brock—​A night at Myers’ Creek—​Important arrival—​The North West Company—​Their canoes—​Route—​Grand Portage—​The Voyageurs—​The Batteaux—​Size—​Ascending the rapids—​Lachine—​A dry dock—​Loyalists by batteaux—​Durham boats—​Difficulties—​In 1788, time from Lachine to Fredericksburgh—​Waiting for batteaux—​Extracts from a journal, traveling in 1811—​From Kingston to Montreal—​The expenses—​The Schenectady boats—​Trade between Albany and Cataraqui—​The Durham boat—​Duncan—​Description of flat-bottomed boat by “Murray”—​Statement of Finkle—​Trading—​Batteaux in 1812—​Rate of traveling—​The change in fifty years—​Time from Albany to Bay Quinté—​Instances—​Loyalists traveling in winter—​Route—​Willsbury wilderness—​Tarrying at Cornwall—​The “French Train”—​Traveling along north shore of Ontario—​Indian path—​Horseback—​Individual owners of batteaux—​Around Bay Quinté—​The Last regular batteaux—​In 1819—​“Lines” from magazine 135
The first Vessel—​The French—​La Salle—​The Griffon—​Vessels in 1770—​During the Rebellion—​Building at Carleton Island—​Captain Andrews—​The Ontario—​Col. Burton—​Loss of the Ontario—​The Sheehans—​Hills—​Givins’—​Murney’s Point—​Schooner ‘Speedy’—​Mohawk—​Mississauga—​Duke of Kent—​Capt. Bouchette—​Paxton—​McKenzie—​Richardson—​Earle Steele—​Fortiche—​The Governor Simcoe—​Sloop ‘Elizabeth’—​First vessel built at York—​Collins’ Report upon Navigating the Lakes—​Navy in Upper Canada, 1795—​Rochfoucault—​Capt. Bouchette—​Officers’ Pay—​York, the centre of the Naval Force—​Gun Boats—​The Loss of the “Speedy”—​Reckoner—​Dr. Strachan—​Solicitor-Gen. Gray—​Canada took the lead in building Vessels—​First Canadian Merchant Vessel—​The York—​A Schooner on runners round the Falls—​Sending Coals to Newcastle—​Upon Bay Quinté—​The Outskirts of Civilization—​“The Prince Edward” built of Red Cedar—​In 1812—​Schooner “Mary Ann”—​1817—​Capt. Matthews 147
Major Gen. Holland—​Surveying on Atlantic Coast—​An adherent of the Crown—​Removal to Montreal—​Death—​Major Holland—​Information from “Maple Leaves”—​Holland Farm—​Taché—​First Canadian Poem—​Head Quarters of Gen. Montgomery—​Hospitality—​Duke of Kent—​Spencer Grange—​Holland Tree—​Graves—​Epitaphs—​Surveyor Washington—​County Surveyor—​Surveyors after the War—​First Survey in Upper Canada—​Commenced in 1781—​The Mode pursued—​Information in Crown Lands Department—​The Nine Townships upon the St. Lawrence—​At the close of the War—​Non-Professional Surveyors—​Thomas Sherwood—​Assisting to Settle—​Surveying around the Bay Quinté—​Bongard—​Deputy-Surveyor Collins—​First Survey at Frontenac—​Town Reserve—​Size of Township—​Mistakes—​Kotte—​Tuffy—​Capt. Grass—​Capt. Murney—​Surveying in Winter—​Planting Posts—​Result—​Litigation—​Losing Land—​A Newspaper Letter—​Magistrates—​Landholders—​Their Sons’ Lawyers—​Alleged Filching—​Speculators at Seat of Government—​Grave Charges—​Width of Lots—​Mode of Surveying—​Number of Concessions—​Cross Roads—​Surveyors Orders—​Numbering the Lots—​Surveying around the Bay—​The ten Townships—​Their Lands—​The Surveying Party—​A Singer—​Statement of Gourlay 154
The term Concession—​First Concession of Land in Canada—​The Carignan Regiment—​Seigniories—​Disproportion of the sexes—​Females sent from France—​Their appearance—​Settling them—​Marriage allowance—​The last seigniory—​New Longeuil—​Seigniory at Frontenac—​Grants to refugees—​Officers and men—​Scale of granting—​Free of expense—​Squatting—​Disbanded soldiers—​Remote regions—​A wise and beneficent policy—​Impostors—​Very young officers—​Wholesale granting of land—​Republicans coming over—​Covetous—​False pretensions—​Government had to discriminate—​Rules and regulations—​Family lands—​Bounty—​Certificates—​Selling claims—​Rear concessions—​Transfer of location ticket—​Land board—​Tardiness in obtaining titles to real estate—​Transfer by bond—​Jobbing—​Sir Wm. Pullency—​Washington—​Giving lands to favorites—​Reserves—​Evil results—​The Family Compact—​Extract from Playter—​Extract from Lord Durham—​From Gourlay—​Recompense to Loyalists—​Rations—​Mode of drawing land—​Land agent—​Broken front—​Traitor Arnold—​Tyendinaga 164
Lines—​Western Settlement, 1783—​Population—​Settlement upon St. Lawrence and Bay—​Number, 1784—​Proclamation to Loyalists—​Society disturbed—​Two kinds of Loyalists—​St. Lawrence and Bay favorable for settlement—​Government provisions—​State of the Loyalists—​Serving out rations—​Clothes—​Utensils for clearing and fencing—​The axe—​Furniture—​Attacking a last enemy—​Tents—​Waiting for their lots—​“Bees”—​Size of dwellings—​Mode of building—​Exchanging work—​Bedsteads—​Clearing—​Fireing trees—​Ignorance of pioneer life—​Disposing of the wood—​No beast of burden—​Logging—​Determination—​All settlers on a common ground—​Additional refugees—​Advance—​Simcoe’s proclamation, 1792—​Conditions of grants—​The response—​Later settlers—​Questionable Loyalists—​Yankees longing for Canada—​Loyalty in 1812 181
Father Picquet—​Provision of Forts in Upper Canada just before conquest—​Frontenac—​Milk—​Brandy—​Toronto—​The several forts—​Detroit—​British garrisons—​Grasping rebels—​Efforts to starve out Loyalists in Canada—​Worse treated than the Acadians—​Efforts to secure Fur Trade—​The frontier forts—​Americans’ conduct to Indians—​Result—​Conduct of British Government—​Rations for three years—​Grinding by hand—​“Hominy blocks”—​“Plumping mill”—​The women—​Soldier farmers—​The Hessians—​Suffering—​The “Scarce Year”—​Charge against the Commissariat officers—​Famine—​Cry for bread—​Instances of suffering—​Starving children—​No salt—​Fish—​Game—​Eating young grain—​Begging bran—​A common sorrow—​Providential escapes—​Eating buds and leaves—​Deaths—​Primitive fishing—​Catching salmon—​Going 125 miles to mill—​Disconsolate families—​1789—​Partial relief—​First beef slaughtered in Upper Canada—​First log barn—​A “Bee,” what they ate and drank—​Tea introduced—​Statements of Sheriff Sherwood—​Roger Bates—​John Parrott—​Col. Clark—​Squirrel swimming Niagara—​Maple sugar—​How it was made—​Women assisting—​Made dishes of food—​Pumpkin loaf—​Extract from Rochefoucault—​1795—​Quality of grain raised—​Quinté Bay—​Cultivation—​Corn exported—​The grain dealers—​Price of flour—​Pork—​Profits of the merchants 191
Kingston Mills—​Action of Government—​The Millwright—​Situation of the first Mill—​Why Selected—​The Machinery—​Put up by Loyalists—​No Toll—​Only Mill for three years—​Going to Mill, 1784—​The Napanee Mill—​Commenced 1785—​Robert Clarke—​An old Book—​“Appenea” Falls—​Price of certain articles—​What Rum cost, and was used for—​The Mill opened 1787—​Sergt.-Major Clarke in charge—​Indian Corn—​Small Toll—​Surveyor Collins in charge—​Becomes the property of R. Cartwright, 1792—​Rebuilt—​Origin of Napanee—​Price of Butter, 1788—​Mills at Four Mile Creek, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and Grand River—​Mills on the St. Lawrence—​The Stone Mills—​Van Alstine—​Lake of the Mountain—​1796—​Natural Beauty, versus Utility—​The Mill—​Van Alstine’s Death—​Wind Mill—​Myer’s Mill—​Mill at Consecon 206
Clothing—​Domestic and Farming Implements—​Style of Dress eighty years ago—​Clothing of the Refuges—​Disbanded Soldiers—​No Fresh Supply—​Indian Garments of Skin—​Deerskin Pants—​Petticoats—​Bed Coverings—​Cultivating Flax—​Sheep—​Home-made Clothes—​Rude Implements—​Fulling—​French Mode—​Lindsay Woolsey—​The Spinning-wheel—​Young men Selecting Wives—​Bees—​Marriage Portion—​Every Farmer his own Tanner and Shoemaker—​Fashions—​How odd hours were spent—​Home-made Shoes—​What Blankets were made of—​Primitive Bedstead—​Nakedness—​Bridal Apparel—​No Saddles—​Kingston and Newark—​Little Money—​Bartering—​Merchants from Albany—​Unable to buy—​Credit with Merchants—​The Results—​Itinerant Mechanics—​Americans—​Become Canadians—​An old Stone-mason—​Wooden Dishes—​Making Spoons—​Other Hardships—​Indians Friendly—​Effects of Alcohol upon the Mississaugas—​Groundless Panic—​Drunken Indians—​Women, defending Themselves—​An erroneous Statement about Indian Massacre in “Dominion Monthly Magazine”—​Statement of an Old Settler, Sherwood—​Wild Beasts—​Few Fire-arms—​Narrow Escapes—​Depredations at Night—​Destroying Stock—​An Act of Parliament—​“A traveller’s statement”—​The Day of Small Things—​Settlers Contented—​The Extent of their Ambition—​Reward of Industry—​Population in 1808—​Importations—​Money—​The Youth 211
Sweat of the brow—​No beast of burden—​No stock—​Except by a few—​Horses and oxen—​From Lower Canada—​York State—​Late comers, brought some—​No fodder—​First stock in Adolphustown—​Incidents—​Cock and hens—​“Tipler”—​Cattle driving—​First cow in Thurlow—​First house in Marysburgh—​The first oxen—​No market for butter and cheese—​Sheep—​Rev. Mr. Stuart, as an Agriculturist—​Horses at Napanee—​An offer for a yoke of steers 220
Old channels of trade, and travel—​Art and science—​New channels—​The wilderness—​Loyalists Travelling on foot, from Kingston to York—​Formation of roads—​Act of parliament—​1793—​Its provisions—​Crooked roads—​Foot-path—​Bridle-path—​King’s highway from Lower Canada—​When surveyed—​Road from Kingston westward—​Its course—​Simcoe’s military road—​Dundas street—​Asa Danforth—​Contract with government—​Road from Kingston to Ancaster—​Danforth road—​1799—​Misunderstandings—​Danforth’s pamphlets—​Slow improvement—​Cause—​Extract from Gourlay—​Thomas Markland’s report—​Ferries—​1796—​Acts of parliament—​Statute labor—​Money grants—​Commissioners—​Midland district—​Distribution—​The Cataraqui Bridge Company—​The petitioners—​An act—​The provisions—​The plan of building—​The bridge—​Toll—​Completing the bridge—​Improvements of roads—​McAdam—​Declines a knighthood 224
Ode to Canada—​Early events—​First English child in America, 1587—​In New England—​First French child, 1621—​First in Upper Canada, 1783—​In Prince Edward—​Adolphustown—​Ameliasburgh—​North of the Rideau—​Indian marriage ceremony—​Difficulty among first settlers to get clergymen—​First marriage in America, 1608—​First in New England, 1621—​First in Canada, 1621—​Marriageable folks—​No one to tie the matrimonial knot—​Only one clergyman—​Officers marrying—​Magistrates empowered—​Legislation, 1793—​Its provision—​Making valid certain marriages—​Further Legislation, 1798—​In 1818—​1821—​1831—​Clergymen of all denominations permitted to marry—​Methodist ministers—​Marriage license, 1814—​Five persons appointed to issue—​A noticeable matter—​Statements of Bates—​Mode of courting in the woods—​Newcastle wedding expeditions—​Weapons of defence—​Ladies’ dresses—​The lover’s “rig”—​A wedding ring—​Paying the magistrate—​A good corn basket—​Going to weddings—​“Bitters”—​Old folks stay at home—​The dance, several nights—​Marriage outfit—​Frontier life—​Morals in Upper Canada—​Absence of irregularities—​Exceptional instances—​Unable to get married, Peter and Polly—​A singular witness—​Rev. Mr. Stuart—​Langhorn—​McDowell—​How to adorn the bride—​What she wore—​A wedding in 1808—​On horseback—​The guests—​The wedding—​The banquet—​The game of forfeits—​The night—​Second day wedding—​The young folks on horseback—​Terpischorean—​An elopement by canoe—​The Squire—​The chase—​The lovers successful—​The Squires who married 232
Burying places—​How selected—​Family burying place—​For the neighborhood—​The Dutch—​Upon the Hudson—​Bay Quinté—​A sacred spot to the Loyalists—​Ashes to ashes—​Primitive mode of burial—​The coffin—​At the grave—​The father’s remarks—​Return to labor—​French Burying-place at Frontenac—​Its site—​U. E. Loyalists’ burying place at Kingston—​The “U. E. burying-ground,” Adolphustown—​Worthy sires of Canada’s sons—​Decay—​Neglect of illustrious dead—​Repair wanted—​Oldest burying-ground in Prince Edward—​Ross Place—​At East Lake—​Upon the Rose farm—​“The Dutch burying-ground”—​Second growth trees—​In Sophiasburgh—​Cronk farm—​In Sidney—​Rude tomb stones—​Burial-place of Captain Myers—​Reflections—​Dust to dust—​In Thurlow—​“Taylor burying-ground”—​The first person buried—​Lieut. Ferguson—​An aged female—​Her work done—​Wheels stand still 243
French missionaries—​First in 1615—​Recollets—​With Champlain—​Jesuits, in 1625—​Valuable records—​Bishopric of Quebec, 1674—​First Bishop of Canada, Laval—​Rivalry—​Power of Jesuits—​Number of missionaries—​Their “relations”—​First mission field; Bay Quinté region—​“Antient mission”—​How founded—​First missionaries—​Kleus, Abbe D’Urfé—​La Salle to build a church—​The ornaments and sacred vessels—​The site of the “Chappel” uncertain—​Bald Bluff, Carrying Place—​Silver crosses—​Mission at Georgian Bay—​The “Christian Islands”—​Chapel at Michilmicinac, 1679—​The natives attracted—​Subjects of the French King—​Francois Picquet—​La Presentation—​Soegasti—​The most important mission—​The object—​Six Nations—​The missionary’s living—​“Disagreeable expostulations”—​Putting stomach in order—​Trout—​Picquet’s mode of teaching Indians—​The same afterwards adopted by Rev. W. Case—​Picquet’s success—​Picquet on a voyage—​At Fort Toronto—​Mississaugas’ request—​Picquet’s reply—​A slander—​At Niagara, Oswego—​At Frontenac—​Grand reception—​Return to La Presentation—​Picquet in the last French war—​Returns to France—​By Mississippi—​“Apostles of Peace”—​Unseemly strife—​Last of the Jesuits in Canada 249
First church in New York, 1633—​First Dominie, Rev. Everardus Bogardus—​The Dutch, Huguenots, Pilgrims—​Transporting ministers and churches—​First Rector of New York, Wm. Vesey—​Henry Barclay, 1746—​First Catholic Bishop in America, 1789—​Episcopalian Bishop, 1796—​Moral state of Pioneers in Canada—​Religion—​No ministers—​No striking immorality—​Feared God and honored their King—​The Fathers of Upper Canada—​Religious views—​A hundred years ago—​“Carousing and Dancing”—​Rev. Dr. John Ogilvie—​First Protestant clergyman in Canada—​Chaplain, 1759, at Niagara—​A Missionary Successor of Dr. Barclay, New York—​Death, 1774—​Rev. John Doughty—​A Graduate ordained—​At Peekskill—​Schenectady—​A Loyalist—​A Prisoner—​To Canada—​Chaplain—​To England—​Returns—​Missionary Resigns—​Rev Dr. John Stuart—​First clergyman to settle—​His memoir—​The “Father of the U. C. Church”—​Mission work—​The five nations—​The Dutch—​Rev. Mr. Freeman—​Translator—​Rev. Mr. Andrews—​Rev. Mr. Spencer Woodbridge, Howley—​New England missionaries—​Rev. Dr. Whelock—​The Indian converts—​The London society—​Rev. Mr. Inglis—​John Stuart selected missionary—​A native of Pennsylvania—​Irish descent—​A graduate, Phil. Coll.—​Joins Church of England—​To England—​Ordination—​Holy Orders, 1770—​Enters upon his work 255
At Fort Hunter—​Mr. Stuart’s first sermon, Christmas—​Officiates in Indian tongue—​Translates—​The rebellion—​Prayers for the King—​The Johnsons—​Rebels attack his house—​Plunder—​Indignity—​Church desecrated—​Used as a stable—​A barrel of rum—​Arrested—​Ordered to come before rebel commissioners—​On Parole—​Limits—​Idle two years—​To Albany—​Phil—​Determines to remove to Canada—​Not secure—​Exchanging—​Security—​Real estate forfeited—​Route—​Negroes—​The journey, three weeks—​At St. John’s—​Charge of Public School—​Chaplain—​At the close of the war—​Three Protestant Parishes—​Determines to settle at Cataraqui—​Chaplain to Garrison—​Missionary—​Bishop of Virginia, Dr. Griffith—​Visits Mr. Stuart—​Invitation to Virginia declined—​“Rivetted prejudices,” satisfied—​“The only refuge clergymen”—​Path of duty—​Visits the settlements, 1784—​Mohawks, Grand river—​Reception of their old pastor—​First church—​Mohawks, Bay of Quinté—​Remains in Montreal a year—​Assistant—​Removes to Cataraqui, 1785—​His land—​Number of houses in Kingston—​A short cut to Lake Huron—​Fortunate in land—​5000 settlers—​Poor and happy—​Industrious—​Around his Parish, 1788—​Two hundred miles long—​By batteau—​Brant—​New Oswego—​Mohawk village church, steeple, and bell—​First in Upper Canada—​Plate—​Organ—​Furniture—​Returns—​At Niagara—​Old parishioners—​Tempted to move—​Comfortable, not rich—​Declines a judgeship—​New Mecklenburgh—​Appointed Chaplain to first House of Assembly—​Mohawk Mission—​At Marysburgh—​Degree of D.D.—​Prosperity—​Happy—​Decline of life—​His duties—​Illness, Death, 1811—​His appearance—​“The little gentleman”—​His manners—​Honorable title—​His children—​Rev. O’Kill Stuart 260
A Missionary—​Chaplain at Niagara—​Pastors to the settlers—​Chaplain to Legislature—​Visits Grand river—​Officiates—​A land speculator—​Receives a pension, £50—​1823—​Rev. Mr. Pollard—​At Amherstburgh—​Mr. Langhorn—​A missionary—​Little education—​Useful—​Odd—​On Bay Quinté in Ernesttown—​Builds a church—​At Adolphustown—​Preaches at Hagerman’s—​Another church—​A diligent pastor—​Pioneer preacher around the bay—​Christening—​Marrying—​Particular—​His appointments—​Clerk’s Fees—​Generosity—​Present to bride—​Faithful to sick calls—​Frozen feet—​No stockings—​Shoe buckles—​Dress—​Books—​Peculiarities—​Fond of the water—​Charitable—​War of 1812—​Determined to leave Canada—​Thinks it doomed—​Singular notice—​Returns to Europe—​His library—​Present to Kingston—​Twenty years in Canada—​Extract from Gazette—​No one immediately to take his place—​Rev. John Bethune—​Died 1815—​Native of Scotland—​U. E. Loyalists—​Lost Property—​Chaplain to 84th Regiment—​A Presbyterian—​Second Legal Clergymen in Upper Canada—​Settled at Cornwall—​Children—​The Baptists—​Wyner—​Turner—​Holts Wiem—​Baptists upon river Moira—​First Chapel—​How built—​Places of preaching—​Hayden’s Corners—​At East Lake—​The Lutherans—​Rev. Schwerdfeger—​Lutheran settlers—​County Dundas—​First church east of Kingston—​Rev. Mr. Myers lived in Marysburgh—​Marriage—​His log church—​Removes to St. Lawrence—​Resigns—​To Philadelphia—​Mr. Weant—​Lives in Ernesttown—​Removes to Matilda—​Not supported—​Secretly joins the English church—​Re-ordained—​His society ignorant—​Suspicious—​Preaching in shirt sleeves—​Mr. Myers’ return, by sleigh—​Locking church door—​The thirty-nine articles—​Compromise—​Mr. Myers continues three years a Lutheran—​He secedes—​The end of both Seceders—​Rev. I. L. Senderling—​Rev. Herman Hayunga—​Rev. Mr. Shorts—​Last Lutheran minister at Ernesttown, McCarty—​Married 267
Bishop Strachan—​A teacher—​A preacher—​A student—​Holy Orders—​A Presbyterian—​Becomes an Episcopalian—​A supporter of the “Family compact”—​Sincere—​His opinion of the people—​Ignorant—​Unprepared for self-government—​Strachan’s religious chart—​He was deceived—​The Methodists—​Anomalous connection—​A fillibustering people—​Republicanism egotistical—​Loyalty of the Methodists—​American ministers—​Dr. Strachan’s position—​His birth place—​His education—​A.M., 1793—​Studying Theology—​Comes to Canada—​A student of Dr. Stuart’s—​Ordained Deacon—​A missionary at Cornwall—​Rector at York—​Archdeacon—​Bishop of Toronto—​Coadjutor—​Death—​A public burial—​Rev. Mr. McDowell—​First Presbyterian at Bay Quinté—​Invited by Van Alstine—​On his way—​At Brockville—​Settles in a second town—​His circuit—​A worthy minister—​Fulfilling his mission—​Traveling on foot—​To York—​Marrying the people—​His death—​His descendants—​Places of preaching—​A Calvinist—​Invites controversy—​Mr. Coate accepts the challenge—​The disputation—​Excitement—​The result—​Rev. Mr. Smart—​Called by Mr. McDowell—​Pres. clergyman at Brockville—​Fifty years—​An earnest Christian—​A desire to write—​“Observer”—​A pioneer—​A cause of regret—​Not extreme—​Mr. Smart’s views on politics—​The masses uneducated—​The “Family Compact”—​Rise of responsible government—​The Bidwells—​Credit to Dr. Strachan—​Brock’s funeral sermon—​Foundation of Kingston gaol—​Maitland—​Demonstration—​Sherwood’s statement 273
The Quakers—​Among the Settlers—​From Penn—​Duchess County—​First Meeting-house—​David Sand—​Elijah Hick—​Visiting Canada—​James Noxen—​A first settler—​Their mode of worship—​In Sophiasburg—​The meeting-house—​Joseph Leavens—​Hicksites—​Traveling—​Death, aged 92—​Extract, Picton Sun—​The first preaching places—​First English church—​In private houses—​At Sandwich—​The Indian church at the bay—​Ernesttown—​First Methodist church—​Preaching at Niagara—​First church in Kingston—​At Waterloo—​At Niagara—​Churches at Kingston, 1817—​In Hallowell—​Thurlow—​Methodist meeting-houses, 1816—​At Montreal—​Building chapels in olden times—​Occupying the frame—​The old Methodist chapels—​In Hallowell township—​In the fifth town—​St. Lawrence—​First English Church, Belleville—​Mr. Campbell—​First time in the pulpit—​How he got out—​The old church superseded—​Church, front of Sidney—​Rev. John Cochrane—​Rev. Mr. Grier—​First Presbyterian Church in Belleville—​Rev. Mr. Ketcham—​First Methodist Church in Belleville—​Healey, Puffer—​The site of the church—​A second one 279
The first Methodist Preachers—​The army—​Capt. Webb—​Tuffey—​George Neal—​Lyons—​School-teacher—​Exhorter—​McCarty—​Persecution—​Bigotry—​Vagabonds—​McCarty arrested—​Trial—​At Kingston—​Banished—​“A martyr”—​Doubtful—​Losee, first Methodist missionary, 1790—​A minister—​A loyalist—​Where he first preached—​“A curiosity”—​Earnest pioneer Methodist—​Class-meetings—​Suitable for all classes—​Losee’s class-meetings—​Determines to build a meeting-house—​Built in Adolphustown—​Its size—​The subscribers—​Members, amount—​Embury—​Those who subscribed for first church in New York—​Same names—​The centenary of Methodism—​New York Methodists driven away—​American Methodist forgetful—​Embury and Heck refugees—​Ashgrove—​No credit given to British officers—​Embury’s brother—​The rigging loft, N. Y.—​Barbara Heck—​Settling in Augusta—​First Methodist Church in America—​Subscribers—​“Lost Chapters”—​The Author’s silence—​What is acknowledged—​“Severe threats”—​Mr. Mann—​To Nova Scotia—​Mr. Wakely “admires piety”—​Not “loyalty”—​Second chapel, N. Y.—​Adolphustown subscribers—​Conrad VanDusen—​Eliz. Roblin—​Huff—​Ruttan—​The second Methodist chapel—​The subscribers—​Commenced May, 1795—​Carpenter’s wages—​Members Cataraqui Circuit—​Going to Conference—​Returns—​Darias Dunham—​Physician—​First quarterly meeting—​Anecdotes—​Bringing a “dish cloth”—​“Clean up”—​The new made squire—​Asses—​Unclean spirits—​Losee discontinues preaching—​Cause—​Disappointment—​Return to New York—​Dunham useful—​Settles—​Preachers travelling—​Saddle-bags—​Methodism among loyalists—​Camp-meetings—​Where first held in Canada—​Worshipping in the woods—​Breaking up—​Killing the Devil—​First Canadian preacher—​Journey from New York 285
Henry Ryan—​Ryanites—​He comes to Canada—​His associate, Case—​At Kingston—​A singer—​Preaching in the market-place—​Their treatment—​In office—​His circuit—​1000 miles—​What he received—​Elder—​Superseded—​Probable cause—​A British subject—​During the war of 1812—​President of Conference—​“High-minded”—​Useful—​Acceptable to the people—​Desired independence by the Canadians—​How he was treated—​His labors—​Brave—​Witty—​“Fatherless children”—​“Impudent scoundrel”—​Muscular—​“Methodists’ bull”—​“Magistrate’s goat”—​Ryan seeks separation—​Breckenridge—​Conduct of the American Conference—​Ryan’s agitation—​Effect upon the Bishops—​First Canada Conference—​At Hallowell—​Desire for independence—​Reasons, cogent—​Fruit of Ryan’s doings—​The way the Conference treated Ryan—​Withdraws—​No faith in the United States Conference—​Ryan sincere—​“Canadian Wesleyans”—​The motives of the United States Conference questionable—​The wrong done Ryan—​Second Canada Conference—​Case, first Superintendent—​Visit of Bishop Asbury—​Account by Henry Bœhm—​Asbury an Englishman—​During the rebellion—​A Bishop—​His journey to Canada—​Crossing the St. Lawrence—​Traveling in Canada—​An upset—​“A decent people”—​His opinion of the country—​The Bishop ill—​At Kingston—​Bœhm at Embury’s—​A field meeting—​Riding all night—​Crossing to Sackett’s harbor—​Nearly wrecked 295
McDonnell—​First R. Catholic Bishop—​A “Memorandum”—​Birth-place—​in Spain—​A priest—​In Scotland—​Glengary Fencibles—​Ireland, 1798—​To Canada—​Bishop—​Death in Scotland—​Body removed to Canada—​Funeral obsequies—​Buried at Kingston—​Had influence—​Member of Canadian Legislative Council—​Pastoral visitations, 1806—​A loyal man—​A pioneer in his church—​The Bishop’s Address, 1836—​Refuting Mal-charges—​Number of the R. C. clergy in 1804—​From Lake Superior to Lower Canada—​Traveling horseback—​Sometimes on foot—​Hardships—​Not a politician—​Expending private means—​Faithful services—​Acknowledged—​Roman Catholic U. E. Loyalists—​First church in Ernesttown—​McDonnell at Belleville—​Rev. M. Brennan—​First church in Belleville—​What we have aimed at—​The advantages to the English Church—​The Reserves—​In Lower Canada—​Dr. Mountain—​Number of English clergymen, 1793—​A Bishop—​Monopoly initiated—​Intolerance and exclusion swept away—​An early habit at Divine Service 303
First Sabbath teaching—​Hannah Bell, 1769—​School established, 1781—​Raikes—​Wesley—​First in United States—​First in Canada—​Cattrick—​Moon—​Common in 1824—​First in Belleville—​Turnbull—​Cooper—​Marshall—​Prizes, who won them—​Mr. Turnbull’s death—​Intemperance—​First temperance societies—​Change of custom—​Rum—​Increasing intemperance—​The tastes of the pioneers—​Temperance, not teetotalism—​First society in Canada—​Drinks at raisings and bees—​Society at Hallowell 308
The Six Nations—​Faithful English Allies—​Society for Propagation of Gospel—​First missionary to Iroquois—​John Thomas, first convert—​Visit of Chiefs to England—​Their names—​Their portraits—​Attention to them—​Asking for instructor—​Queen Anne—​Communion Service—​During the Rebellion—​Burying the plate—​Recovered—​Division of the articles—​Sacrilege of the Rebels—​Re-printing Prayer Book—​Mr. Stuart, missionary—​The women and children—​At Lachine—​Attachment to Mr. Stuart—​Touching instance—​Mr. Stuart’s Indian sister—​Church at Tyendinaga—​School teacher to the Mohawk—​John Bininger—​First teacher—​The Bininger family—​The Moravian Society—​Count Zinzendorf—​Moravian church at New York—​First minister, Abraham Bininger—​Friend of Embury—​An old account book—​John Bininger journeying to Canada—​Living at Bay Quinté—​Removes to Mohawk village—​Missionary spirit—​Abraham Bininger’s letters—​The directions—​Children pleasing parents—​“Galloping thoughts”—​Christianity—​Canadian Moravian missionaries—​Moravian loyalists—​What was sent from New York—​“Best Treasure”—​The “Dear Flock”—​David Zieshager at the Thames—​J. Bininger acceptable to Mohawk—​Abraham Bininger desires to visit Canada—​Death of Mrs. Bininger—​“Tender mother”—​Bininger and Wesley—​“Garitson”—​“Losee”—​“Dunon”—​Reconciled to Methodists—​Pitying Losee—​Losee leaving Canada—​Ceases to be teacher—​Appointing a successor—​William Bell—​The salary—​The Mohawks don’t attend school—​An improvement—​The cattle may not go in School-house—​The school discontinued 312
The first Church at Tyendinaga grows old—​A Council—​Ask for assistance—​Gov. Bagot—​Laying first stone of new Church—​The Inscription—​The Ceremony—​The new Church—​Their Singing—​The surrounding Scenery—​John Hall’s Tomb—​Pagan Indians—​Red Jacket—​His Speech—​Reflection upon Christians—​Indians had nothing to do with murdering the Saviour 319
Mississauga Indians—​Father Picquet’s opinion—​Remnant of a large tribe—​Their land—​Sold to Government—​Rev. Wm. Case—​John Sunday—​A drunkard—​Peter Jones—​Baptising Indians—​At a camp-meeting—​Their department—​Extract from Playter—​William Beaver—​Conversions—​Jacob Peter—​Severe upon white Christians—​Their worship—​The Father of Canadian missions—​Scheme to teach Indians—​Grape Island—​Leasing Islands—​The parties—​“Dated at Belleville”—​Constructing a village—​The lumber—​How obtained—​Encamping on Grape Island—​The method of instruction—​The number—​Agriculture—​Their singing—​School house—​The teacher—​Instructions of women—​Miss Barnes—​Property of Indians—​Cost of improvements—​A visit to Government—​Asking for land—​“Big Island”—​Other favors—​Peter Jacobs at New York—​Extracts from Playter—​Number of Indian converts, 1829—​River Credit Indians—​Indians removed to Alnwick 323
Education among the Loyalists—​Effect of the war—​No opportunity for Education—​A few Educated—​At Bath—​A common belief—​What was requisite for farming—​Learning at home—​The school teachers—​Their qualifications—​Rev. Mr. Stuart as a teacher—​Academy at Kingston—​First Canadian D.D.—​Mr. Clark, Teacher, 1786—​Donevan—​Garrison Schools—​Cockerell—​Myers—​Blaney—​Michael—​Atkins—​Kingston, 1795—​Lyons—​Mrs. Cranahan—​In Adolphustown—​Morden—​Faulkiner—​The school books—​Evening schools—​McDougall—​O’Reiley—​McCormick—​Flogging—​Salisbury—​James—​Potter—​Wright—​Watkins—​Gibson—​Smith—​Whelan—​Articles of Agreement—​Recollections—​Boarding round—​American teachers—​School books—​The letter Z 329
Mr. Stuart’s school—​Simcoe—​State Church and College—​Grammar schools—​Hon. R. Hamilton—​Chalmers—​Strachan—​Comes to Canada—​Educational history—​Arrival at Kingston—​The pupils—​Fees—​Removes to Cornwall—​Pupils follow—​Strachan, a Canadian—​Marries—​Interview with Bishop Strachan—​His disappointment—​A stranger—​What he forsook—​300 pupils—​Their success—​Stay at Cornwall—​Appointments at York—​A lecturer—​At Kingston—​Member of Legislative Council—​Politician—​Clergy Reserves—​Founds King’s College—​The thirty-nine articles—​Monopoly swept away—​Voluntaryism—​Founds Trinity College—​Bishop Strachan in 1866—​What he had accomplished—​Those he tutored—​Setting up a high standard—​“Reckoner”—​Sincerity—​Legislation, 1797—​Address to the King—​Grammar Schools—​Grant, 1798—​Board of Education—​Endowment of King’s College—​Its constitution—​Changes—​Upper Canada College—​Endowment—​“A spirit of improvement”—​Gourlay—​The second academy—​At Ernesttown—​The trustees—​Bidwell—​Charges—​Contradicted—​Rival school—​Bidwell’s son—​Conspicuous character—​Bidwell’s death—​Son removes to Toronto—​Academy building, a barrack—​Literary spirit of Bath—​Never revived—​York 334
Extract from Cooper—​Educational institutions—​Kingston—​Queen’s College—​Own’s Real Estate—​Regiopolis College—​Roman Catholic—​Grammar School—​Attendance—​School houses—​Library—​Separate School—​Private Schools—​The Quaker School—​William Penn—​Upon the Hudson—​Near Bloomfield—​Origin of school—​Gurnay—​His offer—​Management of school—​The teaching—​Mrs. Crombie’s school—​Picton ladies’ Academy—​McMullen, proprietor—​Teachers—​Gentlemen’s department—​Popular—​The art of printing—​In America—​Book publishing—​First in America—​Books among the loyalists—​Few—​Passed around—​Ferguson’s books—​The Bible—​Libraries at Kingston and Bath—​Legislation—​In Lower Canada—​Reading room at Hallowell—​Reserves for education—​Upper Canada in respect to education—​Praiseworthy—​Common School system bill introduced 1841—​Amended, 1846—​Dr. Ryerson’s system—​Unsurpassed 341
First Newspapers, 1457—​Year, 66—​English Newspapers—​In America—​In Canada—​‘Gazette’—​Founder—​Papers in 1753—​Quebec ‘Herald’—​Montreal ‘Gazette’—​‘Le Temps’—​Quebec ‘Mercury’—​Canadian ‘Courant’—​‘Royal Gazette’—​First in Newfoundland—​‘U. C. Gazette’—​First paper—​Subscribers—​Upper Canada ‘Guardian’—​Wilcox—​Mr. Thorpe—​Opposition—​Libel—​Elected to Parliament—​York Jail—​Leader—​In 1812—​Deserted—​York ‘Gazette’—​Kingston ‘Gazette’—​Only Paper—​News sixty years ago—​In Midland District—​Rev. Mr. Miles—​Pioneer of Journalism—​His Birthplace—​Learns the printing business—​Mower—​Montreal ‘Gazette’—​Kendall—​Partnership—​To Kingston in 1810—​The printing office—​Kingston ‘Gazette’—​Mr. Miles sells out—​The concern purchased—​Mr. Miles asked to be Editor—​Their kindness—​Gratitude—​Second Volume—​Extract from ‘Gazette’—​The Price—​Kingston ‘Chronicle’—​Upper Canada ‘Herald’—​‘Canadian Watchman’—​Mr. Miles at Prescott—​Returns to Kingston—​Enters the Ministry—​Loyal Subject—​In 1812—​On Duty—​Archdeacon Stuart—​Col. Cartwright—​Contributors to ‘Gazette’—​Our Thanks—​A Watch—​Faithfulness—​“A Good Chance”—​Subscribers at York—​Kingston ‘Spectator’—​‘Patriot’—​‘Argus’—​‘Commercial Advertizer’—​‘British Whig’—​‘Chronicle’ and ‘News’—​First Daily in Upper Canada—​Paper Boxes—​Brockville ‘Recorder’—​A Reform paper—​McLeod—​Grenville ‘Gazette’—​Prescott ‘Telegraph’—​‘Christian Guardian’—​Reform Journals 350
First paper between Kingston and York—​Hallowell “Free Press”—​The Editor—​“Recluse”—​Fruitless efforts—​Proprietor—​Wooden press—​Of iron—​“Free Press,” independent—​The “Traveller”—​Press removed to Cobourg—​“Prince Edward Gazette”—​“Picton Gazette”—​“Picton Sun”—​“Picton Times”—​“New Nation”—​“Cobourg Star”—​“Anglo-Canadian” at Belleville—​The Editor—​Price—​The “Phœnix”—​Slicer—​“Canadian Wesleyan”—​“Hastings Times”—​The “Reformer”—​The “Intelligencer”—​George Benjamin—​The “Victoria Chronicle”—​“Hastings Chronicle”—​Extract from Playter—​“Colonial Advocate”—​“Upper Canada Herald”—​“Barker’s Magazine”—​“Victoria Magazine”—​Joseph Wilson—​Mrs. Moodie—​Sheriff Moodie—​Pioneer in Canadian literature—​Extract from Morgan—​“Literary Garland”—​“Roughing it in the Bush”—​“Eclectic Magazine”—​“Wilson’s Experiment”—​“Wilson’s Canada Casket”—​The “Bee” at Napanee—​“Emporium”—​The “Standard”—​The “Reformer”—​“North American”—​“Ledger”—​“Weekly Express”—​“Christian Casket”—​“Trenton Advocate”—​“British Ensign”—​The “Canadian Gem”—​“Maple Leaf”—​Papers in 1853—​Canadian papers superior to American—​Death at Boston—​Berczy—​Canadian idioms—​Accent—​Good English—​Superstition—​Home education—​Fireside stories—​Traditions 358
The Indians—​Their origin—​Pre-historic Canada—​Indian relics—​Original inhabitants—​Les Iroquois du nord—​Original names—​Peninsula of Upper Canada—​Champlain exploring—​Ascends the Ottawa—​His route to Lake Nippissing—​To Lake Huron—​French river—​The country—​Georgian Bay—​Lake Simcoe—​Down the Trent—​A grand trip—​Bay Quinté and Lake Ontario discovered—​War demonstration—​Wintering at the Bay—​A contrast—​Roundabout way—​Erroneous impressions 366
Name—​Letter, “Daily News”—​“Omega” Lines—​The writer—​Conjectures—​Five Bays—​Indian origin—​Kentes—​Villages—​Les Couis—​Modes of spelling—​Canty—​The occupants, 1783—​Mississaugas—​Origin—​With the Iroquois—​The Souter—​Mississaugas, dark—​At Kingston—​Bay Quinté—​Land bought—​Reserves—​Claim upon the islands—​Wappoose Island—​Indian agent—​Indians hunting—​Up the Sagonaska—​Making sugar—​Peaceable—​To Kingston for presents 374
Appearance—​Mouth of Bay—​Length—​The Peninsula of Prince Edward—​Width of Bay—​Long Reach—​Course of Bay—​The High Shore—​Division of bay—​Eastern, central, western—​Taking a trip—​Through the Reach—​A picture—​A quiet spot—​Lake on the mountain—​A description—​Montreal Gazette—​Beautiful view—​Rhine, Hudson—​Contrast—​Classic ground—​A sketch—​Birth place of celebrated Canadians—​Hagerman—​A leading spirit—​Sir J. A. McDonald—​Reflections—​A log house—​Relics of the past—​Lesson of life—​In the lower bay—​Reminiscences—​The front—​Cradle of the province—​Shore of Marysburgh—​In the Western Bay—​Cuthbertson—​Up the bay—​A battle ground—​Devil’s Hill—​In the depths—​Prosperity—​Geological supposition—​Head of bay—​The past 383
The “Big Bay”—​Musketoe Bay—​Mohawk Bay—​Hay Bay—​“Eastern Bay”—​Site of Ancient Kentes—​The name—​Old Families—​An Accident, 1819—​Eighteen Drowned—​Extract from Playter—​Searching for the Bodies—​Burying the dead—​Picton Bay—​Appearance—​The “Grand Bay”—​Upper Gap—​Lower Gap—​Kingston Bay—​A Picture—​Recollections—​A Contract—​Ship Yards—​Extract from Cooper—​Inland Lakes 395
Islands—​Possessed by Indians—​The “Thousand Islands”—​Carleton Island—​History of Island—​During the rebellion—​Wolfe Island—​The name—​Howe Island—​Old name—​County of Ontario—​Garden Island—​Horseshoe Island—​Sir Jeffry Amherst—​The size—​Indian name—​“Tontine”—​Johnson’s Island—​The Island won—​Present owner—​First settler—​The three brothers—​Small Islands—​Hare Island—​Nut Island—​Wappoose Island—​Indian rendezvous—​Captain John’s Island—​Bartering—​Hunger Island—​Big Island—​First settlers—​Huff’s Island—​Paul Huff—​Grape Island—​Hog Island—​Smaller Islands—​Mississauga Island—​A tradition—​The carrying place—​Its course—​Original survey—​History—​American prisoners—​Col. Wilkins 402
The French—​Their policy—​Trading posts—​Cahiaque—​Variations—​Name of river—​Foundation of Fort Frontenac—​A change—​Site of old fort—​La Salle’s petition—​A Seigniory—​Governors visiting—​War Expedition—​Fort destroyed—​Rebuilt—​Colonial wars—​Taking of Fort Oswego—​Frontenac taken—​End of French domination 410
Cooper’s Essay—​Loyalists naming places—​King’s Town—​Queen’s Town—​Niagara—​Spanish names—​Cataraqui from 1759 to 1783—​Desolation—​The rebellion—​Station, Carleton Island—​Settling—​Refugees at New York—​Michael Grass—​Prisoner at Cataraqui—​From New York to Canada—​Captain Grass takes possession of first township—​First landholders—​A letter by Captain Grass—​Changes—​Surveying forts and harbors—​Report to Lord Dorchester—​Kingston, versus Carleton Island—​The defenses—​Troops—​King’s township—​First settlers—​“Plan of township No. 1”—​First owners of town lots—​Names—​Settlers upon the front—​First inhabitants of Kingston—​A naval and military station—​The Commodore—​Living of old—​Kingston in last century—​New fortifications 419
The situation of Kingston—​Under military influence—​Monopolist—​Early history of legislation—​In 1810—​Gourlay’s statement—​Police—​Modern Kingston—​Lord Sydenham—​Seat of government—​Perambulating—​Surrounding country—​Provisions—​An appeal for Kingston as capital—​Barriefield—​Pittsburgh—​Building of small crafts—​Famous—​Roads—​Waterloo—​Cemetery—​Portsmouth—​Kingston Mill—​Little Cataraqui—​Collinsby—​Quantity of land—​Early and influential inhabitants—​Post masters—​“Honorable men”—​Deacon, Macaulay, Cartwright, Markland, Cummings, Smiths, Kerby—​Allen McLean, first lawyer—​A gardener—​Sheriff McLean—​“Chrys” Hagerman—​Customs—​Sampson, shooting a smuggler—​Hagerman, M.P.P.—​Removes to Toronto 430
The second town—​Ernest’s town—​King George—​His children—​Settlers of Ernesttown—​Disbanded soldiers—​Johnson’s regiment—​Major Rogers’ corps—​The “Roll”—​Number—​By whom enlisted—​An old book—​Township surveyed—​Settling—​Traveling—​Living in tents—​A change—​Officers—​Names—​Occupants of lots—​Mill Creek—​The descendants—​Quality of land—​Village—​The settlers in 1811—​The main road—​Incorporation of Bath—​Trading—​Fairfield—​The library—​Bath by Gourlay—​Bath of the present—​Bath versus Napanee—​In 1812—​American Fleet—​Wonderful achievement—​Safe distance from shore—​Third township—​Fredericksburgh—​After Duke of Sussex—​Surveyed by Kotte—​A promise to the disbanded soldiers—​Johnson—​Fredericksburgh additional—​A dispute—​Quantity of land—​Extract from Mrs. Moodie—​Reserve for village—​Second surveys 439
The fourth township—​Adolphustown—​After Duke of Cambridge—​Quantity of Land—​Survey—​Major VanAlstine—​Refugees—​From New York—​Time—​Voyage—​Their Fare—​Names—​Arrived—​Hagerman’s Point—​In Tents—​First Settler—​Town Plot—​Death—​The Burial—​A Relic—​Commissary—​Dispute of Surveyors—​The Settlers—​All things in common—​An aged man—​Golden rule—​Old map—​Names—​Islands—​The township—​Price of land—​First “town meeting”—​Minutes—​The Officers Record—​Inhabitants, 1794—​Up to 1824—​First Magistrates—​Centre of Canada—​Court Held in Barn—​In Methodist Chapel—​“A Den of Thieves”—​Court House erected—​Adolphustown Canadians—​Members of Parliament—​The Courts—​Where first held—​Hagerman—​Travelers tarrying at Adolphustown 448
Marysburgh—​Origin—​Once part of a Seigniory—​Survey—​Hessians—​Old map—​The lots—​Officers of the 84th Regt.—​Original landowners—​Indian Point—​McDonnell’s Cove—​Grog Bay—​“Accommodating Bay”—​“Gammon Point”—​Black River—​“Long Point”—​Reserves—​Course pursued by the Surveyor—​Number of Hessians—​Their sufferings—​Dark tales—​Discontented—​Returning to Hesse—​A suitable location—​Not U. E. Loyalists—​Received land gratis—​Family land—​Their habits—​Capt. McDonnell—​Squire Wright—​Sergt. Harrison—​The Smith’s—​Grant to Major VanAlstine—​Beautiful Scenery—​Smith’s bay—​“The Rock”—​Over a precipice 458
Sixth township—​Name—​Survey—​Convenient for settlement—​First settlers—​A remote township—​What was paid for lots—​“Late Loyalists”—​Going to Mill—​Geological formation—​Along the fronts—​High shore—​Grassy Point—​Its history—​Marsh front—​Central place—​Stickney’s Hill—​Foster’s Hill—​Northport—​Trade—​James Cotter—​Gores—​Demerestville—​The name—​“Sodom”—​First records—​Township meetings—​The Laws of the township—​Divided into parishes—​Town clerk—​Officers—​The poor—​The committee—​Inhabitants, 1824—​Fish Lake—​Seventh Township—​The name—​Survey by Kotte—​At the Carrying Place—​Surveyor’s assistant—​No early records—​First settlers 465
Prince Edward—​The name—​Rich land—​Size of peninsula—​Shape—​Small Lakes—​Sand hills—​The Ducks—​Gibson’s rock—​The past—​First settler—​Col. Young—​Prospecting—​Discovery of East Lake—​West Lake—​Moving in—​Settlers in 1800—​East Lake—​Capt. Richardson—​“Prince Edward Division Bill”—​Office seekers—​Township of Hallowell—​The name—​Formation of Township—​First records 1798—​The officers—​The laws—​Magistrates—​Picton—​Its origin—​Hallowell village—​Dr. Austin—​Gen. Picton—​His monument—​Naming the villages—​A contest—​The Court house—​An offer—​Enterprise—​Proposed steamboat—​Churches—​Rev. Mr. Macaulay—​Rev. Mr. Fraser—​Rev. Mr. Lalor 476
Eighth Township—​Sidney—​Name—​Survey—​Settlement, 1787—​Letter from Ferguson—​Trading—​Barter—​Potatoes—​Building—​Cows—​No salt to spare—​First settlers—​Myers—​Re-surveying—​James Farley—​Town Clerk at first meeting—​William Ketcheson—​Gilbert’s Cove—​Coming to the front—​River Trent—​Old names—​Ferry—​Bridge—​Trenton—​Its settlement—​Squire Bleeker 485
Ninth town—​Thurlow—​Name—​When surveyed—​Front—​Indian burying ground—​Owner of first lots—​Chisholm—​Singleton—​Myers—​Ferguson—​Indian traders—​To Kingston in batteau—​Singleton’s death—​Ferguson’s death—​Distress of the families—​Settled, 1789—​Ascending the Moira—​Taking possession of land—​Fifth concession—​John Taylor—​Founder of Belleville—​Myers buying land—​Settlers upon the front—​Municipal record—​Town officers—​1798—​Succeeding years—​Canifton, its founder—​Settling—​The diet—​Building mill—​Road—​River Moira—​Origin of name—​Earl Moira—​Indian name—​Indian offering—​“Cabojunk”—​Myers’ saw-mill—​Place not attractive—​First bridge—​The flouring-mill—​Belleville—​Indian village—​Myers’ Creek—​Formation of village—​First Inn—​Permanent bridge—​Bridge Street—​In 1800—​Growth—​A second mill—​McNabb’s—​Sad death—​Captain McIntosh—​Petrie—​Inhabitants, 1809—​Dr. Spareham—​Naming of Belleville—​Bella Gore—​By Gore in council—​Petition—​Extract from Kingston Gazette—​Surveying reserve—​Wilmot—​Mistakes—​Granting of lots—​Conditions—​Board of Police—​Extent of Belleville—​Muddy streets—​Inhabitants in 1824—​Court-house—​First Court, Quarter Sessions—​Belleville in 1836 489
Tenth township—​Richmond—​Origin—​Quantity of land—​Shores of Mohawk Bay—​Village on south shore—​Original land holders—​Names—​Napanee—​The falls—​The mill—​Salmon River—​Indian name—​Source of Napanee River—​Its course—​Colebrook—​Simcoe Falls—​Name—​Clarke’s Mills—​Newburgh—​Academy—​The settlers—​“Clarkville”—​No records 503
Military rule—​Imperial Act, 1774—​French Canada—​Refugees—​Military Government in Upper Canada—​New Districts—​Lunenburgh—​Mecklenburgh—​Nassau—​Hesse—​The Judges—​Duncan—​Cartwright—​Hamilton—​Robertson—​Court in Mecklenburgh—​Civil Law—​Judge Duncan—​Judge Cartwright—​Punishment inflicted—​First execution—​New Constitution of Quebec—​1791, Quebec Bill passed—​Inhabitants of Upper Canada 505
Simcoe—​His arrival in Canada—​Up the St. Lawrence—​An old house—​“Old Breeches’ River”—​Simcoe’s attendants—​The old veterans—​“Good old cause”—​“Content”—​Toasting—​Old officers—​Executive Council of Upper Canada—​First entry—​Simcoe inducted to office—​Religious ceremony—​“The proceedings”—​Those present—​Oath of office—​Organization of Legislative Council—​Assembly—​Issuing writs for elections—​Members of Council—​Simcoe’s difficulty—​At Kingston—​Division of Province—​The Governor’s officers—​Rochfoucault upon Simcoe—​Simcoe’s surroundings—​His wife—​Opening Parliament in 1795—​Those present—​Retinue—​Dress—​The nineteen counties—​Simcoe’s designs—​Visit of the Queen’s father—​At Kingston—​Niagara—​A war dance 509
General Hunter—​Peter Russell—​Francis Gore, 1806—​Alex. Grant—​Brock—​1812—​United States declare war—​Prompt action—​Parliament—​Proclamation—​The issue—​Second proclamation—​General Hull—​His proclamation—​Bombast and impertinence—​The Indians—​Proclamation answered—​Hull a prisoner—​Michigan conquered—​To Niagara—​At Queenston heights—​“Push on York Volunteers”—​Death of Brock—​McDonnell—​War of 1812, the Americans—​Extract from Merritt—​What Canadians did—​Brock’s monument—​General Sheaffe—​General Drummond—​Invading the States—​What Canada will do—​Lord Sydenham—​A tribute by Dr. Ryerson—​Union of the Provinces 517
Kingston—​First capital—​First act of government—​Niagara—​Selecting the capital—​Niagara in 1788—​Carrying place—​Landing place—​Newark—​In 1795—​Mr. Hamilton—​The inhabitants—​Little York—​The Don—​The Harbor—​Survey—​De la Trenche—​London—​Inhabitants of the Don—​Yonge street, a military road—​Governor at York—​Castle Frank—​York in 1798—​The Baldwins—​In 1806—​Buffalo—​York, 1813—​Taken by the Americans—​The Combatants—​Toronto—​“Muddy York”—​A monument required 526
Parliament—​Simcoe’s Proclamation—​Nineteen counties formed—​Names and boundaries—​First elections—​Names of members—​Officers of the House—​A Quaker member—​Chaplain—​Meeting of Parliament—​The Throne, a camp stool—​Address—​To both houses—​Closing address—​Acts passed—​Simcoe’s confidential letters—​A contrast—​A blending—​2nd Session—​The Acts—​Quarter Sessions—​3rd, 4th, 5th Sessions—​New division of Province—​1798—​Modes of punishment—​Burning the hand—​Whipping—​Salaries of officers—​Revenue first year—​The members of Parliament—​Education—​Offering for Parliament—​A “Junius”—​Early administration of justice—​“Heaven-born lawyers”—​First magistrates 533
Militia Act, 1792—​Simcoe—​No faith in the Americans—​His views—​Military Roads—​Division of Districts—​Military purposes—​The officers—​Legislation—​The expenses—​Repeated Legislation—​Aggressive spirit—​The Enrolment—​Hastings Battalion—​“Something brewing”—​List of Officers—​Col. Ferguson—​Col. Bell—​Leeds Militia—​Officers’ clothing—​The Midland District—​Prince Edward—​Training Places 544
In 1812, around Bay Quinté—​The declaration of war—​The news at Kingston—​The call to arms—​Hastings—​Events at Kingston—​In 1813—​Attack upon Sacket’s Harbor—​Oswego—​American fleet before Kingston—​Royal George—​Kingston prepared—​Chrysler’s farm—​A “Postscript”—​Along the St. Lawrence—​Ribaldry—​The Commissary—​Capt. Wilkins—​Quakers—​Rate of pay—​American prisoners—​The Wounded—​Surgeons, Dougal, Meacham—​Jonathan Phillips—​Militiamen’s reward—​Militia orders—​Parliamentary grants 551
The Six Nations in 1812—​American animus—​“Manifest Destiny”—​Mohawk Indians—​A right to defend their homes—​Inconsistency—​American savages—​Extract from Playter—​Brock’s proclamation—​Indian character, conduct, eloquence—​Deserters in 1812—​Few of them—​Court-martials—​The attempts at conquest by the Americans—​The numbers—​Result of war—​Canadians saved the country—​And can do so—​Fraternal kindness 564
Canada’s first step in civilization—​Slavery in America—​By whom introduced—​False charge—​Slavery in Canada—​History—​Imperial Acts—​Legislation in Canada—​The several clauses—​In Lower Canada—​Justice Osgood—​Slavery at the Rebellion—​Among the U. E. Loyalists—​Those who held slaves—​Descendants of the slaves—​“A British slave”—​“For sale”—​“Indian slave”—​Upper Canada’s Record—​Compared with the States—​Liberty—​Why the United States abolished slavery—​Honor to whom honor is due 569
Returns to the Pioneer—​Bay Region—​Garden of Canada—​Clogs—​False views of settlers—​Result—​New blood—​Good example—​Anecdote—​The “Family Compact”—​Partiality—​Origin of the Compact—​Their conduct—​The evil they did—​A proposed Canadian Aristocracy—​What it would have led to—​What may come—​“Peter Funks” 580
Agriculture—​Natural Products—​Rice—​Ginseng—​Orchards—​Plows—​Reaping—​Flax—​Legislation—​Agricultural Society organized by Simcoe—​A Snuff Box—​Fogies—​Silver—​Want of help—​Midland District taking the lead—​Societies—​Legislative help—​Prince Edward—​Pearl Ashes—​Factories—​Tanneries—​Breweries, Carding Machines—​Paper—​Lumber—​First vehicles—​Sleighs—​Waggons—​Home-made—​Roads—​First Public Conveyances—​Stages—​Fare—​Building Greater—​Sawing Mills introduced by the Dutch—​First Brick Building—​Myers’ House—​Its past history—​Furniture from Albany—​Currency—​Paper Money—​Banks—​First Merchants—​Barter—​Pedlars—​On the Bay 587
Steam vessels—​Crossing the Atlantic in 1791—​First Steam Vessel—​Hudson—​The second on the St. Lawrence—​First across the Atlantic—​In Upper Canada—​Frontenac—​Built in Ernesttown—​The Builders—​Finkle’s Point—​Cost of Vessel—​Dimensions—​Launched—​First Trip—​Captain McKenzie—​‘Walk-in-the-Water’—​Queen Charlotte—​How Built—​Upon Bay Quinté—​Capt. Dennis—​First year—​Death of Dennis—​Henry Gilderslieve—​What he did—​Other Steamboats—​Canals—​First in Upper Canada—​Welland Canal—​Desjardin—​Rideau—​Its object—​Col. By—​A proposed Canal—​Railroads—​The first in the world—​Proposed Railway from Kingston to Toronto, 1846—​In Prince Edward District—​Increase of Population—​Extract from Dr. Lillie—​Comparison with the United States—​Favorable to Canada—​False Cries—​The French—​Midland District, 1818 599
Definition—​A division—​Their principles—​Our position—​Ancestry—​Dutch—​Puritans—​Huguenots—​New Rochelle—​English writers—​Talbot—​Falsehoods—​Canadian and English ancestry—​Howison—​Maligner—​Gourlay’s reply—​Palatines—​Old names 616
Character—​Hospitality—​At home—​Fireside—​Visitors—​Bees—​Raisings—​Easter Eggs—​Dancing—​Hovington House—​Caste—​Drinks—​Horse-racing—​Boxing—​Amusements—​La Crosse—​Duels—​Patriotism—​Annexation—​Freedom—​Egotism—​The Loyalists—​Instances—​Longevity—​Climate of Canada—​A quotation—​Long lived—​The children—​The present race—​A nationality—​Comparison—​“U. E. Loyalist”—​Their Privileges—​Order of Council—​Dissatisfaction 624
Notice of a Few—​Booth—​Brock—​Burritt—​Cotter—​Cartwright—​Conger—​Cole—​Dempsey—​Detlor—​Fraser—​Finkle—​Fisher—​Fairfield—​Grass—​Gamble—​Hagerman—​Johnson’s—​“Bill” Johnson—​Macaulay—​The Captive, Christian Moore—​Parliament—​Morden—​Roblins—​Simon—​Van Alstine—​Wallbridge—​Chrysler—​White—​Wilkins—​Stewart—​Wilson—​Metcalf—​Jayne—​McIntosh—​Bird—​Gerow—​Vankleek—​Perry—​Sir William Johnson’s children 642
Roll of the 2nd Battalion King’s Royal Regiment 667
The Governors of Canada 670
Indian Goods 671


Page 29, 12th line from top, instead of “1859,” read “1759.”

Page 80, 4th line from bottom, instead of “are equally,” read “were equally.”

Page 102, 16th line from bottom, instead of “removed to the town,” read “to the fifth town.”

Page 104, instead of “Hodgins,” read “Hudgins.”

Page 104, 16th line from top, instead of “1859,” read “1809.”

Page 130, 4th line, 2nd paragraph, instead of “South,” read “North.”

Page 138, heading of page should be “Voyaging.”

Page 192, bottom line, instead of “dispersed,” read “dispossessed.”

Page 257, 19th line, “gloomy,” read “glowing.”

Page 288, 19th line, “glowing a picture,” should have “of” following.

Page 293, instead of “Wesleyanism,” read “Wesleyans.”

Page 371, 14th line, instead of “1815,” read “1615.”

Page 437, 10th line from bottom, instead of “Lawer,” read “Lawyer.”

Page 585, 15th line, after “Governor,” read they were generally.

Page 596, 3rd line, after “often,” read inferior.




Contents—​Antiquarianism—​Records of the Early Nations—​Tradition—​The Press—​The Eastern World—​The Western World—​Importance of History—​Columbus—​Colonization—​Canada—​America—​Cartier—​French Canadian writers—​Cartier’s first visit—​Huguenots—​Cartier’s second visit—​Jean Francois—​Sir George E. Cartier—​Establishment of the Fur Trade—​Champlain—​Discovery of Lake Ontario—​Bay of Quinté—​Quebec founded—​First fighting with Indians—​First taking of Quebec by the British—​Returned to France—​The Recollets and Jesuits—​Death of Champlain—​Foundation of Montreal—​Emigration from France—​The Carignan Regiment—​DeCourcelle—​Proposal to found a Fort at Lake Ontario—​Frontenac—​Fort at Cataraqui—​La Salle—​Fort at Niagara—​First vessel upon the Lakes—​Its fate—​Death of La Salle, the first settler of Upper Canada—​Founder of Louisiana—​Discoverer of the mouth of the Mississippi.

There exists, as one characteristic of the nineteenth century, an earnest desire on the part of many to recall, and, in mind, to live over the days and years that are past; and many there are who occupy more or less of their time in collecting the scattered relics of bygone days—​in searching among the faded records of departed years, to eagerly catch the golden sands of facts which cling to legendary tales, and to interpret the hieroglyphics which the footsteps of time have well-nigh worn away. To this fact many a museum can bear ample testimony. The antiquarian enjoys intense satisfaction in his labors of research, and when he is rewarded by the discovery of something new, he is but stimulated to renewed exertion. In the old world rich fields have been, and are now being explored; and in the new laborers are not wanting.

2Since the days when man first trod the virgin soil of this globe, he has ever been accustomed to preserve the more important events of his life, and, by tradition, to hand them down to his children’s children; and likewise has it been with communities and nations. Every people who are known to have occupied a place upon the earth, have left some indication of their origin, and the part they played in the world’s great drama. In recent days, facts pertaining to nations and particular individuals are preserved in all their amplitude, through the agency of the Press. But in former centuries, only a few symbols, perhaps rudely cut in solid stone, commemorated events of the most important kind. The historians of Eastern nations have had to look far back into the misty past, to learn the facts of their birth and infant days; while the dark days of barbarism hang as a thick veil to obstruct the view. The middle ages, like a destructive flood, swept away, to a great extent, the records previously in existence. But out of the debris has been exhumed many a precious relic; and the stone and the marble thus obtained, have supplied valuable material on which to base trustworthy history.

In recording the events which belong to the Western world—​this broad American continent—​the historian has far less of toil and research to undergo. It is true the native Indian, who once proudly ruled the vast extent of the new world, has a history yet undeveloped. An impenetrable cloud obscures the facts appertaining to his advent upon this continent. The nature of his origin is buried in the ocean of pre-historic time. But in reference to the occupation of America by Europeans, the subjugation and gradual extermination of the Indian, the life of the pioneer, the struggles for political independence, the rapid growth and development of nations; all these results, embraced within the space of a few centuries, are freely accessible to the American historian.

The importance of history cannot be questioned; the light it affords is always valuable, and, if studied aright, will supply the student with material by which he may qualify himself for any position in public life. In the following chapters it is intended to draw attention more particularly to the new world, and to examine a few pages in the history of North America.

In the absence of any data upon which to base statements relating to the aborigines, we may say the history of the new world begins with the memorable and enterprising adventures of Christopher Columbus, in 1492; although there is evidence that 3America had been previously visited by the people of Northern Europe, about the year 1000. The steady flow of emigrants which commenced a century later, from the old world to the new, of bold, energetic people, is a spectacle of grand import.

Almost every nation of Europe has contributed to the colonization of America. All, however, were not at first actuated by the same motives in braving the perils of the deep—​then far greater than at the present day—​and the dangers of the wilderness. The Spaniards were searching for the precious gold. The English desired to acquire territory; the Dutch sought to extend their commerce; and the French, it is said, were, at first, intent only on converting the pagan Indians to Christianity.—​(Garneau.) Space will not permit to trace the course of events in connection with the first settlements in America; the history of the several colonies, the bloody Indian wars, the contentions between the different colonizing people, the rebellions of the colonies and their achievement of independence. We shall mainly confine ourselves to those events which led to, and accompanied the settlement of Upper Canada.

Canada, the coast of which was first discovered by John Cabot, in 1497, is an honorable name, far more so than America. It has been a cause of complaint with some that the United States should appropriate to their exclusive use the name of America. But it is quite right they should enjoy it. It is after a superficial impostor, Amerigo Vespucci, who availed himself of the discoveries of Columbus, to vaunt himself into renown.

The word Canada is most probably derived from an Iroquois word, signifying Cabin. It has been stated on the authority of a Castilian tradition, that the word was of Spanish origin. The Spaniards, looking after gold, ascended the St. Lawrence, but failing to find the precious metal, exclaimed “Aca nada,” (Here is nothing.) The natives hearing the land thus called, when Europeans again visited them, upon being asked the name of their country, replied “Canada,” in imitation of the Spaniards. Again, Father Hennepin asserts that the Spaniards, upon leaving the land, gave it the appellation “El Cape di nada,” (Cape nothing,) which in time became changed into Canada. But Charlevoix, in his “Histoire de la Nouvelle France,” says that Canada is derived from the Iroquois word “Kannata,” pronounced Canada, which signifies “love of cabins.” Duponcion, in the “Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia,” founds his belief of the Indian origin of the name 4Canada, on the fact that, in the translation of the Gospel by St. Matthew into the Mohawk tongue, by Brant, the word Canada is always made to signify a village. Taking the whole matter into consideration, there appears the best of reasons to conclude that Canada, a name now properly bestowed upon the Dominion, is of Indian origin, and signifies the country of a people who are accustomed to live in villages or permanent cabins, instead of in tents and constantly changing from one place to another.

The history of French Canada is one of unusual interest—​from the time Jacques Cartier, in 1534, with two vessels of less than 60 tons burden each, and 122 men in all, entered for the first time the Gulf of St. Lawrence—​up to the present day. It was not until the first decade of the 17th century, nearly a hundred years after Cartier first landed, that successful colonization by the French was accomplished. Nevertheless, Canada has as early a place among the colonies of America as New Netherlands or Virginia, which are the oldest States of the neighboring Union. Virginia was planted in 1608; New Netherlands (now New York,) was not settled until 1614. Prior to that, in 1609, Hudson had ascended the river now bearing his name, as far as the present site of Albany; but at the same time the intrepid Champlain was traversing the wilds of the more northern part of the territory to the south of Lake Ontario.

Although the history of New France is one of great interest, yet, in this local history, space can only be allowed to glance at the course of events in connection therewith. But French Canada is not in danger of suffering for want of historians to pen the events of her life. Already enthusiastic countrymen have done justice to the patriotism, valor and ability of the Franco-Canadian race. And, at the present time, earnest workers are in the field, searching among the records of the past, stowed away in Paris, with the view of making known all that can be learned of their sires. We find no fault with the intense love they bear to their language, their laws, their religion, their institutions generally. Such is characteristic of a high-spirited race; and, as common Canadians we rejoice to have so devoted a people to lay with us the foundation of our northern Dominion.

It has already been said that Jacques Cartier first landed in Canada in 1534. At this time the pent up millions of Europe, lying in a state of semi-bondage, were prepared to strike off the chains which had hitherto bound them, both in mind and body, to 5the select ones, who claimed that prerogative, as of Divine origin, and to avail themselves of the vast territory which Columbus had recovered from oblivion. Then was the future pregnant with events of the most startling nature—​events fraught with interests of the most colossal magnitude. While America was to open up a new field for active labor, wherein all might pluck wealth, the art of printing, so soon to be in active operation, was to emancipate the mind, and cast broadly the seeds of universal liberty. Already was being broken the fallow ground, in the rich soil of which was to germinate the great truths of science.

In May, 1535, Cartier set out on his second voyage to the New World, in “La Grande Hermion,” a vessel of 110 tons, accompanied by two other vessels of smaller size, with 110 men altogether. Reaching Labrador in July, he on St. Laurence Day entered St. John’s River; and thus arose the name of St. Lawrence, afterward applied to the mighty river now bearing that name. Guided by two natives, Cartier ascended the St. Lawrence as far as the Isle d’Orleans, where he was received by the Indians in a friendly spirit. Cartier having determined to stay the winter, moored his vessels in the St. Charles River, with the Indian village of Stadaconé upon the heights above him. The same autumn he ascended with a small party to visit Hochelaga, now Montreal. Here he found a considerable village of fifty wooden dwellings, each fifty paces long, and twelve and fifteen broad. This village was fortified. An aged and withered chief accorded Cartier a distinguished reception; after which Cartier ascended to the top of the mountain, to which he gave the name Mont Real, or Royal Mount, a name subsequently given to the village which has become the commercial capital of the Dominion, and which is destined to rival even New York.

Cartier’s stay in Canada during the winter was attended with much distress, and the loss by death of twenty-six of his men; while most of the rest were almost dying, being, it is related, saved by the medical skill of the natives. In the Spring he returned to France, carrying with him several Indians. It was five years later before another visit was made to Canada, owing to the civil and religious wars existing in France. It was the cruel laws enacted and put in force at this time in France that expatriated so many noble Huguenots who were dispersed throughout Great Britain, Ireland, and afterward America, the blood of whom yet flows in the veins of many of the descendants of the loyal refugees from the rebelling States of America. In the Summer of 1541 6Cartier again set sail for the St. Lawrence. He was to have been accompanied by one Jean Francois de la Roque, a brave and faithful servant of the king, to whom had been conceded the privilege of raising a body of volunteers to form a permanent settlement upon the St. Lawrence. But unforeseen difficulties prevented his sailing until the following year. In the meantime Cartier, to whom had been given command, with five ships, had, after a tedious passage, reached Canada, and ascended to Quebec. The intending colonizers immediately went ashore and commenced the work of clearing the land for cultivation. The winter was passed in safety, but in the spring, tired of waiting for the Governor, who ought to have followed him the year before, and discovering signs of hostility on the part of the savages, he determined to return to France. So he embarked all the men and set sail. Before he had reached the Atlantic, however, he met la Roque, with some two hundred more colonists, who desired Cartier to return, but he continued his course to France. Jean Francois landed safely at Quebec. In the autumn he sent home two vessels for provisions for the following year, while he prepared to undergo the severity of the coming winter, a season that brought severe trials, with the death of fifty of his men. The following year he set out with seventy men to seek fresh discoveries up the river, but he was unsuccessful. France, again immersed in war, paid no attention to the request for succor in the New World, but ordered Cartier to bring back the Governor, whose presence as a soldier was desired. With him returned all the colonists. Thus the attempt to establish a settlement upon the St. Lawrence failed, not, however, through any want of courage, or ability on the part of Cartier, the founder of Canada. The name thus immortalized and which disappeared from the history of Canada for many years, again occupies a place. And, Sir George Etienne Cartier, of to-day, although not a lineal descendant of the first Cartier, holds a position of distinction; and, as one who has assisted in effecting the Confederation of the provinces, his name will ever stand identified, as his great predecessor and namesake, with the history of our Canada.

In 1549, Jean Francois a second time, set out for Canada with his brother, and others, but they all perished on the way. This disaster prevented any further immediate attempt at settlement in Canada.

The commencement of the seventeenth century found France again in a state suitable to encourage colonial enterprize, and she, 7in common with other European nations was directing her attention to the yet unexplored New World. At this time one Pont-Gravé, a merchant of St. Malo, conceived the idea of establishing a fur trade between Canada and France; and to this end he connected himself with one Chauvin, a person of some influence at court, who succeeded in obtaining the appointment of governor to Canada, with a monopoly of the peltry traffic. These two adventurers, with a few men, set out for Canada, but arrived in a state of destitution. Chauvin died, while the others were preserved alive by the kindness of the natives. Chauvin was succeeded by De Chastes, Governor of Dieppe; and Captain Samuel Champlain, who had distinguished himself as a naval officer, was appointed to command an expedition about to proceed to the New World.

The name of Champlain is indelibly fixed upon the pages of Canadian history. It was he who traversed trackless forests, ascended the most rapid rivers, discovered the Lake of Ontario, by way of Bay Quinté, and gave his name to another lake. It was in 1603 that Champlain set out upon his voyage. He had but three small vessels, it is said, of no more than twelve or fifteen tons burden. He ascended as far as Sault St. Louis, and made careful observations. He prepared a chart, with which he returned to France. The king was well pleased with his report, and De Chaste having died, Governor de Monts succeeded him, to whom was granted, exclusively, the fur trade in Canada. But their operations were confined, at first, to Acadia, now Nova Scotia. In 1607 De Monts abandoned Acadia and directed his attention to Canada. Obtaining from the king a renewal of his privileges, he appointed Champlain his lieutenant, whom he despatched with two vessels. The party arrived at Stadaconé, on the 3rd of July. The party commenced clearing land where the lower town of Quebec now stands, and erected cabins in which to live. Having determined to make this the head-quarters of his establishment, he proceeded to build a fort. Thus was founded the ancient capital of Canada upon the Gibraltar of America. The powers granted to Champlain were ample, whereby he was enabled to maintain order and enforce law. During the well nigh one hundred years that had passed away since Cartier attempted to colonize, great changes, it would seem, had taken place among the Indians. Altogether different tribes occupied the Laurentian valley; and the former Indian villages of Stadoconé, and Hochelaga had been entirely destroyed, Champlain found the Indians of this place, the Algonquins, at 8enmity with other tribes to the west, the Iroquois. The Algonquins were glad to form an alliance with him against their long standing enemy. It suited the purpose of Champlain to thus ally himself; but the policy may well be questioned; at all events it inaugurated a long course of warfare between the French and the Iroquois, which only terminated when Canada became a British dependency. He, no doubt, was ignorant of the great power and superiority of the confederated five nations which formed the Iroquois people. The first encounter between Champlain and the Indians took place the 29th of July, 1609, by the lake which now bears his name, which had been known by the Indians as Lake Corlar. The Iroquois, who had never before seen the use of fire-arms, were naturally overwhelmed with surprise at this new mode of warfare, by which three of their chiefs were suddenly stricken to the earth; and they beat a hasty retreat, leaving their camp to the pillage of the enemy. The following year Champlain again set out with his Indian allies, and a second time drove them from the well contested field by the use of fire-arms. It was on this occasion he first met the Hurons, which were to become such fast allies, until almost exterminated. But the time came when the Iroquois, supplied with arms and trained to their use, by the Dutch, became better able to cope with the French. In 1612 Count de Soissons succeeded De Monts. Champlain, who was again engaged in war, was at the same time endeavoring to advance the peltry traffic, a trade that had many vicissitudes, owing to the changing opinions at home, and the uncertain support of merchants. He commenced the erection of a fort at Montreal, and formed an alliance with the Huron Indians.

In the year 1615, the Iroquois were collected near the foot of Lake Ontario, a body of water as yet unseen by Europeans. At the request of the Indians, it has been said Champlain set out to attack them, after having ascended the Ottawa. The course taken by him, and the disastrous result are given in connection with the discovery of the Bay Quinté. The year 1628 saw Canada, as well as the colony of Florida, pass under the power of the “Company of the Hundred Partners.” The same year saw Quebec in a state of great distress, the inhabitants almost starving, and a fleet of British war vessels at the entrance of the St. Lawrence demanding the surrender of the fort. War was then existing between England and France, arising out of the intestine war of France, between the Huguenots and the Catholics, which had 9resulted in the subjugation of the former, many of whom had sought refuge in England and entered her service. Two of the vessels now threatening French Canada were commanded by Huguenots, one Captain Michel; the other David Kertk. The latter demanded the surrender of Quebec, but Champlain concealed the great straits to which he was reduced and bravely withstood the famine and cold through the long winter, in the hopes of relief in the spring, which was destined never to reach him. Instead of relief, the spring brought three vessels of war, commanded by Kertk’s two brothers, Louis and Thomas. The demand to surrender could no longer be refused, and upon the 29th July, 1618, the English took possession of Quebec. Louis Kertk became Governor, while Champlain accompanied Thomas Kertk to Europe. Quebec remained in British possession until the treaty of St-German-en-Laye, signed 29th March 1632, by which England renounced all claims upon New France.

Quebec was governed by Louis Kertk during the three years it was in possession of England, and he returned it to the French, it was alleged, a heap of ruins. On the ensuing year, the “Hundred Partners” resumed their sway, and Champlain was re-appointed Governor, who came with much pomp and took possession of Fort St. Louis with the beating of drums. Hereafter emigration from France was accelerated. Even some of the higher classes sought in Canada, repose from the troubles incident to religious and domestic war, although Catholics. The Jesuits were now superseding the order of Recollets, and were earnestly seeking to convert the Hurons; and at the same to secure their trusty allegiance. For two years prosperity continued to smile upon the province, and in 1635 the Jesuits laid the foundation stone of the College of Quebec. But the same year took from New France its chief and its greatest friend. Champlain died on Christmas day in Quebec, after “thirty years of untiring efforts to establish and extend the French possessions in America.” This great discoverer, and founder of Quebec left no children, his wife remained in Canada four years, when she returned to France.

Following the death of Champlain was the terrible onslaught by the Iroquois upon the Hurons, whom they entirely destroyed as a nation, leaving but a remnant under the protection of the French. In 1642 M. de Maisonneuve laid the foundation of Montreal, the village consisting of a few buildings with wooden palisades, was then called “Ville-Marie.” Maisonneuve gathered here the converted Indians to teach them the art of civilization.

10The successor to Champlain was M. de Chateaufort: but we cannot continue to even sketch the history of the several Governors, and the successive steps in Canadian development only so far as they bear upon our subject.

In 1663 the population along the St. Lawrence numbered to between 2,000 and 2,500. In 1665 the number was increased by emigration, and by the arrival of the Carignan regiment, a veteran body of men who became permanent settlers, and who aided much in controlling the Indians and maintaining the power of the French. The same year live stock was introduced, and horses for the first time were seen in Canada. About this time commenced, in earnest, the struggle between England and France for the supremacy of the fur trade. The viceroy, M. de Tracy, began to erect regular forts upon the Richeleu. In 1671 there was a rendezvous of Indian Chiefs at Sault St. Marie, and through the influence of Father Allouez, the several tribes consented to become subjects of France. In the same year M. de Courcelles, now Governor, in pursuance of the attempt to govern the fur trade, conceived the idea of planting a fort at the foot of Lake Ontario. But he left before the work had commenced, and was succeeded by Louis de Buade, Conte de Frontenac, after whom the fort, subsequently erected, was called.

As the founder of the first settlement in Upper Canada, whose name is now so familiar, as belonging to a County, we may make space to say of Frontenac, that he was a gentleman of good birth, and had gained great distinction, having attained to the rank of Brigadier-General. He was somewhat proud and haughty, but condescending to his inferiors. His instructions from his master, the King, on coming to the Canada, were to secure the aggrandizement of France. Emigration in large numbers from France having been forbidden, he was to seek the increase of numbers in New France by stimulating early marriages. And to this day, the rate of increase by birth, among the French, is considerably greater than with the Anglo-Saxon.

He was to foster agriculture, the raising of stock, to increase the fishing operations, and the trade abroad; and he was instructed to take measures to construct a highway between Canada and Acadia, a plan which is only now about to be accomplished in the Intercolonial Railroad. Frontenac, likewise received very explicit instructions as to his procedure towards the Jesuits and Recollects; and he was charged “to administer justice with the strictest impartiality.” The Colony being at peace, Frontenac’s principal difficulty was in dealing 11with the Church, and he found it necessary to take high-handed steps to bring the Clergy into subjection to the State. There had been for years a struggle with respect to the liquor traffic among the Indians; the Bishops being opposed to it, while the Governor favored it for the purpose of furthering the trade in furs. The dissentions between parties became so great, and representations to the home authorities became so frequent and vexatious that Frontenac and the Intendant were both recalled in 1682. But during the incumbency of Frontenac, explorations had continued in the west, and the fort at Cataraqui had been fully established; and the Mississippi had been discovered by Pére Marquette and M. Joliet, in 1673. That same year Frontenac set out 29th of June, from Montreal, with an expedition for Cataraqui, arriving there 12th July. There was at this time one Robert Cavalier de la Salle, a native of Rouen, who had come to Canada when a young man, full of a project for securing a road by a northwestern passage to China. He was a man of ability and energy, but without means. But he managed to obtain the favorable notice of Governor Frontenac, who regarded him as a man after his own heart.

In the time of de Courcelles he opened a trading post near Montreal, now Lachine, so called from La Salle’s belief that a pathway to China would be found thence across the Continent by the waters of the Ottawa or Upper Lakes. The discovery of the Mississippi caused no little sensation in Canada; and La Salle lost no time in asking permission and assistance to continue the western explorations, declaring his belief that the upper waters of the Mississippi would, if followed to their source, lead to the Pacific Ocean. He consequently submitted a petition for a certain grant of land at Cataraqui to the king, Louis X. (See under history of Kingston.)

Thus it seems that La Salle, a name greatly distinguished in connection with the discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi, stands connected very intimately with the foundation of Kingston. For him a Seigniory was here erected, and from this point he went forth on his eventful voyage. He was a man of much energy and lost no time in setting out. His boats laden with goods, and likewise with material for constructing a brigantine, and a fort, set sail for the Niagara River. The first steps La Salle prepared to take was to erect a second fort at Niagara, and then to build his vessel upon the waters of Lake Erie.

The construction of the defensive work of the fort, however, suited not the views of the Indians, so he satisfied himself with a palisaded storehouse. In the winter the vessel was commenced, six 12miles above the Falls. By the middle of summer it was ready to be launched, which was done with a salute of cannon, and the chanting of a Te deum, amid great rejoicing. There was also great demonstration among the Indians, who designated the French “Otkou,” or “men of a contriving mind.” The vessel was named Griffon, and on the 7th August, 1679, with seven guns, and small arms, and loaded with goods she entered Lake Erie. A few day’s sail and Detroit, or the strait was reached; and on the 23rd August, she was cutting the waters of Lake Huron. In five days Michilmicinac was gained; then the voyageur proceeded to the western shore of Michigan, where he cast anchor. The wonder of the Aborigines, as they witnessed this mounted craft, and heard the thunder tones of the cannon, may be conceived. But this first vessel upon the western lakes, which had at first so prosperous a voyage, was doomed to early destruction. Men of enterprise and success invariably have to encounter enemies born of incapacity and jealousy, who in the absence of the victim, may sow the seeds of evil. La Salle had not a few of such enemies, it would seem, to encounter. After his departure his creditors had seized his possessions, and he, as soon as he heard of it, loaded the Griffon with peltries and despatched her for Niagara. But the Griffon never reached Detroit, the waters of Lake Huron swallowed her up, and all on board. La Salle proceeded with thirty men to the lower end of Lake Michigan, and laid the foundation of another fort. He then continued westward to the Illinois River, and formed still another fort. But this chain of forts thus established by La Salle, was not destined to accomplish the great end aimed at. Among the opponents of La Salle, were not only those jealous of his success, but likewise rival merchants, who were ill pleased to see the fur trade monopolized by one; and then, there was the growing trade by the English. These many obstacles and the loss of his vessel with its cargo, and of a second one, in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, about this time, valued at £22,000, had the effect of seriously crippling him; yet his was a nature not easily overcome. Leaving Father Hennepin to explore the Illinois River and the Upper Mississippi, he set out March 2nd, 1680, for Montreal, accompanied by four whites and an Indian guide.

Two years later and the indomitable La Salle, nothing daunted, who had compounded with his creditors, and suffered repeated disappointments, is found traversing the forest, for the Mississippi, to descend that stream to its mouth. He reached the Mississippi, 6th February, 1682. Descending the stream he stopped at the mouth of the Ohio 13to erect a fort. He then continued his easy course down the Father of rivers, and reached its mouth on the 5th April, and took formal possession of the territory in the name of the king, calling the place after him, Louisiana. The glory thus won by La Salle, was not to be crowned with the success, financially, that ought to have followed. At this juncture Governor Frontenac, seemingly the only friend La Salle had, was called home to be followed by M. de la Barre. A continuation of the persecutions and misrepresentations of his conduct, led to the sequestration of Fort Frontenac, as well as Fort St. Louis, and in the following year he was called upon to defend himself at court, which he was able to do. The result was an order to reinstate the founder of Louisiana on his return, in Fort Frontenac, and to repair all damages which his property had sustained in that locality.

La Salle was graciously received by the king on account of his discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi, and was commissioned to begin a colonization of Louisiana. The same unfortunate luck continued to attend him. He sailed July 24th, 1684, from La Rochelle with two ships of war and two other vessels, having some 500 persons in all. The fleet was commanded by M. de Beaujeu. Between the commander and La Salle, a misunderstanding arose which ended in decided aversion. One of the ships was captured by the Spaniards, and the others overpassed the mouth of the Mississippi by many leagues. The commander instead of assisting to carry out La Salle’s object, did all he could to thwart him. One of the vessels was run upon the reefs and lost. Finally Beaujeu left La Salle with his people upon a desert shore without provision, and put out to sea. Although 120 leagues distant from the Mississippi, in Texas, La Salle set some of his people to cultivate the land, and began to construct a fort. But the craftsmen were deficient. The seed sown did not grow, the savages became troublesome, and one evil after another rapidly succeeded until his men were mostly all dead. As a last resort La Salle determined to set out for Canada to proceed to France. It was early spring and the indomitable discoverer found but slow progress; at last some of those accompanying him, mutinied together and resorted to force, during which La Salle was mortally wounded. Thus perished the discoverer of the mouth of the Mississippi, the founder of Louisiana, as well as the first land owner of Upper Canada. It is worthy of note here how great was the territory of France in America at this time. It was a vast region, embracing within its limits the Hudson’s Bay territory, Acadia, Canada, a great part of Maine, portions of the States of Vermont and New York, with the whole of the 14valley of the Mississippi. And a great portion of this ought, to-day, to form part of Canada, some of which would, were it not for the indifference, or stupidity of English commissioners, and the contemptible trickery of Americans, such as the act of concealing the fact of the existence of a certain map by Daniel Webster, which would prove adverse to his pretentions.

It has been deemed appropriate to follow La Salle in his steps, not alone because he was the first settler in Upper Canada, who held land property; but because we learn of the way in which the French, originally struggling to gain a footing in the Lower St. Lawrence, gradually extended westward, carrying in one hand the Cross, and with the other, planting forts for the purpose of trade, and erecting such defences as the uncertain character of the natives rendered necessary. We learn how it came, that fort after fort, whose ruins may yet be traced across the continent, were planted along a route which commenced at the mouth of the mighty St. Lawrence, extended along the western lakes, and then turning southward terminated at the mouth of the majestic Mississippi.



Contents—​Cataraqui fort strengthened—​Kente Indians seized and carried captive to France—​Massacre of Lachine—​Commencing struggle between New England and New France—​Siege of Quebec by Sir Wm. Phipps—​Destruction of Fort Cataraqui—​Its re-erection—​Treaty of Ryswick—​Death of Frontenac—​Iroquois in England—​Another attempt to capture Quebec—​Decline of French power—​Population of Canada and of New England—​Continuation of the contest for the fur trade—​Taking of Fort Louisburg—​Col. Washington, dishonorable conduct—​Inconsistency of Dr. Franklin—​Commencement of seven years’ war—​Close of first year—​Montcalm—​His presentiment—​Taking of Fort Oswego—​Of Fort William Henry—​Fearful massacre—​The state of Canada—​Wolfe appears—​Taking of Frontenac—​Duquesne—​Apathy of France—​The spring of 1759—​Reduced state of Canada—​The overthrow of French power in America—​The result—​Union of elements—​The capture of Quebec—​Wolfe—​Death of Montcalm—​Fort Niagara—​Johnson—​Effort to retake Quebec—​Wreck of the French army—​Capitulation at Montreal—​Population—​The first British Governor of Canada—​The Canadians as British subjects—​The result of French enterprise—​Rebellion.

In 1685 Marquis DeNonville became Governor, and brought with him to Canada 600 regular troops. The Iroquois had become allies of the English, with whom they preferred to trade. DeNonville ascended to Cataraqui with two thousand men. Arrived at Cataraqui, he tried, by gentle means at first, to obtain certain terms from them, but the Iroquois were insolent, being supported by the English traders. DeNonville wrote to Paris for more troops, and, in the mean time, proceeded to accumulate stores at Cataraqui, and to strengthen the fort at Niagara. The King sent to Canada, in 1687, 800 soldiers, to assist in subduing the Iroquois. DeNonville becoming bold, and in his increased strength, pursued a course of trickery which has been branded by all writers as anti-Christian, and more savage than anything pertaining to the savages (so-called) of America. Pére Lamberville, a missionary among the Iroquois, caused a certain number of chiefs to congregate at Fort Frontenac, to confer with the governor, and when they were within the precincts of the fort they were seized and carried captive in chains, even to France, and there sent to the galleys. Draper says that these were Indians of the tribes called Ganneyouses and Kentes, 16and that about 40 or 50 men, and 80 women and children were seized, who were forwarded to France. The attitude of the Indians under such trying circumstances, towards the missionary among them, stands out in prominent contrast to the vile conduct of the French governor. The missionary, summoned by the chief, was thus addressed: “We have every right to treat thee as our foe, but we have not the inclination to do so. We know thy nature too well; thine heart has had no share in causing the wrong that has been done to us. We are not so unjust as to punish thee for a crime that thou abhorrest as much as we.” Then the aged chief informed him that the young men of the tribe might not feel so lenient, and that he must leave, at the same time causing him to be conducted by a safe path from their midst.

For a time DeNonville somewhat curbed the Iroquois; but in the end he failed completely to hold the ground which had previously been acquired. For four years he continued to govern; matters continually growing worse, until, in the spring of 1689, 1,400 Iroquois made an onslaught on the island of Montreal. The inhabitants, in the depth of sleep, knew nothing of their danger, until the fearful whoop and the bloody tomahawk and scalping knife were already at work. The butchery was most fearful; the cruelties to women and children most revolting. Besides those instantly killed, 200 were burnt alive, and others died under prolonged torture. This was called the massacre of Lachine. The governor was paralyzed, and no step was taken to redress the great evil.

It was under such circumstances that he was recalled, and superseded by De Frontenac, who had again been requested to become governor. Frontenac landed at Quebec on the 18th October, 1689, and was received with every demonstration of joy.

Frontenac entered upon his duties shortly before the renewal of hostilities between England and France. All of Protestant Europe, indeed, were enlisted in the war which had, to a great extent, arisen from the cruel course pursued by France towards the Huguenots. Frontenac, whose master foresaw the war, which was declared in the following year, brought with him full instructions to prepare for a vigorous warfare all along the frontier of New France, even to the Hudson Bay territory. By this time the English settlements upon the Atlantic coast had attained to no inconsiderable strength, and were already engaging in trade by water, as well as with the Indians in peltries; and already it had become 17a question of conquest by New England or by New France. The present juncture seemed one favorable for bold measures on the part of the Anglo-Americans. They had rapidly advanced in material strength, while the French had rather declined, owing to the want of immigration and to the frequent destructive incursions of the Iroquois. The declaration of war between England and France, in June, 1689, saw the colonists prepared to contest the ground for supremacy, and monopoly of the fur trade. The French, notwithstanding their limited numerical strength, hesitated not to enter the field, and made up their want of numbers by superior and determined bravery. Before De Frontenac had arrived, everything was going on badly with the Canadians. M. DeNonville had, before his departure, instructed Senor de Valreuve, commandant at Cataraqui, to blow up the fort, which had been accordingly done; and the country abandoned to the Indians, who now ranged the country, to the very entrance of Montreal. But Frontenac determined to take bold and active measures to carry the war into the enemies’ country, notwithstanding the odds against the French. Organized plans of attack, at different points, were arranged, one of which, in its carrying out, was quite as cruel and barbarous as the Lachine massacre, which it was intended, as afterwards stated, it should revenge. A party of French and Indians were led in the direction of Albany. On their way, one night, about eleven o’clock, they attacked the sleeping town of Schenectady, and put the defenceless inhabitants to the sword. Those acts cannot be justified in Europeans, and show the fearful spirit of barbarity which reigned in those early days of America. The effect produced by the bands of raiders that swept over the British colonies along the frontier, and here and there, into the very interior, was salutary to the French interests, and the spring saw the French flag much more respected by the Indians than it had lately been: yet the Iroquois earnestly and boldly strove to carry death to the door of every Canadian hamlet. The energetic measures adopted by Frontenac frustrated all their attempts; yet it was unsafe for the husbandman to go to the field, so that famine began to appear. The spring of 1691 saw, however, instead of a repeated invasion of New England, extensive preparations in the latter country to invade Canada. Sir William Phipps was preparing to sail from Boston, with a squadron, to capture Quebec, and General Winthrop, with forces from Connecticut and New York, was mustering his militia, to invade by land. The latter marched to, and encamped upon, the banks of 18Lake George, where he waited for the appearance of Phipps, by the St. Lawrence; but, in the meantime, disease attacked his troops, and he was obliged to retrace his steps to Albany. Scarcely had Winthrop departed when the fleet under Phipps entered the waters of the St. Lawrence, and ascended, to invest the City of Quebec, appearing in sight on the 16th of October. Phipps demanded a surrender; but Frontenac, although with an inferior garrison and but few troops, gave a spirited refusal; and ultimately, before the close of the month, Phipps found it expedient to retire. Thus terminated the first siege of Quebec.

The ensuing four years presented one continuous scene of border warfare. While hostilities in Europe were exhausting the resources of France, Canada, under Frontenac, was more than holding its own. The British Americans vainly tried again to besiege Quebec, making an attack by land; but each attempt was attended with disaster. Frontenac, recognizing the importance of Cataraqui as a place of defence, sent 700 men to re-erect the fort. In this he was opposed by the Intendant, M. de Champigny, and even by the home government; but he had the work completed in 1695, before orders came to abstain from erecting it. Frontenac had submitted a report giving the reasons why the fort should exist, namely: in time of peace for trade, and to repair hatchets and arms; and in time of war to afford a place of retreat, and to give succor and provisions; also a place to organize expeditions against the Iroquois, and to receive the sick and wounded on returning from expeditions. On the other hand, De Champigny reported that the trade would not be much in time of peace, as the Iroquois would prefer to deal with the English, who would give more; that the Indian should carry the beaver skin to the French, not the French go for it; that the fort was out of the direct course of trade, some thirty or forty leagues; that the force necessary to carry provisions would at any time be capable of proceeding against the enemy. It would be better to take a more southerly course from Montreal into the enemy’s country, while Cataraqui is situated upon the opposite side of the lake; that it was an unfit place for sick and wounded, being “very unhealthy, eighty-seven having died there in one year, out of the hundred who composed the garrison.” “The swamp poisons the garrison,” which is so situated that it affords no protection except to the men within it, who might as well be in a prison. He counselled that the fort should be abandoned, as it was useless and expensive. Frontenac, however, 19having erected the fort, garrisoned it with 48 soldiers. The expense of re-establishing the fort and supplying the necessary provisions cost some £700. At this juncture the French had entertained the idea of calling in the outposts along the western lakes and upon the Mississippi, but it was represented that to do so was to open the way for the exclusive trade of the Indians with the English. But Frontenac advised no such measures. He, by his determined bravery, succeeded in bringing the Iroquois to respect the French name, and he often carried fire and death into their very country. When the war terminated, the old boundaries of the Provinces had been fully re-established, and honors were conferred upon the governor by his royal master. In 1697 the war terminated by the treaty of Ryswick, signed September 11, by which the French were to restore all places taken from the British in America; and it was stipulated that a commission should be appointed to determine the respective boundaries of the Provinces.

In the year 1698, on the 28th November, Count de Frontenac died, aged 77, much beloved by the Canadians, after having raised New France from a low condition to a high state of material advancement. But against him was too truly said that he encouraged the dreadful traffic of liquor among the Indians, in order that advantageous trading, in which the governor allowed himself to meddle, might be carried on.

On 26th May, 1703, M. de Calliére, who had been the successor of Frontenac, died, and the governor of Montreal, who was the Marquis de Vaudreuil, was nominated as successor.

This appointment, made at the instance of the colonists, was conferred with hesitancy, the reason being that his Countess was a native-born Canadian! Not only in that day but in later days, and under other circumstances, we have seen the belief obtaining that natives of Canada must, from the nature of their birth-place, lack those qualifications for distinguished positions with which those from home are supposed to be so eminently endowed.

The British Colonists by this time began to entertain desires to conquer Canada, and steps were taken to accomplish the taking of Quebec. Among those who took an active part, by raising provincial troops, and in visiting England to obtain assistance, was General Nicholson, whose descendants to this day live in the vicinity of the Bay Quinté, and in the Lower Provinces. In 1710 he visited England, in company with five Iroquois chiefs, who were presented to Queen Anne, and who received distinguished attention, 20being conveyed to the palace in royal coaches. It was following this that the Queen presented those interesting pieces of Communion plate to the five nations, part of which may be seen at Tyendinagua, and part at the Grand River. A futile attempt was made by Nicholson, with a fleet under Admiral Walker, in 1711, to take Quebec. The whole enterprise not only failed but was attended with great disaster. General Nicholson, with his army at Lake Champlain, had to give up his desire to capture Montreal and Quebec.

On March 30, 1713, was signed the treaty of Utrecht. In this treaty abridgement of French territory in America was effected. Acadia, Hudson’s Bay territory and Newfoundland were ceded to Britain. French power was on the decline both in America, and Europe. Vainly the French tried to regain what they had lost in Newfoundland and Acadia, by founding an establishment at Cape Breton, and in the foundation of the historic fort of Louisburg.

In 1714 Governor Vaudreuil went to France, where he remained until September, 1716. He then returned to Canada, and set about improving the state of affairs generally. Quebec, at the present day such an impregnable fortress, was not, in any respect, regularly fortified before the beginning of this century. To the natural strength of the place was first added artificial aid, in 1702. To this again were added, in 1712, other defences, and in 1720, by the approval of the home government, the fortification was systematically proceeded with. At this time the colony was divided into three distinct governments, those of Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal; and the whole was subdivided into eighty-two parishes. The whole population was estimated at 25,000; whilst at the same time the British colonies had 60,000 males able to bear arms. The governor, aware of this, already began to fear a successful invasion of Canada.

M. de Vaudreuil died October 10, 1725, having been governor twenty-one years. He was succeeded by the Marquis de Beauharnois, who arrived at Quebec in 1726. The contest for the supremacy of the fur trade continued. The British seeing the advantage of the line of forts held by the French determined to erect a fort also, and selected the mouth of the Oswego for its site. As an offset to this aggression on the part of the British, against which the French vainly protested, the French fort at the mouth of the Niagara was erected, with defences; and orders were given that a stone fort should replace the one originally constructed of wood, at 21Cataraqui. In 1731, Fort Frederick was also erected, at Crown Point, on Lake Champlain. This year, Varrennes, Sieur de la Vérendrye, urged by the governor, set about to discover a route to the Pacific ocean; but he only reached the foot of the Rocky Mountains, being the first white man to discover them. About this time the fort at Toronto (Lake) is, for the first time, referred to. For more than a decade the strife for the peltry traffic continued to be waged, yet without any actual warfare. It was seen by all that peace could not continue, and New England and New France were all the time anticipating the conflict. In 1745 war broke out in Europe, and immediately extended to America. It will be remembered that the French were dispossessed of Acadia, but had subsequently erected a fort upon Cape Breton, Louisburg. From this naval stronghold they were able to send privateers and men-of-war. The English, in the meantime, seeing this evil, and that this was a protection to the only entrance to French territory, determined to possess it promptly, if it were possible. To carry out this project, which originated with Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, 4,000 militia, levied in Mass., New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut, under Colonel Pepperel, sailed from Boston in March. The attack upon this strong fort was so well planned and carried out, that full success was the result. Admiral Warren arrived with ships to give assistance, and captured a French ship of 64 guns, with 560 soldiers and supplies. Already the Anglo-Americans were beginning to display the energy (derived from an energetic race) which was to overturn British domination in the Atlantic States. But in the first place it was necessary that England should extinguish French power. The brilliant nature of the attack and taking of Fort Louisburg was recognized by the granting of baronetcies to Governor Shirley and Colonel Pepperel. This success hastened the determination to conquer Canada—​a desire already existing in the hearts of the Anglo-Americans; and Governor Shirley applied to the British government for regulars and a fleet for that purpose. Meanwhile, a fleet, with several thousand troops, sailed from France, with a view of re-taking Cape Breton and Acadia; but tempest and disease destroyed the force, until it was no longer able to invade.

From the year 1745 border warfare continually blazed along the frontier. The French, with their savage allies, carried the scalping-knife and the torch into the British settlements, captured Fort Massachusetts and Fort Bridgman, and gained other victories, 22and the luckless settlers had to seek safety in the more largely-settled parts of the country.

Again came temporary peace to the colonists. In 1748, upon the 7th of October, the treaty was signed at Aix-la-Chapelles, by the terms of which Cape Breton reverted to the French. This treaty was, however, but a lull in the struggle in America, which was destined to end in conquest.

The French continued to strengthen their outposts. Detroit was garrisoned, and forts of stone were built at Green Bay, Toronto, and La Présentation. In 1756, Fort Duquesne, at Pittsburgh, was established. It was in this year that Washington first came before the public as an actor. He led a considerable force to the west, with the view of destroying Fort Duquesne, and encountered a small body of French. The man who subsequently became a hero by concurring events, as well as by his own energy, did not, on this occasion—​if we may credit history—​act a very honorable part. Informed of the camping ground of the enemy, he marched all night, to attack them in the morning. Junonville, the commander, when aware of the proximity of Washington, made known to him by a trumpeter that he had a letter to deliver, and when Junonville had begun to read his letter firing was suddenly re-commenced. The painters of Washington’s character have tried to cover this stain; but unbiassed recorders think he was by no means blameless. But Washington’s humiliation rapidly followed this unmanly procedure. The main force of the French, hearing of the massacre by Washington, advanced to revenge it; and, attacking him in his own chosen position, succeeded, after ten hours’ fighting with muskets alone, against cannon, in driving Washington from his position, and compelled him to make an inglorious retreat.

At the beginning of 1755, England sent out additional soldiers and means of war, and appointed General Braddock, who had distinguished himself as a soldier, to act as military chief.

At this time, “Dr. Franklin estimated the whole English provincials at a total of 1,200,000; whilst the whole number of people in Canada, Cape Breton, Louisiana, &c., was under 80,000 souls.”—​(Garneau.) At the same time France was weak, by the presence of an indolent King, who allowed himself and kingdom to be governed by a courtesan, Madame de Pompadour. Religious dissensions and stagnation of trade, all contributed to place France in but a poor position to engage in war. Great Britain, on the contrary, was in all respects prosperous. At such a favorable time it was that the Anglo-Americans 23urged the mother country to carry on, with the utmost rigor, a war for the subjugation of Canada. Franklin, as astute a politician as clever in science, was their principal mouthpiece. He who, twenty-five years thereafter, repaired to Paris, to arouse the public feeling of France and entire Europe against Britain; the same who came to Canada to revolutionize it in 1776, was, in 1754, the greatest promoter of the coming invasion of the French possessions in North America. “There need never be permanent repose expected for our thirteen colonies,” urged he, “so long as the French are masters of Canada.” Thus was inaugurated what is known as the seven years’ war.

The respective combatants marshalled their forces for the conflict. The French, nothing daunted, took energetic measures to repel the foe, and strike blows here and there, as opportunity afforded. A force was sent to take Fort Oswego from the English, while Johnson, a name to be mentioned hereafter, was despatched to attack Fort Frederick. The first great battle was fought in the Ohio valley, by General Braddock. Here the French gained a signal victory, with but a few men, and utterly put to rout their enemy. At Fort Edward, the French, under General Dieskau, were less successful in an encounter with Johnson, the French commander being taken prisoner.

The close of the first year saw Forts Frederick, Niagara and Duquesne, still in the hands of the French, while bands of savages and Canadians traversed the British settlements, massacring and burning all before them.

The ensuing year witnessed more elaborate arrangements to continue the war. France sent to Canada soldiers, provisions, war material and money; and, also, the Marquis de Montcalm was selected to take charge of the army. Montcalm had seen service, and with him came other officers likewise experienced.

Proceeding to Montreal, he conferred with the Governor, and it was determined to form two principal camps, one at Ticonderoga, the other at Frontenac, and a battalion was despatched to Niagara.

The British, at the same time, made extensive preparations, both in the colonies and at home, and the Earl of London was appointed generalissimo.

It is a remarkable fact that Montcalm had from the first a fatal presentiment as to the issue of the war; yet he, all the same, took every step that prudence and energy directed, to secure the success of his army. There was also a coolness between him and the Governor, 24who manifested a determination and energy worthy of him. It was determined that fresh attempts should be made to possess Fort Oswego, and General Montcalm arrived at Frontenac for that purpose on the 29th of July. Upon the 11th August they reached Oswego and invested the Fort, which was obliged to surrender on the 14th, the commander, Colonel Mercer, having been killed. The Fort was razed to the ground. The Canadians then withdrew to their homes carrying the prisoners of war, and the guns of the Fort, and provisions with them. This was the principal event of this year. The winter saw the Canadians suffer from famine and small-pox. During the winter 1757–8, there was continued hostility, and in the following year Montcalm succeeded in taking Fort William Henry, after a siege of four days. Colonel Munroe commanded the Fort, and he trusted for support to General Webb, who failed to afford it, but instead sent a message to Munroe to retire, which note fell into the hands of Montcalm. Munroe on the morning of the 9th, displayed his flag of truce. The events of this capitulation have ever been held in remembrance, because of the fearful massacre which the Indians made of the English, who had surrendered, and who marched out without their arms, in full confidence in the integrity of the victorious besiegers. Stern history has cast no little blame upon Montcalm, for at least remissness of duty; and the pen of historic fiction has found it a fruitful theme with which to weave a story, and record thrilling events.

The ensuing winter was one of great privation to the Canadians, the harvest had failed; and everything began to look dark indeed for the devoted French; yet four years of war had given all the advantage to their arms. The continued ill-success of the British, caused them to raise increased numbers of men, so that by numerical force they might overwhelm the French. In the spring of 1758, 80,000 British combatants were ready to march. While such was the condition and war-like spirit which obtained upon the British side, a far different state of affairs existed with the French. Success had so far attended the gallant feats undertaken by them. All along the lengthened border the foe had been defeated, or had gained but scant victory. Again, the Iroquois nation, impressed with the success thus obtained by the French, and gratified to have the Fort of Oswego, always unpleasant to them, destroyed, seemed inclined to take sides with them, certainly did not favor the English. But, when so much has been said the extent of French power in America has been stated. Canada was no longer receiving support from France. The colonists had been weakened by continual warfare and repeated crop-failures.

25But undeterred by the dark clouds that continued to thicken, the Canadians buckled on their armor to fight till the very last. Says Montcalm to the Minister at home, “We shall fight and we shall bury ourselves, if need be, under the ruins of the colony.” Again the tide of war ebbed and flowed with fearful power. Carillon was made red with British blood, as vain endeavors were made to capture that French strong hold. Against Louisburg, Cape Breton, Carillon, Lake Champlain, and Duquesne in the Ohio Valley, the English arrayed their fleets and armies. In the attack now made upon Louisburg, for the first time appears the name of Wolfe, who distinguished himself by scaling a rock, with a hundred men, which had hitherto been regarded unaccessible. After a spirited defence, the French surrendered the Fort, a perfect wreck, July 26. About this time Cape Breton passed into British hands, and thus was opened to the English, the Fort of Quebec.

In the mean time the attack upon Fort Carillon by General Abercromby, with a strong army, had proved a complete failure. The French, although few, desperately met the repeated assaults made during half a day, and Abercromby, cut up and ashamed, was forced to relinquish the matter. This battle was fought July 8th, in which 3,600 men struggled successfully for six hours against 15,000 picked soldiers. (Garneau.) De Lévis, who had been in command at Fort Frontenac, was called by Montcalm to take part in the defence of Carillon. This left Fort Frontenac comparatively weak, and Abercromby, having learned the fact, despatched Colonel Bradstreet, who had taken an active part in the battle, to capture the Fort. Bradstreet set out with 3,000 men, 11 guns and mortars. The invading force reached its destination August 25. The Fort had been left with 70 men under the command of M. de Noyan, notwithstanding, the Fort was bravely defended for a time. “The victors captured many cannons, quantities of small arms, boats of provisions and nine newly armed barques,—​part of the trophies brought from Oswego when captured. After loading his barges to the waters-edge, Bradstreet released his prisoners on parole, burnt the Fort, also seven of the barks, and returned to his country.” (Garneau.) This was a severe blow to the struggling Canadians. The Governor had ordered the farmers from the field, and all the savages he could command, to march to the assistance of Fort Frontenac; but when the party reached Fort Présentation, (Ogdensburg), it was learned that Frontenac was already destroyed. To add to the misfortune of the French, the same autumn, General 26Forbes, notwithstanding a part of his force had been previously defeated, secured the destruction of Fort Duquesne on the Ohio. This closed the engagements for the year 1748, and everything looked for the French, most discouraging. The winter was spent by the English in preparing for a still more determined continuation of the war; while the French wasted their energies in domestic dissention. The Governor M. de Vaudreuil and Montcalm ceased not to quarrel, and to charge each other with incompetency, and even crimes. At the same time the means of the country was absorbed by unpatriotic merchants, who availed themselves of the circumstances of the country to amass fortunes by illegal traffic in furs with the Indians.

The Government at home, although informed by Montcalm that Canada would be conquered if help were not sent, took no step to assist the devoted Colonists, who, although disheartened were not disposed to surrender allegiance to their native country, even when all but forsaken. The spring of 1759 beheld them standing to their arms with calm determination, awaiting the onset of the foe. The British as in previous years prepared to invade Canada simultaneously at three different points. There was no fortress in the Lower St. Lawrence to obstruct their advance by water, so Quebec was the point at which, to the east, the attack would be made. A corps of 10,000 men commanded by General Wolfe, who we have seen, distinguished himself at the taking of Louisburg, prepared to ascend the St. Lawrence to invest the capital. Another force 12,000 strong under General Amherst, a name we shall have to speak of hereafter, was to pass by Lake Champlain to descend the Richeleu and to join Wolfe at Quebec. And a third force, under General Prideaux, with savages under Sir William Johnson, were to possess Fort Niagara, and then descend to the capture of Montreal. Opposed to the numerous and well appointed armies of invasion, there was, according to Garneau, all in all of Frenchmen, between the ages of 16 and 60, capable of bearing arms, but a little over 15,000. In the early spring, one M. de Corbiere, ascended with the view of rebuilding Fort Frontenac. 300 men were also sent to repair and defend Niagara. But it soon was deemed expedient to recall them and to concentrate their forces. Every man from even the more remote parts, presented himself to the nearest place of rendezvous. In the latter part of May, word came that the enemies’ ships were coming.

27The events connected with the overthrow of French supremacy in Canada cannot fail to impress the student of Canadian history.

The capture of Quebec, and, as an inevitable result, the conquest of Canada are events of great interest; but the space cannot be allowed here to more than refer to the thrilling scenes of valor displayed by the victors and the vanquished. As Canadians of British origin we recognize the event as one not to be deplored, however Franco-Canadians may regard the question. The conquest of Canada, was to add a new element to that of the British American which was destined to grow, and to act no mean part in respect to British interests in America, and we believe, ultimately to completely amalgamate with a portion of the older elements, and thus to beget a race, under Confederation, none the less noble, none the less stable, and none the less glorious, than that race (a prototype of this)—​the Original Anglo-Saxon derived from the Norman, who came to England with William the Conqueror, as well as the Saxon elements.

More than a hundred years have passed away since the fall of Quebec. The centenary anniversary of the event has been celebrated with an amount of enthusiasm which probably Quebec never witnessed before. Since the American Revolution, when the French Canadians fought by the side of the American Loyalist to defend Quebec, the former have ceased to be a conquered people—​Sequestrated from France, they have escaped all the horrors which have since swept over that people, while they have retained their language, religion, and laws. A hundred years has eradicated or rather changed all the feelings which burned so fervently in the French Canadian heart, except their love of Canada; and they have joined heartily with the Anglo-Saxon to erect a joint monument which commemorates at once the heroism of Wolfe, and the gallantry of Montcalm.

Although the forces invading under Wolfe, exceeded in number those who defended the citadel, yet, the greatest heroism was displayed in its taking. The British fleet of “20 ships of the line with frigates and smaller war vessels,” and transports, reached the Isle of Orleans, June 25, where the land force disembarked and proceeded deliberately to invest the stronghold, finding a more difficult task than had been expected. Repeated attempts and assaults were made with the result of showing Wolfe how strong was the position his youthful ardor would fain secure. Not alone was he baffled thus, but a severe illness prostrated him to death’s 28door, whose portals were so soon to be opened to him, by another means. In his moments of discouragement he had written home in a spirit not calculated to afford hope. The plan which resulted in success, it is said was suggested by his three faithful Generals, Monkton, Townshend and Murray.

The night before the 13th of September, 1759, the day upon which Wolfe was to win imperishable laurels, and to lay down his life, he felt a presentiment that his end was near, and carefully arranged all his worldly affairs. On the evening of the 12th he invited Captain John Davis (afterwards Admiral, Earl St. Vincent), of the Porcupine sloop of war, to spend an hour or two on board the Sutherland. “Wolfe, in the course of their conversation, said that he knew he should not survive the morrow; and when they were about to separate, he took from his bosom the picture of Louther and delivered it into the hands of his friend, whom he requested, should his foreboding be fulfilled, to restore the pledge to the lady on his arrival in England.”

Having previously made disposition of his forces to prepare the way for the final attack, and, as well in some instances, to deceive the enemy as to his intentions, Wolfe finally, at one o’clock, upon the morning of the 13th September, set out in flat bottomed boats to make his landing at Fuller’s Cove, thereafter to be called after himself. The night was dark, and other circumstances being favorable the landing was safely effected, the heights ascended, and at the break of day Montcalm learned with the utmost astonishment that the enemy was upon the heights of Abraham in battle array. Montcalm hastened to drive away the venturesome foe, but this was not to be accomplished; a few hours brought a realization of his early presentiment. After a spirited struggle the French were to be seen running, the announcement of which made Wolfe die happy; and, Montcalm was wounded unto death. He died on the 14th. The defeat of Montcalm secured the capture of Quebec, yet it was not until the 18th September that the city surrendered, and French writers would make it appear that even then it were not necessary.

The command of the French army after the death of Montcalm devolved upon Gen. de Lévis, who had been absent up the St. Lawrence. He returned to Montreal only in time to hear of Montcalm’s defeat. He hastened to the rescue of the beleaguered city, but he reached the vicinity, not until Quebec had passed into the hands of the British.

29During the time these exciting scenes had been transpiring at Quebec, Gen. Amherst had been confronting Boulamaque, upon the shores of Lake Champlain; whom he had compelled to return, and to destroy Fort Frederick and to retire to Isle Aux Nois. In the west, at Niagara Gen. Prideaux and Sir Wm. Johnson had been successful in taking the Fort from Pouchot. By this, Lake Ontario with its northern shore, as well as the region of the Bay of Quinté came into the possession of the British.

The expedition to capture Fort Niagara, taken at the urgent request of the Governor of New York, was under the command of General Prideaux. The attacking party landed at Four Mile Creek almost four miles east of the Fort, on the 6th July, 1759. Fort Niagara was garrisoned by 486 men according to Pouchot, the French commander, but according to English statements 600. General Prideaux forces numbered, according to Capt. de Lancy, 1,200, and 1,000 Indians, as said by Sir William Johnson. Pouchot discovered their approach the following day. He despatched couriers to Presque Isle, to Fort Machault, at the mouth of French Creek, Pa., and to the commander of the Fort at the “Carrying Place” for assistance. Reinforcements were sent, numbering about 600 French, and 100 Indians. They resembled when passing down the rapids, “a floating island, so black was the river with batteaux and canoes.” They landed a few miles above the falls and proceeded to Lewiston and thence to relieve Pouchot. In the mean time the siege had been pressed with vigor. Prideaux, the English General, had been killed and the command had devolved on Sir W. Johnson. The English learned of the approach of the reinforcements, and Captain James de Lancy was despatched to a position in ambuscade above the present site of Youngstown. The French discovering the English in ambush, made an impetuous attack upon them, but the English withstood the assault, and eventually turned the tide against the enemy, who were put to flight, 200 being killed, and 100 taken prisoners. Pouchot learned of the disaster about two o’clock; and, two hours after Sir W. Johnson demanded a surrender. That same evening, or on the following morning he complied; but he has stated that he would not have done so had it not been for the mutiny of the Germans who formed a part of the garrison. On the 26th the garrison left the fort to be transported to New York. Thus was the power of the French broken in the west, and the English became masters of the key to the Northwest.

30The following spring Gen. de Lévis determined to make an effort to retake Quebec, and upon the 28th of April, the plains of Abraham were again red with blood, and the British, under Gen. Murray, were compelled to seek safety within the walls of the city, where they were besieged until the 9th, when a British frigate arrived and gave succor.

On the 14th July Gen. Murray, with a large sailing force, commenced the ascent of the St. Lawrence. At the same time Gen. Amherst, with a considerable force was commencing a descent from Oswego. The two were thus advancing toward Montreal, each subduing on the way such forts and garrisons as were deemed of sufficient importance. By the first of September, the city of the Royal Mountain, containing the wreck of the French army was encompassed on either hand. The Governor, upon the night of the 6th, held a council of war, at which it was determined to capitulate. The celebrated act was signed on the 8th September, 1760, and the same day the English took possession of the city. Thus Canada passed into the possession of the British. The terms of capitulation were more favorable to the French than they had any reason to expect, and those terms have ever been fulfilled.

The Governor, Gen. de Lévis, the officers, and a large number of men, women and children returned to France. At the time of the taking of Montreal, there remained at Detroit some three or four hundred families. This Fort and others around the lakes yet held by the French were surrendered to Major Rogers, a person again to be spoken of. The population according to the Governor, left of French origin, was 70,000.

The Canadians who did not return to France repaired to their homes and renewed their peaceful avocations.

The first British Governor, Sir Jeffry Amherst, entered upon his functions 1763.

We have now very cursorily indeed, noticed the history of the French Canadians up to the time they became British subjects. We have seen they did not willingly become such; yet scarcely fifteen years were to pass away before their loyalty to the British flag was to be tested; not indeed to decide whether they should again become a part of France, rather than remain British, but whether their condition as British subjects was so intolerable that they should seek other protection of a foreign origin.

We shall see that although promises were held out of great political advantage they preferred to remain as they were. There 31remained in the hearts of the Canadian French, not so much a dislike to England as a detestation to the New Englander. Hence it was that when the rebel banner was unfurled in 1776, with the declaration of American Independence upon it, no Canadian rallied around it. Although commissioners from the rebel congress visited them with honied words and fair promises, they received no friendly welcome. The Canadians regarded their old enemies as enemies still, and they turned their backs upon the revolting provinces and their faces toward old England for protection. The commissioners to the Canadians, composed of Dr. Benj. Franklin, Samuel Chase and Charles Carrol, with his brother, a Jesuit Priest were appointed to this mission, on the 15th February, 1776. The same Franklin who now offered the French “freedom,” had urged upon the British in 1753 the expediency of reducing Canada!!

For a century and a half France endeavored in vain to erect a power in America; but shall we say that it was all in vain?

The monument although broken, so far as France is concerned yet stands a lasting memorial of French energy, of religious fervor, stern determination, and indomitable valor. And, when the wave of revolution passed over the thirteen British Colonies, the column was conspicuous enough to be seen by refugees; the protection Canada offered was sufficient for the homeless families of U. E. Loyalists. Canada was a sacred spot, although French. It constituted a nucleus, around which collected those who preferred order to rebellion. Those who had fought as opponents at Duquesne, at Niagara, at Frontenac, at Tyconderoga, and upon the Plains of Abraham, were joined together. The heel, which had assisted to crush the Canadian French, now sought and found a resting place among those who had been overcome. Thus was to be laid the foundation of the Dominion of Canada, whose future is to be great. Stretching from seaboard to seaboard, it is destined to become, ere it has reached the present age of the United States, the Russia of America, with the purest principles of government the world has ever known.

We now approach the period of time when another element of discord was to appear among the races which inhabited America. Bloody Indian wars had in the past swept back and forth across the woody land. Rival colonizers had resorted to strife, to extend territorial power. European weapons had been transported to wage wars of extermination. Conquest and subjugation of Indians and rivals had been witnessed; but now Rebellion, a term that has 32received fresh significance in the late civil war in the United States, was to be initiated. The British blood and money which had been lavishly spent for the Anglo-Americans, had only prepared those colonists to seek other advantages. The Indians held in subjection, the French conquered, the mother country itself must now be coerced to give full rein to the spoiled and wayward offspring.



Contents—​First American Rebellion—​Independence—​Traitors made Heroes—​Loyalists driven away to found another Colony—​The responsibility of rebelling—​Treatment of the Loyalists—​The several Colonies—​The first Englishman in America—​Receives £10—​English Colonization—​Virginia—​Convicts—​Extent of Virginia—​First Governor—​Virginians not willing to rebel—​Quota supplied to the rebel army—​New York—​Hudson—​The Dutch—​New Netherlands—​Price of New Amsterdam (New York)—​First Legislative Assembly—​Not quick to rebel—​Quota of rebel troops—​Gave many settlers to Upper Canada—​New Jersey—​Its settlement—​A battle ground—​Gave rebel troops; also loyal troops—​Furnished settlers to Upper Canada—​Massachusetts—​Captain Smith—​New England Puritans—​The “Mayflower”—​First Governor—​Cruel treatment of Indians—​Massachusetts takes the lead in rebelling—​Troops—​Loyalists—​New Hampshire—​Troops—​Delaware—​Settlement—​Quota of rebel troops—​Connecticut—​Education—​Troops—​Roman Catholics—​Toleration—​Rhode Island—​Providence—​Inconsistency of the Puritans—​Roger Williams—​North Carolina—​Inhabitants—​South Carolina—​Many loyalists—​Pennsylvania—​William Penn—​Conduct toward Indians—​The people opposed to rebellion—​Georgia—​Oglethorpe—​Policy of England—​New England.

In the introductory chapters a brief sketch has been given of the settlement of America. We now approach the important events which belong to the first great American rebellion, which culminated in the Declaration of Independence by the thirteen British American Colonies, and terminated in the recognition of their independence by the parent State. The rebellion had resulted in a revolution, and traitors were made heroes!

33It forms a part of the present undertaking to record some of the facts relative to the steps by which the now powerful United States were, as a whole, ushered into the arena of nations, and by which a large class of Americans, true to their British allegiance, were compelled to leave their native country to found another colony in the northern wilderness. To be justified in rebelling against the constituted authorities there must be the most cogent reasons; to take up arms against the State—​to initiate a civil war, is assuming the most fearful consequences.

To present even a brief account of the circumstances which led to the settlement of Upper Canada, it becomes necessary to dwell for a time upon the great rebellion of 1776, the result of which was adverse to those Americans who adhered to the old flag under which they had been born, had come to the new world, and had prospered; a rebellion which was attended and followed by persecution and violence, imprisonment and confiscation, banishment, and, too often, death; which caused a stream of refugee loyalists to set in toward the wilderness of Canada.

At the time of the rebellion of the English colonists in America, they consisted of thirteen provinces. Massachusetts, with her colony of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It may be well to briefly notice these several states, and the part each took in the war for Independence.

The first Englishman to set foot upon the continent of America was John Cabot, who discovered Newfoundland, and probably the adjacent mainland, June 4, 1497. The event is noticed in the Privy Purse expenditure thus: “1497, Aug. 10—​To hym that found the new Isle, £10,” which seems to have been a grant for his services.


In the year 1578, Sir H. Gilbert endeavoured to establish a settlement at the mouth of the Roanoke. Failing in his undertaking, his half brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, made a similar effort the following year, which likewise failed. It was Sir Walter Raleigh who gave the name to Virginia, in honor of Elizabeth, the virgin Queen. A third and successful effort was made to colonize in 1607–8, at Jamestown. This dates the commencement of English colonization of America. Some time later, America was looked upon as a country 34quite beyond the pale of civilization, even as Botany Bay was at a still later period; and in the year 1621, the British Government transported to Virginia 100 convicts. But notwithstanding, “Virginia,” to use the words of Morse’s Geography, “the birth-place of Washington, has given six Presidents to the Union.”

The colony of Virginia was originally indefinite in its boundary; and, judging from old maps, it would seem to have included all of North America. But a map dated 1614 shows the more northern part as New England. The first Governor of Virginia entered upon his duties in 1619.

This State was by no means quick to sever the connection with the mother country. Many of her sons stood up for the crown, and very many families became refugees. Washington said of Virginia, in a letter, that “the people of Virginia will come reluctantly into the idea of independence.” But in time, by the specious representations of Washington and others, the State produced a certain number of rebels. The quota demanded by the rebel congress was 48,522. She supplied, in 1776, 6,181; and afterwards 20,491.


In the year 1609 Hendrick Hudson, an Englishman, in the employ of Holland, first explored the great river running through New York State, which now bears his name. He, on behalf of the Dutch took possession of the country. Settlement first took place in 1614, and by 1620, a considerable colony was planted. The island of Manhatten, where now stands New York City, was honestly purchased of the Indians for twenty-four dollars. The village thus founded was called New Amsterdam, and the colony was designated New Netherlands.

Having been taken by the English in 1674, the name of the territory was changed to New York, after James, Duke of York, brother to Charles II. The first Legislative Assembly for this Province, met in New York, 17th October, 1683, just one hundred years before Upper Canada began to be settled.

The State of New York was not among the foremost in rebelling. The Dutch element which prevailed, was not given to change. Some of the most exciting events and battles of the war were enacted in this State. Right royally did the people take up arms against the rebels and drive Washington from Manhatten. Battalions and regiments were repeatedly raised and organized in this State. The valleys of the Mohawk and Hudson became historic 35grounds. Here was witnessed the ignoble failure of Burgoyne’s Campaign, which was the commencement of the decline of British power; and the City of New York was the last ground of the States occupied by British troops, until the war of 1813. New York furnished troops for the rebel cause, in 1775, 2,075; in 1776, 3,629; and subsequently 12,077.

Of all the States, New York gave the largest number of pioneers to Upper Canada.


New Jersey was settled in 1620 by the Dutch and Swedes. Having been taken by the English, it was given by Charles II. to the Duke of York. Retaken by the Dutch in 1673, it was bought by Wm. Penn and his friends. At one time it was divided into East Jersey and West Jersey, East Jersey belonging to Penn. In 1702 the two Jersies were united under one government, and received the name of New Jersey.

Upon the grounds of this State were fought some of the most decisive battles of the war.

Of the Rebel troops Jersey supplied in 1676, 3,193. The quota required afterwards was 11,396—​of which she granted 7,534. But Jersey also gave a large number of Royal troops.

New Jersey furnished a good many settlers to Upper Canada, of whom one of the most distinguished is the Ryerson family. Many of the settlers along the bay retain interesting traditions of their Jersey ancestry.


The territory of this State was originally discovered by the Cabots in 1497, and visited by Capt. John Smith in 1614, by whom it was said to have been named New England. It consisted of the present States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. In 1620, upon 22nd December, the Puritan Fathers landed upon the Plymouth Rock, some 30 miles from Boston, and planted the first of the New England States. The “Mayflower,” by which they had traversed the Atlantic was only 180 tons burden. She sailed from Southampton with 102 emigrants. Half of this number died from cold and hardship the first year. They selected for their first Elder one John Carner, who as chief officer had great control. He has consequently been called the first Governor of New England. The territory had been granted by James I. to the “Plymouth Company.” Although the 36Puritans had left their homes because they did not enjoy their rights, they forgot the Golden Rule in their forest homes. They failed to remember that the Indian had rights. The untutored native thought he had a right to the soil, and as the Puritans, unlike Penn, were unwilling to recognize his rights, but undertook to appropriate the territory, there ensued bloody Indian wars. The Puritan revenged himself, and the native retaliated. So, for many years border massacres were common and terrible.

Massachusetts with the other New England States, took the lead in rebellion, and by great pains succeeded in indoctrinating the midland and Southern States. The first blood of the rebellion was shed in this State, at Lexington and Bunker Hill. The State supplied troops in 1775, 16,444; in 1776, 13,372. The quota subsequently required was 52,728, of which 38,091 was furnished.

But Massachusetts had not a few true-hearted loyalists of whom a considerable number became settlers in Upper Canada. At the evacuation of Boston “1,100 retreated in a body with the Royal army. Altogether there left Massachusetts at least 2,000 United Empire Loyalists.” The Colony of Maine also had a good many adherents of the crown—​(Sabine.)


This Province was first colonized by emigrants from Hampshire, England, in 1623. Subsequently it was peopled by English from other parts, and by Scotch.

New Hampshire supplied in 1775, 2,824 troops; in 1776, 3,012. Her quota was 10,194. Granted 6,653. We are at the same time assured by Sabine that New Hampshire had many and powerful opponents of rebellion.


Delaware was originally settled by Swedes and Finlanders in 1627. Became a part of New Netherlands in 1655, and in 1664 fell to the English. It was included in the grant of Wm. Penn in 1682. In 1701 it was erected into a colony for legislative purposes.

She supplied rebel troops in 1776, 609. Her quota fixed was 3,974. Supplied 1,778.


Connecticut was first occupied by emigrants in 1631. The Charter was granted by Charles II., which continued in existence until 1818, when it was superseded by the existing constitution. Connecticut “has uniformly been a nursery of educated men of 37every class” for the Union. And, it may be added, a number found their way to Upper Canada, as school teachers, subsequent to the Revolution. And there was a certain number of the people of Connecticut among the Loyalists. Sabine says a good many.

This State furnished for the rebel war in 1775, 4,507; in 1776, 6,390. The quota fixed was 28,336, of which was given 21,142.


Maryland was granted to the second Lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, by Queen Mary, in 1632 or 4. He colonized the Province with a company of Co-religionists of the higher class of English gentry. It was named after the English Queen, Henrietta Maria. “In 1649, it was made, as has been well said, ‘a land of sanctuary,’ by the toleration of all religious denominations, but the Puritans, expelled from Virginia, made great trouble in the Colony.”

The State supplied troops in 1776, 637. Quota fixed by congress 26,608, of which she supplied 13,275.


Massachusetts, planted by Puritans, who came to secure liberty of conscience, would not allow certain individuals in their midst to enjoy like religious liberty, and hence the foundation of Rhode Island. Providence, its original name, was thus significantly called, because here the Baptists, under Roger Williams (oppressed by the Puritans of Plymouth), found a providential asylum. This was in 1636. In how short a time (16 years) had the oppressed learned to act oppressively!

A charter was granted to Roger Williams in 1642. The government continued to exist under this charter until 1842, a period of 200 years.

Rhode Island gave troops to the number of 1,193 in 1775, and 798 in 1776. Quota demanded, 5,694; furnished 3,917.


This colony was planted in 1653 by the older colony of Virginia. The colony at first included both North and South Carolina, which continued until 1693, when the south part was erected into a separate colony, under the name of South Carolina. The inhabitants of North Carolina consisted, in part, of refugees from England at the overthrow of the Stuarts. These mainly remained loyal to the crown, and were destined to again become refugees. At the commencement of the 38rebellion the people of this colony were about equally divided between the adherents of the crown, and the rebels. The loyalists were a devoted band. At the same time, the rebels—​at least some of them—​took extreme steps. They formally demanded a separation from Great Britain in May, 1775, fourteen months before the 4th July declaration of 1776. The State provided, in 1776, 1,134 rebel troops. The quota asked for was 23,994, but only 6,129 was granted.


South Carolina was first settled in 1670.

“The great body of the people were emigrants from Switzerland, Germany, France, Great Britain, and the northern colonies of America, and their descendants, and were opposed to a separation from the mother country;” yet South Carolina furnished troops for the rebellion, in 1776, to the number of 2,069. Subsequently she gave 4,348; although her quota, as fixed by Congress, was 16,932.

In this colony were many who could not see the justice of a rebellion. Yankee descendants may say they “bowed their necks to the yoke of colonial vassalage,” but it was a wise spirit of conservatism which is expressed in the desire to “look before you leap.” “Persons who had refused to enlist under the whig banner, flocked to the royal standard by hundreds.” “Sir Henry Clinton informed the British Government that the whole State had submitted to the royal arms.” This general attachment to the British crown made the rebels vindictive and bloodthirsty, and they sought to drive away the loyal and peaceable by a vengeful shedding of blood. Consequently, the tories retaliated, and Chief Justice Marshall said, “the whigs seem determined to extirpate the tories, and the tories the whigs; some thousands have fallen in this way in this quarter.” “Being almost equally divided, reciprocal injuries had gradually sharpened their resentment against each other, and had armed neighbour against neighbour, until it became a war of extermination.” Now, it is submitted that rebellion can hardly be justified when the people are so equally divided. Sabine remarks that “after the fall of Charleston, and until the peace, the tories were in the ascendant.”


This splendid colony was granted to William Penn, the Quaker and philanthropist, who was the son of Sir William Penn, an eminent English admiral. Sir William held a claim against the British government for £16,000; and, some time after his death, his son 39having his attention directed to the new world, obtained, in lieu of that amount, the grant of land now forming this State. The charter was granted by Charles II. in 1681. Penn sought the new world to escape the persecutions inflicted upon him at home. This he had brought upon himself, by freely expressing his decided sectarian views, and by writings, disseminating the teachings of George Fox, also by attacking the Established Church. He was repeatedly imprisoned in the Tower, and even in Newgate for six months. Penn, on procuring the grant of land, determined to make it “a home for his co-religionists, where they might preach and practice their convictions in unmolested peace.” To the territory he gave the name of Sylvania; but afterwards King Charles insisted that Penn should be prefixed, making it Pennsylvania. Penn sailed from England, with several friends, in August, 1682. On reaching America he found that some Swedes and Finns had settled along the banks of the Delaware. Although Penn had a charter by which he could possess the land, yet, as an European, he did not forget the original and rightful owners of the soil. Penn’s conduct in this respect stands out in striking contrast to the course pursued by the Puritans. It was on the 30th November, 1682, that William Penn held his famous interview with the Indian tribes, when he effected a straightforward treaty with them, never to be broken or disturbed, so that he secured perpetual peace and respect. By this humane course with the Indians, and by encouraging emigration of all classes, securing to them the fullest liberty of conscience by a wise constitution, he succeeded, with his co-religionists, in building up a most flourishing colony. Subsequently the population was enlarged by numerous accessions from Scotland and Germany.

The government of Pennsylvania was proprietary, and continued such until the revolution swept away the charter, and made the children of William Penn outcasts from the land they and their fathers had made fertile. At the time of the revolution, John Penn, son of Richard Penn, who was the grandson of William Penn, was the Governor of the colony. He, with the masses of the people in the middle States, was opposed to the rebellion. It is said there were thousands of loyalists in this State who desired and offered to serve the crown, but whose services were lost through bungling by those in office. Yet the State gave troops to the rebel cause; 400 in 1775, and in the following year 5,519. The quota allotted was 40,416; granted, 19,689.



This was the last of the thirteen colonies established. The founder was Oglethorpe, who effected a settlement in 1773, and who lived to see the colony a State. The colonists landed at Charleston in January, 1733.

When the rebellion broke out, this colony was “justly regarded as highly loyal.” She refused to send delegates to the first rebel congress; “and that she was represented in the second was owing to the zeal of a native of Connecticut, Dr. Seymour Hall. It required time and labour to organize a party of ‘liberty men’ to complete the Confederacy.” The number of troops supplied in 1775 was 350; the quota was fixed at 3,974, and there was supplied 2,328.

The history of England between the periods when Virginia and Georgia, the oldest and youngest of the colonies that rebelled, were founded, was one of turmoil and strife, of religious contentions and civil war; and the colonists cast off during this hundred years carried with them, across the Atlantic, heartfelt bitterness, and many of them no little passion for evil. Notwithstanding, we have seen that the Southern States, with Pennsylvania and New York, did not seek to divide their connection with the parent State. It was generally admitted that the policy of England towards them “had been mild—​perhaps liberal.” But, as we have seen, New England, with a few malcontents in other states—​envious office-seekers, managed to disseminate the principles of rebellion—​principles that New England has quite forgotten in her treatment of the South.


Of the aforementioned colonies, they all had received and had secured to them by charter, from an indulgent mother country, governments of the most liberal nature. Civil and religious liberty were fully enjoyed. Says Mr. Sabine: “Virtually, republican charters; subject only to the appointment of a governor on the part of the Crown. Every colony was, practically, a State within itself; and it is a suggestive fact that the very earliest assertion of legislative superiority on the part of the mother country only operated negatively, by forbidding every colony to make laws repugnant to those of England.”

Certain of the British colonies were, together, called “New England,” and since the Independence they are known as the New England States. They consist of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, 41Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine, which was then a colony of Massachusetts. This region was granted by James I. to the Plymouth Company in 1606. It was called North Virginia, but it was changed some years later, before it was actually settled. It was the people of these States to whom the term “Yankee” was originally applied; and now, in the United States, this epithet is used solely in reference to these States; but in Canada and England the word is applied very generally to all Americans. The origin of the word Yankee is probably traceable to the Indian appellation “Yengee,” for English, or Anglais, after the French.


Contents—​American Writers—​Sabine—​Loyalists had no time to waste—​Independence not sought at first—​Adams—​Franklin—​Jay—​Jefferson—​Washington—​Madison—​The British Government—​Ingratitude of the Colonists—​Taxation—​Smugglers—​Crown Officers—​Persistence—​Superciliousness—​Contest between Old England and New England.

It is most refreshing to one who has been accustomed to see American school books, and even religious American tracts thickly strewn with the most fulsome self-praise, and wordy accounts of British tyranny, and of American purity and valor; to read the speeches, and listen to 4th of July orators, who, with distorted history and hifalutin panegyrics, have not ceased to wrap their country in a blazing sheet of glory. After suffering all this, ad nauseam, it is most agreeable to read the writings of one American author upon the subject of their Independence, who can do some justice to the Loyalists. Reference is made to Lorenzo Sabine, the author of “Royalists of the American Revolution.” Considering the prejudices which exist throughout the United States against every thing British, and the overweening vanity of the people in respect to the success which crowned their efforts to dismember the British Empire; it is a matter for grateful recognition that a native of New England should take up his pen to write redeeming words on behalf of the Loyalists whom they had been taught to stigmatize, to be read by his fellow countrymen. Living upon the borders, 42beyond which he could see the settled refugees working out their destiny, under adverse circumstances, and laying the foundation of a nation, he took up his pen, while the Upper Canadians were yet struggling with the forest, and without time to gather up the records of their wrongs, their losses, their persecutions, and more than all, the malicious charges against them; and hurl them back at their traducers. On behalf of those who will accept the writer as a representative of the United Empire Loyalists, he thanks Lorenzo Sabine, for what he has said. He has said nothing but the substantial truth in our favor, and in saying that, he has said very much. In his prefatory remarks, after referring to their deficiency of knowledge of the “Tories” he says, “The reason is obvious. Men who, like the Loyalists, separate themselves from their friends and kindred, who are driven from their homes, who surrender the hopes and expectations of life, and who become outlaws, wanderers, and exiles,—​such men leave few memorials behind them. Their papers are scattered and lost, and their very names pass from human recollections.”

Before considering the question, whether the American colonies were justified in taking an extreme step; it is most necessary to state that, at the first there were but an insignificant number of the colonists who held the belief that armed rebellion was demanded. Even among those who, with no mild-toned language denounced the mother country for enacting laws oppressive to the commerce and industry of the Americans, no one was found to advocate separation; on the contrary to use the words of Sabine “The denial that independence was the final object, was constant and general.” To obtain concessions and preserve the connection with England, was affirmed everywhere; and John Adams, years after the peace, went further than this, for he said ‘There was not a moment during the Revolution, when I would not have given everything I possessed for a restoration to the state of things before the contest began, provided we could have had a sufficient security for its continuance.’ Again, Franklin’s testimony, a few days before the affair at Lexington, was, that he had “more than once travelled from one end of the continent to the other, and kept a variety of company, eating, drinking, and conversing with them freely, and never had heard in any conversation from any person drunk or sober, the least expression of a wish for separation, or a hint that such a thing would be advantageous to America.” Mr. Jay is quite as explicit. “During the course of my life and until the 43second petition of Congress in 1775, I never did hear an American of any class, of any description, express a wish for the independence of the colonies. It has always, and still is, my opinion and belief, that our country was prompted and impelled to independence by necessity, and not by choice.” Says Mr. Jefferson, “What, eastward of New York, might have been the dispositions toward England before the commencement of hostilities, I know not, but before that I never heard a whisper of a disposition to separate from Great Britain, and after that, its possibility was contemplated with affliction by all.” Washington, in 1774, sustained these declarations, and, in the “Fairfax County Resolves” it was complained, that “malevolent falsehoods” were propagated by the ministry to prejudice the mind of the king; particularly that there is an intention in the American colonies to set up for independent States; and Washington expressed a wish that the “dispute might be left to posterity to determine.” Mr. Madison was not in public life until May, 1776, but he says, “It has always been my impression, that a re-establishment of the colonial relations to the parent country, as they were previous to the controversy, was the real object of every class of the people, till the despair of obtaining it.”

The testimony of these Fathers of the Republic, cannot be impeached; and, we must, therefore, seek for the cause of the rebellion in some other place. We have seen how the British colonies were planted. In connection with them, two leading influences may be discovered constantly at work, one of a personal nature; the other referring to the State. Individuals would not sever the ties of home-ship and brave the wide ocean, to expose themselves to the varied dangers of the wilderness, did they not have good reason to expect due returns. The Government would not afford ships and means to send her sons to distant shores, unless the colony would become serviceable to the parent State. The British Government had enabled many a hardy son to lay the foundation for substantial wealth. More than all, the colonies of America had been assisted to put under their feet their French rival. For their benefit the Crown expected, and undertook to enforce some tribute. But the colonists would not recognize the right of the Crown to tax them for their labor. For all the British Government had done for the colonies, for all the money spent, she required that the colonists should be taxed. Laws were enacted, and officers and revenue collectors appointed to enforce the laws. It was required that these colonies should not trade, without 44certain restrictions, with foreign nations; but the merchants of Massachusetts, having tasted the sweets of unrestricted trade, were unwilling to pay revenue to the Crown, although trading under the protection of the British flag. And so it came that when royal collectors of customs were sent out; when men of war coasted the shores of Massachusetts to prevent smuggling, by Hancock and others, there was no disposition to submit to Imperial taxation. For years the law relating to revenue had been a dead letter almost, the smugglers having used hush money. But at last Government determined to put down illicit trade. It is true the colonies did not object without a special plea, which was “no taxation without representation.” But the real points at issue were, whether contraband commerce should continue and increase, or the Crown receive the dues demanded by law. “Nine-tenths probably, of all the tea, wine, fruit, sugar, and molasses, consumed in the colonies were smuggled. To put this down was the determined purpose of the ministry. The commanders of the ships of war on the American station were accordingly commissioned as officers of the customs; and, to quicken their zeal, they were to share in the proceeds of the confiscations; the courts to decide upon the lawfulness of seizures, were to be composed of a single judge, without a jury, whose emoluments were to be derived from his own condemnations; the Governors of the colonies and the military officers were to be rewarded for their activity by swearing also, either in the property condemned, or in the penalties annexed to the interdicted trade.” And was not the Crown correct in enforcing laws intended for the public weal? Had hostile fleets approached Boston harbour to invade, instead of smuggling crafts, freighted with luxuries, would not the colonist have called loudly for Imperial help to protect? But if the Government had the best of rights to enforce the laws, it certainly displayed much want of judgment in the mode adopted to carry out its demands. The foregoing, from Sabine, recalls to us at once the cause why resistance was strenuously made. The mode of paying their Crown officers was well calculated to kindle feelings of the most determined opposition on the part of the illicit traders, such as John Hancock, John Langdon, Samuel Adams, William Whipple, George Clymer, Stephen Hopkins, Francis Louis, Philip Livingston, Eldridge Gerry, Joseph Hewes, George Taylor, Roger Sherman, Button Gurnett, and Robert Morris, all signers of the declaration of independence,—​all smugglers!

45And thus it came about. The Crown was determined to exact taxes, and ignorant of the feelings of the colonists; and the colonists, grown rich by unrestricted trade—​by smuggling, entered into a contract, which was only to end in dismemberment of the British Empire. Side issues were raised, cries of oppression shouted, the love of liberty invoked and epithets bandied; but they were only for effect, to inflame the public mind, of which there was much wavering. Of course, there were other things which assisted to ripen rebellion, at least were so represented, that they added to the growing discontent. Colonies, when they have become developed by age, and powerful by local circumstances, will naturally lose the interest which animates the subject at home. It is in the nature of things that the love of country should gradually change from the old home to the new. The inhabitants of the colonies were in many cases but descendants of European nations, who could not be expected to retain the warmest attachment to the parent country. The tide of war had changed the allegiance of many a one. The heterogeneous whole could not be called English, and hence it was more easy to cast aside the noble feeling called patriotism. Then there were jealousies of the Crown officers, and everything undertaken by the home government, having the appearance of change, was promptly suspected as being intended to degrade them. The exclusiveness of the regular army and superciliousness to the provincial troops, during the French war, caused many a sting, and the thought of insult to the provincial officer remained to rankle and fester in the mind of many a military aspirant. The proposal to introduce Episcopal Bishops, to give precedence to the Established Church, had its effect upon many, yet many of the non-conformists were equally loyal.

The contest was originally between New England and Old England. While the Middle and Southern States were for peace, or moderate measures, the north sedulously worked to stir up strife by disseminating specious statements and spreading abroad partisan sentiments. Massachusetts took the lead. Founded by Puritans, (who, themselves were the most intolerant bigots and became the greatest persecutors America has seen,) these States possessed the proper elements with which to kindle discontent.

Thus we have learned that independence was not the primary object of revolt, and we have seen that the leaders in rebellion were principally New Englanders, and were actuated mainly by mercenary motives, unbounded selfishness and bigotry.



Contents—​The signers of the Declaration of Independence—​Their nativity—​Injustice of American writers for 80 years—​Cast back mis-statements—​The whigs had been U. E. Loyalists—​Hancock—​Office-seekers—​Malcontents stir up strife—​What the fathers of the Republic fought for—​Rebel committees—​Black mail—​Otis, John Adams, Warren, Washington, Henry, Franklin—​What caused them to rebel—​What the American revolutionary heroes actually were—​Cruelty, during and after the war—​No freedom—​The political mistake of the rebels in alienating the loyalists—​The consequence—​Motives of the loyalists—​False charges—​Conscientious conservatives—​Rebellion not warranted—​Attachment to the old flag—​Loyalists driven away—​Suppressio veri—​Want of noble spirit towards the South—​Effects—​Comparison between loyalists and rebels—​Education—​Religion—​The neutral—​The professions.

Of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence nine were born in Massachusetts, seven in Virginia, six in Maryland, five in Connecticut, four in New Jersey, four in Pennsylvania, four in South Carolina, three in New York, three in Delaware, two in Rhode Island, one in Maine, three in Ireland, two in England, two in Scotland, and one in Wales. Of these twenty-one were attornies; ten merchants; four physicians; three farmers; one clergyman; one printer; and ten men of fortune.


But let us more carefully consider the motives in connection with the rebellion of ‘76. So assiduously have our fathers, the U. E. Loyalists, been branded by most American writers as altogether base, that it becomes us to cast back the mis-statements—​to tear away the specious covering of the American revolutionary heroes, and throw the sunlight of truth upon their character, and dispel the false, foul stigma, which the utterances of eighty years have essayed to fasten upon the noble band of Loyalists.

Up to 1776, the whigs as well as the tories were United Empire Loyalists; and it was only when the king’s forces required taxes; when the colonists were requested no longer to smuggle; when they could not dispossess the tories of the power and emoluments of office—​it was only then that the Declaration of Independence was signed by those more particularly interested. John Hancock, whose name stands first upon the document, in such bold characters, had been a successful smuggler, whereby he had acquired his millions, and no wonder he staked his thousands on the issue. Evidence is not wanting to show that many of the leaders of the rebellion, had they been holders of office, would have 47been as true to the British Crown as were those whom they envied. Every man who took part on the rebel side has been written a hero; but it is asking too much to request us to believe that all the holders of office were base, and lost to the feelings of natural independence and patriotism; more especially when a large proportion of them were, admittedly, educated and religious men; while, on the contrary, the rebels alone were actuated by patriotism and the nobler feelings of manhood. Apart from the merits or demerits of their cause, it must be admitted that the circumstances of the times force upon us the thought that a comparatively few needy office-seekers, or lookers-after other favors from the Crown, not being able to obtain the loaves and fishes, began to stir up strife. A few, possessed of sufficient education, by the aid of the wealthy contraband traders, were enabled, by popular sensational speeches and inflammatory pamphlets, to arouse the feelings of the uneducated; and, finally, to create such a current of political hatred to the Crown that it could not be stayed, and which swept away the ties that naturally attached them to Great Britain.

We may easily imagine the surprise which many experienced in after days, when the war had ended and their independence was acknowledged, to find themselves heroes, and their names commemorated as fathers of their country; whereas they had fought only for money or plunder, or smuggled goods, or because they had not office. In not a few cases it is such whose names have served for the high-sounding fourth of July orators; for the buncombe speechifier and the flippant editor, to base their eulogistic memoriams. Undoubtedly there are a few entitled to the place they occupy in the temple of fame; but the vast majority seem to have been actuated by mercenary motives. We have authenticated cases where prominent individuals took sides with the rebels because they were disappointed in obtaining office; and innumerable instances where wealthy persons were arrested, ostensibly on suspicion, and compelled to pay large fines, and then set at liberty. No feudal tyrant of Europe in the olden times enforced black mail from the traveller with less compunction than rebel “committees” exacted money from wealthy individuals who desired simply to remain neutral.

It has been said that Otis, a name revered by the Americans, actually avowed that he “would set Massachusetts in a flame, though he should perish in the fire.” For what? Not because he wanted liberty, but because his father was not appointed to a vacant 48judgeship! It is alleged that John Adams was at a loss which side to take, and finally became a rebel because he was refused a commission in the peace! It is said that Joseph Warren was a broken-down man, and sought, amid the turmoil of civic strife, to better his condition. And the immortal Washington, it is related, and has never been successfully contradicted, was soured against the mother county because he was not retained in the British army in reward for his services in the French war. Again, Richard Henry was disappointed in not receiving the office of stamp distributor, which he solicited. Franklin was vexed because of opposition to his great land projects and plans of settlement on the Ohio. Indeed it is averred that mostly all the prominent whigs who sided with the rebels were young men, with nothing to lose and everything to gain by political changes and civil war. Thus it will be seen that the so-called American revolutionary heroes have not altogether clean hands, however much they may have been washed by their descendants. The clothing placed upon them may conceal the dirt and dross and blood, but they are indelibly there.

It is not alone the motives which constituted the mainsprings of the rebels’ action that we place in the balance, but their conduct towards those who differed from them. Individual instances of cruelty we shall have occasion to introduce; but it may here be said that it was the tories who acted as the conservators of peace against a mobocracy, and consequently were made to suffer great afflictions. It was because of this they were forced away to live and die as aliens to the land of their birth. The tories were Americans as well as the whigs; and when at last Great Britain ceased to try to coerce the colonies, and their independence was secured, then a nobler spirit should have obtained among the conquerors, and no one, because he had conscientiously been a conservative, should have been treated with opprobrium. It always becomes the victorious to be generous; and we, with all respect to many American friends, submit that, had patriotism alone actuated the revolutionary party, the American loyalists would have been invited to join with the whigs in erecting a mighty nation. Had freedom, indeed, been the watchword then, as it has flauntingly been since, it would have been conceded that the tory had a right to his opinion as well as the whig to his. Do the Americans descant upon the wisdom and far-seeing policy of those who signed the Declaration of Independence and framed the constitution of the Union? Monroe, we doubt not, had a different opinion when he begot the doctrine 49“America for the Americans.” Had the U. E. Loyalists been treated honorably; had they been allowed but their rights; had they not been driven away; then the name British American would forever have passed away; and instead of a belt of British provinces on their north, to constitute a ceaseless cause of misunderstanding with England, the star-spangled banner would, doubtless, long ago, have peacefully floated over all our land. Looking at the subject from this (an American) stand-point, we see that a shortsighted policy—​a vindictive feeling, a covetous desire for the property of the tories—​controlled the movements of the hour; and when the terms of peace were signed the birthright of the American tory was signed away, and he became forever an alien. But, as we shall see, he, in consequence, became the founder of a Province which, like a rock, has resisted, and ever will resist, the northward extension of the United States.


Whatever may have been the incentives to rebellion, yielded to by those who revolted, there cannot rest upon the mind of the honest reader of unbiassed history a doubt as to the motives of the loyalists. The home-spun eulogists of the United States revolutionary soldiers have never ceased to dwell upon the principles which fired the breasts of the patriots, and nerved their arms to deeds of daring and successful warfare; all the time observing silence respecting the bravery of those who, from the same walks of life, engaged in the strife as the determined antagonists to rebellion. They have again and again charged upon the “king’s men” that it was because they were servants of the Crown and feeders at the government stall that loyalty was assumed and fought for. But facts, when allowed to stand out uncovered by the cant of liberatists, declare, in words that may not be gainsayed, that there were a vast number who held no appointment under the Crown, yet who, from first to last, were true—​naturally true—​to their king and country. The great mass were essentially conservatives, called “tories.” They held the opinion that to rebel was not only unnecessary but wrong. They believed that the evils of which the colonists had just reason to complain were not so great as to justify the extreme step taken by the signers of the Declaration of Independence; that any injustice existing was but temporary and would, when properly and calmly represented to the home government, be remedied; that to convulse the colonies in war was an unjustifiably 50harsh procedure; and, entertaining such a belief, it is submitted that they were noble indeed in standing up for peace—​for more moderate measures. Moreover, not unlikely, many were impressed with the view that the disaffected were laboring under an erroneous idea of oppression; that the training incident to pioneer life, the previous wars with the French Canadians, the constant contentions with the Indians, had begotten false views of their rights, and made them too quick to discover supposed wrongs. Candidly impressed with such thoughts, they could not be otherwise than true to the natural instincts of their heart, and refuse to take part, or acquiesce in throwing overboard the government of England, and so become aliens to the flag under which they were born and had lived, and for which they had fought. Not many may cast aside their feelings of nationality; not many can forget the land of their birth; not a large number will bury the associations of a life-time without the most potent causes. And, doubtless, the Anglo-American who faithfully adhered to the old flag possessed all the ardor of a lofty patriotism. But the American writer has forgotten all this. In the broad sunlight of national success he has not discovered the sacred longings of the U. E. Loyalists for the Union Jack. Looking at the events of ‘76 by the lurid glare of civil war, his eyes are blinded to the fact that a noble band, possessing equal rights with the rebels, loved England, notwithstanding all her faults, and for that love sacrificed their all of worldly goods. The citizens of the United States would prefer to have it said in history that the U. E. Loyalists, in every instance, voluntarily left their homes during the war, or at its close. The loyalists are thereby, no doubt, made to appear more devotedly attached to the British Crown. But it is right to have it distinctly stated that American writers mostly make themselves guilty of suppressio veri. The latest instance of this is seen in a report to the Hon. Hugh McCullough, Secretary of the Treasury, prepared by E. H. Derby, Commissioner of the Treasury Department, dated January 1st, 1866, who, in remarking upon the British Colonial policy from 1776 down to 1830, takes occasion to say that, “at first there was little fellowship between the United States and the Provincialists, many of whom were descended from the loyalists who followed the British troops from our shores.” The fact is, however, that many of them were driven away. The tories were not loyal without sense; and when the fortune of war had turned against them, they would, in great numbers, have made the best of their changed condition, and have lived to become true citizens of the 51new-born nation. But this was not to be. The loyalists were to be made feel that they were outcasts. It is the same ignoble and unstatesmanlike course which is now being pursued toward the subdued South. They must needs be made to know they are rebels. It is a shortsighted policy, even as the former was. The former led to the establishment of a nation to their north, which will stand, even after the Union lies in fragments; the latter fosters a feeling of alienation, which will speak upon the first opportunity, in the thunder tones of war.

If a comparison is instituted between the rebels of 1776, and those who were conservators of peace, the contrast is found to be very great. It is charged against the loyalists that all office-holders were tories; but is this more worthy of remark than the fact that many became rebels because they could not obtain office. Nay, the latter is infinitely more heinous in its nature. If we look at the two parties, with respect to education and, it may be added, religion, it is found that the great bulk of the educated and refined, the religious classes, especially the clergy, the leading lawyers, the most prominent medical men, were all loyalists. It was not because they were office-holders, it was because they possessed a moral and elevated mind, educated to a correct standard. Then, again, there was a large class of citizens who loved retirement, and who begged to be allowed to remain neutral, but who were actually compelled to take sides with the rebels or be driven away.

The peaceably inclined, who looked for guidance to their spiritual instructors, generally beheld them, if not actually advocating the interests of the crown, at least setting an example against rebellion, and they were thus strengthened in their feelings of loyalty, or determination to remain neutral. The flame of patriotism was kept aglow in many a heart by the earnest prayer of the gospel minister. Says Sabine: “From what has now been said it is evident that a very considerable proportion of the professional and editorial intelligence and talents of the thirteen colonies was arrayed against the popular movement.” Again: “a large number of the clergy were United Empire Loyalists.” Also, “the giants of the law were nearly all loyalists.” The physicians were mostly tories, but were, as a general thing, not molested. “A few were banished; others became surgeons in the army.”



Contents—​Republicanism—​The lesson of the first rebellion—​The late civil war—​The Loyalists; their losses and hardships—​Ignored by Americans—​Unrecorded—​The world kept in ignorance—​American glory—​Englishmen—​Question of Colonial treatment—​The reason why Great Britain failed to subdue the rebellion—​Character of the rebel bravery—​The great result—​Liberty in England and United States contrasted—​Slavery—​The result to U. E. Loyalists—​Burgoyne—​Mobocracy—​Treatment from “Sons of Liberty”—​Old men, women and children—​Instances of cruelty—​Brutality—​Rapacity—​Torture—​The lower classes—​“Swamp Law”—​Fiendish cruelty—​Worse than Butler’s Rangers—​Seward and the Fenians—​Infamous falsification—​Close of the war—​Recognition of independence by Great Britain—​Crushed hopes of the Loyalists—​In New York—​Their conduct—​Evacuation day—​The position of the Loyalists—​Confiscation—​“Attainting”—​Seizing estates—​Paine—​Commissioners at Paris—​British Ministry—​Loyalists’ petition—​King’s speech—​Division of claimants—​Six classes—​The number—​Tardy justice—​Noble conduct of South Carolina—​Impostors—​Loyalists in Lower Canada—​Proclamation—​The soldiers’ families—​Journeyings—​Meeting of families.


Almost a hundred years have passed away since the war-cloud arose which swept away thirteen of Britain’s colonies upon the uncertain and tempest-tossed ocean of Republicanism. That storm is long since stilled, as well as the hearts of those who took part therein.

While the statesman and politician may, with advantage, study the lesson then read, and which has been but lately annotated by the United States civil war, by the determined subjection of eight millions of Southerners, who desired freedom to establish a new government, let it be our humble occupation to record some of the immediate individual results of that great tempest, of which American writers, with but few exceptions, have never spoken fairly. Writers among them are not wanting to give lively pen pictures of their revolutionary heroes; not only forgetting the sufferings of the loyalists—​the devoted ones, who gave up all—​property, homes, friends, all the associations of a birth-place, rather than bow the knee to Baal; but who have wilfully misrepresented them; have charged them with crimes, at once atrocious and unfounded. The sufferings, the losses, the hardships, incident to pioneer life, with the noble purposes and undeviating loyalty of the British American tories, have never been fully related—​never engaged the pen of the faithful historian. American writers, on the contrary, have recorded in glowing colors the deeds and actions of the “fathers of the Republic.” To this no objection; can be made; but may we not charge those historians with uncharitableness, with unnecessary neglect of the claims of the loyalists to 53pure motives, with ignoring their brave deeds, their devoted sufferings, and with unduly ascribing to the “king’s men” motives base and cruel. But the sufferings of the U. E. Loyalists are unrecorded. The world has rarely been told that they were persecuted, their homes pillaged, their persons maltreated, their valuables seized, their houses made desolate, their real estate taken from them, without legal proceedings. The world has been so flooded with the writings of Americans, describing their own excellencies and eulogizing their own cause, that no space has been found to do simple justice to the noble ones who preferred British rule to the uncertain and untried. Indeed, so strongly and for so long a time has the current been flowing to swell the ocean of American glory, that hardly a voice or pen is found doing service for the unfortunate loyalists, who chose to endure a little rather than rush into the vortex of rebellious strife. Even Englishmen have so long listened to one-sided statements, that no one of them can be found to say a word for the old tory party of America. Hence it is that the U. E. Loyalists are very imperfectly known; their history unwritten, their tales of sorrow unattended to, their noble doings unsung. Had there been a hand to guide a describing pen,—​to picture the doings, the sufferings, the self-denying heroism of the loyal party; to recount the motives underlying all they did; and had there been ears as willing to listen, and eyes to read, and hearts to receive the facts as those of a contrary nature have obtained, then a far different impression would have been made, and fixed upon the world.

That the British Government was right or wise in its treatment of the American colonies we now have every reason to doubt. At the same time, that England might have subdued that rebellion, had she put forth her undivided strength, there is but little reason to question. Had she not been engaged in a formidable war with France; or even with that, had her statesmen acquired a correct knowledge of America as to topography, and as to the feelings and wishes of the people and their just complaints; or had able generals been entrusted with the command of the armies, instead of incompetent favorites; or had a little diplomacy been practiced, and the ringleaders of the whig faction—​often hungry agitators—​been conciliated by office; in either event the rebellion might have been nipped in the bud, or easily overcome. The American Republic owes its independence to the circumstances in which Great Britain was then placed, and the incapacity of a few of the British Generals, rather than to superior bravery, extraordinary military talent, or any high-toned longing for liberty. No 54doubt many of the rebelling party were brave; but it was often the bravery of the guerilla, or the desperate adventurer.

Of the great result—​the recognition of the independence of the rebelling provinces by the mother country—​we design not to speak at length. It will always remain a question, whether it would not have been better for the States themselves, and the world at large, if they had remained a part of the British Empire. That the evils of which they complained would, in due time, have been removed, upon proper representation, there is no substantial reason to doubt. That the principles of true freedom would have advanced and spread quite as rapidly, and that, to-day, liberty, in the broadest sense, would have reigned in the world fully as triumphant, the whole history of England and the United States sufficiently attest. It was many long years after Britain had struck off the chains of slavery before the United States reached the same point; and then only because it became a “military necessity.” Looking at the two nations to-day, and judging by the utterances of the two respective people, whether enunciated in the halls of legislature, by the head of the nation, by the bar, in the pulpit, by the press, or from the platform; or if we be guided by the public deeds of each, it is submitted that the more genuine ring of the metal sounds from beneath the wide-spreading banner of old England.

The effect of the successful rebellion, to which it is intended to refer, has reference to the United Empire Loyalists of America. And first, the effect upon them during the war.

The defeat of Burgoyne was the first event which immediately led to severe disaster of the loyalists. This general, with more assurance than foresight, and perhaps more courage than military skill, succeeded, not only in leading his army to destruction, but in placing the friendly inhabitants on his route in such a position that no mercy was subsequently extended to them by the ruthless rebels. When he surrendered, instead of securing for them immunity from any harm, he entirely neglected their interests; notwithstanding they had supplied his troops with provision. The relentless conduct of the rebels in arms and the whig government was bloodthirsty and vindictive. Their hate towards those who would not take sides with them, whether in arms for the Crown or not, was barbarous. Persons suspected of sympathy with the tories were subjects of continued molestation. Mobocracy reigned. Vagabond bodies of men were sent abroad to range the country, to lay waste and destroy the property of the loyalists, imprison the suspected, and seize the goods of the unprotected. 55Tarring and feathering was of common occurrence. Massachusetts especially gained a name for cruelty far exceeding any which has been applied to the Indians, with all their barbarism. There was a villainous band who called themselves the “Sons of Liberty,” who carried fire and sword—​not against an open enemy in the light of day, but to peaceful firesides in the darkness of night. Their victims were the old men, the women and children, and the defenceless. Old men and children were driven to the woods for shelter, or placed in a closed room, and, with chimney stopped, smoked to suffocation. Females were subject to insult and the most fiendish treatment. Dwellings were fired at night, and their occupants left houseless, and exposed to the inclemency of the weather.

Suspected persons were arrested and put to terrible torture, such as attaching a rope to the neck and hauling the individual through the water till insensible; or suspending him to a tree till life was almost gone. This was frequently done with the object of extracting information as to the whereabouts of a father or a brother, or as to the place where money and valuables were concealed. The tales of cruelty the writer has heard related concerning the treatment the loyal party were exposed to, would harrow up the soul of any one possessing feelings of pity and commiseration.

The loyalists who immediately suffered, that is, while the war was in progress, were many. Military forts were established here and there, to which many fled precipitately from the several States.

It is a matter of extreme astonishment how men who set up the standard of revolt under the sacred name of liberty, could so far ignore the principles of liberty in the treatment of innocent old men, women and children, as we find stated by honest witnesses. The darkest tales of savage dealing come to us from our fathers. Families, whose sole offence consisted in being unwilling to rebel, and in being desirous to remain faithfully neutral, were the objects of the rapacious prey of a brutal soldiery. Their substance when not available for the rebel horde, was scattered to the winds. Devouring fire was cast into peaceful homes. How gross the hypocrisy, how base the motives that actuated very many of the adventurers in rebellion. The most hellish means were adopted at times, to force away persons of property, that the so-called “Sons of Liberty” might enjoy their substance and homes. Attending these scenes of desolation and refined cruelty, their imprisonments and torture, were incidents of thrilling interest, of fearful suffering, of hairbreadth escapes, of forlorn rescues.

56The lower classes of those who rebelled were men of bold and lawless nature: whether we pass along the shores of New England, among the fishermen, or travel thorough the woods of Maine and New Hampshire, and become acquainted with woodmen of the forest, or as they were called “Loggers and Sawyers.” The spirit that animated the merchants of Boston and Salem, in their extended operations of smuggling, lived, also, in the reckless fishermen and woodmen; and for years before the rebellion really commenced they had been resisting, even by physical force, the revenue officers, who were often expelled from the woods by what was called “swamp law.” Men with such nature, finding that their lawlessness had become popular, and that steps were being taken to resist the government on a general plan, were not slow to act their part. One result of the rebellion was a determined and systematic course of retaliation upon those who had recognized the majesty of the law. A continued and uncompromising persecution was entered upon toward them.

No history can parallel the deeds of atrocity enacted by the villainous “Liberty men.” Said an old lady, on the verge of the grave, and with voice tremulous in remembrance of fiendish acts she had witnessed, “The Rebels, on one occasion entered a house and stripped it of everything, even the bed on which lay a woman on the point of confinement. But a single sheet was left to cover the woman upon a winter’s night, who, before morning became a mother.” In 1776, there arrived at Fort George, in a starving state, Mrs. Nellis, Mrs. Secord, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Buck and Mrs. Bonnar, with thirty-one children, whom the circumstances of the rebellion had driven away. Talk about the cruelty of Indians and of Tory oppression. The unprincipled rebels did well to try to hide their ignominious deeds behind the fabrications respecting the doings of Butler’s Rangers, and the noble-minded Brant. May we not cease to wonder that the descendants of the rebels in the year 1866, endeavour to hound on a pack of thieves and murderers to possess themselves of the homes our fathers sought out for us. The self-applauding writers of the revolutionary war, found it convenient to forget the doings of the “Sons of Liberty” and of Sullivan, while they laid to the charge of Butler’s Rangers and the Indians, acts of inhumanity (which we are informed on good authority are unfounded, Butler having never abused woman or child.) In the same manner, Secretary Seward found it desirable to falsify dates, by saying the Fenians invaded Canada on the 6th of June, that it might appear he 57had vindicated promptly their neutrality laws; whereas they actually crossed, and engaged in battle, on the morning of the 2nd. But as time will fully bring out the facts connected with the first American rebellion, and place them face to face with one-sided history, so will faithful history record the whole truth of the infamous invasion of our country by a band of American citizens with United States arms in their hands. Those deeds of blood, enacted by men under the hypocritical cry of liberty have not been forgotten by the United Empire Loyalists, but have been handed down to us, to place on record against the cruel actors.

Hostilities ceased 19th April, 1783, and on the 20th September, the independence of the United States was acknowledged.

The recognition of independence by Great Britain, was the death knell to the cherished hopes of the loyalists. Many had escaped into the provinces, and many were in the army, and not a few were in England. Although the majority of them had been driven away, a few still remained in those places, yet held by the British forces, as New York. “When the news of peace became known, the city presented a scene of distress not easily described. Adherents to the Crown, who were in the army, tore the lapels from their coats and stamped them under their feet, and exclaimed that they were ruined; others cried out they had sacrificed everything to prove their loyalty, and were now left to shift for themselves, without the friendship of their king or country. Previous to the evacuation, and in September, upwards of 12,000 men, women, and children, embarked at the city, at Long and Staten Islands, for Nova Scotia and the Bahamas,” and for Canada. “Some of these victims to civil war tried to make merry at their doom, by saying they were bound to a lovely country, where there are nine months winter and three months cold weather every year, while others, in their desperation tore down their houses, and had they not been prevented, would have carried off the bricks of which they were built.” The British had possessed New York since 15th September, 1776, and on the 25th November, 1783, yielded it up to the Americans. This is “Evacuation day.”

When Cornwallis surrendered he vainly tried to obtain a promise of protection for the Loyal Americans, who, in part, formed his army. Failing in this, he sent an armed vessel away with a large number.

At this time beside the many who had become refugees, there 58were some loyalists scattered through the States. Many of these remained in the now Independent States, and many of them would have returned, to become faithful citizens under the new order of things, had they been allowed so to do. But the young Republic knew not how to be magnanimous to those whom the fortunes of war had left in great distress—​whom they had conquered, and the United Empire Loyalists were made aliens from their native homes. Their property must be confiscated, and many being large land owners, rich prizes were thus secured. While the conflict continued to rage there was some excuse, but when war had ceased, and everything had been accomplished that the most craving rebel could wish, it was a ruthless, an ungenerous, nay, a base proceeding on the part of the revolutionists, to force away their very brethren, often related by the ties of consanguinity. But it was a spirit as unprincipled as this, which instigated the rebellion, and which characterized the vast majority of those who fought under the sacred name of liberty, and such was the spirit of the conquerors.

The successful rebels determined to possess themselves of the lands and property of the loyalists, even in violation of treaty. The action of Congress was sufficiently high-handed and wanting in generosity; but the proceedings of the State Legislatures, with a few exceptions, were execrable—​characterized by ignoble and vindictive passion.

The Legislatures of each state took early steps to punish the adherents of Britain, to dispossess them of their property, and to banish them. Massachusetts took the lead in dealing severely against the loyalists. A rebel magistrates’ warrant was sufficient to banish one. Hundreds of Massachusetts Loyalists were prohibited from returning on penalty of imprisonment and even death. And the other States were active in “attainting” and confiscating, often without the form of trial. Each State carried on its function as a government, and trials ought to have been granted, in common justice to every one. But the Whigs were intolerant, hot-headed, malevolent, unforgiving. It has been said that “if it be conceded that rebellion against England was right, then every step necessary to success was justifiable.” If we grant all this there remains the fact that after success had crowned rebellion, persecution and confiscation continued. New York, on the 12th May, 1784, passed “An act for the speedy sale of the confiscated and forfeited estates 59within the States.” The powers consisted in the appointment of “commissioners of forfeitures.” Among those who lost their land was one Davoe. He had 300 acres near New York, twenty miles, which was confiscated and given to the notorious Tom Paine, the infidel, whose extreme liberal views expressed in his work, “Common Sense,” made him the friend of Washington, and revolutionists generally. Paine, after taking part in the French Revolutions, came, in 1802, to his place in New York, where he enjoyed the loyalists’ confiscated property until his death, 8th June, 1809.

In the terms of peace signed at Paris, there was no security effected for the losses sustained by the American Loyalists.

As Burgoyne at his inglorious surrender at Saratoga, thought not of the innocent inhabitants of the Mohawk and Hudson, who had identified themselves with the loyal cause, and supplied his troops with provisions, and left them to the merciless “Sons of Liberty,” to be despoiled of their all, and exposed to fearful cruelty, so at the last, when the British Government relinquished the attempt to subdue rebellion, the American Loyalists were of remote consideration. We can gather now but the outlines of this great wrong done unto noble men. The particulars are buried in the wreck of fortune, and of happiness, respecting all worldly matters. The after life of the loyalists was of too earnest a nature to allow time to place on record the sufferings, and the wanderings of the disinherited. The lost cause did not stimulate men to draw upon imagination, such as may be found in gaudy-hued descriptions of American revolutionary heroes, male and female. But there is sufficient of facts recorded, and engraven by the iron pen of extreme anguish upon hearts, that were of flesh, to stamp the persecutors with infamy, and mark the refugees, that clustered around the border forts, and found homes at Sorel, Lachine, and Montreal, with the highest attributes of patriotism and love of country.

The conduct of the ministry, and the commissioners at Paris is open to the severest censure. They left the claims of the loyalists to be decided by the American Congress. We may allow them the credit of having held the belief, that this body would be actuated by a feeling of justice and right, but the error was a grave one, the wrong grievous and hard to be endured. In pursuing this course, the British ministry did not escape condemnation by members of Parliament, and a feeling of sympathy was evoked 60that led to a tardy dispensing of justice. Lord North said “that never were the honor, the principles, the policy of a nation, so grossly abused as in the desertion of those men, who are now exposed to every punishment that desertion and poverty can inflict, because they were not rebels.” Mr. Sheridan “execrated the treatment of those unfortunate men, who, without the least notice taken of their civil and religious rights, were handed over as subjects to a power that would not fail to take vengeance on them for their zeal and attachment to the religion and government of the mother country,” “and he called it a crime to deliver them over to confiscation, tyranny, resentment and oppression.” Lord Loughborough said that “in ancient nor modern history had there been so shameful a desertion of men who had sacrificed all to their duty and to their reliance upon British faith.” Others, in terms of equal severity, denounced the ministry in Parliament for their neglect. The ministry admitted it all, but excused themselves by the plea that “a part must be wounded, that the whole of the empire may not perish”—​that they “had but the alternative, either to accept the terms proposed, or continue the war.”

“A number of loyalists in England, came to the United States to claim restitution of their estates, but their applications were unheeded,” except to imprison, and banish them.

The treaty of peace signed, without any provision for the suffering loyalists, they at once took steps to petition the Imperial Parliament for justice. “They organized an agency, and appointed a Committee, composed of one delegate, or agent from each of the thirteen States, to enlighten the British public.” “At the opening of Parliament the King, in his speech from the throne, alluded to the ‘American sufferers’ and trusted generous attention would be shewn to them.” An act was consequently passed creating a “Board of Commissioners” to examine the claims preferred. The claimants were divided into six classes.

First Class.—​Those who had rendered service to Great Britain.”

Second Class.—​Those who had borne arms for Great Britain.”

Third Class.—​Uniform Loyalists.”

Fourth Class.—​Loyal British subjects residents in Great Britain.”

Fifth Class.—​Loyalists who had taken oaths to the American States, but afterward joined the British.”

61Sixth Class.—​Loyalists who had borne arms for the American States, and afterwards joined the British navy or army.”

The claimants had to state in writing, and specifically the nature of their losses. Great and unnecessary caution was observed by the Board. The rigid rules of examinations caused much dissatisfaction and gave the Board the name of “Inquisition.”

The 26th of March, 1784, was the latest period for presenting claims, which was allowed, and on or before that day, the number of claimants was two thousand and sixty-three. A “second report which was made in December of the same year, shows that one hundred and twenty-eight additional cases had been disposed of.” In May and July 1865, one hundred and twenty-two cases more were disposed of. In April 1786, one hundred and forty more were attended to. The commissioners proceeded with their investigations during the years 1786 and 1787. “Meantime” and to her honor be it said “South Carolina had restored the estates of several of her loyalists.”

Years passed away before the commissioners had decided upon all the claims, and great and loud was the complaint made by the claimants. The press was invoked to secure a more prompt concession of justice, pamphlets were published on their behalf, and one printed in 1788, five years after the peace, contained the following: “It is well that this delay of justice has produced the most melancholy and shocking events. A number of the sufferers have been driven by it into insanity, and become their own destroyers, leaving behind them their helpless widows and orphans to subsist upon the cold charity of strangers. Others have been sent to cultivate a wilderness for their subsistence, without having the means, and compelled through want, to throw themselves on the mercy of the American States, and the charity of their former friends, to support the life which might have been made comfortable by the money long since due from the British Government, and many others, with their families are barely subsisting upon a temporary allowance from government, a mere pittance when compared with the sum due them.”

The total number of claimants was 5,072, of whom 924 withdrew or failed to make good the claim. The sum of money allowed was £3,294,452. We have seen there was, in addition, given to the widows and orphans, between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds.

There is no doubt that a certain number of the claimants were 62impostors, while many asked remuneration above what their losses had actually been, and this caused the commissioners to examine more closely the claims proffered. But it is submitted that they ought, in dealing with the money already granted by a considerate Parliament, to have leaned on the side of clemency.

At the close of the contest there were a large number of Refugees in Lower Canada, especially at Fort St. John, about twenty-nine miles from Montreal. In the main these were American born, and principally from the New England States; yet there were representatives from England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. Besides the Refugees, there were several Provincial Corps, which were no longer to be retained in the service, but to be disbanded. Of these there was the 84th, often called Johnson’s regiment, this was 800 strong, mostly Dutch, from the Mohawk, and Hudson, descendants of the old stock. This regiment consisted of two corps, one under Major Jessup, stationed at St. John’s, and the other under Rogers, a part of which at least, was stationed at Fort Oswego. Jessup’s corps became the first pioneers upon the St. Lawrence, and Rogers among the first along the Bay of Quinté. Both settled in 1784. There were other troops stationed at St. John’s, and likewise not a few who had discharged irregular, but important duties, as scouts, and in other ways.

It has been generally estimated that at the close of the struggle, and as a result, there were distributed of American Loyalists upon the shores of Canada, about 10,000. At the first, most of these were in Lower Canada, but there were likewise a few at the frontier forts upon the Upper waters, and a few detached squatters. Then, “there was not a single tree cut from the (present) Lower Province line to Kingston, 150 miles; and at Kingston there were but a few surrounding huts; and from thence all around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, with the exception of a few Indian huts on some desolate spot of hunting ground, all was a dense wilderness.” (Ex Sheriff Sherwood.)

“A proclamation was issued,” says Croil in his history of Dundas, “that all who wished to continue their allegiance to Britain, should peaceably rendezvous at certain points on the frontiers. These were, Sackets Harbour, Carleton Island, Oswego and Niagara, on the Upper Canada confines; and Isle Aux Nois, on the borders of Lower Canada. Jessup’s Corps was stationed at Isle Aux Nois, and late in the autumn of 1783, the soldiers were joined by their wives and little ones, who had wandered the weary way on 63foot, to Whitehall, through swamps and forest,—​beset with difficulties, dangers, and privations innumerable. The soldiers met them there with boats, and conveyed them the rest of their journey by water, through Lake Champlain. Imagination fails us when we attempt to form an idea of the emotions that filled their hearts, as families, that had formerly lived happily together, surrounded with peace and plenty, and had been separated by the rude hand of war, now met each other’s embrace, in circumstances of abject poverty. A boisterous passage was before them, in open boats, exposed to the rigors of the season—​a dreary prospect of the coming winter, to be spent in pent up barracks, and a certainty should they be spared, of undergoing a lifetime of such hardships, toil and privation, as are inseparable from the settlement of a new country.” As soon as the journey was accomplished, the soldiers and their families, were embarked in boats, sent down to Richelieu to Sorel, thence to Montreal, and on to Cornwall, by the laborious and tedious route of the St. Lawrence. (See settlement of Ernest town.)


Contents—​A spirit of strife—​The French war—​British American Troops—​Former comrades opposed—​Number of U. E. Loyalists in the field—​General Burgoyne—​Defeat—​First reverse of British arms—​The campaign—​Colonel St. Leger—​Fort Stanwix—​Colonel Baume—​Battle of Bennington—​General Herkimer—​Gates—​Schuyler—​Braemar Heights—​Saratoga—​Surrender—​The result upon the people—​Sir John Johnson—​Sir William—​Sketch—​Indian Chief—​Laced coat—​Indian’s dream—​It comes to pass—​Sir William dreams—​It also comes to pass—​Too hard a dream—​Sir John—​Attempt to arrest—​Escape—​Starving—​Royal Greens—​Johnson’s losses—​Living in Canada—​Death—​Principal Corps of Royalists—​King’s Rangers—​Queen’s Rangers—​Major Rogers—​Simcoe—​The Rangers in Upper Canada—​Disbanded—​The Hessians.

The seven years’ war between Canada and New England, in which a large number of the Colonists were engaged, had created not a few officers of military worth and talent, while a spirit of strife and contention had been engendered among the people generally. The Colonial war, carried on with so much determination, was stimulated, not so much by the English nation at home as by New Englanders. It was they who were chiefly interested in the 64overthrow of French power in Canada. While money and men had been freely granted by the Imperial Government, the several colonies had also freely contributed. They “furnished in that war quite twenty-eight thousand men, in more than one of the campaigns, and every year to the extent of their ability.” “On the ocean, full twelve thousand seamen were enlisted in the Royal Navy and in the Colonial Privateers.” In this manner had been formed a taste for military life, which waited to be gratified, or sought for food. When, therefore, the unsavory acts of England wounded the Colonial vanity, and demagogues traversed the country to embitter the feelings of the mass against the king, the hot-headed were not slow to advise an appeal to arms. At the same time, the loyal in heart, the conservators of Imperial interest, viewing with wonder and alarm the manifestation of fratricidal war—​of rebellion, felt it their duty to take up arms against the unprincipled (and often dishonest) agitators, and endeavor to crush out the spirit of revolt. And thus it came, that very many who had fought side by side at Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Duquesne, Niagara, Oswego, Frontenac, Montreal, and around Quebec, under a common flag, were now to be arrayed in hostile bands. Not state against state, nor yet merely neighbor against neighbor, but brother against brother, and father against son! Civil war, of all wars, is the most terrible: in addition to the horrors of the battle-field, there is an upheaving of the very foundation of society. All the feelings of brotherhood, of Christian love, are paralyzed, and the demon of destruction and cruelty is successfully invoked.

Behold, then, the British Americans divided into two parties; each buckling on the armor to protect from the other, and sharpening the weapons of warfare to encounter his kindred foe. The contest of 1776-‘83 is most generally looked upon as one between the English and Americans; but in reality it was, at first—​so far as fighting went—​between the conservative and rebel Americans. In an address to the king, presented by the loyalists in 1779, it is stated that the number of native Americans in his service exceeded those enlisted by Congress. Another address, in 1782, says that “there are more men in his Majesty’s provincial regiments than there is in the continental service.” Sabine says that “there were 25,000, at the lowest computation.” If such be the case, the question may well be asked, how came it that the rebels succeeded? Looking at the matter from our distant stand-point, through the light of events we find recorded, there seems but one conclusion at 65which we may arrive, namely, that the disaster to the British arms was due—​altogether due—​to the incapacity of certain of the generals to whom was intrusted the Imperial interests in America.


The most notable instance of mistaken generalship was that of Burgoyne. His campaign in the summer of 1777, and the final overthrow of his army and surrender at Saratoga, will engage our particular attention; inasmuch as it was the first decided reverse to the British arms, and by giving courage to the rebels, assisted much to further their cause. Thereby their faith was strengthened, and the number of rebels increased from no inconsiderable class, who waited to join the strongest party. Again, the scene of this campaign was close to the borders of Canada, and there followed a speedy escape of the first refugees from the Mohawk valley and the Upper Hudson to the friendly shores of the St. Lawrence.

A year had elapsed since the Declaration of Independence, and England had sent troops to America, with the view of assisting the forces there to subdue the malcontents. In the early part of July, Burgoyne set out from Lower Canada with about 8,500 soldiers, 500 Indians, and 150 Canadians, intending to traverse the country to Albany, possessing himself of all rebel strongholds on the way, and thence descend along the river Hudson, to New York, to form a junction with General Howe, that city having been captured from the rebels the 15th September previous. Passing by way of Lake Champlain, he encountered the enemy on the 6th July, and captured Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, with 128 cannon, several armed vessels, a quantity of baggage, ammunition and provisions. “This easy conquest inflamed his imagination.” The first step towards the defeat of his army was the unsuccessful attempt of Colonel St. Leger, with 800 men, who ascended the St. Lawrence to Oswego, and thence up the river, to take Fort Stanwix (Rome), intending to descend the Mohawk and join Burgoyne with his main force, as he entered the head of the valley of the Hudson. Colonel St. Leger arrived at Fort Stanwix on the 3rd August, 1777. For a time he was the winner; but for some reason, it is said that the Indians suddenly left him, and his troops, seized with a panic, fled. In the meantime, General Burgoyne was pursuing his way, having driven General Schuyler from Lake St. George to the mouth of the Mohawk river.

Burgoyne, flushed with this renewed success, after his late capture 66of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, vainly supposed he could advance steadily down the Hudson. He sent a body of men, 500 strong, under Colonel Baume, into the interior, eastward, with the view of encouraging the inhabitants to continued loyalty, and of arresting the machinations of the rebels. Near Bennington the rebels had an important post, with magazines, and a large force under General Stark. Baume, ignorant of their strength, rushed headlong against the enemy. Nothing daunted, he led on his 500 brave men. For two hours he contended with the unequal foe, when his troops were almost annihilated, and he fell from his horse, mortally wounded. But few escaped to tell the tale. Meanwhile, Burgoyne, apprised of the danger surrounding Baume, had sent assistance under Colonel Breynan. Unfortunately, they had not much ammunition, and, after fighting until all was exhausted, they had to flee. These three reverses paved the way for the final overthrow of Burgoyne. He was still marching forward, bent on reaching Albany, to accomplish the object of the campaign—​a juncture with the army of General Howe. But now in his rear, to the west, instead of Colonel St. Leger descending the Mohawk, was General Herkimer, who had dispersed St. Leger’s force; and to the east was General Stark, flushed with his victories over Baume and Breynan. Burgoyne met Gates at last on Braemar heights, and again, and for the last time, led his troops on to victory, although the contest was well sustained. General Schuyler had intrenched his forces at the mouth of the Mohawk, and Burgoyne, having waited until his provision was exhausted, at last resolved to make an assault. It was bravely made, but without success; and before night-fall the army was retreating. Night, instead of enabling them to regain their spirits and renew their ardor, only brought the intelligence of the defeats previously sustained at Stanwix and Bennington. This was the 7th October. Flight now was the only possible chance for safety. The tents were left standing; his sick and wounded forsaken. But the enemy now surrounded him; the places he had taken were already re-taken; and upon the 10th of the month he found himself helpless upon the fields of Saratoga, where he surrendered. The whole of the men were sent to Boston and other places south, there to languish in prison.

Thus it came that the inhabitants in this section of the country came under the power of the rebels, and those who had adhered to the loyal side were mercilessly driven away at the point of the bayonet. The writer has heard too many accounts of the extreme 67cruelty practised at this time to doubt that such took place, or question the fiendish nature of the acts practised by the successful rebels against, not foes in arms, but the helpless. Many thus driven away (and these were the first refugees who entered Canada) suffered great hardships all through the winter. Most of the men entered the ranks subsequently, while not a few, from their knowledge of the country, undertook the trying and venturesome engagement of spies. The families gathered around the forts upon the borders had to live upon the fare supplied by the commissariat of the army. A large number were collected at Mishish; and the story goes that a Frenchman, whose duty it was to deal out the supplies, did so with much of bad conduct and cruel treatment.


Among the officers who served with General Burgoyne was Sir John Johnson, who had been the first to suffer persecution, the first to become a refugee, and who became a principal pioneer in Upper Canada.

“His father, Sir William Johnson, was a native of Ireland, of whom it was said, in 1755, that he had long resided upon the Mohawk river, in the western part of New York, where he had acquired a considerable estate, and was universally beloved, not only by the inhabitants but also by the neighboring Indians, whose language he had learned and whose affections he had gained, by his humanity and affability. This led to his appointment as agent for Indian affairs, on the part of Great Britain, and he was said to be ‘the soul of all their transactions with the savages.’”

Of Sir William’s talents and shrewdness in dealing with the likewise shrewd Indian, the following is found in Sabine: “Allen relates that on his receiving from England some finely-laced clothes, the Mohawk chief became possessed with the desire of equalling the baronet in the splendor of his apparel, and, with a demure face, pretended to have dreamed that Sir William had presented him with a suit of the decorated garments. As the solemn hint could not be mistaken or avoided, the Indian monarch was gratified, and went away, highly pleased with the success of his device. But alas for Hendrick’s shortsighted sagacity! In a few days Sir William, in turn, had a dream, to the effect that the chief had given him several thousand acres of land. ‘The land is yours,’ said Hendrick, ‘but now, Sir William, I never dream with you again, you dream too hard for me.’”

68At the breaking out of the revolutionary war, Sir John, who had succeeded to his father’s title, appears, also, to have inherited his influence with the Indians, and to have exerted that influence to the utmost in favor of the Royal cause. By this means he rendered himself particularly obnoxious to the continentals, as the Americans were then called. Accordingly, in 1776, Colonel Dayton, with part of his regiment, was sent to arrest him, and thus put it out of his power to do further mischief. Receiving timely notice of this from his tory friends at Albany, he hastily assembled a large number of his tenants and others, and made preparations for a retreat, which he successfully accomplished.

“Avoiding the route by Lake Champlain, from fear of falling into the hands of the enemy, who were supposed to be assembled in that direction, he struck deep into the woods, by way of the head waters of the Hudson, and descended the Raquette river, to its confluence with the St. Lawrence, and thence crossed over to Canada. Their provision failed soon after they had left their homes. Weary and foot-sore, numbers of them sank by the way, and had to be left behind, but were shortly afterwards relieved by a party of Indians, who were sent from Caughnawaga in search of them. After nineteen days of hardship, which have had few parallels in our history, they reached Montreal. So hasty was their flight, that the family papers were buried in the garden, and nothing taken with them but such articles as were of prime necessity.” Soon after his arrival at Montreal he was “commissioned a colonel, and raised two battalions of loyalists, who bore the designation of the Royal Greens. From the time of organizing this corps, he became one of the most active, and one of the bitterest foes that the whigs encountered during the contest. So true is it, as was said by the wise man of Israel, that ‘a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.’ Sir John was in several regular and fairly conducted battles. He invested Fort Stanwix in 1777, and defeated the brave General Herkimer; and in 1780 was defeated himself by General Van Rensselaer, at Fox’s Mills.”

The result of his adherence to the Crown was, that his extensive family estates upon the Mohawk were confiscated; but at the close of the war he received large grants of land in various parts of Canada, beside a considerable sum of money. He continued to be Superintendent of Indian affairs, and resided in Montreal until his death, in 1822.



The following are the principal corps and regiments of loyalists who took part in the war against the rebels, and who were mainly Americans:

“The King’s Rangers; the Royal Fencible Americans; the Queen’s Rangers; the New York Volunteers; the King’s American regiment; the Prince of Wales’ American Volunteers; the Maryland Loyalists; De Lancey’s Battalions; the Second American regiment; the King’s Rangers, Carolina; the South Carolina Royalists; the North Carolina Highland Regiment; the King’s American Dragoons; the Loyal American Regiment; the American Legion; the New Jersey Volunteers; the British Legion; the Loyal Foresters; the Orange Rangers; the Pennsylvania Loyalists; the Guides and Pioneers; the North Carolina Volunteers; the Georgia Loyalists; the West Chester Volunteers. These corps were all commanded by colonels or lieutenant-colonels; and as De Lancey’s battalions and the New Jersey Volunteers consisted each of three battalions, there were twenty-eight. To these, the Loyal New Englanders, the Associated Loyalists and Wentworth’s Volunteers, remain to be added. Still further, Colonel Archibald Hamilton, of New York, commanded at one period seventeen companies of loyal Militia.”

Respecting the officers and more prominent men of the corps, who settled in Canada, we have succeeded in collecting the following account.


This corps acted a very conspicuous part during the war. It was raised by Major Robert Rogers, of New Hampshire, son of James Rogers. He had served during the French war, with distinction, as commander of Rogers’ Rangers, and was, “in 1776, appointed Governor of Michilimackinac. During the early part of the rebellion he was in the revolting states, probably acting as a spy, and was in correspondence with the rebel Congress, and with Washington himself. He was imprisoned at New York, but was released on parole, which, it is said, he broke (like General Scott in 1812), and accepted the commission of colonel in the British army, and proceeded to raise the corps mentioned.” About 1777 “he went to England, and Simcoe succeeded him as commander of the Queen’s Rangers.”

Sabine, speaking of John Brown Lawrence, says he was imprisoned in the Burlington gaol, New Jersey, and that “Lieut.-Colonel John G. Simcoe, commander of the Queen’s Rangers, was a fellow-prisoner, 70and when exchanged said, at parting, ‘I shall never forget your kindness.’ He did not: and when appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, he invited Mr. Lawrence to settle there,” and, through the Governor, he acquired a large tract of land.

The Queen’s Rangers were disbanded in 1802, having been associated with the events of the first government of Upper Canada, their colonel (Simcoe) having been the first Governor. A detachment of this regiment were stationed upon the banks of the Don, before there was a single white inhabitant where now stands Toronto.


This corps formed a part of Burgoyne’s army at the time of surrendering, and, “with other provincial prisoners, retired to Canada, by permission of Gates.”


The British Government, during the course of the war, procured some foreign troops from one of the German Principalities upon the Rhine, mostly from Hesse-Hamburg. This foreign legion was under the command of General Baron de Reidesel, of their own country. It would seem from the testimony of their descendants in Marysburgh, that the British Government employed the men from the Government of the principality, and that the men did not voluntarily enter the service, but were impressed. These Hessians were drilled before leaving their country. They were composed of infantry, artillery, and a rifle company, “Green Yongers.” They were embarked for Canada, by way of Portsmouth, and reached Quebec in time to join the British army, and meet the enemy at Stillwater. Conrad Bongard, of Marysburgh, informs us that his father was one of the company under General Reidesel. He was in the artillery, and accompanied Burgoyne in his eventful campaign; was at the battle of Tyconderoga; and, with the rest of the Hessian troops, was taken prisoner at Saratoga. They were taken down to Virginia, and there retained as prisoners of war for nearly two years. Being released on parole, many of them, with their General, were conveyed back to Germany; but some of them, having the alternative, preferred to remain in America, to share with the loyalists in grants of land. (See Marysburgh, where the Hessians settled). Conrad Bongard became the servant of Surveyor Holland, and was with him as he proceeded up the St. Lawrence, to survey. Bongard married a widow Carr, whose husband had been in the 24th regiment of Royal Fusileers, and 71had died while the prisoners were retained in Virginia. He eventually settled in the fifth township, where he died, January, 1840, aged 89. His wife, Susan, died February, 1846, aged 98. Both were members of the Lutheran church. Mrs. B. was a native of Philadelphia.

The wife of the General, Baroness de Reidesel, has left an interesting record of the battles prior to Burgoyne’s surrender.


Contents—​Indian Names—​The Five Tribes—​The Sixth—​Confederation—​Government—​Subdivisions—​Origin—​Hendrick—​Death—​Brant—​Birth—​Education—​Married—​Teaching—​Christianity—​Brant elected Chief—​Commissioned a British Captain—​Visits England—​Returns—​Leads his warriors to battle—​Efforts of Rebels to seduce Brant to their cause—​Attempted treachery of the Rebel Herchimer—​Border warfare—​Wyoming—​Attempt to blacken the character of Brant—​His noble conduct—​Untruthful American History—​The inhabitants of Wyoming—​The Rebels first to blame—​Cherry Valley—​Van Schaick—​Bloody orders—​Terrible conduct of the Rebels, Helpless Indian families—​Further deeds of blood and rapine by the rebel Sullivan—​A month of horrible work—​Attributes of cruelty more conspicuous in the Rebels than in the Indians—​The New Englander—​Conduct toward the Indians—​Inconsistent—​The “down trodden”—​The Mohawks—​Indian agriculture—​Broken faith with the Indians—​Noble conduct of Brant—​After the war—​His family—​Death—​Miss Molly—​Indian usage—​The character of the Mohawk—​The six Indians as Canadians—​Fidelity to the British—​Receiving land—​Bay Quinté—​Grand River—​Settling—​Captain Isaac, Captain John—​At present—​Mohawk Counsel.


This once powerful Confederacy styled themselves Kan-ye-a-ke; also, they sometimes called themselves Aganuschioni or Agnanuschioni, which signifies united people. The French designated them Iroquois, from a peculiar sound of their speech. The English knew them as the Five Nations, and Six Nations, more generally by the latter term. The original five tribes that formed the Confederacy, were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondagas, and Senecas. Subsequently in 1712, the Tuscaroras came from the south, North Carolina, and made the sixth nation. But according to some authority, there were six nations before the Tuscaroras joined them. However, we learn from several sources, that up to 1712, the English, in speaking of them, referred to only five nations. The Oneidas seem, at one time, to have been omitted, and the Aucguagas inserted in their stead. The oldest members of the confederation 72were the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas. The union of those three tribes took place prior to the occupation of America by the Europeans. The time at which the confederation of the five nations was formed is uncertain, but it is supposed to have been in the early part of the sixteenth century. The league binding them together was rather of a democratic nature.

Each tribe was represented in the great council of the nation by one principal sachem, with a number of associates.

They were always deliberate in their councils, considerate in their decisions, never infringing upon the rights of a minority, and dignified in their utterances. They were noted, not only as warriors, but as well for their agriculture, their laws, and their oratorical ability.

Each tribe was subdivided into classes, and each of these had a device or “totem,” namely, the tortoise, the bear, the wolf, the beaver, the deer, the falcon, the plover, and the crane.

They were for hundreds of years the terror of the various Indian tribes peopling North America, and most of the time could at will, roam the wide expanse between the Hudson Bay and the Carolinas. Other tribes, too weak to oppose them, were from time to time completely exterminated. Of these was the Erie tribe, which had entirely disappeared by the year 1653. Of those who stubbornly resisted the Six Nations, were the Hurons, the Adirondacks, of the north, the Delawares, the Cherokees, and the Mohicans.

Smith, an historian of New York, says that in 1756 “Our Indians universally concur in the claim of all the lands not sold to the English, from the mouth of Sorel River, on the south side of Lakes Erie and Ontario, on both sides of the Ohio, till it falls into the Mississippi; and on the north side of those lakes, that whole territory between the Outaouais River, and the Lake Huron, and even beyond the straits between that and Lake Erie.”

“When the Dutch began the settlement of New York, all the Indians on Long Island, and the northern shore of the Sound, on the banks of the Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehanna rivers, were in subjection to the Five Nations,” and in 1756, “a little tribe, settled at the Sugar-loaf Mountain, in Orange County, made a yearly payment of about £20 to the Mohawks.”

Among the traditions of this people is one that they had a supernatural origin from the heart of a mountain, that they then migrated to the west, where they lived for a time by the sea shore. 73Then, in time returned to the country of the lakes. A country now passed into the hands of the white man, who paid no just price. But the names of many places yet indicate the history of the ancient owners of the soil.

Among the Mohawks, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, was a chief known as Old King Hendrick, or Soi-euga-rah-ta, renowned for eloquence, bravery, and integrity. He was intimate with Sir William Johnson, and it was between them that the amusing contention of dreams occurred, that has been narrated.

In 1755, a battle was fought at Lake George, between the French, under Baron Dieskau, and the English, under Johnson, resulting in the defeat of the French. The French and English were supported by their respective allies. At this engagement Old King Hendrick, then seventy years old, but still full of energy and courage, was killed. Strangely enough it was at this battle that Brant, then only thirteen years old, first took part with his tribe in the contest. The mantle of Soieugarahta fell upon the youthful Thayendinagea.

Thayendinagea, or Joseph Brant, was born upon the banks of the Ohio, in the year 1742, while his tribe was on a visit to that region. According to Stone, his biographer, he was the son of “Tehowaghwengaraghkwin a full-blooded Mohawk, of the Wolf tribe.”

After the battle at Lake George, Brant continued with his people under Johnson till the close of that bloody war. At its close, about 1760, Brant, with several other young Indians, was placed by Johnson at Moor School, Lebanon, Connecticut. After acquiring some knowledge of the rudiments of literature, he left the school to engage in active warfare with the Pontiacs and Ottawas. In 1765, we find him married and settled in his own house at the Mohawk Valley. It is said he was not married, except in the Indian mode, until the winter of 1779, when at Niagara, seeing a Miss Moore, a captive, married, he was also thus married by Colonel John Butler, to a half-breed, the daughter of Colonel Croghan, by an Indian woman. Here he spent a quiet and peaceful life for some years, acting as interpreter in negotiations between his people and the whites, and lending his aid to the efforts of the missionaries who were engaged in the work of teaching and converting the Indians.

74“Those who visited his house, spoke in high terms of his kindness and hospitality.” Sir William Johnson died in 1774, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Colonel George Johnson, as Indian agent, who appointed Brant his Secretary. The same year Johnson had to flee from the Mohawk, westward, to escape being captured by a band of rebels. He was accompanied by Brant and the principal warriors of the tribe. The rebels vainly tried to win the Indians to their side; but excepting a few Senecas, they preferred their long tried friends. The regular successor of Old King Hendrick, was “little Abraham.” It is said he was well disposed to the Americans, probably through jealousy of Brant. At all events, Brant, by universal consent became the principal chief. He proceeded with the other chiefs, and a large body of Indian warriors to Montreal, where he was commissioned as a captain in the British army. “In the fall of 1775, he sailed for England to hold personal conference with the officers of government. He was an object of much curiosity at London, and attracted the attention of persons of high rank and great celebrity.” Brant returned to America in the spring following, landed near New York, and made his way through his enemy’s country to Canada. He placed himself at the head of his warriors, and led them on to many a victory. The first of which was at the battle of “the Cedars.”

But the rebels did not cease endeavoring to seduce Brant to their cause. In June, 1777, General Herkimer of the rebel militia approached Brant’s head-quarters with a large force, ostensibly to treat on terms of equality. Brant had reason to suspect treachery, and consequently would not, for some time, meet Herkimer. After a week, however, he arranged to see General Herkimer, but every precaution was taken against treachery, and it appears that not without cause. Brant and Herkimer were old, and had been intimate friends. Brant took with him a guard of about forty warriors. It would seem that Herkimer’s intention was to try and persuade Brant to come over to the rebels, and failing in this to have Brant assassinated as he was retiring. Says an American writer, Brownell, “We are sorry to record an instance of such unpardonable treachery as Herkimer is said to have planned at this juncture. One of his men, Joseph Waggoner, affirmed that the General privately exhorted him to arrange matters so that Brant and his three principal associates might be assassinated.” Well does it become the Americans to talk about savage barbarity. Brant thwarted the intentions of his old friend by keeping his forty 75warriors within call. During all of the repeated attempts to get the Mohawks they never swerved, but reminded the rebels of their old treaties with England, and the ill-treatment their people had sustained at the hands of the colonists.

The head-quarters of Brant was at Oghkwaga, Owego, upon the Susquehanna. During the summer of 1777 while Burgoyne was advancing, the Mohawks under Brant rendered important service. In the attempt to capture Fort Stanwix, they took a prominent part. In the summer of 1778 the Indians, with Butler’s Rangers were engaged principally in border warfare. It was during this season that the affair at Wyoming took place, which event has been so extravagantly made use of to blacken the character of the Indians and vilify the “tories.” That Brant was not inhuman, but that he was noble, let recent American writers testify. Brownell says: “many an instance is recorded of his interference, even in the heat of conflict, to stay the hand uplifted against the feeble and helpless.”

It was in the latter part of June that a descent was planned upon the settlements of Wyoming. Of this event, again we will let Brownell speak:—​“It has been a commonly received opinion that Brant was the Chief under whom the Indian portion of the army was mustered, but it is now believed that he had as little share in this campaign as in many other scenes of blood long coupled with his name. There was no proof that he was present at any of the scenes that we are about to relate.”

“No portion of the whole history of the revolution has been so distorted in the narration as that connected with the laying waste of the valley of Wyoming. No two accounts seem to agree, and historians have striven to out-do each other in the violence of their expressions of indignation, at cruelties and horrors which existed only in their imaginations, or which came to them embellished with all the exaggeration incident to reports arising amid scenes of excitement and bloodshed.

Wyoming had, for many years, been the scene of the bitterest hostility between the settlers under the Connecticut grant, and those from Pennsylvania. Although these warlike operations were upon a small scale, they were conducted with great vindictiveness and treachery. Blood was frequently shed, and as either party obtained the ascendency, small favor was shown to their opponents, who were generally driven from their homes in hopeless destitution. We cannot go into a history of these early transactions, and only mention them as explanatory of the feelings of savage 76animosity which were exhibited between neighbors, and even members of the same family, who had espoused opposite interests in the revolutionary contest.” Such, be it noted, was the character of the inhabitants of Wyoming valley, who have been so long held up as innocent victims of Indian barbarity. By the above, we learn that prior to this, there had been contentions between the loyalists and rebels. The party who entered Wyoming to attack the Fort, were under Colonel John Butler, and were composed of some 300 British regulars and refugees, and 500 Indians. Now, it would seem that the depredation which was committed after Colonel Zebulon Butler, the rebel leader, had been defeated, and the Fort had capitulated, was to a great extent due to retaliatory steps taken by the loyalists who previously had been forced away, and had seen their homes committed to the flames. Such was the border warfare of those days. It was not Indian savagery, it was a species of fighting introduced by the “Sons of Liberty.” And if we condemn such mode of fighting, let our condemnation rest first, and mainly upon those who initiated it. Not upon the Indians, for they were led by white men—​not upon Brant, for he was not there—​not so much upon the loyalists, for they had been driven away from their homes; but let it be upon those who introduced it.

The rebels were not slow to seek retribution for their losses at Wyoming. Aided by a party of Oneidas who lent themselves to the rebels, “Colonel Wm. Butler with a Pennsylvania regiment, entered the towns of Unadilla and Oghkwaga, and burned and destroyed the buildings, together with large stores of provisions intended for winter use.” In turn, Walter Butler led a party of 700, a large number being Indians under Brant, to attack a fort at Cherry Valley which was “garrisoned by troops under Colonel Ichabod Alden.” It will be seen that the Indians and loyalists did not enter an unprotected place to burn and destroy. They attacked a garrison of troops. But the Indians exasperated by the cruel procedure at Oghkwaga, became ungovernable, and about fifty men, women and children fell by the tomahawk. This was the retaliation which the Indian had been taught to regard as justifiable for the wrongs which had been inflicted upon his own tribe—​his little ones; yet be it remembered, and later American writers admit it, that the commanders, Butler and Brant, did all they could to restrain the terrible doings of the exasperated men. “Specific instances are reported in which the Mohawk Chief interfered, and successfully, to avert the murderous tomahawk.”

77And now begins the bloody revenge which the rebels determined to inflict upon the Indians, without respect to tribes. In April, 1779, Colonel Van Schaick was despatched with a sufficient force for the purpose, with instructions “to lay waste the whole of their towns, to destroy all their cattle and property.” “The Colonel obeyed his orders to the letter, and left nothing but blackened ruins behind him.” It was merely a march of destruction, for the Indians were not there to oppose their steps. The villages and property that were destroyed belonged to the Onondagas, although they had not taken a decided stand with the loyalist party. It was enough that they were Indians, and would not join the rebels. But this was merely a prelude to what was preparing, in pursuance of a resolution of the rebel congress. The infamous duty of commanding this army of destruction, town destroyers the Indians called them, was entrusted to General Sullivan, whose nature was adequate to the requirements of the command.

On the 22nd August, 1779, five thousand men were concentrated at Tioga, upon the Susquehanna. The men were prepared for their uncivilized duty by promises of the territory over which they were about to sow blood and fire. The Indians had no adequate force to oppose their march westward over the Six Nations territory. Brant with his warriors, with the Butlers and Johnsons made a gallant resistance upon the banks of the Chemung, near the present town of Elmira. But, after suffering considerable loss, the vastly superior force compelled them to flee, and there remained nothing to arrest the devastating rebel army, and during the whole month of September they continued the work of despoliation.

It has been the custom of almost all American historians to give the Indians attributes of the most debasing character. At peace, unworthy the advantages of civilization; at war, treacherous and ferociously cruel. For this persistent and ungenerous procedure it is impossible to conceive any cause, unless to supply an excuse for the steady course of double-dealing the Americans have pursued toward the original owners of the soil, and provide a covering for the oft-repeated treachery practised toward the credulous Indian by the over-reaching New Englander. To the Mohawk Nation particularly, since they proved true allies of the British, have American writers found it agreeable to bestow a character noted for blood and rapine. Nothing can be more untrue than the character thus gratuitously portrayed, nothing more at variance 78with the essential nature of the Indian, when free from European intrigues, and the cursed fire-water. The aboriginal races of North America are not by nature, blood-thirsty above Europeans. That they are honest, just and true, capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, with a due appreciation of well-kept faith, is well attested by the conduct which has ever been observed by them toward, not alone the Pennsylvanians, but every man found to be a Quaker. No instance can be found recorded throughout the long bloody wars of the Indians, where a hair of the head of a single man, woman or child of that denomination was injured by the Indian; and thus because the upright Penn never defrauded them. The Americans, while British colonists, with the exception alluded to, made themselves obnoxious to almost all Indian tribes. They never secured that hearty and faithful alliance that the French did. There seemed to be something in the air, especially of the New England States, which in a few generations blinded the eye, by which the golden rule is to be observed.

The Americans, who have ever set themselves up as the champions, par excellence, of liberty, to whom the “down-trodden of the old world” could look for sympathy, if not direct support, have signally failed to observe those lofty principles at home toward the natives of the soil, while they continued for eighty years to keep in chains the sable sons of Africa. They have found it convenient and plausible to prate about the political “tyranny of European despots;” but no nation of northern Europe has shown such disregard for the rights of their people as the United States have exhibited toward the original owners of the soil. Avarice has quite outgrown every principle of liberty that germinated ere they came to America. The frontier men, the land-jobber, the New England merchant, as well as the Southern Planter, have alike ignored true liberty in defrauding the Indian, in sending out slavers, and in cruel treatment of the slave. Then can we wonder that the noble-minded Indian, naturally true to his faith, should, when cheated, wronged,—​cruelly wronged, with the ferocity natural to his race, visit the faithless with terrible retribution?

The unbiassed records of the past, speak in tones that cannot be hushed, of the more noble conduct of the natives, than of those who have sought to exterminate them. The Mohawks, although brave warriors, fought not for the mere love of it. They even at times strove to mediate between the French and New Englanders.

To the Mohawks, the American writer has especially bestowed 79a name bloody and ignoble. And all because they listened not to their wily attempts to seduce them to join the rebels, but preferred to ally themselves with the British. No doubt the Indian had long before discriminated between the rule of British officers, and the selfish policy of local governments. And hence, we find, in every scrap of paper relating to the Mohawks, unfounded accounts of savage doings. But taking, as true, the darkest pages written by the Americans against the Six Nations, they present no parallel to the deeds of brutal vengeance enacted by the American army under Sullivan, when he traversed the fruitful country, so long the home of the Iroquois. Says an American writer: “When the army reached the Genesee Valley, all were surprised at the cultivation exhibited, by wide fields of corn, gardens well stocked, their cattle, houses, and other buildings, showing good design, with mechanical skill, and every kind of vegetable that could be conceived. Beautiful as was the scene in the eyes of the army, a few days changed it to utter desolation; neither house, nor garden, grain, fruit tree, or vegetable, was left unscathed.”

Says Stone: “Forty Indian towns were destroyed. Corn gathered and ungathered, to the amount of 160,000 bushels, shared the same fate; their fruit trees were cut down; and the Indians were hunted like wild beasts, till neither house, nor fruit tree, nor field of corn, nor inhabitant, remained in the whole country.” And the poor Indian women, and children, and old men, were thus left at the approaching winter to seek support at the British garrisons. Truly the rebels of ‘76 were brave and civilized!

Thirteen years after, one of the chiefs said to Washington, “Even to this day, when the name of the town-destroyer is heard, our women look behind them and turn pale, and our children cling close to the necks of their mother; our sachems and our warriors are men, who cannot be afraid, but their hearts are grieved with the fears of our women and children.” Thus the brave Sullivan, with his thousand rebels, made war against old men, women and children, who were living in their rightful homes. This was fighting for liberty!

The blood of the Indian, as well as the slave, has risen up to reproach the American, and it required much of fresh blood to wash away the stains remaining from their deeds of cruelty and rapine, inflicted during their revolutionary war, under the name of liberty. The soldiers of Sullivan were stimulated in their evil work by promises of the land they were sent to despoil; and the 80close of the war saw them return to claim their promises, while the rightful owner was driven away. A certain portion of the Six Nations having received pledges from the United States Government for their welfare, remained to become subjects of the new nation. But excepting Washington himself, and General Schuyler, not one heeded their promises made to the Indian. The most unjust proceedings were begun and ruthlessly carried on by individuals, by companies, by legislators, by speculators, to steal every inch of land that belonged by all that is right, to the Senecas. How unlike the benignant and faithful conduct of the British Government in Canada.

Brant continued during the war to harass the enemy in every possible way, and in the following year, August, planned a terrible, but just retaliation for the work of Sullivan’s horde. It was now the turn of the rebels to have their houses, provisions and crops, despoiled. But all the while “no barbarities were permitted upon the persons of defenceless women and children, but a large number of them were borne away into captivity.” Again, in October, Johnson and Brant, with Corn Planter, a distinguished Seneca chief, invaded the Mohawk Valley. In this foray, the same conduct was observed toward women and children. On one occasion, Brant sent an Indian runner with an infant, that had been unintentionally carried from its mother with some captives, to restore it. Still, again the following year, the Indians under Brant, and the Royalists under Major Ross, were found over-running their old homes along the Mohawk and Schoharie. On this their last expedition, they were met by the rebels in force under Colonel Willet, with some Oneida warriors, and defeated them. Colonel Walter N. Butler, whom the rebels have so often tried to malign, was shot and scalped by an Oneida Indian, under the command of the rebel Willet.

We learn by the foregoing that the Iroquois were not only brave as warriors, but they had attained to a much higher position in the scale of being than other tribes inhabiting America. They were not ignorant of agriculture, nor indifferent to the blessings derived therefrom. The rich uplands of the country lying to the north of the Alleghenies, were made to contribute to their wants, as did the denizen of the forest. They were equally at home, whether upon the war path, the trail of the deer, or in the tilling of land. The plow of the Anglo-Saxon has not in seventy years completely effaced the evidences of their agricultural skill. And not less were 81their sachems noted for wisdom in council, and for eloquence. Not only corn, but beans and other cereals were cultivated, particularly by the Six Nations. Fruits and edibles, introduced by the Europeans, were propagated by the natives, and when the rebel Sullivan, in accordance with orders from Washington, swept over their country, large orchards of excellent fruit, as well as fields of grain, were met with and ruthlessly destroyed, as were the women and children, with their peaceful homes.

According to Rochefoucault, Brant’s manners were half European; he was accompanied by two negro servants, and was, “in appearance, like an Englishman.” Brant visited England in December 1785, and was treated with great consideration.

After the close of the war, Brant settled at Wellington Square, upon land conferred by the Crown, where he lived after the English mode. He died here 24th November, 1807. His wife, who never took to civilized life, after her husband’s death, removed to the Grand River, and lived in her wigwam. Some of her children remained in the “commodious dwelling,” and others accompanied her to the life of the wigwam. According to Weld, Brant had at one time thirty or forty negro slaves, which he kept in the greatest subjection. He also says that Brant’s half pay as a captain, and his presents yearly received, amounted to £500.

His last days were made unhappy by a debased son, who, after threatening his father’s life, was at last killed by him, in self defence, by a short sword which Brant wore at his side. Respecting another of his sons, the Kingston Herald, September 5th, 1832, says:

“It is with unfeigned sorrow that we announce the death of Captain John Brant, Chief of the Six Nations Indians. He died of Cholera, at Brantford, on the 27th ult., after an illness of only six hours. Mr. Brant was the son of the celebrated Indian Chief, whose memory was unjustly assailed by Campbell the Poet, and for the vindication of which the subject of this notice some years ago purposely visited England. Possessing the education, feelings, and manners of a gentleman, he was beloved by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, and his death cannot fail to be deeply and very generally regretted.”

We have spoken of the intimacy that existed between the Mohawks and Sir William Johnson, the Colonial Agent of England. This, be it remembered, was more than a hundred years ago, and great changes have taken place in the opinion of many with regard to certain irregularities of society. We cannot excuse the conduct of Sir William, when he had lost his European wife, in taking the sister of Brant, Miss Molly, without the form of matrimonial alliance; but we must concede every allowance for the times in which he lived. But while grave doubt may rest upon 82the moral principle displayed by him, we see no just reason to reflect in any way upon the Indian female. Miss Molly took up her abode with Sir William, and lived with him as a faithful spouse until he died. However, this must not be regarded as indicating depravity on the part of the simple-minded native. It must be remembered that the Indian’s mode of marrying consists of but little more than the young squaw leaving the father’s wigwam, and repairing to that of her future husband, and there is no reason to doubt that Miss Molly was ever other than a virtuous woman. And this belief is corroborated by the fact that four daughters, the issue of this alliance, were most respectably married.

Of the Six Nations, this tribe always stood foremost as brave and uncompromising adherents to the British Government, notwithstanding the utmost endeavors of the rebels to win them to their side. It becomes, consequently a duty, and a pleasing duty to refer more particularly to this race, a remnant of which yet lives upon the shore of the bay. Among the Mohawks are, however, remnants of some of the other tribes.

The tribe is so-called, after the river, upon whose banks they so long lived. They did not formerly acknowledge the title, but called themselves by a name which interpreted, means “just such a people as we ought to be.” This name is not known, unless it may be Agniers, a name sometimes applied by the French.

This tribe was the oldest and most important of the Six Nations, and supplied the bravest warriors, and one of its chiefs was usually in command of the united warriors of all the tribes.

It must not be forgotten that the Mohawks, who came to Canada, and other tribes of the Six Nations, were to all intents, United Empire Loyalists. At the close of the struggle, we have seen elsewhere, that the commissioners at Paris, in their unseemly haste to contract terms of peace, forgot how much was due to the loyalists of America, and urged no special terms to ameliorate the condition of the many who had fought and lost all for the maintenance of British power. Likewise did they forget the aboriginal natives who had equally suffered. The fact that these Indians were not even referred to, gave Brant a just cause of complaint, which he duly set forth in a memorial to the Imperial Government. But, as the British Government and nation subsequently strove to relieve the suffering condition of the refugees, so did they afford to the loyal sons of the forest every possible facility to make themselves comfortable. Indeed, the British 83officers in command, at the first, gave a pledge that all that they lost should be restored. The promise thus given by Sir Guy Carleton, was ratified by his successor, General Haldimand, in 1779, Captain General and Commander-in-Chief in Canada, and confirmed by Patent, under the Great Seal, January 14, 1793, issued by Governor Simcoe.

At the close of the war, a portion of the Mohawks were temporarily residing on the American side of Niagara River, in the vicinity of the old landing place above the Fort. The Senecas, who seem to have been at this time more closely allied than other tribes to the Mohawks, offered to them a tract of land within the territory of the United States. But the Mohawks would not live in the United States. They declared they would “sink or swim with England.”

Brant proceeded to Montreal to confer with Sir John Johnson, General Superintendent of Indian affairs. “The tract upon which the chief had fixed his attention, was situated upon the Bay de Quinté.” General Haldimand, in accordance with this wish, purchased a tract of land upon the bay from the Mississaugas, and conveyed it to the Mohawks. Subsequently, when Brant returned to Niagara, the Senecas expressed their desire that their old and intimate friends, the Mohawks, should live nearer to them than upon the Bay de Quinté. Brant convened a council of the tribe to consider the matter, the result was, that he went a second time to Quebec to solicit a tract of land less remote from the Senecas. Haldimand granted this request, and the land, six miles square, upon the Grand River was accordingly purchased from the Mississaugas, and given to them, forty miles off from the Senecas. The above facts are taken from Brant’s MS. and History. We may infer from this fact, that the party who did come to the bay under Captain John, felt less attachment to the Senecas than the other portion of the tribe. The quantity of land on the bay originally granted was 92,700 acres; but a portion has been surrendered.

In the early part of the rebellion, the Mohawk families fled from their valley with precipitation. They mostly went to Lachine, where they remained three years. They then ascended the river in their canoes, and probably stayed a winter at Cataraqui, the winter of 1783–4. The whole tribe was under Brant. Second in command was Captain John, a cousin of Brant, and his senior in years.

In the spring, a portion of the tribe entered the Bay Quinté, 84and passed up to the present township of Tyendinaga. The majority, led by Brant, passed up along the south shore of Lake Ontario to Niagara.


Descendants of the bravest of all the brave Indian warriors of America, we find them peaceable and in most respects imbibing the spirit of the day. Ever since the party settled on the bay, they have manifested no turbulent spirit, none of those wild attributes natural to the wild-woods Indian, toward their white neighbors. Among themselves there has been one occasion of disturbance. This arose from the quarrelsome nature of one Captain Isaac Hill. This Chief, with his people, formed a part of Brant’s company that settled on the Grand River. After a few years, having disagreed with his nation, and become exceedingly disagreeable from his officious and selfish conduct, he removed to the bay, and united himself with Captain John’s party, which received him. But he failed to live peaceably with them. Eventually the disagreement resulted in a serious hostile engagement between the two branches, who fought with tomahawks and knives. But one person was killed, a chief of Captain John’s party, Powles Claus, who was stabbed in the abdomen. But subsequently Captain Isaac Hill became a worthy inhabitant. His house still standing, then considered large, was frequently open to the more festive, across the Bay in Sophiasburgh.

Out of the six hundred Indians, now living upon the Reserve, there is only one with pure Indian blood. His name is David Smart. It has been elsewhere stated, that the custom prevailed among the Mohawk nation, to maintain the number of the tribe, by taking captive a sufficient number to fill the vacancies caused by death of their people. The result was, that these captives marrying with Indians, they gradually underwent a change, and the original appearance of the Mohawk has lost its characteristic features. The circumstances of the Indians during the revolutionary war, and subsequently in settling in Canada, led to frequent unions between the white men of different nationalities and the Indian women. Therefore, at the present day there remains but little more than a trace of the primal Indian who lorded it, a hundred years ago, over no inconsiderable portion of the North American Continent.

When visiting the Indians, on our way, we met some eight or ten sleighs laden with them, returning from a funeral. We were 85much struck with the appearance of solid, farmer-like comfort which their horses and conveyances exhibited, as well as they themselves did in their half Canadian dress.

While drunkenness has prevailed among the older Indians, it is pleasing to know that the younger ones are far more regular in their habits. For this, much credit is due to the Christian oversight of their former and present pastors. They have 1800 acres of land. They number 630, and are increasing yearly.

The seal of the Mohawk Counsel may be seen with the Rev. Mr. Anderson. The armorial bearings consist of the wolf, the bear and the turtle. These animals, in the order here given, indicate, not tribes, nor families exactly, but rank. The wolf is the highest class, the bear next in rank, and the turtle the lowest grade.




The immediately following notices of the combatants who settled in Upper Canada are extracted from Sabine.

“At the beginning of the revolution, Samuel Anderson, of New York, went to Canada. He soon entered the service of the Crown, and was a captain under Sir John Johnson. In 1783 he settled near Cornwall, in Upper Canada, and received half-pay. He held several civil offices: those of Magistrate, Judge of a district court, and associate Justice of the Court of King’s Bench, were among them. He continued to reside upon his estate near Cornwall, in Upper Canada, until his decease in 1836, at the age of one hundred and one. His property in New York was abandoned and lost.”

“Joseph Anderson, lieutenant in the King’s regiment, New York. At the peace he retired to Canada. He died near Cornwall, Canada West, in 1853, aged ninety. He drew half pay for a period of about seventy years. One of the last survivors of the United Empire Loyalists.”

86“John Bethune, of North Carolina, chaplain in the Loyal Militia. Taken prisoner in the battle at Cross Creek in 1776. Confined in Halifax gaol, but ordered finally to Philadelphia. After his release, his continued loyalty reduced him to great distress. He was appointed chaplain to the 84th regiment, and restored to comfort. At the peace he settled in Upper Canada, and died at Williamstown in that colony, in 1815, in his sixty-fifth year.”

“James Burwell, of New Jersey, born at Rockaway, January 18, 1754. Our loyalist enlisted in his Majesty’s service in the year 1776, at the age of twenty-two, and served seven years, and was present at the battle of Yorktown, when Lord Cornwallis surrendered, and was there slightly wounded.”

“Came to Upper Canada in the year 1796, too late to obtain the King’s bounty of family land, but was placed on the United Empire list, and received two hundred acres for himself and each of his children. He removed to the Talbot settlement in the year 1810. He died in the County of Elgin, Canada, July, 1853, aged ninety-nine years and five months.”

“John Butler, of Tyron, now Montgomery county, New York. Before the war, Colonel Butler was in close official connection with Sir William, Sir John, and Colonel Guy Johnson, and followed their political fortunes. At the breaking out of hostilities he commanded a regiment of New York Militia, and entered at once into the military service of the Crown. During the war his wife was taken prisoner, and exchanged for the wife of the whig colonel, Campbell. Colonel John Butler was richly rewarded for his services. Succeeding (in part) to the agency of Indian affairs, long held by the Johnsons, he enjoyed, about the year 1796, a salary of £500 stg. per annum, and a pension, as a military officer, of £200 more. Previously, he had received a grant of 500 acres of land, and a similar provision for his children. His home, after the war, was in Upper Canada. He was attainted during the contest, and his property confiscated. He lived, before the revolution, in the present town of Mohawk.”

“Joseph Canliff, in 1781 a lieutenant in the first battalion New Jersey Volunteers.” This person is probably of the same lineage as the writer of this work, great confusion often existing with regard to the spelling of names in the early days of America.

“Daniel Claus. He married a daughter of Sir William Johnson, and served for a considerable time in the Indian Department of Canada, under his brother-in-law, Colonel Guy Johnson.”

87“William Claus, Deputy Superintendent General of Indian affairs, was his son.”

Coffin—​There were several of this name who took part in the war against the rebellion. Of these, the following are connected with Canadian history:

“Sir Thomas Aston Coffin, baronet, of Boston, son of William Coffin. He graduated at Harvard University in 1772. At one period of the rebellion he was private secretary to Sir Guy Carleton. In 1804 he was Secretary and Comptroller of Lower Canada.” Afterwards Commissary General in the British army.

“Nathaniel Coffin, of Boston. After the revolution he settled in Upper Canada.” Served in the war of 1812. “For a number of years was Adjutant-General of the Militia of Upper Canada. Died at Toronto in 1846, aged 80.”

“John Coffin: was Assistant Commissary General in the British army, and died at Quebec in 1837, aged 78.”

“Doane, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Of this family there were five brothers, namely: Moses, Joseph, Israel, Abraham, Mahlon. They were men of fine figures and address, elegant horsemen, great runners and leapers, and excellent at stratagems and escapes. Their father was respectable, and possessed a good estate. The sons themselves, prior to the war, were men of reputation, and proposed to remain neutral: but, harassed personally, their property sold by the whigs because they would not submit to the exactions of the time, the above-mentioned determined to wage a predatory warfare upon their persecutors, and to live in the open air, as they best could do. This plan they executed, to the terror of the country around, acting as spies to the royal army, and robbing and plundering continually; yet they spared the weak, the poor and the peaceful. They aimed at public property and at public men. Generally, their expeditions were on horseback. Sometimes the five went together, at others separately, with accomplices. Whoever of them was apprehended broke jail; whoever of them was assailed escaped. In a word, such was their course, that a reward of £300 was offered for the head of each.

“Ultimately, three were slain. Moses, after a desperate fight, was shot by his captor; and Abraham and Mahlon were hung at Philadelphia.

“Joseph, before the revolution, taught school. During the war, while on a marauding expedition, he was shot through the cheeks, fell from his horse, and was taken prisoner. He was committed to jail to await his trial, but escaped to New Jersey. A reward of $800 88was offered for his apprehension, but without success. He resumed his former employment in New Jersey, and lived there, under an assumed name, nearly a year, but finally fled to Canada. Several years after the peace he returned to Pennsylvania, ‘a poor, degraded, broken-down old man,’ to claim a legacy of about £40, which he was allowed to recover, and to depart. In his youth he was distinguished for great physical activity.”

The only separate mention of Israel is, that “in February, 1783, he was in jail; that he appealed to the Council of Pennsylvania to be released, on account of his own sufferings and the destitute condition of his family, and that his petition was dismissed.”

“Stephen Jarvis, in 1782 was a lieutenant of cavalry in the South Carolina Royalists. He was in New Brunswick after the revolution, but went to Upper Canada, and died at Toronto, at the residence of the Rev. Dr. Phillips, 1840, aged eighty-four. During his service in the revolution he was in several actions.”

“William Jarvis, an officer of cavalry in the Queen’s Rangers. Wounded at the siege of Yorktown. At the peace he settled in Upper Canada, and became Secretary of that Province. He died at York in 1817. His widow, Hannah, a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Peters, of Hebron, Connecticut, died at Queenston, Upper Canada, 1845, aged eighty-three.”

“David Jones was a captain in the royal service, and is supposed to ‘have married the beautiful and good Jane McCrea, whose cruel death, in 1777, by the Indians, is universally known and lamented.’ According to Lossing, he lived in Canada to an old age, having never married. Jane McCrea was the daughter of the Rev. James McCrea, of New Jersey, loyalist.”

“Jonathan Jones, of New York, brother of Jane McCrea’s lover. Late in 1776 he assisted in raising a company in Canada, and joined the British, in garrison, at Crown Point. Later in the war he was a captain, and served under General Frazer.”

McDonald—​There were a good many of this name who took part as combatants, of whom several settled in Canada.

Alexander McDonald was a major in a North Carolina regiment. “His wife was the celebrated Flora McDonald, who was so true and so devoted to the unfortunate Prince Charles Edward, the last Stuart, who sought the throne of England. They had emigrated to North Carolina, and when the rebellion broke out, he, with two sons, took up arms for the Crown.”

Those who settled in Canada were “Donald McDonald, of New 89York. He served under Sir John Johnson for seven years, and died at the Wolfe Island, Upper Canada, in 1839, aged 97.”

“Allan McDonald, of Tryon, New York,” was associated with Sir John Johnson in 1776. “He died at Three Rivers, Lower Canada, in 1822, quite aged.”

“John McGill.—​In 1782 he was an officer of infantry in the Queen’s Rangers, and, at the close of the war, went to New Brunswick. He removed to Upper Canada, and became a person of note. He died at Toronto, in 1834, at the age of eighty-three. At the time of his decease he was a member of the Legislative Council of the Colony.”

“Donald McGillis resided, at the beginning of the revolution, on the Mohawk river, New York. Embracing the royal side in the contest, he formed one of a ‘determined band of young men’ who attacked a whig post and, in the face of a superior force, cut down the flag-staff, and tore in strips the stars and stripes attached to it. Subsequently, he joined a grenadier company, called the Royal Yorkers, and performed efficient service throughout the war. He settled in Canada at the peace; and, entering the British service again in 1812, was commissioned as a captain in the Colonial corps, by Sir Isaac Brock. He died at River Raisin, Canada, in 1844, aged eighty years.”

“Thomas Merrit, of New York, in 1782 was cornet of cavalry in the Queen’s Rangers. He settled in Upper Canada, and held the offices of Sheriff of the District of Niagara and Surveyor of the King’s Forests. He received half pay as a retired military officer. He died at St. Catharines, May, 1842, aged eighty-two.”

“Nathaniel Munday, in 1782 was an officer in the Queen’s Rangers. He was in New Brunswick after the revolution, and received half pay; but left that colony and, it is believed, went to Canada.”

“John Peters, of Hebron, Connecticut; born in 1740. A most devoted loyalist. He went to Canada finally, and raised a corps, called the Queen’s Loyal Rangers, of which Lord Dorchester gave him command, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.”

“Christopher Robinson, of Virginia, kinsman of Beverley. Entered William and Mary College with his cousin Robert; escaped with him to New York, and received a commission in the Loyal American regiment. Served at the South, and was wounded. At the peace he went to Nova Scotia, and received a grant of land at Wilmot. 90He soon removed to Canada, where Governor Simcoe gave him the appointment of Deputy Surveyor-General of Crown Lands. His salary, half pay, and an estate of two thousand acres, placed him in circumstances of comfort. He was the father of several children, some of whom were educated in the mother-country. He died in Canada. His widow, Esther, daughter of Rev. John Sayre, of New Brunswick, died in 1827. His son, Beverley Robinson, who was born in 1791, was appointed Attorney-General of Upper Canada in 1818; Chief Justice in 1829; created a Baronet in 1854; and died in 1863.”

“Singleton—​A lieutenant in the ‘Royal Greens,’ was wounded in 1777, during the investment of Fort Stanwix.” Probably Captain Singleton, who settled in Thurlow, Upper Canada, was the same person.

“Finley Ross, of New York, was a follower of Sir John Johnson to Canada in 1776. After the revolution he served in Europe, and was at Minden and Jena. He settled at Charlotteburgh, Upper Canada, where he died, in 1830, aged ninety.”

“Allan McNab, a Lieutenant of cavalry in the Queen’s Rangers, under Colonel Simcoe. During the war he received thirteen wounds. He accompanied his commander to Upper Canada, then a dense, unpeopled wilderness, where he settled. He was appointed Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Assembly of that Province, and held the office many years. His son, the late Sir Allan McNab, was a gentleman who filled many important offices in Upper Canada.”

The Hamilton Spectator, speaking of the death of Sir A. N. McNab, says: “The Hon. Colonel Sir Allan Napier McNab, Bart., M.L.C., A. D. C., was born at Niagara in the year 1798, of Scotch extraction,”—​his grandfather, Major Robert McNab, of the 22nd regiment, or Black Watch, was Royal Forester in Scotland, and resided on a small property called Dundurn, at the head of Loch Earn. His father entered the army in her Majesty’s 7th regiment, and was subsequently promoted to a dragoon regiment. He was attached to the staff of General Simcoe during the revolutionary war; after its close he accompanied General Simcoe to this country. When the Americans attacked Toronto, Sir Allan, then a boy at school, was one of a number of boys selected as able to carry a musket; and after the authorities surrendered the city, he retreated with the army to Kingston, when through the instrumentality of Sir Roger Sheaffe, a friend of his father’s, he was rated as mid-shipman on board Sir James Yeo’s ship, and accompanied the expeditions 91to Sackett’s Harbor, Genesee, and other places on the American side of the lake. Finding promotions rather slow, he left the navy and joined the 100th regiment under Colonel Murray, and was with them when they re-occupied the Niagara frontier. He crossed with the advanced guard at the storming and taking of Fort Niagara. For his conduct in this affair he was honored with an ensigncy in the 49th regiment. He was with General Ryall at Erie, and crossed the river with him when Black Rock and Buffalo were burned, in retaliation for the destruction of Niagara, a few months previous. After the termination of this campaign, Sir Allan joined his regiment in Montreal, and shortly after marched with them to the attack of Plattsburgh. On the morning of the attack he had the honor of commanding the advanced guard at the Saranac Bridge. At the reduction of the army in 1816 or 1817, he was placed on half-pay.

It is impossible at this time to give anything like a history of the disbanded soldiers who settled on the shores of the Bay and the St. Lawrence. There could not be allowed the space necessary to do justice to the character of each. But even if such were possible we are wanting in the essential matter of information. We propose, however, to insert the names of every one known to have been a loyal combatant, whether an officer or private, with such statements relative to his history as we possess. We shall not confine ourselves to this particular region of the Province, but include those who settled at Niagara, and in Lower Canada. And while we may not supply a complete account of any one, it is trusted that the instalment will not be unacceptable to the descendants of those to whom we refer. We shall arrange them alphabetically without reference to rank or station.

Captain Joseph Allen, formerly Captain Allen of New Jersey, held a commission in the British Army at New York for some time during the war. He owned extensive mill property, and was regarded as a very wealthy person. All his possessions were confiscated, and he in 1783, found his way, among other refugees, first to Sorel, where he stayed a winter, and finally to Upper Canada. His family consisted of two sons, John and Jonathan, and three daughters, Rachel, Ursula, and Elizabeth. Captain Allen was one of the first settlers in Adolphustown, and his descendants still live in the township, among whom are Parker Allen, Esq., J. D. Watson, Esq., and David McWherter, Esq. Captain Allen had extensive grants of land in Adolphustown, and in Marysburgh, and elsewhere; 92as well as his children. Jonathan Allen, succeeded his father upon the homestead, and was for many years an acceptable Justice of the Peace. His brother, Joseph Allen, moved to Marysburgh, and was a Captain of militia during the war of 1812. Captain Allen brought with him several slaves, “who followed his fortunes with peculiar attachment, even after their liberation.”

We have seen that the rebellion led to the divisions of families. It was so with the Allison family of Haverstraw, New York. There were seven brothers; two sided with the rebels. One Benjamin, being a boy, was at home, while the other four took part with loyalists. One settled in New Brunswick, probably the Edward Allison Sabine speaks of, who had been captain in De Lancey’s third battalion, and who received half-pay, and after whom Mount Allison is called.

Joseph Allison was living at Haverstraw, New York. He was for a time engaged in the navy yard at New York. At one time he and another entered the rebel camp, and after remaining a few days availed themselves of a dark night and carried off five excellent horses belonging to a troop of cavalry. They were pursued and barely escaped. Allison took these horses in return for the loss of his house and other property which the rebels had ruthlessly burned. He was at the battle of White Plains, and had narrow escapes, his comrade beside him was shot down, and his canteen belt cut in two by a ball. As he could not carry the canteen, h$1 $2 took time to empty that vessel of the rum which it contained.

His neighbors at Haverstraw were exceedingly vindictive against him. After several years, he visited there to see his aged mother, when a mob attempted to tar and feather him, and he had to hide in the woods all night. Allison came to Canada with Van Alstine, and drew lot 17, in Adolphustown. A strong, healthy and vigorous man, he contributed no little to the early settlement. Died upon his farm, aged eighty-eight. His wife’s name was Mary Richmond, of a well-known Quaker family. His descendants still occupy the old homestead, a most worthy family. Benjamin Allison, the youngest, came to Adolphustown in 1795.

William Ashley, sen., was born in the city of London, England, in the year 1749, and joined the army at an early age.

During the American Revolutionary war, he came out under General Howe, serving in all his campaigns until the close of the struggle. He had two brothers also in the army with him, one of whom returned to England, and the other settled somewhere in the 93United States, the exact locality not now being known. General J. M. Ashley, Republican member of Congress from Ohio, is, so far as can be ascertained, a descendant of this brother.

After the termination of the war, William Ashley came to Canada, and first settled in the township of Loborough, county of Frontenac, where he married Margaret Buck, the daughter of a U. E. L., and one of the first settlers in this part of Canada. He resided here until about 1790, when he removed to Kingston, where he followed the employment of a butcher, and was the first butcher in Kingston, a fact he often mentioned in his old age. He built a house of red cedar logs, cut from the spot, which continued to stand until 1858, when it was taken down and a small brick building, the “Victoria Hotel,” built on the site. When removed the logs were found in a perfectly sound condition, they having been covered with clapboards many years ago, which preserved them from the weather.

This house stood on Brock street, near the corner of Bagot street. At the time of its erection there were scarcely twenty residences in the place, and that part of the city now lying west of the City Hall was then covered with a dense forest of pine, cedar and ash. William Ashley lived to see this pass away and a flourishing city spring up. He died in 1835, leaving a family of ten children—​Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth, William, John, James, Thomas, Henry, Adam and George: all of whom are now dead excepting Thomas, who resides near Toronto.

James also died in 1835, and Henry, who was the first gaoler in Picton, died in 1836, at the early age of thirty-one.

William Ashley, Jun., married Ann Gerollamy, daughter of an officer in the British army, serving through the Revolutionary War, and acting as Orderly in the war of 1812. He left Kingston in 1830, and resided until 1842 near the mouth of Black River, in the township of Marysburgh, and then returned, and continued to reside there, teaching, and filling various offices until his death, August 16, 1867.

The British Whig newspaper when recording his death, remarked, “Mr. Ashley was one of our oldest citizens, and has lived to witness many changes in his native place. He was born on the very spot where the British Whig office now stands.” The last sentence is a mistake, he was not born in the city, but in the township of Loborough; although the building containing the British Whig office still belongs to the ‘Ashley property’ on Bagot Street.

94John Ashley was gaoler in Kingston for a number of years when the gaol stood near the site of the present Post Office, and filled public situations from the time he was nineteen years of age until his death in 1858. He was a prominent member of the County Council for nearly twenty years, and was Colonel of the militia at the time of his death.

Adam and George Ashley both died in 1847.

William Bell—​We shall have occasion to speak of William Bell in different places in these pages. He was born August 12, 1758, in County of Tyrone, Ireland.

At the time of the Revolutionary War he was a sergeant in the 53rd regiment of the line. Some time after the close of the war, he succeeded in procuring his discharge from the service, at Lachine, and came to Cataraqui, sometime in 1789. He was on intimate terms with John Ferguson, and, we believe, related by marriage. It was at Ferguson’s solicitation that Bell came to the Bay. We have before us an old account book, by which we learn that Ferguson and Bell commenced trading on the front of Sidney in the latter part of 1789. They remained here in business until 1792. Subsequently Bell became school teacher to the Mohawks, and seems to have done business there in the way of trading, in 1799. In 1803 we find him settled in Thurlow. Ferguson, who was living at Kingston, had been appointed Colonel of the Hastings Militia, and Bell was selected by him to assist in organizing the body. He was commissioned captain in December 1798, Major in August 1800; and in 1809 Lieutenant-Colonel. Colonel Bell was well known as a public man in Thurlow. He was appointed to several offices—​Magistrate, Coroner, and finally Colonel of the Hastings Battalion. As magistrate he took an active part in the doings of Thurlow and Belleville for many years. He was also an active person in connection with the agricultural societies, until a few years before his death, 1833. The papers left by Colonel Bell have been of great service to us. His wife’s name was Rachel Hare, who died 1853, aged eighty-one.

Colonel Stephen Burritt took part in the war against the rebels, being seven years in the army, in Roger’s Rangers. He settled upon the Rideau, the 9th of April, 1793. In the same year was born Colonel E. Burritt, who was the first child born of white parents north of the Rideau. This interesting fact was given to the writer by Colonel E. Burritt in 1867. Colonel Burritt is a cousin of the celebrated Learned Blacksmith.

95Willet Casey was born in Rhode Island. His father was killed in battle during the war. At the close of the war he settled near Lake Champlain, upon what he supposed to be British territory, but finding such was not the case, and although he had made considerable clearing, he removed again. Turning his steps toward Upper Canada with his aged mother and wife, he reached in due time, the 4th township. The family, upon arriving, found shelter in a blacksmith’s shop until a log hut could be built. Three months afterwards the old mother died. Willet Casey had a brother in a company of horsemen, who fought for the British. He remained in the States and went South. It is probably the descendants of this Casey, who took an active part in the late civil war in the United States.

The writer has seen the fine, erect old couple that came to Canada, when on the verge of eighty, and two nobler specimens of nature’s nobility could not be imagined.

Luke Carscallian was an Irishman by birth, and had served in the British army; he had retired and emigrated to the American colonies prior to the rebellion. He desired to remain neutral, and take no part in the contest. The rebels, however, said to him that inasmuch as he was acquainted with military tactics he must come and assist them, or be regarded as a King’s man. His reply was that he had fought for the king, and he would do it again, consequently an order was issued to arrest him; but when they came to take him he had secreted himself. The escape was a hurried one, and all his possessions were at the mercy of the rebels—​land to the amount of 12,000 acres. They, disappointed in not catching him, took his young and tender son, and threatened to hang him if he would not reveal his father’s place of concealment. The brave little fellow replied, hang away! and the cruel men under the name of liberty carried out their threat, and three times was he suspended until almost dead, yet he would not tell, and then when taken down one of the monsters actually kicked him.

Oliver Church was Lieutenant in the 84th regiment. He settled with the many other half-pay officers, on the front of Fredericksburgh, three miles west of Bath. He had three sons, and three daughters, who settled upon the Bay, but are now dead except one daughter. Lieutenant Church died in 1812, and his wife some years later. They were both very old when they died.

A grand-child of the old veteran, Mrs. H. of Belleville informs 96us that she has often heard about her grandfather having to crush grain by hand, and spending a week going to the Kingston mill.

Robert Clark, late of the Township of Ernest town, in the County of Addington, was born March 15, 1744 on Quaker Hill, Duchess County, Province of New York. He learned the trade of carpenter and millwright, of a Mr. Woolly. He left his family and joined the British standard in the revolutionary war, was in General Burgoyne’s army, and was requested by the General that he and other Provincial volunteers, should leave the army and go to Canada, which place, he reached after some weeks of great suffering and privation. The day after he left (October 17, 1777,) General Burgoyne capitulated, and surrendered his arms to the American Generals Gates and Arnold. Robert Clark subsequently served two years in his Majesty’s Provincial Regiment, called the Loyal Rangers, commanded by Major Edward Jessup, and in Captain Sabastian Jones’ company, and was discharged on the 24th December, 1783. He owned two farms in Duchess County, one of 100, the other of 150 acres, both of which were confiscated. He was employed by the government in 1782–3 to erect the Kingston mills, (then Cataraqui) preparatory to the settlement of the loyalists in that section of Upper Canada, at which time his family, consisting of his wife and three sons, arrived at Sorel in Lower Canada, where they all were afflicted with the small pox, and being entirely among strangers they were compelled to endure more than the usual amount of suffering incident to that disease, their natural protector being at a distance, and in the employ of the government, could not leave to administer to their necessity. In 1784, his family joined him at the mills, after having been separated by the vicissitudes of war for a space of seven years. In 1785 he removed with his family to lot No. 74, 1st concession Ernest town, in which year he was again employed by government to erect the Napanee mills. He was appointed Justice of the Peace for the district of Mecklenburgh, in July 1788, and a captain in the militia in 1809, and died 17th December, 1823.

John C. Clark was married to Rachel Storer, and had a family of ten sons and three daughters.

Captain Crawford, of the Rogers corps, settled on lot No. 1 of Fredericksburgh. Became a magistrate, and lived to be an old man, was also colonel of militia.

George Dame was the son of Theophilus Dame, evidently a veteran soldier, from the copy of his will now before us. He gave 97to his “son, George Dame, the one-half of my (his) real estate in Dover, England, to hold to him forever,” also his wearing apparel, books, gold watch, gilt-headed cane, horses, sleigh and harness, and one hundred dollars. He bequeathed to his grandson, John Frederick Dame, his camp bedstead, and curtains and valence for carriage of camp bedstead, and his silver-mounted hanger. To his grandson Augustus Dame, his fusee, gorget, and small seal skin trunk. To another grandson he left his double-barrelled pistol. By reference to these items we learn that Theophilus Dame must have been a British officer of some standing.

His son, George Dame, followed in the footsteps of his father in pursuing the profession of arms. We have before us a document, dated 1765, which declares that “Ensign George Dame of the 8th or King’s Own Regiment of foot, was admitted burgess of the Burgh of Dumfries, with liberty to him to exercise and enjoy the whole immunities and privileges thereof, &c.” For some reason this commission in the 8th regiment was relinquished; but ten years later we find he has a commission from General Carleton, Major-General and Commander-in-chief of His Majesty’s forces in the Province of Quebec, and upon the frontier thereof, appointing him “Ensign in the Royal Regiment of Highland Emigrants commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Allan McLean.” “Given under my hand and seal at the Castle of Saint Lewis, in the city of Quebec, 21st of November, 1775.” In 1779 he received a commission from Frederick Haldimand, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief, &c., appointing him “Captain in a corps of Rangers raised to serve with the Indians during the rebellion, whereof John Butler, Esq., is Major Commandant”.

After the close of the war, Captain Dame lived at Three Rivers, Lower Canada, where we find him acting as Returning Officer in 1792, Mured Clarke being Lieutenant Governor. He died at Three Rivers, April 16th, 1807.

An official paper before us sets forth that “Guy, Lord Dorchester, authorizes Frederick Dame, ‘by beat of drum or otherwise,’ forthwith to raise from amongst the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada, as many able-bodied men as will assist the completing of a company, to be commanded by Captain Richard Wilkinson. This company to be mainly provincial, and for the service of Canada, and to serve for the space of three years, or during the war. This order shall continue in force for twelve months.” Dated at the Castle of St. Lewis, Quebec, 21st June, 1796. This is signed “Dorchester.”

98The same year, bearing date the 17th December, is a commission from Robert Prescott, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor, appointing Frederick Dame ensign to the second battalion Royal Canadian Volunteers.

In the year 1802 John Frederick Dame received his commission as Surveyor of Lands in Upper and Lower Canada, from Robert Shore Milnes, Lieutenant-Governor, upon the certificate of Joseph Bouchette, Esq., Deputy Surveyor-General. Up to this time it would seem he had been living at Three Rivers.

Allan Dame, a son of the aforementioned, is now residing in Marysburgh, not far from McDonald’s Cove. He is now in the neighborhood of sixty: this is his native place. He is a fine specimen of an English Canadian farmer; and well he may be, being a descendant of a worthy stock, of English growth. He is married to the granddaughter of Colonel McDonald.

Daly—​P. K. Daly, Esq., of Thurlow, has kindly furnished us with the following interesting account:

Captain Peter Daly, my grandfather, was the son of Capt. Daly, of an Irish regiment, that was stationed in New York for some years before the outbreak of the old revolutionary war, but was called home to Ireland before the commencement of hostilities; and finally fell a victim to that cruel code of honor which obliged a man to fight a duel.

At the earnest solicitation of a bachelor friend, of the name of Vroman, he had been induced to leave his son Peter behind. Vroman resided upon the banks of the Mohawk, where the city of Amsterdam now stands. He was a man of considerable wealth, all of which he promised to bestow upon his son, Peter Daly; a promise he would, in all probability, have kept, had circumstances permitted; but he was prevented by the stern realities of the times—​those stern realities that tried men’s souls, and called upon every man to declare himself. The subject of this sketch could not dishonor the blood that flowed in his veins, and, although but 16 years of age, he clung firmly to the old flag that, for “a thousand years had braved the battle and the breeze.” He joined a company, and followed the destiny of his flag along the shores of Lake Champlain, where, in one night, he assisted in scaling three forts. He assisted in taking Fort Tyconderoga, and gradually fought or worked his way into Canada. The war closing, he, in company with other loyalists, came up the Bay of Quinté, and subsequently married and settled in the second concession of Ernest town, in the vicinity of the village of Bath, where, by cultivating his farm, and by industry, he secured a comfortable living.

99He was remarked through life for his strictly honorable dealing, and his adherence to “the old flag.” In religion he was a firm Presbyterian. From his old protector, Vroman, he never heard anything definite. He cared but little for the land that had driven him into exile, to dwell among the wild beasts of the unbroken forest.

It is supposed that Vroman, in his declining years, gave his property to some other favorite. Be that as it may, Peter Daly saw none of it, but came into this country naked, as it were; carved out of the forest his own fortune, and left a numerous and respected family. There are now only two of his sons living, Thomas and Charles, who live on the old farm, near Bath. His eldest daughter, Mrs. Aikens, is still living, in Sidney. My father, Philip, was the eldest. He died at Oak Shade, in Ernest town, in 1861, in the 71st year of his age. David, the next son, lived and died at Waterloo, near Kingston; and Lewis lived and died at Storrington. The first wife of Asal Rockwell, of Ernest town was a daughter of his. Jacob Shibly, Esq., ex M.P.P., married another daughter; and the late Joshua Boatte another. Their descendants are numerous.

John Diamond was born in Albany, with several brothers. An elder brother was drafted, but he tried to escape from a service that was distasteful to him; was concealed for some time, and upon a sick bed. The visits of the doctor led to suspicion, and the house was visited by rebels. Although he had been placed in a bed, and the clothes so arranged that, as was thought, his presence would not be detected, his breathing betrayed him. They at once required his father to give a bond for $1,200, that his son should not be removed while sick. He got well, and, some time after, again sought to escape, but was caught, and handcuffed to another. Being removed from one place to another, the two prisoners managed to knock their guard on the head, and ran for life through the woods, united together. One would sometimes run on one side of a sapling, and the other on the opposite side. At night they managed to rub their handcuffs off, and finally escaped to Canada. Of the other brothers, two were carried off by the rebels, and never more heard of. John was taken to the rebel army when old enough to do service; but he also escaped to Canada, and enlisted in Rogers’ Battalion, with which he did service until the close of the war, when he settled with the company at Fredericksburgh.

John Diamond married Miss Loyst, a native of Philadelphia, whose ancestors were German. She acted no inferior part, for a woman, during the exciting times of the rebellion. They married 100in Lower Canada. They spent their first summer in Upper Canada, in clearing a little spot of land, and in the fall got a little grain in the ground. They slept, during the summer, under a tree, but erected a small hut before winter set in.




Among the early and influential settlers upon the bay, was John Ferguson. It has been our good fortune to come into possession of a good many public and private letters penned by his hand, and invaluable information has thus been obtained. The following letter will inform the reader of the part he took in the service during the war. It is addressed to Mr. Augustus Jones.

Kingston, 22nd July, 1792.
Dear Sir.—​

Inclosed is my old application for the land on the carrying place, which I send agreeable to your desire. I need not attempt to explain it better, as you know so well what I want. I wish, if consistent, that land, 200 acres, Mrs. Ferguson is entitled to, might be joined to it. if I cannot get a grant of the carrying place, will you be so good as to let me know what terms it may be had on. I have it in my power to settle the place immediately, had I any security for it. I am certain Mr. Hamilton will interest himself for me, but I am loth to apply to him at present, as in all probability he has too much business to think of besides. Should it be asked how and where I served, I will mention the particulars. The 24th June, 1774, I was appointed, and acted as barrack-master until 24th March, 1778, when I was ordered to Carleton Island, being also commissary at the post. Thirteenth April, 1782, I was appointed barrack-master of Ontario, where I remained until ordered to Cataraqui in September, 1783, and acted as barrack-master for both posts, until 24th June, 1785, when I 101was obliged to relinquish it, having more business in the commissary’s department than I could well manage, with the other appointment, occasioned by the increase of loyalists settling in this neighborhood. Twenty-fifth February, 1778, my father then being commissary of Oswegotchie, delivered the stores to me, as he was unable to do the duty himself. He died 13th March, following, when I was appointed his successor.

The 13th April, I was ordered to Carleton Island to assist Mr. McLean in the transport business. In November, 1778, I was again sent to Oswegotchie, where I remained commissary of the post until 24th June, 1782, when I was sent to Ontario to take charge there, from thence I was sent to this place, 24th September, 1783, where I remained until a reformation took place in the commissary department, and I was on the 24th June, 1787, served like a great many others, sent about my business without any provision, after having spent my best days in His Majesty’s service.

You see I was eleven years barrack-master, and nine years a commissary, I was also six years in the Commissary General’s office at Montreal (a clerk,) during which time my father was permitted to do my duty as barrack-master. I will write you again by next opportunity.

Your very humble servant,
(Signed)      John Ferguson.

Ensign Frazer, of the 84th regiment settled at the point of Ernest town. Had three sons. His widow married Colonel Thompson.

The Cornwall Freeholder, notices the death of Mr. Frazer, of St. Andrew’s, C. W., the discoverer of Frazer river, and of Mrs. Frazer, who departed this life a few hours afterwards. Mr. Frazer was one of the few survivors of the find old “Northwesters,” and his name, as the first explorer of the golden stream which bears it, will be remembered with honor long after most of the provincial cotemporaries are forgotten. The Freeholder says: “Mr. Frazer was the youngest son of Mr. Simon Frazer, who emigrated to the State of New York, in 1773. He purchased land near Bennington; but upon the breaking out of the revolutionary war, he attached himself to the royal cause, and served as captain, at the battle of Bennington; where he was captured by the rebels. He died in Albany jail, about thirteen months afterwards, his end being hastened by the rigorous nature of the imprisonment. He was 102married to Isabella Grant, daughter of Daldregan, and had issue, four sons and five daughters. The widow, with her children, came to Canada after the peace of 1783. Simon Frazer, the elder, the father of the object of this notice, was the second son of William Frazer, the third of Kilbockie, who, by his wife, Margaret, daughter of John McDonell, of Ardnabie, had nine sons:—​1st. William, the fourth of Kilbockie; 2nd. Simon, who came to America, as we have seen; 3rd. John, who was captain in Wolf’s army, shared in the honors of the capture of Quebec, and was subsequently, for many years, Chief Justice of the Montreal district; 4th. Archibald, who was Lieutenant in Frazer’s regiment, under General Wolfe, was afterwards captain of the Glengarry Fencibles, and served in Ireland during the rebellion in ‘98; 5th. Peter, a doctor of medicine, who died in Spain; 6th. Alexander, who served as captain in General Caird’s army, and died in India; 7th. Donald, a Lieutenant in the army, who was killed in battle in Germany; 8th. James, also a Lieutenant in the army, and one of the sufferers in the Black Hole of Calcutta, in 1756; 9th. Roderick, who died at sea.”

Mr. J. B. Ashley, a native of Marysburgh, to whom much valuable information we possess is due, says: “My great grandfather, James Gerollamy, was but seventeen years of age when he joined General Clinton’s army in 1779, and remained in the service until the virtual close of the war in 1782, when he came from New York to Quebec, and thence to Bath, where he settled, on what was until lately known, as the “Hichcock Farm.”” He afterwards removed to the fifth town, and settled on lot No. 11, 1st concession, lake side. He received from government certain farming implements, the same as before mentioned. A part of them coming into the hands of my father, Augustus Ashley, of Marysburgh. The hatchet, I have often used when a young lad in my childish employments. It is now lost. The share and coulter belonging to the plough, remain among a collection of old iron in my father’s woodshed until the present day. James Gerollamy, married Ann Dulmage, the daughter of Thomas Dulmage, who came with him to Canada and settled near him at Bath, in the second town, and subsequently moved to lot No. “D,” at the head of South Bay, in the township of Marysburgh, where he died. The graves of himself and wife being still under a large maple tree, close to the site of his house.

James Gerollamy, and his two sons, James and John, served through the war of 1812, under General Provost, Brock and 103Drummond. The old man holding the rank of Orderly, and his son James that of Lieutenant. The latter received a grant of 1000 acres of land for services as a “spy,” he was one of the number who planned the successful attempts upon Oswego, Black Rock and Buffalo, and at the battle of Niagara, generally known as “Lundy’s Lane.” He fought in the company or regiment known as “Grenadiers,” which, in their manœuvering were compelled to run and wallow over a field of corn with mud ankle deep.

The whole family were remarkable for large size, being over six feet in height, of great strength, and healthy, with robust constitutions. The old gentleman was acknowledged the surest marksman in this section of the country, and his “fusil,” was his constant companion. He died about ten years ago, aged about ninety-five years, being in full possession of his faculties until the last. I can well remember seeing him sauntering through the garden, bent with his weight of years, and leaning on his staff.

Thomas Goldsmith, a native of Ulster Co., Montgomery town, New York. He was engaged as a spy, and discharged important and successful duties, in carrying information from Gen. Burgoyne to Lord Cornwallis, and returning with despatches. He frequently passed the guards of the Continental army, and often was subjected to a close search, but succeeded in eluding detection. Goldsmith owned one thousand acres of land, on which was a flouring mill with two run of stones. Also, a sailing vessel launched, but not entirely finished, for the West India trade. The boat was sacrificed. The produce of his farm was paid for in Continental bills. The malleable iron of his mill was taken to make a chain to put across the Hudson to stop boats. His neighbors, the rebels, catching him one day from home, covered him and his horse and saddle, with a coat of tar and feathers. After the close of the war, he was compelled to part with his land to get away. It was sold for a mere trifle. He came into Canada in 1786, bringing with him some cattle, most of which died for want of something to eat. He was accompanied by David Conger, and reached Kingston, June 24. Settled at first in the fourth township; but soon after removed to Holliwell, where he received a grant of 400 acres of land, 1st. con., lot 9. Here he lived and died, aged ninety.

Sergeant Harrison was a native of Ireland, and served for many years in the fifty-third regiment. For some time during the revolutionary war, he was in the Quartermaster’s store, and post 104office. He was altogether twenty-eight years in the service. At the close of the war, he settled in Marysburgh, with the first band, not connected with the Hessians, and was probably under Wright in the commissary department for the settlement. He settled on lot nine, east of the Rock.

William Hudgins was born on a small island, known as Ginn’s Island, lying about three and a half miles from the Virginia shore, in Chesapeake bay, where his father, Lewis Hudgins, had a farm of two hundred acres. He joined the Royal army with his younger brother Lewis, in 1778, serving in the regiment known as the Queen’s Rangers, under Lord Cornwallis; where he held the rank of sergeant, and his brother that of corporal. At the battle of Yorktown, he was wounded and taken prisoner, and his brother was killed. After his exchange he came to New Brunswick, and settled about thirty miles above Frederickton, on the St. John’s river, where he lived until 1809, when he removed to Canada. First settling in Adolphustown, near what is known now as Cole’s Point. He joined the incorporated militia during the war of 1812, serving under Colonel McGill, and Colonel Shaw. He received the right to considerable land; but after the capture of York, now Toronto, by the Americans in 1813, and the consequent destruction of property, the documents pertaining to the same were burnt, and he could not, as a consequence, get his grant. Immediately after the war of 1812, he removed to Marysburg, where he remained until his death.

The above information is received from Mr. William Hudgins, son of the above mentioned William Hudgins, who is now an old man, he having served with his father in the war of 1812.

“It would have done you good to have heard the old gentleman, with his silver locks flowing in the wind, whitened with the frosts of four-score winters, as he descanted upon scenes and incidents in connection with the war, through which he served, and to have witnessed his eye twinkle with pride, when he referred to the loyalty of his honored parent.”—​(Ashley.)

Edward Hicks, who settled in Marysburgh, was placed in prison with his father. His father was taken out and hanged before his window upon an apple tree, (a piece of refined cruelty worthy a rebel cause). This aroused Edward to a state of desperation, who with manacled hands, paced his cell. To carry out his intention, he feigned illness, and frequently required the guard to accompany him to the outer yard. At night fall he went out 105accompanied by the guard. Watching the opportunity, he drew up his hands and struck a furious blow upon the head of the soldier with his handcuffs, which laid the man prostrate. Edward darted away to a stream which ran near by, and across which was a mill-dam and a slide. He rushed under this slide, and before a cry was raised, he concealed himself under the sheet of water. He could hear the din and tumult, as search was everywhere made through the night. Cold, wet, benumbed, hungry and handcuffed, he remained in his hiding place until the following night, thirty-six hours, when he crept out and escaped to the woods. After nine days of fasting he reached the British army. Edward Hicks did not forget the death of his father. He “fought the rebels in nine battles afterward, and still owes them grudge.”

Joseph, Joshua and Edward, belonged to Butler’s Rangers, and saw no little service. They were from Philadelphia, and left considerable property. They had granted them a large tract of land west of Niagara, where sprung up Hicks’ settlement. Joseph Hicks afterwards settled on lot six, Marysburgh, west of the Rock.—​(Ashley.)

Edward Hicks is represented as having been a very powerful man, often performing remarkable feats of strength, such as lifting barrels of flour and pork to his shoulders, and such like.

He went to Boston in 1778, in the character of a spy, and was detected by the Americans, and taken prisoner. He represented himself as a young man searching for his mother, who had removed to that section of the country; but it is supposed that his captors considered him as rather too smart looking a young man to be lost in any enterprise, he being of fine build, standing good six feet, and possessing an intelligent countenance, and at his trial, condemned him as a spy to be dealt with accordingly.—​(Ashley.)

John Howell, a son of Richard Howell, from Wales, was born in New Jersey in 1753. When 24 years old he took up his residence at Johnstown, on the Mohawk river. At the commencement of hostilities, in 1776, he joined Sir John Johnson’s 2nd battalion, and was raised to the position of serjeant-major. His name appears as such upon the battalion roll, now before the writer. He remained in the army during the war, doing duty at St. Johns, Coteau du lac, and at many other places. When his company was disbanded at Oswego, in 1782, he came immediately to Kingston, and thence to Fredericksburgh, where he settled upon his lot of 200 acres. By adhering to the loyal cause, Sergeant Howell suffered serious loss in real estate. 106The pleasant town of Rome now stands upon the land which was his. His valuable property was not yielded up to the rapacious rebels without a legal effort to recover possession. The case was in court for many years, and Sergeant Howell spent $1,400 in vain efforts to recover. No doubt it was pre-judged before he spent his money. An event in Howell’s life during the war is not without a touching interest. Before joining the regiment, he had courted and won the heart of a fair lady at Johnstown. While stationed at Coteau du lac he obtained permission during the winter, when hostilities were suspended, to go to Johnstown to obtain his bride. Guided by seven Indians, he set out to traverse a pathless wilderness, on snowshoes. The wedding trip had its perils, and almost a fatal termination. On their return they lost their way in the interminable woods, and soon found themselves destitute of food. For days they were without anything to eat. One day they shot a squirrel, which, divided among them, was hardly a taste to each. The thongs of their shoes were roasted and eaten, to allay the pangs of hunger. At last they succeeded in shooting a deer, which had well nigh proved the death of some, from over-eating. Two of the men were left behind, but they subsequently came in.

Sergeant Howell’s loss as a loyalist was great; but, so far as could be, it was made good by Government. He drew 1,200 acres of land as an officer, and the same quantity for his family. At an early date after his arrival at the Bay he was appointed Commissioner in the Peace; and subsequently he was made Colonel of the Prince Edward Militia.

Soon after settling in Fredericksburgh he built a windmill, probably the first mill built by an individual in the Province. He afterwards sold it to one Russell. The remains still mark the spot.

He finally settled in Sophiasburgh, while it was yet considered by the infant colony as the backwoods of the settlement. He was a man of liberal education for the times, and was conversant with the Dutch and French languages, and understood the Indian dialect. From his former connection with the Johnson settlement upon the Mohawk, and his close contiguity to the Mohawk Indians upon the Bay, he held a high place in their regard. He often visited them; and their chiefs as often paid him state visits. They often called upon him to settle their disputes, which he never failed to do by his sternness and kindness combined. His presence was sufficient to inspire awe amongst them when disposed to be troublesome, which was increased by his long sword which he would hang to his side.

107Henry Hover was quite a boy when the rebellion was progressing, being about sixteen when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Living along the Hudson, near New York, he went out one day for the cows, when he was caught by some rebels and carried to Lancaster jail. After being in prison for some time he was released, and permitted to go to New York. He some time after, by some means, enlisted in Butler’s Rangers, and set out, with four others (one his brother), to traverse the wide country on foot, from New York to Fort Niagara, the head-quarters of the company. Lying one night under the trees, they were suddenly attacked by a scouting party of rebels, by being fired upon. One was killed, and the rest taken prisoners. Henry Hover remained in prison, in chains, until the close of the war, nearly two years. The hardships and cruelties he endured were, indeed, terrible. When he was taken prisoner he had on a pair of linen trowsers; no others were ever given him; and when he was released these were hanging in shreds upon him. They had nothing to lie upon but the cold brick floor, two persons being chained together. Years after, a stranger called one day at Hover’s in Adolphustown. Hover not being at home, the man wrote his name, “Greenway,” the man to whom Henry had been chained for many a weary day and month in prison. Hover being released at the close of the war, reported himself at Niagara, and was discharged with the rest of his company. He received all his back pay, while in jail, and a grant of land at St. Davids; but his father, Casper Hover, a refugee, had settled in Adolphustown, having come in Major Van Alstine’s corps. Henry wished to see his parents, from whom he had been so long separated, and sought a chance to go down from the Niagara frontier. He entered on board an old “hulk,” an old French vessel coming down the lake, and so got to Kingston, which place he reached soon after Van Alstine’s company had settled in the fourth Township. Henry set out from Kingston on foot, along the bay, through the woods. In time he arrived at the third township. He was misdirected across to Hay Bay. Following its shores, he met Holland’s surveying party, who told him that he was astray, and put him on the correct track. Henry Hover determined to remain at the bay, and was included among the original settlers under Van Alstine, drawing land like the rest, being the only one who did not belong to that company. He sleeps from his warfare—​from his long life of well-spent industry, in the “old U. E. burying ground,” at the front, in Adolphustown.

Among those who fought the unequal battle of Bennington was 108Captain Hogle, who was shot dead. He was a native of Vermont. He left a widow and three sons, who were yet young. They were under the necessity of leaving their valuable possessions and removing to Canada. They buried plate in the garden, which was never regained. At the expiration of the war they settled in Ernest town.

David Hartman—​was present at the battle of Bennington, and was shot through the chest. Notwithstanding, he lived for many years. He settled in Ernest town.

John Ham, the founder of the Ham family of Canada, so well and so favorably known in different sections of the Province. He was born near Albany. His father was a native of Germany, although of English parentage. John Ham was a soldier during the war, and in one of several engagements, was wounded in the leg. The ball, lodging in the calf, was cut out, and, at the request of the suffering but brave hero, was shot back at the foe. He was one of the company who settled in Ernest town. He had a family of ten children, eight of them being sons, namely: John, Henry, Peter, George, Jacob, Philip, Benjamin, and Richard, all of whom lived and died in Canada.

The name of Herkimer is engraved upon the history of America, both in the United States and in Canada. “Colonel Hanjost Herkimer, or John Joost, was a son of Johan Jost Herkimer, one of the Palatines of the German Flats, New York, and a brother of the rebel general, Nicholas Herkimer. His property was confiscated. He went to Canada, and died there before 1787.”—​(Sabine.) Prior to the war he had occupied several public offices. He served as an officer in Butler’s Rangers. We find his name inserted for lot 24 of Kingston, on which now stands part of the city. His son Nicholas settled upon the Point now bearing the family name. He married a Purdy, and had several children. His end was a sad one, being murdered by a blacksmith, named Rogers, who escaped. A daughter was married to Captain Sadlier, another to an officer in the army, and a third to Mr. Wartman.

The old family place in New York State is yet indicated by the name of Herkimer County.

William Johnson Holt was ensign in Ferguson’s Rangers. This corps formed part of the army of Burgoyne at the time of his surrender, and, with other provincial prisoners, retired to Canada, by permission of Gates. The subject of this notice settled in Montreal, where he held the lucrative office of Inspector of Pot and Pearl Ashes, and received half pay for nearly fifty years. He died at Montreal, in 1826. By his first wife (Ruah Stevens, of Pittsfield, 109Massachusetts), he was the father of a large family of sons and daughters; by his second wife (Elizabeth Cuyler) he left no issue. His sixth son, Charles Adolphus, alone has surviving male children, of whom the eldest, Charles Gates Holt, is (1864) a distinguished counsellor-at-law, and a gentleman of the highest respectability, at Quebec. In February, 1864, he was appointed one of “Her Majesty’s Counsel, learned in the law,” and thus entitled to wear the “silk robe.”

“John Jones, of Maine, captain in Rogers’ Rangers. Being of a dark complexion, he was called ‘Mahogany Jones.’ Prior to the war he lived at or near Pownalborough, and was Surveyor of the Plymouth Company. As the troubles increased, the whigs accused him of secreting tea, and broke open his store. Next, they fastened him to a long rope, and dragged him through the water until he was nearly drowned. Finally, to put an end to his exertions against the popular cause, he was committed to jail in Boston. He escaped, went to Quebec in 1780, and received a commission in the Rangers. In Maine, again, before the peace, he annoyed his personal foes repeatedly. Among his feats was the capture of his ‘old enemy,’ General Charles Cushing, of Pownalborough. Jones, immediately after the peace, was at the Bay of Fundy, and interested in lands granted on that island to loyalists. In 1784 he resumed his business as surveyor, on the river St. Croix.—​At length, ‘his toryism forgotten,’ he removed to the Kennebec. He died at Augusta, Maine.”

Captain William Johnson, of the King’s Royal regiment, afterwards colonel of the Militia of Addington. Besides the celebrated Sir John Johnson’s family, there were a large number of combatants and loyalists of this name, and mostly all of them were conspicuous for their gallant deeds in arms. Captain William Johnson settled some miles west of Kingston, on the front. Left one child, a daughter, who married McCoy. They removed to Toronto. It is said by Mr. Finkle that the first militia mustered in Upper Canada was by Col. William Johnson, at Finkle’s tavern.

The name of Johnson has become somewhat famous in Canadian history. James Johnson, an Irishman, was a soldier in Rogers’ Battalion. He came to Upper Canada with the first settlers of Ernest town, and was captain of the cattle-drivers that came at that time, or a year later. He got his location ticket at Carleton Island. He had a family of seven sons and six daughters. Six of the sons’ names were: Daniel, James, William, Matthew, Jacob, Andrew. 110The last-mentioned supplies us with the above information. He is now upwards of one hundred years of age.—​(See U. E. Loyalists).

William Ketcheson, of Sidney, who was born September, 1782, at Bedford, New York, says that his father, William Ketcheson, was a native of England, and came to America with his grandfather, his father being dead. They settled in South Carolina, and lived there until the rebellion broke out. William Ketcheson, sen., was then about seventeen years of age, and entered the British service as a dragoon, under Lord Cornwallis. He served during the war; took part in many engagements, and was wounded in the thigh. Shortly before the close of hostilities he was married to Mary Bull, daughter of John Bull, a loyalist. After the peace he went to Nova Scotia, and engaged in fishing for a while; lived in a shanty at a rock-bound place, called Portoon. A fire ran over the place, burning up mostly everything, and almost our informant, who was then only about 18 months old. He and his mother were put on board a boat and taken to New York. The father remained to settle his affairs at Nova Scotia, and then came on into Canada, alone, in 1786. He worked a farm on shares, in the third township, belonging to John Miller. Raked in the grain; went for his family, and then subsequently worked Spence’s farm on shares for many years. Finally moved to Sidney, in 1800, and settled in the fifth concession.

“John Waltermeyer a tory partisan leader. He was noted for enterprise and daring, but not for cruelty or ferocity. In 1781, at the head of a band of Tories, Indians, and Canadians, he attempted to carry off General Schuyler, whose abode at that time was in the suburbs of Albany. The party entered the dwelling, commenced packing up the plate, and a search for the General. But that gentleman opened a window, and, as if speaking to an armed force of his own, called out,—​“Come on, my brave fellows; surround the house, and secure the villains who are plundering.” The happy stratagem caused Waltermeyer and his followers to betake themselves to flight.”

The foregoing statement is taken from Sabine; we shall now give information derived from Captain Myer’s descendants, and others who knew him well. It is without doubt correct.

Captain Myer’s father and brother identified themselves with the rebel party, and we have heard it stated that he was at first, a rebel also, but not receiving promotion as he expected, forsook the cause, and upon the offer of a captaincy in the British forces allied himself to them. That this was the pure invention of his enemies 111is sufficiently plain. At the beginning of the rebellion Captain Myers, with his father, was a farmer in the vicinity of Albany, and could have had no reason for promotion. As to the captaincy, we find that he did not receive it until 1782, when the war had virtually closed, as the following shows:

Frederick Haldimand, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Quebec and territories depending thereon, &c., &c., &c. General and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s forces in said Province and territories thereof, &c., &c., &c.


By Virtue of the power and authority in me vested, I do hereby constitute, appoint you to be captain in the corps of Loyal Rangers whereof Edward Jessup, Esq., is Major-Commandant. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of captain by exercising and well disciplining both the inferior officers and soldiers of the corps, and I do hereby command them to obey you as their captain, and you are to observe and follow such orders and directions as you shall from time to time receive from me your Major, Major-Commandant, or any other of your superior officers, according to the rules and discipline of war. In pursuance of the trust hereby reposed in you. Given under my hand and seal at Arms, at the Castle of St. Louis, at Quebec, this thirtieth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and in the twenty-second year of the reign of our Sovereign, Lord George the Third, by the Grace of God, Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth.

(Signed)      Fred. Haldimand.
By His Excellency’s Command,
R. Mathews.

It is true that during the war he made the attempt to take General Schuyler a prisoner. He went with ten men to Albany for the purpose of seizing the General, and carrying him away captive. On entering the yard at night, they looked through the window and saw the object of the expedition, but when they had entered the house he could no where be found, although search was made from cellar to garret. But in the garret were a number of puncheons turned up side down. Some of them were examined, but not all. After the war had closed, the Governor called on Myers and told him that had he turned over the other puncheons 112he would have found him. A faithful female slave had placed him there. The men with Myers had instruction to touch none of the Governor’s property, after leaving the place, however, he found one of the men in possession of a silver cup. This was sent back to the Governor afterward.

During the war, Myers on one occasion, perhaps when he was returning from his attempt to take Schuyler, was nearly starved to death. He had with him a favorite dog, which became sick for want of food. He carried the dog for days, not knowing but he would have to kill him for food. But they all got safely out of it, and he retained the dog for many a day, and on one occasion he showed him to Schuyler. After the war Captain Myers enjoyed a pension of 5s. 6d. a day. He lived in Lower Canada two years. A certificate of Masonry informs us that he was in Quebec in 1780. He frequently carried despatches to New York, in the first years of the war; upon one occasion he was in a friend’s house when the rebels came up, he jumped out of the back window and ran to the woods, he was seen, and persons on horseback came rapidly to the woods, and tied their horses, to pursue him on foot, which they hastily did; Myers had, however, hidden himself close by, and when they had fairly entered the woods in pursuit of him, he jumped up and deliberately selected the best horse, upon which he mounted, and so made an easy escape to New York.

He came up the bay at an early date, and it would seem squatted on the front of the ninth town before it was surveyed. He then moved up to Sidney where he lived until 1790, when he returned to the Moira River.

Captain Myers was a bold man, with limited education, but honest, and, like many others of the Dutch Loyalists, given to great hospitality. He was a pioneer in mill building, in trading, and in sailing batteaux and schooners, up and down the bay.

Charles McArthur, a native of Scotland, came to America before the rebellion, and settled upon the Mohawk Diver. Took part in the war, in Burgoyne’s army. Lived for some time at Oswegotchie, when he removed to head of the bay. There were living then west of the Trent River only the following families: Peter Huffman, Donald McDonell, John Bleeker, Esq., and John McArthur. A daughter of Charles McArthur still lives at Belleville, having been born at Oswegotchie, now aged 78, (Mrs. Maybee.)

Ensign Miller, of Jessup’s corps, was a native of Duchess 113County. He had a brother an ensign, who lived and died at Montreal. Settled in Fredericksburgh, adjacent Adolphustown; drew in all 2,000 acres of land, in different places. Died 1805, aged forty-seven. Another brother came to the Province the year after the U. E. list had closed. He was the father of Rev. Gilbert Miller of Picton, and died at the age of ninety. Mr. G. Miller informs us that two great uncles, named Ogden, were with the British troops at the taking of Fort Frontenac.

All of this name (Ogden) are supposed to be related. They were, it is thought, of Welsh origin. One of that name settled upon the Delaware River previous to the rebellion. It is not quite certain whether this first Ogden died by the banks of the Delaware, or as is thought came to the Bay Quinté. He had three sons, one of whom died before their removal, leaving four sons. They, with their uncles, came at a very early date to Hamilton, but the four nephews removed to the Bay Quinté about 1790. Their names were James, John, Joseph and Richard. The numerous body living around the bay of this name, have all sprung from these four brothers. (Marshal R. Morden.)

Mr. James Morden was a private in His Majesty’s Provincial Regiment, King’s Royal of New York, Sir J. Johnson Commander. Discharged 1785 at Montreal, at the age of twenty, having served three years.

Colonel McDonald, as he was subsequently called, as an officer of militia, served under Sir John Johnson. He was one of the first settlers of the fifth township at the Bay Quinté. He landed first in the cove bearing his name, near Mount Pleasant, 1784. We have stood upon the spot where he first set foot upon the land, and pitched his tent. This cove is marked upon some of the old maps as Grog Bay, but in reality, Grog Bay was a small inlet from the cove. Colonel McDonald lived to be eighty-five years old. He drew large quantities of land, besides receiving many other favors from government. He left but one offspring, a daughter, who married a native of France named Prinyea, whose descendants are worthy inhabitants of the place.

We find the following newspaper record: “Died on the 3rd October, 1815, Sergeant Alexander McDonald, in his 78th year. This worthy veteran enlisted in 1757 in the 78th or Frazer’s regiment, in which he served at the taking of Louisburg and Quebec. In 1763 he was drafted into the 60th, and served in the active campaigns during the American war, under the late General Provost, 114in Carolina and Georgia. In 1799 he was drafted from the 60th into the 41st regiment, in which he served till August 1811, when he was discharged, after a faithful service of fifty-five years.”

The Canadian Courant spoke of J. McDonnell, as follows:—​“The subject of this memoir was born in Glengary, in the Highlands of Scotland, about the year 1750. His father was principal tacksman on the estate. The spirit of emigration prevailed very much in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands, a little before the commencement of the American war. The father of Mr. R. McDonnell partaking of the feelings of his clan, and anticipating many advantages in this new world, accompanied a considerable emigration from Glengary estate, of which he was one of the principal leaders. Mr. R. McDonnell landed at New York with his father, and a number of the same name, in 1773, but the disputes between Great Britain and the colonies having assumed a very serious appearance, it was thought prudent to send him into Canada. Being designed for commerce, he was placed in a counting house, but the war breaking out, the spirit of his ancestors burst forth with an ardor which could not be restrained. He joined the Royal Standard, and was immediately appointed to an ensigncy, in the 84th regiment. In this subordinate situation he did not fail to distinguish himself by his bravery and good conduct, and on one singular and trying occasion he exhibited the greatest intrepidity and coolness. He was advanced to the command of a company in Butler’s Rangers. Many of your readers still remember that the services required by this regiment were of the most arduous kind. They were sent out on scouting parties, and employed in picking up intelligence, and in harassing the back settlements of the enemy. As their marches lay through pathless forests, they were frequently reduced to the greatest necessities, nor had they even, while on service, any of those comforts which are so common in regular camps. In the many expeditions and contests in which this regiment was engaged, during the war, Captain McDonnell bore a distinguished part, but the great hardships which he had to surmount, undermined a constitution naturally excellent, and entailed upon him a severe rheumatism which embittered the remaining part of his life.

During some time he acted as Pay-master of the regiment, and by his own care and attention he found himself at the end of the war in the possession of a small independence. This he considered equally the property of his father, brothers and sisters as 115his own, and proved by his generosity that his filial love and brotherly affection were equal to his other virtues. In 1794 when it was thought proper to levy a regiment in this country to remedy the great desertion which attended regiments from Europe, he raised a company.

“In 1795 he was promoted to the majority, and the regiment having been divided into two battalions, he became Lieutenant-Colonel of the 2nd, in 1796.

“He commanded at Niagara during the building of Fort George, and in 1802 he again retired on half-pay, the Royal Canadian Regiments having been most injudiciously reduced during the continuance of the ephemeral peace of Amiens. While at Fort George he married Miss Yates, a lady from the States, whose amiable and obliging manners gained the esteem of all who had the honor of her acquaintance. By this lady, in whom the Colonel enjoyed all that has to be wished in a companion and friend, he has a son, a promising boy, who, it is to be hoped, will inherit the virtues of his father. The Colonel’s active benevolence was known to all, and experienced by many of his friends.

“There was something so generous, so noble in his manner of doing a kindness of this sort, as to give it a double value.

“In 1807 he was appointed Pay-master to the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, a situation certainly far below his merits—​but his circumstances, which, owing to his generous disposition, were by no means affluent, induced him to accept it.

“He had been exceedingly infirm for many years, and perhaps the severe climate at Quebec was too much for his weak constitution. Certain it is that this city has been fatal to several respectable characters from the Upper Province. He caught a severe cold in the beginning of November, 1809, accompanied with a violent cough and expectoration; he was not, indeed, thought dangerously ill, till within a short time of his death, but his feeble constitution could not support the cough, and he expired on the twenty-first.

“Such are the scanty materials which I have been able to collect respecting the life of a most excellent officer and honorable man, who became dearer to his friends and acquaintances the longer he was known to them.

“He was rather below the middle size, of a fair complexion, and in his youth, uncommonly strong and active. For some time past his appearance was totally altered; insomuch that those who had 116not seen him for many years, could not recognize a single feature of the swift and intrepid captain of the Rangers.

“An acute disease made it frequently painful for him to move a limb, even for days and weeks together, but though his body suffered, his mind was active and benevolent, and his anxiety to promote the interests of his friends ceased only with his life.”

Among those who took part in the unequal engagement at Bennington, was Alexander Nicholson, a Scotchman, who came to America shortly before the war broke out. He enlisted as a private under Burgoyne; but before the close of the war, received a commission. He was one of a company which was all but annihilated at Bennington. He stood by his Colonel when that officer was shot from his horse. Vainly trying to get him re-horsed, that officer told him it was no use, that he had better flee. The day being evidently lost, he proceeded to escape as best he could. With his arm wounded, he managed to escape through a field of corn to the woods. Coming to a river, he was arrested by an Indian upon the opposite bank, who, mistaking him for a rebel, fired at him. The Indian being undeceived, he forded the river. Making good his escape, he, with many others, wandered for days, or rather for nights, hiding by day, as scouts were ranging the woods to hunt out the tories. There were, however, friends who assisted to conceal them, as well as to furnish them with food. He often spoke of his sufferings at that fearful time; lying upon the cold ground without covering, and sleeping, to wake with the hair frozen to the bare ground. Subsequently Nicholson was attached to Rogers corps. He settled in Fredericksburgh, at the close of hostilities, and subsequently removed in 1809, to the township of Thurlow.

Ostrom was engaged to carry despatches through the enemy’s line. On one occasion he had the despatch in a silver bullet, which he put in his mouth. Having reason to believe he would be diligently examined, he took it from his mouth as he would a quid of tobacco, threw it in the fire and thus escaped.

Nicholas Peterson, with his three sons, Nicholas, Paul and Christopher, were living near New York, and took a part in the war.

They assisted in fighting one of the most remarkable battles of the revolution. It took place on the west side of the North River, opposite the city of New York, when seventy-five British Militiamen resisted an attack made by 5,500 rebels, for several hours. 117The British had a Block House, made of logs, with a hollow excavation behind, and in this hollow they loaded their guns, and would then step forward and discharge them at the enemy. Only three of the British were slain; the rebels lost many. These Petersons lost everything of any importance, when they left New York. Some of their valuables they buried to preserve them from the enemy, and the rest they left to their use.

Nicholas and Paul settled on lots No. 12 and 13, in the first concession of Adolphustown, south of Hay bay.


Contents—​Rogers’ family—​Ryerson—​Redner—​Sherwood—​Taylor—​Van Dusen—​Williamsburgh—​Wright—​Wilkins—​Young—​Officers who settled in Niagara District.

Under Queen’s Rangers will be found some account of Major Rogers, derived from Sabine. We here give further information, procured from Robert D. Rogers, Esq., and Dr. Armstrong, of Rochester, New York, who is a native of Fredericksburgh, and who, for many years, practised his profession in Picton and Kingston.

Robert D. Rogers, of Ashburnham, writes: “My grandfather, James Rogers, settled first in Vermont, and had several large tracts of land there; he, and his brothers were officers in the Queen’s Rangers, of which his brother Robert was the chief officer; they were employed in the wars of the French and Indians, until the taking of Quebec by the British, after which the said Robert Rogers was ordered by General Amherst to proceed westward and take possession of all the forts and places held by the French, as far west as Detroit and Michilimackinac, which he did in the fall of 1760; and he afterwards went to England, where he published a journal kept by him during the French and Indian wars, and up to 1761, which was published in London 1765. He also wrote another book, giving a description of all the North American Colonies. My grandfather continued to reside in Vermont, until the time of the revolution, when he joined the British army, and after peace was proclaimed, settled near the East Lake in Prince Edward. I have heard that he was buried in Fredericksburgh, but do not 118know the place. My father represented Prince Edward in the first Parliament of Upper Canada, of which he was a member for twenty-six years.”

From Dr. Armstrong, we learn that “Major Rogers was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, about the year 1728.” His wife was the daughter of the Rev. David McGregor, pastor of the Presbyterian church, Londonderry, of which his father, the Rev. James McGregor, formerly of Londonderry, Ireland, was the founder, April 12, 1719. Major Rogers was the father of three sons and three daughters. He removed with his family to Vermont, where he had become the proprietor of a large tract of land. Here he lived until the breaking out of the rebellion, (see Queen’s Rangers.) After the conclusion of the war, Major Rogers, abandoning his property in Vermont, much of which had been destroyed, his herds of cattle driven off and appropriated to their own use by his neighbors, removed with his family to Canada and settled in Fredericksburgh. That he had been there previously and explored the country, and that he had taken with him a corps of soldiers, is altogether probable, for I well remember to have seen in my earliest boyhood, evidences of previous military strife, such as numerous broken guns, swords, and other worn-out weapons. At Fredericksburg, Major Rogers erected, as he had done before at Londonderry, Vermont, the first frame house in the township. How long he remained here I am unable to say, but probably several years. My own birth-place, August 29, 1789, was in a little village one or two miles below his residence, and as I was one of his legatees, he probably remained there for some time after that event. I find no record of his death, but it probably took place about the year 1792. He was buried in Fredericksburgh, as were his widow and eldest daughter (my mother), 1793. His eldest son James, returned to Vermont and recovered a considerable portion of the land in Londonderry. He afterward, in 1819, removed with his family to Haldimand, where he died several years ago. His second son, David McGregor, familiarly known also as “Major Rogers,” remained in Canada up to the time of his death, about 1823. While quite a young man, he was elected a member of the first Parliament of Upper Canada. He then resided at Little Lake in the township of Hallowell. He afterwards removed to Cramahe, where I found him in 1803, engaged as a merchant, holding the office of clerk of the Peace, clerk of the District Court, and Registrar of Deeds, besides being a member of 119Parliament, and carrying on a farm. His name is pretty closely identified with the early history of Upper Canada. He was a man of great energy of character and sound judgment, was highly respected and esteemed, and died greatly lamented. After remaining in Fredericksburgh several years, the family of the late Major (James) Rogers removed to the “Little Lake,” so called. This was the scene of my earliest recollections. In the same neighborhood had resided Mr. Peters, and his family. He was a native of New England, remained loyal to the Crown, became an officer in the Queen’s Rangers, and was among the early refugees to Canada. He afterwards became sheriff of Newcastle, having removed from the Little Lake, first to the Carrying Place, and afterwards to Cramahe, about the year 1804, where he died many years ago.

Joseph Ryerson, of New Jersey, one of the five hundred and fifty volunteers who went to Charleston, South Carolina. For his good conduct in bearing despatches one hundred and ninety-six miles into the interior, he was promoted to a Lieutenancy in the Prince of Wales’ Volunteers. Subsequently he was engaged in six battles, and once wounded. At the peace he went to New Brunswick, thence to Canada, where he settled and became a Colonel in the militia. In the war of 1812, he and his three sons were in arms against the United States. He died near Victoria, Upper Canada, in 1854, aged ninety-four, one of the last of the “old United Empire Loyalists.”—​(Sabine.)

One of Captain Ryerson’s old comrades, Peter Redner, of the bay, says, he was “a man of daring intrepidity, and a great favorite in his company.” He often related an instance when Captain Ryerson, commanding a scouting party, for which peculiar service he was eminently fitted, ventured to crawl up to a tent of American officers, and discovering one standing in the door who saw him, he walked boldly up, thus lessening suspicion, and drawing his bayonet immediately ran him through the body, and escaped before his companions had sufficiently recovered from the shock to give pursuit. He represented Captain Ryerson as being one of the most determined men he ever knew, with the service of his country uppermost in his mind, he often exposed himself to great danger to accomplish his desires.

Samuel Ryerson, of New Jersey, brother of Joseph, joined the Royal Standard, and received a commission as captain in the Third Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers; went to New Brunswick at the peace, thence to Canada, where he settled.

120Peter Redner, a native of New Jersey, was connected with the service for some time. He was in the same division as Captain Ryerson, and during his subsequent life was always delighted to tell of the incidents in connection with the several campaigns through which he passed, especially such as related to “his friend Ryerson,” to whom he was much attached.

At the close of the war he went to Nova Scotia, where he drew land; but not liking the place, he disposed of his land and came to Canada. He purchased lot ninety-four in Ameliasburgh for a small consideration, from William Fox, a United Empire Loyalist, of Pennsylvania, who had drawn it.—​(Ashley.)

Walter Ross—​He arrived, an emigrant from Scotland, at Quebec, the night before the fall of Montgomery. He, with others from the ship, immediately took up arms, and assisted to repulse the enemy in a most distinguished manner. He subsequently lived with Major Frazer, and became so great a favorite that the Major assisted him to an ensigncy. After the close of the war he married Miss Williams, of Ernest town, and settled in Marysburgh, on the lake shore.

The Ruttans were descendants of the Huguenots. Says Sheriff Ruttan: “My grandfather emigrated to America about the time of Sir William Johnson, Bart., in 1734, and settled at a town called New Rochelle, in Westchester county, New York. This town, or tract of land, was purchased in 1689, expressly for a Huguenot settlement, by Jacob Leister, Commissioner of the Admiralty, under Governor Dongan of New York. It soon increased, and in 1700 had a vast number of militia officers, loyal to the backbone. To this settlement my grandfather repaired soon after his arrival. My father and uncle Peter were born here about 1757, and 1759. Both entered the army in the 3rd battalion of Jersey volunteers, one as Lieutenant, the other as Captain. This was about the year 1778. In the year 1778, my uncle Peter accompanied Brant from New York to Western Canada, on a tour of observation, being a great favorite, so much so that he named his son Joseph Brant Ruttan, as a token of his friendship. As a further token of his esteem, Brant, at parting, presented him with a handsome brace of pistols, which he valued highly. At his decease, they came into my possession. My father and uncle had grants of 1200 acres of land each, at Adolphustown, in the Midland District; this was in 1783 or 1784.”

Sheriff Ruttan, when a child, met with a slight accident which probably turned the current of his life from one of comparative 121obscurity to notoriety. Henry Ruttan went out with his brother one spring morning to tap trees for sugar making. Accidentally two of Henry’s fingers were severed from his hand by an untoward stroke of the sharp axe. This loss led his father to send him to school, as he could not perform manual labor. Respecting his education, the reader is referred to the division on “Early Education.” With the education obtained in Adolphustown, he went to Kingston and was apprenticed with John Kerby, a successful merchant. By industry as well as talent, Henry advanced to be a partner, and was entrusted to open a store in the “new township” near Grafton, in Newcastle. Subsequently, he distinguished himself as a soldier, in 1812, then as a member of Parliament, as Speaker, and for a long time as Sheriff. Latterly his name is associated with inventions for ventilation of buildings and cars.

Captain Schermerhorn was among the first settlers upon the bay Quinté. Respecting the nature of his services during the war we have no record, nor have we learned in what regiment he served; but most probably in Johnson’s. The writer has in his possession a portion of an epaulet which belonged to this officer. He drew large quantities of land in the western part of the Province, as well as a lot in Fredericksburgh. He died in 1788 when on a visit to Montreal to procure his half-pay. His widow and eldest son died soon after. His youngest son, John, settled on lot 95, 9th concession Ameliasburg.—​(J. B. Ashley.)

“Colonel Spencer” was an officer in Roger’s Battalion, settled on lot 9, 1st concession Fredericksburgh additional. He died shortly after the commencement of the war of 1812, having been Colonel of the militia, and active in preparing to meet the foe. He was buried, with military honors, upon his own farm.

His brother Augustus was an ensign, and settled at East Lake, on half-pay. His wife, Sarah Conger, lived to be ninety-four years old.

In the former part of last century there were born three brothers, Seth, Thomas, and Adiel Sherwood, in old Stratford, in the Province of Connecticut. The three brothers removed, 1743, to New York State, five miles north of Fort Edward, within a short distance of the spot where Burgoyne surrendered. At the commencement of the rebellion, Seth and Adiel identified themselves with the rebel party, becoming officers in the army, while Thomas adhered to his Sovereign. It was probably after the defeat of Burgoyne, when he proceeded to St. John, Lower Canada, and 122was subsequently employed by the British Government on secret service in the revolting State. His knowledge of the country enabled him to bring from the territory of the enemy not a few who were desirous of serving in the British army. In 1779 his family removed to St. Johns, and he received an appointment as subaltern in Major Jessup’s corps.

At the close of the war, Thomas Sherwood came with his corps to the St. Lawrence, and became the first actual settler in the county of Leeds. He was well known as an active public man, “he was ever ready to give assistance and instructions to the new comers.” He also assisted in the first survey of that part. He was among the first magistrates. He lived on his farm forty-two years, and died, aged 81, in peace.

Adiel Sherwood, from whom we receive the foregoing facts, was the son of Thomas, and was born at the homestead in New York State, 16th May, 1779, shortly before the family left for Canada. He says: “I remained with the family at St. Johns until May, 1784, when we came in the very first brigade of batteaux to the Upper Province, where my father pitched his tent, about three miles below Brockville, so that I may say I saw the first tree cut, and the first hill of corn and potatoes planted by an actual settler.” Mr. Adiel Sherwood at an early date, 1796, was appointed an ensign in the first regiment of Leeds Militia. He was promoted from time to time until he became Colonel. He was commissioned a Magistrate, Clerk of the Peace, Commissioner of Land Board, and finally Sheriff for the district of Johnstown. He was connected with the militia fifty years, when he retired on full rank. Was Treasurer of the District twenty-five years, and Sheriff thirty-five. Mr. Sherwood still lives, an active, genial, and Christian-minded gentleman, and we take this occasion to express our feelings of gratitude for his assistance and sympathy in this our undertaking.

There were a good many of the name of Taylor among the loyalists residing at Boston, New York, and New Jersey. They were all in the higher walks of life, and some filled high public stations. One family, consisting at the time of the rebellion, of a mother and three sons, has a tragic and deeply interesting history. For many of the particulars I am indebted to Sheriff George Taylor, of Belleville, a descendant of the youngest of the brothers.

Sheriff Taylor’s father was earned John, and was born upon the banks of the Hudson, of Scotch parents. He was fourteen 123years old when the rebellion broke out. His two brothers were officers in the British army, and were employed in the hazardous duties of spies. The only knowledge he has of his uncles, is that they were both caught at different times, one upon one side of the Hudson and the other the opposite side; both were convicted and executed by hanging, one upon the limb of an apple tree, the other of an oak. John Taylor was at home with his mother upon the farm, at Kinderhook. But one day he was carried off while from the house, by a press gang, to Burgoyne’s army. He continued in the army for seven years, until the end of the war, when he was discharged. During this time he was in numerous engagements, and received three wounds at least, one a sabre wound, and a ball wound in the arm. It is stated on good authority, (Petrie) that he once carried a despatch from Quebec to Nova Scotia, following the Bay of Fundy. His mother in the meantime was ignorant of his whereabouts, and held the belief that he was dead, or carried off by the Indians. At the expiration of the war he went to New Brunswick by some means, subsequently he undertook to walk on snowshoes, with three others, from St. Johns to Sorel, which he accomplished, while the three others died on the way; he saved his life by killing and eating his dog. He procured his discharge at Sorel. In 1783 he came up the St. Lawrence to Cataraqui, and thence walked up the bay as far as the mouth of the Moria River, accompanied by one William McMullen. Ascending the Moria he chose the land, where is now the 4th concession of Thurlow, the “Holstead farm.” He lived here a few months, but the Indians drove him away, declaring the river belonged to them. He then bought lot No. 5, at the front, of Captain Singleton, property which yet bears his name. John Taylor married the daughter of a U. E. Loyalist by the name of Russell.

Two or three years after he came to Thurlow, he visited his old home at Kinderhook, to see his mother, who knew not he was alive. She accompanied him back to Canada, although hard on ninety years old. She did not live long in her new home.

Two intimate comrades of John Taylor in the army, were Merritt and Soles, father of D. B. Soles, formerly of Belleville.

Respecting the brothers of John Taylor, the following appeared in the Hastings Chronicle of Belleville, 13th November, 1861.

A Spy of the Revolution.—​In the year 1776, when Governor Clinton resided in Albany, there came a stranger to his house one cold wintry morning, soon after the family had breakfasted. 124He was welcomed by the household, and hospitably entertained. A breakfast was ordered, and the Governor, with his wife and daughter employed in knitting, was sitting before the fire, and entered into conversation with him about the affairs of the country, which naturally led to the enquiry of what was his occupation. The caution and hesitancy with which the stranger spoke, aroused the keen-sighted Clinton. He communicated his suspicion to his wife and daughter, who closely watched his every word and action. Unconscious of this, but finding that he had fallen among enemies, the stranger was seen to take something from his pocket and swallow it. Meantime Madam Clinton, with the ready tact of a woman of those troublesome times, went quietly into the kitchen, and ordered hot coffee to be immediately made, and added to it a strong dose of tartar emetic. The stranger, delighted with the smoking beverage, partook freely of it, and Mrs. Clinton soon had the satisfaction of seeing it produce the desired result. From scripture out of his own mouth was he condemned. A silver bullet appeared, which upon examination was unscrewed and found to contain an important despatch from Burgoyne. He was tried, condemned and executed, and the bullet is still preserved in the family.”

“The foregoing article we clip from the Boston Free Flag of the 2nd November, 1861; this, there is reason to infer, is a special reference to a relative of one of the oldest families in this part of Canada. John Taylor in his life time, well known to the first inhabitants of Belleville, had two brothers employed upon secret service for the British Government during the American revolutionary war; their names were Neil and Daniel. At different times they were each apprehended and suffered the severe penalty of the law. A tradition of the Taylor family of this place, agrees in all particulars with the above article, and points to one of the Taylor brothers as the person therein alluded to.”

Sabine says that “Daniel Taylor in 1777, was dispatched by Sir Henry Clinton to Burgoyne, with intelligence of the capture of Fort Montgomery, and was taken on his way by the whigs as a spy. Finding himself in danger, he turned aside, took a small silver ball or bullet from his pocket and swallowed it. The act was seen, and General George Clinton, into whose hands he had fallen, ordered a severe dose of emetic tartar to be administered, which caused him to discharge the bullet. On being unscrewed, the silver bullet was found to contain a letter from the one British General to the other, which ran as follows:

125Fort Montgomery, October 2, 1777.

Nous voici—​and nothing between us but Gates. I sincerely hope this little success of ours may facilitate your operations. In answer to your letter of 28th of September, by C. C., I shall only say, I cannot presume to order, or even advise, for reasons obvious. I heartily wish you success.

Faithfully yours,
H. Clinton.
To General Burgoyne.

Taylor was tried, convicted, and executed, shortly after his detection.”

Conrad VanDusen was a native of Duchess County, N. Y., born 23rd April, 1751. His father was Robert VanDusen. At the commencement of the rebellion he was in business as a tailor, in New York City. He served during the whole of the war, seven years, in Butler’s Rangers. During this time, his wife, who was also from Duchess County, formerly a Miss Coon, carried on the tailoring business in New York, and succeeded in saving fifty-three guineas. On leaving for Canada with VanAlstine, they brought with them two large boxes of clothing. They also had some jewelry.

During the war VanDusen was sometimes employed upon secret service, and upon one occasion was caught, and condemned to be hanged. Upon leaving the room in which he had been tried, he managed to convey to a woman present, whose earnest demeanor led him to believe she was friendly, a gold ring, a keep-sake of his wife. By some means VanDusen escaped, having concealed himself in a swamp under water, with his face only above water, and in after years he was surprised and rejoiced to receive by letter the identical ring, which had been sent to him by the woman into whose hands he had so adroitly placed it. She had directed the letter to Cataraqui.

The close of the war found VanDusen at New York, and he joined VanAlstine’s band of refugees, and settled in Adolphustown. Subsequently he removed to Marysburgh, lot No. 9, where he died, aged seventy-six years and seven months. He lies buried in the U. E. burying ground, Adolphustown.

Frederick Frank Williamsburgh, at the time of the war lived upon the Susquehanna, and owned a thousand acres of land. He was a sickly man. His family consisted of a son eleven years old, and three daughters. One day he went some distance to a mill, 126taking his children with him, and leaving his wife and mother at home. That day the rebels made a raid, and he was taken prisoner from his children on the road; and coming to his barn, it, with all his grain was burned up. His wife and old mother sought safety in the woods, and the house was stripped of everything. The children arriving home without their father, found no mother, or grandmother, only the smoking ruins of the barn and the dismantled house. Frightened almost to death, and expecting to be killed before morning, they lay down on the floor. About midnight came a knock at the door; after a time they summoned sufficient courage to ask who was there, when it was found to be neighbor who had been hunted in the woods for three days and who was almost starved. He was admitted, and having slept for a short time, he proceeded to prepare a raft upon the river; upon this he placed some flour he had concealed in the woods, and the children, with himself, and floated down the river. But the morning brought the enemy, and they were taken. The children were conveyed to a place where they found their mother; but the father having been thrown into a prison, in three months his weak constitution succumbed to the cruelty of his prison house.

The family found their way to Lower Canada, after a time, living upon the rations dealt out from day to day from the commissariat department. They, after a time, went to Montreal, and one son, when twelve year old, enlisted. For a time he acted as tailor to the regiment, but subsequently became a favorite with the Colonel and was promoted. The descendants of this William Williamsburgh now live in Belleville.

Sergeant Daniel Wright was born in the city of London, 1741. He was sergeant in the 74th regiment. Sergeant Wright was present at the battle before Quebec, when Montgomery was killed. He settled in Marysburgh in 1784. He was commissary officer for the fifth township, and was subsequently appointed magistrate and then registrar, which office he held for upwards of thirty years. Was Lieut. Colonel in the Prince Edward Militia. “Old Squire Wright” was a man of education and gentlemanly deportment, strictly religious, and noted for his urbanity; he obtained the soubriquet of “Squire civil.” It is said he was never known to smile. Unlike other retired officers, it is said, he did not seek to acquire extensive tracts of land. Died April, 1828, aged eighty-seven.

The following is from the Kingston Chronicle: “Died at the Carrying Place, 27th February, 1836, Robert Wilkins, Esq., in the ninety-fourth 127year of his age. He entered the army at the early age of seventeen, in the 17th Light Dragoons, then commanded by the late Colonel Hale. Soon after he joined the regiment it was ordered to Scotland. There it did not long remain; the “Whiteboy” conspiracy had been formed in Ireland. From Ireland he sailed with the same distinguished regiment for the British American Colonies, then raising the standard of revolt, landed at Boston, and a few days after bore a conspicuous part in the battle of Bunker’s Hill, on which occasion he had two horses shot under him. He was present at most of the engagements in the northern colonies. At the battle of White Plains, he was one of the forlorn hope, where he received a severe contusion on the breast, and lost the thumb of his right hand. After recovering from his wounds, he retired from the army, and entered into mercantile pursuits in the city of New York. There he carried on a prosperous business until peace was concluded; but when that city was evacuated by the British troops (in 1783) he was too strongly attached to his king to remain behind. He then accompanied them to Shelburne, Nova Scotia. In the improvements of that luckless place, he expended a large sum of money, but finding that the place would not succeed, he left, and in 1789, returned to his native country, from which, three years after, he was induced to follow Governor Simcoe to this colony, just after it had received its constitution, and became a distinct government. From that time he remained in Upper Canada, and most of the time at this place. Of Christian doctrine and Christian duty, he had a much deeper sense than was obvious to occasional visitors. His hospitality was proverbial, and never under his roof was the poor refused food or shelter. His remains were followed to the church, and thence to the house appointed for all living, by not less than 300 of his friends and neighbors.”

For an account of the son of the above, see notices of U. E. Loyalists.

Col. H. Young—​His father was a native of Nottingham, England, and came to New York when eighteen years old, and settled at Jamaica, Long Island. He was a gunsmith by trade. Subsequently he removed to Husack, northern New York. He had four sons, George, Henry, William, John, and two daughters. His second son Henry, was born at Jamaica, 10th March, 1737. At the age of eighteen he joined the British army, as a volunteer. He was present at the battle of Tyconderoga, under General Abercrombie. He was also with the army under General Amherst, which went from Albany 128to Montreal, to join the army from Quebec, under General Murray. Continued in the army until 1761, when he returned home, married a Miss Campman, and lived in peace until the rebellion broke out. He again joined the British army as a private, and was at the battle of Bennington, but he so distinguished himself that he was promoted to an ensigncy in the King’s Royal Regiment, of New York. During the war he took part in seventeen battles, but escaped with one wound in the hand. In the year 1780, he was sent with Major Ross to Carleton Island. For three years he was at this place, or Oswego. In 1783 he was discharged on half pay, and received grants of land—​3,000 acres, with the privilege of selecting the place. Immediately after his release he set out, sometime during the summer or autumn of 1783, to prospect for land. In a small canoe, he, with a brother officer, named, it is said, McCarty, proceeded up the bay Quinté, and into Picton bay to its head, thence to East Lake. Having decided to take land here, he left his son during the winter. In the following spring 1784, he brought his family from St. Johns, where they had been staying. (See settlement of Prince Edward). Colonel Young died at East Lake. 3rd December, 1820, aged eighty-three years and nine months.

Daniel Young was in the Engineer Department during the latter part of the revolutionary war. He died at East Lake, 30th September, 1850, aged eighty-five.

Henry Young was Lieutenant of Militia in the war of 1812. Went to Kingston on duty, where he died, latter part of December, 1812.

Among the first settlers of the Upper Province, especially upon the St. Lawrence, and who took part in the war, may be mentioned, Captain Thomas Frazer, Captain William Frazer, Lieutenant Solomon Snider, Lieutenant Gideon Adams, Captain Simon Covelle, Captain Drummond, Ensign Dulmage, Ensign Sampson, Lieutenant Farrand, Captain Amberson, Lieutenant McLean, Lieutenant James Campbell, Lieutenant Alexander Campbell, Sergeant Benoni Wiltsie, Ensign E. Bolton, Captain Justus Sherwood, Captain John Jones, Lieutenant James Breakenridge, of Roger’s corps.

Colonel Clarke, of Dalhousie, gives a “list of half pay officers who settled in the Niagara District after the rebellion of the colonies:”

Colonel John Butler, originator of Butler’s Rangers, an Irishman, a connection of Lord Osmore; Captain Andrew Brant, 129Butler’s Rangers; Captain B. Fry, Captain P. Hare, Captain Thos. Butler, Captain Aaron Brant, Captain P. Paulding, Captain John Ball, Captain P. Ball, Captain P. Ten Brock, Lieutenant R. Clench, Lieutenant Wm. Brant, Lieutenant Wm. Tweeny, Lieut. Jocal Swoos, Lieut. James Clements, Lieut. D. Swoos, all of Butler’s Rangers; Captain James Brant, Indian Department; Captain H. Nelles, Captain James Young, Captain Robert Nelles, Captain Joseph Dockater, Captain C. Ryman, Lieut. J. Clement, Lieut. W. B. Shuhm, Lieut. A. Chrysler, Lieut. S. Secord, Lieut. F. Stevens, Surgeon R. Kerr, Commodore T. Merritt, father of the late Hon. W. H. Merritt, all of the Indian Department.



Contents—​Indian paths—​Portages—​Original French routes—​Mer de Canada—​Original names of St. Lawrence—​Ontario—​Huron—​Route by Bay Quinté—​Old French maps—​Original English routes—​Four ways from Atlantic to the Lakes—​Mississippi—​Potomac—​Hudson—​Indian name of Erie—​From New York to Ontario—​The Hudson River—​Mohawk—​Wood creek—​Oneida Lake—​Oswego River—​The carrying places—​West Canada Creek—​Black River—​Oswegotchie—​The navigation—​Military highway—​Lower Canada—​An historic route—​The paths followed by the Loyalists—​Indian paths north of Lake Ontario—​Crossing the Lake—​From Cape Vincent to the Bay Quinté—​From Oswego by Duck Islands—​East Lake—​Picton Bay—​Coasting Ontario—​Two ways to Huron—​By Bay Quinté and Trent; by Don River—​Lake Simcoe—​Point Traverse—​Loyalists—​Traveling by the St. Lawrence—​First road—​Long remembered event.

Although the European found the American continent a vast unbroken wilderness, yet the native Indians had well defined routes of travel. Mainly, the long journeys made by them in their hunting excursions, and when upon the war path, were by water up and down rivers, and along the shores of lakes. And at certain places around rapids, and from one body of water to another, their 130frequent journeyings created a well marked path. These portages or carrying places may even yet, in many places be traced, and are still known by such appellations. The arrival of the European in America was followed by his penetrating, step by step, to the further recesses of the north and west. The opening of the fur trade with the Indians led to increased travel along some of the original paths, and probably to the opening of new ones. While the French by the waters of the Lower St. Lawrence, found it convenient to ascend by the great streams, the English had to traverse the high lands which separate the sources of the rivers which empty into the Atlantic, from those which rise to flow to the lakes and rivers of fresh water to the north.

The original routes of travel taken by the French were up the St. Lawrence, at first called the “Grand River of Canada,” while the gulf is marked Galpo di Canada O’S Larenzo. The water of the Atlantic, south of the Chesapeake River to Newfoundland and the gulf, was known as the Mer de Canada. From the seaboard the traveler sometimes, having ascended to the mouth of the Sorel River, turned west to lake Champlain, and thence into the western part of the present New York State, or continuing up the St. Lawrence to its confluence with the Ottawa, or as it was sometimes called Grand River, selected one or the other of these majestic streams, by which to continue the journey westward. Following the Ottawa, the way led to the north as far as Lake Nippissing, and thence westward to the Georgian Bay. Sometimes the voyager would continue to ascend the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, a portion of the St. Lawrence sometimes called Cataraqui River, or the Iroquois River, that is to say, the river which leads to Cataraqui, or the Iroquois country. Lake Ontario was called by Champlain, Lake St. Louis, and subsequently for a time it was known as Lake Frontenac. According to a map observed in the French Imperial Library the Indian name of Ontario was Skaniadono, 1688.

From Lake Ontario to Lake Huron, at first named Mer Douce, and, then after the Huron Indians, who were expelled from that region by the Iroquois in 1650, a very common route was up the Bay Quinté, the River Trent, Lake Simcoe, and to Georgian Bay. That this was a not unfrequent way is well exhibited by the old French maps, which, prepared to indicate the principal waterways to the traveler, had the waters of the Bay and Trent, even to its source, made broad, so that the observer might imagine that the bay and the river were one continuous bay of navigable waters. 131As this route was adjacent to the territory of the Iroquois nation, it was only when the French were at peace with them that this course was taken, until the establishment of the fort at Cataraqui. Again, the French occasionally followed the south shore of Lake Ontario to the Niagara River and ascended it to Lake Erie, and thus approached the far west.

While the French with comparative ease, reached the vast inland seas, the English by more difficult channels sought the advantages, which intercourse with the lake Indians afforded. An early writer of American history, Isaac Weld, says: “There are four principal channels for trade between the ocean and the lakes. One by the Mississippi to Lake Erie, a second by the Potomac and French Creek to Lake Erie. (Lake Erie was at first called Okswego, and the territory to the south of Lake Erie was sometimes called Ontario Nous.) A third by the Hudson, and a fourth by the St. Lawrence.” A later writer says: “It is worthy of notice, that a person may go from Quebec to New Orleans by water all the way except about a mile from the source of Illinois River.” The last mentioned route we have seen belonged to the French, and was the best to follow, as well as the most direct to Europe. Of the other three, we have only to speak of that by the Hudson.

The distance from New York to Lake Ontario is laid down as being 500 miles. From New York Bay to Albany, the Hudson is navigable, 180 miles. Ten miles north of Albany the river divides into two branches. The western branch is the Mohawk and leads to Rome, formerly Fort Stanwix. A branch of the Mohawk, Wood Creek, leads toward Oneida Lake, which was reached by a portage. A branch of Wood Creek was called Canada Creek, and led toward Lake Champlain. From Oneida Lake, the larger lake, Ontario, is reached by the Oswego River. Weld probably refers to this route when he says that the distance over which boats had to be hauled by land, (perhaps, from New York to Ontario) was altogether thirty miles. This was no doubt the most speedy route by which to reach Upper Canada from the Hudson. Frequent reference is made to it, in the accounts of journeying, by the U. E. Loyalists, which have come under notice. It was by far the most commonly traveled way, taken by those who came into Canada after the close of the war. And, it is stated, 1796, that the chief part of the trade between New York and the lake is by this way. But sometimes, the traveler up the Mohawk, instead of turning into Vilcrik, or Wood Creek, would continue to ascend the Mohawk, 132which turned more toward the east; and then into a branch sometimes called, 1756, West Canada Creek, by which he was brought contiguous to the head waters of the Black River, which empties into the lake at Sacket’s Harbor. But the Black River was sometimes reached by ascending the Hudson, above the mouth of the Mohawk, away eastward to the Mohegan mountains, where the Hudson rises. Crossing these mountains he would strike the Moose River, which is a tributary to the Black River. Occasionally, instead of Moose River, the Oswegotchie was reached, and followed to its mouth at La Présentation, the present town of Ogdensburgh That this route was well known, is shown from the statement of Weld, that, “It is said that both the Hudson and Oswegotchie River are capable of being made navigable for light batteaux to where they approach within a short distance, about four miles.” All of these branches of the Hudson are interrupted by falls.

Still another way was now and then taken, after having crossed the Mohegans, namely, by Long Lake which feeds Racket River, that empties into the St. Lawrence, at St. Regis, opposite Cornwall. Again, numerous accounts have been furnished the writer, in which the traveler followed the military highway to Lower Canada, by Whitehall, Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga, Plattsburgh, and then turning northward proceeded to Cornwall. But this way was the common one to Lower Canada, and by the Sorel. This historic route was no doubt long used by the Indians, before the European trod it, and Champlain at an early period penetrated to the lake, to which his name is forever attached. Along this road passed many a military expedition; and during the wars between the colonies of France and England, here ebbed and flowed the tide of strife. The rebellion of 1776 witnessed Burgoyne with his army sweep by here westward to meet his disastrous fate; and thereafter set in the stream of refugees and loyalists, which ceased not to flow for many a year, along this path.

While the great majority of the loyalists who came to Canada, followed one or other of the routes above mentioned, there were some who came around by the Atlantic, and up the St. Lawrence. There were at least two companies, one under the leadership of Captain Grass, and one under Captain Van Alstine, who sailed from New York in ships under the protection of a war vessel, shortly before the evacuation by the British forces in 1783.

Directing our attention to the territory north of Lake Ontario, and the Upper St. Lawrence, we find some interesting facts relative 133to the original Indian paths; sometimes, followed on hunting and fishing expeditions, and sometimes in pursuit of an enemy. There is evidence that the Mohawks, upon the southern shore of Lake Ontario, were accustomed to pass across the waters, to the northern shores by different routes. Thus, one was from Cape Vincent to Wolfe Island, and thence along its shore to the west end, and then either to Cataraqui, or up the Bay Quinté, or perhaps across to Amherst Island, where, it seems, generally resided a Chief of considerable importance. A second route, followed by them, in their frail bark canoes, was from a point of land somewhat east of Oswego, called in later days Henderson’s Point, taking in their way Stony Island, the Jallup Islands, and stretching across to Yorkshire Island, and Duck Island, then to the Drake Islands, and finally to Point Traverse. Following the shore around this point, Wappoose Island was also reached; or, on the contrary, proceeding along the shore westward they reached East Lake. From the northernmost point of this lake they directed their steps, with canoes on their heads, across the carrying place to the head of Picton Bay, a distance of a little over four miles. It is interesting to notice that upon the old maps, by the early French navigators, the above mentioned islands are specified as “au des Couis;” while at the same time the Bay of Quinté bears the name of Couis, showing unmistakably that the Mohawk Indians passed by this way to the head waters of the bay and to the Trent River. Herriot designates one of these islands, Isle de Quinté. Two maps in the Imperial library of Paris, give these islands, above mentioned, the name of Middle Islands, and the waters east of them are named Cataraqui Bay. It is not at all unlikely that Champlain, when he first saw Lake Ontario, emerged from the water of East lake. Again, instead of entering the Bay Quinté with a view of passing up the River Moira, or Trent, they would continue along the south shore of Prince Edward, past West Lake and Consecon Lake, and proceed westward, sometimes to the river at Port Hope, sometimes further west, even to the Don, and ascend some one of the rivers to the head waters of the Trent or Lake Simcoe. The early maps indicate Indian villages along at several points. Owing to the dangerous coast along the south shore of Prince Edward, sometimes they chose the longer and more tedious route through the Bay Quinté to its head. That here was a common carrying place is well attested by the statements of many. Indeed, at this point upon the shores of the lake was an Indian village of importance. An old graveyard here, upon 134being plowed, has yielded rich and important relics, showing that the Indians were Christianized, and that valuable French gifts had been bestowed.

It would seem from a letter of DeNonville, that there were two ways to reach Lake Huron from Lake Ontario: one by the Bay Quinté and the Trent; the other by the way of the Don River and Lake Simcoe, called by him “Lake Taranto.” In the selection of routes they were guided by Indians.

The route by the Trent and the Bay Quinté was for many a day regarded as the most direct, and the best route to Lake Huron, even since the settlement by Europeans. Its supposed importance was sufficient to lead to the attempt to construct a canal with locks, to make it navigable. Gourlay says, sometime after the war of 1812, that “in course of time it may become an object of importance to connect Rice Lake by a canal with Lake Ontario direct, instead of following the present canoe route by its natural outlet into the Bay Quinté.”

The Marquis DeNonville, in 1685, moved on the Five Nations with his little army in canoes, in two divisions. On the 23rd June, one-half proceeded on the south side from the fort Cataraqui, and the other on the north side of the lake, and met near Oswego. Now, there can be no doubt, that the latter party crossed the bay to Indian Point, passed along its southern shore, then across the bay by Wappoose Island, and then around, or crossing Point Traverse struck far into the lake, by the islands which constituted the guides of this early Indian route. It may be that this was so commonly traveled that the old name of Point Traverse was thus derived.

We have indicated the several routes followed by the Indians, the French, the English, and finally by the Refugees, so far as relate to the territory now comprising Upper Canada, that is by which it was originally reached and settled. Beside, there were some who found their way by land from the head waters of the Susquehanna to Lake Erie and Niagara. But the vast majority of pioneers of Upper Canada entered by the channels aforesaid.

For many years, the only road from Lower Canada was by the St. Lawrence, ascending wearily up the dangerous rapids in canoes and batteaux; and it will be found that the lots in the first townships were surveyed narrow in order to secure a water frontage to as many as possible, because there was no other means of transit than by water. But those who settled in the second concessions, a year or two later, were obliged to tread the length of the long front 135lots, in order to reach the water. At the same time the communication with Lower Canada, up and down the rapids, was attended with many hazards and inconveniences. It consequently became a matter of no little importance to have a road through the settlements to Montreal, which might be traveled by horse, a King’s highway from the eastern Provincial line. It was, however, some years after the first settlement before this was secured. The original survey for a road was made by one Ponair, assisted by one Kilborne. “The opening” Sherwood says, “of this road from Lower Canada to Brockville and thence to Cataraqui, a distance of 145 miles, was an event long remembered by the pioneers. At the end of each mile was planted a red cedar post with a mark upon it indicating the number of miles from the Provincial line.”—​(See First Years of Upper Canada—​Construction of Roads).


Contents—​Indians traveled by foot or by canoe—​Secreting canoes—​Primeval scenes—​Hunting expeditions—​War path—​In 1812—​Brock—​A night at Myers’ Creek—​Important arrival—​The North West Company—​Their canoes—​Route—​Grand Portage—​The Voyageurs—​The Batteaux—​Size—​Ascending the rapids—​Lachine—​A dry dock—​Loyalists by batteaux—​Durham boats—​Difficulties—​In 1788, time from Lachine to Fredericksburgh—​Waiting for batteaux—​Extracts from a journal, travelling in 1811—​From Kingston to Montreal—​The expenses—​The Schenectady boats—​Trade between Albany and Cataraqui—​The Durham boat—​Duncan—​Description of flat-bottomed boat by “Murray”—​Statement of Finkle—​Trading—​Batteaux in 1812—​Rate of traveling—​The change in fifty years—​Time from Albany to Bay Quinté—​Instances—​Loyalists traveling in winter—​Route—​Willsbury wilderness—​Tarrying at Cornwall—​The “French Train”—​Traveling along north shore of Ontario—​Indian path—​Horseback—​Individual owners of batteaux—​Around Bay Quinté—​The last regular batteaux—​In 1819—​“Lines” from magazine.


Having pointed out the several general routes by which the aborigines and the first Europeans in America, were wont to traverse the country from the seaboard to the far west, and indicated more particularly the smaller paths of the Indians around the Bay Quinté and Lake Ontario, we purpose glancing at the means by which they made their way through the wilderness.

136The Native had but two modes of transporting himself from place to place; namely, by foot and by the canoe. He was trained to make long expeditions upon the war-path, or after prey. When his course lay along a water way, he employed his birch canoe. This being light, he could easily ascend rapids, and when necessary, lift it from the water, and placing it, bottom upward, upon his head, carry it around the falls, or over a portage with the greatest facility. When upon the chase, or about to attack a foe, the canoe was so carefully secreted, that the passing traveler would never detect its whereabouts. The French and English at the first followed this Indian mode of traveling. From the graphic descriptions which are given to us by the early writers of this Indian mode of traveling in America, ere the sound of the axe had broken upon the clear northern air, and while nature presented an unbroken garment of green, it is not difficult to imagine that scenes of Indian canoe traveling were in the extreme picturesque. It is not necessary to go beyond the Bay Quinté, to find a place where all the natural beauty was combined with the rude usages of the aboriginal inhabitant, to create a picture of rare interest and attraction. In those primeval times there was no regular passage made between one part of the country and another. The Indian in his light canoe glided along here and there, as his fancy led him, or the probability of obtaining fish or game dictated. At certain seasons of the year there was a general movement, as they started off on their hunting expeditions; and at other times the warriors alone set out, when only intent upon surprising the hated foe. On these occasions one canoe would silently and swiftly follow in the wake of the other, until the place of debarkation was reached. For a long time the birch canoe was the only mode of traveling, and when the French came with their batteaux, the canoe continued for a long time the principal means of transit. Even so late as the war of 1812, canoes were employed, and many of the gallant ones who fought and conquered the conceited and unscrupulous Yankee invader, found their way to the front by the swift birch bark. Company after company of Red Coats were to be seen plying the trim paddle as the canoe sped on its way. We have it on good authority that Major General Brock, at the reception of the intelligence, that the United States had declared war against Great Britain, set out from Lower Canada in a birch canoe, and with a companion and their boatman, journeyed all the way to York, followed by a regiment of soldiers. Incidents of this passage are yet related by the living. He reached Belleville, or as it was then called 137Myers’ Creek, late one night, after having been traveling for some time without rest. With his companion, he went ashore and sought a place to sleep. They entered the public house of Captain Mc—​—​, and after examining a room, decided to sleep there the night. But the host, hearing an unusual noise, rushed into the room demanding who was there. The General’s companion, with the quickness, and in language somewhat characteristic of the army of that time, told him he would kick him to h—​ll in a minute. Captain Mc—​—​ somewhat disconcerted at the threat and tone of authority walked out, and meeting the boatman, ask him who the parties were. Upon being informed, he rushed away in a state of great alarm, not daring to shew himself again to the General. The house is still standing.

The following notice is from the Kingston Gazette.

York, April 29, 1815.”

“On Sunday evening last arrived in this town from Burlington, in a birch canoe, Lieutenant General Sir George Murray Knight,” &c., &c.


Gourley, speaking of Lachine, says that “from Lachine the canoes employed by the North West Company in the fur trade take their departure. Of all the numerous contrivances for transporting heavy burthens by water, these vessels are perhaps the most extraordinary: scarcely anything can be conceived so inadequate from the slightness of their construction, to the purpose they are applied to, and to contend against the impetuous torrent of the many rapids that must be passed through in the course of a voyage. They seldom exceed thirty feet in length, and six in breadth, diminishing to a sharp point at each end, without distinction of head or stern; the frame is composed of small pieces of some very light wood; it is then covered with the bark of the birch tree, cut into convenient slips, that are rarely more than the eighth of an inch in thickness; these are sewed together with threads made from the twisted fibres of the roots of a particular tree, and strengthened where necessary by narrow strips of the same materials applied on the inside; the joints in the fragile planking are made water-tight, by being covered with a species of gum that adheres very firmly, and becomes perfectly hard. No ironwork of any description, not even nails, are employed in building these slender vessels, which, when complete, weigh only about five hundred weight each. On being prepared for the voyage, they 138receive their lading, that for the convenience of carrying across the portages is made up in packages of about three-quarters of a hundred weight each, and amounts altogether to five tons, or a little more, including provisions, and other necessaries for the men, of whom from eight to ten are employed to each canoe; they usually set out in brigades like the batteaux, and in the course of a summer, upwards of fifty of these vessels are thus dispatched. They proceed up the Grand, or Ottawa River, so far as the south-west branch, by which, and a chain of small lakes, they reach Lake Nippissing; through it, and down the French River into Lake Huron; along its northern coast, up the narrows of St. Mary, into Lake Superior, and then, by its northern side, to the Grand Portage, a distance of about 1,100 miles from the place of departure. The difficulties encountered in this voyage are not easily conceived; the great number of rapids in the rivers, the different portages from lake to lake, which vary from a few yards to three miles or more in length, where the canoes must be unladen, and with their contents carried to the next water, occasion a succession of labors and fatigues of which but a poor estimation can be formed by judging it from the ordinary occupations of other laboring classes. From the Grand Portage, that is nine miles across, a continuation of the same toils takes place in bark canoes of an inferior size, through the chain of lakes and streams that run from the height of land westward to the Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnipeg, and onwards to more distant establishments of the company in the remote regions of the north-west country. The men are robust, hardy, and resolute, capable of enduring great extremes of fatigues and privation for a long time, with a patience almost inexhaustible. In the large lakes they are frequently daring enough to cross the deep bays, often a distance of several leagues, in their canoes, to avoid lengthening the route by coasting them; yet, notwithstanding all the risks and hardships attending their employment, they prefer it to every other, and are very seldom induced to relinquish it in favor of any more settled occupation. The few dollars they receive as the compensation for so many privations and dangers, are in general, dissipated with a most careless indifference to future wants, and when at an end, they very contentedly renew the same series of toils to obtain a fresh supply.”

“The batteaux,” says Ex-Sheriff Sherwood, “by which the refugees emigrated, were principally built at Lachine, nine miles from Montreal. They were calculated to carry four or five families, with about two tons weight. Twelve boats constituted a brigade, 139and each brigade had a conductor, with five men in each boat, one of which steered. The duty of the conductor was to give directions for the safe management of the boats, to keep them together; and when they came to a rapid they left a portion of the boats with one man in charge. The boats ascending were doubly manned, and drawn by a rope fastened at the bow of the boat, leaving four men in the boat with setting poles, thus the men walked along the side of the river, sometimes in the water, or on the edge of the bank, as circumstances occurred. If the tops of trees or brush were in the way they would have to stop and cut them away. Having reached the head of the rapid the boats were left with a man, and the others went back for others,” and so they continued until all the rapids were mounted. Lachine was the starting place, a place of some twenty dwelling houses. Here Mr. Grant had a dry dock for batteaux.

It was by these batteaux, that the refugees, and their families, as well as the soldiers and their families passed from the shores of Lake Champlain, from Sorel, and the St. Lawrence, where they had temporally lived, to the Upper Province. It was also by these, or the Skenectady, or the Durham boat, that the pioneers made their transit from Oswego.

Thus it will be seen that to gain the northern shore of the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, was a task of no easy nature, and the steps by which they came were taken literally inch by inch, and were attended with labor hard and venturesome. Records are not wanting of the severe hardships endured by families on their way to their wooded lands. Supplied with limited comforts, perhaps only the actual necessaries of life, they advanced slowly by day along dangerous rapids, and at night rested under the blue sky. But our fathers and mothers were made of stern stuff, and all was borne with a noble heroism.

This toilsome mode of traveling continued for many a year. John Ferguson, writing in 1788, from Fredericksburgh to a friend in Lower Canada, Lachine, says of his journey, “after a most tedious and fatiguing journey I arrived here—​nineteen days on the way—​horrid roads—​sometimes for whole days up to the waist in water or mire.” But the average time required to ascend the rapids with a brigade was from ten to twelve days, and three or four to descend.

One can hardly conceive of the toilsome hours formerly spent in passing from Kingston, or the seventh and eighth townships of the bay to Montreal, and back. Before setting out, the traveler would make elaborate preparations for a journey of several weeks. There was no 140regular traffic, and only an occasional batteaux, laden with simple articles of merchandise, would start for the head waters of the bay. Individuals would often wait, sometimes a long time, for these opportunities, and then would work their passage, by taking a hand at the oars. Even up to the present century, it was the custom.

The following is a most interesting instance of batteaux traveling which has been placed in our hands by the Rev. Mr. Miles. It gives one an excellent idea of traveling at the beginning of the present century. “I left Kingston on the 6th of April, 1811, but as the traveling then was not as it is now, I did not arrive in Montreal till the 15th. I will just copy verbatim, the journal I kept on my passage. Durham boats were scarce on the Canada side at that time, but it was thought if I could get to the American shore, I would find one on its way to Montreal. Well, I found a man in Kingston, just from Grindstone Island, who had brought up some shingles and tar to sell, and he told me if I could get to Briton’s Point, several miles down the river from Cape Vincent, and to which place he would take me, that he thought I would find a Durham boat there, and the following is my journal on that route.

“Grindstone Island, April 11th, 1811.—​Left Kingston yesterday, April 6th, at 3 p.m., in an open skiff, with R. Watson, a clerk in Dr. Jonas Abbott’s store, and two hands belonging to the skiff—​head wind—​rowed hard till about eight in the evening, when having blistered both hands, and being very much fatigued, we drew our skiff on shore, and camped on the shore of Long Island, about five miles above Grindstone Island—​wind strong from the north—​very cold and without victuals or fire—​feet wet—​slept some, walked some, and by daybreak was somewhat chilled. Strong head wind. Stuck close to our dear lodgings till about eight, when the wind abated, and we stuck to our oars till about eleven o’clock, when we made Grindstone Island, weary, and very hungry—​eat a hearty dish of “sapon” and milk—​rested about an hour—​set off for Briton’s tavern on the American shore, where we arrived about 4 p.m., the water being entirely calm. Had not been on shore ten minutes, as good luck would have it, before we engaged a passage for Cornwall in a Durham boat, and a breeze coming up directly from the south, our American boats immediately hoisted sail and proceeded about thirty miles, when the wind changed, and we put into a bay on Grenadier Island, about nine in the evening—​eat some supper at a house owned by Mr. Baxter—​spread a sail upon the floor, and seven boatmen and four passengers camped down before the fire. In the morning I felt 141my bones as though they had been lying on the soft side of a hard rough floor. April 8, head wind still. Wished myself either at Kingston or Montreal. April 9, still a head wind. Must take it as it comes. Reading and writing the order of the day. At 7 p.m., hoisted sail. At one a.m., arrived at a house on the Canada shore, and slept on the floor till daylight. April 10, left for Ogdensburg, where we arrived at 3 p.m. Found an old acquaintance and passed the afternoon quite agreeably. April 11, had a good night’s rest. Still a head wind. Found the printing office and composed types the greater part of the day. April 12, still a head wind. April 13, left Ogdensburg and arrived at Cornwall. April 14, left Cornwall and arrived at M’Gee’s, Lake St. Francis. April 15, left M’Gee’s and arrived at Montreal about 8 p.m. Traveling expenses from Kingston to Montreal $9.75.”

With the later coming refugees was introduced another kind of flat bottomed boat. It was generally small and rigged with an ungainly sail. It was generally built at the Town of Schenectady, and hence the name. Schenectady is a German word, and means pine barren. Families about to come to Canada would build one or more to meet their requirements. There was never a large number of this particular kind of boat. Those that were to be seen, were upon the bay.

With the opening up of trade between Albany and Upper Canada, was introduced still another kind of vessel, which was adapted to the use of merchants, engaged in the carrying trade. One of the earliest traffickers from the Mohawk River to the lakes by the Durham boats was Duncan, of Augusta, who was, as will be seen, one of the first Legislative Councillors of Upper Canada. He finally removed to Schenectady. It is said that he introduced the trade between the Mohawk and Buffalo which led to the construction of the Erie Canal.

A writer, speaking of the boats used by the Canadians, says, the largest boats used by the Canadian boatmen is called the Durham boat, “used here and in the rapids of the Mohawk. It is long, shallow, and nearly flat bottomed. The chief instrument of steerage is a pole ten feet long, shod with iron, and crossed at short intervals with small bars of wood like the feet of a ladder; the men place themselves at the bow, two on each side, thrust their poles into the channel, and grasping successively the wooden bars, work their way toward the stern, thus pushing on the vessel in that direction.” (Murray).

142Mr. Finkle remarks that “the first mode of conveyance for travelers from Montreal to Kingston, after the settlement of Upper Canada, was by Canadian batteaux laden with merchandize (at this time there was no separate conveyance).” The return cargo consisted of barrels of flour, peas, potash, north-west packs of furs, &c.; the men and conductors employed in this business were Lower Canadians. This mode of conveyance continued without interruption until 1809, when the Durham boats came from the Mohawk River and embarked in the carrying trade only between Montreal and Kingston. Being of commodious size, far above the batteaux, they materially interfered with them and lessened the trade by the batteaux. The men who managed the Durham boats came with them from the Mohawk River, these boats were entirely manned by men from that country.

The flat bottomed boat continued in use until some time after the war of 1812. Until the canal along the St. Lawrence was constructed it was the only way by which merchandize could be transported to the Upper Province through the rapids of the St. Lawrence. After the establishment of York as the capital of Upper Canada, there sprung up naturally, a trade between Kingston and the “muddy” capital, and regular batteaux communication was, after a little, established. Once a week the solitary boat left Kingston, and slowly made its way by oars, up the bay to the Carrying Place over which it was hauled by Asa Weller, a tavern keeper, upon low wheels or trucks drawn by oxen, and then continued its way along the shore of Ontario, to its destination. These boats carried not only merchandize but passengers. Beside the regular batteaux there were occasionally others, owned by small merchants and pedlars. It was by the flat bottomed boat and canoe that many of the troops ascended to the head of the lake in 1812, and by which many of the 1000 prisoners taken at Detroit were conveyed to Quebec. The rate of speed of the batteaux or Durham boat, as well as the Skenectady boat, can be approximated from the statement of “A traveller,” writing in 1835. He says, “the line of boats which start from Albany to Skenectady, on their way to Upper Canada, go two-and-a-half miles an hour, taking in stoppages—​charging one-and-a-half cents per mile, including board.” This mode of traveling is preferred by large families and prudent settlers.

The conveniences of traveling then, as well as the time required, are so widely different from what we are accustomed to in this day, that we have to pause and wonder at the change which even fifty 143and sixty years have wrought. Even after Upper Canada had become somewhat settled, it was a momentous matter for a family to set out from the Hudson for Cataraqui, or the Bay Quinté, as they generally called the settlement in those days. For instance, Mr. Lambert, of Sophiasburgh, who came in 1802, was six weeks on the way between Albany and the bay, coming by the Mohawk and Oswego Rivers, and crossing from “Gravelly Point” to “Isle Tanti.” We will give another instance:—​Nicholas L., came from New Jersey with seven sons and two daughters. It took a month to come. Having reached Schenectady they waited to build a batteaux. This completed, they stored away provisions to last them until Cataraqui was reached. They also brought with them iron kettles, with which to make maple sugar, and “a churn full of honey.” Mr. L., being a fanning mill maker, he brought also a quantity of wire gauze. At Oswego, the fort there being still held by the British, they were strictly questioned as to the use intended to be made of the kettles and gauze. Satisfaction being given on this point, the family continued their tedious journey along the shore toward Kingston. Barely escaping being wrecked off Stony Island, they at last reached the north shore. Three days more of weary rowing up the bay, and Hay Bay was reached, where they settled.

The loyalists not alone came in summer, by batteaux or the Schenectady boat; but likewise in winter. They generally followed, as near as possible, some one of the routes taken in summer. To undertake to traverse a wilderness with no road, and guided only by rivers and creeks, or blazed trees, was no common thing. Several families would sometimes join together to form a train of sleighs. They would carry with them their bedding, clothes, and the necessary provisions. We have received interesting accounts of winter journeyings from Albany along the Hudson, across to the Black River country, and to the St. Lawrence. Sometimes the train would follow the “military road” along by Champlain, St. George, and as far as Plattsburgh, and then turn north to the St. Lawrence, by what was then called the Willsbury wilderness, and “Chataguee” woods. At the beginning of the present century there was but one tavern through all that vast forest, and this of the poorest character. Indeed it is said that while provision might be procured for the horses, none could be had for man. Those who thus entered Canada in winter found it necessary to stay at Cornwall until spring. Two or more of the men would walk along the St. Lawrence to the bay 144Quinté, and, at the opening of navigation, having borrowed a batteaux descend to Cornwall for the women, children, and articles brought with them. Often, indeed generally unacquainted with the use of the boat, the passage up and down the river was tedious and toilsome. While the families and sleighs were transported in the batteaux the horses were taken along the shore by the larger boys, if such there were among them. The “French train” was occasionally employed in their winter travels. It consisted of a long rude sleigh with several horses driven tandem style, this allowed the passage among the trees to be made more easily.

Many very interesting reminiscences are known of traveling along the bay by the pioneers. A few are adduced.


Travelers from Montreal to the west would come by a batteaux, or Durham boat, to Kingston. Those who had business further west, says Finkle, “were conveyed to Henry Finkle’s in Ernest town, where they commonly stopped a few days. Thence they made their journey on horse back. A white man conducted them to the River Trent, where resided Colonel Bleecker who was at the head, and had control of all the Mississauga Indians, and commanded the entire country from the Trent to Toronto. At this place the traveler was furnished with a fresh horse and an Indian guide to conduct him through an unsettled country, the road being little better than a common Indian path, with all its windings. The road continued in this state until about the year 1798. Sometimes the traveler continued his way around the head of the lake on horse back to Queenston, where resided Judge Hamilton.

During the time the surveyors were laying out the townships of the bay, batteaux occasionally passed up and down, supplying the staff with their requirements, or perhaps with some one looking for a good tract of land.

In 1790 a batteaux was owned by Mr. Lambert, of the eighth township, and Mr. Ferguson, writing from Kingston to Mr. Bell, wished him to borrow it, to come to Kingston.

Among the first to use batteaux as a mode of traffic, was Captain Myers. He sailed one up and down the bay to carry, not only his own freight, but for the accommodation of others. He frequently went to Kingston, and now and then to Montreal, the mode pursued, was to charge for freight down, and then give the passenger a free passage back. This was followed for many years, 145with great profit. The Captain was accustomed to make the journey as pleasant as possible to the passengers. He always kept his grog in his “caboose,” and would deal it out to all. There was no doubt much of jollity and pleasant yarn-spinning, during the long passages upon the tranquil waters of the bay. Captain Myers subsequently owned a schooner.”

A letter written 11th November, 1790, by John Ferguson, to Wm. Bell, of Sidney, says, “As I suppose Mr. Lounsbury’s boat is idle, I would be glad that you would endeavour to borrow or hire it and Sherrard’s son and come down to the third township.”

When persons had gone down the bay, and were expected to return upon a certain night, there would often be a fire kindled on the shore to guide them homeward. In dark nights this was really necessary. Many were the expedients resorted to make short cuts. The feat of swimming horses over the bay was now and then resorted to by the Wallbridges after they settled in Ameliasburgh. Wishing to go to Kingston, they would go down to the point where the bay is narrow, and swim the horses across to Ox Point, and then ride to Kingston by a bridle path. It would now and then happen at a late period, that a traveler passing to his place of settlement would have a lumber waggon. This would be ferried across the bay by placing it across two log canoes. Referring to swimming the bay by a horse, a colored man, yet living within the neighbourhood of Belleville, remembers when a boy, to have been put upon a horse, and then to have obeyed orders to swim him across the bay. This occurred near Belleville.

Long after steamboats were started on the bay, the batteaux continued to ply between Belleville and Montreal. The last to sail these was Fanning and John Covert. In 1830, Fanning arrived at Montreal from Belleville so early as to present his bills of laden upon the first of April. The following business notice cannot fail to be interesting:

“The subscribers having established a line of Durham Boats from this place, propose forwarding from the different ports of the lake to that of Montreal, on the following terms, viz.:

“From York, Niagara, Queenston, and the head of the lake, for each barrel of Flour delivered at the Port of Montreal, 5s. and 6d.

“From Kingston, to the Port of Montreal, for each barrel of Flour, 4s. and 6d.

“From York, Niagara, Queenston, and the head of the lake, for each barrel of Potash delivered at the Port of Montreal, 12s. and 6d.

146“From Kingston to the Port of Montreal, for each barrel of Potash, 10s.

“From York, Niagara, Queenston, and the head of the lake, for each barrel of Pork delivered at the Port of Montreal, 8s. and 3d.

“From Kingston to the Port of Montreal, for each barrel of Pork, 6s. and 9d.

“Merchandize will be transported by the same means from Lachine to Kingston, at the rate of 5s. per cwt.

“An elegant Passage Boat will also leave Kingston every tenth day for Montreal, which will be fitted up in the most commodious manner and prevent any delay to passengers leaving the upper part of the lake in the Steam Boat Frontenac, it having been built for the purpose of leaving this place immediately after her arrival.

“These arrangements will take effect at the opening of the navigation, and be continued during the season.

Thomas Markland.
Peter Smith.
Lawrence Herkimer.
John Kerby.
William Mitchell.

“Kingston, February, 1819.”

Respecting the Canadian Batteaux, the following is from the Boston Weekly Magazine of an old date.

“Lines written while at anchor in Kingston Harbour, Lake Ontario, on hearing from several Canadian boats entering from the St. Lawrence—​their usual songs.

Hark! o’er the lakes unruffled wave,
A distant solemn chant is sped;
Is it some requiem at the grave?
Some last kind honor to the dead?
‘Tis silent all—​again begin;
It is the wearied boatman’s lay,
That hails alike the rising sun,
And his last soft departing ray.
Forth from yon island’s dusky side,
The train of batteaux now appear,
And onward as they slowly glide,
More loud their chorus greets the ear.
But, ah! the charm that distance gave,
When first in solemn sounds their song
Crept slowly o’er the limpid wave,
Is lost in notes full loud and strong.
Row, brothers row, with songs of joy,
For now in view a port appears;
No rapids here our course annoy,
No hidden rocks excite our fears,
Be this sweet night to slumber given,
And when the morning lights the wave
We’ll give our matin songs to heav’n,
Our course to bless, our lives to save.”


Contents—​The first Vessel—​The French—​La Salle—​The Griffon—​Vessels in 1770—​During the Rebellion—​Building at Carleton Island—​Captain Andrews—​The Ontario—​Col. Burton—​Loss of the Ontario—​The Sheehans—​Hills—​Givins’—​Murney’s Point—​Schooner ‘Speedy’—​Mohawk—​Mississauga—​Duke of Kent—​Capt. Bouchette—​Paxton—​McKenzie—​Richardson—​Earle Steele—​Fortiche—​The Governor Simcoe—​Sloop ‘Elizabeth’—​First vessel built at York—​Collins’ Report upon Navigating the Lakes—​Navy in Upper Canada, 1795—​Rochfoucault—​Capt. Bouchette—​Officers’ Pay—​York, the centre of the Naval Force—​Gun Boats—​The Loss of the “Speedy”—​Reckoner—​Dr. Strachan—​Solicitor-Gen. Gray—​Canada took the lead in building Vessels—​First Canadian Merchant Vessel—​The York—​A Schooner on runners around the Falls—​Sending Coals to Newcastle—​Upon Bay Quinté—​The Outskirts of Civilization—​“The Prince Edward” built of Red Cedar—​in 1812—​Schooner “Mary Ann”—​1817—​Capt. Matthews.


The first vessels, with sails, which navigated the waters of the lakes, were built by the French, to pursue their discoveries, and to carry on the fur trade. The first sailing vessel launched upon the Lakes, was built by LaSalle. He, with Father Hennepin and Chevalier de Tonti, set sail from Cataraqui, on the 18th November, 1678, for the mouth of the Niagara river, having on board his bark goods, and material for building a brigantine on Lake Erie. During the winter the vessel was commenced, six miles above the Falls, and was launched by the middle of summer, amid great display and ceremony. The vessel was named “Griffon,” according to Garneau; but Father Hennepin says “Cataraqui.” “She was a kind of brigantine, not unlike a Dutch galliot, with a broad elevated bow and stern, very flat in the bottom; she looked much larger than she really was. She was of sixty tons burden. With the aid of tow-lines and sails the Niagara river was, with difficulty, ascended; and on the 7th August, 1679, the first vessel that ever sat upon the lakes, entered Lake Erie.” The end of this vessel was a sad one. (See Introduction).

We are indebted to the Detroit Tribune for the following interesting statements:

“In 1766 four vessels plied upon Lake Erie. These were the “Gladwin,” “Lady Charlotte,” “Victory,” and “Boston.”

“The two latter laid up in the fall near Navy Island, above Niagara Falls, and one of them was burned accidentally, November 30, of the same year. A vessel called the “Brunswick,” owned and commanded by Captain Alexander Grant, made her appearance on 148the lakes during the year 1767, and was lost some time during the season following. Captain Grant was the Commodore of the lakes for two or three years. In 1769 Sterling and Porteous built a vessel at Detroit, called the “Enterprise,” Richard Cornwall, of New York, being the carpenter. The boatmen, who went from Schenectady with the rigging and stores for this vessel to Detroit, were to have each £20, and ten gallons of rum. They were seventy days on Lake Erie, and two of the number perished from hunger, and their bodies were kept to decoy eagles and ravens. They returned to New York in February, 1760, by way of Pittsburgh, then called Fort Pitt.

“In May, 1770, a vessel of seventy tons burthen was launched at Niagara, called the “Charity.” The same year the Duke of Gloucester, Secretary Townsend, Samuel Tutchet, Henry Baxter, and four others, formed a company for mining copper on Lake Superior. In December they built at Point Aux Pins, a barge, and laid the keel for a sloop of forty tons burthen. Of the success of this enterprise we are not informed. Subsequent to the above period very little was accomplished in the construction of craft for lake navigation, and the few that came into commission were used solely as traders, as were in fact, all those previously named. A short time after, 1770, batteaux from Montreal and Quebec, employed by the Hudson’s Bay Fur Company, made their annual tours westward, gathering large quantities of furs, and returning homeward in the fall. It has been stated that the first vessel built on Lake Ontario was in 1749, but this, we have reason to believe, is not correct.”

During the Revolutionary War, the British Government built at Carleton Island, a few vessels to carry troops and provisions from place to place along the Lake, from Carleton Island to Niagara. The first Commissioner at the Dock Yard was Commodore James Andrews, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. The “Ontario,” a war vessel of considerable importance, carrying 22 guns, was built at Carleton Island. This vessel was commanded by Capt. Andrews. Some time between 1780 and 1783, as the “Ontario” was proceeding from Niagara to Oswego with a detachment of the King’s Own regiment, commanded by Colonel Burton, with other officers, a storm arose at night, and the vessel was lost with all on board. Col. John Clark, in his memoirs, whose father belonged to the 8th regiment, says this event happened in 1780 or ‘81, in which belief he is supported by Mr. Sheehan, a descendant of Capt. Andrews: but other 149authority has it that the event took place in 1783. At all events, the occurrence produced a melancholy effect, which long remained in the minds of those acquainted with the circumstances. Captain Andrews left a widow, a son, and two daughters. The son returned to Scotland, the daughters married and settled in Canada. The Sheehans, Hills, and Givins are descendants of Captain Andrews’ daughters, whose husbands had been in the army.

After the settlement of Kingston, the Government built vessels at Murney’s Point, and at Navy Point. Among the first built here was the Schooner “Speedy,” and also the “Mohawk” and “Mississauga,” and “Duke of Kent.” Among the first commanders of vessels, most of whom were of the Royal Navy, were Capt. Bouchette, Capt. Paxton, Capt. McKenzie, Capt. Richardson, Capt. Earle, Capt. Steele and Capt. Fortiche.

“The first vessel built for trade upon Lake Ontario,” that is after Upper Canada was settled, “may have been the ‘Governor Simcoe,’ for the North West Company; after she was worn out and laid up, Judge Cartwright, who was agent for the Company at Kingston, built another for that Company, and one for himself, both built at the same time, side by side, on Mississauga Point, at the mouth of Cataraqui Creek. Both were launched on the same day; the one for the Company named “Governor Simcoe,” and the other “Sloop Elizabeth.” These were built during my stay with Judge Cartwright, in 1808.

“The first, and only vessel for many years, built at York, was a small schooner about forty-five tons. Built by two brothers named Kendrick.”—​(Finkle.)

The survey made by Deputy Surveyor-General Collins, at the request of Lord Dorchester, in 1788, included an examination of the lakes and harbors from Kingston to Michilmicinac. In reference to the lakes and vessels, the Surveyor says:—​“Vessels sailing on these waters being seldom for any length of time out of sight of land, the navigation must be considered chiefly as pilotage, to which the use of good natural charts is essential and therefore much wanted. Gales of wind, or squalls, rise suddenly upon the lakes, and from the confined state of the waters, or want of sea-room, (as it is called), vessels may in some degree be considered as upon a lee shore, and this seems to point out the necessity for their being built on such a construction as will best enable them to work to windward. Schooners should, perhaps, have the preference, as being rather safer than sloops, they should be from 80 to 100 tons burthen on 150Lake Ontario, and 50 tons burthen on Lakes Erie and Huron; but if not intended to communicate between these two lakes, they may then be the same size as on Lake Ontario; and if this system is approved there can be no necessity to deviate from it unless an enemy should build vessels of greater magnitude or force; but as the intent of bringing any such forward, at least the building of them can never remain a secret, there may be always time to counteract such a design by preparing to meet them at least on equal terms. It does not seem advisable, nor do I know any reason to continue the practice of building vessels flat bottomed, or to have very little draft of water, they are always unsafe, and many of the accidents which have happened on the lakes, have perhaps, in some degree been owing to that construction. On the contrary, if they are built on proper principles for burthen as well as sailing they will be safer, and will find sufficient depth of water proportioned to any tonnage which can be requisite for them upon these lakes.”

Respecting the navy in Upper Canada, Rochfoucault writes in 1795: “The Royal Navy is not very formidable in this place; six vessels compose the whole naval force, two of which are small gun-boats, which we saw at Niagara, and which are stationed at York.” Two small schooners of twelve guns, viz., the “Onondaga,” in which we took our passage, and the “Mohawk,” which is just finished; a small yacht of eighty tons, mounting six guns as the two schooners, which has lately been taken into dock to be repaired, form the rest of it. All these vessels are built of timber fresh cut down, and not seasoned, and for this reason last never longer than six or eight years. To preserve them, even to this time, requires a thorough repair; they must be heaved down and caulked, which costs at least from one thousand, to one thousand two hundred guineas. This is an enormous price, and yet it is not so high as on Lake Erie, whither all sorts of naval stores must be sent from Kingston, and where the price of labor is still higher. The timbers of the Mississauga, which was built three years ago, are almost all rotten. It is so easy to make provision for ship-timber for many years to come, as this would require merely the felling of it, and that too at no great distance from the place where it is to be used, that it is difficult to account for this precaution not having been adopted. Two gun-boats, which are destined by Governor Simcoe to serve only in time of war, are at present on the stocks; but the carpenters who work at them are but eight in number. The extent of the dilapidations and embezzlements, committed at so great a 151distance from the mother country, may be easily conceived. In the course of last winter a judicial enquiry into a charge of this nature was instituted at Kingston. The Commissioner of the navy and the principal ship-wright, it was asserted, had clearly colluded against the King’s interest; but interest and protection are as powerful in the new world as in the old: for both the Commissioner and ship-wright continue in their places.

“Captain Bouchette commands the naval force on Lake Ontario, and is at the head of all the marine establishments, yet without the least power in money matters. This gentleman possesses the confidence both of Lord Dorchester and Governor Simcoe; he is a Canadian by birth, but entered the British service when Canada fell into the power of England.

“While Arnold and Montgomery were besieging Quebec, Lord Dorchester, disguised as a Canadian, stole on board his ship into that city, on which occasion he displayed much activity, intrepidity, and courage. It is not at all a matter of surprise that Lord Dorchester should bear in mind this eminent service. By all accounts he is altogether incorruptible, and an officer who treats his inferiors with great mildness and justice.

“In regard to the pay of the Royal Marine force on Lake Ontario, a captain has ten shillings a day, a lieutenant six, and a second lieutenant three shillings and sixpence. The seamen’s wages are eight dollars per month. The masters of merchantmen have twenty-five dollars, and the sailors from nine to ten dollars a month.

“Commander Bouchette is among those, who most strenuously oppose the project of moving to York, the central point of the force on the lake; but his family reside at Kingston, and his lands are situated near that place. Such reasons are frequently of sufficient weight to determine political opinions.”

Again, says the same writer, “Governor Simcoe intends to make York the centre of the naval force on Lake Ontario. Only four gunboats are at present on this lake, two of which are constantly employed in transporting merchandise; the other two, which alone are fit to carry troops and guns, and have oars and sails, are lying under shelter until an occasion occurs to convert them to their intended purpose. It is the Governor’s intention to build ten smaller gunboats on Lake Ontario, and ten on Lake Erie. The ship carpenters, who construct them, reside in the United States, and return home every winter.”

“On the 7th October, 1807, Mr. Justice Cochrane, Mr. Gray, the 152Solicitor General, and Mr. Agnus McDonald, embarked at York, with several other passengers in the Speedy, a government schooner, commanded by Captain Paxton, for the purpose of going to Newcastle where the Assizes were to be held on the 10th. The vessel was seen a few miles from her destined port on the evening of the 8th. The wind commenced to blow, and the schooner was never heard of more. There were pieces picked up on the opposite shore. Mr. Cochrane was young in years, but not in piety.” The above is extracted from the Kingston Gazette, written by “Reckoner,” which was the name under which Dr. Strachan contributed to that paper. Colonel Clark, of Dalhousie, says “I recollect the loss of the Speedy,” and he remarks of Solicitor General Gray, that he was “a noble character, noted for his sympathy on behalf of abolishing slavery.” He says that there were upwards of twenty passengers; among them he mentions Jacob Herkimer, a merchant of York.

It will be seen that Canada took the lead in building the early vessels upon the lakes. The first American ship that navigated Lake Erie, was purchased from the British in 1796. She was called the Detroit. The first vessel built by the Americans, for the lakes, was constructed in 1797. The first Canadian merchant vessel built upon Lake Ontario, was by Francis Crooks, brother of the Hon. James Crooks. It was built to the east of the present United States fort, at the mouth of the Niagara river, in 1792, and was called the “York.” She was wrecked at Genesee river. In 1800 a schooner of about 75 or 100 tons, was brought to Clifton, and during the winter of 1801 she crossed by the portage road on immense runners to Queenston, where she again found her native element in the Niagara river. She was, in 1804, lost in bringing a cargo to Niagara, with all on board.—​(Clark.)

It is a curious fact that in the American war of 1812, the British “Admiralty sent out the frame work, blocks, &c., of the Psyche frigate, which could have been procured on the spot in the tenth of the time and a twentieth part of the expense. At the same time there was furnished to each ship of war on Lake Ontario, a full supply of water casks, with an apparatus for distilling sea water,” forgetting the fact that the waters of the lake were of the purest quality.

Directing our attention to the waters of the bay Quinté, it is found that until after 1812, but few sailing vessels entered the upper waters, although found east of Picton Bay. Strange as it may appear at the present day, there was a time when the head of Picton Bay, or Hay Bay, was regarded as the head of the bay, and the very outskirts of 153civilization, while going up the Long Reach, to the Mohawk tract was looked upon like going to the Red River at the present day. The settlers above were too few, and their requirements too limited for a sailing vessel to ascend, unless occasionally to the Napanee mills. But as time passed, sloops and schooners, as well as batteaux found employment along the western townships.

In the first year of the present century, there was built in the township of Marysburgh, a short distance west of the Stone mills, a schooner of some celebrity. It was built by Captain Murney, father of the late Hon. Edward Murney, of Belleville. Captain Murney came to Kingston in 1797, at the solicitation of Mr. Joseph Forsyth. It was constructed for himself, and was made altogether of red cedar, a kind of wood formerly very plentiful along the bay, and which possesses a most agreeable odor, and is extremely durable. The vessel was named the Prince Edward. John Clark, of Dalhousie, says of this vessel, that he was on board the following year of her building, and that she was a “staunch good ship, with an able captain.” Her size was sufficient to allow 700 barrels of flour to be stowed beneath her hatches. She ran upon Lake Ontario for many years, and made for her owner a small fortune. She was in good condition in 1812, and was employed by government as an armed vessel. A schooner called Prince Edward, probably the same, Captain Young, was the first vessel to land at the pier when erected at Wellington.

The Kingston Gazette, April 12, 1817, says: “On Thursday, 20th inst. at three o’clock p.m., arrived at Ernesttown, in the Bay of Quinté, the schooner Mary Ann, Captain J. Mosier, in twenty hours from York, and at this port yesterday afternoon with fourteen passengers, of whom eleven were members of the Provincial Parliament. This is the seventh voyage this vessel has made this season, to the great credit of her master. The Mary Ann sailed again in about half an hour for the Bay Quinté.”

One of the early vessels upon the bay was commanded by Matthews, father of the rebel of 1836, who was executed.




Contents—​Major Gen. Holland—​Surveying on Atlantic Coast—​An adherent of the Crown—​Removal to Montreal—​Death—​Major Holland—​Information from “Maple Leaves”—​Holland Farm—​Taché—​First Canadian Poem—​Head Quarters of Gen. Montgomery—​Hospitality—​Duke of Kent—​Spencer Grange—​Holland Tree—​Graves—​Epitaphs—​Surveyor Washington—​County Surveyor—​Surveyors after the War—​First Survey in Upper Canada—​Commenced in 1781—​The Mode pursued—​Information in Crown Lands Department—​The Nine Townships upon the St. Lawrence—​At the close of the War—​Non-Professional Surveyors—​Thomas Sherwood—​Assisting to Settle—​Surveying around the Bay Quinté—​Bongard—​Deputy-Surveyor Collins—​First Survey at Frontenac—​Town Reserve—​Size of Township—​Mistakes—​Kotte—​Tuffy—​Capt. Grass—​Capt. Murney—​Surveying in Winter—​Planting Posts—​Result—​Litigation—​Losing Land—​A Newspaper Letter—​Magistrates—​Landholders—​Their Sons’ Lawyers—​Alleged Filching—​Speculators at Seat of Government—​Grave Charges—​Width of Lots—​Mode of Surveying—​Number of Concessions—​Cross Roads—​Surveyors Orders—​Numbering the Lots—​Surveying around the Bay—​The ten Townships—​Their Lands—​The Surveying Party—​A Singer—​Statement of Gourlay.


Among those who distinguished themselves at Louisburg and on the Plains of Abraham under General Wolfe, was Major Samuel Holland. Sabine says, he was “Surveyor-General of the Colonies north of Virginia.” In 1773 he announced his intention to make Perth Amboy, near Jersey, his head-quarters, and wrote to a gentleman there to inquire for houses to accommodate himself and his assistants. He then completed the surveys as far west as Boston. Proposed in 1774 to get round Cape Cod, and to New London, and said it would be at best six years before he should be able to finish his labors. In 1775, he wrote Lord Dartmouth that he was ready to run the line between Massachusetts and New York. By a communication laid before the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in July, 1775, it appears that he had loaned to Alex. Shepard, Jun., who was also a surveyor, a plan or survey of Maine, which Shepard disliked to return, fearing that it might be used in a manner prejudicial to the Whig cause, as Holland was an adherent of the Crown, and then in New Jersey. Congress recommended to 155Shepard to retain Holland’s plan. Major Holland went to Lower Canada, where he resumed his duties of Surveyor-General, in which capacity he served nearly fifty years. He died in 1801, and at the time of his decease he was a member of the Executive and Legislative Councils.

It was under Surveyor Holland that the first surveys were made upon the banks of the St. Lawrence and the Bay of Quinté. Major Holland was a gentleman of education, and known for his social and amiable qualities. We are indebted to the author of “Maple Leaves,” J. M. LeMoine, Esq., for information respecting Surveyor Holland. Extending from the brow of St. Foy heights along St. Louis Road at Quebec, was a piece of land of 200 acres which was known as the Holland Farm. This farm had belonged to a rich merchant of Quebec, Mon. Jean Taché, who wrote the first Canadian Poem, “Tableau de la Mer.” He was the ancestor of the late Sir E. Taché. About the year 1740 he built upon an eminence a high peaked structure, which, during the seige of Quebec, was the head quarters of Gen. Montgomery. This place was bought by Gen. Holland in 1780, who lived there in affluence for many years, subsequent to the close of the war, 1783. The elite of Quebec were wont to resort here to enjoy his hospitality, and in 1791, he entertained Edward, afterward Duke of Kent, the father of our Queen. This place is now known as Spencer Grange; but the old building has long since been removed to be replaced by the present well-known mansion. From the St. Foy Road may be seen a fir tree known as the Holland Tree. Under that tree are several graves, which some years ago were inclosed with a substantial stone wall, with an iron gate. But now only the foundation remains. Two of the graves had neat marble slabs, with the names of Samuel Holland senior, and Samuel Holland, junior. “Here rest Major Surveyor Holland, and his son, who was killed in a duel at Montreal, by Major Ward of the 60th Regiment,” by a shot from one of a brace of pistols presented to Major Holland by Gen. Wolfe. This farm is now in possession of the military authorities.

At the time of the rebellion the land of the thirteen Colonies was, in many cases, still unsurveyed, or so imperfectly laid out that frequent demands were made for the professional surveyor. In the very nature of things pertaining to the settlement of America, there was a general demand for surveyors. The country was constantly being opened up. Some of the most prominent men of the day had been surveyors. Gen. Washington commenced life as a country 156surveyor. In the war, both on the rebel and British sides, were to be found professional surveyors engaged in fighting. Consequently when the war terminated, there was no lack of surveyors to carry on the work of surveying the wilderness of Upper Canada. We have seen that Major Holland held the position of Surveyor-General, and there was duly appointed a certain number of deputies and assistants.

Even while the war was in progress, steps seem to have been taken to furnish the refugee Loyalists with new homes, upon the land still lying in a state of nature. The land in Lower Canada being in the main held by the French Canadians, it was deemed expedient to lay out along the shores of the upper waters a range of lots for their use. In pursuance of this, the first survey of land was made by order of Gen. Clarke, Acting Governor, or Military Commander, in 1781. Naturally the survey would commence at the extreme western point of French settlement. This was on the north bank of Lake St. Francis, at the cove west of Pointe au Bodet, in the limit between the Township of Lancaster, and the seigniory of New Longueil.

We have reason to believe that the surveyor at first laid out only a single range of lots fronting upon the river. In the first place a front line was established. This seems to have been done along the breadth of several proposed townships. In doing this it was desirable to have as little broken front as possible, while at the same time the frontage of each lot remained unbroken by coves of the river or bay. We are informed by the Crown Land Department that in some townships there could, in recent days, be found no posts to indicate the front line, while the side lines in the second concession were sufficiently marked.

The original surveyor along the St. Lawrence evidently did not extend his operations above Elizabethtown, which was called the ninth township, being the ninth laid out from New Longueil. This is apparent from the fact that while Elizabethtown was settled in 1781, the next township above, that of Yonge, was not settled until two years later. The quality of the land thence to Kingston was not such as would prove useful to the poor settler, and therefore was allowed for a time to remain unsurveyed. Hence it came that Cataraqui was the commencement of a second series of townships distinguished by numbers only. These two distinct ranges of townships, one upon the St. Lawrence numbering nine, and one upon the Bay numbering ten, were, when necessary, distinguished apart by the designation, the “first,” “second,” or “third” Township “upon 157the St. Lawrence,” or “upon the Bay of Quinté,” as the case might be.

It is impossible to say how far the work of surveying had progressed from Lake St. Francis westward, before the close of the war; it is very probable, however, that only a base line had been run, and some temporary mark placed to indicate the corners of each township. Such, indeed, is shown to be the case by the statement of Sheriff Sherwood, who says that his father Thomas Sherwood, who had been a subaltern in the 84th Reg., and who actually located on the first lot in the first concession of Elizabethtown, “was often called upon to run the side lines of the lots” for the settlers as they came one after another, and “to shew them their land.” Mr. Sherwood was not a professional surveyor, but “he had the instruments and practically knew well how to use them, and he was ever ready to give his assistance and instructions to the new comers.”


In the year 1783, Major Holland, Surveyor-General of Canada, received instructions from Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor of the Province of Quebec, to proceed on duty to Western Canada. Prior to this, we have observed, there had been commenced a range of lots laid out at the easternmost limits of what now forms Canada West, to the extent of nine townships. Yet evidence is wanting that this range had been completed at the period stated. Holland set out with a sufficient staff of assistants and attachés, to simultaneously lay out several of the proposed townships along the St. Lawrence, and the Bay of Quinté. The party passed up the St. Lawrence, ascending the rapids in a brigade of batteaux manned by French boatmen. Surveyor Holland had, as his personal attendant, —​—​ Bongard, who had been in the artillery under General Reidezel, of the Foreign Legion. From the son of this person, now living in Marysburgh, valuable information has been obtained, much of which has been substantiated by legal documents, published in connection with the law report of the trial respecting the Murney estate and the town of Kingston. Mr. Bongard says that Holland, as he passed up, detailed a deputy to each of the townships, stopping first at Oswegotchie, opposite Prescott, and that he passed up as far as the fourth township upon Bay Quinté, where he pitched his tent, and where he continued to hold his head-quarters, receiving the reports of the various Deputy-Surveyors as they were from time to time brought in. While it seems most probable that Holland 158came to the Upper Province in 1783, it is possible that he remained in Lower Canada until the spring of 1784, having deputed Surveyor Collins to commence a survey westward from the fort at Frontenac; or perhaps he visited that place with Collins whom he left to carry on the work during this first year.

Whether Surveyor-General Holland visited Fort Frontenac in the year 1783, or not, it was Deputy-Surveyor John Collins who made the first survey of the first township, and of the original town plot of Kingston. According to the sworn testimony of Gilbert Orser, who assisted Collins, in the year 1783, as well as others, the township was surveyed first, and the town plot afterward; although it appears that Holland’s instructions were, first “to lay out proper reservations for the town and fort, and then to proceed and lay out the township, six miles square.” The lots were to contain each 200 acres, to be 25 in number, each range. Mr. Collins placed a monument, it is averred, “at the south-east angle of lot 25, from which a line was run northerly the whole depth of the Township, six miles, where another stone monument was placed, making a line of blazed trees throughout.” From this, it would seem, he continued to survey the township, leaving the land for the town, which he, no doubt, thought extensive enough, to be laid out into town lots, and leaving 40 feet of land, which was to form a road between the town and township. Respecting this line and lot 25, there has been a great deal of litigation. As nearly as the facts can be gathered, the following statement may be regarded as correct:

After Collins had completed the survey of the township, and had even made his returns, to the effect that it contained 25 lots, of 200 acres, he was importuned, or ‘induced by the Commanding Officer at Fort Frontenac,’ to make lot 25 contain only 100 acres, that more ground might thereby be had for the proposed town. More than this, it seems that there was some mistake in the said eastern side line, so as to subsequently limit lot 25 to even less than 100 acres. And, Capt. Michael Grass, when he took possession of this lot, in 1784, found that this line was inaccurately run. Deputy-Surveyor Kotte was requested to examine it; and finding there was an error, made representations to Government, who sent persons to correct it. One Deputy-Surveyor Tuffy was directed to re-survey the line, and he gave more land to lot 25. However, there was yet some error, which was a source of great trouble. Capt. Michael Grass sold this lot to Capt. Murney, who, subsequently finding it did not contain the amount of land which the patent assumed, applied legally for his rights.

159The surveying party, among whom were some of those who subsequently settled in the township, and who must have belonged to Capt. Grass’ company of refugees, returned to Sorel, where they spent the winter. At least this is the testimony of one of the grand-children of Capt. Grass. But if the surveying party did, this winter of 1783–4, retire from their work to Lower Canada, it appears unlikely they did the following winter. Indeed there are indications that surveying went on during the winter. In laying out the Townships, special attention was given to make the lots front squarely upon the Bay. In the winter the base line could be more closely run by the water edge upon the ice, than in summer, through the woods. We are informed, at the Crown Lands Department, that in some townships no posts or other marks had at first been found in the re-survey, although such were to be found in the 2nd concession. The inference was, that the posts planted in winter by the water, had, in the spring or summer been washed away, in the course of time. This, as may be supposed, led in time to great confusion, and no little litigation. For many years there was much trouble to establish the land marks all along the front; and cases are not wanting where it has been charged that fraudulent removals of posts were made. The straightforward settler, while engaged in his daily and yearly round of toil, thought not of the side lines of his farm, fully believing that a survey had been definitely fixed by marks that could not be altered, and too often when plenty and comfort had come, he was startled to find some one claiming some of his cleared or uncleared land. Although conscious that such and such were the boundaries of the land granted to him, it was not so easy to prove that such was the case. The annoyances of these direct and indirect attempts to disinherit, may easily be imagined. In this connection, the following letter may be given as exemplifying the feelings, if not the facts—​perhaps both—​which belonged to those days. It appeared in the Kingston Gazette in 1816, over the signature “A.”

Sir,—​The situation of the old settlers in the Province of Upper Canada, is truly deplorable. These people settled in the wilds of Canada, then the Province of Quebec, under the surveys made by the acting Surveyor-General. Landmarks being established for the guidance of their improvements: no deeds were given them until the Parliament of Great Britain altered the Quebec bill, arranged a new constitution, similar to that they had lost during the rebellion, in the Province of New York, from whence they 160chiefly came to settle at Frontenac, now Kingston. After cultivating the country agreeably to those surveys for twenty years or more, deeds are issued to cover those lots, drawn and cultivated as above mentioned. The Surveyor-General, David William Smith, Speaker of the House of Assembly, knowing that these deeds were filled up by guess, the survey never having been made complete, wisely provided an Act of the Legislature to prevent the deeds from moving the old land-marks. This Act provides that when thirty freeholders apply to the Magistrates in session they shall make an assessment and collect the money to enable the Surveyor-General to erect monuments, in order to preserve their ancient land-marks and boundaries. What is the reason that this Act has not been complied with? Are the Magistrates all landholders and their sons Lawyers?

“An order from the Governor has lain in the Surveyor-General’s office ever since the year 1801 for monuments to be erected in the Township of Kingston, agreeable to the intention of that Act. Why will not the Magistrates do their duty? The consequence is, that the licensed Surveyor, John Ryder, is running new lines every day, and moving the land-marks of the old settlers. People who have come into the country from the States, marry into a family, and obtain a lot of wild land, get John Ryder to move the land-marks, and instead of a wild lot, take by force a fine house and barn and orchard, and a well cultured farm, and turn the old Tory, (as he is called) out of his house, and all his labor for thirty years.

“These old settlers have suffered all that men could suffer; first in a seven years’ rebellion in the revolutionized colonies; then came to a remote wilderness, some hundred miles from any inhabitant—​not a road, not a cow, or an ox, or a horse to assist them; no bread during the winter, they wintered first at Cataraqui. A little pease and pork was all they could get until the ice gave way in the spring of 1785.

“The King, as an acknowledgment and mark of his approbation for the loyalty and sufferings of his faithful subjects, ordered lands to be granted them free from expense, and marked each man’s name with the letters U. E., with a grant annexed to each child as it became of age, of two hundred acres of the waste lands of the crown.

“Now these children cannot get these lands agreeably to the intention of Government. They must sell their right to a set of speculators that hover round the seat of Government, or never get 161located. Or if they should have the fortune to get a location ticket, it is situated on rocks, and lakes, and barren lands, where they are worth nothing at all; the good lots being marked by the Surveyors, and located by those U. E. rights they have so purchased.

“Now, Sir, was I a scholar, I might draw you a much better description of this wickedness. But I have lived to see thirteen colonies, now States of America, severed from the British empire by the mal-administration of justice in the civil government of those colonies; the people’s minds were soured to that degree that a few designing men overthrew the Government.”

“After the conquest of Canada, the king ordered a thousand acres of land to be granted to each man. The land was granted; but the people to whom it was granted were deprived by a set of speculators, from ever getting a foot, unless they became tenants to those who, in a manner, had robbed them of their rights.”

While the lots were generally made twenty chains in width, a few of the first townships were but nineteen, and consequently of greater depth to make the 200 acres, and the concessions were proportionally wider.

The base line being established, a second one, parallel thereto, was made at a distance generally of a mile and a quarter, allowance being made in addition, for a road. It is more than likely that in many townships the second line, or concession, was not immediately run out. The settlers could not easily traverse even a mile of woods, and for a time accommodation was made only at the front. But within a year, in most townships, the second row of lots had been surveyed and partially occupied. At the front line was always an allowance for a road of sixty feet, as well as at the second line for one of forty feet. The range of lots between the front and the second lines as well as between the second and third, and so on, was called a Concession, a term derived from the French, having reference to their mode of conferring land in the Lower Province, and peculiar to this country. Each concession was divided into lots of 200 acres each, the dividing lines being at right angles with the concession lines, and a quarter of a mile distant from each other. At intervals of two or three miles, a strip of forty feet between two lots was left, for a cross road. In Ameliasburgh it seems that this was neglected. The number of concessions depended on circumstances. Along the St. Lawrence, they numbered to even fifteen or sixteen. Along the bay they were seven and eight. Adolphustown has only four. The irregular course of the Bay Quinté, and the fronting of the townships upon its waters, gave rise to great irregularity 162in the interior lots, and produced a large number of Gores. This may be noticed more especially in Sophiasburgh, and indeed throughout all of Prince Edward district.

Respecting the provision made for cross roads, Alex. Aitkins, who was Deputy Surveyor of Midland district for many years, says under date, 1797, in respect to the township of Sophiasburgh, “Mr. Kotte’s orders 1785, were from Deputy Surveyor General, Mr. Collins, who was then at Kingston, to lay off cross roads between every six lots as he had done in the eastern part of the province, from township number one, now Charlotteburgh, to township number eight Elizabethtown, and, of no doubt, they would be found at the waters’ edge on the Bay Quinté.”

By looking at the township maps of the bay, it will be seen that the lots of the first three townships, are numbered from west to east, while as we have seen, the townships were numbered from east to west. It is inferred from this fact that the surveyor conducted his survey along the front, planting posts to mark the division of lots, and leaving allowance for roads, but did not complete the concessions until the breadth of the townships had been determined, when it was done from west to east, the lots being numbered accordingly.

The surveyor continued to chain the front, upon the north shore of the bay, until he reached the turn in the bay at the western point of Adolphustown. This portion of territory was divided into four townships.

The surveyor then crossed the bay and proceeded from the Upper Gap, to lay out lots in an irregular manner upon the water, along the bay and the lake to, and around Smith’s Bay, and along Black Creek; also upon the east shore of Picton Bay. This constituted the fifth township. Following the bay shore of Prince Edward peninsula from Picton Bay, along the High Shore and around Green Point, another, the sixth township, was laid out; the lots always fronting on the bay. Still following the bay, the seventh township was created, the western boundary of which brought the surveyor to the head of the bay, or Carrying Place.

Turning eastward along the north shore of the bay, the eighth township was laid out. Likewise, the ninth township, which brought the surveyor to a tract of land which had been reserved for, and given to the faithful Mohawk Indians. Passing by the present township of Tyendinaga, still another township was laid out fronting upon the Mohawk Bay, and Napanee River. This constituted the tenth township, Richmond. Thus the surveyors had made a complete circuit of 163the bay. These townships were, for many a day, designated by the numeral prefix; even yet may be found gray haired individuals who speak of them in no other way. Subsequently, however, these townships had given to them respectively, the royal names of Kingston, Ernest town, Fredericksburgh, Adolphustown, Marysburgh, Ameliasburgh, Sophiasburgh; and the noble ones of Sidney, Thurlow, and Richmond.

There would at the present time, be nothing so interesting to the settlers of the bay, than to read a diary of the events connected with the original survey. Surveying the wilderness is weary work at any time; but when the persons who take part in striking the lines and fixing the boundaries, have constantly in mind that when their survey is completed, they cannot return to civilization and the comforts of a home, but that they have to remain to become citizens of the forest, they must experience many a heart pang. Yet there seems to have been a lightheartedness with most of them. The camp fire at night witnessed many pleasant hours of jovial pass-time. Singing, storytelling, wiled away agreeably many an hour. Accompanying Collins’ surveying party, was one Purdy, who gained no little renown as a capital singer.

We will close our remarks upon the original survey by giving the statement of Gourlay. He says that “such was the haste to get land surveyed and given away, that ignorant and careless men were employed to measure it out, and such a mess did they make of their land measuring, that one of the present surveyors informed me that in running new lines over a great extent of the province, he found spare room for a whole township in the midst of those laid out at an early period. It may readily be conceived, upon consideration of this fact, what blundering has been committed, and what mistakes stand for correction.”



Contents—​The term Concession—​First Concession of Land in Canada—​The Carignan Regiment—​Seigniories—​Disproportion of the sexes—​Females sent from France—​Their appearance—​Settling them—​Marriage allowance—​The last seigniory—​New Longeuil—​Seigniory at Frontenac—​Grants to Refugees—​Officers and men—​Scale of granting—​Free of expense—​Squatting—​Disbanded soldiers—​Remote regions—​A wise and beneficent policy—​Impostors—​Very young officers—​Wholesale granting of land—​Republicans coming over—​Covetous—​False pretensions—​Government had to discriminate—​Rules and regulations—​Family lands—​Bounty—​Certificates—​Selling claims—​Rear concessions—​Transfer of location ticket—​Land board—​Tardiness in obtaining titles to real estate—​Transfer by bond—​Jobbing—​Sir Wm. Pullency—​Washington—​Giving lands to favorites—​Reserves—​Evil results—​The Family Compact—​Extract from Playter—​Extract from Lord Durham—​From Gourlay—​Recompense to Loyalists—​Rations—​Mode of drawing land—​Land Agent—​Broken front—​Traitor Arnold—​Tyendinaga.


It has been stated that the term concession, as well as the system of granting land to disbanded soldiers, was derived from the French. The first concession of lands to soldiers took place in 1665, to the Carignan Regiment, a name derived from a Prince of the house of Savoy, which came to New France with the first Viceroy. It was a distinguished corps in the French Infantry, having won renown on many a bloody field, and carried death to many an Iroquois Indian. The Indians having sought peace from the French, leave was granted to this regiment to permanently settle in the New World. Titles to land was conferred according to rank, and as well, sums of money to assist in the clearing of land. “The officers, who were mostly noblesse obtained seigniories with their late soldiers for vassals.” The settlement of this body of men increased the disproportion between the males and females in Canada. The home government considerately took steps to remedy this abnormal state of things and despatched “several hundred from old France.” They “consisted of tall, short, fair, brown, fat and lean.” These females were offered to such of the men as had means to support a wife. In a few days they were all disposed of. The Governor-General then distributed to the newly married ones “oxen, cows, hogs, fowls, salted beef,” as well as money.—​(Smith.)

The original grants of land by the French Government under the feudal system, was into seigniories. These were subdivided into parishes, “whose extents were exactly defined by De Vandreuil and Bigon, September 1721.” For these grants of seignioral tenure, certain acts of fealty were to be performed, pursuant to the custom of Paris. 165After the British supremacy, grants of land were still made by government in Lower Canada. The last seigniory was conferred by the French in April, 1734, to Chevalier de Longeuil, and is known as New Longeuil. It constitutes the western boundary of the Lower Province.


We have elsewhere seen that the first person, other than the natives, to possess land in Upper Canada, was De la Salle, the discoverer of the Mississippi River, to whom was granted a seigniory at Cataraqui, of four leagues, including the fort, and the islands in front of the four leagues of territory. Wolfe, Gage and Amherst Islands.

At the close of the war in 1783, it was determined by government to confer grants of land to the refugee loyalists in Canada, on the same scale to officers and men as had been done after the conquest of Canada, 1763, with the exception that all loyalists under the rank of subaltern were to receive 200 acres. The grants to the disbanded soldiers and loyalists, were to be made free of every expense.

In some of the townships, the settlers were squatting along the St. Lawrence and Bay Quinté, until late in the summer and fall of 1784, waiting to know the location of their lots. This might easily be, as although the forest had been surveyed, the lots had not been numbered. So, although the refugee soldier had his location ticket for a certain lot, it was often a long tedious time before he could know its precise situation.

The front part of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth townships upon the bay were definitely disposed of to disbanded soldiers and refugees, formed into companies. But the lands, then considered more remote, as along the north shore of Hay Bay, in the third and fourth towns; in some parts of the fifth; and more particularly along the shores of the western extremity of the bay, were at the service of any one who might venture to settle. It was considered quite in the remote part of the earth. Even the head of Picton Bay was considered a place which would hardly be settled. The result was, that many of the choice lots were taken up in the eighth and ninth towns, before they were surveyed.

The policy pursued by the British Government, in recognizing the services of those who served in the British army against the rebels, and in recompensing the losses sustained by those who adhered to the British Crown in America, was most wise and beneficent. There were a few deserving ones in suffering circumstances, who failed to get 166the bounty so wisely granted. This sometimes was the result of the individual’s own neglect, in not advancing his claims; sometimes the fault of an agent who, too intent in getting for himself, forget those entrusted to his care. While a small number thus remained without justice, there were on the other hand, a large number who succeeded unworthily in obtaining grants. It is no cause for wonder, that out of the large number who composed the U. E. Loyalists, there would be found a certain number who would not hesitate to so represent, or misrepresent their case, that an undue reward would be accorded. Finding the government on the giving hand, they scrupled not to take advantage of its parental kindness. In later days we have seen the United States, when in the throes of a great civil war, bleeding at every point of the body politic, by the unprincipled contractors and others, who the most loudly proclaimed their patriotism. In 1783, when a rebellion had proved successful, and so had become a revolution, and the nation, from which a branch had been struck off, was most anxious to repay those who had preferred loyalty to personal aggrandizement, we may not wonder that there were some willing to take all they could get.

It is also related that certain officers of the regiments were in the habit of putting each of their children, however young, upon the strength of the regiment, with the view of securing him land, and hence arose an expression the “Major won’t take his pap,” and “half pay officers never die,” as the officer placed on half pay when a year old, would long enjoy it. But it will be often found that this mode was adopted by those in authority, as the most convenient to confer favors upon the chief officers, although a very ridiculous one.

For many a year no strict rules for discrimination, were observed in the granting of lands in Canada, and the petitions which literally crowded upon the government, were, in the main, promptly complied with. The time came, however, when more care had to be observed, for not a few of those who had actually rebelled, or had sympathized with the rebels, finding less advantages from republicanism than had been promised, and with chagrin, learning that those, whose homesteads and lands they had assisted to confiscate, had wrought out new homes upon land, conferred by a government more liberal, and of a nobler mind than the parvenu government, which had erected a new flag upon American soil, looked now with longing, covetous eyes toward the northern country, which those they had persecuted, had converted from a wilderness 167to comfortable homes. The trials of the first settlement had been overcome. The occasional visit of a Canadian pioneer to his old home in the States, where he told the pleasing tale of success, notwithstanding their cruelty, caused some to envy their hard earned comforts, and even led some who had been the worst of rebels, to set out for Canada with a view of asserting their loyalty and, thereby of procuring lands. Not a few of such unworthy ones succeeded for a time in procuring lands. It therefore became necessary, on the part of the government, to exact the most searching examination of parties petitioning for land. No reference is here made to those who came into the province in response to the invitation proclaimed by Governor Simcoe; but to those who entered under false colors, prior to the time of Upper Canada being set apart from Lower Canada.

Extracts from the Rules and Regulations for the conduct of the Land Office Department, dated Council Chamber, 17th February, 1789, for the guidance of the Land Boards.

“4th. The safety and propriety of admitting the petitioner to become an inhabitant of this Province being well ascertained to the satisfaction of the Board, they shall administer to every such person the oaths of fidelity and allegiance directed by law; after which the Board shall give every such petitioner a certificate to the Surveyor General or any person authorized to act as an Agent or Deputy Surveyor for the district within the trust of that Board, expressing the ground of the petitioner’s admission, and such Agent or Deputy Surveyor shall, within two days after the presentment of the certificate, assign the petitioner a single lot of about two hundred acres, describing the same with due certainty and accuracy under his signature. But the said certificate shall, nevertheless, have no effect if the petitioner shall not enter upon the location, and begin the improvement and cultivation thereof within one year from the date of such assignment, or if the petitioner shall have had lands assigned to him before that time in any other part of the Province.

“7th. The respective Boards shall, on petition from the Loyalists already settled in the Upper Districts for the allotment of lands under the instructions to the Deputy Surveyor General of the 2nd of June, 1787, or under prior or other orders for assigning portions to their families, examine into the grounds of such requests and claims, and being well satisfied of the justice thereof, they shall grant certificates for such further qualities of lands as the said 168instructions and orders may warrant to the acting Surveyors of their Districts respectively, to be by them made effectual in the manner before mentioned, but to be void, nevertheless, if prior to the passing the grant in form, it shall appear to the Government that such additional locations have been obtained by fraud, and that of these the Boards transmit to the office of the Governor’s Secretary, and to each others, like reports and lists as hereinbefore, as to the other locations directed.

“8th. And to prevent individuals from monopolizing such spots as contain mines, minerals, fossils, and conveniences for mills, and other similar advantages of a common and public nature, to the prejudice of the general interest of the settler, the Surveyor-General and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors in the different districts, shall confine themselves in the location to be made by them upon certificates of the respective Boards, to such lands only as are fit for the common purpose of husbandry; and they shall reserve all other spots aforementioned, together with all such as may be fit and useful for ports and harbours, or works of defence, or such as contain valuable timber for ships, building or other purposes, conveniently situated for water carriage, in the hands of the Crown, and they shall, without delay, give all particular information to the Governor or Commander-in-Chief for the time being, of all such spots as are hereinbefore directed to be reserved to the Crown, that order may be taken respecting the same. And the more effectually to prevent abuses and to put individuals on their guard in this respect, any certificate of location given contrary to the true intent and meaning of this regulation is hereby declared to be null and void, and a special order of the Governor and Council made necessary to pledge the faith of Government for granting of any such spots as are directed to be reserved.


“Certificate of the Board appointed by His Excellency the Governor, for the District of —​—​, in the Province of Quebec, under the rules and regulations for the conduct of the Land Office Department.

“Dated, Council Chamber, Quebec, 17th February, 1789.

“The bearer —​—​, having on the —​—​ day of —​—​, preferred to the Board a Petition addressed to His Excellency the Governor in Council, for a grant of —​—​ acres of land in the Township of —​—​ in the District of —​—​. We have examined into 169his character and pretentions, and find that he has received —​—​ acres of land in the Township of —​—​, in the District of —​—​, and that he settled on and has improved the same, and that he is entitled to a further assignment of —​—​ acres, —​—​ in conformity to the seventh articles of the rules and regulations aforementioned.

“Given at the Board at this —​—​ day of —​—​, one thousand seven hundred and —​—​.

“To —​—​

“Acting Surveyor for the District of —​—​.


“I assign to the bearer —​—​ the lot No. —​—​ in the Township of —​—​, in the District of —​—​, containing —​—​ acres, —​—​ chains, which lands he is hereby authorized to occupy and improve, and having improved the same, he shall receive the same grant thereof, to him and his heirs or devisee in due form on such terms as it shall please His Majesty to ordain, and all persons are desired to take notice that this assignment and all others of a similar nature are not transferable, by purchase, donation or otherwise, on any pretence whatever, except by an act under the signature of the Board for the District in which the lands are situated, which is to be endorsed upon this Certificate.

“Given at —​—​, this —​—​ day of —​—​, one thousand seven hundred and —​—​.

“To —​—​

“Acting Surveyor for the District of —​—​.”

But there were many a one who drew land, and never even saw it. It was quickly, thoughtlessly sometimes, sold for little or nothing. Sometimes for a quart of rum. The right jolly old soldier would take no thought of the morrow. A few did not retain their lands, because they were of little value for agricultural purposes; but the majority because they were situated in that remote region in the 4th or 5th concession of the third town, or away up in the 2nd concession of sixth town, or a long way up in the eighth town. Rear concessions of even the first and second townships were looked upon doubtingly, as to whether the land was worth having. Often the land would not be looked after. It not unfrequently was the case that settlers upon the front who had drawn land also in the rear townships, disposed of the latter, not from any indifference as to its future value, but to obtain the immediate 170necessaries of life, as articles of clothing, or stock, or perhaps food, or seed grain, and now and then in later days to pay taxes. The certificates of the children, entitling them to land when of age, were often disposed of. Even officers found it convenient, or necessary to sell rear land to new comers, for ready money.

Thus it came to pass that a good many never took possession of the land which a prudent Government had granted them. The statement has been made that persons holding prominent positions at the time, and possessed of prudent forethought, as to the value which would in the future attach to certain lots, stood ready not only to accept offers to sell, but to induce the ignorant and careless to dispose of their claims. Consequently when patents were issued, several persons became patentees of large tracts of land, which had been drawn by individual Loyalists, whose names never appeared in the Crown Land Office. The transfer of a certificate or “location ticket,” consisted in the seller writing his name upon the back of the ticket. Occasionally a ticket would exchange hands several times, so that at last when it was presented to obtain the deed, it was difficult to determine who was the owner. The power to thus transfer the certificates, was allowed for several years. But in time Government discovered the abuses which had arisen out of it, and decided that all patents should, thenceforward, be in the name of the person who originally drew the land. Not unfrequently these certificates were lost. The losers, upon claiming land, could not establish their rights; but Government, to meet this misfortune, created a Land Board for each Township, whose duty it was to examine and determine the claims of all who presented them.

The following extract of a letter will explain itself:

For the Kingston Gazette, June 1st, 1816.

“It has long been a subject of deep regret in the minds of judicious persons, that the inhabitants of this Province should be so neglectful as they are in securing their titles of real estate. When the country was first settled, the grants of land from the crown, on account of the existing state of the Province, could not be immediately issued. The settlers, however, drew their lots and went into possession of them, receiving only tickets, or certificates, as the evidence of their right to them. In the meantime, exchanges and sales were made by transfers of the possession with bonds for conveyances when the deeds should be obtained from the Crown Office.

171“This practice of transferring land by way of bond, being thus introduced, was continued by force of usage, after the cause of its introduction was removed. In too many instances it is still continued, although, by the death of the parties, and the consequent descent of estates to heirs under age, and other intervening privations, many disappointments, failures, and defects of title, are already experienced; and the evil consequences are becoming still more serious, as lands rise in value, become more settled and divided among assignees, devisees, &c. In a few years this custom, more prevalent perhaps in this Province, than elsewhere, will prove a fruitful source of litigation, unless the practice should be discontinued.”

In connection with free grants of land, and a certain degree of indifference as to the value, there must necessarily arise more or less speculation or land-jobbing.

Sir William Pullency has been called the first land-jobber in Canada. In 1791, he bought up 1,500,000, at one shilling per acre, and soon after sold 700,000 at an average of eight shillings per acre. But land-jobbing is not peculiar to Canada, nor has its practice militated against the public character of eminent men, either here or abroad. General Washington was not only a Surveyor, but an extensive land-jobber, and thereby increased immensely his private fortune.

We have seen elsewhere, that a few private individuals were wont to buy the location tickets of all who desired to part with them, or whom they could induce to sell. In this way a few individuals came to own large quantities of land, even from the first. Afterward, there was often conferred by the authorities, quantities of land upon those connected with influential persons, or upon favorites. Subsequently the mode of reserving Crown and Clergy lands increased the evil. And it was an evil, a serious drawback; not alone that, but favorites procured land without any particular claim or right. The land thus held in reserve, being distributed among the settled lots in the several townships, was waste land, and a barrier to advancement. Each settler had to clear a road across his lot; but the Government lots, and those held by non-residents, remained without any road across them, except such paths as the absolute requirements of the settlers had caused them to make. In this way, the interests of the inhabitants were much retarded, and the welfare of the Province seriously damaged. The existence of the Family Compact prevented the removal of this evil, for many 172a year, while favorites enjoyed choice advantages. In 1817, “The House of Assembly in Upper Canada took into consideration the state of the Province, and among other topics, the injury arising from the reserve lands of the Crown and the Clergy.” In laying out the townships in later years, “The Government reserved in the first concession, the 5th, 15th, and 20th lots; and the Clergy the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 22nd. In the second concession, the Crown reserved the 4th, 11th, 21st, and 23rd; and the Clergy, the 2nd, 9th, and 16th. And thus in every two concessions, the Crown would have three lots in one, and four in the other, or seven in all; and the Clergy the same; or 14 lots reserved in every 48, or nearly one-third of the land in each concession, and in each township. The object of the reservation was to increase the value of such land by the improvements of the settlers around it. The object was selfish, as the reserve lands injured all those who did them good. It was difficulty enough to clear up the forests; but to leave so many lots in this forest state, was a difficulty added by the Crown. To have one-third of a concession uncleared and uncultivated, was an injury to the two-thirds cleared and cultivated. Large patches of forest, interspersed with cultivated land, obstructs the water courses, the air, and the light; nurtured wild animals and vermin destructive to crops and domestic creatures around a farm house; and especially, are injurious to roads running through them, by preventing the wind and the sun from drying the moisture. Besides, no taxes were paid by these wild lots for any public improvements; only from cultivated lands. The Assembly, however, were cut short in their work of complaint, by being suddenly prorogued by the Governor, whose Council was entirely against such an investigation. Here was the beginning of the Clergy Reserve agitation in the Provincial Parliament, which continued for many years.”—​(Playter.)

In this connection, the following extract from a report of Lord Durham, will be found interesting:

“By official returns which accompany this report, it appears that, out of about 17,000,000 acres comprised within the surveyed districts of Upper Canada, less than 1,600,000 acres are yet unappropriated, and this amount includes 450,000 acres the reserve for roads, leaving less than 1,200,000 acres open to grant, and of this remnant 500,000 acres are required to satisfy claims for grants founded on pledges by the Government. In the opinion of Mr. Radenhurst, the really acting Surveyor-General, the remaining 700,000 consist 173for the most, part of land inferior in position or quality. It may almost be said, therefore, that the whole of the public lands in Upper Canada have been alienated by the Government. In Lower Canada, out of 6,169,963 acres in the surveyed townships, nearly 4,000,000 acres have been granted or sold; and there are unsatisfied but indisputable claims for grants to the amount of about 500,000. In Nova Scotia nearly 6,000,000 acres of land have been granted, and in the opinion of the Surveyor-General, only about one-eighth of the land which remains to the Crown, or 300,000 acres is available for the purposes of settlement. The whole of Prince Edward’s Island, about 1,400,000 acres, was alienated in one day. In New Brunswick 4,400,000 acres have been granted or sold, leaving to the Crown about 11,000,000, of which 5,500,000 are considered fit for immediate settlement.

“Of the lands granted in Upper and Lower Canada, upwards of 3,000,000 acres consist of ‘Clergy Reserves,’ being for the most part lots of 200 acres each, scattered at regular intervals over the whole face of the townships, and remaining, with few exceptions, entirely wild to this day. The evils produced by the system of reserving land for the Clergy have become notorious, even in this country; and a common opinion I believe prevails here, not only that the system has been abandoned, but that measures of remedy have been adopted. This opinion is incorrect in both points. In respect of every new township in both Provinces reserves are still made for the Clergy, just as before; and the Act of the Imperial Parliament which permits the sale of the Clergy Reserves, applies to only one-fourth of the quantity The select committee of the House of Commons on the civil government of Canada reported in 1828, that “these reserved lands, as they are at present distributed over the country, retard more than any other circumstance the growth of the colony, lying as they do in detached portions of each township, and intervening between the occupations of actual settlers, who have no means of cutting roads through the woods and morasses, which thus separate them from their neighbours. This description is perfectly applicable to the present state of things. In no perceptible degree has the evil been remedied.

“The system of Clergy Reserves was established by the act of 1791, commonly called the Constitutional Act, which directed that, in respect of all grants made by the Crown, a quantity equal to one-seventh of the land so granted should be reserved for the clergy. A quantity equal to one-seventh of all grants would be one-eighth 174of each township, or of all the public land. Instead of this proportion, the practice has been, ever since the act passed, and in the clearest violation of its provisions, to set apart for the clergy in Upper Canada a seventh of all the land, which is a quantity equal to a sixth of the land granted. There have been appropriated for this purpose 300,000 acres, which legally, it is manifest, belong to the public. And of the amount for which Clergy Reserves have been sold in that Province, namely, £317,000 (of which about £100,000 have been already received and invested in the English funds,) the sum of about £45,000 should belong to the public.

“In Lower Canada, the same violation of the law has taken place, with this difference—​that upon every sale of Crown and Clergy Reserves, a fresh reserve for the Clergy has been made, equal to one-fifth of such reserves. The result has been the appropriation for the clergy of 673,567 acres, instead of 446,000, being an excess of 227,559 acres, or half as much again as they ought to have received. The Lower Canada fund already produced by sales amounts to £50,000, of which, therefore, a third, or about £16,000, belong to the public. If, without any reform of this abuse, the whole of the unsold Clergy Reserves in both Provinces should fetch the average price at which such lands have hitherto sold, the public would be wronged to the amount of about £280,000; and the reform of this abuse will produce a certain and almost immediate gain to the public of £60,000. In referring, for further explanation of this subject, to a paper in the appendix which has been drawn up by Mr. Hanson, a member of the commission of inquiry which I appointed for the colonies. I am desirous of stating my own conviction that the clergy have had no part in this great misappropriation of the public property, but that it has arisen entirely from heedless misconception, or some other error, of the civil government of both Provinces.”

“The great objection to reserves for the clergy is, that those for whom the land is set apart never have attempted, and never could successfully attempt, to cultivate or settle the property, and that, by special appropriation, so much land is withheld from settlers, and kept in a state of waste, to the serious injury of all settlers in its neighborhood. But it would be a great mistake to suppose that this is the only practice by which such injury has been, and still is, inflicted on actual settlers. In the two Canadas, especially, the practice of rewarding, or attempting to reward, public services by grants of public land, has produced, and is still 175producing, a degree of injury to actual settlers which it is difficult to conceive without having witnessed it. The very principle of such grants is bad, inasmuch as, under any circumstances, they must lead to an amount of appropriation beyond the wants of the community, and greatly beyond the proprietor’s means of cultivation and settlement. In both the Canadas, not only has this principle been pursued with reckless profusion, but the local executive governments have managed, by violating or evading the instructions which they received from the Secretary of State, to add incalculably to the mischiefs that would have arisen at all events.

“In Upper Canada, 3,200,000 acres have been granted to “U. E. Loyalists,” being refugees from the United States, who settled in the province before 1787, and their children; 730,000 acres to Militia men; 450,000 acres to discharged Soldiers and Sailors; 225,000 acres to Magistrates and Barristers; 136,000 acres to Executive Councillors, and their families; 50,000 acres to five Legislative Councillors, and their families; 36,900 acres to Clergymen, as private property; 264,000 to persons contracting to make surveys; 92,526 acres to officers of the Army and Navy; 500,000 acres for the endowment of schools; 48,520 acres to Colonel Talbot; 12,000 acres to heirs of General Brock, and 12,000 acres to Dr. Mountain, a former Bishop of Quebec; making altogether, with the Clergy Reserves, nearly half of all the surveyed land in the province. In Lower Canada, exclusively of grants to refugee loyalists, as to the amount of which the Crown Lands’ Department could furnish me with no information, 450,000 acres having been granted to Militiamen, to Executive Councillors 72,000 acres, to Governor Milne, about 48,000 acres, to Mr. Cushing and another, upwards of 100,000 acres (as a reward for giving information in a case of high treason), to officers and soldiers 200,000 acres, and to “leaders of townships” 1,457,209 acres, making altogether, with the Clergy Reserves, rather more than half of the surveyed lands originally at the disposal of the Crown.

“In Upper Canada, a very small proportion (perhaps less than a tenth) of all the land thus granted, has been even occupied by settlers, much less reclaimed and cultivated. In Lower Canada, with the exception of a few townships bordering on the American frontier, which have been comparatively well settled, in despite of the proprietors, by American squatters, it may be said that nineteen-twentieths of these grants are still unsettled, and in a perfectly wild state.

176“No other result could have been expected in the case of those classes of grantees whose station would preclude them from settling in the wilderness, and whose means would enable them to avoid exertion for giving immediate value to their grants; and unfortunately, the land which was intended for persons of a poorer order, who might be expected to improve it by their labor, has, for the most part, fallen into the hands of land-jobbers of the class just mentioned, who have never thought of settling in person, and who retain the land in its present wild state, speculating upon its acquiring a value at some distant day, when the demand for land shall have increased through the increase of population.

“In Upper Canada,” says Mr. Bolton, himself a great speculator and holder of wild land, “the plan of granting large tracts of land to gentlemen who have neither the muscular strength to go into the wilderness, nor perhaps, the pecuniary means to improve their grants, has been the means of a large part of the country remaining in a state of wilderness. The system of granting land to the children of U. E. Loyalists has not been productive of the benefits expected from it. A very small proportion of the land granted to them has been occupied or improved. A great proportion of such grants were to unmarried females, who very readily disposed of them for a small consideration, frequently from £2 to £5 for a grant of 200 acres. The grants made to young men were also frequently sold for a very small consideration; they generally had parents with whom they lived, and were therefore not disposed to move to their grants of lands, but preferred remaining with their families. I do not think one-tenth of the lands granted to U. E. Loyalists has been occupied by the persons to whom they were granted, and in a great proportion of cases not occupied at all.” Mr. Randenhurst says, “the general price of these grants was from a gallon of rum up to perhaps £6, so that while millions of acres were granted in this way, the settlement of the Province was not advanced, nor the advantage of the grantee secured in the manner that we may suppose to have been contemplated by government.” He also mentions amongst extensive purchasers of these grants, Mr. Hamilton, a member of the Legislative Council, who bought about 100,000 acres. Chief Justices Emslie and Powell, and Solicitor General Gray, who purchased from 20,800 to 50,000 acres; and states that several members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, as well as of the House of Assembly, were “very large purchasers.”

177“In Lower Canada, the grants to “Leaders and Associates” were made by an evasion of instructions which deserve a particular description.

“By instructions to the Local Executive immediately after the passing of the Constitutional Act, it was directed that “because great inconveniences had theretofore arisen in many of the colonies in America, from the granting excessive quantities of land to particular persons who have never cultivated or settled the same, and have thereby prevented others more industrious, from improving such lands; in order, therefore, to prevent the like inconveniences in future, no farm-lot should be granted to any person being master or mistress of a family in any township to be laid out which should contain more than 200 acres.” The instructions then invest the governor with a discretionary power to grant additional quantities in certain cases, not exceeding 1,000 acres. According to these instructions 200 acres should have been the general amount, 1,200 the maximum, in special cases to be granted to any individual. The greater part, however, of the land (1,457,200 acres) was granted, in fact, to individuals at the rate of from 10,000 to 50,000 to each person. The evasion of the regulations was managed as follows: A petition, signed by from 10 to 40 or 50 persons, was presented to the Executive Council, praying for a grant of 1,200 acres to each person, and promising to settle the land so applied for. Such petitions were, I am informed, always granted, the Council being perfectly aware that, under a previous agreement between the applicants (of which the form was prepared by the then Attorney General, and sold publicly by the law stationers of Quebec), five-sixths of the land was to be conveyed to one of them, termed leader, by whose means the grant was obtained. In most cases the leader obtained the most of the land which had been nominally applied for by fifty persons.”

Upon this subject we further give as worthy of attention, although we will not endorse all that is said, the remarks made by Mr. Robert Gourlay in his “Statistical Account.” He says, “when we look back into the history of old countries, and observe how landed property was first established; how it was seized upon, pulled about, given away, and divided in all sorts of ways, shapes, and quantities; how it was bequeathed, burdened, entailed, and leased in a hundred forms; when we consider how dark were the days of antiquity,—​how grossly ignorant and savage were our remote forefathers, we cannot be so much surprised at finding ourselves heirs to confusion; and, that, in these old countries, entanglement continues 178to be the order of the day. But when civilized men were quietly and peaceably to enter into the occupancy of a new region, where all could be adjusted by the square and compass; and when order, from the beginning, could have prevented for ever all possibility of doubt, and dispute, and disturbance; how deplorable is it to know, that in less than a life-time, even the simplest affairs should get into confusion! and so it is already in Upper Canada, to a lamentable degree. Boundaries of land are doubtful and disputed: deeds have been mislaid, lost, unfounded, forged: they have been passed again and again in review before commissioners: they have been blotted and blurred: they have got into the repositories of attornies and pettifogging lawyers; while courts of justice are every day adding doubt to doubt, delay to delay, and confusion to confusion; with costs, charges, cheating.

“Things are not yet beyond the reach of amendment, even in the old settlements. In the new, what a glorious task it is to devise plans for lasting peace and prosperity!—​to arrange in such a way, as to bar out a world of turmoil in times to come!

“The present very unprofitable and comfortless condition of Upper Canada must be traced back to the first operations of Simcoe. With all his honesty, and energy, and zeal for settling the Province, he had really no sound views on the subject, and he was infinitely too lavish in disposing of the land—​infinitely too much hurried in all his proceedings. In giving away land to individuals, no doubt, he thought he would give these individuals an interest in the improvement of the country,—​an inducement to settle in it, and draw to it settlers; but he did not consider the character and condition of most of his favorites; many of them officers in the army, whose habits did not accord with business, and less still with solitude and the wilderness; whose hearts were in England, and whose wishes were intent on retirement thither. Most of them did retire from Upper Canada, and considering, as was really the case, their land grants of little value, forgot and neglected them. This was attended with many bad consequences. Their lands became bars to improvement; as owners they were not known; could not be heard of; could not be applied to, or consulted with, about any measure for public advantage. Their promises under the Governor’s hand, their land board certificates, their deeds, were flung about and neglected. But mischief greater than all this, arose, is, and will be, from the badness of surveys. Such was the haste to get land given away, that ignorant and careless men were employed to 179measure it out, and such a mess did they make of their land-measuring, that one of the present surveyors informed me, that in running new lines over a great extent of the Province, he found spare room for a whole township in the midst of those laid out at an early period. It may readily be conceived, upon consideration of this fact, what blundering has been committed, and what mistakes stand for correction. Boundary lines in the wilderness are marked by blazing, as it is called, that is, chopping off with an axe, a little bark from such trees as stand nearest to the line. Careless surveyors can readily be supposed to depart wide of the truth with this blazing: their measuring chains cannot run very straight, and their compass needles, where these are called in aid, may be greatly diverted from the right direction by ferruginous substances in the neighbourhood, as spoken of. In short, numerous mistakes and errors of survey have been made and discovered: much dispute has arisen therefrom; and I have been told infinite mischief is still in store. It occurred to me, while in Canada, and it was one of the objects which, had a commission come home, I meant to have pressed on the notice of government, that a complete new survey and map of the Province should be executed; and at the same time a book, after the manner of Doomsday-book, written out and published, setting forth all the original grants, and describing briefly but surely all property both public and private. I would yet most seriously recommend such to be set about. It might be expensive now, but would assuredly save, in time to come, a pound for every penny of its cost.”

We have seen elsewhere that, in the terms of peace made at Paris when hostilities ceased, justice was not done to the American Loyalists. But subsequently, when their claims became known to the British public, there was uttered no uncertain sound, upon the floor of Parliament, respecting the duty resting upon England towards the devoted but distressed loyalists who had laid all upon the altar of patriotism; and to the honor of England be said, every step was now taken to provide some recompense for the United Empire Loyalists. It is true, the old homes with their comforts and associations could not be restored; the wilderness was to be their home, a quiet conscience their comfort, and their associations those of the pioneer for many a day. But, what could be done, was done by the Crown to render their circumstances tolerable. Extensive grants of land were granted, not alone to the disbanded soldier according to rank, but to every one who had become a refugee. Three years supply 180of rations were allowed to all, as well as clothing; and certain implements were furnished with which to clear the land and prepare it for agriculture. The scale of granting lands was, to a field officer 5000 acres, captain 3000, subaltern 2000, private 200. The loyalists were ranked, with the disbanded soldiers, according to their losses, and services rendered, having taken the usual oath of allegiance; and all obtained their grants free of every expense. In 1798, complaints having been made to the Imperial Government respecting the profuse manner of granting lands, royal instructions were given to Gen. Hunter to limit the allowance to a quantity from 200 to 1,200. The grants of land when large, were not to be in blocks; but few secured more than 200 acres upon the front townships. The original mode of granting lands, at least to the soldiers, was by lot. The process was simple. The number of each lot, to be granted in each concession, was written on a separate piece of paper, and all were placed in a hat and well shaken, when each one to receive land, drew a piece of paper from the hat. The number upon the paper was the number of his lot. He then received a printed location ticket. In drawing lots, no one felt any particular anxiety. They were yet unacquainted with the country, they had not seen the land, and one number was as likely to prove as valuable as another.

It would seem that the Surveyor acted as Land Agent. Having surveyed the lots, he prepared the ballot, and arranged the time and place for the settlers to draw. It was no doubt this original mode of drawing by lottery, which gave the provincial term drawing land. We have the testimony of Ex-Sheriff Sherwood, that the Surveyor discharged this office. He recollects “Esquire Collins;” he was at his father’s house, and his father assisted in the matter of drawing with those who had assembled for the purpose. The Surveyor had a plan by him, and as each drew his lot, his name was written immediately upon the map. Many of the plans, with names upon them, may be seen in the Crown Land Department. Some of the settlers upon the front acquired much more land than others by reason of the “broken front.” It often happened that the base line, running from one cove of the Bay to another, left between it and the water a large strip of land. This “broken front” belonged to the adjacent 200 acres, so that often the fortunate party possessed even 50 or 100 acres extra.

One of the noted individuals to whom land was granted in Upper Canada, was Arnold the Traitor. 18,000 acres was given him, and £10,000.

181The tract of land now constituting the Township of Tyendinaga, having been purchased from the Mississaugas, was deeded to the Mohawks. The deed bears the date of 1804. The land is granted to “the chiefs, warriors, people, women of the Six Nations.” The chief, at the time they settled, was Capt. John Deserontyon.


Contents—​Lines—​Western Settlement, 1783—​Population—​Settlement upon St. Lawrence and Bay—​Number, 1784—​Proclamation to Loyalists—​Society disturbed—​Two kinds of Loyalists—​St. Lawrence and Bay favorable for Settlement—​Government Provisions—​State of the Loyalists—​Serving out Rations—​Clothes—​Utensils for clearing and farming—​The Axe—​Furniture—​Attacking a last enemy—​Tents—​Waiting for their Lots—​“Bees”—​Size of dwellings—​Mode of building—​Exchanging work—​Bedsteads—​Clearing—​Fireing trees—​Ignorance of Pioneer Life—​Disposing of the Wood—​No beast of burden—​Logging—​Determination—​All Settlers on a common ground—​Additional Refugees—​Advance—​Simcoe’s Proclamation, 1792—​Conditions of Grants—​The Response—​Later Settlers—​Questionable Loyalists—​Yankees longing for Canada—​Loyalty in 1812.


Land of mighty lake and forest!
Where the winter’s locks are hoarest;
Where the summer’s leaf is greenest;
And the winter’s bite the keenest;
Where the autumn’s leaf is searest.
And her parting smile the dearest;
Where the tempest rushes forth,
From his caverns of the north,
With the lightnings of his wrath.
Sweeping forests from his path;
Where the cataract stupendous
Lifteth up her voice tremendous;
Where uncultivated nature
Rears her pines of giant stature;
Sows her jagged hemlocks o’er,
Thick as bristles on the boar;
Plants the stately elm and oak
Firmly in the iron rock;
Where the crane her course is steering,
And the eagle is careering,
Where the gentle deer are bounding,
And the woodman’s axe resounding;
Land of mighty lake and river,
To our hearts thou’rt dear forever!
182Thou art not a land of story;
Thou art not a land of glory;
No tradition, tale, nor song,
To thine ancient woods belong;
No long line of bards and sages
Looking to us down the ages;
No old heroes sweeping by,
In their warlike panoply;
Yet heroic deeds are done,
Where no battle’s lost or won—​
In the cottage, in the woods,
In the lonely solitudes—​
Pledges of affection given,
That will be redeemed in heaven.

In 1783, when a regular survey and settlement of Western Canada commenced, the inhabitants of the Lower Province extended westward, only a few miles above Coteau du lac, upon the St. Lawrence, at Lake St. Francis; but not a house was built within several miles of the division line of the two Provinces, which is above Montreal, about 40 miles, on the north shore. On the south side there was the Fort of Oswegotchie. Besides the squatters around the military posts at Carleton Island, Oswego, and Niagara, there were a few inhabitants at Detroit and Sandwich, of French origin, where a settlement had sprung up in 1750.

The entire population of all Canada at this time, has been estimated at 120,000, including both the French and English. Although refugees had squatted here and there upon the frontier, near to the several military posts, it was not until 1784 that the land, now surveyed into lots, was actually bestowed upon the Loyalists; yet it was mainly disbanded soldiers that received their “location tickets” in the year 1784. The grants were made to the corps under Jessup, upon the St. Lawrence, and under Rogers upon the Bay; and to Butler’s Rangers at Niagara, at the same time, or very nearly. During the same season, a settlement was made upon the Niagara frontier and at Amherstburgh, by the Loyalists who had found refuge at the contiguous Forts. It is supposed that the number who became settlers this year, 1784, in Upper Canada was about 10,000. Thus the Province of Upper Canada was planted; thus the Refugees and disbanded soldiers found themselves pioneers in the wilds of Canada. Was it for this they had adhered to the Crown—​had taken up arms—​had sacrificed their all?

At the close of hostilities, a proclamation was issued to the Loyalists, to rendezvous at Sacket’s Harbour, or Carleton Island, Oswego, Niagara, and Isle aux Mois, the principal military posts upon the frontier.

183The tempest of war which had swept across the American Continent, severing thirteen Colonies from the parent trunk, had roughly disturbed the elements of society. It resulted that the cessation of hostilities left a turbulent ocean, which required time to compose itself. There were Loyalists who would not live under a flag alien to Britain. There were those whose circumstances would have induced them to abide the evil that had overtaken them in the dismemberment of the British Empire; but the fierce passions of the successful rebels rendered a peaceful or safe existence of the Loyalists among them impossible. Driven they were, away from their old homes. There were those who had been double minded, or without choice, ready to go with the successful party. Such wandered here and there looking for the best opportunity to secure self aggrandisement. It is of the first two classes we speak.

Forced by cruel circumstances, to become pioneers in a wilderness, there could not be found in America, a more favourable place whereupon to settle than along the banks of the St. Lawrence, and around the irregular shores of Bay Quinté, with its many indentations. They had to convert the wood-covered land into homes. The trees had to be felled, and the land prepared for grain, and the fruit of the soil to be obtained for sustenance within three years, when Government provisions would be discontinued. It can readily be understood that a water communication to and from the central points of settlement, as well as access to fishing waters, was most desirable. The smooth waters of the upper St. Lawrence and the Bay Quinté constituted a highway of the most valuable kind, for the only mode of travel was by the canoe, or flat-bottomed batteau, which was supplied by the Government in limited numbers; and in winter by rudely constructed hand-sleighs, along the icy shores.


The settlers of Upper Canada, up to 1790, may be divided into those who were forced away from the States by persecution, during and after the war; the disbanded troops; and a nobler class, who left the States, being unwilling to live under other than British rule.

To what extent were these pioneers fitted and prepared to enter upon the truly formidable work of creating homes, and to secure the necessaries of life for their families. But few of them possessed ought of worldly goods, nearly all were depending upon 184the bounty of Government. In the first place, they were supplied with rations; which consisted of flour, pork, and a limited quantity of beef, a very little butter, and as little salt. We find in Rev. Mr. Carroll’s “Past and Present” that “their mode of serving out rations was rather peculiar.” “Their plan was, to prevent the appearance of partiality, for the one who acted as Commissary, either to turn his back, take one of the articles, and say, ‘who will have this?’ or else the provisions were weighed, or assorted, and put into heaps, when the Commissary went around with a hat, and received into it something which he would again recognize, as a button, a knife, &c.; after which he took the articles out of the hat, as they came uppermost, and placed one on each of the piles in rotation. Every person then claimed the parcel on which he found the article which he had thrown into the hat.”

They were also supplied with “clothes for three years, or until they were able to provide these articles for themselves. They consisted of coarse cloth for trowsers and Indian blankets for coats, and of shoes; beside, each received a quantity of seed grain to sow upon the newly cleared land, with certain implements of husbandry. To each was allotted an axe, a hoe, and a spade; a plough, and one cow, were allotted to two families; a whip and cross-cut saw to every fourth family; and, even boats were provided for their use, and placed at convenient points;” and “that nothing might seem to be wanting, on the part of the Government, even portable corn mills, consisting of steel plates, turned by hand like a coffee-mill, were distributed among the settlers.” We have learned they were also supplied with nails, hand-saws and other materials for building. To every five families were given a “set of tools,” such as chisels and augers, of various sizes, and drawing-knives; also pick-axes, and sickles for reaping. But, unfortunately, many of these implements were of inferior quality. The axe, with which the burden of the work was to be done, was unlike the light implement now in use, it was but a short-handled ship axe, intended for quite a different use than chopping trees and clearing land. Notwithstanding, these various implements, thoughtfully provided by Government, how greatly must they have come short in meeting the varied wants of the settler, in his isolated clearing, far separated from places whereat things necessary could be procured. However, the old soldier, with his camp experience, was enabled by the aid of his tools, to make homely and rude articles of domestic use. And, in farming, he constructed a rough, but serviceable plow, and harrow, and made handles for his scythe.

185Thus provisioned and clothed, and thus armed with implements of industry, the old soldiers advanced to the attack of a last enemy, the wild woods. Unlike any previous warfare, was this lifetime struggle. With location ticket in hand, they filed into the batteaux to ascend the rapids. A certain number of batteaux joined together, generally about twenty or twenty-five, formed a brigade, which was placed under the command of a suitable officer; if not one who had in previous days, led them against the foe. It is quite impossible to conceive of the emotions which found a place in the breasts of the old veterans as they journeyed along wearily from day to day, each one bringing them nearer to the spot on which the tent was to be pitched for the last time. Eagerly, no doubt, they scanned the thickly wooded shores as they passed along. Curiously they examined the small settlement, clustering around Cataraqui. And, it cannot be doubted, when they entered the waters of the lovely Bay Quinté, the beauty of the scene created a feeling of joy and reconciliation to their lot, in being thus cast upon a spot so rich in natural beauty. These disbanded soldiers, at least each family, had a canvass tent capable of accommodating, in a certain way, from eight to ten persons. These were pitched upon the shore, at first in groups, until each person had learned the situation of his lot, when he immediately removed thereto. But there were by no means enough tents to give cover to all, and many had only the friendly trees for protection. The first steps taken were to clear a small space of trees, and erect a place of habitation. We have seen what were the implements he had to work with—​the materials he must use to subdue the forest tree standing before him.

Here, at the very threshold of Upper Canadian history, was initiated the “institution” of “bees.” “Each with his axe on his shoulder, turned out to help the other,” in erecting a log shanty. Small and unpretending indeed, were these humble tenements first built along the shores of the bay. The size of each depended upon the number to occupy it. None were larger than twenty by fifteen feet; and an old man tells me that his father, who was a carpenter, built one fifteen feet long and ten feet broad, with a slanting roof seven or eight feet in height. The back-woodsman’s shanty, which may yet be seen in the outskirts of our country, is the counterpart of those which were first built; but perhaps many of our readers may never have seen one. “Round logs,” (generally of basswood,) “roughly notched together at the corners, and piled one above another, to the height of seven or eight feet, constituted the walls. 186Openings for a door, and one small window” (always beside the door) “designed for four lights of glass, 7 × 9, were cut out,” (Government had supplied them with a little glass and putty); “the spaces between the logs were chinked with small splinters, and carefully plastered outside and inside, with clay for mortar. Smooth straight poles were laid lengthways of the building, on the walls, to serve as supports of the roof. This was composed ‘of strips of elm bark, four feet in length, by two or three feet in width, in layers, overlapping each other, and fastened to the poles by withs.’” (The roof was some times of black oak, or swamp oak, bark,) “with a sufficient slope to the back, this formed a roof which was proof against wind and weather. An ample hearth, made of flat stones, was then laid out, and a fire back of field stone or small boulders, rudely built, was carried up as high as the walls. Above this the chimney was formed of round poles, notched together and plastered with mud. The floor was of the same materials as the walls, only that the logs were split in two, and flattened so as to make a tolerably even surface. As no boards were to be had to make a door, until they could be sawn out by the whip saw, a blanket suspended from the inside for some time took its place. By and by four little pains of glass, were stuck into a rough sash, and then the shanty was complete.”—​(Croil.)

Furniture for the house was made by the old soldier; this was generally of the roughest kind. They had the fashion of exchanging work, as well as of having bees. Some of them had been mechanics in other days. A carpenter was a valuable acquisition, and while others would assist him to do his heavy work, he would in return do those little nicer jobs by which the household comforts would be increased. No chests of drawers were required; benches were made of split basswood, upon which to sit, and tables were manufactured in the same style. The bedstead was constructed at the end of the cabin, by taking poles of suitable size and inserting the ends between the logs which formed the walls on either side. These would be placed, before the cracks were filled in and plastered.


A log hut constructed, wherein to live; and such plain rough articles of furniture as were really necessary provided, the next thing was to clear the land, thickly covered with large trees and tangled brush. Many a swing of the unhandy axe had to be made ere the trees could be felled, and disposed of; and the ground made ready for the grain or root.

187A few years later, and the settler would, in the dry summer season, fire the woods, so as to kill the trees. By the next year they would have become dry, so that by setting fire again they would burn down. In this way much labor was saved. But sometimes the fire would prove unmanageable and threaten to destroy the little house and log barn, as well as crops. Another mode of destroying the large trees, was to girdle them—​that is, to cut through the bark all around the tree, whereby it was killed, so that the following year it would likewise burn down.

A portion of the disbanded troops, as well as other loyalists, had been bred to agricultural pursuits; and some of them, at least those who had not been very long in arms, could the more readily adapt themselves to their new circumstances, and resume their early occupation. The axe of the woodsman was soon swung as vigorously along the shores of the well wooded river and bay, as it had been in the forests years before, in the backwoods of New England.

It is no ordinary undertaking for one to enter the primeval forest, to cut down the tough grained trees, whose boughs have long met the first beams of the rising sun, and swayed in the tempest wind; to clear away the thick underbrush, which impedes the step at every turn; to clear out a tangled cedar swamp, no matter how hardy may be the axeman—​how well accustomed to the use of the implement. With the best mode of proceeding, with an axe of excellent make, and keen edge; and, combined with which, let every other circumstance be favorable; yet, it requires a determined will, an iron frame and supple muscle, to undertake and carry out the successful clearing of a farm. But, the refugees and disbanded soldiers, who formed the pioneers of Upper Canada, enjoyed not even ordinary advantages. Many of the old soldiers had not the slightest knowledge of the duties of pioneer life, while others had but an imperfect idea. Some scarcely knew how to fell a tree. Hardy and determined they were; but they possessed not the implements requisite to clear off the solid trees. We have seen that the axe furnished by government was large and clumsy, and could be swung only with difficulty and great labor, being nothing more than the ship axe then in use. Slow and wearisome indeed, must have been the progress made by the unaccustomed woodsman in the work of clearing, and of preparing the logs for his hut, while he had, as on-lookers, too often a feeble wife and hungry children.

The ordinary course of clearing land is pretty well known. At the present day the autumn and winter is the usual time, when the 188wood is cut in sleigh lengths for home use, or made into cord wood for the market. The brush is piled up into huge heaps, and in the following season, when sufficiently dry, is burned up. Now, wood, except in the remote parts, is very valuable, and for those who can part with it, it brings a good income. But then, when the land was everywhere covered with wood, the only thought was how to get rid of it. The great green trees, after being cut down, had to lie until they had dried, or be cut into pieces and removed. Time was necessary for the first. To accomplish the second, involved labor with the unwieldy axe; and there were at first, no beast of burden to haul the heavy logs. The arm of the pioneer was the only motor power, and the trees had to be cut in short lengths, that they might be carried. To overcome the more heavy work connected with this, the settlers would have logging bees from place to place, and by united strength subdue the otherwise obstinate forces. Mainly, the trees were burned; the limbs and smaller portion first, and subsequently the large trunk. The fire would consume all that was flammable, leaving great black logs all over the ground. Then came “logging,” that is, piling these black and half burned pieces into heaps, where, after a longer time of drying, they might be consumed. A second, perhaps a third time the pieces would have to be collected into “log heaps,” until finally burned to ashes. It was by such means, that slowly the forest along the St. Lawrence, and surrounding the Bay Quinté, as well in the adjacent townships melted away before the daily work of the aggressive settler. Although deprived of all those comforts, which most of them had enjoyed in early life in the Hudson, and Mohawk valleys, and fruitful fields of Pennsylvania, they toiled on determined to conquer—​to make new homes; and, for their children at least, to secure comforts. They rose early, and toiled on all day, whether long or short, until night cast its solemn pall over their rude quiet homes. The small clearing of a few acres gradually widened, the sound of the axe was heard ringing all the day, and the crash of the falling tree sent the startled wild beast to the deeper recesses of the wild wood. The toilers were not all from the same social rank, but now in the main, all found a common level; the land allotted to the half pay officers was as thickly covered with wood. A few possessed limited means, and were able to engage a help, to do some of the work, but in a short time it was the same with all; men of education, and who held high positions, rightly held the belief that it was an honor to be a refugee farmer.

At the close of the war a considerable number of the refugees found safety in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. But a certain 189number, not finding such prospects as they had hoped, resolved to try Canada. Consequently, for five or six years after the peace, this class continued slowly to flow, to swell the number of inhabitants of Upper Canada. Some of them tarried, or remained in Lower Canada; but the majority ascended the Bay Quinté, and settled the new townships at the head of the bay; not a few would remain for a year or two in the townships already settled, working farms on shares, or living out, until the future home was selected. A good many of the first settlers in the sixth, seventh, and eight townships, had previously lived for a while in the fourth township.

The advance of the settlements was along the bay, from Kingston township and Ernest town, westward along both sides. When the settlers in the first, second, third and fourth townships, had, to a certain extent overcome the pioneers’ first difficulties, those in the sixth, seventh, eight and ninth, were yet undergoing mostly all the same hardships and trials. Far removed from Kingston, they could, with difficulty, procure necessities, and consequently endured greater privation, and experienced severer hardships; but in time these settlers also overcome, and ended their days in comparative comfort.

Gen. Simcoe, after he became the first Governor of Upper Canada in 1792, held the opinion that there remained in the States a large number of Loyalists, and conceived the idea of affording them an inducement to again come under British rule, as they were British in heart. He, by proclamation, invited them to free grants of the rich land of Upper Canada, in the following words:

A Proclamation, to such as are desirous to settle on lands of the Crown, in the Province of Upper Canada, By His Excellency John Graves Simcoe, Esquire, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the said Province, and Colonel commanding His Majesty’s Forces, &c., &c. Be it known to all concerned that His Majesty, both by his royal commission and instructions to the Governor, and in his absence, to the Lieutenant-Governor of the said Province of Upper Canada, gives authority or command to grant the lands of the Crown in the same by patent under the great seal thereof. I do accordingly make known the terms of grant and settlement to be:” &c.

Without introducing the somewhat lengthy terms given under the heads, it is sufficient to say that they were most liberal; in the meanwhile reserving what was necessary to maintain the rights previously granted to Loyalist settlers. No lot was to be granted of more than 200 acres, except such as the Governor might otherwise 190desire, but no one was to receive a quantity exceeding 1000 acres. Every one had to make it appear that he, or she was in a condition to cultivate and improve the land, and “beside taking the usual oaths, subscribe a declaration, viz: I, A. B. do promise and declare that I will maintain and defend to the utmost of my power, the authority of the king in his parliament as the supreme legislature of this province.” These grants were free excepting the fees of office, “in passing the patent and recording the same.” The proclamation was dated 7th February, 1792, Thomas Talbot, acting Secretary.

It was obligatory on settlers to clear five acres of land, to build a house, and to open a road across the front of his land, a quarter of a mile.

Whether Simcoe was right in his opinion, that many loyalists remained in the States, ready to avail themselves of a judicious opportunity of becoming citizens of British territory, may be questioned; that there were some, cannot be doubted. Not a few responded to his invitation, and entered the new province. The recall of Simcoe led to the abrogation of the terms specified in the aforementioned proclamation, and some of the new comers were doomed to disappointment. As may naturally be supposed, these later comers were not altogether regarded with favor by the first settlers, who now regarded themselves as lords of the soil. The old staunch loyalists were disposed to look upon them as Yankees, who came only to get the land. And it seems that such was often the case. We have the impartial statement of Rochefoucault, that there were some who “falsely profess an attachment to the British monarch, and curse the Government of the Union for the mere purpose of getting possession of lands.” Even at this early day, they set about taking possession of Canada! Indeed, it was a cause of grievance in Walford township, Johnstown district, that persons from the States entered the country, petitioned for land, took the necessary oaths—​perjured themselves, and having obtained possession of the land resold it, pocketed the money, and left to build up the glorious Union.

But, while so much has to be said of some Americans, who took land in Canada for mercenary motives, and committed fraud, it is pleasing to say likewise, that a large number of settlers from the States, who came in between 1794 and 1812, became worthy and loyal subjects of the Crown. How far all of them were at first Britons in heart, may be questioned. But the fact that the first settlers regarded them with doubtful eye, and often charged them 191with being Yankees, led many, for very peace-sake, to display their loyalty. But at last, when the war of 1812 broke out, they exhibited unmistakeable attachment to the British Crown. To their honor be it said, they were as active in defending their homes as any class. The number who deserted from Canada, was quite insignificant. As would be expected, the war of 1812 arrested the stream of emigration from the States. The Government of Canada thereafter discountenanced it, and instead, made some efforts to draw British European emigrants.



Contents—​Father Picquet—​Provision of Forts in Upper Canada just before Conquest—​Frontenac—​Milk—​Brandy—​Toronto—​The Several Forts—​Detroit—​British Garrisons—​Grasping Rebels—​Efforts to Starve out Loyalists in Canada—​Worse Treated than the Acadians—​Efforts to Secure Fur Trade—​The Frontier Forts—​Americans Conduct to Indians—​Result—​Conduct of British Government—​Rations for Three Years—​Grinding by Hand—​“Hominy Blocks”—​“Plumping Mill”—​The Women—​Soldier Farmers—​The Hessians—​Suffering—​The “Scarce Year”—​Charge against the Commissariat Officers—​Famine—​Cry for Bread—​Instances of Suffering—​Starving Children—​No Salt—​Fish—​Game—​Eating Young Grain—​Begging Bran—​A Common Sorrow—​Providential Escapes—​Eating Buds and Leaves—​Deaths—​Primitive Fishing—​Catching Salmon—​Going 125 miles to mill—​Disconsolate Families—​1789—​Partial Relief—​First Beef Slaughtered in Upper Canada—​First Log Barn—​A Bee, what they Ate and Drank—​Tea Introduced—​Statements of Sheriff Sherwood—​Roger Bates—​John Parrott—​Col. Clark—​Squirrelly Swimming Niagara—​Maple Sugar—​How it was made—​Women assisting—​Made Dishes of Food—​Pumpkin Loaf—​Extract from Rochefoucault—​1795—​Quality of Grain Raised—​Quinté Bay—​Cultivation—​Corn Exported—​The Grain Dealers—​Price of Flour—​Pork—​Profits of the Merchants.


We have seen with what spirit and determination the loyalists engaged in the duties pertaining to pioneer life; how they became domiciled in the wilderness and adapted themselves to their new 192and trying situation. Thus, was laid the foundation of the Province of Upper Canada, now Ontario. Upon this foundation was to be erected the superstructure. Let us proceed to examine the circumstances of the first years of Upper Canadian life. And first with respect to food.

Father Picquet visited the Bay and Lake Ontario, from La Présentation—​Ogdensburgh, the year of the Conquest. He speaks of his visit to Fort Frontenac, and remarks, “The bread and milk there, were bad; they had not even brandy there to staunch a wound.” By which we learn that the French garrison had a cow, although she gave indifferent milk; and that even brandy for medicinal purposes could not be had. The missionary proceeded to Fort Toronto which was situated upon Lake Simcoe, no doubt ascending by the bay Quinté and Trent. Here he found “good bread and good wine” and “everything requisite for trade” with the Indians. The cession of Canada to the British by the French had been followed by a withdrawal of troops from many of the forts, around which had clustered a few hamlets, specks of civilization in a vast wilderness, and in most places things had lapsed into their primal state. And, when rebellion broke out in the Colonies of Britain, there were but a few posts whereat were stationed any soldiers, or where clustered the white settlers. There were a few French living at Detroit, and at Michilmicinac, and to the north-east of Lake Huron. We have seen that during the war, refugees found safety at the several military posts. The military rations were served out to these loyal men in the same proportion as to the soldiers, and when the war closed the garrisons continued to dispense the necessaries of life to the settlers upon the north shores of the lake, and St. Lawrence.

For ten years, after the terms of peace was signed between England and the Independent States, the forts of Oswego, Niagara, Detroit, and Michilmicinac, with the garrison on Carleton Island, remained in the possession of the British troops. To this the grasping Americans warmly took exceptions. Although it would have been next to impossible to supply these places with provisions for troops of their own, they nevertheless wished to dispossess the Royal troops; we learn that the object was to starve out the refugees who had found shelter upon the borders, and who would be depending for years to these forts, for the very necessaries of life. In this, their cruelty exceeded that practised towards the Acadians. Having driven away the loyalists and dispossessed them at home, they would 193have followed them to their new wilderness home, there to cut off their supplies and leave them to perish. They wished to obtain possession of the forts not only to glut their vengeful feeling against the tories, but to secure the traffic carried on with the Indians. Dreams of aggrandizement floated through their avaricious minds. It was regarded an excellent stroke of policy to turn the current of the fur trade from the St. Lawrence, and starve out by degrees the refugees, and the French who would have none of their “Liberty.” Hence their desire to get possession of the frontier forts. But it was destined that this valuable traffic should never come into the hands of the United States; or rather it should be said, the Americans had determined to pursue a course which would completely alienate the Indian tribes from them. Under such circumstances no possession of the forts could have turned the trade from its natural channel by the St. Lawrence, across the continent to New York.

The British Government never desired to stint the loyal refugees and the disbanded soldiers. At the close of hostilities it was determined that both alike, with their families, should receive while traveling, and for a period of three years, such rations as are allowed daily to the private soldier. And the Commissariat Department was instructed to make the necessary provision to have transported to each township by batteau, what should be requisite. Dépôts were established, in addition to the different garrisons, in each township, to which some prominent and trusted refugee of their number, generally a half pay officer, was appointed as Commissary, and at which ample provisions of the specified kind, as well as certain implements, it was ordered should be stored, to be dealt out with regularity and fairness to each family, according to the number of children. In some of the townships two batteaux were provided to bring the provisions from Montreal. Besides the food thus obtained, they were often enabled to freely supply themselves with game of different kinds. The greatest trouble of all was to get the grain supplied to them, ground into flour. According to Carroll and Croil, the townships upon the St. Lawrence, were supplied with steel mills for grinding grain; but no word of such indifferent convenience for the settlers of the Bay, has by us been received; the settlers had to get the grain crushed as best they could. Various modes were adopted to do this; but in all cases the work was done by hand. Sometimes the grain was crushed with an axe upon a flat stone. Many prepared a wooden mortar, by cutting a block, of suitable 194length, about four feet, out of the trunk of a large tree, oak or maple. Sometimes it was the stump of a tree. In this a cavity was formed, generally by heating a piece of iron, and placing it upon the end. In some quarters, a cannon ball from the Garrison was used. By placing this, red hot, upon the wood, a hollow of sufficient depth could be made. These mortars, sometimes called “Hominy Blocks” and sometimes “Plumping Mill,” varied in size; sometimes holding only a few quarts, sometimes a bushel, or even more. The pestle or pounder, was made of the hardest wood, six or eight feet long, and eight inches in diameter at the bottom end; the top sufficiently small to be spanned by the hand. The pestle was sometimes called the stamper; and the stump or block, with the pestle, was called the stump-mortar. Generally, it was by the unaided hand that the grinding was done; but after a time a sweep pole was arranged, similar to a well pole, and a hard weighty substance being attached to the pole, much less strength was required to crush the grain; at the same time a larger quantity could be at once done. The work was generally done by two men. The grain thus pounded was generally Indian Corn, and occasionally wild rice. To crush wheat required much more labor, and a small mortar. The bran was separated from the flour by a horse-hair sieve, one of which generally served a whole community, as they were possessed only by a few. This rude method continued for many years, especially in those townships remote from the flouring mills. Frequently, an individual would possess a large mortar, that would be used by a whole neighborhood. Mr. Diamond, of Belleville, a native of Fredericksburg, remembers when a boy, to have accompanied his father “to mill.” The mill was one of these larger mortars which would contain a bushel of grain when being ground, but which would hold, even measure, two bushels. The grain was crushed by a sweep with a weight attached, of ten or twelve pounds.

But grinding grain in this rude manner, was very frequently done by the women; and was but one of the difficulties attending the production of meal. It was a hard task to prepare for use the corn supplied by Government; but when that supply was cut off, and the settler had but his own raising, it became much worse. Elsewhere we have seen the difficult process by which seed was planted, and the fruit of the soil reaped, and then thrashed. It had been thought by the Government that three years would suffice to give the settler ample time to reap sufficient grain for their sustenance. In most cases, industry and a right application of labor, enabled the 195farmer to accomplish what was expected of him. But the habits which some of the soldiers had acquired during the war, were highly detrimental to regular industry. When the three years’ supplies were discontinued, many found themselves unprepared to meet the requirements of their new condition. It is said that some of them entertained the belief that “Old George,” as they familiarly called the King, would continue to feed them, for an indefinite period of time, upon the bread of idleness. The Hessians, who had settled in the fifth township, who had no idea of pioneer life, were great sufferers, and it is stated that some actually died of starvation. Again, there was a considerable class who had not had time to prepare the land, and reap the fruit of the soil, prior to the supplies being stopped; or who could not procure seed grain. These were likewise placed in the most distressing circumstances. The fearful suffering experienced in consequence will be mentioned under the head of the “Scarce Year.”

Notwithstanding, that Government supplied the settlers with provisions for three years, and also with spring wheat, peas, corn, and potatoes for seed, and took steps to furnish them, first with one mill at Kingston, and then a second one at Napanee, at the expiration of the three years, there were many unprepared. The mills were almost deserted, and the hearts of the people were faint because there was no grain to grind, and famine began to rest upon the struggling settlers, especially along the Bay Quinté. It has already been said that with some of the disbanded soldiers, there was some degree of negligence, or, a want of due exertion to obtain home-raised grain before the Government supplies were discontinued; also, that there was a certain number, who came with their families two or three years after the first settlement, who were not entitled to get Government rations, and who had not had time to clear the land. Many of these brought provisions with them, but the long distances traveled by them through a wilderness, allowed no large quantity of stores to be transported. And within a few months, or a year their store of food was exhausted. But the greatest evil of all it is averred, was the failure on the part of the Commissary Department to bring up from Lower Canada, the supplies which were required by those yet in the service, and who rightly looked to that source for the bread of life. And, it has been alleged that some who had charge of military stores forgot this public duty, in their anxiety to secure abundant supplies for their own families. And a spirit of cupidity has been laid to the charge of one or two for retaining for private use the bread for which so many were famishing. 196At this remote period it is impossible to arrive at positive conclusions relative to the matter. We can only examine the circumstances, and judge whether such a thing was likely. Of course the Commissary officers, whose duty it had been to distribute food in the several townships, would not be likely to disburse with a hand so liberal, that they should themselves become destitute; yet the fact that such had food, while others had none, would naturally create an erroneous impression. But the famine was not limited to the Bay region; although, being remote from Montreal, it was here the distress was most grievously felt. Throughout Lower Canada the pinch of famine was keenly experienced. Even there, in places, corn-meal was meted out by the spoonful, wheat flour was unknown, while millet seed was ground for a substitute. Still more, the opinion is given, that the accusation against certain parties is contrary to the spirit which pervaded the refugee settlers at that time. That they had laid up stores, and looked indifferently upon the general suffering, is contrary to the known character of the parties accused. In after days, as at the present time, there were aroused petty jealousies, as one individual exceeded another in prosperity. Family jars sometimes rise to feuds, and false surmises grow into untruthful legends.

The period of famine is even yet remembered by a few, whose memory reaches back to the immediately succeeding years, and the descendants of the sufferers, speak of that time with peculiar feelings, imbibed from their parents; and many are the touching stories even yet related of this sad first page in the history of Upper Canada, when from Lower Canada to the outskirts of the settlement was heard the cry for bread! bread! bread!

The year of the famine is spoken of sometimes as the “scarce year,” sometimes as the “hungry year,” or the “hard summer.” The extreme distress seems to have commenced in the year 1787. With some, it lasted a part of a year, with others a year, and with others upwards of a year. The height of the distress was during the spring and early summer of 1788. But plenty to all, did not come till the summer of 1789. The writer has in his possession accounts of many instances of extreme suffering, during the famine, and for years after, through the ten townships. A few will here be given, as briefly as may be possible.

One, who settled in the Sixth Township, (who was subsequently a Member of Parliament for twenty years,) with wife and children, endured great suffering. Their flour being exhausted he sent 197money to Quebec for some more flour, but his money was sent back; there was none to be had. The wife tried as an experiment to make bread out of some wheat bran, which was bought at a dollar a bushel. She failed to make bread, but it was eaten as a stir-about. Upon this, with Indian Cabbage, or “Cale,” “a plant with a large leaf,” also wild potatoes or ground-nuts, the family lived for many a week. In the spring they procured some potatoes to plant, but the potatoe eye alone was planted, the other portion being reserved for food. One of the daughters, in her extreme hunger digged up for days, some of the potatoe rind and ate it. One day, her father caught her at it, and seized hold of her arm to punish her, for forgetting the requirements of the future, but he found her arms so emaciated that his heart melted in pity for the starving child. Others used to eat a plant called butternut, and another pig-weed. Children would steal out at night with stolen potatoes, and roast them at the burning log heap, and consider them a great treat. One individual has left the record that she used to allay the pangs of hunger by eating a little salt. But the majority of the settlers had no salt, and game and fish, when it could be caught, was eaten without that condiment. Even at a later date, salt was a scarce and dear article as the following will show: “Sydney, 20th November, 1792—​Received from Mr. John Ferguson, one barrel of salt, for which I am to pay nine dollars.” (Signed), John German. Often when fish or game was caught, it was forthwith roasted, without waiting to go home to have it dressed. As spring advanced, and the buds of the trees began to swell, they were gathered and eaten. Roots were digged out of the ground; the bark of certain trees were stripped off and consumed as food. One family lived for a fortnight on beech leaves. Everything that was supposed to be capable of alleviating the pangs of hunger, whether it yielded nutriment or not, was unhesitatingly used; and in the fifth township some were killed by eating poisonous roots. Beef bones were, in one neighbourhood, not only boiled again and again, but actually carried from house to house, to give a little taste to boiled bran, until there remained no taste in the boiling water. In the fourth township, upon the sunny side of a hill, was an early field of grain, and to this they came, from far and near, to eat the milk-like heads of grain, so soon as they had sufficiently grown, which were boiled and eaten. The daughter of the man who owned the field, and gladly gave to all, still remains with us; then, she was in the freshness of girlhood; now, she is in the autumn of a green old age, nearly a 198hundred. She remembers to have seen them cutting the young succulent grain, to use her own words “as thick as stumps.” This young grain was a common dish, all along the Bay, until it became ripe. One family lived several months solely on boiled oats. One day, a man came to the door of a house in Adolphustown, with a bag, and a piece of “calamink,” to exchange for flour. But the flour was low, and the future doubtful, and none could be spared. The man turned away with tears of anguish rolling down his face. The kind woman gave him a few pounds of flour; he begged to be allowed to add some bran lying on the floor, which was permitted, and he went his way.

There were, scattered through the settlements, a few who never were entirely out of provisions, but who had procured some from Lower Canada, or Oswego. Many of these, even at the risk of future want, would give away, day after day, to those who came to their door, often a long distance, seeking for the very bread of life. A piece of bread was often the only thing to give; but thus, many a life was saved. These poor unfortunates, would offer various articles in exchange for flour or food. Even their lands—​all they had, were offered for a few pounds of flour. But, with a few execrable exceptions, the last loaf was divided; and when flour was sold, it was at a fair valuation. A common sorrow knit them together in fraternal relationship. The names of some are handed down, who employed others to work all day for their board, and would give nothing for their famishing ones at home. One of them also, sold eight bushels of potatoes for a valuable cow. In some instances, families living remotely, forsook their houses and sought for food at Kingston. One family in Thurlow, set out for Kingston, following the bay shore on foot. Their only food was bran, which, being mixed with water, was cooked by the way, by heating flat stones and baking thereupon. As before stated, the settlers of the fifth township suffered fearfully, and it is stated, that some of them actually died. Mr. Parrott says, that he has heard it stated that persons starved to death. And the extraordinary statement is found in the M.S. of the late Mr. Merritt, that one old couple, too old to help themselves, and left alone, were preserved providentially from starvation, by pigeons, which would occasionally come and allow themselves to be caught. The fact is stated by others, that pigeons were at times, during the first years of settling, very plentiful, and were always exceedingly tame. Another person remarks, that although there was generally plenty of pigeons, wild fowl, fish and partridge, yet, they seemed to keep away when most wanted.

199One family, four in number, subsisted on the small quantity of milk given by a young cow, with leeks, buds of trees, and often leaves were added to the milk. A barrel of bran served a good purpose for baking a kind of cake, which made a change on special occasions. At one time, Reed, of Thurlow, offered a three year old horse for 50 lbs of flour. This family would, at one time actually have starved to death, had not a deer been miraculously shot. They often carried grain, a little, it is true, to the Napanee mills, following the river, and bay shores. And when they had no grain, articles of domestic use were taken to exchange for flour and meal. A woman used to carry a bushel and a half of wheat ten miles to the Napanee mills, and then carry the flour back.

Ex-Sheriff Ruttan says of his father’s family, with whom his uncle lived, “We had the luxury of a cow which the family brought with them, and had it not been for this domestic boon, all would have perished in the year of scarcity. The crops had failed the year before, and the winter that followed, was most inclement and severe. The snow was unusually deep, so that the deer became an easy prey to their rapacious enemies, the wolves, who fattened on their destruction, whilst men were perishing for want. Five individuals, in different places, were found dead, and one poor woman also, with a live infant at her breast; which was cared for and protected.” “Two negroes were sent to Albany for corn, who brought four bushels. This, with the milk of the cow dealt out day by day in limited quantity, kept them alive till harvest.” “The soldiers’ rations were reduced to one biscuit a day.” Referring to other days after the famine he says: “Fish was plentiful”—​the “fishing tackle was on a primitive plan; something similar to the Indians, who fixed the bait on part of the back bone of the pike, which would catch these finny tribe quite as expeditiously as the best Limerick hook; but our supply was from spearing by torchlight, which has been practiced by the Indian from time immemorial; from whom we obtained a vast deal of practical knowledge.”

Roger Bates, near Cobourg, speaking of the first years of Upper Canada, says that his grandfather’s family, living in Prince Edward for a while, “adopted many ingenious contrivances of the Indians for procuring food. Not the least simple and handy was a crotched pole, with which they secured salmon in any quantity, the creeks being full of them.” He removed to the township of Clarke, where he was the first white settler, and for six months saw no white person. “For a long time he had to go to Kingston, 125 200miles, with his wheat to be ground. They had no other conveyance than batteaux; the journey would sometimes occupy five or six weeks. Of an evening they put in at some creek, and obtained their salmon with ease, using a forked stick, which passed over the fish’s back and held it fast. Sometimes they were so long gone for grist, in consequence of bad weather, that the women would collect together and have a good cry, thinking the batteaux had foundered. If their food ran short, they had a dog that would, when told, hunt a deer and drive it into the water, so that the young boys could shoot it.”

The summer of 1789 brought relief to most of the settlers,—​the heaviest of the weight of woe was removed. But, for nearly a decade, they enjoyed but few comforts, and were often without the necessaries of life. The days of the toiling pioneers were numbering up rapidly, yet the wants of all were not relieved. Those whose industry had enabled them to sow a quantity of grain reaped a goodly reward. The soil was very fruitful, and subsequently for two and three years, repeated crops were raised from a single sowing. But flour alone, although necessary to sustain life, could hardly satisfy the cravings of hunger with those who had been accustomed to a different mode of living. It was a long way to Montreal or Albany, from which to transport by hand, everything required, even when it could be had, and the settler had something to exchange for such articles; beside the journey of several weeks. Game, occasionally to be had, was not available at all seasons, nor at all times; although running wild, ammunition was scarce, and some had none. We have stated that Government gave to every five families a musket and forty-eight rounds of ammunition, with some powder and shot, also some twine to make fishing nets. Beef, mutton, &c., were unknown for many a day. Strangely enough, a circumstantial account of the first beef slaughtered along the Bay, probably in Upper Canada, is supplied by one who, now in her 90th year, bears a distinct recollection of the event. It was at Adolphustown. A few settlers had imported oxen, to use in clearing the land. One of a yoke, was killed by the falling of a tree. The remaining animal, now useless, was purchased by a farmer upon the Front, who converted it into beef. With the hospitality characteristic of the times, the neighbors were invited to a grand entertainment; and the neighborhood, be it remembered, extended for thirty or forty miles. A treat it was, this taste of an article of diet, long unknown.

201The same person tells of the occasion when the first log barn was raised in Adolphustown, it was during the scarce period. The “bee” which was called, had to be entertained, in some way. But there were no provisions. The old lady, then a girl, saw her mother for weeks previous carefully putting away the eggs, which a few hens had contributed to their comfort; upon the morning of the barn raising, they were brought forth and found to amount to a pailful, well heaped. The most of the better-to-do settlers always had rum, which was a far different article from that sold now-a-days. With rum and eggs well beaten, and mixed with all the milk that could be kept sweet from the last few milkings, this, which was both food and drink was distributed to the members of the bee, during the time of raising the barn.

Tea, now considered an indispensable luxury by every family, was quite beyond the reach of all, for a long time; because of its scarcity and high price. Persons are yet living who remember when tea was first brought into family use. Various substitutes for tea were used, among these were hemlock and sassafras; there was also a plant gathered called by them the tea plant.

Sheriff Sherwood, in his most valuable memoirs, specially prepared for the writer, remarks, “Many incidents and occurrences took place during the early settlement which would, perhaps, at a future day be thought incredible. I recollect seeing pigeons flying in such numbers that they almost darkened the sky, and so low often as to be knocked down with poles; I saw, where a near neighbor killed thirty at one shot; I almost saw the shot, and saw the pigeons after they were shot.” Ducks were so thick that when rising from a marsh “they made a noise like the roar of heavy thunder.” “While many difficulties were encountered, yet we realized many advantages, we were always supplied with venison, partridge, and pigeon, and fish in abundance, no taxes to pay and plenty of wood at our doors. Although deprived of many kinds of fruit, we had the natural production of the country, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, and lots of red plums, and cranberries in the various marshes all about the country, and I can assure you that pumpkin and cranberries make an excellent substitute for apple pie.” Mr. Sherwood refers to their dog “Tipler,” which was invaluable, in various ways, in assisting to procure the food. He also speaks of “Providential” assistance. “After the first year we raised wheat and Indian corn sufficient for the year’s supply for the family; but then we had no grist mill 202to grind it; we made out to get on with the Indian corn very well by pounding it in the mortar, and made what we called samp, which made coarse bread, and what the Dutch called sup-pawn; but let me tell you how we made our mortar. We cut a log off a large tree, say two-and-a half feet through and about six feet long, which we planted firm in the ground, about four feet deep, then carefully burnt the centre of the top and scraped it out clean, which gave us a large mortar. We generally selected an iron-wood tree, from six to eight inches through, took the bark off clean, made the handle to it of suitable length, this was our pestle; and many a time have I pounded with it till the sweat ran down merrily. But this pounding would not do for the wheat, and the Government seeing the difficulty, built a mill back of Kingston, where the inhabitants, for fifteen miles below Brockville had to get their grinding done. In our neighborhood they got on very well in summer, by joining two wooden canoes together. Three persons would unite, to carry each a grist in their canoes, and would perform the journey in about a week. But in winter this could not be done. After a few years, however, when some had obtained horses, then a kind Providence furnished a road on the ice for some years until a road was made passable for sleighs by land. And it has not been practicable, indeed I may say possible, for horses with loaded sleighs to go on the ice from Brockville to Kingston, fifty years past.”

Roger Bates says that “the woods were filled with deer, bears, wolves, martins, squirrels, and rabbits.” No doubt, at first, before fire-arms were feared by them, they were plentiful and very tame. Even wild geese, it would seem, were often easily shot. But powder and shot were expensive, and unless good execution could be made, the charge was reserved. Mr. Sherwood gives a trustworthy account of the shooting of thirty pigeons at one shot; and another account is furnished, of Jacob Parliament, of Sophiasburgh, who killed and wounded at a single shot, four wild geese and five ducks. These wild fowl not only afforded luxurious and nutritious diet, but their feathers were saved, and in time pillows and even beds were thus made. Mr. John Parrott, of Ernest Town, descendant of Col. Jas. Parrott, says, “there were bears, wolves, and deer in great abundance, and there were lynx, wild cats, beavers and foxes in every directions; also martins, minks and weasels beyond calculation.” In this connection, we may record a fact related by Col. Clark, respecting the migration of squirrels in the early part of the present century across the Niagara river, from the States. He says, “an 203immense immigration of squirrels took place, and so numerous were they that the people stood with sticks to destroy them, as they landed on the British shore, which by many was considered a breach of good faith on the part of John Bull, who is always ready to grant an asylum to fugitives of whatever nation they may belong to.”


“Soon the blue-birds and the bees
O’er the stubble will be winging;
So ‘tis time to tap the trees
And to set the axe a-ringing;
Time to set the hut to rights,
Where the girls and boys together
Tend the furnace fire o’nights
In the rough and rainy weather;
Time to hew and shape the trough,
And to punch the spile so hollow.
For the snow is thawing off
And the sugar-thaw must follow.
Oh, the gladdest time of year
Is the merry sugar-making,
When the swallows first appear
And the sleepy buds are waking!”

In the great wilderness were to be had, a few comforts and luxuries. Sugar is not only a luxury, but is really a necessary article of food. The properties of the sap of the maple was understood by the Indians, and the French soon availed themselves of the means of making sugar. To the present day, the French Canadians make it in considerable quantities. At first, the settlers of Upper Canada did not generally engage in making it; but, after a time a larger number did. The maple, the monarch of the Canadian forest, whose leaf is the emblem of our country, was a kind benefactor. In the spring, in the first days of genial sunshine, active operations for sugar making were commenced. Through the deep snow, the farmer and his sons would trudge, from tree to tree, to tap them upon their sunny side. The “spile” would be inserted to conduct the precious fluid into the trough of bass-wood, which had been fashioned during the long winter evenings. A boiling place would be arranged, with a long pole for a crane, upon which would be strung the largest kettles that could be procured. At night, the sap would be gathered from the troughs, a toilsome job, and put into barrels. In the morning a curling smoke would rise from amidst the thick woods, and the dry wood would crackle 204cheerily under the row of kettles, all the sunny spring day; and night would show a rich dark syrup, collected in one smaller kettle, for the more careful work of being converted into sugar. Frequently the fire would be attended by the women; and the men would come to gather the sap in the evening. In this way many a family would be provided with abundant sugar, at all events it had to serve them for the year, as they felt unable to purchase from the merchant. In another place, we have related how a few made a considerable quantity of sugar and sold it all, to pay for a farm, doing without themselves.

The absence of various articles of food, led the thoughtful housewife to invent new made dishes. The nature of these would depend in part upon the articles of food most abundant, and upon the habits peculiar to their ancestry, whether English, Dutch or some other. The great desire was, to make a common article as tasty as possible. And at harvest time, as well as at bees, the faithful wife would endeavour to prepare something extra to regale the tired ones. There was, for instance, the “pumpkin loaf,” a common dish. It consisted of pumpkin and corn meal made into a small loaf, and eaten with butter. Another dish which seems to have been derived from the Dutch, was Pot Pie, which was always, and is even yet in many places, made to feed the hands at bees and raisings, and even was generally made to grace the board on a wedding occasion. We cannot give the space, if we felt prepared to speak, of the several made dishes commonly in use among the older Canadians of Upper Canada. Many of them are truly excellent in taste and nutritious in quality. They are often similar to, or very like the dishes in the New England and Midland States.

This subject will be concluded by giving a few extracts from Rochefoucault who wrote of what he saw and learned in Canada in 1795, and who may be regarded as quite correct.

He says, “It is asserted” (by Simcoe) “that all Canada, produces not the necessary corn for the consumption of its inhabitants, the troops are supplied with flour from London, and with salt meat from Ireland.” But Simcoe then thought that Canada was capable not alone of feeding her inhabitants, but of becoming the granary of England, and receiving commodities in Exchange. Speaking of Forty Mile Creek, he says: “Before it empties itself into the lake, it turns a grist mill and two saw mills, which belong to a Mr. Green, a loyalist of Jersey, who, six or seven years ago, settled in this part of Upper Canada.” “Land newly cleared yields here, the 205first year, twenty bushels of corn. They plough the land after it has produced three or four crops, but not very deep. The price of flour is twenty-two shillings per hundred weight, that of wheat from seven to eight shillings per bushel. Laborers are scarce, and are paid at the rate of six shillings a day. Wheat is generally sown throughout all Upper Canada, but other sorts of grain are also cultivated.” “Mr Green grinds the corn for all the military posts in Upper Canada.”

Approaching Kingston by water he remarks that “on the left is Quinté Bay, the banks of which are said to be cultivated up to a considerable extent. The eye dwells with pleasure once more on cultivated ground. The country looks pleasant. The houses lie closer than in any of the new settled parts of Upper Canada which we have hitherto traversed. The variegated verdure of the cornfields embellishes and enriches the prospect, charms the eye, and enchants the mind.”

“This district not only produces the corn requisite for its own consumption, but also exports yearly about 3 or 4000 bushels. This grain, which, in winter, is conveyed down the river on sledges, is bought by the merchants, who engage, on the arrival of the ships from Europe, to pay its amount in such merchandise as the sellers may require. The merchants buy this grain for government, which pays for it in ready money, according to the market price at Montreal. The agent of government causes part to be ground into flour, which he sends to the different ports in Upper Canada, where it is wanted; and the surplus he sends to England. The price of flour in Kingston is at present (12th July, 1795) six dollars per barrel. The district of Kingston supplied, last year, the other parts of Canada with large quantities of pease, the culture of which, introduced but two years ago, proves very productive and successful. In the course of last year, 1000 barrels of salt pork, of 208 pounds each, were sent from Kingston to Quebec; its price was eighteen dollars per barrel. The whole trade is carried on by merchants, whose profits are the more considerable, as they fix the price of the provisions which they receive from Europe, and sell without the least competition.” Indeed, the profits of the dealers must have been immense. They sold to the military authorities at a rate which would remunerate them when the provisions came from England; and when the farmers of Canada began to raise grain to sell, they bought it, or exchanged merchandise for it, upon which they fixed the price, and continued to sell the flour at the same price to the military authorities.



Contents—​Kingston Mills—​Action of Government—​The Millwright—​Situation of the first Mill—​Why Selected—​The Machinery—​Put up by Loyalists—​No Toll—​Only Mill for three years—​Going to Mill, 1784—​The Napanee Mill—​Commenced 1785—​Robert Clarke—​An old Book—​“Appenea” Falls—​Price of certain articles—​What Rum cost, and was used for—​The Mill opened 1787—​Sergt.-Major Clarke in charge—​Indian Corn—​Small Toll—​Surveyor Collins in charge—​Becomes the Property of R. Cartwright, 1792—​Rebuilt—​Origin of Napanee—​Price of Butter, 1788—​Mills at Four Mile Creek, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and Grand River—​Mills on the St. Lawrence—​The Stone Mills—​Van Alstine—​Lake of the Mountain—​1796—​Natural Beauty, versus Utility—​The Mill—​Van Alstine’s Death—​Wind Mill—​Myer’s Mill—​Mill at Consecon.


Government was not an indifferent spectator of the difficulty spoken of as to the grinding of grain—​the procuring of flour, and at an early day, ordered means to meet the requirements of the pioneers. We have the certain statement of John C. Clark, of Ernest town, now dead, written ten years ago, that his father, Robert Clark, who was a millwright, “was employed by Government, in 1782–3, to erect the Kingston Mills preparatory to the settlement of the Loyalists in that section of Upper Canada.” The place selected for erecting the mill, was upon the Cataraqui River, seven miles north of the Fort, now the entrance of the Rideau Canal, where are situated the first locks of that artificial water way. When in a state of nature, the place must have been strikingly beautiful; it is so at the present time, when the achievements of art give variety of attraction. This situation, selected for the first flouring mill, was central to the population strung along the banks of the St. Lawrence, and Bay Quinté. Everything required for the construction of the mill, was furnished by Government, such as the mill stones, and the machinery. The rougher work, the walls of the building, was done by men detailed for the purpose, from the company of soldiers. The structure consisted of logs, or timber roughly squared, and was erected, as well as the mill house, by the combined efforts of the soldier settlers, collected for the purpose. All the settlers had their grists ground without paying toll. The original building was standing as late as 1836.

For nearly three years, the Cataraqui Mill was the only one in Central Canada. The settlers came from Cornwall in the east, and the most remote settlement up the Bay. At the present day, when railroads and swiftly running steamers assist so materially to annihilate space as it were, and bring distant places into close relationship, 207it would be regarded a matter of no little trouble and inconvenience, to carry grain from Cornwall on the one hand, and Sidney on the other, to Kingston, and wait to have it ground into flour; but how infinitely greater the difficulty, when a trackless woods covered the intervening spaces, when the only mode of carrying anything was upon the back, or in a canoe, or batteaux, or upon a raft, in summer; and upon a hand-sleigh in winter, drawn through deep snow, following the windings of the shore along many a dismal mile.

The increasing population around the Bay, caused the authorities to seek a proper site for a second mill. The Napanee River, with its natural falls, offered an advantageous place upon which to erect a second mill for the settlers, upon the Bay. We have been fortunate, through the kindness of Mr. P. Clark, of Collinsby, in being permitted to examine an account book kept by Robert Clark, the millwright, of both the Kingston and Napanee mills. By this, we learn that in the year 1785, Robert Clark, who had completed the Kingston Mill, removed to the second township, and, according to instructions received from Government, proceeded to construct a mill upon the Napanee River, at the site of the natural falls. In the absence of the full particulars relating to the building of the Napanee Mills, the following cannot fail to be of interest. In the account book aforementioned, the following references to the building of the mill, are found recorded:

“An accompt of articles bought for the use of the works, November 8.” “To 4 Augers of different size, from Mr. Phillips, carpenters at Catariqui, 13s, 8d. To 3 quires of Writing Paper, 5s. December 6, To 20 lbs. of Nails, £1; December 22, To 6 Whip Saw Files, 3s. 9d.” Omitting some items, and coming to March 23, 1786, we find “For Raising the Saw Mill,” “2 gallons and 3 pints of Rum, 17s. 6d.” “April 20th, To 1 quart of Rum, 2s.” On the “25th May, To 4 gallons and 1 quart of Rum, for Raising the Grist Mill, at 7s. 6d.” The “26th, To 1 quart of Rum for the People at work in the water at the Dam.” By this we learn the day upon which the Napanee mill was erected. On the 20th July, Government is again charged with “3 pints of Rum for raising the fender-post,” &c. On the 27th, a pint was again required, but for what special purpose is not mentioned. In December, 1786, we find “To making Bolt Cloth 15s.” “To Clearing one acre and three-quarters of Land for a mill, at seven dollars per acre, £3.” And we find that the iron or smith work for the mill was done 208by David Palmer and Conly. From the fact that the bolting cloth was not made until December, 1786, we may infer that the mill did not commence operations until the beginning of 1787. The mill was a great boon to the inhabitants around the Bay Quinté, not only because they had a shorter distance to travel, but the amount of work pressing upon the Kingston mill, made it very uncertain as to the time one would have to wait, to get his gristing done. Consequently many came from the Lower Bay, and the dwellers upon the South Bay in Marysburg, who followed the shores around Indian Point and up the Bay Quinté. To those living in Thurlow, Sidney, and at the Carrying Place, the mill was a great blessing.

The father of the late Col. John Clark, of Port Dalhousie, who had been Sergeant Major in the 8th Regiment, and who had, from 1777, been clerk and naval storekeeper at Carleton Island, removed to within three miles of Napanee, the same year the mill was built, to take charge of the works, in addition to his other duties. John Clark, who was then a small boy, says in his memoirs; the grain principally brought to be ground, was Indian corn; but as the clearances increased, wheat became more plentiful. He also speaks of the great industry which characterized the settlers. “A small toll was exacted to pay for the daily expenses of the mill, but this was a mere trifle, considering the advantages the settlers derived from loss of time in proceeding to Kingston.” From this we infer that no toll was demanded at the Kingston mill. “When my father,” continues Col. Clark, “was ordered to Niagara, the mill was delivered up to surveyor Collins, under whose directions it was continued in operation for many years, and then the mill site became the property of the Hon. R. Cartwright of Kingston.” But, we find the statement elsewhere made that the land was originally granted to Captain McDonald of Marysburg, who sold it to Cartwright.

Robert Clark, in his account book, says, “Commenced work for Mr. Cartwright at the Napanee mills, the 28th August, 1792.” This was probably the time when Cartwright became the owner. In the same year, reference is made to timber, for the “new mill,” by which we learn that Mr. Cartwright found it desirable to rebuild. The iron work for the new mill came to £14.

By the book, from which we have made extracts, we see that the name is spelled in different ways, the first being Appenea. For many years the name was spelled Apanee. It has been said that it 209was an Indian name, signifying flour, and was given by the Mississaugas, from the existence of the flouring mill. Napanee may signify flour, in the Indian language, but the inference drawn cannot be correct, as we find the name Appenea Falls given to the place in 1785, before the mill was commenced.

Cartwright having rebuilt the mill put in one run of stone at first, shortly after two, and then three. Robert Clark was the millwright, and one Profect was in charge of the works. The mill seems to have been constructed with some care, and Gourlay says, in 1817, that the Napanee mill is the best in the Province. The old account book from which we have gleaned, gives the price at which certain articles were vended. Thus, we learn that in June, 1787, and July 1788, butter sold at Napanee for 1s. per pound.

Some time after the erection of the Kingston and Napanee mills, others were erected in other parts of the Province; one at Four Mile Creek, one at the Niagara Falls, one at Fort Erie, another at the Mohawk Village, Grand River; and still later, one at Twelve Mile Creek. “In the year 1788, the first grist mill in Dundas was built by Messrs. Coons and Shaver in Matilda. It contained but one run of stone, and had a saw mill attached. It stood about a mile above the present village of Iroquois. It could grind 100 bushels of wheat per day, and turned out good flour. Soon after, another mill was built on a much larger scale, by John Munroe, also in Matilda, which had three run of stone.” There was also a gang of saws. The machinery was driven by the St. Lawrence waters. At a still later period VanAlstine’s mill was erected, at the Lake on the Mountain.

The events connected with Captain, afterwards Major VanAlstine, as a settler, are recorded in the settlement of Adolphustown. Directly opposite the rich and sloping land on the north shore, on which he settled, is a high prominent hill, which stands boldly up against the bay. This “mountain” is famous on account of the lake upon its summit, a particular account of which is given elsewhere. It is referred to here in a practical sense. While, upon the hill-top is the work of nature, presented in a striking manner; at its feet is the work of man, which, particularly in the past, was of no little consequence to the well-being of the settlers of the Bay. About the year 1796, the third flouring mill of the bay was erected at this place by VanAlstine, to whom had been granted a large tract of land. The surplus waters of the lake, in primeval days, made their escape over the cliff, falling into the bay, and forming, it must 210have been at times, a beautiful cascade. But, if Captain VanAlstine had a taste for the beautiful in nature, he also had a just appreciation of the wants of the people, and he proceeded to utilize the falling water. A canal was cut down the mountain side, to form a channel for the water to descend, and at the bottom was erected a mill, the machinery of which was to be propelled by the descending stream. From that day to this the work of grinding has been carried on. However beautiful the lake above, and delightful the prospect, they cannot exceed in interest the foundation of this mill. Imagination would almost give words to the sound of the mill, which so peacefully clicks the daily round of work. The down-rushing waters by the artificial channel would seem to utter reminiscences of the past—​regrets that they may no longer tumble headlong over the hill-side to form a lovely cascade; but the water-witch has been driven away by the spirit of utilitarianism. This conspicuous hill has often been the point of hope, the goal to which the farmer turned his little bark, containing, it is true, but a few bushels of grain, yet so precious, and about which the hungry ones in the little log house, thought so frequently, with bodies long accustomed to suffer for the want of enough to eat. And, often this mountain stood up as a guide to the settler, as he trudged along wearily through the thick snow with a bag or two of grain upon a hand-sleigh. Although not the very first mill, it dates back to the last century.

The Kingston Gazette of the 16th April, 1811, contains an advertisement, signed by the executors of the deceased Major VanAlstine’s will, namely, George W. Myers, Cornelius VanAlstine, and Thomas Dorland, in which it is stated that the mill contains two run of stone, one superfine and two common bolts.

A windmill was built at a somewhat early period, by Sergeant Howell, nearly opposite the Upper Gap, in Fredericksburgh. It was sold to one Russell, who was an Engineer in Kingston, in the war of 1812. The windmill was never much used, if at all.

About the beginning of the century, 1802, Capt. Myers built a flouring mill upon the Moira. (See Thurlow.) It seems to have been a good mill, for persons came a long distance to get grinding done. For instance: Isaiah Tubs, who lived at West Lake, would come, carrying a bag of grain upon his back.

In the year 1804, Mr. Wilkins says, a gristing mill was built at Consecon, to the south of the Carrying Place. Consecon is an Indian name, from Con-Cou, a pickerel.



Contents—​Clothing—​Domestic and Farming Implements—​Style of Dress eighty years ago—​Clothing of the Refugees—​Disbanded Soldiers—​No Fresh Supply—​Indian Garments of Skin—​Deerskin Pants—​Petticoats—​Bed Coverings—​Cultivating Flax—​Sheep—​Home-made Clothes—​Rude Implements—​Fulling—​French Mode—​Lindsay Woolsey—​The Spinning-wheel—​Industry—​Young men Selecting Wives—​Bees—​Marriage Portion—​Every Farmer his own Tanner and Shoemaker—​Fashions—​How odd hours were spent—​Home-made Shoes—​What Blankets were made of—​Primitive Bedstead—​Nakedness—​Bridal Apparel—​No Saddles—​Kingston and Newark—​Little Money—​Bartering—​Merchants from Albany—​Unable to buy—​Credit with Merchants—​The Results—​Itinerant Mechanics—​Americans—​Become Canadians—​An old Stone-mason—​Wooden Dishes—​Making Spoons—​Other Hardships—​Indians Friendly—​Effects of Alcohol upon the Mississaugas—​Groundless Panic—​Drunken Indians—​Women, defending Themselves—​An erroneous Statement about Indian Massacre in “Dominion Monthly Magazine”—​Statement of an Old Settler, Sherwood—​Wild Beasts—​Few Fire-arms—​Narrow Escapes—​Depredations at Night—​Destroying Stock—​An Act of Parliament—​“A Traveller’s” Statement—​The Day of Small Things—​Settlers Contented—​The Extent of their Ambition—​Reward of Industry—​Population in 1808—​Importations—​Money—​The Youth.


The style of clothing worn by the refugees and disbanded soldiers was such as prevailed eighty years ago in England. A certain difference, no doubt, existed between the English and the Colonists, yet mainly the style was the same. Among the first settlers upon the bay were those who had fetched with them, and wore, at least occasionally, garments of fashionable cut and appointments. Tight knee-breeches and silver buckles would decorate the bodies of some, who had in other days mixed in the fashionable throng, perhaps luxuriated in the gay city of New York, where the presence of British soldiers always gave life and gaiety. Indeed some of the inhabitants had been commissioned officers in the regular army. Dr. Dougall, who had been in the navy, and who had settled in the sixth Township, is remembered as a wearer of “tights” and silver buckles. Also, Major VanAlstine wore this elegant attire, and the M’Leans, of Kingston. Those who left their homes hurriedly during the course of the war, and fled to Lower Canada and the several British Forts, brought only what was upon their backs. Those who came more leisurely might have a little more; but the distance to travel on foot would deter from undertaking to bring more than supplies of food. The disbanded soldiers had no more than what belongs to a soldier’s kit, and no doubt the close of the war left many of them with well worn garments. A few years of exposure to the wear and tear of pioneer life would 212quite destroy the best supplied wardrobe, however carefully husbanded, or ingeniously mended by the anxious wife. To replace the clothing was far from an easy matter to the settlers, many of whom had no money, certainly no time for a long journey to Montreal or Albany. After a few years, Kingston became a place of trade, but the supply of clothing was scant and dear, placing it beyond the reach of mostly all. The result was that the vast majority of the inhabitants had to look to the production of their lands wherewith to cover the nakedness of their families. Those living up the bay continued to want for clothing for a longer time, being unable to exchange with the merchants of Kingston, until peddlers began to visit the more remote settlers.

The faded garments, patched until the original material could no longer be distinguished, ultimately succumbed to the effects of time and labor.

The Indians, who as a general thing were friendly and kind, when they visited the settlement, gave to the settlers the idea of manufacturing garments out of deer skin. They, now and then exchanged skins for articles the settlers could part with, and taught them how to prepare the fresh pelt so as to make it pliable. The process consisted in removing the hair and then working the hide by hand with the brains of some animal, until it was soft and white. Trowsers made of this material were not only comfortable for winter, but very durable. A gentleman who recently died in Sophiasburgh at an advanced age, remembered to have worn a pair for twelve years, being repaired occasionally, and at the end they were sold for two dollars and-a-half. Petticoats for women were often made of the same material. Roger Bates says “My grandmother made all sorts of useful dresses with these skins, which were most comfortable for a country life, and for going through the bush, could not be torn by the branches.” Also, moccasins were procured from the buckskin, and some had enough deer-skin to make covering for beds. But deer-skin was not sufficiently abundant to give covering to all, such as it was; and, certain clothing was required, for which it was unfit. Thus left to their own resources, the settlers commenced at an early period to cultivate flax, and as soon as possible to procure sheep. For many years almost every family made their various garments, for both sexes, of the coarse linen made from the flax, and cloth from wool raised at home and carded by hand. Preparing the flax for weaving, as well as spinning were done by hand, with inferior implements rudely made. But 213in later years, occasionally spinning wheels and looms were brought in by settlers. There were no fulling mills to complete the fabric. Even the mode adopted then, in Lower Canada, was not practised, which was as follows: A meeting of young folks, similar to a bee, was held from house to house, at which both sexes took part. The cloth to be fulled was placed in large tubs, and bare-legged youths would step in and with much amusement dance the fulling done. In Upper Canada, both high and low were glad to be able to don the home-made linen, and the linsey-woolsey petticoat.

“The growth of flax was much attended to as soon as lands were cleared and put in order.” “Then spinning-wheels were all the go, and home-made linen, the pride of all families, manufactured substantial articles that would last a lifetime.” The young men of industry would look for the spinning-wheel and loom before selecting a wife. “A young farmer would often be astonished to find on his marriage that his fair partner had got a good supply of linen for her marriage portion. I have known as much as sixty yards spun and manufactured at one bee or gathering.”—​Clark.

When the skins of sheep, and of calves and beef become available, every farmer became his own tanner, and dressed his leather; and then his own shoemaker. Fashions did not change, except as the continued practice of making for an increasing family, gave the maker ability to make something more like a boot than a moccasin. Rainy days, and the nights, were spent in doing such kind of work, not by candle light, but by the hearth fire. It was at the same time that an axe-helve, a wooden plow, a reaping cradle, a wooden fork, &c., were made. But many a child, whose grand-children are now occupying positions of wealth and influence, stayed in the log cabin the winter through, because he had nothing with which to protect his feet from the snow. The writer’s father was not a shoemaker by trade; but he remembers when a boy to have worn shoes made by him. They were not conspicuous for their beauty, but it was thought by the wearer they would last forever; within his recollection there was not a shoemaker in Thurlow.

Much ingenuity was displayed in making clothes and blankets. What was called the “Kearsy” blanket was made at an early date; the writer has seen the first one said to have been manufactured in Upper Canada, certainly the first on the Bay Quinté. It is yet in use and belongs to one, nearly one hundred years of age, who is the daughter of the maker, whom we remember to have seen when a 214boy, who, although then in the sear and yellow leaf, was as tall and erect as if untold hardships had not crowned her life. Within fifteen miles of Belleville, across the Bay, was a log cabin, the occupants of which had for their first blanket, one made out of hair, picked out of the tanner’s vat, and a hemp-like weed growing in the yard. The hair was first cleaned by whipping it; then it was carded and worked up with the hemp, and then spun. It was afterward doubled and twisted, and finally woven into a blanket. The individual whose wife did this, and whose descendants are among the most wealthy farmers, bought his farm for a horse. For many a day, they had no furniture, not even a chair, and the bedstead was made out of two poles, driven between the logs of the shanty; and basswood bark was twisted so as to bind them substantially together. Clean straw upon this, was really the only thing they had in the house. And so it was with very many, the exceptions being, some half pay officers, who had brought a table, or a chest of drawers. In 1790, the brother of an individual, holding an important post in Kingston, was near the head of the bay, staying at a house in a state of nakedness; in which condition his brother writes, “he must remain until I am able to go up.” “I have agreed to put him to trial with a carpenter to learn the trade,” he must therefore have been a large boy.

It was not until the close of the last century, that wearing articles, other than those made out of flax and wool, were to be obtained. A calico dress was a decided luxury. The petticoat, and short gown of linen, was more common. A long chintz dress to go to meeting, was the height of many a damsel’s ambition, or a grogran dress and short petticoat. As years passed away, and a grown up daughter was about to be married, efforts would be made to array the bride in fitting costume. Often a dress, worn by the mother in other days, amid other scenes, which had been laid carefully away, was brought forth to light, and made by suitable alterations to do renewed service, although the white had assumed a yellow cast, and had lost its lustre.

As late as 1816, a farmer owning land in Sidney, and who died rich, made in winter a journey to Kingston with flour, wearing nothing on his feet, but a pair of shoes, and who had his trowsers strapped down to keep his ankles warm. Leg boots took too much leather. It was many years before a bridle and saddle were known, and then, but a few possessed such a convenience. Bare-back, or on a deer skin was the primitive mode.

After the erection of Upper Canada into a separate province, both Kingston and Newark, where there were always troops, and where 215articles of clothing were to be purchased from a few, who had gone into the mercantile business, exhibited a degree of comfort and even gaiety in dress.

At the first there was but little money in circulation. But few of the refugees, or disbanded soldiers had any when they entered the wilderness. The government were constantly paying a certain sum to the troops at Kingston and Newark, and likewise to the retired half pay officers. The few who could command money, were placed in a position of greater comfort, as soon as articles of provisions and merchandise, were brought to the new settlement. Mainly, however, trading was carried on by exchanging one commodity for another. Probably the first articles for trade, was the ticket for grants of land in the back concessions, often parted with so cheaply. The settlers required clothing, grain for sowing, and stock; these wants in time, led to trade, two kinds of which were introduced. One carried on by merchants established at Kingston, the other by pedlars, Yankee pedlars, who would come from Albany with their pack in a canoe or small batteau, and who plied their calling along the bay shore from clearing to clearing. Both the merchant at Kingston, who waited for his customers to come to him, and the pedlar who sought customers, asked for their wares, only grain or any other produce. But wheat was desired above all others. It was an event of no little interest to the back woodsman’s family, when the pedlar’s canoe or batteau came along, and halted before the log house, by the shore. And, even when their circumstances would not permit them to buy, it was a luxury to have a look at the things, which were so temptingly displayed. The toil-worn farmer, with well patched trowsers, would turn with an inward sigh from the piece of cloth, which although so much wanted, could not be got. The wife looked longingly at those little things, which would just suit baby. The grown up daughters gazed wistfully, but hopelessly at the bright calico prints, more valuable, in their eyes than the choicest silks are to their descendants to day. But a calico dress was a thing not enjoyed, but by few, until it was bought for the wedding dress. Frequently some articles of family use was exchanged for goods, which were deemed of more use. The trade of merchants at Kingston steadily increased; but not a cash business. A credit system was initiated and carried on. Goods would be purchased with an engagement to pay in wheat or potatoes, or something else, at a certain time. Here and there along the bay were Indian fur traders. They, also, began to exchange with the settlers. While this was a great convenience, and gave immediate comfort to 216many a family, it, at the same time, led to serious results with many. Disappointed in the return of crops, or in some other way, the payment could not be made. Promissory notes were given at interest; and, after a few years, suing and seizing of stock was the result. Sometimes even the farm went to satisfy the creditor. Unfortunately, there are too many such cases in the records of the settlers of the bay. Not alone did pedlars come from the States, to pick up the fruit of the industry, of those they had driven away; but there were itinerant Yankee mechanics who would occasionally come along, looking for a job. Carpenters, Masons, &c., after a few years, found much to do. We would not speak disparagingly of these Americans, because they served a good turn in erecting buildings, as houses, barns, &c. They also introduced many valuable articles of husbandry and domestic use. And finally, many of them forsook their republican government, and permanently settled under the King, and became the best of subjects. Even in the first decade of the present century, mechanics would go up and down the bay seeking work. For instance, there was one Travers, a stone mason, who found employment along the bay, and even up the lake. Of this we are informed by one of his apprentices who is now upwards of eighty years old. (We make place in our Review to state that John W. Maybee, referred to, aged 88, died 7th February, 1869.)

A hundred things enter into the list of what constitutes home comforts. But spare, indeed, were the articles to be found upon the kitchen shelves. Plain enough, was the spread table, at which the family gathered morning, noon, and night. Many had but one or two dishes, often of wood, rudely made out of basswood; and spoons of the same material. Knives and forks in many families were unknown. A few families had brought a very limited number of articles for eating, relics of other days, but these were exceedingly scarce. The wooden spoon was the most common table article with which to carry food to the mouth. By and by the pedlar brought pewter spoons, and once in a while the settler procured pewter and moulds and made spoons for himself.


Apart from the suffering arising from want of food, and clothing to wear, and furniture to make the house comfortable, there were others of more or less magnitude. It would naturally be expected that one of the first dangers in entering a wilderness, would be from 217the Indians, whose territory was being occupied. But in the main this evil was not added to their other distress. The considerate and just policy pursued by the British Government, left the Indians no cause of complaint, and they did not at any time assume an hostile attitude toward the infant colony. But that curse of the human race,—​baneful curse to the Indians, alcohol, came with the white man; and, too often, the unscrupulous trader, and merchant would, not only sell the fire water to them, but rely upon its intoxicating qualities, to consummate more excellent bargains for furs. The evil thus inflicted upon the Indian, returned in some cases, upon innocent pioneers. The Indians under the influence of liquor are particularly savage and ungovernable; prone to exhibit their wild nature. Thirsting for the liquor, they would sometimes enter dwellings, when they knew the men were absent, and endeavour to intimidate the women to give them rum. A few instances of alarm and actual danger, come to us, among the bay settlers. At one time particularly, there arose a wide spread alarm, (long remembered as the “Indian alarms,”) that the Indians were, upon some fixed night, when the men were away to Kingston mills, going to massacre the settlers. This arose from some remarks, let fall by a half drunken Indian. A few of the settlers, did actually leave their homes, and sought protection in a more thickly settled locality, while active steps were taken to defend their homes against the Indians. Mrs. Dempsey, of seventh township, gathered up what she could, and with her children crossed in a canoe to the eighth township. On another occasion, when her husband was absent, several half drunken Indians came to the house, and one stepping up to where she sat, trembling with fear, and with her little ones nestling close to her, drew his knife, and cutting a piece from the palm of his hand, held the bleeding wound before her face, crying out “look, look, Indian no fraid.” Then he brandished his knife in the most menacing manner. She hearing the sound of a passing team, got up and slowly walked backwards to the door, looking the savage bravely in the eye all the time. Her husband had opportunely arrived, in time to save his family, which he did by a free use of the horse-whip. On another occasion, Mrs. D. saved her life and the children from drunken Indians, by rushing up a ladder with them, into the garret, which could only be reached by a small opening through the ceiling, and then hauling the ladder up. The Indians endeavoured to assist each other up, and through the entrance, but she having a knife succeeded by cutting their fingers, when they attempted to get up, in keeping them back. These hostile attempts were exceptions, and always the result of intoxication.

218Since writing the above, an article has been published in the Dominion Monthly Magazine, in which it is stated that a family of settlers were massacred by the Indians upon the banks of the St. Lawrence in 1795. This statement is at variance with facts known to us, and with the testimony of one who cannot be mistaken. His statement is as follows:

Brockville, 13th April, 1868.
My Dear Sir,—​

I am in receipt of your note of this date, adverting to the statement of the massacre of a family in Upper Canada, by the Indians in 1795. I noticed the same statement in some paper I have lately read, and at the time I thought it to be a mistake in the date, or an entire fabrication. I am not aware of the least hostility shewn by the Indians to any of the U. E. Loyalists since 1784, eleven years previous to date stated, and I do not believe a syllable of it.

Yours truly,
Adiel Sherwood.

Although the native Indians did not, as a general thing, alarm the settler, there were wild beasts that did. For years the wolf, and the bear, and other ferocious animals were a source of terror and suffering. These animals, unaccustomed to the sight of man, were at first exceedingly tame. The settlers had but few fire-arms, and ammunition was very scarce; and the beasts knew no terror of them. They would even by day, come to the very door of the cabin, ready to seize the little child, or the scanty stock of poultry, pigs, or sheep, or calves, or salted provisions which had been left exposed, government stores, &c. And at night they made the most hideous and incessant howls, until morning. Many instances of their rapacity in robbing the scanty yard of the settlers, and of hair breadth escapes of individuals from wolves and bears, are mentioned. The destruction of stock by the wolf especially, caused the government of Canada, at an early date, (1793,) to legislate, with a view of gradually exterminating them; and an act was passed, granting a premium of four dollars to every one who should bring a wolf’s head to the proper officer; and two dollars for a bear’s. It was withdrawn with regard to bears, in 1796. “A traveller,” writing in 1835, remarks that in Kingston, resided a person who privately bred wolves to obtain the reward. But whether such an enterprising citizen did actually live in the good old town the writer saith not. Instances of narrow escapes from the wild beasts are still remembered; for instance, Lewis Daly, of Ernest town, was 219suddenly attacked by a bear within a mile of home. He sprung up a small tree, which bending over, he was in momentary danger of being reached. His cries brought help.

In those early days, the settler, looked not for great things; schooled by the hardships of civil war, and inured to want, and half starvation, they asked not for riches. Enough to eat, and to be warmly clad, and housed from the winter’s cold, was the great point to which they stretched their longing hopes. Plenty in the future for the little ones, and for themselves, when they had grown old, was the single purpose of their toilsome life. A descendant of a first settler upon the front of Sidney, tells of his grandmother whom he had heard say, that her great ambition at first, was to raise vegetables, onions and other useful articles in her garden bed; to have poultry then, about her. After years she got the fowls; but a mink, in a single night killed them all. Then, again, they had got a breeding sow, and one morning a bear walked out of the woods, and with one hug destroyed all their hopes of future porkers.

Gradually, as years passed away, comforts began to reward the patient and industrious pioneers; acre after acre was brought under cultivation. The log house received an addition, a little stock was procured, and the future brightened up before them, and by the year 1808, the settlements in Upper Canada were increasing in number, and spreading in every direction. “The frontier of the country was fast filling up. Persons were taking up land several miles from the water’s edge. Some had ventured to take up land in the second tier of townships, in the midst of the wilderness, and many miles from any habitation. The population was now increased to about 70,000 souls. The importations was chiefly liquors and groceries, which by the St. Lawrence and the United States, brought a revenue of nearly £7,000. The bulk of the inhabitants manufactured and wore their own clothing. The way of trade was mostly by barter, as gold and silver were scarce, and there were no banks to issue paper currency. Intemperance was very prevalent, and schools were scarce. The youth were too fond of foolish amusements.”—​(Playter.)



Contents—​Sweat of the Brow—​No Beast of Burden—​No Stock—​Except by a Few—​Horses and Oxen—​From Lower Canada—​York State—​Later comers, brought some—​No Fodder—​First Stock in Adolphustown—​Incidents—​Cock and Hen—​“Tipler”—​Cattle Driving—​First Cow in Thurlow—​First House in Marysburgh—​The First Oxen—​No Market for Butter and Cheese—​Sheep—​Rev. Mr. Stuart, as an Agriculturist—​Horses at Napanee—​An offer for a Yoke of Steers.


We have seen that the refugees and disbanded soldiers who entered Canada, brought but a limited number of implements, and those of an imperfect nature. The most of them had no means of lessening labor, no beasts of burden. All the work had to be done by the sturdy arm, and by the sweat of the brow. For years, mostly all alike thus labored, and for many years the increasing number continued to toil, being unable to procure beasts of burden, or any stock. The distance to go for them was too far, and the way too difficult to be undertaken easily. But, a greater difficulty, an insurmountable reason was that they had not the means to purchase, until years of struggling had extracted from the ground, covered with stumps, produce to exchange for the much required help, in the form of beasts of burden. Some of the half-pay officers, and other persons, favored by those holding some situations in the government, were enabled to get beasts of burden at first, or within a year or two. There were a few old soldiers who had a little money, received at being discharged; and again, some sold their location tickets of a portion of their land, and thereby were enabled to make purchase of cows or oxen.

For beasts of burden, they, as a general thing, preferred oxen in preference to horses, to work among the stumps with. Both oxen and horses were brought from Lower Canada and York State. The later comers, especially, fetched with them horses, oxen and cows from the latter place.

A few of the very first settlers, perhaps, brought one or more cows. We find it stated that the disbanded soldiers had a cow allotted to every two families; these must have been procured at Lower Canada, perhaps a few by way of Oswego, where were stationed some troops. Sheriff Ruttan, speaking of the famine, says: “We had the luxury of a cow which the family brought with them.” Thomas Goldsmith came in 1786, and drove a lot of cattle to the Bay: but he could not get enough for them to eat 221and they, starved to death, excepting one heifer and a yoke of oxen. The Petersons, who settled in the Fourth Town in 1785, and cleared a small lot of land, went “the following year to Montreal and brought up some horses and three cows, which comprised the principal stock then in the Township.”

After a few years, when the settlers had become somewhat established, steps were taken more generally, to procure stock, so necessary to give ordinary comfort to their families; while those who now entered the country brought cows with them. Although the cows and oxen were procured occasionally from Lower Canada; the most of them were obtained from the States; but the horses were in the main at first, brought from Lower Canada. Many incidents attending the long and devious journey through the wilderness, are still told. Thomas Goldsmith, before mentioned, who settled in Prince Edward, came into Canada by way of the Mohawk, Wood Creek, Oneida Lake, and Oswego river, thence to Cataraqui. He undertook to drive some cattle through the woods to Cape Vincent, piloted by a friendly Indian, to swim them across the St. Lawrence. In this journey he suffered almost every privation—​hunger, fatigue, exposure. Resting one night in the ordinary manner, with his head slightly raised, upon the root of a tree, with no other covering than the tree’s branches, and sleeping very soundly, after a day’s walking, he became benumbed from exposure, and knew not of the rapidly descending rain, which had actually covered his body when he awoke. Yet this man lived to be ninety years old. Driving cattle through the woods was no easy matter, and dogs were often employed for that purpose. Ex-Sheriff Sherwood, in his valuable memorandum, relates an incident which throws light upon those primitive days. After remarking how well he recollects the pleasure, he and an elder brother experienced from a present made them of a cock and hen, no common luxuries then, and with what care they watched over them, he says: “let me tell you the tragic story of our little ‘Tipler,’ she had become famed for driving cattle, and we thought much of her. Two persons, one named Urehart, from the Bay Quinté, and the other Booth, started to go through the woods to Fort Stanwix for cattle, and prevailed upon my father to let them take poor little ‘Tipler.’ We saw them safe across the river; but, sad to say, neither the men nor Tipler were ever heard of after.”

John Ferguson, writing from Sidney, in July 1791, says that he cannot get horses for the farm until winter.

222In the summer of 1787, Elisha Miller and Col. Richey brought from Saratoga County several cattle and horses. They were driven by way of Black River, and swam the St. Lawrence at Gananoque.

The Reeds, who settled in Thurlow, in 1789, had a cow, which afforded the principal means of sustenance. This, with basswood leaves and other greens, constituted their food for many a day.

Mr. Harrison, now living in Marysburgh, tells of the first horse “below the rock.” It was brought, and owned by Colonel McDonald. This, and another were the only ones for many years. Afterward, oxen were brought in, as well as cows, by drovers from Lower Canada.

Rochfoucault says, 1795: “The cattle are not subject to contagious distempers; they are numerous, without being remarkably fine. The finest oxen are procured from Connecticut, at the price of seventy or eighty dollars a yoke. Cows are brought, either from the State of New York, and these are the finest; or from Lower Canada; the former costs twenty, and the latter fifteen dollars. These are small in size, but, in the opinion of the farmers, better milch cows, and are, for this reason, preferred. There are no fine bulls in the country; and the generality of farmers are not sensible of the advantages to be derived from cattle of a fine breed. In the summer, the cattle are turned into the woods; in winter, that is, six months together, they are fed on dry fodder. There is no ready market at which a farmer can sell that part of his cheese and butter which is not wanted for the use of the family. Of cheese and butter, therefore, no more is made than the family need for their own consumption.” “Sheep are more numerous here than in any part of the United States, which we have hitherto traversed. They are either procured from Lower Canada or the State of New York, and cost three dollars a head. They thrive in this country, but are high-legged, and of a very indifferent shape. Coarse wool, when cleaned, costs two shillings a pound.”

The above information was derived, the writer says, from Mr. Stuart, the Curate of Kingston, “who cultivates, himself, seventy acres of land, a part of 2,000 acres which had been granted him as a Loyalist. Without being a very skilful farmer, he is perfectly acquainted with the details of agriculture.” These statements refer no doubt, to the settlements of the Bay. There is reference to horses, by Col. Clarke, whose father, living at the Napanee Mills in 1788, had two favorite horses, Jolly and Bonny.

In an old account book, now before us, for which we are 223indebted to Mr. P. C. Clarke, of Collinsby, and which belonged to his grandfather, Robert Clarke, who built the Napanee Mills, we find the following entry.

“Appenea Falls, 23rd November, 1785.

“Acct. of work for Adam Bower with his horses. Dec. 3, To day’s work, do., &c. He continued to work for sixty-two days with his horses.”

The following supplies valuable information:

“Appanne Mills, 3rd Aug. 1788.

“Messrs. Collins and Frobisher, Dr.” &c. (They must have been agents for the Government).

“Aug. 21st. To David Bradshaw, one day with his oxen, 6s. June 11. To Samuel Browson, Jun’r., 2 days work with two yoke of oxen, at 10s. March 28th. To 11½ days, Adam Arehart, with a span of horses, at 6s.

“1789. Oct. 1. To Asa Richard; 9 days work with a pair of horses and a woman, at 9s.”

There is a memorandum in Robert Clarke’s book, as follows: “Mr. Joseph Crane got at Canada” (it will be remembered that the first settlers spoke of the Lower Province as Canada) “a bay horse six years old. A brown mare four years old. Second Township, 13th March, 1787.”

The Dempsey’s drove in, 100 miles, some cattle in 1789 to Ameliasburgh. He was offered 200 acres of land for a yoke of four-year-old steers, which offer he refused. At another time he was offered 100 acres for a cow.



Contents—​Old Channels of Trade, and Travel—​Art and Science—​New Channels—​The Wilderness—​Loyalists Traveling on Foot, from Kingston to York—​Formation of Roads—​Act of Parliament—​1793—​Its Provisions—​Crooked Roads—​Foot-path—​Bridle-path—​King’s Highway from Lower Canada—​When Surveyed—​Road from Kingston Westward—​Its Course—​Simcoe’s Military Road—​Dundas Street—​Asa Danforth—​Contract with Government—​Road from Kingston to Ancaster—​Danforth Road—​1799—​Misunderstandings—​Danforth’s Pamphlets—​Slow Improvement—​Cause—​Extract from Gourlay—​Thomas Markland’s Report—​Ferries—​1796—​Acts of Parliament—​Statute Labor—​Money Grants—​Commissioners—​Midland District—​Distribution—​The Cataraqui Bridge Company—​The Petitioners—​An Act—​The Provisions—​The Plan of Building—​The Bridge—​Toll—​Completing the Bridge—​Improvement of Roads—​McAdam—​Declines a Knighthood.


The channels followed by the Europeans, as they penetrated the unknown wilderness of America, were those indicated by the Indians, who had themselves for centuries followed them, in their pursuit after the chase, or when upon the war path. The great routes mentioned elsewhere, are the natural ones, and no other could have been pursued. It was only when art and science followed emigration to the new world that new channels were opened up, and the canal and railroad superseded the old devious ways along the windings of rivers.

Prior to the visiting of Europeans, the Indian paths were more or less trodden as the requirements of food and the existence of prey led the hunter here or there, or the war cry led them to the deadly encounter. But when the Europeans initiated trade by giving for furs the attractive trinkets, and such articles as contributed to the Indian taste of comfort and grandeur, then there were more regular and frequent travelings from the sea-board to the far west.

The occupation of Western Canada found the country in its primeval state; a vast wilderness, and no roads. The only way of traveling from one clearing to another was by the canoe and batteau, or by foot through the trackless woods, guided by the banks of the bay, or a river, or the blazing of the trees. For a long time not even a bridle-path existed, had there been horses to ride upon. Even at a late date, journeys were made on foot from Kingston to York along the lake shore. The formation of roads was a very slow process. In the year 1793, an act was passed “to Regulate the Laying out, Amending, and Keeping in Repair, the Public Highways and Roads.” The roads were to be not less 225than thirty feet, nor more than sixty wide. Each settler was under obligation to clear a road across his lot; but there was the reserve lands for the Clergy and Crown, which were not provided with roads. Any one traveling the older settled districts will be struck with the devious character of the highways. The configuration of the Bay Quinté, and the mode of laying out the lots to secure a frontage upon the water, tended to cause this irregularity. The settlements being apart, when a communication took place between them the shortest cut would be taken, so far as hill, and marsh, and creek would permit. The consequences were that many of the roads were angular with the lots, or running zigzag. In later years, some of these roads were closed up, but many remain to mark an original foot-path. The banks of the bay and of creeks and rivers were naturally followed, as sure guides, or perhaps as an Indian path. And thus sometimes the road was made not direct, but roundabout. In the survey of the concessions, provision was made for roads between the concessions, and cross-roads were to be left between every fifth and sixth lots.

Many of the main roads were at first marked by the blazing of the trees, when made through the woods, after a while a foot-path could be seen, and then boughs were trimmed off, that one might ride on horseback; and in time the sleigh was driven, and finally a waggon road was made.

Government was slack in giving funds to open up the country, and the legislation, for many years, in reference to the subject, seemed as if it was intended to do as little as possible, forgetting the fact that “the first improvement of any country should be the making of good roads.” But it soon became important to have a mail road between Montreal and Kingston, and between Kingston and York, and then by way of Dundas to the Thames, and to Niagara. Says Mr. A. Sheerwood, “I recollect when the King’s highway was established from the Provincial line to Kingston, the line was run by a surveyor named Ponair, with a surveyor under his direction by the name of Joseph Kilborne. The distance from the Provincial line to my father’s farm, three miles below Brockville, was ninety-five miles, and from Brockville to the fort, this side of Kingston, fifty miles; at the end of each mile was planted a red cedar post, marked on it the number of miles from the Provincial line; this line of road was made some years after the first settlement, but I have forgotten the year.” The original mail road between Kingston and York did not altogether follow the present 226line. At first, from Kingston, the road followed the bay shore to Bath, and continued along the shore to Adolphustown to Dorland’s Point, where was established a ferry to communicate with Marysburg at the Lake of the Mountain; thence the road followed the shore to the head of Picton Bay, and soon to Bloomfold, Wellington, Consecon, by the Carrying Place, and continued to closely follow the lake shore. Subsequently this great highway was called the York Road when going towards York, and the Kingston Road when going towards Kingston.

Gen. Simcoe intended to have a grand military road from one end of the Province to the other. This he lined out and gave it the name of Dundas Street. But he left the Province before his intentions were carried out, and but a small portion was then constructed; while settlers had located here and there along the proposed road, and had cleared land and built with the full expectation that the great thoroughfare would shortly be opened up. But years passed away, before this was done. Piece after piece was here and there made passable, until at last the road was made through the length of the Province.

The late Mr. Finkle of Ernest Town writes: “An American gentleman came into Canada, 1798, by the name of Asa Danforth, and made a contract with the Upper Canada Government, to open a road from Kingston through to Ancaster, at the head of Lake Ontario, which road he completed. Danforth’s home was at my father’s (Henry Finkle), before and after the contract was taken. The work commenced in 1798, and was finished in three years time.” This road passed through Prince Edward by Wellington. Danforth “became dissatisfied with the government when the settlement took place, and left Canada with a bitter feeling, so much so, that he, some time after, sent to my father a package of pamphlets, he had published to shew the injustice of the government transaction. He desired they should be circulated through the country along the road. However, the pamphlets were not distributed, and the fact never became generally known.” For many years the main road was called the Danforth Road.

As time advanced, the road between York and Kingston was gradually improved. The great hindrance to road making is sufficiently indicated by the following, taken from Gourlay. It is the expression of a meeting of yeomen, held at the village of Waterloo, Kingston, February 2, 1818, Major John Everett in the chair. Among other things it is asserted that what retards the progress is 227that “great quantities of land in the fronts and public situations, that remain unimproved, by being given very injudiciously to persons who do not want to settle on them, and what is most shameful and injurious, no law is made to compel them to make or work any public road; but this is to be done by industrious people, who settle around. Such lands remain like a putrid carcass, an injury and a nuisance to all around: at the same time, to the owners, this land increases in value, without their being made to contribute towards it, at other men’s expense. Our worthies, a few years ago, passed an act, that required a poor man to work three days upon the public roads, and these over-gorged landowners but twelve days, and others, with twenty times as much property, doing no more. It would excite surprise at Governor Gore’s signing such a bill, if it was not known that the Parliament voted him £3,000, to buy a piece of plate.”

Says Thomas Markland, in a General Report of Midland District:

“The same cause which has surrounded Little York with a desert, creates gloom and desolation about Kingston, otherwise most beautifully situated; I mean the seizure and monopoly of the land by people in office and favour. On the east side, particularly, you may travel miles together without passing a human dwelling; the roads are accordingly most abominable to the very gates of this, the largest town in the Province; and its market is often supplied with vegetables from the United States, where property is less hampered, and the exertions of cultivators more free, accordingly.”

In 1797, Parliament passed an Act, which was the first “for the regulation of ferries.”

In 1794, an Act was passed “to make further provisions respecting Highways and Roads.” An Act was passed, 1798, respecting “Statute duties on Highways and Roads.” In 1804 an Act was passed “granting £1,000 for repairing, laying out new roads, and building bridges in the several districts.” Again, in 1808 £1,600 was granted for the same purpose; and again the same sum in the following year. In 1811, £3,450 was granted. In 1812, an Act was passed “to prevent damage to travelers on the highways of the Province.” All persons meeting sleighs or waggons to turn out to the right, and give half the way. Two or more bells to be attached to every sleigh.

In 1812, it was found that “many roads were unnecessarily 228laid out;” to remedy this, every one had to be confirmed by Justices of the Peace, and if this were not done, the party who applied for the survey should pay for the same.

In 1814, £6,000 was granted for Highways and Bridges; and the year following, “£20,500 to be appropriated,” and Commissioners were appointed on the road, to receive £25 each. Again, the year after, £21,000 was granted.

In 1819, Parliament passed an “Act repealing and amending certain portions of previous Acts,” by which a more elaborate provision was made to secure statute labor. This was again amended in 1824. In 1826 was enacted to grant £1,200 for making and repairing roads and bridges—​Item: “In aid of the Society for improving the Public Roads,” in a part of Ernesttown and Kingston. In 1830, £13,650 was granted “for the improvement of Roads and Bridges,” of which the Midland District received £1,900, to be expended as follows, by contract after public notice: “On the Montreal road, between the Town of Kingston, and the limits of the County of Frontenac, the sum of fifty pounds. Joseph Franklin, Elijah Beach, and James Atkinson to be Commissioners for expending the same: On the road leading from the Town of Kingston, to the Village of Waterloo, the sum of fifty pounds; and that Samuel Askroyd, Horace Yeomans, and Benjamin Olcott, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the leading road from Kingston to the Village of Bath, the sum of one hundred pounds, and that Henry Lasher, Joseph Amy, and Prentiss J. Fitch, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from the Village of Waterloo to the Napanee Mills, the sum of three hundred and fifty pounds; and that the Treasurer and Trustees of the Kingston and Earnesttown Road Society be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from Loughborough to Waterloo, the sum of fifty pounds; and that Samuel Aykroyd, John Campbell, and Henry Wood be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from the fifth Concession of Portland to the third concession of the Township of Kingston, fifty pounds; and that Jacob Shibly, Byron Spike, and Thomas Sigsworth, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from Bath to the Township of Camden, the sum of fifty pounds; and that Ebenezer Perry, Benjamin Clarke, and John Perry, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from Wessel’s Ferry, in Sophiasburg, to Demorest’s Mill, the sum of one hundred pounds; and that Abraham VanBlaricum, Daniel B. Way, and Guilliam 229Demorest, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road between the widow M’Cready’s and the north-east of Chrysler’s Creek Bridge, in the seventh concession of Thurlow, the sum of twenty-five pounds. On the road in the township of Huntington, leading to the township of Madoc, and surveyed by W. Ketcheson, in one-thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, seventy-five pounds, and that Jacob Jowngs, of Thurlow, Garret Garritson, of Huntingdon, and James O’Hara, of Madoc, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from the Napanee Mills to Belleville, the sum of eight hundred pounds, and that Allan McPherson, John Turnbull, William Post, David B. Soles, and John Mabee, of Thurlow, be Commissioners for expending the same. On the road leading from VanAlstine’s ferry to the Carrying Place, the sum of two hundred pounds, and that Simeon Washburn, Esquire, Charles Biggar, Esquire, and Jesse Henderson, be Commissioners for expending the same.”

During the same session, “there being reason to believe there would not be enough means on hand to meet the grant,” an Act was passed to raise by loan £8000. The year after another Act was passed to raise by debenture the sum of £40,000 more to be appropriated to the several districts. The Midland district to receive £2,200. Among the specifications, were “in the Indian woods” £200 for the bridge at the mouth of the little Cataraqui, £50 “to assist in erecting new bridge across Marsh Creek, near William Brickman’s, in Ameliasburgh,” £20. “To erect a bridge across East Creek, at the east end of East Lake, £50.” “On the road leading from Belleville to the Marmora Iron Works, £250.”

On March, 25, 1828, there was passed an Act respecting “a road between Ernesttown and the Gore of Fredericksburgh.”

The Preamble says, “whereas, in consequence of a dispute having arisen between the Justices of the Peace of Ernesttown and Fredericksburgh, respecting the right of either party to take charge” of the road, and to which party the right of repairing it belongs, “in consequence of which dispute, the aforesaid road though much traveled from necessity, is dangerous and difficult to travel, on account of being left, in a great measure, for a long time past, without being mended,” &c. It was enacted that the two townships should equally take charge and keep in repair the said road, certain portions being allotted to each.

In 1827 an act was passed to incorporate “The Cataraqui Bridge Company.” Up to this time the communication between 230Kingston and the opposite point of Frederick, was only by boat. The Act, or some portions of it cannot but be interesting: “Whereas John H. Glover, John Marks, John Macaulay, John Kerby, Christopher Alexander Hagerman, Michael Sproatt, John P. Hawkins, Robert Moore, Charles Jones, Stephen Yarwood, Augustus Barber, George Calls, Richard Williams, James B. Forsyth, George McBeath, Adam Krieu, John S. Cartwright, Robert D. Cartwright, Alexander Anderson, George O’Kill Stuart, Laughlin Currin, Donald McPherson, James Jackalls, the younger, Francis Archibald Harper, John Cumming, James Sampson, Elizabeth Herchmer, Catharine Markland, Anne Macaulay, John Jenkins, and Edward Forsyth, have petitioned to be incorporated,” &c. (This furnishes us with the names of the more prominent persons at that time interested in Kingston). “And whereas, they have represented, by their agents, that they have made arrangements with His Majesty’s Government, in case the object above recited be carried into effect, for the passage of Military and Naval stores, and of the officers and men belonging and attached to the various Military and Naval departments, for a certain consideration to be annually paid by the Government, and that for the purpose of this incorporation, they have subscribed stock to the amount of £6000.”

The Act of Incorporation provided that “the said Company are authorized and empowered, at their own cost and charges, to erect and build a good and substantial bridge over the great river Cataraqui, near the town of Kingston, from the present scow landing on the military reserve, opposite to the north-east end of the continuation of Front Street to the opposite shore on Point Frederick, at the present scow landing on the Military Reserve, adjoining the western addition of the Township of Pittsburgh, with convenient access thereto at both ends of the bridge, to and from the adjacent highways, at present in use; that the said bridge shall be at least twenty-five feet wide, and of sufficient strength for artillery carriages,” &c., &c.; they shall also be at liberty to build tollhouses, and toll-bars; Provided always, that there be a draw-bridge not less than eighteen feet, in some part, for the passage of all vessels, which bridge shall be opened at all hours required without exacting toll, and a space for rafts between the piers, forty feet.

The amount of toll to be demanded from man and beast, and vehicle, was fully specified in the Act.

The Company was to be managed by five Directors, Stockholders to hold office for one year from each last Monday in January. The bridge was to be completed within three years.

231It was provided that no ferry should be allowed, nor other barge.

The final clause enacted that after fifty years his Majesty might assume the possession of the bridge, upon paying to the Company the full value thereof, to be ascertained by three arbitrators.

March 20, 1829, an Act was passed extending the time for completing the bridge, two years from the passing of the Act.

We have seen how the roads throughout Canada, were gradually constructed. As time advanced steps were taken, sometimes however very tardily, to place public thoroughfares in a more passable condition. We believe the road from Kingston to Napanee, was the first to be macadamized, which for many long years was the exception in an execrable road, stretching between Kingston and York. The originator of macadamized roads was John Loudoun McAdam. He was born in Scotland in 1756; emigrated to New York when a lad, and remained in that City throughout the Revolution. Under the protection of the British troops, he accumulated a considerable fortune, as agent for the sale of prizes. At the close of the war he returned to his native land, with the loss of nearly all his property. His system of making roads is too well known to require description. The British Government gave him £10,000, and tendered the honor of knighthood, which he declined, but which was conferred on his son, James Nicholl McAdam. He died at Moffat, County of Dumfries, in 1836, aged eighty years.



Contents—​Ode to Canada—​Early events—​First English child in America, 1587—​In New England—​First French child, 1621—​First in Upper Canada, 1783—​In Prince Edward—​Adolphustown—​Ameliasburgh—​North of the Rideau—​Indian marriage ceremony—​Difficulty among first settlers to get clergymen—​First marriage in America, 1608—​First in New England, 1621—​First in Canada, 1620—​Marriageable folks—​No one to tie the matrimonial knot—​Only one clergyman—​Officers marrying—​Magistrates empowered—​Legislation, 1793—​Its provision—​Making valid certain marriages—​Further legislation, 1798—​In 1818—​1821—​1831—​Clergymen of all denominations permitted to marry—​Methodist ministers—​Marriage license, 1814—​Five persons appointed to issue—​A noticeable matter—​Statements of Bates—​Mode of courting in the woods—​Newcastle wedding expeditions—​Weapons of defence—​Ladies’ dresses—​The lover’s “rig”—​A wedding ring—​Paying the magistrate—​A good corn basket—​Going to weddings—​“Bitters”—​Old folks stay at home—​The dance, several nights—​Marriage outfit—​Frontier life—​Morals in Upper Canada—​Absence of irregularities—​Exceptional instances—​Unable to get married, Peter and Polly—​A singular witness—​Rev. Mr. Stuart—​Langhorn—​McDowell—​How to adorn the bride—​What she wore—​A wedding in 1808—​On horseback—​The guests—​The wedding—​The banquet—​The game of forfeits—​The night—​Second day wedding—​The young folks on horseback—​Terpischorean—​An elopement by Canoe—​The Squire—​The chase—​The lovers successful—​The Squires who married.


Canada faithful! Canada fair!
Canada, beautiful, blooming and rare!
Canada, happiest land of the earth!
Hail to thee, Canada! land of my birth!
Land of fair freedom, where bought not and sold,
Are sinews and sorrows, for silver and gold!
Land of broad lakes, sweet valleys and plains!
Land where justice for rich and poor reigns!
Land of tall forests, famed rivers and rills!
Land of fair meadows, bold mountains and hills!
Land where a man is a man, though he toil!
Land where the tiller is lord of the soil!
Land where a people are happy and free—​
Where is the land that is like unto thee?
Thou hast for the stranger that seeketh thy shore
A smile, and a cheer, and a welcome in store;
The needy, relief; and the weary repose;
A home for thy friends; and a grave for thy foes.
Thy nobles are those whose riches in store
Is the wealth of the soul, and the heart’s hidden lore;
They cringe to no master, they bow to no lord
Save Heaven’s, each night and each morning adored.
Land of swift rivers, sweet-gliding along!
Land of my pride, and land of my song!
Canada, prosperous! Canada, true!
Canada loyal, and virtuous, too!
Canada, happiest land of the earth!
Hail thee, forever, sweet land of my birth!


We turn from the sad pictures which have been truthfully, if imperfectly done, which represent the darker side of the pioneer life of the refugees, to others more pleasing. In those primitive times, events which now seem trivial to a general public, were of general interest, and the recollection cherished by a whole community. In the absence of those stirring events which characterize the present, incidents of comparative unimportance, became household words, and recollections. Hence, it comes that posterity may, in some instances, know who were first married in certain places in America, of the first birth, and who first died.

“The first child born of English parents in America, was a daughter of Mrs. Dore, of Virginia, October 18, 1587.” “There is now standing in Marshalfield, Cape Cod, a portion of a house built by Perigrine White, the first male child born of English parents in New England.” According to the testimony of the registrar of Quebec, the first white child born in Canada, was upon the 24th October, 1621, which was christened the same day by the name of Eustache, being the son of Abraham and Margaret L’Anglois; Abraham was a Scotchman, named Martin Abraham. He was king’s pilot, and married to Eustache. The plains of Abraham derive their name from him.

In the obituary notice of Rev. Mr. Pringle, a Methodist preacher, it is stated that he was born in Prince Edward, in 1780, but this must be a mistake. There is sufficient proof that the first settlement at Smith’s Bay commenced in 1784, when the first part of Prince Edward became settled. Perhaps, indeed, very likely, the first children born of European parents, was the late Colonel John Clark, of Dalahousie, and an elder brother and sister. His father, an Englishman, came to Quebec, attached to the 8th regiment in 1768. From a sergeant-major, he was appointed in 1776, clerk and naval store keeper at Carleton Island. Here, Sarah and William Clark were born during the progress of the war. Col. Clark says, “I was born at Frontenac, now Kingston, in 1783, and was baptized by the Rev. Mr. Stuart.”

The Rev. Mr. Pringle, before alluded to, was the first, or among the first-born in Prince Edward.

A son of Thomas Dorland, claimed to be the first white child born in the fourth township; but the honor was disputed by Daniel Peterson. Mrs. Wm. Ketcheson, now living in Sidney, daughter of 234Elizabeth Roblin, of Adolphustown, was born there in 1784. She must have been one of the very first, as the first settlers came that same year. On the 16th January 1785, Henry VanDusen was born in Adolphustown, being one of the first natives.

Upon the 26th April, 1868, was buried Mrs. Bush, she was the first female born in Ameliasburgh. Mr. Bleeker, yet living at Trenton, was the first male child born in Ameliasburgh. Mrs. Covert, was also one of the first persons born in Ameliasburgh.

The first person said to have been born in Toronto, was Mr. J. Cameron, of Yonge Street, in 1798.

The first child born of white parents north of the Rideau, was Colonel E. Burritt, Burritt’s Rapids, a relative of Elihu Burritt.


The native Indians of America practiced no important ceremony in connection with marrying. Certain steps had to be taken by the one who might desire to have a certain female as his partner, and those proceedings were always strictly attended to. But the final ceremony consisted in little more than the affianced one, leaving the wigwam of her father and repairing to that of her future lord and master. In many cases the first settlers of America experienced some difficulty in obtaining the services of a Christian minister to solemnize matrimony. In French Canada there was not this difficulty, as from the first the zealous missionary was ever beside the discoverer as he pressed on his way.

The first Christian marriage solemnized in America, took place in Virginia in 1608, between John Loyden and Ann Burras. The first marriage in New England was celebrated the 12th May, 1621, at Plymouth, between Edward Waislow and Susannah White. The first marriage in the colony of French Canada, was between Guillaume Couillard and Guillmet Hebert, July 1620. This is found in the first parish register, which was commenced this year, 1620.

Among the pioneers of Upper Canada, were persons of every class as to age, from the tender infant at the breast, to the gray-headed man. There were young men and young women, as well as the aged, and as hopes and desires exist to-day in the breast of the young, so did they then. As the gentle influence of love animates at the present time, so it did then. But there was a serious drawback; the consummation of courtship could not easily be realized. Throughout the vast length of the settlements there were but few clergymen to celebrate matrimony, and many sighing swains had to wait months, 235and even years of wearisome time to have performed the matrimonial ceremony. At the first, when a chaplain was attached to a regiment, he was called upon, but when the settlers commenced to clear, there was no chaplain connected with the regiment. Indeed, Mr. Stuart, of Kingston, was the only clergyman in all Upper Canada for a few years. But the duties of the chaplain were frequently attended to by an officer, especially at Niagara, and many of the first marriages in the young colony were performed by a colonel, an adjutant, or a surgeon. Subsequently, magistrates were appointed, who were commissioned to tie the nuptial knot.

In the second session of the first Parliament, 1793, was passed “An Act to confirm and make valid certain marriages heretofore contracted in the country now comprised within the Province of Canada, and to provide for the future solemnization of marriage within the same.

“Whereas many marriages have been contracted in this Province at a time when it was impossible to observe the forms prescribed by law for the solemnization thereof, by reason that there was no Protestant parson or minister duly ordained, residing in any part of the said Province, nor any consecrated Protestant church or chapel within the same, and whereas the parties having contracted such marriages, and their issue may therefore be subjected to various disabilities, in order to quiet the minds of such persons and to provide for the future solemnization of marriage within this Province, be it enacted and declared by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province of Upper Canada, that the marriage and marriages of all persons, not being under any canonical disqualification to contract matrimony, that have been publicly contracted before any magistrate or commanding officer of a post, or adjutant, or surgeon of a regiment, acting as chaplain, or any other person in any public office or employment, before the passing of this Act, shall be confirmed and considered to all intents and purposes as good and valid in law, and that the parties who have contracted such marriages, and the issue thereof, may become severally entitled to all the rights and benefits, and subject to all the obligations arising from marriage and consanguinity, in as full and ample a manner as if the said marriages had respectively been solemnized according to law.

“And be it further enacted, that in order to enable those persons 236who may be desirous of preserving the testimony of such marriage, and of the birth of their children, it shall and may be lawful, at any time, within three years from the passing of this Act, for any magistrate of the district where any such parties as may have contracted matrimony as aforesaid, shall reside, at the request of either of said parties, to administer to each an oath that they were married on a certain day, and that there is now living issue of the marriage.” This attestation to be subscribed to by the parties and certified by the magistrate. The Clerk of the Peace recorded these certificates in a register for the purpose, which thereafter was considered sufficient evidence of such matters.

It was further enacted, “That until there shall be five parsons or ministers of the Church of England, doing duty in their respective parishes in any one district,” persons “desirous of intermarrying with each other, and neither of them living within the distance of eighteen miles of any minister of the Church of England, may apply to any neighbouring Justice of the Peace,” who should affix in some public place, a notice, for which he should receive one shilling, and no more. The purport of the notice was that A. B. and C. D. were desirous of getting married, and there being no parson within eighteen miles, if any person knew any just reason why they should not be married, should give notice thereof to such magistrate. After which a form of the Church of England was to be followed, but should a minister reside within eighteen miles of either parties the marriage was null and void.

It is related that these notices of marriage were often attached to trees by the road side, and as it was considered desirable in those days to keep intending marriages secret, not unfrequently the intending parties would watch and remove the notice which had been put up.

In the year 1798, an Act was passed to extend the provisions of the first Act, which provided that “it shall be lawful for the minister of any congregation or religious community of persons, professing to be members of the Church of Scotland, or Lutherans, or Calvinists” to marry according to the rights of such church, and it was necessary that one of the persons to be married should have been a member of the particular church six months before the marriage. The clergyman must have been regularly ordained, and was to appear before six magistrates at quarter sessions, with at least seven members of his congregation, to prove his office, or take the oath of allegiance. And then, if the dignitaries thought it expedient, 237they might grant him a certificate that he was a settled minister, and therefore could marry, having published the intended marriage upon three Sundays previous.

In November, 1818, a brief act was passed to make valid the marriages of those who may have neglected to preserve the testimony of their marriage.

In the year 1821, an act was passed “for the more certain punishment of persons illegally solemnizing marriage, by which it was provided, that if persons, legally qualified to marry, should do so without the publication of banns, unless license be first had, should be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

There was no further legislation until 1831, when provision was again made to confirm marriages contracted “before any justice of the peace, magistrate, or commanding officer of a post, or minister and clergyman, in a manner similar to the previous acts.” It was at this time enacted that it should be lawful for ministers of the church of Scotland, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Independants, Methodists, Menonists, Tunkers, or Moravians, to solemnize matrimony, after having obtained certificates from the quarter sessions. According to the act of 1798, only the church of Scotland, Lutherans, and Calvinists, beside the English church, were permitted to marry persons. So it will be seen by this act of 1831, important concessions were made to different denominations. This act was by the Methodists, especially regarded as a deserved recognition of the constantly increasing number of that denomination. It certainly, at this time, seems remarkably strange, that so obvious a right, was for so long a time withheld, not alone from them, but other denominations. But the effort was strong, and long continued to build up the church of England to the exclusion of all others.

The restriction upon the Methodist ministers was to them greater from the fact, that for a long time they were members of a Conference existing, where all denominations were alike endowed with the power to perform the marriage ceremony. And it is recorded, that in a few instances, the ministers stationed in Canada, either forgot the illegality of marrying, or felt indisposed to submit to the unjust law, and did actually marry some persons. Elder Ryan was one, and was consequently banished; but was shortly pardoned by government, because of his known loyalty. His son-in-law, Rev. S. B. Smith, was another; but he defended himself at the trial and got free. Another was the Rev. Mr. Sawyer, who at once, being accused, fled the country for a time.

238It appears that on the 31st May, 1814, government appointed five persons to issue marriage licenses. One at Queenston, one at York, one at Kingston, one at Williamsburgh, and one at Cornwall. John Cumming was appointed for Kingston. Prior to this, licenses had been occasionally issued, probably, however, only by application to government. Marrying by license was so noticeable an event, that it was considered elegant to state in the marriage notice, “married by license.”

According to a letter in our possession, sometimes the issuer of license would be without any, when he would give a certificate to the applicant, by which the party could get married, and subsequently he would furnish him with the license.

Having given the legal and legislative facts relative to marrying in early times, it may not be inappropriate to adduce some items of a social nature.

Roger Bates, of Newcastle, in his memoir at the parliament library, speaks thus pleasantly and graphically in referring to his father’s courtship and marriage, which took place at the commencement of the present century. “The mode of courting in those days was a good deal of the Indian fashion. The buxom daughter would run through the trees and bushes, and pretend to get away from the lover; but somehow or other he managed to catch her, gave her a kiss, and they soon got married, I rather think by a magistrate. Time was too valuable to make a fuss about such matters.” Whether this mode of courting was practiced elsewhere, than in Newcastle, it may be doubted. Speaking of the weddings, and the journey to get the knot tied, he says, “they generally furnished themselves with tomahawks and implements to defend themselves, and to camp out if required. The ladies had no white dresses to spoil, or fancy bonnets. With deer skin petticoats, home-spun gowns, and perhaps squirrel skin bonnet, they looked charming in the eyes of their lovers, who were rigged out in similar materials.” Again, about the wedding ring, which could not then be procured, he says, “I have heard my mother say, that uncle Ferguson, a magistrate, rather than disappoint a happy couple, who had walked twenty miles, made search throughout the house, and luckily found a pair of old English skates, to which was attached a ring, with this he proceeded with the ceremony, and fixing the ring on the young woman’s finger, reminded her, that though a homely substitute, she must continue to wear it, otherwise the ceremony would be dissolved. That curious token was greatly cherished, and is still among the family relics.”

239Mr. Sheriff Sherwood, speaking of his father, one of the first magistrates appointed by Simcoe, says “he probably joined more individuals together in the happy bonds of matrimony, than any other person ever has, in the county of Leeds. I have often heard him mention the circumstance of a young man asking him to marry him, but who said, I cannot get the money to pay you, but I will make you a good wheat fan, which he readily accepted, as it was an article much used at that time. At another time an old man came on the same errand, and said to him, I cannot get the money to pay you, but I will make you a good corn basket, with oak splints, and so tight that I will warrant it to hold water, and the old man punctually fulfilled his promise.”

We have some interesting information from an old lady who settled in Ameliasburgh, and who still lives. Getting married at the beginning of the present century was a great event. The Carrying Place was the usual place of resort. They placed in a lumber waggon, a number of chairs, and each gallant was supposed to support his partner upon his knee, and thus economise room. “Bitters” were indulged in, but no fighting allowed. If one began that, he was put out. Keeping good natured was a point of duty insisted upon. No old persons went to the wedding, but they joined in the dance, when the youngsters got back. A wedding without a dance was considered an insipid affair; and it was generally kept up two or three successive nights at different places. Francis Weese’s was a half-way house between McMan’s corners, (Rednerville), and the Carrying Place. Weese was a distinguished player upon the fiddle, and the wedding parties often stayed with him the first night.

“A yoke of steers, a cow, three or four sheep, with a bed, table, two dozen chairs, was regarded a very decent setting out for the bride. And if the groom was heir to 50 or 100 acres of land, with a little cleared, he was thought to have the worldly “gear,” to constitute a first-rate match.”

The history of frontier life; of the advance body of pioneers in the far west, frequently exhibits great irregularity in morals; a non-observance of God’s commandments. But the record of the first settlers of Upper Canada is remarkably bright. When it is recollected that they were but scattered settlements in a wilderness; far away from civilized life; excluded from the world, and removed from the influence of the salutary power of public opinions, it is a matter of wonder, that great and frequent violation of God’s law, 240with regard to marrying did not take place. But such was not the case, as a general thing; the holy bonds of matrimony, were employed to bind man and woman together, whether through the officer, the magistrate or the clergyman. For years there was but few clergymen to marry, and also but few magistrates, and there were secluded settlements where the clergyman or magistrate came not, and from which the inhabitants could not go, perhaps for many miles to get married. But a few, and they are very few instances, are recorded where parties deviated from the righteous way. Upon the shore of the bay, in a remote locality, about the year 1796, lived two individuals, whom we will call respectively Peter and Polly. They were living in the same family, she as a “help,” and he as a hired man upon the farm. This couple had desired to enter the bonds of matrimony; but the ministers and squires lived some distance off, and they could not get away to be married, so they had to wait for the coming of one who would marry them; they had to wait, it would seem for several years, in the mean time they consoled themselves with genuine, and no doubt honest love. At last it came to pass that a Squire visited that neighbourhood, and stopped at the house where they lived.

The family bethought them of the wishes of Peter and Polly; and that now was the time to have the legal knot tied. So Polly was called from the kitchen just as she was, and Peter from the field besmeared with sweat, and clean dirt, and the two were made one. Among the witnesses of the interesting ceremony, was a bright eyed boy who trotted unceremoniously from the bride to the groom, calling them respectively “mozzer” and “fadder.” The time came when this same boy was the owner of the land whereon he had been born. This fact, from excellent authority, stands out as an exception to a general rule, although there is not about it that flagrant violation of moral principle which is too often seen at the present day, under other circumstances which afford no excuse.

The Rev. Mr. Stuart, living at Kingston, was not often called upon to marry, by persons outside of that village, and persons rarely found time to go all the way to him. When Mr. Langhorn came and opened a church at Adolphustown, and Bath, a more central place was supplied, and he consequently was often employed. But Mr. McDowell was the one who most frequently was required to marry. Being a minister of the church of Scotland, he enjoyed the privilege of marrying, and unlike Langhorn, he would marry 241them at their homes. So when making his rounds through the country, on his preaching excursions, he was frequently called upon to officiate in this capacity.

In the region of the Bay, were some who had in previous days, lived in comfort, and had not wanted all that belonged to the well-to-do inhabitants along the Hudson, and at New York. In some cases, these families brought with them the fine clothes that had adorned their bodies in former times. Not only was it difficult for them, in many cases, to get some one to perform the marriage ceremony; but to the female, especially, it was a grave matter how to adorn the bride with that apparel which becomes the event. In those cases where rich clothes, which had been used by parents, were stored away, they were brought forth, and by a little alteration, made to do service; but by and by these relics of better days were beyond their power to renovate, and like others, they had, if married at all, to wear the garb mentioned by Roger Bates, or some other plain article; a calico print, bought of a pedlar, or a calamink, or linsey-woolsey petticoat, or a woolen drugget, were no common luxuries in the wilderness home. An old lady who is still living, tells us that she was married in 1807, and wore the last-mentioned; and was thought very extravagant indeed. A venerable lady, a native of the Bay, and now well-nigh eighty, remembers to have attended a wedding about the year 1708, up the river Moira. She was living with her uncle, Col. C. The wedding was one of some importance, as both parties were well-to-do. There was but a path along the banks of the river, and they went on horse back. At that time riding on horseback was a common practice, not a single person merely, but in couples. It was no unusual thing to see man and wife riding along together, also brother and sister, and as well lovers. The guests to this wedding all came on horse back, generally in pairs. They assembled early in the forenoon, and the happy pair were soon united. The bride’s dress was unusually grand, being of lawn; the two bridesmaids graced the occasion by being dressed in muslin. She bears a distinct recollection of the entertainment. The banquet was crowned with a majestic chicken pie, in a pan capable of holding some twelve quarts; by roast goose, and with pies and cakes of all sorts, in abundance. The bride’s father was the deacon of a church, and did not allow dancing, but the afternoon and evening were spent in joyous mirth and jovial “plays” in connection with which forfeits were lost and redeemed. But, however much these plays may have 242degenerated in recent days, they were then conducted with purity of thought, and innocence of soul. The party did not break up the first day. Half of the company repaired to the house of the groom’s father, where beds were arranged for them. In the morning they went back to the scene of the wedding, upon the banks of the river, which at this point is particularly attractive. After breakfast, the young people, with the newly married pair, set out for the front, to the mouth of the river. They formed a joyous, and it must have been a picturesque cavalcade. Each gentleman selected his fair partner, and having mounted his horse, she was duly seated behind him. And thus they set out for their destination. Pleasant, indeed, must have been the ride; striking the scene, as they wended their way along the running water, and the bright autumn sun shone upon them through the variegated leaves which clothed the thickly standing trees. This night was spent at Myers’ Creek, in following the notes of the fiddle with the nimble feet. This terminated the wedding party. This is adduced as an illustration of marrying in early times. Another will be briefly given: it was a case of elopement, and occurred many years before the wedding above mentioned. A certain Squire had been for many years in the enjoyment of wedded bliss. His wife was the daughter of Capt. —​—​, a half-pay officer, an honest but wayward Dutchman. The Squire’s wife died, and, in due time, he sought the hand of another daughter of the Captain. But this the latter would not listen to; he was determined they should not marry; because she was his late wife’s sister. The worthy Squire could not see the force of the objection, and the lady in question was likewise blinded by love. They resolved to run away, or rather to paddle away, in a convenient canoe. Clandestinely they set out upon the head waters of the bay, intending to go to Kingston to obtain the services of a clergyman. But the Captain learned the fact of their departure and started in pursuit with his batteau and oarsmen. According to one account, the flying would-be groomsman, who was paddling his own canoe, saw the angry parent coming, and made haste to quicken his speed, but finding that they would be overtaken, they landed upon an island in the bay, and hauled up the canoe; and concealed it, with themselves, in a cavity upon the island; and, after the Captain had passed, returned homeward and procured the services of a Squire to marry them. But, according to another statement, the lovers set out while the Captain was absent at Montreal, and arrived at Kingston, unfortunately, as he was returning home. 243Seeing the Squire, he had his suspicions aroused, and began to look about for his daughter. She had, however, concealed herself by throwing an Indian blanket about her person, and over her head, and by sitting down among some squaws. The statement goes, that it was well the Captain did not find her, as he would, as soon as not, have shot the Squire. The end of it was, they were married, to live a long and happy domestic life. Although there may be a little doubt as to the details of this early elopement on the bay, there is no doubt that it took place in some such manner as described.

Among the Squires upon the Bay, the following were the most frequently called upon to marry: Young, of the Carrying Place; Bleeker, of the Trent; Lazier, of Sophiasburgh. The magistrates residing nearer Kingston and Adolphustown had less of this to do, as clergymen could there be more easily obtained.


Contents—​Burying Places—​How Selected—​Family Burying Places—​For the Neighbourhood—​The Dutch—​Upon the Hudson—​Bay Quinté—​A Sacred Spot to the Loyalists—​Ashes to Ashes—​Primitive Mode of Burial—​The Coffin—​At the Grave—​The Father’s Remarks—​Return to Labor—​French Burying-place at Frontenac—​Its Site—​U. E. Loyalists’ Burying-place at Kingston—​The “U. E. Burying Ground,” Adolphustown—​Worthy Sires of Canada’s Sons—​Decay—​Neglect of Illustrious dead—​Repair Wanted—​Oldest Burying Ground in Prince Edward—​Ross Place—​At East Lake—​Upon the Rose Farm—​“The Dutch Burying Ground”—​Second Growth Trees—​In Sophiasburgh—​Cronk Farm—​In Sidney—​Rude Tomb Stones—​Burial-place of Capt. Myers—​Reflections—​Dust to Dust—​In Thurlow—​“Taylor Burying Ground”—​The First Person Buried—​Lieut. Ferguson—​An Aged Female—​Her Work Done—​Wheels Stand Still.


Your fathers, where are they?

Burying places in all the new settlements were, as a general thing, selected by the family to which death might first come. This was true of every part of America. Ere the forest had fallen before the hand of the axeman, or while the roots and stumps of the trees yet thickly encumbered the ground, before the scythe had been used to cut the first products of the soil, the great reaper death passed by, and one and another of the number were cut 244down. Some suitable place, under the circumstances, was selected for the grave, and quietly the body was laid away. In time, a neighbour would lose a member of the family, and the body would be brought and laid beside the first buried. And so on, until a certain circle would be found burying in a common place. But sometimes families would prefer to have a private burial ground, some conspicuous spot being selected upon the farm, where the ashes of the family might be gathered together, as one after another passed away. The Dutch are particularly attached to this custom. This may be seen even yet in those old sections of New York State, where the Dutch originally settled, especially at Hoboken, opposite New York City. Sacred spots were appropriated by each family upon the farm, in which the family was buried. The descendants of these Dutch who became such loyal subjects, and suffering refugees who settled around the bay, followed the same practice. These spots may be seen along the Hudson, and the Bay Quinté, which may be regarded as the Hudson of Canada, and are indicated by the drooping willow, or the locust or cypress. Some from whom reliable information has been received, state that the spot selected on the Bay Quinté was often that, where the family had first landed—​where they had rested on the bare earth, beneath the trees, until a hut could be erected. This spot was chosen by the refugee himself as a suitable place to take his last rest. Indeed, the devotion of the settler to the land where he had wrought out his living, and secured a comfortable home, was sometimes of an exalted character. One instance by way of illustration:—​There came to the shores of Hay Bay an heroic woman, a little rough perhaps, but one whose soul had been bitterly tried during the conflict between her king and the rebels. Her husband had been on many a battle-field, and she had assisted on many an occasion to give comfort to the British troops. The log hut was duly erected, and day after day they went forth together to subdue the wilderness. In the sear and yellow leaf, when competence had been secured and could be bequeathed to their children, when the first log tenement had fallen to decay, she caused her children to promise that her body should be laid upon the spot where that old hut had stood.

The mode of burial was often simple and touching, often there was no clergyman of any denomination; no one to read a prayer over the dead for the benefit of the living. Frequently, in the hush of suspended work, through the quiet shades of the trees whose 245boughs sighed a requiem, like as if angels whispered peace to the sad and tearful mourners who silently, or with suppressed sobs, followed the coffin of the plainest kind, often of rough construction, which contained the remains of a loved one to the grave, in some spot selected. The rude coffin being placed in the grave, those present would uncover, and the father, in sad tones, would make a few remarks respecting the departed, offer a few thoughts which the occasion suggested, and then the coffin was hidden out of sight. The men would return to their labors, and the women to their duties.

We learn, on excellent authority, that the burial place for the French, at Fort Frontenac, was where the barracks now stand near the bridge. But not unlikely the French, when one died away from the fort at any distance, committed the dead to the earth in Indian burial places. The first burial place for the U. E. Loyalists in Kingston, was situated where St. Paul’s Church now stands, on Queen Street, which was formerly called Grove Street.

No township is more rich in historic matters, pertaining to the U. E. Loyalists than Adolphustown. Here settled a worthy band of refugees whose lineage can be traced back to noble names in France, Germany and Holland. Here was the birth-place of many of Canada’s more prominent and worthy sons, and here repose the ashes of a large number of the devoted pioneers.

As the steamboat enters to the wharf at Adolphustown, the observer may notice a short distance to the west, upon the summit of a ridge, a small enclosure in which are a number of second growth trees, maple and oak. He may even see indistinctly a few marble tombstones. If he walks to the spot he will find that the fence is rough, broken, and falling down. Casting his eye over the ground he sees the traces of numerous graves, with a few marble head-stones, and a long iron enclosure within which are buried the dead of the Casey family; with a marble slab to the head of each. The ground generally is covered with the debris of what once formed enclosures of individual graves or family plots. When visited by the writer, one grave, that of Hannah Vandusen, had growing out of its bosom a large poplar tree, while the wooden fence around was falling and resting against the tree. The writer gazed on these evidences, not alone of decay but neglect, with great regret, and with a sigh. For here, without any mark of their grave, lie many who were not only noble U. E. Loyalists, but who were men of distinction, and the fathers of men well 246known in Canadian History. Mr. Joseph B. Allison, accompanied us, and pointed out the several spots where he had seen buried these illustrious dead.

In the north-west corner of the ground, with no trace even of a grave to mark the spot, lies the old Major who commanded the company. Mr. Allison was present, although a little boy at his burial. The event is fixed upon his mind by the fact the militia turned out and buried him with military honors. We stood on the spot overgrown with thorn trees, and felt a pang that his name was thus forgotten, and his name almost unknown. Close by is a neat marble headstone to a grave, upon which is the following: “Henry Hover, departed this life, August 23rd, 1842, aged 79 years, 5 months and 17 days.” Noble man! Imprisonment with chains for nearly two years, with many hardships during, and after the war, did not make his life short, and we were thankful he had left descendants who forgot not to mark his resting-place. For account of this person see under “Royal Combatants.”

The entrance gate to the ground is at the east side. To the right on entering, a short distance off, is an oak tree. Between the gate and tree was laid the body of Nicholas Hagerman. Sad to say, nothing indicates the resting-place of the earliest lawyer of the Province, and the father of Judge Hagerman. (See distinguished Loyalists). In the middle of the ground rests the dead of the Casey family. The two old couple whom we remember to have seen when a boy in their green old age, lie here. “Willet Casey died aged 86. Jane, his wife, aged 93.” We would say to all here buried, Requiescat in pace. But the very crumblings of the enclosures which were put around the graves by sorrowing friends when they died cry out against the neglected state of the ground. The efforts which have repeatedly been made to put the place in repair ought to be repeated, and a stone wall at least made to effectually inclose the sacred dust.

The oldest burying place, we believe, in Prince Edward, is some distance from Indian Point, upon the Lake Shore, and east of the Rock, commonly known as Ross’s Burying Ground. In this spot are buried some of the first and most distinguished of the first settlers of Marysburgh.

Another old burying place in Prince Edward is at East Lake, at the commencement of the Carrying Place. Here may be found the graves of some eighteen persons who made the first settlement of East Lake. The lot upon which it is situated belonged to Mr. Dyse. It is no longer used, but is partially in a ploughed field, and partially covered by a second growth of trees.

247Upon the road along the south shore of Marysburg, a short distance west of the Rock, upon the Rose farm, are to be seen the lingering remains of the first church of this township. It was erected at an early date, and was twenty-four feet square. Here Weant was wont to preach to his flock of Lutherans, and here at times Langhorn from Bath also held forth. The situation is pleasant, upon the brow of a comparatively steep hill, overlooking a pleasant low-land, with the shining Ontario, and Long Point stretching away into its waters; while to the right is the well sheltered Wappoose Island. But another object attracts our attention. Almost immediately fronting us upon a sand-hill close by the water’s edge is to be seen “the old Dutch burying ground.” It is about half-a-mile from the road, and we will descend the hill and take the road through the fields along the fence, the way by which so many have passed to their long home. The old graveyard is overshadowed by good sized second growth pines, whose waving tops sigh not unharmoniously over the ashes of the old Hessian and Dutch settlers. The adjacent shore washed by the ever throbbing lake gives forth to day the gentlest sounds. These old burying places remind one that Canada is ever growing old. Here lie, not alone the early pioneers, but their grand-children; and over the spot cleared are now good sized second growth trees. The head boards are fallen in decay, the fence around the plots have crumbled in the dust.

The oldest burying place in Sophiasburgh is upon the Cronk farm east of Northport.

Nearly midway between Belleville and Trenton is situated the oldest burying ground of Sidney. It is pleasantly located upon an eminence by the bay shore, and affords a fine view of the bay, and opposite shore. The visitor will be struck with the irregularity of the graves in the place primarily used, as if the graves had been dug among the stumps. Some of them are almost north and south. At the ends of mostly all are placed stones, rough they are, but lasting, and have, in a large number of cases, more permanently indicated the position of the graves. Upon some of these rough stones are rudely cut the initials of the occupant of the grave. In a great number of cases tablets painted on wood have been placed to commemorate the individual deceased. But these are totally obliterated, and the wood is falling to decay. Probably the temporary mark of affectionate sorrowing was as lasting as the life of the bereaved. We lingered among the graves here, and they 248are numerous. We see the name Myers. And we know that old Capt. Myers was buried here, after an eventful life. Around him also repose his old acquaintances and friends—​and enemies. They are gone with the primeval woods that covered the slopes by the Bay Quinté—​gone with the hopes and aspirations, and prospects, and realizations that crowned their trying and eventful life—​gone so that their ashes can no longer be gathered, like the old batteau which transported them thither—​gone like their old log houses whose very foundations have been plowed up—​gone like their rude implements of agriculture—​gone by the slow and wearisome steps of time which marks the pioneer’s life.

It is gratifying to see that while the ground has been extended, a new fence has been built, and elegant tombstones, 1868.

The first place set apart in which to bury the dead, in the township of Thurlow was the “Taylor Burying Ground.” It is situated in Belleville, at the east of the mouth of the Moira, in view of the bay. The first person committed to the earth here was Lieut. Ferguson, who had been associated with Capt. Singleton. The second individual is supposed to have been the mother of John Taylor. She had been brought to the place by her son, her only son, two having been executed by the rebels during the war, when almost ninety years of age. But her stay on earth had almost ended; not long after, she was one day engaged in spinning flax, and suddenly ceased her work, and told them to put away the wheel, as she would spin no more. A few minutes after she ceased to live, and the weary wheels of life stood still. For many years this ground was the repository of the dead, about the mouth of Myers’ Creek.




Contents—​French Missionaries—​First in 1615—​Recollets—​With Champlain—​Jesuits, in 1625—​Valuable records—​Bishopric of Quebec, 1674—​First Bishop of Canada, Laval—​Rivalry—​Power of Jesuits—​Number of Missionaries—​Their “Relations”—​First mission field; Bay Quinté region—​“Antient mission”—​How founded—​First missionaries—​Kleus, abbe D’Urfé—​La Salle, to build a church—​The ornaments and sacred vessels—​The site of the “Chappel,” uncertain—​Bald Bluff, Carrying Place—​Silver crosses—​Mission at Georgian Bay—​The “Christian Islands”—​Chapel at Michilmicinac, 1679—​The natives attracted—​Subjects of the French King—​Francois Picquet—​La Presentation—​Soegasti—​The most important mission—​The object—​Six Nations—​The Missionary’s living—​“Disagreeable expostulations”—​Putting stomach in order—​Trout—​Picquet’s mode of teaching Indians—​The same afterward adopted by Rev. W. Case—​Picquet’s success—​Picquet on a voyage—​At Fort Toronto—​Mississaugas request—​Picquet’s reply—​A slander—​At Niagara, Oswego—​At Frontenac—​Grand reception—​Return to La Presentation—​Picquet in the last French war—​Returns to France—​By Mississippi—​“Apostles of Peace”—​Unseemly strife—​Last of the Jesuits in Canada.


In introducing this subject, we propose first to glance at the original French Missionaries, and then at the first Protestant Missionaries and clergymen, who labored in the Atlantic Provinces.

The first missionaries of Christianity to America, came to Canada in the year 1615. They were four in number, and belonged to the order of Recollets, or Franciscans, of Spanish origin, a sect who attended to the spiritual wants of the people without accepting any remuneration. Four of these devoted men attended Champlain on his second visit to Canada in 1615. Three years later the Pope accorded the charge of missions in Canada to the Recollets of Paris. In 1625 members of the society of Jesus likewise entered the mission of America. Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuit society in 1521. These two orders of Roman Catholics, especially the Jesuits, contributed much to the advancement of French interests in Canada, and by their learning assisted greatly to elevate the people. Side 250by side they traversed the vast wilderness of America, with the intrepid explorers, and by their close observations, committed to paper, they have left most valuable records of the country in its primeval state; and the different tribes of savages that held possession of the country.

Canada was “constituted an apostolic vicariate,” by the Pope, in 1657; and became an episcopal see, named the Bishopric of Quebec, about 1673. The first bishop of Canada was Francis de Laval, of the distinguished house of Montmorency. The rivalry which existed between the Jesuits and the Recollets, led to the withdrawal from the country of the latter. But they returned again about 1669. They were welcomed by the people, who preferred their self-supporting principles to the Jesuits, under Laval, who required sustentation from them, which was exacted by a system of tithes. The Jesuits became a very powerful ecclesiastical body, and commanded even sufficient political influence to secure the recall of the Governor, who was obnoxious to them, in 1665. Yet the people did not like them, in their usurpation of temporal power. The second bishop of Canada was M. de Saint Vallier, who was elevated to that position in 1688.

“Between the years 1635–1647, Canada was visited by eighteen Jesuit missionaries.” It was due to these missionaries, who remained with, and adapted themselves to the Indian tribes, that Canada held such a position among the Aborigines. The relations of these missionaries are of thrilling interest, and deserve the attention of all who desire to become a student of history.

When there were no more than sixty inhabitants at Quebec, in 1620, the Recollets had begun to erect a convent and chapel upon the banks of the St. Charles River.

The Bay Quinté region may be regarded as the earliest mission field in America. Of the four Missionaries who came with Champlain from France, in 1615, one at least accompanied him in his journey up the Ottawa, across to Georgian Bay, and down the Trent to the Bay. This was in July, and Champlain was under the necessity of remaining in this region until the following spring, in the meantime visiting several of the tribes all along the north shore of Lake Ontario. During this period the zealous Recollet earnestly labored to lay the foundation of Christianity among the natives, and planted the “antient mission” spoken of by father Picquet, 1751. We have positive statements to this effect. Probably when Champlain returned to Montreal, in the spring of 1616, he was 251not accompanied by the missionary; who stayed to establish the work he had commenced. We find it stated that the earliest missionaries to this region were M. Dolliere de Kleus, and Abbé D’Urfé, priests of the Saint Sulpice Seminary. Picquet remarks that the ancient mission at the Bay Quinté was established by Kleus and D’Urfé.

In June, 1571, DeCourcelles, as we have seen, visited Lake Ontario, coming directly up the St. Lawrence. On this occasion, it is recorded, he sent messages from Cataraqui “to a few missionaries residing among the Indians.” Two years later, when Frontenac came, with a view of establishing a fort, we find it stated that as he approached Cataraqui, he was met by a canoe with the “Abbé D’Urfé, and the Captains of the Five Nations.” The following year, 1674, LaSalle, in his petition for the grant of Fort Frontenac, and adjacent lands, proposed “to build a church when there will be 100 persons, meanwhile to entertain one or two of the Recollet Friars to perform divine service, and administer the sacraments there.” In the reply to this petition by the King, it was stipulated that LaSalle should “cause a church to be erected within six years of his grant.”

When Bradstreet, nearly a hundred years later, in 1751, captured Fort Frontenac, the Commandant, M. de Moyan, obtained the promise from Bradstreet, to “permit the ornaments and sacred vessels of the chappel to be removed in the luggage of the Chaplain.”

By the foregoing, we learn the interesting fact, that for 150 years before the capture of Canada by the English, and nearly 170 before Upper Canada was first settled, there existed at the Bay Quinté an active mission of Roman Catholic Christianity. The exact location of the “chappel” cannot be fixed; but there is every reason to suppose that it was upon the shores of the Bay, at some distance westward from Cataraqui, inasmuch as reference is made to the chapel as quite apart from the Fort, at Cataraqui.

From the nature of the relics found in the Indian burying ground, near the Carrying Place, at Bald Bluff, by Weller’s Bay, it might even have been situated there. Silver crosses, and other evidences of Roman Catholic Christianity, have been found in this place. Father Picquet remarks that the land was not good, but the quarter is beautiful.

There seems every probability that not many years after the establishment of the mission by the Bay Quinté, another was established in the neighborhood of Lake Huron, or Georgian Bay. 252Upon the river Wye, some six miles north of Penetanguishene, Pe-na-tang-que shine, so called by the Indians upon first seeing the sand banks, meaning “see the sand is falling,” was established a French fort, at an early date, the foundation of which may yet be seen. It appears likely that at this point, at the Christian Islands, (a significant name,) situated between the Manitoulin Islands and the mainland; and also at Michilmicinac, were commenced missionary labors by the Recollets and others. We find it stated that in 1679 there was a chapel at Michilmicinac, which may refer to the Christian Islands. Here LaSalle, on his way westward, stopped and attended mass, with the celebrated Recollet, Pére Hennepin.

The natives were strongly attached to these French missionaries. Presents of porcelaine beads to make wampum, with a kind demeanor, soon won many of them to become Roman Catholics; and the cross was set up in their midst. And the time came when they were willing to acknowledge themselves under the protection of, and subject to the French King.

At the present site of Ogdensburgh, in the year 1748, “Francis Picquet, Doctor of the Sarbonne, King’s Missionary, and Prefect Apostolic to Canada,” began to found the mission of La Presentation. By the river Oswegotchie, then called by the Indians Soegasti, he succeeded in planting a mission, which became the most important in all Canada. The object was to convert the Six Nations to Roman Catholic Christianity, and thereby to win them from their connection with the English. M. Picquet was a devoted man. “He received at that time neither allowance nor presents. From the King he had but one half pound of pork a day, which made the savages say, when they brought him a buck and some partridges, “We doubt not, Father, but that there have been disagreeable expostulations in your stomach, because you had nothing but pork to eat. Here is something to put your affairs in order.” They sometimes brought him trout weighing eighty pounds.

In 1749, when French interests were declining in the new world, and when every effort to secure the alliance of the Iroquois was devised, Governor de Veudreuil sent the Rev. Abbe Picquet of the missionary house at La Presentation, he being well and favorably known among the Five Nations. The object was to draw within the bounds of La Presentation many of the families, where they should not only be taught the Catholic religion, but also the elements of husbandry. It was somewhat the same idea as that which led the 253Rev. William Case, in later days, to domesticate the Mississaugas on the Grape Island. L’Abbe Picquet was successful in his mission, and in 1751, he had 396 heads of families living at the place. Among these were the most distinguished and influential families of the Iroquois. The settlement was divided into three villages, and much taste and skill were displayed in the planning. Great attractiveness characterized the place up to the conquest of Canada.

In the month of June, 1751, Father Picquet set out upon a voyage up to Fort Frontenac, and thence up the Bay Quinté, and the River Trent to Fort Toronto, and so on around Lake Ontario. He embarked in a King’s canoe, accompanied by one bark, in which were five trusty savages. The memoir of this trip is curious and edifying.

Proceeding to Fort Toronto, by way of the Trent, then an important trading post with the Indians, he found Mississaugas there who flocked around him; they spoke first of the happiness their young people, the women and children, would feel, if the King would be as good to them as to the Iroquois, for whom he procured missionaries. They complained that instead of building a church, they had constructed only a canteen for them. Abbe Picquet did not allow them to finish, and answered them, that they had been treated according to their fancy; that they had never evinced the least zeal for religion; that their conduct was much opposed to it;—​that the Iroquois, on the contrary, had manifested their love for Christianity, but as he had no order to attract them to his mission, he avoided a more lengthy explanation,” (Paris Doc). This conduct on the part of Abbe Picquet must be regarded as heartless in the extreme. Such language ought not to come from the lips of a missionary. It shows that the Iroquois, because of his relationship with the English, had souls of far more importance than the Mississauga, whose character for peace rendered him of minor importance. The reflection upon the character was uncharitable; and, judging by the light supplied by later days, it was untrue—​shamefully untrue. That the Mississauga Indians acquired a taste for the brandy vended to them by the French trader was certainly a fact; but that did not indicate an unwillingness on their part, to become Christians. Missionaries, of the present century, have succeeded in raising the Mississauga, not alone from paganism, but from a degrading love of spirituous liquors acquired of the French, to a distinguished place among converted Indians.

Abbe Picquet went from Fort Toronto, probably by the River 254Don, and thence across the lake, to Fort Niagara, to negotiate with the Senecas. Passing along the south shore, he visited the English fort at the mouth of the River Oswego, called Choueguen. He also visited the River Gascouchogou, (Genesee) and returned to Frontenac, where a grand reception awaited him. “The Nippissings and Algonquins who were going to war, drew up in a line of their own accord above Fort Frontenac, where three standards were hoisted. They fired several volleys of musketry, and cheered incessantly. They were answered in the same style from all the little crafts of bark. M. de Verchere, and M. de la Valtrie, caused the guns of the fort to be discharged at the same time, and the Indians, transported with joy at the honors paid them, also kept up a continual fire with shouts and exclamations which made every one rejoice. The commandants and officers received our missionary at the landing. No sooner had he landed than all the Algonquins and Nippissings of the lake came to embrace him. Finally, when he returned to La Presentation, he was received with that affection, that tenderness, which children would experience in recovering a father whom they had lost.” Three years later war was, for the last time, in progress between the French and English in America. Father Picquet contributed much to stay the downfall of French domination. He distinguished himself in all the principal engagements, and by his presence animated the Indian converts to battle for the French King. At last, finding all was lost, he retired on the 8th May, 1760. He ascended the Bay Quinté and Trent by Fort Toronto, and passed on to Michilmicinac, and thence to the Mississippi; and then to New Orleans, where he stayed twenty-two months. Died 15th July, 1781, called the “Apostle of the Iroquois.”

During the French domination in Canada, the dissentions between the Recollets and Jesuits were almost incessant. Now the one was sustained and patronized by the governor regnant, now the other, and many were the struggles between Church and State. The closing days of French rule witnessed scenes of unseemly strife between the clergy and the governors. The last of the Jesuits in Canada, Father Casat, died in 1800, and the whole of their valuable possessions came to the government.



Contents—​First Church in New York, 1633—​First Dominie, Rev. Everardus Bogardus—​The Dutch, Huguenots, Pilgrims—​Transporting ministers and churches—​First Rector of New York, Wm. Vesey—​Henry Barclay, 1746—​First Catholic Bishop in America, 1789—​Episcopalian Bishop, 1796—​Moral state of Pioneers in Canada—​Religion—​No ministers—​No striking immorality—​Feared God and honored their King—​The Fathers of Upper Canada—​Religious views—​A hundred years ago—​“Carousing and Dancing”—​Rev. Dr. John Ogilvie—​First Protestant Clergyman in Canada—​Chaplain 1759, at Niagara—​A Missionary—​Successor of Dr. Barclay, New York—​Death, 1774—​Rev. John Doughty—​A Graduate Ordained—​At Peekskill—​Schenectady—​A Loyalist—​A Prisoner—​To Canada—​Chaplain—​To England—​Returns—​Missionary—​Resigns—​Rev. Dr. John Stuart—​First Clergyman to settle—​His Memoir—​The “Father of the U. C. Church”—​Mission Work—​The Five Nations—​The Dutch—​Rev. Mr. Freeman—​Translator—​Rev. Mr. Andrews—​Rev. Mr. Spencer Woodbridge, Howley—​New England Missionaries—​Rev. Dr. Whelock—​The Indian Converts—​The London Society—​Rev. Mr. Inglis—​John Stuart selected missionary—​A Native of Pennsylvania—​Irish descent—​A Graduate, Phil. Coll.—​Joins Church of England—​To England—​Ordination—​Holy Orders 1770—​Enters upon his work.


According to the Rev. J. B. Wakley, “The Reformed Dutch Church was the first organized in New Amsterdam, (New York). This year, 1633, the first church edifice was erected on this island, (Manhatten). It was built on what is called Broad Street. It was a small frail wooden building. The name of the first Dominie is preserved, the Rev. Everardus Bogardus. He came over from Holland with the celebrated Wanter Van Twiller. The Dutch and the Huguenots, as well as the Pilgrims, brought the church, the school-master, and their Bibles with them. They erected a dwelling for the Rev. Mr. Bogardus to reside in. This was the first parsonage built on the island, if not in America. This first minister in New Amsterdam met with a sad end. After spending some years in the new world, in returning to his native land, he, with eighty-one others, was lost off the coast of Wales. The Bogarts are probably descended from this pioneer minister, he having left children behind him in America, or some near connection. The first Rector of the Church of England in New York, was the Rev. William Vesey, pastor of Trinity Church. The Rev. Dr. Henry Barclay was the second Rector, who had previously been catechist for ten years to the Mohawk Indians. He became Rector October 22, 1746.” He was the father of the late Thomas Barclay, Consul-General of His British Majesty in the United States, and grandfather of Mr. Anthony Barclay, late British 256Consul at New York, who was under the necessity of returning home during the Russian war, in consequence of the jealousy and partiality of the American Government.

We find it stated that Dr. Carroll, of Maryland, was the first Catholic Bishop in America, 1789.

Dr. Seabury, Bishop of Connecticut, was the first Episcopalian Bishop of that State, he died in 1796.

The circumstances of the settlers in Upper Canada were not such as would conduce to a growth of religion and morality. Apart from the effect upon them resulting from a civil war, and being driven away from home—​isolated in a wilderness, far removed from civilization; there were circumstances inimical to the observance of religious duties. The earnest contest for life, the daily struggle for food, and more especially, the absence of ministers of the gospel, all combined to create a feeling of indifference, if not a looseness of morals. In a few instances, there was on the part of the settlers, a departure from that strict virtue, which obtains at the present time, and in which they had been trained. But on the whole, there was a close adherence, and a severe determination to serve the God of their fathers. From many a log cabin ascended the faithful prayer of the followers of Luther; of the conscientious Episcopalian, and the zealous Methodist and Baptist. Yet, for years, to some the word of life was not preached; and then but rarely by the devoted missionary as he traveled his tedious round of the wilderness. After ten years, the average of inhabitants to the square miles, was only seven. This paucity of inhabitants, prevented regular religious sermons by clergymen, as it did the formation of well taught schools. This absence of educational and religious advantages, it might be expected, would naturally lead to a demoralized state of society, but such was not the case with the settlers of the ten townships. This sparseness of population, arose in part, it must be mentioned, from the system pursued by government, of reserving tracts of land, of granting to the clergy, and to non-resident owners, all of which remained to embarrass the separated settlers, and prevent advance of civilization, by begetting ignorance and indifference to religion.

When it is remembered how great had been the trials of the refugees during the continuation of the war; when we call to mind the school of training belonging to a camp life; and still more, when it is taken into consideration to how great an extent the settlers were removed from the salutary influences of civilized life, it at once strikes the thoughtful mind as surprising, that the early colonist did not 257relapse into a state of non-religion and gross immorality. But it is a remarkable fact that the loyalists who planted Upper Canada, not only honored their King, but feared God, and in a very eminent degree fulfilled the later commandment to love one another. Certainly there were exceptions. Even yet are remembered the names of a few who availed themselves of their neighbors’ necessities to acquire property; and the story still floats down the stream of time, that there were those who had plenty and to spare of government stores, while the people were enduring the distress of the “Hungry Year.” But even these reports lack confirmation, and even if true, are the more conspicuous by their singularity. There is no intention or desire to clothe the founders of Upper Canada with a character to which they are not entitled, to suppress in any respect facts that would tend to derogate the standing of the loyalists. This is unnecessary to place them upon an elevated ground, but were it not, it would be contrary to the writer’s feelings, and unfair to the reader. There will be occasion to allude to a few instances, where gross evils manifested themselves, yet after all, they are but the dark corners which only serve to bring out the more glowing colors of the picture presented. In arriving at a just estimate of their state of morals, it is necessary to take into consideration, that many of the views held by truly religious men a hundred years ago, differed widely from those held by many to day. Reference is made to certain kinds of amusements then unhesitatingly indulged in, which to-day are looked upon as inimical to sound Christianity. One of these is the habit of using intoxicating liquors. It was also charged against them, that they were “wofully addicted to carousing and dancing.”


This divine was probably the first Protestant clergyman that ever officiated in Canada. He did so in the capacity of chaplain to a British Regiment in an expedition to Fort Niagara, in 1759, when that French stronghold was surrendered. Dr. Ogilvie, was a native of New York, and a graduate of Yale college. He was employed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, as a missionary with success. In 1765 he succeeded the Rev. Dr. Barclay, as Rector of Trinity Church, New York. He died in 1774. “A portrait of him is still preserved in the vestry office of Trinity Church.” The next Protestant clergyman we believe, was the Rev. John Doughty.

“An Episcopal minister. He graduated at King’s College, New 258York, in 1770. He was ordained in England for the church at Peekskill, but was soon transferred to Schenectady. In 1775, political troubles put an end to divine service, and he suffered much at the hands of the popular party. In 1777, he obtained leave to depart to Canada, (after having been twice a prisoner,) where he became chaplain of the “King’s Royal Regiment,” of New York. In 1781 he went to England; but returned to Canada in 1784, and officiated as missionary at Sorel. He resigned his connection with the society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts, in 1803.”—​(Sabine.)

The first clergyman to settle in Canada, and one of the refugee pioneers at the first settlement of Kingston, was the Rev. John Stuart. We are fortunate in having before us a transcript of the memoir of this distinguished person.

Memoirs of the Rev. John Stuart, D.D., father of the Upper Canada Church. He opened the first academy at Cataraqui—​Kingston 1786. The last missionary to the Mohawks.

“The conversion and civilization of the American Indians, engaged the attention of Europeans at an early date.” The Jesuits first gave attention to the Mohawks, 1642, a few years later, Father Joynes laid down his life on the Mohawk River. The first colonizers, the Dutch did not give the subject much attention. “The government of New York, did not make any effort to Christianize the five nations, further than to pay, for some time a small salary to the clergyman, at Albany, to attend to the wants of such Indians, as might apply to him.” The Rev. Mr. Freeman, translated into the Mohawk language, the Church of England Prayer Book, with some passages of the Old and New Testament. “In 1712 Mr. Andrews was sent as a missionary to the Mohawk, by the society, for propagating the gospel, and a church was built at the mouth of the Schoharie creek, but that missionary soon abandoned the place. As he was the first, so he was the last that resided among them for a great many years. After that the only ministration was at Albany. In 1748, the Rev. Mr. Spencer, Mr. Woodbridge and Howly, were sent successively by the people of New England,” to this field of labor.

The French war soon interrupted this, and not until 1761, was anything more done, when the Rev. Dr. Wheelock, directed his attention to that quarter, with missionaries, and schoolmasters. The testimony mainly of all these mentioned, who labored among the Indians, is to the effect that, although they were quick to learn, and would for a time live a Christian life, they mostly all lapsed into their former 259savage state. “The necessity of having missionaries of the Church of England, resident among the Mohawks, was again brought before the society for promoting of the gospel, a few years before the revolution, both by Sir William Johnson, and the Rev. Mr. Inglis, of New York, the last of whom also laid the subject before the government of England, in the form of a memorial. In 1770 the society again consented to ordain a missionary for the exclusive service of the Mohawks. John Stuart, who was selected for this purpose, was born at Harrisburgh, in Pennsylvania, in 1730. The family mansion in which he was born was still standing in 1836.” His father, an Irishman, came to America in 1730. John Stuart had two brothers who sided with the Americans. When he “graduated at the college of Philadelphia, he made up his mind to join the communion of the Church of England.” His father being a Presbyterian, this was extremely distasteful to him. But his father finally consenting, he proceeded to England for ordination, and received Holy Orders in 1770, and was appointed missionary to the Mohawks at Fort Hunter.



Contents—​At Fort Hunter—​Mr. Stuart’s first sermon, Christmas—​Officiates in Indian tongue—​Translates—​The Rebellion—​Prayers for the King—​The Johnsons—​Rebels attack his house—​Plunder—​Indignity—​Church desecrated—​Used as a stable—​A barrel of rum—​Arrested—​Ordered to come before Rebel Commissioners—​On Parole—​Limits—​Idle two years—​To Albany—​Phil—​Determines to remove to Canada—​Not secure—​Exchanging—​Security—​Real estate forfeited—​Route—​Negroes—​The journey, three weeks—​At St. John’s—​Charge of Public School—​Chaplain—​At the close of the war—​Three Protestant Parishes—​Determines to settle at Cataraqui—​Chaplain to Garrison—​Missionary—​Bishop of Virginia, Dr. Griffith—​Visits Mr. Stuart—​Invitation to Virginia Declined—​“Rivetted prejudices,” satisfied—​“The only refugee clergyman”—​Path of duty—​Visits the settlement, 1784—​Mohawks, Grand River—​Reception of their old Pastor—​First Church—​Mohawks, Bay of Quinté—​Remains in Montreal a year—​Assistant—​Removes to Cataraqui, 1785—​His land—​Number of houses in Kingston—​A short cut to Lake Huron—​Fortunate in land—​5000 settlers—​Poor and Happy—​Industrious—​Around his Parish, 1788—​Two hundred miles long—​By Batteau—​Brant—​New Oswego—​Mohawk Village church, steeple, and bell—​First in Upper Canada—​Plate—​Organ—​Furniture—​Returns—​At Niagara—​Old Parishioners—​Tempted to move—​Comfortable not rich—​Declines a Judgeship—​New Mecklenburgh—​Appointed Chaplain to first House of Assembly—​Mohawk Mission—​At Marysburgh—​Degree of D.D.—​Prosperity—​Happy—​Decline of life—​His duties—​Illness, Death, 1811—​His appearance—​“The little gentleman”—​His manners—​Honorable title—​His children—​Rev. O’Kill Stuart.


Mr. Stuart immediately returned to America and proceeded to his mission, preaching his first sermon to the Mohawks on Christmas of the same year, 1770. He preached regularly every Sunday after the service had been read in Indian. In the afternoon he officiated in the Mohawk chapel to the whites, mostly Dutch. “In 1774 he was able to read the liturgy, baptize and marry in the Indian tongue, and converse tolerably well with them. He subsequently, assisted by Brant, translated parts of the Bible. After the commencement of the rebellion, until 1777, Mr. Stuart did not experience any inconvenience,” although in other places the clergy had been shamefully abused; he remained at Fort Hunter even after the Declaration of Independence, and constantly performed divine service without omitting prayers for the king. Mr. Stuart’s connection with the Johnson family, and his relations to the Indians rendered him particularly noxious to the Whigs. Although they had not proof of his being active in aiding the British, everything was done to make his home unbearable. “His house was attacked, 261his property plundered and every indignity offered his person. His church was also plundered and turned into a tavern, and in ridicule and contempt, a barrel of rum was placed in the reading desk. The church was afterwards used as a stable, July, 1778. He was ordered by the Board to detect conspiracies, to leave his home and repair forthwith with his family to Connecticut until his exchange could be procured.” He was to leave within four days after receiving the orders, or be committed to close confinement. “Mr. Stuart appeared before the Commissioners two days after receiving the above order, and declared his readiness to convince them that he had not corresponded with the enemy, and that he was ready and willing to enter into any engagement for the faithful performance of such duties as may be enjoined him.” The Board took his parole, by which he was obligated to abstain from doing anything against the Congress of the United States, or for the British, and not to leave the limits of Schenectady without permission of the Board. Soon after he writes there are only three families of my congregation, the rest having joined the King’s forces, nor had he preached for two years. In the Spring of 1780, the Indians appeared in the county infuriated because of the conduct of General Sullivan the previous year. Mr. Stuart had to abandon his house and move to Albany. So imminent was the danger that the fleeing family could see the houses about in flames, and hear the report of arms. At Albany, Mr. Stuart received much civility from General Schuyler, and obtained permission to visit Philadelphia. Having returned, he made up his mind to emigrate to Canada, and communicated his resolution as follows: “I arrived here eight days from the time I parted with you (at Philadelphia) and found my family well, and after being sufficiently affrighted, the enemy having been within twenty miles of this place, and within one mile of my house in the country, considering the present state of affairs in this part of the Province, I am fully persuaded that I cannot possibly live here secure, either in regard to ourselves or property during the ensuing season; this place is likely to be a frontier, and will probably be burnt if the enemy can effect it. For these and other weighty reasons, materially weighed, I have resolved, with the approbation and consent of Mrs. Stuart, to emigrate to Canada, and having made an application for an exchange, which I have reason to believe will be granted.”

Mr. Stuart applied by letter to Governor Clinton, to be exchanged, March 30, 1781. His application received prompt attention, 262and he was the same day allowed permission on certain conditions, which are stated by Mr. Stuart in a letter to Rev. Mr. White, of Philadelphia. The letter is dated Schenectady, April 17, 1781. “Being considered as a prisoner of war, and having forfeited my real estate, I have given £400 security to return in exchange for myself, one prisoner out of four nominated by the Governor, viz.: one Colonel, two Captains, and one Lieutenant, either of which will be accepted in my stead; or if neither of the prisoners aforesaid can be obtained, I am to return as a prisoner of war to Albany, when required. My personal property I am permitted to sell or carry with me, and I am to proceed under the protection of a public flag, as soon as it will be safe and convenient for women and children to travel that course. We are to proceed from here to Fort Arin in waggons, and from thence in Batteaux.” The danger of the journey was adverted to, and the probability of obtaining a chaplaincy in Sir William Johnson’s 2nd Battalion of Royal Yorkers, which is nearly complete on the establishment. “My negroes being personal property, I take with me, one of which being a young man, and capable of bearing arms. I have given £100 security to send back a white person in his stead.”

“Mr. Stewart set out with his family, consisting of his wife and three small children, on his long and tedious journey, on the 19th of Sept., 1781, and arrived at St. Johns on the 9th of the following month, thus accomplishing the journey in three weeks, which is now done in twelve or fifteen hours. As there was no opening in Montreal, he took charge of a public school, which, with his commission as Chaplain, gave him support.” In a letter to Dr. White, dated Montreal, October 14, 1783, he says: “I have no reason hitherto to dislike my change of climate; but, as reduction must take place soon, my emoluments will be much diminished, neither have I any flattering prospect of an eligible situation in the way of my profession, as there are only three protestant Parishes in this Province, the Pastors of which are Frenchmen, and as likely to live as I am.” Soon after, Mr. Stuart determined to settle at Cataraqui, where was a garrison, and to which a good many loyalists had already proceeded. He was promised the chaplaincy to the garrison, with a salary of one thousand dollars a year, and he writes, “I can preserve the Indian mission in its neighborhood, which, with other advantages, will afford a comfortable subsistence, although I wish it laid in Maryland.” After the acknowledged independence of the United States, and the separation of the Episcopalian Church 263of America from the mother Church, Dr. Griffith, the Bishop elect of Virginia, invited Mr. Stuart to settle in his diocese; but Mr. Stuart declined. He writes, “The time has been when the chance of obtaining a settlement in that part of Virginia would have gratified my utmost desire; but, at my time of life, and with such rivetted principles in favor of a Government totally different, ‘it is impossible.’” Though Mr. Stuart did visit Philadelphia in 1786, he never seems to have repented his removal to Canada. Yet the isolation in which he sometimes found himself, would sometimes naturally call up memories that could not fail to be painful. “I am,” he writes, “the only Refugee Clergyman in this Province, &c.” As a relief from such thoughts, he turned to the active duties of his calling. “I shall not regret,” said he, “the disappointment and chagrin I have hitherto met with, if it pleases God to make me the instrument of spreading the knowledge of His Gospel amongst the heathen, and reclaiming only one lost sheep of the house of Israel.” In this spirit he set out on the second of June, 1784, to visit the new settlements on the St. Lawrence, Bay Quinté, and Niagara Falls, where he arrived on the 18th of the same month. Already, 3,500 Loyalists had left Montreal that season for Upper Canada. His reception by the Mohawks, ninety miles from the Falls, was very affectionate, even the windows of the church in which he officiated were crowded with those who were anxious to behold again their old Pastor, from whom they had been so long separated. This church was the first built in Upper Canada, and it must have been commenced immediately after the Mohawks settled on the Grand River. He officiated also at Cataraqui, where he found a garrison of three companies, about thirty good houses, and some 1,500 souls who intended to settle higher up. He next proceeded to the Bay of Quinté, where some more Mohawks had settled, and were busy building houses and laying the foundation of their new village, named Tyendinaga. Though Mr. Stuart had now received from the Society, whose missionary he continued to be, discretionary powers to settle in any part of Canada, he remained in Montreal another year, as assistant to the Rev. Dr. DeLisle, Episcopal Clergyman of that town. He finally removed to Cataraqui, in August, 1785. His share of the public land was situated partly in Cataraqui, and partly at a place, which, in memory of the dear old place on the Mohawk River, was now called New Johnstown. Sometime in 1785, Mr. Stuart says, “I have two hundred acres within half a mile of the garrison, a beautiful situation. The town increases fast; 264there are already about fifty houses built in it, and some of them very elegant. It is now the port of transport from Canada to Niagara. We have now, just at the door, a ship, a scow, and a sloop, beside a number of small crafts; and if the communication lately discovered from this place by water, to Lake Huron and Michilmackinac proves as safe, and short as we are made to believe, this will shortly be a place of considerable trade.” Reference here must be made to the route up the Bay and River Trent. “I have been fortunate in my locations of land, having 1,400 acres at different places, in good situations, and of an excellent quality, three farms of which I am improving, and have sowed this fall with thirty bushels in them. The number of souls to westward of us is more than 5,000, and we gain, daily, new recruits from the States. We are a poor, happy people, industrious beyond example. Our gracious King gives us land gratis, and furnishes provisions, clothing, and farming utensils, &c., until next September, after which the generality of the people will be able to live without his bounty.” The above must have been written in 1785, as in May, 1786, he opened an academy. In the summer of 1788, he went round his Parish, which was then above 200 miles long. He thus describes his voyage on this occasion. “I embarked in a batteau with six Indians, commanded by Capt. Brant, and coasted along the north shore of Lake Ontario, about 200 miles from the head of the lake; we went twenty-five miles by land, to New Oswego, the new Mohawk village on the Grand River; these people were my former charge, and the Society still styles me their Mohawk Vill. Missionary. I found them conveniently situated on a beautiful river, where the soil is equal in fertility to any I ever saw. Their village contains about 700 souls, and consists of a great number of good houses, with an elegant church in the centre; it has a handsome steeple and bell, and is well finished within.” By this we learn, that not only was the first Protestant Church built at the Grand River, but as well here was the first steeple to contain a bell, which was the first to be heard in Upper Canada. Brant, when in England, collected money for all this. With the above, they had the service of plate, preserved from the rebels on the Mohawk; crimson furniture for the pulpit, and “the Psalmody was accompanied by an organ.” “This place was uninhabited four years ago.” “I returned by the route of Niagara, and visited that settlement. They had, as yet, no clergyman, and I preached to a very large audience. The increase of population there was immense, and indeed I was so well pleased 265with that country, where I found many of my old Parishioners, that I was strongly tempted to remove my family to it. You may suppose it cost me a struggle to refuse the unanimous and pressing invitation of a large settlement, with the additional argument of a subscription, and other emoluments, amounting to near £300, York currency, per annum more than I have here. But, on mature reflection, I have determined to remain here. You will suppose me to be very rich, or very disinterested; but, I assure you, neither was the case. I have a comfortable house, a good farm here, and an excellent school for my children, in a very healthy climate, and all these I could not have expected had I removed to Niagara. But, that you may be convinced that I do not intend to die rich, I have also declined an honorable and lucrative appointment. Our new settlements have been divided into four districts, of which this place is the capital of one, called New Mecklenburgh, and Courts of Justice are to be immediately opened. I had a commission sent me, as first Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. But, for reasons which readily occur to you, I returned it to Lord Dorchester, who left this place a few days ago.”

In 1789, Mr. Stuart was appointed Bishop’s Commissionary for the settlements from Point au Boudette to the western limits of the Province, being the district now constituting Canada West. Though this appointment added nothing to his emoluments, it increased considerably his duties. At the meeting of the first Session of Parliament in 1792, he was named Chaplain to the Upper House of Assembly, an appointment which required for a time his presence at Niagara. He occasionally visited and officiated for the Mohawk Village, at the Bay of Quinté. But, notwithstanding the laudable exertions of the society, and the partial indulgence of the British Government to this tribe, no flattering accounts can be given either of their religious improvements, or approach to civilization; on his return he usually stopped at Col. McDonnell’s, Marysburgh, and preached in his house. In the year 1799, the degree of D.D. was conferred on Mr. Stuart, by the University of Pennsylvania, his Alma Mater, a complement he appreciated from his native state. About the same time he received the appointment of Chaplain to the Garrison of Kingston. “He had secured about 4000 acres of valuable land to which he occasionally made additions.” In his prosperity and wealth he exclaimed: “How mysterious are the ways of Providence! How short-sighted we are! Some years ago I thought it a great hardship to be banished into the wilderness, and 266would have imagined myself completely happy, could I have exchanged it for a place in the City of Philadelphia,—​now the best wish we can form for our dearest friends is to have them removed to us.” It must be remarked that the above is taken from letters written to a friend in Philadelphia, and no doubt, being private and social in their nature, there is often a coloring favorable to the States which emanated from no love to that country. “The remainder of Dr. Stuart’s life seems to have passed in the routine of his duties, interrupted however by attacks of illness, to which the increase of years, and the fatigue attendant on a mission in so new a country, could not fail to subject him.” Dr. Stuart departed this life on the 15th of August, 1811, in the seventy-first year of his age, and was buried at Kingston, where he lives (says one of his cotemporaries) in the heart of his friends. “He was about six feet four inches in height, and from this circumstance, was known among his New York friends as “the little gentleman.” His manners were quiet and conciliating, and his character, such as led him rather to win more by kindness and persuasion, than to awe and alarm them by the terrors of authority. His sermons were composed in plain and nervous language, were recommended by the affectionate manner of his delivery, and not unfrequently found a way to the conscience of those who had long been insensible to any real religious convictions. The honorable title of Father of the Upper Canada Church, has been fitly bestowed on him, and he deserves the name not more by his age and the length of his services, than by the kind and paternal advice and encouragement, which he was ever ready to give those younger than he on their first entrance on the mission.” “By his wife, Jane O’Kill, of Philadelphia, who was born in 1752, he had five sons and three daughters.” All of his sons subsequently occupied distinguished positions. His eldest son George O’Kill, graduated at Cambridge, England, in 1801, entered Holy Orders, and was appointed missionary at York, now Toronto, from whence he returned on his father’s death to Kingston, where he became Archdeacon. He died in 1862, at the age of eighty-six.



Contents—​A Missionary—​Chaplain at Niagara—​Pastor to the Settlers—​Chaplain to Legislature—​Visits Grand River—​Officiates—​A Land Speculator—​Receives a pension, £50—​1823—​Rev. Mr. Pollard—​At Amherstburgh—​Mr. Langhorn—​A Missionary—​Little Education—​Useful—​Odd—​On Bay Quinté In Ernesttown—​Builds a Church—​At Adolphustown—​Preaches at Hagerman’s—​Another Church—​A Diligent Pastor—​Pioneer Preacher around the Bay—​Christening—​Marrying—​Particular—​His Appointments—​Clerk’s Fees—​Generosity—​Present to Bride—​Faithful to Sick Calls—​Frozen Feet—​No Stockings—​Shoe Buckles—​Dress—​Books—​Peculiarities—​Fond of the Water—​Charitable—​War of 1812—​Determined to leave Canada—​Thinks it doomed—​Singular Notice—​Returns to Europe—​His Library—​Present to Kingston—​Twenty Years in Canada—​Extract from Gazette—​No One Immediately to take His Place—​Rev. John Bethune—​Died 1815—​Native of Scotland—​U. E. Loyalists—​Lost Property—​Chaplain to 84th Regiment—​A Presbyterian—​Second Legal Clergyman in Upper Canada—​Settled at Cornwall—​Children—​The Baptists—​Wyner—​Turner—​Holts Wiem—​Baptists upon River Moira—​First Chapel—​How Built—​Places of Preaching—​Hayden’s Corners—​At East Lake—​The Lutherans—​Rev. Schwerdfeger—​Lutheran Settlers—​County Dundas—​First Church East of Kingston—​Rev. Mr. Myers lived in Marysburgh—​Marriage—​His Log Church—​Removes to St. Lawrence—​Resigns—​To Philadelphia—​Mr. Weant—​Lives in Ernesttown—​Removes to Matilda—​Not Supported—​Secretly Joins the English Church—​Re-ordained—​His Society Ignorant—​Suspicion—​Preaching in Shirt Sleeves—​Mr. Myers Returns, by Sleigh—​Locking Church Door—​The Thirty-nine Articles—​Compromise—​Mr. Myers continues Three Years a Lutheran—​He Secedes—​The End of both Seceders—​Rev. I. L. Senderling—​Rev. Herman Hayunga—​Rev. Mr. Shorts—​Last Lutheran Minister at Ernesttown, McCarty—​Married.


The Rev. Robert Addison came as a missionary from the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in 1790. He probably discharged the duties of chaplain to the troops stationed at Niagara, and also was Clergyman, and officiated as such, to the settlers. When the government was formed at Niagara, in 1792, Mr. Addison, was appointed Chaplain. He occasionally visited the Grand River Indians, officiating through an interpreter, and baptizing and marrying. Col. Clark says, Mr. Addison was a land speculator. In 1823, an act was passed by Parliament, granting Mr. Addison a pension of £50 per annum during life, for service rendered as Chaplain to the House of Assembly for thirty years. Another Episcopalian Clergyman, who came to Canada about the same time, was the Rev. Mr. Pollard, whose station was at Amherstburgh.

A fourth Church of England Clergyman, and one with whom 268we must become more familiar, was the Rev. Mr. Langhorn. According to the statement made to us by the late Bishop Strachan, Mr. Langhorn was sent to Canada as a missionary by a Society in London, called “The Bees,” or some such name. He was a Welshman by birth, possessed of but little education or talent, yet a truthful, zealous, and useful man. Odd in his manner, he nevertheless worked faithfully among the settlers from Kingston to Hay Bay. Upon arriving he took up his abode in Ernesttown, living at Hoyts, the present site of Bath. Here he was instrumental in having, before long time, erected an English Church. Soon after coming he visited Adolphustown, and preached at Mr. Hagerman’s, where Mr. Stuart had previously occasionally held service. Steps were at once taken to build a church also at Adolphustown, and Mr. Langhorn came to hold service regularly every second Sabbath. Mr. Langhorn was a diligent pastor in his rounds among his flock, over an extensive tract with great regularity, and once in a great while he went as far as the Carrying Place, where it is said he preached the first of all the pioneer ministers. He likewise occasionally visited Prince Edward, and preached at Smith’s Bay, and at Congers, Picton Bay. He was very careful to have all the children christened before they were eight days old, and never failed to question the larger in the catechism. Marriage he would never perform but in the church, and always before eleven in the morning. If the parties to be joined failed to reach the church by the appointed time, he would leave; and would refuse to marry them, no matter how far they had come, generally on foot, or by canoe. Sometimes they were from the remote townships, yet were sent away unmarried. After performing the marriage ceremony, he would insist on receiving, it is said, three coppers for his clerk. For himself he would take nothing, unless it was to present it to the bride immediately. Seemingly he did not care for money; and he would go in all kinds of weather when wanted to officiate, or administer to the wants of the sick. One person tells us that he remembers his coming to his father’s in winter, and that his feet were frozen. No wonder, as Mr. Langhorn never wore stockings nor gloves in the coldest weather. But his shoe buckles were broad and bright; and a broad rimmed hat turned up at the sides covered his head. Upon his back he generally carried in a bag some books for reading. We have referred to his peculiarities; many extraordinary eccentricities are related of him, both as a man and clergyman. He was very fond of the water, both 269in summer and winter. “In summer,” (Playter says,) “he would, at times swim from a cove on the main shore to a cove in the opposite island, three miles apart, and in winter, he would cut a hole in the ice, and another at some distance, and would dive down at one hole, and come up the other. He had some eccentricities, but he seemed to be a good and charitable man.”

Mr. Langhorn, when the war of 1812 commenced, acquired the belief, it is said, that Canada would be conquered by the United States, and so determined to escape. The following somewhat singular “Notice” appeared in the Kingston Gazette:—​“Notice—​To all whom it may concern,—​That the Rev. J. Langhorn, of Ernesttown, intends returning to Europe this summer, if he can find a convenient opportunity; and all who have any objections to make, are requested to acquaint him with them, and they will much oblige their humble servant,—​J. Langhorn,—​Earnesttown, March, 1813.” The Rev. gentleman did go home, and some say that he was again coming to Canada, and was shipwrecked. Before leaving Canada, he made a valuable present to Kingston, as the following notice will show:

“The Rev. Mr. Langhorn, of Ernesttown, who is about returning to England, his native country, has presented a valuable collection of books to the Social Library, established in this village. The directors have expressed to him the thanks of the proprietors for his liberal donation. Many of the volumes are very elegant, and, it is to be hoped, will, for many years, remain a memorial of his liberality and disposition to promote the diffusion of useful knowledge among a people, with whom he has lived as an Episcopal Missionary more than twenty years. During that period his acts of charity have been frequent and numerous, and not confined to members of his own church; but extended to indigent and meritorious persons of all denominations. Many who have shared in his bounty, will have reason to recollect him with gratitude, and to regret his removal from the country.”—​(Kingston Gazette).

After his departure, the churches where he had preached were vacant for many a day; and, at last, the one in Adolphustown went to decay.

There died, at Williamstown, U. C., 23rd September, 1815, the Rev. John Bethune, in his 65th year. He was a native of Scotland. Came to America before the rebellion, and was possessed of property, all of which he lost, and was thereby reduced to great distress for the time being. The foundation was then laid for the disease of 270which he died. During the rebellion, he was appointed Chaplain to the 80th Regiment. At the close of the war he settled in Canada. He left a widow and numerous family.

Ex-Sheriff Sherwood, of Brockville, says that “the Rev. Mr. Bethune, a Presbyterian Clergyman, was the second legalized Clergyman in the country. He settled at an early period at Cornwall. He was father of the Rev. John Bethune, now Dean of Montreal, (1866).”


The first Ministers of this sect were Elders Wyner and Turner, a brother of Gideon Turner, one of the first settlers of Thurlow. One, Elder Holts, also preached around the Bay, but a love of brandy hindered him. Yet he was an attractive preacher. This was probably about 1794.

A considerable number of Baptists settled up the river Moira, in Thurlow. The first chapel built here was for that denomination, in the fifth concession. Its size was thirty feet square. But, prior to the building of this, a dozen or so would meet for worship at the house of Mr. Ross. The chapel was mainly built by each member going to the place and working at the building, from time to time, until it was completed.

Mr. Turner traveled through different sections, preaching wherever he found his fellow communionists. He occasionally preached at Capt. McIntosh’s, at Myer’s Creek, and now and then at the head of the Bay. The Baptists were, probably, the first to preach at Sidney, and Thurlow. Myer’s Creek was not a central place at which to collect the scattered settlers until it became a village. Before that, the preaching place of the Baptists, and afterwards of the Presbyterians and Methodists, was up at Gilbert’s house, in Sidney, or at Col. Bell’s, in Thurlow. When the village grew, services were held at Capt. McIntosh’s and Mr. Mitz’s, at the mouth of the river, by different denominations, and still later, in a small school house. Preaching also was held up the river, at Reed’s and Hayden’s Corners.

The first Baptist Minister that preached at East Lake, Hallowell, was the Rev. Joseph Wiem. Not unlikely, he and Elder Wyner are the same.


Among the early ministers of religion who attended to the spiritual interests of the pioneers, were several of the Lutheran 271Church. Of this denomination, there was a considerable number in the County of Dundas, chiefly Dutch. There were also a community of them in Ernesttown, and another in Marysburgh. The first church built in Upper Canada, east of Kingston, perhaps the next after the one built at Tyendinaga, was erected by the Lutherans. It was put up in 1790, named Zion’s Church, and a Mr. Schwerdfeger, who resided near Albany, was invited to be their Pastor. This invitation was gladly accepted, as he and his family had suffered severe persecution from the victorious rebels. He died in 1803.

At an early period, indeed it would seem probable before Mr. Schwerdfeger came to Canada, although the time cannot be positively fixed, the Rev. Mr. Myers, from Philadelphia, lived in Marysburgh and preached to the Lutheran Germans of that Township. He married a daughter of Mr. Henry Smith, one of the first settlers there, where stood his log church, about twenty-four feet square, upon the brow of a hill overlooking a lovely landscape. Mr. Myers removed to the St. Lawrence, and “in 1804 became Pastor of the Lutheran churches there.” (History of Dundas). He resigned in 1807, not being supported, and removed to Pennsylvania.

The second Lutheran clergyman to preach upon the Bay, was the Rev. Mr. Weant. He lived a short distance below Bath, and went every four weeks to preach at Smith’s Bay; and, in the meantime, preached to the Lutherans of Ernesttown, where he built a log church, the first there. In 1808, he received a call from the Lutherans of Matilda, “which he accepted, and for some time preached acceptably, residing in the parsonage.” He, too, seems to have been inadequately supported by the people, and yielding to inducements, too tempting for most men to resist, he, in 1811, secretly joined the Church of England, and was re-ordained by Bishop Mountain, in Quebec. Upon his return, he pretended still to be a Lutheran minister, and preached, as usual, in German exclusively. Suspicions, however, soon arose that all was not right, for he began to use the English Book of Common Prayer, and occasionally to wear the surplice, practices which gave such offence to his former friends, that they declared they would no longer go to hear a man who proclaimed to them in his shirt sleeves. A few were persuaded by him to join the Church of England. The majority remained faithful. In 1814, the Lutherans again invited the Rev. Mr. Myers; upon his consenting to come, they sent two sleighs, in the winter, to Pennsylvania, and brought him and his family to 272Dundas. But Mr. Weant would not give up the parsonage and glebe, and put a padlock on the church door, and forbade any one to enter, unless acknowledging the thirty-nine articles of the Church of England. A compromise resulted, and the Lutherans were permitted to use the building once in two weeks. For three years, Mr. Myers continued his ministrations as a Lutheran, in the meantime being in straitened circumstances. In 1817, strangely enough, Mr. Myers also forsook the Lutheran Church, and conformed to the Church of England. (Hist. of Dundas.) The end of Mr. Weant and Mr. Myers, according to accounts, was not, in either case satisfactory. The latter died suddenly from a fall, it is said, while he was intoxicated, and the former was addicted to the same habit of intemperance.

The successor of Mr. Myers was the Rev. I. L. Senderling. He came in 1825, and stayed only a short time.

In 1826, Rev. Herman Hayuniga became the Pastor; and succeeded, after many years, in restoring to the church its former prosperity, notwithstanding much that opposed him. He had a new church erected. His successor was the Rev. Dendrick Shorts.

The Kingston Gazette contains a notice of perhaps the last Lutheran Minister at Ernest town. “Married. In Ernesttown, 29th Jan, 1816, the Rev. Wm. McCarty, Minister of the Lutheran congregation, to Miss Clarissa Fralick.”



Contents—​Bishop Strachan—​A teacher—​A preacher—​A student—​Holy Orders—​A Presbyterian—​Becomes an Episcopalian—​A supporter of the “Family compact”—​Sincere—​His opinion of the people—​Ignorant—​Unprepared for self-government—​Strachan’s religious chart—​He was deceived—​The Methodist—​Anomalous connection—​A fillibustering people—​Republicanism egotistical—​Loyalty of Methodists—​American ministers—​Dr. Strachan’s position—​His birth place—​His education—​A. M., 1793—​Studying Theology—​Comes to Canada—​A student of Dr. Stuarts—​Ordained Deacon—​A missionary at Cornwall—​Rector at York—​Archdeacon—​Bishop of Toronto—​Coadjutor—​Death—​A public burial—​Rev. Mr. McDowell—​First Presbyterian at Bay Quinté—​Invited by VanAlstine—​On his way—​At Brockville—​Settles in second town—​His circuit—​A worthy minister—​Fulfilling his mission—​Traveling on foot—​To York—​Marrying the people—​His death—​His descendants—​Places of Preaching—​A Calvinist—​Invites controversy—​Mr. Coate accepts the challenge—​The disputation—​Excitement—​The result—​Rev. Mr. Smart—​Called by Mr. McDowell—​Pres. clergyman at Brockville—​Fifty years—​An earnest Christian—​A desire to write—​“Observer”—​A pioneer—​A cause of regret—​Not extreme—​Mr. Smart’s views on politics—​The masses uneducated—​The “Family Compact”—​Rise of responsible government—​The Bidwells—​Credit to Dr. Strachan—​Brock’s funeral sermon—​Foundation of Kingston gaol—​Maitland—​Demonstration—​Sherwood’s statement.


Having elsewhere spoken of this distinguished man as the first teacher of Higher Education in Upper Canada, it is intended to give him a proper place among the first who preached the Gospel. Dr. Strachan, who had studied Divinity at Kingston, under the guidance of Mr. Stuart, took Holy Orders while engaged in teaching at Cornwall. Although he had been brought up in the Presbyterian faith, he deliberately connected himself with the Church of England, as the church of his choice.

From the first, Dr. Strachan took a decided stand in favor of the exclusive power claimed by the government and the “Family Compact.” This step was no doubt, deemed by him the very best to secure the interest of the rising country, believing as he did, that the people generally were unfitted by want of education to perform the duties of legislation and self-government. His devotion to the government, led doubtless, in some instances, to errors of judgment, and on a few occasions placed him in a false position. Yet he was always seemingly conscientious. The course pursued by him, in preparing, and sending to the Imperial Government a religious chart, which subsequent investigation proved to be incorrect, had, at the time, an unfortunate effect. But it is submitted, that it has never 274been shewn, that Dr. Strachan was otherwise than deceived when preparing the document. He made statements of a derogatory nature with respect to the Methodist body; but can it be shewn that there was no reason whatever for his statements. The history of the Methodists of Canada, exhibits a loyalty above suspicion. But was there no ground on which to place doubts respecting the propriety of any body of Canadians receiving religious instruction from men who were subjects of another country—​a country which was ever threatening the province, and who had basely invaded an unoffending people—​a country that constantly encouraged her citizens to penetrate the territory of contiguous powers with the view of possessing it. While there is sufficient proof that the Methodist ministers who came into the country were actuated by the very highest motives, it cannot be denied that any one taught in the school of republicanism, will carry with him wherever he goes, whether among the courtly of Europe, the contented and happy Canadians, or the blood-thirsty Mexicans, his belief in the immaculate principles of republicanism. He cannot, even if he would, refrain from descanting upon the superiority of his government over all others. The proclamation of Gen. Hull, at Detroit, and of others, shews that the belief was entertained in the States, that many Canadians were favorable to the Americans. Whence could have arisen this belief? Not certainly from the old U. E. Loyalists, who had been driven away from their native country? Not surely by the English, Irish, or Scotch? Dr. Strachan, with the government, could not close their eyes to these facts, and was it unnatural to infer that American-sent Methodists had something to do with it?

Bishop Strachan was a man of education, and as such, he must be judged in reference to his opinion that Methodists were unqualified to teach religious truth, from their imperfect or deficient education. We say, not that much book learning is absolutely essential to a successful expounding of the plan of salvation, although it is always most desirable. But having taken our pen to do justice to all of whom we have to speak, we desire to place the reader so far as we can upon the stand of view occupied by the distinguished Divine and Scholar.

Dr. Strachan was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, 12th April, 1778. He was educated at the Grammar School, and at King’s College, at that city, where he took the degree of M. A., in 1793. He then removed to the neighborhood of St. Andrews, and studied Theology, as a Presbyterian. As stated elsewhere, he came to America in 1799, 275reaching Canada the last day of the year. Disappointed in his expectations respecting an appointment to establish a college, he became a school teacher in Kingston, and at the same time a student of Divinity, under the guidance and friendship of Dr. Stuart. He prosecuted his Theological studies during the three years he was in Kingston, and in 1803, was ordained Deacon, by Dr. Mountain, the first Protestant Bishop of Quebec. The following year he was admitted to Holy Orders, and went as a missionary to Cornwall. Here he continued nine years, attending diligently to his duties as a minister, all over his widening parish; and also conducted a Grammar School. In 1812 he received the appointment of Rector at York, the capital, and in 1825 he was made Archdeacon. Enjoying political appointments with these ecclesiastical, he finally, in 1839, was elevated to be the first Bishop of Toronto. Dr. Strachan discharged the duties of his high office with acceptability. In 1866 Archdeacon Bethune was appointed as Coadjutor Bishop, the venerable prelate beginning to feel that his time was almost done. He died 1st November, 1867, having attained to his ninetieth year, and was accorded a public funeral. No higher marks of esteem and veneration could have been exhibited than were displayed by all classes at the death of this Canadian Divine.

The most of the settlers from the Hudson, not Lutherans, were Presbyterians, or of the Dutch Reformed Church. Mr. McDowell was the first Presbyterian minister to visit the Bay. He came about 1800, perhaps before; when yet there were but few clergymen in the province. We have seen it stated that he was sent for by Major VanAlstine, who was a Presbyterian. On his way he tarried a day in the neighborhood of Brockville. Adiel Sherwood was then teaching school, in connection with which he was holding a public exhibition. Mr. McDowell attended, and here first took a part as a minister, by offering his first public prayer in the country. He proceeded to Kingston, and settled in the second township. But his circuit of travel and places of preaching extended from Brockville to the head of Bay Quinté. The name of this worthy individual is too little known by the inhabitants of the bay. No man contributed more than he to fulfill the Divine mission “go preach;” and at a time when great spiritual want was felt he came to the hardy settlers. The spirit of Christianity was by him aroused to no little extent, especially among those, who in their early days had been accustomed to sit under the teachings of Presbyterianism. He traveled far and near, in all kinds of weather, and at all seasons, sometimes in the canoe or batteau, and sometimes on foot. On one occasion he walked all the way from Bay 276Quinté to York, following the lake shore, and swimming the rivers that could not be otherwise forded. He probably married more persons while in the ministerial work than all the rest in the ten townships around the bay. This arose from his being the only minister legally qualified to solemnize matrimony, beside the clergymen of the English Church, Mr. Stuart, of Kingston, and Langhorn, of Fredericksburgh. Persons wishing to be married repaired to him from all the region of the bay, or availed themselves of his stated ministerial tours. The writer’s parents, then living in Adolphustown, were among those married by him, the certificate of which now lies before him. Mr. A. Sherwood thus speaks of him, “He lived to labor many years in the service of his Master, and after an honorable and good old age he died highly esteemed by his friends and much respected by all who knew him.” Mr. McDowell had at least two sons and a daughter. The last is Mrs. Carpenter, now living at Demorestville. One of his sons removed to New York and there established a Magdalene Asylum. Mr. McDowell, used to pass around the bay twice or three times a year. He was one of the first, to preach at the extreme head of the bay, the Carrying Place, and for that purpose occupied a barn. Another of his preaching places was in Sophiasburgh, on the marsh front. He preached here four times a year. He was a rigid Calvinist, and preaching one Sabbath at the beginning of the present century in the Court House at Adolphustown, he offered to argue with any one publicly the question of Calvinism. The Methodist minister of the bay, the Rev. Samuel Coate, was urged by his society to accept the challenge, and after a good deal of hesitation did so. So a day was appointed for the discussion. The meeting took place at a convenient place, three miles from Bath, in the Presbyterian church. The excitement was great; the inhabitants coming even from Sidney and Thurlow. Mr. McDowell spoke first, and occupied half a day. Then followed Mr. Coate. After he had spoken two hours Mr. McDowell and his friends left; why, it is not said. Mr. Coate continued speaking until night. We have the statement of the Methodists, that Mr. Coate had the best of it, but we never learned the belief of the other party. Mr. Coate’s sermon was published by request, and thereafter, it is said Presbyterianism waned in the locality.

Rev. Mr. Smart,—​This truly pious man, and evangelical minister, came to Canada in 1811. He never actually lived within the precincts of the Bay; but he was called to the wilderness of Upper Canada by the Rev. Mr. McDowell, at least he was chiefly instrumental 277in bringing him out, even before his student days were ended. For upwards of fifty years he discharged the duties of Presbyterian clergyman at Brockville, the first clergyman of any denomination within fifty miles. We shall ever remember the kind genial person with whom we spent a few pleasant hours in the evening of his eventful life, a life spent earnestly in the service of his Master, and for the welfare of his family, for, to use his own words, “In his day it was no easy matter to live and rear a family.” This he said not complainingly, but because it hindered him from indulging a desire he once felt to do something with his pen—​to record, as he was desired to do, the events connected with his early life in Upper Canada, and his cotemporaries. At first he did contribute to the Kingston Gazette, over the cognomen “Observer.” But other things pressed upon him, and when repose came he fancied the fire of his early days, for scribbling, had too far sunk. This is much to be regretted, for as a close observer and upright man, and living in eventful times of Canadian history, he was pre-eminently qualified to treat the subject. Mr. Smart was always distinguished for moderate and well-considered views upon Religion, Political Government and Education. He lived when the battle commenced between the “Family Compact” and the people. While he firmly set his face against the extreme stand taken by the Rev. Mr. Strachan, he never identified himself with the party that opposed that worker for, and with the Government. On this point, Mr. Smart makes judicious remarks. In speaking of the rise and first days of the Province, he says, “it was necessary the Government in Council should create laws, and govern the people, inasmuch as the vast majority of the inhabitants were unlettered, and unfit to occupy places which required judgment and discrimination.” There were but few of the U. E. Loyalists who possessed a complete education. He was personally acquainted with many, especially along the St. Lawrence, and Bay of Quinté, and by no means were all educated, or men of judgment; even the half-pay officers, many of them, had but a limited education. Many of them were placed on the list of officers, not because they had seen service, but as the most certain way of compensating them for losses sustained in the Rebellion. And there were few, if any, of them fitted by education for office, or to serve in Parliament. Such being the case, the Governor and his advisers were at the first necessarily impelled to rule the country. Having once enjoyed the exclusive power, they became unwilling to share it with the representatives of the people. But the time came when the mass, having 278acquired some idea of Responsible Government, were no longer to be kept in obscurity, and thence arose the war between the Tory and the Radical. In all the contentions arising therefrom, Mr. Smart held an intermediate position with the Bidwells and others. In speaking of all this, Mr. Smart is particularly anxious to give credit to Dr. Strachan for his honesty of purpose, saying that the Colony is much indebted to him in many ways.

Mr. Smart was called upon to preach the funeral sermon of Canada’s great hero, General Brock.

He also delivered an address on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the gaol in Kingston, in presence of the Governor, Peregrine Maitland, who was down from York, on which occasion there was great demonstration of Free Masons, and the farmers of the Bay.

Mr. Sherwood thus speaks of Mr. Smart: “On his arrival, he for some little time made his home at my house, he was then 23 years old, he has now (1866) entered his 78th year, has retired from a public charge, and is now residing quietly, and I trust comfortably, at Gananoque; and I feel quite sure, all that know him throughout the whole Province, will join with me, in wishing him long life and happiness, both here and hereafter.”



Contents—​The Quakers—​Among the Settlers—​From Penn.—​Duchess County—​First Meeting-house—​David Sand—​Elijah Hick—​Visiting Canada—​James Noxen—​A first settler—​Their mode of worship—​In Sophiasburgh—​The meeting-house—​Joseph Leavens—​Hicksites—​Traveling—​Death, aged 92—​Extract, Picton Sun—​The first preaching places—​First English church—​In private houses—​At Sandwich—​The Indian church at the bay—​Ernesttown—​First Methodist church—​Preaching at Niagara—​First church in Kingston—​At Waterloo—​At Niagara—​Churches at Kingston, 1817—​In Hollowell—​Thurlow—​Methodist meeting-houses, 1816—​At Montreal—​Building chapels in olden times—​Occupying the frame—​The old Methodist chapels—​In Hollowell township—​In the fifth town—​St. Lawrence—​First English Church, Belleville—​Mr. Campbell—​First time in the pulpit—​How he got out—​The old church superseded—​Church, front of Sidney—​Rev. John Cochrane—​Rev. Mr. Grier—​First Presbyterian Church in Belleville—​Rev. Mr. Ketcham—​First Methodist Church in Belleville—​Healey, Puffer—​The site of the church—​A second one.


Among the early settlers of the Bay were a goodly number of the Society of Friends. Some of them were natives of Pennsylvania; but the majority were from the Nine Partners, Duchess County, New York, where had existed an extensive community of the followers of Fox. The first meeting-house built by the Quakers in Canada was in Adolphustown upon the south shore of Hay Bay, toward the close of last century.

About 1790, two Quaker preachers of some note visited Canada, they were David Sand and Elijah Hick. By appointment they held service in Adolphustown; it is uncertain whether this was before or after the building of the meeting-house. The first and principal preacher among the Quakers was James Noxen, one of the first settlers of Adolphustown, under whom the Society was organized. He subsequently in 1814 removed to Sophiasburgh, where he died in 1842.

The worship of the Quakers consists in essentially spiritual meditation and earnest examination of the inmost soul, a quiet holding of the balance, to weigh the actions and motives of everyday life. To the proper discharge of these duties no place can be too quiet, too far removed from the busy haunts of men.

The sixth township, or Sophiasburg had among its settlers a good many of this sect, which at first had meetings at Jacob Cronk’s, until the year 1825, when they erected a meeting-house upon the northern front of the township.

280Two miles below the village of Northport, is situated a Friends’ meeting-house. Here twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, congregate few, or many of the adherents of this persuasion, to commune with their God. The meeting-house, reposing upon the very verge of the shore, and half shadowed by beautiful maples and evergreens, is a fit place in which to submit oneself to strict self-examination. There is nothing here to disturb the supreme quietude of the place, unless, the gentle ripples of the water, or the more restless murmuring of the wave.

Joseph Leavens “was an early settler of Canada, an emigrant from New York,” he was for many years an esteemed preacher of the Hicksite branch of Quakers, and was accustomed to travel from place to place, to talk to his co-religionists. He had a place for preaching in a loft of his brother’s store in Belleville. He was one of the first Quaker preachers in Canada and travelled through all the townships at the Bay, and to East Lake.

“Died in the township of Hallowell, about the 24th of May, 1844, the venerable Joseph Leavens, in the 92nd year of his age. He was amongst the early settlers of the Canadian forest, and emigrated from New York State, and probably was a native of Nine Partners District. He had long been a Preacher in the Religious Society of Friends, and though not possessed of more than one talent, yet it is believed that, as he occupied that to his Maker’s glory, his reward will be as certain as though he had received ten talents. He was a diligent reader in the sacred volume. He was much beloved both by his neighbours and friends, and it is desired that his gospel labours may be profitably remembered by them and his relatives.”—​(Picton Sun.)

In speaking of the individual clergymen who first came to the Province we have referred to many of the first preaching places and churches: but there remains to be added some further remarks.

We have seen that the first church erected in Western Canada was at the Mohawk settlement, Grand River, which was built the first year of their habitation in that place—​1785–6. Strange that the natives of the wood, should take the lead in erecting places of worship. It was several years later before even log meeting-houses were put up by the loyalists. For many years the pioneer clergymen or preachers officiated in private houses. Now the service would be at the house of one, to which a considerable number 281could come from a circuit of ten or fifteen miles, then it would be at the place of some settler whose larger log house afforded a more commodious place of worship.

A church was built at an early date at Sandwich, but the year, we know not. The first church erected upon the Bay, the Rev. Mr. Smart thinks, was at the Mohawk village, Tyendinaga. At an early period a log church was built in Ernesttown by the Lutherans and another on South Bay; one also for Mr. Langhorn to preach in, and then another in Adolphustown. The first Methodist church was built in Adolphustown in 1792, and a second one a month later in Ernesttown.

The Rev. Mr. Addison, went to Niagara in 1792. When Governor Simcoe lived in Navy Hall, the Council Chamber a building near the barracks it was said, was used alternately by the English Church, and Church of Rome.

The first English Church was erected in Kingston in 1793, and up to 1810 it was the only one. A Methodist church was built at a very early date at Waterloo; it was never finished, but used for many years. The first at Niagara, was in 1802.

In November 28, 1817, there were in Kingston, “four churches or meeting-houses, viz: 1 Episcopalian, 1 Roman Catholic and 2 Methodists; there were 4 professional preachers, viz: 1 Episcopalian, 1 Presbyterian and 2 Methodists. This enumeration does not include a chaplain to the army, and one to the royal navy.” In Ernesttown there was one resident professional preacher, a Methodist.

In Sophiasburgh there were no churches; but the Quakers, Methodists and Presbyterians had meetings at private houses.

In Hollowell, says Eben. Washburne, “we have one Methodist, and one Quaker meeting-house; preparations are making also for a Presbyterian meeting-house. The former is attended by a circuit preacher every two weeks; the latter by a Quaker every Sabbath.”

In Thurlow, “the Gospel is dispensed almost every Sabbath of the year, in different parts of the township, by itinerant preachers of the Methodist and Baptist sects.”

In 1816, there were eleven Methodist meeting-houses in Canada. These were all of wood excepting one in Montreal, built in 1806, which was of stone. “The mode of building chapels in the olden times was by joint labor, and almost without the aid of money. The first step was for scores of willing hands on a given day, to resort to the woods, and then fell the trees, and 282square the timber; others, with oxen and horses, drawing the hewed pieces and rafters to the appointed place. A second step was to call all hands to frame the building, selecting the best genius of the carpenter’s calling for superintendent. A third step was a “bee” to raise the building; and the work for the first year was done. The next year, the frame would be enclosed, with windows and doors, and a rough floor laid loose. As soon as the meeting house was thus advanced, it was immediately used for preaching, prayer meetings and quarterly meetings. Some of the early chapels would be finished inside; others, would be used for years in their rough, cold, and unfinished state. The people were poor, had little or no money, but loved the Gospel, and did what they could.”

The oldest of the eleven chapels is the Adolphustown, on the south shore of the Hay Bay, and on the old Bay of Quinté circuit.

“The next for age is the chapel in the fourth concession of Ernesttown. It was not erected here at first, but on the front of the township, lot No. 27, and close to the Bay of Quinté. After some years, (some of the principal Methodists moving to the fourth concession), the frame was taken down, drawn to the present site, and put up again. It stands on the public road, leading from Napanee to Kingston, and near the village of Odessa. A roughcast school-house, now stands on the old site, east of Bath. Some challenge the antiquity of the Ernesttown, with the Adolphustown chapel; but both were commenced at about the same time, by William Losee; the latter was first erected. As the traveler passes, he may look on this old and useful meeting-house, still used for public worship, and see a specimen of the architecture of the pious people settled in the woods of Ernesttown seventy years ago.

“About nine miles from Odessa toward Kingston is the village of Waterloo, and on the top of a sand-hill, formerly covered with lofty pines, is a well proportioned and good looking Wesleyan stone church. It is on the site of an ancient frame meeting-house, decayed, and gone, which bore an antiquity nearly as great as the other two chapels. The meeting-house in the Township of Kingston was an unfinished building, a mere outside, with rough planks for seats.

“Two miles from the Town of Picton, and in the first concession of the Township of Hollowell, is still to be seen one of the oldest Methodist chapels in Upper Canada. The ground and the lumber were the gift of Steven Conger. The first work was done in June, 1809. An account book, now existing, shows the receipts and payments 283for the building. Some paid subscriptions in money, some in wheat, some in teaming and work; and one person paid one pound “by way of a turn.” The first trustees were named Conger, Valleau, Vanblaricum, Dougal, German, Benson, Wilson, and Vandusen. They are all dead, but children of some of them are still living in the vicinity. The building is square, with pavilion roof, of heavy frame timber, yet sound, having a school-house on one side, and a mill on the other. Here is a burying ground attached, in which lie many of the subscribers to, and first worshippers in, the chapel. It is still used as a place of worship, and for a Sabbath school. These four chapels were all in the old Bay of Quinté circuit.

“In the fifth township east of Kingston is another relic of the times of old, called the Elizabethtown chapel. It is now within the boundaries of the village of Lyn, about eight miles from Brockville, and near the river St. Lawrence. A chapel particularly remarkable for the assembling of the Genesse conference in 1817, and the great revival of religion which there commenced.”

The first English Church erected west of Adolphustown, was at Belleville. It was commenced in 1819, and finished the next year. The Rev. Mr. Campbell was the first clergyman, and came to the place some little time before the building was completed. An anecdote has been related to us by one who saw the occurrence, which will serve to illustrate the character of those days. Mr. Campbell one day entered the church, when near its completion, and walked up a ladder and entered the pulpit; immediately one of the workmen, named Smith, removed the ladder, leaving the Rev. gentleman a prisoner; nor would they release him until he had sent a messenger to his home for a certain beverage. This church when erected was an ornament to the place, and is well remembered by many, having been taken down in 1858, the present handsome structure being completed. Mr. Campbell continued in charge until his death in 1835. During this time he caused to be erected a church at the front of Sidney, midway between Belleville and the Trent, and he held services there every second Sabbath, in the afternoon, for a time; but the congregation was never large. Methodism seemed to take more hold of the feelings of the people. Mr. Campbell’s successor was the Rev. John Cochrane, who was pastor for three years, when the present incumbent, the Rev. John Grier, who had been at the Carrying Place for some years, took charge.

284The first Presbyterian clergyman of Belleville, was Mr. Ketcham, under him the first church was built.

The first Methodist church to be built in the western part of the Bay country was at Belleville. It was probably about the beginning of this century that the itinerant Methodist began to visit the head of the Bay Quinté. They were accustomed to preach in private houses, and barns, here and there along the front, and up the Moira River, and at Napanee.

Healy and Puffer were accustomed to preach at Col. Bell’s, Thurlow.

Belleville was laid out into lots in 1816; Mr. Ross applied to government for one, as the society was disqualified from holding landed property until 1828. The land was accordingly granted to him, and recorded, January 7, 1819. A frame building was immediately commenced 50 by 30 feet. Before it was inclosed, service was held within the frame. The building was never completed. The pulpit was of rough boards, and the seats were of similar material, placed upon blocks. In 1831, a second chapel was commenced, and the old one removed.



Contents—​The first Methodist Preachers—​The army—​Capt. Webb—​Tuffey—​George Neal—​Lyons—​School-teacher—​Exhorter—​McCarty—​Persecution—​Bigotry—​Vagabonds—​McCarty arrested—​Trial—​At Kingston—​Banished—​“A martyr”—​Doubtful—​Losee, first Methodist missionary, 1790—​A minister—​A loyalist—​Where he first preached—​“A curiosity”—​Earnest pioneer Methodist—​Class-meetings—​Suitable for all classes—​Losee’s class-meetings—​Determines to build a meeting-house—​Built in Adolphustown—​Its size—​The subscribers—​Members, amount—​Embury—​Those who subscribed for first church in New York—​Same names—​The centenary of Methodism—​New York Methodists driven away—​American Methodist forgetful—​Embury and Heck refugees—​Ashgrove—​No credit given to British officers—​Embury’s brother—​The rigging loft, N. Y.—​Barbara Heck—​Settling in Augusta—​First Methodist Church in America—​Subscribers—​“Lost Chapters”—​The Author’s silence—​What is acknowledged—​“Severe threats”—​Mr. Mann—​To Nova Scotia—​Mr. Wakely “admires piety”—​not “loyalty”—​Second chapel, N. Y.—​Adolphustown subscribers—​Conrad VanDusen—​Eliz. Roblin—​Huff—​Ruttan—​The second Methodist chapel—​The subscribers—​Commenced May, 1792—​Carpenters’ wages—​Members, Cataraqui Circuit—​Going to Conference—​Returns—​Darias Dunham—​Physician—​First quarterly meeting—​Anecdotes—​Bringing a “dish cloth”—​“Clean up”—​The new made squire—​Asses—​Unclean spirits—​Losee discontinues preaching—​Cause—​Disappointment—​Return to New York—​Dunham useful—​Settles—​Preachers traveling—​Saddle-bags—​Methodism among the loyalists—​Camp-meetings—​Where first held, in Canada—​Worshipping in the woods—​Breaking up—​Killing the Devil—​First Canadian preacher—​Journey from New York.


The first Methodist Preachers both in Lower and Upper Canada were connected with the British Army; also, the second one in America, who was Capt. Webb. “In 1780, a Methodist Local Preacher, named Tuffey, a Commissary of the 44th, came with his regiment to Quebec. He commenced preaching soon after his arrival, and continued to do so at suitable times, while he remained,” or until his regiment was disbanded in 1783. The second Methodist Preacher in Canada was George Neal, an Irishman. During the war he was Major of a cavalry regiment. He “crossed the Niagara river at Queenston on the 7th October, 1786, to take possession of an officer’s portion of land, and soon began to preach to the new settlers on the Niagara river—​his labours were not in vain.”—​(Playter).

“In 1788 a pious young man, called Lyons, an exhorter in the Methodist Episcopal Church, came to Canada, and engaged in teaching school in Adolphustown.” He collected the people together on the Sabbath, and conducted religious services. “In the same year came James McCarty, an Irishman, to Ernesttown.” 286He was a follower of Whitfield, but acted with the Methodist, holding religious meetings. His preaching caused severe persecution against him on the part of certain loyalists, who held the doctrine that none could be true subjects who adhered not to the Church of England; but to oppose the Church was to oppose the King. Advantage was taken of this loyalty to try to prevent the introduction of any other religious denominations. A law had been enacted by the Governor in Council, that persons wandering about the country might be banished as vagabonds. McCarty was arrested on a charge of vagabondism in Adolphustown, and brought before a magistrate at VanDusen’s tavern, at the front, who remanded him to Kingston. According to Playter, he was preaching at Robert Perry’s when arrested; our informant is the Rev. C. VanDusen, at whose father’s he was first arraigned. After being released on bail, he was finally tried before Judge C., and was sentenced to be banished, tradition says, upon an island in the St. Lawrence. At all events he was placed in a batteau and taken away by French boatmen. McCarty has obtained the name of martyr, but it is the belief of unbiassed persons that he was not left upon the island, but was conveyed to Montreal.

William Losee was the first regular preacher of the Methodist denomination in Canada. He first visited the country in 1790, preached a few sermons along the Bay of Quinté and St. Lawrence, and returned with a petition from the settlers to the Conference, to send him as a preacher. In February, 1791 he again came, as an appointed minister from the Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States. “Losee was a loyalist, and knew some of the settlers in Adolphustown, before they left the United States. He desired to see them and preach to them the glad tidings of salvation. Had he been on the revolutionary side, the warm loyalists would not have received him—​rather would have driven him from the country.”—​(Playter). One of the first places at which he preached, was at the house of John Carscallian, in Fredericksburgh. The tavern of Conrad VanDusen, in Adolphustown, was another, and at Paul Huff’s, on Hay Bay, another. “A Methodist Preacher was a curiosity in those days, and all were anxious to see the phenomenon; some would even ask how he looked, or what he was like! A peculiarity in Losee, too, was, that he had but one arm to use, the other being withered.” A true pioneer Methodist, he set earnestly to work to form class-meetings and organize societies, and during the summer his circuit embraced the settlements in 287the Township of Kingston, Ernesttown, Fredericksburgh, Marysburgh, and even Sophiasburgh. Class-meetings form the corner stone of Wesleyan Methodism. But little understood, often entirely misunderstood by others than Methodists, they are generally regarded as the abode of cant or of priestly control. No greater error could exist. Rightly conducted they are invaluable as a means of training the religious mind, and establishing it upon the Rock of Ages. It has been said that they are only suitable for the uneducated; not so, they are alike beneficial to the peasant and the noble, the clown and the littérateur. Losee, in accordance with the principles of Methodism, at once set to work to create classes, and on the Sabbath of February 20, 1792, in the 3rd concession of Adolphustown, at Paul Huff’s house, he established the first regular class-meeting in Canada. The second class was formed on the following Sabbath, in Ernesttown, four miles from Bath.

A third class was formed in March, at Samuel Detlor’s, three miles from Napanee. The following year the congregation had so increased, which met at Paul Huff’s house, that a determination was formed to erect a meeting house. A paper was drawn up, in which was set forth the great blessing of God in sending a minister to their wilderness home, that a “Meeting-house or Church” is requisite. Then follows an agreement of the subscribers to build a Church, under the direction of Losee; to be thirty-six feet by thirty feet, two stories high, with a gallery. “Said house to be built on the north-west corner of Paul Huff’s land, lot No. 18, third concession, Fourth Town;” and promising to pay the sums of money annexed to their respective names. This interesting document, with the names of subscribers, and the subscription of each, is to be found in Playter’s History of Methodism, a work that ought to be in the hands of every Canadian, no matter what his creed, because of the fund of general knowledge upon Canada it contains. The total number of subscribers was twenty-two; the amount subscribed was £108. Among the names are those familiar to every inhabitant of the Bay, some known throughout Canada. To one, especially, reference must be made, Andrew Embury, a name of historic interest in connection with Methodism in America. It is a remarkable fact, that this and other names are to be found among those who planted Methodism in New York. The celebration of the centenary of Methodism in America, in 1866, was marked by frequent and glowing accounts of those who introduced Methodism into America. Too much credit, too much honor could not be given 288to the Emburys, the Hecks and others, which was quite correct. But no reference was made in the United States, nor in Canada for that matter, to the dark days of the infant Society in New York, when the cruel rebellion interrupted the meetings in that place; and where persecution followed the retirement of the British forces, 1783. It is a page of history in connection with that body, which American writers of Methodism endeavor to wipe out, when the very founders of the Church in America were made to flee from their homes; and had all their property sacrificed. The names of Embury and Heck; of whom so much was said, were among the refugees from rebel oppression. No word has been said of the cause of the removal of these persons to the wilderness of Canada. Barbara Heck, who enjoys the everlasting honor of causing Philip Embury to begin Preaching, was driven away from her Methodist home. Philip Embury was not likewise treated, because death had sealed his eyes a year before the declaration of independence, ere the demon of rebellion was evoked by the spirit of radicalism, and unhallowed desire for neighbor’s goods; otherwise his bones, the resting place of which they have given so glowing a picture of, would likewise be sleeping in our midst, in the quiet shades of the Canadian forest, as do those of Paul Heck, who died in 1788; and of his wife, Barbara, who died in 1804. The remains of Philip Embury, instead of being urned, as they were, in 1822, in Ash Grove, Washington County, New York, after lying buried for fifty-seven years in the old burying ground of Abraham Beninger, should have found a burying place on Canadian soil, where rests his widow, the place to which his brother and the Hecks were driven. We have listened to some of the American orators, and read more of their speeches, and could not help noticing that they forgot to mention that their impetuous rebellion drove away from them the founders of Methodism; they forgot to give any credit to Capt. Webb, who was the second Methodist preacher in America; forsooth, because he was a British officer, and it would be unpleasant to associate such with centenary orations in this their day of Anglophobia.

Upon the north shore of Hay Bay, in Fredericksburgh, settled David Embury, brother of Philip, who officiated as a Methodist Minister in New York, in a Rigging Loft, on William St., about 1766. To do this he was urged by Barbara Heck, wife of Paul Heck, both of whom were among the first to settle on the St. Lawrence, in Augusta, in 1785. The first Methodist Church erected in America, was in 1768, on John Street, New York. Among the 250 subscribers, was the name of 289David Embury, the same who settled on Hay Bay; he gave £2. Also, the name of Paul Heck, who contributed £3 5s. Twenty-four years later, and among the twenty-two subscribers to build the first Methodist meeting-house in Canada, again appears the name of Embury—​Andrew, son of David Embury. The author of the “Lost Chapters of Methodism,” gives interesting accounts of the formation of the Methodist Society in New York; but he is remarkably silent in this instance, as others are, about the treatment they received from the Americans; not a word to make it known that they were driven into the wilds of Nova Scotia and Canada by a relentless people. Yet, at the conclusion, he acknowledges this much: he says, “At the conclusion of the Revolutionary war, severe threats having been thrown out against the Loyalists who had taken refuge within the British lines, Mr. Mann thought it his duty to embark, with a considerable number of the Society, for the wilds of Nova Scotia.” Mr. Mann was a class leader, and local preacher, and, during the war, at the request of the Trustees, kept the chapel in John Street open, after the regular preacher had left. “We see what became of a part of the Society, in John Street. Some of them had been so loyal to their sovereign, they were afraid they would suffer if they remained.” Of course they were, and had they not sufficient reason from the “threats” which had been “thrown out.” Mr. Wakely, the author, continues, “We can admire their piety without endorsing their loyalty.” How kind. The second Methodist Church of New York was built on the land of DeLancy, who had his immense property confiscated.

Of the subscribers to the chapel in Adolphustown, Conrad Van Dusen gave the largest amount, £15. He had been a Tavern keeper on the front, and was one of the first fruits of Losee’s missionary labors. “He lived a little east of the Court House. Of him many pleasing and amusing anecdotes are told; though a tavern-keeper, as well as a merchant, he opened his house for the Gospel, and when that Gospel entered his heart, he deliberately took his axe and cut down his sign posts.”—​(Playter.)

The second largest contributor, was Elizabeth Roblin, who gave £12. She was the widow of Philip Roblin, who died 1788. They had been among the first settlers of Adolphustown. (See U. E. Loyalists.) Mrs. Roblin afterwards became the wife of John Canniff, the founder of Canifton, and her remains now rest on the hill in the old family burying ground, in that village. She was the grand-parent of John P. Roblin, of Picton, “a man who has served 290his country in several Parliaments of Upper Canada. Her daughter Nancy, born in 1781, is the mother of a large branch of the Ketcheson family in the County of Hastings.”—​(Playter.) She, with her husband, still live in the fifth concession of Sidney, yet hale and hearty, in the autumn of their genial, though toilsome, life. “The subscription of the widow was liberal; indeed, the Roblins of the Bay of Quinté have always been a hospitable and liberal minded people.” Paul Huff and William Ruttan, each gave £10. The others gave smaller sums; but, considering the date, it is noteworthy that so much was contributed.

The same month, it is said, Losee undertook to build a second Church in Ernesttown, a short distance below Bath. The principal persons who aided in building this meeting-house were James Parrot, John Lake, Robert Clarke, Jacob Miller, and others. There is evidence in the account book of Robert Clarke, who was a carpenter, that the chapel was commenced May, 1792. He credits himself with then working twelve and a-half days; and with working in October twelve and a-half days, at five shillings and six-pence per day, which shows carpenter’s wages at that time. But like a good hearted man, seeing the building fund not too full, he reduced his wages to two shillings and nine-pence per day. His payment to the chapel was £10. James Parrot received the subscriptions. The two buildings were to be of the same size and form. As soon as these two chapels were inclosed, the congregations sat on boards to hear the preaching. They were the first Methodist Churches in Canada. At the end of the year Mr. Losee had 165 members enrolled in the “Cataraqui Circuit.” He set out on his long journey to attend conference at Albany. Mr. Losee returned the following year, accompanied by Rev. Darius Dunham. The latter took charge of the Bay of Quinté district—​the “Cataraqui Circuit,” while Losee went to the St. Lawrence to organize a new society—​this was called the “Oswegotchie” circuit.

On Saturday, September 15, the first “Quarterly” meeting was held, in Mr. Parrot’s barn, 1st Con., Ernesttown, to which many of the settlers came from the six townships. Darius Dunham was a Physician by profession. “He was a man of strong mind, zealous, firm in his opinions.” “He labored well on the Cataraqui Circuit, and was in high repute by the people.”—​(Playter.)

Many anecdotes are told of Dunham. On account of his quick and blunt way of speaking and rebuking evil doings, he acquired the name of “Scolding Dunham.” Withal, he was witty, and he 291loved, it would seem, next to Godliness, cleanliness, so he would, if at a house, where it were not observed, according to his idea (and as there was only the one room, he could see the whole process of preparing for the table,) he would tell the housewife that the next time he came he would “bring a dish-cloth along,” or perhaps, he would bluntly tell the woman to “clean up.” Carroll relates the following story, yet often told and laughed at by the old settlers of the Bay. “His reply to the newly appointed magistrate’s bantering remarks, is widely reported. A new-made ‘Squire’ rallied Dunham before some company, about riding so fine a horse, and told him he was very unlike his humble Master, who was content to ride an ass. The preacher responded with his usual imperturbable gravity, and in his usual heavy and measured tones, that he agreed with him perfectly, and that he would most assuredly imitate his Master in that particular, but for the difficulty of finding the animal required—​the Government having made up all the asses into magistrates.” A person of the author’s acquaintance, informed him that he saw an infidel, who was a fallen Lutheran clergyman, endeavoring, one night while Dunham was preaching, to turn the whole into ridicule. The preacher affected not to notice him, but went on exalting the excellency of Christianity, and showing the formidable opposition it had confronted and overcome; when, all at once, he turned to where the scoffer sat, and fixing his eyes upon him, the old gentleman continued: “Shall Christianity and her votaries, after having passed through fire and water,” &c.—​“after all this, I say, shall the servants of God, at this time of day, allow themselves to be frightened by the braying of an ass.” In those days it was believed, by some at least, that unclean spirits and devils might be cast out by the power of God through the faithful Christian, and Dunham had the credit of having, on several occasions, cast out devils.

Mr. Losee remained a preacher only two years, when he became mentally unfit, having encountered a disappointment of a crushing nature. The uncertainty of the cause of his discontinuing to preach, has been dispelled by Playter, in the most touching language, “He was the subject of that soft, yet powerful passion of our nature, which some account our weakness, and others our greatest happiness. Piety and beauty were seen connected in female form then as well as now, in this land of woods and water, snows and burning heat. In the family of one of his hearers, and in the vicinity of Napanee river, was a maid, of no 292little moral and personal attraction. Soon his (Losee’s) attention was attracted; soon the seed of love was planted in his bosom, and soon it germinated and bore outward fruit. In the interim of suspense, as to whether he should gain the person, another preacher came on the circuit, visits the same dwelling, is attracted by the same fair object, and finds in his heart the same passion. The two seek the same person. One is absent on the St. Lawrence; the other frequents the blest habitation, never out of mind. One, too, is deformed, the other a person of desirable appearance. Jealousy crept in with love. But, at last, the preference was made, and disappointment, like a thunderbolt, overset the mental balance of the first itinerant minister in Canada.” He subsequently removed to New York, where he continued to live for many years, and recovered his mental health. He had purchased lots in Kingston, which he returned to sell in 1816; at this time he was perfectly sound in mind, and was a good man. He visited Adolphustown, and other places, preaching here and there, and finally returned to New York.

Mr. Dunham proved a useful man, especially among the settlers of Marysburgh. He ultimately in the year 1800, retired from the ministry and settled near Napanee, having married into the Detlor family. But he continued to act as a local preacher.

The early preachers often traveled from place to place on horseback after a bridle-path had been made, with saddle-bags, containing oats in one part, and a few articles of wearing apparel in another, perhaps a religious book; thus the zealous preacher would travel mile after mile through interminable forests. Indeed there are plenty to-day who have done likewise.

There is one fact connected with the early Methodist preachers, which requires a passing notice.

The settlers were all intensely loyal; yet when the Yankee Methodist preacher came in their midst he was gladly received; it is true Losee the first who came was a loyalist; but many who followed were Americans and republicans. Although the Lutheran, Presbyterian, and English churchmen had preceded the Methodists into Canada, neither seemed to obtain that hold upon the hearts of the plain U. E. Loyalists, that the Methodists did. The people of every denomination as well as those belonging to none, flocked to hear them, and many stayed to become followers. These Americans were always regarded with suspicion by government, and serious doubts were entertained whether those who became 293Methodists were loyal. But the war of 1812, exhibited in a thrilling manner the old fire of attachment to their sovereign the King. There seemed to be an adaptability between the Methodist mode of worship and the plain old settlers, and for years there were many who left the church of their fathers, and joined the more demonstrative society of Wesleyans. Not only was this mode of ordinary worship followed by the Methodist congenial, but especially the camp meeting engaged their hearty attention. This mode of worshipping in the woods was first known in Kentucky in 1801, and was initiated by two brothers named McGee, one of whom was a Methodist, the other a Presbyterian. There are many who regard the holding of camp-meetings as very questionable, even in the past. Whatever may be said about the necessity of such meetings at the present day, they were it is thought, highly appropriate in the infant days of the country. At the first, and for many long years, there were but few churches of any size. Then, the inhabitants had been buried as it were in the primeval forests, left to meditate in its deep recesses, far away from the busy haunts of men. No doubt the solemn repose, and silent grandeur awoke in their minds feelings of awe, and of veneration, just the same as one will feel when gazing along the naves of some old grand cathedral, with its representations of trees and flowers. It is not difficult to understand that the mind, trained by habit to meditation in the woods, with its waving boughs telling of other times, and of a mysterious future, would naturally find worshipping in the woods, congenial to the soul,—​find it a fit place for the higher contemplation and worship of the great God. The first camp-meeting held in Canada was in 1805, on the south shore of Hay Bay, near the chapel. The meeting was attended by some from the distant townships, who went down in batteaux. This was a great event to the settlers. Its announcement, says Dr. Bangs, “beforehand excited great interest far and near. Whole families prepared for a pilgrimage to the ground, processions of waggons, and foot passengers wended along the highways.” The ministers present were Case, Ryan, Pickett, Keeler, Madden and Bangs. The meeting commenced on the 27th of September; the whole was characterized by deep religious feeling as well as decided demonstration, and the joy and comfort of believing, which ought always to be present with the Christian, was generally experienced, while there was an absence of that outside exhibition, too often seen in later years, around the camps. We quote from Carroll respecting the ending of this meeting. 294The account is from Dr. Bangs, “The time was at hand at last for the conclusion of the meeting. The last night was the most awfully impressive and yet most delightful scene my eyes ever beheld. There was not a cloud in the sky. The stars studded the firmament, and the glory of God filled the camp. All the neighbouring forest seemed vocal with the echo of hymns. Turn our attention which way we would, we heard the voice of prayer and praise. I will not attempt to describe the parting scene, for it was indescribable. The preachers, about to disperse to their distant fields of labor, hung upon each other’s necks, weeping and yet rejoicing. Christians from remote settlements, who had here formed holy friendships, which they expected would survive in heaven, parted probably to meet no more on earth. As the hosts marched off in different directions the songs of victory rolled along the highways.”

Apropos of Methodist camp-meetings, Carroll tells an anecdote characteristic of the times, and as well of the honest Dutch. One of these old settlers was speaking of a recent camp-meeting from which he had just come said, “It was a poor, tet tull time, and no goot was tone, till tat pig Petty (the Rev. Elias Pattie) come; but mit his pig fist, he did kill te tuval so tet as a nit, and ten te work proke out.” The Methodists of that day were fond of the demonstrative.

In the year 1806, a native of Prince Edward district entered the Methodist ministry. He was the first native Canadian preacher of any denomination, his name was Andrew Pringle.

The same year Thomas Whitehead was sent by the New York Conference. He was six weeks on the road through the woods with his wife and six children, “and during most of the time they subsisted on boiled wheat.”



Contents—​Henry Ryan—​Ryanites—​He comes to Canada—​His associate, Case—​At Kingston—​A Singer—​Preaching in the Market-place—​Their treatment—​In office—​His circuit—​1000 miles—​What he received—​Elder—​Superseded—​Probable cause—​A British subject—​During the war of 1812—​President of Conference—​“High-minded”—​Useful—​Acceptable to the people—​Desired independence by the Canadians—​How he was treated—​His labors—​Brave—​Witty—​“Fatherless children”—​“Impudent scoundrel”—​Muscular—​“Methodists’ Bull”—​“Magistrate’s Goat”—​Ryan seeks separation—​Breakenridge—​Conduct of the American Conference—​Ryan’s agitation—​Effect upon the Bishops—​First Canada Conference—​At Hollowell—​Desire for independence—​Reasons, cogent—​Fruit of Ryan’s doings—​The way the Conference treated Ryan—​Withdraws—​No faith in the United States Conference—​Ryan sincere—​“Canadian Wesleyans”—​The motives of the United States Conference questionable—​The wrong done Ryan—​Second Canada Conference—​Case, first Superintendent—​Visit of Bishop Asbury—​Account by Henry Bœhm—​Asbury an Englishman—​During the rebellion—​A Bishop—​His journey to Canada—​Crossing the St. Lawrence—​Traveling in Canada—​An upset—​“A decent people”—​His opinion of the country—​The Bishop ill—​At Kingston—​Bœhm at Embury’s—​A field meeting—​Riding all night—​Crossing to Sackett’s harbor—​Nearly wrecked.


A sketch of the early ministers who preached around the Bay Quinté, would be incomplete without a somewhat extended notice of Elder Ryan, after whom was called, a certain number of non-contented Methodists, Ryanites.

Henry Ryan, an Irishman, “of a bold energetic nature, with a powerful voice,” commenced preaching in 1800. He was for five years stationed in the States. In the year 1805, he, with the Rev. Wm. Case, was appointed to the Bay Quinté circuit. It was they who arranged and conducted the first camp meeting. Carroll, writing of that period, says, “there was no society (of Methodists) then in the Town of Kingston, and its inhabitants were very irreligious. The market house was the only chapel of the Methodists, Case and his colleague (Ryan) made a bold push to arouse the people. Sometimes they went together, Ryan was a powerful singer too. They would ride into the town, put their horses at an inn, lock arms, and go singing down the streets a stirring ode, beginning with ‘Come let us march to Zion’s hill.’ By the time they had reached the market-place, they usually had collected a large assembly. When together, Ryan usually preached, and Case exhorted. Ryan’s stentorian voice resounded through the town, and was heard across the adjacent waters. They suffered no particular opposition excepting a little annoyance from some of the baser sort, who sometimes tried 296to trip them off the butcher’s block, which constituted their rostrum; set fire to their hair, and then blew out their candle if it were in the night season.” Proof was subsequently given that this preaching was not without effect.

Mr. Ryan continued ten years at the Bay Quinté, and then three years in the west at Long Point and Niagara. In 1810, he was presiding Elder. His duties, as such, was to visit every part of the Province, from Detroit to Cornwall. “Allowing for his returns home, he traveled about 1000 miles each quarter in the year, or 4000 miles a year. And what was the worldly gain? The presiding Elder was allowed $80 for himself, $60 for his wife, and what provisions he would need for his family. His entire allowance might have been £60 a year. Such was the remuneration, and such the labors, of the presiding Elder” of the Methodists fifty-three years ago—​(Playter).

Henry Ryan continued a presiding Elder, for many years, in the whole of Upper Canada, a few years in Lower Canada, and then when the Bay of Quinté district was set apart by division, he was appointed Elder to it. But in 1834, for some reason, Mr. Ryan was superseded in office. The reason of this can only be guessed. He was an Irishman by birth, and although sent to Canada by an American body, he seems to have been more a British subject, a Canadian, than American. During the war of 1812, he remained in Canada attending to his duties, with three other faithful men, Rhodes, Whitehead, and Pringle. More than that, as presiding Elder, he assumed the oversight of the preachers at the close of the first year. Others had been stationed in Canada who were British subjects, but they ceased before the war had closed, to discharge their duties. The Americans feared to come, or, having come, were warned off by proclamation. Those who continued in the ministerial field met under the presidency of Ryan. In the year of the commencement of the war, the conference was to have met at Niagara, in Upper Canada; but war was declared by the United States a month previous, and instead of venturing into the country where their fellow countrymen were about to carry the midnight torch, they turned aside to another place to hold their conference. “None of the brethren laboring on the Canada side went over. It is probable, although we are not certain, that they met at the place appointed, where some sort of deliberations would take place.” The Rev. John Ryerson says Mr. Ryan “held a conference, and held three conferences during the war, the principal business of 297which was employing preachers, and appointing them to their different fields of labor.” The Rev. Ezra Adams says, “the second conference was held at Matilda,” and “in 1814, it was held at the Bay of Quinté, at Second or Fourth Town”—​Carroll. Mr. Ryan was impulsive and authoritative, at least the ministers thought so, and the rule of “Harry Ryan” was called “high-handed.” The end of it all was that, although he was useful and liked by the people, his ministerial brethren in Canada did not like him, and the conference seemed glad to supersede one, who no doubt already manifested his desire that the Canadian Methodists should become independent of the Americans. In view of the political state of affairs, the objection felt by the government to have American preachers giving religious instruction to Canadians,—​in view of the course pursued by Ryan during the war of 1812—​in view of his whole career up to this time, the belief is forced upon the mind that it was not only when Ryan had been superseded that he began to agitate for a separation. His labors during the war were severe and continuous, says a preacher of the times, “He used to travel from Montreal to Sandwich, to accomplish which he kept two horses in the Niagara district, and one for the upper part of the Province, and another for the lower. As his income was very small, he eked out the sum necessary to support his family by peddling a manufacture of his own in his extensive journeys, and by hauling with his double team in winter time, on his return from Lower Canada, loads of Government stores or general merchandise. Mr. Ryan, by his loyalty, gained the confidence and admiration of all friends of British supremacy, and by his abundant and heroic labors, the affections of the God-fearing part of the community.” Much more might be said in the same vein, but probably enough has been said to establish his claim to the sympathy of every Bay of Quinté inhabitant, where he so long labored and where most of his subsequent followers lived. It may be added that he was brave and witty, and had a ready answer for every bantering remark. Some wicked fellows are said to have asked him if he had heard the news? What news? Why, that the devil is dead. Then said he, looking around on the company, he has left a great many fatherless children. On another occasion, on entering a public house, a low fellow, knowing him to be, from his costume, a minister, remarked aloud, placing his hand in his pocket, “There comes a Methodist preacher; I must take care of my money.” Ryan promptly said, “You are an impudent scoundrel.” “Take care,” said the man, “I cannot 298swallow that.” “Then chew it till you can,” was the fearless reply.—​(Carroll). At camp meetings, when it came to pass that individuals came to create disturbance, and when there was no police to take care of rowdies, Mr. Ryan has been known to display his muscular power by actually throwing the guilty individuals over the enclosure to the camp ground.

Mr. Ryan preached occasionally at Vandusens’ tavern in Adolphustown. After one of his thundering sermons, a neighboring squire who was a daily visitor at the tavern, and who had recently attempted to cut his own throat, wrote upon the wall of the bar-room, “Elder Ryan, the Methodist bull, preaches hell and damnation till the pulpit is full;” whereupon some one wrote below it, “Bryan C—​—​d, the magistrate goat, barely escaped hell and damnation by cutting his throat.”

Mr. Ryan, upon his return from the General Conference in 1844, commenced an agitation for independence of the Canadian Methodists, and from Port Hope Creek to the Ottawa, he continued to urge the necessity of such an end.

“While not much liked by the preachers, Ryan was very popular among the people,” especially along the Bay Quinté. Captain Breakenridge, a local preacher, living on the St. Lawrence, joined him, in holding conventions, and in procuring largely signed petitions, praying for separation. Ryan and Breakenridge, went to the General Conference, bearing these petitions, and were not received. But these petitions were the commencement of the separation, which it was quite time should take place for the well being of both parties. Concessions were made—​a Canada conference was formed through the instrumentality of Elder Ryan; but under the superintendency of the United States conference. This did not satisfy Ryan, and his followers in the Bay Quinté circuit. Meetings were held at which it was resolved they would “break off” from the American Church without permission. For four months Ryan energetically appealed to the people. To allay this the Bishop had to come and say to the Canadians, that if they wished independence, the next general conference, which would meet in 1828, would no doubt grant it. The following year the first Canada conference was held at the village of Hollowell, (Picton). It was opened on the 25th August. There were thirty preachers present, and they continued in session five days. The agitation initiated by Ryan, had done its work, “a general desire existed, that the Canada body should become an independent body, not later than the general conference of 1828,” and a 299memorial was prepared to be submitted to that body. After requesting to be set apart an independent body, the following reason, with others was given. “The state of society requires it. The first settlers having claimed the protection of His Britannic Majesty in the revolutionary war, were driven from their former possessions to endure great hardships in a remote wilderness. Time, however, and a friendly intercourse, had worn down their asperity and prejudice, when the late unhappy war revived their former feelings; affording what they considered, new and grievous occasion for disgust against their invading neighbors. The prejudices thus excited would probably subside if their ministry were to become residents in this country, as would be the case in the event of becoming a separate body.” The fact that government regarded with dislike the connection was adverted to, also that they were not allowed to solemnize matrimony. Such was the fruit of Elder Ryan’s proceedings, and to him belongs great credit, however much his motives may have been impugned. It has been acknowledged that he was disliked by the preachers, and this dislike was manifested this year by sending him as a missionary to the Indians. No wonder he was dissatisfied. Not because he was placed in a humble position, after acting nearly a quarter of a century as presiding Elder; but because of the animus of those who did it. And moreover, he entertained the belief that the general conference did not intend to give independence. The next year Ryan was placed among the superannuated ministers, and thus remained two years; the next year 1827, he withdrew, and resumed the agitation for independence. He had no faith in the United States conference, the cry was raised, Loyal Methodism against Republican Methodism. In this Ryan was countenanced by Government and the English Church, and Playter says, Dr. Strachan sent him £50 to carry on the work of separation.

The whole previous life of Ryan, leads us to believe that he was sincere and honest in his movements and statements, but it is said he was greatly mistaken. The people generally said, wait till we see what the general conference does. The preachers have said they will give us independence, pause till we see. The result of the conference was as had been promised; while already Ryan had separated, and, with a limited number of followers, mostly along the bay and St. Lawrence, had formed a new body with the name of Canadian Wesleyan Methodist Church. But it will always remain a question whether the general conference would have conceded the independence had it not been well known that Ryan would 300take almost all if they were not made free. It is not an unknown thing for a person who has worked for some public good to be robbed of the credit in a surreptitious manner. Ryan was deceived, and his kind, though impulsive nature resented the wrong done him. Though his name has been placed under a shadow by those who were indebted to him, yet his memory is even yet green and sweet in the hearts of some of the old settlers. Well might Elder Ryan, select as his text at the time, “I have raised up children and they have rebelled.”

The general conference assembled at Pittsburgh, 1st May, 1828. The memorial from the Canada conference was duly considered, and whatever may have been the reasons, they granted in the most kindly spirit, the decided request of the Canadian Methodists. Ryan, it is said when he heard of it, “looked astonished, trembled and could scarcely utter a word.”

The second Canada conference met at Ernesttown, the 2nd October, 1828, in Switzer’s chapel. “Bishop Hedding came for the last time, and presided over the conference. No United States Bishop, no Bishop at all, has ever presided since.” This year, Andrew Pringle, the first native Methodist preacher, was placed on the superannuated list. After due deliberation the conference resolved to organize into an independent body, and adopted the discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as the basis of their own. The Rev. Wm. Case was appointed General Superintendent until the next conference.

It is not possible, nor would it be proper to give a connected history of Methodism, or any other religious denomination. But the aim of the writer is to supply facts relative to those who have lived and acted a part in connection with the early history of the bay, with such other facts as will throw light upon the matter. With this object in view, we will here introduce, in conclusion, a brief notice of the visit of Bishop Asbury to Canada in 1811. The account is from the pen of the Rev. Henry Bœhm, with remarks by Mr. Carroll. Reading this account, it called to our mind the account given to us by Father Bœhm, in 1854, while sojourning at Staten Island, New York, where we had the great pleasure of frequently meeting him and of enjoying the hospitality of his genial family. Mr. Bœhm was the traveling companion of Bishop Asbury when he visited Canada.

Bishop Asbury, the cotemporary of the Wesleys, being one whom Wesley ordained to preach, he came to America in 1771, as a missionary, being 25 years old. Of all the English preachers in the revolting colonies, he alone remained during the revolutionary war, 301and was under the necessity of concealing himself in Delaware. Created a Bishop by Dr. Coke, in 1785, he continued for many years in the oversight of the Methodist Church in America and in Canada. But although Methodism was planted in Canada in 1792, it was not until the year mentioned that a Bishop found his way to the remote settlements of Canada. Bishop Asbury, however, had for years a desire to see Canada. Two years before he came he wrote, “I shall see Canada before I die,” says Bœhm.

“We had a severe time on our journey. We crossed Lake Champlain, and Mr. Asbury preached in a bar-room in Plattsburgh. The roads through the woods, over rocks, down gulleys, over stumps, and through the mud, were indescribable. They were enough to jolt a hale bishop to death, let alone a poor, infirm old man, near the grave. On entering the village (of St. Regis) as Mr. Asbury was leading his horse across a bridge made of poles, the animal got his foot between them, and sunk into the mud and water. Away went the saddle-bags; the books and clothes were wet, and the horse was fast. We got a pole under him to pry him out; at the same time the horse made a leap, and came out safe and sound. We crossed the St. Lawrence in romantic style. We hired four Indians to paddle us over. They lashed three canoes together, and put our horses in them, their fore feet in one canoe, their hind feet in another. It was a singular load; three canoes, three passengers, the bishop, Smith and myself, three horses and four Indians. They were to take us over for three dollars. It was nearly three miles across to where we landed”—​“did not reach the other side till late in the evening.” The Indians claimed another dollar, because three could not be easily divided between four, this was “cheerfully paid.” “We arrived in Canada on July 1st, 1811, landing at Cornwall, and about midnight reached the hospitable house of Evan Roise, who hailed the bishop’s arrival with joy, and gave him and his companions a welcome worthy of patriarchal times.” “We found it warm in Canada, and the Bishop suffered greatly. Here Henry Ryan, Presiding Elder of Upper Canada, met us. The next day Bishop Asbury preached, the day after the Bishop preached again and there was a love-feast, and the Lord’s Supper.” Proceeding up the River St. Lawrence, arrived at the eastern line of Matilda, the Bishop rode in Brother Glassford’s close carriage, which he called a ‘calash,’ and he inquired how they would get out if it upset. He had hardly asked the question before over went the 302carriage, and the venerable Bishop was upset, but fortunately no bones were broken; the saplings alongside the road broke the fall. On Friday the Bishop preached in Matilda chapel, in what was called the German settlement. I followed, preaching in German. The Bishop was delighted with the people, he wrote, “here is a decent loving people. I called upon Father Dulmage, and Brother Heck.” We tarried over night with David Breackenridge. He married and baptised a great many people, and attended many funerals. In 1804 he preached the funeral sermon of Mrs. Heck, who died suddenly, and it is said she claimed to be the person who stirred Philip Embury to preach the Gospel. On Saturday we rode twelve miles before breakfast to Father Boyce’s, where we attended Quarterly Meeting. Bishop Asbury preached a thrilling sermon. “The Bishop greatly admired the country through which we rode. He says ‘Our ride has brought us through one of the finest countries I have seen. The timber is of noble size; the cattle are well shaped, and well looking; the crops are abundant on a most fruitful soil. Surely this is a land that God, the Lord hath blessed.’” (Such was the testimony of one who had traveled all over the United States, concerning a country eighty years younger than the older States of the Union. Such the testimony respecting the pioneers of the country who twenty-five years previous came thereto into an unbroken wilderness—​respecting the men the Americans had driven away and stigmatized by the application of the most degrading names). “On Monday we proceeded to Gananoque Falls, to Colonel Stone’s. Father Asbury was very lame from inflammatory rheumatism. “He suffered like a martyr. On Tuesday we visited Brother Elias Dulmage, a very kind family, and Bishop Asbury preached in the first Town Church” (Kingston Church). E. Dulmage, one of the Palatines, lived afterward a long time as jail-keeper.”—​(Carroll). The Bishop was so poorly he could not proceed on his journey, and was obliged to lie up and rest. He remained at Brother Dulmage’s, where he found a very kind home, and I went with Henry Ryan to his Quarterly Meeting, in Fourth or Adolphustown, Bay of Quinté. On Friday we rode to Brother John Embury, Hay Bay. He was a nephew of Philip Embury, the Apostle of American Methodism. On the Lord’s day we had a glorious love-feast, and at the Lord’s Supper He was made known to us in the breaking of bread. In a beautiful grove, under the shade of trees planted by God’s own hand, I preached to two thousand people, John Reynold’s, afterward Bishop Reynolds, 303of Belleville, and Henry Ryan exhorted. (Exhorting after sermon was a common practice among the Methodists in those days). Mr. Bœhm had to return to Kingston the same night, in order that the Bishop might get to the Conference to be held in the States immediately. To do so they rode all night—​35 miles. “To our great joy we found Father Asbury better”—​“he had sent around and got a congregation to whom he preached in the chapel. He also met the Society and baptized two children. We were in Canada just a fortnight. The Bishop was treated everywhere as the angel of the churches. The Bishop preached six times in Canada, besides numerous lectures which he delivered to societies.” The Bishop and Mr. Bœhm set out on the Monday for Sackett’s Harbour, in a small sail boat. There was a heavy storm, and they were nearly wrecked. On the water all night without a cabin. Spent a fearful night, and reached Sackett’s Harbour the next afternoon.


Contents—​McDonnell—​First R. Catholic Bishop—​A “Memorandum”—​Birthplace—​In Spain—​A Priest—​In Scotland—​Glengary Fencibles—​Ireland, 1798—​To Canada—​Bishop—​Death in Scotland—​Body removed to Canada—​Funeral obsequies—​Buried at Kingston—​Had influence—​Member of Canadian Legislative Council—​Pastoral visitations, 1806—​A loyal man—​A Pioneer in his Church—​The Bishop’s Address, 1836—​Refuting mal-charges—​Number of the R. C. Clergy in 1804—​From Lake Superior to Lower Canada—​Traveling horseback—​Sometimes on foot—​Hardships—​Not a Politician—​Expending private means—​Faithful services—​Acknowledged—​Roman Catholic U. E. Loyalists—​First Church in Ernesttown—​McDonnell at Belleville—​Rev. M. Brennan—​First Church in Belleville—​What we have aimed at—​The advantages to the English Church—​The Reserves—​In Lower Canada—​Dr. Mountain—​Number of English Clergymen, 1793—​A Bishop—​Monopoly initiated—​Intolerance and Exclusion swept away—​An early habit at Divine service.


We are much indebted to J. P. McDonnell, Esq., of Belleville, for a “Memorandum of his grand-parent, the Rev. Alex McDonnell, first Bishop of Upper Canada.”

“He was born in the year 1760, in Glengary, in Scotland, educated for the Priesthood at Valladolid College, in the Kingdom of Spain; for, at this time no person professing the Roman Catholic 304faith could be allowed to be educated in any part of the British empire. He was ordained Priest before the year 1790. Then came back to Scotland, his native country, and officiated as a Priest in Badenoch, a small district in North Scotland, also in the city of Glasgow; afterwards joined, in 1798, the Glengary Fencibles, then for duty in Ireland, under the command of Lord McDonnell, of Glengary, who was Colonel of said Fencible Regiment. He came to Canada in the year 1804; was consecrated first Bishop of Upper Canada in the year 1822, titled as the Bishop of Kingston.” He died in Dumfriesshire, a County bordering on England and Scotland, in the year 1840. His body was laid in St. Mary’s Church, Edinborough, until removed to Canada, in 1862. His remains was taken from the cars at the station at Lancaster, and carried to St. Raphael’s Cathedral; in which Church he had spent some of his most useful days, administering the consolations of his religion to his numerous co-religionists throughout the Province of Upper Canada. His remains were escorted by thousands of people, of all denominations, from St. Raphael’s Church to St. Andrew’s Church, and thence to Cornwall depot, in order to convey his remains to Kingston, the head of his See; where his remains now lie in the vaults of the Cathedral of that ancient city, in which he, as Bishop, officiated for years, a favorite of both Protestants and Catholics. I may here remark, that no other man, either clergyman or lay, ever had more influence with the Government, either Imperial or Colonial than Bishop McDonnell. In fact he established the Catholic Church in Western Canada. All the lands that the church now possesses were procured by his exertions. The Bishop was a member of the Legislative Council for years in connection with the Venerable Bishop Strachan, of Toronto. About the year 1806, he passed on his way from Toronto, then York, to Kingston; celebrated mass at his relation’s, Col. Archibald Chisholm, whose descendants are now living on Lot. Nos. 8 and 9, 1st Con., Thurlow, adjoining the Town of Belleville—​carried his vestments on his back most of the way from Toronto to Kingston; and he took passage in a birch canoe from his friend’s, Col. Chisholm, to another relation, Col. McDonnell, (McDonald’s Cove,) on his way to Kingston.

“Although his religion was then proscribed by the British Government, and he was compelled to go to a foreign country to be educated, no more loyal man to the British Crown lived; no other man ever conduced more to the upholding of British supremacy in North America than he, and helped to consolidate the same.”

305We are also indebted to Mr. McDonnell for other valuable documents concerning the Bishop, who may be regarded the father of his Church in Upper Canada. At least, he was the pioneer of that denomination in the Bay region. To a great extent, his history is the early history of his Church. The worthy prelate will speak for himself, when at the advanced age of seventy-four, and he spoke under circumstances which precluded the possibility of any statement accidentally creeping in, which could not be fully substantiated.

Referring to an address of the House of Assembly, 1836, in which his character had been aspersed, and his motives assailed, he, in a letter to Sir Francis Bond Head, asks “the liberty of making some remarks on a few passages” thereof, and, among other things, says, “As to the charges brought against myself, I feel very little affected by them, having the consolation to think that fifty years spent in the faithful discharge of my duty to God and to my country, have established my character upon a foundation too solid to be shaken by the malicious calumnies of two notorious slanderers.” To the charge that he had neglected his spiritual functions to devote his time and talents to politics, he, by plain declaration, refutes their “malicious charge,” stating the following facts, which relate to the country from the year he entered it, 1804. He says, “There were then but two Catholic clergymen in the whole of Upper Canada. One of these clergymen soon deserted his post; and the other resided in the Township of Sandwich, in the Western District, and never went beyond the limits of his mission; so that upon entering upon my pastoral duties, I had the whole of the Province beside in charge, and without any assistance for the space of ten years. During that period, I had to travel over the country, from Lake Superior to the Province line of Lower Canada, to the discharge of my pastoral functions, carrying the sacred vestments sometimes on horseback, sometimes on my back, and sometimes in Indian birch canoes, living with savages—​without any other shelter or comfort, but what their fires and their fares, and the branches of the trees afforded; crossing the great lakes and rivers, and even descending the rapids of the St. Lawrence in their dangerous and wretched crafts. Nor were the hardships and privations which I endured among the new settlers and emigrants less than what I had to encounter among the savages themselves, in their miserable shanties; exposed on all sides to the weather, and destitute of every comfort. In this way I have been spending my time and my health 306year after year, since I have been in Upper Canada, and not clinging to a seat in the Legislative Council and devoting my time to political strife, as my accusers are pleased to assert. The erection of five and thirty Churches and Chapels, great and small, although many of them are in an unfinished state, built by my exertion; and the zealous services of two and twenty clergymen, the major part of whom have been educated at my own expense, afford a substantial proof that I have not neglected my spiritual functions, or the care of the souls under my charge; and if that be not sufficient, I can produce satisfactory documents to prove that I have expended, since I have been in this Province, no less than thirteen thousand pounds, of my own private means, beside what I received from other quarters, in building Churches, Chapels, Presbyteries, and School-houses, in rearing young men for the Church, and in promoting general education. With a full knowledge of those facts, established beyond the possibility of a contradiction, my accusers can have but little regard for the truth, when they tax me with neglecting my spiritual functions and the care of souls. The framers of the address to His Excellency knew perfectly well that I never had, or enjoyed, a situation, or place of profit or emolument, except the salary which my sovereign was pleased to bestow upon me, in reward of forty-two years faithful services to my country, having been instrumental in getting two corps of my flock raised and embodied in defence of their country in critical times, viz., the first Glengary Fencible Regiment, was raised by my influence, as a Catholic corps, during the Irish rebellion, whose dangers and fatigues I shared in that distracted country, and contributed in no small degree to repress the rapacity of the soldiers, and bring back the deluded people to a sense of their duty to their sovereign and submission to the laws. Ample and honorable testimonials of their services and my conduct may be found in the Government office of Toronto. The second Glengary Fencible Regiment raised in the Province, when the Government of the United States of America invaded, and expected to make a conquest of Canada, was planned by me, and partly raised by my influence. My zeal in the service of my country, and my exertions in the defence of this Province, were acknowledged by his late Majesty, through Lord Bathurst, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. My salary was then increased, and a seat was assigned for me in the Legislative Council, as a distinguished mark of my sovereign’s favor, an honor I should consider it a disgrace to resign, although I can hardly 307expect ever to sit in the Council, nor do I believe that Lord Glenelg, who knows something of me, would expect that I should show so much imbecility in my latter days, as to relinquish a mark of honor conferred upon me by my sovereign, to gratify the vindictive malice of a few unprincipled radicals. So far, however, from repining at the cruel and continued persecutions of my enemies, I pray God to give me patience to suffer, for justice sake, and to forgive them their unjust and unmerited conduct towards me. I have the honor to be Sir,—​Your most obedient and very humble servant,—​(Signed)—​Alex. McDonnell. To T. Joseph, Esq., Sec’y to His Excellency, Sir Francis Bond Head, &c., &c., &c.”

There were a number of Roman Catholics among the U. E. Loyalists. Among them were the Chisholms on the front of Thurlow, to whose house Mr. McDonnell came to preach as he made his annual round. I am told by an old settler, that a very old Roman Catholic Church existed in Ernesttown west, a short distance from Bath. Probably Mr. McDonnell travelled all around the Bay, visiting members of his Church. There were several in Marysburgh. He was the first to preach in Belleville, when it had become a village. But the Rev Michael Brennan, who still lives, and is highly respected by all classes, was the first priest located in Belleville; he arrived in 1829. The frame of a building which had been erected for a Freemason’s Lodge, was moved to the lot which had been received from Government, and was converted into a Church. The present Church was commenced in 1837, and completed in 1839.

We have now adverted to the several early clergymen of the different denominations in the young colony of Upper Canada, and have dwelt upon those facts, and related those events, which appertain to the work we have in hand. We have essayed to simply write the truth, without reference to the interests of any denomination, either by false, or high coloring, or suppression of facts.

From what we have recorded, it is plain that the Church of England stood the best chance of becoming the religion of Upper Canada. The seventh part of the lands were reserved for the clergy, and it was determined to erect an Ecclesiastical establishment in the Province. In Lower Canada the Roman Catholics had been secured by Act of Imperial Parliament. In Upper Canada it was resolved that the English Church should occupy a similar position. The Rev. Dr. Jehoshaphat Mountain was sent out from England in 1793, having been consecrated the first Bishop of Quebec, to take 308charge of the English establishment in all Canada. There were then in both Canadas five clergymen of the church. The monopoly thus instituted continued for many years, and other denominations could not even hold land upon which to build a place of worship. But time swept all intolerance and exclusiveness away. In the year 1828, was passed “An act for the Relief of Religious Societies” of the Province, by which it was authorized “That whenever any religious congregation or society of Presbyterians, Lutherans, Calvinists, Methodists, Congregationalists, Independents, Anabaptists, Quakers, Menonists, Tunkers, or Moravians, shall have an occasion to take a conveyance of land, it shall be lawful for them to appoint trustees,” which body should hold perpetual succession, &c. But it was also enacted that no one Society should hold more than five acres.

This subject will be concluded by the following, the writer of which we fail to remember. It is within our own recollection when this habit still existed:

An early writer, a visitor to the Province of Canada, speaking about religious denominations says, “The worshipping assemblies appear grave and devout, except that in some of them it is customary for certain persons to go out and come in frequently in time of service, to the disturbance of others, and the interruption of that silence and solemnity, which are enjoyed by politeness, no less than a sense of religion. This indecorous practice prevails among several denominations.”


Contents—​First Sabbath teaching—​Hannah Bell, 1769—​School established, 1781—​Raikes—​Wesley—​First in United States—​First in Canada—​Cattrick, Moon—​Common in 1824—​First in Belleville—​Turnbull—​Cooper—​Marshall—​Prizes, who won them—​Mr. Turnbull’s death—​Intemperance—​First Temperance Societies—​Change of custom—​Rum—​Increasing intemperance—​The tastes of the Pioneers—​Temperance, not teetotalism—​First Society in Canada—​Drinks at Raising and Bees—​Society at Hollowell.


The earliest attempt known to teach children upon the Sabbath was in 1769, made by a young lady, a Methodist, by the name of Hannah Bell, in England, who was instrumental in training many children in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. In 1781, while 309another Methodist young woman (afterward the wife of the celebrated lay preacher, Samuel Bradburn) was conversing in Gloucester with Robert Raikes, a benevolent citizen of that town, and publisher of the Gloucester Journal, he pointed to groups of neglected children in the street, and asked: “What can we do for them?” She answered: “Let us teach them to read and take them to church!” “He immediately proceeded to try the suggestion, and the philanthropist and his female friend attended the first company of Sunday-scholars to the church, exposed to the comments and laughter of the populace as they passed along the street with their ragged procession. Such was the origin of our present Sunday-school, an institution which has perhaps done more for the church and the social improvement of Protestant communities, than any other agency of modern times, the pulpit excepted. Raikes, and his humble assistant, conducted the experiment without ostentation. Not till November 3, 1783, did he refer to it in his public journal. In 1784, he published in that paper an account of his plan. This sketch immediately arrested the attention of Wesley, who inserted the entire article in the January number of the American Magazine for 1785, and exhorted his people to adopt the new institution.”

In 1786, they were begun in the United States by the Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury, in Virginia. In 1790, the Methodist conference “resolved on establishing Sunday-schools for poor children, white and black,” since which time they have been in operation.

The first notice found of a Sabbath-school in Upper Canada, is in June, 1817, when a Rev. Mr. Cattrick proposed at Kingston to organize one. A communication from Wm. Moon, in the Gazette, expresses great pleasure thereat, and Mr. Moon offers for the purpose his school-room, and likewise his services. In 1824, Sunday-schools were common in the old settlements, and were valued and encouraged by all classes of people. Not only did private benevolence contribute to the schools, but the Upper Canada Parliament granted £150, for the “use and encouragement of Sunday-schools,” and of indigent and remote settlements, in the purchase of books and tracts—​(Playter). A Sabbath-school was established in Belleville about 1826, by John Turnbull, Dr. Marshall, and Dr. Cooper who taught in the school. Some religious society granted books and tracts to schools. Four prizes were granted for good attendance and behaviour, consisting of two Bibles and two Testaments. They were awarded, the first to J. H. Meacham, who is now Postmaster of Belleville; the second to his sister, Anna 310Meacham, the third to Matilda McNabb, the fourth to Albert Taylor. While these pages are going through the press, we receive the sad intelligence that John Turnbull, Esq., last living of the three mentioned, has passed away at the beginning of this new year, 1869, after a life of well-merited respect, and honor. The writer feels he has lost a friend.

Intemperance.—​Total abstinence or teetotalism was unknown when Upper Canada was first settled. The first temperance society ever organized was at Moreau, Saratoga, County, New York, in 1808.

To taste and drink a glass of wine or grog, was not regarded as a sin by any one of that day. To the soldiers and sailors grog was dealt out as regularly every day as rations. Rum was the liquor more generally used, being imported from Jamaica, and infinitely purer than the rum sold to-day. It has to be recorded that at a comparatively early date, breweries and distilleries were erected, first in one township then in another, so that after a few years the native liquor was much cheaper than rum, and then followed the natural result—​namely, increasing intemperance. It is not difficult to understand that the old soldier would like his regular glass of grog. In the long and tedious journeys made by boat, when food perhaps was very limited in quantity, the conveniently carried bottle would take its place, and extraordinary labor and severe exposure would be endured by the agency of unnatural stimulus. The absence of teetotal principles, the customs of the day; want of food; frequent and severe trials and exposures, would lead even the best of men to partake of spirituous liquors. As we see it to-day, so it was then, abuse arose from moderate use, and those who had no control over the appetite, or who loved to forget the bitterness of the day by inebriation, would avail themselves of the opportunity to indulge to excess. The mind naturally craves a stimulant. If this desire be not fed by legitimate food, it is too likely to appropriate the unnatural. The excitement of war had passed away; but had left in its wake the seeds of longing in the breast of the old soldier. The educated man shut out from the world, had but little to satisfy the usually active mind. With some, the remembrance of old scenes—​of old homesteads, and their belongings, were forgotten in the stupefying cup. When all these facts are considered, is there not abundant reason to wonder that intemperance did not prevail more extensively. But it is a question after all, whether the loyalists became more addicted to the cup 311after they settled, than when at the old homes. Those who have charged the old settlers with the vice of drinking, have forgotten to look at them in comparison with other countries at that day, instead of the light set up at a later period.

But while the pioneers preserved themselves from unusual indulgence, it is to be regretted that their children too often forsook the path of soberness, and in losing their right minds, lost the old farm made valuable by their fathers’ toil. It was often a repetition of what occasionally occurred when the soldiers were disbanded. They would often sell a location ticket, or two or three acres of land for a quart of rum; the sons would sell the fruit of a father’s hard work of a life time.

One of the first temperance societies formed in Canada was in Adolphustown, on the 4th January, 1830. On this occasion the Rev. Job Deacon, of the Church of England, delivered an address, after which a respectable majority and three out of five magistrates present, adopted resolutions condemning the use of ardent spirits, and unitedly determining not to use or furnish drink for raisings, bees, and harvest work. At the same meeting a temperance society was formed and a constitution adopted under the title of “The Adolphustown Union Sabbath School Temperance Society.” They pledged themselves not to use ardent spirits for one year.

According to the Hollowell Free Press, a temperance society was formed at Hollowell, in 1829; for it is announced that the “Second Anniversary” will be held 3rd June, 1831. It is announced April 12, 1831, that a temperance meeting will be held in the Methodist Chapel, when addresses will be delivered by Dr. A. Austin. The officers elected for the ensuing year are Asa Worden, Esq., M.P.P., President; Dr. Austin, Vice President; P. V. Elmore, Secretary and Treasurer.



Contents—​The Six Nations—​Faithful English Allies—​Society for the Propagation of Gospel—​First missionary to Iroquois—​John Thomas, first convert—​Visit of Chiefs to England—​Their names—​Their portraits—​Attention to them—​Asking for instructor—​Queen Anne—​Communion Service—​During the Rebellion—​Burying the Plate—​Recovered—​Division of the articles—​Sacrilege of the Rebels—​Re-printing Prayer Book—​Mr. Stuart, missionary—​The women and children—​At Lachine—​Attachment to Mr. Stuart—​Touching instance—​Mr. Stuart’s Indian sister—​Church at Tyendinaga—​School teacher to the Mohawk—​John Bininger—​First teacher—​The Bininger family—​The Moravian Society—​Count Zinzendorf—​Moravian church at New York—​First minister, Abraham Bininger—​Friend of Embury—​An old account book—​John Bininger journeying to Canada—​Living at Bay Quinté—​Removes to Mohawk village—​Missionary spirit—​Abraham Bininger’s letters—​The directions—​Children pleasing parents—​“Galloping thoughts”—​Christianity—​Canadian Moravian missionaries—​Moravian loyalists—​What was sent from New York—​“Best Treasure”—​The “Dear Flock”—​David Zieshager at the Thames—​J. Bininger acceptable to Mohawk—​Abraham Bininger desires to visit Canada—​Death of Mrs. Bininger—​“Tender mother”—​Bininger and Wesley—​“Garitson”—​“Losee”—​“Dunon”—​Reconciled to Methodists—​Pitying Losee—​Losee leaving Canada—​Ceases to be teacher—​Appointing a successor—​William Bell—​The salary—​The Mohawks don’t attend school—​An improvement—​The cattle may not go in school-house—​The school discontinued.


From the first occupation of New York by the English, the Six Nations had almost always been their faithful allies. This devotion did not remain unnoticed. Returns were made not only of a temporal nature, but in respect to things spiritual. So early as 1702 the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the next year after its organization, sent a Missionary (Rev. Mr. Andrews) to the Mohawk Valley. Under his direction in 1714, the Church of England Common Prayers was translated into their tongue. The first convert to Christianity was christened John Thomas, who died in 1727, aged 119.

It is said the English in their determination to secure the alliance of the Iroquois against the French prevailed upon certain chiefs to visit the Court of Queen Anne, in 1710, thinking that the greatness and splendour of England, would firmly fix their attachment.

There were four of them who crossed the water, and who were treated with distinction. Their names were “Te Yee Neen Ho Ga Prow, and Sa Ga Yean Qua Proh Ton, of the Maquas; Elow Oh Roam, and Oh Nee Yeath Ton No Prow, of the River Sachem.” Portraits were taken of these four kings and placed in 313the British Museum. When presented to the Queen they made an elaborate speech, in which they spoke of their desire to see their “great Queen;” the long tedious French war in which they had taken a part; they urged the necessity of reducing Canada, and closed by expressing a wish that their “great Queen will be pleased to send over some person to instruct” them in a knowledge of the Saviour. Consequently the Queen caused to be sent to the Mohawk church just erected among them, a valuable sacramental service of plate, and a communion cloth. This royal gift was ever held in the most fervent esteem by the tribe. The part taken by the noble Iroquois during the cruel rebellion of 1776–83 is elsewhere detailed; but in this connection is to be noticed an incident of a touching nature. The rebel commander of a blood-thirsty gang, stimulated by promises of the land which they were sent to despoil, came upon the tribe at an unexpected moment. The valuable—​the costly—​the revered gift from the Queen was in danger of being seized by the lawless horde which was approaching. Not forgetting them—​not unmindful of things sacred, some of the chief members of the tribe decided to conceal them by burying them in the earth, which was accordingly done, the plate being wrapped in the communion cloth. These doubly valuable articles remained buried until the close of the war, when they were recovered. The plate had suffered no injury, but the cloth had been almost destroyed by the damp earth. These precious relics were divided between those who settled upon the Grand River, and the smaller branch that remained at the Bay. They are to this day used on sacramental occasions. Upon each of the articles, sacred to memory, and sacredly employed, is cut the following words:

“The Gift of Her Majesty Queen Anne by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, of Her Plantations in North America, Queen of Her Indian Chappel of the Mohawk.”

When the lawless rebels came into their settlement, they destroyed the translated Prayer book. The Mohawks, apprehensive that it would be lost, asked the Governor (Haldimand) to have an edition published. This was granted by printing a limited number in 1780 at Quebec. In 1787 a third edition was published in London, a copy of which before us, supplies these facts. In connection with it there is also a translation of the Gospel according to St. Mark by Brant. It is stated in the Preface that a translation of some other parts of the New Testament may soon be expected from Brant. But such never appeared.

314The missionary employed at the commencement of the rebellion, by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, was the Rev. John Stuart. In 1770, he was appointed to the Mission at Fort Hunter. He soon prepared a Mohawk translation of the Gospel by Mark, an exposition of the Church catechism, and a compendious History of the Bible. He was undisturbed in his labors, until after the Declaration of Independence, though “he constantly performed divine service without omitting prayers for the King.”

The women and children of the Indians when hurried away from their homes repaired to Lachine, where they mostly remained until the end of the war. The particulars of the history of their missionary is elsewhere given. There was a sincere attachment between him and the tribe, an instance of which is supplied by the conduct of a sister of Captain Johns. Mrs. Stuart had an infant child which was deprived of its natural food. The Indian woman weaned her own child that she might thereby be able to supply the missionary’s child with food. This child was Charles O’Kill Stuart. When he became the Venerable Archdeacon, he did not forget the act of motherly kindness bestowed upon him. The faithful breast upon which he had nestled, had long since closed its heaving by death; but the daughter whom she had put away from the breast still lived. Dr. Stuart visited the Indian woods every year, and invariably went to see his sister, as he called her.

Early steps were taken to have built a church in which they might worship. The Rev. John Stuart had his home in Kingston, yet he often visited the Indians.

The first church was erected on Grand River by Brant in 1786, and as nearly as we can learn the plain wooden building at the settlement upon the Bay was, at the same time, or shortly after erected.

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, not only employed the Rev. Mr. Stuart, as a missionary, to labor with the Mohawks, but likewise set apart a sum of £30, as a salary to a teacher to instruct the children of the Indians upon Bay Quinté. Mr. Stuart lived at Kingston, however, and could but visit the Indian village occasionally. But a catechist was employed by him to supply spiritual instruction. Mr. Stuart also had the appointing of a school teacher. The precise time when this school was opened, it is impossible to determine. The first reference we find to it is in a letter, (one of many kindly entrusted to us by Mrs. 315Bininger of Belleville) written by John Bininger, then living in Adolphustown, to his father, the Rev. Abraham Bininger of Camden, New York, Moravian missionary. The letter is dated 18th September, 1792, and says, “being at Kingston, I heard as it were accidentally, that the Rev. Mr. John Stuart wanted, on behalf of the society in England, to hire a teacher for the Mohawks up this bay, accordingly, I made an offer of my services.” This may have been the commencement of the school. Mr. Stuart, not long after, accepted the offer, and John Bininger says he gave his employers notice that he should leave them. We learn that he was at that time, or had been a short time before, engaged as a book-keeper in Kingston. He was detained for two months before his employers would release him, immediately after which he removed to the Mohawk village.

Before proceeding with the record of the Mohawk school, we shall ask the reader to listen to a few of the facts in the history of the Bininger family.

The Moravian Society was founded by Count Zinzendorf. He visited New York in 1741, and seven years later, 1748, a Moravian Church was established in New York. The first or principal Moravian minister was Abraham Bininger, a native of Switzerland, from the same town where the immortal William Tell lived.—​(Wakeley.) He was the intimate friend of Embury and the other early Methodists in America.

Of the sons of the Rev. A. Bininger we have only to notice John. Before us is an old account book in which is found the following memorandum: “1791, May 30th, Moved from Camden in Salem, Washington County; June 2nd, Arrived at St. John’s, Canada; June 8th, Arrived at Lachine for Kingston; 24th, arrived at Kingston, Upper Canada; July 2nd, Arrived at John Carscallian’s, Fredricksburgh, Bay Kanty; October 2nd, Moved from Fredricksburgh to Adolphustown, 1792; November 13th, Moved from Adolphustown to Mohawk Village.” A letter written by John Bininger to his father, is in a fine distinct hand, and indicates both learning and piety, and that he was actuated, in taking the situation of teacher to the Mohawks, by a missionary spirit. His father wrote to him from time to time; the letters are dated at Camden, and usually refer to family affairs; but each has a large portion devoted to Christian advice, simply and touchingly, and sometimes quaintly given. They are signed Abraham and Martha. The first letter is addressed to “Caterockqua,” and the request is made upon the corner of the letter to “please forward this with care and speed,” “also to the care 316of Mr. John Carscallian, or Lieutenant Carscallian.” The rest of the letters are addressed to Adolphustown, and the Mohawk Village, “Bay Quinté.”

In one letter he says “Remember children never please parents more than when they are willing to be guided by them; self-guiding is always the beginning of temptation, and next comes a fall that we must smart for it; we are to work out our own salvation (not with high galloping thoughts) but with fear and trembling.” In this way every letter beams with pure and simple Christianity. After his children’s personal well-being, he is concerned about the Moravian missionaries in Canada, and also a considerable number of Moravian Loyalists who had settled upon the Bay Quinté, after whom he frequently inquires. In one letter he says “remember me to all my friends, in particular to old Mr. Carscallian and wife.” One letter says, “We send you with Mr. McCabe a lag. cheese, weight five pounds and three-quarters, about half-a-pint of apple seed, from Urana’s saving. I also send you part of my best treasure, the Daily Word and Doctrinal Texts, for the year 1792. The collection of choice hymns and sixteen discourses of my very dear friend, Count Zinzendorf.” He says, “I would heartily beg to make Inquiry and friendship with the brethren among the Indians. They are settled in the British lines, I don’t know the name of the place.” Again he expresses a wish that he should inquire for the brethren’s settlement, and “make a correspondence with them,” to think it his “duty to assist them in the furtherance of the Gospel, both on account of yourself and on account of your old father. If you can get any intelligence pray let me know, I am often concerned in my mind for the dear flock that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I think if any gentleman in your parts can give information, it is the Reverend Mr. Stuart, a minister of the Church of England, he is a gentleman that I have great esteem for, I know he will give you all the intelligence he possibly can.” Subsequently, 1794, he wishes his son to correspond with the brethren at the river La Trenche (the Thames). As a result of this request, we see a letter received from David Zeisherger, dated at River Thames, 20th July, 1794, eighty miles from Detroit.

John Bininger was acceptable to the Mohawks of the Bay, as an instructor. His father writes 5th January, 1794, “It was a real satisfaction to me to see Mr. Hekenalder in New York, and more so when I heard the good character of the Indians of your place living among them.” Writing February 23rd, he says, “was I able to undergo the hardships, I would certainly join with you and tell 317the poor Indians of God their Saviour, that would be the highest and happiest employ for me.” In August, he says “I would have ventured the hardships of the journey, but mother and Isaac wont approve of it, they think I am too old and feeble. I know that if I was with you I should have more contentment than I have here.”

The last communication we have is dated February, 1804, in which the good old Moravian says to his children, John and Phœbe, that their “dear tender mother went happy to our dear Saviour;” at the funeral was so many, he wondered how so many could collect.

The Rev. Abraham Bininger was intimate with Wesley, whom he accompanied to Virginia. He also was familiar with Philip Embury, and Mr. “Garitson” who baptized his grand-child. The first two Methodist preachers in Canada were well known to him. Several letters, back and forth, are “per favor of Losee.” In one letter he says, “Don forget to remember my love and regards to Mr. Dunon (Dunham) and Mr. Loese.” The postscript of another letter says, “Isaac intends to send a young heifer, two pound of tea, a gammon, and a pise of smokt beef. Mother sends her love to Dunon and Mr. Loese.” A letter dated April 12th, 1792, says John Switzers’ son “was baptized by Mr. Garitson. Mr. Garitson is well approved of in these parts. I heartily wish, as much as I love him, that he were in your parts. I am of late more reconciled to the Methodists than I was before, I see they really are a blessing to many poor souls.”

Writing 2nd August, 1794, he says “I heartily pity Mr. Losee for withdrawing his hand, he is now to be treated with patience and tenderness. I have sent last part of a discourse which I translated from the brethren’s writing. I did it chiefly on account of Mr. Losee, if you think proper send him a copy with a tender greet from me.” John Bininger, writing January 12, 1795, remarks, Mr. Losee is just setting out for the States.

Mr. John Bininger ceased to be teacher to the Mohawks sometime in the latter part of 1795, or first part of 1796.

There are several letters before us, written by Mr. Stuart, in reference to the appointment of a successor to Mr. Bininger, the first one is directed to “Mr. William Bell, at the head of the Bay of Quinté,” and dated at Kingston, September 26, 1796. He says “I received your letter respecting the Mohawk school; I can give you no positive answer at present: because I have agreed, conditionally with a school-master at Montreal, that is, if he comes up, he is to have the school; I expect daily to hear from him, although I do 318not think he will accept of the employment. Some time ago Mr. Ferguson mentioned you as one who would probably undertake that charge. I told Captain John that if the person from Montreal disappointed me I would talk with you on the subject. The salary is £30 sterling, with a house to live in, and some other advantages which depend wholly on the pleasure of the Mohawks—​but the teacher must be a man, and not a woman, however well qualified.” The teacher from Montreal did not come, and Mr. Bell was appointed. The following seems to have been a copy of Mr. Bell’s first call for payment, the half-yearly instalment.

“Mohawk Village, Bay of Quinté, July 5, 1797—​Exchange for £15 sterling.

Sir,—​At thirty days sight of this first of exchange, please to pay to Mr. Robert McCauley, or order, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, being half-year’s salary, from the 15th day of November, 1796, to the 15th day of May, 1797, due from the Society, without further advice, from, Sir, &c., (Signed), William Bell, school-master to the Mohawks. To Calvert Chapman, Esq., Treasurer to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts—​Duke Street, Westminster.”

The Mohawks, it seems, did not appreciate the advantages which the establishment of a school among them was intended to afford, and Mr. Stuart is found writing as follows: “Kingston, August 18, 1799—​Sir,—​Unless the Mohawks will send such a number of their children to school as will justify me in continuing a school-master, in duty to myself, as acting for the Society, I shall be under the necessity of discontinuing the payment of your salary after the expiration of the present year. This information I think proper to give you, that you may govern yourself accordingly. I am, Sir,” &c., (Signed), John Stuart.

But writing again, March 16, 1800, Mr. Stuart says, “I am happy to hear that the school is now furnished with a dozen or more scholars, and it is expected you will be very strict in your discipline, and see that prayers are read night and morning; that the children are taught the Lord’s Prayer, and the Commandments—​that children may not be sent home even if their parents do not send wood at the stated times; that the cattle may not be allowed to go into the school, but that it be kept clean, and the wood belonging to it may not be used unless in school hours.”

Writing again, September 11, 1801, Mr. Stuart says, “I have waited with patience to see whether the Mohawks would send their 319children more regularly to school, but if the accounts I receive are true, the money is expended to no purpose. I am told that there has not been a scholar in school since last spring. And, as I never found that the fault was on your side, I cannot, in conscience, allow the salary of the Society to be paid for nothing. Therefore, unless Capt. John and the chief men of the village will promise that the school shall be furnished with at least six scholars, I must dismiss you from their service—​as soon as you receive this notification. I hope you will see the reasonableness of this determination of mine, and you may show this letter to Capt. John and the Mohawks, by which they will see that the continuance or discontinuance of the school depends wholly on themselves.”

The final letter upon the subject is dated “Kingston, 26th August, 1802,” and says, “I have not yet received any letter from the Society; but, for the reasons I mentioned to you, I think it will be expedient to let the Mohawk school cease, at least for some time. I therefore notify you that after your present quarter is ended you will not expect a continuance of the salary.” (Signed), “John Stuart.” “To William Bell, school-master to the Mohawks, Bay of Quinté.”


Contents—​The first Church at Tyendinaga grows old—​A Council—​Ask for Assistance—​Gov. Bagot—​Laying first stone of new Church—​The Inscription—​The Ceremony—​The new Church—​Their Singing—​The surrounding Scenery—​John Hall’s Tomb—​Pagan Indians—​Red Jacket—​His Speech—​Reflection upon Christians—​Indians had nothing to do with murdering the Saviour.


Their original edifice of wood, having served its purpose, and being in a state of decay; it was deemed necessary to have erected a new and more substantial building. They, consequently, held a Council, at which the Chief made the following speech, after hearing all the ways and means discussed—​“If we attempt to build this church by ourselves, it will never be done. Let us, therefore, ask our father, the Governor, to build it for us, and it will be done at once.” Reference here was made, not to the necessary funds, for they were to be derived from the sale of Indian lands; but to the 320experience requisite to carry out the project. Sir Charles Bagot, the Governor, was accordingly petitioned. “The first stone was laid by S. P. Jarvis, Esq., Chief Superintendent of Indians in Canada; and the Archdeacon of Kingston, the truly venerable G. O. Stuart, conducted the usual service; which was preceded by a procession of the Indians, who, singing a hymn, led the way from the wharf.” “The following inscription was placed in this stone:

The Glory of God Our Saviour
In the sixth year of Our Mother Queen Victoria: Sir Charles Theophilus Metcalf, G.C.B., being Governor General of British North America;
The Right Rev. J. Strachan, D.D., and LL.D., Being Bishop of Toronto:
The old wooden fabric having answered its end,
In the presence of the Venerable George O’Kill Stuart, LL.D., Archdeacon of Kingston;
By Samuel Peter Jarvis, Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Canada, assisted by various Members of the Church,
ON TUESDAY MAY 30TH, A. D., 1843.
&c., &c., &c.

A hymn was sung by the Indians, and Indian children of the school. The Rev. Wm. Macauley, of Picton, delivered an address, which was followed by a prayer from the Rev. Mr. Deacon.”—​(Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle.)

321This edifice, with four lancet windows on each side, presents to the eye a very pleasing appearance upon approaching it. While the interior may not altogether appear so attractive, it is sufficiently interesting. There is the elevated desk, and the more elevated pulpit; and upon the wall, over the altar, are the ten commandments, in the Mohawk tongue. Here is grandly united the Mother Church, and the devoted piety of the once great Mohawk nation. Opposite the altar is a gallery, across the end of the building, in which is an organ. Therefrom proceeds, Sunday after Sunday, rich notes of tuneful melody, blending with the stout voices of the singers. From this church ascends, have we not reason to believe the adoration of hearts warmed into spiritual life by the pure principles of Christianity.

The view from the church upon the surrounding scenery is very pleasant, and, in the quietness of a summer day, one may linger gazing and meditating upon the past history of the race whose dead slumber hard by. The visitor’s attention will be directed to a flat tomb, of blue stone, inclosed by a low stone wall, overgrown with shrubs. Upon the face of the tomb are the words:

“This tomb, erected to the memory of John Hall, Ochechusleah, by the Mohawks, in grateful remembrance of his Christian labors amongst them. During thirty years, he served as a Mohawk Catechist, in this settlement, under the Society for Propagating the Gospel, adorning the doctrine of God, his Saviour, and enjoying the respect of all who knew him. He died, generally regretted, June, 1848, aged 60 years.” This stone also covers the remains of “Eloner, the exemplary wife of the Catechist, who died in the Lord, May 7, 1840, aged 50.”

While the Mohawks always manifested a desire to learn the truth, as taught by Christians, there were some of the Six Nations who believed not, and steadfastly turned their backs upon the missionaries of the Cross. Among these stood prominent the Seneca chief Sagnoaha, or Red Jacket, one well known as an eloquent Sachem in all the Councils of his people. A Seneca council was held at Buffalo Creek, in May, 1811, when Red Jacket answered the desire of a missionary that they should become Christians, as follows:—​

“Brother!—​We listened to the talk you delivered to us from the council of black coats in New York. We have fully considered your talk, and the offers you have made us. We now return our answer, which we wish you also to understand. In making up our minds we have looked back to remember what has been done in our days, and what our fathers have told us was done in old times.

322“Brother!—​Great numbers of black coats have been among the Indians. With sweet voices and smiling faces, they offered to teach them the religion of the white people. Our brethren in the East listened to them. They turn from the religion of their fathers, and look up the religion of the white people. What good has it done? Are they more friendly, one to another, than we are? No, Brother! They are a divided people; we are united. They quarrel about religion; we live in love and friendship. Besides, they drink strong waters, and they have learned how to cheat and how to practice all the other vices of the white people, without imitating their virtues. Brother!—​If you wish us well, keep away; don’t disturb us. Brother!—​We do not worship the Great Spirit as the white people do, but we believe that the forms of worship are indifferent to the Great Spirit. It is the homage of sincere hearts that pleases him, and we worship him in that manner.” “Brother! For these reasons we cannot receive your offers. We have other things to do, and beg you will make your minds easy, without troubling us, lest our heads should be too much loaded, and by and by burst.” At another time, he is reported to have said to one conversing with him upon the subject of Christianity, that the Indians were not responsible for the death of Christ. “Brother,” said he “if you white people murdered the Saviour, make it up yourselves. We had nothing to do with it. If he had come among us, we should have treated him better.”



Contents—​Mississauga Indians—​Father Picquet’s opinion—​Remnant of a large tribe—​Their Land—​Sold to Government—​Rev. Wm. Case—​John Sunday—​A drunkard—​Peter Jones—​Baptising Indians—​At a camp-meeting—​Their department—​Extract from Playter—​William Beaver—​Conversions—​Jacob Peter—​Severe upon white Christians—​Their worship—​The Father of Canadian missions—​Scheme to teach Indians—​Grape Island—​Leasing islands—​The parties—​“Dated at Belleville”—​Constructing a village—​The lumber—​How obtained—​Encamping on Grape Island—​The method of instruction—​The number—​Agriculture—​Their singing—​School house—​The teacher—​Instructions of women—​Miss Barnes—​Property of Indians—​Cost of improvements—​A visit to Government—​Asking for land—​“Big Island”—​Other favors—​Peter Jacobs at New York—​Extracts from Playter—​Number of Indian converts, 1829—​River Credit Indians—​Indians removed to Alnwick.


We have learned that the French missionary, Father Picquet did not entertain a very high opinion, at least he professed not to, of the moral character of the Mississaugas, and their susceptibility to the influence of Christian religion. We will now see what was accomplished by the agency of the Rev. William Case. We refer to that branch at present called the Mississaugas of Alnwick, and formerly known as the Mississaugas of the Bay of Quinté. They were the remnant of the powerful tribe, which ceded a large tract in the Johnstown, Midland and Newcastle districts to the Government. This block contained 2,748,000 acres, and was surrendered in 1822, for an annuity of £642 10s.

In 1825 the Rev. William Case visited the Bay. Among the first to come under the influence of religion, from the preaching of the Methodists was John Sunday. The writer has conversed with many, who remember Sunday as a very filthy drunkard. Peter Jones and John Crane, Mohawks who had been converted to Methodism at the Grand River, visited Belleville. Peter Jones with simple eloquence, soon reached the hearts of the Mississaugas. The writer’s father has heard Peter Jones preach to them in Indian near the banks of the Moira, just by No. 1 school-house in Belleville. In the spring of 1826 Case baptized 22 Indian converts, while 50 more seemed under the influence of religion. In June, a camp-meeting was held in Adolphustown, the Mississaugas attended. Special accommodation was afforded them. Their arrival is thus graphically given by Playter, and it supplies an excellent idea of Indian character in connection with religion.

324A message came that the Mississauga fleet was in sight. A few repaired to the shore to welcome and conduct the Indians to the ground. The bark canoes contained men, women and children, with cooking utensils, blankets, guns, spears, provisions, and bark for covering their wigwams. The men took each a canoe reversed on his head, or the guns and spears; each squaw a bundle of blankets or bark. The men marched first, the women in the rear, and in file they moved to the encampment, headed by two preachers. The congregation seeing the Indians passing through the gate, and so equipped, was astonished. Reflecting on the former condition and the present state of these natives of the woods, gratitude and joy filled every bosom. God was praised for the salvation of the heathen. After the natives had laid down the burdens, they all silently prayed for the blessing of the Great Spirit, to the surprise and increased delight of the pious whites. The Indians next built their camp, in the oblong form, with poles, canoes, and bark. The adults numbered 41, of whom 28 had given evidence of a converted state, and the children were 17: in all 58. The natives had private meetings by themselves, and the whites by themselves; but in preaching time, the Indians sat on the right of the preaching stand. At the close of each sermon, William Beaver, an Indian exhorter, translated the main points for the Indians, the other Indian exhorters, Sunday, Moses, and Jacob Peter spoke to their people on different occasions. Beaver’s first exhortation was on Friday, and produced a great effect on the natives.

On Sunday Beaver spoke to his people with great fluency. Upon being asked what he had been saying, “I tell ‘em,” said he, “they must all turn away from sin; that the Great Spirit will give ‘em new eyes to see, new ears to hear good things; new heart to understand, and sing, and pray; all new! I tell ‘em squaws, they must wash ‘em blankets clean, must cook ‘em victuals clean, like white women; they must live in peace, worship God, and love one another. Then,” with a natural motion of the hand and arm, as if to level an uneven surface, he added, “The Good Spirit make the ground all smooth before you.”

“On Monday, the Lord’s supper was given to the Indians and the whites, of the Indians 21 were also baptized, with ten of their children. The whole number of the baptized in this tribe was now 43, 21 children. As yet these Indians knew but one hymn, “O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise,” and one tune. This hymn they sung, over and over, as if always new, and always good.”

325It has been the custom, of not alone the United States, but some in our midst, to regard the Indians as altogether degraded below the whites in intelligence, in natural honesty, and in appreciation of right and wrong. At the camp-meeting above referred to, there was a convert by name of Jacob Peter. He is described as “a sprightly youth of 18 years.” At some subsequent date during the same year, the Indians held a prayer-meeting at the village of Demorestville. Mr. Demorest being present with other white inhabitants, to witness the Indian’s devotion, requested Jacob to speak a little to them in English; which he thus did:

“You white people have the Gospel a great many years. You have the Bible too: suppose you read sometimes—​but you very wicked. Suppose some very good people: but great many wicked. You get drunk—​you tell lies—​you break the Sabbath.” Then pointing to his brethren, he added, “But these Indians, they hear the word only a little while—​they can’t read the Bible—​but they become good right away. They no more get drunk—​no more tell lies—​they keep the Sabbath day. To us Indians, seems very strange that you have missionary so many years, and you so many rogues yet. The Indians have missionary only a little while, and we all turn Christians.”

“The whites little expected so bold a reproof from a youth belonging to a race which is generally despised.”—​(Playter).

Camp-meetings were peculiarly calculated to impress the Indians with solemn thoughts. These children of the forest deemed the shade of trees a fit and true place in which to worship the true God, just as seemed to the first settlers who had for so long a time had their homes within the quiet glades. And no more inconsiderate step could have been taken than that pursued by Governor Maitland, who, at the instigation of others, forbade the converted Indians at the River Credit to attend camp-meetings. The conversion of the Mississaugas at Belleville, and the Credit, soon became known to the other branches of the tribe scattered throughout Canada, and in time the whole nation was under the influence of Methodist teaching. Their change of life was as well marked as it has been lasting.

The Rev. William Case, “The father of Canadian Missions,” determined to permanently settle the tribe, to teach them the quiet pursuits of agriculture, and their children the rudiments of education, as well as of Christian knowledge. To this end the plan was adopted, of leasing two islands, situated in Big Bay, which 326belonged to the tribe, and establish thereupon the converted Indians. The parties to whom the tribe granted the lease for 999 years, for the nominal sum of five shillings, were “John Reynolds, Benjamin Ketcheson, Penuel G. Selden, James Bickford, and William Ross.” The Chiefs, Warriors, and Indians conferring the lease, and who signed the indenture, were “John Sunday, William Beaver, John Simpson, Nelson Snake, Mitchell Snake, Jacob Musguashcum, Joseph Skunk, Paul Yawaseeng, Jacob Nawgnashcum, John Salt, Isaac Skunk, William Ross, Patto Skunk, Jacob Sheepegang, James Snake.” It was “signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of Tobias Bleaker, and Peter Jones.” Dated Belleville, 16th October, 1826. The islands thus leased were Huff’s Island, then known as “Logrim’s,” containing about fifty acres, and Grape Island with eleven acres.

Steps were promptly taken to carry out the object aimed at by the projectors, and arrangements were made to construct a village upon Grape Island. The lumber for the buildings was obtained by cutting hemlock saw logs upon the rear part of Tyendinaga, by the river Moira, under the direction of Surveyor Emerson, which were floated down to Jonas Canniff’s saw mill, and there sawed into suitable pieces. These were again floated down in small rafts to the island. During the ensuing winter, the buildings not being as yet erected, a large number encamped upon Grape Island, while the rest went hunting, as usual. Instructions commenced immediately. Preachers visited them from time to time, and two interpreters. William Beaver and Jacob Peter taught them the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments. In January the hunting party returned, and “a meeting, lasting several days, was held in the chapel in Belleville, to instruct them also.” “The tribe mustered about 130 souls, and the Society embraced every adult, about ninety persons.”

A branch of the tribe living in the rear of Kingston, forty in number, came in May, the following Spring, and joined those at the island, and became converts. In this month the buildings were commenced, and some land ploughed and planted. The condition of the people was every day improving. As many as 130 would assemble for worship. Their voices were melodious, and delightful was the singing. A school and meeting-house was built in July, 30 feet by 25 feet. William Smith was the first school-teacher, having thirty scholars in the day school, and fifty in the Sabbath school. The farming operations were under the superintendence 327of R. Phelps. The girls and women were instructed in knitting, sewing, making straw hats, and other work, by Miss E. Barnes.

“The public property of the Indians comprised a yoke of oxen, three cows, a set of farming tools, and material for houses, as lumber, nails and glass,—​contributions of the benevolent. The improvements of the year were expected to cost £250, to be met by benevolence in the United States and Canada. In October, the meeting-house was seated, in connection with which was a room provided for a study and bed for the teacher. The bodies of eleven log houses were put up; eight had shingled roofs, and they were enclosed before winter.”—​(Playter).

Soon after, a deputation from Grape Island visited York, with a deputation from Rice Lake, and the Credit Indians, to seek an audience with the Government. A council was held with the Government officers on the 30th January, 1828. The speeches were interpreted by Peter Jones. John Sunday, after referring to their conversion, and having settled by the Bay Quinté, said, “that when they considered the future welfare of their children, they found that the island they claimed would not afford them sufficient wood and pasture for any length of time, and that they had now come to ask their great father, the governor, for a piece of land lying near them.” “He then proceeded to ask the Government in what situation Big Island was considered; whether or not it belonged to the Indians? and, if it did, they asked their father to make those who had settled on it without their consent, pay them a proper rent, as they had hitherto turned them off with two bushels of potatoes for 200 acres of land. In the last place, he asked permission of their great father to cut some timber on the King’s land for their buildings.”—​(Peter Jones).

In April of this year, Mr. Case, with John Sunday and Peter Jacobs, attended the anniversary of the Missionary Society in New York. The manifestation of Christianity displayed by these sons of the forest touched the hearts of the people present, and led to a considerable augmentation of the contributions previously supplied by private individuals. They visited other parts of the United States, and returned to the bay, May 12, “accompanied by two pious ladies, Miss Barnes, and Miss Hubbard.” “The ladies came with the benevolent design of assisting the Indians in religion, industry, and education.”

“In the tour Mr. Case received many presents of useful articles for the Indians; and among the rest ticking for straw beds. This 328was divided among twenty families, and made the first beds they ever slept upon.” Among the conversions of this year, was an Indian woman, practising witchcraft, as the people believe, and a Roman Catholic.

The people were not only persevering in religious duties, but made progress in industry. Mr. Case collected the Indians together one evening, to show what they had manufactured in two weeks. They exhibited 172 axe handles, 6 scoop shovels, 57 ladles, 4 trays, 44 broom-handles, 415 brooms. “The Indians were highly commended for their industry, and some rewards were bestowed to stimulate greater diligence.”—​(Playter).

According to the Annual Report of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States, there were “two hundred and twenty natives under the Christian instruction of one missionary, one hundred and twenty of whom are regular communicants, and fifty children are taught in the schools.” Lorenzo Dow visited Grape Island, and writing July 29, 1829, says, “viewing the neatness and uniformity of the village—​the conduct of the children even in the streets—​and not a drunkard to be found in their borders. Surely what a lesson for the whites!”

The other communities of the Mississaugas that came under the religious teaching of the Methodists are the River Credit Indians, the Rice Lake Indians, and those at Schoogog, Simcoe, and the Thames River.

When the Indians from the Bay Quinté, and from Kingston, left Grape Island, they removed to Alnwick. A Report on Indian Affairs, of 1858, says, “they have now a block of land of 2000 acres divided into 25 acre farms.”




Contents—​Education among the Loyalists—​Effect of the War—​No opportunity for Education—​A few Educated—​At Bath—​A common belief—​What was requisite for farming—​Learning at home—​The School Teachers—​Their qualifications—​Rev. Mr. Stuart as a Teacher—​Academy at Kingston—​First Canadian D.D.—​Mr. Clark, Teacher, 1786—​Donevan—​Garrison Schools—​Cockerell—​Myers—​Blaney—​Michael—​Atkins—​Kingston, 1795—​Lyons—​Mrs. Cranahan—​In Adolphustown—​Morden—​Faulkiner—​The School Books—​Evening Schools—​McDougall—​O’Reiley—​McCormick—​Flogging—​Salisbury—​James—​Potter—​Wright—​Watkins—​Gibson—​Smith—​Whelan—​Articles of Agreement—​Recollections—​Boarding round—​American Teachers—​School Books—​The Letter Z.


The majority of the refugees possessed but limited education. There were a very small number whose education was even excellent; but the greater portion of Loyalists from the revolting Colonies, had not enjoyed opportunities for even a common education. The state of society, for many years, precluded the teaching of youth. During the civil war, the chances for learning had been exceedingly slender. Apart from this, there did not exist, a hundred years ago, the same desire to acquire learning which now prevails. The disbanded soldiers and refugees, even some of the half-pay officers, were void of education, which, even in the back woods, is a source of pure enjoyment. There was, however, an English seminary at Quebec, and at Montreal, at which a few were educated during the war; for instance, Clark, who was a naval store-keeper at Carleton Island, had his children there at school. At the village of Kingston, there were a certain number of educated persons; but around the Bay there was not much to boast of. As their habitations were sparse, it was difficult for a sufficient number to unite to form good schools. Among the old, sturdy farmers, who themselves had no learning, and who had got along without much, if any learning, and had no books to read, there obtained a belief that it was not only unnecessary, but likely to have a bad effect upon 330the young, disqualifying them for the plain duties of husbandry. If one could read, sign his own name, and cast interest, it was looked upon as quite sufficient for a farmer. But gradually there sprung up an increased desire to acquire education, and a willingness to supply the means therefor. In most places, the children were gladly sent to school. And, moreover, in some cases, elder persons, without learning, married to one possessed of it, would spend their long winter evenings in learning from a willing partner, by the flickering fire light. Says Ex-Sheriff Ruttan, then living at Adolphustown, “As there were no schools at that period, what knowledge I acquired was from my mother, who would, of an evening, relate events of the American rebellion, and the happy lives people once led under British laws and protection previous to the outbreak.” “In a few years, as the neighborhood improved, school teaching was introduced by a few individuals, whose individual infirmities prevented them from hard manual labor.” We find it stated that the first school teachers were discharged soldiers, and generally Irish.

The Rev. John Stuart, subsequently. D.D., (See first clergyman) was the first teacher in Upper Canada. So early as 1785, the year he settled at Cataraqui, as he called the place, he says, in a letter written to an old friend in the States, “The greatest inconvenience I feel here, is there being no school for our boys; but, we are now applying to the Legislature for assistance to erect an academy and have reason to expect success; If I succeed in this, I shall die here contented.” “In May, 1786, he opened an academy at Kingston;” writing in 1788, he remarks, “I have an excellent school for my children,” that is the children of Kingston.—​(Memoirs of Dr. Stuart). The degree of D.D., which was conferred upon Mr. Stuart, in 1799, by his Alma Mater, at the University of Pennsylvania, was the first University degree of any kind conferred upon a Canadian, probably to any one of the present Dominion of Canada.

While the Rev. Mr. Stuart was engaged with the first school in Kingston, Mr. Clarke was likewise employed in teaching upon the shores of the Bay, probably in Ernesttown or Fredericksburgh. “We learn from Major Clark, now residing in Edwardsburgh, that his father taught the first regular school in Dundas. He arrived with his family in Montreal, in the year 1786, and proceeded to the Bay Quinté. He remained two years at the Bay, employed in teaching. In 1788, he came to Matilda, at the instance of Captain Frazer, who, at his own expense, purchased a farm for him, at the 331cost of one hundred dollars. A few of the neighbors assisted in the erection of a school house, in which Mr. Clark taught for several years. He was a native of Perthshire, Scotland.”—​(History of Dundas).

One of the first teachers at Kingston, was one Donevan.

As a general thing, all the British garrisons had, what was called, a garrison school, and many of the children at first derived the rudiments of education from these; that is, those living convenient to the forts. The teachers of these army schools, no doubt, were of questionable fitness, probably possessing but a minimum of knowledge, next to actual ignorance. However, there may have been exceptions. Possibly, where a chaplain was attached to a garrison, he taught, or superintended.

Col. Clark, of Dalhousie, says, “The first rudiments of my humble education I acquired at the garrison school, at Old Fort, Niagara. When we came to the British side of the river, I went to various schools. The best among them was a Richard Cockerell, an Englishman, from the United States, who left the country during the rebellion.” He also speaks of D’Anovan of Kingston, as a teacher, and likewise Myers, Blaney, Mr. Michael, Irish, and another, a Scotchman. This was before 1800.

A memorandum by Robert Clark, of Napanee, says, “My boys commenced going to school to Mr. Daniel Allen Atkins, 18th January, 1791.”

Rochefoucault says, in 1795, speaking of Kingston, “In this district are some schools, but they are few in number. The children are instructed in reading and writing, and pay each a dollar a month. One of the masters, superior to the rest, in point of knowledge, taught Latin; but he has left the school, without being succeeded by another instructor of the same learning.”

“In the year 1788, a pious young man, called Lyons, an exhorter in the Methodist Episcopal Church, came to Canada, and engaged in teaching a school in Adolphustown,” “upon Hay Bay or fourth concession.”—​(Playter.) Ex-Sheriff Ruttan tells us, that “At seven years of age, (1799), he was one of those who patronized Mrs. Cranahan, who opened a Sylvan Seminary for the young idea, (in Adolphustown); from thence, I went to Jonathan Clark’s, and then tried Thomas Morden, lastly William Faulkiner, a relative of the Hagermans. You may suppose that these graduations to Parnassus, was carried into effect, because a large amount of knowledge could be obtained. Not so; for Dilworth’s Spelling Book, and the 332New Testament, were the only books possessed by these academies. About five miles distant, was another teacher, whose name I forget; after his day’s work was done in the bush, but particularly in the winter, he was ready to receive his pupils. This evening school was for those in search of knowledge. My two elder brothers availed themselves of this opportunity, and always went on snow shoes, which they deposited at the door.” It looks very much as if courting may have been intimately associated with these nightly researches for knowledge. Mr. Ruttan adds, “And exciting occasions sometimes happened by moonlight, when the girls joined the cavalcade.” At this school as well, the only books were Dilworth, and the Testament; unless it were the girl’s “looks.” “Those primeval days I remember with great pleasure.” “At fourteen, (1806), my education was finished.” We learn that at an early period there was one McDougall, who taught school in a log house upon the south shore of Hay Bay. Says Mr. Henry VanDusen, one of the first natives of Upper Canada, “The first who exercised the prerogative of the school room in Adolphustown were the two sons of Edward O’Reily, and McCormick, both of whom are well remembered by all who were favored with their instruction—​from the unmerciful floggings received.”

About the year 1803, one Salisbury taught school on the High Shore, Sophiasburgh. The first teacher upon the Marsh Front, near Grassy Point, was John James. At the mouth of Myers’ Creek, in 1807 or 8, James Potter taught school; but, prior to that, a man by the name of Leslie taught. About this time, there was also a Rev. Mr. Wright, a Presbyterian, who taught school near Mrs. Simpson’s. He preached occasionally. In 1810, in a little frame school house, near the present market, (Belleville,) taught one John Watkins. One of the first school masters up the Moira, fifth concession of Thurlow, was one Gibson. Mrs. Perry, born in Ernesttown, remembers her first, and her principal school-teacher. His name was Smith, and he taught in the second concession of Ernesttown in 1806. He had a large school, the children coming from all the neighborhood, including the best families.

During the war of 1812, Mr. Whelan taught at Kingston, in the public school. The school house stood near the block house. It is stated, January, 1817, that he had been a teacher for ten years.

Before us, is a document, dated at Hollowell, Oct. 28, 1819. It is—​“Articles of agreement between R—​—​ L—​—​, of the one part, and we, the undersigned, of the other part: that is to say: 333that R—​—​ L—​—​ doth engage to keep a regular school, for the term of seven months from the first day of November next, at the rate of two pounds ten shillings per month; and he further doth agree to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic; to keep regular hours, keep good order in school, as far as his abilities will allow, see that the children go orderly from school to their respective homes. And we, the undersigned, doth agree to pay R—​—​ L—​—​ the sum above named of ten dollars per month for the time above mentioned; and further, doth agree to find a comfortable house for the school, and supply the same with wood fitted for the fire. And further, to wash, mend, lodge, and victual him for the time of keeping said school. School to be under charge and inspection of the following trustees: William Clark, Peter Leavens, and Daniel Leavens.”

To which is subjoined, quaintly, in Mr. L.’s hand writing:

“It is to be understood that the said R—​—​ L—​—​ has performed his business rightly till he is discharged,—​(Signed)      R—​—​ L—​—​.”

Below are the names of the subscribers, and the number of scholars each will send.

The practice already referred to, of setting apart for school teachers such members of the family as were physically incapable of doing hard manual labor, without any regard to their natural or acquired capabilities, was of Yankee origin, and continued in many places for many years. The writer had, among his early teachers, one who boarded round from family to family, whose sole qualification to teach consisted in his lameness. This prostitution of a noble calling, had the effect of preventing men of education for a long time, from engaging in the duties of this profession.

In different places, young men would engage for three or four months, in winter, to teach school; but, with the return of spring, they would return to the labor of the field and woods. After a while, young women could be found who would teach in the concession school house all the summer, to which the younger children would go.

Some of the first school teachers were from the old country, and some from the American States. The latter would naturally desire to have used American school books, and, as they were the most conveniently procured, they were introduced, and continued to be in use for many years. At least, by some schools, Dr. Noah Webster’s spelling book was among the first to be used; and the writer commenced his rudimentary education in that book. It followed, 334from the presence of American teachers and school books, that peculiarities of American spelling and pronunciation were taught to the children of Canada. For instance, take the letter Z. This letter of the English alphabet is, according to original authority pronounced zed; but Webster taught that it had not a compound sound, and should be pronounced ze. This matter was brought before the public, by a letter over the signature of “Harris,” which appeared in the Kingston Herald, in 1846. After adducing abundance of authority, he concludes that “the instructor of youth, who, when engaged in teaching the elements of the English language, direct them to call that letter ze, instead of zed, are teaching them error.”


Contents—​Mr. Stuart’s school—​Simcoe—​State Church and College—​Grammar Schools—​Hon. R. Hamilton—​Chalmers—​Strachan—​Comes to Canada—​Educational history—​Arrival at Kingston—​The pupils—​Fees—​Removes to Cornwall—​Pupils follow—​Strachan, a Canadian—​Marries—​Interview with Bishop Strachan—​His disappointment—​A stranger—​What he forsook—​300 pupils—​Their success—​Stay at Cornwall—​Appointments at York—​A lecturer—​At Kingston—​Member of Legislative Council—​Politician—​Clergy Reserves—​Founds King’s College—​The thirty-nine articles—​Monopoly swept away—​Voluntaryism—​Founds Trinity College—​Bishop Strachan in 1866—​What he had accomplished—​Those he tutored—​Setting up a high standard—​“Reckoner”—​Sincerity—​Legislation, 1797—​Address to the King—​Grammar Schools—​Grant, 1798—​Board of Education—​Endowment Of King’s College—​Its constitution—​Changes—​Upper Canada College—​Endowment—​“A spirit of improvement”—​Gourlay—​The second academy—​At Ernesttown—​The trustees—​Bidwell—​Charges—​Contradicted—​Rival school—​Bidwell’s son—​Conspicuous character—​Bidwell’s death—​Son removes to Toronto—​Academy building, a barrack—​Literary spirit of Bath—​Never revived—​York.


Up to the time that Upper Canada was set apart from the Province of Quebec, as a distinct Province, and even until 1799, when Dr. Strachan came to Kingston, the Rev. Mr. Stuart continued to be the only teacher who imparted anything like a solid education. But his scholars consisted mainly of boys not far advanced. No doubt many of them, however, received from him the elements of a sound, and even classical education.