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I. Canadian History as a Subject of Research. CLARANCE M. WARNER 5 

II. The Ridgeway Semi-Centennial. JUSTUS A. GRIFFIN 18 

III. Robert (Fleming) Gourlay ; Reminiscenses of his last days in Canada. 


IV. Military Register of Baptisms for the Station of Fort George, Upper 

Canada, 1821 to 1827 - 35 

V. The Last of the La Guayarians (Wellington County, Ont.) The late 

C. C. JAMES, C.M.G., LL.D. 40 

VI. President's Address, June 6th, 1917. PROF. JOHN SQUAIR - - - - 44 



By Clarance M. Warner, President, Ont. Hist. Society (1914-1916). 

The President's Address, June 7 ( , 1916. 

''And I, too, must frankly confess that I have great pleasure in 
pondering over and musing upon the scenes of bygone days, and in 
thinking over again the hardships and struggles of pioneer life. . . . The 
man of seventy, who has either lived in Canada or the United States all 
his lifetime, will have witnessed greater changes and more material im- 
provement than has probably taken place in Europe for a thousand 
years anterior to his time." This quotation taken from the introduc- 
tion in a book written by Joseph Gould, which gives a most entertain- 
ing story 01 his life and times, expresses a feeling which it has been 
my privilege to hear expressed by a great many men in Ontario, men 
who have lived the allotted three score years and ten and men who have 
been proud of the advancement which this fair land has made during 
their comparatively short lives. Perhaps this fact more than any other 
made me decide to attempt to write an address which may, in some small 
way, express the pleasure which a student of, and a worker in, Canadian 
History has for his reward. Perchance these remarks may fall upon 
fertile ground and be the means of interesting some of the younger men 
and women of the Province in the work, thereby wonderfully increasing 
their pleasures and at the same time adding materially to the collection 
and preservation of our records. 

One of the most difficult things is to convince the general public that 
history, particularly the history of America, is anything but a dry sub- 
ject. The greatest cause of this misapprehension is that very, very few 
of the people understand that they are really making history themselves 
and that the history of their period in this world is but a record of 
what they do. One of our modern writers has put much common-sense 
in this sentence: "History is not to be written as a Sunday School tale 
for children of larger growth." Perhaps Wordsworth in his "Conven- 
tion of Cintra" has given us the most concise and easily understood 
definition of what should go to make a history of any country: "The 
history of all ages ; tumults after tumults, wars, foreign and civil, with 
short or no breathing spaces, from generation to generation; wars why 
and wherefore? yet with courage, with perseverence, with self-sacrifice, 
with enthusiasm. . . . The visible and familiar occurrence of daily life in 
every town and village ; the patient curiosity and contagious acclama- 
tions of the multitude in the streets of the city and within the walls of 


the theatre; a procession, or a rural dance; a hunting, or a horse race; 
a flood, or a fire; rejoicing and ringing of bells for an unexpected gift 
of good fortune, or the coming of a foolish heir to his estate." 

Of course the methods adopted in writing history have much to do 
with the interest excited in the general public. We in Canada have been 
fortunate in having many writers who have recorded the facts as they 
found them or thought they found them, for there are unquestionable 
examples where myths have been manufactured to order, but these us- 
ually add to the interest of the tale and are not to be altogether con- 
demned. Some of our more serious historians may frown upon this 
theory, but it is my opinion that the historical pioneer has done more to 
preserve our records than those who have written with a truer sense of 
literary proportion; for the pioneer has used imagination, and thereby 
considerably enriched our field particularly on its controversial side. 


In the field of historical research here in Ontario, the investigator 
has opportunities which make it almost a study of our own times. The 
Travels of Champlain have been minutely recorded by that great ex- 
plorer and the French traders left many records of their flights through 
the Province. The records of the Indian tribes who first inhabited the 
country are not so perfect, but a fair idea of these strange peoples may 
be obtained from many sources. The fact that these records are incom- 
plete and that the investigator cannot secure a complete history only adds 
to the pleasure in pursuing the subject. Rev. John Maclean, in his en- 
tertaining volume, "Canadian Savage Folk," expresses this feeling in 
the preface in these words: "Hidden in the memories of the Red Men 
of Canada, there lie weird legends and strange stories of bygone years. 
Pictures and poems wrought by the fancy of the native historians and 
medicine men, bring home to us the primitive civilization which still 
lingers at our doors. The customs of our savage folk and the wealth 
of their language and literature are interesting to us, as belonging to a 
people who were the pioneers of our land, and they open a new world o'f 
myth, religion and native culture." Some writers appear to think that 
the books which have been published concerning the Red Race are o'f 
doubtful scientific value, but this does not make them of less interest to 
the historian, and in addition to the Indian material there is usually to be 
found in them stories which give us vivid pictures of the men and wo- 
men who had to win the country for the white race. Many of these make 
us ashamed of the treatment the aborigines received, but this in itself is 
an important page in our history. 

After we leave the Indian and French periods in Ontario History 
we come to the settlement df the Province by the English, and it is here 
that we who have worked in the Local and Provincial Societies have 
found the greatest pleasure. The fact that the present generation and 
the one immediately preceding it have been privileged to hear stories 
told by the first settlers has contributed materially to the keen interest 


which has developed in the study of the life and times of the pioneers 
of Ontario. These stories, supplemented by hundreds of volumes which 
were written in the early days by men and women who had first-hand 
knowledge have made us feel that we were indeed fortunate. Some of 
these books furnish amusing instances of prophecy, others show great 
imagination on the part of fhe authors, still others confuse us by their 
direct contradictions oif facts which we have proven by original docu- 
ments, though not a few show calm, clear judgment and undoubtedly 
record what actually happened. 

The War of 1812 provided a great field for the partizan writer. 
Probably no single event in our history has been so profusely written 
about, and certainly a stranger reading the early accounts of that war 
written by English, Scotch, Americans and Canadians would never 
dream that the same events were being described. Two examples will 
suffice to illustrate. A certain John Lewis Thomson wrote a history of 
the war published in Philadelphia which does not admit that there were 
many British or Canadian successes of note, yet he says in his preface, 
''The author cannot conclude this preface without assuring his readers, 
that no efforts have been neglected to ascertain the principal facts con- 
nected with the events of the war. Persevering as he has been, however, 
he fears that some omissions have been made, or that some mis-state- 
ments may have crept into the work . . . . " Another Thompson, this time 
David T., wrote a history of the same war, but he was giving the Can- 
adian viewpoint. Of course we think that he told the truth, and nothing 
but the truth. However, an American might quite properly take ex- 
ception to many of his statements. In his preface he says, "As regards 
talent in the execution of this work, the writer would beg leave to say, 
that to such he disclaims all pretensions. The humble sphere in which he 
has moved did not probably afford any of those bright and flowery aven- 
ues to the temple of literature to which many more fortunate individuals 
have had access; his primary aim, through the whole, has been the ac- 
quisition of truth to lay before his readers " Thus we see that each of 

these men thought he was giving the world an impartial history. There 
are numerous similar examples, while the work done by many of the 
Americans leaves much to the imagination. True, they were not united 
in the conflict and, when reading a book like "The Adventures of Uncle 
Sam in Search After His Lost Honor," one appreciates the bitterness 
which the New Englander felt for Madison and his following. Perhaps 
no single volume displays such a strong American bias in recording the 
events of this war as "The Pride of Britannia Humbled; or, the Queen 
of the Ocean Un queened, 'by the American Cock Boats' ", which was 
written by one William Cobbett. 

English travellers through Canada have handed down many inter- 
esting works telling of their adventures and what they saw of the coun- 
try. The early geographers add something to our information, but it is 
surprising that more is not told by them. I have come to the conclusion 
that few of them thought Ontario worthy of attention. George Alex- 
ander Cook, in his rather pretentious work published in 1807, did say 


that "The great river St Lawrence is that only upon which the French 
(now subjects of Great Britain) have settled of any note ; but if we look 
forward into futurity, it is not improbable that Canada, and those vast 
regions to the west, will be enabled of themselves to carry on a consid- 
erable trade upon the great lakes of fresh water which these countries 
environ/ 7 And the same gentleman, an Englishman, gave us a map 
which shows that the boundary dispute as settled by the Ashburton 
treaty was, after all, a victory for Canada. 

Between the war of 1812 and the next event which claims special 
attention in our history the struggle for Responsible Government in 
Ontario there were many years of important development. Stories of 
the first settlements of the various Counties, the surveys of most of the 
country that is now occupied, the starting of the villages, towns and 
cities, building of roads and the stories of the backwoodsmen make most 
interesting reading, and in this field we are usually able to prove our 
statements by the actual documents of the period. There is much re- 
corded about men like Col. Talbot, who were leaders in their respective 
districts, and in almost every locality we find one or more outstanding 
figures who seemed to be looked up to by the rest of the people. A 
great opportunity is open for some writer to give us a book on the 
Country Squire. There was one in almost every village in the Province. 

After 1833, our history becomes controversial. Many of the events 
of these years, when clear, calm judgment was absent on the part of the 
people in control of the affairs of State and of those in Opposition, are 
today given us in books, pamphlets, newspapers and other documents, 
and some day the unbiased story will probably be told. The man who 
can find the happy medium and eliminate his personal feelings on the 
subject has yet to appear. But that is one special reason why our Soc- 
ieties should continue in their work. Some have said that all of the ma- 
terial is already preserved. That is a great mistake. In my own work 
I have quite recently discovered two important letters written by 
Marshall Spring Bidwell. In one he declines to return to Ontario to ac- 
cept a nomination from his old constituents for the Ontario House and 
in the other, written 1838, he says, "I have left Upper Canada forever, 
at the request of Sir Francis Head, to whom I have given a written 
pledge not to return. I was not implicated in the recent revolutionary 
movement; but was an object of suspicion on account of my political 
opinions and supposed influence." By such new discoveries we see that 
all the material is not safely deposited, and we should make efforts to 
have every existing record secured for future generations. Those were 
stormy days, but in the end matters seemed to adjust themselves as 
the people wished, and before very long the question of Confederation 
occupied the scene. We can usually trust the people in important mat- 
ters. As one of our early newspaper men expressed it in an able ad- 
dress delivered in 1844, ''The people send their Representative to Parlia- 
ment, and, met on that stormy arena, all soon find their level; the man of 
talent, the orator, and the man of energy rise in the scale of public es- 
timation, and having gained the confidence of his fellow Representatives, 
he is selected for the high honor of being Advisor of the Crown." 


Much more might be said of the pleasures in store for the one who is 
doing research work in our history. It is a wonderful chapter, the 
rush of energy which has found a country, settled it, and built up a 
structure on an economic basis in a little over a hundred years. We 
should be proud of the privilege of helping to preserve this record. 
Some one has said that "History is past politics and Politics are pres- 
ent History." In work of this kind it is not always necessary to give 
the viewpoint of the trained historian to make the results valuable. The 
dabbler in history, the one who writes an historical monograph, may be 
the means of digging up material that would otherwise be lost. 


In the collection of Canadiana one finds another most delightful 
hobby associated with the study of his Country's history; and while 
this particular branch of the work may prove to be somewhat expensive 
at times, there is always the satisfaction of knowing that after you have 
finished with the books, they will be of invaluable aid to others. It is 
somewhat of a shock to the uninitiated to discover what a tremendous 
number of books there are in existence which relate to affairs in Canada. 
*0ne starts out with a very small beginning, and before many years 
have passed he finds that more room is required in the house to store 
the books he has collected. What pleasure is experienced with each new 
"find" can safely be left to the imagination, and when some particular- 
ly rare volume is picked up at a bargain it provides a pleasure which 
has to be experienced to be appreciated. The whole subject grows on 
you so rapidly that you soon find yourself consulting Phileas Gagnon or 
some other reliable authority to discover how near you are to having a 
real library. 

For the collector of pamphlets the field in Ontario is particularly 
rich. In this the local worker has a great advantage, for he can frequent- 
ly secure a pamphlet printed in his home town which has been missed 
by others employed in a similar search. True, it is difficult to find any- 
thing that has escaped the eyes of our present Dominion Archivist or his 
predecessor, but there are many rare works which even those indefatig- 
able workers have missed. And what a pleasure it is to read some of 
these strange essays- Those dealing with the 'troubles over the Family 
Compact and Responsible Government have for me the greatest interest. 
The statements of one side followed by equally strong opinions on the 
other must have caused much bitterness when they appeared, but they 
afford an insight into the conditions at that period as nothing else 
could. Some one has said that "the great historian of the future will 
have easy access to innumerable facts patiently gathered by tens of 
thousands of investigators." 'Surely he will have difficulty in separat- 
ing the wheat from the chaff as found in our Ontario pamphlets. 

At the present time the collection of magazine articles has added 
materially to the work. In these, one is apt to find a more even literary 


standard because an historical article which has been accepted by an 
editor must have some merit besides its story of an historical event. 
One of the ex-presidents of the American Historical Association has 
said that "the historical work which does possess literary quality may 
be a permanent contribution .to the sum of man's wisdom, enjoyment 
and inspiration." Perhaps that is the reason for the ever increasing 
demand for material which has passed the Editor's censor, for historical 
Reviews which aim at and reach a very high plane in literary finish, 
and for a specially high standard in reviewers of works on history. 

I should overlook an important detail in the matter of collecting 
were I to fail to mention the second-hand bookdealer. Could one imagine 
a more interesting character than this man who hates to part with his 
wares yet wants you to have them because he knows that they will help 
to complete your collection and that you appreciate their value. He 
usually saves a few particularly valuable items until such time as you 
should drop into his store. And his prices well, be it to his credit 
that you can seldom beat him jlown. He knows that you like him, 
partly for his personality, sometimes for the treasures with which he is 
surrounded, but mostly because he is catering to your favorite hobby 
the hobby which gives you your greatest pleasure. Even though you 
have never been in his shop or met him, the receipt and perusal of his 
periodical catalogues give a pleasant feeling of congeniality. The man 
to be successful in this business must combine other qualifications with 
shrewd business instinct. "We shall agree that Toronto has been favored 
in her men who have and are upholding the traditions of ' ' The Little Old 


Beading what others have written on a subject in which one is par- 
ticularly interested is a great source of joy to the historical worker. 
When Thomas Conant wrote the closing sentence for his "Upper Canada 
Sketches," he saw fit to use these words: "May I also indulge the hope 
that they have given some pleasure and profit in the reading, and add 
that it is my earnest desire may it also be yours that our Country, 
which we all love, may be guarded and led by the great Omniscient in 
the future as it has been in the past." The idea that pleasure as well 
as profit may be obtained from reading our books on Ontario's his- 
tory should be borne in mind. 

Possibly Champlain did not look so far ahead when he gave the 
world his story, yet one cannot but feel that he realized how some day, 
when the great new country was settled by the white race, its people 
would appreciate his efforts. We know that Francis Parkman wrote 
with a fixed idea, and we also know that he wrote under great dif- 
ficulties. His health and failing sight precluded steady application to 
his work for long at a time, and often he was unable to read or write 
for more than five minutes continuously. Notwithstanding these al- 


most insurmountable barriers, his works were usually written from per- 
sonal knowledge. One authority has said that Parkman 's works are 
''devoid of proportion" and that he "left behind a succession of his- 
torical monographs," but he also adds that they are the "most indi- 
vidual, tasting most racily of the soil." A quotation from his auto- 
biographical notes gives us an insight into his feeling for his subject. 
He says, in speaking of the Old French War, "that is, the war that 
ended in the conquest of Canada for here, as it seemed to me, the forest 
drama was mre stirring and the forest stage more thronged with 
appropriate actors than at any other passage in our history. My theme 
fascinated me, and I was haunted with wilderness images day and 
night." It is my opinion that no other single writer has done more to 
make our history an interesting study than Francis Parkman. Were 
his works placed in every school of this Province and made easy of access 
particularly should they be read to the primary school children I be- 
lieve it would make hundreds of our boys and girls search for further 
information on these subjects. They would soon appreciate the romance 
in the history of their own country. 

Contemporaneous with Parkman, and even before his day, there were 
a great many who wrote of our Province in an interesting but narrow 
way. "The historian is exposed to the danger of dealing with the 
complex and interacting social forces of a period or of a country, from 
some single point of view to which his special training or interest in- 
clines him," says one writer, and we have many such examples to study. 
Properly to understand this author's meaning one should read a number 
of books which deal with special topics. "The Scot in British North 
America," by Rattray, "Irishmen in Canada," by Davin, "History of 
Methodism in Canada," by Playter and "History of the Presbyterian 
Church in Canada," by Gregg, are random suggestions. Still other 
books give amusement by many of their interesting observations. Mrs 
Susanna Moodie, who published a volume of poems in 1831, wrote her 
"Roughing it in the Bush" feeling none too kindly toward her adopted 
country. 'Still that work has very recently been republished in a new 
form and the Canadian reviewers, almost without exception have treat- 
ed it favorably. Two of her comments will suffice to show the general 
character of the book: "They talked of log houses to be raised in a 
single day, by the generous exertions of friends and neighbors, but 
they never ventured upon a picture of the disgusting scenes of riot and 
low debauching exhibited during the raising, or upon a description of 
the dwelling when raised dens of dirt and misery, which would, in 
many instances, be shamed by an English pig-sty." Again she says, 
'Excellent cider and ale are made in both provinces; and whiskey, 
generally of the most abominably deleterious kind, is distilled in great 
quantities in Upper Canada, often from rye, pumpkins, potatoes, tur- 
nips, and even rotten apples." Mrs. Jameson, in "Sketches of Canada," 
gives the following interesting description of our Capital when she spent 
some time there during the period of the Rebellion of 1837, "What Tor- 
onto may be in summer, I cannot tell ; they say it is a pretty place. At 
present its appearance to me, a stranger, is most strangely mean and 


melancholy. A little ill-built town, on low land, at the bottom of a 
frozen bay, with one very ugly church, without tower or steeple; some 
government offices, built of staring red brick, in the most tasteless vulgar 
style imaginable; three feet of snow all around; and the grey sullen 
wintry lake, and the dark gloom of the pine forest bounding the pros- 
pect; such seems Toronto to me now. I did not expect much; but for 
this I was not prepared." Those who think that Mrs. Jameson should 
have been less brutally frank will feel more kindly toward her when 
they read of her visit to Colonel Talbot. Her description of the old 
Colonel, his home and his country should be read by every boy and girl 
in Canada. 

These books by outside writers form a distinct and valuable div- 
ision of our descriptive literature. Every tourist who could write any- 
thing has left us a description of the Falls of Niagara. A collection of 
these pictures of the great cataract in one volume would be interesting 
to read. 

Many books have appeared which give us great delight. The first 
is far too long to attempt to mention any of them, but we should be 
very thankful that men like Canniff, Dent, Kingsford, Stone, Ryerson, 
LeMoine and a host of others devoted much time to writing. Then there 
are the men and women who are writing at the present day. "The 
Chronicles of Canada" will serve to show r to what high standard we have 
been elevated and that "Company of One Hundred Associates" with 
a few others make a most formidable array. Is it too much to say that 
the Ontario Historical and its affiliated Societies have done much to 
encourage many of these men in the pursuit of their hobby? The first 
sentence in the introduction to the first volume of "Papers and Records" 
published by our Society, and printed in 1899, reads as follows: "The 
Ontario Historical Society presents to its members the first volume of 
what it is hoped will be a long list of valuable papers and records." 
Since that time. much has been written and the series of books wMch we 
started in 1899 now numbers thirteen. Most of our writers are repre- 
sented in these books by one or more, articles. 


In criticism, favorable and unfavorable, there is much to delight the 
historical worker. When he feels competent to enter the field, whether 
or not he gives his opinions to the public, .he has the keen satisfaction of 
knowing whether his views are entertained by others, for there have al- 
ways been many who enjoy commenting upon the work of others. In the 
olden times the historian was subject to many attacks which, although 
possibly merited, would hardly be made at the present time. Horace 
Walpole said a century and a half ago, "So incompetent has the gener- 
ality of historians been for the province they have undertaken, that it is 
almost a question, whether, if the dead of past ages could revive, they 


would be able to reconnoitre the events of their own times, as transmit- 
ted to us by ignorance and misrepresentation." Another more recent 
critic says that "Writers have been known to inject modern ethical 
theories into the judgment of men and things of bygone times." 

Our present day critics have eliminated the bitterness which was 
frequently displayed in former times. Many of my hearers will remem- 
ber a pamphlet written by Nicholas Flood Davin in 1882 with the ob- 
ject of showing that the Royal Society, so far as it was to act as an 
encouragement to literature, was a misplaced institution. Speaking of 
the appointment of Bourinot as ISecretary of the Society, he says, "I 
can conceive no greater insult to the intelligence of Canada than for one 
knowing the literary imbecility of Mr Bourinot, to appoint him Honorary 
Secretary to a ISociety which is meant to lead the van of literary pro- 
gress. ' ' 

Even the men who have worked for years in this department have 
changed their views upon the manner in which historical writing should 
be treated. One who has been privileged to go carefully through the 
various issues of '"The Review of Historical Publications Relating to 
Canada" will note a decided change in the attitude of the reviewers. 
In some of the more recent issues the tendency has been to treat weak 
efforts by new workers with great consideration. Thereby many have 
been encouraged and the popularization of history has been fostered. 
Dr. Wrong told us when reviewing Kingsford's "History of Canada" in 
18% that "Second-rate writers in all Countries are too blindly pat- 
riotic." The same criticism might properly be applied to many who 
are writing in Ontario to-day, but in some way we have come to accept 
it: and future generations will know that these men and women were 
close to the generation which they addressed and that, while the sense 
of literary proportion and form may be lacking, they have in reality 
been valuable historical writers. 

Of course there are many books written about Canada that are in- 
teresting to read, but of little value to the student. These are not as 
injurious as are books which are filled with mis-statements of facts. 
No excuse exists for the palpable errors that have been made in some of 
the recent volumes. An 'author might be excused for saying that "Wor- 
ship of wealth and envy of material success have almost no part in 
Canadian life," but the same writer cannot be excused when she says 
that "... the ultra-English Loyalists trekked in thosands across the 
boundary to what are now Montreal and Toronto and Cobourg." These 
remarks which appear in the beginning of a new book on Canada make 
one look with suspicion upon what follows. 

Adverse criticism has undoubtedly done much to correct errors in 
our work, to make writers more keen on their facts, to stimulate re- 
search before publishing, to encourage the younger writers and to elim- 
inate much that might otherwise have crept into our books, as a result 
of distorted imaginations. 



Association with those who have the same line of work probably gives 
as much pleasure as any of the many ways in which one is rewarded. Al- 
bert Bushnell Hart tells us that "The basis of history is human nature, 
and the expression of human nature is through history, whether scientific 
or literary or judicial or imaginative; and therefore history must in- 
clude the study of persons." While our distinguished authority prob- 
ably did not mean that rem'ark to be taken to apply to the study of a 
gathering of people assembled as are we, or to the study of the reasons 
for one's interest in those who are in kindred lines of work, yet it seems 
to me to be very apt at this stage of my subject. The benefit derived 
from the association of such people as the members of the Ontario His- 
torical Society is easily perceived. They are gathered together because, 
while their viewpoints may be different, their aims are similar. The 
Women's Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, in the preface to its 
first volume of "Transactions" published in 1901, used this paragraph 
to tell its aims: "This Society has for its object the encouragement of 
study of Canadian history and literature, the collection and preserva- 
tion of Canadian historical records and relics, the cultivation of a 
national spirit, and the building up of a Canadian loyalty and patriotism- ' ' 
If any of those who have followed the fortunes of our Society through 
the years which it has existed should be asked what has given them the 
greatest pleasure in these meetings, they would say the meeting of old 
friends and the making of new ones. The very fact that few if any of 
the members who have once begun to attend the meetings ever absent 
themselves unnecessarily is proof sufficient o'f their power to hold as 
well as to attract. Associations thus formed often ripen into strong 
personal friendships not only pleasant but profitable because of the in- 
terchange of ideas along the line of individual work. 

How much these personal friendships have influenced our workers 
is impossible to estimate. Emerson says that, "You shall make me feel 
what periods you have lived." Certainly whatever effect has been pro- 
duced has been for good. Frederick J. Turner, one of the past-presidents 
of the American Historical Association, has said, "Unquestionably each 
investigator and writer is influenced by the time in which he lives, and 
while this fact exposes the historian to a bias, at the same time it af- 
fords him new instruments and new insight for dealing with his sub- 
ject." To know and associate with those who have been workers in 
this and other like Societies has for me been one of the greatest 

It is not necessary to have the same view-point to feel the spell of 
meeting and mingling with men and women who receive pleasure in 
working at history. The Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, the 
oldest 'Society of the kind in 'Canada, in its first volume, published in 
18*29, started with these sentiments: "When the members of this young 
Society reflect upon the successful efforts made by similar Institutions 
in the Old World in the pursuit of knowledge, they feel, in regard to 
their own humble exertions, that there are different gradations in the 


scale of merit. They have, however, this gratifying recollection, that all 
additions to the sources of literary and scientific information are valu- 
able and meritorious. " 


What can exceed' the gratification of writing history? To see one's 
productions increasing year by year surely gives the keenest pleasure. 
My knowledge of the author's feelings when doing this line of work has 
been gained from association with many men who have given us good 
historical work. 

When a subject has been chosen, sometimes because the writer 
thinks he has discovered new material to give to the public, sometimes 
because he thinks what has already been written does not treat the 
question fairly and sometimes because it is an entirely new one, think 
of the pleasures that are in store for the author. He starts out, remem- 
bering that the public will demand the truth, and that told entertain- 
ingly, and searches every source he can discover for information. Doc- 
uments, letters, newspapers and books are carefully scanned, and in 
this work he is frequently thrown in contact with many who delight to 
give aid. One writer tells us that "In the field of historical research 
an immense amount can be done by men who have no literary power 
whatever." Should the writer we are following be new in the work, he 
will probably have occasion to thank this authority for his kindness in 
giving the sentiment to the public. Another authority tells us that "the 
greater portion of the history of any country has little value being but 
a record of small accomplishments, and that as among nations in his- 
tory as among men the commonplace is the rule but that whether ordin- 
ary or exceptional e'ach has its place." This makes the local writer 
feel that his work may be of some value. 

Possibly our writer has chosen to prepare a biography and has had 
long and happy acquaintance with his subject. He delights to give ex- 
pression to his thoughts and opinions ; and perhaps by a little well placed 
imagination kindles the interest of the reader in his subject. We have 
in Ontario examples of biographies in which the writer sympathized 
far too much and thereby spoiled his work; and we have examples in 
which the other extreme was followed. A striking example of the last 
mentioned class is the pamphlet on Dr Ryerson which was published in 
1868. This sentence quoted from it will give a fair idea of its flavor: 
"Those who have read the various productions of his (Ryerson's) pen, 
will bear me out in the remark that they evince rather the tact of one 
who is adroit at intrigue and wily in dispute, than the sentiments of an 
ingenious mind." Fortunately most of our biographers have been fair 
in their treatment of our great men, with the result that we have to our 
credit in this field a remarkable 'collection of books for so young a 

Macaulay said it was easy "to write history respectfully." Our 
Canadian writers have as a rule followed that method. When they have 


their material at hand they have usually revised it with care and had it 
published only when they thought it right. And whether produced by a 
man of letters with a due sense of literary proportion and form or by the 
historical pioneer who may have lacked a vigorous and elegant style it 
has generally been of value because it gave facts. 

After the book is published and is in the hands of the public the 
writer has new situations to face, some pleasing, others less so. If he 
feels as Dr. Hart thinks, he may be disappointed in the reception of his 
work. That distinguished teacher says that "Every historical student 
likes to look on his own work as a road-book which not only describes 
the bridges and the turns and the hills but tells you where you can 
put up for the night and how far it is to Borne." However this may be, 
certain it is that for Ontario historical writers the congratulatory mes- 
sages, both from reviewers and others, always outnumber the unfavor- 
able comments, and the writer is thereby spurred to further effort. To 
those who should not have been so kindly treated, if such there are, this 
old Proverb may be of some slight consolation: "He that is first in 
his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth 
him." j 

Even though our writer's, treatment by his publisher may not be 
encouraging and his pleasure somewhat dampened by the lack of finan- 
cial reward for his labors, his joy in the finished production is so great 
that the money consideration' is forgotten. 


In conclusion, I would say that the various routes to pleasure that 
are open for the worker in our local historical field are broad and have 
infinite possibilities, whether through research, collecting, reading what 
others have written, criticism, association with those who have the same 
ho,bby or through writing. He should reflect diligently upon the words 
of our old friend Nicholas Flood Davin who says in his book on "Irish- 
men in 0-anada ": "When the future historian of Canada sits down to 
write a story which, we may hope, will be illustrious with great achieve- 
ments and happy discoveries, triumphs in literature and art, in his 
library, side by side with lore it has not entered into the heart of man 
as yet to conceive, will be found records such as the historian of Greece, 
or Rome, or Ireland, or Scotland, or England, looks for in vain." And 
he should read carefully the last paragraph from the Introduction in 
the first volume published by our Society: "A large portion of this 
Province is now beyond the mere bread and butter conditions ; and, with 
an admirable school system, the time has come 'vhen our people may, with 
dignified leisure, recall the days of old, whi^e it is a duty, as well as a 
privilege, of the younger generations to study by-gone events in the 
light of the present day, and to lay the foundations of the future aided 
by the experiences of the past." 


This subject, of the pleasures we owe to the historical hobby, has 
been interesting to think of and study. Sometimes in looking for material 
the volumes consulted have been so fascinating that an evening has passed 
while the usable material has been but a single quotation. Many times 
I have felt like echoing the sentiments of our fellow member, Mr. H. F. 
Gardner, when he says in his preface to "Nothing But Names": 
"Should any reader of this book feel disposed to demand his money 
back, his outraged feelings may be mollified by the assurance that the 
book was not written with malice aforethought. Like Mrs. Stowe's 
Topsy, it never was born it grew." 

"When we look into the future we understand what every new re- 
cruit for the work means. We must aim to make the beginner's lot en- 
tertaining, and in a very short time he or she will be as enthusiastic as 
those of us who already delight in the work. When John M'Gregor 
wrote his book on British America in 1833, he must have had visions of 
this country's greatness in the twentieth century, so it will not be in- 
appropriate for me to close this paper of many quotations with one 
from his pen. At the present time it seems particularly fitting. "Men 
who can, with the minds of great statesmen, appreciate the present value 
of the British North American Colonies, will clearly anticipate, and justlv 
estimate, not only their future grandeur, but their importance in main 
taining the influence of England over the whole of the western world, 
and their consequence in preserving British power in Europe." 

June, 1916. 



By Justus A. Griffin. 

At this time, during the progress of the greatest war this world has 
ever known, it appears at first glance inappropriate to speak or write of 
a small engagement like that which was fought near Eidgeway. 

But things are not always what they seem. Trivial actions frequent- 
ly lead to important events, or prevent great evils. History has many an 
account telling how a small number has performed deeds that have had 
a deciding influence upon the course of events. 

In telling of the fiftieth anniversary of the battle of Ridgeway it 
appears fitting to say something of the antecedent circumstances which 
resulted in that fight. 

One result of the collapse of the Confederate States of America in 
April, 1865, and the discharge from military service of many hundreds 
of thousands of veteran soldiers, w'as a great addition to the membership 
of the Fenian societies then existing in the United States. The adoption 
of a militant policy by these societies accelerated their growth. And 
when they organized companies and regiments throughout the country 
many veter'ans joined who cared nothing about Ireland. These, with a 
multitude of Irish and Irish- Americans, were rapidly armed with rifles 
which the government was offering for sale at a low price, and which the 
Fenians converted into breech-loaders. 

The number of men enrolled in this organization and armed is not 
known, but it is certain that there was a very large number. 

A personal experience m'ay help to prove this statement : In Febru- 
ary, 1806, while a private in the 1st Provisional battalion of volunteer 
militia, and quartered in barracks at Windsor, a forty-eight hour leave 
of absence was given me, with permission to visit friends in the United 
States ; but with the proviso that civilian clothes must be worn. Tt was 
not safe to cross the border in a red coat. The friends to be visited 
resided in the town df Wyandotte, and while there a visit was paid to 
the great iron works which were the pride o'f the town. Introductions 
were given to some of the foremen and to expert workmen. Later, when 
out o'f the hearing of these men, came the information that these men 
were all members o'f a Feni'an regiment of 600 men which was drilling 
two nights a week. My informant Was a Canadian who had been resident 
there some time and become very friendly with all classes. 


Our Government was not ignorant of this movement; but had in- 
formation that a raid would be made when the rivers were frozen and a 
crossing could easily be made. In Novemfber, 1865, three battalions of 
volunteers were placed on the frontier. The 1st battalion was sent to 
guard the Detroit and St. Clair border, with headquarters at Windsor; 
the 2nd had its headquarters at Ni'agara-on-the-Lake, and the 3rd bat- 
talion was posted along the St. Lawrence River and on the Quebec border. 

E'arly in March, 1806, alarming report's reached the authorities 
through the secret service, and on the 10th of March ten thousand more 
volunteers were called out and strong re-inforcements sent to the border. 
This show of force caused the Fenians to change their plans and no raid 
took place at that time. In April nearly all the volunteers were returned 
to civil life, and in May the Government evidently thought the danger 
over for they dismissed the few remaining guards. 

The Fenians thought this 1 was their opportunity and at the end of 
May they began to .gather on the border. Many thousands met in Buffalo, 
Detroit and other cities. On June 1, 1866, about 1200 crossed at Fort 
Erie, cut the lines of communication and proceeded toward the Welland 
Oanal. They may have intended to use the Buffalo and Lake Huron 
Railway as a means of transport, for among them were many skilled 
mechanics, including trained railway men. If that was their intention 
their plans were frustrated by the superintendent of the railroad. On 
the arrival of the enemy in Fort Erie he removed all his locomotives 
and all or nearly all the rolling stock to Port Col'borne and rendered the 
bridges in the vicinity of Fort Erie useless for the time being.* This 
body of Fenians considered themselves as the advance guard of a large 
invading army and they knew that many thousands were already in 
Buffalo and more on the way. 

In the meanwhile, however, the Government of Canada had not been 
idle. Early in the morning of June 1st the alarm was sounded by bugle 
and gun in every village, town or city where there was a volunteer corpfc. 
These men were fairly well trained citizen soldiers, armed with Enfield 
muzzle-loading rifles and comfortably clothed, but otherwise without 
equipment for a campaign. They had but a small supply of ammunition, 
110 camp equipage, no reserve ammunition, no commissariat, no ambul- 
ances and no transport except railways. At that time there were a few 
Imperial troops garrisoned in Canada and these co-operated with the 
militia, though none of them were at Ridgeway. 

On the evening of June 1st a force of about 800 men had been gath- 
ered at Port Colborne, being composed of the 2nd Queen's Own Rifles of 
Toronto, the 13th Infantry of Hamilton and two independent rifle com- 
panies from the villages of York and Caledonia. They spent the night 
crowded in railway 'dars, having scarcely any provisions and getting little 
or no isleep. . At an early hour in the morning of June 2, Lieut. 

*This information is derived from an article about the raid written by the then 
superintendent of the Buffalo and Lake Huron Bailway, and published in the Ham- 
ilton Spectator several years after the raid. 


Booker, the senior officer and acting brigadier of this small brigade, re- 
ceived orders to proceed by train to the village of Ridgeway and thence 
to march by the nearest route to .Stevensville, where they were to join 
the l'6th regulars and a battery of Royal Artillery. These troops were 
then at Chippawa, commanded by Colonel Peacock of the 16th, under 
whose orders the volunteer .force was acting. Lieut.^Col. Booker and 
his men set out to obey this order, soon reached Ridgeway and proceeded 
by the Ridge Road toward the rendezvous. They had only inarched about 
two miles when they came in view of the Fenians who had established 
themselves in a good position directly in the way which our men must take 
to reach Stevensville. The action which ensued resulted in the retreat 
of the Fenians; but the false report of cavalry, shortage of ammunition 
and apparently conflicting orders* prevented our force from obtaining 
the full success they had earned. When Lieut.^Col. Booker ordered the 
skirmishers to retire and form on the reserve, the Fenians, who had 
been forced back a considerable distance, rallied a little, but soon re- 
sumed their retreat to Fort Erie. Here another small force of volunteer 
militia, less than 100 men, met them with an active resistance- By this 
time another large body of Fenians had embarked at Black Rock and 
were about to cross to Oanadia, but were speedily disembarked and the 
transports used to convey back the crestfallen invaders, except those 
that had been killed, wounded or made prisoners. 

So ended the Fenian Raid of 1866, and what promised to be and 
might have been a very .serious invasion was promptly met and turned 
away by volunteer militia. Many students of the history of that time 
believe that had the Fenians been unmolested for a couple of days longer 
they would not only have seriously damaged the "Welland Canal, but 
would have established themselves in such force as to have made it very 
difficult to eject them. Perhaps the confederation of the provinces would 
have been prevented. 

Now fifty years have passed, the men who promptly rallied to arms 
in 1866 planned a great demonstration in commemoration of the Battle 
of Ridgeway, and their friends gave much assistance. The Militia 
Department also gave its aid by sending a battalion of the Overseas 
Expeditionary Force and detachments from the Queen's Own Rifles, 
the 10th Royal Grenadiers, and the 12th York Rangers of Toronto, 
the 13th Royal Regiment of Hamilton, the 19th Regiment of St. Cathar- 
ines and the 44th Lincoln and Welland Regiment. 

One feature o'f the celebration decided upon was the dedication of 
Memorial Park, on the ridge overlooking the battle-field, a beautiful site. 
This historic spot is the generous gift of five veterans who were engaged 
in the battle, viz. : Major-General Sir Wm. D. Otter, C. V. 0., K. 0. B., of 
Ottawa; Brig.-General Sir John M. Gibson, K. C. M. G., of Hamilton; 
Lieut.^Col. J- E. Farewell, R. 0., of Whitby; Sergt. E. Wheeler, of Tor- 

*These messages and other information regarding the raid were published in a 
pamphlet written and published in 1866 by Alexander Somerville, "The Whistler 
at the Plow." 


onto, and Henry Swan, Esq., of Toronto. All were expected to be present 
to make formal presentation of the Park .to the permanent Board of 

The Weather Bureau predicted showers for the day, yet the early 
in'orning of June the 2nd, 1916, opened bright and pleas'ant, and the 
veterans cheerfully gathered at their various headquarters, hoping that 
the predicted showers might be brief and light. But these hopes were 
doomed to be extinguished by floods of water. 

Eain began to fall before noon, just when the various groups were 
about to prepare for their luncheon, and it soon increased to such a down- 
pour that all, soldiers, veterans and civilians were glad to seek shelter 
under the nearest roof. Schoolhou&es, churches and halls were thrown 
open and crowded, while verandahs of dwellings and hotels were all 
occupied. But even in these adverse conditions all managed to have 
their luncheon, and enjoyed meeting old comrades and discussing old 

It had been arranged th'at the parade should be organized on the 
school grounds and streets adjacent thereto at 1 :20 and move <off at 1 :30, 
proceeding through the village of Ridgeway by the Ridge Road to Garri- 
son Road, and then'ce to the yFlag 'Staff on Memorial Park site. Following 
is the previously arranged Order of Exercises at Memorial Park : 

Arrival of His Honour, Colonel Sir John Strathearn Hendrie, K. C. 
M. @., C. V. 0., Lieutenant-JGovernor of Ontario. 

1. The National Anthem Massed Bands 

2. Invocation. .By Rev. Nathaniel Burwash, S.T.D., (a veteran of 1866) 

3. Presentation of addresses to His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor 
and His Honour's reply. Presentation of flowers to Lady Hendrie 

4. Presentation of Memorial Park to the Trustees, on behalf of the 
donors of the site, by Lieut.-Col. Farewell, R. 0. 

5. Song "0 Canada" Church Choirs and School Children 

6. Dedication of Memorial Park By His Lordship the Bishop of 

Niagara and clergy. 

7. Music Regimental Bands 

8. Raising the Flag By Major-General Sir W. D. Otter, .K.'C.B., C.V.O. 

9.-^Song "Well Never Let the Old Flag Fall" 

Bands, Choirs and School Children 

10. Formal Laying of Foundation for proposed Monument 

By His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. 

11. March Past and Review of the Surviving Veterans of 1866. 
Band Music: "The Boys of the Old Brigade." 

12. Song "The Maple Leaf Forever" Choirs and School Children 


13. Address By Brig.-General Sir John M. Gibson, JK.C.M.G. 

14. Song "The Red, White and Blue". . . .Choirs and School Children 
15. Short Addresses by Distinguished Visitors. 
16. Demonstration on the Battlefield : 

Attack: By 1716th Battalion, C. E. F. Lieut^Col. Sharpe. 

Defence: Composite Battalion. Lieut.JCol. Robertson. 
Major-General Otter in Command. 

17. Inspection and Review o ; f Troops by His Honour, the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Ontario. 

18. Song "God be with you till we meet again" 

Choirs and School Children. 


A very comprehensive programme indeed, and one that would doubt- 
less have been very interesting had it been carried out. But the exceed- 
ingly heavy showers, never ceasing entirely, though slackening a little 
occasionally, drenched those who ventured out without raincoats or 
umbrella. The arrangements were therefore altered, as it was consider- 
ed impossible to take the choirs and children in such weather to the Park 
for the open air programme. About 2 :30 there w*as a lull in the storm, 
when the p'arade was organized and passed in review before His Honour 
the Lieuteniant-Governor, who took his stand in front of the town school 
and there received the salute. 

The formation of the parade was as follows : 

Marshall, William G- Athol, with six assistant marshalls; standard 
bearers ; band of the 123rd Battalion, C. E. F. ; surviving veterans of 1866, 
brigaded under Lieut.-CJolonel J. E. Farewell, R. 0., in the following 
order: Veterans' Association of Toronto, Capt. John A. Macdonald, presi- 
dent; Hamilton Veterans' Association of 1866, '50 men, Lieut. James 
Hooper, president; Veterans' Association of London, E. T. Essery, presi- 
dent; Veterans' Association of St. Catharines and Niagara District, R. J. 
Black, president; Veterans' of 1806 from other points; Queen's Own 
Rifles Bugle Band, in command of BuglenMajor Charles Swift (a veteran 
of 1:866) ; Composite Battalion, commianded by Lieut.-Col. R. A. Robert- 
son, consisting of 168 officers and men from the Queen's Own Rifles, 109 
men from the 10th Royal Grenadiers, 110 men from the 12th York 
Rangers, of Toronto, and 174 officers and men from the 13th Royal regi- 
ment, from Hamilton; a -company from the 19th and 44th Lincoln and 
Welland regiments ; the 1716th Battalion, C. E. F. (Niagara Rangers) ; 
officers and committee of the RidgeWay B'attlefield Association ; members 
of Parliament; clergy and invited guests; reeves and councillors of 
Bertie and adjoining municipalities. 

The oldest man in the parade was John Marshall, of Lockport, who 
was in the Governor-General 's Body Guard at the time of the raid and 
who is now 94 years of age. 


The programme was continued in the Methodist church. Here occur- 
red one of the many meetings after many years of men who had been to- 
gether on the fateful day of fifty years ago. Col. John Stonenmn, who 
was quarter-master >s sergeant in 1866, met for the first time in fifty years 
Rev. Nathaniel Burwash, S. T. D., and recalled the day of the battle when 
he drove the carriage which conveyed the chaplains, Rev. Mr. Burwash, 
Methodist, and the late Rev. Dr. Inglis, Presbyterian, to the battlefield, 
where they were of great service in the care of the wounded. 

Rev. Dr. Burwash pronounced the invocation. This was followed 
by the presentation of addresses to Lieut.-Governor Sir John Hendrie 
by Reeve Wilson, of Bertie, and Capt- John A. Macdonald, president 
of the Toronto Veterans' Association. The latter address was signed 
by the presidents of the other Veterans' Associations. 

His Honour replied in suitable terms, thanking the tenderers of the 
addresses for their kind sentiments and the warm reception given to 
himself and Dady Hendrie, and then referred to the significance of the 
Battle of Jlidgeway. He said: "The veterans and the country are to be 
heartily congratulated upon the fact that the movement to erect a monu- 
ment has reached its present definite form and on having secured the 
park site. No men in the province could feel prouder than the donors, 
who by their liberality have been the means 1 of preserving that part of 
the battlefield for all time. The enlightened intelligence of the people 
now unchallengeably upholds 1 historic memorials of past deeds, and it is 
indeed well that this should be so. For people who do not reverence 
their past, who do not cherish and preserve their history and Value their 
historical sources neglect a potent influence for good. "While the com- 
munity which has undertaken the work is not 1'arge, it has undertaken 
a task that bears on the history of the country as a whole. It is well that 
posterity should keep green and honour the memory of the men whose 
blood was shed in the defence of home and country. I am proud to know 
that the spirit which animated those whose memory we are honouring 
still, animates Canadians of the present generation. ' ' 

For the dedication of the park, the flag raising and the laying of the 
corner stone, participants in the ceremonies proceeded to the battlefield. 
They were preceded there by many of the veterans and others who, not 
being able to get into the crowded church, braved the mud and the rain 
and went to see the battlefield, some on foot and m'any in hired automo- 
biles. Others followed later and the automobiles were kept busy. 

On the historic spot Lieut.-Col. Farewell, R. 0., formally presented 
the Memorial Park site, where the battle was fought, to the citizens of 
Ontario. The land was dedicated by the Bishop of Niagara, who Said : 

"Dearly beloved, 

"We are gathered here in the sight of God to settle upon this plot, 
consisting of five acres of land, being a portion of the old Ridgeway 
battlefield, and to dedicate it as a memorial unto the people of this land 


forever of the victory won under God by our brave troops, on this 
property '50 years ago, and of the deliverance of our people from the 
hands of their enemies, and of the preservation of our country as a part 
of the British dominions. 

"Acting under the warrant of the holy scriptures, after the example 
of God's people in all ages, and in agreement to the Divine commands, 
let us humbly ask God's blessing upon what we are about to do." 

After a brief prayer he continued : 

' ' In the faith of Jesus Christ we dedicate this plot of ground to the 
glory of God, and as a memorial unto the people of this land forever, 
of the victory won here 50 years ago by our brave troops in defense of 
homes and empire, in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. ' ' 

He then prayed as follows : 

"Blessed be Thy Name, Lord, that it has pleased Thee to put into 
our hearts, Thy servants, to offer this gift to Thy honour and glory, and 
as a memorial of Thy mercy and love and kindness in delivering them 
and the people of this country from their enemies. Be pleased to accept 
the same and let Thy blessing be upon the donors, their families and their 
substance and accept tJheir gifts. And we further devoutly ask Thee 
to bless all who may in any way help forward its completion, and bestow 
Thy blessing upon their efforts, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. ' ' 

Major-General Sir W. D. Otter, K. C. B., 1C. V. 0., was to have raised 
the flag on the 100-foot rpole on the grounds, but was unable to be present. 
Lieut.-Governor Hendrie handed the flag to Sir John M. Gibson, who 
completed the ceremony. 

This was followed by the laying of the corner stone for the proposed 
monument to mark the spot of the engagement, the corner stone being 
laid by His Honor the Lieut^Governor. 

Brigadier-General 'Sir John M. Gibson then gave the address of the 
afternoon. He said: 

"Fellow veterans, aifter fifty years, here we are again, what are left 
of us. I had often determined, with, some of my friends, to revisit the 
battlefield and go over the ground, but had never found the convenient 
season, and you all know as you grow older, how rapidly the time slips 
by. It is not my intention to go into details of the attacks by the Queen's 
Own and the Thirteenth on that memorable morning of June 2, 1866; 
but it is a misrepresentation to say that the affair terminated unfavour- 
ably for the Canadian forces. They had driven the Fenians back from a 
line of barricades they held at the beginning of the action, and well I 
remember my own the leading company 'and other companies of the 
Thirteenth, after an admirable advance in extended order, occupying 
the barricaded position which the Fenians had held and from which the 
Canadians were peppering the enemy very effectively with no thought 
of retiring. There is no doubt that the Fenians had retreated and that 


the bulk of their forces were on the run to Fort Erie before the unfortun- 
ate cry of cavalry produced the confusion which deprived our forces of 
the full glory which practically had already been achieved. The Fenian 
had been driven back, and were all but completely routed or the result 
to our forces would have been very much more serious. In effect and 
virtually it was a victory for our forces 1 . 

"The alacrity displayed by the Queen's Own and the Thirteenth and 
the independent companies in mustering and proceeding to the front as 
they did is undoubted evidence of the loyalty and martial spirit animat- 
ing the young Canadians who filled the ranks of these battalions. There 
is no room for even suspicion of want of bravery. The Fenians were 
heading for the "Well/and Canal ; they were met, and as the result of the 
action they scampered back to Fort Erie, and many of them were taken 
prisoners before they could recross the Niagara. The object for which 
our volunteers had left their homes with most remarkable celerity 
and with no preparation of equipment, had been achieved the enemy 
escaping from the country as rapidly as they had entered it. Without, 
however, fighting the battle over again, we are here on this occasion to 
commemorate the valour and patriotic spirit of those who lost their lives 
in a noble fight. "While a goodly number of the veterans of '66 are still 
to the fore, the great majority of them have passed away. All honour to 
the memory of our departed comrades, including the late Lieut.-Col. 
Booker, who commanded the Canadians ; Lieut.-Col. Oilmore, a most 
enthusiastic officer, who as major commanded. the Queen's Own; Lieut.- 
Ool. Skinner, that stubbornly brave old officer who, as major, led the 
Thirteenth, and who was afterwards for so many years its commanding 
officer. One must not individualize ;-but we had expected to welcome the 
presence of a most distinguished officer, Major-General Otter, K. C. B., 
honorary patron of the Veterans of 1866, who was with us at Ridgeway, 
and whose life has ever since been devoted to the service of Ms country 
in his military capacity, who prominently distinguished himself in the 
northwest 'campaign and in the South African war. Of him it may truly 
be said that no one has ever rendered more valuable and prolonged 
military service to Canada. 

"I had (been attending law lectures in Toronto on the day the bat- 
talions were suddenly sent to the front, and it was only by travelling 
all night that I was able to reach the train, in the early morning, at Port 
Colborne, on which the Queen's Own and the Thirteenth were enjoying 
their red herring breakfast just before moving on to Ridgeway. My 
fellow travellers that night, in a box car, had been some linemen sent 
down to repair telegraph lines which had (been cut by the Fenians near 
Fort Erie; Major Askin, here to-day full of the enthusiasm of fifty 
years ago ; Col.^Sergt. McCracken of the Thirteenth, and the two chap- 
lains appointed by the (Ministerial Association of Hamilton, Rev. Dr. 
Burwash and Rev. Dr. Inglis. All are pleased to see on the present oc- 
casion the firgt-named of these two chaplains, the other having been 
called to his reward many years ago. Both had shown conspicuous 
bravery throughout the engagement, exposing their lives to imminent 


danger in discharging their sacred duties. Not having been regularly 
enrolled, Dr. Burwash was too modest to apply, or at all events had not 
applied for the 1866 medal ; but I, on my own motion, made the applica- 
tion which was readily granted, and no one to-day has a better right .to 
wear, or more worthily wears, the same than our venerable and affection- 
ately esteemed chaplain, Dr. Burwash. 

"While to-day our attention is directed to the important operations 
in which we are more immediately concerned, it is fitting that we should 
commemorate the spirited manner in which the whole volunteer force 
rose to arms in readiness to join in the defense of their country, and the 
general population everywhere organized into home guards. It was a 
convincing proof that .Canadians were the reverse of lukewarm as to 
what might be the future destiny of their country.'* 

The General continued in eloquent terms to speak of the progress 
of Canada politically, materially and nationally during the past fifty 
years. In closinig his remarks in reference to the part that is being taken 
by Canada in the great world war now in progress, he said : 

"Canada has stepped out into the world's arena, and amid the ap- 
plause of nations, has joined in the struggle against Prussian ambition 
for universal domination, in the struggle for democratic liberty and free- 
dom, for the rights of smaller nationalities and for the establishment of 
a perpetual peace. 

"Fellow veterans who are still answering the roll call, soon we shall 
join the ranks of those who have already gone. May it always be said by 
those following us that in a critical time in the history of our country, 
the memory of which we are to-day reviving, we to our utmost strove to 
do our duty." 

As the grounds were a sea of mud and the rain descending in tor- 
rents, the demonstration on the battlefield was eliminated, and the pro- 
gramme was closed with the singing of "God Be With You Till We Meet 
Again," and "God Save the King." 

Notwithstanding the unfavourable weather, quite a large crowd had 
gathered on the battlefield and during the -ceremonies their umbrellas 
formed a roof which made quite a display to the occupants of the many 
automobiles standing near- The veterans present found that some chang- 
es had taken place in half a century ; but they easily recognized the place 
and found most of the buildings and other landmarks standing as of 
yore, the marks of the bullets still being plain in some places. "There 
stands the barn where mo'st of the wounded were carried," "This is the 
tree where two of us tried to 'get shelter at the same time, while we fired 
at the Fenians," "Here is where our company extended in skirmish 
line," "There is where the square was formed," and such like remarks 
were exchanged as the men viewed the grounds. 


The generally expressed opinion was that while it was a disappoint- 
ment to have the programme so interfered with, and opportunities for 
sight seeing so curtailed, yet there had been much pleasure in the oc- 
casion, and all or nearly all were glad to have Tbeen present. Old friend- 
ships were renewed and there was a determination soon to visit the 
place again. The visitors to 'Ridgeway were much pleased with the wel- 
come they received from the citizens and the officials of the town and 
the preparations which had been made for their comfort. Finally, it is 
gratifying to note that not an accident occurred to sadden the occasion, 
and the pleasant recollections outweigh the disappointments. 


Reminiscences of his Last Days in Canada. 

By Mrs. Sidney Farmer. 

Following Mr. Justice Riddell's paper on RoTbt. F. Gourlay in the 
last numlber of the Ontario Historical Society's " Papers and Records'", 
these notes may be interesting concerning Mr. Gourlay's life and family 
both at Mount Elgin, 'Canada, and in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

My father, John McLellan Smith, of 'Sunnyside, Toronto, acted as 
Mr. Gourlay's agent and confidential adviser for many years, and was 
also an intimate friend of the family. Mr. Smith lived at that time 
seven miles away from Mt. Elgin, in the village of Campbellton, of which 
he was sole owner. It contained three large houses and about a dozen 
small ones for the use of his men; also a supply store, a blacksmith 
shop, and a saw-mill. And to this tiny village Mr. Gourlay fled from his 
persecutors many times. Mr. Smith was Warden of the County in 1861, 
and Reeve for 13 years in succession, and 'a Justice of the Peace for 
many years. He was a native of the Island of May, Scotland, and came 
to Canada when very young, settling first in Dereham, afterw'ards re- 
moving to Toronto, and dyinig in 18813. His wife was a daughter of Col. 
Charles S. Perley, of Burford, who was a prominent military man in 
Western Ontario, and descended from U. E. Loyalists on three sides of 
the family. Smith is the Anglicized form of McGowan, the name his 
ancestors were known by. 

Mr. Smith had a high opinipn of Mr. Gourlay, and said his ideas 
were good, and that he was persecuted unjustly, but the great trouble 
was that he was ahead of his time, and Mr. Smith lived to see fulfilled 
later many of the principles for which Mr. Oourlay lived and suffered. 
He was instrumental in securing pensions for life for the daughters after 
Mr. Gourlay's death from the Government, Which had found that Mr. 
Gourlay was really a benefactor rather than a busy-body. 

He had an enormous numlber of lawsuits to contest, some from his 
own ideas of justice, and others seemingly from scheming tenants and 
neighbours (for he owned over 1000 acres of farming land in Ontario), 
and his second marriage proved most unfortunate. He had an ex- 
tremely good housekeeper who proved so efficient in cooking, nursinlg, 
and making his life comfortable, that Mr. Gourlay married her when 
she became just the opposite. As a wife, she refused to continue to ' 
work, and demanded so much, and acted so disagreeably, burning many 
of Mr. Gourlay's very valuable papers, taking his property, etc., that 
Mr. Gourlay was obliged to leave her, and make a settlement with her. 
Indeed at this time (1858) Mr. Gourlay fled several times in the night to 
Mr. Smith's house to get away from Mary. 


AGED 85. 



Mr. Gourlay's Agent and Confidential Adviser in Dereham. 


(ABOUT 1858) 



Mr. Smith employed a great many men in his mills, of which he had 
several (some working for him for 315. years), and he was considered an 
adept in smoothing out difficulties, and it is said the only person he could 
not manage was this same Mary Reenan (Mr- Gourlay's second wife. 
She would ,go on sueinig for this and that, thinking 'Mr. Gourlay was 
enormously wealthy, whereas 1 he was getting poorer all the^time. And 
after he returned to Edinburgh, in 1859, Mr. Smith, as his agent, had 
all these suit's to look after, and then for the daughters a'fter his death. 
Mr. Gourlay did have a great deal of money at times, tout spent it 
lavishly on printing his books, pamphlets, etc., and also spent a large 
sum on the city of Edinburgh, of which, justly, he was very proud. 

His daughters were highly educated; one Miss Jane Gourlay was 
a noted philanthropist of Edinburgh in her time. She was the originator 
of the "Settlement Houses for Girls," and had schemes and plans in such 
good working order, and so much accomplished, that she felt she could 
leave it to others to carry on, and sought to help elsewhere, going out to 
South Africa, in the early seventies, where she did good work until 
called to cease her labours in this world. 

Miss Helen 'Gourlay was a great traveller, having visited many 
countries, and had a very charming manner. She was extremely re- 
ligious, and the trouble her father had with Mary Reenan was most 
distressing to her, and she tried in every way to conciliate her, but with- 
out avail; she was quite fond of her before the marriage, of which she 
quite approved. She was with her father during this return visit of his 
to Canada. 'She was a scholar, and translated the Greek Testament into 
English, and had memorized every Collect in the 'Church of England 
Prayer Book, and could tell where to place them for the different seasons. 
She was a most devoted churchwoman. She visited Mr. Smith again at 
Sunnyside, Toronto, staying nearly two years from 1876 to 18718 but 
during that time paid several visits to friends and relations elsewhere. 
She spent a short time with the authoress, Miss Agnes Maule Machar, 
of Kingston, who is a relative, and brought back some charming books 
written by that lady. tShe also visited her cousins, the Hamiltons, at 
Kingston, Princeton and Drumbo, and other places, and spent two months 
with relatives in Virginia, who lived in a once lovely Colonial mansion 
situated on the Rappahannock, which had been sadly disfigured during 
the Civil War. There were so many historical incidents connected with 
it that Miss Gourlay wrote an article on the subject for the Edinburgh 
11 Scotsman." Her photo appears in< Miss Carnochan's article (Niagara 
Historical 'Society, No. 18) that was taken at this time, in 1878. She 
left Mr. Smith's house in 1878 for New York en route to her home in 
Edinburgh, that being her last visit to Canada ; but Mr. Charles Perley 
Smith, barrister, of Toronto, Mr. 'Smith's only son, visited her in 1891, 
and found her very well, and as much interested in Canada, and all her 
friends and relatives there, as ever. She died about 10 years ago. He 
also visited Mr. Alexander Duncan, Mr. Gourlay's only grandchild, of 
whom he was very fond, and whose mother, one of Mr. Gourlay's 
daughters, died very young. Mr. Duncan's father, John Duncan, was 


a naval officer in the East India Service. Mr. Alex. Duncan's wife is the 
daughter of Admiral Sir Win. Edmonstone, and they have two daughters 
and three sons, all living. These sons are Mr. Robert P. Gourlay's great- 
grandsons, and are all at present in responsible positions serving their 
country : 

Commander John Duncan, R. N. C. V., Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. 
Capt. Basil Duncan, serving at the front. 

Oapt. Win. Duncan, in the Royal Field Artillery, who has recently 
won the Military Cross. 

NOTE. I wish to thank Mr. Lockhart Gordon for the latest information re- 
garding the great-grandsons of Mr. Gourlay. Margaret MciLellan Farmer. 

April, 1917. 

[The illustrations from photographs of Robert (Fleming) G-ourlay and two of 
his daughters appear in these pages through the kindness of Mrs. Sidney Farmer, 
who also sends these reminiscences.] 



This list was found in the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages 
kept by the Rev. Robt- Addison, from 1792 to 18219, in Niagara, or New- 
ark, and in possession o'f St. Mark's Church. It is arranged in seven 
columns, neatly ruled, with: Date of baptism, date of birth, Christian 
name of child, (Christian names of parents, surname, quality, etc., of 
father, by whom the ceremony performed apparently half sheets of 
foolscap, and sewn together. There are altogether eighty-five baptisms; 
the rank of the father varying from full private to K. 1C. B., Major 'Gen- 
eral and Lieutenant-Governor, the regiments being $8th, 70th, 76th, and 
Royal Artillery; the officiating clergymen being W. Cokayne Frith, 
LL. D., and R. W. Turney, both 'Chaplains to the Forces, also Thomas* 
Handcoek, acting (Chaplain to the forces at Ft. George, in one case the 
Rev. R. Addison, of St. Marks, and the last recorded is the baptism of 
Emily Sophia, daughter of Lady Sarah and Sir Peregrine Maitland, by 
Charles, Bishop o'f Quefbe'c. 

I have copied exactly the text, omitting the headings and division 
lines : 

Baptized 7th Aug., 1821, born 17th May, Julia Catherine, of George and 
Sarah McDonald, Capt. 68th Regiment, by W. Cokayne Frith, 


2nd Sept., born 21st Aug., Wm. Henry, of James and Mary Ann Duff, 

Sergt.-Major 68th Regt. 
10th Sept, born 8th April, James Septimus, of James and Susan Read, 

'Surgeon 08th Regt. 

10th 'Sept., born '9th (Sept., James, of Patrick and Mary Feely, Private 68th 

10th Sept., born 9th Sept., Rosanna, of Bryan and Mary Gibbons, Private 
68th Regt. 

9th 'Sept., born 24th Aug., Agnes, of William and Jennett Airde, 'Sergeant 
68th Regt. (This baptism was performed by Robert Addison, 
acting Chaplain.) 

21st Oct., born 6th Oct., Margaret, of (Christian and Archibald Paterson, 
Sergeant 68th Regt. 

23rd Oct., born 15th Oct., Charles, df John and Mary Lavell, (Corporal 
68th Regt. 

27th O'ct., born 13th Oct., Frances Ottley, o-f Robert Henry and Elizabeth 
Dee, D. A. Comng. iGenrl. 


28th Oct., born '22nd Oct., Hugh, of Maxwell and Hannah Crawford, 

Bugler 68th. 
9th Dec., born 30th Nov., John Andrew, of Thomas and Eliza Pope, 

Private 68th. 
15th Dec., born '28th Nov., Mary Ann, of Thomas and Eleanor Tisdell, 

Private 68th. 
24th Feb., born !29th Jan., Mary Cokayne, of William Cokayne and Mary 

Frith, Chaplain to the Forces. 
3rd March, born 26th Jan., Robert, of Robert and Mary Duncan, Sergeant 

68th Regt. 
10th March, born '8th Feb., Frances, of Joseph and Jane Jewitt, Private 

68th Regt. 
llth March, born 19th Nov., 1821, James Alexander, of James and Isa- 

bella Mitchell, Lieutenant '68th Regt. 
17th Mar., born 24th Feb., Thomas, of William and Elizabeth Crawford, 

Private 68th. 
31st Mar., born 18th Mar., Josephine, of James and Hester Morrow, 

Private 68th. 
14th Apr., born 23rd Feb., Theresa, of James and Catherine Ferrigan, 

Sergt. -68th. 
1st July, born 23rd June, James, of William and Jane Butcher, Private 

1st July, born 22nd June, Agnes, of Samuel and Agnes Fleming, Corporal 

25th Aug., born 9th Aug., Catherine, of Patrick and Jane Walsh, Sergeant 

These twenty-two baptisms were all performed by W. Cokayne 
Frith, LL. D., except one '9th 'Sept., 1821, by Rev. Robert Addison, the 
writing very fine. The 68th Regiment must have left at the end of 
August and was succeeded by the 76th, the Chaplain of which was R. W. 
Turney. The notices are continued in the same way, the writinig some- 
what heavier with very black ink. 

Birth 1822. 

31st Aug., at Fort George, U. C., baptised Oct. 6th, Edward, of Richard 

and Mary His'cott, Sergt. 76th Regt., by R. W. Turney, Chaplain to 

the Forces. 
Sept. 10th born, bapt. Oct. 6th, Benjamin, of James and Margaret Sim- 

mons, Private 76th. 
Sept. 22nd, bap. Nov. 1st, Elizabeth Bartlett, of Robert and Frances Coles, 

Major 76th Regt. 

Oct. 19th., bap. Nov.. 10th, John, of George and Mary Slack, 'Sergt. %th. 
Mar. 21st, bap. Apr. 13th, Caroline, of George and Jane Smart, Corporal 



Apr. 6th. Apr. 27th, William, of William and Mary Hemmissley, Private 

Apr. 3rd. Apr. 2!7th, Ann, of ! Martin and Margaret Godfrey, .Private 


Apr. 16th. May llth, Jane, of John and Mary Cusick, Private 76th. 
Nov. 19th, 1822, 'bap. Apr. 215th, 1823, Lucy Sarah Thillepson Gordon, 

of Robt. Wm. and Jane Turney, Chaplain to the Forces. 
May 7th, 1823, bap. May 21st, Henry Ontario, of Robt. Henry and Eliza- 
beth Dee, Dept.Asst. (Comr. Genrl. 
Aug. 2nd, bap. Aug. 24th, Ellen, of Martin and Mary Freeman, Private 

76th Regt. 
Sept. 27th, at Stamford, Sept. '28th, Charles Lennox Brownlow, of 'Sir 

Peregrine and Lady 'Sarah Maitland,* Lt.-Gov. and Maj.-Genl. 
Sept. 8th, bap. Sept. 28th, 'Charlotte, of John and Ann Morris, Sergt. 76th 

Regt., by Robert Addison, Minister. 
Oct. 25th, bap. Nov. 9th, Mary, of Joseph and Mary Hullott, Sengt. 76th, 

by Robert Addison, Minister. 

Nov. 2nd, bap. Nov.. 16th, Sidney Ann, of Francis and 'Sarah Moore, Priv- 
ate 6)8th Regt. 

Dec. 15th, bap. Jan. 25th, 1824, Joseph, of William and Mary Thomas, 
Private 76th. 


Mar. 7th, 1824, bap. Apr. llth, Robert, of Robert and Charlotte Bemrose, 
Sergt. 76th. 

May 8th, bap. June 7th, Edward, of Edward and Mary Amelia Hether- 
ington, Captain 76th Regt. 

Apr. 29th, bap. Sept. 15th, Margaret Dudley, of Benjamin and Caroline 
Jane Hedley Routh, Lieut. 76th. 

Aug. 28th, bap. Sept. '215th, Charles Fortier Nepean, of John Birlasson and 
Mary Gates Flanagan, Surgeon 76th Regt. 

Sept. 24th, bap. Oct. 10th, Arabella, of James and Catharine Wilson, 

Oct. 16th, bap. Oct. 17th, Fanny, of William and Mary Stevenson, Gunner. 

May 1st, bap. Nov. 1st, Charlotte Dee, of Benjamin Robt. and Ann Ottley, 
Lieut. 61st Foot. 

Aug. 23rd, bap. Sept. 5th, Edward, of William and Mary Ambler, Private 

76th Regt. 
July 9th, bap. Sept. 12th, John, of Thomas and Mary Small, Sergt. 76th. 

Dec. 7th, bap. Jan. 1st, 18215, Mary, daughter of George and Mary Slack, 
Sergt. 76th. 

Dec. 18th, Jan. 1st, 1825, William, son of William and Catharine Paulson, 
Sergt. 76th Regt. 

*Charles Lennox Brownlow Maitland was received into Ohurch May 22nd, 18215. 
Sponsors: Charles Duke of Eutland, Brownlow Bertie Matthew, Esq., Lady Mary 


Jan. 21st, 1825, bap. Feb. 16th, James, son of Richard and Mary Hiscott, 
iSergt. 76th Regt.* 


Feb. 9th, bap. Feb. 18th, Lucy Gordon Thillason, daughter of Robt Wm. 

and Jane Turney, (Chaplain to the Forces. 
Mar. 7th, bap. Apr. 4th, Henry, son of George and Jane Smart, Corporal 


Mar. 7th, bap. Apr. 4th, John, son of John and Ann Morris, Sergt 76th. 
June 215th, 1803, bap. Apr. f8th, 18215, William, son of Susannah Newman, 

Private, illegite. 
Apr. 26th, 1825, bap. June 19th, Jane, of John and Ann Grant, Gunner 

Royal Artillery. 
July 1st, bap. June 28th, Frances, of John and Ann Lundy, Corporal 76th 

June 6th, July 3rd bap., Harriett, of John and Mary Ann Kelly, Gunner 

June 4th, bap. July 3rd, Thomas, of William and Mary Hammesley, 

Private 76th. 
July 12th, bap. July 21st, 'Charles Edwin, of Hermann and Mary Anne 

Lott, Paymaster 76th Regt. 
July llth, bap. July '31st, William, son of John and Mary Cusick, Private 

Mar. 1st, bap. Sept. 212nd, John Withers, of John and Jane McGlashen, 

Sept. 24th, bap. Oct. 9th, Mary, of William and Mary Cuddy, Sergt. 76th 

Oct. 7th, bap. Oct. 30th, James, son of Joseph and Mary C'ant, Private 

Jan. 9th, 1826, bap. Jan. 15th, David, of Thomas and Honora Bannister, 

Gunner Royal Artillery. 
Jan. 23rd, bap. Feb. 12th, Mary, of Richard and Sarah Brown, Private 


Jan. 27th, bap. Feb. 19th, "Thomas, of Richard and Mary Hiscott, Sergt. 

76th Regt. 
March 8th, bap. Apr. 2nd, Ann, of Wm. and Mary Thomas, Drum Major 

76th Regt. 

May 3rd, May 13th, John Henry, of John and Sarah Eden, Private 76th. 
May 215th, June 2nd, John Berney, of Alexander and Sarah Mclntyre, 

Private 76th Regt. 
June 30th, bap. July !23rd, Thomas, son of George and 'Catharine Patton, 

Corporal in Major Filling's Co., Sap. 2 R. Art., by Thos. Handcock, 

Acting Chaplain to the Forces. 
July 1st, bap. July "29th, Alexander Peter, son of John and Jane Mc- 

Glashan, Commissariat Clerk. 
*Major Jas. Hiscott died here June, 1917, ex-M.P.P. for Lincoln. 


Aug. 15th, bap. 15th, William, of William, and Mary Ann Stevenson, Gun- 
ner 1st Battln. Royal Artillery. 

Dec. 3rd, bap. 7th Jan., William Matthew, of John and Margaret (Calent, 
Pensioner 76th Regt. 


Feb. 16th, bap. Feb. 27th, Vesey Temple, of Thomas and 'Catherine Hand- 
cock, Acting 'Chaplain to the Forces. 

Mar. 26th, bap. Apr. 15th, Alicia, of Neil and Alicia McNeil, Colour-Sergt. 
70th Regt. 

Apr. 12th, bap. Apr. 16th, Anne, of John and Anne Grant, Gunner in 
Major Pelleg's (Co. R. Arty. 

June 6th, bap. June 213rd, John, son of Alexander and Elizabeth Mc- 
Guigen, Private 70th Regt. 

July 10th, bap. July 19th, William, son of Robert and Sarah 'Chambers, 
Private 70th Regt. 

June 7th, bap. July 20th, Frances Anne, of Robt. Henry and Elizabeth 
Dee, Dep. Asst. 'Com'y Gen. H. P. 

Dec. 16th, bap. July 25th, William, of Robert and Anne Armour, Private 
70th Regt. 


Aug. 6th, Louisa, of Alexander and Amelia Garrett, Lieut. H. P.. 

49th Regt., Barrack Master. 

Mar. 19th, bap. Aug. 212nd, Mary, of Robert and Barbara Brown, Corporal 
70th Regt. 

June llth, bap. Aug. 2'2nd, Hannah, of John and Elizabeth Lavery, Priv- 
ate 70th Regt. 

July 14th, bap. Aug. 27th, Francis, of James and M.artha Batchelor, Gun- 
ner Royal Artillery. 

Aug. 22nd, bap. Sept. llth, Etaiily Sophia, of Peregrine and Sarah Mait- 
land, K. C. B., Major-General, Lt. j Governor, by Charles Bishop of 

During the period from 1821 to 1827 there are recorded in St. Mark's 
Register three baptisms' of the 618th or 70th Regt., and many are recorded 
as performed in 'St. Marks by R. W. Turney, probably during the absence 
or illness of Rev. R. Addis on. 

Copied by permission of Rev. Canon Garrett, 
by Janet Oarnochan. 



(Wellington County, Ont.) 
By the late C. C. James, C.M.G., LL.D. 

The Canada Company had been formed to take over and settle a 
large area of land in Upper 'Canada. John Gait, the novelist, had 'been 
sent out to aict as superintendent. One of his 1 first acts was to lay out a 
town which has grown into the substantial 'City of Guelph. He wrote 
home to a friend an account of the inauguration of this work, dating his 
letter from Guelph, 2nd of June, 1827. By accident this letter some time 
later came under the eye of the editor of Eraser's Magazine, and was 
printed in the issue of November 30th, 1830. As an introduction to this 
article we reproduce a portion of the letter as follows : 

"The site chosen was on a 'nameless stream's untrodden banks', 
about eighteen miles in the forest from Gait a great future city founded 
by a friend of mine, with a handsome bridge over the Grand River, and 
of which I had never heard until it had a post office. Early on the morn- 
ing of St. George's Day I proceeded on foot towards the spot, having sent 
forward a band of woodmen with axes on their shoulders to prepare a 
shanty for the night a shed made of boughs and bark, with a great fire 
at the door. I was accompanied by my friend Dunlop, a large, fat, 
facetious fellow, of infinite jest and eccentricity, but he forgot his com- 
pass, and we lost our way in the forest. After l wandering up and down ' 
like babes in the woods, without even a blackberry to console us the 
rain raining in jubilee we .came to the hut of a Dutch settler, in which 
no English was to be obtained. However, after much jabber, loud speak- 
ing, and looking at one another with mouth, eyes and nostrils, in addition 
to ears, Mynheer gave tongue that he could speak French, which he did, 
no doubt, perfectly; as, in telling us that he had cleared a farm in the 
States which he had exchanged for his present habitation, he expressive- 
ly said, ' Je Swape'. We hired him for our guide. 

"It was almost sunset when we arrived at our rendezous; my com- 
panion, being wet to the skin, unclothed and dressed himself in two blank- 
ets, one in the Celtic and the other in the Roman fashion the kilt and 
the toga ; the latter was fastened on the breast with a spar of timber that 
*From the Canadian Courier, 28th Nov., 1908. 


might hav served for the mainmast to 'some great admiral'. I^kept 
my state' (as Macbeth says of his wife at the -banquet) of dripping 
drapery. We then, with surveyors and woodmen (Yankice, choppers), 
proceeded to a superb maple tree, and I had the honour and glory of 
laying the axe to the root thereof, and soon it fell 'beneath our sturdy 
strokes' with the noise off an avalanche. It was the genius of the forest 
unfurling his wings and departing forever. Being the King's name-day, 
I called the town 'Guelph the smaller fry of office having monopolised 
every other I could think of; and my friend drawing a bottle of ^ whiskey 
from his bosom, we drank prosperity to the unbuilt metropolis of the 
new world." 

Accompanying the letter there appeared a sketch of the town show- 
ing a clearing, a bridge across the (Speed, the stump of the maple tree 
neatly fenced in, the Priory fa)cing the river, the market building, the 
school, and a number of houses. For a time, the Priory was Mr. 'Gait's 
residence. Later it was used <for offices and for the temporary accom- 
modation of new arrivals. Visitors to the Royal ity will have noticed 
the picturesque log station o'f the ,C. P. >R. it is the Priory site preserved 
and welcoming as of old the newcomers to the city of John iGalt. 

Mr. Gait in his autobiography tells us that soon after the beginning 
of the town he found it expedient to make his headquarters at some 
more convenient point, and so he took up his residence at a house on 
Burlington Bay, thus locating midway between York and Guelph. He 
says: "I had not been long settled in this domicile, when one Sunday 
morning ia deputation came to me, from a body, I think, in all, of fifty- 
seven emigrants, who had come from 'New York, where they had been 

landed from La Guayra, (South Americ'a I considered that as the 

Contpany had work it would be doing service to Government to employ 
these people, accordingly directed them to proceed to Mr. Prior at 
Guelph, till I had time to 'Consider their case. ' ' 

'This event in the early settlement of Upper Canada is recalled by 
the death of 'Mr. David Stirton, of Guelph, who passed away recently in 
his ninety-third year. Mr. (David Stirton was born in 'Scotland in 1816; 
came to Upper Canada in 1827 ; from 1858 to 1874, represented the county 
of Wellington in the Parliament of (Canada ; for nearly thirty years, from 
1876 to 1904, held the position of postmaster at iGuelph ; and now, after 
being a lone survivor of the -early pioneers, he has passed away at a fine 
old age. It is not of his interesting parliamentary career that we pro- 
pose to write, but we remember that he was "the last of the La 
Guayrians", and in these days of revived immigration and of pioneering 
"made easy", it may be of interest to recall the story of the little band 
of Scottish settlers of which he was the last survivor. 

Turn to the imap of Venezuela in ySouth America. You will find the 
city of Caracas in the north, lying a few miles inland from the <coast. 
Its seaport is La Guayra. In 1825 the ^country, then known as (Colombia, 
was in a state of unrest. T!he sovereignty of iSpaan had been thrown off 
by Bolivar. The old plantation proprietors were uneasy; they were 


anxious to dispose of their estates. 'Coffee was the chief 'crop -grown for 
exportation, the 'work being done by slaves. These estates were adver- 
tised in Europe as most <attract}ive properties, and the suggestion was 
sent abroad that here was the place 'for the industrious (Scottish emigrant. 
Scotland was uneasy ,at the time. Her people were streaming out of the 
western ports across the Atlantic to the 'United States and Canada. 
There Was, however, but little shipping from the eastern ports for Amer- 
ica. This presented a new field for the promoter. A company was organ- 
ized, a plantation purchased in Colombia and advertisements of most 
attractive nature scattered iup and down the eastern shires of -Scotland. 

A London sailing vessel of 600 tons called The Planet was chartered 
to take out l the settlers. The iboat left -the Thames with a few English 
emigrants and then picked up the rest of her piassengers, 290 in 'all, in 
the Bay of Cromarty. This was in ,1825. They sailed for /La .Guayra, 
calling at Madeira on the way to take on a icargo of wine. 'Twelve weeks 
out from 'Crom'arty Bay, the party v were .landed at La Guayra. Disap- 
pointment met them from the first. The 'country was in .disorder, life 
and property were insecure, the climate was unsuited to the Scotsmen of 
the north, the estate that had been purchased 'by the company was com- 
posed partly of barren mountains and partly of valleys that required 
irrigation. Transportation had (been provided and land allotted by 
the company to the settlers who were bound by written contract to locate 
upon the jland and to repay their debt in ten years. The poor, .deluded 
^people were thus left in a most ipitiable condition. After vain efforts to 
make -a living and to reconcile themselves to their inhospitable .surround- 
ings, they were /gradually forced to abandon their lots and soon found 
themselves gathered together in temporary quarters at Cara'cas. 

Here at least they ihad some chance of defending themselves against 
bandits and outlaws. They laid their case before the British consul, and 
with the help of Mr. Lancaster, the Quaker educationist, who happened 
to be there at the time, they sent home an appeal for help. This did not 
fail. A [British ifrigate was despatched to their assistance. The Captain 
in charge was a brother of Sir Peregrine Maitland, then Governor of 
Upper Canada. After consultation, they decided to accept the offer of 
transportation to Canada. They were taken north and landed at New 
York, where they were met toy Mr. Buchanan, the British consul, who 
also acted as agent of the iCanada .Company. It should be noted here 
that Mr. 'Stfrton's father reached New .York by an earlier boat, as he had 
saved enough of his money to pay for passage for .his family. Twenty- 
two families in all were sent forward from New York consigned to the 
care of Mr. Johm Gait who was building iup the settlement in the County 
of Wellington. Mr. Stirton some years ago told the story of his journey. 
His father and family sailed up the Hudson to Albany, thence by canal 
boats to Rochester and by schooner to the head of the lake. Half a dozen 
houses stood on the present site of Hamilton; Dundas was somewhat 
larger ; but Ancaster ("The pretty, breezy town of Ancaster on the hill, ' ' 
Gait called it) was the most promising town of the district. Over the 


primitive roads they jmade their way, reaching Guelph on September 8th, 
1827, less than five months after the time ,of the cutting o'f the first tree. 
The Stirton .family .slept on the first night in a loft of the Priory. 

Another chapter .now opened in the history of the La Guayrians. 
Mr. 'Gait gave them .welcome aind m'ade out a plan for forming with 'them 
a model settlement which was to .extend four ,miles in length along the 
Elora Road. Their locations were laid out on paper, irrespective of the 
configuration of the country. The Company undertook to assist in the 
building of the houses. Winter ,came on before they were ready and the 
poor immigr'ants, dependent solely upon the assistance of the Company 
and unacquainted with Canadian pioneer life in the /bush, suffered to 
the limit the hardships of (backwoods life. .For a year ,or more they 
worked along increasing their clearings .and improving their houses, 
but still dependent upon the Company. A (Change then suddenly took 
place. Mr. Gait .and the officials at home had a misunders'tandlng, the 
result of which was that he resigned aind returned home and his t place 
was taken by another. The work provided by the -Company upon which 
they depended for a .living was stopped, supplies were shut off, and in a 
short time the La Guayrians were scattered over adjoining towniships 
and they had to (begin once again the battle of life in the deeper recesses 
of the King 's bush. 

May the Twentieth Century bring as good citizens as the La 
Guayrians ! 


Annual Meeting, June 6th, 1917. 



This is the jubilee year of the Confederation of Canada, and perhaps 
it will not be inappropriate for me to give some personal reminiscences 
of a parliamentary election held in 1807 as part of a Presidential Address 
to this Society. I was then seventeen years of age, and although I re- 
member some previous elections, it was the first in which I took a real 
interest. Unfortunately I have no written or printed documents to guide 
me, but some of the events made a deep impression upon me, and so my 
recollection may be trustworthy enough to justify me in regarding them 
as real historical material. 

The election in question was held in my native locality, the West 
Riding of Durham, Ontario. West Durham at that time was looked on 
as a Liberal riding, although at the previous election Mr. John Milne, the 
Conservative candidate, had almost defeated Mr. Henry Munro, the 
Liberal. With an untried outsider, Mr. Edward Blake, as Liberal candi- 
date, Mr. Milne at first considered his chances of winning the riding as 
very good, and every energy was put forth by him, and naturally by his 
opponents as well, in what was expected to be, but did not turn out to be, 
a close election. 

It was my fortune to be present during the contest at three meetings. 
The first was on a very warm July evening, in haying time, in the little 
court-house of the Village of Newcastle. That was the first time I saw, 
or heard of, Edward GBlake. It was a great revelation. About ten o 'clock 
on that sweltering evening, after the audience was weary of local speak- 
ers, that impressive figure arose, and with his ringing voice and majestic 
sentences imposed attentive silence on all. The effect was magical. 
With no tedious exordium, no funny stories, at once he was into the ex- 
position of his subject, in his clear and dignified manner. The tired 
backs straightened, the hum of voices at doors and windows, inside and 
outside the building, ceased, and a hush of admiration fell upon the 
audience, hitherto so unruly and inattentive. It was a notable example 
of the power of oratorical genius. I have long since forgotten the argu- 
ments of the orator, but the music and rhythm of his speech still ring in 
my ears. 


The second meeting occurred on another sultry evening during the 
spring wheat harvest. It was held in the newly erected drill-shed in the 
village of Orono. The chief speakers were the Hon. Wm. McDougall and 
Mr. Edward Blake. It had become clear to Mr. Milne that, in order to 
cope with Mr. Blake on the public platform, the best speakers in the 
Conservative party would have to be called on, and a number of these 
honored the riding with their presence. On this occasion it was, as I 
have said, Mr. McDougall. He spoke well, but was not a match for Mr. 
Blake. The meeting was large and noisy, and Blake only was able to 
hold it in control. In the middle of the night the proceedings were in- 
terrupted by a sharp thunderstorm, accompanied by heavy rain, which 
lasted perhaps half an hour. After the storm was over the combatants 
resumed their arguments and the meeting continued till day-break. We 
went home to build the fire for breakfast and milk the cows. That night 
we had no sleep. We took our politics in large doses in those times. 

The third meeting was the one that fell on nomination day. It was 
held in the drill-shed in the town of Bowmanville in the end of harvest. 
Mr. Milne and his committee had determined to have a great rally on 
that occasion, and invited the Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, 
to be present and address the electors. Mr. Blake and his friends thought 
they could not do better than invite the Hon. 'George Brown to be present 
also and reply to the Premier. Both these eminent gentlemen accepted 
the invitations and made speeches. According to the custom of the time' 
both were nominated as candidates so as to give them the right to speak 
from the hustings, and Sir John Macdonald was nominated before Mr. 
Brown and had the right to speak first, a right which he did not exercise, 
however. When his turn to speak came he was nowhere in sight. The 
crowd began to call for Macdonald, but no Macdonald arose. Then there 
were cries for Brown, and presently the great meeting became a babel. 
A regular hubbub prevailed for what seemed a very long time. Finally, 
to quiet the confusion, George Brown, who had been sitting in full view 
on the platform, rose to speak. No sooner did he rise than the Premier 
suddenly appeared and sat down a few feet from Brown, in front of the 
latter, looking up saucily into his face. Here he remained until Mr. 
Brown had finished speaking and then he took his turn. 

Of the speeches of these two great men on that day I now remember 
only certain things, and those in a very general way. Exact expressions 
and arguments I cannot recall. Mr. Brown appeared to be- angry at what 
he called the pusillanimous conduct of the Premier of Canada in hiding 
away and declining to speak first. " Why should he be afraid of a priv- 
ate citizen? (Mr. Brown had two or three weeks before this been defeated 
in the neighbouring riding of South Ontario by Mr. T. N. Gibbs.) Such 
a man," he said, "is unworthy of his 1 high office. He is afraid to tell the 
electors what policy he intends to pursue. He is what he always has 
been, a mere opportunist. He would, indeed, never have adopted Con- 
federation if it had not been forced upon him. I," said Mr. Brown, 
"forced the appointment of a committee of the House upon him and the 
committee brought in a report favourable to (Confederation." It was a 


powerful speech, and, coming as it did after what seemed to be an atti- 
tude of fear towards Mr. Brown on the part of Sir John Macdbnald^ it 
probably cost Mr. Milne some votes. 

But the speech of the Premier in reply was in reality the greater of 
the two. Delivered to a somewhat hostile audience, which was rendered 
still more unsympathetic by the irritating delay already mentioned, it 
was a marvel of frank, reasonable, tactful speaking. He admitted that 
he would have preferred a legislative to a federal union, but since the 
latter had been adopted he would be loyal to it. He gave 'George Brown 
credit for his help in carrying the scheme of Confederation through and 
very pertinently asked why his great opponent had not continued in the 
coalition cabinet for the purpose of completing the good work which had 
been so auspiciously begun. Why could Mr. Brown not be as reasonable 
as Mr. Wm. McDougall or Mr. W. P. Howland and others of his old 
friends? He professes to be opposed to coalition on principle, but if a 
good measure like Confederation was carried by a coalition, could not 
other good measures be carried by the same form of political machinery? 
* * How can he tell, ' ' exclaimed 'Sir John, * ' whether our policy and admin- 
istration will be worthy of opposition ? All we ask for is a fair trial. If 
we prove worthy of condemnation, condemn us, but give us a chance. 
Do what nearly all other 'Canadians are doing, i. e. promising us their 
support for the present until they see how we turn out. In fact, every 
man elected up to the present, with the single exception of Mr. Joseph 
Rymal, has promised us his support." And so he went on, in his good- 
natured, unpretentious way, chaffing his great opponent about his 1 long 
face and the "long finger that he often has shaken at us," and looking 
on all with his jaunty, waggish air as he said those simple, sensible 
things which generally carried conviction. But he could not redeem 
West Durham. Shortly after for two days it rode hotly to the polls and 
gave Mr. Edward Blake his send-off into public life with a majority of 
several hundred. 


Allow me now to contribute a second item of historical material in 
the shape of a letter written by an uncle of mine, Robert Squair, from 
Whitby, U. ., to a brother-in-law of his, John Grant, at that time living 
in Forres, Scotland. It is dated August 29th, 1$36. In copying the letter 
I have made corrections in spelling and grammar sufficient to bring it 
into harmony with accepted standards. 

Dear Friend : 

(Copy of letter) 

Whitby, 29th August, 16816. 

I take the opportunity of writing to inform you that we are both well 
at present and hope that this will find you in the same state. We have 
enjoyed good health since we left home. Thanks to the Lord for it. I 


think you have settled in your minds before this time that you are coming 
to America, and if you come bring all your tools with you because they 
are all very dear here and not so good as at home. I may mention to 
you what things to take for the voyage 1 boll 1 oatmeal, J hundred- 
weight sea biscuit, 1 firlot 2 oats baked (oat cakes?), '20 Ibs. beef, 20. Ibs. 
pork, 16 Ibs. butter and a cheese, some sowans 3 , 2 pints whiskey, ^ anker 4 
beer, 9 Ibs. sugar, ^ Ib. tea, 1 Ib. coffee, 6 doz. haddocks, some white 
puddins 5 , 1 firlot potatoes, some pepper, some mustard, some eggs and 
other things which you may think of. I need not mention to you about 
my voyage as I wrote a letter to my father when I arrived at New York, 
and one to Lewis when I settled in Whitby. "We were 28 days at sea 
and I was well all the time, but Jane was not well. We had a pleasant 
voyage and not very rough. We paid 5 each for a two-cabin passage 
and we paid about 2 each going up to Toronto, but you will require 25 
to take with you. And if you ship at Liverpool take no paper notes with 
you because you will not get them off in England, but try to sail from 
Cromarty because it is very expensive to go to Liverpool or Greenock. 

The carpenter's is a very good business in this country because all 
the houses are built of wood. You would wonder as much to see a stone 
house in Canada as to see a wooden house in Forres. The mason's is 
not a good trade in Canada, but it is good in New York. Masons there 
get 3 to 4 dollars a day and carpenters 2 to 3 dollars, and pay 3 dollars 
a week for board, but in Canada you will get a dollar per day and board. 
You will wonder how large they make their barns. The common size of 
them is 36 to 40 ft. broad, 60 to 70 ft. long, 20 to 25 ft. high in the walls. 
They hold all the corn and hay. Men drive in their horses and wagons 
into the barn and empty in the inside. All the wagons are 8 to 12 ft. 
long and pulled with 2 horses. There are no -coups 6 here as at home. You 
will get 16 to make a waggon. 

Jane and I wish very much that you come out, and Janet is intend- 
ing to come with you. iSandy is well. I had two letters from him since 
I came here and he is staying in the same place. He is to have 90 in the 
year and board. Sandy received a letter from Janet from John Bain, 
Nairn, and he sent one home. 

I could wish you would all come here to a land of liberty and plenty. 
Donald Munro and I intend to buy some land and we shall not get it 
cheap here as in some other places. You need not write to me because I 
do not know where to direct you to write, but you can write to Sandy 
and he will let us know about you. ISandy Ross lives in the same place 
as we are in and he and his brother have taken 200 acres of land in 

1 Boll 140 ll)s. 

2 Firlot i of a "boll. 

3 Sowans "Oat-shells" from which a palatalble food is made. 

4 Anker -A cask of 8J 'gallons (imperial). 

5 White puddins "sausages" made of oat meal, suet and onions. 

6 Coups ' ' dump-carts. ' ' 


Dear John, Jane and I are as well pleased to live in 'Canada as at 
home and we get a great deal more for our work and better provisions. 
The whole family eats at one table. Master and servants' are all alike, 
all eat and work together. I lived one month with Mr. Hall but for my 
own profit I left him and went to Mr. Mc'Pherson to take charge of his 
farm. He lives beside 'Mr. Hall's farm and Donald Munro and I see each 
other every day. We have a house to ourselves and the use of the cows 
and as much potatoes as we need and I have 8 10/ per month. He is 
going to part with the farm and he wants me to take it on shares that is 
to have the half the increase of the land and he affords everything it 
needs. I am not sure which to do, that or take land of my own in an- 
other place or to stay and work as I am doing just now. What do you 

Jane desires you to take Janet with you to help you on the sea to 
nurse the children and if Peter comes to take Janet McBeath with him. 
There is plenty of work here and good pay. You will get as much here in 
two months as you will get in six months at home. I was told before I 
left home that this country was very hot, but it is as hot at home as here 
this season. 1 Donald Munro is well and family and bids you to send word 
west to her people that they received a letter from them on the 22d Aug. 
and that they got no letter from John yet. You will not write me till 
you get another direction from me because Donald and I are thinking of 
taking land of our own. 

We remain, etc., etc., 


Here the letter closes, but there was still vacant space on the sheet 
of paper, and since the postage paid was 25 cents, Scottish thrift demand- 
ed that all space should be filled. Here follows the filling: 

Give my best wishes to Alexr. and Robert and your mother and to 
William and tell 'Sandy that I expect he has got married before this time. 
He better not come here without a wife. Sandy Margach says he would 
live a bachelor all his 1 davs before he would take a Yankee to wife. They 
are very lazy women and are good for nothing but to sit in their rocking 
chairs and eat their meat. 

Be sure to send west word to the old people that we are all well and 
quite happy to live in (Canada and that we have enjoyed good health 
since we left home. Give my best respects to all enquiring friends, es- 
pecially to my parents and sisters and brothers, and let them know that 
T intend to write to them in October, and let my mother be in no way 
uneasy about me as I am as well and as contented as at home. Tell them 
not to write me till I send them a letter as I am not sure what place I 
shall be settled in. 

You can write to 'Sandy and he will send me word. You were afraid 
that his direction was not right but the same direction will do as before. 

1 Sir Frederick Stupart, Director of the Meteorological Service, Toronto, kindly 
informs me that the records show that the summer of 1836 was unusually cool. 


A faithful copy of the letter ((verbatim, et literatim) made by our 
obliging Secretary, Mr. A. F. Hunter, is herewith attached. I should be 
glad to give the original to the Society if it possessed suitable means for 
the preservation of such documents. 

As regards the contents of the letter it is certain that a goodly part 
of it contains information already well known to all interested in the 
history of Ontario. What it says regarding the manner of travelling on 
sailing ships, the wages received by working men, the material employed 
in building or the like, is matter recorded in other places, although what 
is here may perhaps serve a useful purpose as a sort of check list. But 
there is one thing in the letter which rather surprised me when I obtained 
it some ten years ago, and that is the absence of any reference to political 
dissatisfaction in the country, and the optimistic insistence with which it 
dwells upon the fact that Canada is a land of liberty and plenty. If in 
1836 in the township of Whitby a man had said "that the administration 
of justice is in the hands of a party forming among themselves a Family 
Compact, that, owing to these circumstances, property and liberty are 
held by a very precarious tenure, and that as a consequence of this state 
of things there is little immigration," I certainly should not have been 
surprised. 1 But we have the very opposite. Hence there is a difficulty 
here. What is the explanation? Did the writer not know what was 
going on about him? There have been plenty of examples of such men 
in the most stirring times. We have all heard of the mythical old man 
who, after Napoleon became Emperor, was 1 found in Paris, and yet had 
never heard of Louis XVI., Napoleon or the Revolution. But Robert 
Squair had the reputation with his family of being an alert man, although 
not a wise one. 

Perhaps, however, there was not enough political commotion in 
Whitby to disturb the material progress of the community, although in 
18313 the people of that locality had sent a petition to the Lieutenant- 
Governor stating that "Loyal as the inhabitants of this Country unques- 
tionably are, your petitioners will not disguise from your Excellency that 
they consider longer endurance under their present oppressions neither 
a virtue nor a duty." 1 I leave the difficulty with you. 

iSee "Life and Times of Wm. Lyon Mackenzie," by Charles Lindsey (1862), 
vol. I., p. 353. 

i See Lindsey 's ' ' Life and Times of William Lyon Mackenzie. ' ' Vol. I., p. 299. 

(Ontario I|t0tonral 






I. President's Address, June 5th, 1918. PROF. JOHN SQITAIR 

II. The Books of the Political Prisoners and Exiles of 1838. 


III. The Latest Milestones in the History of Civilization. 


IV. A Loyalist of the St. Lawrence. HENRY HARMON NOBLE 29 

V. The Rev. John Barclay, M.A. Miss A. BLANCHE BURT, B.A 37 

VI. History of the Windsor and Detroit Ferries. 


VII. The Founding of Kirkfield, Ont. A. F. HUNTER 52 



Some three weeks ago there came into my possession a set of minute-books 
and ledgers which had been the property of the Society whose name was 
" Orono Division, No. 79, of the Sons of Temperance of Ontario." Since the 
dissolution of the Division these books had been in the custody of Mr. D. T. 
Allin, of Orono, a former member of the institution, and from him I received 
them on the understanding that they should be deposited in a place of safety. 
Such a place, within the precincts of the Education Department, has been 
promised to me by Dr. A. H. U. Colquhoun, Deputy Minister of Education, 
and thither I intend to transport them. 

Orono is a police village forming part of the Township of Clarke in the 
County of Durham in this Province, and has never had a separate corporate 
existence. The Division was organized on February 26th, 1850, but the 
earliest minute-book has disappeared. Those now in my possession are eight 
in number and cover the following periods: No. 1, 1853-1854; No. 2, 1854- 
1859; No. 3, 1863-1864; No. 4, 1866-1870; No. 5, 1870-1877; No. 6, 1877- 
1881 ; No. 7, 1881-1891 ; No. 8, 1891-1896. In addition to these eight volumes 
there are two treasurer's books in which receipts and expenditures are entered 
as well as a number of signatures of members and a list of 541 names of per- 
sons who belonged to the Division between 1850 and 1871, of whom sixteen 
were ladies. 

These volumes contain a partial record of the activities of a group of 
people, representative of a large number throughout the Province, who con- 
tributed to the formation of a new mentality in regard to the use of alcoholic 
beverages and they may perhaps prove to be unique. If so, they may be very 
useful as historical material. 

There can be no doubt that, as compared with the majority of the people 
of Europe, and with himself as he existed a hundred years ago, the Anglo- 
Saxon of North America has a very special way of regarding the use, moderate 
or immoderate, of alcoholic liquors. In all times and places drunkenness has 
been reprobated, but the intense feeling of opposition to even a moderate use 
of such things as wine, which we in this country know, has not been common 
amongst men. In France, for instance, the making of wine is one of the 
important industries, and its daily consumption is looked on by most French- 
men as natural, proper and wholesome. Neither they nor Italians have adopted 
the maxim, "touch not, taste not, handle not," as regards alcohol. The pro- 
portion of teetotallers in the British Isles is considerably larger than on the 
continent of Europe, but the intensity of feeling in favour of legal interfer- 
ence with the use of liquor is much below what it is with us. And it has not 
always stood as high in Canada and the United States as it is at present. How 
the change has come about is one of the most important historical questions 



which we can discuss. A good many forces have been at work, some noisy, 
some silent. Not the least important of these factors has been the influence of 
the quasi-secret societies like the Sons of Temperance and the Good Templars 
which arose and came actively into play about the middle of last century. 

Not that no anxiety was felt in the community regarding the evils of 
drinking before the organization of such societies. In fact we see indications 
of such anxiety as early as 1794, when it was enacted by Parliament that no 
person was to have a tavern license unless he first obtained from the magis- 
trate a certificate of fitness, and the quarter sessions might limit the number 
of licenses to be granted in the Province. And the number of licenses could 
not be increased except on production of a testimonial under the hand of the 
parson and church or town wardens or of four householders. An innkeeper 
could be disqualified for allowing gambling in his house or any disorderly 
conduct. In 1818 it is enacted that innkeepers shall be " sober, honest and 
diligent persons and good subjects of our Lord the King/' 

But drunkenness appears to increase. E. A. Talbot, in his " Five Years 
Residence in the Canadas," published in 1824, makes the remark that " gentle- 
men in Canada appear to be much addicted to drinking." During the years 
1824-1850 many amendments are made in the laws regarding liquor licenses 
with the evident purpose of decreasing the evils connected with drinking, but 
small improvement apparently results, for in 1836, for instance, we find the 
Rev. Robert McDowell of Toronto and thirty-nine others presenting a petition 
to Parliament to limit the use of ardent spirits. 

In 1850 an " Act for the More Effectual Suppression of Intemperance " 
was passed, the preamble of which : " Whereas experience hath shewn that the 
laws now in force are insufficient to suppress the great evils arising out of the 
abuse of spirituous liquors/' clearly proves that Parliament was cognizant of 
the evils of drinking at that time. It is interesting to note what some of the 
remedies were which Parliament then adopted. One was that tavern-keepers 
were subject to imprisonment and a fine of from 25 to 100 for fatal acci- 
dents to intoxicated persons. The fine was to be 1 paid to the heirs of those 
hurt. Another was that temperance houses might be established. Another was 
that parties found intoxicated might be brought before the magistrate. And 
another was that distillers and wholesale dealers were not to sell liquors in less 
quantities than one gallon, except wine, which might 'be sold by the bottle. 
These were not to be drunk on the premises. 

By the Act of 1849, municipal councils (coming into existence in 1850) 
were to have power to limit the numbers of tavern licenses and to pass by- 
laws for their regulation. And this right is confirmed by subsequent Acts. 

The middle of the nineteenth century is an important point in the history 
of what is sometimes called Old Ontario. A new municipal law was enacted, 
a new school law had been adopted, a new and sturdy General Superintendent 
was beginning to arouse the people to the importance of the primary school, 
the population of the country was expanding, new lands were being cleared, 
new villages and towns were being built, new industries were being founded, 
such as saw-mills, grist-mills, tanneries, distilleries. Wealth was increasing, 
traffic on the roads was developing and taverns for travellers sprang up fast. 
There was a spirit of progressive hopefulness prevalent which manifested itself 
sometimes in generous treating in the barrooms and at those social functions 
called " bees " convened for such worthy purposes as burning the logs from 


'~ : i^t . 

a clearing of land or raising a barn for garnering the sheaves from the newly- 
cleared acres. The men were jolly and the climate' was rigorous; there was 
no wine or cider, for vineyards and orchards had not had time to grow. But 
distilleries were numerous and excise duties were low, and crude whiskey 
became a common and frequently a harmful beverage. 

The popular conscience was touched and men began to band themselves 
together for the purpose of creating the custom of abstinence from alcoholic 
beverages. First they formed societies with moderate pledges asking their 
members to abstain merely from ardent spirits, but finding that too large a 
loophole was left by the permission to partake of fermented liquors, the " cast- 
iron " pledge of abstinence from all spirituous and fermented liquors, cider 
(old or new), wine and beer was insisted on. 

One of the earliest societies of this class was the Sons of Temperance, 
which originated in the United States and was introduced into Canada in 
1849. The local bodies of this order were called Divisions, and Orono Division 
No. 79, as I have already said, was organized on February 26th, 1850. Many 
other Divisions were established in the surrounding region, and indeed in all 
parts of the Province, and in 1851 the Parliament of Canada passed an Act 
incorporating the Grand and Subordinate Divisions of Canada West. Many 
other societies were also formed, such as the " Temperance Reformation Society 
of the City of Toronto," incorporated by Act of Parliament in the sanie year, 
1851, and the " Good Templars," incorporated at a later date. 

All these were genuinely democratic societies arising independently of 
ecclesiastical influence or political suggestion, solely, as the Act regarding' one 
of them recited, " to suppress by precept, example, and unity of effort, the 
dangerous and injurious practice of drinking intoxicating liquors," and in the 
early stages of their history they did not seem to try to influence the making or 
enforcement of law as much as the correcting of bad drinking habits and the 
inculcation of the practice of total abstinence. The means employed were 
lectures, public or semi-public, music, debates, declamations, dramatic repre- 
sentations and the like, in which the dangers of moderate drinking and the 
degradation of drunkenness were the chief topics. 

Sometimes the arguments employed were extravagant or fantastic, as for 
instance when it was urged that even the smallest quantity of alcohol taken 
into the human system was injurious on account of the fact that some medical 
men had pronounced alcohol a poison, or again as when it was urged that the 
Bible could not be construed as approving of the use of wine for the reason 
that both in Hebrew and in Greek there were words for wine, one set of which 
were used with approval and the others with disapproval. 

But these extreme forms of argument did not militate against the valid, 
practical reasons urged in favour of teetotalism and strict regulation of the 
liquor traffic, and, in time these made themselves felt and were accepted by a 
large number of people throughout the community. Gradually the word 
temperance took on a new meaning, becoming practically for the majority the 
same as abstinence. The expression " temperance man " came before long to 
mean one who was committed to the policy of legal prohibition of the manufac- 
ture and sale of alcoholic beverages. And soon the voters influenced politicians 
and many restrictions were placed on the freedom of the persons engaged in 
making and selling liquors. The number of licenses was reduced, larger fees 
were imposed, excise and customs duties were increased, the hours in which 


selling could take place were reduced, the classes of persons to whom liquor 
might be sold were limited. 

These forms of restriction did not satisfy the extreme temperance people. 
They called for total prohibition by means of a law such as had been enacted 
in the State of Maine in> 1851, and Parliament made an attempt to satisfy 
them by passing, in 1864, an Act called popularly the Dunkin Act, by which 
municipalities might refuse to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages within 
their respective limits. Some temperance men received the Act with enthusi- 
asm, although some thought it would be ineffective, and it was voted on and 
carried in many municipalities. However it did not remain long in force in 
any but a few places. The vast majority returned to the license system. Still 
we must not forget that the agitation consequent on the adoption and failure of 
the measure did influence the public mind in favour of prohibition. 

The next important parliamentary enactment was the so-called Crooks 
Act passed by the Ontario Legislature in 1876. It was a license law, but was 
supposed to be a much stricter measure than any law which had been adopted 
hitherto. It took away a good deal of power from the municipalities and 
placed it in the hands of the Provincial Government. (Appointment of license 
commissioners, limitation of number of licenses according to population, 
increase of license fees, etc.) 

Then in 1878 the Parliament of Canada passed " The Canada Temper- 
ance Act of 1878," popularly known as the Scott Act. It was a prohibitory 
measure, a sort of improved Dunkin Act, and evoked a good deal of enthusiasm 
and was adopted by a good many municipalities. 

In 1890 the Ontario Legislature passed an " Act to Improve the Liquor 
License Laws," which is generally known as the " Local Option Act," on 
account of the fact that it gave unequivocally to the municipalities the right 
to prohibit all selling of liquor. Under its operation the number of licenses 
was gradually reduced until by 1916 they had disappeared entirely in many 
rural municipalities. 

Lastly, in 1916, the Ontario Legislature adopted the " Ontario Temper- 
ance Act," which is now in force, and by whose provisions we have legal pro- 
hibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages. 

One may ask how such a measure came to be received with so little pro- 
test. One reason was that it was regarded as a war measure, but another more 
potent reason was that a large part of the Province was already under pro- 
hibition by virtue of the provisions of the Local Option Act of 1890, and even 
in large cities like Toronto where there were licenses these were proportionately 
so few in number that the persons directly interested could be disregarded by 
the political parties. 

The agitation initiated by the teetotal societies in the middle of the nine- 
teenth century and maintained with such persistence down at least to the last 
decade of the century had borne its natural fruit. The making, selling and 
drinking of alcoholic beverages, even of such as wine, beer and cider, were 
regarded as harmful and disreputable and legal enactments which seemed 
unlikely or even impossible to eminent publicists say of 1870 were put into 
force with at least the apparent approval of the vast majority in 1916. 

There are some who regret that such a radical measure was the only one 
which, to the majority of our democratic community, seemed adequate to the 


suppression of the evils of drinking. Sometime perhaps in the far distant 
future a population may arise which may be able to sit under their own vines 
and enjoy all forms of the produce of these vines without abusing them, but 
for the present the public conscience is too sensitive on this point to tolerate 
full individual liberty. This sensitiveness is as genuine a feeling as any 
which we may hope to find in a whole community, and we must not expect it 
to pass away very quickly. It is likely to be persistent and to influence our 
laws and customs for long years to come. 



OF 1838. 

Part I Introduction. 

Earl Durham, when he came here in '38 as High Commissioner, thought 
and we cannot but feel with him that the Lower Canadian rebellion pris- 
oners of '37 should have had their punishment settled upon and meted out 
before he came into his busy, brief lease of undefined colonial power. 

However, they were easily persuaded to plead " guilty." He was anxious, 
for humanitarian and political reasons, to avoid the death penalty; and 
believing he had the power, he exiled them (temporarily, he hoped) to 
" pleasant " Bermuda, a country over which he had no jurisdiction, nor even 
on his order could its governor legally detain them. 

When Durham learned, as he did through New York newspapers, that the 
British Cabinet who had appointed him, giving him large powers and the 
promise of full support, did not legalize his humane action, they nervously 
paying too much attention to the pettifogging comments of Brougham and 
similar opposition party cavillers, he resigns and sails for home before the 
somewhat similar cases in Upper Canada have to be settled. It is some of the 
experiences and indignant feeling shown in the now scarce books of these 
prisoners that this paper attempts to group, the bibliography being its last part. 

(1) The first author is Wm. Gates, "one of the Canadian Patriots." As 
he tells his story, he is an American, 22 years of age, unmarried, and appar- 
ently a "farmer. Says he actively sympathized with the Patriot Movement 
" which had for its object the liberation of the Canadas from British mis- 
rule and oppression." . . . 

Grates joins the " Hunters' Lodge" at Lyne, Cape Vincent (south of 
Kingston), and in November, 1838, in a schooner, is with other members 
towed across and down the St. Lawrence to Prescott, and there takes part as a 
private in the battle of Windmill Point, of which he gives a clear description. 
The numbers in action are not given in Sir John Colborne's report sent to 
England, but Gates says : " The 83rd Regiment, numbering one thousand 
veterans, supported by twelve hundred provincial soldiers, aided by an unknown 
number of militia, composed the force. We were a small band of about two 
hundred and fifty souls, with but four days' provisions at the most, and a very 
scanty supply of ammunition." Though beaten, he is proud of American 
fighting capacity, and says, " thus ended this brief, unequal struggle, which 
had resulted in a loss of near six hundred killed and wounded on the part of 
the British, while on that of the patriot side, if I remember aright, but four- 
teen were killed and twenty-seven wounded." 

In the endeavour to boat across to Ogdensburgh to get the doctor's for- 



gotten instruments and medicines, he is caught by the steamer Cobourg, and is 
eventually imprisoned at Fort Henry, Kingston, and with others is tried by 
court martial, about which he is sarcastic. 

" Our indictment being read, we were severally asked, e Guilty or not 
guilty ?' ( Not guilty/ was our response. The Queen's witness was asked if 
he recognized us, to which he replied, ' I do not. 7 No other questions were 
asked, and we were remanded back to our prison room, wondering what the 
sentence of the court would be on such overwhelming testimony ! In a similar 
manner were all our comrades tried, often a dozen or fifteen at a batch, whilst 
the whole time occupied, from the moment they left the room till their return 
to it again, would not exceed generally over one hour. All that seemed neces- 
sary was to bring the culprit into the presence of the court (?) to hear his 
indictment, and to give him the opportunity of repeating ' guilty ' or ' not 
guilty/ either of which repetitions was sufficient to warrant a condemnation." 

Different as was the case of these invaders, caught red-handed, from the 
native rebels of Lower Canada, who, indirectly, so deeply influenced Durham's 
life and political usefulness, the then British Executive seems worried in 
deciding what to do with them. After a lapse of ten months 28th September, 
1839 they, unsentenced, sail in the Buffalo from Quebec for a port not 
announced to them, which proves to be a convict camp in V. D. L. (Van 
Dieman's Land, or Tasmania). 

Gates' life there is pitiable enough for six years. Pardon comes the 13th 
September, 1845, but that meant he was turned adrift without means, eventu- 
ally getting to Australia, and thence home by a whaling ship to New Bedford, 
Mass., the 31st May, 1848. 

(2) The second book is by Ben Wait and his courageous, active wife. Of 
his offence he talks ambiguously. From Schlosser, N. Y. : "Consequently, twenty- 
six, all Canadians, daring fellows, ready to be sacrificed in the field or on the 
scaffold, penetrated, doubly armed, without hope of return, to the heart of the 
enemy's country, surrounded on every side by the regular infantry, lancers, 
volunteers, and Indians (where a few Americans came to us) on a secret 
mission the object of which I am not yet at liberty to detail 2 to which, how- 
ever, let it suffice that I declare there was nothing in the slightest degree dis- 
honourable or disreputable attached, notwithstanding subsequent surmise and 
evil report. 

" After a trifling, successful irruption upon a company of insulting 
Orange lancers, etc., far outnumbering us, whom we took, detained a short 
time, then dismissed, our little band retreated and dispersed, when a part were 
captured and sent, with twenty or more of the innocent inhabitants, to a jail 
where we were all separately indicted for high treason. . . ." 

Judge Jones' sentence, given August llth, 1838, was, Benjamin Wait, 
between the hours of 11 and 1, August the 25th, " you shall be drawn on a 
hurdle to the place of execution, and there hanged by the neck until you are 
dead, and your body shall be quartered." 

The dramatic part of this book gives his wife's exertions to mitigate the 
death sentence, eventually amended to exile in V. D. L., and his acute 
suffering there. 

" A wife's devotion. A Canadian heroine of sixty years ago," is Maria 
Wait's (nee Smith) story, as told by Janet Carnochan in No. 13 of the issues 


of the Niagara Historical Society, 1905. Both man and wife were born not 
far from Niagara, and she was educated by Robert Randall, who was also his 
early patron and friend. On Randall's tombstone, Lundy's Lane, 'tis recorded 
he was a "victim of colonial missrule." He probably knew it, for he was 
fourteen years in the Legislature, and crossed the Atlantic to give voice to the 
wrongs of Canada. 

It is part of the pathos of this story that so many of the appeals she and 
others made should have been to Durham, who was sickening to death, out of 
power, and possessing so little influence with the government that H. Martineau 
indignantly mentions that they would not give him a copy of the Blue Book 
containing his " Report," which he desired for a friend's use. 

(3) Miller's chief note of complaint is that he was treated like a slave. His 
case was exceptional in that he and eleven others appeared before an English 
as well as before a Canadian, court. See Book 19 of this list. 

(4) As Wright's account is written for him by Caleb Lyon, it does not 
rank in interest with such personal stories as Gates' description of the battle 
at the Windmill, Prescott. 

(5) Of Marsh I have seen but one copy, the personal property of Dr. 
F. H. Severance, in the Historical Museum, Delaware Park, Buffalo, Ontario 
losing a copy in the last fire of the Legislative buildings. For most students 
the synopsis of this rarity, and of Marsh's life, given in Severance's " Old 
Trails on the Niagara Frontier," 2nd, 1903, p. 159 to 180, will save time and 

(6) Snow, when I commenced this paper, was to me a singleton, and is 
in the reference collection of the Toronto Public Library, but the Bibliotheque 
Saint Sulpice, Montreal, has two copies. He says : " I entered the Patriot 
service with the best of motives, only wishing that our Canadian neighbours 
might, in the end, enjoy the same civil, religious and political freedom with 
which the citizens of the U. S. were blest " (3 p.). He had listened to Dr. Dun- 
combe, who said that LIBERTY the inestimable birthright of man was 
unknown on the other side of Lake Erie. Leaving hisi Ohio home he, on the 
4th of December, 1838, with 163 others crossed from Detroit to Windsor, 
where no Canadians joined them (a common experience, and the commence- 
ment of their disillusion), and after some loose fighting and wandering in the 
woods he was caught when he came to St. Clair River, which! he was now 
anxious safely to recross. He was taken to Chatham, Toronto, Ft. Henry 
and Quebec, sailing from there in the Buffalo to an unknown port. After a 
four and one-half months' voyage he was landed at V. D. L., the French- 
Canadian prisoners on board being taken to Sidney, N.S.W. 

(7 to 13) Sutherland a newspaper man the most voluminous of these 
otherwise amateur authors, was a prisoner but not exiled, and seems to have 
kept up through the daily press as far as its editors would give him space 
an agitation for the release of the U. S. exiles, and also a sort of roll-call of 
them. Under the title of " A Patriot General," a lively account of him is 
given by Justice W. R. Riddell, in Vol. 44 of the Canadian Magazine, Nov., 
1914, and Robert B. Ross, in the Detroit Evening News of 1890, under the 
title, " The Patriot War," refers at length to Sutherland, mentioning only two 
of his books. This communication is reproduced in full in the " Michigan 
Pioneer and Historical Society collection," Vol. XXI, pp. 509-612, and was 


issued as a separate octavo pamphlet, in paper covers, of 101 pages. He 
makes brief mention of twenty-one men figuring in the rebellion, but it is a 
'37, not a '38, history. Boss was from New Brunswick, and a voluntary exile 
from December, 1837, to the spring of 1844. 

Eeferences to Sutherland may also be found in the " Michigan Collec- 
tions," Vol. VII, pp. 82-92. 

The other numbers in the list, and their authors, have only a secondary 
interest, but seemed worth recording after turning them up in the search. 

This still hunt also revealed interesting rare French books, chiefly deal- 
ing with 1837 and the kindlier treated exiles to Bermuda and Australia, and 
do not naturally list with the records of the harsher treatment of Upper 
Canada's 1838 prisoners. 

It is this contrasting situation that makes this story interesting to the 
author. Durham, of set purpose, treated the 1837 offenders leniently, hoping 
to heal the breach, converting the rebels and their friends, into good citizens, 
and this generous treatment of them was the cause of his own loss of power. 
To get the home view of this situation it would be interesting to see a British 
Museum item (8154 dd. 22 (2)), "Should Lord Durham be Impeached?" 
By a Freeholder ( ?) London, 1839, 8vo. 

These 1838 men, independent of nationality, stoutly maintained in court 
and out, to the end of their days, that their trials and unannounced sentences 
were illegal, that their treatment as prisoners, and eventually as felons, in the 
matter of food, dress, and vermin, was foul and inhuman, and their punish- 
ment in no way remedial. This is all done without result. No one pays any 
attention to them or their grievances. No one is impeached, none give help ; 
as if the then public sentiment was that hardship was right, moderation wrong. 

Part of the criticism of Durham's leniency by his English political oppon- 
ents was that he had no legal right to choose the penalty for prisoners of state, 
or decide how they should be tried. It is not for a layman to say what the 
suspension of constitutional rights during his brief colonial reign did give or 
cancel, but gleaning in our statutes of this period we met : " Chapter 7, 
William IV, passed 4th March, 1837 (p. 31)," an Act that says transporta- 
tion may be substituted for banishment, and that either may be substituted 
for death conviction, and defining the penalty for too early a return. 

It adds something pathetic to this situation to note that the first four 
Canadian Acts that Victoria, the girl queen, has to sign are aimed at treason. 

How far^ Fenian feeling influenced the invaders from the States is now 
difficult to trace, but it was felt to be there, and we must allow for it in 
estimating the situation. That the American Government could or would do 
nothing in mitigation of the pains of its citizens held prisoners is explained by 
a brief comment of 0. F. Tiffany, in his Ph.D. Thesis, " The Relations of the 
TJ. S. to the Canadian Rebellion of 1837-1838," printed in Vol. No. VIII, Pub- 
lications of the Buffalo Historical Society, 1905. He says this rebellion taxed 
the military vigilance and friendly feeling of both governments, led to inter- 
national complications, and in America furnished new instances of internal 
conflict between State and Federal authority, contributing somewhat to the 
defeat of the Van Buren administration, and downfall of the Democratic 

One of the broad features of these out-of-the-way books is that they 


reflect the surprise the invaders felt when the local dissatisfied Canadians did 
not rally to them, and that the militia they faced " shot to kill." 

Also, some of them, in view of the sacrifices they had mad^ for others' 
liberty, freedom and democratic governance, could never see the gravamen of 
their offence, so that they feel they have made a point when they contrast the 
harshness of their punishment among Botany Bay felons, with their original 
mild aspirations. 

When release came no provision was made for these emaciated men to 
get to their homes, a whole hemisphere away, and with most it took from ten 
to twelve months in a whaler. 

One who was wrecked coming home in such fashion left a manuscript 
account of his Y. D. L. experiences, which ultimately reached relatives in 
Ontario, and is now existent and unprinted. The author failed to persuade 
the possessor to let him use it, which he much regrets. 

Of collateral interest only is a small rare book in the author's collection, 
one of the earliest outputs of the Tasmanian press, when her total population 
(bad and good) was 21,125. 

" The Van Dieman's Land Anniversary and Hobart-Town Almanack, for 
the year 1831, with embellishments , . . by J. Eoss (price 10s.)." 

Chapter 13 on the penal settlements, which " consist of three establish- 
ments remote from the main colony, and communicating with it only by 
water," makes it of interest to us as confirming the harsh conditions of life 
reflected in the exile books. 

" No beasts of burden are allowed . . . and as the whole of the timber " 
for ship and house building " is obtained by human hands alone, the labour is 
often of the most excessive kind " (p. 262). 

" The manner in which the men are fed during this labour may also be 
considered some addition to the severity of the discipline. As soon as they are 
called from rest in the morning they are served with a dish of porridge, com- 
posed -of flour and water, and a little salt; after which they embark in the boats 
and row to their several wood-cutting stations, where they continue to work 
without any other provision until they return at night, when they are supplied 
with a substantial meal, the main repast of the day. If the weather should 
happen to be rough or the wind adverse, so as to impede the progress of the 
boats, this meal is sometimes delayed till late, when of course the cravings of 
appetite after the exercise of the day must be great" (p. 263). 

A frequent complaint was that the only flesh issued for this so-called 
substantial meal, was mutton, and it was freely stolen by the promoted 
penal convict officers, through whose distributing and cooking hands it had 
to pass. 

Part II Book List, Giving Title Pages of the Books. 

(1) Recollections of Life in Van Dieman's Land; by William Gates, one 
of the Canadian Patriots. " A good man commendeth his cause to the one 
great Patron of innocence, convinced, of justice at the last, and sure of good 
meanwhile." Lockport: P. S. Crandall, Printer; office of the Lockport Daily 
Courier. 1850. 

(2) Letters from Van Dieman's Land, written during four years' im- 
prisonment for political offences committed in Upper Canada. By Benjamin 


Wait. " It is better to fail in striking for so noble a thing as LIBERTY, than 
not to strike at all ; for reform never dies." Bacon. Embodying, also, letters 
descriptive of personal appeals in behalf of her husband, and his fellow 
prisoners, to the Earl of Durham, Her Majesty, and the United Legislature 
of the Canadas, by Mrs. B. Wait. Buffalo : A. W. Wilgus. 1843. 

(3) Notes of an exile to Van Dieman's Land, comprising incidents of 
the Canadian rebellion in 1838, trial of the author in Canada and subsequent 
appearance before Her Majesty's Court in Queen's Bench in London; Im- 
prisonment in England and transportation to Van Dieman's Land. Also an 
account of the horrid sufferings of six years in that land of British slavery, 
together with sketches of the Island, its history, productions, inhabitants, 
&c., &c. Slaves can breathe in England; by Linus W. Miller, Fredonia, 
N.Y. Printed by W. McKinstry & Co. 1846. 

(4) Narrative and recollections of Van Dieman's Land during a three 
years' captivity of Stephen S. Wright ; together with an account of the Battle 
of Prescott, in which he was taken prisoner; his imprisonment in Canada; 
trial, condemnation and transportation to Australia; his terrible sufferings in 
the British penal colony of Van Dieman's Land ; and his return to the United 
States : with a copious appendix, embracing facts and documents relating to 
the Patriot War, now first given to the public, from the original notes and 
papers of Mr. Wright, and other sources. [Then follow eight lines of a Byron 
quotation.] By Caleb Lyon of Lyonsdale, New York. J. Winchester. New 
World Press. 30 Ann Street. (Entered) 1844. 

(5) Seven years of my life, or a narrative of a Patriot Exile who 
together with eighty-two American citizens were illegally tried for rebellion 
in Upper Canada in 1838, and transported to Van Dieman's Land. Compris- 
ing a true account of our outrageous treatment during ten months' imprison- 
ment in Upper Canada, and four months of horrible suffering in a transport 
ship on the ocean, with a true but appalling history of our cruel and unmerci- 
ful treatment during five years of unmitigated suffering on that detestable 
Island. Showing also the cruelty and barbarity of the British Government 
to the prisoners generally in that penal colony, with a concise account of the 
Island, its inhabitants, productions, &c., &c. By Eobert Marsh. Buffalo: 
Faxon & Stevens. 1847. 

(6) The Exile's Eeturn : or, Narrative of Samuel Snow, who was banished 
to Van Dieman's Land, for participating in the Patriot War in Upper Canada, 
in 1838. Cleveland. Printed by Smead R. Cowles. Central Building. 1846. 

(7) A letter to Her Majesty the British Queen, with letters to Lord 
Durham, Lord Glenelg, and Sir George Arthur : to which is added an appendix 
embracing a report of the testimony taken on the trial of the writer by a court 
martial at Toronto in Upper Canada. By Th. Jefferson Sutherland. Albany. 
Printed by C. Van Benthuysen. 1841. 

(8) Loose Leaves from the Port Folio of a late Patriot prisoner in 

" Not fame I slight nor for her favours call, 
She comes unlooked for, if she comes at all." 

New York: William H. Colyer, Printer, No. 5 Hague Street. 1840. 


(9) The above is by Thomas Jefferson Sutherland, and bound up with 
Mr. Severance's copy of it is a small pamphlet of 18 pages on green paper 
without title, dated New York, 1st July, 1841, which is an appeal on behalf 
of those yet held captive in Van Dieman's Land, viz. : 73 from New York 
State, 15 from Ohio/ 3 from Michigan, and 18 to him unknown, or 109 
Americans captured in Upper Canada; and he thinks 50 more captured in 
Lower Canada. It has copies of letters written to the American newspapers, 
government officers, and prominent politicians ; and he gives the replies he got 
from Daniel Webster, Secretary of State; Fernando Wood, M.C. for N.Y. ; 
R. C. Davies, M.C. from Dutchess Co.,; J. McKeon, M.C. from N.Y. City; 
from Major Davizac, who originally was aide to General Jackson at the battle 
of New Orleans, 1815, and afterwards charge d' affaires for the U.S. in Holland 
and Naples; from C. P. Van Ness, once Governor of Vermont and Minister 
to Spain; from John W. Edmonds, late Senator; from F. A. Tallmadge, 
recorder of N.Y. City ; and last from M. Munroe, a prisoner yet in exile. All 
are dated 1841, that is, later than the book the pamphlet is bound up with. 

The purpose of this, to me, unique green pamphlet was to secure certificates 
that these captives were American citizens and previously of good character, 
so that Secretary Webster could legally advise the English Government, through 
the U. S. Minister at St. James', of the situation, and thus get them release 
or relief. 

The book proper, " Loose Leaves/ 7 was written about December, 1838, 
when, as Sutherland says, " I was detained in the Citadel, Quebec as a 
prisoner of state even after Her Majesty's Government in England, on my 
appeal, had declared my court martial trial irregular. Issued as it was in a 
series, in newspaper form, under the title of Stadacona Gazette, it advertised 
my case outside." 

To the writer its interleaved rhymes have no merit. It is interesting to 
note that in the Citadel these prisoners, with much spread-eagleism, celebrated 
Independence Day on July 4, 1838, with toasts and speeches at a good dinner, 
which the much-berated British Government cheerfully paid for (except the 

(10) In a footnote (p. 19), Sutherland says: "A work bearing title 
[Navy Island ; or, the First Movements of the Eevolution in Upper Canada] 
has been prepared by me, and is now ready for press. But, as I have been 
indicted in the U. S. court for an alleged violation of the neutrality law, in 
the establishment of a military force on Navy Island, in December, A.D. 1837, 
it would be altogether inconsistent with my interest for me to publish any 
account of those proceedings, for which I am to be tried, until after my trial 
shall have been gone through with." Probably this book was never printed, 
at least the author has so far met' no trace of it. 

(11) "A letter to Lord Brougham, in behalf of the Captive Patriots. To 
which is annexed a list of their names. New York. 1841." 12mo., pp. 12. 

(12) "A canvass of the proceedings on the trial of William Lyon Mac- 
kenzie for an alleged violation of the neutrality laws of the United States, 
with a, report of the testimony, etc., and a petition to the President for his 


release." By Th. Jefferson Sutherland. New York: Sackett and Sargent, 
Printers, No. 1 Nassau St., corner of Wall. 1840. pp. 140, small 12mo. 
(This is item 1282, p. 176, in the Gagnon Catalogue, No. 2.) 

(13) Three Political Letters addressed to Dr. Wolf red Nelson, late of 
Lower Canada, now Plattsburgh, N.Y., by Th. Jefferson Sutherland. N.Y. 
1840. pp. 64., 16mo. 

(These refer only occasionally to Canadian troubles, being chiefly aimed 
at Harrison's candidature for president.) 

(14) "The Empress of the Isles; or, The Lake Bravo. A romance of 
the Canadian struggle in 1837." By Charley Clewline. Cincinnati. Published 
by V. P. James, No. 167 Walnut Street." 

(This is a thin 8vo. of 128 pp., of poor small print, which uses the patriot 
camps on the islands of the St. Lawrence as scenic backgrounds for its melo- 

(15) "An Adventure on a Frozen Lake; a Tale of the Canadian Kebel- 
lion of 1837-8, by J. Hunt, Jr. Cincinnati. Printed at the Ben Franklin 
book and job office [C. Clarke and Co.], Walnut St., above Pearl. 1855. 
(38 pp.) Travellers' edition, 10,000 copies." Continuously paged with it is 
another story, " The Massacre at Owego : An Indian Tale." 

(This is literally a specimen of yellow back literature, as it has lemon- 
yellow paper covers, and looks very cheap.) 

(16) "The Prisoner of the Border; a tale of 1838. By P. Hamilton 
Myers. New York. Derby and Jackson, 119 Nassau St., 1857." 

(It has one chapter devoted to the battle of Windmill Point, and another 
to Sir George Arthur, who is the one man in this literature for whom no one 
has a good word. A careful historian credits him with 1,500 legal deaths.) 

(17) Edward Alexander Theller was not exiled, as he, after trial, escaped 
at Quebec, and his two volumes are easy to get, although it is not a common 
book. Their title page runs : " Canada in 1837-38, showing by historical facts, 
the cause of the late attempted revolution, and of its failure ; the present con- 
dition of the people, and their future prospects, together with the personal 
adventures of the author, and others who were connected with the revolution. 
By E. A. Theller, Brigadier-General in the Canadian republican service. 

( " Who strikes at sovereign power had need strike home, 
For storms that fail to blow the cedar down, 
May tear the branches, but they fix the roots.' 

In two volumes. Philadelphia : Henry F. Anners. New York : J. and H. G. 
Langley. 1841." 

(18) Under the heading of "Another Patriot General," Justice Eiddell, 
at page 220 of the Canadian Magazine for July, 1916, tells Theller's life story 
in brief, and says he hated and despised Sutherland, who for him had the same 
measure of contempt. 


(19) " Eeport of the case of the Canadian prisoners, with an introduction 
on the Writ of Habeas Corpus, by Alfred A. Fry, of Lincoln's Inn (one of the 

Counsel in the case). A. Maxwell. London, 1839, pp. 106, 8vo." 


(20) C. Faxon, Buffalo, in 1839 prints an 8vo. pamphlet of 14 pp., being 
an " Address delivered at Niagara Falls, on the evening of the 29th December, 
1838, the anniversary of the burning of the Caroline. By Thomas L. Nichols." 

For courtesies received when making this search I wish to thank G. B. 
Krum and staff of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit ; F. H. Severance 
and staff of the Buffalo Historical Society, and G. H. Locke and staff of 
Toronto Eeference Library; but chiefly I am grateful for tjie personal help 
and interest of Aegidius Faciteux, of the Bibliotheque Saint Sulpice, Montreal. 



" The world moves by the creative power of man." 

Some years ago in a municipal address I used these words : " The World 
Moves/' to arouse the people to a sense of what was taking place and (pre- 
dicting to some extent) what was rapidly coming into the work of life and the 
lives of the people, by the efforts of the great men who were giving their time, 
their means and their genius to solving problems, to producing marvels of 
mechanism, diving deep into the unknown depths of the mysterious ; unearth- 
ing and producing what seems impossible and incredible : and it would seem 
that we are approaching that period where the Divine in man is becoming 
more apparent, as he who was created a little lower than the angels, and was 
given dominion over the earth and air, has commenced to reign. His conquest 
over material conditions, step by step, one advancement after another, has 
begun, and the onward march is still in progress. Man has proven himself 
great: he will go on and prove himself still greater. Even now we raise our 
heads as we observe the wonders and glories of the present day. 

In this mercenary age, in the mad race and rush after the " almighty 
dollar/' few stop to think, or try to do, what in them lieth. Thank God for 
an Edison, Bell, Marconi, Burbank, and others. What time have we given, or 
what effort have we individually made, to make the world and the people 
thereon better, brighter, happier; or to think out some one thing that would 
add to the comfort, ease the labour, or increase the blessings? Some will 
answer, " What can I do?" The Creator said, " Let us make man and let him 
have dominion over all the earth." Perhaps that which is proving us most 
God-like in our creative power, is the rapid advancement that has been made 
in, or during, the last century, especially in the last thirty-five years, and it 
will be interesting and educating to make some comparisons. It is difficult to 
determine where to commence. 

Looking backwards, to me the conditions now seem to be more like a 
dream than a reality. It appears to me the nineteenth century is the most 
fascinating story of man's upward progress, or as I would prefer to say, man 
has exhibited his mastery of mind over matter, and proven that he partakes 
of some at least of the divine attributes. 

There is no parallel to be found in the misty ages of the past. Let us 
glance at the past and compare it with the present. There is at least one 
billion nine hundred millions of people in the world ; of this immense host 
there is not more than one in a million who saw the commencement of the 
last century. At the commencement of the twentieth century, of this innumer- 
able multitude now living not one in a million will see its end. 

*A paper read before the York Pioneer and Historical Society, 'March 2nd. 1915. 



The question that has agitated philosophers of the past has been how to 
live. The question most interesting* to us is when to live. Gladstone, a past 
thinker among men, said that " of all ages of the world the last fifty years 
of his life he would select." It would take volumes to picture the changes that 
have taken place since our forefathers wrote 1800. Centuries have come and 
centuries have gone, but for unparalleled and matchless achievements to benefit 
mankind, all the former centuries put together are not equal to the nineteenth. 
We should be grateful that our lot has been cast in this part of an enlightened 
and progressive history-making age; this is a priceless privilege; we have a 
.heritage kings never had, and the common people never dreamed of, in the 
centuries of the past. 

They had days of tinder boxes and no stoves, when churches and schools 
were unheated. Days of human slavery, unscientific diet and short life; days 
of bad roads and slow travel; the log cabin and the town unlighted; days of 
superstition and religious intolerance. Those were the days spoken of by our 
grandfathers as the good old days. You and I may be ever so poor, yet we 
can have more comfort and conveniences in our humble homes; than the 
monarch and the millionaire had a hundred years ago. Many living to-day 
were born before the postage stamp came into use; the popular pen was the 
goose-quill; one of America's greatest writers learned to write by tracing the 
letters on the sand; books were a luxury and found only in the homes of the 
rich. The public school did not exist, colleges were few, and universities none. 
When people began writing '18 instead of '17 it was a different world. Steam 
had not moved a boat or a car, electricity had not begun to talk, no oil wells 
were giving light to the world; the great achievements of Fulton, Watt, 
Stephenson, Howe, Morse, Edison and hundreds of others were never heard of. 
From 1800 to 1912 has been the longest step the human race has ever taken 
on this planet. 

To the amazing progress which has rapidly created a new world, this 
continent has contributed more than its share. Fulton started steam boats on 
the Hudson, Morse made wires talk, Field abolished the difference of a week 
between the old world and the new. Some one has said that necessity is the 
mother of invention. I think natural genius and God-given talents play a 
part. In this new world man entered the wilderness as a rude settler and God 
had made him a child of progress. Man touched the bitter apple and it 
became the golden pippin; he touched the sour grape and it became the 
Catawba ; he touched the forked stick and it became the steel plow ; he touched 
the rude sickle and it became the reaper; he touched the old wagon, 
now an iron engine; the hollow log into a steam ship; the iron wire into 
a steel cable. He touched the raw cotton and it became calico; and the 
cocoon became silken garments; he touched the sea shell with strings 
across its mouth and it became a piano ; he touched the rude type and it became 
the printing press. Soon the wilderness was a garden and the solitude became 
a city. Where once rose the smoke of the Indian wigwam and the sound of the 
Medicine Man's drum, there rose instead ihe hum of industry, the halls of 
science and the temples of religion. Vices became virtues, slaves became 
citizens, for a man is the child of progress because he is the child of God. 
Steam and electricity are the twin powers of the century. To Fulton belongs 
the fame of the first steam boat in 1807. The birthday of our late Queen 
Victoria, May 24th, 1819, the first steamer that ever crossed the Atlantic, or 


any other ocean, started from Savannah to Liverpool and crossed in twenty- 
six days. That was nearly a hundred years ago. Now the time is often less 
than six days. Say about a hundred years ago, there was not a mile of railroad 
in the world. There is now a total of over 670,000 miles. Last year's earn- 
ings of all the railroads of the world was $50,000,000,000, an amount beyond 
human conception. In the year 1800 the revenue of England, Scotland and 
Ireland and all the colonies of the British Empire was less than the earnings 
of the New York Central Railway in 1900. 

In 1802 coal was rediscovered and sent to Philadelphia, and strange as it 
may seem it took years before any more was shipped, and then Colonel Shoe- 
maker was arrested for taking money under false pretences, for the people 
considered the stuff only good to build sidewalks with. To-day this is the 
universal fuel that creates power for steam on land or sea. 

Before 1844, the year of my birth, there was not a foot of telegraph wire 
anywhere in the world. In that year, 1844, Morse sent the first message, 
" What) God has wrought/' Prior to 1858, when Cyrus Field's first Atlantic 
cable was laid, it took ten days to communicate between the two continents. 
There are now over thirty cables. In 1875 there was not a telephone in exist- 
ence; it was estimated that on January I, 1913, there were 13,570,800 in use 
throughout the whole world. Our present day judgment would be that the 
best barometer the world has had in civilization during the century is the 
postal system. It was in 1837 that Rowland Hill introduced the postage 
stamp in England. In 1800 there were only a few post offices in all this fair 
Dominion, an'd less than a hundred in the United States. To-day there are 
hundreds of thousands. During the year 1900 the United States alone had 
23,000 postal cars, a solid train over seventeen miles long, filled with mail, 
weighing some 22,000 tons. 

We could talk of the arts, the sciences, the press, the pulpit, education, 
books and hundreds of other things that have done so much for advancement ; 
but what have the nations done during the past hundred years for humanity? 
As in the first years of the nineteenth century, so in the first of the twentieth- 
wars and rumours of wars. Then, as now, Europe trembled under marching 
orders; Napoleon was exiled. Whose turn will come next? In this there is 
food for thought, remembering the recent wars in China, the Philippines, 
South Africa, Turkey, the Balkans, and Mexico, and now this world-wide 
cruel war. We have not reached "Peace on earth and good-will to men," 
down nineteen bloody " Christian " centuries. Emerson exclaims, " Nothing 
can bring on peace but the triumph of principles." As is the case with 
individuals, so it is with nations. The energy and enterprises which freedom 
brings, count for so much in natural life, that it has revolutionized the world 
for a wider education, and a truer Christianity. This is the dominant feature 
of the most progressive race on the face of the globe. Wherever the banner of 
our nation has been planted it has been in behalf of a better civilization and 
the advancement of the brotherhood of mankind. A striking example is from 
the beginning of British rule in India. There came a gradual cessation of the 
bloody wars between native rulers and by foreign invaders, which had sacri- 
ficed so many lives and destroyed cities and homes from the earliest 
history of that great and densely populated peninsula. No native prince in 
India ever built a road. When Britain assumed the government there was 
not a mile of road over which a wagon could pass. There were, in 1917 


210,000 miles of the very best highways maintained by public authorities. In 
1854 India had twenty-one miles of railway; in 1916 there were 35,833 miles, 
connecting province with province, city with city, penetrating the native states, 
bringing them into close relationship, carrying the native products to the sea- 
board, and in towns bringing to the natives the products of other parts of the 
world. In 1856 there were in all India 753 post offices; in 1916 there were 
69,012 post offices and letter boxes. 

There were 86,067 miles of telegraph lines in 1916 that handled 18,129,748 
paid messages. There were in 1904 36,000 miles of canals, irrigating 
47,193,925 acres; not an acre of this produced before Britain's occupation. 
In 1866 educating the masses began, and in 1913-14 there were nearly 
8,000,000 pupils in the schools of India. The exports from British India have 
grown from $64,000,000 in 1848 to $620,000,000 in 1914-15, while the imports 
during the same period grew from $41,000,000 to $555,000,000. 

I have referred so much in detail to these as an example to show that all 
nations do not abuse imperialism nor make unrighteous war for territorial 
acquisition, but for the uplifting of humanity. The desire of all enlightened 
nations has been to improve the economic, social and moral conditions of the 
races. The past century, and so far in the present one, has brought many 
strange and unparalleled blessings to mankind. Statesmen have recognized 
the fact that universal education is the keynote to power, and the more we 
develop this the more do we unfold the divine and creative power in man. 

Have the nations made as much moral as material progress ? There are 
certainly more people living in the world than there were a hundred years ago. 
Are the people better from a religious point of view ? The Outlook says, " In 
the beginning of the nineteenth century God was conceived as an embodied 
Person inhabiting some central place in the universe, the great first cause, the 
creator of matter and force.*' The present tendency is to conceive of God, 
not as a great first cause, but as the one holy, omnipresent, universal cause : 
the supreme and eternal energy from which all things proceed. These are two 
conceptions of the human race a hundred years apart. Voltaire, that brilliant 
Frenchman, predicted that " The nineteenth century would find that the 
Bible would be remembered only as an historical event and that men would 
have no more use for it." What do we find? that his name and predictions 
have almost been forgotten, while the Book of Books has never attracted so 
much attention, and its influence upon the world has never been so potent as 
it is to-day ; never was it read and circulated so widely. It has a fast anchorage 
on the hearts of humanity, because we find that in the past century 300,000,000 
have been circulated, while at least 500,000,000 more are found in Christian 
homes. It is estimated that Great Britain and the United States contribute 
to the churches the stupendous sum of $200,000,000 yearly. Through reading 
this great Book of Books, we draw inspirations that put us on a higher plane 
and incite loftier ideals, and what with time, opportunity and ample means 
we are unfolding day by day the many hidden secrets that have not as yet been 
revealed to us. 

Some few of the marvellous and wonderful things that have always 
been with us, but only lately become known, I venture to draw attention 
to. A giant in the land, known by the name of " Hydro," was always with us, 
but not in evidence until the Provincial. Government took him by the hand and 
appointed the Hon. Adam Beck to introduce him; and although he is still 


young he has performed great feats. From present appearance he is destined 
to cut a great figure in the future. Water is the natural mate of electricity. 
They go together and cannot get along without each other. Electricity, like 
water, traverses the earth, trees, clouds, etc., and comes to us at our bidding. 
In 1876 Edison sent a current of electricity through a vacuum and con- 
founded the Solons, who declared that there could be no light without com- 
bustion, and no combustion without oxygen. Edison got his light without 
either of them. 

What our forefathers were satisfied with, and what we have been depend- 
ing upon, is fast disappearing. Anthracite coal will be exhausted in less than 
200 years; many oil wells in Pennsylvania that produced abundantly are now 
dry; a hundred years ago whale oil was the chief illuminant; petroleum is 
from coal deposits, stored and preserved in nature's laboratory; you empty 
the pocket and you exhaust the supply. Human mind has now evolved so that 
man in a degree controls nature. The hidden divine in him is unfolding, and 
the way he controls nature is by loving her and working with her, never oppos- 
ing just as the Creator intended. Man can make pyramids and he can 
remove mountains. He can crumble the hills to dust, transport them to 
distant points, and then reconstruct them. The buildings of the future will 
be concrete; the Egyptians knew the secret and it died with them, but we have 
now rediscovered this inexhaustible building material. The mountains, rock- 
ribbed and lasting as the sun, are nothing but natural concrete God's con- 
crete, mixed, smelted and melted by heat and pressure and time. Man can 
now supply heat and pressure, and can eliminate the item of time, and can 
make granite in a day. Concrete is the coming material for constructions ; - 
none can dispute its qualities. While other things were becoming dearer, it 
was becoming cheaper. It is now serving us in many capacities; in future it 
will become the hand-maiden in our homes. 


Take, again, the work of our own Graham Bell, of Brantford, to whom 
we are indebted for the telephone with all its usefulness, speed, comfort and 
advantages, linking man to man, home to home,, town, to town and nation to 
nation. Let it speak for itself. In October, 1907, at the initial test, telephone 
communication, without wires, was maintained between the United States 
Navy Yard and the cruiser Vigilance, a distance of five miles; the Tennessee 
kept in touch with the Navy Yard a distance of twelve miles, and on one of the 
Old Dominion steamers, off Cape Charles, music and messages were clearly 
heard a distance of twenty miles. Talking without wires through brick walls 
has been successfully accomplished. It seems only a short time since Marconi 
startled the world with his great achievements in wireless communication, but 
it is now a comparatively old story; yet, nevertheless, new features are pre- 
sented day by day, until now he can send sounds over oceans, and it will not be 
long until a sound can be sent and will echo around the world. Man can to-day 
build a comparatively good dwelling in a day, and a large manufacturing plant 
in forty days. 

Edison gave us the use of all sorts of contrivances for brilliantly lighting 
our streets and homes, bottling up the human voice which once had an exist- 
ence and has gone, so that we who are left can recall and reproduce it at our 
pleasure ; and made it possible for the poorest of us to have the best of music, 
of voice or of instruments, in our homes, besides innumerable other things in 


other lines, all the outcome of his genius and power over matter and the 
elements, which are now and always have been round and about us. 

What of transportation one of the chief factors in our business as well 
as our social life ? Look back upon the ox team, and now see the bicycle, the 
automobile, the trolley, and the airplane, all of which have come to stay., 
Milton wrote in his day : " In future we will touch a button on the wall and a 
figure will spring forth to serve us." Surely Milton prophesied. Behold the 
submarine boats, which run under water at a high speed, with entire crews 
on board bottled up in their prison without discomfort. 

And only a short time since, when 'phone and telegraph systems were all 
put out of business by a great storm of rain and wind, the Lackawanna Kail- 
way operated all their trains within a radius of one hundred miles from New 
York by the wireless station. Eventually we will be able to communicate one 
with the other by a wondrous telephone system, lately invented, viz., a 
pocket edition of wireless by which one is able to communicate at some dis- 
tance with persons supplied with duplicate instruments. 

Dr. Barringer Cox, of Bedford, New York, has an invention of a wireless 
apparatus which may be strapped about the waist and deftly hidden in the 
folds of a cloak. A picture I have seen shows Dr. Cox with his cane, or 
receiver, raised for a message. The apparatus has a range of eighteen miles. 

We have air ships which can sail upside down, can steer against adverse 
currents as nicely in the air as a boat upon the water, and will shortly sail in 
the air across the ocean. We now know that we can send messages through the 
air without a wire, but it has just been announced that a man has succeeded in 
sending wireless power to some distance. This means that the new invention 
will dispense with wires and complete the development of navigation of the 
air, through a flying machine, which will receive its power from the ground 
without wires, and, avoiding the carrying of fuel and a heavy engine, will be 
enabled to conquer adverse winds. At present there are new facilities for 
travelling on land and sea. A Swiss inventor has devised a roller skate with 
large pneumatic wheels that will go over ordinary roads. Peter Hewitt, in 
trying 1 to build an aeroplane to sail in the air, discovered a new type of boat 
that would travel on top of the water, The faster the boat was driven the 
more it rose to the surface of the water, and skimmed along the top at a 
tremendous rate. 

What of Luther 0. Burbank, the wizard in plant life? He has been 
enabled to grow yellow violets on trees ; he has made grain bear two heads on 
the same stem where one grew before, so that every acre of land will yield 
double in the future. The wild pea he has reduced in size and made it as 
tender as the French pea. He has made the cactus of the desert so smooth that 
one can rub his face along the leaves without suffering irritation, and at the 
same time made it as delicious a food as the egg plant. The wild cactus 
of the desert can be grown on millions of acres of waste land and 1 become as 
valuable as alfalfa land of to-day. Cattle will live for ten months without any 
water other than that which the cactus furnishes, and they fatten upon it 
better than on ordinary meadow grass. 

Our forestry commission estimates that in twenty years our forests will 
all be gone ; there will be little wood left to build houses with and very little 
wood left to make paper with. In the future straw, palmetto and cactus will 


furnish our paper. But in twenty years we may raise new forests, for Burbank 
has taken the English walnut and crossed it into the California, and in fourteen 
years these trees stood eighty feet high, their branches seventy-five feet across, 
and the trunks free from branches ten to fifteen feet in height. The studies 
of this great man, the products of his thought, the plants growing and develop- 
ing in his garden, his ideals, purposes and plans, would mark him as a, won- 
derful example of the divine in man. 

We are seeing miracles accomplished in these days; a hundred years ago 
men shook their heads solemnly and said the limit of human invention had 
been reached. The inventions in the past few years keep us busy speculating 
on what may come next, for we know little of the real nature of things on 
earth and can loose ourselves in conjectures. Even now the wireless is used for 
stopping trains, independently of the engineer. We can now make daylight 
by artificial means. Sir Oliver Lodge says we can control the weather and 
supply rain or shine; if rain is wanted we must send up negative electricity. 
The heat of Sahara deserts can be trapped, packed and sent to all parts of the 
world. We have wireless telephone from a moving train, and wireless 'phones 
from house to house. We will be able to see each other when we are telephon- 
ing to one another, for seeing by wire is no longer a dream. Our canal boats 
are now drawn by " electrical mules/' in the form of the trolley. Will it 
startle you to be informed that Professor Delage has artificially produced life ? 
The intervention of the male parent was replaced by a purely chemical process. 
He obtained real sea urchins furnished with the most characteristic organs, 
spines, pedicels, etc. Several were able to climb up the glass sides of the 
vessel in which they were developed. These urchins are high in the animal 
scale, higher than worms and a little below insects. They have a nervous 
system, a well developed alimentary canal and framework of bone to which the 
muscles, which work the teeth, are attached. Delage formed the theory that 
they could be reproduced ; this he did by using tannic acid for the purpose of 
coagulation and liquefication just such a process as takes place in the 
development of an egg after fertilization. 

We now see New York's forty-eight-storey building; the thirty thousand 
ton steamships; the trans- Atlantic wireless telegraphy; the war airships; the 
wonderful moving pictures ; Edison's cement house that can be built in a few 
hours. Why not quote, " Speak to the earth, and it will teach thee." 

You have all heard the expression, " There is nothing new under the 
sun." That phrase has come down through the' ages, but the wealth of ideas 
men bring forth in a never-ending stream disproves it. A genius has developed 
an apparatus that ships may telegraph one to the other through the depths of 
the ocean by Morse code, when thirty miles apart; speech can be heard one- 
half mile distant. 

A new battleship is being constructed which will be driven by electricity ; 
even now, every task aboard ship from peeling potatoes to turning the monster 
gun turrets is done by electricity. 

And now we have an inventor who can supply an aerial, wireless-controlled 
torpedo, which could be launched from the top of a tower and smash any 
enemy's ships. The wireless operator directing its flight can keep in touch 
with it and absolutely control its movements. 

Wireless waves sent five miles have started the engine of a motor car. 


The experiment was made at the Indiana State fair and has naturally, in the 
present state of the public mind, suggested new possibilities of destruction. 

And now they are providing us with a burglar alarm wh^ich actually 
shouts for help. It is called the " watchful voice." The inventor found a 
man with a well-nigh deafening voice which he has styled the " burglar proof 
tone." Its " Hello !" can be heard for miles in open country and also when 
the voice yells " Police ! Help ! Stop thief !" This voice he harnessed to his 
phonographic burglar alarm, and it was intensified by a mechanical process. 
It is the greatest thing since the automatic piano. The " watchful voice " has 
much to recommend it even in its mildest moods. 

Eemarkable success has been obtained by a young Italian engineer, who 
in his latest experiment fired explosives contained in a gutta-percha bag cov- 
ered with fibre and enclosed in a porcelain box, which again was placed in an 
asbestos box with a wrought iron casing. These elaborate contrivances were 
sunk in the River Arno. Ulivi, the inventor, took his ray apparatus ten miles 
away from his objective. Within thirty minutes of receiving the signal Ulivi's 
apparatus exploded the sunken mines. To further test the apparatus Admiral 
Fornieri sank corded bombs at different points and within fifteen minutes 
Ulivi's apparatus had scoured the river, located the bombs and exploded them. 
He now intends to perfect a new apparatus capable of firing explosives within 
eighty miles. 

Edison claims that electricity is a cure for the world's ills, but until we 
know more about ourselves it will be difficult to tell what can be done with 
electricity as a medical aid. He once asked DuBois-Reymond, the physiologist, 
" What makes my finger move ? It is not heat, light, electricity, magnetism ; 
what is it?" In the future we will have a new supply of electricity direct 
from coal without steam boilers. 

Another achievement in wireless communication has been announced by 
the American Telephone Company. Just about three weeks after the human 
voice was heard at Honolulu by wireless from Arlington, Va., observers listen- 
ing at the Eiffel Tower in Paris heard an engineer of the company greet them 
at the Arlington Station three thousand miles away. Communication is now 
an established fact from the Atlantic seaboard to Hawaii, a distance of 4,600 

Jokes often end in truths. Some joker said that some cereals were made 
from peanut shells, and the man who said candy would grow in the fields 
proves it by producing some seventy-five different sorts of candy from alfalfa. 
Presently we shall have alfalfa flour, which is superior to all other flours for 

Coal is sunlight locked in profound sleep, and I believe there are secrets 
in using the power of the sun the key of which is yet to be found. Man will 
yet discover the ways of controlling and hoarding the sun fire as it pours into 
the world from the heavens. He can learn the secret of rocking the sun fire 
to sleep, so that he may awaken it at will. He will learn to use this fire as it 
comes into the world in its infinite plentitude. It is said man is destined to 
live in the world for millions of years to come. He must not be afraid to chain 
and control the heat of the sun. We will, doubtless, be attempting to signal 
the people of Mars within the next century. Professor Bickerton, President 
of the London Agronomical Society, in a late lecture on life in Mars, pre- 


dieted that in the future people of the earth will be in communication with 

Our wildest imagination cannot picture what our descendants will see, 
hear and enjoy. We do not know but the story of Aladdin's Lamp will be 
repeated one hundred years hence, and a fairy palace be erected in a night, 
because the great work of Edison, Marconi, and other inventors has stimulated 
hundreds of men to renewed efforts, and the thoughts of thousands of bright 
boys are turned toward scientific pursuits and engineering careers. 

Emerson says, " We come to our own and make friends with nations which 
the ambitious chatter of the schools would persuade us to despise." No man 
may know the future or even guess what may not look foolish in half a cen- 
tury. The possibilities of talking over water, or sending sound thousands of 
miles, lias always been here, but man has only now discovered it. We may be 
only beginning our conquest, and time may yet solve the problem of utilizing 
the tremendous power engendered by the rise and fall of the tide. If we only 
knew how to apply this power, we could run all the machinery used in factories, 
and light and heat the cities of the world and houses of the people. It was 
only very lately that we harnessed up the mighty Niagara; the bit is in 
her mouth and the hand of man controls and guides her. 

The Creator has provided for the future supply of energy, as the Victoria 
Falls, with a volume twice as large as Niagara and twice as high, is estimated 
to produce thirty-five million horse power. 

If nature has placed obstacles in the path of man, one by one they are 
being overcome. The millions of money and the years that have gone into the 
struggle through his science, and his brains, aye, his very life with these 
nature will be overcome. 

This is a new age, a new country and a new people. We are not called to 
go back but to go forward to higher levels of living. This is our day. We are 
glad and grateful to greet, the unborn future. The past inspires us, the pres- 
ent enthralls us. The future draws us upward and on. We may respect our- 
selves as creative spirits, each having a special task to do what no one else can 
do, showing our wonderful individuality. To-day we labour to advance the 
life and interests of this age. Thousands of us have the habit of thinking in 
a large and social way. This makes us aspire to attain, and to prove that 
progress is the law of life. In these moments our thoughts are lofty and our 
vision clear. Our deeds should be noble. We become aware of our unlimited 
strength ; self-distrust causes cowardice ; therefore, we may trust ourselves to 
think and ponder and consider, that we may know more and more. Through 
knowledge we gain power. In a reasonable measure man has mastered the 
elements. He has conquered the earth and subdued it. He has made the air 
and the water to carry him. All this means an activity which is fitting to 
man, and proclaims him to be a creative spiritual being. Man must continue 
to plant new ideas which shall grow, blossom and bear fruit into new and 
serviceable institutions. We are capable of producing greater things still, 
each person filled and growing with a sense of our creative ability. Let us 
make the most of ourselves; the present is the child of the past, and the 
present can also be a creative parent of the future. For each of us there is 
access to all the creative power, all the goodness and all the progress which the 
world contains and of which human nature is capable. Change is a law of life. 


This many-sided marvel rules everywhere. We have plucked the heart out of 
the great mystery and we stand to-day on the eve of great conquests, possessing 
the great conquering power which has been transmitted to us by the Creator 
- of all things. Naturally, we respect the institutions inherited from former 
ages, but still more we should respect our capacity to create other institutions 
which shall more fully express our aspirations, and better serve every high 
human purpose. 

There is money enough in the world to pay men to give their best thoughts 
in this direction. Most of us remember when a millionaire was a curiosity. 
Thousands of past inventions and discoveries occasion our gratitude and thanks, 
and we should not forget the " One Mind " that controls the universe and 
holds the planets in their places. Have we been but dreaming in the past, and 
are we thoroughly awake even now? For hath He not said, through St. Paul 
the Apostle, " Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the 
heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 
This does not mean, as so many imagine, that all this is to be revealed in the 
hereafter but now ! But there is a condition, and that is the greatest thing 
in the world love. And the greater and truer our love, the more rapidly all 
will be revealed to us. David said, " Lift up your heads ye gates." So may we 
exclaim and act, we in our richness of the privileges of life; rich in luxuries; 
rich in comforts; rich in blessings; rich in companionships and friendships; 
rich in the gospel of salvation, which has never advanced in price, free to all ; 
rich in the prospects of a better inheritance. Lift up your heads, acquit your- 
selves like men, measure up to the possibilities of your original creation in the 
image of your Creator, and only a little lower than the angels, and exclaim : 

" For all that is, and for all that was, 

And ever more shall be, 
Thank God our Heavenly Father, 
Each day on bended knee." 

Now, Mr. Chairman, we live in a great country ; we are a great people ; 
we acknowledge no superior ; we live under the folds of a great flag, that we 
should all be proud to follow; that flag represents our nationality and our 
faith. It is the flag of three crosses, whose attributes are sacrifice, mercy and 
benevolence. This flag is the hope of the oppressed. It has often been assailed, 
but has always been carried to a triumphant place. 

" Ever victorious over the world, 
Honour it, stick to it, keep it unfurled. 
It shall not be beaten, round it we'll stand, 
The flag of old Britain, the flag of this land. 

For centuries it's floated on high, 
On earth and on sea, against the blue sky, 
True sailors and soldiers it never will lack, 
The flag of old Britain, the old Union Jack." 


An Address Delivered July 4, 1913, at Block House Point, North Hero, Vt. 


Delivered on the occasion of the erection and unveiling by the Vermont 
Society, Sons of the American Revolution, of a boulder and inscribed tablet in 
commemoration of the building in July, 1781, on this spot, of Loyal Block House, 
and of its builder, Captain Justus Sherwood, of the Queen's Loyal Rangers. 

Published by the Ontario Historical Society, by permission of the author, 
Henry Harmon Noble, Essex, N.Y. 

Mr. President and members of the S. A. R., Colonel Sherwood, Friends : 
I cannot but express the great pleasure that I experience in that I am per- 
mitted to be present on this most auspicious and interesting occasion, but I 
can assure you that my pleasure would be greater, if it had been given me to 
be present as a spectator, instead of having been given such a prominent place 
in the ceremonies of the day. 

Since I rashly gave my promise to Mr. Clark to deliver what your pro- 
gramme styles an " Historical Address," I am frank to say that I have viewed 
the matter with considerable trepidation. I have never pretended to any par- 
ticular literary style, beyond possibly a reasonable knowledge of the correct 
use of the English language, and while I may have some knowledge of the 
history of this beautiful valley of ours, my contributions on the subject have 
been in the nature of monographs, and those of no great length, so that if in 
this effort I fall short of your expectations, I can but say with the poet of our 
youthful days : 

" Don't view me with the critic's eye, 
But pass my imperfections by." 

It seems particularly fitting while the survivors of the opposing armies 
of the most remarkable battle of the most remarkable war in the history of the 
world, are commemorating together, and in amity, the fiftieth anniversary of 
that titanic struggle, that the Vermont Society, Sons of the American Revolu- 
tion, descendants of the men who fought for the Colonies, in the struggle for 
American Independence, are commemorating here to-day, and on this spot, 
the erection of this ancient fortification, and the memory of a gallant foe, its 

Of the controversy over the New Hampshire Grants, and of the negotia- 
tions between Vermont and the British authorities in Canada, conducted on this 
very spol, it perhaps does not become me, a New Yorker, to speak. As I wrote 
Mr. Clark, I had hoped that perhaps that phase of this most interesting sub- 
ject might have been handled by a Vermonter, and more sympathetically, than 
it could be by me. It has been told, in printed works, by men of Vermont 



whose ability in the field of history far exceeds mine, and I feel that had I the 
time, which I have not, I could add nothing to what has been written on the 

As I have said before, my historical writings have been alniost entirely 
monographs, and they have been written, I may also say, in most instances 
as the result of queries that have come to me from far and wide from other 
seekers for " Historian Veritas," the truth of history regarding some matter of 
which apparently no one has ever before heard. My friends tell me that I am 
of an enquiring, not to say, inquisitive disposition, so not to belie my reputa- 
tion, when these queries have come to me, I have gone to work at the matter, 
and literally dug it up by the roots, and by the sweat of my brow. 

It was in this way, that from an enquirer in the Dominion of Canada, 
came to me, in the summer of 1910, the query regarding this historic spot. 

I am free to say that at that time I at first had no recollection of ever 
having heard of it, but in the dim recesses of my memory, it came to me that 
in the files of that wondrous store house of lore relating to the history of our 
valley, the good old Plattsburgh Republican, edited by my old and valued 
friend, the late Dr. George F. Bixby, somewhere I had seen the names, 
Loyal Block House and Dutchman's Farm. And it was there that I found 
the key. 

In the Historical Department of the Plattsburgh Republican for May 23, 
1896, appeared this query : " British evacuation of Lake Champlain. Date 
wanted. Some time during the year 1896 there will be celebrated the one 
hundredth anniversary of the final relinquishment by the British of their 
Military posts on Lake Champlain after the close of the Revolution, under the 
Jay treaty of 1794. The ascertainment of the exact time of. this event is an 
important desideratum. Can any of our readers furnish data which will facili- 
tate this inquiry? When did the British finally relinquish their possession of 
Lake Champlain to the United States? These military posts were at Point 
au Fer and Loyal Block House, or Dutchman's Farm/' 

At the time of the publication of this query in the Republican, the 
Honourable John B. Eiley of Plattsburgh was American Consul General at 
Ottawa, and through him as I have understood, Dr. Bixby was enabled to pub- 
lish in the next succeeding issue of the Republican, May 30, 1896, the follow- 
ing most valuable and enlightened historical document, copied through Judge 
Riley's kindness from the Dominion Archives at Ottawa. 

Dominion Archives, Haldimand Papers. Series B. Vol. 176. Page 142. 

Dutchman's Farm, 1st July, 1781. 

Sir, I arrived here yesterday with 23 men including old men, Boys & 
unincorporated Loyalists. I am building an oven & hutting the men; shall 
begin to-morrow felling timber for the block house. 

Timber is not so plenty here as I expect'd & must draw it a mile at 
least. I find that I was mistaken in supposing the point I shewed His Excel- 
lency on the map to be the Dutchman's Farm. It is about 200 yards east of 
that point & being separated from it by a narrow channel makes part of the 
Grand Isle. 

However, it is the place that I meant to point out to the General & as 
it is every way situated (in my opinion) to answer the purpose intended we 


shall proceed to get the timber & bring it together, after which if I have no 
orders to the contrary we shall set up the house. I think any ship in the 
Lake may lie with safety in the channel above mentioned. The spot on which 
I propose setting the Block House is a rise just at the extremity of the point 
about five yards higher than the other ground & may be fronted with an 
Abbatis of about 50 yards in length from water to water. The plain beyond 
this is Level & entirely clear to a distance of near one hundred yards northward. 

From this point we have a southern view of the Lake near four leagues 
but cannot see above half a league northward on the Lake. The Isle a Motte 
prevents our seeing what passes to the westward between Pt. o Fare and Eush 

I am informed by Mr. Saunders, Ast. Engineer, that this is a bad season 
to cut oak, hickory & cherry or birch timber as it will be too open & brittle 
for any fine work, or for duration. I likewise find! the rapids so low that a 
raft cannot be taken down till the fall of the year, but the pine timber can be 
cut in & formed into a raft. The hickory & oak can be cut in October, & then 
deliver'd at Quebec in November. 

Mr. Saunders wishes to have a party of my men to assist him in getting 
hay at Misisquoi. I suppose I could place them in such a manner as to serve 
the purpose of guarding him & at the same time be able to discover any scouts 
from Vermont by the way of the Onion Eiver, but I mention this only by Mr. 
Saunders' request. I enclose Levi Warner's report,, & beg you will please to 
let me know His Excellency's pleasure on the different subjects herein 

I am with much respect & esteem, 

Sir, your most obed't hum'l servant, 

J. Sherwood. 
(To) Captain Mathews. 

The report of Levi Warner mentioned in the foregoing letter is as follows : 

"Levi Warner arriv'd from Connect River the 28th of June & reports 
that Joseph Taylor, a Eebel Spy, is in Canada at Belle Isle where he has been 
some time secreted by the Canadians. Soon after Col. Allen's report was read 
& the whole Convention except two men voted to accept of Gen'l Haldimand's 
proposals to Vermont. Judge Jones is made Chief Justice & Cols. Wells & 
Alcot, Eoyalists, Ass't Judges for Vermont. The people on the east side 
almost all in favour of Gov't & intend to join with Canada if they can, but they 
are very much afraid of the people on the west side of the mountain who are 
almost all Eebels & begin to threaten Govr. Chitenten & the Aliens very much." 

From the Dominion Archives, Haldimand Papers, Series B, Vol. 176, at 
page 184, the following extract from a letter to Captain Mathews from Captain 
Sherwood is taken. (Capt. Mathews was Secretary to Governor Frederick 

Loyal Block House, July 29th, 1781. 

I have built a very good and large block house & on the most advantageous 
spot of any on the Lake. I wish I knew whether it was to be an establish'd 
post as in that case it should be picqueted. 


It is my humble opinion that there is not so proper a place on the Fron- 
tiers as this for the residence & departure of secret scouts & I think when 
the Block House is Picqueted 50 men may defend it against 300 with small 
arms as two or three swivels may be placed in it to advantage. 

Thus we have the record, my friends, of the building one hundred and 
thirty-two years, to the day, of this ancient work whose erection, and its 
builder we here commemorate to-day. 

Of detailed history, or narrative, of this work during the time it was 
garrisoned by British troops, none exists, save the frequent incidental mention, 
in the reports and correspondence in the Canadian archives. 

From that source, we glean these documents of exceedingly human 
interest, which I trust I may be pardoned, if I take a few moments of our time 
to read. For these, also, we are indebted to the Historical Department of the 
Plattsburgh Republican, January 29, 1898, a copy of which I hold in my hand 
and from which I read : 

Dominion Archives, Haldimand Papers, B. 162, Page 168. 

St. John's, 22nd Jan'y, 1784. 

I take this liberty of troubling you with an affair, which I hope will not 
appear disagreeable nor offensive, but will interest Your Kind Interference 
and Assistance as you shall judge best in the matter. 

I had the Honor to Command the Loyal Block House for seven or eight 
months During which time I was visited by many Passing and Repassing to 
and from the Colonies, on Acc't of which I was obliged to support the Dignity 
of an Officer, to be at no small expense, more than my pay was sufficient to 
support. Not doubting, with your Representation, but the Commander in 
Chief will take it into consideration, I submit the whole to your discretion, 
and at the same time refer you to Captain Sherwood for particulars. 
I am Sir with much resoect, 

Your most obt. Servant, 
Major Mathews, J. Dusenbury, 

Quebec. Ens. L. B. 

Dominion Archives, Haldimand Papers, B. 162, page 22. 

St. John's, 28th March, 1784. 

I have sold my farm at Dutchman's Point, to a Dr. Washburn of Vermont, 
reserving the Block House as King's property. Mr. Washburn seems very 
anxious to know when the King's Garrison will be withdrawn from there, and 
particularly requests me to inform him several days before it takes place, but 
I have assured him that he is not to expect any information from me on that 
subject without permission and direction from His Excellency the Commander 
in Chief. 

I am with great Respect, 

Sir your most obedient and most Humble servant, 

J. Sherwood. 


Dominion Archives, B. 155, page 146. 

Return of Stores, Tools and Materials belonging to the Engineer. Department 
at Dutchman's Farm, the 7th of September, 1784. 

Felling axes 11 Hoes 6 

Broad " 1 Iron wedges 2 

Augers 1 Planes 2 

Chisels 1 Pick axes 6 

Drawing knives 1 Saws, cross cut 2 

Frowers 1 " hand 2 

Grind stones (compleat) ...... 1 " whip 1 

Guages 1 Shovels, iron 2 

Hay knife 1 Scythes (compleat) 1 

Hammers 2 Saw box 1 

(Signed) Henry Rudyard, 

Com'ing Engineer in Canada. 

Dominion Archives, Halclimand Papers, B. 175, page 268. 

Arlington, April 15th, 1784. 
Since peace has taken place between Great Britain and America and as 
in consequence thereof the British Post on the Island now called the Hero's 
in this State, named the Loyal Block House, will probably be evacuated some 
time this year. 

I shall esteem it a mark of your Excellency's favour if you would direct 
the Commanding Officer of the Post to certify to me the time of its evacuation, 
that an Officer from this State may take possession thereof. 
Such a favour will be gratefully acknowledged by, 

Sir, your Excellency's most obedient Humble Servant, 

Thos. Chittenden. 
(To) His Excell'y 

Gen'l Haldimand. 

It is positively known that this post was garrisoned by British troops as 
late as September 20, 1792. This is shown by the affidavit of that date of 
Ebenezer Marvin, of Alburgh, which is found in Vermont Papers, Volume 30, 
page 181. In it he states : " The British have another post at Dutchman's 
Point on North Hero/' and " The garrison at Dutchman's Point has never 
interfered in any way with the inhabitants or done any thing besides keeping 
their own sentries." 

The exact date when this post was ,given up, or evacuated by the British 
authorities, is not shown in any records which have been accessible to the 
writer. The official correspondence in the Canadian Archives simply shows 
that the posts on Lake Champlain were to be given up by the British, some 
time during the summer of 1796, exactly when, a careful search of the records 
does not disclose. The records of the United States at Washington are equally 
silent on the subject. 


The Adjutant-General, United States Army, under date of June 15, 1911, 
writes as follows : " An exhaustive search of the few records on file in the War 
Department for the approximate period, has resulted in failure to find any 
record showing the date upon which the British evacuated the posts on Lake 
Charnplain, referred to within/' 

" It is possible, however, that some information on that subject may be 
obtained from the Department of State, Washington, D.C." 

In a letter to the writer from the Secretary of State of the United States, 
under date of August 4, 1911, it is stated "that the archives of this Depart- 
ment have been examined, and that nothing concerning the evacuation by the 
British of the posts at Pointe au Fer, and Loyal Block House has been found." 

And what of the builder? 

Justus Sherwood, a native of Connecticut, and of English stock, was an 
early settler in New Haven, Vermont, whence he came in the year 1774, settling 
on the farm, on Lanesboro Street, afterwards owned by Judge Ellas Bottum, 
and still known as the Bottum place. It was Lot No. 31 of the town as laid 
out under its charter from Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire. 
I am informed by Mr. Clark, who visited the site of Justus Sherwood's old 
home last fall, that a house erected by Captain Sherwood is still standing there. 

He was proprietor's clerk of New Haven from 1774 to 1776, when, as the 
records have it : " He was a Tory and fled to Canada." 

But let us analyze this brief statement a little. To my mind and from 
the deductions I draw from a more or less close study of the subject of Tories 
or Loyalists generally, I claim that he whose memory we honour here to-day 
was a consistent Loyalist, and that by whatever name he was called, be it 
Loyalist or Tory, it was a badge of honour, and borne by one whose honour 
and constancy was never questioned, by friend or honest foe. 

Holding as he did, his land in New Haven under the New Hampshire 
title, he was not involved in the bitter controversy between New York and 
Vermont known to history as the New Hampshire Grants Controversy, and 
consequently we must believe, and know, that he was not embittered and 
driven out by this internecine strife, but that from a sense of duty he left his 
home in Vermont, and giving up his all for him whom he considered his lawful 
ruler, he went away, sorrowfully as must have been, to make a new home in a 
new and strange land, but among men whose principles he approved. 

I must confess that I have never had that bitter hatred for the English 
that seems to obsess some of our countrymen, of American birth, even to this 
day. Coming as my forbears did from old Connecticut, " the land of steady 
habits," and from a town where a town meeting met to discuss urgent public 
affairs at the outbreak of the Revolution was opened by these words, " With 
hearts full of loyalty and duty to our rightful Sovereign King George the 
Third." This is the expression of men who were subsequently second to none 
in their devotion to the cause of American Independence, in which, I trust I 
may be pardoned if I say that my own ancestors bore no inconsiderable part. 
When an old and highly-esteemed friend of Irish birth tells me that he firmly 
believes that the salvation of the whole world depends on English law, and the 
English sense of right and justice, I do not feel that I need make apology or 
defence, in that I hold to-day a brief for a patriot, for such was Justus Sher- 
wood, a man of Anglo-Saxon blood, of the race from which I am sprung, and 
in whose destinv I firmly believe. 


Justus Sherwood, after leaving New Haven, appears to have taken up 
his residence, during the war at least, at St. John's, in, the neighbouring Pro- 
vince of Quebec, Canada. It was from here we may assume that he was com- 
. missioned a Captain, in the Partizan Corps raised from among the American 
Loyalists, and known as the " Queen's Loyal Rangers." This Corps was 
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Peters, a native of Hebron, Con- 
necticut, and also, as was Justus Sherwood, a consistent Loyalist. 

That the Regiment, or a portion of it, was engaged at the Battle of 
Bennington, history relates, and it is said that in that action Captain Justus 
Sherwood " behaved with gallantry." Colonel Peters says of him that he was 
" active," that he was " a man of culture," that he was " forward in every 
enterprise of danger to the end of the campaign." 

Of the service of the Regiment, as a Regiment, and of the services of 
Captain Sherwood with it, aside from the above, the details given by written 
history are meagre, but of the detached service of Captain Sherwood, in enter- 
prises similar to the ; building of the work where we stand to-day, the Canadian 
Archives are filled. The trusted officer of the representative of his Sovereign 
in Canada, he was throughout the war, " forward," not only as his Colonel 
states, " in every service of danger," but in every enterprise of the Crown in 
Canada, which called for the services of a man of known intelligence, skill, 
and tried and true loyalty to his King. 

The accounts of the labours of Justus Sherwood, in the land to which he 
" fled," are written large in the history of the Dominion. 

Subsequent to the war, Justus Sherwood was granted by the Canadian 
Government, a tract of 1,000 acres of land near Brockville, Ontario, upon 
which he settled, and where he died. 

My study of the history of the American Loyalists, induced by a desire 
for information regarding this fortification and its builder, has led me to the 
sincere belief that they were men imbued with motives of at least equal patriot- 
ism, to that which induced our ancestors to engage in the struggle leading to 
American Independence. 

That the term " United Empire Loyalist " was a badge of honour in the 
country of their adoption, is evinced by the following " Order in Council," 
passed at Quebec, Monday, 9th November, 1789: 

" His Lordship intimated to the Council, that it was his wish to put a 
Marke of Honour upon the families who had adhered to the Unity of the 
Empire, and joined the Royal Standard in America before the Treaty of 
Separation in the year 1781." 

" The Council agreeing with His Lordship, it is accordingly ordered : 

'' That the several Land Boards take course for preserving a Registry of 
the names of all persons falling under the description aforementioned to the 
end that their posterity may be discriminated in the Parish Registers and 
Rolls of the Militia of their respective District and other public Remembrancers 
of the Province, as proper objects, by their persevering in the Fidelity and 
Conduct so honourable to their ancestors, for distinguished benefits and 

" And it is also ordered that the said Land Boards may in every such 
case provide not only for the sons of those Loyalists, as they arrive at full 
age, but for their daughters also, of that age, or on their marriage." 

That they were the villains that some of vour Vermont writers like 


Thompson and Robinson would have us believe, is not borne out by a careful 
study of the actual facts. t 

It is stated by as accurate and candid a writer as Dr. Asa Fitch, the 
historian of Washington County, New York, that a belief in the supposed 
villainy of the American Loyalists was sedulously cultivated by interested 
persons, who feared that they, the former owners of their lands, might return 
and take from the then holders, these lands which had been confiscated. Dr. 
Fitch mentions particularly the case of Major Philip Skene, settler of Skenes- 
boro, now Whitehall, New York, and owner of large tracts of land in that 
vicinity which had been confiscated by authority of the State of New York. 
That children were taught in answer to the question as to which they would 
rather meet, "old Skene or the devil," to reply the latter. 

And what was our loss was Canada's gain. In every subsequent genera- 
tion have the Sherwood family been distinguished. Justus Sherwood's son, 
Livius Peters Sherwood, born in St. John's in 1777, was a man learned in the 
law, Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, Speaker of Parliament of Upper 
Canada, and a Colonel in the War of 1812. His son, Edward Sherwood, 
removing from Brockville, Ontario, to what was subsequently selected as the 
Capital of the Dominion, also engaged in a distinguished career at the bar. 
And of his son, your honoured guest to-day, and of his long and honourable 
career in the public service of Canada, it is my high privilege to speak. For 
thirty-one years Superintendent of Dominion Police, a Lieutenant of the 
Governor-General's Foot Guards, Captain, Major, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
commanding the 43rd Rifles, a member of the Canadian Rifle Team at Wimble- 
don in 1885 and 1889, President of the Canadian Military Rifle League, and 
Captain of the Canadian Rifle Team at Bisley in 1903, Honorary Aide de Camp 
to Lord Minto, Earl Grey, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, 
Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, and member Victorian 
Order and his son who is here to-day, serving his King, as have his forbears, 
faithfully and well. 

I do not know that I am called upon to point a moral to adorn a tale, but 
I cannot forbear to give utterance to a thought that has come to me in my study 
of this most interesting subject. 

There is one point that I would make here to-day: That it is right 
to follow the dictates of one's own conscience, as did these American Loyalists. 
Let us say in the words of the " immortal poet " : " This" above all, Horatio, 
first to thine own self be true, and it shall follow as the night the day, thou 
canst not then be false to any man." 

And we Americans may well honour, as we do to-day, the memory of the 
American Loyalist, Justus Sherwood, the builder of Loyal Block House, true 
to himself and loyal to his King. 




Our country is not rich in Church Mural Tablets, especially of the quaint 
and imaginatively suggestive kind so common in the old land, some of which 
seem in a few words to suggest the very essence of the person's life. In an 
old cloister in London is a tablet with the inscription : " Jane Lister, dear 
childe," which to me is infinitely appealing and perfectly sufficient in its 

In St. Andrew's Church, Kingston, in a prominent place near the choir, 
is a white marble slab with the following inscription: Sacred to the memory 
of The Reverend John Barclay, M.A., First Minister of St. Andrew's Church : 
ordained by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 26th, 1821 ; died 
Sept. 26th, 1826. " A man greatly beloved." 

One feels almost envious as one gazes at the words : envious of the beauty 
of the God-like character which could inspire such a tribute. 

It seems a strange coincidence that the one sermon of the Rev. John 
Barclay which I have found, dated Kingston, U.C., 1822, has the following 
text: Ephes. 5:2." AValk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given 
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." 
The paper on which the sermon is written is yellow with age, but otherwise 
quite intact; the handwriting small, neat and delicate, but very legible. 

The sermon is too long to quote in full, but I shall give two paragraphs 
which will give some idea of its trend and also of the character of the man 
who wrote it. 

" Let us do justice to the benevolent and kindly nature of the precepts 
of the Gospel. Let us by an observance of them in their true spirit of kindness 
and good will to all men shew to those who form their opinion of Christianity 
from the lives of those who profess it, that its precepts are precepts of love, 
and that they are far from fostering a harsh, censorious or uncharitable dis- 
position, as is, alas ! too often the case in half-Christians or in pretending 
Christians. Let us by an observance of the precepts of the Gospel in their true 
spirit of kindness and good will (to all men) shew to these persons who may 
take notice of us that their observance of them too, far from shutting them 
out from the innocent and cheerful and enlivened enjoyment of life, would 
increase their own happiness and the happiness of their associates, and let us 
thus lead directly to the sweeping assurance that an observance of these pre- 
cepts by the whole of mankind would increase the happiness of the whole 
of the world." 

" Say not such a one has injured me so much that I cannot walk in 
love with him. I must be allowed to hate him and to wish to be revengeful of 



him. Christians, what would have been your case if this had been the rule 
which had determined Christ's treatment of you? It was when you were 
enemies to Him that Christ died for you. Walk, therefore, in love as Christ 
has loved you, and given Himself for you. Cultivate a general spirit, of meek- 
ness, gentleness and forbearance and charity. Do what is in your power to 
give occasion to the using again of this beautiful observation and noble testi- 
mony of esteem, i Behold hojv these Christians love one another/ Finally, 
walking in love is an essential part of the necessary preparation for acceptably 
partaking of that solemn ordinance of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
which you have so nearly in view. ' If thou bring thy gift to the altar and 
there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy 
gift before the altar and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother and 
then come and offer thy gift.' '' 

" Now may the God of Love and of Peace be with you and bless you 

That the life of the speaker of these words must have been an example of 
his own teaching needs no greater testimony than the few words, " A man 
greatly beloved." 

The simple and meagre facts of the life of the Rev. John Barclay are as 
follows: He was born at the Manse, Kettle, Fife, on July 9th, 1795, the eighth 
child of the Rev. Peter Barclay, D.D., the minister of the parish. He probably 
received his early education at the Kettle school, where his older brothers had 
been taught by Mr. Strachan (late Bishop Strachan). From there he went 
to Edinburgh College, from which he graduated with the degree of M.A. In 
1819, after having been licensed to preach the Gospel, he became assistant to 
Mr. Walker of Collessie, a neighbouring parish, which post he held till Mr. 
Walker's death two years later. He was then chosen by the Presbytery of 
Edinburgh as minister of Kingston, Upper Canada, and ordained by them to 
that charge on Sept. 26th, 1821. He left Kettle Manse a month later, on 
Oct. 20th, 1821, to sail from Greenock for New York, en route to Kingston, 
to begin his ministry there. 

The only account of this ministry which, I have been able to discover is 
in the Rev. Mr. Gregg's " History of the Presbyterian Church in Canada," 
which is as follows: 

" In Kingston the Presbyterians had been divided into two parties known 
as the Scotch and American. Messrs. Smart and Bell had vainly endeavoured 
to re-unite them, but two congregations were formed. A handsome stone 
church, called St. Andrew's Church, was erected by the Scotch congregation 
on an acre of ground granted by the Government, and an application was made 
by the elders and trustees to the Presbytery of Edinburgh to appoint a min- 
ister for the congregation. They selected Mr. Barclay, who arrived in Kingston 
in 1822, and officiated as pastor of St. Andrew's Church till his death on the 
26th September, 1826, in the thirtieth year of his age, and exactly five years 
after the date of his ordination. The high esteem in which he was held as a 
pious and devoted minister is indicated in the following words, which occur in 
an application made to the Edinburgh Presbytery to appoint his successor: 
' The success which attended the ministerial labours of our late lamented 
pastor induces us to state that the greater number of points in which the 
gentleman whose name you may determine to insert in the accompanying call 
resembles him whose early removal from among us we so deeply and so justly 


deplore, the more acceptable will he be to us, and the more likely to promote 
the interests of this congregation/ ' 

There is no one living who remembers Mr. Barclay, and I have not been 
able to discover any of his writings with the exception of the sermon which I 
have mentioned, so that there are few facts of a personal kind about him. The 
following story was told to my great-aunt (a niece of the Rev. John Barclay), 
some years ago by an old parishioner of his : In a family in Kingston where 
Mr. Barclay was a frequent guest, were two little twin girls who had been 
given two dolls dressed as babies. One day they were missed by their nurse, 
and she finally traced them to the door of the Manse, where they were inter- 
viewing the housekeeper, who was telling them that the minister was not at 
home. When their nurse asked why they had gone to Mr. Barclay's, they 
replied that they wanted to get their dolls baptized. 

At the time of his death Mr. Barclay was engaged to be married to a 
young Kingston lady an aunt of the twins, I believe and my great-aunt 
remembers seeing years ago an invoice of the household furnishing for which 
Mr. Barclay, in preparation for his marriage, had sent to the Old Country. 

He died a few days after returning to Kingston from London, where he 
had ridden to hold communion services. In the words of an old newspaper 
clipping: "He died in the same month (as his ordination), in the fifth year 
of his ministry, in the flower of his manhood, deeply regretted by his congre- 
gation. The monument erected by the people stands in the old Presbyterian 
burying ground in the north part of the city/' 



In the early days of the eighteenth century in the Great Lakes region, 
transportation was to a great extent carried on by means of birch bark canoes 
and bateaux. A bateau was a particular kind of boat very generally used 
upon the large rivers and lakes in Canada. The bottom of it was perfectly 
flat and each end was built very sharp and exactly alike. The sides were about 
four feet high, and, for the convenience of the rowers, four or five benches were 
laid across, according to the length of the bateau. It was a heavy sort of 
vessel for either rowing or sailing, but preferred for the reason that it drew 
little water and carried large loads, and was safer on lakes or wide rivers where 
storms were frequent. The bateau was at times propelled by means of sails. 
oars, and poles. The early inhabitants brought their furs to market either in 
canoes or bateaux. The furs were exchanged with the traders in return for 
supplies, ammunition, trinkets, etc. 

In this region, nearly surrounded by water, the question of transportation 
was a most important one, and 'in the early days of the nineteenth century 
one among the modes in vogue between Detroit and the Canadian shore, of 
which we have definite knowledge, was that of a log canoe owned by a man 
named Pierre St. Amour, who, during the period of 1820-1830 kept a small 
tavern about where the north-east corner of Sandwich Street and Ouellette 
Avenue now is, and ran his ferry from the shore there across to Detroit, and 
landed his passengers as might best suit them, either at Griswold Street or 
Woodward Avenue. 

The other ferry was log canoe (No. 2), owned by a man named Francois 
Labalaine, who lived on the Jeanette farm, about where the Canadian Pacific 
Railway station now stands. He ran his ferry from the shore at that point to 
the Detroit side of the river. At the door of his home was hung a tin horn, 
four feet long, which was used by Madame Labalaine to call him from across 
the river when passengers were waiting to cross over. 

In the winter at that period, and for a long time previous to that time 
when the river was frozen over, the trip was made in sleighs crossing over on 
the ice. They were guided by brushwood placed at intervals on each side of 
the course to be followed. Crossing in this way was attended by great risk of 
danger and even by loss of life at times. As a proof of this the following is 
taken from the parish records of the Church of the Assumption, Sandwich, 
under date of January 1st, 1785: " Time, 8 a.m. ; Menard, wife of Belair, was 
drowned with Demer's little girl while crossing the ice on a cutter. Demer's 
wife, who held her one-year-old child in her arms, was rescued by her husband. 
Were rescued also Belair and Duroseau, who hung on to Demer's cape." 

Friend Palmer, in his book, " Early Days in Detroit," published in 1900, 
gives the following account of a trip he made from Buffalo, N.Y., to Detroit, 



Mich, in May, 1827 : " We came from Buffalo on the steamer Henry Clay, 
Captain Norton. She was a luxurious boat and the captain was an aristocrat. 
While walking on the streets of Detroit he was the observed of all observers. 
The trip covered a period of two days and two nights. After passing by Sand- 
wich, the first sight that greeted us was that of the Windmills three on the 
Canadian side and two on the American side. On nearing Detroit a more 
interesting sight was that of a horse-ferry boat, Captain John Burtis, running 
between Detroit and the Canadian side. It was propelled by a horse walking 
around in an enclosure which looked like a large cheese box on a raft/' 

The ferry business at that time was not a very paying one, as is shown by 
the following statement, taken from an old record of 1828 : " John Burtis filed 
his statement of income in 1828 of the Ferry between Detroit and the Canadian 
side. The income was $1,325.66 and expenses $1,704.33, leaving a deficit of 

It is very well known that Robert Fulton was the first one who successfully 
developed the idea of the steamboat. In 1807 he brought out the steamer 
Clearmont on the Hudson River at New York City, and for some time she 
made regular trips between New York and the City of Albany at a speed of 
five miles an hour. One of the first steam-propelled ferry boats between Detroit 
and the Canadian side was the Argo. (No. 1), built by Louis Davenport, of 
Detroit, in 1830. It was built on the catamaran plan, being composed of two 
dugouts decked over and propelled by steam power. In 1836 Mr. Davenport 
built the steamer United, and in 1837 and for a number of years after that she 
ran as a ferry between Detroit and the Canadian side. 

Captain John D. Sullivan, at one time superintendent of the Detroit & 
Windsor Ferry Company, in his account of the Battle of Windsor, which took 
place on the 4th of December, 1838, makes reference to the steamer United, as 
follows : " The old officers' quarters were occupied by Robert Motherwell and 
family, the father and son being respectively first and second engineers on the 
steamer United of forty tons, a ferry between Detroit and the Canadian side. 
This boat was some years afterwards destroyed by an explosion of her boiler, 
and Engineer Motherwell killed." 

The United was under command of a Captain Clinton, father of Captain 
W. R. Clinton, who at a later date was for many years connected with the 
Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company. 

The ferry United ran from the lower Ferry Street dock to the Griswold 
Street dock in Detroit. In connection with the landing on the Canadian side, 
the location is set forth in the following advertisement of Provett's Hotel, 
which appeared in 1838 : " Windsor Castle Ale and Beer House. S. T. Provett 
respectfully informs the inhabitants of Windsor and Sandwich that he has 
opened a small establishment on the old country plan, where he always keeps on 
hand good schnaps in the Edinboro Ale, Sandwich and Detroit Beer brewed 
from the London recipe. Soda Water, etc., etc. A good snack in the shape of 
spiced beef and tongue, boiled eggs, pickled fish and crust of bread and cheese. 
Tarts, crackers, etc., always on hand. Moreover, a private room where an 
old countryman or others who prefer it may enjoy the river breeze over a jug of 
the best beer this country affords and their pipe and tobacco or first rate cigar. 
The Windsor Castle stands on the Ferry wharf between the two tailor shops." 
The small, square, two-storey brick building at present standing on the 


wharf on the west side of Ferry Street was occupied as a customs house in the 
days when the first steam ferries ran from that dock to Detroit. Between the 
years 1845 and 1858 the ferries brought out were the Alliance, afterward called 
the Undine; the Mohawk, Captain Thomas Chilver; the Argo (No. 2)-, built 
by Louis Davenport, of Detroit; and the two steamers Ottawa and Windsor, 
built by Dr. George B. Russell, of Detroit, who was a son-in-law of Mr. 

The Ottawa and Windsor were used as ferries by the Great Western Rail- 
way between Windsor and Detroit. The Ottawa carried freight, and the 
Windsor carried both passengers and freight. When the late King Edward 
VII, as Prince of Wales, visited Canada, he arrived in Windsor at the Great 

THE WATER FRONT IN THE LATE FIFTIES. (Looking toward Detroit.) 
Old Type of Steam Ferry in Central Position. 

(By courtesy of the Pere Marquette Railway.) 

Western Railway station in September, 1860, and crossed over on the ferry 
Windsor to the Woodward Avenue dock in Detroit. 

The Argo (No. 2), Captain James Forbes, ran on the regular ferry route 
until 1872. The steam ferries previous to 1858 ran from the lower Ferry 
Street dock in Windsor, but after 1858, in which year the town dock was built 
at Upper Ferry Street (Brock Street), the dock at the Lower Ferry Street was 
then abandoned, and the boats afterwards ran from the Brock Street dock in 
Windsor to the Woodward Avenue dock in Detroit. This change was made 
on account of the building of the old Great Western Railway into Windsor 
and the locating of the passenger station at the foot of Brock Street. The old 
passenger station is still standing, having been for a number of years past used 
as a freight shed. 


The town dock at Brock Street had the distinction of being the site of the 
original Windsor water works, viz., the town pump, from which anyone with a 
horse and wagon and a barrel could fill the barrel with water and sell to any- 
one desiring to buy the same for the sum of fifteen cents a> Barrel, a common 
practice before the establishment of the present fine water works system 
in 1872. 

The old Great Western Eailway (now a part of the Grand Trunk system 
since 1882) was built into Windsor in 1853, and the passenger station built at 
the foot of Upper Ferry Street (Brock Street), The road was opened .for 
traffic on the 31st of January, 1854. To connect with the railways in Detroit 
the company operated ferries for passengers and freight. The steamer Transit 
(No. 1) was put on the ferry between Windsor and the Third Street dock of 
the Michigan Central Railway of Detroit, and the steamer Windsor, built by 
Dr. Geo. B. Russell, of Detroit, was run as a ferry between Windsor and the 
Brush Street dock of the old Detroit and Milwaukee Railway Company. 

In 1856 the Great Western Railway Company had under construction 
the steamer Union, which was built by Henry Jenking at his ship yard, which 
was then located at Walkerville, on the Canadian side just above Windsor, and 
the Union made her first trip in June, 1857. She was a large side-wheel 
steamer, with a large cabin and dining room on the upper deck, and had two 
smoke stacks standing side by side. She was equipped with powerful con- 
densing engines, consisting of two cylinders placed in the. hold at an angle 
inclined upwards to connect direct with the wheel shaft. She was put on the 
run between Windsor and the Michigan Central Third Street dock, Detroit. 

The smaller ferries at that time burned wood for fuel, but the Union was 
one of the few coal-burning boats and had a coaling dock enclosed at the sides 
and located at the foot of Church Street, where the Cadwell Sand & Gravel 
Company now is. She was the ice-crusher of that period, and, besides helping 
to keep the river clear of ice in winter, often went to the assistance of the 
smaller boats. During the years 1857 to 1870 the Union was often resorted to 
by the residents of Windsor in crossing the river in winter when the smaller 
ferries were laid up on account of the ice. 

After the Union was brought out, the Transit (No. 1) was used for ferry- 
ing cattle across the river until 1867. Captain Charles W. Stone was her 
captain for a number of years previous to that time. The propeller Globe was 
also used by the Great Western Railway for ferrying cattle across the river 
until March, 1866, when, at the Michigan Central Third Street dock in 
Detroit, owing to a rush of cattle on board, she capsized and sank. Of the 
eighty head on board, a number swam across the river and landed on the 
Canadian shore. 

The steamer Windsor, Captain W. R. Clinton, ran until the night of the 
29th of April, 1866, when, at the Brush Street dock in Detroit, she was burned. 
The fire started in the warehouse, and, fed by the oil stored there, burned so 
rapidly that it spread to the boat, cutting off all means of escape by way of the 
dock and leaving only one way of escape for those on board, and that was fry 
jumping overboard into the river. Twenty-eight lives were lost by drowning. 
Others were rescued, a number being saved by the efforts of two sons of John 
Horn, of Detroit. The son, John Horn, Jr., was for years afterward the 
champion life'-?aver of the river front. 


From 1854 to 1867 no cars were taken across the river on car ferries, but 
in 1866 the Great Western Railway Company had under construction the 
steamer Great Western, the first car ferry which was to take cars over the river 
in train-loads. She was built of iron, on the Clyde, in Scotland, brought over 
in sections, and put together in Henry Jenking's shipyard at Walkerville, and 
made her first trip on the first of January, 1867, from the slip dock at the foot 
of Glengarry Avenue, in Windsor, under command of Captain John D. 
Sullivan, who had been transferred to her from the steamer Union. The 
steamer Great Western was at the time of building generally spoken of as " the 
iron boat/ 7 being one of the first boats to be built of iron in this locality. When 
first built she was enclosed the entire length over the tracks, giving her much 
the appearance of a floating tube. This was later removed on account of the 
weight, leaving her deck clear. At the time she was launched many in the 
crowds who witnessed the launching expected to see her sink when she took to 
the water, but in this they were, of course, disappointed. 

The steamer Union was continued in service until 1874, when all the 
trains, both passenger and freight, were taken across the river on car ferries. 
At that time she was under command of Captain D. Nicholson, who after- 
wards became superintendent of the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company. 

It. was in the latter part of 1874 that Lord Dufferin, then Governor- 
General of Canada, in making a tour of the West, landed at the Great Western 
Railway station in Windsor and crossed the river on the Union to the Wood- 
ward Avenue dock, where he was given a great reception by the citizens of 
Detroit after he had landed. After being taken off the ferry run the Union 
was laid up at Sarriia, on the St. Clair River, and shortly afterwards burned 
to the water's edge. 

In 1872 the Transit (No. 2), a twin-screw wheel steamer, was built at 
Jenking's shipyard, and in 1873 the large side-wheel steamer Michigan was 
built at the same shipyard, and both vessels added to the fleet of the Great 
Western Railway car ferries. 

In 1858 the small side-wheel steamer Gem was brought out by W. P. 
Campbell, of Detroit, owner, and Thomas Chilver, captain; and about 1863 
the side-wheel steamer Essex, built by Henry and Shadrach Jenking, of 
Walkerville. Captain George Jenking was her captain. He was noted for the 
care and attention he gave to the matter of dress and to his personal appear- 
ance. About 1865 the side-wheel steamer Detroit, W. P. Campbell, owner, and 
Thomas. Chilver, captain, was put on the ferry between Windsor and Detroit, 
and ran until 1875. After the death of Captain Thomas Chilver, his son, 
Captain William Chilver, for a time sailed the Detroit. 

The years from 1858 to 1870 marked the first period of the ferry develop- 
ment proper, and that during the time of the American Civil War period 
1861-1865. After the steamer Detroit came on the ferry run, the steamer Gem 
was run as a ferry at Sandwich for one season during the year 1865, and ran 
from the town dock in Sandwich across to Clark's dry dock opposite on the 
Detroit side. On the dock at Sandwich at one side of the landing, and opposite 
the Custom House, there was a saloon kept for the accommodation of the 
patrons of the ferry. It was owned by a man known only by the name of 
'"' The Indiana Banker." He was one among the large colony of both North- 
erners and Southerners who sought a temporary refuge in Canada during the 



trying times of the American Civil War. From 1865 to 1870 the three regular 
ferries running between Detroit and Windsor were the steamers Argo (No. 2), 
Captain James Forbes ; Essex, Captain George Jenking ; and Detroit, Captain 
Thomas Chilver, and they ran from 6 in the morning until 6 at night. The 
steamer Gem then took the night run from 6 o'clock until 11 o'clock at night. 

The night ferry at that time was not a particularly good paying business, 
for Captain J. R. Innes, in his application to the Windsor town council for a 
license for a night ferry, dated 29th June, 1866, asked the council to be as 
moderate as possible in the fee charged, as the night ferry business was not a 
very profitable one. Of this period, among the very few remaining veterans 
of the ferry service is Captain James Carney, retired, of Windsor, who was 
mate on the steamer Essex from 1867 to 1870. During those years the not 
very powerful regular ferry boats experienced considerable trouble at times 
in crossing in winter when the ice was heavy. 

Owing to a peculiar action of the current in the river at about the foot of 


This was the first steam ferry that plied between Sandwich, C.W., and 
Springwells, Mich., in 1865. 

Glengarry Avenue, Windsor, and extending across to the elevator on the 
Detroit side, there is many times an open space there when the lower river is 
blocked with ice, so that, in order to keep navigation open as much as possible, 
the open space above was taken advantage of, and the boats crossed there when 
possible until the regular crossing was again Opened. To reach this landing 
it was necessary to walk along the Great Western Company's docks as far as 
Glengarry Avenue, and after landing at the elevator in Detroit, to cross over 
the tracks of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railway to get to the city proper. 

In 1869 the screw-wheel steamer Favorite was built by John Horn, of 
Detroit, and in 1870 put on the ferry run, with W. L. ("Lew") Horn as 
captain. She was the first regular screw-wheel ferry, and was a greater success 
as an ice boat than any one of the side-wheel ferries had been up to that time. 
In 1873 John Horn bought the side-wheel steamer General Grant, in San dusky, 
Ohio, and, with Captain Lew Horn, she ran as a ferry in the years 1873-4-5. 
A screw-wheel steamer, the Clara, Captain J. R. Innes, and owned by W. P. 
Campbell, ran as a ferry during the period 1870-1871. 

In the spring of 1870 a new and larger side-wheel steamer was brought 


out by George N". Brady, of Detroit, and Captain W. R. Clinton, of Windsor. 
She was named the Hope. In their application to the Windsor town council for 
a license, her dimensions were given as: Length, over all, 104 feet ; v breadth, 25 
feet; and depth of hold, 8 feet 2 inches. The Hope had a one-cylinder, high- 
pressure engine, placed in the hold just back of the middle part and inclined 
at an angle upwards to connect direct with the wheel shaft. Captain W. R. 
Clinton had always considered a side-wheel boat as the only effective ice-cutting 
boat, but a later experience with the H&pe converted him over to the screw- 
wheel type. 

It was in the heavy ice in the following winter that the Hope became fast 
in the ice and was held so for hours. At that time the screw-wheel steamer 
Favorite was making the passage across all right, and Captain Clinton at last 
called upon Captain Lew Horn of the Favorite to. come to his assistance, which, 
he did, and released the Hope. Captain Clinton then became convinced of the 
superior ice-cutting powers of the screw-wheel ferry, and in December, 1872, 
Messrs. Brady and Clinton brought out the screw-wheel steamer Victoria, the 
most successful ice-cutting boat at that time, and one whose model has never 
been improved upon, and in the main has been followed in the building of all 
the larger ferries since that time. She is still running regularly on the ferry 
after forty-three years of service. 

The second period of the ferry business development was during the years 
1871-1883. The regulation of the ferry service between Detroit and Windsor 
on the Canadian- side had been granted to the town of Windsor for a term of 
twenty-five years by a lease from the Province of Canada, under letters patent, 
dated at Quebec, the 1st of October, 1863. The lease provided for boats pro- 
pelled by steam, of not less than a 60-foot keel, and to have an engine power of 
at least 20 horses a power just about equal to the ordinary automobile of 
the year 1916. 

In February, 1873, Mr. Brady applied to the Windsor town council for 
exclusive rights to the ferry for the unexpired term of the government lease 
to the town of Windsor, viz., fifteen years, basing his claim on the fact that 
the screw-wheel steamer Victoria had during the previous severe winter kept 
the ferry service open between Detroit and Windsor. A special ferry com- 
mittee of the council considered the request, but decided not to comply with it 
at that time. Competition from then on became keener between the rival 
ferries. In May, 1874, Messrs. Brady and Clinton again made application to 
the Windsor town council for exclusive rights to the Detroit & Windsor Ferry 
Co. (with the steamers Victoria and Hope), under which name they had 
organized the company under American letters patent, dated October 13th, 
1873. At the same time the rival association, under the name of the Windsor 
and Detroit International Ferry Co., also made application for exclusive rights. 
This association was represented by W. P. Campbell, for the steamer Detroit; 
W. L. Horn, for the steamer General Grant; and Henry and Shadrach Jen- 
king, for the steamer Essex. The steamer Essex had, during the period 
1872-1873, been rebuilt, and nine feet added to her length. 

The ferry committee of the town council, after due consideration of the 
two petitions, refused both requests. All five boats were now running from 
the Brock Street dock. They were the steamers Hope, Victoria, Detroit, 
Essex and General Grant. Competition was not then working in the best in- 


terests of the public, for the rivalry was carried so far in the early part of 
1874 that the boat coming into the dock would attempt to crowd out the boat 
then lying at the dock, and at other times they would land alongside of each 
other two and three at a time, much to the inconvenience of the travelling 

To endeavour to straighten out matters the town council appointed one 
John Foster, a bailiff at that time, to act as a ferry boat starter. For a while 
he was stationed at the dock and ordered the time of staying and leaving of 
each boat. A by-law was also passed by the Windsor town council on the 
15th June, 1874, providing for the regulation of ferries of a length of not 
less than 75 feet and breadth not less than 19 feet 30 feet over all and 
fixing the rate of fare for single passengers at five cents from April 1st to 
January 1st, and 10 cents from January 1st to April 1st in each year. 

In 1875 the screw-wheel steamer Fortune was brought out by Walter E. 
Campbell and placed on the ferry run, and the steamer Detroit, Captain 
George Beane, was then; taken to Sandwich and opened up a ferry route 
between the town dock in Sandwich and Clark's dry dock on the Detroit 
side. She ran only during the season of 1875, being destroyed by fire of 
mysterious origin while lying at the Sandwich dock in September, 1875. In 
1876 the screw-wheel steamer Excelsior was brought out by John Horn, of 
Detroit, Lew Horn as captain, and the steamer General Grant was then taken 
off the ferry and laid up. . 

During the period 1875-1877 Messrs. Brady and Clinton, with the 
steamers Hope and Victoria, opened up the ferry route from the lower Ferry 
Street dock in Windsor and landed on the Detroit side at the west side of 
Woodward Avenue, thus leaving the Brock Street dock to the rival ferries, the 
steamers Essex, Fortune and Excelsior. About 1877 the different interests 
united under the name of the Detroit and Windsor Ferry Association, and on 
March 28th, 1878, the Windsor town council granted to W. Ii. Clinton and 
others the right to erect a gate at the Brock Street dock for the collection of 
fares before going aboard the boat. The lower Ferry Street dock was then 
abandoned for a while and all of the boats ran from the Upper Brock Street 

The closing of the lower Ferry dock caused considerable dissatisfaction 
in the western part of the town, and as time went on this increased so that 
on February 14th, 1881, James Lambie, a merchant at that time, and other 
business men and residents of the town petitioned the town council "that 
boats may be caused to run to both docks." As a result of the petition, and 
to satisfy the public generally, the ferries were again run from the lower dock 
in connection with the upper dock, all of the boats running alternate weeks 
from the upper and lower docks during the period 1881-1883. This arrange- 
ment caused a great deal of confusion and inconvenience, for many times 
persons would go to either one of the ferry landings only to find that the 
boats were running to the other landing during that week. This in time 
called for a remedy and that remedy was brought about chiefly through the 
efforts of Francis Cloary, ex-Mayor of Windsor, and Dr. John Coventry, 
Mayor in 1882. 

At that time Mrs. Lucetta Medbury, of Detroit, was the owner of the 
land on the north side of Sandwich Street,- extending from the- corner of the 
Tipper Ferry Street and west of the line of Onellette Avenue. Mr. Cleary and 


Dr. Coventry interviewed Mrs. Medbury, and succeeded in convincing her, of 
the gain both to herself and to the town of Windsor by opening ,up Ouellette 
Avenue through her property to the river front and there establishing a cen- 
tral and permanent ferry landing. Mrs. Medbury consented to give a right 
of way 'f or the street opening, and this was confirmed by a by-law No. 393 
passed by the town council of Windsor on the 20th of November,, 1882. 

Work on the improvements was commenced at once. A three-store, 
two-storey brick building and basement stood just across the proposed exten- 
sion of Ouellette Avenue to the river. A Chicago firm of expert house movers 
was employed to move the building, which they did, taking it 150 feet 
west of where it then stood, and without any mishap whatever, which was 
considered a great engineering feat at that time, the operation being watched 
by crowds as the work went on. The right of way being then clear, the 
town filled in and graded the street to the river. A dock was built and waiting 
rooms, custom house, etc., erected, and in the latter part of the year 1883 the 
ferries commenced running from that dock, then abandoning both the upper 
and lower docks. 

All boats running from a central dock proved to be a most satisfactory 
arrangement, and since that time boats have been landing at the Ouellette 
Avenue dock in Windsor and at the east side of Woodward Avenue in Detroit. 
In 1880 the screw-wheel steamer Garland was brought out by John Horn. 
of Detroit, and added to the ferry fleet. Soon after coming out the Garland 
met with an unfortunate accident while coming up the river near Wyandotte. 
She ran down a yacht having on board an excursion party of little children 
in charge of a priest. The accident resulted in the loss of a number of lives. 

Shortly before the opening of the Ouellette Avenue dock the steamer 
Hope was the scene of a tragedy which, on account of its sensational features, 
was given much prominence. On Sunday night, August 19, 1883, while on 
the trip to Windsor, the passengers were startled by seeing a man, with a 
revolver in his hand, chase a woman around and shoot and kill her. The man 
proved to be a citizen of Detroit and the woman he shot was his wife. Being 
jealous of her, he had followed her to the boat and taken his revenge. When 
the boat landed in Windsor the man was arrested. A very fine point of law 
was raised in the case as to whether the shooting took place in American or 
Canadian waters. But it was finally decided that it had taken place in 
Canadian waters, and he was subsequently tried and convicted and hanged in 
the jail yard at Sandwich. 

The steamer Hope, originally a side-wheel boat, had been changed to a 
screw-wheel, and later on was sold and taken to Fort Erie, on the Canadian 
side, opposite Buffalo, N.Y., there to be used as a ferry on the Niagara River 
between Fort Erie and Buffalo. 

The steamer Essex was taken into the Ferry Association in 1878 and 
withdrawn from the ferry service and laid up for a while; but later on, about 
1880, was taken over by the Walkerville Ferry Company to open up the ferry- 
service between Walkerville and the opposite Detroit shore. After a short 
time she was sold and taken to Sarnia to be used as a ferry on the St. Glair 
River between Sarnia and Port Huron, and later on was destroyed by fire. Thf 
steamers Ariel, Sappho and Essex (No. 2), all screw-wheel steamers, were 
added to the Walkerville Ferry Company. 

The steamer Sapplw wa. afterwards bought by the Detroit & Windsor 



Ferry Company, her present owners. On February llth, 1884, the Windsor 
town council passed a by-law granting a lease to the Detroit, Belle Isle & 
Windsor Ferry Co. (the company which succeeded the Detroit & Windsor 
Ferry Association), the lease being for the term from April 1st, 1884, to 
September 29th, 1888, the latter date being the one on which would expire 
the lease given by the Province of Canada to the Town of Windsor in 1863 to 
run for a term of twenty-five years. On the 3rd of October, 1888, the ferry 
company was given a renewal of the lease direct from the Dominion Govern- 
ment to run for a period of five years. About a year later this was extended 
for a further term of five years, and the lease has been further renewed in 1895 
and 1905. 

The ferry business has been growing steadily during the years, and other 
and larger boats have been built, among those being the steamer Promise, 
built in Detroit in. 1892, and the steamer Pleasure, built in West Bay City, 
Michigan, in 1894. The steamer Fortune was sold and taken to Sault Ste. 
Marie, Michigan, to be used in the ferry business there. Since 1894 three 

Ferry Boat Britannia. 

still larger boats have been built by the company. These are the steamers 
Columbia, Britannia and Ste. Claire, making altogether one of the finest fleets 
of ferry boats to be found anywhere. 

Nothing could illustrate the growth of the ferry company better than the 
increased size of the later built and larger boats, as shown by the number of 
passengers they are licensed to carry, as compared with the smaller boat, the 
Victoria, the Columbia being allowed to carry 3,511 passengers and the Victoria 
600 passengers. 

During the past thirty-five years the company has developed a large 
summer excursion business. For a while boats ran to the Sandwich mineral 
springs, during the period of 1876-1886. The Sandwich springs were situated 
on the Canadian side, about four miles below Windsor, and were noted for a 
flow of sulphur water which was supposed to have curative properties for 
certain diseases. The water was so strongly charged with sulphur that if a 
silver coin was dropped into it it would almost immediately turn black. Bath 



houses were erected, and for a number of years the springs were well patronized 
until finally the flow of water stopped. 

In 1885 a Mr. Geo. C. Buchanan, of Kentucky, opened an amusement [>;irk 
on the river front, just below the springs, and called it Brighton Beach. This 
only remained open for two or three seasons, and (hiring that time the boats 
ran to both the Mineral Springs and Brighton Beach. Among the novelties 
of the Beach was a roller coaster, one of the first to be operated in this locality. 
Another feature was the staging of the then popular opera, " Pinafore," from 
the deck of a large sailing vessel anchored on the river front there. In the act 
where Dick Deadeye is thrown overboard (on the regular stage), in this fax- 
he was actually thrown overboard into the river. 

In the early nineties there was open for a few seasons a summer resort on 
Fighting Island, a few miles further down the river, under the name of 
" Des-chree-shos-ka," an Indian term meaning "a place to catch good fish." 
A large casino was built for the summer trade and for a few seasons the resort 
was well patronized. The ferry company ran a line of boats to the island until 
the place was closed. 

. :. 

The Steamer Ste. Claire. 

The last resort opened up was that of Bois Blanc Island. " Bois Blanc " 
is from the French, meaning " white wood. 7 ' During the war of 1812-13 the 
celebrated Indian chief Tecumseh and his warriors encamped at Bois Blanc. 
It is now owned by the ferry company, and was opened to the public in 1898. 
A large casino and dance hall were built and the grounds improved and 
beautified. Since then a larger stone and steel dancing pavilion, with 20,000 
square feet floor space, has been built; also a bath house, a women's building 
for the use of women and children only, and a modern cafe. The grounds 
have been still further improved by the laying out of play grounds for children 
and athletic fields, including six baseball diamonds. The island is situated 
eighteen miles below Detroit, at the head of Lake Erie, and the trip down the 
river is a most enjoyable one. 

Belle Isle Park, owned by the City of Detroit since 1879, is a wooded 
island, two miles long, and contains 707 acres. It is situated three miles above 
the Woodward Avenue dock. In 1768 a Lieutenant George McDougall bought 
the island from the Ottawa and Chippewa Indian tribes for the value of about 
$975, and in 1879 the City of Detroit purchased it from the Barnabas Campeau 


heirs for $200,000. Belle Isle is noted throughout the country for its location 
and its beauty, and is always visited by a great number of tourists who come 
yearly to Detroit during the summer season. The City of Detroit has spent 
large sums of money in beautifying the grounds and building an aquarium, 
conservatories, filled with plant life from all parts of the world, and also laying 
out a zoological garden, covering fifteen acres, and public play grounds, the 
latter being located near the centre of the island. Belle Isle has- for a long 
time been the play ground of Detroit and Windsor as well. The ferry company 
has for years run a line of boats to the island, with a steadily increasing patron- 
age, so that for some time past during the summer months boats between 
Detroit and Belle Isle have been run every twenty minutes during the days 
and evenings. 

It must be said to the credit of the ferry company that during all of the 
years past, and with the multitude of passengers carried year after year, that 
its record has been singularly free from accidents. 


[The foregoing instructive article is reprinted, with revisions, from the 
" Silver Jubilee " number of the Windsor " Evening Record " of May 23, 1917, 
Windsor being then 25 years a city. ED.] 



The circumstances connected with the founding of Kirkfield, a village of 
some importance in Victoria County, are worthy of a place in the annals of 
the Province. 

In the autumn of 1859, three settlers from the vicinity of Qmvnsville, in 
the Township of East Gwillimbury Jacob Dixon, Jacob Belfry, and Silas 
Smith took up locations on the site of Kirkfield, built log houses, and moved 
their families thither, and these became the first families within the village. 
Dixon started the first tavern, and Silas Smith opened a general store. At this 
time contractors were building the Victoria Road, and this made it necessary 
to have a place of accommodation and trade, as the nearest place on the west 
was Beaverton, several miles distant. Contractors and sub-contractors and 
jobbers of various kinds swarmed around the new village. 

Dixon's public house was a hewed log structure with one room, serving as 
dining-room, kitchen and bar-room, where the township council meetings of 
the day also were held. Smith's store had the addition of an upstairs or loft 
where some other gatherings took place, as for example a Good Templar's 
Lodge. The doorway of Belfry's house was lacking in altitude, so much so 
that a person of ordinary height had to bend down to enter it. 

A short way south of the corners at which the new village took its rise, 
when the above-mentioned settlers located here^ there was an old clearing near 
the foot of the hill, overgrown with second growth pines, with the remains of 
two log cabins, dwelling and stable, where the pioneer of the place, Mr. Munro, 
had first settled some twenty-three years earlier, but he had afterwards erected 
more commodious buildings on another part of the farm and had moved his 
family to the new home. It was while this family lived in their first abode 
that the first white child was born on the site of the future village in 1839 
John Munro, who is still living about a mile south of the village. It was Mr. 
Munro, Sr., who named the village. The first white child born in Kirkfield 
after the beginning of the village was Robert Frederick Smith, who was born 
May 7, 1860, and is still living in the State of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. At. the 
time of the origin of the village, there was a good farming settlement on the 
top of the hill southward. 

The McKenzie family, of whom Sir William is a member, were also early 
residents; in fact, they owned some of the land (as a farm) upon which the 
village is now built. 

Kirkfield is at the intersection of the Portage Road (from Lake Simcoe 
to Balsam La^e) and the eighth concession of Eldon. The first settlers in the 

* In the compilation of this article the Secretary is indebted to Lt.-Col. Geo. E. 
Laidlaw for some interesting facts gathered from Mr. Samuel Truman, and to others. 



vicinity were largely Highland Scots, both Protestant and Catholic, with a 
few Irish and French families. 

The first schoolhouse was built in the neighbourhood, on the sixth con- 
cession of Eldon, in 1851, and the settlers built a new schoolhouse at the 
village about 1857. 

The late Kev. John MacMurchy, Presbyterian, was the first minister to 
preach in the vicinity, and afterward, about the time of the starting of the 
village, a Methodist Church and cemetery were begun. 

At first, the Kirkfield settlers got their mail at Eldon post office, which 
was kept by a farmer named Macready on the Portage Eoad, three miles west 
of Kirkfield, but later (in or about 1860) Silas Smith got Kirkfield post office 
in his store, and was the first postmaster at the new village. 

Some time later -Smith took the contract for corduroying a stretch of the 
Garden Eoad, and also took out spars and masts, having as many as seven 
timber shanties at one time, but fire burnt up the whole work before it was off 
his hands and paid for, and he was a heavy loser. On account of his mis- 
fortunes Smith left Kirkfield in the "spring of 1865, and settled at Sugar Creek, 
near Franklin, Pa., where he opened another store. In that vicinity he 
remained for the rest of his life, and died at Franklin so recently as 
March 13th, 1918. 

Other settlers in or near Kirkfield at the time were Patrick Mooney, who 
lived close to the village at its northern end, on the Garden Road, and his son- 
in-law, Macdonald, who opened a beer tavern in the village shortly after its 

The environs of Kirkfield had then, as now, some natural interest. Grass 
River, whose water flows to Lake Simcoe, and along which the Trent, Valley 
canal now runs, was known by this name in that day, and then also had 
abundant water, enough for boating with canoes and punts. At Balsam Lake, 
where the family of Mr. McTnnis lived, fish, including eels, were caught in 
abundance, and the lake opened the way into the wide country to the north- 
ward, and also along the Trent Valley chain of lakes. 







I. Leaves from an Unpublished Volume. (President's Address, 1919.) GEO. B. 


II The Retreat of Proctor and Tecumseh. JUDGE C. O. ERMATINGER 11 

III. History of Presbyterianism in the County of Oxford. REV. W. T. McMuLLEN, 

D.D 22 

IV. Women in Pioneer Life. Miss AMELIA POLDON f 2S 

-""" V. The Six Nations Indians. Miss A. I. G. Gilkison 30 

VI. Old Stage Coach Days in Oxford County. MR. W. B. HOBSON 33 

r VII. The Former Names of the Thames River. MR. JAMES SINCLAIR 37 

" VIII. The Amishman. JUDGE GEORGE SMITH 40 

IX. Waterloo County History. W. H. BREITHAUPT, C.E 43 i 

X. Williamstown, an Historic Village. Miss JANET CARNOCHAN 48 

XI. Some Unusual Sources of Information in the Toronto Reference Library on the 

Canadian Rebellions of 1837-8. Miss FRANCES M. STATON 58 

^ XII. ^Canada's Part in Freeing the Slave. FRED. LANDON, M.A 74 

XIII. The Mosquito in Upper Canada. HON. JUSTICE RIDDELL 85 

n XIV. Gananoque's First Public School, 1816. MR. FRANK EAMES 90 

XV. British Naval Officers of a Century Ago. LT.-COL. D. H. MAcLAREN 106 

XVI. A Concise History of the Late Rebellion in Upper Canada to the Evacuation of 

Navy Island (1838) . GEORGE COVENTRY 113 ' 



The President's Address, June 16th, 1919. 

Settlement first began in the County of Oxford during the last five years 
of the eighteenth century. Lots were sold in the township of Blenheim, and 
in one or two other sections of the county, as early as 1797. Naturally 
settlement was slow and straggling for a number of years. It followed pretty 
closely the centre line of the county, since known as the Governor's Road or 
Dundas Street, and along the River Thames between Woodstock and Ingersoll. 
It was not until between 1820 and 1840 that there was any considerable 
settlement even in what have since become the City of Woodstock and the 
Town of Ingersoll. 

There were then practically no transportation facilities whatever. Com- 
munication between isolated settlers and settlements was by trail and in many 
cases the distances covered were great. The usual routine common to pioneer 
life in Canada followed, though slowly, on foot, by oxen or horseback, by 
waggon, next buggy, next by stage coach, next by steam cars, now by auto, 
and lastly by aeroplane. The latter is not yet in general use, but the writer 
is still young enough to hope to see it. 

Of the topographical features of the county it may be said that the land is 
generally undulating and rolling. There are no very high hills, although the 
ridge running north and south from Woodstock is part of the watershed in 
Western Ontario. The Thames flows westward from here to Lake St. Glair, 
while the River Nith joins the Grand River and flows eastward. These are 
our only rivers. 

The County of Oxford has been usually described as the " Garden of 
Canada," a name first applied to it by the Hon. George Brown on an election 
tour. But this description, since generally appropriated, may perhaps be 
due to local pride. The truth is that there are many counties in the Province 
of Ontario, whose fertile fields, fruitful orchards, sleek and lowing herds, 
great and varied manufacturing establishments, prosperous and progressive 
business men, and, above all, the numerous school houses that dot the land- 
scape, entitle them to that description equally with the County of Oxford. 

We owe much to the early settlers of the county and of the Province 
for the place names that they have brought with them from the old land. 
These names link the old world with the new. The surrounding counties 
of Norfolk, Middlesex, Perth and Waterloo suggest Old Country counties and 
memories. Oxford itself reveals Britain's famous university, while the County 
of Brant very appropriately stands as a monument to the great Canadian 
Indian Chief. The names of Norwich, Woodstock, Tavistock, Blandford, 
Blenheim, remind us of England and of England's great duke; Embro, 


Braemar, Golspie, Strathallan and Peebles recall Scotland, from which so 
many Oxford pioneers came. Milldale reminds us that the English Quakers 
were also early and most worthy residents in Oxford County; Cassel in the 
township of East Zorra denotes the presence of a large and highly respected 
German element the Amishman about whom our friend, Judge Smith, has 
recently written a volume. 

Zorra, oddly enough, though the home of the large Highland settlement 
in the County, is of Spanish origin. Early Canadian pioneers are represented 
by Ingersoll, Tillsonburg, Brownsville, Plattsville, Oliver, Gobies, Wolverton 
and others. Eastwood recalls especially the large settlement of gentlefolk, 
representatives of the army, navy and official life of England, who followed 
Governor Simcoe to Canada, and whose wealth, education and culture and 
withal Old Country characteristics and habits, have left a refining impress 
on the life of the community. The village of Eastwood was named after 
Mrs. East, a sister of Admiral Vansittart. 

Such are some of the material and general characteristics of Oxford 
County. They are important, but, after all, not the most important essentials, 
however generously bestowed. Things material do not make a community or 
a country. It is the people, the good, honest, high-minded, God-fearing men 
and women. In this respect, too, Oxford County is fortunate. 

Her population is typical of many other Canadian communities : Num- 
bering about fifty thousand of the several chief English-speaking nations, the 
Scotch both Lowland and Highland were probably the most numerous. 
The Lowlanders are more scattered, but in the aggregate probably outnumber 
the Highlanders, the latter being located in an almost solid block in parts of 
East and West Zorra. Next come the English, followed by the Germans, 
Irish, United Empire Loyalists, and a considerable element from the United 
States and the Maritime Provinces, particularly New Brunswick. These are 
the sources whence came the early pioneers of Oxford and their children. 
The present population are the human amalgam which represent them, and 
which constitute the brain and brawn of our citizenship to-day. 

The early achievements of the men and women of Oxford are chiefly 
those common to pioneer life in Canada. Though in a measure commonplace, 
they were nevertheless heroic. Unlike some frontier communities, they could 
boast but little of martial glory. Their victories were rather those of peace, 
than of war. Hard work and high purposes and an abiding faith were their 
weapons of victory; by them they felled the forests, made the wilderness to 
disappear and caused the fields to " bloom and blossom as the rose." By them 
municipal institutions were founded, courts of law established, churches and 
school houses built, and the blessings of law and order and of the gospel 
and of education were thereby secured for their children. Those are high 
achievements the highest attainable in the history of the County or the 
Province during the last century. 

Few counties have contributed more of their sons to the church four 
moderators of the Presbyterian Church: Dr. McMullen, Dr. Kobertson, Dr. 
J. L. McKay (Formosa) and Dr. R. P. MacKay; four bishops of the Anglican 
Church: Sweatman of Toronto, Fauquier of Algoma, Farthing of Montreal 
and Mills of Ontario; and there is still much first class material for one or 
more additional bishops in this fruitful field of ecclesiastical and episcopal 
promotion. Another of her sons has indeed already had a very narrow escape 


from episcopal distinction mayhap he was spared for a 'bigger and even more 
important work. McLaurin, of the Baptist College, became a great preacher 
and successful missionary in India for many years, while Crosby of the 
Methodists was one of the pioneer missionaries to British Columbia. 

The great Methodist body too notwithstanding its system of itineracy 
has contributed some half dozen or more presidents of Conferences from the 
County of Oxford. The bench, the bar, college halls and professors' chairs, 
medicine, engineering, journalism, literature have also worthy representatives 
from the old county, as also the army and navy and the great business world. 
Two, at least, of her sons were among the great missionaries of the last 
century Eobertson of the Canadian Northwest and McKay of Formosa, 
representatives respectively of the home and foreign mission interests of the 
great Presbyterian church. Scores of prominent clergy of various denomina- 
tions have gone forth from the County's borders. Some of her sons have 
occupied and are now occupying seats on the Bench and in the High Courts 
of the country, from Ottawa to Victoria. Some have held high military 
positions in India and elsewhere ; while three of her gallant sons, McKenzie, 
Leonard and Findlay have sealed with their blood their love for British 
freedom at Ridgeway, Haartz River and Paardeburg. The United States 
Senate and Congress in many States of the Union have drawn largely from 
the County of Oxford for high statesmanship, while several of the millionaires 
of the United States, not an enviable distinction at present, look back with 
pride and pleasure to the County of Oxford as their birthplace. 

A not unimportant characteristic of Oxford, is healthfulness. This is 
shown by the numbers of years so many of the pioneers have lived. There 
died recently, one aged 95, who was able to discharge the duties of his 1 office 
until the last week of his life; and an old lady aged 90, both of whom had 
lived for three-quarters of a century in the County. And one old and worthy 
pioneer Mr. Maurice Egan, died at the age of 100. In the county House 
of Refuge for aged people, there were at one time three inmates over 90 years 
of age, one of them being 98, and no less than twenty-three over 80 years 
of age. 

But long public service, as well as long life, seems to be a rule in Oxford 
County. One of our most prominent ministers retired nine years ago after 
a faithful pastorate of forty-five years in the same church. He is now Pastor 
Emeritus, in the enjoyment of excellent health at the age of 87, and it may 
be doubted if there are many younger clergymen who to-day surpass him in 
clarity of thought, strength of statement and purity of diction. You have 
to-day had evidence of his continued vigor of both mind and bcdy. 

There is another side, however, to this characteristic of life in Oxford 
which to some people may not be quite so satisfactory. In a political sense 
the longevity of public officials is deeply discouraging to those who wait. 
Once in office an Oxford official declines either to die or retire. There have 
been thus far only four Judges, three Registrars, four Crown Attorneys, five 
Sheriffs and four Surrogate Clerks, in a period extending over nearly a 
century. Thomas Homer, who was one of the first parliamentary representa- 
tives of the County, was also the first Registrar. My predecessor, the late 
Colonel James Ingersoll, held the position for 52 years and I for over 33, 
leaving a comfortable margin yet for me. A Deputy Registrar of Colonel 
Ingersoll and myself died after 35 years of service. There were recently in 


the County six Chief Officials whose terms of service are as follows : 60 years, 
57 years, 40 years, 34 years, 39 years and 26 years respectively. Some of 
these have lived through the lives of 'both Conservative and Liberal Govern- 
ments and some of the younger of them have high hopes that thej will have 
equally good luck ! 

The political influence of Oxford has been unduly great. In this respect 
it ranks with only two or three counties Kingston, whose life-long repre- 
sentative with only a single break, was the Eight Hon. Sir John A. Mac- 
Donald as Prime Minister Lambton, so long continuously represented by the 
Hon. Alexander McKenzie, also a prime minister, and Quebec West, the 
constituency of the Eight Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister. 

Oxford has had for its representatives no less than three prime ministers : 
Sir Francis Hincks, Hon. George Brown, and Sir Oliver Mowat. Of cabinet 
ministers it had also Hon. Dr. Connor, Hon. Wm. McDougall, Hon. Adam 
Crooks, Eight Hon. Sir Eichard Cartwright, and Hon. James Sutherland. 
Other cabinet ministers who sought, but in vain, the suffrages of the con- 
stituency, were : Hon. J. C. Morrison, Hon. Stephen Eichards and Hon. Isaac 
Buchanan ; these were not of Oxford's political faith. 

Among other representatives of the County, apart from those who now 
occupy those positions, may be mentioned the late E. V. Bodwell, Lt.-Col. 
Skinner, Thomas Oliver, Adam Oliver, Andrew Pattullo, Dr. Angus McKay, 
Col. Munroe and Dr. Andrew McKay. It is suspected also that another 
distinguished representative of Oxford County was the Hon. N. W. Eowell, 
president of the Privy Council, in the Union Government. When leader of 
the Opposition in the local legislature he wielded an exceptionally powerful 
influence, and had he remained in the legislature, there is little doubt that 
a second premier could have been claimed for Oxford County. 

Politics in the early days of Oxford were exciting. There was open voting 
and two days' polling, followed a week later by the official declaration, which 
was generally made the occasion of a political parade, with bands of music 
and flying banners by the victorious party and its friends. 

George Brown and Ins paper, The Globe, were the predominant political 
influences in Oxford in the 50's. No one who has not seen or heard him can 
imagine Mr. Brown's extraordinary influence over a political audience and 
the tremendous political power that he wielded throughout the County, and 
indeed over the whole Province. As a boy, I have seen him face a turbulent 
meeting and in five minutes have it completely under his control, so that 
at the close the audience rose en masse and refused to listen to the opposing 
speaker. Eloquent Brown undoubtedly was ; his oratory was of the torrential 
order and his tremendous enthusiasm bore down everything before it. His 
discussion of " Eep. by Pop./' which at that time was the great question 
championed by him in Upper Canada, was most forcible and convincing, and 
always excited enthusiasm among both friends and foes so that in Upper 
Canada both political parties gradually came to favor Mr. Brown's opinions. 

As a representative of North Oxford in the legislature for nearly 25 years, 
while premier of Ontario, Sir Oliver Mowat practically formulated and carried 
out the policy of the Liberal party during all that time, while one of his 
colleagues, Hon. Adam Crooks, was also a very able man, who carried on 
successfully and with necessary changes, the good work of the founder of 
Ontario's educational system, the Eev. Dr. Egerton Eyerson. 


Right Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright represented the same constituency 
for many years in the House of Commons; he was perhaps the strongest 
parliamentarian Canada has ever had, and exercised a great influence upon 
the politics of his party and of the Dominion. 

In the 30's the Oxfords, North and South, were only one political division 
and it extended considerably beyond the bounds of the present county almost 
from Dundas to London. There was then open voting, and an electoral contest 
lasted for five days. The polling place was on the height of land midway 
between Woodstock and Ingersoll, at the fork of the Governor's Road, known 
as Marin's Stand. There was little or no money going at the elections, 
perhaps for the reason that there was little or no money in the country. But 
there was plenty of whiskey. It cost only 10 cents a gallon, and later a 
shilling. Each party supplied its friends with all they wanted. A barrel 
on each side of the road was tapped and tin cups supplied. At a later date, 
when Sir Francis Hincks was a candidate in North Oxford, the late F. R. Ball, 
K.C., who recently died, after fifty years of service as Clerk of the Peace 
for the County, was selected as election agent by Sir Francis. The latter 
forwarded him a blank cheque with which to cover the necessary election 

The thrifty young agent, however, simply sent out a barrel of whiskey 
to the polling place, and after the return of Sir Francis he sent back the 
cheque unused, advising Sir Francis that the only expense incurred was the 
purchase of a barrel of whiskey. 

Cynics and temperance extremists may deplore such election methods, 
but it must be remembered that there was no corruption or purchase of votes, 
in thus supplying whiskey for the electors at that time. It was merely the 
customary and recognized form of entertainment, and though there might 
be many a " bad head " next morning, the conscientious and intelligent electors 
went their way with no guilty consciousness of having sold a freeman's fran- 
chise for a few dirty dollars as too often is the case in present elections. 

But perhaps the personal reminiscences and associations of Oxford boys 
are recalled with even more pleasure than their substantial achievements at 
home and abroad. It may be that one thinks kindly of the old church to 
which he was accustomed to go on Sunday morning, or of the old clergyman 
Donald McKenzie of Embro, William Robertson of Chesterfield, Canon 
Bettridge or Rector Revell of Old St. Paul's, Beardsall, Geary or Bates of 
the Baptists, Griffin or Russ of the Methodists, Daniel Allen, Dr. McMullen 
or Dr. W. A. McKay of Woodstock, Dr. Fyfe, Principal of the C. L. Institute, 
now Woodstock College, and several of his successors, and others familiar to 
our fathers and ourselves. Or it may be perhaps the old school house, or the 
teachers, George Strachan or D. H. Hunter of the old grammar school, Henry 
Izzard or Goodwin of the public schools in Woodstock, McLean and Ainslie 
of Blenheim, Carlyle and others. It may be the sacrament at Embro a really 
great occasion, and attended by hundreds from far and near. It may be the 
mid-week prayer meeting, though then as now there were among tho male 
portion of the commurity those who would fain neglect it. Or it iray be that 
one thinks gratefully of his favorite physician, Dr. Watt, Dr. Turquand, 
Dr. Beard or Dr. Scott of Woodstock, Drs. Clark and Rounds of Blenheim, 
Dr. Duncan of Embro, Drs. Cook and Carrol or Thrall of Norwich, and others. 

The comradeship of the Oxford Rifles may recall many pleasant memories 

2 H.P. 


to not a few. Its first commanding officer, Col. W. S. Light, Brigade Major 
of the Western District, an exceedingly handsome officer, Col. Hugh Richard- 
son, Col. Thos. Cowan, Col. H. B. Beard, K.C., Col. James Munroe, Col. 
Fred McQueen, Col. John White and others. 

Or it may be the delights of sugar-making time in the early spring when 
both lads and lasses joined in the fun and the taffy pull, or the sleigh ride 
with jingling bells and sleigh boxes filled with straw, blankets and robes, and 
when sleighing lasted not for a week or a month, but for three or four months 
continuously; or the logging bee, or the barn raising when neighbor gathered 
to help neighbor as well as to enjoy the social gathering, which usually ended 
up with a dance; or the fall threshing. Then there were the spelling matches 
and the singing schools and debating clubs delightful evening gatherings 
during the winter months while in the summer the local horse races, without 
race-track or professional training, cricket matches and baseball games, in- 
cluding those of the then champions of Canada, the celebrated young Canadians 
of Woodstock. These things and many more served to brighten the lives of 
the early pioneers and their children, and they will revive many a pleasant 
recollection in the minds of their successors. 



We are prone to contrast the reputed words of Tecumseh when he first 
saw General Brock " This is a man I" with his language addressed to 
General Proctor, when the latter decided that a retreat from the western front 
was necessary, taunting him with lack of courage. " Father/' he is reported to 
have said, "you have got the arms and ammunition which our great father 
sent for his red children. If you intend to retreat give them to us, and you 
may go and welcome for us." 

Nevertheless Proctor had won distinction and a Brigadier-Generalship 
by his conduct of the Battle with Winchester's forces at the River Raisin on the 
22nd of the previous January, and earned the encomium of Chief Justice 
Woodward in his intercepted letter to Secretary Munroe in which he wrote: 
" The operations of the British Commander are marked by the same minute 
correctness of judgment in this instance, and the same boldness of concep- 
tion and execution which distinguished in the former instance his illustrious 
predecessor, General Brock. It is a military movement of equal and in fact 
of greater splendor." 

Proctor's conduct subsequent to his victory at the River Raisin has been 
the subject of much discussion and animadversion ever since. Chief Justice 
Woodward's encomium concerning his conduct of that action was so strong as 
to isuggest, (coupled with the fact of the letter having fallen into British 
hands) an endeavor on the part of the writer to ingratiate himself with the 
British Commander for some ulterior purpose. The encomium, however, was 
not altogether undeserved. Proctor had acted with boldness and promptitude, 
though he had a force inferior in numbers and nondescript to some extent in 
character though augmented by almost as many Indians. 

His movements and actions during the spring were by no means dis- 
creditable when the great disparity between his forces and those at the com- 
mand of General Harrison is considered. Proctor had crossed the lake, never- 
theless, in April and attacked the enemy's entrenchments in the beginning 
of May with disastrous results to a considerable part of Harrison's force on 
May 5th, a loss of some 1200 men in killed and prisoners who had taken part 
in a sally. Proctor's conduct, however, throughout both before and after 
the retreat from Amherstburg began has been the subject of so much adverse 
criticism by military men as to make a defence of it by one unskilled and 
inexperienced in such matters a hopeless task, even if evidence to justify a 
defence were available. 

I find in the appendix to Casselman's edition of Richardson's "War of 
1812," a brief note of the career of Major-General Harry Proctor, in which 
the author of the edition states : " In opposition to the general verdict of 



most historians of this war, I have come to the conclusion that Proctor was 
used disgracefully. No account has been taken of the valuable services he per- 
formed; with less than 1000 whites and a very unreliable Indian following 
he destroyed three American armies as large as his own. Eeinforcements he 
asked for were not sent. His soldiers became stale and dispirited because 
of neglect from headquarters. The defeat at Moraviantown was the inevit- 
able result of this neglect." 

The destruction of these armies (so small in comparison with present 
day forces) was nevertheless unavailing, it may be replied. Of what value 
then were his services? may be asked. 

Richardson himself, who was present throughout the campaign, is unspar- 
ing in his denunciation of Proctor's conduct or lack of same not only on the 
Thames, but in the second expedition, and he even criticized adversely his 
generalship at the commencement of the Raisin River battle. " In this 
affair," he wrote, "which, if properly conducted, would have been attended 
by little loss to the assailants, we had 24 rank and file killed and 11 
officers and 158 rank and file wounded, exclusive of sergeants whose number 
is not recorded." 

Lieut. Bullock, the senior and only officer of the 41st regiment who 
escaped from the field of Moraviantown, in his report to a superior officer, 
gives a detailed account of the retreat from Amherstburg to the close of the 
battle at Moraviantown, giving facts and circumstances apparently quite 
inconsistent with proper supervision of his troops by Proctor, through con- 
tinued absence and lack of orders, while the disposition of the force under 
his command, to receive the enemy's attack, has been generally condemned. 
Lieut. Bullock closes his report with the following significant sentence: 
" Having been thus far particular in stating everything to which I was an 
eye-witness and which has come to my knowledge, I beg leave to remark that, 
from the well known character of the regiment, any observations emanating 
from those whose interest it is to cast a direct or indirect reflection upon its 
conduct, cannot be received with too much distrust." 

This closing warning no doubt refers to observations made by General 
Proctor himself. 

Lieut. Bullock had been requested to "state most minutely the nature of 
the ground on which the regiment was formed for action, the manner in 
which it was formed, the number then of the regiment actually in the field, 
etc., if it had received provisions regularly, was complete in ammunition 
and could have got supplies when required and, in short, every circumstance 
that happened from the commencement of the retreat from Amherstburg 
relative to the regiment." 

Bullock was moreover warned of reports afloat, disgraceful in the 
extreme to the regiment and every individual with it that day, and that 
Proctor's report highly censured the conduct of the regiment. 

Lieut. Bullock replied to this as follows : " As a platoon officer, I cannot 
positively say whether the whole regiment was complete with ammunition or 
not, but this I can say, a number of men who escaped from the enemy that 
day were not complete before the action commenced, and this I am inclined 
to think was the case with many of those killed or taken, and in the event of 
expending the ammunition in their pouches they could not have received a 
fresh supply, the whole of the spare ammunition being taken by the enemy 
some hours before the action, which circumstance was known to many of the 


regiment. I now proceed to give every other information required in your 
letter as correctly as my rank and situation on various occasions enabled me 
to observe. 

"The force under Major-General Proctor, consisting of the 1st Batt., 41st 
Kegiment, a few of the 10th Veterans (about 18 or 20), some artillery and 
a body of Indians retreated from Amherstburg in September last to Sandwich, 
from whence we retired on the 27th of the same month to the Eiver Thames, 
the banks of which at a place called Chatham (54 miles from Sandwich and 
70 from Amherstburg) General Proctor had promised the Indians to fortify 
with a view to await the enemy. On this retreat I commanded the grenadier 
company. We arrived within three miles of Chatham at a place called 
Dolson's, on the 1st of October. On the 3rd General Proctor was at Mor- 
aviantown, 26 miles from us, on the road leading to the head of Lake 
Ontario when information was received that the enemy was within 4 or 5 
miles of us, and we retired 1% miles by order of Lieut. -Col. Warburton, and 
formed on the bank of the river in expectation of an attack. At the 
expiration of half an hour we retired to Chatham. The Indians were en- 
camped on the opposite bank of the river, and on our arrival sent to me to 
say that we should not proceed beyond the ground we then occupied that 
Gen. Proctor had promised them to await the enemy on that ground and fight 
them, and had also promised to erect fortifications there. After endeavoring 
to reason with them Lieut.-Col. Warburton was compelled to remain there for 
the night and informed the Indians through Colonel Elliott of the Indian 
Department that whatever had been promised by Gen. Proctor should be 
fulfilled as far as he (Lieut.-Col. Warburton) had it in his power. I was then 
ordered on picquet with the grenadier company and at the same time received 
such particular instructions from Lieut.-Cols. Warburton and Evans that I have 
no doubt they expected the enemy that night. Captain Chambers of the 
Qr.-Mr. General's Department accompanied me and pointed out the ground 
my picquet was to occupy, which was one mile and a half in advance towards 
the enemy. Early next morning the picquet was called in. On arriving 
at Chatham where the rest of the regiment had passed the night, provisions 
were issued; the meat was raw and before it could be divided we were 
ordered to march in consequence of the approach of the enemy. We retired 
about six miles when we were joined by Gen. Proctor on his return from 
Moraviantown. We marched all day; the roads were excessively bad. 
About eight o'clock in the evening Capt. Muir's company was halted at 
Richardson's, six miles from Mbraviantown, and the grenadier company was 
left with it to support it in the event of an attack ; the remainder proceeded 
on, the advance being at a house called Shearman's one mile from where 
the rear guard had halted. At daybreak next morning (the 5th) the rear 
guard and grenadier company moved to Shearman's where the whole 
regiment collected. At this place, after having halted for some time, a few 
head of cattle were shot, but before the meat could be divided, the enemy 
were reported to be close at hand and we were ordered to march. We pro- 
ceeded to Moraviantown and when within 1% miles of it were ordered to. 
halt. After halting about five minutes, we were ordered to face to the right 
about and advance toward the enemy in files, at which the men were in 
great spirits. Having advanced about 50 or 60 paces we were halted a 
second time, at which the men appeared dissatisfied and over-hearing some 
of those nearest me express themselves to the following effect, "that they 


were ready and willing to fight for their knapsacks, wished to meet the 
enemy, but did not like to be knocked about in that manner doing neither 
one thing nor the other/' I immediately checked them and they were silent. 
About this time several of the regiment came up without arms or accout- 
rements, who had escaped from boats cut off by the enemy's cavalry. From 
these men we learnt that the enemy was within a mile of us and had a 
large force of cavalry. 

"We had halted about half an hour when the Indian alarm was given 
that the enemy was advancing; most of our men were sitting on logs and 
fallen trees by the side of the road. On the alarm being given we were 
suddenly ordered to form across the road. From the suddenness of the 
order, apparently without any previous arrangement, the manner in which 
it was given, the way in which it was given, which was to 'Form up across 
the road/ and from the nature of the ground, the formation was made in 
the greatest confusion, so much so that the grenadier company was nearly 
in the centre of the line and the light company on the right. A second 
order as sudden as the first was given for the grenadiers and No. 1 to march 
to the rear and form a reserve. The grenadiers and part of Capt. Muir's 
company accordingly formed a second line about 200 yards in rear of the 
first under command of Lieut.-Col. Warburton; the left of it about 8 or 10 
yards to the left of the road extending to the right into the woods formed 
at extended order, the men placing themselves behind trees and consequently 
much separated. The first line I could not distinguish but from what I 
have been informed by Lieut. Gardner, 41st Begiment, commanding a six- 
pounder, it was formed in the following manner: A six-pounder was placed 
in the road having a range of 50' yards, the 41st Kegiment drawn up on its 
right extending in the wood ; on each side of the limber of the six-pounder 
were some of the Canadian Light Dragoons. From the men of the regiment 
who escaped from that line, I understand they were not formed at regular 
extended order but in clusters and in confusion. To the left of the road in 
which the six-pounder was placed and parallel to it, ran the Eiver Thames. 
To the left of the road was a remarkably thick forest, and on the right where 
we were formed free from brush wood for several hundred yards and where 
cavalry could act to advantage. My position at this time (being on the 
right of the second line) and the thickness of the forest precluded me from 
noticing the manner in which the enemy attacked the first line. The attack 
commenced about two hours after the order was given to form up across the 
road. I heard a heavy firing of musquetry and shortly afterwards saw our 
draproons retreating together with the limber of the six-pounder placed on 
the left of the first line. About a minute afterwards I observed that line 
retreating in confusion, followed closely by the enemy's cavalry who were 
galloping down the road. That portion of the first line which stood fast 
fired an irregular volley obliquing to the right and left which appeared to 
check the enemy. The line having commenced firing, my attention was 
directed to that pert of the enemy moving down directly in my front. 
Hearing the fire slackening I turned toward the line and found myself 
remaining with three non-commissioned officers of the grenadier company. 
The enemy's cavalry had advanced so close before the reserve could com- 
mence firing from the number of trees that before a third round could be 
fired they broke through the left and the rest not being formed in a manner 
to repel cavalry were compelled to retreat. The number of the regiment 


actually in the field were one Lieutenant-Colonel, six Captains, nine Lieuten- 
ants, three Ensigns, three Staff, twenty-six Sergeants, eighteen Corporals, four 
drummers, 297 rank and file. In what manner the rest of the regiment was 
distributed, you will be made acquainted with by the enclosed statement 
signed by the adjutant of the regiment. The number of Indians we had in 
the field was 800. The number of the enemy, I cannot positively affirm, but 
from the information obtained from individuals of the regiment taken 
prisoners on that day and who afterwards escaped could not have been less 
than 6,000, of which 1,200 to 1,500 were cavalry and mounted riflemen. 
The number of our dragoons did not exceed 20. Our loss on this occasion 
was 3 sergeants and 9 rank and file killed and 36 wounded, that of the 
enemy 15 killed and from 40 to 50 wounded." 1 

His closing sentence I have already quoted. I give his statement in 
extenso as that of an apparently fair-minded officer who was on the spot. 

Staff Adjutant Reiffenstein, in an apparently more precipitate flight 
from the scene than his commanding officer, had spread reports which were 
afterward characterized by Major-General De Rottenburg, in command of 
the upper Province, as " false and scandalous " 2 and by S'ir Geo. Prevost, 
commander-in-chief, as gross exaggerations, though the latter appears to have 
regarded Reiffenstein's statement as " confirmed in all the principal events 
which marked that disgraceful day." 

In the general order issued by the Commander of the forces from which 
the foregoing words are quoted, he said : " The subjoined return states 
the loss the Right Division has sustained in the action of the fleet on Lake 
Erie on the 10th September, and in the affair of the 5th October. In the 
latter but very few appear to have been rescued by an honorable death from 
the ignominy of passing under the American yoke, nor are there many 
whose wounds plead in mitigation of this reproach. 

" The Right Division appears to have been encumbered with an 
unmanageable load of unnecessary and forbidden private baggage, while the 
requisite arrangements for the expeditious and certain conveyance of the 
ammunition and provisions, the sole objects worthy of consideration, appear 
to have been totally neglected, as well as all those ordinary measures resorted 
to by officers of intelligence to retard and impede the advance of a pursuing 

" The result affords but too fatal a proof of this unjustifiable regret. 
The Right Division had quitted Sandwich in its retreat on the 26th Sep- 
tember, having had ample time for every previous arrangement to facilitate 
and secure that movement. On the 2nd of October following the enemy 
pursued by the same route and on the 4th succeeded in capturing all the 
stores of the division and on the following day attacked and defeated it 
almost without a struggle." 3 

The result was a Court Martial held at Montreal, according to Order in 
Council dated at the Horse Guards, 9th September, 1815 the Court Martial 
having sat in the previous December and January. 

1 Cruikshank's Documentary History, Part 8, 254-7. 

2 De Rottenburg to Sir Geo. Prevost, 18 Oct., 1813, Cruikshank's Doc. Hist., Part 8, 
p. 80. 

3 Ibid., p. 231. 


The charges were in brief : 

1. That Proctor did not evacuate Amherstburg so soon after the loss 
of the fleet on Lake Erie (10th September) as military arrangements could 
be made, but delayed retreat until 27th September. 

2. That he did not use due expedition, encumbered the division With large 
quantities of useless baggage, halted for several whole days and omitted to 
destroy bridges behind him. 

3. Did not take necessary measures to prevent ammunition, stores and 
provisions falling into the enemy's hands or being destroyed and troops were 
without provisions a whole day previous to attack. 

4. That he did not carry out promise to the Indian warriors to fortify 
the forts of the Thames at Chatham and neglected to occupy the heights above 
Moraviantown although he had previously removed his ordnance with the 
exception of one six pounder, nor throw up works there, but halted the Division 
in a highly unfavourable position, but two miles away, to receive attack. 

5. That he did not make the best military dispositions to meet attack, 
nor attempt to rally and encourage the troops nor to co-operate with the 

The Court acquitted Proctor wholly on the first charge. 

As to the second, found him guilty of not taking proper measures for 
conducting a retreat and acquitted him as to the rest of the charge. 

Found him guilty of not taking proper measures to protect the boats, etc., 
laden with stores, ammunition and provisions, but nothing further on the 
third charge. 

Acquitted him of neglect to fortify the forts at Chatham, but found him 
guilty of neglect to occupy the heights above Moraviantown, although he had 
previously removed ordnance there and halted the Division within two miles of 
the village, etc. 

His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, on behalf of His Majesty, con- 
firmed the finding of the Court on the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th charges, but 
expressed surprise that the Court should find the prisoner guilty of the 
offence alleged, while at the same time acquitting him of all the facts upon 
which the charge was founded and that they were by a " humane but mistaken 
lenity " induced by the general good character and conduct of Major General 
Proctor to ascribe the offences found proved to error in judgment and passed 
sentence " inapplicable to their own finding of guilt " to be publicly repri- 
manded and suspended from rank and pay for six months. The public 
reprimand was confirmed by the Prince Regent who ordered the charges, 
finding and sentence and his own confirmation to be entered in the general 
order book and read at the head of every regiment in His Majesty's service. 

Major General Harrison's lengthy report of October 9th, to the Secretary 
of War serves to corroborate the charge of neglect to destroy bridges until too 
late, and the consequent loss of a large quantity of arms, munitions and stores, 
by Proctor. 

The choice of a battle ground was not unwisely made, especially where the 
attacking force was mounted. " A moment's reflection, however, convinced 
us," wrote Harrison, " that from the thickness of the woods, and swampiness 
of the ground, they would be unable to do anything " i.e. to turn the Indians* 


right flank " and there was no time to dismount them and place their horses 
in security. I therefore determined to refuse my left to the Indians and to 
break the British lines, at once, by a charge of the mounted infantry. The 
measure was not sanctioned by anything that I had seen or heard of, but I 
was fully convinced that it would succeed. The American backwoodsmen ride 
better in the woods than any other people : a musket or rifle is no impediment 
to them, being accustomed to carry them on horseback, from their earliest 
youth. I was persuaded, too, that the enemy would be quite unprepared for 
the shock, and that they could not resist it." 

The sequel showed that he was right. 

Harrison stated his force aggregated 3,000 " certainly greater than that 
of the enemy " to quote him again about double the number as a matter 
of fact. His casualties he stated were 7 killed 22 wounded, five of whom 
afterwards died. The British casualties, 12 killed and 22 wounded with 33 
Indians left on the ground " besides those killed on the retreat/' 

I think it but fair to read Proctor's later and more succinct statement 
of the whole affair, before concluding this branch of my subject. It is 
contained in a letter written from Burlington to General De Eottenburg, dated 
16th November, 1813, which I give in full : 

" Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 
eighth inst., and shall endeavour to comply with what is required. I regret 
that I should not have been able to make myself understood or that in en- 
deavouring to be clear I should have been diffuse. I did not fail to give to 
the Port of Michilimackinac a due portion of my attention. Had it been 
otherwise in my power I could not have sent troops there, lest I might thereby 
have increased the want of provisions. Eepeated communications was made 
to the officer in command there, of the Loss of the Fleet and the intended 
retreat to the Thames which had in consequence become requisite, with 
assurance also that the sending of pork especially by way of Mashedash should 
be strongly urged. For a detail of the precautionary measure to rid my 
Force of every incumbrance ere the retreat from Sandwich to Dover on the 
Thames, I beg leave to refer to my former letters being unable to give a clearer 
account than what has already been furnished. I have mentioned my deter- 
mination to have made a stand in the first instance at Dover, a measure 
which was necessary for the protection of the craft, naval and ordnance stores, 
etc., brought from Amherstburg, and placed as high up the river as the 
navigation would then admit of. During a second attempt to reconnoitre the 
country in my rear, the troops were on the approach of the enemy moved from 
Dover to the Forks, a measure that early the next morning caused a determin- 
ation in the Indian body to commence an immediate retreat to Moraviantown, 
and which I found on my arrival was carried into effect, and the requisite 
disposition made by Lt.-Colonel Warburton. These unfortunate circumstances 
left no option but the immediate sinking and destruction of the vessels and 
stores that would not be brought off from the want of time and transport. 
I trust it is unnecessary to repeat the capture of the boats with the stores 
and men therein. I most firmly believe that no article whatever of private 
baggage of any individual attached to the army was saved, at the expense of, 
or whilst the provisions and ammunition fell into the hands of the enemy. 
As already stated, finding that the enemy approached too near, I determined 
to meet and give him battle in a wood below the Moraviantown, as he was in 


considerable force, and particularly strong in Mounted Infantry and Cavalry. 
The position I had taken I also conceived to be favourable,, as it reduced the 
enemy to a small front and secured my flanks, my right being on an impene- 
trable swamp, and my left on the river. The 41st Regiment occupied the 
space between the river and the Indians who were on their right,; with their 
right thrown up. The troops had a reserve and marksmen near the six pounder 
on the road, for its further security. It was under the direction of Lieut. 
Gardner of the 41st Eegiment who, on a former occasion had been found very 
useful when attached to the artillery. The gun, when taken, was loaded with 
canister and a sphente case shot, .laid, and the port fire light; a plan of co- 
operation was cordially established with the Indians, who were to turn the 
left of the enemy, whilst the troops should resist the right. The Indians 
did turn the left of the enemy and executed their part faithfully and courage- 
ously. If the troops had acted as I have ever seen them, and as I confidently 
expected, I am still of opinion notwithstanding their numerical superiority 
the enemy would have been beaten; all ranks of officers exerted themselves to 
rally the men though ineffectual. Though retreating was the furthest from 
my thoughts I had caused as far as time and circumstances would admit every 
impediment to a retreat to be removed, and had also placed the field ordnance 
under the orders of Lieut. Thornton of the Royal Artillery, so as to defend 
an important point by which the Indians had retreated to us, and also to 
cover the retreat of the troops, whilst order was retained by them. The 
Indians, after the troops were broken, retired through the woods : and 
brought with them those who escaped in that direction. On the evening 
of the 5th of October provision was made for the feeding of the Indians 
and troops who should arrive at Delaware: the commissariat were also 
stationed on the route to Ancaster for the same purpose, as well as 
parties of Dragoons to aid and assist those who had effected their retreat 
on their way to Ancaster. I proceeded to the Grand River and endeavoured 
to prevent individuals proceeding who might create false alarms, and 
immediately communicated with the officers in command at Long Point, 
Burlington, and with Major General Vincent, commanding the Centre 

I have the honour to be Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 


Major General. 

We can scarcely at this date sit in appeal from the judgment of the 
Court Martial and the Prince Regent's general order of almost 104 years 
ago but may cast the mantle of charitable criticism over the memory of an 
officer who evidently felt keenly his position and suffered much. His death 
at Bath, at the comparatively early age of 59, may have been hastened by 
this suffering for which I confess a feeling of sympathy. 

It is a relief to turn from the branch of my subject with which I have 
been dealing, the fate of the unhappy Proctor, to that of the hero Tecumseh, 
whose end was tragic, his life heroic throughout, the subject of universal 

Tecumseh was one of the two greatest and most heroic figures of the 
native races of this continent. Both Brant and Tecumseh preferred the 


British as allies. Brant acquired a home for himself and his people here. 
Whether Tecumseh acquired even a grave to rest in is still questioned. 

Tecumseh was a patriot in the truest sense. By some American 
historians Teeumseh's activities among the native races of the South the 
Creeks and others were attributed to British intrigue. This was a mistake. 

Tecumseh or Tecumthe' the name is said to signify " a shooting star " 
was of the Shawanoes or Shawuness (Southerners) of the Delaware race, 
who removed from the south to the region of the Ohio and the Miami where 
Tecumseh was born in or about 1768. He is said to have been one of three 
brothers, born of a Cherokee mother at the same time. Tecumseh's activities 
were stirred up at finding the Americans were acquiring the Indian lands 
with the consent of certain tribesmen whom he deemed irresponsible, and 
he sought to form a vast confederacy of native races to resist these encroach- 
ments. Tecumseh's brother " the Prophet/' acted with him, but relying more 
upon his powers of enchantment than upon the valour and discretion which 
characterized his brother, he in the latter's absence, attacked General 
Harrison's forces at Tippecanoe, with disastrous results. Tecumseh was 
much dissatisfied with his brother for his too precipitate attack, which 
wrecked their plans. An invitation was, by General Brock's order, sent to 
Tecumseh by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs through the agency of 
the Hurons to confer with him and them to counsel Peace between him 
and the Big Knives (the Americans) apparently, judging from the " Speech 
of the Shawanoes, Kickapoos and Winibagoes delivered by Teckumthie at 
Machetie, on the Wabash, in answer to the message I (Mr. Elliott, S. I. A.) 
sent to them by the Hurons last winter." The closing sentences of this 
speech (received in June, 1812) are as follows: 

" Brothers ; We Shawanoes, Kickapoos and Winibagoes hope you will 
not find fault with us for having detained you so long here : we were happy 
to see you and to hear your and our Father's words : and it would surely 
be strange if we did not listen to our Father and our eldest brothers. 

" Father and Brothers. We will now in a few words declare to you 
our whole hearts if we hear of the Big Knives coming towards our villages 
to speak peace, we will receive them, but if we hear of any of our people 
being hurt by them, or if they unprovoked ly advance against us in a hostile 
manner, be assured we will defend ourselves like men. And if we hear of any 
of our people having been killed, we will immediately send to all the nations 
on or toward the Mississippi and all this Island will rise as one man. Then 
Father and Brothers it will be impossible for you or either of you to restore 
peace between us." 1 

In the following month (July, 1812) Lieut.-Col. St. George, then in 
command of Amherstburg reported " a grand council of chiefs, etc., from the 
neighborhood." " Tecumtha (the Prophet's brother) acted a conspicuous 
part on the occasion." 8 

This was apparently his first appearance on this side of the Lake. 
Thereafter followed the various operations, including the taking of Detroit 
by Brock, the River Eaisin, and the subsequent events of Sandusky, etc.,, 
culminating in the naval battle of Lake Erie in which the gallant Captain 

1 Mich. Pioneer and Historical Collections Vol. 15, p. 90. 
8 Ibid., pp. 98-9. 


Barclay lost both his ships and the use of his only arm remaining to him 
after Trafalgar, as well as the only officer properly qualified to fill his place 
when wounded (Capt. E. Finnis), the enemy having treble the number of 
seamen and double the weight of metal 8 as well as a change of wind at the 
most critical moment of the day in his favour. ; 

We have seen how reluctant Tecumseh was to retreat fiom Maiden I 
need not further dwell upon the details of the retreat, or of the battle. 

The following seemingly truthful account of our hero's death is given 
in the Michigan Pioneer Collections, Vol. 10 (p. 160), as having been 
narrated by Noonday, an Ottawa Chief, to a Mr. Cook, whose diary runs 
thus "After rehearsing the speech which Tecumseh made to his warriors 
previous to the engagement, and how all felt that they fought to defend 
Tecumseh more than for the British he was asked : 

" Were you near Tecumseh when he fell ? " 

" Yes, directly on his right." 

"Who killed him?" 

" Richard M. Johnson." 

" Give us the circumstances." 

"He was on a horse and the horse fell over a log, and Tecumseh with 
uplifted tomahawk, was about to dispatch him, when he drew a pistol from 
his holster and shot him in the breast and he fell dead on his face. I seized 
him at once and with the assistance of Saginaw, bore him from the field. 
When he fell the Indians stopped fighting and the battle ended. We laid 
him down on a blanket in a wigwam, and we all wept, we loved him so much. 
I took his hat and tomahawk." 

"Where are they now?" 

" I have his tomahawk and Saginaw his hat." 

"Could I get them?" 

"No: Indian keep them." 

" How did you know it was Johnson who killed him ? * 

" General Cass took me to see the Great Father, Van Buren, at Washing- 
ton. I went to the great wigwam, and when I went in I saw the same man 
I see in battle, the same man I see kill Tecumseh. I had never seen him 
since, but I knew it was him. I look him in the face and said : ' Kene 
Kin-a-poo Tecumseh,' that is, f you kill Tecumseh/ Johnson replied that 
he never knew who he was, but a powerful Indian approached him and he 
shot him with his pistol. ( That was Tecumseh : I see you do it/ 

" Noonday finished his story of Tecumseh by telling of his noble traits, 
the tears meanwhile trickling down his cheeks. There is no doubt of the 
truth of his unvarnished tale." 

More poetic, if less authentic, is the account given by Charles Mair in 
his noble poem, who places in the mouth of the dying chief the words: 

" The hour is come ; these weary hands and feet 
Draw to the grave Oh, I have loved my life 
Not for my own, but for my people's cause. 
Who now will knit them? Who will lead them onT 
Lost I Lost! Lost! The pale destroyer triumphs. 
I see my people fly I hear their shrieks, 
And none to shield or save! My axe! My axe! 
Ha it is here! No, no, the power is past. 
Oh, Mighty Spirit, shelter, save my people." 

Sir James Yeo to Sir John B. Warren, 10 Oct., 1813, Can. Archives, and Cruik- 
shank's Documentary History, 220. 


In the basement of the Corcoran Gallery at Washington there reposes 
a marble recumbent statue of " the Dying Tecumseh " chiseled by a Spanish 
sculptor of some note. It once had a place in the Capitol building, but has 
been relegated in later years to comparative obscurity. I have looked upon 
it not without emotion and to it might be addressed, not inappropriately, 
the closing words of Mair's poem, 

" Sleep well, Tecumseh, in thy unknown grave, 
Thou mighty savage, resolute and brave! 
Thou Master and strong spirit of the woods, 
Unsheltered traveller in sad solitudes, 
Yearner o'er Wyandot and Cherokee, 
Couldst tell us now what hath been and shall bet" 



The pioneer Presbyterian settlers of a locality were, as a prevalent usage, 
accustomed to assemble on Sabbath for social worship without Minister or 
Missionary. This usage was followed in the early days of the settlement in 
the County of Oxford. - In 1833 the Rev. George Romanes, an ordained 
Minister from the Presbytery of Glasgow, Scotland, visited Canada and 
preached in Zorra, July 21st, and reported to his presbytery on his return 
home that he found a log church built, in which regular Sabbath services 
were held and well attended, though they had no minister. The Rev. Donald 
McKenzie visited Zorra in 1834, dispensed gospel ordinances there, and in 
many of the new settlements in this section of the province; and in 1835 he 
became settled pastor of the Zorra congregation, now known as Knox Church, 
Embro. From the time of Mr. McKenzie's settlement in Zorra he conducted 
an occasional service in Woodstock. The Rev. George Murray came from 
Scotlarid about the same time as Mr. McKenzie, and settled in the Township 
of Blenheim. He also conducted an occasional service in Woodstock. 

But the planting of Presbyterianism in Woodstock, as in Zorra, must 
be credited to a " Laymen's Movement " in the strict and proper sense of 
the expression. Two names stand out prominently in connection with Sab- 
bath services held three or four years before the settlement of a minister 
in Woodstock. The names are Mr. David White and Mr. John Bain, both 
of whom came to Woodstock in 1834, and up to a ripe old age served in the 
office of eldership. 

The first Presbyterian minister settled in Woodstock was the Rev. Daniel 
Allan, who in 1838 became pastor of the united charge of Woodstock and 
Stratford, but there was at the time no road between the two places, and 
the journey had to be made on horseback through unbroken forest, with 
the added difficulties of swamps and quagmires towards Stratford. Mr. 
Allan preached two Sabbaths in succession in each place and with heroic 
endurance continued the arrangement for two years, and then resigned 
Woodstock and confined his labours to Stratford and North Easthope. Those 
three venerated fathers of the church, Rev. Donald McKenzie, Rev. Daniel 
Allan and Rev. George Murray, left lasting impress on the religious life of 
the County of Oxford and rendered unutterably valuable service to the cause 
of the Presbyterian church, not only within their respective spheres of labour, 
but throughout Canada, and even beyond the bounds of Canada. It was to 
Mr. McKenzie's congregation in Zorra the church was indebted for the great 
foreign Missionary, the Rev. George Leslie McKay, D.D.,, founder of Oxford 
College, Formosa, the man whose praise is in all the churches. There is 
probably no congregation in Canada that has made such a distinguished 
record as 'regards the giving of young men to the Gospel Ministry, as Knox 



Church, Embro. Some years ago the Ladies 7 Aid Society of the congregation 
prepared and had printed a handsome Register in which are entered thirty- 
eight names of young men of Knox Church, Embro, who devoted themselves 
to the Gospel Ministry; and since that date eight more at least have to be 
added, making a total of forty-six. 

Oxford College, Formosa, to which reference has been made, takes its 
name from this County, the Presbyterians of Oxford having provided the 
funds for the erection of the building. That which inspired the generous 
giving was the gratification felt in the fact that the great Missionary, Dr. 
G. L. McKay, was a native of the County. Two other sons of Oxford 
Presbyterianism, Dr. Robert Chambers and Dr. W. "N. Chambers, devoted 
their lives to foreign Missions, and for the past twenty years or more have 
laboured in Turkey, under the American Board. The former is now trans- 
ferred to Constantinople to take oversight of College and Mission work, and 
the latter is engaged in Mission work at Adana, the scene of the great 
massacre. If what the County of Oxford has done in the way of giving men 
and mone} r to Foregn Mission work deserves honourable mention, a like 
record must be credited to her in connection with Home Missions. The Rev. 
Dr. James Robertson, the great Home Mission Superintendent, was one of 
Oxford's sons. He thought big things, aimed at big things, and did big 
things for the Church of Christ, and for Canada. 

Another of her sons is our efficient and devoted Foreign Secretary, the 
Rev. R. P. McKay, D.D. 

Having illustrated the claim that the pioneer fathers of Presbyterianism 
in th6 County of Oxford left an impress that has told powerfully on both the 
Home and Foreign Mission work of the Church, we now resume the local 
history at the point of digression, viz., Mr. Allan's resignation of Woodstock 
in 1840. In 1841, the building of St. Andrew's Church on Graham Street 
was commenced under the brief pastorate of Rev. F. P. Sims, who succeeded 
Mr. Allan. 

The disruption' which took place in Scotland in 1843 extended to Canada 
in 1844. A large proportion of the Presbyterians of Woodstock took sides 
with the Free Church, resulting in the formation of the congregation ' of 
Knox Church, and the erection of the Old Knox Church on Perry Street in 
1849 under the pastorate of the Rev. W. S. Ball, B.A. Chalmers Church was 
built in 1852, also in connection with the Free Church and for the 'accom- 
modation of those in Woodstock and vicinity who desired one service on 
Sabbath in the Gaelic language. It thus came about that in 1860 there were 
four Presbyterian- congregations in Woodstock with settled pastors, viz., 
Erskine Church connected with the United Presbyterian Church, St. An- 
drew's Church, and Knox and Chalmers Churches. 

But days of union were at hand. The first great union came in 1861 
when the United Presbyterian and Free Church formed the Canada Presby- 
terian Church. The second great union came in 1875, consolidation of all 
the Presbyterians in Canada and Newfoundland in what is now known as the 
Presbyterian Church in 'Canada. The local effect of these unions was that 
the four congregations in Woodstock became consolidated in the two now 

In Ingersoll also, as the outcome of the union of 1861 the congregations 
of Knox Church and Erskine Church united, forming the congregation now 


known as St. Paul's Church. Associated with the early history of Presby- 
terianism in Ingersoll stand the names of Rev. Arch. Cross, Minister of 
Erskine Church, and Rev. Robert Wallace, Minister of Knox Church from 
1849 to 1860. Long pastorates were the rule fifty years ago. t The Rev. 
Donald McKenzie was minister in Zorra 38 years. The pastorate of Rev. 
Daniel Allan, in North Easthope, covered a like period. The Rev. George 
Murray made a similar record in Blenheim. The Rev. Wm. Robertson was 
minister at Chesterfield 32 years. Two other ministers in our Presbytery, 
Dr. Cochrane in Brantford and Dr. Thompson in Ayr had pastorates of 36 
and 40 years respectively. The writer of this sketch was pastor of Knox 
Church, Woodstock, 46 years and nine months. Oxford and vicinity were not 
peculiar in this regard. The same permanency in the pastorate prevailed 
everywhere throughout the Church. In illustration of this it is only necessary 
to mention as samples, Peterborough, Gait, Fergus, Stratford, London, 
Chatham, Sarnia. Unsettledness and change have now become the rule, and 
the long pastorate the rare exception. How has this change come about? 
This question is more easily asked than answered. In all departments of 
human life great changes have taken place in the past fifty years. In the 
main these changes are for the better, however opinions may differ as to 
certain details and incidental effects. There is in the Church, the permanent 
and the variable. Fluctuation in the variable is not to be interpreted as a 
sign, much less accepted as a proof, that " the former days were better than 



It is said that " the Pilgrim Fathers " of New England were the sifted 
wheat of the pioneer colonists of the United States, so, also the pioneers of 
Ontario may 'be termed the sifted wheat of the early colonists of Canada. 
Many of them were U. E. Loyalists, who emigrated from the United States 
after the War of Independence, and through their loyalty to the British 
Government were willing to brave the dangers, and to suffer the hardships 
and privations incidental to life in the woods of Canada. They left homes 
of comfort and luxury, were separated from their friends, a long distance 
from any post office, had to drive many miles to find a store to purchase 
necessities, or a market for their produce, no doctor nearer than twenty-five 
or fifty miles, and they had to live on the scantiest fare. The country was 
an unbroken forest with no roads; only occasionally, a path made by the 
surveyor, with a few blazed trees to indicate it; this path was called a blazed 
trail. Wolves, bears, and other wild animals were in abundance, and the 
wolves especially were a dangerous enemy at night and a few cases were 
known where they had devoured settlers, and many had narrow escapes from 
this terrible death. 

Sir Gr. W. Eoss said of the early pioneer, " No better stuff climbed the 
heights of Alma, or charged the Dervishes at Khartoum/' 

All honour to the brave men and women, who performed heroic deeds 
in resisting the invaders of Canada; we reverence their memories, we build 
monuments to commemorate their bravery; books after books have been 
written and published, so that the generations following and those to come 
will also honour and revere their names and the nobility of their character 
and know and remember their great achievements. 

But we also owe a great debt to the pioneers of our country, and their 
names and their persistent efforts, and their bravery in enduring the priva- 
tions and vicissitudes of the early pioneers of a new country should be 
remembered; the history and the records of their work should be preserved 
for the generations to come. 

" In the temples they founded, their faith is maintained 
Every foot of the soil they bequeathed is still ours, 
The graves where they moulder have not been profaned 
But we wreathe them with verdure and strew them with flowers." 

A pioneer life was certainly a strenuous one. The pioneer's first work 
was to take his axe and chop down the trees for a space to build a house, 
then he must build a barn and enclosure to protect his stock. But if the 
men led a busy life it would seem as though the women lived a busier life 
if possible, and their privations and difficulties were almost beyond human 



endurance, 'but they trained up a generation of noble men and women. Many 
of the pioneer women had come from homes of culture and refinement and 
were accustomed to comfort and luxury. Their first experience was the 
process of moving, for there were no ways for transportation only by waggons 
drawn by teams of horses. Mr. Moses Mott wrote a sketch describing their 
moving trip in the fall of 1810 from Duchess County, New York, to the 
Township of North Norwich. They had three teams, were twenty-one days 
on the road, resting on the Sabbath and some rainy days. Mr. and Mrs. Mott 
brought with them their family of five sons and one daughter. The country 
was new, very few settlers, roads very bad, several of the small streams had 
no bridges, and had to be forded, sometimes their waggons were stuck in the 
mud, would have to be pried out, and it would take two teams to draw 
them out. They crossed the Niagara River at Black Rock; the craft they 
crossed in was something like a scow, with four oars and two men at each 
oar. It took nearly all day to get each team across, one at a time. 

When they arrived at the Grand River, they had to ford the river as 
there was neither bridge nor ferry boat. A man rode a pony ahead as a 
guide, and the team followed closely behind, the water coming up to the 
horses' sides some of the way. This experience was common to all who 
travelled one hundred years ago, and certainly was not comfortable for the 
womanhood of the company. 

The home of a pioneer woman was her kingdom and she presided over 
it like a queen. It was constructed of logs; some of them had two rooms, 
one the living room, the other a sleeping room, and an attic above. If only 
one room, it had to combine both sleeping and living necessities. The 
sleeping apartment had usually two beds and trundle beds for the younger 
children, the older boys sleeping in the attic, for in those days there were 
children in the home, "like olive plants around the table." The heating 
of the home and the cooking was done by a fireplace. From the top of the 
chimney a chain was suspended, to which was attached two hooks, on which 
the busy housewife hung the iron kettles for cooking and for heating water. 
The bread was baked in a covered iron kettle, the dough was put into the 
kettle, which was placed upon the hearth and covered with coals, where it 
remained until the time was sufficient to bake it. After a time an oven 
would be built outside and in it large batches of bread, cake, and pies could 
be baked at once. This lessened the tediousness of providing food enough 
for the family but often storms made it very inconvenient ; stoves were intro- 
duced later on. Lights were not plentiful, usually a couple of pine knots 
and the fireplace furnished the light in the evening; a tallow candle was 
quite a luxury until later years, when there were cattle to kill to provide 
the tallow. It was no easy matter to keep the family comfortable in such 
limited circumstances. The mother had to spin the flax and the wool into 
yarn to weave into cloth to clothe the family. In every neighbourhood there 
would be a home in which there was a loom and some woman skilled in 
weaving cloth. The housewife would dye the yarn; the dyes in those 'days 
were homemade, not the dye preparations of these davs which require so 
little effort to use them; the pioneer dyes needed days often to complete the 
colouring. Souvenirs of the dress goods prepared in those days are some 
of them beautiful and compare favourably with those of to-day, and there 
were no shoddy goods either. They also fulled the cloth, termed full cloth; 


it was thicker and warmer for men's wear, and outer garments for women. 
After the cloth was prepared, the mothers had to be the dressmakers and the 
tailors. Stockings and socks had to be knit for the family; the father would 
tan his own leather and in the evening or stormy days would make the shoes 
for the family. Then with all the home cares, there was much social life, 
" the latch string was always out," everybody was welcome in the homes. 

In the pioneer days it was impossible to get medical attention, doctors 
were from twenty-five to fifty miles distant from most districts, but these busy 
housekeepers did not forget their duty to those about them. It can truthfully 
be said of the pioneer woman : 

" She layeth her hand to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. 
She stretcheth out her hands to the poor, yea 
She reacheth out her hands to the needy." 

These women responded to every call and in early days it was often 
a perilous journey. Now in North Norwich, Mrs. Adam Stover was the only 
physician until 1831, when Dr. Cooke settled on Quaker Street. She was a 
capable and skilful nurse, having received special training before they moved 
into Norwich in 1811. She was in great demand, going early and late, 
travelling on horseback over rough roads, through storms, braving danger, 
for at night the forest was infested with wolves. Mrs. Stover found in her 
first visits to the sick and those to whom she ministered that they were 
frequently without clothing and comforts, so she always kept a satchel ready, 
filled with clothing for sickness, also for the little one, if one was to be 
ushered into the world. Many a young mother had no opportunity.. ^getting 
cloth for little garments, there being no store nearer than (fifty-five^ miles. 
So in every county we find these records of noble deeds in sickness by its 
womanhood. In our own limited experience we could add scores of names 
of women who lived for " Others/' and to help the suffering ones. 

" The sweetest lives are those to duty wed, 

When deeds both great and small 
Are close knit strands of an unbroken thread 

Where love ennobles all 

The world may sound no trumpet, ring no bell, 
The ' Books of Life ' the shining records tell." 

Many mothers educated their children at hcme, schools were often a 
long distance, and sometimes the teachers were not very efficient, usually 
some one in the section and when circumstances did not require the children 
to be taught entirely in the home, the strong personality of the mother, her 
noble ambitions, her strict adherence to the principles of honour and justice, 
her persistent efforts for the uplift of her family and the community in which 
she lived were a noble heritage for her children, and in the majority of the 
citizens of 'Canada to-day, who are descendants of our pioneer families, we 
find them men and women who live to make the world better ; they are loyal to 
God and country, and those principles of .Righteousness and Freedom that 
uplift a nation. 

About twenty-five years ago I was intimately associated with a mother 
who educated her family at home until they were ready for college. When 
I knew her she had two or three maids to assist in her elegant home. In 
conversation with her on educational problems I inquired how she had 


managed to educate her family at home. She said when her two eldest boys 
were small she lived on a farm, made butter and raised poultry and eggs 
for the market, usually had two men to board, her husband, md four children, 
and no maid, could get help for washing and cleaning. " The school was gome 
distance, and not a desirable association for my family. I had a gpod English 
education, with some knowledge of Latin and French. I felt that my boys 
had been given me to train and mould into good men, and as they evinced 
a desire and a capability for becoming educated men, I had a small table 
in the kitchen and while I was attending to domestic duties I taught them. 
They were among the first pupils in Ontario County to write on the Entrance 
Examination and after another year at home, we sent them to Cobourg 
University, then to Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore. Both became 
very successful barristers, and the eldest one represented the U. S. Govern- 
ment in every court in Europe on some phase of Political Economy." He 
was in London, England, when the late Edward VII. was Prince of Wales, 
and was at a banquet at which the Prince presided, and her son gave his 
address in pure French. His picture and that of our own De L. F. Barker 
of Johns Hopkins were illustrated in the Globe as the two eminent Canadians. 
The younger son and daughter received the same education at home; the 
son is one of the prominent judges in a large Canadian city, the daughter 
died just after her graduation. This is only the brief record of one of the 
hundreds of mothers in our Canada, who helped to make its greatness by 
donating such a noble citizenship. 

All over our province we find records of grand and noble deeds ac- 
complished by our pioneer women. I shall just give a brief reference to one 
of these splendid women, Dr. Emily H. Stowe, who was born in the wooded 
country of South Norwich in 1831 and who accomplished great things for 
the womanhood. of our country. 

Dr. Emily H. Stowe was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon 
Jennings, her mother was the granddaughter of Peter Lossing, the North 
Norwich pioneer. She was one of the leaders of Canadian women, who 
believe it is their duty to do their part, in every sphere of public and private 
life, where they may promote the welfare and advancement of humanity. 
She began her public life as a teacher, at the age of fifteen and continued to 
advance in her profession, until she became the first female High School or 
Grammar School teacher in the Dominion. She married, was the mother 
of three children, was an excellent wife and mother, a model housekeeper, 
so her intellectual qualifications and aspirations did not unfit her for domestic 

After she had been married a few years her attention was directed to 
the fact that women were needed in the medical profession. She decided 
to enter into it, but like all pioneers on any path of human progress, she 
encountered unreasoning prejudice, great obstacles and had to face strong 
opposition from those even from whom you would have expected approval, 
and also found much social and professional antagonism. 

As there were no opportunities for women to obtain a medical education 
in Canada, this courageous woman attended the New York Medical College 
for Women, and graduated from that institution in 1868, and commenced 
to practice in the city of Toronto, and thus became the first woman to enter 
the medical profession in the Dominion. The subsequent struggle for a right 


to practice in Toronto left no trace of bitterness or animosity. Women who 
now choose the medical profession in Canada, and find every facility provided 
for the various courses of study, can never know how deeply they are indebted 
to this great pioneer, who opened the path now so easy to follow. 

Dr. Emily H. Stowe was a wise and untiring worker in the long struggle 
for the admission of women into the University of Toronto. The man- 
monopolized world in the early part of the 19th century did not believe in 
the higher education of woman. There was a strong opposition against girls 
entering the high schools. In 1826, the town of Hatfield, Mass., discussed 
the question of taxing it to provide a high school for girls or of enlarging 
the one they had for that purpose. One indignant citizen exclaimed " School 
she's ! " " Never ! " The extension of the Franchise to women and the 
Married Woman's Property Act were among the results of her persistent 

Dr. Emily H. Stowe possessed intellectual courage, clear convictions, 
steady unswerving purpose, a composed philosophical mind, and these were 
the qualities that won success in the long struggle against the opposition 
to girls having the right to receive the higher education. 



You cannot forget that this continent of America and Canada first 
belonged to the Indians. How they came into this land, where they came 
from, has not been found out. A remark made by a chief in the early days 
was : " The Great Spirit gave this big Island to the Red Man, and the land 
across the big waters he gave the White Man, but the white man was not 
content with what he got, but must come over the big waters and take ours 
from us." 

When the first white men sailed up that beautiful river, (now the St. 
Lawrence) they saw nothing but brown and red men, wearing deer skins, and 
feathers on their heads. You can imagine how astonished the Indians were, 
to see a large ship with sails, and white men. Fortunately for the white men, 
they happened to be a peaceable tribe. They received Cartier with astonish- 
ment and hospitality. Most noted of the Indians were Brant, Tecumseh, 
Pontiac, Splitlog and Red Jacket. Indian chiefs and warriors were in all the 
battles in Canada from 1620 to 1814. These battles were at Quebec, Prescott, 
Chrysler's Farm, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara frontier, Detroit and Amherst- 

The centre of all the ties which bind Canada together can be found 
about the grey old rock of Quebec, so full of historic memories of Cartier, 
Champlain, Levis, Montcalm, Wolfe, and others. It was to this spot that 
Cartier came, followed by Champlain, the soldier, the sailor and the statesman. 
It was from Quebec that Christianity was first given to Canada. Jacques 
Cartier sailed up this beautiful river in 1534, with his three ships and 162 
picked men, passing the river Saguenay, landed at Stad-a-co-na, now Quebec ; 
meeting the well known chief Donn-a-co-na, he sailed on and next stopped at 
Hochelaga (now Montreal) and was well received by throners of Indians. 

The last letter addressed by Champlain to Cardinal Richelieu set forth 
the importance of subduing the hostile tribes of the Five Nations and bringing 
them into sympathy and friendship with the French. Conflicts occurred 
between the English and French, until the British won, with the death of 
Wolfe, Montcalm and others. In June 1760 Sir Win. Johnson brought to 
General Amherst one thousand of the Six Nation Indians, (by this time 
including the Tuscaroras admitted in 1714.) This was the largest number of 
Indians ever seen in arms at one time in the cause of Britain. At the close 
of the war in 1783, the Six Nations almost to a man, under Brant's leader- 
ship, left their beautiful valley on the Mohawk River and retired to Canada. 
What Brant was to the British in the revolutionary war, Tecumseh was in 
the war of 1812, and the memory and the services of those two great Indian 
warriors would, with other motives wanting, of themselves constitute a reason 
why the Indians of British America should be treated with justice, consider- 



ation and respect. Tecumseh turned to his braves and pointing to Sir Isaac 
Brock said " This is a man." Sir Isaac Brock took off his red sash, put it on 
Tecumseh, and the chief received it with much pleasure. 

In 1783 the Six Nations (U.E.L.) headed by Brant, took up the lands in 
the neighborhood of Brantford, presented to them by the British Government, 
six miles on each side of the Ouse or Grand River from above Elora to Port 
Maitland on Lake Erie. Captain Brant, who was in England in 1784, brought 
out a bell, which was the first bell that rang for church service in Upper 
Canada. He brought out also the royal coat of arms of King George the 
Third. This coat-of-arms is a very rare one. The Lord's Prayer, the Ten 
Commandments and the Creed in the Mohawk language he also brought out. 
Brant built the church in 1784, which started the Mohawk village. 

In February, 179>3, Lieut.-Governor Simcoe and suite were the guests 
of Chief Brant at the Mohawk village, coming from Niagara and Fort George. 
On their arrival the Indians hoisted their flags and trophies of war and fired 
a cannon. They then gave the Governor an Indian name, Dey-on-quh-o-ka- 
wen, meaning " One whose door is always open." Chief Brant and his war- 
riors accompanied Governor Simcoe to the Delaware Reserve, below London, 
Ont., on his way to Detroit, which then belonged to the British. 

The -Six Nations are now nearly all Christians, and have splendid schools, 
many churches on the reserve, and at a village called Oshweken, about ten 
miles from Brantford, Ont., a brick council house, the corner stone of which 
was laid by the superintendent, Colonel Jasper T. Gilkison, in October, 
1863, whose Indian name was " Shaonwenyaw-anck," meaning "One Who 
Governs." (Mohawk). Miss Gilkison (his daughter) was adopted October, 
1913, and given the name "Go-ih-Wih-Sacs, meaning "One Who Makes a 
Research," (Cayuga, Wolf Clan.) 

This village of Oshweken has exhibition grounds, post office, high school, 
two churches, frame houses nicely furnished and a hotel. The Indians are 
musical and sing very softly and sweetly. The first clergymen were Rev. Mr. 
Luggar, Rev. Mr. Nelles and Rev. Mr. Elliott, who ministered to them fifty 
years. The Indian reserve has had many distinguished visitors: The Duke 
of Connaueht. Lord and Lady Dufferin, Lords Lisgar, Aberdeen and others. 
Beautiful addresses were sent to Queen Victoria, King Edward and King 
Georere V. He is the head warrior chief of the Six Nations, with the name 
On-6nti-yah, meaning Pleasant Mountain. Prince Arthur (now the Duke 
of Connauerht) was made chief in 1869, at the Mohawk church and Indian 
Institute, and ^iven the name Ka-rah-kon-tye, meaning The Sun Flying, of 
the Mohawk tribe, Wolf clan. He was only twenty years old. I myself wit- 
nessed the ceremony. 

Brant was tall, with fine oval face, not dark, and was very highly respected 
by all the hi<rh officials of that day. The Duke of Northumberland, Earl of 
Warwick. Marquis of Hastings and others of the nobility were friends of 
Brant. He was also a captain in the British army. 

Over three hundred of the Six Nations have gone to the front in the 
present Great War, and the first that paid the supreme sacrifice was 
Lieutenant Cameron Brant, a descendant. The monument which is erected 
to chief Brant is the finest on this continent; the casts of the faces were taken 
from living men on the reserve a Mohawk, Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga, 
Oneida and Tuscarora. 


Brantford was laid out as a village in 1830. The council had a dispute 
about a name some wanted Birmingham, another Biggarsville, etc., but there 
happened to come into the room a man named Button, whom they thought 
something of, and they asked him what name he would give this new village. 
" Why/' he said, " is not this place known as Brant's Ford ?" They said yes. 
" Then call it Brantford." They all agreed, so the trouble was settled. 

Tuscarora, means " hemp gatherers/' Indian hemp being a plant of many 
uses among the Carolina Tuscaroras. In 1708 they had 15 towns and about 
1,200 warriors, with a population of two thousand. They were an important 
people and possessed many amiable qualities and behaved better to the white 
people than the whites did to them, for they kidnapped their children and 
sold them into slavery. They were so illtreated by the whites and the other 
Indian tribes that in 1714 the Tuscaroras came to the Five Nations for 
protection, and they with the Five Nations came to live on Grand River 
Reserve in 1784. 

Tutelo Heights, 2 miles from Brantford, where the Bell Telephone was 
invented, was named after the Tutelo tribe, which came with the Six Nations 
in 1784 and settled by themselves on these heights. The Tutelo tribe dwelt 
in 1671 in Brunswick County, South Virginia, then afterwards with the Tus- 
caroras they moved to Pennsylvania, afterwards to New York, where they 
joined the Five Nations and with them moved to the Grand River Reserve. 
Their tribal ensign consisted of three arrows : their chiefs were allowed to sit 
in the Great Council. The Tutelos were tall, likely men with large robust 
bodies; they were cultivators of the soil. The last full blood Tutelo died in 
1871 Nikonha, John Tutelo, as he was known on the reserve, aged 82. 



Years ago I collected a large amount of stage-day reminiscences and data, 
but have found on reviewing it lately that it contained so much repetition 
and sameness that I have decided to give a short paper on the old Stage Koad 
with a few of the essential facts. The old Stage Road was the leading highway 
of Ontario in early days, with many branch lines leading from it along the 

Staging is merely a substitute for the term coaching, and coaching dates 
back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 

In England during the eighteenth century the coaches were great, lumber- 
ing affairs drawn by six horses, and it was conceded that a good walker could 
make better time. The passengers, it would appear, were usually either rich, 
lazy, fat or cripples. In the year 1718 the first contracts were given to the 
coachmen for carrying the mail. Up to that time the mail had been carried 
by post boys. Staging was introduced in America as soon as the country was 
sufficiently populated to warrant it, and the stage routes spread with the 
people, or rather, the people spread with the stage until they had reached all 
points of importance in North America. 

It is niy intention at this time to deal with stage days in Oxford, and as 
my information has been gathered from many sources it will necessarily be 
somewhat fragmentary. 

In my youth I heard many stage stories from my uncle, George Hobson, 
who, in his early life, had the mail route from Hamilton to London, and ran 
stages on the old Stage Road for many years, and later on through Wood- 
stock after the Governor's Road was finished. One little incident I remember 
him telling. The stages passed through Woodstock on sleighs on the 10th 
day of May, 1844 an old letter furnished me with the correct date. Winter 
was surely lingering in the lap of spring that time. I find that one Jed 
Jackson, in the year 1832, got the first contract for carrying the mail from 
Brantford to London over the old Stage Road, and from that road into Wood- 
stock with a light rig, although there was no post office in Woodstock until 
the year 1835. Just at this point in my investigation I made a discovery. I 
cannot very well understand why the stages had been running over the old 
Stage Road for many years before the Government gave a contract for carrying 
the mail. The question is, how did the people do business or get the mail? 

Dorman was one of the first stage proprietors of importance, but I cannot 
find that he ever carried the mail. Dorman's stables at Sydenham, now 
Cathcart, were noted for their large number of high class stage horses. Two 
years was the average life of a stage horse. 

Up to about 18&6 the stages carried nine passengers inside and a goodly 
number outside. There was always room for one more. About the year 1853, 



when Babcock & Co., Hiram Weeks, George Hobson and others were staging, 
the stages were more commodious and carried as many as sixteen passengers. 
They were known as Concord stages, as they were at that time all built in 
Concord, New Hampshire. The old Stage Road between Niagara and London 
was considered the most beautiful drive in the country, winding through 
varied and ever-changing scenery the entire distance, passing a few miles south 
of Woodstock, and it is said, of which there is no doubt, that this old historic 
road was originally an Indian trail from Niagara to Windsor. 

Eighty years ago, in the year 1839, Woodstock had become of much im- 
portance, or imagined so, having many retired military and naval officers 
living in and about it, who, having influence with the Government, succeeded 
in having work commenced in the year 1840 on the road leading from 
Sydenham to Eastwood to join the Governor's Road, through Woodstock. 
This road was well graded and planked with three-inch pine lumber. It was 
finished in the year 1843 and for a number of years nearly all the traffic passed 
through Woodstock, although the old Stage Road was never abandoned ; it still 
had its attractions which led many that way. About the year 1847 the plank- 
ing and grading on the Governor's Road had become much worn and the traffic 
reverted very largely back to the old S'tage Road. 

During the construction of the Great Western Railroad there was very 
heavy traffic over both roads. Often as many as six four-horse stages passed 
each way every day. Stages travelled at the rate of eight to ten miles an hour, 
and usually changed horses about every fifteen miles. Some stage lines had 
relays of horses at Putnam, Beachville, Eastwood, and so on, while others ran 
from London to Ingersoll, from there to Woodstock, and from Woodstock to 
Sydenham. It seems that each stage proprietor allotted relays to suit himself, 
which was not a difficult matter, as there were over thirty taverns between 
London and Brantford, twenty of which were between Woodstock and Brant- 
ford, and all did a flourishing business. Many of the old-time landlords were 
noted characters, and all seemed to be the very soul of hospitality. The stages 
made a practice of stopping at every tavern, business or no business. It took 
but twenty-five cents to treat the crowd, no matter about the number. Jokes 
and songs were the order of the day, and light-hearted merriment seemed 
to prevail everywhere. The old-timer would be considered illiterate and coarse 
now-a-days, but he at least seemed to live as long and get as much pleasure 
out of life as the people of to-day. Our better education would appear to be 
but the mother of discontent, and our bigoted social conditions are leading 
us into chaos. The old-timers tried to keep the ten commandments, but we 
have added ten times ten to the ten and break most of them. I fear our laws 
are becoming so drastic and fanatical that liberty has lost its meaning. The 
poor, uneducated pioneer in his stage coach would compare favorably, mentally, 
morally, physically and religiously with the educated masses who travel in 
Pullman cars to-day. The better education and Christianity do not appear to 
be working in harmony. 

The old-time stage proprietor was looked upon as the salt of the earth, 
not that he had any outstanding qualifications as a rule any more than our 
modern M.P.P. or bank managers, but people who hold favors in the hollow 
of their hands are always treated with great deference. All the proud virtue 
of this vaunting world fawns on success and power. The highest ambition 
of the young man in early days was to be a stage driver, not that the remun- 


eration could have been any inducement as they received ten or twelve dollars 
per month, but the exciting life seemed to overcome the many hardships. 

During the construction of the Great Western Kailroad the fare from 
London to Brantford was $5.00, or $3.00 from Woodstock to Brantford, but 
this had not been the rule. In earlier days the competition was at times so 
great that they had rate wars andTlrequently carried passengers from London 
to Hamilton free and fed them on the way and treated them at each tavern. 
It was a common thing for stage drivers of opposing lines to meet at stage 
stations and fight like wild cats, and a man x>f pugilistic fame often drew 
double the pay of an ordinary peaceful driver, and fighting qualifications were 
recognized as a mark of efficiency. 

A rather laughable incident is told by one of the stage drivers: being 
stuck in the mud on one occasion he ordered all the passengers out, and all 
obeyed excepting one big, burly fellow, who 'sat still. When the driver caught 
sight of him he said : " Look here, my good man, if you don't get out of there, 
I will serve you as I did a man here yesterday." The big fellow started to 
pull his coat off, saying: "How did you serve the man yesterday?" "Oh," 
replied the stage driver, " I just let him sit still." 

Another pathetic incident I remember my uncle telling. On one occasion 
he was driving himself, and overtook a poor weary woman, near Martin's 
Tavern, and having room, he took her on. She had a small sack of flour on 
her shoulder, and she said she lived somewhere north of Ingersoll, and had 
walked nearly all the way to Hamilton with one bushel of wheat, and was 
returning with the flour. She had no money, but had not suffered for food or 
lodging on all the trip. The hospitable tavern keepers along the way gave 
her food, bed and a sup of whiskey, as she called on them, and the stage drivers 
gave her a lift when they had room. 

Very likely this poor woman was the grandmother of some of the fan- 
atics in our midst to-day who would not allow us to bet a nickel on a horse race 
or drink a glass of ale, yet would doff their hats to the promoters who fleece the 
public out of millions, and overlook the thousand greater evils that are leading 
the world into Bolshevism. 

When the stage proprietor was put out of business there was no McKenzie 
& Mann, or Merchants Bank, to call upon the Government and force them to 
make good; railroad magnates and banks and big interests had no strangle 
hold on the throat of the government at that time. 

But the stage proprietor and the stage 'driver, and the old-time tavern 
keeper and the toll gate, have all gone, never to return. 


Long gone with the past are the pioneer days 
When the riverside road was only a blaze, 
And the Indian lurked like a beast of prey, 
While the ox teams went lolling along the way. 
But the ox team, and red man, and birch bark abode 
Are passed like a dream from the Thames River Road. 

Then came the stage coach with its rumble and din, 

Full bulging with passengers outside and in, 

All fresh from the motherland over the sea, 

In search of new homes in the land of the free. 

They chopped and they cleared and they plowed and they sowed, 

And passed in their turn from the Thames River Road. 


The railway came next and thus ended the age 

Of the pioneer inn, the toll gate and stage, 

And the landlord, that soul of mirth and good-will, 

Long since with the stage driver sleeps in the hill. 

All gone, after doing the duty they owed, 

Old mother in toil, by the Thames Eiver Road. 

The valley now echoes with whistles and wheels, 
Of railways and tram-cars and automobiles; 
A merciless, mercantile, serve-me-and-go, 
Days coming and going with no after glow. 
A money-mad, pleasure-bound, top-heavy load 
Profanes the dream scenes of the Thames River Road. 

Could we but turn back a few pagee of time, 
And see the old hills in their primitive prime. 
But past locks the doors upon all that has been, 
And Future is something no mortal has seen. 
To-day 'tis our duty to lighten the load 
Of the weary who travel the Thames River Road. 



It lias appeared to me that there are few sections of Ontario thai can 
present material for historical consideration to a greater extent than the 
vaJley of the Thames, whether we consider it in connection with our Indian 
period, or as the centre from which radiated an influence which did much 
to stamp upon our earlier settlers those characteristics that have made Ontario 
as a whole, the premier province of our Dominion. The Indian trail, or as 
it was more generally known, the River Trail, which margined the ri r er from 
this point westward had the effect of bringing our earlier settlers iLto more 
intimate contact with the natives, who, in many cases, rendered valuable 
service in the primitive pioneer period. This river had been for centuries 
prior 'to the advent of the white man an established highway across the 
western peninsula, connecting Lake Ontario, the Grand River Valley and 
the western lake front. It seems to have been a settled custom with the 
natives to select the river valleys of the country for their more permanent 
places of residence, which is explained when we consider their mode of life, 
and in the valley of the Thames all their requirements were abundantly 
supplied. For forty miles of the distance on the western point of the trail, 
an unbroken wilderness existed on both sides of the river. Here a band of 
Moravian missionaries established themselvea 127 years ago (1792) and it 
is to these men we are indebted for what written records exist. 

Perhaps it would be well at this point to give the principal source of 
my information as to what follows. I do not intend to repeat what is already 
on record as accepted history of events of the later military experiences, in 
this connection. It was my good fortune to meet at a very early period of 
my life an old Indian, known as Chief Tim, who frequently visited the home 
of a relative of mine, and as one who could claim to be contemporary with 
Simcoe and Brant, was always an interesting visitor, while the old man 
was always willing to recall the past, and was considered the oracle of 
his tribe. His knowledge of the history of his race was wonderful, and 
conflicted in many cases with the commonly received statements, which often 
proved correct on investigation, one of which was that Brant was the son 
of a chief. This he contradicted, and our evidence proved him correct. He 
also had a different version of the selection of the site of Ingersoll, and, as 
he stated, it was military matters that prevailed; and also of the naming 
of the river as recorded. And instead of exploration, as he presented it, 
it was for the purpose of exploitation, as the beavers were numerous and 
the trade profitable. They had only entered the river when they were forced 
by the natives to return. The name LaTranche was never recognized by 
the natives, although it passed into the records. Picturesque Canada (p. 502) 
gives the statement of Bellin, map maker of Louis XV's Depart- 



ment of Marine, that the river was explored for 80 leagues without the 
obstacle of a rapid. Now there is something wrong about this statement 
of 80 leagues on a river of 135 miles long. The word trench is almost identical 
with the French word La Tranche, and in plain English means ^itch. It is 
not a distinctive name; it is a term used to differentiate between a natural 
and an artificial water course, and is in fact a contradiction. 

The statement that this river did not possess a name at that time, anyone 
at all conversant with Indian history will recognize at once as incorrect one 
of their outstanding characteristics being their habit of applying names to ob- 
jects of vastly minor importance. This river had a name, and an exalted one 
at that. While the name has been lost, the meaning has been preserved, 
and is " The Gift of the Manito of the Waters," and is the subject of a legend 
which has been written presumably by the Moravian missionaries. 

There is another matter in connection with the naming of the St. Glair, 
with respect to which our Canadian historians are not in evidence, while 
our friends in the IT. S. have not overlooked it. In 1765, when the revolu- 
tionary pot was beginning to simmer, it was deemed advisable that some one 
in the interest of our country should 'be somewhere in the neighbourhood 
of our western front. The appointee to the situation was a British officer 
named Patrick Sinclair, who had been prominent in the campaign under 
Wolfe. Arriving at the western front, he decided to purchase a tract of land 
from the Indians, and which had to be done with the consent and assistance 
of the leading members of the tribe, as the situation was in almost direct 
connection with the Eiver trail. Brant at this time was about 22 years of 
age, and acting chief of the tribes, while his predecessor, Abram, was still 
Titular Chief, which permitted him to conduct the diplomatic business with 
the revolutionary commissioners. With the following brief reference by the 
American chronicler : " St. Clair, a river called Sinclair in honour of 
Patrick Sinclair, a British officer, who in 1765 purchased from the Indians 
a tract of land along the river," all reference to the matter ends so far as 
it concerns the establishment of Patrick Sinclair on the western front, which 
had the effect of securing to the British the river trail as a complete line 
of defence. At a later period our friends in the U. S. claimed the naming 
of the river for Arthur St. Clair, who was also a British officer but resigned 
his commission in 1762, joined the revolutionists and opposed the British. 
He was defeated by the Indians at the Miami villages. There were therefore 
three sources from which this river (St. Clair) has derived its name: 
from LaSalle in 1689, Patrick Sinclair in 1765, and Arthur St. Clair in 1800. 

Governor Simcoe in all his activities was first of all a military man, 
and in his position as governor of the province, the selection of a more 
suitable situation for the seat of government was necessary. His initial step 
in this direction was renaming the river, and by a proclamation which he 
issued July 16th, 1792, it received the name of the " Thames Biver," having 
for its prototype the world's famous stream. Nor did he fail to accompany 
his proclamation with the dignity of appropriate ceremony, his own party, 
together with many others, assisted by the chaplain, singing God Save the 
King, a practice he followed whenever justified. 

The delay in naming London at this time was no doubt due to political 
consideration in other quarters, as there is no question of his own desire 


to name London as the capital of the province. However, in 1794 the site 
was selected, and London placed on the map. Immediately followed the 
naming of the counties, with Middlesex naturally following the naming of 
London, from its situation on the Elver, " Chatham," from its position on 
the Kiver corresponding to that in the motherland in the County of Kent. 
Oxford was named in 1793, for in that year settlement had taken place, and 
Woodstock with Blenheim the home of the Marlboroughs. Thus we behold 
the very heart of the empire recreated, in embryo, in the yet unbroken wilder- 
ness of Canada, and with its foundations laid in the valley of the Thames. 

The foregoing is but a summary of a subject that lends itself to more 
extended treatment. Could we but visualize the mind of Simcoe at this 
supreme moment, what would we behold? His sentiment in the naming of 
places had a reality behind it that justified every forecast he made, and as 
Robert Gourlay (an Oxford man, and the stormy petrel of our early political 
life) said, the. removal of Simcoe to another field of action put back the 
development of Western Canada for 50 years. By his system of naming 
places a dual purpose was served it intimated to the English-speaking 
immigrant where, under the same flag, he would find the same laws and 
usages, both civil and religious, and with the same environment as in his 
native land. 



As the Amieh is distinctly a religious sect it may not be amiss to view 
them first from this point of view. Puritanism, as the word implies, originated 
in an effort to purify the Protestant Church. The reforms aimed at were 
almost as drastic and radical as were those of the Protestant reformers. 
One of the tenets of the Independents in England was that "any gifted 
brother, if he find himself qualified thereto, may instruct, exhort and preach 
in the Church." George Fox was the leader and founder of Quakerism. 
The sect grew and multiplied. 

Besides the Papist and Churchman there were Presbyterians, Inde- 
pendents, Baptists or Ana-baptists, Old Brownists, Antinomians, Familists, 
Millenaries or Chiliasts, Expecters or Seekers, Divorcers, Anti-sabbatarians, 
Traskites, Soulsleepers or Moralists, Arians, Socinians, Anti-scripturists, 
Sceptics or Questionists, Atheists, Fifth Monarchy men, Ranters, the Maggle- 
tonians, Boehmists, and Quakers or Friends. 

As it was in England so was it in Europe whence came the Mennonites. 
In such a transition period fanaticism played a conspicuous part. Prynne, 
for example, ridiculed the Church choir in set terms. He said, " Choristers 
bellow the tenor as it were oxen, bark a counterpart as it were a kennel 
of dogs, roar out a treble as it were a sort of bulls and grunt out a bass as 
it were a number of hogs/' (Quoted in Cort's Puritanism, p. 455). This 
criticism shows their lack of appreciation of the artistic. Even the great 
Milton was as extreme. Carlyle recognized Fox as a religious genius and 
reformer. He felt that the Mission revealed to him was "to turn people 
to that Inward Light even that Divine Spirit which would lead men to 
all truth." This doctrine of the Inward Light was the corner-stone upon 
which Fox built and upon which Quakerism rests. 

There was more latitude among the Friends than within the narrower 
limits of other sects. They considered war " an evil as opposite and contrary 
to the spirit and doctrine of Christ as light to darkness." 

The early Friends' marriage ceremony for solemnity and tender touching 
simplicity is incomparable. After an impressive silence each in turn repeats, 
" In the presence of the Lord and this Assembly I take thee to be my wife 
(or husband), promising with Divine assistance, to be unto thee a loving 
and faithful husband (or wife) until death shall separate us." If anyone 
desires to feel and realize the presence of God in a public or private gathering 
let him attend a Quaker wedding. 

The term Quaker was applied to them in derision, but they called 
themselves Friends. 

Though the foregoing has special reference to the English Quakers it 



is applicable equally to the aims and doctrines of the German Quaker or 

I quote here from the introductory chapter in The Amishman, a little 
book I wrote just before the war, now ended. 

" They derive their name from their founder, Jacob Amman, a Mennonite 
preacher of Berne, Switzerland. Amman was very conservative in his views, 
and advocated " avoidance," or the practice of " shunning " those placed 
under the ban. He prescribed a dress of a particular cut and material, and 
the use of hooks and eyes. The German word for hook being haft, they got 
the name of Haftler, in contradistinction to the Mennonites, who used 
buttons, and were called " Knopfler," a word derived from the German 
word knopf, a button. 

" He revived the practice of l feet-washing ' at the communion service. 
It may be noted in passing that the Pope on occasions practices the ceremony! 
of feet-washing, as does also the Greek Church. 

" Emigrants from Switzerland carried the division to Alsace-Lorraine 
and the Palatinate, whence they came to America chiefly from 1820 to 1850, 
owing to the hardships resulting from the Napoleonic wars. Many came 
to Ontario from Pennsylvania, being attracted by the cheaper lands available 
for settlers." 

The history of the Canadian Amish begins with the wanderings of 
Christian Nafzigger, a Bavarian who came to America in 1822 and landed 
at New Orleans. Thence he went by foot to Lancaster County, 'Pennsylvania, 
thence to Ontario, where in the fall of 1822 he secured a tract of land in 
Wilmot township, Canada West. He went back to Bavaria and returned 
with' his colony in 1826. 

In the meanwhile he had been preceded by several families who reached 
central Ontario by way of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Among these 
were John Brenneman, John Gingerich, Jos. Becher. 

The first church was organized in 1824 with John Brenneman and 
Joseph Goldschmidt as the first ministers. This colony has since developed 
into four ' large congregations near the original settlement : one being in 
the Township of East Zorra (16th Line) in the County of Oxford, and one 
near Lake Huron, founded in 1849. 

The Mennonite immigration antedated this Amish one. A small group 
of men from Plumstead, Black's County, Pennsylvania, left for Canada in 
1786. Kulps, Albrights and Halms located in Lincoln County, about twenty 
miles from Niagara Falls. Later several small scattered settlements were 
made in South Wellington, Welland and Haldimand. 

Joseph Schoorg and Samuel Betzner in 1799 and 1800 bought bush 
lands on the Grand River, east of Boon and Betzner on the west side, near 
Blair. These men wrote encouraging letters home to 'Pennsylvania, and 
several more families from Lancaster County emigrated to Canada. Among 
them Dave Gingerich, (1801) later Bechtels and Biehns followed, also Michael 
Baer from New York County. Some treked on horse back, some with 
Conestogo waggons with four horses. They crossed the Alleghany Mountains, 
went up the Susquehanna River through New York State and struck Niagara 
below Buffalo. 

Thence they proceeded via Hamilton to Duiidas, through the Beverley 
Swamp to the settlement on the Grand River. They bought land from 

4 H.P. 


Richard Beasley, who owned most of Waterloo Township, at from $1.00 to 
$4.00 per acre. 

In 1803 it was found that there was a mortgage for $20,000 on Beasley's 
lands. Through the advice of Hans Eby they formed a stock company in 
the United States which bought up the township and assumed the mortgage. 
Samuel Bricker was appointed agent for this company with Daniel Erb as 
his assistant. $20,000 in silver was taken in a light waggon and given to 
Beasley when the company then got a clear title to 60,000 acres of land 
in Waterloo County. 

In the same year (1803) a settlement was made near Markham in York 
County. In 1807, 45,000 acres were bought in Woolwich Township, north 
of Waterloo. 

In the second decade of the 19th century immigrants flocked in. Soon 
much of South Waterloo Township was occupied by the Mennonites, that is, 
near Boon and Preston. 

Berlin was once called Ebytown, and since the war, Kitchener. In 1827 
it was given the name Berlin upon the suggestion of Bishop Eby. Bishop 
Eby was appointed in 1812 and exerted a strong influence in the community 
till his death in 1835. He wrote a short history of the Mennonites. 

In 1909 there were thirty congregations in these districts in Ontario, 
mostly in Waterloo. There would likely be a total membership in 1913, of 
about 2,000. 




Waterloo County is in the heart of the peninsula of south-western Ontario. 
It is watered by the beautiful Grand River and its three principal tributaries, 
the Conestogo, the Speed, an'd the Nith Rivers, the first two uniting with the 
main stream within the county and the third a little below its southerly 

Before its settlement the stretch of country of which the county forms 
a part was one of the most densely wooded sections of the continent. Mag- 
nificent hardwoods, maple, beech, elm, ash, oak, and others were interspersed 
with great\ pines. Oak trees three to five feet in diameter, and pine up to 
five and six feet in diameter, were not uncommon. Some pine were as much as 
six and a half feet in diameter and two hundred feet high. The clearing of 
these lands by the settlers, the removal, at great labour and with only slight 
utilization, of the dense forestation, the development of numerous water 
powers, the building of saw mills and other industries operated by the water- 
powers, is an interesting story by itself.* One hundred and twelve larger and 
smaller waterpowers have been traced as in operation within the county at 
some time. Some of them, comparatively few, still remain. 

The County was on the northerly edge of the Attiwiandaronk or Neutral 
Indian Country. f Little evidence of continuous aboriginal residence is found 
within its borders. Tree growth was too dense and continuous to afford suit- 
able lands for the agriculture of the Indian. It was however a fine hunting 
and fishing country. There are remains of Indian encampments at various 
places along the Conestogo River, and at Breslau and below Gait on the Grand 
River. Flint arrowheads and spear heads, stone axes, tomahawks, etc., are 
well in evidence. No ossuaries or other large Indian burial places have been 
found within the county. 

There is little mention of the settlement of Waterloo County in general 
Canadian History, nor did the early map makers know of this Pennsylvania 
colony. John Gary for instance, a noted map-maker of London, showed on 
several maps, 1806 to 1808, London, Tipper Canada, and Dundas Street 
extending therefrom to well east of Kingston, and the Waterloo district as 
Six Nation Indian Reservation, while the fact is that neither London, Upper 
Canada, nor much of Dundas Street existed at the time, while Block 2 Home 
District, as it was called, was already fairly occupied by settlers. 

There have been several county historians in Waterloo. Hon. James 
Young, published in 1880 his History of Gait and North Dumfries. Ezra 
Eby, himself a Pennsylvania descendant, brought out in 189*5 two large 
volumes, somewhat on general county history, but, in the main, being a 
biographical dictionary of 8495 individuals, Pennsylvania settlers in Waterloo 
County and their descendants. The best account of the settlement of the 
county appears in Vol. VII of the Ontario Historical Society publications, in 
a paper by the Rev. A. B. Sherk, who was in his time the foremost authority 

*E. W. B. Snider, 1918 Annual Report, Waterloo Historical Society, 
t " Indian Occupation of S.W. Ontario," James H. Coyne, LL.D., F.R.S.C., 1916 
Report, W. H. S. 



on early Waterloo history. Mr. Sherk was born near Breslau, Waterloo Town- 
ship, in 1832, and died in 1916. He personally well remembered the two first 
(1800) settlers, who were his granduncles; and thus in a manner spanned the 
entire period, well over a hundred years, up to the time of his death, of the 
history of Waterloo County. 

At the close of the eighteenth century we find the Grand River valley 
one of the grants made, at the end of th Revolutionary War, by the British 
Government to its Indian allies, the Six Nation Indians, who came here from 
Central and Western New York State. The Indians soon sold in parcels or 
blocks a large part of the lands granted to them. Block 1, of Grand River 
lands, 92,160 acres, was sold to Philip Stedman of " Fort Erie Tp., in the 
County of Lincoln," in 1795 ; and Block 2, of the same lands, 94,012 acres, was 
sold to Richard Beasley, James Wilson and John B. Rousseau ; these two most 
concern us. 

The first settlers in what became Waterloo County were what were called 
Pennsylvania Germans, and this was the third, and soon became the largest, 
colony of these people in Upper Canada. The first to come appears to have 
been the Niagara Colony, somewhat scattered from near Port Colborne to 
Campden, Lincoln County; the second the Markham Colony, east of Yonge 
Street, not far from Toronto. A traveller in 1794 relates that " on the east 
side of Yonore Street, in the rear of the townships of York and Scarborough, 
is the township of Markham, settled principally by Germans/' Elsewhere 
he states that "these Germans came in this season, furnished with everything 
to make their situation comfortable." This was the Markham colony of Penn- 
sylvania Germans. 

Germans of the Mennonite faith formed a distinct body, as do their 
descendents to this day, in Pennsylvania, to where they began to migrate in 
1683, on the invitation of William Penn, to escape religious persecution and 
to find entire freedom of conscience. They continued to come to Pennsylvania 
for over half a century, partly from Switzerland, largely from the Rhine Pal- 
atinate, as is reflected in their 'dialect, and some from Holland, the original 
home of their religious denomination. The records of the earlier emigration 
to Pennsylvania are meagre. 

Influenced by the example of the United Empire Loyalists and by their 
preference for the stability of British Government they came to Upper Canada 
where they were promised freedom, in the full exercise of their religious tenets, 
one of which was not to bear arms in war. In this connection there may be 
mentioned that some of the Grand River settlers served as teamsters, and 
otherwise in the supply service, in the war of 1812. 

Waterloo County has the distinction of being the first larger settlement 
in the interior of Upper Canada. Up to their coming, settlement had been 
mainly along the border and lake shore; the Pennsylvania s struck out 
boldly for the interior of the country. 

The pioneers midway along the Grand River were Joseph Schoerg' and 
Samuel Betzner, brothers-in-law, fanners from Chambersburg, Franklin 
County, Pennsylvania. They crossed the Niagara bv the Black Rock Ferry in 
the fall of 1799, and located on the Grand River earlv inlSOO, all as related by 
the Rev. A. B. Sherk in the Ontario Historical Society paper referred to. 
Tidings went back to the home country, three more families came out in 1800. 
seven in 1801, arid more in 1802. These vanguard comers obtained what they 
thought was sufficient title to their lands from Richard Beasley, who appears 


to have withheld from them knowledge of the mortgage covering the whole of 
Block 2, Home District, Upper Canada, which was the legal name of the terr- 
itory. On discovery of the mortgage the settlers were in great distress. How- 
ever, a mission to Pennsylvania, supported no doubt by the fact of the good 
quality of the lands in question, resulted successfully in the formation of a 
Company with sufficient capital to purchase and discharge the mortgage on 
60,000 acres, comprising not far from the whole of the present Waterloo 
Township, of the 94,012 acres of Block 2. The deed conveying this tract, 
thereafter known as the German Company Tract, and still so referred to in 
land transfers in the Township, to Daniel Erb and Jacob Erb as trustees, is 
dated June 29th, 1805. 

The first four-horse team driven from Pennsylvania to the Grand River 
settlement came in 1800, the first year of the colony. The driver was George 
Clemens who later attained to wealth and importance in the community. The 
regulation settler's waggon, known as the Conestogo waggon, had a long high 
box, with graceful longitudinal sweep somewhat on the lines of a ship, with a 
canvas cover on wooden ribs or hoops, and the ends closed in by gathering 
cords, the prairie schooner type familiar in pictures. This was the means 
of transportation for the bulk of Waterloo County settlers from Pennsylvania. 
One of these waggons driven by Abraham Weber, from Lancaster County, 
Pennsylvania, to the site of the later village of Berlin, now the flourishing city 
of Kitchener, where the driver located in 1807, is in the Waterloo Historical 
Society's museum. 

A grist mill was built in 1807, by John Erb in what became the village, 
now town, of Preston, of which he was the founder. Eby gives a circum- 
stantial account of a small earlier mill, built for one John Miller, at the 
site of Gait. But as to this the evidence is conflicting. Ahram Erb, brother 
of John Erb, built the grist mill in Waterloo in 1816. Both of these mills, 
improved, enlarged and rebuilt from time to time, have practically been 
in continuous operation from the beginning, and are to-day among the 
largest flour mills of the county. 

Benjamin Eby visited the Grand River settlement in 1806, and the 
following year came to stay. His lands comprised a large part of the village 
of Berlin, so named about 1829 as nearly as has been ascertained. Eby was 
made Mennonite preacher in 1809, and Bishop in 1812. For about forty 
years he appears to have been the principal man of affairs, both spiritual and 
temporal, in Waterloo township. He was the founder of Berlin, where he 
encouraged manufacturers and mechanics to make their homes and begin their 
industries. The first furniture factory in the village, begun by Jacob Hoff- 
man about 1828, was directly due to his support, as were other industries. 
The first church in the county was built by Bishop Eby on his own land in 1813. 
This is the old Mennonite church, now in its third building, at the east end 
of King Street, Kitchener. It is characteristic of the historical modesty of 
the Mennonites that this first church of Waterloo County exhibits no other 
date on its name tablet than that of the construction of the present building, 
1902. Bishop Eby also started the first school in the village, in connection 
with the church. A spelling book compiled by him and printed by his son, 
Henry Eby, is extant. 

The first school in the county was started near the present village of Blair 
as early as 180, and had a Rittenhaus, a name noted in the educational 
history of Pennsylvania, for teacher. 


An interesting historical fact in connection with Bishop Eby is that his 
great-great-grandson, in line of descent of oldest sons in each generation, 
Ralph Alexander Eby, was the first Waterloo County man to be killed in 
action in the Great War. He enlisted from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, 
and was killed at Neuve Chapelle,, March 20th, 1915. Enlistments from 
Waterloo County in the Great War were 3,706. Of these 486 were killed or 
died of wounds or disease; 112 received military decorations. 

Up to about 1820 settlement was almost entirely by Mennonites from 
i 'ennsylvania. About this time European Germans and others began to come. 
One of the first of these was Frederick Gaukel, the first hotel-keeper in Berlin. 
He built what was then considered a large hotel in 1835, on the site, contin- 
uously occupied as a hotel since that time, of the present Walper House, 
Kitchener. Gaukel donated the land for the Court House, when Berlin was 
made the County Town in 185>. 

In the thirties of the last century, the village of Preston was a thriving 
business centre. Active there, were Jacob Hespeler, a native of Wurtemburg, 
Jacob Beck from the Grand Duchy of Baden, Otto Klotz from Kiel on the 
Baltic, who was noteworthy in the educational and general intellectual progress 
of his village and county, and others. Hespeler later removed to New Hope 
which was renamed 'after him in 1857 in recognition of his public service in 
the large industries he started there. Beck founded the village of Baden, in 
Wilmot Township, where he developed a considerable water-power and various 
industries, notably a foundry and machine shop, which had a wide range of 

North Dumfries Township was next taken up after Waterloo. On restora- 
tion of peace and normal conditions after the war of 1812, there was a renewed 
tide of prosperity and immigration in Upper Canada. The Honourable Will- 
iam Dickson of Niagara, whose attention had first been directed to the Grand 
River colony by the fact that he acted as the legal adviser of the Pennsyl- 
vanians in their purchase of lands, and who had no doubt watched their pro- 
gress with interest, decided to invest in Grand 'River lands himself. In 1816 
he purchased from the Hon. Thomas Clarke of 'Stamford, Lincoln County, who 
then held the title, Block 1, Home District, already referred to, 92,160 acres, 
the greater part of the township of North Dumfries in Waterloo County and 
South Dumfries in the County of Brant for the sum of roundly 24,000, this 
including a mortgage of 8,841 which had remained against the property from 
the Stedman purchase. Mr. Dickson at once engaged as his agent, to reside 
on and administer the lands, a young Pennsylvania German, Absolom Shade, 
then living in Buffalo, whom Dickson had known as a carpenter -contractor. 
Together they set out to explore the lands, and to locate a town site, as they 
did at -a well adapted place on the Grand River, which in due time became 
the village of Gait, so named in 1827, for John Gait, the author, then com- 
missioner for the Canada Company in Guelph, a friend of Mr. Dickson. 
Settlers were attracted, largely from Scotland, and were given liberal terms 
of purchase and payment, the price of land being generally about four dollars 
an acre. Gait soon became <a prosperous trading and manufacturing centre, 
was incorporated as a village in 1850 and as a town in 1857. It was for many 
years the principal place of business not only in the county, but for a section 
of country extending as far as Goderich. In 1846, and before, it had lines of 
daily stages to Hamilton and Guelph and tri-weekly to Goderich. 


The township of Woolwich was also taken up largely by Pennsylvania 
Germans, later comers, and some of the younger generation from Waterloo. 
In Wilmot Township many settlers were directly from Germany, among them 
a body of Amish, an early offshoot of the Mennonites, for whom their leader, 
Jacob Nachtsinger, had obtained a grant from the British Government. 
Around Haysville in Wilmot there was a considerable colony of settlers from 
England, and some from Ireland. The Canada Company had a tract com- 
prising four concessions in the southern part of Wilmot. Wellesley Township 
was in greater part settled by Scotchmen and partly by German Catholics who 
predominate around St. Agatha in Wilmot, where they have a fine church, 
orphanage, etc., and extend to Bamberg and St. Clements vicinity in Wellesley. 
Another large settlement of original German Catholics is around New Ger- 
many in Waterloo Township. 

The first newspaper of the county was the Canada Museum und 
Allgemeine Zeitung, printed mostly in German and partly in English, of 
which the first issue is dated August 27th, 1835. It continued for only five 
years, when its editor and proprietor, Henry William Peterson, was appointed 
registrar of the new county of Wellington, and moved from Berlin, theTomi- 
cile of the Museum, to Guelph. The Museum was followed by the DeutscJie 
Canadier, published by Henry Eby, a son of Bishop Eby, and Christian Enslin 
as editor. Henry Eby was also a book publisher, bringing out Mennonite 
devotional books and others. In Gait the Dumfries Courier first appeared in 
1844, and was published for three years. Next came the Gait Reporter, whose 
editor Peter Jaftray, had been active on the Courier. The Dumfries Reformer 
began publication in 1850. 

The building of railways to and through Waterloo County marked the 

transition to more recent conditions and progress. At the beginning of 

Canadian railroading the Grand Trunk Railway Company, with its main line 

from Montreal to Toronto, its seaport connection to Portland, Maine, and its 

extension westward to Sarnia, was by far the largest and most important 

company. Next in importance was the Great Western Railway Company 

with main line from Niagara to Detroit. Both of these companies built to 

Waterloo County at the beginning of their operation. A branch of the Great 

Western Railway from Harrisburg on the main line to Gait was opened for 

regular traffic on the 21st of August, 1854. The Hamilton to Toronto branch 

was not opened until December, 1855. An extension to Guelph through 

Preston and Hespeler was built as a separate enterprise, 1855 to 1857. It was 

leased to the Great Western Railway and eventually forfeited by reason of 

deficits in operation which grew into a mortgage which was foreclosed. There 

was also an extension to Berlin from Preston, built in 1856-1857, as part of 

the Galt-Guelph Railway. The Preston-Berlin branch had a short career. It 

was opened for traffic, November 2nd, 1857, and ran for three months only 

when its bridge across the Grand River, above Blair, was wrecked by high 

water. The bridge was not rebuilt, and the Preston end never again used. 

The main line of the Grand Trunk Railway, built through Waterloo County 

as the Toronto-Sarnia extension, in 1853 to 1856, traversing the townships 

of Waterloo and Wilmot, with principal stations Berlin and New Hamburg, 

was opened through to Stratford on Nov. 17th, 1856. And thus Waterloo 

County began its more rapid development, particularly in manufactures, which 

has kept pace with the most progressive sections of the Dominion of Canada. 



Although I had spent some weeks in this little village many years ago, I 
had no idea till lately that it was such a wonderful village, with such a re- 
markahle history, with no larger a population than two hundred, a little river 
running through the midst, the people of different races, Scottish and French 
speaking different languages, English, Gaelic, French; of two different 
religions, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic; with traces of Sir John John- 
son, of his father Sir William Johnson, of Lord Selkirk, of Sir Alexander 
Mackenzie, of David Thompson, of Simon Fraser, these great geographers and 
explorers, of Bishop Macdonell, of Bishop Bethxme and his venerable father, 
Rev. John Bethune, of U. E. Loyalists, of Hudson Bay factors, of the North- 
west Company, of soldiers who had fought in the Revolutionary war and in dis- 
tant countries, a village with an endowed church, an endowed High School, a 
church built in 1812, the manse in 1823, the first manse built about 1787, or 
shortly after 1787, when Rev. John Bethune came. A centenary of the settle- 
ment of the County of Glengarry was held in 1884, when many interesting 
reminiscences were printed in the Montreal Witness, and many relics of the 
early days were shewn. A centenary of the building of the present church was 
held in 1912, and my friends, who know that I always uphold the name of 
Niagara, wondered much to hear me say that the centenary celebration held in 
Williamstown was far ahead of either St. Mark's or St. Andrew's in Niagara 
in 1892 and 1894 respectively. And it is tme, for the celebration lasted a 
week instead of three days, and besides being the centenary of the church was 
also that of the U. E. Loyalists. Many distinguished sons of Williamstown 
came from distant homes to speak ; many valuable gifts were donated to the 
church by loving and loyal members. 

And first, of how Williamstown received the name. When the United 
Empire Loyalists, or those who remained loyal to the king and British Insti- 
tutions, left their possessions and came to what was then a wilderness, the 
British government, to partly compensate them for their losses, gave them 
grants of land. Sir John Johnson, who was the largest land owner in the 
American colonies, fled to save his life, with some faithful followers, through 
frightful dangers. He was given large grants of land, and perhaps the selec- 
tion of the site was from its position on the River Raisin, being suitable for 
mills from the water power, and the place was at first called Milltown. The 
inhabitants wished to call it Johnstown from Sir John Johnson, but he 
declined the honour, and wished it called Williamstown from his father, Sir 
William Johnson. The Manor House, still standing, was the property of Sir 
John Johnson ; the centre part was built in his time, but additions were made 
later. He parted with his Williamstown property in 1821. 



So much for the name, but whence came those early settlers, and how and 
why? I have always found the story of those who came out with Bishop 
Macdonell very confusing, as sometimes they are spoken of as soldiers from 
Scotland, again as a regiment from Ireland, and again as those ejected from 
lands in Scotland. Another statement is that they were U. E. Loyalists; 
another as Hudson Bay Factors, or from the North West Company. And 
remarkable to say, these statements are true of the different settlers coming 
at different times from different places. The best explanation was given by 
Bishop Macdonell himself, that wonderful man with the ability of a business 
man, the tact and skill of a diplomat, the piety of a soldier of the cross, in an 
address at a farewell dinner given to him at Kingston in 1838, where he told 
of his efforts for those of his own faith. But the people of Glengarry were not 
all Catholics from Scotland. It is rather difficult to sort out all the different 
groups which came. The Protestant Highlanders who came to South Caro- 
lina in 1772 form the first emigration from Scotland, and when trouble arose 
a ship load left for Prince Edward Island, but afterward came to Nova Scotia, 
and in 1774, on the breaking out of hostilities, formed the 84th Regiment, of 
which Rev. Jno. Bethune became the Chaplain, and many received grants of 
land in Glengarry. This formed one group. 

The 2nd of Highlanders, chiefly Macdonells, at the invitation of Sir 
William Johnson, came to the Mohawk Valley in 1773. When war broke out, 
Sir John Johnson with friends and neighbours, fled to Montreal through 
dangers dire, in 1776. He raised a battalion at his old home in Tryon County, 
among his followers, and called it the King's Royal Regiment of New York, 
and they and their families came to Canada in 1783. 

3rd. The first emigrants who came direct from Scotland came in 1786 
under Alexander Macdonald, 520 in number. 4th. In 1792, Macdonell of 
Greenfield came from Scotland with followers. 5th. In 1803 the last large 
emigration came through Bishop Macdonell, the discharged soldiers of the 
First Glengarry Fencibles under Macdonell of Glengarry, and these had been 
under the charge of Alexander Macdonell, afterwards Bishop Macdonell. 

To explain why so many left Scotland is a sad story. From 1782 to 1790, 
tenants were turned out to make room for large sheep farms, and when these 
tried to emigrate, all sorts of restrictions were used to prevent them, even 
ships of war guarded the harbours to board emigrant vessels and press into the 
Naval Service every able-bodied man. In spite of this, many came with their 
families. In 1784, land surveyors arrived, lots were drawn, and the name 
Glengarry given to the county from Glengarry in Scotland. 

The material for this paper I have gained from many sources. From 
the pamphlet giving an account of the Centenary Celebration of St. Andrew's 
Church, Williamstown, I have learned much ; from " A Retrospect of the first 
Catholic Diocese of Upper Canada " much has been gleaned ; in a paper read 
by Mrs. Foran before the Women's Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, 
(Transactions of that Society, Vol. VII, 1917), "My native County Glen- 
garry," many interesting facts were found. In an old copy of the Montreal 
Witness, headed "Lochiel," the celebration in 1884 of the settlement of 
Glengarry, most interesting accounts were given of the early settlers, pictures 
of relics exhibited, anecdotes grave and gay, and names of clans represented. 
In all these articles the two most outstanding persons are Rev. John Bethune 
and the Rev. Alexander Macdonell, both staunch Scots, with all the best 
qualities common to the race, as the military phrase we have so often heard 


of late " carrying out the best traditions of the army/' And they both, we 
may say like St. Paul, " fought with beasts at Ephesus." Both were clergy- 
men, but of different faiths, stalwart supporters of the same, yet tolerant to 
others, loved and admired by their people, and the public generally. To give 
the story of Williamstown much must be told of the former and incidentally 
of the latter, but the account of the centenary touches on almost every point 
of the history of the settlement. The celebration was from August 2 5th. to 
September 2nd, including services on two Sundays, the intervening days being 
given to addresses by prominent speakers and distinguished and loyal sons of 
Glengarry who had come from distant points to do honour to their birthplace. 
The Rev. John Bethune was born on the Island of Skye in 1751 of a family 
tracing their descent as far back as the Norman Conquest. Cardinal Beaton 
was of the same family. He went to South Carolina and was the chaplain 
of a regiment there, but in the first years of the Revolutionary War was made 
a prisoner and suffered much for his loyalty. Being exchanged he came to 
Nova Scotia and there organized a regiment, the 84th or Royal Highland 
Emigrant Regiment of which he became the Chaplain of the First Battalion. 
When that was disbanded he organized a congregation in Montreal, St. 
Gabriel's church, in which he preached May 6th, 1787. His grant of land as 
an officer in the army being in Glengarry, he removed to Williamstown, 
then the leading settlement, and laid the foundation of the Church, also of 
congregations in Cornwall, Martintown and Lancaster, and was the first Pres- 
byterian minister in Upper Canada. It is told of him that he performed 2379 
baptisms in this district, and must have been a good organizer as his records, 
all in good shape, show. Two of his sons became Anglicans, one the second 
Bishop of Toronto, the other Bean of Montreal. The inscription on his 
monument by his six sons attests his fine character. A remarkable tribute 
was paid to him by Jno. A. Macdonald, K.C. " I am not, as you know, of your 
religion. I am a Catholic, as my people have ever been, but I may say with no 
impropriety that Mr. Bethune was a faithful and zealous missionary, and to 
this &ay the fruits of his vigour and efficiency remain ; indeed the epitaph of 
Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul's Cathedral might, in Williamstown, be well 
applied to Mr. Bethune Si monumentum requiris circumspice, (If you seek 
his monument look around.) 

The inscription on his monument in the cemetery is creditable alike to 
the father and his sons; thus 

"Sacred to the memory of the Rev. John Bethune, pastor of the con- 
gregation of the Kirk of Scotland in Glengarry. He departed this life at 
Williamstown, 23rd September, 1815, in the 66th year of his age and the 44th 
of his ministry. 

" That he was a faithful steward, the peace and happiness of his flock 
are the most certain proof. That he was eminently endeared by those con- 
ciliating, endearing qualities which united Society in the closest bonds of 
unanimity and friendship, his numerous congregation who shed the tribute of 
unfeigned sorrow over his grave have borne the most honourable testimony. 

" That he was open, generous and sincere, those who participated in his 
friendship can afford the most satisfactory evidence. 

" That he was a kind and affectionate husband, a, tender and indulgent 
parent, the love and unanimity of his numerous family furnish the most unde- 
niable proof. 


" This monument is erected as a mark of filial affection to his memory 
by his six sons, Angus, Norman, John, James, Alexander, Donald." 

A very remarkable document is the Pastoral Letter directed to his congre- 
gation a few days before his death, in which he urges them strongly, as he had 
done before, to look out for a successor to himself as he feels his health failing. 
Very plain language is used in the advice given with regard to finances, to the 
choice of <a minister, to the manner of conducting their meetings, all shewing 
the good common sense, the fervent piety, the wish for their spiritual 

The next minister was the Rev. Jno. Mackenzie, M.A., a native of Fort 
Augustus, Scotland,who remained with them for thirty-seven years. He too 
was ( a loyal subject, as in the Papineau Rebellion, the men of Glengarry were 
called out, and Mr. Mackenzie was with his people at the front. The next 
minister was the Rev. Peter Watson, a native of Inverness, Scotland. He too 
was a faithful and eloquent pastor, succeeded by Rev. Alexander MacGillivray, 
D.D., their first Canadian born minister, 1877 1888. The present pastor, 
Rev. Arpad Govan, B.A., has served from 1888, to the present time, a period of 
thirty-one years. St. Andrew's has been very fortunate in its ministers; in a 
period of 132 years there have been only five ministers, an average of over 
twenty-six years for each. It is not likely that any other congregation can 
furnish a parallel. 

To Bishop Macdonell we now turn. Many tributes have been paid, alike 
by Catholics and Protestants, the most remarkable perhaps being that by the 
Orangemen. Born in Inverness-shire in 1760, educated partly in Paris and 
also in Spain, he did noble work in Scotland, in Ireland, in Canada, and died 
in Dumfries, Scotland, in 1840 at the age of eighty. His was a long life full 
of strenuous work, first for the tenants ejected from their homes, obtaining 
employment for them in Glasgow, then forming them into a Highland 
regiment, the first Catholic one formed, remaining with them in Guernsey and 
Ireland eight years, next procuring land for them in Canada, with much 
trouble obtaining 160,000 acres of land, next for his church. On his arrival 
he found only two Roman Catholic clergymen in Upper Canada and only two 
wooden churches and one stone one. He travelled from one end of the prov- 
ince to the other, on foot, or on horseback, in canoe or rough waggon, without 
roads or bridges. In the war of 1812 he formed the Second Glengarry Fen- 
cible Regiment. Next he repaired to England twice, as he had on former 
occasions, this time to obtain help to build churches, and pay salaries ; this 
with much delay and trouble he obtained. In his address to the Catholic and 
Protestant freeholders he says " I address my Protestant, as well as my Cath- 
olic friends, because I feel assured that through the long period of four and 
forty years intercourse with some of you, and two and thirty years with others, 
no man will say that in promoting your temporal interests I ever made any 
difference between Catholic and Protestant and indeed it would be both unjust 
and ungrateful in me if I did, for I found Protestants upon all occasions as 
ready to meet my wishes and second my efforts to promote the public good as 
the Catholics themselves, and it is with no small gratification that 1 here 
acknowledge having received from Orangemen unequivocal and substantial 
proofs of disinterested friendship and generosity of heart." 

At the centenary of Glengarry in 1884 it was told of him that he had 
sometimes been called in to the dying beds of Protestants whose minister could 
not be procured. Many a fervent prayer in his own loved Gaelic he offered, 


and he had been heard to declare that he knew many good Protestant prayers. 
Mr. Bethune too, was sometimes called in to a Catholic bedside in a similar 

The address of Bishop Macdonell given at the farewell dinner to him in 
Kingston in 1838, explains clearly what seemed to be contradictory ^statements. 
He says " The only claim I have to the good will of my countrymen was the 
warm interest I took in the welfare of a great number of poor Highlanders 
who were ejected by their landlords before the close of the last century, and 
they and their families set adrift in the world. These poor people to the num- 
ber of several hundreds I conducted to Glasgow and procured employment for 
them in the manufactories where I remained with them myself till in conse- 
quence of the French Revolution, and the stagnation of trade on the continent, 
the manufactories were ruined and the Highlanders thrown out of employ- 
ment. It was then that I represented their condition to the Government, got 
them embodied into a Fencible Corps, and accompanied them myself to the 
Island of Guernsey, and to Ireland, and attended them for the period of eight 
years till they with all the other Scottish Fencibles were disbanded in 1802. 
Seeing them thus a third time set adrift without home or habitation I applied 
to Government and obtained lands for them in Canada, came with, them my- 
self and resided with them in the County of Glengarry for twenty-five years/' 
Bishop Macdonell had thus travelled twice to London in the interest of 
his people, first to consult with Dundas, Secretary of War, to form the Glen- 
garry Regiment, and second to consult with Premier Addingtoii as to obtain- 
ing land in Canada, and his influence gained his request in each case. His 
modest statement tells nothing of the difficulties he met with in these journeys, 
nor of his patience and perseverance in urging the claims of his people. 

A tribute paid to him in the obituary notice in the British Whig of 
Kingston was this : " His loyalty to the British Crown was never surpassed ; 
by word and deed he proved how sincere was his attachment to British 
institutions, and he infused into the hearts of his fellow countrymen and others 
an equal enthusiasm." The tribute of J. A. Macdonell K.C., will be a fitting 
close : " The business capacity of this extraordinary man distinguished him 
who was a most loyal and faithful subject of his Sovereign, a most loyal and 
true-hearted friend of the Highland people of this County of Glengarry with- 
out distinction of class or creed." 

It is remarkable that both Rev. John Bethune and Rev. Alexander Mac- 
donell, although as clergymen supposed to be men of peace, each helped greatly 
to form regiments whose duty it was to fight; in each case it was to protect 
their country, each acted as chaplain to a regiment. Someone used the phrase, 
" With the Sword in one hand and the Bible in the other." As the names 
are mentioned together, it may be told that on one occasion a difficulty had 
arisen between Rev. J. Bethune and his congregation. A happy thought was 
to submit the matter for settlement to Bishop Macdonell. He gave his decis- 
ion in favour of their clergyman, and at the same time gave the congregation 
a stern rebuke, ordering them to submit to their pastor, this in choice Gaelic 
to which due submission was given. 

At the Centennial many interesting historical items were brought to light. 

At the Social Reunion at the home of Col. D. M. Robertson, the Manor House, 

it was told that the central part of the dwelling was built durinsr its ownership 

by Sir John Johnson over a hundred years a#o. the Rev. A. Govan gave an 

' historical sketch telling of the first church built about 1787. an unpretentious 


log building, the furnishing of which was very primitive, the seats being planks 
resting on cedar blocks. Besides serving as a church, it did duty during the 
week as a school and afterward served for many purposes. It stood till quite 
recently. The present church of stone was started in 1812. There are in 
existence the minutes carefully kept ; the earliest contributions were made in 
1809. The walls were built by Francis Rochileau of Kingston; his contract 
was for 205 ; all material was found him, and all unskilled labour. Owing to 
the war it was not finished till 1815. The steeple was built by Pierre Poitras 
of Montreal at a cost of 212 and 10 additional for the copper weathercock, 
gold leafed. The bell still in use has the following inscription : " 1806 
Thomas Mears & Sons of London, Fecit. The gift of Sir Alexander Macken- 
zie, to the Presbyterian Church of Glengarry, Province of Upper Canada, 
North America. The Rev. John Bethune, Minister." The total cost of the 
church was 2000 and each member of the congregation contributed 20 before 
he was entitled to a pew. In 1818 the first division of pews was made by lot, 
after setting aside a pew for the minister's family, and pews for the elders, 
one for Sir Alexander Mackenzie and for the North- West Company. 

A singular thing was that the title to the church and burying ground had 
been given to Mr. Bethune personally. By his will all his Williamstown prop- 
erty was left to his wife. <She sold the glebe to Mr. David Thompson, the noted 
geographer and explorer and inadvertently the title to the church and cem- 
etery was included, but this was returned and given in 181& to six trustees of 
the church. The Manse built for Mr. Bethune is still in good repair, and is 
owned and occupied by Mr. Farquhar Robertson of Montreal. The rooms are 
large and the house commodious. 

On Sunday afternoon there was a service in Gaelic conducted by two 
young clergymen, Rev. D. Mackenzie of Moose Creek, Ont., and Rev. J. B. 
MacLeod of Martintown, Ont. It was a surprise to the congregation to see 
two young men so thoroughly conversant with the language in which in the 
early days the services were regularly conducted, sometimes one service being 
in English and the other in Gaelic, while now only the older generation of 
Glengarry retains a perfect knowledge of the Gaelic. The explanation was that 
both came from Prince Edward Island where Gaelic is still used extensively. 

All the old Bibles and Psalm books that were available were gathered for 
the occasion arid a large percentage of those present were able to join intell- 
igently in the service and with appreciation. At all the services of the centen- 
ary celebration was observed the old time custom of singing the psalms and 
hymns without musical accompaniment, the tunes being started by the Precen- 
tor. At the Gaelic service the clergymen acted as Precentors. Many came long 
distances to have the privilege of taking part in the service, in one case driving- 
forty miles in a buggy. 

On Empire Loyalist day a beautiful service was held in the cemetery 
when the graves were decorated, particularly those of U. E. Loyalists and 
those who formed the first congregation. Mr. Donald McMaster, K.C., D.C.L. 
a member of the British Parliament, who was born and spent his early years 
in Williamstown, paid a tribute to those who had gone before and whose 
remains now lie in this sacred soil. Beautiful floral wreaths were placed on 
the graves of the three ministers buried here, Rev. Jno. Bethune, Rev. J. Mac- 
kenzie and Rev. P. Watson, Flowers were also placed on the graves of 
McDonalds, Grants, Dingwalls, Fergusons, Chisholms, Camerons, McLellans, 


McKenzies, McLennans and many others. The 59th Regt. Highland Pipe 
Band played " The Land o' the Leal/' Donald McMaster spoke eloquently of 
those who had chosen to sacrifice lands, position, wealth and comfort and had 
to leave the graves of their ancestors. He quoted the words of an American 
writer, Mr. Vantyre : " They had been obliged to accept at par the depreciated 
money and had stood in terror of the law. Finally a Test Act had demanded 
of them an oath which they could not take, and refusal had brought upon them 
fines, disabilities, special taxation and even imprisonment and whipping. 
When the partisan struggle was the hottest the persecutors had resorted to 
proscription, outlawry and confiscation." 

John A. Macdonell K.C., of Alexandria, who has written so much on the 
history of the two counties, paid a splendid tribute to the IT. E. Loyalists 
giving an interesting history of their coming, paying a tribute to Sir John 
Johnson's loyalty, quoting from the American historian, Stone " He volun- 
tarily gave up domains in what is now the United States, larger and fairer 
than had ever belonged to a single proprietor in America, William Penn only 
excepted." Upwards of ten thousand acres of the most fertile land in the 
Mohawk Valley was the sacrifice he made for a United Empire. He also paid 
a high tribute to the Rev. John Bethune, and incidentally to Bishop Macdon- 
ell, and the utter absence of intolerance between those of different creeds, 
speaking of the kindly relation between them. He had made a close study of 
Lord Dorchester's list of U. E. Loyalists, and in the fifty-one names men- 
tioned, there are thirty-three clans ; of these names there are thirty-three Mac's 
ranging alphabetically from McAlpine to McPherson, ranging through 
Mclntyre, McLeod, MeMartin, McNairn : those also who are not Mac's are 
Campbells, Robertsons, Stewarts, etc. 

In speaking of a very extraordinary document, an address of the Orange 
body of Toronto to Bishop Macdonell, shewing the absence of party feeling, 
he closed with the words: Your committee have indeed shown a continuance 
of that spirit, when they invited me, a Roman Catholic, known by everybody 
in our county to be such, to participate in your festivities, upon the centenary 
of St. Andrew's Church. I appreciate your courtesy and kindness, and 
descendants of these Loyalists, I take my leave of you with this wish the 
best that I may May you and your children be .loyal as they." 

St. Andrew's congregation has been particularly fortunate in the character 
of its ministers, their ability, their faithfulness, their long term of office ; 
fortunate, too, in the possession of goodly elders who gave time and talent to 
the building up of the congregation, and who were the able assistants of the 
ministers; fortunate too in the possession of valuable documents, deeds, etc., 
which have been carefully preserved. Not many congregations are so for- 
tunate, as I could mention churches and high schools which, although they 
date back as far or nearly as far as Williamstown, have no records further 
back than 1860, the changes of secretaries, and the carelessness of officials, 
causing this lamentable loss. 

Williamstown is one of the few congregations which possess Communion 
tokens. They had the inscription, "Revd. John Bethune, Glengarry, 1794." 
Among the documents preserved are the Rules and Regulations of the pro- 
prietors of the church, of which there are fourteen, chiefly relating to the 
office bearers, of the temporalities, of the rights of pew holders, and payment 
of salaries. To this are appended eighty-two names, 10th July, 1808. Another 


is a list of pew holders of whom there are twenty-eight in 1818 and a. most 
remarkable pastoral letter of Rev. Jno. Bethune in 1815. There is also the 
deed of St. Andrew's church site of Martintown, April 10th, 1811. A very 
curious document in the possession of Mrs. Barbara McKenzie, Williamstown, 
is called: Black Elver tithes, 1791, being so many bushels of wheat, with 
thirty-three names, mostly two, one being four of oats, and several giving peas. 
To this are attached little notes explanatory signed by John Bethune or simply 
J. B. as : " N. B. Mr. McKenzie will please exempt also from this list of the 
late 84th Eegt. provided he will promise not to swear any more or play the 
fool. J. B." Another, a regimental discharge, to John Mackenzie, dated 24th 
December, 1783, signed: John Johnson, showing that the bearer had served 
honestly and faithfully and was entitled to the portion of land allotted to each 
private. It begins " His Majesty's Provincial Regiment called the King's 
Royal Regiment of New York, whereof Sir John Johnson, Knight and 
Baronet, is Lieut-Colonel Commandant." 

The contract for the erection of the present Manse is dated 1822, and is 
for the sum of 239 Halifax currency, one third to be paid in produce, 
the second third in cash and the remaining third, February, 1824. The Manse 
still stands with a large lawn in front, with spacious rooms, and it has the 
appearance of a modern house although nearly a century old. 

Another remarkable thing is the valuable gifts received at the Centenary 
Celebration; a pulpit by Rev. A. MacGillivray, D.D., of Toronto, a former 
pastor : Communion table, Col. D. M. Robertson ; Elder's chairs, His Honour 
Judge James McLennan; Individual set, Henry Hunt, M. D., Toronto; Bible 
and Book of Praise, Bonar Congregation, Toronto ; Velours Curtains and Fix- 
tures, Mrs. Farquhar Robertson; One thousand dollars endowment, David 
Grant, South Branch. 

But a word must be said about the old Manse now known as the "White 
House," and its owner for some time, a most remarkable man, perhaps the 
most remarkable inhabitant of Williamstown, David Thompson, the noted 
geographer, explorer and astronomer. Bom in London, England, of Welsh 
extraction, he received lessons in navigation and at the age of fourteen was 
apprenticed to the Hudson Bay Company for seven years. In 1797 he wrote 
in his journal, May 23rd. " This day left the service of the Hudson Bay Co., 
and entered that of the Company of Merchants from Canada. May God 
Almighty prosper me," Till 1812, he remained in the employment of the North 
West Company, surveyed their posts, and explored from sea to sea as he says 
when at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1816, he was employed by the 
British Government to survey the boundary line between the United States 
and Canada from Maine to the Lake of the Woods. The maps made by him 
still govern. In some respects he was indeed remarkable for those days, as 
he never used alcoholic liquors, and while other posts were bar-rooms of the 
lowest type no liquor was allowed in any post under his charge. Also to the 
Roman Catholic Frenchmen in his charge, he often read chapters of the Old 
and the New Testaments with explanations, they listening attentively. In 
an article in the Geographical Journal by Mr. J. B. Tyrrell, F.G.S., called 
" David Thompson the Great Geographer," a fine tribute is paid to him : 
" His work was detailed and exact. It has been my fortune to follow Thomp- 
son's course for thousands of miles, and to take observations in the same places, 
where he took them, and it is impossible for me to speak too highly of the 


excellence of these surveys and observations. Both morally and scientifically 
he was a man of the very highest type. As a discoverer and explorer he stands 
in the highest rank/' 

Another noted man, if not a resident, made at least a visit to Williams- 
town Lord Selkirk, that philanthropic nobleman who did so much to help 
his countrymen with an unstinted hand, and who met with so much opposition 
from the elements, fire and frost and famine, freshets and locusts, and still 
more from the North West Company, and who retired brokenhearted from 
the struggle. But many of the descendants of his settlers now reap the fruits 
of his toil, in prosperous and happy homes in Manitoba. In his diary in 1803, 
he says, reaching Williamstown : " I went to see the Presbyterian minister, 
Rev. John Bethune, and stayed with him. He gave me an account of the 
Highland settlement, and referred to the good people who came out from the 
old country." 

A word, indeed, a good many words should be said of the cemetery. 
Never has it been my lot to see in a small village the resting place of the dead 
kept in sucli beautiful order. On my inquiry How do you do this? the 
answer was, Oh ! there is an endowment. Think of it, ye who leave those 
sacred spots without care, given over to briars and weeds, an endowment of 
$3,000, of which $2,000 was given by Mrs Grant who gove liberally for two 
scholarships for four years for the High School. 

And that brings us to the history of the High School, also a remarkable 
one, and that has to me a personal interest. As there are only two high 
schools in the county, Williamstown and Alexandria, they have a large con- 
stituency from which to draw pupils. Of what benefit the scholarship 
founded by R. R. McLennan M.P. is, I happen to know that one widow had 
two of her children who gained the scholarship educated so as to enter Queen's 
University and obtain the degree of B.A. And the good example set by the 
''Laird/' as he was called, has been followed by others, Margaret Grant giving 
two scholarships of the value of $400 and $360 respectively. That of Laird 
McLennan was for $440. Another scholarship, or bursary as they are called 
in Scotland, was given by Marion Stewart McDonald. Can any other village 
High School tell of such generosity as there are now four scholarships. Men's 
good deeds do live after them. How many in after years will bless the memory 
of these founders of scholarships which will help them in the pursuit of educa- 
tion, which, reminds me of the Snell Scholarships in Scotland founded 300 
years ago, and in this year is to be unveiled a monument to its founder. In a 
little village is a monument to the old blacksmith, Andrew Snell, whose son 
John Snell saved the life of Charles Stewart, after the battle of Worcester, 
and on his restoration to the throne advanced his preserver, who left a large 
sum of money to found scholarships for his countrymen. A public spirited 
man now living in Ayr hunted up the whole history, circulars were sent to 
those who had gained the scholarships or their descendants living in different 
continents. Money was given, a site, an architect gave the plan and in Septem- 
ber, 1914, the monument was to have been unveiled, but the war prevented, 
and now after four years the good deed will be commemorated and others 
incited to similar generosity. 

Of my personal recollections of Williamstown, as it was, over forty years 
ago, I have said nothing, but I remember the two square pews in the front of 
the church for the U8e of the elders, the confusion of names, to distinguish 
one Macdonald from the other. At the Post Office most bewildering mistakes 


might occur, except that many of the odd descriptive names were known. 
Sheriff McMartin was always called " The Sheriff " and all his family called 
thus " Maggie the Sheriff;" " Jimmy the Sheriff;" and so on. Mrs. McDonald 
was called "The widow ISTellie" and her son "Angus the widow." Why 
should Alexander Grant be known as Alick Jim Eoy ? Two of the McMartins 
were "Mac on the Mill " and " Curly Mac/' A MacDonald was always called 
" Black Angus," and his daughter " Betsey Black Angus." The son of Colonel 
Angus Macdonell was called "Alex. Colonel Angus," and another woman was 
called "Betsey Black Angus." Among other names were " Sandy Ocean '' 
and Sandy Sank, Johnnie Bush and Archie Squire. I remember a mistake I 
made which caused a laugh at my expense. There being a James Macdonald 
and a John Macdonald each of whom had a daughter Annie, to distinguish 
them one was called Annie John the other Annie James. Hearing the name, 
on being introduced, I called her Miss John. 





When about three years ago we decided, after some consultation on the 
subject, to publish, at intervals, a series of bibliographies of material available 
and readily accessible in the Reference Department of the Toronto Public 
Library, our object was two-fold: 

In the first place, to bring to light many of the treasures of which we 
were possessed, and in a general way to make known to the public the vast 
resources of material on Canadian topics with which our library is so richly 

Our object, secondly, was to endeavour by these means to aid the student 
and other readers who were desirous of pursuing some particular course 
of study, by removing as many impediments as possible out of their paths, 
and to make their fields of investigation as interesting and as fruitful as 

The value of a library and especially a reference library-, is increased 
manifold if its consultation, by the readers who frequent it, is made easy 
and attractive. Therefore, special bibliographies bringing together all the 
resources of the library on a particular topic, cannot fail to make pleasant 
the paths of those who wish to venture into the long avenues of 'research. 
In this way, too, the student is not only guided in his reading, but receives 
much encouragement and incentive to further efforts in his chosen branch 
of study. 

Again, when our clients come to the library with the object and hope 
of obtaining material on a certain subject, their chief desire is to find out 
what books and other material can be provided there and then. 

While general bibliographies are not to be despised or under-valued, 
giving, as they do, many numerous sources of information on particular 
subjects, they are, as a rule, confined to lists of books, and do not convey 
to the reader, where those references are accessible; whether or not they are 
available in their own town library they are utterly silent in this regard. 
They merely mention there are certain books on that topic to be had on 
the " Beautiful Isle of Somewhere." It does not interest or help readers 
to be told what books have been published, nor to be informed that material 
may be obtained in the library of New York or Boston. What they do want 
to learn is, what their own city or town library can produce. Therefore 
the value of a special bibliography on a special subject, in our own particular 
library, cannot be over-estimated. 



To this end then, we planned a series of special bibliographies on 
Canadian topics, and the first of these undertaken and compiled by the 
speaker, was a list of all the early Canadian printed books in the Reference 
Library, dating from 1764, when the first printing press was established in 
Canada, to the year 1837, which in a way, gives us a very good idea of the 
progress of printing and publication in Canada during that period. 

This list is chronologically arranged, and is comprised of about 600 
entries, which include books, pamphlets, periodicals, almanacs, directories and 
government documents. The title of the bibliography is : " Books and 
pamphlets, etc., published in Canada up to the year 1837, copies of which 
are in the Public Reference Library in Toronto." As stated in the preface, 
"the date of ending the list is purely arbitrary, having no connection with 
book production, but marking an historical event which was influential in 
shaping the destinies of our country/' 

That our first effort was somewhat successful, was evidenced .by the 
many congratulatory letters, received by the Chief Librarian, Dr. Locke, 
and the favourable comments of the newspaper press and 'book reviews, not 
to speak of the use made of it by our readers, and the number of copies that 
were sold all of which it is needless to say was very gratifying, and en- 
couraged us to go on with the good work. 

Our next attempt was rather more ambitious, as we decided the next 
contribution to our series would be a bibliography of one of the most salient 
points in the history of our country that of the Canadian rebellion of 
1837-8, both in Upper and Lower Canada. 

This work being assigned me, I felt at first that it was no easy task, 
and at times was rather appalled at its magnitude, and that it was impossible 
to do adequate justice to so important a subject. But fortunately it was 
a favourite theme in Canadian history, which made the work more congenial, 
and the interest in it soon grew to be a labour of love, and when the task 
was ended, I felt amply repaid by the knowledge that it was indeed, not 
"Love's labour lost." 

Now the title of this paper suggests a special bibliography on a special 
topic The Canadian Rebellions of 1837-8. 

Some time ago, in looking through an old volume of the Library Journal, 
published many years ago, I came across an article on bibliography, in which 
the writer states, that bibliography may be divided into two branches, the 
first having reference to the contents of books, and which may be termed 
intellectual bibliography, the second treats of the external characteristics 
of books, their names, prices, dates and places of publication, and to this class 
may be applied the term material bibliography. This last class will not claim 
our attention to-day, but to the former intellectual bibliography, we shall 
devote our consideration for a short time. 

Having decided on the subject, the next thing to consider was the plan 
of campaign in regard to the research work. Although the undertaking 
was an arduous one, no trouble was anticipated so far as the general material 
was concerned, for the Canadiana of our reference library, is one of which 
Toronto may be justifiably proud, being as a general collection, the finest 
in America, and some have gone so far as to say the best in the world. 

Of course, we had several histories of the rebellion, and numerous 
histories of Canada which dealt in detail on the subject as an epoch in the 


history of our country, but a history, unless very attractively written, is a 
rather dry and uninteresting source of material to put into the hands of 
the budding historian. 

General histories of course, have their place, as all things have, and 
indeed contain a mass of valuable information, but there is very little that 
ig bright or attractive to be found in their pages. They do not convey 
to the reader the spirit of the times unless he is possessed of an uncommonly 
vivid imagination. Then again, he is apt to see things from the viewpoint 
of the historian, becoming biased in his judgment, not having sufficient 
scope for independent thought. 

So I thought I would try to lead the student to more interesting sources 
of the fountain of knowledge, than at the dried up springs of the ordinary 

I then arranged to begin the bibliography, by doing the easiest part 
first, which was to collect and make a list of all the histories of the rebellion, 
then books dealing with the rebellion, then the most important histories of 
Canada which dealt with the subject to any extent. This in itself presented 
quite a goodly list. 

I next turned my attention to pamrjjlets, in which we are very wealthy. 
In regard to pamphlets dealing with Canada in some phase or another, it 
is not an exaggeration to say that we have to the number of about 6,000. 
Now a word on the use of pamphlets as an aid to the study of history. No 
one can deny that their value is inestimable. It is generally written on 
some important topic, or some event or question, political or social, that is 
agitating the minds of the people at the time; and its interest is enhanced 
by the fact, that it only relates to present day questions. As an instrument 
in shaping and moulding the opinions of the people in times of political 
storm and stress especially, it is, as a rule, very keen and convincing. 
Pamphlets, like some periodicals, do not enjoy a very long existence. Many 
of them, like human beings, are only born to die. They are seldom reprinted 
^-hence the importance of preserving them as aids to research, and the study 
of history for the future generations. 

Let me quote what Disraeli in his "Amenities of Literature" says of 
pamphlets: "We must not consider pamphlets wholly in a political view, 
their circuit is boundless, holding all the world of man, they enter into 
every object of human interest. The silent revolution in manners, language, 
habit, are there to be traced; and indeed it is the multiplicity of pamphlets 
on a particular topic or object, which appear at a particular period, that 
offer the truest picture of public opinion/' 

So much for the importance of pamphlets as an aid to historical study. 

Another interesting source was the magazine literature, and though not 
quite so productive of results as the pamphletaTa good deal of valuable 
material was brought to light. Our collection of bound periodicals is very 
extensive, comprising several thousands of volumes, many of our sets dating 
back, as far as, and some beyond, the rebellion period. This literature too, 
like the pamphlets, is an expression of the thought and opinion of the 
writers on the various vital and important questions of the times, and was, 
to some extent, influential in shaping the destinies of nations and peoples. 
Therefore we cannot overlook the fact of their importance, they having 
always proved a reliable and unfailing friend in need. 


Then scrap books were searched, but as we did not possess many of 
these, that is of clippings of that period, the exploration of that source was 
soon over. My efforts, however, were not in vain, for some very interesting 
matter was secured. 

The next field of investigation was the Transactions of Learned Societies 
of which we have over 5,000 vole. Of these, of course, there were only certain 
ones that would likely contain any of the desired references. These were 
searched, with the result that several interesting papers were unearthed. 
Thus we see that the Transactions of Learned Societies are also desirable 
mediums for history study. 

Then an excursion was taken into the realm of books, seeking hither 
and thither for incidental chapters, for odds and ends and out of the way 
information, which search was very satisfactorily rewarded. Government 
documents too, was another by-path to the high road of history, and their 
importance also is universally recognized, recording as they do the events, 
the heated discussions and debates, that took place in parliament in those 
far of! stormy times. 

Next to be entered was the field of romance, cherishing a hope to glean 
there at least a few tales and stories founded on such an exciting and 
interesting a topic as the Canadian rebellion of 1837-8. The reward was 
not commensurate with the labour, but I felt very well satisfied at having 
secured three or four works of fiction. These are of interest, from the fact 
that they throw more or less light on the life of the people at that time. 

Last but not least, and the most interesting and prolific of all our 
sources, were the newspapers, of which we have a very representative col- 
lection, dating from 1830, to the end of the rebellion period. 

The task of examining them was a rather formidable one, involving 
a good deal of eye and nerve strain and brain fatigue, but on searching 
through the files, turning over one by one the musty yellow leaves, such a 
mine of wealth was revealed, that I only realized for the first time, the 
immense value of the newspaper as an historical source. More so than 
periodicals and pamphlets are they a revealer of public sentiment and opinion. 
Much more vividly do they chronicle the daily events of the times, and by 
a thorough search cannot fail to bring to light many important facts and ' 
much curious information, which it would be impossible to find elsewhere. 

Through the medium of the press, the people in those days, as now, 
voiced their grievances and opinions of affairs, political and social, thus 
exerting a wide and far reaching influence, and in this way too, we get at 
the pros and cons of many important questions that exercised the minds 
of the public. From the newspapers also, we obtain a much more graphic 
and accurate picture of the period than we can possibly do from other sources. 
Here, as may easily be seen, the student of history has abundant scope and 
opportunity for securing unusually interesting material for his work. 

As previously stated, our collection of early newspapers is fairly repre- 
sentative, and while we cannot boast many complete sets, what we have is 
sufficient to meet all reasonable demands. 

It is not within the scope of this paper to enter into any of the details 
of the causes and agitations that led to the rebellion, nor to comment on 
any of the events connected with it. The purpose now is to show what our 
different sources can produce; therefore a few examples from each will be 
given by way of explaining the nature of the bibliography. 


The first source to be noticed are the books arid to begin at the 
beginning, it will be understood that in order for the student to arrive at 
a fair and accurate knowledge of the causes which led to the rebellions of 
1837-8 it will be necessary to read, mark, learn and digest the Quebec Act 
of 1774, and the Constitutional Act of 1791. The text of the^se acts may 
be found in " Documents of the Canadian Constitution," by Wm. Houston, 
and " Documents of the Canadian Constitution/' by Professor W. M. P. 
Kennedy. Examples of the other material are " The Quebec Act of 1774," 
by Gerald E. Hart, " Account of the proceedings of the British and other 
Protestant inhabitants in the Province of Quebec, in North America, in 
order to obtain a House of Assembly in that Province," London, 1775, and 
" Debates of the House of Commons in the year 1774, on the bill for making 
effectual provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec, drawn 
up from the notes of Sir Henry Cavendish." 

Again, in order to learn the causes of the rebellion we should not like 
to omit the works of the famous Robert Gourlay, that much abused Scotsman, 
who came to Canada in 1817, as land agent, with a view to promoting 
immigration, and was the first to agitate against the many abuses which 
had sprung up in the country under the tyrannical rule of the Family 
Compact, the then dominant party. Everyone is familiar with his story, 
of his treatment by the Family Compact, his unlawful imprisonment, and 
lastly his exile from the Province. His writings are worthy of consideration, 
and are as follows : " The Chronicles of Canada, being a record of Robert 
Gourlay, No. I, concerning the convention and gagging law, 1818 ; " " The 
Banished Briton " and " Neptunian ; " " The unpublished papers of Robert 
Gourlay to 1818; " " Statistical Account of Upper Canada," 3 vols. 

Examples of histories of the rebellion are : " Story of the Upper 
Canadian Rebellion of 1837," by J. C. Dent; "The Canadian Rebellion of 
1837," by D B. Read. In general histories of Canada, those that give fairly 
detailed accounts are : " History of Canada," by William Kingsford ; and 
" The History of Canada," by John McMullen. The latter is particularly 
good. Other fruitful sources are: "A Narrative/' by Sir Francis Bond 
Head, giving a full account of the rebellion and its causes. 

" The Seventh Report from the Select Committee of the House of 
Assembly on Grievances/' W. L. Mackenzie, Chairman, 1835. 

" Annals of Canada for 1837-8," by David Chisholm. 

" Papers relating to Sir Francis Bond Head, ordered by the House of 
Assembly to be printed." 1837. 

Lord Durham's " Report on the affairs of British North America/' 1839. 

"Lithographic views of the Military operations in Canada, under His 
Excellency Sir John Colborne, during the late insurrection," by Lord Charles 
Beauclerk, accompanied by notes, historical and descriptive. 

" The Canadian Farmer's travels in the United States of America, in 
which remarks are made on the arbitrary Colonial Policy, preached in Canada, 
and the free and equal rights and happy effects of the liberal institutions 
and astonishing enterprise of the United States, by Robert Davis, Buffalo, 
1837." " The relation of the United States with the Canadian Rebellion of 
1837-8, by Orrim E. Tiffany." 

After the quelling of the rebellion, many of those who took a prominent 
part, were banished to Van Dieman's Land, there enduring a long captivity. 


and the story of those political prisoners during their exile in that country, 
told by themselves, is extremely interesting. It would take up too much 
time to give any review of these books, or to name all of them, but the 
titles of a few will explain their contents. 

Among others, are the following : 

" Letters from Van Dieman's Land, written during four years imprison- 
ment for political offences committed in Upper Canada/' by Benjamin Wait. 
Buffalo, 1843. 

" The Exiles' Eeturn ; or Narrative of Samuel Snow, who was banished 
to Van Dieman's Land for participating in the patriot war in Upper Canada 
in 1838." Cleveland, 1846. This book is now very scarce. 

" Recollections of life in Van Dieman's Land " by Wm. Gates. One of 
the Canadian Patriots. Lockport, 1850. 

" Canada in 1837-8, showing by historical proofs the causes of the late 
attempted revolution and of its failure, together with the personal adventures 
of the Author, and others who were connected with the Revolution," by E. A. 
Theller, Brigadier-General in the Canadian Republican Service. Phil., 1841. 

" A Narrative of the adventures and sufferings of Captain Daniel Huestis 
and his companions in Canada, and Van Dieman's Land during a long 
captivity, with introduction. The Canadian Movement, by Benjamin Kings- 
bury." Boston, 1847. 

"A brief review of the settlement of Upper Canada, by the U. E. 
Loyalists and Scotch Highlanders in 1783, and of the grievances which 
compelled the Canadians to have recourse to arms in defence of their rights 
and liberties in the year 1837-8, with an account of the Military executions, 
burning and sackings of towns and villages by the British in the Upper and 
Lower Provinces during the commotion of 1837-8, by D. M. McLeod, Major- 
General, Patriot Army, U. C. Cleveland, 1846." 

"A letter to Her Majesty, the British Queen, with letters to Lord 
Durham, Lord Glenelg and Sir George Arthur, to which is added an appendix 
embracing a report of the testimony taken on the trial of the writer, by a 
Court Martial of Toronto, in Upper Canada," by Thomas Jefferson Suther- 
land. Albany, 1841. 

"Report on the case of the Canadian prisoners, with an introduction 
to the writ of Habeas Corpus," by Alfred Fry, one of the counsel in the case. 

Our next source chapters from books is a very interesting one, ob- 
taining as we do, the view points of the different authors, and securing many 
odds and ends of information, and items of local interest, that we do not 
find in the general history. 

The following are a few examples : 

"Events of a Military life," by Walter Henry, Esq., Surgeon to the 
Forces. London, W. Pickering, 1843. Vol. II, chaps. 44-55. 

"Account of the Rebellion of 1837-8." In the History of Gait and 
Dumfries, by James Young. Chaps. 13-14. 

" Incidents of the Rebellion of 1837-8." In " Upper Canada Sketches," 
by Thomas Conant. Chap. 6. 

" Pickering and the Canadian Rebellion." In " Past years in Pickering," 
by W. R. Wood. Chap. 4. 

" Political Affairs of the Province and the Rebellion of 1837." In " The 
Talbot Regime," by C. 0. Ermatinger. Chaps. 26-29. 


"The Rebellion of 1837." In "Twenty-seven years in Canada/' bj 
Major Strickland. Chap. 16. 

" Reminiscences of the Canadian Rebellion of 1838, by one who was an 
cye-witnees and shouldered his musket at that time." In " Canadian Pen and 
Ink Sketches/' by John Eraser. Chaps. 5-9. 

A very full account of the rebellion may be found in "Canada as it 
was, and is, and may be/' by Sir Richard Bonneycastle, 2 vols. 

" The Canadian question and the principal causes of the late insurrec- 
tion/' in " A Dairy in America," by Capt. Marryatt. Chaps. 1-6. 

"The Patriot War of 1837-40." In "History of St. Lawrence and 
Franklin Counties," New York, by T. B. Hough. Chap. 10. 

An unusually good book, containing many interesting incidents of the 
rebellion, is " Three Years Residence in Canada, from 1837-1839," by T. B. 
Preston. In this work is found some out-of-the-way material, for instance, 
he gives an uncommonly good account of the Hunters' Lodges and Associa- 
tions, with the object of their foundation; the names and nature of the 
various signs, and the wording of the oaths in the various degrees of the 
lodges, also the mode of initiating persons to the different degrees of member- 
ship. Vol. I, chaps. 3-5. 

The next source to be noticed is the pamphlets. The collection on, and 
relating to, our subject is an interesting one, comprising, as it does, a great 
wealth of material on the rebellion, and the causes and events connected with 
it. The titles of some of these will give some idea of their contents as it 
will be impossible, in this paper, to remark on their nature or merits : 

Statement of facts relating to the trespass on the printing press of Mr. 
William Lyon MacKenzie, in June, 1826, addressed to the public generally, 
and particularly to the subscribers and supporters of the Colonial Advocate. 
York, 1826. 

The Legislature Black List of Upper Canada, or Official Corruption and 
Hypocrisy Unmasked, by William Lyon MacKenzie. York, 1828. 

First report on the state of the representation of the people of Upper 
Canada in the legislature of the Province. Members of Committee. Messrs. 
Lyons, Buell, Shaver, Howard and MacKenzie. York, 1831. 

The celebrated letter of Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P., to William Lyon 
MacKenzie, Esq., Mayor of Toronto, declaratory of a design to " Free these 
provinces from the baneful domination of the Mother Country " with the 
comments of the press of Upper Canada, on the pernicious and treasonable 
tendency of that letter, and the speeches, resolutions, and amendments of 
the Common Council, of this city, which were the result of a motion of that 
body, to disavow all participation in the sentiments of Mr. Hume. Toronto, 

MacKenzie's own narrative of the late rebellion with illustrations and 
notes critical and explanatory; exhibiting the only true account of what 
took place at the memorable siege of Toronto in the month of December, 
1837. Toronto, 1837. 

A canvass of the proceedings on the trial of W. L. MacKenzie for an 
alleged violation of the neutrality laws of the United States, with a report 
of the testimony. The charge of the presiding judfije to the jury. The 
arguments of the United States Attorney, and a petition to the Presidency 
for his release, by T. Jefferson Sutherland. New York, 1840. 


Proceedings had in the House of Assembly on the subject of an address 
to His Excellency Sir F. B. Head, for certain information on the affairs 
of the Colony. Toronto, 1836. 

Letters addressed to the people of the Canadas, on Elective Institutions. 
Coburg, 1835, by an East- Anglian (M. S. Bidwell). 

Message from His Excellency Sir Francis B. Head, in answer to the 
address of the House of Assembly, of the 5th February, 1836, with sundry 
documents requested by the House in said address. Toronto, 1836. 

There are also a number of interesting pamphlets on the Clergy Reserves, 
one of the most agitated topics of the time, and one of the principal causes 
of the rebellion. The term " Protestant Clergy " being interpreted " Church 
of England " by that body, aroused a great storm of protest from people, 
both lay and clerical. Titles of the following pamphlets will throw some 
light on the nature of the discussions and dissensions that took place between 
the clergy of the different denominations : 

The exclusive right of the Church to the Clergy Eeserves defended, in 
a letter to the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Liverpool, being an answer to the letter 
of the Protestant of the Church of Scotland to His Lordship. 

An apology for the Church of England in the Canadas; an answer to 
a letter to the Earl of Liverpool, relative to the rights of the Church of 
Scotland, etc., by ;i Protestant of the Church of Scotland. By a Protestant 
of the Church of England. Kingston, 1826. 

Speech in the Legislative Council, Upper Canada, 6th March, 1828, on 
the subject of the Clergy Reserves, by the Venerable John Strachan, D.D. 

Reply of William Morris, member of the Legislative Council of Upper 
Canada, to six letters addressed to him by John Strachan, D.D., Archdeacon 
of York, 1838. 

A pastoral letter from the Clergy of the Church of Scotland, in the 
Canadas, to their Presbyterian brethren, on the subject now agitated between 
them and the Clergy of the Church of England, relative to the appropriation 
of the lands reserved for the support of the Protestant Clergy in these 
provinces. 1828. 

A circular letter from the Bishop of Quebec to the Clergy and Congre- 
gations of the Church of England, in the diocese of Quebec, in relation to 
some existing difficulties of opinion respecting the Clergy Reserves, and 
certain other points, cautioning the congregations against the claims of the 
Presbyterians to a participation in the Clergy Reserves. Quebec, 20th Dec., 

Celebrated speech of Dr. J. Rolph, then member for Norfolk, delivered 
in the Upper Canada House of Assembly, in the year 1836, on the bill for 
appropriating the proceeds of the Clergy Reserves to the purposes of educa- 
tion. Toronto, 1836. 

This speech is without parallel in the annals of Parliamentary debate. 

The Clergy Reserve Question as a matter of history a question of law 
and a subject of legislation; in a series of letters to the Hon. W. H. Draper, 
M.P.P., Member of the Executive Council, and Her Majesty's Solicitor- 
General of Upper Canada. By Egerton Ryerson. Toronto, 1839. 

The above pamphlets are very representative of our collection. 

Then come the Periodicals, but this literature being much akin to that 
of the pamphlets, their articles written chiefly with the object of expressing 

5 H.P. 


the views and opinions of the writers on some outstanding question of the 
day, time will not be taken up with many examples, but it may be of some 
interest to mention the magazines contained in the bibliography where 
material on our subject may be obtained: 

The Annual Register; Acta-Victormna; Blackwood's Magazine; Cana- 
dian Christian Examiner; Canadian Magazine; Colonial Magazine; Dublin 
Review; Dublin University Magazine; Eclectic Review; Fortnightly 
Review; Fraser's Magazine; Littell's Living Age; Magazine of American 
History; Mirror of Parliament (English); New Dominion Monthly; Nile's 
Register; Nineteenth Century; North American Review; Quarterly Review; 
Rose Belford's Canadian Monthly. 

The following are a few examples of the articles: 

" Canada : False Principles of Government, the cause of its suffering/' 
Colonial Magazine. Vol. I. 

" Causes of the Rebellion in Canada." Dublin University Magazine. 
Vol. II, 1838. " War in Canada : Its Causes and Consequences." Eclectic 
Review. Vol. 67, 1838. "Remarks on the Proceedings as to Canada in the 
Present Session of Parliament," by one of the Commissioners. April 10th, 
1837. Quarterly Review. Vol. 61. 

" The Canadian Revolt ; a short history of its causes, progress, and 
probable consequences." United Service Journal, May, 1838. 

" Canada and Ireland ; the strict analogy of the Whig Policy in regard 
to these countries clearly traced." Blackwood's Magazine. Vol. 43, 1838. 
" Personal Narrative of the Escape of W. L. MacKenzie from Toronto to the 
United States." Littell's Living Age. Vol. 16. 

" Speech of Mr. Menefee of Kentucky, on the reference of the President's 
message relating to the attack on the Caroline, delivered in the House of 
Representatives, January, 1838." Nile's Register, January 27th, 1838. 

Among the transactions and proceedings of learned societies, entries have 
been made from the following : 

Niagara Historical Society Publications; Transactions Royal Society of 
Canada; Michigan Pioneer & Historical Society; Transactions Canadian 
Institute; Johns Hopkins University Studies; Buffalo Historical Society; 
Lundy's Lane Historical Society and Ontario Historical Society. By way 
of example, in paper No. 13 of the Niagara Historical Society, there is a 
very interesting paper "A wife's devotion, a Canadian heroine of sixty 
years ago." (The story of Maria Wait, the wife of Benjamin Wait, the exile), 
by Miss Carnochan. 

In Papers and Records of the Ontario Historical Society, Vol. XVI, 
1918, we find an interesting account of "The Books of the Political 
Prisoners and Exiles of 1838," by Mr. J. Davis Barnett. 

Of the publications of the Buffalo Historical Society in Vol. V, 1902, 
we have an excellent general bibliography of the Upper Canada Rebellion 
of 1837, by Mr. Frank Severance, which is the best we have yet seen published. 

From the source Government documents, examples need not be given, 
as every one is quite familiar with the nature of the contents, comprising 
as they do, Parliamentary debates and discussions, Reports of Select Com- 
mittees, Petitions, Memorials, Proclamations, etc. 

Among our scrap books, are two which deal particularly with the 
"Rebellion. One composed of extracts from the Montreal Star, which deal 


almost wholly with the insurrection in Lower Canada. The other is one which 
Dr. Locke was fortunate enough to secure in London, England, when on a 
visit there some years ago. It consists of copious clippings from American 
papers of that time, such as the Herald and Sentinel, Philadelphia; Ledger 
and Daily Transcript; Rochester" Democrat; The Pennsylvanian, etc. These 
cuttings contain many interesting items we have not found elsewhere, and 
are particularly valuable because of the light they throw on the subject of 
American sympathy and opinion. 

From the source the Field of Eomance the examples are not many, 
but the titles may be of interest : 

" The Empress of the Isles ; or, the Lake Bravo, a romance of the 
Canadian struggle in 1837," by Charley Clewline. The scene of this story 
is the Thousand Islands, in the St. Lawrence. The heroine of the romance 
is Kate, the daughter of the notorious Bill Johnson, the smuggler. 

"The Prisoner of the 'Border; a tale of 1838," by P. Hamilton Myers. 
Published in New York, 1857. In this story also, Bill Johnson figures very 

"Rose and Minnie; or the Loyalists; a tale in 1837? v No author given. 
One of the series of historical tales (No. 28), published in London, Eng., 
1868. pp. 106. 

"The Volunteer's Bride; a tale of the Canadian Rebellion/' by C.P.T. 
(Catharine Parr Traill?). Rice Lake, 1854. This is a short story contained 
in a magazine The Maple Leaf. Vol. II. 

"Two and Twenty Years Ago; a tale of the Canadian Rebellion," by 
a Backwoodsman (Dr. William Dunlop). Toronto, 1859. pp. 112. 

We have now arrived at the Newspaper Sources, where I am compelled 
to hesitate. Their contents proving a veritable embarrassment 'of riches 
renders it impossible, by giving only a few examples, to convey an adequate 
idea of the matter contained in the volumes, and the difficulty is increased 
by the number of the different papers that have been examined. The 
following are those from which entries have been made : New York Albion. 
This paper is full of excellent material, containing many official documents 
and despatches, accounts of battles, and particularly the frontier troubles. 
Other papers are: The Loyalist; The Canadian Courant; Western Mercury; 
Quebec Gazette; Coburq Star; The Vindicator; British American Journal; 
Canadian Correspondent; BrocTcville Recorder; Upper Canada Courier; 
Dundas Weekly Post; Correspondent and Advocate; Montreal Transcript; 
The Traveller, or Prince Edward Gazette; Toronto Mirror; The Church; 
The Examiner and the Globe. From this list will be seen that our library 
contains a fairly good number of newspapers, on and around the rebellion 
period. We find them a true mirror of past events ; their contents are 
unusually interesting, receiving, as we do, a delightfully clear and vivid 
account and description of the occurrences of those bygone days. Through 
their medium may be traced a complete and accurate history of the revolt, 
and of the events and incidents relating to it. Some idea of the nature 
of the material may be gained by saying, that in these may be found discus- 
sions and debates in the Houses of Parliament on many vital questions 
concerning the province. Despatches, messages and instructions of the 
Imperial Parliament to Governors of the Provinces, the replies in return, etc. 

There are the accounts of the organization of various societies, both 


Constitutional and Reform, their reports, meetings, etc. Then a wealth 
of interesting matter may 'be culled from the proceedings of the numerous 
public meetings that were held in almost every section of the province in 
order to attest loyalty to the crown or otherwise. The resolutions read and 
adopted, and the speeches, almost invariably ending with an address to the 
King, expressing their unyielding allegiance, or presenting a petition of 
grievances. There are interesting editorials, letters from citizens and 
residents in the province, each voicing his opinion on the events and troubles 
of the day. We find also, accounts of the battles and skirmishes that took 
place, in connection with which there is a mass of official correspondence. 
There are also many proclamations and messages ,of the United States Presi- 
dents, relative to the troubles on the Frontier, besides addresses, and militia 
orders, as well as detailed reports of the trials of some of the political 
prisoners, the charge of the Judge to the Jury, and his speech on passing 

Then too, as now, many bouquets were thrown at each other through 
the medium of the press, by individuals who unhappily held different opinions 
on certain agitated questions. Only in these days they would be made up 
of old-fashioned flowers. 

The amount of material selected from the papers is rather a formidable 
one, consisting, as it does, of almost a thousand entries, many of them 
curious and amusing. The task was no easy one, but I felt rewarded for 
the labour, by the fact of having amassed a great deal of information on 
the rebellion that was quite foreign to me before. 

Out of so many entries it has been very difficult to select examples. 
as almost all are interesting, and time will not allow to give more than a 
few, neither would I tax your patience. 

By way of example, after the title will be given the name and date of 
the paper that contains the article. These examples are arranged chrono- 
logically : 

Debate in the House of Commons Imperial Parliament on the Civil 
Government of the Canadas, May 2nd, 1828. 

The Loyalist, York, U.C., June 14th, 1828. 

Report of the Select Committee to the House of Commons, Imperial 
Parliament, appointed to inquire into the state of the Civil Government of 
Canada, in regard to several petitions from the inhabitants of the two 
provinces which had been referred to them by the House, July 22nd, 1828. 

The Loyalist, York, U.C., Sept. 27th, 1828. 

Letter to the Farmers residing in the County of York, who have 
ranged under the banner of W. L. MacKenzie, Esq., Editor of the Advocate, 
York, Upper Canada. 

By A. Freeholder of the County of York, Oct. 20th, 1831. 

The Western Mercury, Nov. 24th and Dec. 1st, 1831. 

Mr. MacKenzie's grievances ! His Meetings ! ! and his addresses ! ! ! 
Notice of some of the movements which this missionary of the Christian 
Guardian, and of the old Central Junto, is now making throughout the 
Province to obtain signatures to the list of " grievances " which were fabri- 
cated by the said Guardian, and the said Junto, at this town some months 
ago. With copy of a letter to the members of Chinquacousy Committee, 
by W. L. MacKenzie. 


The Western Mercury, Oct. 27th, 1831. 

A detailed account of the proceedings of the meeting convened at St. 
Thomas, on the 17th inst., for the purpose of addressing the King and 
obtaining a public expression of the people, on the subject of grievances 
so strongly urged by the revolutionary party in the country, by A Bystander. 
St. Thomas, March 19th, 1832. Western Mercury, 1832. 

Despatch of Lord Goderich to Sir John Colborne, regarding communi- 
cations and statements of Mr. MacKenzie upon the subject of grievances said 
to exist in Upper Canada, and for redress of which various petitions have 
been addressed to His Majesty, Nov. 8th, 1830. Cobourg Star, Jan. 30th, 
Feb. 6th, 13th, 20th, 1833. 

Letter to the Freeholders of the County of York, discussing the charges 
against Mr. MacKenzie for Libel and Mr. MacKenzie's defence in the House 
of Asembly, By an Elector of the County of York. 

Western Mercury, Jan, 12th,-19th, 1832. 

Debate in the House of Assembly of Upper Canada, on the expulsion 
of Mr. MacKenzie from the House of Assembly, Dec. 16th, 17th, 1833. 

Election address of Mr. T. D. Morrison, to the Free and Independent 
electors of the Third Riding of the County of York. 

Signed T. D. Morrison, Toronto, 19th Sept., 1834. 

The Vindicator, Oct. 10th, 1834. 

Resolutions adopted at the formation of the Canadian Alliance Society, 
and a statement of the objects for the attainment of which the Society is 
established. Motto of the Society : " Where bad men conspire, good men 
must unite." Cobourg Star, Dec. 24th, 1834. 

" To my own true blues." A letter to the Alliance Societies of Upper 
Canada, by Patrick Swift. (William Lyon MacKenzie). Carres, and Advoc., 
July 30th, 1835. 

Letter to Egerton Ryerson, Andrew Bell, John Wilson, and the rest of 
the bribed parsons in Upper Canada, by an English Reformer. Toronto, 
May 27th, 1835. Corres. and Advoc., May 29th, 1835. 

Letter to A. X. McNab, and the rest of the loyal itinerant reformers 
of the Gore and Home districts, by " A hater of the factious hypocrites." 
Boston, Nov. 3rd, 1834. Corres. and Advoc., Feb. 5th, 1835. 

Letter to William Lyon MacKenzie, Esq., late M.P.P., Knight of the 
most ignoble order of agitators, corresponding secretary to the Machiavelian 
Anti-British Societies in North America, Grand Promoter of discontent and 
Anarchy therein, Commander-in- Chief of the Radical Malcontent Forces 
of Upper Canada, etc., etc., etc., on the subject of his political tergiversation, 
by James McMillan. Toronto, July 20th, 1836. 

The Patriot, July 29th, 1836. 

Proceedings and resolutions passed at a meeting held in the Free 
Church, Dundas, 30th March, 1836, to give an expression of Public Opinion 
at this important crisis. Corres. and Advoc., 4th April, 1836. John Patter- 
son, Chairman. 

What has Parliament done for us this winter? Why were the supplies 
amounting to about 5,000 refused? Letter to the Electors of the Second 
Riding of the County of York, from William Lyon MacKenzie, Queenston, 
2nd May, 1836. Corres. and Advoc., May 4th, 1836. 

Resolutions adopted at a meeting held at the Alliance Societies Cham- 


bers, in the City of Toronto, May 5th, for the purpose of taking into 
consideration the state of the province at the present critical juncture; 
and of devising some mode of attesting public esteem and gratitude for the 
invaluable services of Daniel O'Connell, Esq., M.P. Corres. and Advoc., 
May llth, 1836. T. D. Morrison, Chairman. 

Meeting at Finch's tavern, Yonge St., for the notice of which the 
following hand-bill was posted : York Township Meeting. 

The Gore of Toronto Meeting that was to be held at Charles King's 
store, East Toronto, is postponed for a few days, then to be called in a 
more central situation. The meeting of the township of York, to choose 
delegates, enroll the names of members 'of societies, and take efficient steps for 
the numbering and classing the Reformers, so that they may act with unison 
and system in their effort to get justice for Canada, will take place at Finch's 
tavern, Montgomery Town, Yonge St., at noon, on Friday, August 18th, 
1837, with an account of the proceedings, and the resolutions adopted at 
the meeting. Robert Moodie, Chairman. 

Finch's tavern, Yonge St., 18th Aug., 1837. 

The Patriot, August 22nd, 1837. 

A letter to Dr. O'Callaghan, Editor of the Vindicator, Montreal, 

Toronto, Aug. 25th, 1837. 

Signed : " Yours to the shoe tie," William Lyon MacKenzie, of the 
Rebel race. 

The Patriot, Sept. 12th, 1837. ' 

Short letter from W. L. MacKenzie to the Editors of the Buffalo Whig 
and Journal, informing them that the reformers of Upper Canada, have 
taken up arms in defence of the principles of independence of European 
domination : 

"We are in arms near the City of Toronto, 2% miles distant." 

Signed "William Lyon MacKenzie," 

Yonge St., Dec. 6th, 1837. 

Quebec Gazette, Dec. 27th, 1837. 

Proclamation by William Lyon MacKenzie, Chairman Protem of the 
Provincial Government of Upper 'Canada, setting forth a list of grievances, 
etc., and offering a reward of 500 for the apprehension of Sir Francis B. 
Head. Navy Island, Dec. 13th, 1837. 

Cobourg Star, Jan. 3rd, 1838. 

Proclamation by Sir Francis Head, offering 1,000 for the apprehension 
of William Lyon MacKenzie, and 500 for the apprehension of David Gibson, 
Samuel Lount, or Jesse Lloyd, or Silas Fletcher. 

New York Albion, Dec. 23rd, 1837. 

Resolutions passed at a public meeting of a numerous and respectable 
body of the citizens of Buffalo, held in the Ball Room of the Buffalo Court 
House, expressive of sympathy for our neighbors of the Provinces of Upper 
and Lower Canada. 

John O'Meara, Chairman. 
From the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser. 

Colours Star, Dec. 27th, 1837. 

Copy of a letter from Captain Drew, Commander Royal Navy, to the 
Hon. -Col. A. 1ST. McNab, reporting the capture and burning of the Caroline. 
Chippewa, 30th Dec., 1837. 


The Patriot, Jan. 5th, 1838. 

Account of the rebellion near Toronto,, by William Lyon MacKenzie. 
Navy Island, U.C., 14th Jan., 1838. 

The Patriot, Feb. 16th, 1838. 

Special message of Governor Marcy, to the Legislature of Upper Canada 
on the subject of the burning of the Caroline. 

Cobourg Star, Jan. 10th, 1838. 

Address of the Hon. Chief Justice Eobinson on passing sentence of 
death upon Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews, 29th March, 1838. 

The Patriot, April 6th, 1838. 

Narrative of facts connected with Frontier Movements of the Patriot 
Army of Upper Canada, with a copy of the correspondence between Renss- 
Van Rensselaer, and W. L. MacKenzie. 

The Patriot, April 10th, 1838. 

Address of Dr. Theller at his trial for treason, on being asked by the 
Judge why sentence of death should not be passed upon him. 

The Mirror, April 14th, 1838. 

Report of the trial of David Morrison for High Treason. 24th April, 1838. 

The Patriot, May 4th, 1838. 

Report of the trial of Charles Durand for High Treason, before Mr. 
Chief Justice Robinson. 7th May, 1838. 

The Patriot, May 15th, 1838. 

Copy of a proclamation recently issued by the leader of the gang that 
destroyed the Steamboat Sir Robert Peel, obtained for Governor Marcy. 

Signed " William Johnson." 

10th June, 1838. 

The Albion, June 16th, 1838. 

A letter from Elizabeth Lount, widow of the lamented Judge Lount, to 
the Hon. John Beverley Robinson, Chief Justice of Upper Canada. 

Pontiac, Mich., June 12th, 1838. 

The Toronto Mirror, July 14th, 1838. 

Biographical and character sketch of Bill Johnson, the Lake Buccaneer, 
leader of the gang of Refugees, on the " Thousand Islands " in the St. 
Lawrence, and known also as the leader in the recent destruction of the 
Sir Robert Peel. 

The Patriot, July 17th, 1838. 

Battle of Windmill Point. Result of expedition to Prescott under 
Colonel Dundas, and an account of the attack on the mill with the number 
killed and wounded. 

Cobourg Star, Nov. 22nd, 1838. (From the Kingston Chronicle). 

The arrest of Bill Johnson. Cobourg Star, Dec. 12th, 1838. 

Resolutions passed at a meeting of the Ladies of the City of Buffalo, 
held at the Ladies' parlor of the United States Hotel, on Saturday, the 
29th day of December, for the purpose of forming a society in aid of the 
suffering Canadian Patriots now struggling to free themselves from the yoke 
of tyranny and oppression, and to relieve, so far as possible, the suffering 
of those families who have been driven destitute from their country and 
their homes, and compelled to seek refuge among us. 

Mrs. Burgess, President. 

(From the Buffalonian) Cobourg Star, Jan. 9th, 1839. 


Keport of the trial of William Lyon MacKenzie for breach of the 
Neutrality laws. From the Rochester Democrat, of June '21st, 1839. 

Quebec Gazette, July 1st, 1839. 

The charge of Judge Thompson to the Jury, on the occasion v of the trial 
of William Lyon MacKenzie for breach of the neutrality laws, at Canandaigua, 
Ont. Co., N.Y. 

June 20th and 21st, 1839. Nile's Register, July 6th, 1839. 

MacKenzie the rebel and the Colonial Office. Motion by the Earl of 
Ripon in the House of Lords, for the production of certain papers relative 
to the correspondence which, in 1832, had taken place between himself, then 
secretary for Colonial affairs, and an individual by the name of MacKenzie. 
March 12th, 1839. 

Cobourg Star, May 1st, 1839. 

The case of William Lyon MacKenzie : What sort of a man is MacKenzie, 
and what is his real character? An article from the New York Reformer. 

Toronto Mirror, Oct. 25th, 1839. 

MacKenzie and our British relations: An article on the imprisonment 
and punishment of MacKenzie by the Government of the United States. 
From the New York Reformer. 

Toronto Mirror, Nov. 1st, 1839. 

We now pass over the interval of a decade, when we find Mr MacKenzie, 
in the winter of 1849, taking a trip through the Canadas. He says " After 
an absence of twelve years, I availed myself of the provisions of the Amnesty 
Act, passed in February, 1849, 'to visit Canada." 

While in Montreal, he writes the following : " A letter to the Editor of 
the Montreal Herald, giving a true account of the death of Colonel Moodie, 
in refutation of the charge that he was personally responsible for Colonel 
Mooclie's death." 

Signed " W. L. MacKenzie," Montreal, March 7th, 1849. 

The Toronto Mirror, March 16th, 1849. 

The Examiner, March 21st, 1849. 

Mr. MacKenzie next pays a visit to Toronto, where he evidently was 
not very cordially received, at least by the Tories, as our entry reads thus: 
"Account of the Tory riots in Toronto, 22nd March, 1849, on the occasion 
of Mr. MacKenzie's visit to the city. 

The Examiner, March 28th, 1849. 

While on his trip through the Canadas, Mr. MacKenzie writes a series 
of very interesting articles for the New York Tribune, entitled " A winter's 
journey through the Canadas," in which he reviews the state of the affairs 
of the country, and the events and causes connected with the rebellion. We 
have never seen these articles published in book form, and if not already done, 
that work would be well justified of the labour and expense. Evidently 
few are aware of their existence, for we know definitely that one, at least, of 
Mr. MacKenzie's descendants had no knowledge of them until they were 
brought to his notice. This series of articles was taken from the N. Y. Tri- 
bune, and published by the Examiner, and may be found in The Examiner 
from April 25th, to July 25th, 1849. 

Some time after his return to New York, Mr. MacKenzie writes a long 
address to his old friends of the County of York, which is entered as follows : 
Copy of the highly interesting address written by William Lyon MacKenzie 


to the inhabitants of the County of York ; " A County he represented, so 
long, so faithfully and with so much ability in Parliament." 

The address is signed "W. L. MacKenzie," New York, Nov. 6th, 1849. 

We are very pleased to have as our final entry, the following just and well- 
deserved tribute to our hero : 

" A letter to the Editor of the Examiner on Mr. MacKenzie's address 
to his old friends, and on the incalculable services that he has rendered to 
the good cause of civil and religious liberty in Canada," by "Justice/' Dec. 
3rd, 1849. 

Examiner, Dec. 12th, 1849. 

Having come to the last of the examples from our sources, given, as has 
already been stated, with the object of describing the nature and arrangement 
of the bibliography, it only remains to be said that it is a very exhaustive 
one, containing at least, 1,700 entries: Books, about 200; pamphlets 150, 
and periodical entries, about 100, besides over 1,000 newspaper items. 

It will be noticed that no examples have been given of the entries for 
the Lower Canadian Rebellion, judging that it would make too lengthy a 
paper, but the material, though not quite so exhaustive, is no less interesting 
and valuable. 

G H.P. 



Historians of the anti-slavery movement in the United States have, for 
the most part overlooked the v ery great measure of assistance that came to 
that cause from the geographical location of the free British provinces to the 
north and from the attitude of mind of the people of those provinces with 
regard to the blacks escaping out of bondage. To those in this country who 
lived during the years immediately preceding the Civil War, or who since 
that period have had anything to do with older coloured people, the term 
" Underground Railroad " is not the mysterious term that it is to a younger 
generation. When Prof. Siebert, of Ohio State University, one of the eminent 
historians of the United States, can make the statement that " the under- 
ground railroad was one of the greatest forces which brought on the Civil War 
and destroyed slavery," we on this side of the border may properly add that 
during a large part of the period of its activity Canada was practically essen- 
tial to the success of the underground system. 

Though slavery was legal in all the thirteen original states of the union 
at some time or another, it was natural that in the group of northern states it 
should die out quickly. It was excluded by Congress from the old northwest 
territory by the ordinance of 1787, thus creating a group of states around the 
Great Lakes that were never to know slavery. By 1820 the republic had been 
divided by a more or less irregular geographical line, north of which were the 
fvee states and south of it the slave states. It was in that year that the first 
state was created west of the Mississippi River, Missouri, and though lying as 
far north as southern Illinois, free, it came in as a slave state. From that 
time until the end of the Civil War one of the great issues in the nation's 
politics was the control of the new west, should it be free or slave. Prior to 
I8i30 or 1835 there had been many in the south to whom the evils of slavery 
were something to be rid of and abolition societies actually existed in the south 
before they did in the north. But from 1830 on there came a new teaching 
in the south, the doctrine that slavery is a positive good, ordained of God, 
for the benefit of the black race. Economic conditions were changed, too, by 
the spread of cotton growing. The old domestic slavery, bad though it might 
be, was a mild evil compared with the conditions that came when huge cotton 
plantations demanded vast hordes of slaves and there grew up the domestic 
slave trade. Virginia, the mother of presidents, became a vast breeding ground 
and her aristocratic families made fortunes in the selling of men, women and 
children to the far southern plantations. 

From the very earliest days slave owners had experienced severe losses by 
their slaves running away. As early as the first half of the seventeenth century 
there are found laws and regulations for the return from one colony to another 
of fugitives. In the Federal Constitution adopted at Philadelphia in 1787 
there is a clause which reads : 

" No person held to service or labour in one state under the laws thereof, escaping 
into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from 
such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such 
service or labour may be due." 



The first federal law providing for the return of a runaway slave was 
passed in 1793. The law was none too effective from the southern standpoint 
and was amended at various times until the passage of the famous Fugitive 
Recovery Bill of 1850 which proved a powerful influence in creating anti- 
slavery sentiment in the north. Under this act the question of ownership was 
determined by the simple affidavit of the person claiming the slave. The testi- 
mony of the slave himself was not to be received. There were heavy penalties 
for harbouring or interfering with the arrest of a runaway. Federal commis- 
sioners were paid ten dollars for every slave returned and only five dollars if 
the fugitive was discharged. Thus a direct premium was paid to convict fugi- 
tives. But the clause that particularly irritated the north was that which 
declared that the federal commissioners might call " all good citizens " to aid 
and assist in the execution of the law. It was at once pointed out that 
this made every northern citizen liable to be a slave-catcher. Added were 
such other injustices as denying jury trial, resting liberty on ex-parte evi- 
dence, making habeas corpus ineffective and offering a bribe to the federal 
commissioner to return the fugitive to slavery. 

" The passage of the new law," says one writer, " probably increased the 
number of antinslavery people more than anything else that had occurred 
during the whole agitation." 

The period from 1850 to 1861 is filled with incidents arising out of this 
fugitive slave law. The most famous probably is the case of Anthony Burns, 
who was arrested in Boston on May 24, 1854. Boston blazed with indignation 
and a riot broke out in which blood was shed. On the 2nd of June Burns was 
formally remanded to slavery. The authorities felt it necessary to line the 
streets with troops and place cannon in the squares on the day that Burns 
was taken from jail to the boat that was to carry him south. Fifty thousand 
people standing with bared heads watched the grim military procession pass. 
Business houses for blocks were draped with black cloth and at one prominent 
corner a coffin hung suspended over the street. It is not to be wondered at 
that the Richmond Ewtininer commented : " A few more such victories and 
the south is undone." 

The later life of Burns has a Canadian interest. His stay in the south 
was brief, money being subscribed to purchase his freedom and provide him 
an education. He became a clergyman, came to Canada and lived for many 
years at St. Catharines as a missionary among his own people. 

Canada had known slavery at an earlier date but had long since cleared 
herself of the blot. The French introduced slavery into Canada in an effort 
to meet the ever prevalent shortage of labour. It existed all through the Old 
Regime and was not changed by the passing of the country into the hands of 
the English. Indeed it wa3 not until the beginning of the nineteenth century 
that slavery disappeared, though at no time and in no locality was it ever 
existent on a large scale. The early disappearance of slavery in Canada had 
the effect of creating_an anti-slavery sentiment at an early date. In 1829, 
when the Negroes of Cincinnati were threatened with ruin by the enforce- 
ment of the Black Laws, they sent a deputation to York to interview the gov- 
ernor, Sir John Colborne, and find out if they would be allowed to take refuge 
in Canada. " Tell the republicans on your side of the line " replied the 
governor, " that we royalists do not know men by their colour. Should you 
come to us you will be entitled to all the privileges of the rest of His Majesty's 



subjects." * This position was taken by all of the later governors and on the 
very eve of the Civil War Sir Edmund Walker Head declared that " Canada 
could still afford homes to the fugitives." : 

From a very early period there had been those in the northern free 
states who felt it their duty to give aid and comfort to the blacks making their 
way north. This was particularly true of the Quakers who at all times were 
friends of freedom. Gradually there grew up a strangely organized system 
of aiding the fugitives and to this was given the name of the Underground 
Railroad. As the slave owners remarked, the slave disappeared at some point 
in the south and reappeared only in Canada as if he had gone through a long 
tunnel. The underground is the most romantic highway this new world hae 
known. It followed certain definite routes that have been charted by Prof. 
Siebert, and the small army of people that were engaged in its operations 
formed a sort of freemasonry of freedom that brings them the tribute of all 
who love liberty and hate oppression. A railroad " jargon " grew up. The 
places where fugitives making their way north could obtain temporary shelter, 
food and clothing were known as the " stations." Those living there and aid- 
ing the runaways were "station agents." More daring individuals travelling 
with the runaways and guiding them to freedom were " conductors/' while in 
Canada, ready to receive the new comers were " freight agents." A code for 
messages was used. An innocent telegram, stating that two cases of hardware 
were being forwarded, meant to the recipient that two slave men were on 
the way, while reference to cases of dry goods referred to women. Some- 
times these phrases had very special meaning, for there are instances where 
men and women were actually boxed up and shipped in freight cars to the 
north. 3 ^ 

With a Fugitive Slave Law that made freedom impossible even in Boston 
there was danger for the fugitive after 1850 except in Canada. From 1850 
to I860 1 , therefore, the negro immigration that had been a trickling stream 
ever since the war of 1812 became a regular torrent and thousands of 'coloured 
people crossed the border every year. Prof. Siebert has charted the main routes 
by which the fugitives made their way to Canada and his map shows most 
clearly the important influence which the free British provinces exerted upon 
slavery through their geographical location. Along the northern boundaries 
of the states of New York and Pennsylvania there were ten main points from 
which the runaways crossed into Canada, the more important of these being 
on the Niagara frontier. On Lake Erie and the Detroit River there were 
eight points at which entry was made into Canada, the Detroit River, of course 
taking first place. At Fort Maiden (Amherstburg) as many as thirty a day 
entered in the period after 1850. 4 On Lake Erie proper, a considerable 
number seem to have come in by Kettle Creek (Port Stanley), thence making 
their way to London or Ingersoll. - 

Slavery had scarcely disappeared in Canada before runaways from the 
southern states began to make their appearance, and that in considerable 
numbers. Isolated instances of negroes reaching Canada can be found, of 

1 Drew. North Side View of Slavery, pp. 244-245. 

2 Mitchell. Underground Railroad, pp. 150-151. 

3 The best account of the workings of the underground system is Prof. W. H. 
Siebert's " Underground Railroad," New York, 1899. He has an excellent chapter on 
the life of the negro refugees in Canada before the outbreak of the Civil War. 

4 Siebert : Underground Railroad, p. 194. 


course, at a very early date. As early as 1705 an act was passed in New 
York, and renewed in 1715, to prevent slaves running away to Canada from 
frontier towns like Albany, B and there was also frequent trouble between 
the French and the English or the French and the Dutch over the runaways^ 
who came to Canada. It was not, however, until the beginning of the 19th 
century that Canada began to be known to any degree among the negroes in 
the southern states. It was really the period of the discovery of Canada to 
the negro mind. The War of 1812 exercised powerful influence in directing 
negro thought to the free country to the north. Kentuckians and others 
who fought in the War of 1812 must have been surprised to encounter negroes 
among the Canadian forces opposed to them. But back in the south, when the 
news of the war began to penetrate there, the negro might fairly conclude that 
his master's enemy was likely to be his friend, and it was not long before 
the fact that Canada offered real asylum to the runaway had permeated the 
slave population throughout the border states at least. As early as 1815 
negroes were reported crossing the western reserve in Ohio in large numbers, 
and one group of underground railroad workers in Southern Ohio is stated 
to have passed on more than 1000' fugitives before 1817. 6 Dr. S. G. Howe, 
who made one of the best investigations of the condition of the refugees in 
Canada, states that the arrivals, few in number at the start, increased rapidly 
early in the century, with special activity between 1830 and 1840, and greatest 
activity of all between 1850 and I860, when the drastic Fugitive Slave Law 
was in operation. 7 

There were many ways in which the reputation of Canada was spread 
abroad among the negroes. The effect of the war of 1812 has already been 
noted. In this connection the slaveholders themselves probably helped to make 
Canada known by spreading the most foolish stories with regard to its cold 
climate and the hardships that were endured by the people there. 8 The 
shrewd negro mind saw through this, and was the more determined to reach _ 
the place that his master derided. Black men from Canada were a second ~ 
influence in making the country known. Many a refugee slave, successful in his 
break for liberty, would afterwards return to the slave states to assist relatives 
or friends to freedom. Such an one would serve to plant the germ of freedom 
in the minds of those with whom he came in contact and thereby increase 
the number of runaways. White men, too, went from Canada to spread the*"" 
news of freedom and to aid slaves in reaching their Canaan. James Redpath, 
the biographer of John Brown, writing in 1860, said that five hundred men 
went south from Canada annually to assist others in securing their freedom. 9 
Slaves who were sent from the south into the border states to work would 
likely hear of Canada there and so in many and devious ways there was a 
certain amount of acquaintance with Canada all through the slavery area. 

By 1826 the South was feeling the loss of its human property to such an " 
extent that an effort was made to reach an agreement with Great Britain on 
the subject. But Britain was not responsive. In the troubles of 1837-8 the 
citizens of the U. S. who tried to create trouble along the border received 

8 Northrup : Slavery in New York, pp. 258-259. 

Birney: James G. Birney and His Times, p. 435. 

'Howe: Refugees from Slavery in Canada West, pp. 11-12. 

In a speech in the U.S. Senate on May 5, 1858, Senator Mason, of Virginia, saM 
of the fugitives, "They perish with cold in Canada." See also Ward: Autobiograpl-v 
of a Fugitive Negro, p. 161. 

Eedpath : Public Life of Captain John Brown, p. 229. 


another shock like that of their compatriots of 1812, for again negroes were 
found defending their new home. All through the forties there was a steady 
influx of negroes into Canada, the Western Citizen of Chicago stating in its 
issue of Sept. 23, 1842, " there are over $400,000' worth of southern slaves 
in a town near Maiden, Canada." 

" It (slave abduction) threatens to subvert the institution in this state/' 
said a Missouri newspaper of the period, 10 while another authority estimated 
that between 1810 and 1850 no less than 100,000 slaves valued at $30,000,000 
were abducted from the south. X1 After 1850 the situation, from the southern 
standpoint grew worse and worse. Senator Polk, of Missouri, said in 1861 : 
" Underground railroads are established stretching from the remotest slave- 
holding states clear up to Canada. 12 The New Orleans Commercial Bulletin 
of Dec. 19, 1860, estimated that 1500 1 slaves had escaped annually for 50 years 
past, a loss to the slaveholders of $40,000,000. 13 A vigilance committee at 
Detroit is stated to have assisted 1200 negroes to freedom in one year. 14 A 
similar committee at Cleveland is stated to have assisted over 100 a month. 

Estimates of the number of refugees in Canada on the eve of the Civil 
War vary greatly. The Canadian census figures have been shown to be quite 
unreliable and, the estimates made by contemporary observers range all the 
way from 20,000 to 75,000. The bulk of the refugee population in Canada 
was located in the western part of the province of Upper Canada, where many 
of their descendants are to be found to-day. 

The fugitives who came into Canada during the half century before the 
Civil War were a continual object lesson to the people of Canada of what 
slavery meant in the degradation of the black race. Homeless, friendless, 
destitute, their bodies marked with the lash and the still more brutal punish- 
ment of the "paddle/' their feet torn, bleeding, frozen often as the result of 
a flight north in the dead of winter, these products of the slavery system 
made their own mute appeal to the compassion of a free people. Older people 
in Canada to-day still speak with emotion of the impression that was made 
upon their minds sixty years ago by the coming into their community of negro 
fugitives. The escaped negro was himself one of the powerful influences 
operating to create in Canada, as in the free .states of the North, a sentiment 
hostile to slavery. The Canadian newspapers of the fifties contain many 
narratives of fugitives reaching Canada, so that those who did not come into 
actual contact with the negroes were made acquainted with their condition. 
The negroes themselves also published newspapers at Chatham and at Sand- 
wich that were agencies in creating anti-slavery sentiment in Canada. 

Another influence that was powerful in creating anti-slavery sentiment 
in Canada, as it did on a tremendous scale in the northern states, was the 
publication of Mrs. Stowe's famous novel " Uncle Tom's Cabin." First pub- 
lished serially in the National, Era, an anti-slavery paper printed at "Wash- 
ington, it was issued in book form in March, 185<2, the first Canadian edition 
appearing in the same year and having a large sale. Above all else the book 
brought home the conviction that slavery was injustice, opposed both to the 

" Independent, Jan. 18, 1855, quoted in Siebert, Underground Railroad, p. 194. 

"Claiborne: Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman, vol. II, p. 28. 

12 Cong. Globe, XXXVI Cong., 2nd sess., 356. 

18 Quoted in American Anti-Slavery Society annual report for 1861, p. 158. 

"Mitchell: Underground Eailroad, p. 113. 


law of God and the best interests of mankind. Many who were careless of 
the issue were brought to a consciousness of the evils of the slavery system by 
the reading of this book, or by the dramatic presentations of it that soon 
followed its first publication. Even to-day, with the issue it presented settled 
a half a century ago, Uncle Tom's Cabin remains one of the most widely 
read books in Canada, as it is also one of the most widely read books in the 
United States. 

Towards the enslaved race the Canadian people performed remarkable 
service during the years 1815 to 1860. The Canadian hatred of slavery 
found its most spectacular outlet in abduction of slaves from the south, both 
by native Canadians and by Negroes who had settled in the country. Dr. 
Alexander Milton Boss tells in his memoirs 15 of more than 30 blacks whom 
he assisted to freedom. Josiah Henson, himself a fugitive, claims that he 
y brought out 118 slaves. 16 William Wells Brown says he took 69 1 over Lake 
Erie in six months ; 17 and the famous woman, Harriet Tubman, is credited 
with having assisted more than 300 fugitives to liberty, making repeated trips^ 
into the slave states for that purpose. 18 

A second work that was performed by Canadians was that of receiving 
the fugitives at the end of their flight and assisting them to get on their feet 
in the new country. Missions were established at Maiden, Sandwich, Toronto, 
and elsewhere, and the material as well as the moral side of the Negro was 
eared for. Rev. Isaac Rice, a graduate of Hamilton College, laboured for many 
years at Maiden. He had been well situated in Ohio as the pastor of a Pres- 
byterian church, and with fine prospects, but he gave it up in order to aid the 
helpless blacks who crowded over the Canadian border. At his missionary 
house in Maiden he sheltered hundreds of the fugitives until homes could be 
found for them elsewhere. 1{) 

Of another character was the work done by men like Rev. Wm. King, 
Henry Bibb and Josiah Henson in the founding of distinctly Negro colonies, 
with schools and churches and effort directed to improving the whole social 
status of the race. Interesting observations have been recorded in connection 
with these, colonies. The constant violation of domestic relations, under a 
slave system was bound to react on home life and take away the incentive to 
constancy, yet one of the first things married slaves did on arriving in Canada 
was to have their plantation union reaffirmed by the form of marriage legal 
in Canada. It was observed that the refugees tended to settle in families and 
to hallow marriage, and that sensuality lessened in freedom. Their religious 
instincts were manifested in charity to the sick and to newcomers and in their 
attitude towards women. The general improvement was well summed up by 
one competent observer, who wrote : " The refugees in Canada earn a living 
and gather property ; they build churches and send their children to school ; 
they improve in manners and morals not because they are picked men, but, 
because they are free men." 20 

18 Ross : Recollections and Experiences of an Abolitionist. 

18 Henson : Father Henson's Story of His Own Life, pp. 149-150. 
17 Brown : Narrative of William Wells Brown, p. 109. 
"Bradford: Harriet, the Moses of Her People, p. 88. 

19 Coffin: Reminiscences, pp. 249-250. 

20 Howe: Refugees from Slavery in Canada West, p. iv. For Howe's general con- 
clusions with regard to the improvement of the race in Canada, see pp. 101-110 of his 


Here, then, was a most important truth that Canada was showing forth 
to the people of the United States, namely that slavery was not necessary 
to the welfare of the black race, as the south claimed. Canada was also show- 
ing that, though brutalized by slavery, the best instincts of the Negro race 
were reasserted in freedom and the degraded bondsman developed morality 
and intelligence. In short Canada steadily gave the lie to the plea that slavery 
was the state best suited to the Negro, and the one best calculated to raise 
him intellectually and morally. 

But Canadians were not satisfied to be merely passive agents in the larger 
s phases of the long struggle against slavery. Early in 1851 there was organized 
in the city of Toronto the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada which continued ac- 
tive until the Emancipation Proclamation had been made effective and the 
United States had itself removed the blot from its fair name. The objects of 
the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada were declared to be "to aid in the extinction 
of slavery all over the world by means exclusively lawful and peaceable, moral 
v and religious." Rev. Dr. Willis, principal of Knox College, Toronto, was 
president of the Society all through its history and among others who assoc- 
iated themselves with its work were George Brown, the editor of The Globe, 
and Oliver Mowat, afterwards premier of this province. From Toronto the 
work of the Society was spread out to the leading centres of Negro population, 
branches being formed and a steady campaign carried on. The Globe under 
Brown proved a stout ally, and gave much attention to the Society's work. 
Working relations were entered into with the Anti-Slavery societies in Great 
Britain and in the United States and a large amount of relief work was looked 
after by the Women's Auxiliaries. Though the churches generally, with the 
exception of the Presbyterians, held somewhat aloof from the work of the 
Society, recruits in plenty were drawn from the clergy. It was a Presbyterian 
clergyman who was president of the Society all through its history; the first 
secretary was a Methodist minister, and on the committees appointed from 
year to year there was always to be found a good representation of the clergy. 21 

The Canadian law gave the Negro fugitive all the rights of citizenship 
and protected him in their enjoyment. The Negro was encouraged to take up 
y land and it gave him the franchise the same as his white neighbour. Negroes 
were enrolled in the Canadian militia and bore their share of service during 
the troubles of 1837-8. " The colored men," says Josiah Henson, " were 
willing to defend the Government that had given them a home when they had 
fled from slavery." 22 Under the Canadian law the fugitives were allowed to 
send their children to the common schools or to have separate schools provided 
for them out of their share of the school funds. 23 Separate schools were 
established in some places where prejudice existed and religious agencies also 
established schools at a number of points. Visitors noted that a surprisingly 
large number of the Negroes learned to read and write after coming to Canada 
and in the University of Toronto a number of prizes were taken by coloured 
youths. Principal McCullum of the Hamilton Collegiate Institute was quoted 
as saying that his teachers agreed that the blacks were the equal of the whites 

a For a fuller account of the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada see Landon : The 
Anti-Slavery Society of Canada, Journal of Negro History, Vol. IV, No. 1, January, 
1919, pp. 33-40. 

83 Henson : An Autobiography, p. 176. 

29 Howe: Refugees from Slavery in Canada West, pp. 77-78; also, Woodson: 
Education of the Negro Prior to 1861, pp. 248-255. 


in mentality. The best educational work seems to have been done by the 
schools which were established by the Negroes themselves, the mission schools 
and those located in the Negro colonies. 24 Government interest was shown 
by the incorporation in 1859 of the " Association for the Education of the 
Coloured People of Canada/' the object of which was to secure educational 
advantages for the younger people of the race. 25 

The attempts at planting distinctly Negro settlements in Western Ontario 
form one of the interesting phases of Canada's relation to the slavery issue. 
Most interesting" of all probably was the work of Eev. William King, who was 
the founder of the Elgin Association or Buxton Settlement. King was an 
Irishman, a graduate of Glasgow College, who came to America and was made 
rector of a college in the state of Louisiana. There, by marriage, he became 
the owner of fifteen slaves of an estimated value of $9,000. For a time he 
placed them on a neighbouring plantation and gave them the proceeds of their 
labour, but that did not satisfy his conscience, and in 1848 he brought them to , 
Canada, thereby, giving them their freedom. But his work did not end there, 
for he felt it his duty to look after them, to educate them and make of them 
useful citizens. With some prominent Canadians he organized what was 
known as the Elgin Association which was legally incorporated " for the settle- 
ment and moral improvement of the coloured population of Canada, for the 
purpose of purchasing crown or clergy reserve lands in the township of Raleigh 
and settling the same with coloured families resident in Canada of approved 
moral character." The aims were met with decided opposition from certain 
elements in Kent County, but this did not impede the progress of the Associa- 
tion, a tract of about 9000 acres south of Chatham being purchased. This 
was surveyed into small farms of 50 acres each, which were sold to the colonists 
at $2.50 an acre, payable in ten annual instalments. Each settler bound him- 
self within a certain period to build a house, at least as good as the model 
house set up by the Association, to provide himself with necessary implements 
and to proceed with the work of clearing land. Roads were soon cut through the 
forest, and the work of clearing up the country began. The slaves who had 
been freed by Rev. Mr. King formed the nucleus of the colony, but others 
came as soon as the land was offered, so that within four years there were 400 
people located, and in 1857 it had 800 population. Dr. Samuel Howe gave 
the warmest praise to what he saw at the Elgin Settlement : 

" Buxton is certainly a very interesting place," he wrote. " Sixteen 
years ago it was a wilderness. Now good highways are laid out in all direc- 
tions through the forest and by their side, standing back 33 feet from the road, 
are about 200 cottages, all built in the same pattern, all looking neat and 
comfortable ; around each one is a cleared place of several acres which is well 
cultivated. The fences are in good order, the barns seem well filled, and cattle 
and horses, and pigs and poultry, abound. There are signs of industry and 
thrift and comfort everywhere; signs of intemperance, of idleness, of want, 
nowhere. There is no tavern and no groggery; but there is a chapel and a 
schoolhouse. Most interesting of all are the inhabitants. Twenty years ago 
most of them were slaves, who owned nothing, not even their children. Now 
they own themselves ; they own their houses and farms ; and they have their 
wives and children about them. They are enfranchised citizens of a govern- 

24 Howe: Refugees from Slavery in Canada West, pp. 79-81. 
38 Statutes of Canada, 1859, cap. XXIV. 


ment which protects their rights. The present condition of all these colonists, 
as compared with their former one, is remarkable. The settlement is a perfect 
success. Here are men who were bred in slavery, who came here and purchased 
land at the government price, cleared it, bought their own implements, built 
their own houses after a model and have supported themselves in all material 
circumstances and now support their schools in part. I consider that this 
settlement has done as well as a white settlement would have done under the 
same circumstances." 26 

Interchange of effort between the abolitionists of Canada and those of the 
United States was noticeable all through the course of the movement. The 
Canadian negroes did their part, of course, chiefly by going south and helping 
relatives and friends to escape to freedom. In this they were given the active 
assistance of a few white Canadians, Dr. Alex Milton Ross being the most 
noteworthy example of this daring kind of work. From the United States 
there came in workers on behalf of the fugitives whose efforts deserve every 
tribute that has ever been paid to them. Hiram Wilson and Isaac Rice, 
missionaries to the negroes, are names that should never be forgotten by the 
coloured race and like tribute might be paid to the work of such black men as 
Rev. S. R. Ward, Austin Steward, Rev. J. W. Loguen, Fred Douglass and Henry 
Bibb. Bibb was a worker on both sides of the line, putting in several years 
as a speaker for the anti-slavery forces in Michigan before coming to Canada 
to attempt a colonization venture in what is now Essex County. Benjamin 
Lundy, the most prominent of the pioneer abolitionists, was an early visitor 
to Canada and wrote an account of his trip in The Genius of Universal Eman- 
cipation. Noticeable, too, is the fact that the American abolitionists took deep 
interest in the condition of the fugitives in Canada. Men like Levi Coffin, 
and more particularly Benjamin Drew, made careful investigations of the 
results that had attended emancipation by coming to Canada. 

Abolition was a common cause for Canadians and their neighbours. 
Boundary lines did not separate in this fight for the freedom of a race that 
went on during half a century. The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada entered 
into working relations with the American Anti-Slavery Society at its inception. 
/ Newspaper comment interpreted the movement in the United States to Can- 
adian readers and few American editors had a surer grasp of the direction 
in which events were heading after 1850 than did George Brown of The 
Globe. His paper not only reported the activities of the Canadian abolitionists 
but as well kept them in close touch with what was going on across the line. 
Perusal of Globe files, particularly in the fifties, shows that newspaper always 
aggressive in the support of the cause of the slave. It is quite true that not 
all the Canadian press was of like mind, but a pro-slavery attitude, or scornful 
indifference, was never quite so marked as Brown's ceaseless anti-slavery 
agitation through the columns of his newspaper. The actual attitude of the 
Canadian parties was quite clearly indicated by their newspapers. The Tory 
press was usually scornful of the abolitionist movement in the United States 
and treated the Canadian effort with more or less contempt. The Reformer 
in Canada naturally fitted abolition into his programme and gave to it some of 
the same enthusiasm that he directed to the curing of distinctly Canadian 

28 For a fuller account of the Buxton Colony, see Landon : The Buxton Settlement 
in Canada, Journal of Negro History, vol. Ill, No. 4, October, 1918, pp. 360-367. An 
unpublished history of the colony, based on the papers of Rev. William King, is by 
Mrs. Annie Straith Jamieson, of Montreal. 


abuses. Prof. A. B. Hart has drawn attention to the fact that the thirties and 
forties in the United States were a period in which religious life had as its 
characteristic the sincere effort to make religion effective, " to make individual 
and community correspond to the principles of Christianity." This ideal led 
to the organization of various reform movements, " causes/' each of which 
took the form of a national society, with newspaper organs, frequent meetings 
and appeals to the public. Some of this same spirit was manifest in Canada 
at the same period and the anti-slavery cause gathered to its support a few 
people who practically devoted their whole lives to its ends, while many others 
contributed of their time and money as opportunity afforded. The anti-slavery 
movement had about it an atmosphere of crusade that gave it a spiritual 
power with many people. Nor must it be overlooked that to some Canadians 
of the time, there was a secret pleasure in striking a blow at the institution 
that seemed to be the chief power at Washington. Not that the average 
Canadian loved the northerner or despised the southern slaver. The opposite 
would be nearer the truth, but, when the north permitted its laws to be used 
to arrest runaways in the streets of northern cities and to drag them back to 
slavery, the Canadian of the time was not far out when he associated the north 
with south in the guilt of slavery. That belief was nurtured by the constant 
attempts at compromise, and it was not until towards the end of the fifties 
that there was a clear understanding in Canada as to where sympathies should 
lie. To Thomas D'Arcy McGee is due in part the credit for setting Canadian 
opinion aright in this respect. He saw and described the southern Confed- 
eracy as a " pagan oligarchy " and strongly championed the cause of the north. 

John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary in 1820 : " If slavery be the 
destined sword in the hand of the destroying angel, which is to sever the tie? 
of this Union, the same sword will cut in sunder the bonds of slavery itself." 
It took forty years for that prophetic utterance to he fulfilled, and" there were 
many agencies at work during that long period working to the one end of 
destroying the system of human bondage that had been planted in the new 
lands of the western hemisphere, and that sapped its life for so many years. 
Not all these agencies working for the destruction of slavery were apparent 
on the surface. A contrast of conditions as between 1830 and 1860 might have 
seemed to indicate that the future of the Negro was darker than ever before 
on the eve of the Civil war. The area given up to slavery in 1860 was larger 
than at any previous time, the slaves were more numerous and the slave codes 
and Fugitive Slave Law the most rigorous the country had ever known. 
Steps were even being taken to revive the African slave trade. 

All this existed after 30 years of debate on the issue. It is doubtful if 
either side made converts to its own particular views. Indeed, by 1860, the 
South had reached the point where denunciation of slavery had ceased, when 
no further efforts were being made to ameliorate the slave's condition, when 
justification of slavery had become praise of the system, and to speak ill of the 
institution was regarded as treason. Naturally, the South desired to see the 
area of slave territory increased and never ceased its demands for expansion ; 
but as individuals, the slave-holders were more powerfully affected by two 
other considerations, both related to their property, namely, the constant fear 
that the slaves would rise up and murder them, and the constant loss suffered 
by the slaves running away or being spirited away. In a sense the Civil War 
began when the first Negro slave was abducted, 'and every loss added to the 
steadily growing division in the country. The climax came when the people 


of the North rebelled against being made slave catchers by a Fugitive Slave 
Law, and instead gave assistance, as never before, to aiding the slaves to gain 
their liberty. There was a war raging between North and South for ten years 
before the first gun was fired at Sumter, and in that conflict Canada had 
become an ally of the free states. With the opening of the Civil War the 
Canadian Government assumed an attitude of neutrality, but of her citizens 
at least 35,000 joined the Northern armies and played their part in war, as 
they had already played it in peace, to the end of making the Negro race free. 



The Insect has been called the "Outlaw of Creation;" and some have 
not hesitated to say that the great fight ahead of man is with the Insect, and 
that if he does not conquer the Insect, it will conquer him and civilization 

Whatever truth there may be in these somewhat alarming statements, 
there can be no doubt of the tremendous amount of misery and mischief done 
by some kinds of insects. And the mosquito is not the least noxious. Her 
activities are almost as varied as the methods of spelling her name; Murray 
gives twenty-six spellings and the mosquito has at least a score of ways of 
being a nuisance. 

All writers on early Upper Canada agree in their account of the extraordin- 
ary number of mosquitoes in that new land; apparently the Arctic regions 
in the summer are the only places which could be cited as a rival in that 
respect. Dr. Howison who spent a few years in this Province in the second 
decade of the last century tells of visiting the Gaelic settlement in Glengarry, 
and says that on going up to his bedroom at that place the moment the door 
was opened a cloud of mosquitoes and other insects settled on the candle and 
extinguished it. While such an occurrence must have been unusual, every one 
who lived even half a century ago in rural Ontario must have seen swarms 
not much if at all less thick. The "rain barrel " without which the farm mis- 
tress could not do her washing was placed at every corner of the house and 
almost invariably was full of " wigglers " or baby mosquitoes, larvae. Offensive 
as the mosquito was and is, her music annoying, her bite irritating and poison- 
ous to man and beast, until recently she was not blamed' for more. And yet it 
is quite certain that what we now call malaria is due to the mosquito. In olden 
Upper Canada, fever and ague, ("fevernager" was the common pronunciation,) 
remittent fever or "fever of the country/' was an almost intolerable curse. 
The cause was generally considered to be the bad air of swamps or low lying 
undrained lands, and if one here and there suggested the mosquito as the real 
offender he had no hearers. It was not until the closing years of the 19th 
century that it was scientifically established that the real cause is a very 
minute parasite in the blood and introduced by the Anopheles mosquito 
that kind of mosquito which stands on a window pane with the proboscis and 
body in a straight line at an angle and not parallel with the surface, and 
" the female of the species is more deadly than the male." 

The Anopheles has been busy in this Province ever since it was a province 
and it would be impossible to set out all her deeds. We shall speak of only 
two or three. 

After the foolish and fratricidal war of 1812 had been waged for two 
years and a half, the contending parties agreed to quit as they began. Ry 



the Treaty of Ghent they also agreed to refer to two Commissioners, one 
appointed by each party, the determination of the middle line of the inter- 
national waters which was the boundary agreed upon in the Treaty of 1783 
(which acknowledged the independence of the United States.) 

General Peter Buel Porter, who had served with some credit in the War 
of 1812 and who was to be Secretary of War in Adams' Cabinet, was selected 
as the American Commissioner^ and John Ogilvy of Montreal, the British 
Commissioner. Their duties led these men into the St. Clair Flats where the 
deadly Anopheles swarmed. Porter survived the attack, but Ogilvy, bitten by 
the insects, was stricken with fever and died at Amherstburg, September 28, 
1819, the doctors all attributing the fatal infection to the miasmic air of the 
lowlands. - 

A little before the St. Clair mosquitoes plied their deadly beaks on 
John Ogilvy, their sisters were busy with equally nefarious if not equally fatal 
work at the other end of the peninsula. 

In June, 1817, there entered the Province of Upper Canada a Scotsman 
over whose head forty winters had passed and who was to become almost by 
chance one of the most noted men in our whole Provincial history. Robert 
Gourlay he later adopted his mother's maiden name " Fleming " as a middle 
name was born in Fifeshire of a moderately wealthy family ; he devoted him- 
self to farming but quarrelled with almost everyone but his devoted wife and 
children. Well educated, a man of good principles, honest, generous, ever 
mindful of the poor, he had peculiarities which were sometimes not far 
removed from insanity; he seems always to have been anxious to put some 
one in the wrong, not for any advantage to himself but for chastisement of the 
wrongdoer; he quarrelled on trivial pretexts with his neighbour the Earl of 
Kellie, his landlord the Duke of Somerset and several of his friends. At 
length he made up his mind to come to Upper Canada where he had land. 
He did not intend to remain more than six months, but purposed to return 
to his farm in Wiltshire. But I'homme propose; he visited his wife's kinsman, 
Thomas Clark, at Queenston in July 1817 and there he was laid up for two 
months with a fever caused by the stinging of mosquitoes. This misfortune 
entirely ended his plan of a speedy return to England. 

He had sent out printed enquiries to various parts of the Province ; and 
had received certain answers as to the state of the various townships. 

Gourlay remaining in the country published an Address to the Resident 
Land Owners of the Province, advising the drawing up of a full statistical 
account of the Province and for that purpose the holding of meetings through- 
out the country to draw up answers to questions which he framed. The last 
of these attracted most attention : "What in your opinion retards the improve- 
ment of your Township in particular or the Province in general and what 
would most contribute to the same ?" 

Gourlay most emphatically states and apparently with perfect truth 
that he did not intend Parliamentary Reform and that he had no political 
object in view ; he published the address in the official organ of the Government, 
the Upper Canada Gazette, after having consulted the Administrator, the Chief 
Justice and many of the leading personages of the little capital. Only one 
Councillor saw anything wrong in the Address; the Reverend Dr. Strachan 
as soon as he saw it in print, considered it of an inflammatory and dangerous 
nature. Gourlay was annoyed and angry. He took no pains to be conciliatory 
but rather the reverse, he wrote articles in the Press which aggravated his 


supposed offence and confirmed Dr. Strachan's bad opinion of him. The view 
spread amongst the official classes, and it was spread by them that Gonrlay 
w;as seditious and desirous of overturning the existing- order of government 
and society ; he was even charged with being pro- American, an imputation at 
that time quite as serious as that of being a pro-German at the present. 

There is no reasonable doubt that both Gourlay and Strachan were 
perfectly honest; both desired the best advantage of the Province; both were 
Scots, both "dour," both fixed in their views what one's enemies call 
stubborn, one's friends, firm both intolerant of opposition and both of perfect 
courage of conviction. The contest for awhile lay between these ^ two 
implacable countrymen, the divine suspecting the farmer, the farmer despising 
the divine. 

But Gourlay could only talk and write; Strachan could act. In a short 
time the Province was stampeded, the Legislature forbade certain meetings 
which had been projected to carry out Gourlay's scheme, and the patriotic and 
philanthropic Gourlay was branded all over the Province as a traitorous self 
seeking intruder. 

Prosecuted for seditious libel at Brockville and at Kingston, he was twice 
acquitted but there was a weapon in the existing law more effective than the 
law against libel. 

In 1804 owing to the large number of disaffected Irish who were entering 
the -Province, a Bill which had been at first intended as a protection against 
Americans hostile to our monarchical system was enlarged in its passage 
through the Legislature to cover the case of British subjects as well. As 
finally agreed to, it authorized certain officials, Judges, Executive and Legisla- 
tive Councillors and others to cause the arrest of anyone who was not an 
inhabitant of the Province for six months or who had not taken the oath of 
allegiance, and if not satisfied with his words or conduct to order him to leave 
the Province if he did not leave the Province within the time given he could 
be tried for so doing and if found guilty he could be again ordered to leave 
the Province. If he disobeyed he was liable to the death penalty " without 
benefit of clergy." 

This Statute had seldom been appealed to but it was in full force when 
the enemies of Gourlay failed in their prosecutions of him for seditious libel. 
Two magistrates of Niagara had him arrested; he was ordered to depart 
from the Province ; he refused and was cast into the Niagara Jail to await his 
trial at the Assizes. In the Fall of 1819 he was tried and convicted; ordered 
to leave the Province, he passed through the State of New York and the 
Province of Lower Canada for the Old Land. 

There oscillating between England and Scotland he remained for nearly 
fourteen years, three of them in prison because he refused to give bail when 
required; he horse-whipped Henry (afterwards Lord) Brougham in the Lobby 
of the House of Commons because (as he claimed) Brougham had neglected 
a Petition which Gourlay wished presented to the House of Commons; he 
worked on the road as a pauper; he showered petitions on the House of 
Commons, the House of Lords, the King ; he drew up plans for the improve- 
ment of Edinburgh, for the settlement of New York State, and had the 
luxury of law suits both in the English and the Scottish Courts and at length 
in 1833 he returned to this continent. He refused William Lyon Mackenzie's 
advances but ultimately returned to Upper Canada in 1838. From that time 


on, the " Banished Briton," as he called himself, kept pestering the Provincial 
Parliament with petitions about his wrongs and demanding an admission that 
he had been wrongly banished. At length he was given a small pension which 
he refused and a pardon which he protested against ; he lived in Upper Canada, 
the United States and Scotland until 1863 when he died in Edinburgh. 

Gourlay is one of the most striking figures in our whole history: he just 
failed of being a great and a useful man ; his prosecution which, while within 
the law, was really persecution, had some influence in uniting the forces 
opposed to " Family Compact " rule, although he himself always despised 
Responsible Government. 

If the mosquitoes had let him alone, he would doubtless have returned 
to his English farm and quarrels with his landlord and his neighbours, and 
the world would have never heard of the Banished Briton and Neptunian. 

The next victim of the Anopheles which word, by the way, means in 
Attic Greek, worthless or injurious to be mentioned is a dignified Judge of 
His Majesty's Court of King's Bench for the Province of Upper Canada 
the Honourable Levius Peters Sherwood, the son of a Loyalist father who in 
1784 came to Upper Canada with his family and slaves, locating about two 
miles below Prescott in the Township of Augusta. Levius Peters, the second 
son, joined the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1801. being the second 
Student at Law on its Rolls : he was called in 1803, and soon attained 
eminence at the Bar. He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Leeds 
in the Sixth and Eighth Parliaments and Speaker in the latter; he was a 
consistent and active supporter of the Government and after being Judge of 
n District Court, he became a Justice of the Court of King's Bench in 1825. 
His health even at that time was undermined and he was liable to give way 
under any undue strain. 

It became the duty of Mr. Justice Sherwood to preside at York in 18-28 
at some of those semi-political trials which convulsed the Province and its 
little capital, and which were symptomatic of a deep-seated and far-reaching 
discontent with the Government and its officials, the best known exponent of 
this discontent being William Lyon Mackenzie. In 1826 some young men of 
the official class showed their resentment against Mackenzie by raiding his 
printing office and throwing his type into the Bay : he sued for the trespass 
and was given damages many times greater than his real loss ; then Mackenzie 
began making personal attacks on Sheriff Jarvi*, calling- him a murderer 
basing the charge upon his having killed young Ridout in a duel some years 
before. Jarvis published statements of those present to show that the duel 
had been perfectly fair on his part: then Francis Collins an enthusiastic 
Radical Irishman, who claimed descent from the old Irish Kings, began 
making similar attacks in his newspaper the Canadian Freeman on Henry 
John Boulton, the Solicitor General, who had been Jarvis' second in the duel; 
the Solicitor General called upon the Attorney General, John Beverley Robin- 
son, to prefer a Bill for Criminal Libel against Collins which he did; the 
Grand Jury found a True Bill whereupon Collins attacked them also : they 
found a True Bill for that libel also; Collins was to be arraigned on the two 
Bills but he asked an enlargement which Mr. Justice Sherwood granted; 
afterwards there was apparently a misunderstanding Robinson not acceding 
to Collins.' request for an adjournment of his trial. Collins was convicted ; he 
then published an article reflecting on Robinson's "native malignancy" and 
was again indicted for Criminal Libel. This trial also was before Mr. Justice 


Sherwood; his health always poor was at the time very bad; the mosquitoes 
had tortured him and he was suffering from indisposition and great debility 
occasioned by a severe attack of the " fever of the country." After having 
charged the jury he became so ill that he was obliged to retire from the Bench ; 
before doing so he stated to Collins and his counsel that Mr. Justice Hagerman 
would receive the verdict if they assented; this they did and Mr. Justice 
Hagerman took his place. The Jury brought in a verdict of " Guilty of a 
libel on the Attorney General " the clerk entered a verdict of " Guilty " on 
the Indictment, but Dr. Eolph, Counsel for Collins, objected and Mr. 
Justice Hiagermaii then told the Jury that if they found the defendant guilty 
of any part of the Indictment, they should return a general verdict of 
" Guilty "which they did. 

It is probable that the more experienced Sherwood would have acted 
differently and in such a way as not to be open to objection. Much complaint 
was made against Hagerman's direction and more against Sherwood's very 
heavy sentence of a fine of 50, imprisonment for one year and to find sureties 
for good behaviour for three years. 

The sentence was approved by Sir Peregrine Maitland and his Executive 
Council; but the House of Assembly took a different view. Collins was sent 
to jail where he complained of the Sheriff, Mr. Jarvis, not supplying him 
with bread, the Sheriff contending that this was an indulgence extended to 
indigent persons only and not a legal right; as a matter of fact, Collins had 
given his allowance of bread to the wife of an absconded jailer who had to 
support herself and her nine children. Collins did succeed in forcing the 
Sheriff to supply him with wood but there is no record of success in his claim 
for free bread. 

The citizens of York and others petitioned for his release, but unsuccess- 
fully; at length, the Lieutenant Governor asked for instructions from the 
Home Authorities, the Law Officers decided that the trial had been 
conducted in accordance with law but thought the sentence too severe, 
recommending its reduction by one half, and after ten months imprison- 
ment the editor was released without bail. 

The examples given may perhaps suffice to indicate the evil effect of 
the mosquito in this Province in early days but who can estimate the toll 
of misery, disease and death taken by the tiny pest? The use of quinine has 
much mitigated the trouble for many years, but it is by no means got rid 
of. In the country to-day we see the fretful babe, with its swollen face 
writhing in torture from the irritation of the poisonous bites, the hard- 
working mother deprived of needed rest and sleep, the toiler of the field 
affecting to despise but in reality dreading the plague which saps his 
strength and dissipates his energy the list is unending. In simple self- 
defence " the mosquito must go." 




To perpetuate and honour the names of certain pioneers who founded 
Gananoque's first Public School; to present as far as possible complete 
transcriptions of the early documents recovered concerning that work, and 
to impress upon the principals, the school boards, and the local teachers 
of to-day their duty of bearing in lasting remembrance those pioneers who 
laid so good a foundation, are the chief objects of this paper. 

Any item concerning the initial step of civilization's noblest movement 
education is of great importance, and eminently worthy of permanent 
record. By the reproduction of some original documents concerning the 
step taken in Gananoque one hundred years ago, the writer hopes to rescue 
some important historical facts before the -fast fading characters of a most 
beautiful handwriting become wholly illegible. 

Blown about by the winds, the first paper was salvaged from the street 
(Brock Street), one early morning. A short time after, others were ob- 
tained from children who had found them on a " dump." Some thirty or 
forty odd papers and letters, all dealing with Gananoque life of a century 
ago, were obtained in this way, by one who fully realized their great import- 
ance to the community. 

The documents referring to the early school were copied and then 
presented to His Honour Judge Herbert Stone MacDonald, for it was from 
the old homestead they had been wantonly discarded as " trash." The Judge, 
appreciating their value, sent them to the press for publication, which was 
partly carried out; but other school papers equally important came to hand 
later, and the whole were again collected for the present effort. Light thus 
falls across the first milestone in a century of educational endeavour in 
Gananoque. The names of worthy men again appear to the view of a well 
established community. State documents may reveal state history, but for 
local history within the state go to the pioneers. 

First mention of the actual locality known as Gananoque is to be found 
in the " New York Colonial Documents " where the entries kept by Frontenac 
on his journey up the St. Lawrence to Kataroqui Kingston are published 

Two men sought the grant of land whereon stands the town of to-day ; 
these were Sir John Johnson and Colonel Joel Stone. Both men were 
deemed worthy of consideration for the land grant, which was evenly divided 
by the Gananoque River passing along its centre. The grant, which was 
roughly triangular in shape, was bounded on the south by the River St. 
Lawrence, on the northeast by the Gananoque River to the mouth of Mud 
Creek, and by a line running from there southwesterly to the River St. 



Lawrence at Lindsay's Point of to-day. The Point at that time was known 
as Shiriff's Point, a man by the name of Sliiriff having settled there. When 
Shiriff died his wife went to live with Carey and his young daughter, Mrs. 
Shiriff being Carey's sister. Carey's daughter married a Mr. Jamieson 
whose name appears in the list of proprietors of the schoolhouse later. 
Jamieson's family consisted of two daughters and a son, whose families are 
included among Gananoque's population of to-day. 

Colonel Stone was a direct descendant of William Stone, who sailed 
from London, England, with twenty-five others in May, 1639, landing and 
settling in Connecticut. In this state Colonel Stone was born, at Gilford, 
in August, 1749. After helping his father on the farm until he grew to 
manhood, he developed inclinations for business in which he became a 
success. He lost his winnings from this source through his British loyalty, 
which caused the revolutionary element to become suspicious of him. 

A " Gananoque Souvenir " published by the late Treasurer of Gananoque, 
Mr. Freeman Britton, a brother of the learned Judge, tells us that he rode 
off one night for New York, where he joined General Wentworth's forces 
on June the 20th, 1777. In 1778 he was commissioned to recruit for the 
forces of Sir William Howe, a brother of the equally famous " Black Dick " 
or Eichard, Lord Viscount Howe, who at that time was Commander of 
His Britannic Majesty's fleet in North America, and who later, as first sea 
lord, took command again and broke the blockade of Gibraltar on the 
" Glorious First of June." 

The Colonel, while engaged on his recruiting mission, was surprised and 
taken by the rebels at night; he escaped, however, and being in ill health 
went to the sea to recuperate; returning to New York he was assigned to 
a Lieutenancy in Company 22, New York Militia. 

On the twenty-third of March, 1780, he married Miss Leah Moore, 
the daughter of an ocean skipper, William Moore. 

The Colonel then made application to England for recognition of his 
services, and later went over there personally to arrange his affairs to the 
best advantage. For three years he remained in this endeavour, and finally 
had to prearrange matters and leave for the west and his new home in Upper 
Canada. The Colonel's wife, by appointment, met him at Quebec, in 1786, 
and after a brief stay there they went on to New John's Town, or Cornwall of 
to-day. He arrived there in 1787 with his family of four persons, himself 
and wife, with two children, William and Mary Stone, the latter becoming 
eventually the wife of Charles MacDonald, uncle to the present learned 
Judge MacDonald. A leatherbound handbook of William Stone's which 
bears his signature and date of purchase in Montreal, is now in the possession 
of the writer. 

It was Lieutenant-Governor Gore who later gave the rank of Colonel 
to Joel Stone when he was posted to the command of the 2nd Kegiment of 

Joel Stone landed at Gananoque in 1792 and erected a temporary abode 
on " The Point " which is now the coal and lumber yard. 

A Frenchman named Carey answered a signal hung in front of Stone's 
camp, and they eventually became partners, but the partnership was of 
short duration. It seems to have terminated when the camp took fire and 
destroyed practically all of Stone's effects. After this Carey went outside 


of Stone's boundary line to the west and settled with his young daughter, 
previously mentioned. 

Stone, by remaining, became the first settler and founder of Gananoque. 
His letters of application for privileges are addressed from Cadanoryhqua 
and Ganenoquay, respectively, in 1792. The town is situated in the extreme 
southwest corner of the County of Leeds, and in the township of that name. 
It is 18 miles from Kingston East and 32 miles from Brockville West. Of 
such great beauty is this charming location that the natives upon the first 
arrival of the French were found to be calling the locality " Manatona," or 
" The Garden of the Great Spirit," and such it may well be called. No 
grander or more scenic aquatic playground exists than the Thousand Islands. 
They are not only beautiful ; they are sublime in the fullest sense. Canadians 
generally, know very little of their magnificence. A more glorious heritage 
never fell to a worthy people than the Thousand Islands to Canadians. 

Many forms and renderings of the name Gananoque have fallen under 
the observation of the writer, ancUfor the sake of its interest he has retained 
them and they are presented her^l Variation in spelling such a name might 
very well be traced to its ready adaption in various forms; again, it might 
be attributable to the loose, guttural and very difficult articulations of the 
aborigines from whom it passed through the French pronunciation into 
English. We are sure that the chief interests of the early coiners were 
centred in the more lucrative peltry bales, or the more material log heaps 
and fallow fires, than in the spelling and definition of the name. A count 
shows 15 different renderings of the name of which Count Frontenac's comes 
first in an excerpt from his diary ; he tells us that : " On the eleventh a good 
day's journey was made, having passed all that vast group of islands with 
which the river is spangled, and camped at a point above the river called : 

1. On-non-da-qui, up which many of them go hunting. 

2. Gan-non-o-qui. From the Huron, " Oughseauto," a deer. 

3. Kah-non-no-kwen. " A meadow rising out of the water." Leavitt's 
History of Leeds and Grenville. 

4. Ca-da-no-ghue. " Rocks in running water." 

5. Ga-na-wa-ge. From Morgan's Map of the St. Lawrence. 

6. Ga-na-na,-quy. Ontario Archives, 1905, pp. 504 and 512. 

7. Co-na-no-qui. Ontario Archives, 1905, p. 511. 

8. Ca-da-noc-qui. From Colonel Stone's application to the legislature 
for bridge and ferry privileges, 1801. Granted this, he carried out his plans 
and charged toll as follows: Horse and one man, one shilling; one man, 
threepence; one boatload, one shilling and sixpence. The Colonel passed 
his privileges on to one Silas Person in 1802. 

9. Ca-da-no-ry-hqua. From Colonel Stone's letters. 

10. Ga-nen -no-quay. From an old account book of the Colonel's, 1819. 

11. Gau-nuh-nau-queeng. " Rendezvous, or Place of Residence." From 
" History of the Ojebway Indians " (p. 164) by Rev. Peter Jones (Kakewa- 

12. Ga-na-no-qui. Not Iroquois, but supposed to be Huron. 

13. Ga-na-no-coui. Chewett's Plan of Upper Canada, 1793. 

14. Gar-an-o-que. Proclamation of Counties in Public Archives. Sess. 


Papers 29. C. Page 79, Constitutional History Canada. This form is 
admittedly a misprint. 

15. Ga-na-no-que. The accepted form of to-day which first appears (to 
my knowledge) in an old account book in the early twenties. 

Regarding Sir John Johnson, he was a son of Sir William Johnson 
who figured so prominently in colonial wars. Sir John commanded a regi- 
ment of some eight hundred men; the post of Isle aux Noix was held by 
him and it was from thence, at the north end of Lake Champlain, the 
discharged fighters under him came to Canada where they had secured grants 
by drawing lots. It was one of these men, in the person of Thomas Howland. 
who eventually became one of the first trustees of Gananoque's school, that 
Sir John put in charge of his interests at Gananoque. Mr. Howland cleared 
a piece of land and erected a home near Skinner's factory of to-day. Sir 
John, who never lived upon his Gananoque grant, chose to make his abode 
in the Province of Quebec, at Argenteuil, and later he became its seigneur. 
Sir John never developed his holding, nor its water power privileges, and all 
eventually passed to Joel Stone and Charles MacDonald. 

To retrace our steps backward a little, we find that the first substantial 
habitation was a log house built to accommodate hired help as well as 
Colonel Stone. It stood, we are told, where Church and Tanner Streets 
meet at King Street, practically in the middle of the highway of to-day. 
Here Stone cleared land first. It was a part of his clearing that later 
became the site of the first schoolhouse, as it was afterward the site of at 
least two others, as well as a church. 

In the growth of the community the first essential was some form of 
civil government for law and order, and the establishment of improved 
conditions for both old and young. The recording of such activities are a 
natural outcome of their adoption. In that early and primitive day, a 
chest, cupboard, or open shelf became the repository of many important 
documents. The most natural enemies to papers of importance, under such 
conditions, are dust, fire and dampness. It is not much to be wondered 
at that many of the more valuable of our early records are lost; and yet 
we have to be thankful that our records are as complete as they are. under 
such conditions. 

To the painstaking and methodical care of two of our pioneers and the 
manner in which they kept their records, our gratitude is due; for while 
these papers were almost lost through later neglect, yet their neatly folded 
appearance and careful annotation reveal the sign of scrupulous care. To 
them we owe our thanks for the carefully guarded information now at our 
disposal. They were Charles and John MacDonald. 

Charles, who married the Colonel's daughter Mary, became one of 
Gananoque's first business men, in 1812. He opened a store which stood upon 
the street about midway between the Spring and Axle Company's warehouse 
and their foundry; the building was a stout frame one, and was sold 
eventually to a Mr. Henderson, who utilized the timber for barn construction. 

John became a partner with Charles in 1817, he having just arrived 
from Troy, New York. 

Charles seems to have been very active in the settlement from the first. 
He did an extensive business, and carried on a sawmill and gristmill, as 
well as conducting a general lumber trade in which he went so far as to 


supply materials for the King's ships at Kingston. It was Charles who 
carried out the construction of some blockhouses for the Government of that 
day; he built one 011 what is known as Chimney Island, so called from the 
chimney of the blockhouse, which remains standing. Another one he built 
on Blockhouse Hill, within the town limits. The door of the latter structure 
faced the western approach of the King Street bridge. According to one 
source of information, the blockhouse was in command of *Mr. Hiel Sliter 
in 1812. (See Sliter's Memoirs in Leavitt's Hist, of Leeds and Grenville). 
He says : "In 1812 I joined a rifle company and entered upon my first duties 
at Gananoque. While in charge of the blockhouse at that time I learned 
the multiplication table; as no slates were to be had, my companion and 
myself obtained some chalk and by using the top of the stove as a slate 
succeeded in mastering the first simple rules of arithmetic." 

The last remaining timbers of the blockhouse at Gananoque were taken 
away in 1859 by Mr. William Edwards, who told me they were used in 
factory construction. Whether the building was erected before Forsyth's 
raid upon the settlement from Sackett's Harbour, or after, I have no know- 
ledge, but probably after, for according to a recent article in the Alexander 
Bay Sun, Capt. Forsyth did great damage there. This is questionable when 
compared with our own version of the affair; besides, if Forsyth did effect 
the damage stated, then the blockhouse was either not built or he could 
not take it, which seems hardly likely, for that raid is admitted to have been 
the first American success in the campaign of 1812 ; in fact, the first success 
of the war. The raid was made September 9th, 1812. Capt. Forsyth made 
his landing at Lindsay's Point, about two miles west of the settlement. 
Outposts had been mounted by the settlers, two in number, between the 
village and the Point; these were taken by Forsyth's party, who numbered 
some ninety-five; the mounted outposts, according to the American version, 
endeavoured to escape and give the alarm, one only succeeded and the other 
was shot. It is known that the capture of the Colonel was much desired, 
and a visit was made by the marauders to the Colonel's house. They, in 
the belief that it was empty, satisfied themselves with firing a shot into 
the building haphazard, the ball striking Mrs. Stone in the hip; they did 
pot capture the Colonel, however. 

Mr. Sliter informs us that in 1803 there were three dwellings only in 
he settlement, the Colonel's, that of a Capt. Bradish and one belonging to 
^eth Downs. Mr. Rowland's must have been a shack, or he had not arrived 
at the building stage. However, the number had increased by 1818 to forty- 
six, and the population was then three hundred and nineteen. This is 
important, since it shows to what extent the need for consideration of the 
young, and their welfare along educational lines, had become apparent. 

The nearest schoolhouse in Johnstown District to Gananoque was at 
Halleck's, some little distance west of Brockville. Halleck's school was active 
in 1811. 

Squire Stone and others formed at first a body to consider the con- 
struction of a schoolhouse. This they concluded to do by forming among 
themselves a proprietary body in which each member should assume a certain 
portion of the burden, according to his means or inclination. The cost of 
such a building arrived at, they made a division of the total into eighty-five 
shares; these were disposed of at approximately twenty -two shillings per 
share. The contract says the cost was to be ninety-four pounds. 


The following list of names, with each man's number of shares opposite 
his name, is presented in exactly the same form as on the original sheet : 

(The side-notes are those of the writer.) 

Name. Shares. 

Joel Stone 10 Founder of the settlement and donor of school 

site and books. 

* Thomas F. Howland 8 Sir John Johnson's agent. 

* Andrew Bradish 8 A military captain. 

*Charles MacDonald 15 Merchant and millowner. 

(* The preceding three were Gananoque's first school trustees.) 

John Brownson 7 

Seth Downs 10 Contractor and builder of the school. 

Neal McMuUen 6 

E. Webster 3 Merchant. 

John S. MacDonald 3 Surveyor. 

F. Firman 1 Yeoman. 

Harvey Stratton 1 

H. A. Delamatter 4 Delamatter's name is indistinct on the list, being 

only partly legible, but the two or three last 
letters were made up from the name in the first 
store ledger of Charles MacDonald. 

Leman Crans 1 Yeoman. 

N. M. Miller 1 Yeoman. 

John McNeil 1 Yeoman. 

John Howard 2 

Nathan Fish 1 

D. Jamieson '..... 2 

J. A. Jeffers 1 


The site is next to be considered ; the exact location of it is not set forth 
in the copy of the deed which we are able to present. The Squire's first 
clearing, at the junction of the present Church and Tanner Streets with King 
Street, seems to have been the spot chosen and presented by him for the 
school; much circumstantial evidence can be shown in favour of this site. 


This indenture made ,the day of in the year of 

our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifteen Between Joel Stone 
Esqr of the Village of Gananoque in the County of Leeds in the District 
of Johnstown and Province of Upper Canada of the one part, and Thomas F. 
Howland, Andrew Bradish, and Charles MacDonald, Trustees nominated by 
the inhabitants of the said Village of Gananoque and its vicinity for the 
purpose of erecting a Public School House in the said Village, Collecting 
Subscriptions to carry the same into effect and of receiving a deed in fee 
simple of a Lot of Ground upon which the said School House is to be erected, 
of the other part, witnesseth that the said Joel Stone considering the impor- 
tance and utility of Public Schools and willing as far as he is able to facilitate 
(so worthy) an object Doth for himself and (his heirs) in Consideration of 


three pepper Corns and for the purpose hereinafter specified, Give, Grant, 
Convey and Confirm by these Presents for Ever unto the said Thomas F. 
Rowland, Andrew Bradish and Charles MacDonald and to their Successors, 
One Quarter of an acre of Ground situated in the Village of Gananoque afore- 
said Butted and Bounded as follows, that is to say (The boundaries are not 
filled in). 

And the said Trustees Thomas F. Howland, Andrew Bradish and Charles 
MacDonald for themselves and their successors annually chosen Doth hereby 
promise and agree to have Erected upon the aforesaid lot of Ground as soon 
as convenient after the date and execution hereof a School House, and 
that the said Lot shall not be appropriated to any other use or purpose what- 
ever but what is connected with the aforesaid School and Schoolhouse. In 
Witness whereof the Parties to these Presents have hereunto set their Hands 
and Seals the day and year first above written. 

The boundaries and necessary signatures have been omitted by the person 
drawing the copy of the deed, they having been set forth in the original for 
registration. This paper was evidently copied from the original by the 
Colonel himself, to judge by the handwriting. 

Although the Town of Gananoque has spread, covering both sides of the 
Gananoque River to-day, we know that the first or original village mentioned 
by the Colonel in the deed of gift was situated on the west side of the River 
Gananoque. This statement may seem superfluous to present inhabitants of 
the town, but the fact will pass some day from memory, and those who 
follow will appreciate this record. The Colonel naturally settled on his own 
land on the west side of the river. He cleared his first land, as stated, where 
he built his first house, viz., on King Street. At least three schoolhouses 
occupied the site at the east corner of Church and King; we have evidence 
to that effect, a church, too, having been built there. The Squire recorded 
the fact that the schoolhouse was used as a church for different denomina- 
tions in turn. Mr. Britton, in his " Gananoque Souvenir," says that the first 
church was built near the first school house, although Mr. Britton gives the 
date of the first schoolhouse as 1831. Whether John S. MacDonald surveyed 
the school site or not cannot be said; he was surveyor, however, and it was 
he who surveyed the section of Gananoque called the West Ward: this was 
done in 1824; the North and South Wards were not surveyed, until about 
1847. The reprint of Reports and Minutes of the Counties Council, Brock- 
vine, shows that Mr. John Robinson, surveyor, resident in Leeds, made his 
report of the survey that year, and his report also gives the lines of demarca- 
tion, streets and lanes. 

John S. MacDonald, the surveyor, must not be confused with John Mac- 
Donald, the partner of Charles. He had not yet arrived from Troy. New 
York, to join his brother Charles. Neither was John S. any relation of the 
two brothers, John and Charles. (Smith's " Canada.") 

It may be well to mention that Mr. Firman, or Fairman, the father of 
Daniel and William Fairman, who lived to a very old age in this locality, was 
heard to say that he could remember the ruins of the original School in his 
early boyhood days. This was also the statement of two others who lived 
to a good old age Mr. Robert Bulloch and Mr. John Lasha. These remarks 


were noted in 1898 as well as those regarding the blockhouse and the position 
of its doorway. Another feature worthy of note also was the statement of 
Mr. William Kidd and Mr. William Edwards (the latter still living) in 
reference to the stockade around the blockhouse. Both gentlemen concurred 
in the statement that the stockade was of cedar pickets and followed the crest 
of the bank along the River Gananoque toward the present rear of the High 
School, and thence over to Stone Street, almost following Stone to King, 
thence along the rear of the present row of business houses, and back toward 
the river bank again. The blockhouse stood upon, or nearly upon, the site 
of the present standpipe. 

Our next document takes us back to the schoolhouse again and is the 
draft of the contract with Seth Downs : 


Contract, or agreement, entered into by Seth Downs of the Village of 
Gananoque in the County of Leeds of the one part. 

And Thomas F. Howland, Andrew Bradish & Charles MacDonald of th 
said place (Trustees for building a schoolhouse at the aforesaid village) of 
the other part. 

The said Seth Downs on his part, by these presents, agrees to build or 
cause to be built, a school house on the plot of ground in said village marked 
out and appropriated for that purpose of the following dimensions and mate- 
rials, and to finish the eame in the manner herein mentioned, viz. : 

The aforesaid building to be constructed and finished conformable to 
the directions agreed upon by the Proprietors as specified in writing in a 
paper hereunto annexed, part of which is herein explained and the articles 
necessary thereto to be made as herein described. 

In the first place by way of explaining the above mentioned annexed 
writing the chimney to be carried up through the centre of the roof in a 
frame made for that purpose. 

Secondly : A porch of convenient size with door to be made in the front 
of the said building. 

Thirdly: A necessary office to be made of the following dimensions and 
in the manner herein mentioned, viz. : the height, seven feet ; breadth, four 
feet, and length, eight feet; square roofed, covered with shingles, and the 
sides, etc., clapboarded; a jointed partition in the middle of the same, with 
two conveniences and a door to each division. 

The Teacher's writing desk: Breadth, 28 inches; length, 3 foot 7 inches; 
ledge on the top of this desk, 7 inches wide; height 10 inches; height of 
lower side or front, 4 inches, which gives 21 inches for the leaf or fall of the 
desk ; to be fixed with hinges and a lock and key, to contain papers. 

A plain framed table in lieu of a stand for the said desk ; height, 2 feet 
4 inches ; the length and breadth to suit with the size of the desk. 

A seat or form for the abovementioned desk 18 inches long, 13 inches 
wide and 17% inches high. 

The scholars' writing desks as follows: to suit in length the sides of 
the room (except the front side) which makes three in number Height, 
2 feet 10 inches And four inches in front; 3 feet 6 inches wide, leaving a 

7 H.P. 


ledge on the top of 7 in. wide; three sufficient stands for these desks of 
framed work, 2 foot four in height. 

Six forms, or seats, to the above desks of lengths suitable to the desks, 
inches high, one foot wide or wider. 
. A row of pegs fixed in a board or plank on the wall, on the whole length 
of the side of the room containing the door (except for the space of the door 
itself) , a row of 10 or 12 pegs on each side of the room. 

And the aforesaid Seth Downs agrees to build and finish the whole of 
the forementioned in a workmanlike manner, and to have the same completed 
by the first day of December, 1815. 

And the aforesaid Trustees, viz. : Thomas F. Rowland, Charles MacDon- 
ald, and Andrew Bradish, agree by these presents to pay unto Seth Downs 
aforesaid, the sum of Ninety-four Pounds, Current Money of this Province, 
as soon as the aforementioned building is completed, and finished in the 
manner herein specified, as Witness our hands and seals at Gananoque 
aforesaid this eleventh day of November in the year. of our Lord One Thou- 
sand Eight Hundred and Fifteen. 

Signed and sealed [ SETH DOWNS. 

in presence of I T. F. HOWLAND. 



The paper on which the above contract is written bears a watermark 
with the name, " J. Ansell, 1812." Being a folded sheet, the opposite page 
bears a watermark showing Britannia holding a spear, not a trident, and 
with a shield, oval, bearing the Cross of St. George. The handwriting is beau- 
tifully executed, and thisi paper is in a fairly good state of preservation. 

The question of the erection of a schoolhouse having been disposed of, the 
next step taken was the appointment of a committee to discuss the question 
of suitable books. Any movement in conjunction with the founding of a 
system, and especially an educational system, requires much preliminary 
study before any acceptable course of procedure presents itself. Men of 
ability who have undertaken educational problems in an endeavour to produce 
results often only find partial success for their labours. There is no depart- 
ment of civil organization where close application and ability are more essen- 
tial than in education; nor are the objects more difficult of attainment or 
more disproportionately appreciated than in this. Many declaim against any 
increase of money grants for the maintenance of their schools. These men 
usually have no material, or rather personal, interests in schools. Their chil- 
dren may have grown up and dispersed, while they themselves are able to 
re.tire through thrifty habits and may feel inclined to keep down increased 
taxation. This is a fallacy, and a detriment, not only to the whole community 
but to themselves as well. Take away the schools and the population will 
move away ; increased facilities and encouragement of better and more refined 
schools will redound to the credit of any community. No one will deny that 
the latter course will find due reward in increased growth of the community. 
How many parents distress themselves to move nearer better opportunities 
for the education of their families. 

Joel Stone clearly foresaw the need of -this inducement to, settlers, .and 


furnished that need in the best sense. Heads of families would not be willing 
in many cases to send their young children to Kingston, Brockville or other 
localities favoured by educational advantages, and the only thing to do was 
to furnish them with a school at home. 

At this very early period of Upper Canada's existence, when steps were to 
be taken to educate the children of pioneers, it devolved upon the very few 
men of exceptional gifts and education to be the advisers and directors. Few 
as they were in the sparsely settled districts, thanks to their forethought they 
rose to every occasion, realizing that education must become the foundation 
of the future. 

It is not too much to say that at least eighty per cent, of those who would 
receive their education in the common school, and end it there, would be obliged 
to assume manual labour at a very early age. Teachers then taught seldom 
more than six months in the year. Of the pupils receiving this scant educa- 
tion some few exceptionally bright ones would perhaps attend the Grammar 
School in Kingston or York. Under these circumstances it became natural 
that sharp scrutiny should be made of all strangers who were likely to be in 
direct association with the schools, as well as of the school books. Questions 
such as the nationality of a teacher were put to those who sought to teach. 
Swearing allegiance to the king was also a frequent requisite. The origin 
and authorship of school books were enquired into. All these were common 
preliminaries of those sturdy pioneer trustees of the time. Gananoque men 
were no exception in this regard ; they held views in common with all others 
throughout the country when it came to choosing definitely either teachers 
or books. 

These precautions were but the natural outcome of sharp lessons born 
of war. Upper Canada had just passed through the throes of invasion and 
strife. Only eight months prior to the signing of the contract for the school 
at Gananoque, the news of the Treaty of Ghent, signed on December 24th, 
1814, had reached Upper Canada. 

But the Treaty had not been sufficient to wholly withdraw the sting 
of bitterness and distrust. Mark closely the wording 'of the following and 
observe the deep-rooted desire to guard and protect the young from insidious 
and anticipated mischief : 


Gananoque, March 23/1816. 

The Committee appointed by the proprietors of the School House for the 
purpose of selecting proper books for the use of the School having met, and 
seriously considered the utility of having proper books used in school, and 
the confusion attending tuition of pupils by not having similar books used 
by each scholar, as well as the dangerous effects that may result from the 
introduction of the works of American authors into schools in the provinces 
of Canada by having a tendency to alienate the juvenile mind' from a proper 
attachment to the Government, and weaning their affections from a love to 
their mother country, we therefore earnestly recommend to the proprietors 
of the school to lend their aid and support by signing the following subscrip- 
tion for the purpose of purchasing the following schoolbooks which we 


impartially recommend as being the most proper compilations that can be 
introduced into schools in this part of the country, viz. : 

List of School Books recommended by the Committee, viz. ; 

Dilworth*B Improved Spelling Books 12 copies. 

Murray's Grammar, abridged 18 " 

Murray's Introduction to English Reader 24 " 

Murray's English Reader 24 " 

Murray's Sequel to English Reader 24 " 

School Testaments &4 " 

School Bibles 12 " 

We the subscribers concurring in the sentiments of the Committee and 
lor the encouragement of the School promise to pay to the Trustees of said 
School the several sums annexed to our several names on demand to be appro- 
priated by them to purchase the above books : 

Qananoque, Mar. 23, 1816. 

s. d. 
Joel Stone 5 

A neatly ruled form of account, containing the above subscription, con- 
dmdes this document, which is written on fairly well preserved paper. It 
shows once more the debt of gratitude owing to the " Squire's " generous dis- 
position and kind heart Once more the sponsor guaranteed the first item 
for an equipment for many poor children of his little colony, and no names 
followed his. 

While upon the subject of books I will insert an item of much interest. 
Prior to the handing over to the Town of Gananoque of the substantial brick 
mansion which was formerly the home of the Hon. John MacDonald's family, 
and while it was in the hands of a local gentleman pending action on the part 
of those transferring the property to the Town for a Municipal building, 
some miscellaneous material had been brought together in cleaning up and 
dispensed with so aa to prepare the premises for other uses. Among this 
flotsam and jetsam were a number of books. I looked over perhaps thirty- 
five or forty, and selected a Murray's Grammar in full leather binding and 
in firgt-daas condition. I obtained the book with some others for a small 
aum, and upon examination discovered upon the fly-leaf written in feminine 
hand the following : 

Miss H. Mallory's Book. March 15th, 1825. 
And on the coverlid within : 

Abraham Mallory's Book 

March 29th, 1817. 

The book was published by Samuel Swift, of Middlesbury, Vermont. 
Its original price was eight shillings. The lady whose name appears above 
was married to the HOBU John MacDonald in 1831, and was consequently the 
mother of the learned Judge MacDonald of Brockville. The book was no 
doubt used in the schoolhouse at the time. 

Several months elapsed after receiving the Report of the Committee on 
Books before any action was taken toward opening the school. The next step 
MJ have any record of is to be found in the 



By John S. McDonald. 
Gananoque, October 8th, 1816. 

He will engage to teach for a space of time not less than one year for 
Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars per year exclusive of board. 

Hie board and lodging must be procured by the Trustees in a convenient 
place within half a mile of the School. 

The above sum of Two hundred and fifty dollars to be paid in four equal 
quarterly payments and the payments made to him within fifteen days of the 
expiration of each quarter. 

He will engage to teach five days and a half for a week, estimating thir- 
teen such weeks a quarter. 

He will teach six hours each day. 

If accounted ineligible to teach under the existing School Act on account 
of residing in the States during and prior to the late war (being already a 
British born subject) he will (provided he will be continued in the capacity 
of a Teacher during good behaviour and provided that the school be organized 
according to law) engage to swear allegiance to His Majesty, provided that 
it can be done without going personally to the Governor's place of residence. 

He will abide by the above engagements for the space of one year during 
which term if the school be entitled to any money from Government the same 
when received he will accept as part of his above mentioned annuity and after 
the first year he will engage to teach for such an additional sum to the yearly 
annuity from Government as he and the Trustees of the School shall agree to. 

He will engage to teach the term of one year without any intermission, 
but if required by him the Trustees must permit him to be absent from school 
a epace of time not exceeding four weeks during the space of one year, which 
space he is afterwards to teach in order to complete his term of one year. 

He will commence his said School at such time as he and the Trustees 
can agree to, which time however must not exceed the loth of November next. 

Gananoque, October 8th, 1816. 


It should be noted that in the last paragraph of Mr. McDonald's pro- 
posal, there is set forth a specified time at which the School shall commence; 
indeed this is the only clue we have of any set date. We may be sure, how- 
ever, that the time was very near to that event since everything appears to 
have been in readiness except the selection of the Teacher, which selection, 
I am inclined to think, fell upon Mr. Andrew Bradish. 

The following draft of proposals from Mr. Bradieh prompts this belief, 
for he makes it apparent that he was displeased with the proposals set forth 
by Mr. McDonald " on a former night ;" to remove this attitude was the task 
set for Mr. Abraham Fulford. However, let the Bradieh paper speak for 



Mr. McDonald by withdrawing the Proposals made by him to the Trustees 
of the Gananoque School having removed the causes of my silence on a former 
night, and Mr. Fulf ord in the name of all the Trustees having called upon me 
to request my Proposals might be delivered at their next meeting in case I 
should be inclined to undertake the direction of the school 1 ; 
I submit the following for consideration- 
First: I will attend the customary hours and give instruction to day 
scholars in the usual branches of a plain English Education for 87 10 / 
same payable quarterly and whatever money may be awarded by the Board 
of Education to the Teacher of the said school shall be considered a part of 
the above sum. 

Second: Any boarders, not children of Proprietors, that may be sent 
to my house to be educated under my superintendence shall be permitted to 
attend at the School House at School hours and the fees for their tuition shall 
be included in the above sum of 87 10/. 2 

Third: Receipts from me presented by any subscribers to the Trustees 
shall be accepted by them in payment of their subscriptions. 
To the Trustees of the Gananoque School. 


23rd October, 1816. 

This last document seems to have been all that was submitted for the 
consideration of the Trustees, and we may assume that the " opening " fol- 
lowed shortly after, for the Squire, in a later meeting, makes reference to the 
activity of the school by a citation of the salary of the teacher for the pre- 
ceding year. 

Present at a meeting to answer certain queries by Robert Gourlay regard- 
ing the District of Johnstown, Colonel Stone stated : " One good Frame 
BuiLding erected and finished for a School House in Gananoque, also to serve 
as a place for Divine Worship, free for ministers of different denominations. 
There are no regular preachers resident, but those of the Baptist and Meth- 
odist Congregations preach every alternate Sabbath, and occasionally those 
of the Presbyterian persuasion." 

The Squire, with his own generosity, aided by the labours of others, pre- 
sents the school at last in perpetuity to the youth of the place, who down 
through a whole century have gathered their knowledge from the institution. 

From the portals of this modest edifice the youth of the future were to 
emerge with an all too scanty equipment for their entrance into Life's vast 
uncertainties. Yet with all its meagreness, what a boon it must have proven 
for many of them ! What a debt they owed to the philanthropic Squire and 

1 Owing to the decay of this portion of the paper by dampness, to follow the words 
" direction of," the writer suggests : " the school." 

2 The words " not children of Proprietors " have been struck out of the original 
document, evidently at the time of its consideration. Also the words " and the fees, 
etc.," (to end of clause), for which is inserted: "and that one half of the fees of 
tuition shall go in part payment of the above sum of 87, 10/, and the other half to 
my benefit. 


his company -of Proprietors ! Do we see the group about the door of the 
structure? hear the key rattle in the lock? See the Squire proudly,' perhaps 
slightly moved with emotion, throw wide the door and mentally bid the child 

Within these portals Knowledge dwells; 

Salutes thee first. 

Give heed to that which falls 

From Wisdom's lips, 

And fill youth's golden hours 

From this rich harvest. 

Glean here, and garner zealously each grain, 

For by the yield, Time gauges all Life's profits. 

Within, I charge thee take thy choice of roads 

The best, the worst. Be nothing loth 

To take the best. With heavier loads 

Sound training takes the race from sloth. 

Seek and advance. Shun idleness as sin. 

Invite besides a worthy and pure, reasonable ambition 

To sharer thy friendship ; 

Work and win. 

. Having now fairly launched the craft upon its long voyage, let us. take 
up the last remaining records dealing with the new School. 

First available to the writer comes the reference from history already 
published concerning the meeting at which the Colonel officiated as President 
in 1818. This is in connection with the replies to Robert Gourlay. 

Verbatim it is as follows : " Number of Schools, one ; under the patron- 
age of the Board of Education for this District, viz. : Johnstown, compre- 
hending two Counties Leeds and Grenville. Salary, 20, 6/3 per quarter, 
currency, including an allowance of 5, 0, per quarter. 

In 1819 we have Mr. McDonald's proposals : " For the ensuing year." 



1. He will engage to teach six hours in each day arid five and a half 
days in each week, and instruct his pupils in the various branches of common 
English Education for the sum of Eighty-one Pounds, five Shillings H.C. 
per year. 

2. The said sum (except what part of it may be awarded by the Board 
of Education) is to be paid to him by the Trustees of said School in four 
quarterly payments ; that is, one payment at the end of every quarter. 

3. If the said payments be not made within fifteen days after the expira- 
tion of every quarter, then the said Trustees jointly and severally shall give 
him their Note of Hand for what may be due to him of said payments or 
either of them. 

4. All receipts from him to any subscribers, if tendered, shall be accepted 
as payment for their subscriptions. 


6. He will commence by the first day of March next, but would not wish 
to before that time on account of other arrangements. 

Gananoque, January 9th, 1819. 

The foregoing constitutes the last of such century-old documents which 
the writer has been able to gather together, and with a reference to the Gram- 
mar School of 1859, our documentary evidence will end. The reference men- 
tioned is contained in a letter from the Hon. John MacDonald to his son, 
then attending college at Kingston. The latter is the present esteemed Judge 
MacDonald of Brockville. 

Brief excerpts are only given from this letter, dealing with the schools 
of the day; a Mr. McCoomb and a Mrs. King are mentioned as having taken 
scholars, as they evidently have taken them for the advanced branches of 
the Grammar School, which School, according to the letter : " Has dwindled 
down to eight scholars, so Mr. Fraser informed me Saturday night When 
there ie a small attendance of scholars, the Government money is small in 
proportion. I don't think it to be Mr. Fraser's fault, but from the circum- 
stances and the low price in the Common School sevenpence halfpenny per 
month with what is called a good teacher, and I presume he is for the 
common branches, under those circumstances the Trustees cannot incur the 
responsibility of engaging a teacher just now. When the new school is up the 
two schools will probably be joined." 


From the modest fees quoted by McDonald and Bradish of a century 
ago the local school maintenance has reached the sum of approximately 
$15,000 a year, all devoted to securing for the youth of the place that grandest 
of all life's noblest attainments a sound education. 

From beneath the lintels of Gananoque's schools her youth have passed 
for a hundred years into the many phases of life ; some to fame and fortune, 
others to assume their places in the ranks of the masses, but all prepared with 
the elementary essentials of success, by means of which we step from our 
narrow chamber into the broad highways of the world. 

Statistics tell us that the number of Schools in Upper Canada in 1827 
was 340, with twelve to fourteen thousand on the lists of attendants. 

The following list of names taken from the first cash book of the Mao- 
Donald Bros, dating from the commencement of their partnership in 1817 
and extending to 1826, represent the settlement fairly well at the time. 

Charles MacDonald O'Connor Wm. Phillips 

John MacDonald Zebulon Bass Mr. Billiard 

Joel Stone Seth Downs Mr. Chisholm 

Samuel Beerman Abe Fulford Mr. Marshall 

Robt. Cheetham Fayette Cutting -Mr. Ansell 

Riverus Hooker James Collinge Mr. Richards 

Silas Ward McNiel Mr. Wood 

Wm. Hough Henry Cross Mr. Bell 

Elias Teed Hustin Grant Mr. Lawton 

John W. Lidyard Urana McNiel Fredk. Finnan 


Daniel Howe Elihu Bidwell James Mallory 

Oeo. Wilkinson Mr. Rutter Charles Bockus 

John Gilmoro Mr. Sheldon David Bockua 

Nicolas Sliter Mr. Harnwood Wm. Robinson 

Hiel Sliter Mr. Parks Josiah Rogers 

Wm. Dinsmore Mr. Purvis John Niblock 

Wm. Sturdivant Mr. Chipman Thos. Emery 

David Jamieeon Mr. Fulford W. H. Landon 

Neal McMullen Mr. Eaton Henry Cross 

Nathan Pish Mr. Moore John S. McDonald 

John Brownson Mr. Root Colin MacDonald 

George Cook H. A. Delamatter J. C. Potter 

James Halsted Nicolas Rosbeck Sid Jones 

Avery Smith Peter Seeley Mr. Macpherson 

J. C. Cameron R. M. Millar Dr. Breckenridge 

Amos Dimming II. Plumb Mr. Allis. 

Joshua June David Tolman 

Mr. Ephraim Webster and also the Lloyd family should be mentioned 
as one of the Lloyds participated in the 1812 affair. The name appears with 
some thirty or more in the Report of Militia Affairs for 1875, in which, 
among the long list of those survivors of the war of 1812 to 1815 etill living, 
they are mentioned as entitled to the Government gratuity. 

From the blazing pine-knot torch and rush dip candle the schools are 
now lighted by the switch and magic button of electricity. The log cabin* 
have made way for the substantial structures of brick or stone. The old 
schoolhouse has passed with some others into oblivion, and organized educa- 
tional activities show three good schools for the common branches, and the 
High School a splendidly equipped edifice as the culmination of the united 
labours of the pioneers. 

Over the old camp site of Colonel Stone's first dwelling, where in 1792 
his lonely fire sent out the only gleam from the north shore, the nights now 
reveal the glow of illuminant. Thus has the old rendezvous of the Indians 
been transformed : " The Garden of the Great Spirit," where the River 
Gananoque meets the St. Lawrence at the Thousand Isles. Here beauty 
abounds on every hand, on the broad bosom of one of the world's most mighty 
and glorious rivers. The River is a scene of grandeur, only the slow-moving 
current amidst beautiful isles, with here and there a white-winged yacht or 
swiftly-darting motor-boat or at night with only the call of the lonely loon, 
as it patrols some little nook among the islands. But of the founder of 
Gananoque nothing is left to show where stood his halting place to the 
stranger. Of the great explorer and pioneer, Count de Frontenac, who halted 
at this place and noted the fact, nothing is here to keep the event in memory. 
What better for the Gateway of the Thousand Islands than a pair of pillan 
bearing plaque or tablet with suitable legends, which may set forth the facts 
concerning the two men who dared so many dangers " and camped at a point 
above the river called the Onnondaqui." 

8 H.P. 




(Sheriff; Simcoe County.) 
(A paper read before the Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society, April 28, 1908.) 

Earl Grey when Governor-General accomplished many good things for 
Canada, and took a foremost part in all schemes for the welfare of our 
country, among which the nationalizing of our great battlefields into public 
parks is worthy of special mention. And while we commend this project 
most heartily we should remember that the army did only one half the 
work of winning Canada and of holding it for Britain later on in the war 
of 1812. In each of these campaigns the army could have done little with- 
out the assistance of the navy, and yet we have no National Park in Canada 
laid out in honour of the senior branch of the service as the Navy is to 
remind our citizens of the debt we owe to those gallant sea-dogs. 

We are proud to say, however, that in the names of our town, its streets, 
and its surroundings, we have a memorial to the British Navy more 
noble, more beautiful and more lasting than any other could be. All these 
names are redolent with memories of gallant seamen and brave deeds of 
British sailors. 

" Admirals all, for England's sake 

Honour be yours, and fame. 
And honour as long as waves shall break 
To Nelson's peerless name. 

" Admirals all, they said their say 

(The echoes are ringing still). 
Admirals all, they went their way 

To the haven under the hill. 
But they left us a kingdom none can take, 

The realm of the circling sea, 
To be ruled by the rightful sons of Blake, 

And the Rodneys yet to be." 

Barrie, as first surveyed in 1833, was comprised within the area of 
Berczy Street on the East, Bayfield Street on the West and Grove Street on the 
North. At the same time as the town was laid out and designated Barrie, 
these streets received their names, being nearly all in honour of naval officers 
ol the war of 1812-1814. From Berczy Street to Duckworth Street -is the 
Berczy Survey ; and from Duckworth Street to the eastern limits of the town, 
the great admirals of Britain are remembered in the streets of this portion of 
the present town. 



Before taking up the town itself we would say that Lake Simcoe, as 
The Gazeteer of 1799 informs us, was so named by Lieutenant-Governor 
Simcoe in respect to his father, Captain John Simcoe of the Royal Navy, who 
died in the operations for the taking of Quebec* in 1759. It was Captain 
Simcoe who piloted the British Fleet up the St. Lawrence River in this 
campaign. For a time Captain Simcoe had for lieutenant the great navigator, 
Captain Cook, and in his honour Governor Simcoe named the southern bay of 
our lake, Cook's Bay; and our own western bay was" named Kempenfeldt in 
memory of the disastrous end of the Royal George, sinking in Portsmouth 
Harbour with Admiral Kempenfeldt, and nearly 800 officers and men. 

Barrie was so named in honour of Commodore Robert Barrie, R.N. who 
at that time occupied one of the highest offices in Canada, being Acting 
Commissioner of His Majesty's Navy on the Great Lakes from July, 1819, 
until its abandonment. Robert Barrie was born in Forfarshire, Scotland, 
in 1772. He was a nephew of Admiral Lord Gardner, Commander of the 
Channel Fleet, and entered the Royal Navy at an early age. He served as 
midshipman under 'Captain Vancouver in 1791, in his voyage of exploration 
and discovery on the Pacific Coast. In 1795 he was made lieutenant. In 
1801 he was strongly recommended to the Admiralty for promotion on 
account of his gallant conduct in a fight with a French squadron " where 
though dangerously wounded he disdained to quit the deck." He received this 
promotion in 1804 when he was made Captain of the Brilliant a ship 
of 24 guns. In 1806 he was promoted to the command of the Pomone 
a ship of 38 guns a large vessel in those days. On 5th June, 1807, he 
valiantly attacked a French fleet with a convoy in all seventeen vessels, 
and completely defeated them, sinking three men-of-war and capturing and 
bringing to England fourteen war vessels and store-ships, and doing this 
all with his one ship the Pomone, and her brave crew. For this feat he 
received great and well merited praise. He was sent next to join Lord 
Collingwood's fleet on the Mediterranean, where shortly afterwards he 
captured a French privateer commanded by De Boissi, Adjutant General of 
France. In 1809 he captured, unaided, a French man-of-war and five trans- 
ports laden with provisions for the French army. In 1811 he captured 
without assistance a strong Corsican fort and three French men-of-war in 
the harbour. In the same year he captured a French war vessel upon which 
was Lucian Buonaparte with much booty plundered from every country in 
Europe upon it but Captain Barrie would not touch it nor allow his men to 
take it as booty. 

In 1813 Barrie was appointed to the command of H.M.S. Dragon 
and employed on the east coast of America until the end of the war of 
1812-14. lie blockaded the Chesapeake River and greatly assisted in the 
capture of Washington. During the remainder of the war he harassed the 
American commerce, and captured many of their war-vessels. At the con- 
clusion of the war he left the Dragon, and in 1815 was decorated as a C.B. 
and in 1819 was appointed Commodore of His Majesty's Navy on the 
Great Lakes in Canada, with headquarters at Kingston, where for many 
years he was a notable figure. Commodore Barrie was ah open-hearted 
generous man, unflinchingly brave and kind to all who served under him, 
both officers and men, and was therefore beloved by all. 

Barrie's first visit to our town was before it had received its name, viz., 


in June, 18$8, when he passed through on a journey from Toronto to Penetan- 
guieheoe on a tour of inspection of the Naval Depots on the Great Lakes. 

Dunlop Street was GO named in honour of Captain Robert Dunlop and 
such a seaman deserves such a worthy remembrance. Son of a Scotch laird, 
he entered the Royal Navy at thirteen years of age. He took part in ninety- 
three engagements and was over one hundred times under fire. At the siege 
of Fort Cornelcree he wae dangerously wounded in three places and was 
carried through the breach into the fort on the boarding pikes of his sailors. 
During hie first nine years' service in the navy he slept on shore only seven 
nighta. Transferred for temporary service with the army, he was in charge 
of a naval battery at the siege of San Sebastian. He was recalled to the navy 
to command the Garonne and sent to cut out a flotilla of gun boats and store 
ships intended for the relief of Bayonne. He captured the whole flotilla, 
including Bonaparte's Imperial Barge. Half a hundred such gallant deeds 
oould be told of him but it would make our article too long. Dunlop came 
with his vessel to Halifax in 1814. Soon after his arrival, the war was over 
and his ship was ordered home. He then retired upon half pay, and went to 
Edinburgh University to educate himself. He came to Canada in 1828, 
joining his brother Dr. William Dunlop (" Tiger Dunlop ") who was one of 
the feeding nen of western Ontario, and who (by the way) superintended for 
the Government the first cutting out the Penetanguishene Road from 
Kempenfeldt Bay to Penetanguiehcne in the winter of 1814-1815. Capt. 
Dunlop was the first member of parliament for the County of Huron, and 
continued so until hia death. 

Collier Street recalls Sir George Collier, who, entering the navy in 1796, 
served under Lord Neleon until Trafalgar. He was sent to Canada in 1812 
and commanded the Princess Charlotte, one of the largest man-of-war vessels 
on Lake Ontario in 1813 and 1814. He built a frigate for H.M. Navy at 
Penetanguishece, in 1814. Returning to England at the close of the war, he 
was made an Admiral in 1850. 

The next street north of Collier, running east and west, is Worsley, so 
named from Capt. Miller Worsley, R.N., who was chief in command on Lake 
Huron in 1814. He assisted in the defence of Fort Michilimackinac, and later 
with one vessel captured two U.S. war schooners, the Tigress and the Scorpion. 
In the official despatches he is praised for his ability and activity in this matter 
having first suggested the attack and carried it out with signal success, Oct. 
7, 1814. 

Capt Archibald MacDonald saw many years' service under Collingwood 
before he was sent to Canada, He commanded H.M.S. Onondaga, which 
was wrecked in 1797. In the war of 1812-14, he commanded H.M.S. Moira. 
After him MacDonald Street is named, and his lieutenant, afterwards 
Commander, James, is commemorated in James Street. 

Taking next in order the streets running north from the Bay in the 
original survey of Barrie, commencing at the western boundary we have Bay- 
field Street, named after Admiral BaySeld, a native of Norfolk County, Eng- 
land, who served through the Napoleonic wars under Lord Collingwood, as 
lieutenant of his flagship, and afterward commanded a vessel on Lake Huron 
during the war of 1812-14. To this most efficient and distinguished officer the 
people of Canada are very deeply indebted, as he made the first hydrographic 
surveys of all our Great Lakes from the extreme western shore of Lake Super- 


ior, to the outlet of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Straits of Belle Isle, around 
Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. In this stupendous work 
he had only one assistant and two to four labouring men and one or two small 
boats. He was a painstaking indefatigable worker, and the accuracy of his 
charts are still a wonder to all navigators and until a very few years ago they 
were the only ones in use on the Great Lakes. In this hydrographie work he 
was engaged from the close of the war in 1814 to 1856, when he retired after 
more than sixty years service in the Royal Navy. 

Clapperton Street is called so, for Commander Hugh ClappertOD, R.N., 
who was lieutenant in Admiral Lord Cochrane's flagship, Asia, He commanded 
a gun boat on the Great Lakes in the war, 1813-14. He afterwards was ofle of 
the pioneer African explorers, dying in the centre of Africa upon hia second 
expedition in 1827. 

Admiral W. F. Owen, and for whom Owen Street is named was a native 
of Nova Scotia and brother of the greater admiral Sir Bdward Owen ; he also 
fought under Admiral Lord Cochrane, He commanded a large vessel on the 
lakes during the war of 1812-14. In 1815 he made a partial hydrographical 
survey of Lake Ontario, in which he was assisted by Lieutenant Bayfield, who 
completed the work. In 1816 Captain Owen became Commodore of the Lakes, 
and remained such until succeeded by Commodore Barrie in 1819. Owen 
Sound is also named after Admiral Owen. 

Mulcaster Street recalls a name well known in the navy from 1790 to 
1814, that of Capt. Sir \V. H. Mulcaster, C.B. He served mnder that brave 
old ea dog, Admiral Jarvis, Earl of St. Vincent In 1806, Captain Mulcas- 
ter with two vessels captured five Spanish men-of-war in Finisterre Bay. He 
did splendid service and was severely wounded at the capture of Cayenne in 
1809. He captured seventeen American privateers in 1812-13. He commanded 
the Princess Charlotte, 42 guns, on Lake Ontario in 1814. In this year he was 
very dangerously wounded at the storming of Fort Oewego from which he 
never fully recovered. 

Poyntz Street commemorates Capt Newdigate Poyntz, who served under 
Lord Nelson through all the Napoleonic struggle, and later was sent to 
Canada in the war of 1812, during which he commanded a vessel, and in 
1813-14 he was chief in command of the navy on Lake Huron. In the latter 
year he made the first hydrographical survey of Penetanguishene Harbour. 

Sampson Street is the next street east and parallel with Poyntz, This 
is named after Captain Sampson, R.N., who in the war of 1812-14 commanded 
H.M.S. Simcoe. In this vessel Captain Sampson brought frtmtt Niagara to 
Toronto the American prisoners taken at the battle of Queenston Heights, 
and at the same time brought to the citizens of Muddy York the first news of 
the great victory and of the death of Sir Isaac Brock. 

Berczy Street commemorates Win. Berczy, a Prussian, who came to 
Toronto in 1794, and first cut out and opened up Yonge Street as far north as 
Gwilliamsbury as well as the road into Markham. His son Charles was after- 
wards the third Postmaster of Toronto, and owned the Berczy Block, Barrie. 
He named the streets therein after his wife and daughters. But Berczy had 
too many daughters for the number of streets in the block, so the last one 
was called Harriet and Melinda Street, after the remaining two of the family 
not already honoured. This street which runs north from Blake Street, was a 
short time ago renamed Dundonald Street in honour of Admiral Cochrane, 


the tenth Earl of Dundonald, whose brilliant naval career is second only to 
that of Nelson, and who has been justly termed the greatest naval commander 
of the 19th century. His wonderful genius brought victory upon victory to 
the navies of Britain, Chili, Brazil and Greece, in all of which he held, at 
various times, the chief command. 

Admiral Sir John Duckworth, who, in 1799, with his single ship captured 
and brought to port eleven Spanish vessels laden with gold and silver, is 
commemorated in Duckworth Street. 

Kempenfeldt - Street which is really a continuation of Dunlop Street to 
the east derives its name from the same sailor as our Bay. 

In Blake Street, we have the name of him, who divides with Nelson the 
honour of being the greatest of all British admirals, Admiral Robert Blake, 
wh'ose success is without a parallel in naval warfare. Given command of the 
fleet by Cromwell, he sailed out against the Dutch who appeared in the 
Downs, with 45 ships of war under their great admiral, Van Tromp. Blake 
had only 20 ships of the line, but, by able seamanship defeated them. Next 
year (1653) Van Tromp wishing to retrieve his defeat appeared off the south 
coast of England with a fleet of 100 battleships. Blake put to sea with 70 
vessels to meet him, and there was fought one of the greatest naval actions in 
the world's history, lasting three days, contested with the utmost courage and 
stubbornness by both sides but ending in a complete victory for Blake. Later 
on he waged incessant and equally successful war against the Spaniards, the 
inveterate enemies of Britain in those days. 

The sea is the element on which British glory has ever ridden in, 
triumph and in Rodney and St. Vincent Streets we recall. the brilliant genius 
of Admiral Rodney, who in the reign of George III swept almost from off the 
seas in succession the hostile fleets of Spain, France and Holland, and of 
Admiral Sir John Jarvis, Earl of St. Vincent, who utterly defeated a Spanish 
fleet of twice his strength, off Cape St. Vincent in 1797. 

The next street east on Blake Street is Cook Street, so named after the 
celebrated Captain Cook, R.N., explorer and navigator. 

In Codrington Street we have remembered Admiral Codrington, the 
hero of Navarino. In this, one of the great naval battles of the nineteenth 
century, Codrington with 24 ships under his command defeated more than 
twice that number and in fact utterly destroyed the entire combined navies 
of Turkey and Egypt." 

Napier ' Street is named for a famous British admiral, Sir Charles 
Napier. In 1807, Napier, then a junior captain, in his one little vessel 
captured three French men-of-war, one of which was of 74 guns. To this 
latter he was appointed captain and it became a British man-of-war. He 
served in the war of 1812-14, on the Atlantic Coast Squadron in 1813. 

In Vancouver Street and Puget Street, we have the names of two well 
known navigators and officers in the Royal Navy. 

In Monk Street, we have the name of Cromwell's greatest general, who 
was afterwards Admiral Monk, successfully filling the highest rank in both 
branches of the service. 

Collingwood Street, Nelson Street and Nelson Square, recall the greatest 
naval battle in the history of the world, the battle of Trafalgar, when the 
fleets of these two admirals destroyed the combined navies of France and 
Spain and thus gave to Britain the title of the Mistress of the Sea, which 


she still holds undisputed for more than a century. The history of both of 
these great seamen is so well known that we will not touch on any other of 
their great deeds. 

Three streets in the extreme eastern portion of the town are named after 
officers of the Royal Navy who lived in Barrie or its neighbourhood in its early 
days. Oliver Street, called after Captain Oliver, R.N., who first owned the 
Raikes' farm, and later the town plot of Barrie. Steele Street was named for 
Capt. Elmes Steele, R.N., who was member of Parliament for Simcoe County, 
1841-44. O'Brien Street was named after Capt. Robt. O'Brien, R.N., after- 
wards Admiral O'Brien, who lived at Tollendal and owned a sawmill there 
about 1832. He left there about 1836, to rejoin the navy. 

Nor are Britain's Arctic explorers from the Royal Navy forgotten for in 
the east we have Parry Street, and Davis and Back Streets named after 
Captain Parry, Captain Davis and Lieutenant Back. In the west end we Have 
Ross Street running from Bayfield Street westward. This street was one of 
the earliest named in the town, and .so called from Sir John Ross, R.N., the 
Arctic explorer. Franklin Street (once called John St. West) was named 
in honour of the most celebrated of Arctic explorers, Sir John Franklin, R.^N". 
Franklin passed through Barrie on his second Polar expedition in the spring 
of 1825. His. party camped on the spot now covered by the King Block, 
near the G.T.R. Station, afterwards walking over the " Nine Mile Portage " 
to the Nottawasaga River, &c. On this journey he was accompanied by 
Lieutenant Back R.N.., above mentioned. 

Thus we have run over the names of about thirty-five of the streets of 
Barrie, telling for whom they were named and briefly stating something 
about each of these men. 

As I walk along our streets and see these illustrious names I always 
think very kindly of our unknown friend who so fittingly named them, for 
we must acknowledge that it was the British Navy that not only largely made 
the British Empire of to-day but also that the British Navy alone made such 
an Empire possible. And we all believe, as Alfred Austin writes : 

" Across the trenches of the deep 

Unflinching faces shine 
And Britain's stalwart sailors keep . 

The bastions of the brine. 
Though all the world together band 

Not all the legions of the land 
Can ever wrest from England's hand 

The sceptre of the sea." 

I think a fitting close to this article is found in a short poem printed in 
Blackwoods Magazine many years ago, as it expresses the feeling of every 
true Canadian and also brings in the names of many of our streets : 

" If e'er that dreadful hour should come but God avert the day, 
When Britain's glorious flag must bend and yield old ocean's sway, 
When foreign ship shall o'er that deep where she is Empress, lord, 
And the cross of red from boltsprit head be hewn by foreign sword, 
When foreign foot her quarterdeck, with proud stride treads along 
And her peaceful ships meet haughty check from hail of foreign tongue 
One prayer, one only prayer is mine, that ere is seen that sight, 
Ere there be warning of such woe I may be whelmed in night. 


" If ever other prince than ours wields sceptre o'er that main, 
Where Howard, Drake and Frobisher the Armada emote of Bpoin. 
Where Blake 'neath Cromwell's iron sway swept tempest-like the seas 
From north to south, from east to west, resistless as the breexe. 
Where Buseell tamed great Louis' power, which bent before to none, 
And crushed his arm of naval strength, and dimmed his rising sun \ 
One prayer, one only prayer is mine, that ere is seen that sight, 
Bre there be warning of such woe I may be whelmed in night. 

" If ever other keel than ours triumphant plough that brine 
Where Rodney met the Count de Grasse and broke the Frenchman's line, 
Where Howe upon that first of June met the Jacobins in fight, 
And with old England's loud huzzas broke down their godless might. 
Where Jarvis at St. Vincent's felled the Spaniard's lofty tiers, 
Where Duncan won at Oamperdown, and Exmouth at Algiers 
One prayer, one only prayer is mine, that ere is seen that sight, 
Ere there be warning of such woe I may be whelmed in night. 

" And, oh, what agony it were when we should think on the, 
The flower of all the admirals that ever trod the sea, 
I shall not name thine honoured name, but if the white-cliffed isle 
That reared the Lion of the deep, the hero of the Nile. 
Him who at Copenhagen's self o'erthrew the faithless Dane, 
Who died at glorious Trafalgar o'er vanquished France and Spain, 
Should yield her power one prayer ie mine that ere is seen that sight, 
Ere there be warning of such woe I may be whelmed in night." 



CANADA, 1837. 





The following History of the Rebellion of 1837 is from a manuscript 
left by the late George Coventry of Cobourg who died in 1870. 

The manuscript was procured for me through the kindness of Andrew 
J. Hewson, Esq., of Cobourg, who take* a deep interest in the early history 
of this Province. 

The style is reasonably clear, though affected; it displays the pen of a 
ready writer, which, indeed, Coventry was. 

I have added a number of notes to clear up and explain certain points, 
and I have been favoured with information by Mr. A. P. Hunter, Secretary 
of the Ontario Historical Society, which will be found at the proper places. 

Coventry's vituperation is characteristic of the language almost univer- 
sally used by the Loyalists of the " Rebels/' A somewhat diligent student of 
the constitutional history of our own and other English-speaking communities, 
I may be allowed to say that it ia time such language should cease and Mac- 
kenzie recognized as an honest (if mistaken) lover of his country. No one, 
however, who knew Coventry will doubt his perfect sincerity. 

William Renwick Riddell. 
Osgoode Hall, September 29, 1919. 


George Coventry was born at Copenhagen Fields Ilouee, at Wandsworth Common, 
Surrey, July 28th, 1793, in the house " at the corner near the city road " and " within 
tho sound of Bow Bella." His father was a ward of Baron Dimsdale, of Thetford, and 
was placed by his guardian with Jones, Havard & Jones, merchants, in London. His 
mother was Elizabeth Thornborrow, from Lupton Hall, Westmoreland, who was visiting 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, when she was won by Coventry. Coventry, Senior, afterwards was 
a member of the firm of Janson & Coventry, and Beams to have been a man of con- 
siderable ability and literary tastes. The son had the misfortune in early life to lose 
his mother, who died of cancer when he was three years old. The lad was then placed 
in a Ladies' School, at Peckham, Surrey, kept by Mrs. Freitk and her three daughters, 
one of whom the elder Coventry afterword^ nuuri*d. 


George Coventry was then sent to a Boys' Boarding School at Hitchiu, Hertford- 
shire, kept by Mr. Blaxland, where he stayed for about three years. On the death of 
Mr. Blaxland, his undermaster, Mr. Payne, started a school near Epping Forest, which 
young Coventry attended until his fourteenth year, when he was sent to Dover, where 
he completed his education. He afterwards engaged as an employee in his father's firm, 
and in that capacity travelled over the greater part of Great Britain. He also visited 
France, where he thinks he saw at Fontainbleau some flowers, the offspring of certain 
plants which he had seen leaving Dover, a present from the Queen of England to the 
Empress Josephine. He came to Canada in the fourth decade of the 19th century, was 
an eye-witness of some of the occurrences of the rebellion of 1837, and returned to 
England in 1838. Returning to this Province he lived for a time in St. Catharinees; 
afterwards he was in Cobourg, then in Picton as editor of a paper there, then he 
returned to Cobourg, and made that his home for the remainder of his life. He died 
at Toronto, February 11, 1870, and was buried in the St. James' Cemetery, Cobourg. 

He left at his death a considerable mass of manuscripts, one being " A Concise 
History of the Late Rebellion in Upper Canada." 

Coventry allPleft a considerable mass of poetry, more or less good; amongst the 
manuscripts is one seemingly based on Chaucer, which purports to be a fishing and hunt- 
ing party at Rice Lake ; it brings in a great many persons who were well-known in 
Cobourg, Port Hope, and the township of Hamilton, and each one of these is made to 
tell a story. At the present day the stories are rather vapid and of little interest to 
anyone except those who were acquainted with the persons to whom they are attributed. 
(I knew most of them by sight and all by name.) 

He also left a manuscript, " Reminiscences," which contains an account of his life 
up to the end of the second decade of the last century. He gives an interesting story 
of John Wesley, and also the following: 

" I was at Vauxhall the night that George IV died. Everyone was in full black 
dress, which gave the Gardens a most remarkable appearance. Such a sight will never 
be seen again, for they are now abolished." 

Coventry was employed by the Government of Canada to collect material for the 
History of Canada, and it was through his efforts that the " Simcoe Papers " were 

According to my recollection, Coventry was a man of fine presence and dignified 
bearing and with the courtesy of an English gentleman. 

Mr. A. F. Hunter has kindly furnished me with the following notes concerning 

From the Biography of the Hon. Wm. Hamilton Merritt, M.P., by J. P. Merritt, 
St. Catharines, 1875, I glean these items regarding the life of George Coventry: 

P. 186. In 1838 Coventry assisted in the inspection of the Grand River with a 
view to the sale of the Welland Canal to the Government. 

P. 191. In 1838 he was clerk for Mr: Merritt in the milling business at St. 
Catharines, and late in the same year he visited his friends in England. 

P. 214. He was clerk on the Welland Canal in 1840. 

P. 252. Coventry drew up the memoirs of W. H. Merritt's father, Thos. Merritt, 
who died in 1842, to be deposited in the Archives of Upper Canada. 

P. 380. The Appendix to the Journal of the Assembly for 1851 has an 80-page 
history of the water communications of the country, nominally Merritt's, but probably 
Coventry's (at least partly). 

P. 398. A pamphlet of 48 pages " Historical Record of the Welland Canal" 
(1852) also probably Coventry's compilation, in part at least. 

P. 424. The Coventry documents in the Parliamentary Library at Ottawa contain 
10,000 folio pages of manuscripts. It is interesting to note on the same page that 
W. H. Merritt, in 1858, interested himself in the historical material of Upper Canada, 
and in view of the work done by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec in 1860 
attended a meeting in Toronto to establish a Historical Society, probably the first 
serious attempt of the kind in Ontario. 

P. 429. When at Port Hope in 1862, W. H. Merritt visited Coventry there, or in 
the vicinity, by this time. 



In the notes contractions will be employed as follows: 

"Dent" The Story of the Upper Canadian Rebellion by John Charles Dent, 
Toronto, 1885. This work is more than usually accurate in the account of the 
Caroline episode. I have not referred to " The Cutting Out of the Caroline and 
Other Reminiscences of 1837-38," by Robert Stuart Woods, Q.C. (afterwards Judge 
Woods), Chatham, Ont., 1885; everything of value in that work has been utilized by 

" Head " A Narrative by Sir Francis B. Head, Bart., 2nd Edn. London, 1839. I 
have not quoted Head's " Emigrant " ; it does not afford any useful material. 

" Leg. Ass." Journal of the House of Assembly, Upper Canada, Session 1837-8, 
Toronto, 1838. (Official.) 

" G. T. D." The Burning of the Caroline, by G. T. D. (George Taylor Denison, Sr., 
father of the Police Magistrate of Toronto of the same name). The- Canadian Monthly 
and National Review, Vol. 3, 289 (April, 1873), The head note reads: "The following 
narrative is by a Canadian officer who served against the rebels and their American 
sympathizers." It does not appear that Denison took part in the cutting out. 

" Trial "Gould's Stenographic Reporter, Vol. II, Washington, D.C., 1841. This 
contains a full stenographic account of the trial at Utica, N.Y., October, 1841, of 
Alexander McLeod, charged with the murder of Amos Durfee at Schlosser at the 
cutting out of the Caroline. It was satisfactorily proved that McLeod was not in the 
expedition at all, although both he and his friends had claimed that he was. 

" Kingsf ord " The History of Canada, by William Kingsford, LL.D., F.R.S.Can., 
Toronto and London, 1898, Vol. X. 

" Lindsey " The Life and Times of Wm. Lyon Mackenzie, by Charles Lindsey, 
two volumes, Toronto, 1862. 

[Mr. Hunter is responsible for the notes marked H., Mr. Justice Riddoll for the 



" Unthread the rude eye of rebellion and welcome home again discarded faith.** 

King John, Act V, Scene IV. 

The reader is here presented with an authentic narrative, written in a 
familiar style, by the author, to his sister in England. The current, vague 
reports of the day have been scrupulously avoided, as they would, if counten- 
anced, embrace a far larger volume than the present, were he to commence 
the insertion of any ridiculous stories, which have, from time to time, 
been the theme of conversation since the commencement of the rebellion. 

Chippawa, near Navy Island, 
Upper Canada. 

Chippawa, Upper Canada, 1838. 
My dear sister : 

I little thought when we last parted 2 that it would fall to my lot to 
record an event which has lately happened in this rising colony. I refer 
to a cruel and unnatural rebellion which has broken out in Upper Canada. 

An event of this nature might have been anticipated in Lower Canada, 
from the general proceedings of Papineau and his adherents, but that the 
seed of discontent should be sown in this happy province was an event totally 
unlocked for, and not even contemplated by any of the respectable settlers. 

I see your curiosity is awakened to ascertain the cause, and to know by 
whom these iniquitous proceedings were perpetrated. In due time, with a 
little patience (which I know you to be gifted with) I will a tale unfold, 
almost as portentous as the one described by Shakespeare in his Hamlet. 

You must know then that, as a young and rising colony, it is extremely 
difficult for any Government to be selected by the Mother Country 3 who can 
please all parties, either by suavity of manners, conciliation, or the redrew 
of grievances. In the nature of things he must give offence to some of the 
disaffected, particularly to those who are looking out for some of the loaves 
and fishes, when in reality, all the fragments are taken up. From the obeerra- 
tions I have made, since my very pleasant residence in this country, I can find 

1 On the upper right-hand corner of the front page of the MS. the following 
address is written in ink, apparently at the time the MS. was originally written, which 
may connect it with Coventry's visit to England in 1838: Q. Coventry, Esqr., Care of 
Messrs. Hunter & Coventry, Whitehart Court, Lombard Street. With the exception of 
Coventry's lavish use of capitals and his punctuations, which have been made to con- 
form to current usage, the text is an exact transcript of the MS., in which spellings 
of proper names, often various in the original, have been made uniform. (H.) 

I have not been able to ascertain definitely the time at which Coventry left 

8 Of course in those days the Governor did actually take a great part in " govern- 
ing " the Province, and the personality of the Governor was of great importance. 


but little that any moderate-minded man could, with propriety, complain of. 
This I have endeavoured to impress upon the minds of all those who, in 
social converse, I have at various times visited. Not that my own private 
opinion, as an individual, is of any weight or importance, yet every grain 
in the balance of argument tends to ameliorate and soften down the minda 
of those who look with a jaundiced eye on any supposed maladministration. 

On maturely reviewing the cause of the late disturbances, it appears to 
me that had the people been compelled to pay more taxes toward the general 
improvement of the Province in the construction of bridges, roads, &c., there 
would have been less leisure time for fostering complaints. By complaints, 
yon are not to understand that there were even these among men of sense 
and discernment. It was wholly confined to unlettered mechanics and fanners 
who, if no cause of distrust existed, would, in all human probability, have 
quarrelled among themselves. 

A country so bountifully enriched by Heaven, with woods, forests, rivers, 
lakes and quarries only wanted the genial hand of industry to cultivate, 
so as to render the settler in a short time independent. This has been 
carried into effect to an immense extent throughout various districts, to the 
delight of the enquiring traveller, interested, as I have been, for one, in the 
growing prosperity of the human family. Nothing in fine was wanting but 
peace of mind to obtain for Canada the name of Utopia, so eloquently described 
by that great and learned man, Sir Thomas More. But no country under 
Heaven can become Utopian where the seeds of anarchy and confusion are 
sown by a few miserable strangers whose sole object appears to have been to 
reduce mankind to the same abject level as themselves. This I endeavoured 
to explain in a few letters which I wrote to Toronto two years ago. At 
that period there certainly was a restlessness and uneasiness springing up 
among many who, before the appearance of Mackenzie's writings, were good 
citizens and respectable members of the community. Alas, their minds became 
contaminated and poisoned. 4 They exchanged their once happy firesides, 
their farms and their families, for the noisome pestilence of low taverns, 
where politics were freely discussed. But few of them understood the purport 
until explained by a rebellious faction to suit their own notion of things. 
Thus, events for which 'there was no real cause of disapprobation gradually 
spread into discontent; the fire was kindled by a few sparks, but gradually 
enlarged until it broke out into a flame which, for a short period, threatened 
to endanger the peace and happiness of the loyal part of the community. 

4 That the agitation ultimately resulting in rebellion was factious, unfounded and 
due to malignity and ignorance waa the honest opinion of the Governor and the 
governing classes; they did not believe, for they could not understand, that there 
were any real grievances; but there were others equally honcet and equally intelligent 
who did understand. 


The toad beneath the harrow knows 
Precisely where each sharp point gooe ; 
The butterfly upon the road 
Preaches contentment to the toad. 

We still have those who can see no merit in any of the claims of the Radicate, and 
can think of Mackenzie only as a despicable little apothecary. 


One great bone of contention was the question relative to the Clergy 
Reserves. 5 To men of no religion this was a fruitful topic. It has often 
reminded me of the charge against our Saviour for using some precious 
ointment which the Pharisees contended ought to have been sold 1 and given 
to the poor. Not that they cared an iota for the poor, but they wanted to find 
fault and raise contention,, precisely similar to the demagogues here. You 
may remember that a very large portion of land in this country was voted by 
the Legislature for the use of the Clergy, in lieu of the odious system of 
tithes. This land was to be appropriated for the maintenance of the Clergy, 
and, in my opinion, a wise provision, provided it had been located in solid 
blocks of land, where it would not have interfered with the different settlers 
throughout the Province. But unluckily, where any great improvements were 
made throughout the Province, these neglected lands have been an eyesore 
to any further improvement in that district. They could not be sold; neither 
could they be exchanged or improved. On this account I consider the appro- 
priation injudicious. You are not to infer that there has been no solitary 
instance of any improvement; but to take the observation on a broad scale 
by considering that these lands for the most part are lying idle in the midst 
of other improvements. 

Session after session, various schemes have been submitted to bring this 
momentous question to some issue. But where the forms of religion are so 
divided and subdivided into various denominations, it has been totally im- 
practicable to please all parties. Thus, year after year, time has rolled away, 
and instead of lessening the evil has invariably increased it, from the circum- 
stance of men's minds having been unhinged by other topics. For the peace 
and harmony of society it would have been fortunate had the whole appro- 
priation been swamped, similar to the land contiguous to the Grand River: 
but there the trees stand in all the stateliness of primeval nature, no sturdy 
peasants being allowed to let in the sun's -rays preparatory to cultivation, when 
the earth would yield her increase in corn for the kindly use of the people. 

I should weary your patience were I to enter into further discussion 
on the subject. Suffice it to say, that the last scheme agitated seems to me 
the most reasonable and most likely to give general satisfaction the lands 
to be reinvested in the Crown, for the Legislature at home to appropriate 
for the best interest of the country, which will probably be done in the 
following manner : 

A certain proportion for general education, this necessary branch of 
economy at present being greatly neglected. 

A certain proportion for dissenters of various denominations. 

The remainder to the Church, either to be sold for a perpetual fund, 
or leased out to such settlers best calculated to improve the property. 

5 The question of the Clergy Reserves is somewhat vaguely stated here, though 
with some fairness. The Constitutional Act of 1791, which brought the Province of 
Upper Canada into existence, provided for " the support of the Protestant clergy," and 
as each new township was surveyed, every seventh lot of land was set apart for the 
purpose. The Church of England claimed the lands thus sequestrated, notwithstanding 
that a large majority of the population of the Province belonged to other Protestant 
denominations. After many years of political dispute on the subject, the Act, passed 
December 18, 1854, finally appropriated the Clergy Reserves for municipal purposes ; 
Appendix (LL) to the Journals of the Legislative Assembly for 1854-5 contains the 
statistics of the funds. (H.) 


There being a clause in the original grant, not generally known, giving 
the" House of Assembly the discretionary power to amend the appropriation, 
nothing short of the above arrangement will satisfy the people, who, deriving 
no benefit from the lands as they remain at present, may be literally said 
to have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind of contention. 

I fear I have tired you with this dry subject, so pass we on to the chief 
engine of discontent William Lyon Mackenzie. Demagogues like him, who 
leave their own country in disgrace and take refuge in another, where they 
have no character, to obtain for themselves an honest livelihood, either turn 
thieves, rogues or incendiaries. 6 The latter is the course he has invariably 
pursued since his arrival in this Province; first, by inflaming the minds of 
the ignorant,, and latterly, because he could not .succeed in his rebellious views, 
putting the strict meaning of the word into effect, by setting fire to and 
burning Dr. Home's house. 7 

This degraded being first turned libeller, thinking he could shake the 
foundation of social order in society, but as this scheme did not succeed where 
he could never gain admission, he made a few industrious mechanics, who have 
thriven by their industry, the scapegoats to further his degraded views. They 
unfortunately listened to his sophistry and ultimately became the deluded 
victims, while he ignominiously left them in the lurch by running away to 
the States, laughing in his sleeve at their credulity. 

That the mind of man is capable of being -egregiously imposed upon I 
readily admit. It has been so through all ages; but that an industrious 
people who have settled in the country, and thriven by its advantages, should 
have been led away by so notorious an adventurer, staggers every calm observer 
of men and manners. In the history of the buccaneers of South America, 
there are frequent traits of some noble manly feeling, but in the wandering 
of the archrebel Mackenzie, we neither hear of or discover one redeeming virtue 
for even the sympathizing to applaud. 

I was of this opinion soon after my arrival in the country, on perusing 
his writings, and I entertain the same opinion now, after a calm survey of 
his atrocities. 

The following documents alluded to in the former pages will shew you 
the low opinion that was even then entertained of his character and pro- 
ceedings. Unluckily, however, for his poor deluded victims, they have cause 
to curse the hour they ever listened to the voice of a viper who has entangled 

"This is a sample of the abuse then and sometimes now levelled at political 
reformers by those whose principle is Quieta non movere. It is grossly unjust to 
Mackenzie, whose personal character was above reproach both in Scotland, his birth- 
place, and in Canada; any crimes he committed were political. Most Canadians at 
the present time are of the same opinion as was he whose memory I hold in the utmost 
reverence; he who carried a musket against the Mackenzie rebels frequently told me 
that what Mackenzie sought was right, but his methods were wrong. 

7 Dr. Robert Charles Home, a somewhat prominent physician; he was at one 
time King's Printer and published the Upper Canada Gazette at York (Toronto) ; he 
got into trouble by publishing matter offensive to the Government really written by 
his reporter, the well-known Francis Collins. Retiring from this position, he became 
Assistant Cashier in the Bank of Upper Canada. He was an active member of the 
Medical Board of Upper Canada who examined and licensed students of medicine, 
authorizing them to practise*. He detested and despised Mackenzie, and Mackenzie 
during the short campaign of 1837 burnt his house on the east side of Yonge Street, 
nearly opposite the Davenport Road. This act of Mackenzie's seems to have been 
wholly without excuse; and he never satisfactorily explained it. 


them in the net of destruction by hie venomous writings. 8 Immersed in jail, 
away from their once happy homes, deprived of the comforts of their domestic 
firesides, their wives, children and social acquaintance, the ultimate confis- 
cation of their farma and property, these deluded victims through the 
instrumentality of a miserable renegado, forfeit their future peace of mind 
and happiness, perhaps their very existence, for a visionary project which 
could never benefit them one farthing, it being impossible, from the known 
loyalty of nine-tenths of the inhabitants here, for it ever to be brought to 
maturity. But I digress from the subject I alluded to, which I now forward 
for your perusal ; 

' An individual, signing his name W. L. Mackenzie, has put forth a 
rhodomontade in the Advocate newspaper, which he addresses to the people 
of Upper Canada. He quotes a motto from the satirist, Churchill, which 
he thinks applicable to his subject, but, alas, in his blind zeal for the fulfil- 
ment of his wishes, the downfall of all institutions in which he has no share, 
unfortunately for him, applies to himself, viz., "to spread destruction o'er 
the land/' Native docs not include him for he ia an exotic that can bloom 
in no country. 

The genial land of hie forefathers, which fostered men of principle, and 
gave birth to promoters of institutions for the benefit of the country at large, 
is too fair a soil for his reception. He therefore seeks an asylum in this land 
of freedom, and addresses his philippics to an intelligent race of men whom 
he calls fellow countrymen. He may rest assured they are no countrymen 
of his, for they will not own him. He is too spurious a breed to be engrafted 
on so honest a stock. Instead of improving the fruit, the tree would wither, 
as by a pestilential blast. He is comparable to a blight wafted by an eastern 
breeze that destroys whatever it touches. Yet this outcast from his native land 
has the audacity to frame rules of advice for this people's government and 
sets himself up as an oracle of the firet order to be consulted. He may rest 
assured, however, that none but fools and madmen listen to his nonsense. 
Men of sense scorn his principles, laugh at his follies, and spurn his advice 
if a jumble of declamation may be classed under so comprehensive a word. 
His style is coarse, his bombast low and vulgar, indicative of the society 
he must formerly have kept; his reasoning, fallacious; his effrontery, un- 
parallelled. Yet this rude inhabitant of Scotia's hills has the vanity to think 
that his farrago is clear as law and comprehensive ae the Gospel. 

Like Dionysius formerly, he is surrounded by his satellites, who applaud 
his compositions and submit to his dogmas, but they will find to their sorrow 
that when hia leaf is in the sear, they will wither as quickly and fall equally 

His own operations being a bubble, he concludes all institutions like them. 
Needy in pocket, he envies his more fortunate possessors of a circulating 
medium called money, and would wish to level all the industrious and thriving 

8 It would be difficult to conceive of a more delightful collection of " Hibemicisms." 
A viper deludes his victims by his < ooioe, and thereby entangles them in a net by his 
venomous writings and Coventry was an Englishman! The Advocate mentioned juat 
below is, of course, The Colonial Advooate, founded by Mackenzie, published at Dundae, 
the first issue being May 18, 1824 ; he removed it to York in the following November, 
when he changed his residence to that city, and continued its publication till the time 
of the Rebellion. 

* Since fully reaiieed. 


to his own scale of penury. He compares a paper currency to a grist mill 
and the issuers to fashionable rogues, forgetting that when he has discounted 
himself, the old adage applies that the receiver is as bad as the thief. 

Like a weathercock, he is blown about from north to south, from east 
to west, all institutions now eyeing his name with a suspicious eye. A quietus, 
however, from any of the banks would long ago have been sufficient to lure 
his restless spirit to repose, and cause him to adore any establishment which 
would enrich his finances. A needy adventurer in a young colony can never 
be encouraged, unless he is found to possess the intrinsic virtues of an honest, 
honourable man, which he can never aspire to. Hence his epithet " scourge 
of the colony " which he may bear in mind applies with more force to himself 
than to the Bank which falls under his censure and reproach. 

Like Lucifer, he introduces religion when any particular end is to be 
accomplished, and talks to the mechanic and farmer with as much effrontery 
as tho' they were as devoid of talent and foresight as himself. He dives 
into the private affairs of intelligent men with as little caution as he exposes 
his own ignorance. One minute, his watchword is " Away with paper 
currency " ; the next, he proposes the establishment of a Bank on a foundation 
as firm as a rock. He tells us that the old Bank, as well as the new ones, 
keep the merchants in chains and the farmers in fetters; but that the bank 
which he proposes to sanction will break their yoke. What delightful news! 
This shallow brained individual forgets to tell you that he has found out 
the philosopher's stone whereby you can live without any trouble. According 
to his statement, the Upper Canada Bank is in a bad way as well as all 
others; therefore, what a fine opening for the firm of Mackenzie & Co. 
Farmers, prepare for a storm, for it is approaching, and when you see the 
sky above this silly financier look black, which it frequently does, and the 
Bank once announced as about to be opened, look to your wheat, for it will 
then want housing/ 


* The wolf that has for several weeks quietly slept in his lair is again 
on his rambles. With a hungry appetite and glaring eyes he is not dainty 
about his prey. A limb of ft parson, a lawyer, a judge or a civilian, 9 all 
serve him in turn to pick, and this he does with very little mercy. Like 
the eastern serpent, he tries to charm his prey before he seizes it, and 
commences his attack by treating his readers with a quotation from the 
powerful pen of the prophet Micah. Instead of referring to Dean Swift he 
should have perused the whole chapter from the original, as well as the 
previous one, wherein he would have found the following applicable to 
himself ; 

" Woe to them that devise iniquity and work evil upon their beds ; when 
the morning is light they practise it because it is in the power of their hand." 

He also quotes an extract from a country paper, applauding a country 
preacher for diverting the minds of his congregation from their religious 
duties, and for turning the house of prayer into a Compting House, or rather 
into a den of thieves to hear him preach sedition. This he imagines will 

Probably the parson was the Hon. and Rev. Dr. John Strachan, afterwards 
Bishop of Toronto the lawyer, Henry John Boulton, Attorney-General, or Christopher 
Alexander Hagerman, Solicitor-General, both afterward raised to the Bench the 
Judge, Sir John Beverley Robinson, Chief Justice of Upper Canada the name of the 
civilian was Legion. 


tickle the reader's fancy. All this is a circuitous route to reach this sign 
post, with the name: of McNab 10 written upon it, and to level his abuse at that 
gentleman as well as all lawyers. If he had been named one of the com- 
missioners, all would have gone on right for a- time, and Chief Justice Robinson 
would then have been a- man of discernment, but that honest judge knew 
the Lyon too well, to allow him to -lie down in the same lair. So he growls 
and thinks the law -very wickedly concocted. 

The truth is; he envies all thriving men : and upholds them to the world 
as a parcel of rogues and rascals as devoid of principle as himself. His sole 
object is to stir up confusion in the land, as his writings too plainly testify. 
But never let him show his" -face again in the Gore District after the horse- 
whipping he so justly received. 

Whither then can this restless, unhappy, degraded mortal retire?* 
If he wend his way to Hamilton, the finger of scorn is pointed at him. In 
the west, his name is a byword of detestation and reproach, and at home 
he is too contemptible for notice any further than as a miserable object of 
compassion for his follies. He has placed himself on a level with a common 
incendiary f who eyes with jealousy the fruits of industry that he cannot 
partake of, and sends forth a firebrand to reduce his neighbours to that 
abject condition he is himself condemned to. 

Reckless of his own character, his bosom harbours all the furies of 
Cerberus, which he lets loose upon the public to suit a bewildered and 
chagrined imagination. He possesses none of the graceful qualities of man, 
as justice, verity, bounty, mercy, lowliness, courage or fortitude, but like 
Malcolm in Macbeth 

" abounds 

In the division of each several crime 

Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power I should 

Pour the sweet milk of concord into Hell, 

Uproar the universal peace, confound 

All unity on earth.-" 

This scion of so loathsome a stock fancies his low scurrilities acceptable 
to the people. A very sorry opinion they must have of any stranger who 
derides all institutions and belies his Governor b} r asserting that the meaner 
the individuals are who approach him, the better he likes them, who libels all 
government officers by asserting that they are "tipsy fools." None but 
cowards and villains dare make use of such gross epithets, since they shelter 
themselves under the mask of the lowest rank of rebels, who aim at the 
destruction of society altogether. Such bravadoes never fight, because they 
have no innate feeling of honour, and they are too contemptible for prose- 
cution as every respectable individual pities a wretch so debased in the scale 
of human nature. 

Blind to his own degraded station, he talks of brazen faces and a black- 
guard press, forgetting that no one bears so close a resemblance to the former 
and no press possesses the title of the latter but the one polluted by his 

10 Of course, Hon. (afterward Sir) Allan Napier MacNab. 

* Since absconded to the States, where he has been fostered and protected by a 
race of men as devoid of principle as himself. Men of integrity would not countenance 
his proceedings, nor have they. . . 

t Now proved by his actions in December last. 


own letters. Hence, the tyranny he speaks of engendered by his own venom, 
and this he calls a responsibility that he never shrinks from. Men of no 
principle claim this as a privilege, having no responsibility to offer, yet this 
tyrant of the press stigmatizes the whole Gore District as the meanest set 
in the colony. They are not so mean, however, but they can appreciate his 
good opinion of them in a proper way by the application of a horsewhip at 
a cart's tail on his next appearance there. A man must be gifted with a 
consummate impudence to utter so foul a slander, but he knows no better, not 
having been brought up in the school of propriety. Wrapped up in his own 
mercenary views, he is too callous to see his own distorted image in the 
mirror of life. Yet this empty-headed individual has been heard to say that 
" Every man has his price " as a bait for the Government. But, thank God, 
it is composed of men of too clear a discernment to harbour a serpent who, 
when warmed by the fire, would instantly turn round and bite them with his 
venomous teeth. 

How fully many of the above insinuations have come to pass, you will 
perceive as we enter further into our narrative. Suffice it here to draw your 
attention to two facts ; the first, wherein his conduct since, has fully justified 
the severe censure passed upon him at that period, and his recent cowardly 
conduct in running away to the States, leaving his infatuated friends, as he 
termed them, to fight their battles in their own way. Numbers of these 
having property at stake in the country, (which he has not), returned to 
their disconsolate homes and have since been incarcerated in jail to await 
trial, in consequence of information by their own party. So true it is, as 
Shakespeare justly observes, that rebellion seldom prospers, 11 first, by reason 
of its being a bad cause, and secondly, by disunion among the leaders and 
perpetrators. The subjoined letter to Mackenzie himself terminates the 
interest I have hitherto taken in his proceedings. I considered that by 
endeavouring to stem the torrent of his incendiary writings was no more 
than a duty which everyone owes to a liberal government interested in the 
happiness and well being of the colonists. The hour has arrived when it is 
gratifying to reflect that 

" His treasons now sit blushing in his face, 
Not able to endure the light of day, 
But, self -affrighted, tremble at his sin." 

Richard II, Act iii, Scene ii. 

11 There's such a divinity doth hedge a king 

That treason can but peep to what it would." Hamlet, Act 4, Sc. 4. 
" Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke." 1 Henry IV, Act V, Sc. 1. 
" Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway." 1 Henry IV, Act V, Sc. 1. 

There are several like passages in Ricliard II and 2 Henry IV. Possibly Coventry 
was thinking of Sir John Harrington, who gives the true reason of treason's want of 
prosperity : 

" Treason doth never prosper : what's the reason ? 
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason." 

Epigram, " Of Treason."' 


Toronto, October, 1835. 
To William Lyon Mackenzie. 

" I make no apology for commenting on your extraordinary outrage upon 
society. Your palpable falsehoods betoken a heart devoid of a l ll principle. 
Not content with attacking the institutions of the country, you descend to 
private individuals with a scurrility that none but the lowest dregs of society 
would ever countenance. This you style Patriotism, and set yourself up as 
the high priest of reformation, a word that I very much doubt you know 
the meaning of. I would seriously recommend you to set about reforming 
yourself. For this one act, the world might perhaps give you credit, provided 
you shew any sincerity, but, alas, it is contrary to your very nature. No credit 
can ever be due to a driveller who sits down to sap the foundation of order 
and good government, and who endeavours to stir up confusion among an hon- 
est, peaceable and industrious yeomanry. If you anticipate any result by your 
inflammatory and incendiary writings, you will be disappointed. The aggre- 
gate of the community are not such fools as you take them to be; they are 
men of sober, calm reflection and reject your dogmas and advice with scorn. 
You may ape the politician and man of intellect in a low tavern, a place 
you seem particularly partial to, to circulate your opinions; but even there, 
your follies are discussed after your departure ; whichever way you turn, your 
hopes are frustrated. All the low cunning you possess will never turn to 
account, because you have no principle in your plans. They are visionary, 
chimerical and foolish, fit only for Robespierre or Danton, not for a respect- 
able community. 

Your vanity leads you to suppose you are lord of the ascendant, and 
that the name of Mackenzie is a tower of strength. Poor, frail man, you 
are not the first to swim on empty bladders. Conceit has been the stumbling 
block of thousands besides yourself, therefore you by no means sit solitary 
in the annals of tomfoolery. Your chief juggler in politics behind the curtain 
makes you the scapegoat and is no doubt delighted that you are a willing 
instrument to bear the brunt of popular derision. Recollect that this is not 
the reign of folly as once was the case in France. The people now think 
and act calmly for themselves and are not so easily led away by demagogues 
and low raillery. 

Your time has been profitably employed in feeding youreelf during the 
summer months at the expense of the public in looking over the Welland 
Canal books, an arduous undertaking truly to a man like you, so little skilled 
in accounts, but which an accomptant of the commonest capacity would have 
accomplished in one-fourth the time. But this did not suit your finances. 
You must be kept, and pretty well too. Yet you turn round when your 
laboured task is completed and bite the very hand who has fed you. To 
render your name the more infamous, you betray the trust confided in you, 
and filily convey items of private expenditure to a distant paper, thinking it 
would not be supposed that you were the aggressor. This is the quintessence 
of baseness, but quite consistent with the depravity of your mind. 

The page of history can scarcely furnish an instance of such barefaced 
treachery, with the exception of Caesar Borgia, of whose dark and lowering 
eoul you are the very type. This is indeed a pitiful extremity for any man 
to arrive at, especially one who has the audacity to call himself a patriot, 
and one who has secretly been trying to stir up rebellion, whereas your private 


character ought rather to be faultless like Sydney's to give confidence to your 
adherents. Not so with you. On the contrary, you appear to possess all 
the various and black passions of Caracalla's soul. You write with the anguish 
of a tortured mind and a disordered imagination. Were you conscious of 
one spark of humanity, you would shudder at the palpable falsehoods you 
circulate to the world. But this spark, if ever you poessed it, appears for 
ever extinguished, leaving you the possessor of a tenement that no one can 
envy you possession of. But the hour of reckoning must arrive, when all 
the horrors of a guilty conscience will arise in judgment against you. Thia 
alone will be a sufficient punishment for the barefaced assertions you have 
promulgated. Remember that, although you may flee from the punishment 
you so justly merit, yet you cannot avert the retributive power that inevitably 
pursues the liar, the treacherous and the ignoble. You will then retrace your 
ambitious footsteps to the path of obscurity from whence you emanated, a 
fatal lesson to forlorn adventurers like yourself." 

How far this prophetic declaration is verified, you will be made acquainted 
with hereafter. One assertion I may boldly make, that the latter part is not 
far from the truth, when we know to a certainty that he at present is a fugitive 
and a vagabond on the opposite shore. The people in that quarter will soon 
find to their cost that they have cherished and countenanced the proceedings 
of an individual in every respect unworthy the confidence of even a nation of 

From the general tenor of his writings, it required but little discernment 
to see through his ostensible object. Not content with undermining the foun- 
dation of the government, by denouncing all proceedings connected therewith, 
he launched out into invectives against every public establishment throughout 
the country. Banks, canals, in fine, every institution of public utility was 
censured and abused. 

That he was a hireling connected with some rebels in the mother country 
and the States, I have always thought, and now firmly believe from corre- 
spondence that has been found in the fugitive's papers. Their main object 
appears to have been to create distrust in the government and weaken the 
power of the country in every possible way. 

In the English House of Parliament, the outcry against profuse expen- 
diture was made the subterfuge for removing the Naval Establishment here. 
Having succeeded in that, the object of their wishes, they then proceeded to 
further extremities. I was extremely sorry to find, when I had the pleasure 
of seeing Commodore, now Admiral, Barrie, at Montreal, that he was called 
home, and that the Establishment was to be abandoned. This was the most 
unwise, injudicious proceeding that was ever carried into effect by the colonial 
policy. It was conducted at a small expense and at all times a valuable check 
against any insubordination. The present results have proved the truth of 
this assertion. 

In a country abounding with such fine navigable lakes and rivers, there 
was fine scope for their movements from one end of the colony to the other. 18 

"The abandonment of the Canadian Naval Establishment in 1831-2 by the 
British Admiralty was the result of several causes, viz., the successful operation of 
the Buuh-Bagot Agreement of 1817 by which Great Britain and the United State* 
were each to maintain no more than one gunboat each on Lake Champlain and Lake 
Ontario and no more than two on the upper lakes, the introduction of steamboats ani 
the development of steam navigation by the St. Lawremee, Ottawa and Bideau rate 


Gunboats have been tested in all countries as most formidable engines of war. 
In this province most essentially so, either for the conveyance of troops sud : 
dehly from one district to another, from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie or else- 
where, or for the destruction of piratical vessels. They require 1 no harbour 
in their evolutions, as they can run into any creek, or anchor close along the 
shore in case of emergency. An Establishment managed by sailors of intrepid 
courage, as they have unanimously been proved to be, should be fostered and 
protected even in the days of profound peace, particularly so when located in 
the vicinity of a country liable at all times to encroach upon our borders. 
Not that I would have you to imagine the restless temperaments of its inhab- 
itants would do so with impunity. But the question relative to the boundary 
line, not having been amicably settled, always afforded a pretext for some 
national squabble, and iintil that important question was finally adjusted, 
!;here was the greater need for an Establishment of observation. The pro- 
priety of this remark is now generally admitted, and with just cause, since 
the late outrageous proceedings by American citizens, with whom we have 
for many years been on terms of good fellowship and communion. On 
perusing the details of the late conflict, you will be made fully acquainted 
with the services which some of those disbanded gallant fellows rendered in 
the cause of their country and which justly entitled them to the thanks of 
their government. The framers and plotters of the rebellion were well aware 
of their utility, and on this account laid their plans and succeeded in having 
them removed from service. All this was done under the mask of befriending 
the people by a reduction of the expenditure of the nation. You are aware 
that I am averse to every species of warfare but, until the nations become 
more nearly allied on true Christian principles, war and all its concomitants 
appear as necessary evils which society has to endure to cement it together. 

Not only was the country deprived of assistance from this valuable Naval 
Establishment, but the army was reduced to a part of three regiments which 
had been removed to Lower Canada on the breaking out of the rebellion there. 
Steamboats, schooners, scows, boats and every description of craft were laid 
up for the winter, icebound, none of -which were contiguous to Chippawa, 
where they were afterwards most wanted. Under these circumstances never 
was a more favourable opportunity for Mackenzie's party to create confusion, 
although the plans were visionary in the extreme. They were considered so 
by the Governor* himself, who knew all their movements and who even 
allowed them a full opportunity of making the experiment. So contemptible 
did he consider the party that he even took no measures to prevent their 
private drilling, and allowed the leader to circulate his seditious writings. 13 
Free scope for action was afforded, thinking that the deluded people who 

in 1826, etc., the approaching completion of the Carillon, Greenville and Rideau Canals, 
begun in 1827, and the opening of the Welland Canal in 1829. These changes had 
a profound effect upon the naval situation in Canada, yet Coventry seems to ignore 
all of them in forming his judgment of the abandonment. See T. C. Reefer's " Canals 
of Canada" (1894); also' Dr. Scadding's "Toronto of Old," p. 505, for the public 
sale of naval supplies at Penetanguishene, March 15, 1832, at the abandonment of the 
Establishment. (H.) 

* Sir Francis Bond Head. 

18 Sir Francis Bond Head had utterly disregarded the numerous warnings that 
private drilling was in progress, if not disbelieved them. See for example, "A Veteran 
of 1812" (FitzGibbon), pp. 188-191. (H.) 


acted in unison with him would be tired with his cajoleries. Whether this 
was a politic measure is not for me to determine, but 1 it shows the forbearance 
of the Governor's policy, he being unwilling to do one single act that could 
be construed into harsh measures. * He was determined to show by his lenity 
that there should be no ostensible cause of discontent. 

I know that very many have censured this lenity as objectionable and 
have stated that steps should have been taken, either by proclamation or 
otherwise, to warn the people who were known to be drilling privately that 
such proceedings were unconstitutional and could not be sanctioned; that 
if persisted in, they would be put down by the authority of the law. Then, 
again, further agitation might arise and secret meetings might be extended, 
from which but little could be elicited. Mackenzie might also have been 
arrested and tried for overt acts of treason. But should any of his adherents 
be jurymen and he be acquitted, as he had been before, the aifair would not 
be lessened by a trial. Under all these circumstances, therefore, the Gover- 
nor's policy has worked for the best, as it now convinces the country how very 
few disaffected there have, in reality, been found to support so feeble a cause. 
All that Sir Francis considered necessary, knowing their movements as he 
did, was to swear in a number of special constables, in the event of any dis- 
turbance happening in the city, which he did not from the nature of things 
anticipate ; and to order warrants to be prepared for Mackenzie's appre- 
hension, which were out against him a short time preparatory to their move- 
ments taking place; and it is not a little extraordinary that he was not 
arrested, because on the 2nd of December, only two days previous to the 
assembling of the forces, he was seen in Toronto eyeing the public buildings 
in an unusual manner, which could only be particularly noticed by those in 
iliD .secret. . . , 

From recent disclosures, it appears that his adherents were more numer- 
ous than they had been supposed to be. In bye districts, they were, as I 
observed to you before, principally confined to unlettered mechanics and 
farmers of no standing in society; consequently, although the Governor was 
informed of these committees in September, yet he did not think them of 
sufficient consequence to employ spies in order to watch their proceedings. 
It now turns out that there was a department in the City of Toronto, termed 
the executive, who regularly met for treasonable purposes and who carried 
on their proceedings with as much secrecy as the corresponding society in 
England. Some of these were men of reputed talent, and at one time respect- 
able members of the community, but unhappily for them, their minds became 
tinctured with visionary projects^ so deeply rooted as to carry them beyond 
the power of retracing the path of domestic quietude. They swore fealty to 
their unhallowed cause, and were thus hurried headlong into a vortex from 
which they never became extricated. I explained to you the nature of the 
Clergy Reserves which they bitterly complained of. Another grievance was 
the following : 

You are doubtless aware that the form of government in this Province 
is a type of our own in England, 14 - a privilege that many colonies do not 

14 It was such in form, but the Lieutenant-Governor believed it his duty to govern 
in fact; he thought government through a ministry responsible to the people was 
Republicanism. Responsible Government had been fairly well established in England, 
but it had not yet reached this Province. (See Note 15, infra.) 


enjoy. The Governor is the chief magistrate, as representative of the King. 
The House of Assembly consists of delegates from various departments of 
the country, choeen by the people for the general transaction of public business. 
The Legislative Council is a House of Lords on a small scale, with the plain 
addition of Honourable to their names. They are appointed by the Crown 
and hold their tenure for life. It is as difficult to remove one of them as a 
nobleman in England. Therefore the greatest discrimination was necessary, 
in the first instance, to ascertain whether they were men of the strictest 
integrity and honour. Their power is very great, no laws or bills being 
carried into effect without their sanction. They are a check upon the House 
of Assembly precisely similar to the Lords at home. No form of government 
is better suited to a community if carried on and conducted by men of sound 
principles and discretion. Yet this was a source of contention with the radical 
party, not being framed to suit their revolutionary views. Roebuck, Hume, 
Mackenzie and others have misrepresented those gentlemen because they 
acted upon principle in accordance with their oaths. They endeavoured to 
alter the system by having the members elected by the people, to hold their 
tenure at the people's will and pleasure, but such an alteration would never 
answer. It would unhinge the whole government arrangements and create 
constant schism and contentions in the country. 15 Certain demagogues would 
be delighted with this, it being their ostensible object. Such political vagaries 
are happily now silenced; order is again restored, and both Houses feel a 
pride in co-operating together for the general weal of the Province by 
promptly sanctioning such measures most likely to promote the best interests 
of the people. But to proceed with our narrative. 

What became of his executive and those in various districts who acted in 
unison with them I shall explain as we proceed, so will not detain you longer 
from a recital of facts, which I doubt not will interest you, although the 
subject is a rebellious one. 

It was the evening of Monday, the 4th December last, that the public 
were first made acquainted with the fact that the plans of the rebels were 
brought to maturity. I was then in the vicinity of Chippawa, contiguous 
to the Falls, on a visit to my friends Captains John and Edgworth Ussher, 18 

"The main grievance IB not included by Coventry in this category, and it is 
nowhere else stated by him. Sir F. B. Head insisted on his right to seek for persons 
suitable for the Executive Councils, and to ignore what the House of Assembly said 
about the fitness of men for executive responsibilities, and the Assembly's right to 
nominate them. The Demand for Responsible Government as to men as well as 
measures, which his six executive councillors thus made he repudiated and " politely 
bowed them out of (his) service " (Head, p. 66). This precipitated the stopping 
of the supplies, and raised the chief grievance about which the so-called Rebels com- 
plained. The subsequent general elections in Upper Canada, which commenced on 
June 20, 1836, and lasted for some weeks, changed the complexion of the House of 
Assembly in favour of the Governor, but this was chiefly accomplished by corrupt 
practices in which the Governor himself took a hand. The result only aggravated the 
situation, and increased the rancour of the defeated party, the more pessimistic of whom, 
losing patience, plotted the drastic measures that followed. (H.) 

M Captain Edgworth Hasher waa afterward aMeaainated at his home on the 
Niagara frontier by a citizen of the United States named Lotte, November, 1838. 
Their sister was the wife of George Mitchell, physician, at Pcnetanguishene, Ont. 
See A. C. Osborne's "Old PeneUaguishene ; Sketefces of iU Pioneer, Naval and Mili- 
tary Days," p. 55. <H.) 


whose houses stand opposite to Navy Island, the scene of so much commotion 
afterwards. I was sometimes at one house, sometimes at the other, their 
estates lying contiguous. There we shortly became acquainted with the 
insurrection that had broken out in the vicinity of Toronto about 100 miles 
distant. In the general excitement of the moment, and the contradictory 
accounts that were brought us, it was difficult to get at the real truth of the 
affair, more especially as many in Chippawa and its vicinity were favourable 
to the rebels' cause, who circulated untruths and exaggerated statements to 
suit their own views. I never contemplated it possible that any attempt 
would be made to change the form of government, although I well knew that 
many idle and ill-designing people nightly congregated to discuss the ques- 
tion. Indeed, the hotel where I had been residing during the summer season 
became at last annoying to me every time I entered it, from the circumstance 
of so many discontented and disaffected individuals assembling there. They 
nevertheless always treated me very well, although it was evident that my 
principles, which I boldly divulged in favour of the existing Government, 
were often a source of disquietude to them. On my return of an evening to 
retire to rest, it became a sort of countersign among them, " Here comes the 
Tory." This I laughed off, not dreaming that matters were so nearly ripe 
for an insurrection. Latterly, I seldom troubled them with my presence, as 
I could plainly perceive they were too strongly tinctured with Mackenzie's 
principles for me to eradicate, or make any impression on. Whether they 
looked upon me, as I often thought, as a spy to their proceedings, or from 
whatever cause, it was evident some of the most abandoned would gladly 
have put an end to me, as I was privately warned to be careful in my wander- 
ings to and from the Usshers', a solitary walk along the banks of the Niagara 
River for two miles. I was marked, and many supposed I certainly should 
be shot. This I but little heeded, being conscious that I had never done 
anything to injure a single individual in the neighbourhood. As a matter 
of prudence, however, my kind friends prevailed upon me to pay them a visit 
previous to my going to St. Catharines, where I had made arrangements to 
spend the winter. All these circumstances, combined, show how difficult it 
was, on the news arriving of the Toronto affair, to place any reliance in true 
matters of fact. Nor was it until I met with Captain Brooks afterward at 
Colonel Arnold's, that I knew to a certainty the real circumstances of the 

I recollect one circumstance that happened a short time previous to the 
insurrection, which convinced me that very many were in the secret as to 
what was going forward and the time fixed upon for a general rising, which 
has since been corroborated by Mackenzie himself. This was the appearance 
of Dr. Chapin 17 from Buffalo, whom I casually met at my hotel where I was 
then staying. This was the commencement of December. It was late in 
the afternoon, after the usual dinner hour, so one was prepared for him. 
I had been out shooting and was also behind time. Mr. Coles accompanied 
me. We soon entered into conversation on sundry topics, one of which was 
relative to Mackenzie, whom the Doctor said he knew. At that time both Mr. 

"Doctor Chapin of Buffalo. See Lindsey, Vol. II, p. 124. (H.) Also "Makers 
of Canada" Series, G. G. S. Lindsey's Edition, p. 411. Mackenzie calls him "the 
venerable Colonel Chapin." 
9 H.P. 


Coles and myself were ignorant with whom we were conversing. On enquiry 
afterwards we found he was one of Mackenzie's staunch adherents and without 
a doubt in the secret relative to his movements and the time fixed on for 
revolt, from the circumstance of Mackenzie proceeding directly to his house 
on his sudden flight to Buffalo. In the course of conversation, we spoke our 
minds very freely as to his general character and politics, and I distinctly 
recollect both of us stating that we believed him to be one of the greatest 
traitors and rascals that ever went unhung. He replied : " That may be your 
opinion, gentlemen, but many others differ from you." We nevertheless 
parted on very good terms, the Doctor giving us an invitation to call upon 
him, should business or pleasure lead us to Buffalo. The following morning 
he proceeded to the Short Hills, 18 a district known to be full of rebels. 
Where he went to from thence I never learnt or took the pains to enquire, but 
I conscientiously believe, as well as many others, that his ostensible object 
in coming over was to reconnoitre how the affair would terminate after the 
7th of the month, the day agreed upon by the executive for the assembling 
of the rebel forces. For the organization of their plans I give them no credit. 
Never was a measure so weakly managed or carried into effect. It, however, 
tended to show, notwithstanding the belief to the contrary, how very few 
throughout the country could be found either ready or willing to carry things 
to extremities. One circumstance alone, throughout the whole train of events, 
certainly was well kept, namely the secret relative to the day appointed for 
a general muster, which Mackenzie himself stated was known three weeks 
beforehand. Out of the various characters implicated, many of whom were 
of the most abandoned and profligate, I never heard of but one who revealed 
the secret or was rash enough to betray them. This may be accounted for 
from the circumstance that had the delinquent been discovered he would 
inevitably have forfeited his life by assassination. But to proceed. 

The rebel force assembled at Montgomery's Hotel, 19 about four miles 
distant from Toronto. Their plans, according to the declaration of their 
leader afterwards, were to proceed to the city, join the executive there, seize 
4,000 stand of arms which had been placed in the City Hall, take the Gov- 
ernor into custody and hang him on his own flagstaff, place the garrison in 
the hands of the liberals, declare the Province free and call a convention 
together to frame a new constitution. 

Unaccountable as this bold measure appears, numbers who joined the stan- 

18 The Short Hills. See Brig.-Gen. Cmikshank's "Insurrection in the Short 
Hills in 1838." (Ontario Historical Society's "Papers and Records," Vol. VIII, 
p. 5). (H.) 

19 " Montgomery's Tavern was a large wayside inn with a broad platform in 
front and with a lamp suspended over a central doorway. It stood within a few feet 
of the site now (1885) occupied by the brick hotel at Eglinton. It was owned by 
John Montgomery, a prominent Radical of those days." Dent, Vol. II, p. 43. The tavern 
was a well-known meeting-place of the discontented. Montgomery took part in the 
Rebellion, was tried for treason and convicted before Chief Justice Robinson: sen- 
tenced to death, his sentence was commuted to transportation for life: he with some 
others escaped from Fort Henry, Kingston, and went to the United States; he kept 
hotel at Rochester for some time. Pardoned in 1843, he returned to Canada and 
rebuilt his Tavern, which had been burned in December 1837: subsequently removing 
to Barrie, he lived there till his death, October 31, 1879, in his ninety-sixth year. For 
some further particulars of his early life (and portrait), see "Guide to the J. Ross 
Robertson Historical Collection in the Public Reference Library, Toronto," 891. 


dard believed it was practicable, and actually left their homes with rifles, pikes 
and old muskets to put the plan into execution. Toronto, as I before observed, 
was at that time in a defenceless condition, no preparation having been made 
for any meditated attack further than the swearing in of a few special con- 
stables, such implicit reliance had the Governor in the general loyalty of the 
country. The whole of the troops had marched to the relief of Lower Canada, 
their assistance being required there in consequence of the known disaffec- 
tion of the Papineau party, whose numbers were very numerous. At this 
juncture, so well had Mackenzie's adherents kept the secret that nothing 
whatever of their movements was known in Toronto, nor would even the 
Governor have been informed of it, had not the loyalty and courage of a few 
individuals, at the risk of their lives, overcome every obstacle. Those gentle- 
men were Captain Brooks, Captain Stewart and Alderman Powell. 20 

Part of the rebels' plans was to place guards at certain distances along 
the road on either side of Montgomery's Tavern, to stop any travellers and 
take them prisoners, until a reinforcement of men had arrived sufficiently 
numerous to march on to Toronto and execute their plans. Sheppard's 
Tavern, 21 on the Newmarket Road, was strongly guarded, and there they 
detained a gentleman whom Mr. Jebb was well acquainted with. He was 
on his way home to Newmarket from Toronto, but finding the road paraded 
by armed men, and the appearance of things very critical, he called at Captain 
Brooks 722 house on the way, imploring him to join him with his assistance. 

Although greatly fatigued, he ordered his horse, armed himself with a brace 
of pistols, and they proceeded together toward Sheppard's tavern, about eight 
miles from Toronto. They had not gone far before they discovered a vast 
concourse of men in the road, all well armed with rifles. One of the leaders, 
who was supposed to be Lount, 23 came forward and questioned them as to 
their place of destination. They replied, to Newmarket. Mr. Jebb, whom 
Lount knew, was allowed to pass. Captain Brooks was then examined. He, 
with great presence of mind, stated his name to be Brown, a neighbour of 
Mr. Jebb's, which satisfied Lount (or " Round Jacket," as he was nicknamed), 
.and they both rode on together. They had the same ordeal to undergo with 
other guards, but finally reached Sheppard's, where they found Mr. Jebb's 
friend in custody. Shortly after Colonel Moodie, 24 Captain Stewart and 

20 Captain Hugh Stewart, Thomas Richard Brooks and Alderman John Powell 
(the eldest son of Chief Justice William Dummer Powell and afterwards Mayor of 

21 Sheppard's Tavern was built on lot 16, Yonge Street, the place being now 
known as Lansing, and the crossroad leading westward as Sheppard Avenue. (H.) 

22 Captain Thomas Eichard Brooks' house was on lot No. 8, a short way south 
of Hogg's Hollow, or York Mills. The locality is known now as Bedford Park, at the 
extreme northerly limit of the city. (H.) 

23 Samuel Lount, born in Pennsylvania in 1791 of an English father (from 
Bristol), while his mother was of English descent; he became a blacksmith and came 
to Upper Canada in 1811, settling at Holland Landing; he became a farmer and a 
surveyor, and acquired a modest competency. A sincere lover of constitutional govern- 
ment, he joined Mackenzie's ill-fated scheme; he was convicted of treason and hanged 
(with Matthews) at the Old Gaol, Toronto, in 1838. 

24 Colonel Robert Moodie, formerly of the 104th Eegiment of Foot, was a veteran 
of the Napoleonic wars: he served in Canada during the War of 1812 and took part 
in the sanguinary battle of Queenston Heights. He had a large grant of land and 
retired on half-pay. In the Session of 1837-8, the Legislature granted a pension ol 


another gentleman rode up, not knowing the cause of the fracas. They con- 
sulted together as to the best course to be pursued, which they soon decided 
upon. Colonel Moodie, who was a determined, gallant old soldier, armed with 
a brace of pistols, instantly resolved that they should assist each other and 
proceed to Toronto, notwithstanding the apparent obstacles in the way. They 
rode three abreast, Captain Brooks, Colonel Moodie and Captain Stewart 
taking the lead, the other three following in the rear. On approaching 
Montgomery's Tavern they were stopped by the same individual, supposed 
to have been Lount, and questioned as to their destination. Moodie replied, 
" To Toronto." " You cannot go," said Lount, " you are our prisoners." 
Finding Moodie resolutely determined to work his way, notwithstanding so 
large an armed force, amounting then to about three hundred, he called upon 
the guards to do their duty and to fire. Although the distance was so short, 
yet, strange as it may appear, out of three rifle shots, only one took effect, 
which killed poor Moodie on the spot. He was caught by Captain Brooks 
and never spoke but once, merely repeating the word " Charge," as though 
engaged with an enemy himself on the field of battle. He was carried into 
Montgomery's Tavern and expired shortly after. In the confusion that took 
place it was difficult to remember the minutiae, but Captain Brooks told me 
he thought Colonel Moodie never used his pistols on the occasion. It was of 
the greatest consequence to the rebels that no one should proceed to Toronto 
that night. They therefore proceeded to detain the rest of Moodie's party. 
Captain Brooks, perceiving this, went round the house, mounted his horse 
and prepared for escape. He was, however, fired at. the second time, but 
fortunately escaped unhurt, galloping off, followed by Captain Stewart. 
They had not proceeded farther than the toll gate (it being a new macadam- 
ized road), than they were stopped again by two persons, one of whom pre- 
sented a horse-pistol and fired upon them. This was none other than Mac- 
kenzie himself, whom Brooks well knew. The other, he asserts, was Dr. 
Morrison, 25 who had spectacles on. Brooks for the third time escaped unhurt. 
His pistol, which he presented at Mackenzie, unfortunately flashed in the 
pan, otherwise the world would have been well rid of a traitor who caused 
the loss of life to so many of his fellow creatures afterwards. The snapping 
of the pistol, however, caused Mackenzie to let go the reins of his horse, by 
which means he escaped. In the affray Stewart got to Toronto and first 
gave the alarm. Brooks reached the Government House about an hour after- 
ward by a circuitous route, and there confirmed the melancholy intelligence 
of the death of Colonel Moodie. 

Whilst these proceedings were carrying on, a few gentlemen had turned 

100 ($400) to his widow and children, (1837-8) 1 Vic., 3rd. Sess., Cap. 47 (U.C.). 
He is not to be confused with Colonel John Moodie (Sheriff of the County of Hastings), 
who was on the Provincial Establishment during the Rebellion. He was also a veteran, 
having served in the Low Countries and been wounded at Bergen-op-Zoom. He was 
the author of a few sketches, but had not the capacity of his wife, Mrs, Susanna 
Moodie, one of the Strickland family, whose works in Canada are well known. 

23 Dr. Thomas David Morrison, who received a licence to practise in 1824, one 
of the most prominent Radicals, member of the House of Assembly, Mayor of Toronto ; 
afterwards arrested as a rebel and tried for treason, but acquitted. He afterwards 
went to Rochester, but returned in 1843 to Toronto, where he lived and practised until 
his death. He protested against many of Mackenzie's actions and assailed him in 
no measured terms. Captain Brooks was certainly mistaken. 


out on a reconnoitring party along the Yonge Street road. This arose in 
consequence of some private information that had been given. There were 
present: Alderman Powell, Mr. Archibald Macdonnell, Colonel Fitzgibbon, 
Mr. Brock and Mr. Bellingham. It appears that Mr. Powell alone was 
armed with a brace of pistols. He rode alone as far as the Sheriff's Hill, 
about one mile from the city. The others had previously gone forward. 
Colonel Fitzgibbon, 26 after reconnoitring, returned home, thinking there was 
no danger to be apprehended. Mr. Powell and Mr. Macdonnell, not being 
quite satisfied, proceeded leisurely along until they reached the eminence 
called the Blue Hills. There they encountered four persons on horseback, 
riding abreast of each other. Mackenzie, who was one of the four, armed 
with a large horse-pistol, advanced forward and ordered these two gentlemen 
to halt. His companions, armed with rifles, instantly surrounded them and 
said they were their prisoners. Mr. Powell demanded by what authority. 
Anderson, 27 who was one of the party, cried out that their rifles were their 
authority. Mackenzie then asked many questions as to the force and prepara- 
tions making in town, what guard was placed at the Government House, and 
whether an attack was expected that night; to all which questions Mr. Powell 
fearlessly replied that he, Mackenzie, might go and see. This answer enraged 
the rebels very much, and Mackenzie immediately ordered Anderson and 
Sheppard to march the prisoners into the rear and hasten on the men. 
Anderson took charge of Mr. Powell, and Sheppard undertook to secure Mr. 
Macdonnell. The former went first and the latter about ten yards behind. 
Anderson was excessively abusive toward the Governor, and said that he would 
let Bond Head know something before long. Mr. Powell asked him of what 
he had to complain, and reasoned with him on the impropriety and wickedness 
of his conduct. But it was of no avail; he replied that they had borne 
tyranny and oppression too long, and were now determined to have a govern- 
ment of their own. 

Having reached Dr. Home's gate, a person on horseback met them. 
Anderson ordered him to halt and enquired who he was. He replied 
Thomson. Mr. Powell instantly said, " Mr. Thomson, I claim your protec- 
tion; I am a prisoner." The gentleman whom they accosted turned out to 
be Captain Brooks, who recognized Mr. Powell by his voice and said, " Powell, 
the rebels have shot poor Colonel Moodie and are advancing on the city." 
On saying this Brooks put spurs to his horse and succeeded in escaping; for, 
although both Anderson and Sheppard turned round to fire at him, they 
could not effect their purpose. Upon this intelligence Mr. Powell (who was 
armed, although the rebel guard did not know it) made up his mind to 
effect an escape at all hazards, feeling assured that the salvation of the city 
depended upon prompt measures. He made several attempts to fall back, 
which being noticed by Anderson, he said if he persisted in attempting to 
escape he would drive a ball through him. They proceeded in this way as 

"Colonel Fitzgibbon wrote various accounts of the outbreak of Mackenzie's 
rebellion, the most exhaustive account of his own share in the defence of Toronto being 
in " An Appeal to the People of Upper Canada," published in 1847. See Mary Agnes 
Fitzgibbon's " A Veteran of 1812 the Life of James Fitzgibbon," p. 186, et seq. (H.) 

"Anthony Anderson, of Lloydtown, had been appointed to lead the Rebels with 
Samuel Lount; he was a man of great courage and some military experience. His 
death is thought to have been a great loss to the Revolutionary forces. 


far as Mr. Heath's, when Mr. Powell suddenly drew out a pistol and fired 
at Anderson, who was riding close beside him; he fell instantly, and neither 
spoke nor moved afterward. Mr. Powell and Mr. Macdonnell, then rode off 
at full speed toward the city. Sheppard followed and fired at them; the ball 
whizzing between the two. Mr. Powell, finding his horse could not keep up, 
told Macdonnell to ride hard and give the alarm in the city. 

At the Sheriff's Hill 28 they were again met by Mackenzie and the other 
guard. The former rode after Mr. Powell and, presenting his pistol at his 
head, ordered him to stop, on which Mr. Powell snapped his remaining pistol 
in Mackenzie's face, which he actually touched, but unfortunately it did not 
go off. Mackenzie's horse either took fright or he could not be stopped, for he 
ran on ahead of Mr. Powell, who suddenly drew up opposite Dr. Baldwin's 29 
house at Spadina, up which avenue he galloped for about twenty yards, then 
jumped off his horse and ran into the woods. 

Hearing himself pursued, he lay down for a short time behind a log, 
whilst a person on horseback passed by him within a few yards. At this crisis 
his feelings may be readily imagined as acute in the extreme, especially as 
some of the rebel guards had been stationed in the woods, and he did not 
know but they might be very numerous. There he lay and listened, and 
thinking his pursuer was far enough, he arose from his retreat behind the 
log and, running through the college fields, gained an avenue, down which 
he continued his course and reached the city. After informing the Governor, 
he went to the City Hall and performed duty for the night. 

Doubtless you would like to know what became of Mr. Macdonnell. 30 
He was recaptured at the Toll Gate and again made prisoner. I knew him 
well, a man of great coolness and courage, who afterward raised a company of 
volunteers, of whom he was Captain. Had he been armed as Mr. Powell was, 
in all probability Mackenzie would have been shot between the two fires. 

We seldom read in history of so narrow an escape as that of Mr. Powell ; 
for had it so happened that the latter's pistol, which he snapped in Mackenzie's 

28 Sheriff's Hill was better known as Gallows Hill. Sheriff W. B. Jarvis had his 
residence a short way above. The name Gallows Hill, however, did not have any con- 
nection with official proceedings by the Sheriff's hangman, although the term may 
have been applied in a facetious way. The circumstance of a fallen tree, underneath 
which teams had to pass when ascending through the notch, gave rise to the name 
" Gallows." See Scadding's " Toronto of Old," p. 425. 

These operations of the insurrectionists on Gallows Hill, apart from the later con- 
flict at Montgomery's Tavern, became the subject of some current doggerel verse at 
the time and for some years afterward: 

" Mackenzie and his rebel band 

Were beat on Gallows Hill, sir; 
To Buffalo they did retreat 
And said '* We use the mill, sir.' " 

(the Prescott Windmill being evidently referred to in the last line). Sir F. B. Head 
erroneously applied the name of Gallows Hill in his Narrative to .the gentle rise of 
ground at Montgomery's Tavern ("Head," p. 333), and the Misses Lizars ("Humours 
of '37," p. 161) and numerous other historical writers adopt the same error from 
him. (H.) 

29 Dr. William Warren Baldwin, Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, 
a moderate Radical, father of the better-known Eobert Baldwin, the original " Baldwin 

80 Mr. Archibald McDonald, wharfinger, 36 Front Street, Toronto. 


face, had been first levelled at Anderson, in all probability both his own life 
and that of Mr. Macdonnell would have fallen a sacrifice. In the excitement 
of the moment, and so taken by surprise as they were, it is impossible to say 
how anyone would act. Prudence is out of the question; fortunately, how- 
ever, the drama terminated in the preservation of both their lives, to be useful 
afterward in the service of their country. 

Mr. Powell, Mr. Stewart and Captain Brooks having succeeded in reach- 
ing the city, contrary to the plans of the rebels, which were to prevent anyone 
from going there that evening, the schemes of Mackenzie and his party were 
totally frustrated. It appears that after the encounter with Mr. Powell, 
Mackenzie and his guards returned to Montgomery's Tavern, where he saw the 
murdered remains of poor Colonel Moodie, which, so far from exciting any 
pity in his savage breast, gave him infinite pleasure, for he afterwards in his 
narrative, applauded the act. Here he assembled as many men as he could, 
the numbers increasing to three hundred or four hundred, armed with pikes, 
Indian guns, old fowling pieces and rifles. So ill-managed were all their 
plans that they had not taken the precaution even to procure a single cannon 
from the States to defend their position in case of an attack. Never was so 
miserable a display of what he termed patriots in the cause of Freedom. 
Even those few, according to Mackenzie's own statement, on the first approach 
of danger turned out, like Sir John Falstaff's recruits, beggarly cowards. 
They took to their heels with affright and ran, unfortunately for the patriot 
cause, the wrong way, thus verifying the truth of Hudibras' assertion 

" He that fights and runs away 
Will live to fight another day; 
But he that's 'in the battle slain 
Will never live to fight again." 

Every opportunity was afforded them to collect their scattered forces 
and to arrange their plans, it being the decision of the Governor, knowing what 
a miserable set they were, to leave them in their encampment until the city 
was placed in a suitable posture of defence. Orders were immediately issued 
by proclamation for the militia of the country to assemble. Nobly was that 
call responded to, for never was an instance on record in the annals of his- 
tory where a whole Province was so speedily up in arms for general defence, 
thus evincing to the world that so far from the inhabitants generally wishing 
for any change in the constitution, they were determined to fight for it to 
the last, in defence of their property, their wives, children and their country. 

On Tuesday morning all was bustle and excitement. The Governor was 
armed in the Market Square with a musket like any private volunteer. He 
delivered an address to the people there assembled, calling upon them to co- 
operate with him in one common cause, and to defend the standard of their 
country against all who should dare to invade it. The enthusiasm of the 
citizens was unbounded; they rallied as if by magic, and by nine o'clock a 
sufficient number of armed volunteers had assembled to defend the garrison, 
banks and other public institutions, which the rebels had threatened to destroy. 
Steamboats were despatched to Hamilton and Niagara for volunteers, who 
promptly obeyed the call, and returned the following day laden with troops. 
Colonel MacNab, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, raised at Hamilton 
two hundred men in a few hours; Colonel Chisholm, of Oakville, a similar 


number; Sheriff Hamilton also returned with ninety-five from Queenston 
and Niagara. They all landed nearly at the same time amidst the cheers of 
the citizens, and marched up to the City Hall, were received, and received 
their arms and accoutrements, with ten rounds of ammunition each. Com- 
panies of men from all quarters kept pouring in, so that by Thursday morning 
upward of four thousand stand of arms had been given out for the service. 
Whilst these loyal fellows were on their way from different districts to the 
capital, the rebel party were scouring the country, setting fire to houses and 
committing depredations and plunder, the only course left them to pursue. 
They literally turned out a band of marauders, headed by Mackenzie himself, 
the puny hero of Patriotism, who revealed his real character by committing 
acts of incendiarism disgraceful to an English Turpin or the celebrated 
French robber whose head in wax you may recollect my mentioning having 
seen in Trinity College, Dublin. In these men some principle of honour 
was developed. Not so with Mackenzie, who stands conspicuous as the high 
priest of incendiarism and buccaneering. A party of about two hundred, 
headed by Mackenzie himself, came down to the Toll Gate, about one mile and 
a quarter from the city, and set fire to Dr. Home's house within a short dis- 
tance of it, which was totally consumed with all his furniture and outbuild- 
ings. It was a deliberate and premeditated act, performed by Mackenzie 
himself, whilst his reckless crew calmly looked on. He even broke up some 
of the furniture in the rooms and threw it, with the Doctor's papers, upon 
the flames which he had kindled. The reason he assigned afterward was 
that it was a rendezvous for his enemies. The Doctor was in the city at the 
time, and the family had fled on the approach of the banditti. On some of 
the neighbours expressing a desire to save the furniture, Mackenzie ordered 
his men to fire upon any one who should make the attempt. Had any of the 
family been present, he declared he would have served them as he had done 
an unfortunate dog which was left on the premises. The manservant begged 
to take away his clothes, but this even was refused by the " people's friend," 
as he styled himself, who, could he have played the violin, would have done it 
as calmly as Nero did when Rome was burning. Sheriff Jarvis's beautiful 
villa would have shared a similar fate, had it not been for the intercession of 
Lount, who stated that he had received some personal favours from the Sheriff 
and on that account would not accede to it. Mackenzie alleged it was spared 
because they had no proof that it was a rendezvous for their enemies, but the 
actual fact was Lount's expostulation (with whom Mackenzie did not wish to 
quarrel), and on this account there is one redeeming trait in his character, 
bad as it was. Acts of incendiarism were even sanctioned and encouraged 
by Dr. Rolph, the head of the executive, who advised the conflagration of the 
city itself as the best means to ensure succass. 31 Yet this very (same) Doctor 
Rolph was one selected by the Governor to proceed with a flag of truce in 
company with Dr. Baldwin to ascertain what the rebels wanted. I apprehend, 
however, that there was policy even in this selection, as the Governor was well 
aware of Dr. Rolph's principles, although he did not anticipate he was so 
great a rebel as he afterward proved to be. The object the Governor had in 
view was to induce the rebels quietly to disperse, to spare the effusion of 

31 This seems to be unfounded ; there is still doubt as to Dr. Rolph's part in the 
unfortunate outbreak. 


human blood. They accordingly proceeded to headquarters and held a con- 
ference, which terminated, as might have been expected with two such repre- 
sentatives, in an insolent proposal of terms to which no Government could 
accede, not having the power to make the people more independent than they 
might be, if they chose, already. Startling as the assertion may appear, Dr. 
Rolph, during this mission, actually took one man prisoner, whom he handed 
over to Mackenzie's guard for custody, and this at a time when he was 
bearing a flag of truce from the conference to his Governor. Doubtless his 
duplicity was suspected and the Governor considered he might commit some 
overt act of treason whereby he might be apprehended, otherwise he would 
never have selected an individual whom he had publicly refused to admit 
into his councils. He absconded shortly after and took refuge in the neigh- 
bouring state. In the evening a piquet guard consisting of thirty-two men 
under the command of Sheriff Jarvis was posted on Yonge Street for general 
observation. They were attacked by Mackenzie's riflemen, but happily with- 
out the loss of any lives. The fire was promptly returned by the piquet 
guard, which drove the assailants back, leaving behind them one killed and 
several badly wounded. Some of the rebels had pikes made by Lount the 
blacksmith, then general in command, which they had no occasion to use, 
for after the firing of our men, according to Mackenzie's account, " they took 
to their heels with a speed and steadiness of purpose that would have baffled 
pursuit." I quote his words to show the mean opinion he had himself of his 
own forces. A few of these renegades reached headquarters, where they 
remained for the night, determining on the following morning, Wednesday, 
to act on the defensive. Patriotism, in the hour of danger, is a momentous 
word; at least it proved so in this instance, for they were given to understand 
that gentlemen of influence who had pledged to join them, wisely kept aloof. 
Even the executive who had commanded them to make the premature and 
unfortunate movement came not, neither did they correspond, and for a very 
good reason. They had, like their unfortunate brethren in arms, quietly 
decamped for fear of being taken prisoners. This disaffection Mackenzie 
considered inexplicable, yet two days afterward he pursued the same course 
himself, after he had tried his skill as a thief and a robber. 

Not relishing the intelligence from the city, and fearing an attack, he 
thought the wisest plan would be to move off to some other neighbourhood. 
Accordingly, on Wednesday morning, the 6th, he accompanied a party to 
Dundas Street in search of plunder. Here they waylaid the great western 
mail, which they robbed with impunity, taking the driver and passengers 
prisoners to their camp a great feat truly. So badly off, indeed, was Mac- 
kenzie himself, and having the idea of escape before his eyes, that he even 
stooped to the meanness of abstracting the passengers' money, which, although 
denied by him afterward at Buffalo, was proved by the testimony of respect- 
able witnesses, and particularly by Thomas Cooper of Toronto, who was 
travelling that route on horseback. Mr. Cooper's affidavit was implicitly 
believed, he being known as a man of integrity and principle. He stated that 
he was taken prisoner and very roughly treated; his purse was handed to 
Mackenzie, who counted the money, amounting to forty-five dollars, three of 
which he generously returned, after seizing his horse, saddle and bridle. 
From Mr. Armstrong, his travelling companion, he also took a horse, saddle 
10 H.P. 


and bridle, as well as four dollars in money, one pound of tea and four pounds 
of coffee. At the house where he was staying, he even had the meanness to 
open the servant girl's trunk and take away fifteen dollars in money and her 
clothes, 32 which she entreated him to return, but in vain. In tnese clothe* 
he doubtless escaped, as no other reason can be assigned for his keeping them, 
although the poor girl went on her knees and begged him to return them. 
He also stole half a dollar from a poor wretch who was travelling on foot. 
This was previous to the arrival of the mail. What his prize was then has 
never been ascertained, but supposed to be considerable, as a day seldom 
passes without the conveyance of money. After this deliberate act of robbery, 
he returned to headquarters and amused himself with reading the letters and 
papers, some of which he handed over to the prisoners for perusal. Some of 
the letters he carried with him to Buffalo, which he read aloud to a large 
audience who collected together to hear the ill-fated account of his unsuc- 
cessful project. 

On Thursday morning, their energies were nearly exhausted, but as a 
last resource, a renegade Dutchman of the name of Van Egmond, 33 who had 
formerly been a plunderer in Napoleon's army, was despatched with forty 
riflemen to go and burn the Don Bridge, so as to cut off the communication 
with the Montreal Road. There being no guard there on his arrival, the 
work of incendiarism was commenced by burning the Wftdow Washburn's 
house contiguous, shooting a poor, defenceless woman, and robbing the mail. 
The burning of the bridge was not accomplished, in consequence of a rein- 
forcement having arrived from Toronto, who speedily extinguished the flames. 
Mackenzie himself was also present, as Captain Brooks told me he had the 
impudence to hand over some letters to a gentleman of the party, 34 stating 
that the day was come when letters went through the country free of postage. 
How he escaped then from being shot has astonished many since. But he 
seemed like Mephistopheles, 85 who could disappear at the instant of danger. 

At this juncture, a large reinforcement arrived at Toronto from Hamil- 
ton, Niagara, Cobourg, Oakville, Whitby, Scarborough, and other districts, 
of whose movements he doubtless obtained information, which induced his 
party to make good their retreat to headquarters. No time was lost in the 
city after the arrival of the volunteers, to prepare for a general dislodgement 
of the rebels, whose numbers, from exaggerated accounts, were greatly over- 
rated. It was nevertheless an act of prudence to prepare for the worst. The 
arrangement for the attack devolved upon that gallant and experienced officer, 
Colonel Fitzgibbon. The men, being in Excellent spirits, contributed not 
a little to the success of the undertaking, andxwhen they found the Governor 
was to lead them on in person, their enthusiasm knew no bounds. 

83 The story of the servant girl's clothes was denied. It is an example of the 
numerous contradictory accounts in the current gossip of the time. Coventry com- 
plains that such contradictory accounts reached them at Chippawa. (H.) 

38 Van Egmond. A full account of Colonel Anthony Van Egmond's career and 
of his participation in this rebellion, may be found in Miss Lizars' " In the Days of 
the Canada Company," p. 110, etc., and references also occur, in the same work, to 
his two sons, Edouard and Constant. See also Dent, Vol. II, p. 13 (footnote). (H.) 

84 There is a note on the margin in Coventry's handwriting " Enquire of Brooks 
further about this." (H.) 

88 Mephistopheles. The text in the MS. has Mephistocles, evidently a slip of 
the pen. (H.) 


The advance guard consisted of three companies of young gentlemen of 
the city, with some discharged soldiers, commanded by Lieutenants Garrett, 
Coppinger and Nash. 

The main body consisted of eight hundred men, composed of volunteer 
companies who had arrived that morning and the preceding day under the 
command of their respective captains. 

Two companies of artillery, with two brass field-pieces, under the com- 
mand of Captains Lackie and Stennett. 

One troop of cavalry commanded by Captain Chalmers. 

The right wing of two hundred men, commanded by Colonels Jarvis and 

The left wing, composed of two hundred men commanded by Mr. Justice 
McLean, 36 formerly Colonel in Cornwall. 

On arriving within sight of the rebels' headquarters, Montgomery's 
Tavern, they were seen in great numbers upon the hill occupying the main 
road. The principal ringleaders were present, consisting of Mackenzie, Silas 
Fletcher, Lount, Gibson and Van Egmond. Being informed by one of their 
guard that the Royalists were approaching, Mackenzie asked his men if they 
were ready to fight a greatly superior force, well armed and with artillery. 
They replied, yes; then said Mackenzie, " Go to the woods and do your best." 
About one hundred advanced at a quick pace down the hill, followed by the 
main body. Our troops in the meantime prepared for action, but before the 
cannon could be brought to bear, the rebels ran into the woods, from whence 
they opened a smart fire, but unsuccessfully. Justice McLean's company 
attacked them on the right and completely routed them. The artillery then 
moved toward Montgomery's Tavern, a very spacious frame building, with 
extensive stabling and outhouses adjoining. This place, as I observed to you 
before, was the rebels' headquarters. Here they had iii custody fifty-four 
prisoners, whom they seized whilst travelling from the country to Toronto 
or vice versa. On the approach of our troops they were removed a short dis- 
tance away, under the charge of Gibson, who was a member of the House of 
Assembly, but a notorious rebel, whose house Mackenzie generally made 
his headquarters for disseminating sedition around the country. Think- 
ing it best to dislodge the residue of the rebels who remained in 
Montgomery's house, three rounds were fired through the building, 
which effectually discomfited them. Our troops then entered, where 
they obtained Mackenzie's papers and several flags, decorated with 
stripes and stars. One on a red ground bore the inscription, "Vic- 
toria the 1st and reform " ; on the other side, " Bidwell and the 
glorious minority." 37 Mr. Bidwell was an eminent lawyer of considerable 
talent, and, having been disappointed at not obtaining the appointment of 
Attorney-General, was supposed to have co-operated in the furtherance of the 
present rebellion. No positive act of treason, however, being proved against 

38 Afterwards Chief Justice Archibald McLean. 

37 The complete form of the second legend, as given by Sir Francis Bond Head 
("Narrative," pp. 322, 365, etc.), was: "Bidwell, and the glorious minority, 1837, 
and a good beginning." (H.) 


him, he was allowed to banish himself to the States, which he did accordingly 
a few hours afterward. 38 

Gibson, 89 who had charge of the prisoners, was so closely pursued that 
he fled into the woods and made his escape to the States, where he now remains 
with the satisfaction of the loss of his property only, that having been con- 
fiscated. A party in advance, in pursuit of other rebels, having reached his 
house, in the moment of excitement against him, set fire to the building, 
which was totally destroyed. This was much against the Governor's wishes^ 
but it was impossible to restrain the ardour and enthusiasm of our troops, 
who considered at the moment they were rendering a service to their country. 
Having a short time before passed the smoking ruins of Doctor Home's 
house, and thinking he was accessory to that act of incendiarism, (which in 
all probability he was), our troops considered it no other than an act of 
retaliation, but it was ill-judged and imprudent to say the best of it. Our 
neighbours in the States have stigmatized the Governor as being implicated, 
but it was an act furthest from his wishes. Nor was he there at the time. 
Montgomery's Tavern, also, shared a similar fate, a rash act done in the 
ardour of the moment, by an individual who swore it should never harbour 
traitors again. He raked the burning wood from the different fireplaces on 
to the floor, and in a short time the whole immense range of building was 
one mass of flame. The Governor, as well as hundreds of bystanders, were 
astonished at the sight, it bursting upon them so unexpectedly. The act, 
however, was done, and having no power to subdue the raging element, it 
was left to its fate. In the skirmish the insurgents had 8 killed and 13 
wounded. On our side three men only, wounded. During the confusion 
Mackenzie, Silas Fletcher and Van Egmond pushed on to a valley called 
Hogg's Hollow, where they held a consultation which resulted in the im- 
possibility of collecting their scattered forces. They therefore wisely resolved 
to adopt the motto " Sauve qui peut." Van Egmond, however, was taken 
prisoner and died in jail before his trial could come on. 40 Fletcher ran one 

38 Marshall Spring Bidwell, a lawyer of great eminence, had filled the chair in 
the House of Assembly and was acknowledged as a distinguished leader in public 
affairs. Had it not been for the wrong-headedness of Sir Francis Bond Head, 
Bidwell would have been elevated to the Bench; as it was he voluntarily retired to 
the United States. He practised law in New York for many years and achieved 
eminence at that Bar of very great men. He refused to return to Canada, although 
solicited to do so by Sir John A. Macdonald, and died in New York, October 24, 1872. 

"David Gibson, a land surveyor, living near the present Willowdale; of Scot- 
tish descent, he was a man of high character and much respected by his neighbours. 
He became a Member of the House of Assembly and took a very prominent place in 
the counsels of his Party. His house was burned, it is said, by order of the Governor, 
but he escaped to the United States, settling at Rockport. Pardoned in 1843, he 
returned to his farm on Yonge Street, where he lived in peace and good repute; he 
died at Quebec, Christmas Day, 1864. 

"Colonel Anthony G. W. G. Van Egmond, a native of Holland, had served 
under Napoleon; he resided in the "Huron Tract," in what is now the County of 
Waterloo, where he owned considerable land, and he was a rich and prosperous man. 
Being^ of advanced political opinions, he took part in Mackenzie's schemes. As he was 
born in 1771, at this time he was sixty-six years of age; in the Jail he was attacked 
with inflammatory rheumatism, and he was removed to the City Hospital on the block 
bounded by King, Adelaide, John and Pete 'treets, where he died before he could 
be tried. 


way 41 and Mackenzie, mounted on a very fleet horse, made his escape another. 
He was closely pursued by Messrs. Maitland and McLeod,* 2 Captain Matthews, 
Colonel Halkett 43 and Colonel Fitzgibbon. The two former gentlemen, who 
were well mounted, rode like fox hunters in pursuit of the brush. At one time 
they were close at his heels, but he eluded their grasp and ultimately secreted 
himself in the woods at the back of Sheppard's Tavern, from whence he made 
his escape to Buffalo, where he arrived three days afterwards. Mr. McLeod 
told me nothing but the fleetness of Mackenzie's horse saved him, he being 
determined for one, to do his utmost toward bringing him to justice. Five 
or six shots were fired at the pursuers, but happily took no effect. 44 Thus 
ended that memorable day's proceedings, which for a time restored tranquility 
to the city and its vicinity. 

A large number of the rebels who were taken prisoners were humanely 
released by the Governor and allowed to go to their homes, at the same time 
appealing to their feelings on the impropriety of their conduct, and his hope 
that a sense of gratitude for their liberation would prevent them acting in 
future, in opposition to a government which was at all times desirous to act 
upon principles of humanity and forbearance. 

Our troops behaved with the greatest courage, numbers of whom shortly 
after returned to their homes, with the satisfaction of having faithfully dis- 
charged their duty in having so promptly crushed a rebellion in the bud, 
which, had it been allowed to get a head, would have crippled the energies 
of the country and deluged a fertile Province with blood. 

41 Silas Fletcher had hitherto been a farmer of lot No. 22, concession 3, East 
Gwillimbury township, a few miles north of Newmarket. He escaped at this time to 
New York State, as did likewise his kinsmen, William and Daniel Fletcher. Ultimately 
he settled at Laona, Chautauqua County, some ten miles south of Dunkirk, and did 
not return to Canada. 500 reward was offered for his apprehension. A letter from 
him in 1840 appears in Lindsey, vol. II, p. 72 (footnote). (H.) 

42 Deputy Sheriff McLeod had a few months before, in the fall of 1837, given 
the order to fire to the military guard which was conducting the escaped slave, Solomon 
Moseby, from the Niagara Gaol to the Ferry across the Niagara, to be delivered up to 
the U.S. authorities. The march had been blocked by some hundreds of negroes 
determined to prevent the delivery up of Moseby to certain torture and death. The 
guard killed two of the insurgents. See my paper, ft The Slave in Upper Canada," 
read before the Boyal Society of Canada, May, 1919, published in the Journal of Negro 
History, Washington, D.C., 1919. 

McLeod afterwards, in 1841, was tried in Utica, New York State, on a charge of 
murder arising out of the Caroline episode; he was acquitted, as it was proved that he 
did not take part in the expedition. See my article, " An International Murder Trial," 
Journal of Am. Inst. Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. X, No. 2 (August, 1919), 
pp. 176 seqq. 

43 Lieutenant F. Halkett, formerly of the Coldstream Guards, the person referred 
to here, was aide-de-camp to the Governor. After his first selection by Sir F. B. Head 
for this office (Head, p. 29), the appointment was cancelled (ib., p. 30), but Lieut. 
Halkett accompanied the Governor to Toronto as a guest, and the appointment was 
restored five months later (p. 419). (H.) 

44 At the time of the rebellion, the late Mrs. Archibald Jardine, of Beaverton, Ont., 
then a young unmarried woman, was employed as servant at Jacob Snider's house near 
the Montgomery Tavern. She informed the writer of this note (June 10, 1906) that 
on the day of the battle she gave Mackenzie and the other leaders their breakfast in 
the morning. " After the battle, Mackenzie," she said, " was the only one who returned 
to the stable of the Montgomry Tavern for a horse; the others fled on foot." This 
corroborates and somewhat elucidated Coventry's account of Mackenzie's escape. See 
Mackenzie's own account of his escape id Lindsey, Vol. II, pp. 102-122. (H.) 


Every exertion was made to find the ringleaders, but in vain. So prompt 
were their movements in escaping, that justice was outwitted. Gibson moved 
north and succeeded in escaping on board a schooner from Presqu'Isle. 
Lount was concealed by one of the party for upward of three weeks, but 
was at length taken in a singular manner. 45 A boat was provided to carry 
him over to the States, manned by three men who were friendly to his cause. 
A violent storm coming on, they were driven from their course to the mouth 
of the Grand Eiver. They landed about 12 o'clock at night, and knocked 
at the door of a small tavern, the landlord of which was known to one of the 
men, who worked in a foundry. He hospitably took them in shivering with 
cold, provided them with beds and a good breakfast in the morning, after 
which they again started, as the storm had abated. Previous to going, the land- 
lord told this man whom he knew he was glad he had arrived as he wanted 
to see him relative to a plough he required cast. The man pretended he 
would attend to it as soon as they would return from the opposite shore, 
whither they were going for salt. Not knowing Lount or the rest of the 
men they proceeded, but had not gone far before they got entangled in the 
ice, vast quantities of which, during the winter season, collect at the mouth 
of the Grand River. Here they were observed by some gentlemen who have 
formed a new settlement along the lake shore, of whom my friend Mr. Cook 
is one, altho' he was not present on this occasion. Some planks were obtained 
and the men safely landed, leaving the boat to the mercy of the elements. 
They were not known, but (it) being a disturbed time and a rare occurrence 
at that season of the year to see an open boat on the lake, suspicions arose 
that they must be some of the rebel party making their escape. Accordingly 
they were taken before a magistrate, examined, and not giving a satisfactory 
account of themselves, were forwarded to Chippawa, where Lount was first 
recognized by a gentleman there who knew him. One very suspicious cir- 
cumstance observed by the captors, was the witnessing Lount's anxiety to get 
rid of a bundle of papers which he pushed under the ice with one of the 
oars, and thus irrecoverably lost. He was removed to Toronto, examined, 
and fully committed for trial, the result of which I shall mention to you 
in due course. 

Gilbert F. Morden, another individual, was taken prisoner at Grimsby 
and fully committed. On his examination he deposed to the course taken 
by several others who stole a boat on the lake shore, intending to proceed to 
Fort Niagara on the American shore. But a violent storm arising, they put 
into a creek about four miles from Niagara and ultimately succeeded in escap- 
ing through the woods, to reach the bank of the Niagara River, from whence 
they crossed over to Grand Island and finally escaped. This party was 
believed to consist of Mackenzie's son, Silas Fletcher, Goreham, 46 nephew to 

45 The capture of Samuel Lount and this party occurred at Hyde's Point, two 
miles and a half west from Port Maitland at the mouth of the Grand River, January 18, 
1838, Messrs. Hyde and Imlack being the persons who overtook them with the boat. 
After exposure in an open boat for some days trying to cross Lake Erie, the party had 
become famished and stupefied. (H.) 

48 A sister of Samuel Lount was the first wife of Eli Gorham, proprietor of 
the early woollen factory in Newmarket, Ont., but she died early in the nineteenth 
century without issue. By a second wife, however, Eli Gorham's eldest son was 
Nelson Gorham, the person mentioned here. He was therefore not a nephew of Samuel 
Lount, unless by courtesy of language from his father's earlier marriage. Nelson 
Gorham, although not present in the conflict at Montgomery's, was indicted for high 


Lount, and Jesse Lloyd. Mackenzie himself was to have joined them, but 
ultimately took another direction. He went more inland, proceeding to Smith- 
ville and the Short Hills, through the woods to MacAfee's, a farm house 
about eleven miles from Chippawa, opposite the upper end of Grand Island. 
Here he was paddled over in a canoe and ultimately reached Buffalo, as he says 
himself, after travelling three days, and one hundred and twenty-five miles. 
On his route, he was once stopped by a sturdy farmer, who challenged him 
as a horse stealer, from his l>eing so well mounted and his own personal 
appearance so disguised and dirty. In all probability he had stolen it, having 
stolen two before, verified upon oath at the time he robbed the mail. Mackenzie, 
however, would not admit it but took out a pistol and threatened to shoot 
him if he did not let go his horse; at the same time bound him down by a 
dreadful oath not to say one word of the affair or create any alarm as he 
was Mackenzie himself. The oath he had taken preyed a good deal on the 
poor fellow's mind, who was relieved by one day meeting a magistrate to 
whom he mentioned the circumstance, without alluding to Mackenzie. The 
magistrate assured him that such an oath, taken under those circumstances 
with bodily fear, was not binding, and thus he revealed the route of the traitor. 
It was, however, then too late to intercept him. A reward of 4,000 dollars 
was out for his apprehension, altho' the party who had him in possession 
was then totally unaware of it. He travelled part of the way in waggons, 
and it was currently believed that on his arrival in the vicinity of Cook's 
Mills, (a radical district), that he was dressed in women's clothes, from the 
circumstance of a suspicious character calling at that time to ask for refresh- 
ments at a farm house, the inmates of which pressing the lady to stay, she 
declined and went on, altho' the night was extremely dark and gloomy. They 
since told a friend of mine they were certain it was a man, altho' they never 
could discover who the person was. But three days afterwards we heard of his 
arrival in Buffalo. In a short narrative that he published afterward, relative 
to the operations of the three days, he has studiously avoided saying anything 
relative to his escape, altho' he has mentioned the names of many with whom 
he was connected. As he could not tell whether they had all fled, it was 
an act of gross baseness to betray them. Entertaining, as I do, and always 
have done, so mean an opinion of his character, I think it highly probable 
he will some day divulge the particulars of his route, and implicate, as he 
before has done, the very individuals who fostered him on his journey. For 
having doffed the lion's mane, and hung a sheepskin on his recreant limbs^ 
there is no further reliance to be placed on his conduct, even toward his ci- 
devant friends. This I firmly believe from the circumstance of his having told 
a friend of mine in Buffalo that there was only one man in Chippawa whom 
he could implicitly trust, whose name he mentioned. His duplicity also to 
Robert Gourlay, Esq'r, cannot easily be forgotten. Finding he could not 
make a rebel of him (although he entangled him so closely in the net of 
rebellion that he was banished the country), 47 he left him unheeded to his 
treason and left Canada at this time. (See Lindsey, Vol. II, p. 399, No. 26). He 
afterward settled in Chautauqua Co., N.Y., where he remained until after 1853, and 
subsequently returned to Canada. (H.) 

47 This is wholly untrue: Gourlay was banished in 1819; Mackenzie came to 
Canada in 1820 and began his public career in 1824. They were not congenial in any 
way, and Gourlay held Mackenzie in contempt. See my Life of Gourlay, published 
by the Ontario Historical Society, " Papers and Records," Vol. XIV. See also Note 
48, infra. 


fate. Not that Gourlay cared for the sympathy of Mackenzie one iota, but 
it never was his wish to carry his principles of independence further than 
the reform of what he considered a few abuses. I hope the day is not far 
distant when that gentleman, who has seen his errors, will be recalled from 
banishment, for he has now experienced, to use his own words, that " During 
four years residence in the United States I have witnessed far worse than 
European domination the domination of the worst of passions; mobs, 
murders, sacrilege and profanity of every kind." 48 

In his last letter to Mackenzie, since his escape to Buffalo, he tells him 
that " Joseph Hume is a little man, but you less. You .call yourself a patriot, 
yet you fly from home to enlist scoundrels for the conquest of your country. 
This is patriotism with a vengeance. You had no right to take up arms, 
and had you succeeded, so far from rejoicing, I would have turned my back 
upon America for ever." 

I now leave Mackenzie to rest himself at Buffalo, and call your attention 
to our proceedings at home after his departure. The first act. of the Governor 
after the dispersion of the rebels was to issue a proclamation to the Queen's 
faithful subjects. 49 He told them that although the country had been long 
suffering from the acts of concealed traitors, yet this was the first time that 
rebellion had openly avowed itself; that a concealed traitor was the most 
dangerous of all enemies; that they should be rooted out of the land, and 
he hoped that none who were loyal would rest until this was accomplished; 
that in furtherance of this object he offered rewards for the apprehension of 
the ringleaders, to wit ; 

$4,000 for William Lyon Mackenzie, the principal. 

$2,000 for David Gibson, Member of the House of Assembly. 

$2,000 for Samuel Lount, blacksmith, who made the pikes. 

$2,000 each for Jesse Lloyd 50 and Silas Fletcher, instigators of the 
proceedings, and present at the engagement on the 7th of 

$2,000 for Dr. John Eolph, who recommended the burning of the city. 

$2,000 for Dr. Charles Duncombe, Member of the House of Assembly, 
who corresponded with Joseph Hume. 51 

48 This, together with the words quoted immediately below, is contained In a 
letter to Mackenzie from Cleveland, Ohio, January 14, 1838, in answer to a letter pur- 
porting to be from Mackenzie at Navy Island, January 8, 1838, but which Mackenzie 
afterward said that he neither wrote nor authorized. It will be found in extcnso in 
the " Neptunian," Part 2, p. 17. See my Life of Gourlay, p. 88. 

Gourlay's letter to Joseph Hume rebuking him for writing to Mackenzie the 
notorious letter containing the passage "baneful domination of the mother country," 
was written from New York in June, 1834. 

Mackenzie and Gourlay had never met until 1833, although Gourlay countenanced 
him for more than three years, 1829-1832 ; he " sprung out of one," Gourlay said, but 
Gourlay had no respect for him. See The Neptunian, Part 2 and elsewhere. 

49 The Proclamation appears verbatim in a footnote in Lindsey, Vol. II, p. 96 : 
it contains rewards for only the first five mentioned by Coventry. (H.) 

One of the originals is in the possession of George G. S. Lindsey, Esq., K.C., 
grandson of Mackenzie. 

60 Jesse Lloyd, of Lloydtown, acted as messenger between the Rebels of Upper 
Canada and those of Lower Canada; he joined the rising in Upper Canada in December 
of 1837, and escaped to the United States. 

"Dr. Charles Duncombe was a native of the United States. Born in New 
Jersey about 1796, he came with his parents to Upper Canada during the progress 
or immediately after the War of 1812, and settled in the London District. 


$1,000 for Eliakim Malcolm, miller. 
$1,000 for Finlay Malcolm, miller. 
$1,000 for Robert Alway, Member of Parliament. 52 
$400 for James Anderson, shot by Mr. Powell. 
$400 for Joshua Doan. 

Alway and Malcolm were taken prisoners on their way to the west to 
join Dr. Buncombe, and sent off to Hamilton jail. Van Egmond, who owned 
a large tract of land near Lake Huron, was captured on the route of the rebels, 
and died in prison soon afterward from chagrin and vexation, a lesson to all 
restless individuals who, when they seek an asylum in a foreign country, should 
live contented under the existing laws, or return to the land that gave them 

Whilst these movements were going on in Toronto, Dr. Duncombe was 
concocting measures for revolt in the west, which, according to the time 
specified by Mackenzie, took place in that quarter. The poor deluded victims, 
who had nothing to gain by these operations, and who only acted through the 
instrumentality of an artful and designing few, had to bear the brunt of the 
contention, whilst their ignoble leaders cowardly took flight and left them 
to their fate. In consequence of this known disaffection, and idle fellows 
congregating around, it was considered advisable to send up a force to put 
a stop to their proceedings. Accordingly, Colonel MacNab, Speaker of the 
House of Assembly, was deputed to take the command. 

Although the season of the year was very inclement, yet the volunteers 
joined his standard with alacrity. They displayed a courage and ardour 
rarely to be met with in cases of so sudden an irruption. But they well knew 
they had enlisted in a cause wherein the best interests of the country were 
at stake, as well as their future peace, quietude and happiness. Accordingly, 
no sooner was it known that the expedition was to march than hundreds 
flocked to the standard. From 300 to 400 proceeded west and reached Brant- 
ford on the Grand River in perfect order and good spirits. Here they were 
joined by 150 volunteers and 100 Indian warriors under their commander, 
Captain Kerr, 53 who married a daughter of the celebrated chief. Brant. The 
rebels, about 400 strong, hearing of their arrival, decamped during the night. 
A large collection of letters and papers, principally belonging to Dr. Dun- 
combe and Eliakim Malcolm, were found in a field and safely secured by 
Colonel MacNab. The following morning our troops moved on, and regretted 
they had no opportunity of coming up with the enemy, who, it was greatly 

Studying medicine, he was admitted to practice in 1819, and settled as a practitioner 
near Bishopsgate on the Town Line between Burford and Brantford. He soon acquired 
a large practice and great influence in the community. He was perhaps the most 
prominent rebel after Mackenzie himself. When Member of the House of Assembly 
for Oxford, he went to England on a mission for the Radicals; he joined in the 
rebellion and was a main leader in the western part of the Province. He escaped to 
the United States. When pardoned in 1843 he returned to Upper Canada for a very 
short time, and then returned to the United States, going to the Western States and 
ultimately to California, where he resided until his death. 

"Robert Alway, Member for Oxford with Dr. Duncombe, was captured and 
imprisoned ; he was afterwards released on finding security for good behaviour, as 
was Elias Moore, Member for Middlesex. 

"Captain William Johnson Kerr was the son of Dr. Robert Kerr, of Niagara, who 
married a daughter of Mollie Brant, the sister of Joseph Brant, and the " Indian wife " 
of Sir William Johnson. He married Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Josonh 


feared, had dispersed and the leaders fled without giving an opportunity for 
action. This afterward proved to be the case. Our forces continued to move 
through the disturbed districts, and in two days they received an accession 
of 1,000 more volunteers, so anxious were the loyal and quiet settlers to rid 
the country of so great a scourge to its prosperity. Their arrival in the 
Township of Oakland, and the appearance of this large force parading the 
country, altered the general temperament of the disaffected, who sent in 
deputations to Colonel MacNab requesting permission to surrender their arms 
rather than risk their lives in a cause which they found was misrepresented 
to them. They stated that they had been greatly deceived and basely deserted 
by Dr. Buncombe, Malcolm and their colleagues. 

In the Township of Norwich, upward of 200 of the rebels and disaffected 
assembled in a square formed by our volunteers, where they laid down their 
arms, promising faithfully to become good citizens and faithful subjects; 
that they had been deceived, and had no real grievances. By instructions 
from the Governor to Colonel MacNab, they were permitted to return to 
their homes and families, on the express condition that they should surrender 
if any further complaints appeared against them. The lenity shown them 
will, it is to be hoped, operate as a warning for the future, and teach them 
this lesson that industrious habits and peaceable lives tend more to true 
happiness than meddling with politics with which they are but little acquainted. 
It is no wonder that the people who had joined Dr. Duncombe's standard 
should become disgusted when they found he had united the character of 
robber with that of assumed patriotism. That faithless individual stooped 
at nothing in order to carry his measures. The farm houses of the loyalists 
were indiscriminately entered and plundered of blankets, caps, arms, ammu- 
nition, and provisions. When he found he was hotly pursued, instead of 
sharing the fate of his associates in robbery, and throwing himself, as they 
did, on the mercy of lenient conquerors, he treacherously fled from danger, 
leaving his deluded followers to bear the brunt of public ignominy and 
humiliation. There was too noble a spirit, however, in the pursuers to triumph 
over a fallen enemy, who rather shed a tear of pity for their misfortunes 
than trample upon them during that eventful moment of humiliation, when 
they sued for mercy, thus fulfilling the declaration of our inspired Bard of 
Avon, who says ; 

" The quality of mercy is not strained, 
It f alleth like the precious dew from heaven, 
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes." 

So far from either Mackenzie's or Duncombe's assertions being true that 
nine-tenths of the Province were favourable to their measures, it turned out 
precisely the reverse, and proved by the foregoing pages that nine-tenths were 
favourable to the existing government. In some districts they were loyal to 
a man. The magistrates of Barrie, consisting of gentlemen of the highest 
respectability, publicly avowed that the whole population in their vicinity arose 
en masse to put down rebellion wherever it might be found, leaving the women 
and children to take care of their houses and farms. But their services were 
not long required, for order and tranquility were soon restored after the 
subjugation of Doctor Duncombe's adherents. It was also gratifying to 
reflect that all this was accomplished by the ardour and enthusiasm of the 
people themselves, without the assistance of hireling soldiers as they termed 


them, not one of whom was at that time to be found in the Province. After 
the insurrection in the west was quelled, and those who had not surrendered 
their arms had retired to their avocations, Colonel MacNab spent a few days 
in various districts, organizing companies of militia who had freely volun- 
teered their services for public duty. Although the alarm had in a great 
measure subsided, yet it was impossible to tell how many concealed traitors 
might remain in the country. The organization, therefore, of volunteers was 
adjudged to be a salutary measure as a corps of observation until the arrival 
of troops from abroad. The disturbances in Lower Canada were not suffi- 
ciently quelled to allow any of the regulars to move at that period, so that the 
security of Upper Canada depended wholly on the loyalty of its inhabitants, 
to whom the greatest praise is due for their promptitude in coming forward 
so cheerfully and manfully to avenge the infraction of their laws, and to 
protect their property from the devastation that awaited them from a band 
of lawless miscreants. After making the necessary arrangements, the gallant 
Colonel returned to Hamilton with his troops, amidst the cheers and 
enthusiasm of the loyal citizens. Thus the men of Gore, who had been 
stigmatized by Mackenzie as a low, mean set, were among the very first to 
retaliate for so gross a libel on their bravery and courage, and to shew the 
insignificant traitor that they could accomplish what he did not much relish, 
for they dispersed his faction in the west altogether. 

At Oakville, Toronto, Scarborough, Port Hope, Cobourg, Peterborough^ 
Cornwall, Kingston, and all places along the lake shore, the greatest activity 
prevailed, accounts having reached many of those districts of a most 
exaggerated nature. This was the more readily believed, from the late 
disturbances in Lower Canada. So far, however, from damping their ardour, 
they manfully came forward in the general cause, and enrolled themselves 
under the banner of defence. Gentlemen and merchants of the first standing 
in society kept guard at night along the coast in unison with the poorest 
peasant in the land. All distinction was waived and absorbed in the one 
vital question of freedom under a lenient government, or tyranny under a 

Nor was the Niagara district, in which I have been located since my 
residence in the country, behindhand in co-operation. Queenston, Niagara, 
Thorold, and St. Catharines responded to the call, and were soon equipped 
for service. Altho 3 the village of St. Catharines is small, yet it raised one 
company of foot under the command of Captain Adams, and two companies 
of horse under the respective commands of Messrs. Rykert and Macdonald, 
who were shortly after gazetted as captains. The boys even formed a company 
and organized a band of music, highly creditable to them. The ladies also 
shared in the general feeling, and evinced great presence of mind on the 
occasion. Being left so frequently at home by themselves, during the absence 
of their husbands, brothers and friends, they prepared for their defence in 
case of any attack from the rebels. They practised pistol and rifle shooting, 
and even mounted guard with muskets. One lady declared to me that she 
had no fire-arms in the house, but, that if any rebel came near her, she 
would knock his brains out with a poker. Those advanced in years partici- 
pated also in the enthusiasm that prevailed. Sheriff Merritt, who had faith- 
fully served his country during the former war with the States, when he 
heard of the base attempt to undermine the rising prosperity of the country 
by a band of lawless rebels, prepared to join the volunteers on their expedition 


to Toronto. He was with difficulty dissuaded by his relatives from going, on 
account of his age, but at length acceded to their request, though very 
reluctantly. It was, however, apparent that his heart was with them on their 
progress, which was fully evinced afterward when they returned victorious. 

Never was a scene so full of enthusiasm, sufficient to convince any hostile 
country how difficult it would be to overrun the fertile soil of Canada, or 
destroy that feeling of loyalty for its Government, under whose protecting 
power the people have so implicitly relied and lived so happily. As this is a 
country with which you are but little acquainted except by books, which give 
but an indifferent account of it, I have deemed it necessary to enter more fully 
into particulars than may be considered requisite. Should I, however, begin 
to write prosy, you must pardon me on account of my feelings being actuated 
by the impulse of the moment. 

I now return to my Chippawa friends, from whose residence I shall 
furnish you with a detail of our operations in that vicinity. Picture to your- 
self the magnificent Biver Niagara, near three miles broad, within sight of 
the Falls, and subdivided by two islands nearly opposite Mr. Ussher's; you 
have then an idea of my location. Navy Island opposite the house, half a 
mile distant, contains 300 acres of land. It is partially cleared and has been 
for several years inhabited only by one old woman and her daughter whose 
husband had the ill luck to drift over the Falls in a canoe about ten years ago. 
Her log house stands at the back of the Island, looking toward the American 
shore, a retired spot, but extremely pleasant in spring, summer and autumn, 
but a dreary solitude in winter, being cut off from any communication with the 
mainland by reason of the ice. This was a favourite resort for all those fond 
of fishing and shooting, it being a famous place for whitefish, pickerel and 
maskinonge, as well as wild duck and teal, thousands of which in spring and 
fall frequent the spot, by reason of the sheltered swamps at the extremity of 
the Island. Here I have spent many pleasant hours, little dreaming that it 
would afterward become so renowned in history for one of the most singular 
events that ever happened. On this account I have been the more particular 
in my description of it, but you must wait awhile, having many other circum- 
stances to communicate before I paddle you over in a canoe to that curious 

On hearing the intelligence from Toronto, the farmers and settlers around 
the country imagined that events were far worse than they turned out after- 
ward. But such is the natural bias of mankind to mystify, that the imagin- 
ation was most powerfully wrought upon. Every breeze that blew indicated 
that a lurking traitor was at hand, either to set fire to a house, or blow your 
brains out. It therefore became every man's business to look out, not only 
for himself, but for the welfare of his neighbours. Our neighbour, Mr. Dobie, 
an intelligent farmer, Captain Ussher and ourselves were the only efficient 
hands in this retired spot, to mount guard and patrol the shore. The weather 
was extremely cold, and the frontier being bleak and dreary, particularly at 
night, rendered the service to be performed no sinecure. Our armory consis- 
ted of a brace of pistols, a rifle, a double-barrelled gun, and a single, with 
plenty of balls and ammunition. So that in case of an attack, the enemy 
would have found a warm reception, particularly as Harry, the black servant 
had heard, that in the event of the rebels succeeding, he would be immed- 
iately sent out of the country and sold in slavery again. We had frequent 
visitors from Chippawa and Fort Erie, so that in the day time we were never 


dull, and one great source of amusement we had was conversation relative to 
wars in former times, both civil and uncivil, a topic we had not broached for 
a considerable time. As night approached the wind must evidently have 
whistled louder than usual, from the number of times we went to the door and 
paced the room, indicative at any rate of squally times. I made up my mind 
at the outset to take the affair very coolly, not believing it possible, as 1 
observed to you before, that there could be many disaffected throughout the 
country generally; though I was well aware that Chippawa itself, only two 
miles distant, was so disloyal a place that, like the city formerly for which 
Abraham interceded, scarce ten men could be found in it who were true to the 
existing Government. This I imagined arose from its proximity to the States 
and intercourse with the Buffalonians. A contiguity therefore to so radical 
a neighbourhood might make us the more watchful, which indeed we were, 
not taking off our clothes for many nights together. Every hour did we pace 
up and down the river's bank, but heard nothing for the first few nights save 
now and then the hooting of an owl or the whistling of loons from their 
quarters in a creek on Grand Island. The dogs also partook of the general 
unsettlement, apparently conscious that some dire event was stirring, for they 
would go away for days together and at a time when they were most wanted 
at home. When any derangement takes place in the common order of events, 
such trifles weigh but little in the general scale; altho' the Romans paid as 
much attention to the cackling of geese as that of an army, their movements 
being frequently regulated by these simple omens. 

Captain Ussher, an active officer, brother to the one at whose villa I was 
located, resided, as I informed you, on the adjoining farm. They were both 
men of undaunted courage, but being known to be thorough Tories like their 
father and the rest of the family, rendered their situation more likely to be 
marked by ill-designing men. The former was quickly on the alert to call out 
his company of militia. He had the greatest difficulty in collecting them 
together, partly from the circumstance of many being from home to reconnoitre 
the aspect of affairs, and others who being tinged with Mackenzieism waited 
in the back ground to join the strongest side. This circumstance would have 
weighed but little even on the present occasion, as the rebellion, as far as 
Mackenzie and his adherents were concerned, was crushed at the outset 
throughout the country, but his having escaped to Buffalo ultimately altered 
the face of things in toto, It produced a reaction in our internal movements 
that disturbed the whole Province from one end to the other. 

Whilst his operations were concocting there, we were all quiescent, with 
the exception of keeping guard, listening from time to time to the silly and 
ridiculous reports that mischievous individuals invented to frighten old 
women, and those among the men who were half inclined to radicalism, but 
ashamed to own it. Men who halt between two opinions are seldom at ease 
in their minds, and this was the characteristic, of the Chippawayans. It 
nevertheless had a bad effect. All business was suspended, and the people's 
time was therefore principally spent in rummaging up old guns, pistols, fire- 
arms of every description, and cleaning them up for action on either side as 
circumstances might require. Never was so sudden a transition from peace to 
war, a subject that superseded every other topic and was well exemplified by 
a song sung at our quarters by Mr. Watkins, formerly in the Navy, " Twas 
in the merry month of May." 


When it was ascertained that Mackenzie had arrived at Buffalo, great 
curiosity was excited to find out his movements. Numbers crossed the River 
to see him, and to ascertain what plans he would adopt for the future. This 
was soon elicited, for in a few days after he had rested from his fatigue and 
the fright that generally attends cowardly minds, he divulged his operations 
to Dr. Chapin at whose house he had sought an asylum. That gentleman 
protected him from the insults of those who had, like himself, run away for 
their lives, disgusted with his movements. Others on the contrary, from a 
spirit of revenge at the reflection of having their property confiscated, still 
clung to his standard, hailing him as the Jack Cade of Upper Canada, thirst- 
ing still to carry fire and sword amongst his enemies. Their numbers, 
however, were few and principally confined to men of low origin and desperate 
habits, suited at all times for buccaneering expeditions, whereby they thought 
they could not only enrich themselves, but harass the Government. As soon 
as it was found that public curiosity was excited in Buffalo and its vicinity, 
it was publicly announced that Mackenzie would hold a meeting and explain 
his views. This plan of publicity doubtless originated with himself, who 
had assurance enough for anything, and (was) sanctioned by a set of broken 
down characters who had eluded both law and justice by absconding from 
their creditors. 'Consequently, having no character like their chief juggler 
behind the curtain to lose, they lent a ready ear to any scheme, however 
absurd, that might be broached on the occasion. The season of the year was 
also auspicious, for inland navigation had long since closed, and most of the 
steamboats laid up for the winter, leaving hundreds of boatmen, canallers, 
sailors, firestokers and workmen of various grades out of employ, whose time 
hung heavy on their hands. These worthies having no other amusement but 
playing bowls, sitting in groceries and low taverns, smoking, tossing, gambling 
and drinking, were on the qui vive for any encounter, however hazardous. 
Amidst such a medley, it will readily be imagined that a pretty large meeting 
might be collected together, which was in reality the case. From 1500 to 
2000 is a fair estimate of those who congregated and whom Mackenzie 
addressed as gentlemen and intelligent fellow mortals. I saw a shrewd 
Scotch engineer the following day who, being gifted with a very retentive 
memory, gave me nearly verbatim the sum and substance of his oration. This 
I took down in writing; (it) was read over, signed by the individual, wit- 
nessed by Captain Barle, formerly of Brussels, and myself, sent off by express 
to headquarters with recommendations to keep a sharp lookout as mischief 
was evidently brewing. 

The tenor of this discourse was, as you may imagine, to create in the 
minds of his hearers sympathy for his alleged misfortunes in not having 
succeeded in his plans. All his assertions were distorted, but being wrapt up 
in the cloak of probability struck the gaping audience with astonishment, and 
so wrought upon them that men, who went there merely as idle spectators, 
came away ready at a minute's warning to grasp a rifle and shoot the first 
Canadian Tory that came in their way. This, I say, was the issue, and, to 
give the Devil his due, he played his cards on that occasion, well suited to his 
restless, ambitious views. He told the pretended sons of liberty that the hour 
was come when it became the duty of all within the audience of his voice and 
elsewhere to come forward manfully in aid of so glorious a cause, to render 
Canada as independent as themselves ; that nine-tenths of the inhabitants were 


groaning with oppression and sighing for that happy state of independence 
which they enjoyed ; that the scheme was still practicable, altho' he unluckily 
did not succeed in consequence of a mistake in the day named for their 
general rising. He also stated that for ten years he had devoted his time, 
his talent and his purse to consummate this glorious event, and that he was 
still as much devoted to the cause as at any period of his life ; that there never 
was a finer opportunity than the present, when the resources of the country 
were so weak, having no troops within the Province or any means of defence ; 
and that those who called themselves loyal were merely a few hirelings who 
were paid by the Government. As to England sending out troops, it was folly 
for a moment to entertain the thought, as they were all wanted at home to 
keep down the Irish, who were on the eve of rebellion likewise. There was an 
abundance of fine land in the country, and those who chose to join the stand- 
ard would be rewarded with 300 acres each as soon as the expedition was accom- 
plished. At this liberal offer every eye glistened. "'Tis true, gentlemen/ 7 
said he, " we shall want blankets at this inclement season of the year, some 
other clothing, some arms and a good supply of ammunition, but above all,, 
on the hazard of the die, some of the ready rhind called specie. Nothing," 
he observed, "could be accomplished without this. It was the sovereign 
panacea." Many stared at this assertion, as a poser; but considered they could 
get along tolerably well with plunder. In fact, he summoned recruits from 
a nation with whom we had been for years on terms of peace and friendship, 
to form a regular buccaneering expedition, as it afterward commenced. He 
read a number of confidential letters that he had plundered from the mails, 
the contents of which he thought would tickle the ears of his audience, and 
wound up his harangue by assuring them that the long disputed Boundary 
Question would then be settled. 54 This was considered a prodigious feat, and 
drew forth bursts of applause, after which he took his departure with Doctor 
Chapin, under escort of twelve armed men, so alarmed, even then, was he of his 
personal safety, fearing he might be assassinated before he could carry his 
plans into effect, so as to share in the universal plunder and take up his 
residence at Burlington Castle, near Hamilton, the spot he had fixed upon for 
his councils. I think I see you smile, and well you may. Howbeit, the 
intellient audience separated, many of them a full inch higher, with their 
consequence, in anticipation of reaping this golden harvest, 300 acres of the 
fertile soil of Canada. Their dreams were like those of Abdallah, on this 
all-absorbing conquest, but which unhappily the beams of the morning dispelled. 
Others on the contrary began to think that a bird in the hand was worth two 
in the bush, and therefore lost no time in disposing of their rights at the 
best market they could find. Strange as the infatuation may appear, I have 
been credibly informed that considerable speculation was entered into, not 
only in the land department but " patriotic scrip," which was paid away for 
provisions and clothing. This was to become payable when all rogues and 
plunderers became honest men. I need scarcely remind you that a heavy 
discount soon ensued, as the grand desideratum was never accomplished, 
consequently the coffers of the deluded victims were ultimately minus to the 
amount of the outgoings. Patriotism, however, was the order of the day for 
a long time. They wore a strip of white ribbon round the arm, as an emblem 

84 This account of Mackenzie's address in Buffalo is the most complete available ; 
it is only briefly mentioned in Lindsey, Vol. II, p. 125. (H.) 


of the purity of their intentions, and ate more pork and molasses at the public 
expense than had been consumed for many winters. 

Whatever novel scheme is offered to delude weak-minded people, there 
are sure to be numbers found silly enough to enlist in the cause/ no matter 
whether religion or politics. Recall to mind the Crusades to the Holy Land, 
when thousands perished with hunger and the sword ; also the scheme of Dick 
Brothers 65 to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, who had a vast army enlisted 
in the cause, altho' the king of France absolutely refused to furnish his 
quota of ten thousand wheelbarrows. Nevertheless the subject is not entirely 
forgotten, for within a few years the spot fixed upon for the New Jerusalem 
was Grand Island, within sight of us here, a survey of which was actually 
made for carrying the project into execution. A sawmill is now in operation 
there which can furnish a good supply of lumber when the scheme is complete. 

Such chimeras have their day and will continue to do so as long as people 
are found silly enough to countenance Owen's visionary scheme for Harmony 
Settlements, 56 or Mackenzie sly enough to dupe a nation proverbially 
cautious in what is commonly termed being taken in. Perhaps among the 
recorded events of history there never was so audacious a piece of effrontery 
asi at present. Yet I shall hereafter shew you that not only were the half- 
starved enrolled in the patriotic cause, but men of substance and fortune act- 
ually found weak enough to contribute hundreds and thousands of dollars to 
carry this visionary scheme into operation. So true it is, as Pope justly 
observes, that amidst the human family there are found men of various grades 
ever grasping at phantoms never within their reach. Such men are only to be 
pitied for their folly, and even this is thrown away upon them, as they view 
even realities with a jaundiced eye 

"You think this cruel! Take it for a rule, 
No creature smarts so little as a fool." 

85 Richard Brothers, an extraordinary enthusiast, was born. December, 1757, at 
Placentia, Newfoundland; partly educated at Woolwich, he entered the Royal Navy 
as midshipman in 1771 and saw some active service. He became Lieutenant in 1783, 
and was discharged on half -pay in the same year, which he continued to draw until 
1789, when he ceased further to draw it as he refused to take the oath required. He 
gradually grew into the belief that he had a divine mission, that he was the Prince 
of the Jews, a descendant of David, and the nephew of God. In 1794 he published a 
book of interpretation of prophecy, " A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and 
Times" (My copy is a Philadelphia reprint of 1795). He was suspected of treasonable 
practices, but after examination by the Privy Council he was committed as a criminal 
lunatic, thus antedating Robert Gourlay by a quarter of a century. He had many 
followers, some of them of great intelligence and high station. 

After a very singular and interesting life he died in 1824. He was perhaps the 
first advocate of Anglo-Israelism, at least in our language. 

Several of the works of Brothers and his followers are in the Riddell Canadian 
Library, Osgoode Hall. 

"Robert Owen, born at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, 1771, who after a suc- 
cessful career as cotton-mill proprietor, adopted a crude and heterodox political 
economy; he bought from the " Rappites," the colony of Harmony on the Wabash 
River, and established a new colony on his own principles as " New Harmony," 
Indiana. He took an active part in the Co-operative movement in Biitain, and was the 
leading Socialist for many years before his death in 1858. His son, Robert Dale 
Owen, is better known than Owen himself, but Owen was a self-sacrificing, devoted 
servant of humanity; his theories were not successful, but his life deserved the " Well 
done " of the Great Master. 


But to proceed. A committee was formed to frame the outline of a new 
Constitution, which was to be carried into effect as soon as a sufficient force 
was collected to take possession of the land of promise. In the meantime, 
they framed what is termed a provisional government, of which Mackenzie 
was constituted chairman, but not cashier, this was managed by a committee : 
nevertheless he contrived to get his share of the booty so generously bestowed 
by the Buffalonian sympathizers. 

The result of the subscription entered into furnished a variety of supplies 
for the new recruited Jack Cade brigands, who sadly wanted blankets to keep 
out the cutting blast of a northwest wind which blew keenly on this 
memorable occasion. Those who had no promises to pay, commonly called 
dollar notes, contributed something to the common stock in the shape of 
barrelled pork, flour, molasses, tobacco, potatoes and whiskey, it being consid- 
ered stingy not to shew patriotism by a small contribution into the general 

Those who enlisted belonging to the temperance society drank water, 
the only store that ultimately never became exhausted. Another class, by far 
the most numerous, took their bitters in the morning and drank whiskey or 
brandy when they could get it. But the officers, who were appointed to 
marshal the ranks, being men of energy and strong minds, fared sumptuously 
on fowls, turkeys and venison; drank wine with their almonds and raisins 
after dinner, and now and then a glass of champagne to elevate their spirits 
afterwards, so liberally did some of the merchants come forward in aid of 
the cause. This sketch may appear to you exaggerated, but is a positive fact 
and a remarkable one too in the annals of excitement, showing how delusion 
may carry men beyond the limits of prudence and common sense. 

Business, however, was to be entered upon, the main point of which 
consisted in arms and ammunition. Altho' many were willing to feed the 
hungry and clothe the naked, yet the same individuals clung most tenaciously 
to their rifles, preferring the use of these weapons themselves rather than 
their acting by proxy. No resource was therefore left but going to the 
fountain head, the Government, whom the brigands conceived better able to 
provide so necessary a portion of their outfit than private individuals. Accord- 
ingly the arsenals were promptly thought of, it being considered superfluous 
to keep a quantity of muskets idle and liable to corrode at a period when 
there could be no earthly use for them in a time of profound peace. A few 
loose cannon, too, might with safety be abstracted, more especially as the 
people had absolutely paid for them. Therefore no great harm could accrue 
by the people also having a share in the use, it being philosophically argued 
that it was a joint stock concern. This is the great advantage of free insti- 
tutions. Preparations being completed, the command of these ragamuffins, 
amounting to no more than 300 men, at the first devolved upon an individual 
of the name of Van Ranselaer, 57 son of the postmaster of Albany. A man of 
aspiring notions, who firmly believed the Canadians could be as easily subdued 
as the Spaniards in South America, he panted with ambition to become a 

87 Ranselaer Van Ranselaer was the son of the General Van Ranselaer who com- 
manded the American troops at the Battle of Queenston Heights in 1812; the son 
had no merits but a fine manner suitable to his name and descent; he was a drunken 
braggart with little military knowledge and less common sense, and showed a proper 
contempt for his Canadian associates and subordinates. 


second Bolivar. Gifted with idle, extravagant habits, which his father 
prudently would not indulge him in to his own ruin, he thought this a fine 
opportunity to repair his shattered finances, which ultimately plunged him in 
jail to meditate on his follies. He was appointed General, or t Gineral as 
Major Downing calls it, on full pay a title with us in England betokening 
a man of some rank. Not so, however, on the other side, there being more 
generals there than men to command. It has, however, one advantage, that 
those who want common sense involuntarily feel elevated by it. This pre- 
liminary fixed, the drums beat and the wry-necked fifer became nearly broken- 
winded with his exertions to induce the bystanders to enlist in the glorious 
cause ; but it was of no avail with the calculating ones, although the tempting 
offer of 300 acres of land stared them full in the face. Many were more than 
half inclined to join the standard, especially when they saw the flag, worked 
by the pretty Buffalonian ladies, so remarkably handsome, but on second 
thought they cautiously kept aloof just to see how the game would commence, 
and what chance there would be of any opposition, an event apparently never 
contemplated by the ringleaders. 

In a movement of so much consequence it was thought advisable to get 
along by degrees, and to keep on the safe side as long as they possibly could. 
Accordingly, the advance guard reached an old Indian settlement called 
Tonawonta, half way between Buffalo and the Falls, and opposite to the heart 
of Grand Island. Here they made a halt. All was safety so far as the enemy 
was concerned, but at home they had to look out for their own government 
officers, having violated the laws by pilfering the cannon and muskets, to say 
nothing of food and clothing which they occasionally picked up on the way. 
You may be sure that, between two fires, they did not halt long. Accordingly 
on the following morning, they ferried over to Grand Island amounting in 
numbers to 220 men, a wonderful force truly to take possession of Upper 
Canada. But nothing is accomplished without confidence. The Tonawonta 
natives gladly supplied them with boats to get rid of so desperate a crew 
from their quiet village, and even supplied them with salt for their porridge. 
The rear rank, consisting of the commissariat department and about 100 
others, were still behind in charge of the eatables and drinkables. These 
soon followed, forming altogether as rough a picnic expedition as was ever 

I believe I told you that Grand Island belongs to our neighbours. There- 
fore, to secure themselves from molestation, they agreed to make the conquest 
of Navy Island belonging to the British Government, and inhabited only by 
one old woman and her daughter, whom they sent over to Grand Island in 
snug quarters there at a log hut within sight of their previous location. This 
was wanted for the head officers of the New Convention, a dwelling com- 
pared with which, Jack Straw's castle on Hampstead Heath is a palace. 
Having safely landed with a couple of six pounders, they commenced opera- 
tions for fortifying themselves, being determined to act on the defensive 
until a further reinforcement arrived from Kentucky and elsewhere. They 
imagined that the novelty of the expedition would spread like wildfire, and 
that thousands would join them in their winter quarters preparatory to 
opening the spring campaign. 

That no opposition should be made to their landing, they kept the place 
of their destination a profound secret, and marched through a wild forest 


for four or five miles, frequented by nothing whatever but deer and wildcats. 
It so happened, however, that early intelligence reached us, and had it been 
acted upon promptly, the whole trouble, confusion, expense and inconvenience 
might have been easily avoided. It was early in the morning of the llth of 
December, I was at Captain Ussher's;, when a respectable farmer called to 
give his deposition relative to their movements. He stated he wished to do so 
from a fear that his cattle and property would be plundered by these brigands 
on their march. He owned a large farm on Grand Island, as well as three 
hundred acres of land in Upper Canada, and therefore claimed our protection 
by dispersing the pirates as quickly as possible. He happened to be at Tona- 
wonta at the very time when they embarked. Suspecting their place of 
destination, which on enquiry was confirmed, he hastened through the Island 
to the shore, took his canoe, came over and gave us the information. This 
was the first intelligence that reached us. We took down his deposition in 
writing, witnessed it, and after breakfast Captain Ussher mounted one of his 
horses and rode off to the commanding officer, 58 then at Fort Erie, to give 
him intelligence. It was considered an event so highly improbable that no 
further notice was taken of it further than passing the communication on to 
another quarter. We were displeased, being firmly convinced that the farm- 
er's testimony was implicitly to be relied on, but having no authority to act, 
nothing could be done, although Mr. Ussher volunteered for one to go over 
and keep guard. There were also numbers in readiness to join him. The 
remainder of the day we kept a sharp lookout, allowing no boats to pass 
without permission of a magistrate, yet notwithstanding our vigilance some 
spies had been known to cross higher up the river. One of these, however, 
corroborated the farmer's testimony by mentioning the circumstance at a 
small tavern about half a mile distant, where I called every hour to ascertain 
if there were any suspicious characters. At four o'clock in the morning we 
went down to Chippawa and stated this fact also, but the Colonel was as 
little inclined to belief as the other ; he promised, however, that a conference 
should be held in the course of the day, which was accordingly done, but the 
golden opportunity was lost by reason of the time that elapsed in passing, 
repassing and conferring together. A handful of men at that crisis would 
have prevented the direful disasters that afterward occurred. I wished for 
the spirit of Lord Peterborough's movements at that juncture to act promptly, 
in order to prevent the annoyance which must inevitably arise frome those 
marauders taking quiet possession of an Island from which, if they intrenched 
themselves well, they could with difficulty be removed. The militia are all 
very well as secondaries, but from the circumstance of being so little engaged 
in warlike operations, they make but poor primaries in a case of emergency 
of this kind. This does not arise from any defect in personal courage, 
because the late events have proved this fact to the contrary. It arises from 
a want of organized plans and extension of service, to teach them the impor- 
tance of every position and advantage to be taken of the movements of an 
enemy, which can only be acquired by tact and experience. 

I nevertheless agree with my friends that common foresight and prudence 
should have induced the Colonel of the District, in the absence of any regu- 

88 Probably Colonel Kenneth Cameron, formerly of the 79th Highlanders, and 
at that time Assistant Adjutant-General. 


lars, to send over a guard to the Island, knowing as he must have done that 
Mackenzie was in Buffalo inflaming the minds of the people to revolt against 

From ocular demonstration, it was proved on the following day 59 that 
our information was correct, for we could plainly see the pirates walking 
around the Island and preparing their fortifications. All night long the axe 
was heard, felling trees for breastwork and the construction of shanties as 
temporary huts to shelter them from the cold until they could convey lumber 
over for building, which was soon effected, necessity being with them the 
rallying point to raise quarters as speedily as possible, not only for themselves 
but for the anticipated Kentucky boys. We could see them cutting down and 
carrying away fern and brushwood for beds to repose on. They kept up 
large fires, most of them being apparently accustomed to night campaigning 
in the open air. 

Dreary as our midnight patrolling was, before the arrival of the Gineral 
and his advanced guard, you may readily suppose we were no better off after 
the arrival of our piratical neighbours, whose plans we were totally ignorant 
of. They might come over in boats, burn the houses and pillage the country, 
then return with the greatest alacrity without being caught, for we had, as 
I before stated, no other guard along the frontier. Fortunately, however, 
they were too closely engaged in their military tactics and shanty building to 
trouble us, although the circumstance of their being armed and not knowing 
precisely their numbers was a source of great alarm all round the country. 

The very taking possession of our soil, small as the Island is, aroused 
the indignation of the loyalists, and prompted them to greater exertion than 
they had hitherto manifested. The news which had gone forward to Toronto 
as doubtful was no sooner confirmed, than volunteers marched from all quar- 
ters, and despatches were forwarded to the Lower Province to recall all the 
regulars they could spare. Order being partially restored in that quarter 
since the destruction of Saint Charles, and the flight of the prominent leaders, 
the troops promptly obeyed the call and prepared for departure. 

In common seasons their transportation by water would have been im- 
practicable, such an occurrence being rarely remembered of steamboats plying 
toward the end of December. This season, however, as if aided by a super- 
intending power in favour of our cause, was mild, enabling the boats to run 
without interruption from the ice. Detachments of the 24th and 32nd regi- 
ments quickly arrived at Toronto, from whence they rapidly pushed on 
without the harass and fatigue of travelling by land. Whilst these brave 
fellows were on their route, volunteers from various districts had arrived 
from as far north as Port Hope, Cobburg, Prescott and other settlements along 
the lake shore. Colonel MacNab 60 also had returned from the west and 
pushed on with three hundred men, joined by Captain Kerr and his two hun- 
dred Indians who had painted their faces red, a custom among them on war- 
like expeditions. We were not a little pleased at their arrival, having some 
chance of being relieved on our midnight guard. 

59 Possession was taken by the " Patriots " of Navy Island, December 13th, 1837. 

* Colonel (afterwards Sir) Allan Napier MacNab arrived at Chippawa, Decem- 
ber 20th. His name is found spelled in many ways McNab, McNabb, M'Nab, M'Nabb, 
Macnab, Macnabb. He was placed in command on this frontier and was afterwards 
knighted for his services. 


The quiet village of Chippawa suddenly assumed quite an animated 
appearance from the influx of so many strangers. So rapid had been the 
movements of the troops that in a very short time upward of four thousand 
had arrived to our protection. Bands of music, bugles, marching, counter- 
marching, drilling, firing, cannon exercising, the bustle and stir of the com- 
missariat department, waggon loads of bread, beef, pork and potatoes moving 
along the road from the surrounding farms, presented a spectacle quite novel 
to me, who for the first time was located in the very heart of the contending 
parties. Private houses were all turned into barracks and the Methodist 
Chapel into a hospital. Our worthy clergyman turned the sword of the Spirit 
into an instrument of war, nothing in fine being thought of but preparations 
for defence in the event of an invasion. This all-engrossing topic superseded 
every other consideration. 

I should tell you that, in conformity with the Colonel's assurance, pre- 
parations were made for going over to the Island, to make remonstrance 
against American citizens taking possession of our territory. 61 Accordingly, 
some of the magistrates, accompanied by volunteer rowers, proceeded on their 
way thither. This was an ill-judged experiment, 62 as they must have been 
aware that the brigands were too numerous, and too well armed, to allow 
them to land, although it was their policy to have done so, which would have 
secured the party prisoners, and secured the boat. Willing, however, to 
show us that they, in reality, had commenced their fortifications, and pos- 
sessed cannon, so soon as the boat neared the northern extremity of the Island, 
they opened their battery and fired a six-pounder upon the adventurers. 
This was too warm a reception, so they deemed it most prudent to return, 
which they quickly did, without accomplishing the end in view. Two or three 
more shots were fired, but without effect, their artillerymen not being in 
sufficient practice to level a good aim, or make that allowance in the art of 
gunnery with a moving object, so as to do any injury. 

So incredulous were the authorities in power as to their numerical force, 
considering that merely a few lawless fellows had gone there on a freak, that 
they determined on another experiment, which took place shortly after, and 
would doubtless have succeeded had they manned a sufficient number of boats. 
Unluckily, however, as I hinted at the outset, we had no boats of any con- 
sequence, but they were very quickly supplied from Queenston and elsewhere. 
The sleighing being good, a grand movement took place, and it was really 
curious to see the rapid arrival of so many boats. In a few days near one 
hundred were collected together. I saw one immense boat that would hold 
fifty men, drawn all the way from Hamilton, a distance of forty-four miles. 

* Lieutenant-Governor Sir Francis Bond Head, as early as December 13th, 1837, 
had sent a remonstrance to Governor Marcy, of the State of New York, concerning 
the agitation at Buffalo to procure countenance and support for the disaffected in 
Upper Canada. Head. 332, Leg. Ass. 97; the Governor, December 19, issued a Pro- 
clamation against attempts to set on foot military expeditions or enterprises in viola- 
tion of the laws of the land and the relations of amity between the United States and 
the United Kingdom, Leg. Ass. 98; this was almost a dead letter, and practically 
nothing was done for weeks to check the movement. On Navy Island being occupied. 
Head, December 23, sent Archibald McLean, Speaker of the House, to Washington with 
a full account for the British Ambassador, Henry S. Fox, Head 335; Leg. Ass. 98. 

82 1 have not seen this " experiment " of the Magistrates noted by any other 


by thirty-six oxen a sight I shall, in all probability, never witness again. 
Schooners also were ordered from the shores of Lake Erie, and every other 
kind of craft that the country possessed. The two first boats were soon 
brought into service without waiting for a general attack, which, at one time, 
was determined on. These were manned by a reconnoitring party, 63 con- 
sisting of intrepid young fellows who had freely volunteered their services. 
The current being strong, they were towed up the river a little beyond Mr. 
Ussher's. The party, consisting of .six in one boat and eight in the other, 
proceeded toward the Island, intending to row down the stream between Navy 
and Grand Islands. The object in view was to ascertain what force was sta- 
tioned at the back part, where the old lady's cottage stood, then taken pos- 
session of by Van Ranselaer and Mackenzie, with their aide-de-camps. No 
sooner, however, had they reached the line opposite the extremity of the 
Island, than a brisk cannonading, with six-pounders, opened upon them. 
It was an interesting and novel sight, though an alarming one, lest our brave 
countrymen should be swamped by a cannon ball. At the first fire we dis- 
tinctly saw where the ball struck the water, well directed as to the line, but 
too much elevated, so that the ball passed over their heads and struck some 
distance off. The second shot was better directed and fell very near the bow 
of the boat. Finding it would be impracticable to get round, they rowed 
back and returned to Chippawa, about midway in the current on this side, 
but sufficiently near to the Island for any experienced riflemen to have done 
great execution. By this time a vast number had assembled with their rifles, 
who kept up one incessant firing, but all to no effect. I should think, at the 
least, there were two hundred balls fired, still no harm done, which satisfied 
us there was less to fear from the brigands than had by many been antici- 
pated, although it had been given out that their aim was as unerring as the 
Indians'. Whilst the boats kept gliding along, our fine fellows only laughed 
at them, twirling at the same time a hat on the end of a boarding sword, with 
which they were all well armed, as well as pistols. Before they cleared the 
Island, another cannonading commenced, with similar ill-success. The ruf- 
fians discharged seven six-pounders, but none near enough to either boat even 
to splash them. One ball, I noticed, dropped in the water midway between 
the two boats. This was the second best shot that was made. On reaching- 
Chippawa they gave three cheers, and landed amid the applause of the by- 
standers. After Mr. Ussher had played " God Save the Queen " on his bugle. 

63 Richard Arnold's account is as follows "(Dent, Vol. II, p. 215) : 
" The next day (i.e., December 26, 1837) I and several other volunteers accom- 
panied Captain Drew on a reconnoitring expedition. We set out from Chippawa 
Creek in a small boat and proceeded to circumnavigate Navy Island, where we could 
see the rebels in full force. As we approached the island they fired round after 
round at us, and the bullets whistled thick and fast over our heads. Our position 
was one of extreme peril. ' What a fool I am ! ' exclaimed Captain Drew, ' to be here 
without a pick-up boat. Should we be disabled we shall find ourselves in a tight 
place.' One of the rowers in our boat was completely overcome by fear, and funked. 
' I can't help it, boys/ said he and threw himself at full length along the bottom of 
the boat. We made the trip, however, without any accident. The next day we made 
another expedition in a large twelve-oared gig, with a picked crew, chiefly composed 
of lake sailors. Again the shots whistled over our heads, and struck the water on 
both sides of us, but in the course of a few hours we found ourselves back again in 
Chippawa Creek without having sustained any injury. We had by this time become 
used to being under fire, and didn't seem to mind the sound of the whistling bullets." 


we walked down to see the results. I examined the boats carefully, but no 
symptoms of a single bullet mark out of the two hundred fired on the occasion, 
convincing us that the recruits must be better practised in the art of gunnery 
before they attempted to cross over and pay us a visit. 

These reconnoitring parties ceased soon afterwards, and a Council of War 
was held as to the best course to pursue to dislodge the marauders. It was 
desirable, if possible, to spare the effusion of human blood, and on this account 
it was considered advisable to act on the defensive, particularly as our rein- 
forcements were numerous, and detachments arriving daily from distant dis- 
tricts. The Jewish Monarch declared formerly that in the multitude of 
councillors there is safety. Unfortunately, however, from there being too 
many, the court was harassed much longer with apprehensions of alarm than 
was consistent with the general character of the British nation. This inde- 
cision was afterward a source of reproach by the American authorities, who 
considered that it was our duty to remove a lawless band who had taken pos- 
session of our soil contrary to the existing treaty between the two countries. 
Colonel MacNab was of opinion that the first shedding of blood by forcibly 
removing them would weigh but trifling in the scale of contention and pre- 
vent numbers afterward falling a sacrifice by the sword, an idea which was 
looked upon by the most intelligent men as a moral certainty. Indeed, it 
was on the eve of being accomplished, but afterward countermanded. A plan 
of the Island was drawn by my friend Captain Ussher and myself, where 
every spit was marked, so intimately acquainted were we with its location, 
from having gone over so frequently on shooting expeditions. This was for- 
warded to the Governor, preparatory to his taking a circuit along the frontier. 

Whilst the subject of attack was under consideration, various magistrates 
assembled at Fort Erie in council, who drew up a remonstrance, signed by 
Mr. Merritt, chairman, requesting the Mayor and authorities at Buffalo to 
inform them whether the aggressions complained of were noticed by them, 
or in any way sanctioned, or whether in reality any preparations were making 
for hostilities an event wherein there appeared some probability, from the 
circumstance of drummers parading the streets of Buffalo on recruiting 

Dr. Trowbridge, the Mayor, an intelligent and highly reputable man, 
finding the enthusiasm of the people had gone beyond the power of the law 
to restrain their proceedings, resigned his situation in favour of Mr. Barker. 
Previous to this, however, he wrote a reply to the magistrates assembled at 
Fort Erie, assuring them that everything practicable would be done to restore 
order, and that, so far from the Government wishing to sanction the pro- 
ceedings of the rabble, every precaution would be taken to allay the excitement. 

Doubtless many speculative men were at work behind the scenes with 
a view of aggrandizement in the event of the marauders succeeding. But 
the most influential and respectable classes used their utmost endeavours to 
put the law in force and prevent a violation of neutrality. They issued the 
following proclamation and held a meeting which resulted in ordering Mac- 
kenzie and his gang to quit the city within six hours, which they accordingly 
did, and made the best of their way to Navy Island as a place of security : 


Address to the Citizens of Erie County from the Mayor and 140 of the 
leading men of Buffalo. 

The undersigned inhabitants of Buffalo and Black Rock, have witnessed 
for a few days past,, with deep regret and mortification, large bodies of men 
thronging our streets and public houses employed in enlisting volunteers, col- 
lecting arms and other munitions of war, and organizing themselves into 
military corps for the open and undisguised purpose of crossing into Canada 
to aid with their arms in the civil contest now waging between a portion of 
the people and the government of that province. 

However much we may sympathize with our neighbours of Canada, or 
desire to see them emancipated from foreign domination, we should recollect 
that we live under laws of our own making, which it is not less our pride than 
our duty to obey and enforce, and in the strict execution of which, consists 
our real liberty and the superiority of our political institutions. 

Many of our citizens, judging doubtless by the unrestrained freedom 
with which we are permitted to canvass and express our opinions of other 
governments, are not aware of the fact that the arming of men or fitting out 
military expeditions to act against a country with which we are on terms of 
amity, is forbidden, as well by our own municipal laws, as by the law of 
nations, and subjects the offenders to severe penalties. 

The object of this notice is to apprise those who are acting under such 
delusion, that they are violating the laws of their country, and to beseech 
them to abandon at once an enterprise which, while it exposes them to punish- 
ment, promises but little advantage to those whose cause they wish to serve. 

Should this advice be disregarded, we call upon the Civil Officers of the 
City and County to interfere and put a stop to these illegal proceedings, and 
we severally pledge our personal aid in causing the laws to be executed. 

Buffalo, December 14, 1837. 

Had these resolutions been promptly followed up by the marshal and 
others in authority, quiet would soon have been restored and the rebellious 
faction disbanded. But a strong party of speculators arose in their favour 
and winked at their proceedings, allowing boats to convey arms, ammunitions 
and provisions to them, which might easily have been prevented. Certain 
authorities even saw cannon with the United States mark upon them, and 
yet took no measures to secure them or to detain the parties who were known 
to be the pilferers. A steamboat 6 * was also hired for the conveyance of 
recruits, arms, ammunition, etc., to the Island, which had arrived from Roch- 
ester and other districts in sleighs, where the jurisdiction of the marshal 
extended. A guard also, in time of peace, being allowed to watch the boat 
at night, without any warning that it was an infringement of neutrality, was 
truly unaccountable. Strange as this conduct may appear to you, I have it 
from the best information gentlemen who were over there when the marshal 
conversed with Van Ranselaer and who saw a cannon in his boat belonging 
to the American 'Government. Conduct so reprehensible could not escape 

84 This was the Caroline, a steamboat about 75 feet long and of 46 tons burden, 
the property of William Wells, of Buffalo, which was cut out of her berth in the ice 
at Buffalo and brought down to Schlosser, December 28th, plying across to Navv 


the censure of our authorities, who, finding that so much listlessness and 
apathy prevailed, considered it high time to look out for themselves, having 
previously ascertained that the American militia refused to act. 

All these circumstances heing taken into consideration, a Council of 
War, which was held at Chippawa, determined upon some vigorous measures 
to prevent further aggressions upon our territory, and to open the eyes of 
the deluded Buffalonians as to the impolitic course they were pursuing, They 
would have rejoiced had the authorities on the other side done their duty by 
putting a stop to innovations so hourly notorious. After allowing the Amer- 
ican authorities a fortnight, and finding all their remonstrances unavailing, 
they determined to act decisively and to perform that service which it was 
the bounden duty of the American Government to have done themselves. 
No alternative remaining, 65 six boats were manned under the command of 
an intrepid officer, Captain Drew, with instructions from Colonel MacNab 
to proceed at night and take possession of the piratical steamboat, the 
Caroline, which was known to be illegally conveying cannon, arms, ammu- 
nitions, recruits and provisions over to the marauders and rebels on Navy 
Island. She was seen plying on the afternoon of the 28th, 66 and not return- 
ing, it was supposed she would moor there for the night. In whichever case, 
however, they were to take possession of her at all hazards. Accordingly, 
about ten o'clock at night, the preparations were completed and the boats 
manned and well armed for the expedition. A more hardy or intrepid set 
of fellows could nowhere be found, all in good spirits, and ready to achieve 
any event however hazardous. On nearing the Island, they found that the 
said steamer had left in the evening for Schlosser on the American shore, 
thinking to be protected, and beyond our control, but the result proved the 
contrary. The first two boats kept ahead of the rest, having more experienced 
rowers, and, on arriving alongside, were hailed by the sentry for the counter- 
sign. No satisfactory answer being given, the party on guard fired, but 
without effect; the boat was soon boarded and taken possession of, but not 
without the loss of several lives in the confusion that ensued. This is a brief 
outline of the proceeding, columns of which have been written on the subject 
containing more untruths than I need trouble you with. As the current was 
too strong toward the Rapids and Falls, to tow her over, which was the 
original intention, she was set fire to in three or four different places, un- 

65 Captain Drew, R.N., who was in command of the expedition, in his report, 
December 30th, says : " I directed five boats to be armed and manned with forty-five 
volunteers," Leg. Ass., 90. G. T. D. says : " Five boats were prepared, well manned, 
well armed and with muffled oars," Can. Monthly, Vol. Ill, p. 290. Richard Arnold 
says : " The expedition consisted, as far as I can remember, of seven boats, each con- 
taining seven men, i.e., four rowers and three sitters," Dent, Vol. II, p. 216. The 
number of boats is given as seven by most authors, and is probably correct. Sir Allan 
MacNab, under oath in the McLeod Trial, says "they were seven in number . . . 
seven or eight men in each boat . . . about forty persons." Trial, 124. " The 
boats did not all return at the same time. Five arrived at about the same time, 
two at a different time." Trial, 125. John Harris gave the same evidence. Trial, 129. 
" Seven boats left Chippawa, five only reached the Caroline, five returned in company." 
With this Edward Zealand agrees word for word, Trial, 135. Robert Armour says, 
" Seven started, five crossed the river," Trial, 147 ; so do Christopher Bier, Trial, 157, 
159: Hamilton Robert O'Reilly, Trial, 162, 165; Sheppard McCormick, Trial, 169; 
Frederick Claverly, Trial, 170, 175, and several others. The fact seems to be that 
seven boats started, but two lost the way and did not cross the river. 

This should be 29th." 

11 H.P. 


moored, and allowed to drift her course over the Falls, a species of navigation 
that was certain to consign her to oblivion forever. The night was very dark ; 
consequently, as you may suppose, it was a very grand sight to see her gliding 
with the current towards the whirlpool of her destination, whither she in due 
time approached, and no vestige of her remains were ever seen afterward. 67 

The boats quietly rowed back into the Chippawa, having two prisoners 68 
and three of the party wounded, one of whom, Mr. McCormack, 69 suffered 
severely, and afterward received a pension for his bravery; the other two 
soon recovered. After eliciting all the information they could obtain from 
the prisoners, they were allowed to return home the following day, it appearing 
that they were strangers who had taken shelter there for the night, the small 
tavern at Schlosser being quite full. Many others similarly situated took 
to their heels as fast as they could on escaping from the vessel. 

The American papers, as you may suppose, published the most exag- 

67 It seems quite certain that the Caroline did not go over the Canadian Falls, 
nor as a whole (at least) over the Falls at all. Her engines seem to have sunk and 
portions of her charred woodwork went down the river and over the Falls on the 
American side. 

"Both British subjects; one was Sylvanus Fearns Wrigley, of thq Township 
of Dumfries, who had enlisted with Dr. Duncombe ; after Duncombe's men were dis- 
persed, he crossed the Niagara River to join the "Patriots." He was on his way to 
Navy Island where he was captured. He was detained in jail for three months "and 
then discharged on giving bail for good behaviour. The other was Alfred Luce, a 
native of Lower Canada, who had also joined Dr. Duncombe; he shared in Wrigley's 
adventures until his capture. He was released the following day and sent across the 
ferry to the United States, as there seemed to be doubt whether he was not a citizen 
of that country. Dent, Vol. II, 213; Leg. Ass., 91. 

"Lieutenant Shepherd McCormack (so named by Drew in his official Report) 
December 30, 1837, Leg. Ass., 90; but both names are spelt in different ways, e.g., 
the pensioning Statute, 1838, 1 Vic., c. 46, calls him Sheppard McCormick) was shot 
in several parts of his body and also received two cuts from a cutlass. He was per- 
manently injured: he received a pension from Upper Canada of 100 ($400) per 
annum, counting from December 29, 1837. 

The Preamble of the Act is worth copying: 

" Whereas Sheppard McCormick, Esquire, a retired Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, 
received several severe wounds in action at the capture and destruction of the Piratical 
steamer Caroline in an attempt to invade this Province by a lawless banditti, by which 
he is disabled, and it is just and right that he should receive a Pension during such 
period as he may be so disabled by said wounds." 

He received the pension until his death, when it was continued to his widow. 

It was the conventional thing for all loyal Canadians, from the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor down, to call the Canadian Rebels and their U. S. "Sympathizers," "Pirates"'* 
they were " Pirates " to precisely the same extent and in the same way as William 
of Orange and his English and Dutch followers. " Pirates," however, offset " Patriots," 
with " apt alliteration's artful aid." " Banditti " ('" we call them plain thieves in 
England") is another term of opprobrium equally well deserved; "a Banditti" is 
not quite without precedent in our literature; but then I recall a student of mine, 
Consule Planco, speaking of " the distance between one foci of an ellipse and the other." 
And Parliament is like Rex, super grammaticam. 

The second reported wounded was Captain John Warren, formerly an officer in 
the 66th Regiment; his wounds were trifling and he resumed duty the following day, 
Dent, Vol. II, 212; Leg. Ass., 89, 90. The third was Richard Arnold (wrongly called 
John Arnold in the official Report, Leg. Ass., 90). His story is given in Dent, Vol. II, 
214 he was " struck by a cutlass on the arm and got a pretty deep gash just above the 
elbow;" he was "invalided and sent home to Toronto in a sleigh next day;" there his 
"wound healed rapidly, leaving me none the worse." He died in Toronto, June 18, 
1884; he always was properly proud of being the last man to leave the Caroli/ne. 


gerated statements, alleging that forty or fifty individuals were on board when 
the steamer was unmoored, who had no time to escape; but this, from the 
nature of things, was totally impracticable, as some time elapsed in setting 
fire to the vessel. She was also moored so tight with a chain that the party 
had considerable difficulty in unloosing her. During these preparations, 
therefore, ample time was afforded for any one to escape. I saw several of 
the gentlemen who went on the expedition, the following morning, but in the 
confusion that ensued and the darkness of the night, it was difficult to elicit 
the loss of the enemy. Mr. Chandler thought only one, 70 and three or four 
wounded'; Lieut. Elmsley told me he believed five or six, which I believe to 
be the sum total of their loss. One only was actually found, who had acted in 
the capacity of sentry; he was interred in Buffalo amidst a large concourse 
of sympathizing spectators. But however many might deplore his fate, 
others considered he had voluntarily placed himself in danger, when he ought 
to have been industriously employed elsewhere. 

You may be sure that so unlooked-for an event created no small sensa- 
tion ; it had, however, a most beneficial effect that of stirring up the citizens 
to do their duty by endeavouring to preserve neutrality. Meetings were held ; 
militia and volunteers were enrolled, and they then began to look after their 
own property instead of foolishly furnishing a gang of marauders with food, 
from whom they could not possibly derive any return or even thanks. Many, 
however, still thought differently, being violently excited and threatening 
vengeance. A more trifling circumstance than this, you may recollect, 
involved the Greeks and Romans in a ten years' war. But in the present 
instance it terminated in declamation and idle words, which were much 
cheaper than troops and gunpowder. 

The rebels on the Island were also very indignant at losing so great an 
augmentation to their resources ; they vented their spleen by opening a brisk 
cannonading the following morning on our houses opposite, as well as the 
military waggons and passengers who were passing and repassing along the 
frontier. This they had occasionally done for a week, without doing much 
damage. I am sorry, however, to inform you that three lives 71 were unhap- 
pily lost. One individual, who had taken shelter in Mr. Ussher^s barn, was 
so seriously wounded in the abdomen that he died soon afterwards; another 
had his legs shot off; the third, on undergoing amputation, sank with 

The houses which contained companies of guards were battered severely; 
a ball went through the upper part of a room where twenty or thirty men 
were stationed. In the adjoining house, a tavern, two balls went through, 
which induced the parties to decamp. A red-hot ball fell near Captain 
Ussher, which was afterward preserved. In the house beyond, where I had 
been located for a month, a ball entered the front door through the parlour 

79 Captain Drew in his official report said, " I regret to add that five or six of 
the enemy were killed, Leg. Ass., 90; but it is reasonably certain that there was only 
one killed ; this was Amos Durf ee, of Buffalo, for the murder of whom Alexander 
McLeod was tried at Utica, N.Y., in 1841. There were several wounded more or less 

"MacNab, writing to Lt.-Col. Strachan from Chippawa, January 19, 1838, says: 
" Three of our brave and loyal Militia have unfortunately lost their lives in the service 
of their country against the Rebels and their piratical allies upon Navy Island. They 
were all killed by gunshot wounds." Leg. Ass., 264. 


and just took the corner of the dining table, forming a line on the surface 
as if ruled, went through Mrs. Ussher's bedroom and did considerable damage. 
Six others passed the house in different places, which ultimately rendered it 
untenable. It was high time, therefore, to shift apartments below stairs into 
a kitchen, which was built behind an embankment; here we were safe, but 
it was beyond a joke the whizzing of the balls, which at times came very near 
us. You would have imagined that the people here were disciples of Charles 
the 12th of Sweden, had you seen the number of people congregated on the 
frontier, not only in waggons looking over to the Island, but on foot. They 
were even imprudent enough to .stand in groups as a mark for the rebels to 
fire at. I was one morning walking with Mr. Meredith and Dr. Hamilton 
in front of Mr. Ussher's house, when a warm firing commenced. A ball 
passed behind us within sixty yards and tore up the ground; the whizzing 
noise induced us to put our hands to our ears, and I for one involuntarily 
lowered my head, upon which Dr. Hamilton coolly replied, it was better to 
walk on quietly upright: he, however, was used to such matters in the last 
war. Strange as it may appear, I believe now that it is possible even to be 
fond of the excitement, for Mr. Merritt's son, who was up there one day, 
went away quite disappointed that he could not see them fire. And on those 
days when the cannonading did take place, I have heard the bystanders ex- 
claim : " Go it, ye devils, and take better aim." There were many hairbreadth 
escapes, and considering the immense number of times they fired, it is extra- 
ordinary so few fell a sacrifice. A short time before the breaking out of the 
affray, we had built a foot-bridge across the creek at the back of Mr. Ussher's 
house. Captain Adams told me he was marching his men across when a ball 
struck in the bank close beside them. I also saw one strike the water under 
the bank where three officers were passing on horseback. 

Doubtless you will ask where the balls were procured in so short a time 
for the use of the ruffians, for I can call them no better. Some they stole 
from the arsenals, but the greater part were cast at a foundry in Buffalo, the 
proprietor of which, I apprehend, entered into a bad speculation. But he 
was weak to think that the scrip would ultimately be paid, and that he should 
some day have a rich Canadian farm at the termination of the conquest, and 
there sit down with an " otium cum dignitate " like the Romans at the end of 
a Punic War. Whilst these outrages were perpetrated in front of Mr. Ussher's 
house, Mackenzie and the Gineral were at the back part of the Island con- 
cocting mischief. The former framed a most imprudent proclamation which 
was published in the Buffalo Journal, and intended for general distribution 
here when their forces were strong enough to effect a landing. I do not 
intend to trouble you with many documents of this kind, as it would swell 
my pages larger than I wish. This, however, is a curiosity in the annals of 
history, so read it just to be convinced of the consummate impudence of a man 
who fled his own country as a mere adventurer, and who ultimately effected his 
escape here from a punishment he so richly merited. 72 

The deluded people who perused this precious document began to think 
seriously that there would be a chance for plunder and a prospect before them 
of obtaining good farms with but little trouble. Under this false impression, 
meetings were held in various districts, where inflammatory speeches were 

78 Mackenzie's long Navy Island proclamation of six pages appears in Lindsey, 
Appendix G, and a lengthy discussion of it in Dent, Vol. II, Appendix. (H.) 


made by lawyers, clerks and others, which resulted in many hot-headed indi- 
viduals taking their rifles and proceeding to the general rendezvous on Navy 
Island. During the excitement, .sleighs laden with arms and provisions, pro- 
vided at the expense of private individuals, were passing and repassing con- 
tinually. That the names of those might not be made public who were 
active in the proceedings, money was forwarded by ladies who entered their 
names in the patriot cause. Well, with all the exertions made, and the im- 
mense advantages held out, to the praise of the respectable portion of Amer- 
ican citizens be it said that not more than about eight hundred men could be 
collected together, andi those, as I before observed, consisted of the most 
reprobate and abandoned classes of society, who were fit for little else than 
marauders and buccaneers, many of them doubtless glad of the opportunity 
to escape their own prisons. 

The insurrection being quelled at Toronto and in the West, the Governor 
crossed the Lake to take a survey of the frontier. Landing at Niagara, he 
proceeded to Queenston and from thence to Chippawa, along the shore to 
Fort Erie, opposite Buffalo, the termination at that time of the guarded 
coasts. On his return he was accompanied by Mr. Merritt and two other 
gentlemen, who pointed out as they rode along everything worthy of notice 
on our own frontier, as well as the opposite shore and the Island where the 
rebels were encamped. I was standing opposite Mr. Ussher's, unconscious 
of their approach, when the Governor politely withdrew from his Company, 
shook hands and expressed his satisfaction at finding all along the line so 
vigilant and at their posts. I asked him when the marauders would be 
dislodged, as they were a source of great annoyance to us by their frequent 
firing. He replied that, in a few days, on the arrival of the artillery then 
on its way, it would be effected. At this intelligence from the fountain head 
we were satisfied. I have no doubt at the time this was fully contemplated, 
but on a Council of War being held, it was considered advisable, if possible, 
to spare the effusion of human blood. On leaving Chippawa, however, he 
left orders with the Colonels in command to use their own discretion. 

The artillery at length arrived, and a number of men were despatched 
up the River to raise embankments and breastwork, preparatory to a general 
bombardment. This was done at night, the first set of men being obliged 
to retire from their work in consequence of cannon having been fired to dis- 
lodge them, which was .soon effected. None of the workmen received any 
injury, but the works having first commenced in front of my friend's house, 
sad dilapidation ensued; the front wall fell in soon afterward, which ren- 
dered the building quite unsafe and uninhabitable. At length the works were 
completed, and our mortars and cannon being in readiness, a regular attack 
was contemplated, but so many schemes and plans were devised that nothing 
effectual took place after all. Three schooners were manned and stationed 
up the River under the command of Captain Graham, Lieutenant Drew and 
Lieutenant Elmsley, three gentlemen of confirmed bravery. They were to 
cut off all communication, by water, with Buffalo; then there were near one 
hundred boats of various sizes in readiness, which, when manned, were to 
effect a landing at one end of the Island, whilst the artillery were playing 
upon the centre and northern end; these, however, were quiescent, to try 
the effect, first 'of all, of the bombardment. When this commenced, the 
bravadoes were alarmed not a little. The 24-pounders and mortars raked 
the trees and the shanties, tore up the ground and killed some of the rebels ; 


but the main body still clung to the Island. Had the boats been ready 
manned, a landing might with ease have been effected during their panic ; this 
scheme was, however, overruled; so much for a multiplicity of councillors, 
in which we are told safety consists. The prolongation of storming the 
Island had a bad effect, inasmuch as the alarm was unabated ; it also drove 
many peaceable families from their homes and domestic firesides at an 
inclement season of the year. I never could comprehend the policy of their 
operations, further than what I stated before the desire to prevent the 
dreadful massacre that must have ensued, for very few I apprehend would 
have escaped, so indignant were the people on this memorable occasion. 

That you may judge the situation of the contending parties, I hand you 
a small map of our positions, sufficient to guide your ideas to the spot remark- 
able in history. There lay entrenched a handful of desperate fellows who 
kept a whole country in agitation for upwards of a month, and we residing 
within cannon shot, liable at a moment's impulse to have a ball sent through 
the house, or perhaps a leg shot off whilst perambulating the bank of the 

From the time of their arrival there, on the 13th December, to the 
period of their evacuation on the 15th January, you may be sure such restless 
adventurers were not idle in concocting mischief. Fortunately, however, 
through the fickleness of their plans and their constant differences and quarrels, 
no measures were effected for our annoyance further than what I mentioned 
relative to their occasional cannon exercise and rifle shooting. It was 
imagined, however, that one night they were ripe for some expedition, and 
in order to give signals and divert us from their movements, they lighted 
up a machine which was moved to and fro on the Island. From it issued 
a most dazzling and brilliant light, which could be seen for many miles 
around. It was supposed to consist of tar barrels and other inflammable 
materials, which burnt for several hours. No movement however took place. 
They had schemes to divert our attention in various ways, which were after- 
ward acknowledged. 

Van Ranselaer had full powers vested in him to conduct all the military 
operations, and that there should be no obstruction toward carrying his plans 
into effect, he had also the power to arrest any member of the executive, 
as recommended by Dr. John Rolph, who was their president in Toronto 
whilst their plans were maturing. All appeared to unite in their General's 
plans with the exception of Mackenzie, who, being gifted with such fickle, 
arbitrary and impatient views, ultimately thwarted every measure contem- 
plated. He would suggest fifty schemes and in as many minutes abandon 
them for new ones, a pretty character to carry into effect the revolutionizing 
a colony so powerful as Canada. 73 At heart, he proved to be an innate 
coward, being the very first to be frightened at the cannonading and bombard- 
ment of our artillery, so that the only step left for Van Ranselaer to pursue 
was to keep him employed in their general correspondence, which was freely 
carried on by spies, notwithstanding our vigilance. They knew all our move- 
ments, although we could gather nothing of their's from their peculiar locality 

"Coventry's delineation of Mackenzie's hypochondriac condition here is not 
essentially different from that in Dent, Vol. II, p. 15, etc. Curative methods had not 
then attained the development they have since done, and allowance must be made for 
this fact. (H.) 


on an island. At one time they contemplated crossing over, a few miles up 
the Kiver, secreting themselves in the woods, and obtaining from 200 to 300 
rebels still at hide and seek, marching on through the woods and bye-places 
to Niagara, seize upon the steamboats lying there, and crossing over direct 
to Toronto. Such a visionary plan could never have succeeded, as we had 
strong reinforcements all along the frontier, and dragoons patrolling in every 
direction to convey the earliest information. Although Mackenzie himself 
approved of the scheme, and volunteered to be foremost in coming over, yet 
his coward heart failed him. Our 24-pounders and bombshells aroused all 
the horrors of a guilty soul; he made his escape from the Island at a time 
when everything was planned and a steamboat ordered to bring them over. 
He secreted himself in the house of a friend at Buffalo, and soon afterward 
levelled as great abuse against the American journals as he had formerly done 
against our own. He even proposed that the men who had been fools enough 
to join his standard, should charge the American troops stationed to watch 
their movements. Afterward they were to seize the boats and embark from 
the city. This produced an altercation between the head of the executive 
and the military. This fracas induced Mackenzie to leave abruptly for 
Rochester, where he hoped to gain sufficient confidence to establish a printing 
press at their expense, but they knew better. 

Van Eanselaer, being now left to his own management, and placing no 
reliance upon any assistance to be obtained so near our headquarters, turned 
his attention westward, hastened by the arrival of General Scott 74 from 
Washington with 600 regulars to put a stop to their proceedings. During 
this time, their forces kept increasing, many placing more confidence in the 
firm decision of Van Ranselaer than in the pusillanimity of Mackenzie, who 
never had any regular organized plans. Knowing Scott was too brave a 
general to tamper with them, they had recourse to every subterfuge to evade 
his scrutinizing eye. A large party armed with rifles set out from Buffalo, 
as they stated, to have a regular fox hunt in Cattaraugus, a district away 
from the scene of action. Toward night, however, they veered round and 
contrived to reach the Navy Islanders, so badly was the coast guarded, and 
so little precaution taken, notwithstanding the profession of the American 
government to enforce a strict neutrality. The fact is, they had not sufficient 
force to guard the lines. Their regular troops were in Florida, and the 
militia were determined not to act, so that the handful of men that General 
Scott brought with him was of no use unless concentrated at one particular 
point, to which they ought to have repaired at first and cut off all communi- 
cation. As a proof of this assertion, Mr. Garrow, the marshal, met a party 
with a United States field piece proceeding to the rebels and was allowed 
to pass, from his inability to detain the parties. Governor Marcy, also, 
although a long time in the service, was equally unfortunate in his movements. 
It was a novel contest that required a man of energy and promptness, without 
any tampering to preserve popularity; but it is not my province to censure 
our neighbours further than the statement of matters of fact. My object 
is to shew you our proceedings against the machinations of an artful, designing, 
lawless set of villains, whose ostensible object was plunder, could they find 

74 This was General Winfield Scott ; taken prisoner in the War of 1812, he lived 
to take an active part in the Mexican War, and to be Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
of the United States at the outbreak of the Rebellion of the Southern States. 


a leader to carry their plans into execution. Thus things went on from 
day to day for near a month, with no prompt measures on either side to 
dislodge the marauders. This supineness I equally condemn in our own 
commanders as with those on the opposite shore. They however, took a 
different view of the question, preferring to act on the defensive, and to 
await the result of their landing. They objected to storming the Island on 
account of losing so many lives. But where is the difference, I would ask, 
in accomplishing an object, whether the sanguinary affray takes place on an 
island or the main shore? As things ultimately turned out, their quiescence, 
however, succeeded, but nine cases out of ten in the annals of history, a speedy 
operation at the onset is a great saving of human life. One of their expecta- 
tions was that the marauders would be starved out, it being considered 
impossible that 800 men could be fed long together upon private subscription. 
As it was, they frequently ran short, and on one occasion actually stole 20 
barrels of our pork, to say nothing of flour. 

After an ineffectual attempt of General Arcularius to bring Van Kanse- 
laer to any terms, it was left to General Scott, on his arrival, to compel him 
to surrender the cannon and arms which had been stolen from the American 
arsenals. Accordingly, on his arrival at Manchester, contiguous to the Falls, 
he despatched a messenger over to the Island for Van Eanselaer to wait 
upon him relative to the cannon, &c., assuring him on his word of honour 
that he .should not be molested. Accordingly, our herb arrived in his boat, 
mounted with an American swivel cannon, and proceeded direct to the hotel 
at Manchester where the General and several of the Buffalo authorities were 
in waiting. Some friends of mine were over there at the time, anxious to 
see a man whom they considered a second Bolivar. They described him as 
remarkably tall, well dressed in black, with a military cloak; about 35 years 
of age and endued with a countenance that never appeared gifted with a 
smile. On landing, a messenger handed him a large bundle of letters which 
he hastily read and thrust into his pocket, taking but little notice of any of 
the bystanders. In fine, he seemed wrapped up with his own ideas as a hero 
or some individual who was engaged in an expedition. His eye was keen 
and penetrating as Warwick's a few months ere he requested the loan of six 
feet of earth to be buried in. 

On reaching the hotel, he took his seat amidst the assembled conclave 
and said but little, listened attentively to the lecture of the General on the 
illegality of his conduct, the anxiety of his father to quit so disreputable a 
life, the danger he stood in from the anger of his own government, who 
would assuredly prosecute him for retaining the stolen cannon and arms, 
independently of the utter hopelessness of so futile an attempt to subvert a 
nation whose internal government had been misconstrued and misrepresented 
by an unprincipled individual. He called upon him therefore, immediately 
to deliver up the stolen property or he would certainly be compelled to do so 
by the force of arms. This reasonable request was also seconded by several 
gentlemen of high respectability in attendance, who implored him to consider 
the folly of any attempt to persevere in a course so derogatory to the character 
of a family so inimical to his proceedings, as well as the government to which 
he owed allegiance. In reply, he said but few words, was not aware he held 
any property belonging to the state; considered it belonged to private in- 
dividuals, but on his return would consult with his associates and furnish a 


reply within the term of six hours specified. He wished them good morning, 
went quietly to his boat and proceeded to his quarters on the Island unmolested 
according to the agreement entered into. 

Things had now arrived at a crisis, and although possessed pf nerve, and 
a determination, if possible, not to be thwarted in his reckless plans, yet like 
all other General Bobadils, a safe retreat was no mean subject of consideration, 
especially as he was now placed, as it were, between two fires. Accordingly, 
a short period prompted them the course to pursue, especially as their supplies 
were nearly gone, with the exception of water, a beverage at all times excellent 
to allay thirst, either in peace or war. They therefore speedily determined 
to collect the stolen cannon as a matter of necessity, place it in a boat and send 
it over, which was accordingly done, rowed across the river and landed 
clandestinely on the American shore to the care of no one. At 2 o'clock the 
following morning the posse comitatus prepared for departure, which they 
effected as quietly and as little known to us as on the day of their first arrival. 

They marched through the dreary woods on Grand Island, on a bitter 
cold morning, and reached Tonawonta, where numbers who had not secreted 
their arms were disbanded. Many took a circuitous route and kept the quiet 
possession of their rifles and muskets. They were in a most beggarly and 
miserable plight as you may suppose, many of them nearly famished, who had 
to feed like hogs on peas and potatoes, and as full of vermin as a skunk or 
a polecat. Well for them their encampment was broken up that they might 
escape dying with hunger, as we had stationed three schooners to cut off any 
supplies from Buffalo, which were expected by the steamboat Barcelona which 
was to take the place of the Caroline. 

Doubtless General Scott's arrival materially hastened their departure, 
although in all probability they would have pursued a similar course after 
prolonging their encampment, as the 24-pounders and bombshells were un- 
welcome messengers about their ears. 

Nearly a day elapsed before we knew of their departure and great con- 
jecture arose as to their point of destination. In the course of the day one 
solitary individual was seen waving a flag but this was looked upon with 
suspicion. In the afternoon authentic intelligence arrived of the event, yet, 
very many even then were incredulous, altho' from the circumstances of 
seeing none on guard as usual, it was apparent some movement had taken 
place. To settle the question, a party volunteered to go over ; it was considered 
a hazardous undertaking, more especially as many surmised that they had 
excavated subterraneous caverns to enter, and knowing the schemes they 
planned to deceive us it was no wonder we were anxious to learn the result. 
At the time, the information of very few could be relied on, as so many strange 
rumours were afloat, and so many spies over here awaiting our movements 
and spreading reports to mislead us. A great number assembled on the shore 
as you may imagine, to know the result, and many anxious hearts were 
relieved when a general huzza proclaimed that the island was once more in 
our possession and the British flag flying. 

Their movements had been so rapid to clear out, as they termed it, that 
one poor wretch was left behind, 75 who was glad enough to hail his rescuers 
from the thraldom he had so long been entrammelled in. He stated that he 
was asleep, and knew nothing of their movements; on his examination but 

75 He was arrested as a spy, but soon released. 


little could be elicited from him, further than that he had been a hewer of 
wood and drawer of water and was heartily glad that the expedition was 
abandoned. He was soon released from captivity, having been taught a lesson 
for his folly that he will not easily forget. 

Had it been Brobdignag Island, greater curiosity could not have been 
evinced to see it. An old shoe or a slip of cloth were as great curiosities as 
some of the relics they show you in France ; grape shot, pieces of punched iron 
from steam boilers, furnished from Black Rock foundry, were as precious 
as current coin; and as to pikes, they were trophies of too intrinsic value to 
fall to the lot of many ; they decorated halls and curious cupboards, whilst 
half a bombshell or a cannon ball embellished a lady's work table. The few 
of the rebels who wore shirts carried them away, filthy as they were, on their 
backs, as scarce a vestige of linen was found with the exception of part of 
the tail of a shirt that had bound up a wounded leg. Nothing can exceed 
the miserable condition of a buccaneer's life, far worse than that of savages, 
for they know no better. 

The number who were killed or wounded by our bombardment was never 
ascertained, 76 as their burying place was on Grand Island, where they occupied 
a log-hut as hospital. One newly made grave was found, which, on digging 
the earth away, was found to contain the body of a poor wretch who was 
supposed to have been shot by their own party, as he was lying with his 
arms pinioned ; who this individual was has never been ascertained. 77 

The miserable state of existence they, must have endured baffles all 
description. It is almost impossible to convey to you the disgusting scene 
which was exhibited. The shanties wherein the miserable wretches bivouacked 
were scarce fit receptacles for pigs, being strewed with beans, peas, pork 
rind, vermin and dirt. Their beds were composed of brushwood, and nothing 
to shelter them from the inclemency of the weather but pine branches. Here 
they congregated at night, eating, drinking, smoking, swearing and sleeping. 
For an occasional bivouac on a deer hunting expedition, such a lodgement 
would pass current, but for fifty or sixty human beings to assemble nightly 
for one month together, betokens a race of desperadoes worse than savages. 

Mrs. Mackenzie 78 was over there part of the time living in a dirty house 
at the back of the Island, which I before described to you. The only accom- 
modation for her at night was on a shelf covered with straw, where she could 
hear all the swearing and contention that was going forward between her 
husband and the General, a forlorn fate for a woman who once moved in 
a respectable sphere of life, now united to a degraded being possessed of every 
ignoble propensity. She has a large family, an outcast upon the wide world 

"Existing accounts mention that the casualties .on the Island were one killed 
by a round shot and one slightly wounded by a splinter. Dent, Vol. II, 224, note. 

"I have not seen any reference to this circumstance in any of the other accounts. 

78 Mrs. Mackenzie, nSe Isabel Baxter, a native of Dundee, was married to 
William Lyon Mackenzie at Montreal, 1822, when Mackenzie was living in Dundas. 
She was a woman of sterling character, a devoted wife and mother. She was the 
only woman who spent any time on Navy Island. " She arrived there only a few hours 
before the destruction of the Caroline, and remained nearly a fortnight with her 
husband, making flannel cartridge bags and inspiring with courage by her entire 
freedom from fear all with whom she conversed. At the end of about a fortnight ill- 
health obliged her to leave." Lindsey, Vol. I, 38; Vol. II, 163. 

Navy Island was abandoned by the "Patriots," January 14, 1838. Dent, Vol. II, 


which execrates the very name of her worthless partner, who having left the 
path of honest industry had hurried headlong into a vortex from which he 
can never be extricated. Altho' punishment is withheld from him further than 
a guilty conscience, bad enough at all times, yet the retributive liour must 
arrive when he will have to suffer for the horrid calamities he has inflicted 
upon so many of his deluded and unfortunate fellow creatures. 

It seems almost incredible that one poor halfbred 79 Scotchman should 
have been the cause of all this turmoil, but such is the weakness and folly 
of mankind generally, especially where any novelty occurs, that a visionary 
brain, however reckless, always aspires to obtain converts, until the fatal bubble 
bursts. It was so in the present instance. Landed once more on their own 
shores, you would imagine they would slink away to their homes and betake 
themselves to some honest employment. Not so ; the delusion still continued 
and many imagined that the thorny road they had passed was merely one of 
the routes to the Garden of Eden, in the shape of 300 acres of land, which 
they were ultimately to enjoy when their labours were terminated. 

When Mackenzie ran away from justice and was known to be secreted 
in Buffalo, it would have been a politic measure had the authorities complied 
with the Governor's request and given him up. No one can be more averse 
to this proceeding than myself in a general way, because many flee their 
country from persecution and untoward events over which they have no 
control. But when an abandoned character, notorious as an adventurer, 
a robber, an incendiary, a murderer, flees from justice, it is the bounden 
duty of every government, as a protection to themselves, and in accordance 
with the treaties, to deliver up such an individual to the law as a dangerous 
member of society at large. This was the case with Mackenzie. Mr. Bethune 
was sent by the Governor to Buffalo to claim the rebel fugitive, but Governor 
Marcy, on the part of the United States, declined complying with the 
application, 80 alleging that the offences charged against him, being incidents 
of the revolt, merged in the higher crime of treason, which was a public 
offence only. Governor Marcy was doubtless glad to get rid of the application, 
which he had a favourable opportunity of doing in consequence of Mackenzie 
suddenly quitting Buffalo with Van Eanselaer and going over to Navy Island, 
over which he said he had no jurisdiction. So the viper was harboured, by 
an underhand movement, to sting the very parties afterward whose fostering 
hand had protected him. This is not the first time that designing men have 
been taken in their own craftiness, and fallen into the pit which they had 
dug incautiously for others. We were the more astonis'hed at the supineness 
evinced on this occasion, on account of the President's proclamation issued 
on the 5th, wherein Martin Van Buren states that he is fully determined 
rigidly to enforce the laws- of Congress in regard to the observance of a 
strict neutrality. Now as our Governor did not apply for Mackenzie to be 
given up on account of his political opinions, I apprehend there was some 
partiality shown in favour of Republicanism, by retaining him, when they 

79 A mere vituperative adjective ; Mackenzie was a pure Scot. 

80 This account of the course followed by Governor Marcy agrees with that given 
by Lindsey, Vol. II, p. 129, both writers having evidently derived it from public prints 
of the time. (H.) 

There can be no doubt now that Governor Marcy was right in International law; 
Mackenzie was no more guilty than the St. Albans Raiders whom Canada refused to 
deliver up to the United States. 


had him in their power so frequently, as he passed and repassed to Buffalo 
on his way from Navy Island. 

The same Government which professes to act justly has at different 
times demanded their subjects from us for theft and misdemeanours, and 
which applications have heen strictly attended to. Yet, in a case of so heinous 
a nature as robbery of the mails and private individuals, incendiarism and 
attempts at assassination as in the cases of Powell, Brooks and others, that 
professed friendly, equitable Government, for which the marshal was respon- 
sible, refuses to comply with the Governor's request to do one single act 
toward furthering the ends of justice advantageous to the quietude and 
harmony of both countries. Surely after this no individual, however de- 
praved, can with propriety be given up on our side. You cannot be surprised 
then, from this inference, that tranquility would be soon restored, when the 
delinquent in question was allowed to roam about their country, holding 
meetings, publishing seditious papers and enlisting men after the evacuation 
of their stronghold. 

The intentions of the American Government at the fountain head, were 
doubtless sincere; for Mr. Forsyth distinctly says, in his despatch to the 
district attorney, that every individual without distinction is to be imme- 
diately prosecuted who violates the laws of the United States, whose declared 
determination was to preserve peace and amity with foreign powers. He 
even mentions the names of Mackenzie 81 and Doctor John Rolph, the two 
leaders who had fled their country, yet no proceedings were instituted against 
them; they were allowed to roam at large and not only stir up sedition but 
even to be accessory to robbing the arsenals. At any rate as far as Mackenzie 
was concerned, he then was taken up, examined and liberated upon bail, an 
act of great injustice to the peace and welfare of both countries. This subject, 
however, I leave in the hands of the two respective governments and proceed 
with our narrative. 

The ground was covered with snow, no road through the forest but 
their own making, no light but the stars to guide them, and the thermometer 
10 below zero, yet withal the ardour of the fugitives was not damped, 
altho' many were wounded and half starved. Economists of the present day 
talk of many being degenerated in physical strength, but it appears to me that 
when upheld by energy and the desire of aggrandizement, exploring or 
conquest, he has the same power of undergoing fatigue and privation as 
ever, exemplified in the case before us, in polar discoveries, in journeys 
across the Rocky Mountains or various other parts of the globe. Instances 
have come under my own observation of men travelling from 150 to 200 
miles over the snow with snowshoes, not a hut on the way for shelter and 
reposing at night amidst a temperature of from 18deg. to SOdeg. below zero, 
surrounded with snow only, yet these sons of the Universe were healthy and 
capable of performing similar exploits. I saw them contiguous to the shores 
of Lake Huron and found it was no uncommon feat to perform. Your 
sympathy therefore for the marauders before us who had so short a distance 
to travel, need not start one tear from your eye, nor induce you to heave a 
sigh for their apparent forlorn condition. 

"Mackenzie was afterwards prosecuted and confined in the common jail at Roch- 
ester for nearly eleven months. Dr. Rolph took no part in the military operations of 
the Rebels and " Sympathizers." 


Well, they continued their desolate march and finally landed, some at 
one place, some at another, anxious to preserve their muskets and rifles from 
the searching eye of General Scott, who, to convince the Government he had 
done something, managed to get hold of some of the ill-gotten booty; but 
so little precaution was taken to place them in a safe asylum that even some 
of these were afterward purloined when occasion required them to join 
Sutherland, who had gone forward to Cleveland, a port on Lake Erie at the 
junction of the Ohio Canal. Here I leave them to reconnoitre. 

Our forces on the frontier now turned their thoughts homewards, having 
performed an arduous duty in watching and guarding the frontier. They 
would nevertheless have gladly exchanged their inactive life for bustle and 
conflict. I frequently heard them say they longed for the General and his 
forces to come across, that they might show them the contempt they were 
held in. So great was their enthusiasm for the protection of their property 
and families, that they daily panted to go over and dislodge them. Perhaps 
after all, things turned out for the best, for altho' glory is a word of powerful 
meaning, yet there is but little satisfaction for those who fall in the conflict, 
when the end may be finally accomplished without the loss of many valuable 

When it was ascertained the route the rebels had taken, the artillery 
was removed. The schooners moored in the Chippawa, and the greater part 
of the troops who had performed the most arduous duty, were ordered home. 
A general move took place, preparatory to which the Colonel thanked them 
on behalf of the Governor for their loyalty and services, not doubting but 
when required they would be ready and willing to buckle on the shield of 
defence and rally round the standard of their Constitution in behalf of their 
country's cause. To this appeal there was no dissent, and " God Save the 
Queen " resounded midst universal applause. 

(Ontario Tjjtatnriral 






I. President's Address, June 10, 1920. GEO. H. LOCKE, M.A 5 

//ll. Reminiscences of the First Settlers of Owen Sound. M. KILBOURN 7 

III. Impressions of Owen Sound in 1851. ROBERT CRICHTON 10 

s IV. Reminiscences of Owen Sound and its District. JAS. MCLAUCHLAN, SR. 12 

" V. Early Navigation on the Georgian Bay. JAS. H. RUTHERFORD 14 

VI. Bruce County, and Work Among the Indians. REV. J. C. CADOT, S.J. . . 21 

VII. Ship and Shanty in the Early Fifties. REV. CANON P. L. SPENCER 25 

VIII. A Warrior of the Odahwahs. HARRY G. TUCKER 32 

[X. Early History of the Beaver Valley. CLAYTON W. HARTMAN 37 

:. Early History of Meaford and its District. DR. J. D. HAMMILL 42 

II. The Municipal Loan Fund in Upper Canada. J. MURRAY CLARK, M.A., 

LL.D., K.C 44 

XII. A Trial for High Treason in 1838. HONOURABLE JUSTICE W. R. RIDDELL. . 50 

XIII. Col. Joel Stone, A. U. E. Loyalist and the Founder of Gananoque. JUDGE 


XIV. Pioneer Schools of Upper Canada. FRANK EAMES 91 

XV. Genealogical Tables and Their Right Uses in History. A. F. HUNTER, 

M.A. 104 


In accordance with an ancient custom the President of the Ontario 
Historical Society is expected to make an address. The extent of that 
address is fortunately left to himself to decide. That decision was greatly 
helped in my case by the kindness of my friend, Father Cadot, in complying 
so heartily with my request that he share the programme with me this 
evening. Therefore my position is made much simpler and your patience 
is subjected to much less strain. 

I belong to the Ontario Historical Society because I believe that history 
is the most important and the most interesting of all subjects not only in 
the curriculum of a school but in the world of affairs. It is the most im- 
portant because it reveals to us what has happened, and only from a study 
of that can we understand what is happening or likely to happen. History 
is not mere historical material: it is life, and living men make it according 
to the ways they think and act. Therefore, if one would be an intelligent 
citizen he must know how the citizens who have preceded him have acted 
and whence was the origin of the political problems with which he is faced. 

An example occurs to me in the story of a man who has been in Canada 
only a few years, and who was holding forth in an impassioned way against 
the French-Canadians and what a menace he thought they were. He was 
fairly intelligent in other respects and when I talked to him about this 
particular subject I found that he knew nothing of the history of our 
country but his information was obtained wholly from the newspapers, and 
he imagined that the French were but late arrivals on our shores. This 
is an example much too common, and so many of such did I find that being 
in charge of the largest educational institution in Toronto, I determined to 
offset this sort of ignorance by beginning with boys and girls and giving 
them the background of our national life in such a form that it would 
remain in their minds, and when they grew up they would be intelligent 
citizens because they would be learned as Lucretius says we all ought to be, 
in that they would know " the causes of things." Therefore we began Story 
Hours for boys and girls and made Canadian history the centre of interest. 
There was no inducement of a material nature held out to them, and there 
was no compulsion. We announced the stories and they did the rest. When 
we told the story of Champlain and where he had been in the Province of 
Ontario, one little boy in a pathetic way said: "Was this Champlain the 
same man the history book in school tells us about how he founded Quebec 
on the site of an ancient Indian village named Stadacona?" It was hard 
for him to believe for the history book had taken pains to devitalize and 
pan dry all the historical food in such a dessicated form that the process 
of examinational digestion might be more easily accomplished. 



You will notice we gave this story as we do all our stories as much local 
colour as possible. It is only by a study of local history that we can hope to 
understand the development of human society, and it is human to be inter- 
ested in one's local surroundings. The abstract term "citizen'' means but 
little, the concrete term "neighbour" is readily understood and appreciated. 
And so we have gone on until we have each year over 10,000 boys and girls 
crowding in to hear stories of early Canada, the land where they live. The 
work is not spectacular. It is a slow steady progress just like the growth of 
the children themselves. We are not cultivating radishes; anyone can do 
that. We have courage to plant acorns because we believe in oaks. We work 
among boys and girls because we believe they are the hope of the country. 
Grown up people are often called mature persons. What can you do with a 
mature person? He is ripe and complete and very often acts as if he were. 

We are a nation, a nation within an Empire. We have a history of 
three centuries and isn't it reasonable to think that if we are to develop pa- 
triotic citizens they should know why they are patriotic? They should have 
knowledge of the facts that have concurred to build up what we call Canadian 
civilization. This can be accomplished through the study of history which 
deals with what man has done and how he has done it. 

The dangerous revolutionist is commonly a man with little knowledge 
especially of history. He cares nothing for the past. He evolves a new earth 
and sometimes a new heaven out of his inner consciousness, which accounts 
for its narrowness and impracticability, and nothing answers him so com- 
pletely as illustrations from history. History no longer deals merely with 
the soldier and the statesman. The farmer, the trader, the inventor, the poet, 
the missionary and the mechanic have their rightful places in this social 
world and the recognition of this fact has broadened our conception and deep- 
ened our interest in the achievements of our fathers. 

The misunderstandings that arise among the different parts which make 
up a young nation like ours are due in a very large measure to ignorance of 
our history. These misunderstandings disappear when we trace them back 
to their origin and find a historical reason which explains them away. It 
was old Socrates who said to his sceptical pupil and we have many of these 
sceptics to-day " If beneath all our differences there were not a sameness of 
feeling present to the mind of each one of us no man could tell his feeling 
to another." And it is that sameness of feeling that some of us who are 
interested in a united Canada are trying to develop in our boys and girls 
through the medium of the Story Hours of Canadian History. Out of such 
work we hope there will emerge a largeness of vision that will develop in 
Canada great men who will be leaders, a commodity of which we stand in 
great need to-day. " Who is a great man ?" asked Ibsen and answered his 
question by saying : "He whom the cravings of his time seize like a passion 
begetting thoughts he himself cannot fathom and points to paths which lead 
lie knows not whither, but which he follows and must follow till he hears the 
people shout for joy, and looking around him with wondering eyes finds him- 
self the hero of a great achievement." 




The Town Plot, as I first recollect it, was called the Town Plot of 
Sydenham. The Township of Sydenham, among the first surveyed town- 
ships, lay along the eastern side of the Bay, also first called Sydenham Bay. 
extending northeastward about twelve miles to where it joined on to St. 
Vincent, settled still earlier than the site of Meaford, which was then called 
Stephenson's landing, with a post office and store. The Town Plot of 
Derby adjoined the Town Plot of Sydenham. Perhaps I could best help 
to preserve the names of those whom I remember by giving them in order 
as I first remember them. 

The first wharfinger and forwarding agent was William Carson Boyd 
who brought here some merchandise and served the community by affording 
means for its exchange into such articles of commerce as might be offered 
for barter or sale. Mr. Boyd brought with him a young and energetic 
family who at once took an active part in all the work of the hamlet. Mr. 
Boyd built a two-storey wooden building on the corner of Union and Scrope 
Streets where he lived and did business. If any part of this structure 
remains, it will be as part of the Queen's Hotel kitchen apartments, and it 
was long the best and most pretentious building of any description in the 

Messrs. A. M. Stephens, R. E. Stephens, Thomas C. Stephens, William 
A. Stephens; also younger members, Marshall and Henry Stephens, came 
a little later. 

Among the early important enterprises established were the Inglis Grist 
and Woollen Mills at Inglis Falls in Derby about two miles south of the 
town. A number of skilled carpenters, millwrights, iron workers and othera 
were brought here from Toronto and established themselves in business 
when the mill was completed. 

About the same time, John Telford, who was the local agent for the 
sale of Crown Lands at this point, established another saw mill at Leith on 
a little stream known as Leith Water, and there later developed it into a 
distillery and sold it to John Ainslee, a lawyer and capitalist who was then 
residing at the Town of Gait, and brought quite a large amount of means 
into the County with him. He hoped for a time to establish a wharf and 
grain market at Leith, there being no prospect of a railway to the Town 
of Owen Sound and no other means of getting the grain from the port to 
market than by sailing vessels around through the Great Lakes and via the 
Welland Canal to Detroit and Toronto. 

In the month of June, 1845, Hiram Kilbourn and his family came in by 
way of' a sailing sloop via Penetanguishene and Sturgeon Bay. The vessel 

7 ''.<" 


was of considerable size, and in addition to carrying a cargo of maple sugar 
to be traded with the Indians, had room on board for Mr. Kilbourn's family, 
and for the family of another settler, one Joseph McFarlane, who had 
removed from the Town of Smith's Falls along with Mr. KilJ>ourn. 

Mr. Kilbourn brought with him all the necessaries for the establishment 
of a tannery and at once proceeded to erect a very considerable building 
at the mouth of the little creek which crosses Poulett Street underneath 
the American Hotel, and which finds an outlet at the sewer, now Tenth 
Street. Mr. Kilbourn brought also with him a considerable stock of ready- 
made boots and shoes and shoe findings and all the necessaries for the 
establishment of a shoe manufacturing business, on such a scale as it was 
then carried on, employing in the shoe shop from six to eight men for 
several years when it was finally sold out to Charles Hall, who erected a 
fine structure on Poulett Street, now forming part of the Patterson House. 

In the same year there settled in town from Ottawa, John Frost, with 
his small family. He also brought a stock of merchandise and established 
himself in a retail general store. Mr. Frost engaged also in a number oi' 
enterprises, among them being brick making, in the early days. Mr. Frost 
having somewhat of an ambitious mind and being somewhat disappointed 
in the election of a member to represent the constituency in the old Legis- 
lative Assembly of Ontario, became dissatisfied with the Town and removed 
to the Town of St. Catharines where he remained for several years, but later 
returned with his family who all settled and finally died here. 

Among the early settlers of that period was John Mills " Commodore 
Mills," as he was generally known in later years a jovial, public-spirited 
citizen whose initial enterprise consisted of a small distillery. This he 
carried on for a year or two, when he finally sold it out to Thomas Scott, 
afterwards M.P.P., who carried it on until it was absorbed in the Douglas 
Eiddell Brewing Company. 

The chief merchant of that date was Eobert Patterson, who kept a 
general store and who amassed a very considerable amount of money, being 
afterwards commonly known for many years as "Bobby Cash/' In the 
year 1852, Patterson retired from business, selling out his store goods and 
stock-in-trade and leasing his store premises to Eichard Carney, who had 
recently removed from Barrie, and who was a painter by trade, a very 
active, energetic citizen, inclined to be domineering and dictatorial, who for 
many years filled a prominent place in the public life of the town. 

After Mr. Patterson retired from business, he and his wife took an 
extended journey to Scotland to see old friends there. On his return 
from Scotland, he again took up store-keeping on a more extensive scale 
than before and carried it on for many years until his final retirement 
about 1870. 

It so happened that Eichard Carney was an influential character at 
the time the proposal was made for the building of the Northern Eailway 
to the Town of Owen Sound. There was a rival scheme to build at what 
was called "Hen and Chickens/' being an exposed point without shelter 
on the eastern shores of Georgian Bay some ninety miles from the City 
of Toronto. It was thus much more easily reached than the more distant 
and hilly country which "would have to be traversed, to get to the Town 
of Owen Sound. Mr. Carney's idea was that there being no harbour at 


" Hen and Chickens/' a bonus to assist the establishment of the Northern 
Bail way to Owen Sound need not be given on the ground that the company 
must be obliged to build to Owen Sound for the lack of harbour at the 
other place. However, this prediction proved erroneous. The road was 
built to " Hen and Chickens/' which became known as Collingwood, and 
Owen Sound was for about twenty years afterward without a railway. 

About the year 1850, there settled in the town, James Butchart and 
Sons, consisting of George, a tinsmith, David, a tailor and James, a car- 
penter. These proved successful citizens, and have ever since remained and 
have taken an active part in everything that promotes the advancement 
of the place. 

A public man of that period, who will still be in the recollection of a 
good many, was George Jackson, local Crown Land Agent for the County of 
Grey, whose residence was fixed at Durham. Mr. Jackson was a typical 
English gentleman, well educated, well read and lived largely the life of an 
English country squire. He carried on the small duties of his land agency as 
his chief occupation for many years, and for successive periods represented 
the county in Parliament. 

I say nothing of the recent life of the City of Owen Sound. That 
is all too fresh in the memories of persons living to be styled historical, 
which will remain for the later activities of the Society to give whatever 
degree of prominence they may think proper. 

2 P.B. 



Coming from Caledon Township in Peel County in April, 1851, on 
the way up we passed through Erin, Fergus and Arthur. Where Mount 
Forest now is, the only sign of welcome was a log shanty and an Indian 
wigwam. My older brother took sick on the trip at Durham and I had to 
take the old mare along and finish the journey alone, although only 
twelve years old. 

Owen Sound was quite a village, with a population of 150 or 200, 
and it had made a surprising growth since the Government House, or dwel- 
ling of the Government agent, was built in 1840. At first the village was 
attached to Sydenham Township for municipal purposes, although it was 
often called " Owen Sound:" The Government House was the schoolhouse 
and the public hall for political meetings. In those days politics seemed 
to . run harder in men's veins, and many fiery speeches were delivered by 
such local orators as John Frost and Richard Carney. The first hotel was 
built in 1842, and there were several other hotels. The liquor traffic had 
itself pretty well established in those days. Churches were fairly well 
established then too. The Presbyterians were in a log house upon the 
hill under Rev. John McKinnon in 1849, after a meeting was held of 
many of the old settlers petitioning for regular services. There was not a 
Methodist Church but they worshipped in a log building on what is now 
Third Ave. East. The English Church, near where it now is, was the first 
church to have a bell. The Congregationalists were -also represented, under 
Mr. Cribbs, an excellent man. St. Mary's Church, then under Father 
Granothier, was standing on the east hill where the convent now is. 

The County was at first united to Wellington County for judicial pur- 
poses, but later it was separated when the Court House was built. The 
old stone school on Fourth Avenue East was built as a combined High 
School and Public School. For two or three seasons wild pigeons were 
very numerous, especially in 1853 and 1854. The sportsmen used to range 
themselves along the edge of the hill, and in the morning the shooting 
seemed like infantry practice, as the pigeons flew over the village from 
their nesting places on the hills to the westward. I remember the pigeons 
so numerous that they almost darkened the sun with the immense flocks. 
Large rookeries of them were in the neighbourhood, and they supplied the 
family pot of many an early settler. It is one of the strange things of 
nature that they have all disappeared. 

There were a number of stores at that time, chiefly general stores, 
with the one exception of Mr. Butchart. Richard Carney was also in 
business then. Another in business was John Frost. Things were pretty 
dear in those days, owing to the long transit. I remember my father 



could buy a pound of tea for 50 cents in Toronto while in Owen Sound it 
was $1.25. The first gristmill in the district still stands as part of 
Harrison's woollen mill. Before this, Inglis' mill at Inglis' Falls had 
supplied a vast tract of country. 

Dr. Win. Lang and Dr. Henry Manley were the first doctors in the 
village,, along with another doctor, who worked among the Indians and 
also startted the first drug business. Soon afterward, Parker and Catto 
came and Dr. Allan Cameron. This part of the county has always been 
supplied by skilled medical men. 

Owen Sound was not nearly so beautiful then. There were trees but 
they were not nearly so ornamental as now. 

The village in those days was mostly along Second and Third Ave 
East, and Tenth Street. Much of the place was a dense thicket or swamp 
of cedars which originally occupied the whole site of the present city. The 
late Ezra Brown, when he was building the tannery where the Bank of 
Hamilton is now, went up to the Government House, on the present Market 
Square, to get men to help him. In coming back through the bush some 
of the men got lost, where our present main street is, and it took them 
some time to get out. That happened in the early 40's. All the district 
around both railway stations was a vast marsh with willows and black 
snakes. At the mouth of the river was a sand bar that kept shifting, over 
which only vessels of very shallow draught could sail. 

Nearly all the present beauty of ornamental trees has been promoted 
by the early settlers, till they made this young city one of the most beautiful 
in Ontario. Lord Elgin visited Owen Sound before 1851; and in the late 
months of 1850 a distinguished visitor, Sir John Boss, who had been leader 
of an Arctic expedition in search of the ill-fated Franklin expedition and 
was on his way back to England, spent a night in Owen Sound. 

Owen Sound has been noted for its work in prohibition. Temperance 
principles were firmly rooted here in 1851, when a temperance union was 

When the Northern Railway was projected, the people fooled them- 
selves by refusing any aid, and it went over to Collingwood, a place we 
used to laugh at as Hen and Chickens harbour. The Indian village of 
Newash was where Brooke now is. That same fall the Sydenham Agri- 
cultural Society held their first fair. 



The narrator was a native of Dumfries, Scotland, and landed in 
Quebec, May 26, 1854, when he was nineteen years of age. On the trip 
out from Ayrshire in a sailing vessel with a passenger list of 98, in mid- 
ocean ithey picked up the passengers from a shipwrecked vessel, the Berk- 
shire. On landing in Canada he and his friend, George Bell, went to 
Hamilton where for some time they worked. Then they decided they would 
go into the Queen's Bush and take up land. They left Hamilton at 8 o'clock 
of a Monday morning in the fall of 1854, on a " rock away " stage. The 
trip to Guelph took ten hours, and there were thirteen other passengers 
/ besides the driver. From Guelph the trip was made on foot through Elora, 
and Fergus. Between Fergus and Durham they came up with a man driving 
a yoke of oxen to whom they gave $1.00 to ride five miles. At the end 
of the first mile he decided walking was best, but Bell stuck with it, deter- 
mined to get the worth of his money. On arriving at Durham they put 
up at a first class stopping place. Here, for fifty cents they got a night's 
lodging, and supper consisting of bacon, bread and tea. When they went 
to bed at night they climbed a ladder to the second storey and stretched 
themselves out on sheepskins. There were hotels about every two miles 
along the road, and stopping at one of these was a number of men sitting 
around. He decided that the polite thing to do was to treat the crowd. 
Each man had what he wanted and it cost the treater just one York shilling 
or about 1% cents. On Friday night they reached Mclntosh Corners near 
Dornoch, and spent the night there. The following day Bell was not very 
well and Mr. McLauchlan spent the day tramping through the bush, finally 
locating a farm for his friend Bell in Bentinck and later taking up land 
for himself in Sullivan. Saturday night and Sunday he spent at Mr. 
Halliday's. The Halliday family were amongst the most prosperous settlers 
_ and lived in a log house of a single room, east of Dornoch. Mr. Halliday 
had the only team of horses north of Arthur. In the middle of Saturday 
night the household was aroused by the noise made by a bear as it ran 
off with a young pig. 

On Monday morning in company with one of the Halliday boys, each 
of them mounted on horseback, they came into Owen Sound. From the 
Lime Kiln Rock nothing could be seen of the town but the long line of 
burnt hemlocks along the top of the East Hill. On coming into town 
there were very few houses, and the main street, now Second Ave. East, 
was a mass of mud. A single plank ran up and down each side of the 
street. In stepping off the plank to let a lady pass he went so deeply into 
the mud that he pulled his boots off in getting out. 

*An address to the 'Society, June 10, 1920, at Owen iSound, as reported in 
the local press (the Sun-Times and the Advertiser) and by the Secretary. 


That night they put tip at a hotel on the site of the present Comely 
House; it was owned by a Mr. Orr and was a fine hotel for those days. A 
number of men were sitting around the fire when Mr. McLauchlan took 
his tallow dip and retired at 8 o'clock in the evening, and at 6 o'clock the 
next morning they were still there when he came down. 

Mr. McLauchlan's next visit was in 1855 when he came by way of 
-boat (the Canada, owned by Capt. Smith) from Collingwood. The trip 
was the roughest he had ever made, being worse even than that across the 
ocean. For four hours the boat lay off Craigleith without making any 
progress. However, Owen Sound was reached finally and the next day 
he was married. 

He made another visit to Owen Sound in 1857, driving the first 
peddling waggon selling candies and crackers, and also about once every 
year afterward. 

In 1869 Mr. McLauchlan, who had been living in Hamilton, decided 
to take up permanently his homestead in Sullivan. He moved to Williams- 
ford, built a little bakeshop and started to make candies and crackers. In 
1869 he drove into Owen Sound with his first load of candies and biscuits 
and sold them for $125. His business grew gradually and with a double- 
decked waggon he sold his confectionery all through Bruce County and 
the biggest part of Grey. He moved to Owen Sound, and to-day has one 
of the biggest confectionery establishments in the Province of Ontario as 
a result of his untiring work. 

In 1883 it was reported that the C.P.R. boats were to come here if the 
harbour could be dredged and made deep enough for them. Early in April 
he with David A. Creasor and several others, got together and decided that 
the harbour must be put into shape. He suggested buying dredges, going 
into their own pockets if necessary to buy them. It was learned that in 
^ Collingwood there were two dredges, four scows and one tug for sale. The 
following Monday the sale of dredges, scows, and tug was to take place in 
Collingwood. On Sunday afternoon through mud, rain, and melting snow- 
drifts, Mr. McLauchlan went to Meaford, arriving in Collingwood the 
following morning. Dropping off the train in Collingwood before it reached 
the station, Mr. McLauchlan bought No. 9 dredge and two scows and then 
the tug. Then it struck him that the others in Collingwood might buy the 
other dredge and get their harbour dredged first. So he bought the other 
dredge also and the remaining two scows, and then found that he had no 
money to pay off the required ten per cent, of the purchase money but he 
was able to borrow it. Then the moment the ice moved out, inside of two 
weeks, dredging operations were started in the harbour and by the time the 
-C.P.R. boats arrived the harbour was ready. The coming of these boats 
marked a great era in the growth of Owen Sound. 

In the small towns the people were more friendly than in the cities, 
and it is hoped that its becoming a city will not destroy the old feeling 
of neighbourliness which existed in smaller towns. 



Removed from the Great Lakes trade route between the East and West 
and from the international boundary with its early complications and war 
strife, Georgian Bay, which hangs like a bundle on the back of old Lake 
Huron does not seem to have secured the prominence in Canadian history 
that has been the part of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie or Lake Huron. True, 
the hardy Canadian voyageur found in it a convenient and often pleasant 
break in the passage from Eastern Canada and the hunting grounds in 
the wilds to the north and west. In it they welcomed the escape from the 
heavy portages, perilous rapids and other dangers of the rivers and lakes 
while crossing from the St. Lawrence or Ottawa Rivers to its shores, and 
gliding through the thousands of islands made their way to the Northern 
Channel, and thence to the " Soo " and the lands beyond. There were the 
dangers of storm and the attendant tragedies, but in their stout batteaux 
the journey was made in safety and comparative comfort more often than 
otherwise. Whatever of traffic or conflict there may have been in -the days 
when the Indian roamed the wooded wilds which enclosed its shores and 
fought in his war canoe, it was not until the early settlers came through 

from the southern sections of the Province and settled in the Queen's Bush 
and along the eastern shores that the enterprises of navigation had their 
initial steps. '"'The batteaux which carried many of these early settlers 
to their destination and often landed them where the prow of the boat 
could Best find a spot to run up on shore, began to give place to the little 

-w sailing vessels which in turn were replaced by larger craft of the same 
class as freights developed, following as a result of the industry and, enter- 
prise of the citizens who were grouped in settlements along the shores. 
As this fringe of civilization expanded the steamboat came on the -scene 
and more rapid and regular connections were maintained as the importance 
of the ports of the bay increased. This was particularly marked in the 
case of the opening up of the copper mining regions oil the North Shore 
.-and the settlement of the Manitoulin Island, steamboats then becoming a 
factor in the handling of supplies. Before the railway touched the shores 
of the bay the out-ports for the traffic developing in the vicinity of Toronto, 
and in the eastern sections of the country, were in the Matchedash Bay. The 
arrival of the iron horse changed this and Collingwood became for several 

J years the ' southern distributing point for the freight and passenger traffic 

1 originating in the southern section of the Province. To the north of the 
bay the inner channel was the accepted route for almost the entire traffic. 
Whether this was because of the growing business along the North Shore 
or for the purpose of avoiding the channel at the Lake Huron entrance 
to the bay is uncertain. The fact that with sailing vessels in particular 
the channel entrance to Lake Huron was not popular may have been due 



to a tide current which at some times runs strong there. On a map of 
the bay made in the 18th century this channel is marked dangerous and 
advises that its passage be only attempted by the stronger vessels and then- 
under the most favourable conditions. A portage from Lake Huron across 
the Bruce Peninsula is shown on the same map as the alternative to attempt- 
ing the dangerous passage. 

The earliest recorded vessels which did business on the bay were the 
sailing craft. Owen Sound being the oldest and largest settlement, it 
attracted the majority of this kind of vessel and became the headquarters 
of a considerable number of these craft. In fact, the first shipbuilding 
which took place in this part of the shores of Georgian Bay was probably 
that of the Ann Mackenzie built at Owen Sound in 1848. She was, as 
compared with modern craft, a small vessel with not over 100 feet keel 
and a beam of 24 feet. But that she was staunchly built may be accepted 
in the fact that after facing varying financial situations in the bay traffic 
she was loaded for Toronto and from that port was sent with a cargo of 
lumber to Quebec. From information secured by the lawyers of one who 
was a creditor, the Ann Mackenzie was sent across the Atlantic to a British 
port and from there despatched to Rio de Janeiro, South America, from 
which point all trace was lost. She may be sailing yet somewhere in the 
Southern Seas. At any rate the creditor, Mr. Henry Wood, a ship car- 
penter who helped build her and who is now a resident of Buffalo, N.Y., 
never realized on his claim. 

The second vessel of this class was the smaller schooner the Elizabeth 
Broder, which was built on the east bank of the Sydenham River, and 
which served her day and generation, trading out of this port until she 
was lost, fortunately without loss of life, on the shore of the Manitoulin 

The schooner Belle McPhee was the third vessel to be built at this 
port. She was built by^Jber owner on the site of the Doric cement plant 
on the west side of Owen Sound Bay, and after sailing three years was 
hauled out at the basin of the harbour, and, after having had thirty feet 
added to her length and an additional mast, was re-launched. Her good 
service was terminated when on a voyage from Owen Sound to Collingwood 
in the following spring she ran too close inshore off Thornbury, and striking 
a boulder or rock ledge went down, her crew escaping in a fishing tug the 
captain of which hastened to the rescue. 

Other sailing craft which did service in Georgian Bay waters, often 
taking. cargoes to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron ports and around through 
Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, were the Prince Edward owned by Capts. 
Charles Anderson and James McNab, the Maple Leaf, owned by James 
Sutherland, Phoebe Catherine, owned by John Pearson, Mountaineer, owned 
by Capt. Lawson, Ann Harkley, owned by Capt. Harkley, Restless, owned 
by Thos. Maitland, Clyde, owned by Capt. Johnston, Neechee, owned 
by T. C. Stephens, besides the Garibaldi, Stanley, Ariel and others. All 
of these craft have disappeared from off the scene of action, some having 
gone down on the bay while on service, others going to the lower lakes 
where they were converted into tow barges, while others found places in 
the proverbial boneyard of discards. That their navigators were willing 
to take long chances is evidenced in the statement that the Ann Harkley, 


which had been converted from a propeller into a schooner after the engines 
had been removed, made the trip from a Georgian Bay port to Chicago 
and then back to Port Colborne with a large hole in her bow plugged with 
blue clay. A mutiny on board while in Lake Huron was a result of the 
discovery. But the captain and crew went through to the Lake Erie port 
where the crew left with the exception of the mate. After repairs had 
been made, the journey back to Georgian Bay was undertaken, the cargo 
being barrelled whiskey. While the man in charge was coming through 
the gap and the crew below sampling the cargo, the Ann Harkley was 
carried off her course off Lonely Island by the current referred to in the 
18th century map. Running ashore she became a wreck, but her cargo 
was salvaged by two smaller vessels and brought to Owen Sound. 

The dimensions of these craft varied. The largest, however, would 
not be more than 125 feet on the keel with a maximum of 30 feet beam. 
The lines of some were exceedingly graceful and they were masterpieces 
of the shipbuilder's art. Others were but floating boxes, with their two masts 
and a set of canvas suggesting little more than a floating lumber pile. The 
carrying capacity was a variable matter; but as an example, the Maple Leaf, 
one of the better class of craft, would carry 10,000 bushels of wheat when 
- fully loaded while the Prince Edward would carry 12,000 bushels. As a 
matter of comparison, the average bulk carrier of to-day would absorb 
thirty such cargoes and still leave room for a train load of grain. Many 
of these wooden craft were built at the Lake Ontario shipyards and with 
few exceptions were creditable specimens of marine architecture. In addi- 
tion to those named, a complete record would include several others of 
this class which plied on the waters of Georgian Bay. 

There were also numerous smaller vessels, most of them open boats or 
partially decked. These were largely traders' vessels which visited the 
villages along the shore and served the settlers and Indians with commodities 
which the absence of stores and mercantile houses made difficult, if not 
impossible, to procure. 

But there was development in shipping as well as in all other avenues 
of life, and the club-sail two-masted vessel gave place to the more certain 
means of travel and carriage, and the steamer made its appearance on the 
waters of the bay where comparatively few years earlier the batteaux and 
the mackinac served the requirements. Small settlements grew into towns, 
and found places on the map. The railway touching at one point on the 
bay made a change in the traffic routes, and instead of the teamed freights 
which followed the shortest overland routes, cargoes accumulated at the 
railway terminal and were despatched to their destinations by steamers. 

The first steamer to have a definite place in the traffic was the Gore, 
a small sidewheeler, to which Eev. John McDougall refers in one of his 
^ books (" Forest, Lake and Prairie," p. 27) describing a trip made in 1851 
when travelling from Coldwater to Owen Sound. She was a craft of 189 
tons and her operations were confined largely to the south shore ports. 
The growing trade of the North Shore resulted in the placing on the route 
of the Kalloola, a vessel considerably larger, 250 tons. Though by no 
means a new vessel when coming to the service, the Kalloola proved a 
staunch sea boat and weathered many a gale, coming through at times 
when to save her seemed beyond the possibilities. In time she was super- 


seded by the Ploughboy, which in addition to making the run to the " Soo " 
by the North Channel, entered Lake Superior and went to the head of 
navigation every third trip. She, however, was past her best days when 
on the route, though she did service at Detroit and Lake St. Clair for years 
afterwards, until destroyed by fire in 1870. While these steamers were 
engaged in the traffic around the bay, the growing importance of Owen 
Sound attracted the attention of Capt. W. H. Smith, of Chatham, and he 
brought up the steamer Mazeppa and placed her on the Owen Sound- 
Collingwood route in the early fifties, and he was joined in the enterprise 
by his brothers-in-law, Messrs. Eberts, who placed the steamer Oxford on 
the route running opposite to the Mazeppa. The enterprise of the brothers 
Eberts was not a success and after a few trips the Oxford was withdrawn 
and she returned to the lower lakes. An advertisement in a local paper 
of June, 1855, announces the arrival of merchandise by the Canadian, 
which steamer evidently came on the Collingwood-Owen Sound route in** 
1854. The day of the propeller had not yet arrived, and though there 
was a growing number of steamers with this form of propulsion, it was 
generally regarded as unsuited for passenger service, as vessels having power 
of this type did not afford sufficient beam to meet the stateroom require- 
ments. The Canadian spent about 10 years in the service on the route and 
was followed by the Clifton, another sidewheeler built at the Niagara River 
shipyards, the Canadian going back to the Lake St. Clair field of operations. 
The Clifton was celebrated on the bay as the craft which demonstrated that 
the River Sydenham was a navigable stream when her owner, Capt. Smith, 
had her lightened of everything movable, even to the water in her boilers, 
and with an anchor out over her bows hauled her over the bar at the 
mouth of the harbour and thence up the stream to her landing place at 
the foot of Eleventh Street East, then Peel Street. The demonstration 
resulted in the fulfilment of a promise by the Government to have the 
bar at the entrance dredged and from that beginning the present unequalled 
harbour facilities have been developed. 

With the completion of the railway in 1855 to Collingwood an added 
impetus was given to shipping on the bay. A line of steamers was estab- 
lished between Collingwood and Chicago, and four steamers, the Mont- 
gomery, Ontonagon, Hunter and the ill-starred Lady Elgin, were engaged 
in this service. An important traffic grew as a result and was maintained 
for years. 

The east shore interests of the Beattys, of Thorold, resulted in the 
placing of the small sidewheel steamer Waubuno on the Collingwood-Owen 
Sound-Parry Sound route in 1864 in which service she plied for 15 years 
until she foundered in an autumn gale in 1879 with all hands on board. 

The Clifton having served her day was replaced by the Frances Smith, 
built at Owen Sound and launched July 1st, 1867, and admittedly in her 
time the finest passenger steamer on the upper lakes. The machinery of 
the Clifton was installed in the new boat. Capt. Smith's enterprise in her 
construction was generally commended, and the steamer did excellent service 
on the Owen Sound-Collingwood route until conditions became changed in 
1874 by the completion of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce railway to Owen 
Sound, reducing the traffic between these ports to an unprofitable degree, 
and the steamer went to the Owen Sound-Sault Ste. Marie route and later 
to the Owen Sound-Prince Arthur's Landing route. 


With the railway touching several points on the south shore, and the 
growing importance of the north shore ports, came the incorporation of 
several shipping companies. Among the earliest was the Georgian Bay 
Navigation .Co., which had brought the steamer Northern Belle up from 
Lake St. Clair and placed her on the local route, as the service to the 
Georgian Bay ports came to be known, in distinction from the Lake Superior 
route. Later the amalgamation of the Beatty interests brought the Waubuno 
and the Belle into the same company, forming the nucleus of what eventually 
became the Northern Navigation Company, now a division of the great 
merger, the Canada Steamships, Limited. 

About the same time as the initial steps in the organization of the 
local service, other steps were being taken. A Lake Superior Service, which 
included the steamers Algoma and Cumberland, was established by the 
Toronto and Lake Superior Navigation Company, in which Col. F. W. 
Cumberland of the Northern Railway had a large interest. Later, the 
steamer Cliicora, fresh from her service as a blockade runner in the American 
Civil War, and still retaining the tracks for her guns on the main deck, 
came from Toronto to join the fleet. She was the first steel or iron hull 
on the upper lakes. As speed was estimated in those days, she was classed 
as amongst the crack runners of the lake; and amongst the most exciting 
incidents in her career in the upper lakes were the races she had with 
the Frances Smith over the fifty mile course between Collingwood and 
Owen Sound. The Algoma found her last berth in the Collingwood harbour, 
the Cumberland was lost on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, and the Chicora 
went back to Toronto, where she became the nucleus of the present Toronto- 
Niagara fleet. 

In 1878 a company which included the interests of Smith and Keighley, 
wholesale grocers and commission men, was formed as the Canada-Lake 
Superior Transit Company. Their first vessel was the City of London 
which was burned. Her engines were then placed in the City of Owen 
Sound which had been built at Owen Sound for the company. The latter 
vessel made the first two years on the Chicago service. The company also 
acquired the steamer Annie Craig which was renamed under the Canadian 
register as the City of Winnipeg. In 1881 the Winnipeg was burned at 
her dock in Duluth. The company then created an innovation by going 
to Great Britain and purchasing the twin-screw steamer Campana, joining 

* the North which had been employed in the Eio de la Plata cattle trade. 
She was brought to the upper lakes and was the first of the steel bulk 

~ carriers to be engaged in the upper lake traffic, continuing in the service 
until 1886 when she was leased to the C.P.R. to replace the lost steamship 
Algoma. Finally she was returned to the ocean service and was a total 
wreck after grounding on the Gaspe shore in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

Other incorporations followed, and amongst these was the Owen Sound 
Steamship Company in which the Smith and Keighley interests were merged. 
The fleet included the sidewheel steamers Spartan and Magnet, brought up 
from the Toronto-Montreal service, and the propeller Africa. The construc- 
tion of the Canadian Pacific Eailway link along the north shore gave an 
impetus to lake traffic in carrying labourers and supplies, but the rates 

, were not remunerative, and the stockholders had their stock certificates as 

' mementos of their venture. 


Individual enterprise was not entirely eliminated by the Corporative 
interests, and several vessels at varying periods operated on the Georgian 
Bay. These included the Silver Spray, the Seymour., the Jane Miller., the 
Hero and others. The Cambria, a rebuilt ocean going side wheeler tug, 
and the Carmona, operated under a local partnership, were amongst the 
last of the steamers placed on the local route. 

The opening up of the Bruce Peninsula ports and settlements created a 
.new route. This was first served by the Okonra, a small steamer built and 
owned by the Dunns of Owen Sound. The traffic gradually outgrew the 
dimensions of this vessel and she was replaced by the Wiarton Belle, addi- 
tional capital being taken into the management. The Alder son was the 
immediate successor to the Belle. The arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway 
at Wiarton spoiled this as a trade route, and in time the Alderson went to 
Lake Erie, leaving the remnants of the traffic to be taken care of by the 
smaller craft. 

This brings the story of navigation on the Georgian Bay up to the 
early eighties, viz., the first forty years in which it was a factor in the 
business of Canada. Since that time came the Northern Navigation Com- 
pany, one of the strongest corporations doing business on the bay., whose 
fleet included the city line of steamers, Cities of Midland, Collingwood, 
Toronto, London, Meaford, and Parry Sound, and after the absorption of 
the Great Northern Transit Co. its only rival in the field the Majestic 
and the Germanic. All of these steamers have passed off the scene of 
action, the majority having been burned, and the company has not for some 
time had a steamer operating on the Georgian Bay route. 

In 1884 the Clyde-built Canadian Pacific Steamers, the Alberta, the Al- 
goma and the Athabasca were brought to Owen Sound. Their arrival marked 
a new era in lake navigation in that they formed a link in a great trans- 
continental railway service and were operated as a portion of that system. 
Originally intended to ply between Algoma Mills on the North Shore and 
Port Arthur, the facilities promised by the Government at the former port 
were not forthcoming as the time for the operations of the steamers ap- 
proached, and this turned the attention of the C. P. R. Board of Manage- 
ment to the fact that the lease of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway 
was on the market. On the recommendation of the late Henry Beatty, 
who for several years was General Manager of the C. P. R. steamship lines, 
the lease was acquired, and with the newly constructed Ontario and Quebec 
Railway between Montreal and Toronto, the great railway enterprise found 
its connection between Montreal and Port Arthur complete. Later to 
reduce the rail haul to the seabord a harbour was constructed at a port on 
the Matchedash Bay, where nearly half a century before traffic had seen 
its first development, and Port McNicoll became the principal Georgian 
Bay port for Canadian Pacific steamships. 

In more than half a century the tragedies on the Georgian Bay have 
been comparatively few, when the fact is taken into consideration that no 
portion of the chain of the great lakes is more susceptible to storms than 
this eastern area of Lake Huron. The Waubuno, the Asia, the Mary Ward, 
the Jane Miller, the Jones, were disasters of no small proportions, and only 
when the sea gives up her dead will the facts in some of these calamities 
be known. But when it is considered that many of the vessels which have 


been in the service were discards from other routes, the wonder is that 
more of them did not prove to be floating coffins. The fact that so many 
of the boats went up in smoke, the victims of the flames, is remarkable 
as well as the fact that the loss of life has been infinitesimal. 

Eeference might be made to the development of the aids td navigation 
which the three-quarters of a century have produced. The lighthouses, the 

I gas buoys, the spar buoys and other guides for the mariner are nowhere more 
adequate than on Georgian Bay, and the navigator is for no great length 
of time out of sight of some of these safety indicators. This could be the 
subject for another paper, however, and would prove to be highly interesting. 
To-day the conditions for a return of the influence and importance of 
the navigation of the bay are not in evidence. Skirted by railways which 
give summer and winter 'Service, there are no great 'inducements for 
capitalists to invest in tonnage for the increase of the local service. One 
cannot forget the remark of the President, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, of 
the C. P. R., when he said, " While changes may take place at intervals 
one should not overlook the fact that the development of the Canadian 
West will tax every outlet to the seaboard in the very near future and 

/ every port in the Georgian Bay will be needed to accommodate the traffic." 
With this vision, it is quite conceivable that the Georgian Bay trade routes 
will be crowded with carriers beside which the vessels of the past would 
appear as yawl boats. This fact, however, should not let us overlook the 
debt of gratitude we owe to the hardy mariners who in the early days risked 
all to provide comforts and conveniences to the early settlers who were 
the pioneers in the settlement of this great and important section of the 
Dominion of Canada the Georgian Bay District. 



The study of the early years makes us love our country more because 
it makes us understand the cost of the country and how our ancestors had 
to toil hard and to suffer to hand down to us such a beautiful inheritance. 
And when we see and understand what they have done we love them and 
our country more and more. But there is something more that makes us 
broader minded,, more just to one another, and more fair to the descendants 
of the first settlers. Whether they are Indians, Irish, Scotch, or any other 
nationality, we should love them for what they have done. So we cannot 
.give too much praise to the Historical Society. They help to foster, not 
only a better understanding of what our early settlers have done, but in doing 
so foster a better understanding and harmony between the citizens of the 
country no matter to what creed they belong. 

(Father Cadot divided his address into two parts. The first dealt with 
the origin of the County of Bruce, the second with his work among the 


The first white men to come into the Georgian Bay region were 
Champlain, Le Caron and Etienne Brule. Even some of our editors and 
members of Parliament do not seem to know of these Frenchmen. They 
think the French came to the country about twenty years ago instead of 
over three hundred years ago, and that they should be put out. After 
Champlain came Nicolas Perrot. 

Then followed two hundred years before Pierre Piche in 1818, hearing 
of the number of furs to be obtained on the east shores of Lake Huron 
settled at the mouth of the Saugeen River, where he built a house and store 
and traded with the Indians. Ten years later came Edward Sayers, an 
Englishman. Then two French Canadians, Cadotte and Loranger, succeeded 
Sayers. This was the story of the first settlers. 

By a treaty in 1836, the Indians ceded their rights to the land to the 
Government. The Indian trait of kindness and generosity was never more 
clearly demonstrated than by the readiness with which they surrendered 
their rights to their ancient hunting grounds. But too often their generosity 
has been abused by the meanness of the whites. The first two townships 
to be formed were Kinloss and Huron. At first it was an unbroken wilder- 
ness from Meaford to Goderich, but little by little settlers came in and 
new townships were formed, all at the south of the present county. In 1850 
there were eleven organized townships, and by an act of Parliament it was 
called Bruce. 

At that time there were three counties (Bruce, Huron and Perth) with 
one Council. The first Warden was Dr. Chalk, of Tuckersville, Huron 



County. The County Clerk was F. W. Otto, of Walkerton. The first repre- 
sentative from Bruce was in 1853 when they had three men on the Council. 
Only in 1856 was there a representative from each township on the County 
Council. In 1853 Perth withdrew. In 1857 Bruce and Huron had a 
dispute over a bridge at Kincardine and parted company. In 1867 the 
county town was finally located at Walkerton. The first Warden was Mr. 
Brocklebank and the Clerk, Geo. Gould. The first permanent settlers were 
at Kincardine and Southampton. In 1848 James Withers and Allan 
Cameron settled where the station now stands at Kincardine. Capt. John 
Spence and Capt. Wm. Kennedy were Southampton's first settlers. Captain 
Spence died in 1904, and his widow passed away only a few years ago. 


Mission work is carried on among seven different bands, but all of them 
belong to the Ojibway branch of the Great Algonquin family. With head- 
quarters at Cape Croker the missionary serves the Indians at Saugeen, Cape 
Croker, Christian Island, Honey Harbour, Parry Island, Moose Point and 

In Canada there are 106,000 Indians; of these, 26,000 live in Ontario. 
In Ontario three-fifths of the Indians- are Protestants and the rest Roman 
Catholics. The Indians of Canada are estimated to be worth $10,000,000, 
half of which belongs to the Ontario tribes. The value of all the Indian 
land in Ontario is $115,000. The Ojibways with whom the missionary 
works are all descendants of the warriors who fought under Tecumseh in 
the war of 1812. 

The Cape Croker Band came from Newash or Brookholm, now a part of 
Owen Sound; before that they had lived around Coldwater, Rama, and 
Orillia, but moved west before the advancing tide of civilization. Many 
of the original Saugeen Indians have also moved north to the Cape Croker 

To speak of the Indian character, their faults are not few, but these 
are far outbalanced by their virtues. In the first place they are stubborn. 
No amount of coaxing, pleading, or force could make an Indian change 
his mind once it was made up. To illustrate their improvidence; an Indian 
at Garden River tore down one-half, of his house to provide fuel to keep 
the other half warm. The Indian often not only does not pay any heed 
to the morrow; he even lets the afternoon look after itself. A great number 
of them, are, through all their life, children ; an Indian graybeard of sixty 
is but a mere infant. Of their extravagance, within a week after the 
Government allowance has been issued practically none of it would be left 
in the possession of the Indians, and the things it was spent on were so 
childish. They are untidy about their homes. Eight years ago we offered 
prizes for the tidiest houses on the Reserve. The result was astonishing. 
All the homes were as neat as a pin till the prizes were awarded, when, 
without an incentive to work for, they dropped back into their old slovenly 
state. They are very suspicious of strangers and a new missionary is not a 
welcome visitor at their homes till he is thoroughly tried out. 

The Indian has very little will to resist temptation and many are 
disinclined to pay their debts. A most amusing incident occurred of a 
collector .soing to the Saugeen Reserve to collect a debt owed his firm 



by an Indian. He accosted the first Indian lie met and asked him where 
the party he was seeking lived. After inquiring the purpose of the traveller's 
visit, the Indian assumed a very doleful expression and shook his head 
sadly. He told the collector of what a very fine man the debtor was, how 
he always paid his debts, and was very highly thought of in the community. 
Unfortunately he had died the week before and the whole Eeserve had 
attended the funeral; there had been a brass band, and much sorrow over 
the death of so good a man. It was most unfortunate the collector had 
not come a little sooner as his debt would most certainly have been paid. 
The traveller was deeply chagrined and went away, only to find out later 
that his informant, who had related so touchingly the story of the demise 
of the man he sought, was that very man himself. Strange to say, these 
defects are more pronounced among the women. 

But the Indian has many good qualities that cover their defects. Their 
physique is magnificent. They have a most dignified carriage and look 
like princes. They are always courteous, and always true to. you if they like 
you. Indians are good at the fine arts and can draw and sing as well as, 
or better than white men. The brass band on the Cape Croker Eeserve 
has never had a white man to lead it. Music is bought, and the band 
simply stays with a piece until they know it. The Bishop said it was the 
best band he had heard in the whole Diocese. They never, forget a wrong, 
but if an apology is given an Indian is always ready to become your friend. 
They are generous. 

We feel justly proud of the Indians in the Great War. Out of sixty- 
seven men on the Eeserve who were eligible for service, sixty-three enlisted 
and went to the war. This included married men as well as unmarried 
men. Every man who could go served his country. Six will never come 
back, but sleep in soldiers' graves. Two have brought back Military Medals 
and one has lost his right arm. Many of the returned men have -accepted 
the Government's aid and have taken up land. The Indian Agent, who is a 
returned officer, has lent every assistance in his power, and during his 
term of office has greatly helped the Eeserve. The Indian soldiers are not 
naturally fond of farming, but have learnt overseas the lesson of patience 
and are staying with it. 

Cape Croker has three good schools, all of them public schools. One 
of these is taught by Miss Moffitt who has been at the Eeserve for a long 
time. Besides the usual curriculum, Miss Moffitt teaches music, gardening, 
house-keeping and carpenter work. 

There are two churches on the Eeserve, a Methodist Church and the 
Eoman Catholic, and there is not the least bit of friction between the two 
churches. The present Catholic Church was built in 1907 and paid for 
in five years. There is a hall in which the boys meet and play pool, or 
cards, every evening till ten o'clock. At nine o'clock the curfew rings and 
all the school children go home at once and to bed. The missionary's house 
is always open as a club house for the soldiers. The returned men are 
free to come and go at will. 

Of the Saugeen Eeserve there must be told the story of a young Indian 
who since has been overseas and returned. Young Lavalle was the mission- 
ary's guide and a companion on many a weary journey to and from the 
Saugeen and other charges. One winter day coming from Saugeen they 


were caught in a blizzard. Food had been scarce on the Keserve and they 
were none too well nourished. The last three miles, till they came to a 
house near Hepworth, were done on hands and knees so weak were they 
that they could not stand upright. Such hardships as these are^ what the 
missionary has endured for over twenty years and will probably endure till he 
is called to the last reward. The Saugeen Reserve has a war record the equal 
of Cape Croker. Its Indians are much poorer than those of Cape Croker. 

In the winter time the missionary, to reach his charge at Christian 
Island, must travel 255 miles by way of Toronto and Midland. In the 
summer it is but 70 miles by boat. The Christian Island Indians were not 
as eager to enlist as their brothers of the Cape Croker and Saugeen Reserves. 
They said they did not want to be killed. But 'the judgment of God was 
upon them, and in three weeks He had killed seventy with the influenza, 
many more than the other reserves lost in the war. 

At Parry Island there are about one hundred and fifty Indians in 
the charge. At Honey Harbour there are not many Indians now. But 
eight years ago they raised sufficient money to build a church, and the 
church was built within one week. 

Huronia extended from Coldwater to Orillia and from the Nottawasaga 
River to Barrie. There were 30,000 Hurons living there who were becoming 
well civilized under the instruction of the Jesuits. In 1649 the Iroquoia 
hordes swept down on them from the south and exterminated the Huron 
nation, root, trunk and branch with the exception of a few who reached Chris- 
tian Island. Here in 1650 a fort was built whose walls may still be seen. It 
was seventy-two feet square and in 1875 its walls were quite high; now they 
are only about six feet. 

We stick to our work because we see it is patriotic. We want to give 
to our country good citizens. When my boys went to the war I saw I was 
not working for nothing. Another reason is the example of those Jesuits 
who gave their lives so stoically and nobly when the Huron nation was 
annihilated. Our hardships are only a trifle compared to theirs, and we 
need only to 1 remember them to stay with our work. We ask God to give 
us some of their constancy and ability to stay with the task till the end. 



On the morning of the 22nd of September in the year 1853, a mother 
and her two youthful sons embarked on board the sailing ship Prince 
Albert in the harbour of the old walled town of Portsmouth with the hope 
and expectation of joining in due time five other sons of the same mother, 
who had seven years before, with one exception, emigrated to North America 
and settled on bush land a few miles south of the small village of Owen Sound 
in the Province of Upper Canada. The vessel was bound for New York, the 
majority of the passengers of all three classes having booked for various 
places in the United States. As might be supposed, the voyage, beginning 
with the autumnal equinox, proved to be almost continuously rough. The 
steerage passengers, chiefly foreigners from continental countries, had in 
accordance with the rule or custom then prevailing, brought provisions 
with them; but as the food was of an inferior quality and as, owing to the 
stormy weather, cooking could be performed only with great difficulty, they 
suffered much hardship, sickness, and discomfort. 

Soon, moreover, was their pitiable plight aggravated by an outbreak of 
the justly dreaded disease, cholera. This fatal malady could not be effectu- 
ally overcome by medical and sanitary treatment before forty-seven persons 
had yielded up their lives as its victims, one being an able seaman, who 
contracted the disease while performing the tender and merciful act of 
sewing the first corpse in a sail-cloth shroud. 

During the epidemic only a rope stretched from bulwark to bulwark 
separated the exempted from the infected on deck. After the loss of this 
member of the crew, Capt. Bradish was reluctantly compelled to omit the 
enclosing of the bodies of the dead in canvas shrouds and to require their 
committal to be performed as simply and speedily as possible. The garments 
in which the deceased person had died were not removed, but were bound 
to the body. A weight of iron was then fastened to the feet. A brief 
service was read; and at the words, "We therefore commit his body to the 
deep, etc./' the inner end of the plank on which the body lay, was lifted, 
and the corpse was permitted to slide through the open gangway and drop 
into the sea. 

A remarkable experience of a very different nature followed in mid- 
ocean, viz., the capture of a huge sea turtle, which the mate and a few 
sailors surprised as it peacefully slept on the tranquil bosom of the deep, 
quite unaware of the ability of human watchers with the aid of a telescope 
to discern it, though to the unassisted eye the creature might have been 
invisible. After a zoological exhibition, to which the passengers were ad- 
mitted without the payment of an entrance fee, the marine shell-clad animal 
of amphibious habits was consigned to the butcher and by him transferred 
to the master of the kitchen, who produced from its flesh a sufficient quantity 
of genuine green turtle soup to please the palate of each of the first and 
the second cabin passengers. 



At the end of a period of 43 days, the welcome call of "' land in sight '' 
came from the " crow's nest." Soon a pilot boat was hailed, and then 
followed the heaving-to of the Prince Albert and the boarding of the 
vessel by the important personage who was to direct our course to the place 
of anchorage within New York harbour. Night intervened before a clear 
view of the shore could be obtained,, but rising betimes on the following 
morning we beheld a fairy-like scene,, never to be obliterated from our 
memory the terraced slope of Staten Island with its white houses and 
green grassy plots. 

The health officers of the port, after careful investigation and inspection, 
allowed us in common with the other cabin passengers, both first and second, 
to go on shore, although the ship was ordered to proceed, with its full 
complement of third class unfortunates, to the quarantine station, there to 
undergo thorough fumigation and disinfection. The heavy luggage of all 
passengers was detained on board. 

At the hotel known as Gunter's Arms we lodged while waiting for our 
family effects, which comprised the contents of heavy boxes and a chest of 
drawers, besides articles too numerous to mention, packed within a feather 
bed. The fire-bells having one night rung out their wild alarm, our mother, 
upon making inquiry regarding the nearness of the danger, was reassured 
by the watchman of the hotel complacently saying : " Madam, you need not be 
in the least alarmed, unless you can feel the walls growing hot." A ride in the 
street horse-cars to visit a brother of an aunt in England and a taste of hot 
oyster stew procured from a street vendor were the other chief experiences 
that have impressed themselves on my memory as being at the time quite 
strange and novel. 

To reach our first objective in Canada West our route included a rail- 
way journey through Rome and Albany to Rochester. At Rome through a 
mishap our mother was left behind, and her two small boys were carried 
every minute farther and farther from her care and comfort. A reunion 
was, however, some hours afterwards effected, the boys at a certain place 
boarding another train and in each car in succession calling, " Is Mrs. Spencer 
here?" The resulting scene was not devoid of interest to the other passen- 
gers. Being obliged at some place to break our journey and arrange for stay- 
ing in the town all night, we found the representatives of the various rival 
caravansaries so demonstrative in their attentions and so forcible in their en- 
deavours to win us as guests that for a few moments we incurred the danger 
of being dismembered, or " quartered/' as were criminals in early times, a 
treatment which as harmless intending colonials we not unreasonably re- 
sented. At another place, being directed to change from one train to another 
and have our household effects transferred, we perceived that the baggage- 
men were not enamoured of the weight of some of the packages comprising 
our equipment. When handling a ponderous chest one man remarked to his 
comrade, "I guess this is where the gold and silver are/' an observation 
which amused us not a little, since we were far from being burdened with a 
superfluity of either of the precious metals. 

Upon our arrival in Rochester we changed our mode of travel, from 
train to steamer. Lake Ontario was at the time in a somewhat turbulent 
mood. During the few hours' delay that in consequence ensued, my brother 
and I summoned sufficient courage to sing at intervals some English songs 


that we had in the Old Country committed to memory. This vocal perform- 
ance, though of a very humble nature,, met with a very kind reception on the 
part of the other passengers. It certainly helped to while awa) r the time. 
'Ontario's " sullen billows having ceased to leap;' we bade good-bye to the 
United States and in the course of a few hours planted our feet on the soil 
of one of the richest possessions of the United Kingdom. Toronto, contain- 
ing a population of- about 35,000, seemed to us a pleasant place, thor- 
oughly British and very English. No friendly hand, however, was extended 
to welcome us. A brother of mine from the County of Grey was to have 
greeted us; but the uncertainty of travel, the irregularities of postal com- 
munications and the absence of telegraph facilities in the north country 
combined to cause his non-arrival at the hoped-for moment. When after a 
day or two he arrived, and in one of the rooms of the "Masonic Arms" near 
the central market announced his relationship, but withheld his Christian 
name, our mother was at first unable to identify him, so great a change had 
seven years wrought in his face and figure. He proved to be the third in 
order of age and experience. 

No time was lost in making arrangements for our journey to the north. 
Instead of using the railway which then led as far as Barrie, we took stage 
for Hamilton and arrived after a day's travel at the Saint Nicholas' Hotel 
in that small but pleasantly situated city. 

From Hamilton we journeyed in a similar manner to Guelph. Thence 
we pursued our way by mail coacji to the village of Fergus. Here our further 
progress by public conveyance was barred, the road through the "Queen's ' 
Bush" being devoid of gravel or broken stone, and therefore liable in the 
fall of the year to be converted into an elongated "Slough of Despond," and 
the settlements along the way being too few and small to tempt any stage 
proprietor to maintain a continuous service. An uncovered wagon drawn by 
a team of stout horses under the control of a reliable resident of the village 
became our means of locomotion for the remaining fifty mile?. Fortunately 
the weather continued comparatively mild and calm; and the road, alternat- 
ing between bare earth and corduroy, the latter in some places as bare as the 
earth, was fairly dry. Under these favourable conditions we were able to 
advance at the rate of about twenty miles a day, passing a branch of the 
Saugeen at a point now within the bounds of Mount Forest, and spending 
one of the nights in Hunter's Hotel in the village of Durham, a hostelry 
which contrasted strongly with the average wayside log public house, since 
it was built of well-mortared and well-laid stone, material as solid and im- 
movable in the building to-day as when it was placed there probably 70 
years ago. 

Our first view of Owen Sound, obtained from the top of Union Street 
Hill, revealed to us a, scattered village of log or frame dwellings and two 
Vuildings of red brick, one of the latter "being the place of worship used by 
the Disciples of Christ, and the other being a house of merchandise kept by 
Mr. Brodie and commonly known as the "brick store." The general aspect 
of the place was decidedly picturesque, the Sydenham River, a perennial and 
copious stream of then unpolluted water, flowing midway through the valley- 
enclosing hills and giving promise of future busy scenes of trading and navi- 
gation. Passing through the village, we ascender! the north-eastern hill 
which was partly paved with corduroy, and made as our final objective the 


temporary home of the eldest member of the family, he having recently laid 
aside the implements of forestry and agriculture and applied himself to the 
less strenuous and probably also less remunerative vocation of rural school 
teaching. I say, probably less remunerative, because when I myself ten years 
afterwards adopted the same profession and made a rural school, near the 
fishing hamlet of Cape Rich, the scene of my first endeavours, the salary was 
at the rate of $200 per annum. My brother, although a married man, did not 
probably receive more than $300. His house, situated about two miles from 
Owen Sound, was finally reached, becoming, although diminutive in size, the 
meeting place for a family conclave of ten persons old and young, some of 
whom tyad not seen each other for years. The trustees of my brother's school, 
upon learning that the mother of so many big sons had arrived at the residence 
of the teacher of their section, expressed a wish for an interview, asking at the 
same time among other inquiries the question, "Can she walk?" A person 
of fifty years of age was, in those days, regarded as old. Very few men or 
women of that age were to be met with in new settlements. The trustees, 
reflecting upon the general rule with regard to the age of the hard-working 
settlers, could with difficulty imagine health, strength and activity continu- 
ing after the half-century mark had been passed. As a fact my maternal 
parent years after this time often walked from the old farm in Sydenham 
township to Owen Sound, a distance of eight miles. 

With the arrival of snow and the commencement of sleighing, the order 
came for the removal of the latest family contingent by ox-sleigh to the 
heart of Holland Township, a region which was an almost unbroken forest, 
settlers having only just begun to take up land therein. In this quiet, se- 
cluded part of Grey County, fourteen miles from Owen Sound, in a small 
clearing perhaps about two miles distant from that of our nearest neighbour, 
we spent our first Canadian winter. Neither church nor school was within 
reach. So deep was the snow that trampling it down was necessary before 
the oxen would venture to go forward on an infrequent blazed path. So 
calm was the atmosphere that the snow which fell on the roof of our humble 
log dwelling, put the rafters to a severe test of strength, and we had to 
lighten the weight by the use of shovel or spade. 

Stoves were unknown in that sylvan retreat, but the huge open Dutch 
fireplace, built in an end wall with timber arms or brackets to support the 
sides of the chimney, received the fire's main support the big back-log, and 
frequent smaller contributions from nature's immense woodyard, and it thus 
gave forth ample heat and much "light at eventide." The cooking utensils 
were, however, ponderous, clumsy and awkward to handle. Soot and ashes 
clinging to their exterior did not improve their appearance or lend charm 
to the gentle art of preparing toothsome viands for the family board. A fire 
above the average of normal strength would, moreover, ignite the chimney's 
side supports, necessitating the sprinkling of water upon them. 

The larder of the log cabin included, as one of the chief contents, the 
flesh of swine that had during the preceding autumn fed freely in the bush 
on beechnuts. This grade of pork, owing to the softness of the fat, seemed, 
while in the frying-pan, to shrink to less than half its original bulk, the 
remnant floating in a miniature pool of oil. The lean part, however, was 
wholesome and palatable. The simple life was certainly the rule in Holland 
Township. As an illustration I may relate that visiting one Sunday 


afternoon our neighbours, the R s, we were invited to stay for tea. The 

meal consisted of tea (real store tea), and bread, the product of flour, water 
and salt rising. The usual accompaniments of the latter, butter and jam, and 
the customary trimmings of the former, milk and sugar, were conspicuous 
by their absence. 

While the winter of 1853-54 was still with us, news reached us from Eng- 
land concerning the return voyage of the Prince Albert. The following 
brief official entry in the register of the famous Marine Insurance Office of 
Lloyd's, London, England, tells the tale: 

"Queenstown, Jan. llth, 1854. 

"Prince Albert, American ship, Captain Bradish, New York, for Lon- 
don, was fallen in with, in a sinking condition, in lat. 48, long. 15 ; and the 
crew and passengers taken off by the Norfolk, arrived here." 

The Prince Albert, laden with wheat, encountered, when 250 miles from 
the south-west coast of Ireland, a furious storm. The signals of distress were 
observed by Captain David Baird Brown, of the sailing ship Norfolk, whose 
brave sailors at great peril came to the rescue and saved the forty-three men, 
women and children on board. Captain Brown was the husband of my 
eldest sister. Their youngest son, Percy Brown, has for many years been a 
resident of Owen Sound. When we learned the fate of the Prince Albert, 
although we were sorry, we were not surprised, for we could remember the 
frequent utterance of the sailors during our own voyage : " We'll never 
sail in this old tub again." 

On account of the extreme loneliness that marked our life in Holland, 
our mother persuaded her big boys to remove to an old cleared farm in Syd- 
enham Township, owned by them but abandoned, for the reason that boulders 
huge and abundant disputed with the hardwood stumps the occupancy of 
the soil. To this open country "estate" we accordingly in the spring of '54 
migrated. Neighbours were there; schools were accesible; even a church was 
not more than four or five miles distant. During the three years of residence 
here, my education, at least during the summer months, made some mod- 
erate headway. Occasionally I accompanied my elders to St. Paul's Anglican 
Church on the Garafraxa Eoad in the neighbourhood of Chatsworth. In the 

absence of a reed organ, called in those days a melodeon, my brother, W , 

would sometimes play the tunes on his English accordeon. On the occasion 
of the visit of Bishop Strachan from Toronto for Confirmation, the organist 
and choir of St. George's Church, of this city, drove out to St. Paul's Church, 
carrying the melodeon with them, and rendered the musical parts of the ser- 
vice with due earnestness and surprising vigor. The clergyman was Rev. 
A. H. R. Mulholland, who successfully in the course of his long and faithful 
ministry filled the offices of missionary, incumbent, Rural Dean, Canon, and 
Archdeacon, and enjoyed such honours as accompany such ecclesiastical titles. 

In 1857, the eldest son, and two other members of the family, being 
already residents of Owen Sound, the family council decided that the mother 
and trie two youngest boys also should move thither. This brought great ad- 
vantages within the reach of the writer. The log building at the north of 
the village, originally used as a store and subsequently converted into a 
temporary place of worship, had been exchanged for the newly erected 
Church of St. George, a roughcast structure which stood at the foot of the 
hill on what was known as Division Street. The Methodists and Presbvte- 


rians had fairly substantial edifices. The Eoman Catholics met in a private 
house. The Disciples had a neat brick building on Division Street, as pre- 
viously noted. 

Of incidents connected with St. George's Church and indelibly im- 
pressed on the memory two are worthy of recital. An infrequent attendant, 
having come early to morning service, and having observed that a certain pew 
was wholly unoccupied, took a seat in the same at a point most remote from 
the pew door. After a few minutes three ladies entered the church, advanced 
to this pew and seeing a stranger occupying part- of it, paused at the door 
and apparently waited for his withdrawal. The awkward situation was re- 
lieved by the uncomfortable visitor nimbly vaulting over the pew back and 
taking a seat one place to the rear. Here he was not again disturbed. The 
old pew rent system now happily passing away, was responsible for many 
unseemly episodes. 

In the event of the melodeon being out of commission or some other 
untoward circumstance occurring to interfere with the regular performance 

of the musical part of the service, Mr. G , one of the churchwardens, was 

wont to "raise the tune" for the psalm. On one occasion the worthy man 
unfortunately chose a tune whose metre did not match the psalm. The first 
line of the words fared fairly well, precentor and congregation lifting up 
their voices with one accord and making a joyful noise. The second line, 
however, fell lamentably short of the tune's requirements, the only recourse 
being the abnormal lengthening of the last syllable. Rather than tolerate 
such an absurdity a lady vocalist in the gallery courageously interrupted the 
melody with an entirely new tune and after a few seconds' confusion and 
discord triumphed over error and won the congregation to harmony, order 
and reverence. 

The clergyman sometimes held a service in a schoolhotise in the Town- 
ship of Derby, depending on a musical woman of the congregation to lead 
in the singing. One afternoon he announced the psalm or hymn as usual, 
but there was no response. Supposing that he had failed to make himself 
heard or understood, he repeated the announcement, whereupon a male voice 
from the rear exclaimed, "Please, sir, she isn't here to-day." 

The Public School of Owen Sound, or Common School, as it was termed, 
was an oblong log building of two original sections or parts, and stood where 
now one finds the city hall. I think that originally it had served as an immi- 
grant shelter. For a short time my eldest brother, previous to my entrance 
within its walls had been the principal. He was wont to relate that when 
for some reason a special holiday was at one time granted by the board of 
trustees, one of them undertook to make a fitting announcement early in 
the morning. This he did by chalking on the door, " No Skule to-day." 

A private Grammar School was at first for a year or two maintained 
by a brother of Rev. A. H. R. Mulholland, the teacher himself being a clergy- 
man. This was followed by a Government Grammar School, held in a part 
of the long log building just mentioned. The first teacher was Mr. John 
Gibson, eldest son of the pastor of the Presbyterian Church on Division 
Street, a scholarly man, who subsequently distinguished himself in modern 
languages at the Toronto University, and later as a Presbyterian clergyman 
filled important positions in Hamilton, Chicago and London, England. Be- 
sides the ordinary" branches of education, some of the pupils took French,. 
Latin, Greek, algebra and geometry, there being two classes, senior and 


junior. Prayers were said, the Bible was read and a good moral tone per- 
vaded the institution. The English reading books were those of the Irish 
National Series, No. 5 of which contained the history of the Kings of Israel 
and Judah. The scholars therefore by using this reader gained not a little 
knowledge of Scriptural history. 

The examination which served as a test of a Common School pupil's 
fitness for entrance into this academy of a higher grade was of the simplest 
possible nature, consisting of a specimen of his or her reading and writing, 
and a few oral questions in other subjects, of the quality of which Mr. Gibson 
himself was judge. 

Although corporal chastisement was not an unknown quantity, very 
seldom indeed was it considered necessary, Mr. Gibson being patient, kind 
and considerate, and able to infuse into his scholars a spirit of ambition. 
An incident illustrative of his forbearance may be related. For lack of a 
town bell, the blowing of a certain mill steam-whistle served as the signal 
for the noon dismissal . of the pupils, a sound which was always eagerly 
waited for by them. On a certain day when this welcome signal was heard, 
one of the boys made some remark with reference thereto. Mr. Gibson, ad- 
dressing the lad by his Christian name, said: "P , is this the first time 

you've heard that?" "No, sir," replied the audacious youth, "it's the last 
time." On account of the previous record of the embryo wit the offence 
against due respect for authority was not followed by a reprimand. 

Attention may be drawn to Grammar School public examinations, to 
the way in which advanced scholars might appear before the County Board 
and obtain teachers' certificates, to the promotion of the village to the status 
of a town, to the first dredging of the river to facilitate steamboat naviga- 
tion, to the building of the Court House and the holding of the first court 
therein, to making of good roads leading into the town, to the introduction 
of the telegraph and to other proofs of a steady advance from the common, 
simple life to the enjoyment of the comforts and conveniences of fuller civil- 
ization. With a return to backwoods or cleared land experience, one might 
tell about the countless hosts of wild pigeons that flew over the settlements, 
the flocks of wild geese that in triangular formation migrated northward or 
southward, according to the season, the sparkling myriads of fire-flies that 
flitted in the evenings in kaleidoscopic manner among trees and bushes, 
the groundhogs, or woodchucks, porcupines, squirrels and chipmunks that 
frequented the groves and slashings, the saucy, richly-tinted blue- jay, the 
gorgeously-adorned, red-headed woodpecker, the invisible but unfailingly 
recognized whip-poor-will, the flashing, brilliant, but tiny, ruby-throated 
humming-bird, living things that helped to make the settler's lot endurable, 
and to some extent, indeed, enjoyable. One might also, on the other hand, 
relate facts concerning the nightly howling of wolves and their depredations 
in the sheepfold, and the screeches and shrieks of the lynx, or wild-cat, sounds 
and sights that made the land-clearer almost envy the village merchant or 
mechanic. Enough, however, has been said to show that the old times, 
though good, have yielded to times that are better. The writer feels happy 
and thankful that he has lived to see the humble Canadian village of his early 
years grow into a prosperous city, and he joins with the other members of 
this Historical Society in the fervent hope that the future career of Owen 
Sound will be marked by unbroken progress and improvement. 



"There is a beautiful maple grove in my people's old camping ground 
on the Isle of the Manito. To it I will go, and under the blue sky of the 
Northland end my days." 

The speaker was a young interpreter of the Indian Department in To- 
ronto, Canada. His companion, an old man of English birth, white haired 
and ruddy cheeked, looked at him with compassionate countenance, but said 
nothing. What could he say ? Francis Assikinack was dying of consumption, 
and to the chief clerk of the Provincial Indian Department it was as if death 
were snatching from him a beloved son. The young Indian had been much 
with him from the time he first came, a mere lad, to Upper Canada College, 
sent there through the interest taken in him by the Superintendent-General 
of Indian Affairs. Holidays and Saturdays the boy had usually spent at the 
Indian Office, the one place in the city where he stood a chance of hearing 
his own tongue spoken. Soon he had begun to do a little work for the chief 
clerk. The little had increased to more, until, when Assikinack left school 
for good, he had been appointed Interpreter. 

Everyone had liked and admired him as a boy, and there are those still 
living in Toronto who can recall his feats of prowess and endurance. If 
you begin to talk to those old men of their school days they will tell you of 
this Indian fellow-student who could shoot a robin on the wing with his bow 
and arrow, or who ran a race through Queen's Park and down University 
Avenue with a mounted English officer and reached Queen Street first. 

As he grew to manhood his friends' delight in his intellectual achieve- 
ments was as keen as it had been in his proofs of Indian skill, and when, 
after finishing his studies at Upper Canada College, he was appointed to the 
position of Interpreter, more than one Toronto fireside rejoiced, for he was 
as much beloved as he was admired. 

Francis Assikinack was an ideal Indian in appearance, tall, lithe, with 
jet black hair, aquiline nose, piercing eye and a mark of good family in 
either man or woman of Indian race small and beautifully shaped hands and 
feet. A descendant from an illustrious line of Indian chiefs who had left 
their mark on American and Canadian history, and belonging to an appar- 
ently fast disappearing race, it was small wonder that romance came early 
to the handsome and gifted young Indian. Shortly after he began his work 
as Interpreter he met a beautiful English girl of noble family to whom he 
soon became engaged. 

But before the time set for the marriage, Assikinack began to show 
signs of that disease which so often attacks those accustomed to the freedom 
of life in the wilds when subjected to the confinement of civilization. A 
doctor was called. He found the Indian suffering from decline, but feared 



the effect should he speak the truth. Assikinack, however, looked search ingly 
into his face "I see, my friend, I must die/' he said simply. 

He broke his engagement,, gave little gifts of remembrance to his friends, 
put his affairs in order all without apparent emotion. It was not until he 
was back on the Manitoulin Island that the real test of his power to endure 
his fate with stoicism came to him. 

It was a day in midsummer. Before his wigwam on the shore of the 
bay the Indian sat, gazing at the beauty of woods and water asleep in the 
noon sunshine. Here in the camping ground of his forefathers he had hoped 
to find the quiet peace he knew best prepared the soul for its long journey 
to the spirit land. Instead of that preparatory peace he had found only rest- 
lessness and bitter rebellion. For, since his return to the Island, a certain 
passion of his boyhood and manhood had been constantly in his mind, an 
ever present torment of never -to-be-fulfilled desire. 

He was recalling now the birth and growth of that passion. He remem- 
bered how his father, the great Blackbird, according to the custom of his 
nation had, in the days of his early youth, made him fast for the vision of 
his destiny, bringing him from time to time while he lay as one dead in his 
wigwam, only the sips of water necessary to sustain life. At last the vision 
had appeared. Out of the confusion and delirium of the dreams of his fast 
had gradually emerged the form of a fair girl. She came to him with song 
on her beautiful lips tales of glory, legends and traditions of the Algonquin 
people. The youth, listening eagerly, believed she foreshadowed the realiza- 
tion of his secret desires; for, from a child he had not only loved to listen to 
the valorous tales of his race, but he had longed to tell them to those who 
neither knew nor cared about them. After the vision the longing strengthened, 
and as he grew into manhood the hope was born that he might be the means 
of making his tribal history and traditions better known to his white brothers. 
This is the hope that had made his life in Toronto seem to him the beginning 
of the fulfilment of his prophetic dream, that made the learning of his les- 
sons, and especially of the difficult English, a constant delight. And now 
just when his words were beginning to gain the ear of the white man, fatal, 
quick-destroying disease suddenly claimed him for its own. All other sac- 
rifices love, friendship, delight in his work as Interpreter all had seemed 
easy to make in comparison with the sacrifice of this long-cherished dream. 
He knew that his people were fast disappearing, and he had believed that hn 
was to be the work of preserving to mankind the stery of the valour and 
beauty and poetry that had always echoed round the campfires of the Al- 
gonquin a. 

He recalled, bitterly enough, the defeat of his hopes. Certain w.>rds 
from one of his teachers at Upper Canada College came unbidden to his 
mind. As a boy rejoicing in his strength, he had often called himself much 
to the delight of his father, the valiant Blackbird "A Warrior of the Odah- 
wahs." Once, while at school in Toronto, in spirit of playfulness, he signed 
a composition "A Warrior of the Odahwahs." The English master had not 
laughed at him for using the name, but had asked him questions about the 
change of "Ottawa" to "Odahwah," and then had talked with him about the 
possibilitv of his still being a real warrior although not now with scalping 
knife and tomahawk a real warrior in the cause of brave, manly living. He 
had never forgotten his teacher's words, but to-day they came to him with a 
3 PA 


new and accusing meaning. Was he putting up to the end as brave and 
manly a fight as would that ideal "Warrior of the Odahwahs"? He asked 
himself the question, only to be met by an answer from which his soul shrank. 

The long hours passed, and at last the blue of sky and water turned to 
the opal tints of evening. In the woods above and behind the wigwam the 
shadows deepened and became full of mystery. Across the bay on the high 
shore the glow from the western sky touched the trees with reddish gold and 
made rocks and stones shine like burnished steel. The air suddenly fell uool 
and keen, bringing renewed strength to the slowly dying Indian. Assikin- 
ack's canoe was on the shore. He launched it and went far out over the 
darkening waters. Lying face downward in the bottom of the little craft he 
drifted for hours, wrestling the while against the demon of rebellion within 
him. How death and defeat mocked him. How life and its attendant suc- 
cess lured him. He cursed the fate that had made death and defeat his. 
Writhing in his agony as if in physical pain, he turned, and his eyes met the 
panorama above him. The glory of the over-arching heavens struck on his 
senses with a new and overpowering revelation of wonder and beauty. Here 
and there white pathways of light crossed the clear dark blue vault the 
Aurora and everywhere even shining through the pathways were the 
stars. It was night. As he gazed, their multitude, stretching on and on y 
star beyond star, into the furthermost fields of heaven, made him faint and 
dizzy. His canoe, rocking gently on the bosom of the water, was a mere 
speck under the arch of mysterious splendour. And he? How poor and 
mean seemed his whimpering soul amid the eternal vastness and power that 
encompassed it. Long he lay with his face upturned, drifting in the summer- 
night. To his imagination the white pathways became peopled with spirits. 
At times the radiance seemed to grow vocal, and he fancied he heard the tri- 
umphant shouts of victorious warriors victorious, not over human foes, but 
over sin and death. Sometimes he fancied he heard singing, and the voices 
told him of happy scenes amid which all earthly disappointments were for- 
gotten. Listening, he felt the peace of submission steal over him, only to be 
followed, again and again, by renewed rebellion and anguish of spirit, while 
at such times the pathways the ghost walks from the West seemed for a 
moment to be alive with those who taunted and gibed at him for his failure 
on earth, for his dying like a weak woman, without having accomplished his 
desire. But always the stars looked down upon him and gave him their mes- 
sage of obedience to a power not his or their own, a message that, in Assikin- 
ack's mind, blended with and became a part of his teacher's words. At last, 
under the stars Assikinack learned submission. When morning dawned the 
" Warrior of the Odahwahs " had fought his fight and had conquered. 

A few hours later Assikinack made his way very slowly through the 
woods to the Mission at Wikwemikong, there to ask of the holy father Ex- 
treme Unction. The latter wished to keep the Indian with him until the end, 
but Assikinack refused to stay. Leaving an assistant in charge, the priest 
returned with him to his wigwam. The following extracts from the priest's 
journal, translated from the French into English, are of interest. 

'Priest as I am/ the diary reads, 'Assikinack is daily teaching me les- 
sons of saintly patience. I have seen Indian fortitude before, but never have 
I seen it combined with so much reasonableness and sweetness qualities rare 
in the Indian character. 


'Surely Assikinack has in him the stuff out of which poets are made. 
To-day as he lay watching the sky he said, "How unfathomable and mysteri- 
ous is that wonderful canopy of blue above us. How wonderful are God's 
colours in sunlight or in shadow. It seems almost like mocking the Creator 
to try to reproduce them. Who can paint the softness of yonder cloud, or 
the ever-changing water with its crests of white, its paths of gold, its great 
patches of silver, its blues and greens and greys ? When I first learned of the 
white man's God, he seemed to my boyish mind a magician who, with wond- 
rous dyes, made beautiful the earth. And as I watched the greys of winter 
turn to the first faint blushing of the verdant hues of spring, or as I saw the 
autumnal colours touch the trees until they flamed in scarlet or shone in 
gold, I seemed to become, in my own desire for beauty, one with the God who 
so loved it that always and everywhere He places it for the delight and solace 
of mankind." After a while he added, "But I fear the eyes of most 
are sealed to the loveliness everywhere about them. I wish they might learn 
to look at earth and sky and see/' 

'To-day Assikinack spoke of the waning eloquence of his people: "I 
have often heard it said that my father, the Blackbird, was the last orator 
of the Ottawas. Yet there are many clever young men in our tribe to-da}: 
Is it because they do not go to the true teacher of eloquence that they do 
not learn its secret? I think it is, they forget that nature is the teacher. 
It was owing to their deep contemplation of her in their silent retreats in 
the days of their youth that the old Indian orators acquired the habit of 
carefully arranging their thoughts; when instead of shouting to drunken 
companions, they listened to the warblings of birds, whilst the grandeur and 
the beauties of the forests and the majestic beauties of the clouds which ap- 
pear like mountains of granite floating in the air, the golden tints of the 
summer evening sky, and all the changes of nature, which then possessed a 
mysterious significance, combined to furnish ample matter for reflection to 
the contemplative youth. 

* * * * * 

'All day Assikinack had been strangely restless, yet it hardly seems the 
restlessness of approaching death. Twice he has said to me, "There is trouble 
somewhere, there is a great battle going on. I feel it in the air." 

* * * * * 

'It is two weeks since I wrote the above. Since then I have had to 
be at Wikwemikong. On my return to Assikinack to-day I found him much 
weaker. A steamboat came to the village opposite the place where Assikinack 
has his wigwam at Bushwa, and I went over to see if I could get alleviating 
medicine for the sick man. From the captain I learned the most extra- 
ordinary thing. Two weeks ago to-day the very day when Assikinack 
insisted that a battle was going on somewhere a terrible conflict between 
the North and South in the war that is now going on took place at Antietam. 
When I told Assikinack his eyes flashed with martial spirit. After a while 
he said : " I hope the North will win. But after all, slavery needs be only 
of the body. The man who can gaze into the far sources and depths of the 
sky above him need never be a slave in spirit. God placed the wide heavens 
above the earth as a symbol of the freedom of our souls." 



' This morning Assikinack asked me to take him in the canoe to that 
part of the bay where, it is said, bottom has never been found. It is called 
" Waning," meaning hollow or cave, and this added to the Ottawa for God, 
" Manito," gives to the bay its peculiar name of " Manitowaning v " 1 took 
the poor fellow, fearful though I was that he could not live through the 
effort of getting in and out of the canoe. When I reached the place which 
he indicated, I stopped paddling. Assikinack listened attentively. " You 
hear no voices from below the water?" he asked me. When I assured him 
that I heard nothing but the gentle lap of the waves against the canoe 
he seemed relieved. " This bottomless part of the bay is the abode of evil 
spirits who cease not to tempt a human soul as long as there is hope of 
gaining it." "You are sure no voice comes?" I crossed myself and lis- 
tened. No voice could be heard. In this gifted Assikinack what a strange 
mixture we have of Indian superstition and Christian grace. 

' For the rest of the day Assikinack seemed strangely comforted. He 
was very weak, and lay on a blanket looking up at the flying clouds of the 
autumn sky. Often I held the crucifix before him and prayed. Fre- 
quently he turned his eyes to it but the only word he uttered was "victory." 
When twilight came he asked not to be moved. I covered his body with 
a blanket and tried to raise him in order that he might look on the emblem 
of our crucified Lord, but he kept his face turned toward the stars which 
shone clear in the cold November night. Suddenly a stream of dancing light 
shot up from the northern horizon. Then another and another. With a 
loud shout of joy Assikinack, raising himself, cried as in greeting 
" Manobozho's fires. The warrior of the Odahwahs has conquered." And 
fell back dead.' 

In the graveyard of the Jesuit Mission at Wikwemikong on the Grand 
Manitoulin Island may be seen the white cross which marks the resting 
place of Francis Assikinack., who still lives in the memory of a few men 
and women, now old, as one whose inherent gentleness and whose delight 
in the ways of peace and in the things of nature made his eelf-selected 
title " A Warrior of the Odahwahs " seem, to them, strangely inappropriate. 
Perhaps this little history of his fight and victory over the rebellion of 
his spirit against what, at first, seemed God's untimely call, will reconcile 
them to it. 



Collingwood Township is the north-east municipality of the County of 
Grey; its northerly limit is the south shore of the Georgian Bay and it 
adjoins the County of Simcoe to the east. When first surveyed it was 
called " Alta " from the great height of land within it known as the Blue 
Mountains, but Captain Moberly, a retired naval officer, when drawing 
his grant of land within the township, disliked the name " Alta " and 
persuaded the Governor, Sir John Colborne, to change it to Collingwood 
and the adjoining township called Zero to St. Vincent, after the two great 
naval heroes. 

Associated with this part of Grey County is the fertile fruit and 
farming district known as the Beaver Valley, along the line of the Beaver 
River whose southerly branch comes through Flesherton, and five miles north- 
ward unites with the main stream below Eugenia Falls. This branch takes 
its rise near Rob Roy in Osprey Township, flows through Feversham, supply- 
ing power for mills at that point, and six miles west at Eugenia drops 
four hundred feet into the Beaver Valley, thence flowing on a course north 
and east through the villages of Kimberley, Heathcote, Clarksburg and 
Thornbury, it empties into the Georgian Bay. The business places of 
Clarksburg and Thornbury are the gateways to the valley from the northern 
end. It has a natural roadway, with little or no grade, extending twenty- 
five miles southerly to Flesherton. The County Council are now building 
a permanent road that will be the recognized highway connecting the 
southern part of the county with the Georgian Bay, and giving the citizens 
of the northern district easy access to the country lying south without 
going over the mountain roads, and an alternative road to reach Owen 
Sound and the West. The Hydro-Electric Commissioners have at present 
an artificial lake of twenty-five hundred acres and power house at Eugenia, 
supplying light and power along the line from Collingwood to Owen Sound. 

The first historic reference to the land that now constitutes the County 
of Grey that I have been able to find is in February, 1616, when Champlain, 
after reaching; the Georgian Bay by way of the Ottawa and French Rivers, 
spent the winter among the Hurons near Penetanguishene and visited an 
Indian village located in a valley of the Blue Mountains. 

. The next (and it is traditional history) is during the war of 1812, 
when a force of British with a small gunboat were located at the mouth 
of the Nottawasaga River. A young army surgeon with others skirted 
the south shore of the Georgian Bay in canoes and were much impressed 
with the natural beauty of the lake shores at the foot of the Blue Mountains, 
nine miles west of what is now Collingwood, where they also discovered 
a mineral spring at the point, whose waters are very similar to the cele- 



brated Harrowgate waters of England. The location possessed a small har- 
bour with an excellent bathing beach. Dr. Wm. Eees later became possessed 
of this property^ erected a substantial building and established a sanatorium, 
which he named " Delphi," but did not live long afterward, being at that 
time an old man. The original sanatorium was destroyed by fire^ after the 
death of Dr. Eees, in about the year 1880, but it was rebuilt by the late 
Thomas Fields for a summer resort and was recently purchased by the 
Dominion Council of the Young Women's Christian Association as one 
of their summer camps. 

In the year 1833, Charles Rankin was employed by the Government 
to survey the wild land west of Simcoe County. He at once procured sup- 
plies and moved his family (temporarily) to Lora Bay, a pretty spot a 
couple of miles west of Thornbury, and he thus became the first settler 
in the township. An incident of the survey is worth preserving. Chief 
Wahbatick, of the Ojibways at Cape Croker, called upon Mr. Rankin and 
ordered the surveying party to desist and leave " his land." Mr. Rankin 
reasoned with him, showing him that the Government did not profess to 
claim the land further west than Vail's Point, but that up to that headland 
they had bought out the Indian rights. Wahbatick had probably never 
consented to the transfer, as, in after years, when no longer considered as a 
chief, he dissented from the surrender of the Saugeen Peninsula to Lord 
Bury. Be this as it may, he threatened the party, but having implicit 
faith in his " Great Father " at York, Sir John Colborne, the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Upper Canada, he would first try peaceful terms. He departed, 
and within the short space of about ten days reappeared having been by 
canoe and on foot to York (Toronto) in the meantime. The clerks at 
the Crown Land Office had imposed on the fiery chief and had given him 
a paper which they asserted would cause all unauthorized trespassers to 
decamp, and thus got rid of him. The paper was but a printed handbill, 
" Lands for Sale," and this he carried carefully folded in his bosom all 
the way from York. He " served it " upon Mr. Rankin with all due cere- 
mony, but seeing no immediate effect, grew confidential and admitting he 
was " buckatae " (hungry) got something to eat and drink, and made peace 
with the party. It is largely to an article by Richard Carroll that I am 
indebted for being able to present many details of the early history of this 
part of Grey.* 

In the same year (1833), Richard Maguire .... located on the base 
line near Lora Bay and began clearing a farm. A man named Brazan 
(Brazier?) shortly afterward settled at Craigleith and was Maguire's nearest 
neighbour to the east, ten miles away. The nearest mill was at Holland 
Landing over eighty miles distant .... In 1839 a man named Grady 
settled on a lot north-east of Maguire's, made a small clearing, but did 
not live long to enjoy it .... His was the first death, as far as known, 
in the Township of Collingwood . . .-"'. Charles Maguire was born at the 
old homestead in the winter of 1837, and was the first white child born 
in the township. He became an industrious farmer, owned a splendid farm, 

*The reader is referred to the original article by Richard Carroll, in the Xmas 
number of the Standard Reflector (Thornbury and Clarksburg), 1901, for various 
items respecting the history of the locality, quoted by the author, and not 
reprinted here. 


part of the homestead of his father, only retired a few years ago, and is 
still alive and residing in Calgary with his children .... In 1846 Mr. 
Chas. Rankin sold his claim at Lora Bay to his uncle, Major Stuart, who 
wished to settle down in this part of the British Dominions .... In 1847 
Mr. Heman Hurlburt .... settled on the town line between Collingwood 
and St. Vincent, about three miles west of the Maguires. He took a deep 
interest in the spiritual as well as the temporal welfare of the early settlers. 
It was his custom .... early Sunday morning to start on foot for the 
Whitelaw settlement and another small settlement on the 9th line of St. 
Vincent, preach two sermons and return home the same night .... In 
the following year Mr. Richard Rorke settled near Heathcote (then called 
Williamstown) some six miles from the Maguire settlement .... He was 
the first school teacher in Heathcote and the first Clerk of Collingwood 
Township, which office he held for many years, giving the public a splendid 
service. His son, the late Major Joseph Rorke, was afterwards Reeve of 
Collingwood Township, Warden of the County of Grey, and member of 
the Ontario Legislature. Another son, Colonel Edward Rorke still survives. 

In 1848 Solomon D. Olmstead came to Collingwood Township. When 
surveying the Township Mr. Rankin left a block of nine hundred acres 
at the mouth of the Beaver River, where there was a splendid water power, 
for a town site, and Mr. Olmstead took up the water power claim at Thorn- 
bury .... The settlers were so pleased at the prospect of a mill that 
they turned out and built a house for Mr. Olmstead and in two weeks had 
him comfortably housed .... In 1851 Mr. Sol. Olmstead induced his 
brother, Rufus, to sell his farm in the old settlement and take a half share 
in the milling business, which he did, and brought with him the next 
spring a lad of sixteen years, named Richard Carroll who later became 
the principal builder in the district, as well as one of the leading citizens, 
and whose article on the early history of this part of Grey has been already 
referred to . "... At the entrance of the Beaver River west of the point 
of the Blue Mountains, where they arrived in due time, they met a com- 
pany of surveyors under direction of a Mr. Gifford, P.L.S., who were survey- 
ing the town plot afterwards called Thornbury. The next year a small 
store and post office was established by S. D. Olmstead. The mail came 
at that time once a week from Barrie by way of the Brock Road to Williams- 
town, Thornbury, Meaford and Owen Sound ..... In 1860, Collingwood 
Township produced one-half of all the fall wheat in the county .... In 
1856 a Mr. Donough opened a store on the east side of the river .... 

In 1858 Mr. W. J. Marsh purchased the business of Mr. Donough and 
induced Mr. Henry Lyne to open another store. Both these men were of a 
high type and came from the County of York, but Mr. Marsh was born 
in England. He founded the Village of Clarksburg, one mile inland among 
a number of splendid water powers on the Beaver River, bringing in W. A. 
Clark, after whom Clarksburg was named, who built a large woollen mill 
that was a leading industry of the locality until 1909 when it was destroyed 
by fire. Mr. John Tyson purchased a water privilege adjoining the woollen 
mill and erected a first class mill which has been refitted from time to time 
and to-day is one of the up-to-date mills of the county. 

The Thornbury mills .... after the death of Mr. T. Andrews a 
few years ago, were bought by the Town of Thornbury and leased to the 


Georgian Bay Milling Co., but unfortunately, like many frame mills, wore 
burned shortly afterward. 

The early settlers had the luxuries of fish and game that can only hi; 

found in limited numbers now. Wild pigeons, then plentiful, are now 

' extinct; speckled trout five pounds and under were plentiful. The late 

Chief Justice Falconbridge, who was an enthusiastic angler, spent some 

of his early days in the section when the country was new, and in con- 

| versa tion not long before his death he said that the Beaver River was one 

of the best trout streams that he had ever known, and that he knew every 

trout hole from the mouth of the river for five miles up. 

In 1862 the villages of Clarksburg and Thornbury united in purchas- 
ing a beautiful site for a cemetery which has been enlarged and beautified 
since then. The by-laws provided that all money received for sale of plots 
should be expended in improvements and that no dividends be paid to 
shareholders. It is to-day one of the best kept cemeteries in the county, 
and is a, monument to the wisdom and foresight of its founders. 

Collingwood Township has large deposits of oil producing shale at the 
foot of the Blue Mountains on_the shores of the Georgian Bay. As long 
ago as 1859 works were erected for obtaining illuminating and lubricating 
oils a building 100 feet long by 48 feet wide; 24 longitudinal cast iron 
retorts were set in two ranges and heated by means of wood, of which 25 
cords were said to have been required weekly. The shale broken into frag- 
ments was heated from two to three hours, from eight to ten charges being 
distilled daily and made to yield 250 gallons of crude oil corresponding 
to about three per cent, of the rock. By a further continuance of the 
heat a small portion more oil was obtained. The broken shale cost twenty 
cents per ton and the crude oil cost the producers fourteen cents per gallon. 
When rectified and deodorized there ,was about 50 per cent, waste, the 
remainder being heavy and suitable for lubricating purposes. The owners 
were in successful operation in 1860, but the discovery of petroleum in 
other parts rendered the works unprofitable and shortly afterward the build- 
ings were destroyed by fire. Since that date shale oil has been produced 
in other parts of the world at a profit and it is asserted that there are by- 
products in the distillation of the rock that will pay the cost of the oil. 
It was largely due to the enterprise of the late Colonel W. D. Pollard that 
the oil works were started. The retorts were cast in Good's foundry at 
Hamilton, and the fire bricks were imported from Wisconsin, and together 
with all machinery were brought to the site of the 'oil works near Craigleith 
by boats. 

The late Dr. G. W. Hurlburt, of Thornbury, was the first physician to 
commence practice in the locality. He was succeeded a few years later by 
Dr. R. H. Hunt, who was a gold and silver medallist at Toronto University, 
and who became known far and wide not only as a skilful physician but 
the personal friend of everybody. He died in 1894 after practising here for 
25 years. Both of the early physicians were men of skill and sympathy 
whose good works still live although they have passed out. Jerome Farewell 
established the first newspaper called the Union Standard in 1870, and Mr. 
T. H. Dyre, present Crown Attorney, was the first barrister. 

In 1855 Andrew G. Fleming, a Scotchman, with a family of eight 
children all gifted with abilities far beyond the average, settled at Craigleith. 


One SOD, Mr. Alexander Fleming, now over eighty years, and one daughter, 
Mrs. Jos. Goodchild, still survive. The late Sir Sandford Fleming, at one 
time Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and later Chancellor 
of Queen's University, was one of the sons. 

Among other early settlers were the Creelman family, of Scotch descent 
but coming here from the Maritime Provinces, a family of twelve children, 
brilliant men and women. Among the best known were Adam Creelman, 
K.C., Solicitor for the Canadian Pacific Railway and Dr. G. C. Creelman, 
President of the Ontario Agricultural College. 

The farms on the Blue Mountains of Collingwood Township were 
settled largely by Highland Scotchmen, while the ' hills on the west side 
of the Valley in Euphrasia Township were early occupied by men from 
Ireland who brought with them industry and thrift and occasionally some 
other characteristics from the Emerald Isle. 

The first reeve of Euphrasia was the late James Kerr, known to every- 
body as Squire Kerr. He was for a long time the principal Magistrate for 
the district and was called upon to settle disputes of all kinds usually dis- 
pensing justice tempered with mercy. James Patterson was also an early 
reeve of Euphrasia and held the position for some years. He was also 
Warden of Grey County- and an excellent citizen. Mr. Robt. Myles was 
later Chief Magistrate of Euphrasia for many years. 

The Beaver Valley, including parts of Collingwood and Euphrasia, has 

, long been known as an exceptionally good agricultural part, but also one 

1 of the leading fruit districts of Ontario. Peaches grown in Clarksburg 

were awarded first place at the World's Fair in Chicago, and in " Picturesque 

Canada" (Vol. II, p. 574) the Beaver Valley is referred to as possessing 

the finest climate and being the best peach-growing district in Canada. It 

has produced the best quality of peaches, and the Northern Spy apple is 

, grown here to perfection, but so far the peach trees are not sufficiently 

hardy to make orchards of this fruit (exclusively) a profitable investment. 

Apricots and the best quality of plums are, however, grown in abundance. 

Many of the early settlers were men of the highest type, the names 
of White, Shore, Parkinson, Irwin, Wright, Hewgill, Eaton, McDonald, 
Lougheed, Malcolm, Carscadden, Vickers, Cruickshanks, Reekie, Dinsmore. 
Milne, Spaul, Marsh, Foster, Walters and many others in addition to the 
public men already referred to having been indelibly stamped in the com- 
munity in which they lived. Although they have long since passed over 
to their reward it is the privilege of those who enjoy the fruits of their 
labour to measure up as far as possible to the high standards of citizenship 
of some of the men who hewed their homes out of the forests of Collingwood 
Township and vicinity. 

4 P.B. 



The Town of Meaford separated from the Township of St. Vincent 
on March 30, 1874. So Meaford is not an old town, and to give the early 
historical events we shall have to include the township. 

The Township of St. Vincent was surveyed by Deputy- Surveyor Chas. 
Rankin in the year 1833. The block of land for the town ^site of Meaford 
was afterwards surveyed in 1845 by the late W. Gibbard. Mr. Gibbard, 
it is said, deemed it fitting to name the principal village after his country 
seat, which was called Meaford. And the authorities named the principal 
streets after admirals and naval heroes, as follows: Trowbridge Street, 
Bayfield Street, Nelson Street, Collingwood Street, Parker Street, Cook 
Street, Sykes Street, Boucher Street and St. Vincent Street. 

Meaford did not grow very rapidly. In fact, it was nothing more than 
a wilderness up to 1848. George Chan tier, who is still a resident of the 
town, and who will be 94 years of age in October, 1920, landed in Meaford 
on April 30, 1844. For him and others milk and potatoes was the only 
diet, straw was used for bed and anything they could get served as a cover. 

Capt. Workman is said to have been the second settler. He received 
900 acres of land along the Georgian Bay from the Crown Lands Depart- 
ment. The deed was issued in 1856 and signed by Lieutenant-Governor 
Head. I mention the above because a part of this land is within the town 
limits and a large portion of it belongs to the late C. R. Sing's estate. 

Mr. Sing came to this vicinity in 1846, and in 1847 started a carding 
mill in the basement of Purdy's mill. Then he built a mill of his own, and 
George Chantler built a fulling mill for him, the first in this part of the 

The first postmaster in Meaford was Wm. Stephenson, and the post 
office was just north of the late W. F. C. Arlidge's residence. But it is 
said that the first post office was really at Workman's Point, and was 
moved later to Bayfield Street as described above. Mr. Stephenson's and 
his wife's remains are buried at the end of the lot, and the grave is still 
protected by a little board fence. Mr. Stephenson died about 1850. Then 
there was a race between the late Jesse Wright and the late D. L. Layton 
for the position of postmaster. 

In 1845 the wharf was started by Wm. Stephenson, the late postmaster. 
It is said that George Chantler's father had the first mill. 

The Corley family and the McFarlane family came to Meaford about 
1848. Wm. Carnahan and his family settled in St. Vincent the same year. 

In 1855 Alexander Milne came to Meaford. Mrs. Alexander Thompson 
was then about twelve years old. Her brother, Alexander Milne, was the 
first wharfinger. 

The Raymond family came in 1855. The late James Cleland came 
in 1856, carrying his outfit on his back. James Randle settled nere in 1863 
and Wm. Butchart in the same year, and J. S. Wilson in 1868. James 
Randle says that in 1863 the village contained less than 500 in population. 



A survey of Cape Rich for a town site was made by the late Wm. 
Gibbard, the plan of which is still in the office of the Town Clerk, Mr. 
G. C. Albery, and may be seen by anyone. However, as the plan provided 
no protection for boats, it was not considered. 

In 1863 Meaford's business places, as well as the post office, were on 
Bayfield Street, but building was commencing on Sykes Street. The Monitor 
of June 19, 1873 (Watt and McLaren, proprietors), gave an outline of the 
progress of Meaford since 1868, and mentions the names of those in business 
then located on Sykes Street. Among them are the names of the following 
deceased citizens and of business places: T. W. Stubbs; Peter Fuller; Mr. 
Soper, gunsmith; T. Bradford, hotelkeeper; Mr. Jordan, saddler; Dr. Hall; 
Mr. Blanchard, baker; Matthew Robinson; Hector McDonald, saddler; 
Samuel Carson's shoe shop. Mention is also made of the splendid block 
on the corner of Nelson Street, built by H. Chisholm and Co., and of the 
British Hotel, owned by John Lang; the two storey brick building owned 
by Peter Fuller, then occupied by the Molsons Bank; the Trout block; the 
Milne block; Thomas Punkett's block; James StovePs shop; the Monitor 
office built in 1867 by Mr. Pilgrem; Mr. Hurd's building; Joseph Bell & Co.'s 
drug store of two storeys and Mclntosh's surgery. 

The large addition to the Meaford Hotel was barely finished when the 
sad death of the late John Paul took place, his age being 69 years and 10 
months. His first hotel was the one built by the late Mr. Stephenson, post- 
master, and stood just to the north of the late Mr. Arlidge's residence, but 
was burned in a few weeks after it was completed. Mr. Paul then moved 
to Nelson Street, where after about three years, his property was also 
burned. The late Mr. Paul then purchased the hotel site now occupied 
by the Paul House. The late E. Sewell also built a two storey building 
with residence above. Other business houses were those of W. H. McCartee, 
W. H. Tait, A. Tait, Monk & Green's marble works; F. Livingstone's hotel, 
Law's factory on the site of the present Methodist Church, H. Helstrop's 
wagon shop and many others. 

Meaford was incorporated March 30th, 1874, and at once elected a 
council with the late Col. W. D. Pollard, barrister, as its first mayor. 
Lorenzo Londry, was a member of this council, as also was J. J. Johnston, 
who will be eighty-five years old next September. Other members were 
D. L. Layton, Thos. Harris, Frank Law, Elliot Thompson, Jas. Stewart, 
Reeve; Alexander Thompson, Deputy Reeve; also John Hill, Councillor. 

The above council at once set to work to improve the streets and side- 
walks, and the town was built up very fast. In 1882, however, the west 
side of Sykes Street was burned. But before the ashes were cold, building 
operations commenced, and the present fine brick buildings were the result 
of the fire. In 1883 the block on the east side of Sykes Street was also 
burned and the buildings now standing were erected. 

The late John Albery was appointed clerk of the town and the late 
C. R. Sing was reeve of the township, and some years later was elected 
mayor of the Town of Meaford. 

There is yet much to be told of the progress of the town, but I do not 
want to weary you. 

The extension of the G. T. R. from Collingwood and the improvement 
of the harbour and wharf are subjects which, perhaps, some one will take up 
and add with what I have left out. 



The terrible collapse of Russia, where many of the pernicious fallacies, 
loudly advocated in Canada, were put into practice with disastrous results 
has, when rightly interpreted, many needed lessons for us. The conditions 
in Russia are, however, different from those in Canada, and the genius 
and traditions of the Slav quite different from those of the Anglo-Celt, so 
that perhaps we can learn more readily the lessons we need from our own 
long history and varied experiences. 

Since the beginning of the present era of waste and extravagance I 
have often felt there is much to learn from the forgotten experience of 
our fathers with what was called the Municipal Loan Fund. The author 
of this disastrous scheme was Sir Francis Hincks, one of the outstanding 
public men of that day. He had in some respects genuine ability and, in 
matters which he understood, rendered considerable useful public service, 
but he was an idealist and a theorist without any practical grasp of the 
rigorous laws and unyielding facts of finance. He was patriotic and well- 
meaning, but his patriotism and good intentions did not save the country 
from the inevitable consequences of his scheme which those able to think 
clearly on matters of finance perceived from the beginning. He possessed 
in an eminent degree that fatal fluency of persuasive speech with which 
so many of our politicians are endowed, and swayed the people for whom 
he expressed, and probably felt, sincere devotion, with superficial catch- 
words and glittering generalities not founded on the stern realities of 
economic laws. The confidence he inspired only enabled him to do infinitely 
more mischief than would othei wise have been caused by his scheme, and 
did not protect the people from the losses and distress resultmg from dis- 
regard of sound business principles. 

The enterprise was inaugurated with great eclat on the 10th November, 
1852, by the statute known to lawyers as 16 Victoria, Cap. 22, which pro- 
vided credits for the municipalities of Upper Canada, now Ontario, on 
certain terms and conditions. 

The municipalities were to pass by-laws which were advocated by the 
demagogues of that day. 

Upon the passing of such a by-law as was provided for, the munici- 
pality borrowed the money specified from the Province which, in turn, 
borrowed from abroad. Those who warned the people that borrowed money 
would have to be repaid with interest were denounced as pessimists. By-laws 
were passed in many municipalities and those who shouted for lavish expen- 
ditures, for the time being, prevailed. It was not popular to point out that 
permanent prosperity could not be achieved by spending borrowed money. 
Indeed, as was said by an observant contemporary, no one in those days 



could be elected a poundkeeper in certain parts of this Province unless, to 
use his own picturesque language, "he shouted with both hands for the 
Loan Fund." 

The moneys were borrowed and spent but the day of inexorable reckon- 
ing duly arrived. Some municipalities could not, and some would not, 
pay the interest due the Province, but the Province had to pay the interest 
due its creditors and to raise the necessary funds by taxation. On the 1st 
January, 1873, less than twenty-one years after the scheme was started 
with a .great hurrah, there were arrears amounting to $12,628,657.05. We 
now talk in billions, but in those days debts amounting to over $12,000,000 
were serious. The municipalities where wise counsels prevailed, and which 
had not borrowed from the Fund, complained that they were compelled 
to pay heavy taxes to meet the interest on moneys in respect of which 
other municipalities were in default. 

Speaking on the subject in 1873, Sir Oliver Mowat (Mr. Oliver Mowat 
he then was) said : " The effect was to diminish the value of municipal 
securities generally, and to corrupt the moral sense of the people with 
reference to moral obligations." Sir Oliver Mowat did not overlook the 
material loss, but rightly regarded the moral loss as tremendously more vital. 

In several Ontario constituencies candidates appealed and, sad to relate, 
appealed successfully for support on the ground that they would defy the 
Government to collect the amount due in respect of such loans, and the 
disastrous habit was formed of repudiating just obligations. 

This habit persists and fundamentally is of the same nature as the act 
of the Germans in regarding the Treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of 
Belgium as a "scrap of paper/' 

The United States Constitution forbids legislation impairing the obliga- 
tion of a contract; but in Canada, apart from the power of Disallowance, 
the security against such vicious legislation depends largely on the " moral 
sense of trie people with reference to moral obligations." 

In dealing with this subject one of our ablest jurists made the sig- 
nificant remark that our Provincial Legislatures within the sphere of their 
jurisdiction "are bound by no law, human or divine." This constitutes 
an additional reason whv the statesmanlike and sagacious observation of 
Sir Oliver Mowat should be studied by the present generation. 

The injustice of making the thrifty and wisely guided municipalities 
pay for the default of those who had been misled by the demagogues of the 
day, was so keenly felt that the plan was devised of forgiving certain muni- 
cipalities which had borrowed more moderately, reducing the indebtedness 
of those which had borrowed heavily, and of voting $3,388,777.40 to be 
distributed among the other municipalities. The total net loss to what is 
now Ontario was over $13,000,000, though the taxpayers had been solemnly 
assured the Province would not lose a cent. 

Of the first class was the Town of Woodstock which .borrowed $100,000. 
The authoritative comment made about twenty years after in regard to 
Woodstock was "Its investment became an entire loss and the work in aid 
of which the stock was taken has been abandoned, and there is no probability 
it will ever be revived. The company is hopelessly insolvent and the whole 
undertaking has collapsed never to be revived." 

The Iocs was assumed by the Province and the debt of Woodstock 
cancelled by the Municipal Loan Fund- Act. 


In the second class was St. Catharines which borrowed more heavily. 
Only part of its indebtedness was cancelled and the municipality had to 
pay the balance of $160,571.52. The municipality loaned $166,000 of bor- 
rowed money to six local companies. In the official return it is stated as to 
four of these, " No revenue derived and stock worthless." As to ; the fifth, 
the record is, " Road sold by Sheriff in 1862." All these enterprises which 
ended in disaster had been only ten years before confidently commended to 
the electors by those who guided the destinies of the municipality and boasted 
of their devotion to the interests of "the people." 

Toronto was not affected by the prevailing madness of the time and 
did not borrow from the Municipal Loan Fund, and, in consequence, received 
a considerable sum ($165,984.08) in the final distribution. 

On inquiring as to the reason for this good fortune I find that in 1852 
Mr. John George Bowes, a successful wholesale merchant, was Mayor of 
Toronto. Indeed, for many years thereafter the municipal affairs of Toronto 
were directed by men of high reputation and large calibre who ea'ch had 
made a success of his own business. The list of the Mayors of Toronto 
during those years included John Beverly Robinson, George William Allan, 
William Henry Boulton, Oliver Mowat and William Barclay McMurrich, who 
each did his part in laying deep and true the foundations of Toronto's 
prosperity and greatness.* 

In Hamilton, the demagogues of the day won, though the borrowing 
was not from the Government but from British investors. In less than 
ten years Hamilton made default and could not pay the coupons which 
matured on 1st July, 1861. This, it will be observed, is less than ten 
years after the by-laws authorizing the expenditures were carried with 
great enthusiasm. 

The municipal authorities of Hamilton requested the Government of 
the Province of Canada, which then included what is now Quebec, to come 
to the rescue and to save the credit of the country. The interest was paid 
by the Government of the day. On the 6th March, 1893, the Dominion, 
as the successor of the late Province of Canada, filed a claim before the 
Board of Arbitrators appointed to deal with the accounts as between Ontario, 
Quebec and the Dominion arising out of Confederation; Ontario acknowl- 
edged liability for the amount which a few years later was paid by this 
Province, nearly half a century after the folly of the fifties. 

There were further defaults, judgments were recorded against the cor- 
poration, and in 1863 Hamilton was in the hands of the Sheriff. The 
levying of a rate to pay its creditors was delayed by the zealous City Clerk 
who took the books, assessment rolls, etc., to White Sulphur Springs (now 
Clifton Springs) in the State of New York, beyond the jurisdiction of the 
Canadian Courts. 

The time so secured was wisely utilized by the able City Solicitor, 
Mr. Burton, afterwards Mr. Justice Burton, who negotiated a compromise 
with its creditors afterwards embodied in " The City of Hamilton Debenture 
Act, 1864," 27-28 Vic., Chap. 72, assented to on 30th June, 1864. This 
Statute passed by the Parliament of the late Province of Canada recited a 

*Some comments on the fundamental principles involved and on the relation 
of the developments to Socialism and Bolshevism, and to British ideals of liberty 
and justice, are omitted. 


Petition of Hamilton representing that the City had issued debentures for 
104,600 Sterling, and 91,470 Currency, in all nearly a million dollars for 
various objects " which from various causes have proved to be unremunera- 
tive;" also debentures for about another million dollars, for waterworks 
(substantially constructed under the direction of the late Mr. T. C. Keefer), 
and for " other local improvements from none of which is any adequate 
return at present received." The Petition of Hamilton stated that there 
were " considerable arrears of interest," " judgments," " much litigation," 
and that "the finances of the Corporation have consequently become 

The Statute authorized debentures payable in 30 years (1894) at a 
reduced rate of interest (gradually, however, to be increased) which the 
creditors, or at least a majority of them, were willing to accept. 

By the City of Hamilton 'Debenture Act of 1893, 56 Vic., Cap. 65, 
the City of Hamilton was authorized to renew some of these debentures 
for a further period of 40 years, i.e., until April, 1934. 

An elaborate report on the Municipal Loan Fund prepared by the Hon. 
E. B. Wood, was presented to the Ontario Legislature and printed as Ses- 
sional Paper No. 8 of 35 Vic., 1871-2, and the details of the scheme by 
which the Fund was wound up appeared in the Sessional Papers of 1874, 
No. 13. Both of these historic Sessional Papers are worthy of careful study 
by all interested in, and especially by all responsible for trie financial affairs 
of Ontario municipalities. 

A few years after this closing of the matter, viz., in 1883, when the 
details were fresh in the minds of all, the results were described as follows : 
" Important sections of the Province were retarded in the march of improve- 
ment and property there was depreciated in value." 

It is 'to be borne in mind that before the disastrous Municipal Loan 
Fund was inaugurated, Upper Canada was making steady and indeed rapid 
progress. It was being settled by an energetic population, and, before the 
retardation above referred to, was making as satisfactory progress as, for 
instance, Ohio. The fact that some Ontario municipalities have now to pay 
about double the rate of taxation in such Ohio cities as Cleveland, is a 
serious handicap in the keen competition we must shortly face. 

Some of the lessons to be gathered from a consideration of the history 
of the Municipal Loan Fund are: 

(1) That moneys borrowed or guaranteed by municipalities as well 
as by individuals must be repaid, and with interest. 

(2) That permanent prosperity cannot be founded upon the extravagant 
expenditure of borrowed money. 

At the present moment expenditures of public money are popular, 
and professional politicians, who can bring great pressure to bear upon the 
authorities, are able, in the present state of the public mind, to secure more 
votes by advocating the expenditure and waste of public moneys than by 
advocating the saving thereof. For the time being, economy is unpopular, 
but, judging from the experience above referred to, this will not last many 
years, because the time for repayment of the moneys now being borrowed 
with interest is arriving with sure and steady foot. 

Many people are at present under a complete misapprehension as to 
the effect of such public debts and are acting under the delusion that they 


can throw the burden of taxation upon other people. They forget that all 
taxes must, with exceptions which are not really important, be paid hv* the 
producers and consumers. The producers, in order to continue to produce, 
must throw the burden of such taxation on the consumers who ultimately 
must certainly pay. Sound reasoning should convince everyone that the 
burden of taxation caused by the prevailing extravagance will be seriously 
increased and that such taxation will inevitably increase the present high 
cost of living. This, however, will certainly appear by experience, and it 
may safely be stated that in a very short time extravagant expenditures 
of public money will not be popular in this country. 

People have not yet sufficiently reflected on the fact that now, as in 
the days of the Municipal Loan Fund, as a v general rule (of course there 
are exceptions)- it costs a municipality or other public body from 30 to 60 
per cent, more than a private company to do the same amount of work. 
One of the reasons for this is that a glib talker can often secure the manage- 
ment of public business without much regard to his competency. 

An illuminating example of this occurred some years ago in Toronto. 
According to the opinion of an expert alienist, the speech of a candidate 
for the office of Mayor contained evidence of incipient insanity and the 
alienist predicted that the candidate would be in the asylum in so many 
months, and added that the speech containing the evidence of insanity 
would elect the candidate Mayor. The candidate was in an asylum within 
the time specified, and died there, but after the speech, animated by the 
undue optimism of incipient insanity, the voters elected him Mayor. The 
people of Toronto are still paying the penalty in the shape of burdensome 
taxation, and will continue to pay to the third and fourth generation. 

Generally, people pay little heed to a waste of from 30 to 60 per cent., 
but do express some temporary alarm when there appears a waste of public 
money of from 90 to 95 per cent, of the amount expended. It is well, 
therefore, to emphasize that, as in the case of the Municipal Loan Fund, 
the grievous burden caused by such waste is largely borne by the small 
property owners and by consumers in general. Very few benefit by the 
waste of public money; but whether they realize it or not, the mass of the 
people ultimately pay and then wonder why the cost of living is so high. 
The cost of living must, of necessity, become higher and higher until the 
prevailing waste and extravagance are replaced by thrift and economy,* 
the excessive exodus from the farm to the city checked, indeed, superseded 
by a considerable movement from the city to the farm, and production, 
especially of foodstuffs, greatly increased. Sooner or later the majority of 
the people will discover that the plans of the agitators to throw the heavy 
burden of taxation on others are futile. We shall all, sooner or later, if 
not by logic, then by stern experience, learn that if we sow the wind we 
shall reap the whirlwind. 

In the case of a private company the consequences of waste and ex- 
travagance speedily manifest themselves, and if competent management is 
not provided, insolvency ensues. There is no patient taxpayer to make 
good any deficits that may result from lack of foresight or energy, or from 
disregard of business principles. But economic laws are as inexorable as the 
laws of chemistry, and, after all, no more in public than in private matters 

*This was written in May, 1919. 


can people escape the consequences of their acts, and that is the real lesson 
of the Municipal Loan Fund. 

Far-sighted men perceived the results of what was proposed, and warned 
the people. In the course of years what they said was proved true. Similar 
warnings now go unheeded; the exhortations of the Minister of Finance 
to " work and save," and similar warnings by his predecessor, Mr. Fielding, 
are by many (perhaps at present by the overwhelming majority) treated 
with unconcealed derision. We profit less than we should from the lessons 
of history, but we of this generation will again learn for ourselves that the 
consequences of waste and extravagance can by no devices be avoided. 



The extraordinary fiasco of Mackenzie's Rebellion in 1837 had unhappy 
results for many real lovers of their country: some misguided persons lost 
their lives, many were exiled, many lost their lands, and not a few were 
in deadly peril of death or exile, but fortunately escaped the worst. 

It is of some of these last that this paper is intended specially to deal. 

Mackenzie's attempt to take possession of Toronto occurred early in 
December, 1837, 1 and rumours of his operations ran like wildfire through- 
out the Province. 

In the Township of Eramosa a meeting was called of the inhabitants 
at the Central Schoolhouse about seven miles from Guelph to consider 
what was to be done. The meeting, held on December 7, was attended 
by some sixty or seventy persons of all politics. James Benham was called 
to the chair a man of high standing in the community and one who desired 
reform in the Government; he appears to have called the meeting. James 
Peters was appointed secretary the Township Clerk and of equally high 
standing and like views. 2 Benham addressed the meeting and a paper was 
largely signed by those present. At once the story went abroad that some 
of those who had been at the meeting had there plotted armed insurrection 
and were about to carry out their treasonable scheme. 

Walter King, who had spoken at the meeting, laid an information against 
James Benham, James Peters and others before " Squire " John Inglis, a 
Justice of the Peace in Guelph. 3 Inglis was a warm supporter of the Govern- 
ment and took proceedings at once. Following the old practice of Fielding 
and other English magistrates he gathered some thirty men under arms to 
" break up the rebel nest in Eramosa." Before daybreak, December 14, 
1837, 4 a detachment under Indis arrested Peters and scarcely gave him 

lr The outbreak was arranged for Thursday. December 7, 1837; but Monday, 
December 4, the Rebels were advancing and Col. Moodie was killed. Tuesday 
morning was spent in parleying and that evening all was over. 

2 0f James Peters it is said that he was one of the very few in this most 
drunken Province who never used alcoholic beverages, even at "bees." An "active, 
energetic, consistent Congregationalist, a Deacon in the Church at Speedside from 
its formation, always in the front ranks of the progressive, liberal-minded 
citizens of his time." Guelph Weekly Mercury and Adveriser, Aug. 2, 1906. The 
late Dr. George Peters, of Toronto, was a grandson; and Dr. Janet Armstrong, 
of Cobourg, is a granddaughter. 

3 At that time, and for years thereafter, in the country places of this (Province 
the title "Squire" was given popularly to an active Justice of the Peace; the 
custom is not yet dead. They have not yet attained the title of "Judge." 

4 Ifames Peters, in an account in the (Juelph Weekly Mercury and Advertiser, 
Aug. 2, 1906, says he was arrested "before daylight one morning, that is on the 
13th of December, 1837"; but Benham in an almost contemporary statement says, 
"on the night of the 13th or the morning of the 14th December, 1837, John Inglis, 
Esquire, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace, with a body of armed men 
amounting to 30 or more entered our dwelling houses, with fixed bayonets and 
arrested James Benham," etc. 



time to dress. Next the cavalcade of two sleighs went to the residence 
nearby of James Parkinson, and after getting breakfast there arrested one 
of his sons of the same name. The elder Parkinson had been a staunch 
supporter of the Government, but that did not help his son. James Benham, 
John Butchart, Hiram Dowlan, Calvin Lyman and William Armstrong were 
arrested in the same way. They were taken to Guelph and four of them, 
Parkinson, Dowlan, Lyman and Armstrong, had a formal examination there 
before Inglis and were admitted to bail; 5 but those who were considered the 
ringleaders received no such courtesy; they were sent at once without exam- 
ination of any kind to Hamilton Gaol, and Benham, Peters and Butchart, 
after a long sleigh ride, arrived at Hamilton at 10 o'clock p.m. There they 
lay until the session in April, 1838, of the Commissioners under a Special 
Commission of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery for the Dis- 
trict of Gore. 

We are so fortunate as to have at Osgoode Hall the original notes made 
by the presiding judge. 

The Honourable James Buchanan Macaulay was the presiding Judge 
at this Special Assize; he had been a Puisne Justice of the Court of King's 
(Queen's) Bench since 1829 and was in 1849 to become Chief Justice of the 
Court of Common Pleas when it was formed in 1849, and Sir James and 
a Judge of the Court of Error and Appeal in 1857. He was a sound lawyer 
and a fair and impartial judge. When the Special Court of Oyer and 
Terminer and General Gaol Delivery for the District of Gore opened at 
Hamilton, Thursday, March 8, 1838, Mr. Justice Macaulay had as his 
associates, Hon. James Crooks, James Eacey and Richard Beasley, but these 
gentlemen had no real authority or voice in the proceedings. A Grand Jury 
was sworn, Mr. Kirby chosen as foreman; the Grand Jury was charged and 
the Petit Jury sent home until Friday, March 23. The Grand Jury began 
at once to find True Bills amongst them one against the seven men from 
Eramosa; while fifteen accused were released as nothing was found against 

The first of those accused of High Treason to come before a Petit Jury 
were the seven from Eramosa who on Tuesday, March 27, 1838, were placed 
at the Bar to be tried for their lives. 

The Crown Counsel was the new Solicitor-General, William Henry 
Draper; 6 of English birth and descent he had run away to sea when a lad 
and arrived in Canada in 1820, not yet twenty years old. Abandoning the 
sea he came to Port Hope and entered the Law Society: by diligence and 
natural ability he achieved his call in 1828. Almost at once he obtained 
a place in the office of the influential Attorney-General,, John Beverley 
Eobinson, and soon entered politics on the Tory or Government side. He 
was a very sound, if somewhat narrow and technical, lawyer; and he 

5 Peters in the Mercury article says, "after being bled, in the pocket of 
course" I assume he means paying costs of the Bail-bonds, etc. 

"He had succeeded Henry John Boulton as iSolicitor-General in March, 1837, 
when Boulton succeeded in the Attorney-Generalship Robert Sympson Jameson, 
who was made our first Vice-Chancellor. 


prosecuted these treason cases with vigour. With him there were no extenuat- 
ing circumstances; the accused was either guilty of treason, or he was not. 7 
The Solicitor-General was ably and strenuously assisted by Allan Napier 
MacNab a comparatively young practitioner; he was called in 1826; but an 
old soldier he had fought in 1812 and one who had done 'magnificent 
service to the Loyalist cause during the ill-timed, ill-considered, ill-fated 
rebellion. He had in January, 1838, been created the first Queen's Counsel 
for Upper Canada and was to live to be knighted and to become Prime 
Minister of the United Canadas. 

The men of Eramosa (and others) had engaged Miles O'Reilly, a young 
lawyer practising in Hamilton; he had been called in 1830 and had a high 
reputation for ability and eloquence 8 and they paid him a fee of " $10 each 
or $70 for the job.'' 9 

By the Statutes of 7 Will. Ill, c. 3, and 7 Anne, c. 21, the accused 
were entitled to receive ten days before arraignment a copy of the indict- 
ment, a list of the witnesses and of the jury summoned, and this they did; 
but not only the three who were in Hamilton Gaol but also the four who 
had come from Eramosa to answer according to their recognizance were 
compelled to stay in gaol until the day set for the trial. 

The tremendous indictment was read; 10 they were all charged with 
conspiring to subvert the Government, to levy war against the Queen and 
to put her to death, and such like wicked and traitorous compassings, imagin- 
ings and intentions; they were false traitors, etc., etc. Of course they 
pleaded not guilty. 

The evidence was very contradictory. William Campbell, of Eramosa, 
told of all the accused being present at the meeting and that Benham had 
spoken saying that Lower Canada was in possession of the rebels and that 
" we should keep in favour with the Lower Province and do the best we 
could for ourselves;" that the Reformers were in possession of Toronto, 
and such like. There is considerable insinuation but nothing that can be 
called evidence of treason in this testimony. Walter King was the next 
witness ; his evidence, if believed, was almost conclusive ; he said that Benham 
said that " Canada should throw off her allegiance to the British Crown ;" 
that the meeting was called because of the news that Mackenzie had taken 
Toronto and to assist Mackenzie in the insurrection, all but five or six 

7 In an article in the' Guelph Weekly Mercury and Advertiser, Aug. 2, 1906. 
James Peters says: "The late Sir Allan McNab and the Solicitor-General, after- 
wards Judge Draper, were Queen's Counsel, and if we did not get our necks 
stretched it was not their fault." 

Draper became Solicitor-General 1840, Puisne Justice of the Court of Queen's 
Bench 1847, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1856, Chief Justice 
of the Court of Queen's Bench and President of the Court of Error and Appeal 
in 1863; he died in 1877. 

'Miles O'Reilly, Q.C., succeeded William Leggo (of Leggo's Chancery Practice 
and Forms) as Master at Hamilton, 1872; this office he held until 1890; he was 
a Bencher, 1871-1875; he had a respectable practice when at the Bar. 

3 The language of Mr. Peters in the article mentioned in Note 7. 

10 A copy is set out in the article referred to; those interested will find a form 
in Chitty, Criminal Law, 2nd Edit., 1826, Vol. II, pp. 67-84. 


out of the hundred present being of that mind, etc. Kobert Grindell (or 
Grindle) followed, but his evidence was ambiguous; he did not swear as 
had been anticipated or as he had sworn in a deposition before Mr. Geoffrey 
Lynch. The whole case was weak, and Mr. O'Keilly moved for the discharge 
of the prisoners on the ground that there was no evidence of a conspiracy to 
levy war against the Queen, etc., as charged; but Mr. Justice Macauley ruled 
that there was some evidence to go to the jury and the defence proceeded. 11 

O'Reilly followed the modern practice and called his witnesses without 
opening to the jury. John Shaw swore that Benham did not advise to 
throw off allegiance or to join Mackenzie: that the whole object of the 
meeting was to protect the life and property of the settlers in Eramosa, 
mutual defence, and a meeting was arranged for a week later if Toronto 
was taken; they were to protect themselves from Mackenzie; there was no 
talk of rebellion. Joseph Parkinson testified to much the same effect, as did 
James Smith and George Sunley. 

The counsel for the prisoners addressed the jury, and MacNab replied ; 
then the Solicitor-General claimed the right to follow quite against our 
modern practice although good in strict law and had his claim allowed. 

The charge was impartial; the jury was told that if the prisoners at 
the meeting declared in favour of revolt, openly approved of the rebellion 
and pledged themselves to support it, they would come within the indict- 
ment, as it was of common notoriety that the object of such rebellion was 
to overthrow the Government by force; but that if what was meant or con- 
templated was self-preservation, mutual protection, reform properly so- 
called as distinguished from rebellion or revolt, the verdict should be for 
the prisoners. '' The jury retired and in just eight minutes returned into 
court with a verdict of not guilty." 12 

"In Mr. Peters' Statement in the Guelph Weekly Mercury and Advertiser, 
August 9, 1906, he says: "The evidence was so much in our favour that we told 
our Counsel we were willing to suibmit our casei to the jury without examining 
any of the eight witnesses we had on our behalf." If such were the case, Mr. 
O'Reilly did not risk that course because he called four witnesses. Mr. Peters 
is apparently under a misapprehension as to the responsibility for calling these 
witnesses, for he says: "The crafty Queen's Counsel (Draper and MacNab) would 
not consent to this arrangement probably expecting to get something out of our 
witness they could not get out of their own, but after examining three of them 
they gave it up for a bad job"; this is quite incorrect. 

12 The language of Mr. iPeters in the article mentioned in Note 11; he says: 
"After seeing the political complexion of the petit jury . . . our chance of an in> 
partial trial was very small." In the previous article he said that "the Grand 
Jury . . . nineteen in number, were all pure, thoroughbred Tories. . . . There 
were eighty petit jurors summoned, namely fifty-seven Tories to the backbone and 
twenty-three Reformers." 

The conviction of Lount and Matthews, in Toronto, in January, 1838, was 
believed by the time of the trial of the Eramosans to be about to be followed 
by their execution; and the country at large did not desire further convictions 
unless guilt were clearly proved. Moreover, Canadians, while tbitter enough 
partisans at election times, do not usually carry political feeling so far as to 
desire the shameful death of political opponents. 

Mr. Peters adds: "Six of the seven jailbirds are still (1866) living-Olear 
Grits yet. I do not think any of them has given a Tory vote since." 


Of the twenty-one others tried for high treason at this Assizes ten 
were acquitted and eleven convicted; 13 of the latter class, one died in gaol, 
one escaped and the statute of March 6, 1838, 1 Vic., c. 10, saved the life 
of one of the rest. , 

That statute provided that before arraignment every person charged 
with treason might petition for pardon; and, if pardoned, the effect would 
be the same as on an attainder; and the pardon might be on condition of 
transportation or banishment for life or for a term of years. In v all the 
other cases there were pardons either conditional or otherwise, so that 
no one was executed. 

I here subjoin copies of letters of the time, kindly furnished me by 
Dr. Janet M. Armstrong, of Cobourg, granddaughter of James Peters and 
of George Armstrong, brother of William Armstrong. I have also to thank 
Dr. Armstrong for copies of the Guelph Mercury and Advertiser to which 
I have referred. 

"Wednesday, March 28 Horatio Hills, Guilty. 

Willard Sherman, Not Guiilty 

Thursday, March 29 Stephen Smith, Guilty. 

Nathan Town, Guilty. 

Friday, March 30 Charles Walrath, Guilty. 

William Lyons, Not Guilty. 
Oliver Smith, Not Guilty. 

Saturday, March 31 Adam Yeigh, Not Guilty. 

George Rouse, Not Guilty. 
John Leonard Uline, Not 


Samuel Marlatt, Not Guilty, 
Isaac B,. Malcolm, Guilty. 
Finlay Malcolm, Not Guilty. 
Norman Malcolm, Not Guilty. 
Peter Malcolm, Guilty. 
Ephraim Cook, Guilty. 
Elias Snyder, Guilty. 

Monday, April 2 William Webb, Guilty. 

John Tufford, Guilty. 
John Hammill, Guilty. 

Tuesday, April 3 Solomon Lossing, J.P., Not 


Those found guilty were sentenced Wednesday, April 4, and the Ccxurt 

Horatio Hills died in gaol after his sentence had been commuted to banish- 
ment for life; Charles Walrath escaped from gaol; Stephen Smith was pardoned 
on giving security to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for three years; 
Isaac B. Malcolm is said to have petitioned under 1 Vic., c. 10, and received 
a pardon on the same terms; Nathan Town who was an unlicensed physician, 
Peter Malcolm, Elias Snyder, William Webb. John Tufford and John Hammill 
were treated in the same way as Stephen Smith; Ephraim Cook, a physician, 
was banished for life; he had received his license to practise only in April, 1831. 

See Lindsey's Life of William Lyon Mackenzie, Toronto, 1862, Vol. II. pp. 
391, 392, 393. There is an evident error on p. 392, as Nathan Town is said to 
have been acquitted; Lindsay's "Civil Court" means this Special Oyer and 
Terminer, and he frequently makes a mistake in the dates. 


Endorsed "Mrs. Hannah Peters, Eramosa." 

HAMILTON GAOL, Dec. 30th, 1837. 
Dear Wife & Children ; 

I send these few lines to inform you that I am in good health but 
troubled with a tickling Cough. I should be very glad to hear that you are 
all well and as much Reconciled to your present circumstances and separa- 
tion as myself. I expect you would like to know something of the situation 
of myself and my companions, who has been lodged in Malone's Hotel 
(this is the Jailor's name) and methinks the Dear Children are often 
wishing to know what kind of a place Father is in, and in order to satisfy 
their innocent curiosity Shall endeavour to give a short account of my 
present Residence, and the number of our Family, which at present amounts 
to 45 in this part of the House, containing two rooms each about as large 
as our shop, these are well lighted and ventilated and 12 feet between the 
floors. We have also a spacious Hall of 8 or 10 feet wide, by 26 long, the 
Hall door is made of good oak six inches thick, and the windows well 
secured with Iron grates, so we have no fear of thieves or Robbers, And to 
conclude this hasty sketch shall just mention that it is the best House 
in the Town. We expect ten of our number to remove into another part 
of the house tomorrow morning. The high Sheriff visits us every day 
when at home and has certainly shown us much kindness. He has been 
with us this evening and Intimated that it is probable that a special Com- 
mission will be appointed to examine into the nature of the charges said 
to be against us. We hope that this will be the case for we have no desire 
to see Toronto at her Majesty's expense; and if we must be under confine- 
ment we have no reason to expect better treatment at any other place and 
should we remove we are afraid that it will be much worse. I forgot to 
mention that there is a Respectable Phisian or Doctor who comes and offers 
his services which has been sometimes much needed. Our company consists 
of one ex-member of Parliament, three Doctors, and five that either is 
now or has been school masters. We have made some Bylaws which is 
calculated to promote health, comfort and cleanliness which you will see 
if there is room in this letter. I wish in this place to acknowledge Mr. 
Malone's kindness unto us and if ever it should be in my power I should 
be very ungrateful if I did not make some suitable return. 

Dec. 31. The Jailor has favored us last night with the Hamilton 
Gazette which contains the Speech of the Lieutenant Governor at the open- 
ing of the Provincial Parliament and also MacKenzie's Proclamation and 
as near as I can see without Spectacles the coming week is likely to be the 
most eventful one that has been known since 1812. And I must confess 
that there is a gloomv prospect for us as it Respects our examination ; for 
nothing can be done at present owing to the excitement which prevails at 
this eventful Period. I have heard your William is with you at present. 
If it true I want him to get 2 new straps for the Harness and unless the 
leather is very heavy they ought to be double and any business which is 
necessary to be done from home I want it to be done with the Mare. And 
if it should happen that I am detained here which is very likely at present 
I would like him to get John Kennedy or John McKerlie or any of the 
Neighbours to fetch Wheat or Barley to Dundas but as my note is not 


due to Charles until the 1st of February it is best to let the grain remain 
at home as long as possible hoping that things will be more settled ere 
that time arrives. However, 1 do not wish you to be governed altogether 
by my directions for I have been so long from home and you t have never 
favoured me with a letter so that I am ignorant of how you are getting 
on at home. You will exercise your own Judgment according to circum- 
stances. I hope all the children are industrious at least all that is able 
to work, and if they have any sympathy or love for their Father which 
I do not doubt in the least, I wish them to render implicit obedience to 
your commands; hopeing you will not abuse your Authority over them I 
shall now close this letter by wishing each of you a happy New Year. I 
received supplies yesterday from somewhere, least it seems to me they did 
not come from you. You need not send anything more until further 
directions as the mess received heavy supplies at the time. Give my best 
respects to your Father and Mother and all your Brothers and Sisters & 
Uncle Peter, to my Mother & to George & Mary Ann, to John, & my sisters. 
& except the same for yourself and all the children, from your Affectionate 

James Peters. 

It is my wish that you should be careful and not take any Bank notes 
unless W. Armstrong will take them at his own risk & have nothing to do 
with that note against Charles Crowther at present. If it is not done 
already get some straw to put on the Pits in the garden. 

Addressed on outside: "William Hewitt, Esq., Ouelph." 

ERAMOSA, July 10th, 1838. 
Dear Sir; 

In compliance with your request I have endeavoured to state some 
facts on the subject of our conversation. But have purposely left the Con- 
gratulatory address to Lord Durham to your superiour judgment well know- 
ing your abilities to compose it with a better grace and more formal 
manner than I am able to do, and have only to mention that no one enter- 
tains a higher opinion of His Lordships exalted character than myself. 
Should you find anything in this humble attempt to throw light on an 
unpleasant subject you are at liberty to cull it out. If there is nothing 
it is only my time lost. I regret that the busy time has prevented more 
attention to the composition of these hasty schetches requesting you to let 
me have these lines again at some convenient oppertunity, by BO doing you 
will much oblige. 

Yours respectfully, 


A statement of facts relative to the arrest of James Benham, Hiram 
Dowlan, John Butchart, Calvin Lyman, James Peters, William Armstrong, 
and James Parkinson. All inhabitants of the Township of Eramosa, in 
the District of Gore and Province of Upper Canada. And also short 
account of their Imprisonment and subsequent treatment previous to being 
brought to trial for High Treason, together with some facts respecting the 


manner which Jeffrey Lynch, one of her Majesty's Justices of the Peace, 
insulted and extracted money from the pockets of the People of 60 or 70 
of their Neighbours in the Township aforesaid (the exact amount which 
Jeffrey Lynched at that time I am not able to state being Boarding and 
Lodging at Her Majesty's expense in those days). 

On the Night of the 13th. or the Morning of the 14th. of December, 
1837, John Inglis, Esq., one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace, with 
a body of Armed Men amounting 30 or more, entered our dwelling Houses 
with fixed Bayonets and Arrested James Benham, Hiram Dowlan, Calvin 
Lymans, John Butchart, James Peters, William Armstrong and James 
Parkinson, and took them prisoners to Guelph where the said John Inglis, 
Esq., promised the Prisoners should have an examination. And he kept 
his promise with respect to William Armstrong, James Parkinson, Hiram 
Dowlan and Calvin Lyman, this formal examination took place before His 
Worship, in presence of Major Young, a leader of an Orange Lodge at 
Guelph, James Hodgert acting as Clerk on that occasion, said Hodgert 
also a leading Member of the same lodge, after some delay William Arm- 
strong, Hiram Dowlan, James Parkinson and Calvin Lymans were admitted 
to Bail and James Benham, John Butchart and James Peters were com- 
mitted to Gaol without any examination at all. And in my Humble opinion 
the said John Inglis and Co. Virtually suspended the Habeous Corpus 
Act in these Arbitrary proceedings 12 days before the House of Assembly 
met. Benham, Butchart and Peters were taken to Hamilton Gaol, and 
thrust into the Cells at midnight without either Bed or Blanket, one of the 
coldest nights ever experienced at that season of the year. They was kept 
in the Cells until 4 o'clock next day and then removed to the Debtors' 
Rooms, 3 weeks after James Peters was admitted to Bail in the sum of 
250 and two sureties in one hundred pounds each and James Benham and 
John Butchart were kept 4 Weeks longer although great exertions were 
made to get them out on Bail, thus it will be seen that James Benham 
and John Butchart were kept 7 weeks in prison & James Peters 3 also 
besides 2 weeks each after the Grand Jury found true Bills against them, 
these three men each was torn from his distracted Wife two of which were 
left with 9 children each and the other with 5 for an alledged crime of 
which an Intelligent Jury after eight minutes consultation a part of which 
time must have been taken up in choosing their Foreman, pronounced 
them not Guilty. 

I shall now proceed to mention one or two of the Causes that in my 
opinion has had a tendency to involve this Province in this deplorable 
situation, for if Lord Durham could get at the root of the evil, or find out 
the cause he would be better able to apply the remedy. It is well known 
though it was not susceptible of proof at the time, that undue influence 
was used by the Government to defeat the Eeformers when Governor Head 
dissolved the late House of Assembly because they refused to grant supplies. 
Sir Francis succeed in his scheme and got such a house as he wanted but 
in an evil hour this most Intelligent (he said) nay this almost Immaculate 
House passed a law to violate the British Constitution by holding their 
seats in case of the demise of the King and for anything we know these 
same Members may at the coming Session pass another Law for them to 
keep their seats during their invaluable lives for they had as much right 


by the Constitution to pass the latter as they had the former, and it does 
appear to me that this late attempt to overthrow one of the best features 
of our glorious Constitution has been the direct cause of sundry wicked 
Persons attempting to overturn it in another way, but mark the difference, 
those who were the first aggressors are loaded with fat offices while the 
others are stigmatized as a band of Eebels; it my opinion if the odious 
Law alluded to had not been passed Rebellion would not have raised its 
Hydra head in this Province for I am fully of opinion that this detestable 
act stands at the head of all our Grievances for by this and some other 
measures the Government party has done more to create disaffection and 
bring about a Revolution than all the Reformers put together previous to 
the passing the law alluded to. 

The Clergy Reserve Question is another stumbling block in the way of 
the present House of Assembly for the quibling underhand manner in which 
they have attempted to dispose of them will forever stand foremost amongst 
their sins of Commission. When the King and the Imperial Parliament 
granted these Reserves for the benefit of support of Protestant Clergy 
they do not so much even as hint that the Church of Rome is considered 
as having any claim to these valuable lands and their conduct in endeavour- 
ing to give a fifth part of them cannot be Justified nor excused. 

I have a few observations to make Respecting the Legislative Council 
but must be very brief having already extended my remarks to an unreason- 
able length, but so far as I am acquainted with the sentiments of all 
Constitutional Reformers a reformation of some kind must begin here for 
so long as it remains as at present constituted we have no reason to hope 
for a better state of things for the House of Assembly may be composed 
of the Best men in the Province and pass the most Judicious Laws, yet they 
have the power and have always had the disposition to reject everything 
that seems to confer any priviledges on the people. I have something 
to say Respecting a re'sponsible Executive Council but must defer it for 
want of Room. 




In June, 1884, at the meeting held at Adolphustown, to celebrate the 
centennial of the first settlement of Upper Canada by the "United Empire 
Loyalists, one of the speakers intimated that the celebration had been set 
on foot in order (to use the words of Dr. Ryerson) " to do at least a modicum 
of justice to the memory of a Canadian Ancestry whose heroic deeds and 
unswerving Christian patriotism form a patent of nobility, more to be valued 
by their descendants than the coronets of many a modern nobleman." Con- 
curring entirely in the truth of the tribute to those who may justly be 
called the forefathers of the great Province of Ontario, it is at once a 
pleasure and a privilege to be permitted to prepare a memoir of one among 
them who risked life and sacrificed property for loyalty to his king and 

It is impossible for us at this remote period of time to enter into 
the feelings and to appreciate the conduct and action of those who are 
known as United Empire Loyalists. It has been so much the habit to have 
the virtue of true patriotism accorded to the American revolutionists and 
to have the loyalists, under the name of Tories, depicted as men who were 
false to their country and cruel and cowardly in their actions, that many 
even of the descendants of the latter have not known the truth of the 
matter. For this state of things United States writers have been largely 
responsible, and the thanks of the Canadian people are justly due to the 
lamented late Reverend Dr. Egerton Ryerson, for having in his work entitled 
" The Loyalists of America and their Times " done justice to the loyalists 
and exposed the cruelty and injustice with which they were treated. 

Dr. Ryerson says : " From the beginning the Loyalists were deprived 
of the freedom of the press, freedom of assemblage, and under an espionage 
universal, sleepless, malignant, subjecting the Loyalists to every species of 
insult, to arrest and imprisonment at any moment, and to the sacrifice 
and confiscation of their property." 

And again : " The Americans inaugurated their Declaration of Inde- 
pendence by enacting that all adherents to connection with the mother 
country were rebels and traitors; they followed the recognition of Inde- 
pendence by England by exiling such adherents from their territories. But 
while this wretched policy depleted the United States of some of their 
best blood, it laid the foundation of the settlement and institutions of the 
then almost unknown and wilderness provinces which have since become 
the widespread, free and prosperous Dominion of Canada." 

Joel Stone was born in the Town of Guilford in the County of New 
Haven, and (then), Province of Connecticut, on the 7th day of August, 



1749. A number of the original settlers of Guilford canle from England 
in a ship which sailed from London on the 20th May, 1639, and arrived 
at New Haven about the 1st July in that year. During the voyage a 
covenant was entered into which may well be transcribed to these pages : 

" June 1st, 1639, WE, whose names are hereunder written intending 
by God's gracious permission to plant ourselves in New England, and, if it 
may be, in the southern part of Quinpyack, we do faithfully promise each 
to, each for ourselves and our families and those belonging to us that wt- 
will, the Lord assisting us, sit down and join ourselves together in one 
entire plantation and be helpful each to the other in any common walk 
according to every man's ability and as need shall require and we promise 
not to desert each other on the plantation but with the consent of the rest 
or the greater part of the company who have entered into this engagement. 
As to the gathering ourselves together in a Church and the choice of officers 
and members to be joined together in that way we do refer ourselves until 
such time as it shall please God to settle us in our plantation. 

" In witness Whereof we subscribe our hands this 1st day of June, 1639. 

" Robert Kitchell, Francis Bushnell, William Lute, John Jordan, John 
Hoadly, Richard Guthridge, William Parmaley, John Mephon, Abm, 
Cruttenden, William Halle, Henry Kingsworth, Thomas Cooke, John Bishop, 
Brother of Lt. Governor Bishop of New Haven, William Crittenden, Thomas 
Jones, (Wm. & Jno. Stone, Brothers), William Plane, Jno. Housegrove, 
William Dudley, Thomas Norton, Francis Chatfield, Thomas Naish, Henry 
Dowde, Rev'd. Henry Whitfield. 

" Of their arrival in Connecticut, of a meeting which was held by the 
people of New Haven for prayer and thanksgiving for their safe arrival," 
an account was given in a letter from the Rev. M. Davenport, of New 
Haven, to Lady Vere, Countess of Oxford. 

William Stone, one of the two brothers above named who signed the 
covenant, died 16th November, 1683. His son William died on the 20th 
March, 1712, leaving a son Stephen, who was born on the 1st March, 1690, 
and married on the 9th December, 1711, Elizabeth Leeming, a daughter 
of one Christopher Leeming who came to East or South Hampton, Long 
Island, about 1640. Stephen Stone died 24th December, 1753. His son 
Stephen was born at Guilford. 13th August, 1721, and married for his 
first wife Rebecca Bishop, daughter of Stephen Bishop, and a descendant 
of the