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The Scot in British North America
Chapter I The War of 1812


Marquess of Lorne, Governor-General of Canada and son-in-law to Queen VictoriaBefore proceeding to describe, with some fullness of detail, the conspicuous part taken by Scotsmen in civil government, it will be necessary to devote at least a chapter to struggle between Canada and the United States, during the three years from 1812 to 1815. Numerous accounts of the war have been written on both sides of the boundary line, setting forth, with more or less fairness and accuracy, the events of that stirring time. Unfortunately the American histories are seldom or never completely trustworthy; on the other hand, Canada’s modest and truthful vindication of the loyal prowess of her sons, has not received the attention to which it is entitled. The same perverse bias, begotten of national jealousy, which prompted the apotheosis of Napoleon I. by Abbott, crops up, with rank luxuriance, when the events of the last war are dealt with. It is outside the purpose of this work to give a full account of that memorable conflict; still, for the sake of completeness, a succinct sketch, in outline, of the causes and progress of the war seems desirable. Special prominence will, of course, necessarily be given to Scots who had a conspicuous share in the events of the time. To all Canadians—including under that term as well those of French as of British origin, natives no less than home-born residents—the war left behind it a legacy rich in glorious and fragrant memories. There are happily still living among us some whose aged blood is even now stirred by reminiscences of that memorable episode in our national history. Certainly no people, so few in numbers, and so sparsely settled over a wide tract of wilderness, ever emerged more triumphantly from a struggle apparently hopeless at the outset. To the brave population of that day, the declaration of war must have come with almost the benumbing shock of a death-warrant. But if the omen of disaster and defeat obtruded itself, it passed away unregarded. Instead of shrinking before the grandiloquent periods of Hull, they rose, as one man, fired by British loyalty and pluck, resolved to o’er-master fate, and hurl the invader, dazed and reeling, from the land which was their own. [Brock’s words at the opening of the Legislature in July, 1812, must have inspired many a heart with courage: "We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and dispatch in our councils, and by vigour in our operations, we may teach the enemy this lesson, that a country defended by freemen, enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their king and constitution, can never be conquered." [Tupper: Life and Correspondence of Brock. London, 1845, p. 203. The Upper Canada Assembly at once issued a strong appeal to the yeomanry of the Province. Thompson: History of the late War. Niagara, 1832. p. 102 Auchinleck’s History, p. 46.] The patriotism of the people rose superior to the difficulties which lay in their path; and these were neither few nor insignificant. The population of the United States, according to the census of 1810, numbered nearly seven millions and a quarter; [American Almanac (1880), p. 18.] that of Lower Canada was 400,000, while in Upper Canada there were about 70,000. [Quebec Almanac for 1816, p. 188. Gourlay: Statistical Account of Upper Canada, vol. i. p. 139. The latter, in his General Summary (ibid. p. 16), reckons the Upper Canada population at 83,250 some years after the war. See also Surveyor-General Bouchette’s British Dominions in North America, vol. i. pp. 75 & 347. McMillen, however, states the lower Canadian population at only 220,000. History, p. 255.] To defend a frontier of 1,700 miles— of which 1,300 lie between Upper Canada and the United States-including the garrisons of Quebec and Kingston, there were only 4,500 regulars, of whom only 1,450 were quartered in the Upper Province. The militia numbered "about 2,000 in Lower Canada, and perhaps 1,800 in Upper Canada." [See Coffin: 1812: The War and its Moral, p. 35. James: Military Occurrences, p. 52. Christie: Lower Canada, vol. I p. 343.] In order to conquer this insignificant array, 100,000 militia were called out in the United States—a large proportion of them from States bordering on Canada. Besides these there were 5,500 regulars already trained and under arms. [Thompson (late of the Scots Greys): History. Niagara, 1832. p. 101.] Moreover, no substantial assistance was to be expected from the mother-country, whose entire resources in men and money were strained to the utmost in the most desperate struggle of modern times. England’s hour of conflict was America’s opportunity. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, the party led by Jefferson clamoured for intervention on behalf of the new-born Republic. Whilst he remained at the head of affairs, Washington and the Federal party strenuously opposed war with England; and yet so vehement was the popular feeling that "the father of his country" was denounced as a traitor and a spy, only less culpable than Benedict Arnold. In 1796, three years before Washington’s death, John Adams was elected to the Presidency, and faithfully adhered to the policy of his illustrious predecessor; but in 1800, and again in 1804, Jefferson reached the highest place in the state, and thenceforward the descent was rapid towards the abyss of war. It would be tedious to trace the various stages of this downward process. Throughout, the attitude of France was insolently aggressive in the highest degree; and yet every indignity was borne by the Washington government in a spirit of abject submission. Bonaparte had already crossed swords with the American Republic in a brief war; and the peace he concluded was perfidiously broken. [Coffin, p. 27.] He had engaged to maintain the international maxim, agreed to by the Baltic powers, according to which the flag was to cover the merchandize. Yet he contemptuously violated his obligations and preyed upon the American commercial marine, not casually, but on system. [In the Prince Regent’s speech (January, 1813), we find the following: "All these acts of violence on the part of France produced from the government of the United States only such complaints as end in acquiescence and submission." See Thompson, p. 13.] Nevertheless, the famous Berlin Decrees of 1806 were unresented in America. It was only when the British Order in Council appeared in reply to it, that the eagle’s feathers were ruffled and his beak and talons sharpened for the fray. The Milan Decree was dated the 21st November, 1806, and it was received without a murmur of expostulation on the other side of the Atlantic; but no sooner did the retaliatory Order-in-Council make its appearance than a lusty outcry was raised against Great Britain. Nor did Napoleon’s Milan Decree of December 11th arouse the indignation of America. Enmity against Britain and abject submission to France were, no doubt, to some extent the fruit of Revolutionary bitterness; but there was also a cool estimate of the profit to be made out of a rupture with the former country. The prize was Canada— the expulsion of Britain from the American Continent, and territorial aggrandizement for the Union. ["Everything in the United States was to be settled by a calculation of profit and loss. France had numerous allies; England scarcely any. France had no continuous territory; England had the Canadas ready to be invaded at a moment’s notice. France had no commerce; England had richly burdened merchantmen traversing every sea. England, therefore, it was against whom the death blows of America were to be leveled." – James’s Naval History, quoted in Tupper’s Life of Brock, p. 117. See also Auchinleck’s War of 1812, chaps. i, and ii.; Thompson, chaps. i to vii; McMullen’s History of Canada, pp. 250-253, and Dr. Ryerson’s Loyalties of America, vol. ii., chap. xivii. and xiviii.] The British claim to the right of search was not a new one, and had been exercised by most of the principal European nations. It appeared humiliating no doubt; still it was the usage of the time, and was not mentioned in 1814 in the Treaty of Ghent. [Lieut. Coffin points out in his work (p. 29), that the last assertion of the right of search was made by Commodore Wilkes in 1861, when he seized Messrs. Mason and Slidell, passengers in the West Indian Mail Steamer Trent, - an act for which he was rewarded by Congress. For the Treaty, see Auchinleck’s History, p. 404.] As for the Orders-in-Council, they were repealed before the declaration of war was known in England. [American Act declaring war singed June 18th, 1812; repeal of the Orders-on-Council, June 23rd, 1812; English declaration of war, October 13th, 1812 – Auchinleck, p. 43: Coffin, i. p. 33; Thompson, pp. 39-99; McMullen, p. 253.] The British Government naturally expected that Congress would at once revoke their warlike measures, so soon as intelligence of the withdrawal of the Orders reached America. Mr. Madison stated that had that conciliatory step been taken in time, war would not have been declared by the United States. He had before him, however, the conditional promise of withdrawal given on April 1st. Beside that, Great Britain did not proclaim hostilities until October, four months after Congress had taken the initiative. This hasty and ill-considered action of the Americans was perhaps, to a large extent, due to the fear that some such concession would be made in England. They wished, also, to surprise Canada, and capture the West Indian vessels then on their way homeward. The hostile tone in Congress, as displayed in violent speeches, like that of Henry Clay, exposed clearly, not only the animus of the war party, but also its aims. [Tupper’s Brock, p. 237. Mr. Clay called for the extinction of British power on the continent. He thought it absurd to suppose that they could not succeed. God had given them the power and the means, and they ought not to rest until they obtained possession of the Continent. "I wish," said he, "never to see a peace till we do." Two years and six months after Henry Clay signed an ignoble Treaty of Peace at Ghent, as one of the United States’ Commissioners, on December 24th, 1814.] Neither Mr. Madison nor the majority in Congress, however accurately represented the feelings of the sober-minded portion of the American people. Mr. Randolph denounced the war, as also did Mr. Sheffey, both from Virginia. So did the Assemblies of Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, &c. At a New York Convention, the delegates, in a series of resolutions, strongly deprecated the war, ["That we contemplate with abhorrence even the possibility of an alliance with the present Emperor of France, every action of whose life has demonstrated that the attainment, by any means, of universal empire, and the consequent extinction of every vestige of freedom, are the sole objects of his incessant, unbounded and remorseless ambition." – Auchinleck, p. 27; McMullen, p. 254.] and there can be little doubt that it was intensely unpopular amongst the manufacturing and commercial classes in the Eastern States. The electoral vote for President in 1812 shows very clearly the sectional character of the war-fever. Unfortunately no complete popular vote was recorded until 1824. [The candidates for the Presidency for 1812 were James Madison (second term) and De Witt Clinton, of New York. The vote stood 128 to 89; but Madison received all his support from the South, only Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont being in favour of him. For Clinton were recorded the votes of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland (half-vote), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. – American Almanac, 1880. p. 261. War was, of course, the prominent issue, and, like all subsequent conflicts waged by, or in, the United States, it was distinctly a slave-holder’s war.] This division in the camp of the enemy was a fortunate circumstance for Canada, considering her scanty population and military resources. The apathy, or avowed abhorrence of the war, in New England preserved the frontier from invasion over the vast expanse of territory from Halifax to Lake Champlain. The war began at midsummer, and yet no attempt was made to repeat, under more auspicious circumstances, the perilous march to Quebec, in 1775, up the valley of the Chaudière.

The preparations made in Canada to meet the impending shock were directed by the brave and vigorous Brock, who had arrived in Canada, as Colonel of the 49th Regiment, in 1802. From 1806, he was engaged in unremitting exertions to place the Province in a state of defence. In 1807, the first effort was put forth to enrol the loyal Highlanders; and shortly afterwards the men of Glengarry appear upon the scene in which they played so conspicuous and gallant a part. Writing to Mr. Windham (February 12th), Colonel Brock transmitted "for consideration the proposals of Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell, late of the Royal Canadian Volunteers, for raising a corps among the Scotch settlers in the County of Glengarry, Upper Canada." He strongly recommended the acceptance of the offer, and the Highlanders being all Catholics, proposed the Rev. Alexander Macdonell as Chaplain. ["His zeal and attachment to Government," he writes, "were strongly evinced whilst filling the office of Chaplain to the Glengarry Fencibles during the Rebellion in Ireland, and were generously acknowledged by His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief. His influence over the men is deservedly great, and I have every reason to think the corps, by his exertions, will soon be completed, and hereafter form a nursery from which the army might draw a number of hardy recruits." – Life and Correspondence, pp. 32-34. Colonel Macdonell, to whom reference will be made hereafter, became Brock’s A.D.C., and fell shortly after his chief at Queenston; the patriotic chaplain was subsequently Roman Catholic Bishop of Regiopolis (Kingston).] In 1811, Colonel Baynes writes to Brock of proposals made by "an officer of the King’s Regiment, a Captain George Macdonell," to form a corps. He is described as "a relation of the Glengarry priest of the name." In the first instance it was to be a small battalion, with Macdonell as major. [We shall hear of this brave Highlander again at Chateauguay. See Life of Brock, p. 111.]

War was declared, by the United States, on the 18th of June, 1812; but no intimation of the fact reached Canada until the 7th of July. General Brock, however, was on the alert; and, when the tidings reached him, had already made his preparations. A distinguished Scot, Major-General Aeneas Shaw, sprung of a fighting stock, deserves mention here. His father fought for the Stuart, at Culloden, [Genealogical Account of the Shaws, London: 1877, p. 97. At Culloden, said the Provost of Inverness, in 1745, "the brunt of the battle fell on the Clan Chattan," for out of the twenty-one officers of their regiment, eighteen were left dead on the field.] and the Clan Chattan (Shaw), has always had fighting men in the army and volunteers. The Major-General had served in the Revolutionary war as Captain of the Queen’s Rangers. (64th Foot). [Simcoe was Colonel during the Revolution, and has left a full account of the operations in his Military Journal. New York: 1844. Colonel Stephen Jarvis, of the Queen’s Rangers, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Simcoe, in describing several engagements with Washington’s army in August, 1777, says: "I was eye-witness to a very brave exploit performed by the Left Division of the Highland Company, under the command of Lieutenant, afterwards Major-General Aeneas Shaw. One of the field pieces, belonging to the Light Infantry, had got fast in a quagmire, and at last was abandoned by the Artillery attached to it. The rebels gave a shout, ‘Huzza! the cannon is our own,’ and advanced to take possession, when Lieutenant Shaw ordered his Division to the right-about, charged the enemy, and brought off the cannon, which was ever after attached to the Regiment." Colonel Shaw late of the 10th Royals, and Mr. S.M. Jarvis are our authorities in this sketch of the Shaws.] Rising to the rank of Major-General, he was afterwards appointed Adjutant-General and a member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada. He died of sheer fatigue, in 1813, leaving five sons—all officers in the army [It may be interesting to note how the military spirit has run in the veins of the Shaws. The Major-General’s eldest son, Alexander, was Captain in the 35th and 69th Foot, and fought in seven general engagements. His son, Captain Alexander Shaw, was an officer in the Incorporated Militia and Queen’s Rangers, in 1837-8. Alexander’s son, Geo. A. Shaw, was, until lately, Colonel of the 10th Royals.]—and four daughters.

Brock was at Fort George, when the first attack was made by the enemy. General A. P. Hull crossed the Detroit river, with 2,500 men, landed at Sandwich, and issued a grandiloquent proclamation. It may be remarked here, that no belligerent nation ever indulged so much in brag and bathos, followed by so slender performance, as the Americans during this war. Hull’s next move was a march upon Amherstburg, where a very small force of a few hundreds was posted. The first blood was drawn on the River Canard; and the earliest names of wounded officers are those of Scots—Captain Muir and Lieut. Sutherland. [These gallant officers belonged to the 41st Regiment.] They had been ordered to attack a village on the American side, and both were severely wounded,—Sutherland was borne off the field, having received a ball in the neck, which passed completely through it. Muir, although twice wounded, insisted on keeping his place in the field. [McMullen p. 260; Christie, ii. 27; Coffin, p. 42; Auchinleck, p. 57; Thompson (Scots Greys), p. 108; Major Richardson: Operation of the Right Division, &c.; Toronto, 1842, p. 19; Tupper: Life of Brock, p. 249.] At about the same time, the important post of Mackinac capitulated, the small British force owing its success largely to the valuable assistance of Scots belonging to the North-West Company. Hull, having found that his supplies and communications were in danger, re-crossed the river, renounced his schemes of Canadian conquest, and entrenched himself at Detroit. The indefatigable Brock had no sooner arrived at Sandwich than he summoned Hull to surrender. The demand was refused, though in a rather tame and unspirited way. The British commander’s demand was certainly a bold one, seeing that, whilst the enemy had nearly 3,000 men, fighting under shelter, Brock’s force did not exceed seven hundred. However, he probably had some idea of the man he had to deal with, and the event proved that his judgment was correct. With characteristic promptitude, our gallant general at once crossed the river, and Hull lost heart and head at once. Detroit, and the whole of Michigan territory, was surrendered, along with 2,500 men, 33 pieces of cannon, and colours, besides an immense quantity of stores. [Lieut.-Colonel John Macdonell, of the Glengarry Corps, and A.D.C. to Brock, negotiated for the surrender, with Major Glegg; but more of him hereafter.]

Meanwhile danger threatened Canada on the lower Niagara, where Major-General Van Rensselaer had, concentrated 5,200 men, besides 300 field and light artillery, with 800 more at Fort Niagara. Matters having been adjusted in the west, Brock hurried to the scene. The forces at his disposal consisted of detachments from the 41st and 49th regiments, a few companies of militia, and between 200 and 300 Indians. Nothing strikes one more than the great disparity between the American and British forces, whether on sea or land, throughout the war. It seems almost inexplicable, looking at the true record, instead of the false statistics of American historians, how those little bands of loyal and patriotic men could have stood their ground and repelled for three years a succession of attacks from superior numbers. The American general was not bombastic, in the way of proclamation, like Hull, at the outset, and Smyth, still more ridiculously, at a subsequent stage of the war. Still, Van Rensselaer fancied that the task before him was an easy one. "At all events," said Gen. Dearborn, with a confidence which all the American commanders shared, "we must calculate upon possessing Upper Canada before winter sets in." [Wilkinson’s Memoirs, quoted in Auchinleck, p. 101.] There certainly appeared some reason for anticipating such an event. From Black Rock to Fort Niagara the General in command could count upon no fewer than five thousand two hundred men, exclusive of three hundred artillery and the eight hundred of the 6th, 13th and 23rd regiments actually garrisoning Fort Niagara. On the other hand, the British force of only 1,500 men against over 6,000 was dispersed along the frontier from Fort Erie to Fort George, a distance of thirty-six miles. [These figures are taken from the General Order Book in MS. The headquarters of the four divisions were at Fort Erie, Chippawa, Queenston and Fort George. Auchinleck (p. 101) states the force at 1,200.]

On the morning of the 13th of October, in the gray dawn of a bleak and stormy day, the American troops began to embark for the Canadian shore. The dun and lowering sky was not as yet pierced by the beams of a rising sun when the alarm was sounded. A spy had mistakenly informed Van Rensselaer that Brock had departed hurriedly for Detroit, and the Americans deemed it advisable to attack the enemy in his absence. A small band of British soldiers were at the landing-place ready for the invaders, who rowed across the deep blue waters flecked with whitish foam—the relic of a fiercer struggle up the river. The Canadian ordnance consisted of but one gun on the shore and one on the heights. And yet the gallant defenders of the British soil would have beaten back the enemy, had not some of them discovered a path up the rocks, down which not a few were fated to descend with greater rapidity than they had clambered up. The heights were gained and the single gun captured. At that moment Brock and his aides appeared upon the scene, and his cheery cry, "Follow me, boys," nerved the hearts of his slender command. The odds were apparently against him, but the stout hearts of the General and his gallant following knew no fear. Their watchword was duty, and they were content to leave the rest to God. Brock fell too early in the struggle, where he was always ready to die—at his post. Like the conqueror of Quebec, the hero of Queenston was taken away in the prime of life. Wolfe was only in his thirty-fourth year when he expired on the plains of Abraham; Brock, exactly a week before his death, had but completed his forty-third year. The memories of both are enshrined in the hearts of all true Canadians—green and precious now as when they perished by an untimely death. In both instances victory crowned the dying heroes, but Wolfe’s task had been virtually accomplished; the brave and chivalrous Brock’s had only begun. [For an admirable account of the General’s life, the reader is referred to the biography by his nephew, F. Brock Tupper. London: 1845.]

The odds in this heroic struggle were heavily on the side of the invader. Thirteen hundred Americans were on the heights, and opposed to them were only two companies of the 49th and about two hundred York militia. To add to the difficulties of defence, Captain Wool with an American detachment, having mounted by the fisherman’s path, poured down fresh volleys of musketry upon the devoted band of loyalists. It was in charging up the hill, with the cry of, "Push on, brave York volunteers," that the gallant Brock met a soldier’s death. Not long after, another brave officer, of whom it is proper to speak at length, fell—a companion of his General in the tomb until this day. Lieut.-Col. Macdonell, the faithful and trusted aide-de-camp of Brock, had already seen service with his chief up the Detroit river, and he, with Captain Glegg, negotiated and signed the treaty of surrender by Hull. [In a letter to Sir George Prevost, published in the Gazette in London, Brock says speaking of Hull’s surrender, "In the attainment of this important point, gentlemen of the first character and influence showed an example exceedingly creditable to them, and I cannot on this occasion avoid mentioning the essential service I derived from John Macdonell, Esq., His Majesty’s Attorney-General, who, from the beginning of the war, has honoured me with his services as my Provincial aide-de-camp."] As the foremost Scot at Queenston, he deserves a somewhat extended notice. John Macdonell was born at Greenfield, Inverness, Scotland, in 1787, so that he was only twenty-five years of age when he met his death. His father, Alexander, emigrated to Glengarry, in Upper Canada, in 1790; and his mother, Janet, was the daughter of an aide-de-camp of Charles Stuart, and brother of Lieut.-Col. John Macdonell, of the Royal Canadian Volunteers, and Speaker of the Upper Canada Assembly in 1792. [The Macdonells were essentially a fighting clan. The grandfather of this John fought at Culloden, escaped to France, and became a colonel in the French service, being on the account excepted from the Indemnity Act of 1747. His son was made colonel of the 76th Macdonell Highlanders in 1777, having previously been a major in the Fraser Regiment. He died, after taking part in the American war, a colonel in the army and a brigadier-general in the Portuguese service.] The family was a large one. The Colonel’s brother, Hugh, died at the Scotch College of Valladolid in Spain. Duncan commanded a company at the taking of Ogdensburgh, and at Fort Carrington in 1813, and lived until 1865, having been Registrar for many years. Angus was a partner in the North-West Company and was murdered at Red River during the Selkirk troubles. Alexander was successively M.P.P. and Sheriff of the Ottawa District. Donald was also an M.P.P., Sheriff of the Eastern District, Colonel, and, in 1813-14, Assistant Quarter-Master General. The hero of Queenston was called to the bar in 1808, became Attorney-General in 1811, and, at the breaking out of the war, was appointed A.D.C. to General Brock. At Detroit, he received General Hull’s sword, and the gold medal commemorative of the surrender was transmitted to the family after his untimely death. Col. Macdonell, who had been stationed some few miles from Queenston, hastened to the scene. He had only two companies with him, but these men, exasperated at the death of their beloved General, rushed valiantly up the steep, bent on vengeance. In the course of the charge, the gallant Macdonell fell, having been wounded in four places. He lived for twenty hours, continually lamenting the death of his illustrious chief. ["His Provincial aide-de-camp, Lieut.-Macdonell, the Attorney-General of Upper Canada – a fine, promising young man – was mortally wounded soon after his chief, and died the next day at the early age of twenty-five years. Although one bullet passed through his body, and he was wounded in four places, yet he survived twenty hours, and during a period of excruciating agony, his thoughts and words were constantly occupied with lamentations for his deceased commander and friend. He died while gallantly charging up the hill with 190 men, chiefly of the York volunteers, by which assault the enemy was compelled to spike the eighteen-pounder in the battery there."-Tupper’s Brock, p. 322. See also, James’ Military Occurrences, i. 90, and the other histories in loco, previously cited.] It was fitting that this brave young Highlander should repose in death by the side of the hero he loved so well. Gallant and chivalrous in their lives, in death they were not divided. But for the loss of the Colonel [Earl Bathurst, writing to Sir Geo. Prevost, in December, 1812, speaking for the Prince Regent, observes: "His Royal Highness has been also pleased to express his regret at the loss which the Province must experience by the death of the Attorney-General, Mr Macdonell, whose zealous co-operation with Sir Isaac Brock will reflect lasting honour on his memory." Early in 1813, the Prince Regent again acknowledged the service of the Colonel; and in 1820, Frederick Duke of York, Commander-in-Chief, transmitted the Detroit medal to his family, "as a token of the respect which His Majesty entertains for the memory of that officer." In 1853, when the Brock Monument was again in process of erection at Queenston, the Administrator of the Government nominated Colonel Donald Macdonell to represent him at the re-interment. In the Militia General Order, "His Excellency has much pleasure in nominating for this duty the brother of the gallant officer who fell nobly by the side of the Major-General in the performance of his duty as Provincial Aide-de-camp." It may be stated that we are indebted to his relative, Mr. John A. Macdonell, of Toronto, for the information contained above.] there can be no question that the invaders would at once have been driven over the rocks, although they numbered at least four to one. As it was, help, unfortunately tardy, was at hand. The reinforcements came from Fort George, and although they amounted to three hundred and eighty, were but a handful as compared with the enemy; still they were strong and valiant enough to drive the enemy across the river. Of these fresh troops the names of Scottish origin occupy a prominent place. Lieut. McIntyre led the advance with the light company of the 41st Foot; then follow, of the militia, Capt.. James Crooks, Capt. McEwan (1st Lincoln), with Cameron and Chisholm, of the little Yorkers. General Sheaffe assumed the command, and after one volley the British bayonet was brought into requisition, and the Americans fled towards the Falls. Finding no succour at hand, many of them flung themselves over the rocks, others were observed attempting to swim across the river; but the rest, to the number of between eight and nine hundred, surrendered. [Van Rensselaer and several boat loads had gone over previously. It may be well to remark there that this unfortunate General was, perhaps, more sinned against than sinning. Personally, he was, unquestionably, a brave man, but he had not strategic ability. With at least 6,300 men between Fort Niagara and Black Rock, he should have done better, considering the well known weakness of the opposing force. Thompson, at that time Secretary of War, tried to depreciate Van Rensselaer’s personal bravery; but at Queenston he was wounded in four places. See a defence of the American General by his nephew and aide-de-camp, entitled Narrative of the Affair at Queenston in the War of 1812. New York: 1836. There is a great deal of curious information in this book.] It is not necessary here to refer to the transparent falsehood of the American chroniclers, who multiply their enemy’s army by five and divide their own by three. It may suffice to note that two of them introduce, as present, the entire 49th Regiment, whereas there were only two companies there.

It is now time to look at the part taken by some other Scots or Scotsmen’s sons in the war. No less than three gentlemen destined to be Chief Justices took up arms in defence of their country in the conflict of 1812-15, and of these, two were of Scottish blood. [The third, Sir John Beverley Robinson, was the son of a U.E. Loyalist, and of English extraction.] Sir James Buchanan Macaulay, C.B., was the son of James Macaulay, M.D., formerly of the 33rd Foot, and grandson of the Rev. Mr. Macaulay, of Glasgow, Scotland. He thus closely resembled in his pedigree the great English historian. His father emigrated to Canada, and was quartered with his regiment at Niagara, in 1792. There, in December of the following year, the future Chief Justice was born. Educated at Cornwall under another Scot, Dr. (afterwards Bishop) Strachan, he entered the 98th Regiment as ensign. When the war broke out, Macaulay longed to assist in the defence of his country, and joined, with that object, the redoubtable Glengarry Fencibles. He served at Ogdensburg, Oswego, Lundy’s Lane, and Fort Erie, always in the thick of the conflict. He was, nevertheless, fortunate in never having received a wound. After the war, Macaulay entered upon the profession of the law, and was called to the Bar in 1822. In 1829 he became a puisne Judge of the Queen’s Bench; in 1849 the first Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas; and in 1856 he was chosen as a Judge of the Court of Error and Appeal. A man of singular ability and of a most amiable disposition, he was a sincere friend to the student as well as to the barrister. The crowning work of his life was perfected when the statutes of the Province were satisfactorily consolidated; and he died in 1859, highly esteemed and deeply regretted. [He left three daughters, of whom one became the wife of B. Homer Dixon, Esq., K.N.L., of Homewood, Consul of the Netherlands. The above account is mainly taken from Morgan’s Celebrated Canadians, p. 468.]

A rare old fighting-stock—the McLean family—must now claim our attention, and here there is almost an embarras de richesses. [The information contained herein is entirely derived from manuscript notes kindly furnished by Miss McLean, Messrs. John McLean (Cornwall), Thos. A. McLean, Allan McLean Howard, and J. T. Pringle (Cornwall), and from a funeral sermon by the Rev. Dr. Barclay, published at Toronto, 1865.] The clan McLean, or Gillean, seems to have turned out as many sturdy fighters as any of the Highland septs, if not more. [See Keltie: Scottish Highlanders, ii. 223.] So far back as the grey dawn which intervened between legend and history, partaking largely of both, [Before us lies a genealogical table of the Clan Maclean, beginning with the founder of the race Gillean (A.D. 1176), and reaching down to the close of last century.] there was a Gillean to the fore, fighting in the reign of Alexander III. against the Norsemen at the battle of Largs. A Lachlan Mor McLean was bent upon exterminating the Macdonalds, and got the worst of it; his son, Hector, however, redressed the balance and expelled the other Macs, invading Isla, and ravaging it in primitive fashion. A younger brother was one of the Nova Scotia baronets—Sir Lachlan Maclean by name. The clan was devotedly loyal to the Stuarts throughout; they belonged to Mull, and were not likely to be infected with the constitutional theories of the far-away Southron. At Inverlochy and Inverkeithing they fought desperately on the side of Montrose and the Stuarts. At the battle of Killiecrankie, Sir John Maclean was on Dundee’s right; in 1715, the clan was again to the fore under Mar, and busy at Sheriffmuir. At Culloden, where the sun set upon the Stuart fortunes, five hundred of the clan fought for Charlie. It would lead us too far-afield to trace the various branches of the clan; and it is not necessary for the present purpose to distinguish them. Before referring, however, to the McLean who is of special interest in this immediate connection, it seems proper to refer to others who distinguished themselves on the field. Archibald McLean was descended from Hector Mhor McLean, Lord of Duart, and son of Hector of Mull. He was captain of a Loyalist corps, a troop of horse in the New York volunteers, and served under Lord Rawdon in the American Revolution. He especially distinguished himself at the battle of Eutaw Springs, in South Carolina, where he was severely wounded. Removing to New Brunswick after the war, he was for twenty-two years a member of the Legislature. In 1812 he was staff-adjutant of Militia in New Brunswick, and died in 1830. His son, Allan McLean, volunteered with his regiment to go to Canada during the troubles of 1837. [He was a cousin of the Gen. Allan McLean to be mentioned immediately, and uncle of General Thomas Allan McLean, well known as colonel of the 13th Hussars, also of Rev. John McLean Ballard. Allan McLean Howard, of Toronto, another nephew, is in possession of his sword, pistol-holsters and military accoutrements.] Major (now Colonel) McLean served with distinction during the Crimean War, and was in Canada with his regiment, the 13th Hussars. He will succeed to the Baronetcy as well as chieftainship of clan on the death of his father, Sir Fitzroy Grafton McLean. General Allan McLean, who defended Quebec, belongs to a branch eminently distinguished for its bravery. "It may be said of them," says our informant, "that they lived by the sword and died by the sword, for they all fell in battle, and there is not an individual remaining in the whole line, so far as I am aware of." Allan’s grand-daughter had, in addition, a cousin who was a General, and her husband was also a General. Another McLean (John) was in the Hudson Bay Company’s service, and published a work on the North-West. General Lachlan McLean owed his promotion to his good looks. Unlike most of his clan, he did little or no fighting. The Duke of York, Commander in Chief, had a weakness for handsome officers; the consequence was Lachlan’s rapid promotion as successively Lieutenant-Colonel, Brigadier-General, Major-General, and Lieutenant-General. At Quebec, as senior General, he secured the post of commandant of the garrison with its emoluments. The Hon. Neil McLean also hailed from Mull. Born in 1759, he entered the Royal Highland Emigrants as Ensign, and was subsequently gazetted a Lieutenant of the 84th. When that regiment was disbanded he remained on half-pay until 1796, when he was made Captain of the Royal Canadian Volunteers, serving at Montreal, Quebec, and York, taking part in the battle of Chrysler’s farm. He finally settled at St. Andrews, Stormont, marrying a Miss Macdonald (of the brave Glengarry stock), by whom he had three sons, John, Archibald, and Alexander. The eldest was for years Sheriff of Kingston; Alexander entered the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and saw considerable service in the war of 1812; and he subsequently enlisted in the Stormont Militia, being wounded at the capture of Ogdensburg. He was subsequently M.P.P. and Treasurer of Stormont and Glengarry. The second son is more widely known to the present generation. Archibald McLean (afterwards Chief-Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Error and Appeal) was born at St. Andrews, near Cornwall, in 1791. At the breaking out of the war of 1812, McLean was Second Lieutenant in the 1st or flank company of the York Volunteers, [The Volunteers were attached to the 3rd York Militia, and their officers were: 1st, Captain Duncan Cameron, Senior Lieut. William Jarvis, Junior, Archibald McLean, 3rd Lieut. George Ridout. This being the right flank, now called the Grenadier Company, the Light Company was officered by Captain Stephen Howard, with three Lieutenants – John Beverley Robinson, S.P. Jarvis, and Robert Stanton.] commanded by a Scot, Capt. Cameron. When Brock inspected the companies he asked for volunteers to accompany him to Amherstburg, and, to his surprise, all offered to go. It was impossible, however, to accept them all, and finally Heward, Jarvis, and Robinson (Sir John) were selected to command a portion of the force. Although it does not bear upon the immediate subject of this work, it may not be amiss to note an incident which shows the patriotic conduct of the "brave York Volunteers." Mr. Jarvis, of the Light Company, had been despatched after Gen. Brock in charge of a few Indians, with instructions to return, after accomplishing his mission. Jarvis had no notion of returning, however, and was temporarily attached to one of the companies. Lieut. McLean was stationed at Brown’s or Field’s Point, about midway between Queenston and Niagara. When the noise of artillery and the rattle of musketry was heard, McLean at once rushed to the scene of action. He was in charge of the solitary 18-pounder which was placed on the brink of the river. When the early dawn of morning disclosed the enemy, the gallant Lieutenant was anxious to get into the midst of the fray; and when the Americans had gained the heights by the "fisherman’s path," he could be restrained no longer. Flinging aside his heavy overcoat, McLean and his little following joined the York Volunteers. His captain (Duncan Cameron) was wounded by a spent ball in the elbow, and thus rendered helpless; McLean himself was severely wounded in the thigh. Then followed Macdonell’s gallant charge up the steep, and the surrender of the American forces. Macdonell fell close to McLean, and his first cry was to him, "Archie, help me." The reinforcements from Fort George had finished the business; but the victory was dearly purchased by the deaths of Brock and Macdonell. The ill-advised armistice concluded by Gen. Sheaffe terminatedthe campaign, and McLean returned to York, with a view of prosecuting his studies and the legal profession. Visiting his friends in eastern Ontario, he was commissioned to recruit a company in the battalion which his father, Neil McLean, was about to raise. So conspicuous was the Lieutenant’s gallantry, that Sir George Prevost offered him a commission in the line – a tempting offer in those days—but declined by McLean, who fought only for his native land. During his visit, Lieut. McLean came in contact with the good Bishop Macdonell; and the failure of means of transport and the deep snow accidentally brought him once more into the middle of the fray at Prescott and Ogdensburgh. The Bishop was on the ice in a great state of agitation, as the troops had been repulsed, and the whole north shore was exposed to the mercy of the American marauders. There were in the western division only a company of the Glengarry Fencibles and a remnant of the Glengarry Militia. McLean and his brother obtained arms from wounded men, and hurried in haste over the ice-clad river. They, however, arrived too late. The eastern division consisted of a company of the 8th or King’s Regiment, a detachment of the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, and a number of the Glengarry, Stormont and Dundas Militia. These were almost wholly Scots, or of Scottish extraction. They made a gallant assault upon the works, which were defended by an American force under Captain Forsyth (presumably of Scottish descent). The works were carried; but Lieut. McLean only reached the scene to find his younger brother, Alexander, severely wounded by a round-shot in the thigh. The stores, &c., were carried over on the ice to Prescott. In March, Lieut. McLean returned to York, with the intention of applying for call to the bar. At an interview with General Sheaffe he announced his intention of raising a company of incorporated Militia, as Captain Jarvis had done, but was induced to accept the Assistant Quartermaster-Generalship of Militia, and consequently was placed on the Staff. He continued in active service until the battle of Lundy’s Lane, where he had the misfortune to be taken prisoner, with a reconnoitring party, and, after suffering some hardships, was detained, on parole, until the close of the war. He was at York when it was captured by the Americans, and bore away the York Volunteers’ colours during the retreat. His after career is well known. Pursuing his legal course, he eventually became Chief-Justice of Ontario, and died President of the Court of Error and Appeal in 1865.

His wife came also of a distinguished Highland line. Her father, a Macpherson, and her grandfather a Cameron, were amongst the defenders of the Sault au Matelot, when Montgomery assaulted Quebec in 1775. Cameron had followed Prince Charlie under Lochiel in the ‘45, but escaped to France. On his return to Scotland with a brother of Lochiel, both were taken prisoners. The latter was executed—the last of the hangman’s victims. Cameron was offered a commission in the army, but preferred emigrating to Canada. After fighting bravely at Quebec, he refused any pay for his services, with the characteristic pride of a Highlandman. "I will help," he said, "to defend the country from our invader, but I will not take service under the House of Hanover." [Before leaving the McLeans, an incident connecting past with present – the old generation with the new – seems deserving of mention. On the 24th of May, 1855, Chief Justice McLean laid the corner-stone of the Sandwich Court-house, and was presented with a silver trowel by "a brither Scot," the contractor, Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, since Premier of the Dominion.]

Allan McNab was the father of Sir Allan, of Dundurn Castle, Hamilton. His family, like the Shaws and McLeans were soldiers by hereditary descent. Old Allan’s father belonged to the 42nd or Black Watch, was Royal Forester of Scotland, and owned a small property called Dundurn at the head of Loch Earn. The son was originally an officer in the 71st, but during the Revolutionary war, he served as a Lieutenant of cavalry in the Queen’s Rangers under General Simcoe. While thus employed he received no less than thirteen wounds. Following the fortunes of his General he repaired to Upper Canada, and subsequently with his son (afterwards Sir Allan, then so young as hardly to be able to carry a musket) took part in the war of 1812. Sir Allan Napier McNab was born at Niagara in 1798, and received his second name from the mother’s side, Captain Napier, his grandfather having been Commissioner of the port of Quebec. He was at York when the enemy captured the town, and followed General Sheaffe in the retreat to Kingston. Here he became a "middy" in Sir James Yeo’s squadron, and went to Sackett’s Harbour where Prevost made so notorious a failure. We next find him in the 100th Regiment under Colonel Murray on the Niagara frontier, with the advanced guard; he was foremost at the taking of Fort Niagara, and received an ensigncy in the 49th as a reward for his valour. At the burning of Black Rock and Buffalo, in retaliation for the wanton destruction of Niagara, he was present with General Riall’s command. When this campaign ended he joined his regiment at Montreal, and was again so unfortunate as to be a participant in that other fiasco of Sir George Prevost at Plattsburg. There again Sir Allan was of the advanced guard. Placed on half-pay some years after the war, he devoted himself to the study of the law and rose to the dignity of a silk-gown. His parliamentary career began in 1829, when he was returned for Wentworth,—a seat he occupied during three Parliaments. From that time until his retirement from the House in 1857, Sir Allan represented the City of Hamilton, and he was subsequently (in 1860) a member, and Speaker, of the Legislative Council. The political portion of his career will demand attention in a subsequent chapter, as also his connection with the burning of the Caroline in 1837. As leader of "the men of Gore" he always appeared ready to take up arms in the service of his country. A bluff, frank, honest old man, albeit gouty, he was, in spite of the irascibility produced by physical suffering, much beloved by the people of his district and although, by heredity and education, a strong Tory, never lost the respect of his Reform friends and neighbours. In 1859, during a brief residence in England, he failed to secure a seat for Brighton. [Morgan: Celebrated Canadians, p. 473. Dr. Ryerson: The Loyalists of America, ii. 202; and Simcoe: Military Journal, passim.]

The Hon. James Crooks (father of the Ontario Minister of Education) was one of the earliest settlers in Upper Canada. Born at Kilmarnock in 1778, he established himself at Niagara in 1794. [Three of the name are mentioned in Toronto of Old, all residents of Niagara – William, James and Matthew. The two first-named were in partnership as merchants. In the Gazette and Oracle of October 11th, 1797, appeared the following advertisement, which did not look strange at the time: "Wanted to purchase a Negro girl, from seven to twelve years of age, of good disposition. For further particulars apply to the subscribers, W. and J. Crooks, West Niagara. Scadding, p. 295.] As a merchant he sent the first load of wheat and flour from Upper Canada to Montreal [Celebrated Canadians, p. 315.] and established the first paper mill. Unlike Jack Cade’s victim, Lord Say, Mr. Crooks did not lose his head on account of the latter enterprise. [That portion of the rebel’s indictment against this Lordship must be familiar to the Shakespearian reader: "And whereas before, our fathers had no other books but the score and tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and contrary to the king, his crown and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill." 2 Henry VI. Act iv. Sc. vii.] During the war Mr. Crooks, and at least one of his brothers, distinguished themselves in the field at Queenston and elsewhere on the Niagara frontier. He was soon after elected to the Assembly, [In a debate on a measure to legalize marriages solemnized by Methodist clergymen, he is reported in the York Observer, (January 17th, 1822) to have said, "He thought it was necessary that this Bill should make valid marriage heretofore contracted, and he hoped to God it would take place." In the York Almanac and Royal Calendar for 1823, he appears as member for Halton, residing in Dundas.] and subsequently became a member of the Legislative Council. Throughout his public life he was regarded as a singularly upright man, and thoroughly independent. He died so late as 1860, in the 82nd year of his age, on the same property in West Flamboro’ where his son, the Minister of Education, first saw the light in 1827. In politics the Hon. James Crooks was a Conservative, and therefore came under the notice of Robert Gourlay, of whom hereafter.

The Hon. George Crookshank, in his later years, "the oldest resident of Toronto," was born in the City of New York, in 1773. His father, a native of the island of Hoy, Orkney, had emigrated to Shrewsbury, New Jersey, upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary war. He was a devoted loyalist, and emigrated, early in the troubled time, to New Brunswick. There his sister Catherine married the Hon. John McGill. Mr. Crookshank’s brother-in-law had already preceded him to Canada, and in 1796, he was induced to follow, by the offer of an important post in the Commissariat Department. The immediate cause of the migration of the Crookshanks and McGills, was the earnest desire of General Simcoe, when appointed to the Lieutenant-Governorship of Upper Canada, to have some of the old loyalists about him. Mr. Crookshank’s chief work was the building of military roads, and the transportation of cannon, &c., for the army. When the town of York was evacuated, he followed the forces to Kingston, and his house [The well-known homestead was on the east side of the intersection of Peter and Front streets. "Passing westward," says Dr. Scadding, "we had on the right the spacious home of Mr. Crookshank, a benevolent and excellent man, sometime Receiver-General of the Province." – Toronto of Old: p. 62.] became the head-quarters of the American General. He retired on half-pay, in 1820, when he also received a grant of three hundred acres of land, known afterwards as the Crookshank estate. The hon. gentleman died a member of the Legislative Council, of many years’ standing, on the 21st of July, 1859. He was a warm-hearted and energetic man, a worthy exemplar of the sterling loyalist virtues, and ended a long and eventful life, leaving no blot upon his escutcheon. In those days when systematized charity was unknown, Mr. Crookshank was eminently charitable upon a national and well-designed basis. As a churchman, his name is linked with the fortunes of St. James’ Cathedral, to the erection of which he largely contributed. After the Union of 1841, he does not appear to have taken any part in political life. The Provinces he had so earnestly laboured to build up had passed into a new phase of existence, and he could well afford to leave the work of progress to his juniors. Mr. Crookshank was pre-eminently a pioneer, and as the pioneer’s work was done, the evening of his days was passed in quiet retirement. His only son had gone before him, and his property fell to his only surviving child, a daughter, [His daughter married Mr. Stephen Heward, and to her kindness the writer is indebted for most of the information given above.] when he died on the 21st of July, 1859.

On the last day of the year 1834, as we learn from the Patriot, of January 20th, 1835, the Hon. John McGill died in Toronto, as little York was by that time called. Mr. Mackenzie’s paper, the Advocate, announced his decease, in these characteristic words: "Died—yesterday, the Hon. John McGill, and Old Pensioner in His Majesty’s Government." A correspondent of the Patriot, after rebuking the Radical editor, for his want of feeling, proceeds to give an account of the departed official. He was born in Auchland in Wigtonshire, Scotland, at the beginning of March, 1752. Thanks to the admirable parochial system of his native land, he was well educated, and piously brought up. His father apprenticed him to a merchant at Ayr, where he may have come in contact with Robert Burns. In 1773, his enterprising spirit led him to emigrate to the colonies, and he landed in Virginia, in October. When the storm of revolution broke over the land, Mr. McGill, firm in loyalty to king and country, sacrificed his mercantile prospects, and cast in his lot with what proved to be the losing cause. The rebels, although they loved liberty for themselves, were not over tolerant where the honest opinions of opponents were in question. Mr. McGill was one of those described as "unmanageable traitors," and with difficulty succeeded in making good his escape on Lord Dunmore’s fleet. In 1777, he was Lieutenant in the Loyal Virginians, and afterwards became Captain, under General Simcoe, in the Queen’s Rangers. [A full account of the exploits of the Queen’s Rangers will be found in Simcoe’s Military Journal, originally printed, for private circulation, at Exeter, and published at New York with a memoir, in 1844.] In 1779, the Colonel and others of the corps fell into an ambuscade, and into the hands of the rebels, by whom they were harshly treated. Mr. McGill offered to aid his superior officer’s escape, by taking his place in bed and remaining behind. But the plan failed owing to the breaking of a false key in the door-lock. In 1783, Mr. McGill, with other loyalists, made his way to St. John, New Brunswick, where he remained seven or eight years. During this time he married Miss Catharine Crookshank, a lady of singular benevolence and amiability of character, with whom he lived happily for over thirty years. [Mrs. McGill died on the 21st of September, 1819. An obituary notice of her, warmly eulogistic in tone, appeared in the Upper Canada Gazette of the 25th, a copy of which lies before us.] Another Miss Crookshank (Rachel) was the second wife of Dr. Macaulay, whose death is recorded in the York Observer of January 7th, 1822. By his first wife the doctor left a number of descendants well known in Toronto. [Dr. Macaulay was the father of Sir J.B. Macaulay. Mrs. Macaulay survived her husband for eighteen years, dying in 1840. The residence called Teraulay was on Yonge Street, about where the Church of the Holy Trinity now stands.]

In the winter of 1792, Mr. McGill, at the invitation of General Simcoe, removed to Upper Canada. The founder of Toronto was, throughout, a fast friend to him, and, at the peace of 1783, with other reduced officers, he repaired in company with his chief to New Brunswick. When Simcoe was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, he, at once, wrote for Crookshank and McGill, in 1791. The latter received the post of Commissary of Stores, &c.,—an office to which, as already noted, his brother-in-law succeeded on his arrival in 1796. The records show that General Simcoe reposed the utmost confidence in Colonel McGill. On the arrival of General Hunter—a brother of the celebrated physician, John, and a Scot,—there appeared to be a pressing necessity for a general supervisor of the Provincial finances. Mr. McGill, therefore, was named as Inspector-General of Accounts, with the munificent salary of £164 5s. currency; he did not accept the appointment, however, until 1801. [He was certainly no gainer, seeing that he was compelled, out of this paltry pittance, to pay a clerk 126 pounds, and furnish office, fire and candles, out of the balance.] His labours in the audit department appear to have been thorough and effective. For forty years, Mr. McGill appears to have laboured with conspicuous ability. He had been an Executive Councillor, early in his public life, having been appointed to succeed a brither Scot, Colonel Shaw in 1796; and in 1797, he was called to the Legislative Council, at the time of his death, being by far, the oldest member of that body. [The particulars in the text are taken from a tribute to the memory of Mr. McGill, by the Hon. Peter McGill, of whom mention will be made hereafter.]

In 1818, Sir Roger Sheaffe nominated him to the Receiver Generalship of the Province. When at the age of seventy, worn out by active service, with impaired sight, and partial paralysis of the right arm and hand, caused by unremitting labours at the desk, he asked leave, to retire, and received from the Lords of the Treasury a pension of £450 sterling per annum. [Scadding, pp. 286-7.] That he fully deserved this mark of appreciation, is evident from the highly eulogistic terms in which contemporaries spoke of his career. On his retirement, Lieutenant-Governor Gore wrote to him from London, thus: "Your long, honourable, and meritorious services, had I the power, should be better rewarded." As an instance of McGill’s probity, it may be mentioned that he over-credited the Government with £1,700, from a sensitive delicacy as to what he was legally entitled to as Receiver-General. It was decided in England, at the instance of the Chief Justice, that he ought to be re-imbursed; yet, strange to say, only one-half of it was actually received by him. Mr. McGill owned a large park-lot in what is now the heart of Toronto. His residence stood, until about ten years ago, on the plot now occupied by the Metropolitan Church, formerly known as McGill Square. His name is still preserved by McGill Street, further to the North. [Dr. Scadding (p. 260), notes a copy of an advertisement from the Upper Canada Gazette for 1793, in which is given some idea of the work of Mr. McGill’s first department: "Ten Guineas Reward is offered for the recovery of a Government grindstone, stolen from the King’s Wharf, between the 30th of April and the 6th inst. Signed, John McGill, Com. of Stores, &c. Queenstown, 16 May, 1793.] Mr. McGill died at the close of 1834, at the advanced age of eighty-two, leaving his property to his nephew Peter McCutcheon, who, in obedience to the testator’s injunction, assumed the name of McGill.

The Hon. James McGill, founder of McGill University, Montreal, was distinguished for his benevolence and public spirit. Born at Glasgow, in 1744 (Oct. 6th), he came to Canada at an early age, and became a merchant. Having amassed a large fortune, he thenceforth devoted himself to the advancement of his adopted country. He became a member of the House, and subsequently of the Legislative and Executive Councils of Lower Canada. During the war of 1812, so valuable were his services that he rose to the position of Brigadier-general. He was chiefly known, however, for his charity, and the warm interest he took in the cause of education. Towards the close of 1813, he died at the age of sixty-seven, leaving a monument behind more precious and enduring than marble. [Morgan, p. 316.] The Hon. Peter McGill, though properly belonging to a later period, and not connected with the war, but afterwards a Colonel of Militia, may be introduced here, in connection with his namesake. His father, John McCutcheon, belonged to Newton Stewart in Galloway, and his mother a McGill. He himself was born at Cree Bridge, Wigtonshire, in August, 1789, emigrated to Canada in 1809, and settled in Montreal. His family name was McCutcheon, but he afterwards changed it to McGill, at the request of the Hon. John McGill, of Toronto, whose heir he became. His firm, that of Peter McGill & Co., was well known throughout the Provinces. From June, 1834 until June, 1840, he was President of the Bank of Montreal, and in September of the latter year, died in that city. Like James, he was famed for his philanthropy, and occupied prominent positions in the commercial metropolis. He was a Governor of the McGill University, Director of the Grand Trunk Railway, Governor of the Montreal General Hospital, President of the Lay Association of the Scotch Church, of the Bible Society, and of the School Society, as well as Trustee of the Queen’s University, of Kingston. After the union he became a Legislative Councillor (1841), Executive Councillor, and Speaker of the Legislative Council in 1847, shortly after the arrival of Lord Elgin, resigning the following year. He appears to have been a man of the Scottish type pre-eminently - a race representative. Educated only in the parish school, he had gained a position before his uncle’s will, in 1824, which made him independent. Possessed of a strong physical constitution, upwards of six feet high, he still looks, with his benign countenance, in photograph, a model of vigour and beaming good nature. Instinctively liberal in his views, he nevertheless appears to have had ingrained in his constitution some stubborn old-world principles, both in religion and politics; still he was not bigoted and knew how to adapt his views to the varying phases of modern progress. Had he been gifted with the superficial graces of far inferior men, he might have made a conspicuous figure; but he could not have done more essential service in his day and generation. Whether as Mayor of Montreal, Master of the Masonic Grand Lodge, President of the St. Andrew’s Society, or chairman of the first railway company in Canada (1834)—the St. Lawrence and Champlain—he was a conscientious worker, a man of whom Scotland may still be proud, though she is affluent in worthy sons, and one also whose memory will not soon be forgotten in the city of Montreal. He had passed the seventieth year when he was called to his rest. Mr. McGill’s Reform principles had been tested frequently; differences, to which we shall refer elsewhere, arose from time to time in the Council, and were not healed until Lord Elgin was firmly seated in power. The Hon. Peter McGill was concerned, with more or less prominence, in events which must be traced in their entirety hereafter; meanwhile it is well to draw attention to the sterling character of this strong-headed and warmhearted Scot, who laboured to do well, and felt ardently the needs of the young Canadian nationality.

Major-General McDouall was another Scottish hero of the last war; but we have failed to get any further particulars of him than are to be found in Morgan. [p. 216.] It appears that he entered the army in 1796, and, rising through the various steps of promotion, was Colonel during the conflict with the United States. The most notable exploit he performed was the defence of Fort Michilimackinac against a very superior force. In 1841, McDouall was gazetted as Major-General and died at Stranraer in 1848. General Sir George Murray, was born in Perthshire, and educated at Edinburgh University. Entering the army in 1789, at the age of 17, he served in almost all the quarters of the globe. In 1812, he became Brock’s successor as Lieut.-Governor, but he had no sooner heard of Napoleon’s escape from Elba, than he returned home, and joined the English army in France. Subsequently Murray became Governor of Edinburgh Castle; Governor of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, Lieut.General of Ordnance, and M.P. for Perthshire. He also filled the subordinate position of Master-General of the Ordnance department under Sir Robert Peel in 1834 and 1841. He had previously been Secretary of State for the Colonies for a short period in 1828. Captain Martin McLeod, who subsequently lived near Bond’s Lake on Yonge Street, hailed from the Island of Skye. He "was a Scot of the Norse Vikinger type," writes Dr. Scadding, [Toronto of Old, p. 466.] "of robust, manly frame, and tender spirit; an Ossianist also, and in the Scandinavian direction, a philologist." The eldest of eight brothers—all officers in the army, he served from 1808 to 1832 in the 27th, 29th, and 25th Regiments successively. Early in 1812 he came to Canada with the forces and distinguished himself conspicuously at Plattsburg and at New Orleans. In the Peninsular war, he had received four clasps; but missed Waterloo, having only just completed his American campaign. Three of his uncles were general officers, and his son, a Major, was decorated for gallant service in the Red River Expedition (1870). Before entering upon the next campaign it may be mentioned that in the action on Queenston Heights were engaged the following Scottish officers: Capts. Duncan, Cameron and Chisholm, of the York Militia, Crooks and McEwen of the 1st Lincoln, William Crooks of the 4th Lincoln, R. Hamilton of the 4th Lincoln, Lieutenant Kerr of the Glengarry Fencibles, and Shaw and Thomson, attached temporally to the 49th Regiment.

It is still a moot point whether General Sheaffe was justified in according an armistice to the Americans. The weight of authority is certainly against him, and it seems quite certain that had Brock survived, he could and would have made short work of it on the Niagara frontier. There was nothing to prevent his successor from capturing Fort Niagara, and sweeping the whole line from Fort Erie to Fort George. It is true as Coffin generously suggests, that the force was small; [p. 65.] still it must not be forgotten that an effective demonstration here might possibly have saved much trouble in the future. The fatal results in the following year, in the western part of the Province, are directly attributable to the armistice. The American commanders had ample opportunity to collect their forces, and revive the drooping courage of the troops already engaged. It is always a blunder for a small army to give breathing time to a foe it has vanquished. All depends upon prompt and unremitting vigour under such circumstances. It is quite probable that the evil genius of Sir George Prevost was at work here as elsewhere; and it may be as well not to press too heavily upon General Sheaffe. The troubles, which ensued in future campaigns, however, are clearly traceable to the false step into which the General was betrayed, and they culminated in the capture of the seat of Government.

Shortly after the battle of Queenston, General Van Rensselaer was superseded. He appears to have been as competent as most of the political commanders of the time, and his conduct has been ably defended by his nephew and aide-de-camp, against the strictures of General Armstrong, Secretary of the War Department. His successor, on the Niagara frontier was General Smyth, who was simply an incompetent braggart, apparently no less destitute of courage than of military skill. A large force was assembled at Buffalo, and Smyth was eager for the fray; at all events, he affected to be so. His proclamation to the men of New York was certainly an advance on Hull’s at Amherstburg; that is to say, if a more inflated and bombastic style may be characterized as an improvement. He made one attempt which was repelled by a small detachment of the 49th, and a few companies of militia, and projected another on a more magnificent scale; but after embarking the troops, his valour appears to have oozed out at his fingers’ ends, for a retreat was ordered, and "the invasion of Canada" he announced, "had been abandoned for the season." The American forces were ordered into winter quarters, and so ended the ludicrous fiasco. Even after this display of incompetency, Smyth had the assurance to summon Colonel Bishop to surrender Fort Erie. The answer he received was brief and to the point: "Let your General come and take the fort and the troops."

Meanwhile the American General Dearborn had collected a force of 13,000 men for the invasion of Montreal. It is hardly necessary to mention that these gallant troops never reached their destination. Small raids were made at St. Regis, where four hundred surprised and captured a picquet, consisting of twenty-three men, together with a Union Jack used on holiday occasions by the Indian interpreter. This the American Major ventured to call "a stand of colours—the first taken during the war." [In this skirmish eight men were killed, including Sergeant McGillivray, who seems to have been a Glengarry man.] Reprisals, however, were soon taken, for on the 23rd of November, a small force of the Cornwall and Glengarry Scots with a few regulars, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel McMillan, attacked the Salmon River post, and forced it to surrender unconditionally. During the same month occurred the affair of Lacolle Mills, in which the advance of Dearborn, fourteen hundred strong, was driven back, and retreated once more to Plattsburg. They had enough of war for that year, and, like the redoubtable Smyth, went into winter quarters; so the campaign of 1812 was over. The inequality of the forces engaged, as compared with the signal failure of the enemy, is noteworthy. Dearborn, according to Armstrong, the Secretary of War, had 13,000 men; Sir George Prevost had but 3,000 of all arms; of the American left division from Sackett’s Harbour to Prescott, there were 3,000 regulars and 2,000 militia; opposed to them and scattered along the shore from Kingston downwards, were about 1,500 men. On the Niagara frontier there were at least 6,000 men; whilst the British had 1,700 at Fort George, and 600 scattered over 36 miles. Finally in the west, Harrison and Winchester had according to the former’s own statement, "eight thousand effective men to overpower Proctor with 2,200, including Indians."

The campaign of 1813 opened auspiciously at both extremities of the line. In the west, General Winchester had, by some fatality, been led to advance to Frenchtown, on the River Raisin, some eighteen miles from Detroit. He had about 1,100 men with him, while Proctor had only between six and seven hundred; Winchester, moreover, could hope for reinforcements; his opponent was absolutely cut off from his eastern comrades. Yet, in a brief space of time, the defeat of the enemy was complete. Six hundred, including the General, surrendered, and nearly four hundred were either killed or wounded. Proctor’s loss was only twenty-four killed and one hundred and sixty-one wounded. [A graphic account of this conflict will be found in Major Richardson’s War of 1812, p. 76. The author was himself a participant in the fight, and describes the affair with characteristic vivacity. Among the British wounded were a number of Scotsmen.]

On the St. Lawrence, success was also achieved by Canadian valour. The frontier presented admirable opportunities for raiding, and our people were kept in a state of continual apprehension and alarm. An American captain—Forsyth by name, and, it is to be feared, of Scottish descent—had been plundering and harrying at Gananoque and Elizabethtown (now Brockville), taking back with him cattle, pigs and poultry, and not these alone, but non-belligerents as prisoners. Another Macdonell now comes to the front—the hero of a dashing exploit. This was no less than a retaliatory attack upon Ogdensburgh on the ice. Lieutenant-Colonel George Macdonell—a relative, it would appear, of the patriotic priest afterwards Bishop of Regiopolis—was the hero of the occasion. General Brock had recommended him for appointment prior to the outbreak of the war, and he fully justified the good opinion of his gallant and sagacious chief. [See Tupper’s Life of Brock, p. 111.] Sir George Prevost was on his way from Quebec to Upper Canada, and was, as usual cautious in the matter of attack. [It is beside our purpose either to defend or expose Sir George Prevost. It is probable that at this stage of the war he was fettered by instructions, for in a letter to Brock (dated July 10th, 1812, he directs him to remain on the defensive for fear of uniting the American people. – Ibid. p. 179. Prevost’s Sackett’s Harbour and Plattsburgh expedition were notable failures, not to say disgraceful ones. A strong case is made, with great acerbity against Prevost in the Letters of Veritas and replied to in Auchinleck’s History of the War.] He sanctioned the expedition certainly, but gave Macdonell to understand that it must not be a real assault, but only a reconnoissance to feel the enemy, not to fight him. As Colonel Coffin observes, [1812: The War and its Moral, p. 90.] "like the free lance of former days, he was given to fighting on his own inspiration" only, and was not inclined to obey Sir George Prevost’s timid orders. Sprung of the stock of old Glengarry, and, at the head of his Fencibles, he felt himself more than a match for the garrison of Ogdensburgh. Besides that, he had, against his will, been deterred from accepting a challenge to fight on the ice. No sooner, however, was Prevost on his way to Kingston than he went to work like a brave Scot who "meant business." "George the Red," as he was termed, gathered his forces behind the earth-works at Prescott, and prepared for his winter attack on Ogdensburgh across the ice of the frozen St. Lawrence. It was not for them to hesitate, since the season for action had come. They needed no martial address or inflated proclamation. The Highland blood was up, and had been heated to the extreme of fighting ardour by marauding raids on the border. On the 23rd of February; 1813, Macdonell advanced upon the ice with only 480 men, two-thirds of whom were Glengarry Highlanders. Obeying so far the command of Prevost, the Colonel, for some time, played with the enemy. The American Forsyth was at his breakfast, and affected to ridicule the demonstration. The snow lay deep on the ice, and the advance of the little corps was tedious and difficult. The enemy was not long in discovering that there was no child’s play or mere "British fun" in the business. Macdonell had divided his small force into two-columns, and at the first serious onset the Americans fled to their works. The first battery was carried by the Colonel at the point of the bayonet; Eustace forced his way into the main fort; Jenkins had some difficulty in securing his footing against a seven-gun battery, covered by two hundred infantry. The muskets and the guns kept up a continuous fire, and Jenkins fell, wounded by a grape-shot, which tore his side to pieces. Nothing daunted, Lieutenant Macaulay, who succeeded to the command of the company, carried the day. The gallant little band—worthy sons of the Gaelic clans, had nobly vindicated their claim to ancestral valour. Ogdensburgh was theirs, and an end was put to frontier raids from the other side. Macdonell distinguished himself, not less by his intrepid dash on the field, than by his courtesy to prisoners and his determined opposition to plunder. He placed a sentry at every door in Ogdensburgh, and strictly forbade anything in the shape of reprisals. In his despatch to Sir George Prevost, mention is made of the following officers (Scots) who distinguished themselves: Lieut. Macaulay, Ensign Macdonell, Ensign McKay and Ensign Kerr; and also the support given by Col. Fraser and the Newfoundland contingent. [Auchinleck. p. 131; Coffin, pp. 95-6; Christie, ii. p. 71.] A Scottish volunteer, then unknown to fame, took part in the affair at Ogdensburgh. The Hon. William Morris—for he was afterwards a member of the Legislative Council and of the Cabinet—was born at Paisley on the last day of October, 1786. He came out with his parents in 1801, and in 1804 was assisting his father in business in Montreal. Business reverses overtook the latter, and he retired to a farm near Brockville. When the war broke out, young Morris received a commission as ensign in the militia, from General Brock. In October, 1812, he volunteered, with Col. Lethbridge, for the first attack on Ogdensburgh; and in 1813 he was active in the successful assault under Col. Macdonell, just described. He was highly esteemed for bravery by his comrades, and continued to serve until 1814, when the arrival of troops from England, and the absence of any further danger in Eastern Canada, induced him to retire. In 1820, his political career began as member for Lanark; but that portion of his biography belongs to another chapter. During the Rebellion of 1837, he was senior Colonel of the Lanark Militia, which he was active in drilling. He died at Montreal in June, 1858. The Hon. Alex. Morris, late Lieut Governor of Manitoba, and now M.P.P. for East Toronto, was his eldest son, and ex-Alderman J.H. Morris, of the same city, his nephew. [Morgan, p. 429.]

Gen. Proctor’s operations on the Miami do not call for detailed notice. This expedition had simply, for its purpose, the disturbance of the enemy in their task of erecting works at Fort Meigs, and his force was less than a thousand. Nevertheless, he inflicted a severe blow on Harrison’s army, and retired, not because he feared defeat, but from the fact that large numbers of the militia and Indians had left for their homes and wigwams. In his despatch from Sandwich, he mentions especially Capt. Muir, Capt. Chambers, Lieut. McLean, Lieut. Gardiner and Volunteer Laing. The unaccountable inaction of Sir George Prevost had enabled the Americans to equip a considerable flotilla at Sackett’s Harbour, and the results were soon apparent. Two thousand embarked under General Dearborn, the vessels being under the command of Commodore Chauncey. After a valorous defence, York, now Toronto, the seat of Government, was taken, but an explosion in the magazine caused a serious loss of life. The Canadian force was in the neighbourhood of seven hundred, and they were compelled to give way to superior force, three hundred of them being made prisoners of war. The American loss was three hundred and seventy-eight, and of these, thirty-eight (including General Pike) were killed, and two hundred and twenty-two wounded by the blowing up of the magazine. Some of the Glengarry men were present on this occasion, but in small numbers. The officers killed were, Capt. McNeal, of the 8th (King’s), and Volunteer Donald McLean, Clerk of the House of Assembly. The latter was killed "while bravely opposing the landing of the Americans". The strong box of the Receiver General had been removed to his house for safe keeping. After his death, it was broken open by the captors, and a thousand silver dollars stolen. [Scadding, Toronto of Old, p. 484. Col. (afterwards General) Winfield Scott, although paroled at Queenston, where he was taken prisoner, fought both at York and Niagara. – James’ Military History, i. p. 236.] There was no disgrace in a defeat of this character, since the contest was maintained with obstinate courage for eight hours. [Gen. Sheaffe in his dispatch, says, "He led about six hundred, including militia and dockyard men. The quality of these troops was of so superior a description that under less favourable circumstances, I should have felt confident of success, in spite of the disparity of numbers."] Among the officers who were compelled to surrender, there are a number who were probably Scots; some of them certainly so— Major Allan, of 3rd York Militia, Capts. Duncan Cameron and John Burn, and Ensign Donald McArthur. The number of prisoners was not large; but there appears a worse feature in the case. The naval stores were at York; the ships, in an advanced state of construction, fell into the hands of the enemy; and much of the public property was either carried off or destroyed. It is difficult to acquit both Sir George Prevost and General Sheaffe of wanton neglect of duty. Here, at the capital, within a few hours’ sail of the frontier, were not only the public treasury and records, but also the only means at hand of recovering naval supremacy on the lake. All the disasters which befell the Province are distinctly traceable to the culpable inactivity of those properly responsible for the defence of the Province. It was they who left the capital open to the invader; and the brave men of York were sacrificed in vain. ["Young Allan McNab, a lad of 14 years, whose name has ever since been identified with Canadian story, stood side by side with a veteran father, shattered with wounds, sire and son eager for the fray." – Coffin, p. 100.]

Commodore Chauncey sailed away for the Niagara River, where he expected, on good grounds, another temporary triumph. He had abandoned the original project of an attack on Kingston, as being too hazardous. The Americans had been reinforced from Sackett’s Harbour, and had now six thousand men, according to Armstrong, the Secretary of War; the British force, on the other hand, says James, "amounted to less than a thousand rank and file." The result was inevitable, since the garrison was short of powder. Assailed from Fort Niagara, from the fleet, and by the troops which had landed at Four-mile Creek, General Vincent, after attempting to resist, was compelled to retreat, blowing up the magazines and destroying the stores. The out-lying posts at Fort Erie and Chippewa were ordered to join their comrades by way of Lundy’s Lane, at the Beaver-dam. [Here for the first time we meet the name of Captain Barclay, R.N., of whom more hereafter. The bearer of Vincent’s dispatch was Mr. Mathieson, a volunteer on the 27th, to whose conduct the General bears strong testimony.] Considering that fifty-one broadside guns on the American fleet had been fired almost without reply, the Canadian loss was not so great as might have been expected. At Beaver-dam, with the other detachments, Vincent found himself in command of 1,600 men, and it was deemed necessary to retreat to Burlington Heights. This could not have been effected but for the American General Dearborn’s blunder. Had he landed his troops between Queenston and Fort George he might have completely invested the latter, and the whole garrison would have been forced to surrender. Dearborn however, "who seems never to have been in a hurry," so far delayed the pursuit that no movement along the shore was made until Vincent was in a position to entrench himself on the Heights. In fact, throughout the war, there seems to have been a fatuousness, an incapacity, or a want of dash and courage amongst the American commanders almost inexplicable. Numerically their forces were almost invariably superior; and yet their success was utterly out of proportion to their strength. They had now gained a footing on British soil, and yet failed to make good their advantage. As many as 3,500 of them advanced from Forty-mile Creek along the lake shore to attack Vincent. At Stoney Creek, after a march of seven miles they halted for the night. At about midnight 704 British soldiers attacked them, under the veil of darkness, and completely routed them. The Generals, Chandler and Winder, with about 100 officers and men, were taken prisoners, and the rest of the enemy retreated, after having precipitately destroyed their baggage. The conflict appears to have been a desperate one, and the loss on our side was very heavy. On their return to Forty-mile Creek, the Americans were reinforced by an accession of 2,000 fresh troops to their ranks; but the army was thoroughly demoralized, and there was little difficulty in locking them up at Fort George. The affair at the Beaver-dam was a salient instance of American weakness. This was the notable occasion on which Mrs. Secord distinguished herself by marching through the woods, in peril by savages, to warn the officer of a small force of his danger. Here 570 men, [Coffin (p. 147) states the American detachment at 673. Speaking of Mrs. Secord’s achievement, he says, "Such was the man (Fitzgibbon) to whom, on the night of the 25th June, there came a warning inspired by woman’s wit, and conveyed with more than female energy." Of Mrs. Secord’s nationality we know nothing; but she ought to have been a countrywoman of Flora Macdonald.] under Colonel Boerstler, surrendered to Lieutenant Fitzgibbon and thirty men! It is unnecessary to dwell upon the successful raids by Colonel Thomas Clarke, ["Clarke, a Scotchman by birth, was an Indian trader, and forwarder of goods to the western hunting grounds, a member of the firm of Street & Clarke." – Coffin, p. 159.] of the 2nd Lincoln Militia, or Bishop’s gallant achievement at Black Rock. By degrees the Americans were cooped up in Fort George, where, as occasion offered, they engaged in forays upon farm-yards in the neighbourhood. One officer, McClure, made himself conspicuous in this way, and was forcibly driven into the fort by Colonel Murray, with a small force.

The attack on Sackett’s Harbour was one of the most discreditable episodes of the war. On the 28th of May, Sir John Yeo, the commodore, with Sir George Prevost as commander, started out with a view of destroying the enemy’s stores and dockyard at that place. The first assault was eminently successful; but somebody blundered. The blame is usually laid upon Sir George Prevost, and, from what occurred at Plattsburg subsequently, not without cause one would think. The enemy were thoroughly frightened, and, so far from making a defence, or being capable of doing so, fired their buildings and burned a frigate on the stocks not long after the British forces had been ordered, much to their indignation, to return to the boats. In fact, it was an anticipation of Bull’s Run, half a century later. Of the Scots, those who were eager for the fray were Adjutant-General Baynes, Colonel of the Glengarry Light Infantry, Colonel Young, of the 8th; Major Drummond, and Major Mudie, of the 104th; Captain McPherson; of the Glengarrys, and Grey, of the 8th. [James: Military History, i. 413.] The American position at Fort George was growing more critical day by day. Yeo had menaced McClure from the lake side, and the gallant American, finding his position untenable, was guilty of a nefarious act. He might have destroyed the fort, which he was perfectly justified in doing, but he pillaged and burnt the town of Newark (Niagara). Colonel Murray made a dash at Fort George, and McClure, without attempting to show fight even with his superior force, fled across the river. [James, ii. p. 6.] Colonel (afterwards Major-General) John Murray subsequently followed him over the stream and captured Fort Niagara by assault at the point of the bayonet. Of the force at the storming of this important post there were sixty Indians—one chief, Norton, who volunteered, was, according to James, a Scot. The Scots Greys, or at least the Grenadier company of that regiment, bore the brunt of the assault. The enterprise was a gallant one, and, for the first time, placed the British forces on American soil.

John Murray, though of a Scottish family, was born in Jamaica, where his father resided at St. James’s. The future General entered the army, in the ordinary course, as an ensign of the 37th Regiment, in 1792, and distinguished himself in the Netherlands; was wounded early at Ostend, and taken prisoner. He subsequently served in the 4th and 39th. When the 100th Regiment was raised he received the appointment of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was sent to Canada, where he was at once nominated Inspecting Field Officer of the Militia, and in that capacity commanded the advance corps in the Niagara district, to keep in check a much superior force. His occupation of Fort Niagara was a brilliant exploit, according to the General Orders, and "reflected the highest honour upon Colonel Murray and the small detachment under his command." After the peace he returned to England in broken health, and sought relief in Southern France; there he lost his wife, and not long after died at Brighton, leaving an only daughter. [Morgan, p. 189.] Had General Murray been so fortunate as to have had a wider field for the display of his courage and ability, there can be little doubt that he would have risen to a very high position in the army.

Passing further to the west, we find Gen. Proctor with some nine hundred men, and twelve hundred Indians, assailing Gen. Harrison on the Miami, at Fort Meigs. Batteries were constructed, and Gen. Clay was detailed to assault them with thirteen hundred men, he having arrived to reinforce Harrison. His movements were quick, and he had nearly succeeded, when the reserve troop under Capt. Muir, of the 41st, already famous in frontier warfare, aided by the brave and intrepid Capt. Chambers, charged boldly and changed the fortunes of the day. "This will not do," said Chambers, "we must charge them." Emerging from the wood, his little band of two hundred "rushed upon the right of the enemy’s column." The enemy paused, wavered, and gave way, and the whole line was panic-stricken. Before they could reach their boats, six hundred and fifty were killed by the Indians. Amongst the other Scots who distinguished themselves in this affair, were the gallant Lieut. Gordon, who, unhappily, was killed, fighting foremost in the fray, Capt. Muir, and Lieut. McIntyre, who were both wounded.

Unfortunately the serious reverses of the war now occurred. The first being the total defeat of the English flotilla, by Perry, on Lake Erie. Commander Barclay, R. N., who had already distinguished himself during the war, found himself in a position of great difficulty. The American force was greatly superior, as usual, and much better equipped. The British commander was so short of men that he was compelled to obtain the assistance of a detachment of the 41st, since only fifty seamen had arrived to equip five vessels. The Americans had nine ships of a better class, and they were well manned. The disparity between the forces will be better understood in figures. The enemy had 580 men, the British 385; and the weight of metal was 928 lbs. against 459. [Auchinleck, p. 211; Christie, ii., p. 106; Thompson, p. 203; Coffin, p. 215; Major Richardson, p. 111; McMullen. P. 285; and James’ Naval History, in loco.] The force arrayed against Barclay was, therefore, almost doubly superior—fully so if the equipment of the fleets is taken into the reckoning. Nevertheless, a hard and bloody struggle was maintained, and Barclay’s flag-ship emerged from the conflict a perfect wreck. Notwithstanding the notorious facts, Congress passed a resolution of thanks to Captain Oliver Hazard Perry for "the decisive and glorious victory gained on Lake Erie, on the 10th September, in the year 1813, over a British squadron of superior force." It is to Commodore Perry’s credit, that his despatch makes no such allegation. In addition to his own superiority in men and metal, he had also the additional advantage of a favourable breeze—a matter of no slight importance in those sailing days. Captain R H. Barclay was a Scot, and had lost an arm at Trafalgar. From the time he landed in Canada, he displayed the greatest energy and intrepidity. His difficulties were almost insurmountable; yet he struggled bravely against them, and his defeat, although unfortunate in more respects than one, was inevitable. After the three hours’ engagement on Lake Erie, he declined to surrender, until he and all his officers were either killed or wounded, and more than a third of the crew had shared the same fate. According to usage, he was by court-martial, and honourably acquitted. The gallant officer died at Edinburgh in 1837, and one can only regret that he had no opportunity, in those piping times of peace, for a display of his valour.

Then followed the crowning reverse of the war. The defeat of Barclay, and the destruction of the fleet, had cut all hope of supplies or reinforcements for the army of the west. A number of boats had been collected by the enemy at Forts Sandusky and Meigs, to carry over a force of invaders. Thus in straits, Proctor had no choice for it, but to retreat, so as to keep up his lines of communication with the centre division. He proposed to retire on Niagara; but was stoutly remonstrated with by the great Indian warrior, Tecumseth. It was finally decided to evacuate Detroit and Amherstburg, and to retire on Moraviantown, nearly half-way between the latter position and the central out-posts, and there resist the enemy. The result was fatal to the success of Proctor, and lost to us the services of Tecumseth. The British force consisted of 830 men, beside about 500 Indians; whilst the Americans had no less than 5,000. Nor does this represent the figures with accuracy, for previous to the battle, of the 830 or 840 men, 174 had been captured in the batteau, and nearly 170 were either in the hospital or on duty guarding the baggage." [Auchinleck. P. 218.] Thus there were, in fact, only four hundred and seventy-six white men in the field. Only a portion of the American army was engaged; still there were twelve hundred cavalry, nineteen hundred and fifty infantry, and about one hundred and fifty Indians, exclusive of officers; so that Proctor was outnumbered sevenfold. He chose his position judiciously, and the struggle was maintained with desperate valour; but the odds were too great against us, and the result might have been expected—defeat and disaster. [It is not necessary to enter into the controversy as to who was in fault. Sir George Prevost tried to throw the blame upon the 41st Regiment, and others have blamed Proctor, but the reputation of both the corps and the General was beyond dispute. Major Richardson, who was taken prisoner at Moraviantown, inveighs bitterly against Prevost. – "A commander whose imbecility and want of resolution on more than one occasion (reflecting the deepest disgrace on the British arms), had, doubtless, been ordained as a fitting punishment for his arrogant censure of a corps, whose general excellence he was incompetent to appreciate, and whose only positive crime was that of the weakness, its physical disorganization and its utter destitution." – History, p. 126. The weight of odium, however, fell upon Proctor, and he was severely censured by the Prince Regent. Major Richardson, it will be remarked, in passing, belonged to the 92nd Highlanders subsequently, and served with the British legion in Spain in 1835, under Sir De Lacy Evans.] Affairs never looked so gloomy as in the autumn of 1813. The Americans commanded the two lower lakes; York was sacked a second time; Wilkinson had a large force on the Niagara frontier; Harrison could do as he pleased in the west, and Hampton, at Plattsburg, was approaching Montreal with 16,000 men, exclusive of 10,000 militia. But the tide was about to turn definitively. Hampton had been ordered to threaten the commercial metropolis of Lower Canada. The troops there were but few, and the defence of the Province was left to the gallant people, French and British, whose country was invaded. There was no hesitation for a moment, notwithstanding the imposing force arrayed against them. General Hampton crossed the frontier with 7,000 infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and ten field-pieces. Wilkinson, according to the plan, ought, at the same time, to have descended the St. Lawrence; but he was delayed, as American Generals were apt to be, until November, when his 10,000 men embarked to meet the fate of his coadjutor at Chrysler’s Farm.

The force under Gen. Hampton’s immediate command has been variously estimated: but it is quite certain that it was overwhelmingly superior to that opposed to him. After some preliminary skirmishing, in which Hampton gave way, the forces went into action at the famous battle of Chateauguay. The chief merit of this redoubtable victory unquestionably belongs to Charles Michel de Salaberry, Seigneur of Chambly. He was not a novice in arms, since he and three brothers had served in the British army. Two died under Indian skies, another perished at Badajoz; and our brave Canadian defender had fought in the fourth battalion of the 60th, at Martinique and Walcheren, [Somewhat tardily, yet not too late, our French compatriots are erecting a memorial to the brave old warrior. It would be well that English-speaking men of today should contribute to this worthy purpose. De Salaberry makes a grand figure at the turning point of the war, and deserves such posthumous honour as may be given him in sculptured stone.] He had already been at Lacolle, and was ready now with his Voltigeurs to meet the force marching against him. The American advance had been repeatedly driven in by the Canadian militia, and now came the decisive struggle. It is impossible to read the story of Chateauguay without wondering of what sort of stuff the American army was made up. So early as July, Colonel Murray had worked havoc at the Isle-aux-Noix, in Hampton’s immediate neighbourhood, and now the main force was to suffer ignominious defeat. It was on the 21st of October, that Hampton’s advance drove in the British outposts; one brigade, however, which was intended to reach the rear, got bewildered in the woods, and did not reach the field until the battle had been lost. De Salaberry had chosen an admirable position for defensive purposes; since the ground was rough and scored by deep ravines. There he made a triple line of defence by abattis formed of felled trees and brushwood, with a space of two hundred yards between each two. The first line was in the form of an obtuse angle, following the tortuous bendings of the ravine. Still a fresh work was constructed, running across so as to defend the ford. On the right of the river lay a thick wood, which afforded shelter for a picquet; the bridges were destroyed, and the trees felled across the path to obstruct the enemy’s cavalry and artillery. At length Hampton appeared with seven thousand men to discomfit about three hundred Voltigeurs, a band of Glengarries under Lieut.-Col. Macdonell, and a few Indians. De Salaberry had now recourse to a ruse de guerre, of a novel kind. His buglers were dispersed and stationed at wide intervals, so that when they sounded the advance, the enemy imagined the opposing force was at least considerable. Macdonell occupied the post of honour, and met the first brush of the assault. Hampton finding he could make no impression upon the gallant Canadian militia, and not relishing a trial with the bayonet withdrew his forces at three in the afternoon, after a fight which lasted four hours. [Garneau, Book 14, chap. ii. McMullen, p. 290. &c.] The Highlanders played a most conspicuous though subordinate part, in this engagement, and were exceedingly active in harassing Hampton’s retreat. The chief merit of this great military achievement belongs to Colonel de Salaberry, [See Fennings Taylor’s Sketch of De Salaberry in Portraits of British Americans, p. 247; Morgan, p. 197; and Lemoine’s Maple Leaves, 2nd series, p. 146.] but the Glengarry Scots were as active and gallant as their French comrades. Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, "the same who had taken Ogdensburg," was in charge of the second line of defence, and exhibited all his characteristic dash and bravery. He crossed the ford with his force, and drove the Americans off at the first onset, with an impetuosity peculiarly Celtic. ["Here the bugles indicated the advance, and Col. Macdonell, eager to add to the laurels he had won at Ogdensburg, moved rapidly in the direction of the fire with two companies from the first-second line of retrenchments under Captain Levesque. The Beauharnois militia, defending the ford, had been attacked by Purdy in superior force, and had been compelled to retire. Macdonell ordered Captain Daly, with his Company of the 5th Incorporated, to cross the ford to their support." – Coffin, p. 256.]

An interesting account is given in Colonel Coffin’s History (p. 262), of the way in which Macdonell came to be at Chateauguay; and it is worth repeating in a condensed form. The frontier was menaced by both Hampton and. Wilkinson, and everything depended on defeating the one before encountering the other. Macdonell was at this time drilling the Canadian Fencibles, and was asked by Prevost when the corps would be ready to set out against Hampton. "As soon as they have finished their dinner," was the Highlander’s prompt reply. He had now to find boats, Indians and pilots, with which to descend the rapids, but no difficulties could daunt a Macdonell. In a few hours his brave 600 were under way, reached the Beauharnois shore, and, threading the forest at dead of night in Indian file arrived at the place of action. Sir George Prevost, who had reached the spot before, inquired next morning surprisedly, "and where are your men?" "There sir," replied Macdonell, pointing to 600 exhausted soldiers sleeping on the ground—"not one was absent." They had travelled 170 miles by water and 20 by land in 60 hours of actual travel! Col. Coffin compares this feat with the march of the British Light Division before Talavera, as described by Sir W. Napier. [The Macdonells distinguished themselves on behalf of king and country in the revolted colonies, as well as in 1812. In the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, under Sir James Johnson, no less than five Macdonells – Angus, John, Archibald, Alexander, and Allan – were Captains; in fact, there was only one other Captain not Scottish – Patrick Daly; Munro and Anderson making up the list. In the same corps Hugh Macdonell was lieutenant, and Miles Macdonell, ensign. Indeed, most of the officers of this regiment were Scots.]

When his superior officer went in pursuit, Macdonell was placed in command of the abattis, as there seemed every probability that the attack might be renewed; but in spite of his superior numbers, Hampton deemed discretion the better part of valour, and never halted until he reached Plattsburg. Another Scot who particularly distinguished himself at Chateauguay was Captain Fergusson, of the Canadian Fencibles, posted on De Salaberry’s right. He took part in the first fire, having three companies under his command, and his intrepid conduct is specially mentioned by the historians.

It has been already stated that General Wilkinson was to have joined Hampton for a combined attack on Montreal. It was not altogether his fault that the junction was not effected. There were difficulties in his way, chiefly arising from tempestuous weather, and it was not until early in November that he and his 10,000 men got under way from Grenadier Island. In passing Prescott, his boats suffered considerably from a heavy cannonade; and, close in his wake, came Colonel J.W. Morrison, from Kingston, with about eight hundred regulars and militia. Being somewhat annoyed by the enemy hovering upon his rear, Wilkinson sent General Boyd ashore at Williamsburg with 3,500 infantry and a regiment of cavalry to exterminate Morrison’s force. On the afternoon of the 12th of November, Boyd found the Canadian force drawn up in an excellent position, with the river on the right and the woods on the left. The enemy attempted, by repeated charges with their cavalry, to turn the British flank; but in vain. Colonel Morrison had prepared for this strategem by arranging the men belonging to the 49th and 89th in echelon. The American infantry were then ordered to the charge, but succeeded no better than the horse. Finally, after frequent sallies, Colonel Morrison formed his troops in close column, and drove the enemy to their boats in disorder. The British lost one hundred and sixty-eight killed and wounded; the Americans three hundred and thirty-nine killed, wounded and missing. Thus ended the Battle at Chrysler’s Farm, and with it American efforts in Eastern Canada.

There are not sufficient data at hand to decide upon the national origin of the chief actor in this gallant action; yet it seems fair to conclude that he was of Scottish parentage, since he joined a Highland regiment, the 89th. Joseph Wanton Morrison was himself born in New York, but his father was Deputy Commissary-General in America, and to all appearance a Scot. The Colonel served in more regiments than one—he was in the 83rd, the 84th, the 89th, the 17th and 44th; and was engaged in Holland, the Mediterranean, West Indies, Nova Scotia and Canada. For his distinguished exploit at Chrysler’s Farm he received a medal, a vote of thanks from the Lower Canada Assembly, and a sword from the merchants of Liverpool. In 1814 he was severely wounded at Lundy’s Lane, and it was not until 1821 that he was taken off the half-pay list and sent to India as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 44th. He was engaged at Arracan and elsewhere, but succumbed to the climate, and died at sea on his way to England in February, 1826. He was a gallant officer in the highest sense, and if he were not the son of a Scot, it is certain that he ought to have been.

On the 17th of November, the Sedentary Militia of Montreal, in which Colonels Peter McGill and McKenzie held commands, were disbanded, all immediate danger being at an end in the East. Early in 1814, the Americans broke up their camp on the Salmon, Wilkinson falling back on Plattsburg, whilst Brown repaired to Sackett’s Harbour. The former made a show of renewing the attack, but was repulsed at the first onset, and retreated once more across the border.

In 1814, the sky began to clear, and victory once more crowned our arms. Towards the close of the year, Sir Gordon Drummond assumed command, and the aspect of affairs was rapidly altered for the better. Gordon Drummond belonged to a Perthshire family, whose seat was at Megginch. His father, when Gordon was born, in 1771, was paymaster-General of the forces at Quebec. The son entered the army as ensign, in the 1st (Royals), in 1789. In 1794 he had already risen to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and received the command of the 8th, or King’s Regiment. He served with great distinction in Holland, especially at the siege of Nimeguen, in 1795. In 1800 he was at Minorca, and accompanied Sir Ralph Abercrombie to Egypt, taking part in all the engagements, including that in which his chief fell, until the surrender of Cairo and Alexandria. Returning he proceeded to Gibraltar, where he formed a friendship with her Majesty’s father, the Duke of Kent, which lasted during the life of his Royal Highness. An expedition to the West Indies had been contemplated, and Major-General Drummond was named as second in command; but, for some reason or other, the plan was abandoned, and Drummond served first for a short time in Canada and then in Ireland. In August, 1813, he was despatched to Canada, as second in command under Sir George Prevost, and arrived at Quebec in November. The gallant General lost no time in settling down to his active duties. In December, he stormed Fort Niagara, and captured a vast amount of stores, naval and military. The attack on Black Rock was planned by Drummond, and successfully executed with a small force by Sir P. Riall, who had been an officer of the 92nd Highlanders; but his nationality is not recorded in the authorities.

Operations began rather late in 1814; but, early in May, the military force under Lieutenant-General Drummond, and the fleet under Sir James Yeo, attacked Oswego. A sixty-four gun ship had just been completed, and with the stores, &c., accumulated there made the place a tempting prize, if it could be successfully assaulted. The Americans occupied a strong position on the hill-crest, and the odds were against the assailants; yet in half an hour from the landing everything was in Drummond’s hands. The ship was burned, with barracks, store-houses, and all beside. In this expedition, amongst other names, the General mentions Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm, and Lieutenant Laurie, of the Royal Marines, and Captain McMillan who commanded the light company of the ubiquitous Glengarries. [It was in the engagement that the Rev. James Richardson, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, then a lake captain and volunteer under Sir James Yeo, lost his arm.] Another interesting episode of the year was the successful defence of Michilimackinac by Colonel McDouall, and the capture of Prairie du Chien by Lieutenant-Colonel McKay. [Lieut.-Colonel McDouall, the hero of this gallant exploit, was afterwards the Major-General already alluded to. His voyage from Nottawasago harbour (Collingwood) in the Georgian Bay to Michilimackinac occupied no less than twenty-five days, nineteen of which were passed in continual battling with the elements. James: Military History, ii. p. 186. The Americans had previously pillaged and burned St. Mary’s (Sault Ste. Marie) under General Holmes. "The brutal Holmes," says Veritas (Letters, p. 101), "was killed in the attack on Michilimackinac." His "brutality" consisted in wantonly burning a horse to death, and in destroying every edible which he could not carry away.] In the latter exploit, Captain Anderson was a prominent actor. When it is considered that this distant post on the Mississippi was four hundred and fifty miles from McKay’s base of operations, the nature of the feat may be understood.

Sir George Prevost had at last made up his mind to assume the offensive. Reinforcements from England had arrived, and there was no longer any excuse for timidity or half-measures in the prosecution of the war. Drummond was still in want of men, and the enemy were making active preparations for another invasion of Canadian soil. General Brown had been engaged in marshalling his forces during the previous three months; and on the 2nd of July issued a General Order, strikingly modest in its terms, announcing the fifth invasion of Canada. [It may be mentioned that some slight skirmishing had taken place, earlier in the year, on the Thames, in which the light companies of the Royal Scots, and the 89th with Captain Grigor’s Kent Militia, took part – the force which was a small one, under Stewart of the Scots, effected little against a superior force.] Next morning, the two American divisions crossed the river, and invested Fort Erie, which was "in a defenceless condition," as General Wilkinson admitted. Its surrender was, therefore, inevitable. General Riall, on hearing that the enemy had landed, despatched five companies of the Royal Scots under Colonel Gordon to reinforce the garrison; but the surrender had taken place before their arrival. Other troops were also hurried to the scene, and a brisk action took place, in which the small force was badly cut up, Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon and the Marquis of Tweeddale of the 100th being wounded, as were most of the other officers. On this occasion another Scot, Major Macconochie, distinguished himself at the head of the artillery. In the engagement known as the battle of Chippawa, about five hundred fell on both sides; but notwithstanding the reverse suffered on our side not a prisoner, except the wounded, fell into the hands of the enemy. The Americans had at least six thousand engaged, in addition to their subsequent reinforcement, whilst Riall had only fifteen hundred, exclusive of some Lincoln Militia and a few Indians, amounting together to about three hundred. [See Riall’s dispatch to Sir Gordon Drummond, quoted at length in Auchinleck, p. 314.] The immediate result was a retreat to Niagara, and Brown, the American General, rested quietly at Chippawa for a fortnight.

Meanwhile reinforcements had come in to Riall’s assistance; and yet the odds were against him; but he once more advanced towards the Falls, bent upon an engagement. General Drummond reached Niagara from York towards the end of July with eight hundred men collected from the various garrisons, and marched to the assistance of Riall. When approaching the summit of the height at Lundy’s Lane, he found Riall in retreat once more. Promptly countermanding the order to retire, he formed the troops in order of battle at the rising ground near the end of Lundy’s Lane, on the road from Queenston to Chippawa. Brown who had been in full retreat until thus interrupted, was engaged in occupying the position; but, although of superior strength, was dislodged in about ten minutes at the point of the bayonet. General Drummond now disposed his forces in fighting form, and thus began the most obstinately contested battle of the war. The combat appears to have been somewhat confused, and for a time the enemy succeeded in gaining possession of the road, and partially turning the British left. The action commenced at six in the evening and lasted until nine without intermission. After a pause another attack was made by the Americans which continued until midnight; then, finding all his efforts vain, Brown retreated to Chippawa, and thence, on the following day, to Fort Erie. ["He (Brown) retreated with great precipitation to his camp beyond Chippewa. On the following day he abandoned his camp, threw the greater part of his baggage, camp equipage, and provisions into the Rapids, and having set fire to Street’s mills and destroyed the bridge at Chippawa, continued his retreat in great disorder to Fort Erie." Sir G. Drummond’s Despatch to Sir George Prevost, July 27th, 1814. The mills were at Bridgewater, hence not inappropriately the Americans name the battle.] The American force engaged amounted to about 5,000 men, whilst, as Drummond states, he had only 1,600 until reinforced by Colonel Scott and the 103rd, when they amounted to not more than 2,800 of every description. Of the troops in this action, the chief corps were the head-quarters division of the Royal Scots, under Lieutenant Gordon and Lieutenant Fraser; divisions of the 8th under Colonel Campbell, of the 103rd under Colonel Scott, flank companies of the 104th, some Glengarries under Colonel Battersby, and a body of militia under Colonel Hamilton. The artillery were in charge of Captains Mackonochie and McLachlan; and Major Maule was Quarter-Master-General. It will thus be seen that in this last and severest battle of the war, the "auld fire" of the Scots was still "aye the foremost." The loss of the enemy is stated by Drummond at 1,500; his own was 878. [Brown states his loss at 858, but several hundred prisoners were taken, and he only estimates the missing at 117. Very little reliance can be placed upon his statement.]

General Drummond then proceeded in pursuit and invested Fort Erie. Here a misfortune occurred which entirely defeated the General’s plans. He had planned the attack skilfully, the forces being disposed in three divisions—one under Colonel Fisher, of the Regiment DeWatteville, with flank companies of the 89th Highlanders and the 100th; a second, which bore the brunt of the struggle under Lieutenant Colonel Drummond of the 104th, and acting directly against the fort; the third under Colonel Scott with the 103rd and some companies of the Royal Scots. The two latter divisions assaulted the works. Scott’s force was partially turned, but soon rallied, and in the meantime Colonel Drummond succeeded in penetrating the works. Thompson, of the Royal Scots, may be permitted to give the particulars of the catastrophe: "Lieutenant-Colonel Drummond, during the conflict within the fort, performed most extraordinary acts of valour; in the hottest of the battle he would present himself encouraging his men both by example and precept. But in the very moment when victory was declaring itself in favour of the British arms, some ammunition which had been placed under the platform ignited from firing of guns in the rear, and a dreadful explosion was the result, by which the greater part of the British forces which had entered the fort, were literally blown into the air." [History, p. 240.] It was now impossible to retain the ground which had been won, and the troops retired within their works. By this disaster and otherwise, no less than 904 men were lost, amongst them, unhappily, the gallant Colonels Scott and Drummond.

Colonel Hercules Scott was a native of Brotherton, Scotland, and had commanded the 103rd in Canada ever since the beginning of this campaign. After the outworks had been carried by assault, and the fort by escalade, Scott received a musket-shot in the heart, which was instantly fatal. He was buried the same evening, with the only three officers who had escaped unharmed as his chief mourners. Colonel William Drummond of the 104th—a typical Scottish soldier—was the son of John Drummond, of Keltie, in Perthshire. Early in life he commenced a series of valiant actions. At St. Vincent, when a lieutenant of the 2nd W. I. Regiment, he specially distinguished himself; at the taking of Surinam his commander recommended him as an officer of the greatest promise. In 1804, the Lloyd’s committee voted him a sword of 100 guineas’ value for his intrepidity in rallying the crew of a merchant-ship so successfully that, two French privateers which had attacked her were driven off. During the war on our Canadian frontier, the Colonel occupied a prominent position from the moment of his arrival. Wounded severely at Sackett’s Harbour, he subsequently was in action at Chippawa and every subsequent engagement, until his untimely death, just at the close of the war. A braver and more self-sacrificing Scot never wore the King’s uniform, and his death was deeply deplored by his surviving comrades—indeed by the entire service. [Morgan: Celebrated Canadians, &c., pp. 222-3.]

Thus ended the war so far as the Niagara frontier was concerned. General Brown occasionally threatened to resume the offensive, but scarcely attempted anything. About the middle of September, an assault was made on the British batteries before Fort Erie, but although the enemy’s superior force partly penetrated the works, it was driven out at the point of the bayonet, with a loss of six hundred. [Thompson, p. 242.] A succession of heavy rains rendered the repair of the batteries impracticable, and therefore, on the 21st, Sir G. Drummond ordered a retreat to Chippawa. Brown affected some intention of harassing the rear, but never came to close quarters, although Drummond tried every expedient to lure him into action. The American General knew that the game was up, and what remained of the large army of invasion, so soon as the British were out of the way, evacuated Fort Erie, and recrossed the river. The energy and skill of Sir Gordon Drummond, had thus cleared Canadian soil of the invaders, and although the last incident of the war was disastrous, the entire campaign was, in the highest degree creditable, both to the strategy of the general and the bravery of the men. [It may not be amiss to note that both Sir Gordon’s sons died in the service of their country. The younger, Russell Gordon, was killed on H.M.S. Satellite, when a lieutenant, during an insurrection at Callao, in 1835. Gordon, the elder, was a Colonel in the Coldstream Guards, and served in the Crimea, where he commanded the Brigade of Guards at the final assault on Sebastopol. He died of fatigue, prematurely worn out, in November, 1856. Sir Gordon himself lived until October, 1854, when he died in London, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.] As Thompson remarks (p. 243), whatever object the Americans may have proposed to themselves by this last invasion, "it is certain that nothing was acquired, if we except a fresh proof of the loyalty of the Canadian people to their sovereign, and their unshaken zeal to defend their country from the grasp of its’ enemy, at whatever time he might think proper to invade it."

So far as the old Provinces of Canada were concerned, the last event was Sir George Prevost’s abortive expedition to Plattsburg. Into that disastrous affair, our immediate purpose does not call upon us to enquire. The General had a large force and yet failed, sacrificing to his incapacity the lives of a gallant Irishman, Commodore Downie, R. N., and eighty-four of his command. There were in addition ninety sailors wounded, while the land forces, in eight or nine days, lost about two hundred and fifty. [See The Letters of Veritas. Montreal: W. Gray, 1815, pp. 111,122.] The capture of Washington by General Ross, and the battle of New Orleans in 1815, are outside our present subject, while the taking of Moose Island, and the Penobscot expedition only concern Canada, in so far as they resulted in the capture of a large part of Massachusetts, afterwards surrendered by the treaty of peace. It is worthy of notice, however, that three of the best admirals on the Atlantic board, Cockburn, Malcolm and Cochrane, were Scots.

The Americans, being now heartily tired of the war, the peace party gained strength day by day. The conflict had been precipitated by Mr. Madison, in the hour of England’s difficulty, and now the fall of Bonaparte had freed the right arm of the mother country. Canada was to have fallen an easy prey to the invader, and yet, although not less than fifty thousand men had landed on her shores, in five successive invasions, they had effected nothing, and achieved nothing except defeat and disgrace. The war was pre-eminently a political—indeed a sectional war; the Generals were elevated to the positions they so inadequately filled by partizan influence. New England, New York, and most States on the north Atlantic coast, were opposed to the war, and other States were only half-hearted in their support. Nothing had been won by the enemy, after all his boasting and all his exertions. There was nothing for it, therefore, but to make peace. The plenipotentiaries met at Ghent, and on the 24th of December, 1814, a treaty was signed, which finally ended the war, so dishonourably begun by the one side, and so gallantly conducted on the other. The Orders in Council were repealed by England before the declaration of war was known there, and now in the Treaty, the only other pretext for hostility, the impressment of seamen from American ships, and the limits of blockade quietly dropped out of sight. The United States thus secured no object by their wanton expenditure of blood and treasure, whilst they lost seriously in the weightier matters of national prestige and national honour.

In presenting this slight sketch of the war of 1812, it has necessarily been our primary object to show how prominently Scotsmen figured in those trying times. The record speaks for itself, and does not need special emphasis and enforcement here. From the time when Muir and Sutherland shed their blood on the Detroit river, until the gallant Drummond perished at Fort Erie, their names, and the names of Scottish corps, regular and militia, appear constantly upon the historic scrolls. Nothing that could be added by way of comment or word would shed additional lustre upon the glorious part they took in Canadian defence. However, although it has been our immediate purpose to deal with the Scot, nothing could be further from the design of the work than to undervalue the inestimable services of the Canadians, French or other, and the gallant Englishmen and Irishmen who fought by their sides. The names which strike us as peculiary heroic, are those of Brock and De Salaberry; yet neither of them had much to do with the final issue. The former perished, all too soon, on the field of glory; the latter freed Lower Canada from the invader, and was only inactive because he was unemployed. No national jealousies troubled the people of those days; they had a duty to fulfil to king and country, and acquitted themselves like brave men in ardent co-operation, without regard to creed or origin. If, on the whole, the Scots occupied the foremost place in the conflict, the statement of the fact is only a matter of justice to them, and implies no invidious comparison with the worthy deeds of their brethren in arms.


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