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licking? Why, they even claimed to have been successful themselves—but what will “monarchists” not do?
White and his friends Col. Bull and Major Galloway were taken prisoner by Indians, and Bull was almost at once killed by them. The captain was afterwards informed by a “Canadian gentleman that the murder was committed in compliance with the order of Gen. Riall”—and he seems to try hard to believe this monstrous charge. (Colonel Campbell was desperately wounded in this campaign—the cap of his knee was carried away by a cannon shot, and he died in extreme agony. Major Richardson charges him with great barbarity toward his prisoners.)
Galloway and White were forced by their savage captors to run till they thought they would drop dead. Finally both were brought before Gen. Riall who asked a number of questions, “the truth of which I was determined he should not know from me”-they were then given in charge to sergeants of the British army who kept them all night behind the breast-works on the bare ground without tent or covering of any kind. It would seem that the soldiers were no better off; and the sergeant who had White in charge lent him an old watchcoat—"he also gave me a drain from his canteen.”
On the third day thereafter, White hoped to escape, as an engagement seemed to be going on; but he was watched too closely. “Major Galloway, two of our volunteers, one Indian, myself and three or four Canadians who were in confinement on suspicion of being friendly to the American cause, were led into the field under a strong guard and halted to await the fate of the day.” The British retreated to Lundy's Lane and then to Queenston Heights, where White had a narrow escape, a certain "fellow” charging him with being a deserter from an English regiment, and concluding "d-n you, I will have you hung." This peril passed over; they marched for Fort George and finally sailed for York on a vessel "so crammed with wounded men, that the other prisoners and myself were obliged to remain on deck the whole time of the passage from Fort George to York." 011 the march from Chippewa to Fort George, a gentleman named Carr,* "a doctor," had kindly given the prisoner a $20 bill to divide between himself and his friend in misfortune Major Gallowayand the British officers added another $5 bill, while a dragoon officer sent them some tea and sugar, and a bottle of rum. White makes it a matter of great complaint that “all the time we drew rations we were never allowed any liquor, and got none except the one bottle thus made a present of,” and compares this barbarous treatment with the treatment of prisoners in the American camp, where as “I know to be a fact . the men belonging to my own company have gone without their liquor that prisoners might be better accommodated." Could self-denial and courtesy reach a higher point? And would the modern American be able to give up his Manhattan or Martini in like case ?
At Yorkĩ the prisoners were marched to a tavern where the landlady sold them two old shirts more than half worn for "the moderate price of eight dollars." Perhaps the landlady thought to get even with an American for the sack of York by his countrymen in May of the previous year. We hear much of the wanton destruction of Washington by the British forces, and find their conduct compared to that of the Barbarians of the middle ages—but it was no whit worse than the conduct of the American troops at Toronto and Niagara, of which we hear little, if anything.
*This was Dr. Robert Kerr who had been Surgeon to Sir John Johnson's Second Battalion : he settled in Newark (Niagara) and became Surgeon to the Indian Department. He had also a large private practice. In the war of 1812 he took an active part in a surgical way : afterwards he became Judge at the Surrogate Court of Niagara : and a Magistrate for the District. He was fond of sport and nicknamed the “ boxing Magistrate." His wife was the daughter of Sir William Johnson and “Molly,” sister of Brant ; and his son became chief of the Mohawks. He was appointed by the Governor a member of the Medical Board for the examination of those applying for a license to practice-and seems to have been not only a most loyal but also a capable and humane physician and surgeon. Some may be interested to know that he was a Mason of high degree.
Dr. Robert Kerr was a member of the Land Board for the District of Nassau, appointed by Lord Dorchester to act from and after May 1, 1791, and afterwards he was a member of the Land Board for Lincoln County only. He was himself grantee of lots 29, 30 and 31 in the 2nd Concession of “ Township No. 7."
His wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Kerr, was a woman of great natural ability, an accomplished lady and an author of no little merit ; she wrote several very interesting books on the customs and religion of her mother's people. She and her husband passed most of their lives in Niagara.
+Surveyor-General Ridout, in a letter to his son at Cornwall, dated at York, Sunday, 10th July, 1814, gives a graphic account of the wounded and their arrival at York.
Being ordered to Montreal they gave their parole, but "we did not profit much
for an hour had scarcely passed after we had signed the parole when we were ordered on board a Durham boat to be sent under guard to Kingston. The British officers on board when night came on went ashore and always took Galloway and myself with them: we lodged in a house convenient to the vessel, the other prisoners were suffered to remain on board under guard.”
We know that while there was what was called a road from York to Kingston at that time (it had been built by Danforth, an American, about 1800) it was not too good, and part of the year was almost impassableand it must occur to anyone that the prisoner was very fortunate in being carried on a Durham boat rather than plowing his way along on foot.
Landing at Ives' Creek, about 18 miles east of York, they put up for the night-White had been very unwell for some days, and there was taken so ill that he could not be moved. He remained in a very bad state for eight or ten days, putting up at Mr. Ives', and was given up by the medical man appointed by the Government to attend him. But his "better fortune brought an old Yankee Doctor, as they called him
Mr., Ives' family physician, on a visit to the house-having seen me and examined the medicine which was administering to me, he pronounced my case as desperate but
expressed an opinion that something might yet be done for me
He changed the treatment and "whether it was owing to this change of practice or that the crisis of the disease had arrived,” the prisoner began to get better almost at once. When he was con
valescing he “had many visitors from several miles distance who always came after dark and returned the same night: they were very anxious to know what was the intention of the United States in sending troops into Canada, and if they had determined on taking it—if such they said was our intention, a powerful party in Canada might be raised to assist in the undertaking
There were an immense number of men at that time disaffected with Government, and had the United States deemed it expedient, or possessed the means of sending a large army into Canada with the avowed purpose of freeing them from British Dominion, numbers would have flocked to our standard, and,” adds the sanguine Pennsylvanian, “they might with reason have trembled for their possession.”
Notwithstanding the general opinion and little flattering as it is to Canadians of that time, it must be admitted that there was undoubtedly a want of loyalty, or at least a want of willingness to fight the American invader, exhibited by the Canadian settler on more than one occasion, and at more than one place.
A contemporary work published in 1813, at Philadelphia, written by one M. Smith, who was an American but who had lived in Upper Canada for some time before the war and had been allowed by the Government to leave the province on the outbreak of the war, a number of statements are made which are corroborated by facts which are well known. The book is called “A Geographical View of the Province of Upper Canada, etc." On page 87 he says, “It was generally thought in Canada 'if Hull had marched in haste from Sandwich to Fort George, the province would then have been conquered without the loss of a man Brock ordered some part of the militia from the District of London, about 100 miles from Sandwich, to march there. This many refused to do of their own accord, and others were persuaded so to refuse by a Mr. Culver, a Mr. Beamer, and one more who rode among the people for six days telling them to stand back. Whenever the officer came to warii the inhabitants to meet at such a place to receive arms and orders to march against
Hull, they promised to go; but instead of going they took some provision and went to the woods, and there waited in hopes that Hull would soon accomplish his promise, but, poor things, they were deceived and had to return and obey orders.”
After the surrender of Hull "the people of Canada became fearful of disobeying the government; some that fled to the wilderness returned home, and the friends of the United States were discouraged and those of the King encouraged .." In the Talbot papers will be found some account of this trouble in the London District.
On p. 93, Smith says that about twelve days after the Battle of Queenston Heights “Col. Graham on Yonge Street, ordered his regiment to meet in order to draft a number to send to Fort George: however, about forty did not appear but went out into Whitechurch township, nearly a wilderness, and there joined about thirty more who had fled from different places. When the regiment met there were present some who had liberty of absence a few days from Fort George; these, with others, volunteered their services to Col. Graham to the number of 160, to go and fetch them in, to which the Colonel agreed but ordered them to take no arms, but when they found they must not take arms they would
At the first of December they had increased to about 300, about which time, as I was on my way to Kingston to obtain a passport to leave the province, I saw about 50 of them near Smith's Creek (now Port Hope] in Newcastle District on the main road with fife and drum, beating for volunteers, crying huzza for Madison [the President of the United States). None of the people in this district bore arms at that time, except twelve at Presqu' Harbour. They were universally in favour of the United States, and if ever another army is landed in Canada this would be the best place
many of the Canadian militia would desert but
army dare not rebel, not having now any faith in any offers of protection in a rebellion, as they have been deceived." This last refers to the promises made by Hull on the strength of which